Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Jude.  Did you know that his name means "praise" or "thanks"?  I had a moment not too long ago with our little man that just about overwhelmed me.  He was having a hard time sleeping (a rarity, but it occasionally happens) and I had gone in to comfort him during the night.  As he settled down and went limp in my arms, our hearts lined up perfectly, separated by only an inch or two of muscle and bone.  Together, they beat.  Thump-thumpThump-thump.  I blessed each one of those beats, little chimes sounding to the miracle that is every moment I get to spend with my son, the miracle that we exist for each other at all.  Jude is so precious to me.  Thanks-thanksThanks-thanks.

Don't let the angel face fool you: Jude is mischief incarnate. He loves going into a room by himself and closing the door so that he can be alone in his crimes.  Usually this means turning on the faucet in our bathtub so he can splash in the water, but it can also be a ploy for tearing down the blinds, undoing my crochet, pulling all of the wipes from the case, or emptying a dresser drawer.  He loves to play outside, where he can eat dirt from our garden, chomp on sidewalk chalk, pull the leaves off of our stripling peach tree, or shoot himself in the face with the hose.  He's been known to play out there alone for half an hour (with his nervous mama watching the whole time from the window) and to run (i.e. crawl like lightning) away from anyone who tries to cut his man time short. 

Jude isn't walking yet, but he is immensely proud of the steps he takes to chase Mama with Daddy securely holding his hands.  It won't be long.  Heaven help Earth!  For now he really is a crazy good crawler and general shooter of furniture gaps.  He once climbed up onto our fireplace and lodged himself beneath a plant stand (good thing Eden came to get me from the shower...the boy was in a real pickle!). 

Speaking of Eden...her love for Jude is unwavering and knows no bounds.  Like, really, she knows know boundaries of personal space.  At least once daily I have to sweetly remind her to stop squishing his guts out as he screams and she squeezes harder while issuing comforting reassurances like, "It's ok, Jude, I got you!"  Jude is definitely our little introvert and needs some bubble respect.  Beyond that, he adores his sister.  He loves watching the fun things she can do.  They are also starting to play together and it melts my heart.  It also usually ends in unintended tears.  A couple of nights ago they spent twenty glorious minutes taking turns face planting into a pile of pillows and shrieking with joy.  Then they stopped taking turns.  Oiy!  I'm just glad that they are buddies, head bonks and all. 

Jude currently has four teeth and uses them to eat everything in sight.  He prefers bold flavors to bland and loves best tortillas, pizza, whole wheat bread, spaghetti, bananas, tofu, strawberries, beans, applesauce, curry, and spicy lentils.  Sometimes we are not sure where he puts it all.


Congratulations on your first year, little man!  We love you like crazy and can't wait to see all that you learn and do in the next twelve months!


Three years ago an incredible little person was born.  Back then we just knew that we loved her.  We had no reasons but her existence, no reciprocation but in dirty diapers and midnight cries.

At three, Eden is true to her name: delightful.  Strangers, friends, acquaintances at church, checkers at the grocery store, all seem to have the same comment about her, "Look at that smile.  Is she ever anything but happy?"  The answer, of course, is yes.  Sometimes Eden is sad and sometimes she is cranky.  Sometimes she wants to go the park and not go to the park at the SAME time.  There are occasional meltdowns and fits, tantrums and whines.  She's little.  But my goodness her smile is huge.  Frequent.  Sweet as pie.  Free for all. Our sweet Eden is gifted with the ability to love.  She is soft, gentle, and ecstatic in her greetings to puppies, babies, missionaries, old ladies, little boys...basically everyone and everything.  She is generally a little shy at first, but there is simply no hiding the warmth of her heart. 

She is also a silly little goose.  One of Eden's favorite games (something she has loved to do since she was a baby) is scowling at me until I scowl back at her and we both burst out laughing.  She thinks it's hilarious to throw grass/water/balls/whatever into the air and then shout, "Summer!" (could it be that she thinks she is Olaf...?).  She loves building towers for Jude to knock down, putting puzzles together, driving like a madwoman on Thomas Train, climbing all over cabinets, tables, chairs, etc., going for walks, snuggling with Hunter, swinging, swimming, anything with Daddy, playing in the sand, pouring water from container to container, reading, doing somersaults, dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld (she's totally unaware),  doing Ring-Around-the-Rosies, and mothering her babies.  She loves worms and generally despises all other forms of bug life.

Eden's language abilities have exploded this year.  She's an incredible little parrot, often delivering to me verbatim the lectures she's heard me give to her.  Things like, "Mama, remember to share toys and be kind," and "Remember to use the potty.  It will make you feel happy," or "I need some exercise.  It's healthy for my body."  (Before you go giving me the Mom of the Year Award, you should know that Eden uses this last one as justification for a lot of things.  Like candy for breakfast, filched from our junk drawer after figuring out the child lock.  "Mama, look!  I got candy!  Don't worry; it's healthy for my body.")  She counts to twenty (but really only to four...after that it's just recitation), knows all of her colors, sings the "Alphabet Song" and numerous Primary songs in glorious tone-deafness, and loves to repeat nursery rhymes with actions.  When she helps me weed she shouts, "Get out of my garden!" so that the weeds know to let her beloved peas grow in peace. 

She's always loved peas, and seems likely to stand the test of time.  Her other current favorites are oatmeal, cherries, almonds, craisins, spinach, noodles, pizza, broccoli, apples, mushrooms, chips, chocolate, cheese, and Nutella toast.  When I asked her what she wanted for her special birthday dinner, she replied, "Um, how about we have a super special dinner?  Would that be ok?"  I could get nothing more specific than that. At least she's easy to please!

We feel so incredibly blessed by her integral presence in our family.  She has brought a light that shines more brightly each day.  We love you, big three-year-old girl!