Tuesday, December 29, 2009

3 Christmases

Not quite the movie with Vince Vaughn & Reece Witherspoon, but our family celebrated Christmas on three different days in order to be with our families.

On December 18th, we went over to Ben's parent's house for our first Christmas celebration.  Ben & I decided that this was the "quiet Christmas". 

Don't even ask how long it took me to load up the car to head to Missouri for the week!  Not only did I have to pack all of Kaden's necessitites but ALL of the Christmas gifts for everyone.  By the time it came to packing things for me, I was past the point of caring and my belongings became an afterthought.  As it turned out, I forgot my winter coat (luckily Ben brought it when he flew in).

Kaden did great on the 12.5 hour car trip, but gone are the days of my world-record setting pace.  Our first stop was to California, Missouri to see Grandpa Cook (or is it great-grandpa Cook?) and dad (or is he the new Grandpa Cook?) 
Anyway, we ended up spending a few nights before visiting Kyle and doing the annual Saturday-before-Christmas-shopping-marathon with dad.  Kaden was a trooper.
Kyle also saved us all by "flying" Kaden through Sam's on our last stop.
For the next few days, we spent some time back in Warrenton, Missouri with mom (grandma?).  One the 24th we celebrated our 2nd Christmas, which was considerably louder than the first. 
I didn't take too many pictures on my camera but enjoyed this one of the psychadelic tree...
Christmas morning
Ben & Kaden loaded into the Prius, while I got into Kyle's Saturn to make the drive [back] to California.  I always have fun with Kyle, but the drive to California was "typical Kyle".  He neglected to mention that his car didn't have heat until I was buckling in.  The further we drove, the colder it seemed to get.  By the time we pulled into grandpa's driveway, I had layered on Kyle's clothes from his suitcase and we were doing exercises in our seats in order to get the blood moving.  Again, always a good story when you're with Kyle.
Of all of the new people to meet at the LOUD Christmas with the Cooks, Kaden seemed the most at ease with my cousin, Daniel.  We thought it was because they had the same haircut.
Christmas 2009


My good friend, Heather, is letting me borrow Danni's exersaucer since she has outgrown it.  I continue to be amazed at how much Kaden changes from week to week. Just two weeks ago he was too small & unstable to sit in it without assistance but now he likes to sit in it and play for about 10 minutes at a time.

As Kyle constantly marvels, "What is he thinking...?"
I often find myself asking the exact same question.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Lookin' Men

On Sunday we attended the Boys Ranch Christmas Cantata. 
Ben had to be there and I just wanted to tag along; I wanted to do something as a family & I desperately needed to get out of the house.  It also gave me a good excuse to put on some makeup, get out of my (Ben's) sweatshirts and put on some real clothes.

Overall, Kaden was a trooper.  He was quiet for the most part, especially while everyone was mingling and trying to find a seat.  He started getting restless about the time the lights dimmed.
I didn't want to be "that mom" with the agitated/wailing kid in church, therefore we did a lot of swaying & pacing the halls outside the sanctuary.  In the end, I couldn't really tell you what happened during the production BUT I made a few new friends- other parents of tiny children who were in the same situation. 
It was a good night.

Monday, November 30, 2009

SNOW in the Texas panhandle!

I can't count the number of times I've heard weather forecasters say to "watch out for snow" and then... nothing. 
This fall there had already been a few of these instances in which I rolled my eyes and didn't count on seeing anything.  During the holiday I hadn't checked the weather so I was plesantly surprised to awake to flurries on Sunday morning.  An hour later GIANT flakes were streaming down, and the peaceful snow kept on coming for several more hours...
Ben, Kaden and I headed back over to Shanny & David's house for a few more family photos with Dorothy's snowman.  It was a lot of fun to see Kaden's reaction to the cold & snow.  There's a FANTASTIC picture of the entire Dow clan, but it was taken on Dorothy's camera.  Stay tuned...

Kaden's first snow!

He clearly seems happy in his oversized Patagonia fleece from aunie D.

The tongue comes out when Kaden is really happy.

Later I curled up to a new book with Kaden drifting in & out of sleep on my lap. In my opinion, he was born at the perfect time- right in time for cold weather. Good thing we both like to cuddle.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Floor

We started another home-improvement project about a month ago when Ben & I decided to replace carpet in the den (a.k.a. previous garage). For a while it just looked chaotic down there with furniture strewn about a bare concrete floor. I knew I didn't want carpet down there again & talked to several people about putting in tile, but the surface wasn't completely even, and we were a little apprehensive about doing it ourselves... not to mention working this project into our new budget.  Ben finally came up with the idea of Kemiko's concrete stain.

After cleaning, scrubbing, and two coats of spraying stain.

After a few more moppings, Ben had to seal the floor.  It became pretty toxic in here and THIS is when Kaden & I had to leave the house for several hours. 

Schatzi looking depressed.  We told her so many times to "stay away" that she STILL hasn't been on the new floor.

When we were working on the den (two weekends), ALL of the furniture was moved in the living room.  It's amazing at how much bigger our house seems now that everything is back in order.  I'm suddenly less stressed now the house is back to normal.

The NEW floor!

 * For the record, I really only helped move furniture & keep Kaden occupied while Ben did all of the work.  :)

Stages of Milk Drunkenness

Every time Kaden eats "dinner" he completely zones out for a while afterwards and is unresponsive for several minutes.  I've read about "milk drunkenness" but you can decide for yourself.

Immediately after eating

Eyes slowly starting to open & tongue hanging out.

Looking slightly more alert.

Finally back to his happy self.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long Drive From Missouri

This week mom (a.k.a. grandma Cook) drove all the way from Warrenton, Missouri to Amarillo, Texas to spend a few days with us.  I actually got to run errands and teach my classes without toting Kaden around with me. 

Sleeping while I taught my morning class at the gym.

Hanging out on the couch.

Waving good-bye.

Friday, October 30, 2009

End of October

We got this Halloween costume several months ago from a friend.  It's a shame it isn't a TIGER costume, but I'm not going to complain since it was free.  I couldn't resist pulling it out of the closet and putting it on him the other night.  Schatzi was so intrigued as to what exactly I was doing and couldn't stay away.  I laid Kaden on the couch to take a picture & Schatzi hopped up there next to him.  Believe it or not, this photo wasn't posed.  All I had to say was, "NO licking!" and she laid her head down.  Schatzi has really been amazing with the baby and all of the adjustments.

Kaden in his little man outfit. 

Kaden and I drove out to Boys Ranch the other day to bring Ben lunch.  Of the numerous times I've made this drive over the last 8 years, I had never actually seen the mesa "float".  Today was the closest I've come.  For all of you who have never experienced the Amarillo area & Stanley Marsh's quirkiness (i.e. Cadillac Ranch, the infamous signs posted around town) you need to make the trip out west and see for yourself. 
This is the "floating mesa".

better than an electric blanket

Tanya, me, and Malee before the BodyJAM #50 launch @ the Amarillo Town Club.  Everyone is wearing pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  I thought getting back in to the swing of working out would be a lot easier- after all, I no longer have an 8 lb. baby inside me.  Let's just say that things are a little different than they were a year ago.  There's a lot more planning involved and a lot more protection needed.  I hear things will get better with time.  Fingers are crossed!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nap Time

It took about 20 minutes of me rocking & swaying to get Kaden to sleep, all while thinking of the glorious nap I was going to take...

 As soon as I set him down, he was wide-eyed and all smiles.

I'm also afraid he's going to have to graduate to his crib as he's almost too long for the bassinet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Jungle

At my Amarillo baby shower I received a "rainforest gym" from the 2nd grade teachers at Sundown Lane.  Since Kaden has been looking around more & noticing his surroundings, I decided to pull it out and see what he thought of it.  Who needs cable TV when you have a jungle rainforest gym? 

I think that Schatzi had the most fun of all.  She was so curious- wanting to get on the mat and lick Kaden.

I LOVE this picture with the matching dimples!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy week!

Our life is usually pretty quiet, but this week we had several visitors come through town. Aunt Mary & Doug drove all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona to meet sir Kaden and spend a few days in the cold Amarillo weather.  This spring we just might have to have to take a road trip to the desert to see them.  I love my road trips and thus far Kaden has been an awesome travel companion. 

During that time dad also came through town again on Thursday afternoon when the weather was too cool & rainy to work. 

I'm pretty sure that Schatzi is in love with dad since he treats her like a lap dog and even lets her sleep with him in the bed at night.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First REAL bath... in the tub

We've been giving Kaden his baths in the bathroom sink, but he has gotten a lot bigger & longer.  Today I decided it would be fun to give him a bath in the BIG tub.  He seemed to like it. 

And yes, I am well aware that someday he will be mortified that I posted these photos online for everyone's viewing pleasure.  :)

the "chunky monkey"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Surprise Visit

Three years ago, after retiring from teaching high school agriculture for 30 years, dad decided to set out on an adventure… in the form of driving a truck for a custom harvest crew. AND for the past two years, he’s been asked to come back to help for a couple of weeks in the fall. That place he’s been asked to come back to is Hartley, Texas.  Hartley just so happens to be less than an hour from Amarillo!  It's a small world after all.

On Saturday morning the weather was cool & drizzly.  Dad had the afternoon off and decided to surprise us with a visit. 

What a good looking grandpa!

Schatzi wanting attention...

... and thinking she's a lap dog.

some male bonding during the Cowboy's game