A Case of the Giggles 7.24.06

Chrissy and the Girls joined us Sunday afternoon, and the kids couldn't have had a better time! Owen and Taylor shared a blanket in the shade while Marley and Collin splashed in the pool. Then afterwards Collin and Marley made up their own game! They ran from the babies' blanket (which the babies were no longer on) and around the pool. Then they would jump on the blanket, giggle and roll, and then get up and run around the pool again! Over and over and over. It was hilarious! And they laughed nonstop the entire time!!

Random Moments

Good Morning! (I snuck the camera in to catch his first reaction as I opened the door.) 7.18.06

"Boots. Outside. Walk, Mama. ... Please!" Collin absolutely loves his boots and wants to wear them everywhere - no matter how hot the weather! The last few days have been shocking, and yet, he keeps putting them on! (*This pic was taken at 6:57 a.m. 7.18.06 ~ we are a get-up-and-go family!)

Exploring the neighborhood. 7.18.06

Ready for a dip in the pool! 7.22.06

Enjoying a stroll and the chance of a breeze. 7.22.06

Six Months Old 7.23.06

Even Collin succumbs to the energy-zapping, 90+ heat. 7.23.06


More Pics to Enjoy!

Ready for Bed?

Hugs and Kisses!

Mmmm ... tastes pretty good. Should we add more bubbles?

Mama, who made this mess?

Me? No way!


Twenty Three Months

The last few weeks have been amazing developmentally for Collin. He has gone from using only single words some of the time to talking in full phrases, repeating everything you say, and labeling things left and right. From one week to another, he has astonished those around him!

Some of his most favorite things to do right now are: sing (Row, Row, Row your Boat; ABCs; Good Morning Song; Itsy Bitsy Spider; and any other silly tune I make up he'll mimic); play Ring Around the Rosie; Jump and Skip and Stomp; Dig and Rake; and read.

Within only the last few days, he's suddenly starting to "toddler read" too, saying the words that he knows are part of a story or book that he's holding. For example, he has a train book, and he'll pick it up, sit on his little couch, and say "Choo choo" and "train up and down" and "around" as he turns the pages. And when he reads with us, he now attempts to repeat us as we read each book. His attention span is also growing, and he's showing greater interest in actual story books vs. short rythmic board books.

Last night we were out for a walk, and he suddenly turned around and started walking backwards. Then he rotated for a minute and walked forwards. Then he rotated again and walked backwards. It was so much fun! I knew that he could walk backwards, but I'd never seen him purposefully choose to walk backwards (vs. just backing up or away from something). It was so cool!

In the picture above, he had grabbed a puppet and was saying "Hi Bae-Bee" (baby ... very enunciated) to Owen. It was so neat! Another first. Having an inanimate object speak! And a puppet no less speaking TO Owen! I loved it!

Have I mentioned yet that he often calls Owen "Oma" (like Uma, but with a long O)?

School Starts Soon

Owen starts attending Blossom with Collin August 1st, and I find myself in a great Catch 22. I love having Collin at Blossom. He has made great friends, developed excellent social skills, and learned a lot along the way, including sign language, table etiquette, sharing, clean up, etc. But I miss him constantly. Every day I still get a lump in my stomach when he leaves with Dad or I drop him off and drive away. And every day I try to move as fast as possible so that I can go see him again! BUT I love my job, and I love the sense of balance that putting the kids in Blossom allows for. I know that I am a better mom because I am not as stressed about finances, I have the opportunity to make time for myself, and I am able to wear many hats, other than just the "Mommy Hat." So ... off to Blossom Owen will go come August 1st. In the meantime, I am cherishing the time that I take him to court with me!

Pic: Owen at 5 months, 3 weeks.

Pen Dual 7.10.06

Collin met his match with an ink pen ~ not sure who won!


Eating Out

Friday night Owen moved from his carseat to a high chair at Red Robin. What a big deal! He now can sit at the table like a big kid! Of course, when he sat at the table at Coyote on Alki 7.9.06 (pic above), he spent the better part of his time "gumming" the table, so he's not a big kid yet!

The Rat Pack 7.8.06

I am not sure why, but when I posted the pic above, the term "rat pack" jumped into my mind. They certainly aren't rats, but they are our "pack" ~ so to speak. For whatever its worth, I love the phrase and intend to continue to call the babes above the "rat pack."

It is amazing how much babies truly grow and change and develop in the first few months. Owen is 5 months and 1 week older than Taylor.

Big Yawn, Baby Taylor!

Dread Pirates 7.8.06

Front Porch Classics, where Grandma Jacobs works, launched its new game "Dread Pirates" at the perfect time! They were one of the Seafair event sponsors Saturday afternoon, and Grandma proudly tattooed the clan, including sleeping Owen!

It was quite an event! Collin especially enjoyed clapping as he watched the competitions and yelling "boom" when the pirates' cannons blasted!

I was shocked to see the masses of "pirates" that swarmed Alki's beaches. There were people in every direction, and parking was nonexistent for at least a mile off the beaches. I have never seen so many people on the beach! The pic below is only one small section. If I could provide a panaramic view, continuing southwest on the boardwalk, you'd see probably 20 booths, each set to sell food, entice daredevils, or dress the deckhands. If you viewed northeast, you'd see a pole vault competition and 7-8 volleyball courts, hosting a tournament. Luckily, my girlfriend Sandi, who joined us in the adventure, lives one short block from the boardwalk, so we had VIP parking. : )

Morning in the Tidepools 7.8.06

Saturday morning the boys and I drove down to their Great-Grandparent's condo on Alki, and we all headed out to enjoy the wet beaches before the tide rolled back in. Although they have lived on Alki and/or in Seattle for the greater part of the last 40 years, my Grandma and Grandpa had never walked the tidepools; watching Grandma wade out and trot around in her aquasocks was a true treat. Then she picked up a rake and started raking the seaweed into piles (which Collin promptly respread) and writing the boys' names in the sand. Everyone was a kid again, and we had a wonderful time!


Mama Drive Jeep?

We're stringing three words together now, and the conversations are definitely on a "roll." Life with a toddler can be so much fun!

And the baby ... he's the happiest kid ever. So many smiles, so many squeals!

We're hitting Alki beach tomorrow to watch the Seafair Pirates and their ship sail into the sandy shores ... guaranteed good times with a blanket in the sand, a shovel and a rake - and lots of sunscreen. Ahrr, Mate!


Good Morning! 7.6.06

Every morning, I walk into Collin's room with a big smile and a "Good Morning, Collin!" Then we usually sing our "Good Morning" song, swoop up Little O (who is usually already awake and babbling in my bed), do a round of diaper changes, and head down for milk. And every morning, I wait in hopeful anticipation for the sweet greeting back ... this morning was just like every other except when I chorused "Good Morning!" as I walked into his room, Collin smiled and echoed "Morning!" Oh! What a way to start off the day! What an excellent "first"! I felt like I was floating with glee all morning, and I told everyone that I ran into! It's funny the simplicities of motherhood that really, truly make like so worth living! : )

Then it was "Up, Dadda, Up - Morning!" Ha-Ha! Too cute! And that was followed shortly thereafter by another first ... Collin called me "Mommy!" I was so stunned! He shouted it up the stairs, "Bye Bye, Mommy!" I ran down so fast ... "did he just say, Mommy??" Woohoo! But then again, are the days of "Mama" gone?? :( What a catch-22.

Then big hugs and kisses and out the door we all go ... off to another Collin first ...

The boys and I have a few set-in-stone rituals that we follow almost every day, such as our Good Morning routine that I shared above. Another such routine happens each day when I pick up Collin from Blossom (his school). First, he gathers his jacket and points to his hand and asks for a sticker from Miss Lori T. Then, sticker in place and a grin on his face, we proceed out of his classroom. And I do mean proceed because it is quite the procedure. He must wave "bye-bye" to his friends, close the baby gate, shut the door, and head down the hall. Then he must wave to Miss Brenda (Owen's future teacher) and the little babies. Then he closes the door separating that half of the school from the other half. Then he opens the office door, waves to Miss Maureen and Miss Shawna, then closes their door. Then he closes the bathroom door if it is open. Then we wave (again) to Miss Maureen and Miss Shawna through the office window. Then we exit the front door and he pivots sharply to the right to point out the big snow shovel perched against the side of the building ("uvvel"). THEN he races down the front ramp, turns right, and races up the sidedoor ramp. While he plays on that ramp, I put Owen into the Jeep. Then Collin yells "Jeep!" and races to his side, but not without a quick peek at "Baby?" to be sure he's inside and going with us. And finally we are ready to leave. It literally takes at least 20 minutes for me to pick Collin up each day.

So here's where the "first" comes into play ... I get in, buckle my seatbelt, turn on the tunes (quietly), back out of my parking space, and, once I've safely pulled onto the road and started the drive home, turn to Collin and ask "So, Collin, did you have a good day?" Usually I then have a one-sided conversation, always believing that "one day" he'll answer and we'll talk and talk and talk. Well, "one day" was yesterday.

When I asked, "So, Collin, did you have a good day?" he said "Yeah!" (very matter-of-factly). It was the first response I've had to that question at that time of day ever. So I followed it up (as I always do) with "What did you do today?" And again, he answered! "Books." I was so thrilled! I asked: "what books did you read?" But perhaps I was getting greedy ... he didn't have much else to share, but I'll take what I can get! A conversation! A question and answer period where I was asking the quesions!! Ready or not, here we go!!

... which leads me to another first! Can you guess? The inevitable "Why?" question has begun to creep into our life! But oh it is fun ~ at least so far. : )

Oh, and here's another *fun* something. Collin said his first swear word .. s*&t. Collin had dropped a piece of popcorn just out of Daddy's reach, and out from Daddy's mouth came the word. And just as quickly, out from Collin's mouth it spewed, a distinct echo. Luckily, it didn't catch. What has caught on is "Zoot" for "shoot" (as in darn it, dang, bummer) and "Oh, Noooo" for "Oh, Nuts" (as in ... never mind, you get the picture).

Good Morning and Good Day, Everyone!


Cream of Wheat 7.5.06

Ready or not, here it comes, Owen! You're almost 6 months old, sitting up, grabbing at our meals and drinks ... it's time to start solids!

This is so exciting! Open up ...

That's it ... lick it up ... what do you think? It's good, right?

Hey, Little Man! Wanna give me the spoon back?

Mmmm, mmmm. That's good stuff!

Owen totally loved Cream of Wheat! He started out licking the spoon, but was taking "mouthfuls" by the end of the meal. Believe it or not, he probably ate two teaspoons worth ... and only ended up wearing what little you see above! He hardly wasted a drop! I can't wait to try again tomorrow ... solid foods already. My little boy is growing up so quickly! Soon it'll be peas and sweet potatoes, then applesauce and peaches ... awww ...

Happy Independence Day! 7.4.06

Yesterday was a hoot! We invited several of our neighbors over for a BYOB (Beverage, BBQ item, etc.), and everyone had a great time! The kids splashed in the pool, tossed sand out of the pit, slid over and over down the slide, ate to their hearts' content, and had a gay ol' time winding down with everyone's favorite little red guy ~ Elmo. In the pic above, obviously winding down, Collin, Naomi, and Natalie ham it up for the camera. (Owen had already hit the hay.)

Note: We walked Collin down the street to check out the fireworks, but he was much more interested in what everyone was doing rather than in the spectacle in the middle of the street (which made me very happy). Along the same lines, neither he nor Owen seemed spooked by the loud noises that continued on into the night way past bedtime. Phew!