Monday, November 21, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: Late Start

We had a late start today.

Here's how we woke up:

I hear Cooper. Look at my watch, and it's 7:50! I quickly revel in the moment of him sleeping past 7, because since the time change it hasn't happened. Then I realized Andrew was still sleeping, too. So, I ask, "Andrew, what time are you leaving today?" He replies, "8:10". "Well, it's 7:50" says I. "What? You're kidding!" "Nope, check your phone clock." Then, he says, "Why isn't Cooper awake yet?" Apparently Cooper has become is alarm clock!

I am proud to say that it is 1:30 and the whole house has been cleaned, vacuumed, and laundry is being done. I'm just now having my cup of coffee, and I'm sipping it with a warm heating pad relieving the hurt from my hard work.

I've got the rest of today and tomorrow to get this week's chores done because.....we leave for Florida early Wednesday morning! We're excited to see our family and friends this Thanksgiving.

This past weekend was Andrew's birthday. Friday night we drove to Columbus. We ate meals at Skyline, Chick-fil-A, and Red Robbin, some of his favorites. We spent time with his sister, Ashleigh, her husband Kyle, and their kids Zachary and Xander. We left Cooper there to play while we got away to see Breaking Dawn (believe it or not, another of Andrew's favorites). The highlight of the weekend, though, was taking Cooper to see Sesame Street Live. We told him we were going to go see Elmo so he kept asking for him when we got in the car to go somewhere. When we got inside he ran. With pure excitement. Like this.
I definitely got goose bumps watching him react to the show. He did really well until the second half of the show when he was tired and hungry and ready to go.

Yesterday after church Andrew went with our friend Matt to eat sushi and to a play at a local theatre in town. I'm excited because tonight we're going to get sushi at the same place. Who knew they had sushi in Dover?!

I've been going through episodes of My So Called Life and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Does anyone else remember this show?

All in all a great weekend, and we're looking forward to a great Thanksgiving week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Washed the Spider Out"

Get ready....there are videos in this post!!!!!

Cooper is 21 months today! I know I probably say this a lot, but it's just so true: I am completely amazed and in awe of Cooper and how much he learns and changes week to week.
I am not a bragging type, or "hey look how awesome my kid is" type of mom. But, I am truly amazed at his ability, especially at his young age.

If we go somewhere, this is usually the process when we meet someone:
They see him and comment on his big blue eyes.
If they hear him, they say "how old is he? He's a good talker".

I don't know that we do much different than other parents (in the way of learning time), so I just think his "smarts" are just part of his personality, the way God made him. I sometimes get nervous when someone talks about how smart he is, because I don't want them to start comparing. I don't want anyone that we meet to feel badly that their child is not where mine is in vocabulary, clarity of speech, or ability. God designs each child differently and I'm pretty sure he doesn't want us to compare them. Lord knows Cooper is behind in some areas that other kids excel in.

All of THAT to say, I hope you are able to celebrate Cooper with me during this post. Please know that these updates are not meant to be me bragging, rather me expressing how much I enjoy watching Cooper learn and grow.

Now onto some videos....

Last week Cooper said 4 words together for the first time. We were singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and he said "washed the spider out". He also moves his hands up and down.

Cooer was very uncooperative for these videos. The second one he makes such stink faces that I just had to post it. *The videos weren't loading properly, so I had to upload them to YouTube first. Click on the links to see the videos.*

Cooper can also count! He doesn't quite get it all down perfectly, but when he's arranging things he counts them, so I know he's starting to at least get the concept. Once we get to the teens it seems he only likes to say the odd numbers.

This weekend is sure to be a fun one!
1) It's Andrew's birthday.
2) We're taking Cooper to see Sesame Street Live.
3) We get to see Aunt Ashleigh and fam.
4) We're getting away for about 24 hours.
5) We'll be together. No better way to spend a weekend.

What are you doing this weekend?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pulling my hair out/tired/trying/hopeful

At the end of most days, I feel like pulling my hair out.

I am completely thrilled to be home with Cooper. It is something I have prayed for, longed for, and feel more fulfilled than ever doing this job. However, it has come with adjustments.

Sometimes I long for some adult conversation in the middle of the day.

Sometimes I just need a break.

When I taught I got a break every night and every weekend from the kids.

As a stay at home mom, there are no breaks.

We're together in the morning, all day long, at night, on weekends, holidays and everything in between.

In FL we were able to be kid free for the whole weekend if we wanted (thanks mom and dad!) but we're without family here.

So, there have been adjustments.

I've been trying my best to find a healthy balance.

Me time.

God time.

Andrew time.

Cooper time.

Housekeeping time.

A lot of things that all have to share some time.

So, I've made a "schedule" of sorts. I've made a housekeeping schedule. I have one thing to do each day, plus one load of laundry. It doesn't leave me as overwhelmed, keeps me on track, and helps my mind.

I set my alarm for 6:00 am, make some coffee, do my devotions, spend some time in silence, and sometimes get started on the days chores, or breakfast.

Some days I completely fail at housework, being "un"lazy, and getting up early.

The two things left on the list: Andrew and Cooper. The two most important people in my life.
I try my best do some things for Andrew throughout the day like running errands for him, planning fun days with/for him, planning meals with him in mind. We get time together each night after Cooper is in bed. And I've been trying to put the computer down, and just "be" with him.

Sometimes I completely fail at being a wife.

Then there's my precious Cooper. My crazy Cooper. My makes me wanna pull the hair out of my hair little boy. Giving him attention is not hard. He often demands it. Meals, snacks, drinks, diaper changes, helping him play. But how often is that attention intentional? I often ask myself throughout the day "Have you made a memory with Cooper today?" Because often while he demands my attention I'm occupied with something else, and am quick to go back to that thing instead of spending some more time with him.

Sometimes I completely fail at being a mom.

At the end of most days, I wanna pull my hair out from exhaustion, and failed attempts. But they're attempts. And I'm trying. Trying my best to be the person God wants me to be.

At the end of today, I'm tired. But snuggled up next to me is a sweet boy watching Curious George. A boy who often gives me hugs, kisses, and love. Just his presence next to me tonight gives me hope that I can keep going. That tomorrow I can get up and try to do better than I did today.

"So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!"
- Psalm 31:23-24-

"We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield."
- Psalm 33:19-21-

Putting my hope in the Lord.

Tired as I am, he will strengthen me tonight for tomorrow's work.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: Not much to say

Today I thought, "I wonder how long I can go before I want/need coffee?" The answer: 9:30.

I'm really tired today, which is weird because yesterday I took like a 2 hour nap, and got about 8 hours of sleep last night.

Yesterday was a pretty perfect day in our house. We went to the 9:00 service, went to the park, watched movies at our home, we all took a nap, met our neighbors, and hung out. Did I mention I got a 2 hour nap yesterday? It was glorious.

Here's a picture of me & Coop playing at the park.

Today I don't have too much to talk to you about. I have some thoughts that are getting their own blog post. So I thought I'd fill out one of those quirky question surveys just to give you something to read/entertain you.

*If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Love deeply

*If you could have a room full of one thing, what would it be?
Friends and family

*What do you value most in other people?
Their heart

*If you could see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see?
Blue - I wouldn't want to miss Cooper's eyes

*If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass on to your children, what would it be?
My ability to laugh at myself.

*What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

*Would you rather teach a young child to read or have to learn again for yourself?

*What is the best advice you've ever given and received?
Given - you tell me.
Received - Live with the end in mind.

*How would you like to die?
Of old age, with family by my side

*Who was your favorite celebrity as a child?
I had a big crush on JTT

*What type of pets do you have?

*What is your favorite color?

*What is most memorable about your high school years?

*What word describes you best?

*What is your greatest accomplishment?
Family - married for almost 5 years (can you believe Andrew&I have been together almost 8 years?) and Cooper.

*What drives you every day?
Knowing that where we are is what I've prayed for, and what God has designed me to do.

*What is your favorite food?
My mom's lasagna

*Where do you want to retire?
I honestly have no idea.

*What is your business goal this year?
I have several that I'll share in a new year blog post

*Where do you like to vacation?
I just like to vacation. Doesn't matter where.

*Who do you admire?
Nanny Heab

*What is your mission?
Leave a great legacy

*If you were invisible, where would you go?
I think it would be neat to see the living quarters of the white house.
Also, I would hop on a plane to anywhere in Europe.

*What traits in others are you attracted to?
The way they treat others, honesty, their ability to let loose and have a good time

*What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
I can't pick just one. There are so many people who love us that have blessed us with their ways of kindness.

*How do you want to be remembered?
A godly lady who listened well, loved deeply, and knew how to have fun.

*What would you do with a million dollars?
Get out of debt, pay of our fl house mortgage, then sell it, invest, and give

*If you were on an island, who would you want to be with? Why?
Depends on what kind.
An island getaway, like vacation - Andrew...yay for romance!
A deserted island - Allison, Amanda, Erin, and Liz. Because we'd be able to have fun despite our conditions.

*You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school, what is it about?
In this world, you will have trouble.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Because nothing in my life is ever easy

It's a joke in my life that nothing ever comes easy for me. Want proof?

The time we go to Disney with hopper passes, and hop to our second park to find out that day was blocked out for a hopper pass.

The time I made all kinds of mistakes and messes filling out a lease agreement, so I just hop on the computer to print a new one. Only, the file saved wasn't working. Then we got it working, then we couldn't find printer paper. Found the printer paper only to figure out that the printer had no ink. So, we go to Kinkos (mind you, it's like midnight) to print the file. And, no joke, the printer didn't work there either.

The time I wanted to "whip up" something yummy and my mixer broke.

And these have all happened this year.

Well, today I get the lovely pleasure of sharing with you another classic "Chandra" story.

Andrew texted me from work to ask if I could get some cash out from the bank because he needed to pay back a co-worker and that he would come home around lunch time to get it. I told him that I was in the middle of baking bread with Cooper, but would try. And if I couldn't get there by the time he got home, he could just take my card and get it then.

So, Cooper and I "whip up" some pumpkin bread. We made 7 mini-loaves. The plan was to give them to our neighbors as a nice way to say "happy fall, ya'll" and to introduce ourselves to them. I stick them in the oven, start a load of laundry, and clean up the kitchen. I look over at the timer on the bread and I have 16 minutes left. "I have time to go get the cash out from the bank for Andrew...because I'm such a good wife, and it will make his day" was the 50's housewife monologue going on in my head. So, I hurry and put a coat on myself, cooper, as well as slippers and we head out the door. I look over at the timer and we've got 14 minutes (a feat in itself that we were ready for outside weather in 2 minutes...I attribute it to wearing slippers). Plenty of time seeing as how I can see the bank from my window. It's MAYBE .25 miles away.

As we exit our house we're greeted by our friendly neighbor who you can get caught talking to for 30 minutes if you're not careful. He starts talking to me about our 40 degree weather and weather in other cities around the country that I frankly don't really care about.

Put cooper in his car seat, which is harder to do when he's wearing a heavy coat.

Get to the bank, and I remembered I had a check to cash. I pull to the side, sign my name, and start putting our account number on it, but I can't remember the last 3 numbers, and I don't have my checkbook with the account number with me. So, I decide I'll just tell the teller that I can't remember and they'll still take care of me. I pull up to the thing, hit the call button, and no answer. I hit it again, no answer. As I hit it a third time I realize that no one's even at the window! Wait, the lights are off, too! Do they close for a lunch break? Then, a HUGE sign with "WE'RE CLOSED" finally makes itself known to me. Gosh, I'm an idiot, it's veterans day. Pull back around to go to the ATM, get the cash, and head home.

Cooper has to get the golf ball that falls all the way under the car, then likes to stand by the garage instead of walking in the house.

We finally make it inside to the timer going off, and the loaves it turns out are a little brown around the edges, but still smell good, so I'm still giving them to our neighbors.

Fast forward 1 hour later, I get a text from Andrew that states "I'm just going to give her the money on Monday"

.....Because, folks, my life is never easy. Now do you believe me?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: (un)Productivity

Good morning!

Happy Fall Back Time Change to all! The fall back time change was way more fun when I was younger, well, at least before Cooper. Falling back does not mean more sleep for him, rather a wake up of the same time, a grumpy boy when he's not eating at his "regular" time or napping/going to bed at his "regular" time, and a seemingly much longer day that ended with my eyes barely being able to stay open. While spring forward bring many more people grief, I enjoy it because by that time Cooper will adjust to this time, and "sleep in" when the time changes again.

This past week I was completely unproductive. Well, maybe not completely...ok, ok, completely. I did good until about Wednesday when I had to go shopping, and our schedule got thrown off, and Cooper didn't nap, and I was tired, and apparently that tiredness lasted until this morning. I have this schedule of different cleaning routines I do each day, so that my house stays clean (clean does not always mean picked up of toys...clean means dusted, vacuumed, sanitized, etc). I love it because I only have to spend 15-30 minutes a day (depending on the task) cleaning my house. I also *try* to do a load of laundry each day. Well, I just have to tell you: there is a load of laundry sitting in my dryer from last week. I have this complex where I don't mind doing laundry, but I HATE putting it away. So, cheers to my unproductive self from last week. I hope you enjoyed your break, because now you've got a bit to do around the house. Cheers!

Yesterday Andrew and I spent some time in Canton and we're going to go back tonight. I feel like I'm living a rockstar life with trips to Canton two days in a row!

Wanna know what I'm most excited about today? Today we are going to buy a new hamper! This is our first multi-level home, and it has come with some challenges for us. Cooper used to play in his room a lot. Not the case here. He plays when one of us is upstairs, but he doesn't typically go play there on his own. Another is mine and Andrew's laundry. When we were on a one-story it was so easy to take our laundry where it needed to go. Right now we have no hamper in our room, and it's "so hard to walk all the way downstairs" so our room has consisted of thrown about piles of dirty laundry for the past few weeks. It gives me the heebie jeevies. So, today, I am excited that a new hamper will be purchased to put an end to our dirty clothes piles and unorganized chaos upstairs.

Last night, a very tired Cooper tried to stay awake a little longer and wanted to read. I obliged. He sat on my lap, we read a book, and when the book had ended he'd say "my turn" and go over to another couch and sit and "read" the book. Then he'd pick out another one. So precious! Right now Cooper's favorite book is called Bear In Underwear. In it a bear finds a backpack full of underwear and he and his friends try them on. Well, Cooper knows what to say on different pages of the book, and it makes the teacher's heart in me smile wide.

I feel more settled here and some of our friends are starting to feel like family away from family.

By the way, how's your coffee today? Mine is perfectly spiced with pumpkin flavor.

Off to be PROductive.

I almost forgot: Jim, andrew's brother in law, came home this week! He had to go back for some kidney stones, but seems to be on the mend! Keep praying for Andrew's mom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The time we took Cooper trick-or-treating

There is something unexplainable about the joy of watching your child enjoy things you once did when you were little. The sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays all bring back such vivid and wonderful memories of my childhood.


This Halloween was no different. From carving pumpkins, to playing in leaves, to trying on his costume, to walking down a street (in cold weather with fall trees) I was reminded of fun times. I must say I was blessed with a great childhood – lots of love from family, lots of fun memories. However, there was something about creating memories with Cooper that made this Halloween the best Halloween I’ve had….ever….that I can remember, anyway.


We made cookies.

Cooper likes to eat what we cook, while we cook it.

We carved pumpkins. He drew on a pumpkin and I cut out some of the shapes. He hated the inside and was scared of the fire, or “sire” as he says it (can’t say the “f” sound yet).

We played in the leaves.

We tried on his costume.

And we went trick-or-treating.

I wasn’t sure how he would handle it. But he did really well. The first couple of houses we went to Cooper was a little shy and scared. But once he realized they gave him candy, he was ok to go up to the house.

He would look in his bag and say “trick-or-treat” and “candy” to the people handing out sweets.

He was so fun to watch as he waddled (he had many layers on) around from house to house, sometimes running, in the red cowboy boots I had when I was little.

I don’t think a smile left my face the entire time.

What joy children bring. What a joyful blessing we have in Cooper.

Psalm 37:26(b) “…and their children will be a blessing.”

Photography Facebook Page

Now that I'm staying home with Cooper, I have time to develop some of my other talents and passions. One of those is my photography. I've actually had time to create a facebook page!
I encourage you to head over to Facebook, type in Chandra Sale Photography, and "like" it. If you "like" it by Monday at 12:00 am, you'll be entered into a drawing for FREE PHOTO SESSION! Then send your friends and family to "like" it, too. Winner will be announced Monday morning!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yogurt Art

Lately I've been in love with Pinterest. I think it is one of the most wonderful ideas and I'm glad I am able to use it. I found this creative activity on there, and decided to do it with Cooper.

One day last week we played with yogurt. I let Cooper draw with it on the table. He was actually quite serious about it.
Then he started telling everything around him to "stay".
And I got a few good smiles.
I think this very messy activity might qualify me for a mother of the year award.
It was worth the mess, though.