Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jude and Ada...uncut

The kids have been growing and changing so much lately. I know “pictures are worth a thousand words” and those slideshows were LONG (!), but I’m a word person and I’ll let you in on all the things about Jude and Ada that pictures don’t say…
Jude is three and had a lovely birthday party filled with trains and more trains, which is probably the word that sums up his life the best right now! He chugs around the house screeching and whistling and “psssshhhhhting!” most of the time, but has also adopted an “excavator arm” that he fashions with his right hand to scoop and eat his food with, and a (rather scary) robot voice has been making an appearance lately as well. He issues stern orders to participate in many of his games: I’ll be clearing the lunch dishes and he’ll yell, “Mom, CHUG!” I have to (well, I suppose I don’t have to but why not?) stop what I’m doing and fall in line behind him as we weave our way through the house, making chugging sounds and stopping for stop signs and repairs and collecting coal and tender. Or its, “Mom, DIG!” and I have to stop what I’m doing, squat, and use my excavator hands to dig up “dirt” and release it in another spot. His imagination is getting quite active! He also loves dancing in the living room to all kinds of music, singing songs both real and made-up (I heard him singing Johnny Cash’s “Fulsom Prison Blues” one day, because I sang it to him a few times thinking he’d like the opening lines about a train…we didn’t make it to the part about shooting a man in Reno:) and he’s also starting to get into the “friends phase” where we discuss which friend’s house he wants to visit and using friends to influence him to do things (“Annabel eats her broccoli!”) He’s taken an interest in soccer (sometimes, when he’s not pushing his trains) and loves riding his 4 wheeler around the block, and has been really into practicing writing his letters and sounding out words. He still takes a nap at the same time as Ada, although I think he doesn’t need it anymore because he’s never tired at night now. I may back off the nap in the Fall. His vocabulary is increasing by leaps and bounds and he puts his thoughts into words really well now, which is giving us a (this is a little dramatic but) a deeper glimpse into his little soul. Jude has such a kind, pure heart. He is only 3 but I trust him with so much, and respect him. I know I’m the parent, but I learn from him constantly. He wants to know the reason behind my decisions and if I take the time to explain why I’m saying no (“We have to go home because Ada needs a nap…we can’t do that because I don’t have any cash…please stop doing that because its driving me crazy,” etc) he seems to generally accept the terms. Obviously, there are exceptions and fits, but overall he teaches me valuable lessons about accepting life as it comes, and the peace that comes from not pushing back all the time. He is a joyful and peaceful kid and overall extremely pleasant to be around; he’s one of my very best friends and I truly feel that we’ll have a close relationship well into his adult years. He just has that loyalty. Ted does such an amazing job with him, teaching him and showing him everything from how to use a screwdriver to how to ask for forgiveness when you’re wrong, and if Jude grows up to be anything like his daddy, some little lady out there is in luck:) We are still waiting for him to say those three magic words—I love you—(men!) but even if he doesn’t say it, I feel it anyway.

Ada is 13 months and is very much a silly goose and busy bee. She’s still not walking, but I think it won’t be long now, probably a matter of a few weeks. But she doesn’t let a little thing like not being able to walk slow her down. She marches around the house behind her pink baby stroller, which contains a fuzzy pink elephant that sings the ABC song. To which Ada dances by squatting up and down furiously with one arm in the air. God love her. She flies up the stairs when I’m not looking and has developed a really funny “I’m caught!” face when I catch her and wag my finger up at her. Her little mouth hangs open in feigned shock that she’s in trouble but those huge eyes dance because she loves the attention:) She squawks very loudly when she’s happy, she hums when she eats, and she giggles when you make funny faces at her (not typical funny faces, but like, exaggerated pretend throwing up or gagging, so you can’t bring your B game and expect a laugh). She loves reading books. Much more than Jude ever did, which makes me feel guilty because I have less time to read to her. There’s just not many minutes in the day (if there are any) that she and I are alone together to sit and read, and I want to make a point to do mom/daughter things more often, even now. She eats a LOT, more than Jude and I’m serious when I say that. I watch it. We eat lunch at the table together and its getting to where I’ll often fix all 3 of us the same plates of food, and Ada eats him under the table. Her favorite things to eat are bananas and bread with hummus, both of which I’ve discovered double as hair gel. She’s taking 2 naps a day, from about 9am-10am and about 1:30-3p. She can say Mama, Dada and Uh-oh, although they don’t normally come out at the appropriate time. She has zero separation anxiety (do you hear those angels singing?) and we can drop her off at the church nursery, Mothers Day Out, and friends and family members homes without any tears or really, acknowledgement! I remember Jude having a hard time around 18 months old, so I guess we’ll see if time changes any of that. Ada is just a sweet, silly girl and her little gap-toothed smile makes my heart sigh:)

We’re having a good summer. Last summer was survival mode when she was a newborn, but now its more fun. The past several weeks I’ve started taking them to restaurants I wouldn’t normally take them to. I’m not sure why, but it kind of works! Sometimes. I was driving past Taste, a little café near our house, the other week and thought wistfully about having lunch there, but of course the kids were in the backseat and I typically shudder at the thought of wrangling them places alone other than McDonalds. But I decided to risk it and we had a lovely lunch outside! When Ted and I take them out, I think the stress comes in when we try to have adult conversation and the kids interrupt. But when its just me, I give them all my attention and we usually have a pretty relaxed meal. We’ve been having our lunch outings about once a week. Occasionally, somebody ends up crying under the table and we have to hurry out, but…our batting average is decent!
I’m lucky I get to spend my days with these guys. Raising kids is no joke and there’s a lot that gets put on hold, especially in the beginning when their needs are the greatest. But I know time will and is flying by, and I’ll miss these years like crazy someday. Ted and I talk about how it seems the days go by slow, but the years go by so fast. I hope we are making some good memories along the way. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this quote before but I just find it so true: “In raising my children, I’ve lost my mind but found my soul.” -Lisa T. Shepherd


Lauren said...

They do grow up so fast:) I can't believe how much Ada is changing either....I need to see her soon! And I am sure Tyson and Jace would be willing to follow any of Jude's train commands as well since they share that passion with him:)

Beth said...

I love these descriptions of your babies--it's such a perfect snapshot of what they're up to right now and they are so stinking sweet. I especially love Jude's train commands and Ada's little noises while she eats.