Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy Birthday to Luke!

Our baby is 3! It's hard to believe the amount of changes that have occurred in the past year. The biggest being the improvement in speech. Luke went from barely understandable to a fluent child. He talks all the time in well-thought out sentences and we can generally understand every word (not always, but usually). The other big change is probably being potty trained. It is so nice not to have any kids in diapers. Well, we still put him in a diaper at night. And, he wears a pull-up when we do car drives longer than an hour or so, since he is still working on giving us advance notice of when he has to go.  But, overall, I would say he is potty trained and he was super easy to get to this point, which was a huge relief.

Some things that haven't changed--he still loves, loves, loves to play catch. He also loves soccer, basketball and even golf. Basically, anything with a ball is right up his alley. He enjoys doing puzzles and loves story time at the library, especially ring-a-round-the-rosie and the bubbles they blow at the end. He is clever and says silly things that make us all laugh. The other day, the mom of one of Kara's friends was commenting on how her daughter's white coat had turned gray. Luke was passing by and said, "well, that's just terrible" to her and kept walking. Luke hears everything!

When you ask him to do something he doesn't want to, generally he will consent with an "oh, fine," in a slightly irritated voice. I had no idea where this came from until I heard myself say it, then I noticed it was something Kara did as well. Apple and tree and all that. Another humorous phrase Luke uses is, "it's too heavy." He uses that whenever he doesn't want to do something. I think it started out innocent enough. Someone asked Luke to put a toy away and he said that it was too heavy.  Since it got him out of doing the chore, he started using that excuse for everything. "I can't put my plate away, it's too heavy!" or "I don't want to eat my broccoli, it's too heavy!" It was pretty funny at first...

He loves to talk about his favorite part of the day, which up until our trip to Florida was always, "going to Six Flags." Since Florida, he has amended that to, "Six Flags Studios," which is what he calls Universal. After he tells us that, he always waits for us to ask his favorite ride (and, if we don't ask, he will remind us to ask him), which varies between the Cat and the Hat and the Hippogriff Roller Coaster.

I think he is very smart. He can count objects up to about 10 with accuracy and he has recognized all letters and numbers (up to 10) for several months. Actually, I have no idea whether that is smart, or right where he should be, but I am going to go with smart, because I want to (of course, he hasn't picked up that the rest of us only name something we did on the day in question when answering "favorite part of the day," but, whatever).

He has a sweet personality, although we are starting to see glimpses of the tyrannical toddler years. He has hit his siblings a few times when they haven't caved to his demands, but cries like the injured party when timeout is imposed. Fortunately, I have never seen him be aggressive toward anyone outside the family and he is an excellent sharer and turn-taker, which we appreciate. He is actually pretty patient for a brand-new 3-year-old. His siblings are great with him. He is still everyone's favorite and they go out of their way to make him happy. They are (almost) always willing to play with him and they treat him sweetly and in return, he loves and adores them.

We didn't plan a party for Luke. We had our big trip a couple of weeks ago, so we decided to keep it simple and take him to the zoo. But, he has been to a few parties lately and I thought he might want something more, so I sent out a quick e-mail invite to the parents of the littles in our neighborhood and got a good crowd to come over and play, sing, and enjoy a cupcake on his big day. It was completely last minute, but the weather was nice and we managed to wrangle up about 10 kids, which was nice. Then, one of our friends (and neighbors) stayed for dinner, which was Luke's requested "noodles" (Luke's favorite food is Pasta Roni Fettucine Alfredo, for his birthday, we let him eat to his heart's content, not forcing him to choke down any chicken or vegetables with it). Luke opened his presents and we watched Moana and ate popcorn. It was a fun day! Oh, Luke also got to be birthday leader at school. I am not exactly sure what that entails. But, I know they made him a birthday banner and we sent in cupcakes and he was very excited about all of that. So, for a kid with no party, he was pretty celebrated. As for gifts, I think his favorite are his Magic Tracks.

At "school"
Looks like a party, right?


Today (Saturday) we took an ill-fated trip to the zoo. It was tough to get everyone in the car and as we were doing our metro card check, we realized we couldn't find the cards. We turned around and spent about 15 minutes searching for them, only to discover they were right where they were supposed to be (and where we had both looked). We took the metro in and tried a new stop, which didn't require switching lines. It was a super easy, downhill walk, but I REALLY had to use the restroom. I seriously can't remember being that uncomfortable since a long bus ride to the Tokyo airport when I was pregnant with Jack and Anna. Then, the ill-fated finale struck and Luke got sick at lunch and threw up on Thomas. Then, he (they, would be more accurate) just wanted to get home. Of course, home was not an easy distance away. By the time we did get home, Luke's fever was at 101.6. I don't know what's wrong with him, but it doesn't appear to be a stomach issue (I actually think the throwing up was more of a choking reflex, since he said his stomach was fine and he wanted to keep eating).  Of course, that distinction didn't help Thomas. But, on the plus side, the weather was really nice and it was good to be outside and using the new metro stop was easy and only resulted in a slightly longer walk than the usual metro stop.

The only picture I took all day. 

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