Sunday, August 18, 2013


Let me just preface this by saying we've been working hard to get Owen to poop in the potty. He's been doing a great job with the pee, but #2 has been, well, frustrating. We've offered many incentives, and I keep sweetening the pot. Tonight he went #2 in the potty for the second time, and his rewards were a new car, a sticker, and as many oreos as he could fit in his hands. During the oreo eating time, he was quite expressive, and I captured a few of these hilarious faces.

Oh yes, and the sticker is in the middle of his bare chest.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

School is Out Forever

This is the week most students and teachers (in StL anyway) have gone back to school.... but there is one teacher who never, ever, ever has to go back. Becky Wade, congrats on your retirement! I'm sure it finally feels real now that your August is YOUR August!
In the beginning of June, Dave got Becky down to the Lake for the weekend while Mike, Lindsey, Dax, and I coordinated a surprise party for Becky's retirement. This worked out well because Lindsey and I are both type A. Not a detail was left unattended. I'd plan a party with Lindsey every day... especially for an occasion such as this!

Some d├ęcor highlights. You'll see Becky's countdown tally marks, a 'bouquet' that says 'Work is for Dum Dums', and a flower bouquet with chalkboards highlighting her retirement bucket list.

A few apples and retirement confetti

Becky drew/traced this Charles Schulz Snoopy to accurately depict her feelings on retirement.

Once we were done decorating and setting up food it was time to entertain Ava and wait for the guest(s) of honor to return home from the Lake.

Mike's turn with sweet Bitsy

Finally she arrived and I think we actually pulled off the surprise!

Sassy retired lady

We had a great turn out.. Becky and Dave have a lot of great friends and supporters.
This is just a few of the couples in attendance.

The plaque in front of Becky is from Robinwood school thanking her for her 20 years of service. I know the last 5-10 have been really rough as the demographic of your students has changed, but we know God had you there to inspire and love on those kids. Your work had an immediate and eternal impact even if you couldn't see it through the day to day stressors of teaching and corralling 5th and 6th graders. We're proud of you!
We have a joke about cutting cake. Our wedding photog captured a picture of Becky pointing and telling me where to cut our wedding cake. She calls it the 'meddling mother-in-law' picture. So now every time there is a cake to be cut, one of us meddles.

I think Mike looks so handsome in this pic.
Millie and Mima Cooper

Miss Millie and her Auntie Lindsey
Owen rocked a good shiner for the party. We were real proud.

Olivia burning off some energy with Meghan Mulford....

...while Uncle Bill (Becky's brother and great party photographer) captured Carson
sneaking dessert. This kid has been sneaky about desserts for as long as I've known him!

Becky received a lot of great gifts, but I'll just highlight this package from my folks... a bunch of dog supplies & treats. Becky's first order of business in retirement was to go on a two week trip to Northern Europe with Dave and some of the other usual suspects. The next item will be to adopt a dog. Once she finds one, she'll take Oskee along to give the new girl a good sniff! I hope she finds one soon =)

Congrats, Becky! You should feel proud of a job very well done.
Love, Michael, Heather, Owen, Amelia, and Oskee

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

10 months: hold me, thrill me, kiss me, love me

This tribute to U2 title is meant to gently, sweetly describe that little Miss Millie's endearing (ahem, high maintenance) personality is starting to show. She has perfected the whine. It's a bit overwhelming... but if you hold her, entertain/feed her, kiss her, or love on her, she's just fine! Most parents would be overjoyed that their baby never wants to be put down but the death grip on my arm has been difficult to deal with (mostly while I'm potty training/ mopping)!.
The majority of the whininess comes out at meal time. She's less than impressed with baby food at this point. Generally I'm fine with that b/c it's fairly time consuming. She wants only finger foods, but she's not quite efficient enough to get enough food to satisfy her hunger, so we just have a lot of whining.

This month's sleeping pic is precious because she rarely falls asleep in the car anymore...
and doesn't she look huge in this car seat?

She's cruising all around tables and taking Owen's toys. Let the sharing really begin!

Hold me, thrill me, love me. Thanks, Papa C!
(Her shirt, purchased by my dad, says Grandpa loves me).

We've had beautiful weather and were able to visit GG and play cars outside.

She does follow O and his cars all around the house...

And apparently she can now climb on the dishwasher as well!

Though I've chosen to focus on the whine, our most exciting development is Amelia's new found love of walking behind push toys and with our fingers. I'm willing to bet a good sum of money that on Sept 7 I write a blog post that says 11 months: walking.  
  • O's 10 month post was called tornad'O'. That's not Millie. She's content with 1-2 toys and being held. So far no desire to pull every book off of the shelf, etc.  
  • She has 2 teeth! What a breakthrough!
  • She's down to 2 naps, though the 2nd nap is rough which means she's in bed by 6:30. This makes it difficult to get home from work at 5:30, get dinner on the table, feed the kids, bathe the kids, and get Millie in bed... but it's just a season, and it's not every day
  • She still babbling but doesn't have any particular sounds. O keeps trying to teach her to say 'Dada'
  • So far no stranger anxiety (knock on wood).
  • The girl loves to laugh, be tickled, swing, throw things from the high chair to the floor, and cruise along everywhere. She also loves the bath and will outlast O by 5-10 minutes. She would sit in there for hours and splash away!

  • New foods: chicken, turkey, ham, beef, tomato, corn, cauliflower, quinoa, garbanzo beans, asparagus (not a  fan). She LOVES whole wheat Ritz crackers.

Don't tell stories on me, mom. I'm really sweetsie. See?
Thanks again for joining us on this ride called parenthood. We absolutely love the ups and the downs!



Monday, August 5, 2013


I'm literally months late on my posts, but I say better late than never.
We celebrated father's day with a trip down to the Arch. Owen loves the arch; he picks it out in pictures, he associates it with Cardinal baseball, and he shouts to the rooftops every time he sees it in the car. So the trip down to the 'ARCH' was well received.

A great daddy (Millie is on his front in the Bjorn). Moments and pics like this sure do make me fall in love all over again!

A sweetsie girl has this daddy wrapped around her little finger.

It was a gorgeous day in June, and I have to agree with O... there is just something spectacular about this StL landmark.

I should mention that O was very disappointed that this viewing of the Arch was not accompanied by a Cardinal baseball game. We had to explain away games, etc, but he demanded a stadium drive by on the way out to make sure we weren't missing out on a home game.

We loved the river front, too, and there were lots of planes overhead... a big hit.

Our little ham.

Daddy and Owen had a great time blowing off steam on the Arch grounds

...while Millie and I played in the grass. 
We didn't go up in the Arch due to the long wait times, but we will certainly spend more time here as the kiddies grow up. I love so many things about Mike and how he is an awesome daddy, and I certainly love his desire and commitment to spending time together as a family of 4 exploring this great city we call home!