Monday, June 30, 2008

Happiness is a napping baby

Cooper slept from 9:30 to 7:15 last night! When I woke up at 7:15 I went in to check on him & he was already awake, standing in his crib, & smiling. I guess the full night of sleep felt good. He's now taking his second nap of the day - I can't believe it! I'm sure this won't last so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


We had a lovely Sunday. My mom came to visit this afternoon, & Adam stopped by too.

Then John's sister Anna invited us to see her boyfriend Pat's band, The Wanderers, play a show. They were doing a song for a public access show on CAN-TV called Chic-a-go-go. It was a totally surreal experience. The show is kind of an Soul Train for kids; they play (weird) music & kids, and anyone else who's there, dance. The show is hosted by a puppet named Ratso. Very, very odd. It'll be on tv, but I don't know when. They have several videos on YouTube also, so it might wind up on there too. These pictures are after the show - we went to a fast food place & Cooper was making faces & yelling at us through the window.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Blah, blah, stuff we did, I have a cold, whine, whine, whine

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.
~Ogden Nash

Ugh. I have this cold that just won't quit. I'm actually feeling a little better today. I had a migraine earlier & I'm still congested now, but it's not as bad as it was.
So yesterday Cooper had a visit from Granny Smith. He was pretty crabby because he missed his morning nap, but he had fun & started to clap his hands! Unfortunately, he hasn't done it again since. John has the same cold & he was feeling pretty rotten so he came home from work early. We took turns napping & then went to bed as soon as Cooper did.
Today we had an open house so we spent all morning getting ready for that, but it was all for nothing because no one came, again. We've had some showings & stuff, but things have slowed down recently & no one seems interested in the open houses. Now we have to make the tough decision about whether we want to lower the price again. I hate this.
Tonight we went to a barbeque (although it was really windy so we moved things inside) with some of my friends from law school. It makes me miss work a lot hearing all the stories about other peoples' jobs and court experiences, but I know I made the right decision staying home. Someday I'll go back, but I'm happy being with Cooper now. He was so good tonight; not fussy or crabby or anything. He is such a little social baby - definitely takes after John in that way.
So that's what I've been doing lately. Of course, I haven't mentioned the two things that have me very frustrated lately - my latest breastfeeding problem (I love breastfeeding, but it seems my body doesn't always agree) & the fact that my parents need to get rid of dogs they've raised since birth because of some stupid, ridiculous rule the county has - but I need to get some rest so I can get rid of this crappy cold so maybe I'll write about that stuff later. For now, I'll just add a couple cute pictures of the love of my life...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can you believe it?

I started to get a sore throat yesterday and this morning I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I asked Cooper, nicely, if he could just entertain himself quietly in his crib for a few hours so I could get some extra sleep, but he just looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Geez!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cool idea

I came across this website & I think it's just the coolest idea. It's like Netflix, but with toys. You get a certain number of toys that you choose sent to you each month, then you return them & get new ones. Wish I'd thought of that.

Captain Crabbypants

Cooper's hideout

Cooper woke up at 1am on Tuesday with a fever of 102. We called the on-call nurse & gave him some Tylenol & it came down. The Tylenol worked wonders - he was in a great mood all day.
Grandma (my mom) came to visit & Cooper had lots of fun with her eating lunch and playing. He showed off new tricks (like sitting under the dining room chair & moving his wrist in interesting ways) & got lots of kisses.
After that we were off to the doctor. We recently switched to John's insurance & had to change doctors. Because we're planning to move near his job, I wanted our new doctors out there so we wouldn't have to switch again when we moved. I just feel better with Cooper having the same doctor for as long as possible. Anyway, that meant we had to trek all the way out to St. Charles to see the doctor. It was only a 20 minute appointment, but it probably took at least 3 hours. Cooper got a good nap on the way there & the way back, which was probably just what he needed, so that worked out well. I like the new doctor too. She lets me hold him & gets down to his level to check him out instead of making him sit or lay on the examining table. She said he's fine, just a cold & thankfully no ear infection!
Cooper was feeling good after the doctor & his naps & he found a new hideout for himself.

This morning Cooper's doing great. His energy is back (yikes!), he has no fever, & his nose is only running a little bit.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Showing off our cloth diapers

Cooper & I went to Dayna's today to visit & he had fun playing with them, but I forgot my camera so I didn't get any pictures. Maybe next time. Zak has been calling Cooper "Coos" because he has trouble saying "Coop", but he figured it out so now he's "Coop" most of the time, but "Poop" occasionally. It's kinda disappointing - I thought "Coos" was really cute!
I was just looking through some pictures & decided I wanted to show off some of the cloth diapers we got recently because I think they're so cute.

I love those big chubby thighs! And here's a picture that's just cute:

Weekend fun & trouble

Cooper loving the swings (at the park on Saturday).

I took this picture on Sunday. John & Adam wanted to go to the driving range, so me & Cooper tagged along to watch. Cooper enjoyed just hanging out outside & took a nice nap in the car afterwards.

This is also from Sunday. Cooper is working on new skills. He managed to stand up on his rocker toy & then pulled his left foot up the stand up even higher on the seat. You can tell from the picture how excited I am about this. Eventually he'll figure out he can do this on the stairs too, so I need to start spending nap times on Craigslist looking for gates. I think we're also heading to Babies R Us today for some outlet covers & crib rail covers.
Cooper tried plums yesterday (pureed; he's still not big on the finger foods) & loved them!
We also had a family bath. Cooper loved it & we all had a lot of fun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sleeping baby + helpful husband = rested mama

Cooper slept! He woke up once shortly after going to bed & John got him back to sleep pretty quickly. Coop woke up to nurse at about 2 & fell right back to sleep (that's when I was on the computer - I justify a couple minutes on the computer late at night by telling myself I'm just killing time while I drink a large glass of water because I need to keep myself hydrated). He woke up at 6am & John got up with him & fed him breakfast so I got to sleep until 8am when he was ready to nurse again. Then we got a 45 minute nap. He woke up happy again, but John & I couldn't resist peaking in on him & he caught us. He also learned where the light switch is (my fault) & discovered he can almost reach it when he's standing in his crib. I'm sure that will be a problem in the middle of the night sometime soon.


My parents have been married 33 years as of Friday, 6/20. Congratulations!
(I stole your picture Mom!)

Here's a great news story about a woman in China breastfeeding 9 needy babies.
I don't know about the whole promotion thing, but this story is fascinating.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bad mommy

So yesterday after Cooper's nap we got ready to leave for St. Charles to go watch John in a Public Defenders v. State's Attorneys football game. Just before we walked out the door I needed to put something else in the diaper bag so I set Cooper on the couch while I stood in front of it. I never ever put him on the couch, only the floor so I have no idea why I did it. He crawled around a bit but I was always in front of him so he couldn't fall. As I'm watching him, he dives off the side of the couch & lands head first on a ride-on toy. I don't know how it happened; I was watching him, but it was so fast that I didn't even realize what was happening. He bumped his head & has a huge bump & red mark. Of course, he didn't want ice on it, but he let me keep the ice there for a little while if I nursed him at the same time (thanks for that suggestion Mom!).
We finally got out the door (45 minutes late) & Cooper immediately falls asleep in the car. It was a long drive, especially with rush hour & some rain, but he slept the entire time. I'd normally love that, but I was terrified he had a concussion or something so I kept poking him, or touching his head or arm to try to get him to move around.
We finally made it there, but the game was rained out so we hung out at a restaurant with some of the PDs. Afterwards it was off to Aurora for an apartment-warming party at my friend Joslyn's. Her daughter, Althea, is three months younger than Cooper so they played around on the floor together a bit (mostly Cooper tried to steal Althea's pacifier & any toy she touched).
Cooper fell asleep at his normal time, slept the whole way home, & stayed asleep when I put him in his crib. Then it all went downhill from there. Cooper was up every half hour (or less!) with the exception of one 2-hour stretch after I nursed him in the middle of the night. I think I got a total of 3 hours sleep. When I did sleep, I had dreams about being tired & not getting enough sleep! John had to go into work for a few hours this morning & Cooper was up at 6 am & I was exhausted. Cooper didn't take a morning nap (although I tried really hard!), but he was in a good mood at least. When John finally got home I was able to nap & I think he's going to have to take over most of the awakenings tonight so I can get some sleep. He did nap for John (no fair!) & I just walked to the park with him & he fell asleep on the way home & he's still napping.
I just hope last night was just a freak thing & not another phase of bad sleeping. I don't think I could take that again & I feel like such a crabby, boring, crappy mom when I'm that tired.
Wish us luck tonight!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My happy napper

Cooper took a nap this afternoon in his crib; I had the monitor on & I heard him whine a couple times. There is always crying after the wake-up-whine, but not this time. I heard him moving around, but no crying. Maybe I should have left him, but after 5 minutes I was too curious. I went upstairs & found this happy little boy.

Cooper's first day of work

Cooper's first photo shoot was today! I was nervous because he usually naps for almost an hour (okay, not usually, but that's what I try to do & that's what puts him in a good mood) in the morning but I didn't put him down for a nap at home 'cause we had to go & I figured he'd nap in the car. He fell asleep 10 minutes before we went in (& that's only because I drove around extra!) so he had a very short nap. Luckily, he was in a good mood anyway! There were several other kids there so I don't know if they will choose pictures of Cooper, but he was very cute & loved it! He got to sit in the Radio Flyer Sport Coupe (see pictures here: It must have been obvious Cooper is advanced - the recommended age is 1-3 years old! Some kids posed with a "mom" holding the handle, but Cooper did not. Everyone commented on how well he did (he smiled & posed!) and said he was probably the fastest shoot of all the kids they'd done so far. Hopefully we'll see the picture somewhere, but either way he gets paid for an hour of work.

We had so much fun! Cooper seems very pleased with his work (this is afterwards); notice his hair was done by the makeup/hair person.

First job complete!

Napping in the car - modeling is hard work!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shedd Aquarium = Cooper's first modeling job!

Cooper & I went to the Shedd Aquarium with some of our nursing group. Cooper loves watching the fish & everything, but it was so crowded so we only stayed a few hours.
After we got home I got a call from Cooper's agent at Ford Modeling & he has his first modeling job tomorrow! It's for Radio Flyer. We had to go out & buy shoes for him today because he doesn't have any & they want him to have shoes. They asked if he could sit up on his own & I said yes; I didn't mention that he'll probably stand up in their wagon & try to do a swan dive out of it!
So I just realized something weird. Cooper was offered the modeling contract when I took my cousin Alyssa to a casting call at the agency. I picked Alyssa up from the Shedd Aquarium & took her to Ford & Cooper got his contract. Today we go to the Shedd & Cooper gets his first modeling job. (It's not like I go there regularly - I've only been there once before.) Coincidence? I don't know; maybe I'll have to consider getting a membership there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cooper's post

'9 0000000

b `vc vx /vhn 0 nb

Fat lip, floods, & food

Last night Cooper was standing in front of our entertainment center & fell. John thought he just hit his shoulder, but then I noticed blood on John's shirt. I think Cooper must have bitten his lip or something, but he recovered quickly. He has a bit of a fat lip today, but I probably wouldn't even notice it if I wasn't looking for it. His injury has not deterred him - he continues to pull himself up on the entertainment center to chew on dvds.
I watched the news last night (never a good thing) & it's so awful to see all that flooding; they said the Red Cross is helping, but is out of money. I'd really like to donate, but I don't know that we can fit that in our budget now, so John & I were thinking of volunteering somehow, but I don't know if that will work either. I just feel like we should do something because there are so many people who lost so much. They were also saying that food prices are going to go even higher now because of all the crops damaged. Even meat because all the cattle eat corn products. So we went to Sam's Club & stocked up & we're finally using the freezer we have in the basement.
I've been watching Weeds the last couple days. Adam gave me the Season I & II dvds as a replacement birthday gift (my original birthday gift was a massage gift certificate, but the place went bankrupt!). Anyway, I'm almost through the first season already (one of the benefits of having a son who loves to marathon nurse) & I love it! Everyone should check it out; it's a great show.
Tomorrow we're going to the Shedd Aquarium (free admission this week!) with moms & babies from our nursing group. Cooper loves to watch the fish & stuff at the zoo so I think he'll really like it!

Here's my little monster demonstrating his latest trick:
Feeding himself grapes (he's still not totally sure about it!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DuPage Children's Museum & finger food

Yesterday John took the day off work & we went to the DuPage Children's Museum. I love that place! If I had millions of dollars, I'd probably spend a lot of it making my house like the museum. Cooper's favorite things in the museum are the mirrors - he loves staring at himself!

Today at dinner I gave Cooper grapes for the first time & he ate them! He's been refusing any finger foods (except puffs - aka "baby crack"). I've tried pieces of bananas & peaches, but he won't eat them off his tray or my hand, but will only eat them if I spoon feed him. Anyway, he picked the grapes up off his tray & ate them today. Finally - progress! I bought tons of fruit today (mango, peaches, plums, nectarines, papaya, strawberries) so we're going to have new finger foods soon & I'm going to be combining some stuff to make some exciting new purees!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I'm so lucky to have many wonderful fathers in my life.

Me & Dad on my wedding day

From what I hear, I was pretty brutal to my dad as a baby, crying and screaming anytime I wasn't attached to my mom. Having my own baby now, I know how horrible that must have felt. Luckily, we bonded long before my memories start and spent most of my childhood sharing the same weird sense of humor and watching The Greatest American Hero and Bosom Buddies together. I have tons of great memories, but two jump out right now. I don't remember how old I was, but my dad came home from work for lunch. Instead of eating out like he had planned, he used his lunch money to buy me a Strawberry Shortcake necklace and came home to make himself a sandwich. I still have the necklace. When I was a bit older I got hurt at school; nothing serious (although I'm sure I was hysterical when it happened), but they called my dad & he came to the school. By the time he got there I was fine, but he insisted that I go home. While we walked home I told him I really was fine & didn't need to go home. He told me he just thought I could use a day off. I don't remember what we did that day, but I know I felt really special having a day off with Dad. My dad is my hero. He always has been & always will be.

John & Cooper

Part of the reason I fell in love with John is because I knew he'd make a great Dad. From the minute we found out I was pregnant he was ecstatic and for the entire first trimester he wouldn't let me lift anything or do any laundry or dishes or housework. In the delivery room he did everything he could to try to make me comfortable, and he held my leg the whole time I pushed, even though it made his arms really sore! :) When Cooper needed to go to the NICU, John was with him every second he could. He knew all the nurses, learned what all the machines did, and knew everything that was going on with Cooper. I could barely remember what hours I could visit Cooper, but John knew what his diagnosis was, what the prognosis was, and was able to ask intelligent questions to get more information. Now John goes to work everyday even though it breaks his heart to leave Cooper and makes lot of sacrifices because he wants me to be able to stay at home with Cooper.

Justin and Zak, with my Dad & Caycee behind them

My brother Justin & I didn't always get along (in fact, we rarely got along when we were growing up!), but he's a great dad. I love watching him playing with Zak & Caycee. He's missing Father's Day, and a lot of other days, with his kids now because he's serving in Iraq. I know he misses them terribly, and they miss him, but he's making that sacrifice for them and Cooper (and all of us) because he wants to make the world better for them.

John, his Dad, & me at our college graduation

John's dad passed away a month before our wedding day and we miss him every day. When John and I first started dating, and especially when John told him we were engaged 4 months later, I don't think his dad was so thrilled with me. It wasn't me so much as his son being so serious with someone when he had barely started college. I did finally win him over (John claims it was when his parents noticed his grades going up instead of down when I joined him at college; I think it had more to do with me polishing off a 16 oz prime rib when his parents took us out to dinner) and from then on he treated me like I was his daughter. I have great memories of us talking about law school, playing pinochle, and eating pistachios, but I'm mostly thankful that he raised John to be the person he is today.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

I must be crazy

This is from a few days ago, but I didn't want to post it before John got his gift.
I decided Cooper should create his first painting as a Father's Day gift. To recreate this is your home, you'll need:
a 7-month-old baby
a highchair
lots of poster paper
lots of masking tape
paper plates & plastic utensils
finger paints
a dropcloth
large quantities of water & soap
temporary loss of sanity (if you think this is a good idea, you already have this)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My nephew/godson is two years old today.

This is the baby I was telling you about...

We had to leave early for the walk today because it started at 8am so, of course, Cooper slept later than he has in a week & we had to wake him. He woke up in a great mood; I think he was excited to see me & John together because usually one of us sleeps while the other gets up with him.
The walk was great & I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering doing it in the future. The registration fee was $35/person & included a t-shirt & zoo admission & 100% of the money goes to Make A Wish! There were some really touching stories from parents whose children had a wish granted by Make A Wish. Not many animals were out yet during the walk, but we stuck around after to see the elephants, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, & fish.
Several moms & babies from the nursing group I'm part of were there with husbands/dads so it was nice to meet them. One of the moms from our group won a stroller decorating contest & the prize was a BOB stroller which was pretty exciting because they're really nice but super expensive. Two of the moms said this to their husbands:
"(insert husband's name here), this is Cooper, the baby I was telling you about. Isn't he huge?"
I love that Cooper's a big chubby boy, & I thought it was especially funny because he's about 21 or 22 lbs now (at almost 8 months), but he really hasn't gained more than a couple pounds in the past 2 months so he's actually leveling off!

John & Cooper with some of out walking group.

It is Affie the elephant's birthday today, so Cooper got elephant ears to wear!

Cooper checking out a peacock.

Make A Wish 5k walk at Brookfield Zoo

It's early & John & I are up & Cooper is still sleeping - what's going on here?? We're getting ready to go to the Stroller Strides/Make A Wish Foundation 5k walk at Brookfield Zoo. It should be a lot of fun & lots of Cooper's little friends will be there because my nursing group is walking as a team. I'll try to add pictures later!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Baby pictures

Here are some baby pictures of John and me & a current picture of Cooper. I never thought he looked like either of us, but maybe I see it a little now.