Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cooper turns 2!

Today our little boy turned two! How can this be? He's two?

Our little curly top is growing into such a little boy, talking more and more, trying to be "big" just like his big brother. We all get such a kick out of watching him. He's quite the little entertainer, hopping, shuffling and dancing his way through the house. He's really starting to like to cuddle, and mornings and late evenings can usually find him cuddled up with his best friend, "Da-Da". He's always calling for Da-Da, following him around, pulling on him to get what he wants, where he wants. His other best friend is Jenny, and he races through the house squealing with delight when he spies her through the window or hears her voice from outside. He's quick to throw his arms around her and grant her a kiss, and the other day went on a "date" with her to get iced tea. He walked around and around saying "date", "date" over and over. He was so thrilled to be invited to ride with her to Dairy Queen for treats. He's easy to watch around the yard, fairly content to sit and play with his Kozy Koop, or play down on the beach. It's so great to not have to be constantly chasing him out of the water all the time. Of course, he LOVES to be outside working with grandpa, and when grandpa is mowing, it's so cute watching him out "working" too, following grandpa with his mower or the wheelbarrow, around and around the yard they go!

Today we spent a lot of time playing with our buds, the Lawrences. Sophia's 10th birthday was yesterday, but we saved presents until today, which was fun. Coop loved his wooden tool box and bug kit, too. This afternoon, Katelyn came over to celebrate, as did Rhonda. Coop slept a lot this afternoon, and John, Tommy and myself joined in for a nap as well. We would have slept through the party had I not set the alarm at the last minutes, and it was a scramble to get ready for the party. In the end, I had to wake Coop up, and when I took him up the stairs, his face suddenly came to life as the friends began cheering for him, clapping and singing to him. It was as if he was suddenly realizing what all this talk about his "party" really meant, and it was so adorable to see him get into it all. We had a lot of fun opening presents, playing with the new bubble kits, and then making a fire down at the beach. It was great weather and a perfect day for a birthday celebration.

Cooper, you are such a beautiful joy to us. We can't imagine what our lives would be like without the happiness and absolute delight you take from each day, and the laughter that you share with us. We love you so much, little bug. You have my entire heart!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Random Packing Thoughts-Medicine

We basically raided our entire medicine cabinet....EVERYTHING went. You get an owie...I brought the Neosporin. You get an earache, I asked Bruce to bring his ear-thingie. That one got him big, too, as he got the blue glove treatment at the airport when that bad boy sent the scanners into high tech terrorist alert! You get toe fungus, I've got the Lamisil. Your skin rash comes back, I had three different kinds of Hydrocortisone cream. You get a fever, I had the thermometer. You get any type of headache or other pain, I had Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Children's of both (which came in handy the night Coop woke up with a 102 temp). I took my new migraine meds after the two I had at the beginning of the year. With that, I also brought along the big gun pain meds that piggy back with the migraine meds. I had nausea meds from my pregnancy, and The Patch for my newfound sensitivity to motion, courtesy of my pregnancies of course. I tried to get my doctor to just call in a new bunch of patches for me, as he'd done for my last cruise. Just my luck my doc was on some sort of sojourn of his own, so I got his replacement. After 45 minutes of a 15 minute scheduled consult, I came away with what I hoped was a prescription for The Patch (not to be confused with a birth control patch), after of course going through my entire medical history. At one point I thought he was going to schedule an MRI and CT because motion sickness can also be a symptom of a host of other atrocious illnesses, including diabetes and brain tumors. I tried to reassure him that I only experience this sensation when cruising and obnoxious car rides, and finally convinced him to call off the imaging sessions. While there, I did get confirmation that I DO NOT have diabetes. Yet! Apparently that was the only test he could do while holding me there hostage. For this cruise I also secured medicated ear drops for Tommy and antibiotics for Cooper. When you say 12 days to the tropics, it tends to get you what you want for the kids. We did not see the insides of the ship's medical facilities, but we did see one guy hooked up to IV's unloaded from the ship and loaded into an an ambulance driver with a stained Corona teeshirt and cut off jean shorts. I didn't see an id, either, but apparently in Panama they do things differently. We also diverted to Grand Cayman one night to off load a passenger (more preferable than Panama!) and then when we made port back in Ft. Lauderdale, an ambulance and fire truck met us at the pier. Maybe the stress of disembarkation was just too much for them! Basically, we went totally and 100% prepared, and although we didn't need the toe fungus cream, or the antibiotics, don't forget John woke up with Pink Eye, so nothing was off the table for us on this journey!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Caribbean Napping-Half Moon Cay

For all the times that we comment about what a rascal little Coop is, this is a picture of our little boy curling up in my arms, under the cover of a beach clamshell shelter, in the sweltering sun, with the chaos of a packed beach all around him...

and sleeping the afternoon away!

While in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, as our flight to Houston was being canceled, Coop decided he'd had enough. He plopped himself down on the concrete floor beside me, lay himself out flat, and proceeded to fall asleep. We were stepped over and smiled at, with a long line of frustrated and worried Continental travelers snaking around us, and he never stirred.

Not bad for our little rascal!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sail Away!

Today was the big day! The day all our plans revolved around....making the ship boarding. If the ships leaves, you don't, and Lil talked to people on the cruise who'd learned this all too well. They had missed their flight, caught another that put them into port half hour after sailaway time. They probably could have seen the ship from the pier! Anyway, they then had to find a flight to Aruba and sit there until our ship made it there into port on Saturday. They missed three days on the ship and spent a ton of extra money as a result.
Anyway, we made it, and immediately found it to our liking! People are REALLY, REALLY friendly on a cruise. They are helpful, they are smiling and laughing, they are eager to please. They want to meet you, know where you live, then tell some sort of story about where you live and share with you their thoughts and feelings. They laugh and ooh and aah over your children, point and whisper to each other as you pass. I am so thankful that Coop does not have issues being touched, as he was like some sort of cuddly pet on this trip, with people stopping to touch his hair at all turns. People in the elevators would stoop down just to look at his curls, then walk away with a passing rub to his head. It's amazing what tight ringlets will do for a person!

John and I were very excited about showing the boys a big ship. It's thrilling all the amazing stuff there is on a ship, from the entertainment side, such as the pools and hot tubs, to the long halllways in which to fly down! For any child, I'm sure the enormity of a ship in itself is a big deal, and we have waited a long time to take Tommy back to a place such as this. We headed out to the decks where the party had already started. We played soccer, hoops and squirt guns up in the sports court, then checked out the kids play are, Club HAL. The sun was shining and it was warm, and I could feel the effects of a long, long winter begin to fade, just a bit. We had our dinner in the Lido, or as Tommy took to calling it, the WEEDOH! The lines were long with people grubbing it up, and I had a hard time not being a little put off by the looks of that, as if they had not eaten in months and were suddenly prepared a banquet. The bounty of fruits and good things to eat proved too tempting, though, and we cautiously participated, if but a little. We spent time together in our cabin, where Cooper promptly got to work learning all there is to know about the toilet system, the mini bar/fridge and everything on any shelf or cabinet there was to find! Later, during Coop's afternoon siesta, we were called up to the decks for the life boat drill. For an adult, this is not the best way to start your cruise. For a toddler being pulled away from his's a definite challenge. Coop managed to put the huge life vest on, but with the sun beating down on him, he began to melt...down....badly. With all the screaming and carrying on, I eventually had the people stuffed against me trying to help me with him, as he flailed away and begged and screamed for daddy. Of course, daddy had to be back further with all the men ( women and children in front, if you remember the Titantic!). Eventually, an officer came up to me and gave me permission to take off his life jacket. I was then able to hand him back through the crowd to his dad, which made it all better. Usually a child will cling to his mother when upset...well, you now have Cooper....and he chose that exact time to desperately need his dad! I have never been so thankful for the end of life boat drilling!!!
Eventually, after all the partying and exploring, we found our way to the ice cream stand, then headed up to our cabin. Tommy curled up on his couch-turned bed and promptly began snoring. Cooper lasted until 11 pm, still content to explore the cabin and play.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

We've been away...

Hopefully Cynthia will update our recent adventure :)

It started out as a spreadsheet, really. A way for us to organize all the items, big and small, that we needed (and maybe just "wanted") to take along with us on this adventure. Although I would try to deny it, there was some fear as I looked at the spreadsheet. How would this ever work? How would we even make it on the plane? And would it be worth all the trouble?


12 Days is a long time to be away. 12 days with Tommy would be a long, long time to be away. 12 days with Tommy and COOPER would be an eternity, and I will say that he was the wild card in all of this. We knew Tommy would adapt, would make the most of it. He would love the sun, enjoy the other people, at the very least spend all his time in the pool. Cooper, on the other hand, throws a tantrum in the grocery store if the cereal box isn't JUST the right color! Coop only drinks one type of formula (Costco) and I doubted I would find that particular brand in the jungle of Panama should we run out. Coop eats chicken nuggets and Dairy Queen....more strikes to the food list. Basically, Coop runs the Whipple show at this particular time, no matter how we look at it. I know parenting books would say otherwise, but reality is that Cooper is showing us exactly what "almost two" looks like for normal toddlers. Tommy passed this stage without as much as a whimper, so this is new territory for us.

Two weeks before, Tommy missed all week of preschool due to a bad cold. The week before we had word that a bad flu was going around, and as I knew that parents at our school were still bringing their sick kids into school, I opted to keep the boys away from preschool and quarantine them the week before we left. That meant no outings, no grocery store, no mall...nothing. John and I prepared for the trip on our own and kept the boys at home that week. It was drastic, but worth it for some peace of mind to know that we were doing the best we could to keep them as healthy as possible. Cooper's cold cleared up, then returned that weekend, so Bruce and I opted to use up some of our old meds at that time, rather than risk continued green goo and nasty cough on multiple travel legs. We were packed up on Sunday for the most part. Monday both John and I worked. That night, despite the anxiety of the weekend, we felt pretty relaxed. Packing was done....

Tuesday- Travel Day 1

John has Pink Eye! Are you kidding me?!!!! Pink Eye?!!! At 6:30 in the morning?!!! Before our morning flight to Houston?!!! Okay, so maybe we call up Robin and have her call in a prescription to the Burien Walgreens. Do I have an old bottle? No! I gave it away to the Allens this summer. Got to get a bottle of Pink Eye juice! JENNNY!!!! Text Jenny...of course she is still sleeping, not having to get up this early to work out as usual. Text Jenny again! I'm feeling bad, but worried enough to not feel bad enough to stop frantic texting. Okay, going to call now. Call again. If I have to go up there and pound on her door I guess I will have to do that. Thankfully, Jenny saves the trip and calls me back, and yes, she still has Sophia's bottle of Pink Eye medicine from a few weeks ago. Crisis averted! Thanks, Jenny, for saving our trip. Not sure we would have managed to get it all sorted out before our flight left. We broke this day into "legs". The trip to Seattle, the flight to Houston, the flight to Ft. Lauderdale, the shuttle to our Ft. Lauderdale hotel for the night. Each part of our day went so smoothly it was beautiful. Cooper had some minor flooding issues in his pants, but that was the parents fault for not changing him, and the people around him thought his chubbly legs were pretty cute anyway. I forgot to pack a second pair of pants in our carry on, so he walked around the airports in his shirt and diaper. We watched some Elmo and Phineas and Ferb, and shuffled the kids between our seats and Grandma and Grandpa's. Coop seemed most relaxed hanging out with Grandma, and spent a lot of time curled up in her lap. Tommy was quite taken with everything, and did a fine job all day long.