Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Cole's Family"

Remember this board book I made Cole last May?  Well, when I bought the kit from Blank Slate Board Books last year, it came with four books, so I thought I'd make another book for Cole.

Since Cole is now starting to become more aware of other people (and not just his own immediate eat/sleep/diaper change needs), I thought I really need to keep him up to date on his relatives.  So many of our loved ones live so far away!  Thus, "Cole's Family" book was born:

 Cole really loved it!

And I have to admit, putting this book together really made me think about how amazing it is that we live so far away from many of our loved ones, yet while I was looking through pictures there were so many good ones to choose from! Cole is definitely one loved little baby!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Is it just me, or is anyone else desperate for sunshine, warm weather, and hat wearing weather?

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Wouldn't this make a fantastic Mother's Day gift?

It comes with the option of having a pearl instead of a birthstone attached to it.
I've been searching for a name necklace for Cole's name for a while now - this one's from Etsy. I'm in love!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Cole is starting to play games with me - a new favorite: "Close the Bedroom Door".

Yes, it really is as thrilling as it sounds.

At least to an eleven month old it is.

And while the game itself is maybe not SUPER exciting to me, that squealy, adorable giggle that my little mister does sure is!


Am I the only one out there tempted to put their mobile (and klutzy) baby into one of these?

(Maybe some knee wrist pads/guards too.).

If I had a dollar for every time Cole bonked his head, I would be a millionaire.

But the hard part is knowing just when to let your baby be a baby and take some bumps and bruises.  Much as I'd like to wrap him up in bubble wrap until he's a bit more steady on his feet, it's not really feasible.  (All the other babies would make fun of him).  I don't want to be a helicopter parent, with constant sounds of "NO!", but I want Cole to be as safe as possible.  I don't want Cole to grow up believing that it's not ok to take risks, to try to do things and fail, to explore. I don't want him to learn to walk with me right behind him, catching him if he falls - I WANT him to have those experiences, of falling and getting right back up.  Of getting a little hurt and maybe a little scared, but still trying new things.

But I don't want any rush trips to the ER either.

Whew...the more I learn about this parenting gig, the more I believe it's all about finding the right balance.

Anyone else struggle with finding balance in their parenting?  Or anyone else give in and just break out the bubble wrap?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


A few days ago, I found an old list of my Top Ten Favorite Books from when I was in fifth grade: (yes, I was a compulsive list-maker even then!)

  1. Island of the Blue Dolphins
  2. Little Women
  3. The Diving Bell
  4. The Giver
  5. Number the Stars
  6. A Little Princess
  7. Little House on the Prairie series (I couldn't choose just one!)
  8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  9. My Side of the Mountain
  10. Caddie Woodlawn
And now my top fifteen (sorry, couldn't narrow it down to just 10!) favorite books now:
  1. Gone With the Wind
  2. The Time Traveler's Wife
  3. The Giver
  4. Harry Potter series
  5. The Other Boleyn Girl
  6. ...And Ladies of the Club
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird
  8. The Thorn Birds
  9. A Thousand Splendid Suns
  10. Year of Wonders
  11. Little Women
  12. The Road
  13. The Davinci Code
  14. Memoirs of a Geisha
  15. Picture Perfect
You know, it's interesting looking back at these novels that were my childhood favorites - every single one of them are books that I'd love to read again!  I think that's the mark of excellent literature - books that relate to adults and children alike.

What were (and are) some of your favorites?

Monday, April 25, 2011


We had a (mostly) lovely Easter holiday.  It was awesome to have Chris home for the weekend - I loved seeing how much Cole wanted to play with his Daddy and how his face just lit up when he saw him!

However, you see these pictures? Notice the DARK circles under my eyes?  Yup - no amount of concealor is going to cover up those puppies. Those are due to lack of sleep.  Our little mister is just getting worse and worse at this whole sleeping deal.  So:

Cole not sleeping + Mama not sleeping = very grumpy Cole and Mama.

Not a pretty picture.

But we managed to have a pretty incredible holiday in spite of the sleeplessness.  And Cole was THE. MOST. ADORABLE. baby EVER in his sweet little Easter outfit.  I know clothes don't make the man, but in Cole's case they seem to enhance his cuteness:

 We tried to do a mini Easter Egg hunt outside. 

I was way way more excited about it than Cole was.  He was so not into it.  So we took some quick pictures and let him go back to doing his own thing.

We had an awesome dinner (I even made it!) and some great friends over, so even with the yawns punctuating the conversation, we had a super day.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Some of my most cherished memories growing up is the rare holidays when my whole family was able to get together.  You see, my extended family all lived in the Northeast, while we lived in Arizona, Wisconsin, or Oregon. 

But there were a few holidays when my parents would drive hours upon to hours to take us to celebrate with the rest of the fam.  And before we sat at the table for those holiday meals, we would all take hands and instead of praying, sing the Doxology.
I loved the sound of my sweet Grammy starting us off singing, and then my whole huge family joining in.

So today, I sang it to Cole when he woke up this morning.  I think he liked it just as much as I always did!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Right before I fall asleep at night, I've started the habit of counting my blessings.

Corny? I know.  But truly, it is amazing how blessed we are in my little family.

Sometimes, it's not easy to remember all those blessings.  When I'm frustrated at having my husband live and work 3 hours from home.  When I miss going out with my friends.  When Cole DOESN'T SLEEP.  When I wish my parents were closer.  When I think about how much I'd like to be permanently settled in our own home.

But you know what? We really have an amazing life together, with amazing family and friends.

And we have each other.  What more does anyone need?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spoon Garden

Every single time I feed Cole, he tries to grab the spoon.  And often succeeds (he's a strong little bugger!).  After a few minutes gnawing and (sometimes) gagging on the spoon, he throws it.

And so that's how we end up like this, with a spoon garden under the high chair.

Cole is very pleased with himself.

And Mama thinks we need more spoons.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Smith Rock

Cole and I braved the drive up to Bend this past weekend to see Chris, who started his job up there a couple weeks ago.  By some miracle, Chloe didn't puke the entire way.

Bend is one of the most beautiful towns we've been to, so it was awesome to get out and really experience the scenery.  We went on a hike at Smith Rock with Justin (one of Chris' best friends) and his girlfriend Jamie.

Cole meeting Jamie's dog Ruka:
Ten points if you can spot the rock climbers:

 And you know, all the hiking really wore Cole out:

Chris and I have always hoped that we'd be able to include our little ones in our activities - so we've been trying to train Cole early on!  So far he's been a trooper with everything we've put him through - hopefully these will transfer to some happy family memories later on down the line.

Friday, April 15, 2011

you are getting sleepy...

Dear Cole,

You know, I'm just not so sure what you have against sleep.  Don't you know how wonderful it is?  How refreshing and beautiful and amazing?  Not to mention how much this mama of yours enjoys sleep - and yet you insist that if you're awake, Mama has to be awake too!

You are now ten months old.  You STILL wake up at least three times per night.

Please, little mister.  I'll buy you a pony if you sleep through the night. 

Love, Mama

PS: Does anyone have ANY suggestions on how to deal with this issue?  I am so desperate.  We have tried EVERYTHING!!!  I have been doing nonstop research on this sleep issue for four months, read three different books and tried many different approaches.

We do a strict bedtime routine with a not-too-early, not-too-late bedtime.  I give him a bath with lavendar (calming) soap.  I do baby massage techniques to relax him.  I swaddle him and rock him to drowsiness (if he's in a good mood), or to complete sleep.  He has a blanky that smells like me for a comfort object.  The room is very dark for night sleeping, lighter for daytime naps (so he doesn't get his days and nights mixed up).  He wears a disposable diaper for nighttime so I don't have to wake him to change his diaper.  I don't pick him up when he cries in the middle of the night, I just give him his bottle so he can eat and go right back to sleep.


Cole wakes up between 3-8 times per night, crying until I go get him or rock him to sleep. Out of pure desperation, we even have tried the cry-it-out method - all it ends up doing is making both of us cry!  Cole is as stubborn as his mama, it appears, and won't take "no" for an answer!

 Please, let me know if you have any suggestions, I am beyond exhausted and so is Cole!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

teething necklaces

When I was pregnant and doing millions of hours of research, I came across these teething necklaces:

"Umm, why would anyone want to wear something that would end up drenched in slobber and drool around their neck?" I thought.

And then Cole became aware of when I wore something on my neck.  And he would yank and grab and chew and drool on every necklace I wore.

And now I understand.

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