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!

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

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.