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.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This is Sparta!

This is so cool on so many levels. Apparently several months ago high school students around the country joined a group on Facebook with very simple instructions: write "This is Sparta!", somewhere in the middle of the essay on every Advanced Placement test you take and draw one line through it. Graders are instructed to dismiss anything that is crossed out. You can read here how one grader took notice and how the exclamation added a bit of inspiration for what seems to me to be a dreary job. While the kids didn't change the world by an means, or make any huge societal statement, I think it is so amazing that a small act of rebellion can take on an entire country, coast to coast.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

I'm nearing the end of Erik's very long trip to Germany. He left last Tuesday and finally returns Saturday night. While he has been having an amazing time seeing Germany, as well as working very hard I'm sure, Cooper and I have been holding down the fort with the loving support and company of my mom. She arrived on June 6, in time to celebrate my birthday, and stayed until today, helping to ease the pain of Erik's absence.

Here is a highlight of one of the many wonderful times with my mom these past several days:

Sharing a shake

The Bad

I knew when I planted my garden there were bound to be some failures. Well, I met my first today. What I thought was a pot filled with cilantro (my favorite herb) is actually a pot mixed of cilantro and flat leaf parsley. Basically, the two are incredibly difficult to discern, making the pot pretty much useless. I was so excited about what I thought was copious amounts of cilantro, even made black bean soup to tonight for my dinner, was going to make cilantro pesto. Ugh! Oh well. I've accepted that I'm just going to have to go and buy some plants. The good news in this is that what I thought was flat leaf parsley is actually carrots! I didn't think any of the carrot plants survived, but instead I have a big row! A silver lining in the end.

What I thought was a big pot a cilantro

The Ugly

Whenever Erik is out of town I have a hard time fixing "real" dinners for just Cooper and I. A few weeks ago Cooper's babysitter mentioned that he really loved the SpaghettiOs she served for lunch. I figured SpaghettiOs would be a perfect "dad is out of town" dinner. Little did I know it would create a SpaghettiOs monster! Please note the sauce in his hair. He obviously hit the bath immediately, and I'm a bit concerned that his skin still seems tinted orange. Oh, and he almost ate a whole can. What!?!?!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Cooper and his favorite friend, Eleanor, at the park.

Eleanor's mom, my great friend Heather, noted this will be a priceless picture if they go to the prom some day. Cooper will be very lucky if that in fact comes true. For now, Cooper enjoys doing just about anything Eleanor says and she watches out for his every need. The other day Eleanor announced at lunch "Cooper needs ice cream now. Danilla, with sprinkles." Cooper was perfectly happy with his pizza bites, but he did enjoy the ice cream too!