Baby got going...

Well, my little baby girl is on the move. Ellie started her escapades with tummy time. This led to continual rollovers. Back and forth and back and forth...then came the rotation. She spins on her belly...but wait there's more!!!

When you remove her socks her little teensy weensy toes get some grip, then you couple those with her strong back, neck, and hands...and you've got lunging. I mean real pouncing. She throws herself forward...backward...sideways... SHE EVEN FLIPS IN THE AIR!!! Ok, she doesn't - but she could.



We got some portraits done today at Portrait Innovations. The girls did well - much better than expected.

family portrait Ellie Portrait Gabby Portrait

And we got a CD of the photos...here's the photos album...

Our trip to New England - Part III

So...here's the rest of the trip in "cliff notes":

Saturday afternoon some of our couple friends came to visit for dinner.

Sunday the girls spent all day with Babci and Papa while Joe, Cindy, and I went to Joe's cousin Curt's wedding in NJ. What a fabulous time! Here's a pic of some of their gorgeous flowers. I especially loved the sushi bar and I think Joe'd give kudos to whomever had the great idea to have a caviar bar, as well! Nancy was a gorgeous bride and everyone had a wonderful time.


Our girls were gorgeous...we swear...

...but unfortunately, we don't have many pictures to prove it. Gabby was a fabulous flower girl at Auntie Rae and Uncle Yaneev's wedding last Sunday, but since Joe, Ellie, and I were also involved in the ceremony, we didn't get any pictures of any of us. I snapped these two during the reception, but hopefully we'll find someone who got some better shots of Gabby and any shots of Ellie!

Gabby loved hanging out with her new friend Lyora, one of Rae's bridesmaids.

One last dance with Daddy before bedtime.


Ellie Milestones

Since this is the closest thing to a babybook I've got for Ellie these days, here's an update on her milestones as of late.

1. Sleeping through the night! Ellie started soothing herself to sleep two weeks ago (with a little impetus from mom and dad), and now she's been consistently sleeping through the night...11 to 12+ hours at a time! Woo hoo! (If only Gabby would go back to sleeping through the night, we'd be a well-rested family again)!

2. Rolling. Ellie can now roll from her back to her tummy. She did it yesterday at the playground (on a blanket on the ground with me), and this morning, I left her on her back on her playmat, and a minute later she was fussing...turns out she had rolled onto her tummy and wasn't very happy about it. She started rolling from tummy to back around 4 months, but hasn't yet figured out that she can roll back and forth at her convenience.

3. Moving/Scooting. Where we put Ellie to sleep in her crib and where we pick her up in the morning have been quite different since we stopped using the Miracle Blanket two weeks ago. The other day I watched her do a 180-degree turn on her back, and then another 180 on her tummy. I tried unsuccessfully to get it on video, so you'll have to trust me that it was super cute.

4. Sitting. She'll "tripod sit" for a while now, as you've probably witnessed in our recent video, and yesterday, she went from a tripod sit, to lifting up her arms and she actually sat up unassisted for about 10 seconds before beginning to topple. She prefers to be standing whenever possible, and only requires minor balancing support from her mom or dad.

5. Daycare. Since I'll hopefully be starting work in the near future, Ellie began daycare last week. We've started her a couple hours at a time, and each day it gets better and better. Her wonderful teachers have managed to coax her to sleep in this new bright and sometimes loud environment, and she's been eating for them like a champ so far. Hopefully each day will continue to get better with less crying and more happy times!

Pictures to come soon...I haven't yet figured out how to do that on this new site!


The Girls and their Mom

It's been a little bit, since we posted some pics of B and the girls...so here you go...

Mom and the Girls


Gabby's Special Special Treats

A few months back, B had a great idea about incentive-alignment... She created a sticker chart to track Gabby's achievements. Specifically, G gets to place a sticker on the chart for either going potty (#1 or #2), staying in bed without making a peep until it's "time to wake-up," or going to sleep at night without making a request or crying (after her full bedtime routine).

At the end of each row of stickers, Gabby receives a "special special treat." One time it was a set of three new books. One time she got to make cookies with Momma. This time she got what she refers to as "cooking things."

Gabby’s Cooking Things

I'd be interested in hearing some of your ideas for "special special treats..."


Would you like small or medium fry with that?

We took this picture last week. It's the first photo I can remember where Ellie is standing with Gabby. I really didn't think Gabby was twice her size, but... like the internet, pictures don't lie...


Let's welcome another new Kiddo to the list...

I recently got back in touch with an old friend from my Turkey days. Turns out she had a little one around the same time as Ellie was born.

Please extend a warm welcome to Libby...

Ellie sits!! Or does she?

Here you'll see Ellie trying to sit... Does she do it? Does she fall over? Does Gabby kiss her head?

You'll have to watch the video to find out!

"Do you wanna jump, Dad?"

Every night, before bed, G gets the urge to dance and/or jump. For a long time, her jumps were all show and no air... But things have certainly changed. Now she's a pogo-stick...remember those? Here's a photo that she asked me to take while she was in mid-air.


"I want some socks"

As anyone who has visited us around Gabby's bedtime over the past few months has experienced, we've been having some issues. I've been told it's a phase. It'll pass. Well, it sucks right now.

Here's the situation. Each night we give Gabby her complete bedtime routine... Dinner. Brush teeth. Pajamas. 2 Books. Potty. 2 Songs. Talk about her day. Music. Bed. No problem. Smooth. We give her a kiss and leave her room. Within a minute or so, she begins to cry or call for us or something. This goes on for 15 min to 90 min. Sometimes we get her her thing (whatever she requests). Sometimes we sooth her. Sometimes we simply put her back in bed. Sometimes we try to ignore her. whatever we try - DOES NOT WORK.

If this is a phase, I'm ready to move on.

A Few Ellie Photos

Here are some recent Ellie Photos for y'all...


A new home...

I hope y'all will understand. I've done it again...

We've moved to a new platform - wordpress. Hopefully, the move will foster a better blog in the future. For now, we're still transitioning.

The new web address is: http://cohenkids.wordpress.com/

I hope to see y'all over there!

Family Photo

Family Photo - 2007.07.07, originally uploaded by jcohen22.

Well, we tried to snap a family photo this weekend. This is the best we got. Ellie is grinning, B and I are doing our best to keep our plastic smiles glistening, and Gabby is... what is Gabby doing? Pouting?

The Girls at 4 months

The Girls at 4 months, originally uploaded by jcohen22.

I've heard some people say that Ellie looks like Basia, and Gabby looks like me. Other people say, that Ellie looks like a Cohen. Still others swear she looks like a Winiker. I think she resembles her Bobie. And finally, there are those that think they look alike.

Well, here's the question. there they are, side by side, at 4 months. Do they look alike? Do they bear a similarity? What do you think?


More family fun!

Did I mention that "Auntie" Meagan also came down to visit from Boston this week? Gabby's been thoroughly enjoying having an extra Auntie around to spoil her. Yesterday the gang picked Gabby up early from daycare to take her swimming at Uncle Jay's pool! What a treat!

Gabby took swimming lessons at school (really just water acclimation classes at this age) and now really loves being in the pool. So much so that she wanted to jump in on her own, but everyone had to remind her than she could only go in with an adult, so she yelled, "Adult! Adult!" until someone finally took her in!

Four months!

Ellie turned four-months old on Sunday. Here are some pictures to show you what she's up to at four months!

Ellie loves to pull herself up to sitting, and especially to standing, whenever she's given the opporunity...

...and especially if it gives a better opportunity to cram her yummy hand into her little mouth. Eating her hands seems to be her favorite passtime these days:
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Ellie with some of the men in her life

This week, Papa came to visit from Boston; therefore, many Aunties and Uncles have taken vacation to spend lots of quality family-time together. This has been a real treat for Gabby, who thrives on all that extra attention, but don't worry, Ellie's been getting her fair share, too. Here, Ellie enjoys some quality time with some of the favorite men in her life.
Uncle Jay reads Ellie a story:
Papa entertains his littlest grand-daughter:

Uncle Shaun takes his turn playing with Ellie, too:
That's one lucky baby, we've got!!!


My weekend with the girls...

Hey there. A few weekends ago, I decided to give my lovely wife a day off. She hightailed it out of here on Friday evening, and wasn't seen until Saturday at dinner time. While she had a much needed break, I had my hands full - literally.

Among many activities my girls and I enjoyed, one was a trip to Kiddie Acres for our friend Cyrus's third birthday party... Enjoy the pictures by clicking here!

Another new friend added...

Hear ye, Hear ye...

Elizabeth has joined the ranks!



Ellie Rolls, anyone?

These were filmed on June 22nd...Last Friday.

Welcome Winston!!!!

In case y'all haven't heard, Martin became a big brother last Wednesday. Winston was born in the afternoon, and everyone's great. With any luck we'll have our own first hand report soon. Until then, enjoy the reports coming from the Svoboda camp, and Winston's crew.

Welcome, kiddo. Ellie & Viv have a boy in their gang now.

A new friend added

B has met some nice ladies with kiddos in the area. So with no further introduction, I bring you Zane & Evie. Their blog has also been added to the list on the left...

I'm so dissappointed in you...I'm gonna cry, now.

What, you thought I was kidding?

Ellie has this amazingly expressive little face. And she uses it all the time. When she moves her eyebrows, sometimes her hair moves... When she smiles her eyes crinkle, and her face glows...and when she frowns...oh man, can she frown.

Her lower lip goes out and poofs up. Her upper lip hibernates somewhere deep in her mouth. The outside edges of her eyes take a trip south. And then she looks at you. And you are ashamed. Random thoughts pour through your brain...

"Why, oh why can't I live next to her crib, so I'm ready to scoop her up and give her cuddles whenever she wants?"

"I thought she was smiling... I only looked away for an instant, and bam...she's sad!!!"

"What did I do? What did I do???"

"I want her to smile again. I need her to smile again. Please don't cry!!!"

Then the frown disappears. And I'm back in control. Seriously, her frown is that powerful. Or maybe it's that I'm her dad?


Gabby antics

Joe found Gabby like this the other day, and she said, "I'm Mama."

Gabby loves corn on the cob. The other night, I left her eating dinner while I tried to soothe Ellie to sleep. When I returned a minute later, I found that she had dumped an entire tub of sour cream on the table and smeared it all over her corn. Yum!

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Moods of Ellie

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The girls in yellow...

A picture from earlier this week:
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BBQ with the Gang

Last weekend, we BBQ'd with the Weisses et al... Fun was had. Margaritas consumed. Kids were soaked. And G got 2 popsicles, chips, a brownie, and a frosted cupcake. I didn't even mention the pool and mist tent. Good times. Thanks for the hospitality Jess and Meredith (and the delicious chicken and cocktails). And thanks for providing the tunes, Lou. Here's a slideshow...

Or click on the picture below to see the photo album.

BBQ w the Weisses


Ellie...Up Up Up

Last night, while I was putting Ellie to bed, I noticed something different about her. Now, don't get me wrong. I thought I detected a little thing a few weeks back, when I was getting her dressed. But this was a definite.

As part of her bedtime routine, I get her changed, and rather than man handle her, I request her assistance with some things. For instance, when it's time to remove her shirt, I give her my fingers, and she holds on as I lift her up, while repeating, "Up, up, up." Then once her shirt is removed, it's "Down, down, down time." Well last night she really decided to pull herself up during the "up, up, up" sequence, and lowered herself in the "down, down, down" sequence. At first, I couldn't believe it...so we did this over and over and over again. She was definitely into it. Then came "All the way, up!!!" with which she would extend her legs and support herself in a standing position. Awesome, no? My little Ellie os developing nicely.

Oh - a few weeks back, she'd raise her feet when I told her it was time to put on socks. Pretty cool...


Family Portraits

Gabby poses with Ellie (and her baby doll):

Gabby poses with Auntie Marta. (Note: Gabby's hair is now long enough to be worn in a single ponytail, just like her Auntie's).

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Some of Ellie's best features

Check out her two dimples and those beautiful baby blue eyes. She's already more than three months, and those blue eyes haven't started changing yet...we'll just have to keep waiting to see if they're going to stay that color. In the meantime, I've found that blue clothes really bring out her eyes, so expect to see this munchkin in more shades of blue in the future!

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Well, tonight is the first night that our dear Ellie is sleeping in her crib. We've toyed with the idea for a little bit, but tonight we're pulling the trigger. Wish us luck.

One more thought, I'd like to share. It's an experience, actually. Ellie generally goes to sleep around 6-6:30 in the evening. She then wakes around 7-7:30 and goes back down at 8pm for the night. This presents us with a few opportunities to put her to bed after G's down (at 6:30-6:45). Generally, we hold her for about 5-15 min, then place her down and cross our fingers. Here's the funny thing. I'm sure y'all can tell from the photos we post that our little lady likes to smile. After we put her down she's usually quiet for a few minutes. Then we hear a little coo, and another and another. Before long, we go to check on her and Ellie is lying in her bassinet and smiling a big big smile when she sees us. Not asleep. But cute as heck.


Ellie at 3 months

Back in March, I shared with y'all a little video of Ellie close-up. Well, here she is at 3 months. Do you see a change? Yeah, Exactly.


Put up your dukes!

We had a great weekend. And Ellie turned 3 months on Friday. Go Ellie. She's starting to use her hands these days. Grabbing things, holding things, etc. Go Ellie.

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87 cents is good and bad...

As y'all may recall, G and I went camping a few weekends back. In preparation for the event I bought 3 items from Academy's 87 cents aisle. I suppose the theory is, "Why should things cost a buck, when 87 cents will do fine?"

1 - Bubbles. These bubbles came in a small yellow tube that leaked. Not only that, but they were the gylcerin bubbles that didn't pop, and left a residue. Eventually, we needed to peel the film off G's hands. The bubbles never came home.

2 - Sidewalk Chaulk. As you may have noticed in the camping photos, this was a big hit. Aside from the fact that initial inspection of the chaulk involved G's dumping them on the ground and instantly multiplying their piececount, and the immediate attraction of the "sponge" that was in the container with the chaulk, which G decided was to be used as an eraser...it didn't last long. Since the camping weekend the chaulk have continued to multiply, and I fear may soon stage a coup.

3 - Kite. Camping weekend didn't afford us the opportunity to execute on the great idea that this item represented. Needless to say, I couldn't simply trash an 87 cent item. So this weekend I decided that it was time to surprise G with our new kite. We headed out this morning, and as I assembled the 87 cent wonder, I realized the true quality that the price tag represents. The kite directions were unclear, and the execution resulted in a nasty tear down the center of the kite surface. With the disappointment on my darlings face, came a decision. We would buy a new kite today! Knowing that we had Randall's on our "to do" list for the GroceryGame, I naturally assumed that such a purveyor that boasts, "Ingredients for Life," would surely carry a kite. And off we went...

We did the whole list, and then I became worried. After strolling thoughout the store, I still had not seen a single kite. Gabby was still talking about her preference for a purple kite with fish on it. Where she gets her ideas, I have no clue. I asked a gentleman, and after giving me a quizzical look, proceeded to hunt down an answer. I followed. Lo and behold there it was. A purple kite, with fish on it! Can this Dad deliver or what?

Later in the afternoon, as I prepared for "Kite fun part deux," I noticed that the new kite was missing it's twine and handle. It was included you know. It said so on the package. I was able to send B on a slight detour to handle this minor catastrophe while she was running a separate errand. Crisis avoided. We finally went to the park this afternoon, to find no wind. I mean I could've built a house of cards out there. Jenga, anyone? Ok, there was a slight breeze. But only enough to encourage me and a nice stranger, Gil, to attempt to get this purple fish kite into the air. No luck. Sorry, G. We'll try again some other time.



Well...the jinx gods must have been reading our blog, because after I posted about Ellie's lengthy night sleeping without feedings, she quickly regressed to being a twice-a-night (or more) eater (more like eating at 8pm, midnight, 3am, and 6am). Ugh! At least we know she CAN do it, so hopefully this sleeping through the night thing will come someday in the near future!

Here's a picture of a well-rested Ellie (and Gabby) and the not-so-well-rested parents!
Thanks to Miss Emily for the personalized Big Sis and Little Sis shirts!


Touring Austin with Auntie Rae and Uncle Yaneev

Gabby enjoyed showing Rae and Yaneev around downtown Austin

She especially enjoyed this vanilla milkshake

"Daddy, thank you SO MUCH for my milkshake!"

My how fast they grow...

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