Sunday, May 15, 2016

14 Months!

Still talking, not walking, but getting some good practice!
What Luke Loves
- His mama milk - this has been the month where he's started naming nursing and going in search of the goods
- His "da-da" who just the sight of makes Luke chuckle
- The ducks!  Every time we pull in the driveway, Luke knows he's near the ducks and he starts saying "Duck!!" or "Hi Duck!" and if he knows we're walking over toward them he starts clapping his hands and squealing. So the ducks have gotten a major reprieve as we were contemplating getting rid of them but now I couldn't do that to Luke. He, Cora, and I have taken over giving them water and feeding them every day and they both love it.
- Freedom to explore
- Climbing the stairs over and over
- Eating paper (books, toilet paper) or really any wood product (furniture, etc.)
- "Buh!" he happily sits and flips through his books
This girl is a great big sister!
- "Nana!" bananas are still his favorite food, so much so that this term now means banana and also "Give me something I want to eat!" His teachers would laugh because they'd pull out his lunch box and he'd be all "Nana, NANA!" leaving them to say "Luke, your mama didn't send you a banana!"  We now all know this means "Give me a banana OR something else equally appealing"
- Oranges (can't say it but can scarf down two whole satsumas and still want more)
- A whole pear, but watch out because he will eat the WHOLE pear, stem and all, if you aren't paying attention

Luke still swipes or throws foods he doesn't want.  He is still very PICKY and is subsisting on fruit, bread, and breastmilk.
- His bed - he points to it and would like you to just leave if he's really tired.
- He's developing a fondness for his muslin blanket set, the same type of blankets that Cora so strongly attached to.  He carries it around in his teeth sometimes and will clutch it as he lays down to sleep.

Luke and "To-ta"
What Luke Says Now
- "To-ta" for Cora - I love it!!
- "Ow-sigh" for outside
- "Ma-ma mih" for mama milk
- "wa-wa" for water
- 2 word phrases: Hi Da-da, Hi To-ta, Hi Ja-Ja, Hi Duck!
- "ah-pul" for apple

Luke still is a great sleeper and needs his two naps. We did hit a snag this month where he became more sensitive to noise. I always check on all three kids before I go to bed and, for Luke, that means opening his door. It creaks and it started waking him up. And then he'd refuse to go back to sleep without nursing. And after nursing, he'd cry again. Only Jacob could settle him down. So after a few nights of this, Jacob is looking at me like I'm crazy for continuing to check on him, but when it's been 4 hours since I've seen the child, I just want to lay eyes on him, make sure he's breathing and is under a blanket. We've never needed a monitor and it seems silly to get one so late in the game but we may try to borrow a video monitor or maybe oil some hinges??

Luke and Addison at school

In other news...

There is so much else going on with our family (Urban South, big work decisions, Kindergarten graduation, parenting challenges) but the last few months have felt like we were riding a wave that never slowed down. As I sit here planning out the last week of school, I am so glad and so grateful that we are about to have a chance to breathe in. I'll be off work for several weeks and there will be no school, no drop offs, no schedules, no carpool planning. The kids just want to play at home. I just want to be at home. I want to enjoy these three babies and help them make the lazy summer memories that I have from my childhood. Late June will bring travel and July will bring camp, but at a gentler pace than these last few months. I have so much more to say but finding the time to do anything lately has been hard. I hope that changes over this next month.

I am NOT going to smile for this gimmicky Grandmother's Day card!

But I will eat one of these hearts


"Taking a picture with 3 kids"

Daddy does better: 2 out of 3 is good odds these days!

Friday, April 15, 2016

13 Months!

This has been a big month for our baby boy!

Talking ...
- Luke had a word explosion this month.  Duck (he's obsessed; remember, we have real ones!), nigh-nigh, book, baby, ball, truck added to Mama, Dada, Ja-Ja, and nana.  I sometimes think he can say something like "To-wa" for Cora but jury is out.
- He also says a few 2 word phrases; he'll say "Hi Duh" when we visit our ducks.  When I bring him into our bed in the morning and he sees Jacob, he says "Dada!" and when prompted, he can say "Hi Dada" and I even got him to say "Dada nigh-nigh"
- He says "nigh-nigh" when he's tired.  This kid!!
- One reason I love Luke's teacher is that she gets just as tickled/excited as I do anytime Luke says a new word :)

But not walking
- Not even close!  He can cruise (and climb up the stairs) but he can't stand by himself yet.  We are seriously impeding his ability to walk because we are constantly picking him up because our world is just too dangerous for him!
With his best buddy Addison

Why would I walk when these guys can push me around?

He's perfect...
- He's a sweet thumb sucker with a preference for his Mommy. He loves to read his books, always has a toy in his mouth, and thinks his brother, sister, and (especially) his Daddy are really funny.

But he's trouble!
- He eats toilet paper, knocks over full glasses of water that are supposedly out of his reach, eats toys he shouldn't, climbs stairs, doesn't understand the word no, chews on shoes, and constantly has electrical outlet covers in his mouth. Whew! It was already crazy to get the family ready in the morning but Luke definitely took it to a new level this month. He oftentimes ends up in his crib with a book so we know he's safe and so we can actually get ready.
He's a sizeable guy BUT he's 4 lbs smaller than Jack was at this age!!
He got sick for the first time this month, twice. First, an ear infection that had him up almost an entire night and, then, a cold. This disrupted his 12 hour sleep stretches and he's still waking occasionally.

He is an opinionated eater. If he doesn't like the look of a food, it is gone from his tray. He has a mean swipe and it would be funny except that it's seriously hard to get him to try new things. He likes to feed himself (as in he jerks away if you try to put a piece of food in his mouth) but he's not willing to try new things. Favorite foods continue to be bananas, bread, blueberries, and oatmeal. He ate a lot of grapes this month. He also likes pizza and he loved his birthday cakes.

Party Pics

My babies

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Baby

It is your birth day little one and that day will ALWAYS be as special to me as it is to you :)

I relive the days/hours before my babies' births as their birthdays approach. Ask me in a year what I did each hour of today and I will not be able to tell you but the end of each of my pregnancies is seared into my memory and hopefully always will be. I like looking back at myself at a time right before life changed. In the days before Jack was born, I just had no idea. In the days before Cora was born, I had no idea how simple life was with just one child. Same with life before Luke. Looking back at those weeks, everything seems simpler.

These last few days, I've just marveled though that one year ago I DID NOT KNOW this child. Tonight, as I put Luke to bed, I was lingering. Singing him all my favorite lullabies: Edelweiss (changing Edelweiss to Baby Luke), You are My Sunshine, and Stay with me, Lord Jesus. Now I have known him for a whole year and, of course, cannot imagine my life without him.  

If you ever want to just talk and talk and talk, get me started on the subject of having babies. It is likely we are done, we definitely probably should be done, but I have found the experience to be magical and miraculous and it makes me sad to think I'm through that time in my life. So I've been all kinds of sentimental recently.

But what keeps me at a place of contentment is that I feel I have drunk in this past year and enjoyed it so much. I have been crazy busy and can't say I haven't missed a lot because of the warp speed our life is running at these days. BUT I have appreciated and savored and lingered.


He's still the baby to beat all babies at 12 months :) Will he one day be challenging? It's hard to imagine. He's still the magical sleeper - 12 hours no matter what. And we still find him in his crib in the morning, usually awake, just quietly sucking his thumb, patiently waiting for someone to come get him.

He's lovable and now is loved to the point that we are having fights and tears about who gets to sit by him at meals. Argh. !#%!%  
21 lbs 13 oz of loving

12 month photo shoot went something like this
Best shot!
He is matter of fact. Put a food in front of him he's not interested in? No mind. Without a sound of protest, he'll just swipe it right off his tray. It doesn't matter if he ate it yesterday; if he doesn't want it now, he doesn't give it a second glance. This makes packing his lunch hard as you never know when he's going to be "over" a certain food. And he won't let you put food in his mouth unless it's something on a spoon. So it's hard to get him to try something. If he doesn't like the look of that plum slice, there's no way of getting him to know what it tastes like.

Current favorite foods: bananas!!, blueberries, oranges, oatmeal, bread, warm roasted vegetables (but not cold!).  

He's still a great nurser. He may be moving from 6 to 5 feedings a day and that one dropped feeding is all my baby-mommy heart can take right now. Let's keep taking baby steps on that one Luke!

As for baby steps, he's still very laid back in this area. He is starting to pull up more regularly, but doesn't cruise. He crawls to get around and he's fast. We have been standing him up behind a wagon or push toy and he can take steps that way, though he looks like an old man barely able to handle his walker :) So precious.

Old Man Luke with his walker

Luke's favorite facial expression - scrunched up nose :) :)
He's a handful for sure as crawling babies are. Always a new place to explore and oblivious to the word no. He can pop out outlet covers and loves to put them in his mouth. We keep discovering him with small things in his mouth, thankfully always right away. He loves to eat shoes (so, so gross). He hates to be contained. He acts like it's the ultimate betrayal when we put him in the exersaucer now.  

He has become more attached to me and cries pitifully when left in the church nursery or when someone else besides Momma wants to hold him. He also sometimes cries now when I leave his classroom, but he loves his teachers and is so comfortable there that those cries are short lived.

He clearly says "mama," "da-da," "dja-dja" for his brother, and "nana" for his favorite food.  He can sign "more" and he loves to clap and wave.

Time go slowly please.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Things of note

There have been countless reasons to blog lately but just not enough hours in the day.  Here are some things of note to capture:

After six months of Cora sleeping on the floor of Jack's room because, well, I'm not entirely sure...

we bought a loft!  Night one saw two children giddy with the excitement of it all.  Night two saw Jacob and me trying to reconfigure Jack's room to make the new furniture work.  Despite our best efforts, we have too much stuff.  Do you hear that grandparents?  Too much stuff!

Monopoly.  Jack can frequently be found playing two hands of Monopoly since he always wants to play and we don't have much free time on our hands.  He's got a natural knack for numbers and it's giving him great practice with addition and subtraction (as well as ruthless property acquisition.)

The Minivan.  Horrible gas mileage.  But I can open any door with a button, it's roomy, it came clean and with a free satellite radio subscription (On Broadway!), so basically I love it.

Urban South Brewery. I don't know how anyone successfully starts a business in this city because it's complicated, stressful, expensive - a dance with many hoops.  But Jacob is hanging in there and within arm's reach.  I'm so proud of how hard he is working and so impressed with all he's learned and figured out.  Plan to have a beer with us soon.

Siblings. If only these two always got along like this. 

They do play well together sometimes, but there is also so much fighting, so much whining, so much teasing. It's becoming clearer to me lately how a lot of this is a result of them jockeying for position. At times, it's almost visible to see how Cora fights for air when Jack comes home or how he tries to gain dominance by putting her down.  It's a lot to have all three of them at once and to try to spread attention around evenly.  Inevitably someone isn't getting their (attention) needs met, and then I get to see the myriad ways that can play out. 

And this is all harder to manage because we are stretched thin right now.  The pace of our life is not sustainable so we are working to figure out ways to slow things down.  I'm looking forward to June and both my and the kids' vacation!  

 More to come on this guy :)  He somehow has a major birthday next week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

11 months of loving Luke

I know Luke, I can't believe it either.
Every day these days I'm aware of how precious this time is and how quickly it's going to pass. 11 months. That's all I need to say.

Sweet sweet Lutey-Lou. Lutey-Lou is my favorite nickname of the moment. We have to call this guy something that just rolls off the tongue because that's him - such a sweet treat. Very randomly, I have all these chants and raps (and I'm not cool enough to rap) that I do with Luke's name. For his sake, I hope I get over that before he gets too old :)

So what's Luke up to these days? My most favorite thing is how when we go in to his room in the morning (not mind you because we hear him crying, because 6 days out of 7 we hear nothing from his room) and find him sitting in his crib sucking his thumb. When the door opens, he leans forward so he can see under the crib wrap and check out who is coming in. So our morning sight are these two round, wide eyes, and the quiet sounds of thumb sucking. And we fall in love all over again.

During the day, Luke is independent and on the go. In our house, he has his favorite places. We try to keep Cora's room picked up so that we can leave her door open. This gives him a great course - from our room, down the hall, through Cora's room, and into the "doll house," the child sized, carpeted play room. Rather than favorite toys, Luke has favorite things to put in his mouth :) Lately, I've been redefining what is too small for Luke to play with, because he's been stuffing entire toys in his mouth and that can't be safe.

Such a great crawling route
He's been stuffing toys in his mouth because he had FOUR top teeth come in all at once! That had to hurt but it didn't throw him off too much.

At day care, he doesn't look back when we bring him. He's very at home with Ms. Larita and his best buddy Addison. And gosh, Mom, there are more toys that need to be gnawed on, so go, get on with your day.

He's really eating now! Meaning, he's actually really swallowing the food and it's not just all over the floor. His favorite food by far is a banana. Followed by oatmeal (I knew he'd end up liking it), orange slices, pears, bread, and, the latest hit, blueberries. He likes roasted vegetables when they are warm and freshly cooked, but won't eat them in his lunchbox. He hasn't taken to cheese yet and he's been hot and cold about apples. This month he started taking a sippy cup with water. He's a very efficient nurser and usually nurses 6 times a day, for about 5 minutes a feeding.

He had his first word this month. Mama. Shoot me through the heart little one.

And his second definitive word: nana - as in, give me another banana. He can eat more than a whole banana. This is a universal favorite food over here so our banana consumption is crazy at the moment.

Luke also says dada, but he's not yet looked right at Jacob and said it, so the jury is out. I think he says "muh" for more.

He now waves goodbye as well as hi and, on cue, he'll clap either his hands or his feet, depending on what you ask. So cute :)

He is not in a rush to pull up and I've only seen him do it twice.
We see you Luke!  So we know you CAN stand.
First Mardi Gras
You just stay our baby, Luke.  Time, people.  Time.

11 month olds bust their heads regularly

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