Thursday, November 29, 2012

Getting to Know You

...getting to know all about you.  Are you singing yet, or am I the only musical geek?

Every year I taught school one of my main prayers has been to get to know the students.  Yes, I want to teach them well and have them learn but I also need to know them - really know them well.  I need to know who needs to be warned of an upcoming fire drill to avoid unncessary anxiety.  I need to know who I can push a little harder to accomplish more and who I can't push because they'd cave.  I need to know who I can lovingly tease and who is too sensitive.  I want to know their likes, interests, and concerns to appropriately talk with and pray for them.  As faithful as ever, the Lord has always been kind to answer this prayer even last year when I had the biggest class ever.  This has been my prayer for being Hudson's Mama as well.

Since today is Hudson's 6 month birthday (how is he this old already?), I thought I'd share some of what I've discovered about his personality.

He is laid back.  I hoped and prayed for a mellow baby.  I'm fairly laid back and in the past have handled high-maintenance friends/students well (though I find it exhausting) but really hoped for a laid back baby.  My suspicions have been confirmed by other people - his pediatrician, photographers, friends - all people who have experience with babies and say Hudson is easy going. 

He has a budding temper.  I expected this.  James has a temper and if I'm honest, I do too - mine's just internal festering so it often goes unnoticed.  The other day Hudson rolled over onto his belly and after a few minutes started fussing because he didn't want to be on his belly.  I refuse to always roll him back over as he needs to solve his own problems (Mean Mama, I know).  He fussed and whined for a few minutes and smacked the tar out of his toy near him.  It could have been an accident, but he was looking pretty frustrated so I turned him over.  I'm thankful that for now his temper appears only every once in a while, but I know this will require much prayer and grace.

He is an introvert.  One on one, Hudson will babble all day long.  But when in a group setting, he's amazingly quiet.  Even in utero, I would notice that when I went outside for recess with the students he'd get really quiet and stop moving around.  I think he was just listening to all the screaming, loud kids playing.  Perhaps he's a people watcher/listener. 

He likes compliments.  Silly boy.  The other day I had a coupon for a free photo package so off to Sears we went.  The photographer tried minutes on end to get him to smile but nothing until she said, "Oooh Handsome Boy!" Bingo! A huge grin appeared and reappeared every time she flattered him.  Good thing he's so cute and compliments are easy.

He is a lovey-dovey.  He's becoming quite the snuggle-bug.  Yesterday he was even giving kisses.  Really, it was more like tasting my face, but I like to think of them as kisses.  Big, wet, tongue out, slobbery kisses.  On Thanksgiving Aunt M was holding him and suddenly he leaned over, wrapped him arms around Uncle J's arm and snuggled his head close.  It was simply adorable.

He is serious about his "work."  We called Hudson's time in his Exersaucer his "work" because he gets so serious about his play in that thing.  He furrows his little brow and concentrates intently on whatever he's doing.  Yes, he'll smile and giggle but usually when you talk to him about what he's doing.  Otherwise it's 100% concentration.  Perhaps this means he'll have a good work ethic one day?

I'm so thankful to the Lord for these past 6 months and so look forward to the days, weeks, months, and years ahead to get to know our little son even better.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Hudson was blessed to experience TWO First Thanksgivings.

It would have been three, had we stayed for Thanksgiving after church last Sunday but somebody was g-r-u-m-p-y from a way-too-stimulating morning in the church nursery so we slid out to come home and let him rest.

On Thursday evening, we hung out with the P, J, J, and W families at the church gym.  Technically this was Hudson's second thanksgiving with these families but last year he was just a wee apple-sized babe in my womb.  Some how I only got one picture the whole night.  Sigh.  But here it is, Hudson and Uncle Jay.

Friday, we hung out with the G family.  Baby R (who is 6 weeks older than H) was there and much fun was had watching the babies play with each other.
H wasn't quite sure about R at first.

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Much fun was had in the pack n play. 
Many tears were shed in the pack n play over one blue trumpet.

R can crawl, H cannot.
R used this new ability to try to take H's ball.
H was having none of it.

Turkey Onesie DIY Tutorial

Thanksgiving day came with major disappointment,  Hudson's little "My 1st Thanksgiving" onesie that Melissa #1 gave him before he was born was much too little. Lilttle guy never even got to wear it; bummer.

Thankfully I was feeling crafty and with some pinterest inspiration I made this:

Here's how:
1) Find a onesie you don't mind using.  I forgot to take a "before" picture, but it was a cute long-sleeve onesie with a froggie on it.
2) Get some material for the turkey & feathers.  I used plaid because it's "manly."  I have no less than TWO sewing machines, but can't use them that well so I hand-stitched it using embroidery thread.  It took two skeens (I have no idea what to call embroidery thread packets) - I used one black and one white.

3)  I drew a turkey and feather pattern on pages from an old magazine, then pinned them to the fabric and cut them out.
4)  Then I laid them out on the onesie, then pinned them.
5)  Now it's time to sew.  I used a "zig zag" stitch as seen below.


6)  When finished, find a cute baby to model DIY onesie.

Thankfully I have the cutest baby ever who readily obliged to be my baby model.

7)  I drew turkey eyes & beak with a sharpie mostly because it took me 2 hours to get this done and I lost steam and didn't have energy to do anything else.  You could stitch on buttons for the eyes and fabric for the beak and that would be terribly adorable.

8)  I hand-stitched little turkey legs, but they aren't so great - haha.  Oh well, practice makes perfect.

Hudson enjoyed wearing his handmade turkey onesie on Thanksgiving and now it's been washed, dried, and put away in a keepsake box.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

15 Years

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my Mom's passing.  It's weird that in just three years I will have spent half of my life without her. 

This anniversary is different almost every year.  Certain ones stick out in my memory for different reasons, usually because of their difficulty.  1998 was the first anniversary.  2001 was hard because everyone was still reeling from the September 11th attacks.  2007 was emotional because I was pretty certain James and I would get engaged soon and I was missing having a Mama to talk to about all the upcoming planning.  Last year was super emotional because I was pregnant.  Not only was I hormonal (haha) but like 2007, it was a momentous year and I was really missing my Mama - envious of those pregnant mamas who had a mama to talk to.  This year?  I'm praying it won't be so bad.  I think having Hudson will be a good distraction; then again being a mama now may make the void all the more prevalent.  Either way, God is good and was faithful to let me have my sweet Mom for 18 years. 

Things I remember about my Mom:

1) She LOVED my Daddy.  I never heard her say one negative thing about my Daddy.  Not that he was perfect, but she chose only to lift him up in my presence.  But Mom loved Daddy not only in word, but also in deed.  Almost everyday my Mom would help my Daddy put his shoes on in the morning and take them off in the evening.  My Dad is a big guy (6'3" and about 300#) and worked construction so he was often tired and had difficulty bending over to tie/untie his work shoes.  Even in my Mom's last years when she had lost a finger or two and was wheelchair bound (stupid diabetes) she'd wheel over and help Daddy with his shoes.  Some may view that as subservient, but she didn't - she was glad to serve him this way and it's a vivid memory I have of their marriage.

2)  She was super good with money.  Like crazy good at saving, bargain shopping, etc..  She took the responsibility for providing for her family and managing the house in this way very seriously.  Daddy always likes to tell the story of how Mama paid for a track of land they purchased with tens and twentys out of a mason jar - it was a couple grand.  (Yes, a mason jar - remember, I'm from the country and that's how we roll).  She was frugal, but not cheap and always generous with gifts to others.

3)  She was quite talented.  She was a great baker of sweets (not a good thing when you're diabetic). I have many memories of her baking scrumptous, yummy desserts as a kid.  Almost always from scratch, by the way.  She was such a good cook (not just a baker) and I'm sad I wasn't interested in learning from her when I was a teen.  She could also sew and made almost all of my clothes until I hit 3rd grade, at which point I wanted "store bought" clothes because they were cooler.  I think that's the greatest tragedy of losing a parents as a teen - I was simply too self-absorbed and ornery as a teen to care about learning from her. 

I have a ton of family pictures but sadly Mom's not in many.  I guess she was the one taking the pictures :)  But enjoy these pictures I did find of my mama - Paulette Louise Gibbons Proctor (1/26/1946 - 11/20/1997)

My mom and her mom, Mawmaw Gibbons.

My mom with her Grandparents Hill.

Circa 3rd grade - wasn't she a cutie?

Circa 5th grade.

Circa 6th grade.

The whole Gibbons family - Mom (front) my uncle Benjamin (behind Mom)
Pawpaw Gibbons and Mawmaw Gibbons in the back.

I'm guessing early high school?  Check out those cat-eye glasses.

Not the best quality since it's a picture of a picture; but this is by far my
favorite picture of Mom and me - so happy!

The back of this photo says, "Melissa took this" in my little kid handwriting - haha.

I had some pictures of Mom from her last years, but she was sick then and those pictures make my heart sad so I'll stop with this one above.  This is how I remember her when I think of her - smiling and happy.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Photo Dump #4

Safe in Mama's arms - sucking on my toes.  Life is good.

First time in the cart at Wal-mart.  He enjoyed the new view;
though he's still a bit little and kept falling over - haha.

Enjoying a little bit of nature in Wal-mart.

Relaxing in his carseat at church last week.
He kept reaching up and playing with the hem of my skirt.
It's hard to pay attention to the preaching when you have this little handsome guy staring at you.

H likes his rubber ducky - thanks Rachel!

We cheered on the St. L Cardinals in the World Series.
Sadly, it did no good :(

But H was cute all decked out in baseball gear nonetheless.

Naked Baby! 

He is quite serious about his "work."
Carrot goatee.

Is there a cuter kid out there? I think not.

First Sunday in the church nursery.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grandma & Grandaddy Come to Town

This past weekend, my parents made the drive North to see us. Well, to see Hudson but we were home as well.

Mama & Baby matchy-matchy

 My parents brought their sweet dog, Angel.  She enjoyed Hudson's blanket.

This is the second time Hudson has met Angel.  However, he was much more aware of her presence this time around.  I like these succession of pictures as they show their interaction with one another.

"Hello Puppy Dog!" says Hudson

"Hello Small Human!" says Angel

Hey, why'd you move away?

Hudson loves Angel.
Angel did so well with Hudson.  She was very patient and never once growled or snapped or anything, even when he pulled her hair.  And Hudson did well with her - he wasn't scared at all, even when she barked to go outside.  We're so thankful that my parents came up to see Hudson and can't wait to see them again at Christmas.