Thursday, September 27, 2007

Our little Cooper...what a dear little boy he is. We're finally seeing the little personality start to kickstart, and my calm, cool Cooper is no longer. Now he is motoring around the house in his walker, jumping around in his Johnnie Jumper and flipping over and over onto his stomach. Of course, once there, that is no longer what he wants. He doesn't want to be down on his back anymore, prefering instead to practice his stomach crunches until I take pity on him and get him up and moving again. I can get a quick shower in with him in his vibrating bouncy seat, but only if he's got a ton of toys around him in which to chew on and then promptly throw away. He does take his pacifier now, but just as often has his thumb in his mouth knawing away like a little beaver. He continues his catnapping during the day, but even with quick naps, he is quick to spend his time smiling and babbling with various chew toys in his mouth. He loves to pull me in close and tight for juicy, slobbery kisses and smiles and giggles when I sing "Who's that Dog"," Wheels on the Bus" and "This little Mouse". He loves to be with Tommy, and his eyes follow his antics everywhere, darting this way and that to keep up on all the action. This can be a troublesome thing, though, as Thomas has developed a tendency to growl, grunt and stomp his frustrations at the littlest provocation. We keep assuring Cooper that this is not the way to act. Cooper also likes to watch Jack's Big Music show and football. Poor little dear won't get the option of not viewing tv until much older the way we shielded Thomas. Such is the life of a second child I guess. At the same time, Thomas didn't get to go to preschool and hang out with the "big kids" like Cooper is, so hopefully it will all work itself out in the end!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Off to Pre-school

It has been such a quick transition. There were about four days in which Tommy cried a bit as I walked out the door and hurried off. Teacher Dana was quick and very loving, taking him into her arms, loving on him and getting him interested in something else. And just like that, the other day, he was so engaged in what he was doing in the classroom that when I told him I had to leave, he barely gave me a parting glance. It took me a moment to actually walk through the door, as I was expecting the typical deluge of tears and such. I realized it was not happening and hurried out, somehow expecting the roof to fall in on me. Now each day he reports that school was super fun. My heart just swells. At the same time, this little boy of mine has turned into my best buddy, and he is quick to come in for a cuddle, a smooch and a "I love you, Mama." Each and every night he wants to cuddle in my bed, and now I find myself fighting for time with my heating pad. He is Cooper's best friend one minute, then barking at him the next. "He scratched me!" he yells. "He hit me!" he'll call from the backseat. "Ow!" he cries, when he's gotten in too close to Cooper's reach and finds his hair pulled with exuberance from a grinning and delighted Coop. In their own way they can play together, when Thomas climbs in to Coop's crib and nuzzles and bring toys, when they're in the tub tussling for toys floating in the water. Thomas wants to do everything by himself. He wants to do all the coffee making, the toilet flushing, the laundry (which is only fun if he gets to do the water, the soap and the throwing!), and the eating. He is learning to talk the talk of football and finally learning to throw overhand instead of all crazy-like. He wants to do his Gone Fishing dances upstairs to an audience and tells us when to clap and cheer for him. Playtime consists of us doing his bidding, moving cars exactly where he wants them and saying exactly what he wants you to say. Legos with dad, toys and books with Grandma, shop activities with Grandpa and trip with's all a big adventure for him. It's not the easiest time, raising a strong willed three and a half year old, but certainly entertaining, to say the least.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Keith Urban-Take Three! Key Arena

We originally didn't want to do it. We wouldn't have done it had it not been for our cousins, Erica and Brad, who despite hearing some of the rumors, still felt the love for our favorite performer. Having been struck on our first show at the Paramount and traveling together to The Gorge for our second adventure, it was just a given that on his next Northwest trek we'd again join in together. Unfortunately, Keith had lost a lot of us with his marriage to Mrs. Tom Cruise, his stint in rehab and the rumors of wild nights of hard drugs, women and booze. It was sad, in a way, to think of adventures to Keith Urban ending, but I just couldn't wrap my mind around supporting him anymore. The music wasn't enough if I'd lost my respect.
Well, tonight he brought me back in! He won me over again. Apparently, I'm a sucker for incredible talent, and I challenge any of my friends and family to go to a show and not get hooked. From the opening notes in the darkened arena, he had me again. I waited for something to happen, some reason to be annoyed or angry. I waited for some pathetic attempt to make light of what he'd been "back in the day", shows that we can now question whether or not he was high as a kite (and not on natural adrenaline!) It didn't come. And just like that, with an apology to the crowd and a sincere-sounding thanks for sticking it out through the rough time he'd put us all through the 11 months of late, I was again ready to make plans for our Keith adventures with Brad and Erica!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Seahawks Opening Game!

First Day of Preschool

The excitement of the first day of school was tempered with the reality that Thomas just didn't think much about going. He didn't want to go, didn't want to leave home, didn't want to leave his toys. "I don't want to go." "I want to stay with Grandpa." "Grandpa will watch me." "When I get bigger." "Maybe next time." I thought I heard them all.
With potty training (or potty bribing!) taking a positive turn just this week, I figured spending money on new clothes that he couldn't pull down weren't worth it right now.
Off we went with my promise that he would enjoy seeing his new friends, playing with new playdough and having fun outside again. A special treat was daddy following along with us to see his new school. Seeing him attempting to keep his red backpack (filled with a toy of his choice, a change of clothes and bi-per and wipes just in case!) on was quite cute, as a flood of baby memories came rushing back. Knowing he had only one morning of preschool this week made it easier in realizing my baby is indeed growing more and more towards independence. It is a beautiful thing to watch, amazing, funny and quite remarkable to see, but as any parent will tell you, these type of baby steps also bring on a bit of pain, too, for you are again forced to realize this time is so precious and so very limited.
John stayed a while before having to rush off to work, then I managed to keep Cooper happy for a bit longer, hoping that Thomas would love it so much he wouldn't care if I snuck out or not. Nope. Not this time. Thankfully, I really had no choice in the matter, because Cooper was indignant that I would dare forget his bottle and we really had to go home for that. Tommy cried as I left, but Teacher Dana held him tight, distracted and told me that it was only maybe until I'd reached the outside door that he cried. Then he was fine and enjoyed the rest of his morning. The feeling of driving off I had experienced in the spring and with Cooper protesting loudly in the back gave little time for sadness. Sitting at home waiting to pick him up was different. Such a strange feeling looking around and not having him there, begging me to play, watching a show while Cooper ate, things like that so normal in our mornings together.
"I cried for you," he said later that day. "But just a little, right?" I replied. "Yep."
"Was it fun?" I asked once we were back on the beach, hoping and praying for a positive spin on his answer. "Yep. Super fun," he replied before dumping a load of sand over Cooper's body. Some things never change!

More Whistler pictures...

Whistler pictures

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Military Training at the Whistler, Hilton

Curious, I watched the pairs of men head out of the conference rooms of Whistler's Hilton, hauling out heavy loads of equipment, all the while trying to dodge Thomas as he weaved in and out of their hall space. Combat boots, desert camo, dog tags haphazardly displayed as they struggled with their loads. Thankfully, one particularly large load missed Thomas as he fell prostrate across the middle of the hallway, spread eagle, directly in their way. I wanted to hide in the gigantic fireplace directly behind me and pretend he wasn't my son, but I had already been designated the "mom" by these suspicious men, so hiding was no longer an option. With an embarrassed smile and a quick look towards my young showoff, I hauled his skinny butt off the floor and hurried for a more isolated area in which to wait out John's check-in process. Not to be. Thomas seemed to enjoy the attention these men paid to him and hurried back to get more chuckles, smiles and chats. It didn't seem to matter that some of them probably outweighed him by two hundred pounds, had intimate knowledge of machine gun and who knows how many other big, huge, outlandish weaponry. I wished that he could somehow understand the phrase, "nothing to see here, nothing to see here" and we could just move on.
The next day, after various other morning activities, Thomas and John found themselves down at the pool again. When I walked out, I quickly scanned the pool area. You couldn't miss Thomas. He was the blond bomber hurling himself again and again into the pool. The guy sitting beside me, deeply involved in reading Kite Runner ( a dark tale from Afghanistan) couldn't help but watch and laugh out loud watching Thomas. Dog tags. Two men lounging, drinking...also laughing and commenting on the antics of Thomas. Dog tags. Four guys in the pool, thoroughly engaged in critique of some sort of military training (yes, I was listening in while I rocked Cooper in my arms), mostly heavily tattooed, couldn't help but laugh and watch as Thomas blew right past them, alternating between dive bombing and belly flopping beside them. Dog tags. I thought that he might just be a bit intimated by Big Dude With Lots of Body Ink and a big green lizard crawling (tattoo) up and across his massive shoulder. Nope! Not Thomas. Just continued to hurl himself around in the pool.

After Thomas poked one of them with the noodle in the small hot tub, they started to talk to John. They mentioned they were from all over the country, that they were military. I walked over, at this point very curious. A million questions were rolling through my head. I asked them where they were based and mentioned seeing the placard by the conference room announcing US Marine Corp and an agenda about high mountain training operations. There wasn't a lot of time, as Thomas was in and out of the hot tub and pool, but they seemed happy to be at a Hilton for training and commented that my son must keep me very busy. Very nice, nothing flashy except for a lot of tattoos. Big Dude seemed like the funny guy of the bunch. Smart Dude seemed to be the obvious leader, at times describing technique and other training lingo to a couple of other guys who seemed very young and skinny (must be new to the program, although prerequisite tattoos were in place). One of them asked how to swim under water when your hands are tied behind your back. I'm not sure which surprised me more. The fact that he really needed to know that skill or watching the training guy expertly display this skill in front of me. (By the way, if you ever find yourself tied up trying to get away in deep water, I can show you what to do!)
Today, I found time to look up the town they said they are based in. Still wishing that I could have asked them all the questions that one might have if you found yourself sitting in an area with a bunch of Marines, I wanted to at least know where the town is. I had to chuckle at what I found.
Seems that our bunch of Hilton Marines belong to no other than the Marine Corp Mountain Warfare Training Center in the corps most remote and isolated post! Hmmmmmm.... If you don't hear from me again, you'll know that Someone flagged my Yahoo search and I've been taken away and silenced.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bigfoot Sighting!

At times, you'll see some definite similarities between these two beasts. Particularly if you look at the hair on Tommy's legs!