Sunday, October 10, 2010


Many of you know how well-loved the Wiggles are in our house. Cooper's been a fan for a good long time- running to get his pirate costume on when Captan Feathersword appears; singing along with all the songs; and lots and lots of pretending to wake Jeff up. SO, when we saw that they were coming to Everett, we had to go. Chris and I were a little nervous, because Cooper has a history of flipping out at big loud events. BUT, it was a total success- he smiled the whole time. We'll definitely be going again.

Fall Fun

We're settling in to the school year- lots and lots of changes for our family this year, and I have to say all of them have been great. It's the first year in a long time where I feel like things are actually easier than last year. Cooper's loving school, and volunteering once a week has really helped me feel like I know how things are going for him & how he fits into the classroom. I had a very sweet phone call Friday night from the mom of a girl in his class. They'd been talking about Cooper, and a potential playdate next week. The little girl says to her mom, "You know what's special about Cooper, Mom? He's always smiling. Even when people are upset or grumpy, Cooper's still smiling." Made my heart so happy to hear that!
Cooper's joined the band at the annual Buddy Walk

One last fall party (chasing chickens was a highlight!)

...notice that Ian couldn't be bothered with the cooking part.

My first friend in college, Jordan, who lives in Anchorage showed up w/his wife for a quick visit- first time in 15 years I've seen him.

Fun in the hammock!

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

Cooper was thrilled to start school today-not that I'm surprised. He walked in like he's been there forever, knew just where to put his lunchbox, and spent his free time working a puzzle.

I loved being able to walk, getting to meet the other parents, and (of course) seeing Cooper be so comfortable there. Ian, however,was pretty sure he ought to be staying....

Here are some shots from the morning.
Practicing his lunchroom routine last night (and mighty proud of his tower).

Working a puzzle with the instructional assistant who will be there to help in the mornings.
Ready to listen.

Back to School

So, here it is, the end of our first week back to school We're getting back into our routine, and frankly, much as I love summer and the warm weather, I'm ready for it. The boys are at Ian's daycare this week & loving it- Ian's lead teacher for his little group of 6 is Teacher Gabe. Ian likes him because he's silly and animated (and tosses him in the air.) Cooper was in with the Kinders there this week, as school doesn't start for him until Monday, and that'll be his care when he has a half day every so often. He's thrilled that he shares a big playground space with the "big kids"- the elementary students from the afterschool program.

We had Cooper's kinder assessment on Wednesday, and he marched himself right into Mrs. Clark's room & sat down to work with her- he got a couple of the shapes, letters and numbers right and then said, "can't remember"- which might be interpreted as, "I'm done naming things for you and I want to read books and play with the adults in the room!" Ian was in heaven to play w/all the things in Coop's classroom while I filled out paperwork- he'd go get a car from the bin and march it over to me to show me (in his most enthusiastic voice), "Mama! Car! Car!" Let me just say that I got to study every single one of the 20 cars in the bin quite well.

The big news for kindergarten is that the Special Ed. department in his school was allocated a half-time assistant for Cooper. She'll be there three hours a day and seems awesome! She's a special ed. teacher who just moved up here, so we couldn't ask for anything  better. I had written off Cooper getting any aide time after our last meeting in Spring- I felt like the message from the director of Sp. Ed was that if he needed a one-on-one aide, he should be in a contained classroom. So, great news! (And no fight to get the time!)

I'm getting settled in at my job too. I love, love, love that it is so close to our house (and that the kids eat lunch at daycare.) I load them all up in the bike trailer and drop them and the trailer at Hillcrest Kids, and then literally cross the street and a bridge and am at work. I've even managed to sneak in some runs after school this week!

All and all, a pretty successful transition (ask me again in a week...). The kids have been totally exhausted at night- I've literally been shoving food into them the minute we walk in the house, and am barely avoiding total break down. Fortunately, the food seems to do the trick. Today was our first slow morning, and when Cooper got up, the first thing he said to me was, "Cooper have quiet time?" (Cooper!) So, yes, we had quiet time.

My new commuter vehicle

Friday, September 10, 2010


Every year we fly to South Carolina to spend a week on the beach with Chris's family- all 18 of us in one house (10 adults, 8 kids under 9...) It's always a fun week, and a great way to connect with our spread out family. I thought I'd share some highlights.
 The 12 scoop Vacation Sundae from Vincents
Let me just add here that the sundaes at Vincents are some of the best things I've ever eaten. My favorite:  Coconut Madness:  2 Scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Topped with Hot Fudge, Slivered Almonds, Toasted Coconut, Whipped Cream and a Cherry. I have to limit myself to one per vacation. (But I think I could make a good mock up at home....)

Photo Op
I think the most astounding thing about this pictures is that all of the children are actually in it!

Fun with the cousins
I think this was the easiest trip we've had in a while. The kids are all getting old enough that some of the drama is subsiding. Can you see how intently Cooper is following his cousin's lead??

Bumped! (relaxing while we wait for the next day's flight.)
Here's a little secret that some of you might not know: we've managed to get ourselves bumped every trip home from Charleston since we started going. So, yes, this year we got bumped, and acquired a good chunk of travel vouchers to put toward next year's trip. We had to stay an extra day in Charleston (and you can tell the boys are really suffering through that...), but it was worth it.

Nothing I can really say about this last picture....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

San Diego Highlights-Part 3

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San Diego Highlights- Part 2

A sweet moment between brothers...

....I did say "moment" right?

In order to put on his cousin Audrey's socks, Ian had to take off every stitch of clothing he was wearing...except his own socks. Hmmm...

Coop was thrilled to have a slumber party at his cousin's house.
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San Diego Highlights- Part 1

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Beach Time

Nothing like the beach for hanging out (and giving smooches)

Can you see how BIG this hole is???
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why I Love My Husband

So, this blog- the link attached below- is one I've stumbled across before, but I have to say, this post made my fall over laughing, because really, you could change the names to Chris and Gretchen and it would be about right.

Author's note: I was going to title this post: Why I Love IKEA, but really, it's more a reflection on the patience &tolerance (most of the time) of my hubby. I'll tell you about the sheep, goats and turkeys another time...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

This is the first night Jasper's ever asked to sleep with Cooper.

Dressed for the day. I asked Cooper what he needed to put on before going outside, and he said, "shoes!!" So, here he is...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


And, I stumbled upon it and wondered if it might be a match for Cooper. It's advertised as an adaptive soccer program, but the age range is 5-19, so I thought it might be something Cooper wasn't ready for yet. But hey, it's free, so off we went...
Cooper LOVED it! He talked about it the whole way there:
"Cooper play soccer. Like big boys!"
"And Barney and Wiggles play soccer, too!"
"No, probably not," I say.
"Oh darn..." (My new favorite Cooper phrase.)

We get there, and there are our friends Amy and Max. Let me just say, here, that Cooper talks about these two more than anyone else in our lives (sorry grandparents..). I know he likes Max, but frankly, I think he's in love with Amy- in fact, as we left, he had to hold her hand (nevermind the water bottle.."Move that!" he declared.) And then when I tried to hold his other hand he says, "No, just one" [hand].
Finally, at the car, he tried to talk us into a trade: he'd go home w/Amy and he'd volunteer his spot at our house for Max. The only way we got him out of Max's carseat was to promise a pizza date with them next week.

But, back to soccer...he had a blast- his buddy, Lucy, is terrific, and he still hasn't taken off his soccer dress--- I mean shirt (somehow we wound up with a youth large.)
So, there's this program: Top Soccer

Hurray! (and thanks to Amy for actually bringing her camera