Dec 29, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a splendid Christmas! Ours was very nice. We were able to go to Thatcher and spend the weekend before Christmas with all the Conrads and then we spent Christmas Eve at my parent's house and on Christmas day my family came out to our house. It was really nice having everyone over. My family is big on board games so we spent most of the day eating, playing games and watching basketball. For those of you who have never played "The New Yorker" I highly recommend it. I've never laughed so hard. Anyway, I hope everyone had a merry Christmas. I'm so thankful for my Savior and for the opportunity we have to celebrate his birth. I'm grateful for all the He's given me and now as the new year approaches I'm determined to better myself so that I can return to live with Him someday. Happy New Year! :)

Dec 12, 2008

Christmas Classics

Remember those good old Christmas cartoons that came on when you were a kid, like Frosty the Snowman or Santa Clause is Coming to Town? Well, recently Cooper discovered these blasts from the past and so now I am reliving my childhood.

This is the first year that he's kind of understood Christmas and has gotten excited about it. It's pretty funny to watch how excited he gets when Santa Clause comes onto the TV -- he loves Santa (although, he doesn't like him quite enough to sit on his lap). Cooper doesn't call Santa by his name, however. He calls him "Hohoho" instead. I got in trouble the other day when we were at Wal-Mart because of this. Cooper was antsy and so to settle him down I promised that we would go look at the "hohoho" stuff after I finished getting my groceries. True to my word, after we checked out we headed to the other side of the store where they keep all the Christmas decorations and such. They had a big inflatable Santa Clause on one of their shelves and Cooper started yelling "hohoho, mommy! hohoho!" I nodded absentmindedly and answered him, "yes, Cooper that's a hohoho." Unfortunately, right as I said this a teenage girl in a short skirt and lots of make-up passed by and gave me a dirty look. (I think she thought I was saying hoehoehoe).

They always say you shouldn't talk baby talk back to your kids, that you should use the proper words instead. Now I know why. Hohoho . . . :)

Nov 30, 2008

I am thankful for . . .

5. Cool weather
4. Dr. Pepper
3. Anything that keeps Cooper entertained for more than 5 minutes
2. The gospel
1. My eternal family
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a terrific turkey day!

Nov 20, 2008

4 years

Four years ago today I was sealed in the Mesa Temple to my best friend and the love of my life. I can't believe it's already been 4 years! Time flies when you're having fun! :) I love you, Randy! Happy anniversary.

Oct 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

Cooper the skunk . . .

Oct 14, 2008

We're Expecting

I thought I would go ahead and make the official announcement, even though most people already know by now. I am 15 weeks pregnant with our 2nd baby and I am so excited! I'm in the 2nd trimester now, so my morning sickness has waned and I have some energy now. The baby is due April 2nd and I can not wait to meet him or her! :)

Oct 3, 2008

Shake your booty

I recorded this while I was making dinner one night. I had the radio on and Cooper was getting his groove on.

Sep 20, 2008

No more binky!

I did it! I took Cooper's binky away. Hooray! It's been about 10 days since the last time he had his binky and he's actually doing very well with out it. For those of you who don't know, my kid was attached to his binky like it was another appendage. I had tried giving it to him only when he went to bed or took naps, but he couldn't be fooled. I had also tried taking it away completely a few times, but I always gave in when he pleaded with me. It was funny how much he would settle down if I gave him his binky (I miss that). Anyway, the thing that finally decided it for me was when I noticed Cooper was chewing on it and putting holes in it. After that I gathered them all up and locked them in a cupboard when Coop wasn't looking. When he asked for it I would show him the empty container that used to hold all his binkys. When he saw that they weren't there and I told him they were all gone he just kind of shrugged and went off to play. This continued for a couple of days and then he stopped asking for it all together. So, Cooper is officially off the binky. Hooray! The only problem is that the little boy I watch during the week still has a binky and I've caught Cooper in the corner with the baby's binky a few times. Other than that, all is well. :)

Sep 5, 2008


Wow, I guess I haven't posted anything on here for a while. There really isn't much that's new. Cooper is getting bigger everyday. Not just in size but in personality, too. He'll be 2 on the 30th of this month and I can hardly believe it. I'm hoping we can start potty training him soon, but so far he doesn't have much interest. I'm still baby-sitting and doing the day to day things. Our family just spent Labor Day weekend in Thatcher and we had lots of fun. It's always nice to go down there and visit and relax. Randy's dad is also the best cook, so I love having dinner at their house! :) Other than that it's the same old thing. I still haven't gotten a new camera, but I'm hoping to fix that this weekend. (Yes, my old one is irreparably damaged). Anyway, here are some cute pics of Cooper that Joan sent to me. Thanks, Joan! :)

Here's Cooper in Grandma & Grandpa's bed
Cooper and Andrew (the little boy I sit for)
Cooper having fun in the backyard

Jul 31, 2008


So . . . I think I may have broken our digital camera. :( I was trying to take a picture of the kids the other day and I dropped it (on the tile no less!) when Cooper threw a ball at me. It hit the floor and the batteries popped out. I should have known I'm not coordinated enough to hold a camera and catch a ball at the same time! Anyway, now whenever I take a picture the image comes out all distorted. If there are any camera experts out there I need to know -- did I inflict permanent damage? Or is this something that can be fixed? When I told Randy what happened he just shook his head at me and said "you broke it." At least the memory card is still in tact. :) I was browsing online looking at the different cameras and was wondering if the Coolpix camera is any good? I don't speak camera-ese so all the pixel and focus mumbo jumbo they list about the camera means nothing to me. I'm looking for recommendations. (Bre - this means you!)

Jul 21, 2008

Jul 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Randy!

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! His birthday was on Saturday so we went down to good old Thatcher for the weekend. Randy is the most generous and loving person I have ever met. He is the best father to our son and the best husband to me. I am so grateful to have him as my eternal companion. I love him to pieces!

Jul 10, 2008

New Purchase

Drum roll please . . . I finally bought a new trash can for the kitchen! Hooray! The one we have now doesn't have a lid on it and Cooper is always scavenging for treasure. Bed Bath & Beyond had their trashcans on sale, so I bought one. It has a lid that locks! How cool is that? I know, how lame is it that I'm blogging about a trashcan? Most people get excited when they get a new couch or TV and here I am raving about a trashcan. But honestly, I was so excited about my new purchase! It even has the step that automatically opens the lid. We're living the high life! :)

Jun 27, 2008

My Little Angel

So, because I always write about the things Cooper does that drive me crazy I thought I should also write about the things he does that are really sweet. The other night I slept like crap. I woke up every couple of hours and was very restless. Cooper is now sleeping on his toddler bed (yea!) so when he wakes up in the morning he just walks out of his room and into mine. The other day, though, he saw that I was still sleeping and so instead of coming into my room like he normally would he just sat outside my bedroom door. He left the door ajar so that he could peek in on me, but he sat right outside the door and played quietly with some toys until I woke up and realized the was there. It was so sweet! He just let me sleep. I have the sweetest kid. He's a handful sure, but he's also sweeter than sugar. He's now started to give me hugs after I change his diaper -- I guess it's his 'thank you'. He's such a good helper, too. He picks up his toys and helps me with the baby I watch during the week. He'll play with the baby to keep him from crying while I'm throwing a load of laundry in the wash or he'll bring me the baby's diaper bag when I forgot to grab the desitin before changing him. It's very nice. Last night our ward had our quarterly enrichment meeting and it was on 'spouse appreciation', although it touched on other relationships as well. One of the speakers said something about how we need to enjoy our children at every age. "Be their friend, love them, teach them, play with them". I thought that was really good advice.

How could you not love a face like this? :)

Jun 23, 2008

Summer Treats . . .

Is this not the most delicious thing you have ever seen?

Jun 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I just wanted to say Happy Father's Day to my dad, my father-in-law and my husband. You guys are such awesome men and I am so grateful for your example to me and my son. I love you! Randy is such a good dad. He went swimming with us today and Cooper had a blast swimming with his dad. (His dad is much more fun to swim with than me. I don't like to get my hair wet and that limits what I will do in the pool). Cooper and Randy were jumping off the side and the waterfall into the pool, having a grand ole' time. I need to get Cooper into swim lessons, but I haven't found anyone who teaches in my neighborhood yet. Cooper absolutely loves the water. He throws the biggest fit every time I get him out of the pool. I bought him a floaty last week and he seems to have figured it out.We've been swimming a few times now and he doesn't have any problem staying afloat in it or even moving around. He stays on the steps and plays with his toys. The best thing about swimming though, is afterwards. It totally wipes Coop out, so he takes a nice long afternoon nap for me. Yea! Randy is currently out golfing with his brother and Cooper is sleeping. Ah, peace and quiet. I forget what it sounds like sometimes. :)

Jun 12, 2008

Say It Ain't So . . .

The time has to come to move Cooper from his crib into his 'big boy' bed.
He's now climbed out of his crib a total of 4 times in the last couple of months. The first time he totally wiped out. The second and third time he managed to get out with out me knowing. I didn't have a clue until he all of a sudden appeared in my room! I even had the baby monitor on and I didn't hear a thing! Talk about sneaky! I'm raising some sort of ninja prodigy or something. The fourth time he climbed out of his crib Randy and I watched from the door to see how he does it. He just heaves himself over the side and swings his legs around, dropping to the floor. It's insane. So, I'm afraid we're going to have to put him on the toddler bed. Sigh. I was hoping he'd stay in his crib until his 2ND birthday, but my hope was in vain. Couldn't he figure out the potty training thing first? I'm all aboard that train! So, if anyone has any suggestions on how to make the transition from crib to bed easier I'm all ears!

May 22, 2008

Rainy Days

Don't you just love rainy days? They're the absolute best! Today has been wonderfully wet with thunder claps galore, so Cooper and I went out and enjoyed the rain while it's here. He tried to catch the raindrops in his hands and when that didn't work he went and played in the water that was running off the side of our house. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we used to have those huge monsoon storms in the summer when it would really pour. Our street used to flood up over the sidewalk and so my sisters and I would go out there in our bare feet and raincoats and splash in the water (which came to our knees!) We called it 'surf's up'. Good times.

May 20, 2008

Me and my shadow

I've been told many times how children's minds are like sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear. Everything. I knew that. I just never realized how closely your children watch you. It's very intimidating. Cooper is literally my little shadow. He follows me around the house while I'm cleaning and doing chores and bring his toys into whatever room I happen to be in at the time. He loves to read and he's always mimicking my hand gestures and sounds. I caught him today sitting in his high chair staring at me and trying to mimic the expression that was on my face. He loves to go into our bathroom and pretend he's shaving like his dad. It's so cute! He even uses q-tips to clean his ears like his father does. It's hilarious. The other day I was putting Cooper's toy golf clubs away and Randy said something that irked me so I started to poke him with one of the golf clubs. Well, Cooper was watching us and he came over with a golf club of his own and started poking Randy, too. Randy wasn't too happy with me after Cooper hit him in the face with his golf club. Sorry, honey! I feel like I'm playing that horribly annoying shadow game from grade school, only instead of it being annoying it's very enlightening. It's made me very aware of my actions to see my little one-year-old imitating them. Hopefully, he'll pick up more good things than bad!

May 18, 2008

A case of the grumps . . .

Today I have a bad case of the grumps. It started last night when I was watching the news and saw that we're already being given a heat advisory and are expected to hit the 100's in the next few days. Yuck. I was enjoying the weather so much! A couple nights this week it was even chilly! Then there were 2 days when the wind was blowing so bad that I thought my house was going to be sucked up into the land of Oz. Sounds odd, but I loved it. Now it's back to that good old Arizona heat. Again I say, yuck.

I also finished my book (Stephenie Meyer's The Host), which makes me sad. I really liked it, but now I have nothing to read. I just love a good book! I will stay up until 1:00 in the morning reading a book until I finish it. It's so much better than the crap they have on TV. Unfortunately, now I have to go find another book to read and I have a hard time picking one out. You never know what you're going to get. I'm always afraid I either won't like it or it will have something naughty in it. I usually end up re-reading my favorites (Harry Potter, Twilight and now The Host).

I was also disappointed in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie. Randy and I went and saw it the other day. It was good, but it was quite a bit different from the book. I never like it when they differentiate from the book. Oh, well. It was still entertaining.

Good grief, I'm such a whiner. It might have something to do with a lack of sleep and an energetic 20 month old. I had to sub in the nursery again today, which always leaves my nerves feeling very frayed. My husband had to teach the gospel principles class, so he wasn't there. I'm disappointed I couldn't go listen to his lesson and support him, but your calling comes first I suppose. Anyway, we had 14 kids in our class. All 18 months old. We had a major poop accident (I literally had to carry the kid to sunday school by the wrists, looking for his parents, because he had pooped up the back of his clothes. I felt like everyone gave me the evil eye when I interrupted the lesson!) Then there was a bunch of hitting and crying (most of it done by my child). For some reason, Cooper was really attached to Randy today. Usually he's a mama's boy, but today he didn't want anything to do with me. The last half hour of nursery he sat at the door crying "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy, bye!"

Anyway, add it all up and you've got a nice case of the grumps. Luckily, I think my case is fairly mild and I should be back to normal by tomorrow. My symptoms are already starting to lessen. :)

May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! I hope everyone had a marvelous day! Especially my mom and my mother-in-law. I love you guys! Thanks for all you love, support and advice. I had a pretty great mother's day myself. My husband bought me the new Stephenie Meyer book The Host. I just started reading it and so far so good. I was a little hesitant to read it because it has kind of an "aliens from another planet" theme, but so far it's pretty good. And I loved the Twilight series, so I'm betting this one will be pretty good, too. We spent Saturday shopping at the new Kohl's by our house and then went and had frozen yogurt with our friends at The Golden Spoon. Yum! On Sunday we went to our Sacrament meeting and then headed out to Glendale to spend the afternoon with my mom and the rest of my family. After a delicious roast dinner made by my mother we walked down the street to see the goats. Cooper had a blast feeding them leaves from the trees. I'm going to have to take him to the zoo one of these days before it gets too hot. He'd love it!
Anyway, I want to say 'I love you' to my mom and thank her for all that she does for me. I'm so happy to be a mother myself and I hope that I can be as good a mom to Cooper as she is to me and my sisters. Thanks for setting such a great example for me, mom. Happy Mother's Day!

May 1, 2008

May Day

I can't believe that it's May already! Holy cow! The weather has been so nice here in Arizona the past month or so, I guess I didn't realize how close to summer we are. Staying home makes me lose track of what day it is, too. All I know is that it's Monday if Dancing with the Stars is on and Tuesday if the results show is on. After that it's all kind of a blur. Not that my days aren't jam packed with fun and action. . . .
Here's Cooper sticking his mac & cheese in his nose. Don't ask me why!
While I was doing the dishes Cooper was shredding my brand new box of tissues. Good thing I got the Target special.
More of the tissue mess . . .

Cooper is getting really good at folding his arms. He even does it during prayers now!

Randy was made a ward missionary this past Sunday (thankfully, I was not). We're still in the Nursery, though. In fact, we had to substitute Cooper's class. I didn't realize how good we had it with the 2 1/2 - 3 year-olds. The 18-months are utter and complete chaos and my son was right in the thick of it. I tried to give the lesson we were assigned (it was on bugs and birds), but I think I got as far as "Our lesson today is on bugs--" before someone threw a toy and someone else screamed. It was all downhill from there. On a less chaotic note, I heard about the new temples they are going to be building in Gilbert and the Gila Valley and I'm so happy. I can't wait. Of course, this means that my husband is even more determined to move us to Thatcher. Sacrifices must be made, I guess! :) j/k.

Apr 23, 2008

San Diego Temple

I really like this picture. It's probably my favorite temple, even though I've only seen it from afar.

Apr 18, 2008


So, Cooper has a new phrase that he uses all the time.

Pease, Mommy!
It's so hard to tell him no when he looks up at you with those big blue eyes and starts pleading "pease, pease, pease!" (Which, in case you aren't sure, means please). He knows that he'll get his way if he says please and he uses it to the best of his little 18-month-old ability. I never thought I would have a hard time telling my kid no, but there it is. I have a hard time getting after him when he folds his arms, too. He just started going to Nursery this month so we've been working on folding our arms. Now he walks around the house folding his arms. I started to get after him the other day for climbing into the pantry, but I stopped mid-sentence because he came out of the pantry with his arms folded. It took all I had not to laugh. What a kid! He's also gotten into this phase where he likes to pinch people on the bum. It's funny when he does it to daddy. It wasn't so funny when he pinched the bottom of the lady I baby-sit for. It was actually quite mortifying. Oh, well. She'll understand someday when her son is running around pinching people on the bum. :)

Apr 4, 2008


Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel totally clueless? I'm having one right now. I swear having kids fries your brain. It did in my case anyway. I had to take Cooper to the doctor today for his 18 month well visit. Of course, that means he had to get a shot. Just one, thank goodness. For some reason, he was really clingy at this appointment. Usually I have to chase him all over the doctor's office to prevent him from walking into some other patients room, climbing into the fish tank, or sticking a thermometer in some poor kid's ear, but today for whatever reason he wouldn't leave my side. He had his arms around my neck in one of his incredible Hulk grips. It took both the doctor and myself to get him to lay down on the table (I should mention that he's in the 90th percentile for his weight and the 97th for his height. He's a big boy). I hate the well visits almost as much as Cooper. There has never been a time where I have felt so wretched as when I am holding my son down on the table in the doctor's office so the nurse can give him a shot. He knows it's coming and he just looks at me like, "why are you letting her do this to me? You're my mom!" And I have to smile and tell him it's ok. Yeah, right. Like getting a sharp piece of metal jabbed into your thigh is ok. Anyway, after some screaming and many tears (his and mine) we were leaving the doctor's office, lollipop in hand. Of course, when we reached the car Cooper no longer had his lollipop. Where could it be? Why, on the back of mommy's sweater of course! There it was, stuck to my left shoulder like some evil little sign telling the world "if she only had a brain . . ." I can only imagine what I must have looked like standing there in the parking lot of the doctor's office, twirling around like a dog chasing it's tail as I tried to pry the sucker from my sweater while my son stood next to me screaming bloody murder because his mother took his sucker. After I got Cooper in the car and the sucker detached from my sweater we set off for home, only for me to realize that I'm driving in the wrong direction. Like I said, clueless.

Mar 24, 2008

Road Trip

My cousin, Shannon McDowell, got married this past Saturday in Logan, Utah and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend.
On Thursday Cooper, my sister Breanne, and myself went to the airport (thanks, Azure for the ride!) and caught our flight to Salt Lake City. The rest of my family drove and we all met up at my uncle's house in Spanish Fork where we stayed the night. Apparently, in Utah they have some privacy issues. The home builders don't automatically build a fence around your house, you have to put that in yourself. Along with the front yard and the backyard. Sheesh. Talk about getting to know your neighbors. The next day we drove to Brigham City to spend the day with my great uncle Keith and great aunt Barbara. It was so COLD! There was snow everywhere! I've never seen so much snow in my life! I thought I would freeze to death! I even had to sleep in my big coat! We drove around in Uncle Keith's cars (poor Bre and Brooke had to sit in the rumble seat outside - needless to say they were popsicles by the time we got home!) and ate Aunt Barbara's wonderful food! I had fun helping set up the church for the reception in between visiting with family, running to the store for citric acid and chasing my son around. The wedding was in the Logan Temple and it was beautiful! My great uncle was the sealer. It was a beautiful sealing and it was so much fun to see all of my family! The luncheon was at a place called "The Bluebird" and the food was delicious! It was a little crowded in there, but the food was worth it. Plus I sat next to my cousin Tana and her husband Nathan which was lots of fun and laughter. The only draw back was that Randy had to work and couldn't make it. And the 12 hour car ride home with and 18 month old - now that's an adventure I'm in no hurry to relive. Actually, Cooper was really good for me. I even got to finish a book in the car on the way home, he was so good! It helped to have my parents and sisters there to take him off my hands every now and then. Anyway, the trip was lots of fun and I'm so glad I was able to go and see my cousin be sealed for time and all eternity to a really great guy. It reminded me how lucky I am to have a temple marriage with a really great guy and to be sealed to my beautiful, crazy, energetic little boy.

Mar 10, 2008

It's ok Ma, I'm only bleeding

The other day I was in the living room folding laundry while Cooper was playing in his bedroom with 2 other kids his age. All of a sudden, I hear Cooper crying and he comes running on his tiptoes into the living room sporting a brilliant black eye. (see below pictures) The other 2 kids came out right after him. I'm not sure if the wound was self inflicted or if the other children lent a helping hand. He seemed fine so I let him go back to playing. To add insult to injury (or maybe just injury to injury) a couple weeks ago Cooper was in the backyard playing while Randy was barbecuing and again I heard the injured cry. Cooper came in the house behind Randy and when I asked my husband what was wrong his reply was "I don't know, he just started crying." I went to look at my son and his chin was all bloody, but I couldn't find the source of the bleeding. I patched him up and sent him on his way. The next day while in Sacrament meeting at church I noticed that Cooper had chipped both his two front teeth (hence the crying and the bleeding). I swear my child will have a concussion before he turns 2. Hopefully, he'll have teeth, too.

Mar 3, 2008

I baby-sit the cutest little girl. Her name is Michaela and she's 2 - just a little older than Cooper. They get along just like brother and sister. Today Michaela brought bunny ears with her and so she and Cooper spent the day running around in them. Have you ever seen a cuter Easter bunny?
Meet our little family - Randy, Ashley and Cooper Conrad. Randy and I have been married for 3 years and our little boy, Cooper, is 17 months old. We currently reside in good old Queen Creek, AZ and really enjoy our neighborhood. There's a tot lot right across the street from our house and Cooper just can't seem to get enough of it. I literally have to drag him back to the house kicking and screaming every afternoon. I grew up with 3 younger sisters, so raising a little boy is like living on another planet. I'm learning quickly, though. I'm gradually getting used to having dirt everywhere and having my house look like a bomb was dropped on it. I at least stopped following him around with a sponge and stain remover, ready to drop to my knees and clean up whatever mess he's just made. I do still, however, pick up the toys as soon as he quits playing with them. Gradually, remember? Even with all the broken furniture and messes I still wouldn't trade this little boy for anything in the world. He's the love my life (along with his dad!)