Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brooklyn Book Festival 2014

Last year when we went to the Brooklyn Book Festival together, Kevin already knew his book would published with Black Balloon so we spent some time at their table talking to the editor Buz, publicist Jen, and and some of the other authors. So going back this year with his book on the table was realizing the dream. Kevin talked to people buying his book and signed copies through the afternoon.

Brooklyn Book Festival 2014
Kevin and We Were Flying to Chicago at the Brooklyn Book Festival!

Brooklyn Book Festival 2014
The 9th Annual Brooklyn Book Festival at Borough Hall!

Kevin got to meet Mike Meginnis who wrote Fat Man and Little Boy, and whom Kevin was to spend many days with during their Midwest Book Tour together. (More on that soon.) He also met Sean Manning, author of Come Here Often?

Brooklyn Book Festival 2014
Mike Meginnis, Kevin, and Michelle and Freddie from Black Balloon Publishing

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Apple-picking 2014

I've been wanting to go apple-picking for a little while now, and James is actually totally obsessed with apples so it seemed like a good time to go. The only problem was that all the apple-picking farms are about an hour away from us, and Miranda hates being in the car even for short stretches. Thankfully, my mother babysat the little one for us so we could take James on a solo adventure. We chose Windy Acres Farm somewhat arbitrarily but it was awesome. They had a big selection of apples and a huge amazing playground for the kids.

Apple Picking 2014
James picks some good apples!

Apple Picking 2014
It's my first time apple-picking too!

Apple Picking 2014
Checking out how many apples are in the bag

Apple Picking 2014
He's thinking about eating it instead of putting it in the bag

Apple Picking 2014
Wagon ride

No, really, the playground was amazing. We've been to our share of playgrounds up and down the East Coast and this was something! They had ton of wooden creations for the kids to play and pretend. What an awesome daytrip!

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Windy Acres Playground

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Wooden tractor with slide

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Wooden train with dining cart

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Making train noises! So cute!

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Have fun storming the castle!

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Farm tractor

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Crawling through some pipes

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Ghosts!

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Call me Ishmael!

Windy Acres Farm 2014
Porthole ADORABLENESS!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Miranda is 5 Months Old 2014

Okay, the last month went frighteningly fast! I think the second baby stuff is flying by faster than the first. Slow down, Time!

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
5 months with Nana!

Food: Kevin gives her a bottle a couple times a week just to have her in the habit. She'll fight him and then only take 2 ounces but at least it's something. She still nurses about every 1.5-2 hours, but sometimes she'll skip a feeding if she falls asleep.

Technically her first food was banana with Nana on August 16th, but let's just block that out because there are no pictures. Her "first food" was baby oatmeal on September 6th, and she loved it so much. Ever since we gave her food she eyes me with resentment when I don't share what I'm eating. True story.

September 2014
Oatmeal!

September 2014

The second time she ripped the spoon out of my hand and tried to feed herself.

September 2014
Yogurt!

Sleep: Our system of putting Miranda to sleep after she's been awake for 1.5 hours has worked wonders for her personality! Except when we don't get her down in time. I nurse her to sleep and she cooperates right away but she's not much of a crib sleeper yet. I leave her in the bed and watch her on the baby monitor, or I just stay with her for her nap but now that I think about it, she rarely sleeps more than 45 minutes so maybe I should just plop her in the crib anyway. I'm getting really tired of having NO free time during the day. I also put her to bed at 6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. It's magical having both kids sleeping by 7:30 p.m. Unfortunately it doesn't last and she often gets up. A lot. At 11 p.m. she pretty much moves into the bed for the rest of the night with me. This is sad.

August 2014
Successful nap

September 2014
Failed nap

Growth: She's in size 6 months (sometimes 3-6 months, but never 6-9 months). At her very late 4 month appointment she was about 15 pounds.

August 2014
Just because it's the right size doesn't mean it's a good outfit, Dada!

Skills: She makes little chatty noises sometimes. She plays with her feet a lot. She rolls over only a quarter of the way each time. Her teething has gotten worse and she drools a lot. She's finally interested in James and smiles at him. She beats things with her little fits or with her toys. She likes the toys she can chew on and everything on the jumperoo. She jumps like a crazy woman in the jumperoo but not for long. She gets tired after a few minutes. She like her baby gym better now too and lasts longer in that. She's starting to skoot around on her back a bit. She can hold a sitting position a little bit if we set her up or lean her up against something but she tips over immediately.

August 2014
Likes the jumperoo a little better

Post Labor Day 2014
Like the baby play gym a lot better.

Fairfax VA 2014
First driving lesson- they grow up so fast!

Personality: Miranda smiles at us a lot and seems to love all three of us. Sometimes she grips my neck and feels like a hug even though it's not. She tries to force her little will on the world.

She loves bathtime and kicks up huge splashes.

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
Miley Cyrus has nothing on Miranda's attitude.

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
Happy baby!

Post Labor Day 2014
Why are there giraffes on my feet?

September 2014
Fake hugs are just as good as real ones!

September 2014

She loves kisses too.

Me: It's been rough working and watching kids with Kevin regularly doing book promotion stuff.

I lost 27. I still have about 3 pounds to pre-Miranda and 8.5 to pre-James.

September 2014
I might still be wearing my robe today but it's totally worth it!

Kevin: [Has no observation this month because he is off on book tour!]

August 2014
They love it when he comes home from work, but not as much as I do!

September 2014
Kevin is multi-tasking.

James: James is super helpful and hands me things when I have her, like her burp cloth or my phone. He's adjusted to hanging out quietly while she's napping.

August 2014
So much love! (not Halloween, just a hand-me-down)

September 2014
Besties 4 life.

September 2014
Wearing sweaters from grandma!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nana Visits- September 2014

Nana did two nice things for us recently. She came and stayed with us on Saturday so that we could take James (without Miranda) to go apple-picking, and she even took an extra day from her stadium gig so that I wouldn't lose my mind while Kevin was at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday. I wanted to save losing my mind for when he was on his midwest book tour. Ha!

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
Nana takes Miri for a stroll to the park

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
The woman who complains about how I dress Miri, put her in jammies.

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014 
Miri's first time in a swing!

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
Feeding Miranda applesauce... it gave her the poops.

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
Nana supporting the right team.

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
They're cute no matter what.

Nana Visits- Sept. 2014
Nana and mini-Nana, chillin'.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall for the Book at GMU 2014

Kevin read for the Fall for the Book festival at George Mason University so we took the whole family down to hear him read. The Fall for the Book Festival is pretty awesome actually. It's a week-long event and brings a lot of great authors to Virginia for readings, talks, and book signing. Some of the headliners this year were Pulitzer winner Richard Russo, bestseller Jodi Picoult, poet Martin Espada, essayist Eula Biss, thriller writer Sophie Hannah, and the author of Orphan Train Christina Baker Kline.

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
With George Mason himself.

Kevin read "Isabel and Colleen" from his collection We Were Flying to Chicago. Even though it was Monday afternoon he had a big crowd of people of all ages, and his crowd spilled out of the tent! After he read the story he answered questions about his writing process. He also introduced me and the kids to the crowd.


GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Kevin reading "Isabel and Colleen" to a big audience

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Miranda and I are listening intently.

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Spill-over crowd!

A lot of our friends from different times in our life came to the reading. It made me so happy to see everyone there together! Kevin's friend Jon from high school in Florida was there! His friend Cory from college, his wife Robin, Robin's entire family (!), Jody and Bill (Brady's parents) were there. My friend Sarah from law school and her son William, my friends Anna and Mike (from after college) and their two younger kids. Thank you guys so much for coming out! You warm our hearts!

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Kevin talking to his high school Jon

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
James meeting Robin and Cory's nephew

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
James photo bombing the photo of Robin and Cory's family

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Miranda wearing the dress Sarah got her.

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Me and Sarah and our 3.5 kids.

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Jody and Bill- meeting Miranda! 

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Anna, Mike, and their two youngest, Clara, and Maxwell

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
Clara is James's age and they were having an awesome time getting dirty!

GMU Fall for the Book 2014
And Miranda and Maxwell are pretty close in age too! He stole this picture!

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