Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Little Off the Sides, Please...

It progressively got worse as Lukas got older. We laughed it off. But a couple of times in the last few weeks someone, despite Lukas being dressed in blue or other normally boy specific colors and styles, has commented to us how cute our little girl is, or said something such as "How old is she?" These comments finally convinced Mrs. LIAYF and I that it was time for Lukas to get his first haircut.

Neither of us actually think he looked like a girl before the haircut, and it was still not the norm to get comments such as those. We had visions of a mop-topped little boy with 70's action star hair. Perhaps Starsky or Hutch, or even Steve Austin the 'Six Million Dollar Man' (whom I, because of my last name Austin, was linked to all through-out my grade school days). In reality even a few of the girlish comments, along with the fact that it was getting a bit unruly and into his eyes, cut that vision short.

We took Lukas to West Seattle Kids, a local kids' stylist, to get his first official shortening. It was fun! He wore his overalls, sat on a tractor chair, and enjoyed himself. The general farm theme of the place seemed appropriate given his long rooted farming ancestry.

In the end Luke's hair turned out looking very nice and definitely all little boy. It wasn't a buzz cut by any means, so we may have to go back sooner than we would like. All in all it was a great first lowering of his ears and he received quite a few compliments on his cute 'boy' haircut.

Well worth the time. No one will be calling him 'Hutch' anytime soon.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

12 years & 10 Months!

Lukas is 10 Months old today. Unbelievable! How did the past 10 months go by so fast? So much has happened since his birth, it seems amazing that we are all still standing. That would include Lukas, by the way, who continues to practice standing in all sorts of situations and appears to be readying himself for his first small steps and giant leaps all at once!

Mrs. LIAYF and I experienced our own giant leap last night as well which came in the form of our very first night out alone together since Lukas was born! Yes, this can be considered our first date post Luke, that is if we don't consider our lunch-time foray last week to the Taco Bus for authentic Mexican fare an actual date (if you haven't tried one of these out, you need to get on the bus, Gus. No need to discuss much). Anyway, our evening was terrific. We went out to dinner at Blackbird here in West Seattle and then to a movie. It was nice to feel another touch of our old version of normalcy return. Lukas didn't even make a peep for Fiona, our neighbor and friend, who graciously 'watched' Luke.

Date night also had a historical tie-in, as it came on the 12th anniversary of our very first date. As far as dates go, this one didn't last nearly as long, but the food was much better. Mrs. LIAYF recommended a vegan restaurant the first time around, and in a testament to how much I liked her immediately, that didn't deter me from seeing her again, and again, until we were blissfully united.
It was only about 3 hours, and we weren't worried at all about Luke. In fact, it seemed to go by very quickly. Maybe soon we can plan a longer outing together. That would be nice, but also a bit more difficult to arrange. Normal, is not what it used to be!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Real Stand-Up Guy

A horse trots into a bar, the bartender says ' Hey, why the long face?'...

Why was the Energizer Bunny arrested? ......He was charged with battery.
What is invisible and smells like carrots?......Rabbit farts.

Ok, Lukas has not started ripping off lame one-liners like these quite yet, but he has started to demonstrate a rather refreshing sense of humor lately. In a nod to his budding future career as a comic genius, Lukas has pulled off some pretty funny gags as of late.

It all started with what we recognized as 'Luke the Funny' formulating his first joke when after a healthy nursing session with mom, I held him for a burp and he leaned back, glared inquisitively at me, opened his mouth as wide as possible, then faked like he was going to nurse on my nose before backing off and laughing heartily! It was a good routine and one that we both cracked up at (not so tough a crowd). Mrs LIAYF remarked that we had just seen his first joke.

It continued this week with the old 'psych' routine involving his beloved cheerios. Luke has been showing how he recognizes items by responding to our questions about them. For instance, I will say 'Lukas, where is the book?' and he will respond by banging the said book (amongst many available items, mind you) with whatever banging instrument he has in his little hand. Yesterday, in response to mom's instruction to 'Give mom a cheerio' he, a few times in a row, picked up and handed Mrs. LIAFY a cheerio with a big grin of accomplishment! Next, she instructed Lukas to 'Give dad a cheerio'. Lukas, with all the seriousness of the task at hand, picked up the cheerio to place it in my hand, only to pull it away at the last instant before I took it and stick it in his own hungry little mouth! This was, of course, accompanied by a huge 'Gotcha' smile, and was repeated a couple of more times to ensure that we knew this was no mere mistake.
Dad had been had. The butt of the joke. Great Fodder (pun intended). I guess I had better get used to it! He is, after all, his father's son.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Finger Eat'n Bad!

This moment brought to you by one tired 9 1/2 month old, and two parents who are still not jaded. We can still see the humor in a little person who when bedtime is fast approaching and he has already had enough to eat, believes the proper thing to do with yams and polenta would be to rub them in your hair, smear them on your face, and fling them over your shoulder (for good luck, no doubt)!
I am sure there will be a time in the near future where we are not so amused by such a display, but for now we still think fiascos such as this are adorable. I hope that time doesn't come for quite a while. We can, and plan, to teach Lukas that life should be full of fun and that messes can be cleaned up without taking certain things too seriously. Check back with us from time to time to see how that is working!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Phat Burns!

Lukas is getting quite the head of hair lately, but I am especially impressed by these sideburns. This is from a guy who was never able to grow sideburns no matter how hard I tried.

I actually do know that these are not really sideburns in an official sense, but they look impressive nonetheless. I see a long career as a salty old sea captain in his future. Yeah, we could dye them white and train them down his face like mutton chops. Great for catching his crumbs!

Well, maybe it's time to cut them back a bit! Mrs. LIAYF loves them though, so it may not be soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

12, is a Magic #

A significant event happened overnight at the Austin household. After a fussy afternoon at his daycare, where Luke seemed to be a bit off kilter and not able to nap properly, I brought him home, we fed him dinner, took him up to his bath, read him the minimum two books, then put Lukas down for bed after a short nursing session. It was about 7:15 PM when he drifted off.

Lukas finally woke this morning at 7:45 AM, 12 1/2 hours later!! Our son has been sleeping much better over the past month, save for the occasional hiccup for an hour or two sometime past midnight, at least once a week. However, this is the very first time he has slept for at least 12 straight hours! We actually were able to sleep in until 7:45 ourselves on a Saturday morning, which would be an even greater little slice of heaven if nature hadn't been ringing off the hook since at least 6:00 AM. I did not want to jinx our good fortune, and so went to a mental place where I would let that natural solicitor wait until I was good and ready to answer. Or at least until Luke woke up! I just wanted to see how long he would last without the benefit of me walking around on the squeaky fir floors outside his baby flat, so I toughed it out.

This may not seem significant to many of you, who surely had your little ones sleeping 12 hours at a stretch a week or so after they were born (on beds of nails outdoors in the snow, I'm sure), but to Mrs. LIAFY and I, who struggled for months to get Luke to sleep more than two or three hours in a row, this is a momentous morning. It will be a tough act to follow tonight!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Reason We Install Gates!

Now that Lukas is standing tall and moving ever closer to taking his first independent steps, still a mind boggling concept to us, Mrs. LIAYF and I have been busy safety proofing the house in all sorts of little ways. We have covered the exposed outlets, put extremely annoying ziplatches on our cabinets, hidden or removed varying power cords, and cleaned the floors and low shelves of anything that would resemble a choking hazard. Most importantly, we put up our first baby gates to prevent any Jack and Jill like exercises down our flights of stairs.

Surely this is just the beginning, and we know that as Luke advances and grows into a little boy who is curious about everything, we will have to equally advance our own thinking in regards to what around the house is safe and what needs improvement on the safety scale. For now though, we feel like we have made an appropriate first pass, since he is not yet zooming away from us to places where we can't keep a watchful eye on how he is doing. We do know, however, that those days are rapidly approaching and we are both excited for him and a bit sad that his helpless baby days, when he needed mom and dad for so much more, are fading away.

It is all wonderful though! This is so much fun!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

To the Bus Stop Wee Ride

Mrs. LIAYF calls this the most beautiful bus stop in the world. It's just a 1/2 mile from our home right on the Puget Sound (Seattle's bay) on Beach Drive in West Seattle. Most summer weekends we will bicycle down the hill from our house to Beach Drive, admire the view at the stop, then bike along the waterfront several miles to Alki Beach - which is right across the waterfront from downtown Seattle and has a great view. We cheat a bit on the way back - and throw our bikes on a city bus for the long ride back up the hill (we lucky Seattleites have bike racks on the buses!).

We didn't go at all last summer - with the pregancy and tiny little Lukas born in June. But, we look forward to making this bike trip often this summer. Lukas will be turning one and some good friends of ours got us a Wee Ride bike seat and a Baby Bell bike helmet as a baby shower gift. Lukas loves the helmet, and it almost fits!! And, the Wee Ride is pretty cool - it sits in front of the adult rider, right behind the handle bars. It just feels safer and the kid has a much better view than if they were on back.

It was an incredibly thoughtful gift (Thank you, Brandi and Rob!). Since we couldn't use either until Lukas turns one year old, our summer bike rides have been something to look forward to. We are sure Lukas will love it. He already loves swinging very fast, spinning around and around, and zooming through the air with mom and dad. It's also a great way to introduce him to how nice the world is when you are passing by on a bike (as opposed to zooming by in a car). It looks to be a very beautiful summer!

*Bonus Time*

Lukas is feeling better after a rough weekend and early week with yet another virus. This one was strange with the Budlet alternating from running a high temp and being lethargic, to turning on a dime, where he would look and feel good the next day only to run a fever again the following day after that. This pattern continued for several days with Lukas being sent home from daycare on Monday afternoon with a high fever, only to act and look just fine once I got him home.

State Law here in Washington mandates that a child be out of daycare for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol before coming back after running fever, so I had to bite the bullet and work from home on Tuesday, even though I am going through an extremely busy time at work right now.

The bonus was that Lukas felt great all Tuesday and it turned out to be a smooth day all around with the Luke not only happy and playful but eating and napping very well also. This allowed me to get a lot of much needed work done remotely from my laptop. It was also a sunny day, so I took Luke out for a lunch time walk in the sun up to Easy Street Records for some much needed diversion. We came away with the rockin new 'Hands' disc and also many admiring smiles and looks for the dad with the cool baby strapped to his chest.

What could have been another crazy day turned out to be bonus time with Lukas. Very satisfying! Unfortunately though, our son arrived back at daycare without the benefit of several of his new buddies as 6 of the 9 babies, not including Luke the Long, were sent home with the same strange virus. Ok, I have to admit I felt guilty about that given the timing, but even if he did give this bug to the other babies he has been on the receiving end of more than his share of germs since he started there a month and a half ago. As they say, what comes around goes around.

It has been going around quite a bit at daycare lately!