Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Johnson’s! We were not able to get a letter out last year and have a lot to catch you up on. In fact, we were not able to get a letter out in 2007. To summarize 2007 in 6 words: London, Paris, Normandy, Alps, PGA Championship. 2008 was a great year, but we’ll just hit the highlights:
  • We had just finished our 2007 Christmas letter when we got great news in December: Amy was pregnant! We can’t believe that was over two years ago!
  • Two days later, before we could send our letter, a huge ice storm hit Tulsa and we lost power for 10 long, cold days. Troy spent the month of January cleaning up limb debris from our yard.

  • Amy went on a Caribbean cruise with her mother and sister and left Troy at home.
  • Amy also enjoyed every minute of her pregnancy….well almost every minute. Other than being constantly tired and dealing with nightly leg cramps it was a truly wonderful experience. What a blessing!
  • We had to rush to the hospital one night due to complications. Both Amy and the baby were fine, but after 3 weeks of bed rest in the hospital Amy had more complications and had to undergo an emergency caesarean. Luke Edward Johnson was born July 10th, 2008—6 weeks early. Ready or not (more “not” than “ready”) we were parents. Luke spent the first 10 days of his life in the NICU and we were thrilled to finally bring him home on July 19.

  • Home life after that revolved around Luke: feedings, diapers, spit-up, long nights, playtime and getting adjusted to being parents.

If you thought that our 2008 was full of change, 2009 would definitely top it—and we are not talking about “Obama change”.

  • In March Troy was let go from his employer. It was a complete surprise. At this point we had lived in Tulsa for over 4 years—the longest we have ever lived in one place.
  • In less than a month, our prayers were answered when Troy got an interview and then a job offer with Range Resources in Oklahoma City. That meant another move but it also meant work.
  • Other than bi-weekly commutes, we lived apart for three months. Luckily Luke saved all of his “first” moments (first crawl, first words, etc.) for when Troy was home in Tulsa.
  • We moved in to our new house in Edmond—a suburb of Oklahoma City at the beginning of July.

  • We managed to get the house put together enough to have Luke’s first birthday celebration. We all enjoyed that until Luke’s body could not handle the sugar from the cake and he stayed awake all night long (yes, it was all night).
  • To celebrate surviving the first half of the year and because we were both ready for some time away, we took a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in August. Amy was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of swimming with the dolphins and we both enjoyed the relaxation. It was a wonderful trip and the grandparents enjoyed watching Luke.

  • We also took several trips to Topeka, Kansas City, and Table Rock Lake, MO to visit family and friends.
We know it sounds like we have been through some tough times over the past year but we could not be happier. Luke lights up our life. He has been walking since just before Halloween and is quite a jabber mouth. Luke’s current favorite words are: Maggie, this (as a question), hi and bye although he is saying about 40 words now. He is a real big fan of Maggie and Daisy (our dog and cat), trains (which we can hear from our new house), and bath time (which he requests multiple times daily). Amy finds staying home with Luke very rewarding and would not trade it for anything. Troy also enjoys working as a Geologist at Range. We are all enjoying our new home but miss our friends and coworkers back in Tulsa.

May your holidays be merry and bright and may you receive many blessings in 2010!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


That's Mother's Day Out for those of you who don't know. Today was Luke's third time at MDO. He absolutely loves going which is great! His teachers, Ms. Jeannette and Ms. Angela, are very nice and Luke is excited to see them every Wednesday morning. I think he really enjoys playing with the other kids and I know that it is good for him to have that interaction. PLUS, I get time to myself as well. Today I finished my Christmas shopping and the last 2 weeks Troy and I have gone out to lunch so it's good for all of us. I do miss Luke especially when I see other little kids out with their moms but that's good and healthy too. And when I pick him up, it is the best happy heart moment when Luke sees me at the door and comes running over to me. That alone to me is worth it!

The last two weeks Luke has refused to take a nap at MDO. That's actually okay with me because he can sleep longer when we get home (it's what he's doing right now). The first week was a little rough because he only slept for an hour and fifteen minutes while there which is no where near his usual 2 to 3 hours. The following day Luke took almost a 4 hour nap so I know the little guy was tired. Luke's teachers told me he likes to talk with the other kiddos rather than sleep. I guess he's working on his social butterfly abilities early :)

One final note about MDO. Today was the last day before Christmas break. I was secretly hoping that Luke would have a gift that he made for Mom and Dad today when I picked him up. He did!!! Of course his teachers did most of the work but it's our first piece of "art work" from Luke! I was thrilled! Below is a picture of the snowflake ornament that will have a very prominent place on our Christmas tree for years to come. Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Weekend

On Saturday we all went to a model train show. It is quickly becoming Troy's new hobby and he wanted to check out everything and buy a few things. You can hear a real train from our house so Luke is very familiar with hearing the whistle blow and he gets so excited when he hears it. He absolutely loved watching the trains go around the tracks and hearing all the whistles. Unfortunately his teeth were bothering him so he was a bit fussy and we didn't stay too long but it was fun while it lasted. (Yes, I even enjoyed it a bit.)

Yesterday afternoon I helped Luke put his ornaments on our Christmas tree. We decided in an effort to have as little contact between Luke and the tree as possible that Troy and I would do the rest of the decorating while Luke was asleep (the less he sees us touching the tree we figure the better). Luke didn't understand hanging the ornaments and he only touched the tree once because the needles poked him and he didn't like it much but I still wanted him to participate in the process this year. It is one of my favorite events all year- decorating the tree and listening to Christmas music. It always fills me with Christmas spirit.

Using a Spoon

Last Monday, I gave Luke a spoon to "play" with at lunch. He understood the concept I think but didn't quite have the execution down. He wanted to have his own spoon at every meal since and that has allowed him to become a little more adept. The video below is from Friday night. You'll notice he still has a long way to go but it is so much fun watching him learn!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Horses and the Park

The day after Thanksgiving the guys played golf in the morning and so the girls and Luke needed to get out of the house for a bit. My aunt loves horses (she owns 2 actually) and there is a horse stable here that she wanted to see so off we went. Luke loved watching the horses! He even pet a couple of them.

After seeing the horses, we stopped at our neighborhood park to run off a little more energy. Luke also loves the park especially going down the slide which he did all by himself since there were relatives to catch him at the bottom.

Thanksgiving and a Little Extra

We have had a very busy couple of weeks as I'm sure most of you have- the holidays are always very busy for us. We hosted Thanksgiving for my mom's side of the family this year so I was getting prepared for that. Luke has also been a busy guy.

He went to his first day at Mother's Day Out. He only went for a half day to see how he would do (also how I would do) and he seemed to really like it- no tears at all when I left him. He starts this Wednesday going all day for one day a week. It will be good for him to interact with other kids and give me a break to get stuff done.

The weather until yesterday has been really nice. We have been able to play outside some in the afternoons which Luke loves to do! He gets really mad when it's time to come inside and throws a big tantrum. Those seem to be happening more lately- Luke has definitely developed a mind of his own and lets us know what he wants and when.

Luke's walking has progressed more to running now. He likes to get our attention and then walk/run away and not pay attention to where he's going. He's had a couple of accidents causing a few bruises on his forehead. The new speed has also allowed him to start chasing Maggie more which she occasionally doesn't mind. Luke absolutely adores her and is constantly calling her name.

Last Monday we went back to the doctor for a re-check on Luke's ears. He has been having problems with fluid in them although it doesn't seem to bother him much. The doctor put him on 10 days of amoxicillin to see if it will clear up. He also started taking allergy medicine because he has been rubbing his eyes a bunch and I'm hoping he's not allergic to the dog or cat :(

On Wednesday our company starting arriving. Troy's parents and aunt and uncle also stopped in on their way down to Dallas. My mom, stepdad and aunt arrived about 3 and my sister and her boyfriend got here about 6. We had a great time catching up and entertaining Luke (or was he entertaining us). Thanksgiving Day we had a pretty relaxing morning and didn't rush to get all the goodies prepared. We had friends come from Tulsa for the day as well. We ate our fried turkey (so good) later in the day and Luke enjoyed his first Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. We all thoroughly stuffed ourselves and went to bed pretty early.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Luke has had a rough week! He has done something to his mouth three different times, poor guy. The first happened last Saturday when he wanted me to pick him up and he fell because he was mad that I wasn't picking him up instantaneously (jeez mom) and he slide his mouth down my leg. I didn't think much about it at first but then I noticed the blood- it was everywhere! I'm pretty sure he bit his tongue because it bled forever and even started up again while he was taking his nap. The second and third incidents occurred on Monday. These were the really bad ones! I believe Luke was crawling and had a ball in his hand which slipped out from under him and he really bit his upper lip when he hit the tile floor (sounds awful doesn't it). It was swollen and black and blue already by the time I got to him. The last one happened later in the day when he went to reach for a chair in the kitchen and missed and again hit the tile floor although this time he bit his lower lip. That one wasn't quite as bad and isn't as visible because it's more on the inside of his lip on the opposite side of the first one; however, Luke looks like he got punched in the mouth. His top lip is still a little swollen and black and blue. He was a good sport about letting me take pictures though. Also, notice all of his teeth, thankfully teething hasn't been too bad lately!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Playing with Leaves

The weather the last 6 days has been awesome! Yesterday afternoon after Luke got up from his nap we went outside to enjoy the warm temps and get some fresh air. I quickly raked a small pile of leaves for Luke to play in but he wanted no part of it. He had more fun picking up one leaf at a time and handing it to me (we would have been outside until next summer for him to get them all). He also wanted Maggie to take the leaves but she was more interested in the frisbees we had out. One last item of note, when the wind would blow the leaves on the roof would come fluttering down and Luke thought that was really cool! I hope you all are enjoying this fabulous fall weather!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Random Fun!

This was yesterday. It was nice to spend time outside- Luke loves to be outdoors. He really enjoyed crunching the leaves!

This is last Thursday. I love this t-shirt and I managed to a good picture when he stopped walking around the table (you may think that's no big feat but it is especially since Luke thinks he needs to almost run everywhere).

This is last Wednesday. Who doesn't love a cute pair of overalls!?! Notice one sock is missing- Luke loves to pull his socks off. It's usually both but I guess he forgot one :)


We went to Tulsa to spend Halloween with some friends. We had a nice relaxing day and were able to spend time outside because it was finally a nice day with no rain (we've had a bunch lately). After dinner we went trick-o-treating. Our friends have a son, Henry, who is 4 so he was really excited about going. Erin loves Halloween so she always dresses up and their 4 month old daughter was also along for the ride. Luke wore his dinosaur costume again- he's so stinking cute! Troy and I took turns pulling Luke around in a wagon and also taking him up to the door to get candy. Luke insisted on walking if he wasn't in the wagon and so the pace was a bit slow but he was really getting into walking around. We had a great time and you'll notice that Luke loved the wagon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It took me a while to figure out how to get a video posted on here. Turns out you have to prepare it for sharing before uploading it- who knew! Anyway, this is Luke walking around last night. He has continued to walk a bunch today and even walked to his highchair when I told him it was time for lunch!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby No More

As much as I hate to admit it, Luke is not a baby anymore :( He is no longer drinking from a bottle; he had his last one on Sunday night. And my prediction of walking within 2 weeks will definitely be an over estimate. Luke has been walking a bunch the last 2 days. After dinner tonight he was walking all over the family room and kitchen- taking off all by himself without us even realizing it. He did 2 1/2 laps around the kitchen before he plopped down. The best part is his huge smile and the look of accomplishment in his eyes. He is so proud of himself. Troy and I are also so excited for him- it is such fun to watch him.

Monday, October 26, 2009

So Close!

This past weekend we all went to Topeka to visit Troy's parents and attend a K-State football game. We would have loved to have taken Luke with us to the game but he's still coughing and it was better that he stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa (not that they minded in the least).

On Friday afternoon, Luke didn't take a great nap so he was up playing around while Grandma and I looked on. He had a plastic pumpkin in his mouth that he was holding onto with both hands (which is why I think he walked) and all the sudden he walked by himself all the way across the room- about 15 steps! I was so excited and so was Luke. He did it a couple more times right then and later in the evening to show Dad and Grandpa. Each day for the rest of the weekend he would take about 8-10 steps about 3 times in a row. You could tell how excited and proud Luke was along with those of us watching him.

Last night after we got home, Troy and I were playing with him on the floor and he started walking back and forth between us and we managed to get some pictures. Again, you can see the excitement in his face. I don't think it's going to be too much longer before he's walking everywhere.

In fact, today after lunch he was holding onto a kitchen chair and he just took off. He got about 5 steps before he plopped down but that's the first time he has walked without someone helping him stand beforehand. I'm going to guess that within the next 2 weeks he'll be walking all over. I'll keep you posted :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick Time

So, the last six days have not been great for the Johnson household. Last Wednesday I started feeling bad and quickly came down with the flu. Luke seemed okay until late on Friday when he developed a fever and cough. In an effort to be extremely cautious parents we took him to the doctor on Saturday morning to rule out swine flu. The doctor did run the quick nose swab test on him (boy was that fun) and it came back negative for Strain A flu but I wasn't totally convinced. I had all the symptoms on the CDC website except for vomiting (thank goodness) and fever. Luke had all except vomiting (very thankful for that). The doctor mentioned that they had been seeing false negatives in cases that were still in the early stages of development and I've heard on the news that the test may only be as accurate as 50%. So, even though Luke tested negative and I never went to the doctor, I believe there is a chance that we had swine flu. This is the first time that Luke has truly been sick to the point of being really fussy and whiny (who wouldn't be with a temp of 102.5) and even then Troy and I were amazed at how cute and adorable he was. Today is the first day we have felt better although we still didn't leave the house. I actually hope that we did have swine flu and now don't have to worry about getting it for the rest of the season; however, I wouldn't wish it on anyone and definitely not having it simulatenously with your 15 month old child. I know it could have been much worse but it still was absolutely no fun. Healthy wishes for you all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Chair

This is Luke's new chair. We ordered it for him for Christmas but as you can see he got a very early present from Santa. He loves it! It took a little while for him to warm up to it but now he's a pro at climbing in and the method of choice for getting out is throwing himself forward. That would definitely not be my choice but he squeals with delight so I guess he's not hurting himself. Don't you think he looks like a big boy sitting all by himself?!?! What a cutie!

Monday, October 12, 2009

15 Month Check-Up

Can you believe that Luke is already 15 months old? It seems like time just keeps speeding up. This morning we went for his 15 month check-up at the doctor and it seems like yesterday that we were there for his 1 year.

I won't start on doctors being on time- we didn't get to see the doctor until an hour past our appointment time. So aggravating!! Luke was a trouper though. In fact another mom in the waiting room commented on how nicely he was sitting in my lap. I mentioned we had been waiting for 30 minutes and she was really impressed. Yes, I can brag about how awesome my child is! That's part of being a mom.

Anyway, back to his appointment. Luke weighs 24 lb and 3 oz and is 30 1/2 inches long. I know the nurse told me what percentages those were but I can not remember now. The doctor was not at all concerned about Luke not walking much yet. In fact she said that children who have advanced verbal skills at this age typically walk later. If you've been around Luke lately, you know that he talks and jabbers up a storm. The doctor was quite surprised when I told her that he was saying at least 10 words already (it's more like 15 I figured out on the way home- bragging again, I know) :)

One of my biggest concerns was flu shots- both the seasonal flu and H1N1. The office was currently out of the seasonal shots and they are not going to get the H1N1 in their office. Luke's doctor said she has been undecided about the H1N1 vaccine which is how I was feeling about it before we talked. I don't much like the idea that it's brand new and the long term affects haven't been discovered yet. The doctor strongly encouraged me to get Luke vaccinated for the seasonal flu which I was planning on already and she said that since Luke is not exposed to many other children if we didn't get the H1N1 vaccine we would probably be okay. So, I'm not going to stress over it. I have a feeling it would be very difficult to find a location that actually had the shots for his age anyway. We'll just be extra careful about when we go out and I'll make sure that I clean off any shopping cart Luke sits in. It's seems like a blessing now that I wasn't able to get him enrolled in a mother's day out program.

One last note and I only have to say something because I myself hate needles. Luke had a terrible nurse (I think she may have been new). Poor guy had to get 3 shots today but it was a much more agonizing ordeal than necessary. During previous rounds of shots, nurses give them to him super fast and it's done in about 15 seconds. Today it was about a minute. The nurse would let go of his legs after each shot rather than holding him for all 3. Of course this made it much harder because he was mad (as I would be about shots) and flailing his legs which she then had to grab again making Luke that much more upset. I felt really horrible for my little guy- I wanted to give the nurse a shot to see how she liked it! Hopefully next time we have a different nurse and if not, I may ask for a different one.

Trip to KC

Luke and I took a road trip last week. We went to KC to visit family and friends. We arrived on Wednesday and got back yesterday. It was a fun-filled trip despite the cold and rainy weather. Luke had many adventures: bumping down the stairs with Grammy, playing peek-a-boo with Grandpa, hanging out with Aunt Sarah, making music with Paw Paw, eating a whole container of cheese puffs with Becca (my friend Jen's daughter who is 14 months old) and generally wearing himself and the rest of us out. Here are a few pics to enjoy!

We were glad to be home yesterday and Troy was even happier to have us back. Luke was thrilled to see Dad after 5 days and almost as happy to see Maggie and Daisy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tasty Weekend

We had a rather chill weekend. It was what I would consider the first true fall weekend with crisp, cool air, some drizzle and watching lots of football while wearing sweats. Luke enjoyed the down time with both of us on the couch. He seems to be getting a slight cold so he was ever so slightly less happy than normal. His taste buds did enjoy a variety of new treats though.

On Friday night we went to a shrimp boil for Troy's work. I was fully expecting Luke to spit out the bite of shrimp I gave him but he looked at me with a big smile and wanted more. He had a few more bites and then moved on to his chicken. On Saturday, Troy played golf with one of our neighbors. I decided to bake a pizza for lunch and thought Luke should try some. I was thinking he would really enjoy it. I think maybe it was too much bread but he only ate about 8 bites which for his appetite is nothing. Then yesterday, going along with the fall feeling, I fixed grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch. Big hit! Luke ate almost half a sandwich and he had several sips from my bowl of soup. It is good to have easy meals to fix for him other than the pre-made meals from Gerber (they sort of gross me out). He is still very picky about which solid fruits and vegetables he will eat so trying 3 new things and for the most part liking them is a big deal for him. Just for the record, he only likes cantaloupe, bananas, carrots and green beans (if they are hidden well enough). I am very ready to stop buying pureed fruit and veggies for him.

A funny side story. Last week, maybe Thursday night, Luke had a dirty diaper about 20 minutes before bath time and it wasn't worth it to change him before his bath. Troy and I kept holding our noses and saying "peeyou" or telling Luke he was stinky. He caught on very quickly and now any time we say either of those he holds his nose. It is absolutely adorable.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So Far, So Good

Well, 8 days is definitely better than 2 months. I'm making progress. Luke, however, seems to have stalled in the walking department. After taking 5 steps on the 20th, he has only taken a total of about 10 steps since. As I said before, he knows he can get there faster if he crawls. I'm not worried though; I know he'll get there and for now my life is easier with a crawler rather than a walker (or at least that's what everyone keeps telling me).

Last week, my mom was here to see Luke and help me celebrate my birthday but who are we kidding we all know where parents rank when a grandparent is around. We had a good time and Luke loved having Grammy around for a few days. The first afternoon she was here Luke refused to take a nap because he slept in the car on the way to the airport so as it was a nice fall day we went for a walk and stopped at the neighborhood park. Luke loves to swing (as apparent in the photo) and he thought the slide was pretty cool too.