Monday, March 29, 2010

We Are Family

Yesterday, Anderson met some of his cousins from Illinois. Morgen (first cousin once removed), Matt (first cousin once removed in law), Kali and Owen (2nd cousins) made their annual pilgrimage last week from Illinois to Gulf Shores to meet up with Matt's parents. Fortunately for us, their route takes them straight through Nashville (well, as straight as one can get driving through Nashville). We missed them on their way down, but we got in a quick visit on their trip back home. Kali and Owen seemed to dig their new cousin - Owen even said that he was beautiful :)

Here's the fam with Anderson. Don't they look incredible? Especially for folks who have been on the road for 8 hours, starting at 4:15 a.m., and face another 8 hours of driving!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two Months Old

It's hard to believe that Anderson is nearly two months old, already. My how the time has flown by. Although I find myself looking forward to when we will be able to play with him and have an entire night's sleep, I'm trying not to wish away this special time when he is so young and so completely dependent on me and on us. Listening to the sounds he makes while he's nursing and his "Beavis"-like laughs while he's sound asleep are special times that we know will go by far too quickly. He's already grown so much and I surprise myself by how sad it makes me to see pictures of him taken just weeks ago when he was so small . . . our little baby is starting to look more like a little boy. :)

As he grows older, the time draws nearer for me to return to work . . . although staying at home with a baby is it's own kind of hard work! Some days it seems that asking alumni to name Vanderbilt in their estate plans or to consider making a $100,000 gift is a piece of cake compared to acting as a human buffet for a little person every two hours, but I know it is going to be a challenge to try to balance the two. Thankfully I still have several more weeks before I have to face it and an amazing partner to help us figure it all out.

Following our action-packed trip home to Salisbury, we've had pretty uneventful days at home. It seems that Anderson and I are back in synch for meals which makes both of us very happy. Anderson found his thumb for the first time late last week, although he hasn't made a habit of it, yet. He is much more alert, now, smiling more often (especially in the morning) and looking around at whatever catches his fancy. The infant acne that broke out on his sweet little face, ears, scalp, and chest has nearly cleared up and he loves to "ride his bike" - legs pumping madly while sitting in his vibrating chair (a must-have for us!). He has grown out of nearly all of his newborn clothes and is thankful for the fabulous hand-me-downs from his big cousin, Jack - here he is modeling one of Jack's shirts and is ready to hit the luau.

We've made the most of the springtime weather and our wonderful neighborhood by walking to lunch, dinner, and dessert over several days with our neighbors Sarah, Rose and Will, and Jenny, Maggie, and Mary Beth. Although Anderson fusses a bit when we first put him into his carrier, he quickly remembers that he LOVES it and is rocked to sleep as we walk. It is tricky to eat while "wearing" him and it can get quite hot, but he is so content and right now it's nice to be unencumbered by a stroller.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eating Ups and Downs

They say that the way to one's heart is through her stomach which explains our new love of Athens! We mentioned the delectable eats at Farm 255 where we ate dinner and we happened upon another fabulous restaurant the next morning called Mama's Boy. Here Jonathan enjoyed peach stuffed french toast that was out of this world and I had a yummy goat cheese, spinach, and tomato omelet with cheese grits and a huge biscuit. Well priced and truly delicious, we hated to have to leave the area with so many more restaurants to uncover. But Music City was calling. (here's a picture of our Mama's boy in front of Mama's Boy and a picture of Anderson appropriately resting on his first hotel bed where he wrangled his tired parents into letting him sleep most of the night)

We made it home just fine and are settling back into real life. Jonathan jumped right back into the swing of school - I don't know how he is able to think clearly on campus while also being super Dad at home. Sadly, Anderson and I are apparently having more difficulty adjusting. Anderson has been pretty fussy the last few days and we think that we have determined that he is not getting as much to eat as he needs. It seems that my food supply has slowed down a bit, and I don't blame our little guy for being awnry when he has a rumbly in his tumbly. I'm focusing on hydration and just started some delicious herbal remedy, so hopefully we will all be happy, soon, so that I can fill out my bracket!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Awesome Athens

We left Charleston this afternoon and arrived in Athens, GA this evening. Anderson seems quite at home in his first hotel - he and his daddy are falling asleep among the billowing pillows. Trip Advisor comes through again with the choice of this hotel. The Foundry Inn & Spa is a perfect spot for our mid-trip stop. Although the rooms do open to the outside, the interior seems to have been recently renovated and is really nice, including beadboard in the bathroom. So far, we'd recommend this spot to others visiting Athens. And we HIGHLY recommend the fabulous restaurant where we ate dinner - Farm 255. The restaurant actually runs its own organic farm and, as you would imagine, the menu features items that are created using locally grown meat and produce. The atmosphere was cool, yet casual and the food was delicious, including the pickled cauliflower that I tried for the first time. East Nashville needs a place like this!!

We plan to walk around Athens a bit in the morning and then set the Roadster's course for Nashville.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Anderson is one lucky little fella. Although we live several hours from our families, he has already enjoyed several visits with his grandparents. Sassy and Papa (Jill's parents) and Wawa and Granddaddy (Jonathan's parents) each have two grandsons - what fun!

Jack Meets Anderson

Following a wonderful visit with Erin and Ben (Erin is perfectly radiant as a mommy-to-be), we arrived in Charleston on Wednesday and introduced Baby Anderson to his cousin, Jack. At first, Jack wasn't too sure about this new little guy, but he quickly warmed too him, pointing and saying "Ba-by." All was great until Brooke cradled Anderson in her arms, and Jack went from curious cousin to surly son. The pouting lips and crocodile tears clearly stated that he did not like this new "ba-by" in his momma's arms. But a little distraction made all well.

Little does Jack know that he will soon have one of these "ba-bies" in his life 24/7 - Brookie is expecting baby #2 later this summer. She looks fabulous and she and Jeff certainly make this parenting thing look easy. Jack loves his Sassy and Papa - lighting up whenever they come in the room - and he is very polite saying "Please" and "Thank You" with his baby sign language. Amazing! He's very welcoming, saying "Hi" and waving to anyone who walks in or whoever drives by while on our walk. And his love of cleaning continues...when is he coming to Nashville?!
While in Charleston, we celebrated Brooke and Jeff's 32nd birthdays and then Sassy and Papa kept the kids - so funny to be saying this in reference to our own children! - so that Brooke, Jeff, Jonathan, and I could enjoy a nice meal at 17 North. Yum!

Anderson loves it down here where he has had the best nights of the last few weeks and seems to be the least snuffly. Sadly, he looks like our little teenager with the onset of infant acne. Our poor little guy has it all over his perfect little face and his ears. Hopefully he's getting it all out now so he doesn't have to go through it as a teen.

Tomorrow we start our trip back to Nashville by way of Athens, GA. What a wonderful week we have had!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Anderson's Salisbury Debut

Last Friday we loaded up the Wright Family Roadster and headed out on our first big road trip. Anderson seemed to love the drive - sleeping most of the way and staring out the window when his eyes were open. We made a lunchtime stop in Knoxville and visited with our dear friend GG who had a fabulous lunch waiting for us. Then it was back in the car, destination Salis-vegas. All told, the trip took us about 8.5 hours of actual drive time.

While in Salisbury, we entertained many visitors who traveled from near and far to meet Anderson. Although he slept through most of the visits, he and especially his parents, were deeply touched by all of the folks who came over to see him. In addition to spending time with both sets of grandparents, Anderson's days were filled with arms that were eager to "love on him."

On Saturday he met Janet and Berkley - little nine-year old Berkley held him as if she was a momma already - Jill's 1st grade teacher and dear friend, Nana Joyce, our longtime family friend, Candy, and his cousins Gina, Dwayne, Sarah, and Perry (actually they are first cousins once removed for those,like me, who like to figure this stuff out) and Weston (his 2nd cousin). Following all of this visiting, Anderson attended his first surprise birthday party for his Aunt Kim where he met her and Uncle Daniel for the first time. He also was introduced to Great Aunt Karolyn, Great Aunt Marilyn, and Great Uncle Phil. Kim was surprised by the number of people who came out to celebrate her big 4-0 and we all had a great time celebrating her. The day ended with the Carolina/Duke game that Jonathan has asked we just not talk about. But, the highlight of that event was that Anderson got to meet Earle who came over to cheer on his 'Heels.

Sunday was just as full with visits from Jill's college roomie, Laura, and Jonathan's college roomie and family, Chris, Rachel, Mia and Sam. Mia also got to try out her pre-babysitting skills by holding Anderson while her brother made fast friends with Deacon - Jill's parents' golden retriever. Following a Wake Forest win over Clemson (phew!), we were thrilled to see the Michaels - Autumn, Jeff, Boone, Della Scott, and Mary Kirk. The evening was complete with the Oscars, although the awards show reminded us that we saw far too few of the movies that were nominated and that it isn't likely that we'll see many in the forseeable future!

Monday started out with a wonderful visit with Earle (another of Jonathan's college roomies) and Laura, followed by lunch with Nancy at one of Salisbury's newest restaurants - yum! We got back home just in time to introduce Anderson to Mr. and Mrs. C and their grandson, Samuel, and spent the evening with Aunt Kim and Uncle Daniel who drove in for some more time with their new nephew. Of course, Wawa (Grandmother Wright) and Grandaddy Wright were with us, too.

Today, our last day in Salisbury, we had a quick visit with Kay and then headed to Cleveland to see Jonathan's Granddaddy Wright. We snapped a memorable picture of four generations of Wright boys - Great-Grandadday Carl, Grandaddy Larry, Jonathan, and Anderson. A pretty special occasion and Great-Granddaddy just loved feeling Anderson's tiny grasp on his finger. We then had lunch at Sidewalk Deli and got back just in time to meet Jeannie and Stella, followed by Tracy and a return visit by Berkley. Micki stopped by in the evening while Wawa and Granddaddy got in some remaining "A" time.

A whirlwind visit but oh so special. There's nothing like going "home" to remind you of how special a place it is. We're now off to Charleston to meet Jack and Uncle Jeff and enjoy a few days of anonymity.