Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thanks, Grams!

When Mom came to visit, she bought Cooper a play table as a reward for being a big boy who can pull himself up! This is the first time I introduced it to him, so it takes a little bit but he eventually warms up to it, and now he goes right to it and just stands there playing for a long time.

Cooper gets a visit from his Grams

Mom drove down last weekend to see our mini Cooper, and good times were had by all! I guess every other week either she has to drive over or we have to drive there, because he's learning and doing so many new things all the time!





Monday, August 30, 2010

Grilled chicken is your friend

I lost about 2.5 pounds, but due to rounding issues we'll just say 2 for this week. That's just how I roll. That means I'm down 23 total, with just 15 to go until I reach the first 10 percent target.

I'm not saying that I couldn't devour en entire pizza or eight Krystals with a 20 pack of McDonald's nuggets in one sitting right now before Val could even open her honey mustard packet (those things can be very difficult sometimes), but it's surprising how easy it is to avoid fast food that is detrimental to your diet. Buy the chicken sandwich or get a healthy sub, and you won't be hungry anymore, either, plus you won't feel guilty about it later.

KEEP JEFF ACCOUNTABLE

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Last week (Aug. 23) - 366
Current weight (Aug. 30) - 364
Total lost - 23
10% target - 349
Ultimate goal – 225
 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cooper's saucer

Cooper still loves his saucer. Just not being in it so much as using it to stand up. The little stinker even tries to climb things now, such as getting up on the couch or even trying to climb out of his crib. Oh my, he's going to be fearless!





Cooper loves taking baths at his Mammaw's house, because she has a sprayer!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh yeah, this is how we roll



Happy Friday

- The Red Sox in third place in the AL East, explained:

The Sox are now 53-29 (.646) in the first two games of a series this season but are 20-26 (.435) in the third and fourth games. I have no idea what that means.

Also, remember the good old days, when left field was a staple in Sox lore? Ted Williams (1939-60 with some years missing due to war), Carl Yastrzemski (1961-83), and Jim Rice (1974-89) held the position for decades. Mike Greenwell (1985-96) and Manny Ramirez (2001-08) lasted quite a while, successfully, as well. Heck, even Troy O'Leary had a few solid seasons (1998-2000).

Now? Not so much. In 2010 there have been nine players in left field, and as a group they're hitting just .232. Owie. Count 'em: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida, Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald, Ryan Kalish, Eric Patterson, Josh Reddick and Jonathan Van Every have all started or played some innings in left this season.

- HEADLINES:

"Suspect in public sex complaint urinates on fingerprint machine at Hoboken police station"
Pretty much says it all, eh?

"Elizabeth Edwards: It Was Not Easy To Leave John"
Might want to get that checked by a gastro doctor.

"Driver fined $100 for having goat in trunk"
In some places it's $200 for NOT having a goat in the trunk.

"Chicken washer shares his secret at the Western Idaho Fair this week"
Some secrets should be taken to the grave.

"Women despair over men's toilet habits"
Men reply: Like they have room to talk. Why am I emptying the full little trash can when it's full of pantyliner wrappers?

- From the Media Talking Points Misinformation Files:

The guy who stabbed that Muslim cabbie and was immediately held up as an example of anti-Ground Zero mosque nuts? Pro-mosque volunteer for liberal community group.

Democrat representative's office was firebombed by crazy Tea Party loon? Nope. Angry staffer who hadn't gotten paid.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Overheard in the Valfrey Household

"Cooper, don't eat that wire."

"Watch your head, little man."


"Angel Baby, look at Mommy! Over here! No, over here!"

"Oops, sorry. I gave Cooper my phone and he must've hit speed dial."

"You want me to read this book for the 10th time in a row? Well, OK then."

"Please stop kicking Daddy in the crotch, buddy."

"Please stop grabbing your crotch, buddy."

"The octopus is pink!"

"The crab is red!"

"Tigger likes to bounce up and down. He's VERY bouncy." (He has a lot of talking toys and books.)

"Cooper, Duper, how'd you get so super?!"

"Baby, please stop licking the rug."

"I know we want him to go to sleep, but isn't he the cutest thing in the whole wide world when he's crawling over us to keep awake?"

"Holy cow that is a Poopcano!"

"Hon, could you come in here and hold all eight arms and legs so I change our boy's diaper?!"

"Wow, that poop smells like carrots."

"Hey Babe, can you smell Cooper's butt and see if he's dirty?"

"What color was his poop?" (Obviously we talk about poop a lot.)

Cooper's bath time







Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Idiots Coming Back

Alas, the Red Sox won't be getting help from Johnny Damon, who decided to stay in Detroit after being taken by Boston off the waiver wire. Too bad. At least it could have made the last 5 weeks or so a little more fun, since at 72-54, the Sox are a season-best 18 games over .500, and yet still 5 1/2 games behind the Dang Yanks and the Rays for the AL East lead and wild card. If Boston can take care of business against the hapless Mariners tomorrow, a three-day weekend set in Tampa could bring hope or effectively end the season.

Meanwhile, rumbling, bumbling, stumbling, lumbering, with an hilarious triple the other night, Big Papi joins Damon and Carlos Guillen as the only American Leaguers to record at least one triple in each of the last 11 seasons.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cooper's class

The first week of August is "graduation Sunday" at church, and Cooper wasn't exempt as he moved out of the itty-bitty-baby room and advanced down the hall with a couple of nine-month old girls:



Even though there's nursery help, we'll skip Sunday School or the service to help out and keep Cooper on schedule for feeding and napping. Otherwise he just loves all the toys and scoots around from one to the next. God bless the dozens who work in the pre-school ministry, because we're talking dozens, maybe even hundreds, of babies and toddlers at FBC Millington. You can see here my mom-in-law enjoying some extra time with her grandson as he catches some ZZZs.



Meanwhile, back home, Cooper's got the run of the place now!




Monday, August 23, 2010

Three more down, and a look back

Down three pounds this week, so good times! That's 21 total in six weeks, which gets me in trouble because I start doing the math and start figuring how I can lose the rest of the 140 by November, which is pretty much impossible without sawing off a limb or two.
 
College students are heading to college at the end of this month, so health experts are warning against the so-called "freshman 15." Luckily I didn't have to worry about that. I had already established my 15 in high school. And during summers. And autumn. And winter. And on Mondays. And Tuesdays ... you get my drift.

College was an excellent time for eating horribly. I would pick up donut holes from the cafeteria in the mornings, get some fast food at nights, and I worked at Outback Steakhouse as a busboy my sophomore year, which was awesomely bad, what with all the cheese fries and bloomin' onions put in the back for the staff to snack on throughout the night.

(The stack of fat on the back of my thighs comes from this time of my life.) (Pizza accounts for the opposite side. Fast food takes up much of my belly. If I drew it up I'd look like one of those cow drawings where you see which cuts of meat come from where, only using fattening foods.) 

On weekends there would be movie nights on campus, featuring 25 cent burgers or Arby's or whatever. After the movie, though, they would just give out what was leftover. More than once I would end up taking an entire ten-pack of tacos to the dorm to watch TV late at night alone while Steve and Patrick were back home with their lovely ladies. I wasn't eating to feel better about myself. I just love food, and it would be downright pleasant to munch on some tacos while watching "The Real World."

Only 13 years after graduating from good ol' Union U., I'm on my way to reverse all that and more. I don't even watch "The Real World" anymore.

KEEP JEFF ACCOUNTABLE

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Last week (Aug. 16) - 369
Current weight (Aug. 23) - 366
Total lost - 21
10% target - 349
Ultimate goal – 225

Good to see you, too, buddy!

Here's the highlight of my day, how Cooper reacts when his Daddy comes through the door:




And the saddest, how he reacts when Daddy goes to change into something comfy. (Val usually ends up bringing him in the bedroom.)



Sunday, August 22, 2010

7th Inning Stretch Takes A While, Though

- Memphis Memories from Aug. 8, 1885:
The Terrace Garden was crowded yesterday when the baseball game in progress at Nashville between the Rock City team and Memphis was received by telegraph and announced, feature by feature, the score being marked up on the blackboard. It was the next thing to seeing a game and will doubtless take well here as the baseball fever seems to rage without abatement.

- HEADLINES:

"Investigators search video for clues in Shakespeare slaying"
Conclude the teens killed themselves, break for coffee and donuts.

"Tight ends have KU smiling"
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"Mammoths killed off by climate change"
Obama declares: "It's all Bush's fault."


- The Grizzlies (I'm talking to you, owner Michael Heisley) are a laughingstock of embarrassing cheapness and achieve the ability to look bad even during
what should be the most simple of issues:
Rookies know almost to the penny what they’re going to get based on Draft position. It pretty much eliminates the guesswork of negotiations, making sure those NBA neophytes are signed and sealed long before training camp.

That brings Hang Time to the curious cases of Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez, Memphis’ two unsigned first-round picks. The two guards, taken 12th and 28th, have yet to come to terms in an almost unprecedented display of hardball.

But instead of the players holding out for better deals, the Grizzlies are standing firm. The rookie salary scale allows each pick to sign for up to 120 percent of their slot figure. In the case of Henry, the slot is $1.68 million for this year. The starting amount for Vasquez is $863,000.

Most teams usually just go with the 120 percent figure and wrap up a contract. The Grizz aren’t opposed to going there, they just aren’t guaranteeing it. Memphis wants that last 20 percent to be tied to performance bonuses, such as playing 70 games and averaging 15 minutes for Henry.

The contract dispute has put the sharp-shooter out of Kansas behind in his early preparation for this summer, as Henry didn’t take part in Summer League. Still, about six weeks remain before training camp. Vasquez did play on the Grizzlies’ summer squad.

Henry’s agent Arn Tellem isn’t too thrilled with Memphis’ stance. Tellem told the Associated Press that only one player out of 450 drafted since the rookie scale began 15 years ago has agreed to performance bonuses. The Grizzlies apparently want to triple that figure.

- Memphis politics: It's fantastic:
The jokes have been flying ever since this newspaper reported that (Memphis city councilwoman Janis) Fullilove wrote a letter to the president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, apologizing for her “over-the-top” behavior during the group’s national convention in Memphis last week.

The behavior evidently included pole dancing on a Mississippi River cruise, which raises a few interesting questions:

1) Pole dancing on a river cruise?

2) How come Mark Twain never wrote about that?

3) What do they mean by the term “paddle” boat, anyway?

“I’m just an innocent girl working to put my children through school,” said Fulli – OK, she didn’t really say that.

But she did insist she wasn’t drinking. Does that count as good news or bad?

In a related story, Fullilove has reported an influx of campaign contributions, all in the form of singles.

You should see the woman’s pole numbers.

Possible new revenue source: A pole tax!

With a City Council like this one, who needs Platinum Plus?

- Meanwhile, in other "Holy Crap My Eyes! My Eyes!" news of the thought of Nancy Pelosi pole dancing, in her usual talented way of looking both dumb and evil at the same time, the Speaker of the House wants to investigate those who oppose the Muslim center near Ground Zero. HotAir is there to put it into perspective: "What better way to defend the First Amendment freedom of religion than to have the Speaker of the House ask the federal government investigate those exercising their First Amendment right to free speech?"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Run, doggies, run!

Val took this with her camera phone Friday at my in-laws' house. Cooper's chasing around their doggies, Sam and Patches, who seem to be awfully wary of that screechy little nine-month old human baby!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cooper at the wedding

While my wife and in-laws worked their butts off to set up, cook, serve and clean, I had the easy part of taking care of Cooper!







And, of course, the couple of the day, Beth and Loren!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cooper at Beth's rehearsal dinner

This past weekend we went to the rehearsal and wedding of Val's cousin, Beth, and Loren. Cooper was just fine, because at the church he could just wander around the sanctuary:





Cooper's Growing Pains - Ours, I Mean

Cooper does his seal crawl around the house now and can follow us around. When I was eating at the table the other night, he found his way into the kitchen and then to me. Time to put up some gates? he pulls himself up easily in his crib, and though there isn't as much to grab onto on our couch, instead he tries to climb Mount Daddy when I'm sitting on the floor with him.
 
He's also started his "unintentionally inflicting pain" phase, including biting down and grinding with those eight surprisingly sharp teeth. Yesterday he put his mouth on my arm - which I'm used to since he just likes to lick things - but instead he bites down. Hard. There are six adorable and painful teeth marks embedded in my arm in a tiny little circle still this morning.
 
Our little torturer - when he's not kicking his feet so hard in excitement while you read him a story that it leaves your legs black and blue - also likes to reach his hand down people's shirts. Which is great if you're a female and you don't mind exposing some cleavage. But with me he also likes to grab my chest hair and take a pull, which is also not altogether pleasant. (Not so much for women with chest hair, either, I reckon.) Block him from that? He'll reach around your neck and grab that hair.
 
For Cooper? High comedy. And of course you can't be mad at him, not when you look at that cute face! He just looks at you, and you think, "Well, OK, you can drive that mallet into Daddy's kneecaps if it makes you happy."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cooper pulling himself up

Once he finds his footing he has no problem standing straight up and is so proud of himself! And he chews on the railing. Maybe it's time to get some of those teeth guards, eh?











Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cooper finds a way

Our mini Cooper can certainly find us wherever we go now!





Monday, August 16, 2010

Danger! Wedding food! Danger!

My first test this weekend came at a wedding for my Darling Valerie's cousin, including a rehearsal dinner Friday night. It turns out, though, that Cooper Watch is a decent weight loss cure. There's no time to overeat when I'm trying to keep him happy and I have little time to spare since Val's Mom was catering and the rest of the family was helping. As a result, I forgoed cake - and anything else but a little plate of cocktail shrimp during the reception - and just a little plate of BBQ (no bun), beans and slaw Friday night.

Thus, this morning I had hoped for more than being down two pounds. But hey, no worries, it's a minus and not a plus, especially with limited exercise, am I right? That puts me under 370, so another benchmark is crossed off the list. If I lose two pounds per week for the next 72 weeks, I will feel peachy keen.

Okay, so Val actually set me aside a tupperware carton of her mom's meatballs from the wedding, which I had for "breakfast" at work this morning. That gives me a week to work it off. Maybe I'll mow the lawn twice this week to get in some exercise!

KEEP JEFF ACCOUNTABLE

Starting weight (July 12, 2010) - 387
Last week (Aug. 9) - 371
Current weight (Aug. 16) - 369
Total lost - 18
10% target - 349
Ultimate goal – 225
 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hot day, cool Cooper

We went to Val's cousin Beth's wedding this afternoon at La Pavillion, which has a fountain in the middle, and Cooper was very pleased to dip his tootsies in there!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pet peeves

- I hereby ban all meteorologists from using the phrase "break in the heat" unless the high dips into the mid-80s. Two months ago you were telling us to frreak out when it was 95 degrees every day. Just because it "dips" from 100 to 95 does not mean that it still isn't FREAKING HOT OUTSIDE.

- I also would like to ban any and all utterings of the drunken "Get in the hole!" yell during PGA tournaments on TV. Anyone who does that during a players' backswing should be shot on sight. Also, from here on out, anyone who complains about people who do that should be strung up beside them. It's a tired argument, I know.

- Congrats to Lauren for winning SO YOU THINK YOU CAN BE A SECOND BANANA, during a season in which no matter how well the competitors performed, they always looked like amateurs next to the all-stars, all of whom were better dancers and ended up being the ones we watched anyway.

Everyone needs a break. And another one. And another one. And another one. And another one.

You know how when you come back from a long and busy vacation, and you go back to work and joke around that, "I need a vacation from my vacation"? Well, if you had an job with more paid time off like President of the United States, you could do just that.

You can understand how the Obamessiah is plum tuckered out. No wonder, what with all the vacations he's taking after kicking a** on the oil spill. Currently working on number 5 since July. Not to mention, all the stress that comes with having to celebrate a birthday week and Michelle's swank Spanish vacation. Besides, it's not like they're having a blast. You know, he was made to eat quail egg for those $17,000 a plate fundraisers, and that's just gross. I'm sure he looks forward to eating McDonald's on Martha's Vineyard with the normal folks.

It's a hard knock life. I only hope that starting in January of 2013 that he gets all the time he needs to relax.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mighty Sleepy, and All Kinds of Cute





The party of tolerance

Let's see what Dems are talking about this week ...

- A Democratic candidate for state representative in New Hampshire wishes that Sarah Palin had gone down with Ted Stevens's plane.

- Nancy Pelosi's Congress raided food stamps to bow down to teachers' unions. I think we know how this would be covered by the mainstream media had Newt Gingrich done the same for a GOP special interest group in 1995.

- Nevada Sen. Harry Reid tells an Hispanic audience, "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just seeing what he's been missing

Cooper really likes to pull himself up on the couch now, and check on what Mommy and Daddy are doing up there, and why aren't we down on the floor playing with him, hmmm???!!!