29 months

Chloe is really into learning and crafting this month (I guess that's true every month, it's just who she is). Her favorite things are Play-Doh, coloring, and puzzles. Her drawings have become more and more purposeful and less scribbly. She likes to draw pictures of each of us which consist of a big circle (that I usually help with) and an appropriately placed scribble for each eye, ear, nose, mouth, and a small tuft of hair. Her puzzles have become more complicated, too. Her favorite one for now is one of the USA with states sectioned into Texas-sized groups. She likes to play basketball, dance, and sing songs with motions. I don't know where she learned "I May Never March in the Infantry" but it's her fave these days. She sings it over and over marching and zooming about, yelling "YES SEWR!" as she goes. She's still quite girly, putting on makeup and doing her hair in front of the mirror with me on the rare days I actually do that stuff. She is becoming Eli's second mommy (poor guy!!), rebuking (No eat chalk, Eli! It's yuck!) and praising (Good walking, Eli! Big Boy!), feeding (like he needs help) and cleaning (he's a messy boy like daddy) him. She is smart and pretty and funny and loving and sweet...and.. I could go on and on, but no one likes a braggart. ;o)

A Day at Moo U

Today we spent our family time at NC State's Vet School Open House. Friends from church told us about it and encouraged us to come spend a few hours with the animals. We had no idea how big of a deal it was! Apparently, this day attracts some 10,000 visitors each year. There was a really interesting self-guided tour taking you through dozens of animal skeletons, anatomy labs, and even live surgeries. There were demonstrations from milking cows to the K9 unit, giveaways, and plenty of animals to have fun with. It was really, really cool. If you ask Chloe what her favorite part was you'll get an enthusiastic "Riding Bus!" After much prompting she may tell you about petting a falcon and climbing up on a bale of hay to look at baby chicks. She also got to feed a guidedog a "cookie," which really helped with her fear of those guys. Eli loved the dogs playing flyball. Daddy loved the fistulated steer who apparently had some mouth-foaming beef with me. I think I loved petting the rabbits and learning about run-over turtle rescues more than anything else. It was a great day.

Chloe petting a miniature falcon

Chloe at the Horse fence

The fistulated steer (before he decided to come after me)

The tired fam on the Wolfline

Contemplatively riding the bus after a long day


Daddy Blog: Speed Bible Reading

Please bear with me, blog devotees, as I try to begin semi-regular posts from the Daddy's perspective. The interuption in wit will be short, I promise. The other night Chlo and I were relaxing in the living room; me reclining in a chair and Chloe sitting on the sofa reading her Bible. Mommy had just left for Bible study. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to Chloe's fast-paced jabbilings, but I did catch, "E-i seepin'". I figured she was referring to her brother until she said, "E-i seepin'. Samwul! Samwul!". Being a little dense, I thought she was then talking about her friend at church. But then it slowly dawned on me and I leaned over to look at her Bible. Sure enough, there was Eli telling Samuel to lay back down and wait for the Lord to call him again. This toddler Bible that she adores is more than 500 pages. As I was calling Terri to tell her how our child is amazing, Chloe starts singing "Zacheus was a wee wittle man" and I almost didn't catch on again. And again Wormy was in the right spot...there was Zacheus sitting up in the tree.


Feeding the Ducks at Dook Gardens

Photos by the wonderful Monica Raab

A Happy Spring Day


Crying Wolf

This video is especially funny to us since we live in a mixed household. Check it out!

Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Dream..

We awoke this morning to another beautiful day, so I decided that we would walk to the Natural Science Museum dowtown. The kids enjoyed the stroll in the brisk morning air, and had a great time at the museum. Chloe loved feeling like a big girl and peering in and pointing to all of the exhibits and repeating to me verbatim whatever I told her about each animal. Her favorite part was still the aquatic life downstairs. Today she was a particular fan of the Oyster Toadfish who has just chilling on the tank's sandy bottom. When Chloe saw him she exclaimed, "Look! That Fishy's asleep in his sandbox!" We walked in the butterfly conservatory and had fun watching them flutter around her heads, then we grabbed a muffin at the Acro Cafe and headed home. It was a great morning :)


The Name Game

We've been teaching Chloe her full name. It's really cute to hear her enunciate it. The other day when Daddy asked her what her name was she replied, "My name is Co-ey Wayne Coful." "Good job!" "And Eli Wayne Coful, and Mommy Wayne Coful..."


It's a bird... a plane.. It's SUPEREGO

Chloe while standing in the chair: "No, no Chloe, sit down!" Sits.
Chloe while sitting on the table: "Get off of the table, Chloe!" Gets off.
Chloe after yelling at Eli: "No, Chloe! Don't yell at Eli." Stops yelling.
Chloe after throwing a toy: "Don't throw toys Chloe!" Picks up thrown toy.

How's that for Self-Monitoring? Sure does make my job easier!

A Freaky Friday Moment

Chloe sitting on her bedroom floor, quietly playing
Enters Mommy, carrying Chloe's brown shoes
Chloe: glances up , "Those go in the closet."
Mommy: amused, places them in the closet
Chloe: enthusiastically "Thank you, Mommy!"
Returns to play as Mommy exits


Got Me a College Man

My good friend from college paid a visit to our family Friday night. Being the first time since graduation that we have seen each other, it was a much anticipated event. Ever the Ladies Man, Jamie immediately stole my little girl's heart. She read with him and talked to him, and gazed at him the whole evening. When it was time for her to go to bed, she couldn't turn away "Bye Mr. Jamie, Bye Mr. Jamie, Bye Mr. Jamie, *Smack*walks into wall, shakes it off*...Bye Mr. Jamie, Bye Mr. Jamie...."

One Boy, Two Girls, Three Hearts Beating Wildly

Setting: Church, toddler nursery, Sunday evening
Cast: Sarah, age 4; Ryan, age 4; Chloe, age 2

Sarah and Chloe are playing happily together
Enter Ryan, sweet, smooth, blonde-haired, blue-eyed All American toddler boy

Chloe: (points at Ryan) "Ryant!"
Sarah: hears Chloe, jerks head up, sees Ryan, immediately scurries over, delivers Ryan a bear hug
Ryan: reciprocates hug, begins chasing Sarah
Chloe: stands alone, watching

(I can't imagine how it will be when she really does have her heart broken)


You're Always On Her Mind

Chloe eats, sleeps, and breathes potty these days. Well, not literally. That would be pretty gross, but she is obsessed nonetheless. She puts pull-ups on all of her Dollys, babies, and Blue. She then sets them on their potties, diapers still on. She changes their diapers all through the day, and changes her own pull-up multiple times. She sits on the potty and reads her Bible (no other book will do) for long stretches, and when she is done gets some "paper" and flushes and washes her hands. No byproduct has actually made its way into the potty as of yet, but I suppose this is still progress in one way or another.

Last week she put Dolly on the big potty and Gouly-Gah (dirty Dolly) on the little potty, when the unthinkable happened! Dolly fell in! Chloe fished her out and brought her dripping to me, tears trickling down her little cheeks. I told her Dolly had to take a bath, then showed her how to turn on the washing machine and to pour the soap in. She bravely helped me get Dolly ready, gave her one more kiss, put her in, and shut the lid. By then it had become too much, the tears could no longer stay in their places, they had to be set free. She cried and cried and cried, with a brave heart the whole time. She sat by the washer and every few minutes I would hear "Mommy, Dolly clean. Bath over. Get her out." To which I would have to reply, "Almost! Not Yet!", a favorite household phrase. I finally distracted her with a video that captivated her thoughts and emotions through the wash cycle and halfway through the dry. It had been over an hour when she couldn't handle anymore. She ran back to the dryer, "Mommy, Dolly clean. Please get Dolly." So, we got her out, still a little damp, but bright and sanitary. What a joyous reunion took place in our hallway. I don't think I will ever forget the look in her eyes when she beheld Dolly for the first time since giving her over to the washer. For the rest of the day she clung tightly to both Dollys, never letting them out of her sight for even a moment. Even now, a week later, she keeps them close by and often says at random, "Dolly's a brave girl, Dolly took a good bath!"

Little Mommy

Eli has been sick for a couple of days and Chloe has been intermittently helpful and sweet to him. Yesterday he woke up from his nap screaming. It seemed nothing would calm him. She ran to me, "Mommy Eli is crying!" She opened his door and got him a clean diaper out. As I picked him up she said, "Shh, Eli, it's ok." Then I laid him down, still screaming, to change his diaper. She reached out and grabbed his little hand and began to hold it and kiss all over it. He jerked away and instead of being ill at him, she started singing "Chloe Loves Eli, Chloe Loves Eli" to the tune of the household favorite "Mommy Loves Chloe." He cried right through it all, but her sweet spirit made my stress melt away.

The Incident or "Popeye, Save Me"

This happened nearly a week ago now, but I haven't had the time or patience to relate it, until now.

It was a normal early Spring day. Bright and beautiful. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The kids were whining. We had just finished the noontime meal, and I was cleaning up the table. Eli was crawling on the floor, whining. Chloe was hunched over a chair, doing her whining thing. I'm at the sink, washing up some dishes. "Five more minutes until nap." "Noo! incoherent whining!" A moment passes. Out of the blue, "Need help." "What's wrong?" No answer. I look. Chloe is still leaning over the chair, whining, seemingly needing no help. I go to her room to get her bed ready for nap. "Chloe, come on, naptime!" I yell. "Whiiiiiiiiiiiine." "Chloe, please come now!" "Hysterical whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine." Sigh to self. Head to dining room. See Chloe still leaning over a chair. Become very frustrated. "Chloe, you must obey. It's naptime!" "Hysterical cries and screams." I finally sense something is actually wrong. Run to Chloe. Look around. Can't figure it out. Wha?? OH! There! Her elbow. Stuck in the rails! Ok, no biggie. "Mommy's here. Mommy is going to help. Be brave girl." Push. Hmm.. Pull. Hmm.. Push. It's worse. Elbow is purple. Turned at a weird angle. At a loss. Begin to pull on rail to break it. Remember CPR class, don't break rail, might splinter. Oh yeah, got it. What now then? Panic sets in. Screams are hysterical now. Better call 911. Try to dismiss the feeling of how stupid both I and this situation are. Try one more time to get her out. She freaks. Can't breathe. Beginnings of an asthma attack. Didn't pick up the stupid inhaler yet. Kick self. Must run for phone. Run toward phone. What is that I see? Olive Oil! Genious! Run back to Chloe. Dear God, Thank you! Please let this work. Open lid, pour on oil. Shudder at what it's doing to her brand new white GAP blouse and the carpet (yes, even in the midst of it all). Slather it on. Wiggle her around. Freedom! Ten minutes of apologies, hugs, and tears followed by an extra long nap from the low after the adrenaline high.

The end.


28 months

Chloe is still very much into competing with Eli for all things, and copying him at every chance. We do, however, have a lot of fun during his naptime when she converts back to her spunky 2year-old self.

Chloe loves to be a helper. Her daily jobs include running the microwave for morning oatmeal and bacon, using the dustbuster to clean up little messes, sorting the silverware after we run the dishwasher, helping me load the washer and dryer, and picking up toys. I have never asked her to do any of this (aside from toy clean up), she just loves to be with me, doing the things I do. She also looks forward to putting the groceries on the conveyer belt, carrying small grocery bags into the house, alerting me to Eli's dirty diapers by bringing me a clean one, and fetching his jacket and shoes when it's time to go.

Chloe is becoming more and more independent. She insists on getting into and out of her chair alone, no matter how difficult it is. She likes to put on her shoes, brush her teeth and hair, and get herself onto and off of the potty. "No, Mommy" has become a favorite phrase lately. Apparently I can be a tad overbearing in my willingness to help.

Chloe has become enamored with the potty and all things associated with it. She asks to wear panties during the day and independently goes and sits on the potty several times a day. She never actually uses it, though. She waits until her nap diaper to pee and poop. I am not pushing anything right now, just letting her do it her way. After all, my ways haven't really worked so far.

Chloe can recognize her name, and even "wrote" it in the bathtub tonight (bathtub crayons!). She scribbled what looked like a U (or sideways C!) and said "C" then she made a perfect lowercase "h" and scribbled three more letters naming "l, o, eeeeee!" as she wrote. Needless to say, we were amazed. It's so fun to have a book"Worm". I know one day we will have lots of fun comparing our favorite literary works and discussing school assignments.