Cole's the Birthday Boy

 Sweet Cole turned one the day after Ryan and I got back from Europe.  And yes, I planned it that way.  I felt guilty enough leaving the little guy for two weeks, I was not going to miss his birthday!  The celebration was pretty low-key.  Ryan and Josh went to Wal Mart to pick out a cake mix, and Josh chose the fantastic purple frosting.  We had bought Cole a little push-popper thing before leaving for Europe, and it got played with the day of his birthday, so he had no present to open there....Grandpa Farnsworth had gotten him a couple gifts, though, and I have to say, I was a bit impressed and surprised.  He got him blocks and a little toddler-safe sword and shield.  Very fun and very age appropriate.  Good job Dad!

Cole has been such a delight.  He's very easy going.  Sometimes I forget that and he'll give me a moment of orneriness to remind me how lucky I am to have such an easy-tempered 4th child.  Here are some things I want to remember about my birthday boy:

-Cole loves to be outside.  Loves it.  When we go on walks, he's quiet and happy.  But he has started throwing fits once we come inside and close the door.  Sadly, we have a teeny, not-super-kid-friendly back yard, unlike my parents', so we're going to have to make an extra effort to get him some sun-time.

-Cole loves to wrestle and rough-house.  He does really well being picked up, tossed around, bumped, and teased by his three older brothers.  He's a tough little nugget and tends to frighten other babies a bit....heh.  They aren't usually as interested in rough housing as he is.

-Cole laughs easily.  He loves to be tickled, to play peekaboo, to be chased, and to have funny faces pulled at him.  

-Cole is a really good eater.  It didn't necessarily start out that way, but he's come to eat almost anything put in front of him.  As long as he can pick it up and feed himself, he's good.

-We used to think Cole didn't like to read.  He'd try and turn the pages or close the book anytime we'd read.  But just a few days ago, instead of reading in order, I just let him turn to whatever page he fancied, and we ended up reading for quite a while.  You'd think I'd have figured it out before now!  So, I am happy to say Cole likes to read, as long as he can be in charge of what's read.

-Cole doesn't talk a whole lot yet.  He says "Mama" and "Dada" and "Dall" (for ball) and "Da" (for dog) and maybe a few others, but that's about it!  He signs dog and ball and more.

-Cole is a climber.  He climbs the stairs, climbs on chairs and kid tables and basically anything he can step up onto.  However, it hasn't carried over to him climbing out of the crib thank goodness!  I'm hoping he's follows the trend of his brothers and doesn't learn that before age 2.  :)

 Cole, we love you so much!  We are so happy that you're in our family.  When you're daddy blessed you, he said that you'd be a peacemaker.  That is so true.  You bring such a calm, peaceful spirit into our home.  Here's to many more birthdays!

Silly Grandpa!

Goodbye School, Hello Summer!!!

 We celebrated finishing up joy school by going to the zoo.  Woo woo!
There's Preston, Carter, Aliyah, Landon, Joshua, and Chloe.  Carter did so well this year!  He no longer gets discouraged with imperfection (tough when you're a 4 yr old writer) and writes!!  He's also starting to read, which is always exciting.  Last year when we did joy school in Oklahoma, Landon was allowed to join in (because of awesome nice friends) but was really much too young.  This year, he did so well!  He loved art the most and I believe he knows all of his letters! 

 Josh and Aurelois on the last day of school.  It's kind of funny, a lot of people ask me how I handle having four boys, but I tell ya--on the last day of school the boys are always happy and filled with joy (Josh's words), and there are always at least three girls crying.  :)

 Joshua got the Golden Ram award for being super amazing....I don't actually know the true requirements, so we'll leave it at that.  Landon and Carter were there too, but they were probably running a muck somewhere nearby.

 Josh with his awesome teacher, Ms. DePace.  For being a young spring chicken, she was surprisingly old school in quite a few areas.  It was quite nice.  Near the end of the year, (when I started becoming capable of doing things outside of home and family) I started coming to volunteer every other Friday in Josh's class.  Ms. DePace was so excited and told me that she had never had a parent volunteer during her 4.5 years as a teacher.  Never!  I couldn't believe it!

And this is what we're doing now, going to parks or going on hikes or going to karate (karate's two nights a week and I'm dying here, ha!).  Our goal is to go on 20 hikes during the summer....which now feels like too lofty of a goal, since so far we've only done five.  Ha. 

A Few Pictures...

 Cole is moving all over place.  
Must be something to do with trying to keep up with a bunch of older brothers...

 My sweet, big-mouthed Carter.

 My perky Landon.

Josh is such a great helper.  He loves Cole and Cole loves him!

Dear Cole

Dear Cole,

You are 5 1/2 months old.  We still don't have a little blog spot for you, so this will have to do.  You are such a joy.  When you were born, I felt your peaceful spirit right away.  You have always had that peace with you.  In fact, when you were blessed by your dad, you were told that you would be a peacemaker. 

During the first few months of your life, you slept all of the time!  That changed around three months.  Now you take two long naps--one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  You don't sleep through the night yet.  Usually you wake up once or twice, but every once in a while (like last night) you put me through a doosy where you decide that sleep is at optional.  :) 


 Your eyes are so big and bright.  Everywhere we go, someone comments on how big your eyes are.  It's like you want to take everything in.  Especially faces.  You are more content to look at people than to play with toys or read books.  You love to stare at people.  You love people.  You smile at everyone with a big open-mouthed grin that melts my heart.  You are quick to laugh.  You laugh when you're tickled, you laugh when Josh does his funny dances for you, and you laugh when people look like they're going to "get you".  Even when you're crying, I can get you to laugh if I tease you.  Big belly laughs.  They are so fun to listen to.

Talking about crying--you don't cry all that much, but when you do--I mean when you really get going--you sound like a little mountain lion.  It's a mix between a screech, a yell, and a growl. 

You like to cuddle.  When you're being sweet--which is quite often--you lean your head into my face and stay there.  And stay there.  I'll give you a big squeeze and you giggle a little bit, like your simply happy to hug.  You like to give big open-mouthed kisses that are very wet and slobbery.  If you don't go in for the cuddle, you're going in for a kiss.

Let's smiled at seven weeks, you rolled over from your front to your back a week before Christmas, and you rolled from your back to your front a week after Christmas.  You started realizing that your hands are part of you about two weeks ago, and it's been just a few days that you've started to really reach for things and put them in your mouth.  We got you a bumbo for Christmas (a little chair to help babies sit) but you only like to sit in it for a few minutes and then you start hunching over and whining to get out.  You've started doing this cute little karate chop with your right arm--you can really get it going, and you love to shake your maraca. 

You have really started to enjoy bath time, kicking and splashing up a storm.  Sorry to say you're lucky to get bathed 2-3 times a week--I guess that's the story of the fourth child.  :)  I usually keep you in your pjs during the day.  It's easier of course, and I figure it's the most warm and comfy way to go for the winter.

 Cole, you just love your brothers.  You think they are so funny, and they all adore you and are gentle with you.  You have to put up with the boys wrestling next to you, them helping you punch them out, them running around you, and a mom that doesn't have as much time to focus just on you as she'd like.  But you and I luck out when it's time for you to eat and sleep--the boys are pretty good at entertaining themselves now, so we get in a few good laughs and some great snuggle time.  I love you so very much.  You're so pleasant and easy going....but even if you weren't and even if you decide to turn into a little spit-fire--I will always love you.  You are my Cole.