December 23, 2010

Cooper and Santa

We took Cooper to Bass Pro to see Santa on Wednesday. I woke him up from a nap to go, so I was a little worried that he'd be out of sorts, but he was fineHe didn't cry, he just looked around like, "what is going on?" He looks very concerned in the picture! He kept looking at me instead of the camera. I think it helped that Santa held him up like that so that Cooper didn't see his face. Santa told Lee "He'll cry if he sees my face" haha :)

December 22, 2010

Tradition

I've always looked forward to celebrating holidays throughout the year, but something about having a baby makes you even more excited. It's so much fun to see things for the first time again, through their eyes. I know that Cooper won't really know anything that's going on this year, but there are still some traditions that I want to continue, as well as some that I want to start with him.

We didn't really have many traditions growing up, but one thing that my parents did every year was get us a Hallmark ornament. Now, Hallmark is HUGE with my parents, and their tree is probably 98% Hallmark, and they have a huge tree. When we were little, my parents picked out a series for us. I have two for some reason. The first is the Crayola series. I get one of these each year. My parents gave me all of them when I moved out, so now they're on my tree :) I tried to get a shot with most of them. I hang them in clusters so you can see them all together. (this is not most of them, I couldn't get them all in!)
Here they are closer up
My other series is Mary's Angels. I have SO many of these, more than Crayola, I feel.
A couple closer up
So, this is something that I wanted to start with Cooper. We decided to start getting him the Fire Brigade series, so each year, he will get some sort of fire truck. Here is this years :)

I guess you could also say that Christmas baking was a family tradition. We always made lots of treats when I was growing up, and I still do that every year. I look forward to when Cooper can help!

Some other things that are not family traditions, but that I want to start with Cooper are:

Letting him open a gift of Christmas PJ's on Christmas Eve. I know that this isn't original, but I like it, and who doesn't want new PJ's?

Annnd, I'm pretty sure that the rest have to do with food :)

I want to start having some kind of Christmas Eve dinner tradition. Last year I made chicken parmesan and I am this year too, so that might become the tradition.

I also want to have a Christmas day breakfast and lunch/dinner tradition, but that's also TBD. This year we're having monkey bread for breakfast and pork tenderloin for lunch/dinner. I wanted to try to make a beef wellington but I think I'll save that for a later year when we can have Christmas at our house :)

What are some traditions that you guys do every year, or that you want to start? I'd love to get some more ideas!

December 19, 2010

Our halls are decked

This guy greets you as you walk through the front door:

And here's the table behind the smowman:

"Cooper's Tree" Not really, we just had this little tree and nowhere else to put it, so it's in his room! It is an "OU" tree, consisting of red ornaments and little OU figurines, haha. Coop may have a tree in his room again next year, but it will be a different tree with different ornaments :)
And last, but not least, the piece de resistance:
And yep, all gifts are purchased and wrapped! Don't think that's ever happened this early before!

December 15, 2010

Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe

The other night I tweeted about these wonderfully chewy, melt in your mouth snickerdoodles I made, and there were MANY requests for the recipe, so I thought I’d put it up here for all to see! Let it be known, that if you make these, you MIGHT consume half of them before they are even cooled. And the other half you might have consumed in raw cookie dough. Oh, you don’t eat the raw dough as you’re rolling cookies? Yeah, me neither…

I have searched a LONG TIME for the best sugar cookie recipe, and I think I finally found it!

I originally found this on a blog, but I cannot for the life of me find it again! So, don’t send the blog police if this is your recipe, okay? :)

Chewy Sugar Cookies
(yes, this is a sugar cookie, I just rolled mine in cinnamon sugar, and voila! Snickerdoodles!)

What you need:

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
sugar for rolling cookies (or cinnamon sugar for snickerdoodles)

What to do:

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in egg and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and slowly add to the butter mixture.
4. Form into balls and roll in [cinnamon] sugar.
5. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

This made 24 cookies last night. Only 3 are left right now, we must have a rodent problem....

A couple of things I did that I feel I should note:

- When creaming butter and sugar, I use a stand electric mixer with the paddle attachment and just let ‘er go for a long time. Like, long enough that it looks white and like whipped cream. I don’t know if that matters or not, but that’s how I always beat butter and sugar for cookies.

- I have made this recipe a few times. The first couple, the dough was really dry. And they tasted a little too much like flour. I mean, they were good, but just too flour-y. The last time I made them, I only used 2 cups of flour. They were a little more difficult to roll, but buttery enough that they didn’t stick too much, and they were AMAZING! I will continue to only use 2 cups of flour.

- I bake mine for 9 minutes. They will NOT look done when you pull them out. Don’t let them brown at all, or they will not be chewy. They will look very under-done and still kinda jiggle-y. But, trust me on this one. Just make sure to let them cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a wire rack (or whatever you use) to cool so that they’re firm enough to move.

Then, eat one, and die from the chewy goodness. You're welcome :)

December 8, 2010

6 months

Dear Cooper,

Today you are six months old!
You’re little personality shows more and more each day, and if I had to use only one word to describe you right now, it would be sweet. You’re (almost!) always happy and smiley. You are definitely happiest in the mornings, always greeting me with that huge smile of yours and talking while I change you and get you dressed for the day.
You are still so observant. When you’re out in public, you’re so quiet! You sit and just look around at everything. When you meet someone new, or see some of mama and daddy’s friends, you look at them so intently, trying to figure them out. And after a few minutes, you will finally smile at them. You really make them work for that first smile!

Your newest obsession is paper. I was reading some ads in the newspaper the other day, while you were in my lap, and you became completely obsessed with the ad I was looking at! I had to give you another part of the paper to “play” with! And by play, I mean put in your mouth. EVERYTHING goes in your mouth these days. When we were at the doctor's office for your 6 month appointment, you noticed the paper on the table and played with it the entire time:

You also love cell phones. You always reach for our phones if we are looking at them.

You’re still working on sitting. At this point, you don’t really like laying on your back much. You do still like your playmat, but you only last a few minutes before rolling onto your belly. You really prefer to sit on someone’s lap (or sometimes on the couch with a pillow over your legs to ‘lean’ on) or “stand” in your jumperoo. You can sit for very short periods of time by yourself, VERY short, like 5ish seconds. A couple of times, you have caught yourself before falling over, so that’s a step!

When you see Isabelle or Zoe, you smile HUGE and hold your arms out and lunge for them! We are working on petting them. Mostly you just grab their hair and hold onto it, which they do tolerate pretty well. Your relationship with them is one I’m interested in seeing develop, I wonder what they will think of you once you are mobile!

The dogs’ isn’t the only hair you grab. Anyone with long hair will do! You love to touch faces and pull hair. Especially mine ;)

You are such a good eater! You have liked everything you’ve tried so far: peaches, apples, bananas, green beans, peas, squash, carrots. I think that’s it so far. We did give you some mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, and you did not like them at all! After your morning nap, you get oatmeal and a fruit, and in the late afternoon, you get a veggie and rice. I think we’re going to have to add in a meal in the middle soon. You also take about 4 bottles a day. You don’t always finish your last bottle. You have recognized your bottle for a while now, but when you are really hungry, and you see us shake it up, you open your mouth so wide! You’re so cute :)

You’re taking 3 naps a day right now. One in the morning, around 8, a little catnap around 11, and then another one around 2. You sleep anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. We still start your bedtime routine at 5:30, but a couple of times we have been able to push it to 6, so hopefully we can get you to stay up just a little later so we can hang out with you during the week! We have been swaddling you this month, because your dad had been holding your arms down to get you to sleep! You really like the swaddle, which is so weird because you never did before.

You have always loved attention and that has not changed at all. You love any interaction you get with us. You love being thrown into the air and being held upside down. You are so ticklish under your arms, and you laugh so loud when we blow on your stomach or your cheeks. I often sing songs to you, recently Christmas carols, and you love to be sung to (even with my really terrible voice) Your most recent thing is when your dad crunches ice. You stare at him for a minute and then let out a big giggle when he does that. I have no idea why, but it is hilarious to watch you! You even love it when we just talk to you. You listen to what we say and then just give us a big grin! You still love to be read to. You have started touching some of the books that have things for you to feel on them, and you’re very interested in them. You also, of course, love to try and get the book into your mouth :) You are such a joy to us every day, Cooper!

Love love love,
Mama

So much to say, so little time!

Remember me?  I used to blog here.  Occasionally.  Eeek! 

Usually when I don’t blog it’s because I have a lack of things to blog about. 

NOT the case this time! 

TONS to blog about! 

NO time! (There’s no time!  There’s never any time!! Love me some Jessie Spano breakdowns)

Like the awesome Bloggirls Christmas Party I went to on Friday.  And I decided, that’s our official group name.  Thanks for coining it Jessica!

Like my Christmas d├ęcor I finally got up this weekend.

Like some Christmas traditions we do and some that I want to start.

Like the fact that my baby boy is 6 months old today!

Yeah, all of that plus more I have to tell you about, but it’s gonna have to wait.  Until tonight at least. 

Or tomorrow…

December 2, 2010

Okay, Okay

CLEARLY, from the content of my last post, I have very little experience when it comes to daycare policies.  As it turns out, the fines for being late to pick up your kid are totally NORMAL!  Who knew?!  (uh, you all did)  It made sense when it was pointed out to me that many (MANY) parents are often chronically late if not for this policy.  You see, I am chronically EARLY, (even when I try to be late!) so this concept often escapes me.  I still stand firm in my opinion that they did not word it very nicely in the handbook.  Humph.

That wasn’t even my main concern.  Instead of going on and on about the fines, I should have gone on and on about how I didn’t like his teacher much.  Maybe I should have told you about how she acted like it was weird that we wanted to meet her before committing to sending our child there.  Maybe I should have told you that, while she was talking with us, a baby was crying in her room.  For a while.  Long enough that I was uncomfortable enough to ask if she needed to go in and check on the crying baby.  Her response?  “Oh, no, that baby has always been held by her family, we’re trying to break her of it”  Wha-What?!  That is NOT okay with me.  Hold the freaking baby.  She is, after all, a BABY. I see the  point of not being able to hold the baby all the time, but seriously people, it sounded like something was wrong.  At least go in and check on her.  Or, pretend like you care in front of prospective parents.  There were a couple of other small things too that were just a little off-putting to me.

Whatever, it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that I didn’t like it much, right?  Who cares why.  We found several other places we liked, but that’s about as far as we got.  After talking with my dad, we (he) decided that we should wait until Spring to find a place.  So, no more daycare drama for now.  I’m sure we’ll have the same problems in 6 months though, so don’t you worry, this won’t be the last time you hear me freak out about it J