Saturday, January 31, 2009

Zoey is inclined to enjoy Big Ten Basketball...poor little girl

Zoey and Michigan Blanket

What a nice afternoon. Quiet little amazing funster + Michigan Basketball = contented thankful Dad...that's some simple math, and you don't have to show your work either.

Zo and Dad settled in for a quiet afternoon of watching #17 Purdue smash the muck out of Michigan. Win or lose we were just happy to be hanging out and not worrying about the following:

1. Crying
2. Poop
3. Gas
4. Sleep
5. Complete parental ignorance
6. An NCAA Tournament bid
7. Numbers 1 thru 4 combined

This is Zoey and her new Michigan blanket...her very first Michigan blanket...She got it from her new & very unaware of his status, Uncle Dave Smith who almost certainly stole it. At the very least he ripped it from the loving hands of his wife, Michelle, who tied the whole thing up for us and subsequently gave Zoey some serious warmth on game days. I was worried Dave was going to show up with a little Ohio State onezie and was relieved when Michelle handed me a bag filled with maiZe and blue love. Thanks guys...for the blanket and for no OSU stuff.

Especially for no OSU stuff.

Life in a Post-Poo World is just like an Eagles Song, but better

Zoey post-poop 1

Okay, so this a different kid. Life post-poo is so completely different, and it was pretty good before. Zoey is instantly a pleasant machine. She's happy and hungry and the quietest little thing in the house. The TV's on (nice elbow and subsequent ejection Manny!), there's music frequently on (Led Zeppelin III) and a lot of visitors (Lee & Susan, Grandpa & Grandma, Bachan & Granddad, midwives), the cat is lurching around all falsely indifferent, and June and I make a tonne of noise but there silently and sweetly sleeps this baby. Post-poo that is...

Zoey got rid of what appeared to be a full one third of her weight with one giant bowel movement. I've never been so excited about poo in my life. Prior to what we are referring to here as le grande popo little Zo was P-lugged up (capital P), in an obvious kind of way...actually it just might be physically impossible to be plugged up in any kind of not-so-obvious way right? I mean, I would imagine it would be. Anyway..Zoey ditched the added weight of several days worth of excrement and the netire house exploded with joy. Sounds lame, I know, but we were less excited about the poo than we were about the peaceful easy feeling (apologies Glenn Frey) that followed.

We called Val (uber-cool midwife) almost as soon as it happened. She had just finished visiting and is smitten with Zo in the sweetest way. We thought Zo was "getting the oil changed" just as she was leaving and Val wanted a heads up if the little funster dropped one. It was a hilarious couple of minutes filled with a silly celebration and quick call to Val. We had poop, and we were happy.

Speaking of uber-cool mid-wife Val...who, ahemm, happens to be relatively new to town and single...and raises an eyebrow to the idea of an equally single pilot...Wait, huh...what...what just happened there? June is a big fan of Val, and Val is a big fan of Zoey, and I'm just a big fan of the whole damn situation. (Ian your sister is shameless BTW).

June Val Zoey

June, Val and Lil' Zo...pre-poo

More "Actual Conversation" Revelations

This is what I woke up to this morning...

Whoa kid, what do you think you're doin'? Nipples aren't toys!

I wish I had a tape recorder in my head. Speaking of which, why do we still use the term "tape recorder"? We're not taping crap these days. I wish I had an iPod with one of those recorder thingys attached to the bottom of it. Yup, I wish I had one of those attaching thingys.


Amazing night of sleep last night...full two hour stretches and only mild "friggin' feed me" freak outs. One of our midwives, Val, stopped by late last night just in time for Zo to chuff up a little bloody milk type junk. June was a little worried about little Zo...I was a little worried about June's boobs. Yikes! I've never been more thankful to be a boy in my life! Even including delivery...that ends beautifully, this nipple thing is just awful all around.

Val was great last night, and eased June's mind and helped us out with some other junk. Seems Zoey has a fan in Val...It has been about 3 days since Zo dropped one (poo'ed in layman terms) and we worked hard to get that to happen last night. That's probably a big source of fussing. There were Q-Tips involved, and knee thrusts and the whole thing just looked frightening. I'm incredibly glad that at this particular moment in my life I have complete control over my own poo. I think we take that one for granted...I know I never will ever again. Between bleeding boobs and inefficient bowels I'm scared healthy.

More actual conversation revelations I just overheard from the other room...

Oooh, you brought up a bunch of milk, you want some of that back?

This schtuff is interesting.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sleeping baby + Wife = Most Awesome Thing Ever


This is what I came home to today. Yeah, my life is practically perfect. Who would have thought that coming home could be so exciting? If I have places to stop on my home I get annoyed. I want to go home and see June and that tiny little thing that falls asleep on top of her all the time.

A few quick notes before I get busy parenting, or offering my best approximation of such...

June and le beeb are doing unbelievably well...settling into some semblance of a schedule and grinning at one another like best friends in the 2nd Grade. I feel lucky to have a front row seat.

Debu remains indifferent but loving nonetheless.

Quick but disproportionately loving acknowledgments to people include:

Cynthia and Christine, our midwives who made 12 hours a confident experience.

Jan, the greatest nurse on the planet...tied with Erica who may or may not have helped me sneak Anette into the birthing room.

Dr. Al Kaline (not really his name but its the one I gave him) because he was as eager to hold little Zoey as I was. That's a cool MD.

Mihoko for loving your daughter SO much...and Cathy for loving Mihoko's daughter SO much.

Gerry for swooping in and snatching Zoey up like a line drive less than two seconds after the birthing room door opened, some seriously impressive Granddadding...and Brian Sr. for giving me the kind of photograph I've been waiting for my entire life.

Aunt Netta for living and dying with the very notion of Zoey.

Uncle Brad for waiting patiently for over a decade.

Uncle Ian for the most important phone call of his sister's life.

Smirk, who despite a thousand miles and five years called me before my daughter was 45 minutes old.

Zoey's unofficial/adopted Aunt and Uncle, Michelle and Dave Smith...first for the Michigan blanket, second because you've inspired the most sincere kind of affection.

Aunt Serree because even from the other side of the planet June could feel how much you cared and how excited you were.

Anne because there was only one message on the telephone Sunday night and that was from you. Like we needed another reason to love you.

Scott 'n Stace because you gave us some much needed ballast and perspective.

Cheryl, Marv & Shirley, Larry and Jean and every Cooper effort and kindness.

Scott McKelvie because one random conversation with you at exactly the right time felt soooo good and was soooo helpful.

M'boy Joe for ditching the typical handshake and chucking a hug.

Every other kind and understanding soul who listened to me and tolerated the whole learning process that this was for me. I really don't know a damn thing and for the first time in my life I understand that.

People have been bugging us about pics and so here's one (above)...June's working on getting you the rest but she's also pretty busy right now so they'll get done when they get done, did when they're did and she'll do what she do. You'll have some more pics pronto...I promise.

Lastly, I have a new plan that I just came up with less than 10 minutes ago...Life at home with Zoey is gonna get slow and painful at some point, I'm how can I make it fun for Junifer? I'm going to randomly find things to buy for my wife and then have shipped to the house...random things at random times and for absolutely no good reason than giving me the above picture every time I come home.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Zoey came home today! At first she didn't want to, but we eventually talked her into it...well, just made her do it. She fussed over the car seat at first but then once we packed her in tight and picked her up she settled in as silent as Crisler Arena. We were a little worried about the car ride too, especially after hearing about Scott and Stace's fun times with little Sammy Souvlaki. We chucked our little girl in the car and she uttered not a word the whole ride home. You could probably hear our collective sigh for hundreds of miles. The thrills come easy post-Zoey.

Granddad and Bachan stopped at the house today, and Grandpa and Gramma visited the hospital last night so lil' Zo is getting her good share of grandparent lovin'. She's soaking it up too, like a sponge. Bachan is whispering Japanese into her ear, and Grandad Gerry taught us the greatest little trick to help us with her gas. Grandparents rock! If you don't have one go out right away and pick one up. They're well worth the investment.

Keep an eye out over the next few days. June will be jumping on-line and posting. Junie will post in italics so that it's easy to distinguish between Brian's ramblings and June's sweet scribbles. Photos are coming pronto. June just has to dump the camera into this idiot box and BLAM...instant infatuation. I'm tellin''re all cooked. This is one beauty little Sakura-chan!

Perspective bending and “Jeffersons” reference

I think we will call her “Weezie,” like on the Jeffersons, only she’s not black and it’s certainly not 1979 New York. Little Zoey is a laugh a minute, I mean, when she’s not sleeping. You should hear this little girl cry. It’s fairly muted, not a wail by any means, but when she gets upset she weezes. I mean it…the kid squeaks. She’s got this hilarious cry that is comprised of exhale/muffled outrage and then inhale/ridiculous weeze type squeek thing. It’s the funniest noise I’ve ever heard.

This first day of parenthood has been full of fun revelations. First, June’s STILL a champ. She’s got some serious swelling going on, enough to make nurses gasp and whenever they ask her for meds or ice etc…she offers a cool shrug and a, “whatever,” it’s incredible.

Brian is responsible for purchasing an inflatable donut today, and Epsom salts. It’s not all that thrilling but whatever he can do to help the team. At this point he’s comin’ in off the bench in relief of the starters. I always thought that the relief job was a beauty one anyway. To be completely accurate it’s probably a lot more like middle relief…you know, work a few innings after the starter…set up the closer. At this point I’m well aware that June is both starter and closer.

What else has Day 1 taught us about our little girl…

She loves the left boob but thinks the right one is no more attractive than a pre-ProActive thirteen year old with a half ‘stache. She’ll fuss like it was her job whenever Junie tries to get her to pay some attention to le boob gauche but chuck her over to the droite tit and she’s tickled senseless. I dunno?

She works her ass off to focus on things. She hears things and her eyes go searching for what surely is a grey blob but a noisy grey blob nonetheless and she’s bent on seeing whatever it was that made that strange noise. She’s a pretty quiet little girl so far but she loves checkin’ out the scene. We’re not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing just yet. But to put that in perspective we’re not very sure at all about anything we’re doing, so who are we to say good or bad…it could both, right?

We’ve been spoiled thus far by this little girl. She’s really only gotten upset twice and both times were when she had to feed and she didn’t really want to. She likes to sleep and five hours can go by without her wanting anything. That’s cool for us but not cool in nutritional terms. Right now she likes June rocking when she feeds her and boy you better be talking to her or she’s done. She might be the kind of baby that likes being talked to and if that’s the case she’s lucky she’s got the Dad that she has. It’s probably good for all of you too because Dad will be so talked out that he’ll just shut the hell up in social situations…Probably not but it was a thought.

June’s a klepto. She’s stealing everything that’s not nailed down around here. I’m gonna turn her in when we leave…maybe see if there’s a reward?

She hasn’t fussed in the arms of another yet which is inspiring mucho confidence in Mom and Dad. She has, however, not met Uncle Brad yet at which point his booming voice will shock her into a mild cacophony. At least, that’s what we’re betting on.

We both think she’s missing her Aunt Netta already. It’s obvious (and so is this ploy for Aunt Netta to keep buying her crap).

We had the talk earlier today about two of the world’s most heinous and evil entities in the New York Yankees and the Ohio State Buckeyes. I think she gets it. She also thinks that Michigan State hockey players are brutes but I’m not sure where she got that from. She’s very committed to that idea and so we’re not gonna waste our time rooting out the source.

When little Zoey gets to snackin’ she’s good for about 15 minutes of fun. Well, the term fun is relative. June’s elated in the most painful kind of way elation can manifest itself.

The compliments keep comin’…mostly from our midwives, Cynthia and Christine, but from nurses and everyone else too. June’s a consensus All-American in everyone’s eyes so far, just smiling and all easy going cool and collected. It knocks me over.

Every day is going to be like this I’m sure. We’re excited about the, ”Hey, that’s new,” nature of our everydays from now on. It seems incredible that our entire future is now about noticing things, about paying attention to stuff that you just assume about the world and everyone in it. Everything seems to imprint itself on your mind. Like what? Like this stuff:

First song I heard after Zoey’s birth…”Black Magic Woman” by Santana

Actual conversation I overheard between June and Zoey:

“I shouldn’t be sitting flat on my bum ‘cause I’ve got hemorrhoids.”
Strange cooing and gurgly noises
“I know you don’t know what a hemorrhoid is right now and that’s funny because they’re all your fault.”
Gurgle gurgle and quiet indifference.

Wow, this ride is gonna be hilarious…It’s like we’ve got our very own perspective bender now, to use at our own discretion or in times of need. Pretty awesome, if you had to buy one for yourself it’d be pretty expensive I think.

Monday, January 26, 2009

...and then there were three

I can't stick around to wear you out with details but here's a summary...

June started her induction at 7am...

Brian and June acted like idiots for most of the morning...if you haven't discovered "Toothpaste For Breakfast" yet do yourself the favor.

June is pretty much the world champeen baby deliverer...seriously. Midwives and nurses and everyone with eyes was simply knocked over. No freakouts, no meltdowns, just slow and easy...all 12 hours. Unbelievable...

Zoey Sakura DeWagner was born at 7:28pm on Monday January 26th, 2009. She was 8 lbs 2 oz and was a crazy 22 inches long. Yeah, I thought WNBA too...pretty much right away. She's pretty gorgeous and that's not just Daddy bias...wait 'til you see her! She came out with a wail or two and then settled right in and really hasn't peeped much since...'cept at bathtime...She didn't like that~!

Both sets of grandparents were there...and are likely still grinning.

We had to sneak Aunt Netta into the Hopper through back elevators and service entrances etc...all black opps what with the Norwalk scare...but we managed it, and she was a happy, happy Aunt.

After a bath and some other junk Zoey and June decided to hang out together, literally, and the little funster latched on tight at 10:40pm for her first worries.

Now I have to go and sleep...after I talk to my good friend Colin in Oregon...then I'll sleep...maybe.

To sleep or not to sleep...that is the question

I'm quite sure that I'm supposed to be sleeping. I'm not. I returned home from the hospital with every intention of sleeping but I'm not having much luck.

It's been a nice and easy night...Netta dropped by, then upon leaving got summarily stuck in a our driveway...I dunno? Then once we shovelled Aunt Netta out June and I slipped up to the 6th Floor of the Hopper...settled in with a baby monitor and "The Black Knight" and waited for...well, I don't really know what we waited for but we were waiting together and that was good enough.

You know, it's always good enough...every single minute. That's what you're supposed to say when you're a husband, right? But I mean it...every single second of every one of those minutes. It always has been, right from the start, even when some people wondered how it all fell together in the first place. I usually just shrug. I dunno...I don't remember a time when she wasn't the entirety of my every pre-occupation. I forget what it was like before her and I've never really been brave enough to imagine what happens without her. There's a lot of things out there that leave me clueless, a lot of stuff I don't have a chance at knowing but not this thing...not this one good, beautiful thing...I know that it's always good enough. It's always been.

So now I go to sleep, or try...I get up and go back to her...early, really, really, early...and then we change how the whole story ends...just like every other time before. This one's no different, not really. Sure, it's big, but then so are all of the emotions and experiences and love and hope that made this. Besides, we'll be doing it together and that's always been good enough for me. Now there'll just be more of us to be together with. That's a math equation I finally like.

I'd better get some sleep. There's a little girl waiting to meet us in the morning. Goodnight's gonna be one helluva of a morning. Some unlucky kid gets a lifetime of calling me, how do you begin to apologize for that? :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's not's Preggercizing

eee-ohh preggercise

The consensus today is that June will not be going into labor but rather preggercising, that's right, preggercising. It just sounds better, certainly not as scary as labor. We're also spelling labor with the American spelling because we think that the absence of a single letter will make a pretty big difference. That's one less letter thereby symbolizing just a smidgen less pain. So between the two linguistic follies we figure we've got a good foundation to make this experience more gongshow than painfest. Does that make sense? If it does then we haven't done a good enough job of stupidifying this whole thing. Our ultimate goal is that the hospital staff shake their heads and wonder who invited us in the first place.

Junie got her Non-stress test done the other day (see uber cute photo above) which we were told is quite different from a Stress Test...thanks for clarifying that folks. Until EVERYONE we know made an effort to ensure that we knew the difference between the two we were totally lost on the whole thing. C'mon people! We're having fun, not fits, as well we should be. If you think too much or too seriously about all this stuff your head will split in two.

As I type this we've got about eight hours before Junifer goes into the hopper and they "medify" her to get things rolling. We like to refer to it as cervix yoga. You refer to it any way you like but we've rode the stupid train this far we're taking it all the way in to the station. I'll hang around for awhile...we'll annoy nurses and probably get into a bit of trouble and when they finally kick me out I'll come home and stare at the ceiling while pretending to sleep. It's the best plan we've heard yet so we're not arguing with it.

June's sister, Netta is heading home tonight and will be scooting to the hospital in the morning with Mihoko. My Mom is waiting for a call to let her know when she should be heading out from home, and it seems that the rest of you aren't allowed, so there...Most everyone else will be at work anyway, or should be. Uncle Ian will be elbow deep in aviation fuel when le beeb arrives so we'll get a call off to him when she comes and then he can tell Yakkie who can then yell it to all the troublesome Americans invading his Northern kingdom way up there in Red Lake. Actually, Ian thinks Yakkie's gone off to the shelter for the winter so he'll have to do his own yelling.

Apparently we have a phone list, at least June says we do...but I'm sure that'll be altered now that this little girl has made an actual appointment to arrive. I'll have to consult her, but off the top of my head I think it'll look something like this...

Le beeb arrives, freaks out at the sight of her parents, endures all kinds of pokes and prods etc... and then after they rouse me from the delivery room floor I start to make calls. Bachan (Mihoko) and Grandma Cathy will already be there, so will Grandpa Brian (Sr.) and Aunt Netta so we can strike those guys off of the list right

Granddad Gerry at the college...

Brother Brad, sorry, Uncle Brad at the Ortho clinic...and Uncle Ian up in Red Lake...then Yakkie of course...

Uhmmm, now it's kind of up for grabs. At this point there's really no particular order...although I understand that if I don't call Serree in London I'll be a jerk for pretty much ever since she's been waiting for this baby for something like ten years.

We HAVE to call Scott, Stace and Sammy Malone Giancana Davis Jr. Cooper the 4th in Toronto...we will be getting the word to Stu or Corey and they can pass things on from there...

I have to call Michelle Smith at the YMCA or she'll fire me, then of course she can pass things on from there. I'll need to call Timmy D, my other boss who is also capable of firing me if I don't get on the horn quick. I never really arranged anything for after this baby arrives because my work scenarios are pretty damn cool. Neither Michelle (sweetest woman alive) or Tim (best moustache ever) is all that diligent about human resource policies and procedures so we'll figure it out.

After those calls it's pretty much a grapevine thing. We'll leave the rest to Grandparents etc... that way we can get busy being a family rather than being an attention factory. Plus Facebook is like the plague so we won't need to worry about the word getting out.

If you're offended that you're not specifically mentioned, well, sorry. I'm sure you'll get a card? If you don't get a card...uhmmm, I dunno. Maybe you were accidentally forgotten? If that's the case then we really are sincerely sorry...of course there's also the scenario that you weren't on any list at all which is possible too...not nice, but possible. In that particular case we're more sorry that we can't manage to like you very much than we are that you weren't notified.

If you think honesty hurts you should be in June's shoes Monday morning.

The Ragoo Festival...or 10,000 Lakes

Okay, so we'd very much like to go to this year's "10,000 Lakes Festival" in Minnesota but we're kinda stuck. We need to find an RV/Motorhome for the trip since we're thoughtful enough not to put other campers through a 6 month old's wailing in the middle of the night. Those rolling homes aren't cheap and we might be knackered. We thought it would be a fun baby experience and we could maybe even meet Uncle Ian if he drove down from Red Lake. We could take in a DMB show and mostly just bask in early summer fun.

So now we've got to find someone with an RV/Motorhome type thingy that we can rent or else find something else to do. We will be moving out of our house for another 6 weeks again this summer as the Hewitt's return from Saudi for a family the backyard to be specific...and at the moment we're kinda wide open in terms of plans. We'll be out from July 15th until August 25th and barring a crazy baby we're pretty excited about the chance to sneak off and have some fun. We've got a number of ideas including heading back to California, visiting friends and relatives in places like Red Lake, ON, Edmonton, AB, Vancouver, BC, and Eugene, OR a number of other things that have crossed our minds, like "The 10,000 Lakes Festival."

If anyone has some ideas, suggestions or otherwise, drop us a line. We're just sitting here waiting.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Heads up folks...

We thought it imperative to make note of the obvious changes rapidly approaching this beauty blog...

Obviously, or perhaps not so obviously, it's name and subsequent domain will be changing. Since we're comfortably not sticking with the name Elli it would make very little sense for this bugger to stay titled the Elli Blog or be located at ellibellyblog.blogspot right? Of course...but if you think I'm letting slip the new name you've been drinking earlier in the day than you should be. Just pay attention and roll with the's what we've been doing.

Shifting gears...the new name fell almost effortlessly into place and you know what? We like it better...way better. There have been a few hiccups in the process, only because so many people had become so accustomed to "Elli"...but alas, it's June's cervix that is paying the price here and so she's in full Mom mode and has firmly secured naming rights. People were gracious and understanding about the name thing (the oh so few that know it) and to be perfectly honest it wouldn't have mattered if they weren't. We were extremely inclusive about the whole process and that time has ended. Naturally, what people thought was important to us, but not so important that June would have changed her mind. This beeb tripped right into this name and it's starting to feel somewhat divinely inspired, which is odd for a couple of people sans deities for the most part.

To catch you up in case you've been Rumplestiltskinning...

There was an unfortunate (code word for an expletive that is vastly more effective when uttered out loud) incident in which our agreed upon name got all used up...well, at least three of it's four letters and so it became as useless as a boob on an anvil.

There was subsequent emotional turmoil and probably rash reactions (but reactions are reactions so you need to swallow them as they come, rash or not) and the notion struck that we would have to change names or tie that albatross to our necks.

A ridiculously short game of name juggling ensued in which only a few names managed to keep their heads above our bile line.

Our little beeb's new name bobbed to the top of the emotional flood and lodged itself in June's heart, and lodged itself pretty good and tight.

The new name got lobbed over to a few people who might care the most about the switch and then when Grandma Cathy and Bachan gave the casual nod it was settled. Now we're smitten with the strength of the new name, even happy with the way it came into being. Without the previous "this and thats" we'd have missed out on what is quickly becoming the kind of name that gets us smiling in the middle of the night. We love it. We hope that you do too but we really could care less if you don't. Sorry, just being honest. Things happen for strange reasons and then the smart people leave their questions behind and just keep truckin'...We feel pretty damn good about our newest revelation, even if it was oddly inspired.

One of the strangest phenomenon that has surrounded this entire experience has been the birth of a new and funny-feeling perspective. It's team "us" now and we're not all that interested in what's going on with anyone else's team. Our decisions and perspectives are uniquely our own and we won't apologize for any of them. Sure, we might explain a little, unnecessarily so, but out of a muted kind of respect for the world around us. Don't mistake respect for prostration though. We're feeling full of love and inclusion but finding not much room for approval in such crowded quarters. It's an odd feeling that crept into us when we weren't looking. In fact, perhaps the best part has been that it's stirred a hilarious awareness and acceptance of who we are as individuals, a couple, and now a family. Just who are we, you ask?

We're happy and restless, humble and yet still slipping on ambition. We're helplessly flaky and more tragically hopeful than we are hopeless. We're independent and curious and ignorant and aware and more affectionate than anyone we know (well, maybe tied with Scitty and little Roo). We're quick to laugh and even more speedy to change our minds. We do what we want, almost always regardless of consequence or opinion. We show up when we want. We give people nicknames and avoid conflict when we can 'cause who the hell wouldn't? We love people endlessly and hopefully and have pedestals built all around us for our favourites. We hate Canadian spellings. We like basketball and baseball and Pearl Jam and San Clemente, California. We get mistaken for locals almost everywhere we go...except Jamaica, not in Jamaica. We've laughed on the steps beneath Sacre Couer in Paris and on the beach behind our house and our giggles sounded no different, not at all. We sleep in hammocks together and shop too much. We rub lotion in each others backs and then wipe in on each others shorts for fun. We want you to like us but we'll move on pretty quickly if you don't. We sometimes do things we shouldn't have or that would best be served by apologies but since those things were almost always embraced without malice or by simply exerting our ability to choose this path or that one we're not about to apologize for our choices. We like going for coffee each and every morning we're blessed with Orange County sunshine. We like walking across the Golden Gate Bridge or from 55th all the way down to 7th. We buy groceries a couple of times a week, just whatever we need when we need it. We miss people. We keep each other warm. We sing out loud in the car. We have dumb games that we play in the car. We tease each other. We avoid people sometimes. We stick to ourselves mostly. We get crazy ideas and get restless on Saturdays. We buy each other stuff. We keep secrets between us and we tell one another what's inside the presents we buy. We like going out for breakfast and noticing the stars whenever we've ignored them for awhile. We seek approval and then ignore it. We don't like unannounced visitors but we complain when no one comes over. We don't know what we'll be doing next year and we're pretty sure we'll figure it out when we're supposed to. We have no church, only faith. We'd like to think that we're pretty fun but we know that very often we're not. We like it when we're moving, going, getting gone. We don't own a couch. We rinse our mouths out with mouthwash in the morning and then come back to bed so we can breath on each other as much as we want. We're a good team on ten-lane LA freeways or crowded midtown Manhattan cross streets (but we suck in Jersey). We read out loud and we show one another things that we've found. We trust each other and torment each other and laugh at all of the shortcomings we both have (June is always late and Brian is frighteningly independent)...We love each other enough to ease us into sleep and then wake without an alarm, just because the other is already up. We meet each other at the door. We mock other people and joke emphatically that "we're awesome" when we're pretty sure that usually we're not. We have season tickets and we skip games or give them away. We wait for each other no matter how long it takes and we pretend to fight just for fun sometimes. We make pretty good decisions and like it best when we get to wander and wonder. We live life the way we want to and then we write endless, pointless blog posts about it. We know when to quit though...usually.

Oh yeah, and we can make a baby pretty good...I mean, so far. I guess we'll no for sure in a few decades.

As far as I know...

If you're not listening to Paul Westerberg on a regular basis it's likely you need some sort of counseling. Why? Why not? I'd get some if that were the case. As I type this nonsense le Paul is drifting out of speakers no less than a foot from my grinning face and I feel pretty good about managing to avoid the whole counseling thing. "As Far As I Know," has quickly turned into one of my favorite songs ever. There's this Matthew Sweet, "Sick of Myself" feel to it, all blended with this weird concoction of The Byrds, early Velvet Underground, The Monkees (yes, I said the a problem with the Monkees?), and some hard to articulate Dylanesque thing. That's just what my ears hear. As far as I know it's a nice mix of all of the above.

The only other thing I know for sure is that June is scheduled to go into the hospital Sunday night for some get-ready-for-beeb prepping and then first thing Monday morning it's on! Junie's getting induced since she'll have been waiting patiently for 7 full days at that point. This infant is expected forthwith, pronto, and expiditiously/expediately...which I just spelled wrong on both occasions and couldn't possibly care less. It's part of my new philosophy of live and let live, and spell poorly.

So unless this little funster feels like busting up a perfect plan she'll be here on Monday. She'd better like Paul Westerberg or she's going back.

Just for fun...The sunshine dripping "2 Day Before le Beeb Arrives Soundtrack"? Steal it and burn for yourself. All my loot is out on diapers.

Saturday January 24, 2009

1. As Far As I Know - Paul Westerberg
2. Massive Nights - The Hold Steady
3. The Search - Son Volt
4. Help Me, Suzanne - Rhett Miller
5. Late Night Pilgrim - Tift Merritt
6. From Blown Speakers - The New Pornographers
7. Stormy Weather - Echo & the Bunnymen
8. If Your Poison Gets You - Frank Black
9. From California - The New Amsterdams
10. A Happy Medium - Malcolm Middleton
11. Love You in the Fall - Paul Westerberg
12. Ah Me - Griffin House
13. Lowdown (demo track) - My Morning Jacket
14. Breathless - Dan Wilson
15. Stuck Between Stations (acoustic) - The Hold Steady
16. With Anybody Else - Peter Salett
17. Antichrist Television Blues - Arcade Fire
18. My Drug Buddy - The Lemonheads
19. Frank & Ava - Suzanne Vega
20. Galaxies - Laura Veirs
21. Post-Paint Boy - Stephen Malkmus
22. Mockingbirdsing - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
23. Corvette - Golden Smog
24. The Day We Met - Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles
25. They Ran - My Morning Jacket

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stuffed pigs

To hurry up and be quick about all the latest and greatest...

We've got an appointment with our midwife and a doctor whose name I can't spell on Friday (tomorrow) at 2pm to talk about getting induced...June, not me. Junie's gotta have a stress test done and a little of this and some of that and then they'll book her in to begin being induced at 6:30am on Monday...which means I'm getting hammered drunk on Sunday night!

If that statement left you aghast then you obviously don't know me very well. I'll wait and get hammered Monday morning first thing! That means I gotta get up crazy early to get into the sauce well before labor starts.

Shoving all the pathetic humor aside, it looks as though Monday is the day unless, of course, the little beeb decides to come out on her own before then. We're hoping that's the case but we're also more than a little excited at the prospect of little Sam Jackson Roberts Cooke Cooper the fourth and our yet-to-be-named beeb both greeting the world on the 26th day, respectively. The little Coop twirp arrived on the 26th of May while our tiny bundle of lateness will own the month of January, rockin' herself into being as a sturdy and kind Aquarius. That would make "The Sammer" and his new friend an even eight months apart, so the same school grade and, barring any Tom Foolery in the school system, the same college or university entry year. Woohoooooo!

In a cool twist, June's Mom, Mihoko, also has a birthday on that lucky number 26 AND it's also the start of the Chinese New Year. Needless to say, we've got no beefs with the 26th. The 26th seems to be an expert approved day.

While it's still fresh on our fingertips though, what's the deal with that "no beef" slang? What the #$&@ does that mean anyway?

On another completely unrelated note last night we bought a stuffed pig. She was cute and all but she came into our posession with less than admirable intentions. Her entire life with us will be tainted by a subversive meaning that only June and I will fully enjoy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Praise song for the day

June's latest (and best) discussion on the topic of this baby's auspicious arrival has been that she is waiting to come out in what is completely an Obama world. It's a funny little joke that could very well be true if it weren't for the laws of biology and human growth and development. Regardless, it was a tiny bit stirring today when when the President Elect was sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States of, as my friend Colin would say, 'Murica. Enough so that it had to be noted here. Enough so that we thought it apropriate to reprint Elizabeth Alexander's post-oath poem just for funzies

The following is a schweeeet transcript of the inaugural poem recited by ol' Lizzy...It's titled Praise song for the day

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

Some people hated it...we loved it. Surely this not-so-punctual baby of ours was waiting to hear it from her womb-side seats, not quite the best in the house but not all that bad either.

Indisputable positivity and giant piles of good

Sometimes you need reminding of a few things. First and foremost, the world doesn’t care much about you or your comings or goings, it just doesn’t, and second, despite the seeming abundance of bad there are giant piles of good scattered all about, even if they’re not stacked right in front of you.

What’s this got to do with little baby whats-her-name you ask? A lot, I think.

As I was mired in thought and a mild form of confusion yesterday I was fortunate enough to stumble into the hallway where I work and bump into a co-worker who might also, by lesser terms, be called my boss. She was stepping out of the fog of a terribly disappointing weekend just as I was hurling myself into a fretful week and as the two phenomenon collided a moment of indisputable positivity blinded me (indisputable positivity, that’s good isn’t it?).

In the middle of our back and forth exchange of pathetic anecdotes our paper boy (that’s right, we’re lucky enough to still have a paper boy and he’s the cutest paper boy that you ever saw, all scruffy red hair and chubby red freckled cheeks. He’s perpetually happy as most eight year olds are supposed be I suppose, even eight year old paper boys lugging giant bags of newsprint) came waddling in from the cold. He was all smiles, as usual, and was trucking along with his boots and cap all askew, looking particularly frigid from the elements. There was about a foot of snow on the level and not a cleared segment of sidewalk in sight but there was our little paper guy all determined and rosy red in the face.

At this point you’re probably saying (again), “what’s this have to do with little baby whats-her-name?” Well, wait its coming.

The little guy with the big job wasn’t wearing any gloves. He was rubbing his hands together as he smiled through a missing tooth and regaled us with tales of the thousands of newspapers he had still to deliver. He had, “sixty customers,” he said emphatically…that’s right, sixty, he said. I know the math doesn’t add up but the kid’s eight, give him a break. Just as he turned to go my boss, in full amazing mode, asked him where his gloves were.

“Oh, I lost ‘em at school,” he said.

“Aren’t you cold,” Michelle asked.

“Yeah, but I’m alright,” and with a wave he turned to go, rubbing his hands and tromping off towards the cold job he had ahead.

“Wait,” Michelle said as she rushed off to her office. She returned with a pair of brown wool gloves and told our little paper boy that he could have them. He didn’t need to deliver thousands of newspapers with frozen hands. Michelle helped him put them on, apologized for their lack of coolness, gave the smiling little guy a pat on the back and off he went into the cold and snow. The gloves were her own. She would go home without while he wandered through the rest of his chore with a new vigor. Immediately after the exchange a giant grin stole over my face and my fretful week seemed much less fretful.

Perhaps some people might struggle to find meaning in a simple gesture such as that but I certainly didn’t. It put a lot of things in perspective and reminded me that sometimes those giant piles of good are right there in front of your face, sometimes obscured by a lot of meaningless junk but if they’re piled high enough they’re pretty hard to miss. This one was piled super high, at least it was to me, and in the context of the day it seemed enormous. I keep reminding myself that there are people like Michelle out there shining a little light on the rest of us. Now nothing seems quiet as confusing as it did before. Not one single thing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's in a Name? Syllables and Vowels Mostly I Suppose

Uhh, wow…turn of events. As our due date came and went yesterday we discovered late today that someone we know quite well has had their little girl early and has named her something no less than a vowel different from our intended name…kind of leaves you, well, speechless. A name is just a name but kinda not at the very same time, and I’m sure there couldn’t have possibly been the slightest whisper of awareness that we had originally chosen that same name and then altered it by a single letter. At least I can’t imagine that it could be a different scenario than that, but now we’re stuck with the very unattractive task of either naming our child almost the exact same name as someone we see fairly regularly in a social sense or changing the name here on the verge of birthing or induction. Not a cool, uhmm… situation to navigate.

So…while we wait for words to form in our minds and mouths we’re stuck with the unsavory task of either swallowing the same name/different vowel deal or finding a whole new name with just a few days (at best) to manage it. Forget the fact that this bump has been called by name for months now, that cards and gifts have come with her name on them. Obviously the task is easier said than done. This is a unique “pickle” if you will, and certainly one that we hadn’t anticipated. If I sound rather rational about this it’s because:

1. What are you gonna do?

2. I’m an absolute ninja master at concealing emotion.

3. This is a hallucination brought on by stress.

4. We don’t really have any ground to stand on. All of the standard arguments don’t count for much in the real world, do they?

So…uhmm…I’m not really sure what to write except 2009 has been interesting thus far what with both our cars running into one another (not by us in case you were laughing and referring to us as idiots…BTW if you were doing just that then please don’t ever come back here again. We had nothing to do with the experience with the exception of reacting as positively as possible) and now a last minute life-lasting decision to be made...all within a scant 19 days of the New Year. Awesome!

I suppose it’s time to twist this year into something we can put in a headlock and wrestle to the ground. Not that we’re confronted with any monster scenarios, not at all, 2009 hasn’t been that unkind to us. In fact, we’re pretty damn blessed, and if anything we’ve got a much better feel for where we fit in the grander scheme of life, love, and the pursuit of normal people to call our own. Like Ferris Bueller said, “I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life,” nope, no sir. I’m going to post this nonsense on a stupid blog and then move on with my life…maybe eat dinner…maybe not. Dunno.

I was also thinking that old Willie got it right, or at least he let than little vamp Juliet take all the credit when she said, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." And you know what? She was right. Friggin Willie...always the gentle voice of reason...well, almost always. There was that whole Macbeth thing and there was nothing gentle about that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bachan vs. The Driveway...A Cautionary Tale

Bachan is soooo excited about this baby that she hiked 70 yards uphill through snowdrifts to deliver blankets and other assorted baby goods today. She was like Mr. Edwards on Little House on the Prairie delivering Christmas gifts to Laura and her sisters, except you know, minus the beard, and then Japanese, of course. The lady just hiked right up the driveway when the car couldn't make it. I know, that's Bachan...wait 'til Elli runs into a bully at school!

Grandma Cathy braved the winter craziness last night to do something similar. I'm telling you right now, don't mess with this kid or you've got grandmothers to deal with...wicked tough grandmas. Flip it and this little girl better be good or she'll face the same kind of maternal determination that makes Bachan walk through the snow like she was Jeremiah Johnson. This little girl is gonna be well behaved or she'll deal with a Bachan more closely resembling a Farley Mowat character than a blanket sewing saint.

She looks pretty good in this picture though, doesn't she? That's after hiking uphill in calf deep snow...don't be fooled by the smile. This seamstress is tough as nails...really kind and thoughtful nails, but nails nonetheless.

IMG_2083 beautiful is that pregnant lady? While we're pointing things out that's my extra cool "Vegas" visor back there on the fridge, courtesy of D-Funk and Kelly. It's going to be my official diaper changing headwear, you know, so I can maintain some kind of coolness quotient while looking overtly uncool. As June points out it might also be capable of shielding my eyes from poo shrapnel if my reaction time is appropriately fast. Yup...that's why she got the job. Good tip Mama-san.

Probably the last time puke is funny...

Everytime we see this little guy we practically hurl from laughter. It's probably the last time puke will be funny unless of course Uncle Ian gets home in time for next year's Michigan - Michigan State Shindig and rallies for his 3rd Bunyan Barfer Trophy.

YAHOOOOO...New Look...Boo...No Baby

Like our new look over here? We love it. Unfortunately June doesn't have a new look...she's got the same old bump that she had a few days ago despite the fact that today IS OUR DUE DATE!! Apparently that means nothing to little Elli. We both agree that she's gonna come in her own good time, completely on her schedule and not ours. It's nothing that we weren't prepared for and there's no surprise that we'll have to wait but it is pretty funny if you have any kind of knowledge of June's punctuality disorder (as I type this she's plotting how to maim me).

The joke for a long time was that this baby was going to be born after ten months instead of nine, just because she's part and parcel of her Mom until that cord gets cut (and who are we kidding, forever after). Now it seems as though overdue is what we get for thinking we're so funny. June doesn't think it's funny...she never really did...but now it's really not funny.

Junie's doing good, great in fact. There are a few more grunts and groans than there were before and she's not exactly shoveling the driveway out these days but the girl is up for anything. She's a pretty spirited almost-Mom and she keeps most of our heads shaking all the time. She still looks like a heptomillion dollars and trust me when I say that she can still wrestle her ass off. I regularly do my best to annoy her, childishly of course, and she simply deflects me and keeps right on truckin'. My plan is to annoy her so much that by the time it's baby-go-time I'll look like the most loving husband ever simply because I'm right there beside her but not aggravating her senseless. It's a brilliant plan so far, the only hitch is that there's really no way to test it out other than in live action and at game speed so I guess we'll see how ingenius it is after a dozen or so hours of labor.

Anyway, at this point it's all just a wait and see what happens contest. I mean, we know basically what's going to happen but we just don't know when. Your guess is as good as ours at this point.

While we're waiting we were fortunate enough to pull in some beauty gifts from some beauty people.

Uncle Marvin and Aunt Shirley (Brian) sent us a surprise package from B.C. the other day. Those two funsters sent us some awesome knitted goods including a cap and booties that this bebe will be wearing home from the hospital.

Grandma Cathy slipped us a tied quilt that she was working on whilst recovering from some unexpected eye surgery. The fact that she finagled that thingy with only one eye makes the wonder-gift that much more valuable!

Aunt Cheryl and Barry (Brian) sent over an appropriately pinkish handmade blanket that had our eyes popping and is already in use in our minds. Similarly, Aunt Jean and Uncle Larry (Brian) sent over a perfectly beautiful and oh-so useful blankie as well. You can rest assured that this kid is gonna be warm thanks almost exclusively to the Cooper Family. Pretty amazing to have gifts falling in from B.C. and Texas and as far away as Eberts, Ontario!! We're pretty stoked about the whole gift thing. It's just too bad June has to go through all that pain to score such presents. Maybe next time we'll just fake a baby?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Milk and Cookies...and The Dude

June and I are getting used to the idea that we may just have the perfect opportunity to morph into film-o-philes as this baby arrives. We've been patiently waiting and in doing so we've caught a couple of great ones just in an effort to waste away the waiting. We caught "Gran Torino" on the weekend, and "Milk" earlier tonight. Amazing, awesome, stupendiferous...both of 'em.

So it's time to make a list of must see movies...we figure we'll split it in two categories...

Easy to watch with interruptions and Almost impossible to watch uninterrupted but worth the effort.

We'll buy, rent, steal, borrow...whatever. We'll tackle the old stuff, things we should have seen but haven't...things like "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" with Humphrey Bogart, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" with Newman, and every damn Charlie Chan movie ever made. And we'll nab every new one we can grab hold of...things like "Revolutionary Road," "The Wrestler," "Che" and that crazy Despereaux deal...all of it. It's our way of spinning what will very possibly be a largely sedentary winter into something culturally rewarding.

We're taking suggestions so lob us a few and we'll flip 'em onto the list...see what cracks the all-time favorite Top Ten. Gonna take a lot to uproot Bogey in Casablanca, or Jimmy Stewart in "Rear Window" or even Sellers in "The Party" but it's worth trying for, right?

We're gonna brainwash little Elli with a brooding Dean and Brando and save ourselves from Dora for as long as we can...we might need to bust out John Goodman and Jeff Bridges for that kind of challenge. The Dude abides...the Dude abides.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don't Think Twice, It's Alright...

Sometimes I wonder if we're not taking this whole "baby thing" seriously enough. I mean, according to us Little Elli will be on an airplane headed for California in a few months, sitting in our laps at Crisler Arena watching Michigan basketball inch towards the NCAA Tourney for the first time this century, and taking in Frampton at Pine Knob next summer. I know Frampton at Pine Knob probably qualifies as child abuse but if you can somehow ignore that small digression from the greater development of this little funster she's potentially got a better social schedule than most adults.

We're typically quick to toss out a disclaimer, things like, "as long as the baby is cool," or, "provided we don't have a freakshow on our hands," (it's mostly June who says the latter) so we feel as though we're being reasonable in our expectations but we're also well aware of our unique ability to brainwash ourselves into thinking everything will be just as we think it will be. At the very least almost-Daddy sports an unmatched skill at optimism and unrealistic expectations...not quite Clark Griswold-ish but not that far off either. So, just a week or so from June's due date, and menacingly mired in the "anytime" stage of this nine month drama, and it's suddenly crossing our minds that maybe just maybe our lives might change more than we think.

ATTENTION: This is not the time nor place to laugh and guffaw, "you think?" 'cause we'll strangle you, I swear, we will. This is, however, the appropriate time to quietly and introspectively consider the notion that perhaps we're more in tune than you think and simultaneously prepared to break stereotypes and the shamefully low expectations of the greater parenting class. (BTW, that sentiment is uttered for Scotty and Roo, and Stu and Anne, and every other parent we know who despises the ridiculous culture of conformity that the parenting culture gobs on them)

So far everything has been nearly perfect (fingers, toes and random other appendages crossed) and we used to joke about how we were either in store for a royal mess as payback for our thus far charmed existences, or we were going to slip through relatively unscathed with a joyous and uncomplicated pregnancy, an angel for an infant, and the easiest go at parenting since the game was invented. Why? Well, because that's just our luck, that's why. Naturally we were hoping for the latter. Who wouldn't? We also liked the idea of everyone we know hating our guts because of it. That particular notion sounded kinda fun too. More recently we're starting to consider that perhaps we'll get stuck somewhere in between, as most do.

Fortunately, the current of optimism in us runs deep and strong and seems nearly impossible for us to not roll with the punches of parenthood and flop face first into the kind of life we're hoping for. Of course, just as has been our habit, we'll float out there the logical disclaimer, "with luck," and waft over a whisper of, "as long as everything goes well," and stay true to our belief that we've got truckloads of horseshoes rammed firmly up our arses and that everything will be just as we hope.

You could argue with us but the effort would be futile. We'll probably just ignore you.

Bobby Dylan said it best, "Don't think twice, it's alright..." and he was bang on. It will be.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Take a lasts longer

As's are June's photos. The Champ did these on her own, set up her own lighting and used a timer...Yeah, I know, pretty amazing little thing.

You can take a peek at 'em here.

Read it and weep

This post has nothing to do with babies or anything really, but we felt it was important.


Go see "Gran Torino" and be amazed.

Watch this video, download this song...but pretty much ignore the rest of Jamie Cullum's catalogue of averageness.

Then since we're already being bossy...Read this...

That's about it.

Who are you...who, who...who, who...

Sorry about the poor musical reference for a title but it seemed appropriate as we're really just waiting around for Elli to arrive. There's something like nine days left if we're measuring things according to the due date, which of course we must otherwise WTF is up with a due date? We're prepared for now but aware of later and are rolling with it. My new theory of livability for 2009 is to embrace uncertainty...not prepare for it necessarily, although that would likely be wise, but to embrace it. So, you know, enjoy the who knows shrugfest of life...That's about as close to resolutions as I get.

The latest on June's bump...

It's bigger...
We took lots of cool pics of it...
It's starting to annoy June...
She grunts a lot more at night during the new tossing and turning game we play...
I caught her waddling a little today...and she said something about it before I could...
Stretch marks have appeared ever so lightly, and ever so minutely, above Junie's belly button...well, former belly button...
We've formally ditched all prospects of any pre-natal class/lesson type junk...what's the point now and well, shrug...
For fun I've officially called the strain in June's crotchal region "crotcheritus,"to my relief now she does too...
We've scooped some more baby goodness from friends and summarily have to purchase less...big sigh.
I saw my first electric breast pump today and it scared the sh!t out of me...
We're going to see Gran Torino tonight and if June's water breaks she'll have to call a cab.

How's that for an update?

We'll post our lovely new photographs when we get back from Dirty Harrydom...wooohoooooooooooo! And to cut you off before you start yapping we're well aware that we should enjoy going out to the movies while you can because when the baby comes it'll all change.. Sod off! How original of you. Now go and parade your superior perspectives and experience on people who might actually consider them such. We're going to see Clint Eastwood make derogatory comments about Asian people. June's pumped (that reference is in no way connected to the aforementioned breast pump torture contraption I saw earlier today)!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Meditating with 'Peace Oop,' our new birthing guru

We might not know what we're doing when it comes to welcoming this little one into the world, I mean, I suppose we know that whole push when told to push thing, and the smell the roses and blow out the candles stuff. We're pretty sure there'll be a lot of stress and strain and sweat and maybe even a little screaming...or a lot of screaming...and we're prepared for patience and pain. It's not hard to imagine any of those things but it's incredibly hard to actually relate to the absolute, guaranteed reality of them. So what do we do? The dumbest thing we can 'cause you know, that's how we roll 'round here.

We found ourselves a birthing guru...of sorts. He's more like a door jam or a lawn & garden ornament but we consider him a guru and so we're sticking with the notion regardless of it's idiocy. We found him at Pier 1 and grabbed him up with what we think were gift cards given to us over a year ago as a wedding gift by the Gougeon Family (Serree et Mikey, Sierra, Mama and Papa Gougeon and of course the belated Matt Gougeon). If they weren't from the Gougeons then we're pretending that they were so play along, okay?

So this guru..ahem, birthing guru...looked so damn peaceful and serene (or should we say Serree-n?) that we just had to snatch him up and deliver him from consumer and retail hell to our quiet little shack on the beach. We considered it a favor to both him and a service to us as we could use the obviously spiritually enlightened fella in the coming weeks. At the very least we would need a quality door jam after the baby arrives. In his ideal capacity we'd have ourselves a kick #&$ birthing coach who knows when to help out and when exactly when to shut up too. In the end everyone wins, including Pier 1. Awesome.

Anyway, that's our guy right there above all this nonsensical rhetoric. The golden fella hovering all guru-like before Junie's belly. He's pretty big, for sure bigger than baby Elli will be, and so we figured he'll be adequately sized to assert himself in the delivery room. Spiritually there's no question, he's bigger than all of us, but in actual physical terms we're confident that he's got the build to get the job done. He's a little lanky, as frogs naturally are, but he's solid, just pick him up and you'll know he's more than capable of the physical demands of birthing, especially when you're not the one doing it.

The natural next step in this stupid process was slapping a name on him and after not so careful consideration we came up with Peace Oop. It's a good name. If you say it really fast it sounds like pea soup which is appropriate we think. He's a frog, after all, and is supposed to be green but has somehow managed a golden hue, just like pea soup. He's extra-peaceful looking as you can see so the "peace" moniker makes perfect sense, but mostly it's just because saying it really quickly sounds great. So...Peace Oop it is...our esteemed and super valuable birthing guru and future door jam.

We're hoping that his very presence in our lives brings us more in harmony with the natural world and thereby increases our ability to steer through this birthing process relatively least emotionally...we're well aware of the damage that will occur down below on this ship as it steers through the icy waters of child birth. That's the part we're hoping Peace Oop helps us navigate through much more serenely than we may have otherwise been capable of.

Not sure if we're bringing him into the delivery room with us just yet. That'd be pretty funny. For now we're just gonna soak him in and try to gauge whether or not June will punch me right in the face if I pull him out of my bag while she's writhing in pain and sweaty anxiety. Either way you look at it Peace Oop will have distracted June from the craziness of the moment. Sure, I'll have a black eye or worse but June will feel better and even lawn ornaments and door jams know that's the point of it all.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"Close" is just a five letter word that means not yet

So we've finally reached the stage of preggers where we're pretty sure it isn't wise to wander too far from where we'll need to be come baby-time. We don't really know what we're doing but we know what we shouldn't be doing. It's a pretty long list. There's probably about a million things we should be doing in preparation for the new oxygen and time consumer but ignorance is bliss and we prefer bliss over well-prepared any day.

June's about ready to burst but manages to smile all day long and only grunt a little at night, mostly when she tries to roll over. Le bebe's room is pretty much as it should be (meaning altered to be cute and useful but not transformed into a damn money pit as the tradition requires), and we've got bags packed. The car seats are getting strapped in and there are odd hand me downs still trickling in from cool and kind folks. We're pretty much good to go. All we need now is a baby.

A quick summary of the latest...

Our midwife said that she won't be surprised if June goes early...there's not much room left in there.

Scooped an uber-cool "Flip" camera for the mandatory video demands of new parenthood.

Grabbed this crazy Uppababy stroller thingy...well, stroller, that's rockable until le offspring is like 40lbs or somethin'. That's good I'm told? The thing's straight black & tough lookin' (for the conscientious father) and sports a bassinet jobbie and seat thing and it flips all around and fits car seats and stows away like a groupie backstage at a Crue concert. It's awesome...'course, you could probably go see 46 concerts for the price of it but whatever.

Almost dad scored what turns out to be a $100 diaper bag (also in extra tough lookin' straight black)...Skip Hop?? I dunno...but nailed the bugger at TJ Maxx for a cool $15 and can now look tough and economically frivolous at the same time even if he's neither.

June has only two and a half more days of work and then that tramp is off for a year!

Brian has about a billion and a half days left of work between now and this summer when he says "screw it, I'm leaving to be a Dad for a little bit," and then actually does just that.

We're tossing around March Break adventure destinations while waiting to see if le bebe is high or low maintenance and if either of us has an emotional breakdown before then...So far the very limited list is down to Red Sox Spring Training in Florida, the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX or someplace that demands air travel if this little funster allows it. Oh yeah, start out big or be satisfied with Ontario Provincial Parks for the rest of your life.

Brian has decided to officially name Pete Carroll the baby's godfather.

We ditched our Tigers season tickets because:
A/ They suck
B/ We'll be moving out of our humble abode once again this summer and entertaining a road trip of heart warming magnitude.
C/ They suck

Avoiding any complications or fun new ideas we'll be back in Los Angeles from mid-July until the last weekend of August, so don't try to find us. Only grandparents and uber-pals will be kept abreast of our whereabouts, although if you know us at all you'd be able to find us.

Brian has a new record player and plans to brainwash the baby with old vinyl or new Ray LaMontagne vinyl, whichever.

June has plans to sew the world back together while she's off and at the same time maybe make some cool things to sell and keep for herself.

Both almost Mom and almost Dad have launched a huge new plan for world domination that won't be revealed until it's much too late and you've become a part of the new regime of peasants who will bow down to us in the not too distant future.

Brian has become almost too creative and is starting to look the part of a savant. At the very least he's got OCD and just happens to be pretty talented on the side.

Elli officially has more books, stuffed elephants, and clothing emblazoned with elephants than any pre-born ever...perhaps in the history of pre-born people. Of course that assertion is incredibly hard to nail down because as you may very well know there's really never been any real attempt to accurately record the history or pre-born peoples. We're hoping that Howard Zinn tackles that one next.

Brian's Mom, Cathy, keeps calling almost-Elli by her very first notion of a name, Ella, and we believe it's because we have yet to scan her into the PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW sidebar on this blog. Our excuse is that we don't have any good photos, or at least photos that Grandma would approve of, and so we'll get it done as soon as we can. In the meantime Elli will continue to be called 'Ella' by her paternal Grandmother. It's rough but there are FAR worse things for a pre-born to endure.

There you have it...a relatively up to date and semi-accurate synopsis of what's happening with a little over two weeks to go before June loses her bump and Brian gets to act like a 2 year old ALL the time.