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!

Friday, November 20, 2015

8 months... 2/3s...

I nearly hyperventilated as I feel like I JUST wrote about Luke being 7 months (but then I remembered that post was several weeks late...)

Side note: I feel like my blog posts used to be a bit more profound and now they feel a lot more detail-y. But that's life lately - in the details. But let me try to be more poetic.

Here's a good snapshot into life right now.

The beautiful flower. My friend Toy gave me this sweet, simple vase and I aspire to keep a flower in it. It has made me appreciate our year in France and our time in Seattle where markets abounded and I could have easily picked up one flower. I'm now settling for the small Gerber daisy bunches at Whole Foods and spreading them out in small vases. It feels important to make the effort to put beauty and order into our midst in whatever way I can and I've been getting lots of pleasure from my flowers.

Our blessing cube (best stocking stuffer ever, thanks Mom) and the kids' prayer cubes they made at church. I love watching them roll their cubes. Jack knows what each side says and keeps rolling until he gets the sentence starter he wants. Cora ignores what we say she rolls and says what she wants. Sometimes their prayers are super superficial and other times kind of profound.

My weekly calendar (or one of them) which I heavily rely on.

My computer - I have a love/hate relationship with technology at the moment. I use it a lot and find it useful and fun, but I also think it's sort of evil :(

Peeking out is one of Jack's writing projects (there are many). This one was especially cool to me as it is ten pages and is his science writing about a shell he was exploring at school. I tend to leave things out until we've all had a chance to look at them and he still wants to read this one to his daddy.

On to the main course: LUKE LATELY
Lutey-Lou at 8 months

    Luke has Jack's sensitive skin. Not sure what caused the face rash, but it has since cleared up.
  • In the week before 8 months, he both got his first tooth (bottom) and started to crawl!  J & C had teeth much sooner but started crawling at exactly this point. I predict he'll "follow in their footsteps" and start walking at 12-13 months.
The launch

Drooly Crawler
It's amazing how quickly things change once babies can crawl.  One week after beginning to crawl, Luke can move from room to room! We are so not baby proofed yet!
  • In the week after 8 months, he got his second tooth and started clapping his hands on cue. We do a lot of name chanting over here and so right now you often here "Lutey, clap your hands, Lutey clap your hands!"
  • He is happy to be partaking in meals with us and is getting better at actually eating. His favorite foods are still ones he can grip easily and gnaw the heck out of: broccoli, squash, and apples. He will love himself a warm vegetable, but be less enthusiastic the next day when it's cold. He still acts disgusted by foods on a spoon, with the occasional exception of applesauce.
  • He still sleeps 12 hours at night. He's a little more challenging to get down for naps in the last few days, due possibly to a cold and possibly to the fact that he can now turn himself around in the crib, grab both rails, look pitifully up at you, and cry out something like "why are you leaving me here?" Naps at day care continue to outright suck (30-40 minutes!!). I keep him home for his morning nap when I can (2.5-3 hours!)
  • He loves LEGOs :) We are now at phase 1-B of Luke on the move. Phase 1-A was singing our Luke Patrol song and making sure there was nothing dangerous within reach. Now that he's moving, we've declared the dining room a small-item-free-space. LEGOs (the chunky ones) aren't considered small items, so there are always LEGOs out for him to hunt down (and chew on).
  • Luke loves Jack and Cora :) Jack and Cora love Luke :) This is my balm for the vicious sibling rivalry that has cropped up between J&C. They frequently make the other cry and Jack is especially good at getting Cora to make the most grating whining sound, which ends up getting them both in trouble. But so far, Luke is like Switzerland (unless they are fighting over him.)
My goal is to give this kid more leisurely baths.  It's always quick-in-quick-out for him.

And he thinks they are the funnest thing ever :)

Luke at school with Ms. Larita, his doting teacher, and his lady friends.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

7 months (that's a touchdown and an extra point!)

Luke at 7 Months

Jack made the football reference to Luke's age :)

We are savoring this baby. He's both the baby that would make you want to have babies forever (if they are this sweet and easy) but also the baby to make you want to stop having babies, because how could you top him :)

Wait, what's his name?

If you ask Jacob, "Lutey!" "Lutey-lou," "Big Lou," "Chubby"

If you ask me, "My precious Lukie," "My preciousest Lutey," "Lukie Tukie," ... "Chubby"

Cora knows the child as "Chubby Bubby" or "Chubby." She'll call him that anywhere without blinking an eye.

Jack is the one most likely to call him Luke!

What's he up to these days?

A little light reading

Hello Gorgeous

Weighing in at 19 lbs 9 oz, our littlest chubbiest baby :)

Some coyness?

No, just about to fall over :)
He loves to sit in his high chair and slap his hands on the tray. He loves the noise and it's obvious he feels like such a big boy.

He likes taking part in meals.  Here he is with a carrot with dill.

He likes to push up on all fours and rock back and forth. He can rotate around like a clock dial but can't really go forward.

He lights up when he sees any of his family and he'll laugh at his brother and sister if he's in the right mood.

:) :| :(

He can sit up!

He likes to chew on things.

He loves to suck his thumb.

He spits up and spits up and spits up. I generally feel pretty gross by the end of the day.


Ms. Larita, his teacher, refers to his nursing sessions as his main course. In the last week, I feel like we are starting to make some progress in the table foods arena. He's gone from 100% breastfed to maybe 96% breastfed?

It takes a lot of effort to introduce solids! On the mornings when we all need to be out of the house by 7:40, it's a big deal to put Luke in the high chair and know he's basically going to need a bath before leaving the house. It's also a challenge when he's ready for bed at 6:00 and we're not yet ready to eat dinner. But we're working on it. We try to offer him foods twice daily, but at least once.

The biggest hits have been pear slices, broccoli, squash, pizza crusts at Pizza Domenica, and banana. We've tried some purees and oatmeal, but he's not the biggest fan of swallowing. He prefers to eat by sucking so he loves to suck on a broccoli stalk or a chunk of banana. He also likes something he can gnaw like a semi soft pear slice that breaks down in his mouth.

Your baby doesn't sleep?

Don't call us, call Luke. He holds the secrets, but whatever they are the baby sleeps 12 hours a night no matter what time he goes to bed. He was also sick this month and that didn't affect his sleep either. 102 fever? Incredibly stuffy? No problem. 12 hours of sleep.

His ideal day would be:

6:15 wake, nurse
7:00 eat breakfast
7:45 nurse
8:00 nap
11:00 wake, nurse
12:00 eat lunch
1:00 nurse, nap
3:00 wake, nurse
6:00 nurse, goodnight!

Playing with the ladies (not sleeping) at school
Overall, he's still not taking great naps at daycare (many morning naps lasting only 30-45 minutes - ahhh!!), though hope was restored to me when he took two 2-hr naps last week at school. My solution is to make sure at least one day a week he's able to take his full morning nap at home.

And I still wake him for a 10:00 feeding every few nights, either because his last feeding was early, I feel my supply might need a boost, OR because I just miss him and want to snuggle. As soon as I bring him into our room, Jacob can't help but come over for a snuggle too and then I feel like Luke is the luckiest guy in the world as he gets some nice warm milk in a quiet room with both of his parents snuggled in close. He's just so incredibly loved.