I'm not sure why these pictures are so small, but I can't figure out how to get them bigger. Beggars can't be choosers, however, and I stole these pictures from Jennifer's face book.
In August we went to an Astros game with Jennifer and Terry to celebrate Terry's birthday. That night the Astros beat the Giants, AND Matsui hit the Chick-fil-A fowl post, so we got free chicken sandwiches with our ticket stub. Woo Hoo
Tribute to Jeff Bagwell
Outside Minute Maid Park
Hanging with some of the players-- I got too friendly with Carlos Lee. Jared almost had to get in a fight.
One of the players went too far
At the end of the night we snuck down to some better seats. Jennifer and I had tried earlier but the nice 75 year old grandma/usher/bouncer made us leave.
Today was Luke's first time to ever go to nursery by himself. He stayed the whole time, and he did really well. But when we went to pick him up, the first thing Sister Pasquini (who was helping in the nursery) said was, "He's a climber." Oops. Forgot to warn them about that. Apparently he spent more time on the table than on the floor.
Luke loves to be applauded. He likes it so much he even claps for himself. All the time. He claps for his eating. He claps when he puts his shapes in the right hole of his shape sorter. And now we know he claps when he builds with his blocks.
Well, you get the picture.
He would have kept going, but the tower fell over with block five.
In addition to us (and him) clapping for him all the time, we're also constantly telling him how smart he is and how cute he is. With all that encouragement and praise, it's no wonder he has a big head.
Literally. He had a check-up this week at the doctor's office. He ranks in the 15% for height and the 82% for head circumference. So we have a short kid with an abnormally large head.
Luke knows lots of animals. He can point to all the animals on the "Pets" page and almost every animal on the "In the Zoo" page. The only animals he names himself are dog and bird.
The other day I was trying to do dishes, and Luke was whining for attention. I tried to placate him by singing the Wheels on the Bus. When I turned around he had gone to get this book and was reading along. I was so proud! I stopped doing dishes and ran for the camera.
This picture doesn't illustrate how smart Luke is, but he looked so cute I wanted to include it anyway. Doesn't he have an intelligent expression? Hee Hee
While we were in Texas Luke learned lots of body parts. Most of his knowledge of body and animals is due to my Dad's daily drills with him.
Showing his tongue
Patting his cheeks. He usually pats his temples (but close enough, right?)
Luke also knows his hands and feet. He knows eye, nose, teeth, and chin too, but he will only point those things out on other people. Well, not true. He will point to his own eye. His word for playing "body part point" is Eye. He says eye when he wants to drill. Mostly he likes pointing out animals and body parts because people clap for him when he gets it right. Luke's favorite thing in the whole world is praise.
In my life I have been blessed not only with wonderful parents and in-laws but an absolutely wonderful adopted family as well. I've known the Herreras since second grade. Jennifer and I played together during elementary school and junior high. Jennifer and Debbi took me to my first ever concert (outside of the rodeo) for my 13th birthday. We saw Reba McIntire, and it was awesome! In high school Jennifer and I were inseparable. We had church together, dance together, and did everything else together that we could. Her house was usually the hang out place, so I was around her family a ton. I call her parents Mom and Dad, and they introduce me to people as their step-daughter.
This summer, Jennifer, Debbi, and Terry spoiled the Wilkersons rotten. Luke and Jared both got a few gifts, but I got loaded down.
For my birthday Debbi got me a gift certificate to a posh spa near our house. The last week that I was in Texas, Jennifer and I went to get pedicures. We decided to pass on the complimentary wine.
In a mad attempt to become fashionable Jennifer gave me some fashion pointers, and we all went shopping to help me out. Debbi got us these matching tunics.
Jennifer wears it much better than Debbi and I (Let's be honest. Jennifer looks great in her pajamas), but we all look good, right?
And then there's Terry-- one of the funniest people I've ever met. Favorite quotes: "I've had worse on my eye" and "I've done things that would kill a normal person."
As a going away present, I was presented with an awesome gift basket filled with presents for me and for Luke. This sign is for his new cowboy room. And I was given some beautiful fashion accessories and black jacket that I will be sporting practically everyday come fall.
Luke has been really fickle about eating lately. He doesn't want anything except yogurt and cereal. I tried an experiment today to get him to eat some vegetables. I gave him the spoon to see what would happen. He ate them! All by himself! Good job, Luke!
Luke misses Mima. When we were in Texas, he cried when she left every morning, and he ran to meet her when he heard her come in. His favorite games to play with Mima were "squash you like a bug", stinky feet, and copycat. He also liked helping Mima with her cross stitch.
Luke misses PaPa too. His favorite things to do with PaPa were naming animals, naming body parts, and crushing PaPa's newspaper. In this picture PaPa is helping Luke build up the courage to touch the water.
We didn't get to see Michael that many times, but every time we did Luke had an immediate best friend. Michael is seriously some kind of kid magnet. Luke's favorite game with Uncle Mikey was fake sneezing.
While this picture doesn't adequately show it, Luke LOVED Casey. It took him a few days to warm up to her, but once he did he wouldn't leave her alone. He would play with her ears, pet her belly, and laugh at her tail. He also loved her food and water bowls. I don't even know how many puddles I cleaned up before I learned to keep Casey water on the shelf whenever Luke was around.
Luke misses Aunt Jennifer, Grandpa Terry, and Grandma Debbi. He probably misses Annabelle too, but he didn't get to spend too much time with her. Poor Annabelle had to stay mostly in her crate whenever Luke was over. While Luke isn't exactly shy, he also doesn't perform for strangers. But by the end of the summer, he would sit on everybody's lap and pat Jennifer's cheeks.
Luke misses his morning trip to the park. When we get up in the morning, he runs to the door. I haven't been able to take him out though because my exercise clothes were either in the mail (Luckily not everything fit into my suitcase, so I shipped a bunch of things-- including my new running shoes) or destroyed. Now that the claim is filed and the most important "coming back" errands are completed, we can start the morning exercise/ park routine again. Probably next week.
Luke warmed up to the water park. We took him there one evening with Mom and Dad. He ran all over and yelled at the other kids who were playing. He tried to join a birthday party. Kind of embarrassing.
Luke also misses the stairs at my parents house and the forbidden study. He loved sneaking into that room. Now that we're back, he likes sneaking into Jared's office, but it's not nearly as exciting as Mima and PaPa's study.
Finally, I think Luke misses having a backyard. I will also be so happy when we finally have one.
Luke loved a lot of Mima's toys. Some of his favorites were the music set complete with drums and symbols, the peg board, the Fisher Price people, and the toy kitchen. But his absolute favorite thing to play with was...
He would push this vacuum all over the downstairs of the house. He would stand by the closet door and whine for me to open the door so he could get it, and he would throw a FIT when I put it away.
I miss the same people and places that Luke misses but for different reason. While Mom didn't play "squash you like a bug" with me, she taught me a lot about sewing and she provided free baby-sitting. Mostly, though, it was nice to talk to her face-to-face again. I miss my dad too. It was fun to see him interact with Luke. Dad put Luke to bed several nights. He even changed diapers. I also miss my cousin Emily. We roomed together for 2 1/2 years at BYU and were really good friends, so it was fun to see her. Luke also liked playing with her boys.
After my trip back to Virginia, I know how this guy feels.
Here's a synopsis of the trip. The flight from Houston to Charlotte was great. Luke didn't cry at all, and even slept for about an hour. He happily drank chocolate milk and played with his toys. I was so prepared! I brought his favorite books and a few new ones that would be novel and hold his attention. I also got some magnets and a board that he could play with. And finally he had crayons and a coloring book.
But once we got to Charlotte everything went downhill. I thought we had a 1 hour layover. But it was actually 3. Try entertaining Luke for 3 hours in an airport sometime when everyone is so anal about not leaving baggage unattended and none of the airline people will help you keep an eye on it. I kept having to wheel the stroller to different hallways and try to always have it within eye distance while constantly dashing out after Luke.
When it was finally time to board, we were on a small commuter flight. You have to walk down stairs and board the plane outside. Are there ramps? No. I had to practically kill Luke getting him down the stairs. Is there anyone outside to help me fold the stroller? No. I had to let Luke run rampant on the tarmac while I closed it. All the while 2, yes 2! flight attendants are standing there watching me and doing NOTHING! So I was already mad, and then as soon as I get settled, I get called off the plane. So I drag Luke back off and follow a man to a cart where there are two big garbage bags. He holds it open and all I can see is a zipper, a wheel, and one of Luke's pajama shirts with one arm COMPLETELY SHREDDED. The airline ran over my suitcase with a truck! As I stood there staring in complete shock, the man says, "We filed a report." Wow! In that moment a report is supposed to make me feel better? He reassured me that they would replace the suitcase. That's all good and everything, but the suitcase is absolutely nothing compared to all my stuff that was inside it. I started to cry and the man was explaining that they would box up the stuff and send it to Richmond on the next flight. And that was that. They sent me back to the plane where we waited for 2 HOURS before we got permission to take off! Then once we got to Richmond they left us sitting on the plane for another 35 minutes because of the rain and lightening. Luke had lost it by that time and was screaming and I felt like there would be split blood if we didn't get off soon. Luckily all the passengers were really nice. One man gave Luke a cookie and that calmed him down. The same man also helped me get the stroller and carried my bags.
Well, since Luke had had enough and the flight with my luggage was not due for a couple of hours, we just went home where we compiled a list of the contents and prepared for the next day when we would have to go back to Richmond to go through the damage. I'm glad that Jared knew what to do. He researched the FAA requirements for this kind of situation. He researched cases on the internet and charged the camera battery so we could take pictures of everything.
So Sunday we went back to view the damage. They had sorted the stuff into 2 suitcases: destroyed items and okay items.
The okay stuff
Jared's new shoes were luckily okay. Only the box was destroyed.
Most of our stuff didn't fare so well. This is Luke's toothbrush, half of his spoons, his baby powder, his diapers, Tylenol, sippy cups, and my Mary Kay skin care.
Jared's favorite belt as well as my BRAND NEW belt that was a gift from Jennifer
My hair dryer
One of two bras that were ruined
Shorts that my mom gave me
My favorite blouse
This one is my favorite. The gray is actually a different shirt. The entire middle of the shirt was missing. How does that happen? It looked like they fed it to a gear shift.
After adding up the prices of everything that was damaged and destroyed, the total came to $900 dollars. And the most expensive thing was the $36 dollar bra. All the little things add up fast. I mailed the claim (after having it notarized) this morning. The fastest we will get our money is in 5 weeks. Good thing Mom and Dad can lend us some to replace some things before we get it. Can't go five weeks without face wash and baby powder. Or a blow dryer. Or a bra.
So while I know this accident was a crazy fluke, I'm not real excited to try US Airways again.