Cooper:: 15 months!

So, I kinda skipped over 14 months.

Honestly, while Cooper is still making huge milestones, they are more rare now, plus it's nearly impossible to get pictures. So, I think I'll start doing these every two months instead.

These past two months have been all about finding yourself, Mister Cooper. You are a sweet little boy with a lot of personality really beginning to shine through.

Probably the biggest thing is that you are a climber, my little monkey man. In fact, your sitter says she's never had quite the monkey like you :) This really doesn't surprise me because your daddy is still a monkey man and Grandma Jo remembers mommy as quite the climber, but man, you are out of control. You climb on everything - including the baby gates. Mommy & Daddy took the bumpers out of your crib this weekend, so you don't get that extra couple of inches to hike your leg over. Because lemme tell you, you can get in and out of the tub on your own if you want to, and that scares me.

Getting up and down chairs, beds, etc. is no feat at all for you.

Mister Cooper, you have no fear, and that scares me, too. You'll walk around on the ottoman and sometimes jump off. You think that you are a big kid like all the three and four year olds at daycare, and you are bound and determined to do anything.

You love the outside so much. A few weeks ago, we got some really nice, unseasonably warm weather and your daycare went outside to play a couple days. Well, that got you hooked, because you now cry whenever we go inside her house in the mornings, and you get really upset if we get home and go straight in, instead of letting you play with the pets and just be a boy.

Cooper, you have gotten very dramatic. I was just saying the other day, you cry {whine} more now than you did as a baby. You hate hearing the word no, and when we say it forcefully, you'll cry big fat crocodile tears. You've successfully mastered the art of throwing a tantrum, and will just lay down on the floor if you don't get your way.

Since I want to remember it all - the good, the bad, and the ugly - I will say that your temper/anger is starting to show now, too. This morning, you got so mad at me for making you get out of the trash can {mean mommy, I know} that you set your eyes on your shoes, sitting on the toilet seat, and smacked them off. Daddy and I are definitely going to have to start teaching you not to be a brat!

You are a really, really good eater. If I need to get something done without you underfoot, I just put you in the high chair with a snack :) You pretty much eat three meals a day, although you have an afternoon snack and sometimes two breakfasts - you'll graze on Cheerios/bananas at home and then have whatever all the other kids are having at daycare. Oh a whim, I gave you cherry tomatoes one day while I was preparing supper, and now you are tomato crazy. Whether they are fresh or it's just a meal with a tomato sauce, like chili, pizza or spaghetti, it's a favorite.

Other foods that you'll devour most every time we place them in front of you are: cheese cubes, animal crackers, goldfish, sausage, bacon, fried eggs, hamburgers and waffles. Honestly, you really just eat whatever Daddy & I eat, and that's a blessing.

While you are particular, you are still pretty chill - as long as everything is going your way - ha!

You are a man of habit already. In the mornings, when I get you out of your high chair, you start saying "bye!" because you know it's time to leave for daycare. When you are tired at night, you walk to the hallway door. The other day, we got home and walked inside. My hands were full, so you closed the door and followed me to the kitchen. My little angel!

You are beginning to grow quite attached to things, especially your ducky lovey that you sleep with at night. You are a daddy's boy more than a momma's boy, but you have a fit most mornings when I go to leave daycare.

We can tell that you are really working on conversation. It kills us that we have no idea what you really mean to say! The things you pick up and repeat are hilarious. The other day, while Daddy was handing me things from his lunch box and saying "here" you would also say "here." Other words include Doc, Coco, dog, ba (boom, after Daddy shot his gun!), no, yes, yeah, uh huh, uh uh, uh oh, whoa and more.

You like to pinch and hit. You love playing with your blocks, Little People Farm, and pushing around/sitting/standing in your dump truck. Any time you play with trucks or tractors, including the real ones, you make a motor noise!

You wear mostly size 12-18 months, but I still squeeze you in some 12 month sleepers because I love them. You are in a size 5 or 6 shoe. We just bumped you up to a Size 4 diaper. You continue to be an amazing sleeper.

While you can be a crazy man, you are still such a sweet little boy. You are a great little cuddler, and every now and then, you'll settle long enough for us to read you a book. I totally cherish those moments of you hugging up on me - it's the sweetest!

We love you to the moon and back, little man. While these days are insanely crazy and I find myself losing it more often then not, I wouldn't change it for the world and will ALWAYS cherish these days.


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saw it, pinned it, did it

{A day late ...}

Last weekend, the hubs and I decided to clean our nasty grout. 

We have approximately 250 tiles in our kitchen/dining room. And even more in our entryway and bathrooms, which we haven't cleaned yet. 

Anyhow, I had pinned a few different recipes, and we ended up using this one. I had all the ingredients at the house other than the ammonia, which I purchased a few weeks prior. Once the weather gets nice, hubby wants nothing to do with being inside {and I wonder where my kid gets his love for the outdoors} so I wanted to have everything ready for when he decided he was ready to help clean. 

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

The transformation was amazing! Here's our photo:

Hubby sprayed and scrubbed with a brush, while I sopped up the remains and wiped over with a wet rag with clean water. We later mopped up the excess. 

Now let me tell you, this was a huge job! It took about seven hours all together. Our knees hurt for half the week. {Hint: next time, buy knee pads!}

But the end result? So worth it. Our grout is now cleaner than it was when we moved in. The room looks cleaner and bigger.

If you have grout, definitely try this. You'll love the results. 

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hello there!

Whew, it's been a crazy week in the R household.

  • I came down with the nasty virus that's been going around on Monday night/Tuesday. After a day spent in bed, I went back to work yesterday because I had a meeting I didn't want to reschedule ... then I figured since I was there, I may as well hang out since I had gotten there and was dressed. 
  • Today I'm hanging out at home with my little love. We called off school due to impending sleet/ice. I love working in education. Even though I have some work to do from home, it's nice to do it while in my jams. 
  • At the same time, I'm upset we called off today, because due to the threat, I had to call off a meeting in a town a couple hours away. This was a BIG meeting that took me months to coordinate, so I'm not looking forward to pushing it off yet again. Sigh. 
  • So far, so good on the weather, but it's getting really windy outside. At this point, I hope it's bad enough to call off work again tomorrow, but not so bad that I worry about hubby being at work.
  • If it doesn't warm up soon, I'm going to freak. My child loves the outdoors and got a little taste of it so now life is miserable - he cries once we walk through the door at daycare in the morning, and screams and throws a tantrum once we come home and walk through the door every night. I'm really hoping this is just a phase ... or that the weather gets better so he can start spending time outside every day
  • I bought tickets to a civic club's chili day today, so hubby is bringing that home for supper tonight :) Very excited to not have to cook. 
  • Thankfully little man loves chili too! In fact, he LOVES anything with tomato in it - pizza, chili, spaghetti, noodles cooked in tomato juice, and cherry tomatoes.

  • Since I didn't do a weekend recap, I'll leave you with this... Oh, the things we do for our children! It kept Cooper happy for 2 hours in Menards, so it was worth it. 
  • Are you in a winter wonderland? If so, stay safe!

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Friday randoms

  • I've said time and time again that I could eat pizza every day. Well, I think I'm officially burnt out. After Super Bowl Sunday, ordering pizza one day at work last week, then having pizza on Saturday night and the leftovers earlier this week, I am actually sick of it.
  • Mister has been feeling a bit under the weather. Yesterday I picked him up from daycare and while all the other kids were playing outside, he was inside due to his runny nose. Last night, I heard him cough several times. I can see it in his eyes and it just breaks my heart.

  • Remember my post from two weeks ago when I talked about my working out/eating healthier progress? Well, I must have jinxed myself. I haven't worked out once since then, and I've been eating like crap. Worst of all, I can really feel how sluggish my body is due to it all.
  • The awards/banquet season has begun! Hubby and I have been "summoned" to our first event this coming weekend, and it's only the start. With my new and expanded service area, I'm going to be traveling a lot this spring and summer.
  • My kid is a nut. The other morning, he didn't want to be carried into the kitchen, so we let him chill in his room (one of the few places he can be left unsupervised) and come in on his own terms. Well, he came in carrying his work boots. So that's what little Mister got to wear to daycare that day. I hear stories of boys who wear their boots with everything, so I consider myself fortunate he was wearing a Woody T-shirt so it sorta matched.
  • For Lent this year, I'm aiming to give up soda AND drink at least three bottles, or the equivalent of 60 ounces, of water every day. I should give up sweets, but I think I would die!
  • Between my birthday and V-Day, cards have taken over our entryway table. I like it :)

  • Speaking of Valentines, this is my favorite gift C got from daycare.It had bubbles, crayons and candy in it - totally overboard, but this is the "Martha Stewart" mom of the group. We did baggies with Play Doh and candy, with a "Doh you want to be my Valentine?" label.

  • I'm hoping for a laid-back, low key weekend. Too much going on here lately.
  • Happy weekend!

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Happy Valentines! {and a recipe}

My sweet little chick magnet wants to blow kisses to all the ladies.

{Snot optional}

Kid probably loves that darn paci more than anything ... at least first thing in the morning!

Now let's take a moment to reflect on last year's Valentine's Day ... Mister was a heartbreaker :) He's changed so much, but still has those big brown eyes and beautiful smile.

He is my FAVORITE Valentine! {Shh, don't tell daddy}

In addition to the treat bags I made up, I whipped up these yummy cookies to send for his daycare party today. And they are SO easy I thought I would share the recipe with y'all.

Whippersnappers (yield about 2 dozen cookies)

You'll need:
 box cake mix (I used strawberry)
1 egg
2 cups cool whip
Powdered sugar

Mix together cake mix, egg and cool whip. Form into balls and roll into a bowl of powdered sugar. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

We're planning a really low-key day today. Since V-day is so soon after Christmas and both of our birthdays, and we have Vegas coming up, we've decided not to do anything big. We bought cards for each other and will be meeting up for lunch today. As a little gag, I did buy some chocolates to sneak in hubby's lunch box, but that's it! Tonight, we'll eat leftover chili and just snuggle with our favorite little Valentine. And it will be perfect :)


The Liebster


The Liebster award is given to an up and coming blogger who has less than 200 followers.
1. Post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator sets for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Nominate blogs that you love (also with less than 200 followers) & Link them to your post and let them know they have been nominated.
I was nominated by Melissa at Home Sweet Auburn. 

She is so sweet, and you must check out her blog!

I first fell in love with her because she had a chocolate lab, just like us! Although Reese doesn't live with her anymore, she has a sweet new lab, Anna Belle, who is just adorable!

Gorgeous, isn't she? Check out her bog, I think you'll love it. 

Now for the award part ... Here we go!
11 Random Things About Snapshots
1. I bleed black & gold. Not only for my alma mater, Mizzou, but also because the college where I now work is black & gold. Thank goodness.
2. Chocolate makes everything better.

3. I hate to run, but I love the way it makes me feel. 
4. I would wear leggings or pajama pants every day if I could get away with it. 

5. It took me over a year to link the bluetooth in my car to my phone. I have no idea why, I love it!
6. I always like my hair long, but get the urge to chop it off about once a year.
7. Criminal Minds is my absolute favorite show.

8. My husband plays Powerball religiously. The same numbers, twice a week. And he's pretty devastated when he doesn't win.
9. I would love to be on The Apprentice. I love the Donald.

10. I live for summer and warm weather. But since I work for a school, I don't mind the snow too much, because if the roads are bad, I get a snow day!
11. It's so cliche, but true - I never knew it was possible to love someone so much it hurts until I became a mother. 
My 11 Questions from Melissa
1. What is your typical breakfast?
Here lately, I am on a bagel kick. Right now, it's Lenders wheat bagels with fat free strawberry cream cheese ... yummy!

2. Who was the first person you loved?
My parents, of course :)

3. Tell me about any past/current pets you've had.
Well, right now we have Coco. She is a chocolate lab, crazy, and we love her. For six years, we had Hank, another chocolate. He died last spring :( For a bit we had a black lab, Baby Girl, but she got run over. My husband also has three horses - Doc, Scarlett and Jax.

Hank and BG ... love this!

Doc and Jax Man

4. You're having a burger for dinner - what's on it?
Light mayo, Swiss Cheese, lettuce and tomato. Oh and it must be on a sesame seed bun. 

5. Who were you in high school? Cheerleader, Nerd, etc?
The overachiever. I graduated with a 4.09 GPA (weighted classes) and was super involved in about every club. I would have loved to play basketball, but my parents didn't let me. 

6.  What kind of cell phone do you have?
iPhone 4. Ready to upgrade.

7. Favorite dessert ?


8. Favorite thing to do to waste time?
Browse Pinterest. Follow me here.

9. What time does your alarm go off on weekdays?
About 6 a.m. I usually don't get up until 6:20 or 6:30 though. 
10. What's your favorite season, least favorite?
LOVE the summer. Least favorite is probably spring - I have horrible allergies/sinuses and am sick a lot. 
11. Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
Mostly a rule follower. 
My 11 Questions

1. What made you decide to blog?
2. What is your dream job?
3. What is your most-visited website?
4. What's your most recent read?
5. Favorite recipe? Will you share :)
6. What's your idea of a perfect Saturday night?
7. When you were in kindergarten, what did you want to be when you grew up?
8. If you didn't have to work, would you?
9. Where would you like to vacation?
10. What's your favorite TV show?
11. How do you know it's really love?

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Last Thursday, I turned 28!

I'm one of those people who believes their birthday is like a national holiday and typically take off, but since our consultant was scheduled to come into town, I couldn't do that. But my coworkers made the day really special, as we ordered lunch from my favorite place and they also surprised me with this yummy cake!

Sorry, you'll have to turn your head sideways. I tried and tried but COULD.NOT get this turned!
Thankfully, my Thursday work day was much better than Wednesday, and I actually made it home just before 5. It was a BEAUTIFUL day, so when C and I got home hubby was riding horses. Since we were going out for dinner on Friday, hubby just heated up some leftovers, since I did lots of cooking earlier in the week.
This is my favorite picture from the day :)

Just to make myself sad, I'm going to also share this picture, from my 27th birthday.

What happened to my baby?

I've been telling hubby that I want a mother's necklace forever, so this was my special present from my two boys :) LOVE.

Anyhow, we went to bed way early because I had to be up by 5 a.m. Friday to get to a meeting an hour away by 7 a.m. Thankfully, we wrapped up quickly on Friday so I got home about mid-afternoon and was able to take a quick nap before going to dinner.

We dropped Coop off at my parents and went to Shogun, a hibachi grill up in Cape. Delish! Love going there, and its always a treat as it's quite expensive. We did a little shopping also :)

Saturday, we had friends over for pizza, pool and Texas Hold 'Em. Then on Sunday, we had some doughnuts for breakfast.

And that wrapped up my birthday celebrations. I feel so blessed!

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Cooper Michael

I spotted this great link-up today hosted by the sweet Amanda, another Missouri girl, and thought it would be fun to join in!

Since we chose to be surprised by the baby's sex, we had LOTS of names in our minds, as we wouldn't pin one down until we saw him/her.

Backing up a few years, our baby names, before we were ever even married, were Reid Daniel and Adrienne Michelle. The middle names were family (hubby's middle name is Daniel) and the first were names we just liked.

While pregnant, neither name really felt right anymore - especially not when another friend decided to name her son, just a few months older than Cooper, Reid! Of course, my husband is SO picky when it comes to names. It had to be perfect. I cried and argued I don't know how many times about names, but it was no use.

By the time we went to the hospital, we had narrowed the list down to:

Colin Michael
Cooper Andrew (Andrew for my grandma, whose name is Drusilla)

Chelsey Danielle
Adrienne Michelle
Keely Danielle

For the most part, we wanted something different where our kid didn't always have to use a last initial (at one time in elementary school, there were FOUR Emilys in my class) but not weird. The middle names, we wanted a family tie.

Our deal was that hubby got final choice for a boy and I got final choice for a girl. So when our little mister popped out, hubby hemmed and hawed. A lot. The nurses were badgering us for a name, and Cooper's shot record actually says "Baby Boy R" haha.

Honestly, I'm not sure what made us settle on Cooper. I came up with it because I liked a lot of soap opera names, and there was a Cooper on Guiding Light. And there is a cowboy named Tuff Cooper - remember, Tuff was Coop's nickname while in utero. And when my parents came and we told them the two names we were considering, my dad immediately started calling him Coop, so it just felt right.

In the end, we decided to use Michael for the middle name, however.

Looking at my baby boy, I can't imagine his name being anything BUT Cooper Michael. We call him Coop, Michael, Mikey, Super Coop, Scoopy, and CooCoo.

We do find ourselves talking about names for future children. Right now, our girl name is pretty much set to Chelsea Danielle (yup, I changed the spelling!) and we've tossed out the idea of Cole Daniel for a second boy. No, we aren't trying to stick with a "C" initial theme, those are just the names we like!

Of course, given how we change our minds, I wouldn't be surprised if we choose something TOTALLY different.

How did you choose your baby names? If you aren't a parent, do you have any picked out yet?

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Weekend wrapup

This weekend was so hectic, I swear I just walked out of my office last night. These are definitely the moments and I wouldn't swap it for anything :)

On {Friday} hubby surprised me by picking up Super Coop from daycare so I got home a bit earlier than usual. Once we got home and a snack, we changed clothes and went to a nearby town to pick up our quarterly supply of breakfast meat! There is a local grocery mart that does bacon and homemade sausage in bulk, so we buy about 10 lbs. of each and then package it up into patties or weekly amounts. This place also does steaks (a 12 oz. ribeye and baked potato for $6!) so we picked up a couple orders for supper.

We also watched some Duck Dynasty ... neither of us had watched the show yet and the men are coming to our area this spring, so we wanted to check out the hype! Pretty good.

{Saturday} was a pretty lazy morning for us. After Cooper woke up from his nap, we had lunch and went to a home & garden show in our town, then did our grocery shopping. Walmart was a madhouse :(

I also did lots of cleaning and laundry, blech.

Once {Sunday} rolled around, it was time for my normal mental debate ... do I clean and get the house in order, or relax? Relaxing totally won. After C's morning nap, my in-laws dropped in for a bit and after that, we came to town to get hubby's work truck.

Then, it was Super Bowl time!

Since it was Super Bowl Sunday and calories don't count, we had chips & dip, breadsticks and pizza. We even pulled C's high chair into the living room so he could eat in front of the TV, too.

I thought Beyonce did well, but loved the Destiny's Child reunion :) I was rooting for the 49ers and sad for the loss, but they really did come back.

In terms of commercials, there weren't many that really thrilled me,  but I did love the eTrade, M&Ms, Budweiser and Dodge commercials. Yes, my daddy farms :)

How was your Super Weekend?" target="_blank">"/>>

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Fitness update

Or lack thereof ...

For two weeks now, I've been doing a good job of working out! The first week, it was abs (Fab Abs January) every day and running every other. Since Saturday, I've run or done The Shred every night. I ache.

I've been doing pretty decent on eating too until today when my office sponsored a coffee and I've been munching on the mini muffins all day. I'm a major snacker, so I've been bringing a banana and a bag of carrots and tomatoes to work and having those in the mornings and afternoons. Ranch dressing only has 35 calories for 2 T., so I've been rationing some of it as well to help me down the veggies.

The transition to only water and milk has been a bit rough, but I'm getting there. Some days I'll really need something and have a glass of Kool Aid or lemonade, but no real soda cravings.

All this to say that I've actually gained about half a pound in the past two weeks. I know, I shouldn't focus on the number on the scale. But it's hard not to And it's just plain frustrating. Based on the way I feel, I know that it's water weight from the soreness and that I'm gaining muscle mass (you should see my arms!) but I hate it.

And to add to the frustration, working out totally zaps my evenings. C likes to eat at 6 p.m. I do a much better job working out if I do it before dinner. See the problem? The past few days, we've fallen into a pattern of me getting C set up with a snack, like cheese and puffs, once we get home, then go downstairs to work out while he & hubby hang out. Then, once I'm done working out, I'll come upstairs and finish up dinner. One night I did just wait to work out until around 9, and that worked OK ... I guess it just depends on how heavy the food is! Because last weekend, we had salad and it pained me to run 3 hours later!

While we're talking about frustration, let's talk a bit about treadmills. I hate them. I cannot for the life of me run more than a mile without stopping. Although I'm positive I could go further if I were outside, fluctuating with my pace. Ugh. CAN.NOT.WAIT for it to warm up!

Next week will be a true test to my willpower. Between Super Bowl, my birthday, and three days of meetings away from my office, I'm hoping I can continue to make decent choices while also indulging a bit, and definitely keep up the workout routine.

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