Keeping you posted on our big adventure into parenthood

Once a Parent…

Fall is officially here and I know two people that couldn’t be happier. Kelly and I are big fans of the fall season. Why? Lots of reasons… It’s great snuggle weather. Now I’m not a snuggler myself but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to my wife cozying herself up next to me at will. Fall is football and if you know me then you know I don’t need to say any more. We like fall clothing. This may sound trivial and maybe even a little conceited but jeans and long sleeve t-shirts are favorites of ours. Fall also brings us one season closer to the birth of bambino #2 and Kelly can’t wait. The bump has really taken over lately and it controls her appetite, sleep habits, emotions, reflexes, and general functionality as a human being. So I have to say she’s doing a pretty good job of steering a ship when operating as the first mate of a surly captain. You like my nautical reference? I’m not sure where that came from but we’ll go with it. The last great thing about the fall is the return of great television. We’re self-admitted TV junkies and between HBO, Showtime and all the primetime glory, we’re in good shape. Speaking of which, it’s kind of creeping me out every time I watch Dexter because I never realized how much Julia Stiles looks like Heath Ledger. As usual, I digress…

The last few weeks have been jam-packed. I made a trip to Baltimore for our annual Convio Summit (plug for my employer) and mixed in a little pleasure with the trip. I caught up with Yemi and Katie (thanks again for making the trip), Rita and Imi (thanks again for the delicious dinner) and my cousin Jimmy and his girlfriend Stephanie (thanks for coming out on a school night, Steph). The summit was a huge success and it was good to see some friends and family. Unfortunately, things were not so great on the homefront as Mason was dealing with a bad case of strep throat and Kelly was not feeling too hot either. It was pretty much the worst possible timing for my first business trip in years. As usual, Kelly was a trooper but by the time I arrived home on Wednesday I think she was at wit’s end. Mason had another couple rough nights but has since recovered and is now back at school awaiting the next rapidly spreading illness so he can build up some immunities.

We had a fun Halloween and SpiderMason visited a few houses in Jeff and Amy’s neighborhood to get his first taste of the awesomeness that is Halloween. It’s a good thing he hasn’t realized the value of candy, although I’m excited to use it as a tool of bribery for weeks to come in the following years. I remember my parents getting me to do chores in December with the promise of Halloween candy that I had not yet been allowed to eat. I’m pretty sure they were just buying a new bag of mini Snickers bars every week but I never caught on. Chewbacca the pumpkin made an appearance and Kelly and I decided that we’re going to start taking the holiday a lot more seriously in the coming years. And by seriously I mean dressing up like a bunch of idiots and scaring the crap out of the neighborhood kids, seriously. Let’s just hope this doesn’t happen to either of us. We celebrated Kim and Erik’s wedding last weekend as well and next weekend we head to Dallas for Adam and Jamie’s nuptials.

My parents also came down to visit for a few weeks and they brought doggy cousin Jack with them. This has been entertaining because Jack isn’t very social and generally doesn’t listen unless you yell at him. He and Tater have had their spats while Bella watches them and laughs. It’s really helped reinforce the fact that 3 dogs is way too many for us. But we’re enjoying Jack while he’s here. And we’re really enjoying having the parents around. In the past week and a half Kelly and I have come home to home-cooked meals,spotlessly cleaned rooms, tired Masons, tired dogs, and fully completed yard work and home repairs. I’m already sad about their eventual departure, although I think we’re getting closer to convincing them that a lake house in Austin is a very good idea. Hey, they’ll never have to pay for amazing property management so it’s really a win-win! I think part of what has been so great is just watching them be parents to Mason. He’s so young and impressionable and while our styles are different he’s getting a similar message from them as from us. I feel good about the job we’re doing in raising him- a long way to go but I think we’re doing alright so far.

Mason update: He is a wild man. He goes from perfectly calm and content to Tasmanian Devil in 2 seconds flat. It’s actually pretty remarkable. It’s like he’s possessed sometimes. The tantrums have gotten worse but also are typically short and easy to contain if we distract him with something he’s interested in that won’t hurt him. Is it just boys that only want to play with things that could easily permanently scar them? Probably. It certainly seems likely because¬† Mason is still adding a word to his vocabulary just about every week. This week he officially started saying “momma”, which made Kelly’s week. It had been a rough night and following day for Mrs. Wright and Mason came home showing off his new word to cheer her up. Good job buddy. Aside from that we’re all chugging along. Oh, and Mason got his first haircut (see pics below)!

One last sidenote for anyone who hasn’t heard. I’m donating my upper lip to the Movember movement for men’s cancer research. Shameless self promotion can be found here for anyone who wants to contribute to the cause (or see a semi-glorious lip worm).

Small picture but a great view of the harbor from the hotel.

Uncle Rel got to hang out with Malloy and Pryce for a few hours. I now realize just how much trouble we are in when it comes to our second child, and how cute all the pictures are going to be.

Cole family including the to-be-named addition in the oven. Having kids this close together in age just means our vacations will be aligning in the years to come.

Dinner with Rita and Imi was so good I keep having dreams about “chicken juice”. They also have a cat named Baby Mama, which is awesome, and they live only a few blocks from where my mom grew up, so I made a quick drive by her old house on the way back to the hotel. It was really good to see the newlyweds settling into to their lives together.

Mason eventually got his appetite back but his hand eye coordination was a little off. This kid loves spinach though. I’m pretty sure he’s going to grow up to become Popeye.

Hmmm… I got in here but I’m not really sure how I get out now. This will never get old. Never.

On Halloween Eve I carved the Chewbumpkin. Next year I plan to get even more creative… maybe the cast of Family Guy or The Cosby Show. Rudy would be tough though. I’ve answered several “who actually carved that?” questions and I can assure you that I did it myself and it took 2 hours. My hands were cramped for the entire following day but it was worth it.

Hello Kitty Bella really wanted a piece of SpiderMason. Actually, she was really all about his hair and he clearly didn’t mind.I wonder how she’ll react to his freshly chopped mop?

He’s awaiting his patented “upside down kiss”.

Mason and I heading to the first house. Unfortunately he came away empty handed. Who takes the time to put pumpkins out and then doesn’t show up on the big night? Not even a bucket of candy with a “take one” sign?! They’re basically saying “we love to decorate but hate adorable kids dressed up like superheroes”. Not my kind of people…


Mason hasn’t quite got the eating candy thing down yet. This is a good thing because he’s plenty insane without the aid of a sugar rush.

And the kids had officially melted down enough to warrant being carried. Well, really it was just Mason but I can’t blame him. It was hot and that suit was pure polyester. Itchy!

Red fuzzy boots? Check! Long sleeve shirt? Check! Transportation? Check! Willingness to run over anyone (dogs included) that gets in my way? Double check! Pants? Oh crap…

Mom and Grandma prepping Mason for his first haircut. He only got a little trimmed off the front but he looks much better. Hopefully now people will stop assuming he’s a girl because his hair is long.

Good work Grandma! Also, props to Mason for sitting completely still throughout the entire process. I’m thoroughly impressed and extremely surprised that he was so willing and patient. Hopefully this continues in the future.

Mason woke up just in time to watch some of the Eagles game with Pappy. Notice he’s still sporting the Bears shirt. Don’t you try to turn him, Dad!

The dogs have been outside a lot more now that it’s cooled off considerably and Jack decided to take an afternoon snooze in the warm sunshine.

Apparently Tater prefers the cold shade and itchy vines that the fence line has to offer. Classy.


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