Thanksgiving & Christmas 2013

Since Libby was born just a few weeks before Thanksgiving, we knew that our holiday season would be spent at home, doing very low-key celebrations!  It was kinda nice that it worked out that way.  I had 95% of my Christmas shopping done before Libby arrived and we had a perfect "excuse" to keep our pace slow!

We enjoyed lots of days inside, and Cale thought Christmas had come early, thanks to all of our sweet friends who brought him "big brother gifts" when they came to meet Libby!

I had my first experience playing dress up with my little girl on Thanksgiving Day!  She wore her first "real" outfit to our Thanksgiving lunch at my parents house :)

Cale loved the change of scenery that my parents house provided, but he quickly changed his mind about spending the night there when it was time to actually lay down and sleep.  The boy likes his own bed!

Here is our Thanksgiving crew.  Just our little family, doing our low-key things, enjoying the time we had toghether...

And since Thanksgiving was so late, we didn't wait too long before we pulled out the Christmas outfits!  My word, dressing a girl is so much fun!

Since our fake tree, that we had purchased our first year of marriage, bit the dust last year, I thought this may be a good year to try a real tree in our house.  Libby and I dropped Cale off at Mother's Day Out and headed to Lowe's to purchase a tree.  I hadn't really thought about the fact that I was going to have to somehow get that tree off of the top of my car when I got home, since I could not drive around with it all day!  So, three weeks after my c-section, our neighbors probably stared in disbelief from their windows as I man handled that tree off the top of my car and into our house.  When Adam heard what I had done, he wasn't sure if he should be angry or impressed!

On Christmas Eve, we attended an early church service and then headed to Honey and Chiefs house for dinner.

Cale gave us a concert in his Christmas PJ's!

Christmas morning, we woke up at our house, enjoyed some family time, and then packed up and headed to my parent's house to open some presents.  Courtney and Brett had to stay in KC for Christmas, since Court was on call at the hospital.  We were sad to not have them there with us, but we got a second round of Christmas when they came to Dallas a week later!  Sad to say, I don't have any pics to document Christmas morning...I'm sure it's because we were more focused on being "in" the moment, than documenting the moment (at least that's what I tell myself to feel better!)

The next evening, we went on a carriage ride around some neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights.  In true Cale form, he wanted nothing to do with it at first, but once he was on it, he loved it!  The pics are blurry, but at least we have some!

We are looking forward to 2014 and all of the adventures in store!  Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful 2013 full of much growth, many blessings, and lots of memories!


2013 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Coopers!




When Libby Came Into the World...

The weeks & days leading up to Libby's birth...

 After a girls trip to Canton with my mom and some of her friends at 37 weeks pregnant (yes, I definitely rented one of those motorized wheel chairs...that's the only way my mom allowed me to join them!), I started having contractions late in the evening.  Because they were pretty consistent, my doctor wanted me to head to triage to be monitored.  When we got there, I was dialated to 1cm, and my contractions were pretty consistent.  Right then and there, I panicked.  I wasn't ready to have her that night.  I know that sounds weird, but Cale had already gone to bed before we headed to the hospital, and I didn't like that I hadn't had a chance to "prep" him.  Plus, I was supposed to be heading to Buy Buy Baby the next morning, for a really great, very selective, shopping event that I had been chosen to attend - I was NOT going to miss that! Ha!!  So, I asked the nurse to do whatever it would take to stop my labor.  She kind of looked at me funny, but my doctor consented, saying that since I was only 37 weeks along, she would like it if Libby had a little bit longer to "cook".  The nurse gave me Norco, the contractions stopped, and we headed home.  That Norco allowed me to have the best rest that I had had my entire pregnancy! :)

One week came and went, and the following Saturday, November 9th, at about 2:45am, I woke up having contractions again.  I figured I should time them, so I headed out into our living room and did what any normal pregnant woman who was pretty sure this was "it" would do...I started painting Libby's door sign for the hospital!  Adam woke up around 3:30, and came into the kitchen to see what I was doing.  When I told him I was timing contractions, and that he should just go back to bed, he just looked about me, shook his head, and headed back to the bedroom.  I do love that he doesn't even question why in the world I would be painting at 3:30am - he knows not to ask anymore! :)

My contractions stayed pretty consistent, but never really increased in pain, so I headed back to bed around 4am, and was able to sleep until 8am.  We had plans to go to breakfast with a bunch of friends that morning, so we carried on with our planned day, all while I was continuing to have consistent contractions about every 5-6 min.  We went to breakfast, came home and cleaned up around the house, put Cale down for a nap, and I headed out the door to go get a mani and pedi...I just had a feeling it would be the last one I would be having for a while!  By 4pm, I knew Libby would be coming in the next 24 hours.  I decided to call my OB and tell her about my consistent contractions.  She told me to call her at 7pm and report in.  At 7pm, I did call back and report in...from my bathtub.  She told me to go ahead and head to the hospital, ready to have a baby.  I told her that I wouldn't be there until 9pm, as I was going to put Cale to bed first, and spend a little bit of time with him.  As excited as I was to meet my new daughter, I was sad that the days of Cale being my only child were coming to a screeching hault.  I was thankful that the Lord had allowed things to happen the way they did, so that I could prep Cale about coming to see me in the hospital the next day, and about meeting his new sister.

Sad to say, my c-section was actually scheduled for the following week, and Adam's mom had been planning to come for the delivery.  Because I delivered her early, Adam's mom wasn't able to be there on her birthday, but she came just a few short days later!  

My parents, who now live in Dallas, had taken a day trip with some of their friends up to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to celebrate the proposal of one of my sister's best friends from college.  I called them around 3pm to let them know that I felt pretty confident that I would be going to the hospital to have Libby that night.  They scrambled to finish things up in Arkansas, and made the trip back to Dallas.

Adam and I made it to the hospital around 9:30, and after about 20 minutes on the monitor, the nurse told my doctor to head on in for a c-section.  My parents made it to the hospital about 15 minutes before I walked to the OR to deliver.

And now, a side note...I didn't realize how different two c-sections could be!  With Cale, I had labored for 14 hours before they decided to take him via cesarean, and so with Libby, we had planned to do a C-section the whole time.  Although I had been having contractions most of the day, I was never in a lot of pain.  With Cale, I had been on a pitocin drip and my body was already tired from my contractions.  I also had gotten an epidural, so they had to wheel me into the OR before I delivered Cale.  With Libby, they waited to do my epidural until I was in the OR, so I was able to walk myself into the OR and lay down on the OR table...that was a bit of a surreal experience!  My recoveries with both Libby and Cale were very different too!  I felt like my recovery with Libby was faster than my recovery with Cale.  I'm sure it had something to do with the events leading up to each c-section, along with the fact that I knew what to expect going in the second time!  I know c-section recovery can be pretty miserable for some people, and I'm so thankful that they haven't been brutal for me!

The next morning, Cale woke up to Honey and Chief, who told him that Libby was here and he was going to go to the hospital and meet her soon!  They stopped by Honey and Chiefs house so that they could get ready for the day, and Cale patiently watched Bubble Guppies on TV until it was time to head to the hospital.

Finally!  They arrived at the hospital and Adam and I were so excited for Cale to meet Libby!  We had spent months talking to him about his little sister that would be coming soon, and we couldn't wait to watch Cale love on her and be such a sweet Big Brother!

Cale walked in with a Happy Birthday balloon for Libby.  Libby was in her bassinet, and I was sitting on the bed.  He saw me first, but immediately asked where Libby was!  He was on a mission to see her!    He ran to the bassinet when he spotted her...

He had the most precious reaction...we really couldn't have asked for a sweeter, more tender moment right then.  He loved her as soon as he saw her!

And he COULD NOT WAIT to hold her...

He and Adam had gone to build-a-bear earlier in the week, and he made a special bunny to give Libby at the hospital.

Sweet boy couldn't get enough of her.

Finally, when he realized that Libby had a few presents to give him, he decided to let go of her long enough just to see what were in the bags!

And this was the sign on the door to my hospital room...the one that I was up painting while timing contractions! :)

We had lots of visitors stop by, but I tried to be protective of my rest time as well.  I felt like it was important for Cale's world not to be turned upside down more than necessary, so I told Adam I would rather him stay at our house at night with Cale, and get good sleep while he could!  My mom kept Cale during those days and Adam went to work.  We decided that it would be better for Adam to take time off of work when I was home from the hospital, so Adam went to work during the day and would come to the hospital and visit when he finished up at work each day.  

Libby did a lot of this when it was just us in the hospital...

I really soaked up my down time at Baylor, knowing that life would not be this calm when we headed home.  It was great to get one-on-one time with her, and Cale and Adam came up every night to visit.  It was such a sweet stay...so much so that I begged my OB to give insurance orders to stay one more day (which she did, since Libby was born so late at night)!

Eventually, we had to go home...

We got home, and a few hours later Adam's mom arrived!  Cale was excited to see her and even more excited to introduce her to his new sister!!

Cale did a lot of Libby holding over the next several days...weeks...months!

And there it is!  Libby is here and we are overjoyed!  
We all love her so much, and just like that, we can't imagine our lives without her!!


She's Here!!

We are excited to introduce

Our precious Libby!

Elizabeth Leigh Cooper
November 9th, 2013
8 pounds 8 ounces
21 inches

We are all doing well and happy to have her here!

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with JOY!"
Psalm 126:3


Picture Overload!

Here I am, trying to play catch up before Baby Girl makes her arrival and our world turns upside down for a while...

We've had a lot of fun adventures in the past 5 months, and I've documented several moments on my iPhone, so this post is my official photo stream dump!

We started our summer by attending the wedding of the century...and Cale happened to be the cutest guy there! :)

We had some friends come visit us, and attempted to fit three car seats in my car.  It was a little tight, but the boys loved sitting so close to each other!

Cale got a big boy bed, and was so excited to sleep in it!  Since then, we've added a set of construction site sheets and "transportation" sheets, and Cale LOVES to sleep sandwiched between them each night.  I have to say, transitioning from the crib to the toddler bed has been relatively easy.  Our rule is that he is not allowed to get out of his bed until we come and get him, but he may call for us if he needs something.  So far, so good.  Of course, there was some boundary testing, but it's been pretty painless!

We got a new back patio this summer, and Cale was mesmerized by the men and cement truck that were hard at work for a few days!  

We had a pretty fun friend move in to the apartment that is attached to our house.  We love her living there.  Cale REALLY loves her living there.

We celebrated the 4th of July with parade watching.  Cale had a blast watching the cars, horses, bikes, and kids throwing candy pass by.

As the the temperatures climbed this summer, we ate lots of popsicles!

Aunt Cookie and Uncle Brett came to visit and put on a concert for us in the backyard.  Cale is always in heaven when these two are around!

We went to a few "concerts on the creek".  Since there were always drums and guitars, Cale was totally entertained...

...but sometimes it got a little loud!

We have spent lots of time on our new patio.  Cale loves digging in his sandbox and in the dirt!

In September, I had a group of sweet sweet friends give me a shower for our little girl.  It was so much fun!  These girls are such a blessing to me!

We have had a lot of rain in the past several months (and are thankful for it) and so I pulled out Cale's new raincoat and boots and taught him about puddle stomping.  I didn't think he would ever want to come back inside.

On the days when it was a total downpour, we spent a lot of time getting creative in our house.  One morning, we spent a long time lining up all of the animals and motor vehicles that may or may not have made it on to the ark.  

Cale has gotten into puzzles lately.  It shocks me at how well it holds his attention span!  He can sit in his room and do puzzles for such a long time.  I think it's safe to say that he will do 6-10 puzzles each day.  We're now up the 40 piece puzzles, but they are quite tricky!  I'm impressed with his focus and his persistence!!

The instrument selection continues to grow at our house.  Cale is such a music lover...

...and a golf lover!

We ran into Honey at the mall one day, and before I knew it, Cale had red Nike's on his feet and would not take them off.  Of course, Honey granted his wish and let him walk out of the store in them.  He now refers to them as his "kicks", thanks to Aunt Cookie!

In October, we went to two HP football games.  Between the band and the football players, Cale was a happy boy!  Adam loved this family time, and we are looking forward to baseball season this spring!

We visited the Dallas Arboretum - always such a treat in the Fall!!

We ventured to the State Fair of Texas, via DART rail, with Honey and saw Big Tex, live and in person!  That was, by far, Cale's favorite thing at the fair.

We spent halloween night with some dear friends, bobbing for apples, eating hot dogs and chili, and of course, trick-or-treating.

This was Cale's first trick-or-treating adventure, and he LOVED it!  He wore his whole fireman gear, and really was so sad to take it off!

And as the weather has cooled down, we've started spending more and more time outside.  This past weekend, Adam and Cale caught a Texas Spiney Lizard.  It was big and gross!

And that's our last 5 months in pictures!  This time has gone so fast, but we've made some great family memories!!  We are looking forward to making many more as a family of FOUR!!