Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little Drummer Boy, Snow Bunny, and Cookie Maker

I can't believe that Christmas is in four days, and that the end of 2009 is right around the corner. Where did December go? Where did the year go? I have no answers, only pictures of the happenings of the last month. (More to come after the holiday this weekend.)

Jake's friend Natalie had a "Band" birthday party and here is our little drummer boy.

The first snowfall of the season was this last weekend, and it was a blizzard. We got over a foot of snow on the ground and the drifts were much higher. Jake saw snow last year, but being so little wouldn't remember it. He had fun outside, at least until he got too cold. :)

Helping Daddy shovel the sidewalk.

I made the wreath out of ornaments with a friend of mine. It wasn't hard and turned out well. If you want to know how to make one for yourself, go here.

Jake helped make Christmas cookies this year.

He decided to taste the flour (multiple times!)...I love that he is making so many facial expressions. It's a new thing and its funny at times to see his expressions in reaction to something.

Rolling out the dough with Daddy.

Are they done yet????

Friday, December 4, 2009

For the Love of Ranch Dressing

This one's for you, Auntie Kristen!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Last year, we spent the holiday weekend in Virginia with my family. My uncle was running in the local 5K Turkey Trot early that Thanksgiving morning, and we walked down to cheer him and the other runners on. I had a new baby and was in no shape to even attempt such a feat. I remember feeling sad because, at one point in time in the not-too-distant past, 3.2 miles was a daily workout. My grandma sweetly put her arm around me and said, "Don't worry. You can do it next year."
Well, Thanksgiving morning 2009 came, and run a 5K race I did. I joined my friends Carol and Bruce, with about 500 other runners, at a beautiful state park on the North Shore for this year's Turkey Trot. The weather was great, energy levels were high, and I had a great time. I even beat my previous time, with this one being a much harder course. Maybe next year we'll make it a family affair.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nap Time

The Boy REFUSED to take any sort of nap today. He cried and cried and cried and would not sleep. (Sigh.) Later in the day we took a walk, played for a little bit in the park, and then came home. Wouldn't you know it, Jake fell asleep about two minutes before we got in the door. Too bad he looks so angelic when he's sleeping. Now I just pray that he goes to bed at a decent hour tonight.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Children's Museum

The Long Island Children's Museum is a wonderful place, with lots of fun things for kids big and small. Among other things, kids can climb a huge treehouse maze, dig in the sand, make giant bubbles, build towers with wooden blocks, and even be a newscaster in their own television show! Jake and I had a fun morning there last week when we met up with our friends Cadance, Quentyn, and Mhasyn. Even though they're much older than Jake (10 and 4), both boys were so sweet and patient with him and his toddler interests. As you can see from the pictures, Jake had a great time.
On a side note, I never would have imagined when I moved out here three years ago that I'd be given the opportunity to reconnect with someone that I grew up with. It's been fun to get to know Cadance and her family, and I'm thankful to have found another friend. (And thanks, Cadance, for showing me how to make the collages online this afternoon. I love how it turned out!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Updates

October was a busy month (when is life not busy, really?) filled with lots of fun activities. Brian and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary by going out without the boy (thank you to my mother-in-law for babysitting). I turned a whopping 33, and had a nice day at home with my boys. Brian got up with Jake that morning and let me sleep in...until 10am! On his birthday, Jake didn't understand tearing wrapping paper off of packages. He does now, that's for sure, and had fun "helping" Mommy open her presents.
We had a family outing to the Museum of Natural History (the location of the movie Night at the Museum). You could spend days there, it's so big, so we mostly looked at the animal exhibits. I think Jake liked the elephants and the fish the best (they actually have a life-size whale in the marine life exhibit).
Apples are in season here right now (which means cheap), so I've been busy making apple butter. I also had fun learning how to decorate Halloween cookies at a mini class with some friends. And, of course, we can't overlook Halloween. Though he wouldn't sit still and smile for the camera, Jake was adorable dressed as a monkey. What a fitting costume, as he is a monkey on a daily basis.
Monkey see, Monkey the Museum of Natural History

Jake liked the Elephants the best

Sitting in an oyster shell...wouldn't you like to find the pearl that could have been inside that baby!

Learning to decorate Halloween sugar cookies

Helping Mommy open presents on her birthday

Making apple butter

We had fun carving a Jack-O-Lantern

Ready for trick or treating on Halloween

with some of the loot he got from the neighbors...actually, this is the best picture showing off his cute monkey costume.

We couldn't resist the costume when we saw it two months ago...he's such a monkey that it was the perfect fit. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anyone for a Monster Mash?

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rub a Dub Dub

I think the kid likes bathtime, just a little bit. (Yeah, it's a bit grainy this time. Sorry.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Latest at our House

Mr. Cool Dude in his sunglasses

"Horsing" around with Mama

One of Jake's new favorite activities--knocking over block towers.

Yes! Victory!

Going down the giant slide with Daddy

On the carousel with Mommy

I know it's been a while. We manage to stay really busy and, yet, feel like not much has happened at the same time. The little Monkey had his 15 month check up today, and is doing great. Healthy and developmentally on target. He's still tall and thin but eats about the same menu that we do...including things like chicken tikka masala, hawaiian style pizza, spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes from our garden, and grilled Alaskan halibut. Oh, and don't forget the M&M's. :) His vocabulary is growing every day, both verbal and signing, and it's fun to see him learn new words. I guess he does pay attention to what we're trying to teach him.

Jake's favorite things to do right now are walk around with the phone up to his ear, saying, "Oh" (his version of "Hello"), climb up on the piano bench and play songs for us, take off his socks and shoes, climb into and out of his stroller, and play "let's knock down the tower" with Daddy. (Thank you Cadance for the block set.) He has the hardest time waiting for much of a tower to be built before laughing with glee as he knocks it over. It's pretty funny.

We went to the annual carnival down the street (quite literally down the street) this last weekend with Jake. Last year he was mesmerized by the lights, and this year was big enough to go on some of the rides (with a parent by his side, of course). I took him on the carousel and he went with Brian down the giant slide. His expression was pretty serious/somber during the carousel ride, but I thought it a success because there weren't any freak-out tears either. I was too busy trying to get a picture of him and Brian on the slide to notice if he liked it or not. Life through the camera lens.

I think that's about it for now. At least all that I can remember. Hope all is well with you!

Welcome Addition

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Jake says:
I am so excited to tell you about my new cousin who was born last week. Her name is Natalie Kate Robinson. Mommy shows me her pictures on the computer and I like to point to her and say "bebe". Natalie is so cute and little right now, I'd love to give her hugs and kisses. I can't wait until I'm a little bit bigger and she is too so that we can play together. (I hope that I'll learn to share my toys better by then.) Mama and Dada and I all love Natalie very much!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Peek A Boo!

Downtime in Pennsylvania

Brian's parents own a small cabin in rural (read: very rural) Northern Pennsylvania. It's the countryside, complete with rolling hills, miles of corn and hay fields, and farm houses dotting the land. Growing up in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, this was a place of respite, a haven for his family. Since we married nearly three years ago, Brian has been talking about making a trip out there, to share with me an important part of his childhood. For one reason or another, it hasn't worked out until now, so last weekend we packed up the car and headed West.
What a beautiful place (though it's so remote that I don't think I could ever find it on my own...unmarked dirt roads for the last five miles or so of the trip!) We had fun hiking around the property, Brian showing me what remains of what he loved about it as a kid (picture yourself with the imagination of an 8 year old boy out in the woods). The neighbors about a mile down the road are Amish, so I thought it was pretty cool to see them driving a horse and buggy (trying not to gawk and look like an idiot taking pictures--which I obviously did!)
We drove a couple hours further West one day and visited Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon...that's really what it's called. It's nothing compared to the one in Arizona, but it was a pretty, wooded canyon with a river flowing through it at the bottom. We hiked down to the bottom, with Jake in tow in the backpack, and then I donned the pack for the hike back up. I felt like I was backpacking on the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska again! Forty extra pounds going up a steep incline made for a great workout that day!
All in all, we enjoyed a much-needed getaway and would love to take advantage of going there again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Philadelphia and Galileo's Telescope

My husband loves astronomy. He was very excited at the prospect of going to Philadelphia and seeing Galileo's telescope that is on loan at the Franklin Institute from it's home in Italy. I'd never been to Philadelphia and I love an opportunity to get out of dodge so we took a day off last week and drove the 3 hours to see some history.

In front of the Liberty Bell (the crack is on the other side)...I never realized how much this was a symbol of freedom, especially as it's linked to the prohibition of slavery and the movement towards civil rights.

Inside Independance Hall...this is the room where the Declaration of Independance was drafted and signed.

Betsy Ross home...she designed and made the first American flag. Did you know that because the Colonies were still technically under British rule the making of the flag would have been considered treason had she gotten caught? Crazy!

Jake's favorite part of the trip...petting the "kitty" outside of the Ross home. He was so afraid of it at first and then didn't want to leave. :)

And, of course, Philly Cheese Steaks were a requirement for dinner. Greasy Goodness.

I don't have any pictures of the exhibit because they wouldn't let us take any. It really wasn't much to look at compared to the telescopes of today, but when you consider that it was the first of it's kind that actually allowed a vision of the heavens beyond our atmosphere and revolutionized the scientific world back in the early 1600's, it's pretty darn cool. (Just in case you're wondering, the description of the telescope says, that "Galileo fashioned the instrument using two half-shells of carved wood bound together with copper wire, wrapped in paper, and varnished.")
And then I have to add my own two cents about "Galileo"...the word brings to mind a song by the Indigo Girls that I was introduced to by my one of my college roommates. It was in my head the whole way home and I had to play it the entire next day, singing at the top of my lungs. The only thing missing was the harmony from my friend, Emily. Good memories. Good times.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Recent Random Pictures

I'd have to say this was the favorite birthday present (Thanks Uncle Danny). Not only did it stay suspended in the air for 6 weeks, but Jake carried it around with him ALL the time.

An afternoon at the beach. He loves the sand but won't have anything to do with the water.

Talk about monkey business! The kid scaled this 6 foot ladder! Good thing silence means trouble (as in, it's too quiet, what is he up to?) or we may not have caught him before he got hurt. I love the look of "I did it!" on his face.

Jake loves oranges. :) I remember doing that with orange slices as a kid.

Jake's favorite sleeping position.
Good thing he's so cute when he's alseep. Peeking in on him does make me remember that I think he's an angel (at least for part of the day).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

For Sale

Remember Shel Silverstein's book, "Where the Sidewalk Ends"? I loved that book as a kid, with its silly poems and pictures. Long before I ever had a child, I made sure that book took up residence in my personal library. One poem in particular has been running through my head the last couple of weeks, and by the photograph that precedes this post, you may already know which one that is. Here is my current rendition of For Sale by Shel Silverstein.

One toddler for sale!
One toddler for sale!
One crying and whining young toddler for sale!
I’m really not kidding,
So who’ll start the bidding?
Do I hear a dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn’t there, isn’t there, isn’t there any
Someone that will buy this little kid for sale,
This crying and whining young toddler for sale?

I love my child, don't get me wrong. But I sometimes wonder if having a birthday didn't flip a switch that turned on the whining, crying, demanding little monster inside of him. I seriously question where my sweet little baby went. And I also question my own abilities to show him the necessary patience so that we both make it through this stage in one piece. I look around and see many families who have children older than two or three years of age, so there is a way for parent and child to survive, family relationships intact even.

I'm hoping that someone else out there can can't just be my own personal world...Any words of wisdom or even commiseration would be appreciated.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family Pictures

We had family pictures done at Whatcom Falls Park when we were in Washington last month. They turned out fabulous (at least I like to think so) and we owe a huge thank you to Amy, our photographer, for her talents and patience with a squirmy baby.