Austin and Summer,
When I was growing up, and for most of my life, I’ve been full of ambition. As a very young kid, I went to work for your Papa in the Variety Sales warehouse during the summers, pulling orders off the shelves in 100 degree heat because I loved the idea of getting paid at the end of the week. A few years later, I started going to sleepaway camp during the summers, but that didn’t limit my entrepreneurial spirit. I used to borrow a few comic books from a friend at the beginning of the summer, play poker for comics with my fellow campers, accumulate hundreds of comic books, and then sell them back to the other kids when their stashes were getting low. In high school, I always had a job or other gig that was bringing in some money. College was mostly the same, typically through the stock market, which was exploding at the time (though you should know that the stock market doesn’t always go up, and I wasn’t always a winner). And then after college, I took about the most ambitious job I could possibly find, becoming an investment banker and working over a hundred hours a week most weeks. Then about a year ago, I joined a startup company because I loved the idea of participating in something entrepreneurial and the thought of hard work trying to build something from the ground up was always exciting to me.
I did all of those things because they either furthered my career, or because I liked money, or both. And the truth is, I still want to further my career and I still like money, but since you guys came around, I’ve found myself wanting to be with you and your mommy more than anything else. Even with my flexible hours, I’m still gone from the house most days from about 7-5. You go to sleep at 7, so that only leaves about 2 hours that we get to spend together. Some days it’s even less if traffic is bad or I have a conference call that starts late or some other similarly lame excuse. My best salvation those days is the texts from mommy of photos or videos of you guys that at least give me some pseudo-interaction with you while I’m gone. But that severely pales in comparison to when I get home at the end of the day and open the garage door and mommy says “Daddy’s home” and I hear both of your little hands pounding on the floor as your crawl your way over to me with those huge smiles on your face.
This month, we got to spend lots of extra time together when your mommy took her first trip out of town since you were born, heading up to New York City for a long weekend with NaNa and Aunt Aimee. Being home alone with two 11 month olds probably would have made a lot of dads in my situation a little bit nervous, but honestly, the thing that I was most concerned about was picking out your clothes (that is strictly a mommy job unless it’s a Saturday during football season). Knowing that was my biggest fear, mommy laid out your clothes before she went and left the rest up to me. It turned out to be such a fun few days for us. We had some great help from your Nana, Aunt Aurora, and the first visit from your Uncle Greg. But for the most part, we just spent the weekend together hanging out. We played together in the playroom, ate tons of your favorite foods, took some long walks together in your stroller, and even did bath time every night (though you bathed separately instead of together). And as much as you guys became even more attached to me during those few days (Austin, you are definitely going through a major “daddy” phase right now), the reality is that I also became so much more attached to both of you. I didn’t even think that was physically possible, but somehow it was.
We had lots of other fun stuff happen this month, too. You turned 11 months on Thanksgiving Day, which brought with it a bunch of visitors to Atlanta. In addition to the whole in-town crew, you got to spend a lot of time with your Sabba, Aunt Shira, Uncle Ari and his girlfriend Lindsay, who all stayed with us, and your NaNa and Papa were back in town, too.
Summer, I think Thanksgiving was probably the best day of your life so far. To say that you are a good eater is the biggest understatement of all time. You literally grab your food by the handful and shove it into your mouth. It doesn’t matter the food or the combination, you just love to eat. It’s extremely adorable, especially since you’re such a dainty little princess. Austin, the gruff linebacker, likes to eat his meals bite by bite, making sure he knows exactly what is going in his mouth, but Summer just piles it in without any regard for, well, anything.
Other newsworthy items from the month:
· You’re both sort of saying words. Austin, you’ve definitely said “ball” quite a few times and you even occasionally say “hi” as you wave hello. Summy, every morning coming down the stairs, you try to say “cat” when you see Eden. Your pronunciation isn’t perfect, but it’s the effort that counts.
· Speaking of the cat, you’re both pretty obsessed with her. You crawl around the house following her wherever she goes. It’s pretty cute, and mommy and I are glad that at least someone loves her.
· Summy, you absolutely love books. When mommy picks out a book and asks you guys if you want to read, you coming crawling right over with a big smile on your face and sit and listen for a really long time.
· Austin, you got your first ear infection. You were pretty unhappy for a couple of days but once you went to the doctor and got on medicine, you went right back to being yourself.
· You both have your bottom two teeth, with Austin’s top two really starting to come in and Summy’s just peeking through.
A few other things to document, just so we make sure to remember them and see how you change over time:
• Austin, you have the sweetest, most pleasant demeanor. You have this incredible smile and way of lifting your eyebrows that makes it seem like you’re always in on the joke, if not the one making it.
• Summy, your demeanor can depend on the day. You’re definitely a bit easier to please than Austin. But when we get you going with a tickle attack, you have the most incredible giggle fits of all time. And even when you’re not being tickled, your smile with those two bottom teeth is as great as it gets.
• Austin, you’re also an extremely sensitive sleeper. When mommy and I come to check on you guys before we go to sleep, Summy barely ever even stirs. You, on the other hand, almost always let out a big breath, sometimes rolling over and even opening your eyes at us. It’s really cute, but most of the time it leads to mommy and I running out of the room before you really wake up.
• Summy, you are the best 11 month old eater of all time, but your manners could use some work. You pretty much love anything we put in front of you, to the point of grabbing a huge handful all at once and stuffing it all into your mouth. You rarely swallow before stuffing more in. Austin eats very neatly, always picking up a very specific piece of food before gently dropping it into his mouth. At the end of most meals, Summy looks like she just finishing rolling around in garbage while Austin looks like he just came out of the bath.
It’s hard to believe that this time next month I’ll be writing about your FIRST BIRTHDAY, but amazingly that is the truth. Time really does fly.