Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Orton Midway Retreat

As a special holiday treat, Megan and James (well, really just James) got us rooms at Inn on the Creek in Midway, Utah.  It's a nice little bed and breakfast near Park City.  We stayed in condo-like rooms with a kitchen so that we could prepare our own food.  It was great staying in a hotel because it meant that we could all be together but have some personal space as well.  An added plus: beds for everyone.

Having all 8 Orton cousins together was interesting to say the least.  I think everybody had fun interacting, but the adults had to occasionally hide for a few moments of peace and quiet.

Of course, Dad had to line up all the grandkids for pictures.  It's pretty much a definite that you're not going to get a perfect picture.  There was always someone doing something weird in every picture, but a couple turned out really cute.  I like this one.  I think Ethan is watching Brenna pick her nose.

This was my other favorite.  The personalities come out loud and clear.  Taylie is trying to look like a little princess.  Luke is trying to escape.  And is Bridget singing or yawning?

So about the trip:  We went to Utah on the 22nd, and went to Midway that evening.  There was a snow storm earlier in the day, so we weren't sure we'd be able to make it, but we did.  That night we just played games and hung out.  Jared and I were a little jet lagged (it's two hours later in Virginia), so we went to bed pretty early.

The next day, we hung out in the morning.  Luke LOVED this one step in the living area.  We always had to watch him because he could get up just fine, but couldn't get down.  He'd just walk off, trip, and hit his head.

Luke had a lot of fun playing with his cousins that day.  Taylie and Brenna would chase him around, and Taylie liked giving Luke horsey rides.  In the picture below, Luke is sitting on Taylie's back.

Later that afternoon, Jared and most of the others went to Soldier's Hollow to sled.  There's a lift there where you can hook up your sled or tube, and it pulls you to the top so you don't have to walk up yourself.  Jared had a lot of fun.

I stayed at the hotel for the special chance to see my friend Tessa who drove over from Park City to see me.  It was great to see her again and catch up.  

Later that night, we celebrated Christmas Eve a day early because Eric's family had to meet up with Monica's brother and parents on the real Christmas Eve afternoon.  Luke fell asleep and missed most of the traditions, but he was awake for aebleskievers (sp?).  We eat round, Danish pancakes every Christmas Eve along with lil' smokies.  The highlight was the nativity.  I love seeing all the little kids act it out.  This year, Ethan wanted to be the donkey instead of Joseph, so Michael (who is usually the donkey) switched roles with him.  Taylie was Mary, Baby Blake was Jesus, and Bridget (in the picture below/ left) was an angel along with Brenna.

My brother Eric was reading the Christmas story from Luke.  When he got to the angel's lines, he would read a sentence or two to Bridget, and she would repeat it.  I thought, "There's no way she'll be able to remember that much at a time!"  But she did!  She's a smart little girl.

On Christmas Eve, we decided we would have to check out earlier than planned because another snow storm was supposed to be coming, so we opened presents early and left that afternoon. 

Luke and Skyler got matching UT outfits from Michael.

Luke opening presents

Luke looking at his new books from Grandma Debbi and Grandpa Terry.  (I hope you guys don't mind being called Grandma and Grandpa, but if you're my honorary parents, you have to be Luke's honorary grandparents)!

Minus Luke's sickness that seems to be becoming a holiday tradition, it was a great trip and we were so happy to see everyone.

Mima and Papa

Luke probably got to spend the most amount of time with Mima and Papa because our family and my parents were staying at Grammy's.  We spent a few days lounging around the house because Luke wasn't feeling well.  Christmas day was spent hanging out with Mima and Papa.  Luke liked reading books and exploring his surroundings.  It was fun for Mom and Dad to get to hear Luke babble and play.

We couldn't keep Luke away from Grammy's fridge.  He loves paper, and the hundreds of drawing covering the surface was to much for him to take.  In this picture, he's holding a State Farm magnet that he swiped off the fridge door.

We can't wait to have Mima and Papa visit our house!

Time with the Wilkerson Side

To be honest, we really didn't do so great at capturing our time in pictures.  Our excuse is that Luke was sick, and then the little carrier monkey passed it on, so most of our time with the Wilkerson's involved somebody throwing up.

On Christmas Eve, Luke threw up at Grandma Mary's house.  Jared had to run to K-mart to get Luke some new pj's and Grandma Mary some carpet cleaner.  He came back with a Wall-e sleeper (pretty ugly, if I'm honest) and another sleeper that was size 9 mo.  (I don't know!)  So after cleaning Luke up and putting him down, we played a rousing game of Spite and Malice.  Probably our least conventional Christmas Eve.  We don't plan on making it a tradition.

Jared went to his brother Leonard's house on Christmas day for a big family dinner, but Luke stayed at Grammy's with me to rest up.  Luke ate gatorade for Christmas dinner.  And I ate frozen pizza.  Again: not quite conventional.

On the 26th, we went to Moroni, Utah with Jared's parents to visit his sister Rachel.  Jared and I both got sick that day though.  We were really sorry to have to hide from people most of the time.  Jared laid on the couch in the den and watched football all day, and I sat in the den re-reading Twilight before going to bed at 7:30.  I started throwing up that night.  It was REALLY disappointing to feel so badly when we wanted to be talking with family.  We know we won't get to see everybody again for a long time, so we hope that everybody reading this from Jared's family knows that we love them and are sorry we didn't get more quality time with you.  We also hope we didn't pass it on!

Here are a few pictures from the Moroni trip:

Luke with his cousin Eli.

Luke and Grandma looking at Cousin Cameron's rabbit.

It was also Luke's only venture into the snow.

The big obsession: a 1,000 piece puzzle that everybody was OBSESSING over!

They finally finished it on the afternoon of the 27th.

We had to nab a few pictures of Luke with Grandma and Grandpa.  I love this one because it's so candid.  I confess that it makes me so sad that Luke doesn't get to see his grandparents more.  I wish that I had more memories with my own grandparents, and I hope Luke will be able to create many of his own.  I was happy that he got some time with them over Christmas.

Grandma, Grandpa, and Luke

Hook 'Em Horns: A UT Picture Shoot/ Battle of Strength

Michael got Luke and Skyler matching UT outfits for Christmas.  I knew what the gifts were ahead of time, so I made Michael bring one of his game day shirts for a little photo shoot.  Here's how it went down.

Luke and Michael.  Notice that Luke has the remote control.  He didn't want to let it go.

Uh-oh.  The struggle begins.

Has Skyler won the battle of strength?  Did Luke give up?

No way!  This battle is to the death.  Give it back!

Ah!  Sweet victory.  And I grant you your life as well.

All in a day's work.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Trip to Yankee Candle

I've heard a lot of good things about the HUGE Yankee Candle store in Williamsburg, but I'd never been there.  After being at the day care everyday for a few weeks, Luke and I were ready to get out of the house.  So on Saturday (while Jared was taking a test!) I talked my friend Nora into coming to Yankee Candle with me.

Nora and Samuel by the Christmas trees.

Luke and I in line waiting to see Santa.

Luke and Santa

Well I think the Santa was awesome.  He almost looks like the real thing, and he was really nice.  Luke didn't smile, but on the upside he also didn't cry.  I think I might go back to try for some better photos.  The "professional" lady got a really good one, but they cost $25 for two 5X7's and I wasn't going to pay that!  Nora took this photo while the "professional" was taking hers.  Thanks, Nora!

At Yankee Candle they have a whole Christmas section that is open year round.  In that room it really snows!  And they have a bridge that goes over some fake water that changes colors.  Luke liked standing on the bridge and watching the "water."  There is a big train set that goes around the top of a few rooms.  Luke liked watching that too.  Overall it was fun to go and see, but I wouldn't buy anything there.  Pricy!  They actually had a harness of bells for sell.  Guess how much it cost?  400 DOLLARS!  If I had that kind of money, I could think of something WAY more cool to spend my money on.

Luke's a Healthy Boy (Finally!)

Luke had his 12 month check-up on Friday, and the reports were all good.  His ears, eyes, motor skills, babbling, etc. are all great.  He's right around the 50% on height and weight, and the doctor said it sounds like his eating is doing much, MUCH better.  Luke got 3 shots though, so that part wasn't fun.  I think that the part he hated the most was actually being held down.  They stuck him the first time, and he didn't take a breath until after the other shots were done.  Poor Luke!  But I was prepared, and I mixed a bottle right before his shots, so he calmed down really fast.  In the picture above, you can see the band-aids from his shots.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Little Linus

I think most of you who read this blog know that when I was little I had a favorite blanket that I called "Bluie."  Well, Luke has attached himself to a little blue blanket of his own.  It's not the same inseparable relationship yet as I had with my blanket, but he definitely prefers it to any other blanket, and recently he likes to have it nearby.  He has always pulled it off the shelf and cuddled it more than any other blanket.  But this week, the attachment has GROWN.  He carries it around.  He hugs and cuddles it.  He tries to walk with it, but it gets tangled around his feet and makes him fall, but he does it anyway.

Last night was a pretty bad night.  Luke cried a lot.  Around 12:30 am I tried to go in and calm him down, but he wouldn't calm down.  Then Jared tried.  Finally I tried again, and I put this blanket in bed with him.  He smiled, pulled it up around his face, and went to sleep.  Is he a boy after my own heart or what?

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Messes For Mom

Luke loves making trouble and extra work for me.

Yesterday Luke found the remote control for the DVD player and had a good chew.  I took it away once I realized what he was doing (I was admittedly not paying close attention because I was in a good part of my book), but the damage had been done.  What damage?  Well, I didn't realize myself until I tried to put on a movie.  Every time we point the remote control at the DVD player, the drawer thing opens.  I only realized this because when I turned the power button on, the drawer kept opening and closing.  I felt like I was in that scene from Mr. Boogity where the cabinet doors keep opening and closing in the kitchen and then the toaster gets hot (doesn't it start floating?)  Anyway, it took me a while to realize it was the remote control.  So I picked it up and tried to wipe off the spit, and then when I pointed it back at the DVD player the drawer opened again!  So I couldn't fast forward through the previews or hit the main menu button or scene selection or ANYTHING!  We tried it again today.  Still crazy Mr. Boogity scene.  So I guess there won't be any preview skipping in our house.  Thanks a lot, Luke.

And once again, Luke wouldn't take a nap on Sunday.  Those three hour blocks are horrible on his nap schedule!  But anyway.  We tried to get him to sleep several times but each time he just jumped up and down in his crib and talked and played.  When I went to get him the second time we tried to put him down, I saw blood on the sheet that covers his bars and a little blood on his mattress sheet as well.  I guess while he was jumping he bit his tongue or bit the edge of the crib and made his tooth bleed.  I couldn't see any blood in his mouth, so I don't know where he hurt himself, but the point was that I needed to wash his sheets.  The problem?  Oh's SEWED onto his crib.  So today when I got home from the day care, I had to pick out all the stitches, wash the sheets, and then put the whole thing back together again.  And to top it off when I took off the sheet, I looked down at the top of the bars on his crib.  The front and two sides have teeth marks all over them!  How much chewing did he do exactly?!  We only left him in the crib for 10 minutes at a time when trying to get him to sleep!  Holy cow!  Either that's soft wood or Luke's got monster teeth.

Luke's Birthday Adventure

Last night (Sunday) we had a few friends over for a belated celebration of Luke's first birthday.  I was so excited that we got some GREAT pictures of Luke trying a cupcake for the first time.  I tried to get them all into sequence, so here it goes:

Me lighting Luke's birthday cupcake


"Woah!  What's that, Mom?"

Blowing out the candle took a little help from me.

"Um...Is this food?"
"I think it's food!  Yum!"
"I'll try it"
"Pretty good..."
"But I want MORE!"
"Acutally...maybe I don't like it"
"Never mind!  I LOVE IT!"
"Man!  This feels good between my fingers"
"Ahhh.  That was delicious."
And now it's bath time!

The Day Care

Well last week Luke and I were at Kim's house (the day care) pretty much all day from Monday-Friday.  It was actually pretty fun.  I had forgotten how tiring it is to work all day and then come home to a house that still has to be cleaned, but I had also forgotten how fun it is to interact with kids big enough to really play.  Luke and I had a lot of fun.

Luke did amazingly well there.  He loves following the big girls around, and he especially liked Kim's son Aaron.  Aaron would make a lot of funny faces at Luke to get him giggling.  The only downside of a lot of bigger kids is that they bumped into Luke sometimes, so he fell more than normal.  No real injuries though.

This week Luke and I will be going to Kim's everyday for only a few hours to help with the busiest times of the day (like lunch and getting ready for nap).  I really like Kim and know that I will enjoy our friendship plus the extra cash is great right before Christmas.  I think this whole day care thing has truly been a blessing.

Haileigh and Lila playing dress up in the play room.

Lunch time

There is actually one more little girl who usually comes to the day care, but she wasn't there the day I remembered to bring my camera.  I'll have to try again tomorrow so you can see Halle.  She is the most gentle with Luke, and Luke really likes her.  I also need to nab a picture of Kim and little baby Grace.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Week With Nathan, Sarah, and Skyler

Okay.  Before I really start explaining our week, I need to get a few things out in the open:
1.  Luke was sick the ENTIRE week which meant that he and Jared missed out on most things
2.  Since Luke (and thus the diaper bag) didn't accompany me on most excursions, I forgot my camera which is usually in the diaper bag, so I didn't get cool pictures of most of the things we did.  Check out Sarah's blog for those.  She brought her camera.
3.  Luke isn't really all that photogenic anyway, but when he's sick, he really looks funny in most of the pictures.  Sorry, Luke...but it's true.
4.  There were a lot of great photo opportunities at home, but almost every time I pulled out the camera, Luke stopped doing whatever was so cute and went for the camera.  So I got a huge load of pictures that look like this:

The blurry spot on the right is Luke reaching for the camera.

Now, about our week.  

Friday, Nathan and Sarah were supposed to get in around 6:00 pm.  Sarah missed a flight and had to get onto a later flight, though, so they didn't end up getting to our apartment until around midnight.  Nathan had gotten to the airport on time, so Jared went to Richmond early and hung around with Nathan until they could Sarah and Skyler.  It was a pretty tiring day for them.  (I went to sleep early :) 

On Saturday we woke up and took our time getting ready, and then we were off to D.C.  Luke was really good in the car on the way there AS LONG AS RAFFI WAS PLAYING.  Seriously, we turned it off a couple of times.  He started crying immediately.  Turned it back on.  He stopped crying immediately!  We got a really good deal on a hotel there that I found on Hotwire.  We bundled up the kids and walked over to the art museum of the Smithsonian, but we got there right when it was closing.  And then Luke started freaking out.  Poor kid.  He just wasn't up to being lugged around, so Jared took him back to the hotel while I went with Nathan and Family to get some dinner.  

That night was horrible!  Luke's cough got a lot worse, and you could just tell that it hurt him to cough.  He couldn't sleep because his cough would wake him up, and then he couldn't fall back asleep because every time he coughed, he would jar awake and cry again.  When he was held so that his head was at a higher angle, he did better, so Jared and I spent a lot of time that night holding him in the lounge chair.  We were all really tired the next day, so Jared took Luke home on Sunday morning so he could rest.  And I stayed in D.C. with Nathan and Fam.

We went to quite a few museums: American History where we saw the original C3PO and the Star Spangled Banner.  It was surprising how large the flag was.  I think that was one of my favorite things to see.  We also went to the Natural History Museum, and Air and Space museum, and some monuments.  I also got my first taste of geocaching on the streets of D.C.  

Monday morning, we took our time getting ready again.  We let the boys get  some play time.

Skyler LOVED Luke's jumperoo.  He would go nuts in there bouncing all over the place.  It would keep him occupied and happy for up to an hour at a time!  Luke liked bugging Skyler while he was in the jumperoo.

Note:  Luke had diarrhea a lot of the week (that is STILL going on) so he didn't wear pants too much.  It was just a hassle to take them on and off when we were changing his diaper so frequently.

Later that day, we went to Colonial Williamsburg to walk around.  Since Luke was kind of fussy, Nathan and Sarah didn't buy tickets because we weren't sure how worth it buying them would be.  For tourists, the tickets really aren't cheap.  They liked looking around, though, and that night Nathan and Sarah went to see the Cry Witch program that Jared and I liked so much.  I think they liked it, but the program got overshadowed by Skyler's very rough Monday night.  Oh the joys of kids!!!

Tuesday, we just hung around home most of the day and then did some SERIOUS shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.

On Wednesday, we went to the Glassblower's workshop in the morning.  We saw them making a Christmas tree ornament that looks like a pear.  It was really need to watch.  Later that day, I went to Historic Jamestowne with Nathan, Sarah, and Skyler while Luke stayed home to nap and rest.  Nathan treated me to a yearlong pass to Historic Jamestowne.  It was $10 for each adult or $40 dollars for the year pass which included 3 guest passes each time you go.  So Nathan just bought the year round pass and gave it to me and then he and Sarah were my guests.

Thanksgiving day was really fun, but I forgot to take pictures.  I really wish I had gotten some good ones of our pies because I was very proud of them.  We made pumpkin pie, turtle pecan pie, and an apple pie cheesecake that was AMAZING.

Our upstairs neighbors, Ron and Connie, joined us as well as Sam from our ward.  So it was a full house, and we had great food and great conversation.  Ron just published his first book called Washunga about his great grandfather (maybe great great?) who was an Indian chief.

Luke didn't have birthday cake on his birthday since there was so much pie.  But he did get some presents.  I'm going to post another blog entry on his birthday (especially when we do his cake), but here are a few pictures with his presents:

Nathan and Sarah got Luke a ring tower that Luke and Skyler really enjoyed.

Luke and Skyler playing together on Luke's birthday.

Luke coming for the camera.

In this picture, you can tell how badly Luke feels.  His eyes have been red and puffy all week.

Luke and Skyler