Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

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The Flight of The Stroller

May 27, 2010

With everything that’s been going on around the Hall House, Coleman has had to be on a multi-week sleepover at Grandma Hall’s and Aunt Carolie’s (click here and here for more info).

I miss the little guy, and go to see him as often as I can, but when I can’t I watch this little video.  I made it just hours before everything went south with Kolette, and it provides me the perfect taste of the energy the home is missing without “The Cole Man” around.

Jh-

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The Little Sucker

April 16, 2010

Cole loves many things, but of all the things he loves two that are at the top of his list are being where the action is, and visitors. Cole loves to be where the action is. When people are over, he wants to be around them and watch everything they’re doing, and every time the doorbell rings, this look of complete and utter joy covers Coleman’s face, as he runs to see who has arrived.

So you can imagine how he feels when my aides come over, ring the doorbell, and go back into my room to help me.  He’s so excited, he can hardly stand it, and the guy doesn’t want to miss a minute.

So any morning, or evening, the situation permits, there’s Cole—right in the middle of everything.  It’s been this way since he could crawl.  He plays in the bed, sits on my lap, and breaks my razor (the little turkey).

But, Cole’s favorite time is when I take my meds.  Every morning, and every night, I take my pills, and wash them down with a little Sprite.  Then, just like dad, Coleman gets a sip of Sprite too.

At first, it was just about trying to get the giant straw in his mouth like.  Then, it became all about having the straw in his mouth like I did.  But now, after a lot of work and patience, he’s figured out how to get himself a little taste of Sprite.

Now, he can’t do it all in one big suck.  So, he puts his little lips around that big ol’ straw, and the little sucker just sucks, sucks, and sucks, over and over, until the wonderful combination of carbonation, water, and sugar reaches his mouth.

When it does finally gets to him, his eyes water up, and his face looks confused.  Then the sugar waxes, the carbonation wanes, and a grin fills his chubby little face.

It makes me smile just thinking about it.  I love the little sucker!

Jh-

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Who Says There Isn’t an Easter Bunny?

April 4, 2010

The other morning, my mom called and asked if she could come over and spend the morning with Coleman.  In addition to her regular gifts of time and play that she so freely gives to Cole, on this morning she also brought my boy a present for Easter.

She came in the house to find Coleman giddy with excitement at the sight of his friend (Cole gets that way around his Grandmas). Once at the house, Kolette took off, not wanting to miss an opportunity to get in her morning run

After kisses and a proper hello (which usually means giggles and hugs), she pulled out the gift. I was sure that it was going to be some sort of candy treat or yogurt covered pretzel that little Cole loves so much.  But when the package was opened, much to my surprise it was not chocolate, or even a toy, but a set of blue bunny ears attached to a plastic headband.  As we sat there laughing at the present Grandma had found for her grandson, little did we know that the laughter had just begun.

Mom put the ears on Coleman, sure that he would pull them off the first chance he got.  But, we learned something about Coleman that morning—the kid loves him a quality set o’ bunny ears!

He walked around the house looking at us while we laughed, wondering what was so stinkin’ funny.  He’d look at us as if to say, “I’m wearin’ my ears…get over it.”

Just then, Ko got home from her run.  By her laughter, I think it’s safe to say the last thing she expected to see welcoming her at the door, was Cole wearing a set of blue bunny ears.

He kept them with him until his nap, and when he woke up they went right back on.  Now, some out there that believe the Easter Bunny to be a figment of peoples imagination, or the product of some tall tale.

To them I say, the Easter Bunny is real—and I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

Happy Easter

Jh-

And to further your Easter delight, I present to you the finest Easter commercial of ALL TIME!

PS Thanks to smilebox for making the collage so easy.

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Coleman and The Desk

March 29, 2010

This past Saturday, sometime before noon, Kolette decided to go for a run.  If you don’t already know, she’s working up to running in a local half-marathon on the 15th of May. (For more on the subject, you can check out her blog here.)

This meant Coleman and I were on our own.  She left, I played with Cole in the living room for a few minutes, and went into my study to make some progress on a project I was working on—sure that Cole would stay playing in the living room for a while.

It wasn’t but a few minutes later that Coleman, never wanting to miss out on the action, followed me into my den.

It was “Game On” from the very moment he entered my office.  He was everywhere.  First, he tried to grab the papers I was working with. I moved my chair in front of that part of my desk to block his maneuver.  No sooner were the papers back in order than Cole was trying to grab the keyboard.

When I effectively flanked his keyboard move, he shuffled to the end of the desk to make a second attempt at the papers.  Things went on like this for a few minutes.  Every time I was sure everything on the desk was out of Cole’s reach, I’d see him up on his tippy toes and working to make another snatch.

By this time, I was little surprised to look over and find him trying to pull the phone onto the floor.  I sped over to thwart that effort when he made his final move.

He reached up and grabbed the joystick that controls my wheelchair, and with both hands, pulled the control in his direction.

Now usually, I turn the power off to avoid this very situation.  But, because he had me moving back and forth in front of the desk, working to keep all my stuff from off the floor, the chair was on and in high gear.

As I saw him about to run himself over, I pushed his hands forward hoping to break his grip.

Unfortunately, I severely underestimated my boys grip—and unwilling to let go, my push forward hurled up both forward.

Coleman and I rammed into my desk sending it, and everything on top of it (i.e. My Mac, a desk lamp, the phone, pens, papers, books, etc.) crashing to the ground and into the wall.

When the cacophony ended, I looked down to make sure Coleman was safe.  I don’t know exactly when he let go, but it was definitely in plenty of time.  For, sitting on his little bum, he simply and innocently looked at the desk and then looked up at me with a quizzical look that seemed to say, “What’s next?”

About 5 minutes later, Kolette returned from her run to a home a little different than the one she left.  My office was in shambles, I was in shock, and Cole wanted to play catch.

The good news is that everyone is fine.  The desk and wall are on life support, but thanks to good neighbors like the Treasures, I think they’re gonna make it.

Never a dull moment………Never a dull moment.

Jh-

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Best Words In The Wide World

March 19, 2010

It wasn’t far into Coleman’s “Jibber Jabbering” that his first word found it’s way out of his mouth and into our lives.  Being the “Social Animal” that he is, it was no surprise to Ko or I that his first word was, “Hi.”

He’d cruise around the house waving his hands and sharing’ “Hi’s” with every Tom, Tammy, Dick, Dani, and Harry or Mary that came through our front door.

Just days after, “Hi,” found it’s way to the top of the charts. “Dad’s” and “Dada’s” started showing themselves into Coleman’s repertoire. He said the word everywhere.  It was music to my ears.  What I didn’t expect was the side effect hearing the words caused. My balance got all screwed up. (I went to the Doctor and he said I’d be fine once the pride curbed and I stopped sticking my chest out so far.)

But, as good as those days were the best and most verbally rewarding of my life came when Cole started combining his words.

It happens on a regular basis right now. I’ll be working in my office, keeping my mind on my work when all of the sudden, combined with the pitter-patter of tiny feet, I hear my big man’s little voice say, “Hi, Dad.”

I’ve received awards of note, been recognized by my peers, and presented in front of literally thousands of people, but it all pales in comparison to having my boy walk through my office door and say, “Hi, Dad.”

For me they truly are the best words in the wide world.

Jh-

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ReelDirector Makes You a Real Director

February 12, 2010

ReelDirector for the iPhone 3GS

One of the best things about being in an “iPhone State of Mind” over the last 13 months came in an addition iPhone made to it’s 3GS model–a video camera.

Catching Cole’s special little moments has been so much easier with a video camera in my pocket.  Kolette and I love our Flip video camera and use it often, but there have been a lot of great stuff that we would have missed if we would have had to go to find the Flip first.  (We love the Flip though. It takes great high-quality video for being such a small little camera)

So, with our iPhones at the ready Ko and I captured all kinds of video from Coleman’s life.  The problem was that the only way to do any editing, was to download the video to my computer and put the clips into a program that would allow up to manipulate the footage.

Now, thanks to the folks at Nexvio, “There’s an app for that.”  They’ve come up with an app that allows you to edit video on the fly and right from your phone.  It’s called ReelDirector, and it is so easy.  We just take the video, trim the clips, add transitions and titles, import audio if we like–and voilà.  Just like that a finished video that we can instantly text to all our loved ones (Grandma’s mostly).

In fact, just recently Cole’s Grandma Coleman who currently lives in the Dominican Republic just mentioned how she doesn’t feel so far away, because of all the video we’ve sent.

If you’re an iPhoner, I totally recommend it.  If you use another device with a video camera there’s gotta be something else like it out there.  It makes things loads easier, and keeps those you love close.  Just look at the way I chronicled some of Coleman’s best “walkin’ work” using ReelDirector.

It’s like I’m James Cameron on wheels……well let’s not get crazy!

Jh-

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The Magic of Christmas

December 24, 2009

Our little Magic Man with Santa

I will never forget the day that I learned the truth about Santa.

Being the oldest in my family, and a kid people would categorize as a believer anyway, I believed in Santa Claus far longer than most of my friends.  In fact, it was deep in the summer of 1982, when I was between the 5th and 6th grades, when I finally learned the truth.

I was down the street at the Petersen’s playing.  I remember it being a normal summer day.  We had our bikes flipped over in order to work on and repair them (which usually just meant pushing the pedals as hard as we could to see how fast we could get the wheel to go, a good cleaning, and a little oil on the chain if we were lucky).  But, there we were, in front of the Petersen’s working on our bikes, considering selling the lemonade, and just shooting the breeze when one of my friends said, “Can you believe we believed Santa was real for so long?’

I looked at him puzzled and said, “What do you mean.  Santa is real.”

He laughed and replied, “No he’s not, and everyone knows it!”

I remember chuckling inside at his foolishness and in a tone that had a little “listen ding-dong” attached to it, responded with, “Well, if Santa’s not real, then who brings the presents?!”

Sure that this argument was irrefutable, I folded my arms and waited for what I was sure was going to be clumsy response.  I had him, and I knew it.

Then, quick as a whip, he looked at me snickering and said, “Your parents bring ‘em.  No Doi .” “No Doi“ was part of the vernacular of the day, which translated correctly means, “No Duh”

I was flabbergasted.  “Could it be true?” I wondered.  With a wedge of doubt driven right in the middle of my before solid belief, I flipped over my bike and rode home to get an answer.

I walked into the kitchen where my mom was cooking and belted out, “Mom, is Santa real?”  Not expecting this question in the middle of July, and wondering when I was going to find out the truth on my own, replied, “Well, what do you think?”

Right then, I knew it!  My friend was right—Santa wasn’t real.  I went downstairs to lie on my bed.  It felt like all of the magic had been sucked right out of Christmas.  The whole thing was all made up.  I postulated that if Santa wasn’t real the chances for Rudolph and elves were slim to none—and forget about the Easter Bunny.

Somehow, I made it through and that Christmas was as wonderful as all the ones before.

Now, this year with our little Coleman around I am excited for the believing in Santa to begin again.  Even though he doesn’t understand, I’ve told him all about The North Pole, Santa and the Mrs., Rudolph and the rest.  I’ve sung him the songs, and even though he’ll be more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper can’t wait for him to open his presents.

I’ve also been reminded this year—more than any year in a long time—that there is magic in Christmas.  It’s all around.

It’s in the face of my little boy, in the feeling of giving, in the excitement of finding the right gift for Kolette and in the gratitude I feel for her knowing she spends hours and hours to give me something special.

It’s in the way people’s hearts change for these few weeks every year.  Regardless of religion or belief, there’s just more kindness, more love.  People find compassion they’d maybe lost before.  Smiles fill peoples faces because of the accompanied increase in joy.  People remember what they have and gratitude seems abundant.

But, more than anything, the magic comes in hope.  Whether it’s hoping for Santa or hoping for peace, hope is everywhere.  It fills the hearts of the young and old, and brings with it an optimism that somehow makes everything OK.  We hope for things to improve in the New Year.  We hope that things will be better for our own, and we hope that things will be better for those around us.

All we have to do is open our souls and let the season fill our hearts with hope—then allow it to be accompanied by love, joy, cheer, gratitude, peace and gladness.   When we do, will all rejoice in the Magic of Christmas.

Wishing you a Very Merry,

Jh-

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Cole & the Bead

October 15, 2009

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One of the real joys of being a Dad who works for himself from home is that I get to be around to see firsthand all the fun things my boy does during the day. Sometimes they’re big and groundbreaking and sometimes they’re small and funny–but they’re rarely dull and never boring,

Today after breakfast, Coleman was cruising on the floor (if you missed my last post, he does that now) and found one of his beads.  As you can see from the photo above; Cole likes beads.  This was different though.  He was fixated on this particular bead and chased the thing all over the house.

As I watched him move from here to there, I started to hear music in my head. So, I decided to take the video Kolette shot, do some quick editing on iMovie (gotta love the Mac) and share the whole experience with you.

Enjoy!

Jh-

PS: This parenting thing is a kick in the shorts

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Cole’s Cruisin’

October 7, 2009

IMG_0703 Coleman has learned how to crawl.  It’s not the full “on all fours” crawl, but he can military crawl with the best of ’em — and let me tell you, it’s meant big changes at the Hall Home.

We have to keep tabs on him at all times, and all of the sudden chairs are tipped over, blocking routes to dangerous stuff like the stairs and power outlets. Hopefully the order from Target will get here soon with all the wonderful stuff designed to keep him away from those things so we can get our chairs back around the table where they belong — our table just seems so very lonely. I feel like leaving it little notes so it knows it’s not all alone. (Whoa, major tangent)

Anyway, this tab keeping and route blocking is crucial, because he can be in one room one minute and in the next room the other. Sometimes you wonder if he doesn’t break the “Space/Time Continuum”.

This means Dad has to be extra careful.  I can take a few minutes to write a blog post (like this one for example) and before I know it, he will be behind me (like right now for example).  Therefore, anytime I move my chair anywhere, I have to look to make sure he hasn’t quickly and quietly placed himself under my chair to play Mr. Fixit.

Whether it’s forwards or backwards, I have to check prior to going anywhere, for no one wants “squished infant” in their den — it’s so passé, not to mention most likely taboo.

I have been careful and therefore no accidents to report.  But this kid can move. Watching him figure out each new stage of development with his brilliant coach of a mother has truly been one of the joys of my life.

I put together the video below so you can share in our joy.  Make sure to pay attention to the very end when I highlight Cole’s lounging pose (also highlighted in the picture above).  When he does it, he looks like he’s posing for a portrait, or out of some scene in Titanic. Just another one of the things that keep us laughing and loving every moment.

Jh-

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A Cole Fix

September 11, 2009

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Yesterday was just one of those days.  Being a quadriplegic with all of the other surgeries piled on top from the car accident, there are just some days when you don’t feel well.  There’s not really anything you can do, it’s just part of living with a body that’s been battered and broken.

In many ways it’s kind of an odd feeling. I’m not sick, I just feel off.  There’s pain, but it isn’t specific to any area—it’s just low grade, and everywhere. There’s nothing that can be done, I just do what I can to get through the day. There isn’t any pill you can take it is just part of the package deal.

On top of all this everything just seemed to be going wrong, which made me really unproductive and only added to the frustration.

Kolette was gone for most of the morning, and had some projects to work on, so Coleman was at Nikki’s for the day (Nikki is the best babysitter in the world.  She lives just next-door, cares for Cole like he was her own, and is really flexible).

Ko got home from her boot camp and some errands at about 1:00pm.  She came in the door and I asked her if she thought Cole was up from his nap.  She said she had just talked to Nikki on her way home and he was.  I queried further asking if Kolette knew if he had eaten yet.  She said he was just about to—and that was when I told her I needed a “Cole Fix”.

It’s common terminology around our house for those times when you need to feel a little part of his gigantic spirit.

Kolette went to Nikki’s and came back with my boy.  As soon as his eyes met mine he had a big smile for me and his arms and legs started moving up, down and all around in excitement.  It was as if he knew why he’s come home.

I fed him his lunch, held him awhile and we sang some songs (although he needs to work on his singing abilities a little, usually he just leaves me hanging and I end up doing it all solo).

On his way back to Nikki’s, I felt better. This having kids thing is amazing.  I’m supposedly supposed to be the one providing all the care—and in the end it really seems as though he’s taking as much care of me as I am of him.

I love my beautiful boy.

Jh-

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