Wednesday, December 31, 2008

15-Month Check-Up

Our original 15 month appointment was scheduled for January 26, 2009, but when we found out that we were moving I called Dr. Whitaker’s office and I was able to get Alex’s appointment changed to December 31, 2008. We love Alex’s pediatrician and all of the nurses, so we wanted to be sure to get in before the move!

We had another EARLY morning appointment. I love appointments first thing in the day because I know that they are usually on time (or close to). When the nurse came in, she took her normal weight, height and head measurements. His 15-month stats are:

Weight – 22 pounds (20%)
Height – 32 inches (85%)
Head – 17 5/8 inches (10%)

He is growing right along the same curve that he has been since birth. He has a small waist and tall legs. Both of which make it difficult to find pants that fit! He can wear 9 month pants around the waist, but he sure does look like he is waiting for a flood! The 12 month pants are just a little too big around the waist, but fit pretty good length-wise.

The doctor came in to talk to us and we told him about our trip to the After-Hours Pediatric office in Florida. He was happy that the doctor there told us just to treat his fever and didn’t try to diagnose him incorrectly with something. Dr. Whitaker made sure to look in Alex’s ears (which were clean), look at his throat (which was slightly irritated, but nothing major) and listen to his chest (which was clear). Because Alex did have a fever of 103 degrees the night before (December 30), Dr. Whitaker did not feel comfortable giving him his shots! I was glad about that because I didn’t want Alex to have to work through a sickness AND work through feeling yucky because of shots. We were told to come back in a week for a nurse visit and shots – as long as his fever was gone!

As always, Dr. Whitaker talked to us about his development. He said that he is doing great developmentally – both physically and mentally. He said that our little boy looks great and we are doing a great job with him! That is something that every parent enjoys hearing!

We let Dr. Whitaker know that we are moving to Maryland and he wished Larry luck and told him congratulations! Alex and I plan on going back to Enterprise for his 18 month appointment on March 31. We figure that it will be a great time to check on the house and go to the doctor. We are going to find a doctor in Maryland “just-in-case” we need someone, but we really like the relationship we have established with Dr. Whitaker and his staff.

I will let you know how the shots go on January 7, 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sick Little Boy :(

Larry and I were able to have a “date night”, since Grandma Karen was nice enough to watch Alex for us! We decided that we had better take full advantage of it because once we move to Maryland, our schedule is not going to allow for too many date nights! We had a great dinner at Ruth’s Chris and went to see Marley and Me. It was nice to be able to out to dinner with each other and enjoy and nice, hot meal!

When we got home, Alex was sleeping. I bent down to kiss him and noticed that he felt warm. I am not usually got at feeling if he has a temperature, so I asked Grandma if she had a thermometer. She did and I took his temp underneath his arm and it was 101.8. I got him some Motrin, which really didn’t bring it down all that much.

The next day (Monday), he battled the fever all day. It would go up, I would give him Motrin and it would go down to about 100.8. I called our doctor and told the nurse about his fever, the fact that he was putting his hands in his mouth and tugging at his ear. My first thought was teething, but the nurse told me that was too high of a fever to just be from teething. GREAT!! She advised us that it would probably be best to take him to a local pediatrician to get him check out. After calling around, we discovered that the only place that took visitors and children as young as Alex was the After Hours Pediatric Care.

We got to the After Hours place right as it opened and we were third in line! They eventually took us back and weighed Alex. Once we got back in the room we told the nurse his symptoms and she took his temperature. She took it rectally (poor Alex) and it was 103.3! No wonder why he was sleepy and grumpy! Larry and I could not believe it was that high.

When the doctor came in, she listened to us explain his symptoms and she suspected that he had an ear infection. She looked in his ears and was amazed when she discovered NOTHING! She listened to his chest and it was clear. His throat was a bit irritated, but he was having a little drainage from his nose which could be the cause of an irritated throat. All in all, she could not find the root of his fever – he had nothing wrong with him that she could see. She told us that it was possibly the onset of an infection, but nothing that could be treated without any signs of illness. She told us to get Children’s Tylenol and treat the fever. We are to give him the Tylenol every 4 hours (even to wake him up during the night) and make him comfortable. She also told us to follow up with our doctor if he wasn’t better in 3 to 5 days – luckily, we have an appointment set up with Dr. Whitaker on December 31.

It is so sad to see Alex not feeling well. He is definitely not acting like his normal, happy self when he is feverish. I am glad that nothing is seriously wrong with him – the worst really does go through your head when you see your child have a fever that high!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

We hope that everyone has a great day filled with love and laughter!

The Cothrens

Monday, December 22, 2008


We have big news…and no, I am not pregnant! We are moving!

I am so proud to announce that Larry has been accepted to attend the Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland ( Naval Test Pilot School). As part of the process, he will be sworn in as an Army civilian engineer on January 5, 2009 and we will be reporting up to Maryland around January 12, 2009. He will be involved in a rigorous academic schedule until the 2nd weekend in December – 11 months of intense classes. He was selected by a board of previous Test Pilot School graduates at his work and was told of his acceptance on December 11, 2008. Not too much time to plan!

Alex and I will be joining Larry in Maryland. He will be extremely busy with school, but the downtime that he does have, we want to be able to be with him and spend time with him. I will be holding down everything on the homefront to allow Larry the chance to focus primarily on his school work. Last week, we (Larry, Alex and I) went to Maryland to find a house to live in for the next year. Luckily, we found a very nice rental townhome. We are renting from a great couple – the husband just graduated from Test Pilot School two weeks ago! The townhome is 3 floors and 3 bedrooms/2 full baths/2 half baths, it has a cute little fenced in yard for the dogs and a deck out back. It is right near a Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Old Navy and is only about 10 minutes from where Larry will be going to school. We are moving to a town called California, Maryland!

This is such a great opportunity for Larry and I am so proud of him! Larry will be in TPS class 136, his class will have roughly 30 pilots and 3 engineers. After finishing this course, he will be a few classes short of his masters (something that I have wanted him to get for quite some time)! At Larry’s work Christmas party this past Friday night (December 19), his boss was telling me about TPS. He mentioned that when Larry walks into the building that classes are held, he will notice a bunch of plaques on the wall. On those plaques are the names of previous TPS graduates – some of those names include Neil Armstrong and Alan Sheppard (among several other historical figures). In December, after graduation, Larry’s name will be among some of the most influential people in Aerospace history! I can’t even begin to tell you how proud of I am of him and all that he has accomplished and continues to accomplish in his short professional career!

It will be a big change for our family – a big move and getting used to a new town, but we are doing it with open minds and eager hearts! I think this opportunity will be what we make of it and I see nothing but great things that will come out of it!

We welcome any visitors in Maryland this next year! Larry will be super busy with school work and won’t have much time to spend with anyone, but Alex and I will be excited to have visitors! We are about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Washington, DC (I can’t wait to see the Cherry Blossoms in the springtime), about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Baltimore and only a 2 hour train ride from Baltimore to NYC! Alex and I will be taking advantage of the great sights up there and can’t wait to show them to anyone that comes to visit!

Wish us luck and keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare for this next big adventure in our lives!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas with the Kritner's (and Worley's)

This year we had Christmas with Larry’s family on Saturday, December 20, 2008. Sheena and Trey got here on Friday (to watch Alex for us while we went to Larry’s work Christmas party) and Becky, Pete and Josh got here on Saturday around noon! Becky, Pete and Josh got here right as Alex went down for his nap, so Larry and I thought that would be a great time for the adults to exchange Christmas presents. We figured it would be a good idea to open presents without having to worry about Alex running around and getting into everything ;) We gave our presents to everyone – I think everyone was happy with what we got them!

After presents, Larry and I got to cooking! We had turkey, ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, orange jell-o and rolls. Like I always, I make enough for a small army (another wonderful trait my mother instilled in me)! We didn’t eat until after Alex woke up – I didn’t want him to miss lunch!

Once Alex woke up, we let him open his presents. He was hysterical! He would rip a piece of paper off a present and say “OH!”, hand me the piece of paper, and repeat the process. We can definitely tell that Christmas morning is going to be a SLOW process! Alex got four sets of Little People, three sippy-straw cups and four outfits from Aunt Sheena and Uncle Trey, a pair of Superman pajamas from Uncle Josh and a tool kit from Grandma Becky and Grandpa Pete.

Since we were opening presents, we let him open his present from Aunt Jenny, Uncle Keith, Kyle and Katelyn – they got him the Little People Raceway! He loves it! He will sit and watch the cars go around and around. He also opened a present from Karen, Tony, Xavier and Jesse Soto – they got him a Fold and Go Train! The little train goes around the track and makes all sorts of “choo-choo” noises! Another hit!

After lunch, we all hung around for a little while watching Alex and his latest antics. He sure does know how to keep a crowd entertained! He would run from person to person and from toy to toy! He loves attention – I certainly don’t know who he got that from (wink, wink)!!

Becky and Pete left around 5 – but, they let Josh stay for an extra day! It was nice to just have the siblings here, hanging out together. It is something that we don’t get too often and something that we treasure when we do get! The boys had a great time playing Xbox together and Sheena and I had a good time hanging out! PJ didn’t come home for the weekend and he was greatly missed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Larry's Work Christmas Party

Larry and I had a chance to get dressed up and go mingle with other adults – it was his annual Christmas party! The attire for the party is formal, so I was able to wear my bridesmaid dress from Sheena’s wedding. Since it was a red color, it was absolutely perfect for the holiday season!

We had already planned to have Christmas with the Kritner’s (and Worley’s), so Sheena and Trey came down early on Friday afternoon to watch Alex for us Friday night! It was nice to not have to worry about Alex – we knew he was in great hands!

It was fun to be able to go and hang out with other adults and have “adult conversation”! We got the chance to hear great advice about Test Pilot School and have a bunch of laughs! We had a great meal, had some pictures taken and we were even able to share a dance! We had a great night!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Busy Weekend

Two years ago, Larry and I went to the Gaylord Palms in Orlando and toured the ICE Exhibit. Everything was made out of ice - we thought it was absolutely amazing! This year at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN, the theme of the ICE Exhibit was "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". We decided that it would be really neat to take Alex (especially since this is the last year for the Grinch exhibit).

On Friday, December 12, 2008, we travelled up to Nashville and stayed a night at the Opryland hotel. We were able to walk around and look at all the Christmas lights throughout the hotel. Alex was amazed by all the lights. He kept saying "OOK" and "THAT" and pointing at all the lights. We would tell him "lights" whenever he would point, bt he was too amazed to even care what the word for them was. He really enjoyed himself and looking at everything.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and waited on Aunt Sheena and Uncle Trey to get to Nashville. Once they got in the area, we took a shuttle bus to the exhibit. We put on Alex's winter hat, gloves and parka and the end result was a very bundled up, but unhappy child. He did not like the parka - we thought he looked super cute though :) After looking at the exhibit, we went back to the Opryland for lunch and to walk around a bit more. We said goodbye to Aunt Sheena and Uncle Trey and headed to Huntsville for the evening.

Saturday night, we had dinner with Barry, Kari and Andy. We went to our favorite spot in Huntsville - Wings! After dinner, Kari and I ran a few errands and the boys (with Alex) went to the mall to finish up some Christmas shopping. Apparently, a pretty famous Alabama football player was there, so Alex got a signed picture from George Teague (the football player). Once we got done with errands and shopping, Barry, Kari and Andy came back to our hotel so we could put Alex to bed and hang out with them for a little while longer. We had a great time hanging out :)

Sunday morning, Grandpa Larry and Great-Grandpa Larry came to our hotel for breakfast. We were able to spend a little time with them before we left the area - we were also blessed to be able to share our "big news" with them in person (moving to Maryland). They were so proud of Larry! We headed to Barry and Kari's for a quick visit to meet their new puppy, Maggie! She is so cute and very lovable! After Barry and Kari's, we headed to Grandma Becky's and Grandpa Pete's house. We were also able to share our "big news" with them in person as well!