Monday, April 30, 2012


He is sitting up in his crib, warm and snuggly and bleary-eyed from his sleep.  He reaches his hands up to me as I lift him up and hold him close.  His head nestles onto the perfect spot on my shoulder, his arms reach around me and squeeze.  I inhale the warm toddler smell of his hair and skin, feel the perfect weight of him resting securely in my arms, and I think it is impossible that I could love him any more than I do right now, at this moment.

He is running down our long hallway, chasing the dogs and screaming joyfully!  His shoes make a delightful pitter-patter on the floor, his face is all huge smiles and bright eyes.  He runs over to me, inviting me to join in his fun, and I think it is impossible that I could love him any more than I do right now, at this moment.

We are having a rough day.  I tell him it's time for a diaper change, and he runs away.  I scoop him up to carry him downstairs, and he cries, yelling out his frustration and taking it out on me by biting my shoulder.  Cole! I say...but when I look at his face I can see he already knows he shouldn't have and is sorry.  His eyes are filling with tears and his tender mouth is trembling.  He kisses my shoulder gently, apologetically, then looks at me, mutely asking for forgiveness.  I lay his head on my shoulder and hold him tight so he knows I still love him, I will ALWAYS love him.  He wraps his little arms around me just as tight, and we sit on the bottom stairs just holding each other for a while.  I think it is impossible that I could love him any more than I do right now, at this moment.

He is intently playing in his sandbox, stacking his toys at one end and filling bottles with sand carefully.  He is oblivious to my observing, enthralled in his play.  I sit watching him, marveling at his ability to use his fingers so dexteriously, to manipulate his toys, to be so still and so absorbed.  He looks up suddenly, sensing my gaze, and gives me the starry-eyed smile I love so much.  I think it is impossible that I could love him any more than I do right now, at this moment.

Daddy is home from work.  Cole screams in excitement, "DADDA! DADDA!" and expresses his thrill by his trademark happy feet dance.  I watch Chris scoop him up in his arms, holding him tight for loving hug, then transitions right into high-energy wrestling and playing without even taking off his coat.  The high-pitched squeals and giggling from Cole are almost as loud as Daddy's laughing, expressing his pure joy of spending time with his son. 

I know it's impossible to love them both any more than I do right now, at this moment.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

One Hand in my Pocket


Oh, nothing.  Just walking around with my hand in pocket.  'Cause it's cool.  And 'cause I'm a BIG BOY now!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


We had an amazing thunderstorm here earlier this week.  It was Cole's first experience with thunder and lightning - and he loved it!

We watched the storm roll in from the safety of our covered deck and Cole was thrilled watching the "YIGHT-YIGHT (lightning)":

PS. HOW adorable are those shoes, right?

Friday, April 27, 2012

a love story

10 years ago today, I kissed my now-husband for the first time.

I still remember the first moment I saw Chris.  It was 7th grade (15 years ago! OMG!), 3rd period band.  I noticed a saxophone player from across the room - kinda short, with the classic bowl-cut hair and wearing a 49ers jersey (yes, his fanhood goes back that far!).  He looked nice, but I didn't take particular notice...I didn't know then that that boy would become my husband.

Years passed.  We moved in similar social circles, with mutual friends.  I dated one of his buddies, he dated a friend of mine.  But my senior year, I suddenly realized how much I looked forward to seeing him every day - how he made me laugh, how comfortable I felt talking to him, how he was so kind and good-natured.  But how could a boy as cool as him ever notice me?  He had girls lined up wanting to ask him out.

But then, one day, he asked me to prom.  Oh, how excited I was.  It was going to be the best prom ever.  I chose my dress (a sage green long gown), went to the salon with a bunch of girlfriends to get our hair done in elaborate updo's, then hurried home so my mom could help me apply my makeup, while my dad snapped pictures.

The doorbell rang.  Chris and his best friend Josh (of course we went as a group with all our friends) stepped inside.  Chris in his tux was as handsome as I'd ever seen him.

As we drove to dinner, I popped a CD in the car stereo - my best friend and her boyfriend had made it for us..."theme music" they told us.  To set the mood.  It had a single song on it - "Kiss the Girl", from Disney's "Little Mermaid". 

The night that followed was perfect.  We danced, laughed with friends, ate chocolate covered strawberries.  But the very best part didn't happen until the last song of the night.

The DJ regretfully announced that the next song would be the last.  As we danced slowly together, I thought about how much fun we'd had and how much I didn't want it to end...the music started to trail off and the lights began to go up - Chris leaned toward me - he kissed me.

It was fairy tale, romantic comedy, movie-musical perfect.

I didn't know then it would be my last first kiss.  I didn't know I would marry this boy, bear his child, live with and love him.  But I knew it was a beginning of something pretty amazing.

I was right. :)

Happy First Kiss-aversary, babe.  You're my favorite.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Restaurant FAIL

I don't know what it is about parenting, but it seems to have given us short-term memory loss.

Like with eating at restaurants.

A few weeks ago, the stars aligned: Chris got off work early and Cole took a late nap, which presumably means that we squeak his bedtime back from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm...if we're lucky.

So, impulsive crazy person that I am, I blurt out, "Hey babe! Let's go out to dinner tonight!"

"Ok!" he says.

We throw some shoes on Cole and hop in the car. We decide on a whim to try a new Italian restaurant we've heard good things about ( plus, hello? have you seen my sidebar? It is not a coicidence that Italian-food lover is right up there next to mama and wife in my description). This is a departure from our usual VERY family-friendly Red Robin or Olive Garden, but hey! I was feeling like a very capable mama, so why not try a little something new, right?

As we unload Cole and walk up to the restaurant, I start to have a few misgivings.  I scope out the outside, making sure there weren't any "No Minors" signs (um, because I once, um, brought Cole into a restaurant that was really a bar that I didn't realize and the waitress had to tell me to leave. SO EMBARASSING!!!!).  No signs, though, so we open the door and step in.

And it's a nice place.  I mean REALLY nice.  Dim ambient lighting, candles lit on the tables (that have REAL TABLECLOTHES on them...that should have been our clue to turn and RUN!), hushed conversation.  The host seats us and goes to get a high chair (from the BACK - another clue - no highchairs lining the walls in plain sight!) and hands us our fancy menus (yet another clue - no kid's menu!).

Oh crap.

As Chris and I furtively look around and exchange anxious glances, we realize that we are the only dimwits in the entire restaurant to bring a child into the premises. So after some intense discussion about how rude it would be to leave vs how rude it would be to ruin every single person's meal with a possibly screaming child, Chris, being the direct manly problem solver that he is, decides to just ask our server.

"Excuse me?  We were just wondering if we could ask you a question?  We, um, didn't quite realize how nice this place was it ok to have our child in here?"

Bless her heart, the server didn't blink an eye and reassured us that it was fine.

But SHE obviously didn't have the murderous stares of hundreds of patrons staring at us, just waiting for a peep out of Cole that was a single decibel too loud. (or maybe that was just my imagination...)

So Chris and I frantically choose our meals, in between using everything in arm's reach to keep Cole quiet and occupied.  But whoops! As I'm distracted while ordering, Cole manages to use his Baby Octopus hands to reach the plate I've tried to pull out of the way.  With an impressive blocking technique, Chris intercepts the (breakable) plate before it does any damage.  After requesting some bread to keep Cole busy, I quickly clear the official Baby Zone on the table to prevent any more plate incidents - even though it means Chris and I will have to eat our meals sideways, taking up no more than the farthest quarter of the table away from Cole and his octopus arms.

But that's ok!  Because Cole is occupied and entertained and not making too much noise...or is he?  It's so hard to tell because we are slightly desensitized to Baby Noise Level.  Maybe he's disturbing someone.  So I shoot harried glances around us, trying to detect if any other patrons are looking at us and judging our parenting skills.  No murderous looks...but just to be safe, I plop Cole's bink in his mouth (something I NEVER do during daytime...desperate times, desperate measures, you know).

whew.  Ok, we might be safe now.  Chris and I try for some lighthearted chatter, but truthfully?  we are just too darn nervous. 

Finally, our food arrives.  We bolt it down, in between loading Cole's plate with bits and pieces (which he eats by taking out his bink, chewing a bite, then plopping his bink back in for a few minutes...but at least he's quiet! and not throwing anything!).  Chris asks for the check, while I take the opportunity to unload Cole out of the high chair and hightail it out of there before he can start fussing.

Once we're all in the car, I can finally relax.  I turn to Chris and say, "When did eating dinner out become less relaxing and more like running a marathon?!"

I silently vow to never eat out at a nice restaurant with Cole until he's older.  Like 30.

But we all know we'll forget and take him out next weekend.  'cause parenting gives you short term memory loss.

PS. I'm seriously considering trying to pass a law that requires businesses to post a rating of 1-10 on the kid-friendliness of their establishment. I'm pretty sure it would save some parents some stress!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3 Incredibly Adorable Things About My Son Right Now

1. When Cole's doing something sorta intense (for him), like sliding down off the couch or when we're going around turns in our car, he'll yell out "WHEE!!  WHEE!!" It is so beyond adorable.

2. After his bath, he waves bye-bye to the bathwater as it's going down the drain.

3.  He just learned how to drink out of a regular big-boy cup:

I love how proud of himself he is!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Auntie Meg's new house has an amazing little cubby-hole playroom/closet thingy.  It's so cool it even has a mini door from one bedroom into the playroom.  I would have been positively thrilled to have something this cool in my house growing up.  Cole was just as excited about as Auntie Meg and Uncle Stu's future kids will be!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Park in Portland

Cole and I went with Auntie Meg ("An' Mae!") to a very awesome park last weekend when we were in Portland:

 Who knew a giant ladybug would be so fun?!

 And the swings! So! Exciting!

 Cole still loves to RUN! Just picture him yelling, "RUN! RUN! RUN! RUN! RUN!" for this picture:

What a great day to get out and play!

Friday, April 20, 2012


Last weekend, Gram and Cole and I drove up to Portland to see Auntie Meg and Uncle Stu.  I really waffled about going, but I'm glad we went!

On Friday, we had a great time at IKEA (my FAVORITE place!):

We enjoyed the IKEA food court, too:

Saturday, we headed to the mall - it was a rough day.  It was just too much to ask of Cole to be inside, in a stroller, with all those people, shopping all day.  He had several meltdowns (which is so rare for him) and generally made life difficult.  Oh well, lesson learned.  As much as I miss being able to spend a whole day shopping, it's just not feasible with a two year old.

We did had a lovely lunch at Cheesecake Factory:

And then Auntie Meg made Cole's year by patiently helping him smell every.single.candle in Bath and Body Works.  Seriously, every SINGLE candle.  He was thrilled - and several of the employees thought it was pretty hysterical too.

Sunday, we helped Meg paint some rooms, then took Cole to the park.  It was a MUCH better day - running around outside seems to be the cure for just about every single problem in Cole's little life.

In between, we had lots of eating out, lots of running through Auntie Meg's and Uncle Stu's new big empty house, and lots of reading!

Cole really fell in love with Auntie Meg this trip - or, as he calls her, "An' Mae! An' Mae!"  Yes, it is as cute as it sounds!

And seriously, this little guy of mine is THE BEST car traveler ever.  He just chills in his car seat, sucking on his bink, reading books to his Bunny.  It's adorable.  He handled the 5 hours up and the 5 hours back pretty much no problem.

My little world traveler! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012


We are so excited to announce our new addition!

No, not THAT... THIS:

A motorcycle!

After waiting so patiently for over five years, we finally bought Chris his bike:

 I think Cole approves - he did NOT want to get off the bike!

I know, you thought my hubs was hot BEFORE the motorcyle... he's SMOKIN' now! ;)
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