Monday, December 21, 2009

Audrey McKenzie Taylor

We had our last planned ultrasound today, and we're still expecting a healthy baby girl! As of today she weighs 3 lbs 6 oz. All four chambers of her heart we're beating strongly at 131 beats per minute, and apparently she's already working on her flexibility for becoming a dancer because she had her feet above her head!

We have decided to name her Audrey McKenzie Taylor. Audrey means "Noble Strength" and is simply a name we really like. McKenzie is a name that belongs to two special people in our lives. Ross' great aunt's name was Elsie McKenzie. Elsie was Dick's mother, and someone both Ross and I loved and respected immensely. Ross' sister, Leslie McKenzie, was named after her. Because Elsie meant so much to us we wanted to honor her by using the name McKenzie. We hope baby Audrey will live a life as full and rich and God-honoring as Elsie.

Here are a couple of the ultrasound pictures of Audrey from today. The first is a face shot from the front, and the second is a profile. We think she is adorable and can't wait to meet her!

Audrey's Face @ 30 WeeksAudrey's Profile @ 30 Weeks

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas at Home

We had Christmas at home today, and it was a great day. We started by going to church, enjoying the praise and worship and message, and visiting with friends. After lunch and Jackson's nap, our Christmas celebration at home began. Here are some of the highlights, but there are more in the album.

Christmas at Home

Jackson had fun stacking his new blocks.

Jackson Stacking Blocks

Then he helped everyone else go through their stockings.

Jackson helping with Bailey's StockingJackson Unloading His StockingJackson Helping DadJackson Helping Mom

He eventually opened a Mr. Potato Head, and had lots of fun studying it and figuring out what to do...

Jackson Opening Mr. Potato HeadJackson wearing Mr. Potato Head's glassesJackson wearing Mr. Potato Head's glasses

His favorite gift was definitely the bubble machine! Although, we had no idea how quickly it would go through a bottle of bubbles. We already need a refill!

Jackson chasing bubblesJackson taking a closer look at the bubble machine

We spent the rest of the day playing with all of our new toys and hanging out at the park. Today contained bits and pieces of all the important things in our lives: God, family, friends, and fun! We couldn't have hoped for a better day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Ross!

Today is Ross' b-day, and I think he's had a great day especially since the Cowboys just won! Being from Louisiana, we certainly cheer the Saints on and have been very excited about the season they're having, but Ross has been a lifelong Cowboys fan. With the two teams playing each other, he had to rout for the Cowboys. He's even been teaching Jackson to say "Go Cowboys!" He couldn't have asked for a better gift today.

Joy and Sorrow

Ross' 1st cousin once removed, Dick Mitchell, passed away this week. He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and was told around Thanksgiving that it likely wouldn't be much longer. Dick has meant so much to our entire family, and he will be greatly missed! Here are a couple of pics from our last good visit with Dick.

DickDick, John, and Buzz

The joy in all of this is our new nephew and Dick's namesake, Mitchell Rodriguez, who was born just before Thanksgiving. We are so thankful they had the opportunity to meet each other. Baby Mitchell was born a few weeks early, which we definitely believe was God's timing since it allowed them to spend some time together.

The funeral was Thursday, so Ross, Jackson, and I made our way to Leakey for the service. Jackson wasn't exactly cooperative, so I missed everything, but I was told the service was very nice. Dick was an amazing man that lived an incredible life that touched so many lives, which was evident by all of the people that were there.

We enjoyed the opportunity to visit with family and spend more time with our nephew. Jackson loves to say baby and even got to hold baby Mitchell while we were there.

Ross, Jackson, & Mitchell

Both Jackson and Mitchell enjoyed spending some time with their grandparents too!

Jackson @ the Taylor'sMitchell and SusanJackson and JohnMitchell

As always, there are more pics in the album

Saturday, December 12, 2009

18 Months Old

Jackson is 18 months old! At his well child doctor's appointment he was in the 50th percentile in weight and the 75th percentile in height, so he's definitely growing! He's talking more and more too. We don't always know what he's saying, but talks almost non-stop. He mimics almost anything you say too, which can be good and bad!

He loves to dance and sing. Some of his favorite songs are the ABC's, Ring Around the Rosie, and If You're Happy and You Know It. With the last two he does all the right actions too! He also cheers at the end of a song whether he knows it or not. It's a great confidence booster if you're like me and really can't sing!

He sort of counts to 10. He seems to know the numbers and will say them occasionally when you're counting. If you use your fingers and stop at 4 or 9, he'll grab your thumb and say FIVE or TEN!

He's using sign language more and more. He's had a lot of the eating signs down for a while, but he's even learning colors now. He usually says the word along with the sign. It's pretty amazing. We've had to look things up a couple of times because it was clear he was signing something, and we had no clue what it was.

On the eating front, he's learned to drink from a cup. It's still a messy process from time to time, so the sippy cups are definitely still around. He's using his fork and spoon fairly well, but still says "help, please" a lot.

He's also a very sweet little boy. He loves to give everyone hugs and blow them kisses. Bailey is one of his favorites to hug, and it's torture for her. She gets him back with kisses though, which is torture for him (most of the time he really loves it and just laughs uncontrollably). We figure it's pretty fair.

He's a lot of fun these days. His laugh is by far the best noise in the world, and we get to hear it pretty often. He is a very happy boy overall. He certainly has his moments, and "mine" has quickly become one of his favorite words...we're trying to teach him the alternative when he says it. We're also trying to explain that he'll be a big brother soon. I'm not sure he understands that one yet!

It's amazing to see how much he's changed in the last 6 months...

Jackson @ 1st B-day Party

12 months old here - He's now an expert at puzzles...

Jackson, 12 months

13 months old here - He still loves to swing, but that permanent bruise in the middle of his forehead from learning to walk is finally gone...not to say that he doesn't fall from time to time still.

Jackson, 13 months

14 months old here - At some point he started walking with his arms down, and he now runs a lot too. Chasing Bailey is another of his favorite activities.

Jackson, 14 months

15 months old here - He still gets a kick out of watching a baloon float away.

Jackson, 15 months

16 months old here - The fireman hat is still a favorite too.

Jackson, 16 months

16.5 months old here - His Dad can ALWAYS make him laugh.

Jackson, 16.5 months

17 months old here - He is fascinated by animals...especially the monkeys at the zoo.

Jackson, 17 months

17.5 months old here - He loves the wagon, but prefers to be pulled around.

Jackson, 17.5 months

17.5 months old here - Slides have quickly become a favorite at the park too.

Jackson, 17.5 months

18 months old here - And he's more curious than ever...not to worry, he didn't hold the piece of ice for long.

Jackson, 18 months

It's hard to believe 18 months have already gone by, and we'll soon have a baby girl to love and adore too. It's such an amazing and challenging journey! We're loving (almost) every moment!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Christmas Season has Begun!

It's official...Christmas is here. Believe it or not it SNOWED in Houston this week! There were lots of big flakes, but nothing stuck to the ground in our area, and unfortunately, we were at work through most of it, so I don't have any pictures as proof. The temperature dropped dramatically that night though, and Jackson discovered ice in our back yard the next morning.

Jackson holding ice from our yardJackson in the cold!

We also went to our first Christmas party of the season last night, and managed to get a few pics of Jackson playing with our decorations today. Of course, there are more in the album.

Jackson under the treeJackson under the tree

Now it's time to finish up our shopping, get out our Christmas cards, and do some baking!


It took a little longer than expected to get these pictures posted, but they are finally here. We had a very busy but wonderful Thanksgiving. We made our way to Shreveport on Wednesday. I spent the afternoon doing a little shopping at some of my favorite local places while Ross took Jackson to the park.

Thursday we headed to Ruston. We were able to spend a few minutes with Heath, Barbara, and Carter before going to my Grandmother and Granddaddy's house for a delicious Thanksgiving lunch where almost my entire family joined us this year. It was so wonderful to see everyone! I didn't do a very good job of getting pictures of the adults, but I got quite a few of the kiddos. Jackson LOVES my grandparents' wagon, so he spent a lot of time having the bigger kids and some adults pull him around. He also made an attempt to pull the wagon himself but didn't get very far.

Jackson & Adam being pulled by PopJackson trying to pull the wagonJackson & GraceJackson swinging

Friday we made our way to Austin to meet our precious little nephew, Mitchell. I posted a few pics in the last post, but there are many more in the album. Jackson loved meeting his new cousin and playing at a nearby park.

Baby Mitchell

There weren't any baby swings at this park, so he really looked like a big boy on these swings!

Jackson & Ross SwingingJackson crawling thru a tunnel

He also had a great time hanging out with his Uncle Philip.

Jackson & Uncle Philip

We even managed to get pics of each of us with Jackson for once!

Jackson & EJackson & Ross

After a full day in Austin on Saturday, we made our way home on Sunday and picked up our Christmas tree. Let the decorating begin!