August 30, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

It's the last Wednesday in August, so I'm blogging about What's Up with us
What we're eating this week
This month I've been trying to do more meal prep so making dinner isn't quite so crazy.  So at the beginning of August I cooked several pounds of chicken a few different ways--I cooked some in our crock pot with just a little chicken broth, I grilled some, and I baked some with a few different seasonings (from this post).  We ate some right away and froze most of it and then have pulled out a little each week and it's still going strong.  I also bought some frozen fish that was easy to bake to include in our dinner rotations.  So this week we're having Chicken and Bacon wraps, Baked Chicken and Sides, and Baked fish and veggies.  We also have a few crusts left over from our community group's make your own pizza night, so we have 1 pizza night this week!

What I'm reminiscing about
Today is Chase's 6th birthday!  He started Kindergarten last week and we celebrated his birthday over the weekend.  I was recently switching some things over to a new photo backup site and this picture came up: 
And it made me reminisce about my sweet baby nephew and also made me even more aware of how quickly Cooper will be growing up and starting Kindergarten.  But it's also really fun to see 6 year old Chase now.  He is such a fun and kind kid.  At his birthday party on Saturday I looked over and he had taken some time away from hanging out with his older cousins (who are so much fun) to play with "Baby Cooper" and his sweetness melted my heart.  I'm so glad Cooper has his big cousins who live closeby and he gets to grow up with them!

What I'm loving

Baby Giggles!  Cooper is so giggly these days and I would do just about anything to make him laugh.  Luckily right now his giggles come pretty easily.

What we've been up to
Cooper has been up to a lot of rolling over.  When I lay him down to play on the floor, he pretty quickly rolls to his stomach and plays there for a while.  We've also been up to some sleep training--we had to drop the swaddle when Cooper started rolling and he was struggling to stay asleep when we laid him down, so we've been working on him being able to put himself to sleep and he is doing an awesome job!  It's making us slow down a little and spend most of our time at home to help him get into a good sleep routine so that's been dominating most of our days!

What I'm dreading
Honestly?  With all of the devastating things happening in South Texas, it's hard for me to dread or complain about much right now.  

What I'm working on

I don't have any current projects that I am in the middle of--I've got a list of projects to work on next month as we gear up for Cooper to start eating some more foods-- but right now there's nothing specific I'm doing.  But I am spending time working on this Bible Study through Ephesians.  I'm not quite ready to jump back into a weekly Bible Study at our church without knowing what Cooper's schedule will look like, so Erin and I decided to do a study together and we found this one.  The book takes you through an inductive study of the book of Ephesians and I'm working on it little by little.

What I'm excited about
Fall!  I know it's only August, but I love that September is the beginning of the Fall season and all of the fun that will bring.  Looking forward to our first Fall with Cooper!  

What I'm watching/reading
I just finished reading an advanced copy of Melanie Shankle's new book this week.  I didn't get chosen to be on her launch team, but then they came back and offered a digital copy to people who had applied but weren't chosen.  I really enjoyed this book and have a blog post coming in a couple of weeks with more details, so stay tuned.  Or for more info you can check it out here

I've also spent a lot of time this month with this book.  We're following a lot of their suggestions to help Cooper sleep and it's been a great resource!

And we are still watching American Ninja Warrior together.  The city finals just ended and next week starts the finals in Vegas.  We really enjoy watching it on Monday nights together.

In my downtime I also tend to watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation or Gilmore Girls.  

What I'm listening to
Same old podcasts that I've been listening to for the last several months.  It's fun that they always have new episodes, so I can always find something new to listen to!

What I'm wearing
In addition to the yoga pants and tank tops that I wear most of the time, I've also been enjoying my Lularoe leggings when I need something easy for going out of the house.  I actually won this pair of leggings and although the patterns can be a little crazy, the leggings are so soft and comfortable that it's hard not to love them!

I also am loving sporting this necklace that David got me for our anniversary!  

What I'm doing this weekend
Saturday we going to David's parents' house to spend some time with family.  Sunday is our small group and a birthday party for a family friend.  As of now we have no plans for Monday, but are looking forward to a long weekend!

What I'm looking forward to next month
For Chase's birthday, my mom bought him tickets to a Rangers game and is planning to take the whole family.  So we are taking Cooper to his first Rangers game!  Hopefully it'll be a fun afternoon with family--I know David can't wait to experience it with him!

What else is new
Cooper started his first swimming lessons yesterday!  A local swim school has a class called Bathtime Babies for little ones under 6 months.  It is a free mommy and baby class to help get them used to being in the water before real swim lessons start a little later.  Cooper loves the water, so I thought it'd be a fun thing for us to do together.

August 22, 2017

Day in the Life: 4 month old Cooper

Day in the Life posts are some of my favorite to read.  So I thought it would be fun to do one to look back on life with 4 month old Cooper.  My plan is to try to do it again when he's 8 months and 12 months and then go from there, but we will see.  Our days aren't all that exciting, so this post probably won't be either, but sometimes it's fun to see the everyday things.  So here we go!

A Day in the Life-- Monday, August 21

5:00 am
 I woke up around 5:20 and heard Cooper stirring.  I decided to go ahead and get up to feed him.  He is doing really well sleeping through the night, but he still usually needs one feeding in the middle of his 11-12 hour stretch of sleep.  Sometimes he wakes up around 2:00 or 3:00 and wants to eat, others it's closer to 5:30.  He has occasionally slept til 6:30 or 7:00 without waking up, but then he doesn't seem to eat enough during that day, so it's easier to make sure he gets a feeding in before that.  So I fed him and then put him back to bed.  He was back to sleep by a few minutes after 6:00.

6:00 am
I usually pump after Cooper's morning feeding to have a stash of milk.  Since he's been on the lower end for weight gain, we typically give him a bottle every evening before bed to give him a few extra ounces and this morning slot is the time of day I get the most milk for him, so I try to make it happen as often as I can.  A lot of times I go back to bed after I pump, but I'm trying to get into a routine of using that time better--at least some days.  So today I worked on the Bible Study that Erin and I just started while I ate breakfast.  Sunday night I cooked a batch of scrambled eggs and divided it into 4 containers with some precooked sausage so I could have some ready to go breakfasts which helps a lot.  Around 7:00, I went back and laid in bed and read a book.  I have lots of goals to workout, clean and do other things in this time before Cooper gets up, but for today I was almost done with my book, so I read until I finished it.

8:00 am
 Today Cooper slept until a few minutes before 8:00.  He is still not on a super consistent routine, but we have been working on his schedule over the past week or so.  Since then his wake up time varies from 6:45-8:15.  So today we enjoyed a little bit of sleeping in.  I always love getting to see him after this long stretch of sleep-- and he seems pretty happy to see me too.  We did a quick diaper change and then he nursed.  Usually he nurses for a long time (like an hour sometimes) for this first feeding of the day, but today we had to get Lily to the vet so it was shorter than normal

9:00 am
 I loaded up Cooper and Lily in the car and took her for her vet appointment.  She goes every 6 months for a check up, heartworm protection and vaccines.  They do drop off between 7 and 9, and we got there around 8:50 :)

Lily's vet is right next door to Target, so Coop and I went in for a few quick groceries.  I did my bigger grocery trip earlier this month so we just needed a few things to round out this week.  We were in and out in less than 20 minutes!

10:00 am 
 Nap time for my sweet boy.  We are working on some sleep training now that Cooper can't be swaddled and he is doing really well with it.  Our nap time routine (before all his naps) is: turn on his lamp, turn on his clock that turns blue and makes white noise, put on a sleep sack. Then I rock him and sing 2 songs: This Little Light of Mine and the Chorus of JJ Heller's I Dream of You.  We rock for a few minutes and then I lay him down.  He goes to sleep within about 5-10 minutes of being put down for naps.
 Cooper almost always naps for 30 minutes.  Almost on the dot.  Some naps it's 29, some it's 32.  But it's rarely longer than 35 minutes.  So since we'd been on the go this morning, I decided I'd take it easy for this nap time.  So I sat down with a snack and the baby monitor and checked email and Facebook.  I also did a few exercises-- I didn't work out as much as I need to, but I am trying to at least do a few core exercises every day.  My core is pretty weak from my c-section and I feel it in my lower back by the end of the day, so I'm trying to focus more on that.  But otherwise, I was pretty lazy for this hour.

11:00 am
 Cooper was still asleep an hour after he went down.  He had stirred a little, but kept going back to sleep.  I assumed that he would wake up at any moment so I didn't want to start doing something only to get interrupted.  So I turned on the NASA coverage of the solar eclipse and got sucked in to that.  Cooper ended up sleeping 2 hours and didn't wake up until 12:15.  So I ended up pretty much wasting my long stretch of free time.  But that truly is life with a baby--the unpredictability of our schedule is one of the themes of our lives these days!  And the complete eclipse only happens so often, so it was interesting to watch some of the coverage

12:00 pm
 After Cooper woke up, he spent the rest of this hour eating.  Sometimes we listen to music while he eats, but I typically listen to podcasts.  I have a whole list that I am working my way through and today we were listening to an episode of Extraordinary Moms Podcast.

1:00 pm
After Cooper ate, we finally changes him out of his pajamas and into some other clothes for the day!  Since we were in a hurry after he ate breakfast I didn't change him then.  Good thing his pajamas are cute and he can get away with wearing them out in public.  But he seems more comfortable in something a little cooler!
We headed out to the living room just in time to catch the dimmer sky from the partial eclipse here.  Cooper played while I ate lunch and then we played together and sang some songs.

2:00 pm 
 Cooper started getting fussy a little before 2:00 and it wasn't quite time for a nap {He usually falls asleep and sleeps best when he's been up for 2 hours between naps and he had only been up about 1 hour and 40 minutes at this point}.  So we went to his room and read a few books.  Once we were done, it was time for the naptime routine again.  Cooper went to sleep pretty quickly after I laid him down this time too!

My current free-time project is our 4 year photo book.  I've made one for each year since we've been married.  Usually I have it done right around the time of our anniversary, but this year I've got a few extra distractions.  So I sat down to work on our photo book and my blog while Coop napped.

3:00 pm
Cooper ended up taking another long (for him) nap and slept until about 3:45.  So I worked on our photo book until he woke up and then I got him up.  He ate and we did a diaper change and then we got in the car to go pick up Lily.  They had called during his 12:30 feeding to say that Lily would be ready after 2:00, but this was the earliest we could get to her and not mess with Cooper's naps.

4:00 pm 
It was so good to have our puppy back!  She got a clean bill of health and they cut her nails and gave her a heartworm medicine injection to last for the next 6 months.  We brought her home where she promptly fell asleep.

5:00 pm

I fed Cooper again since his last feeding was (again) cut short by having to go pick up Lily.  Most days we are home and there is no problem with him taking forever to eat, but today we happened to have a little bit more rigid schedule, so we cut short a few feedings and offered a few extras to make up for it.  He was acting pretty tired, so I put him down for a short nap around 5:30.  I grabbed a quick shower and when I got out, Cooper was still awake and playing in his crib.  So I went ahead and got him up around 6:00 so he didn't nap too late and mess up his bedtime.  He was happy and ready to keep playing!

6:00 pm
David got home right around 6:00 and we were all happy to see him!  He played with Cooper for a few minutes while I got dinner together.  I've been trying to do more meal prep on the weekends or one weekday to make evening easier.  So it only took about 10 minutes to reheat a few things and get dinner on the table!

6:30 pm
We were at the dinner table.  David and I had BBQ beef, macaroni and and cheese and some rolls.  Cooper sits in his high chair during dinner so we can have a family dinner time.  Right now he just babbles and smiles with us.  Probably soon I'll start giving him a spoon, bowl, and/or cup to play with while we eat.  We'll probably introduce some foods around the time he turns 6 months--when we went to his 4 month check up, the pediatrician recommended waiting and that works fine for us!

7:00 pm
We give Cooper a bottle (of pumped breastmilk) around 7:00 and that helps fill his tummy so he sleeps better and also helps us make sure he's getting enough ounces of milk.  After his bottle we play for a few more minutes and then we start bedtime routine around 7:30.  Bedtime routine is a little longer than naptime.  We change diaper and put on pajamas and a sleep sack.  Then one of us holds him and the other one reads a book (this night he was pretty tired since he skipped his last nap, so he was getting upset during the book and we cut it short), then we say prayers and I rock him and sing to him.  We put him down right around 7:45.  It usually takes less than 15 minutes and he is asleep for the night!  If he cries or is upset, we'll do a few check ins on him until he goes to sleep.

8:00 pm
 Cooper is asleep and we usually sit down to talk or watch TV.  This night we had just sat down to watch American Ninja Warrior (one of the shows David and I both enjoy) when they cut in with a speech from the President.  So we watched that and then finished the American Ninja Warrior Episode.
 We also indulged in some ice cream.  I picked up a pint of Bluebell's Cookie Two Step last week and we liked it so much that David said we needed a gallon, so I got that and we are thoroughly enjoying it!

9:00 pm
I usually am in bed pretty close to 9:00 or 9:30.  This night I stayed up a little later to finish American Ninja Warrior.  I got in bed around 9:45 and read for a little while-- I got an advanced copy of Melanie Shankle's new book so I've been reading through that and loving it {blog post coming soon with my review!}.  I only got a little reading done before I was too tired, and I was asleep before 10:00.

And that was my day!

August 1, 2017

Cooper's Cubbyhole: 4 Months

Weight: 13 pounds 8.5 ounces
Height: 25 inches
Diaper Size: 1
Clothing Size: 0-3 months
Daily Schedule: A little more consistent but still not set completely.  You get up between 7 and 8 and go to bed between 8 and 9.  You usually wake up once in the night/early morning.  During the day you eat every 2.5-3 hours and nap in between feedings
Things you Love: Your hands and feet.  Mommy and Daddy.  Your monkey on your play mat.  Rattles.  Burp Cloths.  Eating.  Songs
Things you Don’t Love:  Your car seat.  Taking a break during feedings to burp.  Playing by yourself or when mommy or daddy leave the room
Milestones: You’ve discovered your feet this month and you are always grabbing at them and holding them.  You are continuing to do better and better with head control and can sit with support.  You will roll from your back to your side and have even made it all the way to your stomach when you are trying to watch TV or find something really interesting.  When on your tummy, you tend to turn in a circle and are trying to scoot forward a little bit, but you still get frustrated with tummy time.
Memorable Mentions: You laugh and giggle when you are really tired, so when you get really giggly we say that you are getting delirious and we know it’s past time for bed.  I rock you to sleep for nap time and sometimes when I lay you in your crib you immediately wake up--when you do your reaction is to look right at me and smile really big even when you’re sleepy-- it melts my heart and makes having to rock you back to sleep {again} more bearable.

Little Buddy, this month has been a bit crazy, but you just roll with whatever we do and are content as long as you are with us.  You are becoming a cuddle bug and will snuggle with me when you wake up in the mornings and whenever I hold you.  You love when I sing to you and will get a big smile on your face and sometimes seem like you are trying to sing along--this is making our naptime routine one of my favorite parts of the day.  You are continuing to grow, even if it is at a slow rate.  We love seeing your fun personality develop!  Your smiles and giggles remind me of what’s most important right now--enjoying you and who you are regardless of outside expectations.  I am so glad to be your mom and can’t wait to spend more days with you!