Genius? Why, YES, he is!!!

In case you were wondering (and I'm SURE that you were), my kid is a genius! So this is a complete and total brag post. Mainly for the benefit of his momma's memory, I'm now going to list the the things he knows and fun things he's doing. Deal with it!

He knows tons of colors - yellow, red, green, blue, black, white, purple, pink, orange, brown......
We are working on shapes. He knows circle, diamond, star, octagon, triangle.
He can count to ten...more or less. When we start at one it always turns in to  "1, 2, 3, GO!" If we start at four he can get to ten.

We have started working with Cooper on potty training. We are just trying to help him learn to understand what is going on and at least be aware of what his body is trying to tell him. Baby steps for sure, but I feel like we are making progress. Today he was sitting on the potty after him nap and when he started going he told me "I did it!"  

His new favorite TV show is Jake and the Neveland Pirates. It's a pretty cute show so Mommy and Daddy don't mind. It's a nice break from Elmo. He still like Cars and Mickey Mouse quite a bit. It's nice to have more options in the rotation.

Cooper's latest obsession - Play-doh. The kid wants to play with it 24/7.  He loves to "make hands" which means we flatten out the play-doh and he makes his handprints. He loves for us to make shapes or animals. Tanner is a much sculptor than I am, but i can make a pretty mean snowman. The first time Tanner squeezed a big play-doh blob in his hand and it smooshed out each side of his hand and between his fingers Cooper looked at it and said, "Dinosaur!!!" It was hilarious and precious. We will make cinnamon rolls, donuts and hamburgers and he will pretend to eat them. From what I hear this is pretty early for him to be pretending and using his imagination. He's a pretty creative kid already and I love that about him.

I've been around kids my entire life, but I guess I never really paid that much attention to when they did what. Cooper is talking up a storm and for some reason I just wasn't prepared for it.  But I absolutely LOVE it! His new word this weekend is "boink." He will bop himself in the head with a toy or toss a ball and say "Boink!" Where did that come from?!?! He's also been saying, "Daddy, watch this" a lot. Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever heard? Other cute Cooper-isms include: 
  • This one
  • Cooper do it
  • There it is. Right there!
  • Daddy silly
  • e-po (his word for pillow?????)
  • BIG _______ (could be anything but the way he tucks his chin and says it in a deep voice - I die!)
  • Thank-um (I think he's trying to to kill the thank you and your welcome birds with one stone)
  • I pirate
This little person brings so much joy into our lives. Can't wait for whatever is next. 

Stationery card

Here's a copy of our 2012 Christmas Card. Feel free to drool over my adorable child.

Center Of Joy Christmas Card
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Halloween 2012

I think I accidentally deleted a post I had already done about Halloween. Or maybe I never actually wrote one.........  Who knows?!?! Either way - here are a few pics from Cooper's first real knock-on-the-door, say-trick-or-treat, eat-lots-of-candy Halloween experience.

Walking into school. I'm still learning how to use the new camera.
It was really bright outside and accidentally ending up giving this photo a really neat look.

Walking to his class at school.

Heading to our first house with Daddy.

He was a little shy about saying "trick or treat." It came out as a whisper.

Some of the neighbors dressed up to hand out candy. It took him a minute to warm up to her,
but then she gave him candy and had a new best friend.

Cooper really enjoyed the neighbors' lawn inflatable. 

Love his shadow with the dinosaur tail!

Cooper-saraus had a great time trick or treating. He even got a visit from small group friends and his Hawkins cousins before we called it a night. For our first time out, we'll call it a win!

First Family Vacation

This weekend the Corbin family headed down I-35 to the Big D. Well, not technically Dallas, but Grapevine. Tanner had some training scheduled for Saturday morning so we both took off on Friday to try to beat the OU-Texas traffic. And we did for the most part aside from a wreck just north of Grapevine. This was Cooper's longest roadtrip to date and he did GREAT!

We stayed at the Hilton next door to the Grapevine Mall. This way we could just walk back and forth from the hotel to the mall. It was a really nice hotel - highly recommend it. All three of us sleeping in the same room was a little interesting. They had a pack-and-play in the room for us. Cooper stayed up a little late and Tanner and I went to bed a little early. Worked out okay, but I must say, I was pretty nervous about it.

Doing a little research on the sights of Grapevine with Daddy.
Jumping on the bed!
The main attraction for us was the aquarium inside the mall. Cooper had never seen live fish that I know of, but he's been watching Finding Nemo a lot lately. He absolutely loved it!!! Everytime he saw a clown fish his eyes would light up - "NEMO!!!"  They had music playing all throughout the rooms and he would stop to dance now and then. At one point we even caught him raising up his shirt so he could put his bare belly on the glass. Not sure what that was about, but it was hilarious!

This is where he bellied up to the tank!

Daddy helping Coop gently pet the starfish.

They survived!

He was worn out from all the excitement.

All in all - great trip! Especially considering that he was teething and on antibiotics for upper respiratory/ear infection. At first, he was put on Zithromax. He broke out in adorable little hives after the first dose. We promptly changed antibiotics and can officially add that allergy to his profile at the pharmacy.

Check out the awesome hives on my face!

 Next up - Halloween! See you in a couple weeks!

These are a few of Coop's favorite things

Moke. Juice. Candy. Chocolate. Mater. Lightning. Nemo. Tebow. Mommy, Daddy, Cooper. 1, 2, 1, 2. Bitsy, bitsy spider. Play date. Play dough. No, No, NO. Real gone = Big car. Teeth. Lello. Ok. Come on. Dirt. Rock. 

By the way - he tripped over a slide at school and bonked his head on the corner of a wall. Good bruise, substantial goose egg, little cut = no biggie.

Come Thou Fount

I don't think I've ever mentioned on the ol' blog that I'm now singing with the worship team at our church. I love being a part of the team, but I must say it's pretty unnerving at times. This week we are doing songs I love. However, just because I LOVE the songs doesn't mean I sing them well or that it's easy to find the right harmony to sing. So I've been listening to the songs over and over to hopefully be more comfortable with them by Sunday morning.

Although our church is fairly contemporary, we do still enjoy traditional hymns. This Sunday, we'll be singing Come Thou Fount.  There are so many great lines from this song that always hit the dead center of my heart.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

In the past it always been the "prone to wander" line that has tugged at my heart. But tonight after getting Cooper bathed and dressed we were listening to this song. I was holding him and we were swaying while he snuggled. And the last line took my breath away!  I sang it to God on behalf of my child. I was standing there, holding my heart, begging God to seal him. Praying that God would protect his fragile heart and his innocent mind. Asking God to use Cooper in whatever way he sees fit. I want more than anything to raise a man after God's heart. I want Cooper to be a man who will risk being called a fool to hear his heavenly Father say, "Well done."

I guess in order to raise a man like that, I have to be a mom like that. I know I will still wander. I will still feel the pull of this world. God please let me be close enough to you to feel your gentle guidance.  Help me to be a woman willing to be called a fool.


A Not So Fun First

Cooper had a first visit to the ER this week. I was really hoping we would make it a while longer, but there we were.

It was Friday morning, about 2am.  Cooper had been vomiting about every 30 minutes since 8:30 Thursday night. We tried giving Emetrol - didn't really help. We tried giving Pedialyte. He drank it way easier than what I was expecting, but he couldn't keep it down. It was absolutely awful!

The first bout started right after his bath. We had been outside playing most of the evening. He had eaten a normal dinner and drank his whole glass of milk. We came inside for a bath and Tanner went for a run. During his bath, he played a little and then would get very quiet and stay off into space. I just assumed he was really tired. After he was out of the tub, teeth brushed, pajamas on, he started whining. I just told him to use his words and tell me what he needed. Problem was, he didn't know what he needed. He's only ever actually vomited one other time. I picked him up off the changing table, grabs his mini (blue blanket that might as well be permanently attached to his body) and we were headed out to watch some Mater before bedtime. I didn't even make it out of his room before he had thrown up all over me, himself and his precious mini. 

I had no idea what to do! I headed back to the bathroom, threw mini in the sink and put Cooper back in the bathtub. I got his pjs off, but was covered in so much vomit I couldn't really get him cleaned up. So I snatched him out the tub and headed for the master bathroom. The tub in there is ginormous and has a little shower attachment that I could use to hose us both down. I gave us both a good scrub and hoped we were done.

I put new pjs on the kiddo and just wrapped up in my robe. We were snuggling in the chair watching Mater when Tanner got back from running. He immediately showered and sprang into action. Mini and puke-covered clothes in the washer; puke bucket, wet rag and water sippy on the end table next to the chair just in case this wasn't over.

Cooper kept asking for milk. I foolishly gave him some which almost immediately came back up. I stripped off his second pair of pjs since I wasn't quite fast enough with the bucket. After that, no more milk. Lesson learned. We wrapped him in a blanket and waited. We were all hoping that this was over. Unfortunately it wasn't. After a few more vomiting episodes, I called my mom. (I know, I know. I'm a pharmacist. I should know what to do in situation like this. The line between parent and professional get complete blurred when it's your own child who is sick). Mom recommended trying to get some Pedialyte in him so he didn't get dehydrate so off to Walgreen's I went. We told Cooper that the Pedialyte was juice. He doesn't ever get juice at home so I'm sure he thought that was weird. He would drink a popsicle worth of Pedialyte, throw up and ask for more. It was a terribly vicious cycle.

Around midnight I sent Tanner to bed knowing I would be staying home with Cooper and he would be going to work. So Tanner headed to bed and Cooper and I tried to get a little sleep. He would sleep for about 10 minutes, wake up, ask for juice and vomit. We would clean up, snuggle and repeat. He was tired that he was even vomiting in his sleep. Not waking up and then vomitin; actually vomiting while still asleep. This was very messy and concerning. I was afraid he would aspirate and then we would have lots of other issues on our hands.

So I paged his pediatrician about 1:30am and she suggested a trip to the ER. So I woke Tanner and we started getting ready to go. Poor Cooper was still in just a diaper because everytime I put pjs on him he puked all over them. By the time we wrapped him in his freshly laundered mini and threw him in the car, he had been asleep for almost 45 minutes without getting sick. I thought to myself, "maybe we should wait and see if he throws up again and then take him." I should've listened to that little voice. They got us checked in and took us to a triage room. Took his weight and vitals. Doc came in a asked us the same questions the nursed had already asked and then gave him a quick once over. Gave him a Zofran for the nausea and then we waited. He actually started to perk up a little after about an hour. Then he just kept trying to yank the little monitor off his toe.

About 30 minutes after the Zofran, they brought Cooper some apple juice. They said he could have half of it, no more. This just made him mad. He was sssoooo thirsty. After he kept down the first half of the juice for a little while, he got to finish the juice. After a little while longer, they sent us home. We were all home and in bed by 4am. Thankfully, no terribly long wait like you sometimes hear about in the ER. On the other hand, we felt a little bit like we were being blown off. Like we should've known better than to bring him in..........whatever.

I stayed home with Coop on Friday. He seemed to be doing pretty well, although all he would eat our drink was pedialyte. By the time Tanner got home that evening, he was ready to play. All seemed well. Tanner and I were planning to run in a 5k with some friends of mine from work. We left the house, forgot Cooper's jacket so we turned right around. As we were leaving our neighborhood for the second time, Cooper threw up all over himself and his carseat.  Seriously!!!

We turned around and came straight home. Tanner got Coop out of the truck and got him cleaned up. Then they went to the playroom to read books while I did my best to clean the carseat. Can I just say EEEEEEEWWWWW!!!  When I came back in the house to check on my boys, I noticed wetness on the side of Cooper's face and on his shoulder. After closer inspection, I could see that his left ear was draining.  It's amazing how the ER doctor said his ears looked fine and yet barely 24 hours later it was obvious he had an ear infection. Poor kid! Once again, I paged his doctor. She was quick to call in an antibiotic. We started it Saturday evening so as not to give it on an empty stomach. We all went to bed Saturday hoping that the worst was over.

I woke up about 3:30am on Sunday to let the dog out. I knew almost right away that my stomach was not right. I went to get a plastic bag to keep beside the bed just in case. At this point, I apparently passed out. I remeber getting the bag and the next think I remember is opening my eyes and seeing the light fixture in the hall. It took me a few seconds to figure out where I was. But as soon as I did, I remember why I went to get the bag. The next few hours for me were full of all things gross. Thankfully, Tanner was there to get me whatever I needed. He is just so sweet!

Woke up this morning feeling completely exhausted. However, Cooper seemed to be feeling okay. Then I looked at his ear. It was now draining bloody goo. No bueno! We tried to clean and he just kept saying "Owee." Calling the doctor (again) in the morning. Not sure where to go from here. So first time to page doctor - check. First trip to ER - check. Second time to page doctor - check. First time for doctor to want to strangle me - pretty sure that's a CHECK!

Stay tuned for more disgusting stories about my kids!
Today is a tough day for me. It's been 10 years since I lost someone very close. It was one of the guy friends I had grown up with. We lived only a few blocks from each other and went to church together. I spent nearly every New Year's Eve of my childhood at his house. I broke into his backyard to swim in his parents' pool. I still have a shirt with a chocolate ice cream stain that I got while watching Days of Thunder at his house.

He was driving to Weatherford on his way to move into his first apartment when he had a car accident. His car was completely destroyed. The only way they even knew who it was was that one of the first responders found his license plate. It was a firefighter license plate. His dad was a first responder.

Needless to say, Orbie's death hit the town of Hydro really hard. Tanner and I had been married less than a month. My mom called and told me what had happened. Before I had even really had a chance to process any of it, the funeral home called and I asked if I could sing at the service. I said yes only because I didn't what else to say. I struggled over the next few days trying to come up with a song. It had to be something I could get through. It seemed like an absolutely impossible task. I finally decided on I Can Only Imagine. 

This song felt hopeful in such an awful time in my life. Orbie was a Christian and believed that Jesus had died on a cross to save him. Although he was ornery kid at times, in his heart he knew what was right. I knew I would see him again someday but, at the time, I just felt empty.  The day of the funeral came.  I remember sitting our tiny apartment and telling Tanner that I didn't think I could do this. Thankfully, I made it through the song. But it took every ounce of strength I had.  To this very day (I heard this song on the radio on the way home from church) I have days when this song is hard to hear.

I think about Orbie often. Sometimes I still struggle with grief. Like when they repaved the section of interstate where his wreck happened. It had been a few years since his accident. The old pavement was still scarred from the crash. The day I drove over that spot and it had been paved over........I almost had to pull over. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I almost panicked.  I got to my parents' house and fell apart. It felt like they had ripped away a memory without asking my permission. What were they thinking?!?

Orbie loved racing. He was actually a really great race car driver. I think about him a lot lately because of Cooper's all out infatuation with the movie Cars.  But this brings back good memories. These memories make me smile.  I try to hold on tight to the good memories hoping they will chip away at the hurt.

Thank you God for your timing. Even when it means living for years on this earth without someone we love. Please give us the courage to tell the ones we love about what you have done for us so that we can have hope that death is not the end.

Room 106

If you had asked me this time yesterday which room we were in at the hospital when Cooper was born, I probably would have said, "Uuuggghh........I have no idea."

Today, I can tell you. Room 106. I know this because it took my breath away as I walked into that same room yesterday. We have a new niece in the family. She was born in room 106. As we headed to the hospital last night to meet Baby Girl, it crossed my mind that it could be the same room. I thought surely it wouldn't be. And even if it big deal. I can handle this.

After all, I had been to the hospital where Coop was in the NICU. I had survived that. I was also holding Cooper's hand as we walked into the room.  I look at him and he is healthy and smart and funny! He is amazing! But for some reason I can't let go of how his little life started. I tried really hard to hold back my emotions, but I had little minute where I let some of my crazy out. Just to Tanner's mom - she could see that I was having a hard time. She just gave me a hug and said, "But just look at him!" And after that, I was emotional for all sorts of other reasons.  One being that I am incredibly blessed with amazing in-laws!

It's so amazing to see a family complete. This will be the final addition to this particular little family. Two precious, perfect girls. Mom and Dad are overjoyed and have a sense and wholeness about their family now. It was sweet to see Big Sis holding Baby Girl. She loves that little one so much already. She also wanted to scare her. Big Sis was saying "BOO!" to everyone in the room. We had to remind her that Baby Girl is still very new and might not like being scared quite yet. Big Sis just didn't want Baby Girl to miss any of the fun.

There is nothing in this world like holding a newborn. The weightlessness of this little bundle that bears so much importance. She is the last piece of the puzzle. She is miraculous. She is absolutely perfect. She is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Maybe I'm not meant to let go of the agony I feel over the way my first child entered the world. Maybe I'm destined to hold on to these feelings forever. Maybe it's meant to serve as a near constant reminder that God is good. He used those days to humble us and to nurture us. I have never been more desperate for God than I was in that week. I pray that I can live in daily desperation.

Psalm 119:50  My comfort in my suffering is this. Your promise preserves my life.

I remember sitting in the cafeteria at the hospital waiting not-so-patiently to take my son home. I read this verse and immediately thanked God and started praying it over Cooper. It was comfort in my suffering. God's promise was preserving my child's life. Not the doctors or the oxygen or all those rotten tubes. God' promise!  Thank you GOD for your unfailing promises!

Room 106 - forever filled with joy.......and a little bit of sorrow.

Double Digits, Baby!!!

Tanner and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary yesterday. I say we was our anniversary. We ended up celebrating by spending the evening with my nephew who broke his arm.  He loves Cooper and seeing him helped raise his cousin's spirits.

After ten years, many things have become very normal. We have our routines, our grumpy days, our silliness. But we are still learning so much about each other everyday. People often say they are getting divorced because their spouse has changed. Well, DUH! We all change. If Tanner was the same person at 30 that he was at 20 I would probably want to thump him in the forehead about 50 times a day. He was an awesome GUY at 20. He is an incredible MAN at 30.  I always heard married people say, "I love you more today than the day I married you."  The day we got married, I would have told you those people were crazy. Today, I totally get it.

So here's to the Tan-Man!

Hey Handsome,

I could never find enough words to tell you how much I love you. You are more than I deserve; more than I ever could have asked for. I am so blessed that God brought us (and keeps us) together.  Everyday, for the last thirty-six-hundred-some-odd days, you have loved me. You have put my needs before your own. You have supported me; tolerated me; cared for me. You have made a little crazy at times. But you have also made me laugh so hard, I'm pretty sure it killed some brain cells.

I will never be able to thank you for how you lead our little family. I feel safe in your guidance, because I know that more than anything else, you want what is best for us. Even if what is best for means momentary struggle or days of tears. I know that you can see that God holds us gently in his mighty hands. Thank you for reminding me that I am not in control and that it's okay.

Thank you for always being on my team. I know this doesn't mean we agree on everything. But I know it means you will always support me.  Thank you for your patience with my indecision. Thank you understanding how much I love being thrifty. (Sidebar - this man was willing to dumpster dive for my 30% off Kohl's coupon. Told you was a keeper. And, yes, there was lots of hand washing that followed.)  Thank you for encouraging me to invest in myself. Thank you for understanding why that is so hard for me, even when I don't fully understand.

The past ten years have been more fun than I think marriage is supposed to be. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a husband like I have. I have a man worthy of my submission. I have a husband deserving of my love. My child has a father that loves Jesus. Really, what more could I ask for?

I love you,


Stay-cation 2012

Has it really been almost 2 months since I blogged?!? Apparently so. Shame on me.

Tanner and I were both able to manage to get this week off of work together that didn't include labor, NICU or a newborn. This is the first time that has happened since we went to 2009! We seriously needed the break. We debated about going lots of different places: Dallas, Tahoe, Red River. The conversation always boiled down to taking or not taking the kiddo. Since we decided we would miss him terribly, we figured he would come with us. Since traveling with toddler can resemble a teeny-bopper horror movie, we decided to just stay home.

It's been AMAZING! We spent a few days working around the house. We watched lots of Elmo, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which Cooper calls "Meeska") and movies.  It's been too hot to do much of anything else. If I was anything the like the mother I "pin" to be, we would be doing all sorts of fun, crafty projects. Instead, we are being lazy bums and IT. IS. AWESOME. We have really enjoyed getting to spend more time together. And we've learned a lot about Little Man.

  • He loves the water! We got to swim at Mimi and Papa Corbin's house. At first he was a little clingy, but after a while he started getting brave. After several rounds of bubble blowing and putting his face in the water, I decided it was time to dunk him. He did great! He popped up out of the water, took a few big blinks, and was ready for more. He also loved taking rides on this little motorized propellor contraption. It has buttons you hold down and it will pull you through the water. Papa held the buttons and Coop held on for dear life. So fun!
  • His new favorite food is pizza. Anytime we talk about eating a meal, he asks for pizza. We have really got to work on his diet. However, in our defense, he has also taken a liking to green beans and fresh peaches.
  • He can do some pretty serious "business" in his little frog potty.  We aren't really pushing the whole potty training idea. I've just been taking him after naps and anytime he makes his poop-face. You know the one.......  He's pretty content to sit on the potty as long as we have a book to read. 
  • He can now climb onto the window seat in the playroom all by himself. Just waiting for the day he jumps off.
  • Cooper has mastered drinking from a straw. Doesn't sound like much, but we're pretty jazzed about it. This also means he can more easily mooch my lemonade at Chick-fil-A. Maybe we'll have to start getting him his own.
  • He has his top molars. I have no clue when these made an appearance. I was hanging him upside down and tickling the daylights out him when I saw something in his mouth. I thought, "Oh no! What did he eat?!?" I took a good look and realized it was nothing he put in his mouth. It was 2 GIANT TEETH! Can somebody please make him stop growing up? Thank you.
A pretty uneventful first family vacation. Someday we will go somewhere cool......or maybe just spend another week at our favorite place in the world - HOME!


I've been struggling to find time to blog lately. Not because I don't have the time. But because any time the computer is on, Little Man feels he MUST watch Elmo - devilish little monster. If When we tell him no, he has a total meltdown. His temper is very well-developed and now he has the attitude and mean voice to go with. Sooo......he's also becoming very familiar with his timeout spot. While this is often extremely frustrating, we try to be firm and consistent. But sometimes I want to have a meltdown!

  • He is also doing lots of cute grown-up-toddler things, too. Cooper LOVES giving knuckles (fist bump). If he gives Mommy knucks, he has to go find Daddy and give him knucks. At least he tries to be fair. He also loves to "blow it up".
  • He's learning to eat with utensils. Doing pretty well in my opinion. However, this make dinner  last forever and it is MESSY! But, he's gotta learn sometime.
  • His vocabulary is exploding! He will repeat about anything you say. Since his cousin's birthday party is today, we've been working on "Happy birthday, Peyton".  He's great at happy. Birthday is a random collection of syllables (think Phoebe trying to teach Joey to speak french on Friends). He always shake his head and makes a funny face when he says Peyton. It's precious.
  • He's showing a few signs of potty-training readiness. Not sure when we'll start that process.
  • If he was any taller, he would be climbing everywhere. He pretty close to being able to get on the couch by himself. He's also dangerously close to being able to climb into the bathtub.
  • The previous item wouldn't make me so nervous if he hadn't also learned to open doors. We have lever handles and he's finally tall enough to grab them. From there, he simply has to pull down and he's in. Daddy can pretty much say goodbye to using the powder room if he wants any privacy. I use the master - 3 doors to conquer before I have a visitor. Go ahead, tell me I'm a genius!
Here's a little cuteness, and then I better go!

Epicly Gross

You know how you have those moments when you think, "Being a mom is just gross!" Last week, I had an entire evening FULL of those moments.

It all started with the dishes. We had gotten lazy about loading the dishwasher so there was a sinkful. after dinner I decided to conquer them and started rinsing and scrubbing. And then......I saw it......the sippy cup. It was about half full of milk. You know when you see the cup laying on it's side, but the milk still appears as if the cup is upright it's not a good sign. I got the sink emptied of other dishes. Then I took a deep breath, stuck my nose in my armpit just in case I HAD to breathe, and twisted off the lid. I turned it over as quickly as possible and starting shaking the cup until.......PLOP! A huge chunk of what I'm sure would be a delicacy in France came sliding out. It was a block of cheese the size of my fist! I flung it down the drain and flipped on the garbage disposal! YUCK!

If this experience taught me nothing else - dump the milk! Hard concept since I spent so long trying to collect and save every last drop of breastmilk. Lesson learned!

Next we moved on to bathtime. Tan-man volunteered on this particular evening. While he had Little Man in the tub I decided to change the diaper genie bag. Note to self - this chore will require a gas mask for the future. I'm usually pretty good about making sure the stinky air doesn't poof up in my face when I'm tying a knot in the bag full of excrement. This day, I forgot and had to try my darndest to not vomit in my son's bedroom floor. GAG!

Where was I.........oh right! Bathtime - the thought of the genie fumes made me a little woozy. So hubs has the kiddo in the tub. He put a little baby shampoo in as the water was running so Coop got to have a bubble bath. He really like bubbles. I really like giving him a beard and a mohawk so he looks like James Harden. I digress.

So they're having all sorts of fun in the bathtub, I'm picking up the house a little, and I hear it. "Oh no!" coming from the bathroom. I rush in to make sure everything is okay. I'm shocked to See Tanner holding Cooper over the sink with little dingleberry and then I look at the tub. Veiled under a layer of bubbles is a GINORMOUS POO! It was one an adult man would be proud of! I don't know how it all fit inside my tiny little boy!

I immediately grab a wipey to grab the dingleberry (if you're not familiar with the term, it's a piece of poo that got left behind after a trip to the potty. Most often used in reference to our cat.). I then a  beeline for my cleaning cabinet to get rubber gloves. In hindsight I totally should have grabbed the kid. Gloves and bleach in hand, I proceed to fish the "treasures" out of the bathtub and plop them into the toilet. I then drain the tub and start with bleach - it's just my luck that every. bath. toy. we. own. was in use at the time. As I'm scrubbing, I discover EXACTLY where Coop was sitting when the crime occurred. Want to know how I knew? Skid mark!  GEE-ROSS!!!!!

Tanner got the Coop-man cleaned up and dressed. I bleached into near asphyxiation. I'm now paranoid of bubble baths. Told you being a mom is gross.

This update is brought to you by......

Can't believe it's been a month since I blogged. I've been mentally making a list of things to post, they just never seem to get typed up. Since this time last month.............

The OKC Thunder won the Western Conference Finals!!! They are now tied 1-1 in NBA Finals with the Miami Heat (bbbbooooooo!!!!!). This has lead to lots of fun new words for Cooper. He getting better at saying "basketball" - 3 syllables is a lot for a 16 month old. He says "yunder" - this means Thunder. He also looks out the window at the sky when he says it. Not 100% sure he know it's a basketball team and not just a loud noise when it rains. My favorite is "Ibaka" - this is one of our favorite Thunder bigs (Serge Ibaka). He's a shot blocking machine!  Hopefully by the end of the series, he'll have learned to say "Champions!"

Coop now knows what a cows and dogs say.  At Chick-fil-a he pointed at pictures of cows hanging on the wall and kept saying "Mooooo".  He was saying this very loudly and people kept looking at us. Note to self - work on inside voice.

Good thing the boy is still a little shorty, because he wants to climb. He tries to hike his little foot up on everything. At this point, all the fun climbing stuff is still juuuuust out of reach. Give it a few weeks and I'm afraid we'll be in trouble.

Cooper has mastered please and thank you - saying and signing. I was totally right about babies with manners - so adorable. He has pretty much stopped nursing, but when he's really tired and can't wind down on his own, he'll say "pease" and pat my chest. What's a girl to do?!?

Still loves Elmo! This is his current favorite. He sings "oooo ooo ooo" and turns his head back and forth - watch 2 seconds of the video and you'll see why this is so cute.

Hopefully I can get a few more posts typed up soon and share some pics of little man!

A New Decade

My dear, sweet, amazing husband turned 30 this year. He said over and over that he didn't want to make a big deal about it. Not because he was bummed about being 30, but because when I turn 30 next year he feels he must match or exceed the level of effort. He said that my gift to him should be not throwing a big party so that he wouldn't have to next year......... Nice try!

I tried to keep it minimal. We had just immediately family over for burgers and beans - our favorite summer meal. Thank goodness my mother-in-law taught her son to cook. She makes the best baked beans and she taught Tan-man her method. We let the kids run around and play in the water. We sang happy birthday and had brownie and  ice cream cupcakes. If I had done any less it wouldn't have been a party.

These were the SUPER YUMMY brownie and ice cream cupcakes! Check out the inspiration recipes here.

We had fun celebrating, but my favorite part of Tanner's birthday celebration was what we did in the days leading up to it. His birthday is on June 6th (which made for a fun deviled-themed party on 6-6-06 by the way) so I did something fun for him everyday from the 1st to the 6th. It was all small things - a treat with a fun note, doing a chore/errand for him before he asked, filling his truck with balloons. It took me only a few minute each day, but I think he really enjoyed it - all except the balloon-filled truck. He carried all the balloons in and threw them at me! Anyway, I really tried to make it fun and special for this 30th, but I think that might have to be a new tradition for us.

Happy Birthday Tanner - I love you!

And Now It's Time For.......

.........Fun Phrases with Cooper!

Cooper's vocabulary is growing everyday. It's incredible (and scary) how he can already repeat so many of the things we say. I may need to take a second look at my vocabulary. In general, it's pretty tame. Although there is the rare, occasional, all too frequent utterance of "fart" or "crap". Yup, gonna have to work on that! Here's a few of his new developments.

1.  I've mentioned before that Cooper knows what a monster says. Now he knows what a train says - Coo Coo. The "ch" sound is one he hasn't quite mastered yet. He has no idea what a dog, cat or cow says.....but monster and train......that he knows!

2.  His new favorite word is Elmo. He has one Elmo DVD and has watched a few YouTube videos.  He loves  this YouTube video. After watching this, he started saying "abc." So CUTE!

3.  Cooper loves to sing. Anytime we listen to music or sing a simple song, he loves to repeat the sounds. If there is an "Oh, oh, oh" or "Ooooooo" he loves to sing it back to you.

4. This one might be more sad than cute. When I walked in this evening with Little Caesar's for dinner, he pointed at the box and said, "Pizza!" Mom fail.

5. He is working hard at mastering please and thank you. Babies with manners are even cuter than regular babies.

6. Daddy worked very hard to get him to say, "Love you" for Mother's Day. Didn't quite get there, but it was cute watch Daddy try.

7. After watching a few minutes of a DVR'd episode of Sesame Street about bubbles, he pointed to the TV and said bubbles, plain as day!

8. Cooper is observant like his daddy. When we are outside (which we are a lot - the boy LOVES to be outside) he points out and names the birds.

9. Go, up, down......the boy is always on the move!

10. Night, night. Love that one, especially when it comes with a slobbery kiss!

Pulmicort, Augmentin, and Dimetapp, OH MY!!!

Cooper went to the doctor today. After several days of green snot and a worsening cough, he woke up this morning with his left eye draining green goo of its own. He has an ear infection, allergies are awful and he was wheezing even after an albuterol breathing treatment. So we started on Augmentin, Dimetapp and Pulmicort.  The Pulmicort has turned my sweet little boy into a crazy wild animal. So I am blogging tonight to remind myself of reasons why I shouldn't just turn him loose in the backyard.

1. He is walking everywhere at ever-increasing rates of speed. CUTE!

2. He is saying so many new words! Truck, raisin, eat - he is already starting to repeat us. YIKES! He sometimes repeats us in a whisper like Brick on The Middle. Teeheehee!

3. When you ask, "Cooper, where's your nose?" he points to his nose (or sticks his finger IN his nose) and says "Nose."

4. He sticks his tongue out when he's concentrating. Just like his daddy.

5. He has learned to wink. Ok, not really, but when you wink at him he closes both eyes REALLY tightly! It's awesome! Hopefully I'll get a picture of that to share soon.

6. He's utterly adorable, just like his daddy. Daddy is patiently trying to convince Cooper that sleep is not in fact pure evil. Bless that man!

7. His chubby cheeks - they are the best! I love the way the squish when I kiss 'em!

8. We have been praticing the names of kids in his class at school. Of course the girls' names he got immediately. We're still working on the boys.

9. Cooper loves his dump trucks. He has several, most of which I have no idea where they came from. We find them all over the house, usually with something in the back ready for dumping.

10. I just love him. Even when he is crazy and wild and that temper is grating on my very. last. nerve. I love him. He is the most amazing thing, ever.

14 Months!!!

Cooper is 14 months old today! Can't believe how fast he's growing. Apparently making lists is the hottest thing in blogging. Click here or here for evidence.  I'm not lazy, just.....trendy. So here goes!

1. Cooper is walking! Still prefers to crawl because it is much faster, but he can do it. Yeah!!!

2. He is a genius. Tonight we had to run a few errands. We got home from Target and sat down in the living room. Cooper looked at his daddy and signed "bath". He knew it was time even with all the craziness of the evening. Genius!

3. He also loves lining up his bath buddies.......and then pushing them over the edge.

4. He is so funny. Last night he wore new monster PJs (he recognized immediately that they were different and had to look them over carefully). He starting pointing at the monsters on his pants and saying, "Rawr." How funny is he? So he doesn't know what a dog says, but monsters he good with. Haha!

5.Cooper now has 6 teeth. He has been a pretty easy teether - fingers crossed, knock on wood, pray to Jesus that continues. He is still getting used to all the chompers in his mouth which causes him to make super cute faces!

6. He has learned how to say "light" and enjoys pointing them out everywhere we go.

7. He LOVES playing outside. He cried and cried yesterday while we were trying to get him to eat dinner because he wanted to go "ah id."

8. Tanner has a basketball that he keeps on a shelf in the garage when not in use. Every morning when we are getting loaded up to go to school. He MUST see the ball. He will lean as far as small-humanly possible to see around me so he can get a glimpse of the ball.

9. Cooper is developing quite a temper. I would love to blame this on his daddy, but if you know us at all, you know Tanner is one of the most even-tempered people on Earth.

10. The boy loves bananas. Seriously - he would eat six a day.

11. He got stacking cups for Christmas and has played with them almost everyday since. We know it's time for bed when he starts getting angry and throwing the cups over his head because the orange one just...will...not fit inside the purple one. Told you he has a temper.

12.  He loves his blue blankets and his puppy. They are soft, silky lovies. His eyes light up and his thumb instantly goes in his mouth when he sees one of them.
13.  He thinks his Cooper Bear is pretty fun.  It's the bear that goes with the book about a cute little bear who goes on all sorts of adventures. When you say certain lines of the story, Cooper Bear pipes in with little something. My favorite is when you say, "Coooper, I love you," Cooper Bear says, "I love you, too."
14. Cooper loves his mommy! And I love him more than I ever knew I could love anyone.

Easter Egg Hunt!

Cooper went to his very first Easter Egg Hunt today. We had lots of fun finding eggs and meeting the Easter Bunny and his friends.   We finally got pictures of him standing up by himself (woohoo)!  He loved putting his Easter eggs in his bag, but I think he liked taking them back out and throwing them on the ground even more!

Playing in the Dirt

Not much to report today. Cooper helped his daddy out in the yard today. 
He had lots of fun; he's such a BOY!  He only ate a little dirt. 

Breakfast and Weeds

Since the move to the Big Kid class at school, I've been feeding Cooper breakfast at home in the morning. While he chows down on oatmeal, yogurt, Cheerios, steak......ok maybe not steak, but about anything else within arms reach......we look out the window of the dining room.  From there, we can see into the backyard. Usually the dog is outside running around so we get to practice saying "dog".  He loves watching the trees blow in the wind and looking at the sky/clouds/rain. This past weekend, Tanner mowed our backyard in anticipation of having our yard sprayed for weeds. Since it has done pretty much nothing but rain since then, the weeds are going crazy again.

This morning, I couldn't help but notice that the weeds are growing like, well, weeds. But the grass is taking it's sweet time greening up and growing. It got me thinking about the my own personal growth. It's amazing how the bad habits in my life spring up and grow, with no attention or care whatsoever.  They can easily weave their way into every area of life choking out all the little sprouts around it. The good habits (few though they may be) have taken time, and tending. I have had to prune things from my list that were less important. While this may seem painful in the moment, I can see how cutting the unnecessary has left opportunity for the essential. 

What in your life needs to be pruned away in order to let light reach the shadowed soil below?  What amazing things does God want to grow in your life? What is being choked out by the weeds?

Hope you are enjoying all that spring has to offer!

Ready for a new list?

I warned you last time that this blog has just turned into a list of things Cooper is doing. Unfortunately, this post is no different.

1. Cooper moved from the nursery to the toddler class at school this week. Mommy was having a rough time with it at first. We didn't get off to great start. We get to daycare a few minutes before 9am. Well after breakfast is over. When he was in the nursery, they didn't really follow the meal schedule. They just fed babies when they were hungry. So we missed breakfast Monday since I wasn't aware that he would be changing classes. It also didn't help me take it any better to see how GINORMOUS the other kids in his class are. Cooper is slowly catching up in height, but is still pretty scrawny. The big kids seem to like him. On Monday when I dropped Cooper off, a little boy rushed up to us and said, "Hi Hopper!" It was super cute and pretty darn funny. Today one of the big kids made sure that he had a book during story time.  I think he'll do just fine with his big kid friends.

2. Little man finally got another tooth! Top left finally popped through.

3. Cooper had a slumber party at Nana and Papa's house. Tan-man and I desperately needed a date night so we took Cooper out to spend the weekend with my mom and dad. He had lots of fun playing with some of his cousins and hanging out with his grands. Tanner and I went out to eat and had planned on going to a movie. The movie plans were thwarted when we realized that someone <coughtracycough> had looked at the wrong theater online for movie times. So instead we rented a movie and hung out in the bonus room. Pretty great substitute for a movie theater and I get to control the thermostat.  All in all, we enjoyed our date, but missed our kiddo terribly!

4.  And just in case you were wondering, no, he's still not walking. But since he realized today that falling down can be really fun, he has started standing alone for a second or two and then flopping to floor and laughing hysterically. Yup, pretty sure this is not helping the learning to walk situation.

Hope you enjoyed the list. If not, give it a few weeks. I'm sure another one is coming soon!

Remember when......

Remember when this blog was a beautifully written piece of prose? Ya - me neither. But at one time it was at least a little more fun to read. Lately, it has basically become a list of things Cooper is doing at the moment. And this post is unfortunately no different. There is no inspirational message our deep philosophy. Just a busy mom, trying her darnedest to remember these precious little moments that are gone before you even realize they are happening. In an effort to keep track, here is the current list:

1. Cooper is learning some signs. He can now sign more, milk, all done and eat. His teachers also say that he signs please and thank you at daycare, but mommy and daddy have yet to see those.

2. His verbal skills are coming right along. Dada is still his favorite word, although dog and ball are close behind (he's such a boy!). He CAN say Momma although he tends to just whine instead of saying it. We are working on that. Today when leaving school he told his teacher "Bye."  Tanner quickly called me at work to pridefully report his new word.

3. Little man still has not decided to walk on his own. He loves to walk circles around the living room behind his Thomas the Train push toy. He can stand on his own, but rarely does. One of the ladies at daycare said he could walk where ever he wanted if he would just "grow a pair." Haha! He might be lacking in bravery, but he makes up for with crawling speed!

4. Cooper is developing quite the attitude. This means mommy and daddy are scrounging to learn what to do. Any tips?

5. He is working very hard on getting a few more teeth. He still only has the bottom two. I feel like once he gets more teeth he won't look like a baby anymore. Not sure I'm ready for that.

6. My sweet angel has slept through the night every night except one since his first birthday. This is a big deal! Before now, he hasn't slept through the night more than 3 days in a row - EVER! Mommy is loving the extra sleep, but I miss the snuggle time.  By the way - I always thought moms who said this were crazy.... and stupid. I totally get it now. Since I'm sure I jinxed the sleep streak by actually talking about it, maybe I'll eat my words at 3am.

7. He has learned a fake laugh. It sounds like Woody Woodpecker and a lamb put together. It's hilarious.

Above all, my little man is still a sweetheart. He has such a fun personality. I love getting know him better everyday.

Love you, Coop!

What A Year It Has Been!

This time a year ago, Tanner and I were embarking on the longest, loneliest 15 minute drive of our lives. We were driving from Yukon to Baptist hospital where our tiny little boy was waiting. Attached to tons of wires and tubes that were, for the moment, keeping him alive. What a difference 365 days can make.

This February 18th, we spent the day eating Daddy's grilled hamburgers, baked beans and, of course, cake and ice cream. We sang happy birthday and opened presents. He especially loved his Thomas the Train riding toy and his singing birthday card. The boy loves to dance! It was a wonderful day. A few tears, but no heartbreak. Prayers, but no pleading.  Many hugs, but no need for someone to hold me up. Lots of love, but this time with no fear. We couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Cooper's first birthday. We are so grateful for to have our baby boy, happy and healthy.

Dear Cooper,

Happy Birthday Little Man! What a fun day it's been. I know you will never remember this day, but Mommy and Daddy will never forget it. We had so much fun with all your cousins, but the best part was spending the day with you! You bring so much joy and laughter into our world. We can't imagine what we did before you came along. Mommy and Daddy thank God everyday that he sent you to us. We pray that we can guide you in a way that leads you to Jesus. We pray that you love and serve God with all your heart. We are so blessed to be your parents. We love you! Can't wait to see what the next year has in store.

With all the love in my heart,

Cooper - The Movie Star

I've been trying my darndest to get a video done for Cooper first birthday party. I want it to go from his conception (ultrasound pics......we don't have any video of his conception. heeheehee!) through his first year. I love the way it's turning out so far, but I keep getting stuck. The ultrasound and maternity pics are cute; the video of his birth is amazing. After that......I'm struggling. I am still haunted by the week we spent with him attached to all the tubes and wires of the NICU. I keep thinking someday I'll get over it. Someday it won't hurt to look at the pictures from his first week out of my tummy and in my arms. Someday I won't be jealous of the families that got to spend that time together at home instead of in a hospital. Someday I'll accept the fact that this was God's plan for my son and that it has and will continue to work for our good. Someday.....

Reading blogs of parents who have spent way more time in the hospital with their children than we did is a great reminder of just how lucky I am to have Cooper - home and healthy. I've recently started following the blog of a mom who lost her baby after only 67 days. I am inspired and in awe of her incredible faith. She hurts and misses her baby boy terribly, but continues to praise God. You can check out her blog here.  Click on The Story of Jude and grab a box of tissues. You will be utterly amazed at the strength of Mandy's faith and the grace God continues to pour out through her words.

I'll keep working through my emotions about Cooper's start in this world. And I'll keep reminding myself that how you start doesn't determine the rest of the race. I'll keep working on the video. Maybe I'll share it when it's done.

Times.....They Are A-Changin'

I'm sensing a shift this week. Parenting has gone from trying to keep a child alive to being concerned with my son's behavior. Until now, our main concern has been trying to keep Cooper well fed, clean and healthy. Haven't been too successful at the healthy thing lately; he's getting over another virus right now. Fever, runny nose, vomiting.....Yuck! Well fed - now that we are good at!  Now where was I............

Oh right, the shift.  In the beginning, we, newbies, simply want our child to survive our feeble attempts at parenting. We are glad they have no memory of how terrible we were at diapers in the beginning. Or how we simply could not stop the crying. We just wanted to keep him alive and it was an incredible bonus if he was happy. The older Cooper gets, the more I realize this was the easy part.

Over the last few days, it seems my son is developing a bit of an attitude. He has learned which things or places in the house are not appropriate for him. And of course these are the things he wants most. He wants to eat the dirt out of the house plant. He hauls diaper to the laundry room in an attempt to sneak some dog food (unsuccessful as of this post).  Maybe he's not as well fed as I thought - haha! He gets very upset when I try to steer him away from these things. He gets especially upset when I shut doors or pick him up and move him away from the dirt he most desires.

We have reached the point of no return. We can never go back into survival mode. From now until he's grown (and for a while after that, I'm sure) we will constantly be monitoring his behavior.  We will be correcting, training, scolding, teaching. I know we will have lots of fun along the way, but in the end I hope to have a well-mannered, respectful, godly man. Guess God will be hearing a lot more from me - praying for my son......and my sanity!

Gotta go! Someone learned to climb stairs!

2011 - See ya!

I cannot believe how quickly the pages on the calendar of 2011 have fallen. A year ago, Tanner and I were on our way to have our 3D ultrasound. It was so incredible to see our little man again.  Cooper had his hands and feet in front of his face almost the entire time. We should have know then that he would be a thumb sucker. He loves his thumb! It gets blisters, and callouses, and pruny wrinkles, but he loves it just the same. He still sucks his thumb sideways, like a gangsta! It never strikes me as funny until I see a child who suck his/her thumb like normal. Just makes me see a little more of what makes Coop so special.

Enough of the random rambling.  Although, let's face it, isn't that what blogging is all about? Now for a rundown of some of the best moments of 2011.

Cooper's First Christmas - so much fun!  We have enjoyed spending time with family and especially our little guy.  We also found some interesting ways to give back this year.  We are sponsoring a child through Mission of Hope Haiti.  Our sponsorship will help fund the child's education, but we can also send notes, cards and gifts back and forth so that we can get to know the child. We also gave gift cards this year through a program called Advent Conspiracy.  We've really started to try to rethink how we approach Christmas/Santa/gifts. There is nothing wrong with gifts but, we really want Cooper to know the true meaning of Christmas - JESUS. We really enjoyed this holiday season; from Thanksgiving until New Year's!

Halloween - I just realized that I never blogged pics of Cooper in his costume.  Hhhooooo's the cutest little owl ever - that's right! My kid! Not necessarily one of the best moments, but maybe one of the cutest!

Easily the best thing about 2011 - Cooper was born! Even though things didn't go the way we planned, we wouldn't ever  go back to before he was in our lives. Parenthood is different than I anticipated, harder than I thought and better than I ever could have imagined. 

No idea what 2012 will bring, but looking forward to finding out.  Happy New Year!

P.S. Happy birthday to Cooper's first friend, Brooks. He will be one this  weekend! And Coop is hot on his heels!