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.  :>)  )

Winter 2009 016

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

Winter 2009 001 Winter 2009 002 Winter 2009 008

(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.>


Pre-Christmas Festivities

December 28, 2009

<L to R: Amy, Kirk, Zoe, Aunt Melanie, Davis, Uncle Kyle, Reese, Grand-daddy, Grandmommy, Cole>

Kirk, Zoe, Cole, and I headed to Nashville, TN last Wednesday to celebrate Christmas with Kirk’s family.  We had a blast hanging out with Grandmommy, Grand-daddy, Uncle Kyle, Aunt Melanie, Reese, and Davis.  To help the kids pass Christmas Eve a little faster, we headed over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to check out the decorations.  Here are some pics.  Enjoy!!

<Cole’s 1st airplane flight.  I have to brag a little – the flight attendant told Kirk that Cole was the best baby ever – of course, he slept through most of the flight, and he ate during the descent…>


< Gaylord Opryland Hotel – Garden Conservatory>


<Reese, Zoe, and Davis checking out the fish at the garden conservatory.>


<Zoe taking a break to do a little modeling.>

 <Go Tigers!!  It just so happened that Clemson played in the Gaylord Music City Bowl last night against Kentucky (and won, I might add!).  The football team was staying at the hotel; we saw several of the players and Coach Swinney as well.>

<Grandmommy and Zoe ride the train.>

<Just a fun picture of Zoe and Cole with Grand-daddy and Grandmommy.> 

Christmas pictures will be up soon!  Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Let It Snow!!

December 21, 2009

So, this past weekend, the Washington, DC area got hammered with a lot of snow.  In the Arlington, VA area (where we’re living), the official total was 20.5 inches.  That’s a heck of a lot of snow, and it isn’t the icy stuff; it’s nice, fluffy powder!!  (It’s too bad we don’t live in the moutains; it’s really good skiing snow…)

On Sat, it was too cold and windy to go out and play, so we waited until yesterday.  Here are some pictures…

 Here’s what 20″ of snow on a car…  …and on patio furniture look like.

 Zoe playing in the snow.  And yes, that is Cole in the background in the stroller.  I have not bought him any snow apparel, so he was just bundled up in a really warm fuzzy bunting type thing and watched us play.  (He didn’t really like missing out on the fun.  I think I may have to get him some snow apparel as well…) 

It’s amazing what a year makes (you can check out the last snow from the Feb 2009 entries)!  Last year, when it snowed, Zoe liked looking at it from inside, but she really did not enjoy being outside.  This year, she’s really enjoyed playing in the snow (stomping on and in it, throwing it, eating it, digging, and climbing), and I suspect, she would play all day if we let her!! 

 Last year’s snow.  Yes, it’s the same jacket; it was huge last year, and this year, the sleeves are a little short, but perfectly wearable!!

This morning, the family spent a few fun-filled hours at Zoe’s school having breakfast (well, snack for Zoe), making Christmas crafts, and hanging out with the man of the hour, Santa Claus.  We were able to get the kids’ picture taken with Santa, and they both did remarkably well – Zoe refused to sit on Santa’s lap last year, and it was past Cole’s naptime.

Also, Kirk and I bought an early Christmas present to each other – a brand new camera.  A few of my friends (AnneKate, and Denise) have an SLR camera, and we both have been a little disappointed in the pictures using our compact point-and-shoot camera, plus, we figured we’re just going to be taking more pictures in the future.  So, after a lot of research and talking with each other and with friends, we decided on the Nikon D90.  We have a lot to learn, but I think we’re going to enjoy taking a pictures a bit more now.  (Just an FYI…all the pics on this post were taken using the “auto” setting.  We’ve got a lot to learn before we start using the manual settings.)

Pre-breakfast with Santa and waiting for Mommy to get dressed.  Kirk spent a few minutes goofing around with the camera.


Waiting for her turn to see Santa.  Zoe was super excited to see Santa – so excited that she could barely wait her turn.

Zoe and Cole with the Big Man.  Cole loved Santa’s beard…

(1) Zoe and a classmate having a snack. (2) Not crazy about this picture, but Zoe is scooping “reindeer food” into plastic baggies.  Thought it was really cute and super easy – oats with glitter.  (3 & 4) Decorating a bag to put her goodies in.  

(1 & 2) Zoe watching and listening to the musicians (duet guitars) play Christmas music. (3) Cole finally decided enough was enough and crashed, while Zoe (in the background) continued being mesmerized by Santa. 

After our trip to see Santa, Zoe decided to chill in our bed and draw a picture.

As if our day couldn’t have been more fun, we had our first snow of the year!!  It came down hard all day, but didn’t stick too much.  It was really pretty – lots of “oohs” and “aahs” by Zoe.

The day after Thanksgiving officially begins the Christmas holidays in my family’s house – growing up, my mom would pull out her Christmas sweatshirts on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and we would go tree shopping (a several hour outing to different tree lots in town only to decide on the tree at the 1st lot).  This year was no different.  The morning after Thanksgiving, Zoe and Cole received early Christmas presents – cute Christmas outfits, and this year, Zoe received a gift from Santa – our family elf, Foddle (Zoe picked the name out from the names in the book that came with him.)  Then, it was on to the tree.  My parents bought an artificial one a few years ago (yeah! no more marathon tree outings!).  My Dad and Kirk strung the lights, and then Zoe spent the rest of the weekend helping Papa Joe decorate.  (I don’t know who had more fun – Zoe or Dad/Papa Joe!)

 Zoe and Papa Joe decorate the Christmas tree. 

8 month update

November 24, 2009

Woohoo!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s called Cole’s 1st birthday.  I won’t lie to you; I don’t particularly love the 1st year of life.  Granted, I love babies, but I’ve learned from Zoe and now Cole that I like playing with babies and then giving them back.  With that said, I am loving the fact that Cole can do things on his own now.  So, here’s the lowdown of what’s been going on in the little man’s life that past month.

New Weight Stat:  13.4 pounds ( total lightweight)

Adventure to the ER:  So everyone except for Kirk has visited the hospital here in Arlington, which is just crazy considering that we’ve seen the ER once in  Charlotte (me – sprained ankle) and had 2 hospital stays (Zoe and Cole’s births).  So, here’s the story: 2 weeks ago, I came down with some version of the flu.  I tried really hard not to pass it along, but 2 days later, Cole was running a low grade fever that lasted for about a day and a half.  He got better for a day, and then, last Sun, he started running a high fever that just couldn’t be controlled with tylenol and ibuprofen, so we hopped in the car and headed to the ER (we were smart this time – Kirk and Zoe stayed home).  After 6 hours, a chest x-ray, some blood work, and mucus sample, Cole was diagnosed (based solely on symptoms) with H1N1.  He was given Tamiflu, and 24 hours later, we had our happy little boy back.

New Tricks:  

Sitting.  The one good thing about Cole being sick – he wanted nothing to do with being on his belly or back, so he is now sitting like a champ.

Mobile Baby.  I really thought I would have at least one more month of a stationary baby, but of course, Cole had different plans.  He is now doing a version of commando crawling, and he’s pretty darn fast too.  This is a good/bad thing.  On the one hand, Cole can now go for toys that he wants instead of crying for someone to get him a new toy.  On the other hand, Cole doesn’t want his toys; he would much rather eat the crayons that Zoe is coloring with, mouth Zoe’s babies, mouth the coloring pages that Zoe has finished coloring.  See a trend?  :>) 

(Sorry about the graininess of the video.  We’re having to use our camera instead of the camcorder because we don’t have the software for the camcorder, and it takes way too long to upload onto youtube.)

New Foods: Apricots, mango, blueberries, raspberries, green beans, yogurt, peaches, winter squash, pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice.  Cole is now eating 3 meals a day and is beginning to eat soft, mashed up food like bananas.  He really wants to eat what everyone else is eating and is constantly grabbing at our food.  (Completely opposite from Zoe.)  He is also wanting to feed himself and is always reaching for the spoon. 

Personality: Cole couldn’t be more different from Zoe.  He mouths everything (Zoe liked her thumb and thumb only.).  He is a doer compared to Zoe being an observer – he sees something he wants, and he goes for it (Zoe watches until she’s sure she’ll either succeed or it’s safe.)  He thinks everything in life is funny and constantly laughs (Zoe started really laughing/giggling around 18 months of age; until then her laugh sounded like a machine gun.)