Photo Boothin'

Coop wanted to see what a photo booth was all about. We had fun. I asked him later, "Cooper, how come you never looked at the camera?" He responded with a furrowed brow expression that seemed to say, "Oh, mother. That would have been tres obvious." I just might be raising an art snob.

We are bursting with anticipation. Grampa Joe is coming!!! Grampa Joe is coming!!! We are getting the home and car ready for his arrival. I've been trying to teach Coop to say 'Grampa' or 'Joe,' but all he wants to do is say, "RA RA RA RA RA RA." I guess he's too excited.

My Funny Valentines

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

You are both devistatingly handsome.

You both have eyes of the bluest skies.

You both make funny faces.

You are a natural comedy team. I love the, "Watch Me Rip Off Daddy's Nose," bit. Brilliant. Always makes me laugh.

You both have adorable bellies.

You both put up with mommy.

You are my family.

And I love you more than anything. Happy Valentines Day.

8 Months

Where did my baby go? Who is this big boy sitting in his highchair?

Cooper, you are a GIANT! You ride forward in the stroller now. Congrats! Facing forward makes facing backward look like a snoozer Yawn Fest. Forward is where it's at!

Your HUGE feet dangle at the front of the carriage. As we walk about town, you swing and kick your legs. You tap your ankles together. I think you are playing a foot game. Perhaps you have started seeing your feet differently. You realize that though they may be tasty, they have another purpose--moving you around.

You say "Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma." You don't like to do it on command. You do it on your own time. Usually in the early morning when you first wake up. Or when we try to get you to say, "Da da." You also screech like a banshee, but not because you are unhappy. Your shrill 'barbaric yawp' is full of excitement and bliss. It sounds like a Velociraptor. You kinda freak people out when you do it in IKEA. They think you are going to blow up or something. Then they see you smile and it makes them smile, too.

You have TWO TEETH! Chomper grew a friend. We've named him Chewie.

You like Biter Biscuits. You drink from a sippy cup. You don't like to sit up while you drink. You still want to lie down on the floor. You like to recline while you satisfy your thirst, like a gluttonous little Roman. It's adorable.

You crawl. At first it was a strange scuttle where only one arm moved. This resulted in a hilarious forward shimmy-lunge-fall that you repeated over and over again to get to your destination. Now, all the moves are there. The hands work in conjunction with the knees and you ZOOM. And each time, right before you take off, you get on all fours and rock back and forth making a "Rararararaaaa," sound. It's like you're stating up your engine.

You are my boy. I am so proud of you. I never knew I could feel this much love.

Our Daily 10 to Noon

Cooper and I go out walking every morning from 10 o'clock to lunchtime. Sometimes we go to the park. Sometimes we go to the mall. Sometimes we encounter strange and wonderful things.

One day, the little old Russian lady who lives in our building blessed Cooper. She was repeating something in Russian over and over again and making the sign of the cross on his stroller. She had a big smile on her face. It was hard to understand her prayer, but I believe I heard the word, "miracle."

On another day, a woman in the super market tried to take Cooper's binky out of his mouth! She was dressed all in peach and her hair was thinning. She looked like she had not smiled in decades. She leaned over and said, "Tell your mommy you don't need that silly thing!" and she attempted to yank it from his lips. Cooper gave her a distressed look and put his hand up to block her. "Did you see that??," she said, "HE SWATTED MY HAND." I kindly told her that he doesn't like strangers taking things away from him because that's MOM's job! She walked away with her panty hose all in a bunch muttering something about orthodontist bills. Witch!

On yet another day, we were approached by a homeless while sitting at a ridiculously overpriced, monopolizing coffee shop, which I won't name. (Let's just call it 'Blahbucks.') Cooper has a very keen sense of smell and when the man came up to our table, Coop made a disapproving face as if to say, "I know I didn't poo. What's the stink?" The man asked for some change. He had a sweet face. I gave him a quarter. It really was all I had. He then looked at Coop and said, "You got any change, little man?" Coop looked at him and started crying. The guy chuckled and said, "That's ok. Sometime I look at me and it make me cry, too."

(These photos were taken by Edy Kowalska. Thanks, Edy!)