On our most recent trip to Florida, we took Cooper to the beach. Cooper discovered sand for the first time. We captured some video of him having a “sand”wich…enjoy!
This week we are in Florida visiting my (Susanne’s) dad and step-mom. The day before we left to come down to sunny Florida we got a really nice snow day! We thought it would be fun to take Cooper out in the snow for the first time. We got him all bundled up and warm and the poor kid could barely move. We grabbed the camera and headed for outside. Did Cooper like the snow? I think the picture speaks for itself.
The very next morning we got on the plane for Sunny Florida. We have taken Cooper to the beach twice since we got here. He has been such a good baby, always in a pleasant mood (for the most part). He has enjoyed his stroller walks on the beach and around the neighborhood. We decided to let Cooper experience sand for the first time. I think the picture reflects his love for the beach! I’m happy that he loves the beach because it is my favorite place to be too!
I recently received a card in the mail from a friend. In the card she thanked me for always being there for her. I have been friends with this person for over 15+ years now. When I finished reading her card, I started to reflect on what friendship is truly all about. I have to admit, I have not always been a good friend during the course of these 15+ years. But it seems that even though our friendship had it share of peaks and valleys, we will always be there for one another.
I really feel as if God has put this person in my life for a reason. Our friendship was no accident, God arranged this meeting of two people long before we both were ever born I am sure. We have confided in one another with our fears and dreams. We have called one another in tears and to just laugh. Growing up we would stay up late chatting until we could barely keep our eyes open. We would drive around in the car listening to our silly mixed tapes, singing at the top of our lungs. We would write letters to one another all the time, keep count of ever single letter that was ever written between the two of us, even signing every letter with “this counts.” She was a friend I knew I could always trust and depend on. Even now as our lives have taken us in different directions with our other relationships and endeavors, we are still there for one another. We may not talk every day or see each other every week, but I know that no matter what time of day or circumstance, if I needed her, she would be there for me. She is a loyal friend who is very selfless and giving! A scripture comes to my mind when I think of this friend, “greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).” I really believe that everyone needs a friend who is fiercely loyal and selfless like my friend of over 15 years. I feel blessed to know her and to call her a friend. Do you have a friend like this? I pray that you do!
Thanks for always being there for me! 😉
Yesterday, Wednesday 2/25/009, Cooper finally decided to roll over. The first time he rolled over was kind of funny. I had him on his belly and turned on his favorite DVD- Baby Einstien. He was reaching his neck up to watch the TV when all of a sudden he start to lean and, before you knew it, he landed on his back. He had the most surprised look on his face, like “how in the world did I end up on my back.” Oh I wish I could have captured his facial expression with the video camera. I tried several times after he rolled over the first time to get him to do it again, but he would not do it. I guess Cooper was saving his stardom for his daddy. Because once Chris got home, there was no stopping him. Cooper really got the hang of rolling over and did it with ease. Chris and I were so excited- as you can tell on the video clip. It is amazing how excited you get over the little developmental milestones your child achieves.
I just bought Cooper a new toy- a Jumperoo. It is like the traditional John Jumper for the doorway, but this one is stationary. He loves to bounce and stand up so this is the perfect toy for him. It also lights up when he moves so he seems to like that feature as well. Cooper is 5 months old in this pictures.
This morning as I was feeding Cooper with a bottle, he decided he was going to take a stab at it. He reached both of his tiny hands on either side of the bottle and held it (without my help). He has done this before, but then he took it a step farther. Cooper directed the nipple of the bottle into his mouth and he began sucking. I could not believe it! Well, he was not successful at actually getting the milk to come through the nipple because he was not holding the bottle at a high enough angle, but it was close! I removed the bottle from him and started feeding him again, but he started to fuss and scream. I had to let him hold the bottle to continue feeding him. He wanted to feed himself. So I just held the end of the bottle up so he could finish the last ounce of milk. My little boy is not so little anymore. Just another reminder that they grow up way too fast!
I am a person of good intention, but I easily forget to do things. If I do not write things down, I will not remember to do them. When I was in college, the only way that I was able to get things done was to use a student planner so I could organize all the various due dates, test, and assignments. Now that I am staying at home with Cooper, I have things to do around the house and take care of for Chris. And ever since Cooper, I have become even more forgetful. It drives Chris nuts when I forget to do something so he has started to leave me lists. Here is an example of a list he left me today:
* Scan Delta Dental Papers, endorse to Dr. Sandler DDS, mail to Dr. sandler’s office
* Write check to mail to GBMC, record in budget
* Go to Lifetime Fitness to workout and cancle membership
* Figure out AAA stuff
* Index cards with bible versus
I get a big thrill when I have accomplished something and I can cross it off the list. So Chris’s detailed lists are good for both of us…I get things done and Chris is happy.
This morning Chris was holding Cooper and started walking across the room to turn off a lamp. On his way there, Cooper threw up all over him. Chris comes in the kitchen, where I was cleaning up, and says to me very calmly, “I need help.” I take Cooper from Chris so he can change and clean the carpet. Cooper also managed to get threw up all over his brand new outfit that Grandma had given him so I decided to change him. But before I got to his room, he threw up again but this time on me. I am starting to think that Cooper may be ill so I decided to take his temperature (rectal). As I am taking his temperature (he did not have a temperature), he begins to poop. Fun! So I clean up the poop and just as I finish he starts to pee. Chris quickly throws his hand on top to block the spray of urine from hitting us..wee so much fun! At this point Chris and I are laughing really hard with one another. Cooper looks up at us and just cracks the biggest smile and giggles. I think if Cooper could talk he would have said, “Just wanted to see what you two were made of!” Kind of like boy scoots, always be prepared. You never know when to expect the unexpected!
I am reading a book called How Good is Good Enough by Andy Stanley. I ordered this short book (92 pages) a few weeks ago and I finally sat down and read most of the book today. Something interesting struck me in the book. On page 78 Stanely wrote:
“For most people, choosing a religion is like choosing a flavor ice cream- we pick what we like, what we are comfortable with, what suits our taste. That’s understandable, but it’s not very smart. The issue is not What do I like? or How was I raised? or What makes me comfortable? The issue is What is true? I find that people don’t like to be backed into a corner and forced to discuss religion in terms of true versus false. Again, understandable. But once you decide that people live forever somewhere, you are staking your eternity on what you choose to believe is true. So it is entirely appropriate to discuss religion in terms of what is and is not true.”
I know many people who believe in Jesus, but don’t really believe all of what Jesus claims. They pick and choose what they want to believe in. Almost like we were creating our own pizza and we could put on as many toppings as we want or leave off the toppings that we don’t care for. Stanely has pointed out an issue that is very prevalent in our society. We want to believe in what we want to believe in. We don’t want to compromise our life style or choices so instead we just pick and choose what we want to believe in or is convenient for us.
For instance I know many people who believe in Jesus- believe that he is the son of God, came to earth, died on the cross, and was raised from the dead. But at the same time, these people also believe that if your a good person and live a good life, that you’ll go to heaven even if you don’t believe in Jesus. This just does not measure up. If you are a Christian then you must believe in what the bible teaches about Jesus. Jesus taught, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).” So if you proclaim to be a Christian, you would also believe that you must believe in Jesus to go to heaven and be with God (the father) one day. All the good things we do here on earth will not earn us a free ticket to heaven. Rather, Jesus calls us to trust and believe in him– that is the only way to heaven.
The “good people go to heaven” idea just does not hold up if you claim to be a Christian. The bible points out that not one person on earth is perfect or good- not even Mother Teresa. “There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).” We can never be good enough to go to heaven. We make small mistakes daily. We are angry drivers, tell a little white lie, gossip about a co-worker, the list goes on. Maybe these sins are not as bad as murder or adultery, but they are still sins. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” That is why Jesus died on the cross, because we all fall short of God’s glory and standard of goodness. In the old testament Jews had to sacrifice animals when they made mistakes (sins) in order to be forgiven. Jesus sacrificed himself by dying on the cross for our sins so that we could be forgiven. All we have to do is ask God for forgiveness and believe that Jesus died to be the sacrifice for our sins.
So as Christians, we cannot subscribe to the “good people go to heaven” idea. Jesus’s teachings points us in a different direction. We cannot pick and choose the parts of Christianity that we want to believe in–it would no longer be Christianity. Just as if you were to bake a cake and leave out the eggs, would the cake turn out right? No. You need the eggs in order to bake the cake correctly. Just like we need to believe that Jesus is the only way we can go to Heaven. Being good is not enough alone. We need to believe that Jesus died so that we might be forgiven for our sins and one day spend eternity with God (our father).
There have been at least two really tough periods that we have gone through with Cooper. The first was between 5-9 weeks old. The Second was between 15-19 weeks old. During these time periods he was very fussy, needed extra rocking and holding, his sleep was poor, and he seemed to have strange eating patterns (either requiring more feedings or eating less than normal). During the peak of these time periods, particularly week 18, he basically would not let me put him down. I was besides myself wondering what was wrong with him. I know he was already battling some other problems such as a cold and colic during some of these time frames, but there seemed to be something else going on.
Then I stumbled across a book called The Wonder Weeks. This book claims that infants go through 8 developmental leaps between birth and 14 months old. These developmental leaps are marked by a cognitive change or developmental milestone such as rolling over or walking. During the time that a baby is getting ready to acquire a new skill or develop more cognitive awareness, the author claims, babies exhibit the 3 Cs- crying, cranky, and clingy. My Cooper really followed these developmental leaps to a T!
During wonder week 8 a baby learns how to discover patterns, details, and may even discover his own hands and feet. Cooper had discovered his hands at this time, constantly staring at them. He also started to become more interested in his activity mat, staring at the dangling animals above his head. This was also the time when Cooper started to make his “ohh” sounds and stick out his tongue (to copy us). But during this time frame, Cooper was very fussy and required a lot of holding, just like the book had mentioned.
Wonder week 19 was the worst by far. The chart in the book shows that this developmental phase can last from week 15 to week 20. Cooper was cranky, clingy, and crying (almost non-stop) during the peak of this developmental leap. However, once those weeks were over, Cooper’s cognitive development and skills have definitely change. Cooper can now roll onto his side. He holds objects in his hands better and can even pass an object from one hand into the other. He also responds to his name now and will turn to look for whom ever is calling him. He grabs both feet and pulls them close to his mouth as well. He is more interested in the world around him and I find that I have to nurse him in the quite and away from lots of distractions now because he would much rather watch TV, look at daddy, or look at the light than nurse.
It is amazing how Cooper’s fussy weeks really lined up with the ones mentioned in this book. The next developmental leap is coming up- week 26. This developmental leap can last from week 23 til week 26. Cooper is 21 weeks old. That means we are getting ready to go on a bumpy ride again. I just need to remember to be patient with him and give him lots of love. I am sure that all these new experiences are extremely difficult for babies to go through at times. At least I now have a reason for the fussiness and I don’t have to sit there and “wonder” why.