Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays!!


Merry Christmas!!!  We  had a great Christmas and hope all of our friends and family did as well!  December is one HECTIC month, especially with a toddler running around.  I feel like the fact that I can even blog is a miracle in itself.  In the petroleum industry, and especially in Corpus Christi, everybody sort of gets into a vacation-y frame of mind.  It is next to impossible to carry on any business! David and I attended several industry Christmas parties this year, just as we always do, but with just a little twist.  Cooper got to attend two of them with us, though we only stayed an hour (or so).  Aunt Libby kept Cooper while we attended our favorite party on the 9th, and Grandma kept him while we attended David's company party on the 14th.  Then, on the 19th, we attended a graduation party where Cooper spent the night with Grandma!  This was our first time to spend the night apart, and we all did fine!  Cooper woke up a few times, but he does that to me all the time, and there were no major meltdowns or issues! It went so well, according to Grandma, that we are already planning a weekend getaway for "just us".



After all the holiday party hoopla, the week of Christmas came roaring in.  I had tried desperately all month to do all the shopping and running around beforehand, so we wouldn't be in such a crazy state the week of Christmas...FAIL!!!  Oh well, tis the season!  On the Eve of Christmas Eve, three of my cousins, Uncle Clint, and Aunt Christie and Uncle James came over for a shrimp boil.  The next night we hosted Christmas Eve for my family, and our long ago adopted family the Morgans.  We stayed true to the south Texas tradition of eating tamales on Christmas Eve, along with a big pot of chili, and OUR tradition, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Creme.  Cooper miraculously stayed on his schedule, even if we pushed it back a little late.  After his bath, showing us his new "brush your teeth" dance, he hit the sack and slept relatively well all night.  On Christmas morning, Cooper immediately pointed at the now full stockings, so that is what we did first.  After Mom and Dad had coffee and Cooper had some milk, we attacked the mound of presents left by Santa.  Cooper got TONS of toys and books.  After breakfast and some hurried pie baking, we went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for more presents and Christmas dinner.  Again, Cooper made a haul!  Grandma and Grandpa couldn't agree on what his big present should be...a ride-on BMW or a rocking horse...so he got both!  ONLY GRANDPARENTS!!!



The next day, we got up early, and hit the road to visit the Kirks in Houston.  We were greeted with 3 very excited cousins and MORE PRESENTS!  Cooper's big gift was a DVD player that you can watch in the car...thank you Nonnie and Papa Kirk!!  We stayed two nights, playing Wii with our nephew, taking Cooper to the park, and of course, eating WAY too much.  It was almost a relief to drive home...knowing that all the holiday indulgence was almost over.  At any rate, we had a beautiful and blessed holiday and are just "full" of the season.  Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving

This year we traveled to Houston to be with the Kirks for Thanksgiving. We had a very pleasant holiday, even if getting there wasn't so wonderful. While we were driving on the beltway in Houston, something (we think a golf or baseball) flew up and shattered Cooper's window! It scared us half to death! Cooper was completely fine. In fact, he didn't so much as even cry! (Mom did, however, when she realized how bad that could have been!) Even though we grumbled about having to deal with a smashed window over the holiday, we
were reminded that we have so much to be thankful for! Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, though Cooper slept through it. (Dinner just happened to be ready during his usual nap time.) When he woke up, Cooper happily ate turkey, bread, broccoli with cheese, and a bite of apple pie. When we weren't eating, Cooper had a blast playing with his cousins Brayden, Brianna, and Brycen. He thought he was a big kid! He loved sitting at the kids' table,(...so much that when we got home we ordered him one!) and playing at the playground across the street.
The kids' table:
Brianna, Brycen, Brayden, and Cooper
Cooper and Brianna: (I think she was his favorite.)

Brayden pushing Coop on the swing:

Dad and Cooper at the top of the slide...
I want to go down again!
Make it go!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cooper's Day Out


In lieu of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I am taking the entire week off from work. That gave us the opportunity to take Cooper to the Texas State Aquarium for the first time. Grandma recently finished up a fundraising project for the aquarium so she had a free pass. Cooper liked looking at the fish, birds and dolphins, though his favorite exhibit were some orange construction cones near the bird theater. (Oh, well.) He really loved that we didn't make him sit in the stroller and he got to roam around. (Usually in public places he has to sit or hold my hand.) After walking around outside for a bit, we went to the underwater viewing area for the dolphins. Cooper liked watching the dolphins swim by, until he noticed the other little kids around. Then he was happy to be right in the middle of the other kids. Afterward, we trooped back up to watch the dolphin show. Grandma and Mom enjoyed the show, Cooper relaxed in his stroller and had a snack. We were encroaching on nap time, so we made the 10 minute drive home. (There ARE benefits to living in a small town!)
Cooper's "favorite" exhibit:
"Reading" the exhibit information:

Fish at the Gulf of Mexico exhibit:

Cooper and the dolphins:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trick or Treat!

This October 31st marked Cooper's second Halloween. Last year Coop was only a month old, so all we got to do was dress him up in an orange pumpkin onesie (which he didn't like), and take pictures. We started the day by oversleeping...(Lately Cooper has been sleeping past 6 a.m....THANK THE LORD!) We had a garage sale with friends in the morning, then everyone came over to our house for lunch (Thanks Libby!) and a little football (Gig 'Em Aggies!!!) while Cooper took a nice long nap.
That evening, Uncle James and Aunt Christie, and Uncle Clint came over to help celebrate Halloween. We suited Cooper up in his dinosaur outfit, then drove to Grandma's and some friends' houses so Cooper could trick-or-treat for the first time. Afterward, we ended up back at our house for football, buffalo wings, beer and of course handing out candy. At first, Cooper wasn't too sure about all the kids in costume coming to our door, but after watching me give them candy a few times, he decided it was okay. Every time there was a knock on the door, Cooper would head towards the door and "help" me hand out the candy.
It was a relaxing evening...we ran out of candy and had to switch the porch light off by 7:30 and Cooper only stayed up mildly late. He even seemed to enjoy being in costume all evening. Here are some pics:
What is this? Can I really eat it?
Dad, Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, and Cooper
Uncle Clint, Coop, and Aunt Christie
Trick-or-Treating with Grandma:

Friday, October 16, 2009

What we have been up to...


I know I haven't posted since the momentous occasion of Cooper's first birthday...we have been busy! We are still officially in what I call our "birthday season." We have been in one long continuous birthday celebration since September 30 (my dad's birthday). After Cooper's birthday (and Clint's) we had David's mom, and my mom...and countless other relatives and friends. All we have left of the season is for me to hit the big 3-0 on the 24th and then we can start getting ready for the holidays! I just love fall! Birthdays, holidays, cool weather, and college football! I am getting off track! (Though I am enjoying the cool, crisp air as I type.)
In the last two weeks, we have been celebrating birthdays and we enjoyed a visit from Nonnie and Papa. David is hitting work hard as usual, fixing things in and around our house (as usual) and working on selling our jeep. He is enjoying his new (to us) Hummer H3 truck, and has even had a chance to hunt AND fish some this fall. (I know what you are thinking about the truck...it actually gets pretty good gas mileage!)
I am busy working part-time and loving getting to be with Cooper during a lot of my week. I am in training for the San Antonio half marathon, and am taking a cake decorating class.

(My cake, after one week of class)
Cooper gets to hang out with Grandma twice a week, go to Mother's Day Out once a week, and he and I are taking a music for toddler's class. We have a lot of fun dancing, singing, and playing instruments with the other moms and toddlers. Otherwise he is just one busy, happy, and spirited toddler!

Driving his friends around the house.

First attempt at mac and cheese...with a spoon!
I guess that sums us up pretty well...Happy Fall everyone!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Cooper!

Exactly one year ago today, at 12:42 in the afternoon, Cooper hit the planet and forever changed our lives. Our little 7 lb, 6 oz baby has turned into a to toddler! Major accomplishments Cooper has achieved are his WALKING skills...he practically just runs now...and his desire to really vocalize and communicate. He is trying new words all the time and loves to point to what he wants. A few new words that have entered his vocabulary include "Ralph" (our dog), "more", and "done".
We celebrated Cooper turning one year old (and Mom and Dad surviving the first year) by having a birthday party yesterday afternoon. Cooper had a lot of fun playing with his friends and he received some great gifts. He received lots of toys, trucks, a radio flyer wagon, and a "cozy coupe" car! Cooper loves anything with wheels so his little tykes car was a huge hit. (Thank you Aunt Libby and Uncle Bill!!!) Thank you everyone that came to our party and for Cooper's new things!
A few party pics:
Cooper and friends playing.

Is all this for me?

Brandt and Cooper

Uncle Clint, Lori and Cooper
This is going to be fun to put together!
Group effort putting together the cozy coupe.

Finshed product: Sheer joy!

Eating a cupcake:

Cupcakes for Cooper!
Cooper's giant cupcake!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Ride

Cooper really loves the new front-facing car seat! He can see outside, us, and where we are going. I was worried it wouldn't be as comfortable as the rear-facing, but I guess I was wrong!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cooper on the Go!

A few pics from the last couple of weeks:
Running out of chances to sleep in the old car seat...we switch to a front-facing in a few weeks!
I had fun at the Frio River over Labor Day weekend!
Sometimes I wake up too early!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Eleven Months Old!

Cooper is eleven months old! On one hand I can't BELIEVE we will be celebrating the end of his first year in just a month. On the other hand, in a way it seems he has always been the way he is now. Cooper is a smiley, always-on-the-go little chap that delights us to our cores everyday! He has lots to do, and lots to say! While we can't really understand much of what he is saying, we know he is telling us something. All day long he strings different sounds, pitches, and tones together into what sounds like sentences, but we can't decipher it!! He has just recently started expressing "no" by pushing the food or object away with his hand and shaking his head emphatically. He loves to mimic us, especially when we clap, blow raspberries, make the indian sound (repeatedly hitting our hand over our mouth while saying ah) and dance! Intelligible words he can say include hi, bye, ma-ma, da-da, dog, and ba...which I think he uses for several things, like bottle, and just "look at that!"
We are having lots of fun watching his personality and preferences emerge! He is really starting to get good at trying new foods...I have to turn my head so he doesn't see me laugh when he spits something out he doesn't like! I'm just thrilled he eats well...I guess we can work on table manners later.
Cooper seems to want to do things HIS way! (I have no idea where he gets that from.) He is trying to give up one of his naps (NOOOOO!) and seems to be trying to wean himself off the bottle. He is less and less interested in the bottle and is taking less and less formula. I hope the doctor okays milk at his 12 month appointment because he doesn't want formula! He drinks well from a regular cup, but seems to think sippy cups are toys. I am ok with that...but his teacher at Mother's Day Out (which he started yesterday) might not think so!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Haircut!

Cooper's first real haircut:
Before:
After:
Disclaimer: I forgot to turn on the flash at the barber shop, so all the pictures came out kind of blurry...and I had to take the "after" picture a day later.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cruise Control

Life around our house has changed dramatically in just the last two weeks! Cooper has been cruising around holding onto furniture for some time now, but on Monday he actually walked! When he started taking a step and lunging for us, we knew we were getting close. When he figured out that he can use his fire truck as a walker, and in turn, move all over the house with it, we could see the writing on the wall. Then on Monday morning, Cooper let go of the couch and took 5 steps to David...not holding on to anything, no lunging, and no falling! I haven't gotten a video of him walking yet, because he still prefers crawling and only walks a little bit, but I did get one of him pushing his fire truck around. We think it's funny how he likes to push it sideways instead of making it roll.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick Vacation

Last week we had our hardwood floors refinished, so we couldn't stay at home. We thought this would be a perfect oppurtunity to take a mini-vacation. We stayed at the lakehouse and explored the area around us a little. On Thursday, we went to La Cantera, where Mom got to shop some and Dad finally got to go to Bass Pro Shops. (David has been dying to go there for a long time.) There Cooper got to ride in the elevator that goes into a big fish tank and then we tried out kid-carrying backpacks for when we take Cooper camping and hiking this fall.
On Friday our friends brought their boat to the lake and Cooper enjoyed his first boat ride. Mom was excited because she got to water-ski. (She had missed out on water activities last year because she was carrying precious cargo.) Cooper did awesome on the boat...he didn't resist the life jacket and seemed to like the loud motor and water splashing in his face. Dad said Cooper thought it was funny when he saw Mom get up on skis. After a few hours on the lake, we
took our dog-tired selves back to the house for fajitas. Cooper and his few friend, three-year-old Emily, had a lot of fun playing chase and "where's Cooper?" (Bad Mom and Dad, we didn't get a single picture on this day...we really need a waterproof camera!)
On Saturday we attempted to have a picnic in Landa Park in New Braunfels, but a Saturday in the summer is no day to try that...there was absolutely no parking there at lunchtime, so we had to settle for lunch at Los Cucos. Mom and Dad enjoyed a margarita while Cooper enjoyed making faces at the kid making faces at him at the next table. (He is such a social little guy!) After lunch we decided to give the park another try, and low and behold, found a parking spot at the spring-fed pool. We were on the verge of heat stroke at this point, so swimming at the pool was a must. Cooper is quite the water baby, so of course he enjoyed swimming amongst the minnows and other kids, even though the water was COLD!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Cat in Town

We have missed our kitty cat the last couple of weeks, but Uncle Clint let us visit with his kitty, Phil. Phil was a good sport.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

10 Months Old!

Today Cooper has reached 10 months of age! It is hard to grasp that we have made it to this point already! When I look at pictures of Cooper when he was brand new, I don't really remember him being that small. It went so fast, it seems like he has always been the size he is now (30 inches long, 20 lbs), and the way he is now...a happy, sweet, adventurous little pill that is trying to walk and climb on and out of everything! Yesterday he got really mad because he was trying to climb out of his high chair but I had strapped him in too well. He tries to climb out of the pack-n-play, and can almost do it, so I am going to have to find another way to take a shower!
Cooper now has eight teeth, and at least one more coming...I don't know for sure, he doesn't exactly let us look in his mouth. He has also widely expanded his repertoire of foods! I am loving the ease of just putting him in his high chair and giving him a handful of something to eat. He loves Cheerios, bananas, peaches, pineapple, wagon-wheel pasta, turkey, goldfish crackers, whole-wheat waffles, toast, and yogurt. He isn't a huge vegetable eater, unfortunately, but I do manage to get some broccoli or peas down him...if I sneak it into his pasta. I was worried we would have a hard time getting him off pureed foods, but if I do try and feed him something, he won't have it! He would rather feed himself, which is fine with me!
In the past month, Cooper has learned to clap his hands and say "Yea!", and he sort of whispers now! So cute! He is sooo close to walking! He can stand on his own for several minutes and sometimes will take a cautious step towards one of us...so I know it won't be long!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bugs and Bernie

This week our house was being treated for termites, so Mom, Dad, Cooper, and our pets Ralph, Dooley, and Bernie all had to stay over at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was a little crazy for four adults, one baby, three dogs, and three cats to all hang out together in one house, but it was fun! Mom got to enjoy Grandma's company, as in we got to TALK without a baby around to distract us. (We enjoyed a glass of wine and a skinny cow after Cooper went to sleep.) Dad and Grandpa played pool, and Cooper got to stay up a little past his bed time and he slept better than he does at home (naturally).
While we are glad to be back in our own house again, we are a little sad...while we were at Grandma's, our kitty cat Bernie ran away! She was hanging out in Grandma's backyard with our dogs (just like she does at home) and for some reason decided to leave! We have called the lost pet hotline, talked to the neighbors, and put up signs, but she hasn't shown up yet! I hope she comes back soon...Cooper loves her!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blogger is ANNOYING!

Please excuse how the previous two blogs look...blogger is a terrible program that has a bunk preview function. While in preview mode my postings look good, as in, the picture descriptions are next to the pictures they are describing. When I go to post, that is not the case. I have already wasted too much of Cooper's nap time to try and figure out how and why this is happening to my posts all of a sudden.
(Ok I vented, and I feel better.)

Two Weeks of Family Fun

I know I haven't blogged in a little while...but we have been busy with a capital B! In the last two weeks, in the middle of remodeling our living room, it has been a family affair! We have traveled to attend a family reunion and a wedding. Two weekends ago we went to Fredericksburg to see Grandma's side of the family, the Arhelgers. Cooper got to meet several cousins, aunts and uncles that he had never met! He also got to eat at the Auslander with Uncle Clint, shop a little around Fredericksburg, and swim at the hotel pool. (Most of the family camped...but there was NO WAY we were going to camp in the heat with a 9 month old!)
Having breakfast at "The Hanger" the morning of the reunion

This past weekend we traveled to the lake for two reasons. One, to visit Nonnie and Papa Kirk, and two, to attend my cousin (Graham side) Leah's wedding in San Antonio. Cooper had fun playing with Nonnie and Papa and the different toys (than from home) that we have at the lake. On Saturday afternoon, after a frantic search for Dad's wedding ring (we found it), we drove into San Antonio for Leah's wedding. The wedding and bride were both gorgeous and Cooper was an angel during the ceremony...until he caught sight of Grandma sitting two rows behind us! Then he thought it was funny to giggle and make faces at Grandma and my other cousin's husband sitting behind us! Luckily the ceremony didn't take very long!
Our little family ready for the wedding

Graham great-grandsons and their mamas at the wedding:
Andrea, Owen, Cooper, Leslie

Playing at the lake
Practicing "driving" at a rest stop on the way home
We had fun but we are looking forward to staying at home for a little while!