Friday, September 28, 2012

Cape Cod- September 2012

So I caught a cold that James had a week or two ago. I guess my body was fighting it with all my might while I was taking care of James and concert-going and whatnot, but the second I got into the car to go to the Cape, my immune system fell apart. Almost like on some level my white blood cells knew I'd have less that I absolutely had to do on the Cape. Even given that I spent almost all of Sunday on my ma-in-law's couch, we still got to do a lot of fun things. Forgive my puffy sinus-infection-face.

We visited Grandma Ruth all three days we were there. I even herded everyone outside for a nice group picture.

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Great grandma Ruth, James, Kevin, and Grandma Kathy

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Inside playing with a 50-year-old horsey.

We spent a little quality time playing on Mayflower Beach on Saturday.

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Tossing the football with grandma on Mayflower Beach

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Loves the beach!

On Monday, Grandma suggested we check out Taylor-Brays Farm, since she knew how much I enjoyed the Queens County Farm. We had a nice time seeing all the animals and enjoying the view of the big Cape Cod salt marsh behind the farm.

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
The Clous at the Taylor-Brays Farm

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
In front of the salt marsh

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
My favorite photo ever of James riding around on Kevin's head.

We went to the playground in the center of town and had a great time.

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Playgrounds are not just for little kids!

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Okay, here's James having a good time too.

We had fun closer to home too. James got to go to the pond in front of grandma's house and spend a little quality time with Nomar.  James had such a great time-- he can't wait to go back!

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
James enjoying Follins Pond

Cape Cod- Sept 2012
Notice the screen door between them!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Casey and Victoria's 5th Wedding Anniversary 2012

Happy 5th wedding anniversary, Casey and Victoria! In five years, they've grown from a family of two to a lovely family of four with their daughter Laurel and their son Oliver. We've watched them grow from little babies to precocious toddlers, and little Laurel has even started pre-school now!

Soward Wedding 2007
Kevin and me at Casey and Victoria's wedding, September 23, 2012

Casey and Victoria met seven years ago on her birthday in September of 2005. He was performing in his band, and she was there to see the show. That's a pretty cool beginning. Two years later, they were married on the beach in Cape Cod not too far from where Casey grew up with Kevin. Victoria walked down a sandy aisle to Casey, where they were married right in front of the ocean.

Soward Wedding 2007
Quartet on the beach

Soward Wedding 2007
Walking down an aisle of soft sand

Casey's best man was his brother, Victoria's maid of honor was her best friend, and their dog Toby was there for both of them. The ceremony was small and very warm and intimate, with readings by friends and a speech by Casey's dad.

Soward Wedding 2007
A friend giving a reading

Soward Wedding 2007
A long romantic kiss

Soward Wedding 2007
Casey and his ushers, Kevin and Jon

The reception was in a restaurant right off the beach. It started with their first dance a champagne toast. And oh do I love a cake-cutting, since it means yummy cake is on the way!

Soward Wedding 2007
First dancce (you can see me taking the photo in the mirror- ha ha!)

Soward Wedding 2007
The beachy cake

Soward Wedding 2007
Cutting the cake

Soward Wedding 2007
Jon, Becky, me, and Kevin enjoying the reception

One of my favorite parts of the reception was that they had close friends perform wonderful live music. Such a nice personal touch, and even nicer than hiring a band.

Soward Wedding 2007
Jesse and Irene performing at the reception

Soward Wedding 2007
Casey's cousins

Five years later, on their recent visit to our place:

Soward Family Visits 2012
Victoria, Casey, Oliver, and Laurel

Congratulations on a beautiful family!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Laylah Turns Five 2012!

Laylah was a very special little baby in our lives. She was born shortly after Kevin and I moved in together in Charlottesville. I immediately volunteered to babysit and let me tell you, it was great preparation for James! Laylah also prepartied with us before formal dances, and even attended our engagement party. Since we moved away though, we've seen less of her, which just cements her in my mind as that perfect little baby even more. Happy birthday, Laylah!

Graves Family 
Becky and Brandon with their brand new Laylah

 Halloween 2007 
Halloween with duckling Laylah 2007

What a cutie!
Babysitting

How adorable 
Meeting Auntie Cathy for the first time 2007

 PILA Semi-formal 2007 
Dressed up before the law school semi-formal 2007

Graves Family 
At our engagement party with mom and dad

Visiting the Graves Family 2010
When we visited them in Virginia in 2010

2012 09 Graves 02
Family photo from this month with brother Connor

Friday, September 21, 2012

James at 17 Months 2012

James at 16 Months 2012
James standing in his shopping cart last week

 I love this age! James possesses some great toddler characteristics, but he's also still a little snuggly baby that lets me hold him a lot. He loves going outside, and he brings us his shoes and his hat so that we'll take him to the park.

Weeee!
Loving the park

His favorite things in the world are Mama, Dada, both his grandmothers, sticks, rocks, Blues Clues, climbing, running from diaper changes, playing with things that aren't toys, music and dancing, attempts at playing patty cake, and trying to make friends with other kids (sometimes unsuccessfully). He's super affectionate; I get several unsolicited hugs and kisses a day.

New York City 2012
Surprise hug!

He's trying to say new words, he understands a lot of simple instructions. In addition to some words he said last month... :
  1. "ight" = light /"loosh" = luz (Spanish for light) 
  2. Diego  
  3. Boos Coos = Blues Clues 
  4. "ow" = used to convey painless injuries, injustices, things that make him sad (he actually cries when he's hurt) 
  5. Mama 
  6. Dada 
  7. agua/aba = Spanish for water 
  8. tete = Spanish for pacifier
  9. "leche" Spanish for milk (rare)
  10. Click = the camera on Dora and Diego 
.... he now also says:
  1. hi / hello (he runs around waving like a Disney princess)
  2. ball
  3. jugo = Spanish for juice
  4. ojo = Spanish for eye, but he means juice when he says it
  5. car (pronounced with a Boston accent: cahh) 
  6. ayu = ayuda= help when he needs me to help him climb down from something
  7. up (rare)
He stopped saying:
  1. "ba pa" = back pack (from Diego) 
  2. arbol = Spanish for tree

I'm excited about what crazy and funny things he'll have to tell us once he can string together some thoughts.

James at 16 Months 2012
Learning to play basketball

Queens County Farm 2012
Loves riding on Dada's shoulders

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bon Iver Show 2012

Kevin, Briggs, Michele, and I went to see Bon Iver at Radio City Hall. Jon and James W. were there too, but they had much better seats that night so I didn't get to see them. I heard they did get to hang out with Kevin and Briggs though.

Michele and I went to the city early and got dinner at Iroha, my new favorite place to eat in Midtown Manhattan (they said there weren't any decent places to eat in Midtown-- I found one!). 

Bon Iver 2012

Thanks to Sarah T., who babysat James for the evening I was able to sit next to Kevin at a midweek concert for a whole hour or so. Kevin got there late, and I had to had back early to minimize the time that Sarah T. was held hostage on Long Island. Sadly, I had to leave about an hour before the concert ended to run to the train.

Anyway, the part of the concert I saw was awesome. Though if I were Bon Iver, I would focus more on the awesome music and less on the douchey talk. Or maybe he should hire someone to coach him to sound less douchey.

Bon Iver 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Queens County Farm- September 2012

Queens County Farm is one of my new favorite places. This is the beginning of the third fall we've lived here and we've been meaning to go every year, but haven't gotten to it. Now that we finally have, I'm excited to go back soon.  It was worth the wait though because I'm not sure it would have been as much fun without James. Seeing him interact with the other kids there and the animals was definitely the best part.

Queens County Farm 2012
Queens County Farm

Queens County Farm 2012
This way to goats!

At first, James was more interested in picking up rocks and sticks than he was in looking at the animals, but once he realized that's what the other kids were doing, he decided he was interested. He was very taken with the goats, but I was attacked by goats at a petting zoo as a kid, so I was a little nervous with them. We took a few pictures and then moved on.

Queens County Farm 2012
Hi, goat!

Queens County Farm 2012
Over here, goat!

Queens County Farm 2012
Trying to feed some nice docile sheep

I wasn't terribly trusting of the alpacas either. They might be cute and woolly, but they're big and tough. We went to spend some quality time with the sheep. My favorite part was that James made friends with a little boy and an older girl that had a large feed bucket, and they quickly volunteered to share the feed with him. I half expected James to stick the grass in his own mouth when the little kid gave it to him, but he walked right over and started feeding the sheep like the older kids.

  Queens County Farm 2012
Feeding the sheep with his new buddy

We went to see the other animals, but James pretty much topped out at the sheep. After that he went back to his rock and stick quest while I took photos.

Queens County Farm 2012
Pigs acting out a Cialis commercial

Queens County Farm 2012
The juxtaposition of the farm and the city of Queens


Queens County Farm 2012
Family photos are my favorite!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Overheard - September 2012

Overheard in our living room:

E: Oh-oh, I think I had too much coffee, too fast.
K: You feel jittery?
E: I feel... powerful!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Prospect Heights and Sibling Code 2012

Another weekend, another Brooklyn bar crawl! Lately I've been going out in Brooklyn as much as I did when I lived there two years ago. After meeting Michele's brother Arthur last weekend, I was excited to meet her brother Matthew this weekend. (I'm pretty sure this mean Alejandro needs to come visit and meet me next weekend?) Matthew stopped to see Michele on his way back to college in Vermont.

Michele, Matthew, and I started with dinner at Chuko. It was my first time going out for dinner for real ramen (as opposed to having cheap gross ramen for dinner in my apartment when I was 22). It was delicious, as was my sake cocktail. We also had the most enthusiastic waitress in all of New York.

Chuko collage
Ramen at Chuko

From there we walked over to Weather Up, which is a beautiful place that makes wonderful drinks. It reminds me of a smaller Clover Club. (Smaller in size and in drink selection.) In typical Brooklyn-style, we ran into at least two people wearing suspenders. Ironically? Non-ironically? I don't even know anymore.

Weather Up collage
Fancy drinks at Weather Up

Finally, we ran through the rain, as though in a sexy romantic comedy and went to Beast. I guess it's a bar, but I ordered two different drinks off their menu that they couldn't make because they were missing ingredients. So I gave up and ordered T & T, but they didn't have Tanqueray, so they gave me some other random gin. Not good. But we were having such a good time by then! By the end of the night I even thought I could understand Michele and Matthew's crazy sibling code. The code is informal, but they really only need to say every third word in a sentence to understand each other, or mumble entire phrases, or simply blink twice to indicate that this chardonnay from Chablis has very distinct notes of chalk. Or at least that is what I understood them to be saying as I sipped on my Random-Gin-and-Tonic.

Beast collage
Out of liquor at Beast- no wonder the lion is sad
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