Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cabin Fever!

Cambell and I have been diagnosed with cabin fever... unfortunately, we also have real fevers, too. Our trip to the doctor this morning confirmed we are not carriers of swine flu! We apparently just have really bad colds. I was not worried about swine flu, but was curious about strep throat. Thankfully, Cambell tested negative for strep as well. Needless to say, we have been cooped up all week! Monday and Tuesday we were trapped inside due to the rain, but I was still able to appreciate the down time. Now I am just going nuts. There is a reason I pack our weeks full of activity. I think the worst part is I really do feel awful. I was a little embarrassed this morning to find out a silly cold has affected me in such a strong way. I am trying to get as much rest as possible, but a girl can only nap so much! Cambell is handling the quarantine much better than Mommy. Even with her poor little cough and fever, she is still all over the place. I am happy to report that she is FINALLY only crawling like a real baby. No more army scooting nonsense! Every now and then she incorporates the bear crawl, which is especially entertaining.

In other news, this week marks the last week of classes for Graham at Truett Seminary... EVER! He will finish with his final exam at the end of next week, followed by graduation the week after that. I am so proud of Graham for persevering through this degree while working full time, being a husband and father, as well as updating our house. We will be doing lots of celebrating our amazing Graham! We have a lot to look forward to (if Cambell and I ever get well)...
Graham's Birthday: Monday, May4
Cambell's Birthday: Thursday, May 7
Graham's Graduation: Friday, May 15
(Next year I need to start budgeting for May in January!)

This day last year our family looked like this:
One year and one week ago, this little beauty entered our world and made our lives sweeter than we could EVER imagine! Our sweet surprise!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Weekend in the Yard...

Our little Cook family had an extremely productive weekend. Multiple trips to Home Depot were made and much landscaping was accomplished. We have sore muscles to prove our hard work (we will also have pictures as soon as it stops raining long enough to some). Friday night was spent gathering supplies, flowers, and shrubs at Home Depot. Cambell was such a trooper as we strolled her around for a LONG time with no toys and little attention. She found entertainment in her shoes and bow.

Daddy started work early while mommy handled baby duty. We then made our second trip to Home Depot for the weekend as well as lunch out as a family. While Cambell DID NOT take her afternoon nap, Mommy and Daddy worked on the yard while listening to Cambell play, cry, play, cry, play, and cry, but mostly cry on the monitor. We are not used to Cambell not napping. I went in to make sure everything was ok after several minutes of crying and she literally bossed me. She pointed her finger and said, "Ba do be ba do do" in the bossiest voice you have ever heard. I rocked her and held her. Nothing worked. Finally at 4:45 she fell asleep after being in her crib since 2:30. What a goof. I think the poor girl was working on some new teeth. After cleaning up, Mommy and Daddy got to go on a long needed date, thanks to GranSara and Grandado! Cambell's grandparents babysat while we went to dinner and then, take a wild guess... HOME DEPOT! We saw some friends there who lamented with us how date night so quickly turns to trips to Home Depot. It was actually really fun for us, even though we were tired and fighting allergies after a long days work. We were grateful to Graham's parents for allowing us to get out as a couple.
Sunday held church and more landscaping... although, surprisingly, no trips to Home Depot. We have a few final touches to complete, but our work is mostly done! We were extremely pleased with our progress. We were only two years behind!

Today has been rainy and spent entirely indoors. Cambell has been especially energetic, though. Lately, she has loved for Mommy and Daddy to chase her. She gets going where she knows she shouldn't go really fast, stops to look for confirmation that Mommy sees her, and then takes off again giggling. The girl is fast. I have been closing all of the doors in the hallway and even to the entryway to keep track of her whereabouts because she is ALL over the place. I am bracing myself for when she begins to walk!
Cambell's toys of the day today have been her babies. She sat in her chair with them for the longest time and then dragged both of them all of over the house. She eventually left them at the bathroom door. She is hilarious about her toys. She usually has something in her hand as she is crawling. A few days back, it was her Elmo wash cloth she would not let go of for three days.

I love these days at home with Cambell. We are so often out and about I forget how much fun it is to just be home with her. So far, my favorite part of today was when Cambell took her bow off of her head and balanced it on mine. She then proceeded to take the bow off my head and tried to put it back on her head. This sequence was repeated about twenty times. So precious. I can't believe she is about to be ONE! But, first we celebrate Graham. This time next week my man will be celebrating TWENTY NINE YEARS! The last year of his golden twenties. Don't think I'm not giving him a hard time about it. I love my old man... he is the only one who could convince me working in the yard is a good idea :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday with Cambell

Today has been one of those sweet kind of days that gives me an overwhelming desire to freeze Cambell and our life as it stands. I love spending my days with this girl and finding activities to make our days even sweeter. I love watching Cambell discover. Her favorite new spot in the house is the back sliding door. She stands at the window and points to whatever is outside, giving whatever it may be an earful. Yesterday she let a cat have it! Our plan to go swing was halted by a gray cat licking its paws on our porch. Cambell must have known the cat was to blame for not getting to swing because she pointed at it and gave it a lesson! She is almost bossy these days without even speaking English. I need to capture her monologues in baby-ese on video to share.

Back to today... I went to wake Cambell from her morning nap to find this precious little thing sleeping while holding on to her lovey. Normally she pops right up at the sound of the door opening, but she was so out of it that I took the opportunity to get a sleeping picture. You cannot tell from the picture, but her hair is SOAKING wet because she was up against the blanket and bumper. It was so yucky. Last night she NEEDED a bath, but we were late getting her down and ran out of time before bed. This morning as I was changing her diaper, I noticed some lovely gunk in her neck crevices. Then came the nap sweat! I am the worst mother ever! After our trip to the park and messy lunch at McAlisters without a bib, I could absolutely not wait any longer to bathe my baby. She was so sticky! But now she is clean, asleep in clean clothes on clean sheets and I have restored my sense of worth as a mommy :).

After waking up sweaty baby, we headed to Poage Park to meet some of our favorite friends. Today I looked at this group with such gratitude knowing I would probably go crazy without them. We see most of them atleast twice a week between both playgroups and music. Cambell loves her friends and learns many lessons about sharing from them! We look forward to watching these babies grow into kids together. They probably have many more lessons to learn together, while we moms will continue to count on each other for sanity!

Cambell wins the sharing award today for giving her friends Cheerios with graceKylee sporting her shadesCarter loves all of his women... he has a lot to choose from
This perfectly sums up Cambell and Carter's relationship...
taking turns knocking each other over
We went from the park to lunch and then to Michael's for some paint pens, which of course turned into a basket full of goodies, mostly for her upcoming birthday. Cambell held Mommy's paint pens and banged them together like her music sticks. I don't know how many times the poor kid heard, "paint pens are not for eating". We finally made it out the store and home for a bath and a nap. Now we wait for daddy to get home to make our day complete!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Little Red House!

April 19 served as our 2 year anniversary of owning our house! I cannot say that it is our two year anniversary of living in our house, because that would be a lie. We bought a "fixer-upper" (understatement of the year) and could not live in the house until certain improvements were made. We ended up moving in at the end of May. Our first "closing" experience was a wonderful one. The previous owners had owned the house for over 30 years. It was emotional for them to let it go, but reassuring to pass it to a young couple willing to work hard to bring it back to life. Renters had occupied the house for quite some time. One renter lived here over 10 years and kept the house up beautifully. Then, it took one year of another renter to completely destroy the place. It was really quite sad. Today I am going to give you some before and after pics of the inside. We are going to work on the yard this weekend and will post about the outside when it warrants an "after" picture. Working on our house has been a tremendous adventure. When we learned that Cambell was on the way, our plans were slowed waaaaaay down, but she is just a little bit worth the delay :)

The main living area before, middle, and after:The dining room before, middle, and after:
The kitchen (we still have more plans for this room as time progresses, and we lost a lot of the middle pictures in the great computer crash of 2008):
The bedrooms all looked the same with white walls (actually painted wallpaper that took FOREVER to remove) and cornice boards. Only one bedroom is left to be recreated!
The bathrooms are still works in progress as well... so I will leave them out of this for now.

We love our little work in progress! It has made for our perfect first home!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Family Filled Weekend

Our weekend started off with a visit from Lolli and Pop! EVERY visit from my parents includes a trip to McAlisters, so it only seemed natural to begin their stay with dinner at our traditional spot. Saturday was supposed to be filled with yard work, but was instead filled with rain. We took the time to enjoy playing with Cambi, eating at Rosa's, and making a visit to The Shops (Spice) to show my parents my work displayed in Kim's store. It was a perfect Saturday, complete with Pei Wei Take Away :). Graham even accomplished some yard work as the clouds dried up.
Sunday, our little Cook family traveled to Dallas for a gathering of my Mimi's family. We treasured our time because we typically see this part of the family only once a year. Cambell was the oldest of the three babies. As always, she enjoyed carefully studying the babies and entertaining the older boys. The boys curiously gathered around Cambell as she hammed it up for them. They had many meaningful questions for Graham about this little creature we know as Cambell. It was absolutely hilarious. Above, she is singing and pretending the plastic spoon is her microphone (just kidding... but that sure would be impressive!) Below, she is checking out her little cousin, Langley.
I would have to say my favorite part of the day included the opportunity to view video footage of my mom when she was about Cambell's age. This may seem unbelievable, but I had never seen pictures of my mom as a baby before. I have seen pictures of her as a child, but never as a baby. The likeness between, Cambell, my mom, and I was baffling. I felt silly taking pictures of the tv screen, but it was the only way to capture the images. Another discovery was the likeness between Summer and Mimi. It was so special to see my mommy bopping around like Cambell, looking like Cambell.

After leaving my family, we stopped by to visit Graham's grandmother again. Earlier last week Mama A fought Congestive Heart Failure. She is recovering well, considering she is 92 years old! Cambell was much more cooperative this visit than the last. Visiting Mama A is always bittersweet. While we love and enjoy seeing her, it is difficult as we observe her confusion as she suffers short term memory loss. Graham especially struggles as he knew his grandmother in her prime. Every time we leave, we hope it is not the last time we see her on this earth.
We loved our sweet, family filled weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Update for Mommy

Shocking, I know! Baby is the one with all of the developments that deem an update! But I am quite excited to share this piece of news. As I mentioned a long time ago in my truth tag, I paint! I was fortunate enough in 2008 to place my canvases in a booth at Canton. While this was a true blessing, wonderful learning experience, and incredible practice, the drive and baby complicated the experience to the point where my time was up in Canton. Since then, I have had the opportunity to do special order upon special order, but starting last week, my leftover merchandise now has a home in Waco! My wonderful friend Kim Gooch, owner of Goochie Goochie Baby Boutique in The Shops of River Square, a.k.a. Spice, has placed my Canton merchandise and new goodies in her store! If you are in Waco or ever driving through, Kim's store is absolutely precious and worth stopping in for! You should also check out my sweet friend, Anna Bowden's store, Anna2. I used to help Anna with her crosses. Here is Cambell with Kim's precious daughter, Kylee. Cambell and Kylee are sweet little friends. Their buddy Carter is in the middle.This development is especially exciting because my canvases used to be sold in The Shops through my lifelong friend, Allison Sadler before I was married. She is the real reason I turned my hobby into a "business". I had to take a hiatus from painting while I was planning a wedding, working full time, and working on graduate studies. Canton was my next venue after I became pregnant and life slowed down. I am so grateful to be back where I started! I will now show you some of my work found in the store, as well as recent special orders. I am always available for a special order!
Here are some recent special orders:

These can be found in the store: