Monday, August 25, 2008

Cooper's Big Day!

Yes, it happened today, no matter what I tried to do to stop it. Cooper had his first day at Kindergarten. He started to morning off feeling very anxious and acting out by saying, "I'm not wearing ANY shoes!" He drug his feet and scrunched up his face until we finally had to push him out the door. He insisted on riding his bike, so we went along. Anything to distract him from his worries. It seemed that each rotation of the tires released a little more of his stress, because by the time we made it to school he had a smile on his face. He was quiet when we got into his classroom, but seemed to fall right into place. We found his seat, his locker and his nametag and he was ready to start his day.

It was beyond words, all the emotions I've had today. Fear, Sadness, but mostly I just realized how much I'm going to miss him! To all you moms who are sitting at home with babies who are throwing up, pooping, screaming all over you and you think you'd rather be anywhere but there...pick up those babies and squeeze them tight. Put down the phone, shut down the computer, stop folding that laundry and play, play, play with your little ones, right this minute! I just keep wondering...did I read enough, play enough, sing enough, hug enough, encourage enough, laugh enough, do enough? Was my time with him well spent? Have I done a good job? Because if not, I'm out of time.

Then the Lord reminds me that he chose me to be Cooper's mother before I was ever born. He has equipped me with every good thing that he needs, and maybe even the bad stuff too. For whatever I'm lacking or whatever I may have missed, He will do more than I could ever ask or imagine in Cooper's life! I'm so thankful that I have HIM as my safety net, to pick up any slack that I may have left and to fill me each and every day with everything I need to raise and minister to these boys!

Thanks to everyone that was thinking of and praying for us today! It has been a very emotionally draining day, and I'm off to take a LONG bath and go to bed!

I'll leave you with a letter I decided to write to Cooper might need a tissue or box, followed by some pictures from today.

Dear Cooper,

Today is the first day that you start slipping out of my fingers. I’ve held your head up, when you couldn’t hold it up on your own. I’ve held my breath watching you sleep, thinking “I could never possibly love anyone this much!” I’ve held your face in my hands to say countless words of love, discipline and just plain silliness. I’ve held your hand; to cross the street, to calm you down, to attempt to show how much I love you... And now, I have to hold that hand, and place it in the hands of someone else.

No one told me that loving could hurt this much! No one told me that letting go could feel like someone ripped a piece of your heart out and you have no say and no stopping it! No one told me that you would have to dig so deep inside to find the faith to trust God to keep this precious child safe, loved, cared for by someone you’ve only met for five minutes and have no clue who they really are.

As you begin this new and exciting journey in your life, this is my prayer for you;

I pray that each day would bring new and exciting things to your eyes. Things that amaze and entice you to want to learn more!

I pray that God would lead you to lasting and uplifting friendships that will grow your faith and walk with Him!

I pray that your light would shine so brightly, that each person who came in contact with you would notice and seek out the source of that light, and I pray that you would be bold to tell them that Jesus is the light of your life!

I pray that you would find confidence and success as you learn. That you would be a person who preservers when others choose to give up.

I pray that you would never doubt that mommy and daddy are here to support, love and cheer you on as you find the highs and lows of life are not always easy to manage on your own.

Letting you go, means letting you soar! As hard as this day has been for me, I trust that the Lord has spectacular things in store for you! You have so much to offer this world, and I would be selling the world short to keep you home with me until you’re 35. You are insightful, articulate, kind, joyful, intelligent, hilarious, strong willed, a natural leader, you are…my son, and I love you more than any man made device could ever measure or capture or contain.

So you go out there and knock one out of the park for me! I have no doubt that you will make mommy and daddy so proud! You are the joy of my life and I am so proud of you!

My love always,


(And yes, you have to call me mommy until your 35!)

No shoes! No Way!

Can you see his excitement!

Still not really feeling it.

Mimi, praying for a great day!

We're finally on our way!

What? Is that a smile???

It's a good thing you can't see my heart!

Cooper and Mrs. Redmond

One last look...and he's off to a great day!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

My Last Week With Cooper...

Just to be saying it is hard enough, but the thought of walking him up to that door and walking away has placed a permanent lump in my throat! I decided this weekend that I would make this week all about him, and spend some quality time doing the things he loves! Having two other boys who need my time has made if very difficult to find the time to spend much one on one time with Cooper, so whenever possible it was just he and I, or us and Conner. Carter is still at the buzz kill stage, so he has to stay with whomever is willing and available to help me out:) (Thanks to Julia, Tracy, Jenn, Mom & Carrie for making this week possible by watching Carter and Conner!)

Okay so now on to our week of fun. I don't have pictures of all of it, but you'll get the idea anyway.

Monday we went to Ridgemar Mall just me and all the boys to play and have lunch, then while Carter slept at Julia's, we went bowling at Alley Cats with Mimi. Mommy won one game and Cooper won the second game. They loved that!

Tuesday Cooper and Mimi had a special date and went to see Space Chimps. He said it was really funny, and of course "we have to get the DVD".

Wednesday was just Cooper and I, so I planned a day at the ballpark. My plan was for us to meet Daddy for lunch at the Rawling's All Amercian Grill inside the ballpark, but apparently it doesn't open until 4 on game days, so we went with plan B and headed to Jason's Deli. After lunch and saying bye to daddy, we headed back to the ballpark to check out the Legends of the Game Museum as well as take a tour of the ballpark. He really loved looking at all the old jerseys and baseball cards and he loved playing the games up in the Learning Center. Then we went on the tour. We got to see the press box, a few of the luxury suites, the tunnel under the ballpark where the locker room is (we didn't get to go in there because it was a home game day, bummer; but I did let Cooper peek through the crack in the door.), the batting cages where they practice and best of all the Dugout. I told him he could sit in the same spot that Michael Young sits. He thought that was really cool! My camera battery died before I could get a picture of us in the dugout, but a nice man on the tour with us from Boston took one of us w/ his camera and said he would email it to me in about a week, so I'll add that later:) After the tour we headed to The Children's Place where he got to pick out a new backpack and lunch box for Kindergarten. Overall, we had a wonderful day together and I hope that he will have memories of it when he's older. Even if he doesn't remember each moment, I know I will and I'll cherish it, along with every other moment I've been blessed to share with him these past five years! (sorry...wiping my sloppy face off, brb.)

Cooper & I in the press box.

Cooper being silly in the City of Arlington Suite

He loved this picture of the fireworks.

Dressing up like "Pudge"
(even though he doesn't know who that is.)

As you can see we had the whole place to ourselves;)

Do you recognize those players?
Cooper took this one, I love it!

He wanted to stay all day and play these games!

The next morning Day took Cooper, Conner and Ethan for a morning of fun at ASI Gymnastics. This gave me some one on one time with Carter, which was really great. He and I went to the park and played until it got too hot, and then headed home for lunch. After lunch I took Carter to Mimi's and headed to pick up the boys and meet Claudia for a trip to the Fort Worth Museum to see an IMAX move, Dinosaurs Alive. The boys had lots of fun playing with the hands on exhibits and Conner LOVED the huge train set they had there. The boys were a little scared during the movie, but overall I think they liked it. I just forget how the movies are more of a documentary and not the kind of movie they're used to. This was a very busy and very fun day. I'm afraid Cooper may be getting a little rotten from all this fun! As soon as we’d finish anything he’d ask, “What is our next fun thing?” They learn fast, I guess!



Carter & Mommy!

What a big boy! He struck this pose on his own.

Creating their paper cup whirly birds.

Watching them fly!

Ethan putting a dinosaur puzzle together.

Conner shopping for groceries!

Three Scary Dinosaurs!

Friday was the day we had Cooper's last playgroup party. You know how much I love our playgroup (if not, click here to read the post about it:) and these guys have been together since before they could walk. The idea of this being Cooper's last one, accept for maybe during school breaks, was really sad to me! Tracy was great and got him a cookie cake that said "Good Luck Cooper". He loved that and it really meant a lot to him, and to me! She also got him a book called "Off to Kindergarten" very thoughtful!

All our playgroup friends!

Silly boys!

Cooper and his cookie cake!

And we're "Off to Kindergarten!"

Then on Saturday, Day took the older boys to Hawaiian Falls for an afternoon with daddy. They had lots of fun their too.

I know it was a lot to pack into one week, but I will make this a new tradition for each of the boys to have a week of fun before they start kindergarten. Cooper doesn’t get to be the center of attention very often, nor do any one of the boys I guess, so he has earned his moment in the spotlight! Who knows when I’ll get this chance again! I’m sad to see my little boy growing up, but very proud at the same time to see him becoming an independent young man. He’s my pride and joy!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

A wild "HAIR"!

So I had a "wild hair" tonight as they say, and decided to try and cut the boys hair for the first time. Several of my friends w/ boys (Jennifer G., Carrie M. and Natalie) all cut their boys hair, so it got me to thinkin'...If they can do it, I can do it! I started on Conner first, since Cooper will be starting Kindergaden on Monday, I thought best not to start w/ him. I just used the clippers with a "two" on the bottom and a "three" on the top. I was SHOCKED at how great it turned out. Next came Cooper and Carter. GO ME! I have saved us $30! Day was at a meeting at church so I also did this all by myself! We stripped down in the backyard and then hossed off after we were done! I've started a new trend, that's all I know! Day said I get the $30 for doing myself! Whoo Hoo! Here is a look at my handywork!

That is actually an attempt at a smile on Conner's face!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Destin Vacation...Final Day of Fun!

We packed as much as we possibly could into our last day in Destin. We had promised the boys they could ride on the Go Carts earlier in the week, so we headed to “The Track”. It turned out they had a buy one ticket get one free special until noon, so we got enough tickets to let the boys ride some of the kiddie rides they had there. Carter surprised us all and got scared on all the rides. He’s usually pretty fearless, but he wasn’t crazy about anything but the carousel, but he would only do it if Day rode w/ him. They older two were able to ride next to us on the go carts, and Cooper got to ride twice, once w/ Cory and once w/ Day. Conner rode w/ me, and was less than thrilled w/ the ride. He had a very tight grip on my arm the whole ride. But once we passed Cory and Cooper and “won” the race, he was thrilled! We had a lot of fun!

Don't we look so cool!

Conner LOVED the Choo Choo!

Carter was excited at first, but you can see...he becomes less and less thrilled with the whole flying thing!

We came back from The Track and headed straight for the pool. We got in as much swimming as possible. You may remember the boys had tried to go for a night swim earlier in the week and a storm came and ruined their plans. So we promised the boys we would swim before we left. After dinner we packed up everything but our swimming suits and headed to the pool around 8:45 and swam until 9:45, packed up the car and left around 11:45. This trip was such a blessing to spend time with Papaw and Jean and to watch the boys experience new things. God has truly blessed us to be able to do these kind of things with our family! We’re already planning next year’s trip!

Carter just "chillin" with some hot girls at the pool.
Carter finally got the nerve to jump on our last day!

Enjoying our last night of swimming!

Conner getting some air!
Carter getting some air!

What a fun bunch of fools!

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