More outdoor play - the baby way

Barnes Park was the destination that Cole and I chose to have a picnic.
We brought Dundee along too to enjoy the sunshine and remind him that he is still afraid of ducks. 
(Still wishing that with every oncoming car, Dundee would picture it to be a giant duck; that way he'd run AWAY instead of TOWARD...)
We had such a good time together.  After eating, Grandma and Aunt Brookie met us up for a walk.  Cole fell fast asleep in the stroller.

Enjoying his first carrot

Last week we made the most of Shane's day off and went for a hike. Cole fell asleep in the front pack about fifteen minutes into the hike...sweet boy.

Came across this beautiful thing... (actually I almost stepped on the poor thing...don't ask me how I didn't notice 3.5 feet of snake on the ground)
I was wishing Cole had been awake to see the snake, because I wanted to see his reaction to him.  I have always thought snakes were some of the most fascinating creatures.

After we came home, Cole went down for a nice nap.  
Shane and I made the most of our time making pork salads and eating them on the porch out back.

We were also able to go see cousin Bryce's track meet!  He is one AMAZING RUNNER (4:53 mile I believe).  We met up with Cory, Holly, Grandma, Aunt Brookie, Savanna, Easton, and Eric.  
(Don't mind the woman in the orange pants...)

Once again, being in the great outdoors (and in his Grandma's arms) wore the little man out! He fell asleep, but each time the runners came around the track, a wave of cheers came right along with them, waking him up for a few seconds.  Then he'd be back off to sleep for another minute or two before they came around again.

Looks like we have found the secret to get baby Cole to sleep...
I'm considering transforming his room into a rain forest.


My sweet and smiley 5 month old

You love to be a rollie pollie as you play with toys...

You make getting ready in the mornings an absolute treat, and shopping is just the same!

 Your changing pad still reigns as favorite place to be (it's also Duke's favorite place to be...)

Oh and look at that!  Duke likes to see how cute you are in the bath just like mommy and daddy do!

You're so intelligent...somehow you know that mommy likes to start off Monday mornings at 4:00 am...

But then obediently and sweetly go back to sleep a few hours later.  (so does mommy...)

You LOVE your Aunt Brookie, and she loves you too!

 You also quite enjoy watching anything on a screen...ipad, television, or phones.  We are hoping this one won't last through the teenage years!

 One of your favorite games is to play peekaboo.  You laugh and laugh until you can't laugh any more!

 To our 5 month giggler,
Did you know that you fill our home with sunshine?  From the tippy top of the morning until the light grows dim, you are smiling, giggling, and interested in all of your surroundings.  We love to see you smile at strangers, and you make us laugh when you flip your head side to side and all around to soak in everything you see.  We can tell that you already have a love and zest for life, fun, play, and adventure.  
Sometimes I wonder where I'd be without you, my sweet one.  Some days are long, and some days are tough, but isn't that the point of motherhood and childhood?  There have been times when I have broken down into tears as I stand over your crib, pleading with you to rest...during those times you look at me with your sweet, gentle eyes, and through your own tears, you LAUGH!  
Are you laughing at me?  Do I look funny?  Are you hoping that I will laugh back and tell you that it's time for play?  
I will never know, but what I do know is that you do more for my heart than I ever thought possible.
You are my life, and my laughter...
even on the rainy days.
I love you.

Unexpected Doctor visit for the little man.

Cole hadn't been able to keep hardly any food down for a few days, so we ended up at the doctor's office to see what was up.
Here he is in the waiting room... (he loves "Yizzy" the lizard...she isn't the prettiest little creature, but he must see the beauty beyond that...)

Here he is waiting to be seen.  Cole loves to lay on the exam table!  The nurses kept peeking their heads in and doing double-takes because Cole would give them all the cutest smiles and giggles.

 I'll spare the details of why, but Cole had to have is blood drawn.  It took 4 tries and 6 nurses to finally get 2 viles.  This happy-as-a-clam baby was crying so so hard during it all...it was absolutely awful.  I took this picture a couple minutes after they were finished...you can hardly tell how hard he had been crying!

Keeping our fingers crossed that it will be a LOOONG time before we have to do that again.

an outdoorsman...just like his daddy

Cole is able to spend one-on-one time with Shane two nights out of the week while I teach dance.  Here they are on one of the colder nights getting ready for a walk...I just LOVE seeing Cole in his little warm suit!

Cole a day with three ladies: Mom, Aunt Brookie, and Grandma.
We love him just a little bit...

Shane, Cole, Dundee & I walked up to Grandma and Grandpa's last week.

You NEED to give our favorite summer treat a try!
Dip strawberries into sour cream (I bet it would be good with greek yogurt), and then in brown sugar...
it might sound gross, but it is SOOOO good!
I love watching our kitty cat, Duke, keep watch underneath the Japanese lace-leaf maple we planted last year.

Cole with Grandma Stratford, watching Shane mow Great-Grandma's lawn...
I love that sweet smile.

If you haven't noticed, Cole is still adorned with bibs.  Spit up has turned into drool. 
But who cares?  That kid can make ANYTHING look cute!

It's all about the FOOD

I just couldn't help myself...I had to see how Cole liked baby food!  My mom, sister & I went to the store to buy what we needed.  You should have seen us...you would have thought we had never fed a baby before because we were SO excited about the incredible selection and cute jars!  After doing some research, I ended up buying plain rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, and sweet potatoes.  (I was happy to see that the only other ingredient listed on each baby food item was water...no extra preservatives, or dye.  Made me feel better about wanting to make my own baby food, but feeling overwhelmed doing so!  I realized that buying Cole food is OKAY...)
Anyway, onto the feeding.
It was seriously the most hilarious scene Shane and I have ever witnessed, and I am so glad we got it on video!  I will let the pictures do the talking, and upload the video later (when I can figure it out).

Toward the end all Cole wanted was to feed himself...it was fun to let him explore.
And just for the record, Cole is trying (sometimes) to hold his own bottle.  Most of the time he ends up looking like this:

 Here we are bright and early (hence my awesome bed-head).  Have you ever seen those moms out in public who are feeding their baby, but aren't holding them well, or the baby isn't swaddled up nicely?  You tend to wonder...hmmm, I wonder what kind of home life that baby has...blah blah blah...right?
Well, don't judge a book by its cover.
Cole does NOT like to be snuggled, rather, he likes to look ALL around at his surroundings.  It is impossible to keep him all snuggled in tightly!  So THIS is what we end up looking like at every single feeding...Cole is basically falling off of my lap, but that's how he likes it!  Silly kid... ;)