Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Merry Christmas to our little boy! And all the world along with him. What will he remember from this December, his first recollections of Christmas for a lifetime to come? The responsibility of building Christmas memories rests on our parental shoulders.

Christmas is a time of year with a mystery and a magic all its own. From the birth of Jesus to the arrival of Santa Claus, there are many twists and turns along the way. Presents? Christmas trees? Bright lights? Christmas sweaters? Giant family parties? What does it all mean? Does it have to mean something? Do we want it to?

Through it all, our boy is the same as ever. He is in constant motion or fast asleep. He is wearing our shoes and playing guitar. He dances and rocks out over the slightest hint of Christmas music. And yes, he has discovered Santa Claus and can identify him through pointing at any time it seems necessary.

I am sure that Christmas is a bewildering set of wonders to a little boy. But then, his life has been fairly short, so he hasn't much to compare it to. There are moments when I want to give my little boy piles of presents under our spindly tree, but I am holding myself back. You have a lifetime to appreciate the mysteries! We will appreciate your mysteries, in the meantime.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tree

The magic of the season may still elude us at Jude's young age, but you are never to young to appreciate a tree in the living room.

We drove to the woods to cut one down deliberately. Danel accompanied and gave lessons in proper handsaw safety.

After an hour in the car, pretty much any tree seemed good to me. We picked out the first short one we saw. It was a Western Hemlock.
It doesn't hold ornaments very well and the top of the tree sags over. We love it just the same. It is a great thing to be home for Christmas.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gel in my baby's hair

Jude's hair was getting out of control this week, so Daddy took him to the "cheap" haircut place while they were out and about. Jude had his first encounter with the #2 clippers. Instead of painstakingly trimming with scissors, the stylist quickly and efficiently got rid of 90% of Jude's hair via the buzz cut method. He got some spiky bangs for attitude.

We may be purchasing some #2 clippers in the near future. It came out much better than I expected, and it's a lot easier (and cheaper) than getting a $17 haircut every month...

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We stayed home this year for Thanksgiving and it was really nice. Duncan and Natalee visited for the long weekend and we had a great time.

Natalee did a lot of dishes with "help" from Jude.

Jude took a nap during Thanksgiving dinner, which was perfect. He was there in spirit, and also on his place mat. He also ate lots of leftovers during the next few days.

We tried to limit the number of dishes since there were only four of us. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, and asparagus. It was more than enough!

We got a good self-portrait right before dinner started.

It was so relaxing to be at home for Turkey Day. It's going to be hard to muster the motivation to travel in the future. Plus E Ben loves to do the cooking - and I have to say that I prefer my stuffing recipe to anyone else's (and to me the stuffing is the most important component of the meal). Sorry, New York family!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dog Heaven

Jude LOVES dogs. So when my brother Duncan and his girlfriend Natalee drove up to spend Thanksgiving with us and brought their dog, Jude was ecstatic. Cinnamon is 3/4 pug and 1/4 chihuahua, and it's a really cute mix. She also has a great personality. Jude was a little taken aback by her energy for the first few hours, but after that he spent most of his waking hours chasing Cinnamon around the house and trying to either pet her or feed her treats.

Cinnamon spent most of Jude's sleeping hours curled up in his Spiderman chair. That didn't work quite as well when he was awake because he would try to sit in the chair with her and she didn't like it much.

Jude retaliated by claiming the dog bed.

Jude spent a lot of time trying to kiss the dog. He would approach with a wide open mouth and she would sometimes lick his face, but usually just run away.

It was really fun having a dog around for a few days. I was happy that Jude seemed to understand she was a living thing, and didn't hit her or try to pull her tail. Mostly he just wanted to kiss her and give her treats. I'm sure we will get a dog one of these days. Not until the kids are begging and think it is their idea, though!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Purple Haze

It's a girl! Here's a cute picture of her profile. You can see her leg up at the top. She spent the whole time folded in a forward bend position which did not look very comfortable...

Everything looked perfect and the baby is measuring right on track for a May 1 due date. It turns out that the placenta is anterior (towards the back of my uterus), which is probably why I was able to feel movement so early. The "girl parts" were very clear and we were able to get many good shots of the entire anatomy. Baby was much less active this time - maybe because she has less room to maneuver!

We are really happy to be expecting a daughter. It does help to be able to focus on one set of names instead of two, but knowing us we won't make a decision until after she is born. The list is still growing. At some point, we'll have to start paring it down - but there's no real hurry. There are just so many good girl names...:)

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lots of Pokies

Jude had his 15-month appointment with Dr. Jack on Monday. Here are his stats:
  • Weight: 27 pounds, 10 ounces (86th percentile)
  • Height: 34 1/4 inches (99th percentile)
From a height perspective, Jude is about the size of a typical 2-year-old. His weight is creeping up a little bit percentile-wise compared with last time, probably because Jude eats like a maniac.

Everything is looking good. Dr. Jack said that Jude's language development is right on track for a boy of his age (a girl would probably be saying more words at this point) and he's already passing most of the tests for the 18M autism screen. Specifically, he plays well with other kids, points at objects that interest him, mimics words that we say, and is really good with eye contact. That's good news, not that I was worried about autism with our outgoing toddler!

The only things we need to change are to reduce Jude's daily milk consumption (he's been drinking 25-30 oz a day, and it should be closer to 18-20) and to brush his teeth for him (we usually hand him the toothbrush and let him do it himself). He got a lot of shots today - both flu vaccines and some other 15M vaccinations and cried more than he ever has before. He was over it a couple of minutes later and very interested in the band-aids decorating his legs.

The doctor said he was doing really well with his books and reading and was impressed that he was able to point out some of the things on the pages (the keys and the gorilla in Good Night, Gorilla). He couldn't find the little mouse, but that one is always touch and go.

Here are a couple of photos of Jude from the weekend. We had a fun visit with Duncan and Natalee (and Cinnamon, the dog). I'll post more about the weekend in the next few days. I'm finally feeling better (although my cough still sounds terrible) and have some extra energy at the end of the day to do something other than sleep, read, or watch TV.

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