Friday, June 29, 2012

In 15 years, I'll remember only one thing about today

Sooooo ... today was a little warm. At one point, the thermometer in my car reached 112 degrees. And while I don't exactly think it really got thaaaaat hot, I will say I perspired today. Just a bit.

I saw a bunch of funny stuff all over Facebook about the heat. These were my favorites:

We survived the heat today by spending the majority of our time indoors, hopping from one air conditioned store to another. Oh yeah, and Icees. Someone discovered Icees today.

And just because we're expecting to surpass the record for high temperatures tomorrow, we decided to go even further down south to visit with some family. Makes perfect sense, huh? I'm just hoping our tires don't melt on the road.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Yesterday, Cohen was not a happy boy. He was fussy most of the day and would just start crying big crocodile tears at the drop of a hat. He didn't want to sit still, so I couldn't get him to eat. He wouldn't lay still long enough to get a decent nap.

And when Travis brought him to church last night and said he had been miserable while I was gone, I knew something was wrong.

I took him home and strapped him in his high chair and pulled out my first weapon: macaroni and cheese. I figured he may just be hungry since he hadn't eaten much, and I knew macaroni and cheese was a guaranteed way to make him happy.

We spent a few minutes in peace, blowing on "hot" macaroni and just being silly together. He laughed and drank a few sips of Sprite and really eased my mind that he was feeling better.

Then he started to squirm. And then the fussing started.

So I did something I've never been able to do before: I communicated with my son to find out what was wrong. We actually had this conversation:

Me: "Cohen, do you hurt?"
Cohen: "Hurt. {whine} Hurt."
Me: "What hurts baby? Does your head hurt?"
Cohen: "No."
Me. "Do your ears hurt."
Cohen: {touches ears} "No."
Me: "Do your teeth hurt, baby?"
Cohen: "No."
Me: "Does your belly hurt? {point to his belly}
Cohen: {touches his belly} "Belly hurt" {gigantic tears}
Me: "Do you have poo poo, Cohen?"
Cohen "No. {shrugs and raises palms up} Where poo poo?"

And for the first time, I was able to rely on him to verbalize to me what was bothering him. And once I knew what was wrong, I was able to confidently help him. And that was pretty glorious.

So a trip to CVS and the purchase of childrens' laxative and a bottle of prune juice later, he's feeling much better.

I've been thinking about our exchange all morning. How it's so important to communicate with each other. If Cohen had not communicated with me, I might have just given him some pain reliever and a dose of orajel and sent him to bed. He would have been miserable, and I would have been up all night consoling him.  But becasue we were able to communicate with each other, he was able to tell me what he needed, and I was able to help him. As a result of our conversation, we were both happy and we both slept soundly all night.

I'm not the best communicator. I prefer to keep my emotions to myself, especially when I hurt. I prefer to deal with problems internally, by pretending they don't exist {namely, ignoring the feelings and the situation}. That works pretty well until everything comes to a head and someone or something explodes. But I have been reminded by a little boy who's now happpily sipping on prune juice just how important it is to talk.

Amazing what a toddler can teach you.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pinch Myself

Sometimes, right in the middle of life, I have to take a minute to remind myself that this is really happening.

That happy and sweet kid really is mine. I really am playing with him on Tuesday (and every other day) afternoon instead of sitting at work thinking about him. I really do have a great support system of friends who I can talk about anything with. Who I can trust. Who love my kid. 

In the last couple of years, those have been specific things I've prayed for. I prayed for them at times I felt at my lowest, when it didn't seem like those things would be possible for me. But God heard; He always does. And He blessed me at just the right time and in just the right way.

And I have to smile as I sit here typing because I am thinking of another prayer request I have sent up frequently over the past few months. See, again, there's something that feels impossible right now, and that kind of breaks my heart. But just writing today reminds me that God hears me. He knows what I long for, and He knows what I need. 

And He's never let me down.

Cohen and I spent our Wednesday afternoon playing in some fountains with our friends. We had so much fun, and I was surprised to find myself smack in the middle of those fountains with the babies. I love how being with those babies brings out the kid in me, too.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Top 5 Pictures

Today I'm participating in a fun little challenge: the top 5 pictures I took of Cohen during the months of April, May, and June. And, I tell you, I'm a little disappointed with how few pictures I actually took this quarter. No excuses for the months of July, August, and September: I've gotta step it up!

Picture 1 - Spaghetti Night

This picture make me smile. Cohen is really mastering the use of forks and spoons. 

He's so serious and deliberate about it that you can't help but just watch him when he eats. And I find myself holding an imaginary fork in my hand and bringing it to my mouth as he brings his fork to his mouth. I get so wrapped up in his eating process that my mouth opens when his does to get that food in. 

Sometimes, near the end of meal time, he starts to get a little tired of working the fork that he'll pick up a piece of food with his finger, place it on the fork, and bring it to his mouth.

Sometimes he throws the fork onto the floor and just digs right in with both hands. And I mean, can you really blame the kid? Sometimes food just tastes better when you can get your hands dirty.

Picture 2 -- Dipping a Toe In

Spring break. A super hot day. Cohen's first introduction to playing in water (outside the bathtub). We had so much fun that day playing with friends. I always love watching Cohen experience something new: he always starts off a little unsure and will work and practice until he's a pro. Like getting into the water. It started off like the picture above, cautious and timid. By the end of the day, he was practically jumping in.

Picture 3 -- Touchdown

Quite possibly one of my things about having a baby is having a little person to teach cute but useless skills. Like throwing up his arms and shouting "Touchdown!" on command. Adorable.

Picture 4 -- Laugh

There are a gazillion things that I love about my son. I love the way he looks as he's scoping out a new situation. I love the sound of his voice as he sings his own songs in his own baby language. I love how his little hand reaches up for mine when we walk. But I really love how excited he gets over seemingly ordinary things. On this day, we were outside, and he was playing in his water table. He suddenly realized that he could splash the water out of the table and into himself and me. What joy that brought to all involved.

Picture 5 -- Memorial Day

Know what I learned over Memorial Day weekend? As much as Cohen likes to play in his water table, as much as he likes to splash around in the bath tub, he's not a huge fan of being the target of a water sprinkler.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Life Span of a Popsicle

All in the span of 4 minutes.

If it had been a Fudgesicle, you may have seen a few pictures of me begging for a bite.

A thorough soaping and shampooing happened promptly after the last lick of that popsicle. And I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that it occurred in the baby's swimming pool.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Little Cupcake

Hey! 200th post! Let's celebrate with some cake.

Let me just take a few moments to share some pictures from this weekend. Cohen's buddy Ryder (or Whyyyy-da, as Cohen calls him) had his second birthday party, and boy did we party it up! Such a good time with such great friends. God has truly blessed me with the friendships of such wonderful women, and the fact that they have kids around the same age as mine makes things even sweeter. Cohen loves his buddies. I love their mommas. We all win.

Back to the party -- my boy had a blast. Toys, meeting new people, pizza, and of course, cupcakes. I think the cupcakes were his favorite part of the day. How do I know? The boy had three of 'em.

He ate his first cupcake at the little table, surrounded by all his friends. After a couple of minutes and the threat of a big mess, I concluded that Cohen was finished and threw away the remaining crumbs and washed his face. We moved into another room to watch the birthday boy open his presents. 

A few presents later, I looked around and realized my son was missing. 

He was back in the kitchen, eating someone else's discarded cupcake.

After a laugh at my little piggy, a mini-meltdown when I took this second cupcake away, and a quick clean-up session, we returned back to the gift-opening festivities. And then I lost my kid again.

Any guess where he was?

Yup, back at the leftover cupcakes.

Oh, that boy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cohen is 19 Months Old

Dear Cohen,

We were so busy last month with the babies that I missed your 18 month day. And we have been so busy having fun this month that I almost let your 19 month day creep past me. I guess to sum up our days, I would say that we are busy, busy, busy!

First off, you are 1 year and 7 months old. That means you are closer to your 2nd birthday than you are to your 1st birthday. And all your closest friends are turning 2. And you are sticking your toes into the Terrible Twos yourself. And some days you make me feel like I'm losing my mind.

You have recently revamped your tantrums. They are stronger and louder and carried out with more passion than any of us were prepared for. You are a boy who knows exactly what you want, and you are not afraid to let the entire world know it. You do not hesitate to throw yourself to the floor and cry when you don't get your way. I am learning how to best handle these tantrums and how to discipline you in love, and you are (hopefully) learning that there are better ways to express your dissatisfaction than melting into a giant toddler puddle. We'll figure this out together, I promise.

That's the only negative thing I can find about you inching toward 2. Your vocabulary is growing daily, and it's so much fun to hear what comes out of your mouth. You can repeat almost anything we say, and you remember so much. When you are playing by yourself, you talk in your own baby language, but when you are with people, you use real words. You are also starting to string words together into phrases and sentences. You say "Night night, daddy" and "I don't know" and "What is it?" and "I love ____ (usually chocolate or trucks)". You know how to ask for water and milk and juice. You test everything to see if it's "hot".

You love to play in water, and you get so excited when you know it's bath time. You would play in the bathtub for hours if I let you. You have your own outside swimming pool that you like to climb in and out of, but you aren't keen on sitting in the pool or playing with the water. You adore your water table and have learned how to climb through the doggy door in order to get to it.

You are still very much obsessed with cars. You have a ton of toy cars, and you usually always have on or two in your hands. You also really love tractors, and anything that doesn't look like a car or truck is a tractor. We have a lot of fun in parking lots pointing out all the cars and trucks.

You are a master at pointing out body parts. You can point to your hair, head, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, teeth, tongue, knees, belly button, toes, and fingers without hesitation. You also like to show others where their body parts are. You can identify red cars and green cars and blue cars and yellow cars. You can find cows and fish and dogs and kitty kitties.

This month, you fell and got a major boo boo on your head. You learned very quickly that you could milk sympathy out of people by looking pathetic and pointing at your bruise and saying, "Hurts." You also know to say "medicine" when you need some Tylenol for your teeth. Speaking of teeth, we're completely done with molars, but are now battling the worst of your teeth: your canines. Poor guy. I promise one day it'll be all over. I think the thing you like most about your teeth is that you get to brush them. You love brushing your teeth. You love it when I brush them for you, and you love when you are given your toothbrush to do it all on your own.

You are still about the same weight, but you've grown a bit taller. Your clothes (especially your shirts) are fitting a bit looser these days. That doesn't surprise me since you are always on the move. I can usually count on you to eat a good breakfast (usually half a banana and a Nutrigrain bar), but you're not much of a lunch or dinner eater. You will eat pretty much anything -- especially if someone else is eating it -- but you don't eat a lot of it.

You are such a big boy, and you are constantly learning how to do big boy things. You are so smart and loving and playful. Some days I look at you and find it hard to believe that I am the momma of such a big boy. Some days you change so much that I almost don't recognize you. But everyday, I love you more than I ever imagined I could love another person. You are my treasure, little boy. You always will be.

I love you to the moon and back,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Little Songbird

Are you ready for something absolutely adorable?

Make sure you're sitting down with the volume turned up.

Oh, I love that boy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Boo Boo

Guess what happens when you've got a crazy active toddler who's not afraid of anything? 

You get a toddler prone to accidents and nasty boo boos.

I almost didn't share these pictures. I almost put the camera away with no intentions of taking any pictures of my boy until the bruise faded. I hate the reminder that this sweet baby hurts. To be honest, I am {ashamedly} embarrassed of the boo boo. It makes me feel like I am bad mother. I feel like it screams to the world that I am neglectful.

But this blog is here to document him, to document us, and this is a part of us. This is what happened in June when Cohen was close to 19 months old. This is the result of a happy baby who loves to run and be chased by his buddies. And accidents happen. They happen to everyone -- even babies with loving and watchful mommies. There's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

I took Cohen to the park today to enjoy the perfect weather. While he squealed and laughed and climbed and played, I kept glancing around, looking for the judging eyes of others. Expecting to see another mommy staring at my baby or whispering to a friend. And you know what? God sent me an grandfather looking after his three grandchildren. Cohen was drawn to him, wanting to play with his toes and waving and playing peek-a-boo.

That grandfather stood next to me as we watched our children climb up stairs and slide down slides, and he chuckled, "Your boy so young to be all out there, isn't he? I bet he'll get a lot more bruises in the coming years."

And with that comment, I relaxed. Without saying so, he let me know that the boo boo is normal. My baby is normal. And I'm a good mother.

Oh, and someone loves playing in his new pool :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Water Fail

Sometimes I get a little overly excited about stuff.

Like the inflatable swimming pool I bought for Cohen last week. The big one that looks like a dragon and comes complete with a little sprinkler. I just knew Cohen would love it.

I had to wait 5 whole days for our schedule to open long enough for me to justify blowing up the pool and plunking my son in it. I was so excited to see him have fun in his new pool. So excited.

Fail. He hated it.

I think the water was just too cold for him. Whatever the reason, he did not like his pool and jumped out quicker than I've ever seen him move before.

So he spent the next few minutes working out the chills. And Travis couldn't have been more happy that his boy would rather do yard work than play in his pool. We'll teach him how to operate the riding lawn mower next summer :)

After some splashing and dancing in the pool, I managed to get him to give the pool another chance. He loves playing in water and is always trying to climb into his water table, so I just know that if the water had been just a bit warmer, he'd have been in there all evening. Next time, I'll fill the pool earlier in the day and let the sun warm it up a little.

I just realized that I never posted about the water table. I guess now's as good a time as any. My mom picked up the table about a month ago, and Cohen is crazy obsessed with it -- to the point that he has learned how to crawl through the doggy door to get outside and play in the water. It is the ultimate summer toy.

Nothing thrills him more than drinking the water and splashing it around. Unless there's someone he can splash with water -- that's the ultimate fun.

Back when we kept the babies, I'd put the bigger one out on the patio with us, and those two boys would belly laugh at all the water splashing around.

Water table- 1. Inflatable pool - 0.

For now.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Time With Daddy

A careful man I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me,
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he'll go the selfsame way. 

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate'er he sees me do, he tries;
Like me, he says, he's going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,

Believes in every word of mine
The base in me he must not see,
The little chap who follows me. 

I must remember as I go,
Through summer's fun and winter's snow,
In building for the years to be
The little chap who follows me!

Author: John Wooden, Late Coach of the UCLA Bruins

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Park

Yesterday, Cohen and I took advantage of the beautiful weather before a storm blew in. This boy loves the park. He loves being independent and daring and big.

We're off again this afternoon, this time with daddy in tow!