Thursday, June 27, 2013

While Alan was away....

Coop and I had nearly two weeks of bonding time while Alan was in England.  So I shipped him to his grandparents' house in Wichita for three days.  He came back with this feather hat (made out of wire and a feather) and a new (fake) pet turtle:

We went to a birthday party for one of his friends.  She had real live pony rides!!  And a petting zoo!  And a bounce house!!

And Coop made a "welcome home Daddy" sign for when Alan returned.  I suggested something lame like taping it to the door.  But Coop insisted that we rig up a pulley system so that when Alan walked in, Coop could pull on the rope and the sign would rise up so Alan could see it.
(It worked, except that we missed Alan's truck pulling into the driveway, so Coop made him go back outside and come in again... to the rising "welcome home" sign!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Superhero Family

Coop suggested one day that we each create our own superhero.  (He saw it in a cartoon he watched.)  When he asked me what my superhero would be, I was trying to coerce him into cleaning his room, so I spouted something smart like "one who cleans things."
Two days later, when he returned to the subject so we could draw our superheroes, I was stuck with the cleaning theme.  So I drew myself with a broom and a spray bottle.  Coop added two crows who would help carry cleaning supplies like rags and a vacuum for me.  And my motto KICK:  Keep It Clean Kids.
Here is Coop, with rocket engines to propel him.  KTA = Keep Them (the bad guys) Away. 
And Alan, clearly the artist in the family, is Tornado Man:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kitten (that we DID keep)

So recall, as of the last blog post, Coop and I had acquired two kittens that we didn't really want to keep.  Before leaving for a two-week trip to England, Alan had arranged for us to get a kitten from a friend of his.  Which, if you're keeping score at home, would bring the household total to four.  Waaaay too many.
Although it likely doesn't make much sense, we ended up giving the two gas station kittens to the woman who gave us our one new kitty.  Long story for why that actually worked out.  But the short version is that we ended up with this little guy:

I was the only one home for a few days after he arrived (Alan in England and Coop at his grandparents'), so I named him Simon and then just announced to everyone that that was his name.  Coop wasn't thrilled, but he went with it.

Adelaide also NOT thrilled:

Getting closer with no hissing.  That's an improvement.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kittens (that we did NOT keep)

On the way home from Tulsa, Coop and I stopped at this gas station somewhere in Oklahoma.  (You know the story is going to be good when it starts with the picture of the Ash Express gas station.)

As I was pumping gas, two scraggly mangy looking kittens ran across the parking lot.  One sat on my foot; the other crawled into the wheel well of a truck that had parked outside.  The truck owner and I each picked one up and stood there looking at each other.  "What the...?  Where did these come from?"

They were really sad-looking, I've got to say.  And I eventually talked the other guy into taking both of them home.  Coop and I held them while he went in the gas station to find a box.
He came out with the gas station owner who said, "Oh yeah... there are more of them."

Sure enough.  Back in a wood pile behind the gas station lived two more equally scraggly kittens.  And since I had already talked the other guy into taking the first two, I sort of felt obligated to take these other two.
They were filthy and obviously hungry (the gas station owner gave me a can of food for the car ride home).  And the white one's eyes were matted shut.

But we cleaned them up when we got home (three hours later):

Not too shabby.
But we knew (and I repeatedly told Coop) that we couldn't keep them.  So didn't really name them beyond calling the gray one Fuzzball and the white one Goop (because his eyes were goopy).

Stay tuned to learn their fate...

Oh, and here's a video Coop made to tell Alan (who was in England at the time) about finding the kitties:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tulsa: Air and Space Museum and Planetarium

Coop wanted to hit the Air and Space Museum before we left.  It was a giant butler building with different kinds of airplanes (about which I know essentially nothing):
Including tons of things for Coop to climb inside and pretend to fly:

Our ticket also included admission to a Planetarium show.  Laying back in our seats before the movie:
Yeah... not such a great idea.  Turns out, neither Coop nor I is cut out for imax-style shows, which I should've known given that we both feel crappy when we fly.  I had my eyes closed from moment one.  After about 20 minutes, Coop said, "Mama, I'm feeling queasy.  Can we leave?"  So we did.  Live and learn.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tulsa: Zoo and Aquarium

Our friend Henry lives in Arkansas, about two hours from Tulsa.  So he joined us for our trip to the Tulsa Zoo:

Watching the sea lion show:

Coop and I also hit the Aquarium:

Touching a star fish:

The Aquarium had a great shark tank exhibit with a tunnel going through the shark water.  Coop insisted on this picture.  He's in the tunnel (to the left of the person in the white shirt), pretending to swim through the sharks:

Feeding a ray (a piece of shrimp on the end of a pole):

In a shark cage ("Take the picture while I'm looking around, like I'm looking for real sharks."):

Another optical illusion that Coop loved.  He's up inside a tunnel in the middle of a fish tank:

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Alan left at the end of May for a two-week trip in England with some Baker students.  Coincidentally, Cooper was out of school for two straight weeks.  To preserve my sanity, Coop and I took a vacation down to Tulsa.  (And then I shipped him off to his grandparents for three days!)
This was Coop's traveling outfit:

Seriously.  Here he is waiting at the table for me to bring out food:

And speaking of food, I insisted on new (to us, or at least Cooper) restaurants while we were in Tulsa.  First up, Logan's Roadhouse where you can eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor!  Coop loved it!

Getting every last drop of his cinnamon apples:

Waffle with melted chocolate chips and peanut butter for breakfast at the hotel:

Cracker Barrel, where Coop spent some time trying to figure this one out:
(Don't tell him, but I bought this game in the gift shop on our way out.  And it comes with the solution!  YAY!)

Monday, June 03, 2013

Apologies and Rewards

Coop had a rough patch at school in late-April, so he was regularly writing apology notes to teachers and classmates.  This was on one he wrote for Miss Ann:

Frustrated by his behavior and his seeming lack of concern for consequences, we opted to try positive reinforcement.  Each day that he survived school without a "blue note" coming home in the folder, I would take him for some kind of afternoon treat:

 (Supper at McDs.  While he read a book.  Win!)

And eventually, he opted to get treat coupons, so he could save up five of them in exchange for a toy at the bookstore.  It seemed to work.  We'll see how things go when he starts back to school this summer...