27 August 2013

Jude: Toddler of the World

I'm going to have to gush and say that Jude has been extra soft with me lately.  The older he gets, and the better he communicates, the more confident he is and able to reveal an overflow of details to his personality and enormous heart.

Graham always wakes up first, and I sprint to his room to get him before he awakens the hibernating bear.  If I am downstairs with Graham by the time Jude wakes up, Jeff gets him and I can hear them rustling about changing a diaper or whatever, and a few minutes later I hear at the top of the stairs, in the most chipper voice imaginable, "Hello, Mommy!" Then he jabbers all the way down the stairs about holding hands, coming, Daddy's awake, Baby Graham, Milk, Juice, Smoothies, trucks, his friends, wanting to go to Kids' Club (the gym), or Speech Therapy, or the beach, etc.  Jabber jabber jabber.  It's not all in complete sentences, it is very stream of consciousness, but ever so adorable.

He is very perky.  As I talk about what we're going to do that day, he'll insert very peppy exclamations of, "Yes, OKAY!!!"  Getting dressed is now very good news because he knows we can't leave the house without those pesky shirts and shorts on.  When I say, "let's go get dressed," he jumps into rambling about "Oh!  Shirt...fjaklsdkjfa..... I wanna... fjklad;fa.....shorts!" He shows great concern for Graham's clothing and binky too, which never gets old.

If we are playing anywhere outside and see a big truck coming or hear a plane up above, he runs over to me and holds my hand as we watch it go by -- I can't tell if he does this because he is so overjoyed he needs me to steady him, or if it's because he wants to share the experience with me.  Either way, it thrills my heart.

He hasn't been napping lately.  Buh.  He NEEDS this sleep he, 5/7 days a week, is not getting.  He never fights going into his crib, he just plays there for an hour or so until he starts calling me to collect him.  Then on a random day he crashes for a 4 hour nap.  I am not sure whether or not to do something about this.  I have been saying for over a year that his crib is about to break, but now it's REALLY about to break.  He also climbed out of it once last week, but never since.  I think a toddler bed is not far off, and I don't know if "Quiet Time" will be so kindly received outside of a crib.  The things I agonize over with my first child.

He wants to come everywhere with me, FLIPS OUT if I am not present for bedtime routines, says thanks or "geeks" for ANYTHING he is being given, and randomly apologizes to me throughout the day.  "Sorry, mommy!"  "Jude, you don't have to apologize, you did nothing wrong, sweetie!"  But then sometimes I swear he's apologizing for screaming and dumping out my bag in church a few weeks ago, or taking a big gulp of juice and then spitting it out on the floor on purpose the day before.

He is a little cleaning maniac.  I now have help cleaning up his toys.  The other day I was holding Graham on my hip and Jude's hand to go upstairs for nap/Quiet Time.  Graham spit up a little on the wood floor.  I was going to just clean it up when I got back downstairs, it's not like that doesn't happen 10 times a day, but Jude stopped in his tracks with a disgusted expression and refused to budge until I grabbed him a paper towel.  He wiped it up for about 3 minutes, making sure all traces were truly gone.  I'm hoping this is because I am such a STELLAR example of cleanliness ;).

I know there are other things I'm forgetting, but my tender-hearted maniac toddler is rocking my world for better and worse.  I don't know how I ever got along without him and his weedly ways.

12 August 2013

Utah Summer Trip 2013

My old pal Mr. Sandman has bailed on me tonight and for the past hour I have not been able to sleep.  Me!  Come ON!  For the past 6 months I have been achieving knocked-out-with-a-mag-light sleep in about 5 seconds.  I hadn't slept so well since my mission.  I feel like tonight's bout of insomnia is cruel because as it is, I still spend Jude's nap being fairly still to conserve all the energy so I can be the best mom I can to him while he's awake.  Anyway, since I've given up on sleep for a little while, I shall be productive in the record way.

At the end of June my cousin Kyle McOmber got married to Mackenzie!  So now her name is Mackenzie McOmber.  How awesome is that.  See?  It's not even a question.  I remember driving along in the AstroVan one day when I was in high school and I found out that Meredith is also a last name (I may have told this story on this blog before, can't remember now).  WHAT?!?!  "Mom!  What if I fall in love with a guy whose last name is MEREDITH???  What would I do??!!  I can't go by my middle name or something, I've always BEEN MEREDITH! It's who I AM!"  "Merzy?"  "Yeah?"  "Let's worry about that when it happens, ok?"  

Then a few years later I started hoping I'd fall in love with a guy with the last name Montgomery, because I thought "Meredith Montgomery" sounded quite spectacular, but of course I find myself quite lucky to have wound up with a beautiful classic like Hayes and didn't need any time to warm up to it.  

But back to Kyle and Mackenzie: Mackenzie McOmber.  Now how's that for alliteration (which I love).  

We piled into the car around noon, and drive we did.  I've decided I can stop cataloguing every moment of every road trip; they are all sort of terrible and fun in their own way, and Jude will probably never, ever, ever be thrilled about the "buckled" concept for the entire drive, but we always make it through having saved more money than if we'd flown, and alive.  All's well that ends well.  I'd forgotten that taking a long road trip while nursing is fraught with times when you need to stop but can't, and then when you can stop the baby might be sleeping, or not hungry, etc., but oh well.  We lived.

And so, here is a 3:30 a.m. presentation of UTAH: Summer 2013!

Almost there, Jude!  Almost there!  

Isn't Utah just beautiful???  I'm always so happy to come here, and I'm always so happy to return home to California, so I don't really know what to do about that.  I never want to leave either place.

Playing with Cousin L.  Jude was nicer to her than at Christmas, when he'd often greeted her with "NO NO NO!"

I can't handle all the love I have for this baby.

Uncle Robert giving a Rehearsal Dinner toast.  My mom quietly exclaimed, "He looks JUST like my Grandfather Lambert up there!" So I took a picture so she could show him later. 
I hadn't been to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in so long, and it was beautiful and great to get the weekend festivities started. 

Angie is so much fun to talk to -- Graham and I agree.

Cousin J

In heaven

Also in heaven

Ready for church!

He had 4 adults smiling at him in his high chair test drive, so he thought high chairs were great!

I loved this old Similac can!  I was looking for a pen and got side tracked freaking out about what the pens are kept in.  Jeff told me that they've used that as a pencil holder for as long as he can remember.  I weaned Jude at about 7 or 8 months and so I got to know Similac quite well a couple of years ago.

Love abounded at Paradise Cafe.  There could not be a sweeter picture.  My kids are so lucky!

And zee bride and groom!  The whole thing was beautiful.  The dinner, the sealing, the reception, I loved it all.  

Some of my girls. 
At the reception -- Jude couldn't quite handle waiting for his mum for a picture, but I love him for his rascally energy.

Mother's Lounge at church

Ah the Utah dry heat of summer.  We came in from some errands or something and Jude beelined over to the floor vent, and cooled his britches on the cool air.  Smart.  :)  I really do love dry heat -- it's strangely addicting.

And far too quickly it was time to turn right back around and drive home.  The silver lining was we got to stop in Provo for a couple of hours to visit with the Smith girls (now the Buskirk and Caffee girls).  Plus their dad, Kristina's husband, and all of the kids.  I should mention Kristina and Elise were visiting their parents who live in Provo, so the stars aligned for this visit.  We brought Diet Coke and M&Ms (these geniuses share our love of these staples), and they brought the Einstein's Bagels, the kids played, and we sat and talked and talked and didn't miss a beat.  

We can't wait to see them again!!

And then just like that we were home again.  I already miss it.

06 August 2013

A couple of Jude things

  • He's such a softy.  A few days ago I was hoisting him into his car seat and he bit my shoulder while in a zerbert/tackle moment.  I know he didn't mean to hurt me, but hurt it did, and I said, "Ouch!" and put my bottom lip out into a sad face.  Seeing my reaction, he burst into tears, big fat ones, and started saying through sobs, "Mommy hug!"  This is one of the reasons I love having boys -- they are so rough and burdened by excessive energy, but then they turn around and show overwhelming sweetness. 
  • Yesterday we had a contractor (named Sam) come to give us a bid on installing some moulding in one of our rooms.  Once Sam got his tape measure out, Jude high-tailed it out of the room and downstairs.  I didn't need to ask where he was going; in a flash he was back with a tape measure.  He was copying Sam "measuring" spaces, and when Sam was done and clipped his tape measure to his pocket, Jude asked me to help him do the same.  He was looking at Sam with an expression of timidity and awe.  So funny.  And when Sam asked Jude what his name was, he answered, "Bob."  I could not stop laughing; I think he was telling him he was Bob the Builder (even though we haven't watched that show in a looong time).  
  • I got a gift card to a juice bar for my birthday and yesterday I cashed in on it.  While we waited for my toxin-flush drink to be made, Jude found a pamphlet to a local gym (owned by one of the Real Housewives of OC, so it must be amaaaaazing).  On the cover of the pamphlet, a body builder man was showing off his shiny physique.  Jude pointed and exclaimed, "DADDY!"  
  • He's learned the hard way in the last 24 hours why we are always telling him to be careful on the ladders at the park, while climbing the stairs at home, and why he can't stand on a chair while eating a meal.  He's fine, just a little ego-bruised and bodily bruised.
2 and a half years old this month!

02 August 2013

Graham: 6 Months

He's a big 6 months.
He weighs 19 lbs, the weight of the average 1 year old.
He's off the growth charts for length and head circumference.
This stuff mattered to me a lot more with Jude, I really wanted him to be big so I could have physical proof that I was doing my job in helping him thrive, but I'm not taking it all so personally because I realized babies are all hitting their growth spurts at different times.  Some check ups Jude is in the 90th percentile, some check ups he's in the 50th.  Right now he's in the 75th.  But Graham has always been a big, fatty toasted cheeser.  My left bicep muscle is becoming quite impressive.  He's 1 lb away from outgrowing his infant car seat.  He eats so much I can't keep up and have to supplement with a bottle of formula (or two) a day.  I started him on solid foods last week and he kicks and grabs for it when he sees it coming.  

In about every other way, he's up to the same old tricks.  Playing with and staring at his hands, figuring out how to put in his binky, drooling, giggling, marveling at his brother, growling, cough-laughing, sucking on his lips, and swatting.  He's still an easy-going bright spot in my life, a truly selfless soul.  I love him.