Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 10:59 PM | 1 comment

Jumping forward to July

Since we have had a lot happen this July, I thought I would do a quick flash-forward to the present. Then I will go back and post about May and June.

July has not been a great month for us, but it is improving. We were visited by two damaging storms in early July:

Storm #1:  Kyle and I both, but separately, looked at the weather forecast online and decided that the market umbrellas we have in our back yard would be fine if we left them open over night. Sadly, at 4am I discovered that our decision was a poor one. I heard the wind howling outside and went out to find one of them rolling around the yard and the other (our brand new one) snapped in half. They were both still open, so I struggled to close them in the dark with the wind doing its best to keep them open. If only I had known that the umbrellas were going to be the smaller storm damage for the month, perhaps I would have brushed it off easier than I did at the time.

Storm #2:  On the 4th of July, a very active electrical storm parked right over our neighborhood. We got a lot of rain, some hail and of course lightning. When I say we got lightning, I mean it. It struck a tree on our front driveway. At least that is what we think happened. We were in our living room, by the back yard, just watching the wonderful rain soak into the ground. It was about 9pm when we jumped due to the flash of light and instant thunder. The very first thing we did was to look at the baby monitor to see if we needed to rush upstairs to console Logan. To our amazement, he slept through it. He didn't even stir. Of course, when the storm quieted down and I was going to bed, he woke up.

The next day, Kyle was to take our Prius in for regularly scheduled maintenance. He made it about 3 miles from the house when the car died. It had given him a warning in the driveway when he turned it on, but since it started, he figured it would make it to the dealership. Sadly it didn't, and he spent the whole morning waiting for a tow truck and getting the car to the dealer. Kyle didn't mention the lightning to the service technician, but later they called us and asked us if, by chance, the car had been near lightning. Apparently, Prius models are especially susceptible to lightning damage, perhaps because of the materials in the body or the car and/or the many electronic components.  In any case, it seemed that the lightning killed our car.  Luckily, our insurance covered it, and 8 days later, our car was fixed. The engine control module had been fried, but everything else was fine.

That was the damage to the car, but there was also damaged equipment in the house. The storm knocked out the electricity upstairs, damaged the swamp cooler's ability to function on high, killed some outlets around the house, blew off stucco near the roof of the house, killed our modem, router, and baby noise machine. It also damaged our receiver, xbox and sub-woofer. We are still dealing with the insurance for our electronics, but hopefully that will be a smooth process.

When all of this happened, we were obviously without internet and unable to look at our insurance policies and such online. Normally we would use our phones in such situations, but our phones had seemed pretty useless in our new home. They constantly dropped calls and couldn't really access the internet with any speed either. So, we when phone shopping so that we could call our insurance agents and hear them clearly.

I have to add that Logan was getting his 4 canine teeth in during this time and had a low grade fever for about 4 days. Of course, that means that he didn't sleep well.

All of this happened at the very beginning of what was supposed to be Kyle's nice vacation at home. Needless to say, it was a very stressful vacation.

The tree that was struck.
That open spot on the drive is where the Prius was.

Now that all of that is finally over we can move on and hopefully enjoy the rest of July.

Logan watching Curious George.
On the look out for our neighborhood roadrunner.
We just started a month of classes at a place called Bounce-n-Boogie. Our first class was with the younger group (6 months to 2 years old). They sing songs, play with balls, parachutes, bubbles, and all sorts of gymnastics type pads. Logan had a blast. Afterwards he did the sensory art class. I think these classes are going to be really good for him. A few days later I took him to what is essentially the same bounce class, but with older kids. It was great to see him watch what the older kids were doing and then just go about doing his own thing.

We finally enjoyed an evening out. Logan has not been good in restaurants for some time; he never wants to stay in his highchair. However, we went out with our friends Brian and Leslie and their son Joshua (almost 4 years old). Add in the mariachi band and Logan was wonderfully entertained. After dinner, Josh and Logan ran around the front entrance of the restaurant for a long time.  Logan needed to watch Josh run around the little wall for a while before venturing up there himself.

A few days later we stopped at the outdoor mall to go get a new apple router.  While we were there, we discovered a spray park. Logan doesn't like showers or to be splashed in the face, so we wondered if he would like this. Surprisingly, he had a great time.

One way to pass the time waiting for our Prius.

 Just a short video for those of you who have not seen Logan in a while:

So, we picked up the repaired Prius on the 12th, and right afterwards we went to check out a wooden swing-set we'd noticed on Craigslist. We bought it and picked it up on the 13th with some help from our wonderful friends, Nate and Dan. This was about the 7th swing-set I had tried to buy over Craigslist. They sure do go fast. You have to contact the person almost instantly to get one. We are excited to finally have one for Logan.  It was dismantled when we bought it, so I have started laying it out and trying to figure out where each piece goes. I bought some replacement pieces and am fixing it up.  Hopefully it won't take me forever to put it together.

Latest positive development for July: I just had to share this photo of some slippers I crocheted as a birthday gift for my friend Reyna.   I'm happy to report that they fit Reyna, and she seemed to love them. I started working on them in February, but I didn't finish them until this past week. Normally they wouldn't take that long, but with the search for a house, the move, unpacking and everything else, it seemed like I was never going to finish them.

Some thoughts that came to me after I typed up the July post

I realize that I am not very good about writing in my blog. I tend to rely on photos to inform everyone of how we are doing. I was recently reading my friend Sarah's blog, and it made me want to write more about Logan and where he is in life. Not only for those who read this, but for me. So, here is an attempt to give you a bit more information about Logan. I'm slightly following Sarah's outline to help me get started. Hope you don't mind, Sarah. Thank you for the inspiration!

The stats
On July 8th he turned 18 months old. At his last doctor's appointment he weighed 22lbs and was 33 inches long. He wears size 5 shoes and size 18-24 months clothes.

First's that happened between May to now
  • He had his first haircut on June 14th. He didn't like it at all. We had to hold his head for part of it. He did love the lollipop that he got afterwards, which was also a first for him. 
  • A few weeks ago I was singing to him before bedtime and he joined me with a few words here and there. He had never done that before. 
  • He went to his first spray park as I mentioned above. 
  • He also took his first shower on July 8th. I was taking a shower and he decided to join me. It was pretty funny since he had just taken a bath. It started because he likes to open and close the door to the shower when someone is in there. 
  • He said "Grandma" and "Grandpa" for the first time on June 27th. He was so proud. He said them over and over again all afternoon. Previously he just said "mmm-ma" and "mmm-pa". He was even looking at pictures of all of his grandparents and said "big grandpa" when referring to my dad's photo. It was adorable. 
  • On June 26th he started adding "k" to the ends of his words.  The first of these was "book". 
  • On May 20th he said "bye bye" and snorted during a laughing fit. The great thing about "bye bye" is that sometimes when he says it, he sounds just like Eric Cartman from South Park. I get a kick out of it every time.
  • He learned to jump.
  • He did his first somersault, but has yet to repeat it.
  • He started throwing tantrums recently. When he doesn't get what he wants, he screams and hits things. Sometimes he kicks or stomps.  
  • Since we moved to a 2-story split-level home, Logan has had to learn how to manage the stairs. He is doing great with them so far.
  • He started brushing his teeth. We used to use cloths to wipe them down for him, but he loves to use his own toothbrush and is getting really good at it.

Words, words and more words
Logan is a talker. Well, at least he talks around us. When he encounters someone new, he goes into observe mode and doesn't make a peep. Logan pretty much says complete words now. If the word is hard, he'll shorten it.  For example, instead of "rhinoceros", he will just say "rhino".  Here's at least a partial list of the words he can say:

Frik, Frak, daddy, mama, mommy, grandma, grandpa, drink, milk, nose, cheek, shoulder, elbow, chin, eyes, hair, ring, tummy, knee, chair, car, big truck, jeep, peacock, duck, cow, camel, seal, goat, kitty, cat, dog, zebra, tiger, bird, horse, fish, bee, turtle, frog, tree, peeze (please), snacks, cereal, soup, pizza, mug, coffee, drink, hot, salsa, blueberry (although his pronunciation could be better :) ), yogurt, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Big Bird, Zoe, Hulk, Spiderman, ball, soccer ball, football, basketball (again not perfectly), juggle, train, outside, open, close, pink, yellow, blue, green, black, purple, bubbles, bath, boat, captain, push, pull, kick, roll, throw, kiss, hug, yucky, gross, hi, help, high 5, beep, phone, pen, bowl, uh-oh, up, all done... the list could go on and on.  His first two syllable word was "cookie". He also mimics anything we say.  One of the first words that he used all of the time was "OK". Of course he did that because I use OK all of the time. I didn't realize how much I say OK until Logan started using it. I really need to work on adding some synonyms to my verbal routine.  Strangely, there are also some things he does not say.  He doesn't say "thank you" verbally, but he does the sign for it.  He doesn't say his name either.

He even has put together a few sentences.  For example:

Peak a boo I see you.
I go see big trucks.
I poop (he says that a ton whether he has done it or not)
I take bath (which he says all day long since he loves bath time).
Daddy roll hoop.
I go outside.
I put away.

His favorite toys are the gazillion balls we have. He likes to give them to us to juggle, which Kyle can do and I cannot. He also plays with his mega blocks. He loves trucks too, but has not really played with them lately. He doesn't really like to play by himself yet. He loves running around the house and being chased. He likes to run and plop down on a couch cushion or his bed and he says "plop" when he falls. He loves to be outside. We bought him a water table to play with, and he seems to like that. I put a sponge in it the other day and he thought that was great. He also loves to dance, and there were months where he would start spinning and just keep going. A few times he would fall down afterwards from being dizzy. He still loves reading books. Lately he loves "The Little Engine that Could", "Goodnight Moon", "Brown Bear", "Pat the Cat", any Little People flip book, "Giraffes Can't Dance" and "The Little Blue Truck". We were reading those over and over again. Luckily he is just now starting to want a variety of books. He also loves hats. He likes to try to put them on someone else's head.  Lately, he has discovered the salad spinner.  He does get to watch some tv. For the most part, we just show him Curious George, which we love too. He didn't really pay much attention until June or so. Now he will ask for George and he says "Hundley" (the dog on the show). He also recently saw a show about trucks, and I think we will be seeing more of that. On Mondays, we spend a good amount of time out front watching the garbage truck and recycling truck go around the neighborhood. It might be the highlight of his week.

Sleeping... sometimes
Logan has fallen into a routine of waking up once in the middle of the night and then again around 4:30am. I usually go into his room for the early evening waking, then he comes into my room for the early morning waking. I usually just bring him into my bed at that point, hoping to get another hour of sleep. I say "my bed" because Kyle typically sleeps downstairs so that one of us will get a good night's sleep. Logan and I are typically up around 5:30 or 6am. He usually takes a morning nap, but an afternoon nap is a luxury when it happens. If he doesn't take an afternoon nap we try to get him into bed around 6:30 or 7. If he takes an afternoon nap he will usually be up until 8 or 9. He did have a rough week of sleep when he was cutting his canines, but overall his sleep is better than it used to be. Twice this last week he went to bed around 8 or 9 and slept till 5:30! It was wonderful. This evening I didn't even have to nurse him to sleep. He said he wanted to sleep, so I recommended we lay down on his Spiderman blanket, and eventually he just went to sleep. Not sure what the night will hold for me, but I am hoping that it was a good sign.

Logan has been picky lately. He started out eating everything. We started him on solids rather than baby food or cereal. Then we decided to supplement his solid intake with some baby food to make sure he got enough vegetables. Well, he ended up liking the baby food over the solid food. At least we can always fall back on that when he won't eat. Typically he does eat pretty well. He loves beans, taco salads, blueberries (loved them, then wouldn't eat them and seems to love them again), cherries, yogurt (his typical breakfast), fruit snacks, pasta, prefers sauces like salsa, eggs with onions, peppers and cheese. Those are the staples I guess. He does make sure his food isn't too hot by blowing on it. Totally adorable.

Well, I guess that is a pretty good update for now. Hope it wasn't too dry for you all. It is really meant for the future me when I can't remember what Logan was like at 18 months. I already can't remember what he was like at 3 months. The mind can be such a sad thing.


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 1:15 PM | 1 comment

Finishing up April

My next blog will jump forward to July so that you can see Logan as he is now. I just wanted to finish up April with these photos of Logan and two of his favorite family members.

I'm going in for a kiss.
Hmm... cat hair doesn't taste so good.
You moved so I'm going to use my feet to pet you.
Your turn, Frik.
You moved so I'm going to give you my version of a hug.

Some firsts for Logan in April:
Discovered how easy it was to remove the toilet paper.
Tried on his noise canceling headphones for a few minutes.
Started using the chair that Suzi and Indie gave to him. I have yet to recover it, but he doesn't seem to care.
April seems so long ago and I have already forgotten all the cute and wonderful things that Logan did back then. I do know that he stacked his cups in order for the first time and that he had his first cold. His fourth molar came in too. The biggest change that I recall was that we moved him out of our room and into his room at night. The transition was pretty smooth. He still doesn't sleep all night long, but his sleep has greatly improved. I think we were keeping each other up when we slept in the same room. He has done a few nights where he slept 8-10 hours in a row, but that isn't the typical. We didn't move the whole crib in, just put his mattress on the floor. He likes to sleep half on the mattress and half off. Sometimes he just ends up on some blankets on the floor. So for now we decided his toddler bed could stay in the garage.

Now that I am thinking about it, April was a crazy month. The house we were living in was put on the market so we had to find a new home. We also had to spend time showing the house and being there for inspections (house, windows, roof, etc.). It sold pretty quickly so we didn't have a lot of time to find a new home. I bet I looked at least 100 online. I drove by a lot of them and we visited about a dozen. We found one that was in a nice neighborhood, but a little farther from work for Kyle. It definitely has some issues, but I'll get into those in the May post. As of now we are pretty settled in with a few projects left to do around the house.

In April, Kyle also went to Boston for work. He was there the week before the bombing.  In 2010, he was in Egypt 2 months before the Arab Spring. So I am thinking he shouldn't be traveling anywhere. Of course, work has other plans for him.