Archive for the ‘big kid jude’ Category

jude + mio = lub.

oh jude. jude loves her mio kitten in not necessarily the gentlest of ways. we attempt to instill good kitty-holding etiquette, but every other day she gets a swat or a bite after the poor cat’s patience has run out. but still. mio LOVES his jude. in the house, he pesters her as she plays with her trains, he knocks over her block towers (this is encouraged), and he chases her back and forth throughout the house, over and over. he is her original little brother.

here are a few of their moments captured today. [note: we tried ever so hard to keep him as an indoor kitty, but to no avail. he protested by pissing on the couch every day, and even attempted to piss on the baby once. now that we let him come and go, he is a rather peaceable guy, with no passive aggressive messages written in urine.]

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so, the other topic of interest brought up in the comments was about how we’re preparing jude for being a big sister.

i’ve talked a bit about the ongoing conversations here from time to time, but basically, it all goes like this:

every day, we discuss the baby. conversations usually begin after jude once again attempts to body slam my big belly, and i have to remind her to be gentle with mommy, because of the…? beebee, she says. yes! the baby! perfect icebreaker, right?

she loves to blow raspberries on my belly, to say hello to the beebee by speaking loudly into my belly button, and she’s now graduated to offering the beebee “big hugs” as well.

we ask jude if she is a baby. she usually says no, and backs it up with an emphatic head shake: she is a big kid. did she used to be a baby? yes, she concedes, she once was a baby. and so i bring up the topic of breastfeeding: how mommy used to nurse jude, but she’s a big kid now who drinks milk from a cup. sometimes she wants to check out the old restaurant, as it were. she asks to nurse. i remind her that i do not currently have milk (which isn’t entirely true; it’s colostrum time, folks!), and won’t till the baby comes. she understands, but pushes: try, mommy? jude try? so i let her try. and she doesn’t remember how to do it. (whew.) on most days, she’ll give up her attempt to nurse ask for a cup of milk. two days ago, however, she kind of lost her shit.

i gave her an ice cold cup o milk, and she threw it at me. and then she smacked me. then kicked me. then screamed, threw some toys and ran out of the room in what can only be described as a tizzy. i gave her a few minutes to calm down before approaching her. i asked, jude, are you angry? she nodded yes. i asked, are you angry because mommy doesn’t have any milk, and when she does again, it’ll be for the baby? yesh, she said out loud. then she broke eye contact from me and looked at my belly. sorry bebe, she said. big hug? and she gave my belly a big hug.

i was momentarily surprised that she was mad at the baby, and not me, but i also realized that she understands there is a person inside me with whom she can be angry. that makes me think she’s really getting it, as much as she can.

for the next half hour or so, jude pretended to be a baby, which she has never really done before. she developed a pretend baby cry; a perfect whah, whah. h and i shrugged our shoulders and played along. we asked aloud what we could do to comfort the baby, and she supplied us with several suggestions. we took turns cradling her like a newborn, burping her, singing to her, etc.

then her gabby and pop pop arrived at our house, and the game was over. she was jude the big kid again. she hasn’t reverted since.

so yeah, that is where we are with prepping jude for big sisterhood. we’re talking talking talking all the time, and letting jude do what she needs to do to communicate and cope with all this change.

[translation: we’re winging it. and wondering how she’ll actually be when ziggy is actually born.]

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our dogs’ names: charley, moe, clem, lucy.
jude’s names for our dogs: sheshe, moe, meow, bao! (lucy makes this noise often.)

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here’s 15 seconds of cute for your friday. you’re welcome.

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hi my name is bananie. i am a lactating mother. i last breastfed my child nine days ago. i am pretty sure that nine days without nursing warrants official wielding of the term “weaned”, right?

i wanted to nurse jude until she was 2. then i got pregnant. and i realized that jude would turn 2 three months before i gave birth. the likelihood of tandem nursing seemed pretty high. and daunting. and holy hell my boobs sure did hurt from all those pregnancy hormones.

i thought that jude might wean herself, that my milk would completely dry up or change flavor. however, she held on with gusto. she only wanted milk at night, before bed, and usually for less than 5 minutes. sometimes, she’d have a moment on the couch in the morning. it was all comfort, little to no nutrition. and though i remained hesitant to let those precious moments go, the act itself was becoming more physically uncomfortable.

a few weeks ago, jude’s nose was stuffy for several days, which meant even less nursing. i took that time to introduce a sippy cup of water or milk at bedtime. she didn’t really ask to nurse. [quick digression– bedtime these days looks like this: i read jude a few books, we turn out the lights, she has a little milk, and then she asks to go into her bed. i cover her up, say goodnight. the end.]

and then the weekend of awful sleep happened in dallas. she regressed a bit, wanted to be babied a lot, and in the middle of the night she wanted to nurse. i did what i used to do in a cosleeping situation: i whipped out a boob for her and went back to sleep. she fell asleep while nursing, and proceeded to BITE THE FUCKING FUCK out of my nipple. i yelped, squeaked, squawked, tried to unclamp her. but she was out cold and wouldn’t let go. jude has never been a biter, thank GOD; this was a total sleep-chomp. but the pain was ridiculously intense, and came only hours after she accidentally pinned my nipple to the bed with her elbow while throwing a tantrum. i’m guessing that the experience was akin to a good kick in the balls. i was immobilized for a bit.

…and sore for days after. too sore to nurse, in fact.

when we got back from dallas, jude wanted to nurse again. she asked for milk at bedtime, and when i offered her a cup, she clarified her preference by pulling up my shirt. when simple distraction no longer worked, i pulled out my trump card of no return: sorry, baby. mommy’s milk is all gone.

the first time i said it, she looked at me quizzically, but when i immediately offered a cup of milk, she was totally fine with option number two. nine days later, she sometimes forgets and asks for mommy milk, but all it takes is a reminder, and she is okay. no tears. no tantrums. in fact, at bedtime most nights, she is opting out of beverages altogether, and just wants book and bed.

so. yes. jude is weaned, just shy of 22 months old. i am so proud of our breastfeeding relationship, that we made it last this long. i already experience nostalgic moments with an air of wistfulness and finality. a montage of jude nursing through the ages plays through my head with a soft glow. it abruptly ends with these thoughts: she will never nurse again. that season is over now.

i grieve a little bit, feel a bit of relief to have my boobs back for a few months, and i celebrate what a rousing success we’ve had. i’m more at peace with the change than i thought it would be. and the best part? she snuggles me for the snuggles alone now. there’s no ulterior motive of, “if i get close enough to mommy, i’ll totally score some milk”. she just wraps her arms around my neck and goes limp on my growing belly. bliss.

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snow day.

on tuesday, it snowed a bit in austin. i may have been on bedrest, but i sure as hell wasn’t going to miss jude’s first moments experiencing february flakes for herself. so i hobbled outside, took some pictures, and hobbled back inside.
first time touching snow:
first time touching snow.

mama shows j how to taste the flakes:
february flakes

my snowbaby:


[someday, jude will experience the “real” snow of my childhood. and she will learn to sled like a pro. someday.]

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ugh and such.

wow, it’s been awhile. how are you all?

me? it’s been more of the same. as it turns out, i had a sinus infection for awhile, and the pressure in my head, behind my ears especially, made my nausea hella worse. after a week on antibiotics, i am, on the morning sickness scale (which, you may remember goes from one to pregnant-with-jude), about a solid 7. i’ve only missed one day of work, and i am able to push past the funk and be a productive chicken every day.

thanks be to God.

i really must take a belly shot soon. because my bump is pushing forward with much enthusiasm. my clothes fit funkily, and i’m wearing even baggier hoodies and comfy pants than usual. i am frumplestiltskin. also, have i mentioned that i haven’t had a haircut since AUGUST? unacceptable. time for some sassy maternity wear (target, don’t fail me now) and an effing haircut already. i feel like a modest, but nice house that has gone to shit. my theory is that i’ll feel less nauseated with a proverbial fresh coat.

let’s see, what else is happening in my little world of pregnancy and toddlerhood?

two weeks from tomorrow, we’ll get to hear ziggy’s heartbeat for the first time. also, i scheduled a 12 week ultrasound on 8 march. i’m still not convinced there is only one ziggy in my belly. it’ll be such a relief to simply know.

i am getting boy vibes from this baby. not as strong as jude’s girl-vibes were, but definitely present. i’m not committing to anything here, but if i give birth to a boy, i won’t be surprised. that’s all.

my judechild is still calling me daddy. sometimes h gets it, and uncle g as well. but mostly me. some of you asked in the comments of my last post whether i’m okay with that. the answer? totally okay. it’s hilarious to me. we’ve never introduced the word daddy to her vocabulary, so it is something she has picked up for herself. i’m not sure if it has anything to do with the lack of someone named daddy in our home, or if it’s just a term she likes. in any case, it’s damn cute.

incidentally, my official name is ‘mommy’, and sometimes she’ll say it when prompted. that’s the thing: she usually has to be prompted to call h and me by any name whatsoever. until she started calling me daddy, she didn’t address me at all. she usually gets my attention by suddenly appearing in my lap, between my legs, or by grabbing my boobs. so. being called by any name at all is a delicious sort of experience.

so that’s all really. i apologize if you’re bored by this post. i want to tell you stories, but all i’ve got are sporadic sentences. maybe trimester two. in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a belly shot, or maybe even a grainy video soon.

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19 months.

dear jude,

you will have to excuse mommy’s lack of words this month. you and i have begun this conversation already, but we all need to be reminded of what unseen things are happening in my uterus. as i write this letter, i am in my seventh week of pregnancy with your sibling. we call your sibling ziggy. and ziggy is making your mommy very, very nauseous. take now, for instance. i am pausing between sentences, negotiating with my esophagus, begging for no puking action. so far, so good. let us proceed.

i don’t want this letter to YOU to be about your unborn sibling. sweet lord, i want to do everything i can to quell your inevitable rivalry. but i want you to know that i understand the fact that you might not be over the moon about this baby. your uncle g is reading a book called siblings without rivalry, and he summed up a great passage for us recently. it went like this: imagine you are happily married. your spouse says, “hey, this marriage is going so well, there is so much love here, let’s add another wife to the family! this new wife will share everything we already have together, and oh yeah, she also will need to wear your old clothes. sorry i didn’t really tell you about this, but she’s on her way now!” how would you feel?

yes, i know you’ll be so excited to be a big sister, to help take care of a baby, etc. but, your whole reality is going to shift rather quickly, and at 19 months old, there is no way for us to really prepare you for that. so. let this letter be a testament to the fact that i know this is going to be a hard transition for you. and i am going to do and be everything i can to help you remain secure in your identity as My Beloved Child.

moving on.

this month, you’ve continued to deepen your relationships with the dogs. we couldn’t be more pleased that you and charleydog are so tight that she rolls over at your feet and hopes for tummy rubs.


christmas. holy moly did you ever love christmas. as i may have mentioned last month, your big present was this:

and when you discovered it, you looked like this:

and you still grin like that every time you slide. which is all day, every day.

here are some visual christmas highlights:

christmas eve dancing:

licking your lips in anticipation:

jumping on bubblewrap at gabby and pop pop’s:


dwarfed by gabby and pop pop’s christmas tree:

a christmas worth remembering. we spent the night at gabby and pop pop’s, which you loved. you ran around the house without ceasing until you collapsed. and then we grownups played dominoes until the wee hours. i did not win.

this month, you have been a delight. you are busy busy, all day long. and when we are out and about, that means your moms never stop moving, either. but, at home, you are confident about your run of the house, and are able to play by yourself for minutes at a time. your mama and i often sit together on the couch and watch you share water or milk or cheese with dolls, cars, dora, the tv. (your word of the month is ‘share’, which sounds like ‘sheeee-oo’.) your actual sharing technique with other toddlers is still a tad precarious, but we’re working on it. when you melt down, you recover quickly. thank you for that.

alright, my darling. i’m feeling a bit piqued and am going to close. but know that i cherish every moment with you as i grow your brother or sister. you may be my firstborn, but you will always be my baby.

i love you so.

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18 months.

dear jude,

you are 18 months old now. you really are. and the only echoes of babydom left are your half asleep whiny cries from your crib, when you wake up disoriented or dirty or sad. sometimes, i nearly experience a sensory memory of your smaller self when i nurse you to sleep. but like a sneeze that won’t quite come, you obliterate the baby thoughts by pointing to my nose, and then to yours. or you stop nursing, furrow your eyebrows, and say with perfect diction and no apparent reason, “oh no”.

you talk a lot now, words and words all day long, but when your pediatrician (who needs a nickname; i shall call her dr whirlwind, as she is one) asks how many words you have, i go positively blank. seriously. yesterday, at your 18 month appt, dr whirlwind asked us, in order to chart your development, how many words you speak. your mama and i looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said, “um, i dunno. five?” the dr hesitated a moment, and replied in an exasperated tone, “we’re lookin’ for 5-10 here. think she’s got that many?” and i’m all, “yes, definitely. i’d even say 15.” (i hope you will interpret this last sentence as my confidence in your abilities, more than my need for you to be above average in all things…not just height.)

for posterity, let me try to catalogue your current vocabulary:

yeah! or.. yayayayay!
moe! [can mean our dog, moe. or mole. or more. or mama. or mommy. you play with the word intentionally that way.]
keeeeeeey! (kitty)
oh no!
oh me. (oh man, a la swiper)
doh (dora)
awwwww duh! (all done)
a-ta (thank you, or the generic response to our request for you to say the word x)
ha (hot)
cha (charley the dog)
woh (water)
cay (crayon)
sta! (star)
guh! (uncle g)

these are the words you still sign instead of speak:


and these are the words you sign and speak interchangeably:


see? way more than 10 words.

words are your drugs right now, jude. you can’t get enough. you point endlessly and in every direction, asking “da?!” (another word!) and the wordsmith in me couldn’t be more pleased. you’re not only cataloguing a vocabulary; you’re playing with words. when we read books to you, you point back and forth to the bowl full of mush and the quiet old lady whispering hush. and you smile. you are beginning to understand rhyme.

you are also very interested in mammalian anatomy. you inspect every inch of our faces, our appendages, our hair, our moles. (and you point to moe: moe! and then a mole on my belly: moe!) you inspect your own body. you inspect the poor dogs’ bodies. you especially love tails and teeth.

you hide now. when you are shy, you cover your face with your hands, and disappear, obviously. you pull this superhuman trick when you do something you’re not supposed to. eg today: you opened the pantry door (a no-no of epic proportions, and something you are usually unable to do) and then stood in front of it, hiding beneath your hands. your mama and i giggled, as we imagined your alibi. “seriously moms, i wasn’t even there at the time.”

you love to hide under your towel after a bath, too. you stand in the middle of the hall, a toddler-sized lump under terry cloth, stock still. i call out, “where are you, jude? are you in your room? in the laundry room?” etc. and after every question, you answer quietly from underneath the towel, “no”. you simply can’t resist not answering a question to which you know the answer.

wow, this letter is getting wordy. i could go on and on, because you are 34 pounds (and 35 inches) of fun, my girl.

tomorrow is christmas eve. you have NO idea what you’re in for. here’s a hint: a big toddler playground thing with a slide. i’m not even kidding. sssh. don’t tell.

i love you so.


recuperating from strep in big yellow gloves:
downside of big yellow gloves.

future proctologist

tiny dancer:
tiny dancer.

asleep in the high chair (we should have known strep was coming)
can't stay awake.

little miss independent

in the middle of saying “cheeeese!”
cheese face.


first time in a wagon, at nana’s:
first time in a wagon

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still finding my way back to a more stable, confident place, but feel like writing about it all will re-poison the waters right now. so. instead of words, here are some cell phone jammy photos of j in the morning. enjoy!

new dog! jammies:

last year’s dollar store “thunder storm jammies”:

[saying “cheeeeeeese!”]

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