Monday, August 3, 2015

A Look Back- August 2015

Oh my gosh! How is it August already? Summer is almost over for us. Boo! But new house! Deets soon.

Five Years Ago in 2010
At the beginning of the month Kevin and I visited the Soward Family in Marblehead, Massachusetts. We just missed the arrival of their second baby Oliver. Rachel and Tim's second baby Eleanor was born almost immediately after.  While visiting the Soward family, I had started to suspect that something was amiss, and as I got more and more tired in the following week, I finally took an early test that confirmed I was pregnant! (With James)

As with the month before, my parents didn't want us around constantly so we attended the Michalowski-Lintvedt Wedding in California as we had previously planned and even had the chance to travel around San Francisco and Sonoma while we were there. It was a beautiful wedding and everyone enjoyed themselves. Between the time difference and being pregnant, I ended up exhausted and going to bed some nights at 7 p.m.  We had a series of bad flights and I ended up throwing up on the final leg back.

Michalowski Wedding 2010
Jeff and Inga's wedding 2010

[Things get really depressing for the rest of the month- you might want to skip to 2005.] Dad had been diagnosed with cancer the previous month. Dad got brain radiosurgery, a noninvasive but kind of traumatic outpatient procedure.  He was also put on medication to prevent post-op seizures.

After our trip to California, Dad had a lot of leg pain, and it turned out that since Valley Hospital never scanned his arms or his legs, we didn't know he had tumors there. They offered him an embolization for the tumor in his leg.

Jaime came to visit and we went to the beach, but between my dad and my still-secret pregnancy I wasn't really in a beachy mood.

The end of August was truly awful. Chrissy's mom passed away from cancer. The hospital made a mistake on Dad's anti-seizure prescription and because of that he had a seizure on a Thursday, and he again lost his ability to speak or walk. The doctors advised us to up his antiseizure medication and wait for him to improve again. I came home for Maureen's funeral and to help my dad who had not improved after his seizure yet. I remember feeling grateful that I could make my dad a sandwich at lunchtime, and that he handed me a pillow so that I would be comfortable. He didn't even know I was pregnant yet. Even in his pain and sadness, he was thinking about me.

That Saturday, Kevin and I went to Patrick and Aubree's wedding in Vermont, which was beautiful. Mom called during the end of the wedding reception and told me that dad was getting worse, so I encouraged her to call an ambulance to bring him to the hospital. Kevin and I left the reception so we could get up early and go back to New Jersey.

The doctors said we couldn't wait any longer to see if the brain radiosurgery would work, so he'd have to get regular brain surgery.  The day of the surgery was one of the worst days in my life, and definitely the worst day of dad's life. We followed dad all the way to just outside the operating room, and when mom stepped out right before dad went in, I told dad I was pregnant. He couldn't speak, but reached out and kissed my hand and cried.  He was eager to talk about it when he regained his speech a month later.

Ten Years Ago in 2005

I was living in Crystal City, in Arlington, VA, but I was packing my stuff to move to Charlottesville to go to law school.  Ultimately however, my dad ended up helping me pack almost everything and helping me move. I would have been lost without him.

Jaleo Restaurant, WDC 2005
At Jaleo with Janice and Megan, August 2005

Crystal House Pool 2005
Jamie C. visited and we went swimming with Janice in my building's pool

Moving to Law School 2005  
My awesome dad, moving my stuff into my Cville apartment

I started law school, and I met people in my section who would become some of my closest friends: Audra, Brian, Donald, Jane, Josh, Katy, Roger, Sarah.

Danielle Visits 2005 
Danielle visited me in Charlottesville!

First Day of Law School
First day of Law school!

Fifteen Years Ago in 2000
Just a few months after I went to my first baseball game ever in Boston, Kevin visited Jon and Jeff P in Boston and went to a Red Sox game too. We didn't cross paths though because he went out mostly in Back Bay. I went to a show at Comedy Connection with my Allston roommates.

K's Trip to Boston 2000
Kevin in Boston

Twenty Years Ago in 1995
Before my Junior year of highschool, I went to Fieldhockey camp at Rider College with most of my varsity teammates.

1995 08 06 Intercollegiate Field Hockey Camps at Rider College 118
Fieldhockey Camp!

Thirty Years Ago in 1985
Aunt Maura and Nick got married.

Nichols Wedding 1985
Dad (background), Maura, Richard (background), Nick

Friday, July 31, 2015

Our Floral Park, NY Home 2010-2015

We rented the top two floors of a two-family home in Floral Park for just over five years. When we moved in we were newlyweds, and we didn't even know what to do with our 4 bedrooms and 5 big closets. The rent was less than we paid for our 1-bedroom, 1-closet apartment in Brooklyn.

Our main floor was the second floor of the house, with the living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and what was then our guestroom. On the top floor we both had our own office. Shortly after we moved in we got pregnant, so the guestroom became the nursery, and "my office" became the guestroom. I crammed my desk into Kevin's office upstairs.

1 - Front of House
Our two-family rental, shared (with neighbor Frank downstairs)

Living Room 2011
Our Living Room, circa 2011

Bedroom 2011
Our Bedroom

When Miranda was born, she lived in our room for the first 9 months, and then moved into the tiny nursery with James. Miranda is a big part of the reason we were ready to move this summer. She doesn't really like sharing her room with James. At least not at 5:30 AM when James wakes up and starts making noise, waiting for his kiddie alarm clock to go off so he can go get us. Also, James likes a night light and Miranda hates it. James also doesn't enjoy being locked out of his room during her naps. Even though we had 4 bedrooms, what we really need is 3 on the same level until one of them is older.

Nursery 2014
Nursery (left)

Nursery 2014
Nursey (straight)

Nursery 2014
Nursery (right)

Another reason we're ready to go is because we never figured out a way to fit a dining room table unless we got rid of some of living room furniture. A tiny kitchen table was okay when there were 3 of us, but it's tight now on a regular night and we want to eat with our company.

Kitchen 2011
Kitchen

Kitchen 2011
Our tiny (but pull-out) kitchen table

Not pictured: two bathrooms- too small to get a good picture.

Upstairs:

Shared Office 2011
Shared Office- Kevin's desk

Shared Office 2011
Shared Office- my desk (we have different styles)

Guest Room 2011
Cuba-themed Guestroom because it's fun

Guest Room 2011
 Guestroom- other side

We also had the backyard to ourselves. That was nice sometimes, but it was kind of annoying coming downstairs (because we lived on the second floor) and then going around back to use the backyard. Also, at that point, sometimes we were just better off walking the half-mile to the playground. The other little problem with the backyard was that there was an area for our grill and the patio table on concrete but it was divided from the grass with this hedge wall. So we couldn't sit and eat and watch kids. We were either in the sitting area or in the yard area. The LIRR ran behind the backyard which wasn't actually a problem itself except the LIRR woodlands attracted mosquitoes. So our backyard wasn't perfect, and we're getting a backyard upgrade at our new place (and a deck!) but when we did use it, it was pretty great. Outside:

Cookout-July 2013
Aw, I love them! (grill to the left)

Cookout-July 2013 
Backyard facing the other direction- notice the HEDGE

Cookout-July 2013
Backyard fun with Hudson in 2013

Goodbye house! You're the only home our kids have ever known and they probably won't remember it. I'm a little sad! But mostly really happy about our new house!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Leaving Floral Park, NY- June 2015

We are moving! Like right now. And it's the 9-year anniversary of when we met! I'm not going to talk about where we're moving (because internet) except to say farther east, closer to North Fork (about 45 minutes), and we're going to be a 10-minute drive from the beach! Since I won't talk about our new town, what I did last time we moved is talk about the place I'm leaving, in this case Floral Park.

First, you should know that there are two Floral Parks, one in Queens and one in Nassau County, Long Island. They border each other, but everything is completely different in the two towns- even the driving rules and definitely the taxes. We rented the upstairs of a two-family home in the more suburban Nassau County one. And actually Floral Park is just a tiny village in the town of Hempstead.

July 2015
Tulip Avenue in Floral Park

Floral Park is actually just a tiny village in the town of Hempstead. The village is so small that we routinely walked everywhere. We had a ten-minute walk to the LIRR (with a 30-minute ride into Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal). Some of our favorite places to walk were the Tiny Town playground and the main street, Tulip Avenue, with basically all the stores we needed. (Mani-pedis for $25 at Nail Garden. I will miss you!)

Fourth of July 2015
My favorite picture at Tiny Town, July 2015

When it was raining sometimes Kevin brought the kids to the library to hang out in the kids room. The library also had concerts outside in the summer.

FloPa Library 2015
Huge Connect Four at FloPa Library

FloPa Library 2015
Our own little Alice in Wonderland

FloPa Concert 2014
Concert at the Library, August 2014

Another reason we loved Tulip were the bars! Tulip Avenue has 4-5 Irish bars with bartenders straight from Ireland. We had a really fun St. Patrick's Day just five minutes from home one year with Michele and Jon. They also opened a speakeasy last year hidden behind a coffee shop with fancy drinks. It's so Manhattan/Brooklyn!

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Bar Crawling on Tulip Avenue, St. Patrick's Day 2012

Every year our town had a festival in honor of the Belmont Stakes- the day after- and even though it wasn't very exciting, we took the kids three out of the five years we lived here.

FloPa Street Fair 2011
Floral Park Street Fair, shortly after James was born, June 2011

Floral Park Street Fair 2014
Floral Park Street Fair, June 2014

We also went to the bird sanctuary a few times, though there seemed to be more flowers there than birds. I think the bird sanctuary was responsible for the whole town being more bird-full than normal.

Living in Floral Park, we were about 30 minutes from Jones Beach (though sometimes the traffic and crowding bummed me out a little). We went there about once or twice a year, sometimes in Spring or Fall just to let James run around in the sand. It nice having the beach just a short drive away, but I expect we're going be there even more now that we'll be 10 minutes from a nice family one.

Jones Beach- July 2013
Jones Beach, July 2013

So we will miss this little tiny village! We moved in here when we were newlyweds and both our kids were born here so we definitely have fond memories of the town, but we're finally ready to settle somewhere for a long while-- we think-- and we think we found the perfect place to do it. On to the next adventure!

Floral Park 2012
Tulip Avenue at night

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Grandma Visits- July 2015

Grandma came Friday afternoon and left just this morning, and the kids miss her so much they can't handle it. Friday was low-key and we went to the park and had some Thai takeout. Saturday we all went to the local Centennial Gardens & Bird Sanctuary, for some froyo at TCBY.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
James and Grandma at the bird sanctuary on Saturday

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Miranda's naughty face

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Caught!

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Smooches

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Love.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Kevin with his two little monsters (see the claws?)

Grandma Visits- July 2015
More love.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
That's the cotton candy flavor again. J reports green poop.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Teething so much she passed up on froyo (All her molars came out at once!)

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Peekaboo!

On Sunday Grandma took the kiddies to the park, and in the evening Kevin, Grandma and James went out for some German food, while I taught Miranda restaurant manner at home. Monday grandma babysat while Kevin and I ran some errands. I very nice visit but everyone is trying to schedule Grandma's return in August already.

July 2015
Park on Sunday with Grandma

Friday, July 24, 2015

Janice and Ash Visit- July 2015

Janice and Ash came to visit recently. Fun times were had, catching up, playing with the kids, eating sushi, and drinking wine. Love you guys!

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Refreshments!

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Playing with Duplo Legos

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Ash snuggling with her new God-daughter

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Janice getting kisses from her God-son

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
They get each other.

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
James making Miranda smile for the photo. Good try.

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Headstand-training.

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Yay group pictures! Kids clearly watching television.

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