Saturday, December 28, 2013

growing girl

Lauren Kate is getting so big!

She loves getting a good workout on her tummy

and she's enjoying her bouncer too.

Her dedication to exercise has helped her reach the point where she can sit on her own for a few seconds.

No matter what she's doing, she's always willing to share her big, gorgeous smile.

smily sunshine

Lauren gives huge smiles right when we get into her room after she wakes up.

She is a happy, happy girl!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lauren in the jumper

Lauren Kate is strong and likes to stand with assistance, so we decided it's a perfect time for her to try out the jumper.

She's really too small for the activities, but sometimes she accidentally pushes the big buttons for music or gets ahold of the rings.

Just standing by herself makes her happy.  She'll need to grow to get maximum use out of it, but she loves it already!

Our baby girl is growing so quickly!

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 was a busy one!

We spent the weeks leading up to Christmas talking with Collin as much as we could about the true meaning of Christmas - a celebration of the birth of Jesus.  We visited a living nativity at a church here in town, read bible stories, did an advent countdown, and read Christmas books every night.  Collin knows that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus.

We celebrated Christmas with lots of family and friends.

On Saturday night, Collin went to a Christmas party and had a sleepover with Papa and Grandma while we hosted an ugly sweater party at our house.  We all had a blast!

Sunday we went to Rapid for lunch with Great Grandpa Mike and Great Grandma Betty.

Monday and Tuesday were laid-back days at home with Daddy, who decided to take a 4-day Christmas break. :-)

Tuesday night we got all dressed up

and headed to Papa and Grandma's for dinner and gifts.

We went to a great Christmas Eve service, then went to Andrea and Jared's for hot chocolate.

Christmas morning we let Collin check out his stocking before breakfast

and then opened presents after breakfast.

We had a fun Christmas day at the house together.  Collin and Daddy worked on some projects at the dining table

and Collin did a lot of checking the time on his new watch.

Christmas afternoon we had Ryan's side of the family over for gift opening

and then my parents joined all of us for a fabulous honeybaked ham and prime rib Christmas dinner.

It was a wonderful Christmas season, celebrating the joy of Jesus.  We are so very blessed!

Collin Cooper: 35 months

Collin Cooper is 35 months old today!

His big-ness has been very apparent this month, with us regularly saying to each other "When did he get so big?"  He's growing and changing so quickly, and his behavior and skills betray his age.

Collin still loves to talk.  He tells stories, plays pretend, sings, and makes great conversation.  He asks polite questions and explains everything very thoroughly.  He still sings the ABCs numerous times every day, and has added Baa Baa Black Sheep, Row Row Row Your Boat, and Jungle Bells to the list of regular songs to sing.

We've done a ton of reading this month.  He knows so many bible stories because that's his favorite thing to read.  This month we also unwrapped a winter/Christmas story to read each night before bed.  Collin's favorite is A Charlie Brown Christmas, and he has it memorized perfectly.  Yesterday he read the entire thing aloud, including the not-on-his-vocabulary-level sections like, "Linus is right.  I won't let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas!"  Charlie Brown also taught Collin the first verse of Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Collin's memory is unbelievable.  Randomly, Collin will say, "Hey Mom, remember when..." and bring up an event that happened months ago.  He uses his memory to be helpful in instances when I ask him to remind me about something.  He uses his memory to hold his parents accountable when he doesn't forget something we said we'd do later. :-)

Collin loves having friends.  "I take good care of Abbie Rae.  Because her is my best friend!"  We like to have friends over on a regular basis, and Collin likes seeing his CBS friends every week.

Collin also loves being a big brother.  He holds up both ends of conversations with his baby sister and teaches Lauren about all sorts of things.  He likes to make her smile and laugh, and he really tries to include her with what he's doing.

It seems like Collin has been more active than usual this month.  He loves jumping and running and dancing and doing somersaults.  We race around the house, he jumps on the bed, and we have dance parties every single day.  Somersaults are one of Collin's favorite things to do while I'm feeding Lauren.

Imaginative play occupies almost all of Collin's day.  He'd be so good at a game of "props," because he can think of numerous uses for any item he finds.  Just as an example, his golf bag also functions as a packer, jumping jack, vacuum, and two-wheeled cart for moving boxes.

New this month is the addition of an imaginary friend!  He doesn't have a name; he is always referred to as "my little boy."  Collin helps his little boy walk around, play games, eat, read, etc.  If he's in his room by himself and I ask who he's talking to, he'll always say, "I'm talking to my little boy."  Collin and his little boy don't get into any trouble yet, but I'm sure that's coming!

Favorite toys/activities this month include fixing with tools, cutting and gluing paper, sorting hot wheels cars, counting money, and giving checkups with the doctor kit.  Favorite foods right now include cheese, strawberries, grapes, cereal, pork chops, ham, cottage cheese, quesadillas, and pbj sandwiches.

In one short month, our baby boy will be 3 years old.  It seems like just yesterday that we brought our tiny boy home, yet so much fun has already been packed into his short life.  We enjoy every single day with our wonderful son!

Lauren Kate: 4 months

Lauren Kate is 4 months old today!

height:  25.5 inches
weight:  15lbs 6oz
head circumference:  17 inches
clothing size:  3-6 months

Our little girl is a sweet ray of sunshine!  She is extremely laid-back and happy.  She loves to smile, and she laughs too.  Every time she wakes up, we stand beside her crib and watch for a few minutes because she is SO smily after a good sleep.

Lauren's favorite things are standing (with support), laying on her tummy, stretching, sitting up in the bumbo chair, and squirming.  She can roll over from belly to back, but she doesn't do it often.  She loves watching Collin and the puppies.

Our schedule is finding some regularity.  Lauren wakes up most days around 8:30, takes a shorter nap in the morning, a long midday nap, an evening catnap if necessary to make it to bedtime, and goes to bed around 8:30.  We're having success letting Lauren choose her own schedule, and she is fantastic about going with the flow when we're not home for her to sleep in her crib.  If we spend all morning out doing errands and Lauren only gets short carseat naps, she'll make up for it by taking a super long nap when we get home.

LK seems to be getting more interested in oral soothing in the form of her thumb or fingers.  She's never accepted a pacifier, but sometimes she tries sucking her thumb.  Drool is pouring out of Lauren's mouth these days!

It has been a wonderful month and we're having so much fun watching Lauren grow.  We are absolutely blessed by our sweet, smily girl!