Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Since my family is Jewish, the holiday of Christmas has little meaning or value to us. My family often celebrates it the same way the rest of the Jews do, by going out to a Chinese restaurant and then going to a movie! It's great :o) Needless to say, Christmas is not the biggest holiday for us. Since I was home for a week at Thanksgiving, and I need to save vacation time for graduate school interviews later this winter (hopefully, that is), I decided to stay in Madison for the first time in 5 years for Christmas and New Years.
Tim and I were both able to get off for 5 days, and decided to make the long drive up to visit Tim's parents in Spicer, MN. We decided to leave at 12:30am (yes am!) because Madison was going to get pounded with oh-my-good-grief-MORE snow sometime around 3am and we never would have been able to safely get up to Spicer. I was in bed, in my PJs, with the lights off, when Tim came home from work and wanted to leave (grrrrr). Although I was NOT thrilled to drive through the night, it worked out well because Cooper slept the whole way and we were able to miss the snow storm that Madison DID indeed get.

We arrived in Spicer at the crack of dawn around 7:30am. Luckily, Tim's parents are wonderful and took great care of us, so from the moment we arrived we were fed like royalty, Cooper was spoiled rotten, and the relaxation began! Tim's brother, Dan, was also home for the holidays, and his girlfriend Sarah joined us on Friday (this was the first time Tim and I met her and we liked her very much :o) ). I also got to celebrate Christmas "Court" style. There were lots of presents for everyone (including Cooper! Jennifer and John like to spoil their grand-puppy), TONS of great food, and TONS of great sugary treats. Here are some of the images from the weekend:

Tim and Dan opened their gifts to each other first:

Cooper helped open some of his presents too; and he had a lot:

Dan got these two flying remote control helicopters that we had way more fun with than anyone over the age of 6 should:

We also lit the Chanukah candles three nights since Jennifer is also Jewish so we had quite a few Jews in one room (Tim knows the Chanukah prayer, and his basketball team used to make him say it before some of their games in high school, haha!):

We had a very relaxing weekend! I was not excited about the 6 hour drive back, but Cooper only had one mini-meltdown and we were able to make good time so it wasn't too bad. Not to mention it wasn't in the middle of the night this time! Thanks Jennifer and John for a great weekend!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First Bath, First Snow

Since Tim and I aren't very exciting, I'll just keep posting about Super Chewper Cooper. Although Cooper has lost most of his baby teeth, he did manage to chew threw a lamp power cord and my computer power cord, as well as discover the games of "grab the toilet paper and run" and "jump on the kitchen chairs and eat people's food"! Although we now refer to him as "trouble" more often than we do by his own name, he is still a great puppy! He recently got his first bath. After all the snow, and the rain, and the muddy snow, and the freezing muddy snow, we decided it was time to wash him. Our white puppy wasn't looking so white anymore.Cooper wasn't a big fan, but he obliged:

It was very wet, but totally worth it! He thought he were punishing him though, since spent most of the day in the kitchen because he was always wet after walks, and then we locked him in the kitchen after his bath:

Well just in time for his bath, we got our first big snow storm. Although we have gotten snow a few times, we got pounded on Friday. We're talking 10" between midnight and dawn! This is what our steps looked like at 6am:

Cooper took one look at this and said "I'm going back to bed." I didn't blame him. We tried a little later, when the snow wasn't coming down sideways, and he at least gave it a shot. Keep in mind that 10" of snow comes up to his shoulders, so the other mode of transportation through this mess is bounding through the powder. Here's how deep it was (Cooper is walking through a car tire track):

Cooper had tons of fun eating, running, playing and galloping through the snow. Unfortunately the piles are very deep (some higher than me and Tim) so he's having some trouble understanding what to do! But he still loves it, as long as it isn't -20 and windy!

Next week, Tim, Cooper, and I are heading up to Spicer, MN to spend Christmas with Tim's parents and his brother Dan. Tim and I both have off for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and adding in Friday we are turning next week into a 5 day weekend. We are both very excited! I haven't been up to visit Tim's parents in over a year, so I'm looking forward to spending Tim at their place. More to come then!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cooper, Thanksgiving, Grad School, Cooper, Stuff

As usual, another month has passed and so much has happened without a single update! My time flies! Well November flew by for us because Cooper is now keeping us very busy. It turns out that we got not only a crazy puppy, but a bit of a sick puppy. We noticed he was having digestive trouble, and had to take him to a vet only 7 days after we brought him home. Turns out he had campylobacter, a bacteria that not only made him pretty sick, but could make humans pretty sick too. It was pretty serious, but once he got put onto antibiotic he got better quickly, and neither Tim nor I got sick from him. In addition, he also had a yeast infection in both ears, and he probably has some kind of allergies that makes his eyes red! Our poor puppy. However none of this has seemed to phase him, as he has continued to run around, play with his toys, steal Tim's socks from his laundry basket, and steal our shoes to chew on the shoelaces. Cooper has also been discovering snow, and the joys of bounding through deep drifts!

Tim has been keeping incredibly busy too. He has been work at Dick's Sporting Goods quite frequently now that the Christmas shopping season is completely upon us. Instead of opening at 9am, they have been opening at 8am, and next week at 7am. This means that Tim, who is NOT NOT NOT DEFINITELY NOT a morning person, has been forced to get out of bed at hours he wasn't actually aware existed! This unfortunately kept him in Wisconsin over Thanksgiving, as he had the joy of working Black Friday. Luckily his parents and his brother, Dan, were able to come to Madison to spend Thanksgiving with him and Cooper. I was able to go home to Connecticut for the first time in 11 months (it really had been that long!). I got to see my parents, a couple high school friends, and spent a good amount of time relaxing. I also spent a lot of time working on graduate school applications. I completed most of them, and finished the last one once I came back to Wisconsin. I am all finishd applying, and now I get to wait. If all goes wel, I will be invited to interview at several schools, and then hopefully will be accepted to a few as well. The final list of schools is:

- University of Wisconsin
- Univeristy of Michigan
- University of Washington - Seattle
- Oregon Health and Science Univeristy
- Yale University
- University of Virginia

I applied to microbiology programs with the intent to study virology and immunology, possibly sticking with HIV research, returning to influenza research, or finding a new pathogen to study all together! Hopefully some of the schools like me; keep your fingers crossed! As of right now I do not know where I want to go. Wisconsin would be convenient, and it is a great school, but I'm going to see where I am accepted and decide from there.

And again, more Cooper stories! We have had him for over a month now, and he keeps us entertained every day! He has finally started to gain wait again now that he isn't sick, and last time weighed in close to 12lbs (he should be ~25-30lbs when full grown). In addition to bounding through snow, he has been working on his jumping skills. He can finally get on to the couch almost every time (he used to biff it 2 out of 3 times!), but has not yet mastered jumping on to our bed (it is fairly high in his defense). He has been teething like crazy, and therefore biting our hands in lieu of his toys (not our favorite game). We have started to teach him to sit, which he already did on his own most of the time, and to lie down, which he seems to have mastered in a day! Shake is in the near future! Cooper enjoys staring out the window of our apartment and contemplating life, or wondering what that squirrel is doing and how he is going to get it!

I promise to upload pictures sometime to keep these posts interesting, so if you stuck with me down to here, thanks for your commitment and dedication! Stay tuned for more!