Sunday, July 31, 2016

tub time

Collin and Lauren love their tub time!

They're so sweet together.

And check out this awesome tan line (on Collin's lower back)!

chocolate and balloons

We hosted a baby shower and Lauren had a blast.

Chocolate cupcakes + balloons?  Yes please!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

a night with Papa and Grandma

Collin and Lauren were SO excited to have a whole night with Papa and Grandma.

They went to Millstone for dinner, because Collin loves their raspberry tea.

And then they went to the rodeo!

Apparently Lauren said "More horsies!  More cowboys!" all night long.

After having a blast at the rodeo, Collin and Lauren went back to Papa and Grandma's house for a sleepover (Lauren's first!!).  They loved every second of their night.

fish hatchery

Collin has been begging to go to the fish hatchery, and this day's weather was just right for some fish feeding.

Watching Lauren get right to the edge to throw in food?  Freaked me out.

But seriously, I'm such a lucky mama!!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

family date night

We went down to the city park for the Wednesday night acoustic concert and then headed over to play at the park.

Oh my gracious, we are so grateful for our family!

Collin Cooper :: five and a half

This handsome guy is officially five-and-a-half!

He asked if he could make brownies and I said yes.  He grabbed the box from the pantry, cracked the eggs, added the butter, mixed it, and poured it into the pan.  After baking it, I commented about how crazy tall the brownies were.  He goes, "Yeah, Mom.  That's because it's a chocolate cake!"

Apparently he wanted cake to celebrate his half birthday! :)

At 5.5, Collin is truly an incredible kid.  He is smart and creative, loving and tender-hearted, hilarious and entertaining, hard-working, determined, and just plain interesting.

Collin has been reading for about 7 months now, and his vocabulary and knowledge base have grown tremendously because of his interest in and commitment to reading.  He is so curious and soaks up information like a sponge.  Science topics are Collin's favorite to read about - animals, space, the human body, etc - and he has skill enough to read any book he finds.  He also loves books that make him laugh, so Elephant and Piggie are quite popular around here.

Since birth, Collin has always been a little man:  serious facial expressions and personality, little man hairstyle due to his cowlicks, and gestures that make you think of an adult.  His "little man" persona continues, and it's so entertaining to listen (and watch) him tell stories and explain things.  Raised eyebrows, highly-intentional gestures, and fascinating inflection make him so interesting!

Collin loves to know how things work, and he loves to be a worker.  He is at an age where he's incredibly helpful - remembers where things are, understands how they work, and has good ideas for how to fix pretty much anything.  He'll spend 8 hours straight working in the garage with Daddy, most of that time just working independently on his own little projects.  He's great with tools and wants to be a plumber/electrician/contractor when he grows up.

Collin is a lover and his ability to be empathetic has grown immensely in the past few months.  He notices the people around him, their actions, and their emotions.  He works to include and impress and encourage.  He loves making people laugh, and he is a fantastic big brother.

There is no doubt God has big things planned for our sweet Collin.  "Thank you God for forgiving our sins and being the only one true God.  And know that we love you and we always will, and thank you for loving us too.  Amen."

We love you so very much, little mister!

Lauren's chores

Lauren Kate loves to be a helper, and she's to the age where her help is actually helpful.  Yes!!

Putting away silverware is a task that is helpful, keeps her busy while I accomplish another task, and - bonus - gives her great sorting practice.

She also takes responsibility for getting cups of water for herself and Collin at mealtimes.  Sometimes she has to reach in pretty far to find the just-right cups...

Lauren is also really good at hanging up her own clothes.  After she gets everything on hangers and into the closet, then she has to spread her arms wide to grab every item and squish the entire contents of her closet together into the middle.  Funny habit!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lauren Kate :: 35 months

This lovely lady is 35 months old!  Just one month until her 3rd birthday, and she is so excited for everyone to sing at her birthday party.

Supergirl is so funny and spunky!  She's shy around unfamiliar people, but when she's comfortable her personality shines.  She is bright and engaging and just super fun.

Lauren continues to be a natural mama, carrying a baby almost everywhere she goes.  She does typical things with her babies - feeding them, singing to them, rocking them, reading to them, taking them for walks, putting them to sleep.  New this month, sometimes the baby she's caring for is her "baby titter" or "baby brudder."  Also new this month is the presence of imaginary kids.  "I had 2 tids.  Tee?  Dey yittle!" (I have two kids.  See?  They're little!)

Did I mention she has personality for days?!

The hunger monster has made another appearance this month.  There are times when Lauren seems unreasonably frustrated, and the cure to helping her calm down is identifying the fact that she's hungry.  She knows to ask for snacks, but sometimes it seems she's just too hungry to concentrate.  In those moments, we call her Betty White (after the Snickers commercial when sweet Betty turns into a meanie football player because she's so hungry...).  Ha!

Lauren loves to read and sing.  This month she's been singing a lot more of the words to her favorite songs, and she really loves to hum while she's wandering and playing.  She knows a few books by heart, and it's precious to watch her reading (real words) to her babies.

"Watch me" is a super common phrase, as Lauren loves to show off her fancy tricks.  She's fast and strong, and can accomplish any feat as long as fear doesn't get in her way.  Swimming this month has become quite a bit more adventurous, with Lauren pushing away from the edge and kicking her way back.

It's been a fun month of new concepts and information for Lauren, her favorite being matching.  She gets so excited when she notices that her socks match her daddy's socks or that her plate is the same color as Collin's.  Imagine her thrill when she and our neighbor Trish were wearing the same color shirt and the same color shorts.  "Mama!  Trish me match!!"  She's attentive to details and likes things just-so.

Turn-taking is another skill Lauren is interested in this month.  Mostly it comes in the form of "your turn, my turn?" when she wants to do something independently (like stir the granola or brush her teeth) but I make her wait until I'm done.  She's really great at passing things to Collin when it's his turn.

Lauren is a sweetie little sister, very compassionate and empathetic with her brother.  She really likes to take care of him, even when he's not interested.  Lauren will follow her brother anywhere and copy anything he does.  For such an opinionated little girl, she is surprisingly compliant to go along with Collin's ideas.

Little girl, you light up our world.  Parenting you is a gift, and we are so excited to continue watching you grow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

lounge chairs

Ha!  How cute are these two little people?!

Friday, July 22, 2016

an evening at the pool

Another 90* day.  Another visit to the pool!

All of a sudden Lauren is interested in wearing a "toatie."

Collin is becoming a swimmer!

And even taught himself to do a front flip!!

(See that they're holding hands?!)

On this day, we swam really late in the afternoon, and Daddy joined us after work!

Now that's a sweet way to spend a summer evening.