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!).