Monday, March 29, 2010

The Spring Break Edition, part 3

Exploration Place also had a music exhibit.  Coop mostly liked wearing the headphones to listen to various sounds:

This was a "jam session" drum room.  Very fun (and loud).

Looking out at the river:

Playing in water and sand (ostensibly to learn about water flow, but mostly it was just to get dirty and wet):

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Spring Break Edition, part 2

Many of the exhibits at Exploration Place were Mr. Potatohead themed:
Cooper and Mr. Potatohead as astronauts.

And an entire tub of Mr. Potatohead pieces to create your very own model:

One of Cooper's designs:

I can't remember what Mr. Potatohead had to do with this exhibit, but it was essentially a little coal mine with coal "rocks" to load on a conveyor belt, dump onto the table, and then slide off the other end.
This may have been Cooper's favorite thing at Exploration Place.  It's the one thing he asked to go back and do before we left.  "We have a lot of hard work to do," he kept saying.

There was also an airplane simulator, ala the Wright Brothers where you lay down, pull on the throttle, and steer with your hips.
Notice that Coop's plane isn't long for this world...

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Spring Break Edition, part 1

Most of our spring break was spent grading papers and cleaning out the garage, neither of which make for interesting blog posts.

But Thursday and Friday of break, we headed down to Wichita with the Lynch family for some activities.

First stop, the zoo:

The boys (Alan, Cooper, Michael, Parker) looking for the rhino:

After several hours at the zoo, my boys were ready for a break -- Cartoon Network and a comfie bed:

We hit the hotel pool after dinner.  Fun, but really cold!  I could have used an extra 5 degrees, at least.  Cooper was shivering but didn't seem to mind:
(Oh, and see the woman in the water with her kids?  I went to high school with her and her husband.  And we pretty much saw them everywhere we went on our vacation!)

On Friday, we went to Exploration Place, which is a fabulous kids' museum and science center.  As we do everywhere we go, we found a truck to drive:

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Addie, after a long day of tormenting Sydney:

And check out how big the chicks are getting:
Per the "Backyard Chickens" book, I asked Alan to build the chicks a place to start perching so they can learn to roost on a dowel rod, which apparently is how they sleep in the coop(?).  And anytime he thinks I'm pampering the chicks, he mocks me by lamenting "those poor, poor chickens in Palau who didn't have anyone to teach them how to perch."  Blah, blah, blah...

They're getting so many feathers!  And they're kind of starting to look like gangly teenage dinosaurs.  And all in just two weeks. 

Here was the photo I took the day we brought them home, just for purposes of comparison:

And the human critter in the house:
He's doing such a good job getting dressed by himself, though on this day, he opted for two socks on one foot and none on the other.  He changed his mind after a couple of hours when he started to get a blister.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Cooper has been doing a great job putting on his clothes, including socks, t-shirts, and (sometimes) pants.
Unfortunately, he doesn't yet appreciate when things are dirty and need to go in the laundry basket so we can pick a clean shirt.  We're working on that.

Remember Cooper's chocolate chip banana snack recipe?  There's a new version that includes peanut butter:

(Check out the tongue -- he's concentrating deeply.)

Cooper also has taken to cleaning out our kitchen sink.
I'm guessing this is a fun project because he gets to stand on his ladder, turn the water on, and play with soap.  Whatever the reason, he loves it.  And right after I took this photo, he said "Don't interrupt me.  I'm cleaning the sink."  Sorry.

And this last picture isn't Coop being helpful really.  Just cute:
That's a dance move, in case you're wondering.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The girls

Coop and I came home from Orscheln's last week with this tiny green box:

Four baby chicks!!

Ouch.  That doesn't look comfortable.

When we first got them home:

The black one is a Black Australorp.  But the other three came out of a "random egg layers" cage, so they could be anything.  The red one is likely a Rhode Island Red.  The mostly yellow one (with a bit of orange -- far right in the above picture; far left in the below picture) may be a Orpington or a New Hampshire Red.  And the yellow one with gray overtones -- who knows.  We won't really know for sure until the chicks grow up, but that's our best guess for now.

As of yesterday, a week after we brought them home, they're getting their feathers, including the cutest tiniest little tail feathers:
Snuggled together for sleeping.

And in other agri-business news, it appears that our bees survived the winter:
We thought for sure they'd be toast by now -- before the winter, something happened (invading bees maybe?) and they had no honey stored up to eat throughout the winter.  We fed them some sugar water a couple of times, and then just sealed them up for winter.  This weekend, we went out and found them all abuzz!  How crazy!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Putting candles on the cake:

Every time I asked Cooper what he thought we should buy Daddy for a present, Cooper thought Daddy would probably like a train set.  Which makes sense because that's one of the things Cooper got for his birthday.  But when we actually got to Target, Coop quickly decided Daddy would like a lot of things, including a big dump truck, and a wooden puzzle, and an Elmo doll, and a Thomas train.

Daddy opening his present from Cooper:

We finally ended up with a small Woody doll from Toy Story.  It came with a small Buzz Lightyear doll, which Cooper decided could be his.  And Cooper picked out a purple princess cell phone for Daddy, along with a red Mickey cellphone for him so that he and Daddy could call each other.  I insisted we throw in some snacks, so we ended up with Diet Mt. Dew and beef jerky.  And fruit snacks for Cooper.

All day, Cooper kept asking me when my birthday was.  I thought he was just being kind and considerate, but I'm guessing he really just wanted to go shopping again!

The weather for Alan's birthday was fantastic -- 60s and sunny.  So we spent much of the afternoon outside:

And then Alan bought this:
Happy birthday!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I don't really know what to say...

Because once you've got your coat on, why wouldn't you need a plastic pear and pineapple?

I came home from an evening away to find that Coop and Alan played with this:
A suitcase filled with dishes, plastic food, cotton balls, maxi pads, and tampons. Lovely.

What Coop picked out for breakfast one recent morning:

"Mama, I can't breathe."
Really?  I'm not surprised...

Coop decided he needed to relive babyhood and sit in the highchair for snack.
Cute, but pretty ridiculous-looking!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Boat building

In Coop's music class, we're singing boat songs.  So our homework for this week was to "build a boat" to take to class.

We started with a paper-covered shoebox, and decided to paint it yellow and blue (eventually known as green):

"Look, Mama.  Now my fingers are beautiful!"

We drew windows on the box, and then cut sails out of paper we painted:

We taped sails to skewers masts:

And then stuck them in the boat.

The funnest part, apparently, was using the meat thermometer to poke holes in the boat so we could stick the sails in.  We ended up with five sails: