Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baking with Mom

Eleanor loves to help me bake. Our kitchen is the size of a small closet so my solution to the problem is to move it to the dining room table. Our friend Seth turned 2 on Thanksgiving Day and Eleanor helped me bake school bus cupcakes in his honor.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

It's A Snowy Day

Although we have lived in Chicago for 2 years now, this is the first winter that Eleanor is old enough to really enjoy the snow. Last Wednesday as the sun came up she ran to the window and exclaimed, "Mommy, it's a snowy day!" We only received a dusting that day and it had all melted away by the next morning. Fast forward to yesterday morning. We woke up to a very steady snowfall and a couple of inches already on the ground. A beautiful winter wonderland! Eleanor could not wait to go outside. Unfortunately, we did not have snow pants so her time in the snow was brief but I think she enjoyed it just the same.

"I touched it Mommy!"
Just for the record, she does have mittens she just didn't want to wear them.

So cute

I love this picture. It looks like she is conducting an orchestra.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

27 months

I probably say this every month but I cannot believe how quickly my baby girl is growing up. I haven't had as much time to blog lately but don't want to forget some of the funny things E has said and done over the past few months.

The other night we were having soup for dinner. I handed E a spoon and her response was "Actually, I want to use a fork." I had to laugh at my two year old using the word "actually."
She used it again on Thursday when I said, "It's time to go to school." E responded, "Actually, I go to preschool."

We hear the phrase, "I do it all by myself!" at least 5 times a day if not more. I love her independent spirit but sometimes it really slows down the process.

E still is not a big fan of meat. The other night I asked what she wanted for dinner and her response was "I want to eat salad." One of her favorite salads is Barnelli's Chopped Salad minus the bacon and chicken. Because of course she "can't like chicken!" When she does eat meat it is normally a "burger cheese" or lo-loaf (meatloaf).

E goes to school 2 days a week while I am at work. This past week her teacher shared a funny story with me. While walking down the hall E tripped over the leg of a scarecrow that was decorating the hall. E jumped up, put her hands on her hips, and declared, "that man just tripped me!" Her teacher said she about busted a gut laughing and had to ask how E knew the word "tripped." It goes on the list with actually.

The 2's are hard but also so enjoyable at the same time. I am continually blessed by my little Kamikaze and am so thankful for her.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Trick -or- Treating

This was our view for most of the night. Our little giraffe had a grand time trick-or-treating!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Be Like My Mommy

One night a couple of weeks ago as I was putting Eleanor to bed she declared, "I be like my mommy!" I had just grabbed one of her stuffed animals and was using it as a pillow and as she said those five simple words she did the same. Obviously, in that context those words did not mean a whole lot, but it certainly got me thinking. Her words were so sweet and it definitely made this mama smile, but it also made me wonder about the example I am setting for my precious girl. I hope and pray that I am living my life in such a way that I would want my daughter to grow up and "be like me." Those five words have definitely made me rethink the way I handle certain situations or how I react to things because I know there is a bright-eyed little girl watching and mirroring me throughout my day! Thank you sweet girl for helping me strive to be a better wife and mom!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts of God

Being a mom is hard. Or maybe it is just hard for me. This week has proven to be the hardest thus far in my short tenure as a mom.

Eleanor has not felt well which has equated to a number of sleepless nights and lots of tears (from her and me). Tuesday night I felt completely helpless as my sweet girl screamed in pain for hours. She had a virus which caused sores to develop on her tongue. She was in a tremendous amount of pain and there was nothing her daddy and I could do for her. We rocked, we sang, we rubbed her back. Nothing could console her. At one point I was rocking her and began to sob as she screamed "ow, ow, ow, it hurts." It made me think about God and how it must have felt for him to watch his Son suffer on the cross. Just as Eleanor did nothing to deserve the pain she was experiencing, Jesus, perfectly sinless, endured a pain far greater than anything I could ever imagine, which He did not deserve.

Yesterday, as I tried to coax Eleanor into letting me swab her mouth with some medicine the Dr. prescribed to help with the pain, I again thought about God. He does not coax but He does continually offer healing that at times I am too stubborn to accept.

Tonight, as Daniel and I put Eleanor to bed, she cried for almost an hour. I know that she needs to go to bed and I want her to go to bed, but as her mom, I felt guilty for not coming to her rescue. I wonder if God felt guilty for not coming to His Son's rescue when He cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?".

Being a mom is hard but if it were easy I may miss out on the lessons I am learning about God.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

Eleanor loves her friends Ethan and Jack. Recently she has become totally smitten with Jack or Jack-a-baboo, as she likes to call him. I was trying to get a picture of E with Ethan and Jack at her birthday party and this is what happened.

Checking Jack out while big brother Ethan watches from behind
Leaning in


Daddy has since had a conversation with Eleanor about kissing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dearest Eleanor

You are now 2 years old. I cannot believe how quickly two years has passed and how much you have grown and changed from a tiny, precious newborn into such a beautiful, joy-filled little girl. Eleanor you bring such joy to our home. Your daddy and I love you so very much and are so thankful to be your parents.

You are still our little Kamikaze and have several battle wounds to prove it. Your shins are bruised, your knees are skinned, and your elbows as well. But those owies rarely slow you down. To say you keep us on our toes is an understatement, but we wouldn't want it any other way.

We love to hear you say "I luff you" and can't get enough of your hugs and kisses. You are very generous and numerous times a day we hear "want some" as you offer us whatever it is you are eating or drinking. You are also very sensitive. It bothers you when other children cry and you will quickly run to the aide of your friends with a gentle hug and a reassuring "it's ok." Just recently you started telling us to "be careful." I am afraid you might become a little worrywart like your momma, but I love your gentle spirit.

I cannot wait to see how much you continue to change and grow in this next year.

We love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Splash Park Fun

A few weeks ago we found a splash park near our house and decided to try it out. We had a blast. It takes Kamikaze about 10-15 minutes to warm up to the idea of running under the water but as soon as she does it is non-stop action. One of her favorite things to do is drink the water from one of the little fountains. I think it is gross and it drives me crazy but she doesn't seem to care. Here are some pictures from yesterday's trip to the splash park.

I "firsty" Mama


LOVE those curls

Friday, August 06, 2010

Coming or Going

Yesterday was NOT a good day. I woke up with pink eye. I lost the keys to our mailbox and storage closet. I think I threw them in the dumpster with the trash. I then dozed off on the couch and spilled an entire diet coke all over me and the couch. Of course I attempted to make dinner for my family only to mess up the recipe. Thankfully some friends called and asked us to meet up with them.

Today has been a much better day. I can actually remember whether I am coming or going!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2 Almost August

I cannot believe that in a little over 3 weeks my little girl is going to be 2. She is growing up so quickly. Every day something new comes out of her mouth. For example, today we were in the car driving home from a family outing and she started saying "oh my gooshness" over and over. I am sure she has heard me say "oh my goodness" at some point but I had not said it this morning. She has also started saying, "hold you me honey." We have no idea where the honey came from because Daniel and I do not use that term of endearment but she heard it somewhere and uses it often. She does however occasionally call her daddy "babe," and that is totally because mommy calls him that frequently.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Things I Don't Want To Forget

1. hold you me
2. no I not
3. maymen (amen)
4. ship shops (flip flops)
5. to you (happy birthday to you)
6. naynor (Eleanor)
7. 2 almost august (the answer she gives when asked how old she is)
8. all self (all by myself)
9. see soon (see you soon)
10. dridge (fridge)
11. boollies (blueberries)

It is amazing how quickly our little one's language is developing. She surprises us daily with her sayings. She has the cutest little voice and says some of the funniest things sometimes. I will really miss some of them when she really learns how to pronounce them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Monday evening after work Daniel, Eleanor and I headed downtown with some friends to enjoy Taste of Chicago. We had a great time. We didn't try anything too daring such as the sautéed goat or the pork stuffed banana dumpling but we did eat some pretty good food like mustard fried catfish, roasted veggie tacos, pot stickers, funnel cake and ice cream.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Art of Eating Cheerios


Have you ever just had one of those days? You know the type of day I am talking about. One of those days where you don't know whether to laugh or to cry. The days when nap time seems like an eternity away. The days when you are not sure you will have any hair left come bedtime. It seems that those days come frequently during the toddler season and for me, today just happens to be one of those days.

I knew it was going to be one of those days when I had a laundry list of things the toddler had done or hadn't done long before 9:30am. Before 9:30 this morning the toddler had destroyed one of our dining room chairs (I am still not sure how this happened), removed her diaper twice, refused to get dressed, pinched the fire out of me, and threw her fair share of temper tantrums. Now before you start judging or lecturing me on discipline - This is my blog and this is my outlet. So if you have something critical to say - DON'T!

Toddlerhood is hard. On both the toddler and the parent. Currently, my toddler is in her room screaming at the top of her lungs because she does not want to take a nap. She is screaming MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, PARK, PARK, PARK loudly enough that I am sure everyone who lives in our condo building can hear her. The funny thing is I tried to take her to the park this morning. She was adamant that she was NOT going. Now, it is time to take a nap and for the past 12 minutes she has been crying and screaming for me to take her to the park.

This is reality folks! I have several friends (many of you read this blog) who have toddlers and I am certain that we have ALL had days like this. Unfortunately there are too many other moms out there who are afraid to admit that there are days like the one I am describing. It is those moms who make the rest of us feel like we are doing something wrong. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of days when I feel like I am doing this parenting thing all wrong but for the most part I know that I am doing something right at least part of the time.

So to all you moms of toddlers - stay the course! I say this to you as much as to myself. Enjoy the good times, the precious moments and the silence of your sleeping toddler and when a day like the one I am experiencing shows up - turn the music up really loud to (drown out the screaming toddler (just kidding - I did not do this)) and dance!
I love my little spit-fire. Even on days like today!

P.S. The screaming stopped after 13 minutes and I just scooped her up from the floor where she was sleeping soundly and tucked her into bed. Ahhhh, the silence of nap time!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Today we went to the Milkshake concert at Ravinia with our friends John Eyob and Ryan Ephrem. Despite the rain the kids had a great time. Ms. Amy captured this cute video of them dancing to the tunes. Eleanor loves her friends!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Kamikaze the Artist

This afternoon while Daniel and I were talking with the couple who will be moving into our townhome the day after we move out, Kamikaze decided she needed to leave her mark on the wall. Of course I ran to get the camera to document this event. Daddy has since had a discussion with Kamikaze regarding the appropriate surfaces upon which to color. Kamikaze has struck again!

Proud of her artwork

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ready! Set! Go!

The next month is going to be absolutely crazy in the Cooley Casa. Here is just a preview of what our month holds:

1. Garage sale this Friday.
2. D finishes his semester.
3. NaNa comes for a visit - FINALLY!
4. Packing.
5. Trip to Dallas for Pops' birthday.
6. Moving. No we are not moving back to Dallas we are just moving to another town in Northern IL.

Of course this list does not include all the daily fun things that take place with the toddler. I am sure there will be trips to the park, play dates, a trip to Monkey Joes, walks and lots of laughter.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday

There is laundry to be folded, shirts to be ironed, tubs and toilets to be cleaned but I wanted to take a minute and write a Thankful Thursday post. A dear friend started doing this on her blog not too long ago and it is such a good idea.

Today I am thankful for my husband. I could probably list 100 reasons why I am thankful but I will spare you all from having to read them and only post 5.

1. He is a wonderful daddy. Eleanor's face lights up every time he walks in the room. She loves to spend time with him and even when he is busy reading or working on a paper he always takes time to love on her. He gives her a bath almost every night and gets her ready for bed.

2. He prays for our family. I almost always get a little teary eyed when I hear him pray for our sweet girl.

3. He desires to honor God in all he says and does. Daniel, like King David, is a man after God's own heart.

4. He has worked hard for the past 20 months so that I could stay home with Eleanor. This has sometimes meant staying up really late or getting up really early to work on school stuff.

5. He washes the dishes every night after dinner. Enough said!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Eleanor is shocked and appalled that I am sharing her age with you.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

He Is Risen!

Yesterday we celebrated our Risen Savior with our friends the Tudtud's. This was our second annual Easter celebration with their family after church and we had a great time. Eleanor and Seth hunted eggs and ran around the backyard and then we headed in for a wonderful brunch of fruit, apple pancakes, sausage, bacon and homemade cinnamon rolls. YUM! How thankful we are for our dear friends and the connection we share through Christ!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Monkey Joe's

This is how we spent our snowy first day of Spring.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shamrocks and Sunshine

This past week the weather was absolutely beautiful. Eleanor and I spent many hours at the park playing on the "wings" and "lides." Daniel and I both commented on how confident she has become at the park since last fall. She has no fear and climbs to the top of the play structure and comes down the twirly slide all by herself. The first thing she asks for almost every day now is to go walk and to "wing" and "lide."
Happy St. Patrick's Day!