Friday, February 28, 2014

Cooper: Week 27


Going through the car wash.
Verrrrry entertaining.

Are you surprised?!
Okay, he hasn't actually figured out what to do with the ball, but he loves hanging on the rim!

Turning his tongue sideways.
He does this CONSTANTLY.

Entertaining himself with his Valentine's Day balloon.
You read that correctly - "entertaining himself" - hallelujah!

Cooper's sweet friend sent him a precious Happy 1/2 Birthday picture!
That's one good buddy!

Rylee, sort of.
Look who finally decided to be friends!
I caught them holding hands/paws... Well, Cooper grabbed her paw, but she surprisingly didn't object. Maybe, just maybe, this is the start of their friendship. 

Showing off his new trick!
Is it just me or does he look so stinkin' adorable in this picture?
Just as cute as can be... and somewhat resembling a baby turtle...


Not being the center of Mommy's attention.
I've been trying to snap a few pictures of our house to use when we put it on the market and Cooper does not love it... Heaven forbid, I put him down and point the camera in another direction. Screaming, body arching fits tend to follow... 
You don't believe me? See evidence below.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Cooper-man has not yet mastered forward motion, but backwards...
Baby boy has mastered backwards... 
and he absolutely hates it. 
He sees something he wants, starts moving... and it gets further and further away!
So frustrating.

Running out of food.
This boy loves to eat and if the tray goes one second without food on it...
Not. Good.


My little sleepy Valentine.
Makes a Mommy's heart just melt like butter.


Day 183: Cooper's first Valentine's Day! Our little Valentine got a very cuddly puppy and the Happy Valentine's Day Mouse book from his Mommy and Daddy. He seemed to like both, but his favorite gift was most definitely the balloon from Gabby and Pops! Oh my, it was so interesting and new and fun to play with! Brandon and I were both shocked at how quickly he learned to hold the string with one hand and pull it with the other hand to get the balloon to come closer... very impressive I must admit.

Prince Charming was such a little doll on the day designated for love - he made a few special flower deliveries to all his leading ladies (unfortunately I had my hands full of flowers and the Little Prince so no pictures!). He did sleep through one delivery and in his best effort to carry in the flowers himself "rearranged" one arrangement, but it's the thought that counts so everyone was happy regardless. 

And then folks, Cooper had his first official big boy meal while happily sitting in his big boy high chair... (And the next day I learned about big boy diapers. Oh wow.) We started with some cheese... (Clearly the thought of big boy diapers didn't occur to me beforehand.)

And we weren't too sure how we felt about it... but, oh boy, did he want to try Mommy and Daddy's food! So we were nice and shared our Valentine's Day dinner - crab legs. Probably not your typical first meal, but hey why not?!

Baby boy was in Heaven! 
Turns out, despite the fact that he looks like his daddy's clone, he is my child after all! 
Cooper and Mommy LOVE crab legs!
Brandon and I could barely get them cracked and peeled fast enough... 
and if he had to wait, oh the screaming that occurred!

He ate...

And ate...

And when he finally got full. He was VERY proud of himself.
First meal = success!

Day 184: Momma had to run a quick errand so Cooper went to play with his big cousin, Hayden, at the dorms. Hayden is so sweet to watch Cooper when she's not busy going to class, cheering on the Sooners, being an adorable little sorority girl, meeting with the President's Leadership Class... you know, in her five seconds of spare time. Ha! Anyway, Cooper made a few friends while he was there. Meet Cooper's first girlfriend:

Tessa. I don't know because I wasn't there but according to the reports I received, Cooper fell in love! He even snobbed Hayden when she tried to take him back because he was too busy flirting! This boy is going to be trouble... 

After finally luring Cooper out of the girls' dorms, we went to Uncle Caleb's surprise birthday party (again, no picture. Whomp whomp.) AND we celebrated Cooper's half birthday... Well, celebrated might be a slight exaggeration, but we did take his monthly pictures!

Explain to me how this happens... Foot on the tray, really?

Day 185: Lazy day - nothing exciting. Cooper ate some veggies! Broccoli and carrots - neither of which his Mommy will eat! Speaking of Mommy eating - I may never eat again because I'm so distracted by how much fun it is to watch (and take pictures of) Cooper eating. Seriously, it's so hilarious that I don't even mind the mess!

Correction: "Mess" is somewhat relative as Rylee has quickly learned where to post up for the dinner time buffet. Cooper seems to have caught on and he will hold food out, drop it on purpose and then laugh and laugh when Rylee inhales it. This could be trouble in the long term, but for now it's just one less thing I have to sweep up!

Day 186: Cooper and I had a fun lunch date with our friends, Whitney and Hallie. Whitney has been so helpful as I learn the ins and outs of mommy-hood. I am incredibly appreciative for her tips, pointers, recommendations and guidance! And adorable Hallie was great entertainment for Mr. Cooper! After we wrapped up lunch, Cooper and I ran to the grocery store and Cooper started out all perky but quickly crashed - most enjoyable, leisurely grocery shopping I've done in a lonnnnng time!

Day 187: The third Musketeer finally made his grand debut! We welcomed our new baby cousin, Creede, to this beautiful world! Cooper and I hopped in the car and headed east to meet the precious little man. Creede was absolutely perfect with his sweet little face, full head of hair and calm demeanor. He didn't make a single peep, even when Cooper somewhat slugged him in the face! We really need to work on being gentle :/


After we soaked up all the cuddles Mr. Creede could stand we went by the remodel before hopping back on the road. Boy, how things are changing! 

Cooper and Mommy had great fun seeing all the progress that Pops and his crew had made! Just a few more months and it should be move in ready! Hard to believe how quickly it's going.

Day 188: We hung out all day before heading to Norman to meet with our small group. We ended up skipping our devotion and just enjoyed watching the Olympics over a yummy dinner together! Some nights, just being with your friends is what you really need.

Day 189: We got up and took our weekly pics in the rocking chair and then just played in our jammies all day long! It was a good day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Recipe Monday: Sicilian Strawberry Slush


With these few days of lovely warm weather here in Oklahoma, I got bit by the summer bug! We pretended it was 80 degrees outside - we grilled, we drove with the windows down and I made the most wonderful summer treat, Strawberry Sicilian Slush! Let me tell you the story of this delicious little treat!

One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is a little string of five villages in Italy known as Cinque Terra. Vernazza, in particular, holds my heart. This was my second trip to the little tiny town and while I feared that it wouldn't live up to the memories I had from my first visit, the one street wonder did not disappoint! While many things about the little village had changed (it had been devastated by a mudslide a little less than two years ago), the pride of the people remained and the colorful, yet slightly less bright, buildings continued to be completely charming. 

My first Strawberry Sicilian Slush
Thanks to Rick Steve's Guidebook we found our way to the delightful cafe, Il Pirata delle 5 Terre. Oh my, it was pastry Heaven on Earth! Each morning the incredibly friendly twin brothers who own the little restaurant get up and bake fresh, melt in your mouth pastries! Brandon and I fell in love with all of their yummy treats and ate there THREE times! We quickly became known as the "Oklahomas with the bebe!" and were greeted with such kindness that we looked forward to our morning "date" with the brothers Cannoli! Each morning, we let Massimo (one of the brothers) pick what we would be eating and let me tell you, each time we were in breakfast bliss! The first day he brought me out the "Strawberry Sicilian Slush" - oh. my. goodness. It was wonderful!! I ordered it every time we stopped by! The last morning we ran up to grab a quick bite (ie: satisfy my preggo craving for the strawberry slush!) and Massimo met us at the door and told us that his brother was under the weather that morning and he had tried his best, but had run out of time to make the slush. I was heartbroken and apparently didn't hide it all that well... Massimo apologized over and over and I gave him a hard time about how I would just go all the way back to the United States and forever crave the strawberry goodness. So, bless his sweet heart, he told me how to make it! He started rattling off the recipe and I whipped my phone out and started taking notes... Below, is the famous recipe straight from Vernazza, Italy! It is the perfect warm weather treat! I hope you enjoy - Buon appetito!

What you need:
The slush...
4 1/2 C Water
5 C Strawberries 
1 C Sugar
The juice of an orange and lemon 

The insanely delicious whipped cream...
1 Quart Whipping Cream
1 C Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

An ice cream maker! I have this Cuisinart one and LOVE it!

How many get to eat: 8 very happy eaters!

What you do:

1. Wash, hull and half the strawberries... throw them in the blender!

2. Toss the cup of sugar in the blender...

3. Squeeze every last drop of juice out of the lemon and the orange... Pour that into the blender (and toss in some of the pulp if you want for a little extra zest!)

4. Finally add the water...

5. Blend!! It's best with strawberry chunks so don't over blend!

6. Finally, pour it into your ice cream maker and let it spin until it is thick and chunky! Think thick slushy texture. While the slush is freezing, whip together the whipped cream (see what I did there?!)

7. Pour the quart of whipping cream into the mixer...

8. Add the cup of sugar...

9. Top it off with a teaspoon of vanilla... 

10. Beat until thick and creamy! This will take quite some time, but don't turn it on and forget about it completely or your whipped cream will turn into rock hard butter and you'll be very, very sad.

FINALLY, pour in the slush, liberally apply the cream and enjoy this delicious taste of Italy! And if you ever visit Vernazza, stop by for a pastry with sweet Massimo and tell him hi for me!

Be Blessed,