Thursday, July 28, 2011


--We’re surviving.  That’s about it right now.  My entire body aches and I think my hips might be so out of socket that they are in separate zip codes.  Liam’s had a rough week (I have a call into his doctor…I have my suspicions on what is causing his problems…I’ll tell you if I find out I’m right)(you know, because I diagnose my child on the internet….I was right when I had PUPPPS during pregnancy….and when he had bad gas and constipation….so at least I’m not a hypochondriac-diagnoser) which means we’ve all had a rough week.

--School starts next week at the corporation I used to teach in.  It’s weird to not be preparing.  I walked down the school supplies aisle at Wal-Mart last night for old times sake…I would have smelled a notebook if I didn’t think the people around me would think I was crazy.

--A student who graduated from the high school I taught at is going to be one of the designers on this season of Project Runway, which starts tonight.  I hope it’s on Hulu tomorrow.  His name is Gunnar Deatherage, and I taught his younger brother my first year…I hope he doesn’t get eliminated too early….people in town are really excited about this.  Here’s a link to an article in the local paper about it.

--Sometimes I miss having cable.  There have been a few times lately.  But, I found a new show on Netflix—Army Wives.  I’m for real in love with it….I’ll be out of Netflix episodes soon (which is disturbing, because there are a lot)(in my defense, my child screams unless he is lying tummy to tummy at a 45 degree angle for many hours a day…so I watch tv during many of those many hours)(also my brain isn’t capable of much more than that)(last week I wrote a check to the hospital and I wrote the correct amount in the top and a totally different amount in the part where you spell out the number…they had to mail it back to me and ask me to fix it).  I saw that the latest season of Army Wives is available on Amazon for something like 12 dollars….it’s not on Netflix yet…and I think I have ten dollars in gift cards…so I think I’m going to order it.

--This is insanely boring.  Sorry.  I am just not interesting right now.  All I really do is soothe crying, change diapers, and feed a baby.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A message to Oliver

Dear Ollie,

You are a dog.  You’re supposed to be man’s best friend.  Not man’s jerky* friend who only wants to hang out when nothing better is going on.  I will not be your booty call.  Shape up, or we’re done hanging out and you’re stuck with your dad.  And he doesn’t share his food or snuggle.  So you’d be stuck rough-housing forever, and I’m pretty sure you’ll miss me.



(If you’re my mom or grandma and are concerned that I will talk to Liam like this, I promise to stop when he  can understand and not start again until he’s a high school student and ready to pick up sarcasm from a real master)(*If we’re going to be honest, I didn’t call him a jerk…but what I did call him isn’t very nice)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


After Monday’s post, it was suggested that Liam looks “just like Andy.”  In fact, it’s a thought I’ve heard a few times…many seem to think young Liam looks more like his dad than me.  To which I have to say, really?  He doesn’t look like me at all?  For real?  So today I present my case…the case that the bitty baby totally looks like his mommy at least a little….and not just his daddy.

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img008  July5  img009 July1 (1024x683)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oatmeal Combinations

Since Liam has been born, I have developed an obsession with oatmeal.  Oatmeal and I have had an on-again off-again relationship, and we are so on-again….and not just “Oh sure I’ll attend your brother’s royal wedding” on-again like Chelsey Davy and Prince Harry…for real on-again.

But we’re not just casually hanging out, oatmeal and I.  Oh no.  We’re in that weird sort of relationship where I try to change him, make him what I want.  But unlike the relationships of most 16-year-olds, it works for us.  So here are a few of my favorite current combinations:

The Chunky Monkey

1 pack instant oatmeal (I’m currently crushing on Better Oats Oat Fit Maple and Brown Sugar) fix according to package, then add the following


Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Dark chocolate dream peanut butter (from Peanut Butter and Co) (a spoonful will do)

One banana, sliced

Granola Berry

1 pack instant oatmeal

Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

peanut butter


fruit and nut granola (I’ve been using Cascadian farms—so good…just a small handful is enough)

Chocolate dipped strawberry

1 pack instant oatmeal

unsweetened vanilla almond milk

dark chocolate peanut butter or Nutella

sliced strawberries

And…I haven’t done this yet, I need to go to the grocery store—dark chocolate almond granola…but I’m pretty sure it will be awesome

So there you have it…my top three oatmeal combinations as of today :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big Day Out

All right.  Before I start this, I want to let you know that I realize I am ridiculous.  I’m sure I’ll look back on this in a few months and laugh at myself…and probably even more when we have a second child.  But for now, I’m crazy excited and proud of myself.

Liam and I had our first big day out today.  We have been out to eat with Andy a few times…with my parents…and with friends from church.  But I had never attempted on my own.  We also pretty much stay home all the time.  We go meet Mandy and Ben for walks downtown, and we go to small group and church, and doctor’s appointments.  But that’s about it.  At first I wasn’t up to it, and then his stomach hurt so much that he screamed all the time, and it just wasn’t worth it.  But today we changed that. 

First, we went to Andy’s office.  His coworkers wanted to meet Liam, so we stopped by there about 11 to say hi and see everyone.  Then we met our friend Jodi for lunch at 11:30.  Honestly, I was so proud that we did a two stop trip.  I was beside myself.  And then I decided to get gutsy.  Liam only has four pairs of pajamas that fit him, which meant that I was washing his clothes AT LEAST twice a week just to have clean jams, and it seems like a waste to do that many loads of baby laundry…because his clothes are so teeny.  I had picked up a pair (the fourth pair) at Wal-Mart in their Carter’s Child of Mine brand last week, but that was all they had.  I ordered a pair from Kohls last week using some Kohls cash, but they only had one in his size..and they haven’t arrived yet.  Old Navy and Baby Gap only had 6-12 months in their cotton sleepers.  So I decided to try JC Penney.  Penney’s in town is right beside the restaurant we were in….so my gutsy move was to to go Penney’s right after lunch.  Jodi went with me in case Liam woke up and melted down, so one of us could hold him.  But he was perfect.  I found 4 pairs of his pajamas and they were on sale.  Then we made it home and he slept in his carseat for another 15 minutes until he woke up to eat. Amazeballs.  We left the house for two whole hours and lived to tell about it!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It’s his heritage

So remember on Friday when I suggested that someday Liam might grow up and choose to put the wig on his own child?  Well, my very sweet mother-in-law scanned this in and sent it to us:


Yup.  Same wig….well, from the same place.  Liam wore the blonder of the two, Andy’s wearing the brunette wig.  It belonged to Andy’s grandparents…they dressed up one Halloween and came to “trick” the family when Andy was about 16 months old.

And because he’s Andy, he did this to the two pictures:


Yup.  That’s our bitty boy’s face spliced with his daddy’s.  Charming, I know.  There is also this gem, with the bitty boy’s face on his dad’s body:


What can I say?  I mean really…I don’t know.  That may be because it’s 7:30 in the morning and I’ve been awake for two hours because my child has gone on a sleep strike and refuses to nap or sleep for appropriate amounts of time and instead smiles and giggle-coos at me when I try to convince him that appropriate sleep is important.  And his father (the man from whom he inherited these awful sleep habits) has recently (as in since Liam’s birth) has decided that he really likes to sleep and that there is such a thing as an “appropriate amount” for work.  Thank goodness for caffeine. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose

Sometimes, I get a bit attached to television shows.  Gilmore Girls was probably the most obviously obsessive over the years…since I watched the seasons on repeat through my last two years of college.  But there is a close second—Friday Night Lights.  Last night marked the end of this series, one that I dearly love, and I can’t bring myself to watch the last episode yet.  I keep looking at it in my Hulu queue this morning, but I don’t want to say good-bye yet.  I remember how sad I was when I finished the last episode of Gilmore Girls, and I feel like this will be just as bad.  I am fully aware that this is ridiculous.  It’s okay.  I sobbed when Growing Pains was over too, to the point that my mom suggested not letting me watch the last episode of Full House.  It’s not a new ridiculous.  Andy does the same thing (not the crying part).  Anytime we finish watching a show on Netflix, we are both kind of sad  about it and go through a whole “I can’t believe it’s over” time period.  But this one…this one is tough.  I so love Coach Taylor, and Tami, and the team.  I don’t want to say good-bye to Tim Riggins and his greasy hair. 

Okay….I’m getting control of myself.  Melodramatic moment controlled.  At least Jason Katims’s other show, Parenthood, will be back in the fall.  If I can’t hang out with the Taylors and all of Dillon, Texas, at least I’ll have the Bravermans.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sometimes daddy likes to do mean things to the bitty baby

Also titled: He will not think this is funny when he is fifteen.

Or perhaps: If he’s anything like his daddy, he’ll do it to his own children someday


In the interest of full disclosure, I took the picture.  Also, I tried to convince Ollie and/or Andy to wear the other wig and pose.  Neither of them were having it.  Not one bit. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When your oldest child is too smart for his own good

Also titled: Ollie is a very naughty dog

Or perhaps: Liam’s first words will be “Ollie, NO”


What we have here is this: Oliver has swiped Liam’s toy.  Liam’s toy that Shannon MADE for him.  When he realizes he has been caught, he runs BEHIND the sleeping baby.  Because he’s too darn smart.  And he knows I won’t yell or lunge for him while he’s HIDING BEHIND THE SLEEPING BABY.  So instead I had to trick him.  But not before I took this picture because while it’s naughty and bad, it’s sort of a little bit funny too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Officially Unemployed

So As of this morning, I am officially unemployed.  I handed in my resignation letter, turned in my keys, and said a tearful farewell to teaching.  I wish I was kidding about that last part, but I definitely did get choked up while talking to my principal, and cried a little.  I loved my job—my coworkers, my students, just being a teacher.  But I love being Liam’s mom even more.  And I know myself.  I would make myself miserable trying to do well at both, and I wouldn’t be able to give either the attention and time it deserved.  So this is better.  It’s a real leap of faith for us financially.  Andy doesn’t have health insurance through work, so we have to pay for own now, .  I definitely feel like this is the right choice, so we are praying and trusting that God will provide.   

So for the first time since I was entering preschool, I won’t be getting ready for the start of the school year, and my schedule won’t be run around a school calendar.  That’s kind of a weird feeling.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Liam at two months

Bitty Boy,

This has been a big month for you! 

Your stats: you are in a size 1 diaper when you wear disposables, but once we get through the last few we have, we’ll be switching you to a 2.  You peed through a 1 this morning and needed an outfit change at church, and it was suggested that you probably need to switch diaper sizes.  Hopefully you stay in the 2s longer…since we received two cases of those as shower gifts.

Length and weight: 12 lbs. 7.5 oz and 23.5 inches long.  75th percentile all the way.

You have outgrown some clothing—a pair of jammies and a few 0-3 month outfits from the Baby Gap.  You have a 0-3 months things or 3 month things from other brands that still fit fine, but you do wear a lot of 3-6 mos. clothing…..but still that’s because you have more of those than others.

Your thrush finally cleared up, but we replaced it with a lot of stomach problems.  Your formula was making you miserable.  Mommy and Daddy had to carry you over our shoulder constantly and walk with you to help you feel better.  We had a few very long weeks, with some very long nights.  We switched your formula and your bottle and you seem to be doing a lot better—I hope it stays that way because it’s so hard to see you so sad and in pain.

You are starting to become very social.  You show us your sweet little smile and you talk to us with your little coos.  You shout for mommy when you want attention.  You follow your toys and you can hold onto things when we put them in your hand.  You are becoming a little person—a sweet baby rather than a newborn.  You very much like attention and you have started rebelling against sleeping.  It’s getting hard to get you to fall asleep sometimes…you don’t want to miss out on any fun, so you fight sleep.

Today was a big day.  You went into the church nursery for the first time—not to stay, but to have a diaper change, an outfit change, and a feeding.  Then you fell asleep about an ounce into your bottle.  I brought you back to service just in time for the message, and you slept through most of it.  We decided to go to lunch at Tapatio’s with a lot of friends, so I gave you  the rest of your bottle before we left.  You slept through most of lunch, but then you woke up screaming.  You didn’t need to eat, you just didn’t want to be in your carseat.  Daddy and I were trapped in the back of the table, so Mr. Randy took you and walked with you.  He has the magic touch.  I’ve seen him sooth many babies with his magic walk, and you were no different.  You conked right out and then Ms. Christy held you for awhile….if they hadn’t ridden the motorcycle to church today, we many not have been able to bring you home.

Bitty Baby, I can’t believe how much you have grown and changed this month—you are totally a baby now and not just a newborn.  A sweet, happy, smiley, little squishy baby.

Liam Cook Liam Cook Liam Cook Liam Cook July5 July6 July7 July8 July9 July10

Monday, July 11, 2011

Liam = Andy’s son

I have Liam’s two month post written…I just need to finish his pictures.  The camera battery died while taking them yesterday, and he’s not up to it today.  I’ll get it posted soon.

Andy’s mom has a lot of stories about Andy’s childhood.  Stories that often make me wonder how Andy ever got a little sister.  Because the stories of Andy are scary…and it’s not just his mom that tells them.  His dad.  His aunts and uncles.  Andy’s early years are the stuff of legends.  One such story is this: as a newborn, Andy was kicked out of the nursery at St. Vincent’s Hospital.  He screamed so loudly he woke up the other babies, so the nurses wheeled him to his mom’s room (his mom who was just waking up from a c-section… that she had been put under for…and who was alone at the hospital because I guess dad’s went home back in the day) and told her that he couldn’t stay in the nursery because he was too loud.  And then they left her.  With the loud, screaming baby.  Alone.  Recovering from surgery. 

When Liam was born, one of the things my mother-in-law marveled over was how quiet and sweet he was.  Clearly he was taking after his mother, not his father in this respect.  Well, it turns out our bitty boy does have his daddy’s lungs, he just likes to save them for special occasions.

Like today.  When he got his shots.  Seriously.  I thought his crying last week when his stomach hurt was loud.  Today was out of control.  He screamed and screamed and screamed.  The nurses gave him three shots and left me with the wailing baby.  No fewer than three people walked by and looked in the door as I tried to comfort him and quiet him enough to get him into his car seat.  Finally, he settled enough that we could bolt.  And we did. 

As we got on the elevator, another lady got on with us.  One that works on the same floor of the hospital, but not in the pediatrics department…so she’s kind of far away.  She looked at his whimpering, tear-stained face and asked, “Is this the baby I could hear screaming all down the hall?”

Why yes, yes it is.  Thanks for pointing it out and letting me know just how loud he was.  Really.  I so appreciate it.  I mean seriously.  Surely he's not the loudest baby to ever get shots.  Why point it out? 

Oh well.  Bitty Boy gets his lungs naturally….and frankly, I’m glad he lets us know when something’s wrong.  It makes it much easier to be his mommy that way.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Cook Family Baby Survival Guide

Liam turns two months old tomorrow.  I hope to get his two month post up, but odds are good it will be Monday after his doctor’s appt. so I can get his weight and measurements.  I thought it was about time to update with our favorite things—the things that have helped us survive these last two months. (Aside from our moms, without whom the first two weeks of Liam’s life would not be possible).

Swaddling Blankets (we have used receiving blankets but our not so bitty boy is too big for them…so I chopped up a bedsheet to replicate the larger muslin swaddling blankets that are sold for babies)  Liam really sleeps best when swaddled, so we wrap him up each night (though he does like to escape and scream until we come and swaddle him again)


The bouncy seat.  The calming vibrations on this thing are this mama’s best friend.  Liam loves this thing, and he spends a whole lot of time in it each day….he takes most of his daytime naps on it.  I honestly don’t know if I would have made it through the weeks that Liam was gassy and had an upset stomach without this thing.


My pump—my infection after Liam’s birth required a medicine that wasn’t safe for breastfeeding, so I had to pump and dump…and long emotionally painful story short…breastfeeding never worked out.  I still pump a few times a day so Liam gets at least one bottle of milk a day.    I’ll keep it up as long as I can which makes my pump a necessity.


The tummy trio—Dr. Browns bottles, Enfamil Gentlease formula, and gas drops.  Since our postpartum problems put a kink in our feeding plans, we had to switch to formula.  Liam got really sick to his stomach with the first formula we used…we spent many nights walking up and down our 8 foot hallway with him over our shoulder trying to give him some relief.  Things have been much better since we made the switch.

1106399_f260 103152910-149x149-0-0_Mead Johnson Enfamil Gentlease Powder Tub Baby For

The Joovy Scooter—we love th is stroller so much.  It holds his car seat if we need it to, but it’s a great all-purpose stroller and the only one we’ll need until he’s out of strollers (with that said…I did buy Andy a jogging stroller for his birthday/Father’s day…he kept saying over and over how much he would love to take Liam with him on his runs…so I made it possible…just as soon as Liam’s old enough for the stroller…oops.)


The meals provided by our parents and friends from church.  If not for them, we would have lived on fast food.  I honestly don’t remember a lot of the details from the first two weeks of Liam’s life…they are kind of a haze of iv bags, pumpings, feedings, and exhaustion.  Our moms took such good care of us…and when they went home and we got down to the real business of figuring out our new life once I was well again, we so appreciated the meals provided by church friends.

Netflix on demand….I have spent many a nap time and night time on the sofa with a baby who doesn’t want to sleep (but who is REDIC-ulously exhausted) and shows like Bones and Eureka…and the Kennedys miniseries (Lauren Onken…I feel like you would love this miniseries)…and old episodes of SNL have been the distraction I’ve needed in those moments.

And I leave you with one of my favorite SNL segments….the human suitcase at the end of this is often repeated in this house….as well as BOOOOOOOOF

Friday, July 8, 2011


First—Happy Birthday Mom!!!  We love you!!  (Dad, sorry I missed you..but we love you too!) EDIT—I typed this on your birthday, Mom…I just forgot to post it

And now for a random sampling of things going on in these hereabouts. 

-Liam had his first roadtrip.  We went to Andy’s parents house for Friday-Sunday (well….Friday night through way early Sunday afternoon).  The ride there was great…back was a little tougher.  Oliver panted the whole two hours both ways.  Liam woke up about an hour from home and screamed for 25 minutes.  We pulled over to feed him, and he pooped big time…almost a blowout bigtime.  Andy changed his diaper on a garbage bag in the backseat of the car. 

-Liam has been having some stomach problems the past few weeks, and we switched his bottle/formula this week.  It really seems to be helping—he’s happy and smiling instead of crying and screaming.  Last night we got to play with him instead of taking turns carrying him over our shoulders and walking for hours through the house.  Needless to say, we’ve been pretty much zombie-fied for the past few weeks.

-Oliver is getting really snuggly…with Andy.  He’s pretty annoyed with me most of the time.  I think he’s jealous of Liam, but I keep trying to tell him I still love him….but he prefers Andy.  It’s okay.  Liam likes me better.  For now.  Once he realizes Andy’s cooler than me, he’ll change his mind too :)

-I had a mocha coconut Frappaccino this weekend.  It was amazeballs.  Seriously.  As good as I remember it from Freiburg.  The calories, however, did not help with losing the baby weight.

-I keep telling myself that things will settle down to a normal, and that it has to get better, because people knowingly and willingly have more than one child.  If they felt the way I do right now, that would never happen :) (Actually….after Liam got his new formula and we were able to play with him rather than spend hours soothing him, Andy decided that we might be able to have another baby in the future.  The very distant future.  This mama had a rather traumatic go-around and needs a few years to get over it :)

Friday, July 1, 2011