Friday, March 31, 2017

Cooper Update

It is Friday.  Thank God. 

This past week brought academic kudos for both my boys.  Chip received academic recognition for having over a 4.0 his freshman year and Harry made the Dean's List.  You think you couldn't be more proud and then you are.  

Pollen is everywhere. 

Cooper is also everywhere.  

Here are some photos. 


Saying "Good Morning" to Amy.  What a way to wake up! 


A little off leash recall work.  This guy will do anything for a treat. 


Long walk.


Cute picture.


Cooper's friend Tibi.  
They are exactly the same age and size and have had two romping puppy play dates.  I think they are going to be fast friends! 


Handsome boy. 


Buddies.


He is still a jerk. 

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Watch the boy fly when I call his name.  He skids in front of me and sits pretty for a treat.   If you are reading this in the blog post delivered to your email, the video may not play.  You can visit the actual website and it works great!  

He has mastered "Speak".  It literally took ten minutes in one afternoon and sixteen treats and now he has it.  Now, I am working on "Quiet" because he barks hard when he wants attention in the house.  No bueno. 

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Birthday, Harry!

My baby boy turned twenty one today!  I can't believe that sweet baby we walked out of the hospital with all those years ago has not only survived but thrived for twenty-one years!  I was so thrilled to be a mom, but made plenty of mistakes along the way.  One thing I did right?  I poured as much love on that kid as he could stand.  I guess love can conquer all.

I love this kid with every fiber of my being.  I have a lot of fibers, too!











We sent him a birthday box full of his favorite things...goldfish and money!  
And the balloon stayed inflated!  Hooray!   



Harry, you are honestly one of my most favorite people on the planet.  You showed me the most pure kind of love...joy so big that it is a little bit of heaven on earth.   You make me feel all the big feelings.  You make me laugh.  You make me want to be a better person.  You make me proud.

I hope the year ahead is filled with big adventures, excitement, smiles, laughter, fun, more laughter and maybe a few thousand spectacular moments that stop in your tracks and make you thank God for your blessed and beautiful life.  

I love you! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Break and Cooper Update

Spring Break has come and gone and now we are full steam ahead toward summer.  We had a great visit to Phoenix, made especially delightful by having both my boys to hang out with.   It is just the best.  We stayed at our normal place and it was beautiful as always. 


Me and Chip before an early morning walk. 


Look at this bougainvillea!  It was stunning. 


Inside this ravine is a rabbit.  Any chance you can find it? 


We hiked up to the Hole in the Rock one morning.  See it way off in the distance at the top of that rock?  Harry was so excited about going on this adventure, he couldn't even stop for a selfie. 


Then he saw this sign and sped up even faster.  Harry does not like bees. Harry doesn't really like bugs of any kind. 


We made our way to the top, along with 50,000 of our fellow tourist.  Harry and Chip had a running commentary about how cool it was to find this secluded piece of natural rock formation to explore.  


It was so packed, we couldn't even get a picture of the hole when we made it to the top!  So many people! 


Chip made his way through the hole to get a better shot of the city.  See how secluded it is? 


Next up, we hit the zoo.  Let me tell you, it is a joy to walk through the zoo with grown children.  There were so many mommas there pushing strollers, carrying kids, chasing one kid while feeding the other, strollers were tipping over, kids were crying and arguing.  We just strolled.  Covered it all pretty quickly.  Got our money's worth and headed out.  


The next day, we hit the Musical Instrument Museum.  The boys were skeptical, but it was the #1 attraction in Phoenix on Trip Advisor so I insisted.


Lots of hands on displays.  Chip played many instruments.  He is very musical. 


Harry hit the gong.   Lots of other exhibits and so many different kinds of music represented.  

We thought the museum was well done and interesting, but we covered it in about an hour and a half unlike some people on Trip Advisor that said they could stay all day.  Again, definitely felt like we got our money's worth!  In fact, Chip walked by me on his way to the bathroom and said "I think I have seen $15 worth - I will be waiting in the hallway"  Cracked me up. 

Otherwise, we ate, shopped, swam, laughed and basically just enjoyed each other's company.  Almost every restaurant we went to had been visited by Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Triple D has canvased the Phoenix area!   Los Taquitos was a big hit.  

It is still so weird to think of Phoenix as Harry's home, but he has been there for three years now and loves it. Isn't that crazy?  Three years.  He is on track to graduate next year and we couldn't be prouder.

Cooper Update for the puppy lovers:
He did great boarding while we were in Phoenix.  They said he was well behaved and loved playing with the other dogs.  I think we paid them to lie. 

He has started accompanying me on my early morning walks with Martha, although we are cutting it a bit short because he just sits down when he can't go another step away from home.  He is still pretty frisky on the way home, so I think he might be faking it.  


I have taught him to bring in the newspaper and he thinks he is very big stuff when he makes it up the driveway and into the house.  Especially with the Sunday newspaper.  It is big and heavy - but he drags it like a boss. 


We found a puppy friend named Tibi in the neighborhood that is about Cooper's same age and size.  We met at the park this week to let them play together.  It was awesome.  They were both dirty and exhausted after an hour and I had a lovely time visiting with Tibi's mom.  Win, win. 

He is still a bit of a turd.  He barked at me 64 times today.  I counted.  Also, on our evening walk tonight he picked up a plastic fork, a gatorade bottle, a dead snake, a banana peel, and a giant branch that was about three feet long that he drug all the way home. 

Finally, this is a couple of videos of me playing hide and seek with Cooper in the backyard.  We did this routine about 15 times.  He will do anything for chicken. 

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Hope your evening is great!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Technology Trials and Cooper Update

Hello all.  Since we last visited, I made the tragic mistake of updating my old phone software to the new version and my life has gone into a tailspin of technology trials and tribulations.  Why can't anything be easy?  Just why?

Don't the smarty pants technical guys making the software updates understand that there are some phone users out there that do not understand technology?  Surely, they know the vast majority of us are not phone engineers (is that even a thing?)

My troubles include....

Cannot figure out why my phone will no longer communicate with my laptop.  I can no longer download pictures or songs just by plugging in my phone to my laptop.  Apparently, my computer thinks my phone is locked.  It is not.  The little bit of research I have been able to do makes me think that I have updated my old phone software to a version that is so new and fabulous that now my laptop software is too old to talk to it.  Seriously.  Just stop.  Just leave everything the exact same, please.

Also, it is now challenging for me to attach pictures to texts.  The update has a new format and I am just not sure what in the heck I am doing.  I feel like I am attaching my whole photo library to a text and heaven knows...no one wants to see all that mess.

I used to swipe to open...now I press the home key.  Small difference, but why?  Just why?

Anyway....technology challenges aside, let me catch you up on some family business.

  • Hubby has been traveling quite a bit for work.  He is currently in Florida - for pleasure - not business.  He is enjoying some Boston Red Sox Spring Training games with Harry.  I know they will have a great time.   
  • Speaking of Harry....he landed a summer internship with the Eau Claire Express in Eau Claire Wisconsin.  He will be working in their media relations department.  He is very excited about the opportunity and will be living and breathing baseball, May through August, which is a perfect summer in his mind.  I am certain we will visit him several times, so if anyone knows of something fun to do in Eau Claire, let me know! 
  • Chip has a 24 hour EEG in his near future to see how his epilepsy is responding to his current medication.  He will be fifteen years old in May and should be taking his driver's permit test and starting his practice driving.  Before he gets the green light to do those things, the neurologist has to test his brain activity and provide the results to the state.  The state will make a determination on whether he is safe to be a driver.  As usual, we can't see any seizure activity in his normal day to day activity, but the EEG will give us the real story.  Prayers appreciated that he has perfect results and can get on with all impending teenage activities! 
  • I have been watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.  If you like to bake it is very entertaining.  It also inspired me to make some bread sticks last night.  They were great.  There was some leftover dough after the bread sticks were formed and we did not want it to go to waste.  So, Chip and I used it to throw all over the kitchen playing various games like one hand only, throw it like a disc, catch it by impaling it on a knife, we practiced kneading techniques like slamming it into the counter.  It certainly doesn't take much to entertain us.

    Cooper Update:

    He gets his own section because there is much to report.  Cooper had a visit to the vet bright and early this morning for the last of his shots.  He is four months old and 23.4 pounds. Still kind of a nightmare, but getting better.  If you could have heard the howling and whining he was doing while the tech cut his toenails, you would likely not be surprised.  She came back into the room with him and I said "It's nice that he is so laid back and relaxed, isn't it?"  Her hair was disheveled and she may have been sweating.  She got her workout in for the morning.  When the vet came in to examine him, I told her I thought he was starving, because he is ALWAYS trolling for food in the house and in the yard.  She agreed he is in a growth spurt and we could increase his food.  Hopefully, that will help him relax a little.  The vet said she thought he might originally max out at 50 pounds, but things based on his five pound pickup in two weeks that he might be north of 50 pounds and more like 70 pounds when he is an adult.  Hard to tell with pound puppies.

    The snuffle mat I made was a huge success.  He loves it and I hide kibble in it every day for him.  He vacuums up every morsel as soon as he finds it.  Here is a video of him and that awesome nose.


    Other awesome activities he does on the daily....chews this squeaky toy to death.  
    Not annoying at all. 

      

    Here are the looks I get when he rolls over on his back and is trying to decide if he might need to try to bite me or not.  The more I say "Be nice.  No biting."  the bigger his eyes get. 





    Psycho dog. 

    He is rarely relaxed.  If he is awake, he is on 100% power!  In fact, at puppy school last Saturday the instructor had put a bunch of props in the middle of the room...a tunnel, an open suitcase, a skateboard, a hula hoop, a Bosu yoga half ball.  The other puppies in our group were so timid of all the new things.  Not Cooper - he was walking all over that suitcase as it wobbled from side to side, standing on the skateboard, running through the tunnel, grabbing the hula hoop.  No fear. Not one ounce.  She said...you should put him in agility classes, he isn't afraid of anything.   Then it was free time for the puppies to socialize.  All the puppies were removed from their leashes.  Cooper jumped up on the fireplace, then jumped on a plastic chair, ran through the tunnel, got his head stuck in a gate, tried to play with all the other puppies who either growled at him or just laid by their owners feet completely uninterested in exploring the area or engaging with my wild heathen.  Cooper was sad for a moment and then picked up the hula hoop and ran around the room with it.

    Does he make anyone else tired just reading this?  

    Then on the way home, he threw up in the car.  What a gem. 

    Then he slept hard.  


    He is learning how to play fetch.  He loves it....until he doesn't.  He is getting big enough to get on the furniture.  He isn't allowed on the furniture, so you can just imagine how that is going. 

    So basically, we are holding on by a thread.  Puppying is hard.  

    I am getting my hair cut and colored today.  CANNOT WAIT!  Hope your Thursday has some happiness sprinkled in with some laughs and sunshine! 

    Thursday, March 2, 2017

    Top Ten Tidbits

    How about the first ten things that come into my head:

    1.  Sandy's comment on my last blog post, defending Cooper's terrible manners cracked me up.  She is entirely too kind and should really start a blog all her own.  I would read it!!!
    2.  Harry is in hot pursuit of some internships.  One opportunity he is excited about is a media relations baseball gig in Eau Clair, Wisconsin.  Where the heck is that?  Also still holding out for a great gig with the Phoenix Mercury.  Fingers crossed he lands right where he belongs!
    3.  Chip isn't sleeping very well.  Waking up several times a night and still tired when the sun rises.  He needs some rest.  Poor kid.
    4.  I have the worst case of Athlete's Foot ever.  Treating it aggressively with Fast Actin' Tinactin and although it seems to be Slow Actin' Tinactin, it is getting better.
    5.  I need a haircut and color in the most serious way.  Desperate.
    6.  Planted some veggies in my garden.  Tomatoes, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries.  Grow, baby grow!   I planted the zucchini and cucumber in pots with a trellis against the fence so they can climb (and stay out of reach of the furry menace).  Can't wait to see how that works out.
    7.  Cooper had an impromptu puppy play date with two big golden retrievers yesterday, courtesy of my lovely friend Cindy.  Her dogs are amazing!  One is nine years old and the other is nine months old.  The nine month old gave Cooper a run for his money.  For the first time in his life, Cooper was submissive, scared and running to his mommy.  Instead of being the one who mows down others, he was mowed down.  I think it taught him a lesson or two.
    8.  I need to rekindle my love for cooking.  I have put it down somewhere and it is lost.  Can't find it anywhere.  Now it seems like such a chore.  Any tips/suggestions for making it fun again?
    9.  Hubby has been in Vegas this week. I wanted him to play a $10 slot just once to see if he could hit some big money.  I have not heard back, so assume that was a bust.
    10.  I am making a snuffle mat....its a dog toy. I will post pictures when it is complete.

    That is all.  Get on with your day!  Make it a great one.