Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shannon's Second Birthday Party

My little girl turned two and as always was the life of her party. She was so excited about her Dora party that I just can't believe that we got her to actually take a nap. I was up pretty much the whole night before working on prepping this Dora cake. I made the cake from scratch using a smitten kitchen recipe for the best birthday cake ever. I also made my own buttercream frosting and dyed each color so that I would have control over how much went into everything. No one was allowed to eat Dora's hair I had to put way too much dye in there to get it dark enough.

The lawn mower from Steph and Joe topped the list of all time favorite gifts. In close second was the Dora couch and pig puppet.

The day was perfect again I can't believe it and we all ate cake and were merry.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Family Photos at the Pointe

Great vacation. These pictures sum it up doesn't Shannon love the camera.

Easter on the Beach

This was by far the best part of being in Florida for Easter. We had Easter brunch on the beach. Shannon also thought the beach was nice but there was also a giant bunny walking around so the beach had some stiff competition. We were unsure of how this would go but she continues to amaze us at every turn. As you'll see in the picture "Easter bunny meet my bunny".

And then there was the easter egg hunt on the actual beach. 8,000 easter eggs and each age appropriate sections. We decorated a bag with fabric markers and Shannon really got into it. However, they lined these poor little toddlers up to wait for the actual hunt within site of a slide, swing and all the sand they could imagine to play with. So she had just about had it and then they announced it was time.... in 5 more minutes. AHHHHH! But they finally let them in and Shannon played along but really could have cared less about the eggs. At one point she dropped her bag of eggs and another little guy came along and picked up all the eggs she dropped. Oh well there is always next year.

Florida Family Vacation

This year my mom won a trip through work and took all of us to Florida for a week long vacation. We rented a house at ocean reef and got to spend a week with GG and grandpa. Ocean Reef is a beautiful place. Perfect beaches, golf courses, pools, water, sunsets and best of all (for us northerners) warmth.

Shannon also enjoyed the reef but for very different reasons. Outside of her window there was an empty lot with a bulldozer parked. Dirt, rocks and machinery were what she woke up to every morning and she couldn't be happier. Then we threw in riding around in golf carts and tile dolphins at the bottom of the pool and I thought she would explode. The house we rented opened up to a large patio and you were just a few steps away from the pool. I don't think Shannon ever got over the fact that we were always outside on the patio.

Our days fell into a happy rhythm. Each day we would wake up early and head to the pool and beach but most exciting was driving by the alligator (which was actually a crocodile) but we didn't want to confuse her so we kept it at that. This week Shannon learned that alligator's mouth goes "snap... snap".

To top it off there was even a green lizard who managed to get inside of the pool screen much to Shannon's delight. She got to watch it scamper up and down the screen trying to find its way out.

Most exciting for us this vacation was that Shannon slept well every night, which was in stark contrast to our vacation sleeping escapades. We brought pink-B (blankie), our nightlight from home and sheepy all of which seemed to do the trick. Or maybe it was all that fresh air, swimming and running around.

We had done some swim lessons last winter but not much else swimming since last summer was cold and wet so we were unsure about how Shannon would handle swimming. I don't know what I was worried about as you will see in my pictures she was in heaven. Especially when her daddy was swinging her through the air.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Black Eye

Here is it our first shiner. Shannon and I were at the west side park today and Shannon decided it would be great to go on the merry go round at the playground with all the other kids. Which would have been fine except in the middle of spinning she decided that she would let go...... We are in so much trouble. No fear in this kid. So she feel and bumped her eye on the metal bar, but I guess it could have been worse, like a tooth. Needless-to-say we'll be going to the east side park from now on.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day. Today was a tough day. I took my oral exam for my qualifying exam and it did not go well. Today I really need Shannon's carefree attitude. We walked around the yard and just explored. Oh and yes we got into some shannangans!

Puppet Show and Kids Expo

We took Shannon to her first puppet show and it was as fun for her as I imagined. She danced and laughed and pointed at the "Monkey" who was rocking out with the band on stage.

After the show they came out to show the kids the puppet and let them touch the big chicken. Yeah that is Shannon right up there next to the chicken not flinching, and not afraid. My brave little girl is amazing and every day I see something new come out in here.

I love this picture she gave us a good CHEESE!

First Bike Ride

Just as quickly as that last snow storm in February came so it went and we were then moving on to bike riding. I got out the Radio flyer tricycle that I had purchased on craigslist (I'm an addict) that past fall and alas her little feet could actually reach the peddles.

We strapped on our Dora bike helmet and off we went.

Snow but not much of it

Shannon this winter started out strong and then kind of fell flat. Pretty much everyone (including Georgia) got more snow than we did this past winter. It seemed like every major snow storm stopped short of NYC. I'm not complaining and what we did have we used to the fullest. Shannon was a great sport and would get all geared up and we would go outside and play when we could. Dressing a toddler for the snow by the way is exhausting and by the time we were ready to go outside I was ready for a nap.

I have very few pictures of Shannon being pulled around the yard in your radioflyer sled (mostly because I was the one doing the pulling), but that is how I got my winter workout. She also hated walking around in the snow. Her feet would get stuck, and then she would pull her boot off so there was also lots of carrying her around and no hands left for cameras. Luckily aunt Lauren and uncle Dan came up and I was able to get this shot otherwise it would have gone completely unrecorded.

Happy Valentine's Day

Today Kiki and Shannon and I made Valentines day cutout cookies. We used my mom's famous Christmas cutouts which are also featured on Epicurious (who knew).

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda, salt, nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 ½ cup sugar
1 egg
½ sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Mix and break into four sections. Wrap in plastic and allow to chill overnight.

Shannon did such a great job. She really got into rolling, patting and playing with the dough. We had a heart shaped cookie cutter that was perfect. I couldn't believe that we held her attention for so long up on that kitchen stool just like a big girl.

The frosting of the cookies didn't go as well. At one point Shannon had the spoon with a hunk of frosting on the way to her mouth and that's when we decided the grown-ups should take over the frosting.

Finished product were fantastic.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Christmas Morning

So this Christmas morning I manned the camera, I learned my lesson after looking at all of those pictures of me looking like I was dead realizing they will forever be Shannon's first Christmas photos. Shannon got many toys for Christmas this year which helped reinforced my decision not to go overboard for her. We are trying our best to keep it simple for her and not totally overwhelm her but as you can see Grandparents will be grandparents... and that's OK that is their job.

Christmas Day

This year we had the whole Cogan family over to our house for Christmas dinner. I loved having Christmas on a weekend this year I must say even with a whole house full of people it was really relaxing to know that I didn't have to wake up the next morning and go to work.

Shannon got to share in the fun with the rest of her cousins, Nate and Allie, and the four-legged variety Charlie. The rib roast came out great and to accompany the main event I roasted veggies that I picked up at our local farmers market (Butternut squash, beets, and rainbow carrots) which had the most wonderful color. We topped it all off with some green beans that we also quickly roasted on a baking sheet. I have to tell you Olive oil and salt and pepper is all anything needs to roast in.

While I headed to bed early the Cogan siblings kicked it old school and created some ruckas, broke some glasses and may have gotten sick in the snow but no one woke up Shannon so that is a successful Christmas in my book.

Christmas Tree

So for those of you that know us not getting a Christmas Tree last year was a source of much dissent in our house. I fell on the side of we need a tree in order to have Christmas where Dale was less inclined to hassle with the tree stand and mess. Well a huge ice storm made the decision for us and we went without last year. Well this year I put my foot down that we needed a tree and Dale gave in. Of course it just happened to be the coldest day of the year and the only free time we had that Friday night after work. So in those quick 2 minutes I took one look at the rows of trees in the lot stopped at one and said this is it. It fit perfectly and here are photos of Shannon "not" touching the tree. As you'll notice in the decorated version all of the ornaments are on the top one third of the tree. She still managed to get some off and I tried to give her a few within reach that wouldn't break, but Shannon loves balls so those glass balls were irresistible. I am happy to report that there were no major accidents and no tree toppling for Holidays 2009. Big sigh of relief from Dale when the tree made it out of the house.

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve with my parents and aunts and uncles and Shannon being the only little one got plenty of attention. Being the little ham that she is she loved it. Her top gifts were a pink flip cell and a corn popper which she would hand to you and then proceed to run away looking behind her to make sure you were chasing her. Needless to say she bounced off a couple pieces of furniture but luckily no blood or bruises.