June 16, 2018

Summer Fun: Baby Pool

Cooper is loving swimming this summer.  In our pool, he just wants to jump in from the edge-- no fear.  Every time he sees the pool he says "splash splash" and gets excited.  And we went to the city aquatic center yesterday and there's a play structure in the middle of the kiddie pool and he just wanted to climb up and slide down over and over.  Even though our pool is great, there's nowhere that Cooper can stand up, so it can be a little exhausting going swimming with him.  So I decided to get him a pool of his own for splashing around in.  We got it out for the first time this week and he is a BIG FAN.  We swam with a friend earlier this week and then got it out this morning for Cooper to splash around a little.

He loves walking all around in the water

And then falling down and sitting with his toys.  He loves his ducks and balls and wanted them closeby.  He also really loved getting down on his hands and knees and sticking his face under the water and then looking back up and smiling.

 Daddy decided we needed to try out the slide into the pool, so he helped Cooper climb up and slide in.
Cooper loved it!  

We had a fun morning watching Cooper splash around.  I love having this little pool for the long summer days.  It's nice that we have an option for staying cool where I don't have to get in the water so only one of us ends up soaking wet.  He still only lasts about 30 minutes at a time, but it's a good way to get outside on the hot days.

June 12, 2018

Summer Fun: Popsicles

With the hot weather, I thought it would be fun to try out some homemade Popsicles.  I found a recipe to make some low carb/sugar free ones for me using sugar free Jello so I bought some Popsicle molds from IKEA to try them out.  The ones I made for me were pretty good, but not my first choice for a treat for Cooper.  So I took to Pinterest to find some recipes for toddler popsicles.  I found several that were made with fruits and veggies and whipped up a few batches.  I made one batch of these creamy ones with frozen mango, coconut milk, and a little spinach.  And then I made one batch of the Strawberry Raspberry Squash from this post from baby foode (still my favorite site for recipes for Cooper!). 

This weekend we decided to try them out.  We stripped Cooper down to his diaper since we knew he'd make a mess and then we went and enjoyed a popsicle snack outside after nap.
At first he wasn't too sure about it, so David put it in his mouth so he could get a taste.

 But he got the hang of it pretty quickly after that!

 He ate about half of it before he was ready to get down and play.  The red ones may not have been the best ones to start with, but he seemed to like them!  After he finished, we filled up his water table so he could splash and wash off some of the mess.  His favorite thing to do with his water table is dump water all over himself, so it worked out well!

Homemade popsicles were a fun summer treat and we're looking forward to sharing more with him!

This boy loves to eat, so here's a bonus look at some other weekend food adventures.

Our Saturday morning breakfast taco date.  He got so excited every time I'd hand him another tortilla, he would just start giggling.  He ate FOUR tortillas at breakfast as well as the sausage, egg, and cheese from his taco.

Sunday afternoon we walked to a local burger place and David got some of their banana pudding, so we gave Cooper a bite.  He was a big fan!

Honestly, planning and cooking meals has always been a bit of  a chore for me, and I feel like it's even more of a chore now that Cooper and I are at home and I am trying to feed him good things.  But at times it can be fun to try new things for him and he definitely seems to enjoy lots of different foods!

June 3, 2018

Summer Fun Filled Saturday

We had a free day on Saturday, so we decided to fill it with some summer fun.  I needed to go out to IKEA to get something, so we decided to head up to Frisco for the morning.  We got our Saturday morning breakfast tacos at Rudy's.  Then we headed to a spray park near downtown Frisco to see what Cooper thought since he had enjoyed splashing at the Arboretum so much.
We got there around 9:00, so it wasn't too crowded yet.  Cooper got right in with the water and did some splashing.  He was not a fan of the water that came above his head or that dumped from above, but he was able to find plenty of smaller sprays to play in.  

He lasted about 30 minutes before he was ready to move on and walk around.  He headed across the field toward the playground and after a few times of bringing him back to the splash pad, we decided to call it.  We changed him into dry clothes and headed to the playground.

When I had looked up spray parks in Frisco I had no idea the one we went to was connected to such a cool park.  It was huge and had a ton of different areas to play.  Half of it was built as an inclusive playground so there were lots of ramps to climb and no wood chips to fall on.  There is currently a fundraiser to build an inclusive park in our neighborhood and even though I know it won't be anywhere near this scale, it made me even more excited for it.  

After a long bout of playing, we packed up and headed to IKEA.  I snapped this picture of our sweaty headed boy as we left the park. He actually did really well keeping his hat on while he played, usually he just takes it off immediately, so it made him pretty sweaty.  A perfect example of summer playtime in Texas.

We ran a few errands and then grabbed lunch before heading home.  We went to a wing place close to our house.  Usually we share our food with Cooper.  David had gotten macaroni and cheese for him and I gave him some of my chicken, but he really didn't want to eat any of it.  After a while he started reaching for my plate, so I let him grab some chicken.  He proceeded to go to town on a chicken wing.  He seemed to really enjoy it.  

 We finished off lunch with some soft serve ice cream.  Cooper hasn't had many desserts other than his birthday, but he was a big fan of the small bites of ice cream!  He even ditched the spoon so he could just go for it with his hands.

After lunch we headed home for naptime.  Cooper took a good long nap and then he had a snack before we packed up to head out again.  Our city pools opened for the year on Saturday so they had a free splash day where entry to all pools was free.  We decided to go back to the pool we visited last year to check out their baby pool.  We knew they had something but we weren't sure what it was like, so we thought we'd check it out while it was free.

It was pretty minimal-- just a 1.5 foot pool with nothing in it.  But Cooper loved being able to stand up and sit down in the water and splashed and played for over an hour.  

We checked out the big pool for a little while where Cooper splashed a little in the fountains, but then he was ready to head back to the baby pool.  We splashed a little more before calling it a night.

We packed a dinner to eat poolside while we dried off.  Cooper enjoyed his poolside dinner and seemed pretty relaxed with his fruit and veggie pouch!

It was a full Saturday and a great way to kickoff the month of June!  Cooper definitely loves the water and has a blast splashing and playing.  We're looking forward to lots more summer fun as a family!

June 2, 2018

Summer Fun: Arboretum with Friends

Now that Memorial Day has passed and it is HOT outside, we are in full summer fun gear.  We've had play dates and afternoons at the water table and swimming and all kinds of fun.  We don't have any specific plans or agenda for this summer, we just want to show Cooper some new things and enjoy the first summer of him running around.

One of our first summer activities was a trip to the Dallas Arboretum with some friends.  A few girls in our small group have memberships, so they were generous to invite us to get in with their membership on Friday.  I've taken Cooper to the Arboretum in the Fall and the Spring and even though it's not technically summer yet, it definitely felt like a summer trip this time!
The Arboretum has started "Family Fun Fridays" for the summer and yesterday was the first one.  They had face painting and a petting zoo so we stopped there first.  This was the best picture I could get of Cooper because he was so enthralled with the sheep and goats.  As soon as he saw the sheep he ran up to it and was just saying "baa" over and over again.  Then he finally reached out and petted the goat.  

He didn't want to leave the petting zoo, but we moved on to the Children's Garden.  We hadn't gone to the Children's Garden the last time so it was fun exploring it. 

We started in the fountain area by the entrance.  This was Cooper's first visit to a splash pad of any kind, so he was a little hesitant of the water at first.  I would tell him he could go splash and he was just say splash splash over and over but not go in.  So I then helped him get closer to it and then he was a big fan!

Then we moved on to another play area with more water features as well as some slides and houses to explore.  As you can see, he was loving these.

Cooper was the first to wander away from the main part with the splashing mushrooms and he found this other little "creek" of water.  It was just running water and nothing splashing high and he loved walking through it.  

He loves to climb and slide so we of course had to try that out several times too!

A few more rounds splashing and then it was time to go!  We changed into dry clothes and headed to lunch.  Cooper fell asleep before we even got out of the parking lot.

It was a great morning with friends!  I am so thankful for our new small group and the friends we've made at our church.  When we changed churches one of the things we were hoping and praying for was to find friends in our life stage who lived near us and God has provided that above and beyond what we could have imagined in such a short time.  I'm looking forward to continuing to do life with these friends and all the fun Cooper will have with their kids!

May 30, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Linking up today for a little glimpse of what's going on around here.

What we're eating this week
We ate burgers and hot dogs from the grill at the beginning of the week.  The rest of the week I'm trying to come up with meals from some of the food we have in our freezer.  On the menu we have a Beef and Cauliflower bake, Fish and Veggies, and a homemade Pizza.

What I'm reminiscing about
This little toothless grin came up in our picture memories this week from a year ago.  Cooper now has 6 teeth and with his new haircut he is looking big, so it's sweet to reminisce about this little guy!

What I'm loving

Cooper has gotten really into books in the past month.  Before he might sit for part of book, but would lose interest quickly.  Now he brings me books to read all day long and I love that he loves them.  I don't necessarily love reading Llama Llama Red Pajama 15 times in a row, but for him I'll do it.  

What we've been up to
Nap transition!  Since March Cooper has seemed like he was ready to drop his morning nap and go to just one nap a day but I was dreading it a little and he kept napping so we just kept it up.  But over the last week he seemed to have more trouble going to sleep and wouldn't nap for very long.  Friday and Saturday he didn't sleep when he was in his crib and he never naps Sunday morning at church. So on Monday we decided to try staying busy all morning while Daddy was home and see how he did.  He did really well and took a long afternoon nap.  So we're officially transitioning to one nap (I think).  Tuesday was a little rougher, but he still made it to the afternoon and napped well.  And this morning we had our friends the McCullough twins over to play so he made it through without a nap and is now asleep.  So here's to more morning fun!

What I'm dreading
I can't believe there are 100 degree days in our forecast.  Summer is coming in in full force and I'm dreading not being able to be outside as much.  We've gotten into a great routine of going for a walk in the afternoons so I can get some exercise and Cooper can play and we pass the time between nap and dinner.  But it is just getting too hot.  Luckily we can switch to the mornings now that he's awake more, but even that is pretty hot.  Guess it'll give us good reason to be in the water this summer!

What I'm working on
Rearranging our living room and play spaces.  We're trying to get a little more organized and working on helping Cooper pick up toys as he plays, so we've done some rearranging to make that easier.  And I am working on making it fit our room just right.

What I'm excited about
Summer fun!  We had a great weekend swimming and playing and we're looking forward to more!  As well as some playdates with friends this summer and trying out some splash parks and library storytime.

What I'm watching/reading
I did watch the premier of The Bachelorette last night, not sure if I'll keep up all season but I listen to a few podcasts that do recaps of it, so I thought I'd check out the first episode at least.

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I actually started it about a year ago but had lots of other books going when it was available so I abandoned it pretty quickly.  I just picked it back up again over the weekend so we'll see how far I get!

What I'm listening to
Still lots and lots of podcasts.  Current favorites are God Centered Mom, Coffee and Crumbs, Journeywoman, The Popcast, and A Year of Listening.

What I'm wearing
Lots of t-shirts and shorts/workout pants.  Since we go on a walk most days I tend to just live in those clothes.  

What I'm doing this weekend
No specific plans at this point other than church.  I started volunteering with our preschool Sunday School classes once a month so I'll do that this Sunday.  Other than that, just hanging out with David and Cooper.

What I'm looking forward to next month
I'm helping with VBS at our new church and we are trying to plan a daytrip to meet up with my friend Nicki and her little boy.  

May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend

We've had a great 3 day weekend full of family and fun.

The Summer fun started on Thursday when I got out Cooper's water table for the first time.  We'd bought this secondhand as a birthday gift for him, but hadn't played with it yet.  We usually try to go on a walk every afternoon, but since it's already getting hot we're trying to switch that to mornings so we spent the afternoon getting wet.  Cooper loved splashing, but he mainly just wanted to take everything out of the water table.  I'm sure he'll get more used to it as the summer continues!

Friday David's office closed early, so we took a family trip up to IKEA.  We rearranged some of the furniture in our living room to try to make our toy storage make more sense as we work toward keeping things somewhat organized and helping Cooper clean up his toys.  So we went to buy some storage bins and baskets and a few doors for the furniture we already had.  We ate dinner in Frisco before heading home for bedtime.  Then David and I watched The Greatest Showman which we rented from Redbox-- neither of us had seen it yet, but we enjoyed it!

Saturday morning we went out for breakfast tacos as usual.  We go eat breakfast tacos almost every Saturday morning and it has become a fun tradition over the last 13 months.  We have a few tried and true places but decided to check out a new place this week.  A new burger place opened in Dallas a few weeks ago and they have breakfast tacos too.  It's a fun atmosphere with a playground and Cooper enjoyed exploring after breakfast.

Saturday also brought Cooper's first haircut.  I had trimmed the back of his hair a little, but the top was starting to get long and a little out of control. So we booked an appointment at a kid's haircut place near us.  Cooper did really well-- he was interested in watching everything around him.  This was my favorite picture where he's giving the hairstylist the side-eye.

All cleaned up.  It doesn't look too different, but it's definitely shorter and not quite as crazy!

After naptime we swam in our pool.  Cooper loves swimming so we've had fun introducing him to the pool this weekend.  He loves to "pla pla" (splash).  After swimming we ate dinner on the patio while we dried off.

Sunday morning was for church.  Cooper has been doing really well in his Sunday School class-- he's even sometimes started going to the teachers without crying!  When we picked him up Sunday they said he had been so sweet and he spent the majority of the morning walking around asking people to pick him "bu" (up) and then signing please.  Sounds like a day in my life-- a toddler following me around saying up.  At least he said please for them! 
Sunday evening we invited my brother and sister-in-law and nephew and niece over to swim and eat dinner.  Cooper loved watching his cousins swim and they enjoyed showing off for him.  David grilled burgers and hot dogs and we had a great evening!  They are usually busy with sports and kids activities, so it was fun getting to spend some time with them on this long weekend.

This morning we got up and headed to the park after breakfast.  We knew we wanted to spend some time outside, but wanted to try to beat the heat so we went early.  We walked a few laps around the park with Cooper in the stroller and then let him play before we headed out.  He loved climbing up the playground equipment.  He went down the slide a few times, but was not a fan toward the end, so then he would climb to the top of the playground really fast and I'd carry him down.

Cooper took a long nap this afternoon and then we headed back out to the pool.  Cooper loves "jumping in" from the side of the pool.  He floated with us and practiced kicking while we swam.

We finished the evening with dinner on the patio again.  

It was a great relaxed weekend!

May 18, 2018

Wildflower Pictures 2018

Well it was time for that yearly Texas baby's right of passage-- wildflower pictures!  We had noticed over the last few weeks that our neighborhood park had some beautiful flowers blooming.  I know they've had some in the past, but I don't remember the crop ever being this good-- we've usually gone elsewhere to take pictures.  But we decided to try out the neighborhood park, so we loaded up last night between work and dinner and headed to the park.  And the pictures turned out better than I could have imagined for a 13 month old!

And just for fun, here's a look back at last year's trip to take wildflower pictures.  I even commented in my post that it was hard to believe the next time we did it Cooper would be up and moving around, and boy is he!  This year our pictures are complete with a bandaid on his leg and scrapes on his face from falling down playing outside.

Happy Springtime!