Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lunch at The Barrel

We drove down to Batesville, Miss., so my Granddad (Dad's dad) and Sadie could drive up from Greenville and see his great-grandson Cooper for the first time:

Friday, July 30, 2010

At the Zoo

Good Morning Memphis is live at the Zoo today! And we're indoors this time! Hallelujah!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cooper's 9 months old!

Cooper turned nine-months old Wednesday, so we took him for his checkup. Cooper didn't mind. This is the only quarterly appointment without getting a shot for another year or so. He was so thrilled he high-fived himself in the big mirror next to his comfy ledge:

His stats look good; Cooper's at least in the 80th percentile for his measurements. (Yeah, take that, lower 80 percent babies! Oh, wait, this isn't a test?) Three months ago the doctor said that Cooper would be fine "even if he didn't gain anymore." Was that a hint? Hey, if the boy's hungry, he's hungry, am I right? See how he's grown:

9 Months - July 28: Length 29 inches, Head 46.5, Weight 22 pounds
6 Months - April 28: Length 27 inches, Weight 20 pounds
March 1: Length 25 inches, Head 43, Weight 16 pounds 2 ounces
3 Months - Jan. 4: Length 22.5 inches, Head 39, Weight 11 pounds 13 ounces
Nov. 11 '09: Length 19.5 inches, Head 34, Weight 6 pounds 8 ounces
Nov. 3, '09: Length 19.5 inches, Head 33, Weight 5 pounds 15 ounces

The doctor said the reason Cooper's nose looks so orangy yellow in pictures is because of the beta-Carotene in all the sweet potatoes we feed him. But we feed him just as many peas and green beans, so where's the green tips? I dare say it just makes his poopcanoes green!

Our mini Cooper loves to roll around the floor, still gets a kick out of pounding on the glass on the entertainment center, plus crawl and spin in a sitting position to get from one toy to the next. He tries to get up into what looks like a downward dog position in yoga, but I'm not sure where he's going with it. Also, I'll be on the couch, and all of a sudden see him peeking around my leg to play ... so adorable. How can you not get down and play when he comes to find you?!

More pics from this weekend's family visit

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nana's Birthday Party

To celebrate Nana's 80th birthday on Friday, my entire family came into town and we went to Jim's Place East for dinner. Cooper had a grand old time, so long as there was a spoon ...

Some gifts were touching (Dad got her a special edition Thomas Kinkade painting, which Nana really, really, wanted, and they even went to the gallery to get highlights for it):

Some gifts were whimsical, such as a Slinky, from the family's ongoing fun from "Nana's Slinky Story" some two decades ago:

Good luck to the two servers who were assigned to us!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Funniest UFO Ever

Cooper's new toy spins and sings and lights up, and that's a recipe for hilarity:

On the way down

Well that was unexpected.
I weighed myself Friday morning and was within one-tenth of a pound of last Monday. With my entire family coming into town, promising many many large meals at awesome restaurants (Jim's Place East, Shogun, Cracker Barrel), I expected to be up a pound or two.
This morning I had lost four pounds. Boo Yah!
I consumed a few bad things here and there, but not consistently. I guess that's the key. It's okay to have some fried okra at Cracker Barrel. It's not okay to have it on the side of a big slab of meatloaf and with some hashbrown casserole, baked potato with butter and sour cream, and a helping of apple pie a la fattening to top it off. So instead I had some okra with grilled chicken tenders and a baked potato (little bit of butter only) and carrots. When I went to Lenny's I had a chicken philly, but without cheese, and using low-fat Italian dressing instead of honey mustard. At our local Mexican joint, El Mezcal, I had fajita quesadillas, but without cheese, and only had a few chips, no cheese dip.
Will power isn't easy, but worth it.
Or, it could be that at Jim's Place East on Friday night, the air was weak and it was so hot in there that I lost six pounds before putting two back on due to Shogun's fried rice the next night. Tonight we're going to Outback with Dad. Oh my. I am unable to resist the power of the blooming onion!
One of my weight-loss inspirations is Erin (at Baby Love on the left), who will now reverse much of her loss, but in a good way, due to her new pregnancy. I trust she will maintain better than I did during Val's pregnancy. Once Val developed gestational diabetes, she had to eat healthy, and I ended up gaining more during her pregnancy than she did. She got to birth a baby and all that gooey stuff that came out with him and lose 15 pounds instantly. I did not. So what I'm saying is, to Erin's hubby, Stephen, good luck and all that.

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Last week (July 19) - 379
Current weight (July 27) - 375
Total lost - 12
10% target - 349
Ultimate goal – 225

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Cooper's House

Based on these next two pics, I think it's time to start blocking off some of the places in the living room:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Star or Rapper?

They're both big on one-name monikers, so see if you can figure out which is which:*

Gomes vs. Cappadonna
Doni vs. Rakim
Kaka vs. Coolio
Maicon vs. Domino
Grafite vs. Benzino
Nilmar vs. Ludacris
Robinho vs. Twista
Kleberson vs. Chingy
Hulk vs. Cyssero
Runga vs. Akon
Aldair vs. Zion
Zico vs. Nas
Socrates vs. Mystikal
Leonidas vs. Charizma
Bebeto vs. Choppa
Zizinho vs. Cam'ron
Vava vs. Caushun
Zagallo vs. Chamillionaire

* Key: All of the ones on the left are the soccer players.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cooper playing in his room

He's just so adorable! I don't want to get all mushy, but sometimes I almost get teary-eyed thinking about how blessed me and Val are to have him!


Happy Birthday, Nana!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hang on, Cooper!

Old Style Ball

A Major League Memphis Memories from July 21, 1935:
Lou Chiozza, who learned his baseball while playing for CBC in Memphis, tied a fielding record set in 1882 when on July 7 he handled 11 assists and had three putouts for the Phillies in a game with Boston.
According to, Chiozza played six seasons - mostly at second base - from 1934 to 1939, three for the Phillies, three for the then New York Giants, sporting a .277 lifetime batting average.

The record for most assists in a game by a second baseman is now 12 by many players.

Negatives all around this story

The USDA worker/NAACP speaker who ignited a racial firestorm, Shirley Sherrod, has a way of ruining any good will she has with those on the right who weren't so quick to seek her resignation as Democrats were, as Mediaite points out:
"She also accused Fox News of racism, telling Strupp that 'they are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to . . . where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person.' And -- surprise, surprise -- she wants to sue, but isn't sure who to attack legally yet: 'I don't know enough to know. I wish I did. I would love to sue. I am going to talk about it.' Sherrod has a lot to be angry about, and given the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in this country, she probably has legitimate ground to stand on against, at the very least, the USDA for using this video to fire her. The most striking thing about this interview is how aggressively Sherrod takes on Fox News, so much so that it eclipses her rebukes of Breitbart, who originally ran the video. As Bret Baier argued yesterday, Fox News didn't cover the story before her resignation (aside from a few comments in their primetime opinion hour). What's more, the day after her resignation, Fox News' opinion hosts covered the story in a light favorable to Sherrod and unfavorable to the NAACP and the White House."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our precocious Cooper

This last one was after he tried Puffs for the first time:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cooper's always good for a laugh

A lesson in looking where you're going

So I got rear-ended on the way home from work yesterday. I'm fine and the other driver's fine (well, except her nerves) and the cars were both fine. Somehow.
The accident happened on Shelby Oaks Drive across from Putt-Putt and next to Jim's Place East (coincidentally where my family's meeting for dinner for Nana's birthday this Friday) - I was going that route after stopping at my Mom-in-law's work to pick something up - and after I was frustrated with a lady in front of me for not turning left when she had plenty of time to do so. Now you know two variables that could have changed it all, had I gone straight home or the lady in front of me wasn't a wuss.
In my rearview mirror I see that I have maybe two seconds tops to face the realization that A) There's a car coming at me that is slamming on its brakes, B) That lady is going to hit me, and C) Oh crap, we only have one car and I cannot afford this right now.
With the car in front of me having just turned, I hit the gas as hard as I could, which was probably the only thing that saved us from going KABLOOEY. She still hit me pretty hard and made a decent CRUNCH noise, lurching my car ahead. My car turned off with what must be an emergency kill switch, but my air bags didn't deploy. So either they're broken or it wasn't hard enough. Her front bumper ended up just bouncing off my big back bumper, apparently, because there was almost no sign of damage other than some scratches on my bumper and the bumper is a little loose.
When I get out, of course, I'm expecting to see the back of my car split in half. Approaching me is a frazzled little white lady, maybe 65 years old. She was driving an old brown Corolla that, in her nervous rambling, she tells me that she got for only $1,500 on a good deal because she just had cancer surgery and as a result - this is the kicker - doesn't have insurance (oh, great). She also complained that the seat belt hurt when she hit my rear. (Um, yeah, the seat belt that probably just kept your head from hitting my back window?)
She starts marveling at how neither of our cars appear damaged, which is a miracle, I admit. My back window didn't bust, the bumper didn't split, her car didn't even have a dent (at least not a new one). My car started right away when I tried.
I could have called the cops to report the accident. I probably should have. But all I could think was, this lady is driving a clunker with no insurance, what the heck am I going to get out of it? My Aztek is fine, no one was hurt. She was apologetic and volunteered to do what I wanted even though she probably knew she'd be in big trouble for lacking insurance. So I just wrote down her plate, name and phone number so that I could at least tell my insurance company what happened in case a month from now the innards of my car just fall out on the street.
I didn't really want to call the cops and hang around for an hour, either. Val had a dentist appointment for a filling, and I needed to get home and help take care of Cooper, so I went on home, and my car is driving fine and I'm not sore, thank the Lord.
Meanwhile, may I ask that everyone watch for cars ahead, and oh yeah, if you don't have insurance, stay the heck off the road.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Come on, boy!

Cooper can do it when he chooses to!

Maybe peach mango isn't the way to go

He'll learn to eat 'em up yum, but the first time wasn't love at first bite!

A few things to talk about

First, a survey: Are you supposed to tip the guy who sells the Sunday paper on the street?
Next, an update on our mini Cooper, who now has six teeth and "can" crawl, but seems to prefer not to, since he's so quick to roll around the floor and use his feet to bounce off the couch or entertainment center to get where he wants to go, which usually means off the big pallet of blankets we've made and around the tile under the piano or near the fireplace.
Since it's a trillion degrees outside (heat index pending), Val likes to take him to the nursery to play and read, part of our new initiative to turn the TV off as much as we can.  
Cooper's always been fun, but he's really developing his silly side and asking to play now. He's laughing and making faces all the time, and loves to play horsey on my knee. I think he's starting to like the "rough play," since not only does he love it when I'm spinning him on the floor or flipping him upside down, during baths he gets a kick out of us spurting water on his face.
Finally, tracking my "food lifestyle" ...
Not a bad week to start the diet. Lost eight pounds, and vow never to cross the 380 threshold ever again. Only about 15 of those thresholds to go, eh?
It's certainly not easy to keep track of Weight Watchers points based on our eating habits. There is a lot of guesstimation. Last night Val made chicken tenderloins that were dipped in bread crumbs. How the heck am I supposed to figure out how many cups of the bread ended up on the chicken that I ate? When we make a big pot of soup or spaghetti, I have to put it all in bowls or on plates to figure out how to divide the entire meal into edible portions. For example, if Val's Santa Fe soup is 35 points, and it goes equally into seven bowls, then one bowl is 5 points. Of course, then it's all out of the crock pot and there are seven bowls to clean, but it's only the one time I have to do the counting, and worth it in the end.
Eating out is another tricky option. We ate at Chili's for dinner Saturday, and I stuck with the chicken fajitas and rice. Using the website Dottie's Weight Loss Zone, she already has many restaurant dishes listed with points, so you can look ahead of time to make sure you don't go overboard on, say, an awesome blossom that will cost you 1 1/2 days worth of points for the whole thing. 

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Current weight (July 19) - 379
Total lost - 8
First 10% target - 349
Ultimate goal – 225

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chickasaw 2010: Random

For the finale of the collection, some shots that were missed:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chickasaw 2010: More People

Yes, there were more there than just me, Val and Cooper, contrary to what most of my pics have shown so far!

First up, Destiny and Bailey:

Not only was he the butt of many Scrabble jokes, Kevin probably used "butt" once or twice:

Babies, babies, everywhere!

Before you get other ideas, the smoke is from the fire for making smores:

If Alan closed his eyes, he could imagine that the creepy old guy in the background would stop staring at us ...