Our Modern Family


Happiest Baby On The Block

Learning From the Master

Nolin & My Father

The weekend is over and I guess it is back to reality. While there are a few less hands to help keep Nolin occupied, there are several more people who have had the chance to be seduced by his charm.   

Friday night after my brother and parents left our house to go to sleep, I sent Teresa upstairs to get an uninterrupted night of sleep in a comfortable bed, and decided that the boys would have an indoor campout.  I think my slumber party was a little less successful than Teresa’s.  Everything was ready…bassinet was in place by the couch; Nolin’s downstairs feeding, changing and clothing outlets were all fully stocked and ready to handle anything that came our way;  pillows were placed strategically on the floor for Pancake; and sheets and a pillow adorned the couch to provide comfort and well deserved sleep for me.    

Nolin & My Brother

We made it through the 1 am feeding with no problems, and I went back to the couch for my next 3 hours of sleep.  Then at 2am, I was awoken not by screams or cries, but grunts and sighs as Nolin was feeling a little gassy and unable to get comfortable.  At this point he was wide awake and it was game on.  Basically I spent the rest of the night trying to get him wound down and back to sleep.  I also discovered that prime time TV programming does not extend to 4 in the morning.    

Nolin would fall asleep and then after about 10-20 minutes of sleep for me, we’d start the game over again, and he would smile (again through the whole ordeal he never cried once)…awesome.  During the brief moments that Nolin would sleep, Pancake decided he wanted to be in on the action too, and he would jump on the couch and try to get comfortable using my head as a pillow…even more awesome.  This routine between Nolin and Pancake went on until about 8:30 in the morning when Teresa and Jenn left for the airport.   

With very little sleep and a son whose temperament was about as stable as the volcano in Iceland we opted not to test fate and make the 5 hour round trip to visit Aunt ELO, but Nolin did assure me that when we head up north he has reserved some time just for her in his rock star schedule.  We did head out briefly for breakfast and then decided that we would just relax around the house and grill out for dinner.   

There are a few things I remember from my early childhood. One is when my dad would lay in bed on a Saturday morning and he would sit me on his chest to fall asleep. Apparently he still has the knack because Nolin was perfectly content in my dad’s arms and resting on his chest.  I guess my dad has the gift of the hypnotic buddha…I think Nolin could have slept there the entire day if we let him. We have now discovered the 6th “S” to having the Happiest Baby On The Block  “Send Him To THE Belly”.  Well I have learned a lesson from the master and I am having some luck with this new technique albeit not as much as my father since he has had a few more years to develop his technique.   

It has really made me appreciate this entire experience more to have the opportunity to share Nolin with my family and witness how this child has already brought so much joy into our lives…and he is just getting started.  Nolin has taught me so much in his first few weeks, and I guess things have come full circle because once again I have learned from the master.   

Nolin & My Parents


Nolin James O’Brien made his way home on Sunday around 6:00pm and we couldn’t be happier!  We realized when we got home exactly how lucky we were to have had that time with him in the hospital.  I can’t imagine what we would have been like if we just brought him home and had to figure out. 

 I’ve never been one to really read the owner’s manual, but Nolin didn’t exactly come with one at all and I thought they should really re-think that strategy.  The scene in the house was calm but probably also comedic for all of you that have older children.  Jenn & I tried to incorporate Nolin into our nightly routines like making dinner only to find its kind of hard when your hands are full.  Thankfully we had Axelle, our friends Lee & Kelly and Pancake (the dog) to help us out.

As soon as we got home, Pancake went right up to Nolin and started kissing his head.  I’ve been told that this is the dog’s way to let other dog’s know they are part of the pack…so I guess it’s official Nolin is part of the pack.

As our night wound down Jenn and I sat watching Nolin sleep…tonight was going to be a good good night.  Then we put him in his Bassinet and settled into bed…that’s when the fun started. 

Cry…pick up…attempt to perform the 5 S’s (Apparently from the Happiest Baby on The Block book which ours decidedly was not)…fall asleep…put back in the bassinet and then start the cycle over.  This routine went on straight from 11:00pm to 4:30am.  At some point I picked up my guitar and started singing to him and this seemed to calm him down.  I don’t know if that makes me the baby charmer or just that boring.  Either way the problem becomes that I am not at the age anymore where putting on a show at 2am has quite the same meaning that it used to.

During my impromptu setlist, I found that he particularly liked Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.  After playing the song several times I think the lyrics changed to I heard there was  a secret chord that POB played and Nolin snored…it worked for a few minutes at least.

With 2.5 hours of sleep, I made my way to work for a few hours, came home and took a nap with Nolin (because he decided that it is alright to sleep all day) and I’m looking forward to doing it all again…

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