Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, maybe a better title would be "A Very Happy and Chaotic Thanksgiving"! We were able to travel to the Tri-Cities this year for the big day. Our original plan was to leave on Monday and stay for four relaxing days so we could visit a few people and not feel rushed. However, somebody (me) forgot about having class on Tuesday night so our trip was cut in half- leaving Wednesday morning from Portland and returning Friday morning so we could get prepared for Rick to return to work on Monday (after being off since October 24th for paternity leave). *On a sidenote- in class on Tuesday, I "taught" my first official lesson plan to the rest of the students in my class. I think it went pretty well!*

We stayed with my mom and step-dad, making it a pretty full house, which included my grandma, sister, and niece also. The "chaotic" part of the visit was trying to keep Tyson out of everything and keep the girls (Riley and Cassidy) from fighting over everything, making it tough to truly relax. But, overall we had a great time. The food was wonderful and my mom's house was decorated so beautifully for Thanksgiving. We look forward to a longer visit over the Christmas holiday! Be prepared for lots and lots of pictures below- the camera got a real workout with more relatives meeting Cooper for the first time and trying to get some rare family photos!

I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for when I get a chance to spend time with family. I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Isn't the table beautiful!? My mom did such a great job! I wish I had half the creativity my mom and sister have!
She even made cool name cards that wrapped around Hershey Bars she downloaded from Martha Stewart- yummy!
Great-Grandma Clarette and Cooper
Cooper with Uncle Bryan
Grandpa Jim getting to hold his fifth grandson!
Cooper LOVES his Aunt Robyn!
And Cousin Cassidy was so excited to meet Cooper- she was bummed she didn't get to be here when he was born! She's a natural at holding him!
Tyson kept getting into the refrigerator wanting milk or juice... this time he got away with some.
The boy LOVES his milk! (Thank goodness he doesn't know how to twist off the top yet!)
Cooper is so lucky to have such a loving big sister!
A very, very rare photo of all three of our wonderful children. (too bad we can't really see Cooper's face!)
Proud mommy! Notice the lighter and shorter hair? I gave up on trying to grow it out and keep it dark, it just made me feel frumpy. I'm beginning to feel like my old self again... now if I could just fit into my old clothes!
Finally we had someone around to take a picture of Rick and I together in a picture!Our attempt at a full family photo... unfortunately, Tyson wanted nothing to do with it!
Attempt #2 (actually more like #10) at my dad's house... everyone is there, you just can't see Riley's face. We are finding it is extremely difficult to coordinate 5 people for a picture, especially when 3 of those people are under the age of 3!
Another attempt at a group shot including children... Riley was the one refusing to sit this time. So, here is Grandma Gayle and Papa with 3 of their grandchildren.
And finally, another rare photo- all three of us kids with my dad and step-mom.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

In Loving Memory

Today marked the two year anniversary of the passing of Rick's dad, Cecil. His memory and health had declined rapidly in the last couple of years of his life, but his passing still seemed to come so quickly. He absolutely lit up whenever Riley was around and we are thankful to have pictures and memories of the two of them together. I was almost 8 months pregnant with Tyson, so although he never got to meet him, Cecil still knew he had another grandson on the way. In the days after Thanksgiving in 2006, the Christmas tree was put up at the Thames' house and Cecil was feeling up to getting out of bed that day. We took advantage of his energy and took as many family pictures as we could, not knowing they would be the last photos taken of Cecil. He passed away 3 days later and has been missed greatly ever since. We love and miss you Cecil, Dad, and Grandpa!
Cecil, Rick, and Doris- Taken February 2004
One of our last family photos with Cecil, taken November 26, 2006

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack is back!

1. "24: Redemption" was on tonight- Rick and I are big fans of Jack Bauer and have missed the ticking of the "24" countdown. But, why are they making us wait until January 11th for the real thing?!? I hope season 7 doesn't disappoint!

2. Peace of mind... yesterday we had an alarm system installed in our house. I already have a huge paranoia about someone breaking into our house, so after the string of break-ins a couple of weeks ago on our street, we decided it was a good purchase. Now, I wonder how long it will take before one of us sets it off accidentally!

3. Congratulations are in order for another member of the Thames family- our niece Jamie and her boyfriend Aaron got engaged on Friday! It was a big week for that branch of the family- Michael and Sarah were engaged on the 13th, Tim (Jamie and Michael's dad) turned 50 on the 14th, and Jamie was engaged the 21st. We are now looking forward to two family weddings in 2009!

4. Christmas shopping is usually something I leave for the last minute, which has been fine before because I had the time last minute to complete it. Now that life is a little more hectic, early shopping is a must. I am excited to be almost finished with the kids and most of my family! I still have Rick to buy for a few little things here and there, but I feel so good about what I was able to accomplish in just a couple of days. Thank you Rick for making it possible for me to sneak off for a few hours at a time this weekend!

5. Thanksgiving... I can't believe it is here already! For the first time in years, we will be traveling to the Tri-Cities for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited to spend the day with my family... not so excited for the 3+ hour car ride with a baby still nursing and a toddler who's potty trained.

6. David Klinkenberg... this amazing fiddle player was at our church last weekend as a guest musician and I would encourage everyone to check him out on iTunes or something. He has a Christmas CD, plays many well-known worship songs, and also plays a bunch of songs with Jim Brickman. Watching him play an incredible version of "Jesus Loves Me" in church had me praying that our children would take an interest in an instrument someday. What a blessing music is- I wish I had played something growing up (or stayed interested in the violin). I still dream of taking piano lessons someday as an adult! *I just realized that if you scroll down to the "Baby Dedication" post below and look at the picture of Rick and I praying, David Klinkenberg is sitting on a stool just behind me, holding his fiddle! Fun!*

7. Fireproof... this was the movie Rick and I decided to go and see on our date night last Monday after a glowing review from my mom and a few other people. We loved the movie, "Facing the Giants", which was done by the same people and "Fireproof" was just as good. It's a small movie and the acting is not awarding winning quality, but the message and lessons about keeping a marriage healthy are good. I'm sure it's out of theaters in many areas now that the bigger holiday movies are rolling in, but I would reccomend it as a rental when it hits Blockbuster in a few months.

8. Blog stalking... this is a term I came across while... well, while blog stalking. I've also heard it called lurking- both terms make it sound much creepier than I actually think it is. I am completely guilty of peaking in on blogs from time to time of people I have known in a previous life (like high school) or of people who know the people I have known in a previous life. I know I'm not alone in this, right? And, I figure if they don't want just anyone reading their blog, they would have made it private... right? So, my question is: Should I come clean to some of these people and actually start leaving comments? Many of these blogs are highly entertaining to read and help me to feel a little more normal as a parent and a woman when I see what fun things others are experiencing and writing about. I also think some fun friendships can result from meeting or re-connecting with folks in the blogging world (Hi Lisa in Atlanta!). My goal this week is to get the courage to leave a few comments... and if you happen to be reading this as a fellow blog stalker, I would love to hear from you!

9. Sleep... why is it that I choose to sit on the computer blogging and looking at Facebook, while watching T.V., rather than go to bed and get some rest while my newborn son sleeps so soundly? I am going to regret it in the morning... or in a couple of hours when Cooper wakes up to eat. Not to mention the lesson plans I still need to write for my class on Tuesday night... I'm such a procrastinator! A tired procrastinator! Off to bed I go...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weight update

Today we took Cooper in for a weigh in after he hadn't gained enough at his 2 week check-up last Friday. He weighed 8lbs 11ozs at birth and was at 8lbs even when we left the hospital, a normal weight loss after birth. By his 2 day follow up after leaving the hospital he was at 8lbs 4ozs, still doing well and growing. For some reason on the Saturday after he was born (2 weeks ago), Cooper all of the sudden quit latching on and didn't eat much for most of the day. I pumped and we syringe fed him until we could get in to see the lactation nurse on Sunday. By Sunday morning, I had a 100 degree fever and a fun case of mastitis (a not-so-fun infection of the... you know). So, by Sunday, Cooper was back to weighing only 8lbs from the lack of eating on Saturday. At is two week check-up last Friday, the 14th, he had only gained 1.5ozs since Sunday (weighing 8lbs 1.5ozs)- which is what worried the doctor. This past week, the focus was making sure Cooper was eating well enough in hopes that he gained some weight. He weighed in at 8lbs 8ozs today- not great (they hope babies are back at their birth weight by about this time), but at least it is progress. And I'm pretty sure he's going through some sort of growth spurt right about now because this kiddo wants to eat constantly today! I'm just happy he's doing okay!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mommy guilt

Do you ever get the feeling there is so much going on in your life, that everything is suffering and nothing is getting your full attention? I'm totally feeling that right about now!

My poor husband is being neglected and being a complete saint by picking up all the slack around the house and dealing with me nagging when I should be saying "Thank you!". Riley and Tyson have gotten so used having Rick around that they barely want anything to do with me- okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little about that one. My homework is definitely sitting at the bottom of the priority list, which is sad because it's a lesson planning class and totally important for my Master's. The house is only staying as clean as it is because Rick is here to help. I'm behind on my Thank You cards and haven't even ordered Cooper's baby announcements yet- and he's almost 3 weeks old. Yesterday we gave Cooper his first official bath and forgot, yes forgot, to take any pictures of it!! (Which actually made me cry in my emotional state) Riley and Tyson have first bath pictures, but not Cooper. Do you think he'll notice if we take some of his second bath and try and pass them off as first bath pictures? :)

Forget phone calls to family and friends, that is nearly impossible to find time for. I'm even finding time to neglect myself... I'm on the every-other-day plan for showers and I actually went about 36 hours this week wearing the same pajamas. I think Rick is wondering what happened to his wife and when she was replaced with some frumpy lady who doesn't shower or put on clean clothes. Sadly enough, I'm using the precious time I do have right now to write a pity-party blog entry about my Mommy guilt when I probably should be sleeping or something.

The only one getting my full and complete attention these days- outside of the lack of pictures thing- is Cooper. He and I are new BFF's. We go everywhere together- running errands, attending my college classes, and even going on a date night with Rick and I to see "Fireproof" (good movie by the way, I would totally recommend it!). He and I get a ton of quality time together, which I am very thankful for. I ended up with mastitis a week after Cooper was born and his weight gain wasn't on track at his two week check-up last Friday, but otherwise we're doing pretty well. We have an weigh-in appointment tomorrow and hopefully he's back on track after a great week of eating- a lot of eating.

I know things will slowly get better and easier and more balanced, but in the meantime I'm struggling a little with all of it. It does get better, right? :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby Dedication

This morning, our church had a Baby/Child Dedication. It was a chance for Rick and I, in front of our family and church family, to commit to raising Cooper in a Christ-centered home and to be continually praying for our children and family. We have been lucky enough to have all three kids dedicated in the same church we where were married and committed our lives to each other. We are so grateful to our family and friends from Life Group who came to the 8:30am service this morning in order to show their support!

Here we are praying with the children's pastor and church over the children being dedicated.
Here we are back at home, enjoying the beautiful weather in our backyard!
This weekend, my dad and stepmom were passing through the Portland Airport for a weekend vacation and kept their car at our house. This picture of myself, "Papa", and the kids was taken Thursday before taking them to the airport.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big news in the Thames family

Happy 50th Birthday to Rick's brother and the kids' Uncle, Tim! Tonight we were able to celebrate with him over tacos and birthday cake!
We are also extremely happy to be adding a new member to our family- our nephew Michael and his girlfriend Sarah were engaged on Thursday! Thursday also happened to be Sarah's birthday- Happy Birthday!
Cooper was so peaceful, we didn't want to wake him. But, this was the first time meeting his cousin, Michael and cousin-to-be, Sarah.
Cousin Emma was also meeting Cooper for the first time tonight... We have all decided we need to try and get together more often!
I also wanted to include a picture of Aunt Debbie holding Cooper for the first time last week. I think he's officially met all the members of the Thames family now!

Family pictures

Once again, our friend Amy at Full of Grace Photography offered to take pictures of the kids for us and we jumped at the chance to update our family photos! Coordinating 5 people in a photo at one time was tough, but she was able to get a couple of good ones. Cooper did great for his first photos, Riley was much more cooperative than she's been in the past, and Tyson wanted NOTHING to do with being in any pictures. He was bribed with fruit snacks to sit still, which is why it looks like he's chewing in most of the pictures! Thanks Amy for capturing some great shots of our family! :)

Riley loves to give Cooper kisses whenever she gets a chance!This is the only shot of the 3 kids we could get...I think he looks like a concerned little old man in this one!Doesn't she look so grown up!And doesn't he look mischievous... :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The land of in-between

I have grown to hate my wardrobe of maternity clothes. I have been pregnant a great majority of the last 4 years, and spent much of the time between pregnancies wearing maternity clothes... which is of course where I am right now. So, today when a very sweet neighbor of ours commented on my cute shirt and then asked, "Now, when are you due again?", I couldn't help but be a little... bummed. This morning, I gave up on the way-too-big maternity jeans that were continually falling down and squeezed into an older pair of jeans- even if they gave me a little muffin top, my post-pregnancy 3-4 month pregnant looking belly fit nicely over the top of them... at least they would zip, right? Any maternity shirt I wear, only makes me look bigger and apparently still "pregnant", and any pre-pregnancy shirt I own is just too darn small/short/tight to justify wearing out in public. The land of in-between...

I'm just now feeling well enough to even think about taking a walk, let alone actually getting out and sweat a little. I know it's going to take some time to get back to my "fighting weight" and I realize nobody expects me to bounce back within 2 weeks of giving birth. So, it leaves me wondering- which is the lesser of two evils... wearing the maternity clothes and still looking pregnant/just fat or squeezing into smaller, non-maternity clothes. I miss my old wardrobe- which is probably completely out of style by now anyways! :)

*On a completely different note, we recently found out that several houses in our neighborhood have been broken into in the last week and cars have been stolen right from people's driveways. I'm already a total chicken when it comes to noises in the house at night and I'm scared of the dark, but the idea of having our house broken into just freaks me out. We have the house completely locked up (garage doors and all), half the lights will be left on all night, we have moved all our major "valuables" (cameras, computers, wallets, etc.) to our bedroom, and also moved all our financial and personal documents from our file cabinet to our bedroom as well. I seriously considered having all three kids sleep in our room tonight too, but Riley and Tyson are snug in there own beds. The only information we've gotten has been from our neighbor, but I'm considering placing a call to Gresham Police tomorrow to find out more details. I will be saying serious prayers of protection over our house and my wonderful family tonight as we try and get a good nights sleep.

Family movie night

Yesterday was a rainy, windy, stormy day here in the Portland area- perfect for a cozy night in jammies watching a movie! Rick and I decided it would be perfect for our first family movie night on the hide-a-bed downstairs with the kids. We rented "Kung Fu Panda", pulled out the bed, got in our footie pajamas (OK, the kids did), and popped some popcorn. We all piled on the bed with the lights out and enjoyed the movie... we'll 4 of us did. Tyson is at a really restless age and wasn't too interested in sitting still, so he went to bed around 7:30pm and Riley, Cooper, Rick, and I enjoyed the movie. I can't wait to have many more of these in the years to come!

The kids really got comfy for the previews, before we all piled on the bed for the main attraction!
Tyson was way more interested in his popcorn than having his picture taken!

Random pictures

After Riley and Tyson were born, it seems like we couldn't take enough pictures of them- most of the time doing absolutely nothing, normal newborn things like sleeping... and sleeping. Maybe the occasional picture with their eyes open and even a few with Rick or I holding them. Since we've been home with Cooper, there have very few photos taken of him in comparison to the other two. We'll have to work on that a little bit! We're still trying to get a good shot of Cooper for his baby announcements. He was born with a pretty decent baby rash all over his body, including his face, so most pictures just don't seem to do his cuteness justice! :) We'll get a good one soon. Of the few pictures we have taken in the last week, here are some of my favorites:

I love this picture of Rick with all the kids!
Tyson giving cuddles to his new baby brother
Don't babies look so peaceful when they sleep?
I could just sit and stare at his little face all day- I've realized how quickly this stage passes by, so I'm trying to soak it all in while I can!
This was Riley wanting to "wear" her baby's blankies as a pretty dress.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home with Cooper!

Finally, I am stealing away a couple of minutes to write a little update and post a ton of pictures from our stay in the hospital and our first days at home. So far, things are going well. We're just trying to lay low and adjust to our new normal of life with three kids under the age of 3! Cooper is doing really well, eating, sleeping, and pooping like normal. Riley can't seem to get enough of her new little brother, whereas Tyson isn't as interested quite yet! This third pregnancy, labor, and, so far, recovery, has been the easiest of all of them. I'm trying to rest as much as possible, which is why it's taken me four days to post anything- I've actually been choosing rest and family time over the computer, a big step for me! :) (sad, I know!) Hopefully I'll find more time in the weeks to come to post updates and pictures of the kids, Cooper is already changing so much!

My sister has been here to help out for a couple of days while Rick has conferences at school, which has been so nice. She leaves this afternoon and Rick will be home with us until December 1st on paternity leave. I am really looking forward to all the family time we'll get together in the weeks to come. Enjoy the pictures below... there are a ton of them!

Here's our handsome little man just a couple of hours after making his way into the world
With his very proud daddy
Grandma Diane was able to make it to the hospital just in time!
Riley was so excited to meet Cooper for the first time and hasn't stopped wanting to hold him since! She is an amazing big sister!
Riley was a little freaked out by seeing mommy in the hospital bed and didn't want to leave when the time came. It was tough being away from both she and Tyson for 3 nights.
Tyson was also excited to meet Cooper and get a chance to hold him. He's a little less interested than Riley is, but still doing a great job as a new big brother!
Aunt Robyn also made the trip down to see Cooper.
Cousin Melissa
Cousin Jamie
Grandpa Dave
Grandma Gayle
With Daddy and Riley, just before leaving the hospital on Monday
Looking so tiny in the carseat!
Cooper in his "going home" outfit!
This was a sight to see... all three carseats in the front row of the van! Until I can crawl in the back or Riley can strap herself in, this will have to work!
At home all swaddled and comfy on the couch!
Riley decided he needed a book to read!
A couple of pictures of Mommy with her 3 kiddos! I still can't believe I'm a mother to 3... (and boy do I look tired!)

Here's the ultrasound photo from the little red envelope... yep, it's a boy! :)