weekend rewind

Little Moments Like This

I'm linking up with my bloggy friend Tami today for the first edition of the Weekend Rewind. Like Tami, I love blogging about my weekends, even the ones where we do nothing big, so someday I can look back at how crazy/hectic/unglamorous life was. Ha!

So ... on Friday night, we did a whole lot of nothing! That morning, I woke up really early to hit some garage sales with my mom before work. It was totally worth it, though, as I spent around $70 but ended up with about six bags stuffed with clothes for my little Coopsicle. So I just showed them to hubby, and he proceeded to groan at all the ironing he'll be doing for our little pimp man. We ate tunafish sandwiches and creamy tomato soup and then caught up on the DVR.

Saturday morning, we woke up and I was about to get started on the dishes, seeing as all I'd washed since Wednesday night was pump parts, when my mom called. She was at a garage sale and the clothes were nice but pricey, so she wasn't sure what to do. So, Coop and I got cleaned up and dressed decently and went to meet her. We again had a lot of good finds, but not near as pricey :) Right now, I'd say we're pretty much set for the next year, unless Coop hits a major growth spurt or we have some crazy wacky weather.

I also got him a couple new toys, including this music-playing stacker. He loves it.

Once we got home, we had to get ready for a birthday party, and stop to pick up a present beforehand. (Gotta love my last-minute hubby!)

The party was a firehouse theme and the cake was too cute! We had butter pecan and it was delish. Poor little Coop, he kept reaching for his daddy's ice cream, and we wouldn't let him have any of it. He'll get real food soon enough :)

Afterwards, I met a couple girls to get some planning done on a sprinkle I am helping host later this summer and we picked up some fried chicken for supper. Fried chicken is one of hubby's favorites, but I refuse to cook it. Actually I tried, but it wasn't done and we ended up throwing it out.

Anyhow, after that I decided to get my clean on, and dedicated about an hour to the kitchen, while getting some laundry in the wash. Then, I worked on picking up the living room and folding the mountain of laundry - there were four loads in baskets before I started, and I swear, I was pretty much totally focused on laundry from 7-10:30 p.m., minus a nursing break and some media breaks :) I washed a ton of the clothes I got Cooper and ended up with two loads for him - and anyone with a little one knows how long it takes to do their itty bitty clothes!

We got up kinda early on Sunday, as hubby was going to get rid of some hay and haul it off to sell. While he was gone, I played with baby Coop, did more house cleaning & laundry, and made a cake ... because today is my mama's birthday! Happy birthday, Mom!!! For her birthday, we not only surprised her with the cake, but went to visit and planted her some flowers on the front porch.

And that's about it! By the time we got home, it was time to feed Coop and put him to bed, then watch Amazing Race. BTW, I was so upset Art and JJ weren't eliminated. I can't stand them or Vanessa and Ralph, which means at least one team I don't like will be in the finals.

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Things I will never again take for granted

Between a new job and baby, there have been a lot of changes in my corner of the world in the past year. Sometimes I find myself doing something I haven't done in a long time, and laugh at how nice it is to do it again.

Such as ...
  • Sleeping on my tummy & flat on my back. Although now that it's tough to sleep on my side if I wake up after 3 a.m., I'm kinda missing that too.
  • Eating deli meat. Oh my word. I craved Subway like none other while pregnant. For the longest time after Cooper was born, I just had a deli sandwich for lunch every day and it was heavenly.
  • Being able to sleep past 8 a.m.
  • Leaving the house. It used to be so easy, now it's more of a production.
  • Wearing whatever I want. Today I rebelled and decided to wear a non-pumping friendly dress to work and just brought shorts to wear while I pump.
  • Having time to myself. I relish my bath time every night.
  • Having a sane mind. I forget things all the time. Yesterday, I left my pump at home, but thankfully noticed after leaving the babysitters. That could have been painful.
  • Evenings at home with my boys. I'm having to help with some night presentations now, and I hate not getting my full 3-4 hours.
  • A date night. So much work in getting a sitter, packing everything up or getting all the instructions together, etc. Hubs and I have only been out three times alone since C was born.
  • Grocery shopping after work. We now go on the weekends.
  • Knowing everything that was going on in town. I still do to an extent, but not nearly as much.
  • Only working 32 hours a week. Obviously the paychecks weren't as nice, but I had the time to clean my house and do laundry.
  • Getting a mileage check. Most of my driving now is getting to & from work {especially when I go to our main campus} so reimbursement doesn't apply :(
  • The ability to cook a time-intensive dinner. It only happens on the weekends these days.
  • How nice it is to have a bare-ish room. Plastic has taken over our living room and we're considering moving the swing downstairs this weekend since it hasn't been used in a week or two. I can only imagine it getting worse.
  • How precious it is to have a sweet little boy, full of love and smiles! Makes the craziness worth it. Even if he weren't so exceptional :)

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Where do you ...

shop for clothes?

Since Cooper was born, I've not done much clothes shopping. Don't get me wrong, I definitely need to - my closet needs a little updating and in a different job, I'd like a few more professional pieces.

I just don't know where to do it. I go to the juniors department and everything looks too young. I walk to the women's/misses department and everything looks frumpy and old.

I seem to have the most luck at Old Navy - I love the classic look. But they are a bit too casual for what I'm needing.

Say I'm at a store and find something that may work. The dressing room is even more of an enemy these days, friends - and I'm not totally sure why. Yes, I just had a baby. But I weigh about 5 lbs. less than I did when I got pregnant! {Thank you, breastfeeding} Now, I have to deal with larger lady lumps, a very loose tummy, and a shrinking butt.

Yes, you read that right. I truly believe having a baby made my butt smaller. My pants that were stretched out in that area now look a bit too loose.

I think I had this problem before, but lied to myself and bought the too-young clothes anyhow so I could be hip and look younger. While I still like a lot of those, it's not really feasible right now either - I shy away from tops too tight on my boobs/tummy, and definitely can't wear anything very low because nursing bras are crap.

So what are you suggestions? Best styles for a new (nursing) mom? Department to shop in? Specific stores? Keep in mind, I live pretty much in BFE, so my choices are limited to basically Kohls, JCP, Old Navy, Macys, Charlotte Russe and NY&Co. Oh, and I'm sure it goes without saying, but I'd like to have affordable items that I can easily mix & match.

And, because it's boring to have a post without pictures, my little love bug. Who is so worth it all!

Little rancher 4.21.12

Who knew toes could be so interesting?

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Cooper: Five months!

Cooper, you are five months old today! That's so close to half a year ... which is so close to a year. How is that even possible? I was telling your daddy yesterday, it feels like the past five months have flown by ... but at the same time, I can't even remember life without you here. Funny how someone so small can just take over your life, huh?

This past month, it just seems like you've grown up so much. You've continued to work on rolling over. You still don't like tummy time all that much, but you have grown to at least tolerate it for about 10 minutes at a time. You love the exersaucer. You really love to rock back and forth - you do it in the bouncer at Miss Robin's, in the exersaucer at home, or when we are helping you stand. Right now, daddy & I are working with you on sitting up, and you can actually hold yourself for 3-5 seconds, then start getting excited, rocking, and losing your balance.  If you use your hands or bend over, you can support yourself for quite some time.

Your hair is starting to come back in, and it's still dark! Some days your eyes look green, other days, they look brown. You still love your tongue.

You love to smile and be the center of attention {you may not look like your mommy, but you certainly act like her!} Miss Robin tells me that if the other kids lose interest in playing with you, you'll let out a huge screech to remind them that you are still there! You like to "talk" to the other kids as well as adults. You really love watching TV, and get mad if you hear it but can't see it.

You had some firsts this month - your first Easter, your first friend's birthday party, and your first illness. You handled Hand, Foot & Mouth like a trooper, and mommy felt even worse for you when she got it a week later.

We don't go to the doctor for a visit until next month, but I'm guessing you weigh around 17 and a half pounds. Once we finish out the Size 2 diapers that are open, you are moving up to Size 3s. You wear mostly 3-6 month clothes, but I pulled out a 9 month sleeper this weekend and it fits you well too. Sigh.

You are very interested in what others eat. While we are having a meal, you stare at us, and move your mouth to mimic us. We are hopeful that means you'll really enjoy food when we begin at 6 months! Right now, you continue to be exclusively breastfed. A typical day is: nurse at 6:45 a.m., bottle of pumped milk at 10:30 a.m., bottle of pumped milk at 2:30 p.m., nurse at 5:45 p.m., nurse at 8:45 p.m., then bed. You take two naps at the sitters, and catnap between 6 & 9 p.m. at home. On the weekends, when we sleep in, you sometimes will only eat four times, but leave longer spurts between sessions so you can fill up more.

On Sunday, we took you to the Dogwood-Azalea Festival. I think you enjoyed seeing the animals at the petting zoo. I swear, you had to be the most-complimented kid there. You wore the baseball outfit you are pictured in above and, of course, your sunglasses. Apparently most babies don't like to wear sunglasses? Well, you love yours, and everyone we passed loved them as well. One teenager looked at you and commented "most awesome kid ever!" No, we didn't know him. Yes, your daddy & I beamed with pride.

You love to be outside. Sometimes when you are cranky, we will take you outside and then you are at peace. You also like looking at yourself in the mirror - you just beam!

Your sweet smile and cute little laugh are infectious.

You are still an outstanding sleeper. Earlier this month (Easter weekend) I took away the swaddle. I was braced for some long nights, but you totally rocked it. Some mornings, I do give you a pacifier around 5 a.m. to help settle you (because you are so busy talking!) but that's it. Here lately, we'll walk into your room in the morning and find that you are awake, but just chilling and playing with your lovey.

Cooper, you are such a loved kid! Your daddy & I consider ourselves so blessed that we get to be your parents. We love you so much!

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Friday's letters


Dear blog friends: Thank you for your kind words about our Hank dog. You have no idea how much they mean.

Dear Coco: Please stop chasing the horses. They are bigger than you and can kill you. Not to mention run through fences. If you don't stop, you won't be staying with us.

Dear Facebook: I do not like your timeline. Therefore, I will not voluntarily swap to it.

Dear Rain: Thank you for showing up. Please make the grass seed my hubby spent an entire day planting and we spent a lot of money on grow. Oh, and stick around so hubs will help me with some inside projects this week, K?

Dear Cooper: It's OK to take a nap between the time you come home and bedtime. We love you and want to play as well, but when you are rubbing your eyes, cranky and fighting sleep, that's not very fun. I promise, you will still get your bedtime feeding.

Dear 2012: Why are you flying by so quickly?

Dear employer: Receiving my 2012-2013 fiscal year calendar today was the highlight of my week. Thank you for a two-week Christmas break.

Dear Burger King: Although my husband had a weak moment and demanded a whopper the other night and I gave in and ordered a salad, things still aren't OK between us. Bring back your old menu with the old prices. Please.

Dear stomach skin: I know you were stretched quite a bit. But that was almost five months ago. It's OK to go back to normal. I'd like to wear a semi-fitted shirt some day.

Dear running shoes: Someday we will spend quality time together again. But I just can't find the time, nor do I want to possibly jinx my milk supply. 

Dear allergies: Go away. I don't like you, especially when you cause me to let out a huge sneeze while nursing and it scares the living daylights out of my son.

Dear Rules of Engagement: You rock. Never change, K?

Dear Husband: You are amazing. Thank goodness I have you to listen to and support me. I love you.

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the most-asked question

Since the weather has been getting warmer, it seems like there are a ton of things going on, so hubby, Coop and I are getting out a lot more often.

Pretty much everywhere we go, we run into someone we haven't seen since Mister Cooper was born. And we almost always get the same question: How do you like being a parent?

I love it. More than I ever thought possible. I'm not sure words can even describe just how fortunate and blessed I feel. When I go to pick up my angel and the kids announce "Cooper's Mommy is here" once I walk in the door, it just makes me so happy.

Right now, I consider being "Cooper's Mommy" my No. 1 job. Yes, my marriage, other family and household jobs like cooking, cleaning & laundry are also important, but they aren't what life is all about anymore. Yes, I have a job, and although I really believe in what I'm doing, it's primarily a paycheck. I so wish I could use my retirement now and work until I'm 75, because I want this time with my baby.

After stressing when Cooper was first born and I returned to work about the house always being a mess, I've learned to let things go. All I have to do at night is prepare supper, bottles, and wash the pump parts. Everything else can wait, because Coop won't wait to grow up. I can't pause him while I wash a load of laundry. Dishes can always be washed, but my baby won't always want to sit in my lap and play with my hair and face and examine my hands like they are the most awesome things he's ever seen.

Being a mom is, by far, the hardest job ever. But it's the best one too. Walking into Cooper's room in the morning and seeing his smiling face while he does his leg lifts (gotta build up those abs!) makes my morning. Picking him up and feeling him tighten his grip on my shoulders or around my neck makes me feel like a superwoman. When he's sleeping in my arms, the clock seems to be on fast forward. Seeing him play and interact with his daddy melts my heart. I could spend all day, every day, with him and never grow tired of it.

That's not to say I don't, on some level, miss the independence I had before he was born. Instead of buying new clothes or things for myself, I use my extra money on my bubby. I can't remember the last time hubby & I got dressed up and went out on the town. Sure, I miss it, but when we aren't home with Coopy during "our" time, I miss my baby even more.

Becoming a mom is a powerful thing. For me, it knocked me off my feet and showed me exactly what life is about - putting others first and spending time with them. I may get frustrated when I'm trying to do dishes and Coop is whining. But how priceless is it when I stop what I'm doing, walk over and pick him up, and it's all smiles and giggles? It totally makes it worth it. Having a messy living room and mountains of laundry is OK as long as it means I've spent more time with my boy.

Being a mom is tough. But I've never once wished I was in a different situation. At the end of the day, I thank God for a happy, healthy baby, who is the most adorable little boy in the entire world. I'm so happy God picked me to be Cooper's Mommy!

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Hank Dog

This is a post I never wanted to write. It's tough and I really don't want to. But hey, this is my journal and I use it to share both the ups AND downs.

Hank Dog went to Heaven last week. He was around 11.5 years old.

Looking back, I'd say his downturn began in December. We began to notice Hanky Poo was gaining weight and losing muscle. Ignorantly, we figured it was just because he wasn't getting as much exercise, as we were so wrapped up with our new bundle of joy and the cold weather.

In early January, however, hubby said that something just wasn't right. All of Hank's weight seemed to be going to his belly, and he practically looked pregnant. So, we took him to the vet and she checked for heartworms and some other things. None of the tests were positive, but his heartbeat was irregular, so we put him on some meds for that.

Fast forward a month and it was the same situation. So back to the vet we went. This time, she diagnosed it as congestive heart failure and changed up the perscription. Although the meds would be necessary daily, she was fairly confident he would be back to normal.

For a long time, he did seem to be getting better. His cough got bad again, so we did increase one of his dosages, but things seemed fine.

Until last Wednesday. Hank received his meds twice a day and we put them in a small piece of bread to make it easier for him to take. That morning, hubby said Hank didn't seem to be doing well and didn't take the "treat."

He did the same thing that night. Y'all, our dog who is SO energetic wouldn't go more than about 20 steps without stopping and absolutely would not take his medicine. So, we left him outside to roam. A couple hours later, I looked outside expecting him to be on the porch, but noticed him walking in the field across our house, where he likes to roam. By dark, he still hadn't come home, so hubby went to find him. We know that dogs often go away to die and were afraid of that.

After about 10 minutes, hubby found Hank and they walked home. J told me the only way he got Hank to come was to say "let's go for a ride" (our Poosky LOVES rides in Daddy's truck) so I insisted hubby take him for one - Mister Cooper was napping or we would have joined. They went for a short ride, and once they got home, we situated Hank with his bed, water and some food in the back of the truck, as that is one of his favorite places.

That night, we checked on Hank about every 30 minutes. Before bed, we kissed & hugged him and told him how much we love him.

The next morning, we were terrified, but so grateful Hank was alive. But it was pretty much the same story that day. We situated him on the side of the house. Hubby covered him with a blanket and we checked on him frequently until going to bed.

Friday was my early morning at work, and I had to leave the house around 5:30. When Hank wasn't by the house, I freaked out. But as I drove to the Highway, I saw him at the end of the drive. I got out of the car, hugged and kissed him and told him I loved him. When hubby left for work an hour later, Hank was on the other side of the highway, and he did the same.

That afternoon, hubby came home and saw Hank had gone to Heaven. He had returned to our property and was lying on the side of the house. He looked so peaceful.

Hubby's brother came over later in the afternoon and helped us bury our sweet, beloved dog. We put him by a tree where he loved to lie, and sent his bed, blanket, and favorite "bird" that he loved to chew on with him.

Hank dog was the best pet we could ever have. I didn't even like dogs and was originally scared of him, but he is such a sweet, loving animal. There are so many times that I was upset with hubby (back in the day) & Hank would just sit there and listen to me, or lick me while I cried. He loved all kinds of kids, especially Cooper - he would even let them ride on him like a horse. I said that Cooper must have been part of the reason his heart failed - he just loved so much, his little heart couldn't handle it.

Hanky Poo loved playing in the water and just being around people. He really taught me a lot about the simple things in life - all it took to make him happy was a little attention. Saying "load up" or "let's go for a ride" would literally make his tail start spinning like a windmill. If we got angry with him, he was quick to forgive & forget.

We miss our big oaf so much. However, we are so grateful for the six years that we got to love him and put up with his antics, like escaping from his pen (including getting out of an eight-foot privacy fence!) We also consider ourselves blessed that we got a bit of warning - last Wednesday, we both knew the end was near, which is why we didn't bother to call the vet. Although it pained us to see him that way, the two days we got to cry and prepare our hearts, plus let him know just how loved he was, were invaluable.

Please, love on your pets tonight. You never know when you might lose them. And Hank Dog, we love you. You were the best & the worst.

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life in bullets

  • It's been a rough past week. Work keeps knocking me on my behind, and in the past week, I've had: one night presentation, one luncheon, and three days working at our main campus. So I'm more or less exhausted and in need of a little break. Thank goodness for naps.

  • Easter weekend was amazing! Mister Cooper had a great time and totally made out from the Easter Bunny. His Grandma & PaPa gave him some new clothes, too.

  • Comparing the two pictures above, I think it's safe to say my baby's hair is coming back. Every morning it looks a bit thicker and I love it!
  • Thank goodness we had some beautiful weather Easter weekend. Obviously when extended families get together, it tends to get a bit loud inside, which tends to frazzle Coop a bit, so it was nice to be able to take him outside. Also, so nice to have one gathering on Saturday and the other on Sunday ... and I'm planning to do an Easter recap soon.
  • As the holiday weekend ended, things took a quick nosedive. Once we got home from Arkansas, I took a shower and all of a sudden I just felt like I had been run over by a mack truck ... and I was freezing. I was running a fever that continued through the night and unfortunately, I HAD to go to work on Monday. The fever continued and finally broke around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Since a 24 hour bug was going around, I figured I caught that or maybe Coop's virus from the week before. Well, when I had little blisters on my hands, feet and in my mouth later in the week, we knew I ended up with Cooper's virus. Ugh.
  • Sometimes, a boy just wants milk & cookies. Ha! Cooper has taken such an interest in real food, but we are holding strong on making him wait until six months. I told hubby we'll have to make sure we give him something really good first ... I'm thinking carrots.
  • I know so many pregnant people. It's exciting!
  • I miss being pregnant. I got to thinking and, other than those last few weeks and when I had kidney stones, I really loved it.
  • Earlier today, I got to thinking of how much extra time I'll have in my life once I stop breastfeeding - God-willing, in November. Just think - I spend about 30 minutes in the morning between feeding and pumping, three pumping breaks at work that amount to about 45 minutes, I'd guess, and then two more 20-minute sessions in the evening. That's a lot of time! But so worth it.
  • I've decided I need to start working out again, but I have no idea what to do, or how to carve out the time.
  • Hubby is on vacation the first week of May. It seems so far away, but that's in less than two weeks! Where is the time going?
  • We went to a birthday party for one of Coop's little friends this weekend and he did great!
  • I'm working really hard on getting back in the groove of blogging. Which includes commenting on yours :) I've been reading, just not taking the time to comment. i know...

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One year

One year ago (April 5, 2011) we saw this:

And now, we have this:

Thank you, Jesus.


monday mish mash

  • Yes, my last post was also a bulleted one, but oh well.
  • How is it already April? I mean, seriously. And my calendar for the month is already quite full, so I'm sure this month will fly by, too.
  • It hit 90 degrees here yesterday. Yowza. Naturally, I decided to spend some time outside and wash my car, so I ended up with a burn.
  • Mister Cooper was a big redneck this weekend and hung out in nothing more than a diaper most of the time.
  • 04.01.12
  • We turned on the air today. We usually make it to mid-May or even June, but enough was enough. Yesterday, I had the windows open and fans running. I think it hit about 85 in the house? Before bed, we closed the windows that someone could get into the house through, and it just stayed SO hot.
  • Not to mention, my little boo didn't take the heat too well. Around bedtime, we noticed he was hot, and his temp was around 101. At first he didn't want to eat which concerned me, but he did 30 minutes later. Hand, foot and mouth is going around at his daycare, so I figured he was developing that. Well, he slept well until about 3 a.m., then woke up and was still burning up and no rash. So I made the executive decision to just turn on the air. We did that and Tylenol, and by 6:30 a.m., his temp was back to normal. Worth every penny.
  • Sometimes, it just feels good to be a gangsta :)
  • 3.30.12
  • He discovered his tongue late last week, and now you'd think it's the greatest thing ever. And don't get me started on how intrigued he is by his feet/toes when he remembers about them.
  • Coop has a new friend, Daisy. She's a Scentsy pal from his Aunt Amy :)
  • 3.31.12
  • My sweet hubby knows that my self-image isn't the greatest, so he bought me some tanning minutes last week and surprised me on Friday :) My legs have been looking so pasty and pale, which in turn, makes me think they look thick. He even bought them at the most expensive place in town, because it's two blocks from my work so super easy for me to get there. Of course they are booked today, but there's an appointment on Wednesday afternoon with my name on it.
  • This big guy celebrated his 18th birthday last week :)

  • I think I'm going to finally try OMG Chicken this week. Hubby said no, becauase of all the mayo, but I'm told you can sub Greek yogurt, so that's how we'll have ours.

  • I royally sucked at my March goals. I don't even want to embarrass myself by recapping them.
  • Maybe I should just repeat all of those goals for the month of April. And sign up for a 5K so I'll have to train for it?
  • I'm very intrigued about the Hunger Games. I just know that once I start reading, I won't stop ... and I don't exactly have a full weekend to burn ...

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