Saturday, June 30, 2012

dirt + bucket

Collin learned two new words today:  dirt + bucket. :-)

He's been working on the same project for quite awhile now, which is why we didn't plant in this flower pot.

While saying "dirt," he scoops some dirt from the pot with a shovel

and then says "bucket" while he dumps the dirt into the bucket.

This is a serious job, people!

Lucky for me, cutie pie took time out of his busy schedule to sit on the edge of the patio and pose for a picture. :-)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

glow-in-the-dark putt putt!

We were looking for a fun indoor activity for Collin and decided to checkout GlowGolf.

My camera (and I) were very confused on the dark course.  Flash ruined the cool black light effect, but no flash was too slow for sharp pictures.  I decided on no flash to show how fun the black light course is.  Please forgive the blur.

Collin's favorite parts were exploring the course

and getting the ball back out of the hole.

Fun. :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

C and his best buddy T

Collin had a playdate today with his best buddy Tristan.

They had fun climbing together.

:-) This picture was taken mid-kiss:

These guys are going to have a blast growing up together!

17 months!

Our sweet Collin Cooper is 17 months old today!

He weighs 23 pounds and is 31 inches tall.  Moral of that story?  He's still a peanut. :-)

This month has been so fun with communication skills!  Before, Collin's word list was mostly words that he would repeat if we said them.  Now his word list is full of words that he uses on his own.  New this month:  up, book, light, nap, bath, bye, water, juice, toothbrush, belly, toes, eyes, nose, ears...

Collin learned the phrase "up please" when he wants to be held.  Now that the phrase is so useful, he uses it to communicate any desire to change position.  He might actually want down or off or in, but he'll still say "up please." :-)

A few months ago, Collin was regularly using the phrase "more please," but that faded for a while.  It's back, only now it's "more more please."

One of Collin's favorite things to say relates to a game he plays with his parents and his puppies.  He points to one dog, says her name, and then waits for us to say her name too.  Then he switches and repeats for the other dog.  The fun of the game starts when he bounces back and forth quickly -- "Shelby.  Kacy.  Shelby.  Kacy."  He loves his dogs!

"Toot-toot" has become very useful.  It indicates the presence of a car or truck, and it also is the sound when Collin is driving his hot rod.  New this month, "toot-toot" is what he says when he wants something to move.  If I'm on the bean bag and he wants to sit there, he'll grab my arm and say "toot-toot" to ask me to move.  When the backpack was in the way of where Collin wanted to stand, he said "toot-toot" to tell it to move too.  He also says "toot-toot" when he wants the girls to go down the stairs before he starts climbing down.

Speaking of, Collin goes down the stairs now!  Of course we still supervise, but he's quite efficient and safe.  He's also now skilled on getting up onto things, now able to pull himself onto chairs and the couch.

There's been no change in the teeth department this month - still 9.

Meal time is getting pretty mature too.  Collin alternates between the highchair and a booster seat at the table, depending on his mood.  When it's time to eat, we tell him to go sit in his chair.  We put him into whichever seat he stands by.  The dude is very adept at using a fork.  He can even stab a piece of shredded cheese with his fork!  He usually feeds himself with whatever utensil he is offered, rather than using his hands.

Collin is a clear communicator in terms of what he does or doesn't want to eat.  This morning I made oatmeal for his breakfast.  After eating his oatmeal, he requested "ra-ras."  After eating the crackers, he asked for "tsss."  When the cheese had all been eaten, he wanted "nah."  He finally had a full belly after eating the fruit snacks. :-)  Breakfast is definitely Collin's most important meal of the day!

Sweet boy has a tender heart, to the point of bawling his eyes out when we had to leave his puppies at Camp Bow Wow when we went on vacation.  Actual crying is pretty rare, but he clearly communicates when he is sad or his feelings are hurt.  He is such a sweet love, always giving lots of hugs and kisses.  He has even mastered the tight squeeze, so his hugs are no longer just a "lean in."

Our precious boy is so funny and entertaining, always cracking us up!  He loves his daddy and mama, and we're so very blessed by the love and affection of our darling son.  He's intelligent, amazingly observant, and his ingenuity and creativity is impressive.  We pray that we continue learning to parent Collin in a way that develops his strengths and maintains his sweet spirit.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

Monday, June 25, 2012

gutter bookshelves

Without further ado, I present Collin's new rain gutter bookshelves:

Part of developing great readers is creating an environment that fosters reading.  The more they read, the better readers they become!
The cover of a book is more likely to catch our eye than the binding.  Hopefully we'll maintain Collin's love of reading by displaying part of his book collection with the cover showing.


This is a very simple project!
total cost:  $25
start to finish:  less than an hour

First of all, load your little cutie into the cart at Home Depot.

Buy a 10' piece of rain gutter, two pairs of endcaps, and four invisible mounting brackets.

You'll also need a handsaw, four screws, a level, and a screwdriver or drill.


Step one:  measure the desired length for your shelves.  I made mine 46" because that's what fit between the door and the outlet.  I used a pen to make marks all the way around the gutter to guide my cut.

Step two:  make the cuts.

Step three:  insert the invisible mounting brackets (which aren't invisible at all, but that's what they were called at the store...) by lining them up with the grooves of the gutter.

Step four:  place endcaps on each end of the gutter.

Step five:  screw the mounting brackets into the wall.

Step six:  put books on the shelves!

Once I had the supplies (which involved an easy 10-minute trip to Home Depot), this project took me 30 minutes to complete.  For just $25, Collin has a great new way to store his books!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

who needs parents?

When a boy gets big enough to feed himself

and clean his own house,

what does he need parents for?!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Massachusetts Mania!

We just got back from a family vacation to Massachusetts!  We were there Sunday-Thursday and had a fantastic time.  The most important part of our visit was spending time with Uncle Shane and Auntie Bridget, and we managed to squeeze a lot of fun in too. :-)

Prepare yourself for photo overload...


We got into town around 6 on Sunday, after a beautifully smooth, non-stop JetBlue flight.  JetBlue is definitely at the top of our list for our next trip!  We spent Sunday evening hanging out at Shane and Bridget's townhouse chatting, grilling, and letting Collin acclimate to his new surroundings.


Monday morning we had a yummy seafood breakfast (lobster croissants + crabcake benedicts) at Fresh Catch and then headed to Shane's gym to let Collin burn off a little steam.

He test drove quite a few different cars.

He did a little sliding, of course.

He had fun racing Daddy,

 and, apparently, was scared while being driven around by Mommy...

We headed back to the house for little man's nap, and then visited a fantastic playground.

Collin had good luck making friends with the ladies on this trip.


was the first time he used his line-of-the-week, which goes like this:

"Hi!  Toes."

as he's lifting his toes to show them to his new friend.  He had a 100% (4 out of 4) success rate getting a girl's attention using that line.

On Monday night we had friends over and grilled out.  Great time!


On Tuesday we went into Boston.

We visited the New England Aquarium, which was awesome.

"Hi!  Toes." worked on this girl!

Collin touched a stingray and a starfish!

He even got to watch some seals doing tricks (he yelled "pup-pup!" when the baby seal walked by us).

We had lunch in Faneuil Square, headed back for a quiet afternoon at the house,

and then went out for a fabulous sushi dinner at Fresh Catch.


 On Wednesday we went to Long Pond in Lakeville, MA.  Shane and Bridget's friend Michael was kind enough to take us out for the day on his awesome boat.

Here's the lake house we purchased.  Oh wait, just kidding!

Collin had to catch a quick nap on the boat so he could enjoy the afternoon on the water.

Uncle Shane showed us how to wakeboard.

Ryan tried wakeboarding too.

I waterskied.

Bridget was "shown no mercy" out on the tube.

Ryan put on a pretty good tube show too.

Here's his crash!

Shane showed us how to get air on a tube.

Collin didn't love being in the water

but he loved being on the boat!

We had a relaxed evening at the house, and Collin's youngest girlfriend, Madison came over.  I have no pictures because I was so shocked and almost frozen by the sweetness of the entire encounter.  Collin was adamant that he hold Madison, who is 5 weeks old.  He didn't want to sit beside as Bridget was holding Madison.  He didn't want me to hold him and Madison.  He insisted he sit alone with Madison on his lap.  He even gave her 5 kisses!  Seriously, it was sweet.


Thursday was a scorcher!  The 100* and high humidity were perfect for our day at the lake on Wednesday, but we decided to lay low in the heat on Thursday.  Collin got several new pairs of pants while he was casually shopping at the mall in the morning, we had a great lunch at Friendly's, Collin took a long nap back at the house, and then it was time to head to the airport.

Collin is a fantastic traveler, and it was a very good thing!  We got stuck on the tarmac in Boston for almost 2 hours, which meant we were on that plane for 6 hours.  We had to sprint to make our connection in Dallas (luckily they held the plane for us!), and we landed in Denver at 12:15, which means we weren't home until 2am.  Thank goodness Collin is a stud and went with the flow through all of that!

Bye for now, Massachusetts.  See you again soon!