8 Months of Cooper

Dear Cooper,

You are 8 months old. You are on the move and still have the sweetest baby smell. Your smile lights up the room. This sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true. And I’m your mom so I can say these things! Also, you are already quite devout. We caught you praying in your 8 month photo shoot. Take a look after the update.

Cooper:

-Loves to crawl all around the house—no more army crawling—and get into all things that are dangerous: wires, the fire place, our plant stands, Christmas tree branches, to name a few. . . never a dull moment

-Had great first Thanksgiving celebrations in Pasadena and Thousand Oaks, and then a trip to Santa Barbara.

-Naps like a champ at home, but sleep training has only worked in increments. He caught on for a while, and then we went on a trip and we had some room switching around; then Cooper got a cold. We know he can make it through the night though! He also allows people other than me to put him down for a nap and down for the night, so that is a plus! The middle of the night is a different story–mom only! He doesn’t nap as well in the pack anymore, but I will take what I can get!

-Loves to eat his solids. Carbs are a new favorite and he’s now had egg, both scrambled and hard boiled. A new trick is that he is easily distracted by eating Cheerios!

-Still loves putting anything and everything in his mouth, and no new teeth this month (6 total for now!).

-Babbles constantly and almost sounds like he is saying something.

-Puts up with a brother that hugs quite aggressively and sometimes takes his toys away. At the same time, his brother loves making sure our whole family will be present together; Jack does not want to leave Cooper out!

-Finds Christmas lights exciting and came with us to get our tree, the Christmas Tree Lane lighting, and Descanso Garden’s enchanted Forrest light viewing.

-Still takes a bottle! Thank goodness.

I:

-Have had a great time this holiday season. I’m never as organized as I want to be, but I feel good about a lot of the activities we have done. Some things may not happen, though, and I’m not sure if cookie-making is going to make it this year! Honestly, I don’t need the extra sugar this year! And every year I say I’m going to buy an awesome nativity set, and it doesn’t happen. Also, I still haven’t finished my Christmas shopping, but I have done a good amount of it. I got a few great items at the Renegade Craft Fair and Amazon has helped too.

-Am trying to initiate more get-togethers with friends. The holidays make schedules more hectic but this will continue to be a goal into the New Year. I feel like Brandon and I have gotten out more lately on our own, which has been great.

-Have fallen off the workout train. I was swimming three times a week when my parents were in town and doing a few workout videos the month before, but life has gotten in the way, and I don’t have my parents in town to babysit anymore. I’m determined to get back on track.

-Am feeling good about finishing another semester of teaching with a baby and preschooler. Also, Jack finished another semester of PCC and his first whole semester of preschool (actually this Friday is the last day of preschool—I can’t wait for his Christmas show). We did all of this with A LOT of help.

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Jack Photo Series Pt.2

Jack Shots Header (1 of 1)There are days where Jack will come up to me and say “can i take pictures?” I can’t help but indulge him and let him take helm of the camera and only time will tell if the lens and camera survive with him at the helm.  He’s moved beyond using the screen and now actually uses the view finder.  I’ve tried to include some of his best shots over the last 4 months (some which I think are great) as well as some shots that give you a more real taste of what the bulk of his shots are. I haven’t cropped any so you get an idea of his composition but I did do some basic post edits. Here’s about 30 (of what was probably 300 shots) photos that include – a dodgers game, walking in SB, playing can jam, going on a hike in spain (like mimi and papa) and our trip to Underwood Farms.

Jack’s First Trip to Disneyland!

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Well, we finally did it. We bit the bullet and took Jack to Disneyland, and let me tell you it was absolutely worth it.  We decided to time the trip for a day when the ever-generous Mimi and Grandpa could watch Coop.  We had just been through the Halloween and Thanksgiving season, and Jack had loved those two holidays, so we thought his first trip to Disneyland coupled with X-mas decorations would make an ideal first trip.

We didn’t let Jack in on the plans until the morning of, and we got some hilarious video of him saying he didn’t want to go, without any idea of what he was getting into–I can totally understand!  Luckily, as we drove closer to Disneyland he got more and more excited.

Seeing Disneyland from a 3-year-old’s perspective was exhilarating as even little things like parking on Donald Duck’s level meant pure excitement.

Once in the park we made sure to snap a quick intro photo, which were rushed as we had been warned to try and get over to It’s a Small World as soon as possible to avoid a long line there.  We popped into the first little store, though, in order to make sure we got Jack his 1st Visit pin.  For a kid that’s overly partial about his shoes and hats and rarely keeps either on for an extended period, Jack never once tried to take that pin off.

Once properly pinned we bolted over to It’s a Small World and if you follow the photos, Jack’s face told an amazing story of bewilderment to awe to excitement as he got comfortable on the ride.  Next we stopped in for the Tea Cups and Jack had the time of his life riding that, laughing over and over again about us possibly spinning into another cup.  He loved getting to pick the color of the tea cup, a theme that lasted throughout the day.

While going from ride to ride he started talking about characters, and for whatever reason, he decided that Pluto was the character he wanted to meet that day.  While Sarah took care of business at the Baby Center (thank you Disneyland for having a place for moms to pump), Jack and I cruised over to Toon Town where Jack had a hilarious interaction with Pluto, that character knew just how to get a timid kid laughing.  While there Jack then decided to also meet Mickey and Donald.

Sarah here: When I joined the crew in Toon Town we were able to head over to to the Christmas parade. Jack got a nice view on Brandon’s shoulders, and we all treated ourselves to Dole Whips after the parade. Soon after, Jack also got a chance to try his luck at the sword in the stone. No luck this year! We were able to go on more rides as it got darker, and it was such a treat to see all of Disneyland covered in extra lights for Christmas. It was a pretty magical day.

Rides – we never waited more than 25 minutes for any rides and most were only 10-15 minutes.

  • It’s A Small World – Our first ride that was all decorated for Christmas
  • Teacups – Jack had a blast wondering if we would hit the wall
  • Buzz Light Year Ride – Jack may have gotten more points than me (Sarah)
  • Autopia – Jack got to drive, and he was very serious about it
  • Tiki Room – Jack was enthralled the entire time by singing birds and plants
  • Jungle Cruise – There is still some element of thrill in this ride for kids
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – Jack admitted it was scary but didn’t ever say he wanted off the ride or wanted to close his eyes
  • Who Framed Roger Rabit – Surprisingly had one of the longer lines and tougher fast passes.
  • Pinocchio – This ride was scarier than I remembered; luckily Jack didn’t seem to phased by it
  • Alice in Wonderland – We learned that this is one of the top kids rides at the park. It has an indoor and outdoor portion which, admittedly, was cool
  • Some non-ride activities we got in were trying the Sword in the Stone, watching It’s a Small World’s Christmas lights turn on, going into Mickey’s House, playing in the Tarzan Tree House, and lunch at Bear Country.

So all in all an incredible day at Disneyland not just for Jack but for all of us.  We should also mention that the night before Coop had slept awfully and I’d guess we didn’t get more than 4 hours of sleep that night.  Amazing what some Disneyland and copious amounts of coffee and sugar can do for you.

 

7 Months

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Dear Cooper,

You are seven months old! And we love you so! You got your four front teeth, seemingly in a two week(ish) span. However, I suspect that they were bothering you for a bit because your naps and night sleep went downhill for a bit. After you got your teeth, we started sleep training—hoping that you would have a break from teething for a while. Overall, I have positive things to say about sleep training and the method we used (you definitely don’t cry as hard as Jack did—poor thing!) but the jury is still out. It’s only been a week. One thing that has been nice is that you have never seemed to have a problem falling asleep on your own. It’s always been the middle of the night that proves a challenge. You love your thumb and are comforted by using your sleep sack as a blanket. This has been helpful.

Mimi and Grandpa were in town this past month and so you got to spend a lot more time with them than usual. Mimi watched you while Dad and I were at work. They both watched you and Jack when Dad and I went out on some date nights, when I went to swim laps, and when I needed to rest. I think we both enjoyed our extra time with them. You seem to be napping better and hopefully will continue to do so for JoJo when she starts watching you once a week again.

You are able to push into a seated position and not wobble as much now. A couple of times you even pushed to a stand, but you don’t do this often. You still do your army crawl, but you often get up on your knees and hands and rock back and forth—as if you want to try and crawl that way. You don’t really like to sit in the mamaRoo anymore or the bouncer that you enjoyed so much a month or two ago. You like to be on the move instead! You also don’t really like any of your baby toys; you much prefer spoons, bowls, and water bottles.

You started solid foods very gradually, baby-led weaning style at six months. Your fist food was avocado. You’ve had sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, cooked egg yolk, banana, and toast. You still mostly make a mess and hardly get anything in your mouth, but you are really enjoying the process of eating.

You also smile and laugh all the time. And Jack is still your favorite subject. We put you in the swing for the first time in October and you loved it. You are also still pretty happy to go in the pack, which is very nice when you attend Jack’s PCC class with me or I have errands to run. You definitely prefer to look out at the world instead of be positioned in towards me.

We love interacting with you and watching you interact with the world!

Love,

Mom

July 2018 Recap

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Well it has certainly taken me long enough but the July recap is finally here.  I received numerous emails, calls, texts, faxes, you name it, and the constant nagging finally got me to sit down and upload these shots.  Part of the problem is that July had so much going on. We already posted about Jack’s 3rd birthday party, our Cambria trip, and Jack and Elodie’s burgeoning love affair.

July had us in Santa Barbara getting to take advantage of Grandpa lullabies, drinks in the funkzone, night time stories from Mimi, pant-less biscuits and so much more. After that it was pack to the ‘dena to celebrate Brycie’s birthday and lots of pool time at JoJo and Papa’s house.  The biggest take away from summer being over has to be how much fun we all had just popping into the pool nearly daily for even just 30 minutes or a few hours.

We sadly had one last cousin hangout before my cousin Gavin and his girls shipped off to Portland to focus on craft brewing, pour over coffees, and facial hair growth. It’s been sad with them gone but we’re looking forward to the time together over the coming holidays. The girls were especially interested and sweet with little Coop.

Hopefully this post provides some momentum and I’ll get the August recap up soon, but who knows I might pull a George R.R. Martin and take my sweet time on the next installment.

Halloween 2018

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No one was more excited than me when I realized that I would be able to commit the cardinal sin of Halloween costumes: I wore my Wonder Woman costume two years in a row. Proudly.

It all started when Jack told me he wanted to be Spider-Man for Halloween. At that time, I had no idea he really knew anything about Spider-Man—apparently, I was wrong! I also remembered that we had a batman onesie for Cooper (although we ended up buying a new one–a size up–the day of Halloween). Around this time, a coworker of mine mentioned he had an adult-sized Robin costume someone could borrow. Minutes later I secured it for Brandon. Of course, Wonder Woman fit perfectly into our superhero theme (yes, we had a superhero theme last year, but everyone else was someone different except for me). And the rest is history.

Halloween day started out with a parade and sing-a-long at Jack’s preschool. My parents, JoJo, and Brandon got to see the whole thing. While I had to work, I was able to see the parade.

That night, my parents (who have been in town for a month!) got to see us all dressed up and help with some pictures. They also got to watch Jack go to a few houses early on as we walked to Hilary and Baker’s house, our neighbors. We met up with their family and the Gillans for some snacks and pictures before we set off for the evening together. We only ended up on one street, but it turned out to be the perfect amount of time and candy. Jack had a lot of fun going door-to-door with Harper, and he also had an adorable little photo shoot with Liv. After trick-or-treating, we parted ways with the other families to go have dinner at Tomato Pie, something we had done Jack’s first year trick-or-treating. We even made it back home by seven.

One other fun thing to mention is that Jack got to dress up and do a small scale of trick-or-treating at his PCC classes on the Tuesday and Thursday before and after Halloween this year. He also loved wearing his Spider-Man costume around the house all of October. As you can see, Jack had been looking forward to Halloween for a while and so it was such a treat (unintentional dad Halloween pun) to experience the actual day with him.

Now, he’s already asking about Santa Claus… time slow down!

 

Pumpkin Carving

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Jack, and technically Cooper too, got to experience pumpkin carving for the first time.  Jack’s been eager ever since we bought a carving kit from Big Lots weeks ago when I took him out of pre-school for 2 hours to avoid a nap in hopes of him sleeping at a regular hour, but I digress. We headed up to my parents for the BYOP event and were surprised when there was sushi and cupcakes (eaten separately don’t worry) for a mini double birthday celebration for Sarah and Nick who share a birthday week.  Carving was a ton of fun with Bryce obviously showing off her art skills while the rest of us just tried not to cut a finger off while carving. Jack dictated exactly what he wanted his to look like then set himself to helping scoop out all the goop and seeds with JoJo and Nick, but we all really leaned on Nick as our super scooper.  Cooper had a lot of fun bouncing from person to person and especially enjoyed Papa’s high vantage point on his shoulders and riding his first tricycle.  Cooper and Nick even secretly decided to do some twinning and coordinated their outfits for the day, so cute. When Jack was 3 months old we took photos of him in the pumpkins at my parents front door so we tried to re-create something similar this year with Coop.  Jack’s been loving the fall/Halloween season and has a lot more fun Halloween activities still to come at his PCC school and his pre-school on top of boring old trick or treating.  If the excitement for Halloween is any indicator this Christmas season should be epic for Jack.