Sunday, September 7, 2014


I wish it were fall here.

It's not.

The humidity and heat have been killer the last couple of days.  The conditions are perfect for mosquitoes.  The mosquitoes here in this part of the Bronx* have been thriving all summer anyway but the last few weeks have really set the population alight.

All week this cartoon has been running through my head.

True story Calvin.  True story.

*When you ask Noah were he lives he says, "the Bronx." And it's really just the most adorable thing you've ever heard.  I'll work on getting it on video.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our First Day

We had our back to school dinner.  We (I say we but all of us know that the Hubbs sort of washed his hands of the project) had our back to school dinner.  We decided to go with something a little less sentimental than a family theme and fancy dinner.  We went with letting the kids pick dinner (mac and cheese from a box for the second day in a row), measuring them against the door frame in our bedroom, prayers said for good school years, a little pep-talk about finding the kids who don't have friends and being their friend and googly eye balls glued on rocks and delivered around the neighborhood.

Yep, that's right.  We glued googly eye balls to rocks and delivered them around the neighborhood so that kids on their way to school would find them and hopefully feel happy--a first step into helping other people. My first instinct was to subtly put them in half hidden places but Claire's technique was just to put them right in the open.  We've walked around the block to check on them since and Claire's technique was, by far, the most effective--every one of hers was taken but mine are still sitting in the grass.  The kids did insist that we leave one outside our favorite bakery.  I sincerely hope that whoever had to open the store saw it and smiled.

The first day of preschool was great.  Claire is in afternoon PreK so we started the day sitting at the front door, eating breakfast and waving at the big kids walking to the local elementary that's just at the end of the block.

Claire picked her own outfit for school and even decided she needed to do a test-run of it the day before.  It meant a little late-night laundry but it's hard to say no to someone on their first day of PreK.

I'm not excited about the 20 minute commute each way to PreK (there's no public PreK in our neighborhood) but overall I think we are going to love it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

These Days are Just Packed

Last week was one of those fleeting, end-of-summer weeks where it feels like the whole world slows down to give you enough time to pack everything in.

We took advantage.

As a last mommy/daughter date before school starts and before the baby comes Claire and I went to see Matilda.  We had so much fun (I would say that every single thing about it was fun except that no one in their right mind would call driving through Times Square fun.  I'd also list walking through Times-Square crowds when you are roughly the size of a small car as "not fun."  I'm not saying "small car" in a derogatory type of way either; more literal.  I've reached that phase of pregnancy where instead of seeing a cute pregnant person people have started staring at me in the horror of having to witness my water break right in front of the them.)

We picniced in the front yard 

We welcomed some of our favorite San Diego Friends to the East Coast.  They spent the night here and we went to the Giants game.  We hired one poor baby sitter to watch all 5 kids but we didn't feel guilty because we paid her nearly twice her normal rate.  I'm quite sure that Claire didn't spend a single instant in her regular clothes and since the Moyles left she has asked me to play dress-up with her every day.

We also had our cousins visit for the long weekend and we finally made it to the Roosevelt Island tram (which is fun and which is, luckily, located very close to Dylan's Candy Bar).

And then, of course, there was this.

School starts this afternoon and I feel like this is the moment to say goodby to summer but as it was 80 degrees with 80% humidity yesterday at 9 am I think we can hold off wishing summer farewell for a few days at least.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


This week the hubbs took Thursday and Friday off.  We would have loved to have spent all of our time together doing exciting things but this whole family has been battling a horrific cold and on Friday the hubbs was struck down.  We did manage to go out and do some totally awesome things as a family.

Noah had an awesome birthday.  Per his request we went to the farm with our friends.

In the afternoon we went to go and see a historic ship that was docked in Yonkers.

And there was cake.  Oh there was cake.

The night before Noah's birthday Claire reminded me that I needed to hang streamers in his doorway (something she had seen one of their cousins do).  I scoured the house and all I could find was Halloween crepe paper.  That, along with the Christmas wrapping paper should pretty much secure me some angsty  teenage years with him.  I can almost hear the arguments now--"You didn't even love me enough to buy birthday wrapping paper!"

We tried out the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk which was packed but really fun.  The hubbs was at home in bed trying to beat the cold but that was probably for the best as it was incredibly crowded (turns out Connecticut schools start on Monday so we weren't the only people trying to take advantage of the last day of summer.

Finally, we convinced the hubbs to come with us to the Natural History Museum.  We've been members of the museum since Christmas and this was the hubbs' first visit.  I'm pretty sure he was impressed (we also found street parking which was a minor miracle).  When we go to museums we try to spend time in the actual exhibits but mostly we spend time running around outside.

We walked into the gem room and Claire gasped and said "I love gold jewelry!"  She then proceeded to to take pictures of every one of the gem cases

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We made another entry in the Summer of Modern Art {replication} file--Mark Rothko.

They'll go beautifully next to the Pollocks that are already on the wall in the playroom. 

Who should we do next?  Who is another modern artist that the kids would like to replicate?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Family Theme

This week I started talking to the hubbs about how we should prepare for school.  It's hard to know if it was my lack of eloquence that elicited the look of horror on the hubbs face as I talked about how some families choose family themes for the year and have special dinner parties to present them to the kids or just the idea of actually being a family that chooses a theme for the year that had him scorning the idea before I even finished.  I ended by saying, "clearly, if we're going to have a theme it's something I'll have to work on myself--I'll let you know what I decide."

I don't know if we'll actually do it (my gosh--that sounds like a lot of work doesn't it?) but I like the idea of Claire having some short thing she can say to herself as she makes decisions at school.  Then yesterday I came across this on facebook:

It's exactly what I want to think about while I interact with other people--and exactly what I want to teach my children to do as well. It's too lengthy and wordy for a 4-year old but maybe we can just sum it up by saying, 

"Love yourself.
Love one another."

We might just be one of those families that has a theme after all.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This week in pictures

A couple of nights ago I sat down to write about how summer has just started to turn to fall here.  We can hear crickets when we open the windows at night and it's starting to really cool down at night.  It's such a lovely time of year but this year it's filled with mixed emotions as we await the arrival of a new little lady and Claire is going to start going to formal PreK every day--it feels like we are entering a new stage of life and we only have a few more weeks to enjoy the stage we are in now.

My post had to be postponed.  This week I had an awful head cold (which should not be allowed when you are pregnant and already having trouble sleeping) and I gave it to Noah.  Sadly, when he caught it it turned to croup and an ear infection.  We had a long couple of days there and now I'm playing picture catch up.

For months now Noah has carried around 3-4 Matchbox cars wherever he goes.  This is tricky because when your hands are already full of cars you can't really pick up or play with anything else.  This week we convinced him to wear a backpack full of cars instead of carrying them in his hand.  The results are both functional and ADORABLE

Yes, Claire is carrying a jar full of popsicle sticks.  She has written the names of everyone she knows on them and she uses them to play church.  She'll pull a name out of the jar until she gets to the name of someone who is present and then ask them a question.  Any of you who have ever been to a Mormon primary will know she is spot-on.

We hit this zoo this week which was a total dram because it wasn't too crowded and also wasn't too hot.

The zoo has a Dinosaur safari during the summer.  It's like a huge hayride and along the side there are animatronic dinosaurs.

You can see how much my kids love it.  That's our friend Evie behind Claire and she's hiding her head in her mom's lap.  The dino safari should be fun but really, for us, it's terrifying.

Noah had to leave the zoo early for a nap and Claire elected to stay and come home with her friends rather than come with us--kind of a big deal for someone who mostly stays at home with mom all the time.

This afternoon we went to our church picnic.  We played with bubbles.

made clover chains


played with friends

and did some booty dancing with the women from the church group--just your average church picnic in the Bronx.  As we were leaving Noah turned to me and said, "my like the stomp! stomp."

We know summer ends soon.  We're getting as many slurpees as we can and making as many silly faces as we can too.