30 July 2012

Addendum to 17 Months

My brain has been in a place far, far away lately and I forgot to mention some of my ABSOLUTE favorite things about Jude lately:

- He finally is interested in books.  I used to sit him down on my lap, open a book, and 10 seconds later he was on the other side of the room trying to knock something over.  Now he will bring me a book and sit on my lap with his sippy.  Glorious day!  His current favorites are Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?, The Monster at the End of this Book, and Where's my Mommy?.
- Jude loves to SWIFFER.  This is probably his favorite copy-cat act, because it involves a large stick, but it is such a kick to watch him push around the swiffer like, "I got it, Mom, don't you worry about this."
- If he is running around in just a diaper he'll pat his bare tummy with both hands like he's just eaten Thanksgiving dinner.
- Not really a favorite, but worth noting: Jude is obsessed with chewing ice.  Buuuuuhhhhhhh.  It is a huge pet-peeve of mine when people crunch on ice.  Jeff thinks this is awesome because it's a total chip-off-the-old-block move.  This is just the latest in a series of edibles both Jeff and Jude love; at least it should be simple cooking for both of them.
- He "tickles" us.  Melt.
- He dances -- little knee bounces whenever music comes on.

Love that boy.

27 July 2012

Never Mind

So I changed my mind about going private. I feel a little sheepish about this because a) I never could figure out how to moderate the comments so that your email addresses would never see the light of the internet, and b) I was all huffed and puffed with a lack of trust for about 48 hours. Without going into needless detail, there was a doubling of security compromise and it was (understatement) lame, infuriating, and time consuming to fix. We found the source, which had nothing to do with this blog, so I've decided to keep it public (for now). This has invited me, however, to consider why I keep this blog and what I hope to achieve by investing time into it. It has documented the most major transitions in my life, starting as one of all the single ladies (oh, oh, oh), to getting married, buying a house, and starting a fam of my own. I started it 4 years ago (what?!) and for me, whether I identified this at the time or not, it was a way to fight solitude. I was fairly fresh off a break-up that left me full of second guesses, I was sad, and frustrated with life. When I read back on some early posts, I can remember searching for a distraction from my sorrow and also hoping that by documenting all the fun/funny things I would believe that everything was 100% awesome. Also, when people are choosing to read your spoutings, you're not quite so alone, right? To use an odious Susan Sarandon-ism, you have life "witnesses". Give 3 cheers, because soon enough after creating this blog, I moved to Huntington beach and was hooked up with the most fun group of people ever. It has been a great blessing to exit a few key eras of life on a high. My last semester at BYU: my favorite one. My last area of my mission: one of my favorites. My last year and a half as a single girl: spent with creative, hilarious, good friends who came equipped with killer senses of adventure. We were lookin sharp, the more the merrier, there was loyalty and caring, it was a delight. My sorrow and confusion dissipated. I met Jeff! Really, what a blessing it all was. I had all these excursions to record and I knew that Jeff, being a ninja, probably told his parents very little about our relationship, and in my way I kept his parents informed on what an A+ boyfriend he was. Now that I'm married and momma, blogging has changed yet again. First of all, I already have a Susan Sarandon witness to my life, and he's tall, blonde, and his name starts with J and ends with Eff. I don't have the time I used to. I feel like I should reign in some things because once again, Jeff is a ninja and I'm a pirate and I want to respect his inclination for privacy while not being a completely closed book (because closed books don't blog). I have never been one to climb up onto my internet soap box and wail about my problems. In fact, I don't like to mention problems, period, until I have some idea of a solution. Also, it makes me uncomfortable when people hop on social media and say, "Why me??" and "Wish today hadn't been so horrible..." Blatantly seeking advice is awesome. But it is nails on a chalkboard when people indirectly beg for compliments, piles of sympathy, etc. etc. etc. People: if you are spiraling, get on the phone and call your go-to person. If you don't have one, go get one and/or Dr. Laura will listen to you and ferociously bark out her advice. Your vague Facebook status updates and blog posts hinting at how your life is the worst are very transparent and it doesn't seem productive. My life is not perfect, not close, but I don't feel like my blog is the place to voice all my serious complaints and drama. In any case, I'm not writing for an audience as much; I want to have a record of my little family and I am just another one of those Mormon mommy bloggers who is obsessed with her child and is trying to live life well and clean and "above reproach". I don't work on my writing as much as I used to, I don't have the space in my brain to remember ALL of the quirky things I see throughout my day; residue of pregnant brain, perhaps? Anyway, I blog for my immediate and extended family and if people think that's interesting, then great! I hope my religion shows through; I am happy to share my beliefs. Short story long, this blog isn't earth shattering but as long as Jude's grandparents have access to a computer, and no one is using this blog to breach barriers of security, I will keep it a la public.

16 July 2012

17 Months

Jude is my favorite 17 month old.

He is getting so heavy.
He's warmed up to the water (last year maybe it was his lack of awareness but he was much happier in the water than he was at the start of the summer.  Glad I stuck with it because now it's such a great way to spend the day!).

He will eat 3 scrambled eggs for breakfast.

He loves to stack his Duplos.

If we turn music on our phones he will do a little march-dance (that he also does when throwing a tantrum).
He's ticklish and silly as he always was.

He loves being outside, so his hair keeps getting a bit lighter and his skin gets a bit darker, and by the end of summer I expect those two things will match completely.
He loves STICKS.
He's more obsessed with his binky than ever.  A friend told me a while back, "You either get rid of it at 1 or 3, because something happens after 1 that makes them so addicted."  MAKES SENSE.  When he was about 1 he didn't really want it for a couple of weeks but I kept it around and now it's his BFF.  I wish I'd 86ed it back then.
He gets some bumps and scrapes but is so tough about it.
He flips his lid when Dad comes home, which makes Jeff flip his lid.
He keeps me busy all the live long day (except for luxurious 2.5+ hour naps!) but is so sweet I don't care.  What a lovey.

Thank you, Heaven, for sending him to our family to live.

By the way, this is what he looked like a couple of days BEFORE he turned 17 months.  On Saturday we tried to give him a hair cut without proper tools or training, and in the end the professionals had to intervene and clean up his head, which resulted in a summer buzz.  My cousin Hilary made me feel better by reassuring me that when it comes to toddler boys, it's a buzz or let it grow.  No in between. 


And I'm 30!  So far so good.

Jeff had to leave mid-day for work in San Fransisco, and even though I completely understood, I think he felt a little guilty (sweet) and so he turned it into Birthday Week (which I totally ate up).

On the actual day, Jeff scooped us up and off to breakfast at Cinnamon Productions (which we did last year, so does that mean this is a tradition yet?  I'd be good with that!).  Then upon returning home he gave me the Expedit 2x4 book case from Ikea that I'd been craving, and a couple of other gems.  He always leaves me feeling spoiled and hoping I made his birthday was as good as mine.

Then it was off to the office and SF for him, and Jude and I went for a run and did some bday shopping with some cash I'd been given by various patrons.  I gave myself the gift of a heavenly sugar rush with a 1 pound box of Bridge Mix from See's (as my mom would say, "Let's See's/Seize the day!").  Luckily Jeff was home by the next day to save me from myself as I repeatedly attacked the box.

Then while Jude napped I listened to a movie Jeff would not enjoy while putting together the Expedit (which they said should be assembled by no fewer than 2 people but in my old age I'm learning to ignore advice given in Swedish instruction pamphlets).  It's now in the nook/reading corner; pictures to come.

After naps it was time for a quick GNO at Nordstrom Cafe with some of my favorite gals.  One of the husbands watched Jude (along with his baby) so I could sit back and relax.  So nice.

I ended the evening talking on the phone to sweet family, friends, my cute husband, eating bridge mix, watching tv, enjoying Merzy Time, and I fell asleep on the couch.  Such a fun day, and it made me feel warm and loved.

10 July 2012

Last Day of my 20s

In an hour and 19 minutes, my 20s are no more.  I thought I would feel weird about this, but no, it feels like time.

I'd just like to record here and now that I am satisfied with the decade that is marching its way out the door.  A lot of it was filled with college, a mission, travel, dating, introspection, figuring out what to do with my life, wishing a heavenly host would come down from the sky to tell me what to do,  etc. etc. etc.  There was angst, there was sorrow, there was joy, there were nostril-flared laughing spells, see what I'm saying?  It's about what I think it should be.  And I was very lucky to fall in love with the right guy about 70% of the way through my 20s, and because of that I have good reason to be excited about what's going happen in my 30s (and 40s, 50s, etc.).  I'm sure there will also be bouts of sorrow, and joy, and nostril-flared laughing spells, but a healthy and loving companionship enhances all the good and makes the bad easier to swallow.

I'd also like to record I spent a good chunk of the last day of my 20s at your favorite place and mine, 

Hours of my life (and Jude's), but I thought I'd better get my license renewed.  It's just one of the many lessons of responsibility that were solidified in my brain during my 20s.  

Survival of the DMV with a wild man was made possible by stroller straps and buckle, lots of food, my iPhone and a miracle.  Jude took some artistic photos of the glory that surrounded us.

And here I am with one of my all-time favorite products of my 20s.  

Welcome, 30, welcome.

09 July 2012

A Laurel

I love having my parents babysit, hate having them drive home to Irvine at 11:30 at night.  Jeff and I were starting to feel that if we wanted to have a night with dinner AND a movie, we'd better hire someone so we can stay out late, sans guilt.  A couple of months ago there was a Young Women program during Sacrament Meeting at church and as the adolescent ladies of our ward stood lined up on the podium I thought, "Ah, perfect babysitter scoping time."  They all, for the record, were lovely.  So with a double date on the calendar, the preceding Sunday I snagged one in the hallway, and made arrangements!  I felt like I was looking down at my almost-30-year-old self fixing the date and time with this cute little Laurel, quite the out-of-body experience, and thought, "So this is it.  I'm really a grown-up now."

Then as the date approached I realized how anxious I was to make it a positive experience for her.  Jude would be asleep before we left, so that part would be cake, but this date called to mind all of my HUNDREDS of evenings babysitting for families in MY pre-teen/teen/college years.  I babysat a LOT.  And I was happy to have the money, to be endeared to cute little kids (mainly known through church).  But some nights were torture.  I'd get there and no sooner had I stepped over the threshold but the parents would be sailing the opposite direction, yelling "BYE!"  No cell phones, no dinner directions, no jammies laid out, nothing.  Once 2 families tag-teamed and I had 7 kids under the age of 5 under my supervision and it was 100% survival mode.  I was 11 and had my fractured right arm in a sling from falling off the monkey bars.  In hindsight I'm wondering what the hell the parents were thinking hiring a gimpy 6th grader to keep their kids alive for hours???

However, there were a few families who were helpful and made it as painless as they possibly could.  One in particular, the Ormes, would stock their pantry with snacks and treats, they'd rent an array of new releases on VHS (Free Willy and Mighty Ducks were hot items then, if that doesn't make me feel EVEN older), and they would give a house tour, remote tutorials, and make themselves available if we had any questions during the evening.  I remember I could even bring a friend and we'd feel like we were spending an evening in paradise.

I wanted to do this like the Ormes.  I made this girl lemon bars, guacamole, and bought Ben & Jerry's, and we gave her our password so she could rent a movie on Apple TV.  I scrubbed the house a little more earnestly that day and Jeff teased me as I Ajax-ed the sink, "Are you going to leave a trail of rose petals from the front door to the couch for her?"  We laughed but really I was not sorry for over-doing it a little (if I was at all) because I wanted her to come back!

Anyway, that might have been one of the best dinner/movie nights we've had in a long time.  We ate a leisurely dinner with our friends Amber and Bryan where I didn't have to keep shoving food into a toddler's mouth in hopes he'd stay happy, still, and quiet (which rarely worked anyway), and the movie, Moonrise Kingdom, was clever and quirky.  And even though the night was more expensive for hiring the help, it was 100% worth it (we just won't be able to have those nights every weekend).  Jude never even knew we were gone, but he did lunge for her at church the other day, so I'm thinking step 2 is having her put him to bed.  Am I getting ambitious??

I welcome Jeffrey and myself to the babysitter-hiring side of life.

08 July 2012

4th of July

This 4th was one of my favorites.

We headed over to the Ladera Ranch parade with our friends the Woods.  And this parade was pretty cute.  When we picked our spot and waited a minute for it to start Jude sat in his stroller like, "Oh my gosh.  I can't believe they hauled me here for one of these" which made me laugh because that's usually how I feel about parades.  

At Disneyland I do not, and have never at any age understood why people aggressively stake out their space and protect it for hours during their expensive day, missing out on other attractions, to watch things roll by with a lot of loud music playing.  On Thanksgiving mornings my Grandma McOmber would urge me to be respectful and watch the Macy's parade but I just did not see the draw.  Once it started though, and the candy started flying our way, Jude perked right up with Dum Dum in mouth.  

(I'm really starting to hate Dum Dums, by the way.)  And as for parades being a waste of time, this particular parade was the exception because it included some friends, and if not kids we knew personally, cute kids who'd decked out their bikes, one pulling a tiny wooden cart with a doll/beauty queen sitting in it with its arm up waving. :)  One golf cart drove by singing a song about paying homage to Ladera Ranch that seemed a little too full of reverence, but really, we were glad we went and that we participated in some community stuff.  Next year I want to do the 5K I didn't think to register for until the morning of.

After the parade the streets were still blocked off and Jude had some running around in the middle of the street to do.  I thought "Why not?" since he'll never have the chance again, but he fell and got himself his first skinned knee.  He didn't even notice, but of course I was a little spooked.

After naps, cooking, etc., we went to celebrate at the home of our friends Ben and Courtney.  They rented a bounce house with a water slide; Jude enjoyed about 3 minutes in the bounce house with his Pop.  I made Anne Romney's trifle (or rather the trifle she pinned from somewhere on Pinterest and I repinned), and we had a great time with old and new pals.  Going anywhere but our family room, kitchen, and back yard always turns Jude into a danger to himself and/or others.  At this party he was always 2 seconds away from pulling plates off tables, knocking over the fancy tv set out with movies for the older kids, swallowing un-filled water balloons that were strewn across the ground, etc. etc. etc.  I am a premium chaser these days.

Later that night we got a visit from our lovely friends Bruce and Karren, and they not only brought us crackers, cheese, and cookies, but joined us for fireworks.  We kept expecting Jude to crash before then, and then maybe he'd sleep through them in the stroller, maybe not.  But no, this crazy kid was going strong until after the show was over and we wheeled him up our driveway at 10pm.  I'm so glad he was awake for the explosions, though, because his reactions were worth millions.  He would clap for the fireworks (maybe he thought the sky was clapping with each crack), give his classic "Whoa" and "Whyayyy" (he says that a lot...it sounds like he starts saying 'why' and then moves into 'what' and back again), and a few shrieks.  We love this good egg of ours.