The Big Fall Wrap-up

Fred has set another personal record! His last Fritzwinkle posting was almost three months ago. The man has been busy. But when he’s not busy, or avoiding other work, he’s unwinding with some Playstation soccer. Our daughter knows the sight so well that she tells me, “Daddy watching soccer game.” She’s kind of a narc about Fred slacking.

Snowman Hat
Little toy

Lovin' the Leaves

A lot has happened since the end of September. For one thing our son is now five months old! He’s rolling over, eating rice cereal and jars of vegetables. Squash and green beans seem to be his favorites so far. He’s a big chunk of a boy, weighing over 18 pounds. He’s pretty solidly wearing nine-month sized clothes. It’s fun to remember what our girl was like at this age…and size, which are very different.

Checking the Candy

Our daughter has really been getting into the Christmas season. She is starting to enjoy all of the holidays, like her mother. Hmmmm…is there a connection? She started off by dressing up as the cutest witch in the world for Halloween. She walked from house to house trick-or-treating on our cul du sac. Then she really enjoyed getting to eat the candy she was given in her plastic pumpkin. As soon as she learned how to say, “Happy Halloween,” it was time to learn how to say “Happy Thanksgiving.” She picked this up much quicker. In the blink of an eye, we were packing up all signs of the fall holidays in order to make room for Christmas.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Letter to Santa

First Snowman

Our little girl got to mail a letter to Santa this year. She had watched some Christmas specials on TV, so she understood the concept. So after I went to vote in the primaries for our new Senator, we walked across to the big red mailbox that had the word “Santa” painted on the side. She posed for a few photos, and then gleefully dropped her letter into the box. Yesterday we actually got a letter back! She loves the Christmas tree, but has a really hard time not touching the ornaments. That’s understandable since she’s two years old. She’s enjoying eggnog – “This is really, really good!” – and opening a door on her Advent calendar every day after lunch. Her absolute favorite thing about Christmas so far is the music. She wants to listen to Christmas music all the time. Then she walks around singing Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Up on the Rooftop. We have several books with the words, so I can sing along correctly. I don’t know what she’s going to do in a few weeks. I’ll probably be listening to Christmas music for months.

All Dressed Up

I will take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays. Check back in early 2010 to see if Fred has made a New Year’s resolution to keep up with his fritzwinkle posts.

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.

A Rainy Day with Hadley

While I know that it has been quite some time since the last post, I thought it fitting to share another video of the little darling. She sure does love putting on all her gear to go out in the rain

I have some more footage to edit from her first trip to the zoo, but that will have to wait until summer vacation. The last couple of months have been a bit intense at school, a lot going on at the same time. Fortunately we’re in the home stretch.