23 June 2013

Jude (lately)

Jude is a hoot.  He is becoming more independent and verbal, and that provides a lot of comic relief.  I find myself thinking a lot lately, "This is a really fun age."  Of course we still have our share of tantrums, but we're getting a little better.  I have started reading Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child, but of course this morning as I was trying to glean knowledge from it, my strong-willed child ripped it out of my hands and chucked it across the room.  I get my best reading done during nap time (although nap time is usually when I want as much of a break from the rigors of toddler land as I can get).  I'll say it again, his improved speech has made wiped out a lot of frustration, and added a bundle of good times.

Jude loves the beach.  He asks to go almost daily.  We go to a little pocket off of Doheny that has no waves, so it's appropriately nicknamed "Baby Beach".  It's also paddle boarding central, and we'd love to put Jude in lessons when he's old enough (I think they start at 3).  There are little kids who are about 49 times better at it than I was last time I tried.

Jude has decided being tickled is a great way to spend his time.  When he wants a tickle fest he goes over to the couch and lies down on his tummy.  Then he looks at me (or Jeff if he's home) out of the corner of his eye with a silly grin full of anticipation.  And then I pounce!

When he gets a bonk or scrape he wants a "night night" which, besides meaning sleep time, means getting snuggled.  He puts a couch pillow on the floor, grabs one of Graham's blankets, wants it wrapped around him, and then he collapses onto the pillow.  He's very particular about the blanket covering his feet entirely, and then after about 10-12 seconds of recuperation, he's up and at em again.

He figured out if he wants something out of the fridge above a certain drawer, he needs a height boost.  He stood on the Boppy and was very proud of himself.

He's starting to do this really sweet thing where, if he means business, grabs my face with his hands and says/asks most sincerely, "Go go?  Peas?"  or "Park?  Mimi?"  On Father's Day we were Sarah and Harry's in LA and Harry was sitting on the floor reading.  Jude wanted to show him a car and, sensing Harry's focus, bent over to catch Harry's eyes before proclaiming, "CAR!"  So sweet.

He recognizes the quiet electric engine sound of the Mailman, whom he calls "Money!"

He looooves to get lotion applied after the bath, and when we are at the park he is always ready and willing to get his slathering of sunscreen.  Hey, one less battle!  I'll take it!  Same with his current obsession with his fedora hat.  Let's keep that skin cancer at bay.

I got him a "wiggle scooter" off of Craigslist and he lives on that thing.  He rides it all around at the parks and in the kitchen/family room.  He takes the corners of the kitchen island at break neck speeds and has this nonchalant posture while rip snorting on that thing that makes us laugh.

A few weeks ago on one beach day, he and Lyla just kept escaping together.  They kept going over to the lifeguard tower to sit underneath and jabber and talk with each other, playing in the sand.  No matter how many times we'd bring them back to our camp, they'd just try to sneak away again.  I kept having visions of them sneaking out as 16-year-olds on warm summer nights to go get slurpees.  Now it's their new thing; whenever they get together, they want to have their own secret little hang outs far away from everyone else.  Now that I'm writing this it's making me stressed out....

Jude gets to go on weekly toots with my dad/Papa.  Jude sees him coming and runs to get his shoes out of the shoe basket, and brings them to me yelling, "Toot!  Bye!  Papa!"  Thanks, bud.

He is not interested in potty training, but my next door neighbor whose last 2 sons are the same ages as mine said she just pulled the plug on her 2-year-old anyway.  I think in a week or two I might do the same; changing his diapers is getting OLD.

He now says, "Love you" which was one of the all-time best moments, period.

He says "boat" like "butt" which always makes me think of Finding Nemo.

Speaking of Disney/Pixar, I think we're going to take him to the theater when Planes comes out.  I think he might like it just a titch.

He counts to 2, which is pretty cute.  He gets a gummy vitamin every day, but always asks for more.  I've been saying, "No, you've already had yours, and you just get one today."  Then one day he responded to that with puppy dog eyes in full effect and a "Two??"  No buddy, but I'll definitely use gummy bears as your potty training reward.  He'll point to himself and Graham, saying, "One, two, one, two."  Ug -- I am going to maybe eat him, he's so cute!

He greets absolutely everybody that passes by, and usually wants to show off his cars to people.

His cheeks still jiggle when he runs.

He walks around with a purpose 90% of the time. 

If I ask him where something is, he always says, "Hmmmmmm" even if he already knows where it is and is heading right for it.

Before I can even get him out of his crib in the morning he is asking to "Go go??"  Being at home is torture.

His voice volume (near constant yelling) is still sometimes more than I can handle by 10 in the morning, but luckily if I start whispering to him he'll usually whisper back (for a few sentences at least).  I can't wait to show him videos when he's older of him living life at a SHOUT.  "I'M NOT SHOUTING!!! ALRIGHT I AM!!!  I'M SHOUTING I'M SHOUTING I'M SHOU--(thunk)."

Jude, high 5.  You're awesome.

18 June 2013


What's been going on with ME lately, I know you are ALL dying to know.

When I wake up in the morning, I think, "Man, I am TIRED."  But then a split second later I'm already wondering, "How can I keep Jude and Graham happiest today?"  The key to Jude's heart is to remain in motion and, even better, do so outdoors.  Usually we are outta the house by 9.  Doing anything.  I'm walking with Graham strapped to me while Jude rides his scooter around the neighborhood, and we stop at a few parks along the way.  We go to Pretend City, or a splash pad, or the beach.  We go to our favorite park a couple miles away and meet friends.  We go to this one so often I've gotten to know a few of the moms that are also regularly there.  This week when there were some older punk kids (probably ages 7 and 6) who were bossing around Jude, scolding him, and otherwise power tripping on him, I felt totally comfortable dishing it back to them because I sort of felt like the park was my turf (and my son is definitely my turf).  Jude, by the way, didn't really seem to notice that they were being rude, but I guess this is protective me.  ("He already has a mom, you don't need to boss him around.  If you don't want to share your toy, you don't have to.  Don't go on and on about it and lecture him."  ETC.  The nanny seemed pretty checked out, too.)

Anyway, I am lucky to have good friends in the area with kids that Jude loves to play with.  I feel like I'm getting a little collection of activities that accommodate all of us.  That is solid gold, and I'm so grateful.

I've also changed my seasons tune.  I have always been a winter girl.  I may be evolving into a year-round girl.  I'll never stop loving the fall and winter holidays and the coziness thereof, but the kid-approved activities that are what summer is ALL ABOUT are just tickling my fancy.  And hey, I'm not pregnant this summer, so I have nothing to complain about with the weather that keeps getting toastier.

Anyway, with all these awesome circumstances, here are things I need to figure out, and/or complaints:

- Complaint #1: My hair has been falling out for almost 2 months now, in true post-partum fashion.  Buckets of stupid hair shedding all over the place.  Please, make it stop!
- Complaint #2: Remember how disciplined I was ALLLLL during Graham's pregnancy?  I worked out 6 days a week, ate reasonably, and gained 30 lbs.  Well guess what: it was lame, because both pregnancies now, I've just lost everything but the last 15-20 lbs pretty much immediately, and as long as I'm nursing those lbs won't budge.  The only incentive to repeating the pregnancy health fest with the next baby is just that it was easier WHILE I was pregnant to live life with 30 extra pounds as opposed to 70.  Hmph.  I am actually very frustrated about this, but I've had a few months accept it and am sucking it up for the sake of not paying for formula, and oh, the additional health benefits of breastfeeding my infant as long as I can :).
- Complaint #3: I AM TIRED.  Lately I feel more tired than I did when Graham was a newborn.  I texted my mom a few weeks ago, "I don't remember feeling this tired with Jude, but could it be because of nursing?  I feel like I've been hit by a Kenworth most of the time."  My mom said, and I could hear her laughing in her text, "Merzy!  It's because you have 2 small children!  You're 'on' ALL the time."
- I-MUST-FIGURE-OUT #1: how my morning routine can include working out, showering, and getting out the door for errands and/or to a play date before 10am.  I have never been able to do all of those things successfully together.  Come on, people, it's been 4.5 months.
- I-MUST-FIGURE-OUT #2: I'm trying to get meals planned for the week so I can grocery shop 1-2 times a week instead of like 4 (which is what happens when I decide what to make for dinner at the beginning of every day).  It's pretty crappy when you have to run to the store at 4:30 to grab something to schlep something together.  It's so much easier to have it all planned in advance, but that means 1-2 LONG grocery store trips, or trips to multiple stores if I want to get the best deals on different items, and some days Jude just BRINGS IT and I have to not pick that battle.

Not withstanding these lame-o things, I am really happy.  I'm trying really hard to just enjoy my days and let the things I can't control roll to the gutter in the bowling alley of life.

Ok based on my last sentence I think it's safe to say bedtime has come.

Melissa's Bridal Shower

My friend Melissa got MARRIEEEED!!!!  I can't remember when I've been so excited for a non-family wedding.  This girl has been through it, and after some rough trials in her life, so many wonderful things have fallen into place.  The wedding was a couple of weeks ago, and every time I see her pop up on Instagram, my heart sort of swells because she is GLOWING.  More to come on the wedding, but we loved hosting this bash at my house.  Lisa and I have done 7 (or 8?) showers together in the last 2.5 years, and the next one is up in August or September!  We are getting a system down that helps cut unnecessary costs, my house is a pretty good central location since we're typically inviting people that live anywhere from LA to San Diego, and we love to shower people for whatever event needs showering.  I used to feel embarrassed or guilty when I'd be on the receiving end of a shower.  It's a lot of attention and I'd feel bad for putting people out.  But now I've realized it's GREAT to be on the hosting end!  It's GREAT to attend these things!  It is gratifying to know that someone is getting an easier start to motherhood or marriage, and of course to feel some of that love from friends and family as the big day draws close.  

And that is how I feel about Bridal and Baby Showers.  Happy Shower, Mel.  We ALL love you.

Eaton Family Reunion 2013

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Eaton family had its first Family Reunion in Duck Creek (Crick?), Utah.  It was strange that we've arrived at this phase of life, but it was so much fun, I'm glad we're here. Here are some pics:

I always catch Harry giving Sarah the most adoring looks.  Loooove is a many splendored thiiiiiing.  This is how they can often be found: sharing a couch and reading.

Classic mom.

Ian's presence turned Jude into a much more independent tike.  Usually Jude wants me to be in his line of vision at all times.  After this family reunion, he's much more comfortable to go play in the backyard or at the park without me at his heels.  They had so much fun throwing things off this deck to the ground (or parked cars) below (like about 7 cans of Coke Zero and tons of Hot Wheels), riding their cars, sliding, and engaging in other forms of mischief.

I had a box full of jewelry I hadn't opened in about 3 years, so I brought it and let my nieces Sadie and Julia have at it.  Who's their favorite aunt now??  Holler!

Of course we dibble dabbled in hair and nails.  Kacie's blonde hair is inspiring me to lighten mine....
Also I did some bomb manicures and pedicures on Sadie and Julia (also why I'm the favorite aunt -- holler!).

Cozy naps.  I could go for one right now.

We had a brief run with Family Olympics.  I was "in charge" and hacked 2 events from my SIL Angie from my OTHER family's Family Reunion in St. Jorge last summer.  Yes, only 2 events.  And they were the only ones involving food.  But the wood floor in the cabin would've resulted in some broken angles (and beyond) if we'd done a gunny sack race, and also, I'm lazy (or tired and busy). 

So we did a donut eating contest, one round with the big kids (Sam, Sadie, and Julia), and one with little kids (Jude and Ian).  We picked up the donuts in Cedar City right before we went up the mountain to Duck Creek, and since we were close to the end of the drive and the kids were getting cranky, Jeff offered to run in and get them while we kept the kids contained in the car.  He came out with a box of very fancy and glorious donuts, and since there were some without holes and thus couldn't be strung up, the adults had their own "contest" after.  And when I say "contest" I mean we enjoyed them without any strings attached.  And in true Eaton girl fashion, about each of those donuts were siphoned away at until they were gone.  Because things don't have as many calories when you only cut a piece off every 7-20 minutes.  The other event was blowing bubbles with frozen Bazooka gum.  Kris won that one -- the prize was the rest of the bag of Bazooka :).  

Sam won this event.  He's a 10 year old boy with a 6'6" dad and 5'10" mom.  His scarfing skills are well-honed.

I love my Sadie girl.

Cameron, if I had a nickel for every time you pulled this face in a picture last-minute, I'd buy a house in Bermuda and only let you visit if you promised to never pull this face in a picture ever again.

Jammy time.  And then Jeff and I can sit down time, because bedtime is just around the river bend.

Donut Eating Contest for the little kids: hilarious and cute.  They were thrilled at what was before them, puzzled for its presentation, and then annoyed that it made life difficult.  Cheating quickly happened and obviously no one cared.

Your donut ship will come in, my child.  

I never had to look very far for someone to hold and entertain G while I had to go do _____.

I always felt bad for Elizabeth's kids being so much older than any other cousins, because they'd get so bored at reunions.  Actually, all of the big kids are very good with babies and Jude, and they give such sweet attention, they never acted bored or put out.

Twins!  And I have to give props to Aunt E: Jude woke up anywhere between 5:30 (so 4:30 California time) and 6:00 each morning.  Since all 4 of us were in the same room, he'd wake up and be like, "Oh YES!  There's mom and dad; they can't hide now!  Party time!"  And since he'd wake up Graham if I let him cry for any amount of time, I had to appease him.  Each morning when Elizabeth heard my pitter patterings in the main room, instead of barking to keep it down from her own room (which would've been fair/understandable), she'd mosey on up to help me.  She'd help me put on movies, get breakfast for Jude, bring me a Diet Coke, etc.  If it were me I'd have taken the sleep :).  Thanks Elizabeth!  And also, then we got more time to talk.

Mom, J, and Kacie post-church.  We went to a local Branch which was so highly attended that day we were put in an "overflow room" down the hall from the chapel with the meeting coming through the intercom.  We were all dying laughing during every hymn because the organist was playing like a death march and every time we'd finish a verse, we'd realize everyone else in the chapel was at least a line behind us. 

Who wouldn't want this guy fighting Orange County fires??  (That's his career plan -- and I think based on this picture alone he could get a job at any station he pleases.)

I could not love him more.

Motherhood looks good on you, Sar!

And here's the whole kit and caboodle!  A bunch of people I love to love.  Until next time!  And thanks, Reynolds Fam, for letting us use your awesome cabin!

10 June 2013

Graham: 4 Months

My cracker is doing great.
Compared to Jude he still seems so tiny, so I was surprised to find out at his check up that he's off the charts in length, in the 85th percentile for weight, and 99th percentile for his head.  "It's like sputnik!"  Quoting that movie makes me feel old.  At one time it did not age me to know lines from that movie.

He continues to be pretty awesome.  Graham currently
  • sleeps through the night.
  • ate rice cereal once so far with a puzzled expression.
  • loves his binky but also his hands.  This never appealed to Jude, and as far as I know, any of my parents' children.  Before I sleep trained him, I went in one night to feed him and he had begun sucking on his thumb.  Full on, Linus style thumb slurping with his index finger resting against his nose.  I pulled it right out and put in the binky.  I do not want to have to put quinine on his thumb at some point like Rhett Butler did.
  • sits facing forward in the stroller.
  • smiles at Jude and watches his every move.
  • belly laughs with Jeff.
  • is becoming a distracted nurser.
  • loves to stand and climb up on my hips when I hold him.  I love this stage.
  • and one of my favorite things, grabs things and brings them to his mouth, thus squishing squishy objects into his squishy face.  There is something so endearing to me about the chewing and slurping on little toys.
  • rolls over from his tummy to his back, and scoots all around.
  • has sprouted his first 2 bottom teeth!  It's drool city around here, no surprise since he's my offspring.
When he wakes up in the morning he scrunches up his face all disoriented and I smile at him waiting for him to stop long enough to see me there.  When he does, his sweet Graham grin spreads across his porcelain face and we beam at each other.  I don't want him to ever grow up, but thinking about his latest milestones reminds me that he just is.  I had no idea every day I schlepped through my pregnancy that such a feeling of fulfillment would come with this addition.  My friend Annie told me days before Graham arrived that you think that with the baby that makes you a mother, you have no more room in your heart for another one, but your heart grows, and love is a crazy phenomenon (or something like that).  It's too true -- I didn't think I needed anything else besides Jude.  Now, a life without Graham wouldn't work.

Thanks for being our baby, G.