Dear little Peter Dean enjoys going into the greenbelt by my parent's house for air soft wars and such shenanigans. Sometimes he happens upon some poison oak, and this time it was quite bad. Yesterday he stayed home all day and he still isn't feeling well today. The doctors have him on 3 steroids. The steroids give him migraines, so he's taking pills for that too. Ah, western medicine. Mom asked me if I could come over to make sure he's ok today while she's out. The up side is we're watching Monty Python's Holy Grail as I work on my final paper and Luke takes a nap. What a classic sick day movie. All I remember from my sick days from school was a bunch of Price is Right. I got gypped.
Last Sunday we learned about the passing of Grandpa Tom, Mac's maternal grandfather. I'm not quite sure what to say about it, because anything I could say wouldn't be enough. So I won't. It was a terrible reason for an impromptu trip to Utah, but it was a blessing to be able to see Mac's family. It was also a blessing that Mac's family knew a pilot that could get us buddy passes so that we didn't have to drive or drain our bank accounts. Wednesday we flew out of San Francisco after a couple of days of 90 degree weather in California, and Sunday as we drove to the Salt Lake Airport there was a little bit of snow. That's April for you.
Luke was a pretty good boy, all things considered. He hated the car rides to and from the airport, but was good on the plane. He enjoyed charming strangers wherever we went. Thursday and Friday I could tell he was a little overwhelmed with all the new people around him, but Saturday he really enjoyed being around cousins and aunts. Here's the photos, some of which are going to be classic cousin pics.
Cousin bath time (Lainey, Emmy, and Luke).
My thick little guy.
I love this face on Luke.
First time on a swing:
Playing on the trampoline.
Lainey and Emmy playing with Tank. Tank isn't allowed in the house. Probably because he's a dog. Or maybe because the house couldn't hold him. I'm estimating he's close to 200 lbs. I love dogs, but the size of this one has me a little scared of him. I think this trip was the closest I got to him by patting him on the head. He's like that dog from the Sandlot.
Playing drums with Jonah.
Starting solids (kinda). Whenever he grabs for what I'm eating I let him hold it, but this weekend he actually started chewing on things. I'm not sure how much of it was digested, but there were some cute faces when he encountered broccoli and a bite of grape.
We will miss Mac's family and can't wait to go back. Is it wrong that I hope Emmy doesn't figure out her 'k' sound so she still says "Lute" next time?
Luke has just been going through a lot of physical and cognitive development in the past week/ week and a half. He's gotten his first two teeth, scooted and rolled more often, did a pincher grip a couple of times, figured out what his name, starting to figure out object permanence, started with a whole slew of consonants, and then yesterday he got up on his knees and rocked back and forth a couple of times. It was very short lived, and I don't think he'll crawl for a while, but it's very fun stuff to watch. I try not to get too excited because I read somewhere that it robs them of their own sense of accomplishment, but I can't help but get a little giddy.
When we showed up at my parents' house on Sunday, I knew things would be a little zany. Their dog, Lucy, greeted us at the car soaking wet. Not sure if she was in the middle of a bath or what-not, we went looking for the owners. We came into the house and out the back window saw that Peter and Emily were splashing around in the pool. A few minutes later my Mom tells us to look out the window. Peter, fresh off of finishing a swimming merit badge, is practicing his skills and 'reviving' his sister with chest compressions. Weird, I know, but it's better than the usual sibling bickering that goes on.
Once they'd dried off and we finished dinner we played two Cranium games: Cadoo and Hoopla. Cadoo is aimed more at their age group, but they didn't like it as much as Hoopla. Mom and Dad even got in on the Hoopla. I just love Cranium games-- Hoopla is probably my favorite. Either because it's cooperative, or because I've played it enough that I know most of the cards so it's easier to give clues and guess.
My brothers played a lot of NBA Jams on the Sega Genesis when we were little. I can still hear the little sound bites of the announcer saying "he's on fire", "can't buy a bucket", and "boom shaka laka". Sometimes when I'm crafting and I learn a new skill, or do something I didn't think I'd be able to do, my inner sports announcer comes out and I give myself a little "boom shaka laka". This is the play-by-play of my latest crafting game:
I've been wanting to buy a cute tie onesie and pair of shoes from a friend, but Luke's 'little' feet are not little enough to fit. So I caught the crafting bug and decided to do it myself. I looked up tutorials online for appliqueing a tie onesie and making the fabric shoes. Saturday morning I headed down to Joann's with all the coupons I could muster and got the supplies. Mac was really helpful with Luke as I pieced together my ideas and got the onesies appliqued. Last night I almost finished reinforcing the edges, I've just got one more left to fix.
My favorites in order are 1) Striped tie 2)Polka-dot tie 3) Rocket 4) Guitars 5) Plane. Don't zoom in on them, they look better at a distance.
Sunday (yeah, I know, I couldn't help myself) I put together the "practice" pair of shoes with my least favorite fabric. I wasn't sure about the size or if I even had the necessary sewing skills, but I'm pleased with how they turned out. I think I'll modify them for next time because they weren't quite how I think they should be, but by the time I use my favorite fabric and embelish with a little button or something, they'll be really cute shoes.
I think I learned about 5 new skills doing this project, and I'm so excited for when this stuff fits.
Luke has cut his first bottom tooth on Tuesday and then this morning I felt the one right beside it come through. All I can say is that I'm glad that it happened close together because if I had to do this twice instead of once I don't know if I'd still be sane. Luke is a pretty good sport about it today but I probably would have said something different about his mood last night at 10. Or 11. Or 1:30. Or 3. Or 5. Or 6:30.
Yesterday we gave him Hyland's colic pills because it has similar ingredients to their teething pills. It didn't really help all that much, so today I went to the health food store and got teething tablets and cold tablets. It seems like the thing that bothers him most is the runny nose, so I really hope that those do the trick and we can all get rested.
In the meantime, I thought I'd share the video of one of his new faces. With the teeth coming in he is very aware of it and is checking them out with his tongue and making all kinds of faces. This one is called the "grandpa face". I think the general idea is he is trying to feel his gums with his lips. Sorry it's sideways, but technical assistance is at work right now. Also excuse the amateur videography.
I probably should know more about infant dental hygiene, but I don't. I think I read somewhere that I was supposed to be massaging his gums daily with a washcloth until he got his first teeth. Oops. But don't worry Uncle Lyle/Luke's future dentist, we're getting on the ball.
When it comes to holidays, I'm more of a JW than a Mormon (not theologically, just practically). I don't really know why I'm such a hum-bug year round. At least Luke is young enough not to be upset by the fact that his mommy did nothing for Easter. Thank goodness for Grandmas near and far!
After church we had an early brinner (yes, brinner- breakfast for dinner) with the Euers downstairs and then headed over to my parents.
The Easter egg hunt was pretty difficult. Peter and Emily both found 13, and my team (Mac, Luke and I) only found 9. Some are still missing, but not to fret, they are plastic eggs with paper in them, not candy. Next year I've asked the Easter Bunny to do a map (although I think I said that last year).
The first find:
Chilling in the grass after we'd given up.
The race is on!
I like how my shadow is in this one.
After the hunt we had a non-traditional feast of salad, rolls, and a pasta-ham-asparagus dish that I love. All of the junk food was supposed to go with Mac to work this morning, but he forgot it by the front door. I have to pat myself on the back for not eating any of it. Although one Sour Patch Kid couldn't hurt...
We were in the ward for just a week or two when one of the bishop's counselors called us into his office. I thought for sure he was going to ask us to speak, but instead he asked us (both of us) to serve in the Nursery. At first I was terrified. I mean, I was 7 months pregnant and not all that fond of the age range (18 months to 3 years). Also among my concerns was that my brand new-born baby would be infected with all sorts of diseases from these runny-nosed kids.
It didn't take long for me to love most of the kids. When the end of the year came and some graduated from Nursery to Sunbeams I really missed them. After Luke was born he didn't get sick. Not even once. In fact he's only been sick once, and it was when we were out of town (talk about a crazy good immune system on that one).
Here's what I love about it: - Watching kids do ridiculous things like feed the baby dolls a dinosaur - Blowing bubbles - Comforting the kids who don't do well away from mom - Seeing them be so kind to Luke and pile toys around him - Watching Mac play with the kids- they love him - When they say "no" to everything you ask them (even though sometimes they mean yes) - Teaching lessons and have them look at you with a blank stare - Teaching them a song and being the only one singing
I love my calling.
Here's two little girls putting their baby dolls to sleep with lots of shushing. Two minutes earlier they were fighting over the my little ponies, but that wasn't as good of a photo op.
Honestly, sometimes I have no idea how to get him to sleep. This is what has worked this past week:
- The sleep of a thousand kisses: I snuggle or rock him and kiss him on his forehead about a thousand times or until he falls asleep. Then I worry about how to move him so he won't wake back up.
- The daddy-snuggle sleep: When Luke wakes up too early on a Saturday or Sunday if I put him next to his daddy in bed, the deep breathing and Mac's very warm body temp will usually put him back to sleep. The bonus of this method is that it's really heart-warming for mommies.
Why is it that kids have such a hard time sleeping? Come to think of it, a lot of adults struggle with sleep too (how many commercials are there for sleep aids on tv?). I don't know what the answer is, but I sure hope these methods work for a while, or I'll have to brainstorm more...
After all the excitement of our Monterey trip, Luke has been bored with his ho-hum at-home life. Thank goodness that when we visited Nana we had some things to distract us. Mom, Peter, Emily, Luke, Mac (on his lunch break), and I all went to In-n-Out. Luke has this thing with cups, so as soon as I had finished my drink, he played with the cup for a solid half an hour. On our arrival back at Nana's, we went to get the mail and we got a lovely surprise. A package! Mail that isn't junk mail or a bill is very, very nice. Packages are even better. Uncle Lyle and Aunt Ciara sent us the sweetest stuff.
First we opened it...
Then we read the funny card... Yes, dear Auntie and Uncle, it's never too early to learn about teeth and look good for the ladies.
Next we read the book... It's good timing too because I think we'll have a tooth popping through his gums within a month. I'm a newbie at this mom thing so I might be wrong, but when I massage his gums I can feel the two bottom ones (one is higher than the other). Plus he makes the funniest faces lately and Nana confirms that they look like his gums are bothering him.
Last we tried on the shirt... For the life of me I can't remember what these shirts are called but it reminds me of what they wear in the Dominican Republic. It's perfect for springtime.
After all the package fun was over Luke took a nap and woke up with binky and blanky face (similar to pillow face). The picture doesn't really show it, but I thought it was cute anyway.
We also found at Nana's this wonderful thing that helped me imagine what he'd look like with hair. I showed him a mirror, but he didn't seem to even notice.
Now I have to get to work on school stuff. I'm taking my last online class this month before I do my student teaching and I'll do just about anything to avoid doing school work. This morning I even cleaned the whole house. Not just any kind either-- the deep cleaning kind where you bust out a credit card and q-tip to get in the crevices and get on your hands and knees and scrub like you mean it.
Tuesday morning we (me, my mom, Peter, Emily, and family friends Erin and Blake Clarkson) left for Monterey.
We drove for 7-8 hours (there and back), of which Luke slept probably 1 1/2. He was incredibly good for the rest of the time. I kept him busy playing with as many toys as I could stuff in an overnight bag, singing, nursery rhymes, etc. Occasionally he would struggle trying to get out of the car seat and I would just distract him with another toy. The last 15 minutes were the hardest and I broke down and let him watch Bolt.
Our first stop was in Salinas (where the Schofield's lived until '94) to visit the Steinbeck House for lunch. John Steinbeck grew up there and it was historical and beautiful. I can only imagine what living there must have been like.
From there we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Wednesday morning was spent there as well. They have a new Sea Horse exhibit that was fascinating. For example, did you know that they do an elaborate mating dance for three mornings in a row and on the third the female deposits her egg into the male, who carries the eggs to term and gives birth? I saw video of the dance and birth-- so cool. Another tidbit is that when you see two seahorses with their tails wound together it means they're mates. Here's my favorite variety: it looks like a bit of seaweed, but it's really a sea dragon (not horse).
Tuesday night I stayed at the hotel to put Luke to sleep while everyone else went to Fisherman's Wharf. All I asked is that they bring me clam chowder in a sourdough bowl-- my favorite Monterey treat.
Peter and Emily were better behaved this trip than I think I've ever seen before. Here Peter is showing what a great sibling he is by giving her a piggyback ride along Canery Row.
We were so lucky with weather. It was forcast to rain almost the entire trip, but instead we got rainbows and sun.
I think it's so cute to see Peter and Emily interact with Luke. Luke finds Emily fascinating and is starting to warm up more to Peter too (in general Luke prefers women over men). Here Luke and Peter are looking out over the bay as we wait for the aquarium to open.
Luke enjoyed the aquarium. This was his reaction to about everything there: I think we should take him when he's older because the ceiling fan at the Taco Bell we stopped at on the ride home got the same reaction as all of the sharks, fish, penguins, and otters at the aquarium.
Wednesday morning after the aquarium we got lunch to take to Denace the Menace Park where I'm sure Schofield kids played aplenty once apon a time. Luke, however, was due for a nap so we stayed in the car. It was the only decent nap he took the whole trip, so it was worth the sacrifice of missing the park. If you ever visit Monterey with kids, I highly recommend the park.
After the park we drove to the beach where it was too cold to swim. I woke Luke up so we could save some nap for the ride home. The kids flew kites, explored the sand dunes, and begged for another day to stay in Monterey.
Luke survived his first encounter with the ocean, and was a very good sport. Watch the video to see his reaction to the water.
From there we drove home, where I was so glad to see Mac. It's amazing how much I missed being away from him for just one night. He even cleaned up the living room so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed when I got home. Aw!
Last Wednesday Kevin needed a ride to the airport, so Luke and I drove him down there. As a bonus, IKEA is just a couple of exits away from the airport, so we made a little side trip. I had something in mind that I've been wanting to get him for quite some time from there. It's hard for me not to spend hours and hours in IKEA because I love it, but I jetted to the children's section to oogle over toys. They have the greatest wooden toys, an eisle, hand puppets, etc. that I can't wait to get him. The only thing that we got to bring home that day was a little potty. We're saving the rest for his birthday.
I got him a potty because a couple of months ago I heard about this thing called Elimination Communication. It's an alternative to both disposable and cloth diapers. You basically learn your child's patterns and signals for when they need to use the facilities, and then make sure they get to the potty. So far all I know about Luke's habits are than he needs to go right when he wakes up, so those are the only ones that we're trying to "catch" in the potty. For now I'm not stressing myself out with the other ones (I just let him wear disposables). We catch about 4 a day (one in the morning, after his naps, and at bath time). For now the benefits are that we use fewer diapers in a day, he's getting used to his potty, and he's retaining awareness of his bodily functions. Someday (maybe in a month or so) I'll learn more about his habits and use the potty more frequently but so far this has been so easy that I hate to mess with a good thing. I read a couple of books about ECing (using Elimination Communication) and would recommend them to any one who is curious: they are Diaper Free Baby and Early Start Potty Training. I plan to do this with my next kid right of the bat because it's a lot less work than I thought it would be.
On a side note, why can't places have decent "nursing rooms"? IKEA boasts that they have a nursing facility, but this is what it looks like. Thanks, but no thanks.
Please forgive me for my blatant advertising, but if I didn't think that this stuff was AWESOME (see, all caps! I never use all caps unless it's really necessary) I wouldn't mention it. My friend Alexis is a very very talented, stylish seamstress who has busted out a lot of things for this Spring Fling sale. Were I near Layton, I would go. And here is what I would buy (or will later if she posts it on Etsy).
Little ties + Little onesie = One good looking boy
Cloth Shoes for a fraction of the price of Robeez (let's hope they have boy shoes)
Cute little boy aprons with matching oven mitts that can double as capes!
I'm gaga over the rest of her stuff too (tutus, mommy and me aprons for girls). If you want to look at some more of her goods, here is her blog http://thehickshappenings.blogspot.com/2009/03/has-anyone-seen-my-sanity.html
OK. Commercial over, returning to regularly scheduled blogging.