Lightning Bugs

Our backyard has turned out to be one of the best place to hunt fireflies.  One evening, Cora and I headed downstairs to watch the sunset and we ran around catching lightning bugs for quite a while. It became one of the activities that Cora loved talking about and asking if it was time for the lightning bugs to come out.
We saved a queso jar, painted the top, and set it up so we could catch fireflies.  We drilled a couple of holes, made sure we put a damp paper towel in the jar (keep the air in the jar humid), and added some grass and flowers so there was something for them to climb around on. The first night we put bugs in our firefly jar, Cora was obsessed. She couldn't stop yelling whenever her bugs would do something. She put her arm around Ida and showed her the bugs saying "It's nature, Ida! It's nature!"

Each evening, we've gone out and released the lightning bugs that we had in the jar that day and catch new ones.  It has been fun observing the bugs, running around catching new ones, and coming up with new names for the bugs (Zemo, Mr Bugface, Eno, Neno, her cousins names, Mr Chubbyface, Xylophone, etc).

I love these sweet summer evenings of running around the backyard after those blinking lights and watching the sunset behind the trees.


Veggetable Garden : Progress

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One of the things I was looking forward to when we moved into our own house was starting a vegetable garden.  I love vegetables and I'm cheap so I would love getting tons of veggies for very little cost.  I did as much reading as I could, lots of Pinning, and a little bit of planning.

We made this raised bed out of scrap pieces of wood I had. Cora and I tried just nailing them together, but that was not the best way to construct it. I bought some corner brace things and Ben and I put this together one evening.

I threw in some cardboard boxes from our move and moved dirt from the existing raised beds.  Cora and I picked up a bunch of seeds at Lowes and worked on germinating the seeds in damp paper towel and ziploc baggies.  I was getting a little discouraged because it was taking a while, but a couple days later I looked and little roots were sprouting in everything but the beans.

I planted the seeds, watered, and hoped for the best.  A couple days later things started to pop up and we were way too excited for it. I was still a little worried about the beans because I hadn't seen any activity yet, but one day they just started popping up.  By the end of that day, almost all of the bean seeds had popped up and were growing fairly quickly.

Using some bamboo sticks and netting, I made these little bean teepees and whatever that other thing is called for the plants to grow up on. I'm really just winging it with a lot of things regarding this garden, so time will tell if these methods worked.

I've only had to do a little bit of weeding and watering it at least once a day, but the plants seem to be doing pretty good. I am far from being a knowledgeable gardener, but this little project has been so fun for me and Cora to work on.  I can't wait until the plants start getting veggies and we can eat straight from the garden.
See more of our garden updates and pictures at #CoopstromsGarden


Life With Ida : 9 Months

Crawling, pulling up, and starting to cruise.  Ida is really learning to get around and she seems like she'll be pretty mischievous. She's always trying to check out what is going on and loves to peek out the bedroom window to look around.
Ida loves to tease us.  She loves to pull on Cora's hair and there have been times where Cora was napping next to her and she starts to reach out. I warn her and she gives me the sneakiest little look. Ida also loves to put her pacifier in our mouth and then yank it out and giggle at us.  Its a fun little game she likes to play and makes us all laugh.  I have a feeling we'll have our hands full with this little stinker.

Ida is still trying all foods and doing an awesome job feeding herself.  She really loves nachos/burrito type food, spaghetti, and lasagna. Ida doesn't have teeth yet, but somehow she manages to eat pretty much anything that is within reach.
She's making more and more noises and starting to say what sounds like 'dada'.  She's still pretty quiet most of the time, but I love when she surprises us with loud noises or babbling. Sometimes Ben, Cora, and I will be really loud and Cora loves to join in with a high pitched scream. It is the cutest thing ever.
She sleeps really well at night lately.  I only have to nurse her once or twice and I've been getting a lot of pretty good sleep, so it has been nice hitting that milestone.  We've been discussing moving Ida into Cora's room soon since she's doing so well sleeping. The girls love being around each other and Cora can't wait until they can share a room.
Ida LOVES baths.  We've been doing lots of sink baths because loves making a mess when she eats. She splashes all over the place and loves it. Cora likes to help with the sink baths and Ida loves spending anytime she can with Cora.
Happy 9 months happy little Ida! I love all of the laughter and cuddles you bring to our family.
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