Monday, July 26, 2010 0 comments

This year we took our vacation to Branson MO.  Branson is a place that I used to vacation at when I was a kid.  It isn't too far from home and it isn't terribly expensive so it makes a decent destination for a family with two young children.

Our first full day in Branson was spent at White Water.  White Water is by today's standards a small water park.  It has a big wave pool and a lazy river, and a few slides.  The lack of slides wasn't a big deal for us since Alyce and Luke are too small for slides and Mom and I didn't have time or the manpower to ride them ourselves.  White Water was a big hangout for my brother and myself when we were young and our family would go to Branson for vacation. White Water played such a significant role we got a hotel room just across the street so we wouldn't have to fight traffic to get there.  The hotel we always stayed at was the Greenbriar Inn and it pleases me very much that it is still standing and doesn't seem to have changed a bit since I stayed there.  One of these days when our kids are older I'll have to stay there just for old times sake.

For us, we made an early start to the day we were walking in the front gate before lunchtime.  We wanted to get in as much time as we could because Luke usually takes a nap starting at 2:00 but sometimes earlier if he has a full morning.  We hit all the major sections of the water park.  Alyce played in the kids area while Luke was learning to walk in water up past his knees, we rode the lazy river for a few laps without inner tubes while the kids floated in their life jackets, and the big hit of the day was the wave pool.

Alyce has been in wave pools before but all the rushing water overwhelmed her and she really didn't go and try to experience the waves.  This time she discovered that she could jump over and splash into them resulting it a lot of fun.  Luke seemed to enjoy the wave pool by sitting in our laps as waves rush up over his legs.  In fact Luke seemed to enjoy the entire day.  Once he stopped fighting his life jacket and just relaxed he was one cool cucumber watching the world float by.

Alyce learned a new skill at White Water, how to balance.  Before now if Alyce was submerged from the shoulders down she didn't know how to use her arms and legs to balance.  If we were to let go of her she'd end up falling over to one side.  While taking our many trips around the lazy river she learned that small movements of her arms and feet could keep her upright.  She got so good at it she even let go of us as we floated around the river.

Mom did a great job keeping the kids bathed in sun screen as the only person to peel from overexposure to the sun was me.  Sadly we don't have any pictures of us at White Water as we didn't want to risk our camera getting wet or stolen.

We left the park at 3:30 totally exhausted.  We had a great time and felt like we got our money's worth.  Luke even managed to stay awake and happy the whole time.  Alyce was a big fan as she told all the kids at the playground later that night that we went to White Water!

The Family Pet

Thursday, July 22, 2010 0 comments
Last week our dog Jake got out of the back yard and ended up getting into a fight with some other dogs.  Since then the subject of whether Jake is good with our kids has been asked.  Based on the picture below I don't think we have much to about with him being aggressive towards our children.

Rather than being aggressive towards the kids I would say that he is protective of them.  Some nights on occasion when I come up to bed Jake is laying in front of Luke's and Alyce's doors.

Even though Jake tolerates the kids Mom and I still try and keep the kids from bothering him as much as we can.  Getting in his face, pulling his tail, and interrupting feeding time are major no nos.

If we could stop Jake from eating holes in the fence we wouldn't need to worry about him getting in more fights.

15 Month Update

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 0 comments
Luke is roughly 15 months and that means yet another trip to the doctor for a checkup and more vaccinations.  This time around as part of the standard checkup they will draw some blood to check for anemia, white blood cell count, and lead expose.  This isn't a test for anything specific just a broad check to make sure he isn't afflicted by something we can't see.

Mom told me that he didn't cry for any of his vaccinations so that makes for a much less traumatic visit.

His vital statistics at 15 months keep him in the 90th percentile in height, weight, and head size.
  • Weight: 27 lbs, 15.6 oz.
  • Height 32 1/2 in.
To compare those numbers to his  1 Year Update Luke has gained 1.5 lbs and grown an inch.


Friday, July 16, 2010 0 comments
Luke is just around 15 months and that is the age that most kids start saying their first words.  Luke is right along that line.  I can't really say what his first word was as his baby gibberish just started taking on shape.  And truth be told he may not have a true first word yet.

One word I know for sure he says is "da da" meaning me.  He says it quite a bit usually when I am playing with him and he is in a good mood.  Just recently he picked up "mua mua" for mom.  He knows "hi" and sometimes says it while waving to people.  His waves are pretty cute too.  He holds his hands with his thumbs pointing to the sky and opens and closes his hands into a fist and back.  When waving with two hands both hands are alternating.

Still Sick

Thursday, July 15, 2010 0 comments
As reported a few days ago Luke has been sick.  Since Tylenol has been doing the trick about keeping his fever in check and because he was keeping food down we decided to try and let it run its course.  Wednesday morning Luke was still running a fever of just over 100 so Mom and I decided a trip to the doctor was in order.

Our doctor's office is pretty good at leaving holes in their schedule so they can almost always fit us in at some point during the day.  We don't get our pediatrician but we get one of the ones in the practice.

It turns out Luke has an ear infection and possibly strep like his sister.  Since he was going to get antibiotics for the ear the doc decided to forgo the test for strep since either which way the antibiotics will take care of it.

Sick Little Boy

Sunday, July 11, 2010 0 comments
Last night Luke woke up a few hours after going down to bed. Mom and I could tell that he wasnt feeling then, but a shot of tylenol later and some milk and he went back to bed.

This morning our fears were confirmed, Luke is sick with a stomach bug. Walking into his room this morning you could smell trouble. Sure enough he had gotten sick on his pjs. I changed him, fed him some milk, and about 10 minutes later that came back too. Necessitating another outfit change. Mom and I didnt feed him anything for a while and he didn't seem that intrested either.

 One nice aspect of Luke being sick if there is a silver lining to throwing up was that Luke just snuggled on my chest all morning long. He's always been a fireball and we never got a lot of snuggle time. It was nice. In the afternoon we gave him some Tylenol and that really seemed to improve his mood. Improved enough that we were able to get 6oz of watered down apple juice to stay down. Even when Luke is sick his personality shines through. A smile in his direction is still returned by his goofy grin. And he is still stealing Alyce's toys and running into the kitchen with them.

Trains at the Toy Store

Saturday, July 10, 2010 0 comments

Alyce and Luke were playing trains together while the family was at Toys R Us. What was really impressive was that there wasnt any toy jealousy; just two kids sharing, playing and having a good time.