Thursday, December 30, 2010

Your first cold and the ugliest chair

Dear JJ,

Poor little guy - you are sick!  Stuffy nose, hard to breath, little bit of a fever, and not much sleep. Your mom and I just feel horrible that all we can do is hold you and rock you to sleep, with some occasional Tylenol. 

But we did find one thing that made it better.  We moved "the chair" into your bedroom. Not just any chair- but what your mom calls the ugliest chair. 

Before you were born we checked out rockers - and gliders, and all sorts of chairs that we could use so that you would be rocked to sleep easily.  I saw a beautiful rocker in Charlotte, NC at the airport- even did a blog about it. A friend of ours said-- "Go to Lazy-Boy, they have the best built and most comfortable ones around." Your mom  objected, "Their furniture is so ugly, I don't want that." But we bought one.

When you first came home, the only way you, and your mom, could sleep, was if you slept on her chest, and on this chair is where you spent your first two weeks at home, in our bedroom. We figured you were use to hearing your mom's heartbeat - and felt comfort being there.  After a couple of weeks you were into your own crib.

The chair has moved around the house.  It was in our bedroom for a while - and when Grandma and Grandpa Simpson came, we moved it to the living room so Grandma Simpson could enjoy it. Then back into our bedroom.  

Then you came down with your first cold. Your breathing sounded like a coffee percolator, and you didn't sleep  well.  The first night your mom was up into your room so many times. About 2 am your mom hadn't come back to bed so checking in there were the two of you sleeping peacefully - it was the best you had slept in a day!  So the next day with your grandpa Grosshans we moved the chair into your room.

The chair may not fit into our "decor." But it is my favorite chair because - with it you can sleep on your mom's chest, or mine- and feel comfort when you are sick, or afraid, or just want to be close.  It is the ugliest chair- and the most beautiful piece of furniture we own.

Get well soon, son.

We love you,

Your mom doesn't want her photo shown with this chair

We moved the chair to the living room when your grandma Simpson was here

The three boys of the house seem to like it

Maybe we like the chair a bit too much

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Golf, snowboarding, or JJ

From 196 yards
Dear JJ,

Sundays I get to play golf with my good friend Steve, and a funny thing has happened - I miss you. I know I have missed you before, but about ten years ago someone asked me why I didn't have children and I told them it would interfere with my weekend golf game.  Back then, when I thought I wasn't ever going to have kids- it seemed the highlight of my week was playing golf (and then I did it three times a week). 

Now the highlight of my week is seeing you.

Got your mom a new snowboard
Your mom's great passion in life was snowboarding. She was pretty excited when Santa got her a new snowboard with boots and bindings. Well - today, for the first time in almost two years- your mom and your uncle went to the slopes for a day of boarding. About an hour after she left I got a text from her saying she missed you already.

First oranges and fruit of loins
I know it seems a bit odd to write about this- but the two of us were pretty heavily into our games - and now we have more joy in our life being with you. 

The great thing about it- we still enjoy our sports- but we sure enjoy coming home to you- and what we really look forward is when you join us on the links, or the slopes- or almost anywhere.  See, son, we discovered that we love our sports every bit as much as we always did - but we found a new love - family. And there is nothing like it.



Monday, December 27, 2010

Thoughts of the Holiday

You love flying

And you tolerate your mom dressing you funny - for now

But you love your mommy

And you and Lucky wonder if Santa will ever come
And helping dad cook

And playing with Grandma

And being the third generation
Dear JJ,

What a great week -- not just the holiday- but having family here.

Grandma and Grandpa Grosshans came- and Uncle Peter -and it is clear why we have holidays - not to celebrate something long ago - but to celebrate what we have today.

I look back to last year's blog - and remember- on Christmas you were the size of a tangerine - and now we have you! We can play with you, and love you, and watch you smile and grow and notice things-- and you are almost crawling.

Son, you are a part of something - a family - and that is the best reason to celebrate of all. We all love you



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mr. Fezziweg

Shhhh -- silent night
Dear JJ,

Now I feel as if the season is upon us and I think your life has had a Dicken's of an effect -- in fact, your dad now wants to be Mr. Fezziweg instead of Mr. Scrooge.  I will be reading you that story soon enough- but for years I was more humbug than enjoying the season.

In the story there was one character -- Mr. Fezziweg, who, it was said -- "always had the spirit of Christmas. " Well- now I want to be that person -- the one who enjoys the season- enjoys the company of others - and it wasn't the spirt of Christmas, past, present, or future that brought that to me -- it was you.

thank you, son



Monday, December 20, 2010

Eating has never been so fun

Rice cereal
Dear JJ,

Suffice to say you come from a family that enjoys food- and for the past four months you have been on liquids - and then we got the word from the pediatrician that we could start feeding you.  Yup- you love your food!

So we started - very gingerly with rice cereal. The pediatrician warned us that your mouth was more use to breast than a spoon, and that the actions were different- and he was right.  More of it ended up on us than in you-- but we persisted.  A few days later we were in Atlanta and I fed  you some mashed potatoes-- they seemed to go down much easier (Norwegian's love potatoes) - so apparently less runny food the better)

I was eating some oatmeal while you were on my lap - looking at it.  So I put a bit in your mouth- and you liked it.  Your mom looked at me and admonished about the sugar and the milk and the oats. I assured her that I didn't give you sugar- that the oats are ok, and that you have been drinking milk. "I should know better than to argue with a surgeon," as she laughed.

So, now every morning you sit in your high chair as I feed you - either rice cereal or oats-- and you love it.  In fact, you are eating a lot. Your mouth goes after that spoon like a frog at a fly.

Feeding you is just one of the great joys of being a dad.  I never knew I could enjoy food with you so much. Someday son - we will share a burger - but I won't forget these moments of watching you take a rice bath!



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decorating the tree

Dear JJ,

One year ago your mom arrived on a plane to spend two weeks here - she was 7 weeks pregnant with you - and we had our first Christmas tree.  We spent the weekend buying ornaments- and a train set - and found a single ornament that said "baby." We hid that on the tree - to see if anyone noticed.

Now you are 21 weeks old - we put that ornament back up- and your mom and I no longer live 2000 miles apart. And your dad is the luckiest guy alive. In fact- it is Lucky's first holiday also.

I never knew that my heart could be so full



Monday, December 6, 2010

I miss my family

Mom and JJ
Dear JJ,

This weekend we got to head to Atlanta to see your auntie Kim, uncle Bob, and a whole bunch of other nice friends. But, I had to leave early to come home to work-  while you and mom stayed there.

Funny thing- during the day - while at work, I am use to not seeing you-- I think about you a lot- but it sure is difficult not seeing you when I get home, or this morning when I woke up and my little boy with his smile isn't there.

Then I realized it-- I miss my family. Family - something I never really had of my own. I know it is difficult to imagine- but at 53 years old it has been a long time since I lived home- and for years I felt as if I was a wandering soul from place to place. But now I am "settled." Your mom, and you - a feeling I never have experienced before.

So, son- you and your mom will be home tomorrow. And I am really looking forward to it. First time I have been away from you since you were born.  I love you son- see you tomorrow.


You enjoy your baths

Always happy

starting to sit in your high chair

and you seem to enjoy chewing on your feet.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The other Jimmy

You have his smile
Dear JJ,

You have had a wonderful and busy time and Thanksgiving - and we had the entire family here. But today is a bit of a sad day- because today would have been my brother's 59th birthday.  Jimmy, my brother, died in 2006 - on December 7th- so the first part of December is a tough time for our family. You were named after him- and you have become the light of our lives -- all of the Simpson family.

I miss my brother- but I noticed something when you started to smile-- I noticed that you have the same smile that my brother did - and every time you smile- it makes my heart warm. It reminds me that life is a cycle, and with every rough bump there are some great things.

We never know when our time on this earth is done-- for your uncle, my brother - it was too soon. But if I ever have a last pleasant thought- it will be your smile and laugh.



Your Namesake, Jimmy and his dog, Gracie

The three beautiful ones in my life

Your grandmother loved having you in her lap

Grandpa Jim - he sure loves his grandson