Tag Archives: Coco

Dear Coco, for your 5th birthday

31 May

Dear Coco,

Your 5th birthday came and went in a whirlwind of activity. Grandmothers coming to visit, parties, new jobs and new schools have had us so busy that, although I wrote this letter and chose these pictures about 9 months ago, they are only just now getting published. I apologize, but as your 6th birthday is imminent, I felt it necessary to put this one up sooner, rather than never.

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Playing in the kitchen while singing a song.

The start of your 4th year was full of exploring and learning new things, particularly reading. We began working on simple words and sounding things out, and you have progressed so much! By now you are able to read some of your easy reader books all by yourself and can sound out more complicated words all on your own. As much as you enjoy reading, you still enjoy being read to more.

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You and every other girl were Elsa for Halloween!

While your knowledge has increased, some things remain the same. Playing dolls and make believe, concocting “science experiments” or “cooking” in the kitchen are still high on the list of play, but you’ve also added in more complicated puzzles and board games, and some role playing, such as playing school or veterinarian. We also enrolled you in gymnastics over the summer, and although I don’t see a career as an Olympic gymnast in your future, you really enjoyed the classes!

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Great sense of fashion

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And adorable no matter what you wear!

During the past year you were at preschool at least several days a week where you made some great friends that we have enjoyed having playdates with occasionally. It is really fun to see you develop real friendships and I look forward to hearing about all your new friends in kindergarten. It has also become apparent that with your friends, like with us, you enjoy directing the game play and coming up with whole worlds in which to play (everyone is a princess and has a castle, and you go visit each other’s castles, for instance).

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See? More “soup” making.

Daddy and I are very lucky that you remain a generally sweet girl who still loves to hug and cuddle and shows a desire to take care of people. When one of us feels sick or is sad you like to bring us a toy or give us a hug to make us better. Oh sure, we have our rough moments, but even those are outweighed by your sweetness.

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Sweet in your Easter dress

At some point this year you and your brother went from coexisting to becoming real friends and occasional compatriots in play. Although, like with most brother-sister pairs, the game play involves princesses and superheros, monsters and fairies, evil queens and dragons. It can be quite a riot in the house, especially when one of you is casting (very loud) spells and the other is being a fire-breathing dragon! But we love seeing you play together and develop a great friendship.

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But Easter Egg hunting is way more fun in a costume, naturally.

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Never a quiet moment at our house!

Some things have remained the same, and some have changed. Without further ado, your current favorites:

Toys: Douglas, as always, remains a favorite, although you are becoming slightly less attached. And by slightly I mean a very minuscule bit.  My Little Ponies, dolls, any puppies, and legos have been big this year, and books (especially Pinkalicious and fairy tale stories). A lot of toys become ingredients in a cake that you’re pretending to bake.

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No, Coco, we can’t keep it.

Movies/TV: My Little Pony (all the time, in any way possible), Strange Magic, Harry Potter, and the Tinkerbell movies. Usually a movie watching experience is followed by a round of pretend play, where we are all different characters from the movie and occasionally have to act out scenes. But every movie is followed by a dance party while the credits play!

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You cried when we had to wash your face!

Food: Quesadillas, and pretty much anything that has cheese on it. Pasta carbonara, jambalaya, bananas and apples. You aren’t too picky of an eater, thankfully, but we still have to coax you to try new things.

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Douglas is still your best friend.

Activities: Reading, drawing, and playing make believe. This summer you loved swimming and began swimming without a floaty, plus jumping in all on your own (a major accomplishment for a girl who didn’t want to get her face wet at the start of the summer)!

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My little water baby!

You have grown so much from 4 to 5 and surprised us in many ways. I can only imagine how much different you will be next year, after a full year of kindergarten and all the new skills you will learn! I can’t wait!

Love,

Mama

Dear Coco, on your 4th birthday

28 Aug

My dear Coco,

Hugging her pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.

Hugging your pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.

You have taught me a lot this year – I learned that I have great patience for messes, but not for puzzles; that there is always time for one more hug; and that a snuggle can cure any wrongs, especially when the snuggle is with someone as loving as you.

Jumping in the leaves!

Jumping in the leaves!

Somewhere in the course of this year you became a little girl, full of little girl opinions (princesses are the best), best friends, and favorites of all kinds (chocolate, princesses, and, like most other girls, anything Frozen). I am continually in awe of your imagination, which has only grown with each passing year. Every day you concoct some grand make believe game that we are all required to participate in, whether we want to or not. You have also discovered card games and board games, which gives us a chance to slow down and play something where the rules don’t change every few seconds.

Sassy girl

Sassy girl

Biscuit is your biggest fan. He adores you so much – he always wants to play with you, and you are generally really good about including him in some way or another. Whenever we go to the park I usually see him tagging along after you, and I can hear you calling for him to “come this way!” or to “follow me!” And, like all siblings, there are times when you just don’t see eye to eye, but I get it. I have a brother too.

Brrr, it was a cold winter!

Brrr, it was a cold winter!

In September we started you back to preschool 2 days a week. It was a rough transition – you had been home with me and your brother everyday for over a year, and you were not happy to be away from us. It took a long time, but you made some wonderful friends who made school fun for you. The switch to your new school after our most recent move went pretty well, and you’ve got a new best friend that you look forward to seeing. We have definitely noticed that preschool has been wonderful for you. Your social skills have greatly improved, you have really learned how to play by yourself, and you are very interested in learning how to read. It is also becoming apparent that you are a natural leader.

The height of fashion

The height of fashion

These improved social skills are apparent at home, too. We have real conversations about how our day went, what you like and want to do, and how things are made/work/fit together. You have a pretty extensive vocabulary, which gets put to great use between all the questions and conversations. Best of all, your sense of humor has gotten bigger as you have learned to pick up on some really important things, like sarcasm. Occasionally you decide to tell us a joke, but they usually don’t make a whole lot of sense.

Before the haircut

Before the haircut

 

After the haircut!

After the haircut!

So let’s see what things played a big role in your life this year:

Books – the Disney Princess Collections and your big book of fairy tales.

Flower child

Flower child

Food – Mac and cheese, jambalaya, pasta carbonara – you still aren’t picky about most foods, except that you just aren’t a fan of fruit. But you’ll eat almost any vegetable.

This is what happens when we let you pick your own outfit.

This is what happens when we let you pick your own outfit.

 Movies/TV – Frozen (We watched this so much that you actually managed to get tired of it for awhile. We don’t watch it so much anymore, but you still insist on being called Elsa much of the time), Tangled, and Cinderella. Not surprisingly, you really enjoy the show Sophia the First (about a princess), but also Daniel Tiger, Paw Patrol, and Wallykazam.

Fun at the beach!

Fun at the beach!

At the Monarch butterfly farm

At the Monarch butterfly farm

Toys – Douglas, of course, continues to claim the biggest part of your heart. But also dolls! You have all these Disney princess dolls that you adore and play with each and every quiet time. They’re always naked (what is it with little girls and taking off doll clothes?). Any puppy toy is immediately cherished, and lately Andre has become your snuggling companion during quiet time.

Activities – drawing and painting, playing with Play-doh, swimming, playing with the water table, any sort of pretend play. Recently we have started taking you on Daddy/Coco or Mama/Coco dates, to do things like see a movie or get some ice cream. We all really cherish these times together.

You still love painting

You still love painting

And you still love donuts.

And you still love donuts.

Having you around has made the last 4 years terrific, and we look forward to all the years we have ahead. You are a wonderful and special girl, and I love every little part of you!

Love always,

Mama

P.S. Please forgive how late this letter was. I actually wrote it right before your birthday, but the pictures were on your Daddy’s computer, and he really needed it to study for his board exams. I’m sure you’ll understand.

Autumn’s arrival

9 Nov
October 28

October 28

I really really love the fall, for several reasons. The first is that I love wearing all my hand knit sweaters and socks. The second, and bigger reason, is all the colors. The colors of fall – the reds, oranges, and browns – are my favorite colors. Plus, my birthday is in the fall.

Anyway, when the weather first started changing and the leaves showed the first hint of non-green colors I had this idea: I would take a picture of the tree in front of our house every  week  and document the changes as a weekly blog feature. Well, that didn’t work out. Rather than changing in a nice, slow manner, the tree, pictured above, went quickly. See up there? There are a few patches of a lovely orange shade on the tips. It’s a bit fuzzy, sorry.

Fast forward 2 days and the orange has really spread down the branches.

October 30

October 30

By the next day there was hardly any green to be seen. The tree behind it, though, had just started to turn a bright yellow.

October 31

October 31

By Nov 2 the leaves were going for a burnt orange kind of look. Not such a great color, there.

November 2

November 2

The very next day all these lovely leaves had jumped ship and we were left with branches. This picture was taken in the morning; by the afternoon there were only a handful of leaves left.

November 3

November 3

So there you have it. Fall already came and passed according to our front yard tree. There’s plenty more to be seen, though, so if you enjoy pictures of pretty trees – like, say, you live somewhere that doesn’t really have a fall (coughTEXAScough) – keep reading. If you think trees are boring, then just scroll to the bottom for a cute picture of Coco.

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Red!

See, this is why I love North Carolina. We didn’t have fall growing up in Texas, and in southern Louisiana some leaves didn’t change. At all. On deciduous trees. Ever.

Trail

One of my running trails

If you follow me on twitter you probably saw this next one already.

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Side of our house

Yesterday afternoon we spent some quality family time making leaf piles and jumping in them. I am almost 32 years old, and yesterday with my kids was my first experience jumping into a leaf pile! GP thought that was weird until I reminded him that I grew up in the country in Texas. We didn’t rake leaves. Didn’t even need to, because the wind blew them all away.

Her first time jumping into the leaves.

Her first time jumping into the leaves.

I hope, if you are still reading this, that you are enjoying your fall as much as we are!

Dear Coco, on your 3rd birthday

11 Aug

Dear Coco,

Ok. I know. Your birthday was over 2 weeks ago, and I am just getting around to writing you. I can’t help it. I procrastinate. You probably inherited this quality. Sorry about that.

Say cheese? No, say Cupcake!

As a now 3 year old you are, well, lets see….Imaginative, smart, fun, creative, sweet, charming, funny, and a bunch of other adjectives. You love to play and in this past year you have figured out how to play by yourself. Recently you and Biscuit have been playing together some, and I am hopeful that one day such playing won’t end in tears or time out.

Tea party for two

Lately you have gained an imaginary friend – a blue dragon named Brave. He accompanies us a lot of places, and once you got mad at Biscuit for playing with him. You also have 3 other imaginary friends, Tilly, Dilly, and Nilly, who live on our porch. They don’t come out to play too much.

For awhile you refused to be called by your actual name. Instead you would only answer to a name from a movie or book or someone we just met at the park and would get really mad when we called you something else. You still have moments like that, and will introduce yourself to complete strangers as Rapunzel or Violet or Cinderella. We just roll with it.

In about 5 minutes you will both be soaked through.

I love how much you love your family and your favorite toys. Nothing makes us happier than random “I love yous” and kisses. Snuggling still makes up a large part of our days, and one of my (and your) favorite times of the day is Mama/Coco time. This is when Biscuit takes his morning nap. You and I snuggle and read books until he wakes up. Sometimes, if he is playing really well on his own in the afternoon, we get a bonus Mama/Coco time. You love it.

Now, you have always been a talker and had an exceptional vocabulary, but this year it has really developed. Not only do you correctly use words like “therefore” and “obstinate”, but you also have a complex vocabulary of words that are completely made up. I think there may be 2 made up words for every 1 actual word. These words get used even more when you are “reading” to yourself.

Look, Mama! Big splashes!

Sadly, you gave up your nap sometime around the holidays. Now you just have quiet time in your room, which generally involves you and Douglas excitedly reading books and playing with other toys. About once or twice a week you will actually fall asleep and take a nap, but mostly you just play happily.

M and M cake!

So, here are some of your latest favorites:

Movies: Cinderella (I am soooo tired of Cinderella), The Incredibles, you also enjoy a few TV shows now (which you call watching a channel)

 

Foods: Pasta, rice dishes, cheese sticks, mac and cheese, vegetables, and chicken nuggets. You will finally eat some fruits, and you are getting more and more open to suggestions. And you love M&M’s and cake.

 

Activities: reading, playing with the water table, swimming, riding your bike, baking with me

 

Toys: Douglas, books, cooking gear so you can pretend you are baking, any sort of puppy anything, and of course your invisible friends and invisible toys. 

 

Friends: N and S are still your favorites, even though we don’t see them as much since we moved.

It’s a 15 Puppy! (aka, dalmation)

You are our little sweetheart, and we all love you very much! Happy birthday, and here’s to many more to come!

 

Love, 

 

Mama

Busy, Tired, Active

17 May

Those are the three words I would use to describe the last month.

Busy

The weather has turned nice so we have been spending more time out and about – going to the park, playing with neighborhood kids, going to the museum.

We have a little raised garden plot in our backyard and Coco and I planted some flower seeds in it. There are also 2 tomato plants growing now! We didn’t plant a full garden because, surprise surprise, we are moving again.

Really, if you have followed this blog for awhile you would seriously think we just love to move. Truth is, we hate it. But, we are moving to a place that will cut GP’s hour long commute down to about 15 minutes. And since my commute currently consists of walking down the stairs, this is a pretty good deal. We will miss our friends and neighborhood, but we will be in a much better place commute-wise and stress-wise.

Tired

Biscuit has been teething, which in his case means waking up all night long. He goes to sleep on his own now, thanks to a few weeks of sleep training, but this waking up all the time is driving me nuts. Looks like this tooth (his 4th) should cut through any day now, so hopefully he’ll be back to good sleeping soon. I could sure use it.

Active

GP and I spend our tax returns on really glamourous things. One year we bought a new vacuum. This year we bought a double jogging stroller. Both, while maybe being a bit lame, were some great investments. Since getting the stroller in late February, the kids and I have run a total of 74.25 miles in it! Coco and Biscuit both love it, except when they start picking on each other. One or the other will fall asleep for part of the run, and on Friday both of them fell asleep!

Not only do they like riding in it, Coco likes to push Biscuit and her toy around, jogging behind it and saying that she’s going on a run like Mama. She’ll also just push her toys around while I carry Biscuit. It’s really adorable either way.

Biscuit is speed crawling all over the place, standing everywhere, and starting to cruise around holding on to the couch, the windowsill, and our hands. He’ll be walking before we know it, which will add a whole new dimension to the word Active around here!

Lazy

What, that’s not in the title? So okay. This post has been sitting around for a week waiting for pictures. Clearly I am not going to upload pictures at this point, so I promise a nice post with some okay-quality pictures next time. Today we are baking pink lemonade cupcakes, so if that turns out well I’ll share.

A Bow Problem

17 Apr

So, my Mom was in town this weekend! We had a great time playing, going up to the Duke Gardens, and doing whatever else we did while she was here. Honestly, I’m a bit sleep deprived right now, as Biscuit is teething and decided sleep was optional last night, so I can’t really remember what all we did.

One thing we have photographic evidence of, and that is the crazy bow making that happened.

Now, I am not an overly girly type of gal, but my daughter loves pink, purple, sparkles, shiny things, and princesses. I can remember a (brief) stage in my life when I loved hairbows with a fierceness now reserved mostly for chocolate and red wine. Okay, mostly chocolate. So, I had this thought that Coco, who will sit still for some pretty elaborate hair styles for a 2 year old, would like some bows.

We hit up Michael’s.

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A few of those were already in my collection, so we didn’t buy quite as much ribbon as you think. Then we got to work.

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I have developed a problem.

To be fair, some of them are being sent off to Coco’s cousins. Share the love, you know. Let me tell you, I enjoyed this activity far more than I ever imagined. Bows are super quick and easy to make, did you know that? Coco liked to help design them, hence the green and yellow bow with an elephant button on top. Hey, whatever makes you happy, kid.

2012 in Review

1 Jan

It’s 6:45 AM here. Biscuit decided he simply couldn’t wait to greet 2013, which means I don’t get to wait either (unless you count midnight and 4 am feedings, which I don’t because no one is fully coherent for those). A couple more hours of sleep wouldn’t have gone amiss. Babies. They have to concern for others. Good thing he’s cute.

So, how did 2012 stack up to other years here at our house? Here’s the top 10 moments of the year, in somewhat of an order but that order breaks down around #5. And if I’m being perfectly honest, #10 is filler because I’m running out of things to write down.

1. Biscuit was born July 12!

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He was such a tiny thing!

2. GP finished his master’s degree and started his residency.

3. We celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary.

4. Coco turned 2 and seemingly transformed from a baby to a little girl overnight.

Helping bake her birthday cake

Helping bake her birthday cake

5. I decided to take some time off work and stay home with the kids (something I have never blogged about).

6. I ran a total of 307.7 miles, 271.79 of which were run after Biscuit’s birth. Safe to say I don’t do well at running while pregnant!

7. We moved away from the bayou and back to NC.

8. We moved into an honest to goodness house instead of an apartment!

9. This year was our first Christmas at home, the first that Coco really participated in, and my favorite Christmas ever.

A wonderful Christmas

A wonderful Christmas

10. 2012 had more happy moments than sad ones. More smiles than frowns. More surprises than accidents. More laughter than tears.

There you have it. The highlights of our year! Despite all the moving and job changes and baby being born we actually had a nice, quite, drama-free year for a change. Here’s hoping we keep that trend in 2013!

Happy New Year, everyone!

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