Sunday, November 30, 2008

Off to see Santa

We went to Dothan this afternoon in hopes to start some Christmas shopping and to let Alex visit Santa. We went to the mall first and decided to head straight to Santa. As we walked up to Santa, we saw the most horrendous line ever. I told Larry to forget it - I did not want to stand in that line just to get up to Santa and have Alex freak out! Luckily, we discovered that the LONG line was for Iron Bowl shirts and not for Santa. Alabama fans had lined up to purchase their Iron Bowl victory shirts!

We got in line for Santa and were happy that the line was moving quickly and it wasn’t too awful long! While waiting in line, Alex ate a snack of Kix cereal and Cheerios and kept pointing happily at Santa! We hoped that was a good sign. By the time we finally made it up to Santa, Alex was pointing and waving at him – surely that was a good thing! I put him in Santa’s lap and he started clapping and smiling. He even looked back at Santa and smiled at him – GREAT!! We were going to have a successful Santa visit! Oh no, that was not in the cards for us today. After Alex sitting in Santa’s lap for a minute or so, one of the teenagers working as an “elf” let us know that the printer had run out of paper so it would be a minute. The suggested getting Alex out of Santa’s lap so he didn’t get bored just sitting there! I did – he was still pointing at Santa and waving. After what seemed like forever, the girl finally came back with paper for the printer and told me to go ahead and put Alex back in Santa’s lap – I did. He was a little bit leery at this point. Although, I was able to get a smile out of him for at least one of the pictures that the “elf” snapped. My heart dropped when I heard the “elf” tell me that the picture didn’t take. He told that me that I should probably take Alex out of Santa’s lap while they fixed the camera. I took him away from Santa for the second time. When the teenaged “elves” finally fixed the camera and told me to place Alex in Santa’s lap for the third time, Alex slightly clung to me and did not want to go back to the man dressed in red! I walked away and Larry and I noticed the look of fear in his eyes – we knew that we were not getting the smiley child and Santa picture we had hoped for! We were able to get one picture of Alex and Santa. As you can see in the picture, there is fear in Alex’s eye and not much of a smile on his face. We are lucky that the camera did not capture any tears though! We ordered the package in which we got the picture saved to a thumb drive and the “elf” told me that I was able to get three images on thumb drive – I told him that I was not putting my crying child on Santa’s lap again! We walked away with only one picture!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Christmas Tree is Up

Not only did we watch a great football game today, but we were also able to put up our Christmas tree after the game! We decided that this year we would put the Christmas tree up in the living room as we have done for the past three years, only this year, the Christmas tree is cage in! We bought a gate to go completely around the Christmas tree – to keep little hands away from it. We also decided that it would probably be in our best interest to only decorate the Christmas tree with lights, garland and our angel! We have a bunch of really special ornaments (some that Larry and I have acquired throughout our years together and some from my Mom and Dad) and it would absolutely kill me if anything happened to some o f the ornaments!

Alex seems intrigued by the lights – he loved watching Larry put them on the tree! Once the tree was up and the lights were on, he went and stood by the gate and just stared at it – it was so cute to watch!

Iron Bowl 2008 - ROLL TIDE!!

Today was a big day in the Cothren household…it was the Iron Bowl! The Iron Bowl is the long awaited and anticipated football rivalry game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers. An important game that allows one team in Alabama to bragging rights for the entire year. In our house, there is no mistaking who we cheer for; we are Tide fans through and through!

Alabama is having an amazing year. Going into the game, their record was 11-0 and they were #1 in all the NCAA football rankings! The Iron Bowl did not disappoint and was just as great of a game as we hoped for (well, only if you are an Alabama fan)! After 4 exciting quarters, Alabama defeated Auburn 36 – 0!

Alex was a little more awake for this year’s Iron Bowl! Last year, he pretty much slept through the game, but this year he was running around like a mad man. He would cheer wildly when Daddy and Grandpa Pete would cheer and he would throw up his arms for a touchdown (and sometimes it would actually be because Alabama scored). He wore his Alabama jersey and jeans and we were even lucky enough to capture a few pictures with his Alabama hat on! Alex had a great second Iron Bowl.

It was a great day to be an Alabama fan! We could not have been happier with the way that the game turned out!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Larry and I are so thankful this year for Alex and everything that he brings to our lives! We are blessed beyond measure! We have a strong, smart little man that is learning and growing everyday. He is the light of our lives and the joy in our heart! He has filled our lives with so much love - more than I ever realized was possible!

We hope that everyone has a day filled with family, food and fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update on All Things Alex...

It has been quite a while since I have given an update on what Alex is doing developmentally. There are so many things to update on!

Alex has three words in constant rotation (along with his “normal” babble).
1. "HI" - He can plainly say “HI” and often overuses this word. He says “HI” nearly a hundred times a day – that is not even exaggerating! In the beginning, he was saying it ALL the time, regardless of the situation! However, he now says it when he is greeting someone. He makes it a point to say “HI” to most everyone – people that come in the house, daddy when he gets back from work, the dogs, random people at restaurants and stores, etc.
2. "NO" – thankfully, he is not using this to be defiant…yet! He hears me tell the dogs “NO” when they start barking, so now he has decided that he needs to be the one to tell them “NO”! He is very clear when he is yelling NO at them and it is very cute! He has yet to understand that NO can be used in many different situations, but I am sure that one day he will learn it!
3. "OOK" (for look) – he ALWAYS points at things, so Larry and I have been pretty diligent to say “LOOK” when he points to things. We are trying to teach him that is the appropriate time to say “LOOK” and he is slowly learning it!

Alex is officially a walker (and has been for about a month). He much prefers walking as his method of transportation. If he happens to fall down when he is walking, he gets right back up and continues on. He is fearless when it comes to falling down (or anything really).

Alex is into EVERYTHING! This child cannot be left alone! He opens cabinets and pulls everything out (we are in the process of baby-proofing the cabinets). We have to keep all the doors closed and for the most part we try to barricade him in the living room.
He is active…so very active! He is constantly on the move. I really don’t think he ever sits still (and if he is too quiet, you know he is into something). I now know why he is only in the 20th percentile for weight – he is burning off calories just as fast as he is putting them into his mouth!

He is eating real food, three times a day! He loves most everything that we give him. He has a habit of letting the food that he doesn’t like fall out of his mouth. I guess that is his way of letting us know that he does not want anymore! He also only gets whole milk now, no more baby formula! He drinks juice out of a straw cup – he never really took to a sippy cup! And one of the most enjoyable things for him to do during any meal times – SHARE HIS FOOD WITH THE DOGS! He takes delight in throwing his food down and watching the dogs scramble to get it! He laughs so hard when they run around his high chair waiting for his handouts! Oh, don’t worry he is plenty fair – he makes sure to throw enough food down for each of the THREE dogs!

One of his favorite new games is to turn off the TV. He enjoys pushing the button and running quickly from it! We are trying to teach him not to do that, but so far we haven’t been very successful!

He LOVES Wheel of Fortune! Sad, I know, but so darn cute! When he watches the show, he will stop whatever he is doing and clap for the contestants. We think that it might be the lights and the wheel that attract his attention! Needless to say, every night we turn to Wheel of Fortune at 6:30 and laugh at Alex clapping along!

He is loving the game “peek-a-boo”. He will put a blanket up over his face and wait for you to say “Where’s Alex?” before he pulls the blanket down. As soon as you say “peek-a-boo”, he starts belly laughing. It is so much fun. A few times, he has put his hands in front of his eyes instead of a blanket.

One of the most special and sweet things that he does that absolutely melts my heart – he points out Grandpa Jim and Grandma Kathy’s picture. When you walk into his room and ask him where Grandpa Jim and Grandma Kathy are, he immediately points to the picture that I have up on his bookshelf. I never taught him to do this and neither has Larry, which makes it even more special. One day I ask him where they were and he pointed at them - I firmly believe that he knows who they are and that makes me so incredibly happy!

He is getting to be such a big boy. Sometimes I look at him and wonder where my baby went! He looks so grown up and even though I might be a little biased, he certainly is handsome! He is doing so many things and each day I am amazed at what he is learning. This age is difficult – they get into so much and they are not comprehending the word no when they are doing something they shouldn’t, but nevertheless it is such a fun age

There are so many more things, but that is enough to brag on for one entry!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma Kathy!

Happy Birthday, Grandma Kathy!

Today is Grandma Kathy’s birthday. She would have been 50 years old – WOW!! I’m sure she would not enjoy the fact that I just shared her age with all of our readers…oh well! Today, as is the same with every birthday, we will sing her “Happy Birthday” and send her a balloon up to heaven. Sending balloons is something that Larry and I have done every year since they have been gone and something that I hope Alex will look forward to as he gets older.

As I did on my Dad’s birthday, I am going to try to use this day as a day to celebrate my Mom and the life that she lived. My Mom was an incredible woman. A woman with the kindest heart and warmest embrace. She had a welcoming spirit about her – I really believe that she never met a stranger. Those who knew her instantly became her friend. My Mom loved with her whole heart, she loved her husband, daughter, mother, sister, brothers, nieces and nephews more than words can describe. For those of us that she loved, we never had to doubt it or wonder because she ALWAYS made sure to let us know how much she cared for each one of us. My Mom was my best friend – she was someone that I always knew my secrets were safe with, someone I knew I could confide in and someone I could be me around. She comforted me on days that I was down, gave me hope when I needed it and believed in me when I ceased to believe in myself. My mom is the person that molded me into the woman that I am today. I am so lucky – I have an amazing woman that I am honored to call “My Mom”!

I cry today for all that is missing from my life. I cry for the birthdays that we no longer get to celebrate, for the holidays that we are no longer a family. I cry for the days that seem to drag on and on. I cry for the days that I just want to pick up the phone and call my mom – gosh, there have been so many days within the past 13 months (Alex’s age for those of you that are wondering) that I have NEEDED her and NEEDED her advice. I cry for the fact that Alex will never know the incredible people that made me, me! I cry that he will never feel their kisses or hugs or have sleepovers or be spoiled rotten by Grandpa Jim and Grandma Kathy. I cry because for as much as I want the days to get easier, they aren’t.

And when I feel like I have no more tears left, I smile! I smile because I was able to live 26 years with my Mom and Dad. I smile because of all the memories that I have – the memories that will allow my Mom and Dad to continue to live on. I smile because I know that when I feel like giving up, it is my Mom and Dad who are lifting me up and forcing me to continue on! I smile because I watch our crazy son throw toys across the room and know that my Mom and Dad would be here egging him on and laughing right along with him. I smile because I watch Alex and know that they sent him to me. I see glimpses of them in him all the time and nothing makes my heart smile more!

I love you, Mom! I love you more than I ever knew possible! I hope that you and Dad are having a wonderful 50th birthday celebration. You deserve the best and I am positive that Dad is making sure you receive nothing but the best. You are missed here, not just today but every day. Alex will always know you and know how much you love him. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Total Teeth - 8

For those of you keeping count, our little man has 8 teeth!

Two new teeth popped up overnight - or at least it felt like overnight! The two next to the center bottom teeth are in the process of coming up! So he now has his front four teeth on both the top and the bottom! Our little man is growing up...before we know it, he will have a mouthful of teeth!