Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

at 25 weeks pregnant, a shift has happened. i’ve (already) started to become a lumbering, uncomfortable whiner. i don’t mean to whine, and to be fair, it’s more wheezing than whining. because zig is already hitting my diaphragm when i’m sitting, or when jude is sitting on my (fast disappearing) lap. thank GOD i’m still spared when standing, but i know these deep breaths will be short-lived.

i’m still not gaining any weight, but peep this kinda blurry belleh! you wouldn’t believe the groaning that spills forth from my lips as i turn over in bed, or sit down, or stand up. it’s pathetic.

these pics were taken at a local splashpad this weekend, where a naked jude had a blast with all the water, as well as all the offleash doggies she got to play with. incidentally, readers, how do you feel about naked toddlers in a public splash area? we usually at least have j in a swim diaper, but didn’t have any with us, and so we let her be a free range chicken. my sister freaks out every time she hears about or sees a naked j, even in the privacy of our backyard, and i’m wondering if this is her own issue, or if we’re totally missing a broader social cue. discuss.

note: she was wearing shoes.

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one bananie. one big jude. two pregnancies.

the hottness = jude + sparky + bananie

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20/1 months.

my darling jude,

when you’re reading through these archives years from now, and wonder where your 20 month letter is, let me reassure you: it’s not lost. it is here. with your 21 month letter. i’m sorry i didn’t write last month. here are my excuses: continued nausea/exhaustion from incubating your sibling, the fact that you and i fell down the stairs and i saved your life, but broke my tailbone, and well, the leftover energy from the previous reasons was used to chase after your fast, toddler self.

i really don’t know how to begin to describe life with you right now. i’m gonna go with this: it’s equal parts ordered and chaotic. your days have become comfortably routine. Β here come the bullet points!

  • you wake up, watch sesame street or curious george (lovingly referred to as ‘that damn monkey’ or ‘tdm’ by your mothers),
  • you feed yourself your morning yogurt, steal sips of my coffee and bites of my bagel with cream cheese
  • you head off to bobby’s house with mama and play with his toys for a couple hours
  • you have lunch
  • you sleep for about 3 hours
  • you demand to go outside, where you playplayplayplayplay until you’re lugged back inside against your will
  • you eat dinner
  • you play/watch dora or yo gabba gabba, etc
  • you have a bath
  • you run to the door to greet me as i arrive home from work
  • we read books together, you nurse for about 1 minute and then you ask to go to bed
  • you sleep for the next 11ish hours, usually without waking

in the middle of this schedule, this order, the chaos ensues. your independent streak grows stronger and more defiant every day. you gnash your teeth at the outfit choices presented to you. you wail angrily when you’re thwarted from dangerous activities. you hit when you’re frustrated. you run away when we say “come here”. all of these behaviors? awesome, in its true definition: adjective – extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.

the good news is that you are still pretty easy to distract or redirect. your mama bought an egg timer to help you with transitions, like bedtime. you’re great with five minute warnings. i love that timer. you seem to want to move out of the chaotic moments, back into the snuggly, fun ones.

you hug with great passion and strength. you went through a phase where you called me daddy, and though it was SO funny, my heart melted the first time you purposely called me Mah-meeeee! now, you often throw your sticky arms around my neck so we’re cheek to cheek, and you say, loudly in my ear, “ohhhh mah-mee! ohhhhh mah-mee! ohhhh!” and you squeeze me tightly. you’ll never know how much i love when you do that.

you’ve become a whiz at names. you love to correctly identify your people and pets: maMAA, mah-meee, choo (jude), sal!, dahchee (charley, also morphs into “doggy”), deggy (uncle g), bah-bee, dabby (gabby), etc. you’ve also developed a love affair with trains (choo choo!) and, oddly enough, the word “hot dog”, which you say over and over all day long. we’ve taught you to use it as an exclamation. you also love to count, and though you can’t get past 3 yet, you like for us to keep going as you point to countable objects. you’re equally enthralled with letters, and can correctly identify O, E and J.

at the time of this writing, you have purposely peed in your potty exactly once, by the way. you have peed and pooped on the floor more than once. that’s all i’ll say about that.

you have a crush on dora’s holier-than-thou cousin diego. you hate to have your hair brushed. you have 12 1/2 teeth. you still love cheese. every day, there is nowhere i’d rather be than playing with you.

i love you,

pretty sure she's emphatically yelling "KITTY!"
diva, with dog! and kitty! on a wagon ride around the kitchen.
chef judith
fambly silly.

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this morning was ziggy’s first photoshoot. and aside from the nasty looks given to me by the receptionist for not having bloodwork done to do genetic testing, the whole experience was delightful. (she couldn’t fathom why we would want an ultrasound without having the genetic testing done.)

in the ultrasound room, h wrangled jude. jude pointed at the big tv screen a lot and said “hi’. uncle g sat silently taking it all in. and i lay there, reminding myself to be present to the reality that i was watching my baby, my son or daughter, skooch away from the transducer. right in front of me was my baby’s face, arms, legs, heart beating 163 bpm. jude was staring at her sibling, my 2nd child. all of this–the pregnancy, the hopes, the fears–is so very real.

dear readers, meet ziggy, at 12w2d:

waving hand:

ziggy's first headshot.
(that nose! those lips!)

full body shot:
full body profile.

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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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good lord, my belly is expanding at an alarming rate. here is proof:


here i am, 9 weeks pregnant with jude. same outfit. same weight:

eesh. i’m not sure how i feel about showing so much so soon. last time, i loved having a big, hard, round belly. however, right now, i’m just a jelly-bellied girl, who feels like she’s been drinking too many beers. on the other hand, i’m grateful to have such reassurance that ziggy is in there, healthy and growing. so, basically, i’m going to stop whining, and take a nap.

happy sunday!

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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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dear jude,

i never wrote a letter last month, and that dereliction of duty can be attributed to the following factors (in no particular order):

1. over the course of three weeks, we all got sick.
2. i worked a lot of overtime to compensate for #1.
3. we drove seventeen hours to nashville, where we spent nearly a week.

i do hope you forgive me, darling girl. now that i am sitting here, trying to recall two months of development, i am drawing a blank. because so much has happened. your personality has burst forth with all kinds of effervescence. you engage your toys in elaborate play now. often, you will only interact with me if i am voicing elmo, or your beanie horse called pony, or the my little pony knockoff who sports a buzzcut, on account of your former habit of eating hair (also called pony). you offer your toys water, snacks, or my breast. you encourage them to throw balls. you play with them. it’s wildly entertaining for me to be part of.

you LOVE playgrounds. with every visit you grow braver about climbing and sliding. you are as tall as a three year old. and you are making a mighty effort to match their abilities. however, you also eat pebbles. well, you chew on them, actually. call us horrible mothers, but we let you do it, too. because it is a miserable fight to fish them out of your mouth. we haven’t seen any evidence of you swallowing them. and you always spit them out when you’re done. also, you’ve been working on two molars for months now, and chomping on little stones seems to bring you relief. so, chomp on.

speaking of those damned molars, you have been on a regimen of ibuprofen/tylenol/teething tablets for a long time now. you despise the bubblegum flavored ibuprofen (but are ok with the clear cherry stuff), and adore the grapeish tylenol. when it is time for medicine, you scream TY!!! YEAH! WOW! then, i tap 3 teething tablets into my palm, and you pluck them with your delightful pincer grasp, 1-2-3, and savor them in a happy mouth. kid? you are adorable.

your love affair with books has deepened. mama h has noticed that when i am home, you bring me all the books about mommies to read to you. you sit cozily in my lap, and masterfully turn the pages. you have definitely entered the age of wanting books to be read to you again and again and again. it never gets old for me, either. those moments when you are awake, and sitting still? bliss.

jude, i have to confess that trying to remember all the ways you’ve grown over the past two months is really daunting. you are so wondrously present tense that it is hard to be anywhere but NOW with you. i can tell you with a vivid recall that every morning, you sit between your mothers and point to us, back and forth. we say mama mommy mama mommy mama mommy until you dissolve into a happy giggle, usually after you point to my nipple and i say, “nipple”, which is your favorite word. but, ask me to remember when you began to tantrum in earnest? when your adoration for cats shifted to DOGS? all i know is that it has all happened.

so, my darling, i will let photos tell the stories i can’t.

in closing, i want to say this (in the spirit of wonder-filled, squishy mothers everywhere): jude, every day, i watch closely as you wake up to the world around you, and i am so proud of your bravery, your burgeoning wisdom, and your tenderness. you are in love with your life, so content and mindful of every morsel (and pebble), and i am overwhelmed sometimes that i get to be your mother. i was lucky enough to be the one you chose to house you for nine months, and now i get to raise you? to instill the security of home? to protect you? i get to do all these things? i am overwhelmed, but overjoyed. and ever thankful.

i love you so.

and now for those photos!

here you are with your primo, carlos, on my 31st birthday! (26 october)

and here you are with your new friends, harper & mateo, when you met for the first time on 10 october. in this particular photo, the three of you are being wrangled on a steep driveway.

who can forget the day you spent with your cousins aaron and connar? here, big kid aaron really wants to hold you. you are so over being held by him, since he has been trying to carry you all day. 26 september

grandpa joe stopped by and hung out with you in the playroom. you allowed him to read to you for approximately 37 seconds. i am lucky to have caught this brief, lovely moment. 27 september

you still love balls.

this look? oh you beautiful girl. nothing but confidence. 18 october

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