Friday, May 23, 2008

I love a parade

Last weekend, we kicked off a string of visitors coming to town to see the young whipper-snapper. First up, Nonnie & Grandpa.

The festivities started with Friday's convocation ceremony at George Mason University. I wrapped up the MBA program and was glad to have family there to commemorate the event. The final two semesters were taxing, especially when Jack wasn't sleeping through the night. Jen bore the brunt of my absence-- basically being a single-mom for two nights a week-- and I am very grateful to her for the effort. It's great to have school completely knocked out before Jack really became aware of my absence. Although on a few occassions, when I fetched him from his crib in the morning, he would give a "Who the heck are you? I want mommy!" type of cry, which is probably par for the course, but still was tough on dad.

Jack is at a magical age where he is curious about everything and everyone and now has the locomotion to check things out. His crawling has sped up dramatically and he pulls himself up well to a proud standing position. Naturally, he is a babbling brook, practicing all kinds of sounds. We're especially impressed at how well he rolls his R's and think we should get him started on Spanish before he loses that skill.

My parents worked double-time while they were here because we hosted a graduation party in the newly renovated backyard. Dad was stuck on the grill for what seemed like all of Saturday afternoon while Mom, Jen and Aunt Niki were up in the kitchen keeping everything moving. Neighbors, friends and fellow graduates turned out and the weather cooperated nicely. I wish we had more pictures from the party (and the weekend, in general,) but everybody was so busy that the camera didn't get pulled out enough.
On Monday morning, Nonnie & Grandpa enjoyed a few quiet moments with their grandson before the taxi arrived to spirit them away.

This video is fun for a lot of reasons. First, my mom wasn't wearing her reading glasses, so you can hear some surprise in her voice as she works her way through Dr. Seuss. Second, my dad picked up on the "new fish" line--Jen and I always read that line to Jack and told him he was a "new fish." Finally, how fun is it that my mom admonished my dad not to the turn the page because Jack will do the page-turning, thank you very much!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A little over a week ago, we saw Matt, Mae and Alex. Jack and Alex are a hoot together. Alex is three months younger than Jack, so he's not motoring around yet. Meanwhile, Jack is grappling with everyone he encounters and apparently picking up on some questionable hand gestures.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Super Parents and their Super Kids

Shannon & Steve, our friends with the 18-month-old twins, Willem & Fiona, are key players in our parenting lives. They are far enough ahead of us on the curve to have gone through everything that we'll face, and they graciously share their experiences directly with us and through their website (permanently linked on the left). Occasionally, the advice doesn't pan out. Jen and I distinctly remember asking them something during our very sleep-deprived period-- somewhere around 6 months-- and Shannon couldn't recall anything to help us out. We were astonished that anyone could forget the circumstances in which we found ourselves (again, we were manic from sleep-deprivation). Of course, 4 months later... well, now I can't even remember what it was that Jen and I were so stunned when Shannon couldn't remember.

And this is how you start thinking, "Hey, we could have another one!" You just forget the stuff that made you crazy.

But it's good to forget because then you get to enjoy terrific moments like this weekend when Shannon & Steve brought the twins over for brunch and a visit with Jack. What a blast to play host to an instant romper room. We somehow managed to carry on adult conversation while supervising the youngsters and devouring Jen's frittata and Shannon's blueberry buckle. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Shannon & Steve got to see Jack all the way back when he was just a little peanut and fresh from the hospital. On this weekend, our little guy got to show his latest moves-- speedier crawling and some pretty good footwork pulling himself up to a standing position-- to the big kids. Wil and Fi were great with Jack and had fun playing with him and his toys.

Enjoy the slideshow. There is a really great treat in the middle that I didn't write about because it's just more fun to watch it unfold in pictures.

Wil & Fi Visit

A Jack For All Seasons

Springtime is really agreeing with Jack. Our little neighborhood of rowhouses comes alive with activity as the weather warms and the trees fill out their leaves. It seems like any given night you'll find Jack and the neighbors out front on the stoop.

We've learned a couple of new things about Jack. First, he is very social and loves to play with kids of all ages. No matter how big or small, he will grab onto you with both hands and maybe even try to bite you with his four very sharp teeth. Watch out! Second, he loves meatballs. This is a revelation because he's always been a bit of a bird when it comes to eating. Jack will pick up a meatball and bite into it like an apple.

Here's a short album of new photos-- fairly random, but always fun.