My heart is in so many places as my baby boy turns TWO tomorrow. It's in the bathroom feeling really weird when I found out I was pregnant. It's in my bedroom, crying on my bed, not answering any calls/doors/texts because I was so overdue and I was so sick of it... so dramatic. It's in the delivery room, after I found his soul in the stars and he was in my arms. It's in those first months when he wouldn't ever stop crying. It's in the Thank You cards I wrote to all the angels that brought me food those first few weeks and it all tasted like freaking gold! It's watching that little first smile, that first roll, those first teeth, and those first wobbly steps, that first word (mama), and the first taste of real food. Oh my heart is just everywhere. This boy is so loved. He is the dream come true I never knew I had.
Dear Jude, I love you, you little stinker. You are one sweet little boy full of wonder, laughter, and ants in your pants. Also, the fastest little racer I've ever seen. Happy Birthday to you!
It's March! May we all continue to March forward. I'm not Catholic but I've always been interested so this year I am participating in Lent. I think it is a neat thing. Now, I've never actually read about Lent or how it is suppose to go so I'm just going on what I've heard through friends and TV and Movies which I think puts me at a good fair start. Ha ha. I know that if you really participate you should go to an Ash Wednesday Mass where you get an ash mark on your forehead. And then, one of Dan's coworkers says that you are actually not suppose to share what you give up for Lent, but to keep it close to your heart. I heard about that only after I proclaimed my intentions to Facebook, so missed that one! For some reason I am thinking that you are suppose to give up something that has to do with one of the seven deadly sins as well. I should really just go and read Wikipedia about it all. After this I'll do that so I can continue to blog to you about my version of it all. So I've blown a few of the requisite requirements for Lent, but I didn't know about them all at once. This is my "I feel mostly culturally Mormon these days kind of twist on Catholic Lent" thing and so far I like it. Also, I totally respect the practice of Lent and mean no disrespect.
For Lent 2014 I'm giving up refined sugar. I have a total addiction and I think the only way to get rid of it is to go cold turkey for at least forty days. Working on day 3 here and I'm doing really well. I just think of old JC starvin' marvin' for forty days and it helps me get through. Even though it's not a "if He can do it so can I" kind of thing because lets be real, he was super human, I still gain strength thinking about him every time I want some brownie. I'm taking my spirituality into my own hands these days and this is part of my quest. I'm pretty sure that the desserts in 2014 are way better than the desserts He had to choose from though. He could basically eat dates for dessert. Dates. If the devil came and tempted Him with a warm homemade brownie with some premium vanilla bean ice cream, a touch of whipped cream and toasted almond slivers would he have said no? Hmmm. Answer me that internet.
About Jude. He is super old these days. 2 at the end of the month in fact. He will no longer ham it up when I want to take a picture of him which saddens me as it makes him less cute. My old trick of asking him if he wants a cookie only upsets him as the cookie never comes. Humph. He may as well be a teenager if you want to know the truth. Teenagers are cute too though so I will survive. Jude is talking up a storm, learning a new word almost every day. Just today he was talking about puppies and of course our hearts melted. He also finally made it up the play structure at Chick Fil A with lots of grunting and straining, but he climbed that big boy structure like a boss... well, like a struggling boss and came down that slide exclaiming "I did it! I did it!" It is so neat to see him work so hard and be so proud.
Oh Judie bootie, I take it back you are still slightly cute. He for sure has his dad's OCD which makes us laugh on a daily basis. He can't eat a meal if something in the kitchen, front room, or restaurant is out of place, he says "oh no! oh no!" until that something is fixed. He hates spilling on himself and will carefully pick up whatever spilt and place it where it belongs. You can see how spilling yogurt is quite an ordeal because that junk is hard to get back in place with only fingers or a toddler spoon to work with. He closes all doors and closest that are open before passing them by and gets really upset about his messy runny noses. My FIL's mother tells a story of him (my FIL) very carefully wiping off his own face as a one year old that always makes me laugh and think of Jude. I know he gets it from Dan and we know where Dan gets it from! Jude will even take care to turn his sippy cups so that the spout faces a certain direction when he places them in the fridge. Once he gets the counting thing down I'm going to drop a box of toothpicks and ask him how many.
So that's that. Lent and a little bit about our sweet boy. xo, pp
Hmm. I really wish I would have taken more pictures of my short 48 hours in Calgary.
When I was flying on that glorious no toddler flight of magazines, sleeping, and wonder home, I finally agreed with myself that even though I have never been crashed and banged up in a car accident or pushed and pulled to and fro in the raging waves, I am a survivor too. And honestly, who isn't?
I'm in accord that my parents did the best they could with what they were given and with what they were able to bring to our huge kitchen table, but growing up in my family wasn't that easy. There were so many kids, so many stresses, so many assumptions, and not enough wisdom or patience to get us to the flip side safely. I mean, it wasn't always the worst of times but it also wasn't the best of times. And of course I have good memories and we did get to do lots of fun things but everything was experienced with this thick dark shadow following closely behind and sometimes in front.
The security that comes from an attended love was always just out of reach and as such all nine of us were left grasping at whatever could hold a grip. With decreased frequency I sometimes still find myself grasping and grasping for something to grip and my desperate hands have still only themselves. Gratefully, that is only sometimes.
The resilience of the human spirit stops me still these days and I sit in its awe. I was the lucky one who got to see all but one of her family members last weekend and we are the lucky ones who somehow made it to the flip side still wanting to be kind, generous, loving, good people. It's a tender mercy of this life. It didn't have to be this way. But here we are, grateful survivors with lots of love to give and with open hearts to receive. I wish I would have taken more pictures from my 48 hours so you could see the love and light in the faces of the ones I love most.
On this love day I give all the survivors out there, and that's everyone, my love!
In no particular order (and in a dump of iPhone pictures) I'll do a little catch up here. Hold on to your panties.
I got to see all my sisters and my mom and dad this past weekend! I would have loved to catch up with my brother. Serinda is not pictured though :(, this is the only group shot I had on my phone and she was with her sleeping little girl at this point... something I missed all weekend long. I jetted off to Calgary, just me myself and I enjoying hot beverages and in-flight movies with no toddler to interrupt, for my Grandmother's funeral. I had the rare opportunity of seeing almost my whole family and also lots of cousins, a grandpa, and aunts and uncles and my awesome in laws. It kind of felt like Christmas dinner as a 9 year old. It was really soothing. Good grief, how I miss Calgary. Although it was freaking freezing cold I still loved it. I wanted to stay there, buy a Canada Goose winter coat, update my Sorel's and attend Yoga with my little sisters forever. Oh the trip was too quick. I stepped out of the airport feeling like the guys on Cool Runnings, but instead of trying to go back in I sucked it up and turned on the seat warmer in my rental car and pretended I was sitting in a hot tub. I also got the feeling that the Winter Olympics are kind of a bigger deal in Canada than in the USA. I guess I find the opposite to be true down here... and rightly so.
I spent an awesome two weeks in Utah with my sister Eve and her family. Judie Pants loves his cousins. They had so much fun getting sick together, coloring together, watching movies together and doing everything else fun together. I'm pretty sure Jude colored on your floor here Eve, I'm sorry about that.
While in Utah Jude also got to meet his little cousin Emma. I have a few better pictures of the two of them but this is for sure the funniest. They were both squirming off the couch trying to get away and it was so cute. Emma was probably more falling than squirming though.
And this picture won't center. I have been driven nuts because of it. The point is though, that Jude is really good at eating cereal. After he took this bite he picked up that lone cheerio and put it back where it belonged. I'm pretty sure he has his father's mild case of OCD and I don't even mind. Makes one less mess for his parents to clean up. He even very carefully picks up the bowl and drinks the milk without spilling a drop. I'm really excited for his future.
Getting three cousins to look in the same place for one picture is impossible. The result is still pretty cute though.
I hope one day Jude has a kid whose detest of dental hygiene rivals his own because ha ha! The past week he has been doing a little better, however. It seems he really enjoys hearing stories of his best friend Jacob while we brush his teeth. The stories usually calm him down ... or the Kindle. I'm not stopping though, kid. Dental hygiene is no joke. He likes to suck on floss so I'm hoping things will continue to get better.
The other morning I was telling Jude some stories as he cuddled me at oh, about 9am, and he fell right asleep. Probably because he woke up at 5am that morning. This kid! I keep wanting sleep but then I know that in a decade or so I'll be wishing he would wake up early and play with me so I'm telling myself to live in the moment and that sleep will come.. or it won't and it doesn't matter. And I can't complain too much because Dan usually lets me sleep in on Saturdays. Why just the other Saturday I slept until 11am and it felt freaking fantastic. I guess I can continue living.
And my little boy in the winter sunlight. I love that winter means green grass in Virginia. And I love the way the light catches his little boy face. At the park near by there is a little hill and this little boy loves to feel gravity's pull as he runs down it. He likes it when we run down too. So we do.
I'm watching some men's figure skating and I can't handle the wipe out replays. The slow motion really shows too much. The body jiggling as it hits the cold hard ice... ahhhh, it's too much for me. That must hurt so bad. I actually don't like any of the slow motion falls. I saw some women's downhill wipeouts yesterday and my little wimpy heart can barely take it. I want them all to win gold all the time every time.
This last year was pretty great. From the downs to the ups and everything in between I loved it and I'd do it again. I'll do it again starting tomorrow but a little different. We tucked Jude into bed this evening and I felt sentimental saying goodbye to the year we had with that sweet little boy. Buuuuttt, he will continue to be sweet so I'm sure I'll be just as pleased with it all come this time next year. Next year will be a lot more busy for this family of mine with (I'm pretty sure... getting jobs during the holiday season is a very slow process) new employment for myself and I'm looking forward to the challenge. New responsibilities always help me to really organize my time and energy- Dan and I are gonna have lots of fun syncing up our Google Calendars is all I'm saying. Not that we didn't before, but this year we are gonna work harder and play even harder.
Now. New Years Resolutions, of course. Jude would like to express his:
1. Say 'please' after 'I want that'. That is his first sentence and he learned to say it just this week. I don't think he or I or Dan knew just how badly he wanted everything before this speech advancement. Honestly, how did he cope before he learned how to express this? I guess the pointing helped, but he must have been just dying inside.
2. Cars, Trucks, Planes, Trains. Incorporate these even more in daily life.
And that's it. Well, I guess I just wanna have fun and maybe try to understand Kanye, #nodisrespecttobenaffleck.
Someone should really put a stop to me taking to Blogger when I feel the Holiday Blues. What's the deal here? And why do Holiday Blues have to keep visiting me? Just the other day I was feeling so chipper about the season- celebrating all over the place. Maybe it's that my friends are all leaving soon for their holidays or that I continually watch our bank account dwindle in despair or not being able to get my mind off of not having a home to go back to for Christmas even if I could pay the thousands of dollars that it would cost to do so. I encourage all of you Holiday Blues people out there to give your grief the time it needs at the table instead of trying to chase it away with cookies from your cookie exchange party. I hate to spoil an ending, but chasing away the blues with an enormous amount of delicious cookies doesn't end well. To be fair though, it will always taste good in the beginning.
I also feel continually sad because I cut Jude's hair, and I hate to say it but his cuteness decreased by at least 65%. Even his own mother can see that. I look at him and wish I had my own DeLorean so I could slap my November 21st self in the face.
Okay. The pity party is over. Thanks for listening. I already feel less blue. And really, it's not doom and gloom all the time, it seems to hit hard here and there. Then I eat cookies, blog about it, and feel better but still bad about the cookies. I like having an upbeat blog but I also have a life so you get a bit of both.
One thing to be happy about is I have some job interviews coming up this week! Yes!
And I guess Jude is still pretty cute (or maybe it's just the outfit).
This year the thing I am the most thankful for is the miracle that is hair growth. Oh man. I had Jude's hair cut into a cute short little boy cut because I thought it would look good. While it does look good because he is adorable regardless, I have never mourned a haircut like I have this one. And that is saying something for sure. I've had my hairs cut in Asia by Asian stylists who just didn't know what to do with fine, limp white girl hair which equaled layers everywhere and a pony tail nub for six months. I didn't even mourn that hair cut. It was actually pretty hilarious, and I like funny things so I went with it. But this Jude hair cut. Woe is me. The stylist did what I asked but I asked the wrong thing. I should have had them trim up his golden locks and add a little shape. None of this shorter in the back, longer in the front business. So sad. This probably all sounds pathetic, I'm sure. I should get over it and be happy that he is healthy and thriving. There are much more important things in life that should be taking up my brain space. But those locks.... ahhhhhhhhh...... I don't know if I can ever forgive myself. No, I will never forgive myself. Grow tender blond locks, grow!
Anyways, due to the season of Turkey, Pilgrims, and the Indigenous, what else am I thankful for? For my little family who keep me company during this month of depression while I miss the family I am from. Holidays are hard for me and when the holiday lasts a whole month it is that much harder. Long weekends- tough, yet manageable, but a holiday that has a whole season to it. Woof. I mean, I love the birth of Christ and celebrating it, it just gets hard. I think I will now call this the season of "Oh Holy Sh*t". I don't really know how else to describe it but by saying: hard. Hanging out by yourself killing time doing this or that of no consequence, doing everything on our own, missing our loved ones. Hard. Do any of you have lonely holidays too? How do you cope? Or would you rather have it that way? I'm intrigued.
I do have coping mechanisms and it isn't all bad. I shouldn't be such a downer about it all. For instance, because we all know that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear- I landed myself a solo in the church choir. Now, the humorous thing here is that I didn't even have to audition. Nope. The director simply asked if anyone could speak French. I raised my hand and got a solo! My first time showing up too, before even one note had been sung. Good grief. Yes, I once had dreams of being an opera singer, but when my tender 6 year old hopes were squashed by laughing siblings I just sort of gave up on it all. But here I am, 25 years later with a church solo on my hands. It's quite hilarious, I just hope having never had a solo or much singing experience that I can do it some kind of justice. Will report indeed. And also, I hope some cheer is spread to me and whoever else wants it. I'm suppose to sing really loud, after all.
Really though, I am thankful for hair growth, my family near and far, this silly silly solo and everything else in my life- the good and the bad. Happy Thanksgiving ya filthy animals.