Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sad Day

Today I did something that I hope I will never, never have to do again. I attended a visitation for a 6 year old boy and his 9 year old brother. They, along with their grandmother were killed in a car accident on Sunday. Their father is one of my co-workers.

Seeing those 2 sweet, innocent faces in a casket is something I will never forget and something I hope I will never see again. My heart is breaking for that entire family and the loss that they are having to cope with.

It is so unfair and although I know that God doesn't make mistakes, I still want to know why? Why did they have to die so young? And why does the family that is left behind have to experience the pain and loss that they are all feeling right now?

My prayer's today and for many days to come are that God will comfort and hold this family together as they heal from this great loss. Only He will be able to bring the comfort and understanding that they need to be able to move on with their lives and know that God has a purpose and plan for everything, even something as horrible as this.

Today I am thankful for my precious children and that I still have them to hold. And I'm very sad for the family that has lost some of their precious ones. But I know that Jesus is now holding those sweet little boys close to his heart and that is a comfort.

Please lift up this family in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Heart Is Heavy Today

I did really good yesterday, I was on the verge of tears all day because I had to leave the girls, but I managed to keep my mind focused on other things and never had a big cry, just misty eyed all the way to work.

But, then I got to work and heard some really sad news and I cried my eyes out. One of the men that I work with lost 2 of his children and his mother-in-law in a car accident Saturday. 2 of his other children are still in the hospital.

I cannot even begin to fathom the pain and devastation that he and his family are going through right now. The kids that were killed were 6 and 9 years old. How do you even begin to cope with something like that? I know that the grace of God will get a person through anything and with God all things are possible, but the pain of losing 2 of your precious children would be devastating.

Please keep this family in your prayers, they have a long journey of healing ahead of them. It reminds me that I have so much to be thankful for everyday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Alexis' Hair Cut In Pictures

It's Today

The day has arrived...I have to go back to work today. :( Well, I have to go to that place that gives me a paycheck for my work. Not that being at home with my precious little girls isn't a paycheck enough for me. But, I have to start contributing financially again.

I've done really well this time around with not dwelling on this day and not letting myself get all upset or depressed, but I'm still very sad and I know that I will cry myself to work all week long just like I did when I left Alexis. And least I can take comfort in the fact that the girls get to stay in their own home, in their own beds and they don't have to be dropped off in this yucky rainy day and they don't have to be taken out of warm beds to be transported home in the early morning hours either.

Ross told me last night that he was sorry that I have to go back to work today. That made me feel really good, because I don't feel like he's ever really had the desire for me to stay at home with our children like I do. I just chalk it up to our being raised with different view points. My mom stopped working and stayed at home with me to home school me. His mom always had a career outside of the home. I think it really does make a difference in how you see things depending on what your parents do or don't do. You put value on different things. And that's not to say that one way is better than the other, just different is all. I was raised in a home that put a lot of value on the mother staying at home with her children, and I believe Ross was raised in a home that placed value on the mother having a career of her own and working outside of the home.

Ross and I also had a joking discussion about the other day. He's always wondered what it was like and who he'd be matched with. We both agreed that we would never have met on eHarmony because we probably don't fit any of their compatibility qualifiers to be a match. But, we decided we are perfectly happy together even though eHarmony probably would never have put us together. It really is true that opposites attract and that is definitely the case with Ross and I.

Okay, so I totally got off subject, but that's usually how my brain thinks, I jump from one thing to the other quite a bit. But, I was basically just pointing out the differences that Ross and I have and kind of wondering about future decisions that involve our children. Like college, I didn't go, Ross did. I'm pretty sure he's of the assumption that our kids should go to college, and by all means if they want to I'm all for it. But if they don't want to, I'm perfectly okay with that too. And once again, I'm way off the original subject...oh well.

I was trying to get to the other part of our conversation last night. I was telling him that the hardest part of going back is how much Isabel completely depends on me and just me right now. I'm her only source of nutrition at this point and will be until she's 6 months and is ready to eat solids and even after that, she won't be getting rid of me until she's at least a year old if not older than that. I like the fact that she needs me that much, that's what makes it even harder for me to leave her. I know her every cry and every want and need and no one else can know that like I can because I'm her mother. Yes, there are bonds to be made with other people, but right now, I know what's best for her. I know exactly what to do to calm her when she is fussy, I know which cry means she's poopy, and which one means that she's tired of being stimulated and just wants to go to sleep. It's been easy for me to let other people know what she needs if someone else is holding her, or I can just take her and care for her needs myself, but if I'm not here, someone else is going to have to figure out what she needs and it may take them longer to give her the comfort she is looking for because I'm not here. It just totally solidifies my feelings of the importance of a mother staying home with her children and not sending them off to be raised by someone else. But, Ross and I are having to deal with the consequences of our poor financial choices, so I have to continue to work outside of the home for a while longer.

So I think that wraps up all my crazy thoughts this morning. My pump and I are about to get really close again!

Friday, November 20, 2009

From The Mouths of Babes

Just a few minutes ago, I was picking up the living room and Alexis was playing. She decided she wanted to feed her baby. So, she sat down in her Elmo chair and pulled up her little t-shirt and "nursed" her baby. Then she asked me to get her a burp cloth so she could burp her and feed her on the "udder"(that's how she says other) side too. So, I got her a burp cloth, she burped her and then said, "udder boob now". And if that wasn't enough, she asked me to "swaddle" her baby when she was done feeding her. It just amazes me everyday how much they absorb and copy what they see. It really makes you realize just how careful you need to be with your actions.

Ironically, I'm listening to some music on iTunes and the song playing right now is "Slow Fade" from Casting Crowns.

"Oh be careful little eyes what you see,
oh be careful little eyes what you see,
for the Father up above is looking down in love,
so be careful little eyes what you see."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mid Week Update

Good Afternoon! Just thought I'd let you all in on a few things that have been happening this week.

Alexis is doing really good without her pacifier....during the day at least. Night time is a whole different story. Bedtime is somewhat of a challenge. Some nights are great, some nights are torture for her and us. Her bedtime of 10 o'clock is completely thrown out the window. The other night it was 1am. Last night she was actually asleep in her bed before 11pm. She does not sleep well at all though, she's very restless, she cries out in her sleep, and most nights she ends up in our bed in the early morning hours.

Last night, Becky came over to stay with the girls for a few hours as sort of a trial run before I go back to work next week. Alexis just loves her! And Isabel is just fine too! Isabel took a bottle from her just fine and then latched right back onto me with no problem too. I needed to kill some time while Becky stayed with them, so I went over to Cuba since I didn't want to go all the way to Rolla again the same day. I went to Walmart and found quite a few Christmas gifts for the girls! Then I went over the Pizza Hut and picked up a pizza for me and Ross. If it hadn't have been Ross' 30 minute lunch break at work, we could have considered it a date! Anyway, I started reading "Twilight" yesterday, so I got a chance to get a few chapters in and then I headed home to my girls once again.

Going back to work is not going to be easy, but since I've already done it once, I know what to expect, so emotionally I'm a little more prepared and I'm not getting all depressed as the day gets closer to go back. Instead of being negative about it, I'm trying to stay positive and look for the best in the situation. We don't have the option at this point for me to stay at home so that's one thing I can't change. Going back to work will probably really help me to take off some serious pounds. I'll barely have time to eat since my break times will be all about pumping for my precious little Isabel. And here at home I'm free to graze food all day long, big problem for me because I really like to eat. Plus, I'm really thankful that we've found people to stay here at our home with the girls. That lifted a huge weight off my shoulders when we got that settled. I was really worried about the possibility of having to take them somewhere and then disturbing their sleep when Ross picked them up, and it just wasn't an option for them to spend the night somewhere either. There is also the fact that I will be contributing financially to the household again and hopefully someday when we get our debts paid, I'll have the option to stay at home!

We have a situation in my family that is causing some heartache, I'm not going into detail, but please pray for us that we can resolve the situation and once again be that big happy family we usually are.

PS. I decided to go link happy with this post, if you can't tell! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Isabel's 2 Month Check-up

We saw Aunt Jaimee and Dr. Rao today. Isabel is doing wonderful! She weighs 12 lbs. 15.6 oz. and she is 22 3/4 inches long now. Dr. Rao told us the percentiles, but I really don't remember because those numbers don't really mean a thing to me as long as she is healthy. And that she is!

Monday, November 16, 2009


The last 3 hours have been a struggle of wills between Alexis and I. She is challenging everything we tell her right now. It gets so frustrating and sometimes I lose my temper with her and I hate myself for it. My prayer tonight is that I can discipline her calmly and effectively, because I know that discipline in anger isn't going to do her any good at all. I knew parenting was not easy and that it would be a challenge, but I'm not sure I expected this.

I have always known that I wanted to have children and that I wanted to raise them to be obedient and respectful and I believe I have the tools and knowledge to do so. But I never thought I would have such a stubborn child, she is so defiant right now. I tell her something and she just looks at me and waits to see what I'll do next if she doesn't obey. Everyday is a struggle of some kind to get her to obey us. I'm praying that it won't be much longer before she learns that she must obey us or there will always be consequences. This is not the fun part of parenting and I feel like it is overshadowing the wonderful joys of being a parent right now. I am determined that while this struggle continues I am going to make sure that I'm giving her extra love and attention because for the most part, I feel like I'm constantly getting on to her.

I'm also struggling with another situation tonight, I don't want to go into details, but please pray for me that I'll find the peace I need and won't allow this particular situation to continue upsetting me like it does.

Thank you Mom for letting me vent on you like I do, and for always having words of wisdom for me. I don't know what I'd do without you. You always have a way a helping me to see things more clearly and encouraging me to take it to God and let Him have control.

Thank you Jaimee for being such a good big sister and letting me vent on you too. It's nice to know that I have someone to talk anytime about anything at all. I'm so looking forward to when you are finished with school and life settles into a better routine and we have some time to get together more often.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'm so very relieved that we have found someone to watch our girls when I go back to work. We're going to be using several different college girls from this area. Ross' cousin Hannah Lea, Becca Hodge from here in Steelville, and Becky Lakaner also from Steelville. Between the 3 of them hopefully they'll be able to do all the nights that we need.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I'll be able to get lay off time from work. If I can get that, I can possibly be off for another 3 months or so. And also pray that I can get to dayshift soon and we won't even have to worry about this at all, except for an hour or two in the afternoons when our shifts would overlap. That would be the ultimate answer to my prayers (other than my prayer to be a stay at home mom).

On another unrelated note, I've finally gotten my house cleaned this week and almost all of the laundry is done. I've been having a horrible time these last few weeks and I don't know what my problem is. I wake up in the morning with good intentions and then nothing...I just can't seem to get myself going. I'm making all kinds of excuses to myself when I know I just need to buckle down and do to. There really is no excuse, at least not a legitimate one.

I think I've finally gotten myself into the right mind set with my eating habits as well. I've really got to get with it on losing weight or I'm just going to get all depressed about it and make it even worse. I'm totally unhappy with my weight and my appearance right now and the only person that can change it is me. I've got to find the will power that I know I have and just say no to food a little more often than I do right now. I'm going to be a bridesmaid in April and our trip to the beach is in June and I refuse to look like a gigantic watermelon in my bridesmaid dress and a beached whale in a bathing suit.

That's all I've got for today, enjoy the pictures of my beautiful girls!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Me Vs. Alexis

Lara Anne made the comment that Alexis & Isabel both have a lot of Lea in them, and that is very true as newborns, but I wanted to show you all this picture of me compared to Alexis and she really does have a lot of me in her once she got older. We shall see if Isabel stays looking like Ross or will look like me when she gets older! It is so funny to see how much your children change in appearance. I don't have any baby pictures of Ross to compare with, but everyone that knows Ross thinks the girls look just like him, but people that don't know Ross see lots of me in the girls. I guess it's safe to say they are both a good combination of the two of us!
Me at 9 months...


...Alexis at 9 months

Isabel Vs. Alexis

This is Isabel at 2 months....
....and this is Alexis at 2 months.
Who's cheeks are chubbier?!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remodel Update

Our remodel of the upstairs is finally getting closer...we see a light at the end of the tunnel. Ross has been working very hard this last week on getting all the little things finished up. He ripped out the old steps and put all new in. He got the half wall built along the staircase in the girls room. We just need to get a post to put at the end of it to stabilize it.

Our next step is waiting for the drywaller's to come and then the mud and tape and then we'll be able to paint, carpet and move up there!! It won't come a day too soon, because we're starting to feel super cramped downstairs. Alexis is getting so much better about playing by herself and I'm amazed when I watch the things she does and how she uses her imagination, but she also makes a huge disaster of the living room too. And the slightest thing out of place makes the whole room look trashed since it's already small and crammed full of stuff too. Looking forward to having a play room for her that's not the living room! And I'll actually have an office which will be nice too. I'll be able to get a little bit more organized.

Pacifier Update

Well we've made it through 3 nights now. Last night she actually went to bed in her crib and she only fussed for just a few minutes when I put her down. That was a big victory since she knows how to climb out of her crib. When I tried to put her down for her nap yesterday in her crib, she just climbed out and came out to the living room.

So, I think we are going to survive with no pacifier if we've made it this far. Right now I'm picking my battles since we are putting her through a lot of transitions. First, we're trying to be very understanding since she was so attached to her paci. But, now we are going to focus on making her understand that she much stay in her crib and that way we hopefully won't have a problem when she moves to her big girl bed. Also, we need to get her to sleep in her bed all night. She went to sleep in her crib, but she ended up in our bed at 3 something this morning. We don't mind if she comes to bed with us for an hour our 2 early in the morning, but half the night is not good. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alexis' New Hair

My baby girl got her first big girl hair cut tonight!
She's had trims and got some bangs around this time last year, but this was the first "real" cut so to speak. She was so cute on the way to get it done. She asked me if they were going to "water" her hair! She's seen me get mine shampooed and cut a few times so that's what she meant by watered. I think it's super cute, but it makes her look older :( she's not my little baby anymore.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Beginning of What Might Be a Rough Week

Alexis has started biting holes in her pacifiers, and we've thrown them away when this has happened. At first it didn't bother her to suck on it after she had bit it, but we threw it away just so it wouldn't get all nasty inside. Well, one day last week she bit a hole in her orange one and then would bring it to me and say, "pink one better Mommy, don't like orange one." So, we were left with one good one and yesterday she bit a hole in it. All last night she complained about it saying she wanted, "different one." This morning she decided she was a big girl and threw it away all by herself with no prompting from Ross and I.

That was all well and good until nap 1:30 we started the process and I laid her down with her baby and kissed and hugged her and all the normal stuff we do and walked out of her room. She was just whining at first and then she started asking for her paci. This went on for a good 20 minutes. I would go in and try to calm her and so would Ross. We held her hand, rubbed her back, put lots of her stuffed animals in the crib with her. Anything to try and comfort her and get her through this. We had both left her room and hadn't been out but just a minute or two and she come sneaking out of her room. Yes, she climbed out of her crib......great. This has never been an issue because she always just lays down and goes to sleep. So, now we have to deal with giving up the paci and her climbing out of the crib.

After we had a good laugh about how innocent her little face was when she came walking out and the big smile on her face, we decided that one of was going to lay down with her in our bed for nap and help her get adjusted to no pacifier. Ross tried to because I needed to feed Isabel, but that wasn't working for Alexis. She wanted Mommy and made that rather clear. So, I laid down with her and finally got her to sleep around 2:30.

Now we have to figure out how we are going to deal with the crib climbing thing in combination with the pacifier. The upstairs isn't ready yet, but I guess we can convert the crib to a daybed and then back to a crib for Isabel when we get moved upstairs. I have a feeling I'm in for a long, rough week.

Please Lord, help me to have the patience and love to help Alexis through this time and give her the comfort she needs while she adjusts to life with no paci.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photo Editing

I started using a photo editing program and I'm not so sure of what I'm doing yet, or how the program really works. It's called and if any of you know how to use it I would appreciate some tips. Here are 3 different versions of the same picture of Alexis. The first is the original with no editing and the other 2 have some editing. Let me know what you think and which you like best. And while you are here, sign up to follow me if you aren't already. It's super easy!! Thanks. Love, Jessica

Something to Brighten My Day

I've had a rough week so far, but today, I got a nice little pick me up via the UPS truck! My new purse arrived from 2-Sweet Boutique and it is gorgeous! I'm so excited to finally get it. I also ordered an adorable pillow from Toadstools & Blossoms. It has Alexis' name on it and will look really good on her new big girl bed when we get moved upstairs! I'm going to order one for Isabel soon too. (I'd placed the order before she was born, so we didn't know if she was a boy or girl yet!)

Today has just been lovely as far as weather goes. I had a little emotional outburst today, but I'm much better now. Alexis and I played outside for a while today and she had a wonderful time jumping into the huge leaf pile I raked up for her. I got some really cute pictures I'll try to get posted over the weekend. Isabel is smiling a lot now and I got some really cute pictures of her today too!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Need Motivation

I am in need of some serious motivation. I've fallen into a slump and I can't seem to get out of it. My house is in desperate need of some deep cleaning, I only do the dishes when we've run out of either forks or spoons, I'm only doing enough laundry to get by. Couldn't tell you the last time I had all the laundry done. I manage to straighten up the house almost everyday, but by the time I do that, I don't feel like cleaning and then within minutes of Alexis being up, it's a disaster again.

I can't really use Isabel as an excuse anymore because she is sleeping really well at night. Most nights she'll go 5-6 hours and some nights 7-8, so I can't blame it on lack of sleep because I'm actually getting some. And Ross is kind enough to let me sleep in like I did today. I didn't roll out until 10. (I still get up to nurse Isabel, but he got up this morning with Alexis.)

I'm kind of depressed about my weight and body appearance right now and I know the only way to get it back is to work for it, but I can't even seem to get motivated to do that. I've walked on the treadmill a little bit. My biggest problem is that I'm having a love affair with food, I always have had one, and it's really hard to get away from it. I love food and I love to eat. And I know I'm allowed extra calories because I'm breastfeeding, but not as many as I've taken in. And how did I let myself become so lax about what I'm eating this time around? I've had way more junk food with Isabel than I would have ever considered having with Alexis.

Maybe it was all that rain and dreary days that got me down and now that the sun is shining again I'll be able to snap out of it. I sure hope so. It's even helped me feel better just to get my feeling out about it. So, I'm going to quit whining and start cleaning. Hopefully I can get most of it done today and then keep up with it a little better. I've got to start getting my rear in gear, I go back to work on Nov. 24th :(

Monday, November 2, 2009


...a good babysitter for my girls. I have to return to work on November 24th and I'm searching for someone to stay with my girls. Ross and I both work evening shift. Him 3:30 pm - Midnight. Me 4:30 pm - 2:30 am. So, our best option is for someone to come to our home and stay with them here so they can go to sleep in their own beds.

Alexis stayed with Ross' parents (Bill & Carol) and Ross would pick her up when he got off work and she would ride in his lap the half mile up the gravel road to our house and she transferred back to her crib without even waking up. But, that will not be as easy to do with her and Isabel now. Plus, Ross and I feel that's it too much to ask Bill & Carol to watch both of them even though I know they would.

So, Ross and I are thinking that a high school/college age girl would be perfect. And she could even spend the night and leave in the morning if she wanted too. If any of you know of anyone in our area that would be willing to do that and is trustworthy, please send their names our way. We have a few that we are already talking to, but I think we are going to have to have several available to rotate with because of school and other work schedules that our sitters may have.

Please pray that this will all work out for us. The last thing I need is to have to constantly stress about where the girls are while I'm at work. It's hard enough to go back without all that hanging over my head as well. Obviously things would be a lot easier if we both didn't work nights. And believe me, we are trying to fix that, but for now that is what we have.

Happy Halloween

We celebrated Halloween this year at my brother, Tim and sister-in-law, Sarah's house. We had lots of fun trick or treating together!
Matt Sera Kate & Isabel
Grandma & Papa with the kids
Sarah, Riley, Tyler, Sadie & Tim
And Isabel again
Alexis & Isabel
Group photo: Tyler, Sadie, Isabel, Riley & Alexis