Coop-a-doop is three!
Kind of amazing. Three years ago, Nick, Jackson and I took our last picture as a family of three, left J in the capable care of Grandma, and made the 20 minute drive from San Clemente up to the hospital in Irvine (We had been slightly nervous about being 20 whole minutes from the hospital, even though it was a scheduled c-section. It was not close enough for comfort. That was before Big Bear of course, where the local hospital does not deliver babies, and your closest option is at least a solid hour away. Sutter's birthday is in 12 days so we'll cover all that then).
Even though we had responsibly taken the hospital tour a few weeks earlier, neither of us could remember how to get to the maternity wing. We managed to get to the right floor, but a helpful janitor got us successfully to the front desk.
I remember the whole experience felt so weird to me. Jackson's birth had included squatting breaks during contractions in the parking lot, so walking in so comfortable and relaxed was very strange. My parents arrived in time to come visit me in my pre-op waiting room. About an hour or so later, we were in the operating room, and after about 20 minutes of looking up at bright lights, feeling a little morbid that I was conscious and being operated on, and "pressure" applied by the doctor that felt like every one of my ribs had been broken, I heard a "he's out!" and a tiny little squeal of a cry. Nick brought him over for me to see, proudly announcing to the medical crew how handsome his little guy was. And then Cooper and Nick were whisked away while I was left to finish up in surgery. It took 45 more minutes. I spent the whole time praying. Thanking God that Cooper had made it safely, that I had made it safely. Praying for this new little soul. Soon the 3 of us were reunited in a recovery room where we spent I think 2 nights before heading home (which also felt strangely different from our experience with Jackson's birth, which I will discuss on his birthday, in 17 days).
It was amazing how our family went from 3 to 4 just like that. It felt so crazy but also completely natural at the same time. And from that moment on (excluding 7-10pm every night for the first 12 weeks: my only colic baby). Cooper has been a ball of smiles and giggles and joy and teasing and silliness. And to be fair, aside from that 12 weeks of colic, he has in fact been my best sleeper, a quality I have truly appreciated!
So Coop. In an effort to freeze in time the little person you are just right now, at a fresh three years old, here's my mommy observations:
-You have amazing hair. It doesn't matter how short or long it is, or how horrible the haircut might be, your little wavy locks bounce right back and are fantastic no matter what.
-Of all three boys, you are the only that has a slight resemblance to daddy, even if it's just a little bit. Apparently I make mini-me's. But your little mouth and cheeks and chin look a lot like little pictures of Nick.
-Of all three boys (so far) your personality is the most like me! You are goofy, and silly, and just kinda weird. That's me completely. You love to tease, and be teased.
-Your giggle is infectious and phenomenal. If you think something is funny you will milk it for all it's worth and laugh and laugh again and again and again.
-You love to report the rules of the house to our family, or anyone else. "No shoes on the carpet" "No phones at the table" or along those lines, you'll report basic facts about Jackson, "blue is Jackson's favorite color" "Jackson loves Lightning McQueen". You two are the best little buddies.
-You LOVE dump trucks. Dump trucks, meaning, all kinds of construction vehicles, but we just call them dump trucks. We have dump trucks for inside and outside, dump truck books and shows, and we point out any dump trucks we see of course.
-You are currently really into puzzles too. Not the wooden kind, the cardboard 24 pieces kind.
-You love to help me cook. Every single day you pull up a chair and ask if you can help me "mix".
-You are super physical! You love to wrestle, snuggle, or just climb up people. And you run straight into those moments with every fiber of your little being. You would be quite the steam roller in this way if you weren't such a little ball of marshmallow fluff!
-You love being outside. You seem not to mind if the weather seems too hot, or cold, or windy. You'll stay outside.
-We love the way you walk, kind of tummy-first and feet slapping.
-You love pizza and hot dogs and applesauce and have a little bit of a problem storing food, especially vegetables, in your cheeks squirrel style and not swallowing for sometimes hours (eww).
-You are a little emotional, you melt down in a puddle of tears if you are overly tired, or hungry, or get in trouble. And they are pitiful, lip quivering, heart broken crocodile tears every time.
- You are a little charmer, melt peoples hearts. You've always been that way.
We just love you Coop! Or to use Jackson's nickname for you, Cooper Slueper Blue-er Cooper James (surprisingly, it's lasted for a couple of years so far). We are sad that you've moved on from calling Jackson "Tickah" and now just say "JackSONNN" We might try to bring that one back. We love how you talk in a baby voice to Sutter and get overwhelmed with love for him and give him big hugs. We love the slight way you emphasize your "rrrr's" and how it makes your worrrrds that much cuter. We will call you our little hobbit until you get embarrassed by it and tell us to stop. We love your little sweet spirited heart. You are gentle and kind and caring and light-hearted and fun-loving. Happy Birthday my little second born boy. From those first moments on, we have not stopped praying for your little soul as you grow into a precious boy, that you would walk with Jesus and that your roots would grow down deep into His love.