23 April 2012

While Dad was weeding in the front yard...

14 Meses

It's time for a Jude update, and I'm bringing it.

This boy.  He becomes more...everything...every day.  More funny, more communicative, more opinionated, more exasperating, more exhausting, more silly, more mobile, more muscly every day.  I've started to wonder in the mornings as I hear him rustling in his crib, "What will Jude pull today?"  And I mean that in a good way.  It's a thrill to see him grasp the things I've been trying to teach him, as well as come up with new tricks of his own.

Some things off the top of my head:

*He finally loves his Lovey Monkey.
*He accepts water now.  
*He is obsessed with his walker we inherited from Ian -- he is completely capable of walking on his own but prefers to tear around the house with the walker.  He did it for about an hour and a half straight last Thursday and was sweating when I had to take it away for a nap.
*I think he has a crush on Amber.  He gives her this coy glance and pulls out all the stops for her.
*If you "doggy sniff" in his ear or nibble on him he laughs hysterically.
*He shrieks and whips his arms all over when Jeff comes home.
*He's starting to say "whoa" and oooh and aaah over things.
*He loves the chandelier in the front hall and points his heart out at it whenever it's in view.
*The binky is not so popular anymore.  He waves it away most of the time and only really wants it at night.  Fine with me.
*When he's done with his sippy, he doesn't put it down or even drop it.  He chucks it.  I have been on far too many runs with him where all of a sudden I see the sippy sailing to the bushes, and I have been on far too many runs where I then must dig it out of the bushes.  They are also starting to crack and leak.  Buh.

This isn't new, but he just loves STUFF.  Whatever it is, kitchen utensil, diaper case, book, sock, pants hanger, you name it, especially if he hasn't had much exposure to it, that's what he wants.  And it still goes straight into the mouth.

He squeals with boundless excitement when I turn on the bath water.  He tries to drink it.  Gross.  But bath time is still a major plus in this house.

He's more often than not just a happy, happy boy.  You just can't be in a situation where you have to hold him still.  ;)

I am so grateful for the pool and outdoor activities that are coming our way!  Because you know, it's just so hard to do many things outside during our frigid winters :).

He loves hanging out on Dad's shoulders and will always lean forward to give him a few kisses.  He is majorly into whacking so we have to hit Dad's head too.  In his mind I'm sure they're "love pats".

This is one of my favorite pics of him and makes me hope his curls come back.  This smile says so much to me about his disposition -- curious, sweet, happy, and full of squish.

One of my favorite things about this age is his pointing.  He gets this earnest look on his face and in his little way tells me what he's interested in or surprised by.  I love it when he points at me while he's drinking his sippy.  I feel like he's saying, "Hey, you.  I love you.  Don't go away, you stay right there.  You gave me this bottle, didn't you.  Thanks.  I love it."

He still doesn't want to watch TV but I tried The Muppets last week and he watched it about 5 minutes longer than he'll watch any other kid shows I've tried.  That brings us to about 7 minutes.  I doubt he'll care about TV in a consistent way before he turns 2 which means the American Pediatric Bunch will be very pleased.  He also constantly wants 3 off-limits things in the family room: the shutters (so he's banned from sitting on the couch until he gets over it), the fireplace (note the blanket basket's relocation to block it off), and the tv cabinet that's got a fabric-y screen on the doors he wants to poke out.  I've covered it as best I can with the Target ottoman I got when I was single that Jeff says is kind of ugly, and his Zany Zoo toy.  Incidentally he plays with the Zany Zoo much more now that it's perched higher up.

He loves to take a ziplock full of anything and whack it around. ???  These grapes were in for it but I saved them.

This is him whacking around a ziplock of our leftover Easter candy -- kept him entertained for a good long while during church and afterwards.  Hard times come calling when the ziplock breaks.  I don't want to get into the mess he made, quick as lightening I might add, in the foyer during Sacrament Meeting last week because the mental image is still an ugly one.

This little Jude is a good egg.  We feel so blessed to have him.

22 April 2012

New Noggin, Car, and Glasses

This weekend was a pretty big one for me.

We've been looking for the right "family car" for months.  Friday night was the night we pulled the trigger and BOOM!  Now there's a Honda Pilot in our driveway that I keep reminding myself is mine for the driving!    

Next: Four/For Eyes

Remember when I got glasses?  Well now I'm far-sighted too, and so to the optometrist I went.  Again. 

Here are my new glasses -- which brings me to....

We got Jude's hair cut this weekend.  I was planning on letting it grow wild and free, but an unfortunate trend was occurring: it was getting long and scraggly on top and in the front, the curls weighed out, and then in the back he had these tight curls that kept it close to the noggin.  The funk factor was a little too much for this boy (in my view) so we had it shaped up.  

He was doing great and feeling awesome, despite this stranger spraying water on his head and cutting, but the infant 2 rocket-seats down was having a full-on panic attack and after a while that started to wear on Jude.  It all ended in tears.  They gave me an envelope of his sheared curls and I will probably clutch it to my cheek years from now and weep for the days of yore.

Now he looks very old to me.  Also I would like to mention he has a natural faux hawk and it's much more coarse now that those (sniff) baby hairs are gone.  I love this little boy.  He brings so much happiness and excitement into our home and life.

A good but busy weekend for loads of reasons, and I am now going to go tackle Jeff and force him to snuggle with me while re-watching Mission Impossible 5 because we were too out of it to grasp all the twists and turns when we watched it on Friday night at 11:00.

Reuniting in the name of Love

 On Saturday, our dear friend Dre got married.  I was itching to get to the wedding to a) support AnDREa and Collin on their big day, b) see how amazing her hair looked, (she has this fantastic sheet of hair that can not be improved upon.  Several people asked me while looking at the wedding announcement on the fridge if she has extensions.  Nope, it's just unjustly beautiful.) and c) see some of our old Huntington Buddies.  I miss and love them!  Hugs abounded and I drank in every drop of catch-up chatter over delicious food.

Did I mention I love these guys??  Some of our HB friends we see regularly because they followed us down south, but I wish ALL of them would.  Some good times have been had with these ladies and gentlemen.

 Me and my date.  I wish we could've stayed longer, but baby etc. summoned us back.

Congrats to the new Willardson Family, you guys are terrif.

15 April 2012

Cameron and Katelyn

News flash, people: My brother Cameron is marrying Katelyn!!!

They got engaged last night and really, we are so pumped.  I knew Katelyn's sister briefly at BYU and we reconnected in Huntington -- small world.  Also, Sarah and I both worked for Katelyn's brother-in-law one summer.  Crazy.  But anyway, they met independent of these connections last summer, and in August Katelyn picks up the last name I put down!  

This is a pairing of genetic marvels -- they are both lanky, athletic ones who breathe cleaner air than you or I, well-schooled in water sports, they have a high propensity for tanning, eye-catching teeth, and pretty blonde hair.  She and he are going to be lifeguards in Huntington Beach this summer, and, get ready for this cheesy awesomeness: they are going to ride their bikes to work together from Katelyn's parents' house.

I feel a tug at the heart over this wedding I didn't quite have with Elizabeth or Sarah.  Cameron is the sweetest little brother and always has been.  He quietly looks for ways to help everybody, which means when he comes over my dishes are suddenly done and/or the dishwasher is unloaded.  He's one of those no-judgments people, so everyone feels comfy.  He's hilarious and mellow and hard working.  I have seen in the past, as I'm sure you have too, nice guys like Cam get snatched up somehow by selfish minxes or girls who just don't appreciate the pot of gold he is.  This was my worry with Cameron -- that similarly to Edward Ferrars, "[Cameron] is entirely the kind of compassionate person upon whom [mean girls] can prey".  I just wanted him to end up with someone who would understand and be grateful for what he innately is.  I am so relieved and happy to say that I am 100% certain that Katelyn is that girl.  And she is a great match for him, and...ahem...just watching them make eyes at each other you know they're in love.  My protective heart is appeased, and I am looking forward to the party. :)

Congrats, you two crazy kids.

Tree Chopping

Another reason for the left to hate us.

We had a big old tree in our back yard that tickled our bedroom windows and reached up almost to the chimney.  That sounds awesome at first, but then you find out it isn't awesome because that tree dumped somewhere between 3,945 and 4,271 leaves a day.  Then the leaves instantly turned black with a weird film on them.  I used to clean them up but it was pretty disheartening to look out the back yard door or windows 20 minutes later and see it just as it had been.  Jeff takes a DIY attitude with everything in the house, and I'm usually on board, but I forbid him to climb up 30 feet to chop it down.  Besides, after buying the saw and harness, wouldn't we shell out about as much cash as it would be to hire out, AND he'd lose a Saturday in the process?

We arranged the chop-down with a nice man who promised he'd come by "sometime on Saturday."  As the 3 of us hung out in our bedroom Saturday morning after a run, we wondered out loud what time it would happen.  Then we heard some rustling and looked out the window:

There he was, tearing that thing right down.  

Jude was mesmerized; Jeff was having bittersweet feelings as it does feel wrong on some level to cut down a healthy tree.  I just kept thinking about the back yard unavoidably and constantly covered in black discards.

Now the patio is immaculate and lovely, there are gallons more light pouring into our bedroom window, and we're full of plans of what to do with our back yard.  

The End

09 April 2012

Kauai III

Ha!  You thought I was done with Hawaii.

Just a few more thoughts and a video of Jude eating his 1st Birthday Cake.  

Some extra things I loved about this vacation:
  • I loved getting out of bed in the morning and, upon surveying the piles of sheets and blankets, turning my back and walking out the bedroom door in search of breakfast goods.  Having the bedroom and bathroom cleaned by magical Hotel Fairies was something I thoroughly appreciated.  
  • Jeff vacations hard core.  I can't help but be swept up in his Vacation-to-the-Death mentality.
  • When Jeff and I were dating we went to his jacuzzi at least 4 times a week.  With Bryan and Amber there, we could all take shifts and get reacquainted with those bubbling tubs of chlorine.  Heaven!

Our baby turned 1!  Besides partying hard we told him about 5,000 times he was a 1 year old. My mind was flooded with memories of his birth.  I couldn't really make Jude's cake, although I would've loved to (especially considering Hawaii's cruel prices).  We got this gelato cake for a whopping $30.  Here is a clip of him enjoying it -- be still my heart:

08 April 2012


A Happy Easter to One and All!

This year I knew it wasn't going to be a big affair.  Jude still doesn't know what's going on, can't eat all that candy, and Jeff and I are trying to toe the healthy line.  I threw some Cadbury Mini Eggs into oh, about 5 fillable eggs, 1 Reese's egg (my choice), and 1 classic Cadbury Egg (Jeff's choice) into baskets for  my boys, and that was that.  When I was little I would've sold both of my thumbs on the black market for a Cadbury egg with the orange and white filling...oh the dreams I had.  Those didn't often make it into our baskets and in adulthood I understand why.  Those things are disgusting.  The only good thing about them is the shell.  Filled with fruity flavored sugar goop?  There is such a thing as too sweet and the texture-particular side of me starts wailing sirens at the sight.

Sidenote: I also threw a Greek yogurt into Jude's basket and a Diet Coke in Jeff's to save him a walk to the fridge.  Yes, yes, my kindness knows no boundaries.

My kindness is about to extend to an insight into our morning:

Jude finally loves playing in the bath and I give him one pretty much every day.  Since I insisted on washing him in the sink for almost his first year, I had no bath toys and nothing to keep him from sliding around in the tub and cracking his head open, or at the very least knocking out all of his teeth.  I picked up some bath accouterments, among them some letters and numbers that will stick to the tub walls when wet.  

This morning as we scrubbed our Jude, Jeff started putting random letters on the wall:

"J is for Juju,
V is for Valentine's Day when you were born,
5 is the age you aren't yet,
C is for the grades we hope you don't get,
F is for a word we never, ever, ever say...."

I'll say it again, I love my JH.

It's funny how holidays really do get you thinking about your childhood holidays.  I've said before my parents were not obsessive about pictures, much less formal or professional pictures.  Obviously the digital revolution has made photo obsession easier and more justifiable, but anyway.  My mom DID very often get an Easter picture, probably because she very often made us matching Easter dresses.  Empire waists, ribbon tying in the back, lace, Ralph Lauren-ish florals, you know what I be talkin. 

So this morning as we're getting out the door, I, the pusher of family photos, realized not only had I not planned a photo, but Jude was not wearing an Easter outfit and the sun was blazingly bright.  Without time to set up a tripod, this is all we got:

Until next year, EBunny!

04 April 2012

Hard Knocks

Ok this blog post is not about the serious tragedies going on in the world.

Loving my house as I do, I have been unable to either figure out what to do at all with a couple of spots, or feel that I am just a couple of switches away from really maximizing the look of a couple of other spots.

I know it's considered an upgrade to have some glass cabinets but I almost wish they weren't.  I can not figure out how to make them look right.  It's been 2 years, people.  I have switched things around so many times Jeff probably thinks I'm nuts.  Right now I have baskets at the top, which I'm happy with, then on the bottom shelf we have our glasses, some awesome mixing bowls from my MIL, then our plates and bowls, and on the middle shelf a jumble of my cook books, hurricanes, a wooden box, an embossing print from our friend Meredith, picture of me and Jeff, and a couple of other knick knacks.  I love the stuff in it, I just don't think it's meant to be and I should redistribute the stuff in there.  (I should mention I'm big on symmetry and this is not symmetrical.) Then I think to myself, "well, my eyes aren't fresh on this. I stare at these walls all day -- my perspective is skewed."  So maybe I have gone nuts :).

I have all these great white ceramic pitchers and serving bowls from our wedding I'd like to put in there, and it would make sense since it IS the kitchen, but with the white background they just seem to get lost.  It looks like nothing is in there.  I'm debating putting removable wallpaper up for some contrast, but then what color?  Printed or solid?  I'm so wishy washy with color and it's nearly impossible for me to pull the trigger.  I do want to keep it simple, that's all I know.  

Moving on to The Nook:

Just to the right of this picture, taken from almost halfway up the stairs, is our front door.  I think this nook is a cute idea, but I don't see how I can make the space useful, and aesthetically pleasing from this view. 

Who knows why this photo rotated this way, but here's the inside of the nook.  It's actually bigger than it looks.  Anyway, it's currently hiding our wreath (we have a wreath for Easter celebrations out there this minute), and the dry cleaning bag. :)

I'd thought about putting a desk in there where the kids can do homework (eventually...like when we have more than one child and they're actually scampering off to school...which sounds unfathomable to me right now but I'm quite sure that day will dawn before I know what's happened....).  But then this random desk chair would be sticking out from the view from the stairs and front hallway?  What should we do there?  I have a refinished dresser I could stick in there.  Again, I never said this blog post was dealing with tough problems.  :)

I took THIS style quiz, and I'm 33% Nantucket, 17% Cottage Chic, but mostly 

Rustic Revival

Rustic Revival

You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?" Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic /vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.

I would pretty much agree with this.  I even like rustic color schemes with very few pops of color.  I also gravitate toward:

*candles and hurricans.  I have a wee obsession there. 
*I prefer a big focal piece over knick knacks.  This is also applied to bedding pillows.  
*I like to use wall space up in symmetrical ways, but again, with fewer larger pieces rather than many small pieces.
*when it comes to indoor plants or flowers in a vase, I love arrangements that are packed and full and lush, and I love topiaries, shaped plants, or big, full plants.  

Basically what I need is for someone with decorating knowledge to just come and tell me what to DO.

And to conclude this gem of an internet contribution: 
My hair is up in a bun on the top of my head 99% of the time, and this has been my M.O. for years.  I do my hair some Sundays, if we are getting pictures taken, or if we go out on a date.  The other evening my hair looked like this as per usual.  Jeff asked as he joined me on the couch, 
"So is that how you're doing your hair now?" 
"Is this your new hairstyle of choice?"  
I love that guy. :)

01 April 2012

Hunger Games

After a couple of crazy weeks we finally got to go see Hunger Games last night. My thoughts:

(sidenote: Jeff just came in, looked behind my shoulder, and said, "Your thoughts.  Will you put in my thoughts too?" "Sure, what are they?" "I don't know I'm still thinking about it."

- Jennifer Lawrence was perfect.
- In the books I was totally on Team Peeta.  I wasn't so convinced in the movie.  There was just something missing.
- Cried a few times.  I wasn't expecting it to be a tear jerker.
- I had read somewhere during casting that Robert Downey Jr. was up for Haymitch, and after that no one else would do.  Plus Woody Harrelson's plastic hair was atrocious.  But in the end he was pretty funny and I was a believer.
- I laughed every time Stanley Tucci/Cesar the host would give background info, "For those of you who don't know, those are deadly blah blah blah" when it was so clearly, "For those of you who didn't read the books, those are deadly blah blah blah".  I know that happens in every movie, it was just much more in your face and it cracked me up.

All in all I give it 4 stars!  Sign me up for the next one!

Jude and I had some fun with PhotoBooth this week.  We normally don't venture into the office because he turns into a whirling dervish and can demolish important things quick as you can say "Bob's your uncle," but he worked with me a bit this time.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, I've never been a give-me-summer-or-give-me-death girl, but this year I am thrilled to my finger tips about the pool and beach weather that is coming our way!  Jude is going to love it and I am going to love it with him. Peace!