Wednesday, January 25, 2012

His First Circus

We decided that we wanted to take Colin on one last 'hoorah' before the new baby arrived. Just the three of us! We initially looked into a Monster Truck Rally in Louisville and a few other events in surrounding cities before we came across the Shriner's Circus in Fort Wayne. A special trip and a chance to visit the family, all in one! To make his first trip to the circus even more special, we invited his sweet cousin, Hudson, to join us.

After a little bump in the road (Chris though the show started at 5 pm, turns out it started at 7- dangerously close to bedtime!), we managed to corral the kids through the pre-circus Carnival, the many souvenir stands, the cotton candy vendors, and into their seats. Phew! Good thing we brought the grandparents along with us for extra help! The kids sat entranced through the entire show! I don't think we heard a peep out of either one of them. They loved every bit of it!

Hudson & Colin waiting for the show to begin!

Okay, so we didn't completely avoid the souvenir stands!

You can't really tell from this picture but these are horses. It was probably MY favorite part of the night. 
Next to the trapeze artists and acrobats.

What would a circus be without its elephants?

Benefit of attending the late showing- both kids were tuckered out before we even made it home! We popped them in their p.j.'s and onto the bed that Grammy made for them.

It was a quick trip but it was chalk-full of fun and memories. Colin has always handled these last-minute trips so easily and I like exposing him to so many new cities and experiences. I hope we can continue to travel like this after we grow to be a family of four!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Date with Momma

For a little Mommy and Colin time, I took little man out for a breakfast date on Saturday morning. First we went to Starbucks for hot chocolate (his new fav) and a little 'breakfast':

Then we made our way down to the new Joseph Beth Bookstore. We love this place. It's so well organized on the inside with tons of places to sit and relax. Together. And the children's section comes complete with a Chuggington train table:

He loved it! I took a bit of bribing to get him away from the table and out the door. We had a sweet time together. Hopefully there are many more dates just like it to come!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baby Dennis

Meet Baby Dennis. Formally known as 'Sara'. 

Isn't it creepy?!? It was my favorite baby doll when I was a little girl. I called her 'Sara'. I bit off her thumb when I was about Colin's age. Now, Colin calls him 'Baby Dennis'. No idea where the name came from. He likes to undress him. And one morning this week he asked me to take pictures of them. Together. Kinda creepy. Just writing this down for memories sake so we can giggle about it later. What three year old names his baby Dennis? Gotta love that kid. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kicking It at Soccer Practice

Colin has been taking Happy Feet classes at school but when the opportunity to join a Winter League came up, we jumped on it! We couldn't wait to be able to see our little guy hone his skills!
Just look at those moves! And check out this grin:

He's one happy kid! He had a blast! One thing we have noticed, Colin is a little bit of a teacher's pet. Any opportunity he gets, he will be right in front of the coaches or practically sitting on top of them. And he's always one of the first to answer:

Oh well, he's happy. And he seems to be learning. No games yet, just shooting goals and dribbling practice. It's a good program for the little ones! 

Building a 'snowman' with his friends

Can't wait to see if he likes to play soccer this much when he gets older!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

N.Y.E. 2011

My New Year's Eve dates:

I'm one lucky girl! 

As we have for the last two years, we took Colin to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo to celebrate New Year's Eve as a family. After driving around in circles looking for a parking spot and waiting in forever lines at both the bathroom and the hot chocolate (Colin's current favorite!) stand, we finally made our way through the park. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see. Other than the light displays, the polar bear and the elephants were really all that we got to see this year. And, oh yes, the bird that almost attacked Colin!

But, he did get to pet his first alligator. Or crocodile. I am not really sure...

And the weather was perfect! Clear night. Not too cold, just right. 

We left just in time to watch the fireworks display from the parking lot. All in all, it was a perfect night. Yes, the animals didn't really cooperate. And we had a lot of unavoidable frustrations before we even got into the park. But we were together and enjoyed it! It was our last New Year's Eve as a family of three! Craziness. 

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell- ROCK!

This year, Colin developed a love for the Christmas classic, Jingle Bell Rock. We listened to a station that played Christmas music continuously starting right after Thanksgiving so every time it would come on in the car he would he 'Momma, make it louder' and sing it at the top of his lungs! He almost knew all the words. Very funny!

For Christmas, we traveled into Fort Wayne to spend the holiday with Chris' family. There were quite a few celebrations with lots of food, lots of gifts, and lots of kids! Colin had a blast with all of the little playmates! On Christmas Eve, we attended mass at Grammy and Grampy's church. They don't have childcare like we are used to at our church so Colin sat between us during service. He was actually very well behaved and sat and looked through books during service. At one point, the pastor asked the children to come forward for the children's message, and, to our surprise, Colin went up all on his own and sat down with the rest of the kids. At one point, we saw him searching for us between the kids and when he caught a glimpse of us, flashed us the cheesiest grin! It was hysterical! I wish at that point I had my camera with me to capture it. 

The next morning, he was treated to this:

Santa brought some great new stuff- like a teepee, a new backpack that's just his size, and a personalized book of Colin's first Disney trip! And he left a gift under the tree for all of us- a brand new board game to play together:

For the rest of the day, we went to Aunt Shell and Uncle Marc's for a quiet celebration and a few more gifts with Colin's favorite cousins:

We were blown away by the amount of gifts this little man got this year! In fact, some of them didn't even fit in the car on the way home. I have no idea what we are going to do when we have two kids. Looks like a roof-top carrier will be in our future!

Fancy Cookies with Lucy

The week before Christmas, we had Jen and Lucy over for a little play-date-of-sorts. It was a cookie decorating party! I had made allergy-free sugar cookie cut-outs and prepared white icing. Jen and I supplied the sprinkles and decorations and let them have at it:

Little Lucy wanted to take a bite of just about every cookie. Colin dumped an entire bottle of sprinkles on one of his cookies. Sprinkles and sugar everywhere! But they had a blast. We will definitely need to do this every year!

A Trip to the Windy City

This year, we were able to travel with Chris to Chicago for an annual work function. On the way in, Chris called to confirm his hotel reservation- only to find out that they had overbooked and didn't have a room for us! Since we are Hilton Honors members, they offered to put us up at a new hotel, The Wit. It was AMAZING! Very unique decor. Great restaurants. Fun, rooftop bar. We definitely got the better end of the deal!

Chris had to work all day on Friday, so Colin and I were left to explore on our own. We went to Shedd Aquarium in the morning. Colin experienced his first taxi ride to the aquarium and talked non-stop to the taxi driver! Very funny to watch since neither of them understood each other. 

I tried and tried to get the little guy to go down for a nap after lunch but he was stubborn so I decided to take a walk to Millennium Park for a mini photo shoot. 

He decided that it would be a good time to fit in that afternoon nap! 

On Saturday, Chris only worked in the morning and was able to make a trip to Millennium Park with us:
He got a little too close!

After a visit to the park, we headed down (or up, not really sure) Michigan Avenue and did a little shopping. We visited the Disney Store, Crate & Barrel, the American Girl Doll Store, and the Lego Store, where Colin got to pose with this guy:

We had a blast! Colin was a little older than when we were there before. I think he really enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the city and all of the tall buildings. He was a great travel companion! Can't wait to go back again next year. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

FAAN Walk: Meeting Others Just Like Us

In late September, we made a trip to our favorite Ohio city, Columbus, to take part in a FAAN Walk. We toured a few booths to check out a few new products and listened to a few of the key speakers (interestingly, not a single one of them had kids with as many food allergies as Colin!) before taking part in a walk around a park to build awareness and sensitivity for kids with food allergies. 

There currently is not a cure for food allergies and more and more families are having to face the challenge of having a child that is diagnosed with allergies, some of them life-threatening. I have had numerous conversations with other parents who's kids are 'normal' and they express frustration with the peanut bans in public schools. There is still a huge misunderstanding when it comes to the severity and important of food allergies. It brought tears to my eyes to hear other people's stories of dealing with the same challenges and fears. We will definitely be more involved with FAAN in the future.


After weeks and weeks of debating on the perfect costume, Colin finally decided that he wanted to be a ghost. No idea where this idea came from. Unfortunately, no one makes a ghost costume in his size. So, Dadda and Momma made a trip to Hobby Lobby and picked up some white felt and a few other sewing supplies to make this:

He kinda looked like a KKK member so we put the eyes on the top to make it look more like a ghost. He LOVED it! While we were out Trick-or-Treating, he said 'I don't want to be a friendly ghost, I want to be a scary ghost!" Too bad no one else agreed with him!

For his little school party, I made white chocolate covered strawberry 'ghosts' and allergy-free dirt cups. There turned out so cute!

Down on the Farm

For our little man's birthday celebration, we had to be a little creative in a venue since we were currently not in our own home. Colin had developed an affinity for horses and farms so we toured a few of the local farms before deciding on Benton Farms in Walton, KY.

I made sure to come up with a menu that he would be able to enjoy all with our guests- sliders and hot dogs, fruit skewers, rice, cut vegetables, popsicles, and a very special rainbow cake that was completely allergy-free!

Every last bit of that cake was gone. I was worried that people wouldn't like it because it was gluten- and egg-free but a clean plate sure proved me wrong! And to see Colin sitting there next to Carter enjoying his own slice of birthday cake made all the effort worth it :)

Our family from Fort Wayne and Pittsburgh traveled in for the special occasion. And our friends came with their kids to enjoy the festivities. It turned out to be a great day! The weather was clear and very warm, especially for this time of year. And the farm was very well run, making it a great place for families to do their own thing and enjoy themselves. And, of course, no trip to the farm would be complete without a hay ride to the pumpkin patch!

One of Colin's little friends from school, Carter, was able to make it to the party. They were inseparable and so cute to watch! 

Little man was overloaded with gifts. We are so blessed to have the friends and family that we have. 

Thanks to everyone for making it such a special occasion!

Three Year Update

Look Who's Three!

Our little guy is still small by most standards. 35 inches high and 27 lbs. 4 oz. small. In fact, he's not even on the chart for his height or weight at this point. He did reach as size 2T just in time for his third birthday! His pajama drawer is overflowing because we keep getting new pj's when he can still fit in his old ones. Being small has it's benefits :)

Since his first, severe allergic reaction this summer (he threw up all night after eating broccoli that had been seasoned with a teriyaki sauce), he has been very cautious about trying new foods. He has become somewhat of a picky-eater, even starting a gagging reaction. It's been a very frustrating time, and a little sad as a parent. I don't want him to be afraid of food, I want him to be able to enjoy all sorts of foods!

For eating out, we stick to Wendy's and Chipotle. They have the 'safest' options for him. At home, we always have an abundance of Eat for Life snack options, tortilla chips, cheese, Boar's Head hot dogs, corn tortillas, sausage, rice, and plenty of black beans!

His new favorite food of choice is celery. Who knew?

Colin moved up to a new room at the beginning of the school year. We were a little hesitant at first because his little buddies were not going to be in the same room. But we have been very pleased with the transition! Teacher Tina is beyond patient with the students. She is sweet yet stern. For this age group, it's a good combination! Colin has improved greatly in his speaking skills (in fact, Chris asked today if the 3's were called the 'Talkative Three's"), he is learning to color and cut on his own, he can now count up to almost 20 and is beginning to recognize some letters. He has also become successful at learning his colors and is doing great with potty-training! We could not be more proud of him. He's learning and growing in so many ways!

Next stage: becoming a big brother!

End of Summer 2011

Due to some computer issues, it has been very difficult for me to post any updates! I have a whole line-up of pictures waiting to be logged, so here is a quick summer update:

Colin's First Boat Ride with Grammy and Grampy

Co-Captain Colin!

Our second trip did not go so well. We lost all of our props and had to be towed. Forever etched in a two-year-old's mind.

Lots and Lots of Homemade Popsicles! Colin preferred the cantaloupe and watermelon varieties, Dadda and Momma preferred the peaches & cream and blueberry-lime. Yum! Fresh fruit makes a HUGE difference.

Playing soccer and baseball with Dadda in the backyard. Riding bikes. Anything to be outside.

Swimming. Swimming. And more Swimming. While staying at my parents we took advantage of the neighborhood pool. By the end of the summer, Colin was able to swim on his own with his Nemo swimmies!

And, one more first, horseback riding! We made our first trip the Horse Park in Lexington and he loved it! He experienced his first horse ride and was IN LOVE! We will be going back to the Horse Park for sure.