Last night was a rough night for Cooper. It took from 7pm until 9pm for Cooper to fall asleep. Not sure what was keeping him awake. It could have been teething, gas, separation anxiety, or not enough wake time so he may not have been tired enough. No matter the reason for his resistance to sleep, he was one sad kid. He was crying and whimpering off and on for about two hours. I went up to his room about four times. The first time I went up there he was crying out for me. Yes, Cooper has learned to request me by saying “mom”, “ma” or “mama”. Most often he calls me “mom” in an almost British accent, which he says rather quickly. I wish I had a tape recording of him saying “mom”. But last night he was crying and screaming out for me. When I opened the door he greeted me by crying, “mooommmmm!” I picked him up and he rested his head on my shoulder and just kept whimpering, “ma, ma, mooooommmm, maaaaaa!” over and over. So sad! I felt terrible! I gave him Tylenol and gripe water in hopes that if he had teething pain or gas that one of those things would help him. Well, I ended up holding him off and on until he calmed down enough to go to sleep. All the while he kept whimpering my name. It was hard to see him so upset. I am glad that Cooper is able to request me now by saying my name. I am also glad that Cooper feels like I can sooth him. He is going though a little bout of separation anxiety lately. He can be in someone else arms and cry out, “ma, mom” and then proceed to reach for me.

I love that Cooper feel secure in my arms. It is amazing how being a parent helps me understand how God must feel about me. I understand that Christ hates to see me upset and wishes he could take away my pain. But I also understand that God cannot always take the pain and suffering away; it is just something that I have to endure (just like Cooper must go through teething). What I realized now is that if we call out to our Heavenly Father, “Abba”, He will respond, just as I will respond to Cooper. I sing to Cooper before he goes to sleep. I have been singing the song “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. I do this as I rock Cooper. He seems to love this song. The song reminds me that God is rocking me and hold me in his hands and that I have nothing to worry about because my Heavenly father has me in his hands! I feel it is a privilege to be Cooper’s mom. God is showing me a glimpse of just how much he really does love and care for us all by allowing me to be Coop’s mom.

We’re Alive

Sorry that this post is coming several weeks after our move, but we have been non-stop since we arrived in Texas. We finally got Internet and phone service at the beginning of this week. So hopefully, you will start to have more posts from me now.

I am still in shock that we have actually moved from Maryland and that I am living in Texas. The weekend we moved seemed like a whirlwind and I am not even sure how we were able to get everything packed up and in boxes in time to move out the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend. Our friend Nathan is probably the only reason we were able to have the truck packed and ready to head out on May 26th. Nathan and Chris moved everything from our condo onto the truck, which was parked around the corner and a good distance from our condo. We had a moving truck that we had to pack on our own, so if it had not been for Nate, not sure if we could have done it. Thanks Nate! I should also mention that my sister Lizzy, Mike, Jill, Chris’ boss Doug, our neighbors Angie and Terry, and Jayme were also a huge help in getting this move accomplished.  I should have taken a picture of the truck- 12 cubic feet packed wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-ceiling. Who would have thought that an 1100 square foot condo could hold so much stuff? During our packing and loading of the truck Cooper started to cut his third tooth (left top center tooth). He was extra fussy and a little irritable, but thanks to my sister and Jill for entertaining him, I was able to get all the packing done! Thankfully, Cooper’s tooth broke through the skin the day before we moved so we did not have a fussy baby for our long drive from Maryland to Texas.

Saying Goodbye
On Tuesday, May 26th we turned our keys over to the new owner at 9am. We woke up at 6am and started to frantically clean and throw the last few items in boxes. Chris was actually finishing up his shower when the new owner showed up… shew! So I did one last walk through of the condo. I walked through every room and memories just started to flood my mind. When I finally made it to Cooper’s bedroom, a well of emotions just erupted and I began to cry. Memories of rocking him and feeding in the middle of the night made me sad to leave the condo.

The Road Trip
We got a late start by normal standards, but we were right on Foley time. We did not leave Columbia until 2pm and we drove to Atlanta and arrived at 2:30 in the morning. Cooper did surprisingly well! Jayme went along on the road trip and without her I don’t think we could have make it to Atlanta in that short amount of time. She was great playing with Cooper, handing him toys, and getting the portable DVD player set-up with different Baby Einstein Videos. Oh my Gosh, what would we have done without Baby Einstein? Truly they were our saving grace. Cooper looked like he was hypnotized when we would put them on and we did not hear a peep out of him. I will never leave home without the portable DVD player and Baby Einstein again if going on a road trip longer than an hour or so. Cooper had fallen asleep in the car, but woke up around 12:30am right outside Atlanta. He was crying and I think he was kind of scared. So we popped in a Baby Einstein DVD and problem solved. Yes, so my 8 month-old was awake from 12:30 until 1:30am watching TV…crazy yes….but it saved our sanity! The second day we met for breakfast with Chris’s youth pastor from high school and then left around 11am and did not arrive until 12:30am. Cooper did pretty well but needed a little more attention on the second day. I think the drive was starting to get to him and the lack of “true” sleep was starting to wear on him. But surprisingly enough, he did well and we made it to Houston, Texas in two days and 27 hours later. WOW!

In Transition
We stayed with Chris’ parents for almost 2 weeks. Jayme stayed for a few more days after we arrived in Houston. We were so busy! We painted Cooper’s bedroom and bathroom and our bedroom and bathroom before we moved in. We did this so the paint fumes would be gone before we were actually living in the house. So this delayed our actually move into our home for a while. Thankfully, Chris’ parents were so great to us and had us stay with them until we could move in. My in-laws have been nothing but generous to us by opening their home to us, giving us their time and labor by helping moving, painting, taking care of Cooper, and cooking for us. They have also helped us out by giving us a few big furniture items like a kitchen table, piano, and shelves, and other things that I will not list. During these two weeks we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday downtown with dinner and a comedy theater and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came into town to celebrate. We also went into the city on two other occasions to show Jayme the town. Then the following weekend we headed off to Dallas for my brother-in-law’s surprise birthday party. So needless to say, the first two weeks we were here were non-stop!

Finally, We’re Home!
We moved into our home on June 8. We slept in our living room the first night because we had not set our bed up and Cooper slept in his pack ‘n play until just a few days ago. But I am happy to report, that both of our bedrooms are finally functional and we have our bed and crib assembled! Cooper has been sleeping rather well in his new room. We painted it the same color so it really does not look much different than his room in Maryland. Cooper cut his fourth tooth last week, which made his naps a little off and his mood a little less than desirable, but he seems to be doing much better now. We still have a ton of boxes everywhere, but I try and tackle a little bit at time. We still have a ton to paint, but I am in no rush to paint the rest of the house. I want to make sure that whatever colors I decide to paint, that I will like them because I am not going to repaint!

I miss Maryland and all my friends! I am not much of a phone person and I enjoyed spending time with my friends. I definitely think that my love language is quality time. I miss my bible study girls and all the babies! I looked forward to getting together with all the girls every week. I also miss the rest of my friends and just hanging out. I miss having a great next-door neighbor (Angie) to run over and talk to or go for a stroller walk! Hopefully in time I will meet some good friends here. Our street has a ton of young children all under the age of five. I am hoping that when the weather cools off a little (it has been blasted hot here – high 90’s every day and humid) that they will come back outside and play in the court again! The parents are usually outside with their kids pushing them around on their little cars and just socializing with the other adults on our street. Our neighbors seems nice and are very friendly, so I am hoping that in time I can form some good relationships with some of the other mom’s living on our street! Still no church home either, Chris and I just started our church search and I am hoping that God will lead us to a good church where our family can worship, learn, grow, and fellowship!

Working from home
Chris is still working for APL remotely. Now that we have Internet at home he is working from home. I enjoy the company even if we are not interacting much while he is home. Chris has enjoyed working from home too. He does not have to waste time in the car and he gets to see more of Cooper this way. Temporarily, Chris is set up on a card table in our office amongst all the moving boxes and clutter until we get a desk. We have our doorway Johnny Jumper set up right in the office. I took a picture of Cooper playing while Chris was working. Hope you enjoy the picture!

A Week’s Worth of Posts

Our website is hosted by Chris’s brother Trent. Trent and his wife Sarah were away for almost 2 weeks in Italy. (Yeah, I know…doesn’t it make you jealous!) The server was down while they were gone.  Now that they are back, I have our website back up and running! Needless to say, I had a lot of things I wanted to write about during out hiatus…so without further ado…

Gig ’em Aggies!

We have a little Aggie in the making. What is an Aggie? Well for those of you who are not from Texas, let me explain.  Texas A&M Aggies (variously A&M or Texas Aggies) refers to the sports teams of Texas A&M University. The nickname “Aggies” is common at land-grant or “Ag” (agriculture) schools in many states. You can also refer to a person who attends the college Texas A&M as an Aggie. Chris went to A&M and he has already started talking about how little Cooper will one day become an Aggie too. Jill, a friend of Chris’s, bought Cooper an Aggie sweatsuit to get him started young!

Sew Your Own Sleep Sac

I decided to test out my crafty side and make my very own sleep sac. I got the idea from my friend Jo. I was over at her house about about two weeks ago and I noticed that she was trying to make a larger sleep sac for her 14 month old son. I thought, what a great idea. Sleep sacs cost a ton of money ($20 each). I traced a sleep sac that my friend Jo already had on a brown paper bag. I used that as my pattern since the front and back side are relatively the same size. The only thing I made sure to do is to make the neck opening lower in the front. I bought a yard of soft cotton fabric and a zipper from JoAnn Fabrics for $6. I love the fabric because it has monkeys on it and says, “little monkey.”  I traced the pattern onto the fabric twice to make my front and back and I had my sleep sac started! Adding the zipper was a little tricky at first, since I have never done one. But I got the hang of it. It took me about 2 hours to complete, but I think I could have been faster if I knew what I was doing with the zipper. I took some pics of Cooper in the sleep sac.

Packing Up

We started to pack for our big move to Texas at the end of the month. I cannot believe that we are actually going to move. I don’t think it seems real to me. Even with all the packing and boxes that we have started to accumulate in our condo, I still don’t feel like it is quite real. Moving probable will not feel real until I am all settled into my new home. I bet I’ll feel like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Anyways, I took some pictures of Cooper helping us pack! He was so helpful!

We’re Making Progress But…

I should have known that writing my post yesterday would have jinxed Cooper’s Sleep. Yesterday I mentioned that he was sleep from 8pm-7am during the night after I tweaked his schedule some. He had been waking a lot in the night and taking poor naps until I changed his schedule some. I will say, that his naps were great yesterday and he slept great all night long, but he still woke up an hour early at 6am. I was looking over my notes and it seems that he has been waking between 5:45-6:30 for almost 3 weeks now but occasionally sleeping in until 7am (which seems to happen mostly on weekends).

Here’s my theory for why he is waking an hour early:

First, it is getting lighter sooner. I think this is setting off a natural alarm clock in Cooper that says, “rise and shine”. Unfortunate for Chris and I because our alarm clock says, “no thanks we need another hour”. I have tired to darken the room even more than it was, but there is still a faint bit of daylight creeping through, enough to make it appear to not be night but morning. The hormone that signals sleep, melatonin starts to decrease in the early morning hours, causing us to have lighter sleep. Sunlight also decreases the amount of melatonin that we produce.

Second, our neighbors above us (we live in a condo) have been waking up early in the morning it seems. I hear them somewhere between 5am and 6am. I can hear their footsteps and water running. Occasionally, I might even hear their dog tramping across the floor or let out a bark. They are not being overly loud, but the noises are enough to stir me awake. (I am a light sleeper to begin with.)

Conclusion: I think I am just going to have to accept the fact that Cooper is waking at 6am. I cannot not tell God to make the day light come up an hour later and I cannot tell my neighbors above us to wake up later. This just means that Chris and I need to go to bed an hour earlier at night and wake up at 6am instead of 7am. Oh well!

Future Action: Since we are moving to Texas in a month, the time zone will change and we will be an hour behind Maryland time. This might be the chance for me to get Cooper back to waking at 7am. I will be in a quite house with no condo neighbors and the time change will make it easier for me to just shift his schedule.

Here We Go Again

Cooper’s sleep has been rather poor for about the last 2 weeks. He keeps waking up at the 45 minute mark for his naps and fussing/ crying. Sometimes he falls back to sleep and other days the nap is just over because he refuses to go back to sleep. He was sleeping for 12 hour at night, but recently he has been waking up after sleeping 9-10 hours of sleep. He will cry maybe fall back to sleep, but most of the time he is pretty much up.
I know that the wonder week book mentioned that between week 29-30 (which Cooper is in) that babies may experience some separation anxiety and may be fussy and have sleep disturbances. Is that what is causing all of this?

Then it makes me question if he is getting enough to eat and drink. I am breast feeding him still. I must say that breast feeding has become my greatest challenge lately. I have really wanted to throw in the towel and give up lately. I know that breast milk is what is best for Cooper, but it has become extremely difficult. He is highly distracted during nursing  and often it is very difficult to keep him focused enough to finish a feeding. I am nursing him 4 times a day and I pump the 5 feeding to keep my milk supply up and running. Am I making enough milk? Sigh… Any other mom’s out there feeling frustrated about breast feeding too? I could really use some encouragement!

I was talking to my friend Aubrey (whom I meet through our blogs). She has a son who is a little older than Cooper. She suggested trying to get Cooper to bed at night a little earlier. I did that two nights ago and he slept 12 hours strait and his naps were good yesterday, 1 hour and 45 minutes a piece. So I put him to bed a little earlier last night too…but that did not seem to work. He woke up at 4:45am cried, fell back to sleep, woke up at 6:00am cried and never went back to sleep. Sigh!! Why does sleep have to be so complicated? My son is like a wave, he sleeps well for a while and then he doesn’t.

So is this a wonder week phenomenome? Is he waking because he’s not getting enough to eat? Do I have milk supply issues? Is he in a growth spurt? Is he over tired and that is why he cannot sleep? Is he getting too much sleep? Is he not getting enough sleep? Do I need to adjust his schedule? I feel like a crazy woman…I have all these questions floating around in my mind and I wish that I knew the answers.

Jo, I think I need that worry broach, haha!

The Wonderful Thing About…

So Cooper is really getting the hang of his jumperoo. He reminds me of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh jumping all about. Thought you might enjoy watching him get his jump on! Click on the link to the song too!

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers

The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things.
Their tops are made out of rubber,
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
And they’re bouncy, trouncy,
flouncy, pouncy,
fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I’m the only one!
I’m… the only one!

Sunday Afternoon Movie

Chris and I rented the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith. Oh man, that movie is so sad. I really could not hold it together by the end of the movie…but anyway…We started to watch the movie when Cooper was napping, but he woke up fairly early in the movie. I breast feed him and watched the movie.  When I was finished feeding him, we just kept him in bed with us. I brought a few toys over for him to play with. He kept himself entertained with his toys, giggling to himself. Occasionally he would look up at Chris or I for approval or acknowledgment. We would engage with him and tickle him or just give him a kiss and Cooper would go strait back to playing. At one point in the movie he just laid across my legs with his head resting in my arms. He was just so content to be near Chris and I.  I loved that he let me snuggle with him. Cooper is not a snugly baby so I took full advantage of his cuddling. He sat there for almost 2 hours (long movie) and was such a good boy. I enjoyed having all three of us up on our king size bed “Snuggling” together on a quite Sunday Afternoon. That’s a memory I want to remember, which is why I am writing about it. Makes me thank God for the family he’s given me and for beautiful moments like that.

Two Tooth Wonder

Here is our two tooth wonder! He broke his first two teeth when he turned six months old. You can see his teeth finally so we thought would show off his new pearly whites!

Mr. Independent

Cooper is becoming more and more independent every day. He is able to do a lot more. He can truly hold a bottle all on his own now and feed himself. It takes him a while to finish feeding himself, but he can do it. He still requests me give him his bottle most of the time, but there are times when he flat out will not let me give him his bottle. He has to do it– Well, okay, Mr. Independent, have it your way!

Wooden Spoons & Tupperware

Cooper is into his screaming again. He seems to be screaming pretty much nonstop the past two days. Most likely due to his cold. Who knows? I was trying to find things to distract him. I gave him some tupperware, a plastic spatula, and a wooden mixing spoon. He loved playing with these things. He enjoyed banging them all together and just waving them in the air. He also enjoyed putting each item in his mouth and chewing on it. Funny thing is, he had all his normal baby toys around him and he only reached for the kitchen items. I could make a lot of money packaging kitchen items and selling them at a toy store! Cooper has all these really colorful, fun toys but instead he reaches for the plastic lid to the tupperware. Cracks me up. Hey, as long as he’s happy that is all that matters.