Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our family story begins...

Once upon a time there was a girl who fell in love and married the boy of her dreams.

One day, they found out they were going to be mommy and daddy to a new little baby, and they were so excited!

The girl was due to have her baby in the midst of a terrible winter with many snowstorms.  She waited and waited, but he didn't want to come.  She knew that most kids love snow, so she went for a walk in the snow to see if she could get him to come out and join the family.  No luck.

Then one day, after all the snow melted, her precious little baby arrived!  He spent so much extra time living inside his mommy that he was a big boy.  But she didn't mind.  He was perfect in her eyes.

After a couple days, the girl and the boy and their baby went home.  She dressed him in a cute little outfit and his daddy took lots of pictures.  It was a wonderful day. 

At home, the girl introduced the baby to all the members of his new family, even the kitties!  He would sometimes cuddle with the cats.

The new little family would spend lots of time together.  When the baby and his daddy spent time together, the girl's heart would melt.

The girl and the baby spend lots of time together.  They loved each other right away, but as time passed, that love grew stronger....

....and stronger.

Before she knew it, the girl saw her baby getting bigger and growing older.

She sometimes thought she would want him to stay little forever, but really, she just wanted him to grow up to be a good person with lots of love in his heart.  So she whispered her wishes for his life to him often....

....and he listened.


Monday, April 26, 2010


Today, well yesterday really, since I'm up so late, Luke was baptized as a Catholic.  We celebrated the sacrament at St. Peter the Apostle church.  It was a nice ceremony for which Luke wore his Daddy's christening gown.  It was worn by Aunt Susanne and Uncle Paul before him. 

Luke was very good during the ceremony until he could not longer suppress his hunger.  Poor little guy! 

Here are some photographic highlights....

Mommy and Luke before the ceremony

Luke with Mommy, Daddy, and godparents, Aunt Colleen and Papa

Luke with his godparents

Aunt Anna loves her Luke!

Looking older here!

Luke with his Mommy and Aintin Colleen

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Appeal to Our Readers

I know you're out there!  From time to time, someone will say, "I read that on your blog" so I know these words and photos are being read by someone!

If you are one of those someones, do the blog-thing and become a follower.  You might consider leaving a comment every now and again, as well.  It would make Luke soooooo happy!  And you wouldn't want to disappoint Luke, now, would you?!

This is what happened the last time Luke was disappointed!  

Locks of Love

I post this for no other reason than to share some shame of mine.  When Christopher and I got married, I had the longest hair I've ever had.  I loved it for a while, but it got to be too much, and I was eager to cut it off after the wedding.  Exactly one week after the wedding in September 2008, I went to the salon and had Richard (best stylist ever!) cut off 13 inches of hair.  He bagged it for me to send to Locks of Love.  Nice, right?  It would have been a lot nicer if I had not left my ponytails hanging out in a box in my house for 18 months!  (Before you start going, "EWWW, GROSS!" please remember that hair is already dead on your head, so it's not like it was rotting away in that box or anything!)  I kept meaning to send it, but I just never got around to it, then I was pregnant and I had no motivation to do anything extra.

Note the date on the certificate.  While I am attempting to defend myself, I'm actually pretty ashamed.  At least some little kid somewhere will eventually benefit from my old ponytails!

Friday, April 23, 2010


The world is a little bit different when you lose someone you love.  On Wednesday afternoon, Aunt Arlene passed away after nearly four years of battling ovarian cancer.  She put up quite a fight, and we are so proud to have known such a brave lady.  At times like this, there are few words that can express the loss and what she meant to all of us.  So, I will keep this one brief and just say that we are remembering....

We love you, Aunt Arlene!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cowboy Luke

Again, should be working on thesis, but am playing with Luke and blog instead.

I had visions of setting up a little photo shoot with Luke wearing his cowboy suit and hat. He was fairly happy until I tried to squeeze his head into the hat. At only 6.5 weeks, that hat is already too small. Oh well. There are worse things....

So here's the only picture I was able to get. You can see how much Luke enjoyed the photo shoot!

You can see why I only took one... this little guy needed Mommy's arms!

And here's the real reason he was so upset. Tired baby! Mommy's doing her best as a photographer, but when the model doesn't cooperate, there's not much to do except improvise! I hope Luke will laugh at these when he gets older.

 You can just make out the words... "cowboy" on the jumper and "bandit" on the hat.  I'm not sure I want to encourage my son into either of these two areas of work or recreation, but it makes for some cute photos!

Awaiting Granny and Papa

While I should be working on my thesis, here I am, blogging. I put Luke down for bed about 45 minutes ago, and since we still don't have our monitor set-up (sorry Rose!) I brought my laptop up to bed to sit with Luke. By the time I gathered all my things and came back upstairs to him, he was lying on the bed, quiet and content, but awake. Argh! Perhaps I shouldn't complain since he's doing little fussing, just making noises and moving around. He's a good boy, but he doesn't know his bedtime!

On to the point of the post... we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Chris's parents, known to their other grandchildren, Rachel and Frances, as Granny and Papa. They've yet to meet Luke, and they planned their trip from Scotland to meet him for the first time now, as it coincides with Colleen and Rob's wedding in 10 days. Little did any of us know that there would be a terrific volcanic eruption to halt air travel all over Europe. We've all been worried that they would not make it to us this week, which will cause us to delay Luke's christening scheduled for this Sunday.

We just heard that the first leg of their trip has not been canceled! Perhaps we'll see them this week after all...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fun video

If you know my sister Colleen, you know she's a fun-loving crazy person. This video shows how nuts she is. It's a bit older (maybe three weeks or so), and in it, Luke is her puppet and she is the voice and the finger (as you will see). Enjoy! This video made me laugh up a storm.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Luke's Potty Video

I will have to remove this video before Luke is old enough to realize that I posted it. I don't want the poor child having to explain to his friends why he is peeing on the web! Even though it's G-rated, I think he'll want this video kept private in the future.

And here it is... the debut of Luke's pottying on video. We are so proud!

Disclaimer: We are not experts! We are only starting with this, and if you see this video and realize this is not the textbook picture of elimination communication, please know that we are doing our best and have good intentions. We hope to get better at cuing Luke and recognizing his cues, as well.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

EC really works!

Luke is now 6 weeks old, and we officially started working on Elimination Communication (EC) after the last local EC parents meeting in March.  It was great to go and meet other families who do this with success, especially since we are just starting out.  While we tried EC a handful of times before the meeting, we had no success.  The day after the meeting, Luke pooped on the potty for the first time, and since then, things have only gotten better.  We have caught something each day (even if only once), but I consider that success since we've only been at this a couple weeks now. 

One of the group leaders lent me the Diaper Free Baby book, and I read it over the past couple weeks, trying to incorporate some of the suggestions along the way.  Despite attending the meeting in March, reading online and in the books, and hearing of other parents' successes, I secretly never thought my little baby would respond to this process.  I thought we would perhaps catch a pee or poop out of luck or my own recognition of his needs, but having Luke respond at this young age was something I did not think would happen...

...BUT I WAS WRONG!  Last week, the most amazing thing happened. After two weeks of "psssing" and "grrring" in his ear over the potty with no real correlation between the sounds and the elimination, I positioned Luke over the potty again, thinking I had a 50/50 shot of him peeing.  His diaper had been off for about a minute while I organized myself and his potty.  When I put him over the potty, I took a few extra seconds to grip his legs.  All the while, Luke did not pee.  Once I had him positioned properly, I cued him with "psssss" and after three or four seconds, he peed!  It was fantastic!  With all the waiting, Luke definitely needed to go, but he waited until cued.  In this case, there was clearly a relationship between my cuing and his peeing. 

Since that day, we've caught many more pees (and poops) and have been successful having Luke go when prompted.  I am sincerely amazed at this, even after all I've heard and read on the topic. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Benefit for Aunt Arlene

Last night, our family celebrated a very special person... Aunt Arlene.  Four years ago, Aunt Arlene was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She put up a good fight, but about a month ago, her doctors advised against further treatments, instead suggesting a move to hospice care.  At about the same time, her close family and friends began organizing a huge benefit to help defray the costs of treatment and other upcoming costs.

Well, it was quite a party!  We estimated a possible 400 people turned out to support Aunt Arlene.  She came and enjoyed the event for almost two hours!  A string band performed just for her, and it was a sight to see!

Aunt Arlene also got to spend some time with her favorite kiddos.  As a part of the Flanagan clan, you get used to kids being around.  Aunt Arlene has always loved the being around the kids of the family, and even when she's feeling tired and kind of sick, she still enjoys being with them.  At one point in my life, I was one of those kids, and now I have one of my own sitting on her lap.

I am so happy that Aunt Arlene was able to enjoy a wonderful time, and I am especially happy that she saw how special she is to so many people.


Aunt Arlene, Luke, and Joshua enjoying each other at the benefit.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Luke uses the potty!

Yes, it's true!  Believe it or not, our one-month-old baby has successfully used the potty.  Infant pottying is also called Elimination Communication (EC), but most of the world knows it as the norm.  Think about it - if diapers weren't so convenient, wouldn't we be eager to get our kids out of them sooner?  With super-absorbent disposable diapers and the great cloth options nowadays in our society, we are programmed to keep babies and toddlers in diapers for much longer than necessary.  I can imagine a time when diapers were merely a tool used to catch pees and poops when babies were very young, before their elimination patterns were clear.  Once parents understood their children's signals for elimination, diapers would be abandoned. 

What we have learned about EC is that it is mainly about communication.  Baby gives a signal that it's time to "go" and we have a chance to respond.  If we respond in a timely manner, we'll be able to get Luke to the potty or toilet in time for him to do his business.  Over time, we get better at reading his signals, and we establish a more consistent pattern of getting Luke to the potty.  We need to trust Luke to cue us, and he needs to trust us to respond.  Now, we are new to this, and we are in no way experts, but this is the premise, and so far, it's been working.

We don't catch every pee and poop, but since last week, we've caught at least one elimination per day.  I think that is pretty good considering our novice status. 

Now, you may be thinking that we are nuts, but do your own research, and you will find that nice, normal people do this worldwide. While EC is not the norm in America anymore, it once was, and still is in many other parts of the world.  Those in our country trying to revive this practice tend to be eco-friendly parents with attachment parenting tendencies, who also want to save a buck or two on diapering.  Now what can be wrong with that?!

Pretty soon, we'll post a picture or video of Luke using the potty.  We have some photos now waiting to be uploaded.  We haven't yet taken video, but we will do so soon.  I bet our readership will increase after that, with current readers telling their friends about "the crazy bloggers who make their newborn use a potty"!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Stats

As of yesterday, Luke's length can be officially measured in feet.  He is 2-feet tall!  And our little (or not-so-little) turkey weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds, 4 ounces!  Luke is gaining about a pound every two weeks, which is impressive, or so says the doctor.