Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jude Across the Pond (pt 1)

When Rachel’s two-week business trip to London was confirmed, we agreed that I would watch Jude in Tacoma with Grandma’s help (Linda), and then fly to London with Jude for the second week. The first week was hard on Rachel, but with the help of Skype we were able to see each other and chat as if we were in the next room. Linda helped tremendously, and the party grew even bigger when Jeanne and Heather came up the road to stay for a few days. During that first week, I (Robert) worked during the day and took over Jude’s evening and night duties that included playing, feeding, changing, reading, putting to sleep, and feeding again every 4-6 hours. Looking back, I have to say that my one on one time with Jude was probably the best time I’ve had with the little guy so far in his brief life. I loved learning how to listen to him and understanding more of his personality. He likes to be read to each night – I read him two books, one of which is always the same. I noticed that each night he leaned forward to touch the same small picture in the book. And he learned too! He learned that I don’t pick him up after I put him to bed, so there’s no use fussing (I use the 15 minute fuss rule … he’s out before he reaches 15 minutes).

On Friday afternoon, Linda, Jude and I left for the airport – Linda to return to Medford, and Jude and me to London. With the exception of a nasty old man sitting next to us (and I know who you are! I looked you up on LinkedIn) the flight to London went great. Jude slept and played the entire time. When we arrived in London, the three of us (with Rachel now) spent the rest of the day touring around the city rather than sleeping. By the time night arrived, Jude was more than ready to sleep for the night. And just like that – Jude was acclimated to Greenwich Mean Time (+8 hours from Seattle).

Here are a few pictures we took during that initial 3 day weekend (Memorial Day in the US = random “Bank Holiday” in UK):

Rachel & Jude at Tower of London (it's more than just a tower)

Rob and Jude at Tower Bridge (insured as a boat by Lloyds of London)

Jude making faces in random park to the side of Parliament

Rachel and Jude across the River Thames

Rachel and Jude with Parliament

Rachel and Jude with Parliament and Big Ben

Jude, Rob and Ben

Jude attacking Rachel

Rachel and Jude at Harrods

Random cute Jude photo

Rachel and Jude at Buckingham Palace

Monday, May 11, 2009

Road Tripping with Jude

Though just 8 months old, Jude has visited national parks, traveled back and forth to Portland on countless occasions, driven with his parents to Medford, and even flown to Los Angeles to visit the grandparents. Below are a few photos of Jude's travel adventures:

Trip to Olympic National Park with Katherine and Jerrod. Note to potential visitors, it's still snowy there in April / May. We didn't know that, and you could tell that half of the other people didn't know that either. The other half were trekking up to the nearby peaks on their snow shoes and skis.
Jude: loving the crisp mountain air!

Jerrod & Katherine visiting from Texas thanks in part to Southwest Airlines' cheap fares (Jerrod: it took 8 hours. I might as well have flown to Europe)

In retrospect, we should have known to check the weather conditions, but at the time we all wanted an adventure. But wow, did it get snowy very quickly! We practically turned the corner and suddenly it went from dry and crisp to 10 ft snow drifts and foggy.

Trip to Southern California. Jude and parents visited the Mardock side living in Spring
ville / Porterville area. We like being in the same time zone, but we're really excited that they're moving to Austin, TX - surprisingly faster to get to Austin than flying to Burbank and driving 3 hours north to Springville.
Grandpa and Jude sharing a moment

Trip to Medford, Oregon. Well, no pictures here, unfortunately, but Medford isn't going anywhere. We visited the Bellamy side, with Josh coming up from Sacramento for a fun action-packed weekend. I got to see the new Star Trek film in an actual movie theater! Haven't been to
one of those in over 8 months.
Random non-Medford photo: mirrors and hands are two of Jude's favorite things

Jude and his red socks, getting ready for dinner