Friday, February 27, 2009

Six Months Old!

Cooper's now six months old ... and has been for a few weeks now actually. I know... I know ... this NEVER would have happened with the first baby. I've accepted it.

A few updates (since he STILL doesn't have a baby book) ... he's sitting up now but is still pretty wobbly and can't yet right himself consistently. The siblings are VERY amused by him falling over and liken it to the funniest episode of Tom and Jerry. At present, the "under-8" crowd is very into physical comedy and potty noises.

Cooper also has two teeth. I've been trying for a while to get a good picture of them .. and I think you can see them nicely in one of the pics above. I think he wins the award for earliest eruption of teeth. Emma was a full 9 months older than he was when hers came in.

He still sleeps on his tummy but is now rolling over from tummy to back. While this is certainly an exciting skill, it has complicated the sleeping considerably. Because ... he can't figure out how to roll back over to go to sleep. The last week or so ... we've been "summoned" in the middle of the night to discover our little "turtle boy" face up in the crib.

He's eating rice cereal and has had bananas twice. He's not lovin' it yet .. but does tolerate it. Spoon anticipation is coming in nicely ... but he's not yet showing tons of interest in more solids.

So far, he's the biggest snuggler of the four... and has recently developed significant addictions to "taggies" and his mama.

He's just recovered from a yucky cold and has had two ear infections in six weeks. His smiley personality is back .... and we're hoping he decides to go back to sleeping though the night any time now!
I just love those eyes of his ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Martha Stewart Would Not Be Proud

Disclaimer: My house is usually fairly clean and orderly. Usually.

I feel like I should post a sign on the front door reading "Enter at Your Own Risk."

The dangers involved are varied - if you step into the kitchen, the stack of dishes in the sink may fall on you. If your shoes stick to the kitchen floor, it's just errant pineapple juice. Don't worry. It's on the "to-do" list.

In the dining room, the glorious (and expensive) solid oak, Amish made table is no longer suitable for serving guests, but is stock-piled full of girl scout cookies, laundry piles, swimming bags, and homework assignments. It is hazardous to get past.

The house is a mess. But as long as you are here, feel free to sign the guestbook. Or, write your name in the inch thick layer of dust on the glass entertainment center. Right under where the kids have been playing tic-tac-toe.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Swimmers...

Emma and Grayson both swam (for competing teams) in a meet today and I got to go watch! They did it last weekend too ... but I sent Monte and my mom then. Cooper and Claire just aren't up for four or five hours poolside.

It was a "swim your own age" meet. Great idea - as the kids are somewhat more evenly matched. I was able to sit with people I knew and each had seven and five year olds. Even better . . . we all cheered for our own kids, each other's kids, and all the kids who gave it their all ... even when they came in last place.

I hadn't seen Emma swim outside of practice in months and I was amazed by the progress she's made in her strokes .. especially butterfly and breaststroke. She swam six or seven events (I lost count) and was pretty tired at the end ... but she gave it her best shot... even in the final relay (where I saw an unprecedented burst of speed and spirit of competition).

Last night before bed she was pretty nervous about the 100 I.M and kept repeating the order of the strokes in her head ... hoping they would stick. I was a little worried for her too - that's ALOT to remember ... even when you haven't been at the pool for four hours and swam several events. When I saw her face as she took her mark, I almost couldn't watch. She looked pretty shaken. She did it ... and finished second in her heat. I didn't see the judge's hand go up to disqualify her .. but it may have. When I saw her come out of the water smiling like she was, it just didn't matter to either of us. To us, it was the most perfect IM ever swam.

Grayson had a fun day too. His confidence grows with each meet he attends. He swam a 25 in all four strokes. It wasn't always legal ... or pretty ... but it was a vast improvement over the beginning of the season ... when he didn't know a butterfly from a breastroke. It just cracked me up the way he touches the wall, then flips his goggles up and looks at the scoreboard. He has no idea what he's looking at .. but that's what the big kids do ... so he does it too!

At the end of the meet, his coach did a little group huddle that brought a tear to my eye. It was the end of his season. I can't say enough about his coach and his group of five year old boys. It takes a special lady to take those boys as far as they've come this season. Thanks Terri! Heaven awaits you. Undoubtedly, so does a stiff drink.

The way the heats were arranged, there were a few times Emma and Grayson were close enough to talk. Once, she even gave him a little pep talk and a high five when it was his turn. Fellow parents, it just doesn't get any better than that.

We finished off the day with a lunch at Steak and Shake - their new favorite. Over cheesefries and milkshakes (and without a baby or preschooler to distract us), I got a chance to really listen to them. They've learned new vocabulary, made new friends, acquired new skills, gained new confidence, and have pride in their progress. Our conversation reassured me that I'd made the right decision - taking them to practices - even when they'd rather watch Scooby Doo.

They may have been faster swimmers at the pool today ... but there were no prouder mamas.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Weekend

We're having a wonderfully busy Valentine's weekend. Friday night I got to spend some time with Hannah Claire (oh, and her parents). Saturday morning came very early for Emma and Grayson as both were swimming at the same meet - but for different teams. I didn't go as Cooper and Claire would be less than appreciative of the long day and hard bleacher seats. But Monte and Mom were really proud of how both kids did. Preliminary results indicated Emma now has legal times in breaststroke and possible butterfly! That would be a big deal as she's been working really hard not to be "DQ'd" (disqualified). She also swam a 100 yard freestyle (that's four lengths of a pool). I don't think I could do that anymore. Grayson was proud of his 25 yard freestyle and backstrokes too. I think the best part of the meet for him was playing his Nintendo DS with the other little boys.

Last night Monte and I went to see Collin Raye in concert. It was my fourth time seeing him and while he has less hair and more belly than he did the last time, I am still blown away every time he opens his mouth. The man can SING! The theatre was in the round and very intimate. It was a great way to spend a Valentine's evening.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cooper's Big Week

It's been an exciting week for the little guy. In addition to sprouting his first tooth (we were hoping that was the reason he was drooling so much), he just started rolling over!

Disclaimer: He's only rolling from tummy to back. While none of our children have set records in the gross motor department, I suspected Cooper would take even a bit longer to roll over. He's chubby. He's laid back. Ok - very laid back. And ... well .... dare I admit to this ... he sleeps on his tummy. So, when you lay him down for some "tummy time," he immediately closes his eyes and starts his sleepy song. Not much motivation to roll over.

The kids have been tutoring him for a few weeks now. It's hilarious. They all get as close as they can to him and roll around saying "Do this Cooper. Do this." I love to watch his face during all this and wonder what he must be thinking ... "And they are worried about me???"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Father Daughter Dance 2009

Last night was the Father Daughter Dance put on by the Girl Scouts. It was Emma's and Monte's second year in attendance and Emma even more excited than last year ... because she knew what to expect I think. Then again, it may have been the promise of cheese fries at Steak and Shake after the dance....

The hunt for the dress was not nearly as traumatic as last year. She loved her Christmas dress so she donned a sweater and off she went. For a chuckle, check the blog archives for last year's post. Not only does Emma have her baby teeth but I was still parenting by bribing. Amateurs!!!

There's nothing quite like watching a Daddy helping his little girl put on her wrist corsage. It puts a lump in the throat and some tears in the eyes.
As I took the pictures this year on the steps (as I did last year), I got just a small glimpse of what it will be like for homecomings, proms, etc. Wow. I hope her date has as much patience as her daddy. And that he likes cheese fries and strawberry milkshakes too.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Overthinking Things

The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep. Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemosabe, look towards sky; what you see?"

The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."

"What that tell you?" asked Tonto. The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, the Lord is all powerful , and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow."
"What does it tell you, Tonto?"

"You dumber than buffalo. Someone stole tent."

I've been the Lone Ranger a bit these past few weeks. Overthinking, overanalyzing, overworrying. This is not unusual for me - but something I'm working hard on minimizing. The answer usually is just that simple. And if you spend too much time thinking about something, someone just might steal your tent.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm Entirely Too Old for This ...

but I couldn't care less. I am totally and completely sucked into this series. I never saw it coming - even with my utter addiction to Harry Potter. I should have known. It all started the same way.

All my cute little teenage babysitters have been raving about these books forever. They all gushed about the movie when it came out and peppered their conversations with "Edward and Bella" this and "vampire" that. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, but it all sounded juvenile to me. When my grownup friends (I use that term loosely) started to get hooked, I thought it may be worth another look.

I read the first one in less than 24 hours. I practically accosted the babysitter when she brought the second one into my house. She let me borrow it. Like she had a choice.

I devoured that 600 page book like it was a triple fudge brownie. No remorse.

I ignored laundry, work, and my kids until I knew ... really knew... that Edward had returned and Bella was safe. Oh brother. It sounds even more pathetic when I type it.

Anyway ... I don't have the third one yet. I've been trying to be adult about it .. but I'm starting to get irritable and short-tempered. Not unlike some of the stars of Celebrity Rehab.

I'm not proud. Just honest.