Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hanging out with Zak & Caycee

Woo hoo breastfeeding!!!

My wedding dress fits! I love breastfeeding! Yeah, yeah, I loved it before 'cause it's all healthy & everything, but this is so cool! I gained some weight I got married 7 years ago & I was up to a size 16 before I got pregnant. Then I gained more than 50 pounds (I know, it's ridiculous) while I was pregnant. Yuk. But now I'm down to a size 6 (sometimes an 8 depending on the brand)!!! Woo hoo! And no dieting & no exercising, except for chasing a one-year-old, just breastfeeding. I may have to force Cooper to continue breastfeeding 'til college at least :)
(My dress has a big stain in the front :( That's what I get for not having it professionally cleaned & stored I guess.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Autumn arrives in our backyard

Earlier this week every leaf from our neighbor's tree fell in our yard overnight. Cooper has a bit of an obsession with leaves; if there's a single leaf outside he'll find it, carry it around, and probably try to eat it. So when I saw leaves several inches high in our yard I bundled him up (don't you love the monkey hat? It was a gift from my brother Adam), grabbed the camera, & took Cooper & the dogs into the yard.
Most of the time I'm a little disappointed that photos don't really capture what's happening; you can't see the action - the way Cooper's dancing, or how his expression changes, or anything. Not the case with these pictures. They fully capture everything that was happening:

I know. You were expecting some action-packed shots with smiles, and flying leaves, & the blur of a toddler. Me too. But this was it. I set Cooper down in the yard, and he stood there. He moved a little because the sun was in his eyes, then stood. Still. No stomping on crunchy leaves, or throwing them in the air. Nothing. He did eventually pick a few leaves up & held them, but that was about it. When he finally actually moved, he went over to the deck, climbed the stairs, & stood by the door until I let him in. Oh well, we'll try again soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My new to-dos

Sometimes it seems your ever-increasing list of things to do can leave you feeling totally undone. ~Susan Mitchell and Catherine Christie, I'd Kill for a Cookie

This is something I've been thinking about lately, and then I found that quote. Perfect! So if you read my previous post about to do lists, you know I'm a little insane about them. I decided that instead of a neverending to do list that just gets totally chaotic & overwhelming, I'm only going to have 5 things on my to do list. That's it. I'll make a list of 5 things to do each day and when I finish I can make another list of 5 things; or I can just be done & feel great about having completed my entire list! Of course, when I first decided this I immediately thought that I'll have a list of things to put on the list of 5 so I wouldn't forget anything.
But that's craziness! Then I'm right back to the big long list & the list of 5 is a joke! If it doesn't make the list of 5 and I can't remember it long enough to put it on the next list then it's just not that important.
I made my first list of 5 things today:
1. scrub kitchen floor (Dora puked all over; probably related to the incident on Thursday when she ripped open a bag of garbage in the kitchen) - check!
2. wash Dora's bed - check!
3. pay bills
4. post new blog entry - check!
5. take out garbage - check!
I still have to do dishes & laundry & clean up toys & all the other stuff that's so regular that it never makes the list, but I'm actually going to complete a to do list today! I feel so good! I like this new plan.

Get back to work!

Cooper hasn't had any modeling jobs recently so we found other ways for him to earn his keep...

Look Mom!

Cooper's new trick is climbing on the couch by himself & then running across it just to scare me. As you can see, he's feeling much better.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My poor sick baby

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. ~Elbert Hubbard

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. ~Jennifer Yane

Cooper has croup. Poor baby.
John was off Tuesday & because I've been just a tad stressed lately, he suggested I take some time off. I used a massage gift certificate I've been saving and got a haircut, and John & Cooper got to spend some quality father-son time together.
Tuesday night Cooper woke up coughing and wheezing; he sounded like a barking seal. We ran a hot shower and sat in there with Cooper while it steamed up, and it seemed to help a bit. Last night it was even worse and this morning he had a fever. So off to the doctor we went. I'm still driving an hour to get to the doctor (I know, I'm an idiot, but I'm getting a closer doctor soon), but we got to have lunch with John. The doctor seems to think the worst of it was last night so I hope he's right. He told me to give him Benadryl; he said most kids get really drowsy when they take it (I sighed with relief), but some kids start climbing the walls (I laughed; there's no chance Cooper won't have this reaction). I gave him some tonight & he definitely didn't get drowsy. As far as climbing the walls, well, that's sort of Cooper's status quo so I didn't really notice a difference.
Of course this morning I was stressed because I was up for a long time last night with Cooper, and he's still sick & sounds miserable, we have to drive an hour (at least) each way to go to the doctor, & my back hurts (I know, I just had a massage! I think it has something to do with nursing Cooper in the steamy bathroom; there's nowhere to sit but the toilet seat and he's 24 pounds & likes to nurse for 30 minutes or so). In the kitchen we find our two dogs sleeping surrounded by eggs shells, raw meat wrappers, old fruit, and all the other garbage they tore from the bag I forgot to take out last night after Cooper went to sleep.
So I'm thinking, this is my punishment for taking some time off for myself (I know, I'm a cynical crab). But really I decided I should be thinking, it's a good thing I took some time for myself because otherwise there's no way I wouldn't be having a total meltdown now.
So that's my story. Cooper's asleep, for now. Hopefully he's on his way back to good health. You absolutely wouldn't be able to tell he's sick if you saw him; he plays & climbs just like when he's healthy. (His latest trick is climbing on the couch & if I'm watching he'll stand up & run across the couch, all because I couldn't resist the urge to smile at him once when he stood up & smiled devilishly.)
Okay, now go here. Do it now. Come on; you obviously have a few minutes to spare if you're reading this. I won't explain - just go there. You won't regret it. I promise. Aren't you curious?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Including my brother Justin...

Monday, November 10, 2008


Cooper tried blueberries and he loves them. It's kind of a good news, bad news kinda thing...

Yes, that is a flying blueberry

Blueberry-dyed grilled cheese

Do I have any blueberry on my face?


All clean after a bath. Thanks to Dreft stain remover, the pajamas were clean after only two washes!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


John's working two jobs. Three nights a week he's teaching an LSAT prep class so on those days he usually leaves before Cooper wakes up & gets home after Cooper's in bed. It leaves me & John exhausted & all of us missing spending time together. The only good thing is that when we do have time together we really enjoy it & appreciate it.
Cooper gets so excited when John gets home from work. The dogs start barking, the back door opens, & Cooper's head jerks up - "Dada!" He sometimes just sits & waits, and sometimes he runs to the kitchen, but either way he gets a huge smile on his face when he sees John.

Welcome home Dad. I missed you.

Let me tell you about my day...

I got my Dad!
Happy birthday Dayna!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Loyola NICU Reunion

Several weeks ago I got a piece of mail from Ronald McDonald House/Loyola NICU. I assumed it was a donation request & since I have a bad habit of sending money to anyone who asks for it & we're broke, I almost threw it out. But Loyola was good with Cooper when he was born, & the Ronald McDonald House offered to let us stay there (even though we only live about 30 minutes from the hospital) when we thought Cooper might need surgery & have to stay awhile, so I felt guilty & opened it. It wasn't a donation request (sigh of relief), but an invitation to a NICU reunion.
So we went to the reunion. It wasn't really meant for us; Cooper only spent 36 hours in the NICU so we really didn't have time to form relationships with doctors, nurses, or other parents, but I thought it would be neat to go back to the hospital where Cooper was born and I thought it would probably be nice for the doctors & nurses, even if they didn't recognize us, to see their former patients big, healthy, & running around. (John suggested some of the doctors & nurses might recognize me since I very dramatically passed out on their floor bleeding all over the place, creating complete chaos while they tried to gather nurses & instruments meant for an adult patient, and then had to be wheeled out on a bed; fortunately, they did not!)
It was much larger than I expected, with kids of all ages & lots of twins & triplets (yikes!). We snacked a little, played with bubbles outside, played with some play-doh in their activity room, but it was pretty chaotic so we didn't stay long.
There were tons of very normal, healthy kids (like Cooper) there, but there were also some kids that had disabilities or continue to need special care.
I took these pictures as we were leaving.

I was so upset that Cooper had to go to the NICU & couldn't be with us from the beginning, but we really were & are lucky that he had some pretty minor problems & he's perfectly healthy now.

Cooper's birthday: the aftermath

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our little couch potato


A spider & his web

Dead spider

Trick or treating at the mall

Tuckered out