Saturday, December 6, 2008


Cooper and his best friends, Eleanor and Ryder.

Love this picture of Cooper and Eleanor,
though they look a bit too much like teenagers for my liking.

Thanks for the pictures Heather (Eleanor's mom)!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This Is My Son

He put the cheese pieces in his mouth and announced "I'm a beaver!"

Then he ran around for about 10 minutes doing this:

You have to admire the creativity!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Simple Comforts

I have just collapsed onto the couch after another busy day. I find these days that I spend a lot of time thinking about the things I didn't accomplish...I didn't make all the Thanksgiving left-overs casseroles I had planned, another day went by without cleaning off my desk, my work To Do list continues to grow, and the first snow came before I got around to preparing the garden for winter.

Tonight I'm taking a different approach. I'm enjoying a few simple things I did accomplish. After putting three bags of fresh turkey stock in the freezer I admired the dozen or so zucchini muffins, made from zucchinis I grew, along with several bags of tomatoes grown by me. And while I may not have made the casseroles, I have lots of stock for many bowls of soup some day in the future when I have the time. And the left-over turkey is in the freezer too, so those casseroles still have hopes for future meal satisfaction.

It's comforting to know I do accomplish a lot, with a little help from the freezer.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and takes some time to reflect on all you are thankful for.

For those of you who enjoy interesting tidbits and trivia, I heard a fun story on NPR this morning about why we call turkeys, turkey. Apparently this bird, native only to North America, gets its name from far away. Don't you think it's time the turkey got an American name? I'd love to hear any ideas! To read or listen to the full story click here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here are some late Halloween pictures. Cooper and I made a last minute trip to Michigan for the Halloween weekend. Cooper loved his costume (conceptualized by me, created by Erik. Check out Flickr for some better shots.). He made it to about 6 houses trick-or-treating before losing interest, preferring to watch the other kids in their costumes and blow bubbles. The weather was unseasonably warm which made for a great night for everyone.

Ready to go with Grampa

Heading down the driveway

The first stop was at the Sweeney's,
my parents' next-door neighbors.
They had quite a set up with a table, chairs,
firepit, and wine.
What a way to give out the candy!

Off to the next house!

Sampling the loot and blowing bubbles with Gramma.

Reilly (dressed at Mark Phelps) and Cooper

Reilly and Jack (dressed as a commando,
which he thought was a strange name for his
costume because it sounds like he isn't
wearing any underwear)

The three cousins (and one proud Grampa)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One last political video

Don't forget to vote November 4!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

an addition

Tonight Cooper added to the "let me think about it for a second" and exclaimed "I got it!" and raised one finger in the perfect 'eureka' pose. Too funny!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some Cooper Cuties

Here are some little funny phrases leaving us laughing these days:

"Let me think about it for a second" and he proceeds to put his hand on his cheek and say "hmmmm".

When angry with me or Erik, the over dramatic Cooper yells "You broke my life!", his more colorful version of 'you broke my heart'. Just today Erik "broke his life" because he closed the door when Cooper wanted to do it.


"Oh WOW!" for just about everything, including getting broccoli for dinner or putting on his shoes. Gotta love the enthusiasm!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Making Sun Catchers

I helped Cooper make some sun catchers today. Don't know what came over me to get so crafty. Perhaps all the reading of creative blogs like this one has finally started to rub off.

My favorite part of the project was watching Coop earnestly make decisions on color and leaf placement. This is a new side to him and I love seeing it. I think that he was fairly proud of the finished products. He did prefer to wear the sun catchers though....totally his idea, I never would have thought of them as giant necklaces!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cooper's First Movie

Erik set Cooper loose with a video camera last night. With a little editing, the result is an interesting peak at the world through the eyes of a two year old.

Be warned....the camera is obviously unsteady and may make you feel a little dizzy. He also enjoys pushing the record/stop button, continuously, which has an interesting effect.

P.S. Please excuse the messy house. I've been fighting a bad cold/flu following Erik being gone all week last week. A little chaotic around here!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Little Yogi

Makes his mama very proud!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jon Stewart Says It Best

I love this, and lifted it from a fellow Mt. Lebanon blogger. I love how we get to see the double speak so clearly!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tomato Harvest

These are the tomatoes I picked today. There are about this many still green beauties hanging in waiting on the plants. Labor day weekend will be filled with tomato labor love--yummy gazpacho and freezing, since I don't know how to can. All this from only 4 plants. Amazing!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let the Games Begin

The 2008 Olympics may be ending tonight, but the real games are starting tomorrow. It's the first day of school! at least for most public schools around here. Though I'm not teaching anymore, my life still has a drastic shift with the beginning of the school year. Therapy schedules change, needs change with the added stress of school. Tutoring starts and my work load just about doubles. The first student will be knocking on the door on Tuesday. I'm excited, and nervous, about all of it coming together. There is something so magical about the end of summer, the beginning of so many new things, so many possibilities, a new school year stretched out in front of me. For all you who still follow the school year calendar, here's to a great year!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cooper's Idea of Heaven

While we were in Michigan a couple weeks ago we went on a great little train ride. We spent most of our time in Michigan at my parents' house near Grayling, Michigan. The train was pretty incredible. It started as the man's "hobby" and now is a tiny, quaint "Up North" tourist attraction. Cooper, who is mildly obsessed with trains, loved every minute of the ride.

Ticket ready, all aboard!!!

Everything is better with popcorn

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What I Learned Today

I am way too impatient to grow carrots.

Even if you put a bumper sticker on your car that says "Be Patient, Be Forgiving, Be Nice to Each Other, Have Self Control, Be Slow to Anger" your kids will still yell and scream at each other (as I witnessed in a minivan at Staples filled with a very loud family post school supply shopping).

When I forget to think about dinner until 5:00pm I can still pull off something delicious, and good for us, supplied mostly by our garden...pasta with sauteed chard, tomatoes, basil, garlic and onions. But, I also learned that Cooper won't eat that so plain buttered noodles and parm. work for him.

Drag queens on Project Runway is an excellent idea!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breaking the Silence

My theory is if I can just do that I can get back to blogging. I have lots of thoughts and happenings stewing around my brain. So here's to getting back on track!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


When life feels out of my control, as pieces have over the past couple weeks, I find solice in two divergent ways. On the one hand I clean, which makes sense I suppose. I restore order to our home, when other things can't be put in any sort of order. When Erik was in Germany for two weeks my oven was sparkling and the burned grime was diligently scraped off our grill. Today, the inside of our refrigerator is spotless. Tonight I washed the kitchen cabinets and even scrubbed the knobs on the stove. I only meant to do the dinner dishes and got a bit carried away.
On the other hand I create some chaos. This week I decided to rip up the carpeting in our bedroom and into the upstairs hallway and stairs. I'd been thinking about doing this for a while. I hadn't planned on starting the project at 6:30 on Sunday night. Not the best time to start in on something like that. So now I'm working a little at a time. The project itself is incredibly theraputic, pulling out all the staples, prying up the carpet tack boards, and uncovering the beautiful wood that has been hiding for years under drab carpet. Our bedroom may be in disarray, but I've found my way towards some peace and healing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garden Update

I completed the mulch project as scheduled, though I'm behind in posting about it. I don't have any pictures yet of the greatest improvement. But, here are some shots I got much of the backyard garden before some nasty storm clouds rolled in last night.

The garden is growing voraciously, thanks in great part to all the rain we have had this summer. I've learned lots from my first raised bed. One is to pace myself better next year and not try to squeeze in as much as possible. It is just so hard when growing plants from seeds to limit them, to thin the tiny plants, and to remember how big the full grown plants will be. Also, I've decided peas are just too much trouble; the birds find the pea pods before I do and I would need many more plants to get more than 5 peas at a time. All in all the raised bed is a rousing success, though we have to watch out for the pumpkin plants that are threatening to take over our entire yard!

This is a flower bed I put in two summers ago.
Cooper jumped into the shot and said "Cheese!"
I don't think he comprehends that I would ever want
to take a picture of something other than him.
The giant sunflowers are growing tall.
Baby pumpkins
Baby zucchini, and judging by the amount of flowers
on the zucchini plants, the freezer full of zucchini bread
I've been dreaming about will become a reality in a month or so.
Baby tomatoesGigantic basil made for delicious grilled mozzarella, tomato
and basil sandwiches a couple of days ago.
Farmer Cooper. Check out the size of those zucchini plant leaves!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mulch Day 1

This arrived in my driveway this morning. An intimidating mass.

Cooper was feeling up for the challenge.

Half way through the project....the front is finished. Looking good!

I'm particularly pleased with the hydrangeas this year, which is surprising because in the past they were not my favorite, and I'd even toyed with the idea of getting rid of them. They are here to stay now!

A nice dent in the pile. Back to work tomorrow, and maybe with some help from Erik after he sleeps off the red-eye from San Francisco.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Big Night

Cooper peed in his potty! I am not expecting any miracles, but am very excited that Cooper finally made it happen. He has been "trying" for weeks now with nothing, and had been losing interest in even trying. But tonight I laid the bribe of an M & M on thick and had him sit while watching a show. And then, he peed! Never thought I would be so excited about seeing urine. He even pulled it off a second time. He really wanted those M & Ms!! We'll see what happens tomorrow, but again, I'm not expecting much.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Build a Dog

Cooper had his first visit to Build a Bear while my mom was here. To set the scene, I shopping in another store and since Cooper is the most impatient shopper, my mom took him down to Build a Bear. I figured he would just look around, because he has never really been interested before. According to my mom, he walked around the whole store checking everything out and watched another little girl build an animal. My mom then asked if he wanted to get an animal, presenting some options to him. He turned it all down, finding what he wanted all on his own -- a dog that looks like a black lab, very similar to our dear chocolate lab. Fortunately, I walked in just in time to watch him build the dog and capture it all.

Pushing the pedal to fill his dog with stuffing

Squeezing the heart

Putting the heart in his dog

Waiting for the dog to get sewn up

Giving his dog a bath

Brushing his fur

A big hug for his new dog

Cooper was so serious about building his dog and taking good care of him. He calls the dog bubba (which is what he calls all dogs) and now calls Scout "Pa Bubba". He is quite enamored with his new bubba, and was so cute walking him up to bed that night, making him bark all the way up the stairs. He then introduced the new bubba to his other bubba (another dog he sleeps with). I know, too many bubbas, but until the boy decides to expand his vocabulary, we're stuck.