Meeting Amber

Monday night was foggy.  I mean super foggy...scary foggy...I can't see 10 feet in front of me foggy.  I know this because one of my very best friends, Amber, flew in from Denver that night.  On my way to pick her up I was pretty darn scared.  I about turned around to go get Kevin after 4 minutes in the car, but I stuck it out and made it into Omaha to get my sweet friend.  The way home didn't seem nearly as bad, because now Amber was with me.  We were chatting away and the fog didn't seem quite as scary as before.  
We spent the two days she was here on the couch, coffee in hand, catching up on everything that is going on in our lives.  Luke smiled and giggled at silly Amber and Amber loved on Luke, who she called 'lovebug'.  It was so incredible that she was able to make the trip here to visit us and meet Luke.  We hope to make it out to Denver sometime in the not so distant future.  Amber is such an amazing woman and it was so great to see her! Thanks for making the trip Amber...and thanks for making the fog not so scary. 

we got the chance to go to m's pub for dinner...thanks kevin!

amber and luke


Tickle Sticks and Sensory Bottles

I wish I were crafty.  I dream about being crafty and making wonderful, beautiful, amazing things that people will oooohhh and aaahhh over.  But, unfortunately, I can't sew, knit, crochet, make jewelry, or do any of that really crafty stuff.  Don't get me wrong, I experiment with crafts, but usually super easy ones that my 8 year old nephew could pull off.  That's a compliment, Landon.
This past weekend I experimented with a few crafts for Luke.  First, I saw tickle sticks on one of the blogs I follow and thought they were easy enough for me.  I made a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up some dowels and feathers.  That, plus some yarn from home, was all I needed to make these sweet little toys.  All I did was put feathers on the end of the dowel and wrap yarn around them to keep the feathers in place.  Eeeeeasy.
The next craft I made came from many different blogs.  These are everywhere.  Sensory bottles.  I made two wave bottles with water, oil, and food coloring.  I filled the bottle two-thirds the way full with water and then finished with oil.  I added a few drops of food coloring and taaaaadaaaa...a wave sensory bottle!  You can put some many things in these bottles.  Hair gel, marbles, pom poms, confetti, etc.  The possibilities are endless and like I said...super easy. I forgot to mention, I hot glued the caps on so they won't fall off.  You can also put tape on the outside to make sure they don't come off.
Now, why did I make these for Luke?  Both the tickle sticks and sensory bottles are used for sensory exploration.  Kids received information through their senses, so sensory exploration is a perfect tool to help children discover their world.  When using the tickle sticks, I run the feathers along his face and bare toes.  He didn't know what to think of this at first, but now he smiles with delight when Kevin or I do it.  As Luke gets a little older I would like to make more tickle sticks with grass on the end, beads, flowers, etc.  You can pretty much put anything on the end of them.  At this point, I mainly just put the sensory bottles in front of Luke and continually turn them upside down.  He seems fascinated by them and they keep his attention for a good 30 seconds.  Impressive.
My hope is that these two little crafts will be played with for a long time.  I'm sure when Luke gets a bit older and is able to play with the bottles and tickle sticks himself, they will have to be remade.  That's definitely okay, because when that time comes around, I'm sure Luke will have reached my level of craftiness and be able to make them himself.



Cloth diapering...craziness or awesomeness?

Luke has been sporting super cute cloth diapers for about a month now.  He finally fits into them and boy his bum is adorable in those things.  Baby bums are adorable in just about anything, but I guess the orange, blue, and green fabric just make Luke's bum a little extra special.
Some of you think I'm crazy.  Some of you think I've lost it and some days I'm right with you.  Why did I decide to cloth diaper?  The number one reason...my mother.  She ranted and raved about how eeeeasy it was to put me in cloth diapers when I was a baby and how it helped my skin so much.  She also claims it helped potty train me sooner.  Whether it did any of those things (wouldn't that be great), she made me believe I could do it and that is the number one reason I chose the cloth diapering route.
There are also other reasons and you've heard them before: They are cost effective (Kevin loves this) and better for the environment.  Did you know that a baby goes through about 2,788 diapers in the first year of life and the cost is around $500?  Since I am staying at home I figured a little extra money saved on diapers wouldn't be a bad thing.  And horray for the environment!  Last, my final and most fun reason for cloth diapering...they are absolutely, positively adorable.
So, is cloth diapering absolute craziness or awesomeness?  In my one month of experience (remember I am still in the honeymoon stage), I think it's pretty awesome.  That being said, I will be posting more about my cloth diaper adventures and if the awesomeness continues or if it all comes crashing down on me.  Happy weekend everyone!

Sources: http://www.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=431


Mommy's Little Angel

My mom came to visit this past weekend.  It's such a blessing when she comes to visit, especially now that we have Luke.  She helps us so much while she's here and it's wonderful to be able to bounce parenting ideas off of her.  Plus, there is nothing like having your mom around!
While my mom was on the Trail I got out this sweet little onesie my Aunt Joy gave Luke that said 'Mommy's Little Angel', equipped with the cutest little angel wings you have ever seen.  Luke was going to have a mini photo shoot in this onesie, there was just no way around it.  Everyone had to get in on the action, including my mom, because who doesn't love a baby in angel wings??!


the look on luke's face cracks me up

such a happy boy


happy with grandma


Gingerbread Party is BACK!

This past year and a half has been a whirlwind and it is finally settling down.  We are in our home.  We are not living in a renovation.  We have our sweet baby boy.  We are finally settled.  And it feels so good!
When we lived in Omaha we used to have a gingerbread party around the holidays.  It usually was before Christmas and some friends would come over to decorate gingerbread houses or men.  Last year the party did not happen because of the renovation, but this year I wanted the party back!  So, even though it was about a month post-Christmas, we invited some friends over from gingerbread parties past, plus a few new faces, and had a great time.  This year we did houses, bought from Bed, Bath, and Beyond 50% off...an extra perk for it being a belated gingerbread party.  It is somewhat of a contest and this year we were going to have the babies be the judges, but two of them were sleeping when it came time to tally up the votes.  Instead we opted to have the Facebook world judge our houses.  It was a landslide win by Kyle, Alisha, and Kyle Todd with the creative gingerbread tree house.  I think Kevin and I ended up with one vote, from his cousin, who voted for everyone....sigh.  Everyone's houses were fun and unique (well, I guess besides ours) and it was wonderful to see some faces we haven't seen in awhile.  Thanks to everyone who came and made the trip out to see us!

jill and my mom baby watching

let the gingerbread house making begin

steve, jenna, and dave; it was a trailer, then whale, then lots of other things

the winners; the creative tree house by alisha, kyle, and kyle todd

jeff, shelby, and scarlet's haunted gingerbread house

kara's 'got milk' house...she was trying to sway the judges :)
As you can see, we didn't get a picture of our house up here.  You're not missing anything, because, as you know, it only got one vote...by Kevin's cousin, who voted for everyone.  Thanks Shyann!


Book Review #1: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

I love being a Mommy.  It's, by far, the best possible job I have ever had.  I couldn't ask for anything more than spending the day with my little man.  I have been reading parenting books, when I'm not doing my Mommy duties and thought I would share some of the highlights.  The first book I recently read and refer to often is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth.  This book is research based and helpful for families that are expecting and families that already have little ones at home.  I wish I would have picked this book up while I was pregnant!  Kevin and I would not have guessed our way through Luke's sleeping those first few weeks.  Luckily, Luke was a pretty good sleeper those first few weeks, but since then has become a bit more challenging.  This is a book I will continually reread as it details sleep habits of babes of different ages.  Did you know babies sleep rhythms change as they grow??  Yep, me neither.  I learned a lot and this post is all about that new learning.

New learning and what it means to me...

  • Never wake a sleeping baby.  Wow, this is so simple, yet so powerful.
  • Keeping a sleep log is a great tool to track your baby's sleeping habits.  The teacher in me LOVES this!  
  • Babies 0-4 months are only able to be awake 1-2 hours.  They are sleepy little creatures!  Luke follows a sleep, eat, play cycle.  
  • Infants that sleep more during the day are better equipped to learn from their environment and maintain focused attention.  When Luke has taken a good nap he is much more alert and a lot less crabby.  He is more able to play on his own when he is well rested.
  • Naps are vital for cognitive development.  Naps are a win-win for everyone!
  • Weissbluth states, "Sleep comes from the brain, not the stomach."  This was an 'aha' moment for me.  Everyone says 'when he starts eating cereal, he will sleep longer at night', but Weissbluth doesn't agree.  I have a hard time with this one, because we have noticed that when Kevin gives Luke a bottle at night he sleeps longer than when I nurse him.  Is this because, with the bottle, without a doubt, Luke gets a sufficient amount of food?  Or is it merely coincidence?
  • Good sleep means more good sleep.  Good naps during the day means good sleeping habits at night.  Who would have thought?  No more keeping Luke up so he will sleep at night!
There is so much more to this book...especially for parents of children who have extreme fussiness or colic.  As I said before, I will be returning to this book often as Luke grows.  The main battle we are fighting now is the pacifier.  He wants it during naps and at night, but he loses it...thus making Mom or Dad get up to plop it back in, just so he can spit it out again minutes later.  This book doesn't address this issue, but I would love to hear any advice from any Moms or Dads out there on how to get rid of this habit.  Cheers to a good, restful night of sleep!

You can find Healthy Sleep Habit, Happy Child on Amazon for around $11-12 here.

Weissbluth, Marc. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005. eBook.

the good 'ole days...when Luke used to spit his pacifier out and stay sleeping


2 month activities with Luke

Luke is much more alert these days.  His eyes are bright with wonder and he loves looking around at his world!  Luke spends about an hour to an hour and a half awake in between his feedings and naps.  During this time I try and 'play' with him as much as possible.  I spend Luke's nap time looking for fun things to do with him while he's awake.  Here are some of the activities Luke and I do together:

  • I continue to talk, talk, talk to him about everything using names to identify people instead of pronouns.  And yes, I do talk in that high pitched sing song voice, labeled by some psychologists as 'parentese'.  John Medina, author of Brain Rules for Baby, says that 'parentese' is good for the brain because the language is slowed down, thus making it easier for the baby to understand.  It also makes the vowels more distinct and the exaggeration helps the baby hear words in distinct entities and discriminate between them.  The high pitch can help a baby imitate the characteristics of speech.  So...bring on the talking!
  • He is getting more interested in books, so I read to him while he sits in the bouncy chair we borrowed from Miss Amelia.  He still loves The Very Busy Spider, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar...all by Eric Carle.  Maybe it's just because I like them so much that he gets to hear them so often.
  • I sing to him often.  Some of my favorites are: He's got the whole world in his hands, Twinkle, Twinkle, and Five Little Monkeys (I make that story into a song, kind of).  Luke always smiles when I sing Five Little Monkeys.
  • He gets time to lay inside his gym and play.  He loves to look at the little animals that are hanging from it; his favorite is the monkey.  He has grabbed the rings a few times and his face just lights up with wonder when he does this.
  • I dangle items from a string for him to track and try and grab.  Some of the items I dangle include plastic measuring spoons and rings.  He will track these items, but isn't too interested in them just yet.
  • I use different fabrics for him to touch and feel and explore.  My goal is to collect more so as he gets older he will have fabric swatches to use in his play.
  • We practice rolling over on a blanket on the floor.  I roll him back and forth, while saying 'let's roooooooll over'.  I love it, but Luke isn't convinced, yet.
soft felt

watching the spoon

practicing rolling over

our basket of play things

Luke seems like he is getting so very big with each passing day and I am trying to live in the moment as much as possible and enjoy every smile, kick, and coo.



Medina, J. (2010). Brain rules for baby: how to raise a smart and happy child from zero to five. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.


First night out

Kevin and I had our first night out last weekend.  It was my birthday on Sunday and my parents came up to celebrate with me and watch Luke for a few hours while Kevin and I went to grab a glass of wine.  We were gone for a total of about four hours and although we thoroughly enjoyed the alone time, we missed our little Luke!  We got lots of hugs and cuddles before we put him to bed for the night.  Thanks Mom and Dad for your time and loving on Luke while we were gone.  We love you both!  We can't wait to see you next time!


2 months...already?!

Today our little Luke is 2 months old.  He is a growing boy and is doing so many fun things!

Luke smiles in response to someone, he loves it when Daddy talks to him and says 'Mommmammommamomma' or 'Daddadaddaddad'.  
Luke can hold his head up quite well when held and on the floor.
Luke likes to stand and look around, he wants to see the world already!
Luke likes to be held on Mommy and Daddy's chest, but he also likes to face out and look around.
Luke constantly puts his hands together like he's praying or scheming.  I love this!
Luke can grab onto things, but mostly it is involuntary.
Luke fits into the cute little cloth diapers we have for him.
Luke loves bathtime with Daddy!
Luke likes having his diaper changed on the changing table and loves the books that are read to him then.
Luke LOVES being in a sleep sack for naps and nighttime sleeping.  We had to order a size up because he is getting too long for the newborn size.
Luke is a great napper.  He usually takes at least 3 good, long naps during the day. 
Luke is getting better at putting himself to sleep.  He gets put down when he's drowsy and can put himself to sleep most naps and at night.
Luke is now sleeping in his room in his crib, he's such a big boy!  He usually get puts down by 9:30 and sleeps until 3:30.  I love this!
Luke now takes a bottle from Daddy at night.  He gobbles down 4-5 ounces and loves this time with Dad.
Luke has made 2 big road trips now and did okay in the car....more than 3 hours is pushing it for him.
Luke is a happy boy during most of his awake time.  He is such a sweet boy and we couldn't be more in love!


Love these teachers!

God has truly put some amazing people in my life.  I was blessed to work with some incredible teachers  at Franklin for five years.  Although I believe I have the best job in the world and love staying home with my precious Luke, I miss teaching and these wonderful ladies!  They helped me through many trials as a young teacher and I learned so much from every single one of them.  It was so sweet of them to think of us with a baby shower and it was fun to introduce Luke to all of them.  I just hope we can keep these meetings up!  One of the families I was close with at Franklin also attended the shower and it is always great to see them!  It was so neat to see them love on Luke!  Court, I am counting on you being our social director for our future meetings...even if it is from California, or any other place you might be!

lana and luke

linda and luke

yummy food!

my mentor, friend, and one amazing teacher...beth!

the ruffs loving on luke

lu, karagin, and court

lea, luke, and i...thanks for all the pictures lea!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...