Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Day!












For the record, Cooper is not a fan of all the snow. I haven't actually measured but I am estimating that we got 6 inches or so. That's awesome for us. We spent maybe 30 minutes outside and Cooper whined through most of it. Hard to walk in, cold, just was not a fan at all. We didn't even manage to make a snowman and currently do not own a sled - must get one - I have a feeling that the sled would be a definite winner in Cooper's book. He loves anything that moves with him on it. Sort of a redemption for all of the cold and hard to walk in white stuff.

On the other hand, the dogs loved it. Parker (the white dog in the above pictures) is always a fan of snow and has repeatedly pawed on the door to go outside today. In fact, he has - by choice - stayed outside most of the day. We're dog sitting for our friends Ross and Allie this weekend and their dog, Carmen, could take it or leave it. She and Parker had fun wrestling in the snow for a while but she is currently snug on her pillow while Parker romps outside.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Evolution of a Christmas Card Photo

It is SNOWING here and snowing hard. The weather channel just said that we could get 1-3 inches today, 10-15 tonight!? and 1 more tomorrow. No, that is not a misprint my friends, we could possibly get 19 inches of snow!! Unfortunately, Sean is working this weekend so that's kinda disappointing for a couple of reasons 1) He will have to travel in the snow to and from work each day or spend the night at the hospital - both are not great options and 2) He won't get to play in the snow with us. Not that we will be playing in the snow a ton because if we get all 19 inches, it will be almost as tall as our 27 inch son - not much fun to play in when you have snow up to your chest. And - Cooper has a yucky cold.

On a side note, I remember when I was 14 in 1993 and we had what we refer to as "the blizzard." We tried playing in the over 2 feet of snow and our sleds just sank down in the snow with no hope of moving. It was also exhausting trying to walk with snow up to your knees. Imagine really high, knees up to your chin, stepping. An adventure for sure.

Anyway, the actual point of this post is to show the evolution of our Christmas card photo this year. It is sort of comical at how many crazy shots we got before we finally got 1 good shot.




Monday, December 7, 2009

December

Cooper's second Christmas has proven to be more entertaining than the first. He LOVES the tree. And when I say LOVES, I mean he goes around and around and touches all of the ornaments and lights again and again throughout the day. We've only had one casualty (a stocking pulled from the mantle broke the stocking holder). We know our child well enough to put only the unbreakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree and thought that the stockings were high enough that they were out of his reach. Not so much. He hasn't even gone near the stockings after that catastrophe though. We're truly enjoying this season with him and it is so fun to watch him soak it all in. He seems mostly mesmerized by all of the hubbub, new activities, lights, and decorations - always with a thinking look on his face as if he is just memorizing everything. Here are a few pictures from our recent adventures this December. Merry Christmas!

Picking out our tree


All bundled up for the Christmas parade

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GO TARHEELS!

Last Saturday, we were blessed with a couple of tickets to the Carolina/Duke football game. We had a great time (Thanks Donna and Sonny!) and here are the pictures to prove it!









Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homeland Cremery






A few weeks ago, we visited Homeland Creamery with our Trips for Tots group. Basically, it's a dairy farm. We saw took a hayride, saw cows, fed a cow, milked a pretend cow, and sampled some of the creamery ice cream. We even got an extra treat that Uncle Aaron got to come with us. He and Rachel were in town for a wedding and Rachel was off doing maid of honor duties so Aaron had the morning to hang with us. Fun times!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween - Best Game Ever!

Our little dinosaur...
We got no good pictures before trick-or-treating but after trick or treating, Cooper was all smiles.
The picture below was taken while he was snacking on some chocolate - no smile (he was chewing), but a great view of his costume.
Spines...

Such great fun...

After a great afternoon at our church fall festival, we had lots of fun trick-or-treating tonight. Even though it was again pouring rain tonight Cooper has decided that Halloween is the best game ever! It took him only one house to get the idea of the game... walk to the door, knock, hold out your bucket and you get lots of candy. He LOVED it. We had to take several candy breaks (ahem, after every house) along the way and he has had many more treats since we've been home. Needless to say, he's still going strong and not even close to winding down for bed yet. Parker also enjoyed the festivities dressed as Superman. He's such a tolerant dog.... Happy Halloween Everyone!

Pumpkin Patch 2009

It's Halloween and we finally made it to the pumpkin patch this year. How's that for the nick of time? October has been busy and wonderful with a beach trip, Chrysalis weekend, family coming to visit, trip to Homeland Creamery (a blog about that coming soon!), and just life. I blinked and October is almost gone without a trip to the pumpkin patch. Not to be deterred by the drizzle, we set out for the pumpkin patch this morning. The rain did not put a damper on Cooper's spirits as he set out to explore every last inch of the patch. He didn't want to leave a wagon unexplored, or a pumpkin unturned and kept us on our toes (as always) chasing his explorations through the patch. It was a fun morning nonetheless.



We came home and set out carving a happy face into our pumpkin. Cooper wasn't so sure about the pumpkin "guts." He didn't really want to have anything to do with scooping it out but was happy putting back into the pumpkin what we took out with the big metal spoon. He was also cute offering the pumpkin's mouth a bite of his chicken nugget after we finished carving. Pictures of our dinosaur and his smiling pumpkin coming tonight...

And just for a comparison...
Pumpkin Patch 2008
From Pumpkin Patch


And Pumpkin Patch 2009
From Pumpkin Patch 2009

My, how time flies!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spider Treats



A Betty Crocker, I am not. But when I made these spider cookies and they actually turned out cute and yummy, I decided to share. They are super easy and such a fun Halloween treat too!

I got my inspiration from here but made lots of modifications. You may use the Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie mix but I opted to make my own...

I first made some peanut butter cookies using my mom's homemade recipe:
1/2 cup butter or shortening (softened)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar - packed
1 egg
1 1/4 cups self rising flour


Mix first 5 ingredients. Blend flour in slowly. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1" balls and place 3" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 min. until set but not hard. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.


Then:
1 bag miniature reeces cups
1 squeeze tube chocolate icing
1 small bag of M&M's
Licorice pull and peel twizzlers (optional- I did not use)



After the cookies came out of the oven, I immediately placed a miniature reeces cup upside down in the center of each cookie. I let them cool for a while until the reeces cup hardened. After cooling, I attached m&m's as eyes to the front of each reeces cup with chocolate squeeze tube icing (and drew a little chocolate dot as an eyeball on the front of each m&m with the icing). The recipe actually calls for black twizzler pull and peels as legs but I accidently got regular twizzlers, so I just drew legs on with the same chocolate tube icing. After they finish cooling, Voila - Simple Spider Cookies! Giese taste tester approved! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bedtime Prayers

Sean: Thank you for Mommy
Cooper: Mommy
Sean: Thank you for Daddy
Cooper: Jesus!
Sean: Close enough

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And the 18th Month Brings...

New Stats from the checkup this morning:
Head Circumference: 18 inches (6th percentile)
Height: 32 1/2 inches (57th percentile)
Weight: 21 lbs. 1.6 oz (less than 3rd percentile)

Cooper's doing great but needs to bulk up a little bit. It goes without saying that he is built like Sean but even though he eats like a champ, we were advised to try to feed him more fatty foods (put butter or cheese on his veggies, more peanut butter, etc.)to try to help him bulk up. We will go back in 3 months to have a weight check.

He is meeting all of his milestones and is right on target. He is definitely saying between 10-20 words which is the milestone for his age(we were told to expect a vocabulary explosion in the next few months - can't wait!)He repeats or tries to repeat what we are saying now, often, and can understand a ton more than he can say. He takes simple directions well (let's go put your shoes on, sit down please, etc.) What he is saying now:
Mommy
Daddy
Parker (Ca-Ca)
Papaw
Addison (Addie)
No
How are you (howyou - one word)
Hey
Bye
Ball
Beep
Shoes
Socks (cocks)
Uh-Oh
Auntie E (Ah-E)
Ready (Eh-E)
Tree (Tee)
Three (also Tee - we just recognize the context in which he is using it)
More
All Done

Cooper can make animal noises of an elephant, snake, fish, dog, cow, lion and duck. He can correctly point to his eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hair, belly button, and toes - when he is in a cooperative mood :). He can also eat with a spoon/fork. Hooray for milestones!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lewis Beach Trip 2009

First Family Beach Trip = Success

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Butterfly Farm

A few weeks ago, we visited the All-A-Flutter butterfly farm with the Trips for Tots group at church. One of the highlights was actually holding the butterflies. The farm staff gave each of us a sugar water soaked piece of cotton and let us go into the greenhouse area to visit with the butterflies. I think everyone there got to hold a butterfly that wanted to and it was so neat. Cooper wasn't that interested in the butterflies - he was more into the trees, rocks, and running around in general but he had fun anyway.

Did you know that a boy Monarch has two black spots on the bottom of its wings? Apparently, this one is a girl that I am holding.

The Praying Mantis is an enemy of butterflies. Cooper is demonstrating with the Praying Mantis hat.

Again, could care less about the butterflies - more interested in the rocks and trees.

Taking a look at the butterfly life cycle demonstration toys - Does this child's mother not know he's supposed to be listening to the presentation?? Ahem.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Newest Giese


I can't believe that it's been a month already and I haven't posted about this! On Sept. 12, the Giese family welcomed our newest addition - Rachel. Technically, she's been a part of the family for about six years now (not an exaggeration!) since she and Aaron have been dating but it became official a month ago when they got married. It was a beautiful fall day in Waynesville. The bride looked gorgeous, the groom was handsome, and it was a joyful celebration of the beginning of their married life together. Congratulations Aaron and Rachel!
FYI: I hope to post more photos later... I stole these off of Amy Turner's facebook! I didn't take a single photo of the wedding day (oops!) but my mother-in-law did and has CD's for me so I plan on posting more later!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Natural Science Museum







Sean is off golfing for Aaron's bachelor party today, so Cooper and I decided to have a little fun. We went to the Natural Science Museum in Greensboro and had a great time. The highlight had to be the petting zoo. Even though the entire visit was a lot of fun and they had plenty of things that Cooper could interact with, touch, and look at, there's just nothing like coming face to face with some sheep and goats. I wish you could've heard his giggle.
The ladies that work at the petting zoo did have to ask him to be more gentle though- we had some pulling of some goat ears (see the second picture above) - try as I may to guide his hands. And I stink at getting good face shots. There is a slight delay on our camera and by the time I've pressed the button lately, he's already moving on... so much for a captive subject! He had a great time and is currently having a really hard time settling down for his nap. Thought for sure this morning's trip would wear him out but I think it just energized him.
The plan for this afternoon? Playground at Chic-fil-a and some free chicken sandwiches since we're wearing our sports team logos!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Weeding

If you ever need a big dose of God, just weed your garden. Every time I weed the garden, I come face to face with my own "weeds" and today was no exception.

I've been having a big 'ole pity party for myself recently. Last semester I was semi-employed by supervising student teachers for a local university. It was total of like 20 hours for the entire semester but it was just enough. Just enough to get me out of the house and doing something that I love, just enough hours that I could mostly work around the weekdays that Sean had off, just enough spending money, and way too perfect flexibility. Needless to say, it was the perfect set-up for a "retired" teacher and stay-at-home mom. However... the state is cutting education funding and they could not hire me back this semester. I have been disappointed and just really bummed about this whole situation recently. I've been mopey and crabby at home and haven't been much fun for my husband or my son. I can't explain it but I really loved this little outlet. I feel very called to be home with Cooper and not teach full time during this season of my life but I've felt restless at home lately, wishing there was more than vacuuming, and building block castles, and going grocery shopping, and weeding...

Back to the weeding. In our garden we have a random petunia growing that we did not plant. It's very out of place but pretty, so we've just left it to grow there among the lilies. There was a stubborn and very long weed growing near the petunia today. When I pulled the weed, out popped part of the roots of the petunia as well. Immediately some of the little blossoms closed up and looked like it was just immediately dying.

Well, this petunia got me to thinking about myself. I have been like this petunia recently. I have been all wrapped up in the "weeds" of my thoughts. MY discontentment, MY restlessness. I watched that petunia today and realized something. I realized that when the weeds are pulled out, it takes a little bit of dying of one's self before you can fully grasp the good soil with your whole being and flourish unhindered by the weeds that were wrapping themselves around your roots - your very source of life. Just like the petunia, I have had a little dying of myself today. I've called to the surface all of those selfish, mopey, crabby thoughts and threw them out of the garden. I've also had the opportunity to really grasp the Good Soil with my thoughts about being home for this season. Not that I've got it all figured out and that those stubborn weeds won't grow back but today, my garden has been cleared of those pesky weeds.

Now, if I could just figure out how to "weed" my thoughts without having to actually weed the garden...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tool Shower

A week or so ago, we hosted a tool shower for my brother-in-law, Aaron and my future sister-in-law, Rachel. It was alot of fun and they got some great gifts to start their new life together! Here are some pics from that day:


Friday, August 14, 2009

Just 'cause it makes me smile...

Chillaxin' in the pool. Seriously. Just layin' back against the side like he's a cool dude. Wait - he is a cool dude.



I opened one of my cabinets the other day and this is what I found. Seems like magnetic letters are just as fun in a metal pan as they are in the refrigerator :)
Poor baby was exhausted! Couldn't even make it through a grilled cheese lunch this day. He's fast asleep...








Thursday, August 13, 2009

Evolution of Exploration



I let Cooper loose with the water hose the other day and I think I had just as much fun watching him as he did playing in it. He watched it flow - on the ground - on his body - up in the air - making bubbles when he put it in the pool. He tasted it, stuck his finger in the end of it, shook it back and forth and watched it zig zag in front of him. I didn't give him any guidance at all and he did all of these things on his own. I love watching him discover and explore...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

15 months!

I haven't done a Cooper update lately, so I thought I would give you a glimpse at what our baby big boy is doing now.

We have been thoroughly enjoying summertime. Cooper is now 15 months old and he continues to be more fun. He LOVES the pool and any sort of water. We've spent lots of time at Tanglewood Pool. It is zero entry and has a huge area for babies and toddlers with sprayers and such. Cooper is very brave, maybe a little too brave in the pool but he loves every minute spent there.






We had some people over for Independence Day and the kiddos had fun in the sprinklers. Again, Cooper loved the water and went right up to the sprinklers and started playing. He did not shy away at all like some kids do. I'm telling you - this kid LOVES the water...

...and spaghetti for that matter!
He can stack several blocks
  • Has added some more words to his vocabulary such as "Cheese" and "Shoes."
  • Can wave bye-bye pretty consistently.
  • Is using a fork and spoon but has difficulty actually getting the food onto either but can take the food on the fork/spoon up to his mouth with ease.
  • LOVES to ride in his push car. He calls it a "vroom."

And last but not least- he has learned to WALK! He had taken a step a couple of times but last week (at the pool, go figure!) he took off with 26 steps. Now, he is absolutely on the go. So proud!

video



video

Monday, June 29, 2009

Standing on his own two feet!

After a brief hiatus with the push toy after a hard fall, Cooper is now on board with loving it again and pushing it everywhere. He also figured out how to do this (see video below) today! Wow! He made great strides today toward his first steps and we are SO excited!

video

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Six Years!?

Sean, where has time gone. These six years have flown by but have been a wonderful adventure (as our pictures prove!). It has been an honor to live life by your side. I love you more today than when I said "I do" and I can't wait to see what is yet to come. Happy Anniversary, Babe!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Sean,

These pictures only give a glimpse, but Cooper is so blessed to have a "Dadddeeee" like you. Thank you for loving our Heavenly Father and for loving us the way you do. You are an amazing father, Happy Father's Day!




And to these other amazing Fathers....We Love You so much! Happy Father's Day!!



Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy 29th Birthday Husband!





I hope that your 29th year is better than you could ever hope for it to be. I love you so much!!