Monday, December 29, 2008

The Claw!!!

We got a video of Jude's first real laugh. The same trick worked about 100 times! And it hasn't worked again since that night...:(

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let it snow!

It's been snowing this week in rainy Portland. Jude has been enjoying the view.

We had a candle melting incident last night. It was so pretty I had to take a photo. What are the odds that two candles would leak right at the same time?

Jude was a cutie on the couch the other day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cornett Family Secrets Revealed

E Ben was working on our Christmas letter today. Here is the second runner-up:

We would love to write a long and detailed letter of our triumphs and travels this year, but it just doesn’t seem honest. This year, in honor of the holidays and the winter weather, the Christmas cheer, and the children being nestled all snug in their beds, we’re coming clean. We’re providing you with the real dirt on the Cornett family. Parents, you may wish to consider that this content may not be suitable for all ages.

Events from 2008 that we’re not proud of:

E Ben lied on his life insurance. He actually has smoked a cigar once.
Linden can’t remember how it felt to be in labor.
It took us two years to pick a paint color for the kitchen.
Jude is a bedwetter. You heard it here first.
After E Ben quit his job, he started playing a lot more golf.
Linden is ready to go back to work.
Jude pooped in his carseat and then smeared his hands in it.
Linden lets E Ben fill in her voting ballot.
Jude is not really that cute when he’s crying.
Jude only gets a bath every other week.
Everyone in our family seems to have really bad gas.
All Jude’s baby clothes are secondhand.
E Ben didn’t really have a costume together for Jude’s first Halloween.
We love to eat, and we’re too lazy to go to the gym.
We always buy cheap Christmas presents.

Whew! I feel better. That’s the miracle of Christmas, alright. It’s all about forgiveness.
Linden, E Ben, and Jude are all healthy and happy! Hope to see you in 2009!

It Worked!

Following the advice of the book I'm reading, I put Jude to sleep at 7:30pm last night after he'd only been awake for two hours following his afternoon nap. He was acting tired and a little cranky, so I figured it couldn't hurt to try it. He went down pretty easily after I swaddled him tightly. About a half hour later, we heard him talking and singing on the monitor, but did not go to him. He was quiet again after a few minutes, and we didn't hear another peep until 4am! I got up and fed him, then put him back down. I was a little worried he wouldn't go back to sleep since he seemed wide awake at 4:30, but he managed to put himself back down after making some (non-crying) noises for a few minutes. He woke again at his usual morning wake-up time, happy and ready for the day! It was a good start, but we'll have to wait and see if this pattern continues. It would be great if it did!

E Ben took Jude to the Zoo yesterday to see Sam the baby elephant who was born the day after Jude.

Jude was looking pretty cute the other night on the couch.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Painting the Kitchen

I took advantage of our last few weeks before the holidays to complete a long-standing house project. We bought this big house up in the hills of Portland, partly because it needed some work. I used to be more inclined to big house remodeling dreams, but this is an older and wiser man in the picture above.

Part of the challenge of the stay-at-home-daddy life is to balance sensible tasks with diaper changes and baby walks to keep from going crazy. The year we bought this house, I planned a summer remodel of the bathroom. That one only took 18 months. So now, when I am feeling the need to be productive, I come up with a job I can actually accomplish in three hours a day.

I hereby unveil my weeklong project of painting the kitchen. It's not perfect, but it sure looks green. Shy Blossom, actually!
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Activity and Sleep

Jude is loving his activity time in the Exersaucer. He's really started reaching for objects and manipulating them with his hands. Thanks to the Joneses for the loan!

We took some nice photos in the past week. Here are a few of the best.

I'm currently reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. In general, Jude is a good sleeper, but lately he has started waking up twice in the night to eat instead of once, which really messes up my sleep at night! I learned from the book that waking once or twice at night to eat is pretty normal until about nine months of age, but Jude should be going to bed earlier once he hits his four-month birthday. Right now he goes down between 9 and 10 after taking a fairly long nap from about 4-6. Actually, his bedtime should be sometime between 6 and 8. If he goes down earlier, he is supposed to sleep better overall, and waking up twice to feed him won't seem as difficult, I think. I guess we'll start trying some of the ideas from the book when we get back from our holiday vacation...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back On Leave

I decided to go back to work early so that I could take the rest of my maternity leave next summer. Alas, it turns out that I was misinformed and only California employees are allowed to take their leave in two chunks. I went back in for two days, but then I had to go back out on leave right away or lose the opportunity for good, so I decided to stay home for the month of December and return to work in January. I've always said that I would take as much unpaid leave as I possibly could, but it was actually a difficult decision to stay out. First, although we don't need the money I would earn (we'd saved enough for the full leave duration), it's been tough for me to see the stock market go down and not be able to rebalance by buying more stocks when they're cheap. Also, although I never expected that I'd think this, I'm finding that getting out of the house to go to work and spending some time away from the baby is good for my mental health. I definitely think that staying home with a baby can be more challanging than working in a job like mine - one I'm familiar with and have been doing for quite a while, meaning that it is rarely stressful.

Here is a video that E Ben made today while I was having a nice day off...:

As you can see, Jude loves to kick. We are continually amazed by those legs!

My sister Margaret visited for the Thanksgiving long weekend. She and Jude got to spend a lot of quality time together (although she had to compete with the baby-snatchers in the family), and Jude also got to wear some of his cute outfits that we never bother to put on him. Here's a photo of the two of them from Thanksgiving Day.