Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Caleb

Caleb turned 9 on August 25th! Can't believe it was 9 years ago I had this boy!

He had a great birthday weekend. On his special day, I busted him out of school and took him to McDonald's for lunch. Then we ditched the rest of the day and sat and watched a few Disney movies together. (He has a great love for all the classic movies and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hang out with my boy!)

That night we all went to a huge trampoline place and jumped our hearts out! Caleb was in heaven with all the trampolines! He didn't want to stop jumping!

The next day I brought ice cream in to his class. Caleb came to meet me and then headed back into his classroom. When we came in, the whole class jumped up and yelled, "Surprise!" Caleb wasn't quite sure what happened but loved the attention nonetheless!

Then on Saturday we celebrated by having a party at Peter Piper Pizza. (Note to self here: never plan a birthday party at noon on a Saturday when it's 115 degrees outside...the place will be packed!)
We had lots of family & friends come to celebrate and support Caleb.

The kiddos love the rides. Especially Breezy. She is entertained by the smallest things!

Caleb & Ms. Amanda, aka "Martin." One of Caleb's many girlfriends!

Cousin Corinne was covered in tickets. Cute girl.

While I'm bouncing between Caleb playing the games and getting pizza for our party, I find my Dad giving my baby his first taste of Coca Cola. I don't object of course, it is tradition after all!

"Not bad!"

Singing "Happy Birthday." He really enjoyed the attention he received and even waited until everyone was done singing the song before he blew out his candles. Huge stepping stone from years past. 

I love how Caleb blows out his candles. He inhales then closes his mouth and blows out his nose. It sounds funny, but it's actually really cute to watch him do it. He was successful and blew out all of them! (To those that are reading this and were there that day, sorry, you probably did get a little snot mixed in with your brownies...hehehe)

Opening Presents. Caleb loved this part. Again, huge improvements from years past. To see him attend to a task like this is great!

He's a little "into" bouncy balls. Loves to bounce them all over the house. I'm unsure if he got enough?

Happy Birthday Caleb! We love you and are so proud of you for all the accomplishments you have made this past year. You are one in a million buddy. Your smile brightens my day. You remind me to slow down and enjoy the moments of life that will be gone in a blink of an eye. We love your sweet personality. We love your squeal and your laugh. You have a natural ability to love unconditionally. Thank you for teaching me patience and for giving me your famous hugs at times I need them most. We hope you had a great birthday! We love you so much!!!! xoxoxo 

Love, Mom & Dad

Friday, August 19, 2011

Swimming & Preschool

After the boys started school, Breezy continued doing swimming lessons. This session, she was able to be with her cousin Corinne. They had fun with each other, giggling & talking as the teacher would try to explain how to do a certain stroke. It made me think about how they will be 10 years from now. 
Giggling, chatty girls. 
Reminds me of me and my sisters. 

Bree was probably the most hesitant to get her head wet out of all the kids her in class. But, she finally mustered up the courage to do it....eventually. 

Just love these two!

I'm so glad they have each other!

Then, on August 5th, Breezy started preschool with Mrs. Stacey. She's seen her brothers go to school and was so excited to start herself. The week before, we picked her backpack out, and she was ready to go!

She kept telling me, "I go to preschool Mommy, and you stay home." And immediately after that she'd say, "But, don't be sad, I come back to you, okay?"

Modeling the backpack:

Kisses for Daddy & she's off!

 She was obviously ready to go...

She was a little upset when she was informed that we needed to wait for all her friends to arrive. Then, the annoyance really set in when more parents wanted to take a group picture. Ah, the nerve! haha! You can't tell by the pictures but Bree was so ready to get started that she kept pulling Mrs. Stacey's hand to go inside and start school. This girl is ready to learn! 

Should be a great year!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

6 months

Seriously?!? How can this boy already be so old? I feel like the time is flying by me. It was just a second ago, I was swaddling him & listening to those newborn sounds. Now, I feel like I'm going to blink and I'll be watching him graduate.

Maybe since he's my last baby, I try to cuddle him a little longer, rock him a little more, and take lots of pics of this blue eyed stud muffin. I think he's pretty cute and it may be just because he's mine, but I do get a lot of compliments on how cute he is when I take him around town. I love this age. The gut laughs, the rolly legs, the squishy arms & tummy. I can't get enough. 

This boy is such a delight. He really is a good baby. Here's his stats at 6 months:

Height: 26.5" (50%)
Weight: 17 lbs (40%)
Head: 17.5 (70%)

Here's what he's doing now:

slept through the night at about 4 months
rolling front to back, back to front
pushes up on his arms
pushes himself backwards on his tummy
laughs & is super ticklish on his ribs and shoulders
still no teeth
started solids @ 4-1/2 months (my earliest eater)
takes a sippy cup of formula (between 4-6 oz/day)
eats 2 jars of baby food/day (stage 2) - the boy can eat!
still nursing every 4 hours (during the day)
loves to cuddle 
adores his Daddy & brothers and sister
babbles really loudly...loves the sound of his own voice :)

We love you Bode. Please don't grow up too fast!


Had to put this down for the journaling purposes.

Gunner lost his 2nd tooth last night. He finally loosened his tooth enough until it was hanging on by a thread. He wanted to try tieing it to a door and then slamming the door shut so it would pull it out...ya know,  the "tough guy way."

We we had it all rigged up. Floss tied tight around his tooth and then to the door. When I went to shut the door lightly, Gunner wasn't ready and accidently took a step back and out popped the tooth! We didnt have our cameras ready or anything!

Gunner was so happy (that it didn't hurt) and pleased with himself that he did it "like a man would do" (as Grandpa Cook would say). Sure enough, the blood started to come out and he was so excited that hsi tooth was gone. The next thing he HAD to do was call ALL his cousins and Grandparents. He was so proud.

Way to go buddy, you are a man now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

...and july...

I'll be the first to admit, I am not the best at keeping up with my blog. Four kids, one husband and one dog really keep me busy. Plus, I try to make that "me" time by exercising & getting a shower everyday. Hopefully that will buy me some sanity from the craziness of my days.

Even though I am most of the time still changing diapers, cleaning floors, doing dishes & folding laundry, I really do enjoy my job. It may not give me the rewards of a 9-5 job, like money or benefits (haha), but my rewards are my children's faces when I say, "let's make cookies" or when my sweet girl wants to have a tea party with me. :) They are priceless. They {those kids of mine} are the reason I get up everyday and try hard to do what I should. (Plus, that cute guy that I sleep next to is pretty fun to have around too. wink wink!)

And, let's be honest, not every day is sunshine & rainbows. The majority of my days are very long. I often play referree between kids, clean up poop off clothes and the floor more than I would like, and quite often my feet hurt. But, I think about those that cannot have kids or have lost a child to an illness, and my heart breaks for them. It reminds me to savor these little ones while they are little. So, I'm trying to do more of that...

Anyway, on to the month of July!

This month was packed! It seemed like it flew by. If you are planning on reading, grab a chair, it's gonna be a long one!

For the 4th, we headed up to the cabin in Greer. Thankfully, our cabin was spared from the Wallow fire. But, when we pulled up it was hard to see how much of Greer was burned.  The line of trees that we can see from the porch of the cabin is a sad sight. It's all burned. Now all you see is charred tree-lines. It was an eerie sight to see how close the fire got to the cabin. This is about a quarter mile away. A special thanks to all those fire fighters and volunteers that helped fight off the fires and save beautiful Greer. We are so grateful!

On the actual 4th of July, we attended the Eager Days Parade. The floats were sparse because the town was evacuated for the fire but let back in about a week prior to the 4th. Can you imagine having to leave your home within minutes only to wonder if it might burn down? I'm so thankful that so many homes were saved. 

This is the best shot I could get of all the kids. 1 smiling out of 7. Awesome. :)

The night before Grandma Cook made these cute bandanas for the boys & necklaces for the girls. Gunner wore his proudly and wnated Bode to join in the fun. Bode is such a pretty boy, I think if I stuck a flower to the bandana, people might've thought he was a girl!

Although the town didn't have much time to put together floats for the parade, the kids didn't care because there was still CANDY!

Sweet Grandma Cook. This woman is aMaZiNg!!!

Breezy proudly wore her red, white & blue. Isn't this dress adorable? We bought it last year and this year it actually fits!

Thank you to all the men & women who have fought or are fighting now for our beautiful country!

Grandma Cook made a yummy cake for the 4th. Delish!

Bode did a lot of bonding time with Grandpa. 

Breezy found a soft spot & fell asleep. Grandpa has the magic touch. :)

Gunner had so much fun this weekend, I could barely catch him to snap a picture. 

This might be one of my all time favorite pictures of Bode so far. The kid is pure joy. 

In other news, July was a hot month. I snapped a picture of my car's thermostat one day while waiting for Gunner to finish one of his dive practices.  Isn't this ridiculous? It's waaaaay too hot!

In mid July the kids all started swimming lessons. Caleb was even able to do a 1:1 special needs class. His instructor was great with him and by the end of the 2 weeks, he was blowing bubbles and moving his arms & legs through the water. He still can't quite swim, but at least is catching on to the idea. :)

Gunner loved his lessons. Before lessons he could swim ok, but after he became a fish. This made him really excited for swim team next year. :)

Breezy took lessons too. She was very timid at first and didn't like to get splashed with water or dunk her head, but by the end, she at least would put her face in. Progress I guess?

This is how I found Bree at the end of every lesson...clutching for dear life to her coach. Notice her hand. It's practically turning blue. :)

Also this month, I finally put some frames up in Bree's room. I've had her room painted for quite some time, but just never found what I wanted to put in her walls. I found these cute frames at the orange blossom shop. And I LOVE them. :)

Then on July 25 to be exact...(yes, you read that right)...Caleb & Gunner started school again. Caleb's in 3rd and Gunner in 1st grade. They were super excited. Bree started another round of swim lessons...which I'll post about later. 

I love how handsome they are. Why do they have to grow up? 

A quick pic with Mom...

....and Dad...

This year I didn't feel those nervous jitters for either of my boys. Caleb has the same teacher and classroom and Gunner's teacher moved up with him from Kinder to First. It's made the transition really easy! :)

I was 50/50 about them going back to school. I love having them home and us doing our own thing like swimming, summer movies, visiting family. But, on the flip side, I was also suuuuper stoked that they had routine again. The fighting and bickering was starting to drive me crazy!.... So, happy day, school's back in!!