Summer in Cincinnati

We had the best time in Cincinnati, I think it lived up to the boys expectations when they said they were 'going to summer at Ma's house!'. The red-eye flight went as well as it could have. Some minor crying from each at one point since they couldn't get comfortable, but considering it was a less-than-3 hour flight that arrived at 3am SF time, they all did exceptionally well. We made it to Ma's house, had some breakfast and then everyone rested for awhile. From then on, it was a week packed with adventures.

Hiking and boat ride in Sharon Woods


9th Wedding Anniversary
The boys had a blast sleeping over at Aunt Lori's and Colette had a great night with Ma. Dave and I had fun escaping for the night to a yummy steak dinner and a night at a hotel.

Fourth of July
We picked up the kids and headed straight to the neighborhood parade. The boys loved decorating their bikes and riding to the park. We hung out at the picnic with Dave's neighbors for a bit before going for a swim and resting up before the evening BBQ, s'mores, sparklers and finally fireworks. It was a great day!

We checked out lots of great parks (most with splash pads which was a perfect way to cool off!) and stopped by the fire station for a tour since Ma's friend works there.

On the one day it rained, we took the kids to fun playspace and then to their first movie in a theater (Cars 3) followed by awesome pizza.  We also went for a walk/bike ride downtown to get ice cream. So fun for the boys, and Colette had her first cone!

Coney Island was so much fun, wish we'd had more time but we got to ride some of the rides and then cool off in the amazing pool across the street. Oh, and William performed multiple songs during the karaoke at one of the shows. George even sang one too!

Our last day we headed to Ma's zoo and checked out all the animals before a pit stop at Steak and Shake. That night the boys got to experience a true thunder storm and made it back from their bike ride just before  the crazy downpour started. Those storms are something!

It really was such a fun week -- lots of fun adventures out, but also lots of time to just hang out and let the kids enjoy watering the plants, running through the sprinklers and playing with Dave and Lori's old toys. It was so great to spend lots of time with Lori and the kids too.

Summer 2017 at Ma’s House - a note from Ma

What a week we had!  Summer is HOT at Ma’s house, but we filled out time with hoses, sprinklers, pools, water parks, and a “cool” tub!   Everybody can swim, including Colette, and water play was really fun.  Bouncing on the Rainbow slide at the Blue Ash Rec center pool, sliding down the silver slide at Coney Island, jumping off the island at Coney( about 50 times) and doing cannon balls and pencil dives for Ma was amazing.  We also took a little dip in the Sharon Woods Creek while Aunt Lori found some interesting creatures and fossils for us to look at.  Lizzy loved showing you the creek and helping you climb up the rocks to the waterfalls and Zach was prepared with his official cub Scout First Aid kit and extra supplies in case we needed them…and we did.  Bandaids are always important for boo-boos!  We also had fun at Washington Park in Over the Rhine playing in the castle and then in the splash pads after we picked out our Cinnamon Raison bread at the Findley Market!  

I just love watching you as we played at Pogo Play with Zach and Lizzy.  George and William had so much fun chasing Lizzy around the  jungle gym.  It is cool to see how well you play together and look out for each other and your sister Coco.  At the Deer Park firehouse  with Officer Donte’  and at the parade you always kept an eye on Coco making sure she was having fun too!  You are both good pontoon drivers...each with his own style.  George wants to follow the rules and William loves to do circles in the lake!  We all had fun at the Sharon Woods lake and even Zach and Lizzy got to be the captain of the boat too!

Sometimes we just played at Ma’s house and that was really fun too!  Building with the Constructs and playing with the Lego men was a big project for Ma, George, and William.  But you really liked the sleepover at Aunt Lori’s house and watching the Lego Movie and eating popcorn.  Colette and Ma had a sleepover too!  We had a wonderful night having dinner with Grandpa Gary, taking a bath with the duckies ,reading a book and snuggling with a bottle before bed.  That was really a special time for Ma!

Add fireworks, s’mores on an open fire, sparklers in the back yard, ice cream sandwiches and shoveling in the backyard dirt, and I would say we had a great 4th of July holiday!  Grandpa Gary and I had such a good time listening to your stories and watching you run and play and swim.  But the BIG surprise was how well you could ride on your pedal bikes.  That day the storm was blowing the trees around, William and George and Dad were peddling as fast as little feet could go coming down Lansford Drive.  Whew!  Mommy and I were sure glad to see you pull into the garage before the rain started!  Another fun vacation adventure!

Colette - I am so happy that you were here for your first 4th of July in Ohio.  You are such a sweetheart, always smiling and happy. You were doing a really good job practicing your walking and you could go farther and farther every day you were here!  I really think you were trying to say “MOO’ because you LOVED the barn with the cow sounds and the plastic cow!  Course it could have been “Ma” you were saying…either way Ma loves you very much and will always treasure these days when the little “Super Hero” baby Colette came to Ma’s house!

George - You are a dynamo of energy!  Playing, swimming, shopping, climbing are all done with gusto!  I love your serious side when you would tell me a story or explain a  situation.  I was really impressed with all the things you can do by yourself, including dressing yourself.  When you and William came downstairs dressed up for the 4th of July feast, we were all overcome with laughter and happiness!  Good job George!  Ma loves you very much and I can’t wait to see you in San Francisco soon!

William -  You are such a schmoozer!  You flash those big eyes and that million dollar smile and I melt!  You are so curious and we spent a lot of time at Ma’s zoo watching the gorillas and the other animals.  I was so glad you got to see a wolf on the train ride!     But watching you sing and play your guitar on the stage at Coney Island was the best!  Such stage presence…and a good voice too! I think my favorite memory is snuggling with you and reading “bookies” like Ma did with your daddy many years ago.  Thanks for the sweet memories and the new experiences.  Good job William! Ma loves you and I am excited to bring Lizzy and Zach to your house soon!

Colette: 14 Months Old

Time really does fly by, it's hard to believe another month has passed as she's getting further and further from being a baby. This was a big month for growth. She's walking, signing so much more and just seems to be a lot bigger. We'll get stats at her doctors appointment next month.

 A lot of other firsts too -- first Giants game, first ice cream cone, first drawing, first ride.

EAT: She's still eating really well and in some areas, has made some progress. She'll now eat yogurt, oatmeal and dry cereal but we're not getting anywhere with veggies. I keep offering, and that's all I can do. I've stopped keeping track of how much milk she has, but I'd say maybe 12-14oz a day. She's been sleeping later in the morning which has made it easier to drop the morning bottle. She drinks from a milk cup at breakfast, lunch and the 2 snack times, but only a little at a time. She's started throwing -- or dropping -- food more, and dropping her milk cup too. I try to take it away immediately but she doesn't seem to be learning. She always asks for her nighttime bottle but loses interest quickly, often not finishing. Probably in the next month or so I'll reduce how much is offered in the bottle and then see how she does before taking it away completely.

Coco loves food and will gladly accept anytime it's offered. I've started bringing lunch to the park every day even if I plan to feed her more at home. Once the nannies start getting out food for their kid, Coco will beeline over to them and start begging.

She's made a ton of progress with her signs and has 'more, 'milk', 'all done' and 'hungry/eat' down. She also can finally point with a finger so can get most of what she wants across at this point, which is really helpful. She's also become more interested in using a spoon, with limited success at this point :)

SLEEP: Currently pretty good. She transitioned well to Cincinnati time (thankfully it wasn't like FL and Hawaii when she immediately adjusted to local time and was waking up super early). The biggest struggle we have is the 'good paci'. This is the paci that hasn't been trimmed and I brought it on the trip and it worked great on the plane both ways and to get her to sleep longer or fall asleep quickly when we were out and about. She didn't use it for every nap or bedtime, but enough that she started pointing to the drawer we keep it in when we got home. She still has her trimmed paci but now it's a game of throwing it out when we leave the room so we have to come back in. We're still working out how to best deal with this but I've been trying to tell her 'bye bye baby. He's gonna be over here since you don't want him'. I give it back one time but if she does it again (which she always does), then I take it away. She will eventually settle down and if I give it back to her then, she usually goes to sleep quickly. Other times, she's just sort of whined and eventually gone to sleep. We'll see how this works out. Thankfully she's been sleeping a bit later, waking up between 6-6:30 which as been so much better than 5:30. Morning naps are short, 45 minutes or so, but still needed. Afternoon naps are 1.5-2 hours.

PLAY: She did great with her swimming in Cincinnati and still loves the water. She always tries to swim out of my arms and wants to put her face under. She also learned to stand on the steps and 'jump' off and swim to me... which is basically self-initiated falling, but she loves it nonetheless.

She took her first steps at 13 months and 6 days but just within the past 3 or 4 days has she taken off with her walking and for the most part, is preferring it to crawling or walking on her knees. She can walk pretty far, even when it looks like she'll definitely fall over, she manages to stay up. She still can't get up to standing by herself (doesn't know how to squat and push up to standing) but if she pulls up again something, she'll take off walking. She wasn't even standing unassisted and even took her first steps before I'd seen her stand unassisted for more than a split second. But a few days after those first steps, she finally started standing.

She loves going to the park and now that she's more mobile, loves climbing up the play structure and going down the slide. She also loves the swings but only for a little bit. She makes friends easily and it always crawling into other moms' or nannies' laps. She'll also hold her own. If another kid tries to take something from her, she will not give it up, even if the kid is twice her age :) I can't really think of any toys she absolutely loves but she is really into books, and she likes stuffed animals, especially cows at the moment (she says mmmm which we think is moo). She's exploring more and likes to open the cabinets and going into the bathroom, the closet with the art supplies and her room to take all the books off the shelf. She still loves to pull stuff off the coat rack and when Dedee was taking the boys out the other day, Coco put on a scarf and grabbed her sweater and tried to walk out the door behind them :)

Colette: This month has been so much fun watching you learn new things. I see the wheels turning and your understanding is so much more than even a month or two ago. I'll ask you a question and you mimic my intonation while turning your palms up and practically shrugging your shoulders. You're so smart too and know just what you're doing when you do things like throw your paci out of the crib for us to retrieve. Your frantic use of signs, especially when you're hungry, is pretty hilarious too. You did so well on the plane rides to and from Cincinnati, even the red eye, thankfully. You were so much fun at Ma's house too, settled in pretty easily and going with the flow. It's so much easier with just one baby! You started walking and we're all so excited about it. You are so proud of yourself too. For the first week or so, you'd walk from one person to another and then immediately clap for yourself. You still appreciate praise. You made some progress in Cincinnati, but I had guessed you'd be walking by the end of the trip, but the big jump really happened a week later. It is so fun to see you toddling around with your arms up in the air. You took your very first steps at the Discovery Museum -- I stood you up and wasn't expecting it, but you took a step or two to Jessica. Then she turned you around and you did the same back to me. I had you outside a few minutes later and stood you up and you took 5 or 6 steps before falling down. I was so surprised!! I'm looking forward to all that's to come in the next few months, especially when you start saying some words (currently it's only Mama and Dada). We love you!!