Almost 2 Years Old


I can actually believe we have an almost 2 year old. She’s really trying to show us who’s boss lately, using words like “stop that!” and trying to delay her bedtime by requesting additional songs, stories or “goodnights” from daddy and Jameson.

We had a sick month with miss Coraline, from lingering ear infections to RSV. We had to do the shots for Coraline’s ear infections after two round of antibiotics, and it was tough on me because it coincided with when Brian was out of town for work. It was a difficult month with weather, work, health and family life. I’ll be happy for Spring to appear, though we did have some occasions that we really enjoyed being out in the snow (Coraline is sometimes still a bit hesitant on snow, but getting better now that we have better fitting boots for her). We scheduled surgery for Coraline to get tubes again for her ears after she turns 2.


Coraline has really been discussing what she sees lately, from talking about what she observes in the bedtime stories we read to the clothes she wears. After reading Goodnight Moon, she suggested additional Goodnight things, including house, Minnie Mouse, and soccer ball. She loves playing tea party (though I set up her baby dolls to go with it this time).



Not much activity on the potty training front, except one big event where she pooped on the potty, though not on purpose. I happened to catch her! Because we were in the basement, and missing the potty seat, she wasn’t super happy with me holding her up. Since then, she’s really only been interested in potty training on the surface, but not really in the activity. Sometimes she tells me if she’s peed.


This charming little girl is already getting time outs and getting into trouble! This time around, I feel like Coraline is already acting like a 2 year old, so the upcoming birthday is a bit easier to swallow. I’m making her a compilation video, since we’re only going to have a small family gathering for her “party” this year. It should be a lot of fun to watch her react to her video clips.

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2015 Beginnings

For New Years, we visited our friends JP & Lisa, and decided to stay over along with our friends Rob & Christina too. Our last New Years that we stayed over was a couple years ago, and let’s just say we didn’t want to repeat it any time soon. Jameson was up early, we had little sleep, and we were dead on our feet the whole next day.

A couple years later, and it didn’t seem as bad. And it actually wasn’t! The kids did a ton of snacking. I think that’s all we did was snack. I had Coraline’s hair up in these cute little tails, which is challenging because it’s hard enough getting one in, let alone two.



P.S. Coraline totally growls better than the boys do.

We always exchange a little Christmas gift too with the kids. I think next year it might be less, but we set a $5 limit this year (2 kids each, and two families, so that’s $40 in kid gifts right there so $5 seemed to work at first til I tallied it up!)

Christina made a gift for the older boys this year, which were a huge hit. Super hero capes! Jameson got a batman one.




Coraline got a cute little farm animal little people tractor set and book, which is always a win.



I tried to get the kids to sit on the couch for a photo, but that was not really working. Lots of hyper giggles!



We even practiced counting down to the New Year, but that also ended in hilarities. Jonathan came around to give everyone their New Years kiss!



To settle the kids down, we put on Frozen. The boys got into it, singing “Let It Go”. We also went ahead and put on the Madagascar “New Years Eve party” episode to celebrate the New Year a little early. This worked out pretty well, with the kids in bed at a decent hour.

The boys all slept in Jonathan’s room in new sleeping bags. Coraline slept in the pack and play upstairs with us. We were shocked, but she actually was really excited to get to sleep in it. She was a much better sleeper than Jameson was a couple years ago.




The next morning, we had breakfast and felt (relatively) rested. We stayed up too late and drank and played games, so even with good sleepers we were a little tired. It wouldn’t be New Years otherwise though, would it!?


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Christmas Finale

This is it! We’re finally done with Christmas. Mostly, anyway. We still have a live wreath on the front door as of today, which looks surprisingly well. It’s probably smothered in preservatives.

After naptime, we headed over to see Grandma, Poppa and Aunt Melissa.



Melissa had some air filled bags for Jameson to pop, and Coraline wanted to try. She got right into it and tried to jump and fell right on her butt. Hilarious!


Jameson got a Pink Floyd shirt from Aunt Melissa that he adores. However, it’s not washing very well unfortunately. It’s pretty much see-through when it’s not on him, now.

And as usual, boxes are also a hit!



Brian and Melissa exchange some kind of gag gift. Mostly it’s Brian gifting to Melissa, but then it typically comes back around. This time, he got her grasshoppers from the pet food store. We had to open them… Jameson (and all) were pretty disgusted.


Another favorite: Jameson got a transforming helicopter/dinosaur that makes all kinds of sounds. He loves it!


Coraline also got this cute little book with her little face showing on every page.


It was wonderful to be able to spend time with family and have a lot of vacation time from work to do so. We didn’t get to go see Great-Grandma this year though because of various illnesses, so that was the end of our 2014 Christmas season.

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Christmas Day


Jameson and I made cookies for Santa when we arrived home Christmas Eve. He insisted that Santa should use a real glass cup for milk, but that he might be too messy, so we wrote a note. Jameson then said the note would get too messy next to the cookies and milk, so he posted it on a wall for Santa to see when he came in.


He was so excited to see if Santa came the next morning! Coraline had to have some yogurt first though so we made him wait. He wondered how Santa knew he wanted a shark (he didn’t, that was from mom and dad)! There is still some mix up about which gifts are from Santa and which are from everyone else, but that’s okay.

After some time, he declared that he was too tired to open more Christmas gifts (and Coraline gave up after just three), but we made them do it anyway. They’re not pros yet, obviously. Coraline is a little over one and a half and Jameson is 4 years old.





As usual from Santa, Jameson and Coraline got something to read, something to wear and something to play with. Jameson got Pixar Bedtime Stories, and Coraline got a classic Madeline board book. Jameson also got his one wish, a new lawn mower for Christmas like Jonathan and Lily’s. Coraline got a play dough molding and cutting set which also came with new play dough. She immediately wanted to play with it.

To wear, Jameson received new fuzzy socks and a Superman hat that fits much better than the little caps he had been wearing. Coraline got a new sweater with a little fox on it.





 Kids Opening Christmas Gifts Video

Jameson and Brian went out and picked out a gift for Coraline from Jameson. He picked a little pound puppy which she carried around with her everywhere for a while. The kids together got a lot of new playfood, since I was very interested in replacing some of the less-than-healthy plastic food they had. I didn’t throw all the food out that they had, but supplemented and replaced what I could for now. Coraline really loved her tea set, which we actually bought for her the year prior and saved.



Jameson got a new spider man sleeping bag, which he brings out to sleep or lay in every chance he gets (literally every weekend). He got to use it at Jonathan’s house when we slept over for New Years Eve. It’s very loved. Coraline got a little remote control vehicle and Hape stringing/lacing beads as well.


In their stockings, Santa brought special holiday goldfish, lots more socks, tooth brushes and toothpaste, and Coraline got a new necklace that’s actually for teething and made of food-safe silicone beads since she’s still a chewer. Jameson got a paint-your-own-snowman, too.


One of Jameson’s favorite gifts was the truck he got, a log hauler I picked up from TJ Maxx. It’s by a great company making better plastic toys, Bruder trucks. He also got Legos, which we’ve made together. He loves the little swords the little men carry.


It was a fun-filled morning, after which we brought out the new play dough, had some breakfast sweet rolls, a nap (Coraline did anyway) and headed over to Grandma and Poppa’s for our Christmas dinner.


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Christmas Lights & Family

I really enjoy Christmas lights. I think we should have Christmas lights up all winter long! We do take ours down when the weather permits, but I really wouldn’t mind if they were up until April. The past couple years, when we’ve gone down to Meemaw and Grandpa’s for Christmas, we’ve also visited the local neighborhood light show at the rec center. This year was much less muddy than last years.




You pay to get in, but they have free rides when you’re inside. The kids rode this flying Santa ride. Coraline leaned over and stared out the side the whole time.


Then they did this mini coaster, and Coraline lost her hat on this ride. It was very jerky around the corners! The operator rescued her hat before it hit the rails. She was very concerned by the end of this one and almost crying. I’m sure she’d do it again though if Jameson wanted to!




It was actually on Meemaw’s birthday that we went. Happy birthday Meemaw!


We also celebrated all the December birthdays with Uncle Tyler. Meemaw got her gifts from all of us, but Uncle Tyler came to visit from Florida and had gifts for Aunt Holly’s early December birthday and Jameson’s too.


Jameson got binoculars, which we brought to the park later to see the birds.


Coraline knows Aunt Holly, Meemaw and Grandpa, of course, but she wasn’t sure who Uncle Tyler was at first. She doesn’t have some of the shyness though that I had observed in Jameson when he was little.


We had Christmas at Meemaw’s on the 23rd. We were leaving on Christmas Eve and wanted to give the kiddo’s an opportunity to play with their gifts before we had to leave.





Coraline enjoyed showing off her gifts. The cups were a big hit! Jameson loves his Jake and the Neverland Pirates pajamas.




We really had a lot of fun seeing my side of the family, and I enjoyed the Christmas cookies and Christmas dinner maybe more than I should’ve!


We were lucky to see Meemaw and Grandpa three times from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but especially enjoyed seeing Uncle Tyler and his pup, Athena, who we usually only see once a year.


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Drama Queen


Coraline turned 21 months old in December. I’ve been trying a new app to help me track milestones, moments, and quotes, because I’m so far behind here and my phone is on me more often. It’s called Day One, and while I don’t write in it everyday, it is definitely a keeper. Here are some moments that occurred with Miss Coraline this month.

Coraline is 21 months going on 21 years. Just kidding, it’s closer probably to 12 or 13. A dramatic teenager, maybe. Getting to the bathroom first to wash hands is always a race, but Coraline in particular throws a little fit when she loses. The day this photo was taken was complete with hitting the floor and Jameson.

In addition, most injuries, minor or otherwise, require a boo boo kiss and at least a little cry (and if the injury involves hands and feet, both appendages require a kiss). I kind of love it.

Getting to the bathroom first to wash hands is always a race, but Coraline in particular throws a little fit when she loses. Today was complete with hitting the floor and Jameson.


Coraline explored her first snowfalls (that she remembers, since last year doesn’t count in her mind) in November. It actually didn’t snow in December much if at all, but just before Thanksgiving we had a heavy snowfall perfect for making a snow man. I also tried making the kids an igloo which didn’t work out so good, so I just sat them on top of the enormous ball where they were trapped for some photos. She really hated it. This is a very fake smile which involved tears both before and after.


Of course, we also rode the Polar Express, which was delightful, but not as delightful as these matching pajamas. Coraline is already almost outgrowing hers. She’s a great eater; she frequently consumes more than Jameson does, and has a fun little food cackle when something is super yummy or exciting. We are getting that laugh a little less frequently, and I’m bummed it’s going away.

Before we eat, she’s learning how to pray with us. She folds her hands (when she’s not screaming for her food because she’s starving mom!), and at the end says “We eat!” with Jameson. Her hair is getting longer and crazier, like a little mop on her head, which I also adore. She’s been trying to jump (unsuccessfully), and slide downstairs on her butt (almost had an injury with that one once, we definitely still watch her going down the steps though she’s a pro going up). Coraline also tries to put on her own clothes (or Jameson’s, or anyone’s), also unsuccessfully. Jameson helped her put on his underwear over her pants one day, which was hilarious.


She likes to pretend to sleep for half a second, and when we wake her in the morning. Coraline is definitely slower to wake than Jameson ever was. She’s got a wonderful, cheerful demeanor almost every second of the day unless she’s hungry or tired (see above). One day when I picked her up from school, three teachers who hadn’t seen her in a long while all stopped us to try and get hugs from her. She’s definitely a little darling at school, though we continue to struggle with rashes.


Another big moment was that she peed in the potty for the first time! Followed by absolutely no peeing in the potty since. It was a fluke for sure, and she had no idea she did it. But she loves to sit on it, wash her hands, and brush her teeth. She loves our bedtime routine.


Coraline often tries to speak in full sentences and we have no idea what she’s saying. It involves lots of singing as well, and we do recognize some of those songs, including ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and our favorite Rain Rain Go Away. The past couple months have been a treasure, though we definitely are seeing that drama queen which should add excitement to our little soon-to-be two year old’s life. And ours. I’m assuming at some point the tantrums will be less funny and more annoying, but not yet 🙂

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All I want for Christmas…

This year, Jameson wants a new lawn mower for Christmas. Like last year, he hasn’t changed his mind at all. The lawn mower is supposed to be like his friend Jonathan’s, and should be ALL blue and ALL orange. It should be like Lily’s lawn mower, but not pink. Of course, we already have a lawn mower, but there’s no harm in having two since it’s the only thing he’s been asking for and we do have two kids, so we let Santa know this is an a-okay gift idea.




Yesterday, he came home with a little wishlist they did at school, which has lawn mower first of course, but also: book, cd, and toys. This kid is easy to buy for! I’m cracking up a little bit about the cd though.

Coraline can identify “Santa”, but otherwise has stayed pretty quiet about what she wants for Christmas. I’m sure a box would satisfy both the kiddos, so I’ve put that close to the top of their wishlists.

Amazon has the best boxes

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Obviously, it is WAY past Halloween. Not even relevant, to anyone but myself for record keeping purposes. Coraline and Jameson were Captain Hook and Tick Tock Crock. It was super cute. I am hoping that I can swing one more year of coordinating costumes, if Jameson picks something reasonable I should be able to get Coraline to go for it next year. Crossing fingers!


This year, we did Boo at the Akron Zoo. It’s our favorite, since the zoo isn’t too big. It’s wonderful for littler kiddos. We went with two groups of friends, which was difficult to keep everyone together but we made it work.


Here’s our regular gathering of kiddos, between 3 families. Jameson’s friends Bobby and Jonathan and their siblings. Coraline also had a little friend there as well, Adelyn (not pictured), who was born the same night as her (though technically a different day!)



This year the big kids were old enough to trick or treat, and they loved it!

Coraline didn’t feel left out though. She loved feeding the goats and running around freely. We went on a great day, because it was rainy before and rainy as we were leaving, but clear while we were there. It wasn’t crowded and was perfect!





After we left the zoo, we had lunch with Bobby’s family. We couldn’t believe how well-behaved all the kids were, for being out so far past naptime for Coraline in particular. We really felt like we were getting freer to be more flexible, it was lovely!

The next weekend was our haunted neighborhood party/gathering. A few houses get together to do sets like photo booth, food, games and activities, etc. They also do little hayrides through a couple streets. I’d totally consider hosting, but our house is far away from the main gathering point and other houses.




We pay a little fee and the kids get a little something. This year and last year was a light up necklace, which is always a hit!


We skipped the photo booth this year, though not really on purpose, and went straight to do some crafts.



Grandma, Papa and Aunt Melissa joined us for the party this time, as well as the neighbors.


We also got to see Nathan! Jameson was so excited to see his best buddy from school. Nathan doesn’t go to our preschool anymore but still lives in our neighborhood so we have still been able to stay in touch and get the kids together. They loved it!


We never looped back around to the other houses except for the food one because for most of the evening, we were watching a live animal show! All the kids were simply fascinated. Coraline, my baby crocodile, got to pet a real one (or alligator… I can’t remember the difference :)) They also had a really large snake, chinchilla, and parrot too.




It was a great evening and always a fun time. It’s the only big thing our neighborhood really puts on (plus a garage sale day), but what a wonderful annual activity!

The next day we finally carved our pumpkins. This year, Jameson was all about it. He didn’t mind the “gross stuff” and he helped to clean out one of the pumpkins. He told me to make a scary face this year.

I expected Coraline to actually be a little less squeamish than Jameson had been at her age, but she was very concerned with the texture or cold feel of the pumpkin guts, so she didn’t participate.




Except at the very end, she was totally fine with hanging out in the empty pumpkin, as long as she had her snacks.

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All the Fingers and Toes


Count ’em! 20 fingers and toes. Get it? 🙂 I thought we’d better get an update here before Coraline turns 21 months. These past few weeks are already blurring in my mind. Coraline continues to show off her little toddler personality, singing songs (I recognize the tunes to our “night night” song, twinkle twinkle and abcs are pretty distinct, and my personal favorite, “rain rain go away!”) and still insistently only saying “no” and never “yes”.




This month Coraline also lost her buddy; she loved feeding Sasha cookies. There at the end, Coraline was getting the box herself out of the open pantry to feed her! In just a couple weeks, she doesn’t mention Sasha’s name any longer. But just a day ago, she noticed a cup we used to fill for Sasha’s water, and she said her name again!



Coraline also experienced leaf fun. The backyard shed its leaves in a single day. She loved playing in the leaves. We’ve noticed she has a particular laugh she uses when she’s delighted (most of the time, this laugh happens when she’s getting food!) But sometimes other things will really bring it out, particularly new, fun experiences. Spoiler alert: she does not like snow.

This month we’re struggling more with her cheeks and getting a handle on her eczema. It’s manageable, but the poor thing looks flushed most of the time! Coraline doesn’t seem too irritated by it though.


We can just hold Coraline’s hand as she walks along and carries her own lunch bag into school everyday. She tries to run. She likes to have everything kissed for her boo boos, eats better than Jameson, and gets more articulate by the day. Coraline now says “Thank you”, and my favorite, “No thank you” which quickly turned into “No thanks mommy” which isn’t quite as cute.


This is terribly short for all the fun we’ve been having and doing! I suppose we’re spending more time living life right now than recording it, but I don’t really mind. We’re really treasuring this age with Coraline, and frequently comment on her adorable nature. I consider it one of my very favorite ages, and remember feeling that Jameson was simply awesome at this age as well.

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Farm Park

The time change this week really hit me, realizing that we’re approaching winter! Jameson comments on it being dark, and frequently asks if it’s his bedtime right after school now. It wasn’t that long ago that we were enjoying pleasant fall weather!




We visited the Farm Park for the first time at the end of September. We’ve been talking about it for a long time (at least a year), but finally we decided to go on this perfect weekend. Our first stop was the baby piglets, which pretty much made the trip for me. I love piglets.


Coraline was all about touching all the animals; she has no fear. She’s knows a lot of animal sounds, though she’s still not great with the pig’s “oink”. My latest favorite is her “cockadoo” for the rooster noise.



Jameson, on the other hand, was very stiff about it.



He refused to pet the piglets, but did pet the goat and a couple other animals. Surprisingly, he was even willing to brush the horse! Only once though.




Aside from traditional farm animals, they had an interesting plant and garden center. The kids could make vegetable people or stamp with vegetables. There was plenty of activity for kids of all ages. Coraline wasn’t bored, that’s for sure!



Our last stop was the corn maze, which also delighted me. We’ve avoided corn mazes because they’re typically geared toward older children. This one though was a perfect size for the preschooler and toddler. Jameson was very excited (don’t let his stiff smiling fool you). He went into what I would call “alleys” in the maze, between the stalks and actual paths. We had to go after him once.






Jameson really didn’t want to go to the Farm Park initially. Lately, he’s been all about staying in pajamas at home on the weekends. In lieu of that, he wanted to go to a playground. Convincing him to go out to an activity is occasionally more difficult than I’d expect! But I get it: He goes to school every day, and not being asked to do something for a while is definitely a luxury for him right now. I think in the end he had a good time.

There were even swings at the Farm Park, so everyone won.



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