Friday, July 31, 2009

Birthday Festivities Part 2!

On Sunday we had another small gathering for Colin's First Birthday. This time with my side of the family and family friends.

Colin and Evelyn playing with the water feature! My dad set up some gutters and filled them with water. The kids really got a kick out of it. Eventually they will be raised off the ground and the boys can have boat races but for now we left it grounded. Colin getting ready for Cake number 4! (no smash cakes this time, they were superfluous)

The muse for the cake, from Colin's bedroom set.

The cake!! This frosting is really mailable and movable when you freeze it, so it is pretty easy to shape.

Lets blow out the candle!

Opening gifts. He got the first aid kit from his Grandma Jo... my mother is the queen of practical! (That is not the only thing he got from them...)

Aunt Sisty spiked the mo-hawk! Colin finally learned "So-Big!" (sometime last mont

Home again home again...

Colin and I are back from an extended stay at my parents house. I'm uploading pictures now (245 of them!) and new posts will follow shortly. Stay tuned for Birthday Festivities Part 2 and Part3.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Making the Monkey Cake.

Everyone seems interested in the Monkey Cake so I will tell you how I did it. Here are step by step instructions.. I wish I had thought to take pictures along the way to be all fancy but I didn't.

  1. Trace your cake pans and made a pattern. I made mine so I could get the ears and nose/mouth out of one pan (and make sure it fit on my cake carrier).
  2. Make the cake. I actually used banana cake because I thought it would be appropriate. =) I only use Ducan Heinz Moist Deluxe cakes.
  3. Make the frosting. I made two batches of butter cream frosting, one chocolate and one regular. Here is the recipe I used. I followed some of the comments and used butter and butter flavor Crisco... although I think next time I would use regular Crisco because it came out pretty yellow. For chocolate I replaced 1cup powdered sugar with cocoa and increased the milk by 1/4 cup.
  4. Mix some chocolate and some regular frosting together to get the light brown.
  5. Place your pattern on your cake and cut it out.
  6. Put the ears and head together and frost normally with the darker frosting, being careful not to drag crumbs. I had to frost mine in the living room because my kitchen was too hot and the frosting kept melting.
  7. Refrigerate the cake for about 10 mins while you do the next step.
  8. Put the nose/mouth on a cutting board (or other flat clean surface) and frost with the light brown frosting.
  9. Refrigerate this part too for about 5 mins.
  10. Using a cake/icing spatula transfer the mouth/nose to the head.
  11. Fill in the gaps with more light brown frosting
  12. (This is the ingenious part!) Put aluminum foil on a cutting board and draw/frost the ears and eyes with light brown frosting. Put it in the freezer for about five mins.
  13. Peel the frosting off the foil and place it on the cake. (I made my eyes to big the first time so I had to carve it down with a toothpick.
  14. Pipe on black frosting for the smile, nose and eyes.

Photograph and enjoy!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Birthday Festivities Part 1!

We spent this past weekend on the island doing the first birthday thing. On Saturday, we attended The Tinsley Family Summer Jam, at which Colin's birthday was honored. I made him a little cake and let him go to town, but he really wasn't interested. Here are some pictures from Saturday.

Here is Colin with his Grandma Mo and his new friend Jerrah.

Colin spotted this little boy across the lawn and marched right up to him and gave him a hug. Unfortunately I didn't catch that on camera since he caught us all by surprise, but they continued to act cute for a while so I snapped some pics. Jerrah (not sure if that is how he spells it) was very patient with Colin as he kept touching his face, nose and hair. I'm not sure if this is a normal behavior for children but Colin is always very interested in touching other children, especially their faces. It is almost like he is checking to see if they are real. He does it with Lukas all the time.

Here are a few pictures of Colin 'enjoying' his cake. (He wasn't impressed)

They are supposed to be fireworks not spiders.
It is a carrot cake with butter cream frosting (not cream cheese frosting because I made butter cream for the other cake and wasn't making yet another type of frosting) Janice said it was the best carrot cake she has ever had. I give my mother credit for finding the recipe and introducing me to it. The cake was actually made in a mini bundt pan I just filled in the whole in the center (which wasn't very large to begin with)

Then on Sunday we had a BBQ at Sean's Fathers house with the family and a few close family friends. Here are some pictures from Sunday.
The tent was a gift from Mrs. Tinsley. If you don't know Mrs T. she LOVES giraffes (even more than I do) and purchased this tent for her own future grand children. Unfortunately neither Jay nor Ben have delivered on that and since she will be moving soon decided to give it to a pseudo-grandchild rather than take it with her. Sean and I feel very honored by the affection showered on Colin by the entire Tinsley family (even if Colin is a little intimidated by it.) He enjoyed the tent all day Sunday and I can promise this will end up in my living room sometime this winter when we can't go outside. I think it would also be great for the beach! No chance of loosing your family with this thing set up!

Colin opening and enjoying his gifts.

More tent enjoyment.

Another mini-cake for Colin, this one without the spiders! Notice it is on a glad ware top, that was my ingenious idea for mini-cake holders! So they wouldn't get crushed on the way out. If you are confused..the 'bottom' of the container was used as a dome lid.

This was the cake I made for everyone else! Go ahead, be impressed!! Maybe in another blog I'll tell you how I did it.

More cake eating.

No first birthday party would be complete without a meltdown. After two full days of partying the boy had had enough!!

Colin is 1 YEAR OLD!

I'm a wee bit late with this post due to birthday festivities but better late than never.

Height: 32" 95%ile
Weight: 23lbs 12 oz 61%ile
Head Circ: 47cm 64%ile
I was very surprised when the scale only read 23lbs! I was so sure he would be over 25, but I suppose I did notice all of his pants getting a little loose around the middle so I suppose he traded some weight for height in the last few months. His doctor was surprised by how tall he was this month.

Sleeping: He is improving. Sean is making some really good progress getting him to put himself to sleep in the crib at night. On a good night he wakes up twice around 1am and 4am. We are encouraged by his progress and are continuing to work with him. He dropped his 2nd nap this month quite spontaneously. I expected to have to slowing introduce this change but he just up and delayed his first nap one day and that was it. He is still sleeping the same number of hours during the day he just does them in one shot instead of two. This has made bedtime a lot easier on everyone.

Not very impressed with his first gift.

Weaning: Colin day weaned himself on Father's Day. That was the day I stopped his feeding after nap #2 and he had no interest in the bedtime feeding so we skipped that too. He is currently down to one overnight nursing session which is more for comfort than for food. This will soon disappear as well once we get through some traveling we are doing this summer.

"What?! You got me shoes for my birthday?"

  • Going out. I have occasionally made the mistake of taking the garbage out (the garbage shoot is in the hallway outside our door) in view of Colin and he really gets excited thinking we are going out. If I close that door again he gets pretty upset.
  • Buttons (the kind you push). He just loves to push buttons and make things happen. He is now very interested in the computers and dvd players. These are 'off limits' but we are still working on understanding that concept. I thought we had a hard time locating the TV remote before! Now it is impossible to find it because Colin has invariably walked off with it.
  • Boxes. He loves pushing them around and putting things in and then taking them out again. We went shoe shopping for Sean a few weeks ago, the boy was in heaven with all the boxes!
  • The blocks in his walker. Again he takes them out and puts them back in repeatedly.
  • Pens. I don't think he understands their purpose just that we use them and he wants them. I see these as a bit dangerous and try to keep them away from him, not always easy.

Modeling his new shoes. He obviously prefers the box.


  • Having blood drawn! I thought the shots were bad, Colin had blood drawn for his lead test at his doctors appointment and WOA he was not a fan. I think it took longer than it should have but that was partially my fault. I gave him a lollipop (organic of course!) to help ease him though the vaccines, not knowing blood work would happen at the same visit (everyone I know had to go to another office for this procedure.) He got pretty sticky and he to be cleaned off, but we didn't think of it until I was already holding him down on the table and he had been alcohol swapped. So the restraining part went on for a while and he was getting upset before we even got to the needle. Luckily she only had to poke him once, but it took a while for the vial to fill... longer than I would have expected.
  • Face washing. UGH! This is really getting annoying! He gets his face washed at least three times a day every day and he still freaks out about it. I have tried everything to make it less traumatic but the only thing that makes it easier is to surprise him from behind and quick clean it before he knows what hit him.
  • Balloons =(. I picked up some mylar balloons for Colin on his birthday and he wasn't a fan. He seemed to enjoy them in the store but in the house he was afraid of them. We are working on it.

New things:

  • Walking! He is now very good at walking around and when he falls down he just gets back up again instead of reverting to crawling. Both Sean and I walked at 11 months so we weren't too surprised that Colin started walking at 11 months too.
  • Temper temper! Colin is starting to show signs of a bit of a temper. I took a pen away from him and he got mad and threw himself on the ground. My response was just to walk away, don't want to reinforce that behavior with attention.
  • Words: 'All done' is back, hot, cat ('ta'), grandma, hi, bye bye. He is really mimicking a lot this month so I'm sure new word are on the way.
  • Signs: dog, clean, and maybe sleep
  • Teeth: He now has all eight in the front and one of his molars (his lower right). We think another one is on the way but I'm not sure which. Cutting molars is NO FUN for anyone.

Enjoying some birthday ice cream.

Friday, July 17, 2009

365 Days later.

I will hopefully get to the 1 yr old post later this afternoon but for now here is a review of the last 12 months in pictures. I tried to use ones I hadn't previously posted so you would see something new, although sometimes that just means a different version of a pose you've already seen. Enjoy.













Monday, July 13, 2009


I've been bouncing this post around in my head for a while as it has become more and more obvious that Colin is falling on the "slow-to-warm-up" side of the temperament scale for kids. For those of you without a psychology background, infants generally fall into one of three temperament categories: easy, difficult and slow to warm up. Since Colin was born I've been saying he is an easy baby (aside from the sleeping thing), he is almost always in a good mood (periods of teething excluded), he plays well by himself and also is happy to leave the house and run errands with me. However, there have been certain signs of 'sensitivity' that I've overlooked.
Colin is not the child who can be happily passed around the room in a crowd. Now that he is walking he is much more likely to explore but likes to have Mom or Dad close by. He doesn't like strangers and has always gotten upset when a stranger gets too close (especially if he is in strapped into the stroller.) He is starting to recognize extended family but still takes a few minutes to warm up upon reintroduction.
He is also sensitive to temperature, I remember when he was only a week old my mom and I took him for a walk to CVS. It was a hot July day and CVS was well air conditioned, the transition from hot to cold (probably dropped 15 degrees easily)really upset him but once we were back outside he was completely content again.
Loud noises also freak him out. If he is anywhere near the bathroom when the toilet flushes (and remember, we have industrial strength toilets so they are LOUD) he scrambles to either Sean or me to be picked up and puts his head down on our shoulder until the noise is gone.
Sean and I took Colin to the pool this weekend, and this was an eye opener. I was thinking that the temperature of the pool was really the problem at swimming lessons but I think it is the entire experience. Even when Sean was standing and holding Colin in only 8INCHES of water, Colin still clung desperately to his neck. In fact, even when Colin was walking around in the sprinkler section, if he walked into a puddle he got upset.
So there is no denying that he is on the 'slow-to warm up' side of easy but I think it could be a lot worse. He does have some traits that don't match with this temperament. For example, he LOVES to be the center of attention and have everyone clap for him. This child can really work an audience! However, recognizing and acknowledging his temperament allows me to modify my own behavior and try to 'tone it down' a bit. Maybe I shouldn't be the first one in the pool this week! He might benefit from greeting new activities a little slower.

I should mention, that I too was a slow-to-warm up baby and I think it is a testament to my parents that no one I know would still classify me as 'shy'. I'm pretty sure Sean was an easy baby from what I have heard about him. Maybe baby #2 can be more like his father!!

How about you? What are your children's temperaments? Anyone have any advice for handling a slow to warm up baby?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Change is a good thing...(so far!)

For the last three days Colin has only taken one nap during the day (day 1 -2hour 15 mins, day 2 -nearly 3 hours, day three 2 hours 20 mins), and honestly the transition has been remarkably easy. Sean and I have both noticed that it is much easier to put him to sleep for both his naps and at night. In fact, he has needed less and less intervention from us to get him to sleep. The last five minutes he usually wants to be held before laying down nearly asleep but this is a major improvement over the 30-60 mins it has been taking to put him to sleep. Even better, his overnight sleep is better only getting up 2 or 3 times and when he does get up he is much easier to put back to sleep. He even slept until 7:30 this morning which is virtually unheard of for him. Granted this is a small sample size, but we are very encouraged by his progress. Things are good.

Here are pictures of Colin's first taste of pasta with tomato sauce.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Big Changes Ahead

1) Colin has begun to refuse baby food purees. He still happily eats yogurt off a spoon so I don't think it is the idea of being feed that bothers him, seems to be he is bored with that texture. So now I have to get way more creative with what I feed him. Everyone says just feed him what you would eat. Anyone who knows what I eat would never offer this advice. I've gotten a lot better recently but lunch is still a pretty consistent rotation of mac and cheese, grilled cheese and cold cuts. So aside from cold cuts that is what Colin eats too. We tried pasta with red sauce last night and he seemed to enjoy that and this morning he finally ate a toaster waffle (banana waffles of all things!) so that adds a few more possibilities. I'm thinking about making him humus for lunch we'll see how that goes. Any other suggestions for kid friendly healthy meals are appreciated!

2) My wonderful napping routine is in flux. Serious bummer. The tricky part is that Colin does not seem to have any desire to move his morning nap (probably because he isn't sleeping through the night yet) and this nap has been growing lately, from his typical 70 mins to nearly 3hours one day. This obviously shifts nap #2 later (usually 330-5) which shifts bedtime to 9. I'm going to try to push is morning nap as far out as I can but for the next few weeks things are going to get messy. My biggest concern is for the days he only takes a 40 min nap I will no longer have a second nap to make up the difference and will just have a cranky kid all day.

3) I would now consider Colin officially walking (as of last Sunday). He now walks a lot but is still fairly unstable. I wouldn't put him down outside the house and just let him go, but we are close to that. Soon he will be walking around on his own instead of having to be carried, which couldn't come at a better time because he is getting heavy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oh Mother!

My mother has resorted to harassing my friends in stores to strong arm more pictures out of me!! Mom! I'm busy! Here are some recent photos you haven't seen.

A couple pictures from July 4th. Sean humored me for all of 4.5 mins so I could take a picture of us in our matching (corporate takeover America) 4th of July shirts.

Enjoying the Park - no fireworks for us this year, it is just way too crowded for me.
Colin requesting to be let out. My next house will be HUGE!
As you can see we are back in g's again. It was just an in between size thing that was giving us trouble. (Personally I would rather bridge the gap with disposables for a few weeks than have them make another size) Now that he is a solid large we haven't had any trouble. Oh and if you want to try g's on the cheap check out my friend Daisy's blog for an amazing discount (I think its like 50% off). You only have until July 31st.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Baby Swim Classes

Colin and I had our first baby swim class on Thursday. I had said I would consider it a success if he got into the pool and didn't scream the whole time. So it was a success! It was a bit rainy that day so it was a little chilly and the water in the pool, while not cold, certainly wasn't warm. I've never been good at swimming in chilly water so there were times in the pool where I wasn't sure which one of us was shaking. None of the other babies seemed to notice or mind... (I guess that makes me realize how much of a 'baby' I really am!) Colin really just wanted to hold onto me, we were supposed to encourage the babies to turn around to do things but Colin really wasn't having it. We'll work on that more next week.

The mo-hawk is back!

Babies are supposed to be holding the wall.. that wasn't happening.
Lots of Mama's and babies!Cheesin'