Our Modern Family


Boys Town

Stepping Onward

So before Nolin entered our lives, Jenn & I started unconsciously planning for our family.  It started off with a neighborhood stray cat that we began taking care of, moved on to a stranded dog that we took in, then opening our home to an amazing foreign exchange student for a year, and also working with foster children through Stepping Onward an organization that we were part of.

On the weekends, we would meet with several foster children in the Boys Town program and run with them.  While probably only a few of the children enjoyed the actual running part, I think all of them enjoyed the attention and the opportunity to have someone take interest in them.  It was a fun time in our lives and a great learning experience for our future.  As our lives changed and the children and foster parents moved in & out of the program it became a little more difficult to keep the program up.

Stepping Onward’s motto is Every Journey Begins With The First Step…so it was only fitting that Nolin’s first road race  was the fun run at the Candy Cane 5K benefiting our friends at Boys Town. Continue reading “Stepping Onward”

Baby vs. Food

Sunday night we got Nolin bundled up (yes in Florida it has started to get cold), and went to the Boys Town Christmas Party.  It was neat to see the kids dressed up and in a setting outside of our weekly run.  They had cleaned up their houses and decorated them and you could tell how proud they were to talk about the program and give tours of their homes.  They were also all very excited to see Nolin again, who has not been joining us lately on our weekly runs.

As we toured the houses and talked to the kids, you got the feeling that although they would all have difficult roads ahead of them, there is still hope because these are good kids.

Boys Town even had one of Santa’s helpers fill in and talk to the kids.  Nolin seemed pretty excited when he came into the house we were visiting.  With feet kicking and arms flailing, we handed Nolin over to Santa for a quick photo op.  It was a relief to know that when he meets the real Santa on the 24th, he won’t spend the time screaming (hopefully).

We left the party and headed back home to get Nolin ready for bed and so that I could pack for my upcoming work trip.  Jenn took Pancake for a walk and Nolin and I proceeded to our bath time and dinner ritual.  After his bath was over, it was time to eat, something that Nolin thoroughly enjoys.

As he gets used to foods he really gets into dinner time.  Sunday night was a dish I like to call Sweet Potato Di Jour (sweet potatoes, oatmeal and formula).  Nolin couldn’t get enough. Every time I started in with more food, his eyes would light up. He would pull the spoon back to his mouth as I would take it away. If I wasn’t fast enough with more food, he would pretend to eat his high chair and then start laughing.

Nolin was putting on a show.

And for the grand finale, Nolin began to growl like a monster, grabbed his bib with one hand and ripped it off from around his neck.  Whoa incredible hulk baby, I guess that means you’re done?!

Nolin instantly began to laugh and then turned his eyes back to the empty food jar.  He had a proud look on his face as if he had just conquered Mt. Everest.

We spent a little more time upstairs playing before he went to bed.  I brought out the guitar and sang a few songs to Nolin, who sat more attentive then anyone I have ever played for.  When I stopped, he rolled (no he had not started crawling yet, that happened on Monday when I left on my work trip) over to the guitar and started trying to play himself.  It went well until he tried to grab a handful of strings and pull them to him…yep time for bed.

I took extra time putting Nolin to bed as I wanted to savor every minute before I left for a four night work trip.  I finally said goodnight and started packing for my trip.  I guess Nolin wanted to get the most out of his time with me, because he woke up several times before we finally brought him to bed with us.  Yes I know that goes against all of the parenting books, but I figured it was just one night…

Date Night

Friday night, Jenn and I had our first date night post Nolin. Our next door neighbors agreed to watch Nolin for a few hours and we made our way out.

So what are young and fun new parents like us to do during their brief escape from responsibility?

  1. We could go to a nice romantic dinner for two.
  2. We could go see a movie (although trying to agree on a movie can sometimes prove more difficult than watching after a 5 week old).
  3. Maybe we could act like we are 24 again and head downtown for a wild and crazy night.

We chose option 4…go to a political dinner for local government officials and individuals who had served on different boards and commissions during the year.  Oh my God…it has finally happened…I have turned into my father.  They talk about this happening, but you never actually think it will.  It is safe to say that I spent the better part of my angst ridden youth (there really wasn’t too much angst, but I tried) rebelling and trying to be different and here it is…I am now my dad.  Well I didn’t see that one coming. 

Anyway, we arrived at the dinner and immediately just started laughing  at the comedy that was surrounding our night.  Our good friend George and his wife Sandra showed up a little later so we felt a little less out-of-place.  We found ourselves placed at a table with two other residents who had served on various boards and commissions. the deputy mayor and the man who will most likely be our next mayor.

As the night went on, the conversations got more comfortable as we discovered that the deputy mayor had become a grandparent for the 2nd time just four weeks ago, serves on the board for Boys Town, and organization we volunteer with on Sunday nights through Stepping Onward, oh yeah and owned Tijuana Flats the place I have been singing at for the past few years.  Although we are regulars there, I had never met him before.

Jenn’s motherly guilt about leaving Nolin with our neighbors quickly came over her, so she left before they handed out the certificates of service to go pick Nolin up.  There may have also been some natural guilt because Nolin’s witching hours typically starts around 8:45, and we didn’t want our neighbors to never offer to babysit again.  I got a ride home from George and Sandra, and then Jenn and I concluded our date night watching a movie with Nolin and Pancake…all in all I would say it was a pretty successful date night.

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