Wednesday, March 28, 2012

James's First Word? 2012

So James has been saying "ma-ma-ma-ma," for months, and recently started saying it with a bit of conviction, like he wasn't just making random noise, but meant something by it. Then yesterday at breakfast time, I thought he said the Spanish word for milk,  "leche," or maybe more of a failed try at it, "eche."  So I asked him,"leche,"?  Which I realize is sort of an unfair set up, but he said,"eche" again.  Wherein I ran into the bathroom where Kevin was attempting to have two seconds to himself while showering, and announced, "James said his first word! James said his first word! Well, sort of..."  This first word stuff is tricky.  

How did you know when your son or daughter said their first word for real?

IMG_0908
James in February (9 months) loving his leche

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baby William B. 2012!

As the son of two J.D.s, Sarah and Donald, Baby William Jackson B. is already very interested in the law, so he was careful to come early so that his father Donald wouldn't miss his important oral arguments.  His mother Sarah did the baby-birthing thing naturally!  She's the first one of my friends who's pulled that off, and as a result she has a lot of resting to do. Luckily her mom is a little prescient and came a week early to visit, just in case the baby arrived.

Look how adorable he on his ride home-- on his first day of life!

  william jackson b
William B. napping on the way home

Friday, March 23, 2012

James is 11 Months Old 2012!

Wow, James is almost a year old! How did that happen?  I mean don't get me wrong... it's been a lot of long days, but it's like Gretchen Rubin says, "The days are long but the years are short." So true.

James at 11 Months 2012
James at 11 Months, March 20

Moving- He runs around the apartment like a crazy man. Full run. You turn around and he's zipped into the bedroom to admire himself in the mirror, or to the kitchen to look at my fridge picture-magnets. If you leave the bathroom door open, it takes him exactly two seconds to go in, open a drawer, and pull out my hairbrushes. If I let him be in his room for two seconds, he immediately starts yanking all the clothing out of his drawers, or EATING his books. Yes, his books look like they were attacked by starving mice. Teething has been hard for James.

Sleep- James is still sleeping through the night (mostly) and thanks to Daylight Savings, he now usually sleeps from 8:30 p.m to 6:30 a.m. Sadly, he still makes me hold him during all his naps which is a sad waste of precious recharge time.

James at 10 Months 2012
About to grab my hair brushes, February 22nd

Eating- He eats anything you give him. Anything.  A short list of foods he's tried: beef, chicken, ham, turkey, egg, apple, banana, blue berry, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cheerios, oatmeal, pasta, rice, wheat bread. That's just off the top of my head. He's the least picky eater ever (so far).  Note, above, he eats books. More interestingly, he can now grab little bits of food with his hands and shove them in his mouth, although he's not terribly graceful about it. Sometimes he ends up licking the food off the back of his hand. He also actually sips liquid out of his sippy cup, though I've limited him to water because he likes to drool it out wherever he's dragged the sippy cup.

James at 10 Months 2012
Eating Cheerios (making a funny chewing face), March 14

James at 10 Months 2012
Licking the mango baby food, March 18

Growth- I'm not sure because we didn't have a doctor's appointment this week but he's been outgrowing a few items of clothing here and there.  He has 7 teeth, 4 on top and 3 on the bottom. He has 13 baby teeth to go!

Social- Oh boy. This is a mixed bag. He gives hugs and kisses sometimes, but it's not a daily occurrence. He shows the most affection when he "hides" behind you and you wonder out loud, "Where is James?" He run out and surprises you. He loves this game and finds it hilarious several times a day every day.  I think it's pretty great too.

On the other hand, he's learned to throw tantrums when the tiniest little thing frustrates him.  I didn't think that sort of thing happened until children were 2 and as it's impossible to reason with him I try to calm him down without necessarily giving him what he wants. That's not always possible though because if what he wants is to be picked up, it necessarily goes along with calming him.  In related news, my back is sore every single morning.

Oh and I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but when Grandma Kathy was here she taught him to shake his head no. So now when I tell him not to touch this or that, he shakes his head, and really his whole torso.

James at 10 Months 2012
Getting a super awesome hug from James, March 2

James at 10 Months 2012
He loves mirrors, maybe he needs some friends?, March 12

Language- Some days he says "mama" a lot. This isn't actually new to this month, but this month I became convinced that he meant something by it, if not precisely me. He either means me, milk, parent, or attend to me. I think he means something though. I've also started pointing at things more when I talk about them, so he points at stuff now too, though he points without any meaning behind it. He just randomly points. I try to respond to the pointing by telling him the name of stuff, but he doesn't actually care yet.
  
James at 11 Months 2012
Close-up at the park, March 20

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grandma Kathy Visits- March 2012

All of my fun this weekend was brought to you by super awesome Grandma Kathy. As if babysitting weren't enough, she also came armed with birthday gifts for me. You are truly a gift, grandma!

St. Patrick's Day 2012
James and Grandma on St. Patrick's Day 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Adrienne's Baby Shower 2012

On Sunday I went to Adrienne's baby shower at Safa Restaurant in Long Island. (Combined with Saturday, I had a very Long Island weekend.)  Adrienne and I used to work together at my last job, and along with Christie, we worked some long hours on one particular case. They are both super smart, and they are both the sort of people who will help you and pitch in even when there are no partners looking. A rare quality! On top of which, as you can see from the photo, they are beautiful.

Adrienne's Baby Shower 2012
Me, Adrienne, and Christie at Adrienne's baby shower

Adrienne's Baby Shower 2012
My table was all ladies from the old job: Me, Kat, Bianca, Christie, and Eri

The shower was lovely with a plated Kosher lunch, party favors, and games.  It was nicer than some weddings.  Adrienne and her husband Liel looked so happy, as did Adrienne's mother. It was a nice afternoon.  I cannot wait to meet their baby girl.

Adrienne's Baby Shower 2012
Playing the "Will the baby have mommy or daddy's features?" game

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day 2012!

Hello! This year we definitely had one of our best St. Patrick's Days. First, I had a little Irishman I could dress up! His dad bought him a "You're Lucky I'm Not Your Kid" shirt with a shamrock on it, as a nod to ever-continuing bad attitude. Perhaps James can read because he was especially grumpy. Alternatively, it had to do with teething or the fact that Kevin and I were out a lot and James is pretty attached to us. In any case, the lovely Gramndma Kathy was here to love him and play with him, so his grumpiness didn't slow me down.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
James's First St.Patrick's Day 2012

Michele and Jon came to visit us. Kevin made his delicious corned beef sandwiches which we all enjoyed to the extent that we could with James grabbing food off our plates. (James also enjoyed quite a bit of corned beef.)  We also had some Guiness and Baileys and coffee. Then we set about our plan to go to the 4 Irish bars in our neighborhood.  The bars are for-real Irish with bartenders from Ireland and whatnot.  We started at Jameson's Bar and Grill. I've been wanting to go there since we moved to town because it looks like a nice restaurant, but the food selection and prices demotivated me from entering.  It was a low key beginning to the afternoon, but we also started on a course of only drinking Irish refreshments. I had a Baileys on ice, Michele had a black and tan, and the men had Guinness.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Starting out at Jameson's Bar & Grill

Next, we spent a ridiculous amount of time at J. Fallon's because it was actually full of people having fun.  Christie and Chris came by for a short visit, but since they had spent the entire morning driving down from Rochester, I wasn't allowed to take a photo.  I think I'm most likely to go back to J. Fallon's, because they had all sorts of fun specials and made-up drinks for each night of the week. I'm a sucker for that stuff.  I believe the men had more Guinness and the ladies had Killians.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Michele and Ericka at J. Fallon's Tap Room for the first time (but we're coming back!)

Then things started getting silly... we went to McCarthy's which was a totally different scene.  We all got Smithwicks and Jon started asking us market research questions regarding pick up lines.  Michele and I agreed on some and disagreed on some, and then suddenly I seized upon it: the perfect pick up line.  Ladies, tell me where you fall in this debate.  A gentleman walks up to you with a slice of cake on a plate and a little plastic fork, and he says, "Hello. Would you like some cake?"  Michele claimed that her response would be that she would prefer a beer, but regardless, I really don't see where you could go wrong offering a woman some cake. Not at all.

And then! Would you believe it?! A man at the bar unceremoniously gave us each a slice of cake and walked away. Like a slice right from heaven delivered by cake angels. Okay, I'm getting carried away, but I was having a lot of fun, I was somewhat intoxicated, and it was pretty good cake.  I also decided that shots of Jamesons would be a good idea to go with the cake.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Toasting with Jamesons at McCarthy's Public House

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Free birthday cake!

After a brief dinner break for sushi (I know we deviated off the Irish theme, but the Irish-food-pickings weren't too good),we went to the fourth and final bar, Jack Duggan's.  Again, it was totally different with the youngest crowd so far, and loud dance music.  Even though I should have been winding it down, I thought now would be a good time for a whiskey sour. It was definitely not a good time for that, but Michele was more or less in agreement and got a whiskey tonic.  The men were smart enough to get beers.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Jon, Ericka, and Kevin at Jack Duggan's Pub


Totals-
Corned beef sandwiches: 5, not counting leftovers or the little shreds James ate
Whiskey drinks: At least 8
Smithwicks: 5
Baileys: 4
Killians: 2
Black and tans: 1
People who wore the shamrock antennas: 3
Slices of cake: 2
Guiness: 11, at least
Pieces of sushi: 35
Sapporo's (oops): 4
Photos I took: 82
Fun per capita: Um, 40? Whatever that means.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day: A 10-Year Retrospective 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I started seriously celebrating St. Patrick's Day in college, and it soon became one of my favorite holidays. There was some tough going at the beginning. The holiday often fell during my college's spring break, which meant that I celebrated 1999 in London and 2000 in Prague, two places which are not known for their raucous St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Then, in 2001, right before leaving for Spring Break in Miami, my roommate Janice and I were robbed in our dorm room on St. Patrick's Day. I actually walked in on the thief as he was about to get Janice's wallet!

So St. Patrick's Day was off to a rough start, but I persevered, and ten years ago, I started engaging in the all-day drinking version of celebrating. More importantly, I started taking pictures of the big day.

Of course, now that I married Irish, and have a little Irish leprechaun baby, St. Patrick's Day is even more exciting! Post and pictures about today coming soon.

2002 03 16 Ballston Festival 02b2
Shamrock Street Festival in the Ballston area of Arlington, Virginia, 2002

Baby Nomar, I Mean Kitten 2002
Kevin thinks Nomar's birthday is St. Patrick's Day 2002. Happy 10th birthday, Nomes!

2003 03 15 St. Pat Bar Crawl 02
St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl in DC (photo at James Mackey's Pub), 2003

Leprechaun Bar Crawl 2004
The Leprechaun Lap in DC (photo at Sign of the Whale), 2004

St. Patrick's Day 2005
Brooke and I took off from work for St. Pat's in D.C. (photo at Lulu's Mardi Gras), 2005

When I finally met my husband, it made sense that he was Irish. Five years ago, we started celebrating the holiday together in style.

St. Patrick's Day 2007
First St. Pat's Day with Kevin- also with Brady and Brooke in D.C. (photo at Finn mac Cool's) 2007

St. Patrick's Day 2007
Robin and Cory, St. Patrick's Day 2007

St. Patrick's Day 2007
Jaime, me, Brooke, and Dan D, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009
St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan, 2009

St. Patrick's Day 2009
Low-key St.Patrick's Day in Brooklyn (photo at Angry Wade's), 2009

St. Patrick's Day 2009
Jon and James W., St.Patrick's Day in Brooklyn 2009

Last year we had St. Patrick's Day at home with friends, and Kevin made corned beef. I was pregnant so I just watched Kevin drink all the Guiness and Harp beers. Not so this year!

St. Patrick's Day 2011
Kevin slicing the corned beef, at home in Long Island, 2011

St. Patrick's Day 2011
The token red-heads, Sarah and Lukas, 2011

St. Patrick's Day 2011
Kevin, Briggs, and Jon, St. Patrick's Day 2011

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My 33rd Birthday 2012

This was my first birthday as a mom! Which means, that it was a little easier to face 3-3 knowing that no matter what, my boys have my back.  It also means that Kevin watched James so that I could go out and party like I wasn't a mom. But before I left, Kevin and James prepared a super-chocolaty brownie with 3 candles for the big double-3.

My 33rd Birthday 2012
James and Kevin give me a birthday treat

Having a little free time, my first temptation was to go visit Hudson again, and since it's my birthday I indulged the temptation.  Michele met me there and had a little baby-bonding-time too.  Hudson is a little bigger and full of inquisitiveness, but he's still smaller than James was when he was born.  More importantly, Hudson has a much better attitude than James has ever had. (Sorry, James.)

My 33rd Birthday 2012
Christina, Hudson, Michele, and me 

Then Michele and I were off to Brooklyn for a wine tasting and sushi dinner.  The wine tasting was so good that between the two of us, we bought all the wines.  We went to one of Michele's favorite sushi places, Ozu, and I have to say it was really outstanding.  It was much better than average sushi.  I did however question my wisdom in choosing to drink a Lychee martini and sake after I had just come from a wine tasting, but oh well, that's how birthdays are done, right?

My 33rd Birthday 2012
Me and Michele at the wine tasting in Brooklyn

Back in 2006, on my 27th birthday, my friend Sarah taught me the "Fun Things" birthday game, wherein you try to do as many fun things as the age you're turning.  My favorite part of this game is that there is actually a benefit to turning older, and it encourages you to do strange things in order to accumulate the points.  I hadn't played in a few years, but I did this year, and here are my 33 fun things:
  1. I was woken up by my cute husband and baby. James immediately started playing peekaboo with the sheets. I cannot overemphasize the cuteness of this. Happy birthday me! 
  2. I wore my gift from Janice-- pajama jeans. Make fun of them if you want, but I have never worn more comfortable pants. 
  3. I had 2 or 3 coffees with sugar today. No Splenda for the birthday girl! 
  4. And while I was at it... I had some dark chocolate before noon. Yum! 
  5. I used the new camera lens Kevin got me to take photos of James. 
  6. I had to take a shower while I had no help with James which resulted in James busting in and getting drenched. Pretty funny. 

  7. James at 10 Months 2012

  8. I watched a Jersey Shore marathon while I chased James. Specifically, I watched the episodes where Snooki is pregnant, doesn't know, and keeps drinking more and more alcohol. Oh my god, it's like watching a terrible terrible crime being committed on television. I had to stop. 
  9. I cleaned that house which always makes me feel great. And I left things all nice for when Kevin came home and took James. (I know this one is a little boring, but not for me.) 
  10. Kevin was home by 2 pm to take James!
  11. Kevin and James gave me  birthday brownie with 3 candles.
  12. I tried to paint my nails on the LIRR, all LI-trashy-like, and it was a disaster.
  13. I helped Christina build her play-and-pack.  I felt handy and accomplished. 
  14. Time with baby Hudson!
  15. Michele and I went to 61 Local a place in my old neighborhood that didn't exist when I lived there. It's a cute wine and beer bar.  I tried Brooklyn Brusco wine for the first time (from Red Hook). Very tasty.
  16. I finally got Michele to explain her family tree to me so that I didn't need to keep figuring it out piecemeal. Now I know all about her older sister and three younger brothers.
  17. Michele and I went to a wine tasting for local Finger Lakes wines at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange. Fun and fancy.
  18. The wines were so good that we bought all of them.
  19. In fact, the Riesling was my favorite Riesling I have ever tried.
  20. While taking notes on the wines, I wrote under the red, "Tastes like happiness."
  21. They might have let us have a few extra "samples" at the tasting which might have been directly related to our subsequent purchases.
  22. Also related to the above, I started a quote list for the evening. It's quite entertaining, but a bit much to share on the blog.
  23. Michele and I went to a delicious sushi restaurant where I had the best New York roll ever.
  24. I also had the best tempura I've had. It was light and tasty. Not typical fried food.
  25. I sipped sake while telling my Thanksgiving sake story of 1998.  I don't think I've ever told it before, and I'm probably never telling it again. Sorry!  I guess next time you'll know not to miss my birthday. ;)
  26. I enjoyed a Lychee martini and ate the lychee at the bottom- my first lychee!
  27. We had mochi for dessert and if you're keeping track that was my third dessert treat of the day. 3-3!
  28. Michele treated me. So nice of her!
  29. We took the subway home and ended up taking "gangsta" photos on the subway.

  30. My 33rd Birthday 2012

  31. Michele and I had a nightcap at her place. Like I needed that!
  32. Kevin said I didn't have to go home since he had the morning shift with James, so I slept over at Michele's.Yay for not having to catch the last train to Long Island!
  33. I forgot to bring a toothbrush, but Michele just happened to have a brand new one from the dentist.  So lucky!
  34. She also lent me her comfy pink yoga pants.  I might have to get a pair myself now.
  35. I could easily count a 33rd thing that night, but the mocha I drank on the train back home next day, and the warm greeting I received from Kevin and James when I came in the door would beat the other thing I was going to list.
Thank you to everyone that made this birthday so special especially to Michele, the one-woman party! Love you all!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Phoebe Turns Five 2012!

Five years ago when my friend Cate's daughter Phoebe was born, I had no idea what it was like to be a mom.  I also had no real idea what it was like to have a sick family member.  From where I sit now, I can't believe what this wonderful family had to go through when Phoebe was first born and she was too sick to leave the hospital.  It took three weeks for the doctors to even diagnose her and start treating her.  Phoebe was over two months old when her parents were able to finally bring her home. She's a beautiful and healthy girl now, and she even has a little sister now.

Phoebe 2007
Phoebe and her parents Matt and Cate in 2007

The Lefebvres
Look at this adorable face, looks a bit like her little sister now

Visiting Cate, Matt, and Phoebe 2007
Meeting Phoebe in the summer of 2007

2011 04 Lefebvre Family
Cate, Matt, Vivi, and Phoebe last year
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