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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cooper's 12 Month Pictures

Here are just a couple of my favorites from Cooper's 12 month pictures. Click on each collage to make it bigger!
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Must-Haves for Baby

So, this is not my typical sort of blog.  Most revolve around Cooper, and while Cooper did dictate what is going to go in this blog, there will be no pictures of him!  So if you are here for pictures - move on.  I have several friends who are expecting and decided I needed to share some of my favorite items that I used all the time when Cooper was a baby.  I tried uploading pictures of them, but for some reason, the server is rejecting them.  Anyways, use your imagination!  In no particular order, here are some of my favorite baby things!

  • Miracle Blanket:  This is a swaddling blanket that is fool-proof.  There is no guessing about how to swaddle your baby.  It comes with "pockets" for their arms and legs, and then Velcros closed.  I didn't actually have an official Miracle Blanket, but Target carries a swaddling blanket very similar.  We did not have one of these the first night we were home with Cooper, but we went out the next day and got one.  What a HUGE difference it made!  Cooper was much more content wrapped up as tightly as we could get him.  It just seemed like we couldn't figured out the regular blankets.  Like I said, these are fool-proof!
  • Boppy:  I nursed Cooper for 12 months, but never once used the Boppy for nursing.  So I'm sure you are wondering why it is on my list.  Well first off, I have many people who used it for nursing and loved it!  But also, even though I did not use it for it's intended purpose, I used it on a regular basis for so many other things.  I would lay the Boppy on the floor and put Cooper in it.  It kept him elevated which helped greatly with his acid reflux.  When he was tiny, he did not like to lay down flat to sleep (I think his reflux just hurt too much!), so he would nap in his Boppy.  Also, just simply holding him was much easier with the Boppy.  Definitely a must-have!
  • Travel System:  A travel system is a car seat, base, and stroller that comes together.  The base goes permanently into your car, where all you have to do is snap the car seat in and out very easily.  The car seat will also snap into the stroller.  I used the stroller/car seat combination all the time when Cooper was little.  Anytime I went shopping, I would take my stroller instead of putting him in the shopping cart.  My stroller had a huge basket on the bottom, so I would even do small grocery shopping.  I never had to worry about whether he was safe, and the stroller is so much easier to push around than the shopping cart.
  • Breast Pump:  This one for me is a love-hate relationship.  I hated pumping.  Not because it hurt, but because it was just one more thing I had to do.  I LOVED nursing.  It was so easy and convenient.  Once Coop got the hang of it (it takes about 6 weeks for them to get it), I could just sit there and take a moment.  But pumping is handy for allowing me to get out of the house and let Matt or someone else watch Coop.  If you are working and want to continue breastfeeding, I recommend getting a good pump.  Don't skimp in this area!  The better the pump, the easier it will be and not such a hassle.
  • Activity Mat:  There are so many activity mats to choose from now.  I LOVE them!  And babies LOVE them!  Cooper would lay on his mat and just stare at all the colors.  His activity mat had a mirror, and he would just talk to the baby in the mirror forever.  So cute!  I was able to get so many things done while he was on that mat, but then they start moving which leads me to my next two.
  • Jumper and Exersaucer:  Coop was fortunate to have both of these.  My sister graciously loaned them to us, and I'm so glad she did!  The jumper was the stationary Rainforest Jumperoo.  He would jump, and jump, and jump in that thing.  It has toys all around so he would turn as he jumped to play.  His exersaucer was made by Baby Einstein.  He loved spinning and figuring out each different toy.  Both of these kept him occupied to let me clean or get dinner prepared.  Definitely life-savers!
  • Booster Seat:  This is more of a recommendation than a must-have.  Cooper has a highchair.  I hate it!  It is very cute and sturdy and does it's thing.  But it is huge and takes up so much space!  I so wish I had saved LOTS of money and had gotten a nice booster seat instead.  One of my friends had given me that advice, but I selfishly wanted the new, cute matchy matchy high chair, so that's what I got, and now I'm stuck with it.  I think a space-saver high chair or just a plain ole booster seat would be perfect!
  • Pack N Play:  We used his pack n play as a changing table when he was a baby.  I didn't want to invest in a changing table, and since most pack n plays come with changing table accessories, we went that route.  We had it set up in the living room, and literally used it 9 times a day for the first couple of months.  Now that we don't use a changing table any more, I take it on trips with me.  It is so handy to have and use as a portable crib. 
  • Baby Swing:  I was hesitant to put this one on here.  Cooper did not use his swing very much - at all!  And it was a very expensive swing.  But, when he did use it, he would just sit and swing, and swing, and swing.  And I had a friend whose baby slept in his swing for months!  So, I do believe they work for most babies, and will probably work for our next one.  If they do work, it will be a relief for you.  Sometimes swings are the ONLY thing that works, and you will be glad you got one.
So these are just a couple of suggestions for you first-time moms out there.  Anyone else have anything that they think is a "must-have"?  Please share to give us some insight!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reading Master

Yesterday, Matt was busy getting ready for Senior Banquet, so I had Coop to myself. I was really worried that we would have a bad afternoon since he only took an hour nap. But thankfully he entertained himself. This boy LOVES to read. He goes into his room and "reads" all of his books. I know it looks like chaos, but he will down a book and flip through it. Usually he will make the sounds of the animal he sees or babble in his own language. He also LOVES to be read to. It is not unusual for Matt or me to spend an hour reading to him - book after book. This is NO EXAGGERATION! As I was typing this, he brought me "Goodnight Gorilla" and threw it on my lap and said "book"! So now we are reading!
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Touch A Truck

Saturday we headed to Touch A Truck in Opelika.  It is a really neat event for kids.  They have all different vehicles downtown for the kids to climb in and check out.  Of course Cooper was still a little young to enjoy the event, but I sure did have fun taking pictures!  He really just wanted to walk around pushing the stroller and staring at the other little kids.  We were having a fun time until the trucks started blowing their horns.  He has never been a fan of loud noises, so the tears started coming!  We decided to head home at that point.  Maybe next year he will be more excited about it!
Inside the front of a helicopter

checking it out

mmm... this is kind of cool

I think Dad wants to get in and play too!

Walking beside the race car.

Standing in front of the digger

Daddy trying to get a cute picture, but Coop wasn't having any of it!

Look at the digger!

Getting into the semi

He look so little up there!

Can I get down now?

Touching the claw

Once again, not enjoying it!

Get me off of this!

In the back of the police car with Mommy.  This was the last photo op before the horns started blowing!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Haircut and Easter Egg Hunt

So both of these posts are way overdue, but better late than never!

On Cooper's official birthday, I decided he needed a haircut!  I had been waiting forever to give him one.  I was determined not to do anything until his first birthday.  So, when April 13th rolled around, I got out the clippers.  I was a little nervous about it simply because he is afraid of loud noises (blender, vacuum cleaner, dust buster, etc.), so I thought he would scream and cry as soon as I started on his head.  But he actually did great!  We took him outside to see Roxie.  This dog is a GREAT distraction.  I put Cooper in Matt's lap and worked just as fast as I could!  I did his back and sides on the highest guard setting.  I wasn't sure how it would look since his hair is so fine.  It really turned out ok.  The top part was the hardest.  I got out my scissors and went to work!  I've been cutting Matt's hair ever since we got married, so I'm used to cutting, but this little person was very wiggly!  I ended up quitting not very satisfied with the top, but overall it looked good.  I took him out several days later and trimmed it up again.  Anyways enjoy the BEFORE and AFTER pictures!
BEFORE - the back and sides

BEFORE - see how long it is over his ears!

AFTER - much shorter, makes him look like a little boy and not a baby

These videos are taken during Easter.  I didn't have my normal video camera, so I had to use my phone.  Of course this makes for faster loading but bad quality.  Cooper had so much fun hunting for eggs.  He definitely did not understand the concept.  In some of the videos you will see him take the eggs OUT of his basket instead of putting them in!  This hunt was in front of my parent's house.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I wish I could be there!

Don't you just love this picture? I do because I was at the beach this past weekend! Yes, be jealous! Matt took me away for 2 days as part of my birthday present. It was nice to be able to get away for a while. I had only been away from Cooper for one night prior to this, so it was much needed! We didn't do a whole lot. Just stayed on the beach the majority of the time. We read and walked along the beach taking in the sights. Thankfully we don't live too far away (about 4 hours), so when I started missing Cooper, we just packed up and came home. My mom and sister watched him for the weekend, and they said he did great! We will definitely have to do this more often. Very good for the marriage!
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Forward Facing

Did I mention that my child is now forward facing? And I was not there to witness this momentous occasion. This past weekend Matt and I headed to the beach for some much needed away time. My mom and sister came to Auburn to babysit while we were gone. So, we transferred Coop's carseat to my Mom's car and left thinking all was well. Later that night I was talking to my sister and she informed me that they had turned Coop around. I of course got all upset because I thought they just took it into their own hands to make this adjustment. What really happened was that every time they turned a corner with his carseat rear-facing, it would fall over! My sister got in the back and tried to tighten it down, but nothing would work! So they turned him around. And once you turn around, there is no going back! I sure do love this new phase. He is such a big boy! I love being able to look back there and see him smiling at me. Definitely makes car rides much more fun!
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