Up, Up & Away

Happy Birthday to my favorite (and only) nephew, Ethan!  I cannot believe this little guy is six years old, but already he is such an incredible human being.  I had to miss his pirate birthday party tonight so I could take care of my own fur child and Big Dog, who had been alone all day while I was celebrating my golden birthday a few days early with my girlfriends.  But I (with the help of my parents) was able to give Ethan a pretty special birthday celebration a week early.

Ethan walked into the house last Friday and was normal Ethan.  Then he got up the stairs and saw this:

You may be asking yourself, "What is so exciting about some balloons and sheets thrown across chairs?"  And I would tell you...nothing, unless you think like a five year old who is soon to be six and who has no idea we are celebrating his birthday a week early, and then it is pretty cool.  So cool you get a face of 1 part confusion, and 2 parts excitement:

And then the question, "Why is there a fort in the living room?  With balloons?  Is this my fort?  Did you build it Aunt Summer?"  To which I replied, "Surprise!  We are celebrating your birthday a week early!"  I still couldn't give away why there was a fort with balloons coming out of it or why its opening was strategically positioned toward the TV, or why the fort was built in front of the fireplace...because as awesome as all this was Ethan had asked Grandpa to get out his 'bike' (which he has completley outgrown!) and he was hungry.

So Grandpa wasn't quite ready for this shot, but Ethan has taken to "Old Dog" like Big Dog takes to water.  And he just had to have his picture taken.  Then we took Ethan onto his next surprise, Idaho Pizza Company for a personal pizza.  And then it was home, where the mystery was revealed. 

Ethan's birthday was an Up! celebration.  My parents got him a light up globe so I wanted to do a theme about exploring- what better than Up!, complete with the movie as a gift, two books about adventure, and a globe?

Well maybe only one thing: watching Up! with Grandma and Grandpa on the couch, snuggled by Aunt Summer in the fort with lots of pillows.  (oh and maybe a robot birthday card)

Happy Birthday to the coolest kid I know.  Know that you are so loved, we couldn't imagine life without you.


Lovely Love Day

Hoping your love day was as wonderful as mine (although my love day was more of an extended weekend of lovely things).  The girls were feeling quite festive after their day at the doggie day spa.  Lucky loved it, Clover is well our Clover girl.

Marshall had a beautiful boquet of irises and tulips delivered, complete with teddy bear and chocolates.  Very sweet that he goes to the effort to make this day special even while he is gone.  The delivery got here early and my dad attempted to wait until Valentine's Day to give me my gift, but he started to worry about the flowers.

I got to enjoy Saturday morning with my favorite nephew (post-early birthday celebration) eating peanut butter and jelly waffles and hanging out in his fort for just a little longer.  Then it was off to the big ol' city of Nampa (our old homestead) for a date with my mom and sister.  A quick browse in one of our favorite fabric stores and yarn shops (Fabrique and Ewephoria!) while we waited for the Ethan exchange.  Then it was off to enjoy a delicious and super decadent breakfast at Cafe de Coco.  Cinnamon Roll as appetizer? Check.  Coke and Milky Way espresso? Check.  Crab Cheddar Melt with pasta salad and fresh pineapple? Check.  So good, so bad.  Then off to see Valentine's Day.  There is nothing quite like getting to see McSteamy with his shirt off and the all star cast.  Two of Marshall's favorite Jessica's were in the film, Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba- I guess I can see their appeal. 

Home for a quick nap and enough time to get ready for my second date of the day with Paula Ballerina.  A scrumptious Mongolian BBQ dinner (we figured and rightly so, that Mongolian wouldn't be crowded like other restaurants) and then The Trey McIntyre project.  Marshall and I got to see them in Sun Valley this summer at a marriage retreat, very cool contemporary dance.  It was more impressive with my honey but their new set Wild Sweet Love was pretty incredible- great music and very love themed.


Adventures in Dogsitting

I dogsit on a frequent basis for a lovely couple.  They have no children.  Just their dogs.  Who are like children- huge ones at that.  They have 2 great danes, Rosie (my <3) and Sugar (my nemesis).  Rosie is old and wonderfully docile and loves to snug.  Sugar is young and clumsy and loves to eat poop and terrorize poor Rosie, Dinky, and Zsha-Zsha (the other members of the family's animal menagerie).  This last visit- may be my last visit. 

While I love the couple dearly (they are both artists and have an incredible house on the bench complete with stained glass door, claw foot tub and my own bottle of bubble bath every time I stay) I am not sure I feel the same about Sugar.  Can I tolerate her?  Yes.  Well maybe not as you will see given some of our adventures.

1.  Noise compalint for barking on day 1 of 11 days (pretty sure it came from the neighbor's dog but this   meant lots of inside time for Rosie and Sugar)
2.  Lots of inside time lead to destruction of lots of squeakers (no big deal and genuinely hilarious when Sugar had a squeaker hidden in her mouth and squeaked for about an hour)
3.  Then the bad
4.  Crying so loud at night there was no way to ignore it
5.  When ignored jumping on person bed (in dog room) and urinating on person bed
6.  Which lead to over 8 hours of googling and cleaning said bedding and mattress
7.  Peeing on own dog bed to spite dog sitter who so graciously cleaned urine out of person bed
8 .  Chewing of plastic bed cover while dog sitter washed linen covering of dog bed
9.  Absconding with bra, panties, and jeans of friend of dog sitter (who graciously stayed with scaredy cat sitter)
10.  Eating poop and breathing on sitter for prolonged periods of time insinuating lots of gagging
11.  Dragging outdoor blanket indoors with leaves, mulch and all
..... the icing on the "I don't like your child" cake?
12.  Eating poop and throwing it up on the rug (before it was digested) Only scroll down if you have an iron stomach

I am sorry Deam family, you have brought me lots of joy and bubble bath, and Mr. Cook's most favorite painting but Sugar does not live up to her name sake and I may need a year or two hiatus while she becomes more Sugar and less...awful


I'm so bad at sticking to anything...

Here goes again.  Notice still no pictures/video on prior posts?  And definitely no post every day.  Hrmph.  Uh well.

There have been a lot of changes taking place around here (my parent's house- residence while Mr. Cook is deployed).  One such change:  The Black Dog Rescue Project.

The other night my mom and I were catching up (I had been dogsitting for someone else's fur children, more to come on that) when we heard a noise at the door.  I asked her to see what it is (far be it from me to look?) and she yelped, "I think there's a bear on the porch!" 

1.  You have to know my mother to understand how funny this is, because she was being entirely sincere
2.  They may live in the country but they certainly don't live in bear country
3.  I laughed and looked out the door
4.  I saw a very mangey, dog

The decision was made, if "Big Dog" was still there in the morning we would make a plan of action. Of course he was, sleeping on the welcome mat.  Correct.  "Welcome to our Home".  Not only is he adorable, but also literate.  After determining the pound was not an option we decided to search for a home for this week, if we hadn't found one or his potential owners we would then get him look at by a vet, take him to the groomer and welcome him into the black dog rescue.  Both Clover and Lucky have taken a fancy to him and so have the three of us.  Mr. Cook has even named him Brutus- which I like much better than Big Dog.