Friday, July 31, 2009

Road Trip: Day Two

After Naples, we headed up to Tampa with a few stops along the way. Of course we visited a museum (because we get free to many museums across the country with our membership at SBMNH), we ate some lunch and made our way to the lovely shore in Sarasota. I wish we had spent more time in Sarasota, but such is the quickie road trip.

Day Two Stats
Start and stop: Naples to Tampa
Distance: 189 miles
Sites Visited: Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium, Hardee's, Turtle Beach in Sarasota
High Points: The beach was gorgeous and nearly deserted. Also, the science center was super fun and interesting with many enticing exhibits on various topics.
Low Points: After much anticipation of Hardee's, it wasn't what we hoped for. Even though it's really Carl's Jr., it really isn't. Also, the bed still isn't working for Stellan. To make matters worse, he's not napping, not even in the car. This is getting a bit ugly.
Lemonade From Lemons Moment: Stellan really liked one particular exhibit with balls a lot. I mean a lot. He refused to leave it, no matter how we tried to entice him to pet the sharks or play virtual soccer. But we quickly realized that meant he wasn't going anywhere and one parent could handle him easily. So we took turns visiting the rest of the exhibits at our own pace, a luxury not many parents of toddlers are afforded.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Road Trip: Day One

We decided to take advantage of Kevin's somewhat slow schedule at school to see a little more of Florida. So we hopped in the car with a plan to cross Florida to the southwest coast, go up the west coast, cross back again and come back down the east coast.

Day One Stats
Start and stop: Dania Beach to Naples
Distance: 109 miles
Sites Visited: Naples Zoo
High Points: The receptionist at the Inn at Naples greeted Kevin by name
Low Points: It turns out Cheeseburger Cheeseburger no longer exists. Trust us, we looked. Also, Stellan's bed debut (he's still in his spacious crib at home) didn't go so well.
Lemonade From Lemons Moment: When we couldn't find the aforementioned burger joint, we got some really yummy pizza at Aurelio's.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It May Be Time...

It may be time to lower the thermostat when you notice the soap in the bathroom is melting. So much for my masochistic tendency to pretend 84 degrees is "cool."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Martha Stewart, Eat Your Heart Out

If you came to our house, you might notice Stellan's awesome booster seat. You might ask, "Where did you find such a great Elmo booster seat?"

And I might respond, "Oh, it's cooler than that. It also has Lightning McQueen." And if you took a closer look at the side, you might observe what looks like the binding of a phone book.
Yup, I duct taped our phone book (who needs a hard copy in this day and age?) into a booster seat. Don't ask me to crochet anything, and please don't even use the word decoupage around me; I'm not a crafty person, at least in the conventional sense of the word. But duct tape? Stuff from the recycle bin? Now you're talking my language.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wabbit Season

This is a portrait of my Auntie Beeb, taken during a video chat last week. My dear sweet aunt has a very green thumb, and her house is surrounded by an orchard full of yummy fruits, vegetables and herbs. In fact, I'm really looking forward to enjoying some of the literal fruits of her labor when Stellan and I are in Cali next month.
During a recent Skype session, she mentioned she and my Uncle Bob were having issues with rabbits in the garden. When I asked how she was dealing with the rabbits, well, the picture will save me a thousand words or so. Sorry, little bunnies; Auntie Beeb is on the prowl.

P.S. Her name isn't really Beeb, that's just her family nickname. She wishes her real name to remain unknown and has insisted I blur her face out, as she would like to avoid anyone in the "real" world finding out about her nefarious plans for all members of the leporidan family residing in or near her home. Or maybe it's just the bathrobe.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cemetary Seminary

I'll be teaching seminary* in the fall.

Before you gasp, grab me by the shoulders and try to shake the crazies out of me, let me explain. I'm only teaching for the first semester (since we're not sure we'll still be here by the second), and I'm team teaching with my good friend Riki. So I'm really only teaching about 9 weeks of seminary. I've subbed more than that in a year. Multiple times.
Also, I'm really excited. I love seminary. I had perfect attendance (not the faker kind where you make up a bunch of days at the end of the year, but the actual "I honestly got out of bed at 5:45 AM every single school day") for all four years of seminary. I had great teachers that inspired me. And I have really enjoyed subbing seminary in the past. Plus, now I'm not working as an astronomer anymore, so the 5:30 start time should feel a little easier. I hope.
And before you wish me luck, think instead about wishing my students luck; they're the ones who I'm going to force into singing hymns in the wee hours of the morning and annoy with my generally chipper teaching style. They have no idea what they're in for.

*Seminary is an early morning scripture study class for LDS high school students. Yup, they seriously get teenagers to show up at church at 5:30 in the morning and participate in lively discussions about religion and faith.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dante's Birthday Party

Stellan got invited to his first birthday party, in honor of his buddy Dante's 3rd birthday. Stellan is very fond of Dante and asks me to take him to Dante's house about every single day. The party was held at Dave and Buster's, which is like Chuck E. Cheese for kids and grown-ups alike. I wasn't sure how Stellan would respond to all the lights, games and craziness; but true to form, he decided the best part of the party was Dante himself. He had fun playing air hockey and a Jurassic Park arcade game with Dante, and also had a great time running around the party room reserved for the occasion with the rest of the pack of wild kids.
Happy birthday, Dante!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2 Years Old

My baby is two years old. I can't believe it. I just put him to bed, and I'm so pleased to see what amazing and sweet kid he can be. We were eating some watermelon sorbet (which he helped me make), reading some books and singing along with some of them as we cuddled on the couch. Although tonight was more perfect than many other nights, this is the kind of night I want to remember. As I put him to bed, I held on to him extra long because I know when he wakes up, he'll be even older and bigger. He kissed me goodnight and smiled that sweet Stellan smile at me. He's two. Wow.
But now for details on the big day. Stellan was lucky enough to get a lot of awesome presents, but one required some assembly, so we put it together the night before and left it in the living room for him to discover in the morning when he woke up. It was a pretty big hit.

Stellan's Birthday from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Once we woke up (ourselves and our neighbors), we celebrated his birthday by going to his favorite museum - in Florida, that is - with Elsa and Elsa's mom and baby brother. Elsa's mom even made Stellan a cake, a banner and blew up a whole bunch of balloons. (She did more for Stellan's birthday than I did - I feel a little like a slacker.)
After the museum, lunch at Elsa's and nap, we had hot dogs for dinner as planned and lit some fireworks. Stellan knows the fireworks drill by now; he grabs his Lightning McQueen lawn chair and his adventure hat (in order to prevent ash falling in his eyes) and goes to the driveway, a safe distance from the launch site.
We came inside and opened presents. Stellan was so excited for all his new clothes, toys and books. We also got to Skype all his grandparents, which is quite a feat for such a busy night and such a great group of enthusiastic fans/grandparents.
And there you have it, the deeds of the day when Stellan turned two. He is such a funny, sweet kid. Whenever you read this, Stellan, remember how much we love you every day, not just on your birthday!

P.S. A birthday shout-out to Stellan's birthday buddy (and my good friend) Leigh!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Party Never Stops

We're in the middle of the Cook family's special time of the year. First is the 4th of July, which we enjoyed quite a bit. Did I mention fireworks are legal in Florida? Because they are. And we've taken full advantage.
Next is our anniversary on the 5th. Yeah for seven years and counting! (Not much to report, we laid low after a very busy 4th; we're choosing to celebrate it when we go to see the new Harry Potter movie.)
Today is the day we get ready for tomorrow, Stellan's birthday. I'm sure there will be much more to report after the "big" event, but for now I'll tell you that we don't have much planned. He'll get to open all the presents and cards that have been arriving by the truckload from many of the people who will read this, we'll try to do something he likes during the day and we'll stick a candle in his favorite meal at dinner, hot dogs.
At one time I thought it would be terrible to have all this good stuff so close together, but now that we're here, it's not. It's really fun to have a reason to light fireworks every day for 4 days in a row. (We use today as a practice day so we don't get rusty in between events.) And it's really fun to have so many reasons to celebrate each other and why we're so glad we're a family.
So check back soon, we'll have fun pictures and moments of gushing pride that our baby boy is two years old.