Sunday, January 31, 2010

And now comes The Big Melt

The weather got a little dicey Friday here in Memphis. It started out as ice, changed over to some fun snow for a few hours, then back to evil ice for another several hours and throughout the night. Unfortunately it's the kind of icy situation in which it wouldn't be safe to take Cooper outside, so no photos of him enjoying the white stuff.



I was able to get home safely from work Friday afternoon, but had to park my car at the bottom of the driveway since it was iced/snowed over.

Friday night while feeding Cooper at 3 a.m. it sounded outside like someone was shooting off firecrackers in the distance. There was a constant CRACK-CRACK-WHOMP! with all of our eight trees weighed down by ice, and big fat limbs all over the place, including inches from my car:





Our road was still icy all day Saturday, so I walked over to Kroger for a few provisions, although it might have been easier just to try to drive down our icy cove since the other roads were mostly fine, and the ground was very crunchy and slippery along the walk.





It's weird being socked into your own cove, then looking out the back window to see just 1,000 yards away that traffic is moving fine and people are out and about. Unfortunately for Val's family this means they couldn't see Cooper this weekend, since up north of Millington it's even worse and their road is notorious for being very bad in snowy weather.

The sun started peaking out just as it was going down Saturday and then was out in full force today. I was able to get my car out at lunchtime to get some El Mezcal, but otherwise we tried to make the best of it, playing with Cooper, enjoying a nice fire and I made a big pot of Mom's chili to eat all week long. By Wednesday we'll never even know it snowed. Gotta love Memphis weather!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowy Friday, Cooper at 13 weeks

First off, please keep Amy C. and her family in your thoughts and prayers. She's stuck in Atlanta while her parents' house burned up pretty bad down in Florida.
 
Something wicked this way comes! Looks like we're having a MAJOR WINTER WEATHER EVENT today ("Ice Storm '010"?), so me, Val and Cooper will be hunkered down in Valfrey Estate for the weekend. I hope we have enough food, and I bought extra formula, but we live within walking distance of Kroger, Walgreens and restaurants, so I'm not particularly worried. Well, except for the wussy eight trees in our yard that lose limbs when a bird lands on them, let alone heavy with ice. Much of the morning has been snow, but as the temps rise a little it could get messy, so we'll hope for more snow (already at an inch and climbing) than ice. 
 
Wednesday night on WATCH IDOL AND THEN SOMETHING ON THE DVR TO AVOID THE STATE OF THE UNION ... Neil Patrick Harris was as awesome as expected, the Jonas dude was Dull City for a supposed teen heartthrob, and I really liked the guy who used to perform with Fantasia in "Color Purple" and had his own Idol-centric song for the judges.
 
I mentioned in an earlier post that we went to the Grizzlies game last Friday. Further, Val's sister and mom watched Cooper Friday and Saturday nights, giving us some time to clean on Saturday and sleep in (something that won't be happening this weekend due to the weather, surely). I managed to get the Christmas bins (all 10 of them) out to the garage and organize it, while Val cleaned the kitchen and did laundry and other things, and we barely made a dent in what all needs to be done to make the place look presentable. Welcome to parenthood?
 
Sunday morning Val's parents brought Cooper to church for the first time. It was me and Val's first time back since before he was born as well. We got there before the worship service and checked out the nursery. There are so many babies and toddlers at First Baptist Millington, Cooper will have a lot of fun there growing up. In his room there were about a dozen half-cribs lined against the walls with a note in front with the babies' name and needs, and in the middle of the room were babies in bouncers and a couple still in their car seats (it's not just us!). Naturally, Cooper was the only one actually demanding attention, being fed by one of the ladies in a rocking chair in the middle of the room. That's my boy!
 
Pastor David gave a sort of State of the Church sermon in association with the State of the Union speech by The Obamessiah in front of his devoted worshippers later this week. The pastor pulled out a bunch of cool charts (hey, I'm a stat geek, what can I say?) showing the church's progress since 1999, such as attendance, baptisms and receipts. FBC is a growing church, and sometime in the near future Val and I will join up for real with Cooper, probably before the baby dedication in April. We think Val's actually still on the rolls under her maiden name.
 
Pastor David is implementing some new ideas to "shake things up," even possibly "step on some toes," which in Baptist church terms means asking people to sit in a different area of the sanctuary than usual. That seemed pretty silly. When are you going to meet new people, the 30 seconds during meet-and-greet? Besides, some folks like my in-laws and Val's grandmother prefer to sit in their seats up close to hear and see better. It's not that I'm resistant to change and a fuddy-duddy, am I? Hey, I clapped and swayed to the worship songs!
 
Hey, fellow Merton Avenue Baptist youth alumni, during the worship singing of "Standing on the Promises," I felt compelled to step up on my tippy toes when we sing "Standing, standing ..." Is that something I got during Merton youth days? I know there are a few things like that I still do from those days, but at least I stopped drawing golf courses on the bulletin during the sermon. Okay, I only stopped, like, a year ago, but I did stop.
 
How about the State Of The Union, Cooper Edition, through week 13 of his brief, yet eventful life ...
 
I love his cooing and his smile, even if I know that in two seconds it could turn into crying because he remembered that he was hungry and/or tired. But when I'm holding him at night, watching TV while waiting for him to get tired, then I look down and see him smiling at me, holding his hands up by his head and squirming happily, well that's just about the best thing on the entire planet.
 
Here's the current routine for his and my bedtimes: We both get up from an afternoon nap about 6, he eats four ounces. Play until 7, let Mommy and Daddy eat supper, another two ounces. Catnap, demand another two ounces by 8, play some more. By 9, need four ounces, this time with rice cereal mixed into the formula for a fuller meal, although he can only eat it with a "fast" nipple, meaning he gulps it pretty quick. So after a little more play, he'll want a couple more ounces by 9:30 or 10, and then drifts off to sleep and at 11 I put him to bed in his car seat in the crib and I head to bed for four hours. He's been good about sleeping until after 4 but we wish it could be longer (like, 9 o'clock!). Instead, Val's up with Cooper from 4 a.m. until I get home to give her time to eat lunch and take a nap in the afternoon. Five days a week this is exactly how it goes, every time.
 
Between work and trying to get a couple hours of napping, since Val has him most of the day all I can do is promise that at nights and weekends that he's my son and my responsibility alone so she can sleep and clean or read or whatever.
 
At least Cooper sleeping in the crib allows me to sleep in the bed with my CPAP and Val can continue sleeping when I'm leaving for work, assuming she doesn't wake up every five minutes because she can hear him squirming on the audio monitor sitting on her nightstand. He sleeps with a white noise machine, so I'm hoping that hearing the sounds of the ocean through the monitor might help us sleep better as well!
 
He's in a weird phase right now, though, where he doesn't want to go to sleep sometimes. At least a few times a day at nap time he'll wiggle and cry and wail and fight you, even though you know he's not hungry, his diaper's clean and he's clearly tired. I'm 30 times his size so I can get him somewhat  under control, but it's harder for Val and very upsetting. Usually after a half-hour or an hour of trying to get him to take the paci or hold him tight or walk around the room or eat another ounce, he'll finally give up, but only after your nerves are nearly shot.
 
I tell myself it's just a phase, and that my boy will grow out of it soon! When is it time to "let him cry it out?" Not that I'm brave enough, but it will be necessary soon.
 
In the meantime, this is why we're not exactly depressed when our moms take over for hours or a full day! I don't feel bad about it one bit. Val gets sad that he's not around, but I know that it's better for both of our sanity to get some rest and some alone time, and many new parents aren't so lucky.
 
So what I'm saying is, hey Mom, Val's mom is out of town next weekend, so prepare your guest room so I can drive up for a couple of nights with Cooper! (And no, I'm not just dropping him off and heading to Nashville for the weekend!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's on the TV during Cooper's catnaps

- Almost all of the designers on PROJECT RUNWAY did some really cool stuff with burlap potato sacks, yet Ping was truly terribly awful again and she wasn't even in the bottom two. WTF???? I mean, her "dress" had these big openings on either side of her model's hips, I guess in case the model wanted to stash some food from the party that she could binge on and later throw up?
 
- Monday night on THE BACHELOR: CRASH AND BURN ON THE WINGS OF LOVE, we weren't disappointed again. This season is reaching new highs (lows?) of drama, catty backbiting and an overly sensitive bachelor pretending that he is falling for multiple attractive yet desperate and hysterical chicks (and I don't mean "hysterical" in the "funny ha-ha" sense.)
 
The Anti-Vienna Club exploded this week like The Bachelor Thunderdome when Jake kept her in the top five, although we've yet to see anything that makes her look worse than any of the other women on the show. They're all undatable. Right now the favorite to win has to be Tenley, despite a divorce in her past. The rest are high maintenance nutjobs, at least rating 9 on the Holy Crap These Gals Are Daffy scale. Tenley's probably just a 6.
 
- If I learned anything last night on AMERICAN IDOL, it's that fake punk rocker Avril Lavigne is a brat. What's up with her trying to dismiss the pastor by telling him that being a singer is hard for his family being on the road, when she didn't tell anyone else that, or note that other Idol finalists in the past have had families? Biased much? She had way too much fun laughing at contestants who were normal to awful, and had absolutely no constructive criticism. The next day, Katy Perry was awesome, if only for not putting up with Kara's nonsense, such as dissing Kara letting through a so-so singer based on their personal story alone by saying, "This is not a Lifetime movie."
 
I always feel bad for the contestants who are  brought back two to three times from long distances. The producers should only make laughingstocks out of the locals who don't spend time and money traveling only to be national jokes, or at least reimburse those whom the producers know will be presented as terrible.
 
- The Red Team on THE BIGGEST LOSER was shamed into actually trying to lose weight this week even though they had immunity again. If the woman hadn't lost more than five pounds I'm not sure that Jillian could've contained her anger. The Green Team finished below the line, probably because of the weight of the sheer amount of attitude they possessed for having been given a two-pound penalty by the Red Team. Although it didn't matter since they didn't lose enough even without the two-pound penalty.
 
- We've only made it through the first two hours of 24 thus far, so I don't have much of an opinion yet. I like that Kim is the anti-Adrian Balboa this season, going from wet blanket to "kick their butts." You know how the new CTU is essentially run by their technology and looking down their noses at Chloe? Here's a guarantee: That technology won't work when it matters most, and she'll put them to shame and them let them know all about it as it happens, because Chloe is awesome.  

Your 13-week-old dose of the Adorableness Of Cooper


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jeff's 2009 NFL Preseason Predictions in Review

This is why I don't gamble:

NFC EAST

1. NY Giants, 2. Philadelphia, 3. Dallas, 4. Washington

Actual: 1. Dallas 11-5, 2. Philly 11-5, 3. Giants 8-8, 4. Washington 4-12

Giants collapsed, Cowboys improved.

NFC SOUTH

1. New Orleans, 2. Atlanta, 3. Carolina, 4. Tampa Bay

Actual: 1. New Orleans 13-3, 2. Atlanta 9-7, 3. Carolina 8-8, 4. TB 3-13

Bingo!

NFC NORTH

1. Chicago, 2. Green Bay, 3. Minnesota, 4. Detroit

Actual: 1. Minnesota 12-4, 2. GB 11-5, 3. Chicago 7-9, 4. Detroit 2-14

Okay, this was anti-Favre bias.

NFC WEST

1. Arizona, 2. Seattle, 3. San Francisco, 4. St. Louis

Actual: 1. Arizona 10-6, 2. SF 8-8, 3. Seattle 5-11, 4. St. Louis 1-15

Too easy. Cards only legit team of bunch.

Wild Cards: Philly and Dallas

Actual: Eagles and Packers.

AFC EAST

1. New England, 2. Miami, 3. NY Jets, 4. Buffalo

Actual: 1. NE 10-6, 2. Jets 9-7, 3. Miami 7-9, 4. Buffalo 6-10

Pats always decent, Jets a surprise.

AFC SOUTH

1. Tennessee, 2. Indianapolis, 3. Jacksonville, 4. Houston

Actual: 1. Indy 14-2, 2. Houston 9-7, 3. Tennessee 8-8, 4. Jax 7-9

If the Titans played in the second half like the first they might have had a chance.

AFC NORTH

1. Pittsburgh, 2. Baltimore, 3. Cleveland, 4. Cincinnati

Actual: 1. Cincy 10-6, 2. Baltimore 9-7, 3. Pitt 9-7, 4. Cleveland 5-11

WTF? Bengals? Where'd that come from? Since when did the Steelers become so weak-minded as to collapse in the second half?

AFC WEST

1. San Diego, 2. Denver, 3. Kansas City, 4. Oakland

Actual: 1. SD 13-3, 2. Denver 8-8, 3. Oakland 5-11, 4. KC 4-12

Piece of cake. Chargers only team that had real talent.

Wild Cards: Indy and Baltimore.

Actual: Jets and Ravens.

SUPER BOWL

Pittsburgh over New Orleans

Hey, week six or so this was looking really good!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cooper in Demand!

Sunday night Val and I went to Nana's, where lil' sis Steph is visiting this weekend, but of course they really secretly just wanted to see our mini Cooper. And hey, I'm OK with that, because the more they hold him and play with him, the more I get to eat the shepherd's pie and cheesecake that Steph made! Go sis!




Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh Happy Gay!

Friday night Val and I went with her parents to see the Grizzlies take on Oklahoma City at the FedExForum, courtesy tickets from her uncle Glenn (thank you!!!). We enjoyed some BBQ nachos, hot dogs, fries ... oh, and Rudy Gay hit a jumper with 1 second to go for Memphis to win by two. Very exciting game, and even though the arena was only half-full the crowd was surprisingly into it most of the time.


The scene right after the win ...

Friday, January 22, 2010

This week on the old TV

If you want to know just how far AMERICAN IDOL dominates popular culture, go to YouTube and look up "Pants on the Ground" and find all of the remixes of the song that made an unknown Civil Rights veteran into a kooky national star.
 
Why are advertisers and NBC using Summer Olympic athletes to promote the Vancouver Winter Games in February?
 
On THE BIGGEST LOSER, the Red Team continued to play the game by throwing the weigh-in, and this time it wasn't just Bob who called them out. Jillian went ballistic when the chick tried to pretend like she was trying and how she felt like quitting and eating a cheeseburger(?): "She's full of ****. And you're not fooling anyone. You threw the weigh-in last week. This week, you threw the weigh-in again. And I don't care, because obviously it is a game. So I think the only thing that's annoying, or I'll say offensive, is that you think we're stupid." Bob tossed in his two cents as if he was channeling his hate-Joelle rant from two seasons ago about how this isn't a joke, and it was all uncomfortable and awesome.
 
Last week on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER we saw the future mother's ankle. Wooptie freakin' do. At least Barney got to sing and dance, so that was fun. This week we learned new lingo: In every relationship, one is the Reacher, the other the Settler. Meaning, the Reacher knows they'll never get a better partner and thus the Settler knows never to worry about being cheated on. We also learn that Marshall nicknamed himself Big Fudge as the skee ball king of a local college bar and Robin will totally get revenge if you make a drinking game out of her. Why is Ted even on this show anymore?
 
It's too early on PROJECT RUNWAY to figure out who to root for (or who's who, for that matter), but I do know one thing, that Asian chick who just drapes fabric over her model like she's that Cristo artist dude has got to go.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bath Time!

Pickup trucks are racist and homophobic!

- To the mainstream media, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are dangers to society, but you won't hear them frettting about what goes on MSNBC and the borish lout Keith Olbermann:
In an obvious last-minute attempt to tip the vote in Massachusetts, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann unleashed against GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown on Monday's Countdown, calling him "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman."

The Obamessiah kept it simpler, however, because all of that could be implied by repeatedly telling everyone how hilarious it is that Brown drives a pickup truck.

- HEADLINE: "Shooting Reported at Massachusetts High School Basketball Tryouts" --headline, FoxNews.com, Dec. 3

Reports of passing are also under investigation.

- Fun on a Friday night: Walmart Bingo.

- Catching up with some Memphis Memories from The Commercial Appeal:

Dec. 30, 1934, the Mid-South's love of wrasslin' goes way back before Lawler and Kauffman set foot in the ring at the Mid-South Coliseum:
Professional wrestling again was the leading money maker in sports in Memphis in 1934. Attendance figures of 125,944 customers were well over the 1933 mark of 92,047, according to promoter Charley Rentrop. The largest gate of the year, grossing more than $4,000, was attracted by the Jim Londos-Pete Sauer set-to.

Dec. 30, 1884, I think the writer disagrees with this judge's decision, but I can't be sure:
A wife-beater got off with only a $5 fine in Judge Hadden's court yesterday when he half-convinced the judge that he was just playing with his wife when he was found tapping her on the head with his boot -- and the woman half-heartedly agreed with her lord and master.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cooper is 12 weeks old!

We must have done something right to deserve such an adorable little boy!





Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Andy Samberg rocks your world

PUNCHED!!!



Link courtesy my sis, Stephanie.

Blog notes for Tuesday

- How come when I walk outside and it is raining, I look up? Am I making sure where it's coming from?
 
- Monday night on THE BACHELOR: ON THE WINGS OF LOONYVILLE, I was all set to celebrate when Crazy Chick Michelle was kicked off mid-date, but then I realized that she was just the most desperate. Almost all of the women left are a little crazy, too, especially Fearless Leader Ali, who is one tranquilizer dart short of being on a Bachelor Safari taking down any and all girls in her way. The way she's trying to control the situation means she's in a Gots To Go mode. Heck, the way the other women went after Vienna, by the end of the show I was on Vienna's side! Oh, and No Kiss Elizabeth needs to accept that she was a big tease and had to go as well.
 
- Holy moly! Last week on THE BIGGEST LOSER, Bob finally called out a team with immunity for throwing the weigh-in! The lady on the Red Team tried to look all shocked when she gained a pound, but Bob wasn't having any of it, declaring no more scams, cons, hoodwinks, gambits, stratagems, bamboozles or flimflams!
- Just to save for the future, Jeff is in first place after two weeks in his fantasy golf league, ahead of the other 36 teams and in the top 98 percent overall in the entire Yahoo universe. I wish it was because I've been doing extensive research on the opening tournaments. The reality? Lucky guesses. Golf is the most difficult of fantasy sports to do well because the season stretches from January through September, you can only use players 10 times per year (especially tough when figuring out how to use Tiger) and you have to be able to adjust your team on Friday nights to make sure you don't have someone miss the cut for the weekend. Here's how I've done in the same league since 2001, and you'll notice that I've been slightly preoccupied the last few years with other matters:

2009    31 of 41
2008    21 of 39
2007    11 of 25
2006    10 of 35
2005    3 of 30
2004    12 of 38
2003    10 of 45
2002    7 of 36
2001    6 of 24

Monday, January 18, 2010

Smelly hippies still in charge of the Dems

Actor John Ratzenberger (a.k.a. Cliff Clavin) at a rally for Massachusetts Republican senate candidate Scott Brown this weekend:
"This isn't the Democratic party of our fathers and grandfathers. This is the party of Woodstock hippies. I was at Woodstock — I built the stage. And when everything fell apart, and people were fighting for peanut-butter sandwiches, it was the National Guard who came in and saved the same people who were protesting them. So when Hillary Clinton a few years ago wanted to build a Woodstock memorial, I said it should be a statue of a National Guardsman feeding a crying hippie."

Mark Steyn on "climate change":
...we’ve had climate change for four billion years. But now apparently there is an ideal state that Ma Mère has to be maintained in. A belief in a garden of Eden which man through sin has despoiled sounds familiar. But this time we get to pick. Not the Medieval Warm Period that causes the “scientific consensus” such problems, and not presumably the bucolic state the planet was in when Canada was 150 feet under, but some pristine condition somewhere in between.

WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA? - Newsweek's Evan Thomas on the health care bill: "This bill is a fiscal fraud. I'd still vote for it ..."

Liberal Memphis Commercial Appeal movie reviewer John Beifuss comes through again for downtrodden minorities with his review of "Princess And the Frog":
Is it possible the filmmakers — even if unconsciously — were worried that white adult ticket-buyers were more likely to take their kids to a movie about a frog than to one about a black girl?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Clothing Conspiracy!

I'm 98.5 percent sure that baby clothing companies put an odd number of buttons on baby rompers/footies just for laughs as parents try to figure out why there's always one button sticking out when finished putting on their kid's clothes.

Earlier this week we finally got brave enough to take our mini Cooper to the mall for lunch and a walk around what ended up being half of Wolfchase before he finally got tired and thus fussy. But it was fun while it lasted!




Val's Mom is always happy when we drop off her grandbaby!


Cheryl won the race of eating the fastest at Casa to get to hold him while the rest of us finished:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Love It When A Movie Comes Together

Wow, it's like a gift to my inner child!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cooper at 11 weeks!

He's really starting to recognize our faces and voices and notice things around him. And he likes to play with his Mommy and Daddy!

Squirmy McFussybritches just 16 years away from Idol tryouts

Cooper has apparently decided that he doesn't want to go to sleep. He'll start crying, and once he's been changed and rejects the bottle we decided he's tired and try to get him to take a nap, but he'll fight it, squirming back and forth, screaming through his pacifier, and this can go on for an hour. And by then he is hungry, and then he'll wake up and play, and then it's time to try to get him a nap again. Tuesday night this started at 6:30 and he didn't fall asleep for the night until after 9:30.
 
So what I'd like to know is, whoever is lacing his formula with cocaine, could you switch to Benadryl?
 
The benefit is that once he's asleep at night he will go all night long, sometimes waking for a late night feeding but still going back to sleep until the early morning when Val's a little more rested. We're still big wusses about putting him in his crib to sleep, though. I put him in the car seat which is in the bassinet, then crash on the couch at night after Val's gone to bed by 8, waking her up at 3 when I get ready for work. She then goes to the couch and lays down for more sleep in the hopes that Cooper will allow this.
 
And yet, once he's squirmed himself back to being alert, he'll look at you and follow you around the room and give this big grin and he's just the cutest thing in the whole wide world.
 
Meanwhile, AMERICAN IDOL is back, baby, yeah! Simon's leaving, Ellen's starting and Paula is gone, so enjoy this year; it may be the last! Last night's auditions in Boston were typical: Crazy folks who think they can sing, dramatic stories with amazing singers and toss in some decent singers who get by on their personalities and wallah! Pure entertainment value!
 
Not only that, but in the previews they showed Neil Patrick Harris as a guest judge in a future audition show, which ought to be pretty cool. I mean, not that Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham wasn't a decent judge last night - she held her own against an eye-rolling Simon, for instance - I just wish she'd eat a sandwich and chips once in a while. Looked like she had scurvy, bless her heart.
 
So how about that Mark McGwire, eh? Five years after his "I don't want to talk about the past" nonsense at the famous congressional hearings on steroids, and now that he will be working for the Cardinals as hitting coach, he's decided to admit what everyone knew: He was on the juice.
 
But it's okay, because they didn't help him hit home runs.
 
Seriously, that's what he said. Which is like an insomniac on Ambien saying, "The sleeping pills don't help me sleep; I already had all the tools for that, I just needed the assist."
 
Hey Mark, they're called "performing enhancement drugs" for a reason. You likely have back acne and tiny testicles for a reason, dude, because you knew that taking steroids at the time would help you increase your home run numbers. 
 
I think I actually have less respect for McGwire now. Not as less as for that punk Lane Kiffin, but close.
 
We should elect Jose Canseco into the Hall of Fame for being the only guy willing to admit all of this early on and be at the forefront of the steroid revelations.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weekend wrap

It was either bad timing or a good timing when our fridge stopped working Friday. Bad in that, obviously, a major appliance ceasing to function is a headache financially, and Friday night my Mom and Aunt Lynn were driving over from Chapel Hill to spend time with our mini Cooper and me and Val. What to do with the drinks and cold foods that we'd bought for Saturday's big breakfast? Ah ha, here's the good: Temps all week were below 30, so why not just stick everything out back on the patio table and let them stay cold? And what do you know, the next morning the ham, bacon, cinnamon rolls and eggs were just fine! (Not to mention that the bottled water and Tabs stayed much more refreshingly colder outside than they would in a fridge.)
 
Once Mom and Aunt Lynn left Saturday afternoon we dropped Cooper off at Val's parents for the night, and they let us have their old fridge that they kept in the garage to store extras, in return for the freezer that they had let us use on our back patio for extra frozen storage when Val's brother Ken stayed with us. My Dad-in-Law used the old truck to transport everything, and all is well now. Thank goodness for family, or else we'd be using a mini-fridge for the next, oh, two years or so.  
 
I say that I won't watch, but after a night like last night on THE BACHELOR how can I resist? I mean, one ho of a model sleeps with a show staffer and gets kicked off, another chick with the biggest crazy eyes ever on the show gets a rose again, and at 7:33 central time they did the awesomeness that we'd been waiting for, they played "On The Wings Of Love" over a shot of Jake and his date flying to Palm Springs. That's far too much awesome to abandon at this point.
 
And yes, I watched CONVEYOR BELT OF LOVE last week, and it was highlarious. Will I watch it when Cooper's all growed up in the next ten years? Heck no. I'll pop in a John Wayne movie or watch a ballgame and pretend that we don't watch that sort of reality nonsense, and then Val and I will secretly record it and watch together when he's asleep. How will I know that he's asleep and won't catch us? I'll do like I do now and bribe him with food, so I'll walk in and see him conked out with a plate of fish sticks in his lap.
 
Tonight, IDOL on Fox! Yee Hawwwww!!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cooper's new bouncer

Here's our Super Cooper playing in his new Pooh bouncer that his Grams brought last weekend!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Cooper's First Christmas: Chapel Hill

Going to Grams' house to see my family!

He slept through most of the fun:






The other cousins gathered to watch some movies:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Cooper's first snow!

Okay, so we only got about half an inch this morning, but it counts as Cooper's first snow! At least it was enough of a reason to get him in his adorable snowsuit and take him outside for approximately five minutes, max. He didn't like the cold, but hey, it's 25 degrees, so I don't blame him!






Cooper growing, Jeff hopefully shrinking, Team Valfrey getting alone time

Monday afternoon Val and I took our mini Cooper to see the doctor for his two-month checkup (he's actually 10 weeks old yesterday). The doc said that Cooper looks normal and all seems to be going well. He's up to 11 pounds, 13 ounces, and growing fast. After all, he may have his Mommy's size, but he's got Daddy's tummy! (In fact, he may have two. We haven't done the x-rays.)
 
The doc didn't scoff at our feeding and sleeping schedules, and didn't cock his eyebrow too high when we told him that we've been putting Cooper in his car seat in the bassinet to sleep overnight. Even if he wanted to disapprove, he acts as if he's in the "whatever works" category of low-key doctors, as in, "You do whatever you do in the comfort of your own home."
 
Unfortunately for Cooper he also had to get his first shots, three of them. After the first one he started to wonder what was going on and only squealed a little for the final two, then within 15 seconds he was over it, much to the relief of his parents.
 
Last weekend he spent two nights with Val's family, which was great for us but not so much for them, since he was fussy and it turns out that her mom has strep throat. Yikes. Our nurse assures us that babies are immune to it, which we hope is correct.
 
Meanwhile, Val and I slept a little bit, caught up on a little bit of organizing and taking down the Christmas tree, ate some final naughty meals at favorite restaurants, then at night watched "Public Enemies" one night and "Star Trek" the next.
 
"Public Enemies" was a bit of a disappointment. The performances were fine when I could hear them (seriously, the movie should be subtitled there was so much whispering and mumbling), but the movie lacked flow. In trying to piece together bits of John Dillinger's life we lost the hows and whys of where he was and what he was doing, and random people would be introduced without so much as an introduction. About an hour in, he's living it up and all of a sudden he's arrested, and it's like, "Wait, why? Who found out where he was?" And then since it's only an hour in, you know he'll get out some how, and sure enough in a very improbable escape he's out of prison and back robbing banks.
 
"Star Trek" was pretty awesome in the theaters, and even better upon a second viewing via DVD. While the big screen was sensory overload, at home I caught nuances of the plot that I missed, such as the strategery of the young Enterprise crew's plans to take down Nero in the end, and some of the inside jokes among Trekkies. 
 
This week Val and I are embarking on diets, so wish us luck and support and accountability. Val has a good excuse for putting on an extra few pounds due to the whole baby in her belly thing. Me, well, I just went overboard with the bad foods while she was preggers, even though the last few months she couldn't eat badly because of the gestational diabetes.
 
Dad said something at Thanksgiving regarding my unplanned expansion, but when my reserved and always-positive Granddad expressed similar concerns at Christmas it was a message. That, or I really have got to stop wearing that orange checkered shirt that makes me look like I'm wearing a tarp that covers the UT Vols' end zone.
 
Starting weight, 387. First goal is 10 percent, or just under 350, then hopefully 300 by the end of the year. More is better. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cooper video

Since most of my family and friends don't get to see our mini Cooper often, I thought I'd post a random video once in a while so you can take part in the cuteness that is our boy! Stay tuned near the end when Val finally coaxes a smile out of our wiggleworm on his play mat.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Jeff's Top 5: The Best of the Last Decade On The Small Screen

TV SHOWS, OVERALL

1. Lost - An instant success. So weird, so intense, so compelling, and Hurley's there to keep it comical once in a while. Couldn't quit it if I tried.

2. American Idol - The best water-cooler reality show. Everyone in the country follows it, whether they admit it or not, or whether they want to or not.

3. Survior - The first several seasons this was a phenomenon, then it fizzled out when 90 percent of the contestants were chosen based on their ability to be a-holes.

4. Firefly - Pulled after 13 episodes (curse you, Fox!), and yet such a pop culture underground hit that a successful movie, "Serenity," was made for it a few years later.

5. Battlestar Galactica - Took science fiction to another level, mixed the action and fantastical elements without seeming hokey, and with the long delays between seasons we couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

Also in the running: The Mentalist; FlashForward; CSI Miami; Star Trek Enterprise

ELSEWHERE ON THE DIAL

1. Pardon The Interruption - The only sports show I have to watch every day.
2. I Love The 80s - The wave of "comedians and stars talking about stuff we all had as kids" peaked with this one, which of course I related to from my childhood.
3. TMZ - I hate paparazzi, so why is this so entertaining?
4. Top Chef, Chopped, Next Food Network Star - Makes me want to cook more than chicken and mashed potatoes three nights a week.
5. Magic's Biggest Secrets Revealed - Mitch Pileggi's voice overs are dry and awesome.

Also: Red Eye, Design Star

(Note: The Soup doesn't qualify because it started in the 90s.)

COMEDIES

1. How I Met Your Mother - Every show good for laughs.
2. Arrested Development - Odd without being humiliating.
3. Scrubs - Quirky funny.
4. Community - Love how they slide in pop culture references.
5. Andy Richter Controls the Universe - Alas, short-lived.

AT ONE TIME

1. 24 - It didn't take long before I got tired of how the first half was awesome, went downhill then picked back up for the last two episodes.
2. Heroes - First season, incredible, the next, not as much.
3. House - Started a few seasons in, got into it, then lost interest last year with the new helpers.
4. My Name is Earl - First season full of fun, then format petered out.
5. CSI - Got way too involved in the weird stuff.

Also: Nashville Star (first season was great, then ruined by NBC), Trading Spaces

GAME SHOWS/COMPETITIONS

1. Joe Millionaire, For Love or Money, Age of Love, Dating In the Dark - Quirky dating shows were the bee's knees.
2. The Amazing Race - All about the locations and Phil.
3. Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance - Who knew I would be so proficient at judging people dancing?
4. Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? - No, but then again I wasn't ever good at measurements.
5. Deal Or No Deal - Didn't get it at first, though it's the easiest game show to watch, and not just for Howie's ladies. You're just rooting for luggage!

Also in the running: America's Got Talent; The Biggest Loser; Can You Duet?; Don't Forget the Lyrics; 1 vs. 100

Guitar Hero Christmas Lights

This is one of the more creative displays I've seen, a house hooked up to the Guitar Hero game to "play" their outdoor lights!



Forgot about this one, too, Christmas "monks" "singing:"

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 is going to be Cooperific!





Thanks for helping out this week, Mom! Cooper really appreciated hanging out with Grams!