Friday, April 27, 2012

One year.

Last night was one of the rare nights these days that I hoped Luke would wake up and want to sleep with me in the recliner. He didn't disappoint. At 4:54 am, I was holding my sleeping boy as he officially turned one.

It's hard to believe he has went from a screaming, lip smacking, sleeping, immobile baby to a talking, walking, clapping, opinionated, normal-food-eating toddler. I know it is so cliche to say it goes so fast, but damn, it goes so fast. (Although there are definitely some days and nights when it doesn't feel like it goes very fast!)

We did his 1 year pictures on Tuesday and I will hopefully have a few to upload later today or this weekend. (She already sent me a few but the website is suddenly not working.) In the meantime, here are some pictures from our playdate yesterday:

(This is as far as he got trying to climb up, but try he did!)

(He could have played with the fridge magnets ALL day. The front of our fridge is not magnetic so clearly we are going to have to figure something out because I was amazed how long that entertained him.)

(Pasta for lunch, always a hit! And this is why he was shirtless in the fridge magnet picture. Note Melissa's smart dog wisely positioning herself for dropped/thrown pieces on the floor. Luke is very generous with food and usually gives the dog's half of whatever he is eating- which drives me crazy!)

What a year it has been!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ugh, seriously.

Sorry, this is going to be a whiny post,warning now.

As if I didn't have enough to deal with, chasing Luke down all day and not sleeping all that great at night, going to school and trying to pass, trying to plan Luke's party, helping with the Promise Walk, and some other stuff that is pretty time consuming that I'm not quite ready to announce yet...

While I was feeding Luke lunch today the dogs were outside playing. Rogue was barking like crazy so I went to see what was up (some people walking behind the fence with their dog...we have a walking path behind our house and common area...which btw, I hate for this reason and also because our fence has been vandalized and annoying teenagers like to go in the woods behind our house and smoke pot and that annoys me too.) I tried to make her come in but she ignored me and Luke was in the middle of eating so I let it go hoping that the barking dog would get the people to move along. Well, when I let Rogue in after Luke was done eating a few minutes later, she was limping badly. I was hoping she had just tweaked something, rubbed her leg, and went on to see what happened. She kept limping, badly, all afternoon, outside, inside, even tried chasing a fly on 3 legs.

We adopted Rogue from the Kansas Humane Society when she was 8 weeks old. She had already been spayed, which has probably screwed her up big time as far as bone and joint development. (FYI, do not let them spay your dog as a 6 week old! She had already been spayed by the time we met her. We are also pretty sure this contributed to her skittishness.) By the time she was 1, she had a luxating patella, meaning her knee cap did not stay in place. It would come out of place, she would limp for a bit, then it would either slide back into place on it's own or Joe was good at putting it back in place at least for awhile. She ended up needing knee surgery at a special orthopedic vet. It was expensive and a pain in the butt and she HATES vets. A miserable, crappy, 8 weeks for us both. Those were the good days though before I knew that babies die, or even *wanted* to get pregnant, when I was working on my bachelor's degree and had nothing to really worry about except taking care of Rogue- we didn't even have our other dog yet- how easy that was in hindsight!

The orthopedic vet told me that she wouldn't be surprised if she needed the other knee done eventually too because her joint just had not developed well. They usually only have to do one or two things to correct a luxating patella, with her, they had to do everything (deepen the groove where the knee rests, screw it in to the tibia, and tighten the ligaments.)

So fast forward to today, limping dog, her "good" non-surgically repaired knee. Her knee felt normal enough to me but I never really could tell when it was out of place or not before. So I kept an eye on her, sent an email to Joe, and hoped it got better. When Joe got home, he looked at it, thought her knee was still in place, no idea what was wrong, onto the vet we go. A stressed out Rogue and x-ray later, it is likely that Rogue tore her CCL...the dog version of the ACL. We are taking the least invasive approach for now, which the vet preferred at this point, rest and medication. So now I get to sneak Rogue meds two times a day (which is not easy, she figures it out and spits it out), plus have to take her on potty breaks on a leash outside (which is going to be fantastically fun with an 11 month in one arm and a gimpy dog on a leash in the other plus a dumb husky who doesn't understand why Rogue is on a leash and is staying right on top of Rogue lest we suddenly take her on a walk and forget him.) And when she is not going to the bathroom outside, she's supposed to be resting inside (not chasing flies on 3 legs.) I think I'm going to just keep her in our room with the door shut. She does have a crate in there that hopefully she will mostly just stay in, but I don't want to force her to stay in it.

Anyway, this sucks. We were thinking and starting to tentatively plan a quick long weekend Chicago roadtrip, take Luke to see the dolphins and stuff at the Shedd aquarium, etc. and now it looks like most likely we will be shelling out the money for dog surgery instead, again.

And now I am off to bed with my fingers crossed that my darling child will sleep at least for a couple hours. I have a quiz tomorrow that I have studied for barely at all (over all of the muscles of the human body), lucky for me, it's multiple choice, my grade is almost 100% for the semester, and we get to drop our lowest quiz grade...I'm thinking this will most likely be my dropped quiz grade based on the lack of studying. At this point, sleep wins over studying.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lucas antics and 9 month pictures

Yesterday, Luke was playing with my phone. My cell phone is an old school, ancient, flip phone that I bought from some guy on Craigslist after my phone broke less than a year into my contract. Texting is a huge pain, it has no data or internet, it's mostly just good for calls. There is no way to lock it besides shutting it. Luke likes to open it and press buttons and sometimes manages to call people, I caught him calling Joe a couple weeks ago, he was crawling away from me as fast as he could with my phone in hand as I could hear it ringing. I grabbed it (cue tantrum) and closed it. Anyway, yesterday Luke kept hitting numbers and I joked to Joe that hopefully he wouldn't end up calling someone in China or Japan. (I grab it and close it to clear it every once in awhile to hopefully prevent him from calling anyone.) Well he maneuvered himself into the corner of the room and kept saying hi over and over. By the time I got to him and got to the phone, there was no indication of a call (he had closed it though which hangs up and clears it), I didn't think to check "dialed calls".

A couple hours later, my mom called and asked if I was okay. Uh, yeah. Then she asked if I knew that Luke had called her and kept saying hi to her over and over again, and she even put my brother on the phone and he said hi to him, too. Then he hung up.  And my mom thought it was funny and figured I didn't know it since she knows he likes playing with my phone and I let him. Then she started getting all crazy and thought what if I was passed out or otherwise incapacitated and Luke was calling her in distress. Uh, no. I know my kid is smart (he has this car thing that you have to shift the gear thing 3 times and then it starts playing a song he likes to dance and clap too, he shifts the gear twice and will start clapping and dancing before the song even starts. I noticed it today and told Joe and he was like "oh yeah, he's been doing that..."), anyway, he's smart, but I would not want to be unconscious and reliant on him and my cell phone in an emergency...he's as likely to call China as he is my mom.

Joe has taught him to respond to "how old are you?" by pointing a finger, so it looks like he's showing "1". He also has figured out "so big" and clapping and itsy bitsy spider and waving, although sometimes he gets it all mixed up and might clap instead of wave, or something like that.  He is walking all of the time, too. And busy, busy, busy. Sleeping? Eh, not so great.

Our photographer has been really busy because one of her friends lost their house and belongings in a fire and she was letting the family stay with them (they have 3 kids.) So she just got our disc for the 9 month pictures to us late this week, but I've got to say, the pictures are so so so worth the wait!  The disc she sent has 364 pictures and most of them are pretty fantastic, so I'm just going to post a few of my personal favorites.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter eggs (pictures)

My mom's friend who hosted my baby shower for Lucas around this time last year (wah!) has an easter egg dyeing night every year before Easter. This year my mom called and asked if she could take Lucas. I told her no but I would bring him by when I was done volunteering at the hospital.

So that's what we did. Pardon me looking like crap, Luke has decided to sleep as little as possible and I can't be bothered with makeup in the few precious minutes I have to get ready without him screaming or emptying out our bathroom drawers and cabinets.

My baby is looking very toddler-ish in this picture!


Let's just stick my hand in!

What's so funny? (Note the green hand)

Diving right into the dye

Me and my baby. (He does not mind it when we put stuff on his head.)

These are fun toys! (He cracked like 4 of my mom's eggs.)

This is fun!

Serious business! (This was before the hand turned green. My mom, me, and Luke.)


Picture with our hostess! (Who is also making Luke's birthday cake because she is crazy talented!)

Easter was good. Joe had to work. Luke and I spent the day with my family. (My sister called at 10 and said to come over and bring my appetite. That was easy.) Luke played and played and played. Then we went to my grandmother's house for dinner and met Joe there. It was a pretty quiet night. My grandmother gave Luke this car with a dog in it that plays the Most Annoying Music Ever but Luke LOVES it. He claps his hands and dances and laughs every time it says or sings something, so I'll deal with it (for now. If the batteries run out...I might take my time replacing them.) She also gave him a stuffed animal duck which he found pretty amusing too. (And made me think of Brooke and baby duck Eliza.) The "easter bunny" brought him a ride on train that has a bunch of different spinning toys and stuff on it. The seat lifts up and has a spot to store toys and things. Luke's favorite thing to do is to fill it with plastic easter eggs and then empty it. He has ridden on the train too but he's not crazy about it yet, I don't think he likes feeling out of control when someone is pushing him.

This was the first time in two years that we didn't go to the cemetery on Easter. I should feel guilty about it, but I don't really. (It's 45 min away and I didn't feel like driving out there myself when I was already really tired. And Saturday we were busy with the Easter bunny and trying to get as much done around the house as possible since it was Joe's only day off.) Maybe this is progress? I definitely thought about Olivia a lot, Easter is always hard for that. In fact, Saturday night we were at Applebees getting dinner. Luke started getting a little whiny and then something at the ceiling caught his attention and he stopped, transfixed. I looked up to see what had his rapt attention and it was a pink sparkly streamer with a butterfly at the end of it, hanging right over our table. So then I looked around the restaurant and they had streamers everywhere, but all of the other streamers had bunnies and eggs and flowers and other butterflies except the very one we were sitting under and I wouldn't have noticed without Luke staring at it. So, take that for what you will.

Luke has been taking steps here and there for a week or two now. On the 6th, he walked about 6 or 7 steps in a row from Joe to me, the most he had ever done without lunging forward/falling/grabbing something/crawling. Today he started walking around the room, on his own, towards stuff he wanted. *sigh* So I guess he's an official walker now though he's still predominantly crawling. How fast it goes. It's so hard to believe that at this time last year, he wasn't even here yet.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Bunny

So the Bass Pro shops here do free Easter Bunny and Santa pictures every year (and also let you take your own if you wish.) I am a sucker for a good (or free) deal. I was iffy on doing an Easter bunny picture because Luke is too young to understand it, a lot of the easter bunnies now look pretty creepy to me (including the one at Bass Pro), and I wasn't sure we wanted to mess with it. Today is Joe's only day off work for the week and Luke has been sleeping badly (or really I should just say NOT sleeping) this week, so I am extra tired too.

Alas, the mommy guilt won. I can't *not* get Luke's picture with the easter bunny for his first Easter. Which also happens to be his Last First Holiday until/except his birthday. (Wah!) We went to my mom's friends last night to dye Easter eggs, which Luke loved a lot (especially dipping his hand in the green dye), and also grabbing and smashing multiple eggs. I think we should have some cute pictures from that soon.

Anyway, so we went, after stopping at McAlister's for lunch first to get Luke covered in mac n cheese. We got to Bass Pro about 1 and it was packed as usual. (It's actually usually pretty busy all weekends.) The line to see the Easter bunny stretched to the back of the store. We got in it, Joe started whining but Luke was good (better than Joe.) Luckily the line moved quickly. But not quickly enough for us not to notice about 2 families ahead of us was a couple with a little boy just barely older than Luke, with a daughter between 2 or 3. I didn't even notice them at first until the dad was taking the little boy off to see the fish while mom and daughter stayed in line. The daughter tried to go with her dad and mom says, No Olivia, you stay here with mommy. And how's that for an Easter weekend sucker punch? That line could not move fast enough. And then they kept talking and her mom kept saying her name over and over again. Enough that Joe had walked away to look around and then came back and even he noticed them. He asked if I was okay and I said yes but ugh. Their turn came and the little girl smiled for the picture while her little brother cried. It never stops sucking that she isn't here. And even though Olivia's name is her name and we knew it was popular when we chose it, it sucks sometimes randomly hearing it when we're out like that. If the little girl's name hadn't been Olivia, we probably wouldn't have even really noticed or paid much attention to them.

Anyway, Luke didn't love the Easter bunny, but he didn't have a total meltdown either. He made a face like he might cry but then just sorta looked around and by then it was over. So we'll call it a success. I think this particular Easter Bunny was rather creepy looking so I wouldn't have really blamed him for crying, especially since this was his first experience with costumed characters.

Monday, April 2, 2012

11 months

So, it seems Luke is turning 1 in 25ish days, despite my denial and trying not to think about it. My baby! One! How did it go by so stinking fast?

I emerged out from my denial to book a park (because hosting at my house when I'm chasing him around all day, then gone 4 nights a week, with finals and The Promise Walk coming not happening. Plus our house isn't big enough, we don't have parking, etc. ) And last week I finally sucked it up and ordered invitations. And today I ordered a customized birthday shirt. So I guess this is happening. Which is a good thing, really, we've survived almost a year and he is healthy and happy, which is something I have tried not to take for granted, while also trying not to be a paranoid freak. (So what if he still sleeps with a breathing monitor!) But geez. One of my friends had a baby boy at the beginning of March, he was almost Luke's birth stats, and it's really hard to believe Luke was ever that small, even if I do have plenty of pictures and videos from it, oh, it has gone so fast.

We still aren't sleeping through the night, he wakes up once or twice usually. We are still nursing (though I really, really wish we weren't. He bites a lot now and can't stay still and kicks me and pinches my face and just makes it an annoying and often painful experience. I have a deep freezer full of freakin milk that is probably mostly going to get thrown out. I do offer him bottles and he will usually take an ounce or two, but he prefers nursing.) He will probably be walking any day now. He's taken a step here and there for a few weeks now but today took 3 steps in a row and is getting braver and braver. I'd actually like him to be walking by his birthday (so he can play on the toddler playground with minimal crawling) so this is fine. He claps his hands all the time. He loves reading books, especially damned Eric Carle and his "brown bear brown bear what do you see?" type books. (We have like 4 different ones that are basically the same, replace see with "hear", etc. and change animals.) I got them because I knew my two year olds when I worked in daycare loved them, but ugh. He likes the touch and feel books too and has usually figured out where to touch on his own. And this car thing we got him for Christmas plays an annoying song, but he claps his hands and dances and smiles HUGE when the song comes on, so that is worth hearing that song a million times a day. "Counting, counting, counting is such FUN! I can drive and learn to count, start with number ONE! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!"

And he's awake.