Monday, November 27, 2017

Casey and Jacyn Visit 2017

Casey, Jacyn, Laurel, and Oliver came to visit us while we were still on the Cape. The kids were so great playing and chatting together. We were so pleased. And the grownups had fun too.

November 2017
Casey and Jacyn

November 2017
Laurel (9.5) and Miranda (3.5)

November 2017
Oliver (7) and James (6.5)

November 2017
Boys versus girls keep-away game.

November 2017
Chaos

November 2017
The girls won. Isn't it fun that I get to make my own (fake) history here?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

We went to visit Kevin's family in Cape Cod for Thanksgiving this year.

Thanksgiving 2017
The four of us.

Thanksgiving 2017
Great grandma Ruth, James, Miranda, Grandma Kathy, Kevin

Thanksgiving 2017
Making cupcakes

Thanksgiving 2017
Grandma's new cats: Julia (front) and her kitten Graycie

Thanksgiving 2017
Talking to cousin Katie on the phone- passing the phone

Thanksgiving 2017
Table is set

Thanksgiving 2017
Kid who is supposedly allergic to cats... is not allergic to cats

Thanksgiving 2017
Playing Jenga with Grandma after dinner

Saturday, November 25, 2017

James's 50's Day 2017

On Tuesday, James's first grade class celebrated the 50th day of school with a 1950's celebration.

50's Day 2017 
I think he's styling.

50's Day 2017 
James, Ryan, Kayla, Ariana, Massiel

50's Day 2017 
Mia, Brielle, Francesca, AJ, Quinten

50's Day 2017 
?, Kaylin, Michael B, Zachary, Ava, Madison 

50's Day 2017
Dancing to 50s tunes

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thankful 2017

Ten years ago today, Kevin proposed on the steps of the New York Public Library. He wanted to propose before the holidays; we were spending Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas with his mother's large family.

Our Engagement 2007
Proposing in 2007. (Photo by his friend Jon, hiding in bushes.)

Our Engagement 2007
I said "Definitely!"

At the time, I thought I knew a lot about him. I knew he was very smart, cute, and super funny. I knew he was incredibly patient with me but still demanded respect. I knew he was an incredible son, brother, and friend. He'd helped take care of his mother when she had two kinds of cancer. He'd encouraged his friend to go back to college and finish his degree. I knew he wrote beautiful short stories.  I knew he was a dedicated teacher, carefully reading all his students' terrible papers and giving them suggestion after suggestion to improve their writing. I had started noticing that his judgment was exceptional, and even if I sometimes hated to admit it, he was right almost all of the time. 

Our Engagement 2007
I am happy here.

Our Engagement 2007
Super happy.

Thanksgiving 2007
Thanksgiving dinner with my parents the next day.

But you know, we're all human, right? No one's perfect, right? I'm not even sure anymore, honestly. It's been ten years and I'm starting to wonder if I'm married to an actual saint. One year after we got married my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. He went with me to all my dad's appointments and visits, and at least once went to an appointment without me. When my dad passed away exactly 3 years after he'd proposed, he comforted both me and my mother. He helped my mother so much after my dad passed away, doing a lot of the harder things my dad might have done for her.

When our son James was born while I was still mourning my father, he did half of everything even though he was working and I wasn't. Probably more than half. He got up half the nights, and then he started getting up with James in the morning. Every morning. He's only more incredible with two kids. Until James started taking showers, he gave almost all the baths. He makes lunches. He takes them to all their doctor's appointments. He still gets up every morning with them.

James at 23 weeks + 1 day 2011
James at about 5 months old. Bottles everywhere.

Father's Day 2017
Typical.

Then my mom got kidney cancer, and he was exceptionally helpful and patient with both her and me for the 4 years of her illness. At the end, he welcomed her into our home even though she was definitely suffering from some end-of-life dementia. One morning, when he had an important meeting at his job, she accidentally stole his glasses and hid them in her bed. We tore through the house looking for them and found them just seconds before he had to go. He didn't even complain about it. He called later in the day and asked, "Your mom isn't upset about it, is she? Tell her not to be if she is." When my mother got upset with me, Kevin sat in her room and let her vent, listened to her, and then tried to say things to make her feel better and make it easier for us to get along. When she got so sick she couldn't move, he physically helped me lift her because I couldn't do it alone. When I moved her to hospice, he took care of our entire schedule (with the help of our wonderful neighbors, friends, and family) so that I could be with her day and night. 

At the same time, things at his job were harder than ever, and he was quietly finding work and health insurance for a lot of people that were about to lose it. He was staying up late to make sure all his students were still getting thoughtful comments on all their writing. 

He wasn't just saying nice things and comforting family, friends, coworkers, and students, though he did that too, he was constantly giving real help to everyone. I don't think everyone notices, or they do, but they don't understand the entirety of it. Maybe people don't fully understand because Kevin doesn't complain and he doesn't self-aggrandize. But I've been carefully observing him for 11 years, and I really think he's a rare gift.

I am so thankful for this amazing person that makes everyone's life he touches better.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

S'moresgiving 2017

We had friends over to make s'mores before Thanksgiving. I call it S'moresgiving. Also, this was dinner, and we had pizza for dessert.

S'moresgiving 2017
Kevin reviewing fire safety

S'moresgiving 2017
Heating marshmallows

S'moresgiving 2017
Happiness is...

S'moresgiving 2017
Making s'mores!

S'moresgiving 2017
Candace, Erica, and Ericka, cheers!

S'moresgiving 2017
More s'more-making.

S'moresgiving 2017
A nice charred one- my favorite!

S'moresgiving 2017
Before- little angels.

S'moresgiving 2017
After- SUGAR RUSH WRESTLING. Haha.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Diary of an Angry Pink Baby #11: Hiking

It took longer for the leaves to change this year because the world is ending, meaning there was still opportunity to see them in mid-November! So the family made the fifteen-minute drive to Wildwood State Park, and for the first ten minutes of our hike through the woods, everyone enjoyed leaf-centric banter, walked with the legs attached to their bodies, and complained only lightly.

Wildwood State Park 2017
Wildwood State Park

The remainder of the hike didn't go as well, mostly because Miranda decided she was tired, first of walking and then, incredibly, of being carried. We debated turning around until we reached the exact place where it was a thirty-five minute walk in either direction, and this is when Miranda entered some sort of Memento loop wherein she only understood the following three things:

1) I'm tired of walking.
2) I'm tired of being carried.
3) Are we going to Grandma's house?

I addressed these, relentlessly, as follows:

1) Everyone else is walking.
2) Nobody else is being carried.
3) We're going to Grandma's house in ten days.

To which Miranda replied, earnestly, as though we might not know, and it was important that we truly understand:

1) I'm tired of walking.
2) I'm tired of being carried.
3) Are we going to Grandma's house?

Then the woodlands of Eastern Long Island transformed into a sort of Euro discotheque, wherein Miranda, in my arms, jamming a "pink" (red) leaf into my nostrils, mixed the order, sometimes lingering on 3) up to five times in a row (Grandma-Grandma-Grandma-Grandma-Grandma) before spinning a few 1) or tossing in 2) to keep us all on our toes. Her toes were in the air.

Wildwood State Park 2017
Miranda "hiking"

Finally, after a couple of miles, Miranda spotted a playground, which she legit sprinted to with newfound reserves of energy. She left maybe thirty minutes later, aggressively crying, because she both wanted to stay and leave. Her teenage years should be FINE. The rest of the day she forgot about being tired and only mentioned Grandma's house six or seven hundred thousand times.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Two Days Off From School- Nov 2017

Two days off from school- even nonconsecutively- is a lot these days. James was off school Tuesday, a day that Miranda doesn't go to school anyway, and then they were both off school on Friday. We played Life (A LOT), performed plays, built Lego dragons, and jumped in leaves. James also found and put his Pigeon Activity book to good use. We survived.

November 2017
Leaves!

November 2017
Wee!

November 2017
Playing Life- Miranda won!

November 2017
Using her nursery school scarecrow puppet to perform a play

November 2017
James's play from his Pigeon Activity Book supplies

November 2017
Building a Pigeon airport

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bob Visits- November 2017

We went to James's soccer game, played with the kids at home, ate Indian for dinner, and then drank a lot after the kids went to bed. Oh and Bob shaved his beard.

November 2017
Playing with kids.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Julie Buntin at PWR Reading 2017

Julie Buntin read from her novel Marlena at Stony Brook!

Buntin Reading- November 2017
Julie reading

Buntin Reading- November 2017
Kevin is the reading series coordinator

Buntin Reading- November 2017
Small part of very engaged-looking audience

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Miranda's First Art Show 2017

Miranda's Nursery School hosted an art show featuring the kids' artwork. We have a few artists in the family so maybe this will just be the first of more art shows for her.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Next to her hand-print owl. (James is pointing to it.)

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Her teacher Miss Dee welcoming everyone.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Cookies and crackers.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Miranda pointing out her tree.

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Delightedly looking at her graffiti leaf (top)

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Class handprints

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Miranda and Ella's bats are friends

Miranda's Art Show 2017
James helping by pointing out Miranda's sponge pumpkin

Miranda's Art Show 2017
Miss Sabrina greeting and saying farewell to families
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