July 19, 2017

The Magical 3 Month Mark

From the very beginning this guy has been a pretty easy baby.  Even though I had a somewhat difficult delivery, we bonded quickly and he did really well from the beginning.  He was a great sleeper his first month and was pretty go with the flow.  We were able to get out a lot and continue at a pretty good pace.  Our one difficulty from day one has been feeding.  But I knew a lot of people struggle with feeding in the very beginning.  And I'd had several friends tell me it gets a little better each day/week and then  around 6 weeks it seems to be pretty effortless.  So I held on to that and we pressed on.

Then we hit 6 weeks and feeding was still pretty much a disaster.  I remember feeling a little frustrated because it was supposed to be better by that point.  And I even questioned if we needed to make changes to what we were feeding him at that point.  But I just figured that due to the extra supports he had needed, it would just take Cooper a little longer to get it.  And he was getting better slowly, so we kept at it and he seemed happy.

And then we kept hearing about this magical 3 month mark.  Almost everyone we talked to--whether we talked about any struggles with Cooper or not--would say that at 3 months things get so much easier.  Sleep is better.  Feeding is more efficient.  Everyone just made it seem like 3 months was the magical point to get to.  Obviously, it didn't mean everything would suddenly be easy then, but we just kept hearing "wait until 3 months, it gets so much better."

Well we are 19 days into Cooper being 3 months.  And he's still struggling with feeding.  And his sleep is actually worse than it was for his first 2 months.  I was up in the middle of the night with him a couple of weeks ago and I was having a rough time.  I didn't understand why things were still so hard when everyone made it seem like they should be better.  What were we doing wrong?  Why wasn't he getting better?  I cried and then I promptly fell back asleep (because it was 3 in the morning).

Then a new day dawned.  And as is usually true, things looked a lot better in the daylight.  I realized I was holding so tightly to these ideals that I was placing unrealistic expectations on us.  Parenting is so hard.  And people want to be encouraging and a lot of times one of the most encouraging things to hear is "you're not alone.  this will get better."  But then there are the moments when that "encouragement" actually makes you feel more alone--when things don't get better the same way they did for everyone else.  And I realized that had I not had this idea in my head that things should be better by now, then I wouldn't have cared as much what Cooper was or wasn't doing.  Remember the very first thing I said in this post?  Cooper is an easy baby.  And it's still true.  Even though he doesn't sleep as much as is recommended.  And even though he may not be getting enough to eat (we're working with some professionals to figure that out).  He is so incredibly happy.  And so very easygoing.  And such a delight to be around.  And I was missing that because I could only focus on what he wasn't doing.  So then I had to let go of this idea of a turning point coming soon and just focus on where we are now.  I have so much to be grateful for.  Top of the list?

The fact that my hope is not in this guy.  Because if all I did was turn from one ideal to focus on how well he's doing, then it can all easily fall apart when he has a bad day.  I am so thankful that my hope is in One who is greater than either Cooper or I.  That we have a loving Father who holds us both in his hands-- during the 3 am wake ups when we're both crying and during the giggles and kisses.  And that no matter what Cooper does tomorrow, I don't have to fear because God is in control.  So instead of hoping in Cooper meeting the next milestone, I hope in Someone more eternal.  And it takes a lot of pressure off of me and Coop.

So maybe that's our magical 3 month mark.  When I let go of some of my expectations and tried to let go of my sense of control.  And remembered the daily surrender of trusting God with our family.

July 10, 2017

Cooper's First Road Trip

We kicked off July with Cooper's first road trip!  David took a few days off work around the 4th of July, so we decided to take a trip to Oklahoma to see some of his extended family and introduce Cooper to his Grandnanny.
All packed up and ready to go.  I thought this was a good representation of the silly faces you're willing to make to try to get the baby to smile :)

All smiles in his car seat as we were ready to back out of the driveway
 We stopped in Denton for breakfast/lunch at Chiloso.  We love Chiloso so very much and they opened one in Denton last year, so it's been a good place for us to stop on our way to Oklahoma.  We fed Cooper a bottle and then got back in the car.

By the time we made it to Sanger (not very far from Denton) the little guy was pretty out of sorts.  He was sooo tired, but couldn't fall asleep.  So we decided to see if me sitting with him would help.  He immediately grabbed on to my hand and proceeded to fall asleep not long after this picture was taken.

First stop was to spend the afternoon with David's best friend from college, Dean, and his family.  The last few times we've been to Oklahoma we've missed them, so we hadn't met their little boy yet.  It was a fun afternoon of playing and enjoying dinner together.  Then we headed to Oklahoma City for the rest of our weekend.  We got in late that evening, so we talked with family a bit and then headed to bed.

The rest of the weekend was full of resting and hanging out with family.  Cooper got lots of snuggles with his Grandnanny and gave her lots of sugars.  He also took a 3 hour nap 2 of the 3 days we were there, so we had quite a bit of down time while he rested from his big trip

On Monday, David and I took Cooper for a walk to the park in Nanny's neighborhood.  He promptly fell asleep when we got to the park.  All snuggled up with his blanket and his hat :)

When Daddy gets Cooper dressed they sometimes wear matching Rangers clothes (they sported these same outfits Memorial Day weekend.)

An afternoon chat with his Grandnanny!  David's Nanny is our only grandparent who is still living, so we are so glad that Cooper got to spend time with her and we look forward to future visits!

All decked out for the 4th of July party at Uncle Marshall's house!  This is actually Cooper's swimsuit because it is the only one I've been able to find in his size, but it doubled well as an Independence Day outfit!

We went over to David's Aunt and Uncle's house for dinner on July 4th.  We enjoyed delicious food and a good evening with most of his family.  After dinner, we spent some time in their backyard while Cooper's second cousin swam with her uncles.   Love snuggles with my little guy!

Sweet memories with David's Nanny!

Wednesday morning we got up and got on the road.  During this trip we were finally able to position the mirror above Cooper's car seat at an angle where we could see him!  We had installed the mirror in the Explorer and then again in the Pathfinder, but it would never stay at a good angle.  We finally found something to wedge behind it to keep it pointed down enough.  This seemed to help Cooper some as he was able to watch himself in the mirror and he could see us, but he still needed me to sit with him for some of our drive back.

Cooper did so well on our trip!  He was happy and content most of the time, he did well being held by all of the family, and he slept pretty well too with only a few extra wake ups.  We are so glad we were able to spend a long weekend with family!  

First road trip is in the books and now we're already talking about where we're going to go next! :)

July 1, 2017

Cooper's Cubbyhole: 3 months

3 months old!

Weight: 11 lbs 10.6 ounces
Diaper Size: 1
Clothing Size: 0-3 months
Things you Love: Your playmat-- specifically your giraffe.  Being held.  Mommy and Daddy.  Your cousins--you started showing a bigger interest in them when you guys spend time together this month, they had you smiling and cooing a lot!  Talking and cooing and smiling.  Your hands-- you’ve definitely found them and like sucking on them and have even been able to sometimes calm yourself down if you can get to your hands.
Things you Don’t Love: Being in your car seat when we are stopped--you are fine when we’re driving but as soon as we slow down to a red light you lose your mind a little and then you are fine once we’re going again!  You also are not as content to be in your car seat when we go out to restaurants or other places, you’d much rather be held.  Formula-- I've been trying to offer a supplement to some of your feedings to help with your weight gain. We usually use pumped milk, but I decided to try formula a few times and you will not drink it.
Milestones: You rolled over from your stomach to your back a few times this month.  You also giggled for the first time, but we’ve had trouble figuring out what makes you laugh to get you to do it again!  You also are doing so much better at holding your head up when you’re on your tummy and you’re turning it both ways now MUCH better
Memorable Moments:  You had a frenectomy on June 12 to get rid of your upper lip tie and a posterior tongue tie and it was a game changer!  You were instantly so much happier (and you were already a happy baby!), you started sleeping longer stretches during the day and you started eating better (somewhat).  It was crazy what an immediate difference it made!  We also celebrated your first Father’s Day with your daddy and Pappaw.  And we had your baby dedication at church.

Sweet Cooper, it's been a crazy month for you!  Your first round of shots, a laser procedure to cut your lip and tongue ties, an OT evaluation to look at your neck and head control.  Our biggest challenge continues to be feeding-- your frenectomy helped eliminate the reflux symptoms you were having and definitely improved your latch, but it still takes a long time for you to eat and your weight gain continues to be slow.  But you are so happy and content all day long and you have started napping better during the day.  You give smiles to us so easily!  And when you are fussy we have a hard time because it happens so rarely.  Even with the challenges of this month, it has been so much fun hearing you talk and coo more, watching you smile and begin to laugh, and spending my days with you.  One quarter of your first year is behind us which is a little sad, but I know we have so many fun days and months ahead!  I can't wait to continue to see you develop your personality and learn more about you!  

June 28, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

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

What we're eating this week
Pulled Pork!  We had some friends over Sunday evening to celebrate David's birthday and he requested BBQ Pulled Pork.  I found this recipe last year and I've made it several times and it is always a big hit.  In fact when our friend Matt got to our house Sunday he asked if I'd made my "famous pulled pork."  It's so easy to make and it feeds a lot of people.  We had it Sunday with Buns as well as Chips and Queso for nachos.  It makes a lot of pulled pork and we have a lot left.  Usually I just freeze the leftovers, but I thought before I did that I'd try out a few new recipes using it.  So we are having Pulled Pork Quesadillas and BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza for dinner this week.

What I'm reminiscing about
David turned 30 on Sunday, so on our date Saturday night I was asking him some reflection questions.  So we talked about things we were glad we did in our 20s as well as what we're hoping for in our 30s.  My 30th year has come and gone, but it was still fun reminiscing about college, Young Adults Group, and early married life.

What I'm loving
Our new car!
Saturday we bought a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder and we are loving it.  We decided to go ahead and trade in David's Explorer since it has seemed to be on its transmission has been on it's last leg for a while.  We found a great deal on this Pathfinder and it was an extra bonus that it is BLUE because that's exactly what I wanted.  It's so fun having a new-to-us car.  And I'm enjoying driving it around during the week.

What we've been up to
Car Shopping and Birthday Celebrating took up our weekend.  Then Monday I listed our dining room table on a Facebook garage sale site and someone bought and picked it up that night.  And we had a new one delivered last night!  We loved our table, but with starting to focus more on family dinners we were looking for something more kid friendly.  Our table was great for big groups and games, but with the tall chairs it was not the safest for little kids.  So I'd been looking online and found a guy who makes Farmhouse style tables and we got a good deal on a table and 2 benches.  So we sold our old table to get this one set up.  Looking forward to lots of years of memories around this table.

What I'm dreading
The continuation of the summer heat!  Luckily we've had some rain to cool things off this past week, but I know we've still got a few months of heat ahead of us and it just makes it so hard to get outside and do anything.

What I'm working on
I'm throwing a baby shower for my friend Yali next month, so I have been busy working on that.  I designed and sent out invitations this week, so now I'm working on decorations as well as a few gifts for her baby boy!

What I'm excited about
Redecorating our Dining Room.  I've got a few plans to go along with our new table, so I'll be sure to share once I get it figured out!

What I'm watching/reading
I have book club on Friday and this is the book our friend chose, so I finished it yesterday.  I actually had read it a few years ago, so it was easy to go through it again and remember all of the little details.

Otherwise, I'm still working on the same books from last month :)

What I'm listening to
Nothing new really.  I've been listening to more of the Risen Motherhood podcast that I mentioned last time.  I've gone back and listened to several older episodes and am making my way through all of them.  They are a perfect thing to listen to during Cooper's feedings!

What I'm wearing
Still a lot of yoga pants and tank tops around the house.  I did recently get my first Lularoe Carly and I am loving it so much.  It's so comfortable and versatile.  Mine is a coral color and I just love it so I'm wearing it a lot right now too!

What I'm doing this weekend
We are heading to Oklahoma to see some of David's family!  It is Cooper's first out of state trip and we are excited for a long weekend with family.

What I'm looking forward to next month
Cooper's first 4th of July, our anniversary, and Yali's baby shower!  We are also discussing taking Cooper to his first Ranger's Game, so we'll see if we decide to try that out!

What else is new
Well, I couldn't leave here without some picture of Cooper, right?  So here he is trying out his high chair for the first time!  We usually eat dinner at our coffee table and just have him in the bouncy seat with us, but last night we had our first dinner at our new table, so I set up his high chair so he had somewhere to sit with us.

June 27, 2017

Birthday Date

This past weekend was David's birthday and we had fun celebrating.  When we were talking about his birthday a few months ago, I asked him what he wanted to do-- a party with lots of people, some small family time, a baseball game, etc.  We decided to have some friends over on his birthday since we usually have our Community Group on Sundays and we would be meeting with them anyway.  But David also requested a birthday date just me and him.
 When we were planning the date I asked if he knew what he wanted to do or if he wanted me to plan it.  He chose for me to plan it and to surprise him with what we were doing.  So Saturday night we got dressed up and headed out to McKinney.

 First stop was Hutchins BBQ.  We had never been, but it is a popular BBQ place in the area.  The line wrapped around the building and we waited for about an hour to get to the front of it.  But we had planned for a long dinner wait, so we settled in and enjoyed some time to talk without a baby crying like he tends to do at dinner time :)  

 We enjoyed brisket, ribs, and sides.  They also had free dessert, so I had their peach cobbler and David had their banana pudding.
 We thought it was all very good and we were glad to have tried it out!

Then we headed toward Downtown McKinney for a comedy show, which was our main event for the evening.
 I had seen an advertisement about Comedy Sportz a few months ago and thought it seemed like something David would like, so I bought us tickets for this weekend.
It was a comedy show where 2 teams competed against each other in a variety of Improv games to try to earn points.  It was similar to Whose Line is it Anyway and we had a lot of fun

 We bought blue and red glowsticks so we could vote for which team we thought did a better job.  We both really liked the blue team, but the red team ended up winning to most points
It was a great night out on the town with my favorite guy!

June 22, 2017

Cooper's Baby Dedication

Sunday we also had Cooper's Baby Dedication!  Our church does Baby Dedications on Mother's Day, Father's Day and then again in the Fall.  Since we were still figuring out our schedule, we didn't sign up for Mother's Day, but by the time June rolled around we were feeling a little more confident in our ability to get to church.  We got Cooper up and ready Sunday morning and headed to church early.

Cooper was dedicated alongside a few other babies and we pledged to teach him about Jesus.

And our church gave him a little gift with this verse.  

June 21, 2017

Father's Day Gifts

For David's first Father's Day, I spent some time searching for good gift options.  I had been planning to make him his own set of suck pads for our Lillebaby carrier, which is part of the reason that I made the first few sets the week before--because I needed to try out the patterns first!

So I picked up some Rangers fabric and sewed up this set.  I figured it might make him more likely to help wear Cooper in the carrier :)

When I was searching Pinterest and Message Boards for ideas, I found this one to spell out DAD with 3 different pictures and put them together in a frame

So one day while David was at work, Cooper and I had a photo shoot with the letters that I painted.  David seemed to really like this gift and he took it to work to put at his desk.  

Here's our sweet boy closer up:

Had to get one with his serious face in addition to the smiles because this is how he looks a lot of the time! 

And we finished off his gift with a few books for him to read with Cooper!

We're so thankful for David and I had fun putting together this gift for his first Father's Day!

June 20, 2017

Father's Day

We had a good time celebrating Cooper's Dad and Pappaw over the last few weeks!

 David's dad had to work Father's Day weekend, so we went and saw them the weekend before to celebrate Father's Day and David's birthday.

 Cooper was a content little guy most of the day and did well to show off his smile for Pappaw and Nanny.

 And he crashed and took a nap with Pappaw holding him as well!

 This past Sunday we got up and got Cooper dressed in his plaid shorts and turtle shirt.  We actually had bought this outfit before he was born.  When he started measuring big, we bought a bigger outfit as an option for Easter.  Two and half months later, it finally fits!

Cooper is a lucky little one to have this guy for a dad!  We spent the morning and lunch with family celebrating Cooper's baby dedication.  Sunday night we went out for burgers and custard just the 3 of us!  It was a good weekend together.

June 11, 2017

Reunited with my Sewing Machine

Before Cooper was born, I spent a lot of time crafting and sewing.  I knew I wouldn't have the same amount of time once he was here, so I was glad to get a lot of projects done while we waited for him.  But I was starting to miss sewing.  Last week, Cooper took a few good naps (longer than his usual 30 minutes) so I sat down at my sewing machine for the first time since he was born.

I decided to make some suck pads for our Lillebaby carrier.  Right now we don't necessarily need them, but Cooper is starting to drool a lot so they will be nice to have.  And they add some fun color/patterns to our gray carrier.

The first set I made followed this pattern for straight suck pads.  I used this cotton fabric for the front, the light blue flannel for the back, and a cut up towel for the inner lining.  I decided to use Velcro for the enclosure because I already had some.  I also added a few ribbons along the bottom to attach toys, teethers, or pacifiers as needed.

This set was very easy to make and I was able to knock them out during 2 of Cooper's naps last week.

Here they are on our Lillebaby: 

While I was looking for a pattern for suck pads, I also came across this pattern for curved ones (I used the pattern for the Tula since it is similar in size to the Lillebaby and the Ergo).  The curved ones fit more tightly along the curves of the carrier, but I've read they can make it difficult to raise the headrest.  But I decided to try out a set of these as well and then see which ones we liked better. 
 I found this fun dinosaur printed cotton for the front of the suck pads and  used 2 layers of flannel for the inside.  I again used Velcro for the enclosure and added a ribbon to attach things as needed.  These ones were definitely more difficult to make than the first set.  The pattern was more complicated and it involved more steps of sewing different pieces together to get the curved look.  They were still fairly easy to make, but definitely took more time than the first set.  I did a lot of this one while David was home to help with Cooper.

I think they turned out well:

I think if I make another set I will probably stick with the straight version (the first pattern) just because it was so much simpler and I still think they fit well and look cute on the carrier.  But maybe once I use them more I'll really like the curved ones better.  Either way, it's fun to have a few options to "dress up" our carrier.  And I really enjoyed being back at my sewing machine creating things!

And thanks to this precious burrito baby for taking a few awesome naps so I could get these done!