Saturday, December 29, 2007

For the last two weeks or so Cooper has been crawling around and around, basically wherever we're at in that moment. In the last two days, he's taken to doing some exploring on his own, including little ventures out from the living room into the kitchen and even out the double doors to the stairway. He's SO not content to sit and play anymore. The chase is on!
Today, John saw him quickly bolting for the open door leading upstairs, then watched him (very closely) climb up three steps. Oh, let the joys begin!
Cooper is traversing the couches and getting more confident holding onto something with one hand and turning just a bit to let the other hand free to wave and bounce around in delight. He also has started to making grunting and growling noises, particularly when he's excited about something or wants something. Unlike Thomas, everything is into his mouth, which is difficult now with all the tiny Lego pieces everywhere around this house. With Thomas my biggest challenge was to keep him from drowning in the lake. With Cooper I have to not only keep him from drowning, but keep those blastest Legos out of his mouth as well.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas at the King Farm 2007

Cooper's 1st Christmas at the Kings! It was a hard fought drive over the pass, but after 8 long, nerve wracking hours trying to get over, with only two stops to show for it, we finally made it. The sounds of delighted cousins made it all worth it, and so began a short weekend of non stop play. They tore through the mounds of presents, jumped on beds, played smash em up cars and generally wore themselves into exhaustion. Cooper is fighting an ear infection, but that was the only trouble to be had the whole time, and while I hurried Tommy out of the North Bend Starbucks after spying a snotty nosed and crying toddler in line ahead of us, I couldn't help but be grateful both boys are feeling relatively healthy as we head into the Christmas holiday week.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tommy's Top 10 for Christmas-2007

1. Being upstairs with Grandma and Grandpa
2. Shop time with tools, power saws, sawdust and the sander
3. "Jump me" with Daddy
4. "Roll", "Lil' Biscuit" and "Rubberband" wrestling
5. "Who Let the Dogs Out?" dancing
6. Writing letters on the computer
7. Funny stories with "poop" as the punch line, lots of imaginative stories involving poop as the punch line, and stories that start with "When I was a little boy..."
8. Building Legos
9. Making coffee early in the morning, lots of creamer overflow and one sugar pack.
10. "You want to pway with me?" over and over all day long

Cooper's Christmas Top 10-2007

1. The intro music and animation to Jack's Big Music Show
2. Teething Biscuits and Teething Cookies
3. Bathtime with Tommy
4. All of Tommy's toys
5. Cuddling with Mommy and Daddy (especially during the wee hours of the morning
6. Early, early mornings with Mommy. We wait impatiently for Tommy to wake up to entertain us for the day
7. Standing naked in my crib
8. Crawling and standing
9. Anything that will fit in my mouth

10!!!! Riding in the Baby Bjorn all day long with my daddy!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nooksack Falls

Sledding at Mountain Baker

"Will we see "hot lah-bah from the vohlcaino?" he asked, more than once on the way up the mountain this morning. We set out with my "big adventure" plans of skiing with Tommy and hiking with Cooper, only to once again realize the best days are ones with no plans at all. It was blowing snow, essentially a blizzard up at the top. It proved too challenging for little Cooper to breathe in and within minutes of exiting the car in great excitement, Tommy wasn't too eager to continue with the snow blowing in his face and blowing down his coat and shirt. It took us a lot longer getting geared up outside the car than actual sledding time, and skiing was out of the question. Hiking at the top changed to hiking down to Nooksack Falls, which was spectacular in the winter snow and ice.
After gross cookies at Glacier and refuel with hot chocolate for Tommy, it was off to our usual Christmas tree cutting farm. I gave up my annual hunt for the perfect Christmas tree and agreed to hide out inside the heated shed while entrusting John and Tommy to the Christmas hunting. It was pretty easy to do, as Cooper was quite delighted with the huge Christmas tree inside, the ceiling fan whirling and the biggest Chow dog I've ever laid eyes on sitting like a big fat Santa's helper in the corner. It was a lot of fun to spend the day to other things besides tending sick kids and feeling like you're missing out on everything Christmas.

Not so sure about this snow stuff!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

7 Months, Crawling, Sick and Standing

Cooper had about a week of wellness after a round of antibiotics, then fell ill to what appears to be the dreaded stomach flu. And it's hit us all pretty hard this week. I think that the exhaustion has finally caught up with us, and our immune systems must be broke and busted right now, because we just can't seem to get much of a break these days. I was chuckling and crying the other night when after a day long struggle with vomiting and diarrhea with Cooper, Thomas projectiled (my new word!) twice kneeling in his car seat at the grocery store. Shaking my head in wonder, I drove us all home soaked in more than tears.

Amidst it all, Cooper has finally figured out that his hands and knees can coordinate, and he's moving forward in a crawl instead of backwards-although he still looks like a drunken turtle most of the time!! He will also now pull himself up in his crib and wants to hold hands to walk around the house and stand by his toys. Now I just hope that his immune system can somehow find its way from the darkside and we can have our happy and healthy boy back.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Night-Night Prayers

Tonight, like every night, I asked Tommy if he wanted to help me say our prayers. Like each night before, I expected an emphatic "No!". "You do it." Tonight, though, was our first prayer together. He started.
"Dear Jeeshus," he said, through his dubbie (binky/pacifier) and his sniffing dubbie. "Now you," he said, curling into me.
I thanked Jesus for our beautiful day and asked that He watch over all our loved ones through the night.
Tommy said to me, "Wait! You must pray to Jeeshus for taking Grandpa and me to find Frankie-Four Wheeler today."
"Thanks you Jesus for grandpa who drove all over the county with Tommy looking for his Chevron Car Frankie-Four Wheeler," I prayed. "In Your name....."
"Amen," he said.

It was one of the sweet, beautiful moments (with a chuckle tucked in!) that I won't forget.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Last night Jenny convinced us to go down to U-Village with them for their annual pilgrimage to see Santa, despite my initial fears that it would be a nightmare sea of frantic shoppers. We are so thankful that we joined them for a lot of fun taking the kids from store to store playing and playing some more. The kids are so much fun to watch playing together. What great friends they are. Thomas still has issues with Santa, so we joined in on the picture fun for a family shot. Our comments...
Cynthia-"Does this poofy coat make me look skinny?"
Cooper-"What in the world is going on and what is this fuzzy man behind me?"
Thomas-"Get me out of here, NOW!" "I just wanted that candy cane, already!"
John-"Just smile and lets get out of here."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 with Cooper and Thomas-Hawaii sadness

There have been many times that my mother and grandmother's words have echoed in my ears. "Never let the sun go down on your anger," they said. Some would disagree, maintaining that in the heat of anger, go to bed, sleep on it and get back to it when exhaustion, stress and emotion have settled with a good night's sleep. However, I can never let this echo of the past completely go, and again, we were reminded of how precious each moment is. How quickly all we know can change.
On our day of Thanksgiving, while Lil's pots were stirring, bread warmed in the ovens and the boys played, Stephen was struggling to save his father-in-law life in the Hawaiian surf. In a moment's time, a fantastic snorkeling outing had gone incredibly wrong, and forever was a family changed. They struggled for nearly an hour, but Art joined Jesus this Thanksgiving, the day before he was to watch his granddaughter marry the love of her life. As we cried for our family so far away, prayed for Stephen's body and his heart, and went about our own Thanksgiving with heavy hearts, we were so very thankful that Art was surrounded by his family in the most beautiful of places, with the most splendid of plans for the coming wedding stretching out. This was the day the Lord called him home. For me, it is another reminder that we do not know the plans of the Lord, but we are given each day, each moment, today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cooper on Halloween

Conversations with Thomas AND Coop

Passing by the cemetary...
"Look! They're having a meeting in Heaven!"

And when I had to park in the cemetary parking lot for an emergency Coop-feeding...
"Hey, we're at Heaven."

Playing with Cooper...
"Look, Mom. My tractor is going into the shop...oh, no, it's the Coopi-monster!" "He's going to eat my tractor!"

Also, he wants us to promise everything. "Do you promise to drive carefully?" "Do you promise you'll come pick me up?"

And now everything is his favorite. "That's my favorite song." "Is this your favorite?" "This is my favorite seat."

To dad the other day, he says, "Mom's not good at Legos. I'm good at Legos, you're good at Legos. Mom's not good at Legos."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Tommy's Preschool Halloween Party

Today was Tommy's Halloween Party at preshool. He wanted to go as a ghost, but went as a bear instead because a ghost might scare the other kids and would break the rules of preschool. We got yet another year of use from this bear suit, too, which is always good. The kids had a great time with their games, including the bobbing-for-apples game I was assigned to bring in. I thought it would be a huge bust, but the kids pulled it off brilliantly. Instead of creating a huge, watery disaster, they were smart enough to figure that if they went for the stem with their teeth, they wouldn't have to get wet at all. What a concept! And I remember this game from in the past, dunking my entire head in trying to get my mouth around the apple. I guess another...
"back in the day" moment.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eric Church and Threats of Violence at Blazing Saddles

If you're ever looking for a country bar in the middle of nowhere between Seattle and the Canadian border, don't even think about stopping at Blazing Saddles in the heart of Stanwood. Apparently the looks of a nice camera and a couple of flashes are enough to make the near-rabid owner threaten acts of violence against his paying customers. As if getting John to agree to arrange for the night off to go on a date with me to see yet another concert wasn't hard enough (and at a place called Blazing Saddles no less). Before Eric Church even took to the stage John was threatening mutiny, and once I found out what was said to him, Blazing Saddles should be thankful the fine police officers of Stanwood weren't called in to break up the booze-fest inside. I'm sure that even in the haze of a drunken stupor, the patrons on this night would have been wary to see the owner questioned by the men in uniform.

So, because John's camera actually looks cool, there aren't any shots of this concert. It was a lot of fun meeting and chatting with the sound man, Brent, who has been in the industry a while and had a very cool story to share while I waited for hours for the rest of the entourage to show up. I secretly stalked the band from the front seat of the Pilot, trying valiantly to hide behind my hat and steering wheel as I waited in the parking lot (whatever happened to busses being hidden behind baracades and big, bad security dudes?!!!) Berg practiced his country line dancing moves for the crowd in full country attire, and realized that he's just not the stage-hugger type (Eric, can I have your babies?!!!!). Summer caressed the back and side of the man of the night and John protected her from boobs and rhinestones to her right (Eric, can I have your baby?!!!!). Andrea almost passed out, but from the story she tells it wasn't from the incense on stage left fumigating the front of the stage, the site of Eric bustin' moves in tight jeans directly in front of her, or the bum gas from someone way too close to us. Berg shared beer with the big dude dancing the night away and I yet again thoroughly enjoyed myself with good friends and a sister who somehow managed to run away not once, but twice to hear great music.

With a concert theme going here.....
I would like to dedicate this night to Lil and Bruce, who braved teething Cooper and exhausted Thomas to let us run away again.
I would also like to dedicate this night to my parents, who risked life and limb to watch Andrea's kids until they could return the next morning.
I would also like to dedicate this night to my friend Kim, who willingly gave up her free night off to work the pager tonight for John. We owe you guys!

I don't really know if our parents can ever truly be repaid for what these nights "off" really mean to us. It is a break that cannot be measured and gets us through the darkest of nights, the sleeplessness and the longest of days. Without you, these amazing breaks wouldn't be possible.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mommy's Gone!!!!

As you can see, Cooper is heartbroken that mommy is leaving for the weekend!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Berbati's Pan, Embassy Suites, Hair and Nordstrom

That's Andrea with Gary the Merch guy.

4:30 am came very quickly for us two moms. Thankfully, John had taken the Cooper-shift during the night, and I got about 4 hours of sleep. Racing to North Bend to pick up my sister, I had the chance to sit back and begin to relax as I rolled along in the fog and darkness before dawn. I could only hope that everything we had planned for Portland would come together. John had remarked when I asked if he had a map, "It's not having a map that's the problem. It's how to read it." With that ringing in my ears, I MapQuested the daylights out of Portland, figuring I could not have too many maps to offset any problems getting into, around and out of the the city without the help of a husband. Six hours later and we were out of our state and into Oregon.
It all turned out perfectly, despite the craziness of the city. Our hotel was perfect, we enjoyed our girlie time at the salon, ran off and spent a bundle at Nordstrom (Not on jeans, though! I figured it was time to get more makeup when one of the youth at work told me I looked like I hadn't slept in two months...and he's the one doing crack and crime, not me!) enjoyed chatting with Anthony at Berbati's, who let us in early, and thoroughly enjoyed our time at the show. Coming off the Kenny show at Qwest, you can really appreciate what being back up at the stage affords you instead of looking down from the rafters of a stadium. I'm almost to the point that I'm equally amused and enterntained by the people we meet and chat with as the show itself. We didn't meet the artist, but we met a person associated with him, felt assaulted by PETA protesters and anti-war protesters, stared at the hideous Halloween costumes slinking around the night alleys and enjoyed the antics within the venue by too drunk men losing themselves to Eric's music. What a night it was! And as we stumbled our exhausted bodies through a throng of Jack Sparrows and Bloodied Zombies, then across the street to our hotel room, I pondered just when will he make another Northwest run so I can do this all again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tommy's Favorite Commercial

Tommy gets a kick out of this ad whenever it comes on TV. Since we've found it on YouTube, he can get his fill of it on demand.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kickin' it Old School

The last toothless grin?

Cooper looks to be pushing his first baby tooth, just one week shy of being six months old.

Trips to the Pumpkin Patch!