27 March 2012


That's right, Christmas.

Here are some pictures that I meant to sputter out here but never did.

Also, this week is going much better!  Thanks for the insights and advice.  I think my expectations are a little more realistic now, and also Jude is napping a bit better.  Baths also work miracles for grumpy babies.

Anyway, a visual feast:
He looks so small to me now!  And his hair wasn't quite as bushy.

Laughing at his cool, older cousin Sam, who unfortunately did not make it into the frame.

We dressed Ian and Jude in their Santa outfits for church on Christmas morning; so cute I just couldn't take it. 
Somewhere around Christmas he stopped letting me put hats on him, but man were they cute on his head.

He also started drinking out of a sippy at long last!  He clung to his traditional bottle for a long time but finally gave it up.  I was very excited to not have knocked-over bottles spilling on my floor anymore.  And a couple of weeks ago all of his sippies were dirty so I pulled out a bottle; he put it in his mouth and just did not know what to do with it.  He looked at me like, "what the heck IS this thing?"  Funny.

Aunt Elizabeth waited a long time to have an Eaton nephew or niece!  She gives him lots of love just like I have always given her kids lots of love.

25 March 2012


Last week was not my favorite one.  Jude is quite obviously, to me, so cute I just might explode.  He can charm me to no end.  However, he was getting all monster on me all week, cranky, whiney, bouncing off the walls, not sleeping, I was feeling isolated, like a bad mom for his behavior and for being so frustrated with him, exhausted, frumpy (can you tell I was snowballing?), the clock was tick.......tick........ticking by till bedtime, and I might have made a few teary phone calls to Jeff and my mom and Elizabeth.  I also wondered if I should just get an Emma Watson hair cut since he can still find a way to yank my hair when it's pulled neatly into a bun.

Saturday was a little better, today was much better, and I have hope anew for this week.  Part of it was naps and trying to figure out if he needs to drop one or if he's just doing some flukey things and still needs two, how much of it is teething, and how much of it is that I just need to face it: I have a wild one on my hands.  A wild one.  He also laughs when I firmly say "NO" when he is hurrying over to dig into the fireplace.  Nice.

Which brings me to something else.  As I've told a few other moms about this trying week and they all said, "Oh yes, it's hard when you just have one."  I thought that was sort of odd because I usually hear moms saying they miss the days when their attention was not pulled in so many directions by their plural progeny.  If you can click out of your google reader and have more than one child I'd love to hear your thoughts.

As I said in the last post, just about the time I was about to drop him in his crib (which he has broken and maybe has a couple of functioning weeks left in it), put in my ear buds, and rock back and forth in the corner of a room, he'd do something much too sweet like put his pudgy hands on my face, get all up in my grill, and sort of look at me like he's telling me, "Hi, Mom.  Don't worry, I'm just messing with you."  And then after just a second and a half of that mother-son non-verbal communication he'd start bouncing on my lap with his mouth wide open giving me a couple slobber kisses when he could work that into his bounces.

Oh our little Juju.

22 March 2012

Last Weekend

Yes, this is my son crawling on the table of a restaurant last Friday night.  That was the last time we will take Jude to dinner with us, even if it's before bedtime and he's taken good naps!  He was just born to wiggle and scream if wiggling is not allowed.

Speaking of naps, Jude is doing funny things with his, resulting in maybe 45 minutes of sleep for him a day, which is resulting Mom-o-la going BOOOONKERRRRRS!

Luckily he is doing cute things to compensate.  However I am not giving up on the naps.

Also, my Dad had a birthday on St. Patrick's Day!  We celebrated with the traditional corn beef, cabbage, and ginger cake!  Erin Go Bragh!  (And cue our Scottish ancestors spinning in their graves.)

Other than that, Jude is close to walking, finally drinking from a straw (I have random reasons for really working on that with him that I'm too lazy to explain), we're redoing the to-be guest room that for the last 2 years has been a "storage dump room" with poop colored two-toned walls, Jeff is finally watching Downton Abbey with me and while he won't admit this, I'm 100% sure he sees its value.  

Today is just one of those days.  This is Grump-a-tron Meredith, signing off.

15 March 2012


- Once again I have bangs -- voila!

- Proof that Jude is spoiled: When I'm snuggling him up at night before bed, I feed him a bottle.  When he finishes it his eyelids are so heavy.  But he turns his head toward me, and opens his mouth into a cute little oval.  The oval is for this: so I can put in his BINKY.  He knows I'll do it for him.  It makes me laugh every time.  However, now that I'm brushing his teeth he can only have water right before bed, which he doesn't care for, so this might just come to an end.

- Jude is changing bucket loads and it is crazy to watch.  He points at things, he picks up the remote, points it at the TV and pushes buttons, he's got real kisses down (except for the part where he makes contact with our cheeks while he smacks his little pucker), and his jibber jabbering has new sounds and rhythms every day.  He has so much energy it frightens me a little.  He yells just for the fun of it.  Deep breath in and then slowly exhale, yelling as he does it.  From the moment he wakes up in the morning it's go-go-go, and don't even bother trying to make him hold still.  Even with all his movement he still has energy to spare, and he seems to try to get some out in this facial expression:

He does this all the time lately; he's flexing every muscle in his neck and face.  Hilarious.  He's also getting in his other 2 molars and 3 other teeth.  Poor boy.

- Last week I decided I was really going to buckle down and banish the last 4 preg pounds.  I was waking up at 6am to run 4 miles, drinking a green smoothie for 2 meals a day and otherwise eating like I was the star participant at fat camp, but according to the scale I was GAINING weight.  Part of me wondered if our scale was on the fritz but then my pants weren't quite fitting, either.  Very disheartening.  So disheartening, in fact, by Saturday Jeff asked me what was wrong and I started crying telling him about it.  He asked what's in the smoothies I've been drinking.  As I went down the list he stopped me,

"Wait, there's Whey Protein in them?"
"(sniff sniff) Yeah,"
"Did you buy new Whey Protein or have you been using MY Whey Protein?"
He busts up laughing.  "Merzy, my protein powder is a WEIGHT GAINER!  It has 'Muscle Max' and all sorts of other stuff in it to build weight and muscle!"
"[still laughing] You've been building muscle on your runs like crazy!"

So I swapped the protein powder with vanilla yogurt and I am back to where I was pre-"Muscle Max". I felt like Rachel McAdams on Mean Girls with her Caltine Bars.  We are still laughing about it. :)

My little brother came into town 2 weekends ago to "try out" for a job as a lifeguard at Huntington Beach this summer.  He got the job so if you're drowning in HB this summer, have no fear.  I have to say Cameron is winning at the game of life lately, and he 100% deserves it.  He got an academic scholarship, got the aforementioned job for which hundreds applied, he's got the cutest girlfriend who loves him to bits (who will be lifeguarding with him), and has an internship in San Clemente too.  I am so proud of him!

Anyway when he was here I handed Jude over to him and the phenomenon continued: whenever Cameron is holding Jude, my baby goes into a stupor.  He stares at Uncle Cam "like he's just seen his first Trans Am".  This goes on for minutes straight.  Hilarious.

Better go start din-din!

07 March 2012

Kauai II

Giving Jude's legs some taste of the ocean; he liked it ok but preferred the pool.

Swiftly he crammed handfuls of sand into his cute mouth.  It had a kitty litter effect on his diapers that he didn't love.

Jude learned about jealousy on this trip.  He's never been upset by other babies; he loves to be social.  But Violet apparently wears the threat of "as long as she's around no one will ever love me!!!"  No matter who was holding him, if she was within eye shot, he started screaming and lunging for the person holding her.  It made us laugh because he'd never rejected me before this, he's never been a competitive one, and we could see the wheels turning in his little head. "I must be the only baby, it must be ME!!!"


Family Pictures.  More on these below.  But there was this little section roped off to the right because it apparently had been at one time the plot of land for a temple that was destroyed.  So stay away and KAPU.

Note to self: Next time, if you want to take family pictures on vacation, do it at the beginning BEFORE you gorge on food for a week.

Jude was either snuggling for no apparent reason or wriggling to be free from our arms.  About 4 seconds after this picture we set him down and he got ahold of some chicken poop.  Let your imagination run riot as to how we reacted.

Love my baby.  The flights may have been a bit stressful, but once we got there Jude was a DREAM.  I was nervous that, like in Palo Alto in the fall and the Utah part of Christmas, he wouldn't sleep and neither would I.  The island calmed him with pixie dust or something, because he slept 12 hours a night and 2 naps during the day like he does at home.  We couldn't believe it.  This trip got me feeling all gutsy and ready for the big league trips.  

Jeff dunking his face and blowing bubbles had Jude in stitches.  Major father-son time.

I think we'll be at our pool a lot this summer.

The Grand Canyon of Hawaii

Violet and Bryan on our hike -- they were fantastic travel buddies.  We shared a 2 bedroom condo, and it was great to put the babies down and have the common room to hang out in, talk, and watch TV.  We also could babysit for each other so each couple could go get some ice cream, bring food back, soak in the jacuzi, etc.  

We hiked along the Napali Coast, which was amazing.  We wanted to take a boat ride alongside to see it from the other perspective but they were all a 4-6 hour affair, no babies allowed.

Just a baby in nature.


The spouting horn

One eventide the 3 of us went to watch the sunset.  It was incredible and I'll never forget sharing it with my 2 best boys.

Jude's first lesson of Economics: Scarcity.  I could just see him thinking, "Wha???  The chickens...they-they-they STOLE my CRACKERS!!!"

Jude loves Amber.

As previously mentioned, we ate out.  A LOT.  We didn't really mean to, it just happened.  So we got fat and friendly.

Caught this.  He is so cute.

I was depressed to lose this uninterrupted family time when we were back.  We enjoyed every minute, and I really mean it!

Amber did all the research beforehand and we got to benefit.  The last morning we went to the hotel next door for the top rated breakfast on the island.  The big crowd pleaser is the (get ready) lemon pineapple souffle pancakes.  Are you kidding me??  Unfortunately with all the eating we'd been doing, and how full we constantly felt, yikes.  They brought out these gigantic plates and they were amazing, but we couldn't quite finish them all.  Jude lived it up, whacking the utensils against the table.  

Giving some kisses

So sad to be going home.  We also were so sad to have overshot the amount of time we'd need to return the rental car, etc., and had tons of free time.  Jude decided to be an extreme hooligan during that time.

When I think of this trip, I sort of have to think of Whitney Houston's death too.  While we'd all watch tv at night or during breakfast, it was ROUND THE CLOCK reporting.  It was so another one of those celebrity free-for-all competitions of "NO ONE is more sad than ME about this!!!  I haven't stopped crying since it happened!" which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that they're saying all these things to get attention and industry credibility.  Clearly if you're heartbroken over Whitney Houston's death, you must have been close to her and therefore wildly talented and successful.  I thought it was horrible and sort of hilarious, the statements musicians of little consequence were making. It's like trying to cry the hardest at Girl's Camp.

He slept really well on the flight home.  Ironically, he remained knocked out for the landing announcements, the landing itself, when the engines turned off, unloading all our stuff, but then he screamed the whole drive home from the San Diego airport.  

05 March 2012

Time Out from HI

  • Hair dilemma: I am in such a hair slump, and if you're me, that is saying something.  My bangs are longer than they have ever been and part of me would like to just have long hair without stubs stuck to my forehead.  BUT, I do love bangs, obviously I do or this wouldn't be the longest I've gone without them in like 5 years, and they hide my forehead wrinkles.  On the other hand, Jude yanks my hair and I have to put it up.  Would it be cute up with bangs?  I'm not feeling like it's so cute now.  

If you have an opinion and can bother to click out of your google reader, please give me your vote betwixt these two styles (and yes, of course I will live my life with that overdone pout on my face if I decide not to cut bangs):
  • Jude has sticky fingers.  I swear he is propelling himself into crazy land.  I am learning that nothing is out of reach for him.  At Faye Barttels' 1st bday party I had a slice of cake on a plate, I thought, far away from him.  He lunged and snatched the whole piece and shoved it into his face.  He ate most of it, too.  Similar scenarios happen far too often -- and I'm being so careful!   While he perches on my hip he will casually lean and knock things over.  It reminds me of Rupert from Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels tipping vases off the mantle to cause trouble.  I grit my teeth and remind myself he doesn't do it to upset me, he's just so sly about it I can't help but wonder.  

  • The MyFitnessPal app is pretty much dreamy.  My sisters and I have been buddying up and working with this app for a few months.  Sometimes I get lazy about it but it is probably the best one I've ever come across.  Having "friends" on it with you helps with the motivation, and it has the best food library.  I've been making a lot of smoothies from the book Revive and this app has a barcode scanner that makes "creating a recipe" ultra fast. 
  • Speaking of the smoothies, you MUST try out the above mentioned book and its smoothies.  I honestly feel like I'm doing my body huge favors by drinking them, Jeff is all flags forward, and as picky an eater as I am, they are tasty.
  • Today is the last day you can watch Downton on pbs.org.  The big question on my mind is whether or not Netflix is going to pick up Season 2 so I can have that as white noise throughout the day.
  • We watched LiLo's "comeback" on SNL.  So much face work done.  She's my little sister's age.
Resume Hawaii Posts.