Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cooper and Penny at Nana's

Last Friday we went to Nana's for dinner, and the kids are always good to make her laugh (unfortunately the camera was messing up so the pics are a little weird) ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Penny on the swing, Sunday

Sure, she's a little snotty and it was chilly, but Penny enjoys a good swing ...

Cooper and Penny playing in the nursery at church with Val and Micah, whose parents we were waiting to pick up after church ...

Walking around with Grandaddy outside Old Timer's at lunch Sunday ...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sleep Tight!

My latest piece for ...

If I had a race car for a bed I would sleep in it every night. I would do so without complaint, especially if I could luxuriate on it for ten to twelve uninterrupted hours.

So why won’t our three-year-old son Cooper sleep in it, or sleep at all, for that matter, now that he’s out of his crib?

When we first got rid of the crib, he slept fine for about a week. And then, newly potty trained, he decided that it was a good excuse to get up ten times a night to go to the bathroom.

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I shouldn’t have told him that every time he flushes an angel gets its wings.

It wasn’t much later that when I was getting ready for work at 2:30 one morning I found him sleeping on the rug in the guest bathroom. The light was on, his little stuffed Pooh bear was at his feet and his head lay on his “lovies,” two old Gerber burp cloths he clings to as tiny blankies.

I know that Proverbs 22:6 says to Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it, but not departing from the bathroom at all is a little extreme, no?

When he isn’t asleep in the bathroom, he often crawls into bed with Darling Valerie after I’ve gone to work, and she’s too exhausted to care at three in the morning.

So where does our mini Cooper get it from? He gets it from his night owl daddy, that’s who.

One of my earliest memories is of being carried back to bed by my dad. During naptime at school while on my tri-fold mat I would use my fingers and imagination to play football games on the floor.

When I was about ten I remember my dad telling me about how I was sleepwalking into the living room, so the next night I tried to get away with it while aware of what I was doing. He wasn’t fooled.

Nowadays, of course I realize how easy it is to catch your kids when they are trying to hornswaggle you.

For example, how did he learn when turning three that if he bats his eyelashes, looks at you with giant sympathetic eyeballs and says, “I love you Daddy” that he can get away with anything?

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said that we have to “nip this in the bud” the past few years. Doesn’t matter what we’re nipping, just lots of stuff have to get nipped before they turn into a lifelong challenge.

Every three weeks we seem to enter a new phase that is the most challenging so far, then experienced parents say not to worry, it “gets easier as they get older.” No, it just gets different!

Then again, if the worst I can say about my kids growing up is that one of them likes to occasionally sleep in the bathroom, I can live with that.

- Jeff Rushing

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jeff reviews "Les Miserables"

If Val and I go to see a movie in an actual movie theater for the first time since the summer of 2011 before Penelope was born, then I should post a review!

First, I wouldn't call Val and I snobs about "Les Mis," having seen the musical several times, but let me tell you about a titter we had about the locals.

Right as the previews were starting, a group of 50-60ish women sat down behind us and proceeded to jibber-jabber throughout the trailers. When the movie began, one lady asked what "Les Miserables" meant, and the other said, "I don't know, 'The' Something."

Yeah, that happened.

So other than my misery at having this woman then proceed to narrate the whole movie from behind me ("Oh! He shot the kid!"), I can say that Val and I enjoyed the film, both for the music and for that whole "hey we don't have the kids and we're sitting in the dark" thing.

The star of "Les Mis" is the music, the words in the music and the story. I'm not going to lie, I got the chills and a little teary-eyed a few times, and Val was sniffling throughout.

You know it's a movie that folks were feeling deep when the credits roll and it takes a couple of minutes for folks to compose themselves and the women to put away the tissues.

That's not to say that I'm giving four stars to the celebrities and how they sang.

In "Mamma Mia!" I could forgive Pierce Brosnan since it's a happy-go-lucky comedic film. Not as much in "Les Miserables," which demands strong voices and performances.

Hugh Jackman's acting is good, but his voice was a key too high the entire film. I want Valjean to have a deeper voice befitting a guy who could lift a cart off a guy.

His nemesis, Javert, demands an equally strong voice. So Russell Crowe shouldn't have been in the movie at all unless his voice could have been dubbed, which would have been tough since the director shot all of the singing in EXTREME close-ups like it was "Wayne's World."

On the other hand, Anne Hathaway is surprisingly great. When the cast was announced she was the only one I was worried about, so take that, me.

The best singers were, as you'd imagine, the ones you don't recognized because they come from the theater, which I was happy about when it came to my favorite character, Eponine, and other favorites such as spunky Gavroche.

The look of the film was OK, if a little dark and gritty. My favorite scenery was in a colorful garden at night with Cosette singing and Marius finds her and they sing together through the gate.

Usually in the musical their stuff isn't my favorite, and this benefitted from being a movie with close-ups and not watching from the balcony.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cooper sleeping in the bathroom, Penny boxing herself up

First up, Cooper sleeping in the bathroom instead of his own, awesome race car bed, then shots of Penny getting into places before she thinks about getting out ...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Penny's first haircut

Our baby girl desperately needed a trim, and Cooper got to help!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Cooper and Penny's Cozy Coupe

Penny loves to go for a ride, and Cooper likes to push!

We stopped at a modern Mickey D's on the way to Mom's for Christmas. Cooper liked playing the games ...

Our adorable little ones in their PJs ...

We got Cooper's new train set with his Christmas money. To say he's thrilled is understating by a trillion ...