Minimalism by Judah: Volume 1

I would never call Judah "artsy." He doesn't lose himself in coloring or drawing or creative projects the way some kids his age do. But sometimes, he does catch inspiration and will put a lot of focus and hard work into a project.

And then there are times when he just dashes off a few drawings in about 90 seconds and they come out kind of simple and brilliant and I am cracked up.

The first time he did this was 5 months ago during a strong Ninja Turtles period. I posted that minimalist rendition on my Instagram

At first glance I thought he was just being lazy and 5, but upon closer inspection I realized these are fairly thoughtful and capture the relevant details perfectly: Raph (red) is intense, therefore the mouth. Mikey (orange) is a jokester therefore the tongue. Leo (blue) is the leader and therefore was drawn first. I even love how he ended up putting their eye masks atop their heads (nothing genius there, I don't believe, just cute and gigglesome).

Well, last night we got our next installment of our little man's highly specific form of art. He called us into his room and surprised us with this batch of sketches that, again, failed to impress me at first glance, but which rocked my world when I looked at them more carefully.

 He's not huge into detail, but what he does include is pretty cool.

Am I suffering from mommy-blindness and it's NOT totally obvious who these guys are? Can you name them?

I am not wanting him to churn out many series of these--it's such a cool insight into how his little mind works!

UPDATE: Scroll down for the answer.








It's the gang from Judah's current favorite movie, Guardians of the Galaxy (which is actually, a seriously great movie for any age...I was shocked  because I dont love Marvel).

Too bad Judah drew Chris Pratt with the mask on...and the shirt.


About Us

If you looked at the "about us" tab at the top of the blog at any time in the past 4.5 years, you would have seen that it is a general synopsis of who we are...and that it was last updated before Layla had ever breathed oxygen or escaped my uterus. 

Total obsolescence.

Once in 2013 I rewrote that page, but somehow deleted it before publishing, and was too enraged to cope.  So I just left the old one where it was, and slapped in a little PSA at the beginning: "this is so out of date it's hilarious. Layla, our almost 3 year old, is a fetus in this 'about me' page, so take that into consideration." And even that disclaimer is now woefully out of date.

This is poor form by me because when I visit a new blog I often go to the "about me/us page" to get a feel for the writer and how he or she describes him/herself in a nutshell. Anyone who may have done the same upon visiting here would have likely met a very outdated version of our family. Alas.

Thus I shall now write a new about me page. The old one is archived in August of 2010 where it belongs. 

About Us (as of February 2015)

I am Keight and I do all but 2.4% of the writing here (I calculated it).  

Here is what I looked like one day recently:

I look like this far less than 2.4% of the time.

Some census-y things about me: 

-Birthday: October 2, 1982
-Married to one Jesse Dukes since October 1, 2006
-Mother of a son and two daughters: Judah (2009), Layla (2010), and Noa (2014)
-Born and raised and stayed in Atlanta, GA.
-I have two parents who last May retired after 70+ combined years working at the private school I attended PK-12th grade and moved to St. George, Utah. No, they are not Mormon. Yes, they like to hike and hate humidity. They fly a LOT to come see us.
-I have one sibling, my brother, Tripp, who is 3 years younger than me and lives in Seattle. He looks almost exactly like me and acts almost nothing like me. If that sounds like a winning combo to you, he IS single!

Some more interesting things about me:

-I love spreadsheets. My full-time "real" job revolves around this passion. It is just the right mixture of easy and challenging and fun and zero-stressful. Be envious now.
-I played volleyball in college for Georgia Tech, where I pretty much majored in volleyball (not a real thing) because obviously that was more important than my actual Business major. Whoops. But don't worry, we were freaking ballers. 
-I started loving Jesus when I was 21, and went lots of wild and crazy and broken before then.
-My favorite ministry is marriage. I love talking about how mother-flipping hard it is and how mind-bogglingly fantastic it can be. I also love talking about being messed up.
-Passionately love: cheese, meat and sushi. Goodwill, IKEA and Target shopping. "30 Rock," and "The Office." Harry Potter, ASOIAF, Star Wars and other quality fiction. Thanksgiving, and being made fun of. Straight up authenticity/honesty.
-Violently hate: raw tomatoes, silverware scraping on plates, people touching my face, shoes touching any furniture ever, Bro Country, small talk, refilling my bobbin, the slang word for breasts that starts with a T, wet paper, capitalization (but I'm trying), one-upsmanship and douchebaggery.
-I am an outgoing introvert. I will tell you all about my perineal tear in the first 5 seconds of meeting you, but would probably always prefer being at home reading in sweatpants over being around lots of people.
-Accomplishments: I have an MVP trophy from my 6th grade jump rope team and I was voted Wittiest in my senior class superlatives (as well as "life of the party" and "biggest kid" in the jokey ones). I lay these crowns at the feet of Jesus...but I am still pretty happy I got wittiest.
-Was all about natural childbirth with my first two kids, but maybe not so much anymore.
-Sold out to Jesus; get really fussy when people use Him to push agendas other than Love.
-Lice survivor...just barely.

This is what I look like most of the time. Not the breastfeeding under a conference room table part; just the outfit/face situation.

Here is my husband:
That jacket is red and awesome. It is not Michael Jackson's from Thriller nor Marty McFly's vest. Haters to the side.
Photo by Holli Hamby

He is Jesse. 

You may know him from such things as: being wonderful and hot. See also: the biggest grace-slap in the face I ever received from Jesus. 

Things about Jesse:

-He is a professional Christian. Aka a pastor. His official title is Worship and Discipleship Minister. He also preaches about 12 Sundays a year. He's really good at his job.
-Jesse also attended Georgia Tech (we met there), but he went on a 100% academic scholarship. He double majored in International Affairs and Spanish. He only speaks English and handles local affairs these days. Oops.
-He just randomly decided to learn guitar out of the blue when he was a freshman in college, and he now is a professional musician. Um, that's cool. He's a total panty-dropper playing his guitar and singing about Jesus. 
-Curly brown hair, ice-dragon blue eyes, fabulous butt. People think lots of hot celebs look like him. They should be so lucky.
-Hates cantaloupe, feet-tickles, and boogers, and also the version of me that he first met (can't blame him...she was embarrassing).
-Morning person, people-pleaser, great athlete (like 80% as good as me), gifted listener, unapologetic pun-lover. recovered chronic shoulder-dislocator.
-Is the middle of 5 children born to two full time disciplers.
-Voted "Mr. Senior Class" by, um, his senior class. Which I am told was like Best All Around at their school. I confirm this nomination. (Fun fact: the girl who won the Miss Senior Fancypants is my friend Bethany who is my conversational soulmate, and sang  in our wedding with her talented hubby).

Here is my son:

He is Judah David. (his name means some cool things)

-Most luscious head of thick blonde (but getting darker!) hair to ever grace a preschool.
-Loves his Razor scooter, cereal with milk, being tickled, mayo, fruit, collections, reading (learning), popcorn, swimming, baby Noa, a clean room, "The Little Rascals."
-Hates: potato anything (french fries included), wearing underwear (my little covert commando), mint toothpaste, dressing "snappy" (this means jeans), being cold, seeing mommy and daddy smooch, being alone in his room with the door closed.
-Total firstborn with the drive to win/achieve/be the best/dominate all lifeforms.
-Incredibly tender heart and deep thinker both of which can be easily overlooked due to his brash, wild, stinky, upside downness.
-Was in a published book and had a song written about him before he was born.
-Used to really dislike Mommy and prefer Daddy to a heartbreaking degree until about 3 years old when that relationship blossomed into something completely magical.

Here is my oldest daughter:

She is Layla Embry. (her name means some cool things).

-Born 17 months after Judah. We almost peed our pants when we discovered (on video) she was a girl.
-Boy, howdy, is she ever a girl. Can't get enough pink and dresses and princesses and twirling and sparkles. I wasn't prepared for that.
-Freaking hilarious sense of humor and totally knows it. Will play imagination games all day long.
-Loves so fiercely (her kisses often hurt) and loudly. Is a fabulous sharer.
-Recovering paci addict.
-Chatty, chatty, chatty.
-Loves: ketchup, talking to all humans, music, being in charge, popcorn, baby Noa, getting up from the table, a different doll/stuffed animal every week, quality time/attention, hotdogs
-Hates: being tired (it hates her too...yikes), cleaning up anything, eating during mealtimes (is constantly hungry all other times), cereal with milk, being controlled when she's having emotions, buckling her seatbelt by herself.
-Had a song written about her before she was born.
-Most likely to make us die laughing and die from exasperation in a 5 minute span. Completely charming and wonderful.

Here is my baby daughter:

She is Noa Lou. (her first name means something, and her middle name came after she was born and is also very special).

-Born last October and has already broken my heart by  growing from a tiny newborn to a  4 month old!
-Is the first newborn I have been really fully able and ready to embrace the utter MAGIC of.  I lose my mind on a daily basis from being in flat out captivated by her...not even the stresses of having three are standing in the way.
-Was my hardest, blah-est pregnancy (because I already had two to chase after? because I was over 30?)
-Biggest baby: Noa was born 6 days early at 8 lbs 1 oz. Layla was this exact weight too but she was a day late...so tie goes to Noa.
-Loves: baths (has never cried in one ever ever), making and listening to mouth noises, her bamboo blankets, her hands, MILK, pulling hair, the car and car seat, sweating, assisted standing, blowing out her diaper, her siblings
-Hates: gas, tummy time, being swaddled, back sleeping, staying latched on and not getting distracted, when Layla controls her limbs like a puppetmmaster, the nosefrida (too bad because it works!)
-Has never disobeyed and is currently my favorite child.
-She has a song written about her, but it isn't recorded yet.

Here is my blog. (Its name means something special and kinda weird)

It started the way many do: as a digital baby book when we were first pregnant with our first child. It stayed that way for about a year until Jesse and I made a conscious decision to do more than survive this "simple" life of marriage and kids.

I decided to start documenting our attempts at doing more than just sitting around watching TV.  I took up sewing out of the clear blue, started trying to figure out my style (fashion and home), learned to love hating running (did a half marathon!), fell in love with DIY everything and started putting real thought into my writing (sometimes). 

I don't know how much of any of this I would have stuck with if it wasn't for the blog and the community and accountability that it has provided. Blogging (and my Etsy shop that spun off from my sewing efforts through it) has become a legit second (and third) job for me and has provided a perfect creative outlet from the spreadsheets and mommying. 

There's no real bloggy category that this one fits in because I write about a little of everything, but I hope the common threads--no matter what the topic--are humor and authenticity. The best compliment I can get when I meet someone in real life who has read my writing is to hear, "you are exactly the way you come across online." GOOD. 

As always, if there's something you were wondering that isn't covered here or in the FAQ, feel free to ask. I'm an open e-book (except for some sex and family stuff).

Great t'meetcha!



Why This Pastor's Wife Recommends Reading "50 Shades of Grey" Excerpts to Your Partner on Valentine's Day

Welcome to the first installment of "Keight Reviews of Books She Will Never Read, and then Immediately Stops Talking in the Third Person."

You may have gleaned from the title that I'm a Christian woman married to a professional minister, and, yes, that's right!--I think you and your partner absolutely should read passages* from 50 Shades of Grey aloud to each other this Valentine's Day. But not for the sexy....for the hilarity. Because if you tell me this book isn't a comedy I will tell you your pants are on fire.

Feminism/porn elements aside--for a brief moment only, because they should be/have been considered by people smarter than me--let's talk about the abuse of the English language that is running as rampant in this book as an outbreak of the STDs that it has surely contributed to.

Here are some selected favorites from the book itself:
 sourceI added my own commentary because it's just too easy and fun, but theirs is definitely worth reading too.

"I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto."  WHAT?!? NO. BAD. Why drag Karl Marx into this?

"And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain - probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells - comes the thought: He's here to see you."  I think there may be very large parts of your brain that are underused, sweetie. And from a part of my stomach where all my bile dwells comes a sensation: gag.

"My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba."  My very small intestine is swaying gently at the sight of all this crap in need of passing.

"I can almost hear his sphinx-like smile through the phone." This guy sure sounds like a raging sphinxter to me!

"His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something." FUN!: a choose-your-own-adventure simile for your readers to DIY. That's like as fun as like...something. Somebody, quick, get me a PULITZER!

"I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious - she's doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his."  Does Sherwin Williams carry Communist Manifesto Hula Skirt Red? Because it sounds like it would look real primo in my scrapbooking studio.

I mean is this butchery of the English language supposed to be part of the naughty, naughty bad girl pain? Because it hurts worse than if someone locked my brain in fuzzy handcuffs and whipped it with just horrible, horrible metaphors (as turns out my brain is old fashioned and just isn't into that).

If the writing sounds like Twilight fan fiction, that's because it is. Seriously. How on earth that fact alone didn't stop this book's publication in its tracks is beyond me. And, yes, I purchased and read all volumes of the Twilight saga in about a week. They were no Ulysses, yet they were still harmlessly, addictively enjoyable. Like delicate cardamom-dusted plantain chips...OR SOMETHINGBut as Sir Salman Rushdie said, "Fifty Shades of Grey makes Twilight look like War and Peace," so I cannot be faulted for indulging in those, right?  (to be fair: I read War and Peace last year--just to have actually done it--and I hated it, so what do I know about anything?).

Even if this was somehow a book on biblical marriage (and, spoiler alert, I'm like 60% sure it's not)--written in this "style" of prose, I would still find it offensive just for its terribleness-of-words (with phrasal gems like that, clearly I should be writing all the books). 

I was reading some lists of the top awful/ridiculous quotes from this series, and something kept tickling (in a G-rated way, I assure you) my memory. And then I found the perfect article, and it hit me (figuratively/platonically) why the syntax seems so familiar. OH! Because it's exactly the method of essay-writing that I used in the eighth grade when I wanted to sound fancy and smart like those writers from the Seventeen magazine.  

This misuse of the noble thesaurus smarts more than a riding crop.

The offense: "He puts down his cutlery and regards me intently, his eyes burning with some unfathomable emotion." Cutlery?! Who died and made you the manager of this Olive Garden, ANASTASIA!?

The fix: "He puts down his fork/knife/spoon and looks at me intently, his eyes burning with some unfathomable emotion."

The offense"To be honest, I prefer my own company, reading a classic British novel, curled up in a chair in the campus library. Not sitting twitching nervously in a colossal glass-and-stone edifice." Oh buh-ruth-er

The fix"To be honest, I prefer my own company, reading a classic British novel, curled up in a chair in the campus library. Not sitting twitching nervously in a giant glass-and-stone building."

source: Vulture (many other facepalm-worthy examples found therein)

As when I go back and read my middle school feelings journal, the constant appearance of these kinds of sentences is cringeworthy, and I am embarrassed for the author. You can just feel the affect: she was writing and decided "hmm, it's good, but it needs to sound smarter," and then just flung in a handful of highfalutin words (leaving one to wonder what exactly ended up in the editor's trashcan when all these, PLUS 183 repetitions of the word "Crap!" and 173 "Oh my's!" stayed in the published series).

It is for these reasons and many more that I am giving my endorsement for this book as date night fare: Two enthusiastic thumbs up...and directly into my eyeballs.

Such levels of LOL-inducing nonsense are sure to have you and that special someone laughing yourselves silly, and should guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy your evening. Because laughter is an even better aphrodisiac than oysters or torture[d phrases].

The only safe word you'll need when considering seriously reading this book and/or seeing the movie:  is NO...or something.

*Online. from websites that mock it.  For the love, do not spend money on this.


Noa-pdate: 4 Months

Our Noa Lou is four months old today.

We are officially calling her hairstyle a "Noahawk"

By the time Judah was four months old I had come to my breaking point with exhaustion/going back to work and so we finally sleep trained him to sleep all night in his crib in his room. We trained Layla at 3 months and never looked back.

Between months four (with Judah) and five (with Layla), my milk supply was on its way out (due to night sleeping + long workdays away from them) and I wasn't terribly upset to be done with it and independent of a little human needing my body constantly (and I was excited to lose the nursing weight).

Last night Noa was asleep in her real crib, and before Jesse and I turned in, I asked him if we should just let her stay in the other room rather than bringing her into her mini bassinet next to me, where she has been her entire life.  At the exact same time we were both like, "no way."

It feels like I've been breastfeeding her for maybe a week, and if you told me I had to wean anytime soon, I might jump off a bridge. She has never had a particle of formula (both my other kids had had plenty at this point!), and she is awful at bottles (J and L were pros) because I am simply too stingy with her!

My body is beyond weird; it's softer and bigger than ever before, but the temptation to wean (which usually drops 10-15 lbs off me with no effort) to lose some weight is nonexistent.

Because I cannot let this baby go.

She is magical and I am finally the mom who can just drown in the babydom. Judah and Layla were truly excellent and very easy babies, but somehow this one is completely different.

With them every milestone was greeted with a "finally!" but with her it's, "already?!?"

If I could rewind back to October 6th and relive these 4 months, I would do it instantly: nipples so sore I would cry, sleeping 2 hours at a time, postpartum crotch nightmare...all of it again, just to get more of her babyness all over again.

Is this what nice, loving, naturally maternal women feel like from the get-go? How do you ever get anything done?!?! The love is too much!

Maybe it's the thought that this could very well be my last baby. So with every ounce Noa grows I'm thinking, "is this baby in my arms the smallest of my babies I'll ever hold from here on?"

GOOD GRIEF! How does any mom stop having babies, ever?!?! Because knowing I could be saying goodbye to that possibility of a tinier one--FOREVER? I'm tearing up just thinking about it. 

Don't get me wrong, it's hard and mind-numbing and stressful and I could happily take 20 years off  before wanting to go through another pregnancy if mother nature wasn't so strict, but to decide to permanently close that woman who grows babies chapter is too emotional for me to really swallow. 

Is this what the rest of grown up life is like? Sad and final goodbyes to stages and seasons? 32 NO WONDER every mother of older kids constantly tells me "enjoy this; it goes by so fast."

I've spent literally my entire life planning ahead for new adventures: get my license, graduate, go to college, get married, get a job, have kids, have more kids. This is really the first time I've come up against a "this may be my last...." situation where a door could be permanently closing.

14 week old Noa next to hours-old Grady.  Seriously, I have a older model of baby!!! They become obsolete (in terms of teensy) so fast.

So instead of dreading that this may be the last of something, or trying to figure out a way where our life makes any kind of financial/spatial/mental-health sense with even MORE kids, I have decided to just for once listen to my elders and just BE HERE. To enjoy it while it lasts (even if it isn't really the last).

And man does this baby make being right here fun. She is so utterly captivating that she brings me up short about 10 times a day, and my one foot in front of the other, juspassing the hours mentality jerks to a halt, and I'm just diving down into the moment of her smile, her sleeping face, her perfect little hands while she is eating (aaaaaand now I'm leaking).

knuckle hair is love

She's just so totally who she is, and man is she perfect for us, and how did we ever go without this tiny little girly-sister?!

And with no poetic syntax or transition, here come a bunch of not extremely well-edited or lit photos and some factoids for posterity. (I always feel like no one cares about these MYBABYMYBABYMYBABY posts, and I hesitate to do them, but I love readings other peoples' baby updates and simply have to record these moments somewhere or I will forget them utterly).

I now work from home on Mondays and Wednesdays (in comparison to just Mondays when J & L were babies) and am with Noa all those days.

Noa does not go to 4-hour preschool at all the way the bigs did all 5 days from the time they were 3 months on (because our beloved school had to stop doing baby classes!). 

On Fridays Jesse is off so he is with her and brings her to me for one feeding and I pump for one (versus pumping 3 times in a row Tuesday through Friday with the other two).

Tuesdays and Thursdays God decided to be insane and give us the most wonderful homeschooling family who watches Noa from 9-4 who lives so close to my work that I am able to feed her once and pump just once on those days too.

Nursing visit at the office! Lucky mama.

*That was probably confusing but I wanted it written down so I dont forget how we managed this!

The most I ever have to pump now is one session at a time--always preceded and followed by nursing her directly. I am a terrible pumper and just do not produce well when I am away from my baby for more than one meal. When I have the baby with me, I am lactationally abundant, so this new schedule has me brimming with milk AND confidence that we will make it farther than ever before.

The smiley-while-eating phase is beyond adorable, and spills so much milk from that gaping grin! (I can't make this pc not-green for some reason).

Despite all our efforts, Noa resists the paci! She will absolutely not take it from me, and only selectively from Jesse. The nanny-fam, the Denny's, have better luck with this than we do, but it's nowhere near the silver bullet of peace that it was for Layla.

She's not totally impressed.

Noa also is not swaddle-dependent like the other two were. I was losing my mind the first few months because she would not nap unless in her carseat or on me. She would do great at night in her rocking sleeper bassinet thing, but naps were awful.

Right now she sleeps about 11 or midnight to 7 am. About 50% of the time she wakes up for a 3/4am feeding and the rest of the time she goes straight through. She might not even need the meal, but I am on autopilot in that as soon as I hear noise, I am zombie grabbing her in my sleep and shoving a boob in her mouth. She'd probably just go back to sleep in her own room, but I dont mind because I know it is keeping my supply up, and --super strange--I am just not exhausted at all with this baby and genuinely enjoy seeing her in the middle of the night. 

I don't even know who I am anymore.

I finally did away with the swaddle and  let her sleep on her side and/or belly for naps--always with me in the same room. I realize this makes me a naughty SIDS rule breaker and it terrified me at first but since Jesse or I was always present, we went ahead with it because it changed everything. We are now at the point where she can flip over anyway (using her head to propel her over...with a raging bald spot to prove it) in addition to being supervised when she's not on her back. She is weirdly content on her back at night still. 

Her star blanket and other bamboo ones like it are her everything. she will lie for an hour just cuddling, chewing on and hiding herself under these soft-as-liquid dream boats.

Jesse disagrees, but I think Noa is in the middle between Judah McSerious and Layla SmilerPants (he thinks Noa is most smiley). She does NOT mind giving you a blank stare while you act like a fool to try to make her laugh, but she also breaks into smiles for giant portions of the day as well. Her face looks like it is cracking open wide the way her adorable smile transforms it completely. She has two tiny dimples very close to the corners of her mouth whose appearance we live for.

The dimple on her left is easier to coax out than the right side. GAH they're cute!

She laughs a lot and it is just hit and miss to what gets her going, and--just like the smile--it kinda comes out of nowhere-from zero to sixty facially!

She has started cooing and babble/squeaking a TON! Every morning I wake up thinking a tiny puppy is loose in our room when it's just her in her bed happily chirruping away. She also growl/yells in an alarming way that seems like she angry, but apparently is not? Yeah.

She may be teething already. She is pretty drooly and loves chewing on her fists. recently she started sticking her index/middle fingers in and chewing on them (NOT SUCKING...I will resist finger/thumb sucking for life!). It's getting hard to grab pictures of her without her hands in her mouth.

Tools of the teething trade. Bib and Sophie the giraffe! (Hippie amber necklace coming soon once I can coax it off Layla, who has been wearing it for 4 years). Neither is as effective as her hands.

Her favorite things are: riding in the car, taking baths, looking at any iPhone screen anywhere all the time (oh, brother...), being worn. She hates shots more than any child of mine so far and FREAKED out after her first round of vaccines (I think because I didn't rub her legs afterward and she got super sore).

Being worn by Godmommy Stephie at Girls Group! Cue ovulation from the DINK girly!

Bath time is happy time.

Noa blows out every single poop no matter what size diaper it is. She poops almost exclusively sitting up while in her carseat or while being burped (I'm considering putting her on the toilet) and I think the poop has nowhere to go in this position but up the back or out the side. Many of her outfits have a permanent poop stain in the tramp-stamp vicinity. I don't mind a bit because I seriously love the smell of breastmilk poop. (She did have one most epic of blowouts while we were on vacation in Florida that deserves it's own tribute).

She is a chunky monkey with a sweet belly and yummy rolls like her sister had, but who never got baby acne (like her sister VERRRRRRY much did. yikes). She is super chill and have infinite patience--until she just doesn't. There is happy and there is enraged, with not much fussy-warning stage in between.

speaking of Layla vs Noa at 4 months. (Jesse is an undiagnosed jaundice survivor?)

Her siblings are still beyond obsessed with her and our main parenting task is keeping Layla from hurting her while trying to give her love. 

One day Noa will annoy her...that's what little siblings do. But that's really hard to believe since Layla is pretty much Noa's full time stalker right now.

Judah is the gentle papa already and rushes to her at the first sign of distress to rock her, kiss her and say, "it's okay, it's okay." If things escalate he goes, "Okay! It is NOT okay anymore!"

I posted this on Instagram and it's just one in a hundred of these moments:

caption: I told Judah to buckle up while I got Layla from her teacher at carpool line today, and was frustrated when I turned back and he wasn't yet buckled and asked why and what has he been doing? He said, "I tried to buckle, but the love power was so strong it pulled me out of my chair." I asked him to show me what he was talking about.... Apparently his love for Noa sucked him right out of obedience and over the seat! #Understandable #FullPardon #ThatsThePowerOfLove#BestBigBrother #BroMagnet

Joining us on a date. There is no third wheel on this perfectly-oiled tricycle!

Barring advancements in time travel, you can find me from here on firmly in the moment with this baby and our bigger babies too. If the door is closing forever, Imma get as much emotional baggage through it as I can first!

elbow patch PJs? ALL DAY YES

UPDATED ONE HOUR AFTER POSTING: I got home and saw a chance to grab a pic of something I wrote about above that didn't have photo evidence: 

Awwww the hand gnawing!

I went to scoop and cuddle her up and felt something strange. 

Awwww she provided a photo op for another topic I wrote about! Thanks, Noa-pie.

Those sheets had been clean and on the bed for 30 minutes when this occurred. 

Ask me if I plan to change them again.


Super Noa Sunday

As of 2014 I will forever love Superbowl Sunday and Groundhog Day. Last year they happened to occur on the same day AND this also happened to be the day that we found out that a tiny little microscopic Noa Lou was in our lives.

here is my commemorative post from this past weekend

We went to watch the game at our BFFFamily's house where I started feeling queasy and promptly barfed to usher in the pregnancy. Maybe it's mental, but this exact thing happened the day we found out about Layla (although I barfed before the test there) with pimiento cheese. I guess I barf the day I take the first test and then real morning sickness doesn't start for about a month. 

Noa's pregnancy was actually a shock since we had tried the two previous months but then decided to stop. because I really wasn't feeling like having a baby anymore. Well, whoops, I guess we didn't fully stop...everything.

We were napping after church that Sunday and one of my best friends, Natalie, was due to go into labor with her third any second and I had been thinking about her a lot. I had a dream during this nap that I don't remember the details of, but I woke up from it and knew I just violently wanted a baby.  In that same moment I felt a little twinge of nausea, but refused to get excited because my boobs were already hurting in preparation for my period. But wait...*grope, feel* are they even MORE sore than usual?

I had a test left over from the actual trying so while Jesse slept on (he gets so mad when I take tests when there's no chance of a baby...he says, "here, why don't you just pee on this $5 bill!?) I went into the bathroom to check--still 99% positive I'd be seeing a negative since there was really only one "time" that could have possibly caused it (Atlanta Snowpocalypse, anyone?)

I left it on the counter and watched as the great tide of urine wicked its way up the stick, immediately leaving behind the first pink control line and then right on its heels, the test line coming in slower but undeniably. I felt that magical swoop like when a boy you like asks you out, or before a first kiss. 

I always tell myself (when not pregnant) that when it happens I will create some elaborate surprise for revealing the news to Jesse, yet, being able to keep secrets from him for maybe 12 seconds, I've always had to immediately abandon that dream. I thought frantically in the bathroom about at least a meaningful way to let him know, quickly did some math and determined my due date would probably be early October, near our anniversary and decided to play it that way.

I went ahead and secretly video'd it too...which turned out to be the best idea.

He's saying something about me being sure I was going to start my period there at the end because I had already been a lunatic on him that day for something stupid and apologized, thinking it was the PMS demons. 

And that moment it where the dreaming of this little fuzzy bundle began. Such a beautiful mindjob to think that it was her in there, even then, making those lines turn pink, that cheese dip come flying out, and that papa of hers elated and amazed.

Cheese dip-fed, free range. Super indeed.