Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What a Year!

WOW. When I think back 365 days, I am simply amazed at how much my life has changed in such a relatively short period of time. This was the year that Mike and I became parents, as well as homeowners! Here is a brief month-by-month synopsis of 2008, the year that was:

JANUARY: Since the holidays were over, I was really starting to get excited about Aiden's arrival; I had my first baby shower at my folks' house, and then even got to "see" Aiden a bit early with a 3-D ultrasound. Mike and I also took our hospital tour and our birthing class--talk about a wake-up call!

FEBRUARY: Two more baby showers--one at work and one at my mother-in-law's--helped stock us up for Aiden's impending arrival. We also picked our pediatrician this month, and I really started getting uncomfortable sleeping at night.

MARCH: Aiden was due on the 23rd--Easter Sunday--but at my check-up in the first week of the month, it was decided that we would induce early since I was low on fluid and the poor guy was running out of room in there. So we scheduled the induction for the next Wednesday--and of course that weekend we got 27 inches of snow! I remember rubbing my tummy, begging him not to make an early appearance, while we were snowed in at Mike's folks' house. Aiden listened a little too well; we went in for our induction at 8:30 AM on Wednesday the twelfth, and the little fart didn't arrive until 6:08 the next morning! I know it sounds cliche, but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Mike turned 30 a week later, so he had a child while he was in his twenties by the hair on his chin!

APRIL: To be fair, the thing I remember most about April was the lack of sleep and lamenting at how fast my maternity leave was flying by.

MAY: We lost Mike's Grandma Lynch this month; she had a beautful soul and we miss her dearly. I also switched from being a SAHM to a working mom, which has both its advantages and disadvantages.

JUNE: Mike and I celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary, and my bestest bud Angie gave birth to Ms. Rachel, Aiden's future bride!!!

JULY: After a very brief search and negotiation, Mike and I became homeowners! We spent most of the month planning our impending move.

AUGUST: After a week of painting, Mike, Aiden and I moved into our first home.

SEPTEMBER: Time for OSU football! For a six-month-old, Aiden sure seemed to enjoy it (or at least the red our Buckeyes wear).

OCTOBER: We lost my Uncle John at the beginning of this month--a sad time for my family, but he's in a much better place than any of us could imagine. On a happier note, Aiden got another cousin--Christopher Patrick was born on the 15th! Also of note: more football, my 29th birthday (which I will henceforth be repeating several times over), and Aiden's first Halloween--Cutest. Puppy. Ever. :)

NOVEMBER: A presidential election with an outcome that didn't have me considering a move to Canada (my bad--NO MORE POLITICS)! Aiden got to experience his first Thanksgiving, though it was Mommy & Daddy that got to enjoy the trimmings!

DECEMBER: A lot of ups and downs this month (you can get the details here), but ending on a high note as Aiden celebrated his first Christmas!

And so here we are, about to say goodbye to a year that brought so much change. 2009 holds the promise for more--stay tuned for that--but we here at the Cotter household are turning our hopeful eyes to the future while not forgetting our past. HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

First Chistmas

Aiden's first Christmas was filled with fun, gifts, several outfit changes, Santa Claus himself, and no desire to eat or sleep! I could go into all the wonderful details, but Mommy is a bit tuckered out at this point. Just know that it was a very fun and festive few days, and we are thankful for all the gifts Aiden received. Luckily we made it through alive, and with a lot of photos--enjoy!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No More Worries

So I've decided (and some of you folks out there will be very happy to hear this) that I'm not going to worry so much about Aiden's weight. The doctor said he's healthy--that's the most important thing!--and I'm following all of his advice to add some poundage to my munchkin. Hopefully this all works.
Okay, I have to get back to my holiday prep work, but I've gotten a load of good photos of Aiden the past few days and wanted to take a moment to share...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Needing a Change of Luck

So the past two weeks have pretty much been awful. Read on for the craziness:

--Monday 12/8: Emergency doctor's appointment for me. Don't get scared, it turned out not to be serious, but there are some details that NO ONE should share on their blog.
--Tuesday 12/9: Sick day. Just didn't feel right.
--Wednesday 12/10: Hot water tank is leaking. Perfect.
--Thursday 12/11: My half-day work-from-home turns into a 3/4-day work-from-home since the guy they sent to fix the water heater was late. And then he overcharged us; we've now paid more out-of-pocket for problems with our house that our home warranty was supposed to cover than was paid for the actual warranty. Doesn't seem to make sense to me. Luckily we've got some help in fighting this.
--Friday 12/12: Mike has the flu and is MISERABLE. I end up having to take Aiden in to his pediatrician because he has decided he doesn't like eating anymore.
--Saturday 12/13: I go in to work to try to help us make a deadline, but end up having to go home because I, too, now have the flu. We send Aiden over to Mimi's so we don't give him any of our sickies.
--Sunday 12/14: Much-needed day of rest.
--Monday 12/15: I take Aiden in for his nine-month checkup to discover that at 16.5 lbs, he's in the 3rd percentile for weight. Small to say the least. Dr. Brown would like to see him again in 6 weeks as opposed to three months to check that he's gaining weight. I feel like the worst mom in the world.
--Tuesday 12/16: My mom calls me at work to tell me that my uncle has unexpectedly passed away. This was definitely the worst day because he was a perfectly healthy and happy man. Punch to the stomach for me, but I can relate a bit to how my aunt and cousins are feeling as I was THIS CLOSE to losing my dad a few years ago...
--Wednesday 12/17: I don't even remember this day.
--Thursday 12/18 & Friday 12/19: In Ashland for my uncle's calling hours and funeral. He was a man to be admired and will definitely be missed.
--Saturday 12/20: I decide to take Aiden out to run a few errands while Mike is at boxing, and somehow I forget my cell phone. This is perfect, you see, because my rear tire blows out. And I can't call AAA because I don't have my cell phone--I can't even use a pay phone because I don't have any change, so I end up calling my mother-in-law collect who is gracious enough to come sit with me at Target while we wait for the tow truck to arrive.

Right now I would really like to crawl into bed and hide under the covers until January is here because this is getting out of control. Thanks for letting me rant about it a little bit. And I will now leave you with what is perhaps the funniest photo to date of my dear, sweet Aiden...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nine Months Old

Holy cow. Seriously. Nine freakin' months old. And now, especially with the cooler weather, it feels like just last night I was sleepless because I had a baby that was waking up in the night...wait a minute--that really WAS last night! It seems Aiden has caught just a touch of the flu that is ravaging his daddy right now (we REALLY hope you get well soon, Mike--I miss my husband and he's only on the couch!), evidenced by sleepless nights, dry diapers, and no appetite. It got to the point that I took him to his pediatrician today, who told me that whatever he has isn't all that harsh (Aiden has no fever and is still in his unshakable good mood) and that we should watch him closely over the weekend, and then we'd re-evaluate at his 9-month check-up on Monday. Please note that the aforementioned illness is the direct cause of his rosy cheeks and lack of smiles in the photos!

A few things about Aiden at 9 months:
--He's 16.8 pounds--that's only a one-pound gain in the past three months! Dr. Brown calmed my fears a bit though and assured me that babies generally slow their growth during this period, so I shouldn't be concerned--especially since he's healthy and happy. And long and lean.
--Something Aunt Abby has discovered is that this kid has ticklish knees. It's hilarious! If you lightly touch them, he starts smiling and contorting to get away from you. I think his toes are even worse, though, because when I come at him ready to do "This Little Piggy," I can't even get the first sentence out anymore before he squirms away.
--Aiden is really starting to develop some speech patterns. He says "dadadadadada" when he's pissed off, "mamamamama" when he's whining, and says "Heh!" (I think it's his version of "Hi" or "Hey") to get your attention. Cracks me up every time.
--He is an old pro at clapping now; you just need to say "Pattycake," and out pops that goofy grin while he clasps his hands together.
--One of my favorite developments is that Aiden now "kisses" me. He'll stop what he's doing, smile broadly, and then lean forward and touch his face to mine; he either aims with his forehead, nose, or mouth. Doesn't matter to me--I know what he's trying to do! :)
--He's still fighting me on a couple of things--crawling, drinking from a sippy cup, and drinking anything other than formula. I'm not being pushy, though; he'll get there when he gets there.
--Aiden is now the proud owner of two bottom teeth! Dr. Brown, after his exam today, said the top ones should make an appearance any time now :)

Well, I could go into all the other issues that have plagued the Cotter household this week, but honestly, I'm tired of it and putting it behind me. Just know it has to do with more sickness, a leaking hot water tank, and WAY TOO MUCH TO DO at work. But it will all calm down soon...just in time for Christmas! I do want to thank those of you out there (and you know who you are) for your words of support; I really do appreciate them even if at the time you say them, I try to bite your head off.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sick Day

Yuck. I'm not such a fan of being sick, and I generally don't get sick that often--at least I didn't before I got pregnant. Now I'm thinking I should go back to my prenatal vitamins. I woke up this morning and started to get ready for work (against my better judgment), and by the time I got out of the shower feeling REALLY achy and just all-around not right, I called it quits and took a sick day. I'm finally feeling good enough to get up off of the couch, and since I'm really tired of listening to soap operas and judge shows while I doze, I thought I'd post a few pics of Aiden from this past weekend. He's such a ham. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Movie Time

The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind--it's been busy at work, and, well, it's December. :) Busy or no, I wanted to share a few silly Aiden videos. The first one was Tuesday night when I was trying to dry Aiden off after his bath. He was jabbering away, and said something that sounded like "poo-poo-poo;" when I said it back to him, he pretty much lost it. Daddy got the tail end of the exchange on tape:

Giggle Fit from Kimberly Cotter on Vimeo.

Now if you're not a fan of seeing a baby spit up, you are forewarned NOT to watch the next clip. This was yesterday afternoon while Mike, Aiden and I were just hanging out. I got the camera because Aiden was being especially chatty, and I wanted to document that, but I got a bit more than I bargained for :)

Unexpected Spit-Up from Kimberly Cotter on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Kid is So Freakin' Cool

For dinner last night, I got out a jar of Aiden's favorite--sweet potatoes. It's a standby--something he always loves. Well, we were not even two spoonfuls in, and suddenly he's all raspberries, spitting them out at me and giving me the what-were-you-thinking? look I'm learning to love so much. So I go back to the cupboard and grab a jar of pears and he Gobbles. It. Down. Seriously--you would have thought it was Thanksgiving again. Since the sweet potatoes were still on the table, I tried them again, and after two spoonfuls, back came the raspberries and the questioning look. I just love that he's learning to communicate. :)
I had this grand idea that I'd get Aiden to switch to a sippy cup with no problem. So much for that. He likes to hold it in his hand well enough, but other than that, he pretty much shuts down when you put it near his mouth. As with most of his milestones, all in good time.
Another thing we're eagerly anticipating is our sweet little guy crawling for the first time. He's SOOOOOOOOOO close; I have the camera on hand at all times now, and because of that, I was able to get this photo after he wedged himself under the couch last night. Such a stinker. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I must say I am quite shocked--I checked Aiden yesterday and he was still all gums (I'm talking NO sign of a tooth), and yet as I'm feeding him his apricots and oatmeal this morning, there it is in all its tiny glory--his first tooth, right on the bottom!!! And I can even see another one starting to show right next to it! You can BARELY see it there on the right in the photo (can you believe the goofy smile?). This is one proud Mama!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanks for your help and suggestions, everyone!!! Here's the "Whiplash" video--enjoy!

Whiplash from Kimberly Cotter on Vimeo.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving & Patty-Cake

It was a long day, but it was a good day. Mike, Aiden & I headed up to Lexington yesterday morning, and we only experienced one traffic hiccup that delayed us about 20 minutes, so nothing too horrible. We visited with Mom, Dad, Abby, Sean, and John, and marveled at my folks' new 40-inch flat screen HD TV (that thing is amazing, so I can see why my dad says he now only leaves the living room to go to the bathroom). Then we had a FABULOUS turkey dinner, complete with all of the trimmings, courtesy of my amazing Mom (with some help from my equally amazing Dad). My mouth still waters just thinking about it.
After resting our tummies, we headed up to my grandma's house for more family and fun. We were lucky enough to have my Aunt Kitty visiting from South Carolina this year; that was a special treat because Aiden was able to experience "Whiplash." It's this goofy family tradition that if Kitty is here on Thanksgiving or Christmas, she gets to the take the youngest kid (or kids) and bounce them on her knee to an instrumental version of "Sleigh Ride." It's nuts--everyone crowds in the living room to watch. Which brings me to my question--can anyone out there recommend a (free) movie-editing program? I want to post the movie, but apparently Blogger can't handle the size, and I'd like to cut it down about bit. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!!!
Getting back to our turkey day, Aiden was such a good sport, too--even though he desperately needed a nap, he was social and smiling at EVERYONE at Grandma's house. He slept the whole way back to Columbus, and then had a slight over-stimulation meltdown once we got home, but he recovered quickly. A good day indeed. :)
Mike was actually off work today, and since all our Christmas shopping has long been complete, we were able to avoid the Black Friday crowds, and instead we put up our Christmas tree and other decorations. I must say I am quite proud. :)
I leave you today with a video that I WAS able to upload; at my folks' house yesterday, my mom noticed that Aiden would start "clapping" on his own whenever she'd sing "Patty-Cake" to him. So here he is doing the same from this morning. Cute stuff :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So my Thanksgiving break started a bit early yesterday; it seems I should NOT eat fish, or at least not eat fish from the cafe at work (I'll spare you the details). Then today and tomorrow, I'm trying out the stay-at-home mom stuff since I don't have a babysitter. Not gonna lie--this is tough stuff, but obviously very rewarding. I'm getting to spend some extra time with Aiden when he's learning so many new things; he's getting really good at the "baabaabaas" and the "daadaadaadaas," and he'll even throw in a few "mamamas" for good measure. My only complaint is that he practices his speech during feedings, so I'm getting an awful lot of mixed veggies on my clothes. This too will pass, I guess. :)
Aiden had another bit of a milestone this week--I had to lower his crib mattress as he's getting a bit too good at his maneuverability. Case in point: I heard a SNAP in his room on Sunday after I'd laid him down for a nap, and after opening his door to check out what this could be, I discovered he'd actually reached up, grabbed one of the Brutuses from his Buckeye mobile, and pulled on it so hard the stem of the mobile snapped. Luckily I'll be able to jerry-rig it back together with parts from another mobile I have, but I think I'll be mounting it on the wall instead. What a fart.
Now we're just looking foward to family and food in a few days, all while trying to keep the house clean and avoiding the snowflakes outside...

UPDATED 7:30 PM: I had to add a photo of another one of Aiden's new tricks; he is now an EXPERT at sticking his tongue out. wonder where he learned that from...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So there's this game on Saturday...

...you may have heard of it? The storied Ohio State vs. M*ch*gan game? "The Granddaddy of Them All?" In this town, it's our own extra little holiday, nestled in between Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's one reason I moved to back to Columbus after a brief stint as a reporter in West Lafayette (in my experience, Purdue fans just don't get what it is to be a fan). It's the reason I chose red & silver for our wedding colors. It's why the first thing I bought when we found out we were pregant was a Brutus Buckeye mobile. It's one reason I donated money to charity at work just to be able to wear my OSU sweatshirts all week (though truth be told, I could probably wear my tailgate gear to work for a month and not double up on an outfit--it would seem I have an OSU wardrobe obsession that I didn't even know about). It's the reason we have two Christmas trees--one for the regular holiday fare, and the other decked out in OSU garb. It's the reason we needed a house with a basement big enough to turn into "The Red Room" (though ours is still a work in progress). It's the reason I think a necklace of strung Buckeye nuts and beads is far more attractive than any bejeweled strand could ever be. It's the reason my insurance agent raised his eyebrows last night when I started discussing with him the article on SI.com I had read, forcasting OSU would play Texas in the Fiesta Bowl if Penn State beats Michigan State on Saturday (side note: GO SPARTANS!). It's the reason I shell out $20 a month for five years to the OSU Alumni Association just for the opportunity to possibly win the right to buy two tickets to one game each year for the rest of my life. And it's definitely the reason I look forward to that last Saturday before Thanksgiving every year, so that I can don my favorite sweatshirt, Buckeye necklace, Brutus Buckeye temporary tattoo, OSU socks, and if the mood's right, my OSU 'fro wig, and then sit with family and friends over pizza and beer, and yell in unision at the bad officiating and marvel at the oh-my-God-did-you-see-what-Clarrett/Krenzel/Ginn/Smith/Beanie/Pryor-just-did!?
It's also the reason I'm so excited for Aiden to experience his first game this weekend, whether he "gets it" or not. GO BUCKEYES!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Punch it, Chewie!

There's no denying it any longer--I simply must give in to the truth. It's becoming evermore obvious that I did not actually give birth to a human, but rather, I am the proud parent of a Wookie. Not even kidding. Sure, you may only see the physical resemblance in Aiden's mop-top of a head of hair, but I'm telling you, just give him a chance to get REALLY pissed off, and out comes all his Wookie-ness; he'll give a drawn-out, guttural, throaty growl that would give Chewbacca goosebumps (or should I say Wookie-bumps????). It's actually quite comical, but I have to quell my desire to giggle, or otherwise I will endure the wrath of more growls. If I can ever get it on camera, I'll post it here, but alas, I'm thinking it may be more difficult than catching Big Foot on film. I'm telling you, though--once you hear Aiden cut loose with his Wookie sounds, you'll swear that Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are going to smash down the door any second in one of their legendary light sabre battles...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Something New

The holidays are obivously coming quickly, and besides the normal gift-giving, that also means donations to charities and the like. Just in the past week, my job has given us employees several opportunities to donate to a local food bank, and I've definitely taken advantage of those chances. And even though Mike & I are by no means well-off, I still feel like I should do more--like I shouldn't wait for a special time of year in order to give. And so suddenly a lightbulb went off in my head the earlier this week. I was waiting for Mike to get home from work; Aiden was napping on me, and I was half-watching the evening news when suddenly a story caught my attention. It was about a local event that was being sponsored by the March of Dimes. They profiled a local woman who just this past August gave birth to her first child--at only 24 weeks. She and her husband were only able to enjoy their little gift for a day before the child passed away. I found myself in tears (I almost am again just typing this) as I hugged Aiden a little tighter , and decided in that instant that I would become a supporter of the March of Dimes in an effort to reduce the number of premature births.

After researching the organization later that evening, I submitted my name and information for volunteer opportunities. While there are no events currently scheduled in my area, I am planning on taking as active a role as I can, and this includes leading a team for the March for Babies in the spring. If any of you out there (locally) would like to join my team, just let me know as time gets closer (I'll be sure to post more information as I get it); if you're not local but still want to be involved, I'm all about accepting pledges! :) For the time being, I'm going to donate a portion of whatever profits I make at my company's upcoming craft fair to the March of Dimes. It's a small step, but I'm hoping it will lead to bigger things, including fewer parents experiencing the heartache I saw on the news a few nights ago. I'm proud to be involved in any way I can!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eight Months Old!

I know I always start out these monthly updates with how dumbfounded I am that we have reached this month's milestone, but honestly, I sit here every time and marvel that we've already arrived at this stage in Aiden's life. I mean, come on--he's been outside in the real world nearly as long as he was in my womb! That's NUTS to me! I also use these moments to reflect and count myself extremely lucky to have such a little blessing--one who is happy and healthy and ready to take on the world!
A few of Aiden's 8-month details:
--I sat him on the scale the other afternoon (now that he can hold his own in a sitting position, guesstimates on weight aren't so far off), and it seems the little guy is between 17 and 18 lbs. Still on the small side, but tell that to my aching shoulders when I go to bed in the evenings!!!
--He's got his sleep schedule down; on weekdays, he goes to bed between 8 and 8:30, and is ususally up between 6:30 and 7; on weekends, he still goes to bed between 8 & 8:30, but bless his heart for letting me & Mike "sleep in" until between 7:30 and 8!
--He's eating about 6 times a day; he gets fruit or veggies mixed with cereal twice daily, then a stand-alone jar of fruit or veggies in the evening, and then bottles mixed in between those meals.
--Aiden doesn't know this yet, but we're going to start trying sippy cups, as Mommy is tired of getting squirted with formula when he decides to slap (read: SLAP!) the bottle out of his mouth. :)
--We haven't exactly seen him crawl yet, but we know he's warming up to the idea since sometimes we'll find him rocking back and forth on his knees. For now, he's WAY content to just roll anywhere he needs to go. It's a riot!
--He still has the uncanny ability to smile either before or after Mommy takes a picture--*SIGH.* He really does have a great--and frequent!--grin! :)
That's about all for this month's update--next month should be a good one, considering the holiday season! I'll have to decide whether to pose him in his Santa or Reindeer outfit...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sittin' Pretty

Aiden seems to be well on his way to "mastering" sitting up. He does very well in keeping his balance, but I try to have something soft behind him as he unexpectedly throws himself backwards sometimes. I like to avoid crying fits if I can help it :)We FINALLY have a quiet weekend around here--just the watching the Buckeyes game today and getting some pictures taken tomorrow. I know this is only the calm before the storm that is the holidays, but I'll take it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Quick Thought

I know I have an icon in my right margin declaring "No Political Posts" (that is NOT what this blog is for), but I'm going to break from that to make my first (and probably last) political statement. Most of you who know me know that I'm a life-long bleeding-heart liberal, and that I wear that label proudly (should any of you now feel the need to never speak to me again or remove my name from your blogroll...well, that's your issue, not mine), and that's one reason I typically don't comment on politics here. But last night's election results are simply too important not to recognize.

Forget for a moment that President-Elect Obama is a Democrat (if you must) and simply listen to a snippet of his acceptance speech:

"And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope."

THAT is the kind of world I want Aiden to grow up in. It may not happen, but I look forward to witnessing the attempt.

Please be gentle with comments--as I said, this has never been a politically-inclined blog, and I have no intention of ever taking it down that path. I more or less wanted to share my feelings as opposed to my ideology. Thanks!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Witch, a Puppy, a Sailor, a Wedding, and A Few Sleepless Nights (or, How I Spent My Weekend)

What a crazy few days, but I guess with Halloween landing on a Friday this year, I shouldn't be all that surprised. I took a half-day off from work on Friday; since we were driving to Mansfield that evening and were going to miss Aiden's first trick-or-treat, I at least wanted to let him show off his puppy costume a bit, so I ended up taking him back to my job, then to Mimi's job, and finally to Mike's job (where Daddy had changed his mind and dressed up as a sailor--wish I had a picture of that!). The final decision is that Aiden did, in fact, look absolulely adorable. :)
Things began to take a bit of a dramatic turn on Friday evening at PooPoo's house, where Aiden did not sleep AT ALL that night, and I was only able to squeeze in about an hour and a half. We're pretty sure he's got some teeth ready to erupt, as he had a slight fever and a runny nose. We did still make it to Brunswick for my buddy Brian's wedding and reception, but we had to leave early to come home and check on our little guy. Mike & I were hopeful that Aiden's insomnia would be limited to Friday evening, but unfortunately he didn't sleep all that well last night, either. The good news is that the fever is gone, but I wish those darn teeth would show themselves already...
Here's to a (hopefully) uneventful week--at least other than the election on Tuesday...