I made an overdue visit to go see Ash and have some laid back fun times. I made my first successful chicken pot pie for dinner (with biscuits instead of pie- yum!) and we marathoned watched The Affair on Showtime. We recommend the recipe, but not so much the television show. I also got to eat all the delicious Indian food her mom left behind and Ash's secret recipe guacamole. Oh and I got to sleep in on Saturday morning. A big treat! The best part is I get to see Ash again in two weeks! Hurray!
Ash and me- on the couch where it's nice and warm.
Chopping the veggies for dinner
So proud of my finished dinner!
Just FYI, no one paid me to link that recipe. It's just good. I mean look at those biscuits.
Skills: She says Mama sometimes to me, and sometimes says Dada to Kevin. She says "J" sometimes in the general direction of James. She points to stuff she wants. She claps with delight or to music.
She understands "no" but just laughs and shakes her head when you try to tell her she can't do something. We're in so much trouble.
The face she makes when you say "no!"
She can stand and balance, cruise from furniture to furniture, and occasionally dances on the spot, and has attempted a step forward, but she hasn't successfully walked yet. But we're sure it's going to happen soon!
Standing and bopping.
Sleep: She's still sleeping through the night but waking up a bit earlier. She's been sleeping from 7:40 pm to 7 - 8 am. I am definitely worried about what will happen during daylight savings time.
We still hold her for naps, but to be fair we haven't even tried to put her down in ages. Because she defeated us.
Shaking her finger "no" while sleeping!
Food: She eats everything. If you try to give her something you wouldn't personality eat, she calls you out on it by spitting it out and pointing at what you're eating. But if it's delicious enough for you, it's delicious enough for her. Her favorites are probably bread, mac n' cheese, and beef.
I eat cheerios and judgment for breakfast.
Growth: She basically has 4 teeth now. I can see all 4, though the most recent one is about halfway out. She's in 12 month clothing.
Dada brushing her 4 teeth.
Personality: Oh she's the best. Feisty and determined. She has her own little rebel sense of humor, and giggles all the time. She gets her way... or else.
Just microwaving some veggies and ...
... grilling up some chicken.
Kevin is obsessively in love. Me too.
James is her best friend. It's them against the world. Even when she tortures him, which is several times a day every day, he's very patient with her.
Kevin had a low-key birthday at home this year. I made him his favorite for dinner, ropa vieja with rice and black beans. The kids also enjoyed it, though Miranda enjoyed it more. James was mostly interested in making it his birthday instead of Kevin's.
Feeding Miranda rice and black beans
Covered in food and worshipping her Dada
Cuban food joy
Kevin's not a huge fan of cake (I'm not either) but we got a little piece mainly for James's sake. Happy birthday, Kevin! We love you completely and we're so lucky to have you.
This year was the best Valentine's Day yet because we have another little Valentine that we didn't have last year: Miranda. Kevin, James, and I are really in love with her.
Valentine's Family Picture!
Playing with Dada
Naptime with Mama
Sitting in Dada's lap at dinner because she's spoiled!
Kevin got me flowers and wrote me the nicest card ever. James made me this awesome Valentine (pictured above in family picture). Kevin picked up sushi for dinner (I was actually craving it today- not just because we often end up getting it for Valentine's).
But the best part was going out-- for a second weekend in a row! We were giddy with freedom. We met up with Lukas and Sarah who, luckily for Kevin and me, had to delay their Valentine's ballet plans. We went to Sekend Sun in Astoria, a new cocktail bar and restaurant. We had tots, pretzels, and chocolatey beignets, and I tried more cocktails than I should have. Valentines Double Dates might be my new favorite thing now!
Our five-year wedding anniversary was in June of last year, but Miranda was only six weeks old and I was nursing so we really weren't going anywhere to celebrate. At first, we were at peace with this, but 5 years is kind of fun, and when Miranda started sleeping through the night (!) we started looking at some options. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Grandma- thank you, thank you, Grandma.
"Before" picture by Grandma
Kevin found a new Argentinian restaurant he wanted to try in the city, and had the smart idea to book us at a fancy hotel for the night so we wouldn't have to come back to Long Island for the night and listen to the children scream. We set out for our "Anniversitine" or our anniversary celebrated closer to Valentine's than to our actual anniversary.
Since our dinner reservation was in the Lower East Side, we found a random bar to get pre-dinner drinks. We wandered into El Sombrero and it was pretty awesome. The music was straight out of my grandparent's living room, and the drink I got was great: tequila, cointreau, lime juice, passion & guava puree.
Tequila drink at The Sobrero
For dinner we went to Balvanera, an Argentinian (steak) restaurant and wine bar. We had the most amazing appetizer- Empanadas Caseras filled with hand cut roast beef. YUM!
Kevin got the strip rare, and I got the skirt steak (entraña) medium. I know my choice sounds kind of gross to American ears, but trust me, it wasn't. Hispanic people pound flank steak into sweet submission. They were a little heavy on the steak but delicious. Both steaks came with thin fries. We washed it down with A Lisa Malbec from Patagonia.
After dinner picture
After dinner we weighed going back to the hotel, getting a drink near the hotel, or getting a drink near where we were on the Lower East Side. Kevin suggested The Magician, so we popped in for "one drink." Right away we spotted Briggs at the bar, who promptly told us that Nick and Emily were also coincidently there with another group of people. All of Kevin's friends like that bar, so it wasn't the craziest thing that's ever happened but it was kind of weird. Especially the part where Kevin and I were out together. We had a lot of fun running into everyone. We also ran into Kevin's college ballroom dance partner (there with Nick and Emily). I didn't even know he'd taken a dance class ever!
Nick, Kevin, me, Emily, Briggs at The Magician on Saturday night
We headed back to the hotel, but we were remiss to give up the good times so quickly so we stopped at bar near the hotel we'd never been to before, Session House, rumored to have a really good Guinness pour, which Kevin confirmed. They had a musician who just happened to play Miranda's early favorite song, You're So Vain (though now it's Itsy Bitsy Spider).
In the lobby of the Waldorf on Sunday morning
To top it all off, we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria over night so we didn't have to drive or take the train back at night, or take care of kids in the morning. The hotel itself is gorgeous, and I want to come back for the super luxurious Sunday brunch sometime. Our room was a bit more sedate, but it was in a corner away from any potential source of noise, and our window framed a view of the Chrysler building which Kevin loved. He loved sleeping even more, and though he assured me he didn't even know how to sleep past 8 am anymore, I'm pretty sure he would have slept through the check out time if I hadn't woken him up a bit before. I did wake up a bit earlier so I luxuriated in bed and finished my super long book. We grabbed some New York bagels for everyone and headed home. Great anniversary. Anniversitine. Whatever.
Grandma visited from Thursday night until Monday afternoon. The kids loved every minute of it and asked her not to leave. Well, James did. Miranda can't talk yet otherwise she would. Grandma brought two different delicious homemade soups with her, and made the kids mac n' cheese from scratch. As if all that weren't more than enough, she let me and Kevin go out to celebrate our much delayed anniversary (more on that later). Thanks, Grandma!
We had a party when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl in 2008 and again in 2013, and that didn't work out for us. Also, some of our friends had already come over for the playoffs so it was hard to persuade anyone to come over again. Going out would involve only one of us-- specifically Kevin-- because having two kids is hard. So we dressed the itty bitty ones up and watched the game at home.
James in his Brady jersey, Miranda in her pink New England Patriots onesie
With the biggest Pats fan, Dada
Watching the beginning
Warning: The following might be totally wrong because I only got into football like two seconds ago.
Belichick eats, breathes, and sleeps game strategy. They say all football coaches do, but Belichick was probably born to be a famous war general and decided to coach instead. And Belichick has been really tricky lately. He's been playing crazy chess more than usual, and I felt confident that he'd whip out some crazy strategy to win the Super Bowl. For example, in the AFC divisional playoff against the Ravens, the Patriots had three plays where a guy who was usually eligible on the play was ineligible (a running back who could actually still get the ball passed back to him), which meant a guy that was usually ineligible was eligible (a lineman). This strategy was unheard of before, but it wasn't illegal. And it was super confusing to the Ravens. The Pats did some of this against the Colts too. When the Super Bowl began I felt confident Belichick had some master plan. But then it seemed that everyone was just playing football.
Already lost interest
And given how sad Kevin was after the 2008 and 2013 Super Bowls, I was pretty concerned. I watched the game through fanned fingers like you do at horror movies. Actually I mostly hid behind my laptop because the Seahawks were winning. But as the close game was getting near the end, I wanted to watch the decisive moments and closed my laptop and fully focused. Then everything happened.
Seattle Seahawk's Jermaine Kearses's catch was the most insane thing I've ever seen. It defied every rule of physics, or possibly proved the existence of parallel universes, with this universe as the most unlikely one. It looked like a miracle, and if so, God was squarely on the Seahawk's side. Also, Kearses is an amazing inspiration because after that insane catch, he pushed himself off the ground with one hand and got up to run. He got up. And tried to run. As James would say, "That was a good try! That was a really good try!" He was athletic, focused, and determined, and I just cannot say enough about how amazing it was.
Then the Seahawks snapped the ball at 1 minute and 6 seconds left in the game and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch advanced the ball to the 1-yard line. Things were looking really bad. The Seattle Seahawks were going to get winning touchdown and the Patriots might not have enough time to get another one to win. Basically every football coach Belichick's position in the history of ever would have called a timeout in that position to save enough time to try to get another Patriots touchdown after the inevitable Seahawks touchdown.
If Belichick had called a timeout the Seahawks could have handed off the ball three times in the 1:06.
But he didn't call the timeout. So the Seahawks had to pass on the second down or the third down, and if they didn't pass on the second, the Patriots would know they would pass on the third. So the Seahawks passed on the second. Plus, I bet the clock ticking away kind of freaked out the Seahawks because they expected Belichick to call the timeout. Also, Belichick said that he decided against the timeout after he saw the Seahawks put three receivers on the field, which I don't actually understand at all but everyone who understands football probably does.
Obviously cornerback Butler did a great job. He had practiced that pass play days before the Super Bowl. And he felt confident that they were going to throw the ball then.
Miranda loves Coach Belichick!
So there it is, I just blogged about football. Who would have thought? Hope I made sense!