Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2 Years Old!

A little bit about you at the age of 2!

before your afternoon nap on your bed with "The Little Critter Collection"

• You have become attached to your dog pillow (pillow pal), your stuffed rhinoceros but most of all, “monkey”, the heavy hooded blanket. This somewhat fascinates me as these are all warm toys and this has been the hottest summer ever! You haul them all to bed with you at night and then stumble around while awkwardly carrying all three into our bedroom or the living room every morning when you wake up.

• You are a dream child at going down for your nap in the afternoon & for bed at night. We have a simple routine- get a book and your “stuff”, hugs and lay down.  If you aren’t too tired, you usually lay there with your book, on your bed until you eventually drift off. Like clockwork, you are up every day at 7:10 a.m. regardless of the time you went to sleep the night before.

• As far as eating goes, you have become increasingly more picky over the last 6 months. I’ve resorted to becoming the sneaky chef in order to get vegetables in you (fine dicing, creative smoothies, etc.) I’m pretty sure you could live off bread and chocolate milk and be completely satisfied.

sneaking into the kitchen after your nap and helping yourself to a few of the morning muffins

• Your favorite movie is, “Cars” and you enjoy several shows on PBS including Sesame Street, Super Why, and Curious George.

o You are starting to recognize and say many of your letters (thank you Sesame Street & Super Why!)

o You recently saw “Winnie The Pooh” in the BIG movie theatre with Danni Richard. You kept calling out the characters as they came on screen. It was hard for you to sit in the folding chair without getting folded INTO it, so I had to hold your seat down during the entire movie. Ha!

• Like the previous months, you LOVE getting naked and you are able to completely undress your lower ½. You can’t quite get your shirt over your head yet, which is when you usually run to me saying, “shirt… help” as you are tugging it up.

o When we are in our backyard, you feel the NEED to be naked.
I keep telling myself that this is just a phase…
Yep, this is just what it looks like... 
This is what happens when you don't pay attention while pulling weeds for 2 minutes...

• If you are going somewhere, you are RUNNING!

• You love your electric toothbrush and whenever I hand it over, you demand “paste!”

• This past month (since the Missouri trip) your language development has exploded.
You’ve started stringing several words together instead of just saying one word at a time.

• You enjoy playing with wooden puzzles (i.e. Melissa & Doug puzzles) and Legos® as well as your new basketball hoop with daddy.

alphabet puzzle

• You’ve suddenly become more aggressive and playful with Schatzi. You like to ride & bounce on her, as if she were a horse... I am hoping that your new "Rody" will remedy this problem.
You also tell her to “move” and push her when she is in your way.
(I’m not a fan of this!)

• You LOVE stickers! Stickers on fruit, stickers from your PuzzleBuzz magazine, peeling postage from packages… They all fascinate you.

• You are obsessed with my iPhone and sneak it off the nightstand if I’m asleep in the morning. You love to look at my photos (which are mainly of you) as well as the toddler games I’ve installed on it. It’s pretty amazing to watch you navigate it, as you are probably better with it than your grandparents. 

• I still think you’re somewhat ready for potty training because you tell me when you poop and even bring a clean diaper at times. With that being said, we’ve spent the last week really working with the frog potty chair; lots of time being spent naked (on your part), drinking fluids, and practicing sitting on the potty while watching cartoons. (Lord, what a JOB!)  And we've had success!
I KNOW you can get this down before Christmas, when your brother arrives...

unwinding before bed

• You are a hugger! When it is time to leave, you have NO problem hugging everyone goodbye. It’s more of a head-lean-in, but it’s definitely your hug. Kisses… well… you offer a cheek for someone to kiss you, but you are super stingy with your kisses. xoxo

o You also like to cuddle! You’ll crawl into bed with me & then roughly on top and say, “cuddles”. It’s always short lived since you move so much, but I love it!

Happy Birthday, Kaden.
You are the best!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kaden's 2nd Birthday

Kaden's birthday just so happens to coincide with the 1st day/1st week of school,
which has been a little tricky since Ben teaches and the beginning of school is exhausting.  This is why we decided to celebrate his on Saturday evening instead of Tuesday.
 Little mister turns 2!
 This year I attempted papa's favorite cake- German chocolate. 
With their birthdays less than a week apart, we had somewhat of a joint celebration.
 Kaden itching to swipe icing while Shanny cut it apart. 
I was a little anxious to see how it turned out since I veered from my trusty ole' Betty Crocker mix and attempted a recipe I found online.  Will do a little tweaking in the future, but this was a keeper- especially the icing... WAY better (and more fattening) than the jarred variety.
Why I thought it was a good idea to put him in a white polo after making a chocolate cake?!
Hence the rest of the shirtless photos...
 "More... Please..." as one of the new favorite phrases.
 Before leaving again for Tanzania, Aunt Dorothy left a few presents behind for Kaden to unwrap: a nice pair of maracas from Mexico as well as a fun giraffe cloth from Africa. 
Daddy helping Kaden open a puzzle from mommy.
 After leaving school on Friday, Ben was really excited about picking up a gift for Kaden. 
I should have known it was a basketball hoop.  This definitely ranks as one of the cutest moments I have witnessed between the two of them:
 I'm not sure who was more excited about putting this together. 
Look at Ben GLOWING!
He scores!

This year I think we made up for last year's absence of gifts (on our part).  We had so much more fun as he seemed to have a better grasp on what was going on.  Between gifts from Missouri and our celebration in Amarillo, he is SET for quite some time!

23 Weeks (6 months)

According to the book, What to Expect When You're Expecting, I've just entered month 6 of this pregnancy.  (and to me, 6 months sounds way better than just a little over ½ way.) 
I briefly met with Dr. Baker on Friday morning and everything is looking good for this little man
(my bloodtests have all been completely normal, the 20-week ultrasound looked great, and his heartbeat sounded strong at around 155 BPM; all things that are so reassuring to hear).
As with the last pregnancy, I FEEL like a house from the side, but don't look too terribly different from the front (and especially the back).  My appetite has finally picked up (with a vengeance)
and I feel pretty "normal" overall.  I've also finally started to feel this boy kick pretty regularly throughout the day. Thus far, I'm still able to teach at the Townclub almost every day and feel
SO MUCH better than I did 3 months ago!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Showers & Bachelorette Fun

The main reason for coming home this August was to partake in my cousin, Stephenie's, weekend of bachelorette fun & wedding shower.  We started our weekend with everyone getting acquainted in Columbia on Friday night.  What better of an activity than to strip down and try on our bridesmaid dresses for alterations? (Mine actually fit great & should be fine for October 1! HUGE sigh of relief!) 
Mom thankfully met us in Columbia and babysat Kaden for the rest of the weekend.

Steph (center) with friends, bridesmaids, mom, and mother-in-law

On Saturday morning we moved the party down to the Lake of the Ozarks & had lunch/tastings at Seven Springs Winery and then moved onto the Lodge of Four Seasons to relax all afternoon.  That night we had dinner at the resort and as I looked around our table it was really neat to see everyone there. All 8 bridesmaids were able to come, along with her mom and mother-in-law. 
Most impressive was that the majority of the table had to make a concerted effort to attend; my mere 12 hour drive seemed like an average distance as Stephenie's in-laws made a 24 hour drive from Connecticut, Anna flew in from Maryland, and Steph,  Lindsey & Skye drove from Nebraska.
the 3 girl Cook cousins

Since everyone was already in town for the weekend, we gathered at Aunt Linda's house on Sunday afternoon to throw a wedding shower for Stephenie.  I thought this went just as well as we had over 30 people in attendance to relax, visit, and offer gifts and marriage advice for
Jason & Stephenie.

food table

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Long Drives

Kaden and I put another 1,700 miles on the Prius over the past week on our way to/from Missouri. Luckily we were able to spend the night and visit with Jessica & Shannon (and McKenna & Shay)
½ way through to add some excitement and make the drive a little more desirable.
 This summer has been brutal as far as heat has been concerned, and I though that maybe I was becoming more sensitive to it with being pregnant and all... 
but this particular day seemed beyond ridiculous.
 I had to snap a picture of my dashboard as proof that it was 113° as I was driving through Kansas.  As if I didn't quite believe the thermometer, I stuck my hand out the window and it literally felt as if my flesh were burning.  I'm so ready for fall and cooler temperatures! 
 I think Kaden had as much fun with McKenna (and Shay) as I did catching up with Jessica.  They braved the outdoor heat, McKenna shared all of her fun toys and movies and they even took a bath together. As usual, I wish I had taken more/better pictures...
Driving through Kansas the next morning.

I keep waiting for the easy traveling to end, but Kaden did an amazing job of entertaining himself.  He  read his picture books, played with the magnetic puzzle book, put stickers in a brand new
Puzzle Buzz magazine (his absolute favorite thing to do), took a long nap.  And when things finally started getting too tense, I pulled out my ace in the hole... the ole trusty iPhone as a last resort.
I sincerely hope young mister Dow quickly learns from his older brother so we can continue our
long road trips! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh Boy, Oh BOY!

Today was the day we have been anctipating for some time now; the 20-week sonogram. 

Three months ago I had somehow convinced myself that we were having a little girl this time around.  After all, the 1st trimester of this pregnancy felt completely different than the 1st trimester with Kaden.  Although I only threw up once, I had absolutely NO energy and felt dizzy
(due to very low blood pressure) and nauseated much of the time.  I even had days where it was a struggle to get off the couch, let alone be a good wife/ mommy to Kaden.  (Don't even ask what the house looked like or what we ate for dinner in May & June)  Since I felt so incredibly different than I did with a boy,
then surely this time we were having a girl... right? 

We're having another BOY!
It took me a minute to take in this information from the sonogram technician. 
Maybe it was just hard for me to swallow that my intuitition was so completely off this time.  Regardless, we are thrilled to have a healthy, strong, mover & shaker of a boy.  AND if this little guy is so different in utero, I'm anxious to see what his personality on the outside.