Monday, May 24, 2010

Our sweet little Ju-Jube

Many of you have been asking about Jude lately,
so I figure we're long overdue for an update on our little man.
As I was putting together the pictures for this post,
I couldn't help but notice that in almost every single picture
we have of Jude, he's smiling. And not just a little grin,
but a huge, cheeky, ear-to-ear-split-your-face smile.
He really is one happy fellow.

He's almost 8 months old now.
I know it's horribly cliche, but where has the time gone?
I really can't believe it's been 8 months since Jude entered
our world. It seems like just yesterday that I was still
carrying him safely around in my belly...and yet, at the same
time, I don't think I even remember what life was like
before our family was a half dozen of lovin'!

For the sake of Jude's digestive system, we held
off introducing solids until a few weeks ago.
It didn't take long for him to figure out what
this 'food and spoon thing' was all about though and
he has quickly become a voracious eater.
He makes us Koobs' proud!
He loves sweet potatoes, carrots, pears and prunes.
And he eats his rice cereal in the morning like it's
going out of style. And his absolute favorite:
frozen apple puree. Don't try and give him a bite
of your freezee and then hope to get anymore yourself!
The only thing he hasn't really cared for:
Strangely enough, this is one of the only
pictures of have of him where he's not smiling.
Cracks me up.
You can tell he's thinking, "Really, Mother,
this is disgusting. The fact that you say it's
good for me is meaningless." Ha!!

If you look closely in that gaping smile,
you'll notice a sweet little pearly white tooth
at the bottom. He actually has two teeth now
and the funniest thing was, we had NO IDEA
he was teething!! I saw a 'little something' in his
mouth and, thinking it was a piece of carpet fluff
or something, went to sweep it out with my finger
only to feel his giant little chomper sticking through
his gums! When our other kids were teething, they
had fevers, ear infections, screaming and sleepless
nights. I guess after everything Jude's been through
cutting teeth is a piece of cake!
(Also a little note: That sleeper is our new favorite!
It came straight from the Motherland
compliments of a special uncle - thank you SO much!!)

On a medical note, things have been going
so well! Jude is finally all caught up on his
dilations and now has the same size bum as
every other 8 month old!! Woohoo!!
We now only dilate every other day, and Jude
just babbles away during the whole procedure.
What a change from a couple months ago!
Our trips to London have slowed down which
has given us a nice break, especially since things
are so busy on the farm right now. We will
start heading back to the hospital again in the
Fall when they'll reassess his 'bum progress'
and to begin surgery to correct his hand.
But, for now, we're enjoying life, minus the
trips to the city and killing time in waiting rooms!

About a month and a half ago, Jude started physiotherapy.
We go to Stratford every 3 weeks, and last time I took
my camera along to share one of our visits with you.

This is the 'old' Stratford hospital. It was built over
100 years ago, and I love it! Every time I walk through
the doors and take the rickety elevator to the second floor
I feel like I'm in a time machine. The hospital hasn't had a
major renovation for about 40 years and you really feel like
you've gone back in time when you visit there. Unfortunately,
there is talk of shutting this building down, permanently. If that
happens, all the programs that are run there will also be cut.
We're praying this doesn't happen, as we LOVE Jude's doctor
here, and we LOVE not having to drive all the way to London
for the specialized physio that Jude needs.

Here's Jude checking himself out in the 3-way mirror.

Doing a side-arm prop on the exercise ball.

(Side note: We have one of these balls at home for
Jude too. I thought, "Great! Now I can do some
exercising as well!" Ha! Wishful thinking if I ever
heard it! Oh well, maybe one of these days this baby
weight will just disappear on its own...!)

We're really working on developing Jude's upper arm
and shoulder strength. Because of his colostomy and prolapse
Jude didn't get any tummy-time for the first four months.
The combination of that with his itty-bitty right arm, hand,
and the extra rib by his collarbone, are proving to be a challenge
for Jude. But he is such a trooper! And Dr. S is so wonderful
with him...and us! The other week I was feeling a bit discouraged
because it seemed that everywhere I went, people were asking
if he was crawling yet, or sitting, or scooting around...and he's not.
I wondered if this was just a taste of what things would
be like when he got older - always explaining why he
doesn't...or can't...or won't. Dr. S said not to even worry about
that. She said Jude has an amazing tolerance and has been
making incredible progress. She was so proud of how
well he was doing and was very confident that, in good
time, he will develop the strength and manipulation
he needs to hit all those milestones. Thanks Dr. S, for
putting my mama's heart at ease!

Working of full-arm extensions.

Going for a ride on the swing!
So good for balance and upper body control.

Because he's having so much fun 'swinging',
Jude forgets how hard Dr. S is working him.
A very good trick for his tired days when he
doesn't feel like doing his exercises. Now,
if only I had one of those hanging from my ceiling!

All done! Happy and content, ready
for a big sleep on the drive home.

Of course we have our moments and, contrary
to all these smiley pictures, Jude does have
some cranky days. But, really, they're not
very often. Partly because he has two big
brothers and a big sister who absolutely
adore him. The dote on him all day long
and when Mommy is busy, there's always
someone willing to spend some time
snuggling or entertaining. Levi, especially
has a real soft spot for Jude. Often I'll find the
two of them tucked away in a corner playing
together or just sharing a quick snuggle.
So cute! I love how Jude has just settled right
into this crazy family of ours, coming under
the wings of his siblings, as we all grow
more and more in love with him each day.

And speaking of falling in love...
Talk about triple threat!
These Koobs boys just steal my heart.
And boy, oh boy, are they a handful!
Literally and figuratively.
I will admit, there are days when I'm glad
Jude's not crawling yet!
All in all, we have settled into a rhythm, albeit
a crazy one, that feels good. We're loving
getting to know this little guy outside of
hospital rooms and doctor's appointments.
And watching him grow and meet challenges
head on, conquering everything that stands
in his way, I can't help but be so thankful
for the Hands that have been carrying him
each step of the way. We've got a ways
to go still, but we know Who is leading the way.
And we couldn't hope for a better place to be.

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
~Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

And a big thank you to all of you, for sharing this
journey with us. If I could, I would just reach through
this computer screen and give each one of you a
ginormous hug! Your thoughts, your prayers,
your encouragement, your support and love
have meant so much to our family. You have played
such a big part in Jude's life and we can't imagine
what his story would look like apart from your prayers.
Thank you.
For storming heaven's gates on behalf of our sweet son.
For lifting him up to our Father and
placing him in His wonderful care.
We are so blessed.
And I can't wait to someday share this story
with Jude. To show him the comments you've
left here on the blog, the messages you've sent
to our inbox and to read to him each card we've received
in the mail. So that he will know, just as we do, how
loved and cherished he is. And how powerfully
your prayers have affected his life.

Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God.
They were filled with awe and said,
"We have seen remarkable things today."
Luke 5:26

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.


  1. Thank you for the update Angela. Glad to hear things are going so well with Jude. He is doing awesome, so don't get discouraged when people ask about the milestones.

  2. Thanks for the update. Tell Jude he is a big blessings and he is a trooper and by smiling so often he's a great encourager.

  3. What a handsome, adorable, sweet, cute as a button little guy! God has been so good and faithful to him and to all of you! Thank you for letting me read your story so I can share in God's goodness with you, and to see how incredible this journey has been, and continues to be.
    I can see that his smile, eyes and joy bring so much joy to those around him! Such a gift!
    Blessings, Angela and family!
    from Joanne and family

  4. I can't get enough pics of that little guy, he just makes me smile. And I love the pic of all your boys together. We just saw you not too long ago and yet they all seem so much bigger. Silas is such a little man, Silas looks so different all of a sudden. So, keep them coming! Loving it!

  5. *(Levi looks so different all of a sudden)