Another Summer Ends, Another Autumn Begins

As if the last day of summer rang a bell for the seasons, New England is already beginning to show its fall colors. The leaves are just now visibly changing, speckling the green with red, yellow, and orange. We have had a couple of sharp, biting cool nights which usually helps make for a beautiful autumn.

Of course autumn signals the start of football season, and the indoctrination process has long since begun. Of course soccer has started across Europe too. Plus, more games than ever are now on ESPN. I am loving it.

Go Pats! Cutest Pats Fans

School has gotten off to a good start this year, at least more noticeably than the typical first month. The only real trouble is that our computer network has rendered the internet almost unusable, which significantly impacts the day. Yet, I have been able to work round this for the most part. It is just mighty inconvenient, especially now that three out of the five classes I am teaching rely heavily on regular internet components, one is exclusively online, one is half online, and the other will spend half this term involved in a project that is almost exclusively online. Despite all of this, I am very much enjoying the classes and it looks to be a good year.

In His Grill

On the soccer front, my team of freshmen girls look like they are about to start really making progress and getting results. It is still a bit early to tell for sure, but the early indications are good. Their last game was the best they’ve played yet.

Ali continues to be a remarkable mother of our beautiful children. Fritz is really starting to reveal his personality now that he is smiling and cooing. He definitely has quite the expressive little face, in spite of his Chuchillesque cheeks. His expressiveness seems to be focused in the brow and mouth, as opposed to the eyes like his sister. Sadly, the photographs don’t quite capture this as well as video. As for Hadley, she continues to talk away with enthusiasm. If only she would do more of it when prompted by the phone. Then everyone could hear her little chipmunk voice cuteness.

Hopefully, the videos reveal a bit more about each of them that a simple photograph can’t quite capture.

Everything has Compounded

After capturing our first child’s birth two years ago in writing, I was feeling a whole lot of pressure to repeat things this time around. So I’ve waited, far too long, in hopes of better seizing the moment of our newest child’s birth. Well, here goes.

Nearly two years ago our daughter Hadley burst into the world as the sun broke across the morning sky. Instantly overloaded, everything I felt was raw and new. With my wife’s latest pregnancy, this time our preparation was even better. However, the moment when her labor was to begin remained wildly unpredictable. So recently, as I rose on a Thursday, near dawn with a full day’s schedule ahead of me, the last thing I expected was the new round of surprises awaiting me. In fact, the previous day I had accompanied my wife to her now weekly doctor’s appointment, reinforcing my certainty that labor was still some time to come – a week or so, the doctor and I surmised. However, as Ali cautioned my departure, incredulous that I was to spend the better part of the day over thirty-five miles from home, she followed with the quintessentially on-cue declaration, “You’re not going anywhere, because I think my water just broke.” With that statement, we entered our own peculiarly new phase. It was all remarkably familiar but diametrically different.

Last time our baby was born in the morning. This time the sun descended across Boston, nearing the golden hour of soft shadows and gilded gables. Again, Ali proved brilliant, delivering a blessed baby boy. Our son entered the world at 5:01 PM, on July 16, an instant namesake, triggering a whole new round of emotional tumult, again paradoxically familiar yet strange. The memorable gush I experienced during our daughter’s birth was stopped in seconds after on this evening. There were no instant cries of new life, but the briefest stay on Ali’s chest before being swiped for a support team of physicians. Following delivery, commotion and cacophony. Our baby boy’s face was the color of blueberry.

Fear and anxiety filled me as I waited for his first scream. Before I realized, I left Ali’s bedside, finding our newborn in the warmer, now screaming, with a new doctor cooing over him, accompanied by a team of other doctors and nurses, all assuring me that everything was alright. “It is only bruising,” she said in a rich Italian accent, “but we wanted to be sure.” As a result of the speed and force of delivery, his face bruised. Yet upon seeing a violet faced newborn a sequence of actions were immediately set in motion to ensure that he had not been deprived of oxygen. As a nurse would later explain, “We have a lot of resources at this hospital, so we like to use them.” In a blur, the little lad was wrapped and safely back in mother’s arms and the beautiful scene was slowly returning. The blueberry shade would fade quickly, revealing his handsomeness. It was all too much, again, but in such a different way from last time.

Minutes Old with Mom

Fritz, Ali’s honored nod to a family nickname, stirs something far below the surface. When I was a boy, my grandfather nicknamed me Fritz, as he too had been called when he was a boy. My nickname would later morph into Fritzwinkle, where the winkle came from I know not. Now, we had our own little Fritz, bringing with him more nuanced complications and complexities that I am still trying to understand. Yet, now I have a son, a namesake even, and he is a fantastic addition to our family. I only wish the first Fritz were here to see him.

Still Waiting

Much to Ali’s chagrin our newest member is still in utero. Of course, it is now about as active as it might be on the outside, which leaves my poor wife feeling as though the baby is trying to make break for it out the side of her abdomen or perhaps through her belly button. Still, not even the hint of a contraction, though I suspect that labor will begin within a week or so.

Here are some updated pics of the little nugget though. You can see part of the face in this close-up, a nose and mouth.

Nugget's mouth 35 weeks

We have been trying to prepare Hadley for the arrival of her new sibling, but we are pretty sure she doesn’t get it completely just yet. She is, however, very fond of patting Ali’s belly and saying, “Baby Nunnet.”

Hugging Nugget Rainy Golfer

In the interim, summer has finally arrived in Massachusetts. The days of rain for the most part have given way to a string of lovely sunny days. Hadley and Ali have had multiple chances to head to the local beach and enjoy the sand and lake. Additionally, we all walked downtown for Hadley’s first foray into the children’s wading pool, which Hadley eventually began to enjoy.

Staying Cool Adidas Outfit

New Shades Uck Hands

I have been working way too much, especially in Ali’s eyes. Yet, with a new class to plan and a revamping of another, in addition to all the sideline projects, I have been logging a lot of computer time. Only recently have I been earnestly getting some of the household projects going. However, I am beginning to make some progress on all fronts, which is good all around.

Building Sand Castles

More news to come for sure