Friday, December 30, 2016

21 observations at 21 months

1: Most often heard from Luke this month "I do!  I do!"
2: Still an avid reader and delighted in his new book Planes Go from Santa
3: Loves to do puzzles and will happily sit, dump, complete, repeat!
4: Is super into songs, is a cute little dancer, and has turned our nursing sessions into Karaoke sessions, stopping to request "Tinkle, Tinkle" multiple times
5: Can sing the words to "Tinkle Tinkle" Little Star
6: Other favorite songs: Oh Christmas Tree and We Wish You a Merry Christmas - these songs were heard A LOT during our 7 hour Christmas drive to North Alabama
7: His eczema is responding well to Cerave (steroid free) cream and I'm grateful for the recommendation!
8: He was 27 lbs at his 21 month visit, 3 POUNDS(!) less than Jack was at that age but 3 ounces more than Cora
9: He still sucks his thumb and loves him some blankie - his teachers call him Linus

10: He loves doggies and "meows" and benefits from the fact that his aunts have dogs
11: Jacob has been heard saying "I just don't want him to grow up" and we both continue to get doses of peace in our life from this sweet baby and we are so grateful for his presence in our family.

12: Jack and Cora were generous gift givers to him for Christmas. Cora made him pictures and bought him a fruit bar with her own money. Jack built his name out of LEGOs and wrapped up some of his old toys.

13: Luke got a new chair from Grammy/Big Papa for Christmas and an ukulele from MeeMaw that were both big hits
Jack and Luke reading in Luke's new armchair
14: Luke didn't express much interest in present opening. He opted to nap during Christmas at MeeMaws and on Christmas morning.
15: He still loves and needs sleep and I feel like I deprived him of some needed sleep over break but after one day of him napping 10-1 and then being awake while Cora/Jack rested, I said "this does not a restful holiday break make :)"
16: He's too young to sit through church which he showed us on both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services. Three kids in church is hard y'all!
17: We love talking to him. He has the sweetest way of responding "Yeah" when you ask him questions and he also likes to direct you by saying "Dat Way". We still think everything he says is adorable. He's an antidote to older children :)
18: But he's no angel. He's eaten a blue stamp, unrolled toilet paper, unspurled floss, dumped copious amounts of crayons, poured out our jar of cloves (multiple times) and other exciting exploits this last month.

19: He's learning a lot in his small little class and can "count" to 20 and "say" his ABCs with some skipping. The best part of it is his sweet little baby voice :)
20: He loves to play outside and to draw/paint.

21: He's blond, blue eyed, and oh-so soft and we all love him very much :)

Annual Celebration in the Oaks visit

Independent: climbs the rope barrier to find a comfortable spot under the lights

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Lucky # 7

Wow. This growing up bit is some real crazy stuff! I tried a little exercise this week of looking at Jack and trying to connect his big boy self to my memories of his brand new baby self or the little guy I see in the pictures on my wall. It was hard if not impossible.

First, let me document that Jack's 7th birthday had some definite mood swings, grumpiness, and rude behavior. How charming. He'd been planning for days to stay up until 8:38 p.m., his official moment of birth. Well by 8:33 p.m., I was torn between wanting to yell him up to bed "right now!" and not wanting any part of sending my birthday boy to bed in tears. We held out and the day ended well. In fact, I was snuggling with him and Cora in a twin bed (something we are definitely past as we could hardly fit) and Jack whispered in my ear "I love you.  I'm sorry I was kinda rude today." Bells chimed! My sweet boy! It all ended so well! But the happy ending was brief as the rudeness was back the next morning. 

How do I describe Jack at 7?

He's our earliest riser. 

He almost always enters our room in the morning with a book in hand.  He usually also has his clothes in hand as he knows the routine and can be counted on to follow it. He may grumble, but he's our rule follower child. 

Those clothes will NOT have any buttons on them or else he will be stomping in and full on snarling at us. "I hate buttons.  I will NOT wear buttons" are things we've heard often. On his "rage" list at school buttons was near the top.

Buttons can be negotiated for Sundays and very special occasions only
He asks to have the biggest bowl of oatmeal in the morning and is always open to eating more. I think he'd probably always be eating if we didn't set limits.

That's not an exaggeration. When out of close supervision + under lenient rules at his birthday play date, he ate somewhere between 7-9 satsumas + 2 grilled cheeses + dessert.

He's a hard working first grader known for his passion for a topic. He loves to read and is very independent according to his teacher, happy to follow his own interests. He loves getting to work on an iPad at school and likes to share work with us through the SeeSaw app.

At Big Papa and Grammy's house, he discovered the newspaper.
Numbers come easily to him and he gets great practice at adding during his solo football games in the driveway. He is always up to go outside and play two teams in his head, running back and forward, intercepting, passing, kicking field goals and bursting inside to update me on the score.

He's a football aficionado and has an impressive knack for recounting stats. He loves to watch full football games on the weekend but he doesn't like to cheer for the home team. Meaning he cheers for whoever the Saints are playing.

He's always interested in having me or Jacob play with him. First born. Soccer, chess, Monopoly, or football? Want to play? *For the record, I have designated Jacob as the chess player. I prefer driveway soccer and Monopoly.
I made him baseball figures for his birthday present.
In the car, Jack loves to have headphones on and be listening to a book on CD. Recent favorites have been Mary Poppins, Bunnicula!, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and Peter Pan.

We have an orange tree in bloom. Could life be any better for Jack?

It is World War Jack &Cora. We have resorted to a sticker chart to try to draw attention to the need to be both more agreeable and more kind to our sibling. In week 1, Jack earned 17 stickers for being agreeable....and 1 for being kind to Cora. Cora was right there with him: 14 for being agreeable and 1 for being kind to Jack. That about sums things up.
A reading detente
Jack is a voracious reader. He goes through several chapter books a week and starts and ends his days reading. He's read the full Magic Tree House and A to Z Mystery series and many Jake Maddox sports books. He worked through the first 9 chapters of Harry Potter before putting that very difficult book aside for now. He's reading his third Who Was/Is... biography and I sense a new series match. He still loves to have a Reading Party (ending the day with a pile of books in our bed and the chance to both read and be read to.)

He's been a major confessor to me this fall. There was a period where I felt like his priest as he seemed to feel the need to share every thought he'd had and nudge he'd given throughout the day. A friend helped remind me how special this was and I do love how close we are and how much he trusts me.

Medically, his heart is great and he's overall a healthy guy. His struggle these past 2 years has been his sinuses. We are switching to a new ENT to see if we can figure out a way to clear up his constant congestion.

Jack is smart, sensitive, curious, focused, passionate, energetic, and hopefully will still be willing to be my baby for quite a while longer.

Luke is lucky to have Jack as his big brother.
I hope # 7 gives you the luckiest, happiest year yet buddy.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Luke is 20 Months!

It's a crazy week, but I've got to capture my baby boy at his latest milestone.

  • This was the month of "Noooo!" and of a child learning to stand his ground in the world. I actually saw my sweet baby shove another child when he thought his snack was about to be infringed upon. Luke knows when he does wrong and gets quite distraught if he gets yelled out (full on tears!). He knows we expect him to show "gentle hands" if he uses rough hands with any of us. He's usually willing to make amends unless he's so broken hearted by our reprimand that he must be scooped up and loved. Ah, the life of the baby :)
What?  I can do no wrong, right?
  • He's such an avid reader! I'm so proud to be batting 3 for 3 with fostering a love of reading in my kids. I think Luke has quite sophisticated tastes for a 20 month old and knows characters' names (his favorite right now is "Low-y-low" which is Lowly Worm, a Richard Scarry character. He selects his own books before bed and even though we read 3 he always wants "wuh moh". I pick books for him at the library and so we have a revolving and impressive amount of board books that stay scattered around his room.

  • He loves to be outside. He's all over the driveway and yard, saying hi to the ducks/chickens, pushing his cars around, dragging a shovel or a rake, and just being cute. He comes in very dirty!

  • He loves "babbles" which is what he calls babies and I know he's going to love spending time with his baby cousin Owen over Thanksgiving. He also loves Cora's friends - he likes to repeat their names and he likes to join in their play.
  • Even though Ms. Larita is no longer his main classroom teacher, she is still his love and he must start his day by going into her classroom and getting a hug. He also knows the street where his school is located and when we pass it, he calls out "E-ya!" which is what he calls her.
  • He loves "pe-pah" and "pe-pul" (pizza and pretzels) and still loves fruits, especially apples and bananas. He still starts and ends his day with "mah-mil" and usually nurses one other time each day.
We're currently spending 9 days together on a big road trip to South Carolina and I'm enjoying the leisure time watching this cute little guy continue to explore his world.

Purple and Gold Day

Looking so cute at my Tata's wedding

He's like a real kid now :)

We achieved Princess Leia and her brother Luke Skywalker!  Jack abandoned his initial plans to be Kylo Ren and was a very proud LSU football player.

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 :)