Monkey Joe's

Sunday, May 29, 2011 0 comments
Recently we met up with our friend's Josh and Tammy and their kid's Gideon and Sylvia at Monkey Joe's.  We've been there in the past even with Luke in tow.  What makes this trip so awesome is that this is the first time that Luke went up the big slide!  Before this point he didn't have it in him to make the climb up.  Now that he is older and because there were so few kids at Monkey Joe's Luke was able to scale the Big Slide!


We started off simply enough with Alyce and Gideon running off to the big slides and Luke in the toddler area.  Luke did have fun in there but his only challenge was walking on a bouncy surface which he handled well.  After a bit we decided to give him a shot at the big slide. Alyce did this slide for the first time just a few months before turning 4 and didn't have any trouble.  We weren't sure Luke was up to the challenge but with nothing ventured nothing is gained.  At first when we put Luke on the path to the steps of the slide he wasn't very interested and got right back off. After watching Alyce and Gideon do it he knew what was up and wanted to try.  He took a few attempts to go up the steps each time trying a different means of ascension.  At first he tried to stay vertical like a normal stair case and holding onto the hand rail but couldn't keep his balance and slid back down.  He finally adopted a hands and knees approach that worked.

His climb to the top I'd describe as epic.  Well epic for a 2 year old.  For every few steps up he'd slip down one.  When he finally reached the top everyone cheered for him.  You'd think that this would be one of those life defining moments for him where he overcame something hard and could draw upon when he faces something hard.  But he's just 2 and probably wont even remember this in a few days.


Know this Luke, Mom and I are proud of you.

Weekend Alone

Friday, May 27, 2011 0 comments
Last weekend Mom took a little vacation and I was playing the role of single parent for the next 48 hours.  I went into the weekend pretty confident that I would come out the other side with my sanity intact.  I'm happy to report that I did in fact make it through loosing only a few cards out of my deck.

With Alyce being 4 years old and potty trained she was pretty easy.  Luke at 2 wasn't even all that hard.  The majority of my time was spent trying to get them to eat something (anything).  The downside to them getting older was that rather than being caregiver you get the role of referee.  We have a house full of toys and it is way too much to ask that they don't play with same one at the same time. The hilarious part of the toy fighting is that after Alyce has been playing with a toy for 5 minutes, Luke will come over, rip it out of her hands, and Alyce will say "Luke is not sharing!".  Maybe she hasn't quite figured the finer points of sharing.

Saturday, the first day I was running solo I had to run out to my Mom's house to do a few maintenance items.  I was going to be all alone so I had to keep one eye on the kids and one on the task at hand.  Luckily they were very cooperative.  It helped that I wasn't in any big hurry so I didn't have to rush and was able to take things as they came.  For lunch I took them out to McDonald's and their playground. Some chicken nuggets, milk, and 20 minutes on a slide was enough to keep them happy and drain away any stress I had.

That evening after naps I packed up the kids and went to my friend Ted's house.  His daughter Izzy turned one and they were throwing a small party for her.  We were late getting there due to Luke taking an extended nap and most of the food was gone.  Ted offered to fire up the grill to make some more.  But I told him it wasn't worth the effort as they probably wouldn't eat and I was right.  I was able to get a single bite of chicken and garlic bread in the both of them before they tore off for the slide and swings.

During the party I only lost Luke once.  I was busy pushing Alyce on a swing and after a few minutes I noticed that I hadn't seen Luke in a bit.  I disengaged myself from Alyce and started to go look for Luke.  There were a ton of parents around so I was confident he hadn't walked off I just wanted to check in.  As I walked around back and around the screened in porch I hear a "hi daddy".  The kicker is that I heard it coming from above me. Looking up Luke had managed to go up the stairs and through the door to the screened in porch.  He was playing on a slide inside and having a great time.  You could say that Luke found me.


Towards the end of the party after the piƱata and cupcakes Luke made a friend, another kid in attendance, and just two days younger than Luke.  The two of them just started running around a tree and having a great time of it.  I think that each of them thought the other was chasing them.  It was pretty cute and I managed to grab a bit of video.  Of course Luke fell a few times and when finished was covered in mud.  I wasn't planning on giving the kids a bath that night but Luke left me with little choice.  Once home I tossed the kids in the tub, cleaned them up, put them to bed, and collapsed.



Sunday was a pretty easy day.  We hung out all day at the house with no where to go. While Luke was playing with some trains Alyce and I played a few rounds of Pretty Princess. Once Mom was back in town we met her at Gram's and Papa's house.  The strangest thing happened when we pulled up.  Luke didn't immediately go see Mom. Instead he went and said hi to everyone else.  Perhaps he was angry she left and withheld his affection as a way of showing his displeasure?  His withholding lasted only a few minutes and then he and she were back to normal.  I'm glad he doesn't hold a grudge.

Mom really needed that weekend off.  I'm glad she was able to disengage from family life for a little while and decompress.  Luke's screaming and Alyce's whining day after day can really up your stress level.  If you don't get an extended break every once in a while you'll go mad.

I Do It

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This past week while putting Luke to bed I had quite the surprise.  I was getting Luke's toothbrush ready for a teeth brushing and as I am going in he grabs for the toothbrush and says "I do it".  I was taken aback for two reasons.  The first is that he told me what he wanted rather than being an idle participant.  Next he used a three word sentence and referred to himself as I.

Putting Luke to bed has never been hard.  Now that he is 2 he gets vitamins and a story so when it is time to go to bed he races up the stairs.  For teeth brushing he has always been willing to go along.  I guess something just clicked that he wanted to give it a try and do what the big kids are doing.  Right there at that moment Luke took a step. And even though it is small it is one of many that will get him to where he will go in life.

Three word sentence?  Saying "I"?  Where did this all come from?  I have no clue.  Luke barely uses two word sentences so a three is out of left field.  Him saying I is also pretty cool.  I'm guessing that is a milestone where a child can refer to himself as his own person.

Keep on taking those steps Luke.  Only you know where you will end up.

Happy Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 0 comments
For Mother's day the entire family including Onermark Grams and Grams and Papa went to the Museum of Transportation.  The Museum of Transportation is a cool little museum that show cases all types of transportation with a specific focus on trains.

Mom picked up a Groupon some time ago for a steal so we all got in for only a few dollars.  I would say that the museum is just the right size for two kids.  They have a trolley, tram, and train that you can ride on for free or small charge and lots of trains that kids can climb up into.  The museum isn't a slouch when it comes to history.  Onermark Grams and I routinely fell behind the rest of the group because were busy reading the history of each and every train.  We left only after a few hours but I could have stayed all day.


The forecast for that day was hot and it did not disappoint.  Even with lots of shade I managed a minor sunburn.  The kids fared better than I because they have full heads of hair.  The heat did take a toll on the kids and after a while they became red in the face and their energy and mood plummeted.



Following the museum we all met for lunch at Grams and Papa's house for some sandwiches.  GiGi was picked up GiGi on the way home and she joined us for lunch.

Separation Anxiety

Saturday, May 14, 2011 0 comments
Luke has picked up some separation anxiety. Just recently he's been extremely distraut when Mom or I have to leave him. Even if one of us is still around he'll cry out for the other.

It isn't limited to us leaving either. When he is down for a nap at Grams and Papa's he is so unhappy he is starting to crawl up and out of the pack n play in search of us.

He doesn't go crazy all the time and I remember reading in a baby book that at this age separation anxiety can return. I figure in a few months he will be back to the old way where we barely got a response when we left.

Colors

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Luke's language continues to grow. One area he is progressing very quickly is colors. Luke can correctly identify red, blue, green, pink, purple, orange, and YELLOW! He is still very partial to yellow and if he isn't sure of the color he will default to yellow.

I'm very impressed with his color prowess. He is very much ahead of his sister with respect to colors at this age. I think all of the sidewalk chalk helped drive home all the different colors.



Back to His Old Self

Thursday, May 5, 2011 0 comments
It pleases me much to say that Luke is back to being himself. For pretty much the last month he's been fighting a reoccurring ear infection. The side effects which included him being so annoying you didn't want to be around him and a fever.

A good example was Easter weekend. That was Luke's round three with an ear infection. He was already taking an antibiotic for an ear infection and we thought he was on the mend. We were wrong. Luke's fever began to rise and we thought he was just sick. His mood was so poor we decided to keep him away from some Easter festivities for fear of infecting others. When his mood was poor he would hardly eat or sleep and would always want your direct attention by being held or latching onto you.

Following Easter we took Luke back to the doctors for a 3rd course of antibiotics. This time they gave him a shot of antibiotics instead of wasting time on yet another liquid. Luckily this course seems to have done the trick and was cheaper!

Now that Luke is healthy (knock on wood) he is back to being the lovable little guy we know. He's giggling, laughing, running around the house, and best off all not wanting 100% of our time. Luke, we love you and all but we need to get stuff done.

One thing that has yet to return is his appetite. Even before his sickness he has been eating less and less. I'm guessing he is self policing his food intake basses on need. We won't force him to eat but we will make sure he eats something before he gets dessert. No free rides on the dessert train.

I Came Home to a Talker

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 0 comments
Last weekend I took a trip to Kansas City.  I was gone a total of 3 nights.  I didn't get a chance to see Luke until I came home from work that Monday.  Coming into the house I was eagerly greeted by my little boy.  However he had changed; he became a talker.  He said the two word sentence "hi daddy" and other assorted things.  What was different was how well his pronunciation improved.  He was a different person.

One's a Morning Person. The Other Not So Much

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Last week before I left for work Mom and I went in to Alyce and Luke's room to get them up.  I handled Alyce and Mom got Luke.  I opened up Alyce's window shades and pulled the covers back.  Alyce then grabbed the blanket and covered herself back up hiding from the light.  I managed to snag this picture of this morning person.


Luke on the other hand is most definitely a morning person.  When Mom walked in he stoop up and was ready to go. Getting out of his crib he walked over to a stack of toys and started playing.


It's so interesting to see how different two people with the same parents can be.  Alyce in this respect is a carbon copy of me.  Luke is a copy of Mom.

Easter

Sunday, May 1, 2011 0 comments
Easter this year for Luke was not a good one.  A few days before Easter weekend Luke came down with a fever and had some trouble keeping his food down.  He had been fighting an ear infection for the past few weeks and was on antibiotics so we thought it was just a case of the flu.  We kept hoping that over the few days the fever would break, it didn't.  It turned out that he wasn't sick he just an ear infection.  The antibiotics weren't working and the infection was in full force and one side effect of an ear infection is nausea thus the vomiting.  But we didn't know that at the time and made the choice to keep Luke home on Easter.  My cousins were bringing their babies and toddlers and we didn't want to chance Luke infecting them.

Even though he couldn't make it to my family's side on Easter it didn't stop Mom's side from coming over to our house for breakfast.  Mom and I handled most of the cooking and the family watched the kids.  Luke, however, was being extremely needy and wanted to be held by either Mom or myself the whole time.  It isn't easy cooking with one arm holding a two year old.


Another bummer for this year was that it rained a good portion of the day.  Mom managed to sneak away to plant a few eggs in the front yard.  However, soon there after it started to drizzle so we had to make quick work of the egg hunt.

Even though Easter was kind of a bust on seeing everyone he did managed to snag a lot of candy that we still have lying around the house.  So to a kid it was pretty good.