25 December 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

I feel like it's any year between 1987 and 1999 because I can't sleep on Christmas Eve!  

I'm also winding down from one of the best Christmas Eves I've ever had in my life.  For the first time in 4 years, my entire immediate family is here, brood and spouses in tow.  Because of bedtimes and hopes of simplification we didn't do some of the traditional things (outings) that would seem absolutely, 100% necessary to effectuate the proper Christmas glow, but I didn't even care and it didn't take away from anything.  We had a lovely time just hanging out and keeping the marauding babies from injuring themselves.  Not too much sugar, not too much noise (or maybe it was all the same but I was just more emotionally and mentally prepared for the havoc), it was all just perfect, which is, I know, a bold word choice.  We had dinner, a little Family Talent Show (small interruption from Ian's meltdown), back to our house for dessert, the kids playing really well together, bedtime for all babies (the Jexies are staying at our house), and then the adults got to sit around talking and laughing, mostly uninterrupted.  I suppose that's all I really wanted, and it came off without a hitch!

This being my first Christmas as a mother, I would have sung a favorite song at the Family Talent Show, but I really don't think I could have gotten through a verse (no, it was not going to be Breath of Heaven or Mary Did You Know?).  When is this all going to ease off on my emotions?  It feels like ever since February 14 I have lived on a crumbly, narrow strip of composure where weeping borders on either side.  Why don't we throw all that goes along with Christian belief at this time of year?  That will really work wonders for me.

Mimi love 
Launching water balloons at the Elementary School, because Christmas is not Christmas without a dollop of hooligan. Do you see Harry out in the distance?  He got pegged in the shoulder.

Jude and Ian being rugrats, comrades, pals.  It turns out the both love climbing on things they shouldn't, eating things they shouldn't, whacking things they should and/or shouldn't, but only Jude finds it necessary to grab hair.

Thees ees thee life.

Dad issuing command re: food.  That little pixie doodle on his lap was the #1 sweetheart and snuggler of the day.  I cannot even tell you.

Guess what: Jeff has an ear infection, a sinus infection, but was still as sweet and Christmassy as can be, and my favorite partygoer. 

Some Christmas bagpipe -- duh.

Tasting dirt for the first time.  No qualms.

Nice, Harry. :)
Until tomorrow!  Merry Christmas!

19 December 2011


  • I remember reading an Albert Schweitzer quote once, "Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory."  I am actually lucky to have good health so Albert, I'm half way there.  Except for a few pockets of life when I was getting the stomach flu all the time, my immune system could beat up your immune system.  Then last night while sitting in the family room chatting up my siblings that are home for Christmas, I could feel the aches coming on.  5 minutes after they left I was bundled up on the couch with a blanket pulled up to my chin, shivering.  The flu whacked me on the head and it's still throbbing.  I never appreciate how healthy I am until I'm not.  Just for added fun, Jude got a skin infection called Folliculitis.  Please don't google image-es it, it's gross and Jude's version is not that bad.  But he is on a couple of antibiotics and for this Jeff and I are sad.  Jeff is starting to feel poorly (because how could he escape at this point?), so maybe DayQuil will be seeing us through this Christmas.
  • This is why Newt would not get my vote:

Just as Huckabee, look-alike of devious President Logan on 24, did not make the cut, Newt/Mr. Henry F. Potter, "the richest, meanest man in the county" will not either.  Am I the only one seeing this resemblance?

  • My mom's Christmas Caramels are legend.  Everyone wants them, no one can make them successfully except her.  Once Jeff and I even made them WITH her standing right there, and they were a crap batch.  Tonight I had her over to really show me how it's done.  To guide me and my silicone scraper, give me all her tricks and bounties of caramel knowledge.  I still don't know how to do it.  Like the English language, there was no consistency with the rules.  The varying temperature, the whisking, the dripping of the cream/condensed milk blend, it's all coded into her wrist and doesn't translate.
  • I'm so out of the music scene I didn't even listen to one second of a new Coldplay song until a few days ago.  I used to be so obsessed with them I could tell you how many days remained until their next album released.  I pre-ordered X&Y and waited up until midnight to begin the download.  My how things have changed.
  • Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

14 December 2011

10 Months: Holiday Baby

Jude's ringing in the beginning of his 11th month of life with a bang-a-rang fever.  Very sad.

While he did offer up a few smiles, this was his zoned-out face most of the day:

Jude is busy busy.  I read in all these books 10 months is the best age for photographing.  What 10 month olds are they talking about?? I can never get him to hold still.  Blurry blurry blurry are the pictures.

In other facets of Jude, his dream is to chew on our shoes.  Dream unfulfilled.

He's pulling himself up on everything, which means he has had a bloody lip and a few spills.  I think the worst part about those are the shocked and horrified looks he gets after, like he's wondering what he ever did to deserve this unpleasant surprise.  I just tell him, "Welcome to mortality."

We put a few toys in his crib, and when he wakes up we can hear him talking to them, and then he climbs up on the bars and jumps.  The mattress squeaking cracks us up.

He wants nothing to do with TV, or any toy for longer than 4 minutes, but if you wanted to tickle him 17 hours a day, he'd let you.

I'm sure he won't remember any of this Christmas, but having him around is making it pretty memorable for us.


13 December 2011

Maybe a little Mini Merzy too.

9 times out of 10, people tell me Jude is a replica of Jeff.
But I have to say I am starting to see bits of Momala creep into his facial expressions, ever in his mouth and nose.

Moi as a wee bairn

Taken today.

But those eyes -- so completely 1000% his dad.

Also, just for the record:

He is not named after Jude Law, (no matter how handsome Jude Law may be).  Can't you just see it: "Yes, my child, it is your father's hope and mine that you grow to be an infidel and a shmoozer, with many millions in your pocketbook from motion picture films."  We do love The Beatles, but most of all I just love the name, and could see us with a little Jude Hayes running around, asking me to fill up his sippy with milk, chocolate milk if I was willing, putting on his shin guards for soccer practice, spilling everything everwhere, making up knock-knock jokes that don't make any sense, etc.

10 December 2011

The Time Has Come, the Walrus said

to baby proof your house.

When Jude wakes up, he's going to be severely disappointed.

Maybe he's a glass-half-full sort of guy, though, and will be excited for one more thing that makes a loud noise when it's whacked,  one more thing to climb on and taste.

09 December 2011


This morning I was talking to my dad on the phone and noticed a big black spider nestled in one of the TV cabinet crevices.  Sometimes I don't mind a spider in the house because, assuming it's not lazy, it will eat a more meddlesome bug.  But this one had a big, juicy body and those are freaky.  I thought to myself it must be done away with when I was off the phone.

When that happened, I returned to the spider spot but it had fled.

A few minutes later, Jude was taking interest in the nothing-spot to the left of the fireplace.  I whipped myself over and YES -- the spider had migrated.  I gasped, slid Jude out of the way (the nice thing about soft cotton pants on wood floors), grabbed the dustbuster, aimed, and ignited.  When I looked, the spider was gone.

Heaving a sigh of relief, I headed for the side door to empty the dustbuster into the garbage bins waiting for pick-up, when I glanced at the nose of the dustbuster.  There sat the angry spider an arm's length away.

Shrieking, I did the only appropriate thing and chucked the dustbuster onto the driveway.

The End.

05 December 2011

Jude and Lyla

A peek into fledgling social skills:

Lyla and Jude are 3 weeks apart.  They've been together from the beginning, because their moms spend quite a bit of time together.

Jude's indifference was once a source of sorrow for Lyla.  She was forced at an early age to develop a thicker skin.

Then Jude realized no man is an island.
Sometimes the affection is mutual.

But for the past little while Crazy J gets a little zealous.

Too zealous?
And then Crazy J gets a little insistent. 
Which ends badly.  
The End.

Aubs' Shower

Saturday we gathered round to celebrate Aubrey's little babe!

I can not wait to meet her.  

I met Aubrey in my first class on my first day of college.  We've been friends ever since and it has been such a treat to share college, missions, dating, marrying, and now babies together.  Throwing this shower was 100% lovely for me.  It was also cake because I had the help of Shauna, Lisa, Erin, and many others.


Erin, Holly, and Mama

Wistfully contemplating motherhood :)

This is how Mormons party hard.

Shauna and Erin, you are both lovely.

If you asked me on any given day I would say I'd love to have all boys, but items like that make me want to have a girl.

There are really 6 people in this photo! 

Lyla's scavenging the wrapping paper.

We had a ball.

Baby Girl is so lucky; she has a mom with so much love to give (and she's hit the gene pool jackpot)!

Happy Shower and Happy Motherhood, Aubrey!

01 December 2011


- Cooking.  I have said before it has taken me a while to find my culinary footing, but I am getting there.  When HRH Gwyneth said "cooking is the sincerest expression of love", it actually, I have to admit, struck a chord.  If I look at it purely as something I am doing to say those 3 winning words to my husband, it makes it much easier.  And from there it has, at times, even been enjoyable.  Usually that's when I try something tricky and it turns out the first time, or when I find a recipe with an ingredient list mostly to completely full of items I already have in the house. 

- Running.  Or is it more accurate to say jogging?  Whichever it is, I do it 6 days a week.  There are times in my past where I ranranran to lose weight but to no avail; I remained as a swarthy cherub a la Sistine Chapel.  So I resented the running and dropped it.  There have also been times where the efforts were fruitful, and not withstanding the large troughs of food I gobbled, the running whittled my waist.  This time it's been sort of in the middle.  I think it's a little bit runn(jogg)ing, a little bit not eating donuts and nachos.  

ANYWAY, another bonus and motivating element is that Jude loves being outside, watching the scenery, drooling to excess, and usually I can run the distance I wish before he starts saying in a slightly distraught voice, "Momomomomomomomomomomom...."

- I have returned to the land of iPhone.  I Face-Time-ed with Elizabeth yesterday morning while we fed our babies bottles. It was awesome and I remembered she naturally looks perfectly coiffed at 6:30 in the morning.

There's more, but it's 10:30 and my brain starts to shut down about now.  That means blogging does too.
The Picture in Parting -- oh yes, lately we also go on at least one walk a day.