Thursday, February 24, 2011

Luke's 6 Month Check Up

We had him checked. He still has his alter ego, Harris.

He weighed in at 15 lbs. 15 oz. and he is now 27.5 inches long. He was the life of the party in the waiting room. I even heard him speak a little Spanish to a dad with a cool hat who was talking to his daughter about leche.

He took his oral vaccine and got his four shots. He cried like his heart was broken. I'm certain that mine was, too. The very hardest part is watching him flirt so happily with the nurse right before she jabs him with the first needle. He has such a good time at the doctor's office up to that point. In between wails, I think I heard him say he was going to have a bad day about it. No wait, that was me. Ugh. How many more rounds of shots until he's finished?

Just prior to the doctor's appointment, the wiggly worm dove head first out of my lap onto the living room floor. Like a greased piglet, he slipped right through my grasping hands. And landed on his head. It didn't leave a mark, but I feel certain he might need a chiropractic adjustment after that crash landing. It scared him. And me. And Ella. As soon as I got him off the floor and cuddled into my arms, she had her arms wrapped around both of us, singing Jesus Love Me, and petting his hair until he calmed down. It was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

And, I faced all of that with zero caffeine because I forgot my Diet Dr. Pepper when I left the house. Needless to say, I stopped at Starbucks for a venti caramel latte on the way to work. You know, so I wouldn't have a bad day about it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Welcome Spring!

The grass may still be brown and crunchy, but those first sentries of spring, the daffodils under my dogwood tree, came marching out this weekend. It called for celebration. We moved the family into the seasonal bonus room for the weekend - the front porch. We cooked on the grill. We filled up the water table. We had a picnic. We released a big sigh of relief - for warmer weather, for relaxing in a rocking chair, for a radio playing in the background, for more space and less mess in the house, for grilled zucchini. The window is open, the attic fan is on, and I broke out the shorts and flip-flops. Only Daylight Savings Time could make it better.

Ella celebrated by getting as dirty as she could possibly manage. There were dirt angels, mud pies, and a layer of silt in the bottom of the bathtub. Nothing says it's been a fun day like a filthy child.

Even Luke was more at peace on the front porch in the Excersaucer. He has taken up Ella's old job of cheering for Georgia while she plays ball and trying to grab the cat's tail when she gets too close. He got it, too. He felt the grass on his toes and would have loved to have rolled all over the yard if I had put him down, but I wasn't ready to start digging grass out of his mouth yet.

It was a great weekend. It was much needed, and it was right on time. God always knows when I'm about to fall over the edge, and, quite literally, sends me a breath of fresh air.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Luker Man!

Luke is six months old today. I wished him a happy half birthday this morning, and he responded by blowing air out of both ends. :)

He has developed quite a personality in the last six months. Much like his sister, he knows what he wants and he wants it now, but he communicates very differently. When he wants to play with one of his toys, he turns his entire body towards it and focuses completely on it. When I got to Grandmother's house last night and asked him if he wanted to nurse, he responded by grabbing my face in both hands and kissing me straight on the mouth. When he sees his bottle or food of interest, he stares at it and squeals. When he wants you to hold him, he lifts his arms to you. When he heard me tell Dave about his bubble-blowing this morning, he started blowing bubbles again. He communicates very well already. It's making me forget to sign for him.

He's finally mastered rolling from his back to his stomach, so now he can roll all around the floor while he's playing. Last night I saw him rolling around the play mat and getting up on his hands and knees while Dave was playing with him. He does grab things and put them in his mouth, but that's about all he does with his hands right now. He definitely seems more focused on using his gross motor skills than his fine motor skills. I keep waiting for him to try to wave or clap, like Ella did at this age, but he doesn't seem interested in that stuff at all right now. The child wants to move, and he wants to do it by himself.

I really don't think it will be long before he starts crawling, and once again, life as we know it will cease to exist. I have a feeling that the general chaos of my household will be cranked up one more notch. It should be fun!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We've got ears, say cheers!

Ella is studying the letter S at school this week. Today they were supposed to dress up as their favorite superhero or superstar. We went with the superstar, Minnie Mouse. (If you don't think Minnie Mouse is a superstar, you obviously don't have a 2 year old.)

She was totally excited about her Mouseka-dress, Mouseka-ears, and Mouseka-nose, but she made me wipe that off after the picture. She would gladly have taken her Mouseka-dog, Georgia Pluto, to school with her, but we didn't have time to paint her yellow this morning.

Luke, huge Mickey the Mouse fan that he is, was jealous that he didn't have any Mouseka-ears, but we told him he'll just have to settle for being the Mouseka-brother for now.

I've watched too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I'm relating everything to it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quotable Ella

"I did it, Mama." - In her sweet, sleepy voice, about waking up and using the potty in the middle of the night. A new annoying, but wonderful, trend that started over the weekend.

"I talk too much." - In the middle of a phone conversation with an imaginary friend, which, coincidentally, resulted in a voice mail for me at work.

"I'm think I'm going to have a bad day about it." - The standard response now to things she doesn't like or that make her uncomfortable (like giving away her Valentines).

"I expect I'm going to Grandma's house tonight." - An interjection into a conversation I was having with Dave, during which I used the words, "I expect..."

"... Georgia, because she poots..." - In the middle of her bedtime prayer list.

"I can't talk right now. I'm sick. I have reflux." - Also during a phone conversation with an imaginary friend.

These are just things she's said recently that made me smile or laugh. I'm preserving them for posterity. They don't even include all the amusing things she says to other people who aren't accustomed to her very detailed and somewhat accurate accounts of the babies growing in her tummy, being born at the hospital, the resulting bo-bo, etc. She's also recounting my hospital experiences for everyone (The poor preschool parents are probably answering questions about childbirth and c-section scars.), and telling many people that she is having a baby sister. This has led to quite a bit of speculation as to the state of my uterus.

Let me set the record straight, I am not pregnant. But, my sister is! We are completely excited, and I believe this has started Ella's fascination with babies all over again. She already seems to love that baby, just like she loved Luke when I was pregnant last year. She made it a Valentine (her idea), we pray for it at bed time (her idea), she thinks it's "a sister" (read: girl). I really wonder if she's right...

Friday, February 11, 2011


It's been an exhausting week and my brain is tired. These are a few tidbits that got me through it.

Wednesday night as we were leaving church, it was snowing. Hard. I nearly walked over Ella as she came to an abrupt halt just outside the door to exclaim, "SNO-O-OW!" She asked what it was and I explained that if it rains when it's really cold outside it turns to snow. She said, "Snowdrops EVERYWHERE!" She was fascinated. Then she was scared, paralyzed in the middle of the parking lot, saying in her deep voice, "I'm afraid. I'm afraid." I had to go back and get her. She wasn't afraid when we got home and Daddy taught her to throw snow balls. And she wasn't afraid yesterday when she played in it until Papa bodily brought her back inside, with her own small bucket of snow. She's keeping it in the freezer so it won't melt.

She loves the name game song and requests that we sing everyone's name she can think of, all the time. As usually happens, she started singing it herself once she finally learned the words: "Doggy doggy bo boggy, fee fi fo DOGGY!" Sometimes she does names, too.

Early Thursday morning she woke up because she was cold and I went to her room to snuggle her. As I was about to remind her to lay down and be still, she leaned right over my face and gave me a giant kiss. Then went back to sleep.

That same morning, I went back to my own bed to find Luke and Dave awake and chatting. Luke had been squealing and grabbing his face. I told Dave they could play while I finished sleeping, but Luke was having none of it. He turned right over and grabbed at the back of my shirt until I tucked him in with me.

Luke has recommenced blowing spit bubbles in the last two days. I guess he remembered that he can do it. I love it.

He's so big now, that I started putting him in the baby bed in Ella's room (his room, too, now, I guess) for the first part of the night. He slept four hours in there last night before I brought him to our bed at the first wake up. I'd say that transition is going well. A little sad for me, but at least he's fine with it.

Weirdly, or not, I don't know, they seem to need to be in each other's presence to go to sleep at night. If he's still rowdy during story time, I give him to Dave while I read to Ella, then he brings him back when he gets fussy. She's usually resisting, squirming, talking, hiding under the covers, but almost immediately after we settle into her bed "each together," they are both sound asleep. My plan of sleeping them together one of these days just might work.

I cleared my camera memory again, so here are a few pictures.

At the park:
 Luke learned to swing.
 Ella taught her baby how to slide.
Break Time!
Ella and Luke received their first Valentine of the year in the mail last night from the Foley Grands.
Ella took care of organizing it for us.
My favorite boys. 

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Who wouldn't kiss this face?

This sweet child has started grabbing my face in both fists and pulling it to him for big, open-mouthed, baby kisses. It's slobbery and perfect. Then he sits on my leg and poots machine-gun style and laughs about it. He's such a boy.

I am wonderfully blessed!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

No, I'm not talking about the separate phone line I asked for as a teenager in my father's house, at which I'm pretty sure he laughed when he told me that was the gift that keeps on giving.

I'm talking about the "Mansion in Minutes" we gave Ella for Christmas. It's a dollhouse kit that Dave gave me for our first Christmas at our first house. Seven years ago. I had expressed interest in it while shopping at Hobby Lobby and it appeared under our Christmas tree. I enthusiastically set to work on it. Then I got to the part where the pieces didn't fit together quite right and the instructions became more commentary than instructive. I'm quite convinced that the author is a master carpenter who found amusement in teasing amateurs like myself.

Progress halted. For years. We moved a partially built dollhouse twice and nearly got rid of it once. Dave couldn't resist ragging me about my unfinished project. What was the big deal? It was a Mansion in Minutes. Until he sat down to help me with it one day and realized just what a ridiculous pain in the behind it was. Tiny pieces had to be measured and cut and glued and taped to hold the glue and then they still didn't fit quite right. The only way that thing could have been built in minutes would be in a fully equipped carpenter's workshop, by a carpentar. Or my dad. Maybe. Though I think even he might have lost it and cheated a little.

In seven years time there was a lot of discussion about what I would do with it if I ever finished it. Luckily, I had a daughter so it was easy to decide I would give it to her. If I finished it. Just before I went back to work from maternity leave, I remembered that I was going to give it to her for Christmas and it was still a long way from finished. We devoted hours, and even considered contracting out the rest of the work, to complete it before Christmas.

When it was done, I had to furnish it. This was the part I had been looking forward to for years. I did some research and decided that dollhouse furniture is just too expensive to give a 2.5 year old. So, because I am a masochist, I ordered a 3-D puzzle that would be 45 pieces of furntiure (for $12!), which I also had to put together and paint. Maybe I'll upgrade the furniture for her one day.

Finally, the house was wallpapered, floored, and furnished. I bought Polly Pockets and a knock-off GI Joe to serve as the family. She loves it. I'm glad she loves it. I'm even more glad I can finally mark that off my to-do list. In this case, I think it's safe to measure time as they do in the book of Daniel, because "minutes" definitely translated into years.

You can see from this picture that I have a resourceful child. She thought nothing of using the dresser and the wardrobe as extra beds for her dolls. Oh, and the whole family generally sleeps in one room "each together." I wonder where she learned that?