Friday, June 29, 2007

Foreman Cooper Expands Territory

At my in-law's house is a small storage area for their business -- Westland Bath-- and an absolute mecca of curiosity for Cooper. Here's one of my favorite photos:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

If You Love It, Lick It!

Mason loved swinging at Park Hill SO much that he licked the swing in appreciation:

Coop and MayMay:



Pure joy:

Cooper is thinking, "Bad idea! Bad idea!"

Mason is thinking, "This rocks, let's do this until I'm 13."

More pics of Mason in love with swings:

The following series of photos shows how much fun I had freaking Cooper out. He was so worried about us that he could not even have fun. Why the worry, I took my hand off the swing's chain and tried to hold the camera out for photos. The entire 2.4 seconds I did this Cooper yelled, "Hang on, Mommy!" Too fun, why do I like to torture him so?

PS -- For those of you concerned that I look like I have the WVC claw... not really, yes I do know how to use my flatiron... but swings didn't cooperate.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dear Crew, May We Recommend the Playroom

We realize that you'll have lots of grandma fun when you're in I.F. I'm sure you'll have fun going back and forth between Grandma V's and Grandma GoGo's. But when you make it to Grandma GoGo's, we think you'll love the under the stairs playroom. We do!
Coop and Mason

9 month WC

We'll attach photos in a couple hours. But wanted to let you all know that Mas had his WC physical this morning. He's hanging in there in the 10 percentile on weight... just cleared 17 pounds! The doc is officially placing him on the high fat diet -- yogurt, shredded meats, and lots of formula bottles. But he's developing just fine. He's up on all fours now and easily transitions from tummy to sitting to pulling himself up to stand next to everything from the steps to the ottoman. Time for gates!

Maylin Tribute: We love her

Well, we just read the post on the Hill site recounting some of the things they love about their new sister. We love her, too. Here are some pictures showing some fun times when we saw her this past summer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sacked Out

When the boys were traveling they slept in the darndest places. Here's an array of their various beds:

Keep On Truckin'

What Mason thought of getting his grub from Uncle Trent...

(PS -- Mason actually really likes Trent. But at this particular moment was having a bit of a meltdown.)

Moving day: Grandpa B. lets Cooper ride in the BIG truck. Was perhaps the highlight of his trip.

Did I mention it was a BIG truck?

Here Cooper sits with his girlfriend. Honest to goodness, was in love. They are sitting in a tractor that was parked in the Grand Teton Mall. My mall usually has BMWs or Mercedes parked in it. But the GTM was in favor of farm equipment. It's all good.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Where's Gwammaw?

Sadly, Grandma GoGo had to fly home today. Cooper got so excited about driving out to the airport to see the planes, however, that he fell asleep and missed saying his farewells. When he woke up, two houses away from home, he said, "Where's gwammaw?" Upon hearing the answer, cried miserably. Thus ensued a lengthy explanation including points highlighted below:

Mom: Did you miss your mommy when she was gone?
Coop: Yeeeaaes.

Mom: Grandma gogo is a mommy too.
Coo: Raised eyebrows.

Mom: Her baby is Uncle Andrew. And he misses her, so she had to go home.
Coop: More raised eyebrows and an oh, OK.

So, in tribute to Uncle Andrew who let us share his mommy this week... here are some photos from his recent BIG DAY.

Really exciting stuff:

Pre-open the envelope jitters:

Cooper combed his hair for the occasion:

Ack, the moment is here:

Actually captures the moment Andrew stutters out Costa Rica:

Sunday, June 24, 2007

No Talkie, Lots of Walkie

Yesterday I ventured on my own into Austin and tried to see as much as possible. I first boogied over to a darling specialty children's shop.
Then I motored though Austin to the LBJ museum and library. Very fabulous. Shed a few tears, then moved on to the Zilker Botanical Garden.
The vow of silence: I get it. During my stroll through the gardens I spoke to no one and no one spoke to me. This was a good two hours. As I carefully picked my way through the Oriental garden (my favorite) I could feel my heart rate slow down and my breathing become deliberate and measured. It was very meditative. I loved the gigantic koi fish. Also, I think I know the origin of using a heart to symbolize love. I observed two dragonflies connected ... Shall we say matrimony ... And the shape their bodies made together was a perfect Valentine's heart.
The dragonflies were all colors... Some purple-blue and others a bright tomato red, only better. The red ones were the thickness of my pinkie but at least 3 inches long.
I do think I got a few bug bites in the park.
After my immersion in nature, I drove over to the historic Hyde Park area of Austin. (I took a very circuitous route so that I could see some fabulous neighborhoods.)
On the edge of the neighbrhood is a stone, castle-like structure that belonged to the sculptor Elisabet Ney. She was truly amazing! The studio is still used to store all the works from her collection (that are not in the capitol building or on people's graves) and houses a museum. I shimmied up a spiral, metal staircase that was so narrow I had to slide in sideways and then couldn't raise my legs but had to stand on tip toe to get from step to step. Needless to say, I wouldn't have been able to take Mason in the baby bjorn with me. I also couldn't have gotten the stroller in the front door!
Then I drove back to the UT campus to see the Harry Ransom Center. That museum has two Gutenburg bibles on display. They also had a 1920s exhibit with Dorthea Lange photos, Steiger photos, first-edition books from the era, even sheet music from the period. It was very nice -- and free. Then I zoomed over to the Neil-Ochran house, which was built by Adner Cook. The TX governor's mansion was built by him, too. It looks very similar and was built from the same plan. The really great thing about that museum is that the docent gave me a special tour (no one else was there) that was more than 1 hour long. I learned so much about TX. Today, however, I'm all filled up! Ready to go home.
We've already checked out. Just need to catch our plane.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Two-Step at the Broken Spoke

I've taken a spin around around a country-western dance floor in my day. When the local acquaintances hosting us this week asked to go to a well-known country bar and dance hall last night , I didn't expect to see anything new. Oh, wait, I'm in TEXAS.
The no. 1 thing I would have loved to see is my brother Adam try to stand up in this place. The history of the architecture of this place is the owners opened a small room on the edge of town decades ago (the pictures of willie n. Had no wrinkles). As they grew -- and the town up around them -- they added on lean-to style, over and over, again. The place looked to have the engineering stability of a 4th graders fort!
The ceilings were all very low and in the room with all the pictures my head skimmed on the ceiling panels (I'm only 5' 8")! The whole place smelled like my grandpa's barn.

The Broken Spoke -- apt named -- had a live performer/band, a small restaurant (about the size of my front room), a bar (about the size of my master closet), a "tourist trap" filled with pictures of famous cw singers (smaller than the bar), and a dance floor with seating.
The dance floor was very long and biggish... Maybe 20'x50'. Then two levels of aisles of picnic tables that encircled the entire floor (with a little stage at the front for the band).
My handsome Steve got asked to dance the minute we walked in the door! (I was so proud.) I took a few spins, as well. And then I saw them...
There was a young couple that was dancing -- and they were truly talented. I've never seen such good dancers. After watching them for a couple of hours I had to introduce myself and tell them how much I enjoyed watching them dance. They acted flattered but a little bit like, "where ya'll from, new york city!?!?" The young man offered to take me around for a quick lesson, but I am so bad I just couldn'taccept.
I feel like we got to see something authentically Texan. (Not just the good dancers, but the bad ones, too.) The very cutest thing about the place was a hand written sign above one of the doorways/steps down onto the dance floor that said, "duck, honey!"

Friday, June 22, 2007

Getting My Kid Fix

I miss my kiddos so much. Today I shopped for them to find them something authentically Austin. Now I'm hanging at the pool and watching all the crazy, obnoxious kids and babies playing in the water. (Mind you... None of these kids are nearly as cute as my own boys.)
I got to drive a seriously cool, speedy BMW convertible. It was a sassy little two-seater with red leather interior. Much hotter ride than the 750 I took out yesterday. I actually felt hotter! Now I understand the mid-life crises sports car purchase. Silly-silly.
Coop, Mas:
Love you and miss you terribly!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Night at Eddie V's

Dear Cooper and Mason,
I had a very exciting dinner tonight in which I saw first-hand why living in TX is kinda yucky. Daddy and I went to dinner at a fairly fancy restaurant in downtown Austin. While we were eating our salads the couple sitting next to our table started to get skittish and jumped up and pointed to the cieling.
What do you think was up there?
A cockroach! A huge, huge cockroach! So nasty. It was crawling across the ceiling and stopped directly over daddy's head.
I couldn't stand it anymore, so I got up from the table. Eventually the big 'ol bug made its way into the crown moulding. Dad kept his cool through the whole scene. But mommy was creeped out.
Now, what's this I hear about you staying up past your bedtimes? Don't give grandma a hard time. Be good boys!
Love you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Day at Park Hill

Cooper liked to call his Great Aunt Laurel's house the park. She lives on an acre -- a rare thing in Colorado -- and he was delighted.

This picture is really bad, but it shows the strawberry that we found that we affectionately called the Christmas Stocking Strawberry. It was literally shaped like a boot or stocking.