2012 Highlights

By far, the highlight of 2012 was getting to watch my little guy grow, be healthy, and celebrate his first birthday!

Check out Mister's monthly updates here.

I went back to work in January. It was an incredibly rough few months, but we eventually got into a good schedule. 

In February, I celebrated my 27th birthday with a whole new outlook on birthdays. 

We also experienced an earthquake, and tornado-like weather in February. Scary stuff for this new mom. 

Come April, we celebrated our first Easter with Mister Cooper. 

While I thoroughly enjoy motherhood (even with the incredibly trying moments) I bared all with a post about all the changes I've experienced. 

We had a lot of fun in the pool the Easter Bunny brought us over the summer!

In May, I LOVED my first Mother's Day.

The Mister got to ride tractors and combines with his PaPa and cousin Trent over the summer, and really loved it!

Hubby had a great first Father's Day with this little ham.

Our first Fourth of July as a family of three was wonderful - including going into town for the fireworks show :) 

Hubby and I celebrated one year of marriage in July with a trip to St. Louis. He got to pilot a helicopter as my gift to him, and we also ate at the Cheesecake Factory - yum!

Later that month, I helped host a sprinkle for a friend's second baby - a girl! - at a local bakery.

 And in September, I met Baby Ender!

I ran my first 5K in September, running it in just over 30 minutes. I followed up with another in October, finishing in under 30 minutes!

Also in October, hubby and I went to Branson as he won a work trip. Never posted on that. 

Then we wrapped up the year with Halloween, a wonderful Thanksgiving, first birthday, and Christmas!

It was a blessed year, and I hope 2013 is just as great, if not better!

Thank you to all of you - for not only following along my little journey, but for your friendship and words of encouragement. I am one lucky lady!

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Christmas card! And new ornaments :)

LOVE our card and the little star this year :) This family picture will also be making its appearance in our hallway soon. 

I had wanted to bring someone in to take photos in our home and put together our own card this year, but time slipped away so we just decided to go into a local portrait studio. Although it's not as unique as I would have liked, I still think it turned out well. And it was a lot easier on me - definitely picking my battles at this season in my life.

 As for ornaments - while pulling them out this year, I had a hard time remembering where some of them came from last year. So I figured it would be fun to share some of the new ones, not only because they are so pretty, but also to help me remember :)

These are the new ones for the year: the red, white and blue eagle from my friend Bel who lives in the DC area, the reindeer family from my friend Christine, the Oreo cookie that Cooper bought for his daddy, a sparkly present from my co-worker Sara, a polka-dot one from Jessica, and two more personalized ones - one with stockings on the fireplace and another just for Cooper - from my friend Liz. 

A closer look at the personalized ones :)

And now for a picture of all of us girls, with the kids. From left: Bel, Ender, Christine, Cooper, myself, Liz, Payton and Jessica.

And finally, in true tacky mom style, we made the infamous salt dough ornaments. This is the tutorial I used. We ended up spray painting them with a metallic silver paint. In addition to these, that now grace our tree, we made handprint ones for each set of grandparents. 

Merry, merry!

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Having Snow Much Fun!

Where we live was under a blizzard warning last night. Since this is the first real snow since Mister was born, I decided I must take him out to play for a bit!

This was a real good snow for packing. However, there were lots of drifts and it wasn't good for sledding :( But we still went out and had some real fun!

Checking out the snow this morning. 

So cute and ready to go out and check out the fluffy white stuff!

He wasn't too sure about the snow, but I managed to get a few smiles. 

After making snow angels and throwing a few snowballs, we headed back inside and chilled. I think Cooper was worn out!

Unfortunately, hubby didn't get to play with us, as he had to work today. Big time boo, especially since he drives a box truck with NO four-wheel drive. We missed him so! 

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Merry, Merry!

From our family to yours, a very Merry Christmas. 

Last week, one of the photographers from the newspaper where I previously worked came out to get some pictures of Mister - one of them appears on the front page today :) I wanted to share some of the merry with all of you! These are the unedited ones, of course. 

 We decided to let him play with his big present a week early :)

This kid seriously makes my heart melt. Thank you, Jesus.

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Friday randoms

  • Today is my last day of work for two weeks! I am so excited and ready for my two-week break. We also just got the call to leave at noon today!!!!!
  • In light of the upcoming holidays, we decided to make today "holiday dress" at work. Loving my Santa shirt...

  • The other night, a former co-worker came over to get some holiday pictures of Cooper. You'll see more next week but for now, a sneak peak... This boy melts my heart in a way I never thought possible!

  • I mean, seriously? Chilling in his doggie "mushroom" chair while talking on his play phone. So in love.

  • The breathing treatments from last week absolutely broke my heart. Poor babe.

  • I was a bit of a fail when it came to getting to the post office in time for Christmas stamps, so I opted for these fun Pixar movie-themed ones!

  • Christmas card coming next week! Along with our holiday decor.
  • It's been super windy here in Southeast Missouri. Yesterday morning, our dog pen was in the neighbor's pasture. Thankfully Coco Chanel is OK :)

  • I am on a mission to sugar everyone up before the holidays ... this morning, I brought in doughnuts :)
  • Now that Cooper just gets milk in a sippy in the mornings, hubby and I have started taking turns letting the other sleep in. So, last Sunday I woke up to yummy doughnuts.
  • Now that I know we get off early this afternoon, I am debating running to Cape to go shopping, napping, or crashing the daycare Christmas party ...
  • Happy weekend!

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Ornament Swap!

 Back in November, I signed up for Megan and Julie's ornament swap. I love Christmas and definitely need more ornaments to fill my tree, so figured it would be a blast.

I was paired with the lovely Crystal and she hooked me up with not one, not two, but THREE ornaments. I told her my tree is just a mix & match but I like sparkly things, and she did not disappoint.

The middle one is quite large and gold. The one to the right is actually shaped like a gift. They all make great additions to our large tree!

My son also really, really loved the glitter. He walked around the rest of the night looking like he'd spent some hard time in a topless bar.

Thanks for such beautiful ornaments, and being a great partner, Crystal! I hope you enjoy your new ornaments as well.

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Friday randoms

  • The sickies have hit our house and man, have they hit hard. Mister Cooper began coughing Saturday, hubs started feeling bad Sunday night, and yesterday, I lost my voice.
  • Also on Thursday, his sitter called to inform me that another kiddo tested positive for RSV. We wasted no time getting him an appt. with the doctor. They did do an RSV test, which we will get the results from later today. Praying it's negative. Regardless, we have some cough syrup and a nebulizer until he gets better.
  • The only good thing about a sick baby is all the cuddles.
  • We had our work Christmas breakfast this morning, and I shared my Christmas list with Santa and told him how good I've been.

  • After enjoying temperatures in the upper 60s last week, it now feels like winter in Southeast Missouri, with highs in the 30s and 40s. Ugh.
  • Have I mentioned how excited I am to have a two week Christmas break :)
  • During those two weeks, C's sitter is closed for seven days. Any suggestions of activities I can do with him to keep us both sane? Obviously there will be some gatherings and play dates, but I know that we need to get out of the house at least every other day for both of our sake.
  • I really, really love leftovers. I've only had to cook once this past week thanks to them.

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favorite things :: 6-12 months

I can't say that we had a lot of must-haves over the past six months. Soon after Coop's six month birthday, we put away the swing. Once he began crawling at seven months, he was not at all interested in the exersaucer or anything that contained him, either.

Of course, it's been all about the food!

We absolutely could not have lived without our Ninja! As I've blogged, I made all of Cooper's baby food. This worked so well, and was super easy to clean.

To go along with this, of course we needed ice cube trays, and plenty of little bowls with lids to send to daycare. I liked the Nuk and munchkin brand ones from Walmart.

Around 9 months, we began working on the sippy cup. Honestly, we never found one we really liked - they all seemed to leak! Then again, Mister has been teething like a monster, so he has done a lot of chewing on them. We got some Munchkin ones, and his sitter bought a Playtex one. We had a Nuby, but he chewed it open ... now he has a 9+ month Nuby one, as well as the cheapy Take & Toss. So far, we prefer the Take & Toss - the spout is a hard plastic, so he can't break it with those teeth. The only bad thing is that the lid pops on instead of screwing on, so if he throws/drops it on our tile floor, it typically pops off as well.

Of course, we've done lots of the Gerber and Parent's Choice puffs. He loves them all. And parents- they are GOOD!

For snacks, these Munchkin snack catchers work well! Coop had snacks in it while we were at a craft fair last weekend and I had a ton of questions about where to get them. They are at Walmart too :)

When Coop was about 9 months old, we upgraded to his convertible carseat. This was definitely more of a mama thing - he could still fit in the carrier, but it was getting really tough for me to tote him around. I did a LOT of research, and we decided on the Graco MyRide 65. They were reasonably priced, and hold a kiddo backwards for quite some time, according to the height/weight restrictions.

In Missouri, it's required by law that kiddos be rear-facing until they are 1, but recommended until they are 2, so I wanted to find the safest seat possible without breaking the bank.

Once Coop began cruising, we wanted to get him a toy that would help him walk. We looked at Walmart and ended up with the Playskool Rocktivity Walk 'N Roll Rider. You can put the seat up for them to push, or down to ride on. Coop still enjoys pushing this, but is also learning to sit on it and move his feet. Oh, and it's also a great jungle gym for the little monkey man.

For his other toys, he mostly likes things that make noise or with wheels. One of our favorites is the Fisher Price Cookie Shapes.

 On another note, I would totally recommend any parents of babies/toddlers invest in an ottoman to replace their wooden coffee table. It's a lot safer once they begin cruising, and much better in terms of storage :)

Also, I had a horrible time finding socks to stay on Cooper's fat little feet. If anyone has the same problem, try out the Faded Glory ones at Walmart - they are basic and inexpensive, yet a great quality and stay on his little feet!

Around six months, I tried out the Target Up & Up diapers - and we like them just as much as the Pampers - at half the price! Plus with the Target debit card, I get free shipping and 5% off :)

And there you have it! Some of the things that have made life a lot better for us over these past six months!

And now looking ahead - what have been any of your favorites from 12-24 months? Anything I really need to get for my little booger's stocking?

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