Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Jude!

My soon-to-be middle child turns 1 today.  And I'm feeling a tad sentimental.  In fact, I've been feeling sentimental for the past week.  Reading back through old blog posts has certainly hastened those emotions along:  "Today was Jude's due date last year!" "At this time last year we were walking along the beach wondering when you'd show up!" "A year ago Daddy was busy writing his final papers and Mommy was anxiously cleaning the house!" "A year ago tonight Mommy started having contractions!" ...

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And what a year it's been!  I have to smile when I think back to Jude's first week of life - treks to the beach, a trip to the zoo, family visits, dinner out.  And then a few weeks after his arrival we moved to another state, two weeks later took the entire family camping and spent 40 degree nights in a tent!  And a few weeks after that we spent a week at the beach.  The first few months after Jude's birth were truly a testament to his flexibility and easy-going demeanor.  God knew what he was doing when he blessed us with our Jude-bug.  And he hasn't stopped being a blessing since the moment he arrived (and 9 months before). 

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He's growing up, becoming more of a boy and less of a baby.  Every day he's stretching his muscles, striving to do that one thing he couldn't do the day before.  And that's what I love about being a mama - the newness of every morning, the constant change and growth, the daily surprises.  I get to experience it all firsthand.  And it's truly an honor.

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So the first year is behind us.  I'm feeling part relief to finish off those precarious early months and part sadness at folding up and putting away the latest set of clothes.  The littlest ones just change so much in so little time...  Jude has proven that he will likely never crawl, at least not in the traditional sense.  He's mastered the "army crawl" and is able to slide himself through three different rooms until he finds his mama.  And he's showing all the signs of soon-to-be walking.  He's pulling himself up in the crib and bath tub, loves clinging to my legs while I'm working around the kitchen, gets a kick out of holding onto someone's hand while walking, and just yesterday stood for 10 seconds all by himself.  Jack and I awarded him with a hearty round of applause.

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He's also showing much more interest in his toys.  He does so well playing by himself, but not so well playing with just his brother.  Then again, I don't think anyone enjoys having toys taken out of their hands, being stepped on, jumped over or pushed down.  The poor kid just doesn't stand a chance.

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Jude says "mama" and "dada", but very selectively.  And I'm almost certain he says "Jack".  It comes out more like "Dack" but it's always when Jack is around and always with a huge smile and a few fist pumps, so it must be true.  And my favorite is "uh-oh."  He says it in the highest, most sweetest voice.  And he's been saying it a lot lately because he's in the dropping stage.  "Dropping" is putting it mildly.  My sweet, innocent little boy has been caught deliberately throwing food on more than one occasion this week, much to my dismay.  And no amount of "no no-ing" or hand swatting seems to deter him.  So I just pick the food up, put it back on his tray and then he eats it.

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And eats it and eats it.  Jon and I have been shocked by Jude's mealtime abilities lately.  Shocked.  He's eating 2-3 times as much as his older brother.  And he never seems to fill up.  I just eventually stop feeding him when I run out of options.  For instance, this week he ate 3 servings of roast chicken, 3 servings of cous cous, 2 servings of peas, a banana and a cup of milk for dinner.  Jack ate about 4 bites total of his meal, and that was with Daddy's "encouragement." 

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Jude's completely weaned and we went straight to a sippy, of which he is now a proficient.  Skipping the whole bottle thing definitely has its perks.  And in the past month he's really bulked up again.  Between his newly acquired chunky legs and less liquid intake, I've re-launched cloth diapering efforts and we've been experiencing wild success! 

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And Jude just lets me go with it, because that's how he is (most of the time), and it's just one of the gazillion things I love about him.  There's really just so much to love.  Happy Birthday Buddy!

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