Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Max!

I can't believe our sweet boy is 2! He had a great time at his birthday party on Saturday at Uncle Scott and Aunt Sue's house. Lots of family and friends came to help us celebrate. It was a beautiful day and all of the kids loved playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, swinging, climbing, sliding, digging, and even riding the four wheeler. We ate hamburgers and hot dogs and then had cake and ice cream. Max was having such a great time playing that he did not want to open his presents, but with a little coaxing, he finally did. By the end of the party, the boys were exhausted and dirty! It was a perfect day.
Dad's turn. Wow I really can't believe he's two already either. Every night before I go to bed I go to check on him to make sure his diaper is okay, he's not too cold, whatever. And every once in a while I'm amazed at how much of the crib he's taking up. I'm really going to miss having a sweet little face sound asleep in a crib. Before long I'm sure I'll be converting it to a toddler bed and instead of waking up to the sound of "raaaarrrry boyyyy" over the monitor in the mornings, it'll be him running into our room and pouncing on the bed, that'll have to do I guess. The party was as Leslie said, perfect. Everyone had a great time and it was awesome seeing him light up at candle time, he was beaming when he saw everyone huddled up around him and the cake. Thanks to everyone that helped make the day another memorable one...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumn ( by Leslie)

It's finally here, our favorite time of year. The days are getting cooler and we are loving playing outside. Some of us are enjoying football, Roll Tide, and some of us just enjoy hearing the final score. All of our birthdays are coming up in the fall, beginning with Max's this weekend. I have been baking Max's cake and letting him practice blowing out his candles. I think we are ready for his birthday; I know Max is because he has been acting like he was two for the past few weeks now.

We have been busy, soccer games every Saturday morning, practices on Tuesday nights. I finished decorating the house for fall, which is almost as fun as decorating for Christmas. Lots of pumpkins, acorns, and pinecones and the smell of cinnamon all over the house (except for yesterday which was the smell of burnt pancakes, I got distracted getting Briggs' clothes ready. Actually I forgot about it until Briggs said, "mom what about my other pancake?") I am moving along on getting fall clothes made, even Rod thinks they are turning out cute. I've been trying to get better at taking pictures, with trips to the botanical gardens and Mt. Laurel, and any other place that looks interesting. Briggs still loves school and has received three "recognitions" for good behavior. He absolutely beams when he gets in the car with his recognition stuck to his shirt with a sticker. It is unbelievable the rate at which he is learning. The other night he told me that when he sees some girls he knows in the hall and they say "hey" he just covers his face so he doesn't have to look at them. He has a long way to go......

Max is learning new words everyday. He has even started saying two and three word phrases. He has gotten really good at jumping on the trampoline and loves for me to help him do "fips" on it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You're Freakin Me Out!

I've never done any "official" research on the subject, but I'm pretty sure that talking in one's sleep is hereditary. The Cude boys for some reason can (against our will) actually carry out conversations in our sleep. I can vividly remember as a child asking my Dad for some coke (a controlled delicacy at that age) while he would be taking a nap, knowing that I could probably get him to answer "yes" while he was asleep. I can vividly remember being "corrected" for doing so as well, since I knew I wasn't supposed to do that, ahem. My most famous moment for me talking in my sleep, besides the usual, came during my years of working at Sony. Maybe it has something to do with being in a really really tired deep sleep, I don't know. But one night back then Leslie "claims" that I sat straight up in the bed and starting yakking in Japanese for some time and she couldn't get me to shut up. My waking Japanese is pretty bad, there is no telling how bad my sleeping Japanese is. ANYWAY...I say all that to document Briggs and Max both carrying on this tradition. Obviously Max to a pretty small degree just yet, but it has come out at times during his sleep, we'll monitor to see how it progresses or digresses depending upon your point of view. Briggs on the other hand is a lost cause. I wish we had documented over the years all the crazy stuff he's said while asleep, there've been a lot of good ones. His latest one that prompted my "oh yeah, I should document this" moment was the other night. Out of the blue he half wakes up and says "You're freakin me out!" which to Les and I was hilarious at the time b/c of the way he said it with such enthusiasm. If you're looking for some cheap entertainment you can always prod him a little when he's asleep and start talking to him, he'll almost always talk back, but you can't be guaranteed what kind of response you'll get and you'd probably be bordering on violating some parental rules for child aggrevation or something. I'll throw in some more beach pics to make this posting a little more lively, there's no doubt that those two are Cude's through and through...


I just realized I'm not sure how to spell the shortened version of pacifier...pac-e, pac-i, pacey??? Ha, weird. Oh well, it's gone, that's all I know! It really wasn't that bad, but I felt I should document it since it was kind of a big moment in the life of Max and we didn't really have to deal with this for Briggs. He's almost two now and growing waaay too fast, he has his moments to be sure but by and large he really is a sweet boy. He had pretty much gotten to the point where he only went to sleep with it or maybe had it when he was sick or something. We had actually tried to get rid of it this past spring but Disney threw a quick kink in that plan. There was NO way we would have survived Disney with the lines, messed up hours, stroller everywhere, etc. without that pac-ie. We decided however that after this past quick trip to the beach that it was a good time to try to get rid of it, I think our friends the Junkins inspired us and the timing was right. Leslie finally just started putting him to sleep without it. I, the big softie apparently, caved after he cried for about 10 minutes solid and would go get him and let him fall asleep at night on my chest while I watched football. I have to admit that I enjoyed getting him, seeing him smile, pull back the tears (catch his breath), point to the TV and say "ball!" and then crash to sleep while I held him. It only took a weekend of doing that and the good ole pac-eys are gone! We did have a couple of minor incidents of finding them hidden here and there afterwards, but Max was cool and would just hand them over with his cute "here ya go", one of his favorite sayings...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Beach

We had a great Labor Day weekend at the beach with our family. My parents rented a house in Seagrove beach and my sister's family, my grandmother, and our family all went down to enjoy relaxing and spending time together. We left Thursday evening and followed the GPS through small towns and dark curvy roads, even ones that the GPS said did not exist, until we finally made it to the beach around midnight. For some reason I love small towns with beautiful old houses on Main Street, an old school that houses K-12 all under the same roof with the football stadium in the back, and a downtown with unique shops just waiting to be explored. Where everyone knows everyone else and the same teachers tell their new students about what it was like when they taught their mamas and daddies. In one of these towns, Luverne, Rod told Briggs about when he and the Rehobeth Rebels played them in football. I don't remember the game itself, but I do remember going to watch him play ( #60, sweetie, I remember!). Aahhh, memories, the good old days.....
Friday morning we walked to the beach and had a great time playing in the sand and in the water. Sometimes Max was happy and sometimes Max was whiny. Briggs and I enjoyed building sand castles and Max enjoyed knocking them down. Briggs loved jumping off of Rod's hands into the water and swimming. Max enjoyed swishing around as long as daddy was the one holding him. He didn't really want me until he was tired or itching (we had a hard time with both of their eczema) and then he put his arms around me and snuggled on my shoulder under my hat until we got inside. Such a sweet boy.

In the afternoon, while Max took a nap, Briggs and daddy went back out on the beach to play. We had an early dinner at the Red Bar in Grayton Beach (yummy crab cakes) and then went out to take pictures of the boys. We got some really great pictures I think.

Saturday was pretty much the same with all of us going out on the beach. While snorkeling, Rod caught a hermit crab in his shell and a regular crab for all the kids to see. Briggs and Hudson played in the water, while Max and Eli played in the sand. While Max napped, mom and I went shopping at Seaside and very briefly at Rosemary Beach, as we were running out of time. It was fun to be able to spend some time with her doing what we love (shop and talk), something that I miss. That night we all went to Captain Anderson's for some grilled Bay shrimp and planned on taking pictures afterward, but it rained out our plans. We decided that since the boys were getting up pretty early in the mornings we would try again Sunday morning. While the guys were watching the Alabama game and the kids were playing, Brooke and I drove to Destin to get Briggs some shoes. He has some splits on his feet from wearing crocs and flip flops and they were getting pretty bad. We had a great time, just the two of us, talking and laughing. I absolutely miss spending time with my sister so much since we moved away.

On Sunday morning, by the time I fed the kids breakfast and got everyone ready, it was a little later than I would have wanted. We got some great shots behind the house along the trail that goes to the beach.

Then we went to Seaside and got some more great pictures of the boys on the pavilion. After about five minutes of being on the beach, both boys were crying and wanting to be carried to the car. Briggs' shorts got wet and his feet were hurting and Max was tired and wanted daddy to carry him. Rod was already halfway to the car with Briggs when I finally picked up a kicking and screaming two year old and carried him to the car like a sack of potatoes. So much for more pictures.

Rod volunteered to get Max down for a nap and Briggs and I went to Seaside for some lunch. While we were standing in line at Pickles he asked me, "mom what do you call it when it's just me and you?" I replied, "I call it mommy and Briggs' special time and it's one of my favorites." He said, "mine too." My heart melted. He picked out a table for us under a tree and we sat and ate lunch together, just the two of us. Then we went in the toy store and looked around for a while before heading back. That was one of the best parts of the trip for me, as Briggs and I don't get to spend that much time together anymore, just the two of us.

On the way back, we spent the night at Mom and Dad's house and then stopped at the Crossroads for the boys to play a little while before heading back to Birmingham. We had such a wonderful holiday at the beach and some awesome pictures to help us remember it. Although he frowns upon me publicly bragging on him, I have to say that Rod is doing such a fantastic job of learning to take great pictures and I can't wait to see how he fixes these up on photoshop. He was also very patient with me in taking them. Thanks honey.