A New Skill

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 0 comments
Luke has learned a new skill! He now knows that when he has to sneeze or cough he should do it into his arm or the crux of his elbow. No longer is my little man showering me with droplets of influenza with every sneeze. I'm not sure when he exactly picked it up. I just started noticing he was doing it with his most recent cold. He isn't perfect and sometimes he forgets where to deposit his sneeze but with encouragement when successful and reminders when not he'll get it.

He's done this for ages but when we sneeze he'll say "gazoontite". Super cute.

1, 2, Tickle!

0 comments
I like to tickle both Luke and Alyce. Seeing them squirm and hearing them giggle brightens my day. I spend the first 10 minutes of each night when I get home roughhousing and tickling the kids. Luke has picked up on this and has taken it upon himself to tickle other people. Most recently he'll let you know it is coming. He'll come up to you and say "one..... two.... tickle!" and proceed to tickle your belly. He doesn't tickle enough to laugh so I fake it. He doesn't seem to know the difference and keeps doing it as long as I respond in kind.

Kids are fun.

Dad and Luke Train Time

Sunday, December 18, 2011 0 comments
The week after the Coal Car was the Train Engine. This time however it was just Luke and I. Alyce came down sick so couldn't attend in person. We did get her a kit so she could still make her train. Luke and I got to spend some time together to bond in that father son way.

Like last week Luke wasn't too terribly interested in what we were doing. I did most of the assembling and I got him to help drive a few nails. Once finished he was quite interested in putting on the stickers.



When the train was finished he proceeded to run the train all over the place. The train had a pull back and go motor and with enough tension could really go places. We weren't in a hurry to go anywhere so I let him run it around the organization section of Lowe's. He was enjoying himself and I think he was entertaining all the other shoppers. When Luke is happy he has so much joy and energy it spills out and infects everyone else. It is his gift.

Build and Grow: Coal Car

Friday, December 16, 2011 0 comments
Last Saturday morning the family took a trip to Lowe's to take part in what I guess can now be called a tradition. We went to build some Christmas trains. Throughout the year on Saturday mornings Lowe's puts on these Build and Grow classes. It's a simple project for kids requiring the use of a hammer and some nails. All of the pieces are pre-drilled, go together easily, with easy to follow instructions. The best part is that these little projects are free! While I appreciate the good gesture from Lowe's I know they want to build brand loyalty plus if you can get people in a store chances are they'll buy something. So far we have yet to let them down. Every time we've gone to one of these we buy something.

The project last week was the middle "coal car" car of the train. We kind of forgot about the caboose the week before and by the time we tried to register the only store with openings was 30 miles away. Alyce had built a caboose the year before so it wasn't a huge loss to miss that one. Once we got to the store and found where they were doing the builds we got our project pack, aprons, hammers, and safety goggles. They let the kids keep the aprons and goggles too.  Alyce was wearing both items. Luke, didn't want much to do with them.  He was too small for the goggles. That being said he really did need a pair as he kept encroaching on me and the hammer. I almost conked him in the head twice.


Mom helped Alyce and the two of them did a good job. Alyce hammered in a nail until the easy part was over then Mom would finish off each nail. Alyce also helped reading the directions and finding the piece for the next step. Luke on the other hand lost interest after the first few nails. He tried to use the hammer but his swings were pretty wild and only hit the nail a small percentage of the time. After that he moved on to playing on and around the boxes nearby.



When both cars were made it was time for the Christmas stickers. Both Alyce and Luke were very much into that. Alyce did all of the stickers herself with Mom helping with the alignment. For Luke I had to pull off the stickers and get them started. Once started he'd finish them off by pressing the stickers down.


When finished they pushed the cars all over the place having a great time. When we got home we took the new cars and added them to the existing train. They fit perfectly and behold we have a really big train! We are going back to Lowe's a week later to make the engine. Luke needs to start his own train rather than freeloading off of Alyce's.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2011 0 comments
Tonight I shared with the kids a Christmas classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. We watched the show created in 1966 based on the book of the same name. There was a remake a few years ago but I like the old classic better. I couldn't find this version of the show on broadcast TV so instead I found it on YouTube.


I grabbed both kids, put them on my knees, and pressed play. They were enthralled. Alyce and Luke laughed at all the funny parts and were a bit concerned as the Grinch was stealing Christmas. When it was all over they seemed pleased that the Grinch was with the Whos. Alyce said that her favorite part was at the end when the Grinch was having dinner with the Whos.

Having watched the show as an adult the theme shines through; that you don't need presents or decorations to have Christmas as long as you have each other. A pretty good theme even if it took me 33 years to figure it out.

I'm a Jumping Bean

0 comments
Luke has been flexing his sense of humor every now and then.  His most recent antic is saying "I'm a jumping bean!" and then jumping up and down in place.

Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 27, 2011 0 comments
Thanksgiving this year was kind of a bust for our family. We spent the day home sick while everyone else was eating turkey and pie we were home trying to keep our lunch down.

The weekend before Thanksgiving Luke came down with a stomach bug. He couldn't keep much of anything down for 24 hours. The next morning he was mostly fine. He kept his food down however his appetite wasn't there. We thought we were in the clear when nobody else got sick for the next few days. Our luck ran out on Wednesday. I get a call at work from Mom that she has come down with a stomach bug that sounded eerily familiar to Luke's.  Mom like Luke woke up the next day feeling better and kept her food down. However, her appetite had not returned and is still missing.

Even Wednesday we knew we shouldn't be going out on Thanksgiving but we held out a bit of hope for some miraculous recovery that would allow us to make the trip. Alyce's upset stomach and a fever of 103 erased any doubt where we were going to be spending Turkey Day. Alyce luckily only got sick once and spent most of the day either taking naps or laying on the couch watching TV.

I took the opportunity to do some work on my wall. I received more than one awkward look from the neighbors as I was loading shovelfuls of rock into a wheelbarrow as they were off to Thanksgiving dinner. After explaining to them our situation you could see the understanding in their eyes. Each and every person I talked to offered to bring food back from their dinners. It was very neighborly of them and embodied the Thanksgiving spirit.

The aftermath of this round of influenza is still felt. Just yesterday Luke's appetite came back a full 7 days after the first onset of symptoms. Alyce never really seemed to lose her appetite however the quantity of consumption has gone down. Mom has yet to regain her appetite and is limiting what she eats. Not because she couldn't keep it down but because it isn't agreeing with her. I'm hoping that this will pass me by. If I am to get sick I can be thankful that I was healthy while everyone else was sick so I could take care of them.

Climbing with Gideon

Friday, November 18, 2011 0 comments
Last weekend Alyce had her birthday party at McDonald's. We invited all of our friends that had kids and some classmates of Alyce's and kids from the neighborhood. Gideon, being the kid of some friends was there.

As both Gideon and Alyce get older they are playing with each other less and less. While that is a loss for Alyce it is a gain for Luke. He and Gideon are fast becoming friends. While Alyce was running around with all of her girlfriends Luke was doing his best to keep with with Gideon.


The playground at this McDonald's was rather large. It spanned two stories and was probably 30 feet wide. The only way to get up into the maze of tunnels was to climb up from one ledge to the next. The problem for Luke was that each ledge was about two inches too tall for Luke to get his knee up on the ledge and up to the next level. In comes Gideon to help Luke up each and every ledge. A first Gideon tried to push Luke up by his behind but after a few failed attempts Gideon climbed up to the next ledge and drug Luke to his level. It wasn't pretty but it was effective. Once up top Luke was able to keep up, find the slides, and ride down starting the process over again.


I have to give Gideon a lot of credit. By helping Luke he was really cutting down on the number of cycles he could ride the slide. He was acting like quite the big brother making sure Luke wasn't left behind.

Flips

Thursday, November 3, 2011 0 comments
Luke has learned a fun trick. It's something I've been doing with Alyce for some time. I just call it flips. Basically Alyce or Luke grabs my thumbs, walk up my legs, and finish it off with flip and landing on their feet. Luke when he does is only successful about half the time. When he fails he spreads his legs apart and they get caught on my arm. I'm not in a position to help him out when he does that so he ends up on a pile on the floor. It is a gentle drop so it's not like I dropped him on his head.

We do flips mostly when I get home from work. I first flip Alyce once or twice then Luke sees what we are doing and wants to join in. After that I make each one of them take turns. And of course Jake is jumping on me all excited to see me so it makes for quite the commotion when I get home. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Halloween

Monday, October 31, 2011 0 comments
Today was our first Halloween in the new neighborhood. We weren't sure what to expect as the neighborhood is packed full of kids and we weren't disappointed. We were told by the neighbors that there was going to be a lot of kids. Since we are the biggest neighborhood for miles around we get a lot of transplants from the county. I like to hand out full sized candy bars so we bought a few boxes and an extra bag of small candy bars for an emergency supply. Luckily we didn't need to dig into that and we can return the bag of candy.

Alyce was dressed as Strawberry Shortcake and Luke was Thomas the Tank Engine. Alyce has been bouncing off the walls about her costume for weeks. Luke has been kind of cool to his. He likes Thomas for sure but I think he didn't like it going over his head. I had to wear it for a few minutes before he wanted it on. He didn't want the hat either but eventually that went on and stayed on all night.

Mom did most of the candy handing out while I took the kids around the neighborhood. I met up with a friend from the neighborhood Cris. Cris along with his kids Keegan and Kennedy made up our trick or treating party. We are trying to introduce Alyce to more kids in the neighborhood and Cris's daughter Keegan is around Alyce's age. Keegan is a lot more outgoing than Alyce so she can get a lot from the relationship. They were first introduced at the neighborhood Halloween party last Friday night. I wouldn't say they hit it off but tonight they ran around together like kids should. I think a few play dates will solidify a friendship.


While rolling through the neighborhood Alyce and Keegan were leading the way. Luke was picking up the 3rd position. The girls would start off saying "trick or treat", Luke running a few paces behind them would pipe in squealing "twik or tweet", and then run to catch up. At first Luke didn't get the whole candy thing but after a few houses he was able to fend for himself and started to pick out his own candy.

Towards the end of the block the kids were starting to run low on energy.  We had to skip the last few houses as Kennedy, Cris's other daughter, had to go pee. She probably told 20 people in a row the exact same thing. Upon finishing the loop I packed the kids up in the wagon and rolled the back to the house.



The thing I am most proud of was how well behaved my kids were. They didn't run too much and they said thank you to every person handing out candy. They even stopped when I said to as they were about to run into the street without looking both ways.

Hospital

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 0 comments
Mom and I are sitting at the hospital with Luke. It's his first trip. The circumstances for our trip could have been worse. Mom took the kids to the park today after Lunch to enjoy the great weather. While there Luke missed a step and fell head first into a pole. He came up bloody with a cut above his head. Papa took Alyce while I met Mom and Luke at the hospital.


We are sitting in a room now waiting for some numbing agent to do its thing so Luke can get some stitches. They aren't sure how deep the cut is but it might require multiple layers of stitches.


Luke is being a real trooper this far. Especially since he is missing his nap. We'll see how well he does when the needles come out.

Luke Now Likes School

Thursday, October 20, 2011 0 comments
Over a month ago when we left Luke at school he'd shed a lot of tears as we left. Since then Luke's attitude towards school has changed. This week at school when Mom was dropping him off Luke was already playing with toys. As Mom was leaving Luke came up to Mom asked for and received a hug and kiss then went right back to playing with his toys. After school back at the house Luke said to Mom "I like school". It took a little bit but I knew Luke would like school. He just needed to spread his wings and leave the nest.

30 Month Screening

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 0 comments
Monday Luke had a 30 month screening with our Parents as Teachers lady, Karen. It is the first time we've met her since we changed school districts. Mom tried setting up a meeting a while ago but the request must have gotten lost. In any case Luke did great on his test.

The screening was a bunch of questions asked of Mom about things Luke does. For some questions they tried to see if Luke could do what was asked of him. The five traits tested were Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, and Personal-Social. Luke was above average in all categories. Communications, problem solving, and personal social were pretty much normal for his age. Gross and fine motor were almost off the charts!



Mom was told that Luke knowing his shapes was something 4 year olds can do. We can't take too much credit for his success. Most of the credit goes to Team Umizoomi



We will have to work with him on the other things like following complicated sets of directions and some problem solving. I'm not too worried.

Space

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 0 comments
This past weekend we used a coupon for a local ice cream shop called Spooners. It was our first time there and didn't really know what to expect. The place is set up to be an outside eatery with lots of tables, benches, and chairs. It was sort of late and sort of cool so we were some of only a handful of people there.

As we were eating our ice cream under the stars Luke looks up. While he's looking up he says "outer space". What?!? How in the heck does Luke know about space, outer space, or anything related to the cosmos? Who knows where Luke or his sister learns this stuff? In any case I think it's really neat he knows about "outer space".

Jumping

Thursday, October 6, 2011 0 comments
Luke can cross one of the last milestones off his list; he can jump. Right about the time Alyce's dance video came in he started jumping. He was trying to emulate what the girls were doing on the video. His first attempts were pretty pitiful but with our encouragement he's improved to a full jumper. His vertical distance is maybe an inch and a half. He seems pretty proud of himself whenever he does jumps. We encourage him when we can but most of the time we are trying to stop him from jumping on the furniture.

The Many Faces of Luke

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 0 comments
Some time ago while eating ice cream at a Culvers I snapped a set of pictures of Luke. In each shot he has a different expression. Looking at them now they crack me up.






Smart Little Guy

0 comments
Luke is a smart little guy. His language skills are top notch. As mentioned earlier he can count pretty good. In addition to his numbers he can say all of his ABCs. That being said he doesn't know them but can repeat the letters as I say them. What is neat is how well he can say each one. I went through the entire alphabet a few days ago and he recited each one perfectly.

I doubt Luke is going to have the same language hiccups that Alyce had. When she was younger she'd say things like "turpin" for turtle or "purpin" for purple. Luke's enunciation isn't perfect but he's making the right sounds for each word in his vocabulary. I'm guessing being the second kid with a big sister showing him the ropes is a benefit.

Counting to 100

Monday, September 19, 2011 0 comments
Luke is quite advanced for a 2 year old. He can count to 100! He can sort of count to 100. He starts with one and goes up from there and does pretty good up to eleven. After that well take a look at the video to see how far he can go.

How Old Are You?

Sunday, September 18, 2011 0 comments
Yesterday as I was putting on Luke's shoes I asked him how old he was. His response had me rolling on the floor. He said "I don't know yet". Hilarious.


School

Friday, September 16, 2011 0 comments
Today we dropped Luke off at school like any other day. What makes this day special over another is that today Alyce is going with him. Her school was canceled today so we thought it would be fun if she joined him. I took the day off to get some yard work done.

Luke has a rough time letting go of us when he goes to school. Today as we pulled into the parking lot he started to tear up. When we walked into the room he stared to whimper and wouldn't let go of us. Luckily after a while he did let go and we were able to sneak out. The teachers tell us he is always like this and 5 minutes after we leave he's happy as a clam.

Luke is a very affectionate little guy. He loves to give and receive hugs. And he loves to be around us. It is pretty hard on him for us to leave him with strangers. Hang in the little guy it'll get easier.



Goodbye Pool

Thursday, September 15, 2011 0 comments
Labor Day has passed and it is time that we say goodbye to the pool for the year. It has been a memorable summer in the water. It was our first year there. Having bought the house in January this was our first time to enjoy the benefits of the neighborhood.

Alyce got over her fear of having water in her face, going down the slide by herself, and jumping in the pool. As the summer closes Alyce is now making running leaps into the pool even if I'm not there to catch her. With this sort of confidence I think she might be ready to learn from her swimming lessons. Her favorite activity this year with me was to run around a little circular section of pool until we created a current. Once the water was circling well we'd pick up our feet and float around in circles. We call it our "Whirlpool"!

Luke has never been afraid of the water. In fact he loves every minute of it. Now that we have such easy access to water I think he'll embrace water as just another place to play and will never have any fear of it. Luke has learned some things from the pool too. For example he knows that if he blocks one of the water shooter holes the other holes shoot out water even farther. He has pretty good aim and likes to shoot both Mom and I with water.

To compare the two kids I think it is safe to recommend that continued and lengthy access to a pool is the best way to get kids acquainted with and to enjoy the water.

Dancing in the Livingroom

Friday, September 9, 2011 0 comments
Last night Alyce had her first dance class of the season. This year she is in the 5-6 year old class even though she is only 4. Of course she'll be 5 soon enough.

Alyce came home with the video for her dance recital from last June! She's been watching it ever since. When she sees her routine she dances along with it. Surprisingly she remembers all the moves. Beyond her own routine she's been watching the other class's routines and dancing along with them. Alyce is doing a pretty good job keeping up with their routines and ad-libbing where needed.

When Mom brought Luke home from school Alyce wanted the dancing again. Luke is now dancing in front of the tv too! It hilarious watching him go through the routines. He's stomping, stepping, twisting, and waving his arms all over and enjoying every minute of it. Perhaps he wants to start dancing too. I'd be ok with that. I guess...


First Day of School

Thursday, September 8, 2011 0 comments
Yesterday Luke attended his first day of school. I guess officially it wasn't school. Instead he attended a Mom's day out / kid's day out program at a church near our house. We did the same thing with Alyce when she was roughly Luke's age. We wanted Luke to get all the benefits from social interaction as Alyce did from her class.

It seems kind of weird to Mom and I that Luke is going to kid's day out already. Going this year means that he is going to be attending preschool next year and that just seems too soon. I think we are looking at Luke through Alyce colored glasses. When Alyce first attended school she was just a month away from turning 3. Luke on the other hand still has 7 months until he is 3.  And to a kid only 2 years old 7 months is a quarter of your life; a decent chunk.


Before we left the house to take him to school Mom snapped a few pictures of his first day outfit and lunch bag. He doesn't get a back pack yet but he is there from 9:00 - 1:00 so Mom packs a lunch for him. We picked up a Thomas the Tank Engine lunch bag and seems to be smitten with it.

When we arrived at the school we were one of the first people there. A lady with her child went in right in front of us. Lucky for us she did because you have to enter a code just to get in the front door and we didn't have the updated one. I'm glad they take security seriously. The weather was great so the class started outside. Luke immediately ran away from us and started playing on all of the playground equipment. Mom talked to the caretakers for a bit and eventually Luke came back over to us. He was driving a Cozy Coupe as we were leaving and Mom gave him a kiss on the head good bye. As we exited the area Luke started to follow us as he just realized that were leaving without him. The teachers sprang into action and scooped him up. They did their best to distract him and I didn't see him flip out or start screaming for us.




I left soon thereafter while Mom needed to pay for the class. On her way out she looked in on Luke and sure enough he was crying. It was to be expected but that didn't make it any easier on Mom. Separating from your kid is never easy and it shouldn't be. You are breaking a bond that was being constructed for the past two years.

Once class was over Mom got the scoop about Luke's first day. There were some tears but they slowed down and stopped during the day. He played a lot and made some artwork. The picture he brought home was of an apple he made out of construction paper and glue. It's now hanging from our refrigerator. That evening when I was home I took it off and admired it. I asked Luke if he made this and he said "yes" while beaming with pride.


This will be a good experience for Luke. It's bound to have a rocky start. In the end it will be all worth it. It'll be good for Mom too. She's transitioning to a life where the kids won't be home in the morning and eventually the whole day.

Counting

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 0 comments
One thing that Luke is doing much better than his sister at this age is count. From being able to count to 11 to knowing a number by looking at it his skill with numbers is impressive.

He's learned his numbers from both Alyce and from tv. Lots of times on their kid shows we've caught Luke counting with Dora, Diego, or whomever is on the screen. From Alyce he's learned counting by playing hide and go seek. Alyce will count to some arbitrary number and start searching. Luke will mimic her by covering his eyes and counting. Of course he doesn't keep his fingers together so he does cheat. When he first started playing a few months ago he'd mumble his numbers. Now he can say each one clearly.

Luke also knows the proper symbol for each number. Just today while upstairs Alyce held up some numbers and Luke would correctly identify each one. Alyce would hold up a 9 and Luke would say "nine". Pretty advanced for a 2 year old.

I don't know if Luke knows how to count. I guess I should put out a few of something and see if he can tell me how many there are. What I do know is that I am very proud of Luke. He is a bright kid with a bright future.

No Way

Monday, August 29, 2011 0 comments
Just before school started last week we took a quick trip to Kentucky Lake for a vacation. A full blown write up about that experience is coming. In the mean time I wanted to write about something funny that happened while we were there.

At the beach there was a big pirate ship with a slide that the kids were playing on. Besides the slide the most notable feature was this cool ramp leading up to the ship. It had rope hand railings and really added to the pirate ship look.

At some point Luke was blocking the ramp and Alyce was wanting to get up on top of the ship. We told her to use one of the 3 other ways of getting up on the ship that were available to her. She would have none of that she was focused on one way. Mom and I then told her to ask Luke to step aside so she could go up. She repeated what we said and Luke replied "no way!" as he stuck out his hand in a stop sign motion. We erupted with laughter. Luke was smiling because we found something he did to be funny. Alyce didn't see the humor as much as we did.

Eventually she did make her way up to the pirate ship.

Day at the Zoo

Saturday, August 27, 2011 0 comments
Saturday we spent the day at the zoo. Surprisingly it wasn't too crowded. With the nice run of weather and school being back in session we figured there would be some pent up demand.


We were happy to see that the hippo exhibit was open. Last time we were here it was closed due to cracks in the aquarium. I could see why the zoo management would want to avoid a few thousand gallons of water and a hippo greeting their guests first hand.


A quick ride on the train and some lunch and before we knew it we were looking at some penguins. It was a pretty warm day outside and walking into a fake penguin habitat at 40 degrees was quite the shock. Mom and I enjoyed the weather however Alyce did not. I held Alyce close to save some body heat and we managed to see all of the penguins and puffins hang out on shore and swim in their tanks. Penguins are pretty cool. They look so clumsy on land yet fly like fighter jets when in the water.


After the penguins I took the kids for a ride on the carousel and after that we needed to leave. We had to leave  early because nap time was fast approaching and we still needed to see GiGi; she's at the hospital. Alyce was not too happy about this because she wanted to see the giraffes and we hadn't gone past the giraffe enclosure. It didn't help that the giraffe area was on the opposite side of the zoo, up a hill, and the point farthest from our car. She whined for a bit but gave up before we got to the car. She was dragging pretty bad on the walk back and I had to carry her about half the time.



It was a good day even if the kids were a bit whiny at times. The zoo is always a blast and with free admission you can't go wrong. Being a zoo friends member is also a boon. Free parking and train rides make the trip even easier.

Big Boy Potty

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 0 comments
Today Luke used the toilet for the very first time! We’re so proud of him! However, there is a story to how he got there. We are trying out some new diapers that have Diego from Go Diego Go on them. While I was changing Luke’s diaper, Luke saw Diego on the new diaper and he wouldn’t let me put it on him because he wanted to look at it. So, I let him keep that one and I went to get a new one. Well, when I turned around from getting another one, Luke was peeing on my dining room carpet. I yelled, “NO!”, at him and he stopped. So, I scooped him up and walked him into the bathroom where I put him on the toilet with a training seat. There he continued to go potty in the toilet. I praised him greatly, but I think he was still upset that I yelled at him before. Anyway, I continued to praise him and even had Alyce come and praise him hoping he would realize that he had done a very good thing when he used the potty. He seemed pretty excited that he got to flush the toilet. I know it’s the just the beginning of potty training and I don’t think he’s too interested in using the potty yet, but it’s a start and I’ll take it! I also plan to buy a book, My Big Boy Potty, that's like one we got for Alyce while she was potty training that seemed to help her get interested in the potty. Hopefully, it will help Luke out too.

Sibling Cuteness

Friday, August 19, 2011 0 comments
I managed to grab a few cute pictures of the kids while they were out playing on the swing set. The swing set so far is working out great. The kids are always asking to play on it and make use of swings, clubhouse, and slide. If we can get a few years of use out of it I'd say that we got our money's worth.




New Swing Set

Saturday, July 30, 2011 0 comments
Today we finished enough of the kid's swing set for them to finally get to play with it. I think they really enjoyed it. Luke upon seeing it ran straight towards he rock wall and scurried up. He needed some help the first few times but after a while he got a hang of it and got up on his own.


The rock wall still needs to be attached and until I do that we'll have to hold it for them as they climb up. Later, the swings were installed with Papa's help; after the kids immediately rode the swings. Luke had some difficulty at first getting his rear in position but eventually figured it out enough to enjoy some swinging.


Driving a Car

Monday, July 25, 2011 0 comments
Last week when I came home from work I was greeted by my family outside. Upon getting my welcome home hugs and exiting the car the kids piled into the front seat. I snapped this picture of Luke behind the wheel.


Me Three

0 comments
As we were driving home from Gram's and Papa's last night we had all of the windows down on the car to enjoy the momentary break in the heat. As we were leaving the neighborhood Alyce says "I hear bugs". Mom then says in reply, "me too". Luke, without missing a beat says "me three"! Mom and I exploded in laughter.

I am quite proud of my son. Not only did he remember something funny we did in the past he used it in the place and with the correct timing. I don't think I give my 2 year old enough credit. He talks well enough but I think there is more going on in his head than he is leading on.

Stacking

Saturday, July 16, 2011 0 comments
Tonight after dinner we caught Luke quietly playing by himself. He was sitting at the table stacking blocks. When he couldn't stack the blocks any higher while sitting he'd sneak a little stand on the chair and deposit the next piece.


Anytime Alyce would get close to his tower Luke would run over to protect it saying "mine mine".

Yeap

0 comments
Luke has added a new word to his vocabulary and we couldn't be happier. He's added the word "yeap". Yeap is a combination of yeah and yep and he uses it when we ask him a question and he responds yes.

It's so nice to get an affirmative instead of a "no" or no response at all.


Father Son Time

Monday, July 11, 2011 0 comments
Saturday Mom, Grandma, and Grams took Alyce to see the Little Mermaid. It was up to me to watch Luke while they were gone. It turned out to be great father son time.


Luke and I first got a bite to eat at the Bread Co. He ate a grilled cheese sandwich and yogurt while I had my own sandwich. After that we both split a chocolate chip cookie. I didn't bother with a high chair and it worked out great. He sat across from me eating his sandwich, barely getting up, and not making more than a whisper. It was a really stress free dinner.



Following dinner he and I took a trip to the park. When we got there we had the entire playground to ourselves. Luke rode every slide and I even managed to take a few trips down.

Following the park I took Luke back home and he and I played with trains for a little while. After a bit he looks at me with exhausted eyes, I asked him if he wanted to go to bed, and crawls over to me and puts his head in my lap; I guess that was a yes. I had him in bed and he was fast asleep by 7:40. I wasn't planning on putting him to bed until 8:30.

Tonight I hung out with Luke playing trains. After doing that for a while we watched a show on my phone about stream trains. We only got half way through the show before it was bed time but I enjoyed him sitting in my lap.

I'm enjoyed the time I've been spending with Luke lately. It's been some neat father son bonding time. Not that we weren't close to each other before last weekend but now that he is getting older I'm getting a lot more out of the time we spend together.

The Things Luke Says

Thursday, July 7, 2011 0 comments
Tonight Luke said something pretty neat that got me to write about all the other neat things he is saying recently. First off tonight after I got home from a neighborhood watch meeting I was going in through the garage while Mom and the kids were coming out the front door. Luke knew I was outside but didn't see me. Luke then said in broken english to no one in particular "where daddy go?". How neat is that!

Next whenever I ask the kids something like "who wants juice?" or "who wants a tickle?" Alyce and Luke both say "I do I do" and come running at me. It's awesome hearing Luke say what he wants rather than screaming for or against something. On that note his screaming is decreasing in its frequency, thank god.

Lastly whenever it's time to go upstairs and the kids are dragging their feet again I say "me first!" and start running towards the stairs. The kids, never ones to let a challenge go unanswered race me to and up the stairs. The whole time both of them are saying "me first, me first". It's reverse psychology for sure. I get them to do something they didn't want to just because they want to win the race. I'm guessing that won't work for much longer.

Fireworks, Not So Much

Monday, July 4, 2011 0 comments
This year Luke was not a fan of fireworks. Starting at Disney World Luke was showing signs of being scared of them. Now that Independence day is here the fear is confirmed. When any loud sound occurs he starts crying and dives into Mom's or my arms. I feel sorry for the little guy because he's missing out on some really good fireworks shows. I'm guessing this is just something about his age.  Last year he was fine with them.  Plus his sister, our 4 year old scaredey cat was enjoying every minute this year.

See you next year Lukie.

Disney World Day: 6 Part 2

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 0 comments
The second half of our last day at the park was just as good if not better than the first half of the day. Following naps and dinner we hopped on the bus heading back towards the Magical Kingdom. We were going there to see the Electric Parade and possibly the fireworks show if the kids were up for it.

While waiting for the bus it started to rain just a bit. We didn't mind a light sprinkle and continued on. The closer we got to the park the harder it started to rain. By the time we walked in the front door it was really coming down. We knew all of the rides would be closed so we took the stores for a bit of shopping hoping the rain would pass like everyone else in the park. Mom also wanted to get one final autograph, Minnie Mouse's so we got in line for that as well. While waiting for all of that to come to pass I kept the kids entertained by showing them episodes of the Roadrunner and Wil-E-Coyote; blasphemy in the House of Mouse!


After our visit with Minnie and Mickey the rain had stopped and we went out pick our spots for the Electric Parade. I asked a nearby worker where would be a good spot to sit for the parade. His response was disappointing; the parade had been cancelled. I guess since it rained so late into the night Disney was unable to get the parade ready by its scheduled time. Mom and I were saddened. Alyce on the other hand was devastated. She had fixated on this one item and to have it taken away brought on instant tears. To salvage the evening Mom and I were willing to do just about anything. We immediately fixated on the cart selling glowing toys. I found it hypocritical that Disney would cancel their parade yet still continue to push their overpriced crap on overtired kids and parents at the end of their rope. I however was glad they were there because we gave Alyce a choice of any toy and $15 later Alyce was the owner of a new light up Minnie Mouse toy and the parade was a distant memory. The best $15 dollars ever!


We took a trip over to the Adventure area of the park and took a nighttime ride on the Aladdin ride. The Aladdin ride was just like the Dumbo right but held twice as many people. We walked right on and had a great time.

After Aladdin we used up the last of our snacks on some Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches. In my opinion the Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich is the best ice cream available at the parks. I highly recommend you try one if given the chance. I also recommend Disney's chocolate cake. It comes in a small cup with chocolate icing and Mickey Mouse sprinkles. It's divine.

To finish up the night we ventured toward Tomorrow Land. We hadn't done a single ride in this section either so we tried to hit the ones with short rides that wouldn't scare the kids; we were mostly successful. The first ride we rode was the People Mover. This ride is as tame as they come. You ride a little cart throughout the tomorrow land area passing through different dioramas. I most we were traveling 5 mph. For about 30 seconds the ride rolls through a pitch black section and Alyce and Luke both flip out. Mom and I are like "what the heck" and tell the kids to pipe down having run out of patience for such things. Following that we rode on the Carousel of Progress. This ride had been there for ages and Mom and I have never rode on it. It was a pretty cool show that put how far technology has changed in the past 100 years. What I found funny was that a lot of things shown to be in the future are already here today. It's got a catchy song too.





Following Tomorrow land we caught the tail end of the fireworks display. After that we called it a night. When finally back to the room and the kids in bed the clock read 11:30. This night and the night before taught us the lesson we should have learned early on. It is better to keep the kids up late in the cool of the night than to force them through the hot of the day. Even though you'd be dealing with overtired kids it is better than hot kids. Too bad it took us so long to figure it out.