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More pictures of Josh

Suffering from second child syndrome, Josh has not had his first few weeks quite as elaborately documented as Sammy did.  Still, there have been a few reasons to take pictures; aside from his general cuteness, we had a visit from his Grammy Lynne last week.

I suspect that Thanksgiving will provide is with more opportunities, so check back…

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Another milestone

Sammy lost his first tooth today, and we’re anxiously awaiting his first visit from the tooth fairy. It happens to be the tooth he banged up last year in his bike accident, so we weren’t surprised when it was the first one to get loose. What did surprise us was how long it took us to finally fall out.

A month ago, we thought our family milestones were going to be tooth, birthday, baby, in that order. Josh took things into his own little hands and showed up a week before Sammy’s birthday, and the tooth hung around another month. So there you go.

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Separated at birth

When Josh was born, we had a fleeting moment where we believed that he looked more like Jennifer, especially with his dark hair. That may still happen, but what we quickly realized was that he mostly looks just like Sammy did, only smaller.

The one on the left is Sammy, six years ago, and Josh is on the right.  You be the judge.

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Another new arrival

I know there’s lots of other stuff going on tonight, but this is big news. Jennifer’s first cell phone was purchased in 1999, the year we got married. I don’t have any pictures of it, but you probably remember what cell phones looked like ten years ago.

Her second cell phone was purchased in 2003, after Sammy was born. While it wasn’t cutting edge, it was a decent phone, a flip phone with a camera. Cool for the time. I bought one for myself a few months later. Of course, I moved on to something else a few years ago.

Check it out…

Today, it finally happened. She’s moved out of the cell phone stone age. We can no longer call her a cell phone Luddite. I bought her a new phone.

It’s a good phone, the Samsung Rant. Just came out last month. It’s red, it’s on the EVDO high-speed network, and best of all, it will finally allow her to use that unlimited text messaging on her account.

So, let’s all welcome Jenn into the modern era. Feel free to send her a text to congratulate her. You know the number.

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Sammy’s 6th Birthday

Sammy turns six tomorrow, which I’m finding as hard to believe as the fact that he’s now got a little brother. Happily, we were able to outsource his birthday party to Kids U, a children’s activity center in Needham. It was awesome. They’ve got a a huge play structure, which was a big hit with the kids, and an open play area for games, obstacle courses, etc. They take care of everything — we ordered the pizza and brought a cake, and that was pretty much it.

Given the other things going on in our lives right now, being able to just have the party and not have the stress was a huge relief. We did have a minor incident with the cake — it wasn’t ready when I went to pick it up last night, and after some consulting with the manager, it became clear that somebody had put the order in the wrong place. Happily, they were able to get me the cake about an hour later. I’m glad I opted to pick it up Saturday night instead of just before the party! Anyway, the cake was a work of art, with construction vehicles on top and frosting colored to look like dirt (which sounds worse than it is). It was marble cake, because Sammy couldn’t decide between chocolate or vanilla.

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Life goes on

Today was Sammy’s last soccer game of the season, and I went a little crazy with the pictures. I think I must have taken about 200, and I’ve posted about 125 of them here. Jennifer went to more of the games recently, so I hadn’t seen them play in some time. I was impressed at how much better they were as a team than in the first game of the season.

Sammy’s team won the game, by a score of either 3-0 or 4-0, depending on whether the third goal counted, since it was kicked into their own goal by the other team. Everybody got trophies at the end. We’re going to have to put up a trophy shelf in the boys’ room, now that Sammy has this and his Bocce Tournament trophy.

Also, a couple of photos at the end of the bunch are from the Playdate with the Principal, this afternoon at Sammy’s school.

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Halloween 2008

We didn’t expect to have two kids to celebrate Halloween with this year, but there you go.  I went to Target earlier this week, and found the last costume they had in the 0-6 month size — a chili pepper.  It’s pretty awesome, as costumes go.

The festivities began with Sammy’s kindergarten parade.   Apparently, there is a longstanding tradition at the Manning Elementary School of letting the kindergarten students bring in their costumes for a parade through the halls, trick-or-treating at each of the other classrooms.  Since Jennifer and I were both home with Josh, we decided to check it out.  I’m not sure what my favorite part was — the teachers dressed as the Supremes, or the kids themselves.

When we got home, we discovered Paul Chevrette, across the street, setting up the most elaborate Halloween decorations we’ve ever seen.  We’d been warned that Paul enjoyed Halloween like none other, but we hadn’t really been prepared for the full extent of it. Screaming fog machines, a cemetery, limbs peeking out from the bushes, giant blow-ups of ghouls and a Santa’s sleigh…it was something to behold.

The actual trick-or-treating was great.  Sammy was once again an astronaut, this time in a white costume complete with a talking helmet.  Josh made an appearance as the aforementioned chili pepper, but stayed home to help Jennifer distribute candy while I took Sammy around the block.

After the great Easter Egg Hunt and this, we can’t wait to see how this neighborhood celebrates Christmas.

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Josh comes home

Today, Josh got to come home, and it’s great to have him here. At the moment, he is asleep on Jennifer, who is asleep on the couch in front of the baseball game. The more things change the more they stay the same.

It was a slightly more eventful hospital stay than we had planned, but we learned a lot about perspective. We didn’t see a whole lot of Josh during the first 24 hours at the hospital, because he was sleepy, spitting up a lot, and not hungry — all supposedly normal signs for a baby whose entry to the world was a quick as his was. By the end of Monday, however, he hadn’t shown the progress that was expected, and the doctors started to get concerned about some sort of intestinal blockage. They took him over to Children’s Hospital (next door to the Brigham — he didn’t even have to go outside) for some tests in the middle of the night, and by Tuesday morning, they had moved him to the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) at the Brigham.

By that point, he was already showing some signs of progress, but they kept him there all day to continue to run tests. By 5:00 in the afternoon, they were ready to start feeding him, and they decided to keep him for 24 hours after that, to make sure that everything was as it should be. Final x-rays this afternoon were perfect, so at about 4:30, they discharged him and off we went (after a brief hiccup when the valet parking folks lost our car).

So, after a slight scare, and the unsettling experience of leaving the hospital on Tuesday without our baby, the experience was mostly positive. The worst thing was seeing him in the NICU, with a tube up his nose and wires running up to the sorts of monitors you never want your newborn to need. Happily, it turns out that he really didn’t need them, and the extra care he was given was merely precautionary. Perhaps his body needed another day to adjust to the real world, after coming into it three weeks early. I do know that if the results were anything other than they were, Josh was in the absolute best hands possible (and I can’t say enough about how great the care was). This was made absolutely clear by the wall of photographs outside the NICU, testimonials from dozens of families whose children were born into worse situations than I can possibly imagine. Children delivered at 24 weeks, children born weighing a pound and a half, children who lived at the NICU for more than four months. It was heart-wrenching, and made me all the more grateful for what we do have — a happy, healthy baby, who is now home.

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Joshua Spencer Giannini Burfeind

Joshua Spencer Giannini BurfeindAnother mouthful of a name…

This one decided to join us a few weeks early, but all things considered, it’s a great outcome. Jennifer is doing really well, he’s doing great, and Sammy is very excited to be a big brother. Here are the numbers people care about:

Date: October 26, 2008
Time: 4:21 pm
Weight: 7 lb 13 oz
Height: 20 in

I’m sure there will be more photos later today, after I bring Sammy to the hospital to meet his little brother, so check back.

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Story Land!!!!!

Story Land. What can one say about Story Land?

I’ll say this…Story Land is what makes New Hampshire more than just a drive-through state.