23 February 2014

"The Big D"

For Christmas, Jude and I got Disneyland passes.  This gift was a subject of some debate.  On one hand, I don't want our kids to think Disneyland is no big deal, or be spoiled to go there so often.  On the other hand, having it so close is a perk of living in Southern California, passes used often make entrance pretty darn cheap, and it's an activity that we ALL enjoy.  You know those gem activities when you're in the trenches of raising young, dependent children, those activities that both parent and child are happy to participate in?  Jeff wouldn't be able to go much because the passes we got are blacked-out most Saturdays, so he didn't want one, but I convinced him that he'd never forgive himself if he wasn't there for Jude and Graham's first visit to Disneyland. He got a one-day pass.

One Saturday in January, the boys were still a teensy bit wobbly in the tummy, but we had nothing pressing on the schedule, Jeff didn't see a weekday coming up he could escape the office, we realized black-out days don't apply to the first time an annual pass is used, and so we filled the bottom of the stroller with Pedialyte, Gatorade, cheerios, granola bars, and zipped up the 5 to "The Big D" (as my parents used to call it). 

It was a little crazy to be the parents in this situation.  I kept watching the kids thinking, "So this time we're the parents bringing our kids here??"  Very surreal, and it felt like a very big step in parenthood.  But so much fun. Jude vacillated between overjoyed and overwhelmed, and Grahamsky was just happy to be along.  Here is some photo proof of the day:


Screenshot of Jeff's Instagram of the obligatory flower Mickey Mouse family photo -- it looks like I was digging my nails into Jeff's shoulder/arm, but I promise I wasn't.

Sssshhhocking!  Disneyland wore out my baby.

Before he got worn out, though, he blew out his diaper.  (I did bring a spare outfit, but he looked so cute and pleased in his nakedness, plus he'd pinched Jude's cup of Gatorade, and I obviously had to take a picture.)

While we waited 45 minutes in line to see "Mickey" (see total biff below), the boys played in line like hooligans.
About 3/4 of the way through the long line to see Mickey at his little house in Toon Town, we realized there were only little girls surrounding us in line, and the closer we got to the house it was very pink; we'd gotten in the wrong line and we were going to see Minnie. Woops!  Luckily, the boys didn't give a woopdeedoo.  In fact, this was a stop we made pretty early in the day when Jude was a little weirded out by the characters.  He would freeze up a bit and cling to us but I could see it in his eyes, he was suspicious, pitied them, and admired them all at once.

Main Street really is still exciting to me!

Meeting McQueen "Muhkeen!" blew Jude's mind.  We also saw Mater, and Red the Fire truck.  He still talks about this.  It's like when my mom had been reading the Cinderella book to me and Elizabeth for months on end, and on our first trip to Disneyland, within a few minutes of entering the park, Cinderella approached us on Main Street, knelt down, and gave Elizabeth a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  My mom said it brought tears to her eyes, and she wanted to ask, "How did you know?!"  McQueen didn't kiss Jude on the cheek, but if you tickle his headlights he giggles, and the whole thing just made our day!

Jeff and I were both so impressed with Radiator Springs.  On some rides Jude would not let himself be excited until it was over.  He'd sit with a deer-in-headlights face until it was over, and then as soon as his feet hit solid ground he would jump up and down and yell about how it was the best thing he'd ever done in his life :).  A major error on the part of MOI: after 6 hours at the park, the boys were fading and we figured we had enough time for one more ride before the boys would be deranged by exhaustion.  I thought it would be awesome to go on a ride that's been around since the 80s -- aka a ride I'd gone on as a child.  The shortest wait was for Pinocchio, so that's what we picked.  As soon as the safety bar was lowered and the lights dimmed I realized this was a baaaad move. And with each subsequent millisecond the ride got scarier and scarier, and it took Jude all of 2 seconds to start wailing, and then he wailed louder and louder.  Do kids even enjoy that ride anymore??  It's all loud carnival music, creepy images popping out at you, you get eaten by a whale, and there was nothing to do but sit and live through it and hope the car we were on would pick up some speed.  Jeff and I had a pretty good laugh about it, but we booked it outta there and of course they fell asleep before their car seats were even buckled.  He seems to have tucked that nightmare somewhere deep into the dark corners of childhood terror memories, and has not mentioned it since. :)

And since we've gone about once a week.  I'm such a lucky mom to get to go with my kids and my friends -- they love it every time!  Jude dances while watching street performers do Newsies numbers, loves the Jungle Cruise, Monsters Inc. ride, and I think next time I'll try Pirates of the Caribbean. 

19 February 2014


More stuff:

That little hand: Jude can be quite the Mr. Bossy Boots.  Sometimes this results in me saying, "Jude, I'm the mom."  Sometimes we'll be driving and he tells me which direction to go, and he does the cutest thing guiding me with his hand.  Fingers together, his thumb extended, he holds his arm out and ushers me (or tries to).  "This way, Mommy, go this way."  Sometimes we aren't going the way he wants me to and wails from his car seat, unfortunately.

Sometimes Jude says, "Hello, my mommy!"

He's way into "I did it a' by mysef!" but is very kind in crediting everyone he loves with creating anything he likes around the house.  Like, Grandma made his blocks. :)  I ask him a lot "Jude, are you happy?" so now he will just volunteer it, "Mama, I'm happy."  On Sunday he said, "Mom, snuggle me."  "Ok."  Sometimes I really want to call him my baby boy, but don't you dare make that mistake.  He will sob (like a baby) and say, "Noooo I a BIG BOYYYYYY!" 

Whenever I'm on the floor, usually kneeling or squatting and changing Graham's diaper, Jude comes up behind me and tackles me, knocks me down or throwing his arms around my neck and choking me. They beat me up every single day.  They drop heavy toys or objects on my bare feet, pull my hair, Graham is obsessed with chewing on anything and his razor teeth hurt every time, he bonks his gigantic head into my cheek bone and/or gives me a fat lip, really, I get pummeled on the regular.

Graham has been such a mom's boy lately and I'm loving it.  He hides his face in my shoulder, gives me coy smiles, and only wants me to put him down when he thinks I'm staying close by.  But on the other hand, while we're out and about, he wants to be free of a buckle or human hip of any kind and wants to crawl wherever he fancies.  Speed crawling just like Jude did, putting holes in his pants, probably a month or two away from walking. 

Graham is still my crazy bottomless pit, eating at all times of the day as if I only allow him a lettuce leaf for meals.  He says, "MMMMMMMMM" whenever he sees food or I put him in his high chair.  He also says "uh-oh" which makes me worry that out of all the words he hears in our house, that's the one he hears most consistently :).  He loves to pick up a ball, throw it a few feet, laughing hysterically, and then he chases it, and repeats.  He buzzes his lips and squishes his chin down to glorify the chub under his there.  I want to eat him.

My favorite thing from today: Jeff came home from work and I ran upstairs to take a shower.  As I came downstairs I could hear laugh-squealing.  All 3 of my boys were wrestling and jumping on the giant teddy bear, Graham was wild with delight to be in on the frenzy and kept pouncing on the bear and biting it, it was all pretty great.

13 February 2014

Jude, my 3 year old

This little hunk is going to be 3 tomorrow, and I don't really know what to do about that.

It just is crazy how much he's changed in the last year!  Not just with speech, but he's taller, toilet trained, his imagination is exploding, he's in a "big boy bed," not napping (humph!), eating almost anything, and just is so darn grown up.  I see how suddenly this growth means I must relinquish some amount of control.  I don't even want to think about the control withdrawals that await me in years to come!  (sob!)

He turns his giant bear into anything from a "boat in the ocean!" to a "wocketship" to a tent.  He sat in the laundry basket and it was a boat, and he took his nerf gun and made it a screw driver to fix a leak at the bottom of the vessel.  He will point to a crack in the sidewalk and tell me it looks like the letter Y.  He counts to 10, usually when he's letting me know how many M&Ms he wants as a reward for relieving himself in the potty.

Which brings me to: potty trained is AWESOME.  I was not looking forward to it because I was sure we'd be stopping every 20 minutes of life to go to the bathroom.  I also worried about it dragging on and on forever, and that he'd have accidents all the time.  I mean, he's so strong-willed!  Everyone kept telling me to wait until he was ready.  I wondered, "What if when he's 'ready' it happens to be when he's 5 years old?!"  Well once again all my concern was for naught, because the readiness dawned at 2.9ish years of age, and he has done an amazing job.  Only a handful of accidents, and I wouldn't even have minded keeping him in a pull-up at night, but he doesn't need one!  I'm so proud of him!  And buying diapers for 1 child is so very nice.  He's very proud of himself for #2 and will tell me all about just how he pulled off the job.  I also love having him potty trained because his little bum is so adorable without a thick wall of diaper covering it! 

Which brings me to: he's very into modesty lately.  What happened to the little boy who would do anything to run around in a loin cloth??  He freaks out if he doesn't have all his clothing on. 

Lately the things Jude says most frequently are:

  • I wanna hold you. (The snuggle inclination is still at a steady incline.)
  • I come with you?  (Which always makes me chuckle -- he ALWAYS comes with me.)
  • Gammy, come pay wis me!
  • I wanna bite it.  (This is referring to food.  He doesn't bite anyone, but he pinched Graham today.)
  • I need Daniel Tiger.
  • I need [insert food, blocks, candy in the grocery store check-out line, etc. etc. etc.].
  • Mommy came back!
  • It's DEEEEElicious!
  • I love Grandma/Grandpa/Mimi/Papa/trucks/Gammy/Daddy -- I hope when I'm not around he's reporting to other people that he loves his dear old MOM!
  • This is my Gammy.  (He loves to introduce his little brother.)

He said to me the other morning, arms outstretched, as he came over to my side of the bed upon waking up, "Welcome!"  Welcome, indeed!  He runs me ragged, makes me laugh, and I couldn't ever explain to him how much we love having him.  Happy bday, Juju!

06 February 2014

Graham is ONE!

How amazingly cruel it is that we can't rewind.  Our Grahammy's first year has gone by in the blink of an eye.  Each day I knew that I was in the middle of something singularly wonderful with this cherub on my hip.

Obviously, being the first child has its bonuses and drawbacks.  Jude got me (us) all to himself for 2 years.  But, I was a novice, and that dragged a lot of minuses with it.  Graham had to share me from the minute I got home from the hospital, but I knew what I was doing (mostly).  I also didn't really care much about what developmental milestones were on the horizon, I was able to appreciate each minute just for what it was and where he was in his babyness.  I had made it through 2 years of parenting Jude, I knew I could make it through with Graham, so I was ready to relish.

On top of this, Graham is, in my humble opinion, just perfect.  And he makes us all happier and better.  There is no grump he could not charm out of a funk; he is the ultimate elixir of joy.  These last several weeks I can see some of the pre-toddler angst as he wants to keep up with Jude but lacks some of the mobility, but it is his inclination to enjoy life.  I wonder daily how I got so lucky to be mother to these two boys, and I'm trying really hard not to screw them up.

The LDS church promises joy in this life and in the life to come if we are faithful.  I've tried to always live in a way that would make Heavenly Father happy.  With my husband and our children, I feel God has given me this joy beyond measure, despite my many, many flaws and the mistakes I make.  It's like Elder Holland once said, "There is theology in the family."  Now I'm going off on a tangent, but as I look back on this last year with Graham, and the last 3 years with Jude, and last 4 years with Jeff, the love is so sacred, I know in my heart it could not touch this life only.  This is stuff that is absolutely heavenly, and meant to go on forever.

Graham, thanks for being my baby.  We can't do anything but love you!

04 February 2014

From the mouth of Jude

Walking by this interesting display in Nordstrom (a huge cage with a mannequin inside it), Jude goes, "Mom!  Look at THAT time out!" Like he was thinking, "What poor sap blew it big enough to wind up in THERE??"

As I tucked him into bed tonight: "Thanks, mom.  It's Chistmas time."

Jeff was tucking him into bed the other night and said, "Jude, I'm just going to rest here for a minute."  Jude pointed silently in the direction of our bedroom and after a few seconds exasperatedly said, "No, sleep in there, with mom!"

In his car seat: "Mom, I'm a little stuck!"  Well, yes my child, that is the whole point.

That's all I can think of for now.  I love his little ways!