It’s been about 6 months since we’ve updated this blog and MUCH has happened!
Firstly, Jack. He’s doing amazingly well. In the past five and a half months he’s put in a lot of work being a delightful baby and the rewards are showing, he’s a big, healthy baby. At six months old he’s wearing “12 month” clothes, and yes, I know that most sizing on infant wear is different, but trust me, he’s big.
We’re about a week or so away from crawling, but he’ll probably skip that and go directly to walking if he’s got anything to say about it. Speaking of speaking, he’s doing it all the time…having found his voice he’s decided to practice using it and he’s great at jabbering, yelling to hear his own voice, and laughing!
We’ve removed Jack from his “babysitting” daycare. Jack is a quiet sort (unless he’s at home) and starting the day by walking into a class of anarchy with children, each planted in holding device cleverly camouflaged by an indemnifying name like “Excer-saucer,” screaming, is not ideal. Nor is it a place I feel comfortable leaving Jack.
So we’ve enrolled him in a great program close to us that only has ONE class of infants and three teachers, which is more than the state mandated two teachers for seven students. It’s also a more intimate setting and reminds me of my elementary school, with classrooms for each year up to first grade. It’s really awesome and we’re relieved to finally have him in the best place for him.
Later in the day we enjoyed some cake (gold with real butter cream frosting) and then settled in to watch whatever she wanted for the evening. It seemed to be a great day and as I posted on Facebook, she doesn’t look a day over 30 to me. Beautiful!
Speaking of beautiful, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary late last month by grilling Filet Mignon and asparagus on the grill and relaxing for the rest of the day. Couldn’t have been better!
Alex is doing well and enrolled in school. He has been working quite a bit lately and hopefully he’s socking all that money away for his “Father’s Day” present. I’m so proud of him and how he’s grown.
It seems like yesterday that he a small baby that I could hold in one hand.
Having Jack sometimes reminds me of Alex at that young age. I feel so privileged to be given this amazing opportunity to be a Father at twenty, and at forty. I’m feeling emotions and experiencing things I barely remember from twenty years ago, and this time I’m taking advantage of everything I can!
Finally, I’m doing fine though I did get laid off in early August but I’m working hard to find a new job. A great man taught me a valuable life lesson, “It could always be worse,” he would say to me. I have to remind myself of that sometimes, and when I do it puts everything into perspective.
Cheers! We love you!
Eric, Jean, Alex and Jack
He’s eating every 3 hours and it’s a definite drain on Sweets. I’m used to getting around 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night but Jean is used to a good 8 hours of sleep. Thankfully babies grow and his feeding times will only grow farther apart until he is 13 or so…but that’s another blog post all together.
The transition to “work from home” couldn’t have come at a better time for me and I’ve really had a chance to bond with the little guy. I really look forward to feeding times, even at midnight, 3, and 6 a.m. just because it’s our time. Currently Jack is all about the “eat, sleep, and poop” part of babyhood, which is helpful when I’ve got work to do.
Before Jack was born we stocked up on things we thought he would need. Now, two weeks later, the results are amusing.
Things we bought a lot of:
- Newborn Diapers. - I bought like 20 packs over the last 3 months of our pregnancy. Unfortunately we gave birth to a large baby and these “Newborn” diaper are a bit too small.
- Wipes – These are invaluable and not just for poop!
- Books – Ok, the newborn can’t read…even mine. He’ll enjoy them eventually but now they’re taking up space and there is no guarantee he’ll like Blueberries for Sal.
- Diaper Genie – I’m not a fan. Especially since you’ve got to push a wet diaper into a hole…and there’s no guarantee it’s not coming out. Gross.
Things we didn’t buy enough of:
- Changing Pads – We’ve got like 3 of these and they’re constantly in the wash.
- Onesies – Same thing. If it gets spit-up, poo, or pee on it then it goes into the wash. Can’t have too many.
- Diapers that fit – As stated above I was a little over zealous with the purchase of “Newborn” diapers. It would be great to have an abundance of diapers that fit.
- Bottles – We’re using a lot of bottles because we’re supplementing breast feeding. The “drop-ins” are great but I should have gotten more bottles and tops.
Seems silly to say, but he’s definitely grown over the past two weeks. I look forward to the coming months when his personality will start to emerge and we’ll get to see some emotion other than “Food/No Food.” Until then I’ll still take all the crying and fussing as long as I get just a few minutes of time together with this amazing little boy.
We’ve got a whole lifetime to get to know each other, but with two weeks in we’re off to a famous start!
Very early on the morning of March 9th Jean woke me up and said “I think we need to call the Dr. I think it’s time.” Sure enough, some 10 hours later, we welcomed Jack into our family 3 weeks earlier than planned. Despite being a bit early he was quite large at 9lbs, 2oz. and 20 inches. I fondly recall looking over the drape during the C-section and seeing them pull a 3-month old out of my wife! If he’s half the athlete his older brother Alex is he be a fine linebacker when he’s bigger.
Most of you know how Jean is, and she continued to shine throughout the past week. She’s the epitome of a caring, attentive mother and it moves me to see her with Jack. They say that when a baby is born that a Mother is also born and I can’t wait to see what type of Mother she grows in to. It’s also interesting for me to experience this whole 20 years later as I was a very young 22 year old when Alex was born. Being a completely different man now it stands to reason that I’m going to be a much different Father.
It’s definately been a challenge, but I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be, you know?
It’s about the journey and I’m so thankful I’ve got enough life experience to realize that. So, here’s to the journey and we appreciate the friends and family that are on that journey with us.
We’re so proud to give Jack to the world!
Peace and Love!
Eric and Jean!
I’m sitting here on the couch, headphones on, music playing.
This is my favorite thinking time…sitting here listening to music. I’ll go from Foo to N.W.A. to the Kingston Trio, back to Outkast then to the Police and top it off with Smashing Pumpkins with a Pearl Jam on top.
Just like everyone else some songs take me back to a very specific time.
Billy Joel takes me back to my teen years and really fueled my drive to learn to play piano. I remember driving around with Dave Stalker, Eric and Craig Faulkner, Dennis and Bill Foley singing Joel. A memory that sticks with me to this day.
Judas Priest takes me right back to the McDonald’s parking lot, playing hacky sack and “fishbowling” in every car with a great bunch of H.S. friends. Those friends are now spread across the U.S. but I think of them often…especially when I hear JP!
I lived in Italy for my 12th and 13th years and have a very small collection of cassette tapes for that two years. I had Genesis 3 Sides Live, a Rolling Stones live album, AC/DC for those about to rock. the self titled “Dire Straits” and a Rick Springfield tape. Needless to say, the Springfield never got played. Dodo/Lurker REALLY takes me back.
If you don’t have “10″ by Pearl Jam in your collection then stop reading now…I don’t know you. This album came out during a difficult time in my life and I ate it up. I was a new father and in the Coast Guard so there was plenty of frustration which seemed to be echoed in this album. I related and the rest is history. I’m embarrassed to count the number of shows I’ve been to and the amount of money I’ve spent on collecting tour poster lithographs. I’m their biggest fan…as is Sweets! Pearl Jam still makes me get up and rock.
The late 90′s were saved by the Foo Fighters who took the pop-rock mantle and smashed an amp with it. Their first album was great but it was The Colour and The Shape that shook me in ’97 and each successive album got better. This was an amazing time in my life…professionally I was in a good space, but I was still unsatisfied personally. ”Hero” takes me back to a night in ’99 at a fancy French restaurant celebrating all the amazing things to come with Abuzz.com. Ah, if I could have seen what was coming!
The soundtrack of the past decade, for me is ALL of the Wes Anderson film soundtracks. Rushmore is one of my favorite movies EVER and it’s got an amazing soundtrack. The Life Aquatic is my favorite of this group as it features the gifted Seu Jorge who single handedly reinvents Bowie…believe it.
Alex has been busy with school for the past few months and I can happily report he’s doing fine. All that studying leaves little time for creativity, so his mother signed him up for a few glass blowing classes at Diablo glass school. He made a very nice looking paper-weight and several other pieces.
I always tended to be musically creative and less “crafty-creative” so he must get his eye for color from some unknown ancestor. When younger I had an opportunity to visit Murano and tour several of the glass factories and WOW…I imagine Alex would love it there. I could spend hours WATCHING a master craftsman work…it’s so cool. There are many facets including blowing, torch work, casting and crystal work…and it’s all HOT!
The crafting professions are unique in that they require apprenticeships instead of “in classroom” schooling. The thing is…how many of those jobs are actually still relevant? Hasn’t technology and industry replaced the vast majority of those jobs? Now only the finest of these craftsmen are able to eek out a living based solely on their creativity…which has to amazing.
Either way…if he’s having fun with it then we’re all happy!
On his 18th birthday I had the pleasure of giving him that letter. Of course I’ve been with him over those 18 years, but that was one of the few special moments I’ve shared with my him. I won’t share the details of the letter, but a prominently featured word was “respect.”
Respect for the world around you, for others and especially for yourself.
Those were things I was struggling with at the time and I wanted to make sure he didn’t make the same mistakes I had. The truth is, my son Alex is his own man, with his own issues, goals, and thoughts…so that letter, while filled with sage advice was, in some ways, a letter to me.
Funny how that works out eh?
So, I’ve been blessed with another son and am considering writing another letter.
Perhaps this one will take a bit more time.
So, almost 2 weeks ago we moved the last bit of our life into a storage facility and moved ourselves into my parents house in Billerica, the town I grew up in. We knew this was going to be a long month but we steeled ourselves for the coming displacement and packed our suitcases.
My parents have gone out of their way to accommodate us and we’ve been well cared for. Fortunately Jean and I have the entire upstairs to ourselves and we’ve done well to make it comfortable. One of the first things we had to do was have a TV so we brought one of our flat screen T.V.’s over. Thanks to my mom a cable box was there when we arrived. WIN.
While I’m slightly more OCD about it, both Jean and I are creatures of habit. I like things to be constant and regular and to know what to expect. Of course, moving out of your house and into someone else’s house completely destroys all routine so we’re super excited to get BACK to a routine…or in this case, create a new routine in our new house. Combine that with a work relocation to new offices in a different town, a new baby, a new house, an amazing son in college and I’ve experienced quite a bit of change lately.
Stress is funny. Working on an EMS truck in Lowell or Lawrence, armed ship boardings in the Coast Guard, or pulling people from the water are some of the moments when I’ve felt the most calm in my life. Yet, the disruption of routine is what gets under my skin…so odd.
Jean is the person who should be complaining. Poor girl is all pregnant and carrying around a big belly. I’m sure she’d like to sleep in her own bed but she’s been such a trooper while endearing herself to my family. That’s one of the reasons I love her so much…she’s very graceful in the face of adversity. Much more so than I am…I’m a complainer, she’s a listener which is an AMAZING trait to have a Mother. She’s awesome. <— That’s a PERIOD!
Anyhoo, we’ve got 9 more days until we officially own our new house. We’ve got some radon mitigation, duct cleaning and house cleaning to do before we can move in, so it’ll be another 2 weeks before we’re sleeping in our new home! Lot’s to do once that starts…perhaps I should relax while I can?
We love you!
I’m happy to announce the little guy you see in the image is actually a little GUY!
We got the news yesterday and we couldn’t be happier! Apparently the Man upstairs thinks I’m good at raising boys and I’m happy to oblige him! So, the little guy is about 4 and a half month in…another 155-ish days to go (I prefer medium-rare). Hopefully by then we’ll be well settled into out new house and we’ll be ready for this guy. You should see him jumping all over the place in the sonogram…he’s like a jumping bean!
We’re working on names…but I think we’ll keep that secret until he arrives.
We’ve spent the last few months looking for a house. It’s been quite the frustrating ordeal and not as simple as one might think. This has been an exercise in compromise because our “dream house” doesn’t appear to exist in our price range.
We’re looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage house on a decent lot with a decent level of finish. We’re hoping to find that house in the Westford, Chelmsford, Littleton area but have even looked outside that area to Bolton, Stow, Groton, Billerica, and Maynard.
We’ve found houses with all of those things…just not all of those things together or not in an acceptable quantity. Either the bedrooms are too small, there isn’t a 2nd bathroom, the house is great and the lot size is too small, the lot is great but the house is off.
It’s a huge responsibility trying to decide where my family is going to spend a good portion of our lives…and we want to make sure we don’t screw it up. We’ve shied away from homes that require a lot of work even though we’ve got about 6 months for until the baby arrives.
All that being said, I think we’ve settled on a particular house. The house itself is AWESOME, with nothing left to be done to it. The “fit and finish” is superb, the core mechano-electrical components such as the furnace, water heater, and wiring are all brand new. It has a dining room, decent sized bedrooms, a master bath with walk in closets, laundry on the 2nd floor…really everything we’ve wanted on the inside of our house.
The problem is that the lot is very small…1/6th of an acre to be exact. Privacy is one of our major issues with our current townhouse and it appears it’s going to be an issue at this new house as well.
The trick is that the OTHER features are far superior…and it’s really all about compromise. We simply couldn’t find this level of a house for this price without some compromise. So we’re going to try our luck!
You’ll have to come for a visit after we’ve moved in!