Cole’s 1st birthday

Wow! I am how many fingers old today?!

You woke up this morning with a smile on your face, as usual. Dad brought you into our bedroom singing the Beatles Birthday Song… “they say it’s your birthday!” which we followed up with two verses of the traditional “Happy Birthday to you” song. What a year, Cole! I wish I could freeze you just as you are for a little bit longer. In the past couple of weeks you have really started becoming a little boy, breaking free from your infant cocoon into my handsome little butterfly! You’ve become a chatter box (like your mom) and you make me and your dad laugh all the time when you mimic words we say by repeating the first or second syllable. Duck is “da” and car is “cah” and kitty is “gee” and you love to talk with a mouth full of food. You eat everything that I put in front of you, except for chicken and avocados.  Your favorite meals are waffles with blueberries and vegetable tortellini soup. Your favorite snacks are Annie’s cheddar bunnies, kiwi, and any cracker that you can hold onto and bite your way through.

We’ve had a busy year together. You’ve banged on drums in music class, learned to sign “dog” in sign language class, made lots of friends on baby playdates, used the swing at the playground, swam and took boat rides at the lake, had lunch in Boston, wore a space helmet at the children’s museum, hiked Blue Hills and had plenty of cuddle time with your mom, dad, and the whole family! There is so much love surrounding you each and every day. Our lives are much richer with you in it.

A note from your Dad:

As each day passes I realize how lucky your mom and I are. You are such a special little boy and I can’t wait to share many fun things with you. Thank you for making me smile and putting it all in to perspective.

Love, Dad

Happy First Birthday, Cole!!

Using quinoa flour in baked goods

I love quinoa because it’s an amazing source of protein. I cook it in vegetable broth and served it with all sorts of colorful vegetables for a healthy meal that tastes great. I’ve known that quinoa is a versatile grain, but I never would have thought to use it in baked goods and in breakfast foods…until today. During my weekly visit to Whole Foods I stumbled upon a box of quinoa flour.  Visions of new and improved protein-packed pancakes, waffles, and breads danced around in my mind. All of which happen to fall on Cole’s list of favorite foods, so it’s a win/win for mom and baby. Of course I couldn’t wait to bake something to test out the tastiness of quinoa flour so I made an apple bread tonight. Here is the recipe:

2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
1 1/2 cups apple sauce
1/2 cup butter
1 cup natural sugar
1 apple, grated
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat eggs one at a time. Stir in applesauce, grated apple, and vanilla. In separate bowl stir together remaining dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture and stir until well combined. Put into an oiled 5 X 7 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50 – 60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Note: You can easily make this vegan by using earth balance butter and replacing eggs with 1/3 cup vegetable oil. I think me and quinoa flour will get along just fine…:)

Baby’s first Valentine’s Day craft

I’m determined to be crafty now that I’m a mom. What better time to start than Valentine’s Day? Inspired by an image I saw on Pinterest, I ran off to Michael’s craft store to buy supplies. Since Cole is still too young to actively participate in crafts, I knew that footprint art was a perfect way to involve him (and my husband) in homemade Valentine’s Day cards! The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but they came out so cute.

The best part is that they were super easy to make. Here is a list of the supplies I bought from Michaels to make these cards:
– Package of 10 Tiffany blue cards with envelopes
– Heart stamp with inner and outer heart
– Non-Toxic kid’s paint
– Paint brushes and paint sponges
– Black sharpie pen
– Elmers glue pen

– 4×6 pictures of your little one
Here is how I made the card!

First, I used the paint brush and red paint to cover the outer heart in the stamp

Second, I used the stamp to make hearts on all of the cards. I tried out different positions for the hearts and ended up liking the look of the final card that I posted above the best.

Now for the fun part! I used the sponge brush to put red paint on the bottom of Cole’s foot. It must of tickeled him because I got a few giggles out of him in the process.  The footprints came out best when my husband of standing with the baby, his feet parallel to the ground, and I brought the card up to his foot. I did the left footprint on all of the cards, cleaned him off, and then did the right footprint on all of the cards.

I added the quote “From the bottom of my heart…to the tips of my toes” since it seemed fitting next to the footprint art. You can add anything you want! Hmm…I wish I had better handwriting 🙂

Lastly, I glued a picture of Cole in his Valentine’s Day outfit on the back of the card. And DONE! Not too shabby for our first attempt at being crafty. And the best part is that we had some good old fashion family fun making them.

He’s almost one, folks

Wow – I can’t believe Cole turns ONE is just a couple of weeks! A year ago I was on bedrest full of worry and not quite sure what to expect. This year I’m full of wonder and amazement at how fast he is growing and how much joy he has brought to our lives. It was around Christmas time that Cole started growing into his big boy face. All of us moms and dads experience this. It’s like we wake up one morning, walk into the nursery, and suddenly a little boy or girl is staring back at us in the place of our tiny baby! In the past couple of months Cole has perfected the pull up on anything and everything and loves to walk along couches, music tables, chairs…mostly to reach for everything that he is not supposed to play with, like remote controls, cell phones and glassware.

He couch surfed for the first time last month, and he happily obliged to reenact it for me a moment later:

Video of Cole Couch Surfing

I’m always amazed when Cole reaches a new milestone. It’s incredible that a baby’s little body just knows when it’s ready to explore a new movement.  We don’t have stairs in our apartment, but the stairs in my mom and dad’s lakehouse peeked Cole’s curiosity this week. He couldn’t resist having a go:

Cole climbing stairs

It’s been quite a busy couple of months for my little boy, Cole. He is full of surprises and smiles every day. As Valentine’s Day approaches I can’t help but be thankful that I now have two loves in my life. I’m so proud of my family.