Wednesday, June 12, 2013

And then there Was Jude

Jude Kristopher Bell

4 lbs. 10 oz., 18-3/4" long

Surprised?  So were we!  But we also couldn't be more thrilled. Jude was born by emergency c-section five and a half weeks early. His birthday is the day after Eden's and they share the same placement date.  Weird, eh?  (Moral of the story:  No baby due in mid July is ever born in mid July if she or he wants to be a Bell.)  We first knew that his sweet birth mom was considering us a couple of weeks before he was born, but we didn't learn of her decision until a few hours after Jude made his debut.  He is doing really well and we are head over heels for the boy.  He's already a good eater and an excellent snuggle buddy.   

The movers came today.  We close on our Utah house Friday and on the Louisiana house next Friday.  Kris begins his epic road trip with his dad the following week, and the rest of us will make the journey when Jude is released from the NICU.  I'll post more details sometime when I get a moment, but who knows when that will be.  Life is insane and so are we, but in the best possible way!  Eden is going to be a fantastic big sister :)      

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Today Eden is two.  Two!  That's insane.  Nevertheless, it is true and Eden will tell you so given very little prompting.  We just had a simple family celebration tonight, playing in the back yard.  What a precious time to be the three of us!  I took a boatload of pictures and will post a few of them while I tell you about this little loon. 

We begin with the moody model shots:

At two Eden is a delightful little creature.  She has occasional "terrible" days with a meltdown every second, but those really are rare.  Though these first two photos don't demonstrate it, our girl is just happy and hilarious most of the time.

Eden has developed quite the sense of humor, which mostly revolves around doing deliberately naughty things and watching to see what we will do about it.  I'm sure that I make matters worse by laughing and chasing her when she tries to hide her pajamas as a bedtime avoidance machination, but I can't help it.  Besides, I think kids need little ways to tease and rebel.  (Remind me of that later.) She doesn't have a mean bone in her body, so her naughtiness is all fluff.  She is quick to cry if she hears someone else crying or if she thinks someone is being unkind. 

Here are some shots of what Eden looks like most of the time:

She is engaging in more imaginative play and is currently obsessed with being a mama.  She straps her baby into the high chair for regular meals, brushes the baby's teeth, shushes me when the baby is sleeping, and takes baby for soothing walks.  Her bedtime routine now includes sharing her sippy with puppy, sheep, baby, and kitty before they can all settle down in her now-crowded crib, where I have to kiss all five of them goodnight. 

We are in the early stages of potty training, with Eden sitting happily on the potty every day and sometimes even using it.  Not too surprisingly, then, our play often involves poop.  She loves to make her animals defecate so that I have to say "Yucky poop! Let's clean it up and throw it away!"  It's nonstop glamour around here, I tell you what! Other favorites for play time include Mr. Potato Head, play dough, coloring, reading books, and going down the tallest slides at the park.  Eden is gaga for nursery and loves discovery time at the library. We also go to the local children's museum a lot and it's a blast. Perhaps our best activity is going to gather sticks at the Riverwalk and throwing them into the river.

Eden's verbal skills have really taken off in the last few weeks and she is beginning to form very basic sentences like "no eat cake," "daddy car," and "mama come."  Contrary to two-year-old tradition, her very favorite word is "more." She picked up the expression "Oh, no!" during the four days she spent with Grandma Bell, and has been well coached by my mother to say "Poppa stinky!" 

Kris and I are absolutely in love with little miss Eden Emerson Bell.  We've had several opportunities to spend time with her birthfamilies as we approach our move and we continue to be profoundly grateful for them and the many gifts they have given to Eden (life, love, and the happy home we have made together). 

I've never seen a more beautiful miracle.  Love you, sweet girl!