Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Series of Smiles

Just a little bit ago I bent down to pick Jude up and take him with me
to go get Emma who had just woken up from a nap.
She loves it when he comes to get her.
I was about to scoop him up when all of a sudden
I got blasted with the most adorable series of baby smiles I have ever seen.
I'm so glad my phone was close by.  Apparently he likes to go get 
his Sissy just as much as she likes him coming.

I am truly blessed.  I absolutely love my life.  

The Life of a Big Sissy

A very precious memory that I will forever hold in my heart.
I'm so glad I was able to capture it.

Emma was very excited when she came 
into the living room and found Jude laying on the ottoman. 

A few minutes later Jude decided he had had enough tummy time 
and was letting everyone know by crying.  Emma was clearly concerned...

...so this was her attempt at soothing her baby brother.

I love my babies.

Our Little Pacifier Baby

I'm not a big fan of pacifiers.  Well, let me rephrase that.
I'm not a big fan of walking, talking toddlers who still have pacifiers.
It's just one of those things that drives me crazy.  Everyone has something
and that is definitely one of mine.  Always has been.  I'm not all that crazy about babies with 
pacifiers either, but I wouldn't say it bothers me like it does with toddlers.
I would rather see all the beautiful smiles and hear all the sweet coos 
that a pacifier could potentially hide.

With Emma, the husband and I both agreed that we weren't even going to go down
the pacifier road.  We simply weren't going to offer her one.  The main reason for this decision was because we didn't want to go through the fight of taking the pacifier away once she got older.
I've heard plenty of horror stories from parents about when they tried to break their kid from their beloved paci.  Our thought process was how can she want something
she's never had.  Plus, both children and parents survived for hunders of years
without the luxury of a pacifier so surely we could do it too.

And we did.  Emma never took a pacifier.
I will admit that there was one time when we gave in 
and tried to give her one.  We were back home for a few weeks.
We were all extremely tired from the long trip and Emma of course had 
her days and nights mixed up.  That was to be expected from a baby who just
traveled half way across the the world, but we could not get her to sleep for anything.
Nothing worked.  Not rocking.  Not feeding.  Not walking.  Not music.  Not bouncing.
All the tricks that worked here at home were completely useless when we were back in the states.
I think four of five different people tried to get her to sleep and no one was successful.
Joshua and I were just as tired as she was so we finally decided to try a pacifier, 
but Emma wanted nothing to do with it.  She wouldn't even entertain the idea of it.
She immediately spit it out, which now I am thankful for, but at the time
that's not the way I would have described my mood.
Either way, we have made it seventeen and a half months
with Emma never having a pacifier.  

We assumed the case would be the same for Jude Scott.
We didn't buy pacifiers in anticipation for his arrival.  In fact,
the thought never even crossed our minds.  We just figured we would
have another pacifier free baby.  It was never really an issue the first time
around so why would it be any different the second time?
Well come to find out, it is different.  Not because Jude cries 
uncontrollably or is a bad baby (if there even is such a thing), but every
baby is born with the innate ability and need to suck.
It never occurred to me before, but apparently some babies need
to suck is greater than others and it just so happens that Jude is one of these babies.
The lactation consultant I saw in the hospital actually thought this might be the case
after watching Jude nurse for about half an hour.  I didn't think much of it at the time.
I just figured I might be feeding him more frequently than I had originally thought.
No big deal.  Well I tried that approach for the first few weeks and it just
wasn't working.  Jude would cry and the only thing that soothed him was nursing,
only he wasn't really nursing.  He wasn't latching on and getting any milk.
He was barely holding on and sucking with all his might, but he could only stand
to do this for a few seconds because he would suck in so much air causing him 
to have to burp.  So I would burp him and then he would just start to cry again
and the whole cycle would start over.  

After one particularly bad night I heard that lactation consultant's voice in the back of my head
and that's when I realized that maybe Jude really does need a pacifier.
Maybe he is doing this because he truly needs to suck, but he doesn't need to eat
which is why he's not latching on.  So the next day we went to the PX and bought some
pacifiers and it has made a world of difference.  It's almost as if I could see the relief on his face
once I put the pacifier in his mouth for the first ime.  He took right to it.

We no longer have the sucking, burping battle every night.
Instead we have a sweet baby boy who takes a pacifier.
We have a happier baby boy and that's really all that matters.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

He is Coming Out of his Shell

Jude Scott,

Yesterday was such a great day for you!  You stayed awake for long periods of time
and you seemed to have so much to say during those long stretches of alertness.
I feel like we shared our first conversation.  Of course I have been talking to you since
the moment you were born, and even before that, but yesterday you seemed to join in on the chat.
You had some of the sweetest things to say and I loved every single coo, grunt, and sound
that you added to our wonderful talk.  Each one of them completely captured my heart
and is now safely tucked away in the special "Momma's Treasure Chest" section of my memory bank.
You seem to be coming out of your shell and letting your personality start to shine through.
I guess you finally got enough rest and stored up enough energy to be able to
handle the crazy environment your sister creates in the house.
I look forward to each new treasure you give me to store in my special memory bank
and I can't wait to learn more of the unique qualities that make you
my little Jude Scott Williams, my handsome little boy.

I love you Little J.  You are precious.


The Colors of the Rainbow

I have been working with Emma on her colors a lot this week.
I have always casually identified colors for her as we are playing with different toys 
or reading certain books, but this week I have really been trying to get her to grasp the concept.
She has done an excellent job!  She can now match up items of the same color with ease.
She has gotten so good at this task that she has started to get silly with it.
She will match two items up incorrectly on purpose then flash this little sneaky grin at me.
Once she makes sure she knows I have seen what she's done she quickly
makes the correction, looks at me, giggles, and claps for herself.
She is such a little stinker.

She is very into learning her colors.  I think I have read the book 
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
 about 50 times in the past two days.  For those of you who are not familiar with this book,
if you can identify your colors and animals then you know the entire content of the book.
She is so obsessed with this book right now, and as a result this is what happened 
this morning when she noticed it was under her bed and up against the wall...

Once the book was retrieved I of course had to read it about five times.

She is such a great learner.  She catches onto things so quickly.
With all this work on her colors this week she now has yellow and purple down pat.
If I lay several different colored objects out in front of her and ask her where
either the yellow or purple one is she will either pick it up or point to it.
She does this with a variety of objects (cups, head bands, bottle caps, spoons)
so I'm pretty confident that she truly understands the concept.
I think with another week or two she will have all the colors mastered.
Being her teacher for the next 17 years of her life is going to be the most
rewarding job I could ever imagine.    

Raising Imperfection

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Readers

Emma probably spends half of her play time looking at books.
If you ask her to read to you she will get a book, a newspaper, or a magazine,
hold it up in front of her as if she's actually reading and just jibber jabber away.
It is absolutely precious and I love the fact that she loves to read so much.
She even loves reading to her little brother, which I'm hoping helps him develop
just as much of an appreciation and love for books.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Picnic and Play Time at the Park

The babies are finally over their colds and we got a break in the incredibly windy
weather we've been having so we spent Saturday afternoon at a nearby park.

She took off to play with her britches half way down her fanny.

Jude did what he does best the majority of the time we were there.

I did manage to get one shot with his eyes open.

It was so nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine for awhile.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Will Always Remember

Jude Scott,

It doesn't seem possible that a month has already gone by since the moment 
I first held you in my arms and kissed your tiny forehead.
You already feel so much bigger in my arms than you did in that moment.
This makes me both happy and sad.  It makes me happy because it means you are
healthy and growing.  It makes me sad because it means in just a few blinks of an eye
you will no longer be my baby boy, but instead you will be walking, talking, 
and running right along side all your big sisters.  Luckily, I know each month leading up 
to that time will be filled with just as many precious memories as this first one was.
The memories from our first month together will always hold a special place in my heart.
I will always remember how you feel snuggled up against my chest with your head 
resting ever so gently on my shoulder.  You prefer to be held this way 
as opposed to being cradled.  I will always remember your first smiles.  
They are so sweet, soft, and genuine.  Each one that spreads across your face
fills my heart with even more love for you than is already there.
I will always remember the sound of your first coos, which came as you
were sitting in your bouncy seat and I was in the kitchen.
I was so excited to hear your little voice.  I came running over to you
and kissed your little baby nose.  You are still figuring out that your voice can be used
for more than just crying and every tiny sound you make is like music to my ears.
I will always remember the dark blue and grayish color of your eyes and how it took
us about a week to get a good look at them because you slept so much.  
I'm anxious to see if they stay this color or if they will change to something
completely different.  I will always remember how much you hate it when I clean 
between your toes and I am curious to see how long this lasts.  Maybe you
are going to be like your Momma and think feet are absolutely disgusting.
Jude Scott, I will always remember how easy it was to fall in love with you the moment
I first saw you and how natural being your Momma is to me.  
I was made for you and you were made for me.  You are my handsome
little boy and I have cherished everything about this first month together.
I look forward to every month we will share in the future.  I know each one 
will be incredible, memorable, and filled with a huge amount of love.
Thank you for the powerful impact you have already had on my life and for being
the perfect way for your Daddy and me to complete our family.

I love you with all my heart sweet boy.

I think he looks like a roaring lion here.

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The Life Of Faith