Ooooo De Lolli!

Coop's good behavior at Dr. Arboleda's earned him a rainbow lollipop.

He was determined to eat the whole thing, but the lolli won.

Thank you, my son

Dear Cooper,

Daddy left for New York at the crack of dawn this morning. You woke up to kiss him goodbye. As he drove away, I expected you to demand your breakfast. Instead, you climbed into my bed and we slept for another two hours. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you letting me sleep until 8 o'clock.

I won't forget this.



Progress Charts

I don't know how it happened, but Cooper has this wacky idea in his head that he deserves presents every day.

Each time I pick him up from school he asks, "Do I get my present?" I tell him that presents are on birthdays and Christmas only. He starts wailing, "but I want a present!" Heck, I want daily presents, too! But that just ain't the way we live, child o' mine.

On Monday, we talked about earning presents. Since potty training is something we're working on, Coop and I made an agreement that if he uses the potty and not his diaper FIVE TIMES then he can get a present. He says he wants the Lou Zealand muppet figurine. He claims it's his favorite muppet. (Really? The flying fish act guy? Ok. Hey, whatever's clever, just as long as we're phasing out the Huggies.)

Cooper and I made this chart. He gets a star for each successful trip to the bowl. As you can see, he had a good morning.

This morning he asked, "Where's mommy's chart? Where's mommy and daddy's chart?"I told him that we got rid of our diapers long ago and so we don't need charts.

But then I thunk on it. Maybe we do need charts.

Here's Jakob's Wii Fitness chart. 20 workouts of 30 min. or more and he can purchase Wii Sports Resort.

And here's my art chart. 20 projects COMPLETED and I get something fantastic that I want. I'm just not sure what that is yet. But I'm committed anyway.

Look! Because I completed these charts, I already have a star.

Eastern Standard Time

I have been out west to Californ'.
But I miss the land where I was born.
I can't help it.
Oh, New England.

-Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

No matter where I go, there I am. But when I'm in New England, I'm back at the beginning. All my childhood memories are set in Boston, Wareham, Bourne, and Falmouth. It's a place I wanted to run from, but it still has hold of my heart.*

Now Cooper is making his own East Coast memories. Mimi and Grampy took us out on their boat in New Hampshire. Coop and I took a dip in Bow Lake. Some would say it was cold, but I'll say it was, "brisk." I can't remember when I last swam in a lake.

Each day was more New Englandier than the last. Deep fried seafood. Soft serve ice cream. A cruise along the Cape Cod Canal.

And here's Coop's version of digging for clams:

My child has my husband's features. What did he get from momma? Boundless enthusiasm and volume, volume, VOLUME! The kid has excellent projection.

Being the amazing grandparents that they are, Mimi and Grampy took us to The New England Aquarium. Ok, let's all sing-say it together, "I can walk like a penguin!"

The SMELL of the penguins brought me back to when I visited there as a child. My dad held me up so I could get a better look at the penguins jumping off the rocks and slipping into the water with playful grace.

I heard more than one toddler say, "There's Dori! There's Crush the turtle!" (Oh, Disney/Pixar. You are gospel to anyone under 6.

Honestly, I was dreading the Pick-up Pond. Last time we tried this at Sea World, Cooper nearly murdered a starfish by launching it in the air while screaming, "Patrick!" (Oh, Nickelodeon. I kinda hate you.)

But Cooper listened when the aquarium staff kindly told him to place the urchin back in the water so it could live. Then he made her laugh by scrunching up his face and saying, "It's sooooo prickly!"

The task of tracking a raucous 3 year old in a crowded, dark enclosure with many exhibits is not easy. But all the, "HOLD MY HAND! COME BACK HERE! PLEASE LISTEN TO ME! DON'T RUN AHEAD! STAY BY MOMMY, PLEASE! WAIT FOR ME! WAIT YOUR TURN!" is worth it.

I think my next art piece might have something to do with this last image.

Thanks to our families for an unforgettable summer vacation. We miss you. We started missing you before we left.

*pattern recognized, I assure you.