Since appearing on 16 & Pregnant in 2009, the mom of two tells PEOPLE: "It's crazy where I am now to where I started"

By Lanford Beard
January 03, 2016 05:55 PM
Theo Wargo/Getty

Maci Bookout‘s son Bentley certainly doesn’t suffer from sibling rivalry.

The 7-year-old “thinks the world” of his baby sister Jayde, Bookout tells PEOPLE.

“At this point, he’s really a huge help. He likes to feed her and help change her and bathe her,” says the Teen Mom OG star, who decided to bring Bentley back on camera for season 2. “He’s wonderful. [His help] has been really nice and made the transition into parenting two children much easier. It’s awesome to see him so involved and, really, in love with her.”

Bookout continues that 7-month-old Jayde is “just now getting to the point where she likes to play with toys and is very intrigued by things, so he all about doing whatever she feels like doing at the time.”

Unfortunately, one thing Bentley can’t help Jayde with is overcoming her adorably pudgy little belly.

“Right now she’s trying to crawl,” says Bookout. “[But] she’s chunky – she definitely doesn’t miss a meal. So she’s in this phase where she wants to crawl so bad, but her belly gets in her way. [Laughs] I’m like, ‘Yep, that happens to the best of us, Jayde, you’ll get it one day.’ ”

Since having Jayde with boyfriend Taylor McKinney (Bentley’s dad is Bookout’s high school boyfriend Ryan Edwards), Bookout jokes that, “for Taylor and I, our daily goal is just to stay alive.”

She continues, “In the new year, I’m really going to try to enjoy the little things, even though we have to keep up our crazy, fast-paced life, I think [I’m going to focus on] just really appreciating what’s going on around us instead of just flying through life and letting it pass us by.”

Whether that involves wedding bells or some more pitter-pattering little feet remains to be seen, though Bookout does say she’s interested in possibly adopting at least one more child to join her family (which includes two boxers named Bonnie and Clyde “that we treat like they are our children”). But she adds, “Definitely not any time soon.”

In the immediate future, Bookout says she’s giving herself some time to reflect on what a remarkable journey she’s had since first appearing on 16 & Pregnant in 2009.

“It’s crazy where I am now to where I started,” she tells PEOPLE. “At this point I’m just trying to take a moment to be proud of myself and really acknowledge that I have worked really hard and I have accomplished a lot of things.”

Teen Mom OG returns Monday at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.

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