Monday, April 30, 2007

His future's so bright...

In addition to smiling, Cooper has also recently learned how to suck on his fist.

And hold his head up when he's on his stomach.

We now are working on reaching out to grab toys and pushing up on his arms when he's on his stomach.

Last weekend, Cooper was a big hit at the EIU Econ Club picnic in his new overalls.

And he wasn't the only one:

We spent a few minutes one afternoon enjoying the sun.

And then decided we better get shades.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

From the "What were we thinking?" file

Last August, we finally wrapped up remodeling the back room of our house. We love it, but the whole process wasn't exactly enjoyable. The general contractor was nice; the workers were timely and clean and efficient. But still the project was over-budget, took too long, and required me to use too many lawyer words.

But by October, we were already talking about starting another project -- the upstairs bathroom. It's functional (barely), but we knew that we might be going to Kansas and if we ever hoped to sell the house, we needed to redo that bathroom. It hadn't been remodeled for many, many, many years. When we bought the house, there wasn't a shower in it. We bought a "convert your bathtub spout to a shower" kit, duct taped a plastic shower curtain over the non-waterproof walls, and called it good. I'm guessing a potential buyer wouldn't be too pleased with that arrangement.

So in November, we met with a contractor. "I'm having a baby in February," I told him. "You will be finished by then." No problem, he reassured us. But he was in the middle of another project, and couldn't get to us right away. And then that other project took longer than he expected. And longer. And longer.

Finally on February 5 (you know where this is going, don't you?), he showed up to get started. "When's the baby coming?" he asked. "He's due Feburary 17, so you've got two weeks," I explained. But we suggested that he hurry because we didn't have another shower. (We were planning to walk slowly so we didn't sweat much and then just shower at the gym whenever we could.) So that Monday, the 5th, the contractor completely gutted our upstairs bathroom -- moved the toilet to the guest bedroom, took out the vanity and shower fixtures, and tore down the walls and ceiling.

That very evening, because God has a sense of humor, I went into labor and Cooper was born Tuesday, February 6. (We joked with the nurses at the hospital that we decided to come in that week just so we could take a shower!) So our first several weeks home with a brand new baby, we had no shower at home and the only functioning bathroom was at the opposite end of the house from our bedroom. On the upside, though, neither of us had to be anywhere in public for a couple of weeks, so we didn't offend outsiders with our lack of hygiene!

Despite the crazy timing (and the usual problems of being over-budget and taking too long), we are, once again, extremely pleased with the final result.

Here are the "before" pictures.

And the "after" pictures:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My kid has the cutest smile!

But you're just going to have to take my word for it for now. I can't for the life of me get a picture of his smile yet. My digital camera has just enough delay time that I end up with post-smile pictures, like these two:

I did catch this sort-of smile, but it was while he was sleeping, so he didn't really mean it.

Last week, we had a cold snap come through, which was good news for Cooper. He got to wear this fabulously cute outfit that we bought for him, but he hadn't yet worn and would soon outgrow -- cords, a red waffle shirt, and matching socks:

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Babe: Kid in the City

This week, Emily and I both had things to do in Chicago. Emily had a legal writing seminar, and I joined the annual Econ majors' trip to visit Chicago financial institutions. Since we were both going to be there, we went together, and took the kiddo along for good measure!

Cooper racked up a whole bunch of 'firsts' on this trip:

First train ride. Slept dang near the whole way. Received many favorable comments from passersby on how well-behaved he was. "Good parenting," he replied.

First cab ride. Chicago cab drivers can be wild, but they're not nearly as fun as his under-the-sea swing at home. All in a day's work for this little dude. Mommy and pops were scared, though!

Scared of heights? Not this little guy! First time above the third floor--our room was on the eighteenth!

First trip to Ed Debevics with the Nugents (Mary, Joey, Timmy, and John, respectively). Ed Debevics is a 50's style diner where part of the waiters' schtick is to be rude to the customers. Cooper got yelled at, once, and calmly gave it right back by filling a diaper to overflowing. That's tellin' him, little buddy!

First Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza at Giordano's! True, he gets it secondhand. Next year at this time he might actually get it the first go-around!

The waitress at Giordano's (and most other waitresses most other places) said Cooper was very cute. "Good parentage," he replied. Smart kid, that Cooper.