frig, y'all! giveaway 65

i thought the whole "give something away every 5 followers" would be a nice an leisurely pace that i'd have no trouble keeping up with craft-wise. then i got knocked up. any time that could be spent at new ol' sewie has now been converted into time spent sleeping, eating, or glaring at jesse for having such effective sperms.
you should know that there is a half-constructed doggie in the nook right now that will be giveaway 70, but for now in the interest of catching up to y'all (seriously, is there a new porn star named putapuredukes that is bringing you people here all of a sudden?) i am just going to go ahead and give away another $25 serenbe restaurant gift certificate. (joanna, i haven't forgotten about you...yours is in the dop kit in a ziploc bag almost ready to ship, i just have no stamps).
all you have to do to win is give us a caption for this picture below. i will be blindly judging this one this time. the real story here is that this is the aforementioned miss elsa mcdade and judah hanging out while the the mcdades were home from mexico for a while. judah started loving unassisted standing (for longer than 3 seconds) that day and particularly on elsa's bumbo tray. he also was wearing the most pimped-out outfit that we own for him and looked like a cubano mac-daddy. that's the real story, but feel free to make up your own via caption.

your caption here

here are the details...same as last time.

you can leave as many comments/captions as you wan,t i don't care. can be funny, touching, cute, whatever. i will pick my favorite and they will be the winner! if you're having trouble posting, email jesse at jessedukes (at) gmail (dot) com and he'll do it for you so that i can remain an unbiased judge.

we will pick a winner next monday evening!

so this one is kind of location-ist (like sexist but for geography) but it doesn't expire for a year so if you plan to be around atlanta any time in the next year and want a nice meal, this is for you!

maybe you've heard me a time or two mention SERENBE! yeah i'm obsessed. well before i fell for everything else, what lured me and jesse there was the food! so i am giving away a $25 gift certificate to your choice of the farmhouse restaurant or the hil. check out the menus and see which is more your style. the farmhouse is a fixed price menu that changes weekly and the hil's website shows a sample menu but they often make changes based on seasonality as well.

the fine print: there is a minimum food purchase (alcohol doesn't count towards it) of $35 before the certificate (not hard to reach you'll want to order everything). you can't use it on split checks (or on holidays @ the farmhouse), and there is 18% gratuity added to pre-discounted check.



...by the way, judah is about to cut his two FRONT top teeth. this will mean he's no longer a baby vampire (sorry, renesmee). we are thrilled that he won't be striking fear into hearts all over fayette county every time he smiles now, but we wanted to make sure we captured this, er, unique, look while it lasts. it's startling for sure, but cute in its own way.
by the way, it's okay to be a bit disturbed by this. i sort of am.
...by the way, our deutsch-bound BFF's marisa and justin are in town for a visit and they came down to our house to hang out last night. i can't even tell you how good it was to be around my BFF again. we had pizza, a blogging tutorial, and a youtube classics viewing session. it was fun to the m-a-x even though i had to watch everyone else enjoy delicious beer without me for the first time in a while.
...by the way, here are the best of our youtube picks:
-funniest in 20 seconds (even though i just found out it's a fake! here's a real reporter being hilarious)
by the way, off the shoulder with bra strap out is tres in right now
...by the way, we passed the 7 weeks mark on saturday. that means the lentlit is now a blueberry bundlet.

by the way, this was THE single most hilarious face and hair picture of me in the history of modern photography+my head. if we ever get to 100 followers and someone reminds/begs me, i might show it off.

...by the way, from weeks 4-7 we have gone from seed to legume and now we're onto the fruits.

by the way, unless you're viewing this on an iphone, i think this is pretty close to life size.
...by the way, i am STUPIDLY morning sick right now which has nothing to do with the morning and everything to do with me feeling revolting 80% of the day. the thought/smell/sight of food is utterly repugnant to me until i get to the point of pregnant starvation (aka 4 hours since last feeding) and start mentally murdering everyone in sight and then we just shove whatever is in reach down my gullet until my pregnant alter ego, jabba, is sated for about 10 minutes and slightly tolerable to be around. then we start the cycle all over again.
this is killing my couponing because i can't go to the grocery store. i also have to take like 3 naps a day just to get by. not complaining. this is what it was like with judah until week 10, so apparently this is a part of our recipe for making perfect dukes children.



let me tell you why yesterday was a good day. in no particular order:

did you ever wonder what happened after wall-e and eve fell in love and lived happily ever after on a newer, greener earth?

evidently, they got. it. on! and had this precious robot sprog. called wall-eve (by me), this robot grew up tall and grew up right with them indiana boys on them indiana nights and THEN decided to enter the exciting medical field of obstetric imaging.

i met wall-eve for not the first time yesterday at my first OB appointment for baby #2 (as yet un-dorkily nicknamed). i had never noticed the family resemblance until yesterday probably because i am normally talking to jesse instead of looking around the room for disney characters' offspring. there was no jesse to talk to because he was in the air between boston and atlanta at this point. yes, he took a trip to mexico and due to the beauty of the standby system, got home by flying mex->nyc->boston->atlanta and just missed the appointment. not a huge deal, but yeah kind of, since he has been to every single other OB appointment we have ever had and i just feel like we are sending the wrong message to this baby. we are not, "oh it's the second one, who cares" type of people. nay, we want all the attention and hoopla we had with judah and then some.

you may have noticed wall-eve has two left appendages. one is the more traditional ultrasound that they show in the movies. the other is probetastic and you don't find out about until you're newly pregnant and it's too late to turn back. wall-eve and i now know each other well. and i mean know in the biblical sense. because this babe is the size of a lentil (bf natalie called it a little lentlit) they couldn't see it through my abdomen (they couldn't even see it through gisele's though, y'all) so i got the wrong end of the magic wand treatment.

the good news is that you can tell this kind of ultrasound is very thorough. i mean there's nowhere to hide extra babies from this thing. so i am very pleased to tell you that we are having: ONE BABY! yay! this may not seem like a big deal, but it so is. i was really feeling a twin vibe lately and fraternal twins run on my side of the fam (aka chicks in my family are prone to shooting out two eggs in one month). i have 3 sets of cousin twins and they all happen to be boy-boy sets (that is just crazy luck, not genetics). instead of constant nausea like with judah i have been feeling not-stop faint with this one. like, not just standing up real fast makes me dizzy, but even reaching over to answer the phone at work sends me straight to swoonsville. i feel like a total sissy and it was making my suspicious that i had 2 parasites instead of just one. but those fears have been allayed for now.

the circular thing is the yolk sac and the little puckered-lips looking thing to the left is the actual baby

totally looks like a piranha plant from mario brothers

and then immediately after the appointment i was off to pick up jesse at the airport. at this point i was running on EMPTY, you guys. four straight days of working full time, taking care of judah, the house, and the animals really just kicked my ass. nights were like POW torture for me. i normally sleep with earplugs in since i am a light sleeper and jesse is an awesome husband who will take the rare night episode from judah, but since it was just me i didn't this use them week. well, my newly liberated night-hearing was treated to every dog bark, judah noise or sleep fart in surround sound HD quality that jolted me out of sleep in a frenzied panic.

judah normally sleeps from 7 to 7 no sweat so i was so confused and beaten down when i was up at 12, 2, 4 and 6 with him these nights. he wouldn't even take bottles and it seemed to be pissing him off that i was coming in there when he would cry. if i had had my wits about me i would have realized that he wasn't really waking up when he was crying, but just doing a little twilight sleep action before settling back down. this is sleep training 101 and i missed it beacause i was so afraid of messing up by myself and leaving the little guy wailing all night. well last night he was a dream again with jesse on call and i got to sleep from 10 to 6.

i don't have a picture of the happy airport reunion because at that point i could hardly stand up, much less remember a camera. i texted jesse that he was not allowed to show his face at the top of the arrivals escalator unless he had a cheeseburger in his hands because its was 3:30 and all i had eaten all day was a cup of rice (i really was like a POW). after a joyous hug i traded him his firstborn for the cheeseburger with zero hesitation and then all was right in the world: k8+cheeseburger, jesse+son. judah wasn't as excited as i thought he'd be right when he saw jesse but he was also really hungry and had just woken up from a nap so we got the full blown daddy-love giddiness about 15 minutes later. it was outrageously precious and enough to make jesse never want to leave again (that's what i'm for!). single parents, you are heroes.

this is a picture of the goodbye. on monday morning

and the last reason yesterday was great is because it was judah's 10 month b-day! saying i am pregnant and have a 10 month old sounds so much less scary/insane than being pregnant with a 9 month old, so birthday bonus for mommy as well.

judah at the wheel. 10 and 2 o'clock

and here's last saturday's picture of 6 weeks with a lentil (starting to regret that whole documenting-every-week-with-a-belly-picture-no-matter-how-early idea).

no more excuses, let's face it, this is just what i look like



judah's in pj's pretty much full time these days since we became addicts of the little old navy 2-pieces. i blame our hand-me-down benefactor goddess, kristy, for getting us hooked when we inherited a pair of football ones from her son and judah bromantic interest, the drooble. we have monkeys, robots, aliens and cars. they are so soft and the best part is that they provide instant belly and footsie access as well as precious little big man action because they are 2 separate pieces that make him look like a little 3 year old.

they aren't capris; they're just riding up due to excessive crawling. in the driveway on saturday beside our beastly loaner of a tahoe that the dealership gave us since our 14k mile old transmission went 100% kaput. we definitely aren't complaining since it's 100% free and the tahoe is big pimpin'


i did it all for the nookie

as in the craft-nook! oh baby. since i am an idiot i didn't realize how awesome the transformation would be so i don't have hideous "before" pictures to show you how bad of a situation we had going on pre-makeover. go ahead and assume that it looked like and episode of TLC's Hoarders: Buried Alive and that will make the end result extra impressive for you.
our guest bedroom has always been just barely able to even be called that. it has a futon in it with some sheets on it so it qualifies just my the skin of its dust ruffle (yuck, there probably is a lot of dead skin cells in there too). really it is the junk room. if our house was hogwarts, harry would have hidden his inherited potions book in there (can i just note that i TOTALLY knew the diadem of ravenclaw was in there in book 7). everything that doesn't really have a place in the rest of our house gets chucked in this room. we have never done anything to decorate or spruce up this little slice of purgatory. (don't you want to come be a guest at our house TONIGHT!?!?)
in the corner of the room was this stupid purchase of a little desk that we made when we first moved in when we had dreams of a "study" and a" home office." at some point i inherited my brothers old college computer and it went on the desk along with a nasty snarl of random cords all behind it. since we have a much nicer laptop in the living room, the big black desktop beast NEVER got used and i became confused as to why we had it and why it enraged me every time i laid eyes upon it.
on top of this, all of my sewing stuff had been living in the living room (nice). this was so i could watch TV and hang out with jesse while i did my sewthang. when not in use, all my fabric, tools and other sewing accoutrement was shoved into corners, under couches and beneath tables. this gave the room an appearance of never really being tidy even when it was. claw my eyes out with annoyance.
so in anticipation of trying to sell the house we did the old two birds one stone routine and gutted all the old desk inhabitants (donating them to our church) and made me a little craft nook. now the living room looks so much less cluttered and i don't have stress every time i see and old computer junking up our guest room for no freaking reason. de-cluttering is seriously good for the soul. plus i built a pretty groovy nook, if i do say so myself. i am kind of in love with it.

notice the paintings. the matching 3 are a set i made with my buddy grayson one day when we were bored and the one on the left is one he painted for us for christmas this year. also my business degree from georgia tech, you know, for the irony.

the first project to fly out of the nook was a new ironing board cover. due to some adhesive mishaps, judah food stains and generally poor upkeep, this thing looked like colonial-era toilet paper and was all sticky and scratchy. plus the design was so blah and not worthy to be in my nook (in any sense).

before...yucky snore

i whipped out my trusty copy of ye old 101 one yard wonders sewing book and a repurposed receiving blanket that i LOVE the pattern of (from judah's godparents dan and lukas) and used the string and cord-stop hardware from the old cover and had this sucker churned out lickety split while jesse and i watched tech's first round ncaa tournament win (the futon is very accommodating in couch form for a supportive husband who can watch TV and cheer me on).
AND i recently bought a fresh and lovely pack of new cloth diapers to make some snazzy burp cloths to try to sell on etsy or make for friends. i couldn't really commit to a letter or monogram to put up for sale without having an order first, but i couldn't just make up some random lettered model to show off. then i remembered we were going to meet little miss elsa lynn mcdade the next day.
elsa is the adorable daughter or our good friends nate and erin mcdade who are missionaries in puebla, mexico, where i did a semester of campus ministry as an exchange student while jesse was in spain. elsa is almost exactly 3 months younger than judah and a fellow blog subject. since we were too lazy to cook and bring something to their welcome to the USA fiesta, i figured a crafty gift would suffice.

awesome initials. i like to call her "ELMer" in my head.

i was so proud of this little number that i considered changing judah's name to Euclid Lamentations Musselman just so i could steal the burp cloth and keep it for myself. it's kind of pristine.

in a hilarious twist i forgot the cloth when we left for the party, but luckily jesse is with the mcdades in mexico as we speak since he was leaving for a church trip there anyway so he got to deliver it. this of course has left me as a single mom whose morning sickness decided to show up 3 hours after i put husbo on the plane.

only in pregnancy do i have the kind of explosive vomiting that leads to picking bits of my dinner from between my toes afterwards. but throwing up also is the only thing that gets rid of the yucky sickness, so i will pinky-floss mongolian beef all day long if it means i get to feel instantly better. let's all hope that jesse makes one of the flights tomorrow so that he can be home for our first OB appointment on thursday (think single-baby thoughts!) and so that he can rescue me from this really difficult phase. once again, single parents, y'all are my heroes.


wassup, shotty?

we started judah's vaccinations on friday. yup, he never had a shot before almost 10 months old. we aren't anti-vaccine or fraidy cats or down-with-the-establishment hippies or anything like that, we just wanted to make sure that we had a peace about what and when we started injecting into our baby. we wanted to have time to do a little bit of research and a lot of praying before deciding the route that felt best for us.
until now judah has been able to go to preschool because we signed a religious exemption waiver rather than bringing in his vaccination records. you don't have to say what your religious reasons are for waiving vaccines, but for your edification, ours were that god gave us this tiny perfect little human and trusted us to do our best with him while we have him and a big part of that for us was wanting to feel at ease about his vaccine schedule before starting one. whatever, 99.9% of people have no issues with this and do it just like the doctors recommend and their kids turn out fine. jesse and i did. i'm sure judah would have too.
maybe we fell into the fear-mongering trap of some (now proven bogus) studies said that vaccines cause autism. or the freak one in a million allergic reaction that some kids have to certain shots. maybe we were freaked out about instances of mercury and other sketchy preservatives that are used in some vaccines. perhaps we were uneasy about him getting shots into his bloodstream before his blood/brain barrier was 100% formed. we were certainly nervous about the fact that a tiny newborn gets the same dose of vaccine as an adult would. whatever our reasons for feeling unsettled, there is TONS of info out there that is screaming that vaccines are the worst thing in the world and just as much screaming that they are the best thing in the world. it's pretty overwhelming and confusing, but we finally got to a place somewhere in the middle and came up with a schedule and selection of shots that we feel really good about.
i am FAR from a medical expert and i have done much less vaccination research than a lot of moms i know, but for us we felt like when it involves injecting things into our baby, we'd like to get all of our questions out of the way BEFORE hand. this is such a crazy and controversial subject because it involves us as parents making decisions about our babies that could harm them either way. people get incredibly riled up and take things very personally while defending their decision and/or reviling the other side. in the end if judah gets measles because we didn't vaccinate him OR if he has a horrible neurological reaction that is 100% proven to have been cause by the vaccine, we are not going to get arrested for being crappy parents and we are still going to be the ones loving him and taking care of him through everything. so yeah, we love modern medicine and we love our baby. we hate the drama. end of story.
technically, beginning of my real story. sorry for the sidelong rant.

so yeah. i was 100% cool with the vaccines. now the needles in my baby i hadn't really taken the time to think about. so all week i was so scared and having rabid butterflies performing "stomp!" in my stomach every time i thought about us pinning him down so we could inject him. horrible.
wait, you're taking me to the doctor to do WHAT? no, i think i'll just hold on to these keys.
it didn't help that we were smack in the middle of his nap time when we went to the appointment so he was already in the 90th percentile for crankiness.

before the toe-prick for the hemoglobin test (he had one heel-stick before when he was a few weeks old to test for jaundice but the old boob made him forget that pain in about 1.3 seconds. now that he's weaned himself, i think whipping it out would be less than comforting and slightly creepy)

judah freaked out when his toe got pricked. it was a horrifying sign of things to come. he bled his band-aid right off and was just so pissed at the world.

bleeding all over daddy and his 2nd band-aid.
so then he had his checkup. we were pumped to find out he is 50th percentile in weight and 75th in hieght. the doctor even said "long and lean." at least one person in our family should be. but you would have thought the little ear flashlight was a syringe plunging through his eustachian tubes the way he went nuts. he just can't stand being messed with or being restrained. it was sad; even knowing that it didn't hurt one bit and knowing what was coming next.
assuming the position
i took his arms and jesse took his legs. right away he started fussing because we were falsely imprisoning him. with my head right down by his i watched the needle go into his chunky little thigh. time stood still. seriously it seemed like it took a year for her to depress the plunger. meanwhile judah went straight from fussing and struggling to tomato-faced silent screaming as we kissed him and tried to calm him. i almost passed out in this moment. right about the time the second shot went in his other leg was when the first tsunami of tears and wailing hit the audible spectrum for the human ear. so loud. then the second needle was out. band-aids on and into our arms.
as soon as he was off the table and in daddy's (of course) embrace he was fine. he stopped crying and did the pitiful little sniffle with bottom lip out recovery routine while holding a favorite binky and clean urinalysis cup.
jesse is not strangling him.
he didn't get a fever and he wasn't noticeably sleepier. we were vigilant about rubbing the injection sites and bicycling the legs to avoid soreness. he didn't even cry when i took off the band-aid and some of his little peach fuzz with them (even daddy cries when i do that to him).

no longer in pain, but still dreadfully offended
all in all it was a very reassuring start to the vaccines for us as parents who had wavered and wondered if we were doing the right thing. he was a trooper and still think i'm gonna be too busy that day to go with jesse and him to the doctor.


lil' saint nickname

i realized recently that we call judah any number of ridiculous little baby names when we are engulfed by his charms and at our schmoopiest. here is a delightful and embarrassing smattering of our cutsie monikers.

-stinkler pinkler (binkler dinkler sometimes tacked on as well in formal situations)

-sugar boogers (ew. that's a guess, we haven't actually confirmed that this nickname is accurate)

-tiniest of creatures

-judahler doodler

-binky bear

-turd burglar (though he doesn't really burgle them as much as leave them behind)
-judah muffin


-monkey butt

-judah buddha belly smelly

-love munchkin

-my sweet angel pie (oh yikes, that one hurts to type)

-tiny guy

-boo boo bear

-littlest buddy (stolen)

-schmoopster poopster

can you blame us?

got any hilariously embarassing pet names for anyone in your life?


peep the progress update

kind of glad a bunch more of y'all haven't participated in this b/c it's a BITCH to update. but here it is.


newest to hit the standings is my long lost friend from middle and highschool who runs a very popular blog about her life as a displaced georgia peach in the big apple. reading this makes me very jealous that i am not a single chick with a pimp job in the NYC, such a cool perspective on a life that started in the same place as mine (the hood) and yet has gone in such a fun and different direction (freedom, a career, etc.). she didn't actually email me the results of her cooking but she did do an entire recipe post of her own based on the "will you accept sexual favors in exchange for that?" pork chops. so i put her on the graph without her permission.

jesse's amazing meat (snicker) on display in a city neither of us has ever really been to...cool.

and what did miss milltini have to say about her meal?

We tried it a few weekends ago, and it most certainly did not disappoint. VOILA! A very yum chop with a surprise ingredient!

and if you read today's earlier post about lena keeping judah, you will know that she pity-partied her way to one sympathy point on the graph. see her submissions here.

second overall to send hers in a while ago was mrs. joanna futurewade. she blew me out of the water with 3 completed recipes. at first she only got credit for 2.5 since she wasn't IN any of the pictures and didn't write her review on 2 of them. but she smelled the finish line (hint: it smells like meat). i now have pictures and reviews (including a bonus meatloaf review), which makes joanna the first of what will (hopefully) eventually be two winners. she selected as her prize something that wasn't really allowed but whatever. she wanted a new toiletry bag and she wanted to meet judah.

with her leftovers in the lovely breakroom at work

Meatloaf - Thanks to Mariah's warning, I was very gentle with the chili powder, crushed red peppers, and cumin. If you just sprinkle a tsp or so of those, it doesn't taste like taco meat. I also used turkey bacon on top because I have high cholesterol, ha :-) This turned out to be so delicious and I really felt proud of the creation. Meatloaf is a staple meal and I felt like I accomplished something inside of me at the same time I was making it, as though I'm slowly becoming a wife, one meal at a time! I had a hard time touching the meat with my hands, so I used a spoon to mix it all around. The meat and eggs and junk just grossed me out. I served with cornbread, zucchini fries, peas and it was delicious! I topped it with bbq sauce and that was probably my favorite part. Brian liked the onions and requested more next time. So I'm really really happy with the meatloaf recipe! I feel like it's mine now!!

and joanna's meatloaf which looks a little more appealing than mariah's grizzled pic.

her initial review of the 'loaf:

It definitely tasted like meatloaf!!! Not taco meat. I used a teaspoon of chili powder, crushed red pepper, and cumin. Brian actually asked for more onions and mushrooms next time... crazy. I used bb [end of email]

[new email]

Excuse me, I didn't finish my sentence: I used bbq sauce on top and I LOVED it. I felt like a real wife making some real yummy comforting meatloaf, cool!

this girl knows the way to my heart; she also sent me a pic of the meatloaf before it was cooked, upon which she tried to make the bacon spell my name in roman numerals. just call me "KIIX", y'all

parmesean zucchini fries

Zucchini fries - I like them and make them all the time! But I prefer to dip them in honey mustard. Brian doesn't really like them because of the breading, but that doesn't bother me because I just make a veggie for him that I don't like... such as peas (gag).

mt. olympus dip of the gods

Greek orgasmo dip - This was my 3rd and unfortunately worst attempt at the greek orgasmo. I used roasted red pepper hummus which was lovely, but I just overdid the veggies on top. I think it's better when the hummus is a big deal. I need to fix that veggie-hummus ratio. I loaded up the veggies and the olives, onions, and others and it just overpowered everything. I also made it the night before our party... and it got so juicy and mushy by the next day. Next time I will make it fresh and eat immediately. I think I should've really dried out the red peppers and artichokes more and it would've been less juicy. I'll also make it with black olives next time because I didn't like the kalamatas. But the two times I've made this dip before, I've LOVED it and DEVOURED it! Grape tomatoes were awesome on top as another layer!

so here's what joanna shall be receiving for this particular giveaway (not including the myriad others she has lately won)

the flaccid handmade, crafty prize that joanna is receiving. its technically a shoe holder for your suitcase, but it looks pretty dop-ish to this girl, so it will do. if you have sharp eyes you will also note my as yet incomplete NCAA march madness bracket and a $5 off KY intense pleasure coupon (those babies don't come from just praying together, y'all). is there a personality test that you can do based on the contents of your desktop?

and the first result to hit my inbox was from mariah who made the meatloaf before the contest even started. mariah should be on the board with 2 points, but her good buddy, the daughter of zeus herself, miss lightening bolt katy b. got sick on the night they were gonna have porkchops together so that got derailed. and they have since started a comment-wall feud because mariah said katy was "lesser-known" than her infant son. so who knows if those friendship chops with ever be seared? DRAMA! here's her first submission:

so I totally made your meatloaf last week. Does that count? Here is the review: It tastes nothing like traditional meatloaf although the texture is the same. It tasted like taco meat. My only criticism is that it was WAY spicy (especially to a 2 year old). I am pretty wimpy but Noah even thought it was hot. I think it was the red pepper flakes. It made a ton of food. Last night we broke it into pieces, added black beans and cheese, and turned it into quesadillas and they were SO good. I really want to try the Jesse's "will you accept sexual favors in exchange for that?" pork chops. I'll let you know what Noah offers, I mean thinks. (haha) .
besides being completely hilarious, mariah makes several great points. #1: the meatloaf is pretty spicy. but this could be helped maybe by lessening the amount of chili powder or omitting the red pepper. #2: "it tasted like taco meat" might not seem like a compliment to y'all, but from mariah to me, i think it is. mariah pointed out a while back how my frugal february meal calender designated taco night as; "TACOS!" so she knows that's a positive thing. i hope. #3: it makes a crapping TON of food. either half the recipe if you don't have another idea for the leftovers (love mariah's idea of quesadillas rather than mine of eating if for lunch the next 10 days).

yikes, mariah, great photography. really makes you drool and want to cook this immediately. (note: you're supposed to put yourself in the pic too, or at least something that tells me the pic is truly yours)


cause i'm not just crafty with the needle and thread, but also with the spreadsheets and charts, i added a little gadget (the picture of the graph under the giveaway info) up and over there ----> to show the progress of our giveaway #55.

since the 2 winners will be the first 2 folks to send me pictures of themselves with any 3 recipes from this blog (including at least one from the giveaway post), i wanted everyone to be able see where they stand in the race to 3. this may end faster than would necessitate a graph, but i am a nerd and really enjoy excel.
if you are going to send them, send them in as you make them instead of all 3 at the end so that we can watch the race unfold! even if you only make one thing and don't care about winning, i would love to hear your opinions and see your pics!

on the hunt

while we were on our night away in utopia a few fridays ago, judah spent the night with his stateside pair of godparents, lena and elliot. like a good godmother, lena sent plenty of pictures and relayed some awesome stories. i guess this would sort of count as guest blogging.
so here's lena's report/captions/stories from the first night judah ever spent away from blood relatives. i found her take on things pretty hilarious. i could just hear her relating these tales in her dulcet tones. i should note that i had told them that either one could take a bath with judah since he really likes company in the tub, but that elliot had to wear trunks if he went in (on the off chance that he might put daddy to shame) but lena could do whatever she wanted. so here we go....take it, lena (in blue):

the spend the night party just made me love him more and we would let him spend the night whenever!

Elevator only for me, please

I will not smile until Lena takes a shower (bet you wish you could detag a blog! but good chin down action)

Well at first I was def not going to take a bath with him. I thought people would think I was some crunchy granola hippie thing. So i put him in the bathtub and I was going to give him some time to play with his toys in peace before the soap attack while I sat of the toilet and read trash magazines. And I mean I guess bath time with mom is something that he is totally into because he was not going to have me not in the bathtub. He kept reaching for me...wouldn't play with his turtle that is normally pictured on the blog and started doing his fake whine thing he does...so I caved and was like, what the hell I'll be a crunchy godmother and got in....so of course we were in there for like an hour and the kid didn't want to get out after that.
And don't worry Judah brought some secret hidden cheerios in his hand to bath time. At first I was like, he did not just shit in here?!? and then I figured out that it was just cheerios that he clinches in his fist in case he wants any later and we won't give them to him.

Baby Einstein with Elliot

Aren't I just the cutest kid in the world? now give me your camera.

OH I almost forgot. I of course was the only one to change Judahs diaper. Elliot wanted to help in his heart so he was always right there just chatting it up with judah and hanging out. On one diaper change diaper judah had dropped a huge one. we weren't expecting that and elliot was right up on jbug when I opened the diaper. Elliot immediately started seriously dry heaving it was unbelievable funny and he was heaving and holding his nose and crawled his way all the way to the opposite side of the living room behind the couch. I was laughing so hard that I had a hard time with the diaper change...and Judah thought it was sooo funny too. I didn't get any pictures of this unfortunately. bum out.

I can trick you into feeding me real food before bed time if I scream enough and there is nothing my mom can do about it.


what else...oh yeah I think that I'm going to be playing the role of Jesse whenever me and elliot have kids. When Judah did his 5 30 scream-wake-up elliot was like "Judah is awake you might want to go get him" and I just layed there like I was actually going to be tough and not get him...I even hit elliot on the face with a pillow. But of course Judah was awake for like 45 seconds and I went and got him and started taking pictures of him (the one on the bed) and put him on the bed so he could play right between me and elliot....mainly so elliot wouldn't be asleep...and then we all feel back asleep in the big bed for two hours it was totally glorious.

Judah LOVES being awake a 5:30am, don't you?
"lena could you please put down the camera and come play with me? alright I'll just come take the camera from you. "
Other than that we played with the blowup ball, smashed cheerios into my floor, watch baby einstien, went to breakfast on saturday (which we are normally in bed and miss) and went for a walk...I needed the backpack.
okay that's all I have a meeting to go to...don't judge my grammer (sic) or spelling I had to do this super fast and I'm dumb.
since I haven't had time to make your recipes I have included some past dinners of mine....maybe this could put me at 1 meal?

so we have some pork tenderloin with fig sauce
tortellini with veggies (wine on a weeknight!?!?! lushes!)
and a chocolate trifle

I'm never going to win. I'm going to the grocery store today though and might pick up a few items.
fantastic. i hope you enjoyed lena's prose as much as i did.
and, yes lena, you can have 1 point towards the cooking giveaway for this amazing (the cooking) and pathetic (non-sanctioned recipe attempts) endeavor. well played.


daddy envy (video fixed)

my son is in love. when he sees the object of his adoration, everyone and everything else around him ceases to exist. no matter what's going on, when judah sees his obsession walk in the room, a huge smile breaks out on his face and it's like the freaking glorious appearing. i never thought i'd have to give him up this fast, but he's already given his heart away utterly and completely.

judah is a daddy's boy 100%.

many family pictures end up like this, with judah starstruck by his papa
let me say right now that this is not a problem. if i could pick any person in the world for judah to be in love with and adore, it would be jesse. not just because he's his father, but because of what kind of father he is. i just sort of wish that i had a little of that mojo for myself.
we learned in birth class how important the first hour with your baby is. skin to skin contact, breastfeeding and snuggling all do things on a chemical level to start the bonding process between the mother and the child on the outside. you don't know this because neither jesse nor i have gotten around to finishing the birth story, but pretty much right after judah came out i was taken away to the operating room because i had the pleasure of sustaining a "complicated tear." i did hold him first and breastfeed him right away, but i think it was only about 5 minutes. the next time i saw him it was 2 hours later when i was waking up from the anesthesia. luckily he was in jesse's arms this entire time just as we had planned if anything went wrong with me.
2 hours old. first real snuggle.
do i think that has anything to do with judah's daddy preference now? no, not really. but of course i wonder. if i hadn't gone all she-hulk on the pushing and had done it in less than 7 minutes, would i have avoided a crazy tear and been able to stay with judah the whole time? who knows?

pure daddy time the first 2 hours of life

what i do know is that there are instances where i am definitely not enough for little man. last week jesse brought him by my work for a visit and the bug was being what we like to call a "cranksta wanksta." even when jesse was holding him he was whining and fretting. then i wanted to snuggle and try to calm him down thinking that since he hadn't seen me all day i would have some special powers. so jesse handed him to me. he. started. shrieking. jesse is really sensitive about my mommy feelings, so he said, "yeah, he was totally doing this before with me too." so sweet. but then i walked within arms reach of jesse and judah lunges all the way out of my arms, screaming and starts grabbing desperately onto jesse's shirt front. it was so precious, painful and awkward all at once. as soon as he was with jesse he stopped screaming. ouch, my heart. poor jesse just looks embarrassed and apologetic. geez he is so caring!

i'll never let go
another theory we have as to why judah is so dad-tached is because jesse is "the rescuer." due to our work schedules, it is ALWAYS jesse the gets him from preschool. so if he has had a bad day or is homesick, it is daddy that takes him from a stressful situation to a comforting one. by the time i come to get him it just a parent to parent transfer and is no big deal. and jesse was the rescuer for the first months of morning wakeups after judah started sleeping through the night because he's an amazing husband and let me sleep later. so it was always him that judah saw in the mornings after a night alone.

the rescuer arrives at school!

i realize that at some point when he's older judah will certainly fall in love with me and maybe even become a mama's boy for a while. when that happens i will probably wish that someone besides me could soothe him from time to time. i just always thought that from birth to toddling, babies were more attached to their moms because of the whole living in me for 9 months and then breastfeeding for almost 6 more thing. maybe that was wrong to assume.

less than 2 months old and already enamored.

once again, it's a self-esteem issue. i feel like less of a mom when i can't "fix" judah with just my mommy-mojo. it's embarrassing in public when i have to hand him off to jesse for the save and most of all it breaks my heart that the attachment to me just seems to sort of be lacking whenever daddy is in sight. don't get me wrong, judah loves me and we have a ball together and in a contest between me and the world minus jesse, i win 100% of the time in judah's heart, but there is definitely a preference that comes out when times are tough and mommy and daddy are both available and that's what hurts.

newborn nappy time with his awesome jaundice tan

maybe it's just a boys and daddies thing. maybe it's because i'm a full time working mom and he's so young. maybe it's because i didn't eat enough broccoli when i was pregnant. maybe it's just a phase and he will go defcon mommy soon enough. right now though it's the most bittersweet thing in the world. i try not to get jealous or frustrated or all 3rd grader, "fine, judah, i don't like you either!" *sticks out tongue.* the kid doesn't know what he is doing and he doesn't have the subtle vocabulary skills to realize how cool i am. it will come.

while i hope that i can be a loving comforter for my son(s) no matter their age, i will always choose jesse as their role model, mentor and idol. but that doesn't mean i have to love it when he crawls gleefully out of my arms. and maybe discovering the letter M sometime soon wouldn't be half bad either.

yeah, buddy, i know. "da-da" is pretty awesome.