Keeping you posted on our big adventure into parenthood

California Dreaming

I like to pretend that I’m a real writer. Sometimes I actually make proper use of subject, verb, and predicate. Most of the time, however, I just rant about one of my favorite sports teams, baby poop, or our severe lack of sleep. It’s all in an effort to keep myself sane and share a few pictures and laughs. Honestly, the blog is an outlet for me with a huge benefit of it being that it’s a chronicle of our kids’ development. Maybe one day Mason and Ben will look back at all the craziness that their parents endured and be just a tiny bit grateful for it. That would be pretty sweet. Until then I guess I’ll just laugh at my own jokes like Jimmy Fallon.

My rant for this post concerns oversharing. And yes, auto-grammar-correct, I realize that I just made up a word. In this age of social media and instant feedback it’s easy to place your foot directly in your mouth. It’s one reason why I’ve tried to limit my reactionary Facebook posts to only positive news. I think most parents are distinctly aware of the things that we say and how our children perceive those words. I only wish that more people were aware of the words they share online. Personally, I don’t want to know if you stopped on the way home to poop at a truck-stop, especially if you’re in the middle of your business when you’re sharing the disgusting news. Gross! And if you’re struggling to deal with serious emotional issues maybe that’s something to discuss with a qualified therapist and not the guy who used to shove you in a locker in high school. Side note- why is it suddenly okay to accept a friend request from someone who is not your friend? Sorry bro- but if you were a dick to me when we were kids then that’s how I remember you. I don’t care if your profile picture shows you kissing a puppy and shooting rainbows from your eyes, you’re still that kid to me. Anyway, I’m just urging anyone who actually reads these posts (even though I think I’m preaching to the choir for the most part) to stop, think, and delete. It’s okay not to share.

Since the last post we’ve had a lot going on. The last month was highlighted by a week long trip to California which means we survived two plane flights, many hours in a car, several changes of venue and one crazy day at Disneyland with 2 kids under 2 years old. We also put our house on the market and spent some quality time with friends. Kelly even surprised me with a Father’s Day visit from my buddy Phil who lives in Jackson Hole, WY. I think it was an effort to out-do me in the gift giving and she definitely takes the prize for this year… for now. We have newly pregnant friends (Hi Lila) and babies coming soon (Hi Jennie) and we welcomed a new addition to the family, our nephew Aaron Zellner. Congrats to Stacy and Peter and Hayley! All in all it’s been a crazy month but no crazier than all the rest.

Mason Update: He’s 2 years old now! We’ve had at least 4 birthday celebrations for him and he’s still got gifts on the way. He’s also potty trained… half way. He’s now peeing like a big boy that is too hungover to stand up, and while he’s used the toilet for other purposes it’s not with the sort of regularity that we’re all looking for. Oh please Jesus let this kid stop using diapers! That would be freaking sweet! Mason is also in a “daddy phase” right now, which is breaking mommy’s heart at times. It’s really just a product of our routine and the fact that I am usually the one getting up with him and taking him to and from school. Don’t worry mom, when I put him in “timeout” he still calls your name. Duder has an extreme obsession with Thomas the Train too. I’m thinking about calling that show Intervention to get him some help. On the flight back from Cali we watched a TTT video and he spent a good 10 minutes pumping his fists like he was blowing the whistle on a train and bouncing in his seat. He gets really mad now when he sees a train and can’t ride it and he pretty much incorporates “choo-choo” into every sentence he speaks. If he doesn’t grow up to be a conductor then he’s probably going to have wasted a full year of his life. It’s truly a hilarious addiction.

Ben Update: He’s growing teeth very quickly and very painfully. I keep expecting to look into his mouth and see a second mouth hiding in there like that beast in Aliens. He’s also rolling over with ease, sitting up pretty well on his own, and beginning to crawl. I think he’s just playing us for suckers right now because I’ve seen him crawl but he’ll sit and cry if something is out of reach until we either pick him up or grab the item for him. Apparently Ben is my doppelganger which is hard to see for myself but it’s nice to hear that your kid looks like you. People just assume that Mason is my nephew or something since he doesn’t look much like me. Kelly swears he’s mine though 😉 At this point I don’t even care- I love him too much to let him go. Back to Ben… he’s 21.5 pounds, which puts him somewhere in the 90+ percentile for 7 month olds. He’s a monster and I keep telling Mason that he better be nice because Ben will soon be laying the smack down on him with no hesitation. Ben is also extremely amused by Mason, which is awesome because Mason loves to entertain his little brother. I think Mason really gets that concept now and enjoys his role as the big brother. I really can’t wait for about 9 months from now when they can play together and Ben just follows Mason wherever he goes. I think they’ve got something special working already. I just hope we can keep it up!

We took over 450 pictures while we were in California so feel free to check out the online gallery (link is to the right) to see them all. For now you just get these choice shots…

The back yard garden is in bloom and Mason has been enjoying the literal fruits of our labor. He tried some fresh tomatoes and liked them. Next up- eggplants!

We had a great father’s day weekend filled with surprise visitors, golf, and some quality time with the boys. Thanks Kel!

You wouldn’t think this is the face of the guy who makes dinner for your whole family when he comes to visit, cleans the kitchen and fixes the squeaky hinges on your cabinets. But it is. It was great to see Phil and I was completely caught off guard when he walked through the door. I may have shed a few tears when he arrived, which was as surprising to him and Kelly as it was to me. This is what happens when you become a parent; you get emotional about just about anything. The fact that one of my best friends was meeting my kids for the first time was all it took to set off the waterworks. One day Phil will make a great father to some lucky kid(s). Just don’t cross him or he’ll cut you.

Mason took some time out of his busy schedule to try to teach Ben how to crawl.

One handed group picture.

Yogurt beard.

America! We celebrated Independence Day at a parade in Corona, CA. We thought we would be escaping the heat of Texas but we were wrong. Apparently we just brought the heat to CA.

Momma and the boys enjoying the parade.

We stayed with Kelly’s good friends Tracy and Stan Jaquish when we were out in Corona and their son Griffin is only two days older than Mason. We celebrated the birthdays with some ice cream cake and Mason decided that he wanted to eat all of his in one bite. The resulting brain freeze will keep that from happening again.

The boys got to meet some of their cousins and great uncles and aunts, who just happened to be visiting from Arizona while were in town. We received several requests to “let us” host the girls for weeks during the summer so that they can help with the boys. Umm…. okay.

Kelly spent some time catching up with Uncle Andy. See Kelly’s smile? Well that smile went away after Andy convinced her to try boogie boarding and she busted her knee on some rocks. I guess I should thank Andy for having someone else to blame besides me.

I’m pretty sure this picture was taken 1.2 seconds before the injury occurred.I give Kelly credit though- she was hobbling around Disneyland like a champ two days later.

Ben took an afternoon nap on the beach.

Ben, Mason, Griffin and Emerson all had a good time hanging out for a few days. Thanks again Stan and Tracy!

We arrived in Los Angeles late Wednesday morning and the kids had a quick meet and greet. Look at all that hair!

Bath time means play time with these three. I think this was the only time they were all seated simultaneously.

Reading to my God-daughter and son.

Disneyland! Take intense heat, tired children, roller coasters, parades, fireworks, and walking stuffed animals and throw them all together and you get one crazy day. By the end of the evening Mason was dancing around in a circle by himself while listening to a guitar player and falling over out of exhaustion. He didn’t make it out of the parking garage before he fell asleep.

The Cole crew are seasoned veterans to the Disney experience. Two in the stroller and one in the carrier. Solid.

Awwww yeaaaaahhhh! If you would have told me that this would be Yemi and me back when we were guzzling beers and evading campus police in college I probably would have laughed. But the truth is I think fatherhood suits us both well.

Katie took some time to push Mason around while Pryce was sleeping on her back. As we walked around the park we realized that people would certainly be confused as to which kids belonged to which parents. Between Katie, Yemi, Allie, Kelly and me you could pretty much create any of those cute kids.

Mason really enjoyed the parade. I think he just loves to waive at people and that’s just fine with me.

I’m not sure what this look is but I’m pretty sure it’s a mixture of exhaustion and confusion. There’s a lot going on at Disneyland, especially for a 7 month old.

Kelly got to take Mason on his first real roller coaster ride. He was just tall enough to enjoy it but I’m not sure if he really got much enjoyment out of it. The look on his face was equal parts shock and terror, but he didn’t cry at all and seemed happy once he was back on solid ground. Newsflash to Mason- your mom and I are roller coaster junkies so you best get used that stomach dropping feeling buddy!

Hooray Disneyland! Nyla was clearly not that impressed.

Mom and the boys and Mickey.

Back in LA the following day we went to the local park. The see-saw was a big hit.

Kelly got in on the action too.

Instead of flying back to Texas with the boys we just shipped them. We put some bottles of water in there and extra diapers and a few snacks. Turns out they were okay except Mason keeps trying to sleep in a box now. Seriously, don’t fly with kids unless you have to. The boys actually did pretty well but life is just easier if you stay at home. The good thing about the flight back was that there was some little devil child that was literally screaming for 10 minute intervals and his mom would just look at him. Normally that’s not a good thing but it made the little outbursts that our kids had seem like a cute side note on a terrible flight for the rest of the passengers.

We celebrated Mason’s actual birthday with a pizza party at Andy and Deb’s place. I’m not sure that Pryce enjoyed it based on that face she’s making.

This is the face you make when you pour a beer that is 90% head and 10% consumable liquid. Good work Yemi.

Pryce enjoyed the cupcake portion of the evening a lot more than the pizza.

Malloy tried to give Mason a few birthday kisses but apparently he’s playing hard to get. Better get those smooches while you can buddy. She’s got a couple years on you so she’ll be looking for a guy with a car before you even have a learner’s permit.

Back yard shenanigans. I think Mason spent half the time in LA wearing just a diaper and t-shirt.


Eric Warthog Barlow stopped by the party on Saturday and hung out for the afternoon. He got to meet Kelly and the boys and catch up on life. This was after I randomly ran into him on his lunch break at the Trader Joe’s nearby. Random. Fortunately we had already planned to get together while I was out there and, as always, Barlow came through and brought a bottle of scotch that was the hit of the party (and the cause of some sleepy eyes later on).

Kelly’s lifelong friend Marike also stopped by on Saturday with her beau Edwin. The girls have known each other since they were literally in diapers and it’s cool to see a friendship endure for so many years.

Looking good ladies! I’m just going to take this time to say that my wife is a hottie. If I had 2 kids in 17 months I’m pretty sure I’d wear nothing but sweatpants and I’d do nothing but sleep and eat. Not my wife!

Did you know that Ben is an artist? Actually, Edwin is one of the art directors on The Simpsons and he drew Homer for us before leaving. I know Kelly was hoping for some brushes with celebrities while we were in LA but I have to be honest- this was way cooler to me. The Simpsons are one of my favorite shows of all time and hearing some of the stories about working on the show was awesome. Edwin- if you read this and you ever need a new voice for the show give me a call!


One response

  1. Anonymous

    you are a writer. I enjoy these blogs so much. Keeps me up to date on the family.

    Aunt Janet

    August 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm

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