May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Last weekend was awesome!  We really packed a ton of fun into 4 days.  Brian was able to "work from home" on Friday, so we hopped on a train to Connecticut and spend Friday and Saturday with family.  Brian's sister, Heather, kept asking, "What do you want to do while you are here?"  My response, "Nothing!"  And that's what I did.  I lounged on a shady swing as much as possible, holding my baby, and watching my kids run and play with their cousins.  It was paradise.  I was so lazy that I didn't even take photos (I kept thinking about it, but getting that camera was too much work!).  Okay, I snapped one:

My little Joan of Arc
We were back in the city late Saturday night and had a fairly normal Sunday except for a fun picnic with old friends in Harlem.  It was so lovely that I forgot to take any photos.

Early Monday morning we picked up a zipcar and headed to Brighton Beach (just east of Coney Island) with Brian's brother, Spencer, who flew in late Sunday night.  The bag full of swimsuits somehow never made it from our apartment into our car.  But the kids, of course, didn't care.  While at the beach I remembered how much I love to take photos.  My favorite thing to photograph?  My children playing at the beach.

I love this photo!  I think it may be the only one with me and my busy brood.

Oliver loved the water!  He couldn't stop laughing.

Isabella was very brave and loved it!

Out running Uncle Spencer--not easy to do.

Like I said, he loved the water!  "ow" as he calls it.

Artistic sandcastle.  Her first solo castle.
Once the beach got too hot (about noon) for our fair skin we grabbed lunch and then headed back to Manhattan to drop off Spencer so he could hang out with a friend.  Then our little family drove up the Palisades Parkway, along the Hudson River.  It's one of my favorite, just outside the city, drives.  We stopped in Piermont (super quaint little town) to relax and run at a playground.

A beautiful stop along the Hudson River.

Playground in Piermont

My beautiful baby!
Afterward we drove slowly home.  Not pictured: the many scoops of ice cream consumed over the course of the weekend.

Right Now

Oliver stomping. Isabella and (uncle) Spencer playing tag.
Me...reflecting on the proposal of the cute couple that just happened
on the nearby bench. I love my big backyard.

May 26, 2011

Signs of Summer

Summer must be on it's way, since this is how we are spending our days:

rock climbing
water playing
boo-boos and tutus
munching mangoes 
more swinging!

May 25, 2011

When life gives you rain...

make rainbows!

I think yesterday was the first day in the last two weeks that it didn't rain.  We decided we needed some rainbows to celebrate the sunshine.

I can usually commiserate with others over such gloomy weather.  But I've actually enjoyed the rain these last couple of weeks.  Some reasons I'm grateful for the rain:

  1. We had relief from our seasonal allergies (Isabella and I).
  2. There wasn't a desperate to be outside as much as possible and therefore we were on schedule.  Something my little Oliver needs.
  3. It is so amazingly green!!!  I love it!  As we were walking down our street today Isabella asked, "Is this Georgia?" (meaning Savannah) "It is so beautiful, just like Georgia!"

Right Now

Swinging in the blessed sunshine. Oh sunshine, we've missed you so!!!

May 21, 2011

The Brooklyn Half Marathon!

This is a "right now" post but deserved it's own title. I still can't
believe I did it. I reached two of my three personal goals for this
race 1) run to mile 9 and walk, if needed 2) run through the finish
and 3) finish in 2.5 hrs or less. I finished in 2 hrs 34 min. It was
awesome. Im exhausted. I'm sore. But I DID IT!!!!!

May 20, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by my favorite blog: SouleMama

May 19, 2011

Happiness is...

Today, happiness is:
sleeping 4 hours straight
wrestling an active giggling (almost) 2 year old boy
being able to witness my baby grow and develop every step of the way
beautiful sunshine after endless days of rain!
an overly perceptive 4 year old who keeps me on my toes
spending time in the tiniest, most beautiful backyard 

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." Lao Tzu

May 18, 2011

Little Explorers: Color Mixing w/paint

Like I said, I love to mix colors with preschoolers.  It is so simple, but they love it so much.

Coloring Mixing

Here's what you need:
  • 3 clear zipper bags
  • red, yellow and blue washable tempera paint
Ask your child to pick two colors.  Put a generous squirt of each into a zipper bag.  Zip up the bag tight, hand it over to your little scientist and encourage them to squeeze, squish, and mix the paint.  Repeat until you've mixed all three combinations:

 red + yellow = orange
yellow + blue = green
blue + red = purple

What is happening:

This is the color wheel in its funnest form!  When you take the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and mix them together you get secondary colors (orange, green and purple).  

Extreme experimentation:

If you are not mess averse you can just squirt the paint onto white paper and have the kids mix it with their fingers.  Make sure you wash their hands in between each combo to avoid contamination of colors and creating brown.

For some fun tactile writing practice tape a baggy onto a white piece of paper and have your child work on writing letters or drawing pictures in the paint.  Both of my kids did this a lot longer than I expected.  

Then, of course, the kids will want to actually paint.  It is paint, after all!

Isabella wanted to make a cake and pretended she was piping frosting on (I cut a small corner off).

Little Explorers: Color Mixing w/eye dropper

One of my favorite experiments to do with preschool kids is to mix colors.  

Coloring Mixing 

Here's what you need:
  • 3 cups
  • water
  • red, yellow and blue food coloring
  • eye/medicine dropper
  • clear plastic egg carton

Fill the 3 cups with water and put a about 5 drops of red food coloring in 1 cup, yellow in a different cup and blue in the last cup.  Put the egg carton on top of the white paper so you can easily see the color changes.  Demonstrate how to use the eye dropper (if your child doesn't know how to already).  Have your child drop some yellow into one of the egg cups and then add red.  Ta-da!  It turned orange!  Awesome.  

Repeat again and again to see how many different colors and shades of colors your child can come up with.  Allow your child to explore on their own.  It's okay if they all turn brown or black, that's part of the fun and learning.  (I had to keep telling myself this while Isabella was doing this!)

What is happening:

This is the color wheel in its funnest form!  When you take the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and mix them together you get secondary colors (orange, green and purple).  Also, kids are really strengthening their dexterity by using the eye dropper.  

Extreme experimentation:

Try experimenting with a little bit of one color and a lot of another color.  For example, encourage your child to put in a lot of yellow, but just a tiny bit of blue.  What happens?!

Isabella decided to spred some of her colors on the white paper so she could see the differences better.  In the cups they all looked brown to her.

May 16, 2011

Isabella + Balloons

Coming home from the church's street fair on Saturday.
I thought she should pose, she thought otherwise.

May 15, 2011

Simon: 5 months

I know I say this all the time, but how is my baby already 5 months old?!  Time is moving too fast (except during the sleepless nights)!

Simon, in short, is a squirmer!  He loves to move, move, move.  And he's not even mobile yet!  Well, he rolls a little (from his back to his belly) and gets his arm stuck under him and complains until Isabella or I come help him.  He flexes and contracts his belly until he slips out of his bouncy seat or off our laps.  Yes, he moves a bit like an inchworm.  When the dance music is on he kicks to the beat.  When he's in his bouncy seat and gets excited he does moves resembling the electric slide.  It cracks me up!

Right now he's in my lap, his feet are propped and pushing against the desk and he's rhythmically slapping my arm with his right hand.

He loves using his new teeth (fortunately not while he's nursing) so we keep teething toys at arms reach.  But he prefers gnawing on my hand over any teething toy.

Simon is finding his voice.  In addition to ear numbing squeals, he "talks" very loudly, usually when we are trying to watch a movie.  During his long, loud orations he furrows his brow and acts very serious.

He is a very happy child.  Smiles constantly.  Just the other day as Isabella was hanging on me and moaning about her allergy pains (rightfully so), Simon (in my other arm) looked at her and started laughing and squealing with delight.  It helped her out of her funk and lightened my mood.

May 14, 2011

Right Now

Excited and nervous to run my first 10K this year. Slow and steady...

**Update: My 10K race went pretty well.  There were just over 7,500 racers and I was #5,602.  But when you factor my gender and age I was right on average.  If they had a category: "mom's who just had their 3rd baby 5 months ago" I would totally be #1 (or at least in the top 5!)  You know it!

May 13, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by my favorite blog: SouleMama

May 11, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I am beyond grateful for the abundance of sleep I got last night.  Only one brief nursing from 10pm-6am.  Yes!  Life is wonderful!

May 10, 2011

Best Gift EVER!

The other day my sweet daughter gave me a bouquet of dandelions.  It was one of those moments that defined me as a mother.  I loved the gift.  I cried.

May 9, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I am grateful for the support of my friends and family.  After posting some of my challenges last week several friends and family members called and e-mailed offering empathy, encouragement, and tenderness. It touched me deeply.

"We love you!"  
"Your doing great!"  
"I've been there.  I know it is so hard."  
"How can I help?"  
"I can watch your kids Wednesday.  Bring them over!"


Thank you for being my light when I was in darkness.

*I have very few photos of friends.  So, friends, you will be photographed soon!

Sidewalk Chalk

I have always imagined that New York City kids create chalk art in front of their brownstone.  So we did it.  With paint brushes and water too.  It will be repeated.

May 8, 2011

Falling in Love, Again.

Sometimes I feel like living in New York City is like being stuck in a bad relationship.  You know you love it, it's really a fabulous place.  But then winter hits.  Once winter rolls in, all that New York has to offer is tear jerking winds, mean pedestrians, and pure despondency.  Every March I threaten Brian that we are leaving this horrid place.  It isn't worth it!  This is borderline abusive!

But then, slowly, New York begins to be nice again.  The apologies begin flowing with the first crocuses.  A month after those first blooms and I am completely smitten again.  Everyone is happy, the trees are heavy with green leaves, the breeze is perfectly gentle.  And I think, "How could I even imagine leaving such a perfect city?!"

Oh, New York, I love you!

One of my favorite things I love about New York City is just hanging out, wandering, and finding new treasures.  Last Saturday, that's just what we did.  Although, I didn't photograph all the food we ate.  Eating delicious food is one of the best things to do in NYC on a beautiful Saturday.

Street fairs are everywhere!  This was a community garden fundraiser in Tribeca.  Notice the young gals on stilts in the background.

The Balloon Saloon

Our destination: The Hester Street Fair in the LES.  Pretty awesome & pretty packed full of people.  If you go, I recommend you go early or late (not around a meal time).
Delicious food at the fair!

Beautiful church on Grand St (I think).  Near Little Italy.

Walk along the beautiful Hudson River.

We ended the day with a carousel ride on the Hudson.  It's a favorite place of ours.
**If you go to the Hester Street Fair, please take note that Doughnut Plant is just around the corner.
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