Be Among the First to See!

When the big day arrives, be one of the first to see Owen at http://www.newbabynews.net/hospitals/stj5/public/. (Once we're home from the hospital, I'll post more here!)


Where's Owen? Now Only 19 Days to Go!

In the past week, Collin seems to have figured out (1) that Mom's belly is huge; (2) that Mom's belly - not sure if he realizes there's a baby in it - is named Owen; and (3) that "Owen" is special.

One morning just before Christmas, I asked Collin, "Where's Owen?" He lifted my shirt and gave my belly a big hug and a kiss! I was shocked! I hadn't prompted him to do that at all!! In the pic above, he's demonstrating his love for "Owen" Christmas morning. Lucky for us, Dad caught it on film. : )

Merry Christmas ~ 12.25.05

We had a wonderful Christmas as you can see from the pics above! Collin was so much fun ~ he really made it a special day for us. I am already looking forward to next year!

Here's a rundown of the pics: (1) Santa Came! (2) Wow! "More" Mom! Let's open gifts! (3) You mean I actually get to knock those down, Dad?! (4&5) The joys of vaccuuming. Collin absolutely loves to watch and laugh when we vaccuum, so it was very appropriate to get him his own vaccuum so he could enjoy the "fun." We only wish it actually worked! We'd have the cleanest floors on the block! (6) Family Photo (7) Enjoying Christmas Dinner with a Really Big Boy Fork! (8) Blast Off! Collin especially enjoyed his new rocket ship from Grandma and Grandpa Yanasak ~ it makes great noises and vibrates when it "takes off!" Thanks! (9) All tuckered out and ready for bed, Collin and Marley have a milky nightcap. (10) Although he awoke with a fever of over 101, Collin was all smiles as I played Peak-a-Boo from behind the kitchen wall the next morning!

Happy Holidays ~ 12.18.05

We celebrated the holiday with Grandma and Grandpa Jacobs December 18, and Collin had a great time playing with Grandpa! He also enjoyed openning his first gifts of the season ~ one of which was his first train set! At first, he was so enthralled with the engine and its motor that he could hardly resist lifting it from the tracks each time it was turned on, but he's started to get the hang of it and loves to watch it go around ~ especially through the mountain. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!


'Zat You, Santa Claus?

Last night Santa made his annual visit to Whidbey Island Bank to hear the kids' wishlists and kickoff the season! Right away, Santa commented on how much Collin had grown since last year, as he shook Collin's hand and Collin sat safely in Daddy's lap. But, no stranger to strangers, Collin was the first kid to investigate once Santa had perched in his chair. He approached cautiously at first. Then Santa held out a board book, and Collin went and jumped on Santa's lap for storytime. Of course, the story was not half as interesting as the jolly ol' elf himself! Just before he left, Santa invited us all to sit for a family photo. Cheers!!!

Just for Laughs

Pics: (1) Collin shares his sticky fingers (he'd been gnawing on an apple), while donning his dad's stocking cap, a summer tee, and pajama shorts! Who dressed that kid? 12.4.05 (2) Although it sits in the foyer awaiting the trip to the hospital in January, Collin is ready to go for a spin now! Buckle Up! 12.3.05


Let it Snow!

Today was Collin's first snow adventure! Last year he was too young to notice the white flakes, but this year he discovered them with the precious eyes only a child beholds. He explored in amazement and enjoyed every minute ~ from bundling up in his new snow gear to testing his balance in the winter wonderland of our cul-de-sac.

Pics: (1) Reading the REI tag of his new snow pants; (2) The first fall (didn't know this stuff was so slick!); (3) Walking to the center island of our cul-de-sac; (4) Footprints in the Snow; (5) Notice the frost on his little gloves ~ he'd just reached down to grab a handful of snow!

O Christmas Tree

Ah, traditions! For the fourth year in a row (every year since Kevin and I met), we traveled out to a U-cut tree farm with my dad and Lani to pick out the perfect family tree. This year, we had great success and found our tree more quickly than ever! I think it was in Row 8 of 150ish. Since we knew it would be the first year Collin actually took an interest in the tree and that it was going in our front room - which is also now Collin's playroom - it's a much smaller and more narrow tree than we had last year (which is slightly a bummer). But it fits very nicely in our front window and looks quite festive and lovely from 2 feet on up! The bottom two feet are adorned with jingle bells and unbreakables that Collin loves to move from branch to branch (and room to room). I like to think it's his way of spreading Christmas Joy!


Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving! We celebrated a wonderful Thanksging holiday at our home Thursday with my mom & Kevin and Chrissy, Tracey & Marley. Collin especially loved the green bean casserole (even before it was cooked!) and sweet potato biscuits, and Marley especially enjoyed the carrots and white rolls. As for me, I fell in love with turkey and gravy all over again, but I do believe I ate the least this year than ever before ~ Owen is taking up too much room! : )

At our doctor visit the day before Thanksgiving, we discovered that I'm still measuring three weeks ahead of schedule ~ so I'm a big mama! (but no indications that Owen will be early or anything) Fortunately, most of the "growth" is out front where I literally appear to have shoved a basketball underneath my shirt! Unfortunately, with that growth is coming the dreaded stretch marks ~ many more than I received when I was pregnant with Collin. Bummer!

As of today (Nov. 28), only 50 days to go. 7 weeks from tomorrow, Owen'll be here!!!


69 Days to Go!

In the past two or three days, several people have commented that I really seem to have "popped" out in a major way. Of course, to me, I just feel like I'm becoming more and more pregnant (if that's possible?). But, I just got back from my OB-GYN visit, and Owen is indeed growing heartily. I have "suddenly" popped out more! Whereas two weeks ago, I measured right on track; today I measured three weeks ahead! This really means nothing in the long run as babies have growth spurts in the womb, just as they do after birth. But what it means to me is a great deal of explanation. I've lately had many more sleepless nights and really started to feel pregnant, in the sense that I feel large and stretched, unbalanced and awkward ~ and I am beginning to develop a waddle when I'm not paying attention. The good news is that I still have lots of energy and motivation and have been able to keep up fairly well with our roaming toddler. : )

Other news on the baby front: the C-section has been scheduled, and Owen will be born Tuesday, January 17 , 2006, at 9:30 a.m. (ish) (unless he has sooner plans)! Kevin has arranged to take off four fabulous weeks of paternity leave this time, and my mom will be up for a week to watch Collin while we're in the hospital and assist with the homecoming. Yeah! It's coming up soon! I can't wait to meet him!


Trick or Treat!

Although Collin did go Trick or Treating with Dad around the cul-de-sac, his highlight of the evening was opening (and closing) the front door and laughing at the myriad kids! He couldn't quite get past how silly they all looked and wanted each to stay and play, rather than take candy and be on their way. Needless to say, we got as many "Oh he's so cute"s as we handed out! Great fun!


Happy Halloween!

HA! Our little Monkey is, appropriately, a monkey this year for Halloween. But as you can see, I couldn't resist putting him in Marley's chicken suit for a moment as well! Too cute!

Silly Boy

Collin and Marley had so much fun Saturday at Uncle Jared and Janae's that Collin had to take a break in Marley's little chair! October 29, 2005

Children's Museum ~ Oct. 28, 2005

Collin and Janie, one of our Childbirth Class friends, had a great time playing and exploring at the Whatcom County Children's Museum last Friday. They rode the trolley (Collin was the conductor!), climbed in the monkey-treehouse, went into the disco-kitchen, slid multiple times down the indoor slide, and overall had a blast!


Door Handles

Now we're really in for it! Collin can now, standing on his tip-toes, reach the door handles and - you guessed it - open and close doors. So if you come to our house and find many doors locked, there is a good reason! : )


Fall Festivities

Wagon rides, a corn maze, a gourd field, a pumpkin patch, and fresh apples ~ right off the trees! We enjoyed a sunny afternoon Saturday at Stoney Ridge Farm near Everson, Wash.

Pics: (1) Kevin shows Collin the gourd fields. (2) Stepping carefully, Collin chooses his favorite gourds. (3) While eating a piece of fresh apple, Collin picks out our "Great Pumpkin."

Look what I know now!

Collin has really starting demonstrating new skills and knowledge lately. For example:

- Neighbor Natalie gave him a balloon three weeks ago (it amazingly still floats!), and just in the past day or so, he learned that when he maintains a grasp on the string, the balloon doesn't float to the ceiling! Now, he takes his balloon everywhere with him (in the house), and he's always so proud to show it off!

- He has a farmhouse, with horses, cows, chickens, a pig, a sheep, and two farmers. Yesterday, he had "hidden" the pig inside the barn. When I later asked, "Where's the pig?" he looked all around the farm and correctly found the pig where he'd hidden it! I didn't even know he knew which one was the pig! And this morning I asked him to find the cow ... sure enough, a moment later, he found it and handed it to me! It's so fun to see that he's been listening and learning all along!

- Collin loves to read. He has a "reading couch" in the playroom, and I often walk in to find him flipping through the pages of one book or another. About three days ago, he started reading aloud as he flipped! "Da dee ta ttt ckh dada tt." I love it!!

- Because Collin's a natural climber, chairs have caused Dad quite a bit of stress in the past few months. It is not uncommon for Kevin to remove all little chairs out of a room to avoid temptations and potential falls. But Collin has now learned that chairs are for sitting in (rather than standing on backwards with no hands!), and he'll now climb into them, turn around, and sit facing forward! Anxious Daddy is especially proud!

- Collin is walking about 95% of the time now and getting around quite well. Yesterday, he even took about 8 steps backwards! His new challenge: he's trying to reach door handles!

First Dentist Visit

Collin visited the dentist for the first time Friday, Oct. 21, and he did great! The dentist gave him a "ride" in the chair (up and down), and Collin got to show the dentist how he "brushes" his teeth (or more accurately, chews on his toothbrush). As it turns out, the dentist highly recommends encouraging Collin to "chew"/"brush" after every meal to establish a good routine and, since he has so few teeth and they are still so far apart, "chewing" can be as effective as "brushing." I thought that was both interesting and extremely great news!

Many people asked "Why did you take him to the dentist already? He only has six teeth!" Two reasons: (1) He has six teeth, and we want to be sure that they are healthy and coming in properly; (2) The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a dental check at one year. (Plus, it's covered by insurance, so why not?)

Pic: Collin gets a new toothbrush!


First Hair Cut ~ Yikes!

Now if that just isn't enough to convince you that your little boy is growing up ... I don't know what is. Collin got his first haircut today at Leopold's Barber Shop here in Bellingham, and he received a certificate of "Courage and Bravery" for his attitude and patience! He perched on a bench, was robed by the barber, and sat is amazement as the barber cut each and every precious curl. (I did my best not to cry, but admit I felt a tear or two!) Collin was a fabulous client, and I am so proud of him! And now look! He looks so grown up ~ such a little boy! All night I have had moments of mourning for his little curls, but I am very happy to say that his haircut was a success. The barber did a great job, and the cut is perfect. Gone is "he is so cute" ~ now it's "he is so handsome!" (Ok, and cute to boot!! Love him!)

Pics: (1) First Snip; (2) Bye, Bye, Curls; (3) Almost Done; (4) What do you think? : )


Best Buds

Collin and Marley had a great time this past weekend when Christina and Marley came up to visit! Highlights: Collin showed Marley how to use his indoor slide, and Marley showed Collin how she eats with a spoon! (Marley learned to use the slide; Collin ignored the spoon!) Also, we learned that Marley loves to talk on the phone (had it to her ear for hours each day)!

Update: Collin is finally fever-free after an almost two week battle. And through it all, he experienced a growth spurt: Oct. 11, at fourteen months, he weighed 20 pounds, 15 ounces (he weighed only 19 pounds even at his one-year check-up).

First Words

Milestone of the Moment: Collin said his first words! September 29th in the bathtub, Collin said "Duck" repeatedly. And Saturday, October 8th, he pointed to a banana and said "Nana" (and scarfed it down when I peeled and handed it to him!). Since then, he hasn't repeated either, but he's experimenting with many new sounds and octaves. More "talk" is surely on its way! How fun! (BTW - he also learned sign language for "more" recently!)


Seizure Scare

Collin is ok now, but we did experience quite a scare Saturday evening (Oct. 1). Apparently when a child (0-5 yrs) spikes a fever too high too quickly a seizure can occur. The seizure, although horrific to see, is benign and has no known long-term ill effects. Unfortunately for Collin, he had two Saturday. Unfortunately for us, we'd never heard of "febrile seizures" nor ever seen a seizure ~ we thought he was dying before our eyes. Thankfully, he is very much ok now.

The short story is this: Saturday, Collin spent the day as a normal 13 month old boy, playing and laughing and romping around. At 4:30 pm, he found a pillow on the floor and cuddled in for a nap. He had never done that before, and we thought it was adorable - even took pictures. 45 minutes later he awoke with a very high temperature. We gave him Tylenol, and Kevin was looking up the on-call nurses' number in the phonebook when suddenly Collin's whole body started convulsing. His neck kicked back and his eyes rolled back into his head. His lips turned blue; he became stiff as a board; he started frothing at the mouth. Kevin called 9-1-1 while I yelled at the top of my lungs for a doctor in the neighborhood. Luckily, aid arrived within minutes and a neighbor was able to assure us that this was rare but normal given the fever onset. The seizure lasted 30-40 seconds; it took Collin 45-60 minutes to really come around. I have never experienced something more powerful or terrifying in my life. We were sent home from the ER at 8:30 pm with prescriptions for a left ear infection and super-strength ibuprofen. At 10:30 pm we took his temperature, and it was an ok 100. He then vomited all over our bed. Kevin went to call the nurse again, and I cleaned Collin up. He then ran a fever of 101. He started twitching. The nurse called back, and Collin immediately had another seizure. It lasted one full minute. We called 9-1-1 again, and he took his second trip to the hospital in an ambulance with a temp of 103.7. That time the ER doc said he had a right ear infection and possibly menengitis, so he wanted to perform a spinal tap. We demanded, much to their dismay, a second opinion from a pediatrician. Thank goodness we did. Turns out, he does NOT have menengitis, did NOT have an ear infection in either ear, and simply had some other unknown virus that has since cleared. We were admitted to the pediatric ward around 2 am Sunday morning. Collin's fever broke around 10:30 am, and he has not spiked again since. According to our pediatrician, he has a 50 percent chance of ever having another febrile seizure; if he makes it two years, then that chance decreases to about 30 percent. Once he turns 6 years old, we're out of the woods. At any rate, as I said, they are benign, although very scary, and they simply need to be handled with care to protect him as he convulses. He does not have a seizure epidemic and he is not necessarily prone to them either. With any luck, he'll never have one again. We are just so grateful to have him with us, safe and sound. PLEASE kiss your babies for us!!

Baby News!

We've named our January 2006 babe Owen Howard Tepker and expect to deliver him via C-section in the latter half of the month (unless he has other plans, of course!).


Childbirth Class 1st Birthday Party

We really lucked out! When we registered for a Childbirth Class last spring, we had no idea how well we'd hit it off with the others in the class. Now a year later, we've formed friendships, as have the kids, and continued to meet as a group almost once a month. Yesterday, we hosted the kids' collective first birthday party, and the kids enjoyed opening gifts and smothering themselves in chocolate cupcakes with yellow frosting! Luckily, the parents had planned ahead and brought a change of clothes. : )

Pics: Reuion Photo 10.30.04 (Left to Right: Collin, Caleb, Janie, Stephen, Drew); 1st Birthday Photo 9.26.05 (Collin, Stephen, Janie, Drew); Collin at the top of his slide (which he recently, like two days ago, really figured out how to use!)