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S: The Captain's Chronicle 2011

BC: Published by Bethany Jorgensen aka BB For Coco, Natey and, my friend, Lil E

FC: The Captain's Chronicle 2011 | A blog by Nicole Allen Cook

1: Mar 29, 2011 Dear world (aka family and friends) - After much thought and consideration during the last 6 months, we have decided to join the world of the bloggers. We've been so amazed with our short journey as parents that we feel the need to share it with you and document our experience as well as the developing life of our precious little peanut. As busy urban professionals and new parents, we spend the majority of our time either working or making up for the missed time with our little guy by devoting our undivided attention to him during those few hours every day we are with him. This doesn't leave much time for anything else, so we've been searching for an easy not-too-time-consuming way to share pictures, videos and stories with our family and friends about our adventures - all in one place. Enter Blogger. Like any good project, organization or mission, a good mission statement is key to survival. Therefore, it's important to set expectations from the beginning with a clear mission for this blog. We're not promising it's going to be witty, entertaining, profound or even pretty, but we do commit to keeping it updated with pictures, videos and stories about our pride and joy - Captain Evan Walter Cook, aka Captain Cook (thank you Uncle Dawson) - so you can keep up with him and get to know this funny, cute, clever and most amazing little being. Hope you enjoy it and find our amazing parenting adventure as amazing as we do! Love, Nicole & Nate

2: Camera Ready Mar 29, 2011

3: Almost a year ago, we had our 20-week ultrasound. We were so excited to catch a glimpse of our little guy in utero, but the lab technician had a hard time getting him to stay still long enough to get many good shots. With Auntie Genevieve and Uncle Dawson in tow, we naturally assumed he took after his father - a bit camera shy. | The past week, though, the Captain has proven that he is after his own Grandma's heart! He seems to love the camera. The minute the camera turns on and he hears the sound, he lights up and smiles! Of course, this could be related to his fascination with electronics given that he often reaches for the camera and wants to eat it, but for now, we'll assume he loves to have his picture taken. We've been able to get some great smiling shots as a result!

4: Windy City Adventure | April 16th, 2011 | The big spring event is almost here - the wedding of Auntie Whitney and Uncle Andy! But before they get hitched and start their new life together, we thought it only appropriate to take a family pilgrimage to the Windy City - their old stomping ground - to celebrate their last precious single days. Grandma and Grandpa even joined | us to take advantage of some quality time with the Captain while we gave the soon-to-be newly weds a proper send off. A great excuse for the Captain to add a new state to his collection! Illinois makes #6 for the little traveler after PA, NJ, NY, LA and CA. | We had an awesome time with family and friends, tested our artistic skills, enjoyed a Cubs game in the rain and, of course, ate sassy eggs and some delicious Chicago-style Pizza! | Meeting Meredith! | So modest... | Visiting Bethany at her house! | Playing with the loot from Auntie Whitney's lingerie shower- these bags make great toys | Hanging out with Auntie Kimmie at the hotel

5: Hanging out with Grandma in the hotel | Enjoying the giant jelly bean and the Faces installation in Millenium Park with Grandpa, Auntie Kimmie and Uncle Preston! | The month of March (6 months) was full of new developments. We discovered that Evan has a voracious appetite - he LOVES to eat and has liked everything that has been put in front of him from peas and sweet potatoes to asparagus and beets. He also mastered the army crawl and learned to pull up to stand! The days of leaving him alone on the floor under his play gym or in his car seat are officially over. Time to childproof!

6: Nana's Visit and the First Tooth Apr 24, 2011 | The second week of April brought a visit from Nana, who swung by Philadelphia "on her way" from Raleigh to Boise. You didn't realize Philadelphia was on the way to Boise? Well, by Missoula standards, Philadelphia and Raleigh are neighbors - a 7-hour road trip made even faster by Nana's virgin journey on Southwest Airlines. | We're so glad she came to visit and boy was she a trooper. Dudo chose Nana's visit to sport his first tooth! We were so excited to show her what a good baby we have - one who sleeps 12 hours at a time on cue. Alas, he picked this time to show us that our description needs a disclaimer - "great night sleeper EXCEPT while teething." Technically, the tooth did not arrive until the day after Nana left, but she got to experience all the pre-first-tooth excitement (aka anxiety and discomfort). | While Nana was here we had our first music class! Nana even brought the Captain a special Monkey Music shirt to wear for his first class! | Thanks Nana for comforting Dudo day and night and helping us cope while the tooth came in! | They don't let you take pictures during the class (we learned the hard way) but we did manage to snap a picture by the drum before we were nicely told to put our camera away, and one after with our friends Kim and Ella. | After enjoying the Annenberg Center's Philadelphia International Children's Festival and Basil Twist's Petrushka, we ventured downtown to the Kimmel Center to check out the big Eiffel Tower and French exhibits as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. | Really amazing!

7: Nana taught the Captain how to eat Cheerios - something that keeps him occupied for several minutes at a time - at least long enough for us to prepare his meal! | In addition to the weekend, Nana stayed with the Captain for 4 days while we went to work. Despite the discomforts of teething, they had a great time! They took walks, played peek-a-boo and practiced pulling up to stand. We were lucky she was here to help us through round one of teething - and probably still have our nanny thanks to her intervention! | Nana was here just as the cherry blossoms and tulip trees were blooming throughout Philadelphia - one of the most beautiful, but short lived, times of year. Here's a shot of her with the Captain by the Schuylkill River before she headed out to Boise. Thanks for coming to visit, Nana! Can't wait to see you again soon!

8: First Swing May 6th, 2011 | We've been having some beautiful weather in Philadelphia and have loved finally being able to venture outside after a long winter. The Captain has loved his walks and occasional trips to the park. We have even had to try out the baby sunscreen. A couple days after Nana left we discovered a park only a few blocks away with baby swings! As you can see from this video, Evan's first interaction with the swing was a win. Sadly, we've been back to the park several times since and he doesn't want anything to do with the swing, so we're happy that we caught his sheer delight on video! (Though I'm not sure which is funnier - Evan's laughs or Nate's scary monster noises!)

9: SpringHolidays May 22, 2011 | The past month has been incredibly busy with a certain special wedding and two busier-than-normal work schedules, so we're just getting around to downloading pictures from Easter and Mother's Day. Evan's first | Easter was laid back and relaxing. Though he didn't hunt for eggs or dress up in a bunny costume, we were excited to have a visit from Familia Mayor from New York! Anna, Pablo, Nico and Orfa - Pablo's mother from Colombia - celebrated with us with a delicious brunch and playground adventure. The cherry blossoms on our street were blooming and it was a most beautiful day with friends! | Happy Baby | Contemplative Baby | Mobile Baby | Sassy Baby | Unfortunately we had camera issues so didn't end up with any pictures of the visit, but we did manage to take a few on the i-phone. It was one of our first days outside this spring, so Evan had a little photo shoot on the patio!

10: Enjoying the Cherry Blossoms | I celebrated my first Mother's Day this year as a mommy and what a special day it was! Though my boys treated me with extra special care including a special breakfast after the best gift ever - sleep - followed by a lazy walk through Wissahickon, the best part of the day was being with my little guy all day long. It was a day full of love and I couldn't help but feel that I'm the luckiest girl on earth to be the mom of this most perfect little being. Thanks to my boys for a wonderful day! | Thanks for the Easter lilies Anna!

11: Trucks, Boats and Planes June 4th, 2011 | We celebrated Memorial Day and our 11th anniversary by taking a road trip to see Great Uncle Tom and his special lady friend Shona in their sweet lake home on Lake Keuka in the Finger Lakes. We had borrowed Tom's big truck a few weeks before and needed to return it, so with weather predicted in the mid-90s in Philadelphia and a | 3-day weekend, it seemed like the perfect excuse to take a little vacation. Off we went in the big Ford F150 with the car seat snuggled between us and the baby gear exposed to the world in the back, reminiscing about Nate's Montana roots, his trusty Warm Carl and the good ole days when we first met. Dudo seemed to like the truck and was a champ for his first long road trip - 5 hours and he only had a minor melt down in the last 30 minutes! | While at Tom's, the Captain enjoyed hanging out on the dock with the guys, chasing BJ and going for his first boat ride!

12: On the way home, he got to take his very first private plane ride! This was surely more exciting for father than it was for son, who is sure that this was the first step in the Captain's training to become a pilot by age 10! Thanks to Amazon.com, we were able to secure a baby head set just in time. We thought it would be a good idea to have him try it out before the trip so that he would get used to wearing it, but that was less than successful as he had no interest in keeping the head set on his head.... | So, when we set out on our journey, we were a little nervous about protecting his ears. But during takeoff it suddenly occurred to me that I am about 5 times bigger than he is and I should be able to keep him from taking off his head set! After only a small struggle on the way up and a little mum-mum cracker bribe, he succumbed to the head set and, to our delight, fell asleep! He slept for almost the entire journey and work up just as we were well into our descent. Overall a huge success! Now the real question is...should we push it from 1 hour to 3 and try our luck with a trip to Maine?

13: The week before Memorial Day we had a visit from Great Aunt Jane and Great Uncle Barry and Cousin Ben from Washington DC! For the third year in a row, Ben participated in the annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta - the world's oldest and largest high school rowing competition according to Wikipedia. Unfortunately we weren't able to see Ben and his team conquer the Schuylkill | this year, but last year we did and it was quite impressive! They were able to spend a relaxing afternoon at Casa Cook and got some quality time with the newest member of the family. Thanks for coming to visit and we hope to see you in DC soon! | And since the last post we had our first boo boo! Unfortunately, we have no idea how it happened! The Captain was zooming around and after a small shriek I saw blood gushing from his toe but could never find the cause. Very strange! Regardless, in the spirit of documenting all firsts, here's the obligatory "first boo boo" picture!

14: Games! June 20, 2011 | We've recently discovered that Evan loves to play games! He has several that provide hours -- okay, minutes (which seem like hours) -- of entertainment and elicit sheer joy! He loves peek-a-boo -- especially when it involves crawling on the floor and disappearing behind furniture. He never tires of dropping a toy or a spoon or some other object from his high chair just so you can pick it up and he can throw it down again....and again and again. He is very proud of himself (and so are we!) when you ask him how big he is and he shows you. And recently, he has discovered the game of pushing his new bike -- thanks Grandma and Grandpa! Here are a couple videos of the game playing fun we've been having during the past month.

15: First Trip to Maine June 22, 2011 | Thanks to Nate getting a new job (way to go Nate!), we had to take a last-minute, unplanned vacation. What else to do when you find out on Monday that you will be starting a new job in two weeks? Go to Maine, of course! We've been looking forward to introducing Evan to Maine since conception, so we were pretty pumped to get a whole 9 days in Maine with minimal need for smart phones and lots of peace and quiet, even if it was in the 50s and rained the first few days (did I mention Nate has become a master fire builder?) The little traveler also added 4 new states to his list (CT, MA, NH, ME), which brings him up to 10 states in 9 months of life - pretty impressive! | We hung out a lot in the cottage (and explored our Louisiana and Maine roots by making a delicious lobster gumbo, I might add)... | Took an hour and a half excursion to Red's Eats in Wiscasset for the first time to have a famous lobster roll (seemed like a good way to get the Captain to take a nap at the time...and we were not disappointed with what boasts to be a whole lobster and then some in one sandwich!) | Took walks... | Swam with the fishies at L.L. Bean...

16: And enjoyed a blissfully empty beach for 4 days (not bad for a week in June!)

17: We also got to meet Cousin Jonas and Cousin Kelly and see Great Aunt Merry Go Round again! Thanks for coming to Ocean Park guys! | We really missed seeing Great Big Nana, but know she was there in spirit and would be happy to know the Captain had such a nice first visit. All in all, the Captain seemed to love Maine and we can't wait to bring him back someday soon!

18: Jun 28, 2011 | Unfortunately, Nate spent his first Father's Day driving 8 hours from Maine back to Pennsylvania (which if you know Nate, is not his "choice" form of transportation). But a true testament to the amazing dad that he is, he gave up most of his special day so that we could all enjoy one more day of the beach. | The Captain made a special point to shower his Dada with love and affection in the morning before we left and behave especially well on the long car ride home! Evan picked out a special card and t-shirt just for Dada, and then we enjoyed a celebratory and delicious breakfast at the Ocean Park Soda Fountain before hitting the road. | Thanks Dada for being a great dad! Thanks for playing with me (especially early in the morning), making me laugh, chasing me and, most of all, loving me so much! I'm lucky to have you as my dad!

19: 41 1/2 weeks in, 41 1/2 weeks out! July 4, 2011 | Evan has now been on the outside as long as he was on the inside! | It's funny how every day last summer seemed to drag on as we waited so patiently and excitedly for the arrival of our little guy, while the days this summer zoom by as fast as Evan zooms zooms zooms around the house. I guess time goes by faster when you go from cooing and smiling to rolling, crawling, sitting, standing and almost walking in 9 short months! | It's hard to believe that last year at this time, I felt like a mother but I had no idea that the little guy inside would have such beautiful blue eyes, a cute little infectious giggle, and be such a happy baby. I had no idea he would (or could) be so active and driven and busy but at the same time have a great sense of humor, love to cuddle and give kisses. And I really had no idea how much we would love him. | Nate and I constantly talk about how much his personality has unfolded in the last 9 months since that unforgettable day when he became "out" instead of "in." That on that day, he didn't have much of a personality, but now he seems to be someone we have always known. We can't wait to see what the next 9 months have in store -- if only time would slow down a little!

20: Happy 4th of July! | As you can imagine, 4th of July is a pretty big holiday in the City of Brotherly Love. That's why we usually escape the madness. But this year we actually got the best of both worlds since the holiday fell on Monday. We enjoyed a beautiful weekend at the Finger Lakes with Great Uncle Tom and Special Lady Friend Shona where we feasted on delicious 4th of July food including usual suspects such as grilled meats and veggies and corn on the cob, but also some welcomed aberrations including steamed clams and tasty tzatziki dip. We got 3 doses of fireworks when it was all said and done - 2 shows in NY on the lake (professional and amateur) and 1 show in Philly which we saw from our front stoop. The Captain even got to enjoy the festivities, against our will. On Sunday, he refused to go to bed until 10 pm (very big deal since he has religiously gone to bed at 6:45 for past 5 months!). We're pretty sure he sensed there was something worth staying up for and was naturally curious, so we finally gave in and let him stay up. And we found another use for the earmuffs - they worked perfectly to protect his ears from the fireworks! | Here's a photo shoot of the Captain dressed for the occasion as well as our first attempt to take him swimming. Not really a success - perhaps swimming lessons are in order. Happy Holiday!

21: "Help" July 28, 2011 | The Captain has become quite the helper! He excitedly offers his services at any and every opportunity to "help" with the household chores. Though the "help" isn't really all that "helpful" and ultimately results in more work for Mama and Dada, we secretly hope this excitement to help will continue well into adolescence! | He helps with (mostly unfolds) the laundry... | He helps with the cooking... | And, if you want to ignite a smile and the fastest crawl you've ever seen, just open the dishwasher! | Loading/unloading/closing-the-door help is on the way!

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Bethany Jorgensen
  • By: Bethany J.
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