Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy birthday Adam!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Extreme roller coaster

...or Sarah's worst nightmare.
A concrete floor, a huge incline, toddlers, & tons of speed. It just seems like a really bad idea, doesn't it?

Justin & Brad assembling the Extreme coaster. You know it's a scary toy when Justin is nervous about it.

Zak & Caycee trying a tandem ride. Afterwards Zak said, "Joe (he calls himself Joe) not do again." Maybe it's 'cause it was uncomfortable, or because it wasn't as much fun going down with Caycee, or maybe it's 'cause in a room full of adults he was the only one saying, hmm.. this definitely can't be safe!

It's hard to argue with those smiles though.

Christmas day at Justin & Dayna's

"Papa" helping Caycee open her gifts

Cooper (hesitantly) testing out his new 4-wheeler

"Nana" with Caycee, who's all dressed up in her new tutu skirt, feather boa, & wings (Oops! Looks like the wings are upside down!)

Zak trying on his new superhero cape

John helping Cooper open his Little People airplane.

Christmas morning

We spent Christmas morning at home...

Playing with stocking stuffers

Cooper's not too sure about opening presents yet...

but he warms up to the idea pretty quickly.

Trying to play with all the new stuff at once.

Yikes. All that opening & playing make you tired & hungry.

Christmas eve at Granny Smith's

I wanted to post this earlier, but I've been away from the computer battling the flu. Cooper had it too, so John's been spending his long holiday weekend nursing us both back to health.

This is Cooper playing with his brand new Sesame Street Giggle Station on top of my new Dutch oven. I used the Dutch oven tonight to make some delicious pot roast. The Giggle Station did not survive that long. Sadly, it met its demise only 3 days later when Cooper threw up all over it & there was no way to clean out all those buttons and switches.

This is Cooper laughing about his first Christmas gift from me & John - squeaky shoes. Yep, every time he takes a step they squeak. Everyone else thinks it's terribly obnoxious, but John & I think it's hysterical, & Cooper seems to agree.

Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!

Even after all those new toys, Cooper still loves the pots & spoons.

Cooper & Granny Smith trying out his new xylophone.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas going downhill

This is John, back posting on behalf of my lovely wife. Today we have a lovely Christmas video. Zak and Caycee got some new stunt equipment for Christmas and Cooper got a free ride. If you listen closely, you can hear the cranial impact at the end!

I have never wanted a child's toy quite so much as I want this "Extreme" racer thingy. Adam tried it out as well, and I will never forgive myself for not having the video camera at hand.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Modeling debut for Cooper's face

You saw the cute butt, now here's his face!
Cooper had another modeling job today for V-Tech toys. He got to pose with a Winnie-the-Pooh stacker, a carousel top, and Skippy the puppy and he loved them all. As we were leaving we saw Malia, Cooper's modeling buddy and Malia's dad let us know he saw Cooper on the One Step Ahead website. You can check it out here if you want to see the actual site: Phil & Ted's Traveller and Edushape Sensory Balls. Cooper's in the second picture for each; the first picture of the Traveller is Malia's dad, & the first picture for the Edushape balls is Malia. Cooper looks pretty relaxed and serene in the ball picture, but he was not, as you can see in the original post from late August.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cooper & Santa

No, Cooper's not wearing shorts, his pants are just riding up. If you ask me, this guy doesn't look like Santa at all. Isn't Santa supposed to be fat?? Cooper didn't seem to notice.

A visit with Jake

Oh yeah, and his parents Gina & Pat too. Cooper had tons of fun, as you can see.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How Big is Cooper?

This is John guest posting for this edition of "a work in progress."
Sarah asked me to upload this video from Cooper's first birthday party (the home version--one week before the road show was launched). For those of you with decent highspeed connections (welcome to the 21st century, mom) this is pretty entertaining. We lost a lot of video when our hard drive crashed, but fortunately, everything is back up and running. Cooper is now 14 months old, and we have washed most of the frosting out of his hair.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First haircut

How do I look?

Playing in the snow

It's snowed several times in Cooper's lifetime, but I didn't take him out in the snow last year, & he just got his snow boots so he finally got to play in the snow. He just stood there for several minutes, but then he liked walking around & feeling the snow.
This is what the child of a bargain shopper looks like. We paid full price for the coat, but I guess I didn't think about how difficult it would be to find snow pants & boots in brown for a toddler. I found the snowpants for about $6 and the boots were only $1, plus shipping (I love eBay!) & both were brand new, but I have to admit they look a little ridiculous all together. Luckily, it doesn't seem to bother Cooper.

Visiting & the big N-O

We went to play with Zak and Caycee the other day and Dayna's sister Jamie was in town with her son Conlan, who was born the same day as Cooper. If it looks a little chaotic, it's because it is. We had the kids outnumbered 5 to 4, but somehow they still manage to bounce on the open dishwasher door, try to throw themselves off the couch, and climb onto high chairs. (Okay, all of that was Caycee!)
This is just the cutest snowsuit I've ever seen:
I also experienced what I've been dreading for quite a while. We knew it was coming; Cooper's been saying "Na, na, na" when I'm changing his diaper, or when he doesn't want to go to sleep. But while Cooper & Caycee were eating lunch I tried to put a spoonful of macaroni & cheese in his mouth and he said it. Yikes. He shook his head & said, "NO!" I'm sure we'll be hearing that a lot in the years (decades) to come.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy birthday Mom!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Uh oh

Cooper learned a new trick today - taking off his diaper. Yikes. As you can see, we're back to the cloth diapers & so far so good. I think we may have finally beat the yeast! Of course, I may have just jinxed that. Luckily, most of our cloth diapers have snaps, which he can't undo (yet); this one was velcro.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New modeling work

I just added to the "Cooper's modeling work" section. He had a job last week for Bon Ton (I'm told Carson Pirie Scott is the parent company). It didn't go well; Cooper's got molars coming in, and I had to wake him to get there, and the set up was weird, etc. They took one picture of him with a little girl before his melt down & that was it. They took pictures of the little girl alone too, but Cooper was done. The one picture they did get looked good, but I don't know if we'll ever see it.
(By the way, if you do check out the link to Bon Ton, click on the "baby girl" section; the cutey that appears in the picture at the top of that page is another Ford model & she's been Cooper's competition for a while.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Donate money for free!

Got this from Kelly's blog:

It seems everyone in the world already knows about Robeez, but I have a few things to tell you that you may not yet know about them. They are charitable, and you can help them donate to an amazing organization called Kids in Distressed Situations!

Here’s how it works: For every e-card sent from the Season of Giving website, Robeez will make a $5 product donation via its charitable partner, Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.). It’s easy: one card = $5 worth of Robeez footwear; 10 cards = $50 worth of Robeez footwear, and on and on!

A little bonus: For taking the time to send an e-card, Robeez is also offering senders a chance to win one of seven new Shoes and Socks Gift Sets. (They’re a great holiday gift idea too!)

A bigger bonus: For bloggers who share the Season of Giving campaign with their readers and send a link to their post to, Robeez will make a $25 product donation via K.I.D.S.

The goal: To send a $250,000 product donation this holiday season.

The campaign runs through to December 20. You can send an e-card from

I'm expecting...

another niece or nephew!
(Ha ha! Got you!)
No, I'm not pregnant, but Dayna is! Almost exactly two years ago we found out Justin & Dayna were expecting Caycee, & now they're expecting another little one (their third!).
Congratulations to Justin & Dayna! I can't wait to meet the baby. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Well, I've been negligent in my blogging; it's been a while since I've posted. I'm hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving - I know we did. We had John's family (Granny Smith, Fred, Anna and Pat), as well as Pat's father & brother. It was a great time, although I screwed up the turkey. I decided to cook the turkey from frozen (you can do it, I swear - the FDA says it's okay). I followed the directions I found online, & even added some time to it, but it took 2 hours longer than I planned. We had to push back dinner & then serve everything but the turkey (luckily Granny Smith made ham!). The turkey was ready to serve just as everyone was finishing their meal. Oh well. At least I know for next time. Despite the problems with the bird, we had a great time.
Then on Friday it was off to my parents' house. Adam joined us Friday night, then Justin, Dayna, & the kids on Saturday morning. We had our second Thanksgiving feast Saturday (with a turkey & everything!) & the whole family hung out until Sunday.
Since Grandma & Grandpa didn't get to see the kids on Halloween, we brought their costumes. Here they are dressed up, or as Zak would say, "being Halloween":

The "adults" seemed to have a pretty good time too, looking like fools playing the Wii:

My favorite time of the day, especially with all the kids together, is bath time. I have no idea what they're all looking at here, but it must be pretty interesting.

Sunday morning everyone relaxed on the couch. Cooper hopped up on Adam's lap (okay, Adam probably helped him up), then Zak joined, & then Caycee.

... and chaos ensued.

Of course, no holiday celebration is complete until someone's wearing a lampshade, or, in our case, Caycee's wearing a basket on her head.

Can't wait 'til Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama

Ask President-Elect Barack Obama to make breastfeeding a high priority in his administration!

Dear President-Elect Obama:

There is virtually universal agreement among health care experts that, with rare exceptions, breastfeeding is the optimal method of feeding all infants, sick as well as healthy, preterm as well as full term. In addition to the myriad health benefits provided to mother and infant, breastfeeding provides significant economic and environmental benefits for families, employers, and society by reducing health care expenses, eliminating the need to purchase expensive formula, and reducing absenteeism from work to care for sick infants. Excess health care costs totaling more than $4 billion must be paid by the U.S. health care system each year to treat otitis media, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis--childhood diseases and conditions preventable or reduced by breastfeeding. When prevention of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions is factored in, the potential economic benefits of breastfeeding are significantly greater.

Given all of these benefits, the United States Breastfeeding Committee joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in recommending that infants be exclusively breastfed for six months, and continue to breastfeed for the first year of life and as long afterward as mutually desired by the mother and infant. Yet only a handful of states are currently meeting the federal government’s own Healthy People 2010 breastfeeding targets. Additionally, significant disparities in breastfeeding continue to exist, with non-Hispanic black and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups experiencing lower breastfeeding rates.

Obviously, more needs to be done to ensure the achievement of our national breastfeeding goals and to create an environment where women and their families can be successful in achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. You have the power to take immediate and concrete action to improve the Nation’s health by protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. We urge you to use your position of leadership and power to set the tone in the federal government to place a high priority on breastfeeding as an essential public health issue.

Please take the following actions to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, the foundation of lifelong health:

1. Instruct the Surgeon General to issue a statement in support of breastfeeding urging all sectors (governmental and non-governmental) involved in supporting women, children, and families to improve their breastfeeding policies.
2. Enact a national paid family leave policy.
3. Endorse the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes as well as the Global Strategy for Infant & Young Child Feeding.
4. Ask the Federal Trade Commission to monitor infant formula marketing.
5. Ask the Food and Drug Administration to include labeling on powdered infant formula warning that it is not sterile and providing instructions on how to properly reconstitute it.
6. Highlight the benefits for employers of workplace breastfeeding support programs as part of your program to promote flexible work arrangements.
7. Urge all insurers to cover lactation care and support services.
8. Approve an increase in breastfeeding support funds for the USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), especially to support the peer counseling program.
9. Instruct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to recommend that all hospitals achieve the Baby-Friendly designation.
10. Ensure that emergency management agencies are trained in breastfeeding support and have breastfeeding supply kits available for distribution in emergencies.

Thank you!