Christmas

Saturday, December 26, 2009 0 comments
Luke's first Christmas was just like any other day to him.  As usual he is the first person in the house to wake up in the morning and a diaper change and bottle had to occur before any Christmas festivities could continue.  When it was time to open presents Alyce always the considerate one helped Luke open his presents.  Like most babies of 8 months he could really care less about the presents he just wanted the wrapping paper, boxes, and tissue paper.  Luke grabbed handfuls of wrapping paper and would shake them furiously enjoying the noise, texture, and visuals.  Once he got bored of the paper he tried to eat and then moved onto something else.



By the time we made it over to Grams and Papa's house it was well past Luke's nap time and the first thing we did was put him down.  After breakfast was finished and the presents mostly opened Luke decided to grace us with his presence for a while.  Like earlier he liked the paper more than the presents.

It was snowing on Christmas this year and travel in the morning was treacherous.  We waited as long as we could to travel to Grandma's house and I'm glad we did.  The roads were much improved and it took about 15 minutes longer than normal.  Luke didn't take a nap on the trip out and it might have been a good thing he didn't.  We were going to be staying out pretty late and an early nap would mean an early bedtime.

At Grandma's Luke had a good time.  Rolling around the house and meeting his new cousin Ryan.  When we first placed them across from each other sitting up they just stared at each other.  Perhaps there is some silent baby language they speak ala Look Who's Talking that we can't hear.

 When we finished unwrapping presents Luke was past due for his nap and starting to crack.  We plopped him down for his second nap and didn't wake up until after we had eaten Christmas dinner with the extended family.  When he went to bed there was a grand total of 5 adults in the house.  When he rejoined the family there were 17 adults present.  I was thinking he might have been overwhelmed by the chaos and numerous new faces but he didn't have a problem and was his usual happy friendly self.



When the last event of the night, the White Elephant Gift Exchange was finished everyone with kids knew it was time to head home.  For the last 30 minutes of the party there was always at least one child crying.  All kids in attendance had been overstimulated and overtired. Everyone warmed up the cars, bundled up their kids, set them in car seats, and headed home.  Luke was fast asleep before we reached the highway.

Missing a Nap

Thursday, December 24, 2009 0 comments
Missing a nap can have disastrous ramifications on an 8 month old.  Today we met our friends Josh and Tammy for a late breakfast at 10:00.  10:00 is typically the start of Luke's first nap time.  Two days a week when Mom is at her Jazzercize class he misses the start of nap time and doesn't suffer too many ill effects.  Today was not one of those days.  Luke was good for about 10 minutes but then started getting stir crazy, annoyed, and loud.  Neither of those things are what you want when trying to have a low key lunch the day before Christmas.

I think that Luke was having lots of trouble coping because we burnt him out the night before.  Friday night we went over to Trent, Lisa, and Shelby's for a Christmas bonanza and Luke stayed up and happy until 10:00.  You can't keep a kid up that late and think the next day will be normal.  So I endured baby Luke's tirade out in the car after we finished breakfast.  Luckily after a few minutes of screaming he passed out, then stayed that way while Mom did some shopping, and then feel back asleep in his crib once we got home.

Tonight at the Christmas party we setup a pack n play for Luke so he could take his second nap.  Surprisingly he feel asleep for a while until Mom went down to wake him up.  Luke lasted just over an hour until he started showing signs of fussiness.  Luckily this was coinciding with his normal sleep schedule and we got him in bed around 8:00.  I'm hoping that getting him to bed on time will set us up for a successful Christmas.

Tree Farm

Thursday, December 17, 2009 0 comments
A few weeks we joined Chris's parents and their neighbor's Trent, Lisa, and Shelby on a trip to get a Christmas Tree.  Shelby's friend Claire also tagged along.  Starting last year we got a fake tree due to size constraints in our living room.  We still like to make the trip to help us get into the Christmas spirit.



The weather this year unlike some previous years cooperated.  It was really cold but as long as it isn't raining and the ground isn't wet we can manage.  Luke came along for the trip and we had to bundle him up for the cold.  My original idea would be to bundle up Luke and then put in our Baby Bjorn baby carrier.  Well even at its biggest setting Luke was was too big for it.  I've seen these baby carriers carry 18 month old kids and here is Luke at 8 months too big.  So instead we placed him in a stroller and covered him up with a doubled up blanket.  He looked really cozy and didn't complain while out in the cold.



Getting to the field with all of the trees was pretty intense.  We had to take a tractor ride up an incredibly steep hill.  If the brakes on the stroller weren't set and if we weren't holding onto the stroller it would have rolled out the back and down the hill.  While T&L were searching for a tree Mom was pushing around Luke and all the junk everyone hung on the stroller.  We managed the terrain ok and pretty soon we were walking back to the tractor.  Not before we got a few family pictures.  Back in the tree farm store we unbundled Luke, got some more family pictures, and fed him.  He was pretty happy the entire time and when Luke is happy everyone is happy.  I figure this will be the last year we will ever bring the stroller to the tree farm.  Next year I figure Luke will be big enough to pull the tree back by himself.




Luke's Vocabulary

Thursday, December 10, 2009 0 comments
Luke's speaking ability is advancing quickly.  At night right before is when he is the most talkative.  He has three word sounds that mimic real speech; "ba", "ma", and "da".  At any given moment Luke could say any of those three words over and over again or he cold link some of them together.  What is even more exciting is that he is picking up on speech patterns.  He and I both take turns talking to each other.  He will squeal, coo, or talk then wait a few seconds to see what my response is.  Talking back to him, looking surprised, or smiling at him and tickling all elicit a smile, kicky legs, and sometimes a squeal.  Once I've had my turn at talking he takes the reigns again and switches up what he has to say.

I would say that Luke is a more vocal baby than his sister Alyce was.  Alyce at this age wall all about moving.  She was an early crawler, sitter, and walker.  But she must have been too busy moving because her speech was always at the back end of normal.  Luke seems to be making great strides in speech for someone his age but is a bit behind normal on some physical aspects.

It is neat to see how Luke is different from Alyce.

Sitting Up

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 0 comments
Yesterday Mom was looking at BabyCenter.com at development milestones for babies Luke's age.  Well it turns out that a baby his age should have mastered sitting up.  The earliest such a feat could be attempted is at 5 months.  With Luke now rolling past 8 months he is behind the curve.  In the past we propped Luke up in a sitting position and he stayed there but he never seemed comfortable and quickly fell over on to his side.

Today Mom had a meeting with your Parents as Teachers councilor Ms. Cathy.  She could be Mrs. Cathy but we call her Miss. Cathy.  Ms. Cathy was there to check on Alyce's and Luke's development.  One of Mom's most pressing questions for her was Luke's lack of sitting ability.  Mom's questions have all been answered but not by Ms. Cathy but by Luke himself!  Mom was getting Luke's clothes changed before the visit this morning and decided to sit Luke up to change him.  Luke must have liked the view as he decided to stay there, for a while, and without anyone or thing propping him up.  Luke was sitting on his own!



Perhaps it was all coincidence that everything happened as it did.  Maybe we weren't giving Luke ample opportunity to practice his sitting skills.  It is all in the past now as he is showing the world what he can do.  Also in the pictures Luke is showing another skill.  He is using an object, the spoon, to bang another object, the bowl.  Good job showing off your new skills Luke, we are proud of you.

New Car Seat

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Recently Luke upgraded to a new car seat.  He was out growing his car seat and need an upgrade.  This is Luke's second car seat.  He outgrew his first car / pumpkin seat.  The first one could only handle a baby 22 lbs and a specific height that I can't remember.  In any case Luke's amazing rate of growth his first six months forced him out of that seat, but he wasn't holding his head steady enough to move to regular car seat.  So we were forced to buy a new car seat for big babies (up to 32lbs) to bridge the gap until he was old enough to sit it a normal seat.

Moving Luke to his new seat has been both good and bad.  The good part is that Luke is now in a more vertical position.  When we first put him in he had a cold and being reclined caused him to cough incessantly.  Sitting up has kept him more comfortable.  The bad part is that we now have to carry Luke both to and from the car whenever we go out.  This means that Luke is now sitting high chairs rather than sitting back and relaxing.

The Best Before Bedtime

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 0 comments
The time of day I have the most fun with Luke is the 20 minutes before I put him to bed.  From the time I bring him upstairs until I put him to down and say goodnight Luke is always in a good mood.  While down stairs with the rest of the family he shows us he is tired by rubbing his eyes and generally being cranky.  As I pick him up to bring him upstairs for sleep he gets his second wind.

I lay him down on his changing table and take off his outermost layer of clothing for a diaper change.  About this time Luke gets talkative and starts kicking around like mad.  Of course the diaper change gets postponed so I can pinch, tickle, play with him.  This all accompanies Luke giving me these really big mostly toothless smiles.  After a while he discovers that without the bulk of clothing he can reach his feet and entertains himself with his toes while I get his diaper changed.  When it comes to putting on his footy "jammas" he is remarkably helpful.  Once I get his hand in the sleeve he straightens his arms out and he pops his fist right out the end.  If he would lose half an inch in each leg getting him zipped up would also be a breeze.

While taking his bottle is when Luke starts to settle down.  As he is drinking his body relaxes into my arms and he has started rubbing / running his hands through his hair.  Once finished I stand him up on my lap where we exchange one more smile while I try to get him to burp.  Pretty soon after that he starts to thrash around a bit like he is tired of being held.  Once I put him down we exchange one last smile, I tell him I love him, and then I leave the room closing the door behind me.  Most nights he doesn't fuss; just plays for a few more minutes and falls asleep until the next morning.

I feel sorry for the rest of the parents in the world.  Sorry because they don't have a great kid like Luke.

A Comfy Luke Pillow

Thursday, November 26, 2009 0 comments
Last Sunday while Mom was out at the craft show I was home taking care of the kids.  Watching two kids can be tiring work, for both Jake and myself.  Coming from the kitchen I round the corner to see Jake taking a breather using Luke as a pillow.



Jake seemed to be enjoying the pets from Baby Luke.

Crawling Coming Soon

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Over the past few days Luke has moved towards crawling.  He has been getting up on his hands and knees and trying to move.  By trying to move he has three different ways of making some progress.  The first way is when Luke pushes off on his knees and his arms collapse.  This yields forward progress of two inches.  With the second method Luke pushes off of his hands and slides his knees backwards.  Backward progress of about two inches (when on a slick floor).  The third and final mode of motervation has Luke on his hands and knees again but this time he just rocks back and forth.  Total progress zero inches.

If you take the three types of movement and put them together Luke is on the cusp of crawling.  I think that he will be crawling on his hands and knees by Christmas if not before.

Solid Food: Part 3

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 0 comments
In the last installment in the solid food chronicles I would like to report that Luke is figured out food.  Tonight after dinner I mixed up another batch of oatmeal and formula.  Upon sitting back at the table Luke knew exactly what was in store.  He was looking directly at me with his mouth wide open.  I put a spoonful of goo on the spoon and went in for a deposit.  Luke with mouth open waited for me and closed his lips around the spoon.  Pulling the spoon out it was empty and so was Luke's mouth; he had already swallowed.

Dinner for him continued much easier than any other before it.  Luke was totally into eating and was looking forward to each bite.  He was almost too interested in the food because he kept grabbing at the spoon and was getting more oatmeal on his hands than in his mouth.  I ended up having to pin down his arms for every spoonful.

First Tooth

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Luke got his first tooth on Sunday.  I found it after I gave him his pre nap bottle Sunday morning.  For the past few days he has been a bit fussy and has been gnawing on things with extra fervor.  The tooth is a lower front tooth on the left side. There isn't really much there, just a tip of the tooth is exposed.  He has others coming in soon.  Feeling around his mouth he has some soft bumps next to his new tooth and one up top in the middle.

Solid Food: Part 2

Thursday, November 19, 2009 0 comments
A while ago back in September Luke had his first experience with solid food.  While he took a few bites of rice cereal mixed in with formula you could tell by the look on his fact that he wasn't enjoying what we just put in his mouth.  In the end he ended up only eating a few bites and proceeded to close up shop.

Thinking he wasn't ready for solids we took a break for a few weeks with the same result.  Recently in the last few weeks Luke has taken an interest in what we are doing while eating dinner.  While playing in his Exersaucer he would watch as I put each fork full of food into my mouth and when we would make eye contact he would greet me with a big smile.

Last night I decided to give solids another go around.  As we were sitting down to dinner I deposited Luke in his feeding table and made a batch of oatmeal mixed in with some formula, yummy.  Like before as I took a bit of dinner he would watch me intently.  As I was chewing my food I put some food on a spoon and surprisingly enough he opened his mouth for deposit.  Once the oatmeal was in his mouth Luke gave me this look of "what do I do now?".  Eventually he got the idea as I could see his jaw moving and eventually he swallowed what was inside or he was storing it in some unknown location.  After the first bite there was another, and another; our little guy was eating!  After 10 minutes he must have gotten bored or excited because he started kicking his legs and having a great time in his high chair.  The corresponding movement in his upper body made feeding all but impossible.  I gave it my best and half of  the subsequent spoonfuls of food made it in his mouth.  The other half was plastered in his hair, on his nose, lips, chin, and he even tried getting some in his eye.

The experience was a positive even though he needed a bath afterward.  It is nice to see Luke advancing toward toddler-hood.  At 7 1/2 months he is probably late to the party with solid food but now that we know he is interested in the idea of food I think we will catch up pretty quick to the full menu of pureed foods, yum.

Teeth

Saturday, November 7, 2009 0 comments
I think Luke is starting to get some teeth.  Today and the past few days Luke has been borderline inconsolable.  Once he wakes up he is in a good mood for about an hour after we feed him and then he gets really needy and will cry if we aren't interacting with him or picking him up.  It can be real frustrating when you have a lot of things on your plate and can't devote 100% of your time to him.  When I put him to bed tonight I think I've found what has been bothering him.  As I was rubbing his belly after laying him in his crib he grabs my finger and puts it in his mouth then proceeds to chomp down on it.  Feeling his gums I noticed a little bump where his bottom left middle tooth would be.  I think his first tooth is erupting and causing him a bit of pain.  I guess it is time to put the teething toys in the freezer and time to give him some Tylenol.  That also means we'll have to start brushing his teeth.

Halloween

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 0 comments
This was Luke's first Halloween but he was more of a spectator than a participant.  Lack of teeth and a ban on all things peanutty really puts a damper on free candy.  While I was out with Alyce making the rounds Mom and our neighbors Jeff and Liz where taking care of Luke.  Other than needing a bottle he didn't have too many complaints because there was a constant stream of women wanting to pick him up and hold him.  Mom was even able to eat dinner without interruption.



Luke's costume is a hand me down from Alyce, a Tigger costume.  I'm thinking this will be the only hand me down costume Luke will have to endure.  As a testament to Luke's size he fit into the costume pretty good at just under 7 months where Alyce was wearing it at a year. The costume was soft and furry and did a good job of keeping Luke warm even if it did cover his eyes on occasion.


Pumpkin Patch

Thursday, October 29, 2009 2 comments


A week ago Monday the family went out to the pumpkin patch.  Alyce had the most fun but Luke wasn't left out.  He seemed to enjoy the fall weather and all the pumpkins he could reach.







He's Rolling

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 0 comments
Luke has turned into quite the roller.  Starting a week and a half ago Luke was starting to flip from his front to his back consistently.  Fast forward to last week and he now has a mode of transportation, the baby roll.  Luke will move across the room not by crawling but by rolling over and over again.  Moving in such a way he can easily move in one dimension (left and right) but is still hampered and moving forward and backward.  Given enough time he can roll and kick enough to switch directions but he usually gets bored, tired, or angry before he completes his three point turn.



Just yesterday he was rolling into the kitchen and onto the hard tile.  Because his rolls aren't perfect his head still bumps the floor on occasion.  However, he didn't seem to mind and enjoyed looking at the light fixtures on the ceiling.  Mom's lunch yesterday was also interrupted by having to repeatedly reposition Luke because he would roll himself into a corner.

Luke is also making inroads to learning out to crawl.  He has the right idea but the execution is all wrong.  While laying on his belly he will pick up both his hands and feet and thrash them about while resting on his chest and belly.  A turtle on its back would be a good visual reference.  He is trying hard but not getting anywhere.  Alyce is doing her best to help teach him how to crawl.  She will crawl on the floor while Luke is watching her as an  example on how to do it.  Alyce is doing this at our request and seems more than willing to help.

I guess it is time for Mom and I to start baby proofing for small pieces again.  I've forgotten what it is like with babies trying to eat everything.

A Bonding Moment

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 0 comments
Yesterday I had a nice bonding moment with Luke. I took the day off to work on my ongoing retaining wall project.  Mom, Luke, and I went to Culver's for lunch without Alyce because she was in school.  Luke had been asleep for most of the morning and upon reaching the restaurant he was awake and in a good mood.  Mom and I ate our lunch in peace and quiet while Luke sat in his seat happy as a can be.  After I was finished I picked Luke up out of his seat and plopped him on my lap.  While on my lap Luke was having a great time.  He grabbed the paper my burger came in and was shaking, crinkling, and tried to eat it.  Luke was squealing with delight at me, mom, and all the people around us.  It was a great time and I was sad that I had to go and get back to work on my project.


I usually don't get that much time alone with Luke because Alyce is always wanting my attention.  Alyce isn't jealous of the attention I give to Luke and the time I spend with the two is probably 50/50.  The problem is that my time with Luke involves keeping him alive (feeding, changing, bathing) rather than being able to enjoy him.  Throw on that he goes to bed two hours after I get home and the last hour he is pretty cranky I don't get tons of quality time with him.

First Haircut

Friday, October 16, 2009 0 comments
Last Tuesday Luke had his first haircut.  It was a long time in coming.  When he was first born he had a full head of hair.  Mom and I thought that Luke would be like his sister and all of his newborn hair would fall out and be bald for a few months.  Some of his hair did fall out and he wore a patch in the back of his head when we started turning his head but the majority of it stayed in.  What was left was very thin on the sides and thick and long in the middle.  Once his hair started growing that middle patched started to look like a comb over.

Luke's haircut wasn't very traumatic but it wasn't very easy either.  Luke was sitting in Mom's lap while the stylist did her best to cut Luke's hair and not Luke.  Luke didn't cry but he was very interested in what she was doing.  Luke would turn and look whenever the scissors were outside his field of view.



When finished Luke's hair in my opinion looks much better.  I would have preferred something shorter and spikier but I'll have to wait until his hair gets some body to it before that style is possible.


6 Month Update

Thursday, October 15, 2009 0 comments
As mentioned yesterday on Luke's sister's blog www.alycesworld.me the kids of the family had their checkups at the doctors office.  Luke's checkup went fairly well.  He endured all of the poking and prodding of the doctor without out making too much of a fuss.  By the time the doctor finally came in he was well past his nap time so anything less of a meltdown would have been considered a good trip.  Luke's dimensions still exceed statistical limits but the 100th percentile is catching up to him.  If he were to continue his weight gain trend from now to 9 months he would weight roughly 26 lbs.  This would put him in the 95th percentile in weight for children that age.  I think his earlier weight gain was a statistical anomaly and that like his sister he will soon be within normal bounds.
  • Height: 28 inches is the 95th percentile
  • Weight: 23 lbs 10 oz is greater than the 100th percentile
  • Head: 44.5 cm is the 75th percentile
Developmentally he is right on track for where he should be.  Luke is starting to roll over, sit up when supported, and is able to pass items from one hand to another.  The doc said that we could start introducing more foods to him including fruits and vegetables to with a new one being added every few days.



The only complication to the checkup is that the doctor noticed some wheezing in Luke's lower lungs.  This is due to the cold that he has for the past two weeks.  Eventually his body will clear out the infection and get rid of the junk down below but until that point we have to give Luke some Albuterol treatments.  Albuterol is a drug that most Asthma patients use to dilate their bronchial tubes during an Asthma attack.  The same properties would be helpful for Luke to open up his lower lungs and help move the infection out.  The procedure to get him this medication is time consuming.  We have to take the substance that is a liquid, put it in a machine, the machine vaporizes it, and Luke breathes in the vapors.  The treatment takes about 20 minutes in which we have to keep this tube in front of Luke's nose and mouth.  Kind of hard with a 6 month old.

Luke needed a few injections with the checkup including the seasonal flu vaccine.  He didn't complain too much about the injections and afterward he fell asleep on the way out to the car.

Update:  I forgot to comment on one item.  We asked the doctor about Luke's night terrors and she carried the same opinion that Luke was having a night terror. She also confirmed our course of action which is to go in and check on him, but not to wake him up and let his mind get through to the next stage in his sleep cycle on its own..

Night Terrors

Monday, October 12, 2009 0 comments
Last night something really scary happened with Luke; Mom and I think he had a night terror.  About an hour after we put Luke to bed he pierced the quiet of the house with a blood curdling scream.  I was two floors away in the basement and I could hear him.  Mom immediately looked in on him as this wasn't his normal I'm awake and unhappy cry.  Luke's eyes were closed, he wasn't making tears, his body was trembling, and he was screaming at the top of his lungs.  Mom came down to get me and the both of us consoled him and when that didn't work we even tried to wake him up.  I picked Luke up and walked him around the room and that made it worse.  We had an idea that Luke was having a night terror and that the only thing we could do for him would be to let him work his way out of it; so we put him back into his crib, told him we loved him, and left the room.  About 45 minutes later Luke's cries finally subsided and he drifted back off into peaceful sleep.  Thinking about the past this isn't the first time it has happened. 

A week or so ago he had the same sort of behavior but upon picking him up he let loose with a loud burp and we thought we had found the culprit.  It still took him a while for his cries to subside and for Luke to go back to sleep so the symptoms seemed the same but less severe in comparison.

A night terror, sleep terror, or pavor nocturnus is a sleep disruption similar to a nightmare however a terror occurs later in the sleep cycle when making the transition from REM sleep to non REM sleep.  Unlike nightmares (which occur during REM sleep), a night terror is not technically a dream, but more like a sudden reaction of fear that happens during the transition from one sleep phase to another (KidsHealth.org).  The following are symptoms of a night terror.
  • Screaming
  • Thrashing
  • Not aware of their surroundings
  • Unable to talk to, comfort, or fully awaken the child
  • Sweating, breathing fast, fast heart rate, and dilated pupils.
The cause of night terrors is an over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) during sleep. This may happen because the CNS (which regulates sleep and waking brain activity) is still maturing. Some kids may inherit a tendency for this over-arousal — about 80% who have night terrors have a family member who also experienced them or sleepwalking (a similar type of sleep disturbance) (KidsHealth.org).  While a night terror is dramatic and alarming for the parents they aren't the symptom of another deeper underlying issue; just something that will have to be endured until it is grown out of.  The lone bright spot with these as compared to a nightmare is that the person having the terror will have no recollection of the event ever taking place.

If Luke wasn't going to have a checkup this coming Wednesday Mom and I would be taking him to the doctor to make sure our diagnosis was correct.  Once we hear from the doctor about what this is / could be I think Mom and I will be less panicked if / when we have a repeat of last night.

Rolling Over on Video

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 0 comments
This weekend Mom got a video of Luke rolling over.  Since the taking of this video Luke has turned into rolling over machine.  The problem is that he doesn't know how to get back onto his back.  This morning at 6:30 we heard a cry coming from Luke's room.  Checking on him he was flipped on his tummy, stuck, and none too happy about it.  Rolling him back over he cheered up and went back to sleep.  Later today Luke would roll over onto his stomach, get angry, and mom would roll him back over, then a few minutes later he would be back on stomach again.  I think Luke is proud of his new found movement and wants to try it as much as he can even though it is on a one way street.


Rolling Over For Real

Friday, September 25, 2009 0 comments
Today Luke officially rolled over.  A few weeks ago Luke rolled over in his Pack N Play from his front to his back but he had some help by pushing off the sides of the crib.  Today he rolled over from his back to his tummy all by himself.

This morning Mom put Luke on the floor on top of his activity mat while she went into the kitchen to have some breakfast.  After a while she heard Luke making a fuss.  Mom went in to investigate and found Luke laying on his tummy, unable to turn back over, and getting ticked off about it.

Later in the day Mom tried to get a video for a repeat of the big event but Luke must have been shy and wouldn't complete the maneuver.  Now that he is partially mobile there isn't any more laying him on the bed or couch unattended.

First Solid Food

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Last night during dinner Luke had his first taste of solid food.  We have been wanting to try for a while now but finally had the time and opportunity to do it yesterday.  Before we tried to feed Luke we all ate our dinner.  We like to bring Luke into the kitchen with us but normally he only lasts a few minutes in his feeding table.  To keep him entertained we let him play with a childhood favorite toy, the paper bag.  He was really quite taken with the bag and even managed to get his arm inside.  Even though he tried Luke didn't have a whole lot of luck eating the bag instead he just managed to drool on it.



His first solid food experience wasn't really all that excited.  Mom is a bit out of practice though.  She managed to spill dried rice cereal all over the floor.  Mom did manage to get a few spoonfuls of food into his mouth and I think he even managed to swallow some of it.  More than anything he kept smacking his lips and moving his tongue around his mouth.  I'm guess it is a new experience for him and he really didn't know what to do with it.  After a while either he got full or bored he didn't want anything more to do with food.  Luke would close his mouth and turn his head when Mom brought up another bite to eat.




Balloon Race

Monday, September 21, 2009 0 comments
On Saturday the family went to the balloon race.  This is the second year in a row and technically it is Luke's second trip too.  Last time we were there Luke had a view of Mom's belly.  This time he got to see what it was like on the outside.



Luke was a little angel during our trip to the race.  He only complained once and that was because we were taking our time getting to feeding him.  While there he was his usual social self.  He would smile for anyone who would take the time to make eye contact with him and smile back.  Mom even got some video.


He is Getting Cuter

Thursday, September 17, 2009 0 comments
As Luke gets older he is getting cuter.  Maybe he is finally growing into this weight or his glowing personality is clouding my judgement.  One of the best things about Luke and the age he is is that he is so happy to see me.  I can walk into the room after work and I am greeted to the worlds biggest smile and he starts to kick his legs back and forth.  It makes me happy to know that he likes me enough to miss me and be happy with my return even if I was only gone for 5 minutes.




Luke's First Word

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 0 comments
Monday Luke said his first word.  Well it wasn't really a word but it sure sounded like one.  Luke said "da"!  It came as part of a string of gibberish where Luke was trying out different ways to make sound.  Mom and I find it really cute to see Luke starting to learn.  What once was a blank canvas is starting to get some color.

Holding His Bottle

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 0 comments
Mom sent me this quick pick of Luke holding his bottle.  It looks like he is or has fallen asleep while doing it.  He has been extra hungry today having already eaten 3 bottles by noon when usually he only has 5 bottles all day.  He has been sleeping a lot lately too.  Perhaps his body has just finished or is just starting a growth spurt.

He Found His Voice

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I'm not really sure when it happened, sometime in the last month, but Luke has found his voice and he likes it.  It started off gradually with a coo here and there and built up to the occasional squeal of delight.  Now he has mastered both noises and volume.  He has a library of noises he makes and I don't have the vocabulary to describe them with the volume going from a whisper to a full out yell.  Of course he is very proud of this new feat and he is more than willing to show us what he can do with it.

Last night during dinner we had Luke in his chair with us while we were eating.  He got unhappy so Mom brought him into the living room and laid him on his play mat.  Luke was happy to be there but I think he wanted some attention.  He started doing his little squeal thing while playing with the creatures hanging down above then his volume gradually grew until he was making sounds similar to a baby teradactyl.  You would think he would be unhappy making sounds so loud and annoying, but no, he was more than content laying there testing out something else to play with.

Rolling Over

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 0 comments
Yesterday Luke rolled over for the first time! He rolled from his tummy to his back.

A few minutes before he rolled over he was in his Pack n Play and the family was outside. I came in before Mom to get cleaned up. I thought it would be fun to play a joke on mom by rolling Luke onto his tummy for Mom to find. Well she saw through my ruse and I went up to take a quick shower before dinner. About the time I turned on the water I hear a squeal from Mom downstairs. She comes racing up the stairs to tell me that Luke rolled from his tummy to his back!

Of course he hasn't done it again to prove it to me but I will take Mom's word and claim that he is now rolling over. Good job Luke we are very proud of you.

Lunch with the Family

Saturday, August 29, 2009 0 comments

Luke is hanging out with Grams and GiGi during lunch. Luke is a big fan of GiGi. He is a big fan of everyone really.

The Magic Number is 5!

Thursday, August 27, 2009 0 comments
Last night Luke woke up around 4:15 in the morning. He wasn't super fussy, but he was loud enough to keep me awake. So, I went to check on him and changed his diaper. Well, as soon as I put him back in his crib and walked away he started to really fuss. So, we decided he probably needed a bottle. Daddy went down to make a bottle and Luke started to cry, so I went in to calm him down until his bottle was ready. I gave him the bottle and after that I didn't hear him again until about 8:30. While I fed him his bottle I realized that during the day yesterday, he only had 4 feedings when he usually has 5. I guess in order for him to sleep through the night, he needs 5 feedings during the day.

He Knows His Name

Friday, August 21, 2009 0 comments
Over the past few days Luke has developed a new skill, he knows his name. I'm not sure when he learned it but the first time I noticed was a few nights ago while I was feeding him. He was off staring into space and I said "Luke" off to his side. His head turned, his eyes immediately made contact to mine, and he held his gaze for a few seconds. After a few seconds Luke went back to Normal. A few minutes later I said something else in the same tone of voice and he didn't respond. Finally I said Luke's name again and was greeted with the same reaction as the first test.

4 Month Checkup

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 0 comments
Mom just got finished taking Luke to his 4 month checkup and he is doing just fine. This time he was checked out by his real doctor and not the med student they have on staff. Luke received a few vaccinations that he wasn't a fan of but cheered back up soon after they were done.

Luke's height and weight continue to increase at an astounding rate.

At 4 Months:
  • Height 26 3/4 inches: 95%
  • Weight 21 lbs: 100+%
At his last checkup at 2 months Luke weighed 16 lbs and was 23 3/4 inches tall. That means in two months time he gained 5 lbs and grew three inches. The doctor said that even though his weight is off the charts she is pleased that his height increased to the 95th% from the 75th% two months ago. She went on to say that babies hit their peak around 4 - 6 months and that his weight gain should level off soon.

So what does this mean? Well I guess Mom and I are going to have to shop for a car seat this weekend. The limits of his current seat are 29 inches in length and 22 lbs in weight. So we have 2 1/4 inches and 1 lb until he out grows his seat.

In closing Luke is one of the biggest and heaviest babies ever. At least as far as statistics are concerned. I'm confident that his weight will level off. He is going longer between bottles and eating less when he gets one. You can't continue to add weight with less energy going in and more energy going out.

Luke Growing at an Astonishing Rate

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 0 comments
Coming up this week Luke has another checkup with the doctor. While I think his weight gain might be slowing I know his growing has not. Luke is growing faster than Alyce ever did. Just a few weeks ago Luke celebrated 4 months and he is now wearing 9 - 12 months clothing. At times we can jam him into 6 - 9 months but it is stretch. Surprisingly his ample girth isn't what is tight it is his length. His torso is simply too big for his outlets.


His accelerated growth presents a real problem for Mom. With baby clothes going in the same cycle as adult clothes you have to buy one season in advance. Well when your baby is 8 months ahead of schedule what do buy? Do you assume that he will stay ahead of the curve or perhaps slow down and let the other kids catch up?

Another area that has me concerned is car seats. Luke is fast outpacing his car seat and I think he will be out of his pumpkin seat long before Alyce was. With his sister there was about a two week period where Alyce couldn't sit up and also couldn't sit in a pumpkin seat. This made eating in a restaurant quite interesting. With Luke, he isn't rolling over yet let alone sitting up on his own power (Mom is helping on this picture). Before I jump to conclusions I guess I should wait for his numbers from the doctor. Perhaps we are just imagining his rampant growth and in reality all his clothes are shrinking in the dryer.

Swimming Pool Part 2

Monday, August 17, 2009 0 comments
While Mom was feeding Luke I took Alyce into the kids play area. The play area consisted of a big bucket that would constantly fill with water and then dump itself out. There were water shooters of all sorts of which most of them could be controlled by turning valves which I thought was a nice touch. Alyce was mystified and terrified at the big bucket of water. From a distance she would watch it go through its cycle, however, when up close she would jump every time it dumped. She got over her fear and she and I walked around the kids area playing with some of the water shooters. While in the area Alyce must have been really tense as she never let go of my hand if I could even manage to put her down. There was a tunnel that ran from one side of the tower to the other and Alyce was drawn to it. Once there weren't any other kids in the tunnel I brought Alyce over then she and I crawled inside. While in the tunnel the bucket above us emptied its contents right in front of us. This must have been more than Alyce was ready for; she started shaking and yelled "mommy!" at the top of her lungs. She never broke into tears and didn't run away from the play area so it must have been more surprise than fear.


After our time in the kids area I noticed that the skies were starting to darken. I knew that Mom wanted to ride the water slides before we left so I went to relieve her of Luke duty. Right about the time I got to Mom over the loud speaker we heard that swimming was to be suspended due to weather. The pool rule about weather was that when no thunder was heard for 30 minutes swimming would be resumed. We decided to stick around for a while since it wasn't too terribly hot, Luke was asleep, and we were enjoying ourselves. Mom, Grams, PaPa, and I relaxed while Alyce examined every square inch of deck chair and the surrounding area.


The thunder continued for a while and after some time Mom and I made the command decision to call it quits for the day. We were going to get our hand stamped just in case the weather were to improve. It turns out that we didn't need the stamp. While exiting we were presented with two rain checks good for another admission before the end of the season.

Swimming Pool Part 1

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On Sunday Mom and I brought the kids along with Grams and PaPa to the pool. We wanted to get in the water a few more times before summer was over and the outdoor pools close. This time we decided to forego our usual pool and went a little farther to another municipalities pool. This pool is a bit more expensive (1$ extra per person), but it does give you your monies worth. This pool has a big kids play area, two water slides, and a lazy river with inner tubes (for free).


The weather map on Sunday didn't look too encouraging. Mom and I thought we should give it a shot since we there weren't many days left in the summer. A lot of people must have had the same dilemma and decided to stay home. When we reached the pool the parking lot was almost empty and there was only a handful people inside. With the pool being so empty we were able to stretch out and everyone got their own lounge chair. Luke didn't need one since his chair had wheels. We got Alyce into her life jacket and we were in the water.

It took a little while for Alyce and Luke to get used to the water. Alyce walked right into the pool and kept walking right to the point she couldn't touch anymore. I wasn't nearly as worried this time compared to the past as she was wearing a life jacket. I have to give PaPa and Mom some credit they got it to fit Alyce perfectly. The jacket didn't come up and strangle her even though she was relying upon it for buoyancy. Once we got Alyce off of her back, her feet underneath, and calmed down she wanted to swim towards the ladder. She did her best doggy paddle and with some help she made it up to and on to the ladder. Once Alyce was on dry land she would turn around and want to come back into the water. I would help her back in, she would swim towards Mom, sit down, and the process would repeat. Mom was holding Luke while in the water and it took him a bit to get used to the cool water. When first placed into the water he would arch his back in protest. Anytime more of his body was submerged he would protest anew. By the time I was holding Luke he was more than content to sit in the water and even kicked his feet and bit.


After the pool we wanted to try the lazy river. I would say the lazy river is the best part about this pool. For the cost of admission you can get an inner tube and ride all day in a big circle while going underneath two waterfalls to cool off. There are single and double tubes available and for those with small kids they make a double tube where one of the tubes is solid so the kids can't fall through (brilliant!). Mom took Luke and I took Alyce with Grams and PaPa following behind. We had a great time taking a few laps around the pool. Alyce wasn't a big fan of the water falls and wanted me to "go around" rather than get her wet. I made half hearted attempts to keep her dry but I wanted Alyce to experience getting drenched. After a few laps Luke was getting hungry so Mom, Luke, and I got out while Grams took Alyce for another two laps in the river. By the end Alyce wanted to get out.

Rattle

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 0 comments

Luke was having a good time during dinner playing with his rattle. Check out the use of two hands working together.

The Fair

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 0 comments
On Sunday the family went out to the fair. Luke is a bit small to be riding the rides or petting the animals but he didn't hinder the amount of fun we had. Sunday was a hot day, the hottest day of the fair with temperatures hitting 96 degrees. Mom and I were worried about Luke being in the heat for so long. We knew to keep him hydrated but we were wondering how he would react to being hot and in his car seat for so long.


We had Luke in his car seat attached to the stroller. The walk from the car to the fair grounds must have been enough to knock him out. He fell into and out of sleep for most of the time we were at the fair. During the time he was awake Luke looked around and didn't fuss that much. When it came time for a feeding we gave him some watered down formula to replace what was lost through perspiration.


Luke continued to be a good baby for us even while Alyce was riding her rides. The midway was the hottest place in the park since there wasn't any shade and Luke started to fuss after a few rides. We can't really blame him though, we were able to catch a breeze and rearrange our clothes while he sat unable to move with a sweaty back. After the rides with everyone back in the car we had our air conditioning and everyone was happy. Luke seemed none the worse for wear after we got him cooled off. Mom and I couldn't have asked for more from Luke as he was an angel pretty much the whole time.

Starting to Baby Talk

Thursday, August 6, 2009 0 comments
Developing in the last few weeks is Luke's baby talk.  He is starting to make coos, whistles, and gurgles in response to our actions or on his own accord.  When Mom or I look at and my eye contact with Luke he usually gets really tickled.  He gets a big smile on his face, gurgles, and kicks his legs / swings his arms.  His enjoyment from something so mundane as a look can be intoxicating.  You keep wanting to go back for more and more.  In contrast Luke is a lot more vocal than Alyce was.  Luke is almost always making some sort of noise while Alyce was usually just content to sit silent taking it all in.  I'm not sure if Alyce's eye condition had something to do with it but it is obvious that Luke is going to be different than his sister.

This is the best part about babies and this is when they start to become fun. They get enjoyment from you and others, they don't cry for no reason, they stay right where you leave them, and sleep through the night.

Fair Parade

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On Sunday after the trip to the park we went to the fair parade in my hometown.  We were blessed with great weather and Luke enjoyed it as much as we did.  Throughout the entire two hours and thirty minutes of the parade Luke happily laid in his car seat or sat in our lap watching the world go by.  Just like earlier at the park he seemed most content looking up at the sky.  I'm not sure if it was the blue color or the clouds going by but he seems to enjoy looking up more than at anything else except Mom, Alyce and I.

After the parade we met up with Grandma for dinner at the local Bread Co.  By the time dinner was on the table it was 8:00 and already past Luke's bed time.  Luke was very well behaved while Mom ate her dinner and only after her meal did he start to make some noise.  Once Luke's belly was full Mom handed Luke over to Grandma to play with for a while.  By the time we left to go home it was past 9:00.  You would think that Luke and his sister would be exhausted after such a full day and fall asleep in the car.  Well that didn't happen.  Both Alyce and Luke stayed awake for the entire ride home.