End of Summer and Hadley’s First Birthday

Summer has definitely proved much slipperier to wrangle this year than I expected, even as busy as I found myself. Not enough posts here, not enough work done on the house, not enough miles run to stay fit, not enough moments spent with my wife, or playing with the baby. Now it is time to head back to school, a milestone that will now always be heralded by the birthday of my daughter, who turns one year old today. Wow! How the time has flown. As cliché as that might be, I feel like my life is proving to be more and more of an exemplar of that particular cliché.

Boston from the River Charles

After a month in the city of Boston, at UMass, working with a bunch of teachers on writing improvement, the last few weeks have found me drifting around our house and trying to finish some projects here and there, as well as gearing up for the big return to work.

Tiling the Half Bath   Tiling the Half Bath 2

Contrary to many people’s notions, teaching really is not just a nine-month of the year job. In reality, the summer could simply be termed the slow period. It’s no different from that cyclical stretch of the year when sales are down and everyone in the office is spending a lot more time surfing the net and forwarding lousy chain emails to everyone they know. That’s is definitely one big difference between teaching and many other jobs. From the minute I walk in the building I have to be on. There is no dragging myself into work after a hard night in hopes of hiding away at my desk and not dealing with anyone while I recover. Everyday there are five shows, sometimes with a break, most of the time with a lot of Q and A afterwards. Still, it is the best gig I have ever found. The hardest thing, at least in the begining of each year, is the fact that there is no pre-season or preview audiences for this teaching gig. So I have got a few weeks of being absolutely waxed, before regaining my sea legs, as it were.

At least this is one of things that greets me when I return from work…

Standing at the Gate   Enjoying a Short Walk

Beyond that, the most important news is the golden birthday of our young one. Yesterday, we had a small gathering to celebrate the occasion. As are most of our soirées, it was a pretty laid back affair. Some friends, some snacks, some beverages, and a cake.

First Birthday Balloon

Hadley was looking fabulous, as ever, in her green and pink ensemble and party hat! She is one awfully cute kid.

Birthday Party Outfit   Monkey Cake

Ali crafted this fabulous monkey cake for our little monkey. Yes she did in fact decorate the whole thing. My wife is a woman of many talents! Of course she had an assortment of cupcakes, as well.

Cake Time   Digging in to the Cake

First Cupcake   Sid and Hadley

Hadley definitely seems to be more of an icing girl, at this point. At first, she treated the actual cake as though it were poison. However, eventually she came around on that opinion and could be seen gobbling up odd chunks from the destruction of her piece. Before long she had successfully ground cake bits all over her face and securely in her hair. She was rather enjoying herself.

Cake Aftermath

Hadley was the gracious recipient of some very kind gifts. So many thanks to all. Most of all thank you for being there to celebrate with us.

Opening New Books!

Hadley and Grandma Susie's Gift   Hadley at Her Table - Courtesy of Aunt Keri

Also thanks to my mom, who endeavors to spoil Hadley every chance she gets, despite being afar. Here is just one of the shipments of birthday gifts from her.

Look at All My Presents!

Becoming Hadley’s History

As Ali pointed out, it seems like an eternity since the last posting here at ye olde fritzwinkle, which may well have to change Hadley’s History. My personal site has become a virtual photo album of my daughter’s increasing cuteness.

Second Haircut - before Second Haircut - after

Keeping with the theme, Hadley has recently cut her first tooth! It is not quite visible without great effort yet, however the sharp little razor can definitely be felt. Shortly after her eight month birthday and only a single night of waking with some pain, I was the first to notice the invading incisor. Everyday it seems to be poking a little further above her gumline. I even got to brush it recently, using a special little tooth brush, which was kind of fun. She doesn’t seem to mind much either, making it even more fun.

8 month birthday

Also, since the last post, we celebrated our first Mother’s Day. Ali seemed to enjoy the day, which began with my anticipating both her and the baby with pancakes. Then she got to open her modest presents, a commemoratively inscribed picture frame and earrings with Hadley’s birthstone, two square-cut blue sapphires. Overall, it was a pleasant day. The weather was cooperative and later in the afternoon, we headed to the in-laws for a nice dinner.

Practicing Standing Mother's Day

A few weeks ago, Hadley attended her inaugural Boston Marathon on another day of wonderful weather, at least for the spectators. It may have got a bit warm for the runners. Still we retook seating at the base of Heartbreak Hill in Newton, near the two Johnny Kelly statues, after opting to miss last year’s event, as a result of monsoon-like conditions. Hadley is such a good sport it still astonishes me regularly. She is happy and relatively peaceful everywhere, so easygoing neither Ali nor I can hardly believe it. The marathon was no different. She ate lunch through the sirens of the police lead cars without a hitch and later took a nap during the applause for the tens of thousands of runners that passed.

At the Boston Marathon

Marathon Girls

Recently, Hadley finally got her first Red Sox cap, a veritable birthright for New Englanders everywhere. Thanks to Aunt Keri, Hadley is now sporting the essential local fashion accessory. We are feeling pretty good about it, considering how much charm she seemed to bring the Patriots, one game withstanding, wearing their garb. Plus, she will fit right in for our planned trip to see AAA farm team Pawtucket. She doesn’t seem to have quite the same interest in baseball that she had for football, but I blame late-night games.

Red Sox Cap

Lastly, we have begun taking Hadley to church, where she is all the rage. We figured if we were going to get her baptized, it made sense to find a church that appealed to both of us. Plus, Hadley needed a place to wear all those fancy dresses and the like that her Grandma keeps sending. We seem to have found one, although we garner a lot more attention than we expected in such a small congregation, especially with the cutest baby ever in our arms. Despite my strategically sitting on the aisle, ready to make a quick escape should Hadley begin to cry or get uncomfortable, she has yet to assist me. Having already mentioned her sweet nature, she rarely makes a peep and usually takes a nap in my arms. At least Ali lets me go to Dunkin’ Donuts after the service. We haven’t gotten comfortable enough to hang out for coffee hour and snacks just yet.

Showing off her dress

Here are even more photos from this month.

Hadley Meets Her First TV Celebrity

About a week ago, Ali and Keri got wind of a local appearance by TLC star carpenter Andrew Dan Jumbo. The girls were instantly giddy with the prospects that they would get to meet the Trading Spaces fabricator in the funny t-shirts. Little did I know that it was to be part of larger conspiracy that had both me and Hadley along for the ride.

Kickin' It in the Hat & Shades Me and Hadley

Amazingly, there was not nearly the throngs of people expected when we arrived at the furniture store that was hosting. So there we all were waiting in a rather short line to meet Dan Yojimbo, when the promotional team got a glimpse of the real star, Hadley. Instantly, a gaggle of young women were ogling and inquiring about our little girl. Ali answered all questions while I managed the little one and the girls waited in line. Ironically, Hadley and I became subjects of photos by the Andy Boy Bimbo staff. I didn’t even realize that until afterwards, when Ali and Keri mentioned it. So who was the celebrity? That’s the real question.

Had Ali liked this photograph below more, it likely would have been our Christmas picture. Mind you I am conspicuously absent.

Ali, Hadley, and Andrew

Despite my having a little fun with his name in this post, he was remarkably personable and friendly. The real name thing came from my never remembering it correctly when the girls first started mentioning wanting to go. Nevertheless, Andrew was really a nice guy and was in no hurry to move through the people that did come out to see him. The line did definitely pick up while we were there, but he chatted with everyone, took photos with people, and signed pictures promoting his new TLC show Take Home Handyman.

Hadley Flirting with Andrew

It was just kind of amusing how much Hadley stole the show, a little. Even Andrew was quite taken with her. He loved her name and spent a considerably longer time doodling and writing on his autographed photo for her. It was quite endearing actually. Sadly, he didn’t spend as much time with Keri, as she would have liked. That could have something to do with her degenerating into a giggling schoolgirl, but even that was cute. Keri’s ensemble matched so much you would have thought they called each other and coordinated, as the photo shows. The selection of proper to-shirt for the occasion was a key element for both Keri and Hadley, to appeal to Andrew Dan Jumbo’s love of the clever t-shirt.

Keri and TV Boyfriend