judah's birthday: doctor's visit

judah got 4 big fat shots from the doctor for his first birthday. this is the most he will ever have at a time, thank god and won't occur again until he is 4 an bribe-able. it was so much worse than last time. he only had 2 then and by the time he was getting really worked up and mad he was already done and we were able to pick him up. this time, right when the pain was kicking in from the first 2 and he was getting super upset, it was time to get 2 more in the other leg. the nurse even warned us that those 2 were bad because MMR and varicella shots burn when they go in. birthday fun!

i was holding his arms so i was up by his head and i have to say i was totally crying right along with him with my face buried in the paper liner. but when it was over and i trotted the little man outside (where we take him whenever he gets a oucheroni and it almost always makes him immediately stop crying) he was already over it and was all, "um, why am i naked in the parking lot, mom?"

i love outside.

in weights and measurements the little guy is in the 80% percentile for height and the 50% for weight. NICE! we should all be so lucky. i was surprised to be told that it's time to stop giving him bottles. i had no idea. he has mastered the sippy cup, and even more conveniently, the straw, so its no big deal, i just thought i had seen much older kids walking around with bottles. you'll hear no complaints from me though. i am ready to be liberated from those cylindrical, nipple-headed banes of my dishwashing existence.

peep that bod

we were looking at the list of developmental marks he "should" have hit by now and in the future and were kind of cracked up. at 15 months he should be able to build a 2-block tower and at 4 years he should be able to build a 7-block one. who is regulating the size of the blocks? i would have a hard time stacking 7 non-interlocking little legos on top of each other. does that mean i am developmentally behind for a 27 year old?

but it said on there that at 12 months he should be able to use "ma ma" and "da da" correctly to identify us. uhhhhh...well he will throw out a da-da on total purpose if jesse isn't paying attention to him but he only uses ma-ma in situations that have nothing to do with me. the doctor said that really he should have a ton of syllables going on right now (check) and 2 "words" that he actually uses pretty accurately, which are almost always ma-ma and da-da. well, in those terms, yes. he has da-da and cuh-cuh for cat. awesome. jesse and the freaking cat are #1 and #2 in his life.

i always say i don't care about milestones and comparing and all that, but, dang, when the doctor says he "should" be doing something that he isn't yet, it's a little nerve-wracking. is he "delayed?" is it because we feed him pops for breakfast? is it because of all that bleu cheese i ate when i was pregnant? you know what, i bet he will be talking by the time he's 5. how about i don't worry until then?

one hilarious thing on the list was that at 9 months babies should be "jargoning." i immediately understood what they meant; you know, like, babbling. but jesse was like, "what, do they mean like medical or mechanical jargon? i'm pretty sure judah never rambles on and on about the manifold drive shaft." i don't know how serious he was, but i was laughing hard plus the word "jargoning" is WAY underused in my life right now.

speaking of jargoning: i lovingly pointed out to jesse while waiting for the doctor that he was sporting a ballgina. this was a term i had coined (though probably not the first one to use it) the night before while watching the biggest loser finale. mike, the formerly 526 lb winner who lost 268 lbs came out in skinny jeans, a thin, skin-tight tee shirt and a huge bedazzled skull belt buckle. his jeans were waaaaaaaay too tight and the crotch so high that he was sporting testicular cleavage: a ballgina. well jesse was offended when i noticed his shorts had ridden way up and said, "hey look you have a ballgina just like big fat mike." i think he was thinking that i was calling him fat (or formerly fat?) because he lashed back, pointing at my jeans' zipper area that naturally folds up and out when you sit down, "so what? look at your vagenis!" it was glorious. we spent the next few minutes rudely gesturing back and forth at each other while grabbing our new parts. too bad there's no milestone for awesomely inappropriate hybrid words; judah is WAY ahead of the game there. you're welcome, son.

no ballginas or vagenises here. just pure, sweet baby booty

judah's birthday: pre-party sights

the invites (phone numbers and addresses obscured on the off chance we have stalkers that we don't actually know. unlike all the ones we know and love....cough, COUGH, dina, lauren, etc.)

lena and elliot showing up 2 hours early to help. with some illegal gifts. but they were so irresistible that i couldn't turn them away. little preppy plaid polo shirt, blue striped polo, the official birthday shirt and the grey new balance sneakers that jesse and i had positively drooled over a few weeks ago but couldn't get the nerve to buy. i never even mentioned it to lena! these are the exact model of elliot's standard sneakers so its pretty perfect and we are obsessed with them. 4 for 4 by the godparents!!! i think judah likes these guys.

the tables (all the plates and cups and utensils were the other 4 colors from the invitation, in case you were wondering why fecal brown was chosen as the tablecloth color) and my centerpieces. these were cardboard colored when i bought them and i painstakingly painted them to match the invitations the night before. i couldn't bear to spend money on something like a normal centerpiece that we'd just throw out or clutter up our lives afterwards, so i figured i could hang these on his wall during the year. since it was pleasantly breezy though, they kept falling over. this wasn't too bad since it was only once every 30 minutes or so...
...that is, until we went to tie the balloons to each letter. then we were lucky if they fell over instead of drifting lazily away. elliot rigged up some form of weeblo-scout knotting method to make the letters stay AND tether the balloons. it wasn't ideal to have them laying there flat on the tables like gunshot victims, but it was better than them mary poppins-ing away into the horizon.

judah was getting nostalgic at one of our many pre-screenings of the video. actually he was probably jealous that his daddy love was being given to that random baby instead of him. unhand him!

sorry people, the nurse lottery is over, and we won. how many L&D nurses will coach you through horrific unmedicated childbirth, deliver your baby, give you her cell phone number within minutes of finding out you are pregnant again, offer to switch shifts as soon as we go into labor #2 so that she can be there for us, offer to make judah's birthday cake and then DO IT, from scratch, within 6 hours of hearing back from me, have it be the most adorable cake ever, deliver it to us via golf cart with precious little isaac along for the ride the night before the party, and then bring her entire family of 5 to the party that next day? um, the answer is one. and we got her.
the party post binge is almost over. i am damn well gonna get my money's worth out of this party considering how much freaking effort went into it.


still pregnant

1. there is a new poll up, if you hadn't already spotted it in the top right of the blog, where you can cast your vote on if you think the bundle sheltering in my uterus right now is blue or pink. um, let me rephrase. the bundle itself is definitely pink IN my uterus, but the poll is about what color the blanket will be when he/she comes OUT. as much as i like boys, i don't want an actual blue baby. i am surprised at how much love "boy" is getting so far since everyone i had talked to before was betting girl for this one and since i have dropped a few lines about jesse and i thinking it was probs a girl too.

2. we will find out whose votes were correct in about 3 weeks. the plan right now is to have the technician put the results in an envelope that jesse and i will open at dinner that night, but smart money says i won't make it out of the parking lot without opening it. especially if i am right that i can expect severe telephonal bullying from lena to give up the goods immediately.

3. we are at 15 weeks and 5 days. so here are some updated belly pictures. if i hadn't made a commitment to show the reality of 2nd pregnancy belly i would definitely not be posting these anymore since they are hideous. i wasn't svelte to begin with, but now i have hit the weird softened jiggly phase of pregnancy and boy does it look hot. bleck. i think i owe you week 14 as well as 15 so we'll let judah introduce week 14's comparison:

a lemon! we let judah play with this before we took the pic and he was in love with it. already so attached to his little broster, he cried when i took it from him for 6 seconds to take the picture with. later in the car we let him have it and he occupied himself with it for about 4 miles before he started wailing. he had bit clear through the rind and gotten an acidic blast on his citrus-virgin taste buds. hahahaha, little sisther fights back already!

it's so sweet and so pitiful. i really hope he doesn't act like this when i take the baby away from him

and then 15 weeks was supposed to be an apple but we only had an orange in the house. its amazing to me that although the bump is up by my navel (hahaha, orange) the baby and my uterus are still mostly under the waistband of my pants. i don't know how an orange is in there right now, but i can tell you something is pushing all my other organs and fat upward which is what's making me look so much more pregnant than i am.
yuck. don't you dare judge.
4. symptoms: morning sickness if officially OUT. i feel awesome. while i can still sleep with the best of them (hahahaha) i am never nauseous and i have almost all of my operating energy back. yesterday during judah's nap i cleaned the snot (literally) out of the house instead of passing out with him. hooray! i am eating much smaller quantities at a time and less overall. fine by me. i have gained about 4-7 lbs so far (not sure what i was before i got pregnant since i quit weight watchers when we started trying again in january). as usual, 70% of my weight gain goes to saddlebaggery/general wideassery, 10% goes to augmenting my already ample love handles and the other 20% goes to...

yup. they aren't as sag-baggity now that pregnancy has reinflated them. also, judah played with this for a good 45 minutes yesterday. was it wrong to let him?

5. we had an appointment this morning and it was ragingly boring. which of course is what you want in an OB appointment. we heard the heartbeat for the first time which was strangely captivating for the little man.
it was so weird to be there with judah the one year old behemoth since last memorial day weekend he was getting his nails sharpened to bust himself out of his waterbag.
6. right now we are seriously having no clue about the gender. for a while we were both on the girl track, but now we have almost zero leanings. i have dreamed that i gave birth to a boy but when the family came in to see him there was judah and then a little sister who were meeting the newest addition, so i'm not sure about that one. and then i dreamed that i gave birth to josie duggar after watching her going home special one night so that sample is also skewed.
as much as i have talked a big game about only wanting boys, my heart really is prepared, and even more so, open to having a girl. there are so many things that i could do with/for a girl that just are kind of irrelevant for a boy. do i think judah will ever grow up and want to read this blog? not really. but i think i little girl would be fascinated by that sort of thing. and then all the lessons i learned the hard way or ignored from my parents mostly correspond to me being a girl. i have always wanted A girl...just not necessarily several or first. well with this one there's no chance of getting ore than one or of her being first, so bring it. there's way more fun girl stuff to sew than boy stuff any way.
on the other hand all the positives are still there for this one being another boy. judah gets an automatic best friend, we get to reuse all those heaps of boy baby clothes that we have lugged up to the attic, and we are already very proficient at getting poop out of tiny ball wrinkles. plus i wouldn't have to be the one to give the sex talk, nor would i be the go-to parent for bathroom breaks in public, and most importantly (and let's face it, the real reason i am scared of a girl) i wouldn't be the one to have to model how to be a man for the little dudes and could just be their mom.
bonus fact: the first blog posts i/we ever wrote were at this point in our judah pregnancy. i was so full of it saying "we think we want a boy slightly more." i would have straight wept and gone all sackcloth and ashes if they had said #1 was a girl. my heart was SET on a boy. it was my first ever blog post, i was nervous and didn't want to be judged for wanting a boy so very badly.
okay, has it been 3 weeks yet? i am ready to find out! plus we can't pick a name for real until we actually know what we are having. last time we 100% had a boy name picked out and then we found out he actually was a boy and it totally changed our minds.


On Parenting and Birth Part 3 - THE END!!

So today is a pretty special day. A year ago today, Keight and I were at Fayette Piedmont Hospital and we didn't have any children. Then around 3pm we met the most precious little boy in the world.

And he changed our lives forever.

If you're haven't read parts 1 and 2 of the birth story, please feel free to go back and check them out. But today we celebrate, and you get to hear the end of the story.


So when you left us last, Keight had just been hooked up to the IV drip of Pitocin and was being given the smallest dose. She was 6 cm and 70ish% effaced and had been for a while. We had stalled out.

To recap, we didn't want to take pitocin, at all. But Keight's bag of waters had burst... um, a little while ago (like 25 hours ago), and we were getting to a point where the risks were getting higher than "we let you do whatever you want". So despite our goal and desire to have as few interventions as possible and let the birth process play itself out as naturally as possible, this was a compromise we had to make because we were having the baby in the hospital and not at a birthing center or at home. But we knew the potential tradeoffs from the get go, so it wasn't a big deal by any means.

Well, the choice wasn't a big deal. Apparently, pitocin is a big deal.

The effect was felt immediately.

Throughout this entire day, Keight has been unstoppable. I don't know how much you know about childbirth, but as you progress through the process, everything intensifies. It all comes to a head if you will (insert Fozzie Bear laugh here). The contractions (your body basically pulling the opening of a balloon large enough to send a watermelon through) get stronger, harder, and closer together which basically equals more pain, for a longer period time, with less break in between.

She is also going on like 30 hours without sleep, and I'm guessing there are some hormones and emotions flying at this point too. But even through all of that, Keight has been in control, focus, relaxing and responding through the contractions and basically kicking the shitocin out of labor.

But that all changed.

The first pitocin contraction was immediately different. Whereas a normal contraction would come on gradually, and raise up like a mountain on the monitor, this one spiked early. To ride the wave of the contraction, Keight would normally take full controlled breaths. But as this contraction hit, she was gulping for air as the pain descended on her. She squeezed my hand, HARD and writhed on the bed as the contraction continued on for 30 seconds and then a minute. And then it was finally over.

This would be the point when things got very difficult. She immediately had to get out of the bed because the pain and the position were just too bad. And throughout this time I'm still trying to encourage Keight and stick to the script that we learned. Breath, focus, relax, you're in control, each contraction brings us closer to meeting Judah, listen to your body.

Well, as Mike Tyson so eloquently misquoted Joe Louis, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Lukas used to tell a hilarious story about an assistant JV soccer coach that he had at Sandy Creek High School. This guy was a history teach and one of assistant coaches on the football team and would go around making Bullwinkle noises as he walked through the halls. Well, apparently he just had some extra time on his hands, so he decided to help with the JV soccer team.

So one fateful afternoon, the "real" JV soccer coach couldn't be there, which left the assistant JV "coach" in charge. His experience probably consisted of watching a few videos on soccer and maybe playing a couple games of FIFA 99 on his Nintendo 64.

So before the game, he takes the boys into the locker room for a "pep talk" and produced what could be the greatest pregame speech EVER.

He looked around at the 9th and 10th grade weenies and said, "I don't know a lot about this game you call soccer..."

"But I know what it takes to win... GO!! FIGHT!! WIN BOYS!!"

And with that, sent them into battle.

Why do I tell you that story?

Because sadly, I had roughly the same qualifications at this point. I had never (and will never) gone through labor. I had never even seen a live birth. I had watched some videos, read some books, and done some research. And I had a card.

But none of that really prepared me for my wife sitting before me so visibly in pain.

And as the pain and stress mounted, my help and suggestions became increasingly annoying. I felt helpless and useless, a little husband-fly buzzing around saying, "Beeeeeeee positive!"

And so I had nothing to give as the contractions kept coming, beyond saying, "What can I do? I love you and I'm here for you."

But sadly I felt Keight slipping away from me. We had done this as a team up until this point, and I felt her retreating in on herself knowing that she was going under.

And so I just started praying... "God, obviously I can't do this, but I'm not even sure that we can do this. I know you are here with us, and I know that Keight can do this, but she needs help. Help us. Help us Lord, don't leave us now."

And He did :)

At around 2:15 Adrienne came back in and found us sitting by the bed with Keight on a stepping stool groaning and crying, and saying "I can't do this, I can't do another contraction." She had just recently vomited because of the pain and was, as she describes herself at this point, "a rabid wookie". (If you've been keeping up, this was also the point when we reached the third emotional signpost which is self-doubt, also known as Transition. It's a very difficult time during labor without pitocin, so to hit that stage and as fast as she did, perhaps you can see why she was a little down.)

But Adrienne came over on our side of the bed and grabbed Keight's hand and looked her in the eye and said, "Yes you can! Girl, I know you can do this. I know that you're hurting, but you are in control! You are in charge of your body and I know this hurts, but you're so close to the end. We're gonna get through these last contractions and then you're going to have your baby."

And it was amazing because I could literally see the life going back into Keight with every word that Adrienne said. And it was soooo amazing because here was another woman, who had gone through the same process, who had labored through the same excruciating pain, and had come through on the other side. And she was literally, fanning the flame of faith and belief back into Keight.

And it was at this moment that I just had to stand back and watch for a moment. I had to witness the beauty and miracle that the birth process is. This magical sisterhood that Keight was entering in to which stood on the edge of undoing, but fought back and found the god given strength within herself to fight through to the end.

To be perfectly honest, I felt a little intrusive at that moment. And while you will not ever be able to keep me out of the delivery room for any of our family's births, I must say that there is something VERY special about women who have learned how to bring forth life from their bodies passing on that knowledge and strength to other women in the process. I would dare say its something holy.

I think God in his wisdom knew that with sin in the world our entire lives were going to be a fight, and that moms especially were going to have to fight for their children. And perhaps that's why He made the birth process what it is.

And I know that that who idea might rub you the wrong way if you tend to view the world from a strictly scientific point of view. But I hope you'll take that for what its worth.

So we turned a corner. I saw a new Keight emerge who was still in great pain and scared and emotional, but she was in control. She had mastered her fear and was set to finish what we had started so long ago.

At around 2:20 Adrienne in her kindness also gave Keight a small does of fentanyl, to "take the edge off" which apparently was like going at a fire with a water pistol, but it was at least good for the mind. They also checked K8 just to see if things had progressed.

9 cm!

So we were getting VERY close, they put in a call to Dr. Beckford telling her to come on over because it wasn't going to be much longer now. It was fun watching them transform the room from a labor room, to a delivery room. It was like hospital transformers as they brought in tons of machines and instruments, they even started morphing the bed to accommodate the pushing that was to come. Pretty soon after Adrienne decided to check Keight again.

Fully dialated. Fully effaced. From 6 to 10 cm in about 35 minutes. The first 60% took 30 hours, the last 40% took 1/60th of that. Go ahead and do the math yourself on the pain, thanks again Pitocin, see ya again never.

SO, its time to have a baby!!

They called Dr. Beckford backand told her that it was literally going to be any minute now. Apparently she thought she still had more time before because she had stopped to make some coffee and was just now leaving. There was some vague talk at this point about her being "on the way" with no specifics about her time of arrival. So we didn't know if that meant she's in the lobby or she's on 285 South.

Just then, Keight started having really bad pain in her back and stomach and decided that she wanted to try and get back in the bed to hopefully find a position of comfort. When she got there, she looked at Adrienne and said, "I think I have to poop. BAD."

To which Adrienne looked at the other nurse worriedly, and then back at Keight and said, "Um... honey, I think that means it time to push. You're going to have to wait just a minute though because Dr. Beckford isn't here yet, but she's on the way."

Well, Keight wasn't having any of that. She let them know that she was ready to have the baby NOW. So that started some frantic scurrying of nurses and more calls were made and more equipment brought in stat! And I notice Adrienne and the other nurse kind of talking quietly, and I pick up that they are deciding which one of them is actually going to deliver the baby. To which I hear Adrienne adamantly say, "No, I've definitely got this!"

So Keight has been kind of trying to hold back the pushing urge this whole time (kind of impossible) but has not been actively pushing. So Adrienne checks her again, and sure enough, there's the little guys head. So she says to Keight, "Ok mom, nows the time, you can start pushing he's right here."

To which Keight says, "What do you mean right here? Like in 30 minutes?" Both of us were prepared for pushing to take at least that long, and it can often times last much much longer.

"Um, no I mean his head is right here, I can touch it."

Naturally, I had to see this. And sure enough, there was our son. I can't imagine what that experience must have been like from his perspective, but the entire time, his heart rate stayed perfectly steady, so it couldn't have been too traumatic.

So Keight pushed.

Three times.

And we had our son.

She was magnificent and he was magnificent, and I was crying simply because it was over, and honestly I was quite scared. I was afraid because Keight was in so much pain and she was in such shock that it was over the first thing she said was, "I'm not pregnant anymore!"

But we brought him up to Keight so that she could hold her amazing creation and just hearing him cry was the most beautiful sound in the world. He latched on and fed some but he was so pathetic and helpless, but some completely ours. It was 2:54 pm on May 25th, 2009. And I knew that life would never ever be the same. And it hasn't been.

Here's a little video of him right after he was born. He was so peaceful and precious from birth, I knew that he was going to be a special kid. Thanks for sharing a year with us.

The Dukes.

Keight will give you her take on the whole story here in a few days, and I left some details out for her to tell, but I hope you've enjoyed the story and the best part is, that the story has really only just begun.

judah's birthday: the mushy letter

dear judah,

364 days and exactly 23 hours ago as i type this you came bursting (literally, "pop, pop, pop, squish, splash, birth") into our arms and lives. the umbilical cord you and i grew was a little short, so i didn't immediately get a face to face gooey snuggle, but more of a reach down, meet-you-halfway embrace.
you have been by far the most exciting, overwhelming, challenging, adorable, treasured, prayed for, doted on, amazing little piece of your daddy's and my entire lives. hands down. everyone said "you are going to be so amazed by how much you are able to love him," and i really tried to brace for that. oh, but i never had a chance. even when i was a milky-hormonal stress-bomb, i was wrapped around your tiny tanned little finger and all you had to do was breathe in and out to make me so very happy and wash all the worries away. as long as i was your mommy, everything was okay. even that cat vomit on the carpet.
i tried to think of some of my favorite times with you in our first year together, but there's really only one: right now. whenever i am with you, whoever you are today, that is my favorite. i remember on our 2nd or 3rd night home from the hospital i was holding you watching the NBA playoffs on the couch with daddy and i started bawling at the thought of you growing one ounce/millimeter bigger. the boy in my arms was the one i wanted forever and i was so terrified of that changing. but momsie got a really cool surprise from god when she realized that the judah that i wake up to every day is the one i love the most, even if i sort of miss your little newborn smell or your early poos that smelled like honey nut cheerios. so while most of me hopes you will stay this precious little barely one year old forever, i know that next week all i will want forever is my little 53 week old.
all i have to say is thank you. thank you so much for exactly who you are. you are sweet and cuddly, fierce and determined, gassy and drooly, laid back and good natured. you have a hilariously unique sense of humor and are most interested in god's best creations: people and nature. our most fervent prayer for you is that you will live to love and serve others. that you will guard your heart and bind it utterly to your savior one day. that you will live your whole life the way you have taught us to in this past year--to live passionately every moment you have and to love those you spend those moments with.
you are our tiniest of heroes and we literally could not love you more if we both had enlarged grinch-hearts. at least until tomorrow when you make us fall even more in love with you all over again. thank you (and jesus) for making us parents to the most picture-perfect little boy that could ever be made especially for keight and jesse dukes. a boy so amazing that we weren't even ambitious enough to dream up this kind of love ahead of time. thanks for being ours; it's our most favoritest part about you.
so much love,


judah's birthday: the game/giveaway 80

*i am adding a collage so you don't have to scroll up and down a million times. you should be able to click this and see it enlarged.

.at the party we had a game. i ripped this idea off from my friend holly a long time ago and have been planning for it ever since. each month on the 25th we took a picture of judah in his crib with a little sign (aka paper plate) saying which month "birthday" it was. the game was to put the pictures in order from 1 month to 12 months using the blocked out letters on the stickers over the signs.

for example if you thought picture A was him at one month and B was at 2 months (you'd be deranged but...) you'd put A, B,....etc.

.it was a surprisingly difficult task for most people (one grandmother and godfather only got 3 right!) the winners at the party were judah's aunt jackie and judah's church girlfriend's daddy, robert, who both got 8 correct using nothing but these 12 pictures (meaning they didn't get to use the blog as a resource). other notable scores were jesse with 7 and lena with 7, and my dad was too chicken to try, for those of you keeping score out there. i'd say the average was about 4.68. HARD! (adrienne, i saw you filling one out but i never found it to give you your score, if you wanna play again).

.so do you want to play? since there is much more room to cheat doing it on the internet instead of in person so i am counting on the honor system, people. so how about we make this a giveaway too? i believe we are on giveaway 80 (for reaching 80 followers). the prize can be me making you anything you've seen me make before. if it's a tie i'll just randomize that mofo to get an ultimate winner. you have until friday when i'll put the pictures up in the correct order to show off how much little man morphed each month and then we'll announce the winner.

just leave what you think is the correct sequence from youngest to oldest in the comments section (i.e.: A,B,C,D, on and on. OR you can just do it by writing K-x months, B-x months, etc.). good luck!

judah's birthday: the video

well here i am. alive and well with (remaining) wits intact after my, ahem, i mean, JUDAH's birthday party. amazing since i was only giving it a 50/50 chance heading into saturday. we had a ton of fun, the weather was perfect, judah was a trooper to the max, the food was awesome, and i don't think i ruined anyone's day with stress (portions of jesse's, elliot's and bob's, perhaps, but not ALL).
my favorite part was showing off judah's birthday video that i worked on for about 2 months. i'm not sure if everyone else enjoyed it as much since it was lengthy (um, it could have been a whole YEAR long, though, if you think about it). but even after creating, editing and screening it myself, when i saw it on the big screen i got a little teary watching the 21 month journey play out over a few minutes. i have always been a sucker for slide shows anyway, music plus pictures just wreck me in the best possible way. so that helps explain why i just couldn't leave it at one song's worth of footage.
i know the birthday boy didn't enjoy the viewing... poor judah: the kiddos were be-bopping around in the corner while it was playing and in the jumble of toddlers, judah got knocked over and slammed his head on the entertainment center. he bounced back quickly: figuratively and literally, but it definitely kept me from enjoying the whole video.
i promised the grandmas that i would make it blog-accessible so they can emotionally binge on it over and over again. certainly i won't be doing that since i am not remotely nostalgic or in denial about my lil' bug being a one year old (not yet though, he's still a tiny baby until tomorrow, don't rush me!).
you probably wanna go ahead and hit play and then pause on the second part if you plan to watch the whole thing so you won't have to wait for it to buffer and your judah experience will be seamless.
*update: apparently pt. 1 has been blacked in germany due to copyright infringment on one of the songs (hall & oates, you stingy bastards!) so i am trying to put it up on facebook for my deutsch friends.

*update pt 2. got it through on vimeo. enjoy!


burp cloth followup

finally. i took the 3 seconds required to go to random.org and pick the winner of the custom burp cloth! and the randomizer chose:


(yes, said in the rocky voice, which i'm sure she has never heard before)

this is super fitting because as you may know, adrienne was my unbelievable L&D nurse and actually delivered judah! so it goes without saying that i owe her big time AND it's kind of perfect that i am making her something to clean up her own baby's fluids since, you know, she dealt up close and personally with mine/ours. my favorite RN, email me the details of what all you want on this guy and i'll get started.

for everyone else, i was so cracked up by some of your ideas that i seriously wanted to make them all. if i could, i would make enough burp cloths to soak up all your families' secretions. unfortunately i am not rich and don't have endless amounts of time. but i wanted to give you an option if you wanted to commission a cloth so i added "custom burp cloths" to my etsy shop. so if random.org isn't giving you any love and you are willing to part with a few bucks i would be thrilled to make the burp cloth that you've been drooling over (get it?).



p.s. happy 27th birthday to my BFF marisa all the way in germany


party time

i am in stressville, USA over here trying to plan judah's birthday party this weekend. it's not even a big thing, just a laid back cookout for some of our friends who live in the area and our families. i don't even have a theme (but if you wanna see a first bday theme done pimptastically, check this out. i would have head 3 strokes while trying to pull this amazingness off. my friend merran is a stud). our party really isn't that big of a challenge, or shouldn't be, i am just a total over reactor.
we aren't doing presents since judah has plenty and we don't want to start a tradition of binge-receiving. instead, we asked the invitees to bring some of their old toys that don't get a lot of use so that our family can take them and donate them to a kids' group near our house that really does need them. the idea here is to give judah the gift of learning to find joy in meeting the needs of others. because we are super fortunate to be able to financially and materially meet all of our own needs at this stage in our lives.
i know this way easy when he's one and has no idea what is going on and has never been to a "normal" american birthday party where the birthday kid gets a million light-up, noise-making, battery-operated, awesome toys that he will drool over and covet like a third arm. it won't be so easy then, and once he has been blasted by about 54,298 commercials, to convince him that his imagination/learning toys are really cooler because they are hand-crafted and earth-friendly and that they will probably make him a better person with a more active imagination and without a sense of materialism and entitlement and "entertain me, oh world." maybe? we can say this stuff not because all the kids who have traditional birthday parties are little spoiled wankers, but because we totally see this grabby-grabby, must have the newest/flashiest/fanciest things attitude in OURSELVES. like, every single day. and it kind of makes us miserable.
so we are desperate to find ways around this at a young age that don't involve moving to amishland.(any tips on how to do this would be GREAT). yeah. good luck with that, jesse and keight. he's already in love with and learning from the flashy plastic stuff we have bought him. not that there's anything wrong with that, we just don't want to go overboard. arrrrg, see how hard this is, already!?!?!?! (note: we are not anti-plastic or anti-light up, we ARE anti-waste, anti-cheaply made crap that will break in 3 months and requires no thinking or interaction or activity on the part of the user..again, these are all things that jesse and i tend to want to accumulate, to our detriment).
controversial tirade aside, a big part of the stress is that i can't do a lot of the party stuff ahead of time (it is at the grandukes' house since we didn't know if ours would have sold by now...HA!), so i sit around envisioning saturday and me running around like a maniac trying to do everything at once and trying to make everyone happy and really just making everyone miserable. this is my hostess m.o. typically. ah, the golden moments. i have had 2 stress dreams about the party so far, but i actually did some real problem solving during the dreams so that was slightly productive, if not restful.

cue random segway: so to keep from just letting these thoughts fester and not being able to do anything about them yet, i decided to take out the frustrations on my sewing machine last night by making a stupidly girly apron.

this pattern was in my sewing book, 101 one yard wonders, but i changed it up by lining it (a one-ply, unlined apron seems like a bad idea to me), rounding the edges and adding pockets cause i'm advanced and off the cuff like that. don't try to cage me, sewing book! i have no idea what i am going to do with this ruffle-bomb now. it's not my style and i have a ton of my grandma's old aprons that i never wear. i think it's cute...but that could just be the model.

i couldn't model because i defend to the death my right to not wear a bra or pants while in my own house

bashful in the kitchen

this was a favortie angle/pose.

hard to pick just one.
holy moly, while i was writing this post, lena stepped up and took the 4 dozen cupcakes off my plate (not literally, that could get her eaten). she's kind of amazing. the stress is lifting. i feel like maybe i should give the next baby to her as a thank you. also my mom bought a ton of the food for the party as well and is prepping it herself. i really have nothing to worry about. situtation normal. where the hell are the tongs?!!?!?


the rover

we ran in to the local bookstore on sunday to grab a book and noticed someone doing a signing at the back of the store. i figured it was a little local author or something since there was no big hoopla being made and no line. i kind of felt bad for the little guy. then i also noticed a police escort. so i decided to investigate at the front of the store. turns out it was karl rove. he was promoting (to an audience of 3) his new book, "courage and consequence: my life as a conservative in the fight." hahahaha. i had to beg jesse to take a picture. we aren't so much supporters of his or his views or his ethics but i said "wouldn't you still want a picture of stalin or voldemort if they came to our bookstore? even if you don't really like them?"

i really wanted to buy a copy of obama's book and take it up to him to sign. that or twilight breaking dawn.

we aren't hardcore liberals at all really, but we are certainly not conservatives. we are too lazy to really know what we are talking about so we mostly don't talk about politics. jesse and i do have several very well-informed friends who are quite vocally liberal and i soooo wish tison or tatum could have been there. to do what? i don't know exactly, but it seemed like a wasted opportunity on two ignorants like us. perhaps that police escort would have had to earn his money if they had been along for the ride. i didn't even have it in me for a half-hearted heckle.


similar and dissimilar

i came home on monday and judah was dressed in a super cute outfit. this is notable because sometimes (aka usually) when jesse dresses him it's, well, hilarious and mind-boggling. this time he looked adorable and dad got an A+ in fashion.
set phasers to "precious"

so i am talking to them and playing with judah and i notice that jesse has on khaki cargo shorts too. oh, that's funny. and then i look closer and see that jesse also has on a navy shirt with yellow writing. now i am tickled. so i say, "you and judah are matching, huh?" because sometimes jesse will dress judah in an shirt of the same color that he's already wearing because he's that cutest dad in the world and wants the boy to look like him. but this seemed too much because judah doesn't have that many clothes to be able to match up with whatever jesse is wearing that day. so i asked him, "so, jesse, who put their outfit on first?" and he sheepishly says, "uh, judah." i was dying. somehow this is so much funnier to me because it meant jesse dressed judah and then went and changed his clothes so that he would look just like the 11 month old. i LOVE it.

a big pile of heaven all over my kitchen floor

in fact, the first thing jesse ever bought judah was matching outfits for the two of them from mexico last spring when i was pregnant. they are size 12 month so that hilariousness should debut soon.


in other news, i am posting the weeks 12 and 13 belly shots. week 13 i took this very morning and week 12 i took sometime last week. i decided to post these two together because whoa my holy goodness.
let me be clear: the lime one is week 12 and the shrimp one was week 13 (though the shrimp is smaller than the lime...i think i was meant to buy a tiger prawn or something). the big difference here is that one was taken first thing in the morning (YUCK me handling frozen shellfish at 7 am) and the other was taken at night, after what was probably about 7 meals that day, all of which most likely contained chili and batter and produced crazy gas in the digestive tract...rendering me about 7 months pregnant.
i am just throwing these up here so that you realize the flexibility, elasticity and schizophrenia of the pregnant belly. so if you see me out there looking like i'm about to dilate, there's probably no need to palpitate my fundus, i probably just steered too close to a longhorn or, let's face it, a captain d's and the baby is just being it's tiny 14 week self underneath a pile of delicious goodness up in there (the food i mean, not the placenta).

we'll work backwards...this is 13 weeks and change, this morning
and now back to 12 weeks, and wait for it....


freaking BOOM up in your face with the not-so-lime-sized hugeocity!
and just for comparison's sake, this is a 24 week shot of me with judah which looks about the same. wild hearts can't be broken, y'all.

ten bucks my mom is going to email me that she is concerned that i am eating and expanding so much over the course of a day and that she is worried i am gonna blow out a bowel or something. maybe, mom, but not in the way you're thinking (HIYO!).

we are off to a wedding this whole weekend...outdoors (cue me ditching my wallet to make purse space for old spice)! i'll pick the giveaway person next week, promisies.


whatta man

the song that plays on my phone when jesse calls is salt n' peppa's "whatta man." as in "what a man, what a man, what a mighty, mighty good man." this is hilarious when i am in a quiet public place and the ring goes off. but it's only funny because it's true (and slightly ghetto).
i looked for a really long time at target for a mothers' day card for single dads. you might think someone would make those (they don't; he got a thank you card instead--and a new teapot!). i wanted to abdicate from mothers' day altogether and donate the holiday to him. these past 8 or 9 weeks he has done almost literally everything for our family. i have done nothing. remember back when i was so jealous of judah's attachment to jesse and his preference of dad over mom? well that had gone away for a few months and he loved us both so much until recent times when mommy=comatose lump buried beneath the covers. so i felt utterly undeserving of mothers' day. the whole day was kind of embarrassing because i really didn't want to be reminded of how absent i have been. but this isn't a pity party for me, it's a yay jesse party.
in these past few days with judah getting so sick and then me getting sick and now judah getting starting to throw up again (we went to the doctor last night after i got the straight up exorcist treatment ALL OVER me at bedtime and finally have a game plan--NO FORMULA OR MILK FOR 5 DAYS--and we got medicine for the little guy; the stuff they give chemo patients to handle their nausea, no less. they think its just lingering sensitivity and that he's not infectious or "sick" anymore but just that his tummy is all torn up and needs pampering) jesse has been the only leg our little family is standing on. so if you see him, make sure you tell him "whatta mighty, mighty good man" he is. he's the baddest mother-father i know.

this is real. i love him.


yes no

yup, i caught judah's virus.
yup, it was about 10 times worse than he made it look. and definitely NOT cute on me.
nope, those freaking buyers never even came to see the house last friday (there is a house for sale about 6 doors up from us that is being sold by our agency as well and this is the second time that a buyer has seen that one and said they didn't want to see any more and then don't even come to ours...it's a train wreck).
yup, after 44 hours of perfect health judah threw up yesterday at 3 pm just as i finally stopped my 18 hour puking run. and then he did it again at 4 am today. we have no idea what would make him do this, especially so sporadically. before saturday he had never thrown up at all.
nope, jesse didn't get to go on his church staff's trip to a conference because he didn't want to infect everyone there in case he had it (so far he hasn't', thank you, jesus) or leave judah in my care while i was living under the toilet.
yup, we are losing our minds here and all i can think of is how we are adding another baby to this. we can't even take care of one and ourselves!


the bug's bug.

end of first trimester date on saturday was awesome. we went to the melting pot, strategically timed our day so that we would be perfectly starving upon arrival, and proceeded to chow down. and afterwards we swiftly made a vow to never do all 4 courses there again. just cheese and salad and maybe chocolate (or maybe cheese part 2 instead of chocolate); we are cutting out the meat entree. i love food as much, nay, more than the next girl, but it should NOT be a contest of wills between me and dessert to see who will give in first (i refuse to waste money). the end result is always me and jesse ending up in actual pain on the way home and saying "why? why did we pay money to feel like this?"
we even anticipated the pain and asked our server to space out the courses really far. no dice. still pain. but we did enjoy the living crap out of each other's company and were completely at ease knowing judah was in the loving care of the dukes.

enough is enough, fatties, lay down the forks and back away slowly.
on the way home linda called us to say that judah had thrown up. this was weird. judah has only ever thrown up once, and that was after his head injury to let us know he had a concussion. when we pulled up we found judah recovering while partaking in one of his favorite pastimes: riding on the tractor with grandaddy.

yeah, i threw up, but look how happy i am.

we brought him inside and he then proceeded to throw up all over himself again. oh dear. that is just not a sight that two people who have just severely overeaten need to be seeing. at this point he was still getting rid of his bottle and dinner so it was projectile and painless to the little guy. he did whine a little bit right after but recovered quickly. we popped him back in the tub and rinsed him off, a pile of towels beginning to accumulate on the dukes' bathroom floor. we were hoping it was just something he ate and now that ALL the food was gone he would feel better.

over the next 3 hours the poor little bug showed us how misguided this hope was. sitting there watching my pitiful little baby wake up from sleeping on jesse to cough and then start violently retching was akin to being tortured. he had nothing left in his stomach so he would just sit there and heave and heave and turn so red and sweaty and lose his breath. we soaked about 4 towels with just his stomach juices (sorry). after a barfing spell he would so sweetly and pathetically give a little cry/wail and then fall back asleep.

the dukes convinced us (well, me really) to let linda give him an enema. they all swear by it. apparently the thinking is that it rehydrates him at an access point of his digestive tract that he can't throw up as well as forcing a total system flush, hopefully getting rid of the viral culprit sooner than if we didn't. even though he was clearly hurting and miserable, he was such a champ and always had a smile ready for us.

i tried to take a picture of him being all pale and blah and as soon as he saw the camera he smiled. oh i adore him

apparently enemas were something forced upon the dukes kids when they were sick and, understandably, they fought them like grim death. jesse told a story of not being allowed to go to a friend's house when he was young until he had one and he ended up choosing not to go over getting the hydro-love. i figured judah wouldn't remember this anyway and was ready to try anything to speed up his recovery. every time he would start retching again i would be on the verge of tears just having to watch him wracked by such violent pukey spasms in his little body. i cannot even imagine what it must be like to have a child go through chemo or any other trial that would require them feeling like this long term.

the apothecary readying the supplies

of course we were worried that he would be tortured by the whole process. it was 10 pm and he was so exhausted in and out of sleep and he was sicker than he ever had been, so being brought to full awake status like this was sure to confuse and anger him. once again, the little man floored us. he just laid on jesse's lap and didn't make a peep the entire time. it was so sweet and so sad.

tiniest of creatures braced for intrusion

he must have been dehydrated because the entire solution stayed in (minus a few undigested raisins...when did he even eat raisins last???) until much later that night. we headed home with a spare towel just in case and braced for a trying evening. jesse set up shop in the guest bedroom with him and tons of towels. we didn't want to leave him alone in his crib in case he choked or something. the last time he threw up was around 12 or 1am and then he passed out and we all went to bed, with me in our room since i would having morning duty. he woke up at 4 am really mad because the enema had fully evacuated. we (jesse) changed his diaper and tried to settle him back down. not happening. he was irate. finally we gave in and decided to let him have some water and crackers. he chugged an entire sippy cup of water in about 10 minutes (he NEVER drinks that much even over a whole day) so he must have been super dehydrated and ate a few crackers. that seemed to be what the issue was. he settled back down on jesse's chest and just as i was saying, "wow he drank that reeeeeally fast, do you think that's okay?" he fire-hosed jesse's world with most of the water. it was hilariously awful . jesse was wearing a white undershirt so it was like the most twisted wet t-shirt contest ever.

heading out FINALLY with yet another new towel to try to protect him and us.

he was great the rest of the night until it was time for jesse to go to church. so i was slated to take care of him while jesse was gone. from the moment i had him passed off to me, you would have never known anything was wrong with him. he was really tired and took an early morning nap with me, but other than that he played and laughed and walked around and was his 100% normal self. so i started thinking that he hadn't actually barfed since about midnight the night before (the 4 am hosing i was attributing to drinking the water to fast and not actual sickness...rationalization) so it had been almost 12 hours. oh i am so freaking selfish and worthless.
in my defense, it was my first ever mothers' day and i wasn't really anticipating getting 5 hours of interrupted sleep (plus p.s. i am still pregnant!). i was SUPPOSED to get breakfast in bed and then jesse taking judah to church early so i could sleep in. oh well. so i think i was already feeling a little gypped, plus i am going to claim that my judgement was impaired by lack of sleep. then i made the decision that has made me the enemy of everyone who had ever worked in childcare. i decided to take him to church for the second service to stay in the nursery so i could go home and sleep. oh i hate myself even typing that. i swear, i thought it was like a 12 hour bug and he was totally over it. if he had acted funny at ALL that morning i would never have done it. i promise. MERCY!!!
i got back home and went to bed. at about 11:45 i checked my phone which had been on silent and saw i had a missed call. from the church. i about hurled right there. sure enough, it was the nursery, judah had barfed and jesse was leading worship on stage and they needed me to come back and get him. oh wait, they left that message 30 minutes ago. by this point it was too late to go get him (jesse would be done by the time i got there) and they had been stuck with a sick baby the whole time while shitty mom had snuck away to sleep and not even gone to church. oh WHAT is wrong with me?
the rest of the day was spent wallowing in paralyzing guilt and perfectly clear hindsight. would the other kids get sick now? would i ever be allowed to use the nursery again? was i allowed to go to church or believe in jesus still or would that be revoked too? it was one of those things that seemed seriously fine on the front end and then looking back just made me go, "how could you have EVER thought that was a good idea!?!?!?!" i did write and apologize to my former friend the nursery coordinator, but i still don't think i will be showing my face in church for a few weeks. oh the shame.
judah was great all the rest of the day and active and happy and once again we would have never known that anything weird had happened in nursery at all if, you know, it hadn't. when let him have a bottle instead of just pedialyte and crackers that evening and as we were getting him in the tub and as we approached another 12 hour vomit-free span, he let the whole thing rip again. projectile out of the nose and mouth. so sad. we popped him in the tub, then gave him some more pedialyte and put him to bed. we cranked up the monitor and lined his crib with towels, fully expecting a few spells. well, he was perfect all night, only waking up for a few sips of hydration. jesse is staying home with him today and he has been perfectly fine the whole time.
i can say that i have definitely learned my lesson(s):
1. no using the nursery unless at least one guardian is ALWAYS available to extract him in an emergency.
2. no putting him in anyone else's unsuspecting care if he has been sick with in TWENTY FOUR hours (not a sketchy, rationalized twelve hours, stupid keight)
3. the days when judah is annoying or stressing me out but he is healthy, i should NEVER take for granted.
4. being a mom means you don't really get a mothers' day when your baby needs you. deal with it, your baby never signed a holidays contract.
5. being a mom is totally and completely worth it even in times like these and i love the little guy even more now that i have been baptized in his vomit.


home a phobic

since jesse got to miss out on the fiasco of the first home showing, i was halfway hoping he would at some point get to experience the madness that went into it. well, i got my wish and it SUCKED.
yesterday for the first time ever jesse left his phone at work. we rely almost exclusively on jesse for communication with the outside world since my phone will often lay untouched for days at a time. last night it sat in my purse in the kitchen and that's where it slept.
the house is a wreck. i got so frustrated that the people who loved the house after the first showing always said they were coming back to see it again with their parents but never would. for about a week, we wouldn't leave the house unless it was pristine just in case that was the day they decided to come. then the home buyer credit deadline came and went so we figured it was all over. well, this week i got lena to call those people's realtor and pretend to be me and find out wtf was going on with them since i hate the phone and don't like talking to grownups. well before she ever called fake keight back, our own realtor told us she had heard that that couple was in fact still interested and wanted to come back "sometime." still not enough to get us to clean up. the downward spiral of cleanliness continued. then judah got sick 2 days ago and when there's a sick baby, the wheels really come off at our house. i will tell you that right now there is a rectal thermometer on the end table in the living room with the vaseline still on it (please don't faint mom or lori).
so i am halfway to work this morning and i decide to look down at my phone to see if anyone called (highly unlikely). oh look, there's a text from our realtor. naturally i am not worried since she's probably just writing to tell us that the original couple is dead or somtehing plus, most showings are in the afternoon and we'd have time to go home and clean if it was someone new. oh wait, they want to come between 10-12 TODAY. as in, in 2 hours (why aren't these people at WORK!?!?). so i call jesse who is still at home to tell him that he will get to live my hell except instead of lena to help, he gets judah, and then i remember he has no phone. AHHHHHHHHHHHH.
aside: the reason we didn't just say no to the showing today is because we are only leaving the house on the market until june so we want to give it every possible chance to sell by then. since it will take the builder 5 months max to build our new house and i am due to deliver on 11/13 (and judah was a week early) i refuse to be caught homeless when this baby hits. it is going to be hard enough living outside of our own place with just one toddler running around. living with people can be very challenging and while we appreciate beyond words the dukes' letting us live with them while the new house is being built, and i know we will all survive it admirably; if i had to do it with judah and a newborn and postpartum me, everyone would end up in mental hospital and jail.
the first month or so of having a new baby mostly consists of me crying and running around the house with no bra on so that the boobs will be 100% accessible to the newborn. can you imagine me in this state at my in-laws' house, confined to just a room or two with my father in law on the premises as well? and that's not even mentioning the times when judah will be home with me too. oh my gosh i am sweating right now just thinking about that. but it won't happen because if it's not sold by june, we are taking our house off the market until after the baby is born and things settle down. our current house is by no means unlivable with two kids. also we very much want to preserve the dukes' mental image of me as "non-lunatic" and living with me postpartum would swiftly and violently disabuse them of this notion. no thanks.
back to this morning after i get the text. i swing the car around (p.s. our whole town smells like honeysuckles right now, it's amazing) and head home. jesse says, "what did you forget?" and i say, "i forgot the worst and best news ever." so we decide i'll take judah to school in 30 minutes and jesse will clean the house and mow the lawn (NOT the newspapers). we fly into mary poppins mode.
during our cleaning one of the cats comes in for the first time in about a week since we have exiled them outdoors until the house sells and promptly barfs all over the kitchen floor. thanks, buddy! i scream bloody murder for jesse who cleans it up while dry heaving to high heaven. i tackle the dishes in the sink and, oops, it looks like the pot that melted the bleu cheese and cream cheese for the buffalo dip last sunday hasn't been touched since then and has created stinky ass cheese fumes (total draw for home buyers right there). i start retching uncontrollably.
by the time i got judah out the door for school the house was looking pretty good. no rotten cheese or cat vomit...hmmm, but hopefully jesse spotted the rectal therm. jesse just had to sweep and mop and vacuum and then mow the lawn. and he had over an hour to do this. so help me, if these people don't show up, i am taking the feline-vom and the cheese and the rectal particles in a ziploc bag over to their current living quarters and leaving them under their pillows.