Tuesday, May 29, 2012


"Promise me you'll always remember: 
You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
--Christopher Robin to Pooh

Today, Maddox conquered one of his fears and jumped off the diving board. He LOVED it

Way to go my brave little man! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Well Played Maddox, Well Played

Oh Mr. Maddox, this kid keeps things interesting and entertaining around our house at all times!! He is so clever and witty, yet most of the time he is not even aware of his tactics because he is so literal.
Well, yesterday Maddox and Paxton were playing outside and they started to argue over some toys. Maddox was playing with a Monster Truck (which Paxton received for his birthday) and Paxton was playing with a water gun (which Maddox received for making good choices at home). Maddox was less than thrilled that Paxton was playing with "his" water gun. I quickly reminded Maddox that he was technically playing with one of Paxton's toys that he received for his birthday and that it is important for us to share our toys together. Maddox agreed, as he was not about to stop playing with that super cool Monster Truck, but you could tell he still wanted that water gun.
With that in mind, the following conversation took place between Maddox and Paxton:
Maddox: "Hey Paxton, would you like to go to a Monster Truck museum with me?"
Paxton: "Sure"
Maddox: "Well Paxton, guns are not allowed in the museum, so put your gun down here."
Paxton: "Okay" (Paxton gently put the water gun down)

Well played Maddox, well played. What a clever little mind you have......just keep in mind, your little brother will soon start picking up on your tactics!!!
Oh my mercy, my hands are going to be so full with this smarty pants!!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

We Love Summer

Summer is officially upon us. I am trying to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get the kids outside playing together and making memories as a family. I realize that our summer with drastically change when our sweet little Harper makes her arrival. I am trying to purposely invest as much time into the lives of our boys before my time is split with the on going demands that a newborn with bring.
We have started the last few mornings with a fun adventure to the park.  The boys have really enjoyed the time to play somewhere new and I love that both boys can maneuver through this particular playground with ease. I am able to keep my eye on them, but I don't have to do any heavy lifting to help Paxton up or down. I have really enjoyed our trips to the park because I can play with the boys and watch them have a good time without the distraction of never ending house work or the need to fold another load of laundry.
To Infinity....and beyond!!


I LOVE to watch how tall Paxton's hair can get when he slides. Gotta love fine baby hair and the static from a slide

Well hello there blue eyes!!

Gosh this kid is getting too big

Paxton needed help burying a pinecone.....Maddox to the rescue

Playing peek-a-boo with daddy!!!

The loves of my life

In the afternoons we have been swimming in the back yard. The water can still be a bit chilly at times, but we try to make the most of it and swim as much as we can. It is amazing to watch drastic improvements in Maddox's swimming abilities. He can now jump in the water from the side (with his mask, snorkel and floaty of corse) and he is getting less and less afraid of water in his eyes. He is very self sufficient in the water as long as he has his floaty on and he will swim the full length of the pool with ease. This makes things much easier on me while my hands are always on Paxton keeping him calm, happy and safe in the water. Paxton has gotten much braver in the water and will often push off from the side and kick his feet to "swim" however, he has decided he does NOT like when the water is too cold and there is no convincing him to try it out if his mind is made up otherwise.

Maddox getting ready to jump in

Great jump Madd-man


Madd and Uncle J getting ready to jump together

Great jumping boys! Thanks for playing with us Uncle J
Sweet cousins enjoying some watermelon

This is life lived to the fullest!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Funny Conversation

This evening I had to run a few errands while Brad stayed home with the boys. They played outside and Brad informed me of the following conversation that took place on the back patio:

Paxton:"smowie smowie"
Brad: "what are you saying pax?"
Maddox: "he is saying towel"
Brad: "no he's not saying towel"
Maddox: "then what was he saying?"
Brad: "I don't know buddy."
Maddox: "then how do you know it wasn't towel?"
Brad: "good play sir."
Maddox:"nah I don't think thats it either."

Oh my mercy, I just crack up laughing each time I replay this conversation in my mind. Maddox is such a clever and very literal little man...I just love it!!
Oh and if any of you were wondering what exactly Paxton was saying......well, he was telling Brad he wanted his FLOATY (he was ready to go swimming). Ha....it's good to know I have some job security!!

Last Day of School

Today is Maddox's last day of 3 year old preschool. My, what a wonderful year it has been. Maddox loved his school, his friends and his teachers. He never really felt like he was learning anything because he was having so much fun; although, you certainly could tell he was learning all sorts of things throughout the random conversations we would have. It is a bittersweet day for all of us today. I am thankful that the end of school signals the start of summer, but Maddox is sad that he will not be attending the same school next year. We truly loved it there, but their preschool program and their Mother's Day Out program don't mesh well as far as days and timing go. So, we had to find another great program where both of the boys can go in the fall. I am certain we made a good choice and we will be happy at our new school, but little Madd is having a rough time with the thought of not seeing his friends any longer! If you think about it today, please say a little prayer that the Lord would protect Madd's precious little heart as he makes this transition!!

Maddox on his first day of school for the 2011-2012 year

Maddox today, on his last day of school for the 2012 year

So excited for the days when Daddy can take him to school!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

31 Weeks

How far Along: 31 weeks
Size of baby: She seems to be on the smaller side, only in the 23rd percentile weighing about 3 pounds
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 15 pounds
Maternity Clothes: I can still wear my non maternity jeans and some t-shirts, the rest is maternity
Gender: Sweet baby girl
Name: Harper Grace 
Movement: She is most active at night or anytime I stop moving. She is not nearly as active as her older brothers were in the womb. Yesterday you could see a tiny little foot pushing out on my tummy...it was very poky
Sleep: Not great. Like I said she likes to move a lot when I lay down. She pushes on my bladder during the night and I have to go potty A LOT! I am just getting more prepared for the LONG nights with a newborn in the house!!
What I miss: Being able to bend over with ease. It is hard to tie little boys shoes when I can't bend over. I also miss sleeping on my tummy
Cravings: Nothing really. I get really full super easy. Suppose I am running out of room in there
Symptoms: contractions contractions contractions! cramping and random low back pain. I have had more pelvic pressure this past week, but nothing too crazy. This entire pregnancy has been full of these symptoms, so nothing out of the "ordinary" 
Best Moment this week: Listening to Maddox share with me all the ways he is going to help out when his sister gets here. He is so in love with her already (I just hope once she is actually here and cramping his style a little that he is still so fond of her!) 

This week marks an incredible milestone in Harper's lung development. Before now, the air sacs and branches in her lungs were present but not functional. The lungs were not able to inflate properly. However, now there is surfactant being produced in her lungs, which will prevent Harper's lungs from collapsing outside of the uterus and she will be able to take in air and breathe properly! The fetal ear is almost completely developed both inside and out. She can hear our voices and other familiar sounds that she will recognize after birth. (She definitely heard a lot of my voice today telling her brothers to stop fighting and play nicely. She will know the popular saying in our house very well "You can either play nicely together or you can go to timeout together" Ha.) She should be plumping up at this point and is putting on white fat under the skin and now her skin's color is pink instead of red. Her fingernails have grown to the end of her tiny little fingers and she may even scratch herself while she is still in my tummy. She might need her first "manicure" after she is born!!! 

I know that she still needs time to cook in my belly and to grow strong and healthy, so I am not ready for her to get here just yet, but I am getting so excited to meet this little girl. I am anxious to see how our lives are going to change yet again and what our new normal will look like as a family of 5. I am nervous as to how her brothers will respond to her arrival and I am praying the Lord guides me as I transform to a mommy of 3 precious blessings. I continue to pray that the Lord guards my heart, emotions and hormones post partum. I pray specifically that she is healthy, happy and calm, and I pray she sleeps well, eats like a champ and does not endure tummy problems like her brothers. 
We are anxiously awaiting her arrival and excited to see our family with a little (or a LOT) of pink in it!! Keep growing little Harper!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paxton is 25 Months Old

Yesterday little P, Pax-Max, P-nut, our littlest (boy), PJ, Paxton James turned 25 months old. What a little stinker our (current) littlest one is.

What else are you up to these days Paxton James?
You weigh about 27 pounds
You wear 18-24 month clothes
You wear a size 5 1/2-6 shoe
Your favorite toys are: legos, cars and trains. You like to build tall towers and line your cars and trains up in a straight line!
You are a finicky eater but you consistently like: peanut butter sandwich, fruit, crackers, pancakes, granola bars and pop tarts. Although, we have made tremendous progress in your eating. Most of the time we can get you to eat whatever we put on your plate (at least a little of it....this is a HUGE step for you)
You LOVE your big blue blanket
You are really enjoying riding your tricycle
You are getting super brave in the swimming pool and will even "swim" a little on your own...you kick your feet and float yourself to the big step (with your floaty on of course)
You are a good sleeper. You go to bed at 8 and could stay in bed until around 9:30 the next morning if your big brother didn't wake you up most mornings. Ha.
You test your boundaries with the actual "going to bed" part and get out of bed a few times every night before your finally settle down and fall asleep. You have done much better at following the rules lately and we are very thankful for that!
You don't seem to be as afraid of new situations or new people. I would not call you a socialite, but you no longer seem scared of people, you just seem annoyed at new people. Ha. Little stinker
You have the best laugh and are starting to show your silly personality. I think you will be the entertainer. You like to make people laugh
You mimic your big brother and think he is a pretty cool guy (unless he has a toy you are wanting)
You are still in denial that you are going to be a big brother. You just shake your head and say "No" every time we mention that you are going to have a sister. Sorry little man, she will be here before you know it!!

Oh Paxton James. You are quite the character and you bring such a balance to our family. I am so proud of how much you have progressed lately and the little boy you are becoming. I continue to pray that the Lord guides us on how to be the best parents to you! We love you little man!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Slow down

I thoroughly enjoy looking back at pictures and seeing how much the boys have changed. I came across a picture this morning of the boys one year ago today!! Such handsome fellas and Paxton was still very much a baby!!

May 2011

This picture was taken this weekend. My how they have changed. I wish the picture up top showed how much taller Maddox has gotten this past year. He is getting long and lean and sweet little P is no longer a baby and is very much a toddler!! Slow down boys!!
May 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Fun

We have had a wonderful weekend here at the Voda house! Maddox has learned to ride his dirt bike without training wheels. This obviously becomes a great workout for Brad because he has to run behind him and keep him on track (the bike is still a  too heavy for Maddox to control if he looses his balance). It is truly amazing to watch how well Maddox can balance that beast of a bike, especially when he goes slowly. Paxton is loving his ability to ride his tricycle and is eagerly awaiting the time when he to can ride the dirt bike!! There are times with these boys, that I feel so out numbered with all of their boy toys, their need for speed and loud noises; however, I LOVE being a part of this journey and watching these precious boys (all 3 of them) have the time of their lives!! I can't wait to see how Harper fits in the mix!!!
We have spent most of the weekend outside, playing tball, swimming, riding bikes and just enjoying the time together! 

For now, I am SO out numbered. Boys and their toys!!

Paxton doing a little trick riding!

Maddox was in heaven riding that dirt bike!! 

sweet boys riding bikes

And the race is on!!

Watching the big boys play

Sweet Aunt Kim playing with the boys in the pool!!! They had a blast!! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

T Ball Fun

This has been our first experience with any "organized" sport and overall it has been a learning experience for all of us. We have learned to remember that Maddox is a super smart little boy, but he is very much four years old. Being four years old means forgetting EVERYTHING that has been taught to you just moments earlier simply because kicking the dirt with your new awesome baseball cleats is way more fun. It also means having the attention span of a gnat and being easily distracted when waiting for another 4 year old to hit the baseball in your general direction. We have learned that Maddox will talk to ANYONE within listening distance and tends to visit throughout the entire game. Most of his conversations occur with one of his coaches. The coaches seem to really like him and one of them is always standing next to him, helping him stay on task and enjoying a good little chat in the process. (Seriously, they don't do this with any other kid, I really think Maddox is pure entertainment for them....I mean, seriously, he is one AWESOME kiddo). We have learned that for Maddox the most fun he has at his game is the snack that is served afterwards; although, lately he has really enjoyed hitting and running the bases. It has been a lot of fun to watch Maddox learn more about the game and gain some confidence in his throwing and hitting abilities! I personally have Loved watching Maddox and Brad practice in our backyard. It has been fun to watch Brad learn the best ways to teach Maddox and we have both learned to be way more patient with our precious little boy!

Pregame line up and prayer time (Maddox is number 5)

Made it to first base

Running to second base

Great running Maddox!!

A little pep talk from the 3rd base coach

What a handsome little man! Sheesh he looks so big in this picture

First time to play pitcher

Eagerly waiting for the batter to hit that ball to him

Here is a short video of the Madd-man hitting the ball and running his heart out to first base!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pregnancy Update

We got to see our growing, precious little girl today via ultrasound! I am measuring 30 weeks 1 day (which is exactly what we thought) She is looking great and developing right on track. The radiologist actually preformed portions of the ultrasound and spent a good amount of time checking out her anatomy, especially her heart. She looks great!! She is already head down and continues to be more on the shy side during ultrasounds. She immediately covers her face as soon as she feels the "wand" on my belly. She tries so hard to wiggle away from the ultrasound tech; however, she is running out of wiggle room so we were able to see her a little better this time.
His only mild concern is that she is on the small side, only weighing 3lbs 1oz and in the 23rd percentile. He said he is not terribly concerned with this but does not feel comfortable completely releasing us yet; therefore, we get to see our little girl again in 4 weeks just to make sure she has not dropped any further in percentile! I certainly don't mind getting another chance to see our growing little babe!!
No one seems very concerned with all the contractions I am having. They are just a pest and do not seem to be causing any preterm labor scares! We are so thankful for this news and we continue to pray  that our precious little one continues to grow strong and healthy for at least 6 more weeks; although, I am eagerly awaiting the moment I get to hold her in my arms!

Baby bump

Fun with Daddy

One of my favorite things about becoming a mom is watching my amazing husband transform into an outstanding daddy. I clearly remember the first thing Brad said when we found out Maddox was a boy was "Oh my, now I have the responsibility to teach him how to become a MAN." Brad has always been very aware of his responsibility to our boys that he has a huge roll in molding them into the young men they will be someday. Brad has always been the one to encourage that we stay tough on the boys and guide them to become gentle men who listen, respect women, are kind and tough at the same time. I love the evenings when Brad gets home from work and he puts away "work Brad" and transform to "daddy"
Even when Brad is completely exhausted from a crazy day at work, he finds the energy to wrestle, listen to stories, read books, chase little boys, play guns, play catch and be the hero of the day. The boys LOVE when daddy comes home and it is such a blessing to watch the three of them interact together! I am forever grateful for such an amazing husband who treats me with the utmost respect and loves his family so deeply.

This evening was no exception. Brad jumped right in and started playing with the boys! Such a beautiful evening with my beautiful family!

Throwing drills

Paxton the noodle, my handsome hubs, and Maddox pretending to throw a baseball

Throwing together

Paxton wanted to play catch as well

Brad and Madd playing catch