Thursday, January 29, 2009

NO!

So, my beautiful baby has figured out how to communicate with his mama a little bit more... he has figured out that shaking his head is not only a great dance move but also means "no". This does mean a few more tears because I can't always give him what he wants, but it is exciting because he can show me that he understands what I am saying some of the time. I am working harder again with a few signs, nurse, go to bed, and bath were the three that I really worked hard on today. I also know that he understands me when I ask him to come to me, that's when he really said no by shaking his head today and then cried when I made him leave what he was doing because it was dangerous. I think he is starting to figure out that he can nod his head for yes too, because tonight after we had done the going to bed signs several times through out the day and I asked him if he wanted to go to bed he looked at me real hard and shook his head no, but looked like he wasn't sure this was what he should do. I asked him a couple more times and he would smile at me and think about it and shake his head uncertainly. Finally the fourth time he smiled and looked up and stuck his chin in the air and I asked him if he was saying yes, did he want to go to bed, and his smile got bigger so I got up and took him upstairs to bed and we snuggled in together quite happily.


The understanding when I am asking him to come is a biggie for us for two reasons, one I can call him away from dangerous things (he can still try to say no obviously) and two, up until now when I am going somewhere he always gets panicked and telling him to come to me didn't help any at all. Today though when I started to go somewhere and he started to get panicky I could say "come with me" and hold out my hand like I usually do and instead of getting more upset that I am leaving him and not coming to him to pick him up he was able to calm down and walk to me and then take my hand and walk with me! I think he was pretty excited about that today too. He let me do lots of things with out holding him today, he would just walk around and play near me, and whenever I needed to go to a different room he would just come take my hand and walk with me, so sweet!


He is also working really hard on doing stairs and yesterday and today he really liked to go up AND down them over and over again. He is actually getting really good at going down the right way all the time now and only tries to turn sideways once in a while, but I am sure it will still take me quite a while before I am ready to just stand back and watch. I don't keep my hands on him anymore but I am always right there with him still, just in case! He also is working on reaching down and picking things up off the floor and then standing up again. Most of the time he just bends at the waist and puts his hands on the floor next to whatever he wants to pick up and then stands back up again after he has grabbed it. I wish I was that flexible!


He is really big into eating and drinking whatever I am eating or drinking and he does NOT want a sippy cup! He really gets upset if I am drinking milk or eating something with a lot of milk in it and he can't have it so we try to keep that to a minimum in front of him. He LOVES it when I get out a big glass of ice water. He puts his hands on the cup and brings it down to his mouth for a few seconds and then shoves it into my mouth so I can have a turn, he is also VERY big on taking turns! Sometimes when he is doing that I start laughing really hard and he thinks that is funny too, but even if I am laughing so hard I am crying I still have to take my turn!


Being his mommy is such an amazing gift, I could never have imagined how much I would love him, how much fun I would have just being with him and watching him, how much I would miss him even just being gone for a few hours a few times a week. His smiles and kisses and snuggles are treasures that I will remember for the rest of my life. When he wakes me up by planting a big wet one on my nose like he did this morning I take a mental video clip and store it deep in my heart like Jesus' mother, Mary. It makes me think about the song from the "Sound of Music" that the captain and Maria sing to each other as they are acknowledging their love for each other, "somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good". I know being "good" has nothing to do with receiving God's blessings, I know he loves to bless everyone because he loves everyone regardless of how"good" they are, but I think what that song is really talking about is feeling unworthy of being blessed so richly. I am as much of a screw-up as the next person, I know I will continue to make mistakes and I pray they don't hurt my loved ones too deeply, but I truly believe that God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. Before I was born God placed me in the most loving family, throughout my life wherever I have gone he has supplied me with good friends and good church families, 6 and 1/2 years ago he gave me a truly wonderful man with a heart for God as my life partner, and almost eleven months ago he gave me a son! Sorry for being so sappy and sentimental, but sometimes God's blessings just overwhelm me!


So, I'm not quite sure how to wrap this up, but I hope wherever you are God will give you a sense of the richness of the blessings he has given you and wants to give you. I know a lot of people going through hard times right now, lost jobs, lost health, lost loved ones. I hope even through your saddest, hardest times you feel God's love surrounding you and carrying you through it, and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you too. And lastly I want to thank you all for being a blessing in my life and in my son's life. I love you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

ZOO

We took Luke to the Zoo in Wichita for the first time today! We met my good friend Amy and her husband and baby Glen. Glen is only 6 months old, 4 months younger than Luke, but he has been bigger than Luke by a pound and a half for a couple of months now! Of course, he still looks more like a baby with that beautiful wispy baby hair and he is an instant attraction for Luke who LOVES babies. Glen had some big beautiful smiles for Luke and the rest of us too, unfortunately not captured on film.









After the babies greeted one another we set off. The Flamingos right inside the gate have always been a favorite of mine. My mom used to call me a flamingo, being long legged and I used to stand on one leg while doing the dishes. The flamingos didn't disappoint, so beautiful! (For some reason our camera things pink is orange, don't know why.)




After that we headed off to the petting zoo. It was nice out but we wanted to hit it before it started to get cold, and the babies loved it! Luke was very interested in the roosters who very obligingly crowed the whole time we were over there, sounded just like his puzzle from Mimi!





Greg liked the "Ugly Ducks" as he called them.


Glen and Luke both enjoyed this little goat.






Luke actually got up the nerve to pet him and was very pleased with himself for it! Such a nice little goat!


We also hit the reptile house and jungle...


The penguins, monkeys and the gorillas!



We didn't get pics of everything, and we didn't make it to everything, but it is such a BIG place and our guys are just so little, so I think we will come again another day! Amy and I both have single plus one passes so I'm betting we will make good use of them this year! Anyone want to go to the ZOO, just give me a call!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

growing up...

Luke is changing so fast! He is always learning and I am always amazed at each new stage in his development. This is the most recent development. Since he was born he has watched me get ready for the day, usually Greg isn't home then so he sits and plays on the floor in the bathroom while I get dressed, brush my hair and teeth, etc. Often I have given him my hair brush to play with when I am done, usually he just uses it to bang on something for a little while and then discards it for something else. On Wed. we were at my mom's house and spent the night there since it was my sister's last night at home. Luke and I did our usual bedtime routine of bath and then pj's and a little last play time. When his pj's were on I set him up with a few toys to play with and got a brush out to brush my hair. He came over to me and reached for it so I gave it to him and he started trying to brush my hair! Becca came over so I got Luke to brush her hair and grabbed the camera.



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He has also recently decided that he wants to hold the spoon when we eat and he puts the right end in his bowl and stirs everything around, occasionally trying for a bite of food but always ending up with it everywhere. Also, he is no longer satisfied to eat whatever I give him, he wants to eat what I am eating!





That same night Tim was playing video games and Luke got interested in the controller and it was too cute to pass up, so here is Luke trying to play video games with uncle Tim.






On Thursday I took Luke shopping with me for a little bit, we had a few things we needed to pick up down town and we stopped at one of our local thrift stores briefly. I had been wanting to get Luke a baby doll because he LOVES babies and I thought it might be a great way for him to learn about lots of other things. There just happened to be a baby doll there that didn't look too bad so we brought it home, cleaned it off and gave it some of Luke's baby clothes (way too big but better than what it had on when we got it). Luke loves his baby doll, he gives it LOADS of kisses. The cutest thing is that he practices with it, taking care of it already. He has a tooth brush that his Mimi in IN gave him and we have been using it to help him through getting all these new teeth in...

Can you see, two little teeth on the bottom!
Poor baby, his mouth is sooooo sore!



He really enjoys chewing on it, I think it feels really good on his sore gums and his top teeth have really been giving all of us a hard time. Anyway, since he got the doll every time I get out the tooth brush for him he brushes everyone's teeth, his, mine and the baby dolls'! So sweet! here is a quick clip, sorry, I know it is sideways but I had already been taking pics of him with the camera that way and I forgot to turn it around before I did the clip, in fact I forgot and didn't notice I had done it until I watched it just now. (-:







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I also got Luke some triangular crayons the other day and until today he hasn't figured out what to do with them, but today he just got it! So this is a pic of Luke's first art work! I already hid it away with my scrap booking stuff so he'll have it forever!!!


Luke has also started "talking" a lot more now. He doesn't use signs really, I kinda lapsed on them a while back so that doesn't really surprise me, but he has lots of sounds that he says and he has figured out that when we talk it means something. so, he will look at me and say,"UHH!" and if I don't do anything he says it again but louder! When Becca was here she was walking around the house with him and he saw me and said UHH! Unfortunately I was just geting up to walk away to the Kitchen or something and when I started to walk away from him he got this panicked sound in his voice as he called out UHHHH!, UUUHHHHH! his other main sounds are Ma, Da, Ba and La, but he often just jabbers away with lots of sounds mixed together too, and the other day he started whispering "ffffffffff". Very cute!

Sometimes I think about all the documentation we (I) have done this year, my poor son, I hope he won't mind too much when he is a teenager, I think he will enjoy it when he is an adult. I really love knowing about family history, what my grandparents were like as kids, what kind of people my great grandparents were. We can document those kinds of things so much easier now than they could. I just hope that I can keep it up with our future kids as they come along. Obviously it's not worth missing out on actual time with your kids to write down everything they do, but I don't want anyone to get the short end of it either.




That's all for now folks...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Walking and late Christmas

So, I finally got a few of Luke's steps on video, not the best but here it is. Also we still have a few boxes and bags out from our trip to IN so please excuse the mess. (-:


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Today (Saturday the 10th) we celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family. It was lots of fun seeing my cousins and family who life further away. They actually spent the night at my grandparents this time so we got lots of good time in with them. It was especially fun watching Luke interact with them. I am by far the oldest of that group of cousins, and the youngest is 6 or 7 I think, so there were plenty of younger kids for Luke to run around with even though he is the only great-grandchild. He kept up a frenzied pace for most of the afternoon and then fell fast asleep right when it got time to open presents. (-: He took a pretty good nap but when he woke up I think he had had enough of all the new people and wanted something more low key so my parents and Greg and I took turns playing with him in more secluded areas of the house for most of the rest of the evening with a few exceptions.




I love celebrating Christmas with all our different families, each one is so unique. The best part for me about all of them is the family time. The food is always wonderful, but different with each family. Greg's family grills, his extended family on one side usually goes out to eat and on the other side we have authentic home-made Mexican food. My family usually has chip dip with veggies and fresh fruit for supper with stritzel for dessert and wassail to drink. One of my extended families has ham as the center of the meal with variations of potatoes and veggies etc. surrounding it. On my other extended side we eat traditional Russian food, verenike with ham gravy as the main dish. Yum!!!!



My family is decidedly more emotional than Greg is, one of my grandma's cries before every family meal when we sing grace. On the other side we have a tradition of reading a (religious)Christmas children's story before opening presents and usually get a new book each year. This year we just picked one we already had since we have quite the collection already. My grandpa always reads it and at some point he his voice breaks and soon out comes the hankie! This year we got both him and my grandma laughing until they cried before he started crying sentimental tears! This is my favorite picture from the bunch.


My cousins took almost all our pictures this year, which makes for interesting picture viewing after the fact. Some of them turned out really great. I'm hoping my uncle will share the pictures he got with us because he has a really nice camera and all the adults passed his camera around while all the kids took turns with ours. (-: Kate got each of the cousins (excluding my family and including herself) with one of their Christmas presents.







Greg had all the kids playing a game called Rum and Pirates!


Here is a quick video of Luke walking across the room in the middle of the Christmas story (which he did several times!). He kinda stole the show. (-: You also get a quick glimps of almost everyone that was there, but you have to watch fast!

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas in IN

So, I am way behind!!!

Our trip to IN was awesome! We had great driving conditions both ways minus a few hours of rain on the way home and we made good time, about 15 hours both ways, but on the way up we stopped for a few extra hours in Indianapolis to see friends... Here they are! Aren't they pretty!

Our time with them was way too short but we were promised that we would see them again in Goshen later in the week. Unfortunately only one couple made it up due to some nasty fog.

We had a great time with Greg's family. Luke was only a little shy and got over it much quicker than last time. He really enjoyed playing with his cousins and warmed up quickly to the adults as well, especially Mimi, aunt Dawn and aunt Kathy!







We got to spend lots of time together just as a family. We made Christmas cookies together (while Luke crawled all over the place picking up little snacks the older cousins had left for him on the floor :-).



We went to Church a couple of times and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas music and being with friends from our old Sunday School Class. We opened presents, lots of presents! (Thanks Mimi, Pawpaw, and everyone else)!




We spent time with extended family and played Greg's new games.







Anna helped me take some pictures, some especially great! These are a few of hers...





Luke was very curious about new cousin Easton. Easton gave us some pretty cute faces too!




And we got together with friends.





Luke learned lots of great new things in the last few weeks over and just after the trip to IN. He learned to make a popping sound and a clicking sound with his mouth. He cut his first tooth on the 26th of December! And he took his first steps the 29th of December!!! Yes, my baby is walking!!! He usually likes to hold on to something still and most of the time when he does walk with out holding onto something it is only for two or three steps, but he has done up to 7 steps in a row on his own. It is very cute, he tends to get really excited and throw his head back which totally kills his balance, but when he focuses he will take a couple of steps, balance, then a few more and balance, until he either gets where he was going or falls down. I think we are going to have a few bruises before he gets the walking thing figured out all the way, so if you live close by and happen to see my bruised up baby, please don't call SRS on me! (-;


Only about a week until my sister and her hubby get here from Vermont!!! I can hardly wait to see you guys!!! When I think of everything that has happened to Luke and all he has learned since my sister was here last it seems like forever ago, and it was, but I am so happy she will be here soon!!! I just wish she didn't have to go away again!