Saturday, we started Jameson’s first swimming lessons that he likely remembers, since his last ones were over a year ago. We stopped about a month before Coraline was born. He’s got a pretty great memory now, but I recall that being a time when he was just starting to really hold onto his memories.

So that morning we took him to a local high school which has a pool. We didn’t do a mommy-and-me style class. For his age group, they recommended he go by himself; Jameson did need some encouragement though. Maybe more than a little, since I had to end up lifting him into the water when he didn’t want to go all the way down the steps.

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The pool was nice in that it was sized great for preschoolers who could actually stand in the water by themselves. It was generously warm as well, which I was thankful for. I remember very cold water on cooler outdoor mornings for my own swimming lessons. Jameson is a lucky kid!

He also showed quite a bit of hesitation before putting the floater under his arms, but again after a little encouragement from me on the other side, he did it!

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They even had time for some play, which I think was missing from our soccer experience (which by the end he did not want to participate in at all!). So I have high hopes that he will enjoy his swimming lessons and get more and more confident in the water. By the end of our first lesson, simply playing with a ball he dared himself to get back into the deeper water!

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To reinforce the lesson that we need to learn to swim (and just to have fun!), we went to a waterpark later that afternoon with some friends.

Coraline loved it. She walked, holding onto my hands, to her chest height. No fear! When I had a hand under her belly, I even saw a couple kicks. I think she wanted to slide down the waterslide as well. She wasn’t quite tall enough for that! Jameson loved it though and did the slide over and over again.

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It was mildly chilly in and out of the water, but the water itself wasn’t too cold and the concrete really held the heat which meant we were comfortable and but not sweltering. The weather meant the crowd was very light, which we all loved. When Jameson got too cold, he laid down on the beach chairs covered in a towel eating snacks, haha!

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Coraline was not a big fan of the lazy river, mostly because of the life jacket squishing her little chin and cheeks up. She loved splashing and crawling on me. After several hours there, I still hadn’t really hear her fussing. She loved the poolside snacking (as did Jameson). I’m pretty sure the one time she cried at the end was because she was getting her swimsuit off, and she wanted to play more!

Brian and I had the opportunity to ride a few adult rides with our friend’s older girls, which was a blast. And we all visited the wave pool which water was very beach-like and warm.

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After the waterpark, some exhausted children continued to play and have fun late into the night. Particularly Jameson, who was up until 9:30! Coraline has reached the phase where you may not be able to tell she’s exhausted by looking at her. She’ll continue to play as long as you let her.

We enjoyed pizza on the grill with our friends before another homemade popsicle finale for the evening. A fun filled day!

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Summer Days by Phone

I’ve recently been leaving my big girl camera in the house, particularly since the end of May, since Brian was away on a guys vacation for a few nights. Wrangling two children on my own = no free hands for the big camera!

I’d love to be posting more, and talking about our everyday lives, which I feel like has gotten a back seat to eventful weekends and visits with family and friends. I’ve decided to start using more of our on-the-go photos with phones to tell that story.

Today I’m sharing quite a few phone photos, to get us up to speed! But in the future there may be less.

Jameson has gotten really into tank tops. He only had one, so daddy made another for him cutting the sleeves off an older shirt. Jameson promptly asked for another of his shirts to be made into tank tops, so instead we went out a bought him a couple more. His other favorite is plaid shorts. I thankfully got rid of all the “sport” shorts he had last year (the mesh-like kind), so after getting over that terrible loss, he is grown very attached to plaid, which is fine by me! 3 year old are hilarious.

Jameson likes to pick out his own clothes now, and here is a classic example of his recent style. Striped socks, plaid shorts, and camo on top.

Camo, plaid, stripes

While daddy was away, I pawned off sent Jameson to visit with his Aunt Melissa for a few hours. He chilled poolside with her, while we hung out by our own little wading pool. Coraline seemed to like the warmer water.

Pool day! Jameson's at the kiddie pool while this teething lady hangs poolside at home

We enjoyed some pool time with the neighbors one day as well. Coraline has been teething and a little fussy periodically and didn’t really want to be in the pool that day (only on my lap, of course). However, she was feeling better by evening and so I popped her into the pool and when she actually enjoyed it, I left her there in her diaper and shirt.

I didn't expect Coraline would want to be in this cooler water or I would've put her in a swim suit. She doesn't seem to care though

I bought Coraline some sunglasses, since she loves nothing better than to pull mine of my head. Now, she pulls hers on and off her head over and over again, and still does the same with mine.

Sunglasses tada!

Down the street from us is a family with older twin boys. Having outgrown their swingset, they offered it to us for free if we’d haul it off their yard. We had the parts in our backyard for about a month before we were finally able to get it together.

Now having two swingsets in our yard doesn’t make sense, so the more portable heavy duty plastic swingset we also got free from a friend the year prior is in our neighbor’s yard. We pretty much have a toddler’s dream playground between the two houses.


The bonus is under the “treehouse” or “clubhouse” is a little picnic area, perfect for popsicles.

After power washing it, the men are going to stain the wooden swingset and add a few beams to beef it up for stability. It’ll look like new!

Enjoying the "tree house" on the new-to-us swingset!

I have recently started a new diet, based on the shakes with Body by Vi (Visalus). My friend and her husband did the diet last fall with great success, and I couldn’t get convinced to try it before, but I finally did use some of her sample she gave me and decided it was do-able.

I now use the blender every morning, and so Jameson has started asking for drinks of his own (without the shake mix since he is too young). He doesn’t really drink them though, but we found another use the past weekend when I made us popsicles!

The popsicles are made from 1 c. strawberries, 1 c. watermelon, 1 tsp of sugar, and maybe 1/2 c. of orange juice. Perfect portion for 4 popsicle molds I bought from Target a couple months ago.

We made homemade popsicles today from strawberries, watermelon and orange juice!

It was a hit!

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Brian’s Birthday

Brian’s birthday seems to consistently have such perfect weather. It’s always right around Memorial Day, and so we tend to celebrate with cookouts with our family and friends!

This year, we went to grandma and poppa’s house, and were surprised to see that his cousin Gabrielle and her son Griffin as well as his Uncle Mike were all there to celebrate with us too!




Griffin gets along so well with younger kids, and played with Jameson almost non-stop while we were there. They played ball and catch and tackle and cars… “boy” things.


Coraline plays ball fine herself too, I should add!


After our rib dinner (so. good.), we went back outside to play. It was beautiful outside!




Aunt Melissa and Gabrielle tried to get Jameson to roll down the backyard hill with them, but he couldn’t be persuaded to let go. He did do a little fake roll for a second but that’s it!




I made Brian’s cake from scratch from the same recipe I made Coraline’s first birthday cake as well, but this time I made it with a peanut butter filling. It was very peanut-buttery, so that was perfect for Brian. It was good, but not my best effort! I had a difficult time getting the filling right (too much peanut butter) and the cake itself was a little… broken.

But, all’s well that tastes well!


For the record, Coraline tasted a bit more of this cake than her own. We’ll turn her into a cake eater yet!

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Birthday Train

A couple weeks ago, we went to see Thomas the Train with friends this year. Last year, Coraline was still small, just over two months old. It was also cold, whereas it was quite hot this year by the time we finished our ride.

So much was different. I wouldn’t suggest this as an ongoing tradition since there will come time that they will be too old for Thomas, but there is something really special about going back to the same place again a year or more later and seeing how much things have changed.

Also, really, this was a lot more fun with friends!

As a bonus, it was Brian’s birthday, and he wanted to celebrate by taking the kiddos out for some fun. Who couldn’t love such an awesome husband?!


When we arrived, JP, Lisa, Jonathan and Joshua were already there waiting for us. We shared donuts with them while we waited for Bobby’s family to arrive. We had tickets for one of the earliest rides, which was also a better decision than last year (which had depended more on nap schedules).


Before our ride, we had some time to climb on the lawn mowers and get tattoos (Thomas, of course).



This light line allowed us time to get some photos with Thomas that we weren’t able to get last year, and it was still cooler out when we boarded so the train wasn’t too hot.


We squished together, 6 adults in 8 seats with 3 preschoolers and 3 babies. It was fun though, and we were all able to talk to one another! Jameson sat on my lap so nicely.




Coraline had a nice time, and tried to steal the socks off Jack, which is something Jameson also used to do. A baby stealing socks from younger babies is so cute and innocent and seems like a metaphor for something meaningful.



After our ride, Jameson and the boys jumped around in a couple of the bounce houses they had out.

We were pretty thrilled that we were able to convince Jameson quickly that a $3 straw with a picture of Thomas on it was a great souvenir! (As opposed to the $20+ kids shirts and trains)

That afternoon, we celebrated Brian’s birthday at his parent’s house. More fun to come!

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Mother’s Summer Day


I usually try to get a photo of me with the kids on Mother’s Day, but it didn’t happen this year. Well, I did get this one of Jameson and I which is great, but Coraline was less-than-cooperative. She certainly doesn’t want to sit still!


I did, however, take a few thousand photos of her in this little pink outfit. We recently got a lot of new-to-us clothes from our neighbor, and this outfit is my favorite. We were so lucky to have such a warm, beautiful Mother’s Day after all the rainy and cooler days we had and had again since.



Jameson putting on his rainboots, a testament to how rainy it’s been. It’s only muddy in a few areas of the backyard, thankfully! While Coraline napped, I actually did mulching on Mother’s Day, so I was dirty enough myself without the addition of mud.


A big treat for Jameson is to ride on daddy’s lawnmower while he mows. Brian didn’t actually mow this day, they just rode around, but Coraline gave me a big grin when she passed, so I think she liked her first ride!



We played outside with the cars, tricyles, and scooters. We even got out the bubbles! It may as well have been summer.




I was a little frustrated that this shot didn’t come out in focus, but I worked on it for a bit to create a more artistic looking blur rather than simply out of focus so I could keep the moment. Sasha doesn’t often stay still for Coraline because she tries to poke at her: face, paws, nose, anything she can reach.



Later, Aunt Melissa and Grandma and Poppa came over as well, which meant that I got to relax for a bit after my hard day of mulching and laundry! Happy Mother’s Day to me 🙂



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Growing Up


This was a huge month of growth in Coraline’s abilities! She is now speaking a few more words, including “baby”, “bye bye” (with a wave as well), “ball”, and “up”. She continues to use the same word for socks and shoes which kind of sounds like “ochx” which still makes me laugh. (Other words she already knows are dada, mama- rarely said, doggie or Sasha, and hi)

She likes to try and put shoes and socks on by holding them up to her feet, which is cute. Aside from waving, other gestures this month include a firm “no” headshake. When asked “where’s Coraline?” she will raise her hand up and pat her head with a big grin!


Coraline has always been affectionate, but it has progressed now where she used to lay her head on a lap or legs, now she is actually giving hugs with her arms. I witnessed a spontaneous hug from her to Jameson last week, which was adorable.



Other gross motor skill updates include standing! Finally! Within a week, she progressed from pulling up to a standing position to pushing a walk behind toy.



Coraline shocked us though when she managed to stand up by herself in the middle of the floor with no assistance! She sat down again right away, but has since managed that feat a couple more times. Remember just the other month she was barely standing at all?!


This month, she also moved up into the new room, the first room for 9-18 month olds. She was held back because of her bottle feeding issues (she loved Ms Colleen!) and since there was space in that room for a good amount of time. We have borrowed clothes from our neighbor, and she is now currently in 18 month shirts, 12 month pants and size 3 shoes. Her feet seem to grow very slowly, haha.

We have begun reading her bedtime stories, though she really likes flipping through the books herself. She also likes to play ball, rolling it back and forth with us.



She even loves being tickled. Another word for the books this month: she likes to say “tickh tickh” which I think means tickle, either when she is being tickled or when she is initiating the tickling.

Coraline also sits on little ride on toys outside now. She mostly goes backward, though she’s learning how to move forward.

She can go backwards pretty good now!

Coraline just hates the swing though, baby swing or even on my lap. She is terrified, and will burst into tears just watching me even if she’s not swinging. She also hates… milk in a sippy cup.

She started drinking from a straw, which she really enjoys. She just loves the water. But milk? No dice. We tried cold turkey, but she held out. So we are trying again with yet another sippy this weekend (after already trying the 6 or so types we already have at home).



We have just been so thrilled watching her grow this month. We are also thankful that at her follow up ENT visit, the doctor did not recommend replacing the tube that fell out from her ear early. We are continuing to watch it, and continuing with the chiropractor on occasion, and hoping that all remains well through summer at least.

Such personality! She seems like she’s ready to be added to our family cellphone plan, right?!


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Water Baby


Lately, Coraline has been putting her face into the water, voluntarily. I think we will need to do swimming lessons with her, and soon! She will put her entire head and body right under the faucet, and keep it there, despite sputtering and coughing with water running down her face. When we move her, she moves right back!


When the faucet is turned off, she moves to literally putting her face into the water up to her ears. The other day, she managed to blow bubbles, which encouraged the behavior (my laughter, as well). She did it again, but inhaled instead and even after coughing and gasping for a minute, she wanted to go right back at it! (I stopped her at that point). Even when washing her hands, she loves the water and licks them when we’re done.


This little water baby lady won’t have any problems going underwater I think.

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Easter Hunting

Easter morning, Coraline was up a little earlier than Jameson, so I brought her downstairs for a little egg hunting testing. I wanted to see how observant she was, since the Easter Bunny had to hide the eggs a little better this year for Jameson than in years past.

As it turns out, Coraline was very observant (perhaps more than Jameson at that age?). I took some video of her, and later after church, of both kids doing some Easter egg hunting.

When Jameson joined us downstairs, he spotted eggs right away and wanted to find more. It was tough, but we told him not until after church (just as it was for me growing up!). So we ate breakfast, got ready, took some family photos, and went to church before hunting eggs. It was quite a busy morning.


The Easter Bunny left their two baskets full of good things. Jameson got a box of 7 Jake and the Neverland Pirate puzzles; new bath crayons and bath bubbles; Jake car keys and stickers; a little metal school bus car; and chocolate covered animal crackers and gummy penguins.

Coraline received a new sippy cup which she quickly used with its straw; a Mega Blocks stacking egg with chick; a touch and feel Thumper the Bunny book and hippo puppet; new finger paint colors and stickers; and this Peek N Shake egg carton toy with little eggs and chicks inside which she just adores.



Jameson helped find one of the pink eggs which were designated as Coraline’s, and she got to munch on goldfish (off the floor, how thrilling).


Jameson just loved finding eggs this year, but still passed up likely spots I thought for sure he would see right away. He found all the eggs the Easter Bunny hid high up, but had a harder time being thorough looking at his kitchen set which had several hiding in it.




After Coraline’s nap, we went over to Grandma and Poppa’s house, where the Easter Bunny hid even more eggs for him to find! Aunt Melissa and Grandma helped the search, but Jameson nearly lost interest by the end. Looking for eggs outside was hard work.





Inside, Coraline and Jameson played so nice together while dinner was prepared.


The kids got to open a couple more Easter gifts, and Coraline loved her new pink lounge chair!



After dinner, we played with Jameson new toy, a lightweight Styrofoam airplane. Poppa taught Jameson how to fly it, though Jameson was a bit too excited to launch with a steady hand or figure out the proper position or posture. Still, it was a lot of fun for everyone watching him throw his airplane so excited!




Coraline loved being outside. She has no fear or concern for the grass, and was happy to watch all the activity. And crawl, too, because she certainly doesn’t sit still much any more!


By the end of the day, she was exhausted. Coraline loves to throw her head back and assume someone will catch her (most of the time, this works). She loves to be upside down, so at the end of the tiring day, she was a little slap happy and throwing herself backwards over daddy’s leg. Too funny!


It was a fun Easter, though I imagine next year we might see some more competition for hunting eggs. We’ll see!

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Two Makes a Party


Our good friends JP & Lisa had their second son Joshua baptized a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, we had to miss the ceremony for Coraline’s nap schedule, but we were happy to come to the party afterwards!


Like all children I know, Coraline had a blast playing at a different house with all different toys! She was occasionally unsettled when she realized I was getting up or moving away from her, hence this sad look below. I like to call her a little kitty cat sometimes because she’ll rub her head on our legs for attention or comfort, I’m not sure!


Jameson spent most time in their brand new finished basement (so jealous), and outside. I didn’t get an opportunity to hang out in the basement much since all the babies were upstairs, but this little car track happened to be upstairs and Coraline enjoyed it just as much as Jameson did!



Jameson’s friend Bobby and Joshua’s brother Jonathan of course were there to play with. They enjoyed their relatively healthy snack foods! Jameson loved his carrots.



Jonathan and Jameson actually had some bickering the lingered into most of their playtime together this visit. They both wanted the same ball, and had trouble sharing. Jameson even took the ball away! They were both a little wound up to properly apologize to each other, but like most of our visits there now, Jameson said he missed Jonathan when it was over!


Coraline loved being outside. She isn’t afraid or concerned about the grass. Next to her is little Jack, Bobby’s little brother. She looks so old!


It was so windy that day, hilarious that she has hair that blows around now.


Coraline is starting to really enjoy pretend walking with our assistance. She throws out her little feet far in front of her and has no balance. She attempting a lot of pushing herself up from us when we sit down, but still doesn’t do much “pulling up”. It won’t be long though!


We had a great time as usual, but it was a different experience really needing to manage two kids since Coraline no longer sits still at all. We now have two active and trouble-making kiddos to watch, occupy and mediate!


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