Thursday, January 31, 2013

GW Alumni Event- January 2013

Christina, Rachel, and I recently braved a college alumni event. The three of us attended the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and when we saw that this event was free, we thought, eh, why not?
    You are invited to join your fellow Elliott School alumni in New York for a reception and discussion with Dean Michael Brown on "U.S. Foreign Policy: The Next Four Years." Dean Brown will provide updates on GW and the Elliott School of International Affairs and examine the extraordinary foreign policy challenges facing the United States, as it heads into another Obama Administration.
The Dean is a very accomplished man, but the lecture topic was a very tall order for a short cocktail-type event. It might have been the topic for a multi-day symposium. In any case, we enjoyed the cocktail reception, most of the lecture, and the post-lecture dessert reception. We'd definitely try another alumnae event in the future.

GW Event 2013
Christina and Rachel at the Cocktail Reception

GW Alumni Event 2013
The three of us!

GW Alumni Event 2013
Dean's Lecture

GW Event 2013
Enjoying the lecture

GW Alumni Event 2013
New friends after the lecture

Afterwards, we got sushi at Haru. It was pretty good and the sushi for 2 platter was enough for all 3 of us. Fantastic!

Monday, January 28, 2013

James at 21 Months 2013

I've already lost count of how many words James says, but it's in the neighborhood of 60-80 words. What's fun is that he's now stringing some words together. Last time we were on the Cape, he said,"kick ball" as he kicked the ball across the living room. Next, he started saying, "no, Dada," whenever he disapproved of something Kevin was doing.  Around the same time he started saying, "no touch," right before touching something he was not supposed to touch. When I say, "ow!" James comes over, pats my head and ruffles my hair and says, "sorry, Mama." Sometimes he even follows this up with a kiss or a hug. He also says, "please," and "thank you," to get what he wants from me. I'm a total sucker for his "please," which he pronounces "pleeth."

James- January 2013
Run down the hall in this super cute outfit from Grandma

He just had his well-baby appointment and he's doing great. He's 35.5" tall (above average), and he weighs 28 pounds (average). He's got all but two of his teeth in (2-year molars) and despite him constantly begging for milk the pediatrician says there will be no more "growth spurts," just regular slow and steady growth. Unfortunately the pediatrician didn't have a suggested plan for the 4 am wake-ups either.

James- January 2013
Milk makes him very happy

James- January 2013
He thinks he's building a train

James- January 2013
He loves his oversize legos

James- January 2013

Kathy Visits- January 2013
Self-portrait on grandma's phone

January 2013
Loves his veggies!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inauguration 2013

Happy Inauguration from a very tired Clou family! (James has been waking up at 4:30 a.m. lately, but who's counting?)

Inauguration 2013

Sworn in!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grandma Kathy- January 2013

We had a wonderful weekend thanks to Grandma Kathy. She got here Friday night before James went to bed, and put him to sleep herself after playing with him for a while.

James- January 2013
James welcomes Gaga

Saturday afternoon she went to meet our new best friend baby Ben. He was even wearing the little brown sweater Grandma Kathy knit for him. Look how adorable Ben is in his little sweater! Jon and Kevin were even able to grab a beer thanks to her.

Kathy Visits- January 2013
Saturday afternoon with Ben and Jon

She babysat for us in the evening so that Kevin and I could have date night. The last time Kevin and I got a date night alone in Manhattan was in July! So we decided to go big and go to Comedy Cellar, and Kevin conscientiously looked into their reservations policy (that they didn't accept any for some portion of the tickets), but when we got there early they were sold out. We were too happy to be out to worry about it and decided it was time for make-your-own Greenwich Village bar crawl. We made it to the Slaughtered Lamb, Down the Hatch, and Vol de Nuit, before meeting up with our friends Nick and Emily at the Four-Faced Liar. I forgot to take any photos because we were having too much fun, but here's a recent photo of Nick and Emily off their Facebook.

Nick and Emily
Nick and Emily, December 2012

Grandma generously got up with James Sunday morning and then napped with him in the late morning. As a result of all her love and affection, he now calls her "Gaga" presumably after the queen of dance music. Either that, or it's his best attempt at "Grandma." Probably the former.

While they napped, Kevin and I sat in our living room marveling that it was daytime and we were both in the same room without James. We were giddy with freedom. When they got up we braved bringing James to lunch at a pizzeria and then took him to the park.

Kathy Visits- January 2013
Sunday lunch at Village Pizzeria

Kathy Visits- January 2013
Kevin and James at the top of the slide at the park

When I got back from the park, I thought it would be a good time to build Aunt Mary's Christmas present to James, a little kitchen set that didn't look that complicated. It was. It involved screws and a Phillips head, and it was very complicated. Kevin was happy we didn't involve him-- until we did. On the bright side, James really likes opening and closing the little microwave door and the little oven door. Over and over again. He also stole a bunch of paperwork from my office trash and jammed it in the microwave, so that's fun.

Kathy Visits- January 2013
Sunday afternoon at the factory

Kathy Visits- January 2013 
Kitchen and shopping cart set- complete!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Great Grandma Daisy- January 2013

It's expensive to go over the bridges to New Jersey so on the way from DC we stopped for a quick visit at Great grandma Daisy's. She had some Christmas presents for James and she made us lunch. We're luck to have her.

Visit to Daisy- January 2013
James and his great-grandmother Daisy

Visit to Daisy- January 2013
Helping great-grandma with the dishes.

Visit to Daisy- January 2013
Hiding? Stealing the blinds?

Visit to Daisy- January 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meeting JJ 2013

During my recent trip to DC, I finally got to meet my friend Teresa and John's beautiful baby boy JJ! He's a lot like how James was as a baby. Couldn't you just eat him up?

Meeting JJ 2013
My new little buddy JJ

Meeting JJ 2013
What a little flirt!

Meeting JJ 2013
Cute family!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Washington, DC- January 2013

I can't get enough of all my friends in DC, so last weekend we went for a visit. We stayed with Cory and Robin and had a nice time in their neighborhood. Every time we visit, their neighborhood gets a little better. This time they had some new parks and an ice skating rink! We had some meals in, and we went out for Thai, and James had fun at one of the many parks near them.

DC Visit- January 2013
Having lunch at the new swanky Thai restaurant in Robin and Cory's neighborhood.

DC Visit- January 2013
Cory teaching James how to walk the ropes at Garfield Park Playground

DC Visit- January 2013
James demonstrates his gangsta sliding style

Kevin and Cory babysat while Robin and I went out to a fun bar nearby the Passenger, and met up with some of my other friends. As sometimes happen, I had way more fun than everyone else-- but why wouldn't I? I was surrounded by some of my favorite people.

DC Visit- January 2013
Laurie, Darren, and Janice

DC Visit- January 2013
Jaime and me (Jaime recently found our first roomie pic from 1999!)

DC Visit- January 2013
Roger, Lina and me (That's Roger's hand not mine!)

DC Visit- January 2013
My brother-from-another-mother, Brian

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Things My Wife Complains About #22: My Not Complaining

There's a game my wife and I play (she plays), in which she places her circulation-deficient hands on my abdomen, ostensibly to warm them. Last night her true reason was revealed, however, as she expressed disappointment that I didn't unleash my customary agony over having two frozen objects dropped without warning onto my skin.

Wife: It's not fun if you don't complain.
Me: You want me to complain?
Wife: It's like you don't even love me.

You might remember that my wife complains about my complaining, an entirely reasonable position for someone so tightlipped about her own world weariness. In contrast to her previous position, however, she now complains about my not complaining. To review: My wife complains, complains about my complaining, complains about my not complaining. She's a triple threat of logic.

Why, you might wonder, did I not complain? One possibility is that my wife told me not to complain. Another, more plausible, possibility is that James wakes up before 4:45 am every day, and I can't feel anything by the end of the night.

Possible Solutions!

1) Complain
2) Not complain
3) Complain while also stealthily not complaining (hard)

First Snow of 2012
Cooling her hands with the snow

Friday, January 4, 2013

Review of 2012- Part 2

July 2012
Kevin and I went on our second big roadtrip of the summer, this time to the Northeast, to see our family and friends including: Kevin's mom, my grandmotherPete and Adrienne, Allison and Dan, Cate and Matt, and Casey and Victoria. We celebrated the Fourth of July on Cape Cod with family. Chrissy and Jason had their second baby Hailey.

Cape Elizabeth, ME 2012
The Clous at the Portland Lighthouse in Maine

Michele and I went to see Calle 13 at Celebrate Brooklyn! James turned 15 months old. Kevin and I got to go on a fun date night when my mother came to visit.  Lukas and Sarah came over to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London.  Kevin and I celebrated meeting each other 6 years ago by donating blood.

Everyone continued watching and complaining about the Summer Olympics. We went to DC, and went to Eastern Market and Yards Park with Cory, Robin, Jaime, stayed in with Janice and Roger. We went to Maryland to meet baby William T. I fulfilled a life dream when Michele and I went to The Colbert Report. We went to New Jersey to visit Nana, and had dinner with David and Melanie in Hoboken.

Ash had a super awesome, Happy Everything! party, a celebration of all holidays simultaneously. Katy and Luke got married in South Carolina! David and Jordan had their son Harry.

Happy Everything! 2012
Happy pirates, Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's Day!

The Pete and Adrienne celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. We celebrated Michele's birthday with a perfect picnic in Prospect Park. I actually spent a lot of time with Michele in September because I was getting sad that she was leaving New York at the end of October. Michele, Briggs, Kevin, and I went a Bon Iver concert in Radio City Music Hall.

We brought James to Manhattan for the first time on Labor Day. We also took James to the Queens County Farm so he could feed some sheep. James turned 17 months!

New York City 2012
The Clous in Times Square

Teresa and John's baby JJ was born. The Sowards celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. We spent a long weekend in Cape Cod with family and went to the beach, the pond, a playground, and even a local farm. Then Brooke and Marc got engaged in Los Angeles!

Katy and Luke celebrated their wedding with a reception in Nashville. We had so much fun going out in Nashville, and visiting with little guys Carter and William.

N-D Wedding Celebration 2012
Katy and Luke's reception in Nashville

We visited Chrissy's family in Ramsey and got to meet baby Hailey for the first time! We went to the the Apple Festival in the rain, and it was terrible. I think it would have been terrible even without rain. I was a little grouchy one morning and Kevin wrote, "Things My Wife Complains About #21: Seeking Her Best Interests."

Visiting the Vonderhaars
The Vondys and Clous

James had many visitors this month: Nana, Grandma, Michele, Janice, and Wendy! We went to the Stern's baby shower, and then out in Brooklyn for drinks and delicious burgers. When Janice came to visit we took James for a playdate with Hudson, Christina, and Dan.  James turned a year and half old!

Imagination Playground, NYC 2012
Janice and I are co-moms for the day

Michele left New York to move to Richmond and start a food co-op. To send her off we went to a show called Accomplice in the city, and then had a going-away happy hour. I missed her immediately.

Accomplice: New York 2012
Michele, me, and Ash in City Hall Park during Accomplice

Superstorm Sandy was devastating to the tri-state area. Over 100 people died in the United States and millions lost power for days. We lost power on the Monday of the storm, and we braved it at home without power Monday and TuesdayWednesday afternoon we drove up to Ash's house, where Ash's parents were also staying with her because they had lost power. It was Halloween so we dressed up James and let him run around. We didn't get power back until the following Sunday.

Halloween 2012
Tiger on the loose!

We started the month off still living at Ash's place because our power hadn't returned yet after Hurricane Sandy. It was good timing to spend Ash's birthday with her, and we celebrated with a spa visit and lots and lots of sushi. We finally got power back on the 4th, but we decided to stay through the day to spend more time with Ash, and we spent the day together at Pennington Farm.

Pennings Farm- November 2012
At the farm with Ash

We were home Monday with power and heat, but then the Nor'easter hit us on Wednesday, and we lost power and heat in the middle of the night. It was cold in our apartment without heat, so Thursday afternoon James and I went to stay with my mom. Of course, the power came back as soon as we got to my mom's. Kevin came to get us on Friday and I was home for a few hours before I left for Girls' Weekend on Saturday morning... which ironically Ash was hosting this year. Back to Ash's!

Girls' Weekend 2012
Janice, me, Laurie, Ash, and Megan

I reflected on my dad's passing on the 2-year anniversary.  Kevin, James, and I spent Thanksgiving with Kevin's family on Cape Cod.

Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving in Cape Cod
We visited Andrew in Florida and went out in downtown Delray Beach, had a huge party with Andrew's friends, and went to a Patriots game in Miami.  When we got back, Jon and Becky had adorable baby Ben and we rushed over to meet him and spend as much time with him as possible.

Visiting Ben 2012
Jon, Becky, and Ben!

Lukas and Sarah came over to help us get in the Christmas spirit with cookies and glögg. We also celebrated 12-12-12 with a neighborhood Christmas lights walk. Michele took a little break from co-founding Richmond Food Cooperative and gave me the best Christmas present ever by visiting New York.

James turned 20 months old and was talking more and more.We spent Noche Buena and Christmas morning on Long Island with my mom, and some days after Christmas with Kevin's family in Cape Cod.

Christmas 2012
Christmas Eve at home

Read about the first half of 2012 here.
Read about the first half of 2011 or the second half of 2011.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review of 2012- Part 1

Happy New Year! Let's review all the good things that happened last year!

We spent New Years Eve in Brooklyn at Jon and Becky's place. The Meghan and Ben had their second son Evan.  Kevin and I finally successfully sleep-trained James when he was 8 months old.  We started a new yearly tradition of watching football and Miss America with friends. Kevin, James and I went to visit my grandmother Daisy and my mother in New Jersey.

James turned 9 months old and started walking! I finally finished scanning my photos after working on the project for 5 years! There was barely any snow in New York this winter (about 4 inches total).

James at 9 Months 2012
James at 9 months, January 30th
Ash, Michele, Jaime and I went to the Brooklyn Brewery for a tour and our own shared tasting.  Kevin mourned another loss of the Patriots to the Giants in the Superbowl (see 2008).  Our mothers both visited James. We celebrated Kevin's 32nd birthday in Williamsburg with barbecue and bourbon, and then we had a low-key Valentine's Day at Sushi Ya restaurant.  Kevin and James had a boys weekend while I took the bus to D.C. for Megan's baby shower and Sarah's 30th birthday (and impromptu belly-rubbing).  I even got a behind the scenes Supreme Court tour from Donald. Christina and Dan's son Hudson was born a week before his due date so I got to hold him even sooner than I hoped.

James had already been walking for almost a month when he turned 10 months old! Kevin documented all my complaints about television in Things My Wife Complains About (TMWCA).

Brooklyn Brewery 2012
Brooklyn Brewery

For my 33rd birthday, Michele and I did 33 fun things which included visiting Hudson, doing a wine tasting, and eating sushi at one Michele's favorite Brooklyn restaurants. Grandma Kathy came to visit James.  On St. Patrick's Day, Kevin made his famous corned beef sandwiches again, and along with Jon and Michele we did a local bar crawl.  A bunch of old coworkers and I attended Adrienne's baby shower.

St. Patrick's Day 2012
St. Patrick's Day 2012

With Daylight Savings, James started sleeping through the night to 6:30 a.m.  James turned 11 Months Old and maybe said his first word? We couldn't tell for sure.

Kevin and I went to visit the Bucks in Virginia.  Baby William B. was born and I got to meet him when he was just 9 days old!

We went on a little mini-roadtrip where visited the Bucks in Arlington, VA for the weekend and saw the Taylors too. We went to Roger and Lina's wedding in Tysons Corner. Then we visited Cory and Robin in DC. Finally, we showed James around our alma mater in Charlottesville.  It went really well, until James had a total meltdown on our way home, which Kevin wrote about in Diary of an Angry Pink Baby #6.

Washington, DC 2012
Our first family trip to DC!

Nana visited for the weekend. We enjoyed Easter at the Gorskis, complete with their signature martinis!  We went to Cape Cod to attend Kevin's cousin's wedding the Pareseau wedding.  The same week, the Adrienne and Liel had a baby girl, Brooke and a few days later the Megan and Ed had a baby boy, William.

James turned a year old and the following week we had his first birthday party at home on Long Island. I finally finished taking a photo of James every day for a year!

James's 1st Birthday Party 2012
James 1st birthday party!

On Cinco de Mayo, we went to the Bronx Zoo with Rachel and Tim, Christina and Dan, and their kids. We had a great time.

Then we planned and set off for a big Southeast Roadtrip. We had to pack for 18 days, and we entertained the Jeff and Caroline on the very day we were leaving for the trip. It took us 12 hours of driving straight through the middle of the night to get to North Carolina in time.  But we finally visited Audra andRob at their home in North Carolina, met their adorable son Carter, and even spent part of Mother's Day with them. I got to see the two cutest people ever, Sarah and Aaron get married.  By Day 4 we were wandering around Charlotte, NC without a clue what to do, but at least we started our BBQ binge!

Days 5-6, we visited Atlanta, Georgia for the first time and had the best BBQ ever.  We stopped in Macon, Georgia so that James wouldn't lose his mind, and we got to visit some Ocmulgee mounds. We visited the Trey and Sunny in Jacksonville, Florida, and got to meet their son Cort for the first time.

Day 8, we fell in love with Savannah, Georgia and by days 9-10, I had declared Charleston, South Carolina imminently livable. We stopped in Columbia, South Carolina and then kind of wished we hadn't. James turned 13 months old while we were there.

Savannah, GA 2012
Savannah, we love you! 

On day 11, we hiked up Clingman's Dome Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.  We visited Katy and Luke, and got to see a lot of Nashville. Day 13 was all about Elvis's home Graceland and some great Memphis BBQ. And then we washed all that BBQ  down with bourbon on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail on day 15.

Having rocked the South, we left and visited Chrissy and Jason in Cincinnati, Ohio and even had some Cincy chilli with them. And we did all that before Memorial Day! We did more before Memorial Day than most people will do the entire summer. Yes, traveling so much was incredibly hard, but it was also fantastic and funny.

This month started with a lot of baby news! Aubree and Patrick had their daughter Avery, and shortly thereafter, Cathy and Mike had their second daughter Kennedy. Then, Jon and Becky announced they were pregnant.

Brady came to visit for the first time in a while, and the guys went to the Brooklyn Brewery and Manhattan to party. The following week, Jaime came to visit and we all went to Jones Beach during the day, and in the evening we met up with Michele, Yainice, and Allison for a little BBQ and a Brooklyn bar tour.

Jones Beach 2012
James loving Jones Beach

Kevin, James, and I celebrated Kevin's second Father's Day with a trip to the Bear Mountain area so that he could go hiking. James turned 14-months and started bringing us his books to read to him. Fifteen years passed since I graduated high school. Nana came to visit James and we all had a lovely time at the park together. Kevin, Briggs, Jon, Becky, Lukas, Sarah, and I went to Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem together. Yum.

Only one month after returning home from our 18-day Southern roadtrip, Kevin, James and I left home for a 10-day Northern roadtrip. Our first stop was Jim and Lisa's wedding celebration in Quincy, Massachusetts. Our second stop was Martha's Vineyard.

Read about the second half of 2012 here.
Read about the first half of 2011 or the second half of 2011.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...