Tardy, but fluttering

Corky Hat 1

I haven’t even written about the birth of my son yet. Owen will be 5 months old tomorrow and I haven’t typed one word.

(Owen, this in no way reflects how much I love you.)

(Sophie, don’t go thinking you are more important than your little brother.)

Is it silly to write about Owen’s birth? Maybe, but I will. I guess whatever facts remain memorable after 5 months are the important ones. I never went into too many details here about Sophie’s birth because it was horrific. Blindingly horrific. Not so with Owen’s. It was ideal in every way.

Final thoughts as my children came into this world:

With Sophie-This is the last push. I am either going to die or she’ll come out. Either way this pain will be over.

With Owen-Holy crap. I just launched him from my loins.

Owen’s birth was rather quick and it was painful, but only the you-know-it’s-supposed-to-feel-this-way kind of pain. I loved the nurses who cared for me and I swear I felt like I was in a bed and breakfast the entire time. (Just dial “chef” to order room service!) If ever you find yourself ready to have a baby in southern NH, I highly recommend the Monadnock Community Hospital.

There have now been three times in my life that my heart has completely filled and overflowed with love. When I returned home from the hospital, all I could do was look at Sophie and cry. She suddenly seemed so grown up. And in my arms I held my son.

It’s been 5 months and I’m already forgetting the torture of being up every hour for days on end. I vaguely recall feeling trapped in some kind of hopeless, sleepless, life-sucking place…but it’s fading. Now we mostly smile. We know how fortunate we are.

Owen couldn’t be sweeter. He is so easy and happy. He giggles and coos and makes funny baby noises at us. And have you seen those blue eyes? HE’S SO FREAKIN ADORABLE.

And Sophie…where do I even start? She’s our little pal. There were about 2 weeks that were rough after Owen was born. That really threw her for a loop and she sure let us know. But that has passed and she’s back to her amazing self. Making us proud every day.

We’ve spent the winter inside growing and tending to our little family. Now it’s Spring and it’s like we are coming out of a little cocoon. We’re happy and fluttering all over the place.

Funny Girl


Spring Sprung 001

There are still a few patches of snow on the ground, but spring is definitely here. And the best part of spring, too — we haven’t had much rain lately, so the ground is dry, and the tiny winged demons they call blackflies haven’t arrived yet. We get a few golden days to shake off our cabin fever and enjoy the great outdoors, so that’s what we did this weekend — we went to the park in Keene.

Going to the park probably sounds kind of ridiculous, given where we live, but hey, it was an adventure — and besides, the park is next to Starbucks, so it only made sense to stop in and get some iced coffee for our stroll. Highs in the mid-70s, clear blue skies…it was a perfect day.

Sprung 048
Sprung 101

Later, we headed over to the Stoddard school so Sophie could experience the playground. Historically, she’s never been a very physical girl — she’s always been more likely to hang back and watch things rather than climbing on them — but she’s coming into her own.

Sprung 143

I recently read A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically — a Christmas gift from my parents — and aside from frequently laughing out loud and learning a bunch, I was inspired to swear off work one day a week. I used to work a half day on Saturday and pretty much the whole day Sunday, but for the last two weeks, I’ve practiced my own version of Shabbat on Saturday — the computers go off Friday night and don’t go back on until Sunday morning. I look forward to an entire summer of Saturday adventures.


Offspring 014

What? Quit looking at me that way. You think I don’t know how long it’s been? Believe me, I know. Don’t you judge me.

So anyway, yes, I’d planned on posting like sixteen updates between this one and the last one, but obviously, it totally didn’t work out that way. Part of the problem: I was working a lot, on account of Leah being on extended (read: unpaid) maternity leave, and seeing as how “work” for me means “lots of writing,” I have generally tended to find myself without additional words after punching out at the end of the day.

But that’s just an excuse, and excuses aren’t for daddies, even daddies whose fingers are numb from typing and who might find it a little easier to capture parenthood’s neverending succession of precious frigging moments if maybe, once in awhile, the children would go to bed at night and actually stay asleep.

But I digress. Spring is in the air and it’s out with the old, in with the new! I have resolved to work less, play more, and do a better job of making sure we have a written record of all the pint-sized cuteness happening here on a regular basis. Witness the exchange that took place last night, as I was saying goodnight to Sophie:

Sophie: I’m going to sleep all night tonight.

Me: You are?

Sophie: Yes. Will you be happy?

Me: Oh, honey. I’m always happy. I have a perfect girl and a perfect boy, and your mom is perfect too. And look where we live! What is there not to be happy about?

Sophie: Would you be happy if I punched you in the eye?

I swear this conversation happened exactly as I have written it. My verbal little girl is going to be quite the terror in school — she can identify all the letters of the alphabet, knows her left from her right, and is prone to mangling adult speech with wonderful phrases like “the fact of the matter all” (as in: “Sophie, I don’t want you to play with that.” “The fact of the matter all, Mom, I’m going to do it anyway”).

As for our little man, well, he could sleep better than he does, but he’s very easy to put in the crib, and is, overall, the mellowest, happiest, giggliest baby I think I’ve ever seen. Sophie was always very serious and quiet:


Whereas her little brother is always smiling and laughing/screeching like a parakeet:

Smiling Boy 2

This dynamic, needless to say, will be fun to watch develop.

Oh, and speaking of child relations, we’ve been very fortunate; Sophie is always very gentle and sweet with Owen. We had a few weeks where we were worried about her behavior, but her outbursts were always directed at adults — and they seem to have been cured by the tried-and-true Calendar Sticker System. Not only that, she seems to be weaning herself off diapers — due in no small part to the arrival of a bunch of Ariel the Little Mermaid undies, courtesy of her Mimi Cheri, which cannot be worn until Sophie’s had a solid week of dry diapers. (We are, as of this moment, midway through Day 2.)

So there you have it: Everything I can remember from the last four months. The next update will have to come faster…right?


Here’s our blog timeline for 2007:

February: We find out Leah’s pregnant.
March-July: We hold off on posting about it here, first because we’re waiting out the three-month superstition, then because we’re lazy.
August-September: The company that had been hosting Screaming Little Person — along with every other site under the Grab Bag Design umbrella — went belly up without notice, leaving all our data stranded on inaccessible servers.
October: Through the valiant efforts of Rahul, all the old SLP posts are rescued.
October 20: Sophie turns two.
November: At 9 P.M. on November 21, Sophie’s little brother is born. Owen James weighs 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and measures 20 1/2″ inches.

Here he is!

Up Close Owen 006

So now it’s December 8th. Why am I just posting about it now, you might be asking, to which I grumpily reply that you must not have kids of your own.

I laugh at people who say they miss having a baby in the house. You want a baby in the house? You can have this one. I feel like I should warn you, though, that I’m pretty sure he’s trying to kill us. It started out as just kind of a hunch, but the older he gets, the more certain I am. Once he’s a little more ambulatory, I fully expect to wake up in the middle of the night and find him standing over me, ready to plunge a butter knife into my ear, like Gage from Pet Sematary. I haven’t started a college fund for him yet, because I’m afraid he’ll find out and push me in front of a bus to get it.

Leah thinks he’s cute. This is an example of how differently people deal with sleep deprivation.

Sophie, for her part, has dealt with our new arrival wonderfully. Aside from one morning when she announced to everyone in the kitchen that “that thing in the swing” was “bothering” her, she’s had very few moments of the kind of post-sibling freakouts we were bracing ourselves for. She’s always kissing him, or announcing that she loves him, or sleeping through the night. Oh God, how I love it when she sleeps through the night.

Sophie and Owen 014

Leah’s mom has been with us since about a week before Owen was born, and I cannot possibly overstate how many times she’s saved our collective ass. She’s going home today. I don’t want to talk about it.


It’s my intention to make Saturday my Screaming Little Person posting day from here on out — our time to talk about what our little Persons have been up to. I’m working on a pair of videos — one for Sophie’s second birthday, one for Owen’s arrival — but it’s slow going. Maybe next week, if I can broker some sort of truce with my son. Wish me luck.