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!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

16 Months: World traveler and all that

So, without asking our permission, Luke is now 16 months! Judging by his happy demeanor, I'd say he has loved this last month of life.

The month started with lazy days at home together.  This gave him lots of time to nap in his own bed where he continues to prove himself to be a child who loves sleep! He still takes twice daily naps usually lasting a total of 4 hours or more and sleeps a solid 11+ hours at night!

Then there was the New York City trip!

Luke and I flew to NYC and met up with my mom who watched him while I attended the Teacher's College Summer Reading Institute. The conference was great as was the special dynamic of time with my mom and time with my baby. We all enjoyed each other's company. *Luke did show us that he's not always a perfect sleeper as he would just stand and grin at us from his pack n play until we eventually turned out all lights and the TV around 9:30 each night. So much for staying up to watch a movie!

  • Luke and I then admirably handled parting from each other on the street in NYC as he drove away (unbuckled, sitting in my mom's lap) in a taxi to the airport. My anxiety levels decreased each time I heard he'd safely made it to the next destination. My mom further proved herself an amazing grandma as she donned the Ergo and took Luke on the taxi, two flights, a long layover, and an hour drive home. Go Grammy! And Go Luke as he's proven to be a much easier flying companion than his big sister Cora!
  • Luke then got to experience life as both the only child AND the only grandchild staying with my parents for 3 days while the big kids, Jacob, and I enjoyed a weekend vacation in NYC and while Luke's cousins were also out of town. Every third child/fourth grandchild should get to experience being solo at some point!  My parent's awesome one floor house and huge suburban yard tipped Luke over from half walker-half crawler into full time walker. There have been Owen babies toddling around that house for nearly 60 years at this point!
  • Then there were a few days of pure chaos when 5 grandkids descended on my parents' house, ages ranging from 5 weeks to 6 years. Luke got to meet baby Owen who, at 14 months younger, will undoubtedly be Luke's great friend one day.  This was a super helpful experiment because my baby sister is getting married in September in Wyoming and we all realized we are going to need an on call babysitter if the adults want to actually be able to have a conversation!
Luke and Owen
Grammy with all her grandkids minus Luke who was napping
I flew home alone with 3 kids!  All went smoothly except that unplanned 2 hours sitting on the runway bc of weather!

Luke then returned to his home, his crib, and his ducks and is very happy to be here. Now that he's a full time walker he's really discovering our outside space. When I say "Luke, do you want to put on your shoes and go outside" I can expect to find him standing by the door with shoes or "zuh" in hand.

There have been so many sweet moments of the month. The best has been Luke's habit of laying his head on my shoulder multiple times during the day - not just when he's tired. It's his way of reconnecting with me and I LOVE IT!

We still have our nightly routine of saying good night and touching special things in his room and he's back to letting me lay him down and blowing me a kiss as I leave. Jacob and I've talked about weaning him from his before bed feeding just so Jacob can get in on this sweet routine.

He's still nursing 4 times most days, but I can see how we'll be at 3 feedings soon. I consider these the glory days of nursing. It's easy, convenient, and the sweetest point of connection between the two of us.

Luke is officially the third Landry lover of books (or I guess the fifth). We read three books any time I'm putting him down for nap or nighttime and he'd be happy to read more. A lot of his language development has solidified through the things he sees in his favorite books. Our favorite new words:
  • animal sounds!  He can do a duck, dog, cat, cow, sheep, bee, snake, and lion.  And he's the world's gentlest lion, such a sweet little snarl.
  • "how" for house, "eh" for egg (both in a book and the ones we retrieve daily from the chicken coop), "Papa" for Big Papa (who after his visit Luke will now name when he sees his picture), "tar" for the star on his favorite blankets, which he drags around after him :)
And Luke conquered his fear of elevators.  Yes, apparently it's possible for babies to have such fears because Luke always got very anxious, squirmy, and whiny when we'd ride the elevator at the doctor's office, but after our New York week, he would point to the hotel room door at the mention of getting to ride the elevator, excited to try it again.

His appetite is also much better this month and he's been trying new dishes: lasagna, red beans and rice, okra, and cream of wheat while still randomly holding out on some foods (no peaches, canteloupe, pineapple, or much meat as of late.)

This whole family is so thankful for such a sweet and gentle child to love and experience all the first with!