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...

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