Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sean Says "G" and "B" Now

Hello, loyal Sean's Blog fans. We've had an incredibly busy month of July this year. Here's a quick re-cap.

We had our annual summertime party at our home, this time to welcome Sean into our community and have a brief naming/tree planting ceremony. About 50 or so of our friends, family and neighbors joined us for what turned out to be a pretty nice day. Dr. Gerard Vallone, a longtime family friend (who also married us) was the officiant, presiding over Sean's naming, and the planting of a River Birch tree in the front yard for Sean. We also welcomed little Conal, new son of cousin Felice (photo here) to our home for the first time. All in all, a great time.

A couple of weeks later, we had our first road trip and stay overnight in a strange place. My cousin David got married in the Boston area, and we all went. (Well, the dogs stayed home). It was Sean's first chance to meet his Uncles Pete and Mike, and Aunt Laura, as well as cousins and Great-grandma Vera. Naturally, Sean was happy to meet and greet everyone, though it was very tiring, and he eventually wound up napping through the reception. Thankfully, he's a great sleeper - the brass band hired for the reception was, well, brassy and quite loud. We weren't sure how he'd do on a 3 hour car trip - in the end, he was fine for 2 1/2 hours of it, getting quite fussy towards the end. Come to think of it, I get quite fussy after a couple of hours in the car, so either he's ahead or I'm behind. The hotel was kind enough to roll in a crib for Sean, but he didn't really care for it. I know how he feels - nothing beats one's own bed.

In the meantime, Sean has become quite accustomed to his routine of waking up with dad, having a bottle and a burp, playing with mom for a little while, then heading off to school. After a quick nap in the car (which often extends) he gets to see all his pals at school. The other tots gather around Sean's car seat when he comes in the morning, and more than one teacher has indicated her interest in taking him home. Who can blame them? Mom gets to visit during lunch, and for the most part, it seems to be working out just fine. He is generous with the smiles, and can be coaxed into a laugh or two with some peek-a-boo. It's amazing that game still works on kids, with all the new fangled technology, dvds, interweb, iPhones and the like. And despite all his Baby Einstein toys, his favorite plaything is a plain, white cloth diaper. Go figure.

Sean has also achieved some developmental milestones. He's vocalizing quite a lot nowadays, and is a big fan of the letter G. Guh, guh, guh he says. Or buh - that's a recent addition. The rest of the time it's vowels of some sort - oooh, mostly. He's also started grabbing for things and putting them in his mouth. It seems like just days ago that he had no interest at all in the many hanging toys in his bouncy chair. Interestingly, he prefers reaching with his little left hand - if we were more superstitious, or living in the last century, we might be inclined to discourage his southpaw tendencies, but, we're not, so we don't.

Last but not least, we have to mention Sean's first haircut. He's been gradually losing it around the back and sides, until he had a little on top, and a little mullet at the bottom of his head. A few minutes with the trimmer took care of that. We put those soft little locks in an envelope for safekeeping. He looks very dapper now.

We've also been watching the Tour de France with great interest. Sadly, all of the controversy with riders being hopped up on goofballs, ProCrit, or other things (like someone else's blood) definitely dampened the enthusiasm for the whole thing. I suppose it's just the reality of competitive sports these days, but it is still sad that everyone seems to be hopped up on something out there as they compete. (Barry Bonds is a great hitter and all, but would he really have hit all those home runs on his own? My brief statistical tests indicate that there is no chance that the huge increase in Home Runs per game and Home Runs per at bat after 1998 is explainable by mere chance. Hmmm....) Sean is definitely anti-doping - we had a lengthy discussion about it after Michael Rasmussen (Tour leader at the time) was kicked out of the race. If Sean ever gets into sports, he's going to do it clean. Same goes for music, acting, accounting, or whatever else he may be drawn to - he doesn't like cheaters.

English football season begins in August - yippee!

- James

Friday, July 6, 2007

Back to work...

Well, the honeymoon is over, back to reality. Two big things happened this week, Mom started back to work and Sean started child care. Both were harder on mom than on Sean. Having to leave him for the first time with a stranger was so difficult. While I know he is in good hands, those hands aren't mine and I really miss him. Dad went with us on our first day for moral support and to make sure Mom wasn't a basket case. Sean was pretty good about it, he didn't even seem to notice when we left, and I got to go to my office and have a good cry. Since it is right next door I get to go visit him a lot, which I have already taken advantage of. The teachers are going to get sick of me, but it definitely helps with the baby withdrawals. It is nice to be back at work and talk to adults. It was strange the first day, it felt like my first day at a new job. It's going to take awhile to re-acclimate to the hectic pace of day to day life in an office and crazy deadlines again. My biggest deadlines for the past few months were imposed by a crying baby who didn't want to wait the 5 minutes it takes to warm up a bottle.

I do think Sean will enjoy child care. He's definitely the hit of the room. Being not only the new kid, but the youngest and the only boy. He's getting lots of attention. It could be because his needs are greater, the other kids can crawl and sit up on their own but I think being devilishly handsome also helps. His second day in and he's already gotten an incident report on his permanent record and his first cold. I was a little taken aback when they told me when I picked him up I needed to sign and date an incident report, I thought that something terrible must have happened—then she showed me a tiny little scratch on his temple (he's given himself much worse with his sharp little finger nails). Apparently the teacher was reaching to pick him up, he moved, and she scratched him. Not much of an incident in my opinion, but better to be overly cautious I guess. As for his cold, I knew it was bound to happen, just thought he would at least get through a full week without one.

He is sleeping better, not sure if it is just that he is finally establishing a good sleep pattern, or if all the excitement of his days watching the other kids play and crawl around is exhausting him. Either way, I'm appreciating the extra zzzzs.