Monday, April 29, 2013

Cradle of Aviation 2013

We've been trying to really enjoy all the activities Long Island has to offer because for one thing, it's easier than taking James into the city. This weekend we played library roulette again, where we show up at the library and see if they have a free pass for any place even remotely child-friendly. Big win! The Cradle of Aviation was super fun for James- and it even beat the Long Island Children's Museum by a lot.

There was a small designated children's room where you could let the kids run around with minimal supervision, but really the entire museum was full of equipment with which James could reasonably interact.

Cradle of Aviation 2013
NASA co-pilots in the children's room 

Cradle of Aviation 2013
Who needs full aircraft technology when wooden toy airplanes are just as fun?

Cradle of Aviation 2013
A rocking plane in the childrens' room

Cradle of Aviation 2013
Driving the Firetruck outside the Fire Department exhibit

I was a little dubious about taking James into the main of the museum because although he points out planes in the sky when we go for walks, I didn't think that he would necessarily connect the small planes in the sky with the massive machinery on the museum floor. When we entered the main room he ran around silently for a few steps and I figured, yes, this is the same for him as running around the park or anywhere-- he's just looking for stuff to climb or other trouble.  Then all of the sudden he yelled, "Wowwwwwwwwwwww!" He loved it! It was so freaking cute. 

Cradle of Aviation 2013
Right before the awesomeness dawned on him.

Cradle of Aviation 2013
He's 2 years old now, so he's old enough to fly a helicopter by himself

Cradle of Aviation 2013
I've agreed to let James pilot our jet

Cradle of Aviation 2013
Initiating pre-flight sequence

Cradle of Aviation 2013
James isn't too sure about the cabin pressure

Cradle of Aviation 2013
The only real flying he did that day

Our other recent Long Island adventures include Old Westbury Gardens, and the Long Island Children's Museum.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chris Sheldon 2013

My friend Chris passed away last weekend from cardiac arrest. He was only 35 years old. I know many of you reading this were also his friend. I last chatted with him online in February after he sent my son James In the Night Garden, a strange British children's book. Technically, Chris was my ex-boyfriend from 9 years ago, but what was important was that he was still, all these years later, my real friend.

He told me his wife Kerrie was beautiful and wonderful. He said she was good to him, better even than he thought he deserved, and that she took great care of him. She gave him everything that made his life good: her love, a home, and three beautiful sons. Because of that, he had grown up. He was serious about his career, and he was serious about providing for his family.

2013 01 16 party
With his wife Kerrie around the time of their 6th wedding anniversary, 2013

He loved his boys like crazy. He would never have left his family by choice; he would have done anything to take care of them. He loved his parents in a completely pure way because he felt they had given him a great childhood, and he was so excited to do the same for his boys. 

2008 07 Chris with Aaron
With his oldest son, Aaron in 2009

2009 06 Chris and 2nd son Finley
With his second son Finley, 2009

2012 11 Cole about 15 months
His youngest son, Cole, 2012

Bracknell, England 2002
With his stepfather and his mum in 2002

Stonehenge, England 2002
Chris and his dad at Stonehenge in 2002

His loss is felt deeply by his family and his friends. We will all miss him dearly and forever. He believed in chasing happiness; that life was for being happy. He definitely found his bliss with Kerrie and his boys. As impossible as it is for his family right now, he would want them to heal and be really happy. He would also want everyone to refer to him as handsome as often as possible. Though he'd probably use the expression "sexy beast."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013

For James's second birthday we just had a little cake on the Cape with mostly Kevin's family, since they couldn't make the trip down to New York last year. James is obsessed with Mickey Mouse and Goofy on television and with Curious George books, so it was a tough call on the theme, but we decided rat cake was the way to go.

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
My mom "Nana", me, James, Kevin, Kevin's mom "Gaga",
Kevin's grandmother "Great-ga"

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Mickey Mouse chocolate cake from Cakes by Lori on the Cape

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013 
Blowing out the candles is still a team effort

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013  
Opening presents with his girlfriend Ellen

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Hugging Harry the "doggie"

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Playing with his new toys!

Mom came up with us in part to go visit my grandmother, my dad's mom on the Cape. It's 10 hours round trip to the Cape, so she didn't want to do it alone. It's another 2 hours round trip up to my grandmother's, so I wasn't able to bring James for a visit this time, in part because Kathy gave us a stay at a bed and breakfast at an Inn for the same weekend. It was a really nice gift and we enjoyed it to the fullest but more in another post.

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
With my mother who is definitely aging backwards now.

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Kathy with her Cape Cod besties, Dolores and Fran

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
James exploring the backyard with Great Uncle Dickie and Ellen

James also had his 2-year checkup this week. He's a healthy toddler of 36.25 inches and 29 pounds. That makes him officially more than 60% of my height. I predict he surpasses me in 5th or 6th grade. He's starting to wear 3T tops, but he's still in 2T bottoms. He likes to wear them low. He's using short sentences, and he's able to ask for almost everything he wants, and he's pretty successful at bossing me around. 

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Helium balloons are the best!

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Stretching tall!

I oftentimes marvel about how there was so much I didn't understand about parenthood when I started this adventure 2 years ago. I thought prestige of parenthood was limited by the fact that most people could and did have children. Like somehow that made it less of an accomplishment. I was super dumb, and I wouldn't even bring it up except that maybe someone reading this might relate. Now I understand that it's one of the best and hardest things anyone can accomplish-- not to just have a child-- but to be a parent. The Grand Canyon and Machu Picchu are not less beautiful if more people gaze at them.

James's 2nd Birthday Party 2013
Snuggling Ellen to try to get the truck from her. Don't hate the playa'.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cape Cod- April 2013

While we were on the Cape, we were lucky to catch the herring migrating. We thought it would be fun for James to see the fish and all the birds. Sadly, a lot of fish were not able to complete their migration thanks to the aforementioned birds.

Herring Run 2013
With James on his 2nd birthday at Herring Run in Brewster, MA

Herring Run 2013
But what kind of herring, you ask? The sign says, 
"Alosa pseudoharengus" (alewife) and "Alosa aestivalis" (blueback herring)

Herring Run 2013
Stony Brook in Brewster, MA

Herring Run 2013
James and Kevin on the footbridge

Herring Run 2013
Caught one.

Herring Run 2013
Walking around Herring Run with Grandma Kathy and Dada

As a special treat for Kevin's birthday in February and my birthday in March, Grandma Kathy got us a stay at Chatham Gables Inn, a cute little bed and breakfast. Grandma Kathy, Great Aunt Mary, and Great-grandma babysat James while we ran off. The B&B was cute and friendly, and they had a fireplace, though we didn't sit next to it at all because we were busy shopping and bar crawling along Main Street in Chatham.

Chatham, MA 2013
Chatham Gables Inn

Chatham, MA 2013
Stores along Main Street

We had drink at the Chatham Squire a pretty fun large bar that Kevin had been to before, then we had dinner at the Impudent Oyster. It was a little touch and go at the restaurant because we didn't have reservations and even in off-season April they were booked solid, but it worked out. Then we had some more drinks at the Squire. In related news, we missed the Inn's free breakfast, so we ended up having breakfast at the Lazy Lobster the next morning. I had super delicious Eggs Benedict on crab cakes. It was super competitive with my dinner the night before.

Chatham Squire Bar 2013
Selfie at the Chatham Squire

After breakfast, we were still on a child-free high so we decided to go for a walk on the beach, but it was still really chilly so we didn't get that far. It was a really lovely trip. Thank you so much, Grandma Kathy!

Chatham, MA 2013
Chatham Lighthouse Beach

Chatham, MA 2013
Check out the huge sandbar 

Chatham, MA 2013
Chatham Lighthouse

Saturday, April 20, 2013

James is 2 Years Old! 2013

James is two years old! I wouldn't exactly say it's flown by like everybody says it does, but maybe the more years that pass the faster it feels?

Old Westbury Gardens 2013
James, a week before his second birthday

A year ago, James turned a year old, and the following week we had his first birthday party at home on Long Island. I compiled a picture from each of the first 12 months of James's life. He had already been walking for about 3 months, so we planned and set off for an 18-day Southeast RoadtripJames turned 13 months old in Columbus, South Carolina of all places. Back then he said 4 words: mama, dada, no, and leche (milk).

Columbia, SC 2012
James at 13 Months, May 20

When James turned 14-months he started bringing us his books to read to him. Only one month after returning home from our 18-day Southern roadtrip, Kevin, James and I left home for a 10-day Northern roadtrip. So at only 14 months he had been to 14 states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, DC, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Maine.

James at 14 Months 2012
The most interesting baby at 14 months old, June 21

James turned 15 months old, he went to his 15th state, Maryland, and watched his first Summer Olympics.

James at 15 Months 2012
James surprised to turn 15 months, July 20

Shortly after James turned 16 months, we took him to Manhattan for the first time. He went to Times Square and Central Park. Back then, he knew about 10 words.

New York City 2012
James at 16 months in Times Square

By the time James turned 17 months he could say about 20 words. James turned a year and half old while Janice was here visiting and we took him for his first subway ride in Manhattan so we could go visit Christina and Hudson.

Imagination Playground, NYC 2012
Janice and I are co-moms for 18-month-old James

We lost power from Superstorm Sandy 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, and since it was Halloween so we dressed up James and let him run around. We didn't get power back until the following Sunday. When we returned, James went to his first Presidential election. He only voted symbolically.

Halloween 2012
James second Halloween was during Hurricane Sandy

Pennings Farm- November 2012
At the farm with Ash, because we lived with her for a long time

Shortly after James turned 19 months old, Kevin, James, and I spent Thanksgiving with Kevin's family on Cape Cod.

Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving in Cape Cod

James turned 20 months old and was saying more and more words.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, James is 20 months old

Kevin, James, and I watched the second inauguration of President Obama together on TV. James turned 21 months old and started saying two words together. Later, we took James to the American Natural History Museum in a mistaken attempt to expose him to things.

American Natural History Museum 2013
James touching dinosaur feet at ANHM, 21 months old

Ericka's 34th Birthday 2013
James discovers Peeps at 22 months old.

Shortly before he turned 23 months, James celebrated 2nd St. Patrick's Day. Before Easter with Nana, James got his first real haircut.

James's First Haircut 2013
First haircut at 23 months

At 23 months, on March 28, James said his first sort of sentence, "Where Dada go?" At first I thought it was a fluke, but in the month that followed his talking really took off. He quickly followed it with "I see Goofy," (on TV) and then he started pointing all the things he could see and name in the formulaic sentence, "I see X." After that he started repeating sentences and words he'd heard us say in the past two months-- even when we hadn't recently said it. Some of his favorites include "Get down, Fudgie!" (which he learned from Janice) and "Get out of here!" (We do not encourage him saying the the latter.) Happy birthday, James! It feels like you're officially a little kid now-- running around, talking, demanding stuff you want, and playing pretend. We love you so much!

Herring Run 2013 
James on his 2nd birthday, by Herring Run
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