Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm getting my very own baby tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a really big day for me and Jude.  The whole family is heading down to the Hennepin County Courthouse to make Jude's adoption official.  This is a completely amazing day for us.  Although Jude has felt like my baby since the day that he was born, this makes it legal.  I'll be his legal mom.  I can make decisions for him and no one can argue with them.  I could visit him in the hospital and no one can stop me.  My name will be on his birth certificate.

So you can imagine the despair as I was driving to work today, my heart filling with pride about the wonderful experience that was slowly approaching, when I heard that Wisconsin upheld the ban on gay marriages and civil unions.  By a 7-0 vote.  Justice Michael Gableman says the sentence carries out "the same general purpose of preserving the legal status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one woman."  All I could think was that all 7 of those judges don't believe in the validity of my family.   

But it's okay, because when I wake my son up in the morning, the smile that he gives me tells me every morning that my family is completely valid.  And the perfect family for him.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blame it on the Rain

I found myself at home alone with Jude this evening when a round of severe weather came through. I tried to stay cool as I played with Jude in his bouncer but kept one eye on the TV. At one point, the satellite went out and I could no longer track the storm on TV. Soon there was hail (not big, maybe the size of pencil erasers), but the rain..... wow. Buckets, sheets, cats and dogs... none of that even comes close to describing what it looked like outside our windows.

The last time I'd seen rain like that, it WAS followed by straightline winds and a brief tornado touchdown. I didn't waste any time. I grabbed a diaper bag, Jude's bottle, the computer, the dog, and a flashlight, and headed down to our laundry room (and Bastille joined me shortly). I strapped Jude into the baby carrier and fed him his bottle. I could just barely see out the front door window and there was literally a LAKE in our street out front! Suddenly, I knew that a flash flood wasn't just a part of the studio tour at Universal Studios! We all hung tight and in a few minutes, the worst of the storm passed. Jude worked on his bottle as he hung out in the carrier, just about oblivious to all the action. Maybe he'll grow up to be a storm chaser????

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Fourth Trimester

When we took our birthing class at Amma, Sara told us that she thought the first four months of life were like the fourth trimester.  Here's a photo tour of Jude's.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One Year Ago...

Lindsay and I were cleaning out some drawers over the weekend - the drawers that are still lined with the wrapping paper from my baby shower... yes MY baby shower, as in, when I was a baby - and we came across the pregnancy tests I took one year ago. Over the course of a few days, the lines went from "probably there" to "there's definitely a line there and you are definitely pregnant." The date? June 14, 2009.

And on June 14, 2010? We were sending Jude to his first day of daycare. I can't believe it! My life today is so incredibly different from one year ago, in ways I could never have imagined. It hasn't been easy being at work and away from that little guy all day, but he loves school! I mean, check out that exersaucer in the background! How can that not be fun?

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Going to School

Tomorrow is the big day... Jude will be heading off to "school." We did a dry run this morning, timing ourselves to see how long it will take to get him up and ready. We'll pack his bag tonight, make up his bottles, make our own lunches and set the coffee machine to brew on its own at 6:40. I'll walk the dog and Lindsay will feed all the animals and if everything goes according to the plan, we'll all be out the door by 7:00. It feels like the first day of the rest of our lives.

But it's Community Helper week at daycare and the Plymouth Fire Department will be visiting. He'll learn the Spanish words for fruits, the French words for body parts, the Italian words for tools, and sign language numbers. They'll read about mammals and even talk about the first 10 presidents! He'll be a genius by Thursday!

Of course, I wouldn't be able to teach him all those things if I were at home with him, but I'll still be missing him as I run up and down the stairs at Summer School (it's the first day of that tomorrow, too!).

Check out his daycare's blog to find out what's going on at school! I've added a link on the left <---------

Friday, June 11, 2010

Keeping up with the Joneses.

For memorial day weekend, we took our very first family vacation. Although the woman who teaches my mom's class says that there is no such thing as a family vacation -- only a family trip. And what a "trip" it was!

We left on Friday after work and headed out 94 to Rockford, Illinois to see my aunts Judy and Jill and their families. Judy, Jill, and Jill's daughter Laura had all come up to Mpls for Jude's shower, so we wanted to introduce Jude to all of his fans. The car ride down was an eventful one -- we bought Jude a new mirror with lights and music. It entertained him...for a while. But definitely not for the entire 6 hour drive. So one of us rode in the back with him while the other one drove, and it seemed to work out pretty well.

Everything was going smoothly until about 40 miles outside of Rockford. We had the car checked before we left, and everything had seemed fine. But suddenly, the car started sounding like a motorcycle. Not in a cool way, either. In a "what-the-hell-is-happening-to-my-muffler" way. We tried to ignore it (this should be your first clue that we are in denial that our car is 14 years old). We got off of the interstate on Riverside in Rockford.

Then disaster struck. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUNCH! The car would not move any further. We pulled into the Road Ranger and called Judy. It was 11:00, we had a tired dog, and an even more tired baby. Judy met us at the gas station, where we called AAA for a tow. To make a long story short, the problem was that the previous mechanic had neglected to tighten a bolt. Yup, one bolt. Tightened bolt: $46. Safe trip to Rockford: Priceless.

We had a great time hanging out with the Jones side of the family. We made our requisite trip to Beef-a-Roo. That's right, the world's best fast food restaurant with the world's best cheese fries.

But most importantly, we got to spend a ton of time with the family.  We stayed in the Trader's basement, and  Jude also got to experience the beauty of sleeping in the Trader basement.  He had three great nights of sleep in the pitch black!  Judy was fantastic with the was definitely love at first sight!  He must know that their names are only one letter different.  

We also bought a baby pool for Jude to hang out in before the big pool at the Stoker's pool.  

He loved it so much, and he was in there for long enough to get his cute feet wrinkly!

Practice in the baby pool got him ready for the big pool the next day!  We had a great BBQ with the whole family, and Jude got to meet his little cousins Quinton and Layli.  All of the babies had a great time in various stages of swim.  Layli had her floatie suit on and was able to swim across the pool -- even though she kept her mouth open and then told us all that she had a tummy ache!  

Quinton fell in love with the baby pool, and kept sticking his chin in the sprinkler.  

And then there was Jude.  He took turns in both of the rafts that Jill and Kim had for him, and he loved both of them.  He would have stayed in there all day if his lips hadn't started to turn blue!!

We can't wait to see the Jones side of the family again when we are down there for Thanksgiving!  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drying Up

It's with so many mixed emotions that I've begun the process of discontinuing breastfeeding. Obviously I had to start pumping more when I returned to work but I've been exclusively pumping for the past 3-4 weeks. Though I seemed to have lucked out and missed some of the more horrible issues like mastitis, I battled low production amounts and I was never able to nurse without a shield. I just got to a point when I felt done. So I'm slowly stopping. I'm taking the last of my More Milk pills. I'm skipping pumping sessions. Thanks to a 50/50 blend of breastmilk and formula for the past several weeks, I've been able to save up enough to keep Jude on this blend until he's at least six months. It's been so emotional and I'll be sad when I'm done, but it feels good to have made a decision.

In order to make myself feel better about this decision, I did a little breakdown of the costs associated with breastfeeding. One of the arguments for breastfeeding over formula feeding is that formula costs money and breastmilk doesn't. Consequently, I didn't really budget much money over and above the pump. But when I started adding it up, well... let's just say I was a little surprised (you can click on the sheet and use your arrow keys to see the whole sheet):

So by my estimation, in 15 weeks, breastfeeding has cost a little more than twice as much as formula feeding (with ready to feed - the most expensive kind of formula) from the beginning. Of course, some of the costs with breastfeeding are non-essential, and some are one-time. But WOW. And then factor in the fact that our daycare will provide formula at no added cost. WOW. Who knew my boobs could be so expensive?

Jude's Jumperoo!

We used to be those parents.  You know them.  The ones that say "wood toys are so much better -- children can use their imaginiation."  Then we put a wood toy in front of our son and at the young age of three months, we could see his little baby brain thinking "where does it light up, mom?  I mean, what does it do?"

So in our 1250 square foot townhome, Liz and I are slowly being squeezed out by plastic things with lights and music.  First, we told ourselves that these were things to buy us time.  Like enough time to brush our teeth, fold laundry, or even take a shower.  But then we realized that we were buying them because it is obvious that Jude has an obsession with lights.  I believe that I have mentioned this previously.  So we, as good parents should, feed his addiction with more toys with more lights. 

The latest addition to our own private Main Street Electrical Parade is Jude's jumperoo.  Like the good over-processors that we are, we did hours of research.  We posted on facebook.  We look at amazon.  We asked our friends.  And we ended up with the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo.  We love that the jumperoo lights up (of course, and folds up small, which was also really important to us.  Now by small, I mean that it folds up so that we don't need to constantly keep it in the center of our living room.  But I don't mean that it is unnoticable in our living room.  It is a big hunk of brightly colored plastic with cartoon animals for God's sake!

Here's a video of Jude's first time in the contraption (yes, I used the word contraption).

Who knew Moms' Group could be so fun!

Yesterday was the last day that I will be going to my mom's group at Amma Maternity in Edina.  It was a fantastic class led by Sara Pearce, a wonderful teacher who also led our Preparing for Childbirth class.  Jude made a lot of baby friends there; he is a regular at Amma with my mom's class and Liz's 2 classes she has taken there. 

I signed up to take the Beyond Newborns class for babies 3-6 months starting July 1st.  Is it weird that I am already looking forward to my next moms' group?  They are so fun, and it is awesome to know that you aren't the only one who is having (fill in the blank) problem!

Here are some photos of the babies in his class.  Jude was the oldest at 10 weeks when class started -- the youngest was Elizabeth who was just a few days old when the class started.

Tummy Time!

Here are the faces of the beautiful babies.

And the moms and babies (notice how Jude is having a total freakout and I am smiling -- hilarious)!

Back Row: Agi and Molly, Karen and Bella, Me and Jude, Jessica and Ethan
Fron Row: Kathy and Charles, Katie and Britta, Heather and Elizabeth, Jenny and Ellie

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Simon and Garfunkel knew what they were talking about.

I love that Liz and I have been together for such a long time.  Think of your most comfortable (yet still stylish) t-shirt.  But what I love just as much is that we are still friends with our closest friend from high school, Katy.  Our favourite London-dwelling ex-pat came to spend four nights with us last week and to meet baby Jude.  She was so wonderful with Jude - and it was so special to have two people who are such important parts of our lives meeting.

Old friends...Simon and Garfunkel knew what they were talking about.

Circa 1996

Present Day

Uncle Andrew is way cooler than mommies.

We were thrilled to hear that Andrew was going to fly out from LA for a weekend to see Jude!  He was invited to record with Jennifer Hudson in South Africa, but instead, he told his boss that he wanted to meet his nephew in Minneapolis.  He has a really hard life.

Jude fell in love with his Uncle instantly, and we were so touched to see how great Andrew was with him.  They laid on the floor together and worked on rolling over -- Andrew gave Jude a great pep talk in a mafia voice (?) that Jude thought was quite hilarious.  Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli.  Jude did end up rolling over one time on Saturday, June 5th, but he hasn't been able to replicate the feat since then.  We are hoping for a repeat performance any day now (hint, hint).

We didn't have any plans the whole time Andrew was here, except to watch the Lakers game on Sunday night.  Andrew promised when he booked the tickets that he would be calm during the game.  If that is calm, then I do not want to see excited.  I mean, the kid dropped the f-bomb like 30 times a quarter.  Good thing that Jude was in bed to protect his virgin ears.

But before he was able to go to bed, he and Uncle Andrew had to suit up in Lakers gear and take some pictures.

Even Sully got some good tug time in -- Andrew is definitely a sucker for fetch!  The old man has been sleeping for about three days to recover from his Andrew adventures.

We loved having Uncle Andrew here.  And by we, I mostly mean Jude, because he is completely infatuated by him.  We miss Andrew, too.