Monday, December 17, 2012

MEET THE PARKERS: MERRY CHRISTMAS {2012 IN REVIEW}


January - March
  • Made our first trip to the Portland Children's Museum with Grandpa & Grandma
  • Celebrated my niece Ashley's 13th birthday and mom's 60th birthday
  • Judah saw his first decent amount of snow (he wasn't too sure about it)
  • Took our first trip without the little man. We went to spend a couple days in the hot desert sun (in Vegas) and see the Beatles Love Cirque du Soleil show which was fantastic! (Judah had lots of fun with Papa & Nana and Grandpa & Grandma while we were gone)


 April - June
  • Celebrated Josh's mom's 50th birthday
  • Josh took a business trip to Washington DC (his first time there). He squeezed in as much sight-seeing as possible and even got to spend a little time with our friends Benn & Laura Oltmann.
  • While Josh was in DC, I took the opportunity to take a spur of the moment trip (back to Vegas) with my sister. Highlights included lots of time at the pool and a much anticipated trip to Serendipity for some of the most scrumptious desserts ever made!
  • Took our second family road trip to California for my cousin Jason's wedding. We spent lots of time with family and one afternoon away in San Francisco. The time spent with family was especially precious as it was the last time together on earth with my Aunt Susan who passed away later this year after a long battle with cancer.

My dad and his FIVE siblings (Aunt Susan is on his right)

July - September
  • Celebrated Judah's 2ND birthday with a lovely family birthday party and a trip to the children's museum in Salem
  • Met up with my childhood best friend, Jade (from Wisconsin...hadn't seen each other for over 12 years!)
  • Celebrated my 30th birthday (wow). Josh and I took our second trip away from the little man to celebrate in Disneyland. The plan had been to ride LOTS of roller coasters/"big people" rides but plans changed when I realized I was pregnant just days before leaving for the trip.
  • Took a couple day trips to the coast, one with Papa & Nana and another with Grandpa & Grandma


October - December
  • Went to a few home Beaver football games and enjoyed a winning season
  • Celebrated my nephew Jacob's 16th birthday (LOTS of milestone birthdays this year)
  • Visited two pumpkin patches and trick-or-treated
  • Found out we will be having another BOY!
  • Sat on Santa's lap (a much happier experience than last year)
  • Counted our many blessings


***Check out previous posts for more details about our 2012!***

Monday, November 5, 2012

MEET JUDAH: 2.25 YEARS OLD

At a little over 2 and a quarter years old, there are SO many Judah updates to share! Here are a few:
  • One day early in September, Judah decided to start calling Josh "Daddy" instead of "Dadda." It has been amazing to witness his speech and vocabulary improving over the last four months!
  • For as long as Judah has known ALL the letters of the alphabet (since he turned two in July), he's only been singing the ABC song for the last month. It's adorable. We're still working on lowercase letter recognition (he knows most of them, but there's a few that are a bit confusing)...I need to find some lowercase flashcards or magnets/foam bath letters!
  • Judah can count to ten and does a pretty good job recognizing if there are one, two, or three objects. Time to move to 11-20!
  • He knows all his colors and enjoys pointing out what color things are.
  • He's a bit of a car expert. He can recognize a Prius ("Gama's car") or PT Cruiser ("Nana's car") from miles away :)
  • No surprise, his favorite toys are his cars, trucks, buses, tractors, trains...and legos.
  • Judah is obsessed with anatomy. Particularly his own variety. EVERYday he likes to list off who has one and who doesn't (friends and family). It's kind of exhausting and we keep on trying to explain to him that's not something we need to talk about ALL the time. Boys.
  • When we're not talking about their anatomy, Judah still loves listing off all his family and friends, and especially his cousins, and talk about what they're doing that day: Jacob ("Gah-boot"...he can say "Jacob" perfectly, but he prefers to call him "Gah-boot" - your guess is as good as mine!), Ashley (now officially "Ashely" and no longer "Ackey"), Erika, Laurel ("Worrel"), and Levi ("Weigh-Wee") He also likes naming off all the family and friends we have in photos around the house...it's too cute.
  • Meal time continues to be a bit of a struggle. The latest is that Judah likes to hold food in his mouth. This can be something he isn't fond of or doesn't like the texture of, or it could be a food he likes but just isn't in the mood for swallowing. It's SUPER annoying (not to mention dangerous) and we're trying to work through it. Anyone else have a child that does this kinda thing!?
  • There are a hundred cute and endearing things that make up for the couple annoying habits, of course. I know there are more to include that I'm not remembering at the moment...so for now I'll just add some pictures of late summer/fall!!
  • Ooh, one more thing! Before when asked what his name was, Judah replied, "Parker." But now he is officially, "Ju-Ju. Ju-Ju Parker."





MEET THE PARKERS; A 30th BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!

On August 20, 2012, I turned the big THREE-O. Josh and I had grand plans to take a trip to Disneyland to celebrate, living it up and going on all the roller coasters we could get our hands on...but two days before we left for our trip we received a little surprise!


(Those are positive pregnancy tests in case you didn't know :) After the initial shock and excitement, we thought about cancelling our trip or trying to bring Judah along with us at the last minute...but we ended up keeping things as planned. And we still had a GREAT time! The trip just involved a lot less Tower of Terror, Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain. We went at a little slower pace and took advantage of things we might not have had we be racing from one roller coaster to the next. I also finally got to eat at the Blue Bayou on my birthday (the restaurant you can see while on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride) which I'd been wanting to do for YEARS!




Our trip to Disneyland was the perfect way to ring in a new decade. I'm so thankful to my hubby for spoiling me in this way and to our families for taking care of the little man while we were away! AND I couldn't have asked for a better birthday surprise than finding out we are going to be parents for the second time!!



MEET JUDAH: 2ND BIRTHDAY

It's time for some MUCH overdue updates! The last post was about Judah turning two, but it left out all the details of how we spent the big day and the party to follow. So, let's catch up.


We started off July 19, 2012 with a couple presents: the lacrosse set daddy had been dying to get for Judah since the day he was born and some sidewalk chalk for our newly refinished backyard/patio.


Then we moved the party to Nut Cakes for Judah's favorite breakfast, doughnuts. Judah chose one with sprinkles, his very first sprinkle doughnut.


After that we drove to Salem to take Judah to the children's museum. He loved it! We had lunch at the Olive Garden and went for frozen yogurt that evening...lots of special treats that day.


The following Saturday we celebrated with a family party. It included: Papa, Nana, & Great Grandpa, Grandpa, Grandma, and Great Grandpa & Grandma Crays (all the way from Indiana), Auntie Steph, Jacob & Ashley, Uncle Matt, Auntie April, Erika, Laurel & Levi, and Josh, Lindsay & Koa (along with Daddy, Mama & Judah of course!)


Judah got his first bike from Grandpa & Grandma.




A play structure from Nana & Papa.


And lots of other fun presents. It was a great afternoon with family and we're so glad they could celebrate our sweet boy with us!

SEE MORE OF JUDAH'S PARTY HERE!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

MEET JUDAH: TWO YEARS OLD

photo by grandma

New parents, when older parents tell you, "It goes by so fast!" you will secretly roll your eyes while nodding your head in agreement...and before your know it, your sweet baby is turning two. They were actually right. It.goes.by.so.fast. Of course there are days that are slower than others. How does it go? "The days are long but the years are short." Yes. Exactly. But anyway, our sweet baby is TWO! Or "dos" as he likes to say. The child refuses to say two. Dos it is.

Here are the updates:
  • In the past few months Judah has learned all his letters. 'M' is still by far his favorite but it's so fun watching him be able to point out all the other letters in the alphabet as well (uppercase. Some of the lowercase are a little tricky).
  • Judah's vocabulary has expanded by leaps and bounds! He still has a long way to go (and still has a hard time saying more than one word at a time), but we are so thrilled with his progress and can't wait until he starts stringing together sentences.
  • "Oh," proceeds most things Judah is excited about. "Oh, truck!" "Oh, Dadda!" "Oh, puppies!"
  • Ketchup makes everything better. And bribes. We pretty much do anything we can to make mealtime easier (and to ensure Judah is getting a somewhat balanced diet).
  • Other things Judah currently loves: maps, hanging from monkey bars, riding in dadda's truck, "dough-doughs" (Judah gets a donut at the farmer's market each Saturday), splashing in the pool, airplanes, watching Jeopardy with dadda and mama, saying the word "ambulance"


Thursday, April 19, 2012

MEET JUDAH: 21 MONTHS OLD

Photo by our friend Lindsay

Hard to believe that in three short months we will have a 2-year-old on our hands! In the meantime, our 21-month-old is keeping us plenty busy. Judah has changed and developed so much during the past three months it's hard to keep up. Here are a few highlights:
  • Judah is a pro at puzzles and problem solving. One day after having his puzzles tucked away (because they hadn't seemed age appropriate), he proceeded to put the entire thing together like he'd been doing it forever. With a little help we worked to put some more difficult ones together and he was able to put some even more complex puzzles together the next time we visited his grandma and grandpa with little help from anyone. Way to go little buddy!
  • Judah loves playing the piano. With his big hands and long fingers we have high hopes that he will want to take lessons when he's bigger (after mama's taught him everything she knows)...it would be music to our ears :)


  • He's definitely a late bloomer in the talking department (in comparison to his chatty friends), but has recently been growing leaps and bounds in his vocabulary. Josh and I can't wait for him to talk more...we know he has lots to say and are looking forward to him being able to communicate his wants and needs with us.
  • Judah peed in the potty 4 days in a row and now wants nothing to do with it. No more peeing on the floor/us, though, which we won't complain about. He'll be ready when he's ready I suppose.
  • He has started taking off his pj's and un-velcroing his diaper cover in the morning. I just know one of these days I am going to walk in to find a poop covered crib and walls, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I shudder at the thought.
  • In an effort to maintain my sanity I decided to divide Judah's smaller toys into three different tubs. Every day or two we pull out a different tub. This keeps things new and interesting and doesn't overwhelm mama with so much to pick up, put away, and pick up again. It's also hard for Judah (or any child) to focus with too many toys to choose from. This tub system helps simplify things for him. The funny thing is that Judah enjoys playing in the tubs even more than playing with the toys themselves. It's hilarious.


  • We joined the Corvallis Indoor Park co-op. Even though we don't go super often (we enjoy being homebodies when we can), Judah loves playing with the big toys there that we don't have at home (especially the playhouse, trampoline, and ride-able cars). It's a nice warm/dry place to go when we don't want to get soaked at the park during our rainy Spring.
  • Judah is SUPER quirky when it comes to eating (my family rolls their eyes at this since they labeled me a "picky eater" from an early age...not sure what part about not wanting to eat meat or fast food makes me "picky," but whatever. Oh yea, I don't like most fruits either. Okay, maybe they have a point. But I do eat more vegetables (quantity and variety) than all of them combined...just saying). He does not like to eat any Cheerio that is not a perfect circle. If his food is in a dish the dish MUST be on his tray or he will not eat it, we can't just hand him bites or pieces, the food/dish must be on his tray (by the way, he is doing SUCH a great job feeding himself which is awesome). If he is eating a cheese stick do not even think about taking it out of the plastic wrapper before he is done or he will not finish it. If Josh and I are dipping something in ketchup/ranch/salsa he doesn't want to be left out of the dipping. And the list goes on and on. But for the record, I blame all Judah's "pickiness" on Josh who is far pickier than I ;)
  • Judah has been getting lots of hand-me-downs from his friend Boston. Except for a couple t-shirts and a dress shirt/sweater vest for Easter, we haven't had to buy any new clothes for a LONG time. So helpful...thanks Cloutiers!
  • I've started watching Judah's little buddy from church, Khalil, every Monday. Since Khalil is just a month younger than Judah they are the perfect playmates and we really enjoy having him. Judah has done a pretty good job sharing his toys but mostly wants to hug and love on Khalil. It's pretty cute. Not sure that Khalil is totally on board with so much affection, but I think once the newness wears off Judah will be more content to just play :)
  • We should also include that were many fun events that happened over the last 3 month span including a couple snow days, Judah's first visit to the Portland children's museum, parties for Nana turning 60 and Grandma turning 50, mama and dadda's first trip solo where Judah spent two nights with my parents and two more nights with Josh's, and most recently, Judah's second Easter complete with Easter basket(s) and egg hunt(s)!

The Parker fam on Easter 2012

  • There's a few sassier stories that I will leave out for now...I'm sure the 2-year post will have plenty to look forward to!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MEET JUDAH: 18 MONTHS OLD

Photo by Kari Bruck Photography
Our precious little Judah is one and a half years old today, NO WAY!! He had his 18-month checkup this morning. He weighed in at 23 pounds, 14 ounces (25th percentile) and was 33 inches long (75th percentile)...our long and lean little machine. Everything looked great. We are so blessed to have such a healthy little boy!

Some fun things about Judah today...
  • he loves to snuggle with his stuffed animals
  • LOVES doggies
  • can dribble a soccer ball better than me...we definitely have a future soccer player on our hands!
  • loves playing with blocks
  • loves to read his books, sometimes out loud in a cute, whispery gibberish
  • loves opening and shutting doors and has no fear of the dark (will gladly close himself into a pitch black room just for fun)
  • has started throwing mini tantrums (yikes)
  • started peeing by the tub (or on me) on occasion...tried to set him on the potty but he was NOT having it!
  • has the cutest dance moves when he likes a song
  • loves bread (who doesn't!?)
  • loves bath time...playing in it, not necessarily the being bathed part