Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Dump

These posts are maybe a little out of order, but I had lots of photos and things that I wanted to post so that I wouldn't forget about them.  There are several posts, so keep scrolling if you are interested!

And while I'm at it, here's a photo from the other night at Target.  Isaac is getting sooo excited for Halloween and loves to check out all of the costumes and decorations at the store.  I was worried that Luke might be frightened by some of the crazy masks that Isaac kept putting on, but he thought they were hysterical. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Charlie and I had been talking about taking a little mini vacation all summer long, and finally decided to go to Scottsdale for Labor Day weekend.  We wanted to stay at the Fairmont since we loved the resort in Maui so much last year.  Unfortunately, when we booked our Scottsdale trip no one at the Fairmont bothered to mention the big Labor Day extravaganza that would be going on at the resort that weekend.  That was a surprise that we got to deal with once we arrived.

The drive there was uneventful and the boys were both pretty well behaved.  We officially moved Luke to the big boy car seat for this trip and he now gets to ride facing forward.  They both kept busy with the iPad, DVD player, and some snacks.  Luke even took a short little nap.  (The cut on Luke's forehead is from Isaac accidentally knocking him over and into the corner of a table at his speech clinic the day before.)

When we checked in at the Fairmont late Friday afternoon we were told all about the "Dreamcation" cruise ship theme and all of the activities they had planned.  We were kind of indifferent to it at that point, not really knowing what kind of chaos it would turn into.  We headed straight to the pool to cool off.  It was in the low 100's all weekend, which was certainly hot but not unbearable since there is no humidity and we were mostly relaxing by the pool.  Friday was the best time that we had at the pool because on Saturday the crowds started arriving.

After swimming we headed out to dinner at Cracker Barrel.  Charlie and I both love that place and there are no restaurants anywhere close to us in CA, so we always look for them when we are traveling.  Back at the hotel we got everyone ready for bed and just a few minutes after putting Luke & Isaac down we were startled by the thundering sound of fireworks right outside our door.  There was no way the boys were going to sleep through that, so we headed out to the balcony.

We started the day bright and early on Saturday.  There is no sleeping in with Luke around!  Charlie -my crazy husband - went for an 8 mile run in the 100 degree heat.  I opted for a treadmill in the air conditioned hotel gym.

We read online ahead of time that the resort had a lagoon where you could fish so Charlie packed Isaac's little pole that his Grandpa Wood bought for him last summer.  Isaac was really excited to go fishing so we gave it a try on Saturday morning.  But Isaac is not very patient so Charlie held the line while Isaac fed crumbs of our zucchini bread from home to the tiny fish that were hovering along the shallow edge.  I followed Luke around while he threw little rocks and climbed on the big ones.  We eventually gave up and decided to try again later.  On our way to the pool we saw another family catch a rather large catfish so at least we knew there was some biting going on.

The best part about the pools at this resort were the two giant water slides.  Isaac of course loved them, but Charlie and I both agreed they were pretty cool too.  Luke's favorite part of the pool was the shallow "zero entry" area with little splashing fountains for him to play in.  He loved running in and out, in and out of the water and also carrying around and throwing rocks from the landscape borders.

It was nice to relax back in the room in the afternoon and enjoy the air conditioning - a luxury we don't have at our house.  Isaac watched movies, Luke napped, we ordered room service, etc.  Here is Luke with his prized graham cracker.  He loves having food to walk with and snack on.  He eats much better that way than when sitting in a high chair.  

We did a little shopping and found a random Mexican restaurant to eat at.  We were kind of forced to keep the boys up late every night since the firework show did not start until 9:15.  Might as well do some night time swimming.  They were doing a "techno" water slide at night with flashing strobe lights and techno music.  It was kinda cool but also a little gimmicky.  Isaac liked it though and Luke always busts a move when he hears music.  We headed back to our room and got the boys bathed and in their pjs and ready for the fireworks. 

By Sunday the crowds at the pool were pretty ridiculous.  I think we would have enjoyed our pools at home more.  We had to wear wristbands, the attendants were doing bag checks, the chair service was pretty much non-existant, the water dispensers were empty, there was loud music blaring, and every time we got up to get in the pool an attendant would slap a card on our chairs letting us know that if we weren't back in an hour they would be moving our stuff.  Totally annoying!  And you better believe we let them know about it too.  

Regardless of this nonsense we spent most of the day at the pool.  The lines for the water slide were crazy long so Isaac spent most of his time just floating around the pool on a boogie board.  Funny kid could literally spend all day in the water if you let him.  Luke was a grumpster that day and wasn't happy in the pool or out of the pool.  Just climbing in and out, in and out.  I tried getting a picture of Charlie with the boys, but you can see for yourself how happy they all were about that idea.  

We eventually threw in the towel and headed back to the room for Luke's nap.  Charlie & Isaac tried fishing again that evening.  There was another kid across the water who was using a hot dog for bait and he caught several little fish and one of those big catfish like we had seen earlier.  Luke found some big rocks to climb on and Isaac was back at it tossing in crumbs for the baby fish.  We were just about to call it quits when Charlie caught something!  Isaac's little pole is not super strong but Charlie was able to reel in a catfish right to the edge of the water before he broke the line.  I barely caught a glimpse of it in the photo but we all got a good look at it with our own eyes and Isaac was really excited.  

We went back to Cracker Barrel that night for dinner.  Luke is never easy at restaurants, but as I mentioned earlier this was definitely not his best day.  I commented to Charlie afterwards that I felt like I was in some kind of a food eating contest where I was racing to shove it in as fast as possible.  Not the most enjoyable meal.  We swam again that night and on the way back to our room Isaac plucked a fox tail because he'd never seen one and thought it looked cool.  Then he proceeded to chase Luke around the room tickling him with it while Luke shrieked and giggled in delight.  

We were eager to get on the road Monday morning so we packed up and headed out.  I wish I could say that the drive home was as peaceful as the way there.  But I can't.  And hopefully it was lack of sleep that was making Luke so ferocious, but I'm not sure I can claim that either.  Anyway the screams coming from the back seat made us seriously consider canceling our upcoming trip to Barbados.  We love this kid but my goodness he can be a monster!  He did not want to be in that seat and anything we handed him would only appease him for about 2 minutes before he would send it flying.  He eventually wore himself out with all the screaming and slept for half an hour.  Thank goodness.

It maybe wasn't the best vacation ever.  Okay it wasn't, but we did have fun and are still glad that we went.  Please send prayers our way that Luke can chill out just a bit for a couple of long flights coming up at the end of the month.  Thanks!  And I'll be reporting back soon.   

The Climber

Oh Luke, what will you climb next?   It is kind of hilarious watching him pull his tiny body up onto anything and everything within his reach.  At least he hasn't started stacking things yet.

(A lot of these are blurry phone photos because sometimes it just doesn't seem wise to run off and grab a nicer camera.)

His little ride-on car is a favorite to climb.  He uses it to get a better view of all of the treasures he has tossed into the laundry basket.

This is not really climbing, but he does love standing in his high chair.  He can wiggle out of the buckle and squirm his way up through the top.  Same goes in shopping carts, so he usually rides in the basket in the back. 

Here he is raiding Isaac's toy cabinet with the help of a little chair.  I think Isaac put the chair there but I'm not positive.  Wouldn't surprise me a ton if it were Luke.  (Crazy hair-do courtesy of the fan.) 

Climbing a fence at Charlie's company picnic.  

Luke does not like to stay buckled in his stroller unless the stroller is moving or if he has a snack to eat. In this photo he has turned around and climbed up the back side of it.  

The resort we stayed at in Scottsdale had lots of large landscaping rocks.  Perfect for climbing! 

Our bed is probably one of his favorite things to climb.  Luke usually follows me into whatever room I am in, but on a few occasions he has snuck off into our bedroom and climbed up on the bed.  It is all about the game for him because once he got up there he would call out for me "Maaaa!  Maaa!" just so I could come and chase him and tickle him and carry him off of the bed like I always do.  

Here's a fun one:  Isaac's car garage.  

A recent favorite is this basket that we use for recycling newspapers and magazines.  He especially likes to climb up there when Charlie is watching TV and he will bring a ball to throw at Charlie and play catch with.  He's also scooted this basket over to the coffee table to help him climb up.  

Tonight he reached new heights.  He discovered that he could climb onto one of the kitchen chairs and from there it was an easy step up to the table.  Oh dear!  I am a little worried about this new discovery. 

And I think the table stunt gave him some extra confidence because a few minutes later he made his way up onto Isaac's bed for the first time.  He has been trying to do this for months but his little legs are too short to bridge that big step.  So tonight he just gripped the comforter and used all of his strength to pull himself up.  I was actually kind of proud of him.  He & Isaac had a grand old time jumping around up there.  

He is a busy little guy!  He is getting pretty fast and when Isaac plays with him Luke will run around the house screeching and laughing.  

He also has this funny habit of putting things over his head.  

He does it a lot with his lovey blankets that he carries all around the house with him.  Before he could walk he would throw them over his head so that he could use his hands for crawling.  Now I'm not sure what the purpose of throwing a blanket over his head is, but it makes me laugh.  

I also have to mention his other favorite thing to do which is throwing.  But I don't have many pictures of that.  He throws anything and everything.  At first it was just his balls (which he still LOVES), but soon he started throwing food.  Not so funny.  He is kind of a picky eater and when he decides he is done with something he just hurls it in any direction. Usually Cracker will clean it up, but still.  Luke also loves to throw things out of shopping carts.  It was funny maybe the first two times, but it got old really quick.  His favorite is to throw produce that he can watch roll and bounce around, but he will throw anything that he can manage to lift up and over.  Little stinker!  Nothing in his little world is off limits: sand, rocks, toys, remote controls, pacifiers, etc.  He drives me just a little, okay a lot, crazy!  Good thing he is so adorable.

We recently switched from two naps a day down to one.  He was still sleeping well for both naps but we had a couple of nights where he would not go to sleep at bedtime and was awake until about 11:00 pm.  So I cut out the morning nap and moved his afternoon nap up.  It's been a rough adjustment because he is pretty still pretty tired during the day.  And three hours of church is tough for everyone, right?

And last but not least, Luke had his 15 month check-up last week.  He is a tiny little guy.  He is 30 1/2 inches, which is the 25th percentile and 21 lbs which puts him in just the 5th - 10th percentile.  I can't help but wonder if maybe this has something to do with all of the food he throws overboard from his high chair?  But the doctor says as long as he is still growing and in proportion that he is just fine.

Swimming and the Beach

Even though Southern CA doesn't really cool off until late October or November, I think "summer" is pretty much coming to an end.  We've had a good one though!  We made dozens of trips to the lagoon down the street and had several beach days as well.  I wanted to post a few pictures from our various visits.

I had been telling my sister Sandy about the tide pools in Laguna that Isaac loves so much and she wanted to bring her kids to see them too.  Her husband Chris took a day off work and they drove out to go to the beach with us.  We went in the afternoon so it was much more crowded than our usual morning trips.  Luke and I spent most of our time up on the sand playing and eating snacks.  

Uncle Chris took the older kids out to the tide pools.  But Sandy told me later that he was a party pooper and wouldn't let them feed the crabs.  I guess technically you aren't supposed to, but it's not like we've been feeding them Doritos or anything.  They eat the muscles anyway!  We're just helping nature along.  Anyway, the kids all had fun exploring out there and getting little glimpses of the sea creatures. 

Isaac has always been timid around the ocean.  Whenever we go to Hawaii or some other beach vacation it always takes him a few days to warm up to the idea of getting anywhere near the water.  On this particular beach trip he was able to get over his paranoia within an hour or so.  At first he was clutching my hand for dear life and screaming "DON'T GO ANY FURTHER!!!!  RIGHT?!?!?!"  It was just a little bit funny.  But by the time we were ready to leave, Chris was helping him ride waves up to the sand on a boogie board.  

But Luke, on the other hand - who usually loves playing in the waves - wanted nothing to do with them on that day.  

We also finished up Isaac's swimming lessons in August.  He took two sessions of them and he started out strong, but by the end all he wanted to do was play.  He also started plugging his nose all the time -   and you just can't learn to swim very well with only one arm!  So I bought him this silly nose plug which he loved.  He was able to swim about halfway across the pool on his own, but he preferred to just bob around under water with his goggles on rather than working on strokes or technique.  We'll try again next summer.  

We spent several Saturdays at the lagoon with our whole family.  In past summers we've spent every Saturday at one of our neighborhood pools, but this year with Luke it was much easier to go to the lagoon because he can play on his own in the shallow water.  Luke also discovered the slide and loved for us to take him down it over and over again.  I love his face in this photo:

Here's a rare shot of Isaac & Luke actually playing together.  They were dumping handfuls of wet sand on each other. 

There's been a few evenings when Charlie got home from work and it was just so hot in our house, so we'd head over to the lagoon for an evening swim to cool off.  I love not having to deal with sunblock on squirmy protesting children!  Here is Luke throwing handfuls of sand.  

It was 100 degrees here last weekend and we did not want to be home in our hot house, so we spent Saturday morning at the beach.  I know I've said it before, but we love love love this cove in Laguna and getting there first thing in the morning is the best.  It almost feels a little Hawaii-ish.  

Okay, I usually would not take much notice of a man in a Speedo but these ones had me cracking up.  We spotted the really pale guy first, and let me tell you those bikini briefs were just about as high cut in the back as they are in the front.  Oh my gosh, Charlie & I were just dying!  The bigger guy was pretty funny too and when they all started posing for photos I just couldn't help pulling out my camera too.  I just wish I would have caught the moment when a wave snuck up behind them and sent them all tumbling down.  Too funny!

Maybe we'll try and sneak in another beach trip or two while it is still warm.  Anyone want to join us?