Wednesday, December 21, 2011

19 weeks

Christmas is almost here!  Tomorrow, we will have Christmas #1 of about 7.   But oh how I love it.  And oh how I love family time.  It just makes me so happy.  Today I was very domestic and made THESE low fat, whole wheat cinnamon rolls.  They are in the fridge ready to be baked in the morning.  I hope they turn out well!  On to the reason for this  post...

19 weeks

I know I usually do 2 at a time, but no posting will happen next week due to Christmas fun so I thought I'd go ahead and post.  Is it weird that my belly looks pointy?  It sure doesn't look pointy from my view.  Must just be the angle of the picture.

At 19 weeks, I'm feeling the baby kick!  Ben was able to feel one strong kick and that was exciting.  Energy is still up (it's 11:43 and I'm awake!).  I'm feeling more of the limitations of having a tiny person inside me such as bending over not being as pleasant, as well as getting up from the floor (I sit on the floor a lot at school).  

One big feat we accomplished this week was to get the carpet upstairs cleaned and the baby room cleared out!  That means it is ready for baby things!  So far, we have 2 outfits, a bag of random diapers I have left over from making diaper cakes, and 2 sweet blankets.  We don't need much else right?!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Some of my favorites

I wanted to share two of my new favorite things.

One is the cupcake shop Sweet.  Pretty much every time we go to City Center, we go to either Yard House or Ruggles Green.  I love them both.  And pretty much every time we go, I get a that I can fully enjoy a cupcake from Sweet afterwards.  They are delicious for one, and two, they use all organic, all recycled materials. I just love all their stuff and love their vintage style shop.  And last time we went, we met the two owners - two young guys who have started their own business.  So go check it out the next time you visit City Center in Houston.  I recommend the red velvet cupcakes covered in sprinkles!

My second new favorite thing is this website I found called pixlr-o-matic.  I love instagram on IPhone but was looking for something for the computer that I could use for pictures I wanted to actually print out.  It takes your pictures and adds cool effects to them - mostly making them look vintage and old.  I find it funny that the old, vintage, and used look is so in right now, but I admit, I love it too!  Take a look at the three photos below.

Normal.  Nice Photo.  Not so exciting.

Vintage.  Old.  Beat-up looking :).

Or perhaps you like the more whimsical style.

I want to go and do this with all my photos now and see what they look like!  Such fun.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

16, 17, 18 weeks

Here's the last 3 weeks of photos.  Looking at the last photo, I'd definitely say I've grown, or shall we say HE has grown!

 16 weeks
 17 weeks

18 weeks - In my last year's winter workout clothes.  That shirt only has maybe a month left!  

At 18 weeks, I'm feeling good.  Nausea is almost gone completely and is easily remedied by some mint gum after meals.  And as I have mentioned, I've got most of my energy back.  New fun symptoms include heart burn and my feet hurt a lot sooner in the day if I haven't sat down as much.  Also this week, I started feeling Baby Boy move around!  It's subtle and not forceful at all but I can tell the difference now between baby and the other rumblings in my stomach.  It does not cease to amaze me how amazing God is in His creation of this little guy.  I can't wait to find out what he's like!

Developments - this week I started exercising more with my new found energy and it has been so nice and feels so good.  We continue to talk about names but are keeping the name a secret until birth!  Just a fun surprise for the end.  And soon we will start clearing out the now craft room to make room for a baby room.  So many fun things ahead!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Honest Truth

So kids are infamous for saying the honest truth.  I've come to school without makeup ONCE ever and my students, many of them, told me in various forms I looked sick, asked if I was tired or just plain what is wrong with you today?  Haha I love it though.  Once I died my hair back to dark brown to cover up highlights but it turned out black!  Many of my students informed me that I looked scary, ready for Halloween, and that they preferred the my old hair better.  Anyways, these comments have not stopped as I've gotten pregnant.  Here's some of the comments I've received from my sweet, honest students.

Boy Student to another teacher: Did you know Mrs. Cooper's having a baby?!
Teacher: Yes, that's so exciting isn't it!
Boy Student: Yeah, and its gonna come out, I don't know where, but it's comin' out.

When I announced I was pregnant at 12 weeks to my class...
Another boy student: I knew it!  We noticed you were getting like a little fatter, didn't we guys?!

After I found out it was a boy...
Girl student: But Mrs. Cooper, how can they know that it's a boy?
Me: Uhhh...Well... they just look inside me and they can tell (hoping this will suffice).
Girl Student: Oh. Ok.

Girl student: Mrs. Cooper, you look weird when you're pregnant.

And everyday when we leave, some of my students say goodbye to me and then give me a little tap on the belly and say "Goodbye baby!".  I'm sure Baby Boy will miss those sweet voices this summer.  I'll have to get a CD of kids talking for him to fall asleep!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas has Arrived

Christmas arrived this week at the Cooper residence in the form of manger scenes, Christmas lights, and a very modest tree.  

 This year the big tree just didn't make it out.  We are happy with our small little tree.

 I love my manger scene.  I have it on the ledge right in front of my sink and I look at it every time I wash something.

 Couldn't resist a photo of Polly.  She is excited for Christmas!

 I inherited these block Merry Christmas letters from my mom made by a very dear family friend.  They make me think of both my mom and our friend.  

The glowing mantle.  You can't quite see it, but on the ledge is a manger scene my mom and I painted together when I was little that she has also passed down to me.  I love passed down decorations.  

And this week the parties begin!  I love this season.  Although its very full of activity, its such a special time and such a wonderful celebration of our Savior Jesus.  

And P.S., thanks to my sister for the awesome camera.  I can't wait to take pictures of my sweet baby boy with it.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Currently, I am sitting on my couch with my kitties and my husband enjoying some relaxing/productive (alternating the two) time at home.  Holidays for us mean getting away and enjoying our families.  I leave all my house work and responsibilities behind and head north.  It's always such a nice break and wonderful time with the ones we love.

We got in Tuesday night to Allen and (of course) had some dessert.  I can always count on some dessert being ready for us when we come in from out of town and it doesn't matter if we drive into the Coopers or the Pulliams - both are waiting with sweets.

Wednesday I pretty much hung out with my mom all day.  Dad and Ben played golf while mom and I shopped, ate lunch, and then cooked many many yummy things.  They picked up dinner and then we enjoyed several rounds of 42.

Lightened up Sweet Potato Casserole
The most delicious mashed potatoes ever.

Thursday was as you know, Thanksgiving Day, and Ben and I ate our annual double Thanksgiving meal.  First with my family and then with his.  You see, we've learned that the key is not eating too much dessert at the first meal.  This plan was ruined by the evil delicious ice box chocolate pie that my mom and I made.  It was heavenly.  Thank you Tara.  Despite our extremely full bellies (and mine crowded with a baby as well), we were so blessed by time and good conversation with both families.

This year since we had a smaller group with my family, we did the traditional food-on-the-table-and-pass-it-around style while Dad carved the turkey right in front of us!

 My brother Keith and his newly engaged (congrats!!) fiance Marisela, Ben and I with a hand on the baby

The women at Thanksgiving this year - Aunt Betty, my sweet mom, me, and Marisela.  Usually there are many more but our crowd was small this year.  

Friday, my mother- and sister-in-law and I got up at 5:00am to go shopping!  Honestly I can say we didn't get too many amazing deals at 5:30am that we couldnt've gotten at oh say 2:00pm but man did we have some extra time to shop!  By 9am, we had gone to Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, Ulta, the Loft, Charming Charlies, and probably some other store that I was delirious in, and were sitting in Mimi's Cafe eating breakfast.  Cherish and I saw the Twilight movie (so good!!) and then kept on shopping with Pat at Half Price Books and Target.  We were so amazingly exhausted by the end of our 9-hour shopping event, but it made my afternoon nap just that much sweeter.

 This is me and Cherish, my sister-in-law.  She is married to Ben's brother.  We have the same birthday.  Every year, Pat, our mother-in-law lets us pick out a new purse for Christmas.  This is a tradition with a story that someday I'll tell.  Anyways, here we are picking out purses.  And actually, Pat bought those purses but then we both found other purses at Francesca's and she took those two back.  We love you Pat!

The damage 

Nail Sticks!  I love these things.  They are stickers for your nails but they stay on so so much better than nail polish.  

And now its Sunday.  We left early yesterday morning and headed South through Waco, Calvert, College Station and on to Katy.  Yesterday, we went grocery shopping, did the week's laundry, ate dinner and even did a little cleaning.  Wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving break.  Thank you to our precious King who gave us blessings overflowing this week.

P.S. Boy or Girl?  We find out Monday morning!  Only 1 more day to vote!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

15 weeks and some thankfulness

Below is my 15 week belly shot.  You may notice that I'm wearing a tank top.  Oh yes, I took this picture today.  It is very warm outside.  Every year I forget how warm Houston falls and winters really are.  Anyways, I went to the doctor this week and all is looking great!  I heard our sweet baby's heartbeat and asked a few questions.  Then, I scheduled my appointment TO FIND OUT THE GENDER!  We find out the Monday after Thanksgiving!  I can't promise an update right away but sometime that week, I'll let the blogging world know if we're going to be shooting for the PGA or LPGA (as Ben says).  

15 Weeks

And in honor of Thanksgiving, some things I'm thankful for this year.

T - Tiny hands and feet growing inside of me
H - a Husband who is serving and loving me without complaining as I've been more needy lately
A - Amiable and Amazing friends at work and church
N - No school for a few days of relaxation and time with family
K - Kids, 22 of them exactly, who make my days a challenge yet bring such joy
S - our Sweet families who love and support us
G - Great food to look forward to and always having enough!
I - Immanuel, Jesus, God with us
V - Victory over sin in Christ
I - Incessantly snugly kitties
N - Nice people who let me borrow their maternity clothes
G - God who loves me and took my place

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.  May you be blessed with homemade sweet potato casserole and conversations that uplift you.  Oh and good Black Friday shopping deals too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's that I feel?

What's that feeling I felt today?  I can't quite place it.  I hardly even remember the word for it...  Oh yeah, ENERGY.  I think that's it.  I haven't felt it in so long that it felt almost foreign!  But it felt good.  Over the past 2 days I have...

Done 7 loads of laundry (Can we say behind in laundry?!)
Cooked dinner
Ate my first Thanksgiving dinner with Blueprints
Not slept past 7:30am
Made breakfast...twice!
Gone to church and took care of 1 year olds
Ate lunch with sweet friends
Grocery shopped
Shopped for shoes (but sadly bought none)
Done lots of school work
Took a nap
And put up a blog post!

And its 10:15pm and I'm still awake!  I can't remember the last time I stayed up until 10:15 actually being productive.  It feels good and hopefully this is no fluke.  Maybe I'm going to finally start getting some of this energy back and enter the "honeymoon" stage of pregancy (as one website called it).  I sure hope so cause I got lots of planning to do.  And researching...  and gathering...  and moving things around...  and so so much more...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Now this was worth the wait!

(I know I know...its been a long time.  But let me tell you, this post was worth the wait, I promise!)

Ben and I are proud to announce that there will be a new baby Cooper arriving in May 2012!!

I am 13 weeks along right now and I have what you've all been waiting for...belly shots!

12 weeks 

13 weeks

At midway through 13 weeks, I'm feeling much less nauseous in the morning, but still feeling some of it in the afternoon/evening.  I'm still feeling pretty tired but not like the extreme fatigue from the beginning.  As in, I can stay up past 8pm now!  No real specific cravings, just a bent toward saltier foods now instead of the sweet tooth I've always had.  And I've got a little nectarine inside me according to one site I've been reading.  When we first found out, baby was the size of a poppy seed!

We feel so blessed by this baby and are so thankful for everyone who has been so sweet to celebrate with us!  The Lord has been so kind to us!

Stay about 3 weeks, we find out if its a boy or a girl!  Cast your vote!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On Monday...

...the new 2011-2012 school year begins!!  I am so excited.  I have the wonderful blessing of moving up with my students this year.  You see, I taught 3rd grade for four years.  Then last year, I was asked to move to 2nd grade.  Then at the end of last year, I was asked to move back to 3rd.  Yay!  I love both so much and am so excited about spending another year with my students (plus some more) from last year.  I have 23 kids (and counting...) so far which is more than I have ever had.  There are so many desks in my room!  It will surely be an adventure.

The summer was great, but some thins are about to change, like...

1.  Sorry everyone, but the traffic is about to return to normal - packed by 7am on I-10.

2.  My alarm goes off in the 4am hour.  I get up in the 5am hour.  I'm out the door sometime in the 6am hour.  Wow.  Shock to the system.  Although Polly and Carlos love it because they get fed earlier.

3.  Surprisingly, I actually cook more.  I am not naturally super organized.  I need routine and consistency to keep on top of things.  And cooking is not one of my favorite things to do.  Therefore, during the summer, in the spirit of taking a break, not as much quality cooking happens.  I look forward to getting back into that.

4.  Packing lunches!  This year, Ben is going to start bringing his lunch.  I made it all last week for him and this week, I'll start making it every night for the two of us.  I'm going to try this great technique I found on this awesome organizing blog of making bags of food at the beginning of the week and then you just have to grab the bags, put them in your lunch and go!  I just need some tubs.

5.  No more lunch dates.  Lunch is now 25 minutes (on a good day) and spent with my team.  I enjoy the time though and once you get used to it, its really plenty of time.

6. I have 23 little lives in my life again!  They are precious, they crack me up, and they add so much joy to my work.  I honestly don't know how you people go to work with adults all day.  I spend my day with children, and I love it.

Happy new school year!  What is your favorite new school supplies to buy?  I think mine is new markers and pens - sharpies, crayolas, glitter gel pens (with metallic ink!).  Love them.

Monday, August 15, 2011


One of my most recent sewing projects has been pillows.  Pillows add color and interest to most areas - chairs, couches, floors, and beds.  I have learned a little bit of sewing knowledge on each pillow. 

For the yellow (the first one) pillow, I used this tutorial for a flap pillow case.  This site actually gives you 3 ways to make a pillow case.  And for the second pillow, I used the Jones Design Company (one of my most favorite blogs right now!) tutorial for a ruffle pillow.   I just used 3 ruffles because the pillow was a little big for so many ruffles. 

And on the couch...

This next pillow is also from Jones Design Company.  I followed the tutorial for the gathered flower and then made the flap pillow cover.  

And here with new favorite chair (and Carlos's too!).  This chair was my grandmothers who gave it to my sister, who had it recovered, who gave it to me.  Love. It.  This is in my kitchen.  Carlos is in Heaven in this chair.  Yesterday, we came home from church and both kitties were snuggled up together in it.  Precious.

And finally, the ruffle pillow!  Made from the previous link of course.  I gave this to my mom for her birthday. 

Happy pillow making!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Part 3 - San Fran: the City

Part 3 of our vacation takes us to the downtown area of San Francisco and some other fun sights to see.

We rode the ferry in from the Marin area and were on foot the entire day in actual San Fran.  It was a little windy on the ferry.

Pier 39 - Seals basking in the sun 

China town - here, we went to a fortune cookie factory that made fresh fortune cookies 

This the crazy curvy street.  We just looked up the hill at it, but we can say we were there! 

OMG - 3 story Forever 21.  So awesome.  You can tell that man in the picture agrees. 

Later, we went to Muir Woods in the Marin area which was a forest with the large Redwood trees.

Look how the tree dwarfs me! 

And again...I feel so small! 

I love these self-taken pictures.  We take one at almost every location.  Behind us is the Muir Woods. 

That night, we drove over to Stinson Beach.  To get to it, you have to drive this windy up and down road for about 20 minutes.  My stomach HATED that.  But it was mostly worth it in the end.  The fog was crazy and makes you feel like you're in a cloud.  I think that Ben is contemplating life in this picture.

 Enjoying dinner at a local beach restaurant 

This is how I feel about beaches in Norther California.  But those little people way out there behind me are playing in the freezing water!  It was this sweet dad and his kids.  Anything for waves and sand castles I guess.  

This is a different night in Saucelito.

This was the gorgeous view of dark clouds and the blue water that we could see from our seats at the Spinnaker restaurant.  Amazing! 

And that concludes San Fran.  I recommend to anyone to go there and especially during the brutal hot Houston heat.  It was literally a breath of cool, fresh air.

Friday, August 5, 2011

San Fran part 2 - Napa

Part 2 of our trip takes us to Napa, California.  Beautiful hills filled with vineyards and beautiful gardens. 

Winery #1: Cakebread, just a tasting

Winery #2: Pride Mountain

Barrels in Caves! 

 Winery #3: Del Dotto - a tasting tour through the caves

Winery #4: Jordan - beautiful grounds 

Winery #5: Ferrari Carano

The best part about this one was the beautiful gardens. 

Driving around Napa was gorgeous - beautiful views and beautiful vineyards 

 It started to get warmer and so I took my sweater off.  And I never saw it again.  It is lost somewhere in Napa forever. 

We stayed at the Calistoga Garden Inn in Calistoga during our stay in Napa.  It was an amazing little Inn with breakfast and a sweet little one room cottage. 

And Winery #6 (last one): Silverado - up in the hills/mountains and a gorgeous view