Friday, October 28, 2011


Jude loves getting kisses from Mommy. He is beginning to understand kiss and will lean in for a big one!

I am a huge fan of traditions. I think it's wonderful to know what you're looking forward to and something to expect every year. Growing up, my family had several traditions. Just to name a few, most Sundays we went to my grandparents house for lunch after church. Every Christmas Eve, we played games and had the whole family over at my Mamaw and Papaw's house. We would read the Christmas story, then my Papaw would hand out all the presents. My family always made home made fudge when we were snowed in...those kinds of things...we had certain things we always could count on happening. I think one of the reasons I love traditions so much is because it involves family.

Now that Jude is here, Justin and I want to start our own traditions with him. One thing that Justin and I have always done since we started dating 5 years ago, is to carve a pumpkin in October, usually between my birthday and Halloween, and then I use the pulp to make home made pumpkin bread and other yummy goodies. This year, we were able to begin this tradition as a family of 3! Jude and Justin went to the store to get 2 pumpkins. 1 big one for Justin and me and a little one for Jude. (I wanted to go to a pumpkin patch but apparently they're not as frequent as they are back home, so the grocery store had to do this year.)

Justin and I worked hard on being creative and Jude enjoyed chewing on the pumpkin and other toys more than anything, but we still had a wonderful time.
He enjoyed gnawing on the pumpkin...
...But not taking the pictures. If you can't tell, we carved a cactus in our pumpkin this year. We thought it was appropriate since we're now living in the desert. :) Last year we carved an AU. :) Jude helped paint his own he gets older, we want him to have his own and Justin and me will have ours, so we thought we would stick to him painting for the next few years. :)
What a sweet little man!

I can't believe that October is already over. Today is my sister Jillian's 23rd birthday, so I want to send a shout out to the most wonderful sister! Jillian and I have always been very close and I have always been super protective of her. There is a bond that we share that I honestly can not describe. We are very different in many ways, but we remain kindred spirits. I am so proud of her, for she has become a wonderful hardworking and compassionate nurse at Duke University Medical Hospital and a sweet, nurturing wife to my new brother-in-law. Auntie J, we hope you have a wonderful birthday and we can't wait for our visit in a few weeks! Love you!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sleeping With an Infant

Before Jude was born I read 2 books that I would highly recommend to any expecting parents, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" (my favorite) and "Baby Wise". There is a lot of controversy over Baby Wise, but having read it, most of the controversy seems silly to me. Many parents will say that placing your child on a schedule is too rigid, but from our own experience, Justin and I are scheduled people and it worked well for our family. We still very much read Jude's cues and provided what he needed inspite of the clock (which is what the book suggests) and he has done very well with it. However, above all, I believe you must find what works best for your family. Placing Jude on a schedule worked well for us and it left us having an 8 week old sleeping from 9:30 pm-5 or 5:30 am, which was great.

Around 10 weeks, we dropped Jude's "late night feeding" of 9:30 or 10 and he began eating at 8:30 and going until about 5:30 consistently. Since it was the summer, I would nurse him while still lying in bed and we would go back to sleep until around 7 and our day began. About the time we moved to AZ (Jude was right at 4 months) he extended his morning time and decreased his evening time (which is normal, babies figure out when they need to sleep) so since then, he typically eats his last bottle between 7:30-8 pm and wakes up between 6:15 and 7:15 am. From months 4-6 he would wake up a few nights a week because he still had not learned to find his own paci and put it back in his mouth and we had some sickness of a terrible cold and ear ache that interrupted our little man's nights, as well as teething. However, 6 months was a magic number. 2 bottom teeth popped in, his cold went away, and he learned how to find his own paci! With that said, knock on wood, we RARELY have to get up for anything at this point...until the last few nights.

Jude started waking up at 5 or 5:15 and I mean "getting up" for the day. We were like, "hold up son, this is way too early" until yesterday morning. I thought to myself, we KNOW he can last longer without food, so why is he getting up...well, our 7 1/2 month old has realized what it means to be truly WET. That's it. Yesterday and today I have gone in and changed his diaper around 5 and he's gone back to sleep and sleeps until 6:45 or 7. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but really? Some babies could go all day and never change their diaper, other than the fact they're probably develop a rash and that's not best practice, but not our little man...he wants out of his wet pants!

Oh well, I wouldn't change a single night...oh, and don't you just love that precious picture. He fell asleep watching the Lion King with his Daddy the other night...when Hakuna Matata comes on, his face lights up and he starts bouncing up and down. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lots To Talk About...

Whew...the last few weeks have been a whirlwind. October 6-10, Jude and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a long weekend at HOME, yes, North Carolina will always be home! Jude did fantastic on the plane ride, better than I ever imagined. People thought I was nuts carrying him, my huge purse, and pulling my suitcase, but I was not about to pay an additional $25 for my bag!

We had a great time with both sides of our family. We spent a lot of time just hanging aroudn the house, having quality time with family. I was able to go see Jillian and Phillip's new house, which is wonderful! We played games, got caught up on Criminal Minds, and loved being at home. While in Shelby, Justin's grandparents had the whole gang over just to see Jude and I certianly felt special. I wish Justin could have been there to see everyone.

When growing up, I remember my Mom always crying when we pulled out of my grandparents' driveway (they live in Tennessee) and I never really got it. When I went off to college, I began to tear up when I would head back to Wilmington but now with Jude, I totally understand. It was so hard leaving with Jude. I am really trying to place my trust in the Lord right now. I so desperately want to be closer to home, and I pray that one day, sooner than later, we will be, but I am trusting that God has placed us here for a reason. The pastor read Isaiah 55 this morning, reminding me of the promise that "My ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts."

Jude and I got back on Monday, then by Wednesday, I had to come home early from school because I could barely walk, I was so weak. I was extremely nauseous and my head felt like it was splitting open. When I got home, Justin was home with Jude and within an hour, Justin was throwing up. Needless to say, the next 36 hours were tough. Neither of us could hardly get our heads off the pillow, much less take care of Jude, but thankfully, we made it and we're doing 100% better now!

Since the virus, my milk supply has been very low, I'm assuming from dehydration and the fever. I have been pumping every 3 hours and taking fenugreek and praying that it comes back. I have been very emotional today. This morning, Jude was crying because he was hungry and pulling at my shirt and I knew nothing was there...I cried and cried as I told him I was sorry.

To end on a positive note, Friday was my 26th birthday, yes 26! Thankfully, Justin and I were feeling much better and my sweet friends Debbie and Ashton kept Jude so Justin and I could have a date in the Valley. We went to play Putt Putt and we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and it was wonderful!

Saturday was Jude's 7 month brithday...he weighs 18 lbs on the dot and is 27.5 inches long. He can go all over the place, backwards and sideways, but not yet forwards. He loves Mason and looks for him when yo usay his name. He also reaches up for me now and is beginning to wave and respond to his name. He is soaking everything up like a sponge and I daily try to keep my hands open and give him to the Lord.

We have been busy bees and the next few weeks will continue in this fashion...:)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Poetry Unit

I have been doing a Poetry Unit in my Resource English class and thought would share some of my students' work. Enjoy:

Student 1
I don't understand...
why my parents drink
why a lot of people like alcohol and drugs
why there are gangs

I understand...
why people get married
why parents discipline their kids
why education is important

Student 2
What if my dog ate my homework?
I might fail my classes.
What if just don't do my homework?
I could liek about not doing it.
What if I got an A on it?
I would be so happy!
O crap, where is my homework?

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Things Happening...

Well, 2 weeks ago, Jude man had his first 2 teeth come in...yes, poor guy cut 2 teeth at once, making for a very cranky little guy for a few days. Once they broke through, he's been his sweet, normal self and it's funny to see him roll his tongue over his new teethers, but not so cute when he bites Mommy while nursing!

As you can see from the picture above, this sweet guy is also trying desperately to crawl. He can get up and wiggle backward, but when he tries to go forward, he face plants into the floor. He is extremely wiggly while changing diapers and clothes, hence why he is naken in this picture. We were trying to get him ready for church yesterday and when we came back from his room, this was how he was, ready to go!

Another new thing that is happening that Mommy is slightly nervous about is our first plane ride coming up on Thursday. Though I am so excited to be flying home, it will be interesting to see how Jude man does on the plane and I will be doing it by myself. :) Please say prayers for me!