Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This is how many of the photos of our kids turn out. I ask Abbi to get slightly closer to Cole so I can take a picture, and things like this inevitably happen. You can see that even though he's being pummeled by Abbi's hug, he's still smiling. And what I like is that you can see a snapshot of what the kids are actually like together.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Now that a new "school year" has started up, Abbi has gotten back into the swing of things that is the fall. Abbi started this fall in a new dance class that is an hour long. Its 30 minutes of ballet, and then 30 minutes of tap. She really seems to like both, she hasn't really indicated if she likes one over the other yet.

One nice aspect of the class, is that its teaching Abbi some independence. Because the class teaches two different skills over the course of the hour, the girls need to switch out their footwear independently. So its definitely taught Abbi to be much more confident on her own, and helps with learning left and right shoes.

At home she is way into crafts and coloring. There have been many times where she will sit at the dining room table and color or paint for over an hour. And honestly, sometimes she makes some really cool things. She's past the point of just randomly adding color to a page. She's actually creating something artistic and I'm really proud of her. Also, with Jenn being home with her, they have been working together to create various crafts that they think about putting together.

As her dad, something I thought a lot about this month was the fact that less than a year from now, my little girl is going to start school. I can't believe how quickly time has gone by, and with something like the start of a new school year, its easy to measure just how much time has gone by. The time really does go incredibly fast.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

I definitely find it harder to write about Abbi on a month by month basis as she has gotten older. With Cole there are still so many little things that you see changing every day, but with Abbi the changes are so much more gradual and happen over longer periods of time than just a single month. That said, for this next year I still plan to write about Abbi each month.

This past month had us out on another family beach vacation, and I think Abbi did pretty well this year with vacation. I remember writing back after our Disney World trip that she was very bossy and showed a lot of behavior problems we hadn't been seeing at home. That wasn't the case on our OC trip. She was her normal self, and that might have been because of our friends presence (her best friend Audrey) and her familiarity with the trailer. We spent the bulk of the week vacationing with great friends of ours, and it really seemed like Abbi enjoyed all the time that she got to spend with Audrey, in what has clearly become family tradition.

In association with her birthday, or thereabouts Abbi got a new playhouse and swingset. She absolutely loves it. LOVES IT. There isn't a time that I go outside, that she doesn't ask me if I'll push her on the swing. She likes playing with her friends up in the playhouse as well, but for now, the swing portion seems to be the biggest hit.

Developmentally something we've noticed about Abbi is that she is very aware of numbers. Numbers in real life and doing simple math. She sees things and can add them up, basic math like 2+2 type things, and she seems to see the number patterns in things. Like a beach umbrella, divided into 6 color sections. She saw that recently and commented that there 6 triangles, 3 red, 3 white, and that together it made 6. We've commented often that she seems to have a "math type" of brain, which isn't to surprising given both my background and Jenns.

And finally, a good portion of the last month has also been spent learning to ride her new birthday bike. She goes through hot and cold spells with it, but overall seems to truly enjoy riding her bike. I hope its something she'll really get into over the next year.


Friday, August 30, 2013

My little man is a year and half old, and just like every other post, its unbelievable. What makes this milestone a little harder to swallow is that it comes with a doctor visit. Cole's checkup went very well regarding all of his health milestones. He's still a little guy, but he's growing, and working his way up into the higher percentages. No more 10th percentile for Cole!

Also at his checkup, his speech was a topic of long discussion, and as such Cole is scheduled to meet with the people from the Anne Arundel County infants and toddlers program. This program will evaluate Cole's speech, and determine where he is on the spectrum of children his age, and help determine what the best course of action is, to try and get him on track and where he is supposed to be with his speech, given his age. In short - he doesn't say enough words, and we knew this going in the appointment. What he does say is mama, hot, cup, and everything else is da. Sometimes I get a dada, but mostly just a da.

I mentioned last month that Cole was pushing out more teeth, and at this point I can now say that he's rocking a full set of baby teeth. He's been a teethy monster his whole life, he's now got a full set to show off. Which of course helps him tear through some food like a little monster.

Finally, Cole had an awesome vacation. Last year vacation for Cole was spent sleeping in various places. This year he got to experience the beach, and he seemed to love it. Anyone that knows Cole, knows he loves his sandbox, so with that in mind, you can imagine how much he loved being at the beach. I think he ate about 2lbs of sand while we were there too.

I think he enjoyed the time to be independent, but also being able to play with the girls, and adults. He seemed to have a good time digging holes with Jake and I, so I have a happy feeling that I'm helping to raise another life long beach hole digger, and I'm happy to welcome him to the team. Just like with Abbi, watching Cole grow up is an amazing thing, something I try really hard each day to keep in perspective and cherish as much as possible.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cole doesn't really seem to get any "bigger" with each passing month, he just seems to get a little bit older. He's still out little guy, and I think its going to be that way for a while. Now that summer is here he's finally steady into shorts and t-shirts, but he's still rocking some 12 months clothes.

Cole's speech hasn't changed to much, he's still sticking to the same basic words, most of which sound like "da". It really seems like 90% of what he says is some form of "da". At Cole's 18 month check up they will evaluate his speech progress and determine if we need to do anything about it for him.

Cole has been busy loving summer, still completely obsessed with being outside, and playing out there. He loves the hose, and any random toy that might be outside for him to discover.

And in a development that seems almost completely implausible, Cole appears to be growing even more teeth, working out his final front four teeth, his canines.

Cole is such a sweet little kid and seems to have such a sweet and calm persona. Now calm is relative of course, relative to him not being pissed off and upset about things only baby's find upsetting, but - he's still a pretty calm kid that we love a ton.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I can't believe Abbi is 4 years old. It truly seems like she just turned 3, and 2. It seems like just the other day she was starting to talk in multiple word groups, and now she just talks, incredibly well I will say too.

I suppose I'll stick with Abbi's speech as the first mark of the past year. She is incredibly articulate, and has a fantastic vocabulary. Jenn and I often look at each other when Abbi uses new words and I'm always amazed at how well she's able to incorporate them into her daily life. She truly is a sponge for words, and is just soaking it all up.

Jenn says that Abbi seems to have a head for numbers. She doesn't care to much about learning to recognize the alphabet, but numbers is a different thing. She gravitates towards them. She finds patterns and math in everyday life, and we of course infer she's got a "mind for math". Which I suppose is only fitting for our kid given our backgrounds.

The past year brought quite a few new social aspects to Abbi's life with her beginning a kids program at church and joining dance. She's done fantastic in both. Of course Jenn makes sure she has perfect attendance for these things, but once she's there, she does great. Abbi is a fantastic listener, and rule follower. She's not quite a taddle tale, but she'll come home and tell us about people who broke the rules, and you can clearly see that its pissed her off. Which I like. She likes people to follow the rules, and thats a good thing.

Much like last year, there has been a lot of adjustment for Abbi with Cole. Cole keeps getting bigger and bigger, and with that comes more strength. Which means he is slowly learning to fight back against Abbi. To which Jenn and I have had to become much more vigilant in watching them to make sure they don't explode at each other. But for the most part, Abbi is a very caring, loving big sister to Cole. She wants to play with him and include him in a lot of things, and I can truly see that she loves him deeply.

As for me, as her father, its been hard sometimes. As she's continued to grow, the past year has been tough with the addition of Cole. They both want Jenn. Abbi rarely accepts me as the consolation prize to wanting Jenn, which often results in tears. Abbi and I though have a very special relationship, one that I truly treasure. There are a few things that are special to us, and I love that about her and I. I think I've finally ingrained in her the idea of "bone crusher" and "butt crusher" hugs, in such a way that one day I hope they are passed on to her children.

Abbi is extremely special and smart in ways Jenn and I could have never imagined. She has such a playful personality that is extremely infections and great to have around. Just like I could imagine life with kids four years ago, I can't imagine my life without Abbi at this point either. She's just that special.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jenn's had the opportunity recently to take the kids to Six Flags America, which is close enough to call it nearby. I wasn't to sure how Cole would like it, but he's loved it both times. I'm excited to take him to the water-park in Ocean City we've decided to go to this year.