Doctor Jones

One of the gifts that Doug and I got Cooper for his birthday was a complete doctor bag with pager, stethoscope, tweezers, small scissors, otoscope, blood pressure cuff and syringes among other things.

He takes his new job as Doctor Jones very seriously and D.Jones and I have had more than our share of thorough checkups in the past two days.  They often include haircuts, which is strange.  I’m thinking about filing a malpractice suit against this guy.  And last night when I said “please don’t cut my hair, Cooper”, his response, as he stood poised above my head with his surgical scissors was “don’t worry mommy….I’m a doctor.” 

Anyway, he seems to get a lot of very strange critical care calls on his pager, though I haven’t even put the batteries in it yet.  This all seems suspect to me.  And he really seems to have flown through medical school.  I’m thinking there’s something sketchy going on here.

img_3851

Birthday Weekend

Well, the weekend is winding down and here I am on Sunday night reflecting on a fantastic birthday weekend.

Papa Jones arrived on Friday afternoon and we did “the usual”, which includes dinner at Cafe Twenty-Eight, a walk to a special coffee roasting joint where D.Jones and his Dad get a cup of $10 coffee (and no, not a latte or anything…just coffee!), and then it was back to the house to relax before the big party day.

Saturday I ran around like a crazy girl while D.Jones and Papa entertained Coops.  I pickd up the cake and last minute stuff, cleaned the house, grabbed lunch for all of us, and did all the last minute prep stuff.  People began arriving at 4pm.  Cooper was so excited!  He took a great nap after I told him everyone was told to come after his naptime, so he was raring to go!

We had an awesome veggie platter that my Mom was kind enough to bring, a huge Caesar salad, all kinds of snacks, and then Cooper’s favorite…Dulono’s pizza!

Cooper had a blast seeing everyone and playing with all of his new stuff.  Which, by the way, now requires that we either move to a larger home or build a second home on our current lot.  Good Lord this kid has a lot of toys!

Anyway, the afternoon/early evening involved Cooper and Jack learning how to blow party horn thingies and completely cracking each other up…

img_3844

Everyone trying out Cooper’s new guitar and his Yo Gabba Gabba dance hat from hell.  (retribution from the Schwalbach’s for us buying Jack a Yo Gabba Gabba razzle dazzle microphone for his birthday)

After a brief lesson from Papa Jones, here’s rockstar Sarah, and then Grammy and her horn man, Jack…

img_3824

img_3830

img_3837

Cooper and Jack took turns taking brief spins around the house on Cooper’s new cycle…though Coops needs some work on being a true Harley-man.  I stuck a temporary tatoo on him, which he promptly pulled down his shirt sleeve to cover up and said “I’m not a big fan of tattoos, Mommy.” 

img_3806

img_3809

D.Jones seemed to be a big fan of Cooper’s new chainsaw from Uncle Tom and Auntie Michelle….

img_3828

Once he was able to wrestle the chainsaw from Doug, Jack decided to combine many features of the day into one hot ensemble.  If I remember correctly, he was also singing the ABC’s while sporting this sweet getup…

img_3823

Cooper couldn’t wait to get the cake part of the party underway.  Not because he was in any way, shape or form interested in having cake, but because he could no longer ignore the fact that there were trucks on his cake that just needed to be played with, so we obliged and after cleaning the frosting off of the trucks properly, they were ready to be played with….

img_3815

img_3818

Toward the end of the party, Cooper was absolutely wiped out, and decided to relax on the couch with a construction sign sucker, Sarah, and Papa I…

img_3849

We really did just have an excellent day all around.  We couldn’t have asked for a better 3rd birthday party for Cooper and I think he’d say it was a success.  We are looking forward to enjoying the 3rd year as much as the birthday that ushered it in….

With one last Happy Birthday Coopie-Doo!, we bid a fond farewell to yet another birthday weekend.

Oh yeah…and one last thing. Warning: he’s 3.

img_3814

Commentary on His Parents

Yesterday in the car with all three of us going to dinner.  The discussion began with one of three million “why?” questions from the backseat.

Me:  Why does Mommy cook?  It’s just one of the things I do at home.  What else do I do at home, Coops?

Cooper:  Um.  Sweep the floor.

Me:  Yep!  What else do you see me do at home?

Cooper:  Vacuum!

Me:  Yep!  I do that too…what else?

Cooper:  Cooking?

Me:  Yes…I do.  What does Daddy do?

Cooper:  He sits downstairs.

Me:  (cracking up and making sideways glances at D.Jones in the front seat)  What else does Daddy do?

Cooper:  Plays?

Let’s just say I found the humor in this for hours to come.  D.Jones wasn’t as amused.

Short and Sort of Random Updates

I have a cold.  A yucky, crummy, so congested I constantly have that swimmy-head feeling nastiness.  D.Jones has slept in the downstairs guest room for the past two nights just trying to avoid these germs.  Today he emailed me from work to tell me he’s incredibly congested.  Oh oh.

All of this comes during the week that we are going to have Cooper’s 3rd birthday party, of course.  Good times.  And, being a slow learner, at the age of 37 I’m still too clueless to realize that all of this means it’s not a good week to start painting the inside trim and doors.  Yeah.  Dumb.

Thankfully this year we are going totally low-key for Cooper’s birthday.  Last year we were lucky enough to have a big turnout with some guests from K-Town making the drive for the festivities.  It was awesome.

This year, Doug and I were thinking it’s probably the last year we can possibly go low-key because next year he’ll have friends to invite, as he’ll be in school.  So we’re doing it right and ordering Cooper’s favorite pizza, having a big old construction cake adorned with diggers and dozers, and only having grandparents, and a few others in attendance. 

My parents took pity on my sick self yesterday and came to pick Coops up for a morning playdate at their house.  Instead of being able to lay on the couch like I wanted to, though, I had to go to Target to order the cake, pick out his birthday presents (while on the phone with D.Jones so he could “help”), pick up a few groceries, get some small gifts for the few other kids who will be attending the party, and some other miscellaneous tasks.  It took me so long that I had not been home for long when Cooper, Grammie and Papa returned to drop him off for naptime.  Why he looked like a shrunken, weirdly Irish rap star when he returned, I’m still not sure.

img_3698

So you can understand the full effect…that shamrock necklace thing lights up very brightly and blinks.  Nice….

___________________________________________________________

We are still working on the potty training gig.  Suffice to say I made it through the first few days, which I think is no small feat, and now he’s doing “pretty good”.  I’m not sure there is any middle of the road with this stuff.  It’s just plain not fun…but necessary I suppose, right? 

One of the biggest bribes was to order his coveted “Mighty Machines” videos that he has wanted for almost a year.  The deal was that he goes #2 on the potty, and gets to watch the vid.  I ordered them to have here so he could look at them and really, really want to watch them.

My Mom saw the vids here yesterday when they got delivered and said “oh, you’ll give in and not make him wait.”  Pffft!  Right mom!  No way!! 

Well, last night we watched the Diggers and Dozers vid.  And no.  He hadn’t gone.  I’m such a sucker.

_______________________________________________________

We received notice from Cooper’s new school that they are offering 3 day per week summer school programs this summer.  Each “class” is offered for 2 weeks and there are 4 class options.  Doug and I read over them at dinner the other night and picked 2 that we really thought Cooper would enjoy.  The first 6 class sessions are all about pirates.  They’ll build a pirate ship, learn how to follow a treasure map, and even have some juggling “pirates’ coming for a classroom visit.  The second 2 week/6 day session will be a “camping expedition”.  They are going to pitch tents outside, learn how to plant things in a garden, check out all the creepy crawlies that live in the dirt, and some other stuff that will be amazing and new to a 3 year old.  Sounds super fun…

I began thinking about the small bits of free time I’ll have when he begins these new adventures and made the big decision to begin applying to grad schools.  I am hoping to get an acceptance for Fall or even, (this is wishful thinking on my part), an early acceptance to be able to take some classes this summer.  My final goal is to obtain a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, allowing me to take the licensing exam for the State of MN and then actually practice.  It’s a long road that includes the grad school application process, pre-interviews, multiple letters of recommendation, classroom hours, practicum hours (where I’d practice under the supervision of a therapist), and then finally, the state exam.  Whew~  It would be worth it, though, as it’s always been my dream to be able to work in that field, benefiting families in our community, and now it’s my time.  I never had the guts to leave my well-paying gig in the finance industry, but staying home with Cooper for awhile has given me the time and space I needed to know that I can do this.  I think.

Thankfully D.Jones is a supportive as I knew he’d be, which will make my road easier, and Cooper has got so much new, fun and exciting things coming up that I think we’ll both be distracted and busy.  The rest of ’09 should be exciting!

Three?

In a week, little Cooper Jones will be turning three years old.   Not exactly long in the tooth, right, but shocking to the parent nonetheless.  It’s totally cliche to be writing things like “where has the time gone”, but it’s true.  Wasn’t it yesterday that I was sitting cross-legged on my hospital bed, holding a tiny Coopie in the crook of my arm, and insisting that he not leave my room?

I called my brother Ken yesterday to wish him a Happy Birthday (it was on the 12th…oops), and he and I were reminiscing about how he and his wife and kids were either on their way to or from spring break when they swung through the hospital to meet Cooper.  It seems it will always feel like it was yesterday, no matter how much time passes.  And remembering the look on Doug’s face when I nodded yes to the doctor asking me if I thought she should proceed with a C-section instead of continuing to labor, especially with Cooper’s heartrate dipping and not recovering as well as they’d like.  Doug didn’t want me to go into surgery.  I could tell he was nervous.  As they wheeled me in my bed from the labor and delivery room toward the surgical doors, he called out “should I call your parents?”  I said “no!  They’ll worry…we’ll call when it’s over.”    As I glanced over, he looked so worried and in a slightly pannicked voice he said “what if they call me?”  It was all I could do not to laugh, though I was terrified too, so laughter wasn’t in my repertoire at the moment.

Cooper and I play a little game this week while we are under lock and key trying to get this potty training thing down.  It goes a little like this…

Me:  One week til your birthday!

Coops:  Oooh!  My birthday!

Me:  How old will you be?

Cooper:  One.

Me:  You’re teasing me!  One!?

Cooper:  Yep.  One!

Me:  Then do you need me to get you a bottle so we can rocky-rocky?

Cooper:  No!  I don’t need a bottle!

Me:  Come here and I’ll rock you to sleep baby…

Cooper:  No!!  I’m not a baby!

It’s silly, but it makes us both crack up, and usually results in me chasing him through the house yelling “come here baby!”  In a disturbing version of the Scotchman “Fat Bastard” from Austin Powers.  I swear I don’t yell the “get in my belly” part….and certainly not “I wanna eat you!”  I swear.

It also strikes a bit of a weird note with me, though, as I realize we are joking about it because it was a while ago.  This morning, I looked through a few old pics and it’s crazy how those first three years go.  They go from being that tiny little newborn in the hospital, completely dependent on you, to being this tiny human with a vocabulary all their own.  He shows glimmers of truly getting the lessons we teach him.  He makes us laugh all the time.  He endears himself to strangers within seconds….and makes them laugh too.  He is a light in his grandparent’s lives.  He challenges his Dad and myself to be better than we were before.  He also challenges our patience.  I am so proud of what he’s done so far that I can’t even imagine what the future holds, but I know it’ll continue to be a fun ride.  Here’s a peek at my walk down memory lane…

hospital

cooper-baby1

image9

image3

image7

image4

image6

image10

img_35991

img_3549

Happy Birthday, baby~

More Tales from Alfred

As I wrote last week, my friend Alfred and I have promised to get together once per week to enjoy a couple of hours to catch up and just hang out.  We agreed on Wednesdays, but this week, I changed it up on him at the last minute. 

On Monday night I had a few errands I really wanted to run and it was a night where I was craving a little company to lighten my mood and make the errands a little more fun.  As I pulled out of our driveway, I glanced at the clock and saw that it was already 6 pm.  I knew Alfred would be done with the gym, or at least close to being done with his usual evening run, so I called him up.  He didn’t sound so chipper, and said he hadn’t gone to the gym. 

The following conversation takes place:

K:  Hey, if you’re not going to the gym anyway, wanna hang out?

A:  Mmm…I don’t know.  What did you have in mind?

K:  I want to go to The Tibet Store for a quick second, and then to Barnes & Noble.  Bethenny from Real Housewives of New York has a new book out I want to get.

A:  That sounds kind of fun.

K:  I’m close to your house…should I pick you up?

A:  Well, I’m still not sure.

K:  Why?  What’s up?

A:  Is this going to involve booze at all?

K:  This doesn’t sound like my Alfred.  You okay?

A:  Oh my God.  Happy New Year!!

K:  Oh wow.  Are you hung over on a Monday?

A:  Sort of.

K:  Holy crap!  What did you do last night?

A:  No…it’s still from Saturday.

K:  Holy crap again!  You did serious damage!  Okay, no booze.  Unless you think it might make you feel better.

A:  God no.  Okay.  Come get me.

So, of course the second he’s in the car, I want to hear about his night, and once again, he kills me with some hilarious rendition of a night that started with a pub crawl of Northeast Minneapolis, and ended with him making out with some random girl.  And yeah, this is my gay friend Alfred.  Now that’s drunk.  He did mention doing 5 shots of tequila….which could account for sketchy behavior on anyone’s part, no?

The story itself was funny enough, but the follow up story from Sunday is better.  He proceeds to tell me that he had planned on grocery shopping for the week on Sunday, and after berating himself for being so hungover, he decides he’ll still do the grocery shopping because he doesn’t deserve to nurse his hangover in bed all day.  He heads to the store.

He hasn’t gotten any farther than the end of the produce section when he realizes he is so nauseated that he is worried he’ll yak in the store.  He quickly glances around and notices the bananas.  He vaguely remembers something about potassium curing a hangover, and snarfs one down.  He does feel slightly better with some food in his system, and continues his shopping.  When he gets to the checkout lane, he holds up the banana peel for the checkout lady.  She glares at him in disgust and without reaching for it, turns around, grabs a garbage can, which she holds up for him to deposit it in himself.  He says “I needed a snack.”  She glares at him.  He says “I’m happy to pay for it, don’t you want to ring something up?”  Without missing a beat she says “We weigh bananas.”  (By this time in the story, of course, I am dying laughing.  I probably shouldn’t be driving….)  Then he tells me that he says “Oh, sorry…” to which she responds “Next time you need a snack, could you pick something with a barcode?”

Hilarious is all I have to say.  I love his stories.img_3276

More with Buddha

A few more short scenarios from our week…

When Coops wakes up recently, he runs to our room and wants to climb up in bed with me to say “good morning”.  Usually with some kind of truck in hand that he really needs to show me.  I take this opportunity to work on telling time with him on the alarm clock.  It also buys me a few more minutes of bedtime.

The usual routine is for me to ask him to read me the numbers from left to right.  So, for instance, he’ll say “It’s seven-one-five, mommy.”  The other morning he reads “It’s six-e-seven.”  What?  I glance over and he’s thinking the three is an “E”.  I explain that it’s a three and ask him to try again by saying “Okay, now can you say what time it is?”  He looks at me blankly and says “what time it is.”  Nice.  I have a two-year old jokester.

_________________________________________________

After the gym trauma yesterday, I basically let Cooper have a 2-year old style day-long party.  We took him to a favorite restaurant for cheese pizza and all the milk he could drink.  They happened to also be asking patrons to call our Representatives office and demand that they begin to serve hormone-free milk in the Minneapolis public schools.  I was happy to oblige, and it got Cooper an oppportunity to introduce himself to a huge walking cow.  He loved it!  Then we took him to Barnes and Noble, where he got to pick out a ridiculously big, $20 truck book.  He set it on one of the reading tables and was gleefully paging through it, when another boy approached and was looking over his shoulder.  Cooper looks at him, points at a truck in the book and says “this is an articulated fire truck.”  What!?  I look down and sure enough…it is.  Of course, the visiting boy just stared at him blankly and walked away.  Hilarious.  Where he learned the word “articulated dump truck” I still don’t know…and to identify it by photo?  Crazy.  Who is this kid?!

____________________________________________________

This morning we were watching cartoons for a few minutes before we head to his favorite mall to ride the trucks.  Someone on t.v. said “do you have a little brother, too?” to which Cooper yelled “yeah!”  I said “you don’t have a little brother”, to which he responded “but I want one.”  My well-thought out response was “no you don’t.”

_______________________________________________________

Since I am typing this while listening to him tell me “the mall is open now, mommy, can we go? Can we go now? How about now?  Now, mommy?”  I guess that means we’re outta here….