Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Unfortunately, I ran out of time to get pictures in the mail, but here is Luca's 1st Christmas Picture!

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Party Animal!

Last Thursday, Luca and Donovan attended the children's Christmas Party at the nursing home where Mom and Jessica work. They saw a teenage magician and Santa, of course. All the children got a goodie bag from Santa and balloon animals, etc from the magician.

Donovan was a little afraid of Santa, but loved his balloon sword! Luca didn't know what was going on, but he seemed to be enjoying watching all the action around him.

He wore his balloon hat proudly, while Donovan wasn't too thrilled.

I am often amazed at how aware Luca is becoming of his surroundings! A few days ago, they were clearing the snow from the street in front of our house and Luca watched them out the window very intently. He even cried when they were out of sight! Here he is watching out the window...

We have been busy preparing for Christmas. Along with the usual hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, we are having some Ponoka High School friends and their spouses (about 16 people in total) at our house on the 23rd. Since we are all spread out and busy now, it is nice to get together when everyone is back in town for the holidays.

We are also having Christmas Eve with my family here. My mom and Jessica both work on Christmas Day (unfortunately, this is always a possibility with shift work) so Christmas Eve will be our Christmas Day with them. Grandma and Maurice will be joining us, along with Megan and Lorna McLaren. (Megan is my "other sister" and Lorna is her mom).

We will be spending Christmas Day at Pat and Joanne's with some of Chris' family. We alternate being there every year, and this is an "away" year, so we will be missing some of the kids and their families. We are usually there every year, since both mine and Chris' parents live in Ponoka, it is not so difficult to spend time with both families. (Side note- In case you didn't know, Chris proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2001 about 1/2 way between my parents' house and his- they live a few miles apart. So, Christmas Eve is extra special to us, as is "that spot".)

Then on the 29th, we will be hosting the rest of the Johnson family for appetizers and visiting.

Needless to say, this coming week will be very busy at our house. It is nice, though to host events such as this in our first home. BUT, I really wanted to get our living room painted before all of these guests came. So..........guess what we have been busy doing!? (Like it isn't a busy enough time!)

On December 2, Chris and Pat wired in some wall sconces on either side of our picture window. This allowed us to get rid of the big ceiling fan that was suspended from the exposed beams. Just removing the fan really opened up the room. We also painted the walls a camel color, and all the trim in the room a light beige. New blinds in the dining room and curtains in the living room finish off the new look. We finshed this all in about a week.

But, what is a nice new looking room without new furniture? We intended on buying a new chair, and came home with a new sectional sofa AND a chair! When we moved, we didn't have enough furniture, so we were using loaned furniture to fill the space. We have been wanting new stuff to call our own, but weren't really in a rush. We were going to do it slowly.....but we got a great deal on a display model, so now we have a whole new living room! And just in time for Christmas!

I think we have nearly lost our minds making a large purchase right before Christmas! But, it sure is nice to sit in a room that you really love and are proud of!

I will try to get some before and after pictures up soon! (You can see some of the paint in the post below, behind me and the Christmas tree).

We wish all of you reading this a very Merry Christmas filled with the love of family and friends! Those of you that we are fortunate enough to be seeing over the next few weeks, we are looking forward to it!

Love Chris, Janice and Luca

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas is coming!!!!

On Sunday morning, we decorated our Christmas tree. We were very excited to have a real tree this year. When we were renting, we weren't allowed to have real trees for insurance purposes (fire hazzard). Now that we are in own own home, we were definitely getting a real one! Chris went and picked it out at the lot on Saturday. He got the tallest one he could find- it was about 8.5 feet tall. We had to trim it a bit so that our star would fit on top. It nearly touches the tallest peak in our living room! The smell brings back so many memories of Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's. It's wonderful!

Luca loves to look at the lights, and he "talks" to the tree. He thinks that the feeling of the needles is hysterical- he laughs every time we hold him up to the tree to touch!

Luca even helped to put his first ornament on the tree!

Then it was off to Nona and Papa's for supper and all the kids helped decorate their tree, too!

Only 13 more days till Christmas!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

Today at the mall was "Baby's First Christmas" day, where if this was their first Christmas, they got a free picture with Santa. So, of course, we did it! And Mommy got some more Christmas shopping done, too.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

All played out

Somehow, Luca fell asleep while playing. One minute, he was playing, the next, passed right out. This is unusual for him, as he usually likes to be held to go to sleep....He didn't even hardly stir when I took him out and put him in his crib!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Things I know for sure at 25......

1. Motherhood is the hardest, but greatest job I will ever have.

2. Nothing is sweeter than true love. I marvel at how wonderful a husband and father Chris is.

3. My baby's laughter is the single greatest sound on Earth. Hearing someone say "I love you" is right up there, too.

4. Showers are a tranquil time away from everyone and everything. I never knew how much I loved a good shower until Luca was born and I couldn't take that time for granted!

5. Owning an older home is tons of work, but seeing the finished product after renovations and knowing that it was YOUR hard work and not someone else's is truly rewarding.

6. After 25 years, I still do not like winter- scraping, shovelling, cold, wet, dreary, icy, yuck!

7. Nothing soothes the soul like a good, long chat with a great friend. True friendship is a great blessing.

8. As I get older, family becomes so much more important. I value the time spent with family as it gets harder to get together with everyone.

9. Finally, I am truly content with where my life is now. I wouldn't change a thing....

(Another new post below)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

5 Months Old!

It has been a while since I have posted anything. Sorry.

Luca picked out the bear himself while we were Christmas shopping. He pulled it off the shelf and started sucking on it, so he got a new toy that day! (The proceeds went to a children's charity, anyway, so all for a good cause)

Luca is 5 months old! He is rolling over both ways now (but he doesn't like to roll onto his back often, he prefers to cry and wait for someone to roll him over when he is bored). He is eating infant cereal two times a day and loving it- he sure does love to eat! But, we already knew that! :) He also loves to play with the face cloth afterwards, too.

He is still as smiley as always and is getting to be quite vocal, too. Laughing and experimenting with volume of voice are fun things to do these days! His hair is getting thicker and darker, so he is not totally bald anymore! :)

Luca has really begun to notice the dog. Whenever Hope is nearby, he stops what he is doing to watch her, smile and "talk" to her. She is so gentle with him when he "pets" her. She sits there patiently while I hold him and let him see her. She has also come to lay on the floor near him while he is playing.

Surgery is a distant memory. His incision has healed nicely (you can see it in the pictures). It seems like it was so long ago, but it was only about 3 weeks ago.

These are pics taken in the last week or so.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Aliens Attack!


Tee hee hee!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Luca's growing up!

Luca started on infant rice cereal yesterday and he really seemed to like it. Although he is only 4 1/2 months old, and not the 6 months that they now recommend waiting until before starting on solids, many factors precipitated this event. I have an infection that results in less milk production for him. To help with keeping him full, this was one way to go. Physically he was ready to swallow the cereal, so after talking to the doctor, it was a go.

Luca is also now able to roll over! Usually babies roll from front to back first, but in keeping with Luca doing things differently, he can roll from his back onto his front, but not the other way yet. This seems a bit strange to me, since apparently rolling back to front takes more strength and coordination than the other way. Oh well, he has had some unusual experiences in his 4 1/2 months.

His incision has been healing nicely, although we haven't actually seen it directly. The steri-strips will be coming off in the next few days, and then we will be able to see where the stitches were (they should be dissolved soon). He doesn't seem to even notice that anything is different.

Life with a baby gets more interesting every day!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Well, today was the day that we had been dreading- Luca had surgery. He was the first surgery in the morning for our surgeon at the Stollery, so he got in on time at 7:30am. That was a relief since he wasn't able to eat for 4 hours before, and I wasn't looking forward to a hungry baby. We didn't have to wait around for as long as we anticipated before he went in. They put some topical freezing on his hands for the IV and gave him some Tylenol before they took him away. The anesthetist came and spoke to us prior, and she seemed really nice. She explained everything, then a nurse came and took him away. I had a really hard time with this. During our consultation, the surgeon had said that one of us could go with him while they put him to sleep, so we had decided that Chris would go (I thought that it would be too hard for me), but then they said that they were just going to take him in. In some ways, this was better, but it was also hard to hand him over to a stranger and watch him walk down the hall with him.

Luca and Mommy before surgery. Yes, they gave him pink pjs! (Real boys can wear pink, you know!)

Luca was gone for about an hour and a half total- the surgery prep, the procedure and recovery. We met up with him back on the day ward where he was a bit groggy and his eyelids were a bit heavy, but he was his usual smiley self, winning over the hearts of the nurses. He still had the IV in for a while, and had tape marks on his cheeks from being intubated (this was hard for me to see, for some reason, just thinking that he was intubated scared me even though I knew it was going to happen), and he was a bit yellow from the stuff in surgery (I forget what it is called). We got to hold him right away and I was able to feed him fairly soon after.

We had to wait for 2 hours before we could leave, and he kicked and smiled and slept and ate- his usual. He didn't seem to be bothered too much by everything except that he had a hoarse voice and a pretty dry mouth.

Luca after surgery- still his smiley self! He kept trying to chew on the IV cord! :)

The surgeon (Dr. Mark Evans- absolutely wonderful) came to see us before we left and said that everything went well, that it looked to be the cyst that he thought (lymph angioma). Other than the stitches taking about 7-10 days to dissolve, he should be back to his normal self in no time.

So, that was our morning. We arrived at the hospital at 6am and we leaving by 11:15am. The nurses there were great, and of course the surgeon was wonderful too. They don't say that the Stollery is one of the best places for children for no reason.

Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes. It was emotionally draining, but it is good to have it all over with.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween! Luca and Donovan dressed up and had a blast (Donovan, did anyway!). Donovan dressed as a snake (he picked his costume himself) and Jessica took him up to the nursing home where she works to see all the residents. Luca dressed up as a pea pod (Grandma bought the costume for him). He was only dressed up long enough to take some pictures, but he didn't seem to mind. Here are some pics of the two little boys...

4 Months...

Here are Luca's 4 month pictures. He is growing so quickly. He is almost able to sit up on his own, and he is into chewing on everything!

Surgery Update

We had an appointment with the pediatric surgeon today. He was really nice, and we felt comfortable with him. He explained that Luca needed surgery to remove the lump, as they tend to get bigger and can have recurring infections. (He told us the name, but I forget exactly what he thinks it is- they won't know for sure until they remove it). He doesn't think that it is anything serious, but it is better to remove it now before it gets infected and causes a problem. Luca will have to go under general anesthetic for the surgery, but it is a relatively short procedure. He will only be away from us for about 1/2 an hour total. It is Day surgery, so he won't have to stay at the hospital and it will be done at the U of A. The insision will be about 2cm long laterally on his chest and it will just be closed with disolveable stitches. So, all in all, not anything too major. (At least, that is what I am telling myself over and over again)

After he told us what would be happening, his secretary came in to set up the appointment. We were both expecting to wait a month or so, so you can imagine our surprise when she asked how next Thursday was for us. So, Luca will be having the surgery on Thursday, November 9th.

I think that the week leading up to the surgery will be a stressful time for Chris and I, so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We need to remember that it is a simple surgery, and that the doctor will do a great job, and that Luca will be perfectly fine.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Family Pictures for Tom

Hey, Tom-
Here are some pictures from the last few days, I thought that you would like to see them.

Xadrian was having so much fun playing with Luca!

Tegan wasn't feeling well (ear infection), so she was happy to cuddle with Papa and read a catologue.

We went to visit with Nona and Liana yesterday (Friday).

I realize that there are no pictures of your mom here. The only one that I managed to get was of the back of her head when she was giving Luca a bath. I will try to get one for you soon.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Shot 3 times

Well, Luca had his shots yesterday. He got 3 needles again. Jacquie was there to hold him for me and she said that he didn't cry for the first one, but then he figured out what was going on. Poor guy. My heart was breaking just hearing him cry down the hallway. Nature really makes it so that you can pick out your own child's cry among others...interesting.

He has been sleeping lots since his shots ( a side effect, I guess). He slept 8 hours straight last night, and then ate and went another 7.5 between feedings. He was up for about 2 hours and then fell back asleep for another 2 and a half hours before eating again. But, he is not fussy like he was last time (yet) so I will take the sleeping any day!

Luca weighs 17lbs 6 oz. He is in the 90th percentile for weight (down a bit from the 97th at 2 months) and is in the 60th percentile for height at 25 inches.

We also saw our family doctor yesterday and she confirmed that the doctor that we will be seeing at the U of A next week is a pediatric surgeon. So, now that it is confirmed that the lump will be removed and not drained, we are worried about that. It is hard to think of our little baby going through surgery at 4 months. I am sure that the doctor is great (in fact, I have heard that he is) and that he will be able to answer many questions and hopefully calm some anxiety when we see him on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Canadian Baby Photos

Well, we got sucked into the Canadian Baby trap. But they take such cute pictures! For those of you that may not know, Canadian Baby is a photography company that has been around for a long time (I have Canadian baby pictures of myself). They offer you a no obligation free 5x7 portrait of your baby if they can come into your house and photograph him or her. So, I said yes. Of course, then they take the cutest pictures and you want them all! We saw them and couldn't choose just one. This is the trap. They then charge you a small fortune for the rest of the proofs AND somehow managed to convince us to buy some enlargements, too! Oy! But, nevertheless, they are super cute and here is a sampling of them. (There are 3 great ones that are not here as they are the ones that we have chosen to get enlarged, therefore, they are back at the studio until early December.)

Don't forget that to see an enlarged image, you just need to click on the picture.

Random news

Hi, All,

I have gotten quite behind in posting, so I will just update many things at once-

Luca is almost 4 months old now, and is laughing, cooing and grabbing at toys and bringing them to his mouth. It is amazing how quickly he is changing! It is really neat to see his hand-eye coordination get better every day and as the day goes on. He is pretty spastic in the mornings, but by the afternoon, he has pretty good control.

He has his 4 month booster shots tomorrow, which I am not looking forward to. If you remember my post in August when he had his last shots, you will remember that this was not a happy time for either of us. Luckily for me, my wonderful sister-in-law, Jacquie has gracefully volunteered to hold Luca while they stab him instead of me. This takes a huge weight off my shoulders, as I have been getting knots in my stomach every time I see that giant green reminder sticker on my calendar. Some may think that I am a baby, but I think that I just know my limitations and I know that having me anxious about it will only make Luca more upset and that is not good for either of us. So, that is tomorrow morning.

Chris had a really bad cold (along with others on both sides of the family) for about the last week or so. So far, I have been safe (knock on wood) but Luca seems to have caught it. He has had a runny nose and is sneezing a lot. I think that his throat is sore, too because his cry is a little hoarse. Unfortunately, he is crying because it hurts, but crying makes it hurt. But try using that logic with a 4 month old. Haha! I ended up sleeping on the floor in his room last night becasue he was awake so often. Everytime he would roll onto his back (he was sleeping on his side) he couldn't breathe very well because his nose was plugged, so he would wake up. Partly this was for my own peace of mind, being there beside him and not having to wonder how he was doing, but also because after the 10th or so time of getting up and tucking him back in, it was just easier to be in his room with him.

In other Luca news...About 6 or 7 weeks ago, I noticed a lump on Luca's chest sort of between his nipples. At first I thought that it was a mosquito bite or something, but it grew. The doctor sent him for an ultrasound (which he didn't get an appointment until last week, so we were waiting since the second last week of September). He was so good during the ultrasound, laughing and smiling at the tech. The radiologist came in and examined him also, and had a look around at all of his organs because he said that it is so rare to get such a good, young baby, that he wanted to have a look. He said that it is much easier to see things on a baby than on an adult, so it was pretty interesting. Something to do with fat/muscle ratios I think he said.

Anyway, we are seeing our family doctor in the morning to get the info. We already know that he is seeing some sort of specialist (a Pediatrician, I think, but the appointment lady didn't specify. I will find out tomorrow for sure). He has an appointment at the U of A next Tuesday, the 31st. The radiologist said that it looks to be mainly fluid with a few solid masses inside if it, and will probably just need to be drained, but possibly removed. We will know more next week I guess. I would really like to know what it is and where it came from, but maybe I will never know that. I will be sure to keep you all posted as we know more about this. I have told you all I know for now. But I do know that this will more than likely mean more needles....oh boy.

There is not much exciting going on with the rest of the members of the Graham family. We are just getting our house ready for the winter- raking leaves, "winterizing" our windows, etc. Chris did get the hot tub up and running again (it has been sitting empty waiting to be cleaned since just before Luca was born) so I am very much looking forward to a relaxing soak once all this other "stuff" is through. We are also gearing up to finish the renos in our upstairs bathroom. Chris put a tub-surround and shower up in July, so now we are ready to redo the counter top and tile and to paint. Hopefully that will happen this coming weekend. All the supplies are purchased, it is just a matter of finding the time. For now, though, we will be keeping the purple tub and toilet! :) (Our neice, Kaelynn would be happy to hear that- she gets quite a kick out of Auntie Jan's purple tub!)

Chris and I went on our first post-baby date last Friday. We went for dinner and 2 short games of bowling in Ponoka. We were only gone for 2 hours, but it was a great break. I was a little apprehensive at first, but after a little while, I relaxed and knew that Luca was in the very capable and loving hands of his Nona. It was nice to be with my husband for a while and not have to worry about doing things for Luca for a short time.

Well, that is about it- I hope you enjoyed my short novel, now those of you at work better get back to it! :)

Donovan gets a hair cut!!

Donovan got his first hair cut about a week ago. He looks like such a little boy now! It also makes him look so grown up, I think. (See the post entitled Bobbsey Twins for a before shot) Of course, he is as cute as ever. He is also getting so good at walking that he has decided to try running sometimes.

He has been at a Day Home for about a week now while Jessica is at work. He seems to really like being with other little kids, and the house has a little dog that he loves. When you ask him if he had fun at Chrissy's he yells "ya!" Too cute...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Celebrity Look-A-Likes Part II

Ok, so I tried again with another picture out of curiosity and this is what it came up with this time....I love that I look like Kevin Costner and a young Fred Savage!!!! Good to know that I look like a man!!! But, Carrie Underwood is gorgeous, so I will take that and Chris loves Julia Roberts, so that is fun, too. Anyway, I just thought that it would be fun to see if any of the celebrities would be the same with a different picture (although I was not as chubby in this one as the one below) :)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Celebrity Look-A-Likes

I went to this site that you can match your face with celebrities (Thanks for the link, Rob!). It is really neat, although I didn't think that I would end up with an Asian match! Also, this picture is of me VERY pregnant (less than 3 weeks before Luca was born) so my face is a bit puffy. But, I think that some of these women are very beautiful, so I will take it as a complement.

MyHeritage - family trees and photo albums

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fall Fun

These pictures were taken in our front yard and some in the neighbour's yard. The neighbour kids raked a HUGE pile of leaves, and were jumping in it all weekend. I took Luca over and he played in it. He was really interested in feeling the leaves and listening to them crunch. These are a few of the best pictures.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nonna comes home!!

After being in Colorado since mid-August, Nonna has returned home to a much bigger Luca! (This picture is for you, Tom!)

Bobbsey Twins!

Luca and Donovan in their matching shirts and blankets that I made them. (I didn't make the shirts) :) I have been babysitting Donovan lately and he just loves to come play with Luca. The first thing he does when he gets here is goes over and gives Luca a hug and a kiss! Donovan has also started walking!!! I'm a proud Auntie!

Future star?