Cooper's first Halloween was ghoolishly spectacular. I made his costume myself.
It's Wally the Green Monster! We figured since Coop can't get enough of his Boston Red Sox mobile, we might as well dress him up as something that brings him joy. In a way, he picked his own costume.
Each time a Trick or Treater came to the door, Cooper was both confused and facinated. I could almost hear his internal monologue.
"That's not daddy! Who are these weirdos? Why is mommy giving them candy? What the heck is candy anyway?"
The jack-o-lantern I carved features creepy phantom pumpkins.
And we made witch hat cookies. I refuse to fess up to exactly how many I ate.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 7:14 PM
Voila! Cooper's new fave snack...his own toes.
He's discovered that his foot reaches his mouth. This amuses him to no end.
The past week has revealed a plethora of new talents. Are you familiar with 'raspberries'? No, not the food. I'm referring to the slurpy, farty noise one makes by blowing air through closed lips over a stuck out tongue. Well, Coop has decided this is the coolest noise ever and he should try to do it all the time.
He's also started taking out his binky (plug, soother, pacifier...it has many names) and showing it to people. He methodically removes it from his mouth and holds it up. One time, he held it up to my breast as if to say, "HEY! Is this just a fake one of these? I've been bamboozled!"
The mushy cereal has been a grand success. He laughs when he gets in the high chair and I put the bib on him. He knows what's coming.
But nothing is as delicious as those feet.
Go ahead, my boy. When you're an adult, you'll probably only be able to do this figuratively. Plus, now it's considered, "cute," whereas when you're older it may seem, "nasty nasty."
Feel free to dine on your wiggly piggies. Bon appetite!
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 7:41 AM
"I VANT TO SUCK YER BOOOOOOOOOOB!"
Like my little Lost Boy? I ordered this pacifier from My Punk Baby. Coop thinks it's hilarious.
Ahhhhhh, Halloween! The time of year when it's acceptable to let your inner Goth out. Some of the neighborhood front yard decor is terrifically gruesome this year. Up on my Burbank block you can see everything from bodies hanging in trees to rotting zombies emerging from the soil. People in the suburbs won't let their kids watch too much television, but they will produce a bloody, violent yard display complete with dismembered body parts. I heard some dude in the West Hills used old airplane parts to recreate the crash debris from one of my fave teleshow, 'Lost'.
I adore this holiday! Pass me a Fun Size Snickers.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 12:58 PM
My husband came home, fed Cooper, diapered Cooper, made me a drink, drew me a bath, presented me with a fancy cake, put Cooper to bed, ordered me dinner and (this shows true love) let me watch a cheesy horror flick on cable that we've already seen before. Why? Because I'm a goof who enjoys making immature jokes and talking through a bad film rather than viewing something new.
The cake was special ordered. It's a tri-level mousse cake with white chocolate shavings (dusted with dark chocolate) adorning the top. This cake is a work of art! I feel like the queen of Burbank!
He knows me so well.
The top of the cake says, "Mom." Jakob says, "It's from Cooper."
Thank goodness I married this guy.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 9:13 PM
The thought of another birthday was sort of annoying. I remember being a pre-teen and complaining to my mother saying, "I do not want to become an adult. Do I really have to grow up?" I feel the same at 29 that I did at 12.
29 is even more frustrating than say 24 or 26. I feel like time went and ran out on me. Can you still conquer the world at 29? Wasn't I supposed to be a hot, steamy pile of success prior to age 27?
Then, out of nowhere, this birthday decided to make me think. The thoughts that came to mind were important.
My godparents, Joe & Trisha Penabad, never forget my birthday. With everything in their own lives, they send me a card every year. They have such tremendous love and care. I appreciate it so much.
Carrie Seigel always sends me a card. It made me think about how she's so good with dates. She remembers every birthday and anniversary. At nearly thirty, I want to be better at that stuff.
My sister Danielle gave me a gift certificate to a spa. I was so moved that I cried. I've been trying to take better care of my body and a massage with a eucalyptus rub will certainly do the trick. I don't usually say this, but I totally deserve it.
I got a card & gift from Andrew Wollman. It made me think about how he used to be a good friend, but now he's family to Jakob, Cooper and I. He's not, "like a brother to me." He's my brother.
This was followed by loving phone calls from Alex Bakalarz who offered up his traditional Colombian blessing ("Hope you live 120 years!"), Karen Stein who plans to take me to see Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D (Yay!) & Mark Fortin who has a knack for making me feel goofy, playful and wise all at the same time. My phone rang all day.
Lizzy Cooperman came over and we had a delicious lunch. You don't know if the friends you have when you turn 20 are the friends you'll know when you turn 30. I am a lucky gal.
My mother-in-law called. So many people kvetch about their in-laws. I thank my lucky stars that I have her in my corner. She's good people.
My mother found THE gift for me. It's a leopard print sewing box with faux fur trim. It's TO DIE FOR! My father made an audiotape for Cooper of him singing. Joe Charbonneau croons the classics! Cooper loves it. He tries to sing along.
As Cooper and Marvelous Marvin Monkey sang, 'Happy Birthday to Mommy,' I fully recognized that this is not merely the end of my twenties. I'm on the precipice of something huge. Something's telling me that 30 is not the curse I have imagined it to be. Something's telling me that 30 is going to be the start of something big.
Tonight, I'm spending the evening in. When Jakob gets home, he's going to put Cooper to bed. I get to take a long, luxuriated bath until my hands get all pruney. Then, I'm going to eat a gargantuan piece of cake and order a movie On Demand. This may be the best birthday yet.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 4:33 PM
Did I mention that my child gibber gabbers non-stop?
It's true. He's just as gregarious as his mommy. Cooper has found his inner yolp. That's the best way to describe it. It's a growling, excited OWWWWW sound. I think he found this noise while we were singing, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," with these fun hand puppets. (Thanks, Sue!) Now, he does it all the live long day.
He experiments with both the volume and pitch of this sound. Normally, his "words," have a deep, guttural tone, but today he found his upper register.
I like his new chat chitting much better than crying.
Now do me a favor, Cooper. Learn this:
MA MA MA MA MA MA MA MA MA!!!!
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 4:12 PM
Jessica Trimble and I have been close friends for years. We've laughed and suffered together through so much. From a fantastically disastrous cross-country road trip to numerous agonizing theater productions, we've endured many incidents of weirdness and pee-your-pants-giggling fun.
But could anything prepare her for the grand master of silliness, Cooper Kingsley?
They got along famously. Cooper enjoyed the, "Touch My Nose and Make a Sound Game," that Jess played with him. They made up goofy songs together. She babysat him. They went for a walk in the park. He made a humungoid poop for her. T'was love, indeed.
Seeing them play together made me think about all the East Coast people in my life. I used to want them close for selfish reasons, so we could hang out and have martinis and joke about our futures. Now, I wish they were here for my kid. I want those folks to be in Cooper's life.
The day after she left on a jet plane, a package arrived from Jessica for Cooper. It was a Fisher Price Crib Aquarium. It plays soft, sweet music, while colorful fish flutter along and lights twinkle and bubbles float by. It's freakin' adorable.
Cooper loves it. He's fallen asleep to it the last couple of nights.
Thank you, Jess. I wish you lived next door. My family feels the same way.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 10:10 AM
You weigh 15 pounds. You are 25 inches long. You are my son. You are...well, it's hard to find a word to describe how cool you are.
We read together every day.
Your favorite book is Please Do Not Open This Book. It's a pop up book staring lovable, furry ol' Grover from Sesame Street. He keeps warning you and I not to turn the pages because there's a monster at the end of the book. Each time we get to the final page and it is revealed that Grover himself is the monster at the end of the book, you giggle with delight.
You dig art! You stare at my paintings like you're trying to figure them out. You adore the big Art Up Close book. We start at ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and go all the way through to Jackson Pollock's splatter paintings. You try to turn the pages yourself. And you talk the whole time. With each new artwork, so many GOOOOOO GAAAAAAAH AHUUUUUU sounds bubble out of you.
Dr. Arboleda says it's fine to give you some mushy rice cereal. Solid foods. I do believe it's time. Whenever I'm eating my breakfast oatmeal, you watch intently with this bewildered look on your face as if to say, "WHAT are you DOING and WHEN can I do it?"
You don't like wearing socks or shoes. You remove the pacifier from your mouth when you meet new people, as if to say, "I don't need this thing. I can quit anytime." When someone holds you, you like to show off by standing up in their lap and talking to them. When you were a newborn, my job was to care for you and do everything in my power to make you thrive. Now, I still do that, but I'm getting to know you, too. You're a great person. I can already tell. You are so very 'Cooper.'
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 12:42 PM
Jakob and I have always been able to live without a lot of money. But it's no longer just the two of us. We are a family of three and it's looking like a single income will not afford us our apartment, food and modern conveniences like electricity. I will have to return to work.
It's not that I dislike working. When I was working, I liked it just fine. I may even have been rather good at it. But thinking about leaving Cooper with a nonrelative is giving me a slight panic attack.
Will a nanny (or MANny) play, "Here Comes Mr. Turtle," as good as me? I doubt it.
Maybe. Maybe I'll find a great caregiver for a great price and it will all work out just dandy.
Yeeks. This is gonna break my heart.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 11:37 AM