Monday, March 29, 2010

Cover of GQ

To the editors of GQ:
As you can see from my photos below, I believe that I possess the qualities and traits that you routinely present through your cover page models. I ask you to consider me for your next cover. I would like to start off by reassuring you that my agents are easy to work with and are genuinely seeking my best interests. Feel free to simply bask in the beauty of my artwork is difficult to resist.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Benj (the future face of GQ)

Benj on Parade

One of the most hilarious books we read! Thanks L/C

"Uncle" Luke and "Aunt" Chrissy...naturals

"Aunt" Melissa...recruiting Ben for his future at North Park University

"and I'm spent"

Growing and stretching (7 weeks)

Friday, March 19, 2010

A lot can happen in a month...

I was reminded that one month ago our world came CRASHING down around us. For years we had been preparing ourselves for the expansion of our family...But what could have prepared us to receive that phone call..."Really?!" And the clock started. We hung up the phone with the agency and began frantically making phone calls and plans...24 hours later we were in Texas.

We journeyed through Texas and embraced this adoption story as best possible. But all the while we felt as if we were simply on a wild ride of babysitting. We traveled home with this little bundle of kissable cheeks and called him our Son. But little did we know...

Yes, I was reminded today that one month ago we got that phone call. And in one month, everything I thought I knew and prepared for has been redefined, re-imagined, reduced to one simple video. (see below)

(isn't it amazing how this has become our world!...all in one month)

Our newest present...

Uncle Geoff and Aunt Sarah arrived Wednesday night with a bounty of gifts. While you are not supposed to have favorites, I do. It all began a week ago...Benj was renamed...McFUSSY. The kid has the most difficult time settling down for the evening. The concept is not difficult...You have an evening meal, get a clean diaper, rock and snuggle till you fall asleep...done.
One would think.
However Benjamin tends to miss the last step...I am not saying our little boy is "slow" or is defiant...I believe he just has a hard time following directions. Thankfully, I was educated according to Pythagoras [A2 + B2 = C2]...and so I know that my little boy will soon understand...A(bottle) + B(dry diaper) = C(sleep). But I will wait only a little while longer for him to make these connections before I get impatient.
Thankfully Uncle Geoff and Aunt Sarah were one step ahead of Mom and Dad here...They have a trick. It isn't bribery, or even discipline...It is a bouncy seat with a vibrating butt button...WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT?! How ingenious?! Yes of course...When he is crabby and resembling his new nickname (McFussy) we simply put him in this most glorious, beautiful creation of FisherPrice. All I can say is, THANK YOU!

Snuggling in the Snuggie

I was hesitant to post these images because once people saw that the Coopers own a Snuggie, I would fall to the criticism and mockery of people just like me (the hypocrites who scoff at Snuggies, while secretly celebrating their presence in our living room life). So I will rise up and "take one for the team".

"Hello. My name is Ryan and I have a Snuggie".

In full disclosure I might as well speak the truth from the roof tops...We the Coopers have 2 Snuggies. (I could hide behind the facts and pass off the truth by saying they were given to us as presents...but I will simply embrace my personal joy and take a stand for all Snuggie lovers. I am on your team.)

(may I also take this opportunity to say that while Sunni and I possess and use our Snuggie blankets...Melvin does not and will never own a Snuggie for dogs. That is just wrong. I mean seriously! ...he is welcomed to use ours)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Team Grandpa!!!

It was no surprise that Grandpa Johnson was excited (understatement) to spend some time with his new grandson...Plans already being made for future outings (hence the pole and tackle box).

Super Baby!

Friday, March 12, 2010

MTV's CRIBS- Starring Ben and "Beau"

Check out their spacious "Crib". With all the latest and greatest of amenities. They can host one heck of a slumber party, and the view from their place is spectacular. One quick glance and you have a full panorama of the changing table, window, and one NICE bumper pad. But don't be too envious folks...Ben and Beau do want to thank the many fans they have who have helped them achieve such status.

Tummy Time

Tummy Time at the Cooper household. While you may be impressed by the head strength of Ben...You might also consider the journey it takes Daddy to go from his lofty heights of 6'3" down to meet Benj face to face during Tummy Time. (Perhaps another adoption training course could be "Tummy Time for Adoptive Parents" or "Just because the top of your head is high in the air does not imply that the world below is void of life or activity". [just a helpful suggestion adoption agencies ]

"On my way to Juilliard," Ben.

Benj's music career is just beginning...Juilliard here we come!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Playtime

bright eyes

play with the toys God gave you...fingers, mmmm

"Mom? Dad? Did you know that there is something hovering over my head?"

Kissable Cheeks

Ben's Playground...Formerly our living room.

Play Time on Ben's new mat

Ben ignoring Melvin

Playtime or nose picking...both

Yep, he is THAT cute!

getting bored with playtime

But still adorable

Embracing the "RED" blood in all of us...

(yes, we are aware of the size of luggage located below our eyes...thanks for reminding us)

Proud/Sleeping Grandpa

Grandma and Grandpa Johnson Arrive

Shower of blessings

New bathtub...death grip on Daddy's finger.

That's right out!

Melvin jealous of Ben and "Beau"

Ben and "Beau"

Nap time


It has been ages (7 days) since we lasted posted pics or vids of our little cherub. Please forgive us. In our defense...we are the parents of a 5 week old. (enough said)

Here is a quick update:
1) Ryan had his first day of "daddy day care". This occurred last Tuesday as Sunni was away from the house from 8am to 5pm. Reflections of this beautiful/bonding father/son day...(Ryan is still trying to seek rest from that "enjoyable" day. Much to his disappoinment, Ben was quite fussy away from his Mommy and the only thing that calmed him down...His mother walking through the door around 5pm.
2) Ryan had his first full day back at work last Thursday. When he arrived home, he was greeted by an exhausted wife and fussy baby boy. Much to his vindication Ben settled down quickly. "Mom" took a long nap. Perhaps a good bottle of wine was actually invented by a young, first-time parent.
3) Baby Shower! Last Sunday our church family threw us a wonderful Baby Shower. Embracing the theme of this blog and the many children's books the "Tell Me a Story" theme was illustrated with food, decorations, handcrafted gifts and who could forget the Dr Seuss "Cat in the Hat" cupcakes (you guessed it...the red and white swirled top hat was a mountain of frosting...inducing a diabetic coma to was wonderful).
4) Ben- additional Dr's Apt., more blood drawn...tears (Ben cried too).
5) Grandpa and Grandma Johnson arrived with a bounty of presents, hugs and kisses...After some time, the presence of Benjamin's parents was also acknowledged.
6) Daddy and Mommy of Ben are tired. For you parents out know. For those who are not parents...imagine the sleep deprivation tactics of the government seeking special intelligence from enemy lines...and you are almost there.
Distance from Stromsburg, NE to Lockport, IL=572 miles
Hours from Stromsburg to Lockport= 9 hrs. 30 mins.
Having Grandpa and Grandma take the 3 a.m. feeding...priceless!
8) Repeat #6...On the positive side of things...I hear you get used to it...Not that it goes away just that your body learns to embrace the deprivation as "normal"
...So Here's to a "new" normal!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Already disagreeing about music...It begins.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A full formula-belly...

Cuddle Time


That's right ladies...I got me a sweet ride! It is fully loaded, late model, low mileage, stylin' ride. I'll pick you up and we'll go crusin' the strip. If you see me wheelin' by, holla out! I'll wave as I roll by.


I'm sorry. I am so sorry that you were "tortured" for the sake of science and understanding. I wish we knew more about your history to better understand your future. However, know that this moment of blood sucking pain is just a point in time. You have your whole world to figure out who you will be and what you will leave as your legacy. Thankfully you are only 3 weeks old...and you got a great band-aid.