Thursday, August 25, 2011

We Have a Swimmer!!!

So, after a few days of screaming full blown screaming fits...he would get put in time-out and we would have to clicked.

And we have a swimmer...and a safe swimmer. He prefers to float any chance he gets. When asked by his swim teacher, "When we are in trouble (in the water), what should we do?" He responded with "pray" sweet. Water does not come easy to this child...there is lots of fear, which results in lots of tears.

He doesn't use his arms (but he has even come along way with trying to use his arms...he has the coordination of a blind monkey...sadly, he looks like his Mama), but he has some good kickers.

We practiced his jumps with him (jumping out of his bed to the floor)...he has more work to do, but he has come SO far (he would stand at the fence thinking he could jump from there, which normally led to being pulled into the pool). It is so crazy to me how things will just click with kids. We are so proud that he overcame his fear! And we are so thankful to God for meeting us in all the little things in life as well!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Judah Bear!

365 days, fifty-two weeks, twelve months, one year…a little hard to believe that time has passed, but it has and I knew we would be here one day. Unfortunately, I have a terrible memory…hence the weekly posts, but I have so many fond memories looking back…

My sweet, sweet boy…oh, how we prayed for you and how others prayed for you. God brought us through a valley to bring us up a hill…to see His glory. Our God is so good…in plenty and in want, we pray sweet boy that in God’s grace, He shows you His incredible goodness and faithfulness. He is oh so faithful…even in my faithlessness. As you’ll learn, Mama is a little bit crazy (but a lot good…remember that part)…I remember seeing Dr. M and wanting to know why I wasn’t getting pregnant and I remember him saying after taking blood, “Just watch, you’ll be pregnant and you can quit worrying about it.” Sure enough, I was pregnant. We were so excited…scared, but so excited. You were good to me from the beginning…you helped me lose ten pounds in less than two months (you were better than the swine flu). Yep, I was sick as a dog…you just waited to chase food out of me any chance you got…so, I swore you were a girl. I mean I knew you were a girl with everything in me. I had dreams about you being a girl and I was stressed out about you being a girl (yep, insert crazy Mama here)…you see, we had bunk beds and you would be sharing a room at some point and I would try to think of ways to make the room more girly…it would stress me out. My labor with you was great (long night, but not too bad) – two pushes and you were out. Your Dada, two of your wonderful aunts (who got no sleep…Mama had them come to the hospital a little too early…Aunt Cindy was asked to sit down during the labor…too funny), and the Mr. Purple Peanut got to welcome you into this world…along with our midwife and several nurses…it isn’t a party unless there are lots of peeps. And your Dada let me know you were ALL BOY…yep, ALL BOY! I was thrilled…God had blessed us with exactly what we needed…a beautiful, healthy boy! (I could stop stressing out about the room…yep, crazy Mama.) It is crazy to look back and see God’s blessing (you) upon us. You are so sweet and we love you and you have taught us so much…

We learned that babies can be textbook and sleep like twenty-two hours a day (praise the Lord!). We learned that babies can go right back to sleep in the night…you just need to leave them there and walk out. We learned that I am a quitter…and I will always be for sanity. We learned that I can pump a ridiculous amount of milk…put Shamrock to shame. We learned that newborns can overeat…like six times the size of their stomach overeat and gain two pounds in ten days (yep, an overachiever in family…we’ve been waiting for one). We learned that I can go even longer between showers…insert happy husband here. We learned that not all babies like pacifiers…no matter how many times your try…over and over and over… We learned that we HATE Dr. Brown bottles, but we are so sucked in...sigh. We learned there is no such thing as a “miracle” blanket, but there is such thing as a “miracle” swing…hello six hour naps! We learned that babies can fall out of their “miracle” swings…and amazing Mamas may not notice…sigh. We learned that “miracle” swings cause flat heads which lead to awesome helmets. We learned that even when a baby screams when he is on his tummy, it is still a good idea to leave him there. We learned that we could think of lots of inappropriate sayings for the awesome helmet and very few church appropriate sayings…we’ll lose our twelve-year-old boy minds soon enough. We learned that something may seem like it is going to be horrible, but babies are so resilient and nothing seems to bother them. We learned that Judah can totally rock a helmet…such a handsome guy. We learned that sometimes babies lose their rockstar sleep habits…sigh. We learned that sleep training is about as much fun as shoving knives into your eyes. We learned that sleep training will end, but it does feel like an eternity.

We learned that playing in pee won’t kill you…and getting peed on won’t kill you either (I should know because I get peed on almost everyday)…Judah has a thing for pee, what can I say…it could be worse. We learned that Judah has a passion for milk (a gross amount of milk). We learned that Mama continues in her crazy with the extensive research on organic vs. non-organic milk (still researching). We have learned that Judah has some fire in him, and I pray that passion grows for God’s Kingdom in mighty ways….I pray God gives me the patience to cultivate that in him. I learned that Judah likes to break necklaces…even my necklace from my wedding…insert sad face. We learned Judah has some of the best facial expressions and is over the top excited when Dada gets home from work (Mama plays a distant second). We have learned that you can pound on EVERYTHING and with EVERYTHING. We learned that food is overrated in Judah’s world, and man can live alone on milk, ice cream, and cheese puffs. We learned that Judah was able to grasp the “you are so dumb” look from a young age…I am so proud. We learned that stuffed animals can truly be violated and it ain't pretty. We learned that Judah is one happy guy and is willing to get in the thick of things. It took some time, but we learned Judah does like people and actually likes to play with others…but his best-friends are his Dada and Hubey. We learned Judah can be quite the scrapper and is willing to fight for what he decides is his. We have learned that he loves the water and we pray (pray, pray, pray) this continues. We have learned that he has the sweetest smiles and the best laughs. I have learned I could rock this boy to sleep for hours each night…and still do sometimes (yes, I do and proud of it…there is NOTHING like a sleeping baby in your arms). We have learned that God is so faithful, so incredibly faithful. We have learned that God could not have blessed us with a better fourth member of our family…we love you Judah Bear!

My baby, my sweet baby…I tear up every time I think about you growing up…of course, I see some hussy stealing you away from me (no she didn’t)! We prayed, prayed, prayed for you…and I went crazy waiting for you. You, my sweet boy, make me a better mother…you and your brother make me want to be a better mother. You have shown me my incredible selfishness, and I praise God for sanctification. I pray I will be a better mom to you everyday…be patient with me. I pray God shows you His incredible grace and grabs a hold of you from a young age. You are an amazing little boy and I cannot wait for all the world to know it. We love you…more than you’ll ever know. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

And that, is a wrap.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Yep, it was Pandapalooza this past weekend for Judah's b-day party. Judah loves his panda bear, so I thought I would run with the theme...I did as much as I could think to do and thought it turned out really cute. I didn't go crazy...I don't even know how, but I did MY best and I did it for our son. Okay, moving on...of course, I didn't get any pictures of the set-up...oh well. Good I always take mental pictures.

It was so fun celebrating Judah with our family. He had a great time and is such a sweet boy. He just gets right into the middle of it all, I love it.

As you know, summer b-day parties stress me out, but we found a great indoor place and the kids could run wild. The people at the place were great and so laid back, which was nice...we had some wild party goers. It was more of a snacks and cupcakes kind of party...I had WAY too many husband is always right.

Judah was not into his special panda cake...not one bit. Actually, I think it frightened him...I guess eating your best buddy would be scary. However, he did enjoy his cupcake.

I think everyone had can you not with kids running wild, cupcakes being destroyed, and a bounce house?!? If that isn't a party, I don't know what is!

Looking forward to a special b-day dinner with Judah Bear tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bearzo on the brink of 1

I can’t believe it’s time for the guest blogging session again. I knew this day was coming, but it always seemed so far off. Side note – your mom would want me to apologize for being a day late on your post. She would say that since I knew this day was coming for so long, that I should have been prepared to post on the regular Mondays. While I have no intention of apologizing, I will assure you my love for you is no less because I’m a day late posting this blog :) The fact that you have been part of our lives for nearly 365 days boggles my mind – some days seemed like they wouldn’t end quickly enough but looking back over the year as a whole it seems like it was only a moment. Time is a funny thing.

Speaking of time, here are some of my favorite times about you Judah, a.k.a. Bearzo:

Hearing your mom was pregnant with you - as when your mom told me she was pregnant with Hugh, I failed in being as excited as I should. I really was excited, but just didn’t want to get my hopes up yet again. Again, a lack of trust in God in this area – still a point I’m working on. Regardless of my big, fat failure, the outcome was you and for that I am most grateful (if you hadn’t figured it out, this last sentence is the favorite memory here).

Doctor visits – your mom will tell you I didn’t come to any and that I went to all of her appointments when she was pregnant with Hugh. There is truth to this statement, but don’t read anything into it. I made many of the appointments and I was there when it really counted on Aug. 23. It ranks as one of the best days of my life. Unlike Hugh, you were kind to your mom and came out in only a few pushes. You stole my heart right from the start. You should ask your mom about the purple peanut – her friend in the delivery room. Your aunts Cindy and Melissa can also recount stories. That was also a fond memory.

Band – this has dual meaning. First, you were my little helmet boy. I hated that you had to wear that band to reshape your noggin, but you were such a champ and never complained. You looked quite handsome in it and your head now is stunningly round-ish instead of flat-ish (I hope you thank us later). Second, I picked up the guitar when you were just a few months old. From the start, you were my biggest fan – you’d sit there and listen spellbound as I butchered the chords. You drove me crazy later when you were mobile and I couldn’t keep you from crawling over to me and pounding on the guitar. I think you have a future as a drummer. I hope we can one day jam together.

TV fanatic – we were so crazy about not letting Hugh watch TV. I’m sorry to say that we’ve shamelessly allowed you to rot your brain in front of the TV early on. You were hooked the first time you saw TV. One of my favorite images is you standing up against the coffee table staring mesmerized at Baby Einstein, the horrid Nursery Rhymes DVD (which spawned a family favorite - Judah the Dancing Bear). I also love when you just chill in my lap and watch a “bideo.”

Excited faces for Dada – as your mom has mentioned in the last 50 weeks of blogging, you have a bit of a fondness for me. I won’t lie – I love it. You give me the greatest excited face when you see me, whether in the morning, when I get home from work, after being watched by someone else. Your excited face looks like Hubey’s patience face – it’s priceless and warms me every time I see it.

Late night feedings – quite possibly my favorite times were the late night feedings (except the one terrible night where you wanted to pull an all-nighter together – I didn’t enjoy that night much). I don’t remember your brother liking to chill on my chest after I fed him late at night. You, however, were a little cuddle buddy. I loved it.

Adventurous spirit – you are so bold and willing to just go after anything or get into the middle of everything. Whether playing right alongside with the big kids or wanting to dive right into the pool, you just go and think later. Being more the protective one, this makes the hairs on my arms stand up – we’ll both have to work on it, but it’s wonderful.

Shower time – like your brother, I’ve given you nearly all of your baths thus far in your year of life. I’m convinced the fact that I took you into the shower to bathe you on like day 3 of your life is the reason why you became our little water baby – this is a good thing. I apologize for the fact that Hubey has peed on you now twice in the shower – I tried to prevent it, but just wasn’t fast enough. It hasn’t deterred you from the water, so that’s a good thing.

I know there were more special times, but I’ve already written more for you than I did for Hugh – I hope this helps counter any middle child feelings you might have in the future – so in the spirit of fairness, I’m going to wrap up. As I was thinking about writing this blog, I was reminded of a specific memory. I was in New York one summer and was on the ferry coming back to the city after visiting the Statue of Liberty. While sitting there taking in the sites and watching passengers, a father and son caught my attention. The boy couldn’t have been much older than 5. His father was standing and holding onto a rail and the boy was hugging his dad’s leg watching the scenery float by. The son looked just like his father – hair, face, eyes – a little piece of his dad. They just enjoyed the ride and had fun together. As I sat there, in that moment, I became excited about having children one day. I knew I wanted to be a father. Now as a father, what I realize is that moment the father and son shared was probably bookended by a crazy morning and crazy evening full of waking up early, running in circles, toys everywhere, “I can’t find it,” spilled juice, “how do you ask nicely,” messy hands on the back of the couch, “don’t take that from your brother,” back talk, discipline, crying, “I’m not tired,” and much more. Ah, children. Back to my story – that ferry ride memory reminds me that I am so thankful God has blessed me to be the father of you and Hugh. You little boy-os can certainly drive me crazy, but you are a big part of why my cup overflows. I love you Judah Bear. Happy first birthday, son.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Still Not Walking...

Yep, still no walking for Judah in week fifty! I could say he is still super close, which he is, but it doesn't matter because he has been super close the last two weeks and still cannot commit. He is his Dada...just ask Jake the story of the ring and non-proposal. He does continue to stand independently and has actually gotten to a standing position a few times unassisted. Honestly, I think I want it too bad for him...all done with the crawling. He seems a little more daring lately, so we'll see what this week brings!

So, what else did week fifty bring for Judah? Well, it brought lots of time with the AK Johnsons and other fun cousins and friends; however, you wouldn't know it since I have yet to snap a single picture. I get supa lazy with the camera at times since my children are normally never camera ready and they won't perform for the camera...oh well. It has been very fun the last two weeks to have so much family in town! He has started to pretend talk on the phone - he'll put the phone up to his ear and say "hi" would think he sees me do this all the time, but I am rarely on the would be more fitting for him to learn to pretend text or pretend send calls to voicemail. It is very cute. He started to "tease" his brother...he'll take something very endearing to his brother (like his prized letters), pop it in his mouth and then take off crawling. And he likes to look back to see his brother in total horror. Ah, the joys of a younger sibling. He also loves to knock down anything Hubey is building, which again provides for much angst for the big brother and much delight for the little brother. I guess it is payback for Hubey's torture to Judah over the last couple of months! I forgot to mention last week that Judah now has four teeth...woot, woot! He seems to be eating a little better, and we think Italian is his favorite food. We have made the transition to whole milk and he LIKES it! Yay! That is so huge for us because Hugh hated it (and still does...he says it is too thick, he drinks skim milk...yes, our doctor has explained all the benefits of the fatty milk...oh, well). And this is so great for the budget...formula is such a budget killer! I did try to transition to a sippy cup this week for his milk, which was a major fail. The sippy cups drown him...trying to find one that works...seriously thinking about spending $15 on one sippy joke. So, bottles for now. However, he looks like he might be getting a rash and I will be SUPER sad if this boy to allergic to cow's milk...he already seems to have some type of reaction to eggs...maybe he has something against farms? He continues to love to get into EVERYTHING and will keep us on our toes for sure. He gives you this look like, "did you really just tell me no? because I don't think you meant it..."...oh, I mean it...yes, I do. Even though he can be crazy and wild, he is super fun and we love all of his mischievous and sweet ways! He can always make us smile!

So, week fifty has been a little tough for me...hurt my back...most likely from falling while roller skating. Yep, roller skating...I bust out my white skates and my high knee socks and get to it...kidding. However, I do have fond memories of skating and took my AK niece and nephew...they loved it (and why wouldn't they? it is awesome). My back will heal and it is good for Judah to have to stand up for me pick him up out of his crib...and I only drop him like six inches when I lay him down in his crib...he is falling onto a big deal. Thanks to you all for your prayers and watch for our "special" guest blogger next week!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Yay for Uncle Jared and Aunt Julie!

Ugh, late again in week forty-nine! So sorry to my sweet boy…Big Surf really took it out of me and I was wiped last night. I woke up in a total panic last night and realized the blog would have to wait until today…oh well. Life will go on and Judah will continue to love his mother, and this will not be my last failure and will surely not be my biggest failure. Week forty-nine has been a big week…Uncle Jared married Aunt Julie! We are so excited for them! Judah enjoyed the wedding (from the Crying Room…he wasn’t crying, but he needed his own space to express his excitement) and sadly (not really), was booted for the reception. I love my son, but after a very LONG night before the wedding the thought of bringing him to the reception was painful…seriously painful. He did great at the rehearsal dinner, but Judah is not wedding ready and I will be the first to admit that. It will not be the last wedding he attends…God is preparing a great girl for him as I type this blog…in another forty years!

So, what else did week forty-nine bring for Judah? Well, he got to meet the rest of his family…TN Saylors and AK Johnsons! This has been a long time coming and he was very excited to meet new aunts, an uncle, and cousins…so much family to love on him, he is blessed. He really enjoyed being watched by Daniel (the oldest cousin on Jake’s side)…Daniel will be a fantastic baby-sitter one day! He continues to stand independently for longer periods of time and almost looks like he wants to take some steps…go Judah…take the steps already…say goodbye to crawling! As I stated before, he enjoyed a busy wedding filled week - he rocked the rehearsal dinner and was quite the ham. Lots of people loved on him and he was all over it, which is so not Judah. He really seems to be coming out of his shell a little more – he will go to people, smile at them…growing up, I guess. I think he prefers men over women…not sure why…I am sure I will need years of therapy to figure it all out. Two of his wonderful aunts gave him an early birthday gift…a drum set…he loves it…and so do we (with everything we have in us…we love that drum set). One day, when he is a famous drummer, I will thank those aunts for the wonderful gift. He has started doing the Indian thing (I know, so not PC) where he hits his hand against his mouth…so proud of himself. He has started this fake laugh thing and it is so funny because it is almost like he is mocking people and their “funny” jokes…ah, makes me laugh every time. He totally cracks himself up when he does it, and I love that so much too. I love seeing more of his personality come out. He will be our little joker. This kid pees on me EVERY time after a shower or bath...he waits for it every time and then laughs...too funny, but it also gets in his mouth at times...that is what you get...mess with the bull and you get the horns. He continues to “appreciate” all the love from his brother, but has really realized that we respond quicker to the “love” (torture) if he starts crying…smart baby. Hugh is very good with him, but he is a big brother…enough said. Still not the greatest eater, but he does love fruit and I think he may have eaten a watermelon rind this week…oops. He’ll be our fruit baby. He is such a sweet little guy who always has the best kisses, hugs, and smiles…so blessed!

Hard to believe he is going to be one in a few weeks. It is absolutely crazy how fast time can really go. I don’t want to miss this sweet time with him when he still wants us to hold him and love on him…Hugh told Jake the other day to go away so he could play alone with his cousins…sad day. Judah can be our baby forever! God has blessed us so much – all praise and glory to Him!