Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cooper: 9 Months

Still the happiest guy around!
Height & Weight
Height - 29.5" (75th percentile)
Weight - 20lbs. 11oz. (between 50 & 75th percentile)
Head -  48cm (off the charts! love his cute little giant noggin!)

This is a face we see a lot right now. I think it has something to do with his top teeth coming in!
Eating -Pickiest.eater.ever. He has some crazy tactile responses to food. If I had to leave instructions for someone else to feed him it would sound absolutely crazy. "Baby food first, then he will refuse to eat any more but still scream at you, give him something crunchy (apparently he plans to live on crackers, but not Cheerios because, whoa, they are apparently poison), when he starts yelling at you again, try more baby food, no?, ok, drink of water, yes?, ok, more crunchy...". You see where I am going with this. And heaven forbid you give him avocado, banana, macaroni, etc. He can eat Goldfish like they are nothing but the aforementioned list makes him gag...that is if you can even get him to open his mouth for it. Sigh...
Deciding whether bagel is even remotely an option (verdict...no way).
He takes his bottles like a champ. On average 4, 6oz. bottles daily. But, when he's done, he's done. Such a stinker!
The boy does love his pizza crusts!
Sleeping (naps) - Business as usual here. Rocking two solid naps. One between 8:30 & 9:30am (lasts about 2 hours) and one in the afternoon sometime between 1 & 2 (another 2 hours).
Oh, hey there!
Sleeping (night) - No real change here either. Coop goes down for the night at 7 and wakes sometime around 4am for a 6oz. bottle and then back to sleep until 7am. He has surprised us by sleeping through the night twice this month. All the more reason to just drop that bottle...need to muster up some strength to let my happy boy cry a bit :-(.
I rarely actually get to see him asleep since he refuses to be rocked to sleep. Such a sweet little guy!
Clothing - Definitely out of 6 month clothes and pushing the limits on 6-9 month clothes. He is officially wearing clothes Noah wore at 1+. One thing we have a little trouble with is his giant noggin. Shirts that go over his head are a bit tough to get on/off! 
Coopie on the left, Noah on the right (Noah was only 7 months old so not an exact age comparison).
New this month - Nothing super remarkable but he does crawl super fast now, can pull up if he is super motivated, and loves to stand and play!
Here I come!!!
Look at me!
Cooper Likes - Mom. He has turned into such a Mama's boy. He gives the most amazing little snuggles and the moment I sit down on the floor he crawls into my lap and burrows his head in my stomach. When he is tired, he lays his head on my shoulder and it is absolutely heart melting. 
He really liked Disney on Ice!
Cooper Dislikes - When can Cooper start taking Greens?! Poor kid got croup, AGAIN!!!! He woke up from an afternoon nap with stridor so I high tailed it to the Urgent Care. Steroids + breathing treatment and a quick run by the ER (unnecessary trip in the end as by the time we got out of the waiting room the Dr discharged us)and he was on the mend. The breathing treatment was his first and hopefully his last. I don't think it did anything remarkable that the steroids don't do so I think I will pass next time if possible. He HATES to have his face touched so holding a mask on him for 10 minutes was agonizing for all of us. Fortunately we are all happy and healthy again!
over.it. Me, too, little buddy!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Adventures

Hi! Just thought a cute baby might be a good intro!
I thought it might be worthwhile to do a little (ha, if you know me you know that "little" and my blog post lengths are not synonymous) post about my new adventure I have taken on and how/why I reached the decision to join ItWorks. 
Check. Check. and there will be a GIANT check on the last one!
Let's go back to about this time last year...I started seeing posts pop up in my newsfeed of people's mid sections and a ton of before & after photos. These posts were coming from old high school friends I had lost touch with for the most part (with the exception of social media) and I just scrolled on by. But, the posts kept coming, they kept telling the world about different products, and the money they were starting to make. 
Many posts like these!
I'll be honest. There were plenty of not-so-nice sentences to come out of my mouth:

"These posts are so annoying!!" (it took me .1 seconds to scroll past...not really such an inconvenience)

"Oh, wow, diamond, ruby, emerald, seriously?!"(is it so different than assistant, manager, VP? why did I let this bother me?!)

"They know this is water weight, right?" (wrong. it isn't. you are encouraged to drink extra water while wrapping.)

"How tacky to talk about money online?" (maybe it is, but it sure is motivating. it made me want to join in!)

We swear by our greens at our house!
"These people are clearly tied up in a pyramid scheme" (I should have googled what a pyramid scheme actually is. This is a multi level marketing company that allows you to make money through a very legitimate and smart business model)

BUT, I was buying the product! I was actually using and loving the products they were selling but still being catty about it. Maybe it was because I wanted to join in but was too nervous? I don't know, but I kept watching. I watched as my acquaintances took this business by storm. I felt envious of their bonuses! I thought about taking the leap and joining in, but then I chickened out. I had a million excuses:

"I am not a sales person" (I did PR and advertising for 7 years. I also simply talk to people in my day to day life! No need to be a sales person, just a need to believe in the products and be willing to tell others.)

"My circle of friends is so spread out, I won't be successful" (Even better! New markets are amazing. And I have friends who are very influential in their circles. I wasn't looking at the bigger picture.)

"No one will want to do this with me" (Why not, do people not like money?!) 

"I don't want to annoy people" (Again, they can scroll on by...but guess what, they are watching, just like I was for a YEAR!!!)

"I am trying to spend less time on social media, not more" (I really don't spend any more time than before. I do it when my kids are napping or asleep. It is my schedule!)

"I don't need the money" (See below. But, really?!?!?!)

Some of the above are comical! Who doesn't "need" money? I mean, really, extra money isn't something anyone ever declines, right?! But, I added that to my list and kept watching.

And watching...
Yep, these numbers are legit!
And watching...

Finally, Scott gave me the push I needed. He made the statement, "what do we have to lose?". And he was right. I could keep piling up the excuses, but why not just try? If it didn't work out, we quit. No big deal. Except, it could be a really big deal if we succeed. 

So, we made the call to Lauren. I expressed a lot of my concerns that I listed above. And she helped me feel so much more at ease. She reminded me that people post stuff on Facebook all the time that I don't care about (i.e.-What Saved by the Bell character would you be?!). She educated me on the products, payment structure, company history, and opportunity at hand. By the end of that call I was excited. Nervous, but excited. So we dove in. 
This was a pretty good motivator to join! And you can get in on this action too!
And that brings us to now. I am still navigating how I want to run my business. Because, at the end of the day, that is what I have learned. This is my business. I have a wonderful support team and so many wonderful tools at my disposal to make this successful, but I get to choose how I want to run it. I don't have to post anything on social media if I don't want. So I am making my own goals, rules, and game plan. A few things on my list:

Double my investment this year. This should be something I can do in my sleep. But, it is a goal nonetheless. There is so much opportunity and I intend to seize it! And let's be honest, I hope this is a goal I am laughing at in a year! 

No posts on Instagram. As I said, I get to run this my way. I like sharing pictures of my family and links to my blog on Facebook. And I also think it is a fantastic tool for building my business. BUT, Instagram is a very personal thing to me. I post a lot more pictures of my family, keep my account private, and feel very protective over it. Everyone I am friends with on Instagram, I am friends with on Facebook, or wouldn't mind sending a quick email to about ItWorks! So I have decided that my Instagram feed will remain my "personal" space...separate from my business. This is my personal choice...many of my team members utilize Instagram for their business and I know they see success there...but, again, we get to make our own rules!

Educate. This is what I failed to do for myself and something I want to offer to my friends and family. I want them to understand this business. Know that we use, love and believe in the products. Know that they could be successful in this too! I want to be transparent about what I'm doing and how it works. The company wants me to do this, too. So I am trying to take my message away from just status updates and make sure that I am reaching out to people to help them understand the life changer this can be from a health and financial standpoint. 

I know, it sounds like I have been "drinking the kool-aid". But, as soon as I dove in, I got what all the "hoo-rah" was about. There is a lot to be excited about here. I didn't think I would like having a "job" again. But, I actually feel empowered. It is nice to feel like I am contributing to the family. It will be amazing when we hop on a plane for a family vacation we weren't expecting to take because of something I did...on my own time, with my own schedule, in my own home, on my terms. I haven't had to sacrifice time with my kids, and in fact, I have found myself more on top of everything on my to-do list since joining the company. I feel motivated to sit down and tackle my personal list and my business. 

Ok, this is not short...it never is with me. I have a lot to say about this company and I haven't even really started in on the products. But, I'll save that for another time. Rest assured, this space will first and foremost remain a place for me to chronicle my kids and family life. It won't turn into my personal business page. But, this is a part of our life now so it will be shared as well! 
I mean, sign me up! Our Hair, Skin, & Nails arrives this week and I can't wait to get started growing my hair back out!

If you want to learn more, feel free to email me or check out my page www.stephrwraps.com!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Noah: Ch Ch Ch Changes!

As promised (and in record time), a post about my favorite three year old! 
This Guy!!!
Three has proved to be a year of changes, and quickly, for Mr. Noah. 
A chilly day in SF but still smiling!
Potty Training: I think I blogged about this before, but it was yet another change after turning 3 so I'll do a quick recap. One weekend we went for it. Said no more diapers, pull ups, etc. and just told him it was time to go on the potty. He had TWO accidents and was trained (one at home, one at school). He even trained himself to sleep through naps dry. He still wears a diaper for bedtime although he will wake up occasionally to go in the night...then again, sometimes he wakes up with a full diaper. We'll get there. It was amazingly easy and it made me so glad that he was ready for the change and didn't have a single issue with it.
I decided to spare his future teenage self of any "on the potty" pictures but this is from the big day! (I prepared for the day by doing absolutely nothing with my hair or make up!)

Rocking his chart and working towards some prizes! Pretty sure he completed the whole thing in two days...joke was on us!
Big Boy Bed: When in St. Louis for Christmas, Cooper got to take over the crib so we were left deciding what to do with Noah for sleep. Ultimately, we decided to get a couple of rails and go ahead and let him try a big boy bed. He did perfectly. He napped and slept through the night like a champ. He called for us to get him out rather than taking it upon himself to just leave the room as he pleased. I don't know that I was surprised, but I was so happy it went well. 
One of his last rests with both paci and his crib.

I just love the way he crashed out the wrong way in our bed. Who can blame him...there is a lot of space for a little guy!
Upon returning home, he was back in his crib but quickly realized that he was able to climb out (he had never done this before) and we were anxious for the conversion kit to make his bed a toddler bed to arrive quickly. Unfortunately, the rail was on back order so after waiting and dealing with him yelling to get out one too many times (and waking Cooper), we just took the side rail off. We pushed his soft little chair up against the side and it has proved to be just the perfect (and free!) solution. He never got out of his bed without permission until...
He is cracking me up with the insistence on wearing my sunglasses lately.

Paci: We have talked about taking Noah's paci away at least once every few month since he was born. I was not willing to mess with anything sleep related so we let him keep it. Then, an opportunity presented itself. Noah told me he wanted a new toy. Since he had just gotten a million toys for Christmas I told him he didn't need anything BUT if he wanted to trade in his paci for said toy, I would take him to the store. He happily obliged. I waited another day, told him countless times that paci would not come home with us and that when it was time to go to bed he would no longer have paci to sleep with. All good. We went, shopped, he flopped paci up on the counter, and away we went. 
On our way to the toy store with our paci money!
Until nap time. The reality that it was gone set in and he was so so sad. It absolutely broke my heart not to go and get it out of the bag (of course I saved it for posterity!) and tell him we would try again a different day. We napped together that day and come bedtime that night he seemed ok with the concept that the paci "went to the bank with all of the other pacis that bought toys". No more tears but we still occasionally hear about paci. Actually, we drove by our bank yesterday and he said, "that's the bank, that's where my paci is"! 
You tell that face he can't have his paci back :-(.

The fall out from paci being gone is that naps are also over. He began getting out of his bed and playing instead of sleeping and while quiet play in his room is ideal, Cooper naps at the same time so we have abandoned the nap time routine. It's not as bad as I anticipated but there are days where I, admittedly, park him in front of a show or movie so I can get some work done around the house. 
Or he helps me work!

SO, there you have it. Some pretty major changes for our big boy. I am really proud of how well he has handled all of the above as he can have a hard time adjusting to change. Add to that the age three is like some kind of mental torture testing for parents and I say we got even luckier. I guess I should elaborate on that sentence...
Most of the time he is happy!

Noah is incredibly good. I realize that we got very lucky in having a boy who is insanely active and athletic but isn't crazy. He is very kind and rarely acts out in an aggressive manner. We don't have to talk about biting, hitting, or kicking others and he gives the absolute best snuggles. That said, three is HARD! I keep saying, whoever said "terrible twos" didn't have a three year old. The amount of talking back, testing limits, insistence on independence after we are halfway through a task, requiring us to start over, is painful at times. I have yelled at Noah and given myself a time out because I just couldn't bring myself to deal with the situation any more! The hardest times are meals and getting dressed for the day/ready for bed. The power struggles that ensue are something for the record books. I have never had to search so deeply for patience and calm in my life. There are times where I can handle his antics and we get through it with zero tears and desired results. There are times where he ends up in hysterics in time out. It's by far the hardest age we have experienced, but according to what I am reading, it should even out in about six months (to be replaced by 4 year old antics shortly after, I'm sure). It does amaze me how much I can be ready to walk out the front door one moment, and be ready to scoop Noah up and keep him in my lap forever the next.
This is the face of a three year old who is melting down because you are trying to take his picture!!!!

And then he'll surprise you and cooperate like he is always obliging!

And then he insists on wearing his goggles so that they pull his lower eye lids down. I tell ya, it's an adventure!!!
At the end of the day, life is good. Noah is an incredible big brother 99% of the time and makes my heart happy each and every day. 
These two...

Teaching Coop how to push the buttons. Oh, and matching PJs are like kryptonite to me. I can't resist!
He truly makes me proud of him and that is something to be remembered in the tough moments. The good far outweighs the bad and this time won't last forever. Might as well roll with all the three has to offer...because most of it is the most amazing boy I could ever imagine.


My guy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cooper: 8 months

Height & Weight - 19lbs. 12oz. Anxious to hear what his percentile is at his nine month visit next month!

You will see this face throughout the entire post. He is laughing constantly! The only bummer about this is that you can't see his amazing blue eyes!!
Eating - We really need to pick up the pace here. Coop is still on the yogurt & puree train and shows little interest in anything else. Every time we try any finger foods he acts all gaggy and won't take a second bite. He is also really finicky about what kind of food he likes at any given moment...sometimes he LOVES pumpkin, sometimes it is like we are feeding him gruel. Oh, silly baby. Time to start trying some new foods and get moving in the solids department. I did fail to mention that he is obsessed with gnawing on pizza crust and baguettes. Both are too tough for him to be able to truly bite (or choke) but they feel great on his gums and he gets MAD if you try to take it away.
Mmmmmm....crust!
He is continuing to enjoy his bottles and has zero interest in a sippy cup. We successfully gotten a sip or two in him but he won't hold it and mostly just enjoys playing with it! Bottles are getting a little more predictable though so I'll take that as a win for the month. He takes 4-5 daily ranging from 4-8oz.
Trying out brother's ice cream. Don't let that face fool you, he wanted MORE!

Sleeping (naps) - We are continuing to rock naps! Coop takes two giant naps daily. One at about 9:30am and the other at about 2. He takes a 4-6oz. bottle and then he goes in his crib awake and zonks out. He actually won't fall asleep in my arms any more which is bitter sweet! I miss the snuggles but I am glad that we don't have that crutch for sleeping.
I could just scoop him out of this picture and snuggle him!
He rarely sleeps anywhere but his bed but I love capturing his sweet face when he does!
Sleeping (night) - Things are good in this department. I think Scott and I both kind of threw in the towel on sleep training again after another bout of sickness and having done it previously (for about a zillion nights). BUT, we have settled into a routine that seems to work out for everyone so I am happy. Coop takes a bath at 6:30pm and then is down for the night at 7 after an 8 oz. bottle. He wakes up at some point between 1:30am and 4:30am for a 4 oz. bottle (the entire process-out of bed, feed, back to bed-takes 6 minutes) and then wants another one sometime between 5:30 and 7am. He is up for the day between 7 and 8am. SO, it is really one wake up and takes 6 minutes. DEAL Mr. Cooper.

Clothing - It seems we have settled into the 6-12 month category nicely. No more throwing clothes in the "too small" pile after one wear!
Baby loves to cruise around like a big boy in the cart at the grocery.
New this month - Crawling! Previously he was rocking or doing some army crawling but we are legitimately up on all fours and moving. Hardwood floors still pose a problem but overall he is mobile.
He doesn't pull up but loves to stand if you are nearby in case of a topple (there are many).

Cooper Likes - People. He loves to smile and laugh at people more than anything! Yes, Noah is probably still his favorite, but any friendly face runs a close second. We also discovered he loves the swing at the park. I think he would stay forever!
It's worth going to the park to see this face.
Cooper Dislikes - No croup or RSV but we got an ear infection and pink eye this month. We just can't catch a break this winter! Luckily he hasn't been too miserable and we got on antibiotics immediately. Maybe for his nine month post we will be able to avoid any sickies!
Happiness!
And, just a random story for posterity...Noah gets a sticker every day at the end of school. Half the time he puts it on my hand to wear and it usually falls off sometime between school and home. So, when one went missing a couple weeks ago I didn't think twice about it. The next day, however, I was changing Coop's diaper and had a "what is that?" moment. I am sure that you can guess...it was the sticker!!! It is totally embarrassing that I missed my baby EAT a sticker but also fairly impressive that he was able to get it down. Mom of the Year just officially went to someone else! 

I will report back soon with a post on all things Noah. Big changes for our three year old! No surprise, he is rocking them all!
This guy and those big eyes...he is pretty hard to say no to!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cooper: 7 months

Very, very belated but I was pretty preoccupied with Christmas, New Years, travel, Scott being home for 2 weeks, and generally not opening my computer! 
First Annual Retchless Turkey Trot. Also, Scott did No Shave November. It's over now ;-).
Height & Weight Height: *No length measurement this month* Weight: Approx. 18 lbs.
SO BIG!
Eating - All formula, all the time. Coop is officially weaned and it was 100% painless for him, moderately painful for me ;-)! He is still a snacker and gives us a run for our money to get enough formula in him every day. It doesn't matter how long he goes between feedings, he won't take more than 4oz. at a time (except before bed when, if we pull out all our tricks, we can get 8oz. in him). So, we have quit the battle and just give him lots of bottles throughout the day. 
Never a fight to get his yogurt in him!
Solids are going pretty well. Every morning at 8am sharp Coop gets a yogurt and devours it. He is pretty much a pro at puffs and teething biscuits (rice cracker things) but isn't too keen on actual food pieces. Avocado, banana, pasta, etc. all pretty much hit the floor for Nana to eat! Purees are still going well but it is anyone's guess what flavor he might like or hate on any given day.  
Puffs! (above picture is pre haircut, below is after...this will make sense once you read "new this month")
Sleeping (naps) - We are in a great napping schedule and Coop naps twice a day. First nap is around 9:30am and the second at about 1:30pm. Both are about two hours.
Oh that face! He has me wrapped around his finger.
Sleeping (night) -So much progress! I finally got fed up with the couch and decided that it was just time for Noah and Cooper to move in the same room and sort it out. It took a few nights of Noah waking up yelling, "Baby Cooper is crying!" before everyone got used to the new arrangements but we are firmly on the right track. From time to time Coop will wake up but he only cries for a few minutes and Noah doesn't even notice any more. (Of course, now Noah wakes up asking to go potty, it's always something with sleep!!)
Snoozing boys.
Cooper goes to bed (after bath) every night at 7pm and usually wakes between 5 and 5:30am for a bottle but then goes right back to sleep until 7 or 8.
Nothing to do with sleep, but he met Santa and was the perfect smiling baby!
Clothing - Growing, growing, growing! He is pretty much pushing the limits on 6 month clothes. 6-12 fit best by far! Still size 3 diapers although we might introduce size 4 at night.
First trip to Napa (we can add that to "new this month" too!). For the record, he woke up at 2am that night with a fever and had a 24 hour fever/cold.
New this Month - Sitting has come SO far. We won't leave him alone in a seated position yet but he rarely topples over any more. He is also much more sturdy standing (when we are holding him) and has started rocking while on all fours (he almost immediately squashes back down though!). 

Up!
And splat!!

Coopie also got his first haircut! His comb-over had officially gotten out of control so I decided to take action. No pictures because Mom and Dad were both pretty instrumental in making sure only hair was cut in the at-home beauty parlor!

What do you mean, comb-over?!?!
Cooper Likes - Everything! He is the happiest guy. I would say his favorite right now is big brother. Noah can make him giggle like crazy and they are starting to really interact. People in general are still his all time favorite although he is beginning to show a little more interest in his toys. He is also a big fan of his exersaucer these days.
Happy baby on our flight to St. Louis.

A preview of a lifetime of brother wrestling!
 Cooper Dislikes - Croup & RSV. Oh, wait, that might be Mom & Dad. Or everyone. It was awful. We awoke one night in St. Louis to Cooper having stridor again and knew immediately it was croup. We didn't rush to the hospital this time but managed it through the night with trips into the garage (cold air, but not as cold as outside) and lots of snuggles. The next day we were first at Urgent Care, got some steroids and were on the mend. Then, Christmas Eve, he tanked. He got a nasty fever and was listless. Urgent Care round two for an RSV diagnosis. This virus is nasty and mean. It can last up to two weeks and has a horrible fever that you can only manage with Motrin and Tylenol. Oh, and you have to worry about it turning into pneumonia or turning bacterial and giving ear infections. GAH! Too much for one holiday season. Oh, and add to that that the prenisilone we gave him at home sent him into fits. He was literally flinging himself upside down, rocking his body incessantly, and was WIDE AWAKE at 11pm. It made for a wild night and a vow to never give that drug again. BUT...he is now 100% healthy again and we were fortunate to have a ton of helping hands to get us through the worst of it. Hopefully we can avoid ever having to add these two things to the "Cooper dislikes" field again. 
 
Sad guys on Christmas Eve.

(Oops, all of the above happened a few days after he turned 7 months but I am not retyping that for next month so we will just leave it!)
 
And, because that was kind of random, he also really hates having his face or nose wiped. He screams bloody murder when you wipe him up after a meal and having a cold is like some kind of torture with the nose wiping. It's rough to be a baby! 

8 month update coming soon!!