Showing posts with label Jude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jude. Show all posts

October 30, 2023

In the Realm of the Toddler

The terrible twos.  Jude has entered them, right on time, as he's apt to do (he meets most developmental stages on cue).  Irrational, unreasonable tantrums, wanting to "do it myself!", demanding what he wants, when he wants it, smearing his food all over the table, dumping cups, and constantly turning on the television.  Oh, his love of touching the TV, that's the worst!
Actually, the "terrible twos" all pretty new to me.  Considering that Jude is my second child, you'd think I would have been accustomed to these behaviors, but oddly enough, Soren was surprisingly a much easier toddler, and never quite compared to the classical toddler profile.  He was (and still is) an intense, highly sensitive person, but was not typically prone to tantrums.  Don't get me wrong, he was difficult and full of unbridled energy, which nearly killed me by day's end, but usually he was agreeable.  That is if you could stop him for a moment to redirect him.
Soren at age 2, typical of many of my photos of him.
Soren never had a tantrum if he had to hold my hand while crossing the street, or if I insisted upon feeding him yogurt, or if one of his favorite toys was lost.  In that sense, he was an easy toddler.  I'll elect to NOT remember how he was constantly in motion from pre-sunrise to post-sunset.  And that his favorite activity was destroying toys rather than playing with them.  It made for a tidy home though, as we had to get rid of broken or un-played with toys.

Jude's behavior, though sometimes grating, isn't so daunting to me.  Maybe it's because Soren has worn me in with a groove so deep that it takes a lot to rattle me anymore.  Sometimes I find myself thinking "so THIS is what people mean when they talk about the terrible twos."  I sometimes feel more like an anthropologist, sitting back and observing and remarking about this developmental stage.  To be fair though, Jude is an easy-going child, so I don't think I'm getting the full thrust of toddlerhood, or maybe it's lurking around the corner.

For me, the terrible twos really aren't that bad so far, especially considering the energy and chaos I endured with my eldest.  Bring on the tantrums, Two.  Just please don't break our TV.

July 6, 2023


My sweet baby Jude is now a two year old.  Predictably, I wondered "how did that happen?"
We celebrated this much-loved little boy with little fanfare, a store-bought chocolate cake and ice cream cake, spruced up a bit with sprinkles by his big brother.
No, that's not a ghost, it's that impossible-to-absorb zinc oxide sunscreen
This milestone snuck up on me, so much so that by the time I remembered it was coming, I had forgotten to plan a party.  We had plans to visit my parents' house in Delaware for a beachy 4th of July week, so I figured that enjoying his birthday with family was the best thing.  Especially when it involved stomping sandcastles with big brother.
We had a nice little tribute to Jude, after pizza for lunch.
Chris and I will also claim the title "worst parents ever" for not even getting him a birthday present, unless you count the balloon (which he LOVES!).  He's 2.  And a second child.  What more can I say.
I'm sure we'll pick up something for him if we come across a toy he'd like.  It's odd, but my kids just don't play with toys much, other than Legos.  We don't even have that many, since they just end up getting dumped out and trampled rather than played with.  But that's a topic for another post.
He was carried into the dining room though, in a princely manner.  We love him so!
(Frankly, it was just easier to carry him, chair and all from the kitchen, where he had just finished his lunch in the booster seat).

Jude was a little shy about all the attention during the "happy birthday" serenade.
But after it ended, he enjoyed having Daddy relight the candle for him to blow out.  "Turn it on!", he'd demand.   And rather than cake and ice cream, he preferred chewing on a pretzel.

We love this little guy and can't wait to see what unfolds in his third year of life.  Happy birthday sweetheart!

May 22, 2023

The Fun Uncle

Did you have one growing up? Or many, as I did?  That fun uncle who plays cars for hours, takes you swimming when your parents think it's too cold to bother, and tosses you over and over onto the bed.  Soren and Jude have 4 uncles on my side who spoil them with attention (and gifts).
This weekend, we spent some time with Uncle Jeff, mucking around in the bay near the beaches in Delaware, a favorite spot for our family.
Since it was a pretty overcast and drizzly weekend, we didn't get in any swimming, but still played in the water.  And the boys were so happy to be with their doting uncle (and we parents were just as happy too, to get a break for relaxing and drinking hot coffee and reading, something we don't get to do much at home).
Uncle Jeff is the fun uncle who spends an entire day on a paddle board, exploring the bays, and hoping that Soren and Jude will one day join him.  So far no luck in coaxing S onto it, at least this season.
But walks in the woods to hunt for "bad guys" will suffice.
Even Jude can't get enough of "Un-ca Def", which was the first word he said when waking from a nap, followed by "bed" (referring to Jeff throwing the boys onto the beds).
Every kids needs a fun uncle (or aunt), wouldn't you say, even if it's not a relative by blood?   Oddly, I think I could be a fun aunt, though I'm not always so fun with my kids. I think the sheer amount of work it takes to raise them is just too exhausting to leave much time for fun, at least for me.  Plus Soren and I clash a lot, so often when I think we're going to have a blast together, it sours quickly.  Not so with his uncle though.
 Did you have a fun uncle or aunt?  What memories do you have?

February 6, 2024

Jabbertalker and the Pursuit of the Pencil

Robot. Juice.  Home.  Cere-yall.  Get Down. Ocho.  Hatch-oooo! Pop-porn. Poop-eye.  Scoo-Bus.

Jude the Jabbertalker is quite fond of the above words, or really, all words.
My expectations were low for having a second-born who is as good, if not a better  talker than his older brother (also an early chatterer) was at this age.

At nineteen months, Jude is a dynamo of words, and even a few short phrases.  Don't. Be. Fraid. (from a Yo Gabba Gabba song) is one that Chris and I find quite endearing.
Key-cat (kitty cat).  T-Shirt.  Shorts.  Dollars (repeated from a silly robot bank that Soren has, which recites the amount of money inside it at the press of a button).  There is no word that this child won't repeat, well maybe "Grandpa", which always shortens to "Pa". It makes me laugh, thinking of my dad as Pa Ingalls.  He's more the antithesis.

Jude is fond of so many other things, ones that I'll deem as creative, like music and writing.  Yes, I'm sure I'm just searching for and anticipating that one of my boys will pursue the creative arts, however I do think Jude is more inviting of them than Soren was at this age.  Of all the arts, I'd imagine Soren would take more to acting and performing than one of the more introverted arts.
I've never seen a toddler to enamored of pens and writing instruments.  He screams and demands when he sees a pencil or paper.  "Write! Write!" he shrieks when his brother is engaged in some sort of drawing activity.  The photo below is from my Instagram feed.
He's at his happiest when I'm singing and when given paper and a pencil.  And that pleases me as much as it does him.  Let's hope it continues throughout his life.  He can call me up anytime for a song.

January 22, 2024


Between a string of days without an internet connection and a general feeling of being out of the online loop (save for Instagram and Facebook via my phone) it's been hard getting on this blog here to post.  These cold days have been spent hanging around the house, meeting up for playdates, knitting, taking photos, and of course Legos, Legos, Legos.
Firewoman, or else a Fireman in makeup.
The days languidly go on, yet holy moley, January is nearly over.  What do I have to show for it?  The whole month seems like an outage, especially for this blog.

Well, today has been a good one, starting off with getting both boys dressed, ready for a school friend of Soren's to come by.  We even made some of our famous duct tape crowns.
Somehow I fed the kids lunch AND gave them baths.  Go me!  One less thing to do tonight.
I have plans to make a lasagna for dinner, which will really push me into the supermom role today.

On the Jude side of my kids, he's doing well, talking a lot.  He's quite a mimic.  However he does have such a temper, much more than S ever did.  It's funny, seeing such a mellow toddler get so angry and frustrated about things I can't even guess.
In fact, just after I snapped this photo, he pegged me pretty hard in the head with one of those balls.  We're having some throwing-at-people issues too (hmmm, I wonder who in this house models that?).

Anyway, I'm in need of making the lasagna while Jude is napping (ahh, the slow torture of going from two naps to one), but I hope this post is momentum for being more regular about writing here. I'm so behind on things I was to blog about!

Hope all is well, friends.

November 14, 2023

Cue the Flash

There's probably nothing as frustrating as trying to conduct a living room photo shoot for the yearly Christmas card.
Between getting the outfits on, setting up the camera and light reflector, I wonder if ever there was a parent who was able to get a good photo in no less than 500 shots.
The expressions often crack me up, like Soren's above, so I'm apt not to delete it.  But do I really need all these photos cluttering my hard drive?

Some of them really are worth it though.  This one was completely unprompted.  Too bad it wasn't great, compositionally.  And I had to use the dreaded flash. 
Despite the trauma we went through last month, I'm finally ready to get back to feeling normal again, thus the return to pushing myself to get stuff done that I enjoy. I love looking back on our Christmas cards (I always keep one or two for myself) and remembering that time of year with my kids.

The "good" shot that I finally did get really isn't that great (I'll post it at another time), but the memory of two young boys who really love each other, sitting together on a couch is one that will linger with me.
At least they're both here, I tell myself.  And that's all that matters.

Any plans for Christmas cards this year? I thought I could rely on one from our time at the beach this summer, but there weren't any good ones of both boys or all of us.

November 6, 2023

A Return

After a week settling back in from our looooong hospital stay, we've finally returned to our normal routine.  Soren is getting around much better, gaining strength each day, and even returned to school yesterday.  The last week has been such an odd one, both with the adjustment to being together as a family again, and also just a general feeling of disturbance as the remnants of hurricane (or tropical storm or superstorm or whatever) Sandy are dealt with.

Many of my friends and family were without power, and some even had extensive damage done to their homes.  It's heart-wrenching reading about the events on Staten Island, especially having come so close to losing my own child.  The devastation that so many people are facing is unfathomable to me, and my heart goes out to families who were affected.

Thankfully, the only disruptions here revolved around Halloween--it seems like it's the holiday that just won't end.  Unbeknownst to me, S had his Halloween party yesterday, so I had to run home and grab a costume from the dress up box. 

Returning from the hospital, I've been overwhelmed with gratitude towards the hundreds of people who have helped us, from the gifts of food and childcare for Jude (thank you Amy!) to the individuals who cleaned Soren's hospital room and brought him his meals.  It's amazing when you think about it how many small parts people play in our lives, both in sickness and in health.  Even the mailman, who came bearing get well cards despite wind and rain.  And even your, dear readers, leaving comments of support and gifts of prayer. 
So a return to normalcy has been quite welcome here, despite its usual challenges of keeping up with two active boys.
Don't let this one fool you.  Behind that placid look is a dynamo just waiting to tip over that carelessly placed cup of coffee.  Not like I'd have any experience with that.

September 20, 2023

Last Splash

I'm lucky to have two water bugs living with me, who, unlike their father, will migrate to water like kids to candy. 
Though we're beyond swimming weather here in the Northeast, the boys are still enjoying finding puddles and water collected from a rainstorm to play in .
The delight that these two have with water is worth running back inside to grab the camera.
And worth peeling off cold, wet clothes from shivering bodies.
Hope you're having some outdoor fun where you are!

September 6, 2023

First Days, Last Days

September has flown in, along with it the first days of school and the first week of tending to my new charge, our neighbors' 10 month old son (hence the lack of posting around here).

Soren had a good first day, despite tears and trepidation about meeting his new teacher.
By morning's end, he was smiling and eager to return (we'll see about that tomorrow).

Jude's also embarked on a "first"--he took his first unassisted steps over the weekend.  Naturally, I didn't get out the camera, but hope to get some pics today.
Despite his lackadaisical approach to walking, this boy climbs and scrambles onto things like a gecko.  We've since had to remove these kiddie chairs and table, since he was using them as springboards for getting places that he shouldn't be.
And with the first days of walking, come the last days of nursing my baby.
Actually, it's been over a week since I've breastfed him.  And like with Soren, it snuck up on me.  One minute I'm nursing before bed and upon waking, then all of a sudden it stops, usually due to a busy day or lack of asking for it from the baby.

I feel both wistful and liberated, as I did with Soren.  I love wearing regular bras and am eager to drop a cup size again. And being less concerned with drinking a glass of wine or too much coffee.  But of course I will miss that closeness and the feelings of nurturing my child; however there is always lots of closeness and nurturing without the breast too.  My bosom is always open for cuddling. :)

I'd like to continue to wax poetic on the subject, but two boys are needing me right now.  Hope your week is having some good beginnings and endings!

August 1, 2023

Cooking Up Fun

Seems like we've been cooking a lot this week, between tacos, muffins and Christmas cookies.  The boys have been "cooking" in their kitchen too.
Or more accurately, dumping things all over the place.  But in all that mess, they're learning something, right?  And finding new items to aimlessly chew on.
I'm thankful for how well my boys entertain each other, even with their 3+ year age difference.  They really get each other laughing and hooting.  I think there's an unofficial contest to determine who can out-scream the other.
Don't think I miss out on the fun in the kitchen.  Despite the room being the center of my working life (picture the lunch remnants and piles of laundry spread across the table all afternoon yesterday), I still know how to let loose in the kitchen.
How many calories does one burn playing peek-a-boo?

July 9, 2023


Every day with a baby is bittersweet.  I eagerly await that first something, whether it's a first word, first step, first tooth.  At the same time, I'm wistfully yearning for those plump  baby features that are quickly merging into those of a little boy.
It's weird that I'm homesick during these moments with Jude, even before they've passed.  It's like I'm missing them already, even when trying to be present with the experience (does this make sense???).  Since he's my last baby, I try to hang onto everything about this sweet, happy little person.
Last week, Jude officially turned one.  One!  I remember eagerly and nervously awaiting his birth last summer,
then finally getting to meet him, perfectly healthy and beautiful, even covered in thick vernix.
It's been an amazing, chaotic, tearful and wonderful year, being the mother to this Little Bitty Pretty One (the boys love that song).
What can I say that hasn't been said by millions of mothers throughout space and time regarding how quickly their children grow up.  Yet here he is, eating cake and ice cream by himself at the table, one short year later.  It blows my mind.
I have no regrets having added another person to our family, and am happy to see his smile every morning and cuddle him throughout the day.  He is the most pleasant and easy little being, and I'm so grateful that he came into our lives 360-some days ago.
Jude, happy, happy birthday my sweet one!  xoxoxoxo
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