Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gideon is 6 months!

O's 3rd birthday party

I can't believe that Olivia is already three!

Olivia had one great birthday party starting at 11 at Champaign's Children Orpheum Museum where little kiddos run abound for 2 hours! They had cake and punch. They got to see and touch bearded dragons, snakes and turtles. Olivia said her favorite part was, "touching the snake." And she said, "The snake was very scared." (However, I wish you could have seen her horrified look when the girl told her she got to go first because it was her birthday).

We had a nice lunch and present opening back at her house afterward and boy that girl was showered with love!!

1.5 year old cousin Landon is checking out the bearded dragon

Landon plays with water works

These kids were extremely focused!

A little leary of touching the animals...

Almost cupcake time...

Cupcake cake!

"Mommy what is this?"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Danah's Bachelorette Party

We had a fun night in downtown Chicago! A SPECIAL THANKS to Rose and Jim for giving Jessi and I a ride! It was so much more stress-free and cheaper!

We started the night playing fun games in the hotel room.

We also had a good time out to eat at P.F.Chang's. I'll certainly be going back.

We danced the night away at LaSalle Power Co. Bar. Don't worry, we were good girls and didn't go see Thunder Down Under. (Although that would've been fun!) ;-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So after 5 days in Michigan, Chris turned 30! I wanted to do something big and major and he wanted things low-key. So, we spent the day unwinding from the trip and we even made it out to Sholem. See birthday boy coming down the water slide.

However, I couldn't resist throwing a surprise dinner for my love and I'm glad we did! It was nice to spend time with family on the birthday!

And, a HUGE THANKS to Rose & Jim for footing the bill! I'm sure eating out at Milo's isn't cheap, but it sure is tasty!!!

Lake Michigan Vacation

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adventures of a traveling dog...

Cooper's Diary Tuesday August 9th- (Mom's birthday)
We were on the road again and mom and dad had no clue where to go so we ended up at Mill Creek Discovery Park. There we were told that dogs are allowed and I walked around some trails with them for a while. Mom and dad sure did complain a lot about mosquitoes biting them. Mom was pretty upset since she even packed bug spray but just didn’t realize how much she would need it. The trip was pretty fun, I got to smell new things but I was left out in the car for a bit while my parents saw a pretty neat lumber jack presentation and naturist presentation. I guess they thought I’d be scared or couldn’t sit still long enough. They made it up to me when they came back out to the car and fed me part of their leftover dinner for lunch. It was really good- bread-sticks!!!
We took off again with no real destination in mind and this time we ended up in a small town called Petoskey. Mom loved the view and relaxation as we just sat on the hill. I did good for the first thirty minutes but after that I started initiating play with mom and she found me a fun stick to chase. We took off again, this time for a town called Traverse City which had plenty of things to smell. But alas, I was left again in the car. Mom and dad walked all over downtown looking for a Mexican restaurant that the Trip Advisor app recommended, turned out the place closed a while ago. So, they walked through shops and looked at doors of restaurants to decide if they want to go in. They found another Mexican restaurant which tasted amazing but service was slow compared to the fast service they are used to back at home.
Well, they came back out to the car to me and taunted me with the smells of yummy leftovers and we drove to a few places to find out about this “pet-friendly” business. They found one that turned out to be a large king suite room with a Jacuzzi. It was the largest hotel I’ve ever seen in my 2 years. It was a bit outdated, like it would’ve been amazing 30 years ago but I was still pleased with all the room to run around. Mom and dad got in the jacuzzi and I continuously barked at them so mom decided the worst thing ever- she put me in. Boy, I didn’t know what I was asking for. But, I came out clean and hyper and got to run around like crazy til I was basically dry. Mom was happy this happened because she said my eyes were really red when she gave me a bath and she hadn’t noticed it before and the bath actually cleared them up enough that in the morning they were clear again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Adventures of a traveling dog...

Cooper's Diary: Sunday August 8-

Well, mom's alarm started going off at 8 am and she kept hitting snooze. Normally, I would jump on her side of the bed and require that she pet me until I am satisfied and go lay at her feet. But, today, I decided to let her hit that snooze button. We could all use more sleep!! Well, mom and dad aren't allowed to leave me in a room by myself, so for breakfast they left me in the car. Well, I saw other people and of course had to start barking at them in case they wanted to talk. Mom could hear me when she came back to the room with the balcony and dad went down pretty fast to come quiet me.

Well, turns out we got to go to this other beach area and see these pretty bridges. We ended up getting in a really long line in which all these kids kept telling me I looked exactly like another dog named Oreo and a whole bunch of young kids kept petting me. Then, this other lady came up to me and started petting me. Turns out, this was only the beginning. I was approached ALL DAY! But, back to the morning. Dad joined us in line just in time to get aboard the ship that took us to Mackinac island. I was calm on the boat and when we got off, there were people, bikes and horses everywhere. I didn't mind, I just wanted to smell EVERYTHING! Mom and dad wandered around lost for a while and finally figured out where they wanted to go. We ended up getting on this horse-drawn carriage and going all around the island. Boy, my nose was on overload!!! We stopped frequently to take breaks to see sites and get water. By the end of the 1.5 hour long ride, I was so tired that I fell asleep in mom's arms.

After we got back from the ride, mom and dad did some exploring to find a place the three of us could eat since we didn't have our car. Turns out most places on this island with outdoor patios don't allow dogs to eat, even outside. They found a burger joint with one table outside and I got to sit there and silently beg once again... ah the good old times.

Next, we got out and walked around the boardwalk and got to see how the wealthy people live. Mom got me back in the lake but this time it was Lake Huron. The water felt nice but it was rocky on the bottom which dad thinks makes my paws tender. I indulged her a bit but ran back to shore after a few big waves splashed my face.

We walked around the boardwalk for a while then mom abandoned me with daddy. I was looking at everyone hoping it was her the whole time she was away. When she came back my whole body was excited, tail wagging and feet jumping. We laid around together for a while and enjoyed the lake view and breeze smells.

We decided to walk around to find something else that the 3 of us could do together and we found a black and white Bischon named Isabella. She was the coolest dog ever. We were so much alike: greeting each other the same way, and playing the same. Mom had to let go of my leash bc I was running around chasing Isabella so much. As an afterthought, I think she was worried I would knock Isabella's owner down with my leash.

Well, after that mom left me with dad so she could go get some ice cream which she wouldn't share with me but she did with dad. We got in line for the ferry back to Mackinaw City and the lady said that mom couldn't board with ice cream so daddy took me and I watched for mom to get aboard. I slept in mom's arms while we went across the water. We sat on the top deck and I kept getting splashed from the lake.

When we got back to Mackinac city, mom got cleaned up and dad rested a bit. Then they went out to eat and once again left me in the car. It is a bit disheartening that I'm not included on these times. Well, we all stayed together in the fun hotel again and we took off in the morning with our destination unknown.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Adventures of a traveling dog...

Cooper's Diary Excerpt Sunday August 7-

Okay, mom was up really early due to the fact that she couldn't stand being in the room and wanted to get the heck out of there. So, we were back on the road, much to my relief! Mom and dad went down to this beach community where I got to walk around and explore. For the most part, this was a great time! Except when this one dog was a grump and tried to bite my head off AND when we were walking toward the beach and I kept stepping on these extremely painful burs that would cause me to limp. Luckily, mom was playing close attention and pulled em out of my feet pretty fast! I wanted to go to the beach but my parents said that no pets were allowed on the beach. Frankly, I'm not sure what this "pets" term is but it seems like I get affected by it alot. Well, mom and dad both took turns watching me while the other got to explore Lake Michigan on the beach.

Mom and dad started walking back to the car when they kept telling me things like "sit" which I didn't really want to do but I did because they made me. They kept putting this black thing in my face and calling my name. Then we walked a few feet and bumped into the Potenbergs, a family that mommy sometimes takes me to babysit.

Well, mom and dad got hungry and ONCE AGAIN left me behind in the car. I don't know why I'm not included on mealtime in this trip. I sat there nervously listening to the terrifying thunderbooms and then I saw daddy running at the car. I guess he didn't like the downpour that was coming in through the windows. Well, he left me in there and then the windows started fogging up; I think I breathe more when I'm scared.

Well, they came back and we drove for a while to this totally AWESOME place with tons of sand (no rain, and sunshine). I hadn't really experienced sand much before but turns out it is awesome to run in. However, I wasn't really sure how to get it off my face because normally I just rub my face on carpet when I want to clean it but rubbing it in sand seemed to make things worse. Oh, and sand seems to have little toys just underneath it that I dive my face in the sand to get and they disappear, leaving me with a mouthful of sand. Anyways, later mom was pretty insistent that I get in Silver Lake to get some sand off and she didn't know what she was asking of me. I mean, come on, water is a bit scary when it is at neck level. I did what she asked and then dad seemed concerned because now I was a wet dog in an area covered in sand. Mom thought walking would just dry me off but little did she know that I'd get covered in sand. So, she came up with the idea that I could clean my face in the beach towel. This worked well and I could see again.

Well, we walked around several parks until everyone was exhausted and then we got back in the car for a very long time. It seems though that this drive was less stress because my parents learned to book a "pet-friendly" place in advance to avoid scary places that I have to guard. We got to town and it seemed like mom was a bit disappointed because she wanted to go out and enjoy the town but dad wanted to stay in. But, I was content because I was playing with my toys with mom and dad. I slept beautifully this night and no one wanted to get up when the alarm went off.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Adventures of a traveling dog...

Cooper and I set out to show Chris a good time in his last few moments of his 20's. So, on Saturday we began the trek to Michigan. On this trip, Cooper has discovered many firsts. Chris and I sure have been enjoying watching him discover new things.

Here is an excerpt of Cooper's diary below:

Saturday August 6-

Today Mommy and Daddy once again had a fairly boring day. They did their own thing and didn't acknowledge me enough to truly give me my attention I deserve. Anyways, late in the day, they started making me really nervous when they began to move things around the house. I got a bit less nervous when mommy started packing my travel bag and I was thrilled when they let me come outside. We all got in the car and I was as thrilled as could be! When we got to Michigan, I discovered this crazy little running chew toy, Mom and Dad call it a squirrel but I'd never seen such a strange thing before. I was feeling pretty good running after it until it went up this tree. I was really frustrated that it didn't come down when I barked at it. It kept taunting me from just out of reach in the tree. Then, mommy and daddy got back in the car and we were off. We stopped at a gas station/Quizznos and would you believe that they left me in the car?!*# I kept good watch of the car but, who do they think I am their guard dog? I'd much rather be begging them silently for food.

Well after that ordeal we sat in the parking lot for an hour... something about all the "pet-friendly" hotels were booked and we might end up in the car overnight if we can't find a place. Well, mom and dad took a slight detour and ended up in St. Joseph, MI at a nasty smelling place called St. Joseph Inn. Mom and dad kept saying that it was junky and my nose told me to approach everything in the room with caution. I barely slept in bed with mom and dad that night because I felt obligated to watch the door and guard our house for the night. I was happy when we got on the road the next day.