Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas

We have been busy in the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Decorating, shopping, and kid activities have dominated our time.  We have a great little playgroup that we do lots of fun things with, and Penny continues  to grow and change before our eyes! A few shots of our recent goings on... 

Eating pizza with friends at our Chuck E. Cheese play date.
Penny is now big enough for the Exersaucer!
We had a play date at the mall where we all got to meet Santa.
Our two little grinches...neither one was thrilled about dressing up for Cooper's school Christmas program.
Cooper with his school mates in the Christmas program.  His class sang "Jingle Bells" and "O Christmas Tree."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Remembering Papa Kirk

Last weekend we had to say goodbye to David's dad, Norman Kirk.  I know David and his family have many wonderful memories and stories about him.  I only joined the Kirk family seven years ago, so my repertoire of stories is lacking compared to those who knew and loved him best.  I feel so lucky, however, to have known him for the short time that I did.  I quickly learned that Papa was a caring, considerate, and gentle soul that adored his children and grandchildren. He will always live in our hearts!

David and his parents on our wedding day.  So happy and proud!
Papa and baby Cooper.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Highlights from our Thanksgiving holiday:

Coop and Mom at the FPPS Thanksgiving feast.
Dad, Coop, and our friends at the school Thanksgiving feast
Our Thanksgiving table
Pie!!!
Gig 'Em Aggies!
Penny turned 3 months old!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A "Typical" Day


I am always blogging about our adventures that occur mostly on the weekends.  It recently occurred to me that the real adventure is our day to day life.  All the little things that happen in between our planned activities and each child’s milestones are what life is made of.  I wanted to chronicle one typical day for us so that when our kids grow up and our lives are different yet again, we can remember just what it was like to live with two young kids…

5:15 a.m.  Wake up with headache but get up and go for a run anyway. (This is my first day back into my running regime, I HAVE to!)  I can’t find the key to the garage door, so I lock myself out, hoping David will be up to let me in when I get back.

5:55 a.m. Return from run…everybody is up, and everybody is cranky.

5:58 a.m. Cool off, start coffee maker; go get Penny out of her crib. David tries to doze sitting up while Cooper watches Thomas the train.   I change Penny’s diaper, then feed her while I watch Thomas with David and Cooper.  We drink coffee!!! Cooper asks for goldfish, but settles for some milk and a banana.

6:30 a.m. I make breakfast, load the dishwasher and start a load of laundry while David works out and gets ready for work, Penny plays on her play mat, and Cooper plays trains on the train table.

7:15 a.m.  I walk into the sunroom where Coop is playing and smell poop.  I sigh as Cooper announces, “I poop.” I opt to ignore this obvious sign that potty training is on the horizon and a quick chase around the train table ensues. 

7:30 a.m. Cooper eats his scrambled egg and exactly one 1-inch square of toast.  I am disappointed by this showing, as he barely ate anything yesterday.  I remind myself that if he is truly starving, he will eat.

7:50 a.m. David leaves for work, and I chase Cooper around the living room since it is time to get dressed for the day.  I notice his shirt is a little short and a candidate for the goodwill pile, but I leave it on him anyway.  I delight in Penny’s delight of being on her changing table.  Plus she looks really cute in her little dress.

8:00 a.m. I leave Penny in her swing and Cooper watching “Super Why” so that I can take a quick shower.  I get out of the shower in time to hear Penny fussing.  I run to the top of the stairs in a towel and hair dripping to make sure it isn’t because Cooper is sitting on her.  He isn’t, and I am thankful that I don’t have to get on to him for that for the 8th time today.  I lay Penny in the middle of my bed, hoping the ceiling fan will be enough distraction for me to throw on some clothes and dry my hair.  It isn’t, and I decide kinky hair is not a huge deal in the scheme of things.

8:45 a.m. Dryer signal goes off, scaring the daylights out of both Cooper and myself.  I don’t generally have that switched on…Coop must have been playing with the knobs again. 

9:15 a.m.  Grandma arrives for a visit!  Hooray!

10:00 a.m. Grandma takes Cooper for a walk and I attempt to get Penny down for a nap.  She goes down easily!  I am grateful I have read the “baby whisperer” book for establishing good sleep habits in babies.

10:10 a.m.  I work on my pile of office “stuff” to do:  Reconcile the checking account, pay some bills, clip some coupons, file, and order more winter clothes for Cooper.  Check email and update blog.  Work on a grocery list and a “to do” list for tomorrow.

10:38 a.m. Penny wakes up and I implement the “shush-pat” method to get her back down.  It works, and I wish the baby whisperer hadn’t passed away, so that I could send her flowers.

11:00 a.m. Grandma and Cooper return from their walk.  Cooper doesn’t want his diaper changed, and his wails of protest wake up Penny.  This time she doesn’t go back down.  We skipped our 10 a.m. snack, so I nurse Penny while Cooper eats chicken nuggets and an orange.  He eats it all…hooray!

12:00 p.m. Grandma plays with Cooper and holds Penny while I finish up my office stuff and start another load of laundry.

12:45 p.m.  Both kids are asleep so I pick up the house and fold laundry.  Penny wakes up a few times and I have to go back in and get her back to sleep.  I resist the urge to throw the baby whisperer book in the trash.

1:45 p.m. I settle in on the couch with a book for some very coveted “me” time. I end up having to take a rain check on “me” time b/c Penny wakes up 20 minutes later, ready to eat.

2:45 p.m. Cooper is still napping and Penny is content in her bouncy seat, so I decide to start assembling the last two chairs to our new dining set whilst watching an old episode of “Friends.”

2:55 p.m. Cooper wakes up grumpy, so we cuddle on the couch for a few minutes, until he gets interested in the half assembled chair in the middle of the living room. 

3:08 p.m. Cooper starts whining that he wants to watch Thomas the Train, so I abandon the chair project, find Cooper’s shoes and off we go to the grocery store. (Yes, I would rather take two small children to HEB during one of the store’s busiest times than watch another episode of the most boring kids’ show currently on television.)

4:07 p.m.  Return from HEB, put up groceries, and change both kids’ diapers and text back and forth with a friend about meeting for lunch tomorrow

4:31 p.m. I abandon the attempt to get Penny to go 3 hours between feeds and nurse her. I am thankful that we have two flank steaks in the fridge that need to be cooked.  David is the official meat cooker in the house, so that means I am off the hook for dinner!   Cooper wanders in and I smell poop.  He announces, “I poop” and I again ignore the signs of potty training readiness.

4:50 p.m. Coop dumps half the toys in his room on the floor, then builds with blocks, Penny falls asleep in the swing (until Cooper stops the swing and wakes her up…GRRR), and I make two salads and Mac and cheese with peas.

4:58 p.m. David comes home.  While he cooks the steaks, we discuss the feasibility of getting Cooper an aquarium with fish for Christmas.  Meanwhile, Cooper sneaks upstairs and gets into my toothpaste. I take the toothpaste away and make him come downstairs.  A fit ensues, and David pours two glasses of wine.  Cooper thumbs his nose at my mac and cheese and peas and only eats a banana for dinner.

6:15 p.m. While I clean the kitchen, David assembles the dining bench, and finishes the chairs I started.  Cooper rips up the packing Styrofoam from the chair boxes. Penny cries to be nursed again.

7:08 p.m. We finally relent, and Cooper gets to watch one DVR-ed episode of Thomas the Train.  David holds Penny and I finish this blog. I try to get Coop interested in doing his “homework” assignment for school the next day…he gives the Thanksgiving feather one little scribble and is done.

8:00 p.m. Both kids get a bath.  Cooper throws a fit when we take away his toothbrush and toothpaste…we are forced to put him to bed without a story. Penny goes down easily..she knows we will see each other again  in the wee hours of the morning.

9:30 p.m.  Both kids are down, so we turn in as well.  I’m satisfied with our day at home, but glad tomorrow is a school day for Cooper and an errands-and-lunch-with-a-friend-day for Penny and me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Day at the Ranch

On Saturday we took a day trip to the Graham Ranch to check out the progress on the new cabin being built and to let Cooper run around in the sunshine.  The cabin is looking good...we can't wait for its completion!  We had a good time.  Grandpa took Mom for a ride on the tractor, which was fun!  Afterward, Dad, Grandpa, and Uncle Clint tinkered with the tractor a bit and we all discussed the building of the cabin.  Here are some pics from the day:

Cooper and Ralph checking out the tractor.

Uncle Clint on the verge of making a mad dash after Cooper, who was determined to get to the cattle guard.

Cooper enjoyed watching Millie and Ralph go after some kind of animal in a brush pile.

Grandpa and Dad trying out the new steps...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

This year dedicating entire weeks or weekends to one holiday seems to be the norm.  We had a big Halloween weekend!  We started the holiday on Friday by attending the Mother Goose Fair at Cooper's school.  All the kids in his class got to recite nursery rhymes and visit the different booths at the fair.  Cooper enjoyed all the booths and of course being with his friends.

Trying on his prize at the "Little Boy Blue" booth.
"Fishing" for a duck.
On Saturday we traveled to College Station to attend the 1st annual Graham Cousins Reunion.  It was a bit of a long drive with two young kids, but all in all we had a good time.  My cousin Rachel and her husband Larry where awesome hosts and with my cousin Ashley and her husband Mike's help, there was plenty of good food.  Seven of the nine cousins were in attendance, though not all at the same time.  I thought that was a pretty good turnout for the first one!

Cousins, early in the day:  Leslie, Rachel, Ashley, Alyssa, and Austen.  Second Generation of cousins Penny, Colsten, and Owen. (Cooper was taking a nap and missed the photo op....and cousins Ryan and Clint showed up later.)
Then, finally, we drove home on Sunday to celebrate actual Halloween.  Unfortunately, neither Cooper nor Penny cared for dressing up and it was HOT that day, so the first hour or so was a little unpleasant.  They rallied enough to visit Grandma and Grandpa's house and trick or treat a little ways down their street. We wanted to visit more friends but our whole family was just too tired after all the traveling!
Penny's first Halloween!
Cooper the train engineer...interested in toys, and NOT his hat!
Coop and Mom trick or treating...it was a cute hat, somebody needed to wear it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two Months Old!

On Wednesday Penny reached two months old! In the last month Penny has transformed from a sleepy, personality-less little being to a vocal, happy baby!  She can now smile when she sees our faces, kick her feet and move her arms around as if exercising, and be entertained by having something colorful to look at.  We just moved her downstairs to her own room, which is going ok.  She is waking up more at night since we moved her, but it is hard to tell if it is because she isn't used to the crib or going through another growth spurt.  At any rate, Mom is getting her workout going up and down stairs several times a night!

Reaching two months of age also means another well baby checkup with the doctor and her first official round of shots.  Penny weighed in at 11 lbs, 1 oz and her length was 23.5 inches.  This puts her in the 75th percentile for weight and height.  For comparison, Cooper was 12 lbs and 24 inches at age two months.  Baby sister is only half an inch shy of what her brother was at this age and she is a girl.  Grow Penny grow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birthday Party!

On Saturday, we enjoyed the grand finale of Cooper's birthday week...his PARTY!  We had a full house, consisting of around 17 adults, 7 kids, and 2 babies.  Cooper received some really great gifts and had a blast running around with his friends.  While the adults watched the Aggies play, the kids ran around outside and played with toys and play-doh. Cooper also liked the cupcake train that I made for him, and we had to really work to keep him from climbing up on to the table to get it!  Penny had a good time too...I don't believe there was even a five minute period when someone wasn't holding her.  Even though the party ran a little late, both kids more or less kept to their routines, which made for a pleasant, leisurely Sunday.

Party Shots!
Cooper, not completely comfortable in the spotlight.
Lots of help opening presents!
Cupcake train!

After the party, our friend let Cooper play on the table...well, it WAS his birthday after all...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cooper turns 2!


Grandpa and Coop checking out his dinosaur cake.

Unbelievably, regrettably, and yet excitingly, on Monday, October 4th, Cooper reached that significant age...TWO YEARS OLD!  We are not bracing ourselves for the terrible twos as they started months ago.  Cooper learned how, and then perfected the art of fit throwing long ago. (We always knew he was advanced. :-) ) The other reason we aren't bracing ourselves...they aren't terrible!  (At least not yet.)  Coop is a typical toddler, er, kid.  He is energetic, curious, opinionated, and fun!  We are constantly on the move to keep up with him and are constantly racking our brains for ways to keep him stimulated, challenged, and entertained.  We revel in his zeal for life, his wide-eyed view of the world, and his golden heart.  Though he never hesitates to pitch a fit when not getting his way, he is, overall, the sweetest kid!  He loves giving his baby sister kisses and I have never once seen him push, shove, bite, or hit...all behaviors typical of a frustrated two year old! His teacher told me just yesterday that he is a "hugger".  (We knew that...he is fond of turning to us and saying, "Hug, Hug, Hug!" just after getting in trouble.)

As it worked out this year, we are celebrating Cooper's birthday "week" as opposed to just his birthday.  On Monday (his actual birthday), we had Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Libby and Uncle Bill over for homemade pizza and a dinosaur carrot cake.  On Tuesday, the kids in Cooper's class sang "Happy Birthday" to him over cupcakes I made for their snack time.  On Wednesday, we visited the doctor for his two year old check up.  There he received a clean bill of health and only one shot...influenza.  He was a very big boy about it; he didn't even flinch during the shot!  He weighed in at 30 lbs and measured in at 35 and a half inches.  (Side note:  According to Nonnie, Cooper's dad weighed in at 30 lbs at ONE year of age...perhaps he won't be the giant that David is.)  This puts Cooper in the 75th percentile for height, and the 50th percentile for weight.

Birthday Shots!

Dad and Coop figuring out Aunt Libby and Uncle Bill's present.

New tricycle from Mom and Dad...Coop loves to ring the bell!

Sit n' Spin from Grandma and Grandpa.
Saturday will be Cooper's "official" birthday party, but it will warrant its own post...more to come!

Happy Birthday Cooper!

And Now Your Penny Report...


Penny continues to do awesome!  She continues to eat well and consistently sleep for at least one 5 to 6 hour stretch at night.  On the morning after Penny turned 5 weeks old, she was resting on my chest when all of a sudden, she did a half push up and upon seeing my face, flashed me her first "real" smile!  I know it wasn't a fluke because she did it again a few hours later! We are so delighted by her smiles, and by her increasing alertness.  She is also starting to be happy in the arms of others...not just Mama's. Penny also likes to MOVE, and move FAST! She is happiest in the car seat, but only if the car is moving or we are rocking her.  She will sit in her swing, but only if you have it on the fastest setting.  We are thinking she gets that from Mama, though Daddy is hardly one to sit still either! And that, folks, is your Penny report.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What a Difference a Month Can Make!

In the last month, several significant changes have taken place.  We have established a loose routine in Penny's world.  Cooper has accepted his baby sister and is showing a lot of interest in her.  We as parents have fallen into the "comfortable" category raising two kids.  To prove it, we have taken two road trips in the last two weekends.  I'll try and recap the last few weeks...hope I don't lose anyone!

Firstly, Miss Penny's routine:  Eat, Poop, Look around, Sleep, Repeat.  The significant part of this routine is the timing.  Penny only wakes up once through the night, and sleeps to a decent hour in the morning.  We start our day around 6 a.m. and she is asleep at night by around 9:30 p.m.  So nice and so different than Cooper's start at life. (That baby ate every hour and a half and NEVER slept.) Also, just in the last week or so, Penny has started focusing better on our faces and is crossing her eyes less.  She has also discovered the ceiling fan and loves staring at it.

Penny's first bath...she hated being naked, until we put her in the water:

Next, Cooper, thankfully, has accepted Penny into our lives.  When she is in her baby swing and starts to cry, he runs over to turn on the music.  He is also constantly asking to give her kisses and hold her. He also loves to point out that she has a head, hands, feet, etc. I think he is going to be a great big brother!

Cooper and Penny, when she was less than a day old.  He wasn't so sure...

Cooper and Penny, at one month old.  A little more sure...



And finally, our last two weekends away from home consisted of a family reunion in Fredericksburg and a jaunt to Houston to visit Nonnie, Aunt Amanda and cousins!  In Fredericksburg, we discovered the difficulty of having two young kids sleep in a motel room...they woke each other up!  Houston was a little easier, since we stayed at Nonnie's house, but any time you take little kids out of their usual routine, things can get a little hairy.  Overall, though, we enjoyed our time away from home.  (I personally hadn't been out of town since June, and before that, Februrary!)

At Lady Bird Johnson Park in Fredericksburg:


In Houston, Cooper scored some new Thomas the Train stuff,  and Penny got some bibs to wear for each of the upcoming holidays...all compliments of Nonnie, of course.  Penny kept to her usual eat/sleep routine, but Cooper mixed it up a little. He woke up at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, ready to play!  We didn't get him back down until 5 a.m.!  I think all the excitement and fun he was having playing with his cousins kept him from eating much through the day, therefore waking him up at such a cruel hour!  Thank goodness for Mom and Dad that Nonnie always keeps the coffee flowing. 

Coop, enjoying his new train set, cousins Brycen, Brianna, and Brayden, and the fact that t.u. lost to an unranked team, at home!  (Zoom in on the television in the background...WHOOP!)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two Weeks Old!


On Friday, Penny turned two weeks old!  We are happy to report that after two weeks, she is still the sweet and easy baby that she was when we brought her home.  She is eating and sleeping well, and it showed at her check-up on Monday.  Penny weighed in at 7 lbs, 15 oz, and measured in at 21 inches.  That put her in the 50th percentile for weight and the 75th percentile for height...funny because those are the percentiles that her brother is always in.  The doctor also thought that everything about her looked healthy and normal, which is always good to hear.  We are still just thrilled to death to have her here!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nonnie's Visit


This week Nonnie Kirk came to stay with us for a few days to help us settle in as a family of four.  She was a big help to Mom, who is still catching up on her rest, and Cooper had a good time with her.  Cooper and I were able to have a quick outing just the two of us, several extra chores got done, and we even got to visit the Texas State Aquarium.  We hope she can visit again soon!

Coop and Nonnie:


And of course...Penny!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Our First Week Home

We spent the week adjusting to life as a family of four.  Penny so far is an excellent eater and sleeper, which is making the transition easier.  We almost don't know what to do with such an easy baby.  She barely even cries!  

Penny, at one week old:



Meanwhile, Cooper had his first day of school in the two year old class.  He seems to like it, as in, he doesn't even notice when I leave him there.  He also seems to be adjusting very well to being a big brother.  He lets us know when Penny cries, and when I sat down to nurse her the other day, he even brought me a pillow.  

Cooper, on his first day of school:


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Penelope Claire Kirk is Here!



After what seemed like an endless summer pregnancy, our baby girl was born Friday, August 27th.  We spent the last couple of weeks worried about her and the possibility of a c-section, as she was in a breech position.  When we checked into the hospital on Friday morning, prepared for a procedure to try and turn her, we learned she had turned all by herself and was ready to meet the world! And meet the world she did!  Penny arrived at 5:48 in the afternoon, measuring in at 7 lbs, 1 oz and 20 and 1/4 inches long.  We marveled at not only how "easy" her delivery was and her beauty, but how much she looked like Cooper!  When they placed her on my chest seconds after her birth, I felt the biggest sense of deja vu!  It was like seeing Cooper as a newborn all over again!  I suspect as she grows older, she will look less like her brother and more like our Penny.

We had many visitors in the hospital.  Grandma and Grandpa Graham, Uncle Clint, Nonnie Kirk and Aunt Amanda.  Our friends Christie and James, Dana, Mariella, and Bill, Libby, and Cassy Morgan.  Now we are thrilled to be home as a family of four.


Cooper, not sure what to think of the new baby:


Ready to go home!


First day home with Mom:



First day home with Dad: