Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jude at The Creek

While we were on Long Island this summer, we spent some time at The Creek. Jude had fun crawling around at the beach, playing in the pool, and sliding down the slide.

Here is a good view of the beach cabanas and Jude playing with his Liberty Bell spinner.

Jude and Oma chillin' at the Henning cabana.

Jude pulling my hair at the kid's area play structure.

Jude in the pool watching the action.

Here's a video of Jude going down a slide for the first time:

He loved it! Laughing the whole way down...

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eleven and counting...

We returned last night from a month-long visit to the East Coast. We have lots of photos, stories, and adventures to share. Here are a few to start us off.

This is a pretty good family portrait from our room in Maine.

Jude took his first steps this past month. Most of the time he still prefers to crawl, but once in a while he'll remember how fun it is to try to stand up and then he'll work on it for a few minutes.

Jude got to visit Baekeland Camp for the first time this summer. He's a little young to climb the Big Rock, so we found a Baby Rock for him to enjoy.

Jude had his first ride in the Yellow Canoe this summer. He also had a few dips in Utawana Lake, but it was a little cool so he mostly played on land.

Jude had a lot of fun on vacation. He adapted really well to all of the travel and actually seemed to enjoy exploring new places. He also had a lot of "firsts" in his eleventh month of life:
  • Jude is now sleeping through the night (12 hours) pretty consistently. He started this due to exhaustion related to travel, but it turned into a habit. Can't complain about that one!
  • After a lot of practice, and a few tumbles, Jude can now climb up AND down stairs. He still prefers to walk down the stairs holding hands, but he will feel his way down feet first on his belly if he doesn't get any help. It really helped that our room in Maine had three shallow, carpeted stairs, so we felt comfortable letting him loose to figure it out on his own.
  • Jude has also become a very FAST crawler. If you suspect we are just inexperienced first-time parents not familiar with normal crawling speeds, you are probably right, but many other parents have also commented on his speed. He takes after his Dad, I guess.
  • Jude said his first word. We fed him a little bit of sausage one morning for breakfast, then asked if he wanted some more, while making the sign for "more". Jude said MORE! Very clearly. Of course we had to give him some. He hasn't said it (or any other words) since then.
  • First fireworks at the Piping Rock Liberty Bell extravaganza. It was a late night for Jude, but he handled it pretty well and was mesmerized by the explosions.
  • As I mentioned above, Jude took his first steps and will stand unaided for short periods of time. He's not interested in pulling up and then letting go. Instead he starts from the middle of a room and does this funny lunge up and down until he's standing. If I can get it on video I'll post it, but he only does it a few times a day so it's hard to capture.
  • Jude swam in the ocean for the first time off the coast of Maine. He also swam in a lake for the first time up at Baekeland Camp.
  • Jude climbed a tree and sat on top of some big rocks. He loves the view from up high!
  • Jude had a lot of foods for the first time this month, but the most memorable was his first lick of an ice cream cone. We all shared a cone from Stew Leonard's on the drive from Maine to New York. He was a little taken aback at first by the cold, but quickly learned how to lick the cone after a few demonstrations from Mom and Dad.
  • Finally, Jude had his first babysitter who was not a friend or family member. My mom hired my grandmother's caregiver to watch Jude so that we could all go to my cousin's wedding. He had a great time with Michelle that night and she took care of him a few more times before the month was out.
We're not planning any more trips for a while, so the blogging should be less sporadic in the future. We're glad to be home, although the weather in Portland this week (103 today and tomorrow) is a little hard to handle. More to come later in the week!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hunt's Barber Shop

In the week before we left for the East Coast, Jude's hair grew into a floppy mess. We decided that the one thing we needed to get done before the wedding last weekend was to get Jude a proper haircut. After calling around to a few places, we decided to take him to Hunt's. Jude got his first haircut from my late grandfather's barber. Here are a few snaps of the experience.

This is a pretty good "before" shot. Pretty shaggy!

Margaret kept Jude entertained with her keys, a ball, and anything else she could find so that the barber could get in there without us having to hold Jude down.

We did hold him a few times to snip around the ears and get his bangs.

Here is Jude admiring the final result. What a difference! We're glad we finally got Jude a real haircut. Our attempts have been pretty pathetic. And now that I see how many snips it takes to get a decent result I'm happy to pay a professional. I did learn a few things - like cut around the back and sides, NOT the top. We did it exactly wrong, with a short spiky top and long bangs. I guess there's a reason I'm not a barber!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

I Love NY in June

The Cornett and Company LLC is on the move this month. We flew to Long Island, NY for a wedding and some much needed R&R. The wedding party was fantastic, and Jude stayed home with a sitter. The rest of us danced the night away under a big tent down by the Sound. It was a beautiful night!

Linden's family is from the North Shore of Long Island, which is sometimes referred to as the Gold Coast. This was the country playground of the JP Morgans and the Rockerfellers, the moneyed industrialists, and the New York City elite. There are mansions, country clubs, and expensive cars everywhere. It is like travelling to a different country.

This Oregon Boy is doing his best to play some golf, eat good food, get in some exercise, and of course, engage in battle over the local backgammon title. There was a tournament over the 4th of July weekend, and I participated and did quite well. I took 2nd place, losing to a slow, elderly gentleman with owl glasses and dentures. The best part, by far, was whooping up on some of these country club boys. I also ran in the 5k race, in which I also took 2nd place. Always a bridesmaid . . . never a bride!

My father-in-law asked this week if I am a natural winner or natural loser.

This is a fascinating question and one that has plagued me. Many of my Portland friends consider me to be a "gambler", a laughable charge in comparison to the "real" gambling that happens outside of our circles. I am always happy to win or lose $5 over some combination of skill and luck. It bothers me that I don't seem to feel much differently if I win or lose. No one who has seen me compete on the track can deny that I am competitive in nature. Then where is my killer instinct in the rest of my life?

I am attempting to build a healthy sense of competition to carry me into my middle years. I enjoy a good game - golf, tennis, backgammon, or whatever. I will keep it up, but keep things in perspective. I watched Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick this weekend in a brutal Wimbledon match. I could never care enough to hang on through 3 hours of that kind of play. I mean "play" is supposed to be fun, right?

Here is my answer to my father-in-law. Every time I look at my little boy, I feel like the big winner. Everything else pales in comparison to his healthy, happy little face smiling up at me.

Am I a "natural" winner or loser? I believe you make your own luck. I made mine already, by keeping my little family busy, well-rested, well-fed, and well-loved. It is hard to ask for more!
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Vacation

We're on summer vacation and I somehow didn't have time to put together the Month Ten post. Here are a few snippets to keep our readers going.

Jude was teething a week ago and his fifth tooth is in! We saw it for the first time last Friday. This was the most painful one yet for him. He didn't sleep very well on the camping trip because of his tooth, and E Ben had to make a special "civilization" run to get some Infant's Tylenol, but once it poked though he seemed fully recovered.

Jude had his first airplane flight as a Real Boy and he did surprisingly well. On our first leg from PDX to Salt Lake City, we lucked out and had a whole row to ourselves. Jude had fun crawling back and forth between us for most of the trip. He only made one enemy: he couldn't resist pulling the long hair of the lady sitting in front of one of our seats. On the second flight (SLC to JFK), we managed to get him down for a nap for the first two hours. He was exhausted, but it was still a challenge because Jude is not at all used to napping anywhere but his crib or carseat. We breathed a sigh of relief when he finally closed his eyes. Once he woke up, he did really well but needed to be entertained constantly for the remaining three hours. We cycled through toys and books and luckily brought enough in the way of entertainment. I will never again say that plane travel alone is difficult. What a luxury to be able to read a book or close your eyes or watch a movie! At one point we gave Jude a Biscoff cookie and he gnawed on it until it was gone. Ten whole minutes of just sitting on my lap. We'll have to keep that trick in the bag.

We had a great weekend in NY. We were here for my cousin's wedding, which meant that Jude got to meet a lot of family members for the first time. He loved my cousin John Lawrence, giving him "Jude kisses" (which consist of an open mouth on your cheek or nose) every time he saw him. Jude also got to play with his second cousin Lukas, who is four days older. We're planning some Baby Olympic Games one of these days. So far the only event we've been able to agree upon is a race up a flight of stairs. Jude has been in training this week. Luckily, climbing stairs is pretty much his favorite thing to do, so it's not too hard on him.

Jude is also loving his "cousin" Maximus (my sister's Yorkie). It is so cute to watch the two of them playing together. Maximus swoops in and licks Jude on the face. Jude pushes Maximus away, and then chases after him and the cycle repeats.

Jude's communication skills have also been improving markedly in the past few weeks. He seems to understand more of what we say, and he is using a few baby signs. I wish he would learn the "all done" sign, because at this point when he's done eating a certain food he picks it up and throws it on the floor. Last night we were playing this hilarious game where I would hold Jude and E Ben would go into the other room. After a few seconds, Jude would make a little noise and E Ben would come running back into the room, and which point Jude would shriek and open his eyes wide as if he was really frightened. It's almost like he was pretending to be scared, but I don't know if his mind is developed enough to be that sophisticated. Then he would laugh histerically and want to play again. Every day we have new games; this age is a lot of fun.

Oma and G'Pa have been a lot of help and we've been able to get away a few evenings for walks around the golf course and games of backgammon. E Ben is playing in the Liberty Bell backgammon tournament this weekend and it's pretty much the highlight of his week.

That's about it for now. I'll post pictures when I get a chance, but it might not be until we're back home.