Dear Cooper,

You are TWO. I just reread my ONE-year post for you, and so, so much has happened since then. You started walking at 13.5 months. You have gained so many words. You string them together in small sentences now. You understand almost everything we say to you. You went from two naps to one, but that was back in July or August. You have strong opinions about food, toys, and your favorite people—still your Dad! You love Paw Patrol and trying to keep up with Jack. You have loved going to the park, although in the last month we have not been able to go because of the quarantine for COVID-19 since mid-March. However, most of this past year you were able to get out and go PLAY at parks and public places. “I want to PLAY!” you will tell me almost every day.

Recently, you started to enjoy when we read to you. You have always liked dance parties and music. You can get grumpy and clingy when something is not right, and you know exactly how to tell dad or I that this is the case! You will insist on being held, and we must stand, not sit, sometimes or you will yell at us. But you will also snuggle and ask for hugs and kisses at bedtime. You still sleep well most of the time. I am so thankful!

You and Jack play together but fight probably 70 percent of the time! But when things are good, you two will laugh so hard together. You like to play hide-n-seek with Jack and me, build forts, and get chased by your dad. You love “treats” and are a VERY messy eater. You like to color with markers and throw all of their caps on the ground, making me crazy! You color all over yourself too! You get dirty even when it seems impossible to make a mess. You are covered in the dirt or food most of the time, and we love you for it!





image3 *Post written in July 2019

Dear Jack,

You are four years old! This is truly bittersweet for me. My little baby boy is 4 years old. You have done so much this year. You have only a few weeks left in Mrs. Jean’s class (Room 7 Forever!). I feel like it was yesterday that I was going to back to school night. I started a new job in June so you started school 5 days a week. You talk about all the kids in your class, and you even talk about your new teacher and room, which will start in September.


-are basically riding a bike with no training wheels, and you got a bike for your birthday.

-finished PCC classes for good.

-will start sleeping in a bunk bed soon—the hope is that Cooper will join you in a year or so

-love “small” Legos. Ever since you got some as a party favor, you love expanding your collection

-love swimming but still need to get a few more lessons in

-like to hit pitches from Dad or Mom

-have fun laughing with Cooper, although the window of laughing to crying is small

-take time to warm up in big groups of people

-still love playing with Addie, Ezra, Riley, Harper, Liv, Whit, Kei, and Harrison

-don’t need diapers at night

-love transformers

-come in our room most nights and sleep on a mattress on the floor

-love helping dad with the garden

-got to go to Disneyland and California Adventure…again!


The lows are low, but the highs are high with a 4-year-old. And each day you surprise me with your perspective and ideas. It’s definitely a wild ride.


We love you, Jack!

Cooper is ONE!

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*Post was written a month ago when Cooper actually turned one.

Dear Cooper,

You are ONE! This is simultaneously easy to believe and also shocking. Where did this year go? It seems like yesterday I was holding a sweet newborn in my arms.

In this past month, you’ve started babbling more and more. You think you’re talking and you will say “mama” and “dada” but it’s hard to tell if you are attaching meaning to these words. One day, I swear you are, and the next it seems like you aren’t. JoJo and Butcheq think you might have said, “doggy” and someone else thought they heard you say, “Jack” meaningfully, but I’m still not sure if you have said your first meaningful word, and that’s OK with me.

You cruise all over. You stand without holding on to anything at times. Every day it seems like you are getting closer to walking, but it still could be a month or two, I think. You crawl so fast it is hard to catch you. You don’t like to sit still, ever. Even when you are eating you try to climb out of your high chair. Your one-year photo was the hardest to take, yet. This makes sense because you hate sitting still. We took it at a tricky time of day, too. It was getting close to dinnertime and Butcheq and I were both a little warn out from our respective days, so we may not have given it our 100 percent, but we got something! I’m impressed we made it this far with the photos and were able to capture anything! You also have such a strong grip; it is hard to get objects from you. I can’t believe how strong you are.

You are a little bit pickier now with food. But this only means that one day you might throw something down, and the next day you eat it. Also, maybe more teeth will help you eat more? Your 4 incisors have all basically poked through, right around your first birthday. For weeks I’ve thought that they were coming and they are just now showing up. You still breastfeed at about 4x a day (wake up, before both naps, and when you go to sleep) but don’t initiate it on your own. You are able to go down for a nap or sleep without breast feeding, which is nice. You also usually don’t fall asleep breast feeding which makes it easier to put you down other times.

You enjoy the park so much now. You like climbing on the structures and going down the slides. You like to swing and crawl in the sand. You like to eat the sand. You don’t seem to learn how bad it tastes because you do it every time!

Butcheq is your favorite person right now. I only birthed you, breastfeed you, and pumped for almost a year for you! But seriously, I don’t mind at all. Whenever Dad is in the room, you reach out to him, crawl to him, or point to him.

Sometimes you still wake up in the middle of the night, but overall your sleep is pretty good, and you still nap so well.

You and Jack can sort of play together now. Ha! This might be a leap, but you guys seem to enjoy each other. Don’t get me wrong, Jack verges between fun play partner and a I-will-protect-all-my-toys big brother as well as roughhouse those that get in the way, but your enjoyment of each other shows through too! You two laugh together a lot. Jack makes sure you sit literally right next to him at meals, and sometimes this turns into a stressful thing, but he really wants to interact with you, and you with him. You take baths together now and you are starting to be buds, kind of, I hope! I mean, it’s like one step forward, two steps back, but hey, I will take it!

You are the perfect addition to our little family. We seriously all adore you. Your cheeks, laugh, chub, love of food, movement, and hugs.

Happy Birthday, Cooper! We are all so happy you are here!



January Recap


January was a quiet month of events, the usual post holiday lull.  It was nice though as I got in a few shoots with Coop and his big ol’ blue eyes.  Jack also picked up the camera again and got some nice shots, but their are even better ones coming in the February recap.  We’ve been able to start giving both boys a bath at the same time which is fun but it requires a lot of attention from one if not both of us when we’re doing it as Jack still gets a little too aggressive with Coop, which he claims is him just loving Cooper.

December Recap


As you can imagine December had a lot of Christmas oriented activities.  We went to the Descanso Enchanted Gardens again which Jack loved even more this year, we celebrated cousin Brody turning 1, we visited SB and Altadena for Taylor and Butcher Christmas celebrations, and we hosted a New Year dinner at our house that turned out to be a blazing time. We especially  enjoyed doing Christmas morning at our house and getting to do the Santa routine with Jack and watching the boys open some gifts from Sarah and me.

11 Months of Cooper!

Cooper you are 11 months old!



-Started to stand from a seated position without holding onto anything, just for a second or two, literally the day you turned 11 months

-Have eight teeth, but we can see 9 and 10 coming in (the canines)

-Got your first haircut at the Shaggy Monkey in South Pasadena

-Stopped taking your bottle and use a sippy cup now. Bottle, you were nice while you lasted!

-Don’t cry for an extended period of time in the middle of night often, but will when something is bothering you

-Want every single toy your brother has

-Keep getting faster at crawling and never want to sit still

-Are obsessed with eating bread, but throw some other types of food to the ground when you don’t want them

-Show more signs of separation anxiety when I leave for work

-Are looking more and more like me!

-Still sleep pretty well. You wake up very occasionally in the night and need me, and sometimes you cry before going to bed, but not often

-Still love that morning AND afternoon nap



-Am pretty obsessed with the time change and light in the evening

-Am swimming in the evenings somewhat often. It’s happening!

-Am still reading Brothers K. I love it, but it sure seems to be taking me a long time to read

-Am feeling so thankful for family and all the ways they love me

-Am thankful for overall positive news about a family members’ health—the unknown in health situations is a scary thing

-Am thankful that God is bigger than all the things I do not understand about this world. It all just seems so depressing sometimes.

-Am trying to be thankful for uncertainty and the ways I can grow from it, not always fun

-Am trying to improve my communication with loved ones. It’s harder than I think at times.

-Am thankful for nights out with friends

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Trike A Thon 2019 (13 of 22)

Jack’s preschool held a fundraising event called the Trike-A-Thon.  The kids had practiced in the week leading up to it while also making posters and hats to go along with their event.  Jack even said he needed to get good sleep for the event and sadly for Sarah and me that just meant his usual sleep antics and routine.

One cute aspect was that before each class took their turn riding they would go out to the bike yard and cheer on another class along with all the parents and our phones/cameras. The classroom that went before Jack’s was a wild bunch of older kids that had elements of Mad Max in their attire and various bikes/scooters. What was funny that after that raucous group, out came Class 7, Jack’s class, and they were orderly and slow.  Luckily Jack got some courage after the first lap and broke the pack and started riding fast and ultimately probably did the most laps, but who’s counting, obviously not this competitive dad.

After the event the kids got to indulge in a well deserved popsicle. I’m not sure why but I caught Jack in one shot looking upset after opening his, must have been the color i’m guessing.  All in all it was a fun little 30 minute activity to be a part of and it’s always humorous seeing school mode Jack who’s way more timid and reserved.

Underwood Farms

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In December we went for a little adventure to Underwood Farms with Uncle Nick and Aunt Bryce but also with Cousin Bret, Sara, and little Brody. I’d heard this was one of those stereotypical young kid outing spots so I wasn’t overly excited at first but by the end of the day it was clear that we all had a blast.  There was a tractor ride that took us to the farm where we got to pick any food that was in season, there were all sorts of sweet animals to see and feed, good food, play areas, and of course great company. Jack was the perfect age for here but even the little guys had a blast.

November Recap

November (1 of 1)November was full of fun, family, and friends.  As we saw in past posts we had been to Disneyland and Jack had been very active photographing Can Jam in Santa Barbara.  The other highlights were an early Thanksgiving dinner with the Willoughby side of the fam.  My cousin and his family recently moved to Portland to work on his beard growth and develop an affinity for coffee and overcast weather.  Keegan was particularly smitten with Cooper and it’s clear next year she’ll have all the kids wrapped around her fingers.

We had our actual Thanksgiving up with the Ross clan where we got the super exciting news that Aaron and Courtney are going to have their first kid, sadly the only moment we caught of that reveal was a quick hip shot I took when they surprised us, but you can see the joy in Courtney’s face. After Thanksgiving we headed back to SB to get to spend more quality time with Uncle Ben, Aunt Megan, and Uncle Ned, oh and those grandparents the boys like too.

The month ended with us doing our annual Christmas tree purchase with the Ungers, a special time we’ve done for at least 5 years now but the first time we didn’t get to buy it at classy OSH. I should also point out that Jack started getting Highlights magazines which has really been awesome, he loves the surprise of when they arrive but he really loves all the activities and stories in each one.  I don’t think I could have been prepared for how much we all enjoy that subscription.