Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cooper and Brooks

Our sister Jodi recently took our nephews Cooper and Brooks to a photographer in West Des Moines. She wasn't thrilled with the outcome and knowing that Kelli and I love taking pictures, asked us to come visit and snap some shots of the boys. She thought it would be good practice for us if we ever decide to try our hand at a side business. We agreed!

We went to Des Moines on Thursday. Between a quick stop at the mall, a bucket of crab legs at Joe's Crab Shack, fishing camp, creepy crawler camp, and a baseball game, we had roughly ten minutes to squeeze in some pictures. Thanks to Cooper and Brooks being good sports, we did it! We had fun and learned a few things . . . for instance, we had never considered how difficult posing subjects could be. Not that Coop or Brooks were difficult, but it's definitely an area of photography that we had totally overlooked. Luckily, Kelli caught on quickly and arranged the boys while I snapped away. We'd love to practice with them again soon when we have more time to practice angles and settings and such, but for the ten minutes we had, we were pleased with what we got! Here are a few of them . . .

The boys are so great with Charly. She loves them. Her little face lights up the instant she sees their shaggy blond hair. They fight over who gets to hold her and they smother her cheeks with kisses all the time. Some of the widest smiles we've seen on Charly's face have come when the boys are around.

They have grown up so fast. Cooper will be in 5th grade this fall, while Brooks will be in 2nd grade. It seems like yesterday we were babysitting them, looking for bugs and frogs at Island Park, and riding the lawnmower around at Grandpa and Grandma Henning's. Charly is lucky to have older cousins like these two. They're a perfect blend of rough and tough and kind and sweet. She's bound to have all sorts of raunchy fun yet be well taken care of in the process!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

5 Months

One night while sitting around a fire with friends, we talked about how scary helpless babies are. It's odd to think of how successful the human race is, yet how helpless and dependent we all are at such a young age. This last month has been fun because it's become apparent that Charly is learning things. A lot of things. We see it every day. Obviously she's not walking and talking yet but at the rate she's going, that's probably right around the corner!

Charly started her fifth month by going to the Sturgis Falls parade. We went with April, Ryan, Megan and Charly's cousins Jackson and Griffin. Dad decided that he would attend no more parades in the future. It was long. It was hot. It was boring. And Charly didn't like the motorcycles!

When we returned from the parade, we rewarded Charly by feeding her cereal for the first time . . . and she LOVED it! She caught on quickly and gobbled the entire bowl up. She continues to eat cereal once a day and looks forward to these feedings. We can tell because her mouth opens wide the instant we start mixing her bowl. We've found the cereal really helps with her spitting up, which those of you who know Charly, know she liked to do this quite a bit!

We had heard Charly softly giggle before, but this month she's really let loose. She laughs hysterically when people are willing to make fools of themselves (usually her mom and her dad). It's interesting, the things that make her laugh. A goofy face. A staredown. Her Aunt Jodi bobbing her head from side to side and tossing her hair. Her Aunt Ashley nibbling on her toes. Even at 5 months, she has a fun sense of humor.

We celebrated the 4th of July with Charly at our friends Chris and April's. The week before, Chris shot some fireworks off and Charly was somewhat entertained by them. So we were excited to see how she'd respond to a much larger display. Unfortunately, before the party could really start a bunch of Black Cats blew up in Chris' hand. The loud echo in the garage freaked Charly out and she was on edge the rest of the night. Her mom was too, afraid the explosion damaged her little ear drums. They didn't. She can hear just fine. And later when Cedar Falls canceled their fireworks show, we shot a bunch of our own off outside. From inside the house, Charly didn't think they were so bad!

Charly has slept through the night for a few months now but on July 6th she took it one step further . . . she slept in her crib for the first time! And she's done so every night since! On most nights, I'm out to the world and Kelli is awake at every peep Charly makes. Kelli was reluctant to put Charly in the crib for this reason, fear of me sleeping and her awake checking on Charly all night long. Well as it happened, Kelli was the one out like a light and I'm the one who slept a total of two hours, checking on Charly eight times throughout the night. Funny thing is, Charly slept through the night, just like her mommy!

This little girl is getting quite the personality. She's stretching her vocal chords and talking all the time. Literally. Whether it's happily hollering through Home Depot, or fake coughing and spitting at my softball games, or jabbering through an episode of Friday Night Lights, noise is constantly coming out of her mouth. We've discovered that keeping up our hobby of being TV junkies may be a bit more challenging now.

She grabs things, she kind of scoots backwards, she cut two front teeth and didn't fuss once (and celebrated with her first ice cream - just a taste - Italian gelato from Scratch), she smiles on cue, and she's only 5 months. It's scary how fast she's growing and how aware she's becoming of the world around her. We're excited to see what new surprises are in store for us this month.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baby Teeth

We knew we weren't crazy. When Charly's nurse told us that it takes a long time for baby teeth to come in, we knew she thought we were just naive first time parents. We knew she thought she knew more than us. She probably does. But we had seen the way Charly's gums were looking swollen. We had seen the insane amount of drool she produces each day. We had observed the way she attacks everything in sight with her mouth. On Monday, her first tiny baby tooth popped through. At nearly 4 1/2 months old!

Yesterday, her other bottom baby tooth popped through!

We swear this girl can't grow up any faster!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


We asked Charly's nurse last Friday if she could be teething already because she drools all the time and she chews on anything she can get her lips on: hair, shoulders, blankets, her daddy's nose! You name it, she chews it. Her favorite chew toy so far . . . her own fingers. She loves to shove as many fingers as possible into her mouth!

When we told Charly's nurse this she laughed at us and gave us that look all eager first time parents probably get from their doctor's office at one point or another. She told us that the teething process takes time and Charly's a little early from that happening at just 4 months. She said babies drool and chew on things LONG before teeth ever come in.

So imagine our surprise when we get home and find two hard, defined white slits, front and center, in Charly's bottom gum. This girl is growing up too darn fast!