Happy Holidays Friends and Family!
2008 has been an exciting year in the O.-A. family. Mama, Papa and Son welcomed Daughter, who was born in Keene, NH at Cheshire Medical Center on September 26. She started life at 8 pounds 14 ounces at around 9 o'clock in the morning, nursed in the O.R. with assistance from the anesthesiologist and others in positioning (we _loved_ the staff at Cheshire Medical Center), lost very little and started gaining in a very few days. She's around 14 pounds now which gives you a sense of what we're dealing with.
Unlike Son, Daughter sleeps. This is a very wonderful thing, altho of course we love both of our children very much.
Son celebrated his third birthday in August. He likes ride on toys -- weather permitting he'll spend hours going up and down the driveway (there's a slight incline to make it a little more interesting). This made parenting a little less difficult late in pregnancy because we could bring a chair out and hang out in the sun and watch him, knowing he was happy and active. Also, with the wireless network, we could read news and blog. Of course this was a great year for reading news and blogging, with all the election excitement. Son got a balance bike (bicycle with no pedals) for his birthday and really enjoys it. If we could only convince him to use the pedals on his tricycle, he could go on vastly exciting adventures with Papa. Maybe next summer.
We went out to Seattle in May to visit friends and family there. Unlike our previous trip out, the weather was good and there were no major power outages. Back here between the T-day holiday and the December Holidays, we lost power on Thursday and still don't have it back, which is to say we contemplate our mostly-functional generator with joy, instead of misgivings and attempts to locate a tech to make it come on automatically the way it's supposed to. We are also contemplating my Centro with joy, as that is our sole source of internet connectivity currently; previously, I viewed my phone with disgust and annoyance when it was still sucking the life out of its battery way too fast and also crashing frequently.
Also this last summer, we started looking for a larger house. Once we knew we were having a daughter, we looked into our future and saw separate bedrooms. We contemplated the loss of the adult space in the office with horror, and the prospect of renovating our beloved home in New Hampshire with trepidation. We went to open houses. We obsessively viewed real estate listings online. We carefully avoided using an agent. We even made sure we were financially positioned with a down payment readily available. As yet, an appropriate choice has eluded us in Concord, MA (our first choice) and Acton (our second). With the meltdown in the financial markets, our downpayment now looks a lot like an insurance policy against an uncertain future. We continue to shop, but don't anticipate buying soon.
Mama's adventures at the local library continue. This year she bought the library a new book drop so that patrons can return non-book items any time day or night. The charge was led ably by our librarian, and the Trustees made it happen. They even sent her an attractive vase with a fabric flower arrangement.
Papa continues to be employed at his current place of employment. He took the full FMLA to bond with Baby Daughter, help out with Son, and generally keep Mama from going completely 'round the bend. It was a successful endeavor and the whole family looks forward to his return to work 4 days a week. Probably Papa is most excited by this prospect.
We had a fantastic T-day weekend seeing many of Papa's extended family in Connecticut, and look forward to even more of the same over Christmas in Albany. With our loved ones spread out around the country (and around the world), no matter where we go, we feel both at home, and wistfully missing home. We are happy to all be healthy and untouched by the disasters which seem to pile up on all sides. We hope all the people we know personally and love deeply come through this difficult time relatively unscathed as well.
Should you happen to be one of those people we miss because you live far away from us, and have the time for a trip out to New England, never hesitate to contact us. As we've told you all repeatedly, we've got spare futon space and will spring for plane tickets in order to see you again without having to go through airport security ourselves.
R., R., T. and A.