Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Luke at 19 Months

This has been a sweet month spent with a sweet little guy!

A few months back we had the month of "No"; this was the month of "Yes." Rather than only shaking his head no, now Luke is likely to be found nodding in agreement. He seems to be using his head nods appropriately and he is more and more able to communicate his needs to us, which is just cute (and helpful).

He's been sleeping great, eats great, and entertains himself more and more.

So what is Luke likely to be doing these days?

  • Playing with To-ta (Cora).This might be playing together in the "dollhouse," one of them pushing the other down the hallway in the baby doll stroller, chasing each other, etc. Cora continues to be an amazing helper keeping an eye on Luke. And he just adores her. He continues to be unable to focus on the task at hand if he hears Cora crying. It's all "To-ta!" and a need to go see what's going on.

  • Expressing his desire to go "Owsigh!" He will get his shoes ready and stand by the door. We shut our driveway gate and he has free reign of the property. He likes to help feed the chickens (including carrying the food scraps), push around kid vehicles (our driveway is like a used car lot for kids), climb up the ladder to the slide and slide down, watch vehicles go down the street, or be pushed in the swing. My anxiety at him climbing and sliding alone is decreasing as he is fearless and seemingly capable at this point.

  • Reading. We always read three books before bed or nap and now he is very opinionated about what he wants to read. It changes day to day but he'll shake his head and push the book out of your hand if it's not what he wants. He has about 25 books in his room and he knows exactly what he wants and will go find it.

Staring out the window at our weekly Monday visit to the library

  • Being destructive. He's still in a full on destructive phase. This age! At times, it's like he's on a rampage and the only thing he is doing is picking things up and dumping all the pieces out on the floor. Wherever he goes. He has repeatedly colored on himself in the last few days and eaten some markers. And he still is way too hands on around the toilet. Gross.
  • But...he's also been a noticeably good cleaner-upper lately. He enjoys putting things away. It's like a game for him and he will sing the clean-up song unprompted.
  • He is unfailingly polite. He says thank-you ("dan-du") whenever he's given something. Love it! It makes us look like we're doing something right when our other kids are being surly or non-communicative in social settings :)
  • Walking over to me and burying his head in my lap or snuggling on my leg. My sweet-natured, loving little fellow :)  I love to get on his level and catch his running hugs. It's the best!
  • Pointing and naming your nose, ears, eyes, hair, or mouth. This fascinates him. He especially loves grabbing noses because Jacob's and Cora's "honk" for him :)
Luke loves to eat the whole apple. He also loves pizza, pretzels, oatmeal, bananas, grapes, "tookies", and oranges.

He's still taking two naps and generally nurses first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and before bed. He's 24 lbs, 11 oz of preciousness. (Cora was 1 lb bigger and Jack 4 lbs bigger than him at this age.)

I savor my moments of rocking and singing to him at night and literally want to eat him up, he's so squishy and sweet :) :) We are so grateful for this child!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My baby is 1.5

This has been a big and bad month for Luke!

Big because he went on a 10 day Jackson Hole trip!

Bad because he doesn't sleep well outside of his own bed and because he hasn't found a dangerous item he doesn't like!

I think this is a challenging age because a 17-18 month old is capable of getting into everything but seemingly unaware of danger and seemingly incapable of hearing No. Luckily it's also a super cute age :)

Dangerous things Luke has (repeatedly) gotten his hands and mouth on this month: credit cards (great for teething), Toilet Bowl cleaner (also great for teething, UGH!), lamps, small gems, medicine bottles, crayons, pens, markers, toilet paper, DVDs, CDs, the diaper pail, the toilet brush, the toilet, the stairs to Jack's bunk bed. It's exhausting, right fellow toddler parents?!!!

Luke likes to dump out this basket so he can get to the Candy Land box because he likes to chew on the game pieces.
I am trying to be mindful of my patience as Jack and Cora are seeing me lose my cool with Luke and I want them to be able to balance keeping him safe without yelling at him or snatching things away. The last thing a toddler needs is more frustration in his life!

Luke about drove Jacob and I crazy on the Jackson trip. He was all like "Hey sis, why don't you take a few nights off from being the crazy Landry family sleeper, I want to take a turn in the spotlight." So while Cora slept like a champ in the crisp WY nights, Luke held us hostage as our roommate. He apparently hated his pack n play and would wake up screaming and yelling for Mama! He was close enough to our bed that he could grab our feet. We tried to ignore him but the screams would not stop. We tried to put him in our bed but a queen bed and a thrashing toddler sleeper meant no one was sleeping. We tried having one of us sleep on the couch but then Luke ended up falling out of the big bed.  Three times. After several nights of hours of crying, we finally found success by having one of us sleep with him on the pull-out couch barricaded in by pillows. Luke Landry, the last thing we need is a third strong willed child ;)

Beyond those nights, Luke is a happy guy. He loved spending time with his extended family, especially his Papa and his "babble" (new baby cousin Owen). He frequently says "walk!" asking to be put down and he earned the nickname "The Wanderer" because every time he was outside, he set right off for new territory. He got to see deer through the condo window, walked right past a moose, and was able to pet several horses. He learned the word "mountain" and got to use "sky" and "tree" a lot too. He has learned to say his teacher's name "E-ya" for Larita and ran to her with a bear hug on his first morning back home.

He's talking more and more and likes to name and point to body parts. He's been super into singing this month and signs and says "More!" when I finish a song which just makes his mama feel great :) He likes an assortment of lullabies and made-up jingles; his current favorite song is Old MacDonald Had a Farm.

He's always on the move!

And he's growing some hair!  Some days I see a hint of red and lately I've been seeing a curl.  I wonder if he'll favor more Jack or Cora as he grows.
Not willing to stop for a picture :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reasons to love Jack, Cora, and Luke

There are many but these are reasons from this week!


- Jack loves, loves our weekly library trip and had read 4 full books, including a chapter book, within hours of getting home.  Jacob bought him a clip on light for his bunk bed so he doesn't kill his eyes with his late night reading.

- We are working on responsibility right now and after a complete fail on Monday morning being ready for his carpool ride, Jack rocked it on Tuesday, bounding into our room at 6:30am fully dressed and with his bed already made.  He even had put his socks by the stairs.

- In the Waldorf Kindergarten, each child has a symbol that labels their chair, drawing book, cubby, etc.  I saw Cora's symbol was a purple flower but I didn't recognize the flower.  When we were in the grocery store, I asked Cora if she could point out her flower. She said, "Oh I asked Ms. Heidi the name, my symbol is a Never Forget Me" :) :)  We've said the correct name several times but it's not sticking.  To Cora, the flower is still a "Never Forget Me."

- Tonight, in an impromptu sports session on the porch, Cora said "I'm the Saints!" then proceeded to grab a baseball bat, hit a wiffle ball as if it was a golf ball, and then yelled "Goal!"

- Luke now grabs my legs and lays his head on my legs or in my lap.  :) :)  His hugs are the best.

- Luke's bedtime routine continues to be the highlight of my day. He's so sweet, so cute, and so entirely into every element of the routine from commanding "Yight!" for me to turn on the lamp to "Door!" to make sure the door is shut, "book!" until we've read all 3 of his books, and "Dat" and pointing to exactly where he wants to sit/be or what he needs.  He cracks me up.

- When I was putting Luke down tonight, we hear a crash and Cora wailing downstairs.  Luke stops nursing and says "Tota!" So we went down to check on her together.  I love to see his awareness and empathy developing.

I love these three.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jack Landry, 1st Grader

We are very proud of our quickly growing biggest boy.  We can't believe we have a child who is old enough to be missing his two front teeth and who is in the first grade!

1st day of 1st Grade assignment: bring in your favorite book - yes, this is a 1980's edition, thanks Uncle Chris!

Of course in this Kindergarten pic, he now looks so young to me!

4.5 - Waldorf Kindergarten Year

3.5 - Waldorf Nursery Year Two

2.5 - Waldorf Nursery Year One

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cora - growing up!

My memory is that Cora's back to school pictures from last year were similar to this year's - that she hadn't changed that much.  Well a quick look back tells me I'm wrong!  Here's the evidence!
4 years - August 2016 - LONG legs!

LONG hair!
3 years - August 2015 - look at that sweet baby chub!
Add caption
2 years - August 2014
Those curls!
14 months - August 2013

Monday, August 15, 2016

17 Months!

Our gentle baby is easing us into the toddler stage. There are moments now where I see the little kid that is emerging but still many more moments where he remains our snuggly baby.

There are lots of cute and fun things to share about Luke this month!

- He loves to go outside and will be by the door with his shoes at the mention of the word. He likes to swing, be pushed around in the little fire truck or on his "bike" and he's figuring out how to get up our slide. He loves the ducks still and walks over yelling "Ey Duh!" and now insists on helping carry and dump their scraps.
Vigorous pushing from brother Jack

- He loves Ms. Larita his infant teacher who spends part of her day in his new toddler room.  Stop the presses but this mama's boy actually cried to leave Ms. Larita one day recently and REACHED OUT OF MY ARMS TO GO BACK TO HER. My pride was hurt but for Ms. Larita, who has so abundantly loved my baby, I can take it! We are in the ridiculously sweet situation of a 4 child classroom with 2 rotating teachers who are awesome. I know Luke loves having a space where everything is age appropriate and fun and not a constant whir of "no", "not that", "No, Luke", "No!" like our house can sometimes feel!

Big boy off to school
- He still loves his mama's milk now referred to as "mah mih" which is his quicker way of saying mama milk but which also cutely sounds like he's personalizing his supply.

Celebrating with Tante Sara at her shower, the only boy allowed!
- He still loves to sleep and is that rare toddler still happily taking two daily naps at 17 months.

- His blankie. We had 3 versions but somehow lost one. That leaves one home blankie and one school blankie. This has obvious challenges.When Luke got a 24 hour stomach bug and threw up all over his blankie we tried to offer replacements and he just gave us these quiet and insistent head shakes. He wasn't a happy camper until reunited with clean blankie several hours later.

What's New and Notable
- Luke says "Mine!" loudly. My hypothesis is not that he picked this up from anyone else but that he divined the necessary word to compete in his world. Jack and Cora often take things from him (usually because they are trying to keep him safe) but he's learning to speak up. Since he's still our baby, we still find the "mine" shrieks cute.

- Lots of new words: "down," "knock-knock," "hot!" (which he says both for food and the weather), "boy", "no," "more", and "all done!"  The last two he both signs and says loudly, along with "wawa!" to help keep us informed of where he's at in his mealtime.  He calls himself "babble" for baby and that's one of those babyisms that we promote and say right back to him.  For Jack, I remember we said "nummy" for "another" bc we thought it sounded so cute when he said it. And we still call oatmeal "yum-yum" around here.

- Jacob worked hard to teach Luke "I love you." This past weekend Luke called out "I lub-ew" unprompted as I was walking out of his room. Heart melting moment for mommy :) He also blows kisses when you prompt him to say goodbye.

Daddy Attack or Attack Daddy?
- Luke is a head shaker. Whenever there is something suggested he doesn't like, he just vigorously and (usually) silently shakes his head. It's really cute!  I actually was mimicking him to Jacob and pulled something in my neck that hurt for days...
The day Luke broke a plate, drew with a green marker on his face, and tracked poop around when his diaper malfunctioned :)

For some reason, we weren't even mad at him :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

If ever there were a time to talk politics...

You've heard the saying there are certain things you just don't bring up with family and friends. Politics is on that list. But if there was ever a time where frank talk was needed and subjects addressed head on, I'd say that time was now!

Of course we each have the right to our own opinion. But just because our opinions differ, I'm not sure that means we should just ignore important subjects. As grown-ups, we should be confident enough to listen to opposing views and mature enough to do so politely.

And I think we have an obligation to share our thinking when it matters. And who we elect for our next President matters a lot. As a parent of three precious, innocent, young lives, I feel great responsibility.

So I'm talking politics, friends!

I watched some of the Republican National Convention last week and saw Donald Trump accept his nomination. And it scared me. Rather than proposing any way forward, I heard only scare tactics and verbal attacks. And I have been horrified and dismayed to read and watch his comments about all kinds of people over the last year. This is not a man who should lead our country. A vote for Donald Trump would be a vote for a more hateful America and who wants that? I know our children don't deserve that.

Last night I watched the opening night of the Democratic National Convention and heard Michelle Obama speak.

I get that there are lots of awesome people who could never have imagined voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and now aren't quite sure what to do.

If you are undecided or conflicted about how you will vote in November, please watch Michelle Obama's heartfelt speech as a mother and as someone who gets the responsibility of the office of President.

It's an excellent use of 15 minutes!