Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Orr Family Farm and Storybook Forest

I think October is quickly becoming my favorite month. The weather is finally cooling off and it's generally pretty nice to be out and about. You might need a light jacket in the evenings, but that's it. Also, it's Luke's birthday, Halloween, and lots of other fun fall activities.

Last Friday we went to the Orr Family Farm in Moore. Traffic was horrible on the way down so we didn't get there until almost 6:30, instead of our planned 6:00. Luke and Kyle went on a train ride while I stood in line for the Hay ride. Luke had big fun. Kyle said as soon as they sat down he started saying, "Want train go". And as soon as they were off and came to find me all he could say was, "Want ride train 'gain.".
You can't actually see Kyle and Luke on the train, I wanted to get a picture of the front car and thought I'd have time to click one of the two of them on the train, but...not so much. After the train ride we went on the hayride to the pumpkin patch where we all three got to pick a pumpkin. Luke LOVES to pick a pumpkin. After the hay ride we went and saw the animals and then Luke and I went for a carousel ride. Luke enjoyed going up and down and was immediately curious about the gears. After that, it was already past Luke's bedtime, so we headed home.

Last night Luke and I went with some friends, Alyssa, Camdyn and Samuel (Wolverine) to Lake Arcadia's Storybook Forest. It was great and definitely exceeded my expectations. Luke got to wear his Halloween costume, which he enjoyed. We started on the trail. They had many different stations, more than a dozen, with a scene from a classic story or nursery rhyme along with a paragraph length story to read to your child. They also got a piece of candy at each station. Luke soon got a sucker and ate that the rest of the time and is still, this morning, asking for another sucker. The scenes were REALLY well done and not cheesy or cheap looking at all. They had a Rapunzel (real person) up in a tower and the Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife in a pumpkin shell. If I would have had more hands I would have taken a picture of Luke at each station. As it was, I only got one of him at the entrance to the forest.
Then after the trail they had an area where you could use tickets they had given you to play games. Luke's favorite was definitely fishing. He caught this little toy thing ( I have NO idea what it really is), but he thinks it's a fish. Which is logical because he caught it while "fishing", but then again, Samuel caught a bracelet, so...who knows?!?! He is still talking about fishing and helping mom "pull the fish". I think Kyle and Luke will have to go fishing in our pond here soon. Luke will need a fishing pole, first though. Then after the games we went on another hayride. I had to sign a disclaimer...and I can see why! It was just a flatbed, no sides and they went FAST! After the hayride we got to meet Curious George, whom Luke liked a lot better from a distance, but I did get a picture of the two of them together. He wouldn't touch George though. Then we came home to have show and tell with Daddy. And listen to Luke ask for another sucker.
All this fun, and Halloween isn't even until Saturday!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Big Boy Bed

This past Monday Luke had his well baby check up. We actually didn't see Dr. Stephens this time, but his PA, Kathy Gissel. We talked to her about needing the crib for Leta and when she recommended we start trying to switch Luke to his big boy bed. She suggested right away and to talk it up to Luke to help get him excited for it. So, that evening we all went off to Mathis Brothers to buy Luke's Big Boy Bed. With his help, of course. As soon as we got into Mathis Brothers some spastic child took over Luke's body and he went crazy running everywhere, climbing on everything. He really seems to enjoy the top bunk of a bunk bed, but that's not what we got him =).

Way too much money later, we bought a dark stain twin size bed that I'm really pleased with. It has a rolling drawer that fits underneath of it. You can insert 4 slats to make 4 sections in the drawer, or you can remove all slats and put a mattress in there instead for a trundle effect. We didn't buy the second mattress yet, we felt we'd spent enough money and that it would be a while before we thought Luke would be ready for a sleep over.

The bed was to be delivered Wednesday around noon. Luke's naptime is 12:30 so by the time we got the bed assembled, the side rails put on, and the bed made and ready for him to be in it, it was 1:30. He went down perfectly. He didn't get up once and fell right to sleep and took a pretty decent nap. However, when he woke up, he was TERRIFIED. You could just hear it in his cry. He got out of his bed and opened his door and came out of his room crying for me. I think he didn't know where he was or maybe was just scared to wake up in unfamiliar territory. Anyway, besides being afraid when he woke up, I thought it was a smashing success and, frankly, too good to be true.

Boy was I right about that. Wednesday night we put him to bed and he stayed in his bed all of 30 seconds before he got up crying for me and came out of his room. I put him back to bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Who knows how many times. I finally left his door open and sat by his bed for a while with my back to him until I felt like I could sneak out without him realizing I was gone. It worked! Luke was asleep by 9:45. However, I was not too happy with how he'd gone down AT ALL. I did't want to be doing THAT every night. He did get up 45 minutes early Thursday morning, came straight down to our room and yelled, "Daddy wake up!"

Kyle and I didn't really know what to do. So I emailed Dr. Stephens, Luke's pediatrician, and got this reply back:

put him back in his crib. if he won't let you do that, then a shut door with a lock if needed for 2 nights will get him to sleep in his bed. it beats sleeping on the floor. seriously. but look on the webpage at the 15-18 month sheet where i tell you not to do what you just did. i guess i could use my own advice on you: you want to take him out of his crib? good luck. he won't stay in his bed or in his room and your life is now h***? i'm sorry. : )

Kelly Stephens, MD

I have never laughed so hard in my life. I love our pediatrician. So Kyle bought new hardware for Luke's door, put the lock on the outside of his room and we got a night light and locked that kid in his room. Thursday for his nap (lock not installed yet, so I tied the door shut with a bungee cord to the balcony rails) he cried and cried at the door. Very pitifully. For about 45 minutes. Then he slept for an hour and a half and then cried again all the way until nap time was over. (He has to stay in his room for at least 3 hours whether he sleeps or not.) Thursday night he cried for less than 10 minutes. We went and checked on him before we went to bed and he was asleep in his bed with his new "cuddly" on top of the covers, so we covered him up, and locked the door again and went to bed. No tears or getting out of bed since.

The end.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Meal Plan and Recipes

Time for a new meal plan! It seems like the last one didn't last very long. Probably about 2 weeks since I planned 10 meals =). I did make french toast and we had leftovers one night, but other than that, there wasn't anything going on that really threw me off our meal plan or caused me to not have to cook. And I just realized I never posted it. Oh well. You'll get over it, although I don't know how both of you, readers, survived without knowing what we were eating *wink*.

New Meal Plan
Hobo Chicken
Macaroni and Cheese
Michael and Audra's BBQ Ribs
Cin Chili
White Chicken Chili Enchiladas
Baked Ziti
Chicken Tortilla Crockpot Stuff
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
7-Layer Dinner

Extras: Pumpkin pie (using puree that I'm going to make from the pumpkin I get tonight at the Orr Family Farm), turkey breast, dried beans. Brown beef.

I like to make a turkey breast in the Crockpot occasionally. I get about 6 cups + of all white meat turkey. I then bag it in 2 cup baggies and freeze it. It makes soup, flautas, manicotti etc much less time consuming to make. The manicotti and flautas would be recipes that I would reserve for company only if I didn't have the cooked meat frozen on hand.

I also am going to try my hand at making my own beans from the dried beans, not from cans. Probably better for us, and definitely cheaper. I think I can find a Crockpot recipe that should make it easier. Then I'll freeze the beans in baggies with 1 cans worth each. I'll let you know how it goes for me =). I'm going to try black beans, which we use all the time, and Great Northern Beans, which I don't use as often, but still pretty frequently.

I'm also low on hamburger meat so I'll try to get some on sale at Sams this week, usually about 6lbs or so and I brown it all up with a couple pounds of deer meat from the deer Kyle got last season and stretch a buck that way.

The "Cin Chili" is a chili seasoning mix I saw of the Food Network. I like the show Throw Down with Bobby Flay, where he challenges someone at their specialty and then a couple judges do a blind taste test to determine the winner. It the Chili throwdown, Bobby and his competitor Cindy something tied. It mentioned on the show she sells her seasoning packets so I went online and found them and ordered one. It has directions on the back as to how to then prepare the chili, so we're trying that chili this plan. It'd better be good. She's won tons of chili cookoffs.

We had Grandpa Wilbur and Georgeanne over for supper and made Fierro Chicken. So good, but not so good for you. Perfect for having company though. I linked to the recipe for it above.

I also made Chili Cheese Fries Casserole again last night. It was the first time Traver had had it. It got a 9.8 something something AND a, "This is pretty boo-yeah". So there's the link to that recipe as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seen and heard.

Kyle: Rachel, do we have an ice pick?
Me: No, you'd probably kill me in my sleep with it.
Kyle: I'd just use a knife.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Doctor Visit

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Shanbour. I was apparently supposed to take my glucose test, but I was completely unaware and you're not supposed to eat beforehand and I did, so I got to skip it. Until next month that is. Leta and I are both doing fine. I am supposed to get the flu shot AND the H1N1 vaccine. Stink. I guess we'll be getting that taken care of here in the next couple of days.

I am almost 27 weeks pregnant now so we're clicking right along. Luke's "big boy bed" is supposed to come today so we'll be moving the crib out of his room and into Leta's. I guess it's time to get started getting her nursery set up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Well Baby

Luke talking on the phone with Solomon. Solomon called to sing him Happy Birthday while we (and by "we" I mean Kyle) were carving our Jack-O-Lantern

We went to the doctor today for Luke's two year well baby check up. He's well =). He now weighs 24lbs and is 32" tall. Those measurements put him in the 10th percentile, which is up from the 3rd percentile at his 18th month well baby, so he has had a Luke sized growth spurt anyway. There is no real solid indicator of adult heigh, but they do say that the best guess is the height at 2 doubled. According to that his estimated adult height is 5'4". We need to pray for him. He had to get three shots which he wasn't to in to but he did pretty good with them. His next well baby appointment is at 3 years.

This evening we went to the furniture store and bought him a twin sized bed. It will be delivered on Wednesday so we'll be starting that transition. Hopefully it goes well and he stays in his bed like he's supposed to. We ended up getting a dark stain twin with an option. There is a full drawer beneath the bed that you can put another mattress in for a trundle effect, or you can insert some slats and have drawer space. We didn't buy the second mattress tonight, but decided to wait until he was closer to an age where a friend or a cousin =) might be able to spend the night in it. We'll use it for toy storage in the meantime. I will have to go tomorrow and buy sheets and a safety rail.

Leta and I have our next appointment tomorrow so I imagine you'll be getting another blog post from me shortly.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday dear Lu-uke...

I can't believe that this was 1 year ago. Or that this was two years ago.

We started off his birthday celebration day (the 17th) with a haircut and bath.
Then, at 9:30 Luke's friend Kenron T. came over to play. Luke was VERY excited. He loves Kenron and talks about him all the time. They had a good time together, although Luke's excitement was a little much for Kenron. He didn't quite know what to think of him.
After Kenron left Luke at lunch and went down for a nap and then I got busy getting ready for his birthday party. It was a really small group, but the perfect size for Luke. We only invited people in the city, because, you know, turning 2 isn't NEARLY as big of a deal as turning one. Although Luke likes to insist that he's 3. I had made his cake the day before so I just had to decorate it. Here is how it turned out.
Definitely decorated by an amateur, but it turned out okay. My cream cheese icing wasn't completely smooth, I think the cream cheese and butter were a bit cold. But Luke was able to tell that it was supposed to be a fire truck so I achieved my #1 objective. So, I decorated the cake, prepared the fixings for tostadas, made a fruit tray and guacamole.

Luke's party started at 5:00. Grandpa Wilbur and Gigi came, and so did Traver and Karter. Karter brought his parents, Brandon and Shanna along. We ate first and then went and opened presents. Luke was very intent on his opening of the gifts.
He loved all his presents. He got some Winnie the Pooh coloring sheets, a Gator Golfing game, puzzles, books, fire trucks, trains, a tractor with wagons, Thomas the Train videos, and a small take along track perfect for church. He also got orange spray paint from MY DAD, that had NO LID so he, of course, pressed the button and got a nice spray of orange paint up into the air. Thanks Dad = P

Kyle and I got him some small Winnie the Pooh figurines and a trike.
After presents we went and sang Happy Birthday and he blew out his candle.
He really enjoyed the singing and the candle blowing out. He's been talking about that part a lot today. He was too excited to go and play with his toys to eat much cake or ice cream. He played until bed and then was sad to leave his fire trucks behind. It was a busy day, but so much fun...and definitely tiring for this happy Mommy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Notable Quotable

Luke this morning at breakfast: Need "fire pass"

Finally realized he was pointing at his PACIFIER!! He doesn't use one and never has but he has one in his toy bin that he plays with occasionally.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Patch!

Playing in the small hay maze. He liked to go through the tunnels the best.
The only picture from the hayride and it's blurry!!
Petting rabbits.
The pigs
Luke had a red letter day today. First he got to go to Bible School. One of his all time favorite things to do. Then immediately after his nap we went to the pumpkin patch. It's really close to our house...probably less than 5 miles away. He had lots of fun "Baa-ing" at the sheep, "neigh-ing" at the ponies, "oinking" at the pigs etc. Along their hayride they have pumpkins hidden to find and he enjoyed that and he was excited to pick out a pumpkin and take it home. After we were done at the patch, we went to Arcadia and ate at Pops and had ice cream and then came home and Luke had a bath. Bible School, Pumpkin Patch, Ice Cream AND a bath all in one day. Probably was about more than he could handle =). So we put him down early at 7:45.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the month we have lots of fun fall, Halloween and Birthday things planned.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Warms my heart

Luke sitting on our bed with one of my books.

"Read Bible" repeated many times.
"I read Bible"
"Love Bible"
"Hold Bible"
"Love hold Bible"
"I love hold Bible."

Seeing more of my books on the nightstand.

"More Bible over there."

So, he isn't allowed to play with the things on my nightstand, but seriously. There is no disciplining this current behavior. Even if technically he has something he shouldn't.

"Put Bible away". This is definitely the highlight of my day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Money hungry

Here is Luke jumping off Daddy's back. One of his favorite past times.

Luke: I need money.
Me: That's mommy's money.
Luke: I need mommy's money.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thomas the Train

Daddy and Luke riding Thomas the train.
Luke and his first "tat". We told him it was a stamp.
Getting the tattoo. He loves it.
Thomas the train
Playing trains
Mommy and Luke on Thomas
Cheesy grin!
We rode the caboose and there were two sets of seats up above and since we were first in line, we got one. We were told they were the best seats.

Silly face!

I don't think I've had a picture of Luke and I in a REALLY long time. Well, I guess at swimming lessons, but they don't count. Pictures of me, pregnant and in a swim suit...well, they should probably never see the light of day. So anyway, I'm happy to have a few where we're both looking okay. Luke had big fun riding Thomas. We told him yesterday and he's talked about nothing else. There was a lot to do there other than just riding the train. We arrived around 9:30 and left after 11. So it was a fun morning.