Smarty Pants

Asher's vocabulary at 14 months is very impressive (but I'm his mom so everything he does is impressive to me...). I guess all of the days where all we do is read and read some more are showing their fruit!

DooDoo (my sister)
GeGe (Granny)
Tertrude (Gertrude, our dog)
Stinky (cat)
BobBob (Jim Bob)
Hahpah (Harper)
hot-ah (hot)
No no
boom boom
Squirt squirt (colloidal silver squirt bottle)
big boy bed
hop on pop (when he wants to get in the Ergo or Boba on Scott's back)
Noonoo (nose)
belly button
bobo (when he wants to nurse)
Poopoo (he's already pooped in the potty!)
raspberry (yes, all the berry names sound different!)
Tooper toe (what he calls clementines/oranges...long story)
pea balls (green peas)
kini-kinis (zucchinis)
poke poke (fork)
night night
eye ball
Hiiiiieeeee (hi)
Gawgaw (What he calls a phone. No idea why)

From Babycenter:
"At 14 months, your toddler understands many more words than she can say. Her spoken vocabulary likely consists of about three to five words, typically "Mama," "Dada," and one other simple word such as "ball" or "dog," but she learns the meanings of new words every day"

Okay....I'm bragging now. :)

What a little Tooper!! It gets more and more fun...

Pigs Are Flying in the Cole Home

Most mommies will agree that there is nothing sweeter than snuggling and sleeping with their babes.

2 days old

5 days old

I mean seriously, who would not want to wake up to this??

Some of my most precious memories have been just laying in bed staring at my little miracle. His squishy lips have always been my favorite. I have always had to stay with Asher throughout his naps to keep him asleep, and while I was desperate to be able to get up and get things done at the time, I am SO glad that I stayed and snuggled and stared and soaked up every minute with him. I will always cherish those days.

Fast forward- Asher is 14 months and you will still find a lot of this going on around here:

Nighttime nursing had reached an all time high- 7 or 8 times on average- and no one is getting any sleep. I absolutely love having my sweet boy next to me, but am also seeing how it is starting to wear on our family as a whole (It would also be nice to cut back on the nursing so mommy's fertility will return....). I knew that Asher is not a baby anymore, and that it was time for a little independence. We weren't going to force anything, but I had a mommy-instinct feeling that he was ready.

So one night Scott took him into his room to sleep in his "big boy bed" while he slept on the trundle next to him to help him back to sleep whenever he woke. I expected that night to be a disaster, but it really went pretty smoothly. He woke up around 11 and cried (with Scott holding and comforting him) for 9 minutes and then woke again around 4 and I nursed him. We knew that he was able to understand what "night night" meant and that he could trust us for what was best. We had a brief hiccup while he was teething (worst night ever), but the 4 days since have been PERFECT! He goes down at 8:30, sleeps until 4:30 (!), Scott will bring him in to me to nurse and then take him back and he sleeps until 7:30. PRAISE THE LORD! There was no terrible week of crying and breaking his will. I am so glad that we waited until he was ready and it was such a smooth transition. He will even roll over when he is finished nursing, say "big boy bed" and try to climb up into bed. By the way, we got these Magic Bumpers and they are awesome.

I seriously do not know what to do with all this sleep though. I dream A LOT now and wake up SO zonked because my body is in the restoration phase from the last 14 months of nightly beatings. I sincerely believe that Asher would not be as loving, compassionate, SWEET, and engaging had we forced him into something before he was ready, so every sleepless night was WORTH IT!

I guess my baby is growing up!! Sniff Sniff

(He is walking too:)

One Thousand Gifts Winner!

Believe me, I would buy you all a copy if I could......but,

Mrs. Brittney Poe!!!

You are the winner!!!

Facebook message me your address and I'll send it your way. So excited for you to get your socks blown off by this book.

So everyone else needs to go read it anyway....and pass it on!


There is this book.

It is phenomenal. Beautiful. Poetry. Soul-stirring. Encouraging and challenging and revolutionary.

It will change the way you live, the way you treat others, the way you see God.

I want to give you a copy.

‘I walk in our back door to candlelight still flickering, hang the keys on the hook, and look around at the steep mountain of laundry there in the mudroom, the shoes scattered, a coat dropped.

The mudroom sink is grime ringed. Fingerprints smear across the mirror. And I laugh the happiest wonder.

In an afternoon’s drizzle, I give happy thanks for the daily mess with a smile a mile wide, because this is again my chance to wholeheartedly serve God, to do full-bodied eucharisteo with the hands and the heart and the lips.

I can count each task a gift, pure eucharisteo. Grace!

This work—the thousand endless jobs—they each give the opportunity for one to become the gift, a thousand times over!

Because with every one of the thousand, endless jobs, I become the gift to God and to others, because this work is the public God serving, the daily liturgy of thanks, the completing of the Communion service with my service.

While the Deceiver jockeys to dupe us into thinking otherwise, we who are made in the image of God, being formed into Christ’s likeness, our happiness comes, too, not in the having but in the handing over.

Give your life away in exchange for many lives, give away your blessings to multiply blessings, give away so that many might increase, and do it all for the love of God.

I can bless, pour out, be broken and given in our home and the larger world and never fear that there won’t be enough to give. because eucharisteo has taught me to trust that there is always enough God. He has no end. And it is God Himself who serves me as I serve.

He calls us to serve, and it is Him whom we serve, but He, very God, kneels down to serve us as we serve.

The servant-hearted never serve alone.

Serve God alone –spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives — and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him

And this eucharisteo wakens me wide-eyed and nodding to the words of Tagore that I, a mother of six, now own, bought with the practice of eucharisteo:

“I slept and dreamt life was joy, I awoke and saw life was service, I acted and, behold, service was joy.”

I reach out and touch the reflection in the splattered mirror over the sink and whisper into those eyes: Yes, today, again, yes, you can bless! Here you can enact eucharisteo; here you can become a current in a river of grace that redeems the world!

Here I can become the blessing, a little life that multiplies joy, making the larger world a better place.

God can be in me, even me, and use these hands, these feet, to be His love, a love that goes on and on and on forever, endless cycle of grace.

I am blessed.
I can bless.
So this is happiness.

-Excerpt from One Thousand Gifts by: Ann Voskamp

Leave a comment saying you want it. Share somewhere and leave a comment saying so. Random winner will be chosen.....soon.

Asher's First Zoo Trip

I had been wanting to take Toop to the zoo for a LONG time, but the weather has been yucky and Scott has been busy with house stuff whenever he has a day off. So when I saw that it was supposed to be beautiful outside, I put my foot down, declared a family day, and we were off! Mommy was more excited than the boys because she used to go to the Ft. Worth zoo all the time when she was little.

We took WAY too much stuff with us

First stop: pink flamingos!

I was so surprised that Ash wasn't scared of the gorillas at all. He gets scared when I sneeze...

I was nervous that the gorilla was going to hit the glass or something and freak him out....

Be one with the monkey

Scott with the chimp I said reminded me of him

"Rhinoceroses snort and snuff...."

**This is the point in the day where I spilled a huge drink all over the camera and video camera. You can see the damage in the pics below...that is until we cleaned the lens**

ELEPHANTS! My favorite part! I thought Asher would be more excited, but he just made the elephant noise over and over. They weren't really doing anything so maybe he didn't know they were real

He thought the giraffes were funny

Eatin lunch. How gorgeous are these boys?

Asher's first choo choo ride. Loved it!

Petting Zoo

Hop on Pop back to the car.

What a fun day! We got a yearly membership so we will be going back a lot! It will be even more fun when Tooper starts walking.....whenever that will be!


"That stay on my nose and eyelashes..."

Chubby Baby Wears

Asher has just recently started to slim out since becoming more active. I'm not gonna lie, I hate to see his squishiness leave. Look at all these rolls!!

At 5 months

Anyway, it has been quite a challenge to find fat-baby-friendly garb....this is why Asher is wearing the same outfit as above in most of his pictures. After a year of searching, I have discovered the brands that just work better for Michelin men (and women) and thought I'd share them in case you are in the same predicament (and I may be mourning the loss of these sweet rolls just a little bit).


I kept Asher in one-piece outfits for as long as possible because all of the pants I found would dig into his gut and make him spit up. My two favorite brands are Zutano and Hanna Andersson. The elastic on Zutano pants is very thin and comfortable- I never had problems with these pants, even at the fattest stage. The CUTEST prints too.

Hanna Andersson's pants are also more generously cut, even for cloth diaper babies. I have had some luck with Gymboree, but their sizing is inconsistent.

Cloth Diaper Covers:

When Asher started sitting up I would always have to undo his diaper cover because it would dig in so much (I used Thirsties and Bummis). If only I had known about Gen-Y covers back then!! I just discovered them recently and LOVE them. They are snap covers so no scratchy velcro and the snaps are at the waist and legs so you can get a great fit. Check out their website here: Gen-Y Diapers. I got some seconds from their outlet and they are in perfect condition.


Asher has very wide and thick feet, pretty much like spheres. He is toying with the idea of walking soon, so I have been looking for some shoes. It's just as hard as finding pants! Even the Robeez are too narrow for him. I did some research and found Bobux. They are similar to Robeez but are cut wider and made from 100% ECOleather (Robeez have some synthetic materials). I love them! They are pricey if you buy them from their website, but I found some brand new ones on eBay for around $8-10 each. He also has some Pedipeds for when we are outside on rough surfaces, but they are still a bit big.
**Go read Dr. Cindy's Blog about the importance of children wearing soft-soled shoes**

I'm going to go kiss on some still-chubby cheeks now. :)


Well, Asher turned one on the 15th. I know everyone says this, but where is the time going?? It would make me sad, but every day he is more and more fun! Here are a few pics from his party...we had a bookworm theme because he is OBSESSED with reading!! I love it!

Everyone I know is pregnant. I'm SO ready. In His timing....

We are about to start major renovations on our kitchen. I'm excited. We are replacing the counters and back splash, painting the cabinets, installing a dish washer, building deeper cabinets to hold the dish washer, and new lighting and hardware. It's gonna be awesome. I'm so glad I married Mr. Handyman! This is our inspiration:

Pretty, right? I love white.

So Asher is pretty much the smartest one year old ever. He can:
-make the sound for tiger, elephant, snake, and duck
-say "turtle" "Gerdie" "Stinky" "Duck" "diaper" "shoes" "bye bye" "Hiieee" "Dada" "Mama" "Nana" and I'm sure I'm forgetting something
-I will say a part of one of his books like, "Children, children what do you see?" and he will go and find Brown Bear Brown Bear and bring it to me
-He signs "bird" "all done" and "bobos" (nursing)
-He loves to clap, wave, jump, reach his hands up to the sky, so high! so high! (from one of his books)
-He understands so much more than I realize and he blows me away with the things he responds to.

I've really been trying to get consistent with exercising (gotta get ready for our beach vaca this summer), but with a bum knee and hips/pelvis that are still feeling the punch of birthing a 10lb 9oz baby, it's been a slow and painful start. I've been doing 30 Day Shred...anyone have any other suggestions for something that is lower impact but still effective?

We have been taking Asher to an acupuncturist for his allergies (constant congestion). Scott got great results when he went for his environmental and car allergies so we are hoping Asher will too. It's so hard to have a congested baby who has to nurse to go to sleep. Not fun at all.

So ready for the sunshine and warm weather.

And for little man to start walking so we can spend more time outside and he won't constantly be doing this:

I've been reading One Thousand Gifts and it is rocking me down deep. Please, if you read anything this year (besides the Bible), read this book!!

I'm going to try and start blogging again....we'll see. :)

A Tradition Saved

In the midst of all of the stress of packing and moving to our new house, Scott failed to secure a load of boxes in the back of a pick-up. This resulted in 23 years plus 3 generations of cherished Christmas ornaments decorating the lanes and shoulder of George Bush Turnpike. To say I was crushed is the understatement of the year. There was not one single box of possessions that meant more to me than that one. My wedding dress could have flown out and been run over 2989 times and it wouldn't have upset me more.
My mom made it a tradition throughout all of our growing-up years to let me and my sisters pick out a Hallmark ornament every year. She let us get whichever one we wanted, even if it was a dumb beaver postman or a dog in a basket for the 100th time. It was so fun to get them out every year and add to our collection. I don't know why we loved it so much; I guess traditions just mean a lot to kids. It's like they feel special knowing that someone cares enough to make lasting memories. Also, a couple of years ago my mom divided up some of her ornaments that she had kept forever along with some that were my Granny's (think beautiful glass globes and vintage stars) and gave them to my sisters and me. You can imagine the display of shattering glass in every sparkling color scattered all over the road.
I was sick when Scott told me. He said that he wasn't going to tell me and write a long letter of apology and give it to me in November. I don't remember when the last time was that I cried so much. Scott circled back around to try and salvage anything, but only found heads. My mom and I also went to the scene of the tragedy and found some squished boxes....SO, it sounds dumb, but I was really not looking forward to putting up a tree this year because I wouldn't have anything to put on it and it would just be a reminder.....

BUT, if you can believe it (and if you know her you can) my mom, the ebay/craigslist/google queen, found some of my old Hallmark ornaments on eBay! Good ole eBay! What a sweet momma I have!

My "Baby's First Christmas"

2nd Christmas- Always one of my favorites. He's fuzzy :)

Another favorite. This one was actually salvaged from the wreckage.

This is one I picked out when I was like 6. It's funny because it's supposed to be a "our new home" ornament. But it's what I wanted!

So now I have some of my favorite childhood ornaments back on the tree! Scott's mom also gave us some of her decorations from when he was little- our tree is filled with memories once more!
Nana also started Tooper out with his own set and got him his "Baby's 1st Christmas". It will be so fun to keep the tradition going!

"Ohhh Mom, I like this! It's heavy and glass...."

"It tastes good too!"

"Okay, give it to mommy"

"But I WANT it!!!"

Oh boy

Fat tears and everything

Mommy's a softie

Parents, don't forget to establish traditions with your kids. It means so much to them.
Thanks for saving our tradition, Mom. I LOVE you!

Birth Slide Show

I have been inspired by the up-coming births of a few of my friend's babies to finally put some of my pictures into a slide show. It's so fun to look back. What an incredible time! I can't wait to do it again!!

Day 6

Day 6 - When your Ipod is on shuffle, what are the first 10 songs it might play.

I'm not quite sure how to answer this. What are my 10 favorite songs? What songs do I listen to the most on my iPod? Because if I pressed shuffle, the songs would be really random and not necessarily ones I even listen to anymore because I have A LOT of music on there. And I'm not going to fess up to listening to O-Town or the Jonas Brothers....what? AND my iPod has been dead for months so I couldn't do it if I wanted to. are some songs I like and listen to a lot:

1. Empty Ray Lamontagne

2. Carolina Drama The Racontuers

3. Back to December Taylor Swift (I jumped on this bandwagon way late, but she is so super cute)

4. A Mighty Fortress Christy Knockles

5. Rain Patty Griffin

6. Simple Things Paolo Nutini

7. Lover Derek Webb

8. Right for Me Justin Timberlake (oooohhhhh shoooooooooot)

9. Belle Beauty and the Beast soundtrack

10. Falling Slowly Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Ya heard?

Blogging Challenge: Day 5

Day 5 - Short term goals for this month and dreams for your life ahead.

Goals for the month of November:

1. Plan and host an awesome Thanksgiving family dinner get-together.

2. Get more active: 30 day Shred and maybe join the rec center

3. Finish unpacking (which includes painting furniture to unpack onto/into)

4. Establish a realistic cleaning schedule and stick to it so things don't get out of hand.

5. Simplify wardrobe: only keep the things I wear and make a list of needed staples. I would like to only have 2 pairs of jeans, maybe some cords or khakis or other non-jeans, some long sleeve t-shirts, a few nicer shirts for church, and a black skirt. The end. Simple. Why do I need more than that? It's plenty. Besides, great hair, soft make-up, and well places accessories can make any outfit look good.

6. Have a garage sale.

7. Make ornaments for our Jesse Tree

8. Finally finish doula certification test

9. Pump 50 more ounces for the mother's milk bank

10. Start knitting season!

Dreams for my life ahead:

1. Get pregnant

2. Adopt a little girl from Ethiopia

3. Visit our Compassion children in Nicaragua

4. Finish our home updates

5. Go to England

6. See our children, nieces, and nephews come to know the Lord

7. Start homeschooling

8. Vacation to a beautiful beach somewhere

9. Buy an old Bronco for Scott and the sons to fix up

10. Grow older and more in love, soakin it up with my sssoooouuulllll mate (said like Uncle Rico)

Blogging Challenge: Day 4

Day 4 - A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you!

Need I say more?

Blogging Challenge: Day 3

(ssshhhhh, don't tell anyone that I missed posting yesterday. Even a great blogging challenge cannot conjure time from thin air)

Day 3 - A picture of somewhere you have been.

aaaaahhhhhh Italy.
Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, Rome, Ponza.

Oh, how I miss you, Italy.