Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Still dieting.  Still kind of pissy about it.  I have lost 4 pounds, which means I am 10 pounds out from my pre-Cooper weight.  Almost a year later.  Ben is dieting with me, and he has lost 14 pounds to my 4.  He eats 2000 calories a day.  I eat 1400.  And exercise 5 days a week.  And breastfeed round the clock (because Cooper is turning out to be my best ever breast feeder-- not a supplemental drop because he will only! drink! breast milk!, but I won't have to pack a thermos of BM in his kindergarten lunch because  I can just  go across the street and nurse him.  Kidding.  Hopefully.).

But this is not about me and my baby weight.  Thankfully.

We went to Des Moines last weekend to see my grandma (who comments faithfully here as Bomma) be honored as a Playhouse Legend by the Des Moines Community Playhouse.  You can read all about it here.  It was so cool!  I have been watching Bomma in plays for years, and it was great to see her get recognition for being a wonderful actress.  Her old next door neighbor Peter Hedges wrote a beautiful letter (my favorite part was when he said he still didn't feel comfortable using her first name and called her Mrs. Silverstein), and she got a tremendous standing ovation. Then we went to Noah's, a favorite restaurant since my mom was a little kid.  We had a lovely time.

Usually when we stay in hotels, we put all the kids to bed in the bedroom, meaning Harry and Jack get a king-size bed, and Ben and I huddle on the fold-out couch in the living room.  This time, we took the bed, and the kids got the couch, and they complained that the hotel had small suites.  Ha!  They did love room service and the pool.  It is so tough to be them.

We had a terrible ride home, culminating in a horrific potty accident that required us to do unspeakable things with baby wipes and plastic bags in the parking lot of Menards.  Makes me really happy to be embarking on an 18-hour drive pretty soon.  Yum.

I had tons more pictures, but my computer sucks and is so, so painfully slow that I can't upload them, which is why my family picture blog is bunk.  New computer soon, but I can't decide MacBook Pro or Air?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hurricane Cooper

Well.  We have reached that stage.  The one that will last for the next 2 years or so.  The one where Cooper needs TOTAL SUPERVISION AT EVERY MOMENT.

When he first started to crawl and stand, Cooper was adorably reticent, and he stayed close to our legs at all times, content to paw through the tupperware cabinet and the kids' dishes cabinet and leave the rest of our stuff alone. 

Then he started to fall in love with outlets.  Then with the breakable bakeware cabinet.  The the pantry, where he loves nothing more than to throw glass jars of baby food on the floor.  The he started crawling everywhere all the time, meaning the floors are always streaked with drool and speckled with fat baby hand and knee prints.

No drawer is safe, no basket left untouched, no cabinet in tact.  I turned my head for two seconds while getting dressed the other morning, and he sucked on a perfume bottle and had Coco breath til lunch.

And the food!  I love trying to tempt his palate with new tastes and textures (plums: yes; peaches: yes; cottage cheese: yes; watermelon:  yes; cherry tomatoes:  bitch, please), but every meal is a little messier than the one before.

The kid is a disaster. 

Teeth (huge ones, top front) are messing with his sleep, so I have been joining him for his second nap.  But that means I have to get all of my housework done during his first nap, which is nearly impossible because there is so! much! more! work!

Behold:  photographic evidence:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy Brothers Day!

 Right after Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Harry asked when we would be celebrating Brothers Day.  And just like that, a new holiday was born.  Second weekend of July.  Come, celebrate with us.  (I hope the kids get together in Brothers Day forever).

Jack wearing the traditional Brothers Day donut breakfast beard.
 Harry with a sugar high and Jack's beard again.
 Cooper ate a bagel like he's people.
 Celebratory lunch at the brothers' favorite restaurant, Panera, where Cooper continued his big food trend with a grilled cheese.
 We adjourned to Toys R Us where Harry selected a gift for Cooper; Cooper "Selected" one for Jack, and Jack picked out a present for Harry.
 Jack was in the toy room building his new Mega Block Smurf village with Ben, and Harry was outside trying out his new explorer vest, so Cooper wasted no time claiming the magnatiles.
 He also worked on his new puzzle.
 And yelled at explorer harry out the window.
 Super awesome.
Brothers Day was so! much! fun!  And Harry learned how to ride his bike without training wheels.  A big day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Odds, Ends

I have gone to work in the afternoon the last two days, and OMFG I have missed going to my office SO MUCH.  Especially since I have nothing to do but officey things.  Like box up an entire file cabinet's worth of shit to be shredded (and 2 bankers boxes of random crap that have been sitting on the floor of my office since before Cooper was born).  Then, I could put the towering stacks of paper that covered every surface in the newly empty file cabinet. In file folders, even, because I am fancy like that.  I even unpacked the giant boxes of textbooks on my table (and ordered more, so that victory is short-lived).  I went so far as to clean out the credenza that holds old baby toys, changing pads, and wipes on one side and old, old, old stuff from the last guy who had my job on the other side.

That's where I found these:
Floppy disks that are floppy.

Then today, I got all of the fall teaching materials ready for the big class I direct, and I made the syllabus and schedule for the small class I teach.  If fall semester started tomorrow, I would be ready (well, I'd be ready of someone could run off a few thousand pages of photocopies real quick, but that's practically ready!).

I decided to finally lose the rest of my baby weight before Cooper turns 1 (zOMG), and Ben is also counting calories. We are eating so  much better.  Ben's using a My Fitness Pal app on his phone, and I am sticking with Sparkpeople.  It's a pain to measure and then enter all of our food, but neither of us has had food from a  box in almost a week, and we've gone through a ton of produce, poultry, and salmon.  At first, I was having a hard time making my protein grams for the day, but peanut butter, cottage cheese, gouda, and grilled turkey breast have saved the day (not all together-- blech!)  I am having a hard time drinking my bajillion cups of water a day. I don't drink anything else-- I just found out that I don't drink as much as I should, so I am working on it, especially since water makes me feel full (and cold).  I'm down 3 pounds-- woo-hoo!  I am not sure how many calories I should be eating since I am still breastfeeding round the clock, so it's all a big experiment.

My mom bought this shirt for Harry, and I was glad to pull it out again for Cooper.  Ben said this outfit made him look like the manager of a Nissan dealership on Memorial Day.
 Jack showed off his karate moves (and his ribs) at the pool tonight, where I discovered that Cooper has quite a tan.  #MOTY

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today in pictures

He dribbles

He shoots

He scores

Cooper on the rebound

Jack emerging from the back yard, dishevled and with a soccer ball.  Thanks to our behind the fence neighbor for the freaking awesome and super classy view.

Cooper want CAMERA

I didn't want to clean up lunch today.  Voila!

As you might imagine, Cooper made a huge mess with this cup

He spilled these Cheerios and ate them out of the dirt.  #MOTY

I also wanted to go home at his point.
Back splash!

Monday, July 09, 2012

10 months old!

Sweet baby Cooper is 10 months old today.

It took us a long time to get pregnant with Cooper.  Almost a year, which for us was a really long time.  I went to see my doctor, who is really sweet in general about my anxiety issues and ran a bunch of tests even though she told me I was probably just fine.  When I went to the doctor's office to take a pregnancy test (because that's how our awesome HMO works-- you have to have a positive test in the clinic before the whole prenatal care system begins), I was stunned to find it was negative because I had a row of peed-on sticks of varying sensitivity and spendiness lined up on my bathroom counter at home.  I expressed my dismay/distress to the chatty nurse who called with the result, and she had me come in right away for a blood test (the exact same thing happened with Jack, too-- apparently the clinic uses super shitty pregnancy tests).  I got the results almost immediately on my phone (another awesome feature of our HMO-- an iPhone app called MyChart.  Sometimes I get the kids' strep test results while we are still waiting in the pediatrician's office).  About 15 minutes later, MyChart pushed a notification of a message from my doctor, and I opened it to find a smiley face icon next to the positive result-- told you she was sweet. 

Even though we waited  awhile to conceive him, I remember a pregnancy filled with trepidation.  About having 3 kids to look after, take care of, keep from killing each other.  About pregnancy complications.  About labor and delivery.  That one kept me up many, many nights, and I think it's the reason Cooper was so late-- I was seriously freaked out about giving birth, unable to relax and let the process happen.

Cooper, though, is so wonderful that all of those fears have fallen away.  Harry and Jack (but especially Harry) dote on him and make him laugh wildly.  He loves the water and fits into my perfect pool summer without a ripple.  He has such a winning, two-toothed smile, and except for his terrible night time sleeping (but he slept like a dream-- 10 hours at like 2 weeks-- when he was tiny), everything he does is easy and perfect.

These past 10 months are a blur, and my little Cooper is almost a zombie toddler.  My Mr. Baby, our third stooge.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

A big day for Coooper

Not only did he eat his first grilled cheese sandwich (cut up into tiny little pieces, of course), but he also had his first ride on the zoo merry-go-round.  W.O.W.

He totally loved the sandwich, but the whole zoo experience was seriously underwhelming for him.  Minutes after we took this picture, he freaked out, unable to withstand the indignity of both a stroller and a hat, and I (not Ben-- just me, or he would flail like he was being tortured) had to carry him through the zoo and push my purse in the stroller.  Also, Harry and Jack's hands turned blue from their popsicles, and their arms got stained to the elbow.
 He did not drink this apple juice, but he insisted upon carrying it with him, much to thirsty jack's consternation.
 Harry had on a lot of sunscreen.  He was also happy to sit on the giraffe because he does not like merry-go-round animals that go up and down.
 I don't think Jack has ever ridden on the carousel by himself.  Last year, he was the special snowflake baby, and he held him on his horse (or, in this case, polar bear).  Clearly he was cool with his new freedom.
 Ben set the camera up on a bench behind us.  As soon as I saw this picture, I bought weights at target and will be working on my triceps hardcore.
 Very serious about the ride.
 Photo bomb!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Looking forward to lazy

We haven't done anything to our room since we moved into the house and bought a couple lamps and a comforter we now both kinda hate at Target.  We've added a Boppy pillow on the bed, some clutter, a couple stains on the carpet.  As you can see from the picture below, Cooper likes it rough.  Also, the room is bare, as in NOTHING ON THE WALLS:

All of this sounds like I am getting ready to tell you we have improved the room, but actually, we have made it worse. We added some bright blue Safety First bed rails because a certain almost-10-month-old has turned into the world's worst sleeper and ends up in out bed most of the night. Since he only has 1/10 of his teeth, I am hoping he's getting a few more, and that's why he's so terribly restless right now.

We continued our summer theme of being sickeningly happy by having a lovely 4th of July with some old college friends and their adorable toddler who came to town to cook out and go to the pool.

Harry has discovered a new happy place: His Lego table in his room, where he spends hours making stuff.
This morning, he showed up in the kitchen in this super freaky outfit. He and Jack were playing robber because if you ask Jack, he'll tell you that he wants to be a robber when he grows up. Um.
Our house celebrated its one-year birthday with a team of contractors descending to do drywall repairs (anyplace a nail pop appeared or a large crack showed up), fix a door and a window, replace the water-damaged kitchen counter and cabinets, and install the new, deeper sink and faucet we bought.

I love the new faucet, which is funny because before this week, I don't think I have ever paid any attention to faucets at all.
We are getting a back splash on Monday, and I am super excited! (and seriously, another thing I have never cared about before).

Cooper, as I have mentioned, will not drink a bottle, so he and I are together a lot. Lately, though, he is able to self-feed more and more. Tonight he ate watermelon and cottage cheese all by himself, and tomorrow morning he is going to try a waffle, assuming Ben makes good on his promise to get up and make them. (A promise, by the way, made as we prepped for the workers to arrive and emptied our kitchen cabinets and happened upon our waffle iron. Also, remind me to never buy another cookie cutter because I have thousands.)

One thing he does that I love, though, is hold and eat his own puree pouch, which must be the equivalent of a formula baby holding his/her own bottle:

 We have waffles and bacon and berries on the horizon tomorrow ad not much (anything) else.  Lovely.