Friday, May 21, 2010

Jude at 12 months






We celebrated Jude's birthday this past weekend with many friends and family members. Despite the 30+ people at the house, Jude did not seem overwhelmed. He loved having his grandparents and great-grandparents with him. He delighted in the toddler activity going on around him and was thrilled with his new sandbox, which Atticus constructed and finished filling only minutes before the party. He did not dive into his cupcake with as much zeal as I thought he would, but he still managed to have an icing painted face.

The basic information about Jude has not changed much in the last month. He still takes 2 naps a day, still nurses 3-4 times a day, and still crawling. However, sometimes I feel like he is a completely different child in only a month's time. Atticus describes Jude as a force. He seems to barrel through, making himself known and not letting much get in his way. Jude is fiercely independent, while at the same time desperately a Mama's boy. A good example of this is in his music class. He will crawl all around, with quick and thumping hands and knees. He explores under the table and every corner, but will then thump on back to my lap, basically clawing at me as if he wants to crawl inside. Then, off he goes again. The same thing happens at home. Unfortunately, time with Mama has turned into a competitive sport for him. Whenever he sees Finnan getting some loving, thump, thump, thump, here comes Jude. And, ignore Jude? Fat chance, not after he throws his head back and screams.

And now, the specifics...

The doctor's visit: I have been to the doctor ump-teen times with both boys. They have always done fine. My luck ran out. Jude screamed when the nurse put the stethoscope to his chest, screamed when she measured his head, screamed when I put him on the table to be weighed, and screamed the entire time the doctor was present. And this was all before the 4 shots. Apparently the screaming drove Finnan a bit crazy as well and he was set on destroying the paper on the bed in the office. I wanted to discuss Jude's recurrent ear infections with the doctor, but I guess that will have to wait until the next one strikes, since I could barely hear anything that was said.

Weight: 20 lbs. 2 oz. (10th percentile)
Height: Couldn't hear, but I saw that he was on the 50th percentile line
Head circumference: Couldn't hear and didn't see the percentile either

It is clear now that Jude does have eczema. There is always some remnant of a rash on his skin, but I have found when he eats tomatoes it flares up to the point where he can not sleep well that night. He is also sensitive to strawberries and raspberries. Within a few bites he will start scratching at his face. Jude has five, clearly visible teeth (2 on top, 3 on bottom). However, a closer look will reveal two more breaking through on the top. These last two have been troubling him for about a week. I almost took him to the doctor's office because he was acting like he had another ear infection.

Sleeping and nursing: Jude has been waking up between 5 and 6 am. At that point I nurse him and put him back down in the pack n' play in our closet. Most of the time, he will sleep another hour or so. He takes a morning nap, which varies in timing and duration. His afternoon nap is preceded by nursing and is consistently from 2-4. He starts to get cranky between 6:30 and 7:30 at which point I will bathe him, nurse him and put him to bed. He does a great job of sleeping through or putting himself back to sleep after any interruptions from Finnan. I have not given much thought to weaning yet. I would love to stop the 5-6 am feeding and did for a few days, but then lacked the will power when he started waking again with teething pain. Right now nursing is so easy and does not affect our lives in any negative way. I have a feeling when I decide I am done Jude won't protest too much (knock on wood!), so I will continue as long as it is working for both of us, hopefully another couple of months.

Activity: Only in the past couple of days has Jude seemed interested in walking. Previously, he would pull-up and cruise a little, but had no desire to stand or walk around while holding your hands. Jude can now stand on his own and will crawl to his Alligator Chomp n lack walker toy whenever he can. He will clack down the hallway and then call for us until we turn him around again so he can chomp on back. He is also enjoying walking while holding on to our fingers. While it now has to compete with walking, climbing still seems to be his favorite movement. Within seconds of putting him down in his bedroom, Jude will open up the cabinet door of our changing table and climb right in. And in and out he goes, again and again. He seems determined to figure out the ladder to the treehouse and slide. He has gotten his feet up to the third rung of each, so, scarily enough, it may just be a matter of time.

When it comes to fun, it is clear that he has had his eye on Finnan. He loves the sandbox. He attempts to use the shovel and loves to perch himself in one of the big dump trucks. He also has seems to have an affinity for hammers, particularly the wooden ones that are very noisy. Finnan is constantly assigning Jude the plastic hammer or the saw, but Jude will rummage through Finnan's tool box to find one of the wooden ones. Emptying bookshelves and baskets also seem to be a favorite activity. He likes still likes to swing, but not for long periods, and he likes going down slides. He enjoys books, but only interactive ones with things to touch. His current favorite is Dog. In the afternoons while we are waiting for Finnan to wake up from his nap, we like to play on the front porch, drawing with chalk, blowing bubbles, rolling the ball around, or picking the clover flowers in the front yard. Finnan and Jude have been playing together significantly more this past month. They can bond over similar interests, like sand and shovels, or race walking toys down the hall.

It is impossible to change or clothe Jude these days. He will not sit still. For some reason (ahem, Atticus), screws and pens keep ending up on Jude's changing table (our dresser). Only if he can grab one of these and bang them against the mirror, does he seem to want to stay still for a few moments. Since I do not want to damage my baby's face or my great-grandmother's dresser, I opt for the pinning down and listen to the screams approach.

Talking: Jude can be loud. Very loud. Although he prefers to be with me, Jude is typically very social and interactive. He says a lot of "Da!" with his finger pointed. I thought he was saying "bye-bye" for a week, but I haven't heard it recently. He has become very good at "Ah! Ah! Ah!" (imagine you are using those sounds to say no to a dog). He will say that as he is speeding over to Roux's dog food bowl or some other activity for which he has heard those disapproving sounds just a few times. I am trying to teach him sign language, but I am horribly inconsistent. He does the sign for "all done" occasionally, but that is it.

Eating: Don't let his 10th percentile weight mislead you, Jude is an eater. He can out-eat Finnan and most other toddlers I know and that is on top of nursing several times a day. He still loves breakfast foods: pancakes, waffles, grits and oatmeal, but has been on a yogurt ban recently. Strange enough, his favorite food seems to be a three-bean salad with black beans, black-eyed peas, and edamame, mixed with olive oil, garlic, cumin, lime juice and cilantro. He also shows a preference to raw apples and carrots (I think they help with his teething), avocado, blackberries, grapes, bagels, pasta (with butter or cream sauces), french bread, rice and beans, chicken pot pie, and popsicles (made with cranberry juice and water). He gulps down his flavored cod liver oil every day even though he turns away in disgust to the multi-vitamin. I have only recently found a successful way to disguise it: herbal tea mixed with honey (yea, I can finally give him honey!). He enjoys "using" utensils and will often insist on holding his own popsicle. He much prefer drinking out of my glass to his sippy cup and often wants to feed me.


Watch out, our squishy infant has indeed turned into a force. As much personality as Jude has developed in the past couple of weeks, I know it will pale in comparison to what we will see develop in the coming months. I can't wait to watch Jude take his first steps, make it up the ladder, and talk back (with words) to Finnan. I am nostalgic about Jude's first year, but I am not emotional about him passing his 1 year milestone. In the months ahead, I will get to see my baby turn into a toddler.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finnan's first baseball game



It started with football. Screams of "Go, Saints!" and "Touchdown, Saints!" would be followed by Finnan's body slamming to the ground with football in hand. Atticus' excitement of the Saints going to the Superbowl not only led to the birth of another diehard Saints fan and Finnan's parroting of his first swear word, but it seems to have led to the love of all sports, or at least all sports involving a ball. Recently, Finnan has been interested in baseball. He says, "I play baseball player now." When he started using sticks as bats and pine cones as balls, I thought I should get my parents involved. Unlike me, they love baseball. So, when they came in for Jude's birthday party, they took Finnan to his first baseball game.

Finnan's first baseball game was the Braves vs. the Diamondbacks. The day of the game I think I heard him say, "I go to baseball game, now" more than a hundred times. He did not even want to go to breakfast because he wanted to go to the stadium at once. The first Braves player to bat hit a homerun. And the Braves seemed to run up the score from there. According to my parents he seemed a little overwhelmed, but remained focused on understanding what was going on around him and figuring out how he should act. He clapped when everyone else clapped, watched the ball as it covered the field, and ate a hot dog. They stayed 6 innings, which was impressive since the game did not even start until around his nap time. Since the game I have heard about baseball players throwing and hitting. I have also had to "read" the program to him as his bedtime book twice. He wouldn't go to sleep last night until he brought his ticket to bed with him. Needless to say, I think this is going to have to be a Paw-Paw and Weggi tradition.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jude!

I went through my second pregnancy with less confidence about what lie ahead. Looking back, I was not prepared the first time around and with that experience I knew that I could not anticipate or expect anything. That is, until I held Jude for the first time, a year ago today. At that moment I knew he was meant to be with me and my family. In an instant, I learned that I was capable of infinite love. There is nothing better than that feeling.

Happy Birthday, Jude!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5:30

video

This is what happens when you wake up at 5:30 am.

Since Finnan and Jude have started to share a room, they have started to get up early...too early. Most days I was able to successfully get Jude out of the room, nursed, and back down for a few more minutes (in the pack-n-play in our closet), without Finnan waking up. Unfortunately, this led to a 5:30 wake-up time for Jude and they were both still up for the day by 6:30. So, a sleep intervention was required, again. Since I have had some experience with this, I decided to arm myself with the proper tools: good ear plugs. I ordered them and waited until they arrived. My only goal this time was to get them both to sleep until 6:30. The first morning Jude fussed a little, but then I did not hear them again until 6:30. Perfect! And, since I was headed to the kitchen to make breakfast anyway, I decided to drop Jude's wake-up feeding. This morning was morning #2. Finnan came into our room at 5:30 and would not go back to sleep. Urgh. But, as you can tell by the video, he was not unaffected, so hopefully morning #3 will be better!

Otherwise, the shared room has been a success. They have both learned to sleep through each other's crying. Jude can now even sleep through Finnan banging on the door, screaming "another book!" I imagine it is coincidental, but they started to interact and play a lot more together after Jude moved in with Finnan. I can tell they enjoy sharing their room and I am already envisioning late night mischief in the months and years to come.

Monday, May 3, 2010

In training for his big day




After three practice sessions (birthday parties this past month) of having to share his cupcake with Finnan, Jude proved that he can handle his own. He also perfected his style this weekend. He can go in with just his face or stuff it in with his hands. Either way, I know Jude's first birthday cake doesn't stand a chance.