Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
OK, actually it was Paris, Tennessee, which is more like the City For Lovers Of Catfish With Tartar Sauce and Watersports.
There was more of a whiff of romance than exhaust from fishing vessels, however, as we attended the wedding of Val's friend Michele to her new beau, David, a fine chap of high standing in the community (i.e. he's never been arrested for stealing the Shoney Big Boy statue, so far as we know).
The rest of the Jackson Gang was there as well, all of them honorary bridesmaids sitting up front, while the hubbies sat way back in the pews together, thinking about how many of these we've attended in the past few years (five, just of the Gang, not including other friends and family).
Team Valfrey took the opportunity to get away for a night, leaving Cooper in the care of his Mammaw, while his Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a whirlpool suite at the Hampton Inn in Paris, a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive depending on whether you get stuck behind a tractor in Atwood. (Yes on the way there, no on the way home.)
Along the way, I'm proud to say, I successfully, though accidentally, introduced Val to Potato Skins potato chips, one of my faves, and is far too difficult to find in grocery stores. (Update: But they are at Walgreens!)
The wedding was held at the church of Michele's brother Corey, who adorably started cracking up almost as soon as their dad gave Michele away.
The happy newlyweds. Congrats you two!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Plus, when I'm bed I can wear my CPAP to cut down on the sleep apnea, even if I do still snore with it on. I usually only do that when I'm super-tired, which is all the time nowadays, but Val's so tired that she doesn't even mind as much since she's Snoozy McDreamer within seconds of her head hitting the pillow. (And downing some sleeping aids in the form of Tylenol PM or Benadryl.)
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Cooper loves his swing, at least for 15 minutes at a time.
The dogs got a visit from Santa Paws!
Our favorite present for Christmas 2009!
"I'll give you as much milk as you want so long as you never call me something like Papaw."
When the Ghost of Christmas Peeps Past came shooting through Cody's stomach, Cheryl was shocked and appalled, Randy just intrigued.
And this little piggy saved up to go to Fenway, wee wee wee all the way home!
Christmas afternoon was spent at his great-grandmother Mammaw Margie's home (my Dad-in-Law's side):
Mammaw shows off her temporary Christmas tattoo, a bundle of mistletoe to stick on her forehead.
Randy The Cat Burglar snuck in the chimney overnight to leave Cody a carpeted handbag like the one he stole off that British nanny with all the sugar.
The ladies decide to share the secrets to their Christmas desserts among family, but little do they know that Santa has the place bugged.
Cousin Daniel shares a stylist.
Tooting is a lot funnier when you're talking about babies.
Afterward we went to Nana's so she could get some Cooper lovin', and he obliged.
And what a nice Christmas to wrap it all up with a nice bath. (Yes, we keep the diaper on until it's time to wash his little boy parts, we're not looking for a fountain bath!)
Saturday, December 26, 2009
My favorite gift to give Val, some Eeyore pajamas. Yeah, it's more for me, but she looks happy enough:
It's a Holly Jolly Sing-a-Long:
Everyone fights over holding a sleeping and adorable Cooper (for some reason, when he's fussy everyone decides it's my turn. Go figure.):
Jonathan holds his niece, Audrey, and she looks pretty surprised:
Steve and Stevie put in their Christmas Aerobics tape while we waited for dinner:
Cody's not Santa, but so long as he brings a pony, Emma will play along:
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I wonder if when Cooper is six or seven, if he'll get suspicious that "Santa" doesn't want cookies and milk and really wants chips and Rotel, plus enough wings to feed the reindeer, and wash it all down with a big glass of sweet iced tea?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It's not just that I loathe some of these teams, it's that I can't stand their preconceived stature, media attention and obnoxious fans (and yes, I admit that the Red Sox are in my blood, and that I root for the Cowboys as well):
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Get over yourselves, you're just another college team now.
2. USC Trojans - Okay, yes, I used to flip over to watch solely for their cheerleaders, but the football team is a bunch of west coast glory boys.
3. Michigan Wolverines - As an SEC fan I have no love for the Big Ten in general, and Michigan represents everything about that (Ohio State, too).
4. Florida State - More like The Criminoles, you know what I'm sayin'! Got 'em!
5. Miami Hurricanes - I could never get past the thugs of the 80s and 90s.
1. NY Giants - If it's from New York, I'm predisposed to disliking them, and that's that. Heck, I rooted against the dang Yanks in the 2001 Series after 9/11. You know, to get "things back to normal."
2. Philadelphia Eagles - Their fans and media think that Philly should be the center of attention even if they haven't won anything in nearly 30 years, and really, I'm tired of the over-praise of Donovan McNabb.
3. Oakland Raiders - How many shots of their insane fans can we see before thinking, "That's a lot of makeup and costume for a team that's sucked so hard recently."
4. Baltimore Ravens - I'm not so much hating on them as much nowadays as the first part of the decade.
5. NY Jets - The other team from New York is like the picked-on little brother of the Giants, though that doesn't mean I'm supposed to have any sympathy.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
A star is (not) born. I can't sing in C, B, G or whatever key. I only sing in "Off" key.
The only place to watch is up in the balcony with the riff-raff.
The stuck us in the back behind the scenes, far from the fancy-smancyness of the concert hall.
Promo alert: The concert airs on our station Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Checking Cooper's weight to see if he's caught 10 pounds yet. Not so far.
He's just an angel when asleep!
Maleah pined for the good old days when she could ride the swing.
Cheryl has the easier time with Joanna, who looks around and around, and nary makes a peep.
Mammaw has many years of baby advice, such as, "When you lay the baby in the hay, lay a blanket underneath to prevent chaffing."
It's amazing how much room such small people can take up!
Friday, December 18, 2009
I'm not saying I bawl like a baby when these movies are on, I'm just saying that it gets a little dusty sometimes:
1. "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" - "My friends. You bow to no-one."
2. "The Natural" - "Pick me out a winner Bobby."
3. "Field of Dreams" - "Hey Dad, do you want to play catch?"
4. "Dead Poets Society" - "Oh captain, my captain!"
5. "Babe" - "That'll do, pig."
"The Princess Bride" - "Since the invention of the kiss, there were five which have been rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind."
"Apollo 13" - Re-entry and splashdown.
"Forrest Gump" - "You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground. Momma always said dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't. Little Forrest, he's doing just fine. ..."
"Glory" - "If you men will take no pay, then none of us will."
The child's mother, 21-year-old April Wright, tells WTVC-TV the boy "wants to go to jail because that's where his daddy is." Wright says she and the boy's father are going though a divorce."
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Here's a link to check out one of the past years' displays, which looks smaller than the one we saw last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyOJtOvAElM
In fact, I think it's even neater than Starry Nights at Shelby Farms, and $20 cheaper!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
So here's Cooper back home, sleeping soundly and enjoying his parents' affection again:
By the way, in case you're looking for a photo of it, we're not even trying to go see Santa this year. Hey, what would a seven-week-old baby ask for anyway? More pooping?
So what did we do with that free time? I had to work Saturday, the 2-10p shift, but Val enjoyed getting some ZZZs on the couch while watching Christmas movies and reading, and we slept some more, and I stayed up late catching up on my newspapers (almost two weeks worth of a backlog), and we slept some more. Good times. Now to get him back on our schedule for the week. Good luck to us!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
So, um, yeah, this blogging thing, not so easy nowadays. Sorry about that. I just had a three-day weekend, and as you can surmise, I didn't blog, not once, and I didn't even spend 15 minutes total in front of the computer, even though it sits one foot to my right when I'm on my spot on the couch in the living room.
What am I doing instead? Either a) Holding, feeding, or changing Cooper; b) Cleaning or cooking; or c) Asleep. Mostly A, because I don't feel like I've accomplished much of anything otherwise. Showering is an accomplishment at this point.
We're not going to even try to keep up with the neighbors in Christmas decorations this year. I won't get the outside lights put up. Just this past Saturday we finally took down the Thanksgiving decorations and put up the Christmas tree in the living room. Another eight bins of Christmas stuff is in the dining room waiting to be opened, and may never be.
This may just have to be a year where the Christmas spirit comes from within, and only after we alternate naps to keep Cooper happy!
Turning six weeks old Wednesday morning, Cooper's doing okay, except for the same problems with colic as the last five weeks. Nothing we've tried seems to make much of a difference overall, although some little things help more than others. For instance, we have hope that a white-noise machine that we got in the mail yesterday from some of Val's relatives will help. It projects little discs of animations on the ceiling as well. Very neat.
Little dude won't sleep in his bassinet more than an hour at a time. I'm hoping that once we feel comfortable leaving him in his crib, that we may actually get sleep ourselves. In the meantime, we switch back and forth. When I'm home I take him as much as possible and send Val to the bedroom to sleep, because she doesn't get a lick of sleep when I'm at work. So I sit on my spot on the couch, prop my feet on the stool, rest Cooper in the crook of my left arm against some pillows, and we sleep side-by-side. That's how I've been napping in the afternoons and overnights until I get up at 3 a.m.
An hour or two per day Val will force me to go to the bedroom and sleep with my CPAP under our own sheets, but I really don't mind the sleeping arrangements. I worry about Val getting rest more than I worry about Cooper, and far more than I worry about myself. I'll make it. I have years and years of weird sleeping schedules to get me ready for this.
Besides, everyone says that the colicky stage will end someday, right? Right? We have lots of help, too, and for that we are very thankful.
Friday night Cooper had his first sleepover, staying with Val's parents. Val withheld calling to check on him for a whole ten minutes on the drive home after dropping him off, and then waited a little longer the next time. It's okay, I didn't blame her. It was very weird to have the house to ourselves, since it's full of baby toys and devices, and there was no baby. It only felt a teeny bit selfish that we enjoyed sleeping ten hours that night.
Saturday we did manage to make our way up to hang out with the Jackson Gang, and for everyone to meet our mini Cooper and see baby Erica, born to Melanie and Roger just two weeks after Cooper made his way into the world. Naturally, much of the conversation was about babies, so to the non-parents looking for discussion on weighty topics, sorry about that. I don't know if it's possible for me to talk about real-world stuff anymore! It's all poops, toots, formula and sleep! I feel bad for Val, because she spends all day at home alone, while I get to go to work and see other adults, even if all we talk about is fart jokes and Tiger Woods' bedroom antics. (The news business: Setting the standard for conversation for thousands of years.)
Now, a few pictures!
I'll try to make a video of it, too, but we just adore this look he gets during one of his wailing spells when you blow in his face to get his attention. It only lasts for a few seconds, however, before he remembers he's upset about something (though we don't know what):
He did try out a sly smile for his Mammaw this weekend:
Baby swap! Saturday we went up for lunch with the Jackson Gang so they could "oooh" "awwww" over our cutie patooter. Likewise, Melanie and Roger got to show off their little Erica, born two weeks after Cooper. And no, there have been no pre-arranged marriages, yet.
By the way, all of this was just typed one-handed with a squirmy baby in the other, while Christmas music played on the XM Holiday Traditions channel on DirecTV. Stopping frequently to use my right hand to reinsert the paci or give reassuring pats on his adorable bottom, or turn and "shhhhhhhhhhh" a fussy spell. It took a while. Did I mention I go to work in four hours? Hey, it's my new exciting and rewarding life!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Instead, we had created family memories through the shared experiences of making fun of the situation, much like Stockholm Syndrome. In retrospect, going on the opening weekend was a bad idea.
It took TWO hours to get in. It took over an hour and twenty minutes just to get on Farm Road from Walnut Grove to get to the entrance. I could only imagine hundreds of bulging bladders yearn for tidings of comfort and joy.
Quote of the night: "They put a Christmas thing by a prison?" - Gabriel
Yes, the Starry Nights light display is at Shelby Farms, and there is a penitentiary adjacent to the park, and Gabriel couldn't quite figure that one out! He didn't even remember getting to see the bison in the park a few years ago.
In our car was big bro Scott driving his rental, sis-in-law Jenn, me, Val, nephew Gabriel. Behind us in sister Stephanie's car was Mom and sis Stacy with nephew Nate.
Dangit, we had to enjoy the Christmas spirit, so on the radio Scott put on the Holiday Traditions channel of XM, the Vince Guaraldi 'Charlie Brown Christmas" CD, and some contemporary christian Christmas tunes.
Unconcerned with personal privacy, we peeked into the car in front of us on Walnut Grove - from Mississippi - to see the kids in the backseat watching "The Polar Express," then a Spongebob Squarepants movie, while the parents keep flicking cigarette butts out their window. When we pulled up side-by-side on Farm Road, there was a VW Beetle with a big bulldog wearing a Santa cap, and an SUV in front of us from Williamson County watching "Stuart Little."
Once we were close I couldn't help but think, at this point, we have to really be wowed. No matter what it will be a letdown. A two hour wait to get in, 20 bucks out of pocket, these lights had better cure cancer.
It took 30 minutes to drive through slowly, sometimes behind traffic, other times not, taking our time to take pictures and videos, go at your own pace and let people pass who want to drive through it quickly and watch the lights pass as if they're in "Star Trek" at warp speed.
Some good stuff, but there could be more. Not as good as the ones at Lake Lanier in Atlanta that we enjoyed with Amy and Michael back in '06.
This next one is from out my window in the line, and you can just make out Mom saying to Stephanie, "Is that a camera?"