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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thoughts about Semmes

Semmes was 17 months old on Tuesday, and he's great.  So I want to write a quick post about some of the cute/funny/weird things he's up to at this stage.

1.  He's a climber.  I swear he sees a chair and thinks, "Challenge accepted!"  And he's really good at it...until he tries to get down.  The other day, I came into the kitchen and found him sitting on the kitchen table eating goldfish out of a bag.  When he saw me, he immediately started stuffing goldfish into his mouth, chipmunk style, because he knew I was going to take them away.  I think he got five or six in there before I got to him.

Hamming it up at the zoo:



2. He's never met a stranger.  He says, "Hi!" and waves at everyone.  Last Sunday was the start of the education year at church, so it was packed.  I went and got him so he could take communion with us (he's eating the wafer now, obviously).  When we came into church, everyone was praying in unison, but he stuck his hand into the air and started waving and yelling, "HI!!!" as loudly as he could.  It caused a bit of a stir around us.  Thankfully, he's super cute.

3.  He loves books.  And loves to "read."  He'll just sit in his chair or on the floor and look at books.  Plus, he knows tons of words now, so you'll see him pointing at things in books and saying their names.  Or at least, his names for them.

Semmes and some friends at the zoo.  He calls all of his friends "Etta," I think because it's the easiest name to say.  Plus, she's the prettiest.



4.  He knows lots of animal names, just not how to say them.  Instead, most of the time, he just says the sound they make.  So if you say, "cow," he says, "moo."  He USED to say "oink" for a pig, but Brad taught him how to snort, so now that's what he does for pig.  It's gross/weird.

Sixteen months:



5.  He's learned to kiss.  Books, his friends, us, Cooper, he kisses it all.  And it's ridiculously cute.

6.  He sleeps with Elmo and Ribbit, a giant frog.  Every nap time and every night, he gets into my lap with Elmo and Ribbit and we read The Pout Pout Fish, then he sleeps.  He calls the pout pout fish "Blub," since this is what the fish says.  P.S. If you don't have that book, you should check it out.  It's super cute.
Semmes at 17 months:



Sunday, August 24, 2014

My four year old

Tonight is the last night I put Cooper to bed as a three-year-old. How is that possible?! The last four years have seen some of my highest highs (basically every time Cooper smiles at me) and my lowest lows (seizures, every time he can't breathe, etc.). But I wouldn't change it. Cooper is awesome. And he's mine.

As Semmes grows and develops more and more, I often find myself playing the "what if" game. What if Cooper had been a typical kid? What would he be like now? What would my life be like? It's ridiculous and not fair to anyone, but I guess it's human nature to wonder. Most of the time I'm able to stamp down this melancholy part of myself, but I get sentimental around big moments like birthdays. And four is a big birthday.

There's something about Cooper being four that has me a little freaked out. For some reason, four just seems so big! FOUR. Even the word looks big to me (which is ridiculous, because three is a longer word). It might be that Cooper is now in the Pre-K class at school, even though we have two more years at The Allen School.  It might be that Cooper just looks like a big boy now. He's long and lean, just like a four-year-old.  Whatever it is, Cooper is a big kid now.  

Happy birthday, Cooper!  I love you to the moon and back!








Thursday, August 21, 2014

Coper's Six Word Story

Six word stories.  Have ya'll heard of these?  Ernest Hemingway wrote the first (and therefore most famous) one.  His was: "For sale: baby shoes.  Never worn."  So much in just those six words.

NPR is kinda obsessed with these.  They do all sorts of theme ones when they do lengthy reporting on a given topic (race, violence, etc.), so I've heard a lot of them.  Recently, every day when I drive to and from Cooper's school, another school like Cooper's has a sign on their marquee inviting past attendees to submit six word stories for the school's 20th anniversary.  So I've been thinking a lot about Cooper.  And what his six word story would be.  So here it is:

Cooper's condition does not define him.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

The (Dreaded) Grocery Store

"Let's wait and go to the grocery store as a family," he said.

"It'll be good to get Semmes out of the house this afternoon," he said.

Those words would come back to haunt us...

We had to wake Cooper up from his nap to go to Kroger, which was one problem.  We thought a thunderstorm was about to be upon us and we wanted to go before it started raining.  And we didn't go to our normal Kroger, which was another problem.  But we wanted to go to a Kroger that had a Caroline's shopping cart.  Those things blew up on Facebook a few months ago, and we figured out that a few grocery stores around us had one.  So we wanted to try it out.  Bad idea.  They're a little too big for Cooper.  His feet don't touch the bottom and the leg pommel thing is too wide so he has to sit with his legs splayed open.  I'm sure it will be awesome when he's older (and bigger) but it was not a good experience today.

We figured that if Cooper was riding in the cart, I would just carry Semmes in the Ergo.  At first, this was fine.  But when Cooper was melting down in the produce section, we thought it would be a good idea to play kid musical chairs (hint, hint: it wasn't).  First we went and got one of those shopping carts with the cars at the front that Semmes normally LOVES.  We actually tried putting Cooper in it at first, but he had had enough of sitting in weird things and just screamed louder.  So we got Cooper out, and I took Semmes out of the Ergo so he could sit in the car.  Nope. He started having a fit.

So now both kids are screaming.  Right at the front of the store.  Where everyone is coming in.  Awesome.  So Brad leaves to go get Cooper's stroller out of the car. We put him in it, put Semmes in the shopping cart (not in the car part, even though we still have the car buggy), and hope for the best.  I ended up beating Cooper on the chest (patting him with a cupped hand which does calm him but is really loud and sounds like he's getting a good beating) to get him to stop crying.  And for about five minutes all was well.

But then Semmes starts crying and trying to stand up in the shopping cart.  And he REFUSES (like goes limp) to get in the car part of the cart.  So I put the Ergo back on and hold him like that again.  A few more minutes of peace.

Then (really, this was just getting ridiculous) Cooper starts screaming again.  So we decide that I'll take them to the car and Brad will finish shopping.  So much for our family outing/getting Semmes out of the house excursion.  We're all done.  So carrying Semmes and pushing the stroller, I make it all the way out of the store and almost to the car before I realize that I can't collapse Cooper's stroller because of the stitches in my hand (heck, I can barely get them in the car and strapped in, but I was going to do it just to end the misery).  So I take them both back in, we find Brad, and the rest of the shopping gets accomplished as quickly as we can do it.

And then we get to the checkout line.  We were using a WIC check, which has very specific requirements, most of which we don't know since Cooper just started getting solid food again.  The problem today: cheese.  Just so you know, you can't get shredded cheese (no idea why) with a WIC check; it has to be block cheese.  It took two trips by the manager to the cheese section to figure that out.  By this time, we've been standing at checkout for at least ten minutes.  Semmes is FREAKING OUT: trying to grab the candy and magazines, screaming, and flailing his arms in very close proximity to my face.  It was terrific.

Finally, finally, we get everything and get home.  And the thunder we heard, the lightning and gray clouds we saw?  Yeah, by the time we get the groceries into the house, the sun was out and shining again.  Of course.  And that may be the last time all four of us go to the store together ever again.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A busy week

This week is going to be rough.  Between Cooper, Brad, and me, we have several doctors appointments, and I am having surgery on my wrist on Thursday.  Yikes.  Here's our schedule:

Tuesday:  Cooper has Audiology at 10:15, ENT at 11.  Then Brad has an echo scheduled for 2.

Wednesday:  Cooper has a dentist appointment at 9:30, and, oddly enough, I have one at noon.

Thursday: Cooper has his feeding specialist appointment at 8:30, then a pulmonary appointment at 1.  I am having surgery for carpal tunnel that day as well.  My sister Semmes is coming in to take me to surgery so Brad can do Cooper stuff.  I'm very ready for this surgery.  It's been a long time coming.

Anyway, prayers are needed that we all survive the week, that surgery and Brad's echo go well, and that there are no surprises on the Cooper front.  P.S.  Cooper continues to be in the best mood.  Here's a picture of him enjoying the Memphis Zoo the other day: