Dec 26 2009

Christmas 2009

As I write this, the boys are up trying to figure out which presents are theirs, and Gracie is having a bottle with mommy, who is desperately trying to sleep. (I would have giving Gracie the bottle, but she wanted mommy.) It’s Christmas morning in the Cerniglia house, and it’s been quite a year. We lost papa, we bought a house, Jude started kindergarten, I got promoted, we went to Disney World, and Gracie started to talk. So much good, and a little bit of sad.

Jude has adjusted well to kindergarten. He enjoys his new friends, so much so that sometimes he ends up talking to them during class, which can be a problem. He has begun to learn how to read, working on both “site words” and phonics. School seems to wear him out a lot more than pre-school. There’s no nap, and sometimes I think he could still use one. Often times, he gets plain ridiculous at around 7 pm, and it’s all we can do to get to bedtime. Jude’s very perceptive, sometimes surprisingly so, and he asks a lot of questions (this is a good thing), and has a big heart.

The fact that Noah now goes to pre-school himself, and that he’s in the older of the two groups has contributed to his becoming a bit more independent and confident. He certainly loves being at school. I think it’s safe to say that he brings home more creations than any other student. Sometimes, these are not even items that he has created, rather ones that he has begged one of the teachers to make for him. He’s very quick, picking up on things at times when he appears to not be paying attention. He likes to jump and play, and he can be very dramatic, especially when there is something that he wants.

The boys get along very well. The fact that they are now separated for the majority of the day has been good for both of them, but their closeness is apparent when they come home. They play together a lot, often times concocting some sort of fantastical situation for which they must create the characters, plot and (of course) the sound effects. They had their first experience with outdoor soccer this year, as we moved Fredericksburg soccer (what we had always called it, anyway) up to the high school. They had a great time. A typical performance might include Jude critiquing players technique and Noah diving to covering up the ball when he was unable to retrieve it in the traditional way.

Gracie has become exceptionally verbal. I don’t know if it’s me, or because she’s my kid and my perception is skewed, but she can talk. The babysitter has started to teach her (informally) some dutch. I don’t know if this is a contributing factor, but I think her ability to communicate is top notch. She actually told Angie, while in the doctor’s office that she “whats to go home” (she’s no dummy). This was at 16 months. She gets around real good as well. Stairs are not an issue, other than for mommy and daddy who still are not comfortable with her motoring up and down them “for fun”. Her favorite things? Horses, bags, and babies, and small electronic devices. The most amazing thing, for me, about Gracie is how often she wants “daddy”. Yes, that makes me feel good…

Angie has had a good year as well. Work is work, some days are better than others, and the hours are long. She enjoys spending time with the kids and likes finally having a house. Some nights we even get to have dinner together. The fact that we are expecting our fourth child in June means that she’s tired a lot. This doesn’t stop her from sometimes turning off the light after the midnight hour due to her desire to “just finish this chapter” in some book that she’s reading on her Kindle. As an aside, that Kindle is definitely the best gift that she almost returned, but that I made her try (if you can follow that).

My year was dominated by house renovations and a new job. We tore out all of the flooring in the house after we completed the sale, and I spent the summer putting in bamboo and tile floors. I had a lot of help from a couple of former soccer players, and a classmate from high school. As it stands right now, we’re probably 95% of the way done. There are still some loose ends, but I plan on getting to ‘em sometime this winter. I’ve put the Ph.D. program on hold ‘till the summer, as I still need to do exams and the dissertation. I’ve started working on an alternative Principal certification through Hamilton County (Cincinnati area) Educational Service Center. I’ve also been moved from the Dean of Students, as position that I held for just over a year, to a supervisory role. This means that I have longer hours and my contract is for 240 days rather than the 180 or so typical of a teacher’s salary.

Angie and I are blessed in so many ways, most notably by the love and support of our extended family. Both of our parents help whenever needed. With both of us working and three (soon to be four) kids, our lives as we know them would not be possible without their help. Dad picks Jude up every day from school, and takes him around half the time. Mom watched the boys at school sometimes during soccer season. Dorothy and Joe make room for the kids whenever we ask. Our siblings, Charles and Laurie, Dave and Kristi, help as well. We are indebted to Josh and Laryssa, who were kind enough to take our entire family to Disney World with them. What a trip. We are blessed with healthy children, who are naturally curious and like to learn. We have a house in the woods and are able to pay our bills. We hope all of you feel as blessed and full of love as we do this Holiday season.

Peace.


Jan 18 2009

And Everyone Got Sick

We’ve made it through that unpleasant event of having a sickness passed around from one family member to another. After our sledding and snowman-making morning of last week, Jude and Noah began to get sick. First, it was a cough but it progressed steadily until they both had fevers, Jude’s worse than Noah’s and had to stay home from school. I stayed home with them on Monday and then on Tuesday Angie got the first part of the day off and brought them to see the doctor. As it turned out, Jude and Gracie were put on antibiotics, as Jude also was diagnosed with Pink Eye in his right eye (fun, fun…).

Noah somehow avoided getting seriously sick. Well, then on Thursday morning, after several nights of having various kids sleep for periods of time in our bed, Angie and I started to feel sick as well. Neither of us had to go see the doctor, but I’m just beginning to feel normal again today (Sunday) and Angie is still under the weather. Gracie was proscribed antibiotics twice daily, and it’s an event we both dread. She had an aversion to the stuff, and it generally requires our having to force her to open her mouth and swallow.

Angie was a champ this morning. She woke up and made cinnamon roles (for breakfast) and cupcakes (for later) for Noah. What a girl. She then had to head to work, so we’ll finish decorating the cupcakes when she returns. I will post more after our little party tonight. We’re just doing the family thing tonight for Noah, then we’ll have a bigger party with both sides of the family next weekend.


Sep 15 2008

Gracie Gets Baptized

Gracie Gets Baptized

Gracie was baptized on August 31st, 2008. Angie and I choose Lawrence and Jenny to be her Godparents. Father Steve presided over the ceremony. The Hooks and Musselmans came up from Columbus, and everyone that lives close by showed up as well. The most appealing thing about the way the baptism unfolded was that Jude and Noah were able to be on the alter as it occurred. Of course, they found the entire event very interesting. We did run into some problems as, at one point, Noah felt the need to make sure Father Steve knew that he was the brother that would get to blow out the candle.

Afterwards, everyone spent a good part of the afternoon at the Lackman’s, where a fair amount of political discussion took place, in addition to the more traditional conversations that one would expect after such an event.

Thanks to Charles for taking pictures during the ceremony. A gallery of images can be viewed here.


Jun 5 2008

Grace Catherine Cerniglia

Gracie and Mommy minutes after birth

Grace Catherine Cerniglia was born at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, June 3rd. She weighed 6 pounds and 9 ounces and measured 19 inches in length. We are so excited to have this healthy baby girl join our family. A short summary of the days events follows.

We woke up early in the morning, as Angie was expected to arrive at Akron General around 8:00 AM. The first order of business was to fill out an enormous amount of paperwork. Induction via Pitocen began around 10:30 AM. Contractions started at 11:40 AM. The doctor broke Angie’s water around 1:00 PM, and the contractions began to get stronger. The anesthesiologist administered an epidural at around 5:00 PM as Angie was getting uncomfortable, and a little discouraged as labor wasn’t progressing as fast as she’d have liked. However, things began to pick up rather quickly, and around 7:15 PM Angie is 6 cm. In just 20 minutes, she moved to 9 cm and the doctor is paged to return to the hospital. After the doctor arrived at around 8:00 PM, we were transferred quickly into a special delivery room just in case our baby had any problems immediately following delivery. Grace Catherine was delivered and showed no signs of abnormalities. We were back in the room by 9:00 PM and Grace was feeding by 9:15 PM. The rest of my side of the family came the visit briefly before returning home, as did I around 10:00 PM.

Jude, Noah, and I visited mommy and Grace for several hours today. The boys have a hard time in that environment, as the like to press buttons, of which there are plenty to press. I checked out The Lion King for them to watch, which helped a little. Gracie really likes to be with mommy. She wakes easily and I can tell that there is going to be an adjustment period as the boys behavior naturally creates loud noises which disturb Grace and wake her.

Mommy and Gracie will come home tomorrow (today actually, as I’m writing this after midnight). Jude and Noah are handling this change with great understanding. I am very excited as I’ve always hoped that I would be blessed to experience fathering both a son and a daughter. Of course, Angie and I are now playing “zone defense” as we are outnumbered by our own children :-).

Images from the last two days can be viewed here.


andrew