Rachel smiles

I’ve been trying to capture this for two weeks now, but it seems like I can’t ever get my camera out fast enough. I finally just started carrying it with me 24/7, and I managed to get these pictures…

And I just couldn’t resist this one…I swear this was not posed. She just ended up like this!

Back to the grind

I’ve had 7 1/2 wonderful weeks off, and they have flown by.

Monday, it’s back to the j-o-b for me.

Monica still has 2 more weeks to enjoy Rachel, but I have a standing lunch date with my wife and daughter.

Hopefully Rachel will decide to continue with her peaceful slumber at night, letting her daddy go to work well rested.

Bliss, and a final farewell to 107 Regal

Being able to open the windows to sleep at night.

Monica and I haven’t felt 65 degrees for what seems like months, and it was absolutely beautiful to be chilly last night.

Today looks like it’s going to be gorgeous as well.

It’s been one heck of a week, with folks visiting and helping Mom and Dad move. Yesterday, we moved almost all of the furniture to the new house. I also determined yesterday that when Monica and I buy a new house (not that we are, just when we get there) that we’re buying one with the laundry on the first floor.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that it wasn’t 90+ degrees outside yesterday. I was soaked in sweat as it was. I can’t imagine added another 10 degrees into the mix.

Mom pointed out to me that the new house doesn’t have any 7s in the address. I figured out a couple of years ago that every house we’ve lived in that I can remember (actually since Sarah was born) has had a 7 in the address, and most have had a 1 and a 0 as well. There was 701 S. Church Street in Albany, then 1007 Courtland in Saybrook, then 7 Plymouth Ct, and finally 107 Regal.

I guess it is the start of a new era for my parents…one with no kids living at home, and grandkids coming to visit.

It’s weird to see this house so empty, after 20 years of seeing it so full, and yet, everywhere I look–every corner, every wall, every closet–there is a memory, so I guess it’s not really all that empty, because it’s full of the memories of our family.

Once again proving that even though we have a baby, I can still update my blog more frequently than my sister…

OK, ok…we’ll see often I can do this once I start back to work, then make a comparison.

So for those of you who don’t know, we’re heading up to Illinois on Friday. Hopefully we’ll get to see some of you who we haven’t seen for a while, and introduce you to Rachel.

We’ll also be helping Mom and Dad get ready to move. Yes, that’s right, move. The house on Regal that my parents built 20 years ago has been sold, and they are moving to Bloomington. BLOOMINGTON.

It doesn’t seem like 20 years since we moved into that house. It doesn’t seem like 10 years since I moved out. It’s going to be a little strange traveling to a house in Bloomington that I’ve never spent any time living in, but I’m looking forward to seeing the new house, and I know Mom and Dad are looking forward to moving into it.

Month One

Dear Rachel,

Yes, your Daddy acknowledges that he’s totally ripping off Heather over at dooce.com but if an idea is good, it’s worth stealing. That’s lesson number one.

This weekend you turned one month old. I’m still not sure quite how to “count” you…should it be in weeks or months? This first one is easy because the four week mark was just two days from the one month mark, but it’s not always going to be that easy.

Your mom and I were so excited for you to get here, and there are still times that we look at you and can’t believe you’re actually here. You didn’t really want to come…I guess you were just too cozy inside Mommy, but there just wasn’t any more room for you to grow.

On the day you were born, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. That little bundle Mom had been carrying around for 9 months (or was it 10?) wasn’t so little. All of the nurses in the operating room commented on how much hair you had. When they handed you to me, I couldn’t stop smiling. You mom wasn’t able to hold you right away, but I put you down next to her face, and you opened your eyes wide to get a good look at her.

I didn’t expect to be able to hold you for as long as I did. I thought at some point they’d bring in the machine that goes ping and take you away from me. But they didn’t. In fact, I got to hold you for almost 90 minutes before the nice ladies from the nursery came down to take you.

While we were in the hospital, all of the nurses kept saying how beautiful you were. I’m not sure if they say that to every new mom or not, but your doctor even came in and said that everyone in the nursery was talking about what a pretty baby you were. We certainly think so!

Since Mommy had to stay in the hospital for a couple of extra days, I stayed with her and we started getting used to getting up to feed you. For the first week or so, even after we came home from the hospital, we would wake you up in the middle of the night to feed you because that’s what “they” said we should do.

Then one night, bleary eyed, your mom decided that we should see how long you would sleep for us at night. The first night we let you sleep, you slept for 6 hours, and I woke up at 3 AM sure that you had stopped breathing. I went to check on you, and after I was sure you were still alive, I went back to bed. The next night you slept 7 hours, and your mother and I started actually getting some sleep. Now we take turns getting up with you because if we didn’t we’d never get anything done like paying bills and eating.

You’ve really become very aware of us when you’re awake, staring right at us when we feed you. You also have become infatuated with ceiling fans. We’ve noticed you looking at us more and more, and we think that you understand who your parents are.

You’ve gone so many places and met so many people this first month, and you’ve actually helped mommy and daddy get back in touch with people and go places they should have done a long time ago.

Your Grandma Connie and Grandpa Rick were so excited to see you that they drove all the way from Illinois the day after you were born to meet you. You had a lot of visitors in the hospital, and even more when you came home. You’ve been to Austin and Houston, and next week you get to go to Illinois for the first time to meet your Great-Grandparents. Your aunts and uncles and cousins have all been by to see you, and your Aunt Sarah from Brooklyn flew in last weekend to meet you. Grandma Connie and Grandpa Rick came down again last weekend too. You’ve been to Daddy’s work twice, and Mommy’s school once already. You’ve even been to a baseball game and a wedding already! Everyone has been so excited to see you, and we’ve been happy to show you off.

You’ve been such a good baby for us, we can hardly believe it. Your mom had a pretty easy pregnancy, and you have been a relatively easy baby to care for too. We can’t believe just how blessed we are to have you in our lives. We love you so much, and can’t wait to see what the next months and years bring.


One month; One year

Rachel is four weeks old today. Sunday, Monica and I will celebrate our first year of marriage.

The weeks are flying by…I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It seems like only yesterday that the whole family was here and we were tubing down the Comal River.

I can’t believe Rachel has already been with us a month, too. Looking back at the video from her first week, I can see how much she’s changed already. She’s gone from random eye movement, to direct eye contact. Sometimes I’ll be paying attention to something else, I’ll look down, and she’s staring right at me. I guess I need to start minding my P’s & Q’s.

Last night, Rachel attended her first baseball game. Not that she even noticed, because she slept through most of it, but it was fun just the same. It was also fun explaining the game to my niece, Rebecca. I can’t wait until I can explain baseball to Rachel…

“So you see, the pitcher is trying to catch the man off the base so he can get him out. You can see how many outs there are up on the scoreboard. Right now, the away team is hitting, so the runs they’ve scored on across from their name on the scoreboard.”

“Daddy, why do they have a whole bunch of different numbers, and we only have zeros?”

“Because we’re Cubs fans, sweetie, and that’s how it goes.”

In which Crazy Aunt Sarah meets the baby, and we go Mission-ing.

The entire “Normal” Laleman clan was here this weekend, and what a weekend it was. We started off attending Maria and Gregg’s wedding, then Sunday we went downtown to Rivercenter Mall with the millions of other tourists who were trying to get out of the rain. Monday, we let Monica rest so Grandma Connie, Grandpa Rick, Crazy Aunt Sarah from Brooklyn, and I took Rachel on her first trip to the missions and the Witte museum. A lovely time was had by all…

Aunt Sarah meets Rachel

Family with a sleeping Rachel at Mission San Jose

Some modeling shots of Mom and Sarah from Mission San Jose….

Some gratuitous mission shots…it was a beautiful day.

Congratulations Maria and Gregg!

Yesterday, we were part of the wedding party for our good friends Maria and Gregg. For those of you who don’t remember, Maria was Monica’s maid of honor last year, and 357 days later, we stood in their wedding. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun.

Welcome to the world of being married!