Monday, March 16, 2009

Camping at Joshua Tree – Friday the Thirteenth Style!

This week Tyler worked SO hard to be caught up and all studied and ready for his test Monday. He really focused on using all his time effectively so he wouldn’t have to study all weekend. We planned a camping trip with our good friends, Joe and Janel, and that was super motivating!
Well, we all busted our backs trying to be ready by 2:00 Friday and it was a true Friday the 13th for all of us. Things just didn’t work out for anyone and we ended up leaving late and Tyler and I both had to take stuff with us to study and work on. (Not that that worked out really well either...)

After we got on the road things seemed to work out better. By the time we arrived at Joshua Tree we were excited to camp and things were looking up. There was (of course) nowhere to camp in the park and it was already dark. Sharing with someone when we had 2 tents and a baby soundled a little crazy, so we turned around and went to Black Rock Canyon where we got the last available camping spot.

Californians don’t know how to camp like we Utahns! :) The camp spots are very very close together and people are crazy with their loud music. It seems like everybody in the campground blew up an air mattress between 11pm and 1am. :) We enjoyed it anyway, and we met some nice camping neighmors. Coleman is very nieghborly and wanted to met everyone and their dog (literally). He especially loved meeting their dogs. It was great! A weird day of camping is better than a day not camping. :)

We cooked our dutch oven dinner and ate it for a midnight snack that evening. Cole had fallen asleep in the car so we set up the tent and laid him in his sleeping bag dressed in 2 pair of jammies and his favorite beanie. He slept really well until some loud music and some loud tent setter-uppers woke him up (just as we were going to bed). I think he must have just been too excited after that. He woke up several times throughout the night wanting to play around in the tent. When Tyler and I made him get back in bed (his and/or ours) he got upset and the tired Cole showed his true sleepy boy colors. He screamed and wiggled and cried and probably woke up half the campground. We’re really glad Joe and Janel are still talking to us after all that. :)

What patient friends!

We left the campground late, but it was nice to spend a little time in front of the fire drinking hot chocolate and eating a great Janel-style breakfast. She is such an overachiever! The breakfast burritos were stellar! Even Cole stopped digging in the dirt and playing with the hammer to have some bites. That’s saying something!!!

We spend the day climbing on Cyclops Rock and the guys looked really great on the routes. Cole played in the dirt and the tent (where he was supposed to be taking a nap) with his bucket and trucks and was as happy as could be! He ate strawberries, garlic and parmesan crackers, and carrots and was thrilled to be there. He drank sips of milk from a water bottle, but only after he gave some to his chicken flashlight each time. What a funny little guy!

After climbing Spaghetti & Chilli, Joe and Tyler set up a nice route, Penelope's Walk, for Janel and me to climb, and we really enjoyed it! We got the royal treatment. They set it up and took it down and didn’t even make us go much farther than we wanted. Janel did have to do another 3 foot move before Joe would let her down, but Tyler let me down exactly when I asked (something he never does). I was almost disappointed. I think I asked too early because I thought he might make me keep going for awhile. :) I think it’s pretty cute when he convinces me to go more. Nothing like a little friendly persuasion from the person who’s holding your rope when you’re 60 or 80 feet above the ground!

The guys cleaned the route we'd climbed and moved all the stuff to the next route while Janel and I took Cole for a ride in the truck to see if he’d go to sleep. He did, but not for long. He was so tired, but I don’t think he would have been content to miss any of the trip. Next time we’ll just bag the nap. It’s way more trouble than it’s worth!

The guys practiced placing trad gear and climbed another neat route called The Eye. I want to go back and try it. It’s long, but looks pretty easy and really neat! After that it was too cold to do anything so we packed up and came home – super tired, but happy. What a trip!!!

(Thanks Joe and Janel for dealing with our grumpy little guy and with us! We’re glad to have friends to camp and do other crazy things with! :) )

Joe - one of the best belayers around. I'm really picky about belaying and who belays Tyler while we climb. It's an important job, but can get kinda boring. Joe is so safe and responsible! He and Tyler make an awesome climbing team!

A'Joe (Janel) and Coleman. Cole LOVES Joe and Janel - he calls them Joe and A'Joe and is always happy to see them. They're so cute with him! When we got home late Saturday night Cole had fallen asleep in the car. When Tyler laid him down in his bed he wiggled for just a second and with a big sigh said "frens" and went to sleep. We know Cole always has a good time with these guys, and Tyler and I do too!

My amazing husband at the top of The Eye, the last route of the day!

Joe - on The Eye.

Tyler is in that shadow somewhere toward the middle.

Tyler - looking for gear on The Eye. It was freezing! He still looked like he was having fun though!

I'm just happy to be here (even after only 6 hours of sleep all night and all day) And I still love diut!

I really like Joe's truck!

This is where the fire was. It's pretty neat and black. I think I'll touch it and rub the black on my head! What an explorer!

Hmmm... I love diut!

This toothbrush has a brush on both ends. it works great for dirt and hair!

Dad told me to brush the rocks with this toothbrush. Look what a good minder I am!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

18 Months

the boys chillin'

careful! careful! these cars are so neat!

hmmm.. who doesn't love the taste of wood chips on a nice sunny day?

this is awesome! i love my shovel!

role 'em down the hill!

me, my beanie and Binkus

livin' the good life

Congratulations Coleman!
Today Cole turns 18 months old! Actually – as I’m typing this he is exactly 18 months (to the hour :)). I guess that’s mostly important to moms. My friend Brittney posted a darling 18 month picture of her little girl and blogged all about the cute things she does. I guess I’m really a copy cat. Thanks for the idea! :)

Last night I had grand plans of dressing Cole up in some handsome little guy clothes and taking a cute picture. This morning was a rush, so he ended up in faded (because I have to wash his stuff so many times) hand-me-downs. Throughout the morning he played hard with a friend and ate snacks on his blanket. He spilled on his shirt and wiped his hands on it when they were dirty. He got wrinkled and messy looking, but was having so much fun. I thought- oh I’ll change him into other clothes later and take a cute picture.

Cole took a great nap and greeted me with a huge grin when I finally got him up. He insisted on me helping him put on his favorite hat (a great AMB cold weather beanie). He paraded around the house with his hat and shovel. He was so excited to have that shovel that we had to go outside to play in the wood chips and the sand at the playground. I put shoes on him that didn’t match his already used up outfit and we were off. I had a realization as a mom at that moment: The cutest picture I could take would be one that showed off his funny personality and daily goings on. So, here they are. This is my wonderfully exciting, hilarious, opinionated, loving, active, brilliant (I know – I’m the mom – I can say that) 18 month old son who is the light of his mom’s and dad’s life. Wrinkled, dirty and faded can’t hide how cute he is!

About Cole – 18 months –

Cole’s latest favorite things are his daddy, cars and trucks (real or toy), “naks” (snacks), playing with “frens,” lunch with dad on Wednesdays, playing in anything he finds outside – dirt, sand, water, wood chips, etc., Disney and Baby Einstein movies, crayons, naming EVERYTHING he sees, his lawn mower and airplane toys, looking for airplanes in the sky, going for walks around our apartment complex, watching the cars, pointing and telling Dad (affectionateley known as "dat") about the cars, singing, wrestling with Dad, tickleing, being tickled, and reading books. He’s also a big fan of teasing adults, usually by throwing things to or at them and then with his puppy dog face and arms outstretched saying “uh-oh.”

Cole is saying so many words that Tyler and I can’t keep track anymore. He’ll say things that we’ve never heard him say, he repeats things we don’t know we’ve said, and people are amazed everywhere we go that he can talk so clearly for such a little guy. I think it’s probably extra extraordinary looking because he’s pretty small for his age. I wish I knew his exact weight and height, but I’ll find out. The other day when my cute visiting teacher was over he was interrupting our conversation every 3rd word or so to ask for something or help doing something. I just gave him repeatedly whatever it was that he wanted. In a break in the conversation I added under my breath that “mommy is a sucker” – for the next 5 minutes he ran around the living room saying “sucker… sucker… sucker.” It was pretty funny!

Cole is a good walker and runner, but is extremely cautious when doing so. He still stops at all thresholds and everywhere the sidewalk meets the grass to carefully choose his footing. He asks for "hep" (help) a lot when I know he could do it alone. I find it kinda cute though and am sure I should enjoy this phase for as long as it lasts. I love that he asks for my help and I love being involved in what he’s doing.

Cole is a fantastic climber. We went with some friends to the climbing gym for Valentines and thought Cole would like running around on the bouldering pads. He did, but his highlight was climbing on the walls like Dad. He’s a good little climber and knows where to keep his feet to stay stable. He is overcautious like me and stays pretty safe. He also loves climbing on rocks outside. The other day while he was in the tub, he stood up and before I knew it, was holding on to the soap dish with both hands and had both feet on the side of the tub scaling the wall. That’s some amazing smearing with soapy water on your feet. Now every time he gets in the tub he holds onto the soap dish and announces “climbing.” I’m a horrible mother, but I let him hang for a minute and tell him “climb on.” (If this post doesn’t make sense it’s because since marrying Tyler I’ve had to adopt a new climbing-based vocabulary: (smearing is when there’s nothing to stand on and you just put your feet flat against something to climb up – when you are ready to climb and are tied into the rope and you’ve checked your harnesses and gear you always say “climbing” and the person belaying says “climb on.”) Cole also knows the names of the different types of trad gear and loves to get out the cams and nuts. :)

On most days Cole sleeps from 7pm ‘till between 7:30 and 8am. He loves his nighttime routine, his jammies and reading stories. Sometimes he puts a few books in his crib to save for later. When he wakes up in the morning, no matter who gets him out of bed, he always asks for the other parent. :) It’s really funny. He likes to cuddle in the morning and watch a few minutes of “Rella” (Cinderella) in our bed. He loves to tease Tyler in the morning by tickling him. Cole always laughs before he tickles someone which makes it even better. :)

Cole’s favorite breakfasts are cream of wheat with honey and Crasins or apple cinnamon oatmeal. He can eat them by himself, but does get a little creative with the finger painting. These are both naked breakfasts. He still loves eating any type of fruit. Lately he’s most excited about kiwi, bananas, strawberries, mandarin oranges, apples, and blueberries. Anything we give him in a bowl gets dumped out with an announcement: “dump it!” It’s obnoxious, annoying and messy, but kinda funny too.

We play inside a lot in the mornings because the mornings are still cold and often wet. The afternoons are much warmer and he likes to play outside if I can get him out the door. We go to play groups on Tuesday and Thursday and he loves to be with the other kids. He’s really enjoying the parks we’ve been to and really loves to play on the slide at our apartments. He prefers to climb up the slide then slide down on his tummy. He can do it over and over. It’s really hard to convince him to come in from doing that.

Cole naps in the afternoon for about 2 hours usually starting around 1:00, but he’s really flexible. He is getting less and less opposed to naps and it’s so nice!

After his nap he looks for his dad most of the time. If Tyler is here, that’s FABULOUS. He’s been here a lot recently, but is usually studying or watching lectures online. He always takes a few minutes to play with Cole if he’s here. We play and read stories and sometimes watch a few minutes of a movie. Sometimes we run errands, but Cole would rather walk around looking at cars than ride in them. Cole plays with Tyler while I make dinner, which is sooo nice! Cole loves to “hep” (help) with the cooking. His favorite things are to “stir it” and “watch.” He loves it when I cut up vegetables or fruit and always asks to “haf it.” He’ll eat almost anything straight off the cutting board.

Cole’s favorite dinners (and lunches) are sandwiches – mostly grilled cheese, chicken, hot dogs, anything with fruit, yogurt, peas, corn, or (as of today for the first time) raw carrots. He never ceases to surprise me with what he will and won’t eat. I make things all the time that I think are going to get devoured and he won’t touch them. On the other hand, he surprises me with what he asks for and enjoys. Some of the strange ones are raw onions, red pepper, slices of tomato, balsamic vinegarette dressing, ketchup for dipping (or eating plain), or anything spicey. During dinner he often asks for “ice keamy.” Tyler and I always melt at that. Apparently our love of ice cream is genetic. Coleman doesn’t get it very often and he doesn’t complain if we don’t give it to him, but he LOVES eating it. That’s a definite favorite FHE treat.

We love our little guy and the fun and excitement he brings into our lives every day (every moment, really). Life with a toddler is super challenging, but we wouldn’t change any part of it. We love you Cole! We’re so thankful Heavenly Father has blessed us with you!

Frens and Hats

what a lady!
coleman only likes one of his hats - his beanie :)

mackenna likes all the hats, but thinks they should fit over her bow too :)

Today Coleman’s friend Mackenna came over to play. She is about a month older than he is and is one of his best buddies. We’ve decided that it’s better for our families to sit close together in church so “Coman” and “Kenna” can have conversations that only they (and not the rest of the congregation) can hear. They love to be together. She’s a little mommy and so helpful. She loves hugs! He’s such a guy. He stands there for hugs (‘till they fall over) and follows her around everywhere acting like she’s the best thing since sliced bread. :) Today after I re-did Mackenna’s hair with her cute bow she told me Coleman should have one too. I tired to tell her that he didn’t wear bows, but that didn’t make much sense. (Why wouldn’t anyone wear cute bows?) I finally told her that Coleman is a boy and he wears hats. We got some out and they had a good time trying them all on. What cute kids!!

Play Group

We had a fun time last week at play group. We counted something like 26 people that came to our house to play (it was a little crowded!) Coleman LOVES to play with “frens.” He often will say the names of the kiddos we play with throughout the day and sometimes their moms too. It’s really cute! We played with toys in the house because the weather was a little chilly, but it warmed up towards the end (probably a result of having 20+ people in our apartment). At the end we took the little wading pool outside with some water and splashed. Not everybody came out, so I don’t have pictures of all the cute kids we played with, but we had a good time getting wet.

Cole LOVES water of any kind. He played with the water in the bucket before it got to the pool. He was the first to jump in the pool wearing all his clothes and shoes. While we were cleaning up after we’d dumped the water he found another puddle (a good muddy one) on the sidewalk to lay in and taste (I know, that’s absolutely disgusting!). After all that great water experience he still thoroughly enjoyed his bath (to warm up and wash off all that disgusting muddy sludge water). What a funny little guy! There is NEVER a dull moment in his life!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Last of February

So, I've been a bit of a slacker with getting these pictures posted. It seems lateley like I'm running out of time to do everything! These are just some great moments from February that we thought were fun.

Thanks Grandma Marilee, Grandpa Terry, Uncle Trevor and Uncle Trent, for the cool valentines! I especially love the box of peanuts! :)

Cole loves playing with friends! We watched our friend, Landon, while his mom went to his big brother's Valentine's party. Cole had a blast! Landon calls him "bebe Coleman," and Cole loves it! So fun! Thanks for playing with us!

Cole and Mom decided to make a valentine for Dad. We made chocolate pudding like my mom used to make and decided to fingerpaint. Cole made a beautiful masterpiece, ate a lot of pudding and decided after the paper and tray were covered that he would fingerpaint himself... As you can see, he did a great job and Dad loved the valentine! Don't worry Grandmas - all the clothes in this picture survived. :)

I still LOVE strawberries the most! I was so tired, but I had to keep eating and eating the strawberries! What a great Valentines treat!
We love to play with our friends Clara and Sally. We have a new friend too. Her name is Laura. Sally is tending her while her mom is at work, so we get to see her a lot now too. All three of them seemed to enjoy playing with a bin of popcorn kernels. Laura liked eating them, Clara liked playing with them and Cole liked throwing them. :) They all liked the vacuumming at the end. :)

Coleman Joker! Cole loves fruit - and when you can drink it it's so exciting!

Coleman and Dad were trying on Great Grandpa Flint's cowboy hat. On, off, on, off... Cole was a big fan. He even put it on Dad.

Cole loves to play on our bed! The other day he got up on top and found a treasure, Dad's blankie! He knows he doesn't get to "haf it," but he got that mischievous look in his eye and seemed to enjoy it for a second. It's a good thing Dad didn't see. :)

Once again, Cole is playing on our bed. He brings his "sapes" and asks to get up on the bed. He's getting really good at putting the shapes through the holes. He can name most of them too!

After our Cream of Wheat catastrophy last Sunday before church (we learned a valuable lesson - getting dressed first thing doesn't get you to church on time...), we decided that Cream of Wheat is a "shirt off" breakfast. Cole LOVES it! He likes it best with honey and cran rasins. If you're ever out of glue, we're pretty sure Cream of Wheat would do the trick!

After play group (which I sadly didn't take pictures of) we went to lunch with some friends at Chick Filet. Cole was in heaven! He got to eat chicken, fruit and drink from a juice box! Then we played on the slides and the climbing stuff! So cool! What a fun day!
We've had a lot of fun this month and been really busy! We're excited for Dad to have a weekend without tests soon so he can enjoy things a little too. Tyler has been soooooo busy! We have had time to do a few extracurriculars though. We joined the choir in our ward (Tyler might be the only male participant). Coleman really enjoys choir - we don't know that Mom and Dad love it quite as much, but it's worth getting up early and lengthening the church day by an hour to see Cole hold his hand in the air and yell "sing!" Now he says "sing!" when we walk into church and institute class. It's so funny. He is starting to sing a few of the letters when we sing the ABC song. He really enjoys Happy, Popcorn, Spider Song and Boat Song, some of his other favorite songs. Cole learned to climb UP the slide and LOVES to slide down on his tummy. It really is fun to watch! He also walks around the house saying "ice keamy!" We love it and would probably give it to him all the time if we always had it available. It's probably good that we don't. I think I might like watching him eat ice cream more than I like eating it myself, and that's saying something!!! It's been another fun and crazy month at our house, but we're loving ever minute of it!