4.09.2019

8 months!

Dear Jude,

This month just speed by but you keeping growing no matter how much this mama wishes you'd slow down.

You started crawling this month and now seem determined to try to walk. You pull up quiet well and keep trying to let go and stand on your own but honestly, that's not going quite as well and just ends in a lot of bumps and bonks on head. Good thing you're resilient!





You're really enjoying the nicer weather. You got to experience the sandbox for the first time and despite the expression on your face above, did have fun playing in it. But mostly you just like to sit in the grass and watch all the big kids play.


You really love the playground swing! 


You also love solids and eat a ton! But despite eating three solid meals a day, you are taking after your brother and not gaining weight well. The doctor and I are keeping an eye on it but I want you to stay nice and chunky. 

You also love people! You continue to be my most extroverted baby. You loved being at the conference and were just happy to people watch must of the time. Everyone commented on how smiley you are. I joke that you'll be the kid I have to join the co-op for :-) You're pretty independent too. The conference had a wide open space and I enjoyed watching you crawl around and seeing just how far you'd venture off before coming back to me. It was quite a bit farther than I thought! You'd turn around and make sure I was still there, watching you, but then you'd be off again - crawling over to the other babies or just exploring the area, not even caring if there were lots of big people walking around you. You had a "Don't mind me, I'm just exploring!" attitude that made me laugh.

But I do have to mind you! You're such a little stinker. Somehow you got ahold of a chocolate kiss during the conference too. I noticed you being unusually quite, I watched for a few seconds then saw some brown drool start to flow out and then I pulled the aluminum out. You spotted another one a few minutes later and got so excited but one piece of chocolate was enough! We've had a few more dog food episodes although you normally prefer to play in her water so now both food and water bowls are kept contained in her crate. Luckily I have three other people keeping their eye on you during the day or who knows what trouble you'd get into. Even Norah will gentle tell you "No, no Jude, that's not for babies" and then come runnning to me. Unless what you're getting into is her stuff then she may be a little less gentle about it. But again, you're resiliant. 


But of all the people in the world, you still love your family best.  You were so happy to come home to them and love nothing more than when they sing or play clapping games with you. You give (very slobbery) kisses. Oh, the drool! You go through several bibs a day but even if it means I need a towel afterward, I'll still take a kiss from you anytime - but I do have to be careful because those kissing turn into bites very quickly. You have three teeth now, all on the bottom, and I keep thinking those top two teeth will pop through any day now. Maybe then my shoulder will no longer be peppered with tiny baby teeth shaped bruises. 




But bites and drool and mid-night wakings are nothing compared to what you bring our family. We're so blessed to have you in our life little guy!




3.08.2019

Hawaii Part 2


Wednesday Craig dropped me off in Chinatown. I just walked around enjoying the hustle and bustle of city life. I had planned to eat here but because of the timing, I wasn't hungry yet. 


We walked all the way down to the Iolani palace. Didn't go in but rested in the shade a while and Jude made friends with the lawn mowing guy. Just was mesmerized by the riding lawn mower to the point where the driver noticed Jude just following him go back and forth and stopped to wave. It was super cute despite making a cute palace selfie impossible. 





Then on to the KawaiahaŹ»o Church. There was a wedding going on so we couldn't enter but the doors were open and I could see the ceramony from outside. Then we got picked up for our first Uber ride!


He took us to the hotel but Jude fell asleep in the car so I just popped him into the stroller, walked down to a korean bbq place I had wanted to try and he snoozed away while I ate on the beach. 


Funny story - one time I was strolling him to the beach and someone stopped me to inform me by baby was squinting. I looked at thought, This baby? The one with the sun hat and the huge sun shade on his stroller so he's in more danger of vitamin D deficiency than he is of sunburn? Okay, I think he's just sleepy. 

That's when I realized that traveling with one kid, people make the natural assumption that we are first time parents. So while I got less "wow, that's a circus" looks, I had to deal with some (not so) helpful comments. I guess you can't win. But we got way more "oh, cute baby!" comments than anything else so all is well. 


Wednesday night we walked down to Duke's for a dinner overlooking the beach and Craig has one of their famous mai tais. 


Don't you wish someone would look at you the way Jude is looking at this fry ;-)


I had a sip of Craig's Mai Tai and it was fine but I prefer to spent my extra calories on dessert. So off we went to Henry's Place. Henry's Place is basically a fridge filled with styrofoam cups of fruity ice cream but we grabbed a Mango while walking up the beach so the lack of ambiance didn't bother me in the least. I have to say that 3-4 of the small mom and pop places I went to had a mixture of 5 stars and 1 star reviews and the 1 start reviews always talked about being treated rudely. I didn't have any problems at any of the places I went. Everyone was perfectly nice. The food was good, quick and not super expensive. And I have to wonder kind of person are you that you can't manage to pick up a cup of Styrofoam and hand someone $5 without feeling like you are being ill treated?  I would wonder if its a language barrier issue because these places were mostly asian but really, the cups say Mango or Pineapple or Purple Yam and they ask you to pick a flavor before you open the door so the freezer stays cold. It's not rocket science. Side rant over. 

 Thursday. Ah, Thursday. That's low #2 started. We had been skyping with kids before breakfast (easy to do when breakfast doesn't start until 6:30 but your baby wakes up at 3:30) and this time we got to hear the exciting new that the basement was flooding. We had a neighbor drop by to help and Craig's mom sent us a picture of the big kid's being helpers and sweeping the water towards the drain but there wasn't much else we could do from there so we wished them good luck and kept on going, trying not to think about it too much. 

This actually turned out to be fairly easy because Thursday might have been one of my favorite days. I had planned to just do the beach with Jude but someone commented on my instagram feed about the Bishop Museum and since we had plenty of time to kill in the morning, I had Craig drop us off on the way to work. We got there 30 minutes before it even opened but even that was pleasant, just sitting in the grass surrounded by beautiful plants, listening to the birds. Jude could hear them and he was looking but he couldn't find them and hasn't mastered the idea of looking past my finger if I point yet so I was just amused watching him search. 

Then we got started and I'm so glad I added this to our agenda. It was a great little museum all about Hawaiin culture, history and nature. Smithsonian quality without the aching feet or crowds. As is normally the case, my museum pictures are mostly lame. Museums are really a "you have to be there" kinda place. 





While I wasn't sitting around worried about the basement back home, I did keep finding things I wanted to show my kids back home. I guess I do love them after all :-) Lucy is really into string games these days and this was a whole collection of different outcomes. 


I spent way more time at the museum than I expected but we still had time for the beach. It was actually pretty easy to fit beach time in because I didn't like to have Jude out for more than an hour. But between the short times, sun protection and rash guards, we managed to make it through the whole week with nary a sunburn in the family so I call that a success as we have very little natural protection in our skin. But paleness aside, could he be any cuter?




I was lamenting my sad selfie skills but hated to bother strangers to get any good pictures when who should notice me but the one person on the plane we had made friends with (in the back standing section when Jude was tired of sitting). We caught up a bit and she got a good picture of us!


 But I'm still partial to the Jude on a Beach style photos. The part of Waikiki right in front of our hotel had the wall so the waves were very minimal and I could take Jude out quite a ways. The first time or two he got his feet wet, he just seemed confused but by this time he had decided he really liked the water. Waikiki is a busy place and the beach isn't deep but I actually felt much less crowed their than I expected. I did have to laugh when a cute couple came up with their little girl who was clearly terrified of the water despite several other small kids as well as Jude and another baby all sitting there in a row splashing happily. They tried easing her into the idea but she was just not having it. It took me back to my last beach trip in which both of mine felt similarly. Ah, kids!



After our hour in the sun was up, we napped (there it is again!) and when Craig got off, we all hopped in the just in time to enjoy hiking Diamond's head. Well, to hike Diamond's head and enjoy the view. I'm not sure many people enjoy the actually hiking. It's a bit heavy on the steps. But the views make it worth it. 






Jude's got his skeptical baby face on. 




Getting sleepier/crankier


Jude was just falling asleep when we took this and I said something like "okay baby boy, go to sleep now" and he opened his eyes a bit, closed them, smiled and fell asleep. It was adorable and would have been perfect if Craig hadn't chosen to look the wrong way. Silly husband wanted to actually see the view himself.


Rewarding ourselves for a hike well done with some pineapple smoothie. 






Then another dinner on the beach (korean bbq again. I like what I like!) and one of the prettiest sunsets I've seen. Not quiet as beautiful as Thailand but pretty darn close.


Friday was our last day. We took it easy in the morning then headed out to see some of the Pearl Harbor sites and get that last bit of beach walking in before we flew out that night.






The red eye flight with Jude went really well. He fell asleep before the plane even took off and except for stirring 2 or 3 times to nurse, didn't wake up until the plane landed. So that part was good. The bad part, my back was killing me. I had to hold him the whole time while sandwiched between two grown men which doesn't leave a lot of room for stretching. Nor did I get any sleep. I had a few korean drama episodes to sustain me but I think all in all, I prefer to fly during the day when Craig can do his fair share of the baby holding. (Note: Craig's not a jerk. He was willing to help but the one time I tried to pass Jude off to him, he started stirring and crying. The instant I took him back he feel asleep again. So that 30 second, highly stressful experiment was quickly abandoned)


And then we were welcome home by this little crew! I'm not sure who was happier to see each other, Jude or his siblings. 

We also came home to still wet flooded basement ...that turned into a overrun septic tank basement. That's enough to wipe the vacation glow off your face real fast. Or maybe just replace it with a different glow because you haven't been able to shower in 3 days and are having to haul your laundry up to hill to the neighbors house (although I was also very grateful to be able to do that!). But the way this trip came about had caused me to experience the whole thing for what it was - just a big gift from God. A huge blessing. And after spending a whole week thanking God for his gifts, it was a good habit that was hard to shake and I found I was able to deal with all the plumbing stuff with a surprisingly good attitude. At least until the last day when the problems that were supposedly fixed by the first two "solutions" didn't quite fix it and we weren't even able to flush. That's an issue when you're a family of 6! At that point, I could feel my good attitude starting to crack a bit. Luckily another friend lent us her home for the morning and the third fix, almost a week after the original issue began,  actually did the trick so by that afternoon, we were able to do all the water things that a house should be capable of doing. Now the carpet is dry and replaced, my new ukulele has arrived in the mail is almost too much of a hit with the kids (I should have bought 3 I guess!) and the only causality of the basement was one library book that was on the floor of the kids playroom when the original issue popped up which is also pretty amazing. 

So in all,  I've learned if you can handle a lot if you got some good Hawaiian memories to make or reflect on. 







For not being a spontaneous person, I seem to do a lot of spontaneous traveling. Aka Hawaii Part 1

I'm a master planner. I love my to-do lists and my bullet journal and preparing for every possible contingency that could happen. Except, you can't actually do that. I know that but of I didn't, these past few weeks have definitely taught me that lesson - in mostly a good way. Well, partially a good way. Let's just say the highs were high and the lows were low!

Let's start with the highs because that's just more fun. Craig had an unexpected work trip - to Hawaii! When he came home and told me, I, being a sensible wife, asked if I could tag along. He told me how little time we had (we basically had to make a decision by the next morning because he had to book things and fly 9 days later) but I sent our a video message to a few friends asking them to pray that it would come together, told myself that it would be a miracle if I could pull it off, then started making phone calls.

 Luckily his mom was a super sport and stayed the week with the bigger three (with Craig's dad and sister coming for part of the babysitting week too). It was a crazy week for me with the packing and planning and preparing but - totally worth it!

Hawaii isn't a place that was ever on my top 10 places to visit but this trip was pretty amazing - after a rocky start. So prepare for picture overload. Sorry not sorry.


We landed. Jude took a few naps on our long flight but mostly made friends with people. Then we got our first Hawaii food before heading to hotel.





The plan was to take a nap, then try and wake Jude up for a little bit so that he'd be more likely to wake up at 4 am and not 2am (which was 6am at home, his normally wake up time). Alas, he started coughing that afternoon so we decided to just let him sleep. Enter Low #1 - Right about 7pm when Craig and I wanted to sleep, he stopped sleeping and starting coughing more. Coughing and crying. After a hour or two sitting in the bathroom running hot water (one perk of the hotel life - endless hot water!), he was still fighting croup so we headed to the Emergency Room. So not only were we awake at 2am, we hadn't even really slept.


Are you jealous of my fabulous beach vacation yet?

We got out of the ER just about the time we had planned to really start the day so we to decide what to do next? Go back to hotel and sleep? This was actually the only day Craig didn't have to work so that sounded lame. And Jude was up and awake by then and I knew I'd probably want him sleeping either on me or in his car seat to be elevated anyway. So we decided to just go for it and do our regular itinerary. It was flexible and fairly low key anyway. But if we look a bit tired in these photos, it's because we are!

I had most of our food stops planned out but wanted to swing by Leonard's Bakery and wasn't sure when. Turns out, it was near the ER and perfect when you need a bit of sugar in your system at 5:30 when you need to keep going but haven't slept in over 24 hours. And the malasadas (Portuguese donuts) were really tasty!
 
 On to Hanauma Bay for snorkeling (Craig and I took turns. No snorkeling for Jude ;-)



Look, we got to see the sunrise :-)
  


Waking up from his nap, you can still see his hospital "bracelet" around his ankle.





 Strolling around. I could get used to this view.




Hiking Makapu'u Lighthouse trail. Jude slept all the way up and missed the breaching whales but woke up just in time for the photo ops. 




By then, the steroids were obviously kicking in and Jude had gotten a couple really good naps, on in his stroller on the beach plus the hiking one so he was in a great mood while we waited for lunch at Boots and Kimos although we flew all that way just to sit at a St Louis rams table which just seems wrong.

 




Last stop of the day was the Byodo-In Buddhist Temple.








It was beautiful but smaller than I expected which was good because by now, the lack of sleep was catching up to us. Also, I stopped eating sugar about 6 weeks before this trip. I had decided to indulge as much as I wanted on the trip but a donut, banana pancakes with macadamia nut sauce and a shave ice was probably a bit too much for the first day back on sugar. A nap, a patio dinner while Jude slept and some time relaxing in the hotel with my nature journal got my back in fine shape though. 



For Day 2, it was just Jude and I in the morning and it was a bit drizzling at first but we took a nice leisurely (2 hr!) walk up and down pretty much the entire Waikiki strip. I bought myself a ukulele, took some bad selfies (this was prince Jonah so I had to try for my own Jonah's sake) and headed back to hotel with our Acai bowl for a mid-morning snack and a nap. Not horrible exciting on paper but I rarely have a morning to do exactly what I want to do on my own pace with no one talking to me and if was really really nice. And I always love napping when the baby naps.





Then more food. I'd be sorry about all the food pictures except its really more Jude pictures. He's just so darn cute I can't help it!



Poi - one of the few foods he's not a fan of. 





Bland looking but quite tasty. I've eaten lots of unique foods in the past but I think this was my first taste of raw fish (salmon in this case). It wasn't bad. But the pork was better. Pork is always better, isn't it?

 Time for another solo mom adventure/baby naptime at the Dole Plantation. An awesome combo! I took so many photos of the gardens. I wish I had been more confident that he would have kept sleeping if the stroller stopped moving so I could have stopped and journaled but it was still enjoyable.




This was specifically taken for the big kids to play "Can you find the bananas?" with. They did eventually. Norah needed some help. 



For those of you that like coffee. 


All the pretty hibiscus.





 And an actual pineapple.


Despite the drizzle, the weather was perfect for an outing like this. It was just cool enough for my rain jacket to be comfortable and when Jude woke up, I threw his extra pajamas on him for a while until the sun came out which is great baby wearing weather. 


Tasting his first pineapple. 


I think he likes it!


Waiting for daddy to pick us up again for some North Shore Shrimp...



and shaved ice.


 Jude's ice didn't have any sweet stuff so he wasn't sure he liked it. 


But he was willing to keep trying!



Watching the surfer's



Okay, I think I'm ready to try it myself dad!


Craig is his beach attire 


And that was our Sunday through Tuesday! More to come!