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 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

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.