On February 27th, Ania was officially five months old. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. Ania is a wonderful baby. She is happy to follow her brother around to parks and play dates, falls asleep easily in her car seat, and loves her bath! She is quite the tiny swimmer. She can sit up pretty well now and enjoys playing with her toys. She is drooling like a bulldog and chewing everything in site so I think she will be getting her first teeth by six months. She smiles and laughs all the time and loves to watch William play.
It's amazing to me to see the differences and similarities between William and Ania. Though she actually outweighs William when he was this age, they are definitely siblings! Looks at those cheeks, lack of hair, big eyes and little chins!
Today was a beautiful day so we spent the whole afternoon outside!
There was a lot of running, jumping and playing with our friend, C. And William and C had the most fun digging in the dirt. After making a respectable sized hole, they filled up plastic baggies with dirt which they insisted was popcorn for the movie they were going to pretend to watch. Guess who now has two bags full of dirt in her car?
And what did Ania do during this three hour playdate?
Last night Taylor and I ditched the kids and went to William's school's charity silent auction. While we didn't win anything, we did have a good time. We had a chance to talk to William's teacher too which was nice. For me there is always a moment of awkwardness approaching her. Other than Taylor and I, she spends the most time with William but we aren't friends. I don't hang out with her, I don't know a lot about her life etc. So really we only have William in common and I never know what to say to her exactly. Obviously I want to hear about William in school but I also want to be polite and not bombard her with questions about my son. Anyway, the awkwardness wore off pretty quickly. We had a great conversation (about William) and I learned that he's doing advanced work in math. We already knew that he could count beyond 100. (Though he forgets 13, 14, and 15 EVERY TIME he counts, but he remembers 113, 114, and 115. Weird, right?) Apparently she has introduced William to some of the older kid's math lessons at the school. That was nice to hear. He also hasn't broken anything in a quite a while! Also good to hear. Montessori does things a little bit differently than other schools. At William's age they focus on lessons that teach children how to focus and complete assignments so that when they are four and five they pick up reading and math quickly because they have learned how to learn. This means that William also spends a lot of time in the school cleaning the school. He washes and hangs towels, cleans the tables etc. Each chore has a specific way it's supposed to be done. We haven't been in his classroom since the fall so we are looking forward to Night School next week where we will get a chance to see what he's been working on!
We had a great long weekend! It's always great when Taylor is home three days. Though I think he's looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow. It's more relaxing than being at home! Saturday we went out for brunch and to run errands. We ended up at Barnes and Noble and I managed to leave with only three new books for William. It was tough, though. Books are my biggest weakness.
We've been lax with William's bedtime for a while. He begs us each night to sleep with him and every night we give in. (Or rather, Taylor does because he is in charge of bedtime.) With two kids, I decided that had to stop so we've resorted to the only method that worked for potty training-bribery. William earned two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for going to bed on his own last night. It was pretty cute because he would only let me leave if I let him read in his bed as he feel asleep. I remember staying up super late reading in bed as a kid. I had all sorts of ways to trying to hide this from my parents, including blocking the crack under my door so they couldn't see that my light was still on!! Anyway, it's fun to see William enjoy reading so much.
Sunday we decided that the mountain of clean laundry actually needed to be put away and the upstairs needed to be cleaned. Since it takes three times as long to do anything with all the help we get from William, Taylor decided to take BOTH kids to the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. For the past couple of weeks he's been reading William a National Geographic book about Space. They read a chapter a night so William was pretty excited to go see a space ship. They all had a great time. William came back and told me all about the silver airplane that dropped a bomb on Japan and took out a whole city and ended the war. (I guess this qualifies as a history lesson but he seemed a little too excited about it.) I managed to make a big dent in the mess that is our upstairs. All together a good day.
Monday we took the kids to the local roller rink. Every Monday morning they have a tot morning and allow the kids to bring scooters and bikes. A couple of kids from William's school went too and they had a blast scootering around the place. Each holiday Monday has a different theme and this week was pj day with a puppet show. After two hours of scootering, we headed out to lunch with some friends, errands and a hair cut for William. As Taylor tucked William in, I played downstairs with Ania. My baby girl has been sitting up for 30 seconds at a time for a week or so, but tonight she sat up and played with toys for several minutes! She even caught herself as she started to tip over. She's almost five months and getting so big.
I am going to try to update this more often because I am not doing a great job keeping track of Ania's milestones! She is 4.5 months already. At her three month appointment she weighed in at at 15 lbs 7 oz and 24 1/4 inches long. Not bad for a baby who was 2 weeks early, 6lbs 9oz and only 18 inches long. I think she's surpassed her brother in size when he was this age. You should see her thighs. Someday she'll kill me for saying this but they are huge!! Some of her 6month clothes won't fit over them. (Though some of that is also due to the fact we are cloth diapering her.)
Ania is a great kid. She's very happy to do whatever her big brother wants during the day and as a result spends a lot of time at the playground. She'll happily fit in a nap whenever she can! By 5pm she's a bit cranky (sorry, Daddy!) but for most of the day she's a happy little girl. She loves her jumperoo and can spend an hour just jumping around. Just like William at this age, she is spitting up a storm and is quite the little talker/screamer. Happy screams though. She's reaching and playing with toys, grabbing her toes, chewing on and wringing her hands. She laughs when you tickle her and smiles all the time.She's also doing great at sleeping. I am truly lucky that my kids have generally been good sleepers!
William is also doing well. He's just over 3.5 years old and is still a bundle of energy. He loves his school, Christian Family Montessori, and his friends. It amazes me to see what he learns all the time. Last week, Taylor and William read a chapter each night in a book about the solar system and William now spouts off knowledge about the planets. He loves to swim, play sports, go to the playground and "wrestle" (really tackle his friends to the ground). He's stubborn as hell, but he's also incredibly sweet. We are really lucky that he loves being a big brother and we haven't had any jealousy issues with him and Ania. I am sure once she tries to take his toys we might have an issue, but right now William is so gentle and loving with her. He asks me to have five more babies every day. (Not going to happen! That would be 7 kids!) He always wants to hold her. William's teachers think it's hilarious that he only refers to Ania as baby Ania. They also think it's funny that he calls Taylor, Taylor about half the time. At least he still refers to me as Mom, Mom-Mom, or Mommy.
On Thursday, September 27th, Ania Cole was born at 12:44pm! She was two weeks and two days early but a healthy 6lbs 9oz and 18 inches long. A bit smaller than her little brother was when he was born. Taylor and I were completely unprepared for her birth though. We planned to use the weekend to finish cleaning the house, getting down the baby stuff, etc. but at my routine OB appointment on Wednesday we found that I was leaking fluid. We had to go to the hospital and induce that afternoon. Luckily we have a great group of friends who cared for William so Taylor and I were able to go fairly quickly. Ania was not excited about being born and it took a LONG time to start labor. In the meantime, we napped, watched TV, and hung out. The only part that was tough for me was the fact I wasn't allowed to eat. I was starving! Finally on Thursday things began to happen and from the start of real contractions to her birth it actually went fairly quickly.
Ania is totally gorgeous! She is a pretty happy, sleepy baby and we love having her in our family. William is a fantastic big brother and loves holding and cuddling with her!
Life got a way from me and it's been over 6 months since I've updated the blog! I couldn't possibly write about everything that has happened but I can give highlights.
In June, William turned 2! He's such an active, fun, enthusiastic, independent little boy. Two years old is a totally new game for us. Our sweet and empathetic little guy still has those qualities but his stubborn streak is becoming more and more evident. He's definitely pushing those parental boundaries and having the occasional toddler tantrum. Sometimes just before he does something he knows he's not supposed to he turns to me with a devilish smile on this face, a smile that says, "Mommy, hehehehe, you are going to hate this!" Then he giggles like crazy. I wouldn't change anything though. He's so much fun and he's so adorable.
When he's not getting in trouble, William is still very sweet and empathetic. One afternoon he went for pizza with Taylor. As they were walking to the restaurant a woman in front of them tripped on the sidewalk and fell. William was the first person to her, asking if she was "Otay?" When she got up, William opened the door to the restaurant for her.
In September William started school. It's three mornings a week. There's one permanent teacher and two parents stay each session. The first week William loved it! The second and third week he got upset when I left (though I was assured it was short lived and soon after I left he calmed down.) I think he was swayed by the power of suggestion because I caught him watching his schoolmates start crying and he looked confused like it never occurred to him to be upset until that moment! Luckily that was short lived and he's been happy ever since! William has made great new friends at school including Grant and Tyler who are always happy to join him in each adventure. The other day us Moms took the three boys to the park. Under one of the swings was a large muddy puddle. For about half an hour the boys dutifully ignored the puddle. After that we caught them standing on the edge of the puddle. Simultaneously they looked back at us, grinned and jumped in. We just laughed and let them play. But by the time we left we had some very dirty little boys! William is also thrilled that his friend Lucy is in his class this year. He always has something he wants to show or share with her!
We've sort of started potty training. I think that William would catch on to this right away if I didn't keep sabotaging his efforts but he's really good about using the toilet when we offer it to him. We'll go pants-less for a week after finals to finish the process.
Everyday William learns something new which makes me laugh. He sings the alphabet, counts to 20 (with a little help on 11 and 12), will learn a new song the first time he hears it, can climb anything, runs super fast, has amazing hand-eye coordination and says things that just crack me up. His newest phrase is, "Come on, Mommy." As in, "No William, you can't have M and Ms right now." and "Please, Mommy! Oh, Come on Mommy." He also can't seem to understand that when we say no, we mean it. Yesterday I told him no more cupcakes at the Halloween party and he said to me, "But I want one!" But I want... quickly became his new favorite thing to say. I'm not sure how I feel about that one.
This fall I am touring schools for William and I really think it's more time consuming than choosing a college was! There are some amazing programs and we'll see which one we ultimately send him to.
There are updated photos under the photo album (which we update more often than the blog!)
I can't believe it's been 3 months since I've updated the blog. School has been very busy! We just got back from an amazing trip to St. Thomas. William was in heaven having the beach just out his door. I couldn't believe my almost two year old was paddling around in the water completely fearlessly. He'd blow bubbles, jump off the raft into the water, swim around all on his own (with swimmies!) etc. He loves to make sand castles and jump in to sand holes. He collected and threw rocks into the water. His first words every morning were, "Hi, Mommy. BEACH!" It's been quite an adjustment to be back home and have to explain to him every day that we can't go to the beach right now. I don't have time to put pictures into this blog post, but every picture is under the Photo Album/Trips/St. Thomas. Enjoy!
There are new pictures under the photo album! I'll try to post about them soon. In the meantime, William had his 18 month appointment last week. He's 26 lbs 9 ounces and 33 1/4 inches tall. That puts him in the 75% for height and the 50% for weight!
December has been an exciting month that flew by! The most exciting time was Christmas with William. He's such a goofy baby who loves to make people laugh! I can't believe he's 18 months old. He has lots of words, knows his tummy, eyes, ears, month, nose, cheeks, belly button, hands, feet, fingers, toes, knees etc. He's learning his colors and can point to a couple of letters! He can climb anything (and he will!), he runs super fast and has more facial expressions than any child I know.
Anyway, for Christmas this year I decided that since William was going to be getting lots of presents from Grandparents that we would mostly buy presents for a 1 year old boy on the JcPenny angel tree. But we did get William one big present-a new kitchen! Because we spend Christmas on Cape Cod, we gave it to William a few weeks early.
The day after finals were over we packed up the car and headed up to Boston. William loved watching Sesame Street on the way up (Thanks again Grandpa Edward!!) We spent a lovely week on the Cape and in Boston before Christmas. We watched the snow, we went to an indoor playground and we went to the aquarium.
William loved the fish at the aquarium but he loved the circular ramp that goes up three flights even more. He ran down the ramp so quickly that he couldn't stop at the bottom!!
On Christmas Eve Eve we bundled up and went to Edaville. Edaville is an old fashioned children's amusement park. During December they put up over 7 million lights, have a three mile train ride to see them and invite Santa to come. It was below freezing when we went and I think William was the only one of us remotely warm in his snow pants, coat and boots so we skipped the rides. Brrr.. But we did take the train ride which William loved. He kept pointing to all the lights and saying "lights!" Then we went to meet Santa. By this time it was getting late and he was pretty tired so I wasn't really surprised when he decided he didn't really want to meet Santa this year. We didn't push it. We'll try again next year.
William spent the next two days playing with his Uncle Pat. He loves playing with Uncle Pat who doesn't mind running all over the house with him! On Christmas Eve we had a lovely dinner and William, thankfully, went right to bed while the rest of us spent hours (HOURS) wrapping presents. It was worth it the next morning though when William saw the presents for the first time! He was so excited and wanted to jump right in. So he did!
He quickly grasped concept of opening presents and was ripping off paper. The first present he opened was a basketball hoop. He was so excited by the picture on the box that we had trouble getting him to concentrate on the rest of the presents! After finishing opening all the presents Uncle Pat put it together for him. William spent the next couple of hours playing basketball!
We then packed up and went to my Grandmother's house. There was lots of good food and plenty of stairs for William to run up and down. Everyone thought William was adorable but Taylor and I were exhausted from chasing him by the end of the day!
Taylor was supposed to fly home the next day but he got snowed in! So we had him for another day which was wonderful. And I think that catches us up to now. William, Delilah (who also had a wonderful Christmas and got lots of treats!) and I are still on the Cape. We are staying until Monday when we'll drive home.
Taylor has all the pictures so I'll post them when I can!
Yes, it is finals season again and that means my already sporadic updates are going to become even more sporadic. We do have new photos of William under the photo album section of the website so please feel free to go browse there. Accompanying stories will come soon.
I don't have time to go sort through photos and pull the best onto the blog today but I do feel the need to document William's development as he nears his 18th month of life.
William is the sweetest, most lovable little guy I hope to ever meet. He may also be the most active! He loves to run, climb, and play ball. He has fantastic coordination and can kick a soccer ball and can use the little hockey stick he inherited from one of the Chesnik boys to knock the ball across the room. He loves to read everything and anything. Ten to twelve times a day he is in my lap with a book, especially "Tickle Monster."
He is becoming very free with his affections and gives kisses and hugs throughout the day. (He used to save kisses and hugs for Delilah, his blankies and his friends but now he's finally branched out to his parents.)
He is developing an active imagination! He loves to "cook" in his own pot and pan while I make dinner and he frequently runs over to give me and Taylor and Delilah a "taste." He colors with crayons and we think he tells us great stories but since half of the story isn't in English it's hard for us to tell.
He says so many words now and his vocabulary grows daily. His favorite words are bus, ball, bubble, Delilah, hot, up, and bye. He is beginning to understand the alphabet and inserts his favorite letter, D in the appropriate place in the song. He can recognize his name and when we spell it out for him he follows the letters.
William loves helping and demonstrates this by vacuuming and moping the floors. He always helps me cook and bake. And of course, he helps with the dishwasher too.
He loves animals and can replicate most of their sounds especially the sheep and the snake. I took him to see horses though and despite my repeating over and over again that horses say "Neigh," he insisted they say, "BAH!" It's pretty funny because Taylor and I have tried to teach him that Dogs say "Arf" but William makes a sound that is a dead ringer for Delilah's "yap." In fact, when he was doing it once a friend asked me why my dog was barking!
William loves his Daddy and will happily tell you. When you ask him, "Who do you love, William?" He responds, "Dadda!" He and Taylor love to go on male bonding excursions to the park and out to lunch on the weekends. (Especially now that I have finals to study for.)
He also loves his trucks and can spend a lot of time collecting them together and playing with them.
Phew, that's it for now! Of course I could go on about William forever but those are some of the little things I don't want to forget as my baby grows up.
Happy Belated Halloween! Last night was William's first time Trick or Treating (or as William refers to it Te Trea-ing) Taylor and I bundled William up in his adorable Elmo costume and Taylor took him around the neighborhood. There are TONS of kids in our neighborhood so I stayed home to make sure we didn't miss any trick or treaters.
Taylor said that William was a little bemused by some of the decorations. However, he wasn't shy about taking candy. In fact he sometimes tried for several pieces! He's so cute that everyone was okay with it. In addition to lots of chocolate he scored some goldfish and pretzels so we have some good snacks later this week!
It astonished me how quickly he understood that the point of Halloween was to charm people into giving you candy. When he got home with a full bucket of candy, I put it out of his reach and figured that William wouldn't really understand what was in there. Oh was I wrong! Minutes after we took off his costume he was pointing a the bucket and then at himself. I made the rookie Mom mistake of letting him choose a piece of candy which meant he grabbed a handful. After careful negotiations we settled on a small kit kat to share.
Rookie Mom mistake number 2 was not hiding that bucket when he went to bed last night.
Breakfast this morning was a piece of a peanut butter cup.
At William's 15 month doctor appointment I asked the doctor for recommendations for discipline. I was under the impression that William was too young for time out and wouldn't understand the concept. After watching William for a couple of minutes, the doctor started laughing. "Oh, he understands everything that's going on," She said, "And he knows exactly how to get around the rules you are setting down! What an adorable handful." Well, yes, he is, thank you.
So now, in the interest of public safety, we have instituted time out on the steps. There are only three things so far that can get William his 30-60 second time out. One is playing with the tv equiptment (no, it won't kill him but it's freaking annoying), two is climbing on top of the kitchen table and trying to swing from the chandelier (that may actually kill him, and also might cause me to have a heart attack) and three is touching the stove (which he knows is "ot" and causes "ouch" so he's pretty good about not doing it).
It's working out pretty well. I think I only gave him time out for climbing on the table 4 times today...
This past weekend my parents came to visit us! On Monday we went to Annapolis and walked around the Naval Academy. William had a ball! There was lots of room to run around. Since he refuses to hold our hand when walking (Mr. Independent) it was nice that he had a chance to walk around somewhere safe on his own. He also had fun running around their track and trying to keep up with the other runners!
How did my little boy get to be 15 months old?!? He changes every day. William is an adorable, enthusiastic bundle of energy. He weighs 24 lbs 8 ounces (50th %) and is 32 inches long (75th %). He knows the sounds most animals make. He can point to his ears, tummy, toes, head, and everyone's nose to name a few body parts. He loves to make us all laugh with silly expressions. He thinks putting a spoon horizontally in his mouth and then nodding up and down is hilarious. He can say many words but his favorite is still hi. He loves to jump and run. He loves to dance to music. He understands most everything I say to him and can follow several step commands. (Ex. William, go pick up your toy, bring it here and put it in the bucket...) He knows his written name! He loves to drink milk and he has a huge sweet tooth. He prefers to do things himself without my help. He loves Sesames Street and the alphabet. He's sweet, loving, funny, energetic and we are so proud of him!
William has his own chair with his name embroidered on the back. A couple of weeks ago, I showed him his name and spelled it out for him. He thought that was hilarious! Now whenever Taylor and I say, "William. W...I...L..L..I..A..M," he runs over to the chair and points to his name! He's very pleased with himself. Sometimes when I ask him where the "I" is he points to the two Is in his name too. So Smart!
Yesterday afternoon our beloved dog, Sampson, passed away. He had mitrial valve heart disease and was unable to breathe without oxygen. Taylor and I were able to be with him when he passed. Even Delilah was able to say good-bye earlier in the day.
Sampson was a wonderful dog and friend. He was dignified, loving and playful. We miss him terribly.
Goose egg?! Sorry for another pictureless post. The pictures of my rapidly growing baby are coming. But, for the sake of preserving all of William's firsts, I need to document his first goose egg. Yes, that is right. Today he fell (jumped? flew?) off the sofa, hit his head on the window sill and got a GIANT bump and bruise on his forehead. He's fine. A few minutes of tears and several more minutes battling me as I tried to apply frozen corn and he was done with the whole incident. In fact, Taylor took him out to lunch at the Firehouse restaurant (complete with real fire engine) and to the fountains to run around so he had a pretty good afternoon!
We forgot our camera the past two days, but we are having a great time on Cape Cod! Yesterday it was quite hot so we took William down to the neighborhood beach for a swim. It's the perfect little beach for a toddler. He had a blast in the water and especially loved drinking it. (yum, salt water!) I bought him new swimmies and he loved being able to swim all by himself! We are still working on blowing bubbles, Grandpa Edward! I think he'll get it soon. Mom and I tried to show him how to make sand castles but he wasn't interested. However, when another little 5 year old girl showed up and started playing the sand, William quickly followed her lead and helped her fill the bucket up! Isn't he supposed to prefer playing with me then the cute, blond girl for at least a couple more years?!? William is also loving the golf cart. He didn't know quite what to think the first couple of rides, but the third time he tried to drive it himself. I predict that he'll be taking it for a spin on his own by the end of the week. Today we visited my Aunt Cindy and cousin Kaylee. Just a couple of weeks apart, William and Kaylee played well together! After playing for a while, we decided to check out a new playground that was just William's size. He had a blast running up and down the ramps, going down the slide and climbing up the stairs. Phew, after reading this no wonder I am tired!
Taylor's work gave everyone free tickets to King's Dominion so we drove down yesterday for a day of fun! I admit I was skeptical that William was old enough to enjoy it but I shouldn't have underestimated his independence. He loved it!
There weren't very many rides that he and Taylor and I could go on so he ended up going on a couple by himself. I was a little nervous about this but he had a ball! The last ride though, the airplane, almost put him to sleep!
Here he is on his first ride!
After going on rides we grabbed some lunch. After lunch William fell asleep in his stroller which gave Taylor enough time to ride the Intimidator. William woke up when Taylor returned (thankfully alive-we heard that a lot of people pass out on the ride) and we headed over to the water park. William had fun running through all the spray and rain attractions. Then Taylor took him into the toddler pool which he also loved!
Six hours after we got there we packed up and headed home with a quick pit stop at Cracker Barrel (I've only been there once and wanted to see what the hype is) for dinner. We had a great day!
I promise I do have new pictures of William! In fact, they are already posted under the photo section of the web page. There you can see William at the Children's museum which will be my next post. But, because it's hot and I am lazy, today is pictureless post.
William is growing up so fast! (I say that a lot, don't I?) He's talking...mama, dada, bubble, yeah and many other words in what I think is Swahili. (Bilingual?!?!) Anyway, I recently move around things in the pantry and his squeeze purees of fruit ended up on the second shelf. I put them there because they are an item that if he was able to get on his own, wouldn't spill, shatter, or hurt him if it fell. I didn't anticipate that William would love the new freedom to chose his own snack. But he does! Now when he's hungry he runs to the pantry and chooses a squeezie. Then he brings it over to me to open. I'd put his goldfish (aka Baby Crack) and Smileys down there too but I am afraid the dogs will eat them. (William used to think the dog's eating his food was funny, now it's only funny if he's not trying to eat the food too!) He's becoming so independent!
Though I have long called William "monkey", now that he is climbing everywhere the name is even more appropriate. We lost the final safe places-the table and countertops-this week when he learned how to push a footstool to the counter and climb up. Likewise, the dining room chairs and table. Now whenever I turn my back I return to find him on the back of the sofa or the arms of a chair. He particularly likes climbing up to stand on the back of his riding toys!
He also seems to have learned how to take off his diaper. Thankfully, he's only done it a couple of times and each time the diaper was dry. Today I ran upstairs to grab a clean T-shirt for him. When I came back down his diaper was off and he had his blankie over his head. Arms outstretched he was making his way around the room laughing. Even tripping over a few toys didn't deter him! He repeated the game for Taylor later in the evening. I think it's one of the few times I've actually heard Taylor chuckle.
On Saturday, Susan threw William a wonderful pool party for his birthday! We had a great time seeing the family, swimming in the pool and eating the great food!
Erin brought her bouncy castle. Unfortunately William still doesn't like it. But he gave it a try!
He loved swimming with everyone though! All the babies and their Dads! Kids in the pool!! Chilling on a float. Almost blowing bubbles!!
William and Landon in the playpen where they stayed for, oh, about two seconds! The delicious and adorable dinosaur cake Grandma Susan made!! Family And action shots of William eating the cake. He was not impressed with the three rounds of the birthday song, but he did laugh and clap for everyone after every bite of cake!
Last Thursday, (yes, I am really behind in updating the blog!), we took William to visit his cousins Scarlett, Landon and Brielle and Erin and Jess and Great-Aunt Christine at the Shore Club. When we got to the beach, William ran right in the water and we had trouble getting him out to take pictures! All the kids!
Right before William made a break for it! He's thinking about running! Look how cute Brielle is! She didn't like the sand on her hands, but both William and Landon loved it!
Back to the water! After the beach, we had a great lunch and then took William to the toddler pool. He swam around with Brielle for a while before they both needed naps! Then Christine made us a great dinner and William played with Scarlett and Landon some more! Plus, we got to see James and Tommy too!
How cute is this? William is two years younger (but not much smaller!) than Scarlett and he's pushing her!