Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apple picking (cont'd)

John, Cooper, & I went to County Line Orchards in Hobart, IN with some of the nursing group families. We had perfect weather - just a little bit cool & sunny. I took a bazillion pictures; have I mentioned that digital cameras are absolutely the best invention ever?

Hurry! Let's go pick apples!

We started out with apple picking, which John was doing for the first time, then we went to the petting zoo, had lunch, played in the corn maze (or maize as they call it - ha, ha), and went on the "Moo-Choo", a kids cow train.

I've been very reluctant to give Cooper any food larger than bite size. He doesn't bite things, just shoves them in his mouth, so I'm always worried about him choking. Particularly with apples because when I give him bite size pieces (with no skin, of course), he puts them in his mouth, chews, puts more in his mouth, chews, puts more in his mouth, chews, but never swallows and winds up choking up all the apple. So I was nervous about giving him an apple at the orchard today, but I'm trying to loosen up a little. Cooper loved it! He dug right in, bit the apples (made it through the skin & everything), & sucked all the juice. And he was so cute doing it!

Cooper kept shoving the apple in my mouth & when I'd bite a little of it he'd laugh hysterically. He was so excited about sharing (& insistent!) that he nearly choked me!

Almost napping in the corn maze

Cooper kept signing milk! milk! milk! before we left.

The last week or so has been a communication explosion. Cooper's been saying "Mama" & "Dada" for a while, & he seems to know "dada", but we haven't been so sure if he knows what "mama" means. Last week when I was letting the dogs out, Cooper pointed outside & said, "Go! Go! Go!" (Okay, it's a little more like "ga! ga! ga!" but he seems to mean go, which is what we say when we let the dogs outside.) He's also doing the sign for milk (nurse), bath, & more. He does the sign for milk all the time! He always wants to nurse. I would think it wasn't really a sign, just something he does with his hands, but he brings me the boppy pillow when he does it. He does do it sometimes when we're in the car or out & it doesn't seem like he wants to nurse, but that's making me suspect that the sign for milk also means me. It reminds me of the first few weeks after he was born when John would call me "Milk" because I said I felt like that's all I was. It's much cuter & sweeter coming from Cooper though!

Apple picking

We went apple picking today. I'll add details & more pictures later, but I couldn't wait on this one. I think I'll have to buy some more frames for the house.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beautiful day

Cooper & I met John in Geneva for lunch today. It was great seeing John in the middle of the day, & I think it surprised Cooper. We enjoyed our time with him & when he had to go back to work we went for a walk by the river. It was a gorgeous day with gorgeous weather, & the people in Geneva are so friendly. A biker even stopped & offered to take a picture of us together. Geneva was also celebrating the high school's spirit week so a lot of businesses had their windows painted with the theme - Dr. Seuss! So cool! We looked at the windows & hung around for the parade on Main Street. Cooper absolutely LOVED the marching band. He rocked back & forth in his stroller, danced with his arms (it's kind of a twist dance), and waved his arms around. He looked like he was conducting the marching band! He was way more rhythm than me, but I've been saying that since he was in the womb and kicking me to the beat of music. We've gotta get that kid some drums or musical instruments or something.
Anyway, we got back to the van & discovered that I left the back door of the van wide open! Nothing was missing. I love Geneva! It just makes me want to move more. We can't really afford Geneva, especially not where we were, but it'd be so nice to be in the area! Oh, well. At least we had a great day.

Look what I can do...

Today I realized I can push my toys out of the way (why didn't I think of that before?) to get to the entertainment center.
Now I know why they call it an entertainment center! There's all kinds of fun stuff there. Mom already moved all the dvds on the lower shelves because I could reach around the toys to get them (& chew on them), but there's more dvds, some shelves, a VCR, & a DVD player - tons of fun stuff to play with. I can push in the VCR door and I even turned on the DVD player, pushed the button to open it, & pulled out the dvd.
Mom was so happy she yelled out in excitement! Several times. I gave her my best smile because I know how proud she was of me!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My week - a work in progress

Another busy week. But then again, I guess they all are.
Cooper's had a lot of work lately. Last week he had a job for the Personal Creations catalog. He modeled their red long john pajamas with "Jack's First Christmas" embroidered on the butt. The picture is for the cover of the Christmas catalog, which is due to mail out in late October. It's exciting, but they also used another model, so they may choose one of those pictures, and in most of the pictures you can only see him from behind. This week he had another job for One Step Ahead, this time for a travel seat thing. As you might have noticed, I added a list on the right of jobs Cooper's done so keep your eyes open & let me know if you see him anywhere.
John's working hard at two jobs. I feel terrible that he has to do that, but he insists he wants me home with Cooper (and I agree). Hopefully it won't have to be this way for too long; I know John misses Cooper when he's working.
Last week my brother Justin, along with Dayna, Zak, & Caycee, moved into their new house. It's huge & beautiful & so exciting for them. The very coolest thing about the house - the laundry room is upstairs! I love it (& I know Dayna does too)! Zak & Caycee have their own specially decorated rooms (even a big boy bed for Zak!) & they love running around & having their toys spread out EVERYWHERE. We visited with them this weekend & I brought my camera, but of course I only took pictures of the kids & not the house.

Cooper's experimenting with feeding himself more. It mostly winds up with him getting an oatmeal facial, generally followed by an oatmeal bath.

He's also walking constantly now, and climbing everything, so he's keeping me pretty busy. And when he's napping, I'm generally working on planning his first birthday party. I can't believe he's almost a year already!

Oh yeah, and I've been sick this week. Yuck. I had a fever Sunday & continued to feel crappy Monday & Tuesday. I think I'm finally over it now. Luckily, Cooper shows no signs of catching it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pray tonight!

Hi everybody! My friend Kelly, of "The Ben Show" (see the blog list to the right), has asked for prayers tonight at 8pm for her friends Gina & Keith who have been waiting already for 10 months to travel to Vietnam to adopt their sons. I hope & pray the wait is over soon for Gina & Keith, but even more for Sam & Eli, who are in an orphanage now when they could be with loving parents.


My mom discovered this wonderful blog, Booblog, & sent me the link.
From there I was led to a wonderful letter to boobs! I love it:

Dear boobs:

I feel like I should take this chance to tell you that I appreciate all you’ve done for me in terms of feeding my children. When I’m not pregnant or nursing…let’s face it…you kinda suck. You are droopy and too small for my taste. I had to have b-cup padding inserted into my wedding dress because I didn’t want to get married with A-Cup boobs! How sad is that?

But when I’m pregnant? You grow to a size I can be proud of! You give me CLEAVAGE! Which I love sooooo much. Of course, with the cleavage come the boobsweat. But I’ve learned to live with that. Having cleavage is just that awesome. And when the babies come? You provide nourishment as well as can be expected. We’ve had our problems because you don’t like to work too hard. But that has it’s perks too as you don’t leak! Yay for non-leaking boobs!

Anyway. I feel this may be our last run together as I’m not sure if anymore children are in our future. In four weeks you will start producing milk for what will probably be my last child and I just wanted to boost your ego a little before you step up to the plate this last time. You’ve both been great and have served your purpose well. I’ll be sad to see you shrink back to the nothings you were before, when the nursing of AndyZ is done. But - I’m thrilled that you’ve performed to the level you have. I could not be more proud of you.

Love, Zoot

You can read the whole blog post here.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
- Chinese Proverb
Spoon feed a baby and he is a mess. Let the baby learn to spoon feed himself and he is a mess, and so are the floors, the walls, the ceiling...
- Me

Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. I tried to feed Cooper yogurt with breakfast this morning. He has not been a big fan of anything on a spoon over the last couple months; he really only wants finger foods. So I gave him a spoon & bowl with a little yogurt and tried to sneak in a couple spoonfuls when he was distracted. Of course, he wanted that spoon too. So I finally got a third spoon & managed to get a couple spoonfuls of yogurt in his mouth.

He is starting to get the hang of feeding himself. Very little food actually makes it to his mouth, but he gets the concept (the spoon is usually backwards though!).
Uh oh. It's not looking good for the bowl...
And once the bowl is gone, the spoons won't be around much longer...
Ha, ha. Yep, everything's on the floor.
Waaaah!!! Everything's on the floor!!

Pay it forward update

Yah! I got my 3 people. My mom, Becca, & Kim will be getting packages from me & they'll each pay it forward to 3 people! Thanks guys!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pay it forward

My friend Kelly posted this on her blog & I got an awesome little package of treats in the mail from her (thanks again Kelly!), so now it's my turn.

You’ve heard of paying it forward, right? Someone does something nice for you, and then you do something nice for someone else.

Here’s how it works:
1. You make a comment on this entry of my blog that you want to play.
2. If you are one of the first 3 people to comment, I will send you a little something special in the mail. (If I don’t already have it, you will need to leave me your email so I can contact you privately for your address.)
3. You then post a Pay it Forward game on YOUR website and do the same. (Some of you may not have a blog; if not, this is a great time to start one, or I'm sure you can find another way to pay it forward!)

Cousin Karen's wedding

Beautiful day, beautiful bride, & beautiful wedding! Congratulations Karen & Chuck!

Happy 90th birthday Grandma Lu!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What do you think?

Settle an argument John & I are having. Who does Cooper look more like, Martin (from the Simpsons) or Butters (from South Park)?




Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy birthday cousin Jared!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Behind again..

A couple weeks ago we went to my parents' house for a couple days. Adam & Justin & Dayna & their kids were all able to come too so we had a lot of fun & celebrated my dad's birthday a few days early.

We also attempted to do a group shot of all of us.. it didn't go well. I think this is the best one we got. In all the other ones Adam's head is completely blocking Caycee! We'll have to try this again soon.

Happy (belated) birthday Anna!
(it was yesterday)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy birthday Dad!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch

I came across this awesome website, My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch, which led me to do a Google search & then I found this great website, Lunch in a Box. If I ever have some free time maybe I'll actually try to do it rather than just look at cool websites...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Busy week - lots of work for everyone

We have been very busy around here!
Last week John started training for a second job as a Kaplan LSAT preparation class instructor. He's going to be teaching 3 nights a week for the next month, meaning he'll have less time with Cooper & me unfortunately. As you can imagine, it makes my nights a little more hectic too, without having John around to help out or play with Cooper.
Cooper's been working, too. He had a job (when our computer was down) for V-Tech toys, a hammer pad truck & a music box, that are due out in Spring of 2009. Then last week he had a job for the One Step Ahead catalog. He took pictures with the Phil & Ted's Traveler, Educare Sensory Balls, & the KidCo Elongate. When the agent called us about the booking, they wanted a picture of me & Cooper together because they needed a mom & baby, but later that day she told me they changed their minds & decided to use a dad instead. That was fine with me; I feel much more comfortable taking pictures than being in them. When we went to the booking, they had a model there to be Cooper's mom! Yikes. She was probably a size 0 & there was no way she could have actually have given birth to anything, but whatever! It was fun, & Cooper did a really good job. The only difficulty we had was for the sensory balls they wanted him to lay down for a massage with the ball (from the model mom), but before we could get him near the floor he was on his knees & crawling away. They did finally get some good pictures though.
So keep your eyes open & maybe you'll be seeing Cooper (with a stange mom!) in print soon.

A few of his favorite things...

Cooper loves anything electronic - this is him trying to grab my camera.

Cooper loves this book. He practically jumped out of my arms when he saw it in the bookstore so I bought it for him. It's the Big Shiny First Words Book. Cooper loves to sit on the book while he looks at it, & often puts things (blocks, plastic bottles, his hands or feet) in the book & closes it. Weirdo.

Cooper loves water bottles, especially when they make that cool crinkling, crunchy noise.

Cooper discovered he can walk while holding on to his hippo toy & now he's obsessed. He goes across the room & into the couch, turns & looks at us until we turn the hippo around & walks across the room into the table. If he's feeling really crafty & independent, he gets on his hands & knees & pushes it backwards across the room, gets behind it, & walks again.

Old Settlers

A week before Justin got home we headed to Grandma & Grandpa's for Old Settlers weekend. Dayna brought Zak & Caycee too, so we had a wonderful time. Also, Justin called to say he was in Ireland, then Maine, then California. Then he didn't stop calling! We were all relieved & I know Dayna & the kids loved talking to him.

Zak sharing his candy with Caycee

Dayna & Zak watching the parade

Dayna, Caycee, & Grandpa watching Zak ride the space ship ride

John & Cooper checking out the carnival games

Grandpa keeping an eye on Zak

Me & Cooper enjoying the shade

Zak "helping" Cooper & Caycee eat their lunch

Cooper & Caycee having fun at lunch

Grandma & Caycee - worn out from too much fun

Grandpa helping Caycee talk to her Daddy