Reach Out and Touch Someone

Friday, July 31, 2009 0 comments
In the last week or so Luke has started reaching out for and grabbing things. At first you only think it is a fluke and that he is just swinging his arms and happens to hit something. Eventually his movements become more refined and you are pretty sure he meant to do whatever it is that he is doing. The most obvious demonstration of Luke starting to grab things is when he is in his activity mat. This mat has two arches that crisscross the base and has little rings on which to hang stuff. When Luke is on his back he likes to reach up and grab at the things hanging down. Of which the blue horse is his favorite. At first Luke would just swing an arm at it and bang it around. Eventually he would slowly move his hand toward it and grab a hold.

Luke is further showing his ability to control his person when he is in the feeding table. The feeding table made by Babee Tenda is what we use for a highchair. Once nice thing about the chair is that it can be reclined for babies. We started putting Luke in there just recently as he seemed to be angry when we were eating dinner and leaving him to swing in the living room. While in the chair Luke likes to kick his legs and knees against the table creating a racket. He actually gets a smile on his face when he is doing it. Last night during dinner he showed off his arm control ability by holding his arms steady out in front of his body. Pretty soon we can start teaching him Sooo Biiig.

Luke in an ExerSaucer

Thursday, July 30, 2009 0 comments
Yesterday Mom put Luke in an ExerSaucer for the first time.  An ExerSaucer is kind of jumper toy that helps kids development leg muscles.  Even better than developing leg muscles is that it allows Luke the ability to look around without having to be on his back or tummy.  Judging by the below video I think Luke enjoyed it too.


Bedtime Routine

Monday, July 27, 2009 0 comments
Luke has a pretty simple bedtime routine.  On a good night it doesn't take much time at all to get him to sleep.  Other nights we aren't so lucky.  Luke's routine is pretty straight forward.  When he is looking sleepy (a relative term) we get him a bottle, take him upstairs, feed him in the dark, wait for him to fall asleep and then deposit him in his crib.  This whole process takes around 20 - 30 minutes tops if it is a good night.  Other nights we can follow the same routine and after we put him down about 2 minutes later he is crying again.  This is when things can get hairy.  Do you go in and help him fall back asleep or do you let him tough it out?  Mom and I do a little bit of both.  If on the initial time to go to bed he seems wide awake we let him cry for a bit.  I don't have a good reason why, but we find that if you let him cry for a while he is more apt to go to sleep when we go back upstairs to sooth him and put him back down.  The other method we use is if Luke is on the edge of falling asleep and after two tries of trying to put him to bed we still meet with failure.  When this happens we basically say to Luke "you're on your own".  It seems kind of cruel that we let him cry himself to sleep.  Perhaps it is something to do with being a 2nd time parent.  But we find that if we take this course of action he tends to fall asleep in about 10 minutes on his own.

On rare occasion Mom and I can catch a big break.  Tonight we had one of those.  Earlier in the evening even before dinner Luke fell asleep on my chest after a bottle.  He spent the rest of the evening in his swing while Mom and I cooked and ate dinner with Alyce.  After dinner I gave Alyce a bath and Luke slept through the whole thing.  Once it was time to put Luke upstairs you run into the big question.  Do you touch a sleeping baby?  I say yes you do in this situation getting him to bed at his usual time is very important in my book.  So I take Luke out of the swing, bring him upstairs, and try to wake him up by changing his diaper.  I wanted him awake to feed him so that he has a full belly for the 10-11 hours he sleeps a night.  But to the best of my efforts he didn't wake.  So I put him in his crib, headed back downstairs, and put his bottle on ice. Luckily about 20 minutes later he did awake to an awful fuss.  With bottle in hand I headed back upstairs.  I fed Luke in the dark in the rocking chair.  I'm not even sure he opened his eyes.  He lay there collapsed in my arms drinking his dinner on the edge of consciousness.  There is really nothing more peaceful than a sleeping baby in your arms.  I was able to get him back in his crib without another peep.  Writing this of course is to invite disaster with Luke waking up at 4:00 a.m. but such is life.  The easy nights are to be enjoyed and remembered; especially during a string of hard nights.

Back From San Antonio

Saturday, July 25, 2009 0 comments
Yesterday Mom and the kids got back from San Antonio. Mom was just taking the last car seat out of her parents van as I pulled into the driveway. It looks like everyone made it through the adventure unscathed and with their sanity intact.

After giving Alyce a hug I went over to say hi to Luke.  He looked at me for a few seconds and then he must have recognized me as his lit up with a big toothless smile.

The trip both to and from San Antonio seems to have gone better than I expected. Both Alyce and Luke handled the trip well and didn't ever get fed up with being in the car.  Luke seemed to enjoy himself by playing with toys hanging from his car seat.

Lodging also went rather well. Mom, Alyce, and Luke all shared a room during the trip. I give Mom lots of credit. It couldn't have been easy to get both kids to sleep in the same room and not have one wake up the other. As a bonus both kids slept through the night every night.

Mom and the kids got some time in the water with the whole family.  Luke wasn't overly happy with being in the water.  Mom attributes that with him wanting to eat.

While in San Antonio Luke got to visit his Aunt Julie and Uncle Doug.  Judging by the pictures it looks like they were enjoying their time with Luke.  It was really nice of them to allow so many people into their home while their children were home from college

The final observation I had about their return was how much Alyce and Luke seemed to grow. I'm sure they grew very little but it didn't appear that way. Alyce seemed to be taller while Luke seemed to have lost weight.  Luke developed more head control while he was gone.  Just tonight I was able to pick him up and hold him over my head by holding his chest and he was more than capable of holding his head steady.  We can also sit him on our lap and he can turn his head side to side to look at whatever he chooses.

Pictures From Vacation

Monday, July 20, 2009 0 comments
Mom has sent some pictures of the kids from San Antonio.  It seems like they are getting a long without me. 

Taking a closer look at the pictures of :Luke and I think he is losing weight or at least growing into it.  In the picture where he is propped on the couch he looks like a normal baby rather than a Butterball Turkey.  As per the reports from Mom, Luke's appetite is reduced at times.  One morning for his first feeding he would only eat 4 oz and be done where he usually eats 6 then needs another 2 a half an hour later.

I'm Going to Miss You

Monday, July 13, 2009 0 comments
Tomorrow Mom is joining her parents on a 10 day vacation to Texas and she is taking Alyce and Luke with her. The whole trip jumped up at the last second and to be truthful I'm not ready for it.  This will be the longest I've ever been away from the kids and from Mom.  If this were only a three day trip I would relish the break from parenting but longer than that and I think I will really be missing my family.  I'm half tempted to buy some web cameras so I can see them and they me.  I think if I see their faces while talking to them it would be much easier on me.  I hope Mom will take up the blogging reigns in my absence as she will be my only source of info about the kids.

I also wish Mom the best of luck. The trip could go well or could be a nightmare.  I think the trip will be easy on Luke.  He loves being in the car and should sleep most of the time while in it.  My fear is that with so much sleep during the day that he won't sleep well during the night.  While in the short term that won't affect me I hope it won't lead to sleeping trouble when he gets back home.  The only other trouble Luke could have is the weather.  It can get hot down in Texas and Luke isn't a big fan of being hot.  Luke doesn't have a nap schedule so at least Mom won't be stuck in the room from 2:00 - 5:00 everyday because Luke needs a nap.

Getting a Personality

Monday, July 6, 2009 0 comments
Luke is starting to get a personality to him.  It is showing up bit by bit and day by day.  Earlier in his life I commented that if Luke was awake he was crying.  Luckily that is no longer the case.  Now he only cries when his needs aren't being met.  Usually we can fill said need and he goes back to normal.  The only exception to that rule is sleep.  During the afternoons there are times he is really tired but cannot seem to fall asleep.  He doesn't cry at the top of his lungs when this happens it could be best described as him being unhappy with the world with a "mwah" cry to go with it.

Luke being unhappy is definitely the exception nowadays..  He is a very happy baby that gets a lot of enjoyment from looking at peoples faces.  If you smile at him you are typically gifted with a smile right back.  His smile is kind of sly, like he knows something about you but isn't telling.  Other times it is a full on toothless goofy grin.  Once you get your first smile out of him you just keep going back for more.

The other aspect of his personality I can make out is that he isn't a big fan of being held.  Sometimes he likes it and other times he doesn't.  The only way he tells you that he doesn't want to be held is that he gets real squirmy and no position seems to do the trick.  Placing him on his back or tummy seems to make him happy when nothing else does.  If he does need to be held like when outdoors sitting him in your lap looking out yields good results.  I think Luke is interested in the world and wants to see all of it.  I think that sitting in your arms looking at the ceiling or your shoulder just doesn't cut it for him.

I think Luke is going to be an early mover.  I don't think staying in one place will do it for him especially when he has a role model in his little sister.  I think he will be a happy person who will get a lot of enjoyment from others.  He is too young to show any signs of shyness that his sister possesses.  But considering both Mom and I are a bit shy I kind of expect him to follow the same path.