happy 4th birthday, jude!!!

jude's soul has always spoken to me in a unique and special way. from the first moment we met, things were different for the two of us- he arrived, acted, looked, and all-around was a different human than i ever expected. his demeanor has been the yin to my yang. 

as we sat across from each other in a bagel shop a week ago i stared at him and started to contrast his tiny, 7-lb. body was 4 years ago to how he looked now. still with a head full of brown hair. and a gaze that continues to melt my heart. just as elle has mike wrapped around his finger, jude has me wrapped around his. i never imagined just how silly a boy he would be. the things people say about him more than anything else (strangers included), are either, 1) comments about his hair, or 2) how he is a literal manifestation of joy. his smile, energy and enthusiasm is PALPABLE. he's 100%, 100% of the time. on the flipside to his joy, when he's mad, it's horrendous. he usually storms into his room, violently destroying anything in his path, then a few moments later calls, "mommy! scratch my back and sing me a song!" 

he will drink anything you put in front of him. he's huge for his age. he's terrified of pain- either his, or anyone around him. he's an early riser, but still a great napper. he asks for every character mask he sees, and loves superheros and legos. he makes a drum set and/or creates his own band daily. he dresses up and sings and dances allthetime. he's always sticky and sweaty. he'll only wear "svet" pants (aka: not jeans), and changes clothes 10x a day. cvs has replaced the dollar store as his happy place.  he yells, "STOP IT!" frequently throughout the day, and has unpredictable mood swings. he'll drop anything he's doing if i ask for cuddles. he requests each of his toes be kissed after his nap each day, and if i forget, he usually cries the moment he realizes it's been forgotten. he's curious and inquisitive. he loves his "gampa gaddis blank-blank," a blanket my grandpa gave him a year or two ago. he still sleeps with a binky (which i should care about more than i do). he always misses his big sister when she's not around, and he gives my belly kisses and hugs 10x a day as he yells, "hi baby brother!!!!" which of course, entirely melts my heart. (i'll never forget the smile on his face the instant he learned this baby was a boy.) he oooooooooooozes emotion- he oozes love. he has gotten so much better walking everywhere with me (instead of riding in a stroller), and insists on holding my hand and telling me to slow down. he struggles to say the "k" and "g" sounds, but is finally saying his "s" sounds better, which is both comforting and painful. why am i struggling so much to let him grow up???

our awesome little toasty ball of joy is 4...
happy 4th birthday, juju! we love you!!!!

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