Being born in Texas one of Eric’s big concerns (although mild in comparison) was that Jonathan would grow up pulling for a team other than the Ohio State Buckeyes. Of course pulling for the Baylor Bears is more than acceptable too, he wanted him to grow up at least knowing why daddy says “OH” to random strangers and why the phase “Go Blue” could get him grounded every time without fail.
To Eric’s immeasurable joy, his team became the BCS Champions before Jonathan even turned one (by 6 months). Since the BCS championship was in Dallas this year he also got to enjoy the fan festivities and see some of the Ohio friends that he had made on his previous two visits. In his lifetime, the only BCS champions that he’s known has been daddy’s Buckeyes and if Eric has his way, this trend will continue into his second year of life.
For the first time in our lives we had the opportunity to make our own family traditions at Christmas time. In the years to come I’m sure that we will realize the value of this more than this first year but none the less, we felt it was important to start right at the beginning.
Jonathan’s first Christmas he had the opportunity to spend it with both sets of grandparents and Mommy, Daddy, and his Molly. Christmas Eve was spent and Mamaw and Papaw Sawyer’s house, Christmas morning with us, and the days after Christmas we flew back to Ohio to spend it with Mamaw and Papaw Roark. Once again, he did great on the flight. Although he did not get to experience snow while he was there he did get to see Cincinnati at night, spend some time with his cousin Tucker, and welcome his 5th month in this world while in Ohio.
The night before we came back to Dallas, Eric’s parents watched the boys and gave us a chance to go out on a double date with his brother Josh and his wife Courtney. In the process of taking back the night we (Amanda) ran into some trouble with the law and was taken in. It turns out that Josh knew the the arresting officer and was able to get her released… it’s good to know people!
Amidst the craziness of life with a now 4 month old, Eric’s attention to what was going on in the music world had been put on hold. It wasn’t until the end of October that he came to realize that one of his favorite bands (The Black Keys) had released a new album the month before and would be in Dallas the day before his 34th birthday. Needless to say, being the groupie that he is, this show became a top priority and he cashed his birthday wish in on it.
Jake Bugg opened up for the Keys that night and did great but when Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney came out Eric and about 15,000 of his best friends went crazy! They played for 2 hours straight and then came back out for an encore and played another 5 songs. We didn’t get back until late that night and waking up the following morning for work was near impossible but man was it worth it!!!
Three months into our new lives we decided that Jonathan was due for his first trip to Lebanon, Ohio (daddy’s hometown) to visit Nana and Papaw and the rest of the family. Ohio is beautiful in October and the autumn weather makes a visit to the apple orchard feel all the more festive. Since Jonathan Apples were in season we also took advantage of the photo op. The flight to and from was great considering that he slept both there and back… this we would later find would not always be the case. All in all his first trip out of Texas went well and he was able to get his first taste of the Mid-West without any hiccups.
For most of you know us, you know that we tend to be among the last to leave social functions because Eric doesn’t know how to pass up an opportunity for conversation. With that being said it came as no surprise that Jonathan quickly took after his daddy. At around three months that babel started and has only grown since. The linguist in Eric has to regularly fight the urge to set up experiments to see what Jonathan understands and what similarities he finds in him with the latest research, but it doesn’t keep him from providing play by plays with what our little man is doing… Eric is language development heaven.
None the less, we have learned that with some language behaviors (such as squealing) it is important to not provide too much encouragement as this can lead to interruptions in places where a quieter atmosphere is preferred (i.e. churches, libraries, nap time at his daycare, etc.).
By the time the second month rolled around we were beginning to get adjusted to our new lives. Not only was the transition important for us, but also for our puppy Molly who had just turned a year old the month before. Prior to Jonathan’s arrival, Molly was the queen of her domain. Born partially blind, we took her in as a puppy and she quickly became a part of our family. After Jonathan’s arrival she had to quickly adjust to being in second place. We were conscious to include her as much as we could and make sure that she understood that Jonathan was not just a new accessory. It took her a little while to adjust but eventually she got the hang of her new status. Even today, as Jonathan tries to crawl on her or grab her by the ears or tail, she takes it like a champ and tolerates the pain for a little attention at the end of the night.
That first month was a month of transitions… of course we had bought everything that they tell us we need (or should have), had taken all of the classes that they had provided for us to take, and really felt like we had this. Truth be told, I don’t think that either of us felt completely lost, but we were far from pros. Fortunately, we had plenty of support and help to get us through that first month while we tried to get our footing. At the end of our first month as parents, Amanda’s mom gave us a chance to catch our breath and go on a date… it was a much needed break even if it was only a few hours.
Alright, so needless to say having a baby has been a complete gamer changer for the two of us (as if it wasn’t evident based on our lack of posts once he arrived). Aside from losing the luxury of eating hot meals, being able to go out at will, and sleep in past 6:00 a.m., things couldn’t be better!!! We LOVE our little man and despite his greatest efforts to eat anything that is mouth-sized he has only managed to get by with a few leaves and a puppy treat (or two) that Molly decided at the time to save for later.
For now though I think it would be best to try to provide you (as best as I can) with a brief month by month break down of our lives since Jonathan’s arrival. With that being said, I suppose the best place to start is the moment that our lives changed forever… which was one year ago today 🙂
It all started on the 28th of July. Amanda had an appointment already scheduled that day with her doctor, but woke up at 3:00 am experiencing mild contractions. Eric’s first thought was that this was his last day to sleep in and proceeded to do his best to both be supportive and catch his final few hours of uninterrupted sleep. That was the beginning of our lives as parents and the end of our lives as DINKs (Dual Income No Kids). 24 hours later Jonathan Andrew Roark arrived weighing 8lbs 4oz and 21 inches long.
Size? Baby Roark is about the size of a watermelon – hopefully the smaller, seedless kind (19-22 in., around 6.5 to 7 lbs.)
Measuring: On track
Heartbeat? Between 135 to 140 at last appointment
Total weight gain/loss? 40 lbs. or so
Maternity clothes? yep!
Cravings? Still craving watermelon and fruit! Any kind of sweets dot last log at our house.
Best moment of the week? making the decision to start y maternity Lear a but early. Friday is my last day until the end of October. It still doesn’t seem completely real that we could have our sweet boy here in a weeks time.
Movement? mostly just his little feet kicking away. He’s moved down so he’s not hitting my ribs, but I love the reminder that he’s there and doing well.
Gender Predictions? It’s a boy!
What do I miss? Easily finding that comfortable spot. It seems like the little things take so much effort that when I do finally get to rest, it’s more work to get back up so I just fall asleep for a minute and wake up a little refreshed.
What am I looking forward to? Hopefully, a few days to relax and get all the final details out together in the nursery and around the house. Eric has been helping but he’s also trying to get ahead in his grad school summer course so he doesn’t have to stress as much about it once Jonathan gets here. We’re busy people!
How are you feeling? Mostly just tired. I’m hoping to get caught up on some R&R this weekend so I can conquer that to-do list (or at least some of it).
Last night, I was feeling completely overwhelmed by my growing mental to-do list and how little I was able to accomplish off the list this weekend.
Thankfully, Eric was there to help me through and realize how we can make it work as a team. I don’t have to measure myself against that lit, but share a few of them with him so he can help and serve me better.
This list of things to refocus my attention would have been so helpful, too.
Even though I didn’t get all the things done around the house and prepped for the work week, I was still able to spend some quality time with my family yesterday and support Eric in his desire to have one of the best looking yards on the street.
Tomorrow is another day, and I am continually learning to not measure myself against an insurmountable list of “tasks” but in moments shared with others.
We truly are “always students” in life.