Happy 2nd Birthday, Cora!

Man it’s tough practically sharing your birthday with your brand new brother. But thankfully there are much tougher things in life than this and Cora-borealis is young enough to not care. Here are a few shots from her mini party to celebrate her 2nd birthday, Sep 4.

So much has happened this year that it’s impossible to capture in one small blog post (because let’s be honest folks, with a newborn at home, all these posts are just gonna get shorter). However, this time is great to reflect on all that has happened that we are all very grateful for. A healthy year for Cora with hardly any illnesses, infections or injuries. Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, both in English and in Spanish. Not much is spoken in Spanish but she understands so much more than I could have hoped. Her ready acceptance of a new sibling at home. She’s been quite sweet with Harlan despite how much time it takes away for her and I together. We’re not heading in to war imminently and our extended families are all healthy and doing well. Can’t really ask for much more than that for a 2nd birthday.


The Waiting Game

I really should be no stranger to being late. Some friends of mine coined the phrase AJ+ 30 to indicate when one could expect me to ACTUALLY arrive at an intended destination. So why should any offspring of mine be any different? Cora must have more of her dad in her than her personality lets on because she was pretty much on time. #2 is taking his sweet old time with no indications of coming to greet us as of 40 weeks and 3 days.

Here are some shots and notes from the last couple weeks’ before #2’s arrival.

  • I’m resuming graduate studies at UH in order to complete my Masters of Education in Phys Ed Motor Behavior. Wish me luck. We all know how focused I can be ūüėČ
  • Cora is going to continue with preschool part time while I’m on maternity leave for the next 12 months. Getting her learn on.
  • Also, we’re starting potty training for reals, so let’s hope her new sibling is supportive of her efforts.
  • Sean continues to stay focused on his job, but has been working hard at his wood shop and will be quite busy there now that he has a few new toys courtesy of his birthday. I’m looking forward to the fruits of those labors.

Shout outs to family and friends for all their support while the waiting game continues. I think I’ve come to grips with being “late” and will be grateful when things get rolling, no matter when that is.


Not to be forgotten….

Cora is nearing her second birthday, which is completely blowing our minds. I’ve been wracking my brain on how to celebrate considering #2 is on his way shortly as well. Also, the fact that Cora won’t know the difference helps, but I still want to celebrate richly and hopefully not too late. This year I’ve been tossing some ideas around that aren’t so party centric but still give us a chance to hang with her new friends at day care and some of the old ones at her old day care(s). plus I also want to update the Cora Feelings chart with 2nd year reprise.

How is Cora Feeling Today

How is Cora Feeling Today

The tricky part of course is getting her to sit still long enough to get a quality photo that can be edited to capture the different expressions. I mean 30 was no joke to get even with an immobile infant. Try capturing Hurricane Cora. So we’ll see what maternity leave brings folks ūüôā



A busy weekend – Fish, Mountains, & Lakes

This weekend was action packed in the Beard household. Some might say a little too busy, but that’s just how I roll unfortunately. A little sanity check is always good though.

Friday I joined Cora’s day care for a field trip to the Seattle Aquarium. It was my first time to join them (they went to the zoo last week, pictures to come soon) and it was quite an experience.








Despite her lack of enthusiasm for the zoo animals, Cora was enthralled with the fish and sea life on display. She reached out to touch the anemones and urchins available in the interactive pool and got as close as she could to the sea life in the underwater dome.  It probably helped that mama was close by, but I think the girl is developing an affinity for water like her Dad.

On Saturday, I got this crazy idea (planted by a friend) that a 7-8 mile hike would be a good idea at nearly 8 months pregnant. Mostly it was a bad idea because it was not a slow nor easy 8 miles, and we felt the need to carry so much food and water because that is always worse in my mind than being tired due to extra weight.

Experience with Cora has told me: keep that belly full or ears will be ringing before too long.

We hiked to Lake Serene near Mount Index in the central Cascades. The views were beautiful and definitely something we all want to be able to enjoy more often. So yes, I’m thinking about getting shape while waddling around at 8 months. Color me crazy.



Ready for the big leagues

The baseball post earlier this week notwithstanding, I have to share a little about why the following picture is funny to us for more than one reason.


We recently transitioned Cora to a twin bed. (Sorry, Cora, No toddler bed for you,¬†courtesy of your fiscally shrewd parents ūüôā As stressful as that transition could have been, Cora has taken to it like a champ, putting herself to sleep back into her normal routine after about 1 week. The long daylight hasn’t helped the actual bedtime, but we can leave her in the room alone, awake and find her asleep for the night shortly there after. However, this past week, we’ve been finding her in the chair in her room instead of in the bed, fast asleep but not in the bed. today we put her down for a nap and this¬†picture shows¬†what we found when we went to check on her.


A few updates and ramblings

We post so infrequently that I sometimes don’t know what to say when I finally get down to sharing something.

I figure this time around I’ll just share some pictures and finally a video or two.

I went on a short hike with Cora to celebrate my friend Natalia’s birthday. It was a gorgeous day and the Bridal veil Falls were beautiful as well. However, the excitement of the day proved to much for Cora, who didn’t even make it to our lunch break.


We had the pleasure of sending our friends Catherine and Michael off  thanks to some friends from Warped Disk ultimate. They are moving away from the grey to the Midwest this summer.  The hosts had the perfect escape for a bunch of young kids to run off too many cookies and Cora wanted to hang with the older boys. Funny thing was, the windows were just the perfect height to get her just above the shoulders, and watching her elicited memories of Muppets walking/running.


Here’s a video of a little fun at a park near the house. She wanted to try the big girl swing and did a pretty good job of it.





May 2013

I feel like a whole lot of life has been going on this last month so here’s an attempt to document some of it.

  • Sean traveled to Houston for 5 days to overhaul our old house and we
  • Listed our home in Houston for sale
  • Cora started spontaneously saying new words (feels like almost 1 new word a day)
  • I entered the 3rd trimester for kiddo #2
  • Took my last trip before #2 arrives (to visit my best gal pal, Julie)
  • I restarted my master’s degree journey
  • Found out my grandfather has advanced brain cancer

There are¬†some pretty heavy things on that list, but also¬†plenty of positive¬†ones. The heavy stuff has made me really think more often about what gifts and blessings I have been given, and hope for better things for those who aren’t as fortunate. Cora has been keeping me pretty entertained and is one of those joys that I marvel at being able to experience each time. I mean I’ve had some good times in my life, my crazy wonderful family,¬†hanging with some hilarious friends over the years, travelling lots of places and seeing cool stuff, not to mention, marrying my best friend. But being a parent has taken me through all those highs and lows again and then some. Who knew.

On a lighter note still, Cora is in fact saying quite a few words that we can interpret better now. Here’s a short list, ball, I want mas, I want this, what’s this?, Please, agua, cheese, juice, shoes, up, down, I want up and I want down, house, owl, out, no, YES!… The YES! is actually pretty funny. Preschool Adventures, Cora’s daycare, decided she needed to learn another word than ‘no’ (amen for that) and worked on it with her. Now she actually consistently uses ‘yes’ and ‘no’ appropriately and will throw out an emphatic YES! when something she really wants comes up. It’s WAYYYYY more fun than hearing ‘no’ to everything, so thanks a lot Shay and family!

And please keep my grandpaw in your thoughts as he battles brain cancer. It’s been an off and on battle, but this round isn’t a positive one.



our newest adventure

I know we call everything an adventure, but it’s really hard not think of it that way. New baby on the way and a rock star toddler at home, what else counts as adventure? Working full time, and our fare share of drama? The weather is also getting a little better in the PacNW so it tends to give me a better outlook on things. Plus look at this face!


We decided to find out the gender this time (well if Sean tells it, *I* decided to find out) and we’re excited to say we’re having … a BOY!


 I tried to pull a last minute change and not find out the gender WHILE we were actually getting the ultrasound, but still wanted the option to find out before the baby was born. So we had the ultrasound tech to tell us the gender by writing a little note and putting it in an envelope for us to open at our choosing. Which of course was as soon as we all got home, Cora included.






“I Want M√°s”

The other day Cora, held out her cup and said plain as day, “I want m√°s”. I wish I could capture¬†her saying this because I think it’s hilarious, BUT it was my first evidence she is learning some Spanish, albeit more like Spanglish.

For those of you saying, oh wow Cora’s in a Spanish immersion school, hold your horses. Her language school is her g-fab mama busting out the limited Spanish she learned in a couple of semesters of Spanish 101 at Rice U, her old Vistas textbook, Bing translator and translate.google.com. I’m sometimes a little embarrassed at this hodge-podge manner of language education, it’s not like I have some huge body of evidence that says learning a second language is so valuable for development, so¬†who cares if it’s broken and grammatically incorrect! But it’s kind of fun because I’m relearning a lot of Spanish I’d lost (or perhaps never knew) and it’s hopefully keeping my brain a little more spry as the new baby tries to consume all my cognitive faculties.

Here’s a shot from Mother’s Day. What gifts I have been given already…

Mother's Day Gifts


Cora – Some Snippets

It’s hard to get to the blog these days but I would like to note some tidbits of Cora’s personality and life that I think¬†are hilarious, endearing, goofy, you name it. She’s in the tantrum throwing phase and that comes with its own share of wild mood swings and histrionics. Some of my favorites include the full body wet noodle manuever including foot stomping, which really just becomes this crazy flailing that usually lands her smacking her head on something. Also part of the tantrum throwing is the huge dramatic crying which involves both hands going to her wide open mouth and throwing her head down as if the world was going to end. It’s hard not to laugh when she does these things, but they are really not that effective at getting what she wants from us either way!

On a lighter note, she snorts a LOT when she’s having a real good time, I’ve tried to catch it on video with no success, usually because¬†I too am laughing along with her. She looooooves talking on the phone to someone, anyone. Auntie was kind enough to give her an old cell phone of hers that has a keyboard, which are a favorite. Cora can text better than I can on that thing.

A real favorite is when she starts to get a little too loud, BUT before we even ask her to be quiet, she will put a finger to her lips and go SHHHHH! loudly of course.