Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Letter To My Son {Month 5}

My precious Little Prince,

How my heart is overwhelmed by the amount of love I feel for you! Again, this month I was caught off guard by the bittersweet feelings that come with each new development and change. You are growing up right before our very eyes and while I'm doing my best to capture each moment, burning it into my memory, I know that there are already things that I have forgotten about those first days and weeks of your little life. It breaks my heart that it is going by so quickly, but in the same breath I must admit that each stage is a little better than the last. I thought it couldn't get any better than holding you in my arms as a newborn and just watching you sleep, but then one day you smiled... and I knew there must not be a better feeling in the world than when your baby smiles at you, but then a short time later you laughed... I will never forget that sound coming from the bedroom as I was putting up the dishes - I ran in to find you laying on the bed and your daddy beaming as you chuckled like a little old man every time he said, "dadada, dadada!" I've heard some incredible concerts, I've heard the bells ringing in the mountains of Switzerland, I've heard the wedding march play as I kissed your daddy for the first time as husband and wife - and while all of those sounds were beautiful and amazing in their own right not one of them  can hold a candle to the sound of your little laugh... and I knew that in that second there was not a better feeling in the world, but I also knew that your next little milestone would leave me feeling the same way. The way you have stretched my heart amazes me on a daily basis. 

This has been a fun month with your first Christmas and your first time to meet a few of your cousins - Aidan, who lives in Miami, Florida, came to visit Oklahoma for the first time. He is 4 months older and it was fun to get to see what developments were right around the corner! And then after months and months of waiting, Baby Henry, finally arrived! To hold a one day old sent me in a tailspin of emotion - I hadn't grasped how big you currently are and how small you once had been until Uncle Casey and I held our boys side-by-side. You and little Henry are going to be lots of fun to watch grow up together... And Baby Creede will be here next month and the three amigos will be officially united! What an exciting little life you are going to have my sweet son.

After becoming your mommy I've had a new perspective on so many things and this Christmas, as I sat and watched in awe of your little personality and excitement over sparkly paper and ribbons, I couldn't help but think of Jesus's mommy, Mary. I can't imagine how she felt as she looked at her precious son all wrapped up in rags, lying in that dusty manger. What a humble beginning for the King of kings... When I look at you, Cooper, I am overwhelmed by feelings of pride and joy and excitement about the things to come in your little life - Mary must have felt all of these things, but also fear and anxiety as she knew her son would face many trials, doubters, haters and evil people... Sweet son of mine, I pray over you constantly that you will grow up to be a strong Christ-filled man who will lead the next generation of our family. I must admit, I worry about what a heavy load of responsibility that will place on you - what mighty works you will face, what push back you may receive, and yet, I have full confidence in you. I know that you can do it. That you will make us so proud - and then I think of Mary, and how she must have looked at Baby Jesus and wanted to take away all the pain that she knew would be inevitable in his life and that she must have fretted over the responsibility he would soon carry - the entire weight of the world's sins - past, present and future. My mind can't fathom that. My heart can only imagine the fierce inner battle of emotions Mary must have had from the moment the Great King took his first breath. Being your mommy, Cooper, has made me appreciate the sacrifice Christ made for us so much more... and I sympathize with sweet Mary. What a gift she gave us all.

So the word became flesh and dwelt among us. 
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. 
And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only son.
~ John 1:14

Thank you for showing your Momma whole new levels of love. You continue to capture our hearts and make us so incredibly proud on a daily basis. We are overwhelmingly blessed. We love you Little Prince!

All my love,

Five Month Milestones:

Eye Color - I think you are officially a hazel eyed boy! Your eyes continue to be your most expressive little feature - always changing all the time.

Weight - You weighed a solid 16 pounds 10 ounces which was the same as last month but this time you were naked as a chunky little jay bird! You have been sick again this month which is probably why your weight didn't change. This puts you in approximately the 75 percentile for your age.

Height - 27 inches. You continue to grow like a little Stretch Armstrong. You are currently in the 92 percentile on height for your age! Keep up the good work big boy!

Clothing - You wear anywhere from 3-6 month to 9-12 month clothes. If it says "3 Months" its going to be too small... 3-6 month typically run a little short in the sleeves and pants but Momma is doing her best to stretch stuff out by washing everything on delicate and then stretching it out and letting it hang dry. It seems to be helping! 

Nicknames - Little Prince and Coop-ah are leading the pack... along with the obvious "Coop."

Sleep - Two nights before Christmas I woke up because the sun was shining. I was so confused. I immediately called your daddy and asked him if he had given you a bottle or something crazy and I'd slept through it - he said no, you were still sleeping when he left the house. It was a Christmas miracle!! YOU SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! (Insert: Angels singing and trumpets blowing and me jumping and leaping for joy!) And after you did it one night it was like no big deal anymore - you've been sleeping through the night from then on! Small confession: I might have helped you a little tiny bit by putting the baby monitor on mute. I still wake up in the night and check the picture to make sure you're still breathing in there, but I don't turn on the sound. My super mommy senses still wake up when you cry, but I sleep through the fussing and babbling and other random noises you make in your sleep! Your Gabby/MamaShawna told me to do and I thought she was losing it, but it turns out she was right - you lived and I am a much more rested, happy mommy! 

Also in the last week you've started putting yourself to sleep. I go lay you in your crib if it's nighttime - if it's a nap, I just let you work your little sleeping magic wherever it's convenient (the guestroom bed, your nursery floor, the living room rug, etc) - and you throw a two minute or less tantrum, roll over onto your belly and pass smooth out. It's kind of awesome.

Hair - Same ol' same ol' - I think you could use a trim, nobody else agrees. Lately I feel like you are kind of thinning out on top, but your daddy says I'm just being paranoid.

At the start of this month, you went to the LifeChurch nursery for the first time. Your daddy and I had agreed that we would wait to take you until you were 3 months old... well, 3 months came and went so one Sunday I surprised your Daddy by just announcing as we walked into church that you would be heading to the nursery. While you are as good as you could possibly be in big church, Mommy holds you outside during praise and worship because it's too loud for your little ears and then when I take you in, I barely hear a word of the message for worrying that you may be distracting someone... so off to the nursery you were headed. Daddy and Uncle Awesome were adamantly against it. The three of us walked you to the door and by the look on Daddy and Zac's faces you would have thought I was handing you over to known criminals. They wanted to keep you with us and they both looked you directly in the eye and told you they didn't want you to have to go to the nursery, they wanted to take you with us, but Mommy was sending you to the nursery with strangers! I pried you out of your daddy's arms and handed you to the very nice lady in the nursery and you went to her with no problem. IMMEDIATELY after the service we all three virtually ran to pick you up and there you were - still being held by the same lady and smiling when you saw us! I, personally, considered the first visit to the nursery a great success... until two days later you had RSV...

You were sick AGAIN this month! You had a cold - snotty nose, tiny cough, etc - and we were just going to let it run it's cycle because antibiotics aren't typically much help, but you kept getting worse and your tiny cough turned into a painful screaming cough. Oh, it sounded dreadful!! We were staying at the Lodge when you hit the worse part so Daddy and I ended up taking you to see Uncle Bill and let him run a few tests for RSV, flu and whatever else it might have been. You tested positive for RSV but your little lungs were still clear thankfully. We started you on the medicine and it cleared up in no time! We were so thankful it wasn't worse!!

This month we celebrated your first Christmas!! Oh, what great joy it is to celebrate the holidays with such a happy boy! You visited Santa - twice - and you were completely content to sit on his lap and stare at us the entire time. When it was time to open presents you went for it! The pretty bows, crackly sounding tissue and colorful wrapping paper were a hit with you. You wanted to touch and feel and stick it all in your mouth. You received tons of wonderful gifts - too many to list! You could not have been better during each and every Christmas event we attended! Having a son of our own has made your Daddy and I so much more aware of the love God has for us, that he would send his precious son to die for us. This Christmas will always be one of my favorites...

Feet have become your favorite thing! You are over the thumb sucking (with a few random exceptions) because you have moved on to bigger and better things - toe sucking! You love to grab onto your squirmy little feet and pull them straight to your mouth! Your constantly moving feet have provided us with lots of entertainment in the last month - you squirm nonstop until you catch one!

You are reaching for EVERYTHING - nothing is off limits! Everything is interesting to you and needs to be explored! Your favorite toys right now are your activity saucer (a huge hit from Grammy), a plastic ball with a smaller ball that makes noise inside (Gift from your cousins Sophie, Ethan and Aaron) and a block that makes animal sounds (a shower gift from the Simon family). You still love reading books! You sit in my lap and listen intently until I say "the end" and then you snatch the book out of my hands and start jabbering like crazy! It's very clear that you've waited your turn and now you're reading to me - such a smart boy!

Baby Yoga was on break for the month of December and boy have we missed it! 

You are definitely going to be a talker. You talk non-stop! All I have to do is look at you and say "Tell me about it Coop" and you go to town! If we talk back to you in jibberish, you think it's hilarious and instantly start smiling and laughing. So fun! I can't wait to listen to what is on your little mind as your words start to form! I try to video you, but the phone seems to be a bit distracting so you either stop talking and stare at it with your curious eyes or you reach for it and when I don't give it to you, you get mad... Maybe I'll get your adorable little deep voice recorded eventually!

You have never met a stranger, that is for sure! Last week alone, you went to a ballgame with Pops and Gabby/MamaShawna and were as happy as a little lark making new friends along the way. Then you were passed all around the nail salon while I got my nails done and just thought each new person was so interesting. At yoga, you didn't want to sit still so the instructor carried you while mommy finished the routine... You love to meet new people!

You continue to be a dream baby - we are so thankful to have such a wonderfully happy little boy!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cooper: Week 22


Cooper still loves being read to, but lately he prefers to read to you!
He will snatch the book away and start jabbering away.

Christmas Lights.
Yes, we are still taking down Christmas...

Hanging out with his buddy, Jackson.
These two are too cute together!

Riding his big boy horse.
Mommy or Daddy have to keep a hand ready because that horse is prone to buck!


Learning to crawl.
Cooper is rather unamused when his mean ol' Mommy puts all the toys he wants just out of reach! So the first thing he does is gives Mommy the stink eye and then he whines... When those don't work he rolls around until he is facing the toy of choice and gets up on his knees... But that inevitably leaves him face down with his diaper high in the sky... And eventually, after making him work for it, the mean ol' Mommy gives in and rolls him the ball. Maybe she isn't so mean after all.

Putting himself to sleep.
He doesn't love it for the first 5 minutes, but he's getting better at it every day!
He is getting to be such a big boy - I just put him in his crib and he fusses for a few minutes and then puts himself straight to sleep. An extra perk is that he doesn't HAVE to be in his crib, - he's also put himself down on the living room rug, on the guest room bed and just about anywhere else he can lay down!


The little man has become quite the little lover baby. 
He loves to snuggle and hold hands!
It's good for his Mommy and Daddy's soul.

And I couldn't pass up this one - such a sweet smile!


Happy Birthday Daddy!

Day 149: Cooper's sweet Daddy turned THIRTY today! We soooo love and adore that sweet man. He takes really good care of us. He works hard all day/night and then comes home with a smile, ready to play! He is patient when Cooper is a big ol' cry baby or when Mommy doesn't quite get anything marked off the to-do list. He always makes us feel super special. He prays for us a LOT. He always helps Mommy around the house without even being asked. He is really good at making us laugh. He is an expert diaper changer. The list goes on and on and on... We are so very thankful for all he does, but most of all we are proud to call him our Hubby/Daddy. We are blessed! 

To celebrate Daddy's big day we met for a little surprise breakfast at yummy Syrup with our friends, the Dudes. Then Cooper went to watch an OU game with Gabby and Pops while Mommy and Daddy went to get massages! Finally, we got the babe back and headed to one of Brandon's favorites - Whiskey Cake - for a fun lunch with his side of the fam! It was a great day celebrating our great Daddy!


Day 150: Jackson's Baptism! Our small group celebrated a big day together as Cooper's best buddy was baptized. It was a very special ceremony and we were so happy to get to be there  for J's big day!

That evening Cooper hung out with his Grandpa while Mommy and Daddy continued celebrating Daddy by going to see Lone Survivor in the Director's Suite! Cooper loves his Grandpa and was happy to get to play with him!

Day 151: Mommy finally got around to taking down Cooper's Christmas tree. We were all kind of sad about it, as the Christmas lights made for such a fun night light... Cooper also went with Mommy to get her nails done. He has gone with me many times, but for some reason this trip he decided to make things interesting. He slept like an angel while I got a pedicure, but when the manicure started he was up and HUNGRY. I did my best to feed him while keeping both hands free (tricky, tricky!) but then he decided he was done eating and wanted to play. One by one, every person in the nail salon passed the bouncing boy! He smiled for them and hugged on them and pulled lots of people's hair! It was quite an adventure... I was so thankful for the kind people who were so helpful and pleasant despite my ball of energy child!

Day 152: Another day of Baby Yoga and a visit with Gramma and Jerry. That evening we watched the OU game on tv. Cooper was in his little activity saucer and while the game was on he would stare at the tv and jump like a wild man, but as soon as the commercials started he would stop jumping and play with the toys until he heard the game start back up in which he would put down all toys, look at the tv and resume jumping! This little guy loves his ball games!

Day 153: Cooper man hit the big 5 month mark!! The months keep flying by! We had a fun lunch date with Zac at one of our favorite spots, the Library. We love having Uncle Awesome so close by!

Day 154: We got all packed up and hit the road to Vian so Daddy could work at the hospital.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cooper: Week 21


(Chewing on his lip... as seen in ALL photographs)

Playing with Daddy's stethoscope.

Chewing on his toes.

Cuddling with his Mommy.

Helping Daddy build a big ol' fire!


Being sick.


Well this is a sequence of pictures... 
I was snapping away as Cooper "drove" his little walker up the hall way.
I couldn't get enough of his little face as he chewed on his bottom lip in concentration.
And then I stopped to see if I had managed to capture any decent pictures where he might have been looking at me - and this is what I saw:

Oh boy.
This is a really good way to ensure that Cooper will be receiving nothing that goes faster than a bicycle on his 16th birthday... but I can guarantee that this picture will be displayed at the party!


Day 141: The little Prince was not feeling well at all... He was super lethargic, barely opened his eyes when he was awake and wanted nothing more than to be cuddled... While the cuddling was precious, this was not normal and his Mommy and Daddy were a bit worried he had more than a cold...

So Daddy came home early from the hospital and since we were at Gabby and Pop's house for the weekend we took him to see our wonderful Uncle Bill (aka Dr. Anderson) to run a few tests to try to figure out why we couldn't kick this nasty cold. You know a kid is sick when they sleep on the floor at the doctor's office. 

The results came back and it was official - Cooper had RSV. We were so thankful it was a mild case and our sweet boy bounced back quickly. Daddy picked up the prescription and then we headed back to the Lodge where our faithful watchdog, Duncan, guarded the little man while he rested.

Day 142: Cooper felt much better but we sure didn't want to risk spreading our germs or getting him out, so the babe and Mommy hung out at the Lodge all day! We watched lots of HGTV, cuddled by the fire and played with Cooper's fish feet. So grateful to having a baby who felt good again!

Day 143: We ran to Fort Smith to return a few Christmas gifts that didn't work with Gabby.  This picture cracked me up because Gabby was changing Cooper's diaper and I was in the dressing room directly across trying on a shirt - I peeked out and saw this cute boy looking at me like "Seriously mom?" 

Day 144: Daddy had to go back to work so we drove back to OKC. The little man was one good sleeper in the car! Yay for no longer hating the car seat (except for the brief time immediately following buckling him in!) Also, this was a VERY special day because Cooper's baby cousin Henry was born!!

(The two happiest people in the world - Casey and I with our boys!)

Day 145: Cooper and Mommy hopped back in the car and drove to Tahlequah to meet our precious new cousin, Henry Steele! We have been waiting and praying to get to meet this sweet boy for what feels like forever! My cousin Casey and I have always fought over who got to hold the babies - we LOVE kids! It has always been my dream to be a Mommy and I am quite positive that Casey felt the same way about someday becoming a Dad... and today, 145 days after my dream came true, so did Casey's. God is good! Brandon and I cannot wait to watch Cooper and Henry grow up together! We know there are many, many days of watching sporting events, listening to wild stories from the deer woods and laughing at boys being boys in our future. We could not be more excited to take on this crazy ride called parenthood with Casey and Lyndsey. 

Over it. 

Day 146: Another ballgame! OU v. Kansas - we sat with our buddy Jackson but didn't get a picture!! (Kristen and I are really bad about that!) 

Day 147: Cooper's 4 month check up. Month Four started weeks ago but this was the day we were scheduled to see the pediatrician. Cooper was so happy to get to see his daddy at work that he never saw those mean ol' shots coming, poor little guy! He took them like a champ - screaming bloody murder until the second they were over and then he was good to go! His stats  and percentiles (based on his actual age, not the 4 month mark since we are a few weeks past that) were: 
16lb 10oz - 65% 
27in - 92%
Head - BIG

This concludes Week 21, but I wanted to share with you a few of the outtakes from our weekly photo shoot in the rocking chair... This boy is quite the little wiggle worm and getting his to cooperate becomes more and more of an adventure each week!