Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

And since we live in Iowa, we did our trick-or-treating last night. (The Midwest is weird like that...) Of course it was cold but lots of fun! Its cool being in the same spot a year later and thinking about how our kids have changed. Dawson and Sylvie were basically toddlers last year who couldn't even speak in full sentences and were little slowpokes all night! This year they were running with the pack. And Channing was much warmer last year in his cozy little womb.
From left to right: sweet butterfly (Quinn), stubborn butterfly (Piper), ornery Max (from Where the Wild Things Are), Turtle Man (Colin. No, none of us knew who that was either :), sweet little skeleton, a beast named Bennett, and Merida from Brave (Sylvie).
These nights always get rushed at the last minute when you're trying to get three little ones fed and dressed and face-painted (and re-face-painted when they accidentally rub it off) and photographed before six so we quickly threw them together for a picture and just took what we could get. Here's Max and a Wild Thing:
Judie made that Max costume for Bennett's 3rd birthday. I told myself when Bennett was a baby that I would never buy costumes. It seems like a crazy waste of money when kids only wear them once and I have so many friends I can borrow one from but I found that blue monster on clearance last year at PB Kids and I couldn't pass it up. Plus all three boys will wear it so I'll get my money's worth.
I stole this shot from my sister's tumblr so you could see their butterfly costumes better. They looked so adorable and I just love when siblings coordinate: 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

8 months.

This little angel baby continues to melt my heart every day. He is just so darn sweet. I can see it in every part of him. And boy, oh boy, is he laid back. He finally figured out just this week how to roll from his back to his belly (he's been doing belly to back for 4 months!). He can easily scoot around in a circle and can go backwards a little bit but doesn't go forward at all. What more can you ask for in a third child than that?? :) The longer he stays put, the easier life is for me. I watched my nephew, Aben, last week for a half day. He's 5 weeks younger but is army crawling and rolling everywhere. Holy cow, that was nuts. I really forgot what it's like to have a crawler. Needless to say, I didn't get much done that day!
We've actually had a rough few days with this guy, which is so unusual. Bennett had some weird 12 hour fever that left him super tired and without an appetite. Channing came down with it the next day. On top of the fever and teething, he's also had a minor ear infection. I finally got him into the chiropractor yesterday and he's been much happier today. So I suppose I can't complain at all about the three or four rough days I've had with him over the course of his eight months of life!
 Not feeling so smiley for our photo shoot yesterday:
Let's see, what else is my little chubs up to? As you can see above, he sits up great on his own now. He's more adventurous with food but still hates green veggies and anything chunky. I still only give him solids once or twice a day (and he nurses four times). He has his bottom two teeth and I know several more are not far behind. He loves being in the tub (although he's not in there that often!). He's usually content when we're out and about but I can't push his naps too far back or he gets really fussy. He takes two naps during the day that are between 1 1/2 and 2 hours and most days still takes an evening nap too. If we're out somewhere, he can skip the evening one, no problem. He smiles for anyone and everyone and doesn't really show any separation anxiety yet. He laughs very easily now and a couple times I've heard him laugh to himself when he's playing with a toy.
I've never wanted to slow down time so much than with this little lump of love. I just cherish every day with him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Colyer Caravan (Part 2)

We got to Orlando on Friday evening in a complete deluge. I mean, it was raining. But the weather the rest of the week was absolutely perfect. We're talking 80s and no rain. It really couldn't have been better. One of the hottest days (upper 80's) was at Disney but it was mostly cloudy the whole day (with just a tiny sprinkle at one point) so it was totally bearable. We rented a house for the week at a pretty low cost once we split it three ways and it was just perfect. Besides the late 80's decor, we wouldn't have changed a thing. There were 5 bedrooms and three bathrooms so each family had their own space and their own bathroom. A big dining room/formal living room and a separate eat in kitchen, family room plus the big patio and pool! Plenty of space for the 6 adults and 6 kiddos.
The "Kid's table" in the kitchen:
Jon found this guy in the road so he spent the next couple days in our backyard and swam in the pool with the boys (you know Kietlyn wouldn't step foot in the pool while he was in there!! And I don't blame her. My sister and I hated the comedy/drama masks tiled at the bottom of my grandma's pool in Florida and wouldn't swim over them. There's no way we would have swam with a weird looking turtle!) And if you're worried about the turtle being in the chlorine, me and Judie were too. But Jon assured us it was fine. If you find a dead bottlenose turtle in Davenport, FL, you can blame Jon and call the animal rights group on him.
Oh, look. Dawson was pouting. Shocker! (This little man does not handle lack of sleep well. So this was pretty much the theme of the week since he was getting 3 or 4 hours a night less than he gets at home :(
 The pool: 
Not to be outdone by his younger cousin, Caleb finally braved the pool without his floaties later in the week and did great! (He and Bennett couldn't be more opposite as far as risk taking goes so it was great to see him conquer his fears! He really could have done it months ago but a little peer pressure can be a good thing sometimes!)
These two were nearly inseparable all week. They got along so well, it was awesome. All the kids did. Dawson and Landon had little spats like normal 2/3 yr olds but overall were totally fine and there were only maybe 2 or 3 times when Caleb and Bennett were upset with each other. That says a lot considering they were with each other for 11 days!!
They had come in from the pool and Bennett followed Caleb in his room when he went to get dressed and they came out like this. Caleb said, "he didn't have any clothes so I gave him some of mine!" They said they were "twins" and were so proud. Bennett even straightened his hair down to "match Caleb".
One of the first days, Dawson and Landon tucked themselves in and were in there for at least 20 or 30 minutes.
It was so heart-warming to see the deeper bonds they all developed over the week. They are all best buds and I hope they still are when they're teenagers!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Four Eyes

I've wanted glasses since I was a little girl. Remember when you were like, 6 or 7, and you thought glasses and braces and retainers were where its at?? I still vividly remember a dream I had when I was 5 or 6 (back when we lived in Augusta, GA and I shared a double bed with my sister). In my dream, there were all these teenage girls in a room, kind of cartoonish, and every one of them had either glasses on or retainers and they were all wearing cool exercise gear-- leotards and spandex and leg warmers (think 80's jazzercise). For probably the next year, I would lay in bed at night, picturing it all in my head, hoping I'd have the same dream. For reals.
I didn't get braces until the end of my sophomore year of highschool, WAY after everyone else had them so it was pretty much the most uncool thing ever. And I did get to finally wear leotards when I randomly joined the gymnastics team my freshman year (despite the fact that I'd never taken any gymnastics). But I never really stopped wanting glasses. I've always been a total bookworm and am proud of my inner nerd and glasses just sort of fit that persona. So, a perk of getting old, the rest of my dream finally came true. I got my first pair last year from Vision for Less just for watching TV at night but I've been wanting another pair to keep in my purse for night driving. My sister told me about Warby Parker. Have you heard of it? Its an online company that carries exceptional quality eyewear but at a fraction of the price because they cut out the middleman. The ship you five pairs at a time for free to try in your home for five days. Here are my top three:
A couple notes: Firstly, its extremely hard to take a good self portrait. Secondly, I wasn't trying to strike a pose in the last one, they were just crooked so I was holding them straight. And lastly, the choice is pretty clear after seeing these pics that I like C the best. But maybe in a lighter color (those are the whisky tortoise matte). The Langston is pretty much identical to The Nedwin so I may order another five pairs in those two styles to decide on a color. Watcha think? Agree, disagree??

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Colyer Caravan 2012 (Part I)

Well, friends...we're back to normal life after our 11 day trek to Orlando. It was wonderful and exhausting. So much fun and so little sleep. It would take me forever and a day to get it all into one blog so I'll just post bits and pieces as I have time. Where, oh where, do I even begin?? The beginning, I suppose...
We pulled out of John & Judie's driveway at 6:15am on Wednesday, the 3rd. It wasn't bright and early. It was just early. Of course, even with actually getting several things packed up and prepared days ahead, I still had 5 gajillion things to do the night before. So I started the trip on about 4 hours of sleep. We got to my aunt's house in Atlanta at about 11:30pm. We planned for a full day in Atlanta since both of us have family and friends there. I was sad we didn't have time to see more of my side of the family while we were there but there's only so much you can do in one day and we had a lot of plans with Jon's family. We definitely had to squeeze in time to meet up with Jon's best friend, Hodge, aka Uncle Hedgehog (Bennett dubbed him that when he was 2 and it stuck). We hadn't seen him in about 2 years and we missed this goofy guy so much.

Dance party in Hodge's cool car. Well, Hodge and Bennett had a dance party. Dawson wasn't in the partying mood:
 Love these boys:
Later that day we met back up with the rest of the Colyer crew. Judie's first cousin (who we call Aunt Sue--she and Judie grew up like sisters.) lives here and all of her kids (Jon's 2nd cousins). It had been a couple years since we've been able to see this family since his cousin Matt has been in Japan for the past 3 years. It was so fun to all be together again. We used to see Matt and Stefani quite a bit when Matt played ball in Chicago (and also in Des Moines occasionally). You know, those glorious days when you weren't tied down and you could jet off to Chicago for a weekend?? We took full advantage of that and had a lot of fun with them. We've all multiplied our families quite a bit since then (ie: lost all freedom) and I couldn't wait to see all these cute kiddos together. We met at this amazing park near McDonough, GA called Noah's Ark. It was basically a huge zoo with gorgeous open spaces and trails and it was all free. It was the perfect place for our kids to run after being in a car for 16 hours the day before. Between our four families who were there, there were 11 kids under 7!

 Never mind about the lion, tiger and bear in the cage next to them. There were ants!!!
 One of the best parts of childhood--climbing trees:

 The Colyer cousins with their 3rd cousins!
Not pictured: John Mark's sister, Abigail (1 month) and Macie and Micah's brother, Andrew (8 mos.) and Channing, of course. There's one more 3rd cousin, Natalie, who's about a year old. She was at dinner that night at Aunt Sue's house. Aunt Sue hosted ALL of us for dinner (brave woman!!). It was actually not completely nuts. She is one organized woman and we all fit pretty comfortably in the basement. We always have so much fun with this side of the family and I said more than once, I really wish we could just transplant all of us Colyers down to Georgia. Jon and I would go in a heartbeat. We just need to convince big John and Josh to start candidating at churches down there :)

A couple shots from the road. Oh, this angelic face!
And this little trooper who cut his 2 first teeth on the trip! I couldn't handle the 5 minute naps he takes in his carseat when we were driving for 2 solid days there and back. So let's just say he got a few good naps in and we'll leave it at that. (Please don't report me. Pretend its 1985 when every one of us slept on the floor of the van).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Channing is now seven months old!! Sheesh. That sounds old. (So does 30 but we won't go there.) In case you were actually keeping track, I didn't write a post at the six month mark. That was because I wanted to include his stats since he hadn't been to the doctor since 2 months (we switched peds in there) and his appt wasn't until he was 6 1/2 months. At that point, I figured I'd just combine them.
Forgive the ugly onesie. I always try to put something I love on him but he'd outgrown his 3-6 month stuff, I don't have much summer 6-12 and I'm pretty sure I needed to do laundry that day.
 On Dawson's lap at one month:
 He fills up a lot more lap now!
 His first backpack ride (8/19)! He loved the view and he looked so cute in there:
 He and his cousin, Aben (5 weeks younger). They're buds already:
Channing loves the jolly jumper. Stick around for the surprise ending:
At his appointment, he was 18.5lbs and 27in. He started out smaller than both Bennett and Dawson and now he's the biggest at that age! His bottom two teeth are so close to popping through, I've felt them just under the surface for a few weeks now. The doctor said he has about 6 more coming soon too. His cheeks have been all red for a while now (Bennett's did that too). He had horrible diarrhea that lasted about a week which resulted in bad diaper rash. Not sure if it was from the teething or a reaction to his first immunization. But thankfully once we finally got to the store for some bananas, it went away.
I wanted to get a closeup of his hair. Its really growing fast now and has come in a ton in the last month (he has way more than the other two did at this age). It sticks straight up all around the crown and lays fairly flat everywhere else:
...and his eyes. So far they're still dark grey around the outside with a faint brown circle around the pupil. (Bennett's were chocolate brown when he was born. Dawson's turned brown earlier than this, so I'm wondering if Channing will have my hazel eyes):
He is still so easy going and smiles at anyone. He's in that grabbing and pinching phase and sometimes I forget to warn people who hold him. Oh yeah, sorry he just ripped a chunk of flesh from your body. Whoops.
The doctor asked me if he was starting to sit up on his own and I said, "Oh no, he's so laid back. He doesn't even try. He's nowhere near sitting up on his own". About two days later I walked into our room after Jon had been with him and he was sitting up completely straight with his back against our headboard. I was like, "Oh my word! He does sit!" And then I realized I had been in complete denial that this kid will ever even move. The prospect of three little boys terrorizing the house at the same time must be too much for my subconscious to handle :)  I'll probably just push him over every time he tries to stand. With your first, you encourage every little milestone and cheer them on! And now with my third I'm perfectly content with this laid-back dude just watching from the sidelines.
Other notables from months 6 & 7: He finally has the hang of eating from a spoon. Those first few weeks of introducing solids are a bit of a pain, while they're trying to figure out how to keep the tongue in the mouth while they eat. He's still pretty picky. The whole, "introduce veggies first and fruits later so they don't prefer the sweet stuff" went out the window when his tummy was so sick that week. So now we basically mix banana with most stuff. He'll now do half peas and half banana so I'll just keep experimenting. I understand now that these sorts of things won't ruin them for life so I'm not worried about it.
I've started supplementing with frozen breastmilk for his last feeding when my supply is low at night. And I generally just feed him solids for his 3rd feeding. He started waking up anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30am (as opposed to 9 or later!) so that's been a little rough since I could at least sleep in on Saturdays. But I figure its the teething. Plus, it works better for him to be on an earlier schedule so I can pick Bennett up from school rather than him riding the bus home for 30 minutes.

 'Cause sometimes you can't pick just one:
Love every one of those faces. Slow down, little man. :(