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Dear Ruby Mae, {Happy 1st Birthday!}

23 Jun

Dear Ruby,

Happy first birthday to the most beautiful, sweetest, craziest, cuddliest, cutiest, smiliest, giggliest, loveliest, smartiest (we have no clue where you get it) Baby Goo in the whole Universe!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe it has been A WHOLE YEAR since the day you came charging into our lives. There I was, dealing with your crazy brother and your cutie father, in full fledged denial about having you. I kept telling myself “There is no way this baby is coming before 41 weeks” because your crazy little brother was almost two weeks late. Thanks, by the way, for not making me wait that long. But really? Preeclampsia and risk of stroke? Thanks Ruby. Its a good thing you are the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.

I was in such shock when we went to the hospital on June 23rd and found out that, you would in fact be born that day. That even as they were stitching me back up (Again, thanks Ruby) I couldn’t believe it was finally the moment we had anxiously been awaiting for our whole lives. The day we would meet our daughter, the day Jude would meet his sister, his new best friend.

After surgery, they took me into recovery and laid you on my chest, my heart doubled in size and I knew that nothing in the world could make our family as happy as you made us that day. I was so nervous to attempt breastfeeding you, because Jude had NO interest in trivial things such as eating, sleeping or doing anything but be crazy. But your father brought you to me, the nurse to my right smiled and encouraged me and in a matter of a few minutes, you did what I never thought was possible, you latched. After two unwanted C-sections and a failed breastfeeding attempt with Jude, that moment validated me as a woman and a mother. We had and instant bond and I just couldn’t believe how unbelievably lucky our family was to welcome this gorgeous, beautiful, sweet princess into our lives.

And once you latched? You just kept on wanting to latch, girl. I knew to expect to breastfeed most of the first 3 months of your life, but girrrrrrrrl, you did not STOP breastfeeding for the first 3 months. Thank goodness Daddy bought me that iPhone4, nawwhatimean?

When we first brought you home, I think Jude liked you, but he pretty much hated us. For like…two months. So that was fun…playing on my iPhone, secretly loving every second of being “forced” to bond with you in a chair 6 hours a day.

I guess that magic boob juice did its thang because, you started to (slowly, really slowly) grow and develop and each day that passed I would look at you and think, ‘No seriously, this girl ACTUALLY gets cuter every single day.’ My favorite pass time became torturing you with an insane amount of wardrobe changes and gigantic bows and flowers on your head. You were such a good sport and often cooed and smiled as I took a ridiculous amount of photos of you each day.

Soon the fall came and we got SO excited to pick out costumes for Jude and you. We ended up dressing you up as a Puppy and a Kitty and let me tell you it was the cutest thing in the whole world. No, for real. We had a big party with all of your guys’ friends and you both had a blast. Thanksgiving came and went so quickly and soon it was your first Christmas. I tortured you even more than I tortured you before with wardrobe changes. I’d say I’m sorry, but…I’m not. You were very interested in watching “The Jude Show” as Daddy and I have named it, and you didn’t even act disappointed when Jude got all the good presents and all you got were more stupid bows and boring baby food. Of course you were both equally spoiled by your Nana, Grandpa, Papa, Lita & Aunties and Uncles. They even got you real presents, that’s love. Just remember who breastfed you in the chair 6 hours a day, mmkay?

All of the sudden it was 2012 and it has been….eventful to say the least.

In January Jude was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and I think you were a little bit disappointed, because you enjoy The Jude Show and you really didn’t see the need for the volume to be turned down like the Doctors and us did. But you loved him despite his success in learning how to communicate more and his need to throw tantrums lessening. The second you started sitting up and attempting to crawl, a light went off in Jude’s mind that you were in fact awesome. His new best friend forever. He began kissing, hugging, playing and singing with you at every opportunity.

Now, as your Mama, I’d like to think that you save your brightest, most endearing smile just for me (THREE. MONTHS. BREASTFEEDING. Non-stop. Non. Stop.) but one day I saw your brother push Daddy out of the way to run to you and kiss you first thing when he woke up and there was no doubt in my mind that you in fact save your brightest, happiest, sweetest smile for your best friend, your crazy brother. And every day that passes, your relationship grows and changes. You chase, tackle, scratch and kick each other like wild animals. You snuggle on the couch. You share your food with each other (and coming from you, that’s a high honor) and sometimes even share your toys. I hope that your relationship will always stay this way, but alas that isn’t usually the case. But I hope when you are old enough to read this and really understand, you will remember that you saved your brightest smile for your brother at one time and no matter how hard life gets, I close my eyes and think of that smile and peace overcomes me.

February brought more challenges to our life than I really thought I could bare. My brother, your Uncle Bobby, tragically passed away on February 21st , he was only 22 years old. I wish he could have gotten the opportunity to hold and kiss you, but I know he saw pictures of you and bragged about how absolutely gorgeous you were. This was the hardest time in my life. I wanted to stay in bed all day and sob, but I had Thing 1 and Thing 2 running around my house like a pack of freakin’ wildabeasts 24/7. And you know what the most annoying thing Jude and you did? You just refused to stop being so damn cute & happy all the damn time. It’s as if you knew I needed to borrow your happiness, so you both tried extra hard to remind me how blessed and lucky I was and you both refused to let me be depressed. Sad was acceptable, but depressed was not even an option with the amount of cuteness I had being rubbed in my face all day.

So, can I brag about your Daddy now? Because you are one lucky little girl. He loves you almost as much as I do, okay maybe the same, and he has cherished you since the moment you arrived. He constantly works hard to support all of us and pay for all those stupid bows. He changes your diaper, snuggles you, sings to you, praises you, dressed you up and brags about you incessantly. I’m not willing to accept the possibility of you being a Daddy’s girl yet, but if I was you, I don’t know that I could help but be one. With how awesome and amazing I am, I know it’s hard to believe…but your Dad is the most amazing man I have ever met. He cherishes us like Daddies should, he is so much more calm, compassionate, open-minded and hard working than I could ever dream of being. The day we got married was the happiest day of my life, because it lead to the birth of Jude and then you. My biggest prayer for you is that one day you find someone as incredible as your Daddy, it will be hard, but you are much better looking than your Mama already, so I don’t worry too much.

Despite the challenges, it has been the best year of my life. Each day I spend with Jude and you is not always easy, but its always filled with love and happiness. Daddy and I may not always be able to afford all those stupid bows, but we will always be with you in heart and mind. Nearly every decision in our lives is based on the well being and happiness of you and your brother, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

A few weeks ago, I guess you decided you were done with breastfeeding, because no matter how many times I’d try to get you to nurse, you just wanted to be independent, run around and watch The Jude Show some more. I tried not to take it personally, but it was the first time in your life I felt like you needed me just a little bit less. It’s not a good feeling, but part of being a good Mom is allowing you to be who and what you want to be, so I will always try to support your choices, even if it means I don’t get to burn those extra 500 calories a day.

Please know that you can do anything you put your mind to. You are the best kind of girl…completely gorgeous, sweet, independent, hilarious and 110% completely fearless. Thank you for blessing our lives in every way. We love you so much more than I could ever put into words, but I hope this helps. Happy first Birthday Baby Goo!!!

Love you to the moon and back,

Mama

Ruby Mae’s First Year Slideshow

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Dear Jude, {Happy 2nd Birthday Budgie!}

29 Sep


Dear Jude,

I can’t believe it has been a year since I wrote your last birthday letter. But you have changed and developed so much, maybe it seems possible. (I have a feeling most of my letters will start with this thought.) Not to mention you have a 3 month old sister now, who has already figured out you are the coolest person alive. Since your last birthday, you have begun walking, talking, running, jumping, etc. Basically, you have become the worlds most energetic person. People often ask your Daddy and I “Is he like this all the time?!”. (Yes, America…yes he is.) We wouldn’t have it any other way because life with you is so much fun! There is never a dull moment.

A favorite part of my day is hearing you wake up over your baby monitor. You have been in your big-boy-bed for several months now and trust me when I say you enjoy all the liberties it brings you. In the morning (about 7 am) we hear you rolling around. Wait, I need to first explain that you REFUSE to sleep in your actual bed. You only wish to sleep on the ground, preferably near the right window and air vent. You are a freak and we love you for that. So, we hear you mumbling to your cutie little self and making adorable stretching noises for about 30 seconds, until I suppose you realize that you are awake. Then, in the happiest, loudest, most excited little Jude voice you start yelling, “HI! HI! HI! HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” so that Daddy will know to come and get you, change your diaper (hopefully you will be done with those by your next letter) and bring you into our bed where Ruby and I are waiting. You SLAM open the bedroom door and run to your sister, at which point you kiss her toes and face about 3-5 times (depending on the amount of sleeping you’ve had) and you make the sweetest “MUUUU-AHHHHHH!” noise. Daddy and I always “Awww!” and then try to get you to give us kisses too. Sometimes you will give kisses but most of the time you’ve already spotted a glass of water to stick your hand in or an electrical chord to try and chew on.

Your whole life is a search and destroy mission. You go from one mess to another. This drives me insane but in my defense, it even drives your sloppy Father crazy. It can be entertaining sometimes, when I’m not so worried about the mess having to be cleaned up right away. The first part of this last year was spent greatly enjoying watching you learn to walk/run. Until we figured out we would also be forced to run after you. Once you started walking, all hope of keeping you from your search and destroy mission was lost. You win.

You still love music and dancing just as much as your first year of life, if not more. We love to have dance parties, you seem to be the most into pop & rap music. I’m most likely to blame for your terrible taste. I try to imagine the future and wonder if you will play in a band like Daddy or take dance lessons like I used to do. But you are only turning 2 and that is enough heartbreak a Mother can take today.

You are obsessed with water! You love the bath, shower, pool, lake, pond, puddle, glass…anything filled with water, you’re stoked. We enjoy taking you to the Splash Park when its hot to watch you splash your crazy little hands in all the sprayers and run in circles around the other children (who are often also asking us “Is he like this all the time?” Yes. Yes, children of America.).

We have shared countless fun adventures with you over the past year! DISNEYLAND, your first pony ride at Apple Hill, admiring the animals at Folsom Zoo, spinning in the teacups at the Carnival, the birth of your cousin T2, Ruby’s baby shower, the birth of your baby sister and making music videos at Zeum  just to name a few.

You have such a vast imagination now. I love watching you play with your cars (you are OBSESSED) and see you “driving” them all over the living room, making “Vrooooooom” sounds. You tend to fixate on really strange things to play with aside cars too, such as paper, Tupperware, toothbrushes, clothing, plastic bottles, etc.

Something you don’t like so much? Eating. Unless it involves Chicken Nuggets or anything to do with sugar. For about the first 6 months you were eating “real” food, you would eat just about anything we gave you. Now? No. You are very particular. You seem to think you are the boss and have no problem making your opinion and emotions known. Which is exactly like me, so I can’t really blame you. Also similar to Dada, you like to laugh and try to make jokes when you are in trouble. It infuriates me because it is rude, but secretly I kind of like it.

When your sister was born, Daddy brought her out of the delivery room to the hallway where you were waiting to meet her with all of our family. You yelled out, “SIS!” and as he brought her closer to you, you swatted towards her. You didn’t hit her thankfully, but you seemed like you wanted to. We were so worried you would hate her and us, forever. Annnnnnd you pretty much did for a good month or so. I quickly discovered though, that it wasn’t her you didn’t like, because you love her so unconditionally…..it was us.  After a bit of convincing I think you realized that we still love you just as much as before Ruby was born, if not more.  You are such a loving big brother and I can’t wait to watch your relationship develop over the years. You are always trying to help me soothe or feed her your snacks (which you still don’t understand why she can’t eat chicken nuggets like you do).

Other likes include: Itsy Bitsy Spider, counting to ten with Mama, barking like a dog and meowing like a kitty, eating doughnut holes, watching Shrek & Cars, playing outside, playing at the play area at the mall, going to the park, watching the slideshows I make for you, hiding things that are important, saying “Hi!”, waving and blowing kisses, brushing your teeth, plugging your ears, jumping up and down, messing up piles of laundry, sitting uncomfortably close to the TV, banging your hands on the computer, stealing our cell phones, sneaking things off the kitchen table, swinging, making Dinosaur noises, trying to break my breastpump, Mama’s singing, stomping, rice-crispy treats, closing/opening doors, pushing any kind of buttons, things that light up, chewing on books, trying to walk from the kitchen to the bedroom with your eyes closed and running into the refrigerator, throwing your food everywhere, popcorn, balloons, tickling, Mama, Dada, playing with Ruby, etc.

Other dislikes include (but not limited to): nap time, bed time, eating, being told no, sleeping in bed, being told to do anything that isn’t your idea, anything that isn’t your idea, vacuums, silence, clean houses, grocery stores, the Doctor’s office, etc.

In two years you have learned a lot, but you have taught me so much more. Your excitement for life sparks joy in my heart every day. I can get so caught up in stupid little details, but then you come along and remind me how exciting and fun just playing with a balloon or dancing to a terrible pop song can be. Your smile makes my chest feel like its going to explode with joy. Your laughter is one of the best sounds in the world. You are so adorable I can’t help but kiss and squeeze you. I’m lucky to get to be your Mom. The love we have for you is truly indescribable. Thank you for making our lives so amazing.

Happy 2nd Birthday darling boy.

Love,

Mama

Happy Birthday Ari!

3 Jun

Today is our niece, Ari’s 9th Birthday.

She is basically the coolest human being EVER.

I wish I was half as awesome as she is and I’m 25.

Proof? Well let me begin with her cameo in Jude: Dancing Baby

I mean, what other 8 year olds do you know with epic moves like that?

Or maybe you will better appreciate her by just viewing her school photo this year:

And if THAT doesn’t do it, then surely this video of Ari rocking out to Fall of Troy at the ripe age of 5 will show you:

So, ya case and point, people.

HAPPY 9th BIRTHDAY ARI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We love you.

Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake

4 May

I’m in love with this idea!

Via Ohdeedoh

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Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake
Sweetapolita

doodlecake.jpg

When Reese turned four her mom made a beautiful rainbow cake and had the birthday girl doodle all over it.

Reese’s mom, Rosie, is the baker behind Sweetapolita. For this gorgeous dessert she made a layer cake with lemony Swiss meringue buttercream, covered it in white fondant, chilled it overnight then armed the birthday girl with Gourmet Writer Food Decorator Pens. Find Rosie’s play by play here.

Happy birthday, Reese!

(Images: Sweetapolita)

Happy Birthday, Baby!

5 Apr

Only the best for my man.

We love you more than words.

25?!

1 Apr

Yesterday was my 25th Birthday. It was seriously… ridiculous, amazing, awesome, fun, relaxing & lovely.

My husband is the cutiest.

Most thoughtful-est.

Just, best-iest.

____________________________

My generous Sister-in-law, Nicole, watched Jude for us yesterday. Allowing me spend the day with my darling friend Jaime; lunching, waxing and massaging. It was as good as it sounds. In the evening we gathered with friends to play Lasertag & video games and then stuffed ourselves with ice cream. It was an epic day, to say the least.

Looking waaaay more pregnant than I’d like.

Yum.

_____________________

Here are some pictures Nicole took of Jude spending time with his cousin, the beautiful Ari.

Playtime at the park.

Dinner.

Dress-up.

THANK YOU to my friends & family who made me feel special. It means so much.

Stella’s 1st Birthday Party

12 Feb
Today Jude & I attended Stella’s 1st Birthday party at The Little Gym in Rocklin. We had a blast and I wanted to share a video I made of the party.  It seems like only a second ago Kelly was calling me to tell me she, too, was pregnant. We became fast friends working together in cosmetics about 6 years ago, our friendship quickly grew, so much that I asked Kelly to be a Bridesmaid in our wedding. Kelly & Sean got married 3 days after Jude was born, Michael & I knew we HAD to be their regardless to celebrate with them, so Michael helped me waddle my way to their reception. Now we share the bond of motherhood. Thanks for being in our lives 🙂 Love you guys!

>Jude’s Birthday Party!

30 Nov

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I’m excited to share the pictures from Jude’s Birthday party! It was such a fun day and I was so happy with how everything turned out. Most importantly, we got to share the day with lots of close friends and family which made it even more special. 
View photos HERE!

>Apple Hill

5 Oct

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Well, of course I will have to blog about Jude’s party and how incredibly awesome it was, but I am waiting to do so until I get our photos back :). I will say breifly that it was such an honor to us to have so many people that we love join us to help celebrate Jude’s first year of life. 
For our friends near and far away who couldn’t make it to the party,
here is the slideshow of Jude’s 1st year if you are interested.

Jude’s 1st Year! from Tiffany Reese on Vimeo.

SO. Yesterday we were all recovering from the day of chaos, fun & excitement so we decided to take a  relaxing drive up to Apple Hill. It didn’t really hit me until we were in the car on the way there, but now that Jude is a year old, we are coming back around to all the things we did for the first time with him last year. Apple Hill for example, it was one of the first things we did with Jude last year, he was about 4-5 weeks old. He slept the entire time. This year he slept in the car on the way but was definitely wide awake the moment the car stopped and ready for good times. It made me very sentimental taking him there again and reflecting on all that has happened since we brought him there the first time. Michael and I decided it is a new permanent tradition in our household and I couldn’t agree with more happiness. 

Buggy got to do something he certainly couldn’t have done on his first trip, eat junk food (guess whose idea that was) and take his first pony ride! Oh my word, it was the most precious thing. Afterward I said to Michael, “I don’t think I’ve smiled that hard since…. yesterday.” I guess that’s how you know you are blessed.
Here is Jude’s 1st pony ride:

Jude’s First Pony Ride!! from Tiffany Reese on Vimeo.

 Also, if you would like to see pictures from our day, you can check those out here:

http://www.facebook.com/v/157128330974344

>Jude’s Birthday Recap

30 Sep

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 Jude had an awesome birthday! Thank you to everyone who helped make it special for him!! He started his day being woken up by Michael & myself and then got to open a toy we got him from Ikea. For breakfast he had a blueberry pancake, followed by an hour of playing with his new truck he received from his pal Stella. Nap time then commenced and after he woke I took him on a lunch date to Daddy’s work. I guess that must have been a pretty good time because he was ready for nap #2 right after lunch. Perhaps it was the chicken fingers Michael insisted he have, you know, since it was his “birthday lunch”. After his nap, Jude was surprised by a BIG box brought by the UPS man. Inside it was a giant slide/climb and play thingy from Auntie Ann & Uncle Dave. 
Boy was he excited! Michael came home early from work and put it together right away. Jury is still out about who was more excited between the two. Lots of sliding and laughing took place and soon it was time to go to the Splashpark (or so we thought). Unfortunately, the Splashpark hours had changed so we took him over to the play place at Whole Foods where we met up with Nana, Grandpa, Papa, Lita, Aunt Nicole & Ari. We had a blast watching Budge play and eat his enormous cup cake (which he seemed to have no trouble nearly finishing). Lastly, Jude got a surprise when we found out Papa & Lita had brought him this:
He was lucky his cousin Ari was there to push him all over. They had a wonderful time zooming around everywhere. All and all is was an fun-filled special day. Since we missed out on the Splashpark yesterday we took him this afternoon. I love taking him there and watching him scream and cheer with excitement.
We can’t wait for his party this Sunday!!
Here is a recap of Jude’s 1st Birthday 🙂

Jude’s 1st Birthday from Tiffany Reese on Vimeo.