Wednesday, November 23, 2011

funny looks

We took Cooper to Children's for his pulmonologist consult today. Everything's fine, he's maintaining very well, and we'll wait and see what this winter brings for him. Hopefully he'll weather it just fine and we can try stopping the maintenance inhaler in the spring. If not, then we'll just keep him on it. No big deal. Back to my story, and the original reason for this post -
At the appointment, Craig took Cooper with the lady to be weighed and to get vitals while Gabe and I stayed in the exam room. This was the conversation:
"Are you Dad?"
"And is Mom in the exam room?"
Then he explains to me that the lady proceeds to give him the "Man, you must be stupid" look.
Craig just smiled and thought the situation was amusing, and decided that she didn't need an explanation.
He doesn't care what people think or say, or how they look at him. We are mom and dad. Period.
Love my family!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Brother

As I was laying Gabe down for a nap we were talking about playing in the fall leaves later today. I mentioned that I would be taking lots of pictures so we could send some to Cooper's first mommy.

He asked if that was the one that kept him in her tummy until he was ready to come out and I said yes.
And I said I was very glad that Cooper was part of our family now.
Gabe says, "Me too, I am very glad to have a brother."

And I am very glad that he's very glad to have a brother! They melt my heart!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tis the season

Gabe just got over strep throat. Now Cooper is sick...... again. His is all respiratory stuff............. again. Thank goodness his pulmonology consultation is next month. We're home sick today doing breathing treatments, inhaled steroids and oral steroids. Poor kid. He can't even run around without wheezing. At least now he's on a maintenance inhaler and some allergy meds. I think that will help a lot. We had planned on going up to mom and dad's this weekend. I was glad Gabe was on the mend, but I don't know if Coop will be well enough for us to go. I guess we'll just see how the next couple days goes. I am thanking God today that we're able to build up vacation time at work for situations like these. Praise God for good insurance and vacation time!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My first 5k EVER!

I think my time was somewhere around 36:49, but I'll have to check the official time when they get them submitted. That's not very fast at all, but I just don't care. I jogged the whole thing at a steady pace, so I am very happy with myself. I probably wouldn't have even known about it if my friend Dusty hadn't mentioned it. I'm glad we did it together!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mom Guilt

Today I wonder - Why is there such a large amount of mom-guilt attached to everything?

If I work, and my children go to a sitter I feel guilty for not being at home. If I take an unpaid vacation day and stay with the boys I feel guilty for not contributing to the family finances. Some days I'm glad to be out of this house and around adults! And then of course I feel guilty about that too. I feel guilty when I take time for myself and go running, and I leave my husband with the kids. I know this is good for them, and I know this is good for me. But I still feel like I have taken something from them. I struggle with getting the regular tasks accomplished (laundry, lunches, general cleaning) and still finding time to have quality time with my children. They need me. They also need me to get all those other things done at some point. I worry that I discipline too much, that I say no too much, and then I feel guilty. I wonder if I'm not doing it enough and they'll grow up to be hellions........ and that would really make me feel guilty! A friend just wrote about what a tough decision it was for them to choose to bottle feed. We have all struggled with that problem too! And you know what, I bet guilt was part of the equation somewhere for all of us if we ended up choosing the bottle for our child.

I wonder if all moms struggle with this balance. Most moms do I think, we just try not to talk about it. I think this is because admitting some of these things that make us feel guilty feels like we have admitted mommy failure. No one wants to admit to mommy failure. I wonder if we hold standards that are too high. I also wonder if we put this pressure on each other. I think we might..... just a little bit. Do I worry about what another mom might think of me when I admit some of these things? Yes I do! Do I put a lot of the pressure on myself? Oh yes....... I do!

I think it comes with the territory of being a mom. But when did it become necessary in our culture to be everywhere, and be everything to everybody?

Monday, August 15, 2011

An Epiphany

I may have passed an adoption milestone. Let me elaborate. We are a "mixed" adoptive family. Our oldest son is our biological child and our youngest is adopted. We recently had a referral to a pediatric pulmonologist for our youngest son. It's possible he may have asthma. As I was driving home from that appointment, I began to mull it all over in my mind. My first thought was, this is no big deal for us. My husband is an asthmatic, and I'm a respiratory therapist. This is something we all understand and can handle. My second thought was, that it made sense that the baby might have asthma since my husband has it. I carried on with my thoughts until all of a sudden I had a reality check................ it does not make sense for the baby to have asthma because my husband does. They don't share the same genes!
So for a moment I felt stupid for my lapse. Being the worrier that I am I began to panic that I had forgotten where he came from, and that if I didn't make it part of our daily conversations that he wouldn't feel comfortable about his adoption. (not that I would forget that - I feel it's very important) But then I realized that this is the way I ought to be feeling about my son. The fact that he's adopted shouldn't identify him or his place in our family. And it doesn't.
This child feels as much a part of me and my husband as our biological child is. I think that's the way it should be. He is our child. Momentarily forgetting that he isn't our biological child is a completely natural thing!
And then I felt very much at peace. I think our family is exactly as it should be.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our awesome new/old stuff!

Friends of ours just donated their large plastic playthingy to us. I don't know what it's actually called, but it does have a slide. It also has holes and slats in the side that they can climb on or through. When they brought it, they also brought a little green car which has provided hours of enjoyment for the boys. I find it funny that kids are always much more interested in old or used toys, or things that aren't toys at all, than they are in the new stuff. :o)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This summer has sure been a busy one! I don't know if it's because there are two kids to keep track of now, or if it has just flown by because we've been running so much. I really had planned to send pictures before now. I even have a bunch of them just waiting, but I just ordered more, so I'm going to wait and send them all together.

Monday, July 4, 2011

We had a pretty good 4th of July! Here are a couple pics of all of us watching the fireworks. I love it that our driveway is a perfect viewing spot for the fireworks in our town! Cooper didn't seem afraid of them at all, which I had been a little concerned about because he slept right through them his first time around. :o) He did great this year. He just kept pointing at them and looking back at us like he wanted to make sure we were seeing it. He wasn't a big fan of the finale though, I think that part did get a little too loud for him. But, he was also tired, it was way past bedtime. Gabe had a blast. One of his buds came over and they played with those glowstick necklaces the whole time and ate ice cream. Sometimes I wish I was a kid again!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

not a stay at home mom

Oh there are so many days I wish I was a stay at home mom. This time it's been that way for about a week. Gabe will be 5 next month and we seem to have hit the lying/disobeying/talking back/general anarchy stage all at once, and boy, we have hit it HARD. It's really frustrating for me because I'm home for a few days and then he goes to a sitter for two days. I love my work schedule because it allows me quite a few full days at home, but sometimes I feel like it's not enough time. It's so hard to try and get all the "stuff" that needs done finished on the days you're off, plus do all the mom things. I think usually we do alright at it, but this week I'm feeling like a failure. This too shall pass I suppose.
I do love my job. I feel like I'm doing something important........ plus they're paying me. :o) I feel like my job gives me another purpose in life. And again........... they're paying me. And we can't afford to not have that paycheck coming in.
And right now, at this moment, life is a-ok in our house. The boys are playing with those musical drum things and making a ton of racket, while Gabe's dressed up as a race car driver and Cooper is in a diaper and cowboy hat. :o) I love it when they laugh together.

I called the IRS and was told that they have finished auditing us, and now we only have to wait a couple weeks for the money to be deposited. We've been anxiously waiting so we can pay back a chunk of the adoption money. So, I finished most of that paperwork during naptime yesterday. yay!

We're having a yard sale next weekend and getting rid of some of the extra stuff that's been cluttering up our lives. We cleaned out at least half of all the boy's toys and the playroom is still stuffed full! I couldn't believe it.

Then next month - camping! We didn't get to go last year, so I'm looking forward to it. It'll be Cooper's first time. I think he'll like it a lot.

Friday, June 3, 2011


It's June! Life is cruising along pretty regularly here for us. T-ball is still in full swing, and the weather is getting so nice. We've been outside quite a bit this past week or so. Gabe seems to be having some issues with his attitude, but I think that's normal for his age. Cooper's new favorite thing to play with is Pepsi cans. I don't know why. We have a giant tub of wooden blocks in the living room, but he doesn't play with them, he crawls over to a cube of Pepsi and stacks the cans up. It's a little odd, but he's just like all the rest of us........... a little odd. :o)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

just an update

T-ball has started. We seem to have a slow start because practice keeps being cancelled on account of rain. Our first game is this week. I hope they do well. Well, you know it really doesn't matter because it's just T-ball and they're only there to learn the basics I guess.

The IRS audited us when we applied for the adoption tax credit, so we faxed in all the paperwork, and now we wait 30 days to see what happens with that. Cooper's new birth certificate came yesterday and that was SO exciting.

Cooper loves to read. It is the cutest thing. Both boys love to read, so we sit on the couch and read stories and it is wonderful. I love it! It just kind of surprised me that Coop wanted to read so early. He picks out one of the his little board books and brings it over to you and plops down and waits to get started. :o)

Mother's Day is tomorrow and I am so happy to the mom of these two boys! It is the best thing I have going on in my life.

We were listening to a comedian talk about kids and he said having a boy in the house is like inviting a Viking over. There's looting and pillaging................ and yelling, and I laughed and laughed because that's how it is! There's always something going on!

Just today we were at a graduation party and I was holding Cooper and talking to the graduate and I glance over at Gabe and he has taken over the cake table and is trying to serve people cake with that spatula thing and it is getting a little messy, lol. Luckily Craig came over and saved that situation. Just as I was breathing a sigh of relief, I look down at Cooper and notice that he has dunked his entire hand up to the elbow into my cup of lemonade. You have to be looking directly at them every second to keep them out of trouble! And they're good kids too! They're not that crazy or bad-mannered (I don't think) They're just boys. :o)

I love it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

vote for Cooper!

It's Cooper's turn to be famous!

click on this link to go vote for Cooper in the Parent's magazine weekly reader's choice contest! The selection of photos seems completely random and the winner is not necessarily the cutest kid because it's decided by vote. Bascially the winners are the kids whose parents have the most friends who voted, lol. Help the little guy out please!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

just stuff

Cooper was so funny today, he was running around with one of Craig's shirts on his head and cracking up. I was afraid he was going to run into something, but everytime I got close to him he'd pull the shirt off his head and smile at me. He never did run into anything, so that's good. It was pretty funny to watch though.

He's started having diarrhea explosions again, which is a bummer. I thought maybe it was a combination of teething and too much juice, but we're playing it safe so we called the pediatrician. We're supposed to watch him for 24 hours and then if it hasn't stopped we'll take him in to be seen. Gabe was sad, he said he wanted to be near Cooper to play with him and love on him but he didn't want to get sick germs. They are so cute. When Coop was in the hospital the only time he ever smiled or acted like he wanted to play was when Gabe came to visit.

Oh, speaking of Gabe, he's in a Parents magazine readers choice photo contest this week! The weekly finalists are entered into another contest for the cover. pretty cool. If you have time click on this and go vote for him!

I entered Gabe and Cooper's pictures at the same time, but Gabe's was chosen. Looking at the other contestants it appears to be a completely random selection, so I entered Cooper again, cause he's super cute too. Unfortunately you can't vote for Coop until he's entered in a weekly contest, so we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I need help with my dog

Alright, our dog Taylor is very close to finding a new home. She's had bladder issues ever since she was spayed as a puppy, but I have reached the end of my patience. Almost every night she pees on my carpet while everyone's asleep. It does not matter if you let her out before bed, or if you limit her water in the evening.

She manages to summon up some pee in the middle of the night just for kicks.

I've even changed her sleeping location because I thought maybe that one area of the carpet was where she thought she was supposed to use the bathroom. So, we put her in the basement for a few nights. You guessed it, she peed down there too.

My only other option is to keep her outside every night, but that seems mean. Especially in the winter time. Suggestions would be great.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

sick sick sick

Little Cooper caught whatever Craig had and his little body just couldn't handle it. He ended up being admitted to the hospital on Monday with dehydration, diarrhea, bronchitis and an ear infection. His main issue was the dehydration though. They were thinking they'd give him fluids overnight and send him home the next day, but he was more dehydrated than we originally thought so he had to stay 2 nights. Poor little guy, all he had the energy to do was lay around. And I wasn't allowed to not be touching him either, which is unusual for him. He's usually very busy and doesn't have time to cuddle.

We did have an amusing experience. I put him in the crib so I could run to the bathroom (which is right in the same room) and he staged such a protest that the nursing student came running in to see what was wrong. haha.

We're home now, we've both had lunch, a bath, and a nap. He just looks so much better than he did Monday and I'm so glad. He had me very worried. Coop is running around now and playing with toys a little, and then he comes back to me and rocks for awhile. His energy is slowly returning, and I think if I can keep pushing the fluids with him he'll be back to normal before we know it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

small update

We had to reschedule Cooper's 1 year check-up because both boys ended up getting bronchitis. They were both taking breathing treatments every 4 hours for about a week.

Gabe will be starting T-ball in May, and Craig said he would be willing to help coach. Well, they're short staffed so now he's a head coach. hahaha. I think he's a little nervous. Unfortunately he doesn't know anything more because when the person left their number they were in a bad service area and were breaking up.

Cooper is nodding "yes" to any question you ask him now which is very cute. It's also different from what most kids do. Most of them are "no" kids. I'm glad he's a "yes" kid.

I ordered a bunch of picture prints from Cooper's birthday party and other stuff too, and they should be here today or tomorrow, and I can't wait to see them.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

happy birthday to all of us

Dear C,
The little boy we all love is going to be one year old tomorrow. I know the date is carved on your heart and it's one you'll never forget. It's one I'll never forget either. I held him for the first time and I couldn't believe you'd given me that honor. He felt so right. He was instantly part of my heart.
You went through so much so bring him into the world. You are one very strong woman. I can't even try to explain how amazed and grateful I am that you chose our family for Cooper. I've experienced such an abundance of joy and love in this short year. He is such an awesome little person, and he is so so happy.
It makes me sad to think that you are going to be sad on this day that is always going to have such happy memories for me. It doesn't seem fair at all, and I don't know what to do except to tell you how much we love him. You can tell he loves his brother, and his brother loves him. All of us are super-excited to be able to celebrate his birthday with him. I am so glad you brought our family together.
When I think about my family I am so content. The best word to describe it is JOY. We are filled with joy. We were certainly happy before, but it's like all the good feelings have been doubled. Cooper is literally a little bundle of joy. :o)
We love him so much. Thank you for choosing to give us the privilege of being his parents.

Monday, March 7, 2011

the big kindergarten decision

So we have been going back and forth about whether we're sending Gabe to kindergarten this year or next year. He will be 5 before the school year starts, but just barely. We were also concerned that all the children he knows will be beginning school this year and didn't want him to be left out. We also felt like if we said we were going to wait a year, that we were saying he isn't smart enough to start kindergarten yet.

We know he's smart enough. He is eager to learn, and is confident around other kids and adults. We're just afraid that he's not physically ready to sit still and listen all day. Plus, pretty often he still needs to take a nap in the afternoon, so there was another clue for us.

We also don't want to start him too early and then have him fall behind in later years. It's a known fact, boys do develop on a slower timeline than girls. I don't want learning to be hard for him, and for him to grow to hate school.

Craig brought up some good points too: We know he'll be average or a little above average if we start him now. (this is just based on what kindergartners are supposed to know and learn, and what we know Gabe already knows) But we also know that if we start him next year, he'll definitely be ready and he'll almost definitely be above average. We want to make sure he'll be able to have a good handle on the information he's being taught so that school can be fun. Another point of Craig's was his physical development. He may fall behind in sports or the physical activities simply because he's almost a year behind his peers. That can be a big problem for a little boy.

So, bottom line is we're going to wait a year to start kindergarten. He'll still go to Tuesday school at church, and we will continue our learning at home. We are currently working on recognizing letters and the sounds they make, and differentiating currency. We'll just keep going with that and hope we're making the right decision for him.


Last night Cooper took his first steps, right into Gabe's arms! It was sooo COOL! And after Gabe caught him Cooper just kind of laid on him like he was just enjoying the hug. It was so sweet.

I think he only took about 3 steps total, but they were unassisted - it was all him. Right now it seems like he really still prefers to crawl. But, we're getting there. No need to hurry.

I can't believe he's going to be 1 on Friday. I feel like we just brought him home about 3 months ago! This year has really flown by.

Friday, February 11, 2011

11 months

Not much going on around here. Cooper has 4 teeth on bottom and 1 on top, with 2 more coming in. He's also saying 'momma" which is great! Before he only would say it when he was crying. :) He's also waving good-bye and hello........ which in reality looks more like a karate chop, but we know what he means. :)

He had his first big trip to the mall today, and he was wonderful, he just rode around in his stroller making a bunch of noise with his toy radio. He jabbered to everybody and everyone told him how adorable he is. (which is of course undeniably true) :)

Gabe was relatively good and he also had his first big soft hot pretzel today. I also had one, and probably enjoyed it just as much as he did.

Oh! and I got a free diet Pepsi today because the lady at the play place accidentally poured the wrong soda for someone. good day!

On a side note, Craig lent my camera to someone and it still has not returned after 2 weeks, so I don't have very many new pictures. So, unfortunately it may be a little longer than usual before I send out a new batch.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I had just laid Cooper down the other night, and Gabe and I were playing with his kitchen stuff. This is how the conversation went:

Craig "Hey bud, can you keep your voice down?"
Gabe, "Sure dad!"
Me, "Thanks Gabe, I got it."


Friday, January 28, 2011

noggin troubles

We have had a minor health scare this week with Cooper. (Everything's ok - read on.)

It started when Gabe accidentally left the basement door open and Coop tried to crawl down the stairs. It didn't work out so well for him. You'll be happy to know that we installed a pneumatic door closer thingy that evening, so this won't happen again. Anyway, on with the story. By the time my grandma got here to watch Gabe while I took Cooper to the ER, all 3 of us were crying. Craig met us there and Cooper had an X-ray and a CT scan of his head. Nothing was broken (yay!) but they did find a cyst in a part of his brain. The ER doctor said it wasn't anything acute, but should probably be followed up on yearly. We asked our pediatrician to review the reports and scan, and she did. She also referred us to a neurosurgeon in Columbus.

We saw him today. He said everything is ok. Apparently people can be born with these types of cysts (3-4% of the world's population), and Cooper is one of them. His health or development isn't being affected in any way right now. But, in a year, just to make sure, we're going to do an MRI to check on it again. The only issue that we may have is that the cyst is against an area of the brain that controls memory. The dr said that he may have some subtle memory issues, but he doesn't expect that he will. Fortunately, for babies the "hardwire" in your brain isn't set in stone yet. So, if the right side of his brain has a cyst, the left side will almost always rewire to make up for it. He is going to do some neuropsych testing (memory, and vocabulary type stuff) when he's around 3 years old, again just to make sure.

So, we all breathed a BIG sigh of relief, and got back to living life. Felt like we were on pause for awhile. :o) Well, not Cooper. He never stops moving or eating, lol, that's probably why he's such a good sleeper at night.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

new tricks!

Cooper is now playing peekaboo himself with a blanket, or a towel, or whatever he can get hold of. It's really very cute. He laughs even when he's still under the blanket like he's playing the biggest joke ever, it's hilarious.

Gabe also taught him a new trick - blowing raspberries with your tongue out. They do this at each other over and over and laugh and laugh.

At least entertainment is cheap around here!

Friday, January 14, 2011



So, I've been precepting our new respiratory therapist, Doug, at work. He said he tries not to eat any processed food, and I thought to myself, "well that's a little odd, but to each his own." Over the course of conversation I asked him what helped make his decision to eat this way and he said he watched a documentary called FoodInc on Netflix. He strongly encouraged me to watch it too. He mentioned it a couple times, so I watched it. I like documentaries in general, so I figured it would at least be interesting. I'd like to say................ thank you Doug for scaring the ever-living crap out of me about the food my children are eating.

Big changes coming for our house. We definitely eat on a budget, but I will also be exercising my right to be choosy. This family is the most important thing in the world to me, so what they're eating is, by default, also going to have to be important to me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Year

Well, last year was certainly one heck of a year. It was just one thing after another, some good, some bad. I'm kind of glad it's all done. Good news: We received Cooper's FINAL ADOPTION DECREES in the mail! Hooray! He's officially official! I'm so glad!

Cooper's officially part of our family forever. Well, he was anyway, but now we have some paperwork that says so too. :) Gabe's winter program for Tuesday School is next week, I start precepting our new hire at work tomorrow, and we're having our first professional family picture taken tonight. I'm really hoping the boys are cooperative and we can get at least one good one. I think Cooper's at the perfect age for it right now.

So, to sum it up, we've recovered from the holidays and we're off and running again. :)