Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Advent Day 1!

This year, we are starting a new holiday tradition- an Advent calendar. I found one last year on clearance at the bullseye when my Mom and I went day-after-Christmas shopping. It's a pretty silver box with shiny numbered doors and it's going to bring a lot of fun to our December, I've already decided. So, Bryan and I are taking turns each day and putting a surprise behind every door to be opened each morning. I'm odd days, he's even, we share the 25th. So, this morning Bryan and Cooper opened the first door and found 3 snowflakes and a little note that explained that we would be kissing under mistletoe today. Well, Cooper feel asleep in the car on the way home, so he'll get his kiss tomorrow. But, here's a pic of his parents sharing a Christmas kiss...

Happy December! And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today's Accomplishments

*Woke up early to get your day started (6am)
*Learned a new word during breakfast (toast)
*Decided 6am was waaay too early to wake up and took a nap at 8:45am (yay)
*Played and played with the sitter
*Took trash out for Mommy (I tie it up, you drag it out the back door- good job)
*Learned how to use your mini fishing pole in the bathtub (good work)
*Downed a shot of Motrin to fight of the aches of your cold

Night baby boy. Love you so much.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Tomato Soup Recipe

I promised a friend I'd post the recipe for the soup I made last week. I made it again today- Yum! (Yes, those are Christmas muffin papers. I'm all sad since I packed up Halloween stuff last night. Gotta move on to the next-ish holiday.)

Tomato Soup

1 32oz carton of lower sodium chicken broth
1 10.75oz can of Hunt's tomato puree
1 14.5oz can of diced tomato (I use either plain or fire-roasted with garlic)
1/2 cup half n half or whole milk
1 small onion, diced
1 Tb. olive oil
salt, pepper and dried basil to taste
garlic powder (if the diced tomato is plain)

Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. (Sometimes I use the hand blender to puree the soup while it is simmering.) Make a box of Jiffy Corn Muffins while the soup is simmering. They make an excellent soup companion! :)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Toddler Bed

Is it time?

Bottles and Tears + Halloween

Your Dad and I have washed them a MILLION times. We've assembled their many parts so many times we can do it blindfolded. We might have cursed them on more than one occasion. But tonight, as I packed them away until the next baby, I cried about them. Well, I cried about you never needing one again. The bottles. It really started because I tried to remember the very last time I fixed you a bottle and gave it to you. I couldn't. And I bawled. Because that means that I forgot something about you. I know it's a condition of the brain, to remember some things but forget most, but it's just not okay with me when it comes to you. I want to remember every moment. To be able to conjure any experience we've had together. To know that you are right there in my thoughts when I need you.

Things seem to be moving at a breakneck pace since you were born. You are growing up so very fast. The experience of raising you is the best thing your Dad and I have ever been a part of. Every day you bring a joy to our lives that we are so grateful for. Last night we were talking about you over our dinner date and both of us were just brimming with pride and wonder over what a happy, curious and smart little boy you are. We had just been trick-or-treating earlier in the night and you were so into it. We were impressed at how quickly you caught on and how thrilled you were to pick out candy from the bowls of neighbors. You were delighted and you were a delight. You were the cutest skeleton around. We love you.

Here's a photo representation of our Halloween trick-or-treating!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

I'm a lover of fall and Halloween. Tonight we carved our pumpkin that we will set on the front steps to beckon the trick-or-treaters Saturday night. This year, we decided to go with a Jack Skellington theme. I think he turned out pretty cute. Plus, Cooper was all about helping this year, which made it extra fun. (Sorry, the pictures are in reverse and I don't feel like switching them!)
Completed pumpkin after Cooper was in bed

Pajama and milk break!

Cooper helping with his own marker. (Dry erase wipes right off of pumpkins BTW.)

Whoa, this comes off!?!

Yes! I get to use a knife!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cold Weather, Tomato Soup and Cornbread Muffins

It's gotten quite chilly here (in the mornings, at least) and so I'm thinking about cooking and baking a lot. Cold weather makes me do that for some reason. Today, I made a Tomato Bisque and a batch of Jiffy Cornbread muffins. Yum. I've tried a few different cornbread recipes lately with a bunch of different soups I've made. Nothing compares to this 33 cent box of Jiffy Cornbread mix. Seriously. It's the perfect balance of savory and sweet and perfectly moist. Mmm.

This afternoon when we got home from a work meeting, you did the most adorable little grown-up move. After I put you down from carrying you in from the car, you started peeling off your jacket with both arms. Where did you learn that? It seems like everyday for the last couple of weeks, you are doing things like this all the time. I'm definitely seeing the little boy emerging from your baby-shell. I feel like I try to enjoy all of the precious time we have together, but I just feel like time is going too fast. How can we slow this ride down?

Can't wait til you wake up so we can eat cornbread together and play outside. Love you, little boogoola arugula.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Day in Pictures

I love the days we have together that I don't have to go to work. Yesterday was so fun and so all about you. Thanks for being my buddy...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Turning Over a New Leaf

Today I was reminded how quickly a baby can change. I've been struggling with Cooper's, let's say, curiosity, over the last, um, 6 months. Seriously. He's one of those babies that people call busy, which we've figured out pretty much just means that he's into everything. Cooper is highly motivated by the possibility of getting his hands on anything that he might be able to take apart (destroy). Truthfully, I am grateful that he is so interested in exploring and learning. I don't want to squash his energy and interest. However, the neat-freak in me has been on high alert ever since he learned how to walk from here to there. Some days, I feel like I am just following him around the house, picking up mess after mess. Four forks and three baby spoons strewn on the kitchen and dining room floor. Twenty five clean diapers thrown about his room. A box of toys spilled on the living room floor. The contents of the bathroom shelf tossed artfully around the base of the toilet. You get the idea.

But, today I saw moments of a little boy who gained a little self-control. A baby morphed into a toddler who took his snack cup from his Momma, happily sat on the couch (his own choosing), and ate his Cheerios (feeding a few to Babs) as quiet as a mouse while I washed dishes. What? I kept checking on him because I couldn't believe that he was actually sitting still by himself. It was downright adorable seeing him in the living room, afternoon light pouring in the window behind him.

They change so fast. Every step is just that. A step. And today was one of those little reminders that he is an ever-changing boy. So, I'll try harder to not be so concerned about the messes he makes and to be more interested in helping him find his way. One mess (or ten) at a time. I love you little buddy.

Man, that was exhausting. Anyone need a seasonal dishtowel?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I feel so behind on blogging that I don't really know where to begin. So, forgive me if you're confused but I'm just going to start right where I am. I've been sitting here typing sentences and then deleting them. Enough of that...

Last weekend we had a great Sunday. Really, the best thing about it was just being together for the entire day but it was also packed with fun things we did. It's one of those days that I'll be thinking of when I need a little pick-me-up.

In the morning, we went on a walk around the neighborhood- Cooper, Babette, Dadda, Momma. The weather was just gorgeous- crisp and clear. After our walk, we headed out to one of my favorite places Stella, for a late morning brunch. The food was tasty and the baby was happy. You know what I'm sayin'! Eating out these days is a gamble and this time we won! :) Cooper was on his best behavior and since the weather was so beautiful we decided to head across the street and take a stroll in historic Oakland Cemetery. I am typically creeped out by any sort of cemetery activity but for some reason this one doesn't make me feel like running the other way. We walked around, read headstones and generally allowed Cooper to stomp on people's graves. Hey, I have no control over him. He particularly enjoyed running down this "hill" we found:

Thanks to my great baby-catching skills, no one ended up with a busted lip or skinned knees.

The rest of the day we spent driving up to the Blue Ridge Mountains to meet some of our family for apple picking at a local farm. It was pretty fun. Cooper LOVED the tractor pulled wagon ride. He could hardly concentrate on apple picking for trying to get himself back to that tractor. But, he managed...
Grandpa with the assist

Sunny face

Adorable niece with her apple

Oh, they're my favorites...

Finally, back on the wagon. Ha.

Of course I had to make Apple Crisp during naptime on Monday. Yummy stuff with all those fresh apples. An ode to a wonderful day...

And today brought a fun treat from Granny and Pop:

Best find ever at a garage sale! Cooper is in love...with a tricycle on which he can't reach the pedals. Soon enough, my little man.

Friday, October 02, 2009


He's finally growing some...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where'd I go!?!

I've melted in the summer heat? I've been chasing around a wild toddler? I've been busy with life?

Yes, all of the above and a little more. Honestly, I knew it had been a while since I had written on my blog but I really didn't know it had been THAT long. Sheesh. I'll be surprised if any of you are still waiting around to see if I would ever resurface.

Hmm, I think I'll do one of those list thingies to cover the events of the late spring and summer...

Things We Did This Summer (Sort of in the order in which they happened):

1. Went to the beach, just Cooper, Bryan and I. Cooper took his first, real steps the second we set him down in the condo for the first time. From that moment on, he hasn't stopped moving. Our trip was sunny and fun! Cooper's favorite part was the bathtub for some reason.

2. Went to the beach with just my girlfriends, no Cooper or Bryan. That was the first time I had ever been away from Cooper for more than 24 hours. Fun times with my girls but I was MISSING him badly by day 4. I think I drove 95mph the entire way home. My favorite part of the trip was the first day- we woke up, ate a leisurely breakfast, drank Mimosas, got a mani/pedi and shopped until late afternoon. So relaxing that I was like, what? Doesn't somebody need something from me?

3. Celebrated Cooper's First Birthday!!! I'm pretty sure no baby/toddler has ever enjoyed their first birthday as much as Cooper did. The boy loves an audience and he surely had one at his party. Every time I saw Cooper, he was toddling from one guest to another just hamming it up. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate! It was a blast!

4. Spent a week alone with Cooper while his Dadda went on a work trip. We did just fine but we sure were glad when he came back! The summer heat was really starting to sink in while he was gone, so we spent the first of many days on the back deck with the water hose. Cooper loves a garden hose so much that he points out every single one he sees on our morning walks. Hooo! Hoo! Hoo!

5. Went on a roadtrip to Ohio to visit family, just Cooper and I. I know, I want to smack me, too. Actually, it was a little crazy but we had a good time and got to see lots of family. Ok, I could have used some help in the car. Yes, I've lost my mind. Cooper had his first piece of Cassano's Pizza sitting in his Grandpa's lap. For the record, he loved it as much as his Momma does. Yum.

6. Celebrated Bryan's birthday, took a week off of work, spent some of that time in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. It was a beautiful drive up to Tennessee and we had some really yummy BBQ at some place called Mickey Piggs in the middle of nowhere. Also, we hiked the Appalachian Trail. For like, 5 minutes. :) But seriously, we went on a couple of hikes in the mountains and I am a total convert. I've never been interested in anything but the beach for vacation, but I really enjoyed the peacefulness of the forest and all of that delicious fresh air.

7. Branched out in my career and accepted a job (in addition to my salon job) doing hair and makeup for television spots. I loved every moment of my first freelance job (except the waking up at 5am) and I'm flying out to Seattle for another spot next week. It's exciting.

8. Celebrated the marriage of one of my best friends. Her wedding was this past weekend and we spent the weeks before her wedding prepping and making things for her day. I had forgotten how much fun weddings are and I totally enjoyed spending time with everyone that was around for the wedding. I'm especially glad that my friend Joy was in town!

Well, I'm sure I am leaving something important out but I'm too sleepy to think of it now. I leave you with some pictures of a cute baby and his family...