Saturday, April 16, 2011

Here comes Peter Cotton Tail

After the trip to Cali I picked up Cooper and spend a night with my parents who were staying at the Scottsdale Princess for a conference. Cooper loved roaming around finding Tennis balls lost from the court under bushes and loved chasing the bunnies that are ALL over the property.
Grampy joined us for a walk after one of his meetings

We LOVE visiting the valley in the Spring!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First Annual Girl's Trip!

In March Kelly contributed part of her time share to a girls trip for us three girls.

We went to Palm Springs, Cali which I had been to once before while I was pregnant with Cooper. I was really excited for the trip and only half excited for the destination since I didn't remember there being that much to do. Well was I WRONG! We LOVED it, and have decided to make this an annual girls trip. I would even love it we went back to Palm Springs every year!

It's the perfect location because the weather was great, the drive is easy but we don't really go there for anything else, which makes it special.

We drove my van there on Thursday and got there in time to eat dinner. We checked into the awesome hotel that Kelly got us then ordered pizza and salad from the pool side bar area. The pizza was incredible. We ate it up in our room while playing a rousing game of Beanboozled. (my name for Bohnanza)

The next morning we woke up and hit the streets for some tropical garage sale-ing. This was so much fun to me because we got to really explore the area, chat it up with the locals, and score some fun souvenirs. I just LOVE that I have a mom and sister who feel the same way! I came home with some great finds.

By the time we were done we were starving for lunch and aimlessly drove around looking for a GOOD place to eat. Now, when I travel, I want to eat fabulous food and try new things. Well, I had googled all about the best places to eat in Palm Springs so I could recognize the names, but didn't know how to get to any of them. So we drove around until we spotted a sign for Cheeky's, which was on my list. We had to wait for about 30 or 40 minutes which was how long it took me to agonize over what I should order. I asked every person in line what they recommend and they all came back with the same answer, that everything was incredible. We decided to each order something and split it three ways, which we ended up doing for the rest of the meals on the trip. Some pesto fries, salmon, a fabulous sandwich and a chicken salad later

we were stuffed and ready to walk up and down the street which was lined with fancy shmancy interior decorating shops. My favorite one featured "Juan Antonio" who was like a palm reader for interior design who incredibly accurately described exactly who I am based on the things I had commented on liking in the store. He was wearing loud argyle pants and a electric blue shirt. Loved it.

We also ambled through a fabulous art fair set up in a park where we chatted forever with a purse-selling lady who happens to be from Scottsdale. My next diaper bag has GOT to be from her, I loved them. Across the street is where I tried my first macaroon, which was the ONE thing I was determined to do while I was in Palm Springs. I found it to be sweeter than I had imagined but quite good. We also had Tahitian Vanilla Gellato from the same place that I will someday own a swimming pool full of if I happen to meet a genie.

Saturday we went to Cabazon Outlets which I am sorry to say have lost their luster. The Crate and Barrel outlet is gone, along with many of my other favorite. We did make out like bandits with some great deals stacked with coupons from Harry and David though! We also made a stop at Hadley's where I confirmed my belief that it can't hold a candle to Sheilds date farm, where I am determined to watch the entire movie about the process of date farming someday.

So on the way home from Cabazon my mom declares that she wants to eat something REALLY GOOD. We stop by the In-n-out which honestly had about 40 cars in line for AND didn't fit my mom's desires anyway. So then we drive forever trying to find a decent place to feed my mother. At one point we spotted an Applebee's and pointed it out in desperation to which my mom very excitedly said "WHERE" then just as quickly decided that we should soldier on. Well, by now it's like 8:30pm we're starving and practically lost when my mom points to a sign for "Sherman's" and says "Kacie is that on your list" to which I replied with much surprise and gratitude "YES". So we went to Shermans, the Jewish deli where the food was SO BLAND where my mom ordered some watery soup that I loved while I ordered a egg salad that I loved and my sister got a salad that I loved....I was starving. THEN we each ordered what they are really known for: their incredible deserts. They were about 30 different kinds of intricate desserts with the most surly dessert server ever. My favorite moment was when a tall black man and I were decided on desserts next to each other. The surly server had already dished up a couple for him and was about to get another one when he spotted a blueberry cake that he said "oh I want that kind" to her, she begrudgingly said, "oh you want that instead" and he curtly says to her "don't you instead me, I want BOTH"! We ordered a Bavarian cream thingy, a coconut cake slice and a red velvet slice. They were all super rich and Kelly's Bavarian was the best. My mom and I finished most of it off the next day while she was in the shower :)

So Sunday we went to church were because of our timing and getting lost we ended up attending the most incredible Sunday school class where a lds book author happened to be present followed by sacrament meeting in Spanish. Afterwords we headed to a really fun swap meet / fair thing were we got there just before closing but still all managed to get some great finds! I got a beautiful wreath and a cosmetic train case for traveling which I haggled down from $25 to $16 with a man who barely spoke English. I loved it and had been looking for a makeup case forever. (i haggled the wreath down too)

We then went to an area called the River that was SO beautiful and ate at a place called Aqua Pazzaz, not on the list but still really fabulous. This is a picture of us there eating next to the water which winds through the whole shopping area.

On Monday we did a little more shopping, packed up and ate one last time at a historic mexican food restaurant that had been there. It reminded me of Disneyland and I videoed like every inch of it on the flip. Which is why there are hardly any pictures from this trip, my mom and I documented like every minute of it on her flip so we can be sure to redo the parts we loved!

It was a great trip and I am so grateful to Derek, Reed, Bridget, and whoever else helped watch Cooper so I could take a little break!

Next year I hope to revisit a couple of our favorite restaurants, go back to Sheild's date farm, and ride the tram up the mountain. LOVED this trip! Thanks Kelly and Mom for pitching in on the costs!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cooper Flake

The end of Februrary marks Cooper turning 19 months old. I'm sure that if I weren't a mother or especially if I weren't Cooper's mother I would think that such an occasion would be rather rediculous to remark over. But becuase I am Cooper's mother, and perhaps you think this is rediculous (I don't blame you), I will say that the best I can explain it is that counting the days Cooper has been in my life is almost akin to counting down the days to Christmas. Another way of putting it is that saying that I love being Cooper's mother is an understatement.

Anyhow, the real point of this post is to document the kind of person Cooper is right now so that I can remember when I'm bedraggled and hair-brained and so Cooper can look back on how he started.

Firstly, as a said before, Cooper is such a little person.

People have always commented that he looks like a little man becuase of his hair and features but now he even acts like one.

He talks. a lot.

He knows more words every day that he just picks up himself. Yesterday he took me to the bathroom door, tapped it with his inch-long pointer finger and asked "bath". He does love bath time.

His first word in the morning is usually "Basketball" which is is obsessed with or "macknee" which is his word for the vacuum, his other obsession. This morning it was "mommy"...loved that.

He can say doggy, duck, ball, basketball, help, please, more, milk, mommy, dada, mammy(grammie), snow, bye bye, night night, thank you, love you, (the last four are all said in a high sing-songy voice)

He also carries on conversations, making deep eye contact, eyebrows raised for emphasis, in complete jibberish.

Though I don't know much about kids his age he seems different in some ways. He has a lot of patience, regard for others, and is independent yet unafraid to ask for help. This seems mature to me.

He will hold still while I cut his hair, knows the names of his three favorite stuffed animals (Red Bear, Po, "B") and eats almost anything.

We love our Cooper kid so much and love nothing more than watching him learn and grow.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What my name means

Kacie Lynn Flake

Have you ever stopped to think about what your name means? Like what it really, really means? For some reason this is the very question I pondered while blow drying my hair today and I was surprised to realize how many people this question can include. It also made me hope that I can think of all of these sort of questions while everyone who knows the answers are around to tell me.

My first name is Kacie.

According to "Think Baby Names" Kacie means alert and watchful. I believe this to be true to the extent that horoscopes are true...meaning, I am sure I am alert and watchful at some points. Or maybe this is referring to my parenting style and is a gentle way of saying paranoid. In that case, yes, I believe they have me pegged.

It also means that my mom would have to redo my birth certificate when my Dad spelled it the "boy way".

It means that in the 4th grade I would wrongfully get sent to the principles office because a girl named Casey had hit someone on the playground, sending my heart rate through the roof at the prospect that I had done something evil enough to be sent there.

It means that I will never own a premade, bike-sized license plate, rubbery cup, or keychain with my name on it. que lastima.

It means that spelling my name out loud more times in my life than someone named Casey.

K - A - C - I - E

My middle name is Lynn

which means that I am like my mom

and that my Grandmother just always liked the name.

It means that when I learned to write in cursive I would write my full name more often because of how pretty the L and Y looked next to each other.

My last name is Flake.

It means that I married the most incredible man I could ever dream of. truly.

It means that my children will unconsciously stick their tongue out when they concentrate and that they'll have many cousins to grow up with.

It means that I should know my family history because I WILL be asked about it, often.

It means that my children will grow up with a last name that they will learn to be as proud of as their great aunts and uncles.

It means being the butt of a joke and snowman decorations ("my friends are flakes")
at Christmastime.

It means bingo at Thanksgiving.

It means my kids will have to be very careful with who they go on a date with in the White Mountains.
It means I reached my ultimate goal of marrying the right man and the right time by the right authority.
What does your name really mean? I'd love to know. Or perhaps you know more about what my name means? Care to share?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to be Prepared for a Snowstorm

I am really enjoying the nice weather we have enjoyed the last few days. Travis and Kendra came to visit us and to play in the snow, and while we weren't able to do that, we did have a delicious valentine's day dinner of homemade fettuccine Alfredo which gave me a fabulous opportunity to try out the new pasta machine Derek gave me for my birthday...delicious!
V-day was especially enjoyable this year, Derek brought home an incredible bouquet of flowers, threw a little Usher on (that he had just downloaded for me) did a dance that would put even Usher himself to shame, and presented me with peanut m&m's. Frankly I can't think of a better combo :) Travis and Kendra arrived shortly after and we had our second v-day double date together. I hope we keep it a tradition! I LOVE that we were able to spend time outside in some sunshine and even go to the park!
Unfortunately for Travis and Kendra who will have just missed it, I have heard that the forecast is calling for more snow this weekend. As a reminder to myself and for those of us who may have our sights set on spring already, I thought I'd let Cooper demonstrate how to best be prepared for a snowstorm.
Before the storm hits there are a few things you'll want to do. For one, make sure you have the right gear. Just because someone says you need boots for the snow doesn't mean that ALL boots will be equally effective. Some boots are better for sports while others are better for snow exploring.
Hats, mittens, and a jacket are also highly recommended. If you look like the Michelin Man, you're probably adequately prepared.
Secondly, the winter may be a long one so make sure you have some meat on your bones, even if it means taking it off of someone else's.

Our suggestion is to make sure that you aren't wearing your gear from step one while proceeding to step two. BBQ sauce has its tendencies.

Step Three: Enjoy the snow! Something about snow really is magical. It can transform the whole landscape into a fresh, clean slate of pure white, a grown adult into a child, and a baby into Groucho Marx.

And another thing, Julie Andrews wasn't lying about the nose and eyelashes thing...

Last step. Make sure you have someone you love to help you warm up afterwards!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas 2010!

This year was "Flake Family" Christmas so as soon as Derek got off of work on Thursday we headed to the Mesa.
Now, being a Mountain Girl I was unprepared on many accounts. For one nobody warned me that I should have packed for a swim party more than a Christmas party. It was so hot down there! I was dying in long sleeves!
Our first stop was the mall to finish our last few shopping items. Mistake two, I was not prepared for every single Valley resident to be at one mall. Derek just dropped me off as I ran in since we literally could not find a parking spot. CRAZY.
Thursday night the whole family (minus a few) gathered to do some supreme Christmas light looking and hot cocoa drinking. Lori provided the most adorable, tastiest hot cocoa table ever. LOVED that we made it down in time for this!
On Christmas Eve Bridget, Bup and Slimmy came over to spend the night with us at Reed and Lori's.
Here is the Christmas morning crew!
Here is Lori's beautiful tree with the presents!
Later everyone else came over and we opened presents, we had over 30 people opening presents at one time!
Here are most of the grandkids on the porch swing we had just given Lori as a group gift.
We thought it would be fun to see if it is possible to make twelve kids sit in one area for 3 seconds on Christmas day. As you can see, it's not :)
Love Cooper's pj's and converse. There's nothing like staying in your pj's all day on Christmas!

Here's a picture of SOME of the mess.

We loved getting to see our family on Christmas! Especially the Californians who were obviously in some need of tickling.

Later we thought it would be fun to see if it is possible to have 3 1 yr olds sit, smile and look forward.

Also not possible.

And last but not least I've included Cooper's first santa picture.
Here we have captured the silent cry that is evoked when Cooper:
is mortally wounded
is enduring unbearable pain
when he sits on Santa's lap.

Oh how I love Christmas! I am still in shock that it went by so fast!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More November 2010

In an attempt to upload tons of pictures I got them all out of order. In the interest of saving me time, we'll all just have to try to fit the pieces back into the order they belong in.
We spent Thanksgiving in a very cold and snowy Utah with family. This trip was based around my nephew Sky's mission farewell. We spend the first night with Derek's Uncle Dennis and were able to see his cousin Angie the next day when we met up to meet at her husband Mike's awesome Warehouse!
Then we stayed with my family in a condo in Farmington. This picture is Cooper discovering the joy of frontloading washer and dryers.
How we both wish we had these at our house!
Here is Grampy trying to get a picture with the two youngest grand babies and the oldest great grandbaby. Kai, Krey and Kooper :) I LOVED having these three boys together. Their birthdays are May, June and July!

The boys with the boys
Dave Derek Derek
Kai Cooper Krey
and if you think that was confusing Derek #2 is my nephew that is two years older than me so I'm a great aunt to Krey and Avah...

Poor Cooper was so upset of pictures. I kept saying that something was wrong with him because he never cries. People just kept telling me that he was just having a hard time with all the excitement but we found out a few minutes later that he had the worst diaper rash ever.
I felt so bad about these pictures where I can now tell he doesn't want to sit on his poor raw bum.

So here is the real adventure. Cooper's first airplane ride. Our flight to Salt Lake was delayed about 5 hours due to a snow storm. So Cooper had a ton of fun exploring the entire airport and making friends with every single person he could. He would walk up to anyone and just say hi until they played with him. The airport was so full of people flying for Thanksgiving and Cooper would just walk up complete strangers who were buried in a book and just make fast friends. By the time we boarded the plane and walked back to our seat everyone new Cooper and said hi as we walked by. We even got on a return flight with some of the same people from our original flight with people who remembered him!
At about 9:30 pm running along the seats from his Daddy to a few strangers/best friends who were playing "I'm gonna get you" with him.

The girls with the boys!
Kelly, Jen and I

The Thanksgiving feast crew!

Derek with sweet Avah Skye!

Cooper with his cousin Derek!

Here's us at the airport about 4 hours before our flight took off.

Cooper loved checking everything out! This terminal is the best!

This is the return flight home in the Salt Lake Airport. We bought Cooper a ridiculously overpriced adorable plane to commemorate this fun occasion!

Whew, flash forward to earlier in the month for me to remind you once again how much I love a freshly woken baby.

Mmmm, my favorite!

Cooper enjoying Lori's hall tree/ wall tree...Reed and I still can't quite get down what to call this beautiful antique!