Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Action: Luke tries out his T-ball set, while fighting allergies

Strange post title, I know.  But, I wanted to share a couple of short video clips and the title really fits the clips.  We were in the backyard tonight, and there was a LOT of yellow pollen around.  But, the weather was so beautiful, that we didn't want to go inside.  So, instead, I brought Luke's T-ball set outside so he could play with it.

Here is a video clip of him taking a couple of swings.

Because of all of the yellow pollen in the air and on everything, he needed a tissue.   So, I gave him one.   I think it is SO cute when he blows his nose.  A few months ago, I gave him a tissue in the car, and much to my amazement, he started blowing his nose.  We never taught him how to do it, I guess he just learned by watching us.   What is even funnier is that he has never acted like it is a big deal--it's like he has been doing it forever.  Maybe it really isn't a big deal and I am just a crazy, proud mommy.  Drew took a short video with his phone of Luke blowing his nose.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Strawberry Pickin'

This morning we visited Sweetberry Farms in Marble Falls to pick some strawberries.  We decided to get there as early as possible to be guaranteed some excellent picks.  We were not disappointed.

Luke was excited to ride in his wagon on this beautiful day.
This one looks just right.
and so does this one...
Here are some of our picks...delicious!

Luke thought this was pretty funny.

Luke loves animals...and he has no fear of them at all.

"See over there, kitty, those are baby goats."

"How does this feel, kitty?"

taking it all in...

I can help you all pull this for a little while.

Fellow early strawberry pickers in one of the fields.

We couldn't leave without getting a cup of homemade strawberry ice cream.

Mommy, you can't feed me fast enough, let me do it.
When we arrived back home, we had to do something with all of the strawberries we picked.  Drew washed all of the strawberries and divided them into two containers:  one for the ripe, and the other for the "ripe in a couple of days."  I used the really ripe strawberries to make this Strawberry Angel Trifle--a recipe I found on the Sweetberry Farms website.  I used homemade angel food cake and homemade vanilla pudding instead of store-bought cake or instant pudding, so hopefully it is good.  We can't wait to eat it!  

Here is a link for a photo album of today's adventure if you're interested in seeing more:  Strawberry Pickin'.

Lastly, I will leave you with a few random, but interesting, facts about strawberries:
  • A strawberry has, on average, 200 seeds.  Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  • Ninety-four percent of U.S. households consume strawberries at least once a year
  • Strawberries have a long-dated history of medical uses, the Romans for instance used them to alleviate symptoms of fainting, kidney stones, inflammation, diseases of the blood, liver and spleen, throat infections, bad breath, attacks of gout, melancholy and fever
  • The etymology of the name "strawberry" is still largely unproven: some argue that they were named in the nineteenth-century by English children who picked the berries, strung them on grass straws and sold them as "Straws of berries". Others theorize that the name was derived from the nineteenth-century practice of placing straw around the growing berry plants to protect the ripening fruit
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in spring
  • Strawberries were a symbol of perfection and love: for instance, folklore says that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you'll soon fall in love. Medieval stonemasons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in sacred places such as churches, as a symbol of perfection
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is this considered bragging...

Or is this just classified as sharing in my excitement?  If you look closely at this receipt, you will see I purchased two hats---each for 19 cents!  Yes, that is a total of 41 cents (tax inclusive) for two hats for Luke. 

Is this considered boasting?
I really don't like to boast, because I feel humility is very important.  But, it is really hard for someone like me to not share my excitement in this situation.  One of my favorite things to do is find great deals on things we need--and then I always like to share my finds with others so they can also get the deal.

Here's the story.  We went to the Children's Place outlet because Luke was in desperate need of a ball cap and a sunhat, after outgrowing his old hats.  When going on walks, he was having to squint in the sun.  I found two hats in the clearance section, and decided to purchase, thinking they were $3.99 each.  The cashier told me the total was $.41, and I had to question her.  She confirmed that was the correct price.  They are not the most attractive hats, but they work! 

I asked Luke to model his sun hat for me.

Did you get a picture yet mom?
Then, I tried to get a good picture of the baseball cap, but was not successful.  This picture gives you an idea of what it looks like.  I know it doesn't look right in this picture though, because it wasn't completely on his head.
Is this a good pose mom?
When Drew first saw the hat, he asked if I decided we were going to be LSU tigers fans now?  I was not thinking about the hat being LSU colors when I purchased it--oh well. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did you notice something different--we have a cast-free, splint free Luke!

Well, almost.  Luke had a follow-up visit with the Orthopedic physician on Thursday, 3/10, to review the healing process on his radius/ulnar shaft reduction.  New X-Ray images were taken, which revealed his ulna and radius had a LOT of new bone formation.   In fact, around where the breaks were located following the reduction procedure, his bones were triple the normal thickness.  You could still, however, see the fracture within this new bone on the old bone.   But, it was amazing that it had new bone on each side of the old, acting as a protective armor.  The doctor removed the splint and told us his bones would continue healing, and in 6 months if we were to get new X-Rays, we wouldn't be able to tell he ever broke a bone!

Seeing the healing process of these bones makes me wonder how anyone could question whether God exists.    How could someone believe the body heals this way just by chance or evolution?   Only an omnipotent, omniscient God could possibly design our bodies so that we heal so amazingly!  Let's review what Luke's body just did over the past couple of months.  (I am using pictures of other kids, because we didn't get pictures of Luke's bent arm in the hospital):

1.  We showed up at the hospital with a bent arm after climbing onto and falling off of a chair.

2.   Here is an example of a femur shaft fracture remodeling without any intervention besides casting.
That was of a 9-year old child.  With Luke being much younger (bones even more porous and immature) the healing process should occur even more quickly.   And about those triple thick bones--I asked the doctor if his bone would go back down to normal size.  He said that the bone should become completely normal after the fracture completely heals.  How amazing is it that the bones get thicker around the break as the fracture heals and then dissipate when no longer needed?

Because we were nervous walking out of the doctor's office with no protection around Luke's arm, the doctor made us a temporary splint out of fiberglass that we can put on Luke when he is being extra rambunctious.  I told the doctor that he would probably be wearing it anytime he is awake if we are using "being rambunctious" as the guidelines for when to wear it.  He laughed but said after two weeks of that, we should not use any type of extra protection.

Little Luke has been such a trooper during this whole thing.  He doesn't even fight putting the temporary splint on.  Actually, when he sees me bringing it over to him, he sits downs and stick his arm out for me to place it on.  We love our little guy more than words can ever describe, and are SO EXTREMELY excited he is almost completely healed. 

I'm Splint and Cast-free!

Our Saturday Adventures with Animals

I have been telling Luke all week long that we would be seeing some farm animals at the Rodeo fairgrounds this weekend. We talked about the cows, pigs, horses, chickens and sheep. Actually, I don't know who was looking more forward to the trip--me or him. I love festivals! So, it's a good thing that Austin has a lot of them. One of my favorite websites/blogs that I visit regularly is It's a great site for listings of all of the fun activities going on around town (including festivals) and coupons/listings for great deals on entertainment and food. What's not to love?

On Saturday, I just couldn't wait for Luke to arise from his morning nap so we could go to the rodeo and see the animals, hear some live music and eat some great BBQ and fair food. We decided to check the rodeo website before leaving and we saw that it would cost us $24 to get in!!!! That's $7 admission each and then $10 for parking--OUCH! Then, I remembered that I had purchased a deal for the Austin Zoo a month ago that I discovered when browsing the site. Drew and I have visited this zoo before. Drew's opinion is that it should be called "Austin Animal Rehab" instead of a Zoo, but I think it is neat. Yes, there are Schizophrenic monkeys that were rescued from research labs, but it has such a down-home family feel. Since we were getting in for half price (because of the deal I purchased), he was willing to go as a family. Luke loved it!

I'm not sure the animals loved that Luke was there though.
At this zoo, you can get so close to the animals.  One of Luke's favorite things to do was chase the roosters that freely roamed the zoo.
Here is one of the beautiful roosters
Here is the rooster escaping Luke's quick pursuit.
 Besides being able to get so close to the animals, I love the scenery at this zoo.  It is located at the top of a hill.   You can even take a train ride which takes you through the hills and some nice scenery.  But, there were way too many people in line for the train, so we opted not to take the ride this time. 

We finished our visit off with some snow cones and then headed back to the car.

Later that day, we took a walk in our neighborhood, which included a visit to the duck pond.  Luke loves feeding the ducks.  He always decides that he needs to eat whatever we are feeding the ducks as well.  It usually plays out like this:  I throw a piece of bread to the ducks...he asks for a piece of bread...I give it to him thinking he also wants to throw a piece to the ducks...he eats it.  This is the case regardless of how stale the bread is that we are feeding the ducks.

Can I please have a piece mommy?

There were some adorable little ducklings swimming around in the pond.

Luke loved this bridge.

He ran back...and forth...and back..and forth over it!  Daddy was such a good sport as always!

So, although we didn't make it to the rodeo, we accomplished our goal of seeing many animals!  And Luke loved every minute of it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Party Party!!

I've gotten behind on blogging because we have been very busy the past two weekends partying!  And no, it wasn't at the famous SXSW in Austin.  Two weekends ago we traveled to Oklahoma for our niece, Linnea's, first birthday party.  I can't believe she is already one year old and walking!  This year has just flown by!   Here are some pictures from our visit there and her first birthday party. Isn't she adorable! (Some of the early pictures are of Luke hanging out with his cousins at Grandma and Grandpa's house).

Then, last weekend, we visited Sugar Land, TX for our nephew, Mitchell's, 10th birthday party. I can't believe that when I first met him, he was only 6 years old! These kids are growing up way too quickly!

At Mitchell's party, we played several fun games, but my favorite was baseball. It felt so good to play, and I realize how much I miss playing softball! I would love to be able to figure out a way that Drew and I could play on a team together again.

It was so much fun being able to see family at both birthday parties. We love hanging out with our families every opportunity we can!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 7: Leftovers and Weekly Recap

The orzo soup recipe made A LOT!   Because we didn't want to waste any food and because we were leaving to go out of town the following day to celebrate our Niece, Linnea's, first birthday, we ate soup leftovers for day 7.

We will definitely use Rachael Ray's Weekly Meal Planner again for the following reasons:
  1. The SHOPPING LIST!   I loved this.  A lot of times when you are trying out new recipes, it takes a lot of time to figure out everything you need, consolidating all of the week's meals ingredients into one list.   All of the work is done for you with the weekly planner--and the list is made such that waste is minimal.  Lastly, the list is organized by section of the store.   Grocery shopping takes very little time with this organization!
  2. Tips for saving time!   I am all about efficiency, so, of course, I love this!
  3. Delicious new meals in a very short amount of time.   What's not to love?
I am also going to start a google document list and save all of my favorite recipes on it, to put them into our permanent rotation.   If anyone wants me to "share" these with them, just let me know.