Friday, December 31, 2010

Ponies and Somersaults

Have I mentioned before that the folks that lived her before us left behind a whole bunch of stuff?Their movers really sucked, so they fired them midmove and just did the rest themselves. They asked if we minded them leaving some things and we were fine with that because we figured we'd just get rid of what we didn't want. (We really weren't anticipating them leaving that dog, though!)

We actually gained several pieces of furniture and kid's item this way. (Also some car ramps and about 15 gas cans?!?!) One of the great kid's items was one of those horses that is just the head on a stick which we recently rediscovered in the back of Jude's closet. He spent the better part of today running around with it calling it a camel. But once Jeff put new batteries in the thing, he figured it out.

Those somersaults are our most recent achievement. Last night he just started doing them in the hallway after bath time. I truly think they would be grand if he would figure out how to keep his hands on the floor as he goes. But who know? Maybe I have a future gymnast on my hands?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

He gets it!

Dream no more, Bing. Your white Christmas has become a reality. Well, at least for those of us here in Northwest Georgia. . . Jude and I both experienced our first white Christmas together this morning. And as opposed to any of the snows we had last winter, Jude really seemed to know what to do with it this year!

He also seemed to understand some things about Christmas this year. When I told him we were going to go to grandma and grandpas and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, his face just light right up. Last night, at Christmas Eve service, he sat relatively attentive while Travis gave the children's sermon about persecuted Christians in Arab nations who were not able to safely celebrate Christmas like we could. And when he gave the little gift bags to the children, Jude came running back to me with his, excitedly exclaiming, "Tra-bis! Tra-bis!" He was so proud of that little gift from Travis.

Here is our day so far:

Thomas shirt from Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa

Thomas bath toys from Mommy and Daddy

Thomas books from Mommy and Daddy

Do you notice a trend yet?

And then there was. . .

Checking out the snow

Eating the snow. . .

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jude Is All Boy!

My child can spend HOURS going down the same slide, climbing back up and going down again. This realization sent me scurrying to Craigslist to find a Little Tikes plastic slide for our house --so that I can get things done around here while he's occupied with that thing! Can't get house work done if I spend 2 hours at the park;-)

We went and picked up our $30 find tonight and I really thought Jude might just decide to forego bedtime because we put it (temporarily) in the living room until we can scout out a flat spot in the yard in the daylight.

Not only was he completely enthralled by the new slide, but also by the fact that he could see exactly what I was filming, since I used the iCam on my work MacBook. This video is a bit longer than I usually take (because my other camera will only film 3 minutes worth) but your patience will be rewarded at the end when Jude counts to 10. (With help!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Psychology according to Winnie the Pooh & Friends

I borrowed this from a fellow Bradley teacher who posted on our teacher message boards today. She said:

"My son (who's studying animation) showed these "psychological profiles" (animations) that he found on a forum to me tonight. I happen to be a Winnie the Pooh fan, so I'm sure there are some others here that will get a laugh out of these too."

Enjoy. . .

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank you, LeapFrog!

Sometime before Jude was even old enough to know what TV even was, we got this LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD free in the mail. (I'm really good at finding freebies like that. I think I may have only actually paid for 2 of the DVDs he owns!) It came in handy for our road trips to Florida to pick Vickie up and bring her home back in July and August, since Jude doesn't have any sit in him. But until maybe 3 weeks ago, that was the last time I played it for him.

Then the whole Comcast debacle happened where our service went down one Saturday morning and they said they couldn't come to fix it until the following Tuesday (it was a holiday weekend) so out it came again. And out of nowhere, one day last week I realized he was singing the letter sounds. I totally blame it on this video because I certainly didn't teach him that yet.

So, with no further ado, I give you Jude and his letter sounds! (Yeah, I know it doesn't really mean anything to him at this age. But it is sure fun to watch!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have to say, I am thankful for ALL of the military veterans who have selflessly given of themselves to serve our country. But, I am especially thankful to these three today.

My dad

My sister

My father-in-law - no military picture:-( All I could come up with was this one that I nicked off of some fishing web site!

It couldn't have been an easy decision for them to choose to be away from their families for such a long time; to know that they could be called upon to sacrifice more than just their time if duty called. But each one made that choice.

So, who are the Veterans you're thankful for today? Have you told them?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Through the years

October 3, 2008 and October 3, 2009

October 3, 2010

Jude spent his second birthday surrounded by love from family and friends from near and far. He played many hours on the play ground, ate lots of cookout food, but none of his own birthday cake, and didn't want to open any more presents once he opened the fire trucks from Mrs. Maggie and Libby Kate;-) 

As exhausting as parting hosting is for me (I am soooo not an extrovert!) watching my little man have so much fun makes it all worth it! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Jude really enjoys "wice" these days:-)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Now I Know My ABCs. . .

Jude identified his first letter early in July (late in June?) and we don't really know where he learned it from. He just pointed at an O on Grandpa Phil's shirt and kept saying, "Oh! Oooooh! oooOOOooh!"

So we decided to capitalize on that and start working on a few more. My grandmother didn't know this when she gave Jude a set of foam letters for the bath in mid-July. He took to those things right away. He would carry them from person to person asking them to tell him what letter he had. My grandfather was the most favored letter holder/reciter. What can I say? The kid definitely has a preference for men (except Mommy, of course!).

By the middle of August, when we returned to Florida to bring Aunt Vickie home, he knew all but maybe 5 or 6 of the letters. Now days, he can usually say all of them except V. In the videos below he blanked on H, too. No worries, though. He has plenty of time to get that down before he actually has to start learning what they mean.

This is broken up in two parts: A-L and M-Z. Mainly because Jude got distracted halfway through and wanted to play with the camera;-) If you're only going to watch one of the clips, it should definitely be the second one, because in that one he says W and that's the best! (bub-oh-woo!)

Yes, he definitely still calls the letter C "cookie" and yes, he is doing part of the little dance he does when we play the Cookie Monster song. So, even though we tell him repeatedly that it is C, it is probably our own fault that he still calls it "cookie."

So, please excuse a shameless brag from a proud mama. I really didn't expect him to learn his letters before he was 2. Maybe that's the normal age for that, but it was a surprise to me:-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have GOT to update my blog! With the little sister visiting and summer travel and coming home to start my tutoring gig right away, I haven't had a moment to organize any thoughts.

But, the weekend is coming:-)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

If I Ran the Zoo

Big shout out to Dr. Seuss for lending me the title of my post today. 

Have I mentioned that I love our little zoo here in Chattanooga. Let me tell you why I love it so much. It cost $55 for a family membership! And, since they are part of the Reciprocal Zoo program, we have a huge list of other zoos across the country where we can use our membership card to get in for free or at a discounted rate.

Well, Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa is one of the ones that we get into for free. Do you know that it is $19.95 per adult to get into that place?! So for Jeff, Vickie, and me it would have cost us over $60 with tax figured in to spend a day there. That's more than we paid for our Chattanooga membership and we can go as often as we like:-)

The manatees have always been  my favorite thing at Lowery Park. It just makes it feel so much like Florida to have manatees in the zoo. They are actually an official manatee "hospital." The take care of injured ones. I have no idea if it's a rehab where they release them again later, or if they just keep them on indefinitely. 


By far, this was the oddest thing we saw at the zoo that day. Living in Georgia these past 13 years, I have seen an abundance of skunks; more than I have ever wanted to see in my life and I just can not imagine what makes them zoo-worthy!

Some of the other sightings that day: 

A camel

The giraffes

The elephants

The zebras

The Flamingos

The monkeys, er, I mean, my son. . .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's time for another Jude post

The boy has learned how to turn my camera on. This is not too much of a problem, so long as he doesn't start deleting pictures. He has really enjoyed taking pictures of himself. Is it a sick obsession that he seems to enjoy having the flash in his eyes? I have about 50 pictures on my camera like this: 

(Jude: Self Portrait)

And here's what happens when the flash is covered by his thumb, but the red eye light still comes on: 

(Jude: Wowza! That was some hot salsa!)

And this is how Jude tells you that he wants nothing to do with the llama at the zoo: 

This is what it looks like when Jude steals mommy's iPod when she is trying to get ready to go for a run: 

And when he's pretending to go "nigh-nigh:"

When he's practicing being Daddy's boss (the front says "Fire Chief"):

And finally, enjoying some good ol' bath time: 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Really Working!!!

I am officially sold on natural (yam based) progesterone cream and drinking red clover infusions to correct my hormone imbalance. I am starting to feel better, but what's more, in the last month and a half since I started with all of this, I have dropped 8 pounds!!! Yee-ha!!!

Not to mention that my energy is picking up. I am now managing to run 4 miles and walk one four days a week. And my time on those miles is improving. When I started running this past spring, I think it was taking me about 20 minutes to get through a mile. Yesterday I hit 11 minutes for the first mile. It slows down after that, but even my slowest of the 4 miles was not over 13 minutes. 

So, I used to be a bit of a skeptic when it came to herbal remedies, but I think I'm hooked now. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Of all the weirdness I could come up with?!?!

I was going through my photo files, kind of cleaning house and I came across this pic of me from January 2008. I was lying on the couch at our old house, working on school work. Apparently, this was a signal to the pets that mama wanted some luvin' because I promise, this was not staged. They just made themselves at home:

Now days, pets are  not allowed on the furniture. Actually, we got rid of el gato, because she could not (would not?) be trained to obey this rule. But, I usually find my self in similar situations: 

That's o.k. This one, we'll keep:-)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm adding a new button to my sidebar. OneGirl is another bloggy friend of mine who is going into her senior year in high school. Earlier in the year, she began having some issues with her health where she was randomly passing out and just a couple of days ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She will be having surgery really soon. Please keep her in your prayers. Her faith is strong, and she is totally relying on God's grace to carry her through. And the mom in me wants you to pray for her mom, too. I can not imagine walking through this with Jude. Pray for God to give her mom that strength that is beyond human understanding. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

La, la luh la, la, lah, laaaaaa

Future in opera? 

I have no idea what was going on when this photo was taken, but I know I was looking for it for "Faces of Jude" and couldn't find it. So, it gets it's own post;-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mutant Veggie

I've been all over my garden harvesting zucchini and cucumbers, and pulling weeds, and watering, and adding fertilizer every couple of weeks. But, well, let's just say, I missed one. 

Mmm, hmm. See this guy? Two pounds!

And here he is next to one of his plantmates of normal size. This other fellow is an average half pound zucchini. 


Saturday, June 19, 2010

All Done

It's pretty common knowledge that Jude has his own way of doing things. So why should baby signing be any different? He got the first sign down just the way it was taught to him. That was the sign for "milk" which we use to mean nurse.

"All done" on the other hand, well that's a different story: 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can I do It? Yes, I Can

(Well, I guess you can tell what Jude's new favorite show is by my title!)

For about a month now, I have been working on the Couch to 5K program. This is a program that is supposed to help a pretty sedentary person build up to running a 5K over the course of 9 weeks. Before I got pregnant with Jude, accompanied with the flu about the same time, I used to run 5K 3 days a week. But after that came the horrendous morning sickness that kept me down for the better part of 4 months and that was that. 

Last year, I attempted to pick up again, but since Jude was little I had to stay close to home so I was running on the pavement at the cemetery across the street from our house. But every time I would get good and going, I would get stress fractures in my foot. 

Now that Jude is older, I can drive over to the gravel track which is a mile if you run both loops and is much nicer on my feet. 

Since I was a runner previously, I modified the program a little bit. The first week I started out running a minute and walking a minute and a half for the first 3o minutes and walked the remainder of the time until I reached 4 miles. The next week I bumped my running up to a minute and a half and alternated that with the minute and a half walk breaks for 30 minutes, but then before walking the remainder I did a longer running stretch about 30 seconds longer each day. For the third week, I would run two minutes and walk a minute for 30 minutes and walk whatever was left of the 4 miles. 

Then there was this week. Week 4. I had a plan in my head to continue the 2 minute run/1 minute walk pattern and then try the long stretch again at the end. The first day, I was interrupted in my run when I bumped into an old friend I used to work out with at The City Club, but hadn't seen in more than two years (because I had to drop my gym membership as part of our plan for me to be a stay at home mom). We talked for over ten minutes so in order to make up for lost time I though, well, maybe I can run a whole mile without any walk breaks. And do you know what? I could! I did!

So the next day I was determined to do that again. I felt really good at the end of that first mile, so I decided to see if I could try for two. And do you know what? I could. I did!

Skip a day (because I can't run when Jeff's at work) to today. At the end of two miles, I kind of felt like crap, but I thought, "I wonder if I could run three miles with no walk breaks. . . ?" And, well, you've probably guessed it. I could. I did! And then walked two miles after that for a total of 5 miles. 

So now my new goal is to get the time down on those first three miles and to continue walking the other two. When I get the time down to something more acceptable than 39 minutes, then I think I'll work on running miles 4 and 5. 

Oh, yeah! I'm a running machine. Well, not really. But I could be. . .

Um, and that clip art at the top there of the jogger? Yeah, that's totally me. All geeky with my iPod and my crazy hair. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The snack bar is open

It's no secret that my 20 month old likes, nae, LOVES to nurse. This kid still nurses about 6 times a day. We don't nurse in public any more, mainly because he tries to push my shirt up further like that's going to make the milk come faster. But, he doesn't NEED to nurse in public since I make sure we're home at nap time and bed time and mostly he nurses before and after going to sleep. 

BUT, if we're just sitting around at home, or even if we're out and I'm just sitting down, he asks anyway. Mainly I think that's his "bored" response. So when Jeff brought home this comic strip from last Sunday's AJC, I thought that surely the author MUST know Jude: 

(you can click here to see it bigger)

Sorry that it won't post bigger. I can't figure that out. But if you look at the pictures, I'll narrate. Basically, she is reading him a story. The last frame, where he had gotten himself under her shirt he says "thwup, thwup, thwup" (that's the nursing sound) and she replies, "here's a great story going on out here and all you're interested in is the snack bar!" 

Yep. Totally Jude. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Faces of Jude

One day when I was dropping Jude off in the church nursery, one of the workers said something to her daughter in Spanish (because she speaks little English) and her daughter translated it to me: "He cries with much emotion!" 

Well, if you know Jude, you know that he does EVERYTHING with much emotion. Even the faces he makes for the camera express a lot of emotion. I do not know where this kid gets these faces from. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It is no secret that I kill plants. I was even able to kill a cactus eventually. It always starts out good. The cactus, I was able to keep alive for 2 years. I even kept an Africal Violet alive for about 4 years. But eventually, I end up killing them. 

So, last year when some friends wanted to go in on a group garden, I was game, as long as someone told me! 

The day after we got all the plants in the ground, the hail storm took care of that garden. Big disappointment to drive all that way just to have it knocked down by chunks of ice. 

So this year, I purposed in my heart to attempt a garden in my yard. I didn't want to commit to tearing up my lawn if this proved to be another unsuccessful venture, so I bought some plastic kiddie pools. 

The plants came up and kept getting bigger! Then one day, I came out to see this: 

Oh, yeah! That's a flower baby! (Two to be precise!) And flowers mean fruit! (Or in this case, veggies!) There's the first one: 

And again after harvest: 

And we've brought in 4 others to date with two more about ready to come off. 

The only mishap we've had is that I was sure I planted one container of zucchini and one of yellow squash, but it turns out it's all zucchini. 

I've also got some lettuce about ready to come in and some carrots and cucumbers that will be ready in the next several weeks. Still waiting to see what's going to happen with my tomatoes and peppers. . . But it's success enough to make me want to till a spot in the yard for next year!