12/3/10

December is here!

November and December are so much fun, aren't they? I love looking forward to Thanksgiving and then Christmas. We enjoyed Thanksgiving at Jen and Ryan's house... I can't believe I didn't take any pictures! :( We went just before Luke's nap time and he slept while we ate. It was quite nice to enjoy great company and a delicious meal without the struggles of feeding a toddler in an environment outside of home. Jen outdid herself once again preparing pretty much everything and allowing me to bring a cheese ball... gee thanks! :) It was a pretty tasty cheese ball if I do say so myself AND it was nice not to be slaving away in the kitchen. She's a very considerate sister in law. :) And a great chef. Everything was absolutely DIVINE!! This prego mamma thoroughly enjoyed herself. :)

We put up our tree Thanksgiving morning and decorated it the following day. And Jeff had started the outside lights a few days prior. I've gotta say... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! :) We've minimized our interior decorations only because I don't have the energy to say "no" to Luke a million times a day and he just seems to be fascinated with everything these days. No thanks! We've still done quite a bit though. Luke just LOVES the tree and the lights. He plugs it in every morning and if we unplug it during the day, he plugs it right back in. He also looks at our stockings and says, "daddy's, wuke's, mommy's, sister's". It's precious!

And speaking of "sister"... any day now! I am 39 weeks and will see at my appointment on Tuesday how I'm progressing. At my 38 week appointment, I hadn't made much progress but was also measuring a week behind. The doctor is supposed to start some natural inducing procedures next week but needs a little progression for that to happen. We're still praying for a vaginal delivery but if it doesn't happen, she'll be here on the 14th. 11 days from now at the latest... CRAZY!! Things to do before then: clean the house AGAIN, finish painting in the nursery (we decided to do just one wall due to a little mishap), finish Christmas shopping (two more gifts to get!), anxiously await the arrival of my new baby book from Ruby Love recommended long ago by my friend Steph, pack our hospital bag... hmmmm, that might be it! :)

We really appreciate all of the hand me downs we've received thus far and have had numerous friends & family, who are adamant about gift giving apparently :), ask what we need for baby girl. My friends Laura and Heather, both with two little girls of their own, have graciously given us oodles and oodles of clothes. My friend Kim has given us a crib mattress and mattress pad. The Bacchus family gifted us this past weekend with a new diaper pail... THANK GOODNESS! This was one of the "must haves" on our list. We have been so touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of our family & friends. Truly. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It's such an awkward moment for me when people ask "what do you need? what can we get you?". We certainly aren't expecting anyone to get us anything but for those who have been persistent in asking, here is what remains on our list of what we are looking to purchase in the next month or so. We very much realize that there are a few big ticket items here so obviously, gift cards would be a big help. Okay, here we go: a hamper, white noise machine (this is the same one we've used for Luke, my old alarm clock, and have grown to really like it. it reflects the room temperature which has come in quite handy), a double jogging stroller (we have been keeping our eyes on craig's list hoping to find a slightly used one), and a crib (we may have found one on craig's list.. just looking for a used one this time around). We would obviously never turn away any "fun" gifts like cute outfits, soft blankies or anything else "girlie" but just thought we'd share our little list for those who have been asking what we "need". And again, thank you for being so generous. Our response: spoil yourselves with all of those great deals going on out there! :)

Anyhoo, that's the skinny around here. Below are a couple of videos of Luke... still trying to play catch up. :)

xoxo

Here's one from this awesome indoor place we went to while in Canada this summer. Luke LOVED it!! It was honestly the fastest slide I've ever been on, called "the lava slide". They have warning signs to cover all skin and let me tell ya, I had capris on and left with burn marks!:



Luke's first time with a punching balloon. I love the jumping!:



And we'll end with a bit of a longer one. Now Luke actually says "auntie" and "uncle" before the names, but here's a run down of the fam:

11/19/10

Video Updates

It's so funny (and a bit strange) to revisit video from just a few months ago. Luke has come such a LONG way with his vocabulary and pronunciation. This was a cute one from when we were in Texas visiting my mom and we skyped with Jeff one night:



This video is from when we were in Vancouver. While in Vancouver this summer, we visited this "random" place close by called "Art Knapp's". It's a landscape nursery which also sells home decor, collector cars/trains, has a mini-golf course, a small playground and offers train rides around their grounds. It was actually quite a fun little place to visit.



We also visited White Rock Beach with some friends. You can see sweet little Kayden Glups crawling in the background. :) Luke saw, touched and picked up his first crab. Pretty cute. (and gross, but I think only to me :)



I have quite a bit more... soon to follow!

Things are great around here. Just getting as ready as we can for this new little one to arrive. Visiting our blog probably freaks me out the most ... seeing that little ticker on the side... yikes! Today it says "23" days!!! The nursery is mostly done... we still need a couple of smaller items and a crib but nothing that we NEED to have before she comes. With Christmas shopping on the horizon, we've decided to wait on some things for the nursery and also on a double stroller and a new monitor. I'm still researching the strollers.. I just can't decide! And I definitely want to upgrade our video monitor at some point. I am excited to share that we HAVE decided on a name! It's not my "number 1" name but that's okay... marriage is about compromise, right? :) It's a beautiful name and I know it will fit her perfectly.

Luke is awesome. What a fun little guy he is! We definitely have our challenges some days but for the most part, he's pretty darn good, I must say. :) He's very into the Toy Story movies right now. I hear "Woody Buzz Woody Buzz" about a million times a day. And if we see them somewhere, like on a poster or shoes or something, we have to stare at it for a long time and there are usually tears when it's time to move on (and not from me I might add :). He still loves his trucks, specifically monster trucks and garbage trucks. We bought him a little balance bike for his birthday and he's been riding that a bit more often too, which has been really fun to see. He's still wearing diapers, enjoying his pacifier and sleeping in his crib and we don't plan on changing any of these things any time soon. :)

xoxo

11/7/10

October Photos

A friend of mine shared this site with me and said it's her favorite to use for photos. I checked it out and I like that you can speed up or slow down the viewing of the photos (use the - and + in the lower left of the picture box). It's good for those of you "older" folks who have a hard time reading the small print quickly. :) If you move your mouse over the photo, you can read the captions. That's the only part I don't like but maybe there's a way to get that and I haven't figured it out yet. Will keep you posted. Enjoy the pics! :)

10/25/10

Someone turned two!

We celebrated the big 3-4 in our family earlier this month and then a little 2 on October 18th. I cannot believe I am 34! Ugh. We're getting old, people. I have to remind myself that I'm extra "crickety" right now due to being 33+ weeks pregnant and not because I am aging! :) It was fun to celebrate though. We went to Brio for dinner with our dear friends, Scott and Erin, and then off to the movies to see "The Social Network". That might sound lame to some but I quite enjoyed myself. No kiddos.. just adult conversation, no curfew and a box of milk duds. Perfection. :) And Jeff's parents had us over for dinner on my actual birthday with a delicious homemade cake to end a wonderful day. I have a lot to be thankful for at this time of my life and I enjoyed reflecting on that.

And now on to the very momentous 2ND birthday celebration!! Oh I just can't believe how fast the time is going. I know, I know... "wait until he's 5, 10, 15, etc.". Well he's not there yet. And next year you'll hear all about how I can't believe he's THREE!! :) He was SO excited for his birthday party. He was up extra early that morning and took a very short nap. That really excited mommy and daddy! (not) :) He knew he was having some special people come over and would name each one of them and we kept hinting at the gift we got him so all weekend he kept asking to ride a bike. He's been riding it ever since his party... super cute. Gigi and Don were here to celebrate too and Luke LOVES his slide from them. Grandma and Grandpa H got him a monster truck and that is one of his favorites too. I think his most favorite anticipation was his Lightning McQueen cake that mommy was making for him. I made my first attempt at a homemade cake and I have to say, it wasn't too shabby. It took HOURS to make but I learned a few lessons that will save me a lot of time next year. It was definitely fun to hear him talk about it and to see the look on his face when he saw it so I think I'll do it again next year. Pictures to come soon. :)

Update on baby girl... we THINK we have a name finally. :) We still waver a little so we'll see. We finally ordered and received her crib bedding. I LOVE it! I can honestly say that I saw it a million times online and did not like it at all. Then I was in a store here locally and saw it displayed in one of their cribs and I just knew it was what I was looking for. The colors are much more vibrant and I love the different fabrics. It's so cute and feminine, I just love it. :) We are refinishing the guest bedroom furniture and hope to have that done in the next week or so. I think we've decided to get a middle of the line crib from Target or Babies r Us for now and invest in better furniture later. I just like things to match so I'd rather get the bed when we're ready to get the add'l pieces.

Luke is dressing up as a Lion for Halloween. It's our first year trick or treating with him since he was sick last year so we're pretty excited. He's also talking NON-STOP these days. I love it .. most of the time. :) Hearing the words "bulldozer" and "garbage truck" 100 times in a row gets a little old sometimes. He's saying 4 and 5 words together now and counting to 10. He says "hi Jesus" when we drive past the church. He's been doing great going to class on Sundays. And everything is "self". His independence is becoming very important to him which we try to encourage in most circumstances. He still has A LOT of energy so we keep pretty busy. But we LOVE this stage. He is so fun and so cute and we just love this little boy so much. We feel so blessed that God has entrusted him to us.

Pictures and video to come soon.... :) xoxo

9/26/10

September Stresses

Update on potty training: never happened! :( We hope to try some time soon but we have been under a bit of stress lately thanks to a certain tenant of ours. Long story short he was in there for 3 months and now is gone. What a mess that was! Total God intervention though and we re-rented it within a day of him being gone and have been hard at work getting the house cleaned up and ready for its new occupants. And not only did we re-rent it but we didn't have to take less. Crazy how it all happened! Again, total God thing and we are so so so very thankful.

So that's what we've been busy doing. Still no name for this sweet little girl yet. Still no anything really. And I can't believe we have less than 11 weeks to go! But nursery/name/necessities for baby #2 are next on our list. :) We do have our names narrowed down to just a few so at least we're not starting with a clean slate. I'm down to visiting the doctor every two weeks now. Where has the time gone?! We scheduled our c-section for December 14th which will take us past 40 weeks. Not my first choice as I was excited about being able to have her around 39 weeks and not have to endure that very last week. :) However, we've decided that if I go into labor, we'll try to deliver naturally and avoid another c-section. Going to 40 weeks gives us a little extra time to allow that to happen. And if it doesn't happen, then it doesn't but I don't want to wonder if it could've later. Either way, we are very much looking forward to her safe and healthy arrival!

Luke is doing awesome! His verbal skills are improving everyday and it's super cute and so much fun. Well, except when he repeats the same word 50 times in a row, then it's not AS cute. :) But now he loves to say "mommy's car" or "daddy's truck" or "my blankie". There's something new everyday. I am proud to say that he is ALL boy. He's still very much into his trucks (dump trucks, monster trucks, garbage trucks, fire trucks, really any truck!). He recently discovered the cartoon, "Max and Ruby" and is obsessed. He likes to shovel the dirt in the backyard and ride his quad. He is VERY high energied and definitely keeps us moving! One of his newer words that I love to hear him say is "cuddew" and he LOVESSS to cuddle. A few short minutes later, it usually turns into climbing all over us and then transitions to jumping on the couch but it starts off very sweet. :) Hard to believe he is going to be TWO next month!! Seriously, where does the time go?!

So I think that's all for now. I just posted pictures below and I still have some video to sort through. I am so behind! If anyone's available to do that for me, let me know. Oh and if you could also put my photos in a photo album, finish my laundry (which is clean, just on the dresser in my room), clean my bathrooms, mop my floors, put together our nursery and maybe pick a name for our baby (pending our approval of course), that would be SOOOO helpful! :)

xoxo

Summer Pictures

9/3/10

A Visit to Vancouver!

We are home! Oh my goodness was it nice to escape the heat for the past three weeks! This is the first vacation we've taken in the past 3 years where Jeff actually didn't work. It was really great to spend some quality time together as a family and to see Jeff able to relax too. We got lucky on our way to Vancouver and had a row with an empty seat so we decided to take Luke's car seat on the plane and see how he did. He did great! Luckily there was no one sitting in front of him because he did kick the seat an awful lot. That should be fun in the future! And as we suspected, he did not sleep a wink. Our flight was from 8 - 11 p.m.! Little stinker.

We experienced our first road trip the day after we arrived. Jeff's family rented a lake house in Kelowna, the main motivation for the boat purchase. Luke's not ever been in the car for much longer than an hour but surprisingly, he was a champ. I don't think he whined even once during the 4 hour drive! We did have videos and snacks for distractions so I'm not sure how he would've done without those but you know, happy baby = happy mommy = happy everyone, right? :)

We spent the last 11 days of our trip in Surrey at Jeff's parent's house. Luke had SO much fun playing with his cousins. It was really cute to watch them play together. Last year, they seemed to play more side by side but this year was very different. It's amazing how much can change in just a year with these little ones! Katie even got in on some action with the boys! All three of them were just adorable.

In addition to great quality time with the family, we enjoyed lots of great weather, boating, park time, walks on the pier, beach time, some shopping, time with friends, reading and I'm sure I am forgetting what else. Luke was talking SO much while we were there and he even counted to SIX! He did it for the first time in front of both of us and it was so surprising and cute! We didn't even know he could count to one! It's been really fun to hear him talking more.

So back to reality. And to the heat. We should finally see some cooler temps soon and I can't wait! We've been catching up around the house the past few days and next week's focus is Luke's birthday party in October. Hard to believe our little boy is going to be 2! He is such a little sweetie. He is just so active! He hardly walks anywhere... why walk when you can run?! He seriously loves to sprint. He just learned to jump so that's his new thing. It's hilarious. He still loves anything with wheels, his books, puzzles, Elmo, Cars, and cuddling. "Blankie and soother" are major attachments but boy do they make everything better when need be. We'll have to work on the soother attachment at some point.

Just 13 more weeks to go until our little number two is due to arrive. I have been feeling really good. A little extra tired thanks to the two "two year molars" that decided to interrupt a week's sleeping habits. But tomorrow is Saturday and that means I can sleep in... HOORAY!! :) Thank goodness teething is done! After Luke's birthday, we will focus on the nursery and picking a name for our little girl. Funny how all of this was done by now when we were pregnant with Luke. To be honest, I have gone through two baby name books and although I've come up with a little list, there aren't any names that are really jumping out at me. And of the names I've come up with, Jeff's not doing cartwheels over any of them. It'll be interesting to see what name we agree on. :)

This weekend we are going to attempt potty training. Should be interesting! :) We have NO expectations and if it doesn't work, we'll try again after the baby is born. We're not going to stress about it one bit. I felt we should try ONE transition before the baby comes. Transitions include: weaning off the white noise, pacifier (aka "soother"), big boy bed, potty training. All but one of these is related to sleeping. If Luke could continue sleeping well when the baby comes, I think that would help tremendously so potty training it is! He's been telling us when he's going and when he needs a diaper change so some of the signs are there. Wish us luck and I'll update next week on how it went.

That's about it for now... we'll get pictures posted and I have some super cute videos too. Stay tuned!

xoxo

8/2/10

Summer Updates

We recently returned from visiting my mom in Texas. Boy was it hot there! You really do get used to the "dry" heat in Arizona. I couldn't believe how sensitive I was to the humidity! It was my first flight experience by myself with Luke and it actually went really, really well. Even with our delays! I really can't complain about the way there or the way home. We got lucky and had an extra seat next to us both ways so it was nice that he didn't have to stay on my lap the whole time.

Due to the weather, we didn't get to do too much while we were in Texas. I did have the chance to visit with my friend, Stacey, that I know from Scottsdale. I enjoyed a night out with her and a couple of play dates with her and her kids. She actually flew out to Scottsdale while I was there to help her sister whose son Jack is currently fighting Neuroblastoma. She's an amazing person and it was so great to see her. Luke and I also played a lot with the other kids on my mom's street, we visited with my Grandma a couple of times and also with my Aunt. I hadn't seen them since Luke was 4 months old so it was really great to catch up in person and spend time with them. And of course, Luke had a great time with Gigi and Don. I can't imagine I would want to go on a trip that long again with two kiddos until they're a bit older so I'm glad we got the chance to spend that much time with my mom while we were able. And I have to admit, I was homesick! It was so great to get home to Jeff and I realized while I was away how helpful of a daddy he is.

Since home, we've been keeping busy! I attended the first mom's night out event hosted by Scottsdale Moms Blog co-founded by my very creative, talented friend, Steph. I had a great time and was even more excited when I won a facial at Bleu Pond Spa which I will enjoy next weekend! :) We had our last soccer lesson too. Not sure we'll do that again although it was a fun experience. I just think Luke would have just as much fun in an open play gym. Maybe we'll try again in a couple of years.

We head out next week for Vancouver already. We're so excited! It'll be great to see family, friends and cooler temperatures! Stay tuned for pictures....

Is it too obvious that I figured out how to do links finally? he he.. :)
xoxo

6/27/10

15 weeks plus photos & video

Today begins week 16 and what a blessing that I was able to feel the baby move for the first time this morning and he/she has been nonstop since then! I am so busy with Luke that I forget sometimes that there is this sweet little baby growing inside of me. Well, I forget until I try on my pants and can't get them buttoned! :) Just a couple of more weeks until the big reveal... yay!

We've had a great weekend after fully recovering from Jeff having food poisoning (not from my cooking thank you very much) and me having a stomach bug. Bleck! Luke's been great though! He had lots of fun at swimming lessons with daddy on Friday and on Saturday they had great quality time together. Jeff took Luke to do a few errands in the morning... his parent's house to add chemicals in the pool (they are in Vancouver), Fry's to pick up a few things, Home Depot, Leslie's Pool Supply and then after his nap, they spent the afternoon in the pool. I loved watching from the window and hearing them laugh together.. it was so cute! :)

Here are some recent photos & video we thought you would enjoy!

xoxo











6/24/10

Home Sweet Home & Happy Father's Day

We are home from a great time with the Peitsch family in Castle Rock, Colorado! Thank you Randy, April and Isaiah for hosting us. We had a wonderful time. Luke absolutely loved playing with Isaiah and Isaiah had so many fun toys which he graciously shared with Luke. Lots of cars, trucks, trains, and balls. Hopefully there are some pink dolls in April and mine's futures ... lol :) We also enjoyed a trip to the Aquarium and Cheyenne Zoo. I was able to visit with my friend, Joelle, from high school while the gang went to the Aquarium. It was so nice to see someone I grew up with and to catch up in person! We figured out that we have only seen each other twice in the past 8 years. I flew out to Las Vegas for her wedding 8 years ago and she came to Phoenix for mine 4 years ago. Hopefully it won't be so long next time and hopefully next time I'll take a picture of the two of us! And just a side note that Joelle was my only friend who showed up to my birthday party in 4th grade following hurricane Gloria. Now that's a good friend! :) Love you Jofa & loved our time together!

Traveling with Luke this time was almost perfect! If he had slept, he'd get a higher grade but he was really, really good. I couldn't believe it! I know he's getting older so his attention span has grown but I also felt we made a great effort to be prepared. We didn't know if anything in our traveling with toddler survival kit would work but it boosted our confidence to have options. I had read a lot of other mommy blogs and decided on a few things that sounded very Luke. We bought a portable DVD player and brought a couple of movies we rented from the library that Luke became obsessed with. We hid them a few days before so they seemed more new. We brought a coloring book, crayons, stickers, a travel doodler, lucky charms and a new matchbox motorbike. They actually all came in handy but mostly the video "There Goes A Firetruck" which is so cheesy but apparently his favorite. We'll see if these all work during our next flight in a few weeks! Off to Texas to visit my mom, grandma and aunt!

And to finish this post, I would love to wish my husband a Happy Father's Day! I prayed for a long time that God would not only bring a man into my life that would be a loving husband but also a loving daddy to our children. And that he is. I am touched on a daily basis by the way Jeff spends his time with Luke. There's something very sweet about being a part of watching your husband grow as a daddy. I feel very blessed to be a part of these moments. And grateful to his dad for being a Godly role model who spent countless hours of quality time with Jeff growing up. Two great dads to celebrate... Happy Father's Day!

More pictures and video coming very soon! xoxo

6/16/10

Obsessions

If you've got little ones at home and you've never heard of these sites, they are awesome! Check 'em out... they're my newest obsessions!

www.mamabargains.com
www.zulily.com

**NOTE** I am not totally savvy when it comes to this blog thing. I worked for about a half hour to try and make these direct links and I just can't seem to get it to work. So, a little extra work for you to cut and paste. And I'll start practicing to improve my blogging skills. :)

6/13/10

Pregnancy FAQ's

Well, I have completed 14 weeks of pregnancy! Sometimes I think, "that's it?" and other times it feels like it's flying by. I had a great doctor's appointment this past week and heard that sweet little heartbeat. I just love it! I did have some red spotting last week for a few days, in addition to some cramping in my side the week before, and it was making me anxious so I bumped our appointment up just for peace of mind. I had spotting also with Luke but definitely not as frequent or as red as this time. And definitely not accompanied by any kind of sharp cramping. The doctor felt it was most likely related to my exercising (grrrrrr) which I had of course stopped once these issues started. So I'll be taking it easy around here.

Anyhoo, to answer some very common questions that we seem to get asked, here you go:

1. When are you due? Somewhere between December 10th and 14th. We'll find out for sure at our next ultrasound.
2. How did you tell Jeff about the pregnancy? After sanitizing my little stick, I wrapped it in a box and put it in his Easter basket. He knew though because I was very anxious for him to open it! :)
3. How have you been feeling? Great! Still needing that nap every other day or so.
4. Have you been having any cravings or food aversions? I have, so far, craved yogurt, granola (there's a certain kind at Albertson's that I just love. It's called Erin Baker's Oatmeal Raisin.. mmmmmmmmm.), fruit juice, and fresh fruit. As far as aversions, I've been having trouble with raw meat and bacon definitely grosses me out.
5. Are these the same cravings/aversions as when you were pregnant with Luke? No, I don't think so. I remember craving french toast and donuts, more pastry like foods. And I wonder why I gained almost 60 lbs!! And I don't recall any aversions.
6. Are you showing/wearing maternity clothes? Well, we can tell that I am showing but I doubt you could unless I showed you, which I probably won't. :) My maternity clothes from before are still too big for me but a hair rubberband helps keep my pants from cutting off my circulation if I'm not wearing sweatpants or a dress.
7. Are you going to find out what you're having? YES! ON JULY 12TH! :)
8. Do you think you're having a boy or a girl? A BOY! :)
9. Are you hoping for a girl this time? Kind of an unfair question. I wouldn't say I am "hoping" for a girl. I think it would be really cool to have a girl for a few reasons. A.) I am such a girly girl myself and I have always imagined having a sweet daughter someday to spoil and do girly girl things with as a mom. B.) It'd be fun to have one of each. C.) I really like pink. And purple. And tutus. I would ABSOLUTELY NOT be disappointed if we had another boy! Luke is so absolutely precious. I think it'd be so fun for him to have a little brother and for our family to be "me and the boys". :) It's truly a win win!
10. Are you stopping at 2? Well, let's just take it one kiddo at a time. :)

Anyhoo, I think I've covered 'em! More to come soon.. we have a cute video of Luke "driving" the boat! :)

xoxo

5/31/10

Birthdays, Boats & Ear Infections..OH MY

A happy belated blog birthday wish to my hunky husband! Jeff turned blankity blank last weekend and thanks to some dear family friends who offered to watch Luke, we enjoyed a Saturday night out with our friends, Josh and Katherine. Did you know you could eat free at Benihana's for your birthday? We both really like it there so we took full advantage of that! Followed by some delicious Yogurtology... I love that place!



Here's what I got Jeff for his birthday:



Ha! Yeah right. My gift was WAYYY better than this. (ha! yeah right.) Let me introduce you to the newest addition to our family... well... shared custody. Jeff, Jer and Dad have bought this little black beauty and we look forward to lots of fun with it during our lake trip this summer. We're going to take it for a spin on the lake next week some time (waiting on a life jacket for Luke) and Jeff's parents will drive it up to Vancouver for some summer enjoyment (which includes our Kelowna vacation!) and then it'll come back here in the fall. This boat will get around!

This week's not been the greatest as far as vomit, poop and ear infections are concerned. BLECK! Sooooo... we picked Luke up after our Benihana outing and the ever so sweet Mr. and Mrs. Glups reported that he was such a good little boy... but he vomited his entire dinner all over the place. WHAT??!! Oh how bad we felt! You never want someone else to clean up your child's vomit. Heck, we don't want to clean it up! So we brought him home and he vomited again. Poor little guy. It was a late night getting everyone and everything all cleaned up and off to bed. The next day he wasn't too bad but he still wasn't quite himself and on Monday... not good. So off to the doctor for a diagnosis of double ear infections. Accompanied by a fever, nasty cough and runny nose. Besides some loss of appetite, slight irritability, excessive dirty diaper changing (thanks to the antibiotics), one more night of vomit, and an extreme overdose of Veggie Tales, the week wasn't too bad! Crazy what we get used to as parents. He still slept well at night and took pretty good naps so that helps make everything else seem a little bit easier. We treated him tonight to McD's chicken nuggets and he ate 3 so I think he's on the mend! Below is a photo from the other day at approximately 5:00 p.m.. For those of you who know our child, you know that this is highly unlikely to ever happen!



On to "bigger" things... :-) I am still feeling pretty good. There are always little fears that creep into my mind at this early of a stage so I definitely look forward to my next appointment. Two more weeks! Hearing that little heart beat and the "okay" from the doctor gives such a great peace of mind. And I'm not really much "bigger" than before .. just was making a joke. He he. :-)

We're off in a couple of weeks to enjoy some cooler weather in Castle Rock, Colorado. We'll be visiting Jeff's cousin, Randy and his wife, April and their little boy, Isaiah, who is turning 3 very soon! April is also expecting and our due dates are super close. We'll both find out in July what we're having. Come on pink!! (or blue of course) ;-) He he.



More soon! xoxo

5/17/10

December 14th!!

We are excited to share our joyous news that another precious Hepting baby will bless our family at the end of this year! We will find out if #2 is a boy or girl in July. Please keep us in your prayers!

I have been feeling good.. just tired. Almost everyday I take a nap, which is a really hard thing to do when you have a little one to clean up after and a house to tend to. But for anyone who's been pregnant before, I know you know what I'm saying. It's like you just can't function without that nap! I've had some nausea but that came and went. And this darn stuffy nose is back. I had this with Luke too. It's very annoying. I've had a greater desire to exercise this time around so on the days I have the energy, I've been taking advantage. Otherwise... I can't complain just yet.. I'm sure that's to come in the months ahead!

Luke's separation anxiety has been SO SO SO much better! The past few Sundays, not a tear. This past week at the gym, not a tear. This past Saturday with a babysitter, not a tear. Who is this child? :-) I am so grateful.

We started swimming lessons a couple of weeks ago. The first lesson was not so fun. Luke cried quite a bit, along with the other kids too, so I know it's mean to say but I'm glad I wasn't the only one there with a whiny toddler! Last week was much more fun. He only cried a little and it was because he wanted to continue playing with something when it was time to move onto the next exercise. Hopefully it continues to get better.

We start soccer in a couple of weeks... that should be interesting. :-)

We'll keep you posted!
xoxo

5/6/10

Dancing, Apples and Helping Daddy

Shake your groove thang: (p.s. I have seen proof that we are not the only ones allowing our fragile child to dance on the coffee table! :)



One of Luke's everyday words (and snacks):


Daddy's little helper:

5/2/10

Sunday's Separation Scenario

I am so grateful for the response we received as a result of our last blog post. Thank you to those of you who shared your experiences and much appreciated words of wisdom and encouragement.

After thinking and praying more about it, Jeff and I came up with our plan! We had given both church service times a try (allowing several weeks for him to become comfortable in each one) and felt that if we had to choose which one he did "well" in, we would choose 1st service. It wasn't close to nap time or lunch time and would give us some wind down time when we got home before nap time. In addition, Jeff is going to change his ushering commitment to 1st service so we can be there as a family. So I'm really excited to stick with this! Well, maybe excited isn't the right word but I feel encouraged! :-)

And I'm happy to report that Day 1 of this brilliant plan began today. After a late night watching Avatar (great movie by the way!) I wasn't so sure how pulling us all together earlier in the morning would go but we did it! And Luke did REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WELL in the toddler room today! He started crying before we even reached the doors and cried a bit harder and louder as we handed him over so I was feeling confident our big red number would be flashing before we even sat down. But they didn't! And when we picked him up he was happily playing with toys and smiled when he saw us. I felt so relieved. Miss Carrie said he calmed down quickly and played very nicely the whole time. I cried. :-) We'll be praying for the same turn out next Sunday.... we'll see!

xoxo

4/25/10

April Update

April's been a beautiful month here. We've had great weather and Luke loves to be outside. We have often enjoyed jogs, trips to the park and play time in the backyard together. He has also loved his "active" role in helping his daddy with outdoor projects. Jeff's put some new plants in the backyard and front, as well as laid over four tons of river rock in our front yard. We got Luke a little wheelbarrow for Easter which was quite helpful in transferring the rock. So cute! And our front yard is finally feeling finished.. it looks great!

We spent Easter at Jen and Ryan's house and Luke ate his first jellybean. Or should I say first fifty jellybeans! He loved opening the eggs and was surprised each time they would scatter everywhere. And of course then he would eat them off of the ground. Gotta love it. He was spoiled, as usual, too. I had so much fun filling his little wheelbarrow with presents. We got him a couple of cd's (toddler tunes and praise music, so cute!), a Veggie Tales video, a new bathing suit and a few pieces of chocolate. He also got some cute things from Auntie Jen and Grandma/Grandpa, as well as an "Easter package" from Gigi and Don!

Last weekend, Luke turned 18 months! We had our usual dr. appointment on Tuesday and Luke weighed in at 28 pounds putting him in the 77th percentile for weight. This is the first time he's been under 90% since he was born. His height and head circumference continue to measure in the high 90's. So he's fairly proportionate and continuing to grow strong and healthy, as we always hope and pray for.

So what is Luke up to these days? His vocabulary is gradually increasing. It's hard not to grow impatient with his progress! It's so cute to hear him communicating that I just want to hear more. :-) Some of his "newer" words are: car, dirt, potty, rock, duck, book, ball, balloon (which he doesn't "fully" say but yes Jer, it counts!), surprise (he says "prise"), food, and more that I can't think of at the moment. He still loves his books, legos, blocks, balls, puzzles, and sadly, watching TV. I try to limit it but he does enjoy Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, Veggie Tales and occasionally we revisit the old days with Baby Einstein. He LOVES to run around... FAST. And then he usually falls. Lately he has been having "quiet time" in his crib with some of his books. He likes it and initiates it so why not?! :-) I leave his door open and he just calls for me when he's done. It's quite nice. I actually get to get a few things done around the house.

I wish we could report that his separation anxiety was improving. That would be my biggest frustration right now. The past several Sundays at church have not gone well.. one resulting in him throwing up. So, I'm not sure what we're going to do there besides keep trying but it's hard not to feel discouraged about it. It's such an effort! Of course, despite the challenges, he still lights up our lives! His cuddles and sweet laughter make up for it so I guess we'll keep him. :-)

Next month we look forward to swimming and soccer lessons and Luke will have the pleasure of doing both with his sweet little friend, Nora. So fun!

More soon... xoxo

4/22/10

Video Overload! :-)

Nothing exciting but here's Luke just before his Easter egg hunt:



Running at the park:



Lots of fun with the cousins:



I think this might be from November?? Just thought it was cute:

4/21/10

Pictures!

March Update!

I am the worst blogger ever. I think about blogging at least once each week but I just never get to it. I don't know why it seems like so much effort when it totally isn't. I just stink but as usual promise to try and be better. :-)

So since our last update, we enjoyed a visit from Jer, Tammie, Josh and Katie. Luke finally made it to the zoo for his first time. He played quite a bit with his two little cousins. We celebrated Jeff's parents' 45th wedding anniversary. Jeff enjoyed some golf. It was a busy, fun time!

March 18th, we celebrated our 4th anniversary. Gosh, 4 years?! An amazing blessing to celebrate. Sadly, we didn't do much that actual day (bad wifey). In fact, I think we had leftovers and caught up on some TV that night. Pretty boring but welcome to marriage after four years and being exhausted after putting your toddler to bed. Can I get an amen?! But we did head out to Palm Springs the last weekend of March for our first "vacation" without the little guy. It was SOOOO fun! Jeff's parents got some good bonding time with Luke and as we anticipated, Luke did not miss us at all. Didn't cry once. I, on the other hand... well... I didn't CRYYYY per se. I might've teared up a bit on our way out and once or twice over the weekend. But all in all I could've handled another night or two. It was really great to relive the earlier days... staying up late, sleeping in, relaxing pool side, dining out just the two of us... all in silence! It was pretty blissful, I cannot tell a lie. :-) And even though it was a perfect weekend and I'll look forward to the next time, it was a long three days to be away from our sweet boy! We loved getting home and seeing his reaction. He seemed pretty happy ... he started showing off right away and doing this little dance that he does when he's excited. Very cute.

I'll update for April soon and will shortly post pictures and video! You are going to be impressed at how quickly our next blog update comes! :-)

xoxo

3/7/10

Olympic Fun!

It's raining today... the perfect day to blog. :)

February was a fun month for us! We enjoyed a visit from my mom and Don who came thanks to a great deal Southwest ran a couple of months ago. It's always so nice to have an extra set of loving hands around. We had a relaxing weekend together with lots of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having. We look forward to seeing them again over the summer... we'll probably head to Texas at some point for a visit.

A week after mom and Don left, we headed to Vancouver for a week. So fun! Luke was his usual hyper self on the flight out there but slept through the night most of the time we were there. Unfortunately he did get sick towards the end of our trip which made the trip home a bit longggggg. He was SO naughty on the way home. Kicking the seat in front of us, throwing things over the seat in front of us, temper tantrums... so not fun & so embarassing. But he slept until almost 9 the next morning so he was forgiven. :) But I digress!! (the story of my life since Luke has entered it)

The hype in downtown Vancouver was fun to be a part of! The streets were blocked off with crowds everywhere (which made for very long lines) and there were people from all over the world there to cheer for their home countries. It was really cool to see. The weather was beautiful that day and we enjoyed the day with Jer and Tammie (without kids!). And although I didn't LOVEEEE the hockey game we went to, at least we can look back and say we attended an Olympic event. Who can say that?!! Now had we been at the Canada vs. USA game, that'd be a different story. Wasn't that a great one to watch?

So what is Luke up to these days besides misbehaving on airplanes? Well, he is busy as usual and sweet as can be. He is still working on talking but trust me, just because he is not talking doesn't mean he isn't making noise... this kid is loud! Screaming seems to be his new thing which means more discipline will be our new thing. And that's never fun. I'm not sure if you've heard of "Yo Gabba Gabba" but I have to tell you that there is one episode that we watch over and over called "New Friends". Have you heard of the actor, Jack Black? He is the guest actor for the episode and it is seriously outloud funny! That has been Luke's new favorite thing and it's the only show he actually sits and watches from start to finish so if you need an extra 30 minutes... ;) He still enjoys his books, puzzles and blocks and he loves to be outside or in the garage. It seems each day brings more cuddles our way. He is finally giving voluntary hugs and kisses which, of course, melts our hearts. Such a cutie!!

Tuesday brings more fun as Jer, Tam, Josh and Katie arrive for a fun filled 10 days. "Uke" can't wait to play with Josh and Katie again. They are all so cute together!

Will post pics and video some time this week... stay tuned!
xoxo

1/20/10

Luke is 15 Months old!

We can hardly believe our sweet little boy is 15 months old already! We had our appointment with our pediatrician this past Monday and were pleased to hear that Luke continues to be growing, physically and developmentally, right on track. He's pretty consistent with his "stats", remaining in the 80th percentile for weight and 96th percentile for height. Not a small boy by any means but he's healthy, which makes us happy.

What I don't like about these appointments is the shots and how they affect Luke. Ugh... ! It's been a rough few days. Swollen leg, fever, chills, runny diapers (FIVE yesterday!!), loss of appetite, crankiness, extra clingyness, etc. His reactions have been the same with past appointments so we're usually somewhat mentally prepared for it... that seems to help get through it a bit easier. Only two appointments left and then we're done with shots for a long time. I will say, though, that we do enjoy the extra cuddling with our sweet boy. It's pretty precious!

Here are some pictures from this past week... enjoy! xoxo

Luke and his "gf" Nora enjoying a ride on the quad together:



Luke and Nora "playing" in the ball house. I think Nora lures Luke in here for some "alone time" :)



Nora is such a sweet little girl and she loves to share:



Luke, on the other hand...:



And I just couldn't resist this one! He loves his new slippers from Gigi:

1/5/10

Happy New Year!

Okay so let's start with one of my New Year resolutions: BLOG MORE!! :) We'd like to wish everyone a very belated Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The past couple of months have been so much fun with Luke! He enjoyed his first Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins, courtesy of his Auntie Jen and Uncle Ryan. We enjoyed spending the day with their family and some friends from church.

This is probably the first December that we haven't been totally on the go and it was actually kind of nice. I had my office Christmas party, an ornament party with some great women from church, some birthday parties and I think that's about it! We've been busy with Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and lots of playdates and time at the park. Jeff took it easy with our lights this year so we weren't the brightest house on the block this season. It took us about a week to get our house decorated with the little guy running around but we finally got 'er done!

My favorite time of year is Christmas! I love everything about it... the lights, the music, the Christmas tree, the decorating, the chill in the air (yes, there's a chill even in Arizona!), time with family and most of all, the story and celebrating of the birth of a little baby who came to save the world. The Christmas Eve candlelight service is also my favorite. Jeff ushered at both services this year so I stood in the back with him and since Luke did not do well in the toddler room (again), he got to be with us as well. We hosted Christmas Eve festivities in our home with Jen, Ryan, their girls and Ryan's parents who were in town visiting. And then off to their house for Christmas Day dinner. It was fun!

Opening presents with Luke was VERY fun! He actually did quite well opening most of his own gifts, although I am sure the fun for him was tearing the paper! And he was spoiled... THANK YOU SO MUCH to our generous family & friends for all of the gifts you gave/sent him. He has loved his new books, videos, and toys.

New Year's Eve we spent with our dear friends, Scott, Erin and sweet Nora Bacchus. They made a wonderful dinner for us and we enjoyed some game time when the kids went down for sleep. We don't get much time together sans kids so it was a lot of fun. And we all made it to midnight... who'da thought?!! I have a feeling next year might not be too different!

And now for a Luke update:

*He is signing a few words: more, water, eat, thank you (sometimes on his own and sometimes with some coaxing)
*He is saying a few words: up, yes, dog, mama, dada
*He makes animal sounds: oinking, bocking, mooing, roaring
*He is pretty much sprinting... it's hilarious!
*He wakes up usually between 7 and 7:30, sleeping occasionally until 8
*He naps from about 11:30 until 1:30/2:00 most days
*His bedtime is anywhere between 7 and 7:30, occasionally closer to 8
*He's been off the bottle since shortly after he turned one... he has a sippy cup of milk when he first wakes up and a sippy cup of milk with 1/2 banana at bedtime.
*He eats pretty good. For breakfast he usually has fruit with one waffle or a piece of toast or a nutrigrain bar. He has a mid morning snack with some juice. Lunch is usually a cheese stick and 1/2 pbj sandwich or grilled cheese or quesadilla. He has a mid afternoon snack with some milk and then dinner at 5:45. He'll usually eat what we are having. Since he doesn't know any better, he usually enjoys what I've made. :)
*He is VERY into anything with wheels.
*He is VERY into his books.
*He is VERY into light switches.
*He is VERY into Mooshu. I have to say that Mooshu comes in quite handy some days. She is SO good and gentle with Luke and Luke loves to provoke her.
*We are still struggling a bit with separation and stranger anxiety. I am praying that doesn't last much longer.
*He is almost done with teething, with the exception of his 2 year molars. I can't say I've enjoyed this process.
*He is a major cuddler... he loves to sit on our lap and nestle his little head into our necks while reading or watching a video.
*He is absolutely attached to his blankie, teddy and soother (pacifier). Uh oh??
*He sleeps with white noise on and he actually sleeps better with it a bit on the loud side. We have it set to "rain". I think he'd sleep really well without it if we ever moved to Vancouver! :)
*He has not tried to climb out of his crib yet, surprisingly!
*He is climbing onto the coffee table, the ottoman and his toy box. He is quite proud of himself too.

This might be information overload for some of you so I'll call it quits as this list could go on and on and on! We are very thankful for a healthy little boy. He brings an abundance of joy to our family and everyday he is learning something new. It's just amazing to be a part of and I am grateful for the privilege to be his mommy. Now remind me I said this next time he wakes up in the middle of the night screaming! :)

Here's what going on the next few months for us: we've decided that if we get a "great deal" on flights that we will head up to Vancouver to watch the Olympics with our family. We may not get to go to the actual Olympic Games but that's okay. My mom will be here for a visit in early February. Jer, Tam and our niece and nephew will be here along with Jeff's parents in March. And I am hoping to make it to New York in April to introduce Luke to so many special people!

Pictures to follow shortly... and I hope to be blogging again soon with some Luke updates! xoxo