Sunday, January 17, 2016

10 for 10

10 things about Luke at 10  months

1) His hello is a mix of serious and nonchalant. He often tilts his forehead down, stretches out one arm slowly and then moves his fingers in a wave.  We think this is very cute.

2) He now says da-da-da-da.  I don't think he means his daddy, but we always act like he does. I still think he says "Hi" sometimes. This week it sounded like he said "ahh-duh" when he was all done nursing. Today it sounded like he said "nigh nigh" when I laid him down for his naps. So no definitive first words, but lots of new sounds.

3) His sleep was majorly disrupted over the holidays and I think he woke up at least once every night over our two weeks of traveling.  Thankfully he's returned to his 12 hour nights now that we are home!

He pulls up on the barricade
4) He pulled up to a standing position this month but then hasn't repeated it that I've seen. This is right in line with the baby quality we notice in him - he doesn't seem in a rush to grow up and we aren't in a rush to have it happen!

5) We are really seeing him develop connections with others. It was so sweet to see his excitement to see Ms. Larita after his break from school.  He always gets excited when he sees her.  I also love to see how he lights up when he sees Jack and Cora.  He also loves his school friends and doesn't look back when he's dropped off.

Luke at school with Ms. Larita and Addison
6) He loves to be put down so he can crawl around and explore. At school, he likes to find his favorite toy, a xylophone. At home, we've baby proofed our dining room, but he likes to leave these safe quarters behind and head straight to our shoe rack. More times than I'd like to admit, I look over and he has Cora's nasty Croc in his mouth - yuck!

Luke at the Library
7) Luke Patrol - Cora and Jack are really great about being aware of where Luke is and whether it's a safe situation. Our upstairs routine is to shut their bedroom and bathroom doors and let him crawl into and out of his room and up and down the hallway. He knows where the fun is and will always go straight into their rooms if the doors are open. There is so much danger in those rooms it's not even funny. Small jewels, rocks, LEGOs, books, uncovered outlets, small things, SMALL THINGS!

8) As good as Jack and Cora are about making a safe space for Luke, they also pose his greatest danger. There's the Jack pick-up, the Jack tackle, the erratic Jack shove, the flattening Cora hug, etc.

9) No one believes us, but Luke is our smallest baby and his length is at the 25th percentile. His weight is 65th percentile but something about his thighs and cheeks make him seem meatier than the scale says he is :)

10) Third babies don't get to eat table food as much as other kids, but Luke always gets two meals and sometimes even three a day :) He most often is eating melon, pears, bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, bread, and dried figs. Some mornings he's interested in our oatmeal, other mornings he'll have none of it.  He's a very clear communicator. If he doesn't want a food, it immediately gets swiped off the tray.  He still gets most of his nutrients from breastmilk.

And that's our sweet little guy.

10 Month Photo Shoot

Sticker = Distraction

There is no way I'm looking at you when that sticker is back there.

Yes a book will distract me but I still won't look at you.

Hey Momma!

A Lutey Smile - scrunched up nose - so sweet!

More reading

Just over 21 lbs of loving

And in the end, the sticker, too, goes in the mouth

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Absolutely Crazy

Rather than bring this post around to the positive at the end, I commit to writing another post about how full life is and all the awesome things that I get to witness on a daily basis.

But this post is about the crazy. Mark it in the record books that we are in the trenches now. Surviving not thriving. A daily blitz. Sanity stretching craziness.  Living at the extremes.  You get the picture.

When we had Jack, I was so excited to have a baby that the challenges of transitioning to one child seemed all part of the adventure.  Transitioning to two was definitely more of an adjustment and the summer of 2012 was not easy. But, daggonit in hindsight, we were rocking the two kid thing.  I can't say I remember Cora's baby year all that well, but the two years after that now seem so rosy in retrospect. Calm and easy compared to right now.

Seeing that we have the world's sweetest, easiest baby, it's confusing to me how transitioning to three children could be so rocking this boat?! I'm going to cut us some slack and recognize that Jacob launching a new business, me taking on more responsibility at work, Jack starting Kindergarten across town, and the simple truth that 3 kids with 3 schedules at 3 locations is just a lot - all add something to this adjustment.

A brand new baby and newborn sleep patterns is always going to be hard. But we actually were in a lull in the spring while I was on maternity leave and Jack and Cora were continuing their happy existence together at Waldorf. Then summer came and we had some fun adventures. Then I went back to work and we started the weekly experience of needing to account for everyone, every day, in different places, different schedules, factoring in when Luke needed to be fed, who was picking up whom, with what car, did they have the car seat, were the bags packed, empty the lunch box, wash, repack.  And then we started inserting various illnesses.  Hand Foot Mouth.  The common cold. Strep. Possible pneumonia.  Ear infection.  Persistent sinus infection. Vicious unnamed virus. The occasional vomiting episode. Eczema.

And after about three months thinking that surely it would get easier once school started, once we got adjusted to the school schedules, once I got that project turned in, I realized that it probably isn't going to get easier this year. Most days feel like sprints. And we're too tired to keep track, but I estimate 80% of our nights are interrupted by someone's night terror, nightmare, shooting pain, etc.  (It's another post that 90% of those nights are being caused by one child. Hint: Cora)

Oh the piles
I remember a calmer, more mellow Courtney last year. Now I get downright anxious quite often. It's like someone's playing a trick on you when you don't sit down all day and yet everywhere you turn there is something else that needs doing: open the fridge (I need to freeze that milk), turn to the sink (those dishes need to be washed), walk past the stove (is that the oatmeal still out from breakfast), trip over the backpack (that needs to be unpacked and repacked), stop to answer child's question, remember there is a child pooping on the potty, and then realize you have no idea what you were about to do but know it was something...

Please tell me it gets easier!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

The last half of 2015 has been pure on crazy. I'm happy to say that we were able to slow down enough to enjoy the Christmas season, though it was definitely our craziest. I really hope we can figure out how to slow our lives down in 2016.

Here are the highlights:

1st Sunday of Advent - MeeMaw and Mattie visit

Owen Family Sugar Cookie Tradition - Santa Mouse brings us all natural food coloring :) :)

Christmas Pageant at church - Cora is a cow; Jack is the Innkeeper

Thank you Grammy for my Santa bib!

Christmas pajama party for the babies and toddlers at ReNEW

Eating the jingle bells

Decorating my Christmas tree, I mean, daughter

1st Annual Urban South Christmas Party

Celebration in the Oaks tradition

It's crazier this year for some reason

Cora at the Nativity

A beautiful moment of calm with some Christmas books (our dying tree in the background) :(

We purchased a new minivan this month!! And then drove it 11 hours (over 25 hours) to Florence, SC to spend Christmas with my full family (all siblings returned for Christmas in Florence for the first time in 13 years!)

Can't forget to pack the baby!

The new spacious ride (the kids were very excited about the DVD player)

The trains!
Christmas brings families together :)  GGDaddy and his only great granddaughter (so far)
A full living room with grandparents, four siblings, 3 spouses or spouses to be, 4.5 grandkids, 1 grand dog

So much excitement!

Uncle Chris was much adored by Jack - common interests: LEGOs and Star Wars

Cora's imagination helps her incorporate all her new toys at once

Luke during his 3 hour Christmas morning nap

Jacob trying to catch a nap during a present break

Cora and Billy are little buddies

Taking my baby outside naked in the 80 degree Christmas weather

Cora in her styling new bike helmet doing some art with Big Papa



Friday, December 18, 2015

Lutey Lou at 9 Months

The nicknames just won't stop!  When you have a little love bug, you just can't give him enough squishy names :)

He's a thumb sucker and it's so sweet.
This little one is still our baby. He's not hurrying to grow up and we're not rushing him for sure. He's the baby in his classroom and that helps accentuate his baby-ness to me.  He's been crawling for a month and is certainly curious about the world, but errs on the quiet and cuddly side.

Things Luke likes:

  • Me
  • My milk
  • Daddy (this was not meant to be in order, but Jacob would have to agree he ranks after my milk) :)
  • Jack and Cora (to a degree, but, hey, I get that) :)

  • Romanesco (Google it!)
  • Dried Figs
  • Earrings and hair
  • Exploring
  • Cora's gross and dirty Crocs (I swear there's a magnet on them)
  • His crib, he adores sleeping in his crib
  • Putting everything in his mouth
  • Bouncing in his newly acquired exersaucer - thank you kind friends!
  • Nighttime sleep - 12 hours every night without fail!
Things Luke doesn't like:
  • Being in the car for too long - he'll tolerate 20-30 minutes, but the hour long carpool commute can push him to his limits.  Or maybe it's just the insanity of being surrounded by 2-4 loud children while having to ride backward in a moving vehicle while wearing what equates to a straight jacket. It's understandable.
  • Diaper and clothes changes. He's always trying to get away and definitely displays no appreciation for how high up he is.
  • Settling down for a nap in his daycare crib. He insists on being nursed or rocked to sleep at school - the complete opposite of his independent self at home where we lay him down awake and he puts himself to sleep.
  • Tomatoes and oatmeal - these have been consistent no's, but there's no way he can be a Landry and not eat oatmeal, so we'll keep trying.
Luke is watchful and aware, often quiet and observant. He is calm; he is easy; he is just a joy. When he's not with us, he's happy and independent and comfortable in his classroom.  He has a very loving teacher and he's developed a bond with her that I love to see. 

His tricks are clapping his hands and waving (and saying?) hi.  

We love watching him manhandle his foods, awkwardly shifting chunks from hand to hand and stuffing them in his mouth :) It is a gross and messy eating stage, but while we don't have a dog, we do have a Jack and there's not much you can do to a piece of fruit that takes it past the point where Jack wants to eat it. Jacob and I are routinely grossed out by this but it's convenient and efficient nonetheless :)

We can't get enough of Luke and I am definitely soaking up and appreciating this baby time.

20 lbs, 8 oz of love

Luke on the go

The sticker really intrigued him

Merry Christmas!



Thursday, December 10, 2015

6 Years In

All the sudden he's so tall and skinny! And says things like "I don't care - whatever you want" with a total air of nonchalance. Who is this big kid?

This is so Jack right now!  He's always catching an imaginary football pass :)  Even as he goes to get a chest X-ray to see if he has pneumonia. (He didn't.)
Some things are the same! He's still a fruititarian who can put away mean amounts of fruit (and cheese). He still loves books and calms down instantly when a story is read BUT now he is starting to read. It's amazing to watch!

Some things are deeper. The interest in fire trucks is still there but the interests are more in-depth and grounded in real life - he wants to know about real fires and real disasters. The same intense focus he's always brought to fire fighting is now fixed on the world of sports. He knows who the Saints and LSU have played and how they did in each game. He can walk you through what happened in the Saints one Super Bowl win. And he's working some mad mental math skills as he plays solo games of football on the porch. He tracks his points and "the other team's" through a long series of plays.

Healthwise, he's had a nasty nose for more than a year and we are working to figure out why we can't get him cleared up. He had an awesome cardiology check-up and his heart is healthy and strong!

He's a conundrum. Why must you fight so much with your sister while being so tender to your baby brother? Why must you literally bounce off our walls one minute while showing such calm focus the next?

He's got a beautiful spirit. The kids love to get me to tell stories. I just start talking and out pop all varieties of tales. In one, "Luke's Bad Day," protagonist Luke was just not having a good day and as things continued to not go his way in the story and the world wasn't being kind, real tears welled up in Jack's eyes. THOSE are the moments that tell me we are doing something so right and that we have an amazing little boy. I love that inner compassion and I trust it will serve him well!

I look forward to quality time spent together over the holidays. I love his excitement and energy. When I feel prepared for it, we have such fun and enjoy life so much together!

Our breakfast in bed tradition. Jack requested lots of bacon, eggs, and a whole bagel with cream cheese!

Toto and I made this fruit and chocolate chip concoction to take to Jack's class.  These are some of his favorite foods!

Ms. Julia had a special birthday celebration for Jack - so special and the whole family was invited to watch!

Playground Party #6 - PERFECT weather!