It was on to the second leg of our Summer Vacation tour as we packed up the car and kids and started the 9 hour drive to Ba & Pop’s house. It’s funny, I never thought there would be a time where a 9 hour car ride seemed like a short trip…especially with 2 kids.
This was the portion of the trip that had been making me fairly nervous for several months. While we were in town I would be attending my 20th High School Reunion (not sure there is any way around it…I am officially old) and a three-hour reunion show with my college band. All while trying to balance spending as much time with my family before we would be separated for three weeks. Continue reading “Two Week Notice (pt.2)”→
We boarded yet another plane and prepared to head home to visit my family. Nolin seemed to already be enjoying his time at the airport, as he greeted everyone we passed. Once we were on the plane I tried my famous move where Jenn sits by the window, I sit in the aisle seat and we proudly display Nolin in the middle seat to ward off any would be travel companions.
Apparently I am not the first person to invent this trick, and the flight attendant knew what was up. I tried to bounce Nolin around, so that he would look like a handful and then the announcement came over the intercom, This is a completely full flight, so please make sure you leave room for passengers still getting on the plane.
Slightly defeated I slid over to the middle seat, but secretly hoped we would be afforded a little extra room on the flight. Then a lady nicely explained that she would sit by us because she has a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, so she knew how rough flying can be. Well Nolin loves to fly so I was pretty sure she was in luck, but upon hearing the news of younger children, Jenn all of a sudden felt the need to come clean.
I think Nolin has been willed to be a baseball player and if my family has their way, he will one day call Yankee Stadium his home.
Before we became parents, Jenn used to love driving by the baseball field across from our house to watch the little kids running around the field, so you can imagine her excitement when she found out that we would be adopting a boy.
My dad on the other hand sent Nolin an official Yankees onezie, ballcap and pacifier about 3 days after he was born. He was even more excited because the local minor league team was playing a home game while we were in town. He was going to take his first grand son to his first baseball game…
When we got to the stadium, he and my mom had to bring the ticket lady out so she could meet Nolin, they introduced him to a police officer and basically were just on cloud nine as we walked into the stadium. It brought me back to the days that my dad would take us to the ball games.
It’s a different stadium now and Nolin’s not quite old enough to stand behind the wall waiting for his chance to get a fly ball, or try and steal one like his Aunt did back in the day. Using all of her charm, she went up to a teenager & his brother who had just caught a fly ball asked if she could see it, then threw it to me and screamed, “RUN” besides being completely shocked at what just happened, I was also not blessed with the gift of speed…needless to say I didn’t make it very far.
We met up with my Uncle Bobby (another Yankees diehard), his brother Frank, my brother, and Gordie who was with his 4 month old daughter Maggie. Let’s just say that Maggie was not as impressed with her first baseball experience as Nolin. She pretty much screamed straight for the first 8 innings.
Gordie walked her from corner to corner of the stadium and told her I am going to win this one…well after 7 1/2 innings he finally conceeded and Jenn tried to calm her with no luck. I figured I had the 5 S’s down, so I could do it…nope, that didn’t work either and then my dad pulled out the powerful buddah belly and everything was right with the world (don’t worry he didn’t get an inflated ego or anything).
Shortly after, it appears all Maggie’s crying paid off because the batter knew where to hit the ball and she caught her first fly ball…pretty impressive for a 4 month old I know. It’s just too bad, that Aunt Erin wasn’t there to steal it from her because I think Nolin would have at least had a fighting chance of getting away…
Unfortunately my vacation is over and I have had to come back to the real world, but it has been 13 days that I am incredibly thankful for. As an individual who typically doesn’t have an opportunity to take long extended breaks, this vacation was even more special because we had an opportunity to introduce Nolin to so many of our friends and family.
This trip also consisted of a lot of firsts (including realizing that Nolin has grown 5 inches since he was born) that I was excited to be able to experience with Nolin. He probably won’t remember too many of these, and I don’t want to forget, so I figured listing them out would be a way to ensure these memories don’t fade.
Nolin’s first flight: An 8am flight with a 5 ½ week old is pretty much every parent’s nightmare. We figured that if Nolin was going to freak out we might as well share the fun with 125 of our closest friends. Instead the Southwest staff was amazing and Nolin was mesmerized by the flight…he never made a sound. It was fantastic!
Nolin’s first day in court: Let’s hope this isn’t a trend in the future, but Nolin had a chance to visit grandpa at work and sit on the bench. Thankfully he was behind the bench instead of in front of it.
Nana’s first great grand child: Shortly after arriving, we took Nolin to visit his great grandmother, and she was in her glory. She got off the phone pretty quickly when I called to tell her we were coming…I guess the mayor of Aragona wanted to make sure she was ready for the big occasion.
Nolin’s first road trip: We took a short journey to Richmond, Va. to visit my cousins Kathleen and Brian and their families as well as our friend’s Brenton and Jessie and their son Steven (with an “S”). During this trip Nolin, would also ride to Washington D.C. and DuBois, PA. He seems to love riding in the car…he’s definitely the perfect child for us.
Nolin’s first baseball game: This was one I was excited for coming into the trip and this time, Grandpa was in his glory and while Nolin didn’t catch a fly ball, he did enjoy the smell of hot dogs, cold beer and his first official O’Brien baseball jersey during his first baseball game.
Nolin’s first boat trip: We had a chance to take a short trip on our friend Bridget’s parent’s boat. Like most things, Nolin was relaxed being on the water and during his dance off with Bridget’s daughter Ellie, I would say it was a tie. Jenn especially loved a comment from another boater that she was jealous of how quickly Jenn could get back into shape after giving birth…apparently this is one of the advantages to adoption.
Nolin’s first trip to the beach: Nolin got a chance to partially experience the beach as my parent’s Jenn and I went for an early evening walk. Jenn had Nolin wrapped up tight in his Moby Wrap to protect him from the sun, but I think he may have seen a wave or two.
Nolin’s first trip to the zoo: We took Nolin to the DC Zoo and it was hot. We met up with our friends Tom & Hillary and their children. He slept through most of the zoo, but I think enjoyed the miniature horse.
Nolin met his first Amish friend: Don took us to introduce Nolin to his Amish friend that owns a store and deer farm. While he has 8 children of his own, he had never seen a Moby Wrap and thought Nolin looked like a Kangaroo.
Nolin’s first State Park visit: There will be plenty of state park visits in Nolin’s future if his mom has her way. We took him to Moraine State Park to meet up with our friends Julie, Derek & Renee and their children (not all together…although I am sure Derek would feel like a stud if that were the case). We had a picnic and played Disc Golf…I will get into this adventure in more detail later.
As you can see, there were so many firsts on this trip. I am so glad that I was actually able to take a full 2 weeks off and experience all of these things with Nolin. He grew up so much during those two weeks it made me realize just how quickly these days will be gone.
Nolin and Jenn are still hanging out in Pennsylvania for a week and a half, so I told him to close his eyes, sleep a lot and he better not grow until he gets back. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll listen to me. He will probably experience some additional firsts without me, but I will be there in spirit waiting to receive my cell phone videos from Jenn’s dad to document them all.