Category Archives: Pics

FIVE.

Five is one of those landmark birthdays where you really feel the transition between life stages happening. Where we used to have a pre-schooler, we now have a rising Kindergartener. Where we used to have a baby, now we have a kid. The last several months have been full of physical and developmental growth, and it’s been amazing to see Cooper changing and maturing right before our eyes. He is super proud to be five years old and so excited about starting school. This summer has easily been one of our most fun yet, and we’re looking forward to all that this next year holds for us!

Cooper at FIVE:

Likes: Swimming using “armies,” Legos (especially mini-figures), Disney Infinity, American Ninja Warrior, “normal” doughnuts (aka plain glazed!), Minecraft, YouTube videos, superheroes (we’re generally Team Marvel, but Batman and Superman have a strong pull for little boys!), snuggles, pillow forts, Paw Patrol, and knowing how words are spelled.

Dislikes: Being corrected in any way, holding hands in a parking lot, trying new foods.

Cooper planned his entire birthday party this year! He requested an "outside water party" with a cake he helped make for his friends. The weather was perfect and we had a blast!

Cooper planned his entire birthday party this year! He requested an “outside water party” with a cake he helped make for his friends. The weather was perfect and we had a blast!

Watching a few Lego Ninjago episodes before bed with his favorite little friends - Pi'chu, Doggie, and Hot Dog.

Watching a few Lego Ninjago episodes before bed with his favorite little friends – Pi’chu, Doggie, and Hot Dog.

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My favorite photo so far from the summer! Cooper chose to spend his actual birthday with his best friend, Hudson. The joy on their faces is so beautiful!

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Snuggled up in a pillow fort watching American Ninja Warrior!

Meeting a new "friend"! This is a relatively new expression and it's my favorite!

Meeting a new “friend”! This is a relatively new expression and it’s my favorite!

I love this photo of Cooper napping after a full day of swimming with friends. He almost never naps anymore, but he fell asleep in the car and slept for another 90 minutes after we got home! He looks so big here, but also still like my little baby snuggling his blankie!

I love this photo of Cooper napping after a full day of swimming with friends. He almost never naps anymore, but he fell asleep in the car and slept for another 90 minutes after we got home! He looks so big here, but also still like my little baby snuggling his blankie!

Brand new Skechers for Kindergarten!

Brand new Skechers for Kindergarten!

The morning of his fifth birthday. This big boy melts my heart and makes me laugh hysterically every day!

The morning of his fifth birthday. This big boy melts my heart and makes me laugh hysterically every day!

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Standoff…

So…this happened at dinner time last week.

Yes, you’re seeing what you think you’re seeing. That’s my almost-three-year-old with his fork thrown in his bowl, a scowl on his face, and his arms folded across his chest.

“No. I not eat it. I not wike pasta. I not twy it. I don’t wike it.”

You should know “pasta” is consistently one of his favorite meals. It’s where I sneak in lots of veggies and we have it often. For some reason, the meal always starts this way, though, with his insistence that he doesn’t like it. The crossed arms were new this week, and I thought they were a nice touch. 🙂

Ultimately, Cooper wanted the iPad while he was eating (which we do allow at times, but not with things that are messy), but I gave him a book instead. I wanted him to eat that whole bowl, but he was finished after two-thirds. I’m calling that a win-win. I stuck to my guns and he ate what was prepared for him. That’s something we’re working on….broadening his dietary horizons and getting him to eat dinners that are closer to ours (not that I’m a great or organized cook…many evenings we all sort of go our own way for dinner, but I AM trying to get better about that!). When he moves out of the high chair and to the table for good, I want to be able to make him a plate that looks like ours that he eats with no complaint. Sure, I understand that everyone has different tastes and he won’t like everything that’s put before him. But I’m a big “you have to at least try it” person and he already knows that. I’ve been trying to get him to try edamame for WEEKS and finally succeeded this week when he asked for a bean of his own accord. He ate three little beans and said “Mmm! Those good beans!” He didn’t want anymore after that, but I was proud that he at least tried them and enjoyed what he had.

I’m not a picky eater and don’t want Cooper to be. Unfortunately, one of the things that our Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis did was put us in a food rut. Cooper eats a lot of pre-measured or pre-packaged food because they were easiest in the beginning to count carbs. Now that we have a better idea of how food will affect his blood sugar, I don’t want to wait until it’s too late to encourage him to be an adventurous eater. I know that means I need to get better about cooking actual dinners for me and Paul too, so that’s household priority number one right now.

Summer Days…

We are already having such a busy summer, it’s hard to find time to pop on the old blog and post updates….obviously! Of course, I’m thankful to be living all these wonderful moments, but I truly am trying to get in a better blog rhythm. We’re looking for better rhythm overall, honestly. Lately, it seems our stuff is crowding in and we’re constantly rushing or behind or playing catch up. Thank goodness for smart phones! My phone is my calendar, my Internet, my social media liaison, my music library, my camera, my video camera! Until I have the time to sit and construct a few really insightful, thought-provoking posts that will encourage you to think critically about parenting in the modern world, enjoy these pics I’ve snapped so far this summer. 🙂

Coming back from the pool. “No more photos, please.”

He picked out this outfit himself. Especially the belt.

Unfortunately, we all got hit with THE PLAGUE Mother’s Day weekend. Our infirmity provided some pretty amazing opportunities for nest-building, though, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Just cute. That’s all.

Trying on the new shades.

Cooper’s first day at the library. He’s in love!

Sweet little face.

Ready for a long car ride. The boy loves to nest!!

I had the cutest date in Chick Fil A!

Giraffes!

Last week, my friend Laura and I decided to load up our three boys and head down to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. Paul and I took Cooper a few weeks ago, and he absolutely loved it. I knew having his best friend Hudson there too would only make it even better!

Riverbanks is just the right size for toddlers. They have all the “big” animals (lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), giraffes, elephants, penguins, kangaroo, koala bears, baboons, gorillas, meerkats (my favorite!), lots of birds, fish and reptiles, and a farm with a llama and goats. But the zoo itself is not too spread out, and you can see pretty much everything in 3-4 hours.

Cooper and Hudson had a fantastic time, but the highlight was definitely the giraffes. We happened upon them right at feeding time and were shocked to realize WE’d be the ones doing the feeding! Laura and I were absolutely amazed to be that close to “wild” animals, but the boys LOVED it! Their laughter says it all!!

WATCH US FEED THE GIRAFFES! 

Cooper’s been talking about the giraffes all week and we can’t wait for our next visit to the zoo!

Eager to get on the road!

The cutest. 🙂

It’s about an hour’s drive to the zoo, and these boys kept each other company in the “way back.”

Loving it.

Little love. Such a big boy!

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime…

Lots of fun Fall and Thanksgiving photos and comments coming soon, but here are a few recent pics to hold you over in the meantime. Enjoy!

"No sun! No sun!"

Second favorite spot in the house.

Reading with his friend, Sophie (notice the scribbles, um, excuse me, the "airplane" on the wall!)

First favorite spot in the house -- the "nest" in Daddy's office!

Happy Halloween!

I wish I had a cute costume photo to share here, but Cooper’s sort of anti-costume this year. We tried putting on Buzz Lightyear footy-pajamas for a costume birthday party this weekend and Coops FREAKED OUT. Like, big tears rolling down his face, pulling at the zipper, saying “Off, Off, OFF” over and over again, freaked out. Major. I try really hard as a parent to be sensitive to my kiddo’s need for some independence and let him make the decisions when he’s able, and it’s not a big deal. This was SO not a big deal. So, he didn’t want to wear the costume. He picked out a great dark brown thermal shirt and my favorite slim cut jeans, cuffed at the bottom, and some sneakers. He looked great and left happy. We had already decided to skip trick-or-treating this year (not the year for bringing home a huge candy haul, you know?), and after the drama of the weekend, we felt like it was a good decision!

So, no costume pics, but here are a few of Cooper just being generically cute. 🙂 These are from earlier in the week.

One of my favorite outfits ever!

Just like the old days…(but with toddlers!)

A few weeks ago, we met up with some old college pals back in northeast Georgia where we all went to school. It turned out to be quite the reunion weekend. We drove down on Friday and stayed with some friends in Winder. They have a precious little girl, Imogen, who’s just a few months younger than Cooper. Coops and Im got along famously, although they did tend to go back and forth between giving hugs and yelling “Mine!” 🙂

Saturday afternoon we met up with the Greys, who have two little boys, Chase (3) and Charlie (8 months). We ate at an old favorite, the Taco Stand, in downtown Athens. The food was delicious, the boys ran around like crazy (even working together to break into the men’s room when the parents weren’t looking!), and the company was so sweet. We knew Hannah and Seth when they were students at Emmanuel and Paul and I were on staff. They have grown into such amazing parents, and it was wonderful to spend some (all-too-brief) time with them.

Saturday evening, we headed into Franklin Springs proper (haha….can you call a town of less than a 1,000 residents “proper”?) for a cookout at Victoria Bryant State Park. There were about 20 adults and half as many small children running around. I’ve mentioned it before, but it is still such a strange phenomenon to be the grownups! I think the greatest thing about being with that group, though, was that very few of the kids knew each other, and yet, they became fast friends. Exploring the woods by our shelter, playing on the playground, sharing hot dogs, and smiling and giggling the whole time. It was almost, like, “hey, our parents are old friends….we should be new friends!” was an unspoken agreement.

This was our first out-of-town venture since Cooper’s diagnosis and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. He had great numbers the whole weekend, ate well at meals and snacks, and was generally charming and well-behaved all weekend. It was awesome! We definitely kept things low key, and that made it easier on us and Cooper, but we were able to sort of prove to ourselves that our lives are not over. We traveled, we were crazy off-schedule and out of routine, and yet we had a great time and were really able to relax and have fun with friends we don’t get to see very often.

Here are a few pics of Cooper and Imogen running around. This went on for a while. 🙂