Dec 30, 2011

my little...teenager?

Me: Was that banana yummy?
C: Yes.
Me: Where is the peel?
C: (points to floor) Right there.
Me: Can you go put it in the trash?
C: (stares at me for a moment) I can't.
Me: Oh yes, you can.
C: You can do it, Mommy.

Really? We're here already? Arguing with Mommy? At least she did eventually throw away the banana peel. (I have to say, I enjoy our conversations about going to visit Belle so much more.)

the past few weeks in instagram

Oh man, do I love instagram. It's way too easy and way too fun. (You can follow me over there @jessicakcooper if you feel so inclined.)

This easel might be C's favorite Christmas present. 

Her masterpiece (with a little help from Daddy)

holiday hangover

It's way more fun to fold laundry with a princess drummer.

Christmas morning, checking out her new dollhouse

one of my favorite pictures of my girl

and another of my favs

coloring (obviously, one of her favorite pastimes)

linking up here!

Dec 29, 2011

the haircut that wasn't

Cara's hair has always been unusual.  I don't mean this in a negative way at all; it was gorgeous the moment she was born.  So gorgeous and thick and perfect that the nurses kept tying little yarn bows in it.

2 days old :-)

People have always commented on how much hair she has or how long it is or how wavy and thick it is, but I didn't realize just how rare this much hair really is until I was around more babies.  It's a pretty unique feature, but one that suits her well.  It's almost like Cara's hair has become part of her personality.

4ish months

6ish months

7 or 8 months old

Cara had two haircuts before her first birthday because she was rocking out a baby mullet.  It was not really a big deal because my dad's wife owns a salon in town, and Kaz didn't mind bringing her special scissors over to our house.  However, it's easily been 18 months since Cara's last haircut.  It's still long and thick and wavy and beautiful, but it's also starting to look a little scraggly.

wild toddler this morning


Just a little trim, that's all I wanted.  I made an appointment to take Cara to Kaz's salon like a big girl, and I talked to her about how Kaz was going to give her a haircut and make her hair look so beautiful.  And it's not like I don't mess with this child's hair on a pretty regular basis.  I have even broken out the curling iron on occasion, and Cara is fine with it as long as I put a towel over her shoulders so that she doesn't feel her hair get warm.  So, it surprised me quite a bit that Cara totally balked when I tried to put her in Kaz's chair.  She was terrified and there was no talking her off the ledge.  We tried letting her sit in my lap, letting her brush her own hair, offering her a dollar, but she was having none of it.  (Except the dollar.  She took that.)

So, we left with no haircut.  And the whole way home, all I heard from the backseat was how scary Kaz's hairbrush was.

Dec 28, 2011

30 weeks

Top: Old Navy; Jeans: borrowed; Boots: DSW; Super Cool Ring That You Can't Really See: gift from my MIL
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy!

Am I in my last trimester yet?  I feel like these pictures are a bit misleading (I think it's the skinny jeans) because I look much bigger than this in person, but I'll take it!  Honestly, I haven't seen a picture of myself in, oh, 7ish months, that made me feel even remotely small, so this seems like an after Christmas miracle.

With only 10 weeks or so left, I'm beginning to feel like it's time for things to starting coming together, like a nursery and a name.  I think the hubs and I have finally agreed on how we are going to house these children (in the same room temporarily) and begun a list of things we need like: a carseat, another crib, and a wrap or baby carrier.  I gave away our big carseat/stroller/travel system thing to a student who really needed it last summer, but we have been using a Combi stroller for Cara since then, and I think all of their infant carseats and strollers are supposed to be compatible.  Obviously, I need to do a little more research on this one before we buy.  We found a basic crib that we like at IKEA, and since Cara is still sleeping in her crib-turned-toddler-bed quite comfortably, we figured that it would be best to go ahead and get another one. 

The thing I'm really interested in is a comfortable baby carrier or wrap.  Right now, I am picturing wearing the baby boy so that I will have some free hands for the toddler girl.  She's close to being so over her stroller, but maybe I can convince her to ride for a little while longer.  I've heard lots of praise for the Moby wrap, except that it's really long and could be difficult or time consuming to use.  Anyone have any good recommendations for a wrap or suggestions for managing two kiddos in public places?

The name thing is still a big up in the air, although we have narrowed the choices down a bit more.  I've been calling him King Charles (my maiden name and my hubby's first name), but I don't think we're going actually go there.  How mean would that be?  Maybe we'll just wait until we meet him to really decide on his name.  We'll just ask him what he thinks. :-)

Dec 27, 2011

it was a very merry Christmas

Christmas Eve at Grandmama Ruby's house

so excited about her new princess scooter from Grandaddy

Christmas morning with her new dollhouse

with her cousin Brooklyn in their new princess dress up clothes, all made by Grandmama

Christmas was truly magical for Cara, and we owe most of that to our wonderful, generous family.  We are blessed beyond anything we could imagine.  I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!

Dec 21, 2011

through the eyes of a child

The Christmas season has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  I like the preparation, the music, the candles, the lights, the warm fires, the whole package just gives me the warm fuzzies.  My childhood Christmases were full of family and traditions, and I cherish those memories, but as an adult, the Christmas season is...different.  Trying to hang on to traditions as families grow and change can become almost stressful, and making decisions about how to create traditions and warm memories for my own family can be a little daunting (and the Santa thing is only a small piece of that).  I feel like I lost a little of the magic and awe of Christmas for a few years.  I became consumed by logistics and lists and traveling and schedules and...and...and...

However, this year, Cara gets it.  She knows who Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus are, and she also knows who Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa are.  She sings the songs.  She points out the lights decorating the houses with such joy and excitement that it's simply contagious.  Her delight at seeing our Christmas tree through the window when we pull into our driveway brings back that magic for me too.  I want to point out all of the Christmas magic I can for her because it's all new again.  I had forgotten how truly wonderful this season of celebration is, and it took my two-year-old's innocence and joy to remind me.

Dec 16, 2011

this week in instagram

Oh, I love them

and I love rick rack.

happy toddler

hiding kitty

Someone's mesmerized by Curious George...

I blame it on the pumpkin bread and that it was the last day of school for two whole weeks.

Didn't I just say that my feet and ankles were a little less swollen?  Just call me a liar.

Dec 13, 2011

28 weeks

So, I skipped a few weeks again, mostly because A) my hubby has been super busy with work and I need his camera skillz and B) I didn't have a lot of nice things to say about being pregnant.  I have been a bit miserable for the past few weeks, with a ridiculously large belly, lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions, leg cramps, and not-sleeping-through-the-night-ness.  I would have just complained, and who really wants to hear all that anyway?  However, this will be a positive post, I promise!

And so, here I am at 28 weeks, all dressed for work and such, trying to be smiley:

Can I take a minute to discuss the sheer size of that belly?  What the crap??  And I am really supposed to be pregnant for THREE MORE MONTHS.  Let that sink in a moment. 

After digging around in my brain for possible explanations for what seems to me to be an unusually large belly, I have considered that I might have gestational diabetes, but hopefully, this will be ruled out next week when I go in for my glucose test.  Perhaps this baby is positioned differently than Cara was.  (I think this is the real explanation.)  Cara was pretty far back, and I had the sciatic nerve pain to prove it.  The doctors were all like "don't worry, this baby is only 6, maybe 7 pounds" and then she was 8.  The nurse said that she must have been hiding in there.  Maybe this baby bear is more in the front, which would also account for the insane gymnastics he performs all. the. time.  Or, maybe I have an Edward-and-Bella-style vampire baby growing away in there, except that would mean that PJ is a vampire, and I think I would have noticed that by now...

A few wonderful things happened this week.  I got a lovely package in the mail from Old Navy with some new maternity clothes!  WooHoo!  I caught a good deal on a few sweaters from Gap (see above), and I now have some new pants to replace the ones I am outgrowing.  Score!  It also occurred to me that my discomfort of the last few weeks might be due to not drinking enough water, so I upped my intake in a big way.  We now have fewer contractions, no leg cramps, slightly less swollen feet and legs, and clear skin (finally!!!!).  Who knew?

Dec 12, 2011

a little Christmas sewing

I hate that it has taken me this long to post about Cara's Christmas outfits because that means that she has already worn them and spilled juice on them.  But that's okay.  I tell myself over and over that I make cute outfits for her to have fun in, not to sit still in.  Besides, have you ever tried to make a two-year-old sit still?  Near to impossible.  Fortunately, we have lots of stain spray and an iron in frequent rotation over here.

the perfect outfit for Cara's school Christmas performance thing on Saturday:

That's an ornament, in case you couldn't tell. :-)

I am addicted to making these skirts (yes, yes, and yes).  I love that they are super quick, forgiving, and the most perfect showcase for adorable fabric ever.  Those owls kill me.

the perfect dress for Christmas anything:

I know that *technically* I've already shown you this dress, but here it is again because it's so darn cute.  And so is this girl:

Why does she look like such a big girl?

I keep thinking that it's probably time I try some more advanced patterns because I tend to make the same two or three simple things over and over, but I like that simple designs leave lots of room for embellishment.  However, I'm not really learning anything new, and Cara's closet is full of sweet dresses and market skirts.  Okay, fine.  For my next dress, I promise to branch out a little.  You've convinced me.

Dec 9, 2011

this week in instagram

working on her model poses

so cheesy

there is nothing more fun than an empty box

this was a pic just for daddy so that he could see what Cara was up while he was gone

 fancy hair

My hubby is home!  My hubby is home!
He's been traveling a good bit for the past two weeks, and boy have I missed him!

*linking up here and here*

Dec 5, 2011

a week (or so) in one post

Time for an update, maybe?  December is always a busy month for me, between Christmas activities and winding down the semester.  And sewing, lots and lots of sewing.  So, you'll have to excuse my lack of updates.  We've just been busy! 

Guess who's potty-trained (mostly)??  Oh heck yeah, it's baby Cara.  I really stressed about this one, but lo and behold, that girl pretty much did it herself.  She decided it was about time, so we obliged.  Remembering to get her to sit on the potty every hour or two has been a little exhausting, but the process happened so quickly and she was so proud of herself that it was all okay.  She's had quite a few accident-free days, and we couldn't be more thrilled with how this one turned out.  Pretty much everything with Cara has been relatively easy (taking away the paci, giving up bottles, transitioning from crib to big girl bed, etc.); I have always worried more than necessary, and she has always been like, "Mom, chill.  I got this."  Does that mean the second one is going to give me a run for my money?

We've been doing Christmas all over the place.  We put up the tree, I wrapped a few presents, and I made Christmas outfits for my child.  Because obviously she needs more than one Christmas outfit.

I can't help but laugh.

Our adorable little town had a Christmasville festival/celebration/whatever this weekend, complete with a parade, a ferris wheel, ponies, and little kid train rides.  One thing I have to commend my little town on is its free family fun.  It seems like there is almost always something to take the kids to that doesn't cost anything.  We celebrate every season!  For free!

parade watching

Christmas dancing watching

and no Christmas festival is complete without a Rapunzel sighting

And, in case you are wondering, I'm still pregnant.  I like heating pads, brownies, and XXL t-shirts.  I'm sure my husband wishes I would stop whining and shave my legs.  He's gonna have to wait on the whining.  I might consider shaving my legs sometime soon.

Nov 26, 2011

give thanks, #5

I love Thanksgiving so much.  There's tons of delicious food, lots of family time, and no pressure to give presents. (not that I don't love presents, but getting everything ready for Christmas can be a little stressful!)  I like taking the time to deliberately stop and count my blessings.  Here are a few:

I am so thankful for my brother.  He is deploying with the National Guard right after the new year, and he was the catalyst for getting my whole family together for a holiday.  He has become such a mature, honorable, all-around good person, and I can't express how proud I am of him. 

I am thankful for my sister and her sweet little ones.  She drove four hours to visit us for Thanksgiving, which is quite an undertaking with three children six and under.  We don't get to see each other much because of the distance, and I was thrilled to spend some time with my nieces and nephew.  My house was full of children.

little girls in matching dresses
Cara and her favorite playmate, Brooklyn

I am so thankful for my mama, who helped me organize and cook, who cleaned when I was exhausted, who braved the crowds on Black Friday to help me find the perfect Christmas present for my hubby, who babysat so that PJ and I could go see Breaking Dawn (which we loved).

thanks, Grandmama!

I am so thankful that Bitsy came to visit today and went with us to IKEA.  She was there to celebrate Cara's first public excursion in big girl panties!  With no accidents!!  Hooray!!

yay for my big girl!
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