Sunday, December 2, 2012


I have wanted to update this blog many times over the last 2 months but you know how it is with a new baby. Busy, busy, busy! And crazy, crazy, crazy.  This is what it's like with a newborn:
  • I once realized, on the way to pick Nate up from preschool, that I had forgotten to brush my teeth that morning.  Altoid Mints in the glove compartment = brushing your teeth.  Yes or no??
  • I'm starting to think that my hair actually looks good when it hasn't been washed for 4 or so days.  Yes or no??
  •  I now know that Little House on the Prairie and I Love Lucy are on at 4am.
You get the picture.  Anyway, here's a quick recap in photos of what's been happening with us since Chelsea moved in:

Lee and Chelsea back in October.  
Love her Elvis snarl. 

 A happy boy with his new swing set.

 Chelsea slept through her first Halloween 
(that's a baby orange...cute!)

 One cool baseball player and his little sis
 get ready to go trick-or-treating.

 Lobster club sandwich -- yumo!!  
Our 7th anniversary lunch date...

 Somebody finally realized that bike riding is super fun.

 Live a little -- eat a quesadilla with chopsticks.

Chelsea's sorority pose.  
She often sleeps with one hand tucked under her chin.

 Girlfriend is large and in charge.
She wears 3-6 month clothes at 7 weeks.

Played around with my camera after this weekend's rain storm.

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Now, on to Christmas....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Miss Chelsea Walker Cook
Born October 9, 2012; 7:29 a.m.
9 lbs. 5 oz.
21.5 inches

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Twiddling My Thumbs

My due date is tomorrow and Little Miss Cook is taking her sweet time in making her debut.  I honestly never imagined my pregnancy would last this long since Nate arrived early.  But here I am, week 40.  Gotta say -- not a big fan of the last 3 weeks.  Now I understand the "the last trimester is a killer" comments. 

Here's what we've been up to while we've been waiting:

Nate practicing being a big brother (the role of little sis is played by Ruby the Bear). He was a little rough with sis/Ruby so we'll have to work on what "gentle" means.  Oy vey.

 Finally hung up some artwork in Baby Girl's corner of our bedroom.  These illustrations came from an old book I bought at the Salvation Army.  Gotta love 2 bucks for pretty pictures.  The book was fairly damaged on the spine so I tore out the pages I liked and glued them on foam California you don't put anything heavy above a baby's crib (earthquakes!!).

This is how I know that 40 weeks have flown by....I'm constantly refilling my weekly pill box with prenatal vitamins.  I take 4 prenatals and 2 vitamin D pills a day.  Plus Levoxyl for my thyroid condition.  Then the doc decided to add this to the mix ---

That's an iron supplement.  I take 2 of those a day.  And I have to be careful when I take it so that the absorption isn't affected (not with dairy, not with antacids, not with the Levoxyl, etc).  Having so many pills to take has made my head spin.  I'm constantly asking myself "wait, did I already take my iron?"  So it finally dawned on me to quickly write the date on each pill backing. That's my tip to you. It has helped my foggy memory tremendously.

Got started on my Christmas quilt and sewed all 40 of my blocks.  Now I just need to sew the blocks together.  Not sure when that's gonna happen.  I'd really love to get this quilt done before this Christmas.  Isn't that chevron print the best?  I'm in love with these fabrics!

 I found this little dress on a doll that I had as a kid.  I'm going to try putting it on Baby Girl. 

When there was a slight twinge of Autumn in the air last Friday, Nate and I made gingerbread cookies.  He picked out the cookie cutters from my collection: a pumpkin, a heart, the #s 2, 3, 4 and 8.  He was a really big helper and did a great job using the cookie cutters.  I was so proud of him -- and a little sad that he's growing up so fast.  I see plenty of baking days together in our future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

4th Birthday Interview

I'm a little late (okay, a lot late) in posting this but I wanted to have it written down somewhere:

Nate's 4th Birthday Interview
Nate replies to my questions

Favorite color:  light pink and dark pink; light red and dark red

Favorite toy: Alphie (also said it's his favorite robot)

Favorite fruit:  pineapple

Favorite TV show:  Octonauts

Favorite thing to eat for lunch:  fish sticks

Favorite game:  soccer; Uno

Favorite snack:  graham crackers and juice

Favorite animal:  elephant

Favorite song:  Cool, Cool Summer (Vacation Bible School song)

Favorite book:  Henry in Love

Best friend:  mommy (I swear, I didn't prompt him to say that!)

Favorite thing to do outside:  play with my slide

Favorite drink:  orange juice

Favorite holiday:  Christmas

Favorite thing to do with Mommy:  share my toys

Favorite thing to do with Daddy:  helping me clean up (what?!?)

Like to take to bed with you at night:  Buzz Lightyear

Favorite thing to eat for breakfast:  pancakes

What do you want to be when you grow up?  said the following very quickly "When I'm 5, I'll go to Uncle Eric's; drive in my own car; when I'm an adult, I'll fly a rocket ship to outer space (100 planets I need to go to); I'll be a big boy and maybe I'll get to climb a ladder."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

If I Wrote a Pregnancy Manual....

it would have one chapter and it would go like this:

If you're having a baby during the summer months, kiss up to friends who have swimming pools.  Submerging your swollen body in cool, cool water will be blissful. It's the only time you'll feel like your old self.  Until your {ugly} maternity bathing suit stops fitting and then you'll have to find a new diversion -- like chocolate.
The end.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Quilt Revealed

This 33 inch, square quilt was created with a charm pack line called Calico Candies by Michele D'Amore.  I thought the colors and old-fashioned prints would stand the test of time and were dainty and charming.  The border is yardage from the same fabric line.  I didn't take a photo of the back because it's yellow flannel -- nothing too special.  

I followed a baby quilt tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company (Love Jenny Doan!) that was really easy.  Once I finished the quilt top, it sat in the closet for quite a while so that I could think about how to finish it up.  I toyed with having someone else do the quilting for me in a swirly/stippled pattern.  I toyed with learning how to free-motion quilt myself I spent a lot of time on the Internet researching and learning.  Eventually, I decided to handle it myself and go for a linear, modern look.  I bought a walking foot on eBay and gave it a go -- straight line quilting is fun but hard work and time consuming!  Then came the hardest part -- binding.  My binding is pretty messed up, I'll admit.  I tried a machine binding technique that may have been above my head; my corners look pretty lousy.  But the whole process from start to finish was meant to help me learn about quilting....and have something cute to pass onto Baby Girl.

So, will I make another quilt?  Funny, you should ask.  Last week I purchased a layer cake of Christmas fabric (see here).  I've always wanted to make a Christmas quilt that we could snuggle under as a family during the Christmas season (Yeah, we don't really have cold weather in Los Angeles for TRUE snuggling but it's a nice tradition just the same).  It'll probably be about the size of a lap quilt; I don't think I'll ever had the patience or skill for a large quilt.  Baby quilts, wall hangings, and table runners are perfect for someone like me with a short attention span.  I'd start working on it now, but oops, I'm having a baby soon.  Guess I'll begin working on it during late night feedings?? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It All Started with a Dollar

This story has a brief timeline that goes a little like this:

Lee brings home a few random books for me from the church rummage sale.

I read one of the books in 2 days.  It's titled The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini.

I start thinking about how interesting quilts are and become fascinated by the terminology (who doesn't love a hobby with words like "charm pack, layer cake, and jelly roll"???)

I find out I'm pregnant.

I discover via Amazon that there are twenty books in this quilting series.

I continue reading the series and am now up to book #10.

I spend 24 hours on bed rest due to some genetic tests and look up "how to quilt" videos on Youtube.

Via Youtube, I discover the wonderful tutorials from Missouri Star Quilting Company.

My mind starts to play tricks on me -- "you should make a baby quilt!" I hear over and over.

I spend weeks studying up on quilting, knowing it's a hobby that's a little out of my league.  Plus, I already have photo albums, scrapbooks, and a cross-stitch project to finish....don't really need to add to my "to do" list.

We find out we're having a girl.

One day later, I purchase a charm pack of girlie fabrics. 

The timeline jumps several months to this week, when -- ta da -- I finished my baby quilt. Just in time too since Little Miss Cook could come any day now.   Soooo the quilt and LMC have gestated about the same amount of time.  Interesting.  Tomorrow I will share photos of the finished product and review what I've learned about quilting.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Still Here

I know, I know. I came back to my blog in the Spring, published a few posts and then disappeared into the unknown. No real excuses,  just busy living life here in sunny So Cal. 

So in the spirit of being totally random, I'm going to summarize Summer 2012 in photos.

Made some smoke on July 4th.

Grew Sunflowers -- 3rd year in a row. 

Why heat up an already hot kitchen??

Cooled off like this until...

 this happened (we have a Panda-shaped pool now).

 Walked under the infamous rock at LACMA.

Teenager in training? That's one disgruntled face.

Nate's now 4 years old. Whaaaat???

 Enjoyed some home-grown raspberries with my cereal for a few days before the August heat killed my plant. Boo.

 Oops. Neglected to mention I look like this now.
 Baby Girl set to arrive early Oct.

Watched the Olympics. Future Michael Phelps??

The only way to beat the heat. Baby Girl likes them a lot.

That's about it for our Summer. Preschool has resumed and we're counting down the days until we meet Cook Family Member #4. Fall will be very different around here....

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nate's Journal

Nate has changed SO much in just few months. We went from having a moody preschooler for 6 months straight to having a delightful little man with a killer sense of humor and a happy disposition (with the occasional naughty behavior throw in -- nobody's perfect). I relish the time we get to spend together when he's awake and I'm home from work. We play all sorts of games together and he's using his imagination more than ever. I think his vocabulary is fairly advanced for his age but as his mom I think I'm suppose to say that. He's still bashful around other people and I wish with all my heart that others could see how personable he is when he feels at ease. 

I started a journal one year ago where I wanted to record all of the different things Nate says. My mom did that for me and I wanted to continue that tradition with Nate. Here is the journal I create and purchased via

I am soooo behind in writing in this book. My last entry was February!! I have random slips of paper stuck in it from things he's said recently. Now I just need to find the time and energy to transfer said paper into the journal. I know I've let some real *gems* slip by...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Numero Uno Dad

We've been playing a lot of this lately:

That's Uno.
We play a lot. 
Like 4-5 times a day (modified rules for a preschooler). We also play Sesame Street Crazy Eights and Memory Match. Nate is seriously a card game junkie. If he wasn't only (nearly) 4 years old I'd be concerned that I was raising a card shark. 

So with Father's Day this weekend, I got to thinking and came up with this:

That'll be the card that goes with Lee's Father's Day gift.
Getting this photo was no easy task. I got a lot of shots like this one:

Nothing's easy when it comes to kids, right??
Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Big Boy Room

Nate, my curious but extremely cautious boy, never attempted to climb out of his crib. Because of this, we kept him in his crib until he was over 3 years old. At the start of this year, we began talking  to him about his moving into a "big boy" bed (skipping the toddler bed step). He was all for it and, as we began shopping for a twin bed, I began envisioning what his room would evolve into. I wanted something simple, colorful, and fun. That's it. I think we succeeded.

I knew I wanted our college pennants somewhere in Nate's room (UCLA is mine; OBU and Princeton are for Lee) and they were suppose to be all the same size. I was originally mad at myself for accidentally ordering a small size of the OBU one but now I like the  mismatched look of everything. The framed #4 is a wooden 4 attached to this frame via velcro so I can change the number at every birthday. I'm most proud of the vintage football illustration because I pulled it out of Lee's ESPN magazine....gotta love free artwork! "Everyday I love you more" was also free from

Reading and puzzle corner -- nothing new here. Already had the bookcases and the chair is from here

I thought I was so clever buying a few shirts from the Salvation Army to create my pennant banner. Honestly, it would have been cheaper to buy a couple fat quarters of fabric. Clothing, even used, isn't cheaper. Lesson learned. Little sewing on this one -- I cut out the triangles and left the edges raw.

Nate demonstrates how he can fit inside one of the Ikea boxes under his bed. Reminds me of Flat Stanley!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Blinked And....

Nate finished up his first year of preschool today.

I don't know where the last nine months have gone.
He's changed soooo much just in the last sixty days that I don't remember my little Nater Tot from way back in September 2011.

Nate's signed up for three weeks of summer school (Monday thru Friday; morning hours only) and he seems pretty excited about it. Maybe not as excited as his mama who is super stoked to experience what it's like to have three hours alone every Monday/Wednesday/Friday during the month of June. Don't get me wrong -- I love my kid to bits but I can't wait to have some time to accomplish a few tasks SOLO. Like cleaning out cupboards, yard work and re-staining our outdoor bistro table. You know, fun stuff like that.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hit the Road, Jack

We took a very, very, very small road trip this weekend. 

Lee cranked up the iPod, Nate had a stack of books in the backseat, and off we went for the 1 hour drive east to Rancho Cucamonga (don't be jealous). 

We wanted Nate to experience his first baseball game this year and rather subject him (and us) to the insanity of Dodger Stadium, we decided to head East to see our favorite minor league team, The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. When planning this outing, we thought it might be fun to spend the night in a hotel in RC since Nate has never slept in a hotel before. Then the next morning, we'd visit Victoria Gardens for some major {window} shopping, including a stop at the Bass Pro Shop for Lee. That was the plan, anyway. So how did it go? Take a look:

Nate getting down to business after we arrive at our hotel room

Changed our plans & visited Bass Pro first. Nate was a wild man after sitting in the car for over an hour. Lee looked pretty tense and had a "I can't believe this is my only 2012 vacation" look on his face during Nate's antics.

Merry Christmas, Nate's Gramma. 
Hope you enjoy this remote controlled rat. 
Note the description: "creepy scurrying action."

Nothing says feminine sweetness like a 3-month old camo dress. 

Nate was not a fan of Daddy's target practice. 

Bass Pro Shop. Disneyland for men.

My first meal ever at a Chick-fil-a. 
Now I can cross that off my list of "to dos."

Play ball! Our awesome seats were behind home plate. Did I mention our tickets cost 20 bucks total? I think that's how much they charge for parking at Dodger Stadium. If you live in SoCal, you have to see the Quakes. It's a fun, family-friendly experience.

My boys.

Nate chats with Tremor, the team mascot. 
Tremor playfully grabbed Nate's head with both of his hands and I think Nate added Tremor to his Enemy List at that exact moment.

This is what I look like after 4 hours of sleep....ugh, gross. Bad hotel experience (I won't bore you with details). Anyway, my first visit to a Hobby Lobby saved the trip for me. ANOTHER place crossed off my "to do" list. 

That's the trip, in a nutshell. We drove thru Victoria Gardens this morning after breakfast and Hobby Lobby, & decided to nix the window shopping. We headed home early and had a relaxing rest of the day. Can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight!!!! (I'm a homebody, can't you tell??)