It’s a new year for the new guy!

1-19-18Happy New Year everybody!! Better late than never, and we are back to review the little guy’s first Christmas and New Years, and to talk about how the year ended and the new one is beginning for baby Andrew.

I would love to know what must have been going through Andrew’s mind all through the Christmas season. Trees in the house! Lights all over the place! Glowing candy canes in the yard! Some big old guy in a beard and red suit! People tearing into boxes!

No matter what he thought, Andrew took it all in with a smile (and in style, with the many cute little holiday outfits that Mommy picked out for him). I’m sure Andrew didn’t know or understand what was going on Christmas morning, but he ended up right in the middle of it all. He had his own presents to open (with a little help), and he looked generally happy with everything that was happening. My favorite moment, was at one point in the morning, as everyone was exchanging and tearing into gifts, there was Andrew, lying on the rug in the middle of it all, half covered in wrapping paper, waving his arms and legs around and grinning as big as could be. That’s the spirit of Christmas right there.

As for New Years, Andrew didn’t really get to experience a whole lot of that celebration. We spent the evening relaxing with friends of ours, and Andrew made it until about 8 or so, and then it was off to bed. So we made sure to wish him Happy New Year before it was off to sleep. Once you are a little older, we’ll teach you a little more about that holiday, buddy. Even though he was only here for about half the year, Andrew definitely made the most of 2017!

Then it was on to 2018, and Andrew had some big plans. Right at the beginning of the year, we had a big trip planned to Alabama for Andrew to meet some relatives from Mommy’s family. Little did we know that Mother Nature had different plans, and we woke up to a winter storm and cancelled flights. No worries! We piled into our family hauler and hit the road south. it was only 15 hours, straight through overnight, how hard could that be with a baby and a 10-year old (brother Ben and Maggie’s mom were also along for the ride)?

I turns out, not hard at all! Andrew slept for most of the trip and left the driving to his Mom and Dad. The roads were pretty clear, and we were in Alabama before Andrew even knew what happened. And that’s when Andrew became the center of attention for the next several days. Maggie’s family ate the little guy up, and he spent the whole trip being passed around, cuddled and held, grinning the whole time. The highlight was a party that was thrown for Andrew, and saw a large number of relatives travel from miles around to say hi to the little dude. We had a really fun time down south, and while at first we thought we were a little crazy for attempting the drive, it turned out to be the best decision, as it gave us more time to spend and make memories with our relatives.

A new year is also bringing all sorts of new changes and firsts for baby Andrew. It’s hard to believe that just last week he turned 6 months old! Since my last post, Andrew has started eating some solid foods. So far, we can report that he really likes apples and sweet potatoes, but is not a big fan of peas or asparagus. He keeps getting stronger every day, rolling over easily, and sometimes sitting up on his own for a few seconds. Mostly, you can see the changes in his reactions to things. It’s not uncommon to get some belly laughs, some silly glances, and always a big smile out of Andrew when playing with him. He is reaching for things, grabbing, exploring (sometimes your face along with his toys). And we believe there is a first tooth making its way through.

So it’s on into the new year for Andrew, with many more firsts on the way. he is such a happy little guy, and brings so much joy into all of our lives. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for him, and I will be sure to share it with all of you, as well (and hopefully more often, as that is one of my new year’s resolutions!)

 

Advertisements

First Christmas, here we come!

12-11-17Baby Andrew has had quite the first few months! After what mist have only been total confusion from his first experience of Halloween, Andrew was quickly dropped into Thanksgiving. The little guy had quite the time smiling and visiting with the family. Andrew seems to really enjoy having people around, so he was more than happy to be held and played with by any relatives that were willing. Unfortunately, his big feast only consisted of bottles, but next year will be a different story.

Andrew has quickly adapted to day care, making new friends with the young and old alike. He has some new little buddies who he pals around with, and I think he has won over all of the ladies who work there with his constant smiling and cuteness. Even on his bad days when he is feeling a bit under the weather, the little man always can be counted on to flash a big smile to anyone nearby. He is truly one of the happiest babies I have been around, even if I am a little biased.

One negative of daycare has been all of the fun new germs that Andrew brings home to share. One reason we haven’t posted more recently is that we have been busy passing the same series of colds around the house to each other. I’ve lost count of the number of times that he has actually sneezed or coughed directly into my face, but I still can’t get out of the way in time when it happens. The poor little guy has had a lot of congestion and coughing, keeping him and us up at night. We’re hoping he is finally on the mend, but its made for some very tired parents.

But even with he frequent colds, Andrew has been growing and trying new things at an alarming rate. Just recently he got the OK to try some solid foods. So far, he seems to like sweet potatoes (a lot!), and cereal….but not so much peas. He still happens to get most of it all over his face, but for the most part he looks like he is enjoying what he is actually eating. He has also started using the stand-up excel-saucers at home and at day care, and is getting a lot better and grabbing things. He especially likes to take his pacifier out of his mouth, but needs to work a little more on putting it back in. But whatever Andrew is up to, he’s usually doing it with a big smile on his face.

That smile has been showing up all the more often as we move into the Christmas season. He seemed surprised to wake up one morning to a giant tree filled with lights smack dab in the middle of his living room. I’m sure its even more perplexing as to why there are now strings of lights stuck all over the outside of the house. But when it came to meeting Santa Claus for the first time, Andrew was right at home. We took him and his big brother to see Santa at the local mall. Ben sat down next to Santa, and we stuck Andrew in Santa’s arms as we stepped back, waiting to see his reaction. Of course, Andrew just sat there with a huge smile, even while we had to wait for them to fix some things with their camera. I was on pins and needles, waiting for the little guy to get upset before they could snap a good photo. But no, he just sat there with a big grin, cool as could be! Nothing seems to phase this kid.

I think we all are looking forward to seeing that cute little smile in the coming weeks as Christmas approaches. None may be more excited than big brother Ben, who is anxious to show his little brother all about this favorite time of year. It will be extra special for us all to share it with Andrew for the first time, so be sure to check back here for a full report on the festivities!

Baptism, Halloween and daycare: October was a busy month!

11-9-17Welcome back to the world of all things Andrew! It’s been quite a month for this little guy, and I’ll try to catch you all up. First of all, I have a ton of new photos posted that you can see by clicking here. Now, onto the fun!

On a Sunday earlier this month, Andrew had a big day as he was baptized in the Catholic church. The picture here shows him wearing the same baptism outfit that I wore as a Baby (thanks to Nana for saving it). Andre’s Aunt and Uncle stood by as his Godparents, and both sets of grandparents were in attendance, along with cousin Eleanor and big brother Ben who was super proud of his little sibling. It was definitely a blessed day, and Andrew did great taking it all in without freaking out during the service.

Besides growing at a crazy rate, and learning to do some new things (like rolling over on his own), Andrew also had some first experiences. First up was Halloween. For his first holiday, Andrew dressed up as the Cat in the Hat, while Mommy and Daddy went as Thing 1 and Thing 2 (you can see photos of all of us, including secret agent brother Ben, in the photo link above). Andrew even came along trick or treating with Ben and his friends. He looked a little confused at everyone being dressed up so silly, and he was probably wondering why we were knocking on so many doors. But, he certainly was comfy in his extra fuzzy costume, and didn’t even complain about the hood/hat piece that went over his head. All in all, I think Andrew’s first Halloween was a success, even if he may have just been happily confused about what was going on!

The next big first for Andrew was his first trip to daycare. The time finally came for Mommy to head back to work, meaning Andrew was headed to some new friends and new experiences at his daycare. To say he did better than Mommy and Daddy would be an understatement. While we were both sad to hand him over to others and to not get to see as much of him, Andrew was all smiles and seems to be having a blast during his new weekday routine. The little guy quickly won everyone at the daycare over with his smiles and happy-go-lucky attitude. He was even flashing grins at the other babies and toddlers that he shares a room with. I think Mommy and I are slowly getting used to the new reality that Andrew will be spending so much time there, now, we are just struggling with figuring out when everything is supposed to get done around the house!

And finally, today we also take a moment to celebrate that one year ago today, the story of Andrew officially began (although Mommy and Daddy had already gone through many chapters leading up to the day). This day last November was Maggie’s implantation day, and I guess you can say the rest his history, and still being written. So thanks for following along as we continue Andrew’s story! And be sure to check out those new photos right here!

 

10 Weeks of Summer

10-9-17
I wanted to post here again sooner, but I’ve spent the last two weeks returning to work and trying to get back into the routine of things. It’s been a challenge, to say the least, and not just for me. Mommy has found herself home alone with the little guy, without any back-up. And not too long from now, it will be yet another adjustment as we will both be back at work, and Andrew begins daycare. It all seems to be happening way too fast (and I know from experience that it doesn’t slow down). It doesn’t seem possible that Andrew will be coming up on 3-months before we know it.

I find myself thinking back to the afternoon that Maggie came home from work, her water breaking there just days before she was to be on leave (and two weeks ahead of the due date). The rush to the hospital, the hours spent waiting for a room, with contractions getting stronger and more painful. It’s funny how it almost doesn’t feel real, like it was a movie we both watched, but it wasn’t really that long ago. I recall giving family updates every so often, and talking to Ben and telling him to get ready to be a big brother. There was that long night of anticipation in our labor room, a constant flow of doctors and nurses, Maggie hanging in there like a trooper despite all of the pain and the machines hooked up to her. And then finally, morning, and the pushing (and the pushing, and the pushing…for hours) until we realized we were going to meet Andrew in a different way than we had anticipated.

I remember being alone for the first time in hours, putting scrubs on as they carted Maggie off to the operating room to prep her. Texting parents and friends, praying that she was OK in there and not too scared. And then finally being called in by the doctors, and finding my way to her side again. And then just like that, Andrew was here! We could hear his cries on the other side of the operating curtain, and I was able to go around and see him for the first time, so little and squirming as they cleaned him up, before finally bringing him around to meet his mom (and that look on her face when she saw him for the first time).

Things were a bit of a blur from there. Andrew went down to the specialty nursery just for some precautions, and I remember making numerous trips to bring the family in to meet him, but the most memorable was bringing Ben in to meet his little brother for the first time. Andrew was under heat lamps and hooked up to monitors, so we couldn’t hold him just yet, but Ben was beaming just to stand there and look at the little guy. We made many trips back down to that nursery, wheeling mommy in her bed to visit as soon as possible, and later several late night trips in the wheel chair, dragging machines and monitoring equipment with us, all in the effort to get an early start on breast feeding.

The hospital stay was full of visits from loved ones, long nights once Andrew could stay in the room with us, exhaustion, even a few instances where I forgot I could actually leave the hospital if needed (you get so used to being in that room for days on end, you forget there is a whole world going on right outside). And then just like that, we were strapping the new guy into his car seat and driving home, happy and a bit terrified to now be on our own. It helped to be greeted with signs and decorations, especially the big one in the entry way that Ben had created by hand to welcome home his little brother.

Between then and now, there have been so many moments and firsts. Crazy diaper changing stories, first trips to the doctor, late nights, cuddles, watching the pets greet their new sibling.  Maggie and I were blessed to both have extended time off from work during this time, and with Ben’s school still weeks away from starting, the four of us really had a special time to bond together. Ben was glued to his brother whenever he was over, always wanting to hold him, watch him, even changing diapers. Maggie and I navigated the struggles of finding sleep whenever you can, trying to manage baby and house and Ben and pets. There were first walks, first trips with the baby out to eat, first visits to the grandparents. First times getting peed on, first times of calling for back-up to change a really messy diaper.

That special time started to come to an end in stages, beginning with celebrating Ben’s last day of summer and helping him get ready as school started again. The time seems to have passed so quickly that it was a shock when all of a sudden some of Andrew’s newborn outfits were getting a little tight on him. Car seats needed to be adjusted for the growing baby. He was now holding his head up much longer on his own, and flashing big smiles, and even sleeping longer into the night (sometimes). Before we knew it, football was back, along with soccer practices, back to school night.  And then two weeks ago, it was time to kiss Maggie and the little guy good bye for the day as I headed back to work.

And now here we are. I know all of the above really happened, even if it feels a bit like another life looking back on it all. I’ll never forget all of it, but everything keeps moving forward, and those first few weeks with Andrew seem so long ago. And we just keep barreling on, with Andrew’s first holidays quickly approaching, the start of day care, his 3-month birthday. It’s relentless. So whenever things get a little too fast, or hectic, or stressful, I’m going to need to remember to take a deep breath, and just for a moment let myself go back to that special time that we had together as a new family.

It has been the most amazing experience and I look forward to each and every new day. The time really does go by so quickly, and the moments that pass are unique and will never be able to be repeated. Babies grow up, things change, we all get older. But I take comfort in knowing that no matter how far down the path of time we all travel, we will always have and remember those 10 weeks of summer together.

 

Happy 2 Months, Andrew!

9-13-17
Two months!? How can it be? But it’s true, two months ago yesterday, this little guy came into our life, and its been a whirlwind since. (You can click here for some photos of Andrew over the last month). Mommy and Daddy are still trying to figure out when we are supposed to sleep (Andrew has decided he sleeps whenever he likes, and not in any sort of identifiable pattern). We are also running out of time, as Daddy has one more full week at home until it is back to work, while Mommy has a bit longer. Already , we are unsure how everything is supposed to get done! But, its all worth it when this little guy is smiling up at you, cuddled in your arms.

Andrew has started giving us a little peek at what his personality may be like.For one thing, he is very expressive, making all sort of faces, trying to show us how he feels..whether its happy, surprised, angry, silly. If you get in his face for long enough, the odds are that he will give you some sort of reaction that makes you smile. Whether its tummy time, or laying on his back on the play mat, Andrew will let you know when he is having fun, and there will be no doubt exactly when he stops having fun! He has even started waving his arms around trying to reach and grab for some of the toys.

There have also been a few tears shed, as Andrew has already moved on from many of his newborn outfits. It was a sad day when we realized some of his cuter ensembles were already past their time. It’s funny how something as simple as the baby out growing clothes could trigger all sorts of deep reflections about everything else that we wouldn’t experience with him any more as he grows: bringing him home for the first time, that first bath, holding him those early days when he was so impossibly little, seeing him smile for the first time. Its all happening so fast, and he is changing and growing so quickly…. and it will only accelerate.

One thing is for sure, I know both I and Maggie have treasured this special time that we have been able to spend with him, away from work and everything else. Over all it has gone by in a flash, but there have been some days and nights that seemed to stretch on forever. Through it all I’ve just tried to enjoy and remember every minute with the little guy.

And somehow here we are, bringing him to the doctor today for his 2-month check-up, where Andrew will get his first shots, which I expect to be a little traumatizing (for Mommy…I’m pretty sure Andrew will handle it with flying colors). We’ll find out just how much he has grown. As the seasons change from summer to fall, our lives are also undergoing a number of changes as Ben heads back to school, and the return to work is looming. Football season is upon us, and while we still aren’t sure where Andrew’s allegiance will ultimately lie, for the first week of the season he was good luck to both the Eagles and the Steelers. And I can say with confidence that he will be a Penn State fan, as I got to spend an afternoon relaxing on the couch and watching the game with him this past Saturday. We look forward to taking him to pick his first pumpkin, and then it will be his first Thanksgiving, and before you know it, it will be time for pictures with Santa. It’s all going to happen fast.

For now, I’m going to try to push a lot of those thoughts from my head, and just sit here and hold him and convince myself that he can just stay like this forever, curled up in my arms and sleeping away peacefully.  I’ll smile and pretend that….until he wakes up hungry and crying…then its right back into that rush of reality!

Happy two months Andrew, it’s two months none of us will ever forget, and we will always cherish!

Into the Wild

9-1-17Welcome back to all things Andrew! It’s been an exciting couple of weeks as Mommy and Daddy have grown adventurous and taken little Andrew on a few road trips. But first, a few updates from every day life with the little guy.

Andrew has been packing on the weight, and growing every day. He is much more responsive, giving you little smiles and tracking you with his eyes when you play or talk to him. We’re still trying to figure out a sleep schedule that works for everyone (specifically Mommy and Daddy!), but we’ll get there. Sadly, some of his new-born size outfits are already too tight. I’m not really sure where the last 7 weeks have gone!

Our first big trip was to the Ocean City boardwalk, with big brother Ben and cousin Ryan. Since we are missing our annual family beach trip this year (due to a sudden influx of newborns in the family!), we decided it would be nice to at least get a little taste of being down the shore. It’s pretty funny how things change with a baby in tow, as we made it a grand total of about 6 blocks on the boardwalk over several hours! In that time, we stopped in a few stores, had some dinner, played some video games, rode some rides, bought some fudge, and called it a night. It actually went pretty smoothly, said from Andrew deciding to have a huge diaper blow out in the middle of the amusement pier. (I apologize to the people sitting at the table next to us as we had to change that nightmare!) All in all, it was a short but fun trip. Ben even insisted on getting some sand to rub on his brothers feet (and drop into his car seat), to commemorate his first trip to the beach.

Our next big adventure was a trip to the zoo with brother Ben and Nana. Andrew slept most of the way over and as we entered the zoo, so it was pretty hilarious to watch him wake up in the middle of the zoo, looking wide-eyed and a little confused. I’m not sure how much Andrew saw, but there were a lot of animals out and about, and the weather was great. We even met up with Aunt Devon and cousin Eleanor for a little bit while we were there. Unlike on the boardwalk, we avoided and major diaper incidents here, and made it through the trip relatively pain-free. I have a lot of memories of bringing Ben to the zoo, so it will be fun bringing Andrew back as he gets older and can take more of it in.

Finally, our most recent adventure was up to my office to visit my co-workers and introduce them to Andrew. It was fun to see everyone and hang out for a bit, and Andrew was wide awake to say hello. I’m the only one with kids on my team, so I’m not sure they totally understand what life has been like for me the past month or so. Andrew gave them a little preview when he made a huge, loud, wet mess in front of all of them. The looks on their faces was priceless! Besides the messy diaper, it was a fun trip, and Andrew did great on the car ride up and back.

This weekend, Andrew gets to meet a lot more family for the first time, and we will help brother Ben wind down his summer and get back to school. So as usual, there is a lot going on, and we’ll be sure to cover it all right here!

Happy 1 month Andrew!

8-13-17Being at home with a newborn can really warp your sense of time. Yesterday marked Andrew’s 1-month birthday in this world, and I can’t decide if that time went by impossibly fast, or if it feels like he has been here three times as long.  With the days and nights blending into a never-ending pattern of feed, diaper change, sleep (if you are lucky) and repeat, it can be hard to even know what day you are on. But no matter how tiring or confusing, I know we wouldn’t trade this time with Andrew for anything.

Andrew has had quite the first month. Like most babies, he clearly loves to eat, and he doesn’t have much patience while you get ready for him. He also makes Daddy proud with his loud a numerous farts after a good meal. We are getting to the point where I can almost blame my gas on him and you might seriously question who really dealt it. Pooping and peeing are also favorite pastimes of Andrew. So far, Daddy may have been peed on the most, and I also have had an infamous incident where poop shot onto the floor, but I’ll leave the details to your imagination!

When he isn’t eating, or clearing room to eat more, Andrew is quite the cuddle bug. He loves being held, and lucky for us, seems to be able to sleep through all sorts of noises, like the dog barking, people talking loudly, or whatever else is going on around him (I’m thinking he may get this trait from his Dad, as I also am apparently able to sleep through all of his crying!) He especially seems to like cuddle time with his big brother.

While we have spent most of our time in the house, Andrew has been out on several adventures. We have taken a trip to one of Ben’s soccer games, had a stroll through the mall, paid both sets of grandparents several visits, and gone on a few walks with the dog. While he may fuss getting put into his carrier seat, once he is in there, Andrew seems to just sit back and enjoy the ride, whether it be in his stroller or in the car. Here’s hoping the trick of taking him for a drive to get him to fall asleep for a nap will work in the future (this was a favorite of mine with Ben. I invited him on countless trips to the mall, when in fact we would just end up driving a few blocks until he passed out and then returned home!)

We have also had our first bath times, tummy times, time with cousin Eleanor, and visits with numerous friends. Mommy has been a trooper with the breast feeding, making sure little man stays full and is growing. There have been a lot of late nights, early mornings, tears of joy and exhaustion and just plain tears for no reason that we can discern at all sometimes. The past month has seen big changes for all of us, with Maggie becoming a new mom, Ben becoming a big brother, me relearning how to care for a newborn, and even for Shadow, our loving dog. He seemed confused by Andrew at first, but now seems to have adopted him as the newest member of the pack. Whenever the baby cries, Shadow is quick to come to his side, and try to lick and comfort him however he can.

It’s hard to believe that all this has happened in just one month. It’s equally as hard to believe that it has only been one month, as it feels like we have known this little guy forever.So happy 1-month Andrew, you have already made quite the impression on this world and in our lives. I would say that you (and we) are off to a great start!

Thanks for following along so far, and be sure to check back on the home page, here, to learn how to sign up for email updates, navigate through the archives and browse through new photo pages as they are uploaded!