Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cooper's 2010 Christmas - Chapel Hill part 1

My family gathers at Mom and Aunt Lynn's house for good food, good times and lots of kiddies!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cooper's 2010 Christmas - The Burks part 2

The Joys of Children

Your baby can learn sign language!

Here's how to say:

• "Please change my diaper": Turn beet red and make straining expression, then smile.

• "I'd like something to eat, please": Cram fist in mouth and suck wildly.

• "I'm tired": Make a series of weeping gestures before closing eyes and lolling head backward.

• "Please pass me that thing up there that I can't reach": Point and grunt, then continue pointing and open mouth into screaming position.

• "No thank you. I think I've had enough": Throw food or object to floor with exaggerated grin.



Parenting Top Ten: Ways Motherhood Makes You a Celebrity

1. Someone's always hounding you for your autograph. Even if it's just on a permission slip for the class trip to the recycling center.

2. You travel with an entourage. Okay, so two of them are fighting over a bag of Doritos and one of them has a crusty nose, but STILL.

3. You spend your days club-hopping. How else would your kids get to Brownies?

4. You're front and center at every awards show. Because your 10-year-old would never forgive you for being absent when he wins the school carnival karaoke contest.

5. You change clothes three times a day. And it's much more fun if you pretend it's because you're being stalked by the paparazzi, not a messy toddler.

6. You're on a spa diet. Your kids only leave broccoli on their plates for you.

7. You've flashed your boobs in public. Hey, it's not easy to juggle a hungry baby in one hand and unhook a nursing bra with the other!

8. People beg to sleep with you. Well, only because there's a monster under their bed.

9. You're covered in tattoos that your kid got in a birthday-party goody bag and plastered on you when you were too pooped to resist.

10. Hassled as you feel right now, in 20 years you'll miss all the chaos.

(From Parenting magazine)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cooper's 2010 Christmas - The Burks

Dec. 18, Val's Mom's family gathers at Glenn and Stephanie's for annual festivities!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From myself, Val and our mini Cooper, a very Merry Christmas to all of you!

Christmas carols, the real deal

We have 700 songs on our computer for Christmas. Seriously. We also load up the mp3 player to listen to all of them in the car, no matter if it's a five-hour trip or a five-minute drive to the mall. Definitely beats listening to WRVR 104.5 and the same 20 songs over and over again until you want to drive off a cliff the next time Ashley Tisdale's version of "Last Christmas" plays.

You know it's time for Christmas when our music minister, Bro. Rusty, starts adding carols to the morning worship services, and the audience sings about 24 percent louder since they know them by heart.

If you pay attention to the words, however, some issues arise ...

- "Silent Night" - I don't care how yon you are, when a pregnant woman is told that she's round, there's gonna be hurt feelings, and probably a fight.

- "Away in a Manger" - I hope Jesus didn't have any allergies, because when I went to the Living Nativity at Germantown Baptist a couple of years ago, I had to go outside in the freezing cold to get some Benadryl and suck on my inhaler for a half-hour before I could breathe again. I mean, it's not a sin to have allergies, right? So it's a good thing Jesus wasn't allergic to hay or fur. Or myrrh, if anyone knows what that is.

- "Sleigh Ride" - In one verse we sing, "Friends are calling 'Yoo-Hoo,'" then next it's "Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up let's go," which tells me that these aren't exactly good friends.

- "Winter Wonderland" - Who builds a snowman pretending with a circus clown theme? No wonder the other kiddies are knocking it down.

- "Silver Bells" - Why are city sidewalks being dressed, holiday style or otherwise? Isn't that graffiti and a misdemeanor?

- "The Christmas Song" - Go ahead and roast your chestnuts on an open fire, but if you're younger than one or older than 92, fat chance on getting a "Merry Christmas" from the songwriter.

- "Do You Hear What I Hear" - So a child "shivers in the cold," and you're bringing him "silver and gold?" How about a blanket? Just a suggestion.

- "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - The Senate just voted that any efforts to hide making the "Yule-tide gay" are now off limits.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cooper's 2010 Christmas - Jackson

Last Friday we celebrated Christmas with the Jackson Gang, and after some initial panicking in an unfamiliar setting, Cooper had a good old time with everyone, especially little Erica:

Christmas humor


To – All Employees
From – Management
Subject – Office conduct during the Christmas season

Effective immediately, employees should keep in mind the following guidelines in compliance with FROLIC (the Federal Revelry Office and Leisure Industry Council):

1. Running aluminum foil through the paper shredder to make tinsel is discouraged.

2. Playing Jingle Bells on the push-button phone is forbidden (it runs up an incredible long distance bill)

3. Work requests from management are not to be filed under “Bah humbug.”

4. Company vehicles are not to be used to go over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house.

5. All fruitcake is to be eaten BEFORE July 25.

6. Eggnog will NOT be dispensed in vending machines.

7. In lieu of a Christmas bonus, a tree has been planted in Israel in your name. (Your day to water is Thursday)

In spite of all this, the staff is encouraged to have a Happy Holiday.

Vroom Vroom, Cooper!

His Grams got him this new scooter, which he'll sit on soon enough but he loves pushing it for now. Between this and his walker, Cooper is one toddler who is on the move!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Loving the holidays

You know what I miss? Christmas Eve when my extended family would gather for feasting and exchanging gifts, and all the kids would stake out positions several hours beforehand. Would you rather be by the fireplace? Closer to the tree? Further back to more easily stack your presents? It's all very strategic. Then on Christmas morning, we were up by 5 (okay, 4:30) to play with our new toys, waiting for mom to get up and cook a big breakfast.

Some other stuff I miss:

* Getting a haircut as a kid. The electric razor used to tickle the back of my neck and I loved that.

* Cooking popcorn in those old poppers in which you poured in the kernels and oil and hoped for the best.

* Reading a book in high school economics and not having to worry about whether the teacher chose one that calls Jesus a "wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist."

* Buying a new toy and having all the free time in the world to play with it until it wore out (usually within a week), or ended up lost somewhere in the woods.

* Playing soccer early Saturday mornings, going out afterwards for lunch still in cleats and wearing the long socks for the shinguards, taking them off later with a great funky smell and gooeyness from enjoying playing in the muck.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cooper on the pool table

He just loves the pool table over at Glenn and Stephanie's!

Repeat after me ...

I will make it through the holidays. I will make it through the holidays. I will make it through the holidays. I will make it through .. Oh, look! Candy! Pumpkin pie! Ham! Potato salad! COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!
Starting weight (July 12) - 387
Last week (Dec. 12) - 345
Current weight (Dec. 20) - 345
Lost last week - 0
Total lost - 42
15% target - 329
Ultimate goal – 225

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cooper will walk when he wants

I think he could if he wanted, but right now our little guy's comfy with the status quo:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Weight Watching

I did pretty well, losing two pounds this week, especially since Val and I are weak and couldn't resist pizza Saturday night. OK, we could have, but we didn't fight the temptation.
Basically, we were watching TV earlier in the week, saw an ad for Pizza Hut's cheesy bites crust pizza, I said, "Ooh, that sounds good, I kind of want that." Val replied, "Yeah, that looks really good." I said, "Now I'm not kidding." Val: "Neither am I!" So we ordered a pizza.
For now, I just have to make it to January!

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Last week (Dec. 5) - 347
Current weight (Dec. 12) - 345
Total lost - 42
15% target - 329
Ultimate goal – 225

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cooper's baby steps

Our boy is thinking about walking on his own, with a little prodding from Mommy and Daddy:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cooper enjoying a book

I'm not wearing sunglasses indoors; just my transition lenses.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Cooper in the big tub

Meanwhile, in the car, we may have to take his coat off when putting him his seat!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A laugh that makes life worth living

Cooper discovered a new 'trick' with his teeth and sippy cup that made him very happy for a few minutes:

Trying to survive the holidays

Nothing lost, nothing gained this week, which is fine since we had a Sunday School party Saturday and we enjoyed Cracker Barrel this weekend, too. I actually had some french fries and a burger for lunch Sunday, which I regretted, yet full disclosure: they were kinda yummy, too.
This week, no excuses, gotta be good since the weekend of the 17th involves two parties and a trip to Chapel Hill!

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Last week (Nov. 29) - 347
Current weight (Dec. 5) - 347
Total lost - 42
15% target - 329
Ultimate goal – 225

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Notes on a Saturday

While enjoying the smell of cookies that were baked for tonight's Christmas party ...


"Labrador Wins Idaho's 1st District Seat"
A yellow dog Democrat?

"NASA Delays Shuttle Launching After Finding Hydrogen Leak and Crack"
Time to institute new drug laws at NASA.

"Three caught with great white teeth"
Contraband of Colgate White Whitening found on scene.

"Police Make Sex Offender Sweep"
Mopping would have been cruel and unusual.

- Three Memphis Memories from the Commercial Appeal, starting with Nov. 15, 1885:
A few days ago a Memphis mother swore out a warrant against her 19-year-old daughter charging her with being an inmate of a house of ill repute on Main Street. The daughter in turn charged that the mother was angry because the younger woman refused to share the money received from her admirers with her parent. Yesterday, the daughter went to the mother's home, broke up all the furniture and gave her mother a sound beating.

Nov. 16, 1885:
Senatobia, Miss. -- In all the history of Senatobia there has never been such a revival of religion as seen since the start of the services being conducted by a Presbyterian evangelist two weeks ago. There have been more than 100 conversions, a large number of them middle-aged and older men. All the leading men of Senatobia now profess religion.

Nov. 17, 1910:
The City Commission has passed an ordinance decreeing that automobiles must not travel faster than eight miles an hour in the congested district between Poplar and Vance and between Wellington and the river. The old limit was 12 miles an hour.

- I'm beginning to suspect that Knoxville News-Sentinel sports writer, John Adams, has something against my hometown. In his column after UT drubbed the Tigers, Adams started off like this:
...They ended a four-game losing streak, won their first road game since last November and enjoyed a record-breaking performance from freshman quarterback Tyler Bray. And the team bus didn't even get carjacked.

A Memphis road trip doesn't get any better than that.

On a personal note, the ribs were great, and the insulation was so good I never heard the gunfire outside my downtown hotel late Friday night.

Things went so well, I would be fine with a postseason return to the Liberty Bowl. Maybe the stadium press box will have enough electrical outlets by then.

The Tigers were short on juice, too. In fact, they looked so dreadful in the first half, the school's nickname was in danger of being downgraded from "Tiger High" to "Tiger Middle." ...

The following week, after UT beat Ole Miss, his obsession about Memphis led to another shot:
... The Vols beat the Rebels with such ease that conspiracy theorists are probably wondering if Memphis carjacked the Ole Miss team bus on the way to the airport, stole its jerseys and showed up at Neyland Stadium in hope of avenging last week's 50-14 loss. ...

- It's amazing how the Personality Parade in Sunday's Parade magazine seems to have a question about a celebrity every week just as the celebrity has a new project out. The timing is uncanny, I tell ya!

In October, however, the "question" from a "reader" about Ryan Reynolds' Halloween practices seems, shall we say, made up:
Q How did Ryan Reynolds celebrate Halloween growing up in Canada?—E . Silverman, Ithaca, N.Y.

A Reynolds, 34—whose new film, Buried, has a serious fear factor—says Oct. 31 was more like the Fourth of July for him and his family. “Where I grew up in Vancouver, we had a kind of bottle-rocket festival in the park,” he explains. “Everybody would be shooting them into the air—but by the end of the night, we’d be aiming at each other. So it wasn’t the safest place to be running around.” As for costumes, he reveals, “I’d always dress up as somebody who was dead, like Elvis.” Next year, look for Reynolds’ superhero character in Green Lantern to be a Halloween fave. “It’s made me a hero with all my nieces and nephews,” he says.

Cooper's Thanksgiving, part 3

For this one, I had hanged up his sippy up on the lever that opens the recliner, and he tried to drink out of it upside down. Such a character.