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May 2008

Jude is getting to be such a little boy! He no longer wants to be carried when we go places, wants to sit in the 'big boy' chair at dinner (no high chair, thank you!) and seems to think he can live on the same amount of sleep as his older siblings! Thankfully Jude is very mobile now and can actually keep up when he's walking on his own. I have to be extremely vigilant when we are going 'out and about' as he is likely to bolt at the first opportunity to get his hands on something of interest. Lately he has begun to speed walk so fast, he's pretty much running. He looks just like a race walker. We giggle that he looks like a little old man sometimes because of his unique gait... very little up and down motion, it's all in the hips! Add this to the fact that his favorite 'look' is his crocs (usually on the wrong foot) WITH socks (usually mismatched) and well, clearly, he's got it going on!

Jude continues to be a blessing and a joy to parent. Not that he is terribly well-behaved or incredibly easy going, he's just FUN. Happy. Joyful. He's not always 'on' but when he is, boy, watch out. He can have everyone in the room rolling in laughter. He is a charmer and a jokester and recently came up with his very first 'joke'. I was feeding him noodles the other night and asked him if he wanted more. He replied, "no!" (but he really did!) and then he would laugh and laugh. I'd ask him again and his response was the same, "no!"... more laughter. Everyone sitting at the table couldn't help but become as tickled as he was.

Jude's vocabulary is amazing. Not sure if it is due to the fact that he is coming on the heels of big sis' Isabelle, who is about a year delayed, or if it's just that he's really smart, but there isn't a thing he can't communicate! His receptive language is even better than his expressive, we have yet to ask him to do something that he has not understood. He has moved from just nouns on to noun/verbs mini-sentences and it's so cute! He'll want more juice and I'll say, "Well, go get your juice cup!" and he'll run off to the other room to return shortly proudly announcing, "Cup! Found!" Or he'll cry when daddy has to go to work, "Baba! Bye-bye!" Another change is his use of "Thanks!" instead of "Thank you." Mr. Cool, I guess. He is also trying to learn his colors and will hold out an object and guess it's color. Usually he is wrong (way wrong) but he sure has fun trying to guess! His favorite colors are green and pink... but don't tell ;) He has his own way of speaking and we've had to learn what the words he uses actually mean. He's typically pretty close, but he likes to leave out the initial sound, so it can get tricky. Tori was home for a week and instead of calling her Tori, he said "WeeWee". It got even funnier when Tori and I were hugging and she was trying to make Jude jealous by saying "My mama" and I said "My Tori". Jude replied with "MY mama. MY WeeWee." After that we couldn't resist constantly asking Jude, "Where's your WeeWee?" since he would point to Tori, leaving us all laughing hysterically. Ah yes, good times :)

Along with this explosion in language, Jude is suddenly interested in potty training. Not necessarily MY way, though. He wants to pee on the potty all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. And he has a knack of choosing the most inopportune moments, too. Yet he's nowhere near being able to go without a diaper. Or maybe I'm nowhere near being ready for him to go without a diaper ;) I have tried leaving his diaper off, hoping he'll put 2 and 2 together, but not so far. All we got from that was some good sized puddles to clean up! Unfortunately (for me!) he has figured out how to take his diaper OFF, and usually is able to do this without my knowledge. He seems to get the urge to 'go' when he sees an older sibling using the potty and he has determined that there is no better time than the present! So he manages to get to a state of semi undress, hauls himself up on the potty, and goes! Great, right? Well, not if his diaper was, ahem... more than wet. 'Nuff said.

Increasingly Jude is becoming part of the 'clique' that includes his big sisters. It took him a while to ingratiate himself, but all his hard work has paid off. He is able to make his sisters giggle like no one else. Sophie was the hardest won, she didn't take to him at first. But in the last month or two, the two of them have formed a beautiful relationship, borne out of necessity: he and she are the only two at home during the mornings. Today we were outside and the kids were playing in the baby pool, enjoying being able to push the sibling in front of them down the little slide. Jude wanted to push Sophie and she said, "I'm going to let Jude push me down the slide. Because he's my brother." Now that's love!

Why Jude doesn't feed himself yet

Jude and his 'peeps'

Our beautiful blessings :)


Jude's "look": socks, crocs on the wrong feet...
made complete with stickers

Happy boy!
Jude is so taken with his sisters that often, when he comes to ask for juice, he will also request some for his sisters. Now that's a gentleman :) The three of them are bathtub buddies and their nightly ritual never fails to bring peals of laughter from the bathroom. Squabbles over who gets to play with the watering can as well, but laughter usually prevails.

Jude continues to do things on his own schedule and in his own time. He gets up in the morning happily, almost always with a smile on his face. He loves to have Velvet on his bed with him and thankfully, she seems to be as content with him as he is with her. He is still very attached to his pillow, or 'wi wa' as he calls it. In fact, he can often be seen toting his wi wa around the house during the day. We're working on trying to get him to be a bit more open to change, but he's a toddler. And a stubborn toddler at that. His stubborn streak has unfortunately carried over into his eating habits. He's still eating when and what he wants, and nothing else. And he will only eat a handful of foods, but he's gaining weight... not a lot, but enough. He's also growing. He finally passed the 26 pound mark and is 33 inches tall on our last visit to the doctor. That's a pretty significant gain from 20 1/2 pounds when he came home! He's struggled a bit with ear infections... we manage to get one cleared up with antibiotics, but a new one comes along just a few weeks later. We are contemplating having tubes placed, but are waiting and watching for now. Other than that, Jude has been healthy as a horse. He's tough, too. If he falls and bumps his head (oftentimes thanks to big sis' Isabelle) he cries until his boo boo is acknowledged and kissed, and then he's off and ready for more.

We just completed Jude's final post placement visit, on June 17th we will mark on year that he has been a beloved part of our family. And what a wonderful year it's been. As I reflect on our last year with him, it amazes me how he has changed and how he has changed us. There were times in our journey to bring Jude home that we were afraid, anxious and uncertain of how God's plan was going to unfold. But we bolstered ourselves with His word and reminded ourselves that He chose Jude to be our son long before we even saw his face. Looking back, I praise Him for His faithfulness and His promise. We could simply not imagine our family without Jude. Thank You, Lord, for choosing us to love and parent this completely captivating and incredibly joyful child.

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