And How

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mommy Brag!

I swear...having kids makes your life go by in double time.  I mean there are some stages that seem to be exhausting and they last forever (like the last month of pregnancy and that stage where babies aren't quite walking yet, but refuse to be held/strapped down), but at this rate, my babies will be off to college tomorrow!

First Anna...12 days WEEKS old!  I took her in for her check-up today and she was perfect (no surprise to me:)).  I made sure that she flashed her gorgeous baby blues to everyone at the doctor's office and she threw in a few adorable coos and grins for good measure.  She's our little bundle of baby fever and we've been getting a lot of this lately:

Holding her head up like she was born to do it:)  (and cute hiney)
She's so vogue;)
And our little wild card, Jude...  You know, he's three now and in some ways it's more difficult than two, but it's also mostly awesome.  He's had his first "teeth cleaning" last week and got a great report (I'm still surprised he's got all of his teeth...the little dare devil).  I also took him on a mommy date for breakfast last week to "celebrate" his three-year check-up (which came with shots).  He was such a good boy and we had a wonderful morning out together.  I love this little firecracker and can't get enough of his sweetness!

Here's to three years of living life to the fullest!  (this is how he does "three" now, btw)

Jude was a rock star at the dentist!
And then Penn...sigh...I'm oozing with pride today especially because guess what...PENN TIED HIS OWN SHOES!!!  If you don't have kids, this is kind of like your dog learning to put it's own leash on.  We've been working on this skill for a few weeks now and after some tears (mostly mine), he did it all by himself today.  Someone please put him in a room alone with the world's problems and he'll solve them by nap time.  Next week I predict he won't even need me:(  I'm just a warm body for his cold feet these days (just kidding...big boy LOVES his mama!).  And guess what a few months, I'm going to have to give him up to strangers for five days a week when he starts kindergarten!  He's growing so fast, my heart may just break...

Kindergarten is what's up!
Ties biggie (except it is!)
Please tell me they don't always grow this fast!  I need to be able to fit them all in my arms for the rest of my life!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Last Year's Resolution...Year in Review!

I was feeling pretty ambitious last January.  I guess being in a new place gave me a bit of motivation to make some changes to my lifestyle and create some new habits.  I think I did okay considering all the outcomes of this past year, so I'm going to summarize what worked and what didn't for me last year.

1.  Start quilting.  Well, I didn't start quilting, but I did make a baby blanket.  You see, I didn't realize that measuring (my mortal enemy) was so important to quilting and as it turns out...I'm lazy.  I'm still planning on working on this, but I'm happy that I still ended the year with at least one blanket sewing project.

2.  Start a vegetable garden.  This is another one that I cheated on...kind of.  A friend gave me some patio tomatoes that I planted in pots and we were actually able to harvest a few that the squirrels and dogs didn't get to first.  I'm glad I started small.  It was a good trial run and maybe this year, we can actually build a garden of sorts.

3.  Read a Proverbs a day.  I did this off and on throughout the year.  I learned something new every time I read the same thing over and especially loved a study I didn't on the Proverbs 31 Woman by Nancy Leigh Demoss.  Although I faltered quite a bit on this resolution, I feel like I reaped the most benefits from this one alone!

4.  Eat out no more than once a week.  We did better on this last year than we thought we would.  Especially during my whole "first trimester funk" where I couldn't cook, go in a grocery store, or open my fridge.  We definitely ate out more than once a week a lot of times, but we kept pretty close to this goal.

5.  Get rid of most of my clothes.  Weeelllll....if you count putting all of my clothes in the attic and replacing them with a closet full of maternity clothes, then I did this perfectly!  I did manage to get rid of a lot though and now pretty much only have dresses and coats/sweaters in the closet and the rest of my clothes in three drawers.  Not bad considering that maternity clothes just take up more space than regular ones!

6.  Join and become active in a small group at our new church.  We totally did this and it was awesome.  Our group decided to split up toward the end of the year though and we are now getting ready to join another one, so long as this baby doesn't decide to come on the day GroupLink is scheduled.  Either way, I can't wait to get back into a small group asap!

7.  Lose 10 pounds.  Or gain 20...hmmmm.  Blame this one on the baby too.

8.  Renovate our kitchen by the end of the year.  We didn't do this at all.  Remember how I said the hubs would veto some of these?  Well this was one.  We did, however, get new windows all over the house (which made a huge difference), and for under $2000 we were able to redecorate our bedroom (including upgrading to a king sized bed), create a nursery, and buy a new-to-us sectional sofa bed for our living room (aka guest room)!  Gotta love Craigslist!

9.  Teach the boys how to serve others.  I guess this is one where I definitely feel through.  We did SOME things, but definitely not something organized once a month like I had hoped.  I'm keeping this one on the forefront this year and hopefully will do better.  I do have to say that despite my slackness, my boys have the kindest, sweetest little hearts I could hope for them to have and for that, I am so thankful and proud!

10.  When I think something nice (specifially about my husband), I want to make it a habit to say it, share it, or write it down for him to see.  I guess Pack could tell you how I improved on this one.  I will say that he's still the most awesome, fun, and loving husband in the WHOLE WORLD and I still find it hard to believe that he somehow wanted to end up with me.  I'm such a lucky girl and when I see his traits in our boys, I couldn't be more proud!

11.  Make less waste.  Okay, this one, I feel good about.  I think the only disposable product that we're still really attached to is toilet paper (and we're not giving that one up any time soon).  I only bought throw-away plates, cups, and napkins for birthday celebrations this year and we don't even think about paper towels anymore.  There were also a few other throw-away products that I switched over to this year and not one of my choices as created more work for me.  Awesome!

Bonus:  Pack's new year's resolution last year was to not buy any sliced bread from the store for our home (which of course, was one more resolution for me).  I got a bread machine last Christmas and I guess he wanted to make sure we got good at using it.  I'm proud to say that for the entire year of 2011, we did not buy one loaf of regular sliced bread for sandwiches and such.  We did however, occasionally buy things like  hotdog buns and tortillas since I don't know how to make those (and didn't feel like trying to learn), but overall...SUCCESS!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


In one year, our little Jude has gone from this:

to THIS:

And BOY what a ride it's been!

We have had so much fun seeing Baby Jude blossom this year.  He has really grown into his BIG personality so well and we have loved getting to know him as a little boy.  Here are a few of his big moments from the past year...

We've always known Jude liked to live big.  I always joke that Jude is a magnet for disaster/injuries.  And he's definitely had quite a few injuries that left us wondering if we needed to make a trip to our local ER (thankfully, we haven't...yet.).  Fortunately, our little daredevil seems to be very resilient:)

"One little monkey jumping on the bed..."
Jude has also become quite the little talker this year.  His vocabulary and verbal expressions have really exploded!  It hasn't always been smooth sailing though.  We've had a few rough patches of stuttering here and there (that were definitely harder for us than him).  Although these times were frustrating and a bit scary for us as parents because it's so hard to see your kids struggle with anything, I am glad to say they ended up teaching us quite a bit.  We learned that Jude can sometimes feel like he's having to fight for attention.  We also noticed that we interrupted him quite a bit to finish his sentences and we let Penn do most of the talking for a long time.  Now we know the importance of taking turns, speaking more slowly and quietly, and paying closer attention to our children during life transitions (this seems to be when the stuttering relapses).  He may continue to struggle with this from time to time, but I have every idea that it won't stop this little boy from doing what he wants to do;)

Stubbornness and perseverance go hand in hand:)
Jude is still our "Mr. Independent."  He's been dressing himself as long as Penn has and doesn't let us do whole lot for him.  There have been many times where I've had to let him go to the park with his shoes on the wrong feet, pants on backwards, or shirt inside-out because he will not let me help him get dressed.  Forget the fact that he probably doesn't match anyway.  Luckily, with those beautiful hazel eyes, no one looks at the crazy outfit underneath anyway:)

Those eyes are going to melt some girl's heart one day (besides his Mama's)!

Penn has always been idolized by his baby brother.  Except now that Jude is a little boy, he's literally doing everything that Penn does.  If Penn scratches his leg, Jude gets an itch too.  If Penn gets in trouble, Jude seems to be found getting into the same mischief.  If Penn cries, Jude's heart is usually broken too.  Although they fight sometimes now that both of them are older, there's no mistaking their love either.  No one can cure one of Jude's bad moods like his big brother can!

Sweet love.
Lots of mischief has been gotten into this year by "innocent" little Jude.  Messes seem to follow him around and sadly, nothing is out of his reach anymore.  Whenever he gets into trouble, his first instinct is usually blurting out, "I'm sowwwy, Mommy."  He has visited "time out" quiet a few times this year to say the least.  And of course, he never feels that it's justified.  There is a reason we call him "Moody Judee."

 We've had a lot of incidents this year--------->

<------------Usually they are followed by this.

One of my favorite changes from the past year is seeing my little Jude go from being "the baby" to a BIG BROTHER!  I swear, he grew a whole year in just one day!  Little Anna came into our lives at the beginning of 2012, and we have gotten to see a side of Jude that we always knew was there.  Jude wants to touch, kiss, hug, hold Anna constantly.  And he always reminds me what a "big helper" he is.  Baby sister, Anna, will never want for anything (except space) if her big brothers have any say in it.  I hope he always remembers how much he adores her.

He just can't get close enough.
So, now he's three.  Two flew by (and it Wore. Me. Out.), so we kept his birthday pretty low-key.  We called it "Jude's Day" and he got to pick what we did all day long.  That meant pancakes with sprinkles for breakfast, a trip to Inflation Nation (where we had lunch), Angry Bird cupcakes, a nap on the couch, and Chick-Fil-A for dinner.  Basically not too much work for mom (yay!). 

Birthday Pancakes (with a a candle, of course!)

Inflation Nation!
A family nap!

 Jude is busy, messy, sensitive, creative, funny, and so loving.  I never have to negotiate for a hug and kiss.  His prayers are the sweetest.  He loves to sing (especially lullabies for his baby sister) and he is a dancing fool.  Jude always helps with laundry and dishes and has the best manners.  He also loves to tell stories and jokes.  There are so many wonderful things about my boy and I'm smitten for the boy he has become!

We are crazy about you, Baby Jude and we hope that you'll always remember how boundlessly you were loved.