29 May 2012

Memorial Day and Other Things

'Twas another good Memorial Day.  We went on a family run, tested out the water bucket park (Jude needs to warm up a bit to all the water spraying everywhere but enjoyed snuggling and splashing around in the shallow water), took my parents and Cameron to 5 Guys, paused at the Los Rios district, and then finished off the day eating dinner with some friends and our chillins.

We came home and after a brief stint mellowing on the couch in a stupor we hit the hay early.

All in all, my kind of day off.  Oh wait...moms don't have days off...I mean my kind of national holiday spent with people I love.

Here is proof of some of the activities:

Watch out -- the dumped water will knock over the big kids!


More cute

Cute again

I love Jude's current Frankenstein walk.  He hobbles and waddles and looks so proud of himself while he does it.  Warms my heart.  So far he's not that much harder to control; he was a fast crawler.  People ask me if I ripped the knee holes in his jeans for swagger; no people, he crawled like a machine for 6+ months.  He has been extra sweet on me lately and gives me tight hugs around my neck and rests his head on my shoulder just for fun.  He's a bit possessive and doesn't like it when Jeff tries to give me a hug while I hold him; Jude pushes him away. If he'd already learnt this word I'm sure it would accompany a "MINE!" When I put him down and leave the room they have a blast.  I read this is normal at this age so there you have it.

"The usual" has pretty much still consisted of trying to teach my baby new things, keeping the boys fed with healthy (and sometimes just reminiscent of healthy) bites, feverishly cleaning the floor by night, slloooowly chipping away at sewing a tepee for Jude, restoring some furniture, speed grocery shopping since Jude will sit for about 2 minutes and then it's a game of trying to keep him in the cart or shopping with him on my hip, and as long as I've been carrying him my arm muscles can't keep up with his girth, and I've been trying to pick up on the exercise again.  Sometimes it's frustrating to wipe down the walls and sweep many times a day, fight Jude ridiculously to change every single diaper and get him dressed.  Being stationed at home carries a weird vibe for myself; if I hang out in sweats I feel like a bum but putting on an ensemble that no one will see and will be barfed or booger-ed on 10 minutes later feels silly too.  It just makes me feel like more of a human being to do it anyway, and I throw in lipstick.  But the point is there are things about my day that seem pointless but necessary.  Getting out and seeing friends has been such a blessing; I am so grateful for good friends round about!  Even though I talk to Jude all day it's so nice to have people that can answer back in discernible English :).  When I stopped running for a few weeks I realized how much better my days are when me and my Nikes get out the door (not withstanding the unsightly task of forcing Jude kicking and screaming into the stroller, giving him a drink so I can buckle him, and then hoping I can get my exercise in without a meltdown).  And when I groan at the treadmill of cleaning, cooking, etc., I think of how lucky I am to be married to a good guy and to have a sweet baby who is a rascal but has so much effervescent love to give and has me wrapped around his tiniest of fingers.  Things are good.

We are going to baby proof the drawers; we were going to try to get away with skipping that. 

Don't ask me what sort of invisible tranquilizer dart hit Jude on Sunday but he lasted the ENTIRE Sacrament Meeting without needing to be taken out ONCE.

He was rolling around on the floor to be silly -- where did he get his amazing wit??? 
Frankenstein-ing his way over to me

23 May 2012

Peers Park and a few other Palo Alto things

When I was a young lass we went to Palo Alto every 9 weeks to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Some families went skiing or camping, or maybe to Hawaii, we went to Palo Alto and sometimes Palm Springs.  Mainly Palo Alto.  I have so many memories of good times there it can just make a girl ache.  Thus saith I, there are few things that could bring me more joy than to see my child playing at one of my old haunts: Peers Park.  We met up with the Jacobs and the Lassens (Paughs) which sweetened the deal even more!

Also, I pin it on all the brain power swirling through the air here, but Jude decided he was good and ready to stand UP from a sitting position!  Sarah and I were watching him Gollum-crawl around in their apartment when he just straightened himself to standing!  It was plain as day he was 9 miles over the moon about his new trick and could not stop squealing and clapping for himself -- in fact, the only thing that knocked him down was his spastic clapping!  Sarah and I were in stitches and clapped for him and waxed shrill, "GOOD JOB, JUJU!!!  GOOD JOB, BUDDY!" 

Since then he's...get ready...taken several steps as long as his destination is me, Jeff, or the iPad.  Now I truly realize how tall he is, and the thing that makes this milestone more awesome is the elation dripping from his sweet face.  What a thrill!

Also, we met a whole bunch of third-year law students and professors that know Harry.  Every single one of them had so many specific, complimentary things to say about him and then they'd say to me, "Oh yeah, you're Sarah's sister --  you look so alike!" We still don't totally see it.  Anyway, it was so nice to hear such lovely things said about the guy my sis married.

Back to the trip: Jude has had access to the iPad maybe 3 times.  Each time he's been so excited it's like his head was about to explode.  While he was begging to be released from the car seat as a last ditch effort I picked up the iPad and just seeing his reflection in the photo booth soothed him.  We took a bunch of pictures which had him all excited and I could even see him without cranking around....

That only lasted so long....

We tried the funky effects.... 

Jeff's fingers made a cameo....

 Which spooked him.

And then he eventually got over it/took a nap/found other things to entertain him.

22 May 2012

Palo Alto 2012

Jeff was invited to be a member of the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors.  There was a conference last weekend, which meant a trip for all 3 of us!

Completely out of chronological order, here it is:

While Jeff was in meetings I got to hang with my most prized little sis.  Aunt Sarah and Jude matched.  They didn't even call each other the night before to arrange it all!
We browsed and perused at the Stanford Shopping Mall and got Sprinkles Cupcakes.  It's all about the frosting for me; I could take or leave the cake.  

Breakfast at Stacks.  

Very cool: Meeting cousin Lizzy.  Jude, as per his baby usual, loved her but was unnerved with jealousy.  Lizzy is dreamy.

We went to San Fransisco on Saturday and waited in a 25 minute line for Bi-Rite ice cream.  It was worth it when we heard a few of the flavors: Strawberry Balsamic, Salted Caramel, and Brown Sugar.

Dolores Park -- it smelled a little...herbal there.....

Dolores' View

Jude's travel skills improve with each trip.  He didn't get all of his napping hours logged but was still pretty fantastic company and bonus: gave me a sleepy snuggle over Indian food.  I think we ate too much on this trip.

There were a few touchy moments on the drive up (and down).  I could hardly blame him; it seems criminal to pin him down for 7 hours!  We tried to calm his antsy frustration with lots of food and thus the car floors were morphed into a thick lawn of crumbs, and the doors were splashed with la leche.  New family rule: only sippies of water allowed in the car!

It wouldn't be a trip to Palo Alto without a quick photo in front of the house I miss and love.

On our way home.  Until next time, Palo Alto, and bring on the bunny ears!

Rugrats United Together

20 May 2012

Home from Palo Alto

and we had a grand old time.

And now, after 7 hours in the car, GOODNIGHT!

14 May 2012

15 Months

Yesterday I got ready for church at my leisure since it was Mother's Day.  (Pronounce the word "leisure" a la Audrey Hepburn in Charade.)  Since we were almost going to be late for church and I didn't know if Jude was ready yet I yelled out as I hurried down the hall, "Where my boys at??"  Jeff ssshed me and when I got downstairs I saw this cute sight -- sweetie pie of my heart.  This hasn't happened in a while.  Mother's Day is clearly exhausting.

Jude is a cheery hoot and holler.  That's what I want to remember most about this age.  He is just fizzing over with high-octane, positive energy and enthusiasm for whatever.  He finds a toy, turns to me, lifts it high above his head so his arm smooshes against his cheek, raises his eyebrows and squishes his lips together as if to tell me, "WHOAH.  Look at what I got!"  He laughs along with us or just on his own.  He kinda sings to himself as he cruises around.  Yesterday in church he sat in the middle of the aisle in the back, looking around at everyone, and every so often lifting both arms in the air in a "Touchdown!" way.  I feel like he's always got his pulse on the tone of a room and whatever that tone is, he wants to psych it up a bit.  He's been saying "yeah," "oooh" and "oh!" for a few weeks.  He gives High 5s.  He moved a pillow from the middle of the floor to the side of the couch so he could climb up onto it and whack the shutters.  He lives life at a rolling boil. He loves his Baby's 1st 100 Words book and after I've pointed to a few things on the page he'll grab my hand to show me what he wants me to show him.  :)  He's still not walking and I am working on it with him.  He's hit all his other milestones when he should and since he's been cruising for 7 months now our pediatrician says he knows HOW to walk, he just needs the GUTS to walk.  Hmmm.  Any tips?  We tried the spoon trick on Saturday but all Jude wanted to do was examine the spoons, not walk while holding onto them.

Anyway we are stoked on him and this age.  He's such a kick.

13 May 2012

Mother's Day

My 2nd Mother's Day was filled with sweet things.  Hard work and thoughtful gifts from Jeff, good messages at church, and dinner with family.  Life isn't perfect, but today pretty much was.

I have a defined bicep muscle in my left arm, I'm still fighting to lose the last bit of baby weight (broken record for months), I traded up a digital alarm clock for a live one months ago, I rarely go to the bathroom in peace, or wear dangly earrings, or have my hair down, I have a knee-jerk crying reaction to stories of dead, sad, mistreated, or lonely babies, I can speed-change a diaper, I have Jude's facial expressions memorized, I lay awake at night worrying about 5 million things I can't control, I see a newborn baby and ache for another one, I have Twinkle Twinkle and I am a Child of God constantly stuck in my head, I recreationally shop for clothes for a pint-sized boy before shopping for myself, I get separation anxiety, and most of all, my #1 fan is Jude, and when he speed crawls to me or shrieks with delight because I'm heading his way, I think to myself the feeling is mutual.

I am grateful every day to be a mom, and grateful every day that Jeff is along for the ride.

Baby Boot Camp

Jude's going to be 15 months on Monday and a few habits had to go.  This week was Baby Boot Camp.
  • Drinking only, and I do mean only, from the same Nuk brand sippy cup that is now impossible to find replacements for, and the ones we own are cracked and leaking from Jude's launch pad arm.
  • Only taking a morning nap, so I was ON from about 12pm to 7 or 7:30.  Babies tend to start out at their happiest in the morning and it degenerates from there.  Even when Jude was taking an am and pm nap, the afternoon waking hours were a little tricky.  Without a nap it was getting a little melodramatic.
  • This is my fault: I wasn't letting him learn to feed himself because I'm OCD about clean floors and walls.  I had to take a deep breath and give him the spoon.  I really hate how this was just the little leagues parallel to how I will have to let go from time to time in the next 5, 10, 15, 20, million years..................[sob crying].

Baby Boot Camp Phase 1: Interestingly enough, he's better at feeding himself than I thought he'd be.

Baby Boot Camp Phase 2: I think he just needed to be ready to push his nap back.  I had tried to work it about a month ago but he just would take either no nap or a 40 minute nap.  Time was on my side and for whatever reason, when I kept him up till 1pm, he went for it and took a 2 hour nap.  Such has it been thenceforth.

Baby Boot Camp Phase 3: Sippy transfer was a little harder.

I have bought so many different kinds of sippies and tried a million methods to coax and encourage and lure him into getting his fluids from something else.  Preferably something else I can replace easily if/when it's lost, broken, or hidden under a seat in the car for a week and I would rather throw it out than open up Pandora's Curdled Milk Box.  And then a few days ago it dawned on me that I have spent WAY TOO MUCH BRAIN POWER on this.  It should not cause this much anguish.  And it also made me excited for the day I can logically explain things to him.

Knowing that the sweetest time of the day is in the morning, and that I love giving him his cherished sippy of milk during that time, I knew I'd flake on Sippy Boot Camp every time unless I rid the house of the soon-to-be Ex Sippies.

Bye Bye.  And yes, I know I should've recycled those DC cans.  I usually do.

It took some screaming, and a few head burials of horror in his hippo chair, but in the end, pinning him down and keeping the nozzle in his mouth until he got hold of the milk waiting for him worked, and now we have....

Ahhhhh.  So much more age appropriate, and no leaking.

Now we just have to find a different method of keeping him happy and quiet in a still stroller or high chair for more than 5 minutes, because Dum Dums make him sticky.

And sometimes we sit on them and have a Dum Dum stuck on our bum.

07 May 2012

Weekend in Vegas

We just got back from J's baptism.  We are proud of this great little boy, the best giver of the best hugs.  He even asked me when we got there, "Did you cut new bangs?  And is that a new dress??  It's like a whole new you!"

It was high time for togetherness, and we loved our trip.

The man of the hour

Jude was in no short supply of attention and new toys.  Heaven.  Of course he really started warming up to everyone about the time we had to go; I wish we lived closer!

Before the baptism even could get off the ground I was in the foyer with my whippersnapper.  I look forward to being able to attend church services in peace again...one day. I combined these pictures on instagram; please note someone ELSE'S bright idea of a McDonalds Diet Coke.  I needed one about then. 

He's not just a whippersnapper, he's a swiper.  I say this all the time but it's probably because his sly snatching of items continues to shock and amaze!  He just whisked this brownie into his little mitts and shoved it into his mouth fast as a hummingbird wing.  And since he'd abandoned the idea of a nap on a day of so much excitement and action, at that point, I was willing to acquiesce. 

"All I need is milk and Aunt E."

As the sun eased off, we all went to the park.  Jude and I have done the swings numerous times, and he's clocked a fair amount of time in the sand, but get ready for his first time on the slide.
He's found his passion and path in life.  Full time slider.

Pure joy.  This picture fills my heart with unending, pure joy.

Such a messy, slimy, happy kid!

Busted!  Self-portrait with a bit of Tylenol slashed on the side of the mouth for some zip (he had a small fever).

No pictures of dinner at a restaurant, but we made a discovery: Dum dums can and will get you through dinner out.  I was so happy to be able to sit and eat and chat.  The napless wonder crashed into a deep sleep on the way home and it was such a beautiful sight I took a picture of Jeff holding our slumbering child.  If it's too dark for you to see that's ok; the image burns brightly in my heart.  

We made it home yesterday.  I must be my mom's daughter because coming home from a trip puts me into clean and unpack and launder hyper drive.  Jude was cool with that because his big thing lately is taking clothes and whipping them around.  You must whip it.

And now we get back into our routine this fine Monday, starting with a tour of the family room and kitchen,  bunny ears placed on one's own head.