Friday, January 30, 2009

Magdalen Meets Chattanooga (4 weeks old)

I was ready to travel when Magdalen reached 4 weeks old. The same week that Maddox turned 3! (Maddox was also 4 weeks when he first visited Chattanooga. You will start to see a trend here....)

Chad helped me load up the Jeep bright and early that morning, wished me luck (ha!), and sent us on our way. As always, traveling with Maddox was a breeze and I was pleasantly surprised that Magdalen did just as well. I seem to birth good travelers, they are both easy to take along on short/long trips.

Here are a few highlights from my trip:

Mom set up a craft for Maddox one morning. He needed some activity since I hadn't had the opportunity in the last month and I needed a desperate nap. Thank you, Mom!!

Steven, my mom's first cousin, came by for a first peek at Magdalen. He was so proud that he was her first Chattanooga visitor. =)

Her first real bath happened at Mom's house at 4 weeks old. (Just like Maddox.) Mom printed this picture out and when I saw it lying on her table a few weeks later, I thought that it WAS Maddox. I know, can you imagine how horrible I would have been with actual twins?!

Mom started her out so I could take some pictures. I like to compare them to how it all went down 3 years previous. 

Yes, I did some of the work. =)

Maddox had recently discovered computer games, so we used them to our advantage when we were desperate. So while Mom was at work, Magdalen was napping, and I was trying to shower, he got to play BigFoot Presents Meteor!!! Woohoo! So intense here.

Mom cuddling her granddaughter. 

Steve getting to know her a little. We have many shots of him holding a baby Maddox in this chair. 

My precious baby in a cute little outfit from Nana. She wore it once because she was growing so stinking fast. Not too happy about that, but glad that she is so healthy. 

And everyone wore her out for naps which was AWESOME. 

Ready to go and wearing her Baby Tevas that Papaw Steve got her. They are soooo adorable. I can't believe how small she was. Except that she was big for her age. Go figure.

Mom wanted a picture with both kids so badly. It was harder than we thought. 

Mom will hate this, but I totally got a picture of her in the crib at her house. Haha! I had gone in there to lay Maddox down. (He still wanted to sleep in the crib there since he was in a crib at home.) That bumper was knotted and I could NOT get it undone. I was getting VERY angry (in my no-sleep, aching body, irritable way) so Mom crawled in and of course I had to have a picture. ;) Love you, Mom.

Thanks for such a wonderful weekend of rest, laughs, and fun for Maddox. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Two Weeks Old

A few of my favorite snapshots from the week Magdalen turned two weeks old. 

So tiny.

I love pink now. =)

My boys cleaning up in the kitchen. 

Must have been a haystack night!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Magdalen (2 Weeks) & Maddox (almost 3 yrs)

As most of you know, my sister-in-law Becky has picked up her hobby of photography and turned it into a fun job for extra money. She is very talented and I think she does her best work with maternity, babies, and children, because she is so in love with how beautiful all three are. 

Becky and Josh made their last trip up to our house to visit before they moved to Naples when Magdalen was only 2 weeks old. I was very sad thinking about how much Maddox was going to  miss them and how their first niece will not have the same early opportunity to know them as well as her big brother has. But at the same time, I'm soooooooo happy for the adventure they are taking themselves on. Chad and I have never regretted our year away from everything we knew and I knew that it would be good for Josh & Becky, as well.

Becky arrived armed with her camera, lenses, flash, lighting, and backdrops. It was a very rushed shooting time, but she captured some wonderful memories that I will treasure forever. 

She took some of Maddox since he was in the "ham it up" mood. 

I totally adore his little face.

In this one, he was running his finger along the words of his shirt and telling us that it said "Big Brother". So proud.

Maddox talks about Aunt Becky & Uncle Josh almost daily. And I'm not exaggerating. They are always the drivers of the cars he's playing with or if he is pretend-calling on his cell phone, it's always Aunt Becky that he's talking to. If they were children, they'd be his best friends. Haha!

I'm always amazed at the things Josh will do to humor Becky. =) Not that her requests are outrageous, but they are usually things that Josh would rather NOT do. Like posing for the picture below. =)

My Wild Man.

Becky was excited (and so was I) to take two-week portraits of Miss Magdalen. She really did a great job and I'm finally sharing these with you. Sorry it's taken so long. Family, if you want any specific prints of these just let me know. There are a million more, but these are my favorite. Unfortunately, Chad had to go to work that day and we missed any with him. 

I love this one because I forget how much hair she had in the beginning! Look at her little perfect head. =)

The Sleeping Days

Kisses for my sweet pea

Still sleepy...

Holding my baby daughter. So sweet.

She finally woke up for these.

Big brother in awe of his baby sister. He truly loves her so much.

And the shot that I knew was coming sooner or later.....

Thanks, Becky, for such awesome photos that I LOVE LOVE LOVE. We miss you guys!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Juggling Two

As I've mentioned before, Maddox had a lot of adjusting to do. He was the center of our world (like most parents, I know) before Maggie came along. But more specifically, he was my little buddy. Because of Chad's long work hours, no family in town, my limited contact with friends in his first 1-2 years....we were inseparable. I could talk to him like a miniature adult, within reason, and we had so much fun just hanging out together. I could read him like no other. 

But then pregnancy and Maggie came along. Whew. My side of our relationship was as upset as his side, I'm sure. I have never in my life felt so much guilt, so much loss, so much sadness while in the midst of a wonderful new experience in my life. I felt like Maddox was looking at me with loneliness every time I held Maggie. I felt like his sudden waking in the night was all my fault. I felt like I was deceiving him and I had NO IDEA how to overcome those feelings. I wasn't sure whether to address it with him or just wait until he said something. How do you know?! 

My answer came soon enough. He had a meltdown one evening. Didn't want Chad and was very rude to him, but wouldn't tell us what was wrong. I could see it wasn't a discipline issue but more something he was feeling. I was nursing Maggie at the time (even worse timing) and while Chad held him, I gently asked him if he was sad or mad or what. He clearly told us, "I want Mommy to hold me....all by myself." Well, right then, I just couldn't hold my tears in any longer. I had him crawl up in my lap, Maggie and all, and showed him that there was totally still room for him. My chest was hurting from the guilt, the pain of knowing he was hurting, and that there was nothing at this point I could do  except keep reassuring him that he was still our number 1 boy. Thankfully, it was a turning point. He was wiped out from the stress, but had been trying so hard to act like nothing was wrong. And that is soooo Maddox. So aware for what I feel is beyond his years. Extremely perceptive.

Here's the pooped out little guy. He quit taking naps shortly after he turned 2. Much to my horror. But Maggie's entrance to our world took a toll on him. Here is one of the few naps he had that 3rd year. 

And of course, Blanket is always within reach. =)

Chad giving Maddox a bath.

Just trying to keep it modest, people. ;)

He loves make believe and can make up the most amazing story lines while playing. The best ones are the ones I sneak up on and try to listen to. I'm always proud of his amazing imagination.

Not that a banana-phone is that amazing. But these pictures were cute. Ha!

My first attempt at putting them to bed by myself. I wore Maggie in the sling while I did bathtime, storytime, prayers, etc. It was an experience. Mom was there still but I told her not to help me so I could see how hard it was going to be. Guess what? IT IS HARD!!!!!!

For my sake, but more for Maddox's,  we finally have things under control. Thank You, God.

Friday, January 09, 2009

9ish Days Old

Chad was really good about taking Maddox to do fun things in the first few weeks after Maggie arrived. I was able to spend some alone time with her and get to know her a little bit better one on one. She is so precious!

I have already forgotten how small she felt at this early age. I was hoping that this picture would help me remember, but it's too hard as babies just don't slow down!

Gretchen's world totally changed when Maddox arrived 3 years ago. So, she is an old pro at this baby thing. I just feel guilty that she has been neglected so many times since Maggie was born. I can hardly remember to feed myself, much less the dog!! (I know....horrible!! We are doing better now.) 

Anyway, this afternoon was one of those where I didn't know she would sleep for 2 hours. Of course, she slept on the couch because I was afraid to move her, but then I couldn't walk away either. Perfect chance to take some pictures! Gretchen just cuddled right up to her. (I sort of took these pictures for Mom because we all know how she LOVES animals. Hahaha!)

And yes, this is a boy's outfit. One of Maddox's pajama hand-me downs. She was getting too big so quickly that nothing was fitting anymore!

She has always (except for the swaddling stage) loved to sleep with her hands literally under her head. I love it!

I look back and am amazed at how skinny she was. And this was at about 10 pounds. What do 5 & 6 pound babies look like? I'm sure I would be blown away to hold one. 

I love her perfect little head. And yes, the whole time she would sleep on her belly (in my presence of course) I would be checking to see if she was breathing. I'm so paranoid.

Her perfect little head full of hair! (That slowly started to disappear. Stay tuned.)

Days like these make you never want to clean, do laundry, cook a meal, go anywhere, do anything......except hold your babies tight. These miracles that are our children are truly too precious.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Rodney & Jeanne Meet Maggie

Chad's dad, Rodney, and stepmom, Jeanne, were able to make a flight up to see us when Maggie was only 7 days old. It was their first visit to our new home, as well. I was pretty exhausted so they spent a lot of time with Chad and Maddox OUT of the house so I could take some naps. Maddox had cabin fever anyway, seeing as it was only the first week of January.

I was excited that Jeanne liked to use her camera a lot because there were finally some shots of ME!! I always wonder if my kids will look at our pictures and think, "Hmm. Where's Mommy?"

Here's Maggie on our ottoman in the family room. This was when we weren't afraid of her rolling off.....yet.

Jeanne relaxing.

Chad and Maddox in the kitchen. Just hanging out. This was before (I think) mine and Maddox's meltdown together. He was still enjoying the "newness" of Maggie.

Jeanne let Maddox use her camera. Here's his shot of me and Maggie and Gretchen. =)

Tiny little girl. (Not tiny for long.)

Maggie totally amazed by the camera, even as Grandpa Rodney tries to talk with her.

One of the fun things that Chad took them all to do with Maddox, was to feed the ducks at a nearby park. 

It was soooooooooooo cold on their trip here. I always hate trying to put kids in car seats with their huge monster winter coats on. So annoying.

I think that this shot was the first time that Maddox got to hold his sister all by himself. He was so excited, but said to me, "And if she cries, then Mommy will come get her and take her away!"

Such a little helper. While I was pregnant, we talked and talked about all the things he could do to help with Maggie if she cried. He totally took it to heart. At this early stage, every time she cried, he would run for the pacifier. Here he's telling her in a baby voice, "Open wide, Maggie, let me put the paci in."

Three generations of guys. On this day, Chad had taken them all down to his studio. We had been using this location for a little over a year, but they hadn't been here since he had moved there. 

Maddox playing drums at Chad's studio, Hippo Sound. This is where Maddox goes to work with his Daddy help me out.

The door to Hippo Sound. If you click on the picture, you can see our sign. My friend Sarah's husband, Dennis, designed that logo for us. He did a great job!

Back at home (during another of my nursing sessions), the grandparents played a game of Scrabble with Maddox. He adores board games & card games. We are nerds, but it's sooo much fun. 

I came downstairs to see what everyone was doing. It was so quiet. =)

Maggie was being her sweet newborn self.

Chad with Pride and Joy.

One morning, Maddox got to help Jeanne make pancakes in the kitchen. (I think I remember it being pancakes. My memory is still a little foggy.)

Rodney holding Maggie. 

Another shot of me, thanks to Maddox. I though he did a pretty good job on this one. 

I forget how many days that they were here. The first 4 weeks are sort of a blur. Haha! But I'm glad they got to see a newborn Maggie and get re-acquainted with Maddox after so long. Until next time....


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