Friday, February 29, 2008

Paternity Leave

The past week and a half I have been fortunate enough to have time off from work for paternity leave. (My hat is off to IBM for that great benefit extended to dads.) Being home with the boys, baby & Amy has given me a lot of quality family time and an appreciation for all the domestic things that go on behind the scenes to make house and family operate. At times the commotion and chores are an alarming harbinger of the days to come as Amy & I come to terms with our future with three kids under the age of three. But fortunately we have had a lot of help from family, friends and neighbors who offer help, meals, and an ear for listening. We will get into a routine sooner or later and adjust to this big (and awesome) life change.

Grandparents are always a welcome sight at the Rutledge household. Nana was here for a couple of weeks after Tess was born, and her help was much appreciated. GJ arrived this week to get some grandmother time with Gus, Owen and Tess which is fulfilling for her and a helpful reprieve for us.

Amy is hanging in there trying to catch as much sleep as she can between Tess's feedings. Tess gave us a break last night by going five hours between feedings. (I should say she gave Amy a break as Amy obviously bears the brunt of the sleepless nights.) We try to wake her up & feed her during the day to get that little belly full in hopes of stretching out those post-midnight feedings as long as possible. We just have to tough it out until she sleeps through the night.

Outside our four walls, our attention has turned to the political primaries. I cannot remember a more interesting, gripping political race in my lifetime than the Obama/Clinton race for the Democratic nomination. After 20 debates and several primaries and caucuses, "Crucial Tuesday" as it's being billed could decide the race if Obama can pull out wins in Texas and Ohio next week. And the excitement is not just limited to the Democrats. Personally I think the Republicans have nominated -- or at least are about to nominate -- a quality person with integrity in John McCain. The general election promises to engage tens of thousands of new people to the political process and should be engaging to watch play out. Now if I can just contain my overzealousness for Obama to get my wife to jump back off the Clinton wagon....

Don't look now. But if Kentucky can somehow upset mighty Tennessee on Sunday, they have the inside track on the SEC regular season championship. (BTW, I did a double take writing that sentence during basketball season instead of football season.) Who would have thought this would even be within reach after Gardener-Webb?

Here are some Paternity Week scenes from our household. Happy Leap Day -- cheers!

There's nothing like snuggling up next to Mom for a warm winter's nap.

GJ's shoulder proves not to be half bad either.

"I'm milking them folks. These people don't stand a chance against me."

Bat the eyes. Dad jumps. Got it.

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