Hand in Hand - 5.26.06

Last week Collin was home with a 103+ fever for nearly four days. It was the first time he's been sick that he actually acted sick. In fact, he was wiped. He slept a lot and when he was awake, he just wanted to lay around and read books and watch movies. Wonderfully, he found a lot of comfort cuddling with his family. On Friday, I was home with both boys and we were camped out on the floor when both fell sound asleep. I left the room, excited about a moment to stretch and grab a snack. When I came back to check on them, I discovered that Collin had apparently woke up for a brief moment because he had shifted towards Owen and clasped his hand. It was the sweetest sight!!

Little O - 5.26.06

We have dubbed Owen "Little O." But anyone who has met Little O knows exactly what an Oxymoron this name truly is. Especially probably because Collin is and always has been such a little guy with his short little legs and petite frame, our "Little Man" (another of my favorite nicknames for Owen) seems so big! And where Collin never seemed to have an ounce of baby fat (in fact, he always looked like a cute mini-toddler!), Owen has the most wonderful, extremely kissable baby fat on his chubby little legs! Although far from "chunky," at roughly 17 pounds now, Little O is really a Big Lug - totally hefty.

It really hit home when I dressed him the other day in clothes Collin was still wearing at one year old. Then I was reading a 10-month old update on my niece Rylie and realized that at six months older, she is less than a pound heavier than Owen! He seems like such a big boy for his age! Surprisingly, though, Owen is still only in the 75% weight bracket for kids his age. He's completely healthy ~ and thriving on solely Mom's milk still, which makes me so pleased!

I just love how different my two boys are. I love recognizing their individual traits and noting those that they have in common. For example, Collin is always smiling, but when he was a baby, you had to earn a smile from him. But once you did, a laugh was sure to follow. Owen on the other hand is quick to smile almost upon making eye contact and slower to laugh ... he may chuckle, but doesn't start rolling without a little prodding. And Collin wasn't really ticklish until he was old enough to understand the word "tickle." His tickle spots are just near his armpits, under his chin, and on his inner thigh. Owen, however, is already totally ticklish on his back and just below his rib cage on his left side. Ah, the things only parents know (unless we post them on a blog and share it with the whole world!) I am so lucky!!

Memorial Day Weekend

Last year we enjoyed Memorial Day, basking in the hot summer sun! Ok, not quite. The men were basking all right, but perhaps not in the light I just cast! Last year several wonderful volunteers helped put up our fence, sweating in the hot summer sun. We missed the big Bellingham Ski-to-Sea weekend, which includes a parade on Saturday and a street fair + 7-leg relay race from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay. So this year, backyard in good shape, we aimed for a weekend of fun! Jared, Janae, and Grandpa Carmody came up for the festivities, and we were so excited! But Collin had a fever Tuesday to Saturday morning. Then it rained off and on all day Saturday. Needless to say, we missed out on the parade again. But we did watch a few good movies and play several games of Aggrevation! Collin even played and said "flip" each time he turned a card for us!
Then it was lobster mania at our house Saturday night! Collin checked out the lobsters with Daddy, Grandpa, and Uncle Jared, and even dared to pet them. Sadly, he was broken each time one entered the boiling pot. He wanted each put back in the safety of its grassy ice bed!

What a fabulous feast we had! The five adults shared 4 lobster, a giant king crab leg, and buckets of clams and oysters. Yummy!! (Poor Collin had a garden burger! He can try shellfish - and peanut butter! - after he turns 2. : )

The weather Sunday was a bit better, much to our delight, and Grandpa, Owen and I hit the street fair in Fairhaven and watched the kayakers ring the finish-line bell of the race. It was so exciting! So many people were gathered and spirits were high at the waterfront as we watched the kayakers pull up to shore and rush to ring the bell!! It was a great time! I only wish Collin had been feeling better (we went during his super-long nap) so he and Kevin could have joined us (Jared and Janae had to leave before then). I would love to put together a relay team and take the Ski-to-Sea challenge next year ... anyone want to join the team?? The legs are: downhill ski, cross-country ski, mountain bike, street bike, run, kayak, and canoe (I'm pretty sure anyway). If you're interested and willing to commit, let me know. Only 400 teams are allowed to compete, and the entry slots fill up quick. Teams are turned away every year, so let's sign up soon!! What fun!



Ah, spring. Flowers, sunshine, children playing in the streets ... and of course, a little rain. This weekend started the downpour that is still going on outside my window as I type. BUT, as it turned out, the rain was a blessing at our house. We spent the weekend doing our spring cleaning, and I must say, I feel soooo much better!

Even when you try to keep it down, it is amazing how much can stockpile in the closets and drawers and cupboards over time ... The pile of paperwork you store in the top of the closet "just for now" because it doesn't otherwise have a home; the clothes you've saved fifteen years, hoping you'll fit into them again one day, only to realize they are tapered leg and out of style (and you still don't fit them!); the mismatched dishes and kitchen utencils you save, thinking, I'll use it one day - then one day comes, and you find out the "tool" designed to make things easier makes the job that much more work in reality (like the rolling garlic peeler!) but you continue to save it anyway because it's "new."

You've all been there. And when it's all said and done, maybe we stockpile just so that we can experience the wonderous joy and sense of accomplishment when the closets are again found and the last trip to Goodwill has been made and you can sit back and know the house is once again "clean" for another year. It's a fabulous moment, and it repeats itself, at least for me, everyday for at least a week afterwards ... we clean (vacuum, dust, scrub, change linens, etc.) as we go too, so everything seems so nice and fresh! Even the messes are easy to clean up because everything again has a place to belong when not in use. Ahhh ...

So, that was one of the great benefits of the rain this weekend. The other benefit was that we stayed home with the boys and had some really great quality one-on-one time. Collin especially seemed to blossom this weekend, speaking new words and actually using his words more than ever! By Sunday night he was using words and phrases repeatedly and when appropriate! It was so nice!! I imagine he'll just keep adding words daily from here on out!

New words in the past week or two: outside, dump (he loves his dump truck and to dump liquid from a cup/bowl/whatever), butterfly, banana, sit, dish (*fish), moo, quack, meow, Melman (for giraffe - that's the giraffe's name in Matagascar), melmo (*Elmo), bath, t (*tv), book, bowl, bear, elp pease(*help please), tank you (*thank you), juice, wa-wa (*water), nigh-nigh (*good night), cheese (for the camera, not the food), poo, and icki (*Ricki - we had my girlfriend Lisa and her girls Ricki, 2 and a half, and Lily, 3 months, over last night, and Collin and Ricki really hit it off!)

And Owen had a huge milestone this weekend also! Saturday afternoon - with both Dad and I there and watching! - Owen rolled from his back to his belly without the assistance of human aid, blanket leverage, cushion momentum, etc! Congratulations, Owen!! PLUS Owen discovered the volume button on his voicebox! Our little chatterbox took it up a notch (or two or three at times!) this weekend. He's making many sounds, and does a great job mimicing us (for a four month old!) Also, Owen is now sleeping nights and naps in his crib by himself, and Mom and Dad have their bed back. Now we can work on sleeping through the night! Woohoo!

It is so nice that a work weekend can be (and was) so much fun and productive at the same time ~ I love the dynamics children have brought to our life!


Four Months Old ~ 5.19.06

Our little man is so much fun! He turned four months old Wednesday the 17th and at his four-month check-up he weighed in at 16 pounds, 5 ounces (75%) and was 26 inches tall (75%). He's now wearing primarily size 6-9 month clothes, and I can hardly believe my baby is growing so quickly! He's started chuckling!! It is the most precious sound! He thinks almost everyone and everything is funny, so make a funny face or stick out your tongue (Blah!), and he's sure to share a giggle! In the past month he has found his hands (loves to suck on his fingers!) and started reaching for everything with bright colors or rattle sounds. Also, he is a chatterbox ~ talks to everything from tables and plants to his favorite toys, but especially to familiar faces. It's quite impressive because he'll carry a conversation better than most 2 year olds (I just have no idea what he's saying!).

Pics: (Above) Giggling at me! (Below) Moments from sleep, Owen lifted his head to find me sneaking a shot of him through the crib rails.

Ring Around the Rosie ~ 5.06

A pocket full of posies ~ Ashes, ashes ~ We all fall down!! Cows are in the meadow ~ Eating buttercups ~ Ashes, ashes ~ We all stand up! (Did you know the second verse? I just learned it yesterday from Collin's teacher!)

Boy am I glad we didn't end up moving! For those of you who don't know, in December we had made an offer on a house just a mile closer to town, but thankfully it wasn't accepted (nor was the counter-offer or counter-counter-offer), and we decided to stay where we are. With spring in full force, I'm outside almost every afternoon now and constantly reminded of how much I love our neighborhood and how glad I am that we're still here! We really couldn't ask for better neighbors. They are always ready to share a smile, a laugh, a watchful eye on the kids, etc. Plus, most of the kids are under 4, so Collin and Owen have lots of playmates. The two playing with Collin above are the "big kids on the block." Brennen is four, and Naomi is 3 (or both will be in June). At only 21 months, Collin is a bit behind them developmentally, but oh does he love to play with them and mimic everything they do! A few nights ago, so tickled by their games of Ring Around the Rosie, my neighbor Jen (Brennen's mom) ran inside for her camera and took the great shots above. I love it! Thanks, Jen!


Footloose and Fancy Free

Family of Four
Construction Team
Aqua Tracing
Kicked Back and Chillin'
Tuckered Out
Burping Owen
The Boys in My Life


Happy Cinco de Mayo


Boy did we have a busy day! By 10 a.m., I had considered tossing Collin into the bathtub three times, and he showered just last night! First, we had croissants and bananas - with just a dab of chocolate spread - and he licked the chocolate bowl clean! Unfortunately, he wasn't as clean! Then we went outside. But it hadn't dawned on me that the fire pit wasn't covered after our campfire the night before. Collin ran right to it, and soot covered him from head to foot! THEN just when I took him out of the sink, Dad offerred his first piece of licorice ~ you can imagine how much he loved it. And you can see how much it loved him back! He had cherry flavor everywhere!!

After Collin's nap, we headed to the mall where Collin walked with Grandma and Grandpa and the boys played in the motorized ice cream truck.

When the day was over and there were no more messes to be had, the boys enjoyed a nice, long bubble bath. : )

Pics: I had a really difficult time uploading pic today, so you're missing the soot-covered face getting sprayed down in the sink, the happy chocolate boy, and the ice cream truck. I'll try again later!


Glasses! 5.3.06

Although we're still seeking a second opinion (appointment in June), we decided to purchase Collin the prescribed glasses to correct his farsightedness.

I must say that we are all in shock. The prescription is really strong. So strong that I can't even see a blurry scene when I look through his lenses (in most glasses, I can look through and the scene is blurry ... in Collin's I see only fuzz). Although he seems to even appreciate them (?), Kevin and I can't wait to get the second opinion. It's so hard to believe that Collin's as blind as the glasses indicate when he's been able to point to objects in books and pick up small objects and see around corners, etc. But maybe he has seen a much blurrier "pig" in the farm book than I always see. Maybe he's really seeing things in clear view only just now? I mean, the glasses must be helping him. He has taken to them very well ~ wearing them most of this first evening without too much prompting. Wow. I am so proud of him!

Although as a parent it is hard to accept even something so common as poor eyesight, I find great relief in knowing that he seems to love his glasses and that, to him, they are probably a welcome accessory as now he can finally see! Also, we had been wondering if he's been experiencing headaches from poor eyesight; hopefully, if he was having them, he won't now.

Isn't he a doll?! I love my boys!!!

Family Time ~ 5.2.06

Finally someone who takes as many pictures as me! Grandma and Grandpa Tepker flew in for a two-week visit Monday, and we have been having the most wonderful time! It is so good to see them, and so neat for Collin and Owen to have this time with them. I take for granted how close my family is (mostly in Washington), while Kevin's family is so far (mostly in Illinois).

Pics Above: (1) & (2) Grandma and Grandpa watched Owen while Dad was at work and I was upstairs in my office for over an hour and a half. During that time they took some 30+ pics and at least three videos! (3), (4) & (5) Later that afternoon, Grandma and I read the boys books in the front room. (6) & (7) Owen is the perfect size to prop with a Boppy Pillow on Grandma's lap for a little one-on-one!