Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One Night Only!

Just a sneak preview of my astroblogging skillz...

Tonight you will not want to miss the beautiful Dusk Planets + Moon Extravaganza. Yes, tonight you will see a stunning display of just a few of our solar system neighbors in the early evening. You'll want to look to the west where you'll see (in order from western horizon up) Mercury - only visible if you have a clear horizon line, Jupiter, a crescent moon, and Venus. For more information, you should go to the Sky and Telescope article, which has details and some pretty diagrams.

If you enjoyed this entry, consider following my soon-to-go-live Stay At Home Momstronomer blog, beginning on January 1st and in honor 2009, the International Year of Astronomy. This blog is for people with an interest in but not an in-depth knowledge of astronomy, and also for people who have in interest in teaching astronomy to young (and even very young) people - you know, like parents and stuff. A sample blog entry might include an explanation of why the objects you see tonight are lined up, and whether or not a "planetary alignment" is a common occurrence. You will not see a blog entry, or any part thereof, dedicated to explaining how the position of the planets in tonight's sky will affect your love life or your chances at a promotion. You'd need a momstrologer for that, and I'm not qualified.

Monday, December 29, 2008


So I have felt like a complete idiot for a couple of reasons. 1st, I really wish I had video of my run in with the fence because I think we could have made some serious moola on Youtube. But more to the point, how bad can you really hurt yourself just by running into a fence? I have been a little mystified as to how my knee got so big just from a run in with a 3 foot fence. I finally just could not take it anymore and I went back to take a look at the fence (it is amazing how obvious it is that there is a fence here when the sun is up) and took some pictures. If you go back and look at the picture of my knee you can see a small circle that oddly enough matches the bolt sticking out of the latch.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

This video took many attempts and much chasing around the house with a Santa hat. Consider it a token of our devotion to all our "fans" at the Cookie Jar. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a very happy New Year!

Happy Holidays! from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quasars to Sea Stars Holiday Party

We got to attend the annual holiday party for the Quasars to Sea Stars program at the SB Museum of Natural History. As an alumna, I am invited, and since Stellan may be the first second-generation Quasar, I always drag him and Kevin along.
It was good to see all the teens and other alums in attendance, and we were glad to get rid of two awesome white elephant gifts we dragged across the country. (That's a story for another post.) Stellan had a great time, mostly because the desserts were on the low table in the kids' classroom, so he had free range all night. Which we unfortunately didn't notice until he had his way with several cupcakes and half a tin of Trader Joe's star cookies. (He's now on a dessert furlough at least until Christmas.)
I also participated in the holiday sweater contest. I must admit to some shame on this one. I was told that there would be a mandatory gaudy holiday sweater contest, but I wasn't going to spend the time to shop around for one, new or used, and instead took the shortcut and asked Momfa if she had one. She of course replied that she did; then, to my horror, she said, "This is for one of those ugly sweater contests, isn't it?" I felt pretty guilty. But it paid off - thanks to my awesome runway skills and an elf hat left over from last week's Winter FUNderland, I won the contest. Thanks, Momfa: it really wasn't ugly enough to win, I just know how to make a decent outfit look worse!
The only tragedy of the night was Kevin's unfortunate run-in with a waist-high chain link fence. He was on his way to dispose of a poopy diaper in the big dumpster out back and thought he was past all the fencing. The lack of lighting, while beneficial for star parties at the nearby observatory, did not properly indicate the existence of the fence; Kevin confidently walked right into it and promptly fell right over it. Ten minutes later, he managed to get off the ground and limp back to the party. His knee may never be the same. That said, he wants to assure all interested parties that he'll be good to play volleyball on Monday night if he can get enough players.
Despite this minor incident, a good time was had by all. I'd like to send a special shout-out to all the Quasars, current and past; I'm glad to share something so awesome in common with you. Keep doing great things with your lives!

A New Car!

For Christmas, my Dad and Maggie got us a new car! OK, they got Stellan a used car. Unfortunately, he didn't quite get the hang of the Flintstone-style propulsion system. So naturally I had to show him.

It's much more fun as a team sport.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Reunions

We've been enjoying the sights back home, and have enjoyed spending time with family and friends. But the happiest reunion of all must be the one that Stellan had with Lily, his canine soul mate. A special thanks to the docents at the SB Museum of Natural History for inviting us to their annual potluck and thus giving Stellan the opportunity to entertain everyone with his puppy-loving antics. (After this video was recorded, they took their two-person party to the stage in the auditorium for all to enjoy.)

Stellan Hearts Lily from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

The One Most Important Thing

Last night I was enjoying an interesting conversation with some friends, including Vivian and Jerry and Laura, all of whom I was really glad to see, about the one most important thing to which kids are not being exposed. We all had stories about people who will share what that one thing is; here are a few we discussed, in no particular order.
  • Nutrition. Childhood obesity is a huge problem, and many parents could be doing more to help their kids eat better. On the other hand, some parents are undernourishing their kids with no fat, no sugar, all vegan/organic diets.
  • Outdoor free play. Richard Louv's Last Child In The Woods has led the charge for restoring kids' access to nature in an unstructured setting. He points out that "nature-deficit" can hinder physical and emotional development and lead to higher incidence of obesity, attention disorder and depression.
  • Music. Laura shared that her father runs a symphony program for urban children who have asked where the sounds they hear are coming from. Apparently they don't all know that humans can create music without shooting electrons through a technological device. Jerry shared how important the piano lessons his parents forced on him were for his overall well being, even though he didn't always enjoy it.
  • Overscheduling. Some kids spend all their time shuttling from one activity to another and end up burning out, even on things they once enjoyed and even excelled at.
  • Gaming. It will be fascinating to see what the first generation of computer gamers do as parents now that their kids are gaming. However, it seems plain that too many kids spend more time in their own virtual reality (where they are always the center of their game, they can't die or suffer any negative consequences and where they have absolute control), than they do in actual reality. A clear suspect in the Age of Self Entitlement.
We thought it would be interesting to create a panel of people, each of whom represent the One Thing they think is threatening the children of America. Now comes the question for you, Dear Reader: what would you add to the list?

P.S. Happy Birthday, Laura!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Honor Roll!

Kevin made it. The end.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Field Trip

After our tour of the Everglades, we were inspired to do some more sightseeing in Florida, so we trekked across to the west (Gulf) coast of Florida for the day. We ended our journey in Naples, a scenic coastal town that had something like a Carpinteria vibe. The sand was so white and fluffy, it reminded us of snow. Really! We ate some delicious Thai at the local Sushi Thai (it's a Florida thing - all sushi and/or Thai restaurants have been combined into Sushi Thai), nobody honked - not even once, and the weather was gorgeous. We decided that if we were forced to live in Florida beyond the dictates of Kevin's program, Naples is one place we'd be OK with. Also, to anyone with a DQ in their neck of the woods, I definitely recommend the Peppermint Chip Blizzard. That alone was worth the hour and a half drive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Touring the Everglades

We decided to take some time to tour the Everglades, since they're practically in our backyard. First we took a drive down Alligator Alley, but when it didn't deliver the promised reptiles, we resorted to the tourist-y Everglades Holiday Park a short drive from our house. We got to ride an airboat, see alligators, go to a very saddening alligator wrestling demonstration and see lots of Everglades. Enjoy this slideshow, as well as the montage of short movie clips.

Gator Adventure from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Pageant

In the time honored tradition, our Primary performed a Christmas pageant tonight. True to our ward's form, we gave them less than two weeks to practice it. It was just as cute as you imagine it might be, complete with "waving at his mom through the whole thing" kid, "No, I won't take off my iPod even for the pageant" kid (not quite as cute), misread lines (apparently Joseph was traveling to Bethlehem with his exposed wife, contrary to traditionalists who insist she was instead espoused), and a doll baby Jesus who only got dropped on his head twice. 'Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nerd Punches All Around

Kris: [She is spinning a cup around Stellan's head as she makes a whistling noise.] Stellan, pay attention. See how the sippy cup makes a higher pitched whistle as it approaches you? That's the Doppler effect.
Kev: That's funny.
Kris: Why?
Kev: Because I was teaching him about the Doppler effect yesterday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Reverse Logic of Efficiency in a Toddler Home

What's the most inefficient way to clean a room in a child-free home? By grabbing 4 items, each from different rooms, putting them away one by one, and then returning for 4 more items from 4 different rooms.
What's the most efficient way to clean a room with a toddler around? By grabbing 4 items, each from different rooms, putting them away one by one, and then returning for 4 more items from 4 different rooms. That's because if you sneak into Room 1 with Item 1, he'll notice and track you into Room 1 to see what you did. That's when you slip into Room 2 with Item 2, which he won't see until you're leaving Room 2. Ever curious, the toddler will take this bait for at least half an hour. Trust me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Camera!

We tested out our new camera at the pool yesterday. Sweet! And here our first video taken with our new camera. Our old one didn't have sound, so this is much improved.

Oh Frabjous Day!

After several long (and nerve racking) months without any health coverage, we can all sleep easier knowing that Stellan will be able to get the health care he needs, if and when he should need it.
Not to get all ranty about it, but I am ready for some health care reform. Medical care is excessively expensive, even prohibitively expensive if you don't have insurance; and we don't have insurance. In fact, insurance through the university would have run us $5,000 per person. Private insurance was also out of our grad school budget, along with many other comforts we once enjoyed. We've experienced a couple of close calls in the months since I left the Museum, where we had to weigh our worry over a urgent medical condition and our willingness to go into debt to pay for treatment. If you've never been in that situation, imagine having to put a price tag on your concern. Are you sick $50 worth? Are you sick $100 worth? Are you sick $1000 worth? Just how confident are you that you'll improve without treatment? Then substitute your concern for your own well being with the well being of your child, and see how well you sleep at night.
Thankfully for us, we'll be able to ensure that Stellan gets the health care he needs to stay healthy. And my heart goes out to everyone who doesn't have that assurance right now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Have a Hubble Christmas!

The Big Picture (by the Boston Globe) is running a Hubble Space Telescope online advent calendar. They'll post one image a day with some commentary and links for more info each day through December 25th. This may be the best advent calendar I've ever seen! Here's today's image (the Antennae Galaxies), but go to their page directly for more images and info.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008


I don't think so. We spent the day after Thanksgiving at Hollywood Beach.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


We spent Thanksgiving with friends in Florida. And that's enough right there to make us feel really blessed.

P.S. A special shout out to the moms, who saved Thanksgiving dinner with their gravy-making instructions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Double D-light

Dante and dirt. Need I say more?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kevin Saves The Day

We went to a barbecue on Monday night. Yeah, you can tell we live in South Florida because we went to a barbecue at a park starting at sunset the week of Thanksgiving. Life is tough.
There were some challenges from the start. There was charcoal but no lighter fluid, so Phil got out his handy blowtorch. The lantern was always in the way, but then someone got a rope and hung it from a line between two trees. But the third blow was the hardest - the football was accidentally overthrown into the Altantic Intercoastal Waterway. Oops.
Never fear, they were smart enough to invite the Cooks. Kevin was more than willing to don a pair of shorts from someone's trunk and dive right in despite the darkness, rumors of gators and speeding boats in the area. They were right to place their trust in him; he swam quickly and skillfully to the ball and returned it safely to the anxious and boisterous crowd waiting back at the fence. And they were glad I was there with the camera to document it. The rest of the barbecue was fun, delicious and pretty uneventful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stellan and the Hot Date

Tonight we watched Stellan's friend Elsa so her parents could go out on a hot date. He was so excited to see her that he spent the first five minutes after her arrival running around the house screaming and pushing his toys on her. Things didn't mellow out much after that, but I did get some cute photos. Looks like it turned out to be a double date night!

Bonus game #1: watch this slideshow again, now very quickly, and compare how much Stellan moves to how much Elsa moves.

Bonus game #2: watch the slideshow a third time (maybe more if you're a grandparent), this time paying close attention to the costume jewelry exchange.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bishop's Storehouse

Tonight we went to the Bishop's Storehouse when we got an urgent message from the bishop, who said they were receiving a huge shipment that night and the only people there to unload were the somewhat elderly missionary couple from the cannery.
We were excited to help. For those not in the LDS lingo know, the Bishop's Storehouse is a warehouse of food, household items and other necessities made available to people in need (not just members of the LDS church). They are usually about the size of a 7-11, and look like a clean version of a ghetto 7-11. Bare metal racks fully stocked with the essentials (and some other stuff, like chocolate pudding and Christmas candy) and glaring flourescent lights, shopping carts and a big warehouse in the back with the rest of the stock.
We beat the delivery truck (an 18-wheeler) by a little bit, so Stellan went for a ride on the forklift. He was excited. When the truck arrived, he also loved watching it open, and observing the forklift unload pallet after pallet. But when it came time to start unloading the boxes from the pallet, Stellan and I were uncerimoniously dismissed. Apparently the guy in charge (older Hispanic man) did not approve of women doing any heavy lifting (even though my back is much better than Kevin's) and did not approve of children being present either. So we had to hang out in the office up front. We did get to tour the cannery next door, where community members can can their own food for storage and emergency preparedness.
Two hours later, Stellan was tired, I was still angry at being rejected from service just because I am Y-chromosome deficient, and Kevin's back was killing him. The truck was gone, the pallets were empty and we're pretty sure that hundreds of people will have a better Thanksgiving because of the Bishop's Storehouse. (Did I mention Kevin spent some time shuffling turkeys in the walk-in freezer?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Recent Outdoor Adventures

We've been taking advantage of the not-as-hot-as-summer season to get out and about, and we've been having fun doing it. We have been canoeing at West Lake Park; we had so much fun two weeks ago* that we went again yesterday with our friends the Hendersons. It's gorgeous to row through the mangroves, spot crabs and look for birds. And the view from the outlook tower is incredible.
We also spent Veteran's Day at Sugar Sand Park, which is a science playground in Boca Raton. I know, what could be better than mixing science and playgrounds? It looks kind of like a mix between a western army fort and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, and has sections devoted to rockets, music, the Pythagorean Theorem (no, seriously!), dinosaurs and more. It's three stories tall! However, Stellan never even got past the main courtyard because it had a water feature. That was enough to keep him entertained for over an hour without any breaks. Kev and I were a little sad because we wanted to explore all the other parts of the playground, but there will be other times. We ended the trip with a ride on the carousel.
On Saturday night, as we were wandering though an unlit county park looking for the local observatory and amateur astronomy club, we saw the shuttle launch! It was really great, and helped convince me that are some perks to living in Florida. (Incidentally, we're planning on going to one of the launches before they retire the shuttles, so if you're interested in joining us, let us know.) Sorry, no pics. Also, we did eventually find the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association. We even joined, though I'm still a card-carrying member of the SBAU and will never disavow my loyalty to my first and best astronomy club.
Finally, we have discovered an incredibly interesting spider in our garden, a spiny orb weaver (gasteracantha cancriformus). Super amazing looking, it appears to be a spider that's carrying something spiky on its back. But no, that's just its natural form. Cool! Tragically, Stellan is still too young to hold still long enough to notice it, much less appreciate it.

*Funny story; on our first trip, we realized that Stellan would require some serious attention in the boat. He always wants to dive off the side into the water, so I have to keep at least three fingers hooked onto his PFD. But he actually prefers to be in my lap, so I had to leave all the rowing to Kevin. Poor guy had to do all the paddling and didn't get to look around as much as he would like. So at one point I gestured to some tree crabs scuttling up the mangroves and Kevin paused to take a closer look. Unfortunately, out boat didn't stop to look. We got dangerously close to some branches sticking out into the water, and suddenly I had to decide what to do to avoid Stellan getting whomped in the face by mangroves. I decided to go with the stiff arm, but was saddened to discover that mangrove branches don't have a lot of give. Stellan and I were thrown backward into the boat, and I found myself with my butt and legs still in rowing position on the bench, and my top half sprawled out on the floor of the canoe with a very angry toddler pinning one of my arms down. Take a moment to reflect on this physical situation; imagine yourself strapped in to a bench by branches, an unwieldy toddler in a life vest struggling to get off your arm and chest, and realizing that you have absolutely no leverage to get yourself up from your semi-supine position. I took more than a moment to reflect, as I really and truly couldn't get up. It was very uncomfortable, and my lower back took a few days to recover. I did eventually get up without capsizing, but Stellan sustained a sizable good egg on his forehead where his little face hit the wooden crossbar behind us. It was one of those rare times when pain and laughter were pretty evenly matched.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google Video Chat!

Google just released voice and video chat. This is really exciting to me, which may only be a sign of how truly pathetic my Floridian life has become. But I tell myself I'm excited because it may be better quality than Skype (which has dropped 90% of my calls in the last week), and maybe we can chat with more people.
True confessions time: I use video chat to entertain my child, and when necessary, calm the angry beast that occasionally possesses his tiny body. He loves to chat, and gets giddy just hearing the sound Skype makes when you call someone. He keeps in touch with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as some of his buds. So if you'd like to see him more often (or even if you'd like to see more of me or Kevin), chat us! We're ready for Google video chatting to commence.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This One's For Chuncle

This week marks my kid brother's 20th birthday. My brother Matt is one of the most important people in my life, and always has been. Probably before I was born. When I was young, I always wanted a little brother; my little sisters were OK, but they wanted to play with Barbies and make up dance routines. Not really my thing. I knew a brother would like the same stuff I did, or could at least appreciate my sizable LEGO collection.
Finally, when I was 10, my baby brother was born. He was everything I hoped he would be - funny, sweet, a little on the mischievous side, smart and devoted to his big sis. Not much has changed in 20 years. He's all those things and much more. I haven't seen him in a while; he's been serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since February, and if you know anything about it, you know it's a two year commitment. I miss him everyday, and I know Kevin and Stellan do too.
Every day Stellan blows a kiss to his Uncle (Chuncle) Elder Matt Steward when he looks at the photo of the two of them together on the wall. And I remember how lucky I am to have two such awesome guys in my life. Plus, it's hard to see a little (some days a lot) of Uncle Matt in my son; if you enjoyed the look on Stellan's face as he was table dancing in the video on yesterday's post, you've seen a snapshot of the look Matt used to get (and sometimes still gets) when troublemaking was imminent. I'm pretty sure my parents think I'm getting my comeupance for all the times I defended my rascally brother now that I have a little rascal of my own. And I wouldn't trade either one of them for the world.
Happy birthday, little brother! I miss you more than you know, but not as much as I love you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Videographic Evidence

The following is videographic evidence of Stellan's surpassing 16 month old skillage. In case the resumé didn't already convince you.

16 Month Skills from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

16 Months and Counting

Today Stellan is 16 months old. It's amazing to think about how much he's changed and grown, even in the couple of months we've been in Florida. He's got so many news skills I'm considering sending him out into the workforce to help earn back some of what we've spent on diapers, applesauce and cottage cheese. Here's his resumé:

Realize the full potential of entropy in the workplace

Technical Skills/Proficiencies:
  • Climbing anything
  • Eating with a spoon
  • Flinging food with a spoon
  • Waving hello
  • Slipping at least one arm out of a snugly fit car seat harness

  • July '07 to Oct '07: just laying there a lot
  • Oct '07 to Jan '08: rolling over
  • Feb '08 to May '08: crawling
  • May '08 to present: walking, climbing, running and tripping/falling frequently

July '07 to August '08: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Musical Instrument Profiencies:
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Bass Guitar
  • Piano
  • Recorder
  • Drums
  • Harmonica
  • Melodica
  • Milk Carton Filled With Pinto Beans
  • Lead Vocals

Animal Noises:
  • Woof
  • Moo
  • Meow
  • Bahk Bahk (chicken sound)

Computer Proficiencies:
  • Power On/Off
  • Log On/Off
  • Mouse
  • Webcam
  • Untold Number of Keyboard Shortcuts

Facial Expressions:
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Tantrum/Fake Sad
  • Furious
  • Fish Face
  • Stink Face

Language Proficiencies:
  • English - comprehension (occasionally selective)
  • Spanish/Creole - will pretend to understand
  • Baby Sign - some proficiency (he knows "milk" and "more;" what else could he really need to communicate?)
  • Point and Whine - fluent

References available upon request.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Here's the Catch

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, it takes all the pleasure of staying home sick from work for the day. Curses; didn't see that one coming.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why Voting Is Like Disneyland

We decided to head for the polls early this morning, because Kev wasn't sure he'd have any other time today. So knowing that our little adorable child hasn't gotten into the no-more-daylight-savings zone, we were ready for him to get up at around 6:20 AM. He didn't disappoint, and we all got out of bed nice and early. We were excited about our chance to vote in such an important election, and the pre-dawn preparations definitely reminded me of all the times I've gotten up early to brave rush hour traffic on the way to the Magic Kingdom.
We got to the polling station (conveniently located at our neighborhood park) by 7:10. The line was out the door and around the corner. Good thing we walked, because there was no parking. We got inside in about 40 minutes, but it took us about as long to get through the various lines inside. Stellan was a real trooper and made almost all the way through. Kevin had to stand in the ballot machine feeding line with both our completed ballots but we were amazed we got that far all together.
So here are the reasons voting is like Disneyland:
1. We've been waiting for this day for a long time.
2. We got out of bed early, packed snacks, made sure we had sweatshirts, grabbed the stroller and hit the road.
3. Lines. And more lines.
4. Everyone else there was equally excited, despite the lines.
5. This is definitely a day that we will all remember for a long time. Some will remember how their dreams came true, while others will remember feeling pretty sick on the Teacups; but we'll all remember what happened today.

And finally, I am trying to downplay the irony, but please enjoy the photo of the sticker we got for voting here in Florida.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Week That Fall Came...And Went

Yes, this week was an awesome one. Starting at the end of last week, forecasters predicted a cold front headed our way. We braced ourselves for some really chilly weather - it might drop into the 60's!
The forecasts did not disappoint; by Monday evening, it was cool enough that we turned off our air conditioner for the first time since we moved here. (We keep the thermostat set between 80 and 83 degrees, so this was a big deal to us.) We opened every window in the house all the way and let that cool breeze blow. It got cool enough that night (into the low 60s!) that we were freezing in our thin sheet and light blanket; but we did not close one darn window. The cold was too novel to reject.
By the next day, it was like the world awakened to a new dawn. No really, we saw dozens of kids in the street that we had never seen before; people were outside grilling; open windows lined every house; the park was swarming with families at all hours. In fact, the weather was so nice all week that we went to the park every day, some days twice. It was a riot to see some of these kids all bundled up like it was below freezing - fleece caps and winter coats, ski pants and heavy boots. It can't have dropped below 68 degrees during the day, but one woman proudly declared she put her little boy in his "New York winter clothes." Stellan and I were a little more circumspect in terms of wardrobe, but no less enthused with the weather.
As a result, we've got this playground thing down to an art. We load up the stroller, strap on our shoes, head to the park, unload and go nuts. We've also made some new friends; notice the "we." Yep, I have real park friends now; by that I mean that I know someone by name and we actually sit on the park bench and chat while the kids play. Hurray! I may just make it through the next two years after all.
In case you are curious about Stellan's playground activities, I've prepared this slideshow. Please enjoy!

In case the title of the blog didn't give it away, the cold front is gone. We're back to highs in the mid-80s for the rest of the week. It's currently 77 degrees in the pouring rain at 10 PM. Oh well. Fall was nice while it lasted.

Two final notes: #1. Why do people think that if a toddler is in a coordinated outfit, it must be a girl? It happened three times on Saturday when Stellan was wearing the super cute outfit posted above. #2. What is the lawn mower attachment that is being pulled behind the trailer called? Someone else asked me, and I was at a loss.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We spent the evening at the church Halloween party, which was pretty much a mob scene. Stellan was in heaven. As you can see, he's wearing an authentic Chinese outfit which his aunts Eileen and KK got for him while they were in China last year. Adorable! Coming in as a close second for cutest kid at the party was Elsa, who came as a kangaroo.

P.S. I dressed up as a pirate and Kev decided to be a birder after I shot down his first choice of costume. This video should help you see why I had to stop him.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Get Out And Vote!

Early voting is well underway in my state and many others. Whether or not you're planning on voting the way I will, do the research and cast your ballot. If the following clip doesn't inspire you to make your voice heard for the good of our great nation, I don't know what will.

(Also available in better resolution at the YouTube source.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Quick Note About Photos

I used our entire memory card on the trip, so all "surplus" photos, and there are a lot, are available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/krissiecook/MoreSBPhotos#

And that concludes all posting related to our trip to California.

The Way Home

Kevin and I actually got to fly home together (Kevin joined us in SB later last week, and barely made it due to a series of unfortunate events), which made things easier. In fact, we had only one little "hiccup," which is my euphemistic way of telling you about a little incident at the Charlotte airport's food court.
Stellan had been inconsolably cranky, throwing tantrums and refusing to eat or drink. Kevin took his for a walk to calm him down, and as he returned he said, "We need to take this kid to a doctor." I was in the middle of asking him why, when Stellan ejected a MAD TV-esque solid spout of vomit. I won't go into details, but he only got a little on Kevin's shirt, his shoes were easily wiped clean and I escaped unscathed. Stellan felt much better, and made the last leg home admirably. He's now almost completely over his cold (I think the "hiccup" got a lot of mucus out of his chest), and doing great.

The Grand Finale

OK, you'll probably be disappointed now that I've promised something grand. It's not, except for me. I got my hair cut, which I haven't done since before Stellan was born. Momfa did a great job chopping off a lot of hair. I should have measured, but since I didn't, I'd but estimates around 8 inches. So enjoy these photos of before, during and after. I love the new short hair!

Cousin Fun

Stellan and his cousins had lots of chances to play with Riley, his cousin only a month younger, this weekend. Here are some highlights.

Maggie's Birthday

We took advantage of the proximity of our visit to Maggie's birthday to celebrate a little early. We enjoyed some delicious grilled salmon and other goodies, and chatted up a storm. Also, Stellan enjoyed the opportunity to reacquaint himself with some of his favorite toys at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Happy Birthday, Maggie!

The Pumpkin Patch

Even though the kids were worn out, we thought it would be fun to take them to the Lane Farms pumpkin patch. Also, Stellan has this adorable jacket from his Great Aunt Carol, and we knew he'd never need in Florida before he outgrew it, so we were dying for a chance to try it out. Even cuter than we imagined! The excursion was fun - while it lasted. We played in the hay, we posed around pumpkins, we went on a hay ride, we did the corn maze (OK, only some of us did the corn maze and everyone who tried made it out the entrance, not the exit) and most of all, we took tons of photos. Enjoy!

The After Party

After the shortest wedding on record, we all headed back to the moms' for the after party. Loads of food, loads of family, loads of fun!

The Wedding

The main we reason we came to town was to attend the moms' wedding. They had a commitment ceremony 11 years ago, and decided they would make it legal on their anniversary this year. It was the most casual wedding I've ever been to - it lasted less than 15 minutes, involved some minor outbursts from the audience (yes, my wonderful boy couldn't be quite and still for even 10 minutes) and was really great. Highlights included the minister's donning of a witch's hat and quoting from "Wicked", one of the moms' most favorite musicals of all time, and a lovely blessing from Toni Crotty, a close friend of the family.

Congratulations, Moms! We love you!

Some Things We Did

I'll get to all the big stuff, but here are some fun things we also did:
-We went the Museum and had a lovely lunch with my former department. It was so nice to catch up with everyone and they were very kind to provide such a lovely and Stellan-friendly meal. I still really miss the Museum.
-We went out to sushi with Javier, my friend and former colleague. Stellan enjoyed the sticky rice, both as sustenance and as an accessory.
-We went for a walk with Lee & Meghan and Vivian & Levi. Good to see good friends. Plus the bonus of a good surprise (oh, how I love a good surprise!). When Viv and I arrived at the Flemings' door, she knocked and I hid. Levi was conveniently hiding behind Stellan's stroller, so Stellan just walked right in when Steve opened the door. Lee just stood there looking at Stellan, and asked, "Who's this?" Vivian insisted that it was Levi, but Lee knew better. Guess I hadn't mentioned to her that we were coming to town.
-We did experiments with glow sticks. My mom was going to use glow sticks as her youth group activity on Sunday night, so we had to try out some stuff, of course. We cut one open and soaked a tennis ball with the extracted liquid, which left some super awesome drips and splatters on the kitchen sink. Also, we tried taking photos in the dark while swinging glow sticks around madly. Stellan even took a glow stick bath (with one of the unopened ones - what kind of mother do you think I am?). I love experiments. Especially when they give me an excuse to play in the dark.

How do you like this one? Pretty appropriate, given the intended audience.

Arrival in Santa Barbara

We were really glad to get off the third plane of the day in lovely Santa Barbara, which turned out to actually be even hotter than South Florida for a couple of days. We were met by a small but enthusiastic contingent of the Stellan Fan Club and whisked back to Grandma and Granny's house for some catching up (both on things and sleep). Stellan's first task was to find his way to the toy closet, just to be sure the toys were still there. Later, he reacquainted himself with every stuffed animal in the house, making sure to cuddle and bounce each one individually. What a giver!

On the Way to Cali

Dragging Stellan across the country as a "lap child" is becoming increasingly difficult. He's getting bigger and space is a serious issue. Also, he's pretty active (if you hadn't already noticed) and doesn't like being in one place for 4 hour chunks. So mercifully, he caught a cold on our plane ride home from Atlanta and still had it two days later for our trip to Santa Barbara. I've never been so grateful to see my child wake up slightly listless and a bit clingy. It made the trip easier, but it was a little sad to see that he kept the cold all the way through the trip. So if he looks a bit out of it in the photos, he was.
One quick shout-out to Gate B15 at PHX (that's the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to those who don't fly as often as we seem to have lately): thanks for the kids' play area!


Due to the muchness of posting content from our trip to Santa Barbara, I will split the trip into smaller bite-sized posts. (That said, I still don't promise how many bites per post.) So don't be scared when you see I've just uploaded a dozen posts or so this afternoon. Read only what you like, skip the rest!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Be Back Soon!

We're in California right now having tons of fun, but we'll be back for new exciting Floridian adventures tomorrow night. So look forward to good stories and of course loads of photos. See you on Tuesday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Trip To Georgia (And a Little Bit of South Carolina)

Stellan and I spent the weekend in Georgia visiting my good friend Leigh Arnold and her family. (If you're one of the truly old school, you'll remember her as Leigh Rogers.) It was super awesome, and I will lay it all out part by part to make my long post seem shorter.

Part 1: The Trip
We flew because a last-second plane ticket was a little less than gas would have been. (We live really far south in Florida, and she lives really far north in Georgia, so it's about 600 miles each way.) Stellan has decided that, contrary to past experience, he is immune to sleeping on airplanes. Too bad I tried to pick flights that were during his nap time, because it just meant he skipped it.

Part 2: The Georgia Aquarium
After Leigh picked us up at the Atlanta airport, we went to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta before we took the 2-hour drive back to Evans. Her three wonderful kids, Hailey, Brooks and Reagan, were real troopers there. The aquarium is really cool, the largest in the world, but it was really crowded, so the little ones had to spend a lot of time in strollers, and the older ones were not permitted to stray far either. That said, there was lots to touch, and I think the thing we all liked best was "The Tunnel" (as Hailey called it), a ginormous tank with a clear tube along a lengthy walkway so you can see all the fish in the tank. Not just fish, but sharks and turtles and really awesome stuff. They even had some whale sharks in the tank, which blew my mind. Enjoy these photos.

Part 3: On the Way Home
It was a bit of a drive back to Evans, and Leigh and I took advantage of the chance to catch up. (We did that a lot all weekend.) Evans is pretty far west, and near the South Carolina border. At one point, I asked her if we had to go through South Carolina to get to her part of Georgia. She said no, and I got confused, because we had definitely just passed a "Welcome to South Carolina" road sign. It turns out that we were so caught up in the conversation that we missed the exit. Luckily, we were only about 15 minutes past it, so it was a quick retreat back.

Part 4: Sunday
Sunday is of course church day, and for the parents of small children, perhaps one of the most stressful days in any given week. Leigh and Patrick have 3 kids, all age 5 or under, so I figured I'd have some company in the hallway while Stellan ran around wild. I was right. We (Stellan and I) didn't last 10 minutes before we had to leave the chapel (the main area of the church building). Luckily (for me, not Leigh), Reagan was also having a hard time, so they got to play together in the Relief Society room, where we could listen to services over the PA system. I tried to go to Sunday School, but we didn't make it past the opening prayer. However, my ace in the hole (a bottle of milk) and a healthy dose of exhaustion won me the chance to enjoy almost all of Relief Society. They had two comfy armchairs in the back (for moms with small babies, or anyone else willing to hold the small babies), and mostly parents of babies and toddlers manned them. But by the last 3 minutes of the meeting, Stellan was the last toddler standing, so to speak. (An attack of the poopies seemed to have swept the room.) So he took to his throne with gusto as King of Relief Society.

Part 5: The Trampoline
After church, Stellan took a very nice nap. When he woke up, the three Arnold kids were out back and of course he had to join them. I must mention that Stellan was instantly enamored of all three Arnold children and absolutely loved playing with them, watching them and just breathing the same air as them. I think he's in withdrawal this afternoon now that we're home. Anyway, they have a trampoline (the kind with a mesh net around it), and I knew Stellan would love it. So I let him try it. I was right. Here are some photos that aren't particularly great, because he was moving fast and I took them through a screen. However, you may want to watch because this slideshow has photos that actually prove that Stellan and I really do play together.

Part 6: We Talked A Lot
Leigh and I both stayed up later than we should have on Saturday night and Sunday night, but it was worth every second (at least for me). She is a really amazing person and I love her dearly. We've been friends for a long time, probably about 10 years. We're not always good at keeping in touch regularly, but we manage to catch up when we can. (If you are reading this, you're likely in this situation as well; I don't call you as often as I should, and I'm sorry. But I still love you.) It's fun to see how we've both changed over the years, but how much we still appreciate each other. And it's fun to see how relate on new levels now that our lives have evolved. For example, she had some really great casserole tips that I can't wait to try. OK, that may be one tip I won't be taking, but trust me, there were many others. I didn't get a picture of the two of us together, but I'm sure she'll post one on her blog soon and I can link it.

Part 7: Trampoline Encore
Before the long drive back to Atlanta this morning, I let Stellan burn some calories on the trampoline. Just as fun the next day, but the photos were worse because I took them from inside the bouncing trampoline cage. View at your own risk.

Part 8: The Flight Home
Not so good. Stellan was tired but still really ready to move around. He tried to be good, I'm sure, but the temptations were too many. We were in an aisle seat so we have easy access for aisle roaming, but we were pretty close to (completely verboten) first class; we were sitting next to a college student trying to watch a movie on her irresistible laptop; the lady behind us had a Heineken that must hold some very strong toddler appeal (it was starting to look appealing to me too by the end of the flight); did I mention it was only one plane ticket? Yep, he's getting kind of big to be expected to fly on my lap. We were almost there when the flight attendant announced that, due to storm conditions in Fort Lauderdale, we would be in a holding pattern for another half hour. Everyone within 10 rows looked straight at us when she said that. Half looked at me with sympathy, and the other half looked at Stellan in exasperation. But the good news is that we made it. And we had a blast. So thanks, Arnolds - we'll be back!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Random Request

I've been working from home as a contracted computer gal (working for someone who have a bit of an aversion to computers and likes that I don't), and I'm learning web design so I can update her website on a regular basis. However, I need a practice web page while I'm still in the early learning phases. Does anyone have a URL they're not using and wouldn't mind sharing with me?

2 Parks, 2 Days

This should not come as a shock to anyone acquainted with my wonderful son's busy nature, but we go to a park just about every day. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain yesterday, which was double sad - our regular park would be no fun in the rain, and it would also be out of commission for a couple extra days with extreme mosquito swarms due to aforementioned rain.
So we decided to go to a park with big puddles instead. And to our surprise, we saw that they had even turned to kids' sprinkler fountain on, so it was double water fun. Enjoy my little "fish out of water!"

Today we went to a different park with Olga (my friend) and Elsa (Stellan's friend). Stellan and Elsa are a very funny pair, both very good natured and little spazzy, though Stellan takes the cake with spazziness. I was really hoping to get a cute picture of the two of them together, but they were not cooperative; as soon as they were within a close enough distance for a single photo frame, I would whip out the camera, turn it on and attempt the photo. Too slow - they were already moving on. Oh well. Please enjoy my failed attempts at a good picture together, and many cute photos of them apart.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Follow up

Just in case you were wondering who won the debate... It was me. I am the winner of the drinking game. (That is non-alcoholic, just in case you were wondering.)

Not Friends Anymore

We decided to play a little drinking game during the presidential debate. We created a long list of events that would trigger a "shot" of soda and settled in for a long wet night.

By the end of the debate, we had polished off about 2.5 liters of the 4 liters of soda we started with. Key triggers included cheap digs at each other, the phrase "across the aisle", references to Ronald Reagan (double shot) and McCain referring to the American people as "my friends." It got to a point where he would say it in each of two consecutive sentences, and all I could think as I poured myself another slug of Crush was, "Anyone who makes me drink this much soda is no friend of mine." Wish us luck sleeping tonight!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Triple Threat

Stellan is a boy of many talents. To demonstrate, here is a sampling of his very busy evening presented in three acts: stink face, sweeper's assistant and flasher.

Triple Threat from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

You may be wondering what Stellan is sweeping with. (Or with what Stellan may be sweeping, if you abhor ending a sentence with a preposition.) Recently he has been pilfering my kite from under our bed and swinging it around until the tail comes loose. Then he runs around watching the ribbons in the tail of the kite follow him. So I put that mothery ingenuity to use and devised a similar sort of instrument from something that wasn't my kite. In fact, it's a wooden spoon with blue and gold wrapping ribbons attached. He really likes it. Good thing he's too little to realize 1) how ghetto that is, and 2) that he got gypped; many lucky children have crafty mothers who would whip up some amazing and beautiful creation that would be the envy of any toddler with Olympic rhythmic dancing aspirations.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Physicists' Answer to Beanie Babies

I am totally in smit with the Particle Zoo plush collectibles! If you're a sucker for the Standard Model, or if you have always wanted to be clear on the difference between a muon and a gluon, these little guys will clear it up. Hand made, each one comes with an explanation of its characteristics and even a little bit on its personality. For example, the muon is a "heavy electron" who lives fast and dies young. They are even weighted proportionally, so heavier particles really weigh more!
Oh, the nerd in me is going wild. I'm starting to save up now for the whole set. Plus, I have to get the quantum chromodynamic dots, so I can keep track of changes in color (and anticolor). My only sadness is that they are not safe for small children (under 5) because of small chokable parts and pellets inside some of the particles. Oh well, at least that means I have just under 4 years to save up for my very own plush particle zoo. Every physics geek's dream!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Pronounced...

...ˈnü-klē-ər. Nuclear. My head is going to explode if I have to listen to someone say "nucular" one more time. If you study the heart of an atom, try as you might, you will never ever find a nuculus. The word is nuclear. And I think nuclear weapons are like sex; if you're not willing or able to talk about it correctly or appropriately, you're not ready to have it.
Also, Kevin would like to point out that, in case you missed the vice presidential debate tonight, Alaska is in fact an energy-producing state. No more will be said on the matter of the debate, as we try to keep our blog touchy subject-free. Except in cases of gross mispronunciation or extreme redundancy.

Can It Be?

We planted an herb garden (OK, maybe more like a small herb box) last week, and today I noticed that the cilantro is starting to sprout. Unless Kev is right, and we're just prolific weed producers.
This may not be a big deal to most of you, but I've killed even cactus before.

Stellan was also working on some "gardening" today. He prefers our rock garden.

You Know You're With a Toddler When...

1. You stop at the fountain outside the science center and must complete an 8-point inspection the water before proceeding.

2. Your son finds the place with balls within 45 seconds of entry of said science center.

3. When he spies the green screen, he gets really excited because the other kids are excited. And he joins them, screeching and dancing with excitement, even though he has no clue he's on the green screen volleyball game in front of him.

And finally, you know you're at the science center with my son when he insists on taking a closer look at the planets, the only still and silent exhibit that interests him at all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Revolution Around the Sun Completed

I celebrated my birthday this weekend. Yeah! Please don't ask which birthday it was; we'll just say it's the first of many for which I'll decline to state.
We partied all weekend. On Friday night, we had some friends over for fondue - both the cheese and the chocolate varieties. We also played a round of Telephone Pictionary. On Saturday, Kev made me a delicious breakfast, and we went out for sushi at lunchtime. Today we feasted on leftover fondue; as I write this, I'm in the throes of a fondue hangover. Oh, the goodness!
Thanks to all who sent (or even just thought) happy birthday wishes. It was happy indeed, despite the threat of being overshadowed by Christmas.

P.S. Birthday bonus: look what we saw walking home from the park on Friday - an honest-to-goodness air boat!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Just Not Right

Today when we were getting stuff to plant our herb garden, we walked right past this.

Halloween is still more than a month away. It's just not right.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Florida First

Today I was at the park with Stellan from about 10:30 AM to noon, a little late than usual, and also a usually little hotter than our earlier hour. But today is overcast and windy, and for the first time since we got here, I felt downright comfortable outside. Yes, it was actually a pleasure to be standing outside enjoying the weather! Fall must really be here - it was only 82 degrees.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Culinary Adventures

We've been getting creative in the kitchen lately. First, on Saturday we made my mom's famous chocolate cheesecake. If you've ever had it, you know it's not really cheesecake, but a layered pudding/whipped cream/cream cheese pan full of yumminess. It was our first time, and it turned out really well. See process below.

Then, my gourmand aunt and uncle sent us a copy of Cuisine At Home, a magazine full of amazing recipes. We tried the chicken burgers with spicy sauce and parmesan fries. Oh so tasty! Next up, ribs and ice cream-less chocolate malts. Thanks, Beeb and Bob!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stellan's Contribution to Talk Like a Pirate Day

Since Stellan, who isn't really talking yet, can't contribute in the traditional way to Talk Like a Pirate Day, he decided to participate by wearing a pirate beard. His first attempt was a little weak, and ended up looking more like a soul patch. We dubbed him the Soul Pirate.

He was more in the mood during dinner, and found the lasagna perfectedly suited to his special silent-pirate needs. Here he is, Captain Red Beard.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mark Your Calendars

Just because people always complain that they didn't know in advance, I'm just reminding you that tomorrow, September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So prepare accordingly, me hearties.

Bianca the Disgruntled (the swashbuckler known as Krissie 364.24 days of the year)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Let's Hear It For Home Haircuts

As you may have started to notice, Stellan has been due for another haircut. You like those wings on the side?

I have been in a bit of a quandary trying to figure out just how to do it. He's a light sleeper, so that method was out; he's not too into TV yet, so Lilo and Stitch was out; I haven't found a good drug dealer yet, so doping him was out; I thought about taking him to a real haircutting place, but I figured he would be at least as much trouble in a room full of shiny new sharp objects as he is as home.
In the end, I bit the bullet and grabbed the scissors while he was eating lunch after a big nap. I gave him a banana and a peanut butter sandwich (2 favorites) and got to work. He was not very excited about, he was moving his head constantly. Luckily, he was trapped in his high chair, so his head was about all he could move.
In the end, I was pretty happy with my work. His new haircut makes him look older one second and younger the next. Here are a couple of photos of the new 'do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Just Saw a Monkey

No, really, I did!

I had just dropped Kevin off at SeaTech and Stellan and I were on our way to the park. As we were driving down A1A, a big monkey skittered across the highway. It looked kind of like the squirrel monkeys I'm so fond of at the SB Zoo, but much bigger, like the size of a really fat cat. I called Kev right away to inform him that we really did move to the jungle.
When I got home I did some Google detective work and discovered that there is in fact a population (size unsure, but probably around 100) of vervet monkeys, also known as green monkeys, that has inhabited Dania Beach for decades. Different stories list various beginnings to the monkey saga (escaped lab monkeys, roadside primate exhibition that went out of business, etc.), but with no real conclusive consensus. However, the more amusing stories relate that they have taken control of a Hertz car rental facility, tourists request rooms with a view of the monkeys at Motel 6, they have been possibly "taken out" in the night by shady business men, and the New York Times reports that this is only one example of all kinds of exotic non-native animals running amok in Florida.
I always wanted a pet monkey. Maybe this is the next best thing! Stellan and I might have to do some more investigating. What would he do faced with a 20 pound monkey? I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We went to Jaxson's on Saturday night. In case you've missed my previous posts on Jaxson's, it's a famous old-fashioned ice cream parlor around the corner from our house. It turned out to be quite the shindig, 12 people on total. Although we had to wait about an hour and a half - because our group was so huge - it was definitely worth it.
Stellan loved our sundae, we let him have some without any reservations. I did some ulterior motives to doing it this way; I knew that if I let him just dig in with his own spoon from the start, he would get frustrated with using that spoon right around the time his mouth got too cold to continue. And it worked, he only had a few bites. Then he just used the sundae as a big fun goopy toy. He and I looked like a mother-son sundae ourselves by the time we left. But I said it before and I'll say it again, worth it!

Stellan's New Toy

Last week we got a package in the mail. It was from Toys R Us, and that can only mean one thing - new toys for me Stellan. It was from Grandma and Grandpa Steward, and had three items: a big tub of blocks, a wading pool and a crazy music-making pinball machine. I looked closer and saw that it was no ordinary pinball machine, it was the Bopping Bedbug Pinball machine. Ooo la la! So I unwrapped it, grabbed the camera and started recording so that Grandma and Grandpa could "be there" to see him play with his toy for the first time.
Disclaimer: this video is highly unremarkable and really really long. Watch at your own risk. Mostly enjoyable for grandparents (and similarly Stellan-obsessed fans) and other toddlers who, like Stellan, can't get enough of videos of toddlers on other blogs.

Bopping Bedbug Pinball from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Picnic At the Park

Kevin was exhausted after a grueling exam today on top of his normal workload, so he took the evening off and we headed for the park. We found the perfect spot (meaning it was out of sight of the playground and the fountain to avoid unnecessary distraction) for our simple meal and chowed down. Stellan also waved at every truck and bus to pass the park, which was a lot. The park is actually a big circle in the middle of the roundabout smack in the middle of downtown Hollywood.
After dinner, we took him a little down the path where he suddenly discovered the water play area. Hooray! If you listen carefully to the beginning of the video, you'll hear his little shriek of excitement when the water comes into view. (The video is long - just under 3 minutes - so feel free to watch only as much as you like. No demerits for quitting early.)

An Evening at Young Circle Park from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Breaking News!

I have been called as the Ward Girls Camp Director! Woot! They do camp during Spring Break here (makes a lot of sense to me), so my first meeting is in a few weeks. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My New Glamorous Life

For any of you who have been wondering what it's like to leave the full-time workplace and stay at home with a kid, I'll lay it out for you. I get to play with my fantastic kid, sit around and eat bonbons/watch soaps/catch up on my gossip mags while he naps. OK, it's not quite like that. Most days I know it's way more challenging than my old job was. (I know, controlling the universe does seem like a big job by comparison, but it just doesn't take the same toll.)
Today I experienced one of those defining moments. Not really the kind that defines your kid, or even really your relationship with your kid; more like the like that defines how you are going to choose to react to this new glamorous lifestyle.
Stellan had just woken from a lengthy nap and I knew he must be hungry. So I grabbed some leftovers and heated them up a bit for him. I plopped the dish on his highchair, along with a fork, and left the room for about 5 seconds to grab something in the living room (adjacent to the kitchen). As I rounded the corner back to the kitchen, I was met with the cheesiest grin I had ever seen. Seriously, the kid was covered in cheesy leftovers and grinning like he knew what kind of trouble he was in.
I had two choices: I could grab the food away, take control of the situation, clean him up and then offer lunch in a more staid fashion; or I could laugh hysterically at how much damage he had done in just a few seconds and run for the camera. If your eagle eyes have already spotted the slideshow below, you know which one I picked.
Heaven help me if he ever gets into a life threatening but hilariously humorous situation.

P.S. The noodles in his hair lasted until bathtime tonight. When given the choice to clean the floor or clean the kid, I went for the floor. I figured he was less likely to spread a mess on his head than a mess he could get to with his feet. Plus, I couldn't resist unveiling him to his dad that evening.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Perfect Evening

Last night our family enjoyed what comes about as close as you can get to a perfect evening. We had a modest meal of curried chicken and potatoes, which we enjoyed while watching a couple of episodes of Season 3 of the Muppet Show. Stellan was sweet and cute for pretty much the entire evening, loving playing on the couch (meaning on top of mommy and daddy, who were on the couch) and likes the Muppets, too. He enjoys clapping with the audience, he sends out a fake laugh with the laugh track upon occasion and he definitely likes the songs. He sways back and forth and jumps in rhythm. This lasted over an hour, which was so perfect. It was one of those times when we could all just appreciate being together as a family, the kind of moment you have to capture in your memory for instant recall in times of sleepless sick nights, tantrums in the grocery store and exploding diapers.
Adding to the perfection was the Friday night vibe, the finally-clean living room (full house tour coming soon!), some Mug cream soda and microwave popcorn, which Stellan also enjoyed. Also, we saw one of my most favorite episodes of the Muppet Show ever, the one where Harry Belafonte guest stars. Classic! It has my most favorite Muppet scene of all time (embedded below), and when Kevin saw it, he said, "Now I see why you like African and South American percussion instruments so much!" And it's tough to know if I like those instruments because of seeing that sketch as a kid, or if I'm naturally drawn to those sounds and that's why I love the sketch so much.
Anyway, Stellan was tired early and went to bed without complaint, giving Kevin and I some two-of-us time that we definitely appreciated. So from dinner to family togetherness to Muppets to adult conversation, it was perfect.