Monday, March 26, 2012

The Haircut

This morning, we set out to accomplish one of the last remaining "no more baby" task: the first haircut.

Oh man, was it hard to work up the courage to take my baby into that little shop. It felt like a dead man walking moment, knowing that in a matter of moments, we would chop of the last remnant of baby left on boy.

Truth be told, I've been putting this off for months now -- just couldn't work up the nerve. But the hair was getting less and less cute and more and more unruly. We all knew it was time.

The final moments of those baby curls.
Cohen did better than I anticipated. He hated having to sit still. He wasn't a fan of having a stranger squirt water on his head. But despite the wiggling and squirming, he was a really good little customer.

And when we wised up and turned on the television with the silly cartoons? Forget about it, you could have done anything you wanted to that kid.

It took every bit of restraint I could muster to keep myself from sweeping up those sweet curls and stashing them in my diaper bag. I think the stylist saw me eyeing them, because she was so nice to save a few curls for me to take home (and I didn't have to compromise my dignity by crawling around on the floor). God bless her.

 And the best part of the whole trip? Why, candy, of course. He is my kid, after all. Cohen got a reward for being so good. Gosh, where did my baby go?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Baby Lovin'

Some things that are loved:

Cohen is getting super picky about what he allows in his mouth during meal times.  But he loves loves loves bananas and yogurt, so I'm always guaranteed that he'll eat at least something healthy three times a day. Frozen yogurt bites via Pinterest (I use Greek yogurt for the extra protein). Baby loves 'em.

That little boy with his little mind of his own. He is exhaustingly stubborn and fiercely independent and exactly what I need in life. He makes me think, and he makes me laugh. I am in total awe of him. Mama loves him.

Little boy toes. They are usually dirty and sometimes even stinky, but they have a way of searching for and finding Mama's toes. Cohen rubs them against me any time he can. Playing footsie: Mama and baby love it.

That smile. Oh, that smile. Mama loves it.

Evening play times. We break out the sidewalk chalk. We run in the grass. We practice throwing and catching balls. Daddy and Cohen chase the dog around the yard. Cohen and the dog love it.

How cuddily Cohen gets when he's sleepy. Mama loves it (and takes full advantage of it).

His daddy. Daddy plays rough. Daddy always makes room on the couch. Daddy can always make Cohen laugh. Daddy is fun. Cohen loves him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boy's Play

It seems my son has a bit of a shoe fetish.

If I were to say he is obsessed with shoes, I would not be exaggerating. He loves his own shoes; he loves his mama's shoes. He even loves complete strangers' shoes. In fact, he's recently started greeting people by going up to their shoes, pointing, and saying, "Shoes! Shoes! See?"

He's also really into organizing shoes. I don't let him play in my closet anymore because boyfriend did a number to my rows of shoes in there. So now he's limited to the shoes he finds around the house. And that doesn't seem to bother him.

He packs all his shoes up in his walker and carts them around the living room like a shopping cart. He stops at the stairs and lines the shoes up. He takes each shoe, one by one, and attempts to put them on his feet. he gets a real thrill when he gets on of my shoes on his foot.

He will carry on in this way until he finds the only thing more exciting than shoes: cars. And when he gets his hands on a car? We're talking full-on car noises and crashes.


Shoes and cars. That's what makes this boy happy.

 then, she {snapped}

linking up with Paper Mama

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Things have been different around here lately.

We've got a new friend who hangs out with us during the day. An itty bitty and absolutely precious new friend.
Cohen and I are pretty smitten with the little guy. I shared some concerns a few weeks ago of some feelings of guilt I was feeling for dividing my attention between two sweet boys equally deserving of 100% of my attention. The reality is, there's not much to feel guilty about. I get lots of quality snuggle time in with the baby before Cohen wakes up in the morning, and by the time Cohen's up, the baby's asleep. Both boys really enjoy each other's company -- probably more than mine-- and are perfectly happy being face-to-face jabbering and squealing in their own baby language.

I read in a week-by-week baby development email that this is the time my baby would begin to develop his independence. I was warned tantrums and testing of boundaries would be a part of the deal. Cohen must have read the email, too. This boy has more emotions than a 13 year old girl. And they change just as quickly, too.

He has also decided that now he wants to be shy around strangers, and this baffles me because my boy has never been shy.  We went out to dinner this weekend, and he flirted with the waitresses just fine --from afar. All that flirting drew them near, and as they approached Cohen, he got a look of sheer panic on his face (I can only describe it as a "Oh, crap! They're coming over here!" look) and lowered his head to the table. And that's how he stayed, forehead on table, until they left. Such a mess.

On Saturday, we enjoyed a St. Patrick's day festival, complete with corn dogs and balloons.  That boy loves him a corn dog. It entertained him for the entire hour Dada and I wandered around the festival.

The boy never ceases to surprise me. We saw a giant tooth at the festival and Cohen immediately went to pointing and exclaiming, "See? See?" So we went up to the giant tooth. I figured after his stranger shyness the night before, he'd get close and be terrified. Nope. He loved the tooth. He probably would have stayed there the entire if we would have let him. Oh, that boy.

So basically, we've just been lying low the last few weeks. I'm learning how to care for and entertain two little people all day, and that's pretty exhausting. And very fun. And time-consuming. And the antithesis of boring. But how could life be boring when you've got a goofball like this?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

He Washed My Eyes With Tears

Today, I thank God for His wisdom that far surpasses my own. Today I am able to look at pains and troubles and see how they are being used to change me and grow me and make me a better person.
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see
the broken heart I had was good for me;
He tore it all apart and looked inside,
He found it full of fear and foolish pride.
He swept away the things that made me blind,
and then I saw the clouds were silver-lined.
And now I understand ‘twas best for me,
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see
the glory of Himself  revealed to me;
I did not know that He had wounded hands,
I saw the blood He spilt upon the sands.
I saw the marks of shame, and wept and cried,
He was my substitute, for me He died.
And now I’m glad He came so tenderly,
and washed my eyes with tears that I might see.
By Ira Stanphill


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Friday, March 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday, on Friday

Today I'm thankful for:

151. beautiful weather and  warm sunshine
152. sweet, unexpected Cohen kisses
153. Waffle House on nights I can't bring myself to cook dinner
154. uninterrupted nights of sleep
155. midnight snuggles when my night is interrupted
156. a husband who makes me feel loved
157. a sweet little boy who's joined us during the day
158. Cohen is not jealous when my attention is elsewhere
159. strangers who open doors for mamas who are clearly struggling
160. fun weekend plans
161. that feeling in my heart when husband comes home
162. long, productive days
163. new house projects
164. saying goodbye to cold weather
165. exploring the world with a curious boy
166. kindness and generosity
167. watching God work in others' lives
168. big bear hugs around my legs
169. feeling accomplished
170. having things to look forward to
171. a new microwave (that actually pops popcorn!)
172. red toe nails and flip flops
173. my big boy who does big boy things
174. knowing nap time is over when I hear singing
175. fun trips to the grocery stores

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are you thankful for this week? You can post in the comment section below if you don't have a blog to post to!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cohen Is 16 Months Old

Dear Cohen,

This week you turned 16 months old. 1 year and 4 months old. Only 8 months away from 2. Holy cow, kid, how is this happening? I feel like everytime I blink, you get older, more independent, so much smarter, and even more fun.

This has been an exciting month for us. You have just changed so dramatically in the past few weeks. From the words you are learning to the social cues you are picking up to the hilarious sense of humor and motor skills you are developing, you are hardly the same kid you were last month.

Physically, you are growing up. And I mean up. A lot of your pants have become too short for you to wear lately, and you have completely grown out of all 12 month and 12-18 months clothing. Your waist is so skinny, but your legs and torso are so long, so clothes look pretty funny on you right now (everything is so baggy on you, but at least we're not showing your belly or ankles anymore!). You're still in size 4 diapers and size 6 shoes.

You have become quite the little parrot recently. You repeat everything you hear. I love it when you say "thank you," and daddy just likes to get you to repeat random funny things.You are also using words to communicate with us. You tell us when you want to eat or if you're thirsty, you tell us when you're "all done!" or want to go "bye bye." You tell us if something is "yucky yucky yucky". And you also understand so much of what we say to you. It amazes me everytime I ask you to put your toys in the basket or to leave something alone and you obey.

You love giving kisses. If we ask you for a kiss, you are usually very quick to lean in for a big, slopy kiss. Sometimes, though, you're just not feeling affectionate, so you'll blow us a kiss instead. You love to kiss your reflection. You blow kisses to random strangers. You give me giant bear hugs and steal my heart every time.

You say "thank you" when I give you a cookie and love to mimic people when they sneeze. You have learned that when someone sneezes, people say "God bless you," so you will fake sneeze over and over again to get that blessing. And everytime someone blesses you, you giggle hysterically. You know how to clean up messes and are usually a very cheerful cleaner. You like to feed people -- usually you feed me pretend food and keep the good stuff for yourself, but sometimes I'll get the real food.

You are so curious. You have to explore everything and want to see it all. When you see something new, you will point and say, "See?" You crouch down to look underneath things. You like to break things so you can try to put them together again. You like to test boundries.

You love food, and you love to eat. Eating has become even more enjoyable for you now that I'm letting you eat more things like a big boy (instead of cutting everything up into small bites). You love gnawing on a roll and taking bites out of bananas. You are a master of the straw and really like to drink out of water bottles and cups. You work hard to use a spoon. Lately, you will eat off a plate instead of playing with the plate.

Nothing thrills you more than feeling like a big boy. You love sitting in chairs, and if you see a chair anywhere, you go straight to it and sit down. You would rather sit in a chair at a restaurant instead of a high chair. You've also been given a pillow and a blanket in your crib, and you think you are a big deal when you go "night night" now.

I don't know what I did to deserve the blessing of being your mommy. Each day with you is a gift, and I cherish every minute. You are so loved, little boy, more than you'll ever know. Until next month, I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Special Way To Celebrate

Cohen is 16 months old today.

I'll share my letter to him sometime next week, but today I wanted to share Cohen's first Sonic experience.

A corn dog and a cup of water becomes 10 times more fun when you eat it in the car (with 90s music blaring) and like a big boy. No cutting up lunch in small bites. No water in a sippy cup. Nope, we're 16 months old now. Practically a grown up.

Don't let the age fool you though, sometimes he still likes to play around. Corn dog in the toes? Don't say you haven't thought about it before.

The last couple of weeks, I've been shocked at how quickly this boy is growing up and learning and doing for himself. I know I say it every month, but this time right now is my favorite stage so far.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It Happens to Most Moms, I Suppose

As I type, there is a 3 month old little boy snuggled against my chest. It's just me and him today, and I feel like I have been transported back to this time last year.

What a strange feeling to care for a newborn again. His grunts and jerky movements and gummy smiles release floods of memories that had been carefully tucked away. And I dare say just the presence of this sweet new baby whispers to my heart, maybe it would be nice to have another one.

I have to dismiss that thought almost as quickly as it enters my mind for fear of being overwhelmed with guilt. Guilt from thinking of bringing in a new, permanent, little being that would take love and attention away from Cohen. Irrational guilt that makes me feel that just because I'm thinking of another baby, I must not love the one I have completely. Guilt that cripples me when I think about the future and see Cohen not getting the quality and quantity of love and attention he's used to.

In regards to children, Cohen is my first love. And that love is stronger than any other love I've ever experienced. How could I ever feel that for anyone else? My heart just doesn't have the space for another love. And yet, I hear all the time testimonies from mothers of multiple children: their love doesn't fade with each additional child but instead grows. How could this be? How could I love another being as fiercely and unconditionally as I love my son?

How could I give of myself the way I do now, but multiplied? Cohen gets my time and attention, and he deserves it all and nothing less. Any other child we brought into our family deserves the same. How is it possible to give your 100% to more than one child? And if time and attention = love (especially in the mind of a child), how could I ever choose which child to go to in the event they both needed me at the same time?

I've always envisioned my future with multiple children. I don't want Cohen to grow up by himself. I don't want to be finished having babies .. not just yet. But this guilt that I feel simply by snuggling with with another baby while my own son is away from his mama ... it makes me question how ready I am to add another one into the mix anytime soon. Is that my heart telling me we're not quite there yet? Or will these feelings always be there, no matter how many years pass? I welcome anyone's input.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Currently feeling: Icky. Travis and I have done a mini-overhaul on our diet over the past week, complete with adding some multi-vitamins. I think my vitamins are a little too pontent and are throwing my body for a loop.

Currently watching: Cohen push his wagon of blocks across the living room floor, stopping only for brief and impromptu dance parties when music on TV strikes his fancy. That boy's got some sick moves.

Currently planning: Looking forward to naptime so I can jump in the shower and get my couponing on. After naptime hopefully I'll still have motivation to go vote. I'm very underwhelmed.

Currently dreading: Standing in a long line at the polling place with my toddler.

Currently excited about: New babies! One friend is being induced today and should meet her little girl shortly. One friend is due this summer and just found out she's having a boy. I've already done some shopping :). And another friend is going back to work after her maternity leave and is trusting me to watch her sweet boy while she's at work. It's a baby overload, and it's so exciting!

Currently confused about: Why all last week all I wanted was a pimento cheese sandwich, and now that I finally have all the ingredients, a pimento cheese sandwhich sounds absolutely horrible.

Currently praying for: Lots of families taking a journey through adoption and trusting that God will provide all their needs.

Currently amazed by: How big this boy of mine is getting. This weekend, he graduated to a pillow and blankets and stuffed animal in his crib. Pure joy for that little boy. Utter sweetness.

Currently hearing: Cohen is really picking up words now. He's playing by himself and I hear jabber jabber jabber cookie jabber jabber jabber thank you jabber jabber jabber church jabber jabber jabber woof woof jabber Elmo.