Celebrations, and other things…

Good afternoon, readers,
We are slowly reaching Eloise’s one month birthday. In those short few weeks since she’s been born, many things have happened, with sleep being the lowest on the list. But I yawn, and digress…

One is Frances and the other Eloise... Can you tell the difference?
One is Frances and the other Eloise... Can you tell the difference?

Let’s catch up, shall we? First of all, after Eloise was born, Annie and I looked at each other, nodded, and said goodbye to any hope of a good night’s sleep for awhile. We were sad to see it go, and hope it returns again someday. In its place? Coffee… Lots and lots of caffeinated coffee.

Anyway, where was I? New baby… that’s right. To help out a bit, my parents made another trek across the country to see us. This time it was in a 2011 Ford, not a 1930’s Model A Ford. And this time it was straight here, and not to Alaska and back.

They were a great help. My dad and I concentrated on things to do around the house… Oh, did I mention we moved? In Annie’s last month of pregnancy we got a wild hair to buy a new house. I won’t bore you with details, but we stumbled upon a great opportunity, and couldn’t pass it up. We are now just a few blocks from Annie’s parents in Hughson. We still have our other house, and no, we didn’t move because we couldn’t make the payments. We are both in the black, and with this new opportunity we have a chance to rent the old house and make a little on the side. Win, win.

But then we had a new house that we needed to move into. Crap, was that not fun. You can’t imagine just how much stuff you acquire when you think you’ve settled down for good. So here we were, a month from a new baby, and me and Annie’s brother single-handedly moving an entire house across town by ourselves. Fun, fun. Thanks, John. Without your help we would still be moving… It took us little by little, but we are finally in the new home, and we love it. It’s bigger and the floor plan is better laid out than our other house. The backyard is humungous and Dexter loves it.  Also having Annie’s parents so close now has been a blessing, and very helpful. But new houses come with problems. Like: The backyard isn’t finished; it’s just a gigantic dirt field. No ceiling lights/fans were installed. Etc…

So with my dad here, we were able to tackle a lot of the problems. The biggest was a shed to house all of my tools and yard equipment. We basically went to Lowes and looked at their sheds and wrote down all the wood, shingles, nails and tools we would need to copy one. It took us several days of 100+ degree temps, but we persevered and before he left we had a kick-ass new shed built, AND at a fraction of the cost if I had had one installed. Most of all it was great spending time with my dad and learning some new wood-working tricks. I’ve learned so much from my dad over the years, and his ability to problem solve using common sense is the quality I hope I’ve absorbed the most. I really don’t think there is much he can’t do if he set his mind to it.

My mom was great too. She helped babysit Frances, and every night cooked us dinner. Before we could turn our heads, she had the dishes washed and everything put away. I think I miss that the most now that’s she’s gone. It was also great to have them here to see me play a gig at the Stanislaus County Fair. My parents hadn’t seen me play since I left Kentucky, and it was nice to see them in the audience cheering us on. If anyone is interested, my band is called River Rising.

So they left and we attempted to get back to normal. Yeah, right… Eloise was sleeping a little better, but multiple times at night she still needed to be changed and fed. She reminded us of that with her very loud crying. Somehow I don’t remember Frances being that loud. In the past week though, Eloise has been sleeping much better. The last few evenings she has slept 4-5 hours straight each night. That has done wonders for our productivity. Like for example, this new blog post! Annie is a milk making machine, and Eloise is drinking like a champ. I suspect that’s why she is sleeping better. At the 3 week weigh in, Eloise weighed 10.5 lbs! We call her Bubba now.

Happy 2nd Birthday!
Happy 2nd Birthday!

You may ask now, “How is Frances doing?” Well, she is doing great! On July 22nd, Frances turned 2. Those 2 years flew by so fast. In fact, July was full of celebrations. I had a birthday on the 10th, Frances had her birthday, and Annie and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. We couldn’t be happier. I love my wife very much. She is a great mother, and even though I try to help out, I know she has more than she needs on her plate right now. She’s a champ though, and I can see the love in her eyes for Frances and Eloise (and hopefully me!) each day.

We want to thank everyone for their kind words, cards, gifts, etc… You have been great to us, and we appreciate it.

Until next time…