Summer has come and it is bringing on the heat!! One Michigan TV station may have slightly over exaggerated on the “First Day of Summer” temperature …
Well, it was sunny and it was hot – but not THAT hot!!
We reached the 90’s today and those hot temps hit early. No neighborhood walk today – it was just too hot. Instead, we set up a bunch of water stuff for the kids. We had the kiddie pool, the water table, and the splash pad. Both kids loved it. Ella is all about getting right in and getting wet!
Andrew is still a bit shy. He likes to splash in the water table, but is not quite sure about the splash pad.
We played outside for about and hour and then headed inside for lunch. We had hoped to do a picnic lunch out in the yard, but the splash pad made the ground a bit too wet. It was probably best to go inside, as it was really getting hot.
I’m really looking forward to the rest of summer!
Weigh In …
Today was weigh in day. I’m posting so I hold myself accountable. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I went off the wagon on Father’s Day and grabbed some ice cream with Ella. I was careful and counted the points for it.
As I stepped on the scale today, I was down four pounds. Total weight loss is 13 pounds. I will continue to focus and drop weight. I have to get healthy. I will take advantage of the weather and get out and walk when I can. Those walks seem to help!
One funny story and I will wrap for the day. Yesterday we made tacos for dinner. I asked Ella what she wanted on her taco. She told me she wanted “meat, lettuce, and cheese.” As I was making it for her, she tapped me on my back and handed me a package of fruit snacks and said, “Daddy, put gummies on my taco?”
When I get home in the morning, my little girl will be two years old. My wife probably didn’t intend on making me cry, but she sent me a picture of her sleeping in her crib with the message “Last picture as a 1 year old,” but she did.
I wish I had taken the day off tomorrow. I didn’t because I had to save my PTO time for a surgery I am having this month. I want to spend the entire day with her. I want to celebrate HER! Sadly, I have to work tomorrow night, so I will probably miss most of her day.
As I look back over the last year, it is amazing to see how much she has grown and just how far she has come. Some highlights:
First birthday at the Sea Life Aquarium
Amazing professional First Birthday/Cake Smash photoshoot
First haircut with Miss Sherry
Family Easter Egg hunt
Finding out she was going to be a big sister
First time eating corn on the cob
First time bowling (with big brothers)
Family visit to the Detroit and Saginaw Zoos
First trip to the library
Drawing her first picture
First surgery – ear tubes
Outside adventures (trampoline fun, walks around the neighborhood, sidewalk chalk drawings, sandbox fun, visits to the park, playing on the splashpad, swimming in her kiddie pool, playing in leaf piles, sledding and making snow angels)
Arrival of Little Brother and official promotion to Big Sister
Family visit with Santa at Cabella’s
Daddy/Daughter trip to Bronners to buy the annual Christmas ornament
Visits from Aunt Margaret, Cousin Marissa, Papa and Grandma, Uncle Chris, and so many others.
What a One-derful year it has been!
The “terrible twos” don’t scare me. I just hope that time slows down a bit.
Yesterday, I kissed my one year old for the last time. When I get home in the morning, I will kiss my two year old for the first time. I can’t wait to see her….
At midnight tonight, we’ll start a brand new year – 2022. Some have compared a new year to a book. The book with 365 blank pages – one for each day – and said that the book is ours to write. There is truth to that.
As I looked back over my “book” entitled “2021,” I see that (despite the pandemic and all the crap that came with it) I really did have a good year. Bear with me, he’s the recap:
January started with some snow. It actually looks like we should be getting snow again this week. Ella absolutely loved being outside in the snow. It was fun to watch her try to figure out just what all the white stuff was. Today, when she sees it, she get’s excited and yells, “Snow! Snow!”
In mid-January, we scratched our heads and wondered just how Ella was 11 months old! I mean, it seemed like she was just born!
The pressure was on as we closed in on her first birthday. With Covid, we weren’t quite sure if we’d even be able to have a party for her.
As we got closer to Ella’s birthday, Sam was just not feeling right. 3 days before Ella’s birthday, we found out that baby #2 was on the way!
This took us both completely by surprise! There was great excitement all over again. The hardest part was keeping it a secret…
Ella’s first birthday was a fun and busy day. We ditched the pink blocks and marked the birthday with a HUGE number “1” balloon. This was followed by a trip to the Sea Life Aquarium, the Build a Bear place, and cake at Nana’s house.
We were glad to be able to get some professional “1st Birthday” pictures, too!
In March we got our first look at the baby we now know as Andrew/AJ and announced Ella’s promotion to big sister.
Ella also got her first haircut
March also consisted of many walks around the neighborhood and stops at the park.
Big brother, Dante’ turned 19 this month! Before that, Easter fell on my mom’s birthday. We got Ella all dressed up in her Easter dress, stopped at the cemetery to visit grandma on her birthday and then went to Nana’s for an Easter Egg hunt!
Ella is so very blessed to have wonderful people in her life. Aunt Margaret is one of them! (She will kill me for posting this picture, but I just love this!!) She and cousin Marissa came to visit and the highlight was watching them read books together.
We also found out the baby’s gender, but that wouldn’t be revealed until May.
Birthday’s have never really bothered me, mostly because I opt for the Jack Benny attitude and say that I am stuck at 39. However, in reality I turned 51. 30 was big. 40 was tough. 50 a bit hard to swallow. Over 50? Well…..I examine my own mortality every day.
The month started warm enough that Ella got to spend lots of time in her sandbox and pool.
We revealed that Ella was having a baby brother and got another look at him on an ultrasound.
Ella and I worked on a special project for Sam for Mother’s Day and we got to visit the Detroit Zoo.
May also brought Ella her first taste of corn on the cob!
My second oldest boy celebrated his 14th birthday in June. We got to spend Father’s Day together by visiting Crossroads Village. They had a Classic Car Show there and we walked the village and rode the train. It was such a great day with my kids!
It was SO hot that day!!! By the end of it all, Ella was physically exhausted. June was a hot month and we did get to get out and enjoy walks in the park and a day at the splash pad.
By July, Sam was 5 months pregnant and was so sick. The pregnancy was a rough one on her. The heat didn’t help things. Despite that, the middle of summer was packed full of amazing things and our family had loads of fun.
We celebrated America’s Birthday, Ella had her first visit to the public library and bowled for the first time, and we all visited the Saginaw Children’s Zoo.
As Summer drew to a close, we continued to squeeze as much into it as we could. I got to spend a perfect day doing a daddy daughter picnic, my name was finally on the board at the Corner Cone for a free ice cream, Ella spent lots of time drawing with crayons, and our stress levels were through the roof as we took Ella in for her ear tube surgery. We also got another peak at AJ and had a visit from my brother.
Fall! My favorite season of all. I was glad to be able to get together with Margaret, Walt and my buddy Chris at Margaret’s house. Since she’s already mad at the one picture I posted, I’ll just share the one she told me I could share. Hopefully, that makes things a little better….
We always love going to get pumpkins and decorating the front of the house for fall. Ella seemed to like it, too.
Ella and I also got to take one last trip to the Saginaw Zoo before it closed for the season. It was a great day for us, and Sam actually got to relax a bit.
We had been told more than once that there was a possibility that the baby would come before his due date. He held out almost until the date! Just two days before he was born, Ella and I got to go outside and enjoy the fall colors.
On October 11th, AJ entered the world. I watched in awe as my son was born and all the pride of being a daddy again filled my soul. We weren’t sure how Ella would handle it, but she welcomed him with open arms.
They still did not have a photographer at the hospital, so we went to JC Penney to have some newborn pictures taken. AJ looks spiffy in his outfit!
While this wasn’t Ella’s first Halloween, it was the first real Trick or Treating adventure for her. She was happy that big brother was there to walk with her. AJ was obviously way too young to attempt to go out this year.
Fall walks are among my favorites. I love looking at the colors. Ella and I took many fall walks and there were many instances where she’d just play in a pile of leaves! AJ kept us all busy and so it was just Ella and I making the trip to Bronner’s to get his ornament for the Christmas tree. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving at home and got the house ready for Christmas.
The final month of the year brought many happy memories. Professional Christmas pictures, my annual reading of Dickens, AJ turned 2 months old, a visit from Papa and Grandma, Christmas Eve with my boys, Holiday lights at Crossroads, our first Christmas as a family of four, and the anticipation of a brand new year.
Blog highlights included my entries to the 2021 Song Draft, salutes to Soupy Sales, my grandpa, and Ernie Harwell, a guest blog from my pal Max, silly blogs about hats and Bernie Sanders’ mittens, fishing memories, my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, and a blog about an amazing cartoon Dog Dad.
There were many sad moments in 2021. I lost classmates and friends to cancer, heart disease, and of course, Covid. If the past two years have taught me anything, it is that life is precious and another day is not promised. You never know when it will be the “last picture,” the “last phone call,” or the “last visit.” It takes me make to that quote that my band director wrote on the grease board my senior year. I have quoted it many times. “Live every day as if it were your last. Someday, you’ll be right.”
Life is too short. Live. Laugh. Love.
As we welcome 2022, I pray that it is a good year for all of us. May we find it full of happiness and good health. May God bless you and yours in the upcoming year.
Get ready. The Book of 2022 awaits. Grab your pen and turn to page (January) 1.
Been a crazy week here. Ella wasn’t feeling all that great Monday night and then woke up Tuesday with a 104 temp. We began to alternate the Tylenol/Motrin every four hours and were told that if the fever continued on Wednesday to do a Tele-Med visit. Wednesday morning, the fever was still there, so we did the video visit with the doc, who insisted that we bring her in.
Once we got to the office, the fever had broke, because we had given her Motrin before we left. The doc checked her out and she was diagnosed with another ear infection. We were told when she was born that she may have issues with her ears (There were issues with her newborn hearing tests.). Sam immediately asked about ear tubes. Did you know you have to get 6 ear infections in 12 months before they will even consider putting tubes in? I didn’t.
At any rate, she was sent home with an antibiotic and she’s been doing better. By Saturday, she was like her normal self. I was called off work Friday night, so I was able to get some sleep. Saturday was sunny and hot. We had heard about a splash pad near by and we decided to take Ella there. She loved it!
At first, she was a bit apprehensive, but once she saw other kids running around, she was screaming with joy and running all over the place.
We all got a little sun Saturday. I was hoping to go back there today with her while Sam slept, but she spiked her fever again. I kept her inside most of the day. I made a trip out to Meijer with her to pick up a few things and when I got back she walked right to her stroller. She signed “more” to me, and I knew we had to take a walk. Because it was so sunny, I didn’t want her out there too long, so we did a quick walk around the block.
After her nap, she wanted to go outside. I had filled her pool, and figured she might want to just play in it. She sat in it for a bit, but for the most part, she wandered around the yard, playing on her slide, and “sunbathing”
She’s been on the antibiotic for a few days now. I am hoping that she feels well enough to go to the splash pad tomorrow.