Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Of course, every single one of the pictures I took was of Judah... ha.

Actually, this was Christmas Eve... we showed him how to open a present, so he would be all excited to open the rest in the morning!

He loved the chunky animal puzzle pieces :)

The next morning he was indeed excited, but he only wanted to open one present at a time and then play with it for a long while! We spent a good portion of the day Skyping with our families and just hanging  out. I didn't take pictures of everything but I got the camera out a few times during the day. It took until bedtime for Judah to open all of his presents!

His very own watch (he has been obsessed with clocks/watches since he was a baby)

An airplane from Uncle James!

First glance at his big present (train table)...

... and he was completely absorbed!

"choo choo!"

Oh look! I did take a picture that didn't involve Judah. Our Christmas roast lamb feast, with perfectly roasted potatoes (if I do say so myself), roasted butternut squash with red onions and garlic, roasted brussel sprouts, and steamed broccoli, with plenty of gravy and fresh mint sauce for the lamb.

And back to the train table.

Underneath the Christmas tree...

Christmas is magical all over again when you have kids!

Friday, December 27, 2013


"A portrait of Judah once a week, every week, in 2013"

52/52 - You are so delighted with Christmas this year, which made it all the more exciting for us. You love lying under the tree and looking at the lights and making the little sparkly balls swing. We had such a fun Christmas Day with you - it took you all day to open your presents because you just wanted to play! 

The very last portrait of the year! I have so enjoyed capturing you in photos every week. Fear not, I will be starting over in the new year :) And come June there will be another sweet baby to take pictures of!

To see all of Judah's portraits from this year, click on the image below:

Joining in with Project 52 over at Che and Fidel.

My favorite portrait from last week is little Chloe playing in the snow... it snowed here too but it was just too cold for me to muster up the courage to take Judah out to play! Ah well, there will be more snow.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

First trimester recap - baby #2

With Judah, I wrote an update almost every week during my pregnancy... sorry, sweet baby... I love you just as much but I'm not going to manage that this time around!

So here's a brief recap of my first trimester:

3.5 weeks pregnant - positive test! Yay!
4-5 weeks pregnant - feeling great! Keep forgetting I'm pregnant.
6-10 weeks pregnant - tired, queasy, hungry all the time but never can figure out what I want to eat. Chasing after a toddler is exhausting! Mostly craving salty, sour, and spicy things, and fresh fruit, especially strawberries... just like with Judah.
11 weeks pregnant -  feeling better, still tired. Started feeling little baby wiggles and flutters at 11.5 weeks! I felt Judah for the first time at 14.5 weeks. Heard baby's heart beating strong at my appointment with my midwife at the birth center!
12-13 weeks pregnant - continue feeling better, baby wiggles becoming more frequent and pronounced. My favorite part of pregnancy! At 13 weeks, bump is as big as it was with Judah at 20+ weeks.... uh-oh!

It's definitely different this time around. With Judah, because he was a surprise and the first baby, everything seemed so huge and all-consuming. This time, I honestly sometimes forget I'm pregnant! And it still hasn't sunk in that we will actually be having another little baby in June. I try to spend a little while every day thinking about baby #2 and feeling him/her wiggle and wondering what it's going to be like to have another baby in the house. I looked back at pictures of Judah as a newborn and I can hardly wrap my mind around how little he was and how much he's changed in just under two years. I barely remember him as a newborn because he's so different now! I'm so glad I wrote everything down. I'll do my best to do the same this time around!

Merry Christmas!

First, I'll share our Christmas card out-take. We had pictures done by a photographer but it was so cold that Judah was crying and grumpy the whole time! We just about died laughing when we saw this "JOY" picture and Judah's face, and I knew we had to use it as an announcement...

I realized I posted it on facebook, but never announced on the blog... we are expecting baby #2 in June!

And here's the picture we used for our card, taken with our tripod in our backyard!

And the back of the card...

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013


"A portrait of Judah once a week, every week, in 2013"

51/52 - We had a couple of warmer days earlier this week, before the ice/snow storm that now has us surrounded. It was still dreary and grey, but this little boy was thrilled to be playing outside.

I can't believe there's just one more portrait this year! How fast it has gone...

To see all of Judah's portraits so far this year, click on the image below:

Joining in the Portrait 52 over at Che and Fidel.

My favorite portrait from last week is this little boy in his dreamy and warm looking garden... so different from our current snow-covered world!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

things I don't want to forget {22 months old}

Some things I don't want to forget about you at 22 months old:

~ You are so gentle and loving with all your stuffed animals. You hug them and kiss them, and put them to bed... "night night, shhhhhhhh" with your little finger up to your lips. They get patted and loved on and shushed. And not just your stuffed animals, you like to put almost anything to bed... cars, trucks, pumpkins, bunny crackers... "shhhhhhhh, night night" :) You will be a good big brother!

~ You are becoming such a big boy and getting more independent every day. You like to do things for yourself, but you get frustrated when you can't do them properly and you don't want me to help!

~ Your favorite toy at the moment is a little Thomas the tank engine with the little carriage that he pulls, and the little circle train track set that came with them. You got it for being such a big boy and doing your #2 in the potty! "Choo choo" goes everywhere with you. You love to lie down and push Thomas and his carriage round and round the track.

~ We changed your crib into a big boy bed on 11/30/2013 when you were 21.5 months old. You did great - only a little trouble with nap time the first day!

~ I love our bedtime routine. We go upstairs for your bath where you splash and play like it's your job (which, really, it is). Sometimes you take up one of your toys to give it a bath too. Then you get diapered and jammied, and Papa holds you up in front of the bathroom mirror while I brush your teeth (this takes some tactics and distraction because you don't much like it). You hold one toothbrush and I hold the other and we get it done. Then we go to your room where we sit in your rocking chair and read a book (usually "The Little Engine That Could"... or as you call it "choo choo broken book"... it's your favorite). When we're done, the light is turned off and we rock and nurse while Papa and I pray for you. You fold your little hands when it's time to pray. After nursing, you give me a big hug then get down and run over to Papa who picks you up... and then my favorite part of the night... kisses! It's a little game we play while Papa is holding you... you lean over and kiss me, then Papa, then me, then Papa... and so on. Then I say "night night, I love you" and leave the room and Papa sings to you as he puts you down in your bed and tucks you in.

~ You now sleep through the night! That's a big development... just over a month ago you were still waking up to nurse twice during the night. One night I just decided I was done waking up to feed you (you were still in your crib at this point), so when you woke up at 2 am I said "milk all gone!" and you sobbed "noooooo! milk! milk!". I rocked and patted and sang to you, and gave you drinks of water. For three hours. And then you finally fell into a deep sleep again. And the next night it was another three hours of rocking and singing until you exhausted yourself. And then, on the third night you woke up once, briefly, and Papa settled you right down. Fourth night... you slept all night long! Occasionally you still wake up during the night, but you are easily settled without nursing. You still nurse at bedtime, in the morning when you wake up and come to snuggle in bed, and at naptime. And I'm fine with that... I was just ready to sleep through the night after 20 months of not.

- You are an avid little reader. You have your own names for all your favorite books... there's the "moon book" and the "star book" and the "monkey book" and the "choo choo broken book" and so on. You "read" aloud to yourself and it's so cute.

- You love trains, trucks, cars, airplanes, helicopters, anything with wheels... that's what you play with the majority of the day.

- You are a pro at shapes now, and your favorites are moons and stars and circles :) You are very good at drawing circles. You're also really good at coloring inside the lines - you concentrate very hard!

- You are learning your colors... your favorites are blue, yellow, purple and green. If you're not sure of a color you will call it "purple" :)

- You have a number puzzle and you know them all by name and can put them all in the right place. We're still working on counting... :) If I ask you how many objects there are you always say "six!" now matter how many there are. Haha. Your favorite numbers are 1 and 7 - you like to carry the 1 and 7 puzzle pieces around with you :)

- You love to sing the alphabet song... you know "a, b, c, d.... " and then it gets jumbled together :)

- You know all of your body parts, your favorite being "elbow" and the moment.

- You are learning and absorbing things at such a fast pace... and you are a SEEKER... you look for things to study and learn. I want to be more intentional about teaching you, so we are going to start "tot school" with a few short activities every day focused on things like a letter/number/shape/color.

- You are good at doing #2 on the potty, but you are generally too busy playing to notice #1! I know that if I specifically work on it for a few days, you will get it... I just haven't yet.

- Still a very picky eater - sigh!

- You are about 30lbs, and you have definitely gotten a lot taller recently, though I don't have an exact measurement - I don't have to roll up any of your 2T pants anymore! I've been getting you some size 3T pants now, and they are more comfortable at the waist for you but I do need to roll them up. We moved you up to size 5 diapers, even though 4's still work... 5's are just a bit better of a fit. You've grown out of all your size 4.5XW shoes, so I got you some new size 6XW ones that have room to grow :) You are generally in size 2T clothes, with the exception of a few rolled-up 3T pants, because you are very picky about pants being tight on your legs and waist!

- We told you that you're going to be a big brother! You're not too fussed about the whole thing. You just think there's a baby in Momma's belly button, and sometimes you say hi and give the baby kisses and say "shhhh it's ok baby". You have been really sweet and loving with little babies that we've seen recently, so I know you will be a good big brother :)

- You are very interested in the moon and stars and sun - we have daily conversations about how the moon and the stars comes out when it's dark, and the suns shines in the daytime when it's light. You are so delighted whenever you spot the moon especially (and sometimes it does come out during the day which I'm not quite sure how to explain to you, haha). You love any books that talk about or have the moon, stars, and sun in them.

Things you say:

- Your vocabulary is exploding... you  repeat anything we say to you and learn countless new words every day.
- My recent favorite is when you throw your arms around me for a hug and say "I got you mama!".... melt into a puddle. "I got you" is your little version of  "I love you"... you say it when you give us hugs and kisses and when we're snuggling at nap time and bedtime :)
- When you get hiccups you say "uh oh I got hiccups!"... haha
- You are much better at saying "please" and "thank you" unprompted... "more cheese please!", "thank you mama!"
- You love to watch the squirrels in our backyard and when they disappear you say "Squirrel, where arrrrrre youuuu?". You say "Mama/Papa/_____, where arrrrre youuuuu?" when you're looking for us or someone/something else. And when you are hiding, you say "Judah, where arrrre youuuuuu?", which kind of defeats the purpose but it's stinkin' adorable.
- You ask to talk to people on Skype... "kype! kype!".... you especially ask for "NANDAD!!!" (grandad) whenever I open the computer. Whenever we call Grandma and Grandpa in Sudan, you ask to see the monkey that lives next to them "Ah-ah (monkey), where arrrre youuuuu?".
- You love to be tickled... you come running and say "tickle tickle tickle!"
- When you like something you say "nice book" or "nice cheese" or "nice table" etc. :)
- You talk to our Xbox Kinect and order it to "play choo choo movie" and other things... You also extend the Xbox commands to anything with a screen - you try to tell our phones and computers what to do by saying "xbox! play Elmo!" or whatever else you want them to do.... haha!
- You use expressions like on/off, up/down, in/out, and big/little correctly in your little sentences. "Hat on!", "Light off!" "Judah up please!" "Get down/out please!" "In car!" "BIG tree" "little birdie"... and I use exclamation points liberally because you are very exclamatory :)
- "Outside, mama's car!", which means you want to go for a drive somewhere.
- "Papa home?" you ask multiple times a day. And then you usually answer your own question "Papa home dark outside", which means "Papa will be home when it gets dark outside"... which is what I tell you when you ask!
- "Mama up!" when you want me to get up and go somewhere with you.
- In the mornings we snuggle in our bed, and when you want to get up you tell me "Mama glasses on! Downstairs! Breakfast time!"... It cracks me up that you tell me to put my glasses on! I guess you know that means we are getting up!
- You say "oops!", "uh-oh!", "oh no!" and "oh dear!" all the time :)
- When you are excited about something you say "WOW! mee-maw truck!" (which means firetruck), or "WOW! cheese!" etc.
- If something is broken you bring it to me and say "fix it, mama?". The other day the kitchen light burned out and you were all worried about it - I told you Papa would fix it when he got home. Every time you went in the kitchen you said "Papa fix light?"... and you were SO excited when he got home and you could watch him fix it.
- When we go outside you say "Brrrrrr! Cold!"... ah, winter. And when you get in the bath you always say "Too hot! Too hot!"... even though it's not.
- When you ask a question like "Sandwich please?" "Outside?" "Play?"... you always follow it up by nodding your head and saying "uh huh! tanks!" (thanks)... like you think if you say yes and thanks, then I'll say yes too... haha :)
- You love our "kwissmiss twee" and all the "kwissmiss lights" everywhere. It's all so magical to you! You ask me to turn the "kwissmiss twee lights on!" as soon as we come downstairs in the morning.
- You say "ta-da!" when you do something that you think is awesome, like climb on top of something, run fast, or some other trick :)
- Another recent favorite is "ok!"... you like to say "ok!" to all of our questions now :)

.... and there are many more adorable things that you say that I can't remember right now... so I'll get on with the pictures. I've not been good about keeping up with or posting all the pictures I've taken over the past few months, so be prepared for a picture overload!

September, 19 months old.
 When it was still warm and summery:

October, 20 months old.

Adventures at Deanna Rose!

He followed this little cat around until it disappeared :)

Big boy on the playground.

Going down the big boy slide!

Feeding the baby goats.

Riding mini tractors.

I have no idea how he knew to talk into this!

At the apple orchard, picking apples and munching away!

Portrait at the apple orchard :)

Playing with his most favorite toy!

November, 21 months old.
Fall leaves!

"Momma, why did you lie me down on the ground...?"

"Helping" rake up the leaves!

He brought me his balloons and asked me "balloons on please!"... so I tied them to his arms and he took them for a walk.

Working on his masterpiece, 21 months old.

December, 22 months old.

Playing outside on a couple of rare warmer days.

Christmas wonder :)

You are such a joy, Judah William! Yes, you have your moments, as all toddlers do. But you are so full of life and energy and funny little quirks and antics. Every new stage is my favorite. I just love hearing you express yourself and watching you be so excited about being able to communicate with us. You are talking so much, and I just love it. You are so generous with your hugs and kisses and affection, which makes the hard toddler days melt away.


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