Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cooper Boy

Cooper's loot from a recent neighborhood birthday party!

When Cooper was a baby, I was a paranoid mom who was always trying to get him to reach that next step.  I worried that he wasn't rolling over early enough.  I couldn't wait to start giving him solid foods.  And when he stopped sleeping in the pack and play outside of our bedroom door, I said he was finally sleeping in his "big boy bed" (a.k.a. his crib).  I was anxious for him to grow up.  Fast forward 5 years later and I want nothing more than to stop time.

We recently registered Cooper for Kindergarten and it hurts my heart.  The idea of sending my little boy to an environment I can't control takes my breath away.  I see spots.  I lose feeling in my toes.  I hate everything about it.  On the other side, Cooper is excited and ready for Kindergarten.  I'm the one who is struggling.  Up to this point I have had control over all the influences in his life.  I knew almost all the kids in his preschool class. I knew his teacher.

One of the things I love most about Cooper is his innocence.  We're very strict with language and what the kids can watch on TV.  The other day Cooper said, "Sorry. Mom.  I almost said a bad word."  When I asked him what he almost said he responded by saying, "Butt."  Yes, he nearly said the word butt and felt compelled to confess.

After returning home from a play date I asked him how it went and he burst into tears.  After 20 minutes of coaxing he finally admitted that he accidentally hit his friend's sister in the head with a bouncy ball.  I asked if she got hurt and he said no.  "Did she cry?" "No."  But he was beside himself with sadness.  His lesson in primary that week had been about repenting so we said a prayer that Cooper could be forgiven for hitting her with the ball and Cooper promised he wouldn't play with bouncy balls in the house around younger kids.

For the most part, Cooper isn't worried about what other people think of him.  He very deliberately puts stickers on his face and arms to look like a monster.  On more than one occasion, he's gone out of the house like this and he's SO PROUD of himself.

Just a monster eating popcorn at Home Depot. Nothing to see here. 
Cooper also loves to make his own toys.  He cut rectangles out of boxes and colored them to make a TV and two video game controllers.  He pulled this out a few weeks ago when he had a friend over and was so excited to "play" Batman with this friend.  This friend has an actual Batman video game so I crossed my fingers that he would share in Cooper's enthusiasm.  Luckily, the playmate appeased Cooper for the appropriate amount of time before asking to play with something else.

Cooper has said he wants to be a scientist or inventor when he grows up and he could totally do it!  This is Cooper's gun and bullet.  He pushes the smaller tube through the larger tube and is entertained for days.

The truth is, I envy his tender heart and innocence and I hope he holds onto that for as long as possible.

A few more things about Coop.  He got a new pedal bike this Spring and while he is more than capable of riding it without the training wheels, he loves having them on!  He says he likes them because he can do tricks and ride one handed.

Elliott the Elephant (from Cooper's preschool) was staying with us when Cooper got his new bike.  Cooper is also wearing the necklace like a sash because he's dressed up like Chewbacca from Star Wars. 

Cooper has always been a great helper.  He's also very neat.  If his room is messy and it's time for him to take a nap he will tell me he needs to clean his room before he lays down.  He is definitely his mother's child (he also knows how to effectively postpone nap time!).

Helping clean Daddy's car.

Cooper is very thoughtful and artistic.  He made this card all by himself for one of his preschool teachers who is fighting cancer.  Coop loves giving pictures to people and making cookies for others.  During this last snow storm Cooper told me we should do something nice for our retired neighbors.  I told him they were out of town.  Cooper said, "We could shovel the snow off their grass for them."
A rainbow and castle for his teacher.

Cooper was brushing his teeth one day and I was playing with his ears.  He told me not to do that because it made him look like one of the prophets with big ears.  I just started laughing.  He said one of the speakers at Conference had big ears.  Later that day, Cooper handed me this picture.  "Here's a picture of the man with big ears.  He has white hair too."

Any guesses on which Conference speaker this might be?

Cooper can be summed up in a few words: thoughtful, creative, and entertaining.  Gosh, I love this kid!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Stages of Sloan 3.0

Sloan loves Mickey and Minnie.

I worry that my last Sloan update might have painted Sloan in a slightly less than favorable light.  While 2014 will always be the Summer of Sloan in my mind I certainly wouldn't trade my little lady for the world.  I'm also pleased to announce that Sloan has broken most of her bad habits that I reported on in my Stages of Sloan 2.0 post.

* Sloan is a great sleeper (who now sleeps in her bed while wearing pajamas!!).  She has even been known to ask for a nap or to go to bed at night when she is tired.

You know you've had a good nap when you wake up looking like this!

* The Little Miss basically potty trained herself at 2 1/2 years old!
* As Sloan was nearing the 2 1/2 year mark she really started talking.  Prior to this, she was a woman of few words.  Now she talks all the time and will quickly mimic anything you say.
* She can count to 15 by herself and she knows the names and sounds of all the letters in the alphabet.
* Her favorite song is Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam and she LOVES going to nursery on Sundays.

Sloan and her nursery group playing Peek-a-Boo.

* She is a very empathetic child and will make a sad face and point to a sad person. She even does this with characters in her books.
* While she still changes her clothes multiple times a day, she now knows how to put the unworn clothes back in her drawers and how to put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
* She loves baby dolls, princesses, anything Disney, and Hello Kitty.
* She is my shopping buddy.  Sloan and I often run errands while Cooper is at preschool.  We have so much fun buying groceries, visiting the library, and playing together.

Sending a picture to Daddy while we wait for the library to open.

* When tired or sad, Sloan requests her pink polka dot blanket (a.k.a. Blank).
* The last time she ate a piece of fruit had to be over a year ago.  But this girl can pack away the feta cheese and pork sausage!
* She doesn't put up too much of a fight when you tell her "no."  Usually, you can tell her we'll talk about it or do it later and that will appease her.
* She likes to help mommy (maybe a little too much).  She's always quick to help make cookies, work on the computer, empty trashcans, wash laundry, and work in the garden.
* Sloan is a girly-girl who is highly influenced by her older brother.  For example:

  1. She now wants her teeth brushed so they are shiny like "dragon teeth." This has Cooper written all over it!
  2. Her child-sized ladle isn't for playing house.  As of late, it is her "weapon" for "getting bad guys."
  3. When a page in her book is bent she tries to fix it with Cooper's tool set.

Sloan is still fiercely independent and struggles with sharing when people are at her house.  She mastered the art of the Stink Eye at a young age and she's not afraid to use it!

Sloan is definitely the Little Lady in our house.  She is a vital part of our family.  Together with her brother, she's the heartbeat and the breath of our home.  We love her wholeheartedly and look forward to seeing what comes from her in the next stage of life.

New books and stickers from the library.  It doesn't take much to make this girl happy.

Modeling her Troy University jersey from TamTam.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Luck of the Irish

We had Emerson, Dawson, Jenson, and Sarah over for dinner around St. Patrick's Day. We made pizzas, played with toys, and had a little fun with some silly green mustaches the leprechaun (a.k.a. TamTam and Poppa) sent us.

On St. Patrick's Day the kids wore green.  Cooper asked me to take his picture and naturally, Sloan wanted to be included.

It's amazing how quickly their smiles can change. I didn't ask them to make weird faces. Apparently, this is what happens when they hold their "cheese" faces too long! Yikes!

Don't mess with our kids.  They're tough!

We didn't set a leprachaun trap, but he did pay us a visit. The leprechaun sent the kids on a scavenger hunt around our house. The prize was a pan of sticky buns in the oven, just waiting to be cooked!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Field Trip to the Fire Station

Sloan and I were lucky enough to join Cooper's preschool class on a field trip to the local fire station. The firefighters did an amazing job of teaching the kids the difference between tools and toys and educating them on what to do if there is a fire. 

I love this picture of Cooper and his classmates listening to the firefighters.

One of the firefighters showed the kids how he gets dressed in all his gear. Then he showed them that he might look strange but he's still the same nice guy underneath. If the kids are in a fire and see someone dressed like him who sounds like Darth Vader they shouldn't be scared. They should call out to the firefighter because he's there to help. 

Cooper's cute class.

At the end of the tour, all the kids got firefighter hats. It was definitely a fun day for Cooper and he couldn't wait to tell Dave all about his experience when he got home from work.

Monday, April 20, 2015

When It's Winter

It's the middle of April but we had nearly 1/2 a foot of snow last week so this seems as good of time as any to share a few of our 2015 winter activities. 

The kids tried desperately to play in the nearly non-existent snow. It was an unusually warm and dry winter.  Thank goodness for our mid-April storm!
"Mom, is there enough snow to build a snowman yet?"

Cooper and Dave built some pretty cool projects at Lowes and Home Depot.

This week's creation: a monster truck.

We checked out the Lego buildings at Fashion Place mall.

Yep, this was built entirely from Legos. Those Lego builders have a whole lotta patience!

TamTam and Poppa took us to Kangaroo Zoo.

Cooper loved the giant slide.

Two cute cousins.

Sloan spent the entire time playing with TamTam's phone. I tried taking her in the bouncy houses and she freaked out! One thing about Sloan is she never ceases to surprise me. I would have guessed she'd love a room full of things to jump and climb on.

We made lots of art projects! And I mean LOTS of art projects.  Cooper would make something from cardstock, toilet paper rolls, empty boxes, and paint every single day if he could.

Cooper dreamed up these masks all on his own. Cooper is Iron Man and Sloan is Wonder Woman. The yellow arches on Sloan's mask are her hair -- hee, hee!


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