Winter Wonderland

Owen took ill Thanksgiving night ~ around 3 a.m. the poor little guy spewed in his bed. But he was chipper as could be all day Friday, and we thought it had all been just a bad dream. Then, Friday night, just after having been tucked into bed, Collin sat up to kiss Kevin good night and, ever so nonchalantly, hurled all over his bed. We realized then that both boys were officially sick. ... Wouldn't you know, mere hours later, the snow began to fall on our home. By morning, the snow was at least 8 inches deep, and both boys were vomiting and running mild fevers. Buckets and tylenol nearby, we watched the neighborhood frolick in a perfect winter wonderland. By nightfall, the boys were holding starches down but the result on the other end was just as messy. The snow started again and continued to fall throughout the night. Mercifully, it fell ... and fell ... and fell. The child in me longed to play! The romantic in me dreamed of choosing the perfect snow-white Christmas tree as the flakes fell. The mother in me knew I had to keep the boys inside. Blessedly, by Sunday afternoon the boys were symptom free, and we made the picturesque drive down Mt. Baker highway in the falling snow to cut down our tree. What an experience! Monday morning all of Whatcom County had pretty much been closed down, and Collin was ready to take on the snow! Regretfully, I do not have pictures of he and I sledding because, well, we were both sledding! But here's one of Collin pulling/pushing Owen around in the house:
Brennen and Collin trekking back up the hill.

Collin and Natalie shovelled snow (Collin and shovels!). The best fun was when Steve showed Collin how to scoop up and toss snow into the air for Natalie's dog Halie to jump up and catch in her mouth! It was one of the greatest sights Collin had ever seen!

If you look closely, you'll see Kevin and Owen peering out the window at us kids in the snow.

Sunday night's accumulation (~48 hours). Roughly 18-24 inches fell in the greater Bellingham area in the past four days.


October Picture Catch-Up

Caught in the Act 10.24.06

First Time Walking with the Truck 10.27.06

Big Brother Pride 10.29.06

Little Brother's Trust 10.29.06

Who's mimicing who, now? 10.29.06

Sharing Discovery

Collin 26 1/2 Months -- Owen 9 1/2 Months

Collin carved his first Jack-o-Lantern this year with Daddy's help, and he couldn't have been more proud! Once the face was complete, he went to town on the backside, making "hair" holes! He spent many moments for several days going out the front door to check on his pumpkin!

Yee-Haw! Trick or Treat!!
My cowboys were excellent trick or treaters this year! Natalie and Collin never wanted to stop - and we didn't even let Collin eat the candy! (except one: the tootsie-pop ... it's featured in every picture because he chose it out of our candy bowl before he even headed out!)
"Another one, house, Mommy?"

Expressing Emotion!

Collin woke up this morning begging to watch "Elmo in Grouchland" (for those of you unfamiliar, Grouchland is Oscar's old stomping ground - before he moved to Sesame Street). : )

So we went downstairs, and he began looking for the DVD. It was not in the kids' movie drawer. "I can't find it, Mommy. Makes me sad." Huh??

I smiled, remembered that the movie was in another room, and went to get it for him. But when he openned the case, his little face fell. "Not in there, Mommy. Makes me sad."

Quick thinker that I am (?), I checked in our other DVD player -- "You found it!! Excited!!"

A beaming child put the covetted DVD in the player, turned on the tv, and jumped to his spot on the couch for an "exciting," albeit "grouchy," adventure with Elmo!

"Makes me proud!"


November Milestones - and it's only the 17th!

Owen took his first steps November 8! It was fabulous! The boys and I were playing upstairs after they’d had a nice bath, and Owen was watching Collin, who was jumping, with great awe. I had Owen standing and holding to just one of my hands. Suddenly, Owen let go and stepped forward! Collin and I were so excited that we started laughing and clapping and cheering Owen on! Of course, this just incited Owen, and instead of taking any more steps, he started laughing and flipping and twisting his body all around every time I stood him up! This kept Collin rolling with laughter, so Owen just kept peeling over too! We were all near tears with laughter – and both boys were a little tuckered out from the acrobatics! Owen didn’t take any more steps that night, but he has taken many since. He’s by no means walking, but he’s a few “steps” closer!!

Also new milestones for Owen:

Allegedly he has said his first word: "Boo!" (as in peek-a-boo). I say “allegedly” because his teacher at school is the one who reported it, and neither Kevin nor I have heard it yet! BUT Collin’s first word was “duck” (as in Rubber Ducky), and he only said it twice within seconds of each other while taking a bath one night. No one else heard it but me (and Collin but he wouldn’t remember). It was months before he said it again!

Owen now loves to drop things to watch them fall (and see if they’ll come back up). Unfortunately, this developmental milestone translates to much food on our dining area floor (tile, thankfully!).

Owen loves to put things in and out of boxes, baskets, buckets, etc. We have a bucket of corks that the boys love to dump out. They toss the corks in the air, propel them like cannonballs from their mouths across the room, shoot them like basketballs into the bucket … great fun. Admittedly, however, they are everywhere when the boys are done, and they are almost never ALL picked up. Today, though, Owen helped pick up at least 20 of them while I dusted the room. It was so fun to watch ~ his first time ever helping pick up his toys!!

Owen is using a sippy cup ~ not every time and not reliably, but he can do it and he will do it! We’re going to be phasing out the bottles in the next few weeks. Wow!

Collin is experiencing some great moments as well. He graduates to Transition Preschool December 1, and I must admit that I’m a little emotional about it. He’s now moving from one side of the building to the other – away from the infant room, toddler 1, and toddler 2 – and over to the preschool rooms! While I’m a tad emotional because my little toddler is really a little (preschool) boy now, he’s thrilled and with good reason! He’ll be playing in a new play area - with the big kids on the big toys! And, tears aside, I’m thrilled too ~ this class focuses on pottytraining (big plus!), letter recognition and sounds, providing opportunity for creative thought, play, and discovery, and practices table etiquette. He’ll also be encouraged to really begin eating with utensils, and they do away with the sippy cup – he’ll have to learn to slow down and be aware of the cups contents so as not to spill. (We’re working on it at home too, and he forgets often that there is no lid!)

His new room is set up in very recognizable playstations: a kitchen/dining room area with play dishes, food, cookware, etc.; a living room with couches and books; a construction area with Legos, blocks, etc.; a creativity area with paints, pens, glue, etc.; a sensory table for discovery textures like sand, water, rice, flaxseed, leaves, wool, etc.; and a music area, complete with instruments and a cd player (only the teacher can reach it though). The kids are taught to play in one area at a time and not to roam from station to station with the area-specific toys. Also, they are taught to be mindful of spacial restrictions. For examply, only four people are allowed at the sensory table at a time to allow this kids at the table optimum space to play; the kids are taught to count the kids and when there are already four, to play in another station and wait for their turn. I can’t wait to watch him learn that one! (He is really good at counting out loud to 20+ now, but actually “counting” items or people is another story. Sometimes he can point and count up to four, but most often he points and counts and keeps repointing or keeps counting even after he’s run out of things to count!)

He is so excited about the move! He’s been going part-time the last week to get to know his new teacher better, and his buddy Henry will be graduating with him. He talks a lot about his current teacher, and I know he’ll miss her (*we’ll probably have to go say ‘good-bye’ every night for a few weeks and go through the motions; he gets a sticker there when I arrive each night, and I know he’ll have a hard time passing that opportunity up!). But his new teacher is great too, and he seems to respond well to her. The next few weeks hold a big change in his world – that’s for sure! I look forward to watching him rise to the challenges.

At home, Collin is in a stage where he is (again) a sponge - picking up every phrase, every movement, every activity. It's so fun. For example he loves to read. We can read him a book once now, and if he liked it, he'll remember the gist of the story and be able to "read" it back to us. Too fun! And movements - he mimics everyone! He’ll lean against the kitchen counters with his legs crossed (“like Grandpa!”); he’ll put his feet up on the coffee table (which is hilarious because his little bum has to sit on the very edge of the couch!) (“like Mommy!); he’ll grab his new boots that look similar to Kevin’s and put them on when Kevin ties his shoes every morning (“like Daddy”); he’ll put his glasses on top of his head like one might with sunglasses (“like Lori T.”); he’ll lay in my arms and snuggle in (“like Baby Owen but I’m a big baby!”).

That reminds me: Wednesday evening I was playing on the floor with Owen, my back leaned against the couch. Collin crawled up on the couch, perched behind me, and started “braiding” my hair. “Just like Lori T, Mommy!” (His teacher braids a little girl’s hair in his class.) When he was done, he said, “Look in the mirror, Mommy! Cute!” It was a tussled mess, and I’d never felt “cuter!”

A super fun event Collin and I recently shared with Jacqui was an afternoon in Fairhaven Sunday the 12th. After browsing the bookstore, we took Collin out to Thai food; it was so much fun. He sat in a chair - not a high chair - and he had his napkin in his lap and a glass of water without a lid. He used big people silverware and plates. The food was all foreign to him, and he tried everything! He had a hard time with the big white soup spoon in the miso soup, so I taught him to use both hands and sip from the bowl. It was too cute - his first soup. He ended up loving the meal! And he stayed in his chair throughout the whole thing – three courses! His favorite menu items were the edamame soybeans and the hot basil fried rice. He was every bit a Big Boy, and I was so proud of him. No one would’ve guessed that he was only 2 … and a quarter. : ) The next morning he asked if he and I could go shopping and to lunch again. Anytime, Collin, anytime!

I’m on a storytelling roll, so here’s another one: Today (the 17th) I was trying to buckle Collin’s carseat, but he was fidgeting with something and not really cooperating. Suddenly he turned to me and said, “Just a second, please, Mommy.” I stopped instantly and realized that while I was doing his seatbelt, he was trying to adjust his jacket hood so he’d be comfortable. What a smartie! Good words, Collin!!

Phew! There you have it! The milestones of the month (so far).

Oh! I almost forgot. Collin gained almost 4 pounds in the last three months (now 27 pounds?) and has shot up vertically, now fitting perfectly his 2T pants (for the next week or two at least!). He's also jumped a shoe size (or two depending on the brand) and is now in a size 6! He hadn't grown that much that quickly since he was a baby! And, speaking of babies, I'm "losing" mine! Owen is rocking and rolling at approximately 20.5 pounds, wearing all 12-18 month clothes! He loves to eat but still shines with a toothless grin. : )