j.j. toothman

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Category: On Jude (page 1 of 2)

Mason and Jude are blogging

Sort of…

Mason is at http://masont.posterous.com

Jude is at http://judet.posterous.com

Wishing your continued peace, love, and happiness thru the holidays and beyond

This holiday season will be remembered by my family as the year that two things happened for the first time.

  1. We had two little boys to enjoy the holidays with and stack a pile of presents for under the tree
  2. We wrote a holiday family newsletter for the first time and have included it in with the card we sent out.

But we still haven’t solved the problem of actually collecting all the mailing addresses of the new friends we’ve made over the past year.  Next year, that will be worked seamlessly into the holiday production workflow.

So for those not getting an envelope in your mailbox, here is our holiday newsletter in its entirety.  Along with the photos that were included with it.


Hello from Half Moon Bay, California

Here we are, writing a holiday newsletter to insert with our 2008 holiday card.  Certainly, this is one of those things we never expected to actually do.  OK – in fairness, Keturah has been willing to do one of these for years.  J.J., on the other hand, has been trying to avoid this in the same manner that he’s been (successfully, so far) avoiding acquiring a mini-van.

But there is a simple reason we’ve made the leap and have dived into composing this masterpiece.  And the reason is this: we haven’t gotten around to letting some of you know that we had another wonderful about addition to our family this past year.  Jude – our second son, born on August 4, 2008.

So let’s get right to it. First off, with today’s modern medicine you can make appointments to give birth.  If you look in J.J.’s calendar, his summer months are filled with appointments such as “weekly status meeting” (these exist on his calendar every Monday at 1pm), “review design specifications for web project”, and “haircut”.  In the midst of all these, exists the appointment for August 4 at 6 AM.  That one says “Take Keturah to the hospital so she can have our baby.”  It also happens to be marked with an URGENT indicator so that he understands that it’s pretty important he not be late.

If that doesn’t seem like  we are thumbing our nose at mother nature and the reproductive process, how about this: we stopped to get a bite to eat and a cup of coffee on the way to the hospital.

But the truly important thing is that Jude Stafford Toothman was born as a beautiful baby boy at 8:03 AM on August 4.  The first “Hey Jude” came about 15 seconds later.    Mason and Jude differ in age by exactly two years and two days.  At birth, Jude weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces.  Jude was born with brown hair and blue eyes.  There is much debate over whether his eyes will stay blue and as of mid-December, they are still blue.  For the record, Keturah believes those eyes will turn brown eventually.  J.J. believes they are blue to stay.

Mason adores Jude.  He loves to make silly faces to try to get Jude to laugh, is eager to hold him, and likes to show him how to play with toys.  He also loves climbing in Jude’s crib, stealing his stuffed animals, and using Jude’s socks as gloves for his own hands, but I guess perfect behavior can’t be expected from a two year old.  Speaking of gloves, Mason got his first baseball glove this past fall and it was a big moment.  He is eager to play catch.  Currently, he’s much better at throwing.  To really appreciate how well he can throw, you should see him grab the TV remote and throw it across the living room.  Yeah, we love that.

What we’re hoping for Mason right now is that if he happens to read this letter one day, notice that there are approximately 234 words written about Jude and only  125 words about him – that he won’t  be too upset about that.

With the pregnancy, there wasn’t a lot of traveling this year.  Though a trip to Costa Rica in January is fast approaching.  As for our careers, Keturah left her previous employer after Jude was born and is now freelancing for another ad agency in downtown San Francisco.  J.J. has now been working at Stanford University for a year.

And when we’re not doing that, we’re folding laundry.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season as well as continued peace and happiness in 2009.


Keturah, J.J., Mason, and Jude

Mason at the Beach

Mason playing at the beach – Half Moon Bay – Summer 2008

Mason staring at sharks and fishes – Aquarium of the Bay – July 2008

Mason staring at sharks and fishes – Aquarium of the Bay – July 2008


Jude about 30 minutes after being born – August 4, 2008

Mason holding Jude on the day Jude came home from the hospital

Mason holding Jude on the day Jude came home from the hospital – August 2008


Jude and Mason hanging out – Fall 2008

Keturah and J.J. – New York City – December 2008

Keturah and J.J. – New York City – December 2008

First day with Jude

Jude’s first day started with Keturah and I getting up at 4 AM PST.  We called Marin General and found out they were on schedule with their baby deliveries for the morning.  So we showered…  I had a shot of espresso… and we left our house in Half Moon Bay at 4:45.  Amazingly, there’s no traffic on 19th Avenue in San Francisco so we made it Marin General in plenty of time.  So much time that I stopped for a bagel and more coffee on the way.  Such is the progress of modern medicine.  You can make a pit stop for coffee and a bagel on the way to having a baby. 

In fact the whole childbirth experience this time around was incredibly calculated.  Appointments for having a baby?  It just seems like thumbing your nose at mother nature.

Regardless, we arrived at Marin General at 6 AM.  Keturah was checked in and readied for surgery.  I donned the sugical scrubs at 7:15 and Keturah went into the operating room at 7:30.  After a lonely, rather nervous wait that seemed to last an hour (and thank goodness I had Twitter to scan and divert my attention), I went into the O.R. around 7:45. 

Jude Stafford Toothman was officially born at 8:03 AM PST.  He weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces and is 21 inches tall.  While not as much as Mason (our first son), he has plenty of brown hair.  And he was born with blue eyes…which we are hopeful will not turn brown.

We’re all doing well.  We had a steady stream of family and friends visiting throughout the day yesterday.  By the time the evening rolled around we were ready for some solitude.  Most of which we spent staring at Jude.











More pics of Jude at Flickr

Waiting on Jude

Like Tom Petty said…

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Bags are packed and in the car.  And that car has a full tank of gas (insert Blues Brothers reference here: ________________ ).  Keturah has stopped working.  The crib arrived this past Saturday.  All camera gear packed and fully charged.  We are ready. 

We are ready.  Yeah, right.  That’s the most ridiculous thing I could possible write in anticipation of having another baby.  There is no way you can be truly ready or prepared this.  All that stuff above I wrote that indicated I’m ready?  It’s all crap.  Being ready for this means expecting the unexpected. Being ready means for a baby you welcome the winging it that’s about to come. 

While I’m thinking about it, let me just say that this feels vastly different from the first time Keturah bore me a child.  The main, most obvious difference is that this time around, we found out in advance that we are having another boy.  And we’ve already given him the name Jude.  The stuff that I’ve been writing to this blog and via Twitter wouldn’t be nearly the same if we didn’t have a name.  Imagine this blog title as Waiting on TBD.  Not nearly as fun.

Oh, this figures…iPod just shuffled to “You’ve Got to Hold Your Love Away”

Here I stand head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she’s gone I can’t go on
Feelin’ two-foot small

Want to be the first to know when Jude is born?

Keturah is about to deliver any week now, preferably in about 15 minutes from right now.  But no later than August 4.  More than one person has explained that going through the process of pregnancy and childbirth is never the same twice and certainly not like the first child you have.  Just the other day I was talking with my neighbor (a mother of 3) about how Jude will be born soon, and we haven’t even painted his nursery or done all the other things you do BEFORE you have a baby.  Like buy diapers.  Her comment, “Yeah, that second one sorta sneaks up on you.”  Ain’t that the truth.

A significant difference the second time around is what we are planning to do to communicate our child’s birth announcement.  The first time around, we prepared in advance by going thru our Outlook address books and copying emails of friends and family into a excel spreadsheet. This spreadsheet was then converted into a comma delineated email draft that I had ready on my laptop.  When the day came, and our child was delivered, I would ultimately find my way to my laptop, add the necessary details (like if it was a boy or a girl), and send it out for all to see.

While there is still some time left, it would appear that none of that is going to happen this time around.  That was back in 2006.  And things have changed since then.

First, when we had our first child we didn’t find out the sex of the child until the actual the birth.  So many of our friends were eager to know if we were having a Mason or a Simone (our pre-determined boy and girl names).  This time around, we already know that we are having a son and everyone knows we are planning to name him Jude. 

Second, our tools have changed.  Quite bluntly email is not the most efficient mechanism for us to inform that Jude has been born, has ten fingers, ten toes, and weighs _______ .  In fact, I’ve recently tested the effectiveness of email vs. normal postal mail by sending a simultaneously emailing someone a document and dropping it into a post office box on the same day.  I’m curious to know what the better medium (email or snail mail) is for ensuring someone will read a 5 page document.  But I digress (and will cover the results of this test in a future post).

But the major difference is the tools that we have at our disposal to broadcast our messages.  Yes, in 2005 we had Flickr and this blog, but we have now augmented that with web tools like Facebook and Twitter.  And the ability to use these tools via our cell phones has improved greatly well.  One of the true beauties of Twitter is that utilizing your cell phone you can target the folks that are following you, but what you tweet is published to your public Twitter page as well.

So if you want to know right away, you should be following me on Twitter.  My plan is to provide updates throughout the process.  As much as possible.  And quite honestly, my role in this is almost inconsequential to what Keturah has to go through.  And when Jude is finally born, I’ll probably call my parents, then my grandmother, then Tweet the details.

Keturah and I both on Facebook, so it won’t be long before we post some items there as well.  Pics from my cell phone will be sent to Flickr and simultaneously to this blog.  And yeah, eventually we’ll get around to sending some emails around, but doubt that a conscious effort to let everyone know will occur right away.  In fact, it may be a few days.  Even a week. That’s the interesting state about email these days.  Its just not that efficient, anymore.

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