A Visit from She Who Would be Known as Voof

This past weekend brought with it a special treat, as my mother spent a few days visiting. While her primary concern was to see her lovely granddaughter, we all had a pretty wonderful time together. She was more than gracious while visiting and it proved to be an exceedingly nice trip overall.

Grandma, Son, and Granddaughter   Happy Family

Hadley grew quite taken with her grandma and even re-dubbed her with a new call sign,“Voof.” It was rather cute. She was particularly concerned that there was no Papa on the trip, as she seems to have already figured that both of my parents go together. It must be all that Skyping that we have been doing.

Brady Fan   Hadley and Voof - Concentrating   Hadley and Voof - Happy

Overall we had a great time, in spite of the almost never ending snowfall that added another blanket to New England. It limited our travel to some extent but made for a lot more time at home playing with Hadley, which seemed to suit everyone, especially Hadley and her Voof.

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!

Baptism and Baby Spoiling

Last weekend, we hosted the families for Hadley’s christening. It was great to have my parents in town for a few days. They arrived a bit early and we got to spend a couple of days with them. It was the first time they had been this way since right after Hadley was born.

The Baptism Crew

We had a great time in the run-up to baptism day. My dad helped me out with a few things around the house and my mom got to spend some quality time with her granddaughter. While grandma nearly held the baby in her arms the entire time, it turns out Hadley took quite a liking to grandpa. She hung on him chimp-like and even was seen taking a nap on his chest, not something she does with just anyone. The old man seemed to quite like her too.

Baptism Dress Old Man and Hadley

By Saturday, my brother, David, and his girlfriend, Micaela, arrived. Our pick-up was slightly delayed, after my dad and I took a detour to a puddle jumper airport just north of Providence, thanks to my mother’s iPhone GPS routing us to the wrong destination. Having never been to the Providence airport before, I was none the wiser until we approached the deserted airfield. Needless to say we got righted pretty quickly. Chalk one up for the old school paper maps. I am rock solid with those.

Gran Jan and Hadley

Ali, Hadley, and I finally got to meet Micaela which was a treat. She was home in Argentina when we were in Chicago for the holidays, so we missed her. She too adored Little Miss Hadley and immediately upon my mother’s departure invoked the newly coined term “Micaela Time.” Needless to say Hadley got plenty of cuddling and spoiling.

Grandparents at Baptism

The christening itself was quite nice. Uncle David and Aunt Keri were flawless as godparents. The baptism was rolled into a normal service and everything went off without a hitch. The minor exception was a knocked fan during Hadley’s presentation to the congregation. That made a bit of a racket briefly but was quickly subdued.

With the Minister

Apart from the service, we had a small gathering at the homestead, in spite of the oppressive heat and humidity, and occasional rain. It seems like we always have the best weather for our summer soirees. Our MA reception was probably the hottest day of that year, and this baptism day was one of the more uncomfortable one this yet this season.

Boston Skyline

We did get to spend a couple of extra days with my brother and Micaela before they returned home to Chicago. We all had a great time cruising around downtown Boston one day and up the North Shore the next. It was all great fun.

Faneuil Hall

Make Way for Ducklings

In Rockport