December 16, 2017

A Hometown Christmas

As we planned for our first Christmas season with Cooper, one thing we wanted to do was check out some of the things our city has to offer.  We had planned to go to their Christmas parade but ended up with other plans that day, so maybe next year.  But we did make plans to go to Santa's village.  It's set up with lots of different "dwellings" and lots of lights and activities.  It is only open a few weekends each December and on Thursdays they have Hometown Thursdays where you have to have tickets that only residents can get.  So we made a plan to check out the first Thursday they were open.

It ended up being really cold, so we bundled up in our coats and hats and blankets and headed out.  This is pretty much how Cooper looked the entire evening--it was very overwhelming with all of the people!  We were surprised by how busy it was since tickets were required and it was so cold outside, but we made the best of it!
 A picture of my guys by one of the many Christmas trees!
David's parents joined us for the evening, so we grabbed a picture of Cooper with his Nanny and Pappaw too

 And then we headed to see Santa.  The lady who took the pictures was impressed that Cooper actually looked at the camera!  Side note: he is wearing one of the onesies I made him and it says "Smiling's my favorite" (a quote from Elf) which we thought was ironic since he didn't really smile the whole time.

 A picture with my boy by our Christmas tree once we got home.

We are glad we checked out Santa's Village and look forward to going back in future years!

We also have a new restaurant park in town and I had seen that they were doing Christmas festivities on a few December weekends.  Last weekend was a live music festival and this weekend was visits from Santa (and reindeer) along with movies in the park at night.  We have been to eat at these restaurants with our friends Lucas and Yali so we invited them to join us for a Saturday afternoon at the Restaurant park.
 We grabbed lunch at the Dog Haus where we enjoyed BOGO free burgers.  Lucas and Yali's little guy is about 2.5 months old so we caught up on life with them.

 Santa arrived around 2:00, so we headed out to get in line to see him.  It was definitely a quicker line than most Santa's in town.
 We dressed Cooper in some Christmas pajamas for today's visit with Santa and he gave us a sweet smile!  The restaurant park also had a train that kids could ride and fake snow to play in.  The crowd was manageable and it was fun getting to check it out so close to home!  We love the restaurants at the Restaurant Park and were glad to get to celebrate some Christmas fun there-- we definitely look forward to checking it out next year too if they continue the tradition.

There are so many fun traditions and things to do at Christmas time.  I'm grateful for a few fun activities right in our hometown!  I love this time of year so much and it's fun to try new things with friends and our little family.


December 7, 2017

Day in the Life: 8 month old Cooper

When I wrote my day in the life post back in August, I mentioned that I wanted to try to do it again when Cooper was 8 months old and then again at 12 months.  So I put it on my calendar to pick a day in December.  Yesterday we didn't have any plans so I thought it would be a good day to document a day in our life.

7:30 am
My wake up time varies drastically every day depending on how well I slept the night before.  I've been trying to get into a habit of getting up in the mornings and doing a short workout video before Cooper gets up and I've been doing pretty well.  This morning however, I had woken up around 3:45 and was awake until a little after 5:00.  So then I decided sleep was more important for getting through our day than working out and I slept until David's alarm went off.  Then I quickly checked email and got up to get ready for Cooper.  He was awake and moving around and talking in his crib, but I usually wait until 7:30 to get him up.
He is usually happy and ready to go in the mornings, but he has been having some grumpier days the past week so he took some time to warm up.  Diaper changes have now turned into time to practice rolling over so we did some of that too.  He mostly gets bottles now, but I still nurse him for the first feeding of the day.  He'd probably be fine with a bottle then too, but I like that he still gets some breastmilk and it gives us a slower start to our day!

8:30 am 
I put Cooper down on the floor in his room and go start a load of laundry.  Usually he follows me now that he is crawling, but today I went back in there after I was done and he was playing with the stool in his room.  So we played in his room a little and then headed to the living room.
I go into the hallway and call him and he comes crawling out.  He followed me to the living room.  We spent the next hour or so playing with his toys and bringing him back to the living room when he tried to get Lily's water bowl over and over!  Then I made us some food for my breakfast and his morning snack.

9:30 am
Breakfast time!  He starts with a puree (today was sweet potatoes and black beans) and then we usually share some scrambled eggs.  He also had a Apple, Banana, Carrot muffin.  And he ate all of it.  After he ate, we went to his room and did our Advent song for the day.  

10:00 am
Naptime!  Cooper is usually ready for a nap right around 10:00.  So I put him in his sleep sack (with his arms unswaddled), sing him a couple songs and put him in his crib.  He usually falls asleep easily and today was no exception.  Then I hit the ground running with chores.  I did the dishes from breakfast, made sure we had everything ready for dinner, updated our calendar in the kitchen so it's finally December, and caught up on some emails.  I never know how long Cooper is going to sleep--usually it's about 40-45 minutes, but sometimes it's longer.  He was still asleep at 11:00, so I decided to try to get some of our Christmas shopping done online.  I ordered gifts for our niece and nephew.  Around 11:25, Cooper started stirring and was sitting up talking in his crib.  I was just finishing checking out online so I left him for a minute since he was happy.  Around 11:30 I went to make his bottle since he seemed up and ready to go.  By the time I was done, he was laying really still and I realized he had fallen back asleep!  So I worked on a few things on my blog and waited for him to wake up.  When he was still asleep at noon, I decided maybe I should do a day in the life post every day since Cooper seems to show off for them and take super long naps!  He just wants the world to know that he's really easy to take care of ;)

12:30 pm
I finally woke Cooper up from his nap around 12:30.  He was a little groggy at first, but as soon as he saw his bottle he was ready to eat!  We have switched to feeding him formula for all of his feedings except for the one nursing session in the morning.  At his last weight check he had fallen to the 3rd percentile and with all of his difficulties sucking and latching we just felt like he wasn't getting enough when he was nursing and he loves bottles so it was an easy switch for him.  We had tried doing bottles instead of nursing back in July but it was really hard for him.  Now that he is eating more foods, the formula wasn't as hard on his stomach and he is able to handle the pace of bottle feeding better.  A lot of days we are out and about at this time--meeting friends for lunch or going to swim lessons or running errands.  But today we were home, so he got a bottle and then we headed to the living room and kitchen. 

1:00 pm
It's time for another round of homemade purees for Cooper.  I should have worked on this while he was sleeping, but since it has to steam for a very specific amount of time I am hesitant to start it when I think he's about to wake up.  So I waited and made them once he was awake.  I decided to try a few new flavors this time, so today I made Mango + Kale and Blackberry + Kale + Apple purees (recipes from the Baby Foode website--one of my favorite resources!).  Cooper played in the living room for a few minutes, but quickly found his way into the kitchen with me; and Lily is always in the kitchen with me--so here's a view of my 2 "helpers" and the apples I was cutting up on the counter.

1:30 pm
I typically eat lunch either while we are out or when Cooper is napping, but because his nap ran late he was awake for lunch time which meant I got to share with him.  I had leftover chicken pot pie soup from the dinner the night before.  Cooper ate quite a bit of the chicken and vegetables from my soup--as you can tell he's pretty happy about eating!

2:00 pm

 After lunch, Cooper got a diaper and clothing change.  Since we were heading out to run errands and it was cold outside, I put him in a pair of fleece footed pajamas for the rest of the day and he was nice and cozy.  We went to pick up a prescription for me and then off to the post office.  I needed to send in a return from something I bought online and buy stamps for our Christmas cards.  Luckily the line went pretty quickly and I ended up buying the last of their Christmas stamps!  Cooper smiled and entertained all of the people in line with us.

3:15 pm
After errands we came home for Cooper's nap. Usually he takes 3 naps a day that are all about an hour or less and then he eats after each nap.  Since his first nap lasted so long, I kept him awake a little longer for his second nap because I knew we wouldn't have time for 3.  So I went ahead and gave him another bottle before his nap so he didn't go too long without eating.  He took his bottle and then we followed our naptime routine and he was down and asleep pretty quickly.  Then I went back to clean up the kitchen from our morning/lunch.  I put away all of the dishes I had used to make his baby food and wiped down the counters.  I also put the lids on all of the jars I use for his food and separated them into the fridge and freezer

4:00 pm
Cooper was still asleep, so I settled in with a Hallmark Christmas movie and our Christmas tree lights and got to work addressing our Christmas cards.  Cooper (of course) took another long nap, so I was able to get all of our cards addressed, stuffed, and stamped while he was asleep!

5:00 pm
I put spaghetti squash in the oven to roast for dinner and then got Cooper up a little after 5:00 so that he didn't nap too late and mess up bedtime.  I have never in 8 months had to wake him up from 2 naps in 1 day-- I even took his temperature after this nap to make sure he wasn't sick!  No fever, but just in need of some extra rest, which is totally fine.  I'm just glad it was on a day when we had no plans so he could sleep more.  After his nap, he had a little bottle and then we played in the living room.  This picture perfectly sums up a lot of his life right now.  First-- when you put Cooper down on the floor, 95% of the time the first thing he does is find a pacifier and put it in his mouth.  Second--his favorite game is to climb on me.  He loves pulling up his knees and even his feet and be right next to me.  I am all for the snuggles and enjoy these moments of not chasing him down!

6:00 pm
 David got home a little after 6:00 and I put the finishing touches on dinner.  We had spaghetti squash with meatballs and spinach salad.  It's always nice to sit down as a family and eat dinner together.  We try to do this every night right now and it's just a fun time together.  At dinner we usually just give Cooper parts of whatever we are eating and skip the purees so that we're not feeding him the whole time.  Last night he had bite size pieces of meatballs and seemed to be a pretty big fan of them.

7:00 pm
 Playtime with daddy!  Cooper was enjoying practicing his standing between Daddy's legs.  A lot of nights Cooper is tired around 7:00, but this night he was still pretty awake since he had napped so much.  So we had a little longer playtime on the living room floor.  Then a bottle around 7:30 and bedtime.  Bedtime routine is pretty much the same as nap, we just have daddy around too!  David gets Cooper changed and dressed for bed and then I rock him and sing 2 songs to him and then we say prayers and put him down.

8:00 pm  
 Wednesday nights are our unofficial date night in.  We usually try to stay away from TV since we watch a lot of that most nights--so we typically use this time to talk through different things, listen to podcasts together or do an online course we're working through.  But we hadn't watched any Christmas movies yet this season, so we decided to make that our date night activity.  We found a Netflix original Christmas movie that had good ratings and was only an hour and a half (score!) and settled in to watch.  It was a cheesy romantic Christmas movie, but was a lot of fun.

10:30 pm
Most nights I am asleep by 9:00 or 9:30, but we stayed up to watch the movie and then I read a little  before going to sleep.  I took this right before I drifted off-- time for bed!

And that's a look at a day in our life--still somewhat unpredictable.  I've thought about doing a more set schedule, but we both do fine with things how they are.  Life is definitely full and fun at this stage with Cooper!




December 6, 2017

Advent

Advent is always a special time of anticipation and excitement.  I love Christmastime so much and it's easy for me to get caught up in all of the fun traditions of looking at lights and watching movies and baking cookies and giving (and getting) gifts.  So I like to have some sort of Advent devotional to walk through.  I've done various ones over the years and the last few years I've done Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift that walks through the Jesse Tree.

This year, David and I looked through several reading plans on the Youversion App and found one that we are both doing.  I also randomly signed up for the Gentle Leading Advent Devotional last week.  They are delivered to my email inbox every morning and I am loving them.  They include a scripture reading, a short devotional (most--if not all-- are by moms as this is a devotional for moms) and then a few questions for reflection.  It's been a good way to start my days so far this month.

I thought about different options for advent for Cooper and I have lots of ideas saved for when he's a little bit older, so I wasn't planning on doing anything this year.  Then on Wednesday of last week I started thinking that it could be fun to do a different Christ-related Christmas song every day in December.  We sing to him at naptime and bedtime and throughout the day and he loves music.  So every night last week, I had been asking David what a Christmas song was we would could sing.  And suddenly I thought, we could have an actual list and work our way through several of them this month.  So Wednesday night, David and I made a list of songs to use and ordered them 1-25.


 Since it started on Friday, I spent all of the short naptimes on Thursday putting it together.  We could have done just a list and that would have been totally fine!  But I found this free printable advent calendar for the numbers and I figured we could put the song names on the back.  I ended up googling and finding a few verses for each song to put on the card since we sometimes find ourselves coming up short on all the words.  I glued the numbers and the lyrics to some cardstock (that was already cut into a perfect 4x6 size!) and hung up a ribbon I had for us to tape them to as we go through them.


So every morning I pick out the day's card and look at the song.  Usually I'll find a version or two of the song to play on Amazon music while Cooper plays in the morning.  Most mornings, we look at books between his breakfast/snack and his morning nap--so I've been using that time to sing the song to him and usually I will talk to him a little bit about the song and what it means.  He obviously doesn't understand most of what I'm saying, but I'm trying to get in the habit of talking to him about God, the Bible, and the Gospel now so that it will continue as he gets older.  In case you're wondering, this is his favorite thing to do while we sing:


I also sometimes get the figures from our Little People nativity if they correlate to the song and hold them up or let him hold and chew on them while we play.

Then we sing the song throughout the day at naps and bedtime.  At the end of the day we hang up the card in the living room:

It's just been a simple way to share Truth with him this Christmas and for me to be reminded of all of the truths that are in these Christmas hymns.  And it gives us something to do during playtime!  I'm loving this part of Cooper's first Christmas celebration--and I think he is too!

December 5, 2017

Decking the Halls

The weekend after Thanksgiving, we got our house all decorated for Christmas.  The inside is pretty similar to how it's been in past years.  We did move our tree to our living room (from our dining room) and I'm loving it in there.  

Of course there are several Cooper-related additions 

Including a stocking
 Baby's 1st Christmas Ornaments
 And a pretty bare bottom part of our tree so he can't reach many of the ornaments!

One of my favorite new parts of our decorations is our yard decor.  We didn't do Christmas lights this year or put much out on the front porch, but we did add some wooden cutouts. 
We saw these snowmen at a craft fair last Fall and fell in love with them.  We didn't get them last year, but tracked them down this Fall and bought our little family of snowmen.

 My mom made these wooden cutouts of Mickey and Minnie Ice Skating and a candy cane (as well as Garfield and Odie singing Christmas carols) when I was little.  She doesn't use them in her yard, so they've just been in her garage for the last several years.  So I asked if we could have them and she gladly gave them to us.  And for my birthday I asked David to buy lighting for them so we have spotlights on them at night.  I love having some fun and festive stuff in our yard!

Cooper is loving all of the Christmas lights too!  So far he has done really well with everything--he touches the tree but isn't too crazy this year.  We are so excited for Cooper's first Christmas!



December 1, 2017

Cooper's Cubbyhole: 8 months



8 months
Diaper Size: 2
Clothing Size: 3-6 months.  Starting to wear some 6-9 month clothes
Daily Schedule: Wake up at 7:30 and nurse.  Eat breakfast (eggs, fruit, purees) at 9:00.  Nap at 10:00 (until 11:00ish) then get a bottle of formula.  Nap again around 1:30.  Bottle when you wake up. Usually you still take a 3rd nap around 4:30 or 5:00 and get a bottle when you wake up.  You eat dinner with us--usually just bite size pieces of whatever we’re eating.  7:00 a small bottle and then bedtime routine
Things you Love: “crawling” you are up on hands and knees and kind of hop forward.  You are starting to do a little official creeping on hands and knees, but mostly still hop and move forward with your arms--but you are fast!  Lily’s water bowl is your favorite thing to try to get into.  You still love Sophie, Rattles, Mommy, Daddy, and Lily.  Bottles.  Your photo book.  You’ve also been very attached to your pacifiers this month--when we put you down to play that is the first thing you go for and you keep it in your mouth most of the time.  Eating food.
Things you Don’t Love:  Your car seat.  Lily getting in your face (even though you are always in hers).  Getting your diaper changed.  
Eating: You are still loving your purees.  You will devour a 4 oz container of food in a few minutes and yell for more.  You are also rocking table foods--you feed yourself small bites of everything.  There is not really anything you don’t seem to like.  Favorites are eggs, beans, puffs, cheese, and chicken.
Milestones: Motor development is definitely the big thing this month--you are getting all around the house with your version of crawling, you can also get into and out of sitting really well by yourself.  You are pulling up to your knees to look into your toy box.  You also just this week started doing more babbling and using some consonants in your sounds.  You move your hand like you are waving hi/bye frequently but I don’t know that you really know what it means :)


Baby Boy, You are an absolute joy to be around.  You light up when you see us which makes my heart melt.  You are on the move now and it’s been funny to see what all you want to explore and get into!  You give the sweetest smiles and even try to give us kisses.  For the most part you are so happy and content to play and explore wherever we are.  I am so very thankful for you and the love and laughter you bring to my life.

November 24, 2017

Cooper's first visit to OU

Cooper had his first trip to Waco in September and even though we've been to Oklahoma with him, we hadn't stopped at the OU campus yet, so we made plans to do so over Thanksgiving.  We had originally planned to stop on our drive up to Oklahoma City, but we decided to drive through and get to David's Nanny's house instead.  So we made the stop on our way back home on Friday.

Happy boys ready for their walk around campus

 First stop was the stadium
 Then we took a picture by David's dorm
 And the statue and most of campus
 Last stop was the site where the new BSU building will be.  David has a lot of fond memories of his time with the BSU and grew a lot spiritually during his time at OU thanks to this ministry!
Our happy baby Sooner!

It was fun getting to visit campus and let David show Cooper around.  I'm sure we'll have many more trips in the future!

November 23, 2017

Our Little Turkey

We had a great Thanksgiving last week with family!  Cooper did a fantastic job on the car ride to Oklahoma and we enjoyed a few days with his grandparents and great-grandmother and all of the family.  Cooper ended up with a plethora of turkey onesies, so he wore them every day the week of Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd share our little turkey
 Turkey tie for church on Sunday
 This onesie says "I'm thankful for daddy"
 This is the onesie I made him for November.  It's been a lot of fun making different onesies for him!
 He and his second cousin had matching outfits for Thanksgiving day!  And it was really fun watching them play together.
 And a gobble til you wobble bib.  He definitely gobbled down lots of yummy thanksgiving foods!
Our little family on Cooper's first Thanksgiving!