happy camper

I have written so many blog posts in my head since the last time I posted on here. Every day there is something new that I want to share, and the next thing I know it's midnight and way past my bedtime, with still too many things left "to do" on my to-do list. So, I will do my best to remember the many amazing things I have tucked away away in my memory (and some jotted down) over the last few weeks. 

Jude is saying so many new things every day. He is smart AND funny, which is a very entertaining combination in a two year old. So here are just a few things he is saying lately...
  • Every measurement is "three." When he wakes up from a nap, he will tell you, "I slept three hours!" It doesn't matter if it has been an hour-long nap or if he has slept 10 hours through the night. After using his potty, he proudly announces (every time) that he has used the potty 3 times! This past weekend he was helping his daddy and "Pops" with the tape measure and asked to measure their height. He told each of them that they were "three hours tall." 
  • He is obsessed with "family." He lines up his inflatable ball, soccer ball and football and says, "Mommy, Daddy and baby!" Should I be offended that I am the large red inflatable ball and Daddy is the slender football? Whenever he finds similar things in different sizes, he lines them up and says the same thing (Mommy Tow Mater and Baby Tow Mater, for example). The other day he was playing on his swings and he pulled the swings together and nested one inside the other and said, "Look, Mommy and Baby!" I wish I'd taken a picture. The swings are still like that, so I'll snap a pic and post next time.
  • He is quick to apologize...for everything, guilty or not. As soon as he thinks he has done something he thinks he shouldn't, he tells on himself and says, "I sorry, Mommy. I didn't mean to. It just an accident." It has come in handy for cleaning up messes I might not have discovered until later--whether he has had a potty accident or spilled something on the floor. Richard and I are pretty low key and patient, so it's not that he's afraid he's going to get in serious trouble or anything. Recently he spilled some milk on the table and then spread it out and drew in it with his finger. I was doing some laundry and didn't realize it until he said, "I sorry. You mad?" Ha. I think he's testing me : ).
  • He loves to sing. Whether he knows the words or not. He even sings along to Adele and just sort of holds the notes out really long to try and copy her. One of his current favorite songs is "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. I just checked out a "Bob Marley for Kids" CD at the library so I'm excited to hear him learn the lyrics and sing along : ) 
  • He is sweet. Really sweet. He continues to be extremely affectionate, cuddly, and still asks to be carried several times a day...usually when he is tired. The other day our school hosted a staff kickball game and I brought Jude along. After running around for over an hour, it was time to go and he asked to be carried. He snuggled into my chest and curled himself up really small and said, "I still wittle...I baby." It's probably a good thing that the adoption process for baby girl will take a while. I don't think he's ready to give up his spot as the "baby" quite yet--and I think he's entitled to make up for some lost time for that first year of his life. Now I have a lump in my throat. Moving on...
  • He loves to count, but when he gets to 13 he's not sure, so he says, "eleven, twelve, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen....twenty." 
  • We had a great opportunity to get away for a weekend at a friend's cabin a couple of weeks ago. We pulled up to this beautiful mountain cabin and the first thing Jude asks is, "where my friends at?" We explained, "It's just the three of us this weekend...we're your friends!" He looked at us and said, "You not my friends. You my parents." Here are some pictures from that wonderful weekend free of internet and cell phone signal...

Richard carried Jude on his shoulders the entire hike up the mountain...
such a good daddy

the four wheeler wasn't working, but Jude sat on it and made racing
noises--he loved pretending

This next group of photos is from another exciting event in our lives...Jude's first trip to the Cumming Fair!

"Pops" got us all tickets to the fair...here, he and Jude are raising their
fries to the camera. Jude carried that fry around for 30 minutes and never ate it : )

This was the only ride Jude was tall enough for or even interested in...
except the train, for which he was 1/4 inch too small. He cried. Hard.

As it turns out, we should have saved our money for the overpriced games with prizes. We had exactly $2 left for Jude to play one game in which he won a tiny little elephant that he later name "Ellie." On our way to exit the fair, we passed at least 30 more of these brightly lit, prize packed booths full of games our son desperately wanted to play. I was so thankful that I snapped the next few shots with my camera, because the pictures are worth a thousand words.

Jude pulls his Daddy toward the games

Jude digs his heels in and pulls a little harder...you can see the desperation on his face

poor Daddy pulling out the car keys and lint from his pocket 
to show Jude that he has no money for the game

And last, but not least, I will leave you with a video of our tiny dancer. Who knew he had these moves? If you listen close enough, you can hear him saying, "Yeah. Yeah."


we work hard for the money

Life has been very busy lately. Wonderful, but busy. Aside from our normal day-to-day jobs, Richard and I have had some great opportunities to make a little extra adoption money on the side. 

The above photo was actually from a golden opportunity I had a few years ago, performing a crazy character for a church camp for high school kids. The opportunity came at just the right time and helped us tremendously in purchasing our plane tickets to Ethiopia. Once again, we have been blessed with the opportunity. This time, it is Richard on-stage. 

I love this character. To the right is our awesome friend, Ben. One of the most creative and big-hearted people we know. When the two of them get together on stage, you must be prepared for belly laughs. Like this...(p.s. don't forget to pause the music at the top!)

Jude and I have been traveling to camp with Richard the past couple of weekends and hanging out with him in his free time. Here are some pics of Jude enjoying the costumes and candy galore that he found.

In the meantime, I have also been busy painting some custom creations. Here are some pics of Jude and I in our "studio."

Here, Jude is saying, "Ta Da!"

I love watching him at work on his easel

and this is my most recent project,
a painting for a golf lover

this was before I did the shading on the shorts and finished the putter...(Richard just informed it's called a driver!)
I'll post a finished photo soon

We also just completed our home study for baby girl Pruitt and are just waiting on our FBI background checks to come back before we mail everything off to the USCIS (the immigration approval process...our next big step). Our agency's goal is for us to have everything in by the end of December to be added to the "wait list." We can't wait : ).


Jude + Hank = B.B.F. (Best Buddies Forever)

Today was Jude's second day of preschool. He absolutely LOVED his first day last week. This morning he seemed a little less excited, but only because he was tired and wanted to play with his new cars he got  on a trip to the mall with Aunt Na yesterday. As he sat, sleepily, in front of his bowl of blueberry oatmeal this morning he said, "Hank's my best buddy ever."

Hank has been with us a long time now. He was purchased on a trip to Target with my mom, just weeks before I was to leave for Ethiopia to meet Jude. I was telling my mom about how a co-worker of mine commented that I was "pregnant like an elephant" with Jude. She was pretty accurate in her statement, as elephants carry their babies for 22 months (the longest of any land animal, fyi) and I waited on Jude for 24 months. So when we saw Hank, brown and fleece with tan elephants all over, my mom insisted she buy him for Jude.

I never intended for Hank to become Jude's best buddy. In fact, at first any old blanket seemed to do. Then, the blanket had to be fleece. And eventually, the blanket had to be brown and covered in elephants. And so their friendship began. Hank and Jude have been through a lot together.

 first Christmas in America

 first trip to the zoo

 first trip to Hilton Head, SC

 and of course, hanging out and playing cars

 Hank mostly just likes to sit back and observe

and Hank was there to support Jude when 
he became an American citizen

I guess I can see why they are best buddies. And after his bowl of oatmeal, Jude was suddenly energized and ready for school. His teacher commented on how much he loves school and how smart he is. And so far he hasn't needed Hank while he's at school, but he does tell Hank how much he missed him when they reunite for his afternoon nap : ).


first day of school

Today was Jude's first day of pre-school! After much debate we decided to enroll him for 2 days a week for half a day, mostly for the social interaction with other children. Plus, we love the school and especially the director. We've been preparing for this day all summer. Jude and I have been reading books about school, watching his favorite Barney episode about school, and talking about school for weeks. I guess all of the preparing paid off, because, as we pulled into the parking lot this morning, he was kicking his little blue Converse with excitement. He exclaimed, "School!" and "Happy!" as I opened the car door to get him out. When we got near the door to enter the building, he said, "I walk." I set him down, handed him his Lightning McQueen lunchbox and rolling Thomas backpack, and he carried them all by himself. He looked like a little man!

When we reached his classroom, he walked right in the door and never turned back, not even to say goodbye. It may sound sad to some moms, but I was so relieved and proud that he felt so secure and confident. We have come a long way, and separation anxiety seems to be a thing of the past (at least for Jude; I, on the other hand, still get a little anxious : ).

I was able to snap this photo when we entered the building, but he was definitely too excited to focus on the camera. However, you can still see that he is grinning from ear to ear.

We've been reading a book called School about a little family of mice who go off to school and the baby mouse, Bitty, sneaks away to go to school with her brothers and sisters, even though she's too little. In the end, Mama Mouse comes to school and picks up Bitty to bring her back home. Jude always reiterates this part of the story and says, "back home with Mommy?" and then hugs me. I'm already looking forward to our "reunion" when I pick him up today. I can't wait to hear about his day!


some updates...

I thought I'd revisit some previous posts after having a few folks ask "whatever happened with the...?"

Update #1:

So, for starters, we'll begin with the garden. Many of you may remember the beginnings of our garden back in April...also known as Jude's dream playground full of "dut."

Well, here are some pics of our garden today...

And now for two "mystery" pictures...please help me out on this one. Our wonderful neighbor saw our attempt at a garden this spring and brought us several plants he'd already started in small pots, but none of them were labeled. We spent a good month trying to guess what some of them were. This next one looks like some type of cabbage, but I have no idea how you "pick" it, or how to know when it is ready to be picked! It definitely looks like it's almost ready for a Cabbage Patch kid to sprout, so help me out if you are a gardener...Mom? Sis? Anyone?

And now, this one made me laugh pretty hard. I was certain it was squash. It had beautiful yellow blooms and I even had 2 others tell me they also thought it was squash (I don't think they looked that closely : ). I kept thinking it was going to turn yellow. If I waited long enough.

I waited until it became gi-normous and couldn't stand it any longer. I brought it inside, sliced it open, and lo and behold, it was a cucumber (I know, I know, you knew that from first glance, didn't you?). I broke out the Ranch dressing and had a snack, celebrating that I actually grew food that I could eat, with my own two hands. It's such a rewarding hobby.

Update #2:

The Farmers' Market Interview.

Well, it never actually posted, so it must have been really bad : ). Not really, I just think they decided not to continue writing on the market at that particular time. Or at least I am going to tell myself that. Moving along...

Update #3:

Flowers for Addis

I told you I would post pics of our flowers at the market. Here are a few.

I also snapped this picture of our sweet boy. I love his interest in our soap. There is something so cool about seeing him hold the product that helped bring him (and now his future sister) home to us. He holds it to his nose and makes really loud sniffing noises and says, "Mells good, Mommy!" I love his expression.

Update #4:

Baby girl.

We are in the homestudy and paper work process right now. We are on a wild goose chase, visiting government buildings, getting physicals, drug tests, fingerprinted, having our septic tank inspected, etc... I forgot how much I disliked the paperwork the first time around. I imagine it must be similar to the way a mother experiences the pains of labor, yet miraculously forgets just how bad it really was and decides to do it again...and again. God's grace. Yet I know in the long run the paperwork is really the easy part. This part, I can control. It is the "wait" that unnerves you and becomes almost unbearable. I have almost forgotten how difficult that was. But it was worth every second. 


crack, with butter on it

I think age 2 and a half is magical. Jude is a little man now, full of ideas and opinions and...just life. He now has an opinion about what he wants to do, what he wants to eat, to wear. He even tells us which way to go when we're driving! He is very observant, and if he feels like you are taking a different route than what is familiar to him, he will ask you to turn around or go "dis way," as he points his finger in the opposite direction.

As far as his clothing, he is most particular about his shoes. Up until recently, I could not get him to wear flip flops (which he lived in last summer) and he only wants to wear his checkered Vans slip ons. It does not seem to matter to him when I explain that they do not match his outfit : ). Also, if he ever asks to wear his white shoes, it is important to know that he is asking for his "light up" shoes : ).

When it comes to food, he eats about 10 different things. Among his favorites are frozen Go-Gurt (with "Light Queen on it" aka "Lightning McQueen") and peanut butter crackers or "crack, butter on it" as he puts it. He is constantly cracking us up. Here are a few of his favorite phrases of the moment:

Awwwwe, Mence! translation: Awwwwwe, Mannnn!
Wok woll, Mommy! translation: Rock n' Roll, Mommy!
Yes, way! his response to "no" or "no way"
I uh ew! translation: I love you!
Carry you, Mommy? translation: Will you carry me, Mommy?

Yesterday was monumental as it marked our 18th month of being home as a family. And today was extremely monumental, but I will let Jude tell you why...

Yes, we finally completed Jude's "re-adoption" process this morning. He is now a full-fledged American citizen with a Georgia birth certificate and his name is officially "Jude Abreham Pruitt" rather than "Abreham Richard Pruitt" which is what his name legally became when we adopted him in Ethiopia (adoptive father's first name, his birth name, our last name). We were allowed to snap some pictures with the judge. Richard made fun of how giddy I was during the whole process, but hey, I'm the mama and that is what mama's do when it comes to their children's big moments in life. So forgive my cheesy, over-the-top smile, but I was proud...

We had the privilege of having the wonderful Judge Conner finalize our case--she was so awesome that at one point she even got down on the floor to play cars with Jude!

Jude asked me to "Click. Pic." his line-up of cars

Jude showed Tow Mater to Judge Conner

How awesome is she?

I'm a proud mama today.


you still there?

I'm sure there is a good chance I have lost any readers who have followed this blog--I've somehow managed to make it almost a month without posting. I honestly thought I would post a lot more during the summer, but somehow life just got even busier. However, a busy life makes for good blog posts--or at least good pictures : ).

We spent this past week with "Aunt Na" and her family at Hilton Head Island. We had a great week, but I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Jude with Uncle "Woy"
Jude and Uncle "Woy" had a lot of fun together...

digging in the sand...

riding bikes...

sword fighting...

and napping.

Actually, Jude did a lot of napping...

I know this one is sideways, but it was too cute not to share

And this was Jude only minutes before, seeing fireworks for the first time...

don't you love how he kept his hand close by,
just in case he needed to cover his ears?

We had a lot of great family time together...

 no one told me I was supposed to make my "mad" face...

oh, I love this kid...pure joy

and on our last night, the 3 of us had a grand finale...
Jude's first movie! 

Jude was glued to the screen the entire time. He didn't move or talk (except for the occasional "Go McQueen!") the entire time. He did, however, cheer LOUDLY at the end, when all the cars returned home to Radiator Springs. He held up his Tow Mater truck and yelled, "Back Hooooome!!!" He was so excited and so proud. As for Richard and I, we had more fun watching Jude than the movie : ).

Tomorrow we return to the Lilburn Farmers' Market, this time armed with my newest, latest project: 

Flowers for Addis

This time last year, I was making some little fabric flowers for a headband for myself, and I started thinking about adoption and how I felt called to return to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and it just kind of dawned on me. Addis Ababa means "New Flower." I would make these flowers to raise money to return to Ethiopia for a child that God has handpicked for our family. Flowers for Addis.

I will be sure to post more pictures of Flowers for Addis after tomorrow's market. And if you are reading, I promise not to go so long without posting again. We've just been having too much fun!