The Little Sucker

According to the websites, at week 20, the baby is now the size of an average sweet potato. Tell that to Jennifer when it starts squirming around.


The latest sonogram shows that the baby is a cutie that sucks it’s thumb. We also saw it waving at us.


Week 19

According to the BabyCenter, the baby is now about 8 1/2 ounces, about six inches long and the size of a small zucchini.


We went looking at cribs and strollers this weekend. Mike and Ellen Murgolo, in the city celebrating their 15th Wedding anniversary, helped point out the important and unnecessary items. Jennifer thought she felt some kicking, but it she thinks they were likely phantom kicks at this point. The weekend’s big controversy was craddle vs crib. We have have compromised on a Pack ‘n Play for the first couple of months, but a Moses Basket or other bassinet like contrivence might make a surprise showing.


Exciting news

For those of you who don’t know…appologies for not telling you in person. But back on July 16th, Jennifer got positive results from three pregnancy tests.

This news has apparently shocked a number of close friends, who had not idea that Jen and Tom were interested in having children. Rest assured, Jen and Tom are very excited about the prospect of a new born and have been contemplating it for quite some time.

Here are some answers to typical questions:

– late March
– no, we do not want to know the sex
– currently, we plan to stay in the city


Rainy days

OK, so this is a little embarassing. But if you have ever tried to catch a cab…in the rain…on a Friday…the day of a subway bomb scare…you will understand that I was very frustrated after wandering around for 20 minutes and seven blocks. When the pedicab pulled up, I thought about it and was about to say “no thanks” when the downpour began. So here is my view from inside.

It helps my ego a bit to point our that I saw no available cabs on my trip across town…to pick up the Jeep.


There’s a new burger in town

Jen and Tom count themselves amongst the city’s hambuger aficionados and were very excited to read in New York Magazine that a new burger joint opened up just down the block. Well, it might just turn out to be too convenient. As you can see from this picture from A Hamburger Today, the burger is thick, juicy and just good to eat.


Good thing the place is called GoodBurger. (2nd Ave and 43rd)


NOLA: Mass of Mary, Help of Christians

Dear Family and Friends,
What a great day for St. Rosalie Parish and School. The number of people attending morning Mass continues to increase and with school opening today there were several parents and students in attendance as well. After Mass Fr. Jim and I shared Morning Prayer then I quickly went to the parking lot to greet the students, especially our new students to the campus. There was Morning Prayer for the school over the public address system. As I walked the halls there were smiles and lots of tears as well-smiles from many of the kids who shared stories with their friends and cries from the little ones in pre-k and kindergarten who were homesick and did not want to leave their mom’s dress or their dad’s pants.

Classes are crowded into every space-the Youth Center as well as the Guidance Office. Our cafeteria is not up and running yet, so the kids had to bring their own lunch and will do so for the next week or so until we can get a shipment of food items from our vendors. There were some parents who made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for those who forgot a lunch or chose to eat that instead of what their family packed. The military was here again this morning, this time delivering ‘kid friendly’ meals-cans of ravioli and meatballs as well as cans of various types of fruit juices. I was happy to walk around and give our Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops.
This morning, before today’s funeral for the grandparent of two of our students, I went to Archbishop Shaw High School and visited our seventh and eighth grade classes. They are so polite and respectful! As I walked into each classroom the students stood up and said, “Good Afternoon, Father.” I shared with them a few of my stories of when I was a student and a teacher in the very same classrooms where these students are now studying. That was, as a student, 1967 and as a teacher, 1974! Wow!
Our Provincial, the Very Rev. James Heuser, sdb, arrived last evening and all of the Salesians in the area gathered for Evening Prayer and supper. He listened attentively to our stories, both institutional (as Churches and Schools) and person. He began his day with a Prayer Assembly at Archbishop Shaw High School then visited the middle school campus of St. Rosalie School which is not usable for at least six months. He came to meet with the principal of St. Rosalie School and walk around the campus here as well as visit with Fr. Jim Curran, sdb, the assistant here at St. Rosalie. He will celebrate Mass tomorrow for the parish at 7am then join in Morning Prayer and a walk-thru again of the area. He will return to New Rochelle, New York tomorrow night. He brought with him the prayers and greetings of Very Rev. Paschal Chavez, sdb, the Rector Major of the Salesian Society who resides in Rome, Italy.
The insurance companies are dragging there feet to approve our claims for new roofs, interiors, and electrical work. There are so many claims to be made by so many institutions and individuals that it is overwhelming for our insurers. As people begin to return to the area, the problem only gets worse each and every passing day.
Parents are on campus doing what they can to help clean up some of the public areas that still need some ‘sprucing up.’ All in all, we are putting things back together slowly but surely. Pray for us.we have come a long way but still have a long way to go to even think about being ‘normal’ whatever that is these days.
Pray for those who are coming home for the first time and realizing that there is no physical home to return to these days. God be with us all!
Mail is slowly being delivered.with postmarks from nearly three weeks ago! UPS and FedEx have stopped by as well with packages for the ‘opening of school year 2005’ stamped on them.
Finally, the door for the front of the Church, which blew off twice-once for Katrina and again for Rita-is being rebuilt and will take its place as our entrance way by the weekend, Thanks be to God!
Thank you for listening to these ramblings. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Fr. Jon Parks, sdb


Oktoberfest in the Plaza

Jen and Tom helped to organize and Oktoberfest and Children’s Fall Festival at Dag Hammaskjold Plaza. The weather cooperated and all of the planning payed off. The plaza was filled with children painting pumpkins…and amazed parents in wonderment about the free event.

Jen and Tom worked to get a strolling magician, a face painter they met in Central Park, a chocolate dipping experience from “Chocolat Bla Bla Bla”, an inflatable bouncing castle, midway games along with beer and brats for the adults. German music filled the air…powered by Tom’s tiny MP3 player and live music from Ken, the accordian player in lederhosen.

The only scary part was when Tom lost his wedding ring while spreading out the hay for the pumpkin patch. After a proveribial search, the ring was found and all was good with the world.