October 20, 2017

High Five for Friday

We've finally reached a much needed Friday!!  High Five for making it to Friday!  Here's a few things going on around here

{1}.  We've all been fighting colds for the past week or so.  Cooper and I got it middle of last week and David caught it over the weekend.  We've been a coughing, sneezing, congested mess around here.  My nose actually got so stopped up that I couldn't smell or taste anything for a few days which was a new experience for me!  We seem to finally be on the mend, but being sick on top of an already crazy week has us all like...

{2}.  Cooper is trucking right along with his solid food journey.  He is not a big fan of the pureed vegetables (who is!) but he will feed himself when we offer vegetables in the baby led weaning style.  Last night he ate some broccoli--he didn't seem too sure about it, but he ate quite a bit.  I also made him some purees this week so we've been having fun experimenting with those!

{3}.  We all know I love Fall.  So we're enjoying all the fall fun with Cooper.  There are times when I walk through baby stores and see all the cute girl clothes and think--man it would be fun dressing a girl up.  But I am having a lot of fun with little boy clothes and my little man!  And I've had some fun making a few Fall onesies for him to sport too.

{4}.  I had to have a medical procedure this week which made it kind of a crazy/off week.  David was home on Wednesday instead of Thursday so he could take me and that makes the end of the week feel long.  Luckily, the procedure went well and we got good news--grateful it was so easy and it is over with now!

{5}.  Next week Cooper and I are heading out of town with my mom, aunts and cousin to visit the Pioneer Woman Mercantile.  It'll be his first time sleeping in a hotel room, so hopefully things will go okay.  Looking forward to a few days away and to checking out all the fun that the Merc has to offer!

Happy Friday!

October 14, 2017

Starting Foods

With his 6 month "birthday" came a big milestone--it was time to start introducing some solids!  When we went for his 6 month check up, his doctor talked through several options and gave us lots of great advice.  We decided to do a mix of some Baby Led Weaning (where Cooper learns to feed himself a variety of foods) and purees.  Our pediatrician said that's what she's done with her boys and she gave me some good resources.  She also recommended starting with some higher calorie foods like avocado, sweet potatoes and bananas.  Since Cooper is a tiny guy and his weight percentile has fallen again, she thought some of those would be good starters.

We were so excited to try it out! 
The first night at dinner we gave him some avocado slices (sliced up big enough for him to hold and handle on his own).  He liked playing with it and got some in his mouth.  He also just wanted his pacifier a lot of the time.  We did mush a little bit up and gave it to him on a spoon.  He seemed pretty indifferent to the avocado.  Unfortunately, after we finished dinner we gave him his bottle and then he threw up, so we've put a hold on the avocado. I plan to try it again soon, mashed up with a little breastmilk to see if he has the same reaction.  But not a great start to our feeding journey

Sweet Potatoes
After our experience with avocado, I decided to try offering the pureed version of food earlier in the day and then if he tolerated that well we could offer slices for dinner.  This method has worked out well--this way I can sit with him for the purees and we do it as part of our daily routine.  And then at dinner we don't have to feed him--he just plays with the food and sucks on the slices of whatever we offer while we eat.
Not so sure at first...
 ...he realized this is pretty good, so he started bending his head forward to meet the spoon when I brought it toward him...
 ... I love sweet potatoes!  After we finished the jar, I gave him the spoon to hold and play with and make a mess with :)
That night for dinner, he had roasted crinkle cut sweet potatoes and did well with them!

 He did pretty well getting some bites off as he held it with the peel to keep it from being too slippery
 And then he enjoyed some smaller slices that he could feed himself

 These were definitely a favorite!  Between each bite he would starting making a "m, m, m" sound and move his whole body.  This was also the first one that Daddy got to feed him which was fun
 Apple slices for dinner!  He did end up choking on these, but was able to get it back up with a little pat on the back.  I read a lot about how to offer apple slices for baby led weaning and we tried them peeled and steamed, but these slices were too wide for him.  We've since tried thinner slices and he has taken those like a champ

We've also now tried carrots, pears, pears & blueberries, peas, and spinach & pear.  So far the only thing he hasn't liked is the peas (which I don't really blame him for!), but we'll try them again someday.  We had originally planned to do more baby led weaning and less purees, but honestly Cooper loves the pureed food and he gets more with the purees, so we'll probably stick with them

This is how he feels when the food is all gone ;)

It's been a fun adventure trying out new foods for him!  I can't wait to see what he discovers next.

October 12, 2017

State Fair Day

It had been a few years since David and I have been to the Fair together, so we decided to try to make it happen this year.  He still has some PTO left this year and we decided instead of trying to take a vacation that we would do some "staycation" type things throughout the Fall.  So first up was the State Fair.  We decided to go on a Wednesday when we could get in with a discount and David put it on his calendar.  And it ended up being the perfect day to go!  
We all have recently gotten new Texas shirts through various fundraisers for Hurricane Harvey relief, so we decided we'd sport our Texas gear for Cooper's first trip to the Fair!

We walked around and checked out several exhibits.  We stopped and ate along the way.  We shared Fried Frito Pie bites and sampled Root Beer/Dr Pepper Floats in the Food and Fiber building.  David stopped and got some Fried Biscuits and Gravy for his lunch and then we headed to one of the car buildings to sit down and eat.
 I tried out the Fried Thanksgiving Dinner and we gave Cooper his bottle
 We put him back in the stroller and within 2 minutes he was asleep.  While he napped in the stroller, we walked around the Hall of State where they had an exhibit about Texas' involvement in WWI.  Cooper woke up right as we were done with the museum, so we headed over to introduce him to Big Tex:

 We were taking several selfies and pictures of one of us with Cooper and a kind older gentleman stopped and offered to take a picture of all 3 of us with Big Tex.

This guy did so well at his first trip to the Fair!  He sat up so big in the stroller.  He was a little fussy when he got tired and seemed to not want to be in the stroller anymore, but once we unbuckled him and he was able to sit up more he was happy as could be.  He just smiled and watched everything going on around him.

The weather was beautiful and we had lots of fun checking out the State Fair this year!  Can't wait to see what memories we will make in years to come!

October 1, 2017

Cooper's Cubbyhole: 6 months

Diaper Size: 2
Clothing Size: Mostly 3-6 months.  You can still fit into 0-3 month onesies, but you are starting to get too long for them
Daily Schedule: You wake up at 7:30 and your first nap is around 9:30 or 10:00.  After that your naptimes vary because sometimes you nap for 30 minutes and sometimes you nap for an hour and a half, so I put you down about 2 hours after you wake up each time.  You go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 each night
Things you Love: Mommy, Daddy, Lily, Mouthing on your hands, feet and toys; Music--you love toys that make music and when you are upset sometimes the only thing that will calm you down is if mommy sings; kicking; Laughing at funny noises;
Things you Don’t Love:  Being in the car too long.  When mommy leaves.  Your Scout stuffed animal (you cry whenever he talks and says your name!)
Milestones: You started sitting up independently this month, so you sit for long periods of time on the floor and you can also sit up well in high chairs and shopping carts when we are out.  You are very interested in what’s going on around you and you get easily distracted when you are eating and you hear someone talking; You bring your bottle to your mouth and try to hold onto it, but still need some help with most of your feeding; You are pushing up tall on your hands when you’re on your stomach and you can pivot pretty easily and scoot backward.  You’ve also become very interested in grabbing our faces and glasses!
Memorable Moments: Your first Rangers Game, Your first Baylor/OU Game, Your first Cold, First time being left in childcare (at MOPS)

Cooper love, it seems impossible that your first year is now halfway over!  You are growing and changing so much and you are just so much fun!  This month you have struggled more with separation anxiety and want to have someone with you all the time, but you are content to play happily as long as you can see us--so you spend a lot of time sitting in random places in the house (the hallway, the kitchen floor, our bed, etc.) while I work on projects or clean.  You give sweet smiles to people who talk to you when we are out and about, but I love that your biggest smiles you still save for us.  You love to explore and are trying to figure out how to move around--I’ll admit that I am not rushing or pushing the crawling because I love that you currently stay right where I put you.  But I know you will continue to learn things at your own pace and I love getting to be there as you learn new things.  Sweet boy, you have my heart and I am so glad you are mine!

September 28, 2017

Cooper's First Trip to Waco

Since David and I started dating, we've enjoyed watching the Baylor OU Football Game together.  The first few years we watched it on TV and the last 3 years we've gone to the game in person.  When we first started going to the game, we had talked about making it an annual tradition.  We thought it would be fun because then we'd each get to see our team in person every year and at least once every other year we'd get to go back to our college campuses.  The first 2 games we went to were pretty "stressful"-- a lot was on the line for both teams and it's a little weird to be a visitor in a stadium and not even be able to cheer with the person you came with!  So we had talked about not going and how much more fun it is when we are cheering for the same team... but every year we've ended up there again and we really do end up having a lot of fun together.

So we'd talked about the tradition continuing when we had kids and how fun it would be to take them back to our college campuses and everything.  And then we had Cooper.  And then game was scheduled for September instead of November (like it has been for the last several years) and so we kind of put the thought aside.  But after Cooper did really well at the Rangers game, we started discussing it again.  And we decided it would be fun to try-- and if we had to leave early that wouldn't be a problem.  And Baylor has been playing so badly this year that 1. We could just root for everyone and not worry about the outcome since we knew what was going to happen and 2. Tickets were the cheapest they'd ever been.  So we snagged some tickets and a parking pass and made our way to Waco Saturday.

We had some discussion about which team to dress him for.  I have some friends whose teams play each other who dress their babies for the home team--which is a fine rule.  Luckily we had a pretty great outfit for him to support both teams for the game (pictures coming further down), but since it was also Cooper's first time to Baylor's campus we dressed him in Baylor gear so we could get some good pictures of him.

And good pictures we got.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  This boy.  His hat, his jeans, his Baylor shirt.  I just love him so. 

 Picture of me with my boy and Judge Baylor

 My guys :)

Most mamas know the difficulty of getting a good picture of a baby.  So this is one of several that David took of this pose... but oh my word how adorable is this guy?

After an hour or so walking around campus, we headed back to our car.  Luckily we'd gotten a parking pass in one of the parking garages that is on the edge of campus close to the stadium.  So it was a perfect spot for spending time on campus and time at the game.  We cooled off for a little bit in the car's AC.  And then it was time to change Cooper into his gameday attire:

 My sister-in-law, Aja had given me this onesie (along with other Baylor and OU gear) at my shower and it was perfect for going to the game!  We also took along both his Baylor and OU hats and his Baylor and OU pacifiers, so he was supporting both teams well.

 My OU boys.  The hats fit him a little better now than when he was a newborn.  They're still big on him but they were perfect for keeping the sun off his head.

 5:30 kickoff ended up being pretty perfect.  Our seats were only in the sun before the game started and were shaded by kickoff.  And it was not so late that the whole game was past Cooper's bedtime.  He took a little nap while we waited for the game to start and woke up right before the National Anthem.  We snagged a few pictures and then he and I spent the 1st quarter of the game in the Mother and Baby room.  I am so thankful that the stadium has this--it was nice to not have to worry too much about bottles and nursing.  He ate and we cooled off and played with a few other babies and then we headed back out to enjoy the game.
When we came back out OU was about to score again bringing the score to 28-7.  Little did we know how crazy the game was going to get.  We had all intentions of leaving early if Cooper needed to, but I don't know that we could have left early once things got exciting.  Who would have ever thought the game would be as close as it was?  It ended up being a fun game for both of us--I was proud that Baylor did so well even if it brought them their 4th loss, and of course David was happy that OU pulled off a win.

And our little good luck charm did so well.  He took a nap around 8:00 and then woke up happy.  He enjoyed watching all the sites around him and was content in the carrier throughout the game.  When we got back to the car he was pretty worn out and out of sorts, so I sat with him on the drive home and he eventually fell asleep.  It was a fun day with our little family of 3!

And just for fun, here's a look back at 4 years of Baylor/OU Football together

September 27, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday!

What we're eating this week
We had breakfast for dinner with our Community Group Sunday night, so we ate leftovers of that.  Our dinners are a random assortment of things that we already have in stock--last night we used up some grilled chicken in burrito bowls.  Tonight is garlic butter shrimp and some vegetables.  Tomorrow I'm planning to make some BBQ chicken in the crockpot--hopefully it will last us a few meals as sandwiches and maybe some quesadillas.  I also got to have lunch at McAlister's today with Erin and #themcculloughtwins ;)

What I'm reminiscing about

Between my post yesterday and our trip to Waco over the weekend, I've been reminiscing about college days. It was fun taking Cooper around Baylor's campus.  It seems like not long ago that we were taking this picture of the 07 bench, and now here we are 10 years later. 

What I'm loving
The fact that Cooper can sit up!  It's been a game changer--I can put him in a sitting position and he will stay that way for a long time.  He is so happy sitting up and now he can sit in high chairs at restaurants and carts at the store!

What we've been up to
Introducing Cooper to the world of College Football!  We've been enjoying watching the games on the weekends and we all had fun going to Baylor OU game this past weekend {more details to come!}
What I'm dreading
Allergy and Cold season.  Cooper and I were both sick a few weeks ago--either with allergies or a mild cold.  And I am not looking forward to all of the illnesses to come!

What I'm working on
I bought a pack of plain onesies so I can work on some appliques and Heat Transfer Vinyl designs for our little guy!

What I'm excited about
ALL THE FALL THINGS.  Pumpkin Patches, Halloween, The State Fair, Leaves, Cooler weather.  I love it all.

What I'm watching/reading
I've recently gotten into Jane the Virgin on Netflix--I started watching it before Cooper was born but then took a break.  I just picked back up last week and am enjoying it so far.

What I'm listening to
Same old Podcasts as I've been listening to for the last several months!

What I'm wearing
I saw this dress at Walmart recently and I loved it.  I wear it on my shoulders instead of off the shoulder but it is so comfortable and it has pockets!  I figure it's good now and will be good with leggings if it ever cools down.  So I bought it in a few colors!

What I'm doing this weekend
No big plans.  We will probably continue our tradition of breakfast taco Saturdays and watch some college football.  Sunday is church and our small group.

What I'm looking forward to next month
In addition to all the Fall things, Cooper and I are going with my mom and my aunts to The Pioneer Woman's Mercantile in October.  I'm looking forward to a fun trip with them!

What else is new
Not much--just watching Cooper change and grow!

Bonus Question: What TV show are you most excited about this Fall?
We just love it!

And that's what's up this Wednesday!

September 26, 2017

Reverse Bucket List

Momfessionals, one of the blogs that I follow, hosts a regular Show and Tell Tuesday with different themes and today's topic is a Reverse Bucket List.  I've thought about writing something like this for a long time, so I thought it would be fun to link up with her and think through some things that I've already done in my life.  {Just a warning, this turned into a pretty long post!  Once I started reflecting I couldn't stop}

Getting Married
Marrying this guy is definitely top of the list.  I've always dreamed of getting married and though at times it was hard to wait for it to happen, I am so grateful for the way God brought David and I together at the right time.  Life with this man of mine is so much better than I ever could have imagined and he is so much more than I ever could have planned for myself.

Becoming a Mom

This boy has very quickly stolen my heart.  I've always wanted to be a mom.  It was really all I ever thought about and dreamed about.  And this guy is my dream come true.  My days with him are the very best.  Watching him grow and learn new things is so much fun.  

Being a Foster Parent
This was really my first taste of being a mom.  Even though it was a hard season, being a foster parent was something I had thought about, prayed about and planned for for a long time.  It was something that I always saw as being a part of my life somehow.  And I am grateful for the opportunity we had to be foster parents to our 2 kids.  I learned so much about myself and God in that time.  And it's something I definitely still have a heart for. 

Buying a House
Buying a house kid of got lost in the shuffle of the other dreams I had--but I am so glad that we bought this house when we did.  We frequently talk about all of its imperfections, but I'm thankful for where we live.  And I'm thankful for this house that we get to call ours and we get to build our family in.

Going to Hawaii
 I don't have any pictures of this trip, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.  My family went when I was in High School and it was so fun exploring the beaches and the mountains.  There is so much beauty in Hawaii and I'm so thankful I got to go.

Graduating College
Going to Baylor was a dream of mine and I am so thankful for my time there.  I grew so much there and learned so much.  I made lifelong friends.  I found a major that I enjoyed.  I lived "on my own" for the first time.  And I graduated with honors in 3 years--such a big accomplishment for me.

Finding a job in my field and staying there for 8 years
Remember how I said that I always dreamed of being a mom?  So much so that I had trouble picking a major or a career because all I really wanted was to have babies and stay home with them.  I am so glad that God had better plans for  me than I had for myself.  My time at ECI was such a time of growth for me.  I made some amazing friends and learned so much about working in the real world.  I also learned so much from the families I worked with and it gave me perspectives and passions that I may not ever have had were it not for my time working with babies with special needs.  I am so grateful for my time there and all that I learned.  And for a job that I stayed with for so long!

Traveling to Boston
I have traveled to lots of fun big cities--Chicago, New York, DC--but for some reason I had always dreamed of seeing Boston.  Our trip to the Northeast was such a great experience!

Maintaining Friendships for over a Decade
I've had various groups of friends over the years and they come and go with different seasons of life.  I am so grateful to have made some friendships that have endured for over a decade now.  I met both Nicki and Erin my Freshman year at Baylor.  And I am beyond thankful that I still get to do life with both of them (whether in person or over the phone).  I am so blessed by friends who have known me for so long and continue to love me well.

Going on a Cruise
I had always wanted to try out a cruise and had so much fun on the one we did a few years ago!  I'm not sure it's my favorite way to vacation, but I'm glad I did it once.

Getting a Dog
We begged for a dog when we were growing up.  We actually had a dog who died when I was 3 and my parents didn't want to get another one, despite all of our pleas.  So when I got my first grown up job and apartment, a dog was one of the first things I wanted.   I had 3.5 years with sweet (and crazy) Allie and I've had 6 years with Lily.  Both of them have brought so much fun, snuggles, and laughter into my life!

Baking with my Kitchenaid Mixer
I've always really loved to bake.  So getting a Kitchenaid mixer a few years ago was really a dream come true.  And I love all the things I can make with it.

Going on a Hiking Trip
This was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  And even though I didn't get to peak the Mountain, I'm thankful for the experience of a backpacking trip in the mountains and the friends who were beside me through it all.

Going on Mission Trips in other Countries

The opportunities to visit other countries and support the missionaries there has had a big impact on me.  In college, I spent a week in Venezuela doing neighborhood children's ministry.  And a few years ago I traveled to Nicaragua to work with One by One.  Both experiences have been eye opening and I'm grateful for those times.

Volunteering with the Youth Group
I had some wonderful role models who worked with my youth group when I was in High School, so I am grateful that I had the opportunity to give back by serving the youth group at the church I grew up at for a few years.  I learned so much and laughed so much during my time with them and I love watching all that they are doing in the world now as most of them are in college and beyond.

Making International Friends
 This is one thing that I never would have thought to put on a bucket list, but it has been one of the most life changing things for me.  When I first signed up for an International Friendship Partner 6 years ago, I had no idea what that would look like.  It has shaped so many of my friendships, my ministries, my Friday nights, and my marriage.  I am thankful that David and I were able to serve together in ICF for the first few years of our marriage.  These friends pictures here are all still a huge part of our lives--even the one who has moved back to China, but still checks on us and Cooper frequently.  They have opened my eyes to a whole different world and I am so thankful for these friends.  I signed up to minister to them, but have learned so much by living life alongside them.

Finishing a Quilt (and other Homemade Presents)
I have always wanted to quilt, so finishing a quilt was a huge accomplishment for me!  I made this quilt for my friend Lara when she had her baby Watson a few years ago.  And I am so proud of it, even though it is far from perfect!  I've also loved learning to knit and sew and all of the fun homemade presents I've been able to give.

Teaching ESL
This is another thing I never planned to do, but it just felt right and I am so grateful for the experience.  Seeing these students work so hard to learn English so they can make a better life for their families was so inspiring.  This is one ministry that I hope to be able to get back to soon and I hope to be able to include Cooper in it as well!  It was amazing to see how God had placed so many things in my life to lead me to this.  My experience working with families, teaching preschool, and working International Students all combined into this one class.  So amazing.

I know there are a lot of other things that probably should be on this list, but this was what I could come up with during Coop's naptime today.  As I blogged last about The Church of the Small Things and all that I'm learning about the impact of small moments, I'm also very thankful for the big moments in my life that have gotten me to where I am today.  What an opportunity to see God's hand at work in my life over the years!