Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Cooper at 1 Year

So pictures this month were interesting.  It didn't help that because I'm back to work, I couldn't choose the best time of day.  We took them after dinner, and Cooper was getting a bit nuts.  (Before dinner he wasn't having it at all.)  But he's happy!  He just didn't want to sit still and wanted to hug his fox the whole time!

Weight: 22lbs 8 oz

Height: 30 inches

Sleeping: What a difference a month makes.  And my inability to nurse him...  Because I was going back to work, I weaned Cooper.  I also was leaving him for a weekend 3 days after I went back to work, and was hopeful that he would get used to not nursing himself back to sleep.  It worked!  Because I wasn't around to feed him, he had to go back to sleep on his own.  Overall he has been sleeping really well ever since.  He sometimes wakes in the night, but most of the time can go back to sleep on his own.

He naps twice a day, in the morning for less than an hour and in the afternoon for a couple hours.

Eating: As I said, no more nursing!  He's drinking milk from a cup now and eating like a regular boy.  He will eat anything that we put in front of him and doesn't ever seem to get full!  When he wakes up in the morning he's pretty cranky if I don't feed him immediately, which is the total opposite of Parker who wants nothing to do with food for at least an hour.

Favourite's hard to pick a favourite with Cooper.  He likes grapes and bananas, pasta, meatballs.  Those are some of the things he gobbles right up.  But I'm not sure I've found anything that he refuses to eat.

-climbing stairs
-first night away from mommy
-started daycare

-playing in Parker's room
-wrestling with his brother
-toys with wheels
-the bath

-not a huge fan of dogs
-not getting food fast enough

He has adapted so well this month to his new routines.  The first few days he was very sucky when I picked him up from daycare, but he had been totally fine all day without me.  But now he's completely back to his regular self.  He never cries when I drop him off.  I think it definitely helps that Parker stays with him.

Monday, 6 November 2017

A One Year Old

And poof, he's one.

This kids growing up thing is something that I'm still not used to.  It's crazy how much they change.  They go from this little teeny tiny baby, to this big boy who loves to eat and crawl and climb on top of his brother whenever he gets a chance.  And it all happens in a year!

Right after I had Cooper, I couldn't imagine going through birth again.  It hurt.  But I knew I would forget, and I have.  I also couldn't imagine going through pregnancy again.  But everything that you have to go through, makes this time so worth it.  I want all the babies if I'm able to watch them grow, because it's really so much fun.

I was so relieved when I went into labour with Cooper at just over 36 weeks.  That's something that not many people say!  But I was ready to meet this guy.  I was ready for him to make our family just a bit more complete.  

And brothers!  Oh boy, it's been fun.  I was unsure of what life would be like with two boys.  And it is a bit crazier than I had pictured my life.  And I think it will be a bit more expensive than I had hope, because Cooper eats everything in site, and Parker makes me open everything and then says "I don't like that."  But I love watching them together, and I love that they have each other.
Cooper has been such a joyful, easy going baby.  I hope he has those qualities for the rest of his life.  I hope he grows into a kind, hardworking, generous person.

We have done a lot this year.  Life has been crazy busy.  But that's the way we've wanted it to a point.  We have these kids, who want to see the world that they live in.  So I love to take them places, watch them as they see something for the first time.  Parker has also grown up this year and understands so much more, and so I know exactly what I have to look forward to with Cooper.  But if he could stay a baby for a bit longer that would be fine by me.

Ok enough of my rambling.  All of this is just to say, Happy Birthday Coop!  We love you more than you will every know (until you have babies of your own).  

Friday, 13 October 2017

At the Grocery Store

A calming picture...because I need it

We've all been there.  At the grocery store when a kid is having a melt down.  If the mom yells, she's a terrible mother.  If the mom ignores, she's a terrible mother.  If she bribes her kid with chocolate, she's a terrible mother.  Then we have kids and realize that she can't choose the right way to react, because there is no right way.

I was that mom today at the grocery store with the kid who cried the entire time.  Unfortunately it was my almost 3 year old and not the baby as one would maybe expect.  I calmy tried to tell him that nobody wanted to listen to him cry, I begged with him to please stop.  I took the chocolate bar away from him in the checkout line, which resulted in more tears and extra embarrassment for me.  But it probably would of looked worse to give my crying kid a box of smarties, right?

I don't even know.  It was awful and I hope it never happens again.  Maybe it happened so that I wouldn't be so sad about going back to work in five days.  What's the right way to respond to this though?  I guess you just hope that the people around you in the store that day realize that you're trying your best and that when a three year old decides to have a tantrum there's not a whole lot you can do.  Except feed him, because he was starving, because he refused to eat his breakfast before we left the house....

So anyways, if you were in the grocery store today with my family, I'm sorry.  And if you were at Wal-mart today, be thankful that I decided it wasn't worth the stop and just went home.  You're welcome.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Things I'm Thinking Right Now

1.  I hate making dinner and I hate cleaning up from dinner. The only part of dinner I like is the eating of dinner.

2. I can't believe I only have 3 maternity leave days left.  I picked Parker up from preschool for probably the last time this year today.  I'm hoping something crazy happens and I don't have to go to work.  Can you win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket???

3. And yet I want Parker to go to bed now just so that I don't have to listen to him ask if he can watch Paw Patrol for just a minute.

4. I went to a store today to check out a sweater I wanted to ask for for Christmas.  They only had one left and she said they wouldn't get more in.  So Merry Christmas to me! 

5. What should I do tomorrow on my third last day off with the kids that's fun?  Besides groceries.  Because that's not really fun at all.

What we did for fun yesterday

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Field Trip with My Big Boy

Parker had his first every field trip last Tuesday!  We went to the apple farm with his preschool.  I had been trying to think of something I could do just with Parker, and while I had originally planned on taking Cooper as well, I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to spend some one on one time with my big boy!

It would of been closer for us to drive ourselves, but the bus was half the fun!  Parker talks about school buses all the time, so getting to ride on one was a lot of fun for him.

While there, we went on a wagon ride, picked some apples, played in a sandbox, saw some cows, and of course ate a few apples.  

I think we both had a good time.  It was nice to be able to fully focus on Parker.  The funny thing is, I'm not really sure he cared much that it was just him.  He was actually very confused in the morning and when I told him we were going on a field trip he kept saying "baby come too".  When we left him at my mom's, he looked at Cooper's car seat and said "where baby?"  I'm sure it was nice for him to have some time without Cooper, but I also like that he seems to miss him when he's not around.  

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Outtakes from our Eleven Month Pictures

Our little photoshoot sure was interesting this month.  I couldn't even get one picture of him laying down on the backdrop that I've used every month because the little stinker sat up and crawled away by the time I stood up, every single time.  

But, I still love all of these crazy pictures of him moving around, because that's what he's like now.  He doesn't sit still.  He loves toys, so sitting still next to blocks and a stuffed animal is just never going to happen!

What happens if I push this block over the edge?

It's gone!

 I brought Parker in to try to get a nice picture of the two of them together.  I should of known better.  Parker brought his apple.  Look at Cooper looking at it.  You can't keep food away from this one.

I told Parker to hug his brother.  Unfortunately he still has the apple.

So he hugs his brother, while holding the apple as far away as possible.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Cooper at 11 Months

Big mama tears over here.  One month away from being a year old.  It amazes me how they change in a year.  How everything changes in a year.  I was thinking the other day about how when I had Cooper, how hard it was to go anywhere.  Parker was little and barely listening and so whenever possibly I did errands without him.  I still choose to do errands without him when I can (haha!), but if he's with me, I can set him down and get Cooper out of the car.  He can walk by himself into a store.  It's just totally different.  Both of them can sit up in a cart and I actually have room for my groceries.  Cooper doesn't eat constantly so I can go out and rarely even have to feed him.  And if he does get hungry, he eats for about five minutes.

Cooper has been an easy baby all around, and having him was much easier than when I had Parker.  But everything now just seems so much easier too.  And I think that's what I have to remember during the tricky times (and Ryan has to remember...), that they are in a difficult stage, where they need a ton of energy from us.  They need us constantly, but soon enough they won't need us for everything anymore.  They will get their own food and milk, they will get themselves dressed and pee on the potty.  And it's ok for us to not love every minute during this time, but someday we will miss those little voices asking us for more milk please, and crawling into our laps for cuddles.  And those days are going to come sooner than we think, and sooner than they should.

Ok anyways, this is really supposed to be about Cooper and what he's like at 11 months, not about all of my emotional mama issues!

Weight: I have no idea. I meant to weigh the heavy lug the other day and I forgot.  But he's heavy!

Height: In comparison to Parker a year ago, he's tall.  

Diapers: Size 4

Clothes: Still kind of fits in some 6-12 months, but 12 months fits better.  

Sleep:  We are working on it, slowly but surely.  He's getting better at going back to sleep by himself sometimes.  He's still nursing a couple times a night.  It really needs to stop...

Naps are pretty good.  He sleeps for about an hour in the morning and a couple hours in the afternoon.  He is still generally going to bed between 9 and 10...I really want to get that earlier for when I'm back at work!

Eating: Oh boy, does this boy love to eat! What a different eater he is than his brother.  You can put anything in front of him and he just sits there and eats away.  He's also getting better with his cup with a straw and the 360 cup and he seems to like the milk!  He eats 3 meals a day and then sometimes some snacks as well.

He nurses only a few times a day, generally not for too long unless he's nursing himself to sleep for a nap.  He maybe nurses 4 times a day in general (plus night feeds).  Considering I go back to work in less than 2 weeks though we need to start decreasing it more.  But I'm not ready to be done!  I was so ready with Parker, because I always had to force him to eat.  With Cooper, it has been so easy that I don't feel like I'm desperate for my body back.  Although I know once I have it, it will probably be nice.

Milestones & likes:
Hmm what's new.  He motors around everywhere.  He pulls himself up onto tables, he hasn't done it onto his feet a ton of times, but he is constantly pulling himself up just enough to grab stuff.  He likes to clear off shelves if he can reach.  Loves getting into the garbage cans.

His favourite spot is Parker's room, I always find him in there playing.  He likes to crawl into our laps, and climb on me if I'm on the floor or working out.  He loves loves loves his brother and still thinks he's hilarious.  He has a monster grin that I absolutely love.  He loves to splash in the tub, the bathroom gets pretty soaked!  Parker yells at him and says "no splashing!" Like as if he's a rule follower...

I don't even have anything to put here with this easy going kiddo.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Being Home

So obviously I've been reflecting on what it's been like to be at home with my kids a lot lately.  I go back to work sooner, slightly earlier than expected.  It's bittersweet.  I do like working.  I'm one of those office people who loves sitting at a computer and being productive and getting stuff done.  But I really love being at home with my kids.

The past 11 months has been amazing.  I enjoyed my maternity leave with Parker, but this maternity leave was so rewarding.  It made such a difference having a toddler who cared what we did.  There were so many fun things that we could go do and it was a blast seeing everything through his eyes.  I loved watching the two boys learn and grow and love each other.

I love leisurely mornings, drinking coffee and watching tv.  I love dropping Parker off at preschool and then picking him up an listening to what he says they did that morning.  Sometimes he sings me the songs that they sang at preschool on the way home.  I love getting together with girlfriends and building relationships with people who are in a similar life stage to myself, as well as watching our kids build relationships with each other.  

People who have the ability to stay home with their kids, I envy you.  It's definitely not easy.  Some days I wanted to pull my hair out.  Many moments have been difficult.  But it's nice to not miss all of those good moments that happen throughout the day.  

But back to work I go.  And I know that it will be fine, because it was fine last time.  Our days will be busy, but we will make it work.  My time management will improve again!  And I know the boys will have a fantastic time at daycare and with their grandmas!

So basically I'm conflicted and don't know how I feel.  I feel everything.  Happy and sad, excited and scared.  But I know that in the end everything will work out, we will all be fine, we will all be happy.  

Thursday, 28 September 2017

My September Books

Once again I'm going to tell you all of these books are good.  Because when it comes down to it, if I get through a book then I generally liked it.  If I don't like it I just can't make myself keep reading it.  But also, if a book is only sub par and you get to the end, usually the ending makes it worth it.
One True Loves
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is my second Taylor Jenkins Reid book, and once again I really liked it.  The new genre of chick lit seems to have the requirement that your husband died.  I've read about four books now where this weird.  

Emma married her high school sweetheart, Jesse.  Then on their first anniversary Jesse dies in a helicopter crash.  It goes through her 2 year grief process very briefly until she finally decides she is ready to move on.  She reconnects with a high school friend, Sam and they get engaged.  Then she finds out that Jesse is actually alive.  

The book is kind of heartbreaking, because you feel for Emma in that she loves them both.  When your husband dies, you don't stop loving him.  But she has fallen in love with Sam as well.  

Despite the fact that husbands keep dying in my books, I really like this type of Chick Lit that has a bit more depth, not quite so Hallmark movie, but still an easy read.

The Silent Sister (Riley MacPherson, #1)
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Riley believes that her older sister committed suicide as a teenager.  When Riley's father dies and she is cleaning out his house, she finds that not all she believed is quite true.  This book goes through the discoveries that Riley makes about her family.

Although there is a murder in this book, the entire mystery aspect of the book isn't about a murder, which is a bit refreshing!  I wouldn't say it's the best book that I've read, but it kept me interested and I did enjoy it.

The Breakdown

The Break Down by B.A. Paris

So this is the second B.A. Paris book that I've read, the first being Behind Closed Doors.  I had similar feelings about this book.  I did enjoy it, but I felt that not everything made sense and there were some plot holes.

Cass drives a short cut through the woods during a storm and sees a car sitting there.  She thinks about helping, but feels it would be unsafe for her.  The next day she finds out a woman has been murdered in the woods.  From then on she starts to get strange phone calls where nobody is there and starts forgetting everything and is sure she has early onset dementia like her mother did.

The thing that annoyed me the most is that this short cut through the woods was perceived as so dangerous, when it was 5 minutes from her nice house.  I couldn't think of a single road where I lived that my husband would tell me not to drive down because it's unsafe, so I thought that was strange.

The book is a bit repetitive with Cass freaking out about the murder and the phone calls and thinking she's going crazy.  But like all mystery books it comes together in the end.  


Good As Gone by Amy Gentry

Julie is kidnapped when she is 13.  8 years later she shows up on her parents front door.  It's a miracle, but suddenly her mom is questioning things.  Certain aspects don't add up.  Is this really her daughter?

This was a good suspense novel.  I liked that the family, although they had their issues which resulted from the kidnapping, was relatively normal.  I find that often in books like this, the family is completely insane and unrelatable. (Like every Gillian Flynn novel.)  This book kept me guessing, although I kind of started to figure everything out about 3/4 of the way through.  It wasn't brilliant, but it was good.

On Second Thought

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

I'm definitely a Kristan Higgans fan.  I loved this book.  It's about two sisters, one who is recently a widow and one whose boyfriend of 11 years just broke up with her.  Both of them are dealing with very different losses.  They haven't always been the closest, but this brings them together.  It's intertwined with aspects of love stories, but a lot of it is about their connection and friendship as well, which is definitely refreshing.  I found the characters super likeable and enjoyable to read about.  This is my favourite book of the month!

I'm on a bit of a reading downturn right now.  I just haven't been able to get into anything new since I finished Good as Gone last week.  But I guess I've been reading pretty heavily for the past few months, so maybe that's ok!  Hopefully it picks up again soon, because I'm actually really enjoying reading so many great stories this year!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Wear and Tear

 I have been using my cloth diapers for over two and a half years, and for ten months I have been using them on two kiddos.  So this is 3 years of constant use, washing every few days, lots of pee and poop touching the diapers.  And although I love cloth diapers, all this use is hard on them.  If you had a shirt that you wore once every 3 days, and washed every time you wore it, it probably wouldn't stand up for 3 years.

So then why do I get so sad when my diapers start to wear out?  Plus, I can't forget that half of them were bought used.  When I think about all this it's actually amazing that they haven't completely fallen apart.

The diapers that I bought used, which the above two were part of, had the elastics replaced when I bought them.  Well those elastics have stretched out a bit over time.  They really needed replaced awhile ago again, but although it's not a difficult process, it's a time consuming one.  And ain't nobody got time for that.  Well now I'm trying to find the time.  The diaper on the left is before I changed the elastics and the diaper on the right is afterwards.  Look at the difference!  It makes me so happy when the legs are tight again and poor little Parker's pee won't run down his leg anymore!  (Cooper doesn't have this problem cause he has thunder thighs.)

So the process is just starting but I'm really hoping that over time I can get all of these elastics replaced.  The photo below (although blurry) is an elastic that I pulled out of the diaper, and a new elastic that I cut to the right size to put into the diaper.  What a difference!

So here's hoping that this prolongs the life of my diapers! 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

August Books

I technically finished 5 books this month, but since a couple of them were read on our holidays, I included them in last months book list.  

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Lucy Lang comes from a long line of widows.  She lost her husband at the age of 24 after 8 months of marriage.  6 years later, she thinks that she's ready to move on.  She wants to get remarried and have kids.  She wants someone that she can basically tolerate, no passionate love, because it hurts too much when you lose that.  But is that enough?  

This book was great.  It's a good chick lit book and was easy to read, but entertaining.  I really enjoyed the characters and could understand the hesitation that Lucy had about certain relationships.  I've heard good things about Kristan Higgans and look forward to reading more of her books.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

A boy is killed by a hit and run driver.  Jenna's world has changed.  She runs away and is clearly hiding from everything.  She starts her life over again, but can she really start over when she's hiding her past?

I didn't know where this book was going for the first half of it, but it still held my interest.  There were a couple of parts in it where I was shocked.  This is one of those books where I can't say much more because I don't want to give anything away!  It was really good though and I would definitely recommend it!  I wouldn't say it's a heavy mystery where the who done it is all consuming, that's more just a small part of it.

All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

Maybe I have just read a lot of good books lately, but Mary Higgins Clark isn't thrilling me like she used to.  Or maybe it's that I've read like 30 of her books an they start to get to be the same.  Or maybe it's that she's like 85 and slightly losing her touch.

I definitely didn't hate this book.  It's kind of like The Woman in Cabin 10.  A bunch of people are on a high end cruise.  The main character is working on the cruise as a lecturer (much like in The Woman in Cabin 10 where she was a journalist).  Somebody dies.  Who did it?  It was good.  I read it in like 2 days.  Typical Mary Higgins Clark!  If you like her, then of course you are going to read this, and you will enjoy it.  But it will quickly leave your mind when you start your next book.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Lions and Tigers and Bears

On Labour Day weekend, we went to the Brantford Zoo as a family.  It was something I had been meaning to do all summer and never ended up finding a day that worked for me and somebody to go with me.  Then all of a sudden I realized that Ryan could go with us on a weekend!  I get so used to doing activities during the week that Ryan doesn't always get to go places like this with us.

The Brantford Zoo is pretty small, so it really only took us a couple hours.  But it was great for a kid Parker's age.  Much more doable than the Toronto Zoo and closer for us too.

We packed a picnic lunch and ate it while watching the animal show.  We saw lions, baboons, monkeys, kangaroos, zebras, deer, tigers and more!