Saturday, October 26, 2013


If you have ever read my blog before, or know me at all, you know that my favorite time of year is fall. I love everything about it. Cooler temperatures but not cold. Fall fashion, pumpkins, the smells, the fragrances, boots, football, the traditions, including Halloween and fall decor. EVERYTHING!
 Last weekend we went to a Pumpkin Patch. Jude loved the duck races and pumping the water to make them go. It was so cute and funny how he got a kick out of something so small.
 He wouldn't give me a chance and of course, he always won, little turkey.
 They had a corn maze, which Jude loved. He wanted to hide, rather than stay on the trails, which was fine by me. He also wanted to pick the corn and eat it.
 Once we made it to the actual pumpkin patch, we each picked a pumpkin that seemed just right for us. We had a really great time!
 Justin and I also enjoyed a date night out for my birthday last weekend. Here I am at 35.5 weeks. It was good to enjoy a quiet dinner together and then we walked around UW's campus and reminisced about our college days. We try to take a night per month just to ourselves and once we have it, I'm always reminded of the importance of it.
 Today, we enjoyed carving and painting our pumpkins. Good friends came over to help carve too. The adults ended up doing a lot of the grunt work, but the boys loved playing together.
When it was all said and done, Justin did a great job on his wolf pumpkin. My stripes do look better in person than in this picture. The black smudge actually is quite cute with a cursive S in the middle for Sadie, and Jude's green pumpkin with squiggles is adorable.

We have enjoyed the last 2 weeks with our fall traditions and making many more wonderful memories.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Time Is Fleeting

My sweet little man was officially 2.5 in September. This post may be a bit of a rambler, but I want to jot down my roller coaster of emotions before Sadie arrives. I'm sure many of my thoughts and feelings are typical of any mother expecting a second child. I am so excited for Sadie's arrival, yet it seems bittersweet, as my days of "just Jude" are fleeting. We are thrilled to experience another blessing, but also know that this change will be a forever change, one for the better, but also ending a season that was only for a little while.

As I prepare for Sadie's birth, I think back to those moments of bringing home Jude. The anxiety and excitement all at once. Our first child, the first grandchild on both sides, and as we prepared for our first cross country move. I can honestly say that I LOVE being Jude's Mommy. The way he would smile at me while nursing, his specific noise when going to sleep, how he has always laughed and had a sense of humor. As he began speaking and his love for animals became so apparent, it has been a joy to watch him observe, soak in, and begin to understand the things around him. He is a sweet boy, truly sensitive, yet very much showing his sinfulness daily. He refers to anything big as the "Daddy one", showing his awe of Justin, which melts my heart. No matter how minor a boo boo, he asks me to kiss it. When you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll tell you "a scientist like Daddy". But, he wants to study the moon, the stars, cows, and pigs. We'll see how that one goes.

He loves the colors orange, red, and green, pizza, bagels with cream cheese, milk, apples, anything with a ball, running, being outdoors, Elmo, Veggie Tales, reading books, and of course, his anything animals.

Jude also wants to please. He will often ask, "Was I bwave Mommy?" or "Are you pwoud of me Mommy?" His personality is much like mine in that he likes to be in control, but also wants to please. He likes things in order and is really becoming more independent. The other day, while going potty, he asked for privacy, went to the bathroom on his own, turned on the light, closed the door, and did his business. I was actually a little sad, seeing that he made it quite obvious his need for me was non-existent.

He has also began to love to sing and dance. Much to may embarrassment, his favorite song is "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line and he knows many of the words. He has also shown up that he actually  knows all the songs I've sung to him since birth, literally. The other night, he decided to sing with me while I rocked him. Every song, whether it be a children's song, old hymn, new praise and worship, if it's one I've consistently sang, he knew the words. He knows all his ABC's, often confusing M and W (since they're flipped) and can count up to 20. He wants to relearn sign language, since Eli is using it and we hope Sadie will too.

He asks so many questions and enjoys being with others. He is shy, yet warms up quickly. The days of him shielding his face into my shoulder or hiding behind me won't last forever. I don't think we should yearn for past moments, but I do think it's important to remember to enjoy the moment we're in. Looking back, it's easy to wish away those first few weeks when babies are up so often, and then the teething, the ear aches, the frustration of no talking, then the toddler tantrums, and then the attitude and being told "No" way sooner than you expect from your child. These moments are fleeting and I want to enjoy them. Not longing for the past, but just being in them.

Yesterday while eating breakfast, Jude looked at me and asked, "Does Jesus live in my heart?" Oh how my heart soared. I tried to be very careful and tell him that he had to make that choice and explain in his terms about forgiveness, trusting Jesus, etc. All things we try to teach daily. I know he's too young to fully comprehend what that means, but I pray every day that he will come to know Jesus as his Savior and I am so thankful that his heart is being sensitive to it already.

My sweet, sweet baby Jude, as I tell you often, no matter how big you get, you will always be my baby. My first child who captured my heart. The first heart beat I heard from the inside. The first kick I felt. The first cry I heard. Please know that I love you so very much. Though I think you're so wonderful, I also know you're in need of a Savior. I pray daily that your Daddy and I will point you in His direction. May you choose to live a life worthy of the Gospel.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall Happenings

 Fall comes a little more quickly in the Pacific North West and we started it off with a bang. Jude and I didn't begin school until the day after Labor Day so Labor Day weekend we did our first family camping trip. We drove to the Olympic National Park on the peninsula. The drive included a ferry ride, which Jude loved, and lots of cute, quaint towns, including the famous Forks from the Twilight series.

When we arrived, we set up camp, which included our air mattress. Jude loves this thing and we didn't know if we were going to be able to get him out of the tent for the weekend.
 Jude was definitely a trooper over the weekend. On Friday, we hiked 2.5 miles round trip and he walked most of it. On Saturday, we walked about 3 miles round trip, in which he walked about 1/2.  He loved finding "adventures" which included finding rocks to jump off and lots of roots to climb.
 The rainforests were amazing to hike through. The trees were so large and showed such evidence of God's creation. It was also good hiking for my then 7 months pregnant belly.
 Jude enjoyed all things about camping; sleeping in the tent, wearing Daddy's head lamp, cooking on the fire, etc. He is definitely his father's son. I also had a good time and appreciated that Justin chose an actual camp ground that had running water and bathrooms for me. I won't lie, the air mattress wasn't ideal for comfort at this point of the my life, nor was the running river that made my ever so frequent night time bathrooms breaks even more frequent, but over all, we had a wonderful time.
 On Sunday, we drove to a beach area of the national park. It was beautiful and Jude again loved the tide pools. We spent a few hours walking the beach and letting Jude play in the water. We had a picnic and began our drove home.

Thankfully, we came back Sunday evening, which gave me a day to regroup before starting school on that Tuesday. We had a wonderful time on our first family camping adventure.
 After Labor Day, Jude and I began school. Jude has officially started the pre-school program and is doing well. He is one of the youngest ones in his class, which has it's pros and cons, but I believe he'll do fine. Justin has found a way to work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so Jude is only attending 3 days a week. This is really a blessing because it not only saves money, but gets Jude on the schedule we're planning to use while I'm on maternity leave. Transition is hard for him, so we didn't want him to have to change things twice.

Starting preschool has totally disrupted our "easy to go to bed" child. From the time he was about 6 months old, we established a good bed time routine of reading books, prayers, songs, then bed time. Other than a few seconds of crying, Jude has always gone off to sleep for both naps and bed time. He has even done well on our visits home. However, in our transition back from this summer, he has started to scream and cry before every transition to bed. We have a "lucky" moment every few days, but consistently, we prepare for battle. I know this can be normal for 2 and 1/2, but it doesn't make it much easier to deal with. It breaks my heart, because we just have to let him sit and cry it out. The few times I've tried to rock him to sleep or stay in bed with him, it literally postpones bed time upwards of 1 to 1.5 hours.

Also, if you're wondering about the tatoos in his picture above, he gets them when he sleeps without his bappy (pacifier). I'm not sure how we realized this was a big incentive for him, but thankfully, it's worked. :)
 Also in September, we went to the WA state fair. I got free tickets as a state employee and it was only about 50 minutes away. Jude enjoyed watching the human sling shot and seeing the rides. He even rode the big slide. He loved the first 2 humps, laughing hysterically, but on the 3rd hump, he and Justin picked up speed and he started crying.
 The best part of the fair, which we knew it would be, was all the animals. I personally loved the piglets, which were literally 3 days old, but Jude's favorite were the horses. We walked amongst the stalls for nearly 45 minutes. He wanted to know all their names and who they belonged too. He enjoyed the cows, sheep, and other animals, but the horses were by far his favorite. He wants to be a Clydesdale horse for Halloween and insists that Eli should be a Shetland pony since he's itty bitty. We even extended nap time so Jude could stay for part of the horse show.
 Jude also started a toddler soccer program called Lil' Kickers. He has mixed feelings about wearing his jersey for some reason but his coach says he loves it (it's during school hours so we don't watch him) and he always says he has a good time. Rather than focusing on actual soccer at this point, they learn basic game skills mostly. This past week, he told me they played Red Light, Green Light, and Blue Light. Apparently, blue light means you hop. He also said he kicked watermelons in the hippo's mouth. Sounds like fun to me. :)
 This past week also marked week 33 for sweet Sadie girl. We found out at week 32 that my placenta previa has corrected itself and we can plan for another natural birth, praise the Lord. Mom's flight is booked and we officially have some things started for her arrival. I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone by. I don't feel like I've been able to really focus on her as much, but I'm sure that is typical for a "not the first" child.
 This weekend there was a local festival in Issaquah called Salmon Days. The weather could not have been more perfect! We went and had a wonderful time. We enjoyed looking at all the booths as well as letting Jude do fish art, make his own fish toy, watch a dog competition, and see the horses, again.
There was also a petting zoo where Jude got to see pigs, rabbits, chickens, and goats. Justin and I noticed a booth for a nudist colony, which we found quite interesting/disturbing. The lady at the booth was about mid 60's and weighed an easy 250, which didn't make the appeal to us any more pleasing.

We have lots of more fall fun planned this month, including my birthday, a trip to the pumpkin patch, and some Halloween celebrations. This is always my favorite time of year, and with Sadie's arrival quickly approaching, we're truly enjoying our last little bit as a family of 3.

Thank you Lord, for your manifold of blessings...