Sunday, July 21, 2013

NINE Months!

Whoever created these Sticky Belly things should have really made the 8-12 month ones WAY stickier.  Like hard core Velcro or something?  Needless to say, Cole WOULD NOT leave his sticker on his belly.  So, I tried putting it behind him on the chair, on my hand, etc.  You couldn't keep him away from that thing!!!
Cole has some pretty serious stranger danger going at the moment.  For some reason he is much more scared of women than men, which seems backwards compared to most babies.  You can tell how upset he is by the severity of his frown face before he starts to cry when strangers approach him.  Older ladies are even worse than younger ladies.  It is really hard to explain to the little granny types that come up "Oh, sorry, my baby doesn't like old ladies."  What is even worse is that Taryn doesn't quite have the filter to edit that, so I sometimes have to talk over her and explain things more delicately.  I am a little nervous about how this whole daycare thing is going to get reintroduced in the next couple weeks...   

Cole is now EXTREMELY mobile.  He can crawl everywhere FAST.  He loves to chase Lee around the house while he is trying to get ready for work.  You can just hear him chugging up and down the hallway trying to get Daddy.  If Daddy isn't around, he does the same thing to me.  Once he catches you, he pulls up on your legs and hangs on to you standing.  It makes it really hard to do anything, like make dinner, get ready, walk... 

Cole is also starting to get very vocal.  After his first word, "HI", he kind of took a hiatus and had just been making more yells and screams.  But, all of the sudden he is making big progress and has added "mama" and a "tee" sound that we think is going to progress into what he calls Taryn.  He can also say "all done" and finally has added "dada".   

Cole has started to realize that he is funny.  He will attack his sister.  He dances.  He imitates.  If we laugh at him, he will do it a bunch more times.  He may give his sister a run for the money in comedy. 

 Cole went to the doctor last week.  He weighed 20 lbs 11 oz and is 28 inches tall.  He is about 65th percentile for both height and weight.  His head is in the 90th percentile.  He is still wearing size 12 months and size 4 diapers.  He has 5 going on 6 teeth.  4 on top and 2 on the bottom.  He still has incredible, big blue eyes.  I don't think that he looks all that much like Taryn, but some people say they do.  I think Cole is a pretty darn good mix of Lee and my families and it is very hard to pinpoint any one person that he really takes after. 

Cole eats about 28 oz of formula a day.  He shares pancakes or French toast with his sister for breakfast and eats baby food at lunch and dinner and then a little finger food.  He prefers the REAL food, but just can't quite get enough into his mouth for us to stop giving him baby food.  Despite my attempts, he totally refuses to hold his own bottle and kind of just looks at me like I'm an idiot for even suggesting it. 

Cole just went on his 2nd trip...  Both of his trips have been to Tennessee.  Apparently that is our favorite destination!  Cole did a really amazing job on the car ride and realized that he really loves to swim!  He also discovered that pools make him poop.  Awesome. 

Cole got his 3rd haircut, but this was really the first drastic one.  His first haircut was just a Mohawk removal.  The 2nd one we just trimmed a bit around the bottom.  This one was the real deal, complete with Daddy's clippers.  It was definitely a team effort.  We had him trapped in the Bumbo, I restrained him, Taryn talked incessantly and Lee buzzed as fast as he could.  The haircut makes him look SO different, but just as cute as ever! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Happy Birthday America!

 American Legion Babe!
 Cole is nearly impossible to photograph these days!
 Restrained by big sis!
 Happy campers!
 Gram & the girls at the Fowler parade!
 Look at all that candy!
 Mommy & Taryn at the fireworks.
 Sitting with Grandma Elaine @ the fireworks. 
 Fun at the Lake with cousins!
Dancing with Daddy!
We had a busy but fun 4th of July.  Lee was working nights, so he didn't get to hang with us that much.  Fowler does holidays right.  Very small town of them!  We went to the Legion and watched the parade go by.  Then we went home for a cookout with my uncle and his girls.  We went to the park and listened to the band and played on the kids' stuff.  My mom and I took turns in the beer garden.  Then we took Cole & Grandma Mary home and Taryn and I went off to watch the fireworks with Grandma Elaine and her family.  Finally, that Saturday Lee was off work and we took a trip up to Lee's brother's lakehouse.  Lots of fun was had for Taryn as well as some adult beverages after the kids were asleep!  And, as a special 4th of July surprise, Lee admitted to having a hangover the following day!  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer 2013!

What has Taryn been up to on summer break?
 Riding her big girl bike...  In between tantrums of crying because she is so scared.
 Learning to pee outdoors.  "You want me to pee where?"  Yeah, someone needs to work on not waiting until the last minute to go potty! 
 The Sound of Music at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. 
 Anyone for tennis?
 The water fairy that doesn't like water.  Sworn to protect people wearing clothes from getting wet!
 Fowler Park Playground!
 Kitten helper.  Two outdoor strays that kind of moved into our yard had kittens.  I have seen enough kittens to last me awhile. 
 Sorted by color.  This kind of anal retentive behavior is how I know she's mine. 
 Inflatable pool in the back yard.  We were forced to call it "the beach" all day. 
Taking a breather with the iPad.  


I have never fully understood siblings.  I have a half sister, but she is 8 years younger than me and grew up in NJ, so we really didn't spend much time together.  I was nervous to see how Taryn would adapt to being a big sister and it has been really fun to watch how these two interact.  Taryn adores her little brother, but she can be a little rambunctious and loves to pick him up and take his toys and tell him NO.  Generally just show her age and dominance over him.  Cole adores his big sister, but you can already see him formulating ideas of how to annoy her. 
 "I don't want Cole to sit with me.  Him smell like pee." 
 Playing with our new garage sale purchase, Cole's chair. 

 I really have to thank Cole.  Sometimes he takes some heat off of me by just being the one his sister talks to.  She can talk pretty much all day long and sometimes my brain needs a break. 
 Big sis in the backseat.  Very handy! 
 These pictures sum it up...  Sometimes it's a kiss, sometimes it's a face rake. 

 On this day, according to Taryn, they both had imaginary friends with them.  So thoughtful of her to even imagine a friend for Cole. 
 I can't remember if they were in a car or a boat here...
Grumpy Taryn just wants to watch her show and Cole can't take his eyes off the remote control!  

Great EIGHT! - Cole is 8 months old!

A few days ago Cole turned 8 months old!  While I tried to do our traditional photo shoots, I ran into a few problems.  First, he has grown out of all of his white onesies.  Second, he doesn't sit still for 5 seconds.  Third, (and this kind of goes with number two) he won't keep the sticker on his belly.  He would rather pull it off, crumple it and eat it. 
 This has been a big month for Cole.  He was sick and cranky for a good chunk of the month.  First he and daddy both had bronchitis.  Then he was teething.  His two top teeth came in within days of each other.  He was also mad because he couldn't move the way he wanted to.  He wanted to get to all those toys, but when he tried to crawl, he went in reverse.  So, instead of getting to the coveted toy, he would get further from it.  Frustrating.  But, then, one day we watched him finally put it all together.  Within 24 hours of his first real crawl, he was crawling up a storm.  His favorite things to crawl to are definitely the things we don't want him to get:  cords, cat food and litter, any sort of small piece of something laying on the floor that he can put in his mouth and choke on, etc.  We hardly ever used our baby gate with Taryn, and already we have TWO baby gates out with Cole.  As Lee commented the other day, Cole is a totally different baby since he started crawling.  Much happier now that he can get to all those things he has been dying to play with! 
 But, now that he is crawling, that isn't enough.  He is ready to walk now.  He isn't even close, but you can't tell him that.  He wants to stand all day long.  Cole also thinks he is ready for the big leagues when it comes to eating.  He doesn't want that mashed up baby stuff.  He wants to eat whatever we are.  One day Taryn and I were eating at Wendy's.  Taryn had her fries spread out in front of her and in a flash Cole snatched up a fry and shoved it in his mouth.  I had to fish it out of there by force.  I have started bringing this little "baby net" thing so when he just has to have what we're having I can put it in there so he can gnaw on it and I can at least ensure he won't choke. 

Cole understands a lot.  He understands when people ask for a kiss and he obliges with a slobbering open mouth.  He understands the few baby signs I have been doing with him, "all done" "milk" "more".  He has started to try to do the "all done" sign after he eats, but it is just him moving his little hands a tiny bit. 
 This is Cole's cry face.  We see it a lot (but just for a moment) and it is PATHETIC.  So pathetic that we usually laugh at it.  Cole appears to be very sensitive.  If he thinks that you are mad at him, or if you tell him "NO", or if he gets scared, the cry face comes out. 

Then there is Cole's happy moments.  He likes to do a look we call the crinkle nose.  When he gets happy, he will also do a happy squeal and do something we call the dolphin.  This is where his whole body moves like a dolphin. 
 Cole's sleeping has gotten much better too.  During the teething and illness days, Cole was waking up more at night than he had as a newborn.  Mommy was not happy.  Mommy was, more specifically, losing her dang mind.  Mommy got creative.  Cole now goes to bed at 7:30pm.  Then at 11:30pm, when I go to bed, I feed Cole a 4 oz nightcap.  This has allowed him to then sleep until 7am.  Sometimes he wakes up at 5am and needs daddy to give him a paci, but it is still a vast improvement. 

Cole wears size 12 month clothes and is moving on up to size 4 diapers.  He also wears size 4 shoes.  He is still long and lean and appears to weigh about 20lbs, but we don't go back to the doctor until 9 months! 
Cole still adores his big sister.  His favorite moments are anytime where she is playing with him.  Whether they are jumping together, banging pots together, or she is lecturing to him, she has his full attention.  When she gets up in the morning, Cole lets out a happy yell and dolphins for her.  He also loves to pull her hair.  I think he is starting to understand the idea of harassing his big sis...  I see lots of this in her future. 

Cole, you are our sweet, sensitive little man.  You have beautiful blue eyes and hair that is so ridiculous it is cute.  You love your family, and it is obvious to those around you.  You entertain all of us so much and we just love watching you grow and learn and accomplish new things!

Taryn is FOUR!

Taryn's birthday week was an EXTREMELY busy one.  Perhaps that is why it has taken me nearly a month to blog about it...  Recovering. 
Monday was Taryn's actual birthday.  4 years ago...  How is that possible?  For breakfast Taryn got pancakes in the shape of a 4.  
 Tuesday was Taryn's preschool graduation!  Next year she will be at the same place, but next year is considered "Pre-K".  Taryn's preschool program is at the high school in our area.  In addition to two adult teachers, she has a handful of high school students that work in the classroom that are also teachers.  Taryn loves to watch the big girls teach and tell my all the things that they do.  Like "The teachers at my school walk backwards in the hallway."  "The teachers in my school hold their hair like this when they get a drink."  Etc. 
 Each child got an award at graduation.  We were all waiting to see what Taryn's would be and kind of contemplated some ideas.  Chattiest...  Dramatic...  What would it be? 
 The answer:  MOST IMAGINATIVE.  Yep, that definitely sums up our girl.  :)  Sometimes her games of pretend are so in depth and change with such frequency that I can barely keep up.  Below is a pic of Taryn and her preschool BFF, Brielle.  Taryn can't quite pronounce Brielle's name yet, and she calls her Gee-elle.  (Brielle doesn't seem to mind.) 
 As an art project, all the kids made little graduates and wrote their name on them.  Below, one of the teachers wrote what they said they wanted to be when they grew up.  Taryn's said that she wanted to be "a little kid teacher".  As I browsed a lot of the kids' projects, a lot of the girls wanted to be teachers and the boys wanted to be cops.  Who knew Lee and I were living the dream!  (Brielle's was hilarious.  She said that she wanted to be "a mommy and a princess".)
 Then on Saturday, Taryn had her 4th birthday party.  It was a Barbie theme, complete with a Barbie cake, a Barbie dress, and lots and lots of Barbie gifts! 
 Waiting to blow out all FOUR of those candles! 
 Cake is eaten & presents are open...  Time to PLAY! 
 Taryn, you are my chatty, sweet, dramatic girl.  You are a social butterfly who loves to play.  You have a lot of mommy's personality traits that are sometimes hard for me to see, but then sometimes I am just in awe of the sparkle in your eye and your infectious silly laughter.  This year held so many big firsts for you and you handled them with grace.  Your first experience with school and you loved it.  Becoming a big sister...  And you love him.  Almost as much as he adores you.  You learned to share your mom & dad (and you're working on learning to share grandma).  You are quick to put on a show, whether it is singing & guitar or slapstick comedy.  You love knock-knock jokes, but they make no sense.  You enjoy musicals and will sing your renditions of the songs for months after seeing one.  You have a huge heart and worry about those that you love.  After seeing the musical The Sound of Music recently, you spent many hours worrying about the VonTrapp family that "had to go to another country because a war was starting and they didn't want to fight."  Just tonight you mentioned that you would be turning 5 next.  Boy is this momma glad we have 11 months until that.  Though I am not ready for 5 and kindergarten and school buses, I know you will welcome all those firsts with open arms and a bright outlook.  I hope you always keep this happy demeanor and zest for life.  You shine so brightly that you light up those around you.  I love you my sweet pea.