Friday, March 30, 2012

Rainy Day + Froggie Boots

Cole has been in LOVE with his froggy rain boots (a Christmas gift) for months.  Earlier this week while perusing the aisles in WalMart, Cole spied a very adorable froggy umbrella and pointed enthusiastically at it, saying "BOO! BOO! (boots) WIBBIT! WIBBIT! (ribbit)". 

Of course I bought it for him.  How could I say no when he says "WIBBIT!" ?

And let me tell you, those two rainy day items have come in handy lately!  Rain, rain, and more rain.  We haven't seen the sun in at least two weeks. Ridiculous.

But at least it's been perfect opportunity to go to the park to take some pictures in the rain:

 This little boy of mine...he is SO much like me!  He likes to observe and watch carefully before doing anything new.  It took a bit of convincing, but he discovered that it was ok to splash in the puddles:

 He got pretty good at it :)

 I took almost 200 pictures, but had to toss out over half because they were blurry!  This toddler MOVES!  My mad camera skillz just can't keep up with this little guy:

 Here's to making the best of rainy days!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Failure - a good thing?

Chris was lucky enough to grow up active in Boy Scouts of America.  He was also lucky enough to be a part of it with his dad - I love hearing about all the adventures they went on together as part of the group.  I also love to hear about his dad's unique experiences as being a leader and father in Boy Scouts.  One of my favorite stories is how when Scott (Chris' dad) would start to help Chris a little too much with something (instead of letting him figure it out on his own), the other leaders had a code to remind him to let him work it out by himself: "Let's go get a cup of coffee."  Scott would take a step back and leave Chris to his own devices.

One of the top ten qualities I want Cole to inherit from his Daddy is resilience.  I want him to be ok with not always succeeding at something he tries to do.  I want him to keep trying, to realize that effort is the important part, not just the outcome.

This article about how a town is canceling their annual Easter Egg hunt because of parent over-involvement, got me to thinking.  I believe part of how our culture can become better parents is by laying off our kids and just letting them succeed (or, sometimes more importantly, FAIL) all on their own.  Because that's life.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much you deserve it, you are not going to win. And Mama and Daddy are not going to be there to make the boss give you a second chance, or to arrange a do-over on the race so you win.

With Cole, I make a concentrated effort to let him fail sometimes.  He gets frustrated.  He comes to me, crying "UGH! UGH!" (Help!).  And it would be so easy, so helpful, so instantly gratifying to sweep in and help him open the drawer, pull out the book, open the baggie, unscrew the lid...but that only teaches him that he is not capable. To be dependent on us.  That if he can't do something, to go running to Mama, instead of to try harder - or sometimes, to give up. 

So when I see Cole struggling, I always think to myself, "Let's go get a cup of coffee."  My code for remembering to let him be, to let him struggle, suceed, make mistakes, figure it out ALL BY HIMSELF.

Most of the time? Cole tries harder, and often succeeds.  Sometimes?  It just doesn't happen.  He can't open the baggie.  Or he can't unsnap the diaper.  You know what he does?  He fusses and whines for thirty seconds...and then he moves on.  No problem.  Forgets about it and tries again another day.  He is SO ok with occasional "failure" - it bothers me WAY more than it bothers him.

There will be times in life that Cole simply CANNOT accomplish something.  If I don't let him learn that now, how much more difficult will it be for him to learn later?

What are your thoughts on failure and children?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brush your teeth (ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch ch)

Cole has his first dentist appointment this afternoon.

I think he'll do ok, he's got the hang of this tooth-brushing gig:

Monday, March 26, 2012


Cole has had a lot of time with his Grammy this past month:

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I have SO MANY pictures of my little mister.  Thousands and thousands.  I take photos of Cole at least once a day.

I love being able to capture the absolute essence of him.  The good and the not-so-good.  The beauty and perfection of his toddler features.  His large sparkling brown eyes.  The pouting lip.  The puckered lips, heading in for a kiss. 

And the glowing smile, the pure happiness and innocence of a loving childhood.

Some nights, when I'm feeling particularly nostalgic for my son's babyhood, I slide show through all my pictures of Cole and just remember... what an amazing boy we have here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's too quiet.  Silence and a toddler do not usually mix.

I turn around from the stove.
"Cole? What are you doing?"

Yup.  Just sitting on a pillow, playing with his train.  How adorable can you get, right?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Becoming Daddy

One thing I have loved more than anything else these past two years of having Cole as our child is watching Chris become a daddy.

Technically, he became a daddy when he pulled Cole from me at birth - but I think for most men it takes a little longer than that.  I'm not sure all daddies (and all mamas, for that matter) have that instantaneous, overwhelming love for their child.  Or perhaps it's simply a different kind of love.

The second Cole was born, I was completely over the moon for him.  I felt that immediate love and amazement at this tiny human I grew in my body.  I was ready - in those first few moments of learning the curves of his face and tracing the teeny tiny fingernails - to die for him, if ever needed.  I loved him truly more than myself.

I don't think it was quite that instant for Chris.  Oh, of course he loved him...but the LOVE love - the die-for-your-flesh-and-blood-love - was slower in coming.  His daddy-love grew as Cole grew.  As Cole gradually became more interactive, more extroverted and more loving, Chris' love became exponentially more intense and powerful. 

I love this.  I am so blessed to be able to watch Chris as he grows in his love for his child.  And I think Cole is all the more lucky to have two parents that love him so deeply and yet so differently: an instant, all-consuming love from his mama; and the slower growing, but just as deep love of a daddy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I've been collecting some really awesome links for the past month or so:

This article is an excellent point on how Time-Outs are not a very good discipline technique, and why Time-Ins are a better choice to teach kids how to appropriately manage their emotions.  I love how Dr. Laura gives concrete, thoughtful parenting tips.

As an educator for many years, I'm pretty passionate about preventing childhood sexual abuse (which is all too prevalent).  Here is a must-read article about ways to prevent abuse.  I especially love the part about respecting your child's body boundaries, which is why we never, ever force Cole to give a hug or a kiss to someone, even a close relative, if he doesn't want to.

I literally laughed out loud at Summer's post about the five second rule.  She is hysterical and her blog is too - if you're not following her, go do it now!

I saw this article on a friend's Facebook and just had to repost.  I think daddies often underestimate their importance in their child's lives, and just how much a single comment or ignoring attitude can effect a child.  I'm glad to say that my child's daddy is not one of those kind.

This NPR article about how children's play has shifted from a focus on activity to a focus on "things" in the last 50 years.  I read this article about a month ago and I still think daily about how I can encourage Cole's playtime to be less "toy oriented".  It's really amazing how advertizing, big companies, and greed motivate and change how our children play and think.

Yet another article highlighting the importance of why TV is not for kids.

Oh my.  This blog post is perfect.  I plan on printing it out and giving it to Cole when he's old enough to understand.  It makes my heart so glad that there are people out there who are so loving and kind.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is it spring yet?

This week we've been spending a lot of time staring out the window, wishing for spring to finally come!

Why is the entire rest of the country has crazy high temperatures, and we're having blizzards?!

PS.  Yes, my son is wearing Christmas pajamas in March.  Laundry day, you know.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Language of Love

I stand him up on the changing table and he suddenly throws his arms around, hugging me fiercely and patting me on the back.  He follows that up with a serious-faced kiss on my lips, then lays his head trustingly on my shoulder.

I'm washing dishes in the kitchen, singing along to a song on Pandora, when Cole comes up behind me and plants an enthusiastic smooch on the back of my leg.  I turn around just in time to see him already moving on, grabbing his train off the floor.

It's night time, and I finish helping Cole brush his teeth.  I rinse his toothbrush and pick Cole up to put him in his crib.  He takes my arm, lays his head against my hand.  He kisses the back of my hand.  He takes my head between his hands, looks at me intently, and pats my cheek so lovingly.  I hold him close, my heart overflowing with his love and sweetness.

Even though I'm dying to hear him say that he loves me, I know - without a single word being exchanged - how much my son loves me. 

I only hope he knows just how much I love him back.

Friday, March 16, 2012

10 things

10 things I'm loving about Cole right now:

1. Cole is finally starting to say some words.  Nothing makes me happier to hear him say "Mae!! Mae!" (how he says Mama).

2. this laugh...oh, this laugh.  It makes my heart so full of joy to hear it:

3.Cole is so very empathetic and sweet.  Occasionally, he'll get a little too excited or upset and bite or smack us (not in a mean way, more like in a i'm-so-overcome-with-emotion-and-I-just-can't-express-it-way).  Even though it's rare, it does happen - and immediately, he says, "Awwww!" and kisses and pats us where he accidentally hurt us.  Very sweet.

4. When he's super excited about something, he sticks out his tongue and pants.  I'm wondering if maybe he's around our dogs a leeetle bit too much.

5. He still loves his potatoes.  This is what he did with them yesterday:
I know, right? He's a mathematical genius, did it all on his own.

6. The way he says "light" - "YIYGHT!" so.freaking.adorable.

7.  We were in Goodwill the other day doing some thrifting, and Cole spotted a collared, button-up plaid shirt hanging on the rack.  He immediately grabbed it and said to me, "DA!! DA!!" It was the exact type of shirt that Chris wears to work every day. Love the connections this kid's brain makes!

8. Cole still reads for at least fifteen minutes when he wakes up in the mornings - it is the best wake-up call ever to hear his little voice over the baby monitor pointing out the letters in his book: "A! A! O! B!"

9. He has inherited his Gram's love of oral hygiene - he loves flossing and brushing his teeth (whew!).

10. Cole has recently figured out that the camera takes pictures - usually of him! So he's started hamming it up for the camera, which seems to result in pictures like this:

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