Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First playtime at the park

Luke Video 2-2010 009 blog Now that he’s a one-year-old kiddo, I thought it was high time that we started visiting our local park to let Luke play. This afternoon’s exploratory trip was mostly a success. Luke loved the park; he quickly warmed up to the baby swing, the slide, and was thrilled to walk around on the platforms and spin the attached toys. I was impressed by the general cleanliness of the equipment, the sturdy, tall-sided basket-swings, and I’m a big fan of the clever double slides that allow Luke and Mommy to safely descend side by side.

I was also struck afresh by what a wonderful location we live in. We arrived at the park after a fifteen-minute walk along quiet roads. On the way we passed an elementary school, which offers another interesting outing – Luke loves to walk by at the end of the school day to see all the kids pass by, the cars going and coming, and the lines of children loading up the big yellow buses. Just past the park is Costco, another fun, frequently-visited destination we visit on foot. What a blessing to be so close!

The unfortunate part of our park outing was that I didn’t realize that the temperatures had lowered and it was quite chilly outside. Luke didn’t seem cold to me while we were out, but looking at the high of 43 for the day and thinking about how long we were out for, I think I should have had more layers on him. Sorry little guy! I’m afraid I inadvertently benefited from how wiped out he was from the cold and play; he took three naps today!

Luke Video 2-2010 013

I see many trips to the park, longer naptimes, warmer dressing, sturdier shoe-wearing, and maybe even new park friends in our future! 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birthday boy!

Lukes First BDay 114 blog Our little bambino turned one on Friday and what a blessing it was to celebrate the joyful year we’ve been given with him. We are ever amazed at the playful, busy, inquisitive, social, and more-and-more adorable little person he is. We still swoon at all his precious little sounds, expressions, and antics. Grandma and Grandpa Nielsen flew out to visit us for the week and Luke loved being the center of four adults’ attention. Papi and Generational-Name-Yet-To-Be-Determined Ferry didn’t want to miss the occasion either, so they skyped in with their own birthday cake, candle, and song for the little boy.

All things considered, the L-man was much more laidback than we anticipated when it came to his bday cake and hat. After some initial resistance, he actually left the hat on undisturbed for an extended length of time, giving us plenty of time to snap festive pics. He certainly enjoyed his cake and consumed the majority of a piece. But he ate it with considerable calm and restraint given that it was his first sustained exposure to chocolate and intense sugar! In the photo above, you can see him take his first bite in his cute smock-bib, our little numero uno.

Lukes First BDay 323 blogAs it turns out, the little guy’s gift roundup tended toward the ambitious side for a one-year-old. His big presents were Duplos, an outdoor playset, and a bike! He really is such a fortunate little kiddo that he has just about all the wonderful baby toys needed anywhere except a daycare, so it made sense to choose ‘to-grow-with’ toys. Erik and I have already had a lot of fun building with the Duplos, and Luke enjoys banging them together and putting the box on his head. We all laugh when Erik calls the box’s clear lid a ‘baby riot shield’ – Luke is modeling it for you to the left.

Luke’s new-to-us playset gives our yard a little more color and a family feel. Luke hasn’t quite managed to climb up on it by himself yet, but he’s quite close to making it onto the first platform and it’s fun to send him down the slide.

bday blog 2 We’re also excited about the clever design to Luke’s new green machine – his Strider running bike! Instead of pedals, the two-wheeled bike is propelled Flintstone-style by Luke’s two legs. At first toddlers just hold the handlebars and walk, but over time kids learn balance and can zoom along by pushing off while sitting on the seat. We were inspired by several impressive videos on YouTube and so we envision Luke eventually riding it around our house’s quiet cul-de-sac, as well as on paths around the city during family bike rides. But first Luke’s legs need to get just a little bit longer – he can barely touch at the moment!

We are so thankful for our Luke-a-love and treasure each day we’re given to play and learn and grow with him. God bless you in the year to come, sweet little boy!

Bday blog 1

Click HERE for many more bday pics!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The little librarian

Luke 2-2010 081 blog“Why don’t you go get a book, Luke?” Two little legs plod over to the shelf and then bend as Luke carefully reaches down to select a favorite title. He raises it above his head and looks at us, as if to say ‘how about this one?’

“Bring it over here,” we coach him. He obeys and sits down beside us with a few excited bounces as we open to the first page.

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure why he likes reading so much. Is it just the colorful pictures and melodious sound of his parents’ voices? Doesn’t he see bright colors and hear our voices all day long with or without books? Perhaps a more likely motivation is the sense of control that books allow him – he chooses the title, turns the pages, and we almost never say no to reading a book.

To keep countless re-reads a little more interesting for myself, I set challenges – how fast can I list all the foods listed on the tummy ache page of Very Hungry Caterpillar? How consistently can I individualize each character’s voice in The Egg in the Hole Book? Can I memorize all the rhyming lines of On the Farm without confusing it with Fuzzy Chick? Can I avoid losing my sanity?? At this stage, Luke and I both find strange things to love about our cozy story time routine!

Luke 2-2010 080 blog Mom, I think you did the pig’s voice wrong.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

First big haircut!

Unfortunately, I must interrupt the stream of joyful posts to bring you some grim news... Luke's adorable locks have been chopped short! And the tale turns treacherous as the evil perpetrator for this crime was none other than Luke's very own Daddy.

To the left, please enjoy a pic of our beautiful Luke boy, pre-haircut.

Then check out the forlorn fellow below after the big chop! Yes, yes, his hair doesn't get in his eyes and constantly hold caked food that is smeared there during attempts to brush his hair aside (in order to better see his food). But this 'trim' took a turn for the extreme that I had a little trouble adjusting to.

With time, however, I've come to realize that Erik actually did a fairly admirable job considering Luke's lack of compliance with haircut protocol. And my pragmatic husband was motivated by the somewhat reasonable goal of avoiding frequent battles to keep a squirmy Luke still. So I've edged back from my 'you should never cut his hair again' stance to a simple vow to communicate the haircut parameters much better next time. And, really, he is still pretty charming, haircut or not (Erik and Luke that is, see below)!