Monday, August 31, 2009

Mini-Vacation, Part III (and final)

We spent one morning at Cabela's. Cooper loved anything that looked like Grandma Joan's gator.

Looking at the taxidermied animals. (Frankly, we should have just come here instead of the zoo. We saw about 30 times more animals here, and to be honest, they moved around about as much as the ones at the zoo did.)

Trying out a tent:

We went to The Legend's shopping area and spent probably 30 minutes running circles around this big fountain.

And we ate lunch at the T-Rex Cafe, a dinosaur themed restaurant that charged exhorbitant prices for cutesy named things like Layer of the Earth Lasagna and Chicken Ceasarsaurus Salad.

Cooper had these cute little mini hot dogs. Which I'm sure were really called Paleozoic Bones on Buns or something.

Saying hi to one of the big dinosaurs.
I was actually quite impressed that he wasn't more hestitant and scared. It was fairly loud. And the giant dinosaurs were all moving (their heads and arms, not like wandering around the restaurant). But he seemed to enjoy it.

Not enough to justify spending that kind of money for lunch on any regular basis. But it was fun as a special end-of-vacation treat!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mini-Vacation, Part II

We decided to go visit the Kansas City Zoo. It wasn't the highlight of the week. It was stinkin' hot and humid. And the KC Zoo is very spread out. We walked for what felt like four hours before we finally saw a sleeping cheetah and a warthog buried in mud. Fabulous.

This little ride-on car was in the air conditioned building, so we spent a shockingly long time hanging out on it:

One evening, we went to a T-Bones baseball game. For six measly dollars, we got in to the ballpark and sat out behind right field.

And when we got tired of actually watching the game, which happened by about the second inning, we enjoyed the stadium's playground.

In the hotel the next morning, Cooper got the leftover hot dogs and chicken out of the mini-fridge and ate them for breakfast.This was shortly before I accepted my Breakfast-Maker of the Year award.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Mini-Vacation, Part I

Back in July, I decided we needed a vacation of sorts. Mostly because our daycare lady was going on vacation, which meant that we had about 5 straight days with nothing specific planned. 5 empty days with a 2.5-year-old makes for a long week for Mama and Daddy.

So I planned a mini-vacation for Cooper and I. (We had just gotten a concrete floor poured in the barn, so Alan was itching for some alone time to set up his wood shop and arrange his tools.)

We loaded up the car, packed some snacks, and drove all the way to Kansas City. Yes, we vacationed 40 minutes from our house. I'm certain Cooper will mock me for this eventually, but why bother driving or flying hours away from home if we just want to stay in a hotel, swim, find a zoo, visit a library, and eat at restaurants.

First highlight: the horse in the grocery store. And Cooper's a cheap date -- he didn't even want me to put money in to make it go. He was just happy to sit on it and "ride."

We had planned to go swimming one day, but the weather was cloudy and rainy. So we hit a place called Monkey Bizness. It's a giant play area with bounce houses and inflatable slides and obstacle courses.

And of course, they have a water fountain, which is also very fun apparently:

After two hours of running and sweating and bouncing in there, we were ready for dinner.
The menu said "grilled chicken on a stick." And it was literally a grilled chicken breast, cut into three pieces, and jammed onto popsicle sticks.

And with ranch dressing to dip it in.

Sheer genius!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I love...



Lining things up in a nice row:

(cupcake liners)
(chocolate chips)
(P.S. My Mama loves that I love lining things up nice and orderly!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ridin' around...

in my automobile:

In a small fire engine with my friends Matt and Caroline:

On the Baldwin City Train:

"Tickets please."

The horn is very loud.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Little Helper


Reading the Sunday morning paper

Riding a tractor and typing. (What? You don't compose letters while you plow? We do.)


For my birthday, I convinced Cooper to take a break from playing diggers and bulldozers with Daddy to make fruit pizzas with me.

Cooper's final product:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer fun in Lyons

One weekend in Lyons, Grandma Joan's church had a summer carnival to kick off Vacation Bible School.

Cooper and Grandma riding in a train of sorts:

Sidewalk chalk:

Water fun:

After the carnival, we hunted down Grandpa Cecil who was working in the field with his new tractor:

Oh my, it's fancy!

And finally, here we are at the local Mexican restaurant in Lyons.
This place has been around a long time. And a couple of people in my immediate family profess to love it. But my sisters and I recently realized that none of our spouses had ever been there. We always come up with some excuse *not* to eat there when the son-in-laws are home.

Well no more. Alan and Cooper have feasted and enoyed at El Dee Grande.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Big Boy Transitioning

Cooper has amassed quite a collection of things in his crib -- a pillow, 2 1/2 blankets, 3 bears (in diapers), 1 Ugly Dog, 1 stuffed caterpillar, a truck pillow, a cup of water, 2 pacifiers, and whatever books we've been reading lately.

A couple of weeks ago, Cooper asked if he could take a nap on his crocodile instead of in his crib. I'm not sure why I agreed, but he spent about an hour or so sleeping like this:
And then last week, I got a notice that Cooper's crib has been recalled. It's not an extremely serious flaw, at least not for a kid his age and size. So I would feel ok using the crib for a while longer. But he did a decent job napping outside of the crib. And if I take it back, I can get a full refund.

So I decided it was time to get out a Big Boy Bed. We started with just the low trundle bed from our guest room:

He spent about a week in there and did great. This is what we saw when we snuck up the stairs the first morning:

So I hauled down to the local furniture store to buy a frame and mattress set for his room. And I got out the safari-themed comforter I've been storing for six months.

So far, it's going ok. He's realized thought that he can get out of the bed, and nap times seem to be where we run into the most trouble. But he seems to like it!