30 January 2013

So, tomorrow, huh?

I'm being induced tomorrow.  I've been having somewhat painful contractions today, so maybe Pitocin won't be my lot by tomorrow morning, but I have an appointment to have a baby at 7am.  So modern.  January 31 sounds like a good day to be born!

As I polish off this pregnancy, a few fun facts:
  • No swollen feet, fingers, or stretch marks (that I can see).  Wahoo to that!  (Although after Jude was born and they pumped me full of fluid, my face and feet quadrupled in size.  And I could feel it happening.  I had packed flats to wear home and I could barely squeeze my puffy dogs into them.  I'll bring flip flops this time in case it's a duplicate experience.
  • The heartburn is RAGING.  It's like my body does not want me to forget that it can still do this to me for another 12 hours.  I think I have enough Tums to see me through to tomorrow, but no more.  
  • The sleeping is pretty much crap now.  I have my moments of frustration since I've been trying to fill my sleep cantine, as it were, but whatever, exhaustion is inevitable.  
  • We have a short list of names, but a few weeks ago we gave up on narrowing it any more than that.  I am crossing my fingers one of them clicks when we cast eyes upon his pink little face.
Today has been water works.  I did not see this coming a month ago.  My heart has been aching for Jude and the end of this era in a big, bad way.  All this week at bedtime, while rocking him and singing Primary songs, I end up sniffling through.  Today, and this was probably made worse by his insistence on laying on the cute behavior eeeextra thick, just looking at him made my eyes well up with tears.  I felt guilty, nostalgic, but also grateful.  Then my mom called and set things right by reminding me that life is not going to change that much for him -- it's Jude!  He'll make SURE life is still full of all the good things even if there's a baby living in the house that I must also give attention to. :)  True.  But it will never be the same again.  I feel like my love for him is growing so fast and so much these last days it just hurts.  Hormones might have a snitch to do with it.  What?

My mom and Sarah will be here with him tomorrow.  Mimi is bringing him trains.  I'm not worried about him having a delicious Thursday.

And as for me, I'm really looking forward to the birth.  I have such epic and cherished memories of Jude's, and hopefully this time I won't have to wait until I'm 70% of the way through labor before I get my precious epidural (being scheduled and all it sounds more easy to secure, right?).  Knowing more of what to expect and how much wonderful there is packed into those moments, I have been excited for another birth experience since 1 week after Jude became a world citizen.  Jeff keeps saying he's excited, and of course I believe it. 

Let's just see if I can sleep tonight.  

Stay tuned.....

34 Years

of Jeff!

Happy birthday, honey.  We love, love, love you!

24 January 2013

3 Years

3 years ago (yesterday) we got married!  Before you start judging me for tardy anniversarial blogging, we are really celebrating tomorrow.  I got some pretty roses and sweet things were said, but we (sad) didn't get to see much of each other on our actual anniversary, so we're pretending it's tomorrow.  

One of my favorite things about dating Jeff was that before he dropped the "L-bomb," and while I was waiting (somewhat impatiently) for such a declaration, I remember the first time I realized that even though I hadn't yet heard those 3 lovely words, that I felt loved.  Like, honestly loved.  It was a homey little feeling in my heart, and happy girl am I to say that that hasn't changed.  

Before pregnancy gets me going in a weepy dissertation on marriage, romantic love, the long haul, etc., I will just say that Jeff is my guy, I love him, I want to keep him forever, and since we got married 3 years ago, that's precisely what I'm going to do.  

Happy Anniversary to Us!

23 January 2013

Jude, Lately

You know, just sunbathing in January with his friend Oliver.  No big deal.  

- We've finally got him folding his arms for at least a few seconds of our prayers, but he hasn't grasped the proper closing echo.  He usually says, with gusto, "ALL DONE!" when he hears "Amen."  :)

- He brings me piles of books throughout the day.  I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm so glad I don't have to twist his arm on this.  A favorite is Dr. Seuss' ABCs.  Totally random though, and I can't wait to hear the reason one day, when we get to the letter R, and "Rosy's red rhinoceros," he points and starts protesting, "No-no-no-no!"  So I cover it up and say, "That's right.  No!" because I'm just happy he loves books, and figure he's got a good enough reason (whatever it is).

- I think he might have a clue about the baby.  Maybe.  We've borrowed a swing from friends Lisa and Rodney (they are so awesome at sharing this thing; besides their daughter Lyla it's been used by 3 other friends' babies over the last 2 years!) and it's sitting in the nook until we bring the baby home.  The other day he went up to it, swung it a bit, pointed in the seat and said, "Baby."  We'll see!

- Sad: after he came up with his fifth ear ache in his 23 months of life, we are starting the ear tubes process.  He's seeing an ENT a week from Monday, and while I don't like the idea of my sweet boy having surgery, I love the idea of him not having more ear infections.  I realize this is fairly minor, I just also don't think any mother likes their child to be anything but 100% healthy (this is maybe a fib -- I loved it when he snuggled with me for hours at a time that one fever he had at 9 months.  That was the sweetest thing ever).

- If he's misbehaving I can give him a LOOK, and he stops what he's doing, and we have a short staring contest while he tries to gauge how mad I'd be if he continued with his original plan.  Then he either tickles me to break the ice/distract from his ever considering disobedience, or he just laughs.  And it cracks me up but I try not to laugh.  :)

- The closer I get to the baby, the more sentimental I get about how cute he is, how much GOOD he's brought into our family, and how he'll always be my first baby.  He's my little dream.

Checking Jeff's mouth for....who knows, but I'm just going to say cavities.

21 January 2013


Poor boy is sick -- again.

For a couple of weeks everyone was talking (appropriately) about their goals, hopes, and plans for 2013.  Every year since we've been married we have happened to make our New Years Resolutions on the drive home from Utah.  This is also when we review the previous year's goals to see how we did.  I was expecting to be disappointed this time but we actually did pretty well.  2013's list has been filled with things that are most definitely on loads of lists -- things that would make us (kids included) healthier, happier, smarter, more financially secure, etc.  

2012 was good, but not my favorite.  Not at all.  It started out awesome and then got frumpy and lame in a variety of ways.  Of course there were wonderful things that happened, my life is chock full of obvious blessings, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  But, there were things like the emotionally taxing Presidential election and its devastating and frustrating outcome.  I've slowly been immersed into Mother-of-a-Strong-Willed-Toddler Land and trying to find my footing there (but that's another blog post).  There are people I love who were raked through the coals in 2012, and some whose trials, I've accepted, probably won't go away any time soon because either that is their choice or that is their lot.  Once again, I have to recognize my lack of control on what seems like about a bazillion things in life.  Some good and comforting lessons have come from all of this, but again, that's another blog post for another day.  And, as fantastic as it is to get another baby into our family, pregnancy has made all the lows lower.  I wish I were one of those women who loves pregnancy -- I do!  Now that it's been my 2nd time around, it's official: it's hard for me.  It's worth it for sure, I mean, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is second to none, but it's a doozy to get there.  Did I emphasize getting there takes basically a year?  Once I said that to Jeff and he said, "It's 9 months."  HA!  That's what guys think!  But that brings me to my hopes for 2013:
  • I know that roller coaster does not necessarily come to a whip-lashed stop the moment they wipe off the baby and put him on my chest, but I'm really putting it into my head that I must/want to rally for this post-partum fest and not miss out on the joys of newborn land because I'm really (really?) tired and my body is doling out a few other inconveniences.  I'm trying to keep my expectations low but at the same time remind myself I'm a big girl and really, I still can choose to let hard things roll off my back.
  • Going along with this...I want to be patient with Jude as we all adjust.  He's my baby.  I just have this feeling that unless I am extremely vigilant about this, all the patience he deserves could fly out the window in a jiff.
  • I want to continue organizing and stream-lining the house.  I also may have a rip-snorting plan for revamping the bathrooms that would be cheap and awesome.  
  • Duh, I want to lose all the baby weight within 24 hours (like TAMN, may she R.I.P.), but a few months would also have me jumping for joy and make all the restraint I've exercised during pregnancy worth it.  If I'm still buxom and flabby at Baby 2's bday, count on me becoming as big as a house during Pregnancy #3!
  • I want to be a better Daughter of Zion (do I hear a song coming on?).  In the last few months especially, I've had so many experiences and watched heaps of things happen around me that've make me more proud and grateful than ever before to be a member of the LDS church.  Faith has always come easily to me, but I want to up the spiritual ante for obvious reasons.  Who regrets doing that?  Besides the fact that it's a responsibility of mine, the benefits are sort of innumerable. 
Long blog post cut short, I'm taking matters into my own hands, and want 2013 to be one for the books, even if nothing dazzling happens beyond feeling like a more effective mom, a better wife, living in a more methodized house, who has a better relationship with God.  

Cause these things are important,  yo.

Photo credit: my boo!

17 January 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas, how I love thee. 

Here we go.

Christmas, to me, really started the night before we left for Utah.  We got Jude a picnic table and (evil) tricycle that we couldn't bring along, but wanted to have assembled and waiting for him when we got home.  I was so excited to do this; staying up late with your loverboy putting together your child's Christmas gifts?!  It seemed like classic memories waiting to happen.  But now I know why you hear so many parents talk of this in exasperated tones -- these things are so hard to get together!  The trike was a beast and to make it even worse, Jude's legs aren't quite long enough to pedal it, so it is sitting in our garage right now and has been used once.  The picnic table was easy.  Anyway, we stayed up too late putting together the tricycle, and as I mentioned before, we (I) woke up at 2:45 in the morning (at my command) to get on the road.  I am sort of resentful toward that stupid trike and probably will continue to feel that way until Jude is long enough to get some entertainment out of it.

At a pit stop I sprinted through the cold to the restroom while Jeff changed Juju's diaper.  When I got back I found Jude in his own personal brand of heaven: rocking out in the driver's seat, no pants on.  

We made it to Utah.  At Grandma's suggestion, the boys went out to make a snowman.  Way too cute and I didn't have to go outside.  This was Boys' Club time.

Jude saw me taking pics at the window and ran over to say hi.  I love this person. 

Voila!  I named him Herb, and he lived a glorious 12ish hours before the wind decapitated him and stole his scarf.  

Jude took no time at all warming up to people this trip, and the hugs, kisses, and snuggles were sold or donated in bulk.  Jude slept in the office right by his grandparents' bedroom, and every morning they'd get up with him and play for a good long time before we'd venture up or they'd come to get us.  A true and generous Christmas present for this tired mom!

We met up with some aunts, uncles, and cousins for bowling; Jude may have enjoyed himself a little.   

CHRISTMAS MORNING DAWNS.  Jude and his cousin L got to open one present each, and then we waited for the Lewis family to arrive a few hours later before opening any others.  At Black Friday my lone purchase was a remote control truck that was 55% off.  I thought, "Sure, why not."  He was OBSESSED with it.  He probably exclaimed "Truck!" 350 times in an hour.  I was sick of hearing the word, but it was so lovable to see him so thrilled.  And here he is, clutching my Tums, sitting by his prized possession.  Sidenote: It has already broken so the remote control aspect is out, but he doesn't care, still plays with it every day, and exclaims "Truck!" only about 30 times an hour.  

Here he is waiting (a little impatiently now that he knows those boxes hold items as cool as trucks) for the rest of the family to arrive.  He plunked himself down on a present that was fortunately in a very sturdy box.  Milk, of course, in tow.

After cousins came, presents were opened, wrapping paper folded up for next year or thrown away, and the orgy of greed concluded, Jude was clearly auditioning for the title role in an as-yet undeveloped reality show called The Almost 2 Year Old and Too Much Christmas.  With a viewing of Cars 2 with cousins, snuggled next to Dad, he mellowed.

The mandatory (and joyful!) trip to Litza's Pizza.  Jude gets his very own Root Beer every time.

He and Aunt Michelle have always, always been good pals.

We also were able this time to drop in on some friends, and the Jexies (although not much because they were sick).  President Eyering spoke in church on Sunday and I loved every minute.  It was great to be in Utah.

Then upon arriving back home, we had a little belated Christmas celebration with all the Eatons save Elizabeth's family.  

A little back up for Jeff's present: we are not gamers.  I have never planned to bring video games into the house.  I get a little nervous about where it could lead; all those awful games out there.  Also, isn't it a magnificent time drain??  At the mall the Microsoft store (something we also don't really "get into") has a huge set up right where people can play Xbox 360 games (mainly the dance and fitness games) for all to see.  Jeff mentioned a couple of months ago it looked fun; I thought it looked like something that, once purchased, is used thrice and then left to collect dust.  That was all that was really said about it.  

Then Black Friday came.  It turns out Jeff had told his sister Erica to pick up an Xbox if there was one for a crazy deal.  Medium length story cut short: Erica picked up an Xbox for us.  The next day Jeff said as we drove to his parents' house, "Do you have your checkbook with you?  We have to pay Erica back for something she picked up for us last night."  And then he immediately started massaging my shoulder.  Hmmmm.  When I found out what it was I started laughing but believed we'd probably sell it on Craigslist for a profit (it really had been marked down quite a bit).  Then as the Christmas season went on I realized, "Hey, this is something Jeff actually WANTS!"  It's so rare he wants to spend any money on himself, and he didn't want to play Halo until the wee hours of the morning, he wanted to get the dance game so we could have us some good old family times.  So I decided to be a kind wifely soul and got him the dance game and the Kinect thingy.  I felt like a traitor entering into the Microsoft store, but I must give them credit where credit is due.  The game has been a lot of fun, and I can only imagine I'll enjoy it more when I quit this bowling ball attached to my torso.

Anyway, we played the game for a while when my family was having our Christmas, and Sarah and Harry probably win the award for most skillful novice performances.

Cameron and Katelyn playing the game meant they had to stop staring deeply into each others' eyes for a few minutes.  I am kidding, kidding.



Mimi, Grandpa, and Jude doing what he does best: guzzling.

Is this really the only picture of the 2 of us?  Terrible.  I need to hand my camera over to other people more often.

I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life to celebrate my favorite holiday with.  Really, I'm grateful!  Christmas has always been wonderful, and it's gaining in awesomeness as the years go by!!!

Good news people: the next Christmas season begins in approximately 9 months :).

13 January 2013

This Weekend Plus STUFF

*It should be mentioned that I am listening to 98 Degrees while I write this.  Boy bands -- the depth!

Last week Jeff was checking his email on the couch and said, "Oh! There's a car show this Saturday at 6:30 in the morning that the ward is going to -- Jude would LOVE that.  I should take him!"  I was to be throwing a baby shower for my friend Lisa that morning so I was loving this idea for many reasons and started launching into my whole, "Oh yeah, that's perfect!  Then I can clean and decorate...[blah blah blah]"  I think that's about the time Jeff realized it did indeed start at 6:30 in the unholy hours of the morning, but I'd already voiced such enthusiasm and gratitude, he'd just sealed his fate.  :)

They went and had fun, and I knocked out about 4 times more chores than I would've been able to otherwise.  

The shower was a success, and I'm selfishly so excited for this baby because not only is it a boy, but he'll be just a month younger than my baby, and play dates will continue to be a sinch.

Here are 3 of us ladies in waiting; Lindsey is 2 days overdue, and I greatly admire her forebearance. :)

While the shower was going on, Jeff and Jude had Round II of "Boys' Club" and got out of the house until Jude was apparently falling asleep early (no doubt his brain was exhausted from reeling over the car show at such an early hour) and they came home for naps.  Since the shower was still drizzling out when Jude's nap ended, I brought him down to hang with the ladies and he immediately groggily marched over to sit on Amber's lap with Monkey.  He has this very loyal crush thing on Amber.

See?  He loves her.

Now for some STUFF: I was drying my hands in the gym bathroom last week and started to laugh (better than cry) when I noticed my reflection in the hand dryer nozzle.  I still have 3 weeks left!

Ah, the obsession with cars, trucks, boats, planes...things that GO.  For Christmas Jude (and I) got annual passes to the museum in Irvine called Pretend City.  Jude goes into stimulation hyperdrive every time we pass through the gates.  It's this great little spot where kids can pretend to do loads of jobs like farming, lifeguarding, grocery shopping, put on a play, drive a AAA Tow Truck (or obviously a fire truck as seen above), mail a letter, and on and on and on.  It's awesome now, but I'm thinking this may be a life saver when the baby comes.

More car obsession: Must.  Hold.  Car.  While.  Swinging.

I really liked this from Pres. Hinkley.  I don't think I expect life to ever be perfect, but while I'm an emotional pregnant wreck, it reminded me to just be grateful for "the ride."  Focusing on that makes everything else seem much simpler.  I'm here, getting to do what I've always wanted to do, and life is good.  

This morning.  Daddy attack!

Last weekend we went to see Les Mis with some friends.  Everyone on earth had been praising it to the skies, so I was trying to keep my expectations even-keeled.  Anne Hathaway usually drives me nuts, but people were not totally off-base (in my opinion) for loving her performance.  And her hair looked cute buzzed -- it's the grow-out that is death for the pixie hair cut.  

I love this kitchen.  Since my brain is less than effective lately, taking phone screen shots of things I like or need to remember to deal with is a very helpful way for it to not get lost forever.

This picture makes me laugh.  Jude woke up from his nap and for his afternoon snack lunged at the grapes in the fridge.  He kept picking up the squishy, overripe ones and I'd try to offer him a better one, but he was insistent on eating the ones he'd picked.  He was so dazed and out of it, munching away on his crap grapes.  Sweetie pie.

Dad's home!

3 weeks until he's a big brother!

05 January 2013

Izze drink, sick us, and routines

So once Jude got his tummy coated in antibiotics he was back to his old tricks.  He has been such a love bug this week.  Please enjoy photos taken of him experiencing his first Izze drink tonight.

Back to the health issue: the only thing is, Jeff and I have been sick as dogs since last weekend.  I have a doctor's appointment for this week, and I thought what I have is probably viral anyway, but since the gunk in my chest is actually making it hard to breathe and Jeff came home from the doc's today with antibiotics, I have resigned myself to seeing a professional tomorrow.  I have been reading up on antibiotics during pregnancy and apparently I will most likely have some options.

However, it is because of this illness that I can't sleep, and am here blogging away at 2:51 in the morning.  

Christmas is over, and the only thing that has gotten me through that fact is nesting for this baby boy.  I am so excited to get him here safe and sound, see his little face, pick a name, etc.  I can't remember what life was like before pregnancy.  I regret taking for granted every time I lifted Jude before I had a bulge in my mid-section.  Last time, 2 months after Jude was born I couldn't remember what it was like to be pregnant.  I told my friend and her mother-in-law this one Sabbath while we waited for Sunday School to start, and mother-in-law said, "That's how Heavenly Father gets us to have more babies."  It's got to be true!  

However, I would just like to say that an extraordinary thing has happened.  I'm not wishing away these last 4 weeks of pregnancy.  YES EVEN!  I am looking at my To-Do list, and I need these remaining weeks.  During our Christmas holiday I went to Kneaders/Heaven with some cousins one night, and Kate asked me, "Isn't your heart just breaking for Jude?  Your one on one is coming to an end!"  I instantly said, "No!  I'm giving him a buddy -- that's like the best gift I could give him!"  It's true, and it feels like time to have our family expand.  I don't know how else to say it.  

But then, a few days ago I looked at Jude as we were bopping around and I realized this has been all he's known of life, and this has been such a great ride and bond we've had, just we two.  Bringing home a brother for him will change that forever.  I don't know how much and how hard it'll be on him, but it won't be the same, and it'll take strategizing and extra effort to make one-on-one happen.  So I don't know if my heart is quite breaking for the end of this era, but I want to make sure I soaked up each moment I could while it was there.

Also, our routine is about to be flipped upside down a little bit.  For a long time it's been:

Jude wakes up around 7.  One of us gets him and usually brings him back into bed with us for anywhere from 4 seconds to 2 minutes.  He's usually very anxious to get breakfast going.  I take him downstairs while Jeff starts getting ready for work.  Jude eats, and then shares some of Jeff's smoothie with him (no matter what Jude's breakfast has been) before family prayer and waving goodbye to Dad from the doorway as he leaves for the office.

Jude and I go to the gym, which is perfect for both of us.  He runs around getting out some of his limitless wiggles, plays with other kids, and toys that I didn't have to buy for about 50 minutes.  I get to watch the news or Kelly and Michael (or whatever Regis' replacement is named) and exercise.  Since we haven't had cable in a couple of years, TV watching at the gym has revealed something to me: a huge chunk of the ads shown during the 9-10:00 morning hour are targeting seniors.  Mesothelioma law suit commercials, retirement commercials, investing in gold or silver late in the game commercials, etc.  

After the gym we go home and get ready, and while I shower Jude takes it upon himself to terrorize our  poor bedroom and bathroom.  He pulls a lot of shoes out, and brings them to me to put on.  He turns on and off the bath water.  He tries to break into the baby proofed cupboards and drawers.  He tries to reach for the toothpaste on the counter and sometimes gets it, which means I have to make a wet, premature exit and get it back from him before he squirts a glob into his mouth or onto his hands.  This whole thing drives me crazy.  I don't know what else to do with him though; we don't have a TV in our bedroom to distract, and that distraction wouldn't last at this age anyway. I don't want to put him in his crib because that would be added motivation for him to learn to climb out, and/or I don't want his crib to feel like a punishment.  One thing that's really sweet, when I'm all done showering he brings me towel after towel off the hooks with this proud look on his face.  Anyway, an alternative showering MO is something I'm trying to find.

Then the rest of the morning and early afternoon are filled with errands, parks (often more than one a day), books, a play date a few times a week, lunch, and then it's nap time.

Nap time is almost always 90 minutes on the button.  As tired as I've been, I almost never nap because I need Merzy Time.

The afternoon is the witching hour and he's usually cranky.  Why?  I don't know.  It seems to be a common issue -- I just can't believe no one ever told me about it before I had Jude.  It's a bust, but we try to cure the funk with more park time and/or a show, and somewhere in there I try to make dinner. Very little of this happens before he's on my hip or crying and feeling hurt when I put him down because I must have both hands for whatever step of cooking I'm taking.  He loves to watch me cook and be involved in any way he can, which can be the cutest thing on earth or dangerous.

If Jeff makes it home before 7, they rough house and play, and then it's bedtime.  He's very big on this part being fulfilled in its entirety.  We brush teeth (the only part he's not always in love with), read The Going to Bed Book, some of The Book of Mormon (kids' version), family prayer, and then he gets some lullabyes all snuggled up. He must be clutching me (or Jeff) and his monkey, covered in a blanket. When I come to the last lines of a song he'll tighten his grip on me as if to say, "I'm not done here, so let's get another melody going fast."  Then we trade kisses and I put him in his crib.

I crash on the couch.  Jeff will bring up no fewer than 5 times how great Jude is.  

And that is the 2012-early 2013 Mom & Jude Routine.  

Who knows what it'll be in 5 weeks ;).