Friday, July 27, 2012

He's Up!

These pictures are not the highest quality, as I took them with my phone, but they do a pretty good job of showing what's been going on around here this week! Luke is pulling up! He can't quite figure out how to get back down once he's up, but he has definitely mastered getting up onto things.

He also started clapping today - who knew? I was sitting at lunch with a friend and he just started clapping out of the blue! He is also babbling and likes to talk most in the car - I wish I knew what he was talking about! I also got his covertible car seat checked out at the fire station today and he is such a big boy in his new seat!

Here are a few pictures of all of the fun we've been having!

And a few of all of the trouble we've been getting into...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nine Months Old!!!

Excuse the blurry nature of the picture above - this nine month old boy NEVER sits still! He is constantly on the move - army crawling, rolling, pivoting, you name it - the boy can get where he needs to go. His favorite place to visit is where ever the dangerous things are - electrical cords, outlets, laptop, computer mouse, phone - you name it, he wants to eat it. We have quickly gotten on the babyproofing bandwagon.

He loves to make silly faces and stick out his tongue and spit at us. Someday, those qualities will not be so cute, but for now they are just precious. He has two teeth on the bottom and the top two will be here any day. We went to the pediatrician today for his 9 month checkup (and shots :-( ) and he weighs 19.5 pounds (40th percentile), is 29.5 inches long (80th percentile), and has a head circumference of 19 (99th percentile). The doctor said that his weight stabilization is most likely due to the amount of exercise he has been getting! He is wearing size 9-12 month clothes, a size 3 diaper, and is just about to grow out of his infant car seat - the convertible seat has been ordered and will be in the car this week!

He has started to wave at things and people, although never on command! He loves to "read" his books and flip the pages. He really loves his little bath book that has farm animals in it. He also loves to read Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo and likes to pat all of the pages before he turns them. He also loves all of his musical toys like his piano, his microphone, and his drum. He really likes his blocks and enjoys putting things in and out of his toy basket.

One of his favorite summer activities has been to go swimming! We got him a little float and his just loves kicking his legs and waving his arms. We are still going to swimming lessons and his is getting more comfortable with getting his face in the water. We went to Aunt K's yesterday and he spent over an hour in the pool - he would have stayed in all day if we had let him! Aunt K has a fountain that pours into her pool and Luke LOVES watching the fountain and listening to the water.

He is obsessed with Baby Mum Mum crackers - he will eat as many of them as we give him. He also loves bread (like his mama!). He is still nursing 5-7 times a day and has actually taken a bottle once or twice - woo hoo! He likes to drink water out of a straw and is getting much better with his sippy cup. We are still hit or miss with other food - I have been making most of his food, but we have ventured out to some packaged foods - so far, the Happy Baby Chick Chick food has been his favorite. He also loves the Tyler Florence Sprout Apricots and Peaches - he is still not a fan of oatmeal, but we will keep trying. We are going to try yogurt this week and maybe some egg yolks (cooked, of course ;-) He loves peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, and bananas - he seems to like anything that is on my plate! 

Sleep still continues to be a challenge - he has really gotten better at napping - they are not long naps, but they are consistent! He is still waking up once or twice at night to nurse - lately those nighttime nursing sessions have lasted almost an hour each, so mama has been TIRED! I am hoping that as he eats more solid food, he will sleep a little better. I have implemented a little bit of sleep training at night, as he was waking up an hour into his sleep - a little bit of fussing for a few nights and I think we are almost over that. Although, he got his shots today, so tonight will probably be a rough one - ugh.

This little man continues to delight us beyond our wildest expectations. He is so curious and joyful - we are just so blessed to have such a precious gift!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where's Luke?

I left the room for about 90 seconds this afternoon - when I came back, Luke was nowhere to be found! I could hear him chattering, so I knew he wasn't hurt, but I was awfully surprised when I found him! He had crawled from the blanket in the center of the room, around the sofa, underneath the side table, and underneath his exersaucer. He got stuck once he got there, but enjoyed hanging out for a little while until mommy rescued him. Why he decided to get under there, I will never know! Such a funny little fella!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Remembering My Dad

My dad died. Those words are really hard to type. Even harder to believe. He had several serious health issues and they all came together at once - the combination was just too much for his body to handle. It doesn't feel real yet, but the emptiness is undeniable.

This is what I said at his memorial service, which was held at in the penthouse of a beautiful office building downtown. It was just what he would have wanted - it was a casual gathering of friends who spent time together, talked about old times, and celebrated his life.

Many of you knew my dad as friend, the guy with the guitar, the salesman, or the life of the party. I just knew him as dad.  I learned quite a bit through being his daughter – some through things he did right, some through his struggles, but the Lord in errantly chose him to be my dad and for that, I am thankful. 

I will never forget how my dad taught me to swim – we were standing on the side of Midfield community pool and he dropped me in the water – I splashed around, swallowed a lot of water, and finally got upright and looked up – he was standing there grinning – he said, “Allison Lee, I knew you could do it.”  That is the first lesson I learned from my dad – be proud of those you love, believe only the best and let them know it. My dad never let the fact that I was a girl stop him from teaching me (and my friends) to set up and break down a campsite, tie a knot, bait a hook, cast a line, catch a fish, build a fire, hit a ball, or pilot a boat. My dad was so proud of me – whether I deserved it or not, he always thought everything I did was just (to use one of his words) “spectacular.”  

Knowing how my dad felt about me allowed me the liberty to take chances  because I knew, win or lose, he would be delighted in me – honor my dad by truly delighting in those you love – let them know how special they are and give them the freedom to try great things.

My driving lessons were eerily similar to my swimming lessons. Instead of taking me to a nice flat parking lot, dad fired up the Dodge Omni and turned me loose in the in the middle of Mountain Brook. I remember thinking that he had lost his mind, but my dad just laughed.  To laugh when times are hard –that is the second lesson I learned from my dad. It was not a secret that my dad made some unfortunate choices and lived a very difficult life – especially during these last few years. However, even when he was at his lowest, he tried to keep his spirits up and tried not to let on how bad things really were. However, as I have heard from his friends over the past week, one of the things that people are going to miss most is his laugh – he certainly could find good in the very least of circumstances - honor him by sharing and finding things to smile about, even when you don’t feel like joy is there.

The final lesson I learned from my dad was to not take life (or anything for that matter) too seriously. My dad had a big child’s heart and was never threatened or intimidated by much. Maybe he should have taken some things a little more seriously, but he liked to live for the moment. I remember helping him with his resume and he had a section that listed the things he liked – among them were rainbows, a good cup of coffee and a finely tuned guitar. He also had a section of things he disliked – rap music at intersections, sales reports, and mean people. That sums my dad up pretty well…live simply and don’t get too worked up about anything, everything will work out in due time.

To end, allow me to share a thought from my friend, the Reverend Jesse Foster: Death “…is a reminder that there are things that the world cannot give me. We must all look to God for a peace that goes on even after life has ended. For a joy that outlasts all trials. And a home that is not made with hands - A place eternal with our creator.”  I hope my dad now rests in that eternal joy – I hope he is sitting cross-legged in the presence of our Creator, strumming his guitar and asking the Lord if he wants to hear a song he just wrote.  Rest well, daddy.

Heavenly Father, we come before you as your children, knowing that you truly love everything you have made. We are so grateful for your promise of mercy, joy, and peace to those who love you and know that one day all who believe in and love you will see you face to face. I thank you for the life of my dad. I pray that you will bring comfort and peace to all of us who loved him and that you will, as you say in your word, not allow our grief and sadness to consume us, nor allow us to lose sight of your compassion and mercies, which you renew every morning. You are a great and faithful God and we desire only to know and love you more. In Jesus’s name, Amen. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eight Months (and a few weeks....)

What a month! I am about two weeks late in posting this (although I did take the pictures on the actual 8 month day even though he wasn't feeling too well!), but we have had so much going on that it has been hard to get a few minutes to write! At eight months, Luke weighs a bit over 19 pounds and has started waving and chattering. I wouldn't call it babbling, as he isn't repeating the same consonant over and over, but he is making lots of noise! He has TWO TEETH and they are just so cute - they make him look like a little boy instead of a baby - sad for mama ;-(

He is still nursing about 5-7 times a day and is slowly but surely getting the hang of eating solid food. We are trying to get the hang of a sippy cup, but he just isn't interested in it. I have not been very consistent in trying it, so I need to get better about that. He really likes to touch his food before it goes in his mouth, which makes for a very messy mealtime! He is also still a big fan of playing with the spoon. He has tried some different foods this month, including peach rice pudding, oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, and cinnamon peaches. He seems to tolerate spices well and has liked almost everything he has tried.

This has been a tough month because it seems that he has been sick almost all month! We started out with hand, foot and mouth - which has been rampant around here. Next, we got a cold, then an ear infection! Yuck! Two rounds of antibiotics later, I think we are finally on the mend.

He is pushing up on all fours and is doing a little army crawl. Life is about to change, as there is no more leaving him to play by himself! He seems to find the most dangerous thing in the room and go right for it. This morning, he was playing on his mat and I ran to get something to drink and when I returned, he had crossed the room and was chewing on the cord to the laptop. Mother of the Year moment for sure. He also LOVES necklaces and earrings - mama will be unadorned for the forseeable future.

He seems to be tired of most of his toys, so we have been on the lookout for some new things for him to play with. I've tried to put some of his toys away and then reintroduce them - that has worked pretty well. He still loves his piano and his drum and just smiles and laughs when he plays. It makes us laugh every time.
He also is learning to roll a ball back and forth. Sometimes he just bats at the ball, but he has actually pushed it back and forth several times - it is just so fun to watch him learn!

He loves to "read" and turn the pages of his books. Right now, one of his favorites is I Love You, Goodnight. He loves to pat the pages and then turn them when we've finished the page. He also still likes In My Den and any peekaboo or Karen Kane book.

He is a HUGE fan of his daddy and grins and giggles every time he walks in the room. They have enjoyed some early morning walks since it is WAY too hot to go out after about 8 am! Kasey comes up with all kinds of games and fun things to do - it has been so amazing watching him as a daddy - they are going to be such good friends one day.

Sleeping continues to improve (although I hate to put that in writing ;-) He is waking once at night instead of 2 or 3 times and is taking pretty good naps. He usually gets 2 or 3 naps a day, usually for 45 minutes to an hour or so each time.

He is such a happy baby! He will just go to anyone and puts on a show when we are in public. Case in point - when he got an ear infection last week, he was acting all pitiful and sick when he was at home, but the minute we got to the doctor's office, he turned on the charm and had everyone wrapped around his little finger. He is obsessed with the table paper at the doctor's office and loves to pull it and wrap himself up in it. I don't know why I spend money on all of these toys when he would seemingly be just as happy with a roll of table paper!  He also loves newspapers and magazines - we have to keep them way out of reach, or they become a baby snack. I'm not really sure that I want him eating newsprint!

Separation anxiety has started to sprout up here and there - he is Mr. Friendly as long as he can see me, but if I get too far out of sight, he gets a little rowdy.

I will not go so long between posts next time - I don't want to forget all of the things he is doing - it is just going so fast!