Wednesday, July 22, 2015

8 months.

Oh my angel I figure since you will be nine months old in a couple of weeks, I should probably get your eight month update blogged. I took the pictures on time though if that counts for anything..

Child, you may be far less documented than your sister, but don't ever let that be an example of our love. Boy we are obsessed with you. I'm serious. We can't get enough. We seem to think you pretty much hung the moon. I kid you not. We just love you so.

You are our cuddlebug. Our little lover. You still have to be rocked to sleep and you still prefer to nurse to sleep. I still don't know when you will pull that plug but we are trucking along. I never saw that in our future but I don't hate it. I love that time with you.

You still nurse every morning and most nights with short sessions in between if you are home with me. You love some food. Love it. You still get about four six ounce bottles a day. Maybe. You don't love those nearly as much anymore. You are all about the food.

You are about 20 pounds now and I can't remember how long. Mom fail. You are wearing 6-9 month and 9 month clothing. You are in 12 month pajamas. I recently pulled out some 12 month jammies I bought with Miss Jamie back when I was about six months pregnant. I remember thinking it would be so long until you could wear them. Jokes on me. I swear that was yesterday.
You love your people. You light up when we are around. Except for the rare occasion you burst into tears when I come to daycare to pick you up. We will call those tears of joy.

You said your first word; "Ella". It was clear as day.

No shocker that's your first word. You are obsessed with her. She is far and away your favorite person. She makes you happier than the rest of us combined. She can make you laugh for hours on end. She is always the one we call on when you need cheering up. Or when you need to be distracted. She's got that junk under control.

You are on the move. Big time. You've got this weird little worm crawl that is freaking hilarious. We've also seen you get your knees under you, but you definitely don't prefer that way.
You're after the cat in a big way. You catch him a lot too. That's not usually a good thing.
You still have zero teeth and I don't see any on the horizon.

You're still pretty much a terrible sleeper. Naps are just not your thing. You are doing better most nights but you wake up a lot. You are getting better at getting yourself back to sleep though. You still end up in our bed more often than not. Like I said, you love your people.

You know how to wave. You know how to give kisses (good grief they are sloppy!). You like holding our hands. You like to be standing.

You aren't quite pulling up but you are close.

You will sit in the middle of your crib and stare at the open door and just holler til someone comes to get you. We always do. You have us wrapped.

You can get from your belly to sitting you and vice versa.

You do not sit still. If we are on the ground with you, you are crawling on us. You will crawl after us if we leave the room. In the tub, you are trying to climb out. Or you are sticking your face under the faucet. That's an odd one. But you love it.

You are just so dang sweet. You are high maintenance like whoa, and you have a temper like no other, but you are just such a lover and a cuddle bug and the sweetest little guy. Never change kiddo. You are our heart.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

7 months.

This guy. Good grief. Look at that smile.

He's seven months old. I swear, I'm never blinking again. Because this has been the fastest seven months EVER.

You are still just the sweetest, sweetest baby. You bring so much joy to our house. We absolutely adore you kiddo. Like we can't get enough.

So you are currently 19.5 pounds. We know this because we had to take you back to the doctor last week for your THIRD ear infection. So that's fun. One more and you're earning yourself an ENT trip. Let's fix that kid. You are wearing 9 month clothing and some 12 month. You are getting BIG and I love it. I do love a chubby baby.

You are still nursing. I could write an entire post on this, but I'll summarize. My supply has really tanked (though I say that every month) but you are still showing interest, so we chug along. You get up before five every morning and come to my room where you nurse. You usually fall back asleep with me for a bit. You also nurse to sleep at night and for naps if you are home with me. I truly think it's all comfort nursing. I've slacked a lot on pumping lately, but I'm still trying. Like I said from the beginning, I'm up for it as long as you seem to need, and want, to keep at it. So we keep chugging along.

You are still taking about four or five six ounce bottles a day. You are still on all acid reflux meds. It's still controlled as well as always. You still spit up a lot but you are comfortable when taking the meds. That's the important part.

We started solids this month and you have LOVED it. Avocado is hands down your favorite, followed by toast, and eggs. Oh, and strawberries. Pretty much you love anything. We had one choking incident at a restaurant that scared your Dad and I half to death so we kind of chilled after that, but we are picking back up. You get purees at school, but at home, we do all self feeding. You're getting better though most of the food still ends up on the floor. We haven't really tried a sippy yet. Or we have, but you hated it, so we haven't pushed it. We'll try again soon.

You are really reaching for people now. Especially me. You will throw herself in my direction. I adore it.

You light up when you see your people.

You started army crawling at the beginning of the month and you've ended the month rocking on all fours and going backwards. Still no forward movement yet, but it will be soon. I'm not ready for that stage yet.

You are still sleeping a little less than 12 hours a night. You usually waking up a bit before five and come join us downstairs. You usually go back to sleep with us, but not always. You definitely get up earlier than your sister ever did. You could take a few cues from her on the sleeping thing kid.

You're still a terrible napper. There is absolutely zero schedule to your day most days so you catch naps on the go. Life is just crazy right now and consistency has been hard to come by. At least you roll with the punches well.

You are a pro at sitting up. You can also get down to your belly though it's not the most graceful thing ever.

You turn and grab for us if you see us. You prefer to be held 24/7. You are definitely my dependent baby. You love to be held and rocked. Your love language is physical touch. I'm calling it now.

We moved you to a convertible seat. No lie, it hurt my heart a little. I think I live in a current state of denial that you are as big as you are.

You say "mamamama" a lot. And a sound that sounds a lot like "Ella". We all get a kick out of that.

You are definitely a bit high maintenance little boy, but we wouldn't trade anything about you for the world. We adore you sweet boy. Here's to another wonderful month with you.

Monday, May 18, 2015

6 months.

I'm going to say it every single month, but how on earth are we already here???? I can't even fathom how your first year is halfway over. I'm going to be a disaster when you turn one. It's just going too fast.

Cooper I could go on and on about how wonderful you are. You seriously have brought so much joy to our lives. We can't get enough. But I'm pretty sure I say that every month so let's get started.

What are you up to these days? You are turning a corner and changing so much. You are sleeping through the night!! I can't say enough about how thrilled this makes me. Though.. (and I can't believe I'm saying this), I do sort of miss our middle of the night nursing sessions. Not enough to make them a nightly occurrence again, but you know.. Occasionally you will wake up once about 2 or 3 am, but that's become the exception. Finally.

You weigh 18.2 pounds and are 26 inches long. You are wearing mostly 6 month and some 9 month clothes. You still suck at napping but will occasionally take a two hour nap for me. Only me. Forty five minutes is your tops for anyone else.

You still have to be rocked/nursed/bottle fed to sleep. No putting you down awake. Sometimes I worry about breaking this habit, but not too much. We'll deal with it later. You are no longer swaddled. We just wrap your bottom half and let your arms stay out.

Still not a paci fan though I'm still trying for it. I need you to learn to self soothe! You are still nursing. Though I think it's coming to an end as my supply has taken a definite hit with all the long days away from you. But we will see. I'll quit when you do.

You've started grabbing our faces and bringing us in for big open mouth (SLOBBERY) kisses. I love them. I love this stage so much. You are just so happy and love your people so much.

You are sitting up on your own!! It's not for too long but you can handle it for a few moments. You prefer to be on your stomach more than anything when you play though. You hold yourself up so well.

Still rolling all over the place. You can get anywhere you need by rolling. You are definitely showing signs that you are fixing to be on the move. I'm so not ready for that!

You are still such a cuddlebug. I love it. It's just so different from Ella and I love that you want to be with us so much. Sometimes it would be nice to get a break but I know the day is coming where you won't sit in my lap so for now, we sit. You cuddle so much at bedtime. We just sit and rock and rock and cuddle. It's my favorite part of the day with you. You just look up at me with those big blue eyes and play with my fingers or my face. Gah. You slay me kid.

You are VERY interested in our food. We've started toying with food for you. You've had banana, avocado and one of Ella's french fries. Yea, we're a little less strict this time around. We've decided to officially go the baby led weaning route so we are getting ready to dive into that next month. I can't wait.

You are just such a happy baby Coop. You laugh the most at your sister still. You're head over heels for her. The feeling is definitely mutual. You have started reaching out and grabbing her hair and stuff which drives her bananas. I can already see how you will pick on her one day. It's going to be hilarious. Don't tell her I said that.

You love your people angel baby and we love you. Oh so much.

Monday, May 4, 2015

weekend wrap-up

Do people still do these??

I was looking back at old posts from when E was a baby and getting major Mama guilt at how little I've documented things for Cooper and am now determined to change that. We shall see I guess... Life is just so much busier now. I guess that's normal.

I spend a lot of time with both kids by myself. With B's crazy work schedule, it's just how it happens. I'll be honest, I don't love it but it's our reality so... It would be so, so easy to sit at home all weekend after working like a crazy person all week but these kids are young and active and need to get out so I force myself to get out. I'm always glad we do.

This past Saturday was the Strawberry Festival here in town. We didn't have anything else going so I figured we would head that way.

Then Cooper woke up pulling on his ear and I decided last minute we needed to go get that checked out before we left town at the beginning of the week. Last minute of course.

We pulled up to the doctor at ten til one. They close at one. I grabbed the little one and one spare diaper (ROOKIE) and Ella, and we raced upstairs. Fortunately we got checked in and all and they had time to see us. I looked down to see poop on my arm and my shoulder. Fanfreakingtastic. Of course he had had a blow out, there was no time to get the bag, no changing table in the bathroom (how is that possible?!!?!), and I had no wipes. So we get in the room where I have to clean him with tissues (NO WORDS), try to get the poop off of me (while still holding him), and somehow still wrangle Ella.

It was a disaster.

He was fine (of course) and we headed on down to the festival after leaving. Yes, with poop on the front of my shirt. I figured the Ergo would cover it.

Motherhood makes me not even recognize myself.

The festival was fun. It was hot. And I'm pretty sure Ella's favorite part was the bus ride to and from the parking area, but it was worth it. She rode one ride. We stood in line for 45 minutes waiting on that ride. Totally told her "this better be the most fun you have EVER had, and if it's not? you better tell me it was". Cooper was OVER it by the time she got on the ride. It was really freaking hot.

She got to pose in those cheesy cut out picture opportunities (she freaking loves them), we ate snowcones, played in the grass, and sort of watched a wing eating contest. It was actually fun. I'm glad we went.

Sunday we were going to attempt early church before we headed to a birthday party at 11, but that was a bust. People with young kids are pretty much guaranteed to never make anything with the word "early" in it. Just saying. But we made it to the party for E's little bff and she had a blast.

We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning my car out. Which was beyond needed. Cooper refused to nap so we brought him outside with us and he loved it. My heart almost burst at watching the two of them play on a blanket together in the front yard. They are so great together. It's awesome.
We had a good weekend. I started Monday as exhausted as I ended Friday but that's just par for the course these days. Weekends will be relaxing again when they're in college I suppose. I'll soak them in for now.

Friday, April 24, 2015

this time around.

I knew deep down that the possibility of my second child being just like my first was pretty much non-existent.

Other than the obvious he was a boy and she was a girl, I knew that there would more than likely be personality differences. My pregnancies couldn't have been more different and I figured that was the beginning of what would surely be plenty of big differences in my children.

I could talk for days about how their sleep is different, or that he always wants to be held while she never did. Or that he is the world's most unscheduled baby while she was like clockwork. But I won't. Not today anyway.

When Ella was born, I never even considered not breastfeeding. I just figured it would be something we would do. I didn't give it too much thought it just was.

Then we had supply issues. From the very beginning. So we started supplementing from the very beginning.

Lactation people were telling me not to (emphatically I might add) while her doctor was telling me it had to be done because we were all watching her bilirubin rise and her weight drop with a quickness. So we supplemented. As I think any parent would have done.

My supply never went up. I tried. I pumped. I put her on every single time she wanted to eat. I did what I thought best for my girl. But things didn't change. She would latch on and scream and hit me with her frustration over low supply and I would cry and it was just AWFUL.

I went back to work and lugged that pump with me for three months. I would sit in a room pumping and squeezing every last drop I could out. We would nurse in the evenings but that ended when she lost all interest. When that happened, I dropped that pump and that measly 1/2 an ounce I was pumping, like a bad habit. I was free. And while I felt guilty as hell, I was also relieved. Beyond relieved.

So many people told me that low supply wasn't real. That it "effects like less than 3% of the population" and that that wasn't my real issue. That supplementing was the problem. That scheduling her was my problem. That made me feel worse than anything. I felt judged and that maybe I hadn't actually tried as hard as I thought.
When I found out about Cooper, I was bound and determined nursing would work this time. I didn't even allow anyone to buy any formula for "just in case" because I didn't want it there. I had flashbacks to Ella screaming all the time in hunger and I was terrified that would happen again, but I was bound and determined it wouldn't.

Then he was born. There was no immediate desire to nurse from him. He actually just laid on my chest for the longest time just staring at me and not making any move to nurse. But then he did. And for the next couple of days, he nursed over and over and over.

Pretty quickly, his weight dropped drastically. That word was brought up again; supplement and I wanted to scream. I was devastated.

They kept telling me that when my milk came in, things would be better. Just to give it a couple of days. So I did. But his weight kept dropping and his bilirubin kept going up. It was just like Ella all over again.

So I ordered some supplements of my own. I tried tea. I pumped after every feeding. And I drank more water than I have ever drank in my life.

I tried oatmeal. I threw any idea of a schedule out the window and let him nurse on demand. It was hourly but I was game. We were going to do this.

His weight went up a little and we were given the ok to stop formula. Almost immediately his diaper output plummeted. I took him up to the lactation specialist to see what was going on. He was getting less than an ounce off of both sides total.

I was so upset. I ordered new supplements. I pumped after every feeding. I felt like my chest may fall off but I was determined.

Through all of this, he hardly complained. He seemed content just to be that close to me. I felt like I was letting him down because my body sucked. To be honest, if he hadn't seemed so interested, I would have thrown in the towel immediately. It was so dang stressful.
Selfishly I wasn't ready to quit. I wasn't ready to give up that quiet time with him. I wasn't ready to give up how he would rub my fingers while he nursed. I just wasn't ready to stop.

So we kept at it. We would nurse and then supplement. It was working for us. He was happy, I was happy. We were good.

Now he is five months old and we are still at it. I've nursed in public (NEVER would have thought), though completely covered (my personal choice). We've nursed while walking around with him in the Ergo. It's a foreign world to me and honestly one I can't believe I'm in. I feel lucky. I do. I feel lucky to be experiencing this with him.

It's a lot of work. I've done some research and low supply is usually caused by some other medical things that I've got going on. Levels and stuff. So yay. But it's worth the work. I pump all day in the car while I'm traveling. I pump at night. I feel attached to that dang thing and I sort of hate it, but it's necessary. He still nurses in the middle of the night, sometimes multiple times a night and while people keep telling me to give a bottle then, it's such a special time and I'm not ready to stop. So we keep at it.

I don't know how much he's getting anymore and most days I think he's just comfort nursing but I don't care. I keep saying, "I'll quit when he's ready" and that's still my plan. I don't know how much longer we have of this but I'm bound and determined to see it through.

So one more difference between my kiddos. This one seems to need and want to nurse when his sister wanted nothing to do with it. If there's anything I've learned it's to just do what you need to do for each kiddo. So we do this.

And honestly, I think this is good for both of us. It's such a special, special time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

5 months.

Oh my boy, slow it down please.

I still think of you as my teeny tiny newborn but you're not. You are five months old and I'm dumbfounded at how we got here so fast.

We had a doctor appointment the other day and you are right around 16 1/2 pounds and about 24 3/4 inches long. You are staying right around the 50th percentile for everything. You are wearing 6 month clothes and size 3 diapers at night and size 2 during the day. You're getting big buddy. You have rolls upon rolls. It's delicious.

You have had another rough month healthwise. You started the month still battling your reflux pretty bad. You quickly ended up with an ear infection. We started up some antibiotics and you beat that pretty quick. But pretty quickly your reflux flared up again and we ended up back at the doctors with a double ear infection. We are struggling big time with your reflux. We are trying to get it under control but you are struggling.

With all that said though, you are still such a joy. You seriously have the best personality. You are still a Mama's boy through and through, but you absolutely adore your Dada and your sister. Your sister still gets the best laughs from you. You think she's hysterical.

So what else are you up to these days...

- you have a little lovey that you kind of like and will grab a hold of. We put it close to your face at night and you love it.

- you moved upstairs to your crib. You just seemed like you were getting too big for the rock-n-play so we moved you. Not going to lie, I really, really miss you down by me. Sometimes I bring you back down at one of your wake ups during the night. I'm a stage five clinger. Oh well.

- you really like sitting up in your little chair and playing.

- you adore your sister. Seriously. She gets the best smiles from you and you love sitting and playing with her. She loves to read to you and you will lay and listen to her. I am beyond thrilled that you two have each other.
- you are still pretty stingy with your laughs but you give out the smiles all day every day. You have the best smile. It lights up your whole face.

- you are still rocked/nursed to sleep and while I know this is going to be a terrible habit to break, I kind of don't care. I know this will be over before I know it. So right now, I'm soaking it in and I'll deal with breaking this habit later. You are also rocked to sleep for nap. It is what it is. I'll deal with it later.

- as for sleep, well, you kind of suck at it. You nap for maybe 45 minutes and then you are screaming to get up. You will sleep longer.. if I rock you and hold you and let you sleep on me. Which is all well and good, but there is another kid with needs in this house so... And night time? It's a guessing game. Sometimes you wake up once a night. Sometimes two or three. There is zero method to your sleep madness. Every night is something new.

- you love to be sitting up but can't sit up on your own yet.

- you are still trying to stand up but that right foot still turns in a bit.
- you have found your feet but you don't quite have them in your mouth yet.

- you now roll over back to belly and then just hang there. You still don't love tummy time but you don't roll from belly to back much.

- you go for your toys but you aren't too ambitious about it. You don't seem to be dying to move much. You definitely prefer sitting up to being on your belly or back. That could have something to do with your reflux.

- you've started smacking after nursing. It is the cutest freaking thing ever.

- you are starting to blow raspberries. You make the funniest noises with your mouth. It's hilarious.

- you attempt to hold your own bottle. But you don't attempt it too hard. You are kind of lazy. It's cool though.

Cooper we love you so much. The days are busy and kind of crazy but we wouldn't trade adding you to our family for anything. You are our best little surprise ever.

And just for fun... a little behind the scenes of the monthly photo shoot..

Thursday, April 2, 2015


And just like that, five years has flown by and tomorrow, my sweet angel, you will be five.

I feel like I'm going to wake up and you'll be sixteen. Not even kidding.
I remember when you were younger, I would write updates on what you were up to and what you were learning. I could fire off tasks and funny things you would say with a quickness because everything was so new. But now? You have exploded sweet girl. This past year has taken you from a toddler/preschooler to a little girl and it happened over night.

The other day we were all in the car and I looked back at you in your seat and I couldn't get over how grown you were. I remarked to your Dad about how you now had "big kid legs", all muscle and length and no more of the pudge of your toddler days. And it made my heart ache. Because while I absolutely adore the girl you are becoming, I do miss my tiny baby. But that's to be expected.

The biggest milestone for you this year was becoming a big sister and girl, you are the best big sister EVER.
Have we had bouts of jealousy? Of course, but you got your world rocked by Cooper joining it and you have handled it with a grace far beyond your years.

You adore your brother. You love to feed him and change him and you get so excited on nights we let y'all share a bath because then you get to help bathe him. When he smiles and laughs at you, it absolutely makes your day and you will turn to whomever is near and excitedly exclaim "he smiled at me!". I'm pretty sure that will never get old.

If you accidentally "hurt" him (like crawling on him to get to my lap), you will apologize til your blue in the face and your little face will still show how worried you are long after we have reassured you that he is fine. You love your little brother. My prayer is that you will always care for him the way you do now. He has one awesome person in his corner in you.

Ella you are hands down still the light of our lives. You make us laugh so hard and you make us absolutely beam with pride at the things you are learning and accomplishing.

You aren't perfect though. You have a sarcastic streak a mile wide and a tongue that is going to get you in trouble a lot. We are working on self control with you but you are one of those people that always have to get the last word in. You get it honest girl and I do apologize for that.

You are smart and you do so incredibly well at school. You know all your letters and numbers and can count to 100 easily (and maybe further, I tune out at 100, sorry). You can write all of our names in the house and can write all of your letters, upper and lowercase. You are learning to read. You are a pro at sounding out words and know your vowels and consonants and the sounds they make. You can read short books to us. You love to do that. You also love to spell and write words. You can be found with a notebook and pen so much of the time walking around asking us "how do you spell.." whatever it is you are working on at the moment.

You are funny. And you know it. You can make a face that makes an entire room crack up. This is also something we are working on self control with as you, like your mother, definitely enjoy the laughs and are egged on by them big time. Time and a place child, time and a place.

You never nap. You are go, go, go from the moment you wake up (7 am) til you collapse into bed at night (around 7:30-8 pm). You love to be outside but you also love curling up and watching a movie. You consider it a huge treat if we eat pizza in the living room while watching a movie. It makes your day.
I asked you about some of your favorite things and you said Sadie was your best friend (school friend) (though sometimes that answer is me!), your favorite tv show is Octonauts, and your favorite color is still pink and purple. You love grilled cheese and orange juice. You're a pretty picky eater. Your sweet tooth is out of control. Your favorite movie is still Frozen (duh) and Big Hero 6. Favorite show is Octonauts and Wild Kratts. You love your tv time for sure.

You still love books and drawing and writing. I wish you would do more of that and less tv but you got your love of tv from your Dad for sure.

Girl you are the light of our lives. We love you so, so much it hurts. You are by far our favorite and we are so proud of you and the girl you are becoming. Welcome to five girl. You're going to rock it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

4 months

Oh sweet boy, you are four months old and I cannot even wrap my head around it. I'm not blinking anymore because I swear every time I do, you grow up more. Not okay.

It's kind of been a rough month for you. I took you to Urgent Care at the end of February and you were diagnosed with reflux. You had this cough that sounded like you had been smoking for 40 years. It was awful. You felt terrible. It took us a few weeks, a trip to the ER, a diagnosis of bronchiolitis and an ear infection, a formula change, and a lot of meds to get you feeling better. It was rough. But I think you're on the up and up now. Fingers crossed.

Your sleep has left much to be desired this month. Some nights you sleep four-five hours, and some nights you are up every two hours. There has been no schedule. I'm going to throw you a bone though. You really have not felt good at all. I'm hoping now that your ear feels better and your reflux is a bit more under control that we will really see an improvement in your sleep. We all need it. For sure.

So what else have you been up to this month Coop-a-loop?

- You went to Savannah for your first St. Patrick's Day. And you had a blast. You saw a bit of the parade but you spent most of your time being passed from person to person as we all fought to hold you and love all over you.

- You push your bottle or my chest away when you're done eating.

- You are still nursing and I'm just going with your flow on this. My supply is still terrible but it's about the same as always so we work with it. I think you nurse mostly for comfort which is fine by me. I figure when you get completely frustrated with it and don't want to anymore then we will quit. Until then, I'll pump and do whatever I need to. You're worth it.
- You still eat about every three hours. We don't want to up your amount too much right now because of the reflux so you will probably stay on that schedule for a while. You eat about five ounces at every feeding.

- You are putting your weight on your feet more often and are starting to enjoy "standing" a bit more.

- You love sitting up in your little chair. You are still pretty wobbly but you're getting there.

- You have figured out the toys on your seat and love to play with them and bang them on the tray. You also have found the toys on your play mat and like to roll and grab them.

- You love your little giraffe. It's your buddy.

- You are this ll close to rolling back to belly. You keep getting stuck on your side. You can roll from stomach to back but you don't do it much. You are still not a huge fan of tummy time.

- You are extremely vocal. You have definitely found your voice and you love to use it! You have the sweetest little voice.
- You are wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes and some 6 month. You are still in size 2 Pampers Swaddlers. At your four month appointment you weighed in at 15.3 pounds and were 24.75 inches long with at 42.2 cm head circumference. You are right in the 50th percentile for everything.

- You constantly have your hands in your mouth chewing on them and I've seen you sucking your thumb a few times. You also spend a lot of time sucking in that bottom lip. You act like you're teething, but I know your sister started this months before she started teething so maybe you're just getting started. It will probably be a while before we see any teeth.

- You go to bed around 7:30 pm each night and then it's a guessing game what happens next. You are usually up at least once or twice to nurse and then usually back to sleep. But like I said, you are Mr. Random Man at night. Every night is a guessing game.

- You are getting a bit better at napping but still aren't great. You will take an hour nap every so often. That's about your longest nap. I don't get why you don't like to sleep...

- You have started giggling out loud more often. It's pretty much the best sound.

- You are starting to turn your head when we say your name and smile at your name.

- You are still hands down a Mama's boy. You adore your sister and your Daddy but you light up when I come in the room. I love it so, so much. You melt my heart kid.

You are such a joy Coop. It's been a trying month but we are moving along and I know much better times are ahead. I can't wait for the next month with you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

my boy.

We found out Cooper was a boy at an early ultrasound right around 16 weeks.

Life was crazy and honestly, I kept forgetting I was even pregnant so I thought if I knew what the baby was, it might help me bond. So I begged B and then eventually just booked it thinking he would have to go if I had a set appointment.

I kind of wanted a girl.

No, I really wanted a girl.

In my head danced visions of girls in matching clothes. Of sisters sharing a room and telling secrets into the night. Of another sweet girl wearing E's hand me downs.

We had a name picked out. I could practically see the monogrammed clothes hanging in her closet. I was already in love with this girl.

But then a part of me always thought deep down this baby was a boy. At my very first appointment when I first saw the little bug, I thought "it's a boy" and I just knew it was true.
But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't secretly still hoping for a girl.

Then we went to that appointment and the tech gave us an 85% shot that it was a boy. She just could never get that money shot to give us the 100% "it's a boy!" statement. But I knew. I knew that we'd just spent the last hour watching our son jump around on the screen.

It sounds insane to me right now that that sweet boy is sleeping away in my room, but this is how I felt back then. I had no idea...

I left that appointment slightly disappointed. I even voiced it to B, but not in so many words. I mean what kind of mother thinks like that?!

I feel I should put a disclaimer here; I adore my boy. At that moment though, I mourned the loss of a sister for Ella. And that's really what I wanted. Probably just because she loudly, LOUDLY, voiced her desire for a sister. I almost felt like I let her down. Crazy? Absolutely, but you can't reason with pregnancy hormones.
The weeks between that early ultrasound and our genetic screening were crazy in my head. A tiny part of me still thought the tech might be wrong. Maybe she saw his cord? Or a hand? I've heard plenty of stories where the ultrasound was wrong. It definitely happens.

But then the other part of me desperately hoped she was right. I bought a couple of boy items. I allowed myself to dream of blue and start to daydream of boy names. I felt like that at my next appointment I would be bummed no matter what, because now I wanted both.

The day of our specialist appointment quickly arrived and the tech took no time in pulling E aside and sharing with her first what the baby was. And as Ella said "it's a boy" (with no excitement mind you), I teared up. It was a boy. My boy. No I didn't know anything about raising boys but I was damn sure ready to try. Was I still a tad disappointed? Of course. I won't lie. Who wouldn't love watching two girls grow up? They're amazing.

I had no idea.

It's actually kind of weird typing this now because I know I felt this way but he's here now and oh my gosh ya'll; this boy has rocked my world.

My whole life I've been waiting on this child. On both of my children, but I couldn't imagine what he would do to my heart. I know they say boys are "Mama's boys" but you just don't get it til you see it. Til you live it. I swear I didn't know we were missing him until he was here and I realized that he's been missing all along. He is ours. He is the final piece to our family puzzle. We never would have been complete if it hadn't been him.

Funny how things work out. It makes me thankful that I'm not in charge of things. I didn't know how much I needed this boy. I didn't know how much I would adore this boy. I didn't know how much it would make my heart smile to watch him and Ella develop a relationship I could have only dreamed of. Thank you God for knowing better than I do. Thank you God for our beautiful, beautiful, beautiful baby boy. He's our world. I think we'll keep him.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

full circle.

November is an extremely hard month around here.

While it's the beginning of the holiday season and pretty much the beginning of my favorite time of year, it's also the month that we suffered the most heart ache in.

It's the month that three of our pregnancies left us. The one where we found out about the other one that left us at Christmas. It's a hard, hard month.

When I found out Cooper was due in November, my heart sank. And when I went to that first ultrasound appointment, by myself since Mr. P was working out of town, and I was told that the baby's heart "was very slow but there's nothing we can do about it", I walked out to my car and just sobbed. Of course my November baby wasn't going to make it. It's such a bad month.

But God has bigger plans than us. Always. And they are always so, so much better than we can imagine them to be. Because that baby? He made it. And he turned an ordinary day in a month that used to bring so much heartache, into one of the best days ever. In a way it has all come full circle. All that heartache, all that loss in one month of a year and then He completed our family with the sweetest gift in that month.


This guy? He stole our hearts. He is absolutely the perfect little bookend to complete our family. I got my best gift of 2014 in November.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

3 months.

Oh Coop a loop these months are flying by.

You are just such a joy to us sweet boy. We are far more tired than we ever imagined we would be but you are beyond worth it. You are just the best little guy.

You are currently in 3-6 and some 6 month clothes. You can still wear 3 month but they are pretty tight. You are in size 1 diapers but just until we finish the ones we have. You are probably around 14 or so pounds. I should weigh and measure you. Put that on my to do list.

So what are you up to at 3 months little one?

-You are constantly blowing spit bubbles. Constantly. Your shirts are covered in drool and as much as I hate them, bibs have become a necessary evil. You are a drooling machine.

-You are just so smiley and so happy. Still not a ton of giggles but you do get really excited and make a very happy "cooing" noise. It's just as adorable as giggles. You love to play "where's Cooper?" and you loved to be "scared". Boo is your favorite word currently. You also love when we sing you the "Cooper the Pooper" song. Yes, it's an original.

-You are really starting to grab and hold onto things. You love the little giraffe rattle which we try to keep with you in your carseat.

-You are VERY obvious about being hungry and tired. When you're tired, you start to rub against our chest/shoulders. When you start getting like that it's time to put you down. You put yourself to sleep. You do not want to be rocked when you're that tired (this only happens at night. You want nothing to do with being put down during the day).

-You are obsessed with your hands. They are always in your mouth!

-You are hands down a Mama's boy. I get the best smiles from you and when I start talking you start looking around frantically until you lay eyes on me. If you can hear me but aren't touching me, you will pull yourself in the direction of my voice. I not so secretly love it. I hope you are always this way.

-You do not like to be put down. You'll hang out for a little while not attached to a person but it does not last long. You are just a people person. That's what I'm calling it anyway...

-You are still 50/50 breastmilk and formula. I'm so over pumping but you aren't showing any lack of interest in nursing when we're together so I'm bound and determined to let you lead. I know this will be over before I know it so even though my supply sucks and I'm over carting a pump all over the Carolinas, I'm in it for the long haul. You tell me little buddy.

-Your sleeping still leaves much to be desired. You are a terrible napper. You may have a good day where you get a couple of good naps but then you'll go days with the longest nap being 25 minutes. It can be maddening. You go to bed about 8 ish but are usually up around 2 am. Some days it will take you a couple of hours to get back to sleep which means my day starts at 2 am for good. I do not like those days. Most nights you nurse at 2 and then go back to sleep til 4 or 5. I can handle those days a bit better. You're pretty random. We've attempted "sleep training" but you really want nothing to do with it. Your sister was so easy that I couldn't understand why everyone didn't sleep train. Now I know. Some kids are just not going to have it.

All in all I don't mind your not sleeping. Don't get me wrong, you can start sleeping better any time now, but I'm slowly adjusting to the sucky sleep and I know you will eventually sleep so... I'm trying to hang in there. You've kind of got me wrapped though. This could be why you get away with everything.

You are such a joy Cooper. You really are. Everyone remarks on what a good baby you are. And while you're pretty high maintenance (need warm bottles, warm wipes, to be held ALL THE TIME), I wouldn't trade you for the world. I know not every baby is as easy as your sister was. You're just keeping us on our toes. We should thank you.

We love you more than the world Coop. You're our favorite little buddy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

my girl.

Oh this girl.

I love my child. Dearly. But to say she and I, no, she and EVERYBODY and having a time, would be putting it mildly.

I honestly have to brag on her for a second though. This girl? she is the best big sister ever. No seriously. EVER.
She is always quick to help out. You can ask her to go get something and she's on it before you finish the sentence. Even if she just made a trip upstairs, she'll go right back up there if it's for something her little brother needs. She loves to hold him, feed him, change his diaper (only wet ones!), and pick out his socks each morning to match his outfit.

I haven't had any of the "can't take a shower" problems, because I can. I can leave C with her for a few minutes (on his mat or something) and she will watch him like a hawk. She'll come get me the second he makes a peep and she knows better than to ever pick him up.

She has a heart of gold. If she accidentally does anything that might make him upset, it breaks her little heart. She climbed in my lap the other day only to sit on his leg and you would have thought her dog just died. She was so worried about him.
That is not to say that we aren't having our fair share of jealousy issues.

She gets a little upset every day as packages of spring clothes roll in for Cooper and less for her. She doesn't get that he has ZERO spring clothes while she already has last years. Try explaining that to a kid that hasn't had anyone else for her shopaholic Mom to buy for the last four years. It's real fun.

And the sleep issues? Oh the sleep issues.

For months now, E has gotten up every single night and ended up in our bed. Well, up until a couple of weeks ago when we had to get strict about the consequences if she kept it up. Let's put it this way, there was not a soul in this house getting a good night's sleep and it was not because of the newborn.

She decided she hated being upstairs by herself even though she's been upstairs by herself since we moved here. She then decided that she didn't have anyone up there watching her and that was not okay. She said they were "all dead" (aka, dolls). I'm telling y'all, it was bad.

She's not a good bed partner or we may have allowed it but it had to stop. So we finally laid down the law on that and she's managed to stay upstairs every night for the last week or so. Hallelujah amen.
She's been taking a nap at school most days and that's because she's not sleeping well at home. Her teachers are loving this latest development. Her parents not so much.

She's also been having a lot of issues with tantrums. We've managed to get pretty lucky in this department as she's never been a big foot stomper or someone who throws herself around. Until now.

Now I know all of this has got to be a regression of sorts from all the change. I know that. But it doesn't make it any easier.

And I'm sure a lot of it is our fault. She's always been so independent and so grown up that I think sometimes we forget that she's just FOUR YEARS OLD. No kidding, sometimes I have to check myself when I find me asking tasks of her that an eight year old might not do. I think in a way we've forced her to grow up a lot and maybe she's just not having it.

The thing about Ella though, is that she thrives on tasks. She thrives on being able to help out. To be a leader in her surroundings. She's bossy though and lately she's having such a hard time keeping it in check. And that mouth of hers.... I could go on for days about that but I won't.
So that's where we are at with E. We're struggling a bit but I know we'll get through it. The attitude, the sass; they're all qualities of my girl that make her her. And she's awesome. We just have to keep working to guide those qualities into something useful. Something positive.

And maybe tire her out daily so she'll sleep good at night. That would be awesome.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2 months

It's cruel how fast time goes. You need to slow this growing up thing down. You hear me?

Coop you are two months old. You are weighing in at 12 pounds 6 ounces (I know right?!) and 23 inches long. You are solidly in - and 3 month clothes. Even your newborn pants are too short now. You have gotten long!

You are a smiley little guy. It may have taken you a while to start giving us those smiles but at 7 weeks it just kind of clicked with you and you've been smiling ever since. We can't get enough. It's the cutest little thing ever.

You've also laughed out loud once on January 12th. Just once though and it was at something your sister was doing. You haven't done it since though.

You've also rolled over once from tummy to back. You were bound and determined you weren't going to do tummy time! You do tolerate tummy time sometimes, but you definitely don't love it.

You are a pro at straightening and standing on those little legs of yours when we hold you up. You still prefer to be facing out when being held and sitting facing out. You just like to see the world.

You have such good head control. You just seem so big already!

You are doing much better with your sleeping. You still aren't a great schedule per se but you've started sleeping around 5-6 hours straight, sometimes seven, most nights so I'll take it. You still have a few nights where you wake at about 2:30 but you just nurse for about 15-20 minutes and then you are right back to sleep. I prefer the mornings you sleep til about 4. Just saying...

You still aren't a great napper. I'm not super strict with you. Maybe I should be, but you aren't unhappy and you aren't screaming so... we shall see. Maybe next month I'll crack down more. Right now? well you can do no wrong.

You are definitely a Mama's boy. You much prefer me to anyone else. I secretly love this. Though it would be nice to have more than 10 minutes to get things done. I need my arms buddy!

You still have the most calm, laid back demeanor. You cry when hungry and when tired. As soon as you start whining that you're tired, we stick a paci in your mouth, swaddle you up, and you are out in minutes. You are really good at putting yourself to sleep as well. I kind of miss having to rock you to sleep but I am glad you can self soothe.

Cooper you've rocked our worlds in the best possible way. It's only been two months but it feels like you were always a part of us. We love you little buddy.

Monday, January 12, 2015

the last few weeks...

So somehow my maternity leave is already over. I literally blinked and 6 weeks were gone. I had all these big plans on what I would get done while I was on "break". Ask me how many I got dome. That's right; zero. But I really don't care. Because I spent my break cuddling a baby. A baby that is already 8 weeks old. I don't even know how that happened.

I keep swearing I'm going to blog more. Blog his everyday like I did with Ella. But I have to be honest, life is busy right now. There's work, church, play, dogs, cat, kids; someone always needs something. And this blog comes last. It kind of has too. But I do really want to have a record for him like I do for Ella. So I'm going to try.

My maternity leave flew by. Coop and I spent a lot of time watching Netflix and cuddling. It was all kinds of awesome. We celebrated Thanksgiving and then Christmas and before I knew it, his first month was up.

There wasn't a lot of time for crazy postpartum hormones. With so many people here, it was hard to just sit around and cry. I did sneak away a few times for a good cry, but overall, the whole postpartum thing was much better this time around. I felt good. Even the crazy nights with him were good. I was tired, but I felt good.

With a four year old sister, there wasn't a lot of time to sit around and do nothing. When she was home, we were busy. So C got dragged to all kinds of Christmas activities. We did Christmasville and Santa visits and ice-skating. We traveled down to Florence and met C's other grandparents and introduced C to one of my best friends. We left C with a sitter for a night while Ella was at a lock in at school and Mr. P and I got a little date night to enjoy dinner and Christmas shopping.

It flew by. I hope to blog more about Christmas soon. It was so fun. E is at such a fun age and C is just a doll.

Cooper is the sweetest baby ever. He was sucking at sleeping, but even that's gotten better the last few nights. I'll talk more about him in his two month post, which somehow is right around the corner. This time around has been so different from E. I don't know why but this baby has me wrapped. I was a schedule nazi with Ella, but with C, I'm letting him do things on his own time. The thought his crying it out breaks my heart and I haven't been able to do it at all. Fortunately he hasn't had too as he's figuring things out pretty well on his own.

I'm so in love with this baby. So in love. I pretty much think the sun and moon rises because of him. I knew I would love him but I couldn't even fathom a love like this. I guess it's true; there really is something special about a Mom and her son. He stole my heart.

Ella has been a rockstar but she honestly deserves her own post full of all the brags. Let's just say that Coop definitely lucked up in the big sister department. He got the best one ever.

So that's where we are. We're trying to figure things out and navigate our new normal. Life is good. It's really good.

Friday, January 2, 2015

it's only a season....

You'll sleep again one day..

This is the mantra I'm repeating to myself over and over these days. I am tired.

There is so much I want to catch up on. So much I want to blog. Cooper's First Christmas, Ella and Cooper meeting for the first time, what we're up to these days... But that requires time. And two hands. Neither of which I have very often these days.

The first couple of weeks with C were amazing. I was tired, of course, but the every three hours was working for us and even when he was awake, he was so darn pleasant that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I remarked on more than one occasion how different this was than with Ella. With her, the nights were full of screaming and tears from both of us and the exhaustion couple with that was more than I could take. I can't tell you how many times I ran to B and handed him her with the words "I can't take it anymore!".

Cooper has been so different. I haven't felt that. I haven't woken B up any as I've been handling the nights pretty well. He was napping pretty decent during the day as well so I was able to occasionally get some rest.

The last week or so has completely changed. I don't believe you can "spoil" a newborn, but this one certainly acts like it. He is only happy when held and his sleeping has gone to pot. I've tried to start following some sort of schedule lately and I'm pretty sure I can actually hear him laughing at me when I try to make him do something on my timetable. He's been staying up til midnight these days even pushing it to 1 am last night only to wake up again at 4 and stay awake for two hours.

He's still not crying in the night; as long as you hold him. When you put him down? all bets are off and I'm just not to the crying it out stage yet. I may be my own worst enemy but....

My girl is being awesome. She is far and away the best big sister EVER. She's so helpful and lights up when given the opportunity to hold or feed her brother. She's had a few more tantrums than usual but even that is calming down as she gets a bit more used to him. I do feel like she gets the shaft a lot because C does take a lot of my time, but she's rolling with it. Currently she's singing along to "Part of Your World" from the Little Mermaid and giving me five seconds of peace and quiet while Cooper takes what is sure to be a ten minute nap.

Life is different with two. I feel like sometimes I can barely keep my head up as I juggle work (yes, I worked through my maternity leave which is up on Monday), Ella, Cooper, B, and the house. I'll let you guess which of those are getting the short end of the stick. I did spend a good deal of my maternity just cuddling my boy which I am so glad of, but I'm still beyond devastated that that time is over.

I don't even know what I'm saying. And now Cooper is awake again. Called it. His naps suck.

I'll leave you with this; my boys first smile caught on camera at 6 1/2 weeks. He better be glad he's so darn cute. And that I know this is just a season and we will get through this..

I'll sleep eventually.


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