Monthly Archives: March 2010

Stalking the Easter Bunny

On Saturday morning we made our way down to the clubhouse for the annual neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.  Before the hunt began we enjoyed some yummy snacks while talking and playing with friends, neighbors and (drum roll, please) the EASTER BUNNY!  Many of you might remember Ben’s encounter with the Easter Bunny last year.  He wanted nothing to do with that bunny!  This year it was a complete 180.  Ben LOVED the Easter Bunny.  LOVED him!  From the moment Ben spotted him, he followed the bunny around everywhere.  If we wanted to find Ben all we had to do was look for the large furry white mammal with big ears and a fluffy tail and there was our Ben.  We laughed and said that Ben was stalking the Easter Bunny.  I begin to worry that the other kids (and parents) were going to get upset because Ben was literally next to or in the bunny’s face at all times…not really allowing for much face time with the bunny for all of the other kids.  Thankfully, no one seemed to mind a bit and Ben was polite enough to step aside so that others could take pictures with the bunny too!

Ben couldn’t wait for the hunt to begin downstairs on the back lawn.  He kept asking Jake to take him downstairs and Jake kept telling him “no” since it wasn’t time for the hunt to begin.  So what did our sweet boy do?  He asked the Easter Bunny of course…over and over and over again.  “Bunny, go downstairs?”  Thankfully bunnies don’t talk so all he could do was shrug his shoulders at Ben. 

Finally, the much-anticipated hunt began!!  Ben was quite the skilled egg hunter and filled up his entire basket!  This is the best “hunting” picture I got.  The boy was serious about hunting eggs!  If I stopped for a second to talk with someone, Ben (and Jake) were gone.  I actually lost them during the egg hunt for about 30 minutes!! 

Once the hunt was over Ben was ready to check out his loot!  We had stuffed some of the eggs with jellybeans and he was delighted to get to eat them.  He kept asking for “more jellyfish please, Mommy!”  Since the day of the egg hunt, Ben has been carrying his Easter basket full of empty plastic eggs around with him everywhere!  We were playing in his room this afternoon when he stood up and said, “Be right back, Mommy.”  And sure enough he did come right back with his Easter basket full of eggs in tow.  We took them out of the basket, put them back into the basket, opened them, closed them, counted them and named them by color.  I had no idea eggs could be this entertaining! 

Just about every time we drive by the clubhouse now (which is often since we pass by it every time we enter and exit the neighborhood) Ben likes to point at it and say, “Ben hunt Easter eggs right there!”

1 Comment

Filed under Ben, Food, Friends, Holiday, Orlando

37 Weeks

At my appointment on Wednesday we learned that I’m 3-4 cm dilated which means I’ve progressed a whole centimeter in the last week!!  Wahoo!  I’m still 70% effaced.  The doctor said there’s a 50/50 chance I could deliver the baby within the next week, 90% that I’ll deliver within the next two weeks and 95% by my due date.  After he measured my tummy, he also gave us his best guess for the baby’s weight…approximately seven pounds.  Although he did remind us that there’s really no way to know for sure.  “Even ultrasounds can be off by as much as 25% when trying to determine a baby’s weight,” he said.  

My next appointment is on Tuesday, March 30th!!  We’ll see if I make it that long!

From the mouth of Ben (about the baby): 

Ben loves to wrestle and tackle.  He’s been asking me A LOT lately if he can tackle me.  Since I’ve gotten rather rotund I keep telling Ben, “Once baby Jude is no longer in mommy’s belly, you can tackle me.”  This response seems to suffice him for now.  Although Ben likes to remind me several times a day, “Baby Jude come out, Ben tackle mommy anytime.”


Filed under Ben, Jude, Orlando

“John, Can You Hear Me?”

The scene:  After a very busy day…neighborhood Easter egg hunt, flying kites in the park and cleaning the house, we sat down to somewhat of a late dinner of Jersey Mike’s Subs…Ben and I shared the tuna sub and Jake had the super sub.  As an extra special treat we even kept the TV on to watch Kentucky vs. West Virginia in the NCAA tournament.  We watched while we ate.

Ben:  Go Jimmy Go!

Me:  Who’s Jimmy?

Jake:  I don’t know.

Ben:  Go Jimmy Go!

Jake:  Ben, the player with the ball is named John.  (John Wells, point guard, for Kentucky.)

Ben:  Go John Go!

(John hits a free throw.)

Ben:  They scored!

Ben:  Go John Go!

Ben:  John, Can you hear me?

Ben:  I’m right here!

Ben:  Look back here!

Jake and Me:  (Laughing out loud.)


Filed under Ben, Orlando

“Ben Drink Water Like Dakota!”

So, I was sitting on the couch this morning folding a big pile of towels while Ben and Dakota played behind me on the tile floor.  The next thing I know Ben comes running up to me with water dripping from his face and down his shirt and he says, “Ben drink water like Dakota!”  He had a huge smile on his face and seemed to be feeling quite proud of his accomplishment.  I turned back to see Dakota lapping up water from his water bowl that apparently Ben now shares with him.  And sure enough a little while later (as if there was any doubt the boy was drinking from Dakota’s water bowl) I caught him doing this…


Ben LOVES to do EVERYTHING Dakota does these days.  He likes to lay next to him (and on him) and he even tries to mimic Dakota’s unique talking.  For those of you that have been around Dakota for any amount of time you know what I mean…it’s hard to describe, but he does…talk.  Ben likes to say, “Dakota goes ‘whoa whoa whoa’.”  Ben also takes GREAT pride in feeding Dakota dog food twice a day and speaking on Dakota’s behalf when he needs to go inside or out.  He’ll ask me, “Can you help Dakota go outside, Mommy?”  Or he’ll stand by the back door and call out to me, “Dakota wants in, Mommy!”  Here they are enjoying a nice afternoon outside together a few days ago.

1 Comment

Filed under Ben, Dakota, Orlando

36 Weeks

At my doctor’s appointment on Thursday we learned that I am 2-3 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  The doctor seemed a little surprised that I’ve progressed this far at 36 weeks and told me to take it easy for the next week, “We don’t want you delivering quite yet,” she said.  I chuckled to myself when I heard “take it easy” knowing that I had a very rambunctious two-year old boy waiting for me at home!  But, I’ve been giving it my best effort.  Truth be told, we’ve watched the movie Cars three times over the past three days.  Thankfully, now that Spring is here and our daytime hours have grown longer, Jake takes Ben out to play after dinner each night for an hour or two.  It’s hard not to feel guilty by staying inside when it’s so beautiful here right now.  I just keep reminding myself that this is only for a short time and that it really is best to take it as easy as possible.

What is crazy to me is that I was admitted to the hospital to deliver Ben when I was 3 cm dilated and 60% effaced.  Funny how the two pregnancies can be so different.  I feel like my contractions have gotten stronger, but there is no organization to them.  I might have several in a row and then nothing for an hour or two.  My neighbor told me last night that she walked around in my similar situation with her second baby for a month…a month.

My next appointment is on Wednesday (I’ll be 37 weeks at that time).  We’d appreciate your prayers!  Specifically that Jude will come when he’s fully developed and ready and that he’ll be healthy!!

1 Comment

Filed under Jude, Orlando

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is a very special day.  My mom would have turned 62!  It is hard for me to believe that this time last year she was here.  Yes, we were all grappling with the recent news of her diagnosis at the time (she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on February 13, 2009), but she was with us.  We celebrated her birthday last year with dinner at her house followed by her choice of angel food cake and strawberries.  What a sweet sweet memory to hold on to!  I’m thankful for it!

While thinking about my mom’s birthday this week, it brought back a very fond memory from when we were growing up as kids.  For our birthday dinners she would make us feel extra special by letting us use her beautiful china dishes!  I always felt so fancy on these special occasions!  Every now and then you’ll even catch me drinking something as simple as water from my own china glasses just for fun!  (You should try it sometime…turn your ordinary day into a fancy one!  ha ha)  I can’t wait to pass this tradition along to my kids…I think I’ll just wait a few more years until the whole throwing things from the high chair has passed! 

Last night I went back through several old photos my mom gave me and found this one!  I wish she was in it with me, but I thought it would be fun to share anyway.  I’m not sure how old I was but you can see how pretty the table looked with her china!  Oh, and it reminded me of a couple more things.  She always had a candle burning on the table.  And she would also break out a bottle of the finest sparkling grape juice!  This was like over the top fancy to me!  What a great mama!  (This is a picture of a very old picture (well, not VERY old…I’m not THAT old after all)…hope you can see it okay.)

1 Comment

Filed under Arkansas, Birthdays, Family, Mom

A Baby Shower for Jude

Last Saturday my friend Christy S. hosted a shower for me with all of our girlfriends from the neighborhood.  We had lots of fun chatting, eating, chatting some more, eating some more and opening sweet little baby presents.  (Jen’s five-year old son, David, took the picture of us below.  Nice work, little David!)     

Katy, Debra, Jen, Christy L., me, Misty, Christy S., Judith and Julie


Fun baby Jude decorations!  The candles were a gift from Christy for all of us to take home.  They each had a tag that said, “Here is a candle for you to light once the stork has made its flight.  With the flicker of its flame, please say a prayer in Jude’s name.”    


Christy has been taking a cake decorating class.  Here is the cake she made for the shower!  It was delicious!  She sent me home with some of the leftovers…it made the perfect midnight snack!  Yummy!    


If you’re on the hunt for a fun baby shower game, I’ve got one for you.  Christy spelled out the baby’s first and middle names on the little bags below.  She then filled each bag with a baby item that begins with that letter.  She sealed them shut and we had to guess what was inside by only feeling the outside of the bags.  We had a great time coming up with silly guesses!  (It was a lot harder than we all thought it would be!)    


And in closing, here are a couple of shower gifts I received from my friend and next door neighbor, Kristina (not pictured above).  Her mom made these burp cloths and I think they are just adorable.  My first baby item with Jude’s name on it!!  And for Kristina to give me anything with a Razorback on it is truly amazing.  This girl is a die-hard Gator fan!  Check out the cuteness!   



1 Comment

Filed under Food, Friends, Jude, Orlando

Welcome Baby Ashlin!!

My step-sister, Lindsey, and her husband, Dustin, welcomed their daughter (and first child), Ashlin Davea, into the world on Sunday, March 14th at 1:28 pm!  She weighs 5 pounds, 10 ounces and is 18 inches long.  

After dealing with severe swelling and extremely high blood pressure, also called toxemia, last Tuesday, March 9th, Lindsey’s physician sent her to the local medical center for additional evaluation.  They determined at that time to take her by ambulance to the university medical center a few hours away.  The medical staff, trained to handle high risk pregnancies, was able to bring her blood pressure down to a less serious level with blood pressure medication.  She also received several rounds of steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs develop in the event that they’d have to deliver her early.  The staff continued to monitor Lindsey and the baby for the next several days and after her condition seem to improve somewhat even considered discharging her with strict instructions to go home and stay on complete bed rest.  However, after her blood pressure began to spike again, it left them with no choice but to take the baby by caesarean on Sunday, March 14th. 

I am happy to report that both mama and baby are doing well considering the complications.  Lindsey was discharged yesterday morning.  Baby Ashlin was born six weeks premature and will remain in the NICU for now.  They are running some tests today and depending on those results she could be discharged as early as this Saturday.  We’ve seen God move in big ways over the past week by protecting Lindsey and the baby from serious harm and by providing them with outstanding medical care.  God is good and we are so thankful!

Congratulations, Mama Lindsey and Dada Dustin!  We’re so excited for you!  We can’t wait to meet baby Ashlin one day soon!!     

(A special side note, Ashlin was born on Granny Knighten’s birthday…that’s Lindsey’s granny.  She passed away several years ago from complications from diabetes.  She was a beautiful and lovely lady.  What a special gift to Lindsey to have her daughter born on the same day!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Family, Health

35 Weeks


I have some exciting news to share…we’ve decided on a name!  Drum roll please…Jude Hudson!!  We’re so excited about this name!!  Jude is a name I have liked for a very long time (we even considered it when we named Ben).  With the passing of my mom on November 20, 2009 (her name was Judy), we thought it would be perfect to use the name Jude for our little guy.  Jude means “praise.”    

Picking a middle name was definitely more of a challenge.  I can’t even count the number of names we discussed.  Most of our conversations went a little something like this… 

Me:  “What do you think of THIS name?” 

Jake:  “Oh, no.  Not THAT name.” 

(And vice versa).

So one day Jake came home from work and said, “I heard the name Hudson today and really like it, what do you think?”  It was the first time we both REALLY liked the same name!  Hallelujah!  And there you have it…the story of how baby #2 was named!  Hudson means “Hugh’s son.”  But, obviously in our case he’ll be Jake’s son!  ha ha

We are certainly counting down the days until baby Jude arrives and we’ve been busy getting everything ready to welcome him home!!  I’ve had so much fun going back through Ben’s old clothes.  I’m sure he’s tired of hearing, “Look Ben, can you believe you used to be this small!”  Then he responds, “Ben wear that today!”  It’s been fun explaining to him that he’ll be the big brother now and that Jude gets to wear all of his old clothes!  We also moved Ben to his big boy bed in his big boy room.  Now we’re in the process of decorating it!  I’ll post pictures as soon as it’s done.

I’m feeling lots and lots of kicks these days with continued Braxton Hicks contractions.  This boy kicks hard…hard enough to stop me in my tracks on many occasions until he stops kicking and I can catch my breath!  I’ve had some slight swelling in my feet and ankles recently, but other than that I’m feeling pretty good (minus the frequent, every one and a half hours frequent, trips to the bathroom at night)!  It’s no wonder I’ve felt a significant decrease in energy lately…with interrupted sleep like that it is hard to feel well rested in the morning!  My next appointment is on Thursday of this week so I’ll post again soon with any new info!


Filed under Jude, Orlando

Happy Birthday, Dear Ben!

Ben turned two on February 26th!  About a month before his birthday we received a birthday card in the mail from a little preschool club we belong to through our neighborhood grocery store.  Ben gets fun things like crayons and coloring books when we check out and I get coupons.  (Not a bad deal…and for free).  This card set the birthday wheels a churin’ in Ben’s head and for the entire month preceding his birthday we’d hear him singing, “Happy Birthday, Dear Ben!”  He’d also tell anybody and everybody he came in contact with, “Ben will be two on birthday!”  And I’m pretty sure he asked for cupcakes just about every day too!  How exactly do you explain to an almost two-year old that he has to wait 30 more days before he can celebrate his birthday?!?  I can assure you it wasn’t an easy task and yes, a few tears were shed.   

We chose a race car theme for his party this year (shocking, I know).  In the weeks and days leading up to his party, we picked out steering wheel plates and speedway napkins, checkered flags and pennants, a monster truck bounce house, party favors, food, and cupcakes.  Jake built an awesome racetrack for the kids (and adults) to race their cars down and a bean bag toss game (I’d forgotten how fun that game is!!). 

I share all of that to say, you can pick, plan and predict many things when it comes to pulling together a birthday party, but there’s one thing that no one can predict quite accurately…guesses anyone…not even the chief meteorologist got it right…yep, that’s right…the weather!!! predicted rain to begin at 1 pm and we were keeping a pulse on any weather changes hour by hour as the minutes ticked down to party time.  With the party scheduled to begin promptly at 10:30 am we thought a 1 pm rain shower would be alright.  The party would be over by then and everyone could enjoy a nice nap at home while listening to the pitter patter of rain outside their windows.  At 10 am there were a few drops of rain, then a steady sprinkle and then…we had a downpour, people.  So we quickly opted for plan B.  Rearrange living room furniture to accommodate a racetrack (10 inches wide X 12 feet long), serve all food inside (including cupcakes…I’m pretty sure the thought of that made my blood pressure spike just a little), and pray.  I prayed that nothing would be destroyed by little hands and wet feet trampling through our house and that everyone would have a good time, especially Ben! 

We ended up with forty something people packed into our house (a little like sardines) and we had an AWESOME time!!  The kids picked out their race cars as soon as they arrived and they all had a blast racing them down the track!  I had recorded the Daytona 500 from a couple weeks back as another back-up for this particular situation so we had it playing in the background.  Many of the kids even braved the cold and rain to jump in the bounce house outside.  Who am I kidding, they were thrilled to play in the rain!  After the whirlwind of a party was over I was beyond pleased to find that no red, yellow or green icing had been smeared on anything and other than some seriously dirty tile floors, our house was in decent shape. 

Most importantly…Ben had the time of his life surrounded by lots of friends and family (my dad and step-mom flew in to surprise him)!!  I was reminded of one of the Bible verses Ben and I had memorized a couple of weeks earlier from Ezekiel 34:26, “I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessings.”  The little story that goes along with the verse says, “the next time a raindrop hits you on the nose, think of God’s many blessings.”  We are blessed to have such wonderful friends and family and a little boy who laughs so hard he gives himself the hiccups, sings at the top of his lungs and doesn’t care what he sounds likes, dances like no one is watching, can radar a mud puddle from several yards away, believes a kiss can instantly heal any boo boo…who brightens our lives and melts our hearts each and every day!  This will be a second birthday to remember!!  And as one last funny little side note…a few days after his party, I was getting Ben out of his crib one morning and he said, “Mommy, friends come over and play with racetrack today!”  “Not today, honey,” I replied.  (I need a few more weeks to recover!)  

Here’s a fun little slide show all about Ben’s big birthday weekend!!  (A big thanks to my Dad for taking all of the photos at the birthday party, if he hadn’t I’m pretty sure I would have forgotten to take any!!)

Thank you to our friends and family for making this such a special day for us.  We missed those of you that couldn’t make it, but greatly appreciate all the birthday messages, cards and gifts sent/given to Ben!  I have to say a special thanks to my Dad and Linda too!  They flew in the night before Ben’s birthday and were delayed…arriving at 2 am instead of 10 pm.  Then we were up early Friday morning (and in bed late)  to work on the final preparations for Ben’s birthday bash.  After a whirlwind of a party on Saturday morning we all settled in that evening on the couch to watch the Olympics (and the back of our eyelids)!  Thank you for all of your help…I don’t think we could have pulled it off without you!! 

From the mouth of Ben:

We were outside playing one afternoon when Ben ran up to me and said, “Mommy, you are so cute!”  Ah, those sweet words melted my heart especially when I’m not feeling so cute these days…with a basketball for a tummy!

A couple days later while hanging out in the playroom I heard Ben tell Jake, “Mommy is big!”  So that statement didn’t quite give me the warm fuzzies like the “so cute” statement, but I did get a nice big chuckle out of it!

Jake, Ben and I were outside playing basketball one evening and Jake was trying to teach Ben how to tell me I had “mad skills” (clearly because I have such amazing basketball skills).  When Ben turned to me he said, “Mommy have mad squirrels!”  Yikes, I hope I don’t need a tetanus shot for that!

Ben was eating some diced cucumber at dinner one evening and said, “Tastes like Larry!”  (In reference to Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales!)  He likes to have a little Ranch dressing to eat with them too.  The first time he tried Ranch dressing he said, “Mmmm, smells like candy!”

We’ve been working with Ben on asking, “May I be excused please,” when he is finished with dinner.  Since he is usually the first one finished our reply is most often, “No, you need to wait until everyone else is finished.”  So recently after he asks to be excused he answers himself, “Yes, you may.”  And to make it even more fun (I’m thinking this has some connection to the “terrible twos”) he says, “That’s not fair,” when we repeat that he’ll need to wait until everyone’s done.  “That’s not fair!”  Really, are kids born with that phrase ingrained in their brains or just where did he pick that up?  We’re still trying to figure it out!

Jake and I were sitting at the table after dinner talking one evening while Ben played with his cars and trucks nearby.  Some time during our conversation Ben came up and put one hand on my leg and one hand on Jake’s leg and gave us both a little pat at the same time and said, “Be safe.”  I’m pretty sure he’s heard us tell him that about a million times! 

Ben was sitting on my lap while I was trying to put his shoes on.  The entire time I worked to put them on he was pulling on my little finger.  Then he said, “Ben pulled mommy’s finger.  Mommy toot now.”  After a good laugh, I called Jake and asked who was responsible for teaching our son the “pull my finger” joke.  His response, “Well, Uncle Tim taught it to him, but I might have reinforced it!”  Fantastic!  I can’t wait for him to do that to me in public!

Our prayers with Ben have become quite lengthy lately.  At meals he likes to pray for everything on his tray (milk, chicken, grapes…you get the idea), friends and relatives (calling them by name), mommy, daddy, Dakota, himself, baby brother, cars, trucks and anything else that might have really made an impression on him that day (like the fire truck we saw at the station or the car transporter we saw on the interstate.)  It’s always fun to find out what he’s going to pray for next! 

I was sitting outside on the back porch soaking up some much-needed sun while Jake and Ben de-pooped the yard and pulled a few weeds.  (That makes me sound kind of lazy doesn’t it…I’m pregnant people…with puffy ankles…I needed the rest!)  I was leafing through a magazine and not paying much attention when I heard Ben say, “A leaf, Mommy,” while placing something cold and wiggly on my arm.  I immediately jumped up and screamed scaring Ben half to death.  I looked down on the porch to find a chubby, round worm struggling with all of his might to get away from us.  For those of you that know me well, you know that I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to bugs.  I wonder if there is some sort of therapy I can receive to help me overcome this fear because apparently Ben LOVES bugs and I have a feeling this will be the first of many many encounters with them!


Filed under Ben, Birthdays, Family, Food, Friends, Orlando