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2008: The Year of the Toddler
by Universal Sea
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x Universal Sea   - at 10:30 pm on Wednesday January 16‚ 2008 x
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x Universal Sea looks like one of those fucked blog threads again
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:13 pm on Monday January 14‚ 2008 x
x 2008: The Year of the Toddler x
x jeffwith1f Day 382

Screw it. Privacy aside, how can I expect not to be writing about the most interesting thing going on in my life? I'll stop writing about Luke when he can tell me to stop posting about him.

let's see. what's happened over the last couple of weeks

He has started walking. I know we posted a movie of some first steps a while ago, but it seemed that he was disinclined to continue that trend for several weeks, then suddenly about half way through last week, he started to trundle around on two feel like a drunken midget. We race him around for fun in the evenings to tire him out. He loves it, and giggles while he stumbles forward. I believe the record at the moment is about 14 consecutive steps.

He still likes to cram his hand down my throat while he is falling asleep. He has also taken to trying to ram his fingers up my nose. Being a live and let live kind of guy, I let him do this last night, only he shoved his finger so far up my nose it started to bleed. Ow.

Tooth # 10 made an apearance amidst alot of crying and screaming. It's at the lower back on the left side, fifth from center we think.

sorry Luke. I could not stop. Forgive me!
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x Unread post xMarc   - at 9:52 pm on Wednesday January 16‚ 2008 x
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x Marc He toddles ?

Toddler !!!
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 7:05 pm on Monday January 21‚ 2008 x
x Day 389 x
x jeffwith1f Day 389

the walking around continues.
I think he is starting to say "Cat", which I gather from the fact that he keeps pointing at the cats and making the same noise (it comes out kind of like "cha-cha-chat")

he'll get there.

also, a whole pile of teeth just came in. it's like he got 3 or 4 or maybe 5 all at once. That would explain the foul mood he's been in. I think we're seeing the start of one of his molars. yikes.

toothy toddler
terrazing.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:54 pm on Sunday March 2‚ 2008 x
x Day 429 x
x jeffwith1f Day 429

I know that the updates have been very few recently, in part because I have had a new job that has kept me very very busy, but also in part because Luke and UKGirl spent late January and most of February in England with his maternal grandparents.

Let's see....

he walks all the time now, forgoing crawling in pretty much every circumstance. After a year of watching him be imobile, then able to roll, then finally crawling around, it is almost disconcerting to be sitting down and watch him walk past in the corner of your eye. They grow up so fast. So, walking it is, even if sometimes the way he walks is reminicient of a drunken midget.

Here is some video of him taking a bath while in England with our friend's child Lucas. This always puts a smile on my face.


While he was away this time I think he definately changed more than I noticed last time. His face is distinctly rounder once I saw it again a month after last seeing it, perhaps the last time for a long time that I will not see him for that legth of time, but thankfully he seemed to remember me, and I am also happy to report that he remains a super good flyer, sleeping most of the way over, and mostly behaving himself on the way back, with no big tantrums or much crying even though he was awake for the bulk of the 8hr 15 minute flight home. It was wonderful to see them both.

One of the things I noticed on his return is that he is becoming more aware of us around him, and when I call his name, he turns and looks at me. that's awesome, he' learning who he is, and seems to recognize his name. He also seems to know that he wants crackers.

What else? He continues to be very active, more so than his peers. Now that he is running around, it's even more like he wants to be everywhere at once. No Fear either, in public, he'll take off in unfamiliar spaces surrounded by unfamiliar people and run out of sight. We're going to need a baby leash, which before now, I'm pretty sure we thought was an abomination, but now I think we're seeing that we'll need one or we will surely loose him in a crowd at some point. So far so good, but future Luke, we apologize in advance for making you the incredible tethered toddler.

Recently he's finally learned how to use a straw, after some clever teaching from mother UKGirl. Although this skill is somewhat tempered by the fact that sometimes he seems to forgets to swallow, and just lets whatever he has sipped up (usually water) just run out of his mouth. It is quite disgusting, but he finds it funny, so that tempers it with a spoonful fo cute.

At this point, I'd say the greatest challenge for UKGirl and myself are differnent things. He seems to babble and vocalize much of the time, and when he's tired or upset he doesn't so much cry as moan and whinge. This seems to cut to the very soul of UKGirl and she can't stand it, while it does not seem to bother me at all, I could happily ignore it for hours, assuming I know that he's fed and dry and otherwise not in pain. For me, my greatest struggle is the insanely messy home we seem to have. it took Luke all of 10 minutes to untidy the living room that I had tidied and kept ordered for a month while he was away. the kitchen is always a chaotic mess of food on the floor, and baby food packages with various amounts of leftover food in them all over. His bedroom is a mess as is ours. Everywhere I look is just fucking mess and it makes me want to cry. I try to clean up, but again, it's my own private windmill, as it seems not to bother UKGirl like it bothers me. All in all, we're lucky as there could be way worse problems.

Finally, today when Friends came on, we noticed that the theme music made him stop in his tracks and start dancing. It was pretty much the most adorable and hillarious thing either of us have seen. He's not a terribly good dancer, but he sways back and forth and bobs up and down. It's freaking awesome, although I am pretty sure that this qualifies him as a candidate for "whitest baby in the world." It's very cute. We'll see if we can capture it on video.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on March 2‚ 2008 at 9:00 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:15 pm on Tuesday March 4‚ 2008 x
x Day 431 x
x jeffwith1f Day 431

here's an exciting tip for parents. your tax return will contain surprises.

Let's say, as a parent on maternity/paternity leave that you made more than say $40,000k per year, or whatever the salary is that qualifies you to earn the full maternity benefit (it's around that amount).

this means that you will earn $21,000 a year as the income from your maternity benefits. awesome. as everyone knows that's enough to live off of, especially when you live in the city, as the denizens of the city are known for pitching in and paying thier neighbours mortgage, and leaving food on your doorstep.

also know that of that 21,000 you will also pay tax on it. fortunately for you the gov';t will take this off your Maternity benefit checks as you recieve it, so whne you come to file your taxes you will not be hit with any sudden bills, even thought after your year living (with a new baby) on your govt money, you are sure to be absolutely flush with cash. Surely you are eyeing that luxury SUV, or some expensive jewlery at this point.

Addon top of this the uber-generous Child allowance of $100 a month that you eventually recieve (about 6 months into the process after all the paper work goes through, but it's OK, because you don't need the money because you and your child are living the high life on the other $21,000)

What they don't tell you, of course, is that this extra $1200 that the government gives you to raise your child with is not taxed, so when this is added to your tax return as income, you find that you suddenly owe the govt about $300 in uncollected taxes.

thank god. I see so many new parents walking around, spilling 20's out of their back pockets, shopping for new ivory back-scratchers, that I think it's only fair that the giv't see fit to claw back about 25% (or more) of the additional pittance that they offer up. It's extra fun that this comes as a hidden surprise as a one time fee when you file.

Ladies and Gentlemen. I give you the Government of Canada. Masters of the "Give with one hand, while taking with the other."

Astonishing
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:52 pm on Saturday March 8‚ 2008 x
x Day 434 x
x jeffwith1f Day 434

success!

bedtimes are, in some ways, the nicest time of day with Luke, in that it's really the only time of day that he's not trying to go 8 ways at once, and will sit or lie with me and we just kind of interact with each other

for 8 months I have been trying to teach him "Da da" and "Luke" as I alternate pointing at me, and at him. He certainly has used the term "Da da" for quite some time, but sometimes he says it when he's holding a stuffed animal or a biscuit, so his grasp of the concept of himself, and myself appears to be tenuous, at best. Tonight, however, for the first time, I pointed at him and said "Luke" and immediately following, he pointed at me and said "Da da".

it's like he get it. that, or he's mimicing. either way, clearly something is going on in his brain. So freaking awesome.

Also, earlier today, having braved the storm to make it to the local mart, I happened across a 50% toy sale which had some fort building kits in it that I picked up.

It has been a long time since I have seen him this happy for such a long time (2 sustained hours of glee) I remember building forts out of couch cusions growing up. good times. Luke now has about 8 feet of collapsable tunnel, and enough foam tubing and light fabric to make about 54 cubic feet of fort. or boat. or spaceship, whatever he wants. It's an interesting modular system of lengths of tubing that connect at nodes magnetically so it all comes apart and can be reattached easily. Loads of fun for years to come I hope.

It does tend to overwhelm the living room though, but welcome to the story of our lives. Seeing him so happy actually makes it worth it.

  

  
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 11:37 am on Thursday March 13‚ 2008 x
x Day 438 x
x jeffwith1f Day 438

Luke has had his first couple of days in Daycare! Daycare providers typically ask that you slowly phase in a child to thier daycare provision, and we have taken the opportunity to avail ourselves of our prefered provider of this service while UKGirl attends some interviews, hopefully securing employment shortly so that we, in fact, require daycare. While not cheap, it's nessesary as I don't think we can afford to remain a single income household, and while much of the second income will be whisked away by the need for daycare, we should still be up some dough at the end of the week. Also, it's important that both UKGirl and Luke get out and socialize with others.

Whne I dropped him off the other morning, he took off into the room of other kids without so much as looking back. I've heard about the menu that he is being providced and I can't help but feel that he is eating better than me.

They grow up so quick. Our provider was kind enough to snap some pictures of Luke during his first day.

  
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Edited by jeffwith1f on March 13‚ 2008 at 10:38 am
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:51 pm on Thursday March 20‚ 2008 x
x Day 443-444 x
x jeffwith1f Day 443-444

Luke's first overnight stay at a hospital.

It has not been an easy couple of days. It started on Monday when Luke started throwing up. By tuesday he was quite sad and listless, and UKGirl took him to the Doctor who said that it was probably a flu and as long as he kept hydrated, he should ultimately be OK. He was throwing up anything he ate, but by the end of the day he was at least keeping down water, and our homemade pedialyte. (a water, sugar and salt mixture, basically home made gatorade).

Weds he woke up, now with diarreha, and still not able to keep down his morning bottle. UKGirl had to go out for interviews, so I stayed home to tend to him. He was now no longer able to hold down water. Our little boy who normally is trying to go 5 ways at once spent most of the day asleep, and when he was awake, he would simply lie on the couch quietly, or lay still on my lap. This was quite cute, but very troubling. The last time he lay on me this still, he was 3 days old. Something was clearly not right.

While he was evacuating his bowels, I was not seeing any urine, and he continued vomit, sometimes becoming dry heaves, so after UKGirl returned, we decided to take him to the hospital, getting worried that he was severly dehydrated, and not getting anything into him that would stay.

We thus spent the better part of the next 24 hours at Toronto East York General Hospital (yay TEGH).

This was an exciting time to be at TEGH, as it was making news all day with rumours that they had admitted a pair of patients that had caught Bird flu while abroad. Rumours that, as it turns out, were unfounded, yet, still, exciting times. I don't think I have ever been asked by so many people if we had travelled abroad recently. To add to the confusion was that UKGirl and Luke had spent a month abroad recently, but far enough out that no one seemed to worry about it (that and England is not high on the watch list for Bird Flu at the moment)

After triage, and an hour and a half wait in a pediatric waiting room, that interestingly, had only 1 chair for an adult, although there were 4 of us in there, we were fortunate enough to be taken into a pediatric room in the Energency unit. We were quite a bit luckier than a number of other patients who instead of rooms, were stacked up on beds and chairs waiting out in the hallways. The unfortunate thing about this is, the better you are being treated at a hospital, probably means the worse off you are. Troubling.

Our room, althogh very hot, had a television, and a chair for one of us to sit on. We also had a door, so we could shut the noise out, or turn the lights down. The television was only supposed to show kid friendly programming, however, as a side note, it is worth noting that the Cartoon network starts to get quite racey after 10:00PM. Definately not child appropriate, but it was nice to be able to catch episodes of Robot Chicken and Tripping the Rift while waiting. It also had CP24, so we could watch news updates on the Bird Flu epedemic breaking out at the hospital we were sitting in. Nice.

Once settled in the room, the first task was to try and get Luke to hold down some fluid, so we were giving him pedialyte 1 ml at a time from a syringe, every 5 minutes, this was going well, but he ended up throwing up again after about 2 hours of this, at which point, already concerned hospital staff got even more concerned.

While waiting for a variety of tests, proceedures and evaluations including a set of Xrays, which involved having luke placed into a strange kind of baby-vice so that they could be taken without him moving, we would periodically wander around the emergency ward. It was surprisingly busy, in particular with drunk people, police officers, arrested drunk people, and what appeared to be every on-duty EMT in the city with people on stretchers, waiting to be admitted. When we asked, we were told that in fact, this was not a particularly busy evening, and there are frequently more people with cops in tow receiveing medical attention. So many folks getting drunk and injured on a school night. For shame people.

We ended up having to hook Luke up to an IV on a saline drip to get him to hydrate. Unfortunately for all of us, Luke has inherited his father's nearly impossible-to-find viens. This was made even more difficult by the fact that he is both a baby, and dehydrated. it took a succession of nurses 4 separate attempts to finally find and thread a vein so that they could both draw blood and get the saline flowing into him. This was quite difficult, as he was tired, sick and quite upst by the big needle that he was repeatedly stuck with., and all I could do was restrain him while the staff routed around in his arm looking for blood. This was possibly one of the most difficult things that I've had to endure as a parent so far. I had to hold his legs and arms, and was able to look directly into his terrified eyes as he screamed blue murder. very. very. very sad.

The problem was, the only real alternative was some sort of nasal intibation that would have run fluid into his stomach via a tube that would run through his nose that the doctor ordered when the first attempts at IV failed, but also described as "quite traumatic". The nurse said that they only do it once or twice a year, as it is indeed, unpleasant for everyone, which caused them to redouble their efforts to find a vien. I can hardly imagine what that might have been like, as the IV was unpleasant enough as it was.

I can tell you this though. If you are ever a parent, this is not how you ever want to see your baby.

  

  

fortunately around 11:00 they did finally get the IV set, and as fluids started to flow into luke, he started to feel better and pass urine. We were admitted into the pediatrics ward around midnight, and by 1:30 we were settling in for the night. UKGirl stayed with luke in the room overnight (they allow one parent, and provide a single bed in with the crib in infant isolation rooms) and I went home to catch a couple hours sleep.

In the morning, Luke was thankfully much closer to his normal self. Bloodwork had not returned anything worrying, the x-rays were clear of signs of pneumonia, and being hydrated had clearly agreed with him (no surprise). They wanted to hold him all day and see how he was doing by the evening, but we both wanted to get him home, as trying to sleep in the hospital was proving next to impossible, and now that Luke was back to feeling better, he was finding that being tethered to an IV was not condusive to being a baby that constantly tries to go everywhere all the time.

We checked out around 1 PM and brought him home. He fell asleep on the walk home and had a long 3 hour nap. He still has the runs, but is laughing and smiling and keeping down fluids and some food. He is back to chasing the cats and spreading his toys all over the floor. I think it's safe to say he's on the mend.

As a personal aside, this did give me an opportunity to eat that meatball sub that I saw over a year ago for sale in the machine by the cafeteria (although I presume it is, in fact, a different sandwhich). If you remember, I set my sites on one back when we were doing our pre-natal lessons, and was quite vexxed when I returned with my $4 for our second session and found that the sandwhich was gone. This time they had one in the machine. It was surprisingly delicious, a beakon of light during an otherwise dark day spent at the hospital. The next time anyone tells you hospital food is no good, tell them to try the meatball sub.
yum.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on March 20‚ 2008 at 10:00 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:13 pm on Thursday March 27‚ 2008 x
x Day 451 x
x jeffwith1f Day 451

15 month check up stats
more needles! yay.

he's going to have issues later in life, but innoculations cannot wait.

Weight: 25.38 lbs
Height: 32.5"
Head: 49.5 cm
(interesting that one is imperial and one is metric)

he's a growing boy
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:24 pm on Saturday March 29‚ 2008 x
x Day 453 x
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Day 453

Day 453
Day 453
Luke's first haircut

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Edited by jeffwith1f on March 29‚ 2008 at 9:24 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 5:48 pm on Saturday April 19‚ 2008 x
x Day 474 x
x jeffwith1f Day 474

so much to report.

UKGirl has finally found a job which came about quite suddenly, and as such, Luke has started daycare full time. He seems to be fitting in well, and enjoying his time with our dayare provider, Laura. She is fantastic, sending pictures throughout the day over email, and always reporting on what he has had to eat for lunch (although curiously she seems less interested with what I had to eat for lunch when I report back). Some days he's more of a handful for her than other days. I believe when I arrived to pick Luke up last Friday, I was met at the door with Laura holding him out to me in her arms, saying "Tag, you are it."
She definately earns her money.

  

My life took a sudden flip because of this. Our plan was that I would drop Luke off in the morning, and that UKGirl would pick him up at night, as I was likely to be leaving later than her, and tend to stay later at work. Pick up time is at 5:30, or it costs another $10 / half hour (which is quite reasonable as we've discovered, some places charge a dollar a minute) so this would require that whomever is picking Luke up leave thier place of employment at 4:30 to ensure that we are arriving on time without incurring extra fees. This was proving to be something of an impediment to UKGirl finding work, when in the interview she was having to state up-front "by the way, I'll have to leave every day at 4:30", but she had finally found a place that both wanted her to work for them, and claimed to have no problem with this arrangement, assuming that she got in early. Of course, when she showed up on the first day it turned out that it was a deal breaker, so she called me, I spoke with my boss, and suddenly I changed from working 9:30 - 6:30 to 8:00 - 4:30 with the option from working at home in the evenings. I am happy to report that my workplace has been very supportive about this change and they understand and are willing to accomidate the needs of parents. It feels odd leaving work at 4:30 and getting up so early is also not without it's challenges. I will get used to it though, but by Thursdays I have been nigh asleep by 9 PM.

  

I also now am in charge of feeding Luke dinner, as he needs to eat before UKGirl gets home. It's nice. I feel more like Mr. Mom than I did before, when UKGirl was handling most of the day-to-day domestic duties for Luke, but now that we are both working it is only fair that what remains of the work is split evenly.

  

What else?

He's quite the scientist. Today I watched him perform experiements on the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy as he methodically pushed all his lego blocks down the stairs to the basement under the baby gate. Such an inquisitive mind!

At this point I don't know what I want to happen more: Luke to start speaking (he still basically just babbles) or have him figure out how to go down stairs without killing himself (at the moment, he just kind of steps out into space and hopes for the best). It is increasingly worrying that he does not talk yet, as we have been assured by medical professionals that by 18 months most children have a working vocabulary of about 10 - 20 words. While that is still about 2 months off, the fact that the closest thing he has to a word still is "dada" does concern me. I am going to try and not worry about it. They say that all children develop differently, and I know of several people that say that they did not speak a word until well after 2, and some of them are amongst the smartest people I know. I guess we'll see what happens, although when he does start to speak, I suspect that is when the parenting (at least for me) will start to get more interesting. I am looking forward to a language based bi-directional flow of communication, and I really want to start being able to explain the world to Luke, and have him ask questions that I can (or can't) answer. The stairs thing however, would free me up when we take him to peoples houses. As it stands I now spend all my time at social gatherings on the stairs making sure that once Luke has climbed up them, that he can get back down without dying. (so he can go back up again). I grow weary of my job as a baby escalator. Perhaps we should start travelling with a baby gate in tow, but frankly we don't need another thing to carry around with us when we move. Most of the time it feels like we are encumbered like pack mules.

Finally, the recent ban of Bisphenol A

  

There is something terribly disconcerting finding out that the last several thousand bottles that your baby has consumed (esseitially every meal he's ever had) were all potentially toxic. What is more vexing is that this chemical that is in all our baby bottles has been banned in Europe for quite some time, but interestingly the Avent baby bottles that we've been using were made in England. I'm guessing if I looked closer at the packaging I may have seen a "for export only" on it, and in the future this will raise flags in my head. This chemical is also in all those Nalgene bottles that everyone bought recently because apparently they allow you to carry around water without it picking up "that plastic bottle taste". Well....taste no, but Hormone disrupton? Mmmmmmm, that's some good toxin.

Needless to say we've had to bin a small fortune in baby and adult beverage conveyances, and are now researching spending another small fortune in glass based baby bottles. ($20 / bottle...we'll need at least 4 or 5)

Amazing how something you completly rely on can suddenly change like this overnight, based entirely on the timing of the goverment deciding that it was time to release the results of studies that, I am sure, they have been reviewing if not months, for years. Oh well. Hopefully luke escapes unscathed, but really, he's been quite seriously exposed to this. I hope this is not laying the groundwork for future excuses for bad grades, or even worse. Time will tell.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on April 19‚ 2008 at 5:51 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:09 pm on Sunday April 20‚ 2008 x
x Day 475 x
x jeffwith1f Day 475
Baby bottle update.

a) OK, so it turn out that it has not been banned in europe, but It seems that going at least as far back as 2002 there have been concerns recognized by several international scientific and governmental bodies. Interestingly I also came across a page by someone/thing in the plastics world (plasticinfo.org) that speaks to the safety of consumer products made with this plastic (although I do beleive that they also make Nalgene bottles that everyone just threw out.)

b) we have found an alternative to glass bottles made by a company called GreenToGrow, at nearly half the price:
  

we picked up 3 this morning

here's the thing. he's surprisingly attached to the old bottles. We tried to give him one after nap time, and he refused it, but we spent the afternoon at our neighbours son's first birthday party, so he drank water and ate an entire crudite's worth of cucumber, (and some other food as well as a surprising amount of sand) so we did not worry about it.

  

When I took him home and put him down, he also actively pushed the bottle away at sight. he really wasn't having it, but as soon as I was able to get it actually in his mouth and him sucking a bit lying down, he seemed to get the hang.

I think the corresponding nipple tips that we've been using would flow less milk, cause it seemed to come over quickly and he needed to stop 3 times and be burped. We'll try using the starter one's and see if that makes it easier on him.

that, or I'm sure he'll dial it in. I know I always find driving a new car a bit touchy until I get the feel for the gas, break and steering, I guess if you've only really ever known 1 kind of bottle, switching would also be a bit weird at first.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:20 pm on Monday May 5‚ 2008 x
x Day 489 x
x jeffwith1f Day 489

Finally some words!

well, I'd say he's mastered "Da Da", but he still points at himself or the cats (or the floor) and says it, but he also points at me and says it, and it seems that on some level he knows it. He also does "ma ma" sometimes now, but not as consistently.

He also seems to say "Cha" or "Da" or "Ba" and that seems to be "cat" I guess it helps that there are three of them in the house. It is somewhat arbitrary though, more of a concept than a defined word, a such I have been hesitant to count it.

Yesterday, and throughout today however has come "Banana", although this is pronounced "Bana" or more frequently "Nana", but he does seem to be refering to his daily breakfast.

Finally, UKGirl today claims that when he was done breakfast, he said "Down" this morning.

hopefully these will start to become more consistant over the coming months, although we have heard, that once the words start, they can explode in usage over a couple of short weeks.

of course, all of this being said, I know that once he starts to "talk", only UKGirl and I will be able to understand him, I know when my half brother and half sister were quite young, my father would liten to thier babble and say that they were saying stuff, but I never heard it, or at least could not dispher it. I'm guessing we're about to embark on the same adventure in baby translation.

oh, this is cute. here' a picture of Luke on the day of his 16th month. While I swore I would never be one of those parents who does not constantly have pictures of thier kids dominating thier computers, for the time being, this I my desktop background.

  
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 8:43 pm on Sunday June 15‚ 2008 x
x Day 529 x
x jeffwith1f Day 529

Fathers Day

Had a wonderful day today, starting off on the right foot when Luke let us both sleep in uncharacteristically until 8 AM, instead of the normal wake up time of between 6:30AM and 7:00 AM.

He continues to struggle with words as he approaches his 18th month, in spite of my earlier posts enthusiastic that he was starting to speak. I guess it’s coming, but it is quite slow, and it’s a marked contrast to other milestones that he’s mastered up to this point at normal times or even beforehand.

It will come, and I am trying to be relaxed about this, but it does not help that feedback that one gets from the field is quite divided. On the one hand many experts agree, that everyone develops differently, and not to get too hung up on specific dates and the way you see others around you developing, however some doctors and parenting advice columns say that a child that is between 18 months and 2 years that does not have a command of at least 50-60 words could in fact have any of several developmental issues, including, Deafness, Asperger’s syndrome, or other flavours of Autism, early indications of Dyslexia, or even something called “Fragile x” (I don’t even know what that is).

These are things that no parent wants to hear in relation to their child, and while it’s too early to start worrying about Luke for sure (his 18 month birthday is still a week away) when I look at his peers, and see them most of them talking, some in short sentences, I still can’t help but wonder if perhaps either I am parenting ineffectively or, even more troubling, that there is something wrong.

This, I am sure will pass, and I am trying very hard to remain in the camp that tries not to rush him to a point where he is talking simply to put my mind at ease.

What else? He’s a bit top heavy at the moment; he is walking around a lot, but does tend to fall over. We brought him over to a friend’s house the other night for an evening BBQ and he fell over stepping off the deck and fell backwards onto the corner edge of a patio stone. This put a puncture wound in his head that bled like no wound I’ve ever seen before. I don’t think I’ve ever seen blood spurt from a cut like this before, it was flowing like a river. I believe I can categorically add this to the list of things that I don’t ever need to see again if at all possible. Fortunately for Luke, of the 6 of us on the deck, two of them were nurses, so we really could not have been closer to medical care.

Yesterday, we started to play peak-a-boo, which seems to amuse him immensely. He mimics it himself, covering his eyes and then looking, always with a big grin on his face. It’s too much fun. He’s also learned how to both “High 5” and “Fist Bump”, a skill that the kids at daycare have taught him. Also very cute.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 8:30 pm on Monday June 30‚ 2008 x
x Day 543 x
x jeffwith1f Day 543

the day after Sir Lukelton's 18 month birthday. I am growing increasingly fond of him. I find myself thinking that he is absolutely the cutest kid in the world. Seriously. I look at other babies, and all I see are weird looking little people, but Luke, well, he's adorable.

He has been a bit bratty of late, at least at home, in particular in the mornings and evenings when he's waking up or going down to bed. All he wants to do is grab stuff of the side tables and chew on it (particularly batteries). When I stop him he shrieks. Same as I try to brush his teeth, as that is a habit we are trying to get him into (shamefully, we are only starting now).

IN a way we are fortunate though, as all of these fits that he throws are at home, in private. I cannot remember the last time that he has made a fuss in front of other people, and that's awesome, as I see other people's kids having tantrums in public places, and I count my blessings.

I think I've finally got him to let me get the brush over all of his teeth, althogh it's a process that requires pinning him to the bed and bind his arms, while I force the bruch into his mouth. He's starting to relent, and I think the children's toothpaste that we are using doesn't taste bad, so hopefully over time it will become more routine, and less torture.

In spite of this, I still find him to be unbelievably cute.

Stats from his 18 month checkup:
Weight: 28.1f92 lbs
Height: 34 inches tall
Head: 49.5 cm

he is healthy and wealthy and wise. the words are cusping, he pointed at a baby in a picture book and saif "baba" the other day, so that's good, and along with "Dada", "Mama", "Nana" (Banana), and some other noises, we figure that he squeeked by the 5 words on his recent aptitiude test. The only thing that we had to say an outright no to was if he could point to three body parts if asked (ie: if we asked him to point to a nose, could he? no.) As such, the doctors are not concerned with his development at this time.

They have said that if we are really concerned about the talking that we could start to get a Speech Therapist involved and begin an assesment of him (which takes quite some time), but I am hesitant, as I know of many people that got speech therapists involved with thier kids, and spent many months worrying for no good reason, as eventally, the kids, pretty much without exception, turned out more or less normal. I don't think now is the time to be involving doctors, it will just lead to needless worry. Also, if there really is a serious problem, I am unsure that if involving a doctor will actually change that anyways, so we might as well simply try to avoid his toddlerhood without getting lost in wanting time to speed forward to a point where he can be deemed "OK".
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Edited by jeffwith1f on July 2‚ 2008 at 8:28 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:07 pm on Wednesday July 2‚ 2008 x
x Day 545 x
x jeffwith1f Day 545

  

he's so cute.

While our regular daycare provider is taking a much needed weeks vacation, Luke is staying at an alternate care provider. today he came home with this report:

"My Day at Casey's"

We went for a walk to the drop-in this morning, we practically had the place to ourselves. Luke played on the climber alot + with the big doll house. He also enjoyed playing in the little kitchen centre. We stayed for snack & then took our time walking home. He played with the other children until lunch was ready and ate just about everything on his plate. They all had a nap followed by snack. We went out back to play with the water center. Luke had a great time splashing & pouring & pushing the little boats around.

A.M. Snack: Crackers, cheese, apple & cucumbers with water
Lunch: Grilled Chese, potatos, carrots, grapes, milk
P.M. Snack: Yogurt, peaches & canteloupe, milk
naps: 12:30 - 3:00

sounds nice right?

I know he gets more rest than I do, and I'm pretty sure that he eats better as well.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on July 2‚ 2008 at 9:08 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:11 pm on Monday July 7‚ 2008 x
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Luke as Atlas

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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:12 pm on Monday July 7‚ 2008 x
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Day 550
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Chips in the Pool

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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 8:38 pm on Sunday July 13‚ 2008 x
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Luke and UKGirl at spash pad at Ontario Place.
that water is cold.
  

also from splash pad
  
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Edited by jeffwith1f on July 13‚ 2008 at 7:39 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:10 pm on Wednesday July 16‚ 2008 x
x Day 557 x
x jeffwith1f Day 557

the scallywags at the daycare (our providers kids) have been teaching Luke a variety of tricks and cantrips.

It started with the ubiquitous "High 5", which he learned months ago. It was followed shortly by "Fist bump" a.k.a. "Props", which is really just a more contemporary version of the above. Both were very cute, and have gotten lots of millage.

Just last week, however, they taught him "Show us your pipes" and taught him to flex. When he does it, his eyes light up and he kind of flashes his teeth in the most amusing way.

the other evening, I managed to capture it on video while he was eating dinner.


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Edited by jeffwith1f on July 16‚ 2008 at 8:48 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 8:11 pm on Friday July 18‚ 2008 x
x Day 558 x
x jeffwith1f Day 558

he's becoming quite the mimic. More words are coming
around the weekend we got him to count down from three to one, although in fairness, the words are about as roughly formed as they can be and still be recognizable as words.

also, I recently asked him to point to his nose, and he did it! (in fact he does it consistantly), he's also getting better at pointing to his feet, and we're working on eyes, or belly button.

all in all, important developmental steps
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:07 am on Saturday August 16‚ 2008 x
x Day 586 x
x jeffwith1f Day 586

it's been a while, I'm meant to comment on some things

perhaps unsurprisingly we've been watching an increasing amount of pre-school targeted television (on TreeHouse channel) in the house as it has started to hold his interest specifically more than just any old programming.

I'd like to take some time to discuss some shows that I have been enjoying, and some that I have not.

Top Shows:

The Backyardigans
  

episodes follow a subset of the 5 characters, Tasha the Hippo, Tyrone the Moose, Pablo the Penguin, Uniqua (the uniqua, as it turns out) and Austin the Kangaroo as they have imaginary adventures in thier backyard. Episodes start in the backyards of thier homes which morph into imaginary landscapes as they start their adventures, there are 3 songs along the way and the adventures always end with the characters returning to thier backyards and going inot someone's home for a snack.

It may seem trite, but it's actually pretty well written, the music is excellent, the visuals are colourul and engageing, and, perhaps most importatnly, Luke loves it. He loves to dance to the music. We have bought him little stuffed animals of all 5 of the Backyardigans.

Wow Wow Wubbzy
  

Following the exploits of Wubbzy and friends Waldon and Widget, these shows are also quite cute, and engaging withouth being too saccarine or patronizing. The characters also have a good amount of weird tossed in which is always good for a laugh. Each episode closes with a song as well, which I find tend to be very well composed.

Max and Ruby



I am not certain what about this show appeals to me, but I do quite enjoy it. Max is a precocious 3 year old rabbit who is looked after by his older sister Ruby. They live in a house that and seem to have parents, but the parents never appear (although periodically other adult characters do show up as foils). The reason for this, apparently, is that the creators want to show how the siblings resolve conflicts between eachother without parental intervention. As such, their presense is implied only. I think what I like best about it is the facial expressions on Max. They're just so cute. Also, he has a clockwork lobster as a toy that makes frequent appearances in episodes that looks like the coolest toy ever made.

Farzzles World

  

this show of a simple, line drawn baby interacting with items in his world is possibly the first show that Luke seemed to engage with. This may be in part due to the shows simplicity. The visuals are simple, yet with enough colour to catch the eye, and the audio consists only of the sounds of a baby gurggling and laughing which seemed to grab a pre-vocal Luke's attention, while also grabbing mine. at the risk of sounding sappy, the sound of a laughing baby is rapidly becomming one of my favorite. Well...this show is all laughing baby. what'snot to like?


Least Favorite Shows

4 Squares



THhs show is the product of a government grant gone wrong. Every time I see one of the epidodes I end up feeling like I've been beaten with a sack full of politically correct soap and patronizing rocks.
The poor actors. Maybe it's just me, but if this was the acting gig that I got, it would be all I could do not to off myself at night when I think back on the things I was made to wear, say and do during the day.

In fairness, Luke seems to enjoy it, and is starting to take the directions and do the actions along with the actors on screen, as such, the show serves a useful purpose.

Toopy and Binoo

  

these episodes following the adventures of chatterbox mouse Toopy and his imaginary stuffed cat Binoo (and Binoo's stuffed animal patchy-patch) The animation is sub par, the characters are ugly, and Toopy never shuts up, with each episode basically being his ongoing stream of conciousness while he prattles on about whatever the pair happen to be doing in each episode.
The other week I was laying in bed with luke and we switched on Treehouse, and an half hour of this played at me while I was trying to rest. a half hour of Toopy going on and on in his slightly unhinged voice was about as close to torture as I hope to ever find myself experiencing.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on August 27‚ 2008 at 7:44 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 8:51 pm on Wednesday August 27‚ 2008 x
x Day 596 x
x jeffwith1f Day 596

So, today we were treated to Luke waking up twice, both in an unusual way

the first wake up came at 3 AM, along with an explosively poopy diaper. he cried and cried and cried, and then went back to sleep after UKGirl changed him. Nothing like starting the day at a time when I used to go to bed, that's what I always say.

I guess that's not entirely true, we all fell back asleep.

at 7 AM however, while UKGirl was downstairs fetching Sir Lukelton's morning bottle, I overheard a large thump in his room, followed by crying again. At first I thought UKGirl had dropped something downstairs, however, when we both rushed to his door, imagine our surprise when what we found was one crying child, walking around with his teddy bear. It seems, our clever little houdini boy has figured out how to get out of his crib, although it sounds like the process also ends with a bit of a drop.

He seemed none the worse for wear ultimately.

other recent milestones?
over the weekend he said his first intelligable 2 word phrase. "All done" he's also continuing to pick up new words as well, most recently "eye" "nose" "plane" and "car" which he says all the time.

  
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Edited by jeffwith1f on August 27‚ 2008 at 7:52 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:08 pm on Sunday November 9‚ 2008 x
x Day 669 x
x jeffwith1f Day 669

It has been too long. In part because I was out of commission entirely for the month of September, and in part because I've been struggling on how to encapsulate all that is going on with Sir Lukelton over the last months.

  

He continues to pick up words quickly. I think my favoite is his attempt at "elephant" which comes out kind of sounding like "elamafun". It's close enough. Interestingly he still does not say his own name, even though that was one of the first words I started to try and get him to say. The longer phrases are cusping but not quite there, however, joining "All Done" is the one single peice of sign language that he seems to have retained (both hands raised and rotating at the wrists), as well he's starting to say "What's that" almost to the point of annoyance. Ahhh...2 year olds.

  

He's been sick a couple of times since I last posted. When Luke gets sick, he becomes very clingy which is actually kind of nice, as he rarely ever sits still, but also troubling, as I know that whe he gets sick like this it can end in a trip to the hospital, which is no good. One day the other week when he was under the weather, he just lay on my chest for over an hour and watched some Treehouse. It was adorable.

  

We have been availing ourselves of the several memberships we now have at several of the local Toronto hot spots for parents and thier children. Just recently I have been to the Zoo (many times actually), the ROM, and my new and old favorite, the Science Centre.

  

UKGirl bought us a family membership to the Science Centre for my birthday, and shortly after, I took Luke up there by myself. Unfortunatley the day I chose was also a P.A. day with the local schools, and the place was chock-a-block with children. One of the floors has a Kid Zone area that is purpose built for the knee-high set, and as I wheeled Luke in I was told that were only 3 rules:
1) no running (ok...good luck)
2) no eating (easy enough)
3) pick up after yourself

well, that's harder than it sounds. As it was, I managed to nearly loose Luke trying to follow rule # 3. He was running free around this large area, (full of children remember), and had dumped all the props in one room on the floor then darted out. Dutifully trying to follow the three rules, I quickly picked up after him and then went out of the room to follow in his wake of destruction, however, when I looked around the large room (filled with at least 100 other toddlers) I realized that I could not see Luke at all.

"Oh shit" I remember thinking "I'm one of those hapless parents that losses their children." however, sanity prevailed, I knew that the area was contained, with only the one way out(manned by a staff member, who I would like to think would stop a 2 year old from leaving alone) and after some very quick not running around I mamanged to find Luke not too far from where he walked out on me, playing with a beach ball. Thank heavens. needless to say on subsequent visits to the Science Centre (we're going tommorow) at least when I am alone with Luke, I'm declaring an over-riding Rule 0) which is "keep track of your child"

  

We also Let Luke have his first overnight without us in the span of time since I blogged last. Our daycare provider will do overnight sitting for reasonable rates, and we knwo Luke knows her well, and she is more than capable and trustworthy to look after him. We planned our annual concert evening out to celebrate our anniversary (we saw CAKE at the Sound Acadamy), and while I have spent many nights without Luke while UKGirl has taken vacations to visit her family abroad, it was a new experience for UKGirl herself. We were worried that he might freak out without us, but as it turns out, he had a fantastic time, and we got to sleep in (in as much as we ever sleep in anymore), everyone wins!

  
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 6:42 pm on Monday November 10‚ 2008 x
x Day 670 x
x jeffwith1f Day 670

some things I forgot:

it seems that while he does not wish to speak his own name, when he sees a picture of himself, he says "doodle" which is what we used to call him.

Also, he knows how to say Guitar, only it took me a while to realise it, as it comes out as "dare". But he says hit consistently and everytime. He does have a tendency to drop sylables, particularly first ones, hence banana is "nana". or recently "na" for short. so guitar is coming out "tar" or "dar" or sometimes a bit closer to "dare". that's my boy.

  

finally, this oddity seems to have stuck. for some reason, every time we say to him "say happy birthday daddy", he winges.

if you say "say" or "happy" or "birthday" or "daddy" separately, not problem, or "say happy birthday mommy", no problem. but "say happy birthday daddy" makes him whine every time. obviously we realized this back in October on my birthday. but I've kept trying since then, and he still does this. Perhaps one day he'll wish me a happy birthday, but it would seem at the moment it causes anxiety. very strange.

still, he says guitar. I'm good.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:07 pm on Friday November 14‚ 2008 x
x Day 673 x
x jeffwith1f Day 673

another milestone that I forgot to mention, but should so I can remember later when I am old and addled, or if Luke wants to know later.

He has started to credibly use cutlery when he eats. He does like to be given cutlery, and will use it to dig at his food. sometimes (and with increasing frequency) the food on the end of the implement actually makes it to his mouth, and not back into the bowl, or into his lap.

the use of a Fork increases his luck, assuming he can get something stuck on the end. He also seems to have learned to hold the spoon the right way up.

He loves his cutleries. They grow up so fast!
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:28 pm on Friday November 28‚ 2008 x
x Day 686 x
x jeffwith1f Day 686

OMG he never shuts up. unfortunately we understand little of what it is that he talks about. The words are coming fast an furious, but not so much ont he conversation. He just kind of blithers and babbles all day long. Apparently today he hardly drew breath.

  
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:38 pm on Wednesday December 3‚ 2008 x
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x jeffwith1f Day 690

  

in the midst of his near constant stream of babble, luke has started to choose to break into whispering babble. it's very cute. it still makes no sense.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:37 am on Wednesday December 10‚ 2008 x
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x jeffwith1f Day 696

he did it again! twice in the last couple of days when I went to get him after nap he was not in his crib.

this is a most disturbing turn of events. Luke is nearly ready for a big boy bed.

to add to the dastardlyness of it all, he has also started to shush us when we're talking over something that he's listening to. We don't do that to him, so we are both wondering where he picked it up....

you haven't lived until you've been shushed by your own progeny.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on December 10‚ 2008 at 7:07 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 4:31 pm on Monday December 22‚ 2008 x
x Day 707 x
x jeffwith1f Day 707

  

this morning he said "Lego" thus solidifying his position as the apple of my eye.

He also got the Fisher Price Learning town as an early Xmas gift from my mother, and it seems to live true to it's name as a kid that previously seemed unable to count counted up to 7 counting apples that he was putting in the tree. Very amazing. I don't think we'd heard him count past 4 before today.

He also got Babies first laptop (Baby Einstein) from my father, which he also likes, and we are hoping that it runs interferance on our actual laptop, which he is facinated by, but I fear that the keyboard would not survive his brutal love.

We are just moments away from flying to England for Xmas with UKGirls family and then from there off to Africa, for Luke to spend hois birthday running wild with Lions, Hippos and if we are luck wild african dogs. Sure, they are just fancy Dingos, and they might try to steal him, but we're pretty sure that he'll tire them out before to long and they will be begging for us to take him back. In the mean time, we'll be resting by the pool at the lodge in Medikwe.

Many pics of this experience to be posted on our return in the new year. We'll be spending almost 50 hours on planes in the next 2 weeks with a 2 year old, so wish us all luck and godspeed.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:43 pm on Wednesday April 8‚ 2009 x
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x jeffwith1f I know it's been so long since I've posted, and we had the trip and his second birthday, complete with second birthday stats and all, as well as tales of travelling across the world with a toddler that, as it turns out, won't sleep on a plane (my advice: don't do it)

  

many apologies. I will do the monster update, add all the info, and possibly close the blog, or perhaps keep it going.

I thought I'd stop it at 2 years, but interesting stuff keeps happening. It's part of the problem. I keep trying to form up a big final post, but interesting small stuff keeps happening that prevents me from being able to focus on the end game.

Tonight, for example, I saw him climb into his crib by himself to get his Panda, and then after putting him down at night, he managed to climb out of the crib, open his door, and we found him running around upstairs looking for books to read. he thought this was hillarious. We were less amused.

At least he loves to read.

  

He is speaking in short scentences now, is able to make it down the stairs by himself (though I still spot him when he does) and feeds himself competently with utensils most of the time. His ability to count seems to have reverted to a strange binary state though as now he counts things like this: "one..two...one...two!"

always in sets of four, almost always stopping on two. Very strange. I guess I should consider a child that has figured out base 2 something of a genius although I do remain concerned.

at any rate. Full trip and 2nd birthday report to come. I promise. Lots of Good pics from Africa!

  
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Edited by jeffwith1f on April 8‚ 2009 at 8:46 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 9:46 pm on Monday April 13‚ 2009 x
x Day 817 x
x jeffwith1f Day 817

So after months of quiet aqueisence, Luke, who we knew full well was able to get out of his Crib, but stayed in it anyways, finally decided that his crib would contain him no longer, and we awoke Friday morning at 6:50 AM to the sound of his door knob rattling and cries of `Help!!! Daaaady!`.

As it turns out the little dastard is able to get himself in and out of his crib basically at will and stelthy like a ninja. In fact, it begs the question how long it had been going on.

Needless to say, it was time for a big boy bed, so we`ve swapped his crib for my old twin.

I hear myriad horror stories of people that loose days if not weeks of sleep with thier kids as they transition to new beds. Once you loose the ability to contain your child in a crib, you loose the control you have at bed time. It used to be that you could, hook or crook put your kid in thier crib, and regardless of whether they were ready to go down or not, you knew where they were.

Once the child outsmarts the crib trap, you are at thier mercy at bedtime, short of pulling everything out of thier room, padding the walls, floor and ceiling, and pad locking the door, leaving a child alone in a room is fraught with terror. Who knows what they are going to do with free run of a room and everything that`s in it. What will they fall on, or choke on, who knows.

We`ve been lucky though. He seems to like his new bed so much that in fact, he can`t wait to get to it we have trouble getting him out of it. Luke is freaking awesome.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on April 13‚ 2009 at 8:57 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 5:07 pm on Saturday May 30‚ 2009 x
x Day 863 x
x jeffwith1f Day 863

yet another milestone. earlier this week (day 859) Luke, who is increasingly interested with the toilet, went to the washroom while sitting on the toilet. I suspect we are still many months away from being out of diapers, even in the daytime, but the seeds have been planted. Yay!

Also, we've noticed just recently that his speech is definately changing in content and cadence. Multi word scentences are coming fast and furious. Instead of answering in one word blurps ("Yes" "No" Noooooo!", etc) he's saying things instead like "Not Yet" or "I'm going outside now."

WE recently got him his first bike, on gerenous donation from one of his cousins who has outgrown it. We know we are skipping right over the trike stage, but hey...free bike. It has shocks and everything. He loves it, but is still working out how to work the pedels.

  
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x Unread post xMarc   - at 4:12 am on Saturday June 6‚ 2009 x
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 11:14 pm on Thursday September 3‚ 2009 x
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It's been a while...let's see.

a Robot makes this sound: "ROBOT....ROBOT..."
a snowman makes this sound: "SNOWMAN.....SNOWMAN...."
a butterfly makes this sound:
today I saw him beep beep beep as he walked backwards (for mno reason) like a truck

what can I say? he's a weirdo.

Pooped on the toilet 2 days ago, intentionally. This is great, although getting on the toilot has become part of the normal bedtime routing, if usually only symbolic in nature.

Also, Luke seems to have become quite entitled. He says "I Need..." instead of "I'd please like to have..." all the time, so we constantly hear: "I need chocolate milk." "I need cars" "I need Panda." "I need Science Centre." he sounds so spoiled!, but I get it, he'll learn.

happiness is being tickled by your 2 year old.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 8:34 pm on Monday September 7‚ 2009 x
x Day 707 – 721 - Luke's Big Trip to Africa x
x jeffwith1f   
Luke used to be a good, docile, sleeping little boy on planes. Unfortunately at some point between the last time we flew somewhere with him and now, he transformed into the “boy-that-would-not-sleep-sitting-up”. A shame as we had to log about 40 hours in the air, most of it overnight. Thank god for the iPhone, which kept him occupied through most of the flights.
The last flight was a very bumpy ride on a Cessna to a dirt strip in the middle of remote northern South Africa, and then a short Jeep ride to Tuningi Game Lodge in Medikwe Game Reserve. A small, but most luxurious place to stay.
  
  
  
  
  
Over the 5 days we stayed on the lodge, while Luke was not allowed to go on game drives (too dangerous), he did see plenty of animals at and around the lodge. Elephants and Monkeys would frequently drink at the lodge’s watering hole, and we were treated to a visit by the very rare wild African dogs, who actually killed and ate a Kudu right under our room’s porch. Luke was also taken out on a small local game drive (a bumble) where he got to see zebras and dung beetles and local birds as well as was given an opportunity to drive the jeep (I kid you not).
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Before long, he had the staff of the lodge, who would look after him for us wrapped around his finger, running into the kitchen and asking for snacks from the cooks, or running around behind the bar. For his birthday the good folks at the lodge made Luke his own cake and gave him a small gift, which was very nice of them.
  
Luke had something of an unhealthy obsession with bugs. He would find and play with the local equivalent of large grasshoppers, and “pet” them until they got “tired”.
  
We ended our trip with a short stay in Johannesburg staying at the country club, which while sounding swank, had rooms not nearly as nice as the lodge, but did have extremely nice grounds. There were even a couple of wooden playgrounds that Luke had a blast playing on.
  
We also gave Luke free access to one of our smaller camera, with which he took a series of self portraits. Here are the results:
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
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Edited by jeffwith1f on September 7‚ 2009 at 7:41 pm
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x Unread post xxjeffwith1f   - at 11:32 pm on Saturday November 21‚ 2009 x
x Day 1036 x
x jeffwith1f the little dastard reportedly eats up to or exceeding 14 pancakes at daycare! Where does he put them?

The last 3 days have seen a real turning point in toilet training, which we are now in full swing. Luke now consistantly pees on the toilet when asked. Good thing as well, as the capacity of his bladder now outpaces the capacity of his diapers, and when he wets himself, it tends to be an affair that requires a whole new set of clothing or sheets instead of just a new diaper. it was starting to seem like it would be a problem getting him toilet trained, but the progress made the last couple of days makes it seem like we might have him effectlively trained for daytimes by Christmas.

We continue to bond over our shared love of die cast cars characters from Pixar's movie Cars. In fairness, my tireless attempts to find all the characters is perhaps more about my need to complete sets than his need for cars, but he sure does seem to love them all (currently at 82 different ones, and yes, he knows all thier names)

Recently he's taken quite a shine to the book "the Hockey Sweater" by Roch Carrier. I remember this story from my youth, although it never did have a huge impact on me. As I now re-read it as an adult, I must say that it offends me on several levels. First, its full of trash talk about the Toronto Maple Leafs (who, admittedly at time of writing are the worst team in the league), and while I could care less about that, by proxy it's trash talk about Toronto, as a proud Torontonian, I am offended. It's also quite frankly religious, in a way that people just aren't open about any more in this age of political correctness, and certainly not in childrens literature, all the talk of praying to god makes me uneasy. Finally, the book says that parents like to punish thier children, which just seems to paint the wrong picture of the world. In spite of my misgivings, he makes me read it to him twice a night.

Today was a big day, Luke sat through his first movie in a theatre. We were given passes to a special showing of Planet 51. The movie was shown early in the morning so it worked for his schedule, but it was dark and loud and required sitting still in a theater seat for the whole length of the movie. Success! He and UK Girl did have to get up and go for a walk mid movie for a bit, but he effectively sat through and watched the whole movie. I believe Star Wars was the first movie I was taken to see in the theatre, and I was 5 at the time, so he`s well ahead of me in that respect. I applaud his moxy.
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Edited by jeffwith1f on November 21‚ 2009 at 10:38 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 12:10 pm on Saturday November 28‚ 2009 x
x Day 1042 x
x jeffwith1f dear santa

first time writer, long time fan.
I must admit that I was once wary of your long white beard and bright red suit, but now that I am approaching the "big boy" years, i now "get it".

You bring lots of presents in exchange for me being what my parents keep calling "good". As the parameters around what qualifies "good" seem to be loose enough, I figure what do I have to lose?

This Christmas I would like the following:

-Red Ramone
-"Other" Mater (the recently released Mater the Greater)
-Blue Chick
-a train
-Blue Mia & Tia

in exchange, I will leave out some milk and cookies, although I can't guarantee that the cats or my father will not eat them first.

yours truely
-luke

P.S. our chimney leads only to the water heater vent. you may want to come in through the door.
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