Andrew asked me how parenthood feels.
Well, Cooper gave me the thumbs up, so I guess I'm doing ok as a mommy.
Motherhood lives up to the hype in every way. It can be overwhelming. Especially at 2am if Cooper's fussy and I go to change him and he explodes and there's "spin art" everywhere. Or when we play and he's having a blast and then out of nowhere he gets bored, overstimulated or gassy and the day takes a turn for the worse. Or I start to imagine all the trouble and/or danger he could get in when he starts crawling, walking, playing sports, dating, driving, and so on. It doesn't matter if your kid is 2 months, 16 years or 36 years. You are a parent from here on out. There are many things in life that you can quit or back out of. Being mommy is not one of them. That's a big feeling.
And then I get one of these smiles. And every moment that seemed hard before becomes effortless. It sounds trite, but it's magic. There are times when he's so happy that he kicks his legs and he lets out a large squeal. There are times when I see him touch something and his eyes get big and I can see him learning. Those moments rock my world. That's a bigger feeling. Thanks, Cooper.
For more of these disgustingly adorable photos, click here to visit Flickr.
Andrew asked me how parenthood feels.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 8:25 AM
There's Uncle Jordan, Uncle Scott, Honary Uncle Andrew and now:
Cooper finally got to meet Sean and he was enthralled. I could almost hear his thoughts. "This dood is sort of like my dad but without the furry face. " Sean danced & sang with Coop during the entire visit. Cooper ate it up. He loved all the delicious attention.
As you can see, Cooper had a blast impressing Sean's girlfriend Casey. My lord is this kid a flirt! Look at him turning on the charm. Laying on the cuteness as thick as he can. He's shameless!!!! How can you not fall in love!?!
We had a sushi night. We played Super Monkey Ball. We ate at Cooper's favorite breakfast joint, Bob's Big Boy. It was a lovely visit.
Cooper looks forward to meeting Uncle Owen this December so he can say (or babble in baby talk) that he knows all his uncles.
For more photos of Sean & Casey's West Coast Adventure with Cooper, click here to visit Flickr.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 6:15 PM
I'm not sure why, but Cooper usually becomes VERY agitated when we place him on his belly. The doctor told us that allowing Coop some supervised tummy time is great for developing the muscles needed for sitting up and crawling. Unfortunately whenever Jakob or I placed him on his stomach, he'd started screeching like a raging banshee. He was frustrated with the weight of his head and his neck's inability to fully support it.
But then today...
At first, he made this grimace/sneer, as if to say, "MOM! You are aware that I don't dig this!"
About 30 seconds went by. I waited for him to unleash a cry of discomfort. I was delighted when his usual wailing was replaced with an adorable sigh and a SMILE. That's right. He actually smiled! About five full minutes went by before he finally was overcome by the experience and decided to complain. Still, t'was a golden success.
To see more new photos, click here to visit Flickr.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 4:29 PM
Back in college, I'd watch you perform on stage. You had talent. You had gusto. I'd think, "Damn. He's alluring."
Occasionally I'd visit you at the Kendall Square Cinema. You'd be working hard for $6.50/hour. You'd be well coifed with a newly pressed shirt and a tie that said, "Chief of Staff." We'd hang out and chat and I'd think, "Damn. He's fetching."
Sometimes we'd go for twilight walks in Beacon Hill. You'd use equal parts charm and goofiness to make me laugh. I'd laugh so hard that I'd snort. I'd think, "Damn. He's irresistible."
But listen up husband of mine. This is truly sexy. This makes me weak in the knees. Seeing you be an awesome daddy to Cooper makes me fall in love with you all over again. Only this time around I've grown bigger, you've grown furrier and there are fewer nights of drunken debauchery. Still, I swoon.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 12:41 PM
Dear Red Sox,
I have been a Red Sox fan all my life. (All 75 days of it.) Pardon my french, but you guys are playing like stinky poo! This past weekend my dad and I had plans to relax on the ol' couch and watch a little baseball. It was anything but relaxing, let me tell you! I threw up twice! My dad did not actually puke, but the number of walks made him nauseous. I heard my daddy use some colorful new language like, "heck" and "son of a bee sting!" A five game series and those Yankee bums (again, pardon my french) swept us??? My father was really cheesed and so was I!
I thought last night would be different. It was a new team, a new coast, and a new day! I was sorely disappointed. I needed my pacifier the WHOLE NIGHT! I even put on my official Red Sox "Rally Onesee," but to no avail. I soiled it. My father said it was symbolic.
Is this what being a Red Sox fan means? Geesh! I guess I need to get used to this gut-punched/heart-broke feeling. Or I need to become a Dodgers fan. I do look good in blue.
I'm going to do some soul searching via a much needed nap.
Miserably Devoted to You,
Cooper Kinsley White
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 8:53 AM
Cooper (Kingsley) White
People ask where the heck we got "Kingsley" for Cooper's middle name. The idea came from the movie The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. In the film, Zissou (played by Bill Murray) meets a man claiming to be his long lost son, Ned (played by Owen Wilson). This is the transcript from a scene between the two characters:
ZISSOU - You think you'll want to change your name?
NED - Ned?
ZISSOU- No, not the Ned part. Unless you want to. I meant your last name. I thought you might like to let me give you mine.
NED - Ned Zissou.
ZISSOU - Ned Zissou. Exactly. Or, if you want to, you can change the first part too. I would have named you Kingsley, if I'd had a say in it.
And that's where it originated. It's sort of a joke. Funny, huh? I'm sure Cooper will think we're total pains in the butt. But hey, aren't parents supposed to be pains in the butt?
Anyhow I found this cool onesie online and I knitted the hat.
For more photos, click here to visit Flickr.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 10:19 AM
My mother recently set me this photo.
If I had received the photo prior to June 10th, I would have looked at it differently. I would have focused on me. "Look how small I was! Look at how curly my hair was! Look at those feetie pajamas! Look at my awesome fake kitchen stove toy set!"
But now that I'm a mommy, I can't help but fixate on my mother in this photo. I'm little more than 2 years old here. I've asked her to join me for a pretend breakfast. I'm sure that it's way early in the morning. How does my mom manage to look so cool with her long hippie hair and her blue bathrobe? She's brilliant. She's playing with me. She's happily engaged in funtime with me. She's talking to me and asking me questions. You only have to look at my expression to see what a marvelous time we're having.
I play with Cooper all the time. It's amazing, but it is exhausting. Especially when we've had a night with no sleep and he refuses to nap. He looks up at me with that expression that says, "Come on! Entertain me woman! I've got a new brain in here and it needs to be fed with silly songs and games!" And I do. Because my mom taught me that playing means love.
And love will make you sing 'Mana Mana', play the drippy cloth game or dance all around the apartment for hours just to see him smile.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 8:40 AM
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
SPONGE. BOB. SQUARE. BABY!
Jakob bought this "cover all" bib for Cooper. Coop has perfected the art of projectile spit-up, so this was a much needed item.
I tend to be a messy eater myself. I lament the numerous times I've enjoyed fresh guacomole and I've goobed my outfit. Dips are always my downfall. Next time I chow down, I'm going to throw on a big, fun bib. Why not? Why is it ok at Red Lobster and nowhere else?
I'll make my own bibs. I'll sew bibs with skulls and pistols on them so they're cool enough to wear out and about.
I'm starting a bib revolution. Join me.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 2:55 PM
You are two months old today. We celebrated by playing your new favorite game:
Throw the Drippy Cloth on My Head and Slowly Pull it Away.
Followed by your second favorite game:
Throw the Drippy Cloth on My Head and Pull it Away Fast
Some folks call it a "Spit Rag," but that's an ugly term for something that you've obviously developed a great affection for. I thought you'd be done after 20 minutes of 'Drippy Cloth' play, but you wanted 40. Fine by me.
Yesterday was a tough day for both you and Momma. We went to see Dr. Arboleda. (Are you familiar with the song Mr. Dobalina by Del The Funky Homosapien? Well, we sing it like this: "Dr. Arboleda, Dr. Bob Arboleda!" But I digress.)
You were so well behaved at the doctor's office. You were GOLD! You were like BUTTER! You were better than butter, you were 'Cinnabon' good! Everyone commented on what a good baby you were. And then I found out that they planned on giving you your immunizations THAT DAY! I had no idea. I thought they did shots at three months. What a horrible way to reward your excellent behavior; by sticking a needle in your leg.
They had to give you four shots. The nurse told me to hold you down. I carefully placed my hand on your chest. She said, "No, really hold his arms. He'll scream and flail." I held my breath. I did not look. As soon as the needle stuck you, you turned the reddest red I've ever seen and let forth a ferocious scream of pure agony. I burst into tears. I've never experienced that feeling. It's like someone was sticking ME with a thousand needles in the center of my heart. I've never seen you in pain before. Sure, you've had some discomfort and gas, but this was a whole new ball of misery. I love you more than anything else and seeing you writhe and wail yesterday destroyed me. I'm so sorry. I wish I could say it won't happen again.
You had a slight fever last night, but you woke up this morning looking and feelin' spectacular as if to say, "I'm two months old and I kick BUTT!" And now you won't get Polio! YAY!
Momma loves you. Thanks for loving back.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 9:46 AM
Recently, Jakob's family made the grand trek all the way from New Hampshire to beautiful downtown Burbank to meet the CooperStar. It was JoLynn (Mimi), Scott, (Grampy) and newly appointed uncles Scott & Jordan.
The week was an adventurous whirlwind. We went everywhere and ate everything all during a record busting heat wave.
Uncle Jordan was eager to care for his new nephew. I don't know if this is an exact count, but I believe he asked to hold or change or feed Cooper 233 times.
Uncle Scott taught Cooper about freestylin'. Cooper is already working with some beats and rapping about what he knows: boobs and poopin'. Coop enjoyed all the attention. They got along famously.
One of my favorite days was spent poolside at The Safari Inn. Mimi bought Cooper a sun shield. It was like our own little protective, anti-UV palace. I also got to see my husband go swimming. I don't think I've seen Jakob swim in 6 years!
We drove to Santa Monica for a day at the beach and pier. My in-laws pondered, "How can it take an hour to get to the beach? It's less than 15 miles away." Why, welcome to California! It takes 45 minutes or more to get anywhere! Mimi, Grampy, Jordan and I played in the water. The waves tossed us all about. We had mucho fun-o. Jakob stayed on the shore with Coop. He does not "do" salt water.
So often pictures of my hubby look like stills from a Wes Anderson movie. Why is that?
Jakob took his family to Universal Studios and Cooper and I met up with them later at Café Tu Tu Tango, a tapas eatery at Univeral Citywalk. I had mushrooms. Since Jakob has such a deep seeded hatred of mushrooms and fungi of any kind, this was a real treat.
The week was busy and I was pooped, but it was such a joy to see Cooper meet his family.
A 'thank you' to Andrew Giza for tix to the Tonight Show and to Joe & Dona Gilbody for helping make the trip possible. And finally, a very, very sincere thank you to JoLynn & Scott for creating such amazing memories for my new family.
For more photos, click here to visit Flickr.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 10:14 AM
At 8:30am, Cooper's fussy doppleganger once again reared his squawky head. So I decide to put him in the Baby Bjorn (Which my mom calls the 'Baby Bjork.' Tee hee!) and take him to the park. As soon as we left the apartment his eyes got cartoonishly huge as he stared at the wide, wide world.
A woman at the park was watching her little girl play on the tire swing. She noticed Cooper and I. "How old?" she asked. I told her he was 7 weeks. "He's adorable," she squealed. Cooper grinned as if to say, "Yeah! Of course I am!"
Then we stopped at Ralphs to pick up some snap peas, eggs and oatmeal. (By the way, did you know that oatmeal increases breast milk production. No joke!)
We waited in the Express Line behind two elderlier ladies. They both had big hats, big earrings and bright lipstick. They saw Cooper and went nuts! They goo goo'd and gaa gaa'd at him all the while saying, "HE'S SOOOO PRECIOUS!!!"
Cooper then made the sweetest cooing noise he's ever made. I thought these two ladies were going to explode! "WHATTA BUNDLE OF JOY!!! LUCKY YOU!!! HE'S GORGEOUS."
Yep. He knows how to work a crowd.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 1:13 PM