Thursday, May 7, 2015

Time flies...

Time seems to be zooming by these days!  The kids are growing and changing by the minute, we have about 8 home improvement projects going right now, we are both busy at work, and we seem to be constantly busy!  It's great, wonderful, and exhausting!   I've been slacking with this little blog of mind, but I want to look back and remember some of these things.  So, here's a little catch up!
The kids have been loving playing outside with some of the nice weather we've had recently!  Cooper especially enjoys exploring the outdoors.  The problem is he is BUSY and loves to throw things in the street.  Thanks God we live on a quiet street without much traffic!
After months of letters, meetings, and appeals, we finally got Delaney into Cavett Elementary School for Kindergarten next year!  This makes our lives so much easier since Cavett is right next door to Holly's (daycare), and it makes this little girl sooooo excited for school.  She's counting down the days!  She is so ready!

The kids have been very interested in all the projects going on at home.  Cooper loves to play with all of Daddy's tools and try to "help"!  We just finished up the Master Bathroom, and it looks pretty great.  We just need to give it a good cleaning and add some new towels, and we should be good to go!  
Delaney had her Dance Recital in mid-April!  She danced to "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid, and she did so good!  Last year she had a bit of stage fright, but this year she was all about the performance!  She was so excited, and is already talking about next year!
Cooper is fearless and ALL BOY!  He loves to go fast, play hard, and get dirty!  He requires a bath every night, and hears "no" about 100,000 times a day!  He wants to be a big kid so much, so that makes life hard.  He is growing it seems, so he's finding even more ways to get into trouble.
A quick and easy home improvement project was to give the front door a little make-over.  We had painted the shutters black, and so the door got a sexy red paint job!  I love it, and so wish we would have done it sooner!  
Last weekend between rain showers, we had a busy day outside!  We planted flowers and a few veggies.  It was hot and humid, so Delaney begged for water.  We didn't have any of the sprinklers out yet, so we set up the hose in the tree for a redneck sprinkler.  They both had a ball!  It was a fun, family day at home!  
Cooper is fascinated by bubbles!  Delaney loves to blow them, and he loves to chase!   It's a great pastime!
Delaney has been super into basketball lately.  Our favorite neighbors have a basketball hoop set up on the curb for some street ball, so D has been working on her skills.  She makes more shots than I would have expected!  She seems to be growing up so much here lately, where did my little girl go?!?
The biggest house project took over a year to complete, but it is finally done.  Last year, Craig replaced some of the boards and the steps of the deck.  We let it dry out, and so this year he stained it.  It looks soooo much better.  We discovered our deck furniture needs to be replaced, so I'm anxiously waiting to get it all set up out there so we can enjoy it!  
We've had a week of crappy, raining weather.  The storms rolled in last night and dropped 7 inches of rain on Lincoln.  Our basement is dry, but our roof might be failing.  With more storms predicted for tonight and this weekend, it might get interesting.  Here are my 3 kids lined up with snacks watching the storms coming in last night!  Crazy kids!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Delaney turns 5

Well, it's been a while since our last update!  Life has been a little crazy around here...lots of sickness, busy weekends, and lots of travel!  I'm exhausted!  Most of it has been fun, but it's been a little intense!  The house needs some TLC one of these days from me (OR A CLEANING LADY!), and sooner or later we'll all get on a normal sleep scheduled, but life is good!  We have a BIG occasion this week...yesterday, Miss Delaney Jo turned 5-years-old!!!  I can't  believe it!

Delaney was so excited for her birthday this year!  She woke up and got all dressed up for Holly's!  She couldn't wait to start the day devoted to her!  She seems so grown up here!  Five seems like a big deal, like our little girl is gone and now we have this big girl that's starting school next fall!  She is so smart and funny, she says things every day that surprise me and make me laugh.  Her vocabulary has expanded tremendously lately, probably from the incessant questions she's always asking!  She is curious and inquisitive, and she won't settle for a less than sufficient answer!  I hope this is the same when she starts school in August!  
Delaney isn't a fan of frosting (unless it's chocolate), so a traditional birthday cake won't cut it for her!  She requested ice cream sundaes with all the fixing for her birthday night dessert.  We invited our favorite neighbors, Tim, Ali, and Greyson, over to join us!  It was a fun way to end the big day for our princess!  Delaney continues to be a kid that knows what she wants and isn't afraid to tell you!  She is independent, outgoing, and a bit of a diva!  We wouldn't have her any other way!
We baked some chocolate chip cookie bars (her request, or course!) to take to share with her friends at Holly's for her birthday treat!  Delaney helped with the entire baking process, she even cracked the eggs all by herself!  She loves to help in the kitchen!  Someday I hope to have a bigger kitchen which will make it easier for her to be involved!  She seems to be able to do things that surprise me all the time!  She is "improving" and "perfecting" some skills I didn't even know she had!  She is really an amazing kid, and I'm so proud to call her mine!  
Since her birthday fell in a middle of the week, we celebrated a little early last weekend.  Since Cooper got to have his birthday party at Grandma & Papa Farm's house, naturally Delaney wanted her party at Grandma & Papa Tekamah's house!  It works out nice since it's close for everyone and both of the Grandma's have bigger houses!  Delaney LOVES to be in her PJs, so we went with a pajama party theme this year!  It was so fun!  Pretty much everyone played along and came in their best PJs.  I wish we would have taken some family photos though...
Since we had the same non-frosting issue at the party, I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided what better "cake" for a pajama party!  It was a total hit with everyone, especially the birthday girl, and was the easiest birthday cake ever!  
A close-up shot of the Donut Cake!  
I had made a birthday posted for Cooper's birthday, so Delaney needed one too!  This highlights Delaney in a nutshell at 5 years old!  I think it turned out pretty good considering there was far more free-hand on her sign compared to Cooper's!  She was pleased, and it is proudly displayed in her new room.  Yes, she decided about a month ago she was tired of listening to Cooper cry at night, so she has moved to the bedroom in basement!  We have gradually been tweaking it into a fun, Frozen-ish, room for her, and she has done so well with the transition!  I thought she was years away from being able to move downstairs, but she has proven me wrong!  She sleeps great, and loves having her own space again!  Such a big girl!

Out little peanut seems all grown up these days!  She is thoughtful, smart, funny, challenging, relentless, exhausting, happy, excited, curious, eager, sweet, kind, independent, loving, and so much  more!  The transition with Cooper was tough for her, but I think we are finally on the "other side" , and she's come a long way!   She's grown up so much here lately!  She is so excited to go to school next fall, and she is so ready!  She will be an excellent student!  Five seems so bittersweet for me, but I'm so proud of her and can't what to see what's next for her!  We love her more than words can say!  Our Delaney Jo is growing up whether we like it or not!  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 was a success!  We had many celebrations, saw lots of relatives, and survived!  Here are a few pictures and highlights!

We knew we would be traveling for Christmas, so we celebrated with the kids a few days early at home.  They each had 2 packages to open under the tree at home.  Of course, Delaney was less than impressed with her book and clothes.  This has been noted for reference next year!  
Here are the kids all dressed up before Christmas Eve Mass!  Church was a workout with the kids, but overall they behaved pretty well considering how close it was to normal dinner time!  
The annual family Christmas photo!  Notice all the packages under the tree...Grandma Tekamah went a little crazy!
Here are all the Bryant cousins on Christmas Eve!  Chase is 3.5 and Parker is almost 9 months.  He is bigger than his older cousin Cooper!  Next year will be a little nuts when these two join the other crazies running around!
Here are the Mencke cousins on Christmas Day!  Sydney is now in middle school and almost 12, Jaiden is 10, and Tyler just turned 9.  I can't believe how grown up they suddenly are!
A little collage I put together of some of the festivities!  
A big treat of the weekend was the First Annual "Friends that are Family" Bryant/Olson family dinner!  Everyone, but Chip and Lauren, were able to attend.  It was Nick M.'s idea, and I think an annual tradition has been born!  We will just have to rotate Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays to get everyone home at the same time!  The Olsons and the Bryants have been family for ever, and now that Jessica & Abby married the Mathistad brothers we are family!
Here are the kids with their great grandparents!  I never knew mine, so we try to take advantage of any time we can visit with them.  Grandpa is 90, and  Grandma is 87.  They are still living at home and doing well!
We have been home since Sunday, and I'm still in the process of putting away all of the new stuff!  SPOILED KIDS!  (And parents!)  We have started a big purging process.  Delaney is enjoying the thought of donating some of her things to another "little girl".  Out with the old, in with the new!  We had a great Christmas with all of our family full of lots of laughs, wonderful food, safe travels, and health!  So much to celebrate!  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cooper-12 months

Cooper's 12 month official stats:
Height:  29"  (15-16%)
Weight:  19lbs. 4oz. (22-23%
Head:  18.5"  (75-80%)

We had Cooper's 12 month doctor's visit on Monday, and he checked out pretty good.  He is growing and developing perfectly.  He put on weight, which was good since he was down just a bit before his eye surgery!   That would explain why the 9 month clothes are starting to get a little small.  We have started the transition to 12 months.  He's still wearing the size 3 diapers, and it seems like we'll be in that size for a while yet.  He has 5 teeth now...2 on bottom, and 3 on top,  that 4th one on the top could come through anytime (if it hasn't already).  

The only "bad" thing at the check up was we found Cooper was a little low on his hemoglobin count.  So, we have to start giving him Iron supplements for the next month and recheck it then.  We started this last night, it's a bit of a process to get 3 droppers down him, brush his death, rinse with water, and  chase it with orange juice.  Apparently the OJ helps the Iron absorption process.  We also have to hold off any milk or dairy product for an hour after the supplement dose.  Just another process to add to daily life!  We'll get it figured out.  

Cooper is a busy, crazy, ornery little boy these days!  He is into EVERYTHING!  He is so much more inquisitive, explorative, and curious than his sister was at this age.  It's just crazy!  He's very fast at getting around (and getting into trouble).  He has taken quite a few unassisted steps over the last few weeks.  We could have a full blown walker any day now.  Oh man, will that be fun?!?  He figured out how to crawl into Izzy's dog kennel this morning.  He found it very funny, as did Delaney.  

He seems to be eating like a horse these days.  He's made the transition over to whole milk and all table food.  He eats what we eat more time than not, and he gets really made if we don't give him what we're having.  His current favorites are bananas, blueberries, bread, yogurt, cheese, and crackers.  He has a serious sweet tooth, and loves pretty much anything of that nature.  He seems to prefer water to milk, which is the exact opposite of Delaney at his age.  He hasn't missed his bottle too much, and could care less about a drink at bedtime.  Those transitions have been pretty easy so far.  

He is all boy.  He loves cars, balls, being loud & crazy, smashing things together, beating things like a drum, climbing, etc.  He's a handful!  He also still enjoys an occasional snuggle, but these are more brief and infrequent all the time :(.  Delaney can get him to laugh and giggle with the simplest, crazy thing.  Daddy is is favorite for playing, and I still win the snuggle game.  He has a new found interest in Izzy, but Izzy pretty much wants nothing to do with him.  

I still can't believe we have a 1-year-old.  I look at him and see how he's grown and changed, but I'm still clinging to my little baby!  We love you baby boy no matter how big you get!  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dear Cooper

To my dearest little boy, I cannot believe you are a year old!  It seems like just yesterday you were born this tiny little Christmas baby, yet it's hard to remember a time you weren't here.  You have completed our family, and filled a hole we didn't even know was there.  You are a perfect fit!  

You stole our hearts the minute you were born, and you continue to have all of us wrapped around your little finger.  Your big sister was initially disappointed you were a little boy, but it didn't take long for you to cast your little spell and convince her that little brothers aren't so bad.  Now, she wouldn't trade you for the world, and you adore her!  You two are so similar, and so different in so many ways!  You are basically clones of each other in the looks department, but your personalities seems to be a little more different.   I can't wait for you to be able to talk to your sister. I have a feeling you're going to have a lot to say!  When you are apart (which is rare), you two miss each other terribly.  Sometimes at bedtime you too goofballs screw around in your room, and it just melts my heart.  I can't imagine what that situation will be like in the near future as your grow!  You two already have so much fun with each other, and I know this will only continue throughout your lives!  I hope you always cherish each other like you do now!  

You have recently discovered the big kid, funny guy that is your Daddy!  You love to play with him!  You were a little slow to warm up to Daddy, but now I think most times you prefer Dad to Mom!  Daddy loves to make you laugh, and you are an easy mark for him!  You find Daddy hilarious!  You follow him around the house...bedroom, kitchen, bathroom (ew!)...nothing is off limits!  I imagine this will continue for many, many years.  You look just like Daddy did when he was your age.  Daddy was, of course, a little bigger than you are, but all the features are his!  Your favorite game with Daddy is "hide-and-seek" with a blanket.  You also LOVE when Daddy gives you a bath!  Daddy and you have some epic tickle fests.  I think it will be so much fun to watch you grow and rough-house with Daddy!  You two are headed for so many great father-son moments!  I can't wait to watch!  Daddy would never admit how much he wanted a little boy, but I know deep down in his heart he is chomping at the bit to teach you so many things!  

Oh, Cooper, you have stolen Mommy's heart.  You have me right where you want me.  You are a pure joy, and aside from the lack of sleep, I wouldn't have traded a minute of this last year with you!  You still come to Mommy when you need a snuggle or something isn't quite right.  You still enjoy a good rocking session if the moment strikes, and you still like to accompany me with my many one-handed tasks!  You seem to have inherited one thing from sweet tooth!  Sorry kid, but I'm so excited to share so many treats with you!  I always wanted a little boy, and you, son, are more than I could have ever asked for!  I have so many dreams and aspirations for you!  I can't wait to watch you grow up, but I'm hanging onto these early, baby times for dear life! Don't grow up too fast, Cooper!  

Like I said, you are perfect fit for our little family!  You have given us so much joy, laughter, and love over the last year!  You have a BIG personality in that little body, and we can't wait to see what unfolds for you!  We love you to the moon and back!  

All these pictures were taken at the Nebraska State Capital by Cori Johnson with Fresh Photography!  I will share a few more soon!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cooper's First Birthday Party

This not to little man will be 1 year old tomorrow!  I cannot believe it's already been a year, yet it's hard to remember life before Cooper!  We celebrated a little early over this past weekend.  We wanted all of our "immediate" family there, so we graciously accepted Grandma and Papa Farm's offer to host the party for us.  This meant that Cooper's only great grandparents could attend, and it cut the travel time in half for Aunt Jess & Uncle Nick!  We were so excited that everyone was able to come, and the weather in Nebraska (and Iowa) in December cooperated enough for everyone to come and make it back home safely!  I wanted to make Cooper's big day special but low key, so a family affair worked out perfectly.  The "theme" was a Charlie Brown Christmas.  I figured it's the holiday season, so we might as well embrace it.  Cooper is a bit of a peanut anyway, his first 2 initials are C.B., and he has a beagle for a dog.  I thought it was a perfect theme!  Little did I know that "Peanuts" inspired party supplies don't really exist right now.  We did the best we could, so the theme was a little more subtle than it started in my head!
I decided I needed to make Cooper something for his birthday party, so I make this memory board for him.  I followed a couple Pinterest tutorials, and I'm really proud of how it turned out.  It's the perfect little momento from this time in Cooper's life!  

I hung all of Cooper's monthly pictures up on  Grandma's mantle.  I didn't think he'd really grown all that much until I saw all the photos lined up!  He has grown, and so has his crazy hair!  
Isn't this just adorable!  A super talented baker from our hometown made this perfect little cake!  It was sooo delicious!  The cake was a fudge marble cake with fudge filling!  Cooper's little smash cake was white with buttercream filling.  
As you can see, Cooper got one thing from sweet tooth!  The kid LOVES sweets, and the cake was no exception.  It didn't take him long to dig right in.  He went directly in the bath following the cake eating!
Cooper was royally spoiled by all his relatives!  He got some super fun new toys that are much more "boy" friendly!  I did notice; however, that every single one of them makes noise...
Cooper had a lot of help from all his cousins and big sister testing out his new boys.  We are all working on sharing!  
He tried each of them out, and so far he really seems to enjoy all of them.  He's a busy little guy, so some new things to play with are perfect for him!  
Cooper had a lot of fun playing with all his family.  I didn't snap as many family pictures as I intended, but here's a couple.  I thought this one of him playing with Papa Tekamah and the red balloon was cute!  
Cooper has recently became very attached to Grandma Tekamah. When Grandma was holding cousin Parker, Cooper got very jealous and weaseled his way onto Grandma's lap.  She had her hands full for a little while!   

It was the perfect way to celebrate our little man!  I couldn't have asked for anything more!  We will have just a small little celebration tomorrow night at home just the four of us, and we'll take come treats to share with all of Cooper's friends at Holly's tomorrow. The birthday week continues...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cooper-11 months

Cooper turned 11 month old this week!  Here he is with his crazy hair!  I can't believe we are now less than a month from his first birthday!  Time escapes me on a daily basis, but this last year (as long and exhausting as it's been) has absolutely flown by!  The little man has changed quite a bit in the last month.  He's weighing in at 18 lbs 9 oz.  I'm not sure how long/tall he is, I should measure that!  He's still wearing 9 month size clothes and size 3 diapers.  He's still working on more teeth, as he still only has the bottom 2 in.  The doctor says all 4 on top are bulging and ready to pop through any time.

Cooper is standing more than sitting it seems like these days.  He is constantly pulling up on furniture, toys, even walls.  He cruises around furniture almost running.  He's crazy!  He still takes some crazy falls when he gets a little too ambitious, but he seems like a tough kid as most of the falls don't hardly phase him.  We have even caught him standing unassisted a few times here in the last week, so I'm betting we have a walker by the time his birthday rolls around!

Cooper has had some major diet changes in the last month.  We started formula a month ago.  I was really hoping to make it to a year nursing, but between me being sick for about 6 weeks straight and Cooper not really caring too much it just didn't work out.  He has adjusted fine to the formula, so that is a blessing.  He has also decided he's done with baby food...all cereal, purees, etc. have been completely boycotted for a few weeks now.  He wants the real food, and he devours it.  He seems like like most things we've given him.  Bananas are a complete favorite right now. He'll eat a whole banana if we let him.  He also gets really mad if one of us are eating anything and don't share with him.  He's at that little birdie stage that will crawl over, stand up, and open his mouth for a bite like a little bird!

He's a mischievous little man.  He is constantly getting into things he shouldn't, and he gets the naughtiest little grin on his face when scolded.  He loves to play, and he loves people.  He'll play on his own if you're in the same room as him, but if you're not he'll follow you wherever you go...the kitchen, the bathroom, doesn't matter!  He's become particularly interested in what Daddy's up to lately.  He's on the verge of dancing, which I'm anxiously awaiting, as he'll start bouncing a little and shaking when he hears a tune he likes.  I can't want for a Delaney & Cooper dance party!

Cooper has graduated to "big boy" baths this month.  He now sits on his own and plays with his toys in the water.  He LOVES bathtime!  If the water starts, he makes a beeline for the bathroom.  If it's Delaney's turn and he has to wait, he stands on the side of the tub whining to get in.  They have even started bathing together which they have both really enjoyed.  I'm sure this won't be practical or appropriate for very long, but for now it's fun!

Next week, Cooper is going to have a outpatient surgery to open up his tear ducts that have been clogged since birth.  We were hopeful that they'd open on their own, but they haven't and they have gotten more and more irritated as time has passed.  It's a minor 10-minute procedure, but he does have to have anesthesia.  Obviously, I'm worried about this, and already losing a little sleep.  I keep trying to give myself some perceptiveness that we could be facing something far worse than a 10 minute outpatient procedure, and this is "no big deal" in the grand scheme of things...easier said that done.  I'm sure those 10 minutes (or however long he's "away" from us next week) will be some of the longest minutes of my life, I'm not looking forward to it.  I am looking forward to not having to rub and clean his eyes off multiple times a day.  He has really started to hate it, so I won't miss that little battle.  So, say a prayer for our little man for a quick, safe, and successful surgery next Thusday, and say a little prayer for this worried Momma!

We are counting down until Cooper's birthday party!  We are going to celebrate with the entire family at Grandpa & Papa Farm's House, so that's definitely something we are all looking forward to!

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed