Slowly, but surely…

April 25, 2010

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On the last day of Grandmommy’s visit back in March (We did A LOT of stuff the 5 days she was here!), we went to Great Falls National Park in McLean, VA.  Kirk and I took the kids there in the fall, and I thought it would be fun/neat/different to go again.  I didn’t realize how different the falls looked because of the snow melt and recent rains, so I’ve included a few pictures from the fall.

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<Top: Spring 2010.  Cole LOOOVED the waterfalls.  I think he thought it was a great big bathtub, and I had to really hold him back from climbing over the railing to check it out.  Bottom:  Fall 2009.  Zoe checks out the falls.  Both pictures were taken in roughly the same spot.>

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<#1 and #2: View of the falls; #1 from Spring 2010; #2 from Fall 2009.  #3 & #4:  View of falls from a different viewing platform.  #3 from Spring 2010; #4 from Fall 2009.>

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Out on the Town

April 16, 2010

While Kirk’s mom (Grandmommy) was in town, we decided to take a night tour of the monuments.  We used Grayline Tours, and our tour guide, Al, was fabulous.  He’s been driving for about 19 years, grew up in DC, and was able to change up the tour itinerary without blinking an eye when traffic was bad, plus he was very knowledgeable about the sites we saw and other, off-the-beaten-path sites that we drove by.  I hope you enjoy the tour as much as Nancy/ Grandmommy and I did!

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(The tour started at Union Station.  Picture of Union Station ceiling.>

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(1st Stop – US Capitol.  1) Ulysses S. Grant monument with cool clouds behind it.  3) Sunset with view of Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson Memorial 4) US Capitol  – neither house was in session.  You can tell because the flags over the Senate and the House aren’t flying.  5) Naval Peace Monument with our tour bus and the US Capitol in the background.  The monument shows 2 “angels” – the one standing is “History”, and the one with her face covered and crying on the shoulder of History is “Grief” (who is crying over all the lives lost during the Civil War). Spring 2010 092 Spring 2010 093

<2nd Stop – Iwo Jima Memorial.>

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  Spring 2010 118 Spring 2010 120 Spring 2010 121 Spring 2010 123<3rd Stop.  1) Vietnam War Memorial 2)  View of Washington Monument and US Capitol from steps of Lincoln Memorial 3-5) Lincoln Memorial 6-9) Korean War Memorial.  In the photo with the wreath, the wreath states: “We remember you forever.  From the People of Republic of Korea.  Presented by : Class of 1963 Seoul National Univ.”>Spring 2010 129 Spring 2010 130

< 4th Stop.  Jefferson Memorial.  I have pictures of Thomas Jefferson, but since I posted some on the previous post, I won’t include them here.  The pictures above are views of the White House taken from the Jefferson Memorial .  President Franklin Roosevelt commissioned the building of the Jefferson Memorial, and he wanted to be able to see his “favorite” president, Jefferson, outside the window of the Oval Office.  So, now all presidents can look out their window and have a view of one of the most influential founding fathers. >

Cherry Blossom Festival

April 12, 2010

Spring 2010 035  While Kirk’s mom/Grandmommy was in town, the Cherry Blossom Festival was going on, and it just so happened that she was here when the blooms were at their “peak” blooming.  One day, we packed a picnic  and drove over to Haynes Point Park near the Tidal Basin.  It just so happened that the Festival was running a free shuttle from the park to the Tidal Basin (it’s about a mile away from the park), so we didn’t have to try and find a close parking space by the Tidal Basin.  It was a gorgeous day (although a little chilly with the wind), and the day we picked was the official “peak bloom” day.

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<1) Cherry trees around Tidal Basin. 2) Washington Monument from Jefferson Memorial.  3) Cherry trees with people out on paddle boats.  4) Cherry trees and forsythia.>

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<1)  Grandmommy, Zoe, and Cole at the Jefferson Memorial.  2 & 3)  Zoe and Grandmommy waiting for shuttle back to Haynes Point Park

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< 1)  Cole takes a little snooze while we eat lunch.  2)  Zoe enjoys her PB&J sandwich.>

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<1) Cole at Haynes Point Park.  2)  Zoe has fun at the park.  3)  Zoe watches the other kids slide.  4) Zoe and Cole slide together.>

Up, Up, and Away

April 7, 2010

Spring 2010 006 2 weeks ago (I’m way behind on my postings), the kids and I spent Saturday morning on the Mall by the Washington Monument to check out the National Kite Festival while Kirk and his Mom took in the DC museums.  It was the perfect Spring Day – sunny, blustery, with the beginning glimpse of Spring warmth (although we were kind of bundled up because the wind made it pretty chilly). 

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<This picture doesn’t do the coolness of all the kites justice.  It was really neat to see all the different kites flying.>

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<From the Top: 1) A huge butterfly parachute/kite that the kids could play with.  2) Zoe playing under the butterfly kite.  3)  Zoe befriending a little boy while under the butterfly.  4)  Zoe checks out the flower pinwheels.  There was a row of about 20 – she thought it was really cool.>

1-year Update

April 4, 2010

From this…

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To this…

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So, I’m going to get a little sentimental on you. :)  It’s so hard to believe that a little over a year ago, Cole was born, and we began making twice daily trips to the Presbyterian NICU for the next 3 weeks.  Today actually marks his 1-year anniversary out of the NICU!  :)  You know, I forgot how truly blessed and lucky we are to have Cole in our lives.  When I was working, I used to see preemies like Cole with pretty significant developmental delays, and I never really comprehended what all those parents went through emotionally, psychologically, and physically.  The 3 weeks Cole was in the NICU were exhausting for us, but there are parents out there that have babies in the NICU for MONTHS, and then there is the issue of therapy afterwards, not to mention any possible surgeries, and chronic impairments.  Yet, here we are with a typical toddler boy (albeit, little!) who is doing all the normal things that the average 1-year-old boy is doing and is unbelievably healthy.  I love our “Little Buddy”, his sweet smile greeting me every morning, his goofy giggle when he finds something funny, his utter joy in life, and the happiness at learning/figuring out something about his little world.  Even though we had some rough patches prior to and during Cole’s birth, he has been an unbelievably sweet, silly, and easy baby.  (I think he’s making up for all the time he worried us while in my belly and those 1st few weeks of life. :)  )  Yes, this year has flown by, and I know it’s just going to keep flying by, but I’m really looking forward to what all he has in store for us.  

DSC_0013Sooooo…without further ado, here’s what Cole is up to these days!

Growth Stats:

Weight  – 17.9 pounds (He’s still below the “charts”, but he’s definitely gaining weight and still working on catching up.  He eats like a champ!)

Height:  27 and 7/8 inches (He’s on the charts!  Barely…:>) )

(FYI, he’s actually bigger than Zoe was at the same age, not by much though…)  Here is a comparison of Zoe at her 1-year party and Cole at his:

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Cool New Tricks:

  • Pushes anything he can – boxes, wagon, push/riding toy, activity/busy table.
  • Cruises like a champ along furniture, between furniture, and along the walls in the kitchen.
  • Walks holding onto 2 hands (really 2 fingers) without any difficulty; can walk with 1 hand, but doesn’t really like it.
  • Throwing (AKA flinging) small balls, food, sippy cups, legos, etc.
  • Pulls apart legos (tries to put them together again but hasn’t quite figured that out)
  • Knocks down blocks
  • Feeds himself with a spoon
  • Uses a pincer grasp to pick up small objects
  • Takes things in and out of containers
  • Beginning to grasp the concept of shape sorters and puzzles
  • Dances (quite funny, actually.  He usually holds onto a piece of furniture and bounces along with some head shaking)
  • Pushes cars, trains, trucks around all over the place while making a grunt-like noise
  • Waves if you ask him to say “hi” or “bye-bye”
  • Pointing (open hand with his index finger higher than the rest of his fingers)
  • Signs “more”, “all done”, and “sleep”
  • No more baby food!  He eats like a champ (the MD mentioned that he’s still trying to “catch up”).  A typical dinner: 3/4 of a hot dog, 1/2 a packet of microwavable mac-n-cheese, about a 1/4 cup of veggies, about a 1/4 cup of fruit, a few ounces of whole milk, a lot of water, and if still hungry, 2-3 cookies.  He will eat anything and everything I put in front of him, and he usually eats as much as Zoe does (if not more!).  🙂
  • Drinks from a straw sippy cup
  • Is no longer nursing (well, he hasn’t nursed in the last 3 days, so I say he’s done.)

Whew!  I think that’s everything.  As you can see, this past month, Cole has been a very busy little boy, but it’s been a blast.  Like I said earlier, I can’t wait to see what all he has in store for us!