Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Trouble with Teeth

I have many questions for God about the mysteries of life. On the top of my list right now is teeth. Why can't babies just be born with all of their teeth? Better yet, why can't teeth come in the minute babies are finished nursing, pain-free? Teeth cause my sweet, charming, lovable baby to turn into a growling monster. Growing teeth is as almost painful for Mommy as it is for Baby. We made it a few weeks without growing any, and now the process begins all over again. Little Baby cannot keep her hands out of her mouth, drool is EVERYWHERE, and the whining never ceases to subside. I love my daughter, but whoa, the whole teething thing really challenges Mommy's patience. Thankfully, Graham is to my rescue in the evenings. I was able to run TWO errands BY MYSELF tonight! Unheard of (that is, until Mother's Day Out begins in the Fall!!!) Two is definitely better than one when it comes to taming a teething baby. So, that is my rant. Growing teeth is not fun for any party involved. I mean, every other week I lose my sweet baby to this viscous process. All for the ability to eat meat... highly overrated :) I vote for dentures!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Red River 2009

Cambell Grace Cook made her first visit to Red River, New Mexico last week. This year marked Daddy's 2nd visit to our beloved town, and Mommy's TWELFTH! The Wilkes clan has ventured to Red River every other summer since I was three years old. I have never missed a chance to visit my favorite place on earth (tied with Disney World and my grandparents' farm). Our group consists of ten families (my parents as the first generation), all of whom graduated from Baylor. All of the men were Chamber Men during the glory days. All of the kids have grown into adults and are starting families of their own. We feel blessed and humbled to have been the first family of the second generation to bring our child to Red River. I have mentioned this group many times on the blog and will echo that this is one of my favorite groups of people on earth. They are family. Now, onto the details of our adventures...

Planning for a road trip with a one year old is quite a feat. We knew that we would have to break the trip into pieces. Our journey started on Saturday afternoon where we stopped in Plano. Summer, Ryan, Graham, and I got to go on a real double date while Lolli and Mimi handled the baby. We went to eat, followed by a trip to see HARRY POTTER! We let Dad serve as a fifth wheel :). A wonderful beginning to our vacation.

The next morning we headed to Amarillo to visit the Howards! Blake, Rachel, and Connor are precious to us and have recently moved to Amarillo from Waco. We miss their company and greatly enjoyed catching up with them. Connor is an absolute doll and took very good care of Cambell. He is going to be an excellent big brother :) Rachel spoiled us with wonderful food and then we were off again once more the following morning...

After a grueling ride which felt like a lifetime (even though it should have been an hour less than the previous day), we arrived in Red River. We spent the afternoon getting acclimated and allowing Cambell to nap because she was unwilling to do so in the car :/
We then joined the whole crew for dinner at one of our routine spots, called Sundance. It is good, but New Mexicans don't do Tex-Mex quite like us Texans. I will say their sopapillas cream any others I have ever tasted.
Cambell only wanted to walk... EVERYWHERE. She would grab anyone's finger would let her hold on. She walked up and down this ramp OVER AND OVER. The theme of our vacation. Aunt Melinda was taking her turn "walking" Cambell.

After dinner, we headed over to the playground at Riverside Lodge and Cabins, where we hung our hats for the week. Cambell, as always, enjoyed the swings immensely. The next morning we decked Cambell out in her Keens and shades and left her with her grandparents :) So wonderful to be able to do that as much as we needed this week :)
Graham and I were able to head up the chair lift to the top of the mountain and have nice little time to ourselves. It was especially restorative after two days in the car with our girl. The whole group had undergone the adventure the previous day, but we didn't imagine taking Cambell as the best idea.
The view was amazing as always and I always love anything I get to do with the hubs!
We were glad to enjoy the sunny morning, because later that day after making it down the mountain, the town looked like this:
The evening held dinner and dancing at the Community House. Everyone took turns walking Cambell. Here she is in the middle of it all, just like she likes :)
Graham was able to connect with one of his Dad's cousins, Anne Jordan! It was special to see her and all of her family. Such a small world :) We never leave Red River without seeing someone we know who we did not know was going to be there!The next day, Daddy was able to go on a hike with the crew while Cambell and I had some Mommy/Baby bonding (like we don't already get enough :)) We went to lunch, shopped a little, all with Cambell on her best behavior! It was sweet... until it rained and we had to just stay in our cabin. Cambi napped while Mommy did some reading! I finished the Harry Potter series and am IN LOVE! I saved the last book for the mountains and am so glad I did!

In the evening, Graham had baby time, while Mommy went to dinner to celebrate the birthday of one of the first generation(ers). Cambell was suffering from altitude adjustments, and we did not forsee the evening going well with her at dinner. Daddy and Baby took a nice walk, while Mommy ate at her FAVORITE restauraunt, Texas Reds, for the second night in a row.
The next day held more family time :) The rest of the crew rented Jeeps to take to Goose Lake for breakfast, so we had our own little breakfast at a neat little place called Old Tymer's Cafe. We then went on a search for a t-shirt for Cambell, a Christmas ornament, and a mug... Our search was successful! Cambell was quite a help. In the afternoon, Lolli was kind enough to feed, walk, and put down Cambell so Graham and I could have a great Jeep adventure as well. Turns out, adventure is an understatement for our experience!

Dad took Summer, Ryan, Graham, and I up to Greene Peak. The ride up was pretty uneventful, except for seeing Melinda and Steve and taking a little longer than expected! At the top, we scarfed down our lunches while enjoying the view.
Then came our descent. The Kirkpatricks started ahead of us... we took a different route... apparently. "This is not a road" exited our lips many times. This was not the first time we have found ourselves lost on this mountain! But we continued.
My dad gave poor Ryan a chance to drive for a while at the WRONG time, unbeknownst to him. Ryan went up a pretty steep hill with an insane decline to follow. The peanut gallery in the back challenged his jugment, but we assured them that it was the only option seeing as the largest tree you have ever seen had fallen in the seemingly easier raod. Ryan relinquished the wheel and my dad got us down without harm.
The pictures do not do this road justice.

After literally sliding down another hill of dirt and some narrow escapes, we made it to the bottom alive! The Kirkpatricks pulled out of another road a few minutes later. Whew!
After a much needed double date with Melinda and Steve, we danced some more and had a great time as it was the last night for everyone to be in town. Here is our attempt at a family picture...
The next morning was my favorite. We took all of our own cars up the Old Pass, which used to be the only way into town. The CR-V handled the trip like a champ! I was grateful to have a day where we could do something outdoors on the mountain WITH Cambell and WITH everyone! It was amazing. Below you will see the town of Red River at the bottom.
Here are the remaining (2nd generation) girls...Here is our brave, little third generation mountain girl...We enjoyed a nice little picnic...Cambell's cool new backpack... She is soooo outdoorsy :)
Below documents Cambell practicing her scavenging skills... She keeps begging for crackers from the Johnsons (btw... Roland is the new President of the State Bar of Texas! We were proud to be in the presence of celebrity :)) even though Mommy and Daddy had PLENTY of our own crackers to share with her.
Our little family!On our last evening in the land of enchantment, we went to dinner at Capo's with the remaining gang. Feeding that many people takes a while, and Cambell was not up for the wait. Thankfully, Pop came to the rescue and took great care of Cambell, walking her around and taking her up and down stairs. After some shared ice cream and a good but short night's sleep, we were up at the crack of dawn with the car packed. Cambell had not been up at 6am since she was an infant in need of milk. Look at those sweet tired eyes.
We made one more stop for kolaches and coffee at our favorite place, Mountain Treasures, and we were off!One last breath of mountain air. The mountains always amaze me and remind me of the grandeur of creation. I am grateful for the chance to escape to such beauty with my precious family.
And now we are home again. The ride home was actually better than expected. We went from Red River to Plano in one day, with only three stops. Cambell did ok thanks to the Backyardigans on our laptop with Daddy's homemade stand! Sunday morning we had brunch at our favorite Plano spot, Main Street Cafe, followed by Legacy Books, and then made our way home. The laundry is complete and all but Cambell's luggage has been put away. We are all still catching up on sleep and missing the 60 degree weather, but happy to be home and together!

To view ALL of our pictures from our vacation... visit http://cookfamilypics1.shutterfly.com/

Monday, July 13, 2009

Up to No Good...

Cambell speaking... I have been pretty busy. So has Mommy. She has been painting all the time, but also taking me to swim with my friends. I like to swim, but have pretty specific desires when I am in the pool. Mommy is not always good at knowing EXACTLY what I want. Today I went swimming with my friend Justin and bossed around some horses next to his grandmother's house, pointing at them and using my famous high pitched squeal. I got a little confused and called them "babies". Mommy reminded me that the horses are quite different from babies. I pretended not to listen.




At the end of last week Mommy took me to swim with Harper at Harper's grandparents' house. Harper's Mommy took some excellent pictures:

I love to play with Harper. Our Mommies sure are silly, though. They took our swimsuits off and waited a while to put new diapies on us!Goldfish just taste better in the buff!
The day before swimming with Harper, I went swimming with a lot of my friends to celebrate Kylee's birthday. I just wasn't in a very good mood, though. You see, all these teeth are being born in my mouth and it really hurts. Wouldn't YOU be in a bad mood if you had 5 teeth being born in YOUR mouth? But Mommy was having fun with the other Mommies, so I eventually decided to chill out and let us stay.So, now I am really tired from all of my swimming, yelling at horses, and talking to all of you. I will now proceed to hug my lovey and nappy.