Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Cole, giving Chloe some love:

She is truly the MOST PATIENT dog in the entire world:

He loves his Chloe!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hide and Seek

Cole has recently learned how to play hide-and-seek.

Here he is hiding:

Can you see him?  I know, me neither.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rules of Possession

A Toddler's Rules of Possession:

1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I"m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.

-source unknown, but probably someone who had a toddler.  This is dead-on.

Friday, February 24, 2012


On our walks lately, Cole has been ditching his stroller and walking running for part or most of it.

I can't put my finger on what exactly is SO ADORABLE about him running around like this.  Is it the grin on his face? the rosy red cheeks? the short stumpy legs going a mile a minute?

Whatever it is, I wish I could bottle it and keep my little mister on it forever.  I think I might explode from his cuteness.

Just call me putty

Yup, that's right.  I am putty in the hands of my outrageously adorable toddler.

Take lunch time last week, for example.  We had a normal lunch of yogurt, salad, shredded cheese, tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar (yeah, weird, Cole loves balsamic vinegar), and a peanut-butter-and-jelly (JEWY!) sandwich. 

Lunch time can get a little crazy around here.  I'm usually getting Cole's food, then desperately trying to unload the dishwasher while he's contained in his highchair (to avoid his "helping"), and sometimes if I'm lucky, I have enough time to sit and wolf a sandwich too. 

Well, on this particular day, I happened to have my back turned putting dishes away when I hear the dogs hop off their spots on the couch and trot as fast as they can toward the high chair.


If the dogs are making a break for the high chair, it usually means one of two things:

A.) There is food on the floor, graciously dropped from Above.
B.) Hm, never mind. I guess it's just the one reason.  Food.

So I turn around just in time to see Chloe and Nala frantically inhaling shredded cheese that happens to be ALL OVER the floor, the high chair - even in Cole's hair.  I have just enough time to think, "HOW could he have managed to get it EVERYWHERE?!" when he giggles and tosses the cheese in the air.


And then, he takes his cup of tomatoes drizzled with balsamic and TURNS IT UPSIDE DOWN ON NALA'S HEAD.  Sticky balsamic vinegar, all over the dog.


So I'm pretty sure my face looks something like this:

when Cole looks up and sees me.  Instinctively, he knows I'm pretty darn upset - he's pretty observant that way.  But this toddler of mine knows his power over me.  First, he gives me the wide-eyed, "but I didn't know I wasn't supposed to!" look:

Then, he further begins the putty process by flashing his cutest grin and pointing to the mess ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND HIGH CHAIR and saying, "GHEE! GHEE! "WOOF!"

Uh-oh.  The cute little baby talk words that he knows get me EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Oh gah, I'm starting to melt. Maybe he just wanted to show the dogs some love, right?

NO! NO! must-not-let-toddler-turn-me-to-putty...must. stand. ground...

He gives me the adorable side-eye, as if to assess how far gone I am.

I march over, desperately holding onto the tail end of my annoyance. "What a mess! You are done eating if you are going to make such a big mess!"

Then, as I'm reaching for his plate to take it away, he grabs my arm and goes in for the kill - a big, smacking, adorable wet kiss planted right on my hand.  And then a sweet little pat.  And big doe eyes looking searchingly up at me - I can almost hear him saying, "You can't REALLY be mad at such a cute, sweet little boy, NOW CAN YOU?! LOOK HOW ADORABLE I AM! I GAVE YOU KISSES!"

And for good measure, one more smacking kiss.

And it's the final nail in my putty coffin.  I am officially a putty, pushover, fall-for-the-doe-eyes mama.

I give him a hug and a kiss back.  Let's just hope the kid never learns my weakness for an "I WUV YOU, MAMA!".  We'd REALLY be in trouble then.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yogurt Face

I bought some Greek yogurt cups on sale last week - Cole is a huge fan! I think he feels very grown-up, eating his yogurt out of the container instead of on his plate.

I, however, am not quite as huge of a fan.  It's a little on the messy side:

"Want some, Mama?"

 "All done!"

Yes, that is yogurt in his hair.  And his eyebrows.  Up his nose.  In his ears.  And on his eyelashes. 

It's everywhere. But he adores it.  And he's adorable when he's scooping it into his mouth with both hands.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to entertain your toddler

Like I said earlier, Cole is SO INTO reading right now.  SO SO SO into reading.  Like, I cannot get anything else accomplished because we are literally spending 3+ hours a day READING!

Who knew reading could be so exhausting.

And it's a good thing.  An excellent thing.  I am so proud of my active little toddler boy loving his books so much.  It's super fun for both of us to snuggle on the couch with the dogs, a blanket, and a huge stack of books.  But occasionally, I need to do things like shower and laundry - and it's hard to do those while reading to Cole.

So today, in desperation, I emptied a bag of kidney beans from the cupboard into a bowl, tossed in a couple measuring cups, and plopped it on the floor (who knew I'd ever be looking for ways to drag my child AWAY from books?!). 

Cole was sufficiently entertained to allow me to unload the dishwasher and eat a piece of toast before he saw his books on the coffee table and brought one to me - "BOO! BOO!" (book).

It was perfect :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gender Stereotypes

I adore this video that's making its rounds in the blog world lately:

Now, me being the liberal mama that I am, when Cole was born I was determined to raise him as much as possible without stereotypes, gender or otherwise.  Not that I was going to name him Storm and not tell anyone his gender or anything - not that extreme - but I did want to follow his lead on what he was interested in.

Cole naturally gravitated toward being interested in trucks, trains, animals, candles (I know! it's still so random!), and books.  But if he starts to show interest in dolls (age appropriate) or cooking (he actually loves to cook, and one day when we have room I'm planning on making this), I will follow his lead. 

My main question I ask myself when struggling with a parenting question (or any question, to be honest) is: "Is this behavior hurting anyone?  If my child grows up with this behavior, will it hurt anyone?"

What harm would happen if my son happened to like to play with dolls?  It hurts no one.  If it made him happy, isn't that all that matters? 

If our world was a little more free from stupid, meaningless gender stereotypes, heartbreaking stories like this or this wouldn't happen.  Little kids wouldn't feel bad about themselves because they happened to love pink, or wear a blue shirt even though they're a girl, or want to ask Santa for a doll.

I wish we could all just quietly observe our children's cues and allow them to follow their own interests, instead of forcing or pushing our own adult agendas onto them.

What do you think?  How would you handle it if your child wanted a stereotypically opposite gender toy?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Mew! Mew!"

I had a clever post all written about Cole's love for music ("Mew! Mew!" he says), but somehow it got lost into the black hole that is the internet.

So instead I just leave you with these pics - can you BELIEVE how old my boy is looking?! And so handsome...although I may be a tad biased:

It's pictures like these that make me long for another baby - a teeny tiny little newborn, now that my baby has no traces of baby left!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Compulsive Reader

At last count, I have over 1500 children's books.  Yup, that's just the kid's books, not counting my own books.  Part of that is from teaching...but I have to admit, all those books are really coming in handy right now.

Because Cole is a READER.  He reads all the time.  Just today, we spent about 3 hours total reading.  And if I didn't have all those books, we would be reading Eric Carle for 3 hours a day.

I KNEW all those books would be worth moving 3+ times...
 Cole even reads during snack sometimes...I know I shouldn't let him, but I tend to be a little permissive when it comes to reading :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Birthday Planning

Cole's birthday is a short 3 months away!  While I REALLY don't want to go overboard with buying him things (we're more about the experiences rather than more STUFF), I do plan on getting him one or two things:

1. A trip to a zoo.  We will FOR SURE be going to a zoo of some sort for Cole's main birthday present.  I can hardly wait, he will LOVE it.  This kid just adores his animals and I know it will be the coolest thing he could ever want.

2. Lacing beads. 
 As I've mentioned before, Cole has off-the-charts amazing fine motor skills.  I know these beads are for ages 3 and up, but if he plays with them under supervision he'll have a blast.

3. Books:
   Books are ALWAYS a good bet for my little guy.  He spends so many hours a day reading - on his own, with me, in his crib...I love buying him new books to read.
      -Press Here

This book looks awesome.  It's an "interactive" book - each page has a set of instructions, and when the instructions are followed and you turn the page, something "happened".  I think Cole would enjoy it.

      -Little Bear

I don't know what it is about these "Little Bear" books.  I mean, they're beginner CHAPTER books, so they aren't short.  But Cole adores the one we have - we read it over and over and over and over... well, you get the point.  I'd love to get the rest of them. 

We have "Swing" in this series, so when I heard there were animal versions out there, I knew Cole would be ALL OVER them.  Books + animals = Cole happiness.
      -Gossie and Gertie

Cole has the original "Gossie" and reads it constantly.  The storylines are adorable, the illustrations are sweet - I'm pretty sure Cole would love the whole series.

Seriously? I want to get this for Cole because I want to try it out! It looks like so much fun - and totally open ended play, which is my favorite!

I just know my little engineer/builder would have a blast with these magnetic construction toys - and these ones are jumbo sized just for toddlers.

6. A sand and water table:

I'd really love to be able to make a wooden one for Cole - the normal plastic ones just aren't sturdy enough for him.  I've seen these filled with sand, water, rice, dried corn, snow - Cole would love it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Click on the picture to see the whole thing:

This guy posted his phone number on Facebook, saying he was bored, so someone thought they'd remedy that!  I am crying laughing over this!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Cole gets very excited about trucks:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Maybe I should change his name to Linus

Yet another example of the cardboard box phenomenon:

When I was pregnant with Cole (and even before I was pregnant), I made SO MANY blankets.  Crocheted blankets, quilted blankets, taggie blankets, silky minky blankets.  All sizes, all shapes, all fabrics.  I loved the idea of Cole getting attached to a special "lovey" to help him feel more secure.  So I made blankets - beautiful (if I do say so myself) blankets with hours of labor put into them.

Then we had Cole.  And Cole needed to be swaddled - lo and behold, none of the HUNDREDS of blankets I made worked for swaddling.  So at about 2am one morning, in the midst of bleary-eyed sleep deprivation, I took an old holey jersey flat sheet and chopped it into four ratty pieces to swaddle Cole with.

Turns out, they were perfect.  They were just the right size, sorta stretchy but not too flimsy, and the perfect weight for all seasons. 

But now, even though we haven't swaddled Cole to sleep in months, he still loves his "blanky".  The ratty, holey, blue jersey sheet-reject that is not even a little bit cute.  He passes up all those adorable (and time-intensive) blankys I made for him and chooses to get attached to the cut-up sheet with unfinished edges.

All that matters is that he's happy, right?
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