Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Evan made me chuckle a couple of times today. Chris, Maddox, and I have the flu 😞. We are trying to prevent Evan and Brady from catching it so we are constantly telling them to stay away from us.

Today as I am trying to get Evan ready for preschool, I call him over to me to put his shoes on him. Remembering what I have told him about staying away from us, he looks at me as he is walking in front of me and says: "Now I have the flute". "I am near you, I have the flute now. I don't want the flute."

Later this afternoon, Brady is on my laptop doing spelling homework. Evan never sees Brady on my laptop because it is not often that he is on it and usually when Brady is doing his homework it is when Evan is still napping. Evan looks over at Brady on my laptop and says, with the cutest little giggle, "you a mom, Brady." I guess in Evan's little mind, only moms use laptops 😀

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Potty training already?!?!?

Sounds crazy but a part of me really hopes not! I am not is a good bit of work and effort for the mom parents, with the holiday season, all the winter clothes, etc. I just am not up to it right now.  Also my sweet boy is my last baby so I do not want him to grow up....ever!! I am still trying to figure out how to keep him little.  So how did this precious nugget:

Start pooping in the potty at 20 months old:
I guess he was ready!  At about 18-20 months old I decided to take the potty out for Brady and Evan so that they could become familiar with it, not be afraid of it, it be a part of their routine, etc. Then when it was time to really potty train the boys at just past 2 years old, they would be ready for it.  So with Maddox I decided it was time to pull the potty out in October since he will be two years old in February.  The first night, we sat him on it before his bath and nothing happened. The second and third night, he peed in it...WOOO HOOO!!! The fourth night he pooped in it!  WOW!! I could not believe it.  Now a month and half later, he has pooped several times in the potty, pees in it almost daily, and talks about it as well.  I guess I may consider potty training after the holidays, before he is even two years old.  I guess it is time to resign to the fact that he is really going to grow up : (

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I am sooo happy!!! My big guy, Evan, is staying dry all night.  I have a child that is not sleeping in a diaper or a pull-up and is dry.  I am thrilled.  For the past 6 1/2 years I have put a diaper of some sort on every child I have.  Brady is one of those really hard sleepers, who according to my pediatrician we just have to wait it out.  Although he was day-time dry at two years and two months, he has not had a dry night EVER!  The fact that my Evan is dry and out of diapers at night, is awesome!!!  I finally have a child that I do not have to buy diapers for.....wooo hooo!!!!  We took him to pick out a toy and he chose a Thomas Take N Play set.  He is growing up!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weighty Words

There are times as a Mom that I wish my kids would just close their mouths....either it is just too much, too many words or what is coming out of their mouths that I can not handle....sometimes both. 

In the middle of all the "noise" there are little nuggets of sweetness that escape their lips that warm my soul like chicken noodle soup when I have a cold. 

This past Thursday I was given one such nugget....while laying in the chair and a half with Brady reading for school, he was laying against the back of the chair and I was laying next to him on the edge of the chair, he looked at me and said: "Mommy, I like laying like this with you."  I said: "You do, why bud?"  He said: "I feel cozy, you make me feel from the whole world, safe from strangers."  I said: "I do, bud?  That makes me very happy. I hope you always feel safe with Mommy because I love you so much and I would do anything for you to be safe."  It was very difficult to keep the tears from still my heart!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Enjoying some one-on-one time

with this sweet little face

three days per week.  It has been so nice to have this one-on-one time with him.  Since Evan just started preschool for the first time last month, this is the first time I have had to enjoy some one-on-one time with my lil' man, Maddox.  At 19 months old this has been much anticipated. 

We are enjoying story time with Miss NayNay on the Tuesdays that we do not have MOPS, just as I did with the older two.  He seems to like this!

Bean Bag Rock at story time....we love Miss NayNay!
On Wednesdays we have a date with Miss Stephanie at Shades Mountain Baptist Church for music class.  I am pretty certain that Maddox has a crush on Miss Stephanie just as his brothers did!

Maddox LOVES music class...dancing with his scarves.
Thursdays are our free day to enjoy as we want.  It has been fun to just chill with him.  I love my new lil' sidekick.  I have cherished the time where I am able to experience his personality without his brothers' personalities influencing him.  He usually wants to do and say exactly what they do....very much a "Monkey see, Monkey do"!
Enjoying our neighbors Halloween decor
A yummy picnic with a yummy date....those luscious lips!
I have definitely had to adjust to Evan not being home every day but still having two days with him and drinking in my time with Maddox has been absolutely wonderful!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things.....

that my two lil' boys are saying and doing these days. 

My sweet Maddox is already 20 months old and 1 week old.  He is closer to two years old than one and he is EXTREMELY independent.....he wants to feed himself, walk by himself - without anyone holding his hand, everything by himself.  His little vocabulary is really starting to expand.  The part that is really fun to watch is all of his unspoken language.  His body language and gestures are hilarious and so expressive.  At times I will look over and Maddox will be standing there with his hand on his hip all serious looking.  There have also been a couple of times where I look at him and his has both of his hands on his hips - but much higher, actually more on his rib cage - as if he is about to scold someone.  The other day I looked over and he was standing in the kitchen swinging his arms forward and back by his side with his hands clapping at the front of his body and the back, just like a little man. His lips, oh my his lips, so expressive with those lips, his favorite way to express his anger...he pushes those forward and oh my! He has the cutest new gesture and word: "Mon" (Come on) as he is gesturing his hand in like a waving bye toward himself gesture. These little things just melt my heart. He is also saying: Brady, pee pee (anytime he passes the bathroom or sees any of us going potty), peas (please), maw (more), papi (paci), ane, with a lot of emotion (plane), train, go, shuse (shoes), nose (while touching his), eye (while touching his), mouf (while touching his), behlee (belly), while pulling his shirt up or someone else's, Elmo, emo (Nemo), Mommy, MiMi, Pop Pop, Poppy, dawee (doggy), skoo (school), bye bye, hi, nigh, nigh (night, night), Jay Jay (for Jay Jay the Jet plane toys, books, etc). I am sure there are more that I just can't recall but this is pretty comprehensive at this point.

 Those sweet, attitudinal lips

Evan has some new choice phrases as well.  His ability to communicate and express himself has expanded greatly as well.  Some of my favorites are: "you my best friend, Momma." (or "you not my best friend, Momma." when things are not going his way...apparently his love is conditional right now).  "You my fravorite (favorite), Mommy." or "you not my fravorite, Mommy."  "You angry AT me, Mommy." (when he is being disciplined), "You mean AT me."  If we get on to him AT ALL then he says: "You don't like me, Momma."....such a little manipulator right now.  He has really gotten interested in why I am his Momma.  "Mommy, how are you my Mommy?"  Me: "Because GOD gave you to me." E: "Why Mommy?"  Me:  "Because GOD loves me so much that he gave you to me to be your Mommy and take care of you."  E:  "That's nice Mommy."  Evan also is aware that since I am a girl, I must like pink and princesses (I guess because of the girls he knows in his life).  So whenever we are talking about acting out characters or roles, I am always a princess.  He often transfers this over into real life with:  "Mommy, you pretty." or "Mommy, you are a princess."


Monday, October 1, 2012

And he's gone...

at least for 4 hours 3 days per week. Evan has started preschool for the first time....sigh! My sweet, passionate chatty Cathy, Jersey-accented, humorous side kick has left me to begin his school career.

At three years old, we feel Evan is ready for this experience. I truly think he will thrive.  This has been hard for me for all the typical reasons but also because I have had less time with him I feel.  Even though he is the same age as Brady was when he started preschool it went by much faster.  With each added child my time has been much more divided, of course, so 3 years with Evan seemed much shorter than 3 years with Brady did.  It is often hard to not feel guilty about this but - hard as I try - I can not slow time down. 

We had so much fun doing all the back to school things with Evan for the first time.  We took him shopping to pick out his lunch box for school.  He grativated straight toward the Thomas lunch box.  He was so excited to buy it that he held onto it throughout the store, after we purchased it he did not want to put it in the bag, and then when he got it home he would not let it leave his bedroom.

He seems so young, like such a little guy.  Almost like he is not big enough to start preschool.
Standing in the hallway of his school on Meet the Teacher day

He had his "Meet the Teacher" on August 28th and was very excited to meet Ms. Kaylee after we read the note she mailed him in order to introduce herself. 

On Tuesday, September 4th Evan had fun with his "first day of school" surprises - his new pajamas, backpack, and
 the book "The Night before Preschool"

On Wed. Sept. 5, Evan was so excited to wake up to the school window decals and special plate to make his first day of school memorable

Evan on his first day of school - Hunter Street Baptist Church:

It was hard watching my "baby" walking into school for the very the first time.
He did great and seems to really enjoy "my school".  When I picked him up from carpool on the first day he said "My preschool is awesome, Mommy."  It is so much easier to take him some where knowing how much he likes it.  Very thankful!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Man Parts "Part" 2

Evan again was questioning my need to sit while peeing.   We are supposed to sit to poop and stand to pee in my house.  I told him that girls sit to pee.  When I got off the potty he wanted to know where my penis was.  I told him that girls don't have penises, just boys.  He looked at me - very seriously - and said "Mommy you penis is coming in the mail next week."  AWESOME!!! 

Apparently, Evan feels strongly that I must also have a penis so he has taken it upon himself to order one for me and I should expect it in the mail any day now!!!  Maybe since yesterday was a holiday, it will be in today's mail.  One can only hope!

Friday, August 31, 2012

18 months going on 18 years

Maddox went for his 18 month check up a couple of weeks ago.  He is in the same percentiles as he was at his 15 month check up.  He is in the 75th percentile for height at 33 1/2 inches and still a skinny minnie at only 21 lbs. 2 oz - the 3rd percentile.  His head is still a nice average at 18 3/4 " - 50th percentile.  I was a little worried that he is still so skinny and only in the 3rd percentile but Dr. Anderson said that he gained the perfect amount that they want them to gain between 15 months and 18 months so he is still just thin but gaining as he should.  He also reminded me that since he eats well and is gaining that it is refreshing to see a little one instead of an overweight baby.  Glad Maddox can provide a change for Dr. Anderson.   He is healthy and happy, which of course, makes me happy.

Over the past month as he has become a walker he has transformed into this very independent guy with quite the 'tude!  He definitely comes from a place of "no".  Lucky for us he has recently learned this word and quickly decided that it was his favorite.  The funny thing is, although he often says it with force and an attitude, I am not quite sure he knows what he means.  He says it even when I know he means "yes".  I am not sure if he thinks it is just funny to be so times to come if that is the case....or if he just knows how to say it without really knowing what it means. 

With this independence comes the desire to walk and do things BY HIMSELF!  Not only does he not want to be carried AT ALL, even in a dangerous parking lot where obviously it is not a choice, but he does not even want me to hold his hand while he is walking...what a little man he has become so quickly.  When he is walking he is very social, waving to everyone we come in contact with saying "Hey" and smiling brightly.  He looks like a little political candidate walking around!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho it is off to school we go....

Brady starts 1st grade tomorrow...which is hard to believe.  He is ready and, after three months of feeling like a Cruise Director in charge of entertaining three young boys, I am ready.  A couple of weekends ago we took the two older boys school shopping.  With the mounds of clothes our friends have blessed us with, we only needed to purchase tennis shoes for the boys.  It was so fun to take Evan school shopping for the first time.  It was evident while oberving him that Evan felt so proud and so big to be shopping for school, just like his big brother, Brady.  We ended up finding matching Nike running shoes in both of the boys' sizes.  Evan will start preschool the Wednesday after Labor Day and go Tues, Wed, Thurs.  He seems ready to start this part of his life.  Every time we drive by Hunter Street Baptist Church - where he will attend preschool - he points to the church and says: "that's my preschool."

just bought our Nikes at Kohl's

After shoe shopping, we headed to Target so Evan could pick out his first lunch box for preschool.  He enjoyed scanning the shelves and having a choice as to which lunch box was purchased.  The selection process was very quick.  Once his eyes caught sight of the Thomas lunch box, he was done.  He grabbed it and was very happy with his selection.  I asked him to look at the others too, just in case, but Evan knows what Evan wants.  He insisted on carrying the lunch box himself through the store to check out, out of the store to the van in the shopping bag it was placed in, into the house, and it has resided in his bedroom every since we brought it home.  He LOVES that lunchbox.

Wednesday morning we had "Meet the Teacher" at Bluff Park Elementary.  Brady got Mrs. King, which I continue to hear GREAT things about.  I feel very blessed with this assignment, and Brady is stoked that his best friend and next door neighbor, Grayson Kim, is in his class this year.  I loved seeing his classroom and the way it is all organized, decorated, ready for the kids to show up.  Brady went straight to the class library and flipped through numerous books.  We both had a great first impression of her.  We are looking forward to an AWESOME year with Mrs. King.

Brady & Mrs. King

Chris and I have started a fun tradition with Brady that began when he started preschool...the night before the first day of school we surprise him with fun, new pajamas and a new book to read to him before bed.  This year he got Lego Star Wars pajamas and we read "The Night Before First Grade".  He was pleased with both.

The Night Before First Grade 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Man Parts

At different points in my older boys' toddlerhood, young boyhood they have noticed their penises...they grow at times, their mommy doesn't have one, etc.  The latest funny stories regarding this lovely topic....YEA me, I have the horror pleasure of being the only female in my home so I live among 4 of those male parts...involves (1) Evan's daddy and (2) a sculpture at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  A few weeks ago, Evan walked into the bathroom while Chris was peeing.  Evan looks down at Chris and says: "Daddy, when I grow up I am going to have a big penis like you."  Of course, Chris thought this was great!  : )

Yesterday we went to the Birmingham Museum of Art in the ArtVenture is a fun, free kids' area that we have just learned about and LOVED.  After enjoying the kid section we decided to tour a couple of the exhibits with the kiddos, including the sculpture garden.  As we were in the sculpture garden, we came across a sculpture of a naked man and Evan walked about to him and grabbed his man parts and said "penis, mommy.  that is his penis."  Then he walked around to the back of him and said "there is his bottom, mommy."  Yes, Evan, that man has a penis and a bottom....just like most men....WOW!  I wonder how long I will experience the joy of living with 4 males and their obession awareness of their - and other's - male parts.

Monday, August 6, 2012

So big...

or so he thinks.  Maddox wants to do EVERYTHING that his big brothers do.  It is usually very cute and very sweet to watch and be a part of.  Sometimes it is frustrating though as he is only 17 months old so many of the things they are doing, eating, etc. are not what I want him to be doing.  It is funny watching him as he studies - pretty intently - what Brady and Evan are doing, and then promptly following suit. 

One of the things I have always told the older two prior to heading out the door - in an attempt to get us out the door in somewhat of a timely manner - is "stand quietly by the door".  When I do, they line up against the front door, shoes on, water bottles in their hands ready to walk out the door.  The other day I told the boys to "stand quietly by the door".  When I came into the den to get ready to walk out the door, I walked in to see - not just Brady and Evan - but all three of my handsome boys lined up against the door.  Maddox was leaning against the door like such a big boy constantly looking up at Evan and Brady to make sure he was "doing it right".  This did not go unnoticed by Brady and Evan either as they made a point to let me know: "Maddox is standing by the door too!"

As much as I do not want Maddox to become a big boy, he is proving that he is ready and determined to do just that.  It has turned out to be a fun ride for his Mommy as well....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

And he is off.....

It is official....Maddox is a walker.  He "officially" walked for the first time on my birthday eve, June 24th.   He definitely took his time with REALLY in more than just a couple steps at a time, choosing walking as his first choice of motion - vs. crawling, getting back up on his feet to try it again - vs. falling and then just switching to crawling.  I would say that the last week of July going into that last weekend of the month he really just decided that walking is mode of transportation choice number one.  He got much braver - and excited - to just take off.  He would walk across the room with success.  When he fell walking he would pick himself up and try again rather than just submitting to the crawl.  He is so fun to watch.  He holds his hands up and out the universal sign for "stop".  He has the swagger of a cowboy, maybe of one with a couple of drinks in him.  There is a gut out, butt out, bow-leggedness that is distinct enough I feel I could pick him out of a row of blonde toddler beauties coming at me from a distance.  He has been so proud of himself...walking with a huge, radiant grin that is often accompanied by a little excited giggle.
I. LOVE. IT!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


An overdue update on Our Madman.  He is growing, growing, growing.  He measured in at 31.3 inches long (75th percentile) and 19 lbs., 14 oz. (3rd percentile) in May at his 15 month well check-up. He is my skinniest so far. Still not 20 lbs. at 15 months...but close.  He started getting more and more sure on his feet.  He took his first "official" steps on my birthday eve, June 24th.  He then spent a good month taking 4-5 steps at a time without holding on much.

His vocabulary has really started growing as well.  He says:  Momma, Mommy, Dada, Daddy, Poppy (very clearly on our trip to GA a few weeks ago), MiMi (on her bday when we were in GA), Abbie (what we call my stepmom, Miriam), baby, puppy, duck (in the bathtub with the rubber ducky), ni ni (night night), bye bye, no (with dramatic pouty lips and his hand in a push away/hitting gesture...nice), choo choo (although it sounds nothing like that, more like ahh, ahh as he pushes the trains around), very clearly "uh-huh" to answer in the affirmative, and not words but a very clear distinction in his waving.  He waves side to side for hello and up and and down for bye bye or night night....very cute.

I am thrilled to see how exciting and fun it is to witness him walking around and communicating for the first time.  Since this is my third one, I was not sure how much joy it would pleased that it brings a boat load of joy....blessed times three!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Love or Joy?

Do I love my boys too much that I often rob myself of enjoying them? Sometimes I my overpowering love/concern for them so much that my focus is just their needs....are they getting the right nourishment? enough rest? enough fun? too much fun? enough discipline? too much discipline? structure? too much structure?...that I forget to enjoy them? So sad, but often true; in my quest to "do right by them" I often cheat myself of the gift they are to me from GOD.

Today I had a moment that I was able to just enjoy...about 10 minutes of just me and my boys in the floor of my cousins' house in SC, enjoying sundaes from McDonald's. Just us because she was at her birthing class, on the floor for fear my boys would make a mess of her pretty, kid-free dining room. I had the thought.."these are the memories that I hope I have a lifetime." LORD, help me to decipher between the times I am to act in regard to my boys and the times I am to "just enjoy". AMEN!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


It is an amazing thing.  You can communicate in the obvious ways...the spoken word, written word, etc.  You can also communicate in more subtle ways...a soft touch, a glance, a gesture.  Evan is QUITE MOUTHY the communicator.  He lets you know exactly how he feels, exactly when he feels it.  If you tell him something he doesn't want to hear, you will usually receive one of two responses:  "You makahme angry." (You make me angry) or "I gonna tell on you".  Sometimes when he is really feeling the love...."I don't like you, Mommy (Daddy, Brady, etc.)."  At the same token, his expressions are very grand, very memorable.  He also is quite capable of making you feel loved without saying a word.   He always wants a squeeze after his hug & kiss from Daddy in the morning before he heads out to work.   He will suddenly come at you in a full on sprint and dive in your arms, loop his arms around your neck, or clutch your leg in the most desperate acts of love without any notice.  He will - seemingly out of the blue - look you square in the eye and say "I love you the best Mommy."  While eating lunch - just two little guys sitting beside each other having a couple of minutes of silence while eating sandwiches as their mom unloads the dishwasher - Evan will say "Brady I love you."

Evan sure is quite the communicator and - depending on the mood - his passion can frustrate you or warm you in ways I have never experienced . 

I love him!



 his new, cute laugh, where he covers his mouth

 loving, and sweet


Thursday, June 28, 2012


So last year when May came around, we jokingly dubbed it MAYhem around here.  There was just so much going on....all good stuff, but a lot to juggle nonetheless.  I have come to the conclusion this will probably just be how May goes for our little family every year.  With two birthdays, then the birthday parties, the close of the school year, Mother's Day, the end of t-ball/baseball season, etc. it is just enough "extra" added to our full lives to make it "MAYhem". 
We had a fun month.  Our big guy, Brady, finished kindergarten.  I have felt all year long that I was adjusting to the fact that he was in "big school" and now his first year is over. .
(Brady's last day of kindergarten)
Maddox is cruising. He is getting brave in his walking. I think he is ready to let go and would do fine, he just doesn't know it yet.
(Maddox sporting a dew rag)
Evan is three - preschool age - sending him off next year just doesn't seem right. He still seems so little and still talks like such a little guy. Babies don't go to school! In honor of him turning three, I want to journal my top three favorite "Ev" things:
(Evan at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum - his 3rd Bday party)
1. His snuggle-bugness. He will lay with me in his bed before nap, before bed, any ol' time and just hold me tight. He will put my face into his little dimples-where-knuckles-will-grow hands and hold me while staring into my eyes or kissing my face. He will scratch my back and say: "Mommy I tickle you back? You like that Mommy?"
(Evan & I at his train birthday party)
2. His big, big smile that includes the most endearing (identical to his Dad's) dimples I have ever had the pleasure of seeing light up!
(Evan's last picture as a two-year-old)
3. His lil' NJ accent....he cracks us up with the way he talks - so Jersey via Alabama. Chris and I often joke that Evan should be on the reality show "Jersey Shore".

18 days later our big guy, Brady, turned six years old.  He is such a big boy - and sooo big for his age.  At his 6 year well check up, Dr. Anderson said he is the size of a healthy 7 1/2-year-old....needless to say he is off of the charts.  I wonder how old he will be when he passes me!

(Brady & Evan during the National Anthem at the Birmingham Barons game)

So May is well behind us now and I have finally completed journaling about the things that I wanted to journal about.  Some of the highlights of our CRAZY month, our MAYhem.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Baby Blues

I have been mourning babyhood this past week.  I have had the baby blues.  Mind you this is not your typical baby blues, not as they are usually defined.  I have not had a new baby in the past couple of weeks.  I am not adjusting to my new life, new dynamic, hormone fluctuations, or sleep deprivation. 

No, I am adjusting to life without a baby.  Of course, I have done this before but never with the finality in which I am doing it this time.  Chris and I feel it is best for Maddox to be the last baby we create for our Stidham bunch.  I feel right about that - in my mind - from a logical standpoint.  We are OLD : )  I will be 37 this summer; Chris will be 39 this summer.  We often feel overwhelmed with three and that it is hard to give our all to our three why add more?  We DEFINITELY feel like we can not financially afford to have anymore.  With the debt we accrued - and unfortunately still have - from Chris' time unemployed, the finances just are not there for us to continue to bring more babies into our family.  So for this reason - and I am sure more - we are retiring from babymaking.

This is hard for this Momma.  It is very difficult and that fact surprises me GREATLY!!  I always have a hard time admitting this - because of how it can be misconstrued - but I did not enjoy Brady as a tiny little new one the way I had dreamed I would.  For a slew of reasons that I may write about at a later date - post partum, isolation, severe acid reflux, fear of failure, sleep deprivation, etc, etc, etc., I did not enjoy him fully until he was a few months old.  

When Evan was close to arriving I was TERRIFIED that I would not be able to enjoy him as a little new bundle and DESPERATELY wanted to.  My biggest request to my praying friends and family was prayer against post partum depression.  It worked!!! GOD answered and blessed me with a season of joy and peace.  I enjoyed my sweet little nugget, even in the beginning.

Maddox was a welcome SURPRISE and I was nervous about my ability to enjoy him with a little guy so young.  I was afraid that it would be too difficult to enjoy him because of having a little guy that was only 20 months himself - a mere baby.  That transition was surprisingly seamless.  I was exhausted, yes.  I did not mind waking up in the night and holding, snuggling, and nursing my little man because I knew - deep in my heart, even during pregnancy with him - that he was our caboose...our sweet, perfect caboose.

Now that my caboose is a year old - has been since February.....that saying goodbye to - and now mourning of - babyhood has begun.  Of course when he turned one, I struggled.  I knew having more was not the right answer.  I had actually figured out the right answer but, unfortunately, it was/is not possible.....freezing time.  See, I knew four children to be responsible for was not the right answer but I wanted to have a baby FOREVER.  If I could freeze Maddox in some sort of warm, functioning way then I could be done with three but yet never stop having a sweet baby to care for and snuggle.  WOW!!!  If I could figure that out and patent that....we could finally pay off the debt and afford more! 

I was still nursing....had just started the weaning process and then Maddox displayed signs of milk sensitivities so I chose to go back to more feeding sessions until he adjusted to cow's milk.  He has adjusted to cow's milk and the weaning restarted.  I dropped one of the four feedings every one to two weeks so he and I could both adjust.  The last feeding was the first of the day when he woke up.  I nursed him that morning feeding for the last time last Friday morning, April 20th.  He was 14.5 months so he definitely was ready and okay with it.  He is a GREAT eater.  He chugs cow's milk in a sippy cup with no problem and has outgrown the milk sensitivity...his stomach apparently just needed a little while to adjust. 

That was the biggest stab in the heart with my recent baby blues....weaning my last gift.  I know I will NEVER nurse another baby again....that chapter of my life - pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding, is OVER!  It is quite a milestone - and a bit painful - for me.

Recently, Maddox has gotten very daring and determined.  He is climbing up on everything.  He pulls himself up so easily and quickly these days.  I know that walking will be next - and sooner rather than later.  That will be the final nail in this "I don't have a baby anymore" coffin that I feel I am dragging around.

So I am experiencing baby blues right now.  Something I did not expect.  I do not know how common this is but I know how much it hurts right now.  I also know that it would hurt more to not have ever had a baby to love on, to miss as he grows into a toddler.  I feel blessed but I sure think it would be an incredible blessing to figure out the potion to keeping them little forever!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Like Santa?

Funny, sweet, innocent Evan : ). I was getting him up from his nap to join his big brother out in the yard with our friends. As I am getting him dressed, he looks down at my frothy beer in my glass and says "that is a lot of coffee". I said: "That's not coffee, it is beer.". Evan says: "Beer? Like Santa Claus?". I explained to him that it was beer and Santa has a bearD. He says, with the biggest, most radiant smile, "Yeah, beard like Santa."

I wanna just eat him sometimes.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"I am Jesus"

Hanging out in the backyard today with my four boys, relaxing, sipping a beer, throwing the frisbee, pushing the kiddos in swings, and Evan picks up the outdoor fireplace poker and proceeds to walk with it as though it is a staff and says "I'm Jesus".

I love Evan emulating Jesus!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Growing Vocabulary

Maddox has added to his vocabulary. He is saying "Stop" in music class when Miss Stephanie does in the songs. I so often say "Good Job" to him (obviously not a Tiger Mom) that he says that back to me now when I say it. It sounds something like "Guh Jah". Today at work at Prince of Peace he was playing with the Thomas trains with Evan and the other big kids and he had the train named "Jack". I told him he had Jack and he looked at me and said "Jack".
He clearly comprehends the word "kiss". When I tell him to give me a kiss he leans into me with his mouth wide open. I love it!!

He says "thank you" - "day u".  "All done"  - "awh duh". 

My Biography written by Brady Mac Stidham...........

Brady and I were having a conversation this past weekend regarding our cars.  We were talking about the fact that Yoda was one of my favorite Star Wars characters when I was a child.  He was in awe by that fact alone.  He then questioned how this was so, etc.  I told him that, yes, Yoda was one of my favorite characters.  In fact, I told him, Uncle Rich and I even had a pet cat as a child that we named Yoda.  Brady is processing this and then....
"Wait, wait wait.  So you had a cat named Yoda and then they named him Yoda in the movie."  Me: "No.  The movie came out.  Uncle Rich and I liked Yoda so when we got a pet cat we decided to name him Yoda." 
Brady - "Okay, okay.  So let me get this straight:  You were a little girl.  You had a cat and named him Yoda because you liked Yoda.   You met Daddy and married him, had three kids.  The End."  This was all delivered to me in a very matter-of-fact "all seriousness" tone.
My life story, my biography.  Authored by Brady Mac Stidham

Lucky 13!

Maddox turned 13 months this week.  We have a few updates regarding our sweet baby boy!  We received money from his MiMi & PopPop for his birthday in order to purchase a new stroller.  After almost 6 years, our great Metrolite stroller gave up on us.  The brakes broke (just small plastic pieces that lock in the wheel spokes) so we really needed a new stroller to keep our little guy safe.  With the new stroller it was time to move our little one from the infant carrier car seat to the big boy car seat.  We have held off in moving him because the convenience of him being in the carrier with a 2 year old to carry in and out of the car has been nice.  So now he looks like such a big boy in the car : )

With him out of the infant carrier, we are carrying him in and out of the car and into places now, versus carrying the carrier in and out of places.  This week was our first week going to Evan's music class with Maddox out of the infant carrier.  He sat in the floor next to Evan and I the whole class and had so much fun.  He really seemed to enjoy it.  He also spoke a new word "Stop".  During one of the songs we sing, the singer repeatedly says "stop".  He was saying it right along with the song.  He also was keeping the beat to the songs where we used the music sticks.  It was so fun to watch him enjoy it all so much!

I am still enjoying having a crawler!  It is so cute and fun to watch; so different from watching two boys scoot everywhere on their bottoms.

It appears that Maddox has a milk allergy/sensitivity.  He has continued to have severe blowouts everytime he drinks milk.  We tried lactose free as was recommended to us by our pediatrician.  Unfortunately that did not work either.  We have to figure out what is going to work best in order for him to get the nutrients he needs.  I have read and heard about some unhealthy effects that soy milk can have, which makes me very hesitant to introduce that.  Thankfully, I was weaning slowly so I am able to continue to still breastfeed him now until we determine the best combo for him to receive the fat and nutrients he needs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Evan is registered for preschool.  Next fall he will begin his preschool "career" at Hunter Street Baptist.  He was actually excited when we were there registering; which was a relief.  For quite some time in prior months whenever the topic would come up about him going to school next year he always would say "I not go school.  I stay home with you."  He went through a second stage of separation anxiety at about 2 1/2 and I wondered if preschool would ever be something he would be excited about.  Now he is excited.  Whenever I mention school now he says "I go school next year. I go Pschool when I am three."  It is so cute.  I LOVE how he still speaks like such a little guy even though he will be 3 in May.  Since Brady was beyond most children his age, in regard to communication, I am accustomed to a little guy saying things like a big boy and very clearly by this point.  My Evan speaks just like you would expect a 2 1/2 year old to speak so when he talks about Pschool, I think it is so cute.  It also makes him seems so young; too young to go to preschool.

While we were at Hunter Street Baptist Church, Evan misunderstood why we were there.  He thought he was actually going that day.  When it was time to go, after waiting (there were only 4 spots available) a while to register, he got upset.  He said "I go Pschool, Mommy.  I go Pschool today."  I had to explain not until next year when you are three.  As we were walking out of the school he kept saying "I play with awed (all) the boys".  It was so cute. 

Now whenever school comes up, he says: "I go to school (or Pschool) nes (next) year, Mommy, when I am three."

I love it!  I love him!

**A fun pic from Christmas (he got this backpack from Uncle Rich and Aunt Jenny and did not want to take it off all day) that made me think of him going off to school.  He looked too small to be wearing this backpack and going off to school.**

Sunday, February 19, 2012


GONE!  I am enjoying watching Maddox on the go.  He is crawling all over the house now.  It is fun to watch.  I am sure because he is my baby.  For me, it is also because his older brothers never crawled prior to walking.  It is also sad, again, I am sure it is because he is my baby.  It is also a little nerve wracking since his big brothers have unsafe small toys in arm's reach.  I try to explain this to them, of course, but they are just 5 and 2 years old. 

Breastfeeding will also be gone soon : (  So sad!  Maddox is the caboose so this is it for me.  Mixed emotions for sure; mostly sad.  There is some feeling of relief since my body has not been mine for almost the past 4 years.  Pregnancy for almost a year with Evan and then 13 months of breastfeeding.  While still breastfeeding Evan I got pregnant with Maddox, essentially another year.   It has now been a year of breatfeeding him.  There is something empowering and amazing about knowing you are the one GOD has chosen - and equipped - to sustain your sweet angel's life.  There is definitely a sweet special bond and love shared while snuggling, soothing, and nurturing that precious baby.  Some of my favorite sweet pics of Maddox in my head are looking down at him in my arms with him asleep on my chest....that picture of security and serenity is incomparable.  The week after his birthday I dropped one of his four feedings to start the weaning process and gave him a sippy cup of whole milk, which he chugged and enjoyed.  We are now down to 3 feedings and probably should figure out my plan for dropping another one this week : (  Not quite ready to as I know this going as well and soon this will be going, going, GONE too!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our Big Boy!

Our sweet Maddox went for his one year check up on Thursday, February 9th.   He weighed in at 19 lb. 3 oz. - 10th percentile; he is 30 1/4 inches tall - 75th percentile; and his head is 18 1/4 inches - 50th percentile.  He is in great health and did great at his check-up. 

He is adding to his vocabulary.  He is definitely chatting a whole lot, even if it doesn't make sense to us; it is obvious he knows what he is saying.  The words he is saying that we know are: uh-uh (uh-oh), Momma (his first word), da da, nie nie (night night), anc u, (thank you), ah duh (all done).  So cool hearing him express himself.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

He has graduated....

to the little family journal.  Our sweet baby Maddox turned one a week ago today and so now I am done with documenting everything in his "Baby's First Year Journal" and he has graduated to the blog where I hope to be diligent in tracking his milestones, memories, and moments that I just want to always be able to cherish.  My hope also is that one day my boys will appreciate all the journaling I have done and view it as a resource for when they become Daddys (or maybe their wives will).  If nothing else I hope it is fun for them to read through how fun - and funny - it was for their Daddy and I to raise them.  And how DIFFICULT at times.  Mostly I hope they gain the understanding of just how LOVED and cherished they were/are!

So, little man is now a whole year old....hard for Mommy since he is our caboose.  No more babies for me...technically speaking, he is a toddler.  I got to tell you, I DESPISE that word right now.  I want him to be a baby forever.  I know, I know, I know.....everyone keeps saying "He will always be your baby."  No $#!%!! But we all know that it is not the same.  They get bigger, they start whining, talking back, not able to sleep snuggled up against your chest, preferring others to you, not drinking breast milk (at least not from your breast....move over momma, there is cold cow's milk readily available and safe for your baby now).  So many reasons to mourn the fact that I am no longer the Mommy to a baby...I am a Mommy to a TERRIFIC two-year-old, a FABULOUS five-year-old, and a TREASURED toddler, but not a BOUNCING, BEAUTIFUL baby!

So, how I am getting through this??? I am just enjoying the lingering babyisms...he is still nursing - although we have started the weaning process this past weekend, he will still fall asleep against my chest before nap and bed if he is REALLY worn out, he is not walking yet, he still fits comfortably and wonderfully (and likes it) in the Ergo, and he still seems to prefer me over anyone else....YEA!!!  In fact, his first word - and still his favorite - is Momma. 

Another way I am coping with this revelation?   I am focusing on all that is to come with three boys as they get older.  I look to the future as they get to ages where we can grab a couple clean pairs of underwear and a toothbrush and jump in the van and go on a trip (vs. now with monitors, pack n plays, pacis, sippy cups, diapers, etc.).  I look forward to all of us relaxing together as a cozy family on a Sunday afternoon all laying around the den enjoying a quiet time reading and napping.  I even look forward to when I can sit and have a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a beer and have a grown-up conversation with my "men" boys.  

Those are a couple of my "coping" mechanisms as I accept the fact that I do not have any "babies" and that I will not have anymore.  

I am so blessed to call these three babies "mine"!  Thank you, LORD!