Monday, June 30, 2008

Little Sneak

Eli was sad he didn't get any of Gavin's Birthday cake, so at the end of the day when a cupcake was left a little too close to the edge of the table, he seized his opportunity!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Gavin!



Gavin turned 3 this weekend! About a month ago a friend of Gavin's had a birthday party. He loved the party, but had a difficult time watching her open her presents. He wanted them. The only thing that consoled him was the knowledge that his birthday was soon and he would get to open presents at his party. He learned the date of his exact birthday and he anxiously awaited.

I attempted to stick with a theme, but kinda floated between 2.. "Fun in the Sun" and "Under the Sea". Hey, it's a 3 year old party, hopefully they didn't notice the confusion of themes.

We loaded up our bike trailer full of stuff and Boyd pulled that with Gavin in the child seat on the bike down to Crab Apple Grove. I sent him early, with the hopes that he would secure the only 2 picnic tables in the area. Our first big kink. The tables were gone. Luckily, Boyd found a table at Hippo park and with the permission of the cleaning lady, he lugged the table over to our party. I arrived shortly thereafter with a stroller full of stuff and Eli as well.

I think the party was a success. We had a fun time and I think the kids did too. We played with bubbles, went fishing for prizes, and played with water balloons. Most of the balloons were popped within 1 minute, but Gavin held onto his for the rest of the party.
Here is a slide show of the party!
video
Despite some major problems with the cake we were able to salvage it for the most part! He finally got to blow out the candles on his cake!
video
We are so happy our little Gavin joined us 3 years ago. He is our little monkey who keeps us laughing. He is so smart. He is a sweetheart. We love you, Gavin!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

9 months

I have found that I enjoy posting in the blog. I should be doing about 5 different things right now, but I have decided I am tired of doing them, so I am taking a short break. Today, was one of those days. So, I am going to take one moment to record Eli's 9 months check-up stats.
He weighed in at 21 lbs 2 oz and was 29 and 3/4 inches long.
Gavin was 23 lbs and 29 inches at 9 months

Do you think they look alike?




Going Local


Thanks to some good friends Sam and Jamie and to a great book club discussion over the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," we are attempting to contribute more to our local farms and to eat more fresh and organic fruit. So, we joined a CSA-Community Supported Agriculture.. If you don't know what it is, here is a description from the farm's website.
"CSA is like a subscription, or a vegetable-of-the-week club. You pay in full for your share before the distributions begin in early June, and in return for your commitment to our farm we provide you with just-picked organic produce at a good value, as well as farm trips, news, recipes, and a community of like-minded people to get to know!"

I decided to sign up for a weekly distribution of fruit and a bi-monthly distribution of vegetables and fresh flowers. I was worried that I wouldn't use up all the vegetables. The picture at the top is of our share this past week!
I was pretty excited about it, but I wasn't sure what to do with it all. There were a few things I had never seen before. I had never seen pea shoots before. Luckily, we have the Internet.
We found a great recipe for pea shoots if any of you would like to try it. We loved it. It is a pea shoot pesto and here is the website http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2008/06/pea-shoot-pesto.html

I have also discovered I love rhubarb, well at least I love them in muffins. I found my new favorite recipe for muffins. Here is the link.. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13788,00.html

Sunday, June 22, 2008

City Slickers

So, after Boyd and Gavin came back from the father and son's camp out, I decided I wanted to try camping again. Both Boyd and I came from families who camped a lot, but since we have been married we have only been once. I think there are 2 reasons that we haven't gone. The first is, when you live in the this huge metropolis, you get it in your mind that there aren't places to go camping anywhere nearby. The second reason is that we don't have any camping equipment here and have been hesitant to buy anything because there isn't space to store it.
So, as it turns out there are plenty of places to go camping and since Boyd already purchased some things for the Father and Son's, so we decided we might as well use them! So, some good friends of ours decided they were up for a camping trip and we seized the opportunity.
We had a great time. Of course, I am sure things could have gone a lot smoother, I think what makes camping, camping is trying to figure out what to do when things go wrong. I don't remember a camping trip where something didn't go wrong.
Upon arriving we a bit surprised by what we saw. Our idea of a camping is a place in the middle of the woods, with not many other tents in sight. So, this place was what I would call the camping equivalent to housing developments. The camp sites were all right next to each other. There was music blaring. It wasn't exactly what we were thinking.
The wood we were forced to purchase at the campsite was wet, and despite the fact that we had some eagle scouts present, it just wouldn't stay lit. It was frustrating to say the least. We had some tinfoil dinners all ready to go, but no coals to put them in. We lost faith in the wood and drove to get some charcoal. Luckily Sam and Jamie brought hot dogs and were willing to share. It was also around this time that we realized we didn't have a lantern. So, between no fire and no lantern, we looked pretty pathetic. Boyd had become a bit obsessed with the fire and was determined to get it going. So about 4 hours after we started the fire, we were able to get the fire going. It took a couple of bottles of lighter fluid and a good 30 minutes of Boyd fanning with a paper plate. We were able to eat some of the tin foil dinners and we were even able to enjoy some s'mores!
We did get quite a bit of rain, but luckily it didn't start until we headed to bed. I slept like a rock, but apparently Boyd, Lynda, and Ryan did not. They heard the party next to us. They also chose to walk through our campsite talking loudly and even shined their light in the tents. A car alarm went off for quite some time!
But, because they mastered the fire building, we were able to enjoy a delicious breakfast! The homemade spatula added to the excitement of the morning. And Lynda taught us all that chopsticks are the best utensil to cook bacon.



All in all in was a great time. We were exhausted! The kids did well. Gavin was a bit scared of the dark, and said somewhere between all the craziness, "OK, let's go, I think it is time to head back. Eli did well even though I wouldn't let him crawl around.



I really did enjoy myself, even though we've turned into a group of city slickers!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Barking Spider

OK, so I debated on posting this or not, but I couldn't resist. Gavin said the funniest thing the other night. Now, if Boyd had said something like this, I would have rolled my eyes and made some remark about his junior high humor. But, when Gavin said it with all innocence, we couldn't stop laughing. It was Saturday night at 9:30 at night when Gavin should have been in bed. We were exhausted from our long bike ride earlier that day and we were still wet from being caught in the rain (see previous post.) We were sitting around the table, feeling a bit dejected, when Gavin passed some gas. Here is the conversation that followed that noise:

Boyd: I think I heard a barking spider.
[a slightly confused look on Gavin's face]
Boyd: Did I hear a barking spider?
[slowly, a smile of recognition creeps across Gavin's face]
Gavin: Noooooo! That's not a barking spider! That was a toot... or a burp in my bum!

We started laughing so hard. Needless to say, we all were in better spirits after that! I am sorry, if you are offended by this, but it was something I just had to record!

Things don't go according to plan

So, nothing this weekend went according to our plan. We planned a short bike ride, but ended up taking a 13 mile bike ride to and from Battery Park City. We planned to finish taking a few family pictures and we were stuck in pouring rain instead. WE planned to do laundry, but we couldn't muster up any energy after a day like that. I planned (well the night before) to make a nice dinner for Boyd for Father's Day. I instead made our house a smoke tunnel. I used our indoor grill, but it made enough smoke that we couldn't see very clearly, so we shut ourselves in the boy's room and ate our very smoky meal on the floor. I just wish I had pictures to document this very funny weekend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Father and Son's

This past weekend Gavin went on his first father and son's camp out! They had a great time on the outing. Boyd told me he learned the the Soldier Boy dance while there for a competition. I had no idea what that was, so if you're like me check this youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy0wd9GvMs4 I would have given anything to see Boyd do it!
Anyway, while they were away that night I received an email from Boyd's blackberry and this it what it said:
Dear Mommy,

I am having a fun time camping with daddy, and I don't want you to worry about me. At first I was a little scared because so much is new to me, but it's very exciting. Daddy set up a "net" - Lucas has one too. We get to sleep in it tonight.

I am following dad around a lot as he gives people directions, but I am making time to collect rocks along the way. I remember to tell daddy whenever I need to go potty - I go standing up and water the trees!

For dinner, I sat in my chair by the fire while daddy roasted a hot dog, and Gregory gave me a marshmallow. Later we watched some silly skits - when it was our ward's turn, daddy and I conducted an orchestra! I laughed and laughed when we all fell down!

As we walked back to our camp under the stars, I heard a lonely train whistle in the distance and felt sleepy - daddy carried me until he got tired, and then I walked the rest of the way. I was happy to arrive back at the net where I get to sleep next to daddy. We will play some more tomorrow.

Goodnight, mommy. I love you!

Gavin

Swirly Goodness

Last night I had the most delicious, guilt free dessert...PINKBERRY... I have heard about it for months, but I never got around to trying it, until last night. I wanted to try it so badly that I was willing to stand in a 20 minute line, which for me is beyond reasonable. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! It is apparently frozen yogurt, but I had a hard time believing it. The best part is it is only 70 calories. But, I would eat it even if I wasn't counting calories.

Try it
http://www.pinkberry.com/html/pbmain.php

The water is perfect!

It was 97 degrees today on the thermometer, but it felt like about 120 degrees to me. It is June 10th. It isn't supposed to be this hot and humid! It makes me nervous for the summer yet to come. I am trying not to psych myself out, because then I will never get out and do anything and then we really will be miserable!
So, a little less than a week ago we went to the most beautiful beach I have been to here in New York. Who would have thought it would be in Queens? There is this place called Ft. Tilden that Monica heard about through her neighbor. She had explained that it was a beautiful beach that not very many people visit. WHAT? A New York beach that is not full of thousands of New Yorkers? It was pretty hard to believe until we saw it. It was so amazing. It turns out that you have to have a permit to go to this beach, but not until after June 15Th! So, we can enjoy this beach all we want until that day. We had a wonderful day! Gavin wanted to spend most of the day with his feet in the water with the waves crashing against him. He was still too nervous to go by himself and insisted on holding my hand. When I got tired of doing it, he enlisted his little friend Grace. They would run up to the water holding hands and then run away screaming! It was really quite cute. Eli even managed to stay out of too much trouble. (I think it helped that he slept for a good part of the day!).
One of my favorite quotes of the day is when Gavin, Monica, and I were all walking towards the water. Monica says that she wants to get in the water and Gavin looks back at her and says "come on in, the water is perfect." It was so cute and the excitement was obvious. I will add that the water was so cold. My feet and legs were numb after about a minute and they never warmed up!
I would have given anything to jump in that "perfect" water today!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Daddy Dearest

Eli is now nearly 9 months old and is now a bit more attached to his mommy. But, this week we learned he also has a bit of an attachment to his daddy. Boyd was extremely busy with work this week and the boys didn't see him for a good 3 days. On Wednesday night he came home and the boys finally got to see him. Gavin, of course, was bouncing off the walls with excitement, but it was Eli's reaction that caught us by surprise.

Boyd picked up Eli to give him a big hug and Eli smiled and cooed back. Then Boyd put Eli down and went out of the room to change his clothes. Eli began to crawl after him down the hallway, crying the whole way until Boyd came back and picked him up. Eli held on tightly to his daddy. It was really sweet. I know Boyd was very touched to see that his little boy had truely missed him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good Bye to Spring

Alas, the time has come to bid farewell to spring. I know that it isn't officially the end of spring and start of summer, but in our lives it is over. The NY humidity is creeping back into the air, the air conditioners are dripping on the passerby's, the kids are running through sprinklers in the playgrounds, and I am hot.
Spring here in New York is marvelous and it is what gets us through the winter. We seem to forget that we were pretty miserable bundling up our children in a zillion layers, walking through freezing weather, only to unbundle them for the short subway ride, and then do it it all again. We forget how creative we have to be creative finding a way to keep our kids from bouncing off the walls of our small apartment because there are few places for the kids to run around when it is is 20 degrees (but feels more like 8.) We arrive at spring and we forget how difficult the city can be. It is so wonderful and it makes it all worth it when I start seeing the first blossoms on the trees. No, the city isn't the most beautiful place in the world, but there is so much to offer and when it spring we remember why we love this city so much.
So, farewell to spring and here our some of our fondest memories of this NY spring.
Easter used to be the first sign of spring. This year it came very early and was quite cold, but I still feel it was the day that mentally transitioned me from winter to summer!
My sister Anna Min and her oldest daughter came to visit us in April and was a highlight of our spring. Here is Alyvia and Gavin at the Central Park Petting Zoo.

Boyd's birthday is usually when we really feel like spring is here!
The New York Aquarium Jellyfish
The Sea Lion I kissed
Coney Island Beach after the Aquarium
My most favorite trip each spring is to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. They have the most beautiful display of cherry blossoms. We usually make 2 or 3 trips at the end of April. We did the first trip this year with friends and as you can see the blossoms were just beginning..
Here are the blossoms a week later when we took Boyd.
A walk in the most beautiful cemetery in Queens
We had a great time at the Bronx Zoo this past week because we saw things we don't normally see!
Spring will always be my favorite time of year in New York.