Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 A Look Back

Our year in review

  • January 9th I found out we were expecting our second baby! A surprise, but very exciting still!
  • February and March were pretty typical for us. Slow winter months with lots of time to be together. Lots of napping for me when I could catch one with Alexis being so busy.
  • April, our baby girl turned 2! We had a great BBQ party out at Maramec Springs.
  • May we had a nice extended weekend with my family in Kentucky Lake.
  • June - Ross turned 30 and we had a nice party for him at Uncle Jerry & Aunt Karen's place at the creek. We also began the work on our remodel for the upstairs to make room for Baby #2.
  • July - Celebrated the 4th at Aunt Donna and Uncle Cecil's. I'm getting more pregnant everyday. Went to a baby shower for my friend Amy at the end of the month. We are due 1 day apart from each other. We also took Alexis to her first Cardinal's game at the end of the month.
  • August - On the 1st we were on our way to St. Louis in the pouring rain and we had an accident that ended up totaling the car. Spent a lot of this month preparing for the new baby. Ross is still working upstairs, but we know that it won't be ready until after the baby comes. Our families gave us a small baby shower at my Mom and Dad's house one Sunday afternoon. My nephew Riley turned 2 and we went to his birthday party. On the 27th, my friend Amy had her baby girl, Callie. I was only a little jealous that I was still pregnant.
  • September - I'm pretty much on house arrest so I don't end up having another baby in St. Louis. But, since I wasn't showing any signs of labor, I did get to go to my Mom and Dad's for the Labor Day BBQ/Mom's birthday party. My last day of work was Friday September 4th. I called in on Tuesday, it was hot and muggy and I just wasn't feeling it. I knew when I woke up Wednesday morning that I wasn't going to work that day either. And sure enough, we went to the hospital that night and Isabel Ann joined us on the 10th. So, the rest of September was filled with baby love! We did make it out to the Turner family reunion for a bit on the third Saturday of the month.
  • October was a busy month. Isabel was growing fast. We started car shopping to replace the Pontiac, bought an '08 Impala on the 23rd. Took a trip to the pumpkin patch, went to the Lea family reunion. Had Halloween at my brother's house. Very busy month, we had something going on every weekend that month. Almost forgot Ross went on a pheasant hunt in South Dakota with my dad and brothers and his dad too.
  • November - Another busy month. Alexis said goodbye to her pacifier for good. Yay Alexis! This is also the month I returned to work the week of Thanksgiving. Spent Thanksgiving with my family this year at Mom and Dad's house. Isabel is growing and doing great! Alexis got her first "real" haircut, a very cute bob. She'd only had some bangs and trims done before. Had some really nice weather this month and both the girls enjoyed some outside time. Ross blew up a lot of leaves and burned all of them. At the end of the month I went to a funeral for 2 little boys who were killed in a car accident and it was one of the hardest and saddest things I've ever done. It's something I will never forget.
  • December - Got some very exciting news this month. As of the 11th, I'm off work until April 6th, yippee! Christmas time is here. We got our tree up fairly early this year thanks to Alexis liking the one she saw at the grocery store so much. Our remodel is getting so close to being done, you can just feel it. We are getting very excited! Ross is actually painting today and very soon we'll have that done and all the trim work up and then all that's left to do is call for the carpet installers to come. We're getting the whole house carpeted along with the upstairs. We are just out of room. Especially with all the new Christmas toys the girls got this year! We had a really great Christmas, 3 days straight in fact. Unfortunately this year is going to end with us having a little girl being sick. (I'm writing this on the 30th, but not posting until the 31st.) Alexis has been on the couch since she got up from her nap, so she's been sleeping on and off for the last 5 hours and she told me she wanted to go lay down for her nap, which is something she never does. She's got a low grade fever, enough to give Tylenol, so I hope she feels better soon. And I hope Isabel doesn't catch anything from her or we'll be making a visit to the doctor.
So goodbye 2009, welcome2010!

That's What I Get For Bragging

Isabel Update.

For the first two weeks of Isabel's life, I pretty much let her call the shots. She ate when she wanted and slept when she wanted to, and because we hadn't given her a pacifier yet, I was her pacifier! After two weeks, I couldn't take anymore of being the human pacifier, so we gave her one and boy did it make things so much easier. I was under the impression you needed to wait until they are about six weeks before introducing the pacifier so there is no nipple confusion, but I found out that is just silly. As long as they are well established and doing well with latching and nursing there is no reason not to give them the plug!

After the two weeks I was ready for a more structured approach, so I began working to get her on a schedule so she'd be eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours and sleeping longer at night. She took to it really well, it fact so well that when she was only about 3 weeks old she slept one night for 7 hours. I thought it was great, but didn't let it happen again until she was a little older. She still hadn't gotten her metabolism balanced and established like it needs to be when you breastfeed. So, I started setting an alarm to get her up and feed her at night. Now, getting her to eat during the day meant waking her when it was time to eat, and so many people say to never wake a sleeping baby. But, I say wake on! Better to wake a sleeping baby during the day, than to wake the sleeping Mommy at night! ;) I got my scheduling help from the Babywise books.

I got a wonderful resource from my friend Shelley that worked wonders to help her adjust to not having me as a pacifier and it is called, The Happiest Baby on the Block. This was a lifesaver! I would recommend these two items to every new parent. Now, some people aren't real fond of the Babywise method, but you have to look at it and still be flexible. It's not always cut and dry that your baby cannot eat unless a certain amount of time has passed. That's why they call it Parent Directed Feeding. You use your common sense and read what signals your baby is giving you to determine when to feed them. Some people also say it doesn't work if you breastfeed, well I'm hear to tell you that it does!

So things are going along so nicely for us, I'm bragging about what a wonderful baby Isabel is. She is eating well, taking full feeding at the appropriate times. She sleeps well at night, she is very rarely every fussy....And them something changed. Around 3 months or so, she started having these little fits of screaming mad crying. The first time it happened I was in Helen Fitzgerald's eating with Mom and Dad. That time, I believe that she got scared by the loud noises in the restaurant. It happened again a week or so later when we had Meredith over for a movie night. We were watching Transformers 2 and it was very loud with lots of action sequences, you know the ones I mean, where the TV gets so loud during some exciting part and then you can't hear when they are just talking and them, BAM, it's mega loud for the next action sequence. And when I say screaming fits, what I mean it that she cries really loudly, has real tears in her eyes and it takes about 15-20 minutes to calm her, even using all 5 S's from Happiest Baby.

And now, she isn't eating real well either. The three weeks that I worked, she sucked the bottles down like she'd been doing it for weeks. She was drinking about 4 ounces each time and that's a lot for breastfed babies. She took to the bottles so much better than Alexis did. Which kind of concerned me that she would like the bottle better than the breast. So, after my 3 weeks of work, I was hoping she would go back to eating normally again. And by normal I mean that she eats on each side for at least 10-15 minutes. Alexis was no problem to breastfeed. She took the first side and after 15 minutes I'd switch her to the other and she'd take that one for 15 minutes. Isabel on the other hand, 7 minutes hear, then 5 or 6 over there and she seems done. I keep telling myself that maybe she is just more of an efficient nurser than Alexis was, but it still seems weird to me. But, she seems to be thriving still, she looks bigger everyday!

Now, she is at the stage where she isn't eating on a schedule very well. I try to feed after 3 hours and sometimes she takes a little and sometimes she doesn't want any at all and won't take anything off the second side. It may not be a big deal, but she sleeps for 8-10 hours at night now, so I would really like for her to get at least 6 good feeding a day and right now it's more like 5. I'm just not sure that's enough for a 3 1/2 month old. What do you think Mommies?

With all of this being said, she does have the sweetest smile and giggle in the world! She does seem to be a little spoiled too! She'll be in her bouncy seat and she'll start fussing and the instant you pick her up she stops. She's gotten a lot more fussy over the past few weeks and I'm not really sure why either. Last night was one of the roughest nights we've had in awhile. She was up 3 times during the night. She finally got a good nursing in at 7 and has been sleeping ever since.

We are looking forward to more fun stuff to come! And big sister really loves her a lot!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back To Reality

So, I know I've overwhelmed you with all of my Christmas pictures (sorry to those of you with dial up). But, it really is my favorite holiday and even more so now that I have children!

But, yesterday the mailman brought us right back to reality. We got a bill from the hospital for Alexis' birth. Yes, you read right, Alexis. She is 2 years and 8 months old and the hospital is finally done battling with the insurance company to get their payment and now they want ours too. This wouldn't be so bad if we weren't already making payments to another hospital for Isabel's birth.

While I feel extremely guilty that I'm not working right now and I'm just at home, I have to keep reminding myself that even though I'm not at work right now, I am saving us money because we aren't paying for a baby sitter and I'm drawing unemployment while I'm on lay off, so technically I'm making more money. So everyday I remind myself, "Jessica, you may not be bringing in your normal Walmart check, but you are still supplying income for your family." And like I said, we're doing just fine this way.

On another note, I've been posting a lot about Alexis and the cute things she says and haven't said much about Isabel, so I'm going to sit down and give you a good update on how she is doing soon.

Christmas Morning

This one is of Alexis right after she started opening her stocking and she found about 5 different Lip Smackers.

Isabel is quite thrilled

Alexis had a lot of fun opening her presents this year!

And she got to open Isabel's for her too.

Now it's time for the big

And she liked it!

She really loved her new baby too!

Isabel didn't make it through the whole process before she fell asleep!

We had a great Christmas morning at our house!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Christmas Card Pictures

Our Tree

Our "Snockings"

I've been working on taking Christmas down today and I finally have my fussy girls napping. They are both exhausted from 3 days worth of Christmas fun. So, I thought I'd take a break and share some more of my favorite Christmas things with you. These are our stocking that Ross' Mom made for all of us. They hang on our mantle every year and I display all my Christmas card there too. I did have a picture of Ross' but somehow I deleted it on accident from this post. You can see it in the picture of all of ours. And his looks just like mine anyway. Oh yes, and Alexis doesn't call them stockings, they are "snockings"!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Favorite Ornaments

Our newest ornament for this year!

Alexis is so proud of this one!
And Isabel's 1st ornament!
This is our family one from 2007
And Alexis' 1st ornament
And this one is from 2006 while I was pregnant with Alexis, you can't really see it in the picture but it's a pregnant lady and the caption at the bottom says, "A bun in the oven."

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! We have a busy weekend ahead.

Christmas Eve we stayed home, very nice.
Christmas Day, open presents here and then go to my Mom and Dad's.
Saturday, Christmas with Ross' parents and sister.
Sunday, at Ross' Grandma's.

I'll be posting lots of pictures next week. I just got around to taking some pictures of my favorite ornaments and I'll be sharing those along with lots of pictures from the festivities.

Again, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spare The Rod? What's Your Take?

  • Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, But the rod of correction will drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

I have always been of the opinion that a good spanking given in love and not in anger can be very good for a child. But, I know a lot of people will disagree with that, so I'm wondering what you think? To spank, or not to spank? And if you don't spank what is your form of discipline?

We have been spanking Alexis for quite some time now, and I'm beginning to wonder if I need to try some other forms of punishment, because we are getting absolutely no where with her behavior. She is extremely stubborn and defiant and it doesn't matter what we are telling her, if she sets it in her mind to do it, she is going to do it. I get so tired of being the bad guy all the time and spanking her, but I know I can't allow her behavior to go unnoticed.

So, basically, I'm looking to you other Mommy bloggers for suggestions on how you discipline your children and if any of you have an extremely and I do mean extremely stubborn child. I will not take offense if you disagree with me about the spanking issue, I would honestly like to hear some other opinions and maybe some techniques you've used that have been affective for your children.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Birth Control

I know this is a touchy subject for some people and I'm not going to discuss different methods here or anything like that.

But, I think this is what I'm going to start answering when people ask me if we are done because we have 2 children now.

  • Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed. Psalm 127:3-5.

Now, does that mean I want a dozen kids running around? No, but I will take what the Lord blesses me with!


We have been very blessed this week financially. We purchased carpet and paint from Lowe's and learned after the fact that we were going to have a lot of waste because they measured and calculated for a 15' foot roll instead of a 12' roll. They decided to check into it for us and see if they could make it work the other way. They called the next day and told us our new total and it saved us $469.00 off of the original price! HUGE BLESSING!

And then today, Ross got to work and received a Christmas bonus that is 3 times the amount it was last year! Praise the Lord, another HUGE BLESSING!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reader Poll

Since we have decided on colors for the girls room, now I've got to pick out bedding for Alexis. The colors in their room are yellow and pink, both of them very soft and pastel. Which one do you like best?

Exciting Things On Hwy TT

This has been a great week for us! We went to Lowe's yesterday and bought the carpet and paint for the upstairs. We actually bought carpet for the whole house, not just the upstairs. We are getting so excited about getting it finished finally. We are so close and it's going to be so nice!

Ross has worked really hard this summer and I don't tell him often enough how much it means to me that he is working so hard on our home. I know that a lot of the things he is doing are for my sake. I've had a hard time feeling like this house is really my own because it was Ross' childhood home and he bought it before we got married and it wasn't something we did together. He has really done a wonderful job on the upstairs and I'm so excited that we are going to be moving up there soon. It's going to be beautiful!

I can't wait to get it all done and post some pictures for you all to see. It's going to feel like an almost brand new house with having brand new carpeting. I can already picture us playing on the floor in the girls room and how cozy and homey it's going to feel. If you can't tell, I'm like bubbling over with excitement!!

So, Baby, I'm sending you the link for this post so that you can see how much I'm bragging about you to everyone. I love you!

Check These Out

Here are the adorable pillows that I ordered for Alexis and Isabel for Christmas. They were made by Jackie from Fredericktown. Click here to see her blog and go to her online shop. You may remember the cute purse I got awhile back, it was also made by her.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lazy Day

I'm being a total bum today and I love it. Friday night was my last night to work and I've been going like a whirlwind ever since, so I'm ready for a little down time.

Saturday evening we had a fish fry with some friends and then first thing Sunday morning I headed to St. Louis. Got to visit my brother Brent and it was really great to see him. He has struggled for years with addictions, but it getting the help and deliverance he needs at Teen Challenge. He can only receive visitation on Saturday and Sunday for 4 hours each afternoon, so I went out there with the girls and Mom and Dad. Alexis warmed up to him very well considering it's probably been a year since she's seen him. We had a really nice time with him. I'll probably get back to see him maybe again this weekend.

Ross met me at Mom and Dad's when we got back from seeing Brent and we headed out to do a bit of shopping. We really only went to Babies R Us to get Isabel's next set of pacifiers and then to Sam's Club. We mainly just did normal shopping, but I did get a Christmas gift while I was at Sam's. After we got back to Mom and Dad's I fed Isabel and then we went out to see "New Moon". I loved it! Ross wasn't really impressed because he expected the vampires to be in it more than they were. I also think he didn't enjoy it as much because he hasn't read the books. I think he'll really like "Eclipse" though, I'm sure it will have all the action he needs!

After the movie Ross headed home and I spent the night with the girls because I needed to take my car to the dealership and get the left rear door lock fixed. After I got the girls to bed, Alexis finally went down at almost midnight, I headed to Walmart to finish up the girls Christmas stuff. I only needed to get the stuff for their stockings and now they are all done. I finally got to bed at 2am and Isabel decided to wake up crying at 3:30am and then I had to get up at 5:15am to drop off the car and then drop Dad off at work and drive his suburban home. Got back to bed at 6:30am and then Alexis decided she needed to be up at 7am. So, we got up and I put a movie in for her and then fell asleep on the couch until 8:30 when Isabel woke up to eat. After I fed her, she and I laid on the living room floor and slept until 10am. Needless to say that was one of the roughest nights I've had since Isabel was brand new and up every 2 hours.

But, I managed to get some Christmas shopping done that afternoon. I now only have a few small things to finish up and I'll be all done! YAY! I'm know I'm not super early this year, but I feel pretty good about the things I've accomplished. Ross even wrapped a few presents while I was gone.

Didn't get to pick up the car Monday evening so I spent another night at Mom and Dad's. Car was finally done yesterday afternoon. I had to pay the $100 deductible on our extended warranty (just what you need at Christmastime). I wasn't really happy about that since I'd had the problem a day or so after I got the car, just hadn't been able to get it back in to be looked at. So, I talked with the salesman that worked with us and they are going to send us a check for $50. Better than nothing!

I finally made it back home last night around 5:30 and I was glad to be back. We went in to see Ross while he was on his lunch and he was very happy to see us. Today, I've just been enjoying catching up on some rest. I took a nice morning nap on the couch, and then this afternoon while I've been blogging, Alexis and Ross napped on the couch before Ross heads to work. Now, he's up and so is Isabel, so I'm off to pack his lunch and then feed the baby and enjoy some snuggles with my girls tonight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Cute Stuff

This morning I was being silly with Isabel after I got her dressed and Alexis asked me, "Mommy, what are you doing?" I said, "I'm just playing with Isabel." She was very quick to inform me, "Isabel isn't a toy Mommy!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Little Tree

Ross told me about a conversation he had with Alexis last night.

Alexis: We need a little Christmas tree Daddy.

Ross: Why?

Alexis: Because this one is mine, (pointing at our tree) Isabel needs one too!

Alexis was already up when Ross was telling me this and Alexis looks at me and said, "This one mine, we need a little one for Isabel to go right over there!"

I'm Free

I clocked out at midnight and I don't have to clock in again until 4:30pm on April 6th. Wow....that's so cool!

And the most awesome thing is, I will almost be making more money by not working. I get to draw unemployment while I'm "laid off". I do have to pay for my insurance while I'm off, but I prepared for that because I knew with the timing of Isabel being born I would want to take this time off. So, we aren't paying a babysitter which means I will have the full unemployment check for bills and living, so we will be in great shape. And I will get to enjoy some wonderful time at home with my girls.

I think I'm going to start baking up a storm this week! And I will get those Christmas cards out in the mail!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Okay, I'm going to jump on the ban wagon and ask the question that has been on several of my blogger friends minds.

Santa or no Santa?

How do you feel about it?

I'm still very undecided at this point how I will approach the Santa issue with my children. Since Alexis isn't even 3 yet, I don't think I have to worry too much this year.

I was never a huge Santa fan as a child. I never even remember believing in him. I don't remember Mom and Dad making a huge deal about the presents under the tree coming from Santa. As far back as I can remember, I knew they came from Mom and Dad, not Santa. And besides, I knew there was no way Santa could fit through that little door on our wood stove since we didn't have the actual fireplace!

I love Christmas trees, and lights, and giving and receiving presents, and all the wonderful things that make Christmas what it is. Especially that it's when we celebrate Jesus birth. Santa has never played a big role in how I see Christmas. I can remember my parents always being a little critical of the whole Santa thing, because it down played what Christmas is supposed to be about. And it made it feel like a very materialistic holiday because you just want, want and want as a child.

So, with all of that being said, I don't think I'm going to try and encourage Santa Claus for my children. Yes, I know that everywhere around them people will talk about Santa and that is fine. If they choose to believe in Santa, so be it. I won't just flat out tell them they can't and there is no such thing as Santa. And if it comes to the point that they believe in Santa, I will put a present or two under the tree from Santa, but they will know that all of their presents come from Mommy and Daddy as well. I'm pretty sure I'll wait to put out all their presents on Christmas morning while they are young simply because it is exciting to wake up and see all the packages under the tree. I think there is enough magic to Christmas without making Santa the main focus.

So, to all of my readers who are shy and don't like to "follow" or make comments, please do so this time. It's really simple. At the bottom of each post you see a line that looks like this POSTED BY JESSICA 3:00AM 0 COMMENTS. All you have to do is click on comments and if you don't have a google account, it's really simple to sign up for one, or just post a comment anonymously and sign your name to it so I know it's you. I would really appreciate some feedback.


I'm somewhat obsessive compulsive when it comes to keeping my checkbook balanced. I chalk it up to working at a bank and seeing how messed up people let their bank accounts get when they don't balance it to their statements every month. Well thanks to Internet banking, I can balance my checkbook everyday!

I found a discrepancy the other day and I've just now had time to sit down and figure out where I went wrong and to my great pleasure I discovered an addition mistake where I'd shorted myself some moulah. I now have $79.69 more than I thought I had! I just love when the mistakes are positive and not negative.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Alexis has been counting from 1 to 10 for a while now. Recently we've been working on counting to 20. This is how it goes:

Me: Eleven Alexis: Eleven










I personally think it's pretty darn cute! After about 5 times of me saying twenty and her saying twentyteen, she will finally say twenty and then we have a big laugh about it!

Great News

I got the time off from work that I wanted!!!!!!!!!!! I work the rest of this week and then I'm off until April 6th. I'm so excited that I get to spend some more time at home with my girls.

Since I'll be home, I'm sure I'll have more time to blog again. Just for future reference, I will be using my blog as a baby book for the girls, I'm terrible at writing stuff in their books, but if I have someone to share it with (like this blog) I think I'll be better at writing/typing stuff to remember.

So, here's something I want to record. And yes, I know, a lot of my blog posts are extremely random, but I like it like that!

  • Isabel started laughing this week, it's the most precious sound in the world, right up there with Alexis' laugh!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Alexis

My Isabel

Mom & Dad were down Friday night to watch the girls for us and Mom got several good pictures that I wanted to share with you. This post will be Isabel and then I'll have another one for Alexis.
Isabel is a bubble blowing queen, here is her bubble face...
...and then big sis steps in to wipe the chin!
And here are the many faces of Isabel that are so precious!