Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Hurricane Weekend

The effects of Hurricane Irene started Friday night-- just a lot of rain that continued all day Saturday. I was expecting to lose power, probably for a few days. So I had started prepping earlier in the week and making an inventory of what needed to be used up. I didn't do a lot of cooking, trying to get rid of all the left overs. On Saturday morning I cooked the rest of the chicken from the freezer, and it was good that I did. The wind started picking up late Saturday morning. We lost power on Saturday right after lunch time and didn't get it back until Monday night around 6 pm making it about 53 hours without power.

Here are some of the things we did on Saturday to pass the time:

Our friends the Taylors live in our same complex, so they came to spend the day. The boys did some coloring. (You can see the rain, rain, rain on the window).

Luke acted out sleeping beauty-- he was the prince. Patrick didn't like that game.

Just kidding. Luke just has this weird thing about smelling people.

Jared and Patrick played all kinds of balance/wrestling/hand games. I think they were the most bored of all. They even braved the storm before it got too bad because Patrick just had to have pizza for dinner.

Luke and Caleb played lots and lots of games together. I'm glad we had friends to pass the time with.
It really started picking up early in the evening and we decided to make it a sleep over, so the Taylors stayed the night and the adults got to play games for the first time since Micah was born and probably even before. It was so nice! Too bad we wasted it on a hand of Skip-bo thatwould not end! Our apartment got a little bit of damage, but nothing severe. We had a leak on one spot of the roof I guess because there was some water pooling on the kitchen ceiling that started to drip. Now there is a big, ugly stain there. But that's nothing to really complain about. I'm so thankful that we were all safe.

It didn't look too scary outside expect for one tree that thrashed around and swayed like crazy. Judging from right outside our windows we didn't think there was much damage at all. But Sunday morning we went for a little walk and saw lots of trees and branches that had fallen. There were places on some of the buildings were siding had torn off. So there was more than we had expected.

Overall having no electricity turned out to be a fun adventure and the cause of a lot more family time than normal. It was awesome! We drove to the beach to play and look around. We went to the tennis courts to let Luke ride his bike a few times. We went for a walk. We hung out at home and played games. We cooked together on the camp stove. And one night Jared and I read together by candlelight and just held hands for awhile. I loved it!

My only regret is that (ONCE AGAIN!) I didn't take pictures when I should have. When will I ever learn?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The bad part about Luke being practically potty trained is that we can't keep the child locks on the bathroom doors anymore-- Luke needs to get in there in a hurry. And he isn't always good about closing the door when he's done. Or flushing.

Today Micah discovered how fun it is to splash in the toilet. With yellow water.

Yuck! And scrub down!

Luke Quotes

Yesterday we were at Trader Joe's, and Luke was carrying a bag of Rice Chex and snacking. When we got to the checkout the cashier asked him, "What've you got?" Luke looked right at him and answered, "I got pants." Then he pulled on his shorts and clarified, "These are my pants."

Today we met up with my friend Stacy and her kids to swim at the Y. Luke was pretty excited about swimming. He said, "Luke swims like a fish." I asked him if Tucker swam like a fish. He told me, "Tucker swims like a frog."

On Sunday we were checking out the air conditioners after church (like always!). Luke was looking at the biggest-- it's his favorite. When I told him it was time to go he said, "He wants to see the medium one!" and then, "He likes the small one!" I hadn't even noticed but sure enough there were three air conditioners lined up in a row: small, medium, and large. How smart for Luke to label them like that!

Monday, August 22, 2011


My dad flew back to Virginia with us when the boys and I returned a few weeks ago because there was no way I was going to make it through security or the flight on my own. I was so glad he was willing to help!

We got to do a few fun things with Papa. Of course I didn't bring my camera to any of it. We went to Jamestown beach where Luke "swam like a fish" and to Yankee Candle and Jamestown Settlement. It was a fun short visit, and we look forward to having Mima and Papa visit us one last time when Jared graduates next May.

And now I think I'm finally caught up from the summer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Magic Moments

Today, for the first time, Luke gave me a big BIG hug and without any prompting said, "I love you!" I gave him a big hug back and as my eyes filled up with tears I was about to give into my gushy happiness...

when Luke looked up at me again, grinned, and said "Boob."

Well, at least there was magic for a moment.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Undie Jams

Master Crawler

Micah became a master crawler about 2 weeks before we came back to Virginia. It was right about his 10 month mark. I think we have a physical therapy GRADUATE.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mikey's House

We visited Mikey and Cara's new house the weekend of our long San Antonio trip.

Jared had a concert with his firm on Friday night, and I wanted to have a bit more time with Cara and Michael since I knew that this would be our only time to visit before we all headed back to Virginia.

The boys and I played at the house on Friday while Michael and Cara were at work. Early that morning they had dropped Doc (their Weenie dog) off at the vet to get fixed. Mikey had left me the truck just in case we wanted/needed to go someplace. I told him that I'd be way too scared to drive it anyway. And as it turned out Cara had to work late and Michael needed to get Doc before the office closed. So I had to drive his HUGE truck to downtown Austin. I was so brave! And as it turns out, I really like driving big trucks!

Luke spent the best part of Friday and Saturday running back and forth between the air conditioner and the swing. During the other part of his day he stole Cara's blow dryer and played with ceiling fans. Luke LOVES Mikey. If Mikey was home I was not wanted/needed. When I asked if he wanted to swing with me he'd say, "Want just Mikey."

Micah enjoyed having more space to crawl around in.

Saturday morning Michael did some yard work, and Luke liked watching him. He loved blowing the leaves. I think he did this for 40 minutes straight.

Around lunch time Jared got to Mikey's house and we went out to lunch at Mimi's Cafe. This picture is Micahel and his wife Cara with Micah. My favorite part of the weekend was getting to know Cara better. The first time I met her was at their wedding, and of course I didn't get a lot of time to talk to her then. We got to talk more at my dad's retirement party and then at their house. I wish I'd had more time. Hopefully when we end up in Texas Cara and I will have a lot more time to chat and play (and shop!). She's a cool girl!

Thanks for letting us visit!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week in San Antonio

The week after my birthday the boys and I went back to San Antonio with Jared so that we could spend a week together and so that I could get a better feel of the city. I was nervous about the trip because Jared was staying in a very small pool house in the Heiner's backyard and because I am terrified of driving anyplace I am not familiar with.

This is the pool house where Jared was staying. It was nice but small. It was almost like a studio. This room served as the bedroom/ living area. There was a small bathroom and teeny kitchen downstairs.

A lot of things made the trip worth it, but the best thing of all was seeing how excited the boys were to see their dad.

On Monday the boys and I mostly hung around the pool house other than a little bit of shopping. Being at home wasn't as bad as I had anticipated because Mr. and Mrs. Heiner allowed us to use their yard, so we spent a lot of time playing on their swing set. Mrs. Heiner also let Luke come into her house and even offered to watch them for me while I took a shower. Luke loved it because they have a giant Great Dane named Max, a little pink stereo on their fireplace hearth, and lots and lots of ceiling fans. That evening we picked Jared up from work and went to dinner and the laundromat. Luke liked ceiling "the lots and lots of washing machines."

I can't remember what the boys and I did Tuesday afternoon, but we did something fun and that night we went to Taco Cabana for dinner.
In this picture you can't see Jared pacing back and forth outside while talking on his cell phone but that is what he did the entire time we were at dinner. It was an important call for his calling at church, but I was still frustrated because meanwhile Micah started to cry and Luke pooped his pull-up and tried to strip down buck naked in the middle of the restaurant. I was dealing with Micah and Luke had been outside following Jared around, so I didn't realize what he was doing until I noticed a group of guys at the table kiddie corner from us all stopped with mouths gaping open. I turned to see what they were looking at and there was Luke with his shoes and socks off and his pants half-way down. So I had to take him into the very dirty bathroom and try to change him one handed while I held a squirming baby in the other hand. So that was not the best day.

But luckily Wednesday was much better. The boys and I went to the Children's Museum in downtown San Antonio. I was so brave. I just plugged the address into the GPS, drove all the way downtown, parked in Jared's parking garage and walked us over to the museum. Both the boys had a blast!

There was a big trolley in the entrance of the museum that Luke went back to "drive" several times.

Luke's favorite part was the ball exhibit. He put the ball down a hole and the ball would shoot through pipes up in the air.

Micah liked crawling around and chasing the balls, so spent the most amount of time in this exhibit.
We saw some fish.
and a giant night-bright.
Luke drove Micah in a train.
There was bubble exhibit, and airplane exhibit, a telephone exhibit, a bank exhibit, and then a mini grocery store where kids could shop and scan their groceries.

Luke had so much fun! Several weeks later he still talks about the "nuseum."

Later that evening we went to the River Walk. Both the boys enjoyed looking at the water and seeing the lights and fans in the restaurants.

We went on a little boat tour around the River Walk. Luke still talks about things he saw on the tour: ducks, birds, water, fans, people singing (a Mariachi band).

It was good to have the week with Jared.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Big 3-0!

I turned 30 this July and was able to spend my birthday with many of my very favorite people eating my very favorite things. Jared came to Houston on the morning of my birthday, and we all went out to lunch at Los Cucos-- the BEST Tex-mex in the world! And later that evening Jennifer and Mom H. threw me an awesome birthday bash complete with balloons, flowers, and my favorite Mom H. cuisine-- chicken spaghetti and "healthy" bars. Yum! I was so glad to be with my family-- by birth, marriage, and adoption!

Me and Mom H
My bestest friend Jennifer and I

Cathyi Watkins was my young women's leader when I was younger and I have been so blessed to stay in contact with her. I was so glad she came!

My parents!

My love!


The hightlights for Micah were trying chocolate cake for the first time and stealing Annabelle's bone.


As anyone who has partied with Luke will know, a party isn't a party until he takes his clothes off. Luke has stripped down to his diaper in too many places to list this summer as he still can't handle a spill. Luke's highlights were the fans-- any fan! and watching Annabelle do her tricks. His favorite part is yet to come... (Are you salivating with anticipation?)

Dad H

AMBER!!! (How did you not make it into any pictures?)

Ode to this chocolate fudge cake-- words can hardly describe :)

The final highlight!

Jennifer's boyfriend, Victor, drives a red BMW convertible. He was kind enough to let Luke drive it. Luke was pretty much in heaven. The only thing that could have made it better for him was if he'd been given the keys.

Overall I was spoiled rotten and went home full and happy. I am so, SO lucky to love and be loved by so many wonderful people. (And to all my siblings-- "I wish we could've hung out. It was my birthday.") And I was also lucky to have an entire cheesecake waiting for the next day. That is another ode all in itself.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Games and Hair

My mom taught preschool for years and years and has a stockpile upstairs of the neatest games for preschool aged kids and younger. Luke had so much fun playing these super educational games that incorporated a lot of the skills he is working on in Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy like pinching, matching, and sorting. She helped me make my own sets of the games to bring home.

This game is really easy to make-- just cut out a big circle and use a protractor to create 10 equal sections. Draw a color in each of the 10 sections. Then color the end of 10 clothespins with the corresponding colors. The child then matches the clothespin to the wheel and clips on the clothespin by its match. We made a number wheel as well.

Amber was a beautiful model. Take note of her super cute haircut. Right after our trip to San Antonio we were feeling brave and both chopped our hair. She loved hers, and I hated mine. It was the first time I ever cried after getting a hair cut. When I came home in tears my mom and my friend Jennifer talked me into going back and having the parts of my hair fixed that I really hated. They fixed up my bangs and raised the back a little, so the second go-round dried up my tears. I still don't love my hair, but at least I won't be wearing hats every day.

(Pictures of my hair are coming)

Katy, Texas

My cousin Emily lives in Katy, Texas about 20 minutes distance from my parent's home. So while I was in Houston over the summer I was lucky enough to get to visit her with my sister Amber and the boys. We had a good long chat and got to catch up-- there was a lot of catching up to do because as most of you will be well aware I'm not very good at keeping in touch with people. Once again I didn't take pictures of the most important people or events (in this case Emily and her two boys), but I did nab a picture of Luke and Amber on the trampoline because it was so new and novel. Luke used to freak out when we put him on a trampoline, but he had a blast this time.

So as a side note, I want to throw out an update on Luke. He is doing just awesome! Since starting a zinc supplement, just as his doctor predicted, he is accepting a lot of new foods. He will now eat Ian's chicken nuggets, deli ham, grilled chicken, sausage links, real banana bites, and real apple bites. In order to eat the fruit there is some bribery involved, but he does it! He will also eat Chex now and has had Rice Crispies a few times. He is answering more and more questions every day, and it is fun to have the beginnings of "real" conversations with him. He walked on the beach-- BAREFOOT!!!, swam in the pool even getting his hair wet, took a REAL shower, and just generally touched lots of new textures. We are so excited about his big, big progress!

Emily lives right by Katy Mills Mall where there is a Rainforest Cafe. We had taken Luke there 2 years ago (the last time we were in Texas for the Summer), and he loved it. So I was excited to bring him back and watch his reaction.

He was excited from the get-go, even trying to swim in the "river."

The restaurant was very accommodating of Luke's special diet. The chef came out and talked to us and made a special order of French Fries (just cooked in new oil that didn't have any Gluten in it) just for him. I was so impressed! The hardest part of Luke's diet is trying to eat out. I also ordered Luke a special monkey icee. He loves blue icees from Target, but he would not drink from the monkey cup and stole Amber's Sprite instead. Luckily Amber was down with an icee.

Luke loved looking at all the animals.

But the elephant...

and the fish were his favorites.

Micah was there too, but he slept the whole time, so sorry! no pictures of Cutie Jr.