Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CAMBELL GRACE'S FIRST STEPS!!!

Cambell finally decided to take some steps all by her lonesome this evening! Feelings of overwhelming pride have overcome Mommy and Daddy. The ability has been there for some time now, but she finally mustered up the courage this evening! I have to say... I am BEYOND jealous that Graham saw the first two steps without me. Every waking minute is spent with this child and she chooses the few I am out of the room to take this huge step (literally) in her life! What is the deal?!? Cambell was standing in her room by her little house when she felt a burst of bravery after busting a move to the music. Cambell took two little steps but was startled when Daddy called for me to come see. Being the wonderful, thoughtful husband he is, Graham rushed her to the hallway where she decided to duplicate her moves and walk some more! I was on the phone with my mom when all of this happened. The video is incredibly embarrassing because I am talking on the phone quite loudly to my mom, apparently rendering me unable to hold the video camera with any sort of stabilty. I apologize. After the walking spree, I have included some other sweet Cambellisms as of late, such as wearing her lovey on her head as she goes about her tasks, babbling, bossing, and giving Mommy lovey kisses. I stinkin love this kid...
video

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Stuff Summer is Made Of...

Last night our Thursday playgroup got together with our men for some incredible food prepared by the amazing Deanna Starling... I mean, a seriously tough act to follow. We decided at playgroup earlier in the morning to dress the kiddos in their 4th of July outfits for a picture (and so we could get more than one wear out of them). Above are Kendall and Hadley, Piper, Kylee, Cambell, Carter, Harper, Blaire, and Makenzie. Getting this picture was not exactly easy. At one point Cambell's bow was pulled over her eyes, having gotten stuck in Kylee's bagel chip, and ended when Harper tumbled off the front of the couch, thankfully saved from crashing into the floor by her quick daddy.
We love making memories with these little ones together. I am unbelievably grateful for the friendships we have with the parents as well. The little ones always congregate around the food...
In order to give the adults a chance to eat, we threw the babies in a pen. One by one, the babies decided they did not enjoy being pent up... surprisingly, Cambell was last to object. She did have a bit of a fussy night, though. We are having some serious separation issues these days. My favorite part of the evening was finding Cambell and Piper in Baby Makenzie's room numerous times playing and having deep conversation :). I kept looking up to find that my daughter had disappeared. Each time, she had wandered back through the hall and into the nursery. So funny.

Today we wrapped up our swimming lessons. Hopefully Cambell is not too scarred. What, with all the swimming Mommy made her attempt... how rude. By the end of her lessons, I am proud to say she can blow bubbles in the water and does not completely hate going under water. She knows to keep her eyes and mouth closed while going under water. What a girl! Cambell still detests swimming on her tummy, but made significant strides throughout the week. A certificate was even rewarded at the end, as well as a rubber ducky and Cambell's first POPSICLE!
She really did not know what to do with this contraption. Surveying it closely and unwilling to hold on to the stick at first, Cambell's first popsicle was quite an experience. After figuring out the best method for consumption (on her own I might add), she gobbled that popsicle down and loved every bit of it... that is, until it fell off the stick into the pool. This did not stop Cambell from attempting to pick out the small pieces to finish it off. A very wonderful way to end the week.

Cambell and sweet Abby having a little girl talk over popsicles...
Cambell thought she might like to have Justin's popsicle, too.
The whole class with Ms. Susie!
Little Monday playgroup friends (minus Davis) who took the class. We love these sweet kiddos!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fish Out Of Water

Little Miss Cambell started swimming lessons this week! To say Cambell absolutely loves swimming lessons would be a TOTAL lie. The child enjoys being in the water, don't get me wrong, but she does NOT love being on her tummy in the water or anything else her mean mommy makes her do during swimming lessons. I did manage to get a few giggles out of her today as I tried to teach her to blow bubbles. Cambell is the youngest in her class and really isn't ready to swim, but we are hanging in there because it is good for her... plus, we are taking the class with friends. Taking after her mother, I have observed that Cambell is not much of a risk taker physically. Along the same lines as swimming, Cambell is not willing to take her first step by herself. I KNOW she could walk if she wanted. Standing alone for long periods of time, Cambell refuses to take a step by herself. In the evenings, Graham and I are having "Cambell Learns to Walk Boot Camp 2009". We hold things in front of her, giving her the opportunity to take a few steps to Mommy or Daddy. Cambell is stubborn... another lovely attribute inherited from her mother. We know she is just going to take off one of these days! Patience will be required until that day. Here is the fraidy cat before her lessons this morning...
Sunday we enjoyed celebrating Da! Some of my friends and I conspired to give our men a relaxing day from the poolside view. After church and a quick nap for Cambell (she had not recovered from her refusal to nap the day before), we met at Ridgewood for lunch and a relaxing afternoon swimming with our babies. I love anytime this group gets to hang out with the hubbies included. We concluded the day with another nap for Cambi and PEI WEI! Daddy was pretty excited because we had helped ourselves to some Shogun (yummy sushi and hibachi grill) the night before with friends...That, coupled with Pei Wei leftovers and a business lunch the following day meant Asian food 4 days in a row. Nothing could make my man happier. It was a great second Father's Day for Graham!
We will be sure to keep you up to snuff of the wrapping up of swimming lessons and "Cambell Learns To Walk Boot Camp 2009".

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy "Da" Day!

Cambell loves her "Da"... so much so, that she will not nap on Saturdays because he is home. She becomes giddy upon his arrival at home for lunch, from work, or otherwise. If I am holding Cambell when he arrives, she begins kicking her legs furiously and begins her short, loud, random syllables. If Cambell is on the ground when Daddy gets home, she races to the garage door to greet him with the aforementioned short, loud, random syllables. She then proceeds to point to Daddy's nose and glasses after he scoops her up. If Cambell sees her Daddy from far away, she will point and loudly say/yell, "DA". Cambell loooooves her Da (and how could she not?!?!)

Graham is such a loving, attentive father and Cambell is so blessed. With no fear of poopy diapers or boogies, Graham is often to my rescue. From the beginning of Cambell's life, he has been a tremendous help and encouragement to me. I don't know what I would ever do without him (and let's hope I never have to find out)! We laugh that Graham only works to pay for Cambell's insurance. It amazes me how much joy Graham gets from taking care of us. He often expresses it, but I can see it without him having to verbalize this feeling. I love my husband and am so grateful for the way he loves our daughter.
I truly believe that part of the reason Graham is such an incredible father is because of the example set before him by his "Dado". Ron is incredibly humble, wise, and posesses such a gentle strength, which he passed to his son. I see a great deal of Ron in Graham, and for that I am always thankful. What an amazing man to take after. Ron has set a high precent for fatherhood that Graham is living up to beautifully so far!
I also must say I have the best daddy a girl could have. He has always provided such wisdom and guidance in my life. My whole life, I have been incredibly proud to be "Gene Wilkes's daughter". He is brilliant, sincere, open-minded, humble beyond words, and so lovable, even though he is getting grumpier with time :) Plus, he just joined Facebook! How much cooler can you get?!?! I am grateful for a daddy who has always been there for me no matter what silly decisions I have made. I love you, daddy! HANDSIGN!
Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

We have some of the greatest neighbors I could ever imagine. My FAVORITE neighbors, though are also good friends. On one of our many family evening walks in early Spring, we saw this ADORABLE family pushing their little baby along with a precious little puppy in the basket below. As we walked closer from opposite directions, the dad of the adorable family jokingly created a baby intervention as if they were dogs about to pounce. Graham and I thought it was hilarious. We exchanged baby stats and that was that... or so I thought! As we walked away, I told Graham I wish I would have asked where they live without scaring them. Well... the next day I went to playgroup at the park, and lo and behold, the adorable walking mother and baby were sitting on the blankets with everyone else! I knew to expect someone new at this playgroup, but did not expect to see the adorable mother and baby! After talking a while, we discovered our houses to be just around the corner (literally... we can see their house from ours). Gotta love neighbors.

Yesterday morning, as Cambell and I were off to run errands, we noticed Jenny walking the streets of our hood with Harper on her hip (draws a beautiful picture, doesn't it??), and we of course stopped to say hello. She was in need of a babysitter for a rehearsal dinner and was asking her immediate neighbor for help. When the possible babysitter ended up being out of the country, I offered us up for a play night with Harper. Graham and I had already decided we were going to grill out and stay in for the evening, so why not throw another baby into the mix? Cambell and Harper love playing together, and last night was no exception. They had a pajama party complete with crawling races down the hall, ganging up on Graham, taking toys from each other, you know, the usual baby stuff. Harper is several months younger than Cambell, but is FEARLESS and can do everything Cambell can do. It is quite impressive actually. I just had to share these sweet pictures of our girls!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This Week in Pictures...

Our summer days continue to be filled with activity. Much has happened since my last post. I will spare you all of the details and leave you with pictures of some of our adventures and fun (I oddly enough did not document the majority of our week on film, such as trips to the splash park, pool, playgroup, adventures with Lolli, etc. I have failed)...







I also feel compelled to share a video with you from Erin's blog... We were at a surprise going away party from some friends we already miss like crazy and started showing off some of Cambell's tricks as we waited for the celebrated couple to arrive. For some reason when she is being held by one parent, she does not appreciate the other parent interfering. In the video she pushes Daddy away, but know that she does the same thing to me when Daddy is holding her. I love little Cambellisms.

I hope to be a better blogger (and photographer) next week :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Days



Our little Cook family has been enjoying all summer has to offer (a lot of the reason I have not been blogging as frequently). Last Friday night we went to the Waco Water Park for Graham's company picnic! To say that Cambell enjoyed the water is a complete understatement. Besides looking absolutely precious in her swimsuit, Cambell had a blast splashing her little hands in the water. Graham and I enjoyed watching her enjoyment, while conversing with his coworkers.








Here is our little splasher!
Saturday held more family fun. We started out with brunch at Leal's, where we ran into one of Graham's work friends we had been with the previous night! They joined us and visited until Cambell had enough. After a nap for baby Cambell, we were off to the zoo as a family! Cambell bossed the giraffe around, which I always appreciate.
Checking out the animals, or daddy's hat... whichever happens to be in the eyeline...
Following Cambell's second nap we ate dinner at Panera. We ran into several families/couples we know and spilled TWO drinks during our time at our beloved restaurant. Not at all embarrassing. At least the person we spilled one of the drinks ON is as close as family! :). Sorry, Katy! Katy's husband, Kent, enjoyed watching us, while laughing about the "cycle of life".

After church on Sunday, we headed to Marble Falls for a shower honoring Kelley and Baby Homeyer. Kelley certainly was showered. After spending some quality time with their families, we stole them away for dinner. Any time spent with them is a treasure. We LOVE them. Do you see Cambell checking out her future mother in law? And what is the deal with all these pregnant people in my life?!?!

The title of the post insinuates how we are spending our days this season, but it also includes time with AUNT SUMMER! From her arrival on Tuesday morning until her departure late Wednesday afternoon, we had a wonderful time of play with my sweet sister. She is off for the end of the school year and I couldn't be more happy! We fit in A LOT of activity into two short days, but I will share our favorite... mostly because it includes precious pictures of Cambellina. Because Friday evening was so enjoyable for Cambell, we headed back to the Waco Water Park for some more splashes.
Along with splashing and walking through the water, Cambell greatly enjoyed a favorite pastime of my own, people watching. She could not get enough of staring at the kids playing around her. The poor thing so badly wanted to join in all of their fun.
We had so much fun splashing with Aunt Summ!
I MUST also point out Cambell's love of her sunglasses. Not only did she wear them in the sun, but at home. Cambell was so proud to show them off to Mommy after Summer would help her put them on. If she took them off, she would try to put them back on by balancing them on top of her head. So precious and entertaining.

And I will leave you with a sweet moment from bath time with our little ham...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Got a Little Story For Ya Ags!

As I looked through the pictures from my trip by the Bush Library and surrounding buildings, I couldn't help but remember a few stories related to myself and the 41st President of the United States. The sight of George H. W. Bush in his fishing vest with gear in hand was common around the Allen Building where my Political Science classes were held (just next to the Bush Presidential Library). Whether or not you agree with his policies, I believe this President is a likable and respectable man. I am embarrassed to admit I love to think of him as a sweet, old grandfather, even though he held one of the most powerful positions in the world. Viewing the man from this lens led me to some nutty behavior. I had the privilege of serving on the Hospitality committee for Texas A&M and had the opportunity to converse with many astute and honorable men and women. On one such occasion, I was involved in helping the faculty put on their regalia for the induction of Robert Gates as the President of the University. It was rumored that the former President of the United States was upstairs getting himself ready. All of a sudden, many secret service men were coming out of an elevator followed by George H. W. Bush himself. I pushed through the crowd and rushed up this great man. Thankfully, the secret service did not pounce on me. After introducing myself, I asked the 41st President of the United States for a HUG! Yes, a hug. I am honored to report, he graciously complied! He then went on his way and procession began.

Another opportunity made possible by Hospitality is related to the wife of George H. W. Bush. While I did not get to meet Barbara Bush personally, I attended a luncheon where she was being honored for her efforts in literacy. I was placed at a table with several men and women of high position, as well as a few fellow members of Hospitality. This event took place at the other building adjacent to the Bush Library. As our food was placed in front of us and the consumption commenced, I had a little trouble with my chicken and vegetable filled pastry. I was trying to cut into the pastry when a small piece of chicken flew HIGH into the air, only to land in the empty coffee cup of the man sitting beside me. As I wanted to end my life or quickly hide under the table, the gracious man showed his sense of humor by throwing a green bean on the floor. He proceeded to ease my embarrassment by telling everyone, "Watch out for this table... We're throwing food over here!" I am eternally grateful for his sense of humor in that moment. The terror on my face was most likely clear for all to see. I survived the rest of the meal and left with quite a story to tell! Thank you to the Bush's for supplying opportunities TWO of my most embarrassing moments!

Jenny Says It Best...

My friend Jenny Howe Peel at ThisHowePeelLife, captured some memorable moments from playgroup yesterday. I unfortunately did not bring my camera, so I will point you over to her blog to view Cambell and her friends eating off the floor. One more thing I swore I would never do as a parent! Ha! I am so grateful for these friends...

Here is our little munchie this morning!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tour of Texas Continued-- Mother/Daughter Style

Little Miss Cambell and I took another little trip together this week. This time, we headed southeast to College Station to visit the old stomping grounds and friends I truly miss seeing on a daily basis. I loved bringing Cambell to the place I spent 4 wonderful years. Explaining the meaning of our visits and Mommy's nostalgia was unfortunately, but not surprisingly lost on Cambell. Traveling with Cambell was once again enjoyable. She is a precious little companion.

We arrived at Tara (Nonus) Stockberger's house in time to play a little before dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant in College Station, La Bodega! The lovely Ashley (Baldridge) Carl joined us for some food and major nostalgia. Ashley and Tara are both pregnant and due within days of each other. I loved touching their bellies! Such big bellies on such tiny girls! We drove around campus, reminisced, pointed out changes and additions, and ate some SHAKE'S (formerly known as Shakey's).
Before our sweet indulgence we stopped off at the Bush Library. So many of my classes were held there and I wanted to bring Cambell to this beautiful area of campus. I would like to think she appreciated its beauty as well :)
We then headed back to the Stockberger house for bedtime. First, we had a little jam session on the drum. The previous post highlights Cambell's love of drums and all things musical. This drum was no exception!
The next morning we went to play at Allen and Kendra Duty's house. Cambell enjoyed playing with Taylor and Beckett! I loved getting to catch up with Kendra and later Allen as he stopped by BLUE BAKER where Tara and I ate lunch (There is absolutely no telling how much time/money was spent at Blue Baker during my duration at A&M). Back to the subject at hand... I love getting to watch my baby play with the babies of my friends. At this point they bascially play alongside each other, but it is cute nonetheless. Taylor was very helpful with Baby Candle, as she so affectionately referred to my daughter. It was so sweet! Kendra is also pregnant! There is something in that College Station water, I guess! Here are the little cuties!
Cambell and I loved our stay and are grateful to Tara for having us! We will be back soon to welcome baby Avadelle into the world!
We are back at home and trying to get back in the groove. Mommy has LOTS of painting to do (and for that I am thankful). I am trying to get as much accomplished as I can when I am not making sure my little monkey is safe. She is becoming quite the climber! Her new favorite venture is her chair. I have been waiting for her to just go sit in her chair on her own, and that day has arrived! I am having to train her to not stand in her chair or sit on the top, though! Her adventurous side is certainly coming out!
Today she discovered how to climb on her train and move it herself! This is another day I have been waiting for! I no longer have to bend over to push her for long periods of time! Cambell is proud of her new found skill!
I am, of course, proud as well! Now for that whole walking thing...