July 9, 2018

Summer Fun: Road Trip to Oklahoma

Last year we took Cooper on his first road trip to Oklahoma for the 4th of July.  We had so much fun that we decided to do it again this year!

David worked Monday and then took of the rest of the week.  So we left not long after we got up on Tuesday morning.  We stopped in Denton for a late breakfast for David and I and a mid-morning snack for Cooper.  We've been stopping at the Chiloso in Denton the last several times we've headed North on 35 and it's been a good stopping place.  They are building a Buc-ee's in Denton as well, so I joked with David that we might have a tough time deciding which one should be our Denton stop.  Then we decided we could do one of the way to Oklahoma and one on the way home ;)

After we got back in the car, Cooper ended up falling asleep.  He's dropped his morning nap at home, but being in the car put him right to sleep.  He slept for 30 minutes exactly as he usually does in the car and then was awake. He played with a few toys before we stopped in Norman for lunch.  We ate at McAlister's and then made the rest of the trip to Oklahoma City to stay with David's Nanny (and Cooper's Grandnanny).

 The rest of the afternoon was spent playing!  We tried to put Cooper down for a nap, but he was so off his schedule after his morning nap that he just wasn't having it. So we played with toys, ate dinner, and then enjoyed some time in the backyard after dinner.

 Cooper was a big fan of Uncle Bubba.  They played ball on the back patio until Cooper was ready to crash!
 Wednesday was the 4th!  We spent the morning going for a walk and playing at the park.  There is a park in Nanny's neighborhood where Cooper enjoyed sliding and swinging and running around.  Cooper took a great nap that afternoon and then we headed over to David's Uncle and Aunt's house to spend the evening with family.  Cooper got to play with toys, swim, play basketball, and hang out with his second cousins.  But his very favorite was the ice cream Aunt Jarla made
 He shared Daddy's ice cream and as soon as he finished a bite he was immediately asking for more.  When we told him it was all gone he asked for more a couple times and then realized we weren't giving him more, so he immediately turned to Grandnanny and said "Nanny" hoping she'd give him some more.  He sure knew how to get into her heart!

 Thursday morning we checked out another park.  Cooper does so well on playground equipment now--he loves climbing up and going down the slides and is becoming a pro at it.
 We also checked out the splashpad for a little while before Cooper was over it. He loved splashing and he had the place to himself which was kind of fun.

 Uncle Bubba came over during his lunch break so Cooper got some more time playing ball with him before nap.
 Cooper loved playing on Grandnanny's piano!  He and David played a few songs and then we asked if Grandnanny would play something for him.  She played him Jesus Loves Me and he loved watching and trying to play along!  Thursday night Uncle Bubba took us out to dinner which was a lot of fun.  Friday we played inside, grabbed some burgers for lunch and then packed up while Cooper napped.

After Cooper's nap we headed back to Norman to see David's friend Dean and his family.  Last summer when we visited them, his little boy Ethan was running around and Cooper was still little and slept most of the time.  It was fun watching them run around together this time!  We enjoyed pizza and some good conversation before heading out.  We decided to go ahead and continue the drive home after dinner.  Cooper slept from 7:30-8:00 and then was awake for the rest of the drive.  I sat in the back with him after he woke up and he was content to sit with me and snuggle his stuffed animals, but he didn't sleep anymore.  We got home around 10:15, put him to bed and then crashed.

It was a great week with family and a good time away!  Looking forward to our next trip.

June 27, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week
This week we've had a chicken bacon ranch bake, Mississippi Chicken, and tonight is Chicken Fajitas.  I also made David a peanut butter pizookie for his birthday on Monday.  And not exactly this week, but we've also been eating some foods from different cultures.  Our church is highlighting all of our missionaries this summer so there is a game and a challenge associated with it, so some of the weeks there is a challenge to eat food from a specific country/region.  So we went out for Thai food in our neighborhood a few weeks ago and then last week I made Butter Chicken that we had along with some Naan and some rice that we picked up from the Indian Bazaar.

What I'm reminiscing about
Timehop and the Prime Photos app both keep me remembering this little guy on a daily basis.  I also have 2 friends who just had babies so lots of memories of tiny Cooper. But it's also nice for me to remember that I snapped this picture right after his first ever 2 hour nap because he usually only napped 30 minutes at a time, and that lasted until he was about 9 months old.  So as much as I reminisce about tiny Coop, toddler Coop is pretty fun too!

What I'm loving 
Early morning trips to the park
I'm sure no one needs to be told how hot it is right now.  But I'm still trying to get in some walking this summer.  In fact, I just signed up for a Stepbet to try to keep me accountable for getting my steps in each day.  And Coop is a fan of being outside.  So we've been going on walks right after breakfast.  I love it because I can listen to podcasts while he rides in the stroller and we usually stop at a park halfway through (we have 3 options within a mile of our house which is amazing) and he gets to run around before we head home.

What we've been up to 
All the summer things!  We've been swimming and splashing and going to the park.  Meeting friends for lunch and doing play dates.  I also helped with VBS at our church last week so Cooper got to spend his mornings with some friends in the nursery.

We're also checking out library storytime this summer at the Richardson library.  Cooper loves the music and books and the bubbles at the end!

What I'm dreading 
Nothing that I can think of.

What I'm working on 
Does our pool count?  I don't have any specific projects I'm working on right now.  But it feels like we have to work on our pool almost every day to keep it maintained at a level that's good for swimming.  It has been super frustrating, honestly, but I spend a little bit of naptime every day checking on it and we have gotten to enjoy some time swimming in it this summer, so I guess it's a little worth it.

What I'm excited about 
Cooper's excitement for and love of swimming!  This past weekend he started sitting on the edge of the pool and jumping in all by himself.  It's a little scary that he has no fear of the pool, but I love that he loves it so much!

What I'm watching/reading 
I had a few books on hold that came available at the same time so I've been working my way through those.  Unfortunately neither of them has been my favorite.  I just finished This is Me which is Chrissy Metz's (from This is Us) memoir and I thought it was just okay.  Parts of it were fun, but parts of it were not my favorite.  I also am reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Frederik Bachman.  I really liked A Man Called Ove and I couldn't put Beartown down, so while I was waiting for the follow up to Beartown I thought I'd try one of his other books, but this one is weird so far--I'm only about a third of the way through so we'll see if it gets better!

And we are watching American Ninja Warrior and the Bachelorette like we do most summers.  We've also picked New Girl back up on Netflix recently.

What I'm listening to 
All the podcasts.  A few favorites currently are Coffee and Crumbs and The Journeywoman Podcast.  I also listen to a few podcasts that recap the Bachelorette and they're pretty funny.

What I'm wearing 
I finally bought some new shorts so I've been enjoying those.  I pretty much have worn either dresses or sweats the past 2 summers, so it was time to invest in a few pairs of shorts.  I found a pair at Walmart that seemed good and I loved them so much I went back and got another pair in a different color.  I couldn't find them online, but I'm glad to have them!

What I'm doing this weekend 
David's parents are coming up to celebrate his birthday-- the last of his birthday celebrations.  So we'll spend some time with them Saturday.  Sunday I'm volunteering with the 2 year olds at church and then we'll have some family time that afternoon.  We've been trying to do a technology fast on Sundays and some weeks we do better than others, but it's helped us to be a little more intentional with our time together!

What I'm looking forward to next month 
Next week we're heading to Oklahoma to see family!  Looking forward to some time away with my boys.  I also have my retreat with the MOPS leadership team in July-- it'll be my first night away from Cooper and while I'm a little anxious about that, I'm excited about some time with these ladies!  We also are celebrating our 5th anniversary, not sure exactly what we'll do for that yet, but it'll be fun!

What else is new
This computer that I'm typing on is new!  We've had a desktop computer for about 4 years and it was starting to get pretty slow, so we just recently bought a new laptop and I am loving it!

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.