Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm not doing a very good job at writing these monthly posts in a timely manner.  November is coming up!  Oops.

The big story in October was obviously the 1st birthday of Miss Chelsea Cook.  As per tradition, we had a relatively low-key birthday party with just immediate family.  It was a warm day so we ate hamburgers outside and (thankfully) Chelsea made a mess of her cake outside too.  

Halloween was not our typically Autumn holiday this year.  We did attend a fun Halloween carnival at Nate's school and did other Halloween type things but for the actual holiday, we were in Las Vegas!  I know, I know.  Not exactly what you'd think of for a kid-centered holiday.  But we made it as family-friendly as possible with our friends and their kids (a total of 6 under 5 1/2 years old). The trip was less about the location and more about us all being together at a resort where we could entertain the kids in the pool. Too bad the water was on the chilly side! 

Party clothes for the birthday girl.

Spice cake with pale pink buttercream frosting.  I was trying to be creative with the design and it turned out kinda weird.  I do like my Lisa Leonard "Happy Birthday" pewter decoration.  It'll be a new tradition for family birthdays.

Present time.

This was Chelsea's first time having something truly sugary and I wasn't sure if she'd like it (she doesn't like fruit.  Go figure).  Anyway, I was going to give her a small portion but everyone encourage me to give her a bigger piece.  Girlfriend went bonkers for that cake!  She ate the entire piece that was bigger than any other piece I served the adults.  It went all over her clothes as you can see.  We had to hose off her chair and change her clothes.   Flies kept landing on her cake-covered hands.  It was pretty gross.

Chelsea and Grandpa play with her new toys

Chelsea is a little afraid of tall Uncle Eric.  Nate was too.  He got over it.

One of the school projects this year is that each child gets to bring home Corduroy for the weekend (the plush bear from the Don Freeman classic book of the same name).  Nate was SO excited when it was his turn.  Corduroy watched a Dodgers playoff game, went to Home Depot and Griffith Park, and helped us plant some lettuce in our garden.  The collage above was what we added to the binder that was returned to school after the weekend and Nate had to give a brief "talk" to the class about his time with Corduroy.

A few weeks after I washed her birthday outfit (thank you Tide Spray!  You performed a miracle), I put it back on Chelsea for a little birthday photo shoot.  She wasn't particularly cooperative and I couldn't find a decent background with adequate lighting so this is what I got.  Not bad.

Knight Nate dressed up for the school Halloween carnival

 Nate played every game they had.  It was fun to see him interested in that part of it.

All packed and ready for the 4-hour drive to Vegas.  We rented a crib for Chelsea when we got there.  That saved us a lot of space!

And inside the car, Nate is all ready for a movie marathon.  I seriously think this is his favorite part of traveling.  Poor Chelsea gets stuck being bored for 4 hours.  She slept about 20 minutes on the way there -- she is not a car sleeper.

Woo hoo, we made it!

Swimming in the lazy river with Daddy.  Would have been perfect if it had been about 10 degrees warmer outside.

Because Nate is interested in Egypt and King Tut, we visited the Luxor hotel.

At The Bass Pro Shop, the Cook men compared facial hair with the Robertson Clan.

Family photo at Bass Pro Shop.  This was our last stop before we headed back home.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I love to take similar photos of my kiddos and compare them side-by-side.  Check this out:

 Nate and Chelsea at about 1 year, wearing the same shirt. 

We loved these PJs that had cassette tapes on them.  It was a keeper so almost 5 years later, we put it on Chelsea and plopped her onto the top of the washing machine (new washer).  She's a wanderer so we had to keep a hand on her back. 

I took a picture of Nate watching Obama's first inauguration and then, of course, had to get a picture of Chelsea watching a presidential speech.  It was just a way to capture history in my kid's lives...

Self-portrait with a baby in a sling via the bathroom mirror.  Classy.