28 August 2012

Binky Detox

This is one of those posts that could be categorized as "written by a mother who has all day to focus on only one child"....

Last Friday Jude had his 18 month check-up and I asked the beloved pediatrician when would be a good time to take him off the binky, since I don't want scenarios like "the baby is sleeping in the swing, I'm just starting on the dishes that have been piled in the sink, and then Jude runs over and pops the binky out of the baby's mouth, waking him up, because Jude still thinks binkies are awesome and doesn't get his own anymore".  The doc said with at least a few months to spare, but just as he was saying that, Jude hopped off my lap, ran over to the chair where his clothes were sitting on my purse, picked up a shoe, and, holding it up, said from under his binky, "Shslifufm!"

The doc said, "But actually I would recommend it now.  See that?  He was probably trying to say 'Shoe' but he's got the binky to complicate things.  It's hard enough to learn how to talk, and this is making it harder."

Now, I am all about Jude talking.  Every day I wonder what is going on his cute head and look forward to the discernible things that will come out of his mouth.  Plus, Jude knows how to take the binky clips off his clothes and it's one more thing I have to keep track of.  It was decided.  The binky would be gone on the morrow.

Dr. Ball promised it would be just a couple of "bad days" but let me offer a visual of what life has been like for Jude and I since Saturday:

I'll put it simply and not go into too many gory details: he's going through his equivalent of heroine addiction withdrawals and is in the depths of despair and misery.  I've been startled by just how crazy he's going.  Major downward spiraling.  My friend Courtney made me feel so much better by relating that her daughter was the exact same way for a week (the validation that comes from parents with similar experiences is so comforting!), so I'm just telling myself I have 3.5 days left.  If I hadn't already gone through sleep training, and experienced the whole deal of hearing a baby cry longer than your nerves and heart can stand for his/her own true benefit, I would have given in Saturday afternoon.

Did I mention Jeff has been working almost non-stop?  Didn't see him all weekend?  I think it's maybe best this way, as at least Jude has one parent whose name is not mud.  :)

Anyway if you feel like your week is awful, just picture me listening to Jude do his growl-cry, probably rolling around on the floor, and hopefully you feel better.

22 August 2012


I felt the baby kick for the first time yesterday and thought, "OOooooh, that's so cute!"

I'm 16 weeks and cruising.  I don't have many complaints right now, except for the blistering heat that sucks the life out of me the moment I set toenail outside.  I do it because Jude would probably spontaneously combust without outdoor activities, and it DOES help him take a better nap, but saints above, I can NOT wait until the fall.  And I know Orange County does not carry the nation's highest temperatures, but since they bleed us in taxes, I expect gentler weather.  In fact, I'd like a tax rebate.  And I tip my hat to my sister Elizabeth and my sister-in-law Erica who both had babies in August or September while living in Las Vegas.  Yikes.

I'm mulling over paint colors for the baby's room.  I have always felt compelled to use a color, but now I'm thinking WHITE!  I feel I spend so much time cleaning the house, only to have most of it undone very, very quickly.  White is clean and fresh.  Sometimes I think ANYthing to help promote the feeling of tidiness and simplicity is something I would so appreciate.  Also, the room the baby is going to get has the best light of any bedroom in the house.  It has been used as the guest room, and we're not in there much, but every time I am in there I think, "Aaaahhhhh."  Such a happy feeling in such a bright, cheerful spot!  I realized SOMEone in our family should get to be in there every day, instead of the sporadically arriving guest!  So we are moving the guest room down the hall, and baby brother gets to be in the happy room.  As for the white v. some other color paint debate, no final verdict.  I don't want it to look like an operating room, just FRESH and clean and cheerful.  (Consolation prize for guests: You may not get the lightest room in the house anymore, but you DO get a room with wainscoting Jeff is installing with his own 2 hands!  A true labor of love, since he has so little free time!)

We haven't dug our heels in with too many names yet.  We've got a few ideas, but lightening hasn't struck yet the way it did with Jude (but even when it does strike or we decide, it's in the vault again until we meet our little pledge).

Consistent Cravings: Rubio's Wild Salmon Tacos, Saag Paneer, and my Revive smoothies have just become the latest one.

Like last time, you may call me the biggest cry baby on earth.  It's shameful how little it takes to get my tear ducts flowing.  Talking about things close to the heart, of course, hearing sad news, but also a lot of movies, which is kind of lame.  The preview for Les Mis last week when Jeff and I snuck out on a "school night" to see Bourne Legacy (which I LOVED!).  I had Jeff start Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close without me since I still can't get very far into the book, but when I entered the room during a certain scene, I was almost instantly sobbing and Jeff had to turn it off.  When Rapunzel is reunited with her parents on Tangled I can't help it.  And last night I watched Super 8 and was torn to smithereens inside when he's watching home videos of his dead mother.  My eyes were puffy this morning. After the baby comes, I give myself a few months and then it's Camp Toughen Up.

And last but not least, the bump pictures.  I'm in that phase where it just looks like I've let myself go; there isn't a clear basketball yet in most of the clothes I'm wearing.  Tadaa:

19 August 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Eaton

There is now an Eaton girl once again (besides my mom, but she's more of a lady).

Yesterday Cam and Katelyn got married, and it was great (understatement).

They are happy and lovey, I didn't look at either of my parents the entire ceremony because I was too worried they'd be crying and then I would have to cry too, the entire shebang was beautiful, we got to see our dear family (and for those of you who didn't make it...I just have nothing to say to you.  JK).

This was the last wedding for my immediate family, and Jeff's family was finished off in 2010.  It's strange to think the next expected weddings are for my nieces and nephews -- what??  Until then, I have some single cousins still...and I hope they hurry up and get hitched because I LOVE WEDDINGS!

And now, what you're really here for, the totally out of order wedding pictures:

Sarah, I think you have an admirer.  
Here we are waiting for the happy couple to make their temple exit.

There they are!  So lovely, right?  The wind picked up right as they got to that spot, which was great because it was a million degrees out, and also it did an AWESOME trick with her veil!

She's gorgeous, he's handsome, they're both sweet and chill and endearing.  Welcome, Katelyn, welcome, to a family with 3 sisters that like to laugh at really dumb, vaguely funny things.  You'll enjoy it, because any joke you crack will receive a boisterous response.  We also love to do our own nails (salons add up fast!), watch movies that include English accents (duh), and eat frozen yogurt.  That doesn't sound too bad to be locked into, right?  RIIIGHT???

Ian and Jude are best buds.  My cousin's wife Katie remarked, "I love to see my kids with cousins because they just blossom!"  It's so true!  Jude was so sad this morning when Elizabeth and her family had gone.  With Ian (and the rest) around, Jude's eyes sparkled, he jabbered more, he learned some new things, and they totally had each other's backs.  When one was crying, the other would go over, full of concern and caring, and unleash a string of indiscernible words of encouragement.  I loved it and so did they.  

Pre-busted!  Jude is about to pilfer something out of this neglected bag belonging to someone from a different wedding party.  I love his expression, full of anticipation and caution and glee.  Also, Erica tells me to hunch all the way down with both feet flat on the floor is something they strive to do in Body Bar class and it's killer.  Jude does it all the time.  Go, Jude!

At the reception...whew.  At the beginning I didn't know how long I (Jude) could make it.  With a non-existent nap under his belt, and in a back yard with a pool, and the ultimate cranky factor, I was kicking myself we didn't get a sitter.  (When it was up in the air I foolishly thought, "Oh but I want him to be there for it!")  Luckily he hit a second (third?) wind and even cut a rug on the dance floor in the hot night air.  In the end, I was so glad he'd come because he was being extra hilarious by about 8pm.  Anyway, the beverage of the evening was Jarritos soda and Jude downed probably 2.5 pineapples and 1 mandarina.  He obviously was not passive about getting every last drip drop.  I feel like just when I'm at my whit's end with this crazy kid, he will always follow through with something hysterically funny, sweet, or adorable.  And he slept till 8:30 this morning.  Yeehaw!

The sitter took this one during the ceremony; love.

And, here we are arriving at the temple where our family started too.

It was a great day for our family, and I'm so happy my brother found his special little lady.  Cameron and/or Katelyn, if you're reading this, just picture me now launching into my own rendition of The Carpenters' famous tune, "We've only just beguuuuuuuunnnnnn to liiiiiiiiiiive.....white lace and promiseeeeeees, a kiss for luck and we're oooooon our waaaaaaaaaay.........................."

14 August 2012

18 Months

This one feels big! A year and a half!

Things I love about this age:

  • If I put my hand out he'll take it and we'll walk together (assuming he wants to go where I am going).  It is a kick for me every time.  It makes him seem so much older but how many millions of parent/child hand-holding scenes have I witnessed throughout my life?  I am happy to be a part of this cute world-wide happening.  
  • He whispers "hot" now.  We started saying it while we'd cut his hot dogs into wheels and they're still cooling a little.  He has over-extended it a bit and is starting to say the word when we feed him anything; we're working on the clarification. 
  • Everyone keeps telling me not to expect him to talk much for a while (and he doesn't).  I know boys are a bit slower to this, especially the first child, so I realized the other day I must have lowered my expectations in other ways too, because I asked him to bring me a blue block on the other side of the room just for the heck of it, and he got up, spotted it, and brought it to me.  Good job, Juju!
  • He lets me trim his nails now -- victory.
  • He wants to do more and more by himself.  One example: he's recently become addicted to Yoplait Yo-on-the-Go yogurt drinks and MUST hold it by himself.  This usually at some point results in spilling...I take it away, clean up, and then give it back to him with me holding it...tantrum....hmmm.  (Is this something I really LOVE about this age?  No but I appreciate his appreciation of autonomy.)

"Don't you hold my yo-on-the-go!  Baby do it!"

  • His repertoire of dancing moves increases every day, and he'll even shake it for the 5 seconds the NBC Nightly News jingle is on.
  • He goes to bed at 7, wakes up about 7:30 in the morning, but doesn't call us until 8.  He spoils us.
  • He becomes more and more obsessed with Jeff every day.  When Jeff walks through the door it's time to plug your ears; there will be some ear-piercing shrieking going down.
  • Still ticklish, still a sucker for attention, still silly, still has a gap between his front teeth, still go-go-go, still loves his mommy, still loves to be outdoors, still loves me to read to him, still loves to be social, and still is our favorite monkey.  I know him inside and out.

08 August 2012

The Forgotten Nephew

Not exactly forgotten, but....

As children go, for about 8 years there Elizabeth's kids were my main focus and the apples of my eye.  No amount of pictures, stories, information of any kind was too much.  I was obsessed, would brag about them, visit them as often as I could, think about them when they weren't around, etc.  When Julia, her third, was born I was the first to get to Vegas to help out, and when they blessed her Jeff and I were the only Eaton representation.  I know that I am partial but they are uncommonly cute and funny.  I just could not imagine it got any better.

Then 10 days before Jude was born, her 4th and final, Ian, came along.  I didn't get to see him until they were almost 2 months old, and by then, I was a changed woman.  The love I had for my sister's kids had not diminished a speck, but Jude had taken over everything and had the lion's share of all I had to offer.  Any time I would have held Ian, I was holding Jude.  My focus was just not the same.  And I don't think I'm really supposed to apologize for that; I dare any mom to say she loves any baby more than her own.

And it gets worse from there.  Now that Jude has this insane obsession with Apple products, I don't talk on the phone much in his presence because it only invites a tantrum.  So the anecdotes are fewer, the visits are fewer (traveling willy nilly being NIXED from life), and pictures are pretty much the only thing that has not diminished.  We have visited, and I have loved spending time with Ian, but the first thing that came to mind when I thought of him is the fact that he is incredibly sweet, go-with-the-flow, mellow, and accommodating. (That's a fraction of the info that would come to mind with her other 3.)

My exposure to and my bond with Ian has been waiting to be increased and strengthened.

So after the St. George family reunion, we hunkered down in Bountiful for a few more days and got to go see Elizabeth et al a couple of times.  And Jeff, Jude and I got to know Ian.

These pictures do not do him justice.  What a dream.  His eyes take up approximately 64% of his face.  He has frothy blonde curls and long, long legs.  He snuggles like a pro and oh so willingly.  He is chatty.  He does the cutest hand motions The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  He and Jude got along like old friends.  He is a Jex/Eaton production through and through, and Jeff and I have remarked on how awesome he is many, many times since mid-July.  They're coming down in a few days for Cameron's wedding, and as was my reaction toward past visits with Sam, Sadie and Julia,  I can't wait to get my hands on him, give him treats and campaign for favorite Aunt.

Ian, I love you.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Last Saturday was fun and stacked.  I don't have a problem with stacked, but Jude usually at some point will find something he doesn't like about stacked.

As we made our way home from Pasadena, where we'd spent the afternoon, Jude was making his negative sentiments known, loud and clear.  He is normally an ecstatic baby, but it was sort of getting to the point where Jeff and I were tuning-out, you know what I'm saying?  Food and beverages, toys, good old parental attention, etc. had been administered and rebuffed.  Even with tuning-out, or giving up on him obtaining happiness until his heart got what it most wanted--to be free of the car--Jude has a particular cry/whine that grates my nerves.  As this was blaring and threatening to ruin my tune-out, a song came on the radio!

Sunday, Bloody Sunday has always been one of my favorite U2 songs.  In Europe it might be strongly worded, but we are in America.  I think if I were to learn percussion, this song would be the one I'd spend all day playing.  It's a good one to sing extra loudly.  Jeff loves it too, and sing loudly we did.

And a magic thing happened.

Jude was hushed.

Was it love at first listen?  Was it because Jeff's car has a swanky sound system and that in addition to our own elevated voices was maybe a little too much noise for crying to be thrown in too?  We may never know.  But for that last stretch of the drive home, while my lover and I happily sang one of my favorites that I listen to far too rarely, Jude was content.

The End.

07 August 2012

Hayes Family Reunion 2012

In July we had a family reunion in St. George, UT.  So.  Much.  Fun. 

We rented a big house that accommodated us all very nicely.  

This is how Jude felt about... 1/13 of the road trip.

I was happy to take this photo, but I would like the record to reflect that it was not my brain child. :)  We got a great family picture with my FIL's A-MA-ZING new camera that I am probably going to use as a Christmas card picture -- done and done.

I was discreet.

I spent waaaay too much time getting Mavericks soft serves in college.  I texted this picture to my  former co-patrons and we reflected on how funny it was that at the time we couldn't understand why we didn't lose weight with all the running we did....

Something funny Jude started doing on this trip: he started to become aware of and very concerned about his owies.  He's always scuffing up one of his big toes; it's always molting.  He also has had a few scrapes on his knees in the last month.  He never cared about them before, and they certainly didn't seem to hurt him, until now.  Usually when he's in the car seat or stroller, he will get this look of concern and make this weakened wimper of an "Oooh" and point to and pick at Ground Zero.  We of course validate his feelings and check it out, give it a kiss, etc.  Anyway, here we are driving to Zions for a hike, and with Grandma and Grandpa in the back, he had a captive wound audience.

Here come the Hayes folk up the trail to Emerald Pools!

Jude didn't care for the back carrier too much in Hawaii but he was a DREAM during the Zions hiking.  Seriously, I was so grateful to him for letting us enjoy the scenery.  What a guy. 

Afterward we found a nice shaded grassy spot that was perfect for eating ice cream cones on.  Jude was, as per usual, entertained by his cool big kid cousins, and while the ice cream was around, enjoyed going from person to person with his mouth open, leaning forward, ready for them to impart of their substance.  What a scavenger.  In moments like this I am glad he is getting a sibling; he really is 100% convinced the planet rotates at his command and only for him.

See?  Cousin attention galore.  He was sort of just tolerating this affection here, but...

"Ok really, Sam, that's good right there.  You can stop now."

I came down to one of the basement "Harry Potter closets" looking for Jude and found him sitting here with every single one of his cousins sitting before him in a semi-circle, looking for ways to wow him.  How lucky is this little boy??

Interviewing Kate -- love.

I wish I had more pictures.  We got to do all the fun stuff like stay up late talking and telling stories, we all took turns cooking and everyone brought their most serious A-game, there was a pool I unfortunately never made it into but looked awesome, Angie put on the Hayes Family Olympics (I won the gold for the bubble gum blowing contest), it was a great time.  I know a lot of hard work went into it, and I tip my hat!  I scored big time marrying into this fam.  It only seems criminal we can't get together more.  I can't wait for next year!

01 August 2012

Round 2

Yes, it's true (and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you already know):

We are having a baby (again)!

Although it's a little early to call, I had an ultrasound on Monday (12 weeks) and there was some pretty unmistakable proof that it's a He.  I had a hunch it was a boy and we are thrilled!  Bring on more insanity, sitting down is overrated. :)

I was due February 11 but the baby is already chunking up quite nicely and my doc said he's measuring  almost a week ahead which caused him to defy www.babycenter.com and put my due date on the 5th!  So 9 days before Jude turns 2 he'll be gifted (ha!) with a little brother.  I'm already feeling guilty about what this could do to the quality of his birthday party. (We didn't have a party for him this year since we were out of town so I was determined to throw him a rager for the big 2.  Ha!  We'll see.)

Oh my, so many things to say.
  • I have decided the first trimester is the worst.  The worst.  Even worse than the third, where you're creaky and large and popping 7 Tums an hour.  The first trimester potpourri of silence and sickness is tricky; sometimes I wanted to tell people so they could understand my exhaustion, my munchies, or my humorlessness.  I have thought to myself so many, many times, "I just need to make it through the summer."  Friends who are also pregnant would happily make announcements and urge me to get back on the wagon and I wanted to be like, "HEY, I'M THERE, AND YOU KNOW WHAT?  THE WAGON FEELS LIKE CRAP." I wanted to share in their news for the positives too, like the sense of solidarity and because I am truly thrilled that another baby will come into our home -- oh the love!  I've been baby hungry for ages.  But silent one must be for that odious first trimester.  And although no pregnancy carries guarantees to the end, there is that increased chance for miscarriage and I worried about losing this baby.  If I've said it once I've said it 10 times since Monday: I am so happy to be out of my first trimester.
    • I was sick again, and this time it was worse at night.  I read on a blog a woman's story of exercising during pregnancy and how it curbed her nausea.  I gave it a try and it worked.  I mean it!  It really staved off that horrific barry feeling for hours at a time!  I have gone running every day of my pregnancy, and while I've still become puffy and swollen, I am so grateful that this was my own personal brand of Zofran. 
  • So again, like last time, even though I am eating well, running, and otherwise about 40 times more active than last pregnancy (wherein I sat at my desk all day, stress-eating Cheetos and Peanut Butter Smoothies), I still have gained about 10 pounds.  My mom has been so nice and reminded me that whatever diligence and healthy habits I implement now will help me on the other side of this.  "It's money in the bank," she says.  It is discouraging to be barely out of my first trimester, the baby is the size of a cumquat, and I'm already folding up cute clothes I worked so hard to fit into post-Jude. However, so far that disappointment hasn't pushed me off the wagon.  I just try to remember how needlessly huge and uncomfortable I was last time, and say to myself as I stare at the [insert insanely indulgent and tempting piece of food], "There's always room for fatter."
  • While pregnant with Jude and working a very demanding job I would regularly think, "Oh, next time will be awesome.  I can wear sweats and lie down on the couch when I feel sick, and no putting out fires."  Ok maybe that's true, but I'd say in the difficulty levels it's been a wash (or warsh, whichever you prefer).  While employed I had to look sharp, be mentally sharp, respond to "emergencies" and rebound quickly after throw-ups.  This time, I have to be vigilant and chasing my active, never-not-active boy.  It seems as soon as I sit down, I must get up again.  This all requires so much patience, and pregnancy is the ultimate patience eliminator.  So big revelation: pregnancy can be a drag no matter your lot in life.  Oh wait, it's fun if you're charged with the tasks of getting constant massages, pedicures, eating food you didn't prepare, and snuggling your docile baby who is always willing to sit still when you want him to.  
  • My complaints are my complaints, but guess who also thinks they are worth it.  Me.  And that is something that has improved over last pregnancy.  Having seen the start to finish, and having this wonderful buddy in Jude, this pregnancy has so much more significance, and feels so much more real.  When I saw this baby on the ultrasound screen, my heart jumped!  That's my baby!  I get another one!  How did we get so lucky?  He looked chubby, he was waving his arms, I just was so happy to see him.  And while last time I was so anxious to get to the end, probably knowing it wouldn't feel real until I held Jude in my arms, and no week was "far along enough", this time I'm sittin easy.  Right now, the baby might not look completely human, but I know that soon enough I'll be getting a babycenter.com email telling me my baby is "the size of a watermelon."  Sit tight, little baby, I'll see you in the blink of an eye.
  • Don't even get my started on how I'm wondering and agonizing over the ways this sweet little thing will rock my (our) world.  If my expectations are low enough, will the transition be easy-ish?  Will he be colicky like Jude?  I feel I've paid my dues and earned a turn with a non-cryer, but what the hell does that matter?  I don't think score cards are valid on that.  I could get a colicky one every single time.  How long will it take before I can be productive again?  Last time I was not that tired. I felt fine.  Do I even have a prayer that this will be my situation again?  I'm already planning on Jude not liking this at first (or for months).  He gets peevish when I so much as say hello to another baby. I know that there is just a mandatory transition period when you add one to a family, and this is bound to be fraught with some booby traps and pitfalls, but how many and how upsetting will they be??
    • At least this time I know that "babies outgrow every bad phase," I have a testimony that sleep training works and is extremely important for baby and parents, and that everything at some point will balance out.  Most people keep telling me that 2 is a lot of fun.
OK that's it for now.  Duh, I'm pregnant so I'm currently a zombie.  Goodnight.  

And P.S. See what a tender, nurturing brother Jude will be? :)