Monday, September 24, 2012

seven months

This little bubba turned 7 months a couple of weeks ago.   
I know I say this in every post...but seriously, where is the time going?! 
I can't believe how grown up my little peanut is already!

As much as I love the newborn stage, and find myself at times wishing with all my heart it could last forever...
there really isn't anything quite like watching your baby grow and discover his little world around him. 
The simple things that bring him a piece of paper, a spoonful of rice cereal, a snuggle.
The way he watches, in wonder and awe, as his siblings dance around the room.
Or how he carefully studies people when they fascinating it is to watch someone take their food from their plate to their mouth.  Jude follows every move with his eyes, and salivates through the process.
He loves watching cartoons with his brother and sister, and staying up late with his mom and dad.
He appreciates good music, and a warm bath.
He enjoys spending time in his exersaucer, and going for walks in his stroller.
He adores his big sister, and is crazy about his brother.

He's still the happiest little person I have ever known.
I swear, I could be having the worst day of my life, and all I have to do is hold him in my arms, or glance at his darling face, or look into his sweet brown eyes, or lean in for a big slobbery kiss...
and my worries are no more.  It's foolproof. 
Not to mention his smile.  He flashes his two pearly whites at me...and it's over.

I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing us with such a sweet little spirit.  
Jude has no idea how much he is loved and adored...
but I am determined, as his mother, to make sure that he feels it...
 every day of his life.

Happy 7 Months, darling Jude.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

six months

I am downright embarrassed.  And ashamed.  My baby is almost seven months old, which means it's been two whole months since I have blogged!
 It makes me sad...not because I'm letting my millions of readers down (ha...come on, you know you laughed, too) but because life is just zipping on by, and I'm not taking the time to record it...which really means, that in a few months or years (or in some cases a few days, or hours, even)...I will have forgotten.  It makes me sick to think that I could really forget these moments that have made up one of the sweetest times of my life...but alas, it happens to the best of us.  If we don't record it, chances are, we will forget.  
Well, I'm determined to change that by devoting more time in my life to my trusty old blog...
And I can think of no better way to get started, than by highlighting a few of Jude's six month milestones and achievements...before he gets another month older.
Cut me some slack, will ya?...I've got one day to get 'er done.
  • At his six-month check-up, Jude weighed in at 16 pounds 12 oz, was 27 inches long, and his head  measured 17 1/4 in.  The doctor told us he was in the 25th percentile for weight, and the 50th for height and head.  (Boring to you...but something I may want to remember some day.)
  • Jude attended his first concert!  Which also happened to be MY first concert 25 years ago!  It was the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour.  We didn't end up buying tickets for it until the day of the we were lucky to have been able to find a sitter for the evening.  She was a little young, though, and I wasn't sure I wanted to leave Jude we took him along!  He wore John's noise cancellation headphones, which surprisingly, stayed on the whole night, and which, also surprisingly, he seemed to enjoy.  He was a hit with everyone around us...the man sitting next to us called his wife and told her all about how there was the cutest baby sitting here enjoying the show with some giant headphones...and the folks in front of us asked if they could take a picture of him - they thought he was so cute.  He ended up falling asleep for the second half of the show (it was a three hour set!  they played 50 for each year!)...I had to laugh, as it reminded me of how my little brother, Matt, fell asleep when we went to the Beach Boys concert as kids.  We've teased him a lot about that over the anyone could fall asleep at a concert is beyond me.  Jude was so cute though...lying in my lap, sleeping so peacefully despite the sound level in the venue, and wearing a pair of headphones that were twice the size of his head.  The cutest sight!
  • Jude tried rice cereal for the first time...and liked it!  
  • He talks a lot, and he screams a lot...he squeals, and he hollers, and he jabbers the day away.  I think he loves hearing his low and raspy voice in action as much as I do!  It's seriously the best!
  • Jude loves his bamboo blankies!  Whenever we start to put one on top of him, he grabs at it with his hands, and kicks at it with his legs, and then buries his little face into it!  It's the cutest thing to see how excited he becomes over something so simple.  At bed time, and for naps, he's sure to fall right to sleep as long as he has a piece of his blanket touching the side of his face...and believe it or not, even when we're out and about with temps in the 110-115 range, Jude still loves to be covered with a bamboo blankie.
  • He is the happiest baby I have ever known.  He smiles if you just make eye contact with him, and if you laugh at him,  you're sure to get a laugh back.  He loves to sit in his exersaucer, or in his little bumbo chair, and just watch and observe his surroundings.  He's content to lie on a blanket on the floor, and he loves hanging out in his swing.  He's happy and he's easy.  He goes with the flow, and he naps on the go.  He's my dream baby.  
  • Even though he's so chill...he does have a little bit of a hard time for some reason every night around 5:30...which also happens to be when I'm trying to make dinner!  We've come up with an easy solution for that, however...we make dinner together.  I strap on the baby bjorn, put him inside, turn on some tunes, and we're good to go.  He's getting some good practice in.  Who knows, maybe he'll grow up to be a chef, or a food connoisseur, or a culinary specialist of some sort.   I so look forward to this time that we share together each evening.  I'm going to miss the day that he loses interest...or becomes too big for me to strap on my chest...or starts reaching for the knives, or the boiling water.  For now, though...we have a pretty good thing going.
  • He started sitting up, but can't stay sitting for very long before he topples over.  
  • He can roll, too, but for the most part, choses not to.  I see some of his friends (who were born at the same time) doing all sorts of tricks...but jude, he's just my chill baby.  And really, I'm in no hurry to have him grow up and turn into a big boy. In fact, if I had it my way, I'd put a hold on time, and enjoy my six month old baby...for another six months or so.

Happy 6 Months, Baby Jude!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

five months

Well another month has come and gone, and our sweet baby Jude is already five months old! 
 It's so crazy to me. 
 It feels like he just barely arrived, but on the other hand, it's as if he's been with us forever. 
 We took our very first family vacation with Jude, and he fit in just perfectly. 
 We hit up about 10 different beaches in southern California; and he seemed to love the ocean, the sand, and the salty sea air just as much as the rest of us. 
 He's such a happy and good natured baby...perfect for a 3rd child. 
 He doesn't seem to mind how much time we spend in the car running here and there, or in the heat while his siblings do swimming lessons. 
 He's a good shopper, and an even better movie goer. 
 He sleeps in his carseat, and naps on the go. 
 I call him my go-with-the-flow baby. 
 He's so mild-mannered and even-tempered. 
 I love that about fact, I love everything about him. 
 There isn't a thing I don't absolutely love about him. 
 I love his little round face, and his pretty brown eyes, and his gummy smile, and his slobbery chin, and his contagious laugh. 
 He lights up my life, and makes me the happiest momma alive. 
 I feel so blessed to be a mother, and thank my Father in Heaven every day for the blessing of being Jude's mother (and Ruby and Asher's, too...of course). 
 It's just been the absolute best 5 months...which makes me look forward to the next 5, and then the next 5, 10, 15, and 100 after that... 
Happy first five month of precious (and darn near perfect) little Jude!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

four months

what's the deal with me only updating my blog when my baby gets another month older? and this time i waited almost two months!  i've gots to get on the ball around here. it's hard to believe that another month (almost two) has come and gone, and that our little juder bug is already 1/3 of a year old! i took him to the doctor the other day and found out that he weighs 14 pounds, and is 25 inches long.  he's in the 25th percentile for weight and head circumference, and the 50th for height.  our little peanut is growing!  i still feel like the luckiest momma alive.  actually, i prefer to consider myself blessed.  jude is our little miracle, and i know it was through the grace of God that we have him here with and sound.  i'm still in complete awe.  i watch him while he sleeps, and often feel overwhelmed by his ginormous spirit.  he's a real person.  a tiny, perfect, and beautiful person.  a person who can't converse, but whose smile speaks a thousand words.  a person who can't dress himself, or feed himself, who is completely dependent,  yet has done more our little family than i ever thought possible.  our world revolves around him.  his siblings are crazy about him.  his parents are smitten.  i think everyone who knows him, adores him.  i mean, all one has to do is look at him, and he'll flash the most adorable gummy smile known to man.  he's happy, and lovable.  he smiles all the time, and his smile takes up half his face (inherited from daddy, for sure). he laughs multiple times a day.  he still loves to be held, and i love to hold we have a nice arrangement there.  i thank my Heavenly Father daily for the blessing of being jude's mother.  there really isn't anything more precious, more rewarding...than being able to partner with God in raising His children.  i am truly humbled and so very blessed.  happy four months, little Zuder (a nickname coined by your older sister, ruby).   i love you so.

Friday, May 18, 2012

three months

this is really starting to scare me. time is just clipping right along, and there isn't a thing i can do to stop it...or to even slow it down. our little jude is already three months...actually closer to four now. in a lot of ways, though, it feels like we just came home from the hospital...and that he's still my tiny little newborn. but then when i see the pile of newborn clothes that he's outgrown, and another stack of 0-3 month clothing with bulging seams, and a box of size one diapers that will have to be shelved for the next baby (oh i hope there's a next baby), i realize that he's no longer my newborn. he's already gained about 5 pounds, and grown about 3 or 4 inches. he's lost some hair in spots, and grown a bunch in others, namely up top. he smiles if you simply look at him, he coos if you talk to him, he laughs if you gently tickle his collar bone. he still loves to be held, and i still don't have a problem with that. as a result, i'm not getting as much done as i used to...but i rather enjoy it. life seems to be a bit simpler...but also a bit sweeter, and lovelier, and more rich. well except for the scare he gave us...and then the scare we gave ourselves. a few weeks ago, he developed a cold, which turned into a horrible cough, which caused him to throw up, and the cough along with the throwing up, caused him to stop breathing on more than one occasion. on top of that, he developed a high fever, which scared the daylights out of me. we took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with RSV. he was one sick little puppy. thankfully, his oxygen levels weren't too much of a concern, so they sent us home. a few days later he developed an ear infection in both ears and had to be on an antibiotic for that. we were a mess. it was such a sad 10 days for john and me to have to watch our little jude suffer so much. after a lot of prayer and a lot of faith, he finally started improving, and eventually got better. he's still congested. i usually have to suction out his nose a few times a night. before he got sick, he had actually started sleeping 8 hours straight, which was so nice for everyone. unfortunately, now he's back to his old ways of wanting to nurse two and three times a night. i didn't think i would ever feel this way, much less admit to it, but i actually quite love our middle of the night feedings. it's quiet, and peaceful, and it feels as if we're the only two in the whole entire world. i get to snuggle his little body, and hold him close to me, and for a few moments, a couple of times each night, nothing else matters. it's just me and my boy. best feeling ever. a couple of weeks ago, we had another scare...but this time it was totally our fault. my sister rachel was in town, and the three of us were going to a movie. we left ruby and asher at home with a babysitter, and took jude with us. when we got to the theater, there were mobs of people and the parking lot was pretty full. john offered to drop me and my sister off up front, and told us that he would catch up to us after he found a place to park. a few minutes later, he joined us in the ticket line, which took several minutes to get through, and then left us in line for concessions while he headed to the theater to get some seats. after we had been in line several minutes, i started to think about jude, and couldn't recall whether or not john had him while we were waiting all together in the ticket line. i asked my sister, and she couldn't remember either. i was sick to my stomach. we raced into the packed theater where my eyes combed the crowd for a green shirt...john's green shirt. i hoped and prayed that i had been wrong. surely we had not left our baby in the car. it had been a hot day, and we figured that at least 15-20 minutes had passed since john had parked, turned off, and left the car. i was sick. i was shaking. and i was searching the crowd, scanning the theater, and praying my guts out that john had jude with him. a friend pointed out where john was sitting, and my fears intensified by about a million when i discovered that...he was alone. together - now both of us sick, and both of us shaking - we raced through the parking lot toward our parked car...neither of us wanting to open the door, for fear of what we'd find. i just knew, i just KNEW we'd find him dead. given the heat of the day, and the amount of time we had left him, the odds weren't in our favor. despite what we both knew we might find, john burst through the car door, and after seeing him kicking his little legs, and flailing his little arms, he shouted out "he's ok!" i rushed to the aide of my babe, who indeed appeared to be just fine, aside from a couple of beads of sweat that had started forming on the bridge of his nose. john and i were still shaking. in fact i shook through a good part of the movie as i held and rocked my baby, and silently thanked my Heavenly Father for protecting him...yet again. i have heard of babies dying from RSV, and i have heard of babies dying of hyperthermia from being left in a parked car. our baby seems to have dodged a couple of bullets already, indicating to me that first, he surely has angels protecting him, and second, it's not yet his time to go. and for that i am eternally grateful...because i'm not yet ready to give him up.

Friday, April 6, 2012

two months

what has happened to the time?
i can't believe our little bug is already two months old.
i also can't believe how much more complete my life seems now that he's in it.
it's amazing how such a tiny little person can have such a profound impact on so many souls.
our family is forever and ever changed because of jude...and for the better, of course.
our little guy is growing up and doing so many fantastic things.
one of my personal favorites is that he started sleeping through the night just this week!
he's done it 3 nights in a row so far, so i'm just crossing my fingers it sticks.
i'd be one happy mama, for sure...and maybe the dark circles and bags under my eyes, could once and for all, become things of the past.
on st. patrick's day our little mister started grinning like it was nobody's business...and he hasn't stopped since.
all we have to do is smile at him, and he smiles back.
it's that easy.
no wonder the Savior taught us to become as a little child.
if we were all as quick to smile at one another, as a babe is at his mother, i think the world would be such a happier place.
love would abound, wouldn't it?
a smile is a pretty powerful thing.
jude rolled over from his back to his stomach for the first time just last night. i laid him on the bed while i ran to grab his pajamas, and when i came back, by golly, he was on his stomach!
before i even realize it, he'll be walking right out of the room.
he finally graduated from his newborn diapers, and is now wearing a size one. i weighed him this morning and he's 10 pounds 2 ounces already! i feel like he's gotten so big, but it's crazy to think that his brother still weighed 8 ounces more than birth! ouch!
(i know i always say it, but asher's birth mom is one of my heroes for sure!)

these last couple of months, as i've cared for a newborn, i've been given the chance to slow down a so doing, i have been able to reflect and feel grateful for the blessing and miracle of being able to raise such choose spirits. each one is so individual and unique. every day they remind me how great my purpose in this life is, and how incredibly blessed i am to be a mother...
and not just ANY mother...
but THEIR mother.

happy two months, my sweet jude. we all just absolutely love and adore you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

one month

it's hard to believe that it has already been a month since jude was born.
the past 30 days or so have been a crazy whirlwind of sorts, but not because of jude...
oh no, he fits right in...and has from day one.
our whole family has fallen head over heels in love with him.
he really is perfect in every way.

i love to hold him, and stare at his sweet little face.
i love to snuggle him and love on him.
i love taking naps with him.
i love studying his perfect features...from the top of his head...on down to his toes.

i wonder about what goes on in his head.
i dream about his future...

i seriously cannot get enough of him.
i could hold him all day every day...and then on into the night...
and, in fact, i do.
and i'm not getting anything done because of it.
and for some reason, i'm ok with that...

because this has been one of the best months of my entire life.

happy one month, sweet baby boy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

40 weeks

well after 40 weeks of waiting, and wondering, and worrying, and agonizing.
and 40 weeks of excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and trepidation,
we are happy to announce the arrival of our perfect baby boy...
jude isaac
monday, february 6th, at 11:37 PM
7 lbs 13 oz
20 inches long

after a week of holding him, and loving on him, and staring at his perfect little features...
i am still in awe of the miracle that he is.
that even though 40 weeks seems like an eternity to an expectant mother, it really is amazing that something so perfect and complex actually derived from a microscopic organism formed by the fusion of two cells,
and that in just 40 weeks' time, we are holding our perfect little human being in our arms.

he captured our hearts the moment our eyes rested upon him, and he will have us wrapped around his finger for all the days, and weeks, and months, and years, and decades, and centuries...
and eternities to come.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

so...SO ready

oh man i'm feeling so ready for this baby to come. it's like the only think i think and night. the past 4 nights i have even dreamt about him. last night i guess the dream wasn't really about him, but i was getting my epidural, and suddenly i awoke, and my back hurt like the dickens in the very spot i would actually be receiving an epidural. it's from this couch i'm telling ya...and not just the couch, but having to sleep sitting up on the couch. it's starting to really wear on me...and especially on my poor back. after that experience last night, i thought hey, maybe i'll move onto the floor and just start sleeping there like john. and then i came to my senses and realized that that would defeat the whole purpose of leaving our beloved bed in the first place, and that was to be able to sleep at a 90 degree angle. if i were to move to the floor...why not just move back to the bed?
so yeah, my back is definitely ready for this baby to come. my belly too. it's seriously about to pop. not only does it look like it's about to pop, but it feels that way too. plus it hangs out of about every shirt that i own. i finally just started calling myself gus gus for fun.
so my back is ready. my belly is ready. i'm sure my children are more than ready. let's just put it this way...i haven't been the most patient of mothers the past few days and weeks. i'm just uncomfortable and irritable, and unfortunately, they're having to bear the brunt of it...poor things. i'm sure they're more than ready to have their "real" mommy back.
the house is ready. as i mentioned before, i've been nesting like crazy and i literally feel like every single thing is done inside this house...and yet, everyday i stay, and then re-cleaning...organizing, and then re-organizing. it's weird. i mean, is it really necessary to scrub the toilets every day?
i've primmed and primped in every way imaginable. i got my hair did, and my fingers and toes. i've been waxed, and eyelashed. it may seem a bit ridiculous, but there are so many things about your body you can't control during pregnancy, so why not take advantage of a few that you can? plus i had about 5 or 6 groupons that were burning a hole in my pocket, so i figured...hey, what better time to use them than now?
with so many things being ready and in place and lined up for our baby jude to enter the world, you'd think he'd be here already, right? if only it were that easy. i think the one thing that definitely is not ready, is my crazy, indecisive cervix. right now it's so high that the doctors can hardly find it...and when they finally do, it's only barely to a one...on the outside. still completely closed on the inside. it's so weird how we do everything we can to keep these babies from coming too early (like getting stitches in our dang cervixes), but then when it's time, and it's safe and everything is ready (like getting the stitches removed...ouch! by the way) then our sweet babies decide they're not ready to come. too bad jude, ready or not you're coming on monday. that actually gives me 3 more days to scrub toilets, fold linens, steam floors, wash mirrors...or whatever else i feel needs to be done for the umpteenth time.
one thing i know that i'm ready for, and i feel like i've been ready for this for years now, is to finally meet my sweet baby boy. to hold him. to love him. to lay him on my chest and feel his little heart beat against mine. to look into his eyes. to study the lines on his toes and the joints of his perfect little fingers. to kiss the top of his head. and smell his baby soft skin. and then to never, ever, ever let him go.
i have never been more ready. i am so...SO ready for that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

a whole lot of love

dear jude,
today my heart is full. it's full of something called love. now, although i have always considered myself to be a hopeless romantic, i do not claim, by any means, to be an expert on love. i simply wanted to share a beautiful story of love that has affected me (and you, although you may not be aware of it) immensely. first i feel it necessary to mention the greatest display of Love in the history of the world. and that was the love given by our Savior, who came to earth and layed down His own life for us...for His friends. He was perfect in every way, but to submit to the will of the Father and His plan, our Savior died for us. think about that. he willingly died for us to fulfill His Father's plan. love, my dear jude, well, it is a verb. it requires action. love is all about doing, and being, and demonstrating, and sacrificing. today i want to share with you another example of love, which like the Savior's Love (although on a much smaller scale) has altered and transformed me. and that is the Love demonstrated on a daily basis by your very own earthly father - my husband - who just so happens to be the most Christlike person i have ever known. i feel it important to tell you about him, especially because in the short span of a week, you will be meeting him, and then you will also be on the receiving end of his most perfect and pure love.
this pregnancy has not been easy on me, to say the least. i in no way blame you for's just that for some women (i'd say most women), pregnancy is super, super difficult. your father understands this, and has been completely supportive and helpful for the past 9 months. he takes care of cooking (or picking up) all the meals...because it's always around dinner time that i feel the worst. he cleans the house, does laundry, and makes late night runs to satisfy my cravings. when i get sick, he's right there, rubbing my back, and holding the hair out of my face. he's backed out of many church meetings, work trips, outings with friends, sporting events, and other important obligations, to be able to tend to my needs, and be there for me when i felt my head was just barely above water. he tells me he loves the way that i look...even though, at present, i know i resemble a walrus. but you know what? when he says, man, you're beautiful, or dang, i love the way you look when you're pregnant, i really believe him. because your dad also happens to be the most genuine and sincere person i know. almost every night he puts your brother and sister to bed...a task which involves bathing them, helping them brush their teeth, get into their jammies, read scriptures, a bedtime story of their choice, and family prayer...and he singlehandedly does this so that i can have a little break. he rubs my belly with cocoa butter when it itches, he massages my feet when they're swollen, and is nothing but patient with my grumpy and hormonal mood swings. he has never, no not once, uttered a word of complaint. your dad is not a complainer. he puts on a smile, and he gets to work serving, going, doing, and sacrificing...always putting the needs of others above his own. now that, my sweetheart, is true love. this entire pregnancy i have suffered with severe heartburn, but for the past month or two, it has become almost unbearable. i am on two prescription medications for it, and pop the tums like they're going out of style...yet i still can't seem to find any relief. about a month ago, i told your dad that i had decided to start sleeping on the couch to see if it might make a difference. i felt bad having to leave him alone, but i also knew i wouldn't last one more night in our bed. something had to change. so my first night on the couch, i noticed that your dad was setting up a bed as well.

he told me that wherever i sleep, that's where he sleeps too. after about three weeks of sleeping on the couch, his back started to become stiff and extremely sore. i begged him to just go back to our bed, but instead he moved his sleeping bag onto the floor right by me...and that's where he's been ever since. i am constantly in awe of the man that i married. and i wanted to be sure to share a thing or two with you about your father. no doubt as you grow and get older, you will come to this realization on your own. someday you will find yourself a wife, and it's my hope and prayer, that you care for her just as your father has cared for me, and for you, and for your brother and sister. look to him as an example. follow in his footsteps. show love to those around you through your actions; and you, no doubt, will be as happy as your daddy is...because isn't he about the happiest person you know?

finally, i wish to express my undying love for you.
we love you jude...without ever having met you, your father and i love you deeply and immensely. i hope we can demonstrate that love to you all the days of your life, and that you will never ever doubt how special you immeasurably you are cherished and me, by your father, your siblings, your Heavenly Father, your Savior, and hundreds and thousands of others. now that, my dear, is a whole lot of love.

can't wait to meet you, and love on you. just one more week.


john made me go to bed tonight at 9:35. our whole family has been sick, and so were doing all we can to get this household healthy before our sweet baby boy comes. so rather than wind down to a netflix like we oftentimes do, or stay up til midnight or 1 am organizing drawers and closets, we went to bed. john was out the instant his head hit the pillow, and unfortunately, i wasn't the least bit sleepy. so i lie there in the dark listening to my husband snore softly, the dog snore softly, and the tick tocking of the three or four clocks we have around these parts of the house. that kind of strange silence, well, it's enough to drive a girl crazy. i popped one of my trusted klonopin (anti-anxiety/ sleeping pills), and i'd say within a half hour, i was out...only to wake again 2 hours later. all i could think about when i woke, was wanting to scrub my baseboards. it's 12:25 am..and my only desire is to have clean baseboards. and the funny thing is, they've already been scrubbed...i just wanted to do them again is all. i decided to blog instead. it's seriously so crazy to me...this whole nesting instinct that expectant mothers get. i wasn't sure it was actually going to happen for me this time around. up until about 3 or four weeks ago, i was probably the laziest person on the planet. this pregnancy has literally drained me, and all i've wanted to do for the majority of it, is sleep. i've had no desire to cook or to clean, or even to be crafty or domestic...things i usually enjoy. i don't know if it's my age that's made everything so much harder this go around...i mean i am just a couple months from the big 35, folks. whatever it is...whatever it was, i'm glad it's over, and that i have my energy back. i still feel lousy, don't get me wrong. it hurts to roll over at night. it hurts to walk. i'm huge, and i'm sore, and swollen...and gosh darnit, my whole body aches...but i am so grateful that at least for the time being, i've got my energy back.
it started about 4 saturdays ago. john and i have been gearing up for another garage sale. we usually have one about ever two or three years...and they're always successful - bringing in anywhere from $800 to $2,500. so for the past year i'd say, we've been saving things - things we normally would have gotten rid of - for the sale. and everything we've been collecting, has gone straight to the garage. it got to the point where we just started throwing things out there...and before too long...our poor vehicles no longer had a place to call home. our junk was starting to take over. a few months ago i purchased some clothing racks from a consignment store, and began getting all the kids' clothes ready to sale, but other than that, the garage just looked like a hot mess (for lack of a better description). so about a month ago, on a saturday morning, john and i woke up, and ventured out there together. we had no intention of organizing it, and to be honest, thoughts of preparing for our sale were the furthest from our minds. i think we just went out there to find a tool, or the ladder, or something to complete a project that we had been working on inside. we were both so frustrated that we couldn't even move without tripping over something, or walk without having to step over several things, or find a dang a ginormous ladder, for one. we honestly, had had enought! and it seemed like such a daunting task - tackling that beast to get ready for a garage sale, plus during the past few months, i had started getting rid of some of the nicer things on Craig's list...making somewhere around $3, honestly, even if we had made close to that on the remaining items...those gross, infecting items that were overtaking our beloved garage, it wouldn't have been worth it to me. "let's take it all away" i said, somewhat surprising myself. to which john replied "ok". we raised the garage door....something we haven't done in months for fear of scaring our neighbors right on out of the hood, and began loading up the armada. john lowered all the seats, and we started just piling it all in. he took not one, not two, but three trips to the goodwill that day...and man oh man, did it feel awesome. liberating, in fact. our garage still looked like trash, but it was a good feeling knowing how much we had actually gotten rid of. i think that first saturday, four weeks ago, sparked something in me, and i began going crazy. i started cleaning out closets and drawers, cabinets and cupboards, dressers and toy bins, storage bins and tubs. it was the best feeling. and i wasn't just organizing, i was clearing things out...purging like i've never purged before. and then i started cleaning, and organizing, and repairing things that had been rendered useless for months, and tackling things like the baseboards and blinds (both of which i absolutely loathe). for the next three saturdays, i had heaps and piles of things ready for john to haul away...(those goodwill workers know him on a first name basis, i'm sure)). so far we've taken 8 full loads to the goodwill, and i'm already building a pile for the 9th. the kids' playroom is completely clean and organized...their bedroom too. the house has been scrubbed from top to bottom. our bedroom is no longer the catch all, but actually looks like a real live bedroom (it lacks in the decorating do most the rooms in our house, but at least it's decent and inviting). the baby stuff has been washed, folded, and put away. the crib and changing table are set up. the nursery is painted, all the linens in the house have been washed. the carpets have been professionally cleaned, and i can honestly say that i now know where every single item in the house is...down to the very last screw and safety pin. it's nice to have a place for everything...with everything in it's place. there are still a few things i'd like to get done, but i feel so good about what we've accomplished in the last four weeks, that if baby were to come tomorrow, i'd feel ready. like we would be bringing him home...and not to just any home, but to a clean and organized home...a haven...where he would feel welcomed and loved...(and i'd never have the fear of losing him in a pile of junk). but dear baby...dear sweet baby, don't come tomorrow, ok? i keep thinking i need to redo those i have a load or two of wash i'd like to catch up on. just at least give me another day, will ya? better yet, let's just wait til your scheduled induction date of feb. 6th...that gives me a whole week to tie up those few loose ends. does that sound like a deal?
and by the way, i can't wait to meet you. i think you're really gonna like it here. it's 2 am now, and i think we had better get some rest, don't you? goodnight, my little bird.
love, your crazy nesting mother.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

still learning a thing or two from mom...

just a few days ago i blogged about ruby and her unruly behavior the morning she was supposed to dress up for her school's "team day".
writing about that really got me thinking about my little ruby and the struggles that we've been having pretty much on a daily basis.
she has always been such an easy child.
a contented and lively baby.
a happy and good-natured toddler.
she's never given us a moment's grief.
she loves to snuggle and give smile and laugh.
she loves people and people love her.
she makes everyone around her feel special.
in fact, everywhere we go, and in everything she does, people are drawn to her...
and it's always been that way (remember, this is my blog, so i totally have bragging rights).
i volunteered to help in her class yesterday, and was talking with her teacher while all the children went out to recess.
she told me about how sweet and kind ruby is at school, how all her classmates adore her, and how the entire faculty and staff love her, too.
she said that being cute will only get you so far, but that ruby's also kind and helpful,
considerate and friendly.
it made me feel good to hear her teacher say those things about her.
of course, i feel that way about her....i'm her mother, and i have always have felt that there is something uniquely special about her.
she's my precious little gem - my ruby.
i like to think that Heavenly father blessed us with this perfect little jewel after he took our isaac home.
she's like my shining ray of sunshine after a terrible, terrible storm.
i share all of this only because it baffles my mind as to why the two of us have been having so many stormy mornings together as of late.
and, sadly, it has everything to do with what she wants (or doesn't want) to wear.
dumb. huh?
i haven't ever been the type of mom to force her to wear something;
it's just that, up until now, she has always been happy about my suggestions,
and only on occasion has she deviated from what i have given her to wear.
and, to be honest, that has never bothered me.
i actually think it's cute from time to time, to see what she comes up with,
and what, according to her, makes her look and feel the most beautiful.
to illustrate my point (about her compliance and even excitement with regard to my clothing selections for her),
i posted 10 pictures.
these were taken back at the beginning of the school year when the children were asked to wear a specific color (varying each day) for two weeks.
we (i) had to get pretty creative with several of the outfits (as you can tell from the photos) to be able to comply and participate in the suggested activity. but each day, she was up for putting on anything, and i mean anything i handed her to wear (as ridiculous as it was),
and even left the house each morning with a smile on her face.
it's amazing to me how drastically things have changed just in the last few months.
she now hates leggings, jeggings, skinny jeans, skirts, dresses, cardigans, headbands, hair bows, sandals, dressy flats, boots...anything with lace or ruffles...and the list goes on and on.
maybe it would be easier, rather than listing the things she hates, to tell you what she loves.
she loves t-shirts, saggy baggy-bum jeans, and keds.
she loves her hair straight (and when her hair is straight, it just looks stringy and unkempt), or pulled back into a messy ponytail, or sectioned off in the front so she can do one of her fancy twists
(or braids, as she likes to call them).
yes, she is already into fixing her own hair, too.
i feel like she she has completely lost her adorable and unique sense of style
(or maybe it was just my adorable and unique sense of style).
gone are the days that i could lay out a pair of blue skinny jeans, paired with a coral and cream stripped tank (with a giant gold sequin anchor on the front - i might add), a patterned cardi, and a pair of suede moccasin boots,
and see her face light up while she would dress herself in the mornings.
now, even the mere suggestion that she wear something like that, causes her to burst into tears.
and then there was yesterday.
such a heartbreaking day for me.
i have finally begun nesting (and i'm so thrilled about it because i wondered if i might skip this stage altogether with this pregnancy...up until about a week ago, i just wasn't feeling it),
and ruby and i were going through her closet and dresser.
i decided why torture her any longer? if she's not going to wear this stuff, then it best not be taking up precious space...
space which we just plain don't have in this house.
sadly, and by her own choice, we pretty much got rid of everything.
broke my heart.
some of the things she had only worn once, and a few not even at all.
she also got rid of some of her new christmas clothes,
which she promised me she loved, and would totally wear...then went ahead and pulled off and threw away the tags,
only to have one look in the mirror, and decide they weren't her style after all.
i could tell she was trying to make me happy by holding on to certain things, despite her disdain for said items.
for example, i would hold up a shirt or a skirt, and she would look at it, cringe, and then say,
well, i guess i could keep would be something i could wear on valentine's day maybe? because it's red?
well, i think i'll hang on to those leggings because i could wear them next time i have a singing performance (which isn't until may),
maybe that would be something cute for st. patrick's day?
my favorite was when i held up a pair of army green military style shorts (my very favorite of all her shorts),
and she said...
ok, i'll save those, but only for when i go hunting.
i was dying.
anyone who knows us, knows that we're not even at all.
i wouldn't even call ourselves campers, or outdoors men of any sort.
just picturing my 5 year old, clad in army green shorts, tip-toeing through the forest with a 12 gauge semi-auto shot gun strapped across her shoulder...makes me laugh.
save the shorts for when i go hunting...oh ruby.
well, i guess at least she'd be a stylin' huntress...
rather than the picky kindergartner she has become.
brown and grey day
red day...yellow day
purple day...rainbow day
black and white day

blue day

see how happy she is in these photos? yeah well, now she wouldn't be caught dead in any of these outfits (and to be honest, i can't say that i blame her on a few of i said, we had to stretch our creativity pretty good on some of these)...
and even if she had a change of heart, it wouldn't matter, because as of yesterday, i don't think she she even owns anything you see pictured above
(well except for maybe the green outfit...she's saving that one special for st patrick's day).
i know i've done a lot of venting in this post.
truth is, this is really our only issue at present...
and if i can just let go of my pride and allow her to be uniquely her,
well, i just know we'll both be so much happier.
plus i have to remind myself that in 7th grade, i had rats nest bangs that stood stiff as a board and 7 feet in the air...
and my mom never said a word about it (at least to me).
in hindsight, i wish that she had.
but my point is, she bit her tounge, and let me be me.
i guess i still have a thing or two i could learn from my mother.
even after being gone 14 years, she still has an influence on me.
i'm so grateful for that, she was such a gem of a woman (a lot like my gem of a daughter) -
whom everyone absolutely loved and adored -
and i highly doubt her wardrobe had very much (if anything) to do with that.
i mean, my mom was the queen of culottes (when culotte's were anything but cool),
yet she was still highly respected and revered.
and i don't know a soul who didn't absolutely adore her...
culottes and all.

Friday, January 6, 2012

spirit days...

we all remember them, right?
backwards day, pajama day, crazy hair or sock day?
i have the best memories from my elementary childhood of those fun spirit days.
and i always got WAY into them, too.
surprise, surprise.

today was "team day" or "sports day" at ruby's school.
to be quite honest, we had forgotten about it until last night...right before bedtime.
and of course, being the girly girl that she is...we didn't have a thing for her to wear.
come to think of it, she has a pink "my first diamondbacks" tee, but it's probably a size 12 months. ha.
so john, being the wonderful husband and dad that he is, offered to take her to walmart to pick out some sort of team paraphernalia that she could use for today.
she came home all excited about her new sun devils t-shirt, and went to bed as
happy as a crazed sports' fanatic who's favorite team had just won the super bowl.
plus, she had just lost another tooth, so she was pretty stoked about the tooth fairy bringing some loot.
she woke up happy and excited, not only about her money and note from the tooth fairy,
but also to show some school spirit by getting all dressed up in her new "sporty" outfit.

unfortunately, one look in the mirror, and it was instant tears.

she hated her t-shirt.
she hated that it was baggy and her jeans were tight.
she hated the long-sleeved white shirt that her dad had suggested she wear underneath.
she not only hated, but absolutely loathed the braids that i put in her hair.
she was completely hysterical about everything, but it was too late to do anything about it,
as the bell would be ringing in just minutes.
in an attempt to add something feminine to the ensemble,
i hurried and combined her two french braids into a ponytail at the bottom, and added a ribbon.
she cried even harder.
i hated having to push my kindergartner out the door in that kind of emotional state,
but we were completely out of time to do anything about it;
and to be honest...her dad and i were pretty irritated.
as she was getting into the car, still in hysterics, i yelled out the front door to her
"fine ruby, just have mrs. davis take it out and put it in a ponytail for you".
and then they drove out of sight.
i wasn't sure she had heard me, so i ran inside and sent her teacher a quick email
(unsure whether she'd even see it before the end of the day).
within just minutes i got her reply...
"We already handled it! She seems fine now and it's absolutely no big deal...happy to make her feel better, she's the best!"
so apparently ruby had heard me, and wasted absolutely no time at all in asking for mrs. davis' help in taking her hideous hairstyle out.
i couldn't help but laugh.
when she got home today, her hair was hanging down in her face...stringy and straight.
"well i see that mrs. davis helped you take your hair out"?
"yeah" she said, with a little smirk.
and then i asked "so did she say, ruby, you should leave it looks so cute on you"?
"No! she just tore that thing out so's like she thought it was really ugly, too"!
oh ruby, you are hilarious...
and i'm still completely baffled as to why on crazy hair day you were chomping at the bit to get out the door to school, but today i literally had to throw you out?

i am completely perplexed by your sense of style.....and also a bit nervous for your teenage years.

so be honest, would you be happier about going out in public with the hairdo on the left...
or the one on the right?
and now can you see why my five year old confuses the heck out of me?