The year just keeps flying by, and Zoe and Cole just keeping growing up.  Here’s the update of what they’re doing these days:

Cole – 9 months

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(Just for comparison – both kids at 9 months.)

Doctor well-check stats: weight – 15 lbs, 2 oz

                                       height – 26”

                                       teeth – bottom right tooth came in

(Weight and height are below the normal growth curve, but Cole continues to follow his own curve, and our pediatrician in Charlotte told us that his weight gains would probably slow down a bit because he’s becoming mobile.)

Gross Motor Skills:  He continued to gain speed with his army crawling, and he began working on getting in and out of sitting.

Fine Motor Skills:  He is beginning to self-feed, and can take the rings off of a stacker.

Cognitive/ Social:  He continues to be a total flirter; beginning to find his voice and likes to play vocal games.

New Foods: chicken, turkey, well-cooked pasta, onions, “puffs”, occasional pizza crust and bagel.  He now eats 3 meals plus 1 snack a day (plus nursing).  Most of his baby foods are “combo” foods – meat and veggie, veggie and fruit, and meat, veggie, and grain, etc.  He continues to like everything we put in front of him.

Cole – 10 months: 

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(Zoe and Cole at 10 months.)

Teeth: both front bottom teeth are in.  The top right tooth will probably break through the skin soon.  As a comparison, Zoe had both of her bottom teeth by 10 1/2 months, but it took another 6 months for her top teeth to start coming in (the top 2 came in at around 15 months.)

Gross Motor:  Cole began crawling on all-4’s, just a little.  (He’s now crawling all over the place.)  As shown in the pictures below, he’s now pulling into standing, although he hasn’t quite figured out how to get out of standing.  He’s also able to get in and out of sitting.

Fine Motor:  Cole is banging toys together and transfers toys from one hand to another.  He uses a raking grasp to pick up Cheerios, etc., but is beginning to use a pincer grasp.

Cognitive/Social: Cole is approaching toddlerhood at breakneck speed.  He now shakes his head “no” and is beginning to play “peekaboo” and “so big”.  He’s also beginning to throw mini-tantrums – if someone takes something from him, he makes a kind of squeal/protest noise and smacks his legs with his hands; it’s kind of funny/cute.  I have to confess – I sometimes annoy him, just so I can watch him get mad (I know, it’s not very nice, and I make sure Zoe doesn’t see – can’t have her getting any ideas!!)  As far as toys go, he currently is really into anything with wheels, especially trains (he loves pushing them back and forth), blocks (he likes banging them, mouthing them, knocking down towers), and balls.

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(Two of Cole’s favorite toys – the activity table and blocks.)

New Foods: Beef, spinach, garbanzo beans, rice, macaroni and cheese, vegetable soup, broccoli, ravioli, Gerber “wagon wheels”, Gerber “crunchies”, cheese, zucchini, freeze-dried apples, pears, and apricots, fresh banana, pear, and peaches, cooked green beans, peas, corn, carrots, and potatoes.  Cole is beginning to transition into true solid foods and prefers to feed himself these days.  I’m still able to get about a jar of baby food into him at each meal, but it’s definitely becoming a little bit of a struggle.  He’s also currently nursing about 5 times a day, but it’s definitely beginning to take a back seat to real food.  He still eats everything we give him, which is great.

Sleeping: So, this is still a major issue.  Through the holidays, Cole was waking up 3 times a night (and it was like clock-work); we didn’t push the subject because we were doing so much traveling.  However, the traveling is over, and Kirk and I have decided that it’s time for us to get some well-deserved sleep.  So, we are slowly having Cole “cry it out” – we’ve cut out his middle-of-the-night feeding, which is the (approximately) 2:00 AM feeding.  So he still gets fed at 10:00 PM, and then again sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 AM.  So far it’s going pretty well (thanks to ear plugs!), but it’s only been 3 nights so far, so we’ll see how it goes.  I will update the status of his sleeping at the next update.  :>)

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(Thought these were cute – I love how it looks like Zeke is sharing the duck with Cole, and Cole had an absolute blast waving the piece of paper around.)

Zoe – 2 1/2 yearsWinter 2009 002

Wow.  In a blink of an eye, your itty-bitty baby is suddenly on her way to being an honest to goodness preschooler.  These days, Zoe fills our life with lots (and lots) of energy, and Kirk and I are slowly moving into more “parenting” than “taking care of” Zoe.

Current Likes:

TV shows: Olivia, Go, Diego, Go!, Handy Manny, Imagination Movers, Strawberry Shortcake, Max and Ruby

Movies: this is a new thing, and she’s only seen 2 – both were Tinkerbell movies

Activities: arts and crafts (all day long), playing dress-up and dancing, building things (especially Lego robots and cars), playing with her baby dolls, reading books (she likes to be read to, to read to me, and to read to her babies).

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(Zoe and Kirk build a robot out of bristle blocks.  They build one at least once a week, and of course, Kirk has to make a different one every time.  :>)  )

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(Zoe and her mad coloring skills.  She’s really good at the whole coloring thing and does a great job staying in the lines.)

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(Zoe on her new sit-n-spin and cracking herself up.  One of her favorite ways to spin is to lay on her belly and push herself around.  Silly girl!)

Current Dislikes:

Food: chicken nuggets, hot dogs, french fries, and other foods that toddlers usually love (maybe it’s just a phase…)

Sleeping:  I’m not sure what the deal is with my kids and not sleeping.  On a nightly basis (and at naptime), we usually have to shuffle Zoe off to bed at least twice.  We’ve tried taking away her animals that she sleeps with, and we’ve tried giving her rewards.  We are currently trying the “Super Nanny” method – 1st time out of bed, we say, “back to bed.” and put her back to bed; every subsequent time, we put her back to bed without saying anything.  I have to say, the Super Nanny way seems to be working so far.  Who knows?  Hopefully, the next update will bring good news about Zoe staying in bed.  Oh yeah – to add to the fun, Zoe likes taking off her pajamas in the middle of the night.  Sheesh.

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Just an FYI, we recently purchased an external flash for our camera, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use it.  :>)

Year in Review

January 21, 2010

I decided earlier this month that I would write a review of the previous year.  I’m hoping it will help me remember when important events (internationally or family-related) occurred.  So, here’s our year in review; some will be major news-worthy events, others not so much.

National & International Headlines

    1)  The recession.  The economy continued to suffer with double-digit unemployment, the big auto-makers receiving a bailout from the federal government, and the housing market continued to decline.

   2)  Inauguration of Barack Obama – 44th president and 1st African American voted into the Oval Office.

3) H1N1 declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  Cole caught it, and maybe Zoe too, but they both were fine after a week or so.

4) Celebrity deaths – Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, Les Paul (pioneer in the guitar world), Farah Fawcett, John Hughes (filmmaker who wrote “Sixteen Candles”, “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off), Ed McMahon, Patrick Swayze, Bea Arthur, Natasha Richardson (primarily Broadway actress & married to Liam Neeson), Dom DeLuise, Brittany Murphy (movie actress; starred in Clueless and Girl, Interrupted), and probably more.

Family Headlines

  1)  Cole is born (7 weeks early!).  Our little guy is doing great — need I say more?

   2)  We moved to Washington, DC (well, Arlington, VA) for the year in order for Kirk to work for Judge Newman at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

   3)  Zoe and Cole’s first major snowstorm – a December blizzard with 20.5” of snow within 36 hours.

   4)  Cole’s first plane ride (Zoe’s second) – we flew from Washington, DC to Nashville, TN for Christmas at Kirk’s brother’s house.  Cole and Zoe both did great!

   5)  Zoe’s first (and hopefully last!) trip to the ER for stitches.  (“Doctor, fix my head,” she said, repeatedly.)  She was a trooper the whole time.

Other interesting tidbits

Best Picture (Oscars): Slumdog Millionaire (the last movie we’ve seen in the theater, as of the time of this post.  It’s hard to get to the movies these days!)

Album of the Year (Grammy): Raising Sand – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; Best New Artist (Grammy): Adele; Song of the Year (Grammy): “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

Can you think of anything I missed?  I’m curious to know!!!

Christmas Arts & Crafts

January 19, 2010

Because we were in the middle of the east coast freeze, I mentioned to my mom (who, before retiring, worked at Michael’s as the class coordinator) that Zoe is currently enthralled with arts and crafts.  So, while Cole was napping on the Saturday morning we were in Rocky Mount, my mom pulled out pine cones, peanut butter, cheese spreaders, and bird seed so that Zoe could make some home-made bird feeders.  Zoe LOVED it – using the “knives”, spreading the peanut butter, eating the peanut butter, and making something for the birds and squirrels.  (Sorry about the similarity in a lot of the pictures; there were a lot of really cute ones, and I had a hard time choosing.)

    

<Gramma Joanie showing Zoe how to spread the peanut butter on the pine cones.>

 

      

< Zoe having a little peanut butter snack.>

    

<Even Uncle Corey joined in the fun.>

<Zoe concentrating on spreading the peanut butter.>

Christmas Fun, Part 2

January 19, 2010

<Uncle Corey and Zoe making beautiful music on the piano.>

Christmas, Part 2 was spent in NC with my parents and brother over the New Year’s long weekend.  It was a relaxing and fun weekend with a lot of silliness in the mix; Zoe enjoyed spending time with everyone and opening more presents.  Cole had fun playing with the tissue paper and getting lots of lovin’.

    

<Zoe shows off her new sock monkey and baby doll.  Cole finds a present that he decides needs to be investigated and opened, but he has to be on his back to do so.>

    

<Zoe displays her new Tinkerbell (her new love) tiara, and Cole shows just how big he really is getting.>

                                             

<Zoe’s favorite gift was a suitcase full of dress-up clothes.  She ran around all weekend in her light-up slippers and a tutu.>

    

<Cole doing his thing.  I love the one of him under the coffee table – it’s a look that says, “You caught me!!”, but I’m not really sure what I caught him doing.>

    

<Just some random pics.>

We did a fun project while visiting my parents, but it’s worthy of a separate post, so that’ll be up in a couple of days…

Christmas Fun, Part 1

January 6, 2010

                                                                                                            <Zoe on Christmas Eve.  Cole on Christmas morning.>

Christmas with a 2-1/2 year old and a 9 month old is a lot of fun – a bit chaotic, but a lot of fun.  Zoe really got into opening presents and was very excited about Santa bringing presents.  Cole, well, he had a blast watching all the commotion and playing with (more like eating) all the tissue paper.  Since there were so many pictures taken, I’m going to split our Christmas festivities in half – this post will be all about Christmas with Kirk’s family and the arrival of Santa.

                                                                         <Santa arrives.  Zoe received a cradle, a new doll that cries, eats, giggles, and says, “Mama”, and a blanket for her doll.  Cole received a train that plays music and you can stack blocks on the cars behind it.>

 <Zoe running into the family room to check out what Santa brought her.>

         

<Zoe opening some of her presents.>

    

<Uncle Kyle and Zoe.  Kirk, Zoe, and Cole.>

    

<The cousins.  Reese shows off the newest fad in elementary school – animal shaped rubberbands worn as bracelets.  Davis showing off his new Automoblox car.>

    

< “More coffee, please…”>

< One of the few photos of Cole (receiving some lovin’ from Grandmommy).  He decided to take a marathon nap during the present-opening festivities.>

 

<Amy and Zoe along with trusy ol’ Bear and new addition, Olivia.>