New Year and a Winter’s Birthday

The new year continues to take New England by storm, as below. Every few days more snow arrives, a few inches with each fall. While it might warm slightly and possibly mix with rain or dangerous ice, the few new inches continue to insure that we are never without a proper, downy, winter blanket.

Cars to Clean   More Snow in the Neighborhood

Smiles for the Camera

This weekend marked the celebration of my birthday. It is the kind of birthday observed scenario that MLK gets to ensure that everyone gets a Monday holiday. Since mine, this year, falls on a Tuesday, it seemed best to engage in the traditional eating of Italian beef sandwiches when my lovely wife, Ali, and her sister Keri (otherwise now known as Aunt “E!”) could both be present to share in the imported succulence of that Chicago delicacy. Of course we also had a traditional ice-cream cake. Hadley certainly enjoys that newer tradition perhaps most of all.

Preparing the Beef   Preparing the Sandwich   Get a Load of That Beef   Help from Hadley

As one might expect of Daddy’s girl, she is rather fond of the ice-cream. I think it would be safe to say we have discovered that eggnog flavor might be her favorite, but she was more than willing to knock down more than a fair share of the chocolate and vanilla layers of my birthday dish.

Ice-Cream Cake   Presentation of Birthday CakeBlowing Candles   Mmmm - Hadley Enjoying Ice-Cream Cake

The women in my life were wonderful to me, also presenting me with an array of wonderful gifts. My lovely Aunt sent me a shirt and some sweets, ingeniously wrapped in a puppy print paper. It was as if she knew that would keep Hadley interested. My wife and daughter gave me some great DVDs and my sister-in-law provided the Red Sox garb. All fantastic! The whole evening was great.

Opening Gifts from Afar   Daddy, Puppies!   Gift - Shirt   Gift - Red Sox

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!

Summer is Nearly Upon Us

June arrived with Hadley’s nine month birthday, a milestone of sorts, proving to be the harbinger of even more to come. It was as if Hadley heard Ali give our pediatrician the rundown of what our little girl was and was not doing. Nearly everything the doctor asked to which Ali replied, “Almost, but not yet.” Hadley began doing after the appointment. It is rather amusing, actually. All of a sudden, she began feeding herself small finger foods and pulling herself up into a standing position for example.

Nine-month Birthday   Second Stand EVER!

Since then there has been no rest for the wicked, as Hadley requires absolute attention to ward off the occasional head bonking from dangerous and fearless climbs. Now she is really getting into everything and always in danger of pulling a serious header. At least she isn’t at full speed crawling, so we can catch her pretty quickly. We can only imagine what it will be like when she starts walking.

First Pull Up in the Crib   Batgirl

June also brought a monstrous heat, one in which we still find ourselves. As luck would have it, Aunt Keri had already prepared her niece with her first pool, as seen below. Being a bath lover, Hadley certainly enjoys herself splashing in the shade.

Cool in the Pool

Click here for some more pics.