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

A Day With Benson

About two weeks ago, my friend Brittany went out of town for some job training and left her son Benson home with her husband Tristan who is also a law student.  They needed someone to watch Benson while Tristan was in school, so a couple of Thursdays ago, Benson spent the day with me and Luke.  They had a lot of fun getting into trouble.

This is Luke and Benson dancing to some Raffi songs.

Benson and Luke found some old poster boxes and had fun throwing them around. 

Pulling out all of the books.

And more books!

And they had lots of fun with Luke's kitchen drawer.

It was a pretty crazy day.  It gave me some insight into what it will be like when I have two kids.  Luke got into a lot more trouble when he had someone else helping with his ideas, but he also had a lot more fun.  He loved following around after Benson.  It was a pretty fun day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Luke's Sick Today

This morning (really early) Luke got sick.  He threw up for the first time.  He looked so scared when his body would convulse.  I felt so bad for him, so I just held him really close and let him throw up all over me.  It was ALL over me.  Yuck!  

I felt really bad because I had let him cry for about 15 minutes thinking it was like a regular night and he'd go back to sleep.  But then I felt like I really needed to check on him.  When I picked him up, the smell just hit me, and he had vomit all over his hair.  I felt like such a terrible mother.

Luke got a bath at 5 am while Jared changed his sheets.

He hasn't thrown up again since then, but he was pretty fussy and needy all day as I expected.  It's sad to say that enjoyed his sickness just a little because he was so CUDDLY.  I loved being able to hold him.  He never lets us do that.  So today we rocked a lot in the rocking chair and read at least 10 different books.

Hopefully he'll be all better tomorrow.  Jared and I haven't gotten sick, so I don't think it's contagious.  Sorry to Nathan, Sarah, and Skyler.  I hope he doesn't get y'all sick!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dinner Time!!!

Luke has done great with his eating this week.  On Monday I went to Wal-mart to do my grocery shopping, and I picked up some of his favorite baby food AND some new things for Luke to try.  I was excited because on Monday afternoon, he ate a container of squash by itself (not mixed with bananas), but the really exciting triumph happened at dinner time.

I gave Luke some peas and carrots and a chicken nugget cut up into small pieces.

I think he likes it!

Rub-a-dub-dub.  Thanks for the grub!

Luke didn't finish all of his vegetables (shocker!), but he did eat all the chicken.  We were so excited.  I still don't think we'll be able to cut out formula completely right after his birthday, but it will hopefully come sooner than we thought.  Way to go, Luke!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Historic Jamestown

After we went to Yorktown on Saturday, I looked at the receipt and realized that admission to the Battlegrounds tour also allowed us to admittance to Historic Jamestown if we went within 7 days.  I was really excited because Jared and I had never been to Historic Jamestown.  Well, one time we drove around near there, but we couldn't go into any of the attractions.

Friday was our last day to get in free with our receipt, so Jared got home from school a little early and we went.

The first thing we went to was the glassblower's shop because that's what we most wanted to see.

That glowing ball on the end of the stick is glass!  He would put the stick into the furnace and pull out a blob and then roll it (fat or skinny).  Then he would blow into the end of the pole that he's holding to form a bubble type shape in order to hollow out the inside so that he could make a candlestick or a cup or vase.  It was so cool to watch!  One time, he messed up, so he just blew into the pole until the glass formed a huge bubble, and then it dropped and shattered.  The glassblower started over from scratch.  I think that this picture was actually taken right before he messed up.  I'm not sure, but he might have messed up because I was this close in his face taking pictures.  Oops!

The view right outside the glassblower's shop.

Luke is getting pretty brave with his walking.  He was trying to walk around outside the glassblower's shop.  The ground was concrete though, and it wasn't very even.  So I held onto his arms or hand.

This is obviously not the original church of the settlement.  The first few were made of wood, but this church was built in the mid 1700's and then restored in the early 1900's.  

Statue of John Smith down by the beach.  Jared is much better at playing with the camera than I am.  He took this picture.

The statue from the front.  It's the same time of day, so other than facing the opposite direction from the picture right above this, I don't know what Jared did to make the first one so much cooler.

The tide started coming in as the sun went down and made the waves look so beautiful.  I tried to capture it.  I didn't do so well actually, but it's still a pretty picture.

Luke and his daddy.  Luke loves riding like this, and when he's squirmy Jared lets him.  But it's not really Jared's favorite thing because Luke likes to take fistfuls of Jared's hair and yank as hard as he can.  He also reaches down to pull Jared's ears or try to knock his glasses off.

This is a monument to commemorate Jamestown Colony.  (It doesn't really lean like it appears to do in this picture.  I must have been holding the camera crooked.  I would upload a better picture, but I can't figure out how to delete this one, so I just left it for now.)  Jared and I started debating whether monuments like this are worth the money.  It probably cost more to build this than it would take to build a new elementary school.  Jared says it's worth the money because it creates patriotism.   I don't know about that.  I felt more patriotic when I watched the kids in my class sing the national anthem than I did looking at this monument, but it's true that the monument is still inspiring.

Just taking a break.

Luke resting with his dad.

While we were sitting, we saw this deer walking and grazing.  It came really close to us.  I'd never seen such a brave deer in my life.  Obviously it had never met a hunter.

I wish we had more time to see everything.  The indoor museum closed at 5, and we didn't get there until a quarter til.  So we still haven't seen the museum and well...whatever else is in that building.  And there was more outside too, but we hadn't brought jackets, and it was getting cold.  But the great thing is, we'll live here a long time.  So I'm sure we'll go back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Got Squash?

Luke is growing so much every day.  It's fun to see his progression.  Just in the last two days, he's started walking so much better.  He can make it all across a room now!  But he looks so funny.  He doesn't bend his knees at all, so he looks like E.T.  Well, he would look like E.T. if he had a sheet over his head.  I would try it, but I think he would fall.  Or cry.

And look!  He's finally taking some solids.  He gets solids three times a day now.  He still doesn't eat as much as other kids, and I'm still nervous about some textures, so I still buy some pureed baby food.  Luke ate an entire thing of sweet potatoes in one sitting!  His favorite foods are goldfish crackers, bananas, and yogurt.  He won't eat ANY baby food vegetables unless they're mixed with bananas, so he gets banana-squash every day.  Yesterday, however, he ate a few real peas at dinner.

Thanks, Nora, for the picture!

Prayer Works

In order to earn a little extra money, I committed to running an at-home day care for a friend when she has her baby in about a week.  I have been over to her house three times now to meet the kids and get an idea of the routines so I won't be lost when I'm on my own.

The first two times I went, Luke just cried and cried.  He was clingy and fussy.  It's hard to describe because he'd never done that before.  There are 4 little girls who go to my friend's house, and they are all well behaved and adorable.  They haven't been loud any of the times I was there, so I just couldn't figure out why Luke was so upset.  I came home after the second time I went (last Friday) completely worried about how I could fulfill my commitment without traumatizing Luke.

I decided to fast this Sunday that Luke would be alright at my friend's house: that he would feel safe, secure, happy, and comfortable.  And that if something was upsetting him that I could control, I'd be able to figure out what it was.  Jared and I have also been praying that everything would go well today (when I was going to visit again) each night when we said family prayers with Luke.

Well, I just got back.  And Luke was totally fine there!!!  He only fussed a few times when I had to leave the room where he was for a minute, but there were no real tears.  Most of the time he just watched the girls.  He even laughed at them a couple of times!  He took his bottle, and he played!  I was so happy!  I know our prayers were answered, and I am so thankful that Heavenly Father heard our prayers and cared about Luke enough to answer them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Luke loves being naked.  As soon as you strip him down, he gets giddy, squirmy, and giggly.   I usually strip him down in the bathroom and let him crawl around while the water finishes running.  Except that last week, he let loose a spray--all over the outside of the tub and on one edge of the bath mat.  I had to scrub down everything.  Anyway, he stands there holding on to the outside edge of the tub just laughing and stamping his feet.  Then, he laughs in the tub, and MOST of all he loves his "After Bath."  Jared or I take him into our room to dry him off.  Basically, he dries himself off by crawling around naked on our bed.  (Yes, I do make our bed.  But I unmake it specially for Luke's dry off.)  He looks so adorable crawling around with his naked little butt in the air.  Of course, for the pictures we put his diaper on.

We kind of get in fights with him when we put on his diaper.  He fights for his nudity.  But we just don't want to risk letting him crawl around in our bed naked for very long.  After all, he showed us last week what he's capable of.

He has so much fun.  And look at that!  I didn't even have to trick him to smile.  He just did it!

Good thing Luke takes his bath early.  That gives the wet spots time to dry before Jared and I go to sleep.  You can see a wet spot on the right.

Luke crawling into the pillows.  He likes to bury his head in them, and then roll over.

That's Luke getting up.  And getting ready for more pillow head butting.

Kitchen Time

What does Luke do in the kitchen besides play with the dishwasher?  What are all those things on the floor?  And how did they get there?

Answer:  They're spoons, spatulas, and whatever is in the third drawer.  Luke loves opening this drawer and throwing the contents around the floor.  Once he's emptied it, he crawls around throwing things to DIFFERENT parts of the floor.  It's one of his very favorite things to do.  I had to completely rearrange the drawers so that there isn't anything risky in this drawer.  And just today, I rearranged AGAIN so that anything I actually use is in a different drawer too.  I'm sick of looking under cabinets for my wooden spoons every time it's time to cook dinner.  All the brightly colored things are Luke's silverware.  He can eat with dirty spoons if he wants too.  I'm done cooking with them.

Side note:

Luke doesn't ONLY wear these pajamas.  He just happens to be wearing them in every other picture that I take.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Luke is Learning to Walk

Wow!  Learning to walk is hard work!  Luke has bonks and bruises all over his head again.  Just when he finally stopped crawling into walls and chairs (er..for the most part) he decides to walk.  In this picture, Luke took a couple of steps from the couch before he fell down.

I borrowed this walking toy from my friend Anna.  For a long time, Luke couldn't keep up with it, and he'd fall to his knees whenever he tried to push it.  But now he does great. 

His only problem is that he can't quite figure out how to turn it around.

A few steps all on his own.  

Today Luke pushed his walking toy all the way over to his bathroom door (While I was filling the tub with water, I heard it hit the wall)  I looked up to see him take about 8 steps through the bathroom door before he bent over to catch himself.  He's doing so well.  He'll be cruising by his birthday.

So Much History-- The Yorktown Battlegrounds Tour

On Saturday, Jared and I got to go on another date while Hayley and Greg were watching Luke.  We went to Yorktown to do the Battlegrounds tour.  We had heard that it takes up to 3 hours, and there was no way Luke would stand for that.

The tour started at the Visitor's Center.  This is the area where the British had their stronghold. It's called the British Inner Defense Line.  It was cool to learn how warfare was acted out back then.  Both armies spent weeks building up earthworks and trenches to hide behind and make it harder for the opposing side to attack.  They would set up cannon among the earthworks.  You can kind of see it in this picture.  That's Jared standing by the cannon.  

The driving tour took us to see the French Battery where the French and American army initially created their own earthworks trying to get closer to the British armies while still protecting their own.  They bombarded the British from their first Seige line until they could get close enough to create a second seige line.  

This next picture is of Redoubts 9 and 10: positions where the British had blocked so that the Americans couldn't advance.  These redoubts were the only things keeping the Americans and French from taking their second seige line all the way to the river.  After the Americans and French attacked the redoubts and overcame British soldiers there, the British commander, Cornwallis, surrendered rather than fight the American/ French armies after they had now gained so much power.  The picture below is at Redoubt 9 where the French attached the British.  They climbed up the earthworks with unloaded muskets using their bayonettes to defeat the British.

There was a long drive between Redoubts 9 and 10 and the next attraction on the driving tour, and the drive was BEAUTIFUL.  Jared and I stopped a couple of times to snap some pictures of the fall colors reflected in the pond.

This is the Augustine Moore house where officers from both sides met to negotiate the surrender terms for the British army.

Jared and I would LOVE to live in a house like this someday.  It was surrounded by green fields and lots of tress and the view from the front door looked out at the York river.  I covet this house!