Happy Halloween!!

October 31, 2009

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Trick-or-treating in a high-rise apartment building is wonderful – you don’t have to worry about the weather or crazy drivers or scary people walking around because you’re inside, and for 2-year-olds, there is minimal walking from door to door, which means more actual trick-or-treating.  Our building decided to do a “pre” trick-or-treating last night.  So, after an early dinner, Zoe was suited up in her costume, and Zoe, Cole, and I met up with a neighbor and her 2-year-old daughter to go trick-or-treating while the daddies stayed behind to give out candy.  After some serious trick-or-treating (the girls lasted 10 out of the 21 floors), we headed to our neighbors’ apartment for adult dinner-time while the girls played and wore off their sugar highs.  (Cole slept in the pack-n-play in the neighbors’ bedroom.)  Dinner was fabulous; our neighbors are originally from Louisiana, and they made home-made from scratch gumbo (YUM YUM!!!).  After dinner, the girls hopped in the bath for some fun in the water, and after hugs and good-byes, we headed upstairs to go to bed (10pm), which for Zoe was WAAAY past her bedtime.  I think we all had a lot of fun – the girls played really well together, and (IMO), the parents had a good time chit-chatting and getting to know each other.  Enjoy the pictures and video!  Happy Halloween, y’all!!!!

Our little butterfly

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This is the 1st time the girls really meet – I love how they both seem to sizing each other up.

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 Both girls seem to have looks on their faces that say, “Really?  Do we have to take this picture?”

 

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Towards the end both girls really got the knack – they would run/canter down the hall looking for the orange signs on the doors, and then they would pound on the doors and say “Trick-or-treat!” when the door opened.  Both were very gracious and said thank you with only a few reminders.

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Fall 2009 004Zoe’s turn!!  Other than the expected “No!” every five minutes, the selective hearing, and the thought that everything is hers, Zoe as a 2-year-old has been a lot of fun so far.  She is quickly leaving toddlerhood and entering into the magical age of preschool. 

(Kind of a wierd looking picture, but it was raining, and Zoe wanted to jump in mud puddles, so I was huddled up against the building holding the dogs and had Cole in the Baby Bjorn.  Love the look on Zoe’s face; it’s such a kid-like look of pure joy.)

Here are some of the things she’s been doing lately:

The Not So Good

No!! I hear this a lot throughout the day and usually it’s accompanied by a foot stomp and a hand slap onto her thigh.  It’s slightly refreshing to know that Zoe is a real toddler prone to temper tantrums and that she has a little fight in her (albeit, not very much).

Mine!!  This is the other word I hear a lot throughout the day, and usually it’s accompanied with the word, “No!”  Zoe thinks that every toy is hers and generally takes toys out of Cole’s hands (more like snatches them) to play with “her toys”.  I have also started catching her taking toys out of other kids’ hands, too.  So, we’re really working on the “sharing” concept a lot these days, or as I saw today, “trading.”  If Cole is playing with a toy that she wants to play with, she’ll “trade” — take the desired toy, but replace it with another toy that she is certain Cole would like to play with.  Not exactly sharing, but it’s a start…

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(A prime example of Zoe not wanting to share.  I was trying to take some pictures of Cole, but Zoe decided that she needed pictures taken of herself.  I love how Cole is in the background looking over Zoe’s shoulder…)

Sleeping.  Okay.  I knew this was going to eventually happen, but I really didn’t expect it so soon.  Zoe is beginning to wean her afternoon nap (BOO!!!).  We are now calling it “rest-time” because she never wants to take a nap, but she’ll take a nap if we call it “rest-time”.  There are some days where she just plays quietly in her room for an hour as well.  Also, there have been a handful of times when I’ve woken up around 6 or 6:30 in the morning with this little person just smiling and staring at me.  We’ve tried to tell her that she has to stay in her room until the sun is up, but I don’t think she quite comprehends (and I don’t like the idea of confining her to her room).  I know there’s some sort of gadget that is a type of clock with the moon and sun on it – I think I need to look into it.

The Cool:

Zoe’s imagination is really starting to blossom.  She now will play “restaurant” at the playground – the mulch is food or drink, and she stands behind what looks like a counter taking orders.  She also takes various small stuffed animals and puts them into her toy school bus so they can go to school or onto the tractor to go to the farm.  Mostly she likes to position the animals so that they’re looking out the window.   

Imaginary friends.  Well, not yet, but I think it’s just around the corner.  “Bear” now has feelings (according to Zoe, Bear usually wants Cole’s food, toys, or blankets) and apparently she has decided that Cole’s crib is Bear’s bed (and she turns the mobile on for him).

Little helper.  Zoe continues to be very helpful.  She now helps me pick out food at the grocery store, helps walk the dogs in the afternoon (yes, she holds the leash by herself, and yes, she handles both dogs at the same time), and likes to help cook when given the chance, which, admittiedly, probably isn’t as often as she would like.

Built-in playmate.  Zoe is still very much in love with Cole, and I foresee the two of them in cohoots on various schemes against Kirk and me when Cole gets older.  She loves singing, entertaining, and playing with Cole, especially in the car.  She makes sure he has his favorite toys when we’re out and about, and when Cole gets fussy, she’s the first to say, “It’s okay, Cole.”  Or she’ll ask him if he’s hungry or tired, and if Cole’s tired, she will begin singing to him, usually “Twinkle, twinkle” or “Go to Sleep” (my made-up verison of Brahm’s Lullaby).

The Good:

Potty update.  Zoe has been doing awesome with potty training.  She isn’t wearing big girl panties during waking hours when we’re out and about or to school yet, but she wears them around the house, and I really think she’ll wear them all the time starting in the next couple of weeks.

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(Since I took this picture, we have had to move to a new sticker chart.  Also, she has now gone poopie 3 times in the potty.)

Questions.  Wow, is Zoe full of questions these days.  Usually, it’s the where and what questions.  I love how she wants to know where we’re going or what Cole is eating.  I don’t particularly like how she asks the same question 50 times in a row in a span of several minutes (especially 1st thing in the morning when I’m feeding Cole breakfast and not quite awake).

All in all, we love our little girl.  She is amazingly sweet, loving, and very forgiving.  I’m not quite sure how I got to be so lucky to have one, let alone two, wonderful kids, but I think they’re perfect, even in their unperfect-ness.  I think I’ll keep them for another day or two!!  ;>)

Milestones Galore, Part Un

October 22, 2009

Fall 2009 0107 month update time!  Also, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated about Zoe, so I thought I would give a little update about her as well (it’ll be in the next post).

The new tricks:

cole in quadrupedGross motor: You may have noticed that in all of the pictures of Cole, he’s either lying down or being held, and for good reason – he does not like sitting one bit.  In fact, to Cole, sitting up is his version of tummy time to most babies.  Because of his love for tummy time,  he has been able to get into all-4’s and rock back and forth since Tuesday (10/20).  He really wants to go places, so I fully expect to see him crawling around before Christmas. 

Fall 2009 013Fine motor:  He will grab at anything within reach these days, and if the item he desires is not within reach, he will attempt to manuever, squirm, wiggle, etc his way so that he can.  (This makes meal-times out a LOT of fun.  Since Cole can’t sit in a restaurant high chair yet, he’s either relegated to stay in the stroller, which he despises, or Kirk or I hold him, which means our food is pushed almost to the center of the table, and we have to contend with a baby that only wants to stand and bounce.) 

Social: Cole is the king of raspberries, and he loves playing  mimic games (you raspberry, and then he’ll raspberry). 

New foods: carrots, apples, prunes, bananas, peas.  The carrots didn’t completely agree with his stomach; we’ll try it again at a later date.  He’s also eating 2 meals of baby food these days.  I expect he’ll be eating 3 meals in the next few weeks with the way he scarfs down the food.

The bad: Cole is still not sleeping through the night.  I recently figured out that I’ve had maybe 6 months of 6 hours or more of un-interrupted sleep out of the past 3 years.  I am definitely over this whole not sleeping thing; however, I don’t think Cole is ready to cry it out.  One – Cole is waking up hungry at least once a night and sometimes more than that, and two – I’m kind of worried that he will wake up Zoe in the middle of night as well as wake up our neighbor.  So, we’ll see, but for now, I continue to sleep deprived.

The Good:  I don’t want to leave you on a bad note.  Cole is your typical little baby, which I’m totally not used to.  I thought Zoe was a typical baby, and she was (just quiet and reserved); Cole, however, laughs good belly laughs, “talks” to his mobile when he wakes up in the morning, constantly wants to stand and bounce, and puts everything in his mouth.  I’m really looking forward to see what Cole’s personality is going to be!

FYI

October 13, 2009

Please bear with me…I’m working on changing the site around a little so the pictures are larger.  I should have it figured out in the next few days…

Randomness

October 12, 2009

Here’s a few pics from the past couple of weeks:Fall 2009 039

Kirk and the kids at Great Falls State Park in McLean, VA

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2009 043Zoe checks out the falls at Great Falls State Park

 

 

 

 

 

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Our visit to Charlotte.  Sippy Cup 1.0 – Emilia, Kate, Maisie, Zoe, Ava, and Connor.  Missing from pic – Aston, Caedan, Jordan, Kyrie, Mia, and Morgan

 

 

 

 

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Hanging out

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A glimpse into Zoe as a big kid.

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Zoe’s nap for the day – crashed in the stroller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy boy

 

 

 

 

 

A video of Zoe in the tub.  She made a drum out of a bucket and a washcloth and composed a new song, “Da, Da, Da”… 

Cox Farm Fall Festival

October 4, 2009

Fall 2009 075Today, we decided to take a family field trip to the privately-owned and operated Cox Farm in Centreville, VA for their annual Fall Festival.  This festival has been going on since 1983 and has been dubbed the largest and most popular fall festival in the DC area.  So, we packed up the car, and headed out to see what all the hubbub was about.  Boy, oh boy!!  This farm is huge — it’s 90 acres, and when we arrived, there were fields cleared for parking, tons and tons of slides, a goat petting area, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, a kiddie zone, a performing stage (with a live band), several refreshment stands, pony rides, hay rides, and lots more.  Here’s a link to the website:  http://www.coxfarms.com/.  When we left, both Kirk and I declared that the trip was successful, and we all had a great time.  I think Zoe had the most fun out of all of us.  It’s too bad the kids won’t get to experience it growing up; it was definitely a lot of fun!!

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Zoe and Amy slide down one of the many haystack slides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2009 091This has to be one of THE biggest pigs I’ve ever seen; the piglets were born 2 weeks ago.Fall 2009 093Fall 2009 096

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Zoe talked about “riding the horseys” since we told her about the pony rides.  But, when we got there, she wanted NOTHING to do with the cows, goats, or pigs, so we weren’t really sure if she would actually ride.  While she was standing in line to ride, she kept jumping up and down and saying, “my turn, my turn!!”  She LOVED it, and I have a feeling Kirk and I have horseback riding lessons in our future. :>)

 

 

 

 

A view of part of the farm from the “castle slide”.

I DID IT!!!

October 1, 2009

There are a few milestones in the course of one’s life that are pretty monumental.  For infants, it’s the first word and first step.  For schoolage children, it’s the 1st day of kindergarten.  For teenagers, it’s driving, voting, and leaving the nest.  I could go on and on.  However, for a toddler, probably the single most important milestone is potty training.  As most of you know, I have probably the only toddler in the world who does not like being naked.  So, of course, potty training is a little on the difficult side.  We have talked about the potty, sat on the potty, and read about the potty, and Zoe has wanted nothing to do with that potty.  That is, until Sunday night.  Oh yes!!  My baby girl is fast becoming a big girl.  Since then, Zoe has been running around the apartment butt-naked and loving it.  Now, my issue is: she holds it until it’s time to put a diaper on for either naptime, bedtime, or going out of the house, and then, it’s all about the stalling; she doesn’t want the diaper, she wants to sit on the potty.  Of course, she sits on the potty for about 3 seconds then it’s up and running around and playing.  On the other hand, she hasn’t had any accidents, and she went pee-pee again last night before bedtime.  (It was pretty cute – we were getting her pjs, and she grabbed her bottom, squeezed her legs, and said, “I gotta go potty!”  About 5 minutes later, she was successful, and a yellow (favorite color of all time) m&m in her mouth to prove it.)

“I’m a big girl now!!”

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“1st pee-pee in the potty”

Will update her progress (or lack of progress once the novelty wears off) when there is something good to say…