Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lawnmower Training

We spent the day Saturday at my grandparents' house helping them with their yard work....well Ryan & Luke worked in the yard while I visited with my grandparents in the cool air conditioned house.
Luke kept watching Ryan from the window shouting "Da-dee", Da-dee", so Ryan decided to give him his first lawn mowing lesson. Luke wasn't too sure about it at first, but he got the hang of it after a while.

"Son, nothing runs like a Deere"

He couldn't take his eye of the mower to wave to mommy

Friday, May 29, 2009

Flashback Friday

My goal with this blog is to create a virtual scrapbook of our kid's lives, and to turn the blog scrapbook into actual books. Since I just started the blog a month ago when Luke was already 16 months old, I missed many of his baby milestones. So, I've decided to start "Flashback Fridays" where I'll blog about something that happened in Luke's first 15 months of life. Going in chronological order makes the most sense to me, so today I'll start with his birth.

Luke decided he didn't want to show his handsome face to us on his own, so I was induced at 41 weeks on Friday, January 4, 2008. We were living in Auburn at the time and so Luke was born at East Alabama Medical Center.
Christopher Luke Sparks was born at 3:37 pm weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs and was 21 3/4 inches long. We were all shocked at how big he was because that very morning my doctor told me that I was going to have a small baby...I don't know what anyone else may think, but to me 9 lbs is no small baby!
I was speechless the first time I held him, people around me kept telling me to talk to him, but all I could do was stare at him in amazement. I couldn't believe how God had blessed us with such a perfect, healthy baby!
A couple of Luke's features that stuck out to us were his head full of black hair and his very large feet. Ryan has a red birthmark on the back of his neck and some one told me while I was pregnant that they were hereditary, so that was one of the first things I looked for on Luke and sure enough he had one. Dimples tend to run in my family, my grandfather & dad have them and so do I, and we noticed very quickly that Luke was blessed with dimples too. Within minutes of his birth, Ryan and I were able to see that Luke had traits from both of us.

One thing we really regret about those first few days is that we didn't get one picture of the 3 of us at the hospital and we only have a couple of each one of us with Luke. We're going to make sure not to make the same mistake with Aubrey!

We had many family members and friends come to visit Luke in the hospital and in the days & weeks that followed.

Luke with Bigg Daddy, Big Mama, and cousin Parker

Luke with Nana, Papa, and Aunt Kat

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He has no clue

We have been very slowly getting things ready for Aubrey's arrival. Most of our baby stuff had to be taken apart & put in storage when we moved, so now it all has to be put back together. Luke is very eager to help me with all these tasks, but sometimes his "help" includes climbing on the exersaucer or into the baby swing and using the bassinet as a toy box to throw all his blocks into.

He was very willing to help me put the bouncy seat together...that's a screwdriver in his hand


Our Sunday School class had a diapers & wipes shower for us a couple of weeks ago and Luke loved helping me unwrap all the gifts & put them away...or stack them up next to all of his toys.

"Unwrapping" the gifts

Putting the gifts away

Obviously he has no clue that a baby is about to invade his world. He thinks all these preparations are just a bunch of fun & games. We've told him that there's a baby in mommy's tummy, and he will point to my belly and say "bay-bee" and even give my belly a kiss. We've also taught him to say Aubrey (Au-ree), but he's just too young to really understand that his little sister is going to be coming home with us in a few short weeks. We're very excited that they will be so close in age, we know that they will be great friends growing up.
Hopefully Aubrey's arrival won't throw too much of a shock wave into his world.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend in Nashville

We had a great Memorial Day weekend in Nashville visiting Ryan's family. Luke had a blast with his cousin, Parker, they are finally to the age where they are somewhat playing together. The weather wasn't great, so Luke & Parker spent a lot of time exploring the hotel room.

One of their favorite games was opening & closing the sliding doors of the closet.
Let me out, Luke!

After working up an appetite playing so hard in the closet, they decided to call for some room service.

We're not getting good service in this room, let's try it in here.

I'll dial the number and you ask them for some gold fish and milk.

The adults had to invent games to keep us occupied to, so we played home run derby with Luke's wiffle bat & ball. My sister-in-law, Holly, & I also played, but I'll spare you the pictures of an almost 9 month pregnant lady playing baseball. The boys loved the game and were pretty competitive about it.

We did get out for meals, our favorite was lunch at Jack's Barbeque on Broadway, it's Ryan and I's favorite Barbeque place. Luke didn't eat much, because he's such a picky eater, but Parker loved it!

Yummy in my tummy!

After Jacks, Ryan & Andy took the kids to hear some live music at the nearby establishments (AKA bars...but they were kid friendly during the day)



The kids also got to go for a swim in the indoor pool. Luke was pretty terrified of the water to begin with, but he got a little used to it after a while.
Kissin' Cousins
Luke played so hard this weekend that he slept the entire way home Monday and slept until 8:00 this morning...we love taking these weekend trips, because it always means sleeping late in the morning and long naps when we get home!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Luke's Shoe Fetish

When Luke was born, one of the first things the nurse noticed was how big his feet were, his footprint wouldn't fit in the box on his indentification certificate. Luke's cousin, Parker, came to visit him in the hospital when he was born, and we took a picture of their feet so we could remember just how big they were.

Luke (left) was one day old & Parker (right) was 4 months old

I guess having big feet automatically makes you love shoes. At least that's what has happened in Luke's case. One of the first things Luke asks for in the morning is for me to put on his socks & shoes, which he calls "ka" & "sssha"...he works really hard on saying the "sh" sound and sometimes it sounds like a "z" sound. He has loved wearing shoes since he got his first pair from his Bigg Daddy (Ryan's dad) when he started walking at 10 months old.

Luke at 10 1/2 months showing off his 1st pair of shoes

This is yet another trait he gets from his daddy, I'm not a big fan of socks & tennis shoes, I can't stand for my feet to be hot...so much so that at night I sleep with my feet out of the covers; I know it's weird, but to me it's comfortable. I'm always looking forward to spring when I can start wearing my flip flops which I wear all spring, summer, & most of fall. Ryan, on the other hand, is always wearing socks & shoes even if it's 100 degrees outside; he doesn't own a pair of sandals, flip flops or any kind of open toed shoe.

Over the last couple of weeks, Luke has been putting on my shoes and trying to walk around the house in them. I hope he doesn't like wearing women's shoes, I think it's just that my shoes are more easily accessible to him.

Here he is in in our closet, picking out some of my shoes
And trying them on, notice how he has to pick up his foot to put it in the shoe (slipper)
He likes the slippers, they're easier to keep on than my flip flops
Here he is trying on my flip flops, sorry for the bad filming skills, I'm working on it.

video

Luke needed some new tennis shoes, because the awesome orange & blue ones (War Eagle!) that he had were not child proof, he could take them off in 5 seconds. Ryan and I were tired of having to put his shoes back on every time we got out of the car. So, yesterday we went to Stride Rite, which was heaven for a little boy who loves shoes.

My plan was to take pictures of him picking up all the shoes & trying them on, but I was afraid the sales lady would think I was crazy or something. We found some cute ones that were on sale, and he very patiently waited for the saleswoman to measure each foot, and then politely held out his foot for her to put on the shoes. I know my description doesn't do it justice, maybe next time I'll be brave enough to actually take a picture. He was so happy in the store he didn't want to leave, and I had to drag him away crying.

Loving his new shoes

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bye Bye Curls!

A few days after Luke's 1st birthday & without my knowledge, Ryan took an electric razor to Luke's hair to give him what he called, a "racing stripe". Ryan said he just wanted to put a thin stripe under the hair above his ear, but he ended up cutting a huge chunk of his hair above his right ear...it looked awful! I was so mad, because Luke had started getting these cute baby curls at the end of his hair and after Ryan butchered one side of his hair we had to take him to get it cut. I didn't bring my camera to this first haircut, because I was not excited about it in the least.

I was afraid the curls wouldn't come back, but 2 months later they returned & I know I'm partial because he's my child, but I thought they were so cute! The longer his hair got, the harder it was to manage, I ended up having to buy mousse to "fix" his hair every morning. I never thought part of raising a son would entail fixing his hair! After all the effort to keep the curls in his hair, as soon as he took a nap or a ride in his carseat, the curls would pretty much all fall out leaving a nappy mess. His bangs got so long they were in his eyes, so Ryan and I tried to trim them, but we're not professionals and Ryan said Luke looked like one of the guys from Dumb & Dumber:


His hair does kind of look like theirs (this is sans mousse):

So, after much debating I decided it was time to cut the curls. I found a local kids salon called Sweet & Sassy...I should've known by the name that it would be a girly heaven, but they had a Toddler Tuesday deal, so I couldn't resist. Since we didn't capture his 1st haircut on camera, I brought the camera along this time to take a few shots.

Before:

During:

After:
Just to give you an idea of how "manly" the Sweet & Sassy salon was...
this was a giant high heel chair

Luke's haircut wasn't the best, but now I think I know how to ask them to cut it next time.

Alabama Bloggers

My friend, Rachel, has just launched a blog networking site for Alabama, Alabama Bloggers. Rachel is a great friend and an amazing blogger, she always finds a way to put a funny spin on her posts, and she is very real about all of the topics she blogs about. This site is for any blogger living in Alabama, and will feature everything from local interest posts to contests & giveaways to opportunities to have your blog posts featured.
Click on the link above to visit the site and find out more about it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trip to the Zoo, Park, & Hot Dog Truck

Luke had a fun filled week that started off with a trip to the Galleria to play on the Hot Dog Truck. We have to thank our friend, Ali, for introducing us to this truck a few weeks ago. Our local mall has an area for kids with several ride on toys; Luke has no idea that the toys will actually move if you put some coins in them, so it provides a very cheap way to entertain him for the afternoon :)




Later in the week we went to the zoo with some friends from church. Luke's been to the zoo a few times, but this was the first time he actually cared about seeing all the animals. His favorite animals were the birds, which he calls "bir". Anything that was bigger than a dog was a "mooo" (cow). It was so neat to watch him get excited about seeing all the different animals!

Luke & Ali watching the Peacock

The prettiest "bir" Luke has ever seen, he was showing off for the kids

Luke's friend, Abby, helping him down the stair

Luke & Nathaniel checking out the picture of the giant turtle

Our last fun trip of the week was to the park for Luke's 1st picnic

Once he realized we were near the playground, he wasn't too interested in the picnic.