Posts Tagged ‘Motherhood’

After multiple emails from you, my kind and thoughtful readers, wondering where in the heck I have been – I have finally bit the bullet and entered the blogging world again.  I’ve wanted to give you all an update for a little while now but after so long, I felt the heavy weight of thinking I had to tell you everything, which would take forever and was way too much to tackle.  So I did what many of us do when we don’t want to deal with something – I ignored it.

But, enough is enough!  Let’s start fresh!  Here is what I’ve been doing instead of click, click, clicking away at my computer:

Hanging Out at the Pool with My Little Fish

Spending Time with Cousins and Friends

Seeing If I Like to Bike (and I do)

Starting Preschool

Running Back and Forth to the Hospital While Jason Spent 6 Weeks Recovering From Surgery

There.  That’s been my life.  And it hasn’t had time for blogging or browsing or facebook or following. Hey, I love Pinterest as much as the next girl but sometimes we have to put the computer away and live life, don’t you think?  However, now that the fall chill is setting in, I’m ready to pay attention to you and to my work a little more.

That’s enough for today.  I hear an awesome 3-year-old riding his plasma car around the kitchen calling, “Mom!  Yo-de-lay-he-hoo!”

Way better than blogging.

Welcome back.

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Cole @ 10 Months

I put up the Christmas tree yesterday and a flood of memories came rushing back of what I was doing just one year ago.  I was 7 months pregnant, feeling good but different in my new body, and wondering what motherhood was going to be like.  Now, just 12 months later, I can hardly remember life without Coleman.  I find myself living my life through his eyes.  Wondering what he is seeing and thinking and caring about.  Plus, I can’t get enough of all the signs around us, like his dump truck under the tree, that say, “there’s a little one in the house.”

While last month was a time of discovering new skills, this month seems to be all about trying to refine those skills.  Cole, each day you get a little more confident and a little more independent.  You crawl easily and getting yourself from crawling to sitting and back again is a piece of cake for you.  You pull yourself up on anything and everything and are even brave enough to stand with just one hand holding on or leaning against whatever is propping you up.

You hang out with Dad and like to explore his wheelchair.  It’s the best toy we have and lucky for us, it’s always with us!  You have figured out that when you hear his chair “click” that it means he is going to move so you let go and sit yourself down on the floor.  You definitely think that getting rides with Dad is how everyone should live their lives as you kick your leg to let him know it’s time to start cruising.

Dad has taught you how to share yogurt-covered pretzels with him and you are a pro at biting off the yogurt while you leave the pretzel behind.  You two definitely work out your own systems of doing things that surprises me sometimes.  We never imagined that your Dad would be able to be as involved in your life and your care as he is and it has been an amazingly wonderful gift to watch you grow together in your relationship.  It’s clear that you make a good team.

Coleman, you have decided that being cooped up in your jumparoo isn’t as fun as crawling and climbing so we’re handing it off to your cousin Jack to play with next.  This makes it more challenging to have you hang out with Dad while his aide is getting him ready in the mornings because you want to get in his way the whole time.  You sit on the floor next to your Dad while he is getting his hair washed or on his lap while he’s brushing his teeth, not letting the aide stand in his regular spot without having to work around you.  But I’m grateful that Daddy’s aides are patient with you and let you be a part of that time with your Dad.

You still like your big wooden beads to play with and chase but what you really love to do with them is put them on your finger and crawl around.  The bead tap-tap-taps on the floor as you get from one place to the next.  You have also learned to throw – including playing your first games of catch.  Our neighbor taught you that and you laughed and laughed when you figured out how to toss things back and forth with someone.  You think that is the funniest game ever.

We’re working on eating table food more and more and with your four teeth, you are figuring out how to chew more things.  I think you get impatient with all the chewing, though and want to eat some baby food to get the meal done.

You loved being in the middle of all the action during Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Hall’s house.  All of our family was there and you crawled around watching and playing with the other kids.  That’s where you learned how to push the big trucks along the floor and Grandma even let you take a Tonka truck home with you to play with.

Just like your parents, you love all things Mac.  Your favorite toy is Mom’s iPhone.  You know how to touch the screen to make things move and we just have to watch to make sure you don’t call someone accidentally.

You love baths and squeal with excitement when I start the water going and take your clothes off.  Putting on your diaper and pjs is a totally different experience as you squirm and cry and wrestle with me.  I’m usually sweating before we’re done with that fifteen minutes of our day because you put up such a fight, you little turkey!

You have been doing all of your tricks for Grandma and Grandpa Coleman on Skype and I send them videos from my iPhone all the time so they can be a part of everything you are doing even though they live in the Dominican Republic.  They love you and miss you so much but are grateful you have your Grandma and Grandpa Hall nearby to help out.  We’re thankful that we have parents who are willing to serve the Lord even if it means sacrificing their time with their grandchildren to do it.  They are great examples to us.

Coleman, I love that this is your first Christmas and our first with a little munchkin around.  The holidays will definitely be different from now on and we can’t wait to live it up with you.

We love you with all of our hearts and feel so blessed and lucky to have you.

XOXO forever,


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Coleman has a cold.  I thought it was just teething (he officially has four new teeth that have broken through) but then came a little cough and the runny nose that is has escalated into the “eeew yuck” category.  It doesn’t alarm me.  No, I do not think he has H1N1.  But I am curious, all you parents out there, what are the best solutions for helping little ones get over a cold?

He doesn’t have a fever.  He is fairly happy most of the time.  He only coughs a couple times a day.  He’s eating OK – except that he can’t breath when he takes his bottle so that is a slower process.  Mostly it’s just that nose that is causing problems.

So, what do you do?  How do you treat the symptoms of a baby’s cold?  Maybe nothing can be done.  Teach me, friends.  This new mom is ready to learn your best tricks and secrets to treating the common cold.

Thanks, in advance!

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Last year on October 1, Stacy Julian spearheaded a Blog Blitz that focused on celebrating “the present” where we each created a mini, mini scrapbook of our present life.  I think it’s fitting that today, as she revisits this concept one year later, that our newest month of the Big Picture Scrapbooking workshop, “A Life Well Crafted” starts.  It is called “Pay Attention!” and it is all about embracing the window of time that we are living in, right now (click here to register).

I have spent the last 12 months trying to savor and soak up the moments that make up our current life.  Everything has been new to us.  Everything has been a discovery process.  And I am grateful that we have been able to experience the joy that comes from “celebrating the present” that is each new day for our little family of three.

I love my life.  It’s not perfect.  We have struggles and health issues and days where things don’t go our way.  But I still love my life and all that makes up this amazing adventure.  So, here’s to savoring the present!  A gift we give ourselves.

And instead of creating a scrapbook page about my experience, I decided to finally learn a new skill and share my current thoughts about this moment, this time, this little man, using Rhonna Farrer’s collage storyboards.  They truly were easy to create using the instructions that came with the downloads.  All I needed was Photoshop and some digital photos and I was at it in no time.

Cole, you are our present, our future and even our past.  You are the culmination of everything we love about life and so I celebrate you as you turn 8 months old this week.


Coleman, I feel like we have had a whole year packed into the last month when it comes to you.  You have grown and developed so much during September that it seems like you learn something new every other day.

Here are your top 12 firsts that have happened this month:

Cole at 8 months

#12.  rolling over both ways (thank goodness!)

#11.  sitting up on your own (mom’s personal favorite because it means new-found independence)

#10.  stage 3 foods + mashed up table food + cheerios = one happy baby

#9.   finding your toes

#8.   discovering your favorite toy: an infant toothbrush

#7.   swimming like a little fish with your face in the water

#6.   holding your own bottle

#5.   that coughing/laugh/yell thing that you do these days – you definitely like the sound of your own voice

#4.   drinking from a cup with mom’s help

#3.   your first tooth (that grandma had to come from the dominican republic to find!)

#2.   meeting uncle clint, uncle brandon and baby jack

#1.   the infamous one-armed soldier crawl that, after much hard work,  you mastered on your 8-month birthday

Cole at 8 months B

Cole, you are fun and interesting and determined to get moving.  We just can’t get enough of you, little one.

Love, Mom

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Cole at 7 Months

How is it possible?  You pray and hope for someone tiny and new to come into your life for so long and then all of the sudden they have been with you for seven months.  It doesn’t seem real yet at the same time, it is the most natural and lovely thing you have ever experienced.  Life before Cole seems thousands of years ago, just a blurry image that floats in the distant past.

Cole, you have had a crazy month.  It seems like you are learning new things daily and changing by the minute.  I keep finding myself saying things like, “Hey, how did you get over there?”  The word for August is “active” because you are a mover and shaker these days.  Here are some of the things you are doing now that you have reached the 7 month mark.


1.  You can sit up on your own but we still like to be there in case you get tired or unfocused and slowly fall to the side.  You like to sit in front of your playgym mirror and look at yourself.  Plus, you use the links and toys on the playgym to hold yourself steady.

2.  You have finally mastered rolling over both ways – thank goodness!  Now you don’t get frustrated when you are on your tummy because you can hold your head up so tall and strong and you are even able to play with a toy that way.  If you need a rest then you roll to your side and then back to your tummy.

nose to nose

3.  You can travel around the floor by scooting in a circle on your belly or pushing back with your arms.  Sometimes you just roll and roll till you are on the other side of the room.

4.  You love to stand up with a little help from someone holding your hands.  You stand straight and tall for longer and longer every day and are so proud of yourself.  We think you’ve gotten so strong because you love jumping like crazy in your jumparoo.

5.  You like to sleep on your side and as you get comfy in your bed you often end up there – still with the blanket up by your face, though.

6.  You are eating Stage 2 foods (and there are some weird combinations of food out there for you, by the way).  We think it’s so funny to watch you chew your apple sweet potatoes – what’s there to chew in pureed food?  You must be working on the grainy-ness of the applesauce.

7.  I am teaching you how to drink from a cup and you like a little water after you eat.  You understand how to put a sippy cup in your mouth but haven’t figured out how to drink from it yet.  We’ll try some more later so you are ready to give up your bottle by the time you are 1 year old – just like the doctor told us you should.

8.  You are sleeping through the night like a champ.  You travel around your crib until we don’t know which position we will find you in when you wake up.  But for some reason you yell like mad when I put your PJs on.  What’s up with that?

red birdie

9.  You still wake up happy and like to watch your mobile for a while before getting up in the morning.  Your red birdie is still your favorite, too but you also like to play with your soft book that crinkles, measuring cups and grosgrain ribbon.  And you think it’s hilarious when we touch noses.

10.  You are growing out of your bathtub but you like stretching out and putting your feet up on the end like a lounge lizard kickin’ back.  Bathtime lasts about 20 minutes these days.

11.  You have discovered Dad’s controller on his wheelchair and the elevator button – both off-limits to your little hands!

12.  Your favorite sound is a high-pitched “ahhh….” that goes too high for any of us to mimic.  You have also started saying “da, da, da, da” and Dad hopes that is a sign of what your first word will be.

13.  We think you look different because you are getting so strong.  Being able to sit up makes you not look so squished down and we think we can even see your neck somewhere under those cheeks!

14.  You like to play with wooden spoons so I keep them by your high chair to play with after you eat.  You are a serious rock star as you bang them on the tray and the counter next to you.  You’ll give Dad a run for his money on Rock Band.


15.  I call Grandma and Grandpa Coleman all the time on Skype so they can see you do all of your tricks even while they are across the world.  That way they don’t have to miss anything.  I think they see you more this way than when they live nearby.  Skype is our friend.

16.  You have always been a calm and happy baby but you are moving and grooving so much these days as you figure out how to get where you want to go.  We hear you grunt as you make your way around the room.

Aunt Kendra

17.  We love your belly laugh and your high pitched squeal laugh and even your courtesy giggle that you give us sometimes to make us feel good about ourselves.  But when we pull out the camera or Flip you just stare at them in fascination.  I have to come out from behind the camera and just click the button, or use my zoom lens to sneak up on you instead.

18.  And speaking of your ability to focus, our 9-year-old neighbor, Brytin thinks that you would win a talent contest for staring.   You definitely dominate in any stare-down.

19.  Your eyelashes still curl all the way up to your eyebrows and your eyes are chocolatey brown – so much darker than mine.  Where do you get those?

brown eyes

20.  Cole, you are the love of our lives.  Even when it’s a work day and you are at the babysitter’s we want to visit you because we miss having you around.  We wonder what you will look like when you grow up, what you will think about and what choices you will make.  We are beginning to understand how a parent can give up their whole lives for their child – we would do that for you.

We love you,


PS – See what his dad says about the little guy here.

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At six months old…


1.  You are eating 2-3 Stage 1 baby foods for each meal and still have a few bottles a day as well.  You open your mouth for each bite and swallow like a pro except when you’re showing us your champion spitting skills.

2.  You have mastered rolling from your back to your belly, making your arms stronger and stronger, but you get frustrated and bury your face in the floor because you can’t remember how to roll back.  You sometimes roll over in your bed and that makes you mad.

small paul

3.  Your changing table has become a wrestling mat as you dig in your heels and scoot yourself up, twisting and turning and grunting along the way.

4.  You kick and squeal various pitched “ahhs” and love your bath, splashing half the water out before it’s all over.

5.  You are weighing in at 20 lbs 12 oz and are 28″ long.  That puts you in the 95% for both height and weight.  That’s almost 21 lbs of rolls to squeeze and kiss and tickle.

6.  Mom loves the $20 umbrella stroller from Target because it folds up so small in the car.  You eat in it right now and that works great, but mostly she loves it because you like to hang out in it and watch the world.

7.  You still love your little red birdie from your play gym so Mom totes it around with us since it makes you happy.

8.  You had a diaper rash and Aunt Janet taught us that cornstarch was the solution – she was right!

9.  You sleep through almost every night and take great naps during the day.  Mom had to buy a few more of your favorite flannel receiving blankets because you love to snuggle with them and feel them on your face when you sleep.

10.  Your Grandma and Grandpa left a few days ago for a work assignment to live in the Dominican Republic and it will be so sad to have them gone.  We’ll be counting the days till they come back to visit the end of September.  You love both of your Grandmas and Grandpas and they spoil you rotten!



11. You have learned how to click your tongue and you think it’s so funny when other people do it with you.

12.  You loved the family reunion with all of the Englands.  They all love babies so you had lots of friends to play with you and hold you and make you laugh.

13.  You grow out of your pajamas so quickly that Mom can’t keep up with you.  You wear size 3 diapers and Mom loves to dress you in rompers because they are comfortable and easy.

14.  You are good at just sitting on Dad’s lap without squirming and fussing.  You and Dad have also figured out how he can hold you so you are up by his face.  He loves it when you pat his cheeks and put your arm around his neck.

15.  You like to stand up while someone holds your hands and you get such a triumphant look on your face.  Then you get tired and plop back down on your bum.

16.  You like to grab your feet when you play.  When you do, Dad rolls you over and you look like a potato bug.

17.  You are fascinated by Mom’s computer and you will sit on her lap for a long time as she works.


18.  Your play gym is history – too much rolling around for you.  Your bumbo is being borrowed by baby Claire since you are already getting too chunky for it.  Your bouncer is a thing of the past.  We’ll stick with the jumparoo for now and Mom finally broke down and bought a high chair.

19.  We are all excitedly waiting for Uncle Nate and Aunt Saige to adopt their new little baby in just a couple of weeks.  You will have a Hall cousin right here in Utah!

20.  You are loved beyond measure.  Your Mom and Dad can’t believe the miracle you are and can’t even remember life without you.  You are Mom’s “Munchkin” and Dad’s “Buddy” and are changing right before our eyes.  We love our little family.


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Cole at 5 months

You have learned to spit – three different ways.

You are teething and we’re waiting to see those little white lines show the physical evidence that your gummy smile that Mommy loves is a thing of the past.

You have started learning to eat solid foods.  Peas are not your favorite, neither are green beans but Mom feeds them to you anyway.  You love squash and sweet potatoes so far.  Mommy and you are both learning how to do it together.

You are trying to roll over from your back to your front.  You arch your back and push off of one leg.  You especially like to try while on your changing table and in the tub – yikes!  You might learn how to do it this week when you stay with Grandma Judy while Mommy and Daddy are at EFY.

We call you “The Growler” as you chew on your burp cloths and growl fiercely.  You are also making lots of squeaks and grunts and squeals of delight.  But our favorite is your low laugh that we coax out of you.  I love the empowerment that comes from finding your own voice.


You love your jumparoo.  You sometimes bounce, bounce, bounce for an hour. Mommy wants you to love independent play so she lets you do things alone a lot but you like it best when someone keeps you company by being nearby or talking to you while you play.

You fall asleep in the car as soon as we are out of the cul-de-sac so we have to plan that into our schedule when we are going places.

You weighed almost 19 pounds when we visited the doctor – you’re in the 95% for height and weight.  Everyone thinks you are older because you are so chunky.  We love your chubbiness – and those cheeks of yours!

Mommy has been teaching you to just fall asleep when it’s naptime.  We just put you in your crib, cover you with your blanket and you play for just a couple of minutes before falling asleep.  It doesn’t always work but it works a lot of the time.  You like your blanket up by your face – even when you were a newborn you liked that.


You have started sleeping through the night.  You go to bed at about 7:30 but you like to get up around 6 or 6:30 in the morning.  You are an early riser and I’m glad about that.  Even though Mommy is a night owl, I think that it’s better to want to get up in the morning so I’m glad you do.  You don’t like to eat a lot for breakfast, though.

You are holding up your head so well and getting stronger all the time.  Daddy can hold you in so many ways and you just roll with it when things don’t go like he plans.  You like to sit on his lap and ride around.  You’ll have lots of chances for rides in your life but Mommy still won’t let Daddy take you in our elevator in case you both get stuck.  You have to wait till you are bigger for that.

You like to watch your friends the giraffe and monkey and ostrich on your mobile in the mornings.

You spend a lot of time at our neighbor Nikki’s house.  She is a great babysitter and Mommy likes that you get to hang out with other kids so that you get used to more noise and action.  We are so lucky to have Nikki just right next door so Mom can send you over there if she needs to work at home or run errands.  Mommy feels really blessed to have Nikki and to know that she takes such good care of you.


You love to take baths.  You have always liked the water – even on your face.  You love it when Mommy scrubs your belly and under your chin then you suck on the washcloth and kick and play until the water turns cool.

You like getting dressed and undressed.  You think it’s so funny when Mom puts things over your head and under your chin.  You must be ticklish there.

Every day Daddy tells you three things: Daddy loves you, Heavenly Father loves you and you are a good boy.  If you always remember those things then you can never go wrong.

You are so happy.  We can’t imagine anyone luckier than we are to have such a perfect little boy.  Even when you are grumpy we can usually get a smile out of you.  When you were in Mommy’s tummy I prayed that you would be happy.  You can do anything in life if you are happy.  That’s exactly what we got in you.

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