Christmas Day 3

Monday, December 27, 2010 0 comments
Christmas day 3 wasn't originally supposed to happen.  As mentioned previously Christmas day ran long so the next day we packed up the kids and ran out to my hometown to finish the immediate family gift opening.  This trip was much less stressful than the night before.

When we first got there we hung out for a while before we started opening any presents.  The house needed to be picked up some from the night before.  While Mom and I were doing this Alyce and Luke were left to their own devices.  Luke was playing with toys in the family room while Alyce played in the living room. There is a saying that when the kids are too quiet it means they are up to no good. After a while I went in to check on Alyce and when I rounded the corner I caught my little girl red handed!  Alyce has opened the wrapping paper on the corner of one of her presents!  Maybe I should have been mad but instead I said in a playful voice "what are you doing?".  Alyce immediately recoils and covers her face in embarrassment.  Naturally instead of teaching a valuable lesson I reached for my phone to snap a picture.

Pretty soon thereafter we open presents to the kid's delight.  Both Alyce and Luke did very good jobs opening up their presents and taking turns.  Alyce helped Luke whenever he ran into trouble.  In all they both behaved themselves.

By the time we headed back home Mom and I could tell the kids were spent.  Two and a half days long days of good behavior, over excitement, and late nights took their toll.  While the kids were in nap time Mom and I used the opportunity to assemble Luke's new toy, the Wheelie car ramp.  Assembling toys on Christmas put a smile on my face as I thought to myself that the torch has been passed.

Christmas Day 2

Of course when it comes to Christmas day 1 blends in to day 2.  When we got home the night of Christmas Eve we got Alyce all gigged up for Santa.  We got the Santa's Cookies plate out, added a few cookies, and a mug of milk.  While I was putting Alyce to bed she all of the sudden came down with a serious look on her face.  I asked her what the problem was and she asked how Santa was going to get in the house.  She went on to say that he couldn't come down the chimney as our TV table was in front of the doors.  I told her that I would move the table away from the wall to make room.  That must have been a good enough solution as she rolled over and went to sleep.

 Christmas morning Alyce and Luke were greeted by a stack of presents.  There were some presents from Mom and I and some presents from Santa.  Alyce's big present was a treasure chest full of dress up clothes and jewelery.  Luke's big present was a Little People Wheelie car play set.  The car play set was the big winner of the year.  Since opening it Alyce, Luke, Mom, and myself have all played with it.  After opening all of the presents the kids got to play for a little while and then we loaded them up into the car for breakfast and presents at Grams and Papas.

Presents and breakfast at Grams and Papa's house was a lot of fun.  Chris's half brother Joe and Gigi were there.  Alyce's favorite present was a tea party set and Luke's was a set of Fisher Price gears.  After breakfast we hung out until it was time to get the kids home for naps and quiet time.  We had to head out to Onermark Grams later that night and Luke needed all the sleep he could get.

We wanted to get out to my mother's house before the larger family party started so we could exchange presents.  However Luke didn't cooperate and we didn't get out there until just before the other guests showed up.  The next few hours was chaos.  Tables had to be moved and chairs set up to handle the influx of parents and children.  Alyce and Luke both had a great time playing with their cousins.  All of the kids are within 3 years of each other and even though they aren't old enough to be left to their own devices in the basement they were able to sneak away here and there to get in to a bit of trouble.

The best part of the Christmas party with my family is the white elephant gift exchange.  This year created a new wrinkle in that the kids wanted to "help" open all of the presents.  And even though we allowed Alyce to help with ours she wanted to help everyone and we had to keep telling her no.  This led to an unhappy little girl but luckily it never hit a full on tantrum.

After the party was over and the guests went home we futilely tried to do our immediate family gift exchange.  I thought we could get all of the presents opened even though it was way way past the kids bedtime.  I thought wrong.  We got a few open but quickly it degenerated into madness.  Instead we decided to call it a night and come back out the next day to finish the presents.

Christmas Day 1

It's two days after Christmas and only now have I had enough time to write about it. We were busy seeing family on both sides over the past three days. On Christmas Eve we went over to Gram's and Papa's house for the family Christmas. Alyce and Luke both had a great time running around the house and playing with their cousins. Luke found a good friend in his cousin Isabella. She took to him the second he walked in the door and he was more than happy to sit in her lap and give her lots of hugs. Alyce enjoyed dancing to all of the Christmas songs being sung by her family and played on her cousin Augostino's guitar.

Following dinner that the kids couldn't be bothered to eat the kids played the game Pin the Nose on Rudolf. Mom made the game for the Holiday Party at Alyce's school however she fell ill and missed that day. Rather than let it go to waste the kids played. Luke even got a chance to play however he didn't use the blindfold. When finished the kids asked what had they won? The answer, they got to open presents!

Alyce's favorite present opened was a doctor kit that has light up instruments. Luke liked a set of books and a play power drill.

Both kids did great all night. Mom's cousins all have kids our kids ages and aren't afraid to step in when needed. We do the same and this allows everyone to let their guard down and have a decent conversation as you can rely on each other to keep your kids from getting into major trouble.

The first night was down with two more to go.

Under Construction

Monday, December 20, 2010 0 comments
I've commented in the past about our new house being under construction.  Luckily things are progressing faster than we anticipated and we are closing on our new house January 17th.  At present the exterior of the house is finished, the interior walls are finished, and the cabinetry is being installed.  There is lots of work to be done but the excitement is building.

One downfall of the house being mostly done is that it is now under lock and key.  Once the garage door is installed and interior materials delivered the builder has the doors locked to prevent those items from walking away.  The builder's hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so if we want to take a look at the progress we have to do it between those hours.  Instead of stopping by the house twice a week we now only go once a week during lunch.

Each week we bring the kids with us so they can take a look at what their new rooms are going to be like.  Alyce gets a lot out of this and Luke likes to come along for the ride.  Each time we are on the property we are supposed to wear hard hats and I can only remember one time that we've actually done it.  The hard hats are in the building office and more often than not we looked at the house after business hours thus no hats.  The one time we got hard hats we managed to get a picture of Luke and Alyce wearing them and it was so cute!  Luke looked especially happy to be wearing his.

Cuteness at Culver's

Sunday, December 19, 2010 0 comments
Yesterday while out to dinner at Culver's Luke was being especially cute.  So I pulled out my phone and had to document.  One bit of cuteness he did was to lean his head from one side to the other.  Mom and I find this very cute because Shelby, Trent and Lisa's daughter did the exact same thing when she was a little girl.

The pictures I've taken are great examples of how expressive Luke's face can be.  Every emotion he has he wears on his entire face.

Ah Dee Doe

Thursday, December 16, 2010 0 comments
Of all things that Luke says there is one phrase that he says the most "ah dee doe".  Ah dee doe is his generic phrase for just about everything.  If he is babbling to himself odds are that is what he will eventually say.  Sometimes whenever we interact with him and say "ah dee doe" back to him he will add in a few extra dee's to make "ah dee dee dee dee doe".  Always extra dees and no extra ahs or does.

This phrase of his is also my favorite thing he says.  Whenever Luke says it and it is a lot he gets very excited or smiles and I get a smile on my face.  Mom and I have speculated on what exactly he is trying to say and one idea we've had is that he is trying to say "I love you".  That is wishful thinking but it would pretty awesome if he says I love you 20 times a day.

I'm guessing that as he gets older and he'll stop saying my favorite phrase and we'll never know what he was trying to say.

Winter Fun

Monday, December 13, 2010 0 comments
This weekend we got our first blast of wintery weather.  What was originally only supposed to be an inch of snow turned into 2 or 3 inches.  This extra snow in combination with some really low temperatures allowed us to have some fun in the snow.  This was Also Luke's first real snowfall.  Last winter Luke could barely walk so getting him out in the snow out of the question.

Alyce and Luke spent the night at Gram's and Papa's because Mom and I attended a Christmas party the night before.  When we awoke and looked outside we knew that Alyce would be raring to go outside.  So we grabbed her snow suit and an extra change of clothes for Luke and went over to pick them up and to have some fun outside.

After getting both kids bundled up we ventured outside into the cold.  Sledding was the first item on the agenda. We grabbed their blue sled, walked to the side of the house, and took a few trips down the hill.  First I pulled Alyce down the hill in the sled to see how she handled it.  We didn't want a repeat of her first time in a sled.  After a run or two Alyce said that she "wanted to do it by herself".  The total vertical drop was about 15 feet so there wasn't much chance for damage and there was my little girl going down the hill all by herself.  Luke by that time had gotten his snow legs and caught up with us on the sled.  We put him and Alyce on the sled together and sent them on their way.  The extra weight was enough to add a few feet onto Alyce's first run and they ended up in a bush.  They both took a few more runs on the sled with Alyce taking a few more by herself.

Luke did remarkable well in the snow considering he wasn't properly attired.  He didn't have a snow suit, boots, or even waterproof gloves.  Even without that he preferred to walk through the snow and enjoyed each and every time on the sled.  He didn't have much of an opinion on what was going and was just going with the flow trying to figure out what this white stuff was.

We eventually grew tired of the sled and Luke's clothes weren't water resistant so Mom dropped him off inside to warm him back up.  He watched or rather cried at us through the window while Alyce took the last few runs on the sled.

Following the sled Mom took Alyce up front to teach her how to make snow angels.  Alyce has been wanting to do snow angels for some time but there hasn't been any snow.  What is kind of funny about snow angels is that she's been asking to do them but we don't know where she learned about them in the first place.  We are guessing most likely from a tv show.  Mom laid in the snow and waved her arms in legs while Alyce looked on.  Alyce then laid down and mimicked her actions.  Following that Alyce moved over a bit and did another snow angel, and another, and another, and another.  In all I'd say she did 15 snow angels in both the front and back yards.

After Gram's and Papa's and on the way to lunch Alyce said "we needed some snow" like someone would say we needed some rain in the middle of a drought.  We asked Alyce why we needed some snow and her response was "because Christmas needs it".  Bless her heart.

Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 9, 2010 0 comments
So, today I decided to do a craft with the kids. I pulled out the construction paper and cut out Christmas trees and then I had the kids decorate them. Of course, I had to help Luke with his a little, but I think it was a big hit! Here's Luke's tree:


Luke's physical abilities really seem to be taking off.  Standing, walking, running, and climbing are all old hat to him.  To further push his physical abilities he likes to mix activities.  The two he likes to mix most are climbing and standing.  In our living room he will climb up on our ottoman and then proceeds to stand up.  Our ottoman isn't a stable structure and Luke works very hard to keep his balance.  On only a few occasions has he tumbled off usually between the ottoman and sliding glass door getting himself stuck.  Of course we tell him to stop standing on the ottoman or the couch but the only way he learns is through trial an error.

Yesterday he was climbing on Alyce's bench and somehow failed at climbing up it or possibly fell off.  When Mom went to check on him and the commotion she was greeted by a trickle of blood coming out of Luke's nose.  His first bloody nose.

I may give him some trouble about whining for food but one thing he doesn't cry about is getting hurt.  If he falls or bangs his head on something he'll take a look at us, rub the stop that's injured, and continue on as if nothing has happened.  Luke is a boy that isn't afraid to take chances.  I pray that some self preservation is developed along side fearlessness.


Luke is starting to take an interest in talking.  He like his sister seemed to be more interested in motor development and less interested in talking.  Now that he seems to have mastered most forms of movement he is focusing upon communicating.

A good example was this afternoon.  I met Mom and the kids over my lunch hour to check on the status of our new house.  While we were inside Luke was with Grams, in the car, and none too happy about it.  When I got back Luke really wanted to be in my arms.  I took him for a little walk along the front of the house.  While walking around Luke was pointing at things on the house or in the air and proceeded to talk about them.  While most of it sounded like babble he did say mommy, daddy, and house.  What was so interesting about this exchange was that he was talking in sentences rather that individual words.  It was all gibberish but the tempo, tone, and timing were all spot on.