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December, 2015:

New Year’s Eve

Rob and I took a quick trip (48 hours on the ground) to St. Petersburg Florida for his cousin, Kristina’s New Year’s Eve wedding.  It was our first time leaving both boys and it sounds like it was a big success with Grandma and Grandpa left in charge here.

This is Rob’s immediate family all in Florida for the celebration: Charlie, Catherine, Jane, Bob, Rob and Kelly

It was such a wonderful treat to get to hangout with his family kid free and actually get a chance to catch up a little.

The Kochman family definitely know how to throw a fantastic party and celebrate together.  What a wonderful trip, so energizing, refreshing, celebratory and full of adventure.

22 Months

Development:

Nicholas is showing his comedic side.  He loves to call Daddy, “Mama” and Mama, “Daddy”.  Each nap and night time as I sing his resting song he runs out of his room to see how far he can get before I catch him, giggling the entire time.  Before each rest Nicholas has mastered the koala snuggle where he rests his head on your shoulder and wraps his arms around you.  This is by far my favorite part of each day with him.  Nicholas loves to walk vs. being carried when we are out.  It makes outings a bit longer, but much more entertaining to stop and see how you can take in the sites and sounds from two feet off the ground.

Physical:

Nicholas’ hair is starting to get less blonde and more brown.  His top right two year molar is completely through and the right is halfway in.  Nicholas is still in size 5 diapers and 2T clothes.

Routine:

Nicholas is waking up around 5:30 each morning and we would love to figure out how to move this back an hour.  He loves breakfast the moment he wakes up and doesn’t tolerate a lot of snuggling or distractions.  Breakfast typically includes a full+ greek yogurt half plain and half flavored.  Two prunes cut in quarters, some fruit and often a “more” request will add bananas or cereal.  He will have a cheese stick for a snack around 10.   Lunch at noon which is typically peanut butter and jelly, grapes, and pirate booty.  Nicholas loves to bring the peanut butter from the pantry to the counter.

 

Tis the Season for Family

We love our local family and love that everyone moves their schedules so we can be together.

The white elephant gift exchange resulted in some game playing with cousins and Grandma.

We love how Nicholas and Cooper play together.  This is the store they set-up nearly everyday to sell imaginary capes.  Once you pay $1 – $3 you get your custom cape which you run around the living room with and then return to the store for your money back to buy the next cape.

Christmas

The excitement of Santa is starting in our house.  The boys were pretty excited to get downstairs to see what Santa brought.  This year they still slept until their normal 6am so we will enjoy that as long as it lasts 🙂

Technology is amazing!  We were able to do a joint chat session to watch Nene (my mom) and my sisters family all open presents on Christmas Eve together.  It has been our family tradition to open presents then and it meant a lot to get to see everyone’s reactions over the computer real time.

Cooper asked for a firetruck with a ladder and bucket this Christmas and he was so thrilled that Nene got it for him.

Nicholas loves sweeping and some very loving grandparents made his biggest wishes come true with brooms!

Christmas morning we were joined by Grandma and Grandpa for more present opening and a yummy brunch.

Christmas evening we were invited to our incredible neighbor’s house for Christmas dinner.  Nicholas is in love with their dog Baker and spent much of his time trying to tackle him or snuggle with him on his dog bed.

Cooper ended the evening (rosy cheeked from all the running around) resting with Molly in her new bed.

Sometimes even with all the new gifts a classic is best.  Nicholas and Daddy ended Christmas night reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

Pinterest Win

It is our third year of taking pictures of the boys with strands of lights and I am always so thrilled with the results.  Rob has figured out exactly how to shoot this picture to make it look amazing.  The boys are really into lights this year and requested many nights to get them out to play with them more after we did this shoot.  For a comparison, previous years are here.

Christmas Traditions

We went to the toddler Christmas symphony with Grandma and Grandpa.  It was the first time Rob and I went too and we all really enjoyed the show.  We followed up the performance with some miniature train watching and play time at the Children’s museum.

Decorating gingerbread houses was a hit.  Cooper loved eating the frosting like it was one of his fruit packets.  Rob and I agreed that the pre-assembled house was key to our success because we didn’t have to battle collapsing walls while decorating.

We toured a tree farm with Nicholas’ preschool.

We attempted to make some sort of Christmas card, but without a plan I was stumped on how to use them.

We wrapped up our traditions with the annual zoo light trip with my cousin Shannon and her extended family.  The boys were really into Christmas lights this year making this trip even more fun.

Santa Tradition

After the Santa beard pulling incident at Cooper’s preschool we were less than hopeful for a smiling Santa picture from both boys this year.  We were thinking we might get the crying kid Santa picture, but I wasn’t expecting that I would be in it too…  It makes sense that asking a 70+ year old man to hold your screaming and flailing kid is not on his top list of ideas of fun.  The wait was over an hour for the picture at Molbaks, but it was worth it to have the same Santa and beautiful backdrop of years past.

Not sure what picture is the keeper for this year, so we included all of these beauties.

First School Christmas Concert

Today Cooper had his first school Christmas concert.  We were “those” parents so excited to see our little guy on the big stage.  At school he is a bit more timid, but he did it and we are so proud.  Nicholas loved dancing at the concert too.  At home he sings at the top of his lungs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKFoURBKTfk
After the performance Santa arrived at his school.  You could say Nicholas was not a fan this year, but even after this beard pulling incident we are hopeful Santa will still come to our house.

Cooper at the 3.5 mark

Wow, Cooper continues to bring us such joy, happiness and silliness to our lives every single day.  We love this little 3.5 year old guy!  He even got a piece of cake with 3.5 candles to celebrate his half birthday.

Cooper has always loved to talk and we are happy to report that hasn’t changed one bit

Sayings:

Each night after bath Cooper runs around upstairs with only his hooded towel on saying “Super Cooper saves the day”

Uses the word “oat” instead of “ate”.  I oat the cookie.

Loves burritos as his ultimate favorite food and calls them bee -re – toes

Loves his brother and loves to get him to say “yes” to whatever he wants.  Already getting little brother to do anything big brother asks

The Christmas tree was dropping “feathers” (aka pine needles)

Hearts are called “Valentines” from an alphabet book that showed a heart shaped valentine

The cupid arrows are called “stomp rockets”

Stars are called “starfish”

Doorbell is called a “dingbell”

Each morning after completing the first helping of breakfast he asks for “cereal have milk in it”

During a recent visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house he spent a lot of time with this claw grabbing machine.  Much of his nighttime get ready routine with Daddy now involves “go crazy, get dressed, brush teeth, etc” button being pushed.

Favorites:

Favorite shows are Curious George, Daniel Tiger and Tumble Leaf

Favorite foods are burritos and pasta

Favorite activities are going to a park, flying, bike riding, playing with play dough and riding in Daddy’s car (Honda Civic)

Cooper loves to sing, his favorite song to sing is Rudolph the red nose reindeer and it is always blended into many different songs before it stops.  He will sing on the potty, during quiet time and all around the house as he plays.  The kid is always singing and it is always a blend of many different kinds of songs with at least one being a Christmas tune all year round.

Routine:

Wakes up at 6:20 when his clock turns green.  He pops out of bed the second he notices his clock is green, grabs the clock from the top of his bookshelf and races to our bedroom to proudly show his clock is now green.  He then hops into our bed to watch Curious George or Daniel Tiger on the FireTV before heading downstairs for breakfast.

Breakfast consists of a prune, greek yogurt half plain/half flavored, berries and milk to drink

We typically go out on an adventure 10-12 each day.  Tues/Thurs is preschool, Wed is PEPS and the other days we go to a park or grocery shopping

Lunch is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes and Pirate Booty or Veggie Straws

Naps are very rare, less than once a week.  He prefers to “nap” wherever I am during the week which means hanging out in the same room while he plays quietly and independently for an hour.  After the hour he wants more attention and to play.  He has recently asked to stay in his undies during rest time so we have stopped a nap time diaper.

Dinner is typically his lightest meal with a meat, veggie and grain with milk to drink and 1/2 a Flintstones chew-able vitamin.  Cooper’s job is to set the table before dinner and clear his dishes after each meal.

Bedtime routine starts at 6:30 with play time with Mama while brother takes a bath, typically chase or tickle games of some sort.  Bath time, lotion, get dressed, brush teeth with Daddy.  Then 2 books with Mama and Daddy.  Daddy often walks with Cooper for a final potty stop then we come back to sing the Goodnight song.  Daddy gets him into bed, gives him a black and white remote, and lets Cooper say his “I will tell you two things”.  Lately these things have been questions about how things are made or who built something in the house.

Nap time looks like this 75% of the time.  Cooper found his sling (from his broken collar bone) and now uses it daily to build his “train”.  The train is attaching the strap to the green bin and filling that bin with books.

He enjoys preschool and gives Nicholas and I a hug and kiss just before he walks into school each day and says “I will tell you all about my day when you pick me up”.  He doesn’t talk a ton about his day, but will typically tell you what he did in art class and maybe something that happened in circle time.  The gym portion of his day rarely gets mentioned.  Art class seems to be his favorite part of preschool particularly when he gets to use the paper punches, play dough or cut with scissors.  Cooper knows most of his letters, is starting to write his name, still working on colors especially blue, red and green and will sit and “read” a book with a handful of them memorized.

Cooper now sleeps in his big boy bed.  A mattress and box spring on a basic metal twin frame with a pool noodle at the edge.  His sleeping favorites are Cupcake a large dog my Grandma made for me, Ally the alligator, Furry Friends hardcover board book, ABC fabric book made by Nene, matchbox ambulance and race car.  Cooper sleeps in an overnight diaper with a pad and has woken up dry a handful of times.

Daddy’s Birthday

Cooper worked with me on the very important job of making Daddy’s birthday cake.  He insisted that the rum cake had to have a carrot coming out of it so we headed to the store to buy a carrot.  I was trying to direct him to the smaller bagged carrots, but he insisted that the one pictured was perfect for the cake.  Cooper placed the carrot and all of the candles so it was definitely a cake decorated with love for his Daddy.  That evening we celebrated Rob’s birthday with our first parents night away and saw the amazing Come From Away musical and stayed at Hotel 1000 while Grandma and Grandpa watched the boys.  It was a wonderful weekend of celebration!