Archive for the ‘baby jude’ Category

yesterday, jude refused to take off her shoes. she even kicked a soccer ball in them. i’m so proud.

[note, at :58 she says “shoe”.]

[also of note: please forgive the lo-fi cellphonelicious quality of this video.]

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i’m taking an advantage of a lunch break to catch up a little here. anyone still out there?

here’s some big, milestone news: jude is full on walking now, across rooms, and back again. more scarily, she is also walking in the tub. however, she is not yet walking in her fancy new sneakers. the ones that are a size 6w and for which we paid $30 at stride rite. she sure does like kissing them, though.

here’s some frustrating news: she has discovered the tantrum. i never knew such high pitched, hyena wails could burst forth from my mellow, alto-ranged daughter. but alas, they do. and increasingly more often, especially at bed time. i know that there is a lot going on in her body: she’s walking, she’s got new teeth, language is developing, and nevermind the fact that she is still growing. still bigger than all the other babies. she stands tall in her 4t clothing and screams.

along with the screaming (which can still be assuaged with nursing, humming, rocking, etc) she has also begun to smack her mothers in the face. mostly, she does it when she is overtired, or trying to keep herself awake (or when she is doing the screaming thing), and i’m not quite sure what to do to curb the behavior.

a common scenario looks a little like this:

jude is nursing happily. she stops for a moment and inspects my nipple (like you do). she squeezes with her deathly pincer grip and i yelp say something like, “don’t do that. that hurts mommy.” then she gives this mischievous grin, and smacks me in the face. i then do one of the following:

a. take her hand away without saying anything
b. in a calm, assertive (pack leader) voice, i say, “no, that hurts mommy.”
c. put her down, and change the scene altogether.

a. and b. always result in jude immediately smacking me again, or trying to gouge my eyes out, as she lets out an exasperated, “ack!” the cycle will continue indefinitely until we move on to option c., which usually works, but doesn’t really resolve the behavior.

so, mamas (and babas and papas), how do you handle discipline and the not-quite-one-year-old?
your thoughts are very welcome.

ok, lest you think my child has turned into a little demon, here are some snaps i have finally uploaded from my camera, only a month after they were taken.

dirty mirrored fambly photo:
my beauty.
happily dragged across the bed by mama:

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life with teether.

aside from the level of busyness my new (and ever-changing) work schedule has wrought upon my bloglife, we’ve now entered phase II of teething: the reckoning.

here’s a visual recap of jude’s first two teeth coming in at 6 months old:
overwhelmingly so OVER the spaghetti

at 11 months old (yes, a letter is forthcoming…at some point…) she still has two teeth. now, it appears that a minimum of four more are making a concerted effort to burst forth simultaneously. this is THE constant appearance of j these days:
Photo 355

the teething situation has escalated past the constant chewing over the past few days, into the realm of fever, lethargy, loose stools, and the need to snuggle a mother at all times. pobrecita. despite the obvious pain she is experiencing, j continues to be her sweet, sweet self, and is liberally dispensing kisses to everyone (and thing) in front of her.

as of this afternoon, there is still no sign of the teeth. and i’m at work until 11 tonight, after which, i will sneak into her room and dream nurse her awhile. it’s all i can do.

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10 months.

dear jude,

the other day, you turned 10 whole months old. once again, i’m flabbergasted at how quickly time sprints forward anymore. you’ll hear this a lot from me, i think, for the rest of my life. time, as i once knew it, is a hazy memory. i might remember something about seasons and years and predictable change; marks on the proverbial calendar. now? each moment is new and even more fleeting than i ever thought possible. for you, little girl, never stop moving, or growing, or becoming. i feel like i should write you weekly letters, as you are a whole new jude all the time.

the only things that seemed to remain the same this month were the amount of visible teeth and your diaper size. (though, judging by your current drool, fussiness, and lack of appetite, the former is about to change any second now…) the rest of you blossomed like so many new green leaves on all the spring trees. your hair is growing so fast these days; you are fuzzy, blondish-red, with swooping little bangs on your forehead. after baths, we actually use a brush now. because you are a bald baby no longer!

this month, you made your first new friend, a sweet boy named bobby. he’s a little more than 6 months older than you, but you’re a lot bigger than him. his life is one miracle on top of the next, and his sweet mama thinks that your example of constant crawling and cruising is helping him learn to do the same. bobby is a very detail-oriented guy, and he has taught you to pay attention to the intricacies of everything you encounter. i love watching the two of you interact with toys: squinting, breathing heavily, studying how every component fits together.

your mamas have also fallen in love with bobby, which sometimes makes you jealous. you don’t necessarily like to share laps. exhibit a:
jude's new bff, bobby.

despite the moments of jealousy, you and bobby seem to really enjoy each other. you touch each other’s face with great affection, and so far, sharing seems to be going well. good job, you.

let’s see, what else? oh! also of note, you have taken one or two independent steps here and there. you totally have the balance thing down; you only lack confidence now. (mama h and i, meanwhile, lack baby gates. time to remedy that.) you have also taken to imitating the meowing of cats, which is ridiculously adorable. we brag that you are fluent in feline, which is probably true. and in recent days, you have begun blowing kisses, accompanied by an enthusiastic *mwah*, which sounds more like *mmmmma*.

i love your loud little voice.

this month, you got to meet your cousin, carlos, when he was just five days old. he is really cute and tiny. see?

he also has a lot of hair, which you mistook for fur, and so you tried to pet him like a kitty. otherwise, you ignored him, because all he really did was sleep a lot and squawk a little. however, i am confident that the two of you will become fast friends within a matter of months, and i hope you are always close. your aunts and uncles and other cousins are all a lot older than you, and i know how alienating that can feel sometimes. i want nothing more than for you and carlos to know and love each other well. be gentle with him, too. someday, he may be bigger than you.

speaking of cousins, by coincidence, your oldest cousin, alyssa, happened to be in dallas on the same weekend we visited carlos. and so you got to meet her too! she is sixteen years older than you, and you are in so much awe of her coolness. (actually, i am too.) i was 13 when alyssa was born, and was her first babysitter. i won’t go in to how weird it is to see her as an adultish person, but i will say how uncanny it is how much you look like her sometimes. she agreed. and she made a joke about you being her baby. and i said it wasn’t funny. and then we both laughed nervously.


okay, so this letter is becoming a meandering, sentimental mess. sorry about that, love. i’m going to end it now by saying, once again, that you are my heart. and i love you more than you love the cats.


pee ess, as anyone can see by the last photo, your heart belongs to pop pop. that might have something to do with your inherent understanding that you completely own the man. so much so that he and your gabby bought a new house just to be near you. and every time you do something cute, he promises you a pony. i think we’ll need to invest in some land for your pony herd to graze.

(this is your pretend-to-talk-on-the-phone pose.)
cameras make everything better.
heart belongs to pop pop.

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next stop: walking.

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been a while.

hello there, friends.

so once again it’s been awhile since my last substantive post, and i think it has a lot to do with a lack of momentum. because right now, the waters are still and shiny in my life, and it’s hard to come up with content that goes anywhere beyond, “wow, this is kinda nice”, but let me try:

wow, this is kinda nice.

little j has maintained her kick ass sleeping schedule for nearly a month now. sometimes she is an angry crier when we put her in her crib at night, but even on fussy nights, she usually puts herself to sleep within minutes. and mostly, she falls asleep while nursing, or waves goodnight when she’s awake in her bed. i harp on about this subject because after 8:30 every night, i get to be pretty obligation-free again. no work. no parenting. nothing but a little wine, perhaps some chocolate, and my special lady friend.

nice, right? right.

i like this pace. i am in a comfortable groove at the workplace for the moment, and my stress is minimal. despite the baseball sized hail damage to my car. despite the fire ant infestation of my house. i’m feeling amazingly…content.

the drugs must be working. i am so proud of myself for not languishing in the guilt of depression, for picking myself up and dragging my sad ass to the doctor. i know that i am the one responsible for this season of calm and contentment, and i feel empowered by that.

ladies and gentlemen, hear me now: there is always hope for relief. depression does not have to be constant and permeating. please don’t ever, ever resist help. they don’t call’em happy pills for nothing.

i am convinced that my brain is functioning now as it really should. i feel sober and awake and present. and so ridiculously grateful for every grace-filled moment with this danger baby of mine, who is fast turning into a girl. a girl who takes independent steps. a girl who cradles rubber duckies like baby dolls and coos at them maternally. a girl who grunts loudly for a bite of your steak. a girl whose favorite flavor in the whole world is black coffee (licked off my finger). i love being her mama.


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nine months.

dear jude,

yesterday, you turned 9 months old. just. wow. really? how did that happen? i’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that you have now been outside as long as you were inside me, but i’m failing miserably. because weren’t you just born? weird.

here’s something else that is weird. you were born on a wednesday. your nine month birthday also fell on a wednesday. and here’s tmi for when you’re a sullen sixteen year old, reading these letters ironically while simultaneously making fun of me: my period came back yesterday. ewwww, i know, right? and the cramps, little girl, reminded me so very much of that amazing night of your arrival. as i lay in bed, curled up in a fetal ball last night, your mama h comforted me just like she did when i was in labor with you. i was momentarily flooded with a visceral memory of your birth. and i was once again blindsided by the reality that you are no longer my tiny baby: you are my little girl.

you are my little girl who loves to clap and bounce to music–and, hilariously, the rhythmic stylings of my breast pump. you now point at things that interest you, and mostly you’re interested in cups of steaming hot coffee, overhead lights and/or fans, and kitties. you play a thoroughly entertaining game with sal cat called “ribbon”, wherein you hold a ribbon, and sal obsessively bats at it, until securing and ultimately storing it under our bed, along with various ponytail holders, burp cloths, and qtips. sal is so gentle when he plays with you, in that he keeps your interactions teeth and claw-free. and you’re gentle with him in return; you very rarely pull his fur or whiskers.

you continue to be danger baby. your crawling is now efficient and done with confidence. you can freestand for frighteningly long seconds at a time, and you’re full-on cruising anymore. nothing in the house is sacred. last week you ate a business card. without remorse.

i must thank you for taking the time to read last month’s letter, jude; for understanding my needs, and meeting them. because, guess what? you’re sleeping through the night now.

i must also thank one of his moms, who sent me a sanity-preserving outline of just how to maybe possibly somehow someday get you to fall asleep on your own. and holy shit: it worked! most nights now, we have bath time, followed by tooth-brushing time (you have a deep, loving relationship with your toothbrush). then i nurse you for a few minutes and lay you down in your crib. and then you sleep for a few hours, before waking up for a midnight snack. and then you’re back to sleep again until six-ish, at which point we bring you into bed with us for a long, sleepy breakfast.

what a dream.

thank you for ending the angry bedtime tantrums. that was hard. the first few nights of our new routine, you were royally pissed. you yelled and flailed and thrashed until you were hoarse. and then you wailed silently, and it was heartbreaking to watch you fight sleep so vehemently. for the record, we did not simply let you cry it out. we stood sentinel by your bedside, silently or humming lullabies, willing our presence to be enough for you to relax and fall asleep. soon enough, it was. i am so proud of all of us.

the downside to your improved sleep situation is that my milk supply is quickly diminishing. i know this is a normal reality: you’re a big girl now. you eat food. you drink water. my milk is more comfort than sustenance anymore. and yet, i grieve this loss. there is so much mama gratification when i pump a big bag o milk for you, even more when you are milk drunk and at peace with the world, snuggled up to me, belly to belly. my milk is our original, primal bond. i promise to be mindful of the apron strings when you’re older, my love, but right now? i crave every constant connection to you.

when this nursing season is over, i hope you still snuggle so close to me.

i love you, danger baby.


um, you've got something stuck to your ass, kid.

bearded one.



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oh hi.

i’m at a loss. every day, i really want to write, and every day, i find it damn near impossible to carve out the time to do it. ideas for posts float in and out of my head like so many good intentions, and now i’m sitting here during a quiet moment at the workyplace, and i’m drawing a blank.

…i’m having blog performance anxiety. or something. i don’t know.

so this baby of ours, she sure demands a lot of time and energy. go figure. she is busy busy go go go from sunup to sundown (referred to as “play” and “pause” respectively). she is forcing us to hone our dry-mopping skillz on ye olde stained concrete floors, as she now deftly pincer-grasps the tiniest grit the dogs can drag in. just the other night, i found a burr drooling out the corner of her mouth as she fell asleep at my breast.

we’ve also recently learned that there is a reason babies experience stranger anxiety: strangers are crazy.

this past weekend, we took an overnight trip to dallas to visit my sister e, who was having her baby shower. [side note: she is huge. her belly is delicious.] held in a small room at an italian restaurant, we were amongst 20ish grown women all sat around a huge table that gave us all little wiggle room. one of the guests was a 50-something woman named c, who looked a little nervous to be sitting next to lesbians but whose nervousness was totally overridden by the edible baby belonging to said lesbians. within moments, she begged permission to hold jude, and of course we gave it. for communal appetizers had arrived, and we didn’t want to miss our chance at getting some goat cheese.

after filling my plate, i glanced over at c, who was feeding my eight month daughter crabcake with a fork! this no-no was apparently preceded by spicy broccoli cheese dip, which we missed. h drew the line at very sugary cake. c actually asked if she could feed her the cake before shoving it in her mouth, and when h said no, c became all pouty and faux apologetic to jude in a “sorry baby that your mamas are mean and won’t let you have cake even though you’re 8 months old” kind of way.

…jude puked and smelled like sour goat cheese, by the way. it was her first projectile experience. and it was just as glorious as it seems. did i mention the small restaurant room was also stuffy?

seriously, who feeds crabcake to a baby?
/end rant.

anyway, it has to be said that, despite the constant dangerbaby moments and being the adrenaline-filled spotter, i am enjoying busy crawling age so much. jude is this fuzzy-headed wonder, who is not quite a baby or toddler. she is squat and chubby one day, lean and gangly the next. she smells like shampoo and sweat and cheerios and sunshine. her pants are always falling down, revealing a fabulous baby coin slot. she calls my name mamamamama as she climbs into my lap and tries to lift my shirt in hot pursuit of the boob. she laughs when i pretend to sneeze, laughs so hard she topples backwards.

i spend every day trying to remain present, hoping to hold every moment like the delectable treasure it is. because, this having a baby part of my life is almost over. jude is fast becoming a kid. i don’t want to miss this.


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8 months.

dear jude.

i’m not quite sure how it possible that you are already 8 months old, but here you are. mama h & i ask ourselves daily, “where did our tiny baby go?” and then we look at you and realize that you must have eaten her. i don’t mean to give you a size complex, but guess what? you’re still really a whole lot bigger than all the other babies. at your last doctor appointment, you weighed 26 lbs 15 oz (with clothes on, thank you), and the other day, when we measured your height while you were standing (more on that in a moment), you were 29 inches tall. all you need to do is grow 13 more inches, my love, and you’ll be tall enough to ride just about any roller coaster.

yes. so. standing. you do that now. your fingers are grapple hooks and we are cliffs. you climb. you clamber. and you stand, triumphant. sometimes you let go of what or whomever you’re holding onto, and there is a brief, wiley coyote kind of suspended moment, when you are on your own: you are a free-stander. your pupils dilate, we hold our breath, and then you plop yourself down onto your very padded behind, at which point you crawl.

crawling. you do a lot of that now. you’re still working out your methods, and mostly move like a car with one oblong tire, but you are faster and faster every day. the pets are on high alert, and both your moms feel more like spotters than parents. i suppose we’re actually just growing into our parenting roles. you are danger baby: fearless. we’ll be spotting you for years to come. now is the time to start shopping for helmets and kneepads, i think.

the other milestone this month is the semblance of a nighttime routine. it goes a little like this: i come home from work at about 7:30, and you squawk with joy. you soon begin to rub your eyes with the sleepiness, and so we head upstairs for bathtime, which is, incidentally, your favorite time of day. after your bath, you have a little naked baby crawling time before loudly protesting about having to wear pajamas. i can usually distract you with a plastic shapey thing. you prefer the blue circle.

soon, i swaddle you (though, as of about 2 days ago, you began making it known that you are so totally over the swaddle), and we turn on the waterfall album. (the sound of constant falling water has a profound effect on you, jude. you go absolutely limp when you hear it.) it’s just you and me and the waterfalls in a darkened room, and i nurse you to sleep. i hum a little sometimes, or kiss your perfect head. i tell you it’s my favorite time of day, and that you are my beloved. when you’re asleep, i lay you in your crib, and slip out of your room.

i then pour myself a drink.

basically, that ideal setup lasted 13 days. on the fourteenth day, you began to teethe hardcore again. and to put it mildly, your sleep schedule went to shit. we still snuggle, still nurse, still listen to intoxicating waterfalls. however, when i lay you in your crib, you wail angrily. we repeat the process over and over again, and most nights you fall asleep after an hour or so. and anywhere from 1 to 4 hours later, mama h is roused from slumber to crawl into bed with you in your room for the remainder of the night. because once you wake up, my darling angel, you will not go back to sleep in your crib, and who has the coherence to “sleep train” you at 3 am? not us. so, you two sleep together for a few hours, and i’m told you wake up every hour demanding milk. or tylenol. usually, you are both back in bed with me by 6 am, and you nurse until i wake up to get ready for work.

i know things could be a lot worse, but jude? my love? will you work toward sleeping through the night again someday soon? i know your teeth are hurting a whole lot, and snuggling makes it better, so i’m being patient here. but if you could work on cutting them already, that would be great. thanks. i’m glad we had this talk.

i love you,

only the ball is not moving.
my heart.

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yeah, i know i’ve been MIA around here. and sweet lord, i’ve really wanted to be present. but right now i hear a baby crying in the monitor, and my finger is sticky from the teething stuff i just applied to her raw gums. so here’s a video. our whole world is now flipping upside down.

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