School is in Session for Max

The start of “school” just so happened to fall on the same week as trick or treat.  We began the two year old curriculum on  So far Max really has enjoyed it!  
Here we are learning about circles!

Can’t beat play-dough to learn about the color red!

Trick or Treat

Max really got a kick out of trick or treating this year!  Once he realized he was getting candy, you couldn’t slow him down!  (Even though he got a door opened in his face at the very first house!) 

Gwenyth picking out a pumpkin!

Spiderman and his first candy bar!
Captian America (Cousin Brody) and Spiderma on the move!

Cinderella (Cousin Hailee) and Spiderman getting some tasty treats!

Trick or Treating in my hometown of Adel means a stop at the fire station. For most kids, it is a chance to get warm, eat some popcorn and sip on hot cocoa. For Max, it was the most awesome thing ever! He was climbing in all of the trucks and even got a ride in the fire truck from his Uncle Bobby!

Happy, happy kid!

Grandma Karen’s new dog, Bruno came along!

Max the Cowboy

Last Saturday, we celebrated Max’s second birthday with a party out at my parent’s house!  There were horse rides, kittens to cuddle, puppies to chase, and tractors to drive!  Thank you to all that came to help Max celebrate!

Max driving the tractor

Max on Misty, our first horse.

Aunt Heather and Grandma Karen helping Max to the arena.

Safety first!  Max loved wearing the helmet!

Brother and Sister

These two kids are so fantastic!  I am so blessed to call them mine and love watching them grow!  Here are some highlights of being the mom of Max and Gwen!

My two sweet babies!

Hugs are always good, even if both parties aren’t exactly willing.

What a great big brother!

Such an admiring brother and I am sure Gwen will grow up admiring him!

He seriously loves to be by her.  He sat there himself!

My two cuties at about 2 weeks old.

These are the times I cherish…

…and these.

Go state!

Poor guy!  The Cyclones lost, and we took his cup away to try and get a better picture…

I don’t know why but it made me so happy that he was so blue and she was so pink!  Its the little things, I guess.

Gwenyth Nancy Rude

Gwenyth Nancy Rude was born August 1, 2013 at 8:07am. She weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 19 1/2 in long.

Gwen has been such a delight! We have really enjoyed getting to know her!
The morning of the first, Jason and I drove to the hospital for our scheduled c section around 5am. Max was spending the night with grandma Karen and had been dropped off the night before so Jason and I could enjoy a little date just the two of us.  It was so relaxed compared to Max’s c-section because with Max, my water broke and we were in a mad dash to pack our bags and get to the hospital.  This time, we had our bags ready, and I even had time to curl my hair and put on makeup!  

Before we left the house, I had Jason take a picture of a very pregnant me because I wanted to remember just how big I was!
I was in the operating room by 7:30am.  I got my spinal and we waited, waited, and waited.  The spinal didn’t take and they told me I would have to go under.  Realizing that Jason was not going to be able to be in the room and that I would “miss” the birth of our daughter, I started to cry.  I was really bummed.  It didn’t take very long to knock me out and the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room to the nurse calling my name.  I had a very sore throat but managed to ask where Jason and Gwen were.  They were in the nursery and would be right down.  I couldn’t wait to meet my daughter!!!

Dad and daughter hanging out in the nursery!

Meeting for the first time!

Our family of three before Max and Jason went to go get Gwen from the nursery.

About to meet baby sister!!!

We had many visitors during our hospital stay and all in all, things went very well!  It is almost like a retreat to be in the hospital and have the nurses take such good care of you.

Grandma Karen with all of her grandchildren!

Liz (and Lilah), Maddilynn and Drew holding Gwen!

MaryBeth, Chris and Addison.  Addie loved baby Gwen!

Gwen with her friends, the Halls!

Trying to recreate a picture we took of Max before leaving the hospital.

Ready to go home! 
Since being home, I have recovered from the c-section and we are getting a handle on having two kids.  (Two kids is more than double of one kid… I was never good at math, but trust me on this…)
Max loves his baby sister and gives her plenty of kisses… when he is not poking her eyes. 
We love Gwen and are enjoying getting to know her more and more!

Our first outing to the mall.

Jason is really getting this”two kids” thing down!

At 7 weeks, Gwen is now smiling at me and Jason.  We have her two month checkup on October 1st and look forward to being told how healthy she is!

12 Months = 1 Year! (Very, Very, Belated…)

Those who know me, know I dislike math to a very high degree.  These are some numbers, however, that bring me joy!

12 Months in Numbers
2,065 Bottles or Nursing Sessions (Rough Count 😉
912 Wardrobe changes (Counting jammies!)
4 Teeth
1 Thanksgiving
1 Christmas
3 States (Max has traveled to Nebraska, Missouri, and well, he lives in Iowa)
100 Food Pouches (Very happily eaten!)
1,825 Diaper Changes (not exact, but probably pretty close!)
15 Super fun cousins!
9 Cool uncles!
7 Loving aunts!
4 Wonderful great-grandmas!
2 Fabulous grandmas!
2 Awesome grandpas!
2 Very Proud Parents
1 Super Great 1-Year-Old
Max at 1 year!

Max at 9 months!

Max at 6 months!

Max at 1 week!
Happy Birthday, Max! 
(also thank you to for all the photos!!!)