Thursday, December 16, 2010

Operation Mall Santa: SUCCESS!

"Christmas time is here / Happiness and cheer," indeed. After last year's less than successful trip to the evil man in red, and the previous year's santatastic fiasco, we lacked that special confidence other parents seem to enjoy on taking their children to see their local mall Santa Claus. We'd done a few flybys at Northpoint so Jack could see Santa—to which he often reminded us that Santa was not, in fact scary. But ever those pictures of Jack, arms wide, lungs wider, were front of mind. And ever the fear of a trashing, kicking repeat danced in our heads like pissed-off sugar plums.

So it was with cautious optimism that Ann secured us the first place in line for when Santa came back from his dinner break. And with JJ and Meme's help, the boys remained in good spirits throughout their wait. And—behold!—a Christmas miracle was witnessed under the rudy glow of the Great American Cookie Company's neon marquee: Santa descended the escalator smiling and waving at Jack who stood, mouth agape, at the bottom. And with their great-grandmother in tow (and threatened to also be seated on ole Kingle's lap) the boys skipped to the head of the line, got a little extra time with the jolly old elf, and—wait for it—no one cried, screamed, thrashed, or even drooled (the worst...shudders).

But my favorite part of this year's elfin pilgrimage was Jack's dialogue with St. Nick. It went a little something like this:

Santa: What do you want for Christmas?
Jack: (blank stare) I don't know.
Santa: How about ... some toys?
Jack: Oh, yeah.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Malcolm's Two-Month Photoshoot

In late August, on the eve of the new 'lil sir's two-month birthday, Ann and I reconnected with Marchet Butler (who shot Jack when he was just a month old) for a photoshoot of the new boy and the family.

So on a beautiful Saturday morning, we met Marchet at the Roswell City Hall to shoot the family both on and around the Roswell Cultural Arts Center and the Smith Plantation. It was great to work with Marchet again (well, for me it was the first time)—she's got a great way with the kids and did wonders to help keep Jack engaged throughout the 1.5 hour shoot. And as a reward, we got some fantastic pics of the littlest Jordan. We also got some priceless shots of Jack and the family, too.

Capturing such brief times in the little boys' lives is a strange thing, indeed. Looking back now, on the eve of Malcolm's three-month birthday, it's shocking just how much the little man has changed in one short month. And how much milk-weight the little butterball has packed on. At this age—perhaps at any—you blink and they've changed entirely. In this light, the value of Marchet's pics is incalculable.

Enjoy a sampling from the shoot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Introducing Malcolm!

Ann and I are thrilled to announce that Tuesday afternoon, July 6, at 2:25pm, Ann gave birth to Malcolm Alexander Jordan at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Malcolm weighed in at a hefty 9lbs 4oz (even heavier than his brother!) and measured a lengthy 21in.

Like with Jack, Malcolm camped out and took his sweet time getting us to the hospital. Ann was due back on July 2 and many symptoms pointed to his imminent arrival in late June. But when her due date came and went, we found ourselves preparing for a repeat induction. But that's where the similarities end—where Jack's delivery lasted better than 2 hours, Malcolm's barely made it five minutes. In three contractions' time, the boy was out!

Now, folks have asked us where the name comes from. Well, since Jack took the names of his dad and both his grandfathers (and both his great-grandfathers and at least one great-great-grandfather) we had to go back to the source. We asked the grandmothers to comb their ancestry research for the cream of the historical lineage. Malcolm, a Scottish, Catholic name taken from from JD's French-Canadian heritage (how's that for a heady heredity) rose to the top. And Alexander? Well, sometimes, if you want your son to conquer the world, you gotta give him a conqueror's name.

So say "Hello," Malcolm. There's a great big world waiting to meet you.

We've posted pictures of Malcolm before (at our 6 and 9 week sonograms and, again, at our 20 and 36 week scans) but here are a few from today's excitement:

Ann meets her new boy for the first time

Malcolm, up close and fussy

Malcolm meets his daddy

JD, Malcolm, and Ann moments after the baby's birth

Malcolm's first bath

Sportin' his body builder pose

Relaxing with mommy

Jack meets his 'lil brother

And plays with his favorite unkie

Malcolm gettin' his sleep on

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spring. At last!

Well, it was brutal winter. Four different snow "storms" (well, Southern snow storms, anyway, meaning the roads iced and there was snow on the shingles) and lots of freezing temperatures kept us trapped in doors. But when spring sprung, we were quick to get outside, into the driveway to practice on Jack's trike or the yard to play on his new slide. We enjoyed Jack's first donuts (Krispy Kreme, of course) and his first Easter Egg hunt. And we were quick to take Jack on the road, to Athens, Albany, and Chattanooga for weekends with my grad school friends, the twins' 2nd birthday, and to catch up with Travis and Amy before their kid arrives, respectively. Ann and I even slipped away to catch a Braves game. And, most recently, we took the boy to the High to see vintage cars, to run around on the grass, and to watch "mommy assholes" (Jack's unique way of pronouncing "motorcycles") cruise by on Peachtree.

And when we weren't enjoying the rapidly heating outdoors, we've been getting the house ready for 2.0. And while Jack's first encounter with 2.0's room was less than inspiring (when Ann told him the crib was his little brother's bed Jack responded, "uh-oh" and backed out of the room) he's slowly coming to toddler-terms with mommy's "baby belly." When I asked him this morning if mommy was having a baby, his answer had changed from "no baby" to a whispered, "yesh." Now that's progress!

On the Ann/Preggasaurus front, the baby kept on growing. "His imminence" kept us breathless, waiting to turn until the last second, but otherwise the pregnancy has been been healthy and uneventful. Well, uneventful except for the occasional in utero cartwheel. But she's been carrying the new boy like a pro and, from appearances, easier than she did the Jack Attack.

For my part, I skipped town to Vegas for a long weekend with Travis and David (also the imminent fathers of boys) for a last hurrah before 2.0's arrival—a repeat of our infamous pre-Jack trip to Sin City. I also managed to finish a first draft a novel project just two weeks before Ann's due date. And if his imminence is as good a baby as Jack was, I'll get the chance to work up the second draft sometime before the end of the world in 2012. ;)

We'll have a new addition soon—and a lot of sleep deprivation— so we've tried to enjoy this Spring to its fullest. So, while you wait for pics of his imminence, enjoy some pics us and the Jack Attack from the past few months.

His first donut. Krispy Kreme. Brilliant.

On the new slide.

His first maniacal reaction to an Easter egg hunt.

Playing on the trampoline at the twins' birthday.

Hamming it up!

Racing across the school's playground.

Ann and Amy rockin' their baby bellies in Chattanooga.

Jack goin' for the baby belly.

Ann's gettin' huge in Oakland Cemetery.

Jack chasing me down at the High on Father's Day

I am a Jack Zen Master

Big John and Jack at Dagwoods on Father's Day

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Peek Under the Hood at 2.0

D-day is almost upon us. And as we head into the final stretch, and scramble to get the house ready for its newest tenant, the reality of 2.0's imminent arrival gets a little more real every day. Well, that and Ann's picture-perfect baby belly.

Since that first sonogram back in November, we've had two chances to see the little man—at 20 weeks to check gender and again at 36 weeks to see how he is developing. Turns out, he's getting downright ginormous. As of 36.5 weeks, he's already weighing in a 7+ pounds and there's every expectation he'll end up a big boy, just like his brother.

So while we wait to see the mini sir in living color (and out utero), enjoy some candid and grainy, sonogram images from inside Ann's belly:

Week 20. The little guy in cross-section.

Week 20. The proof is in the peeper.

Week 36. A head shot, blocked by his forearm. So we'll have to wait a few more weeks to see that winning mug.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Second Jackiversary!

It's hard to believe the boy is two years old. Seems just yesterday he was brand new (or, at least, freshly soiled with cake). In his second year, Jack's grown so much—from a barely-toddling little boy to a fast, happy, and increasingly talkative little kid. Now if only he would dial the volume down from 11...

Our winter was a busy one spent hiding from an unusually frigid Georgia winter. Snow four times in one year? Unheard of! But it did let us introduce the boy to his first snowfall. It even kept the crowds away from the Georgia Aquarium for Jack's first ever trip to see the big fish (eg. not the little plastic ones in the tub). But mostly, it focused our little family on spending time together, teaching Jack how to ride his trike, drawing with crayons, racing cars down a track, dancing like a fool to JD's music, reading a TON of books, and watching Ann's belly grow from flat and skinny to pleasantly pregnant.

And when the sun finally came back, we were back out with the boy in a heartbeat. There's nothing quite like a 2-year old on a playground (with or without the Benny Hill soundtrack):

There were too many firsts to count these last few months. Suffice to say, the boy's growing by leaps and bounds. That we can actually have conversations with him now is rewarding beyond measure. And to see him really starting to interact with other kids in a meaningful way warms the heart. And, it likely goes without saying, we still love being his mom and dad.

Jack, you set a high bar for 2.0 to live up to. Keep it up.

Now, of course, enjoy some pics from past few months:

Catchin' a lift on Me-Me's ride.

The little fam while watching "The Street."

Jack in Big John's big chair.

Rockin' the new trike.

Jack and JJ at the big tank at the aquarium.

Ann and Jack at Riverside park.

Booger check!

Jack sliding under the influence.

Jack and Noah in their swagger wagon.

Playing piano with JJ.

Good parenting at work.

Jack and his new favorite.

Jack gets stuck and daddy helps by taking a picture! Now, that's good parenting.