Friday, December 25, 2009

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The Cupits had a great morning!

Friday, December 18, 2009

IT DEPARTMENT COMES THROUGH

as promised, here is this year's Santa Photo:


F-U-N MAKES IT OFFICIAL

Brag warning:

Brant picked up a DVD case a few minutes ago and sounded out "fun". He's been kind of doing things like this all week long, but I was a little hesitant to say he could read. Now I'm confident that he's got it. Mind you, this is in no way a reflection of good parenting skills. If anyone other than Brant deserves credit for his accomplishment, it could be his teacher at school. Brant never tells me what they do at school so it's likely they've been working on word-building. I am super proud of my little man who won't turn four for 2 more months!

MOM BITES INTO CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a challenge with three children. It's a fun challenge, but a challenge none-the-less. Maren did manage to make it to Laurel's gingerbread-house-making activity with her class, but as evidenced, did not put on any makeup. At least now she doesn't have to come up with a New Year's resolution. Wearing at least a little bit of makeup before going out into public seems like an obvious choice.

Since the house activity happened at school, that's one more thing that Mom doesn't have to stress about doing at home. The outdoor lights have yet to be hung, but the tree is done and a few indoor decorations are scattered through the house. The blog is the family's Christmas card this year, saving time and money - time seems to be the most desirable commodity of 2009. Both kids took homemade gingerbread cookies to their class, a feat that almost didn't happen. Maren kept thinking about the Little Debbie gingerbread cookies on the middle shelf of aisle 6 at Wal-Mart.

The annual cookie exchange was a wonderful, relatively low-stress event, thanks to the assistance of a local bakery. No, she didn't buy her cookies, but she did buy brunch! The ladies didn't seem to mind and everyone went home with some seriously addicting treats! By the way, the event wouldn't have been nearly as easy to pull-off if Brad hadn't been completely unselfish in helping get everything ready. He says he's in it for the cookies, but he still is a shoe-in for dad/husband of the year!

And finally, the kids did get their picture with Santa. Once the IT department gets the scanner working, the photo will be posted. It's a cute one this year. Laurel talked to Santa for quite a long time about what she wants. The newest addition to her list is a "make-up piano" kit. This is something she saw on a commercial on TV that Maren is totally CLUELESS about. Brant also talked to Santa. The first item on his wish list is a Nutcracker. For some reason, he loves the Nutcracker. He also wants the Mouse King "so they can fight." Brant's big present request this year is a bike. About two months ago he claimed he wanted a Spiderman bike and talked about it all the time. Then he switched to the Buzz and Woody bike. He firmly decided this was the bike for him, so Santa made arrangements for that bike. Wouldn't you know, he has switched back to Spiderman? Even with both Brad and Maren trying to brainwash him into the Toy Story bike, he still wants Spiderman. Santa, with the help of Papa K, had to do some extra work to make sure Brant is not disappointed Christmas morning. Santa has both bikes on hand in case Brant changes his mind at the last minute. However, if Brant goes crazy and says he wants Star Wars instead...he'll just have to get over it.

To top it off, Maren has been asked to speak in church this Sunday on Christmas. There are some huge blessings from this assignment. Most obviously, she gets to sit up on the stand for an entire meeting with no children! Secondly, and certainly more important, she is forced to stop the craziness, ponder, and rely on the Holy Ghost for peaceful inspiration relating to the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May all of our readers have such an opportunity this Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SHOTS AND STATS HIGHLIGHT CHECKUP

The shots were heartbreaking. Thankfully one of the immunizations is now administered orally, so she only had to endure three big needles pumped into her juicy thighs! Laney is a trooper though and after a little Tylenol, she's doing as well as can be expected.

Drum roll please...Laney's two month stats:
14 lbs, 2 oz. - 97th percentile...but I had just fed her a few ounces in the waiting room so wouldn't it be fair to just say 14lbs?? :)

Her length is 24 inches - 90th percentile.

Her head circumference is in the 95th percentile, and as Dr. J said..."she's got plenty of brains in there!"

MOTHER WITNESSES MIRACLE

Maren volunteered in Laurel's classroom for an hour today. At the end of her visit, the class tasted some star fruit that the family brought back from Aunt Joan's tree. All of the kids tried a little piece first and then, if they liked it, could have more. To Maren's astonishment, Laurel loved it! Now there is another natural food item to add to Laurel's list of "likes". Too bad these are not readily available at the produce market!

Monday, December 7, 2009

FLORIDA HOSTS FAMILY

The crew survived the 13 hour ride home. Thank goodness the Baton Rouge snowfall happened on Friday and not Saturday night. As it was, the family left a rather balmy Orlando in the morning to arrive in 35 degree weather at the end of the day.

A week prior, the Cupits stopped in Gainesville to spend some time with Maren's old college friend Lyndsay. Laurel and Brant had their first experience with Rock Band, and Laurel was quite a natural. For those who wondered, this is proof that she is her father's daughter.


Church was rather uneventful except for Brant's declaration that he didn't like this church because it was "hard." Everyone laughed at the comment, but no one knows exactly what he meant.

Sunday night, Aunt Joan and Uncle Bill welcomed the children with presents and hugs and kisses. Laurel and Brant couldn't wait to pet the cats. With a little coercion, the kids finally went to sleep in preparation for the big day at Animal Kingdom!

Aunt Joan arranged for special treatment at the Festival of the Lion King. The cast member directed us to our priority front row seats, Laurel and Brant got to be part of the show, and then for a super duper special treat, we were escorted out after the show to have a private meet and greet with the cast. It's all about who you know! The whole family loved this part, but especially Brad!


Tuesday was a beach day. The kids and Brad played on the sand and in the water for a few hours. Even in December, the weather permtted plenty of sunshine and fun!


Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were wedding festivities and preparation for Maren and Aunt Cissy. Brad used some time to take the kids swimming at a neighbor's indoor pool and then to the Orlando Science Center. Laurel did come with the girls for her first manicure. She picked her own color-hot pink with glitter!


The tripped finished with a gorgeous, fun-filled night at Cis's wedding. Plenty of other children made the event fun for everyone. Brad received numerous compliments on his skills for handling all 3 children so well by himself. He says the compliments are evidence of the open bar! But really, he did do a marvelous job and has scored pages of brownie points.



Monday, November 23, 2009

DIMPLE CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Laney's 7 weeks old tomorrow...

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Laney has big eyes!

Extra info: At six weeks, Laney went to the doctor for some minor stuff. Her weight at the time was 12 lbs, 10oz. This may be the reason she sleeps for such long intervals (once she finally goes to sleep, that is!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TRAFFIC IS CONSPIRACY

Is it just a coincidence that yesterday morning the roads in Baton Rouge were about twice as congested as usual and in the next week the city will be voting on a highly controversial bond proposal that just happens to include light synchronization?

GENERATIONS COME TOGETHER

The Cupits took a short drive last night to see great-grandma Mamie. She's staying in the hospital right now. Laurel, Brant, and even Laney did their best to bring her a little joy. The miraculous thing was that Laney sat in Mamie's arms for close to an hour and didn't make a peep.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

HALLOWEEN COMES, GOES


The decorations made it up 2 days before the holiday arrived. At least they came out of the boxes. The neighborhood celebration didn't disappoint this year. Darth Vader and Princess Leia enjoyed themselves and their company (Peter Pan and Wendy). The loot was plentiful though noticeably less chocolate than in years past - evidence of the recession perhaps? Alas, the children don't seem to care. Mommy admits that 3 kids is definitely, unquestionably, FOR SURE harder than 2. But perhaps a survival tool arrived today. Laney slept in the wrap for at least an hour tonight. Mom was hands free and loving every second of it. Later on, Laney was cranky during her "witching hour." Mom placed her in the wrap (after a few attempts to position it correctly) and voila!, she was out! Pardon punctuation and grammar, the editor is doing well just to post these days!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BABY GIRL WATCHES WORLD

Laney's still sweet. Here's a picture with eyes open. She went for her 2 week appt on Monday and all is well. She's not quite up to her birth weight yet, but the professionals say this is typical for a large birth weight baby.

Mimi just headed back to the airport and the family is sniffling at her departure. But, Papa G is on his way as the next helper.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

WORLD WELCOMES LANEY MAY


Some facts and mementos about Laney's first days:

1. She's a calm, sweet, sweet baby.
2. She has long fingers and toes.
3. Her umbilical cord was tied in two knots-something the doctors had never seen before.
4. She likes to sleep during the day and eat all night!
5. She falls asleep when eating.
6. She has brown hair and the beginning of a curl at the top of her forehead.
7. She has perfectly shaped ears.
8. Her sister and brother are so excited that she's here. They LOVE her and have to kiss her before they leave the house.
9. She has two nicknames so far: Zany Laney (Daddy's favorite) and Laney Bear (Mommy's favorite).
10. She does NOT like having a wet or dirty diaper.
11. She loves to suck. She calms down quickly with a pacifier or her fingers.
12. She loves to be held. (No complaints!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CUPIT FAMILY GROWS

Today the Cupit family added a new addition: Laney Cupit was born October 6, 2009. She weighed 9 pounds, 11.5 ounces, and was 21 inches long. She has brown, curly hair and long fingernails. Photos will be posted later in the week.

Mother and baby are both doing very well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SOCCER SEASON BEGINS IN RAINFOREST CONDITIONS


Three-year olds are tons of fun to watch on a soccer field. Astute observers may notice something missing from the adorable pictures of Brant in his uniform. The ball is no where to be seen. He did a little bit of running, but still isn't agressive enough to squeeze into the pack and try to get a touch on the ball. He was chosen for the kickoff at one point, so he did get to kick it once.

After that, Brant was ready for the bench. Brant tends to shut down in hot, humid weather (just like his mommy), and this morning it was 80 degrees and probably 99% humidity. Yes, this is September in Louisiana. Supposedly, next week the cooler, drier temperatures should come rolling in. Maybe at that point, Brant will want to play a little longer. Until then, he prefers to be on the couch under the fan with his movies or some games.

PREMIER PERFORMANCE RECEIVES CRITICAL ACCLAIM

Laurel had her first public performance on the violin at the recent church talent show. She had a great performance, and most importantly showed no stage fright. She was awarded with some pink roses and big smiles. She played "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Laurel has been asked to return for a repeat performance at the church Christmas program. She has picked "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" for that show. Tickets will go fast. Don't miss this up and comer!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NEW RESEARCH DISPROVES NESTING

For years, doctors and midwives have termed "nesting" the period of time just before a new baby arrives. Supposedly, the mother has a sudden burst of energy and feels the desire to clean and prepare everything in (and out) of sight.

However, the latest research conducted during the 3rd Cupit pregnancy finds that this "nesting" is in fact led by guilt and fear rather than bursts of energy. The sampling pool, small but accurate, reports a desire to prepare the house and other to-do items to an acceptable level. Maren says she just doesn't want to be embarrassed when people come to assist the family after the C-section. There is a lot to prepare. The husband in the sampling pool doesn't seem to feel the urgency (or perhaps refuses to acknowledge that chaos is in fact on its way in less than 2 weeks). Bags must be packed. Directions for the daily routine for the other children must be prepared, laundry must be up to date (ha!), bills must be scheduled to be paid, the house needs to be in order, if not deep cleaned, and finally the fridge (now clean, by the way) needs to be stocked. Never mind the pages-long list of house "projects" left unfinished and the Halloween decorations that will not see the light of night if they don't go up before the Cupits head to the hospital. And of course, those mothers that work outside of the home know that there are way too many incomplete tasks at the office to finish as the last day fast approaches.

Some may continue to call it nesting, but this research concludes that's just a euphemism created by women to explain their frenzied attempt to put life in order right before it turns to pandemonium.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MARY AND BABY COME TO CUPIT HOME

Background: At the church children's class today, the lesson involved dressing up and acting out a story from the scriptures. Also, on Sundays at the Cupit house, t.v. is supposed to be limited to "church movies," or preferably no t.v. at all. Today the children wanted to watch the baby Jesus movie.

After lunch, a visitor came to the living room:

Friday, September 11, 2009

DOCTOR SETS DATE

The Cupit baby will join the world no later than October 6, 2009. The doctor's office called today with only one time and date that fit both the doctor's schedule and the hospital's openings. So the date is set and surgery will begin at noon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BABY GROWS MORE

Apparently two-vessel cords aren't always a growth problem. Maren had her weekly ultrasound and OB check-up today. The baby looks well and by the ultrasound measurements is up to 7lbs, 2oz. The nurse was supposed to call today with the official delivery date, but no call so far. The family is on the 4 week countdown. Each weekend until then will be spent resting and organizing. At this point all the Momma wants to do is sleep (oh....and eat!)

Friday, September 4, 2009

WEEKEND REPORT

As the weekend kicks off, the Cupits are all smiles. Brant and Laurel are off to the grandparents. Maren and Brad are off to dinner before a productive and relaxing stress-free weekend. Laurel has been in the midst of some turmoil at school that wrapped up today in the carpool line. As her teacher put her in the van, she said, "Maybe she just needs some TLC?" Maren's immediate reaction was, "Ahhhhh, now I can handle that!" On an even better note, Laurel finished the week with a good behavior report from school and remembered everything she was supposed to! Relief!

Brant had a great day back to school today as well. He missed most of the week due to a stomach virus, but managed to be dropped off this morning with no tears! Laurel takes him to his class as Mom stands back to observe. It's a marvelous system. Brant was in such a good mood in the car after pick-up that he energetically reported about his new friend Juan. "I call him Won Ton Soup!" Maren smiled all the way home...

Monday, August 31, 2009

BRANT MAKES PREDICTION

In response to his mom's question, "What will the baby look like, Brant?", he answered without pause, "It will have red hair and it's a boy."

Any other predictions out there?

Friday, August 28, 2009

BLOCKS COMES ALIVE

Brant says, "Mom, come see..."

Mom says, "Cool, Brant, Did you do that all by yourself?"

Brant says, "Yes, I call it my dragon!"

Laurel says, "Oooo, a dragon!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

FIRST DAY ROLLS WITH FEW HITCHES



The kids had a great time. Everything went pretty smooth until carpool line in the afternoon. Maren's working on solving the few glitches that happened, but the kids are happy and safe and apparently the cutest kids ever. Laurel is officially in Kindergarten and Brant is a preschooler with a lot to say!


BIG SPLASH BLOWS OUT SUMMER

Maren's been promising the kids a trip to the spash park all summer. It finally happened the day before they went back to school. Here's the proof:

Monday, August 10, 2009

TOYS TAKE VACATION

Sunday morning, a large group of Brant's toys enjoyed their last playtime for a while. Then they rested on Maren's bedroom floor during the entire time the family was at church. Upon arriving home, Brant was told he had fifteen minutes to pick up his toys and throw them in a bin or they were going to be put away for a while in the closet. The fifteen minutes passed with several reminders and encouragement. Maren even gave specific directions on how to pick up a toy and put it in a bucket. The kitchen timer finally beeped. One lonely toy made it into the bucket. The rest were all gathered in a trash bag and stuck in the closet. Brant was so sad to watch his toys go on vacation. He cried for a long time. A few hours later, however, he seemed to forget about them completely. As he earns back his favorites over time, the family will most likely use the opportunity to truly get rid of the ones he's forgotten about.

Brant went down for a nap shortly after his crying episode, but only after Laurel offered to say a prayer for him. It was sweet and concluded with "Please help Brant to be a fast cleaner like me." Brant really liked it.

Maren feels like she made progress in this episode also. She stayed calm through the whole thing.

Brant and Laurel made huge strides at church today (at least during sacrament meeting). Brant left his goodie bag in the van, and Maren refused to let him go back and get it as the crew was already a couple minutes late. She found him a few play things in her church bag. It turns out fewer toys equals a calmer child.

In conclusion, Maren felt yesterday that she was progressing on the learning curve of parenthood. But in 2 short months, she has to jump to a whole new curve. As long as she doesn't move too far backward, she'll be happy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

GATORS FLEX FOR FANS

The Chronicle has borrowed this image from another blog, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to make an educated observation. Maren (forever a Gator) shared this picture with Brad (the in-house Tiger fan) for fun. Brad immediately commented that while Mr. Tebow looks pretty muscular in the photo, the observer should keep in mind that he is left-handed. The photo shows off his dominate arm. Most likely, his right arm looks more like Brad's.

Click on the photo for closer observation.

What is Dominique Franks of Oklahoma thinking now? Remember his comments last year?

"Going into a game and knowing a quarterback's going to throw the ball 40 times a game versus coming into a game and knowing he's probably only going to throw it about 15 or 20. ... It makes it a lot harder to prepare for those [Big 12] guys," Franks said.

The odds are pretty good that every defense in the nation hopes they don't have to prepare to meet Tebow and crew.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BABY STILL GROWING

In about 9 short weeks, another baby will join the Cupit family. The baby has not been featured much while in the womb, so a progress report is in order. Some Chronicle readers may have already heard that this little baby has a 2 vessel cord, which is also called a single umbilical artery. Simply, this means the baby has one artery in the umbilical cord instead of two. So far, this complication has been harmless. Growth, the largest concern, is ahead of schedule. The doctors say the baby is on track to be the same healthy size as Laurel and Brant.

Maren and Brad are steadily trying to commit to names. The favorites so far are Chase for a boy and Laney or Anna for a girl. Middle names are a whole other challenge.

Just this weekend, Maren and Brad moved the beds of both older children into the same room. The nursery is a bit disheveled still, but soon things will all come together. Hopefully, "soon" will happen before Maren is off to the hospital to deliver the baby!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GIRL MAKES REQUEST




Ever since she saw another little girl with one a few weeks ago, Laurel has wanted something special from Santa Claus. Her parents figure if she still wants it after Halloween, she's serious.

Regardless, Laurel has come up with a new logical name for her gadget. She wants an "ear-pod." She says it shouldn't be called an ipod because "it doesn't go in your eye; it goes in your ear!" Her mom thinks she makes a good point.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CORRECTION: NEW SCHOOL WELCOMES BOTH CHILDREN

The previous article should read, "New school welcomes Laurel and Brant." In a surprise turn of events, the Cupits received a letter on Friday congratulating Brant Cupit on admission to the Montessori Magnet program at the same spanking new campus as Laurel. Laurel will be enrolled in a different program, but both children will be at the same place!

School begins in two weeks, so the family has a bit of shopping to do to prepare for the event. Maren will most likely be doing this shopping on her own; Brad says just seeing commercials on t.v. for "Back to School" sales recalls nauseating feelings from his childhood. Apparently going back to school was not something he looked forward to.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BRAND NEW SCHOOL WELCOMES LAUREL

The photo editor left her equipment at home, but imagine a beautiful new brick facility in the heart of downtown Baton Rouge. Now imagine little Laurel Cupit attending school here. Her mother received the surprise phone call on Monday morning that Laurel had been accepted to the new academic magnet program provided she pass the screening on Wednesday. Laurel has now completed and passed the screening and is officially registered. She'll start kindergarten here in about 3 weeks. This has been a long process. Laurel's parents have applied for her to go to several good schools over the last year, always resulting in rejection letters. Finally, the family opened a piece of mail that began, "Congratulations...." instead of "We regret to inform you..." The family has prayed for a good school for what seems like years. Prayers are sometimes answered at unexpected moments. Maren offers one bit of advice to parents in the Baton Rouge area seeking acceptance to a good school, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again (and again and again and again!)"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MOTHER REUNITES WITH LOVES

The Cupit mom has had an interesting pregnancy with the family's third child. However, now that the third trimester has rolled in, she seems to be enjoying her days quite a bit more. She credits this largely to rediscovering two of her favorite experiences in life: Ben & Jerry's and swimming.

The first of the pair has been a rare occurrence in the Cupit house mostly due to Brad's milk allergy. Maren says she used to just always skip the ice cream isle at the grocery store. But now that the kids eat frozen waffles several mornings a week, she's in that isle frequently. And how can a mom resist a fantastic sale on Ben & Jerry's? Maren is currently hooked on Chocolate Macadamia. This discovery/potential addiction no doubt has contributed to a bit more weight gain than preferred, but if you can't indulge when you're pregnant, when can you?

The second new pleasure counterbalances the first. Since the kids have been taking swimming lessons this summer, Maren and Brad have both had the opportunity to swim laps while they're occupied. They've also extended this habit to family outings at the indoor pool, taking turns swimming laps and watching the kids. The indoor pool is the family favorite with fewer crowds, cleaner water, sunburn protection for the "fairest in the land," and a much cooler water temperature. Maren loves the self-esteem boost after swimming more laps than she thought she could. Swimming also has provided her with a few more side effects: less back pain, a happier mood, and just a little bit of a tan :).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

ANASTASIA'S SLIPPER FORETELLS CHALLENGES

For our readers who listen to John Tesh's radio program:

"Did you know" that when some women are pregnant their feet grow? Some girls have large feet to begin with. Six years ago, the Cupit mother wore a size ten. Even at that time, she could relate quite easily to Cinderella's wicked step-sister as she desperately tries to squeeze into the glass slipper. Three pregnancies later, Anastasia's foot might even look dainty compared to Maren's "boats" - as her father liked to call them when she was younger.

Maren stepped out of the van this morning in the church parking lot and one of the straps on her sandles finally popped off the left boat. Maren should have realized that this was an omen of things to come. Sacrament meeting was not the worst meeting concering the kids' behavior, but also far from the best. The family made it through until the last speaker with the usual "be quiet" tactics...books, treats from a wonderful helper, drawing supplies, sweet whispers of encouragement, and finally the three-strikes-and-you're-out-rule. Brant probably had about 5 strikes when his mother finally had to follow through. She scooped him up, broken sandal and all, and carried him out of the chapel. She didn't expect the loud, impossible-to-ignore pleas coming from her son on the way out. "DON'T SPANK ME MOMMY! DON'T SPANK ME MOMMY!!" For the record, he didn't get a spanking because his mother finds it nearly impossible to spank a child at church. The funny thing was, Brant's father was the last speaker in church today. Hopefully, the congregation was still able to find truth and Spirit in his message despite his family's disturbance. Thankfully, Brad didn't have to speak on fatherhood or motherhood or families.

Lastly, upon arriving home, Brant had fallen asleep in the van. This could explain some earlier behavior. He only falls asleep in the car when he's extremely exhausted. But Laurel - sweet Laurel- was still barely awake. "Did you know" that little girls are grumps when they're tired? For Laurel, that is an understatement. After a piece of peanut butter bread and a few more lunch items of her choosing, she finally was asked to go get in bed. For one reason or another, her mother made her upset, perhaps because she was refused permission to sleep with a piggy bank. So she went to bed in a huff. As her mom closed the door, Maren heard a slew of vengeful comments including "you're not my friend," "you can't play with my toys," and there may have even been an "I hate you" in there. The family will have to talk about the "hate" word later on, but in the mean time, the mother is grateful that Laurel didn't threaten to banish her from her house when she gets married.

Friday, June 26, 2009

LESSONS FINISH WITH A SPLASH


Laurel's biggest accomplishment was overcoming most of her fear. She still needs some more time in lessons, but her mom is super proud!
Brant has learned enough to be dangerous. He loves to put his face under and thinks he can swim better than he can. He's made huge strides, but now his mother is worried sick that he's going to attempt something more than he can handle. For sure both kids will be doing more lessons later in the summer. This also gives mom and dad some time to swim laps while the kids are occupied and having fun. More pictures below of the last day of lessons.