Monday, March 31, 2014

Winter Snow 2013-14

So this is only the second year that winter storms have had names. Usually names are reserved for hurricanes.

First Snow of 2013
First snow of the winter, Tuesday, 11/12/13 Atlas

Snow Storm Dion got to us on Tuesday, December 10th, and was just a light snow. Kevin was done teaching classes at the main campus for the semester anyway, so we were all home. To work out a little of James's winter cabin fever, Kevin took James out to see the snow and walk to the library just a few blocks from our place.

Snow- December 2013
Tuesday, 12/10

Snow Storm Electra gave us 3-4 inches on December 14th, but it didn't stop us from venturing out in the snow (via train) to go to Sarah and Lukas's joint birthday in Queens. Then "Snow Storm Falco" only gave us another inch around December 18-19th.

Sarah & Lukas's Birthdays 2013
Snow Storm Electra with Lukas, Sarah, and friends, 12/14/14

Sunday, December 22, instead of snow, we got some unseasonable warm weather here. We left our coats at home and went to the park with Andrew who was here visiting. Monday, December 23rd, snow storm Gemini started hitting the Northeast as we were driving up to the Cape but we got mostly rain. My uncle and aunt were hit pretty hard in Maine and lost power for several days. We had a couple more flurries on Christmas in Cape Cod. White Christmas!

Snow Storm Hercules hit on Thursday, January 2nd, and James went sledding for the first time on that Friday! But he didn't like it. But he loved it when he tried again the following Sunday. Sadly, I had to move my doctor's appointment to see Itty Bitty until the following week.

Sledding 2014
Sledding for the second time, 1/5/14

These snow storms were followed by a bunch of days that were very very cold in New York. January 7th ,had a high of 10 degrees in New York.

My theory is that Snow Storm Janus was named for Janice's upcoming birthday. The storm gave Kevin snow day from the Manhattan campus on Wednesday, January 22. He didn't even have to make up the class on a Saturday.

27 Weeks 2014
We had some more flurries on the following Saturday when we went to NMH, 1/25

Snow Storms Maximus and Nika came back-to-back. Maximus on Monday February 3rd, gave us 8" and Nika on Tuesday-Wednesday, gave us 4". Stony Brook had snow days but Kevin doesn't work on Monday and Wednesday anyway, so whatever.

Snow Day- February 2014
James and his first snowman, 2/3/14

Shoveling- February 2014
Shoveling during "Maximus"

Pax: Thursday, February 13th. Kevin got a snow day! We got a tiny bit more snow on the 15th (Quintus).

Kevin's 34th Birthday 2014
King of the mountain, 2/15/14

James- March 2014
Bad conditions for driving, 3/2/14

We really haven't had much snow in a long time, so when I asked Kevin on Sunday night if he thought it was really over, he said yes with a fair bit of confidence. Then we had flurries today. But that's it! No more snow! I declare it so!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baby Max C. 2014!

Our friends Trey and Sunny had a second baby boy this week! I love how he already looks like a little dude- a wise soul if you will. A cute one!

Max 02
Max is here!

Max 03
Aw, smooshy face with his Mama

Max 05 - Copy
Quality boys time with his big brother Cort and father Trey

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brady Visits- March 2014

To finish up Kevin's Spring Break, Brady came for a nice long visit from Thursday to Sunday. He's so low-maintenance though, it felt much shorter. The boys watched a ton of NCAA basketball, went to Manhattan on Friday night, ate the best takeout in Queens, and drank just enough to prolong Kevin's cold/sinus infection.

Spring Break 2014
Brady playing with James

Spring Break 2014
Good times!

Spring Break 2014
No more pictures, mama.

Lukas and Sarah also visited on Sunday for more basketball. But I was all pictured-out by then.

Last two visits from Brady:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Test: Blogging from my phone!

Testing. Might come in handy when I'm at the hospital. 31 days to go!

Hello, Mr. Squirrel.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Babymoon in Atlantic City 2014

When I was pregnant with James we had a "stabymooon" which is a word Allison made up to help me describe a cross between a babymoon and "staycation." The word "staycation" was all the rage back then because the media had to find a way to talk about people being poor in the new economy in a way that didn't sound totally depressing. But since we live in New York, staying nearby still allowed us to do basically anything we could imagine.

This time, we waited a little longer, and I was a little wiser to the fact that walking too much would be unpleasant, so I thought it would be nice to just soak in a hotel pool somewhere.  Hotel room rate comparison revealed that the cheapest rate anywhere in our vicinity was actually in Atlantic City. I guess the theory is that you will make up for the cheap room rate by spending money on gambling and food at the casino. Plus, the Borgata has a much nicer pool than we could get locally.

Babymoon in AC 2014
James's first time at a casino

Babymoon in AC 2014
Gambling all my pennies on wishes in the fountain

When we got there Kevin stood online behind hundreds of senior citizens waiting to check in early while I entertained James with a walk around the Borgata. As soon as we were checked in we changed into our bathing suits and went for a swim. Two interesting things: one is that it's kind of liberating to be so huge. It felt really awesome to wear a bathing suit and not suck in my tummy. Second, going swimming in my 3rd trimester was accidental genius. The minute I stepped into the water, the reduced gravity felt like a huge relief on my back. It was like handing the baby to someone else to hold for a minute. I could lie on my stomach. I could even bend a little at the waist. It was magical.

Babymoon in AC 2014
James and I are all suited up

For James, the swimmies took some getting used to, and he alternated between being afraid and clingy and trying to assert his almost-3-year-old independence. But we couldn't get him to try floating on his own until it was almost time to go to dinner. He loved the pool though.

Babymoon in AC 2014
Clingy fun in the pool

Babymoon in AC 2014
Trying to teach him to kick or tread water

Babymoon in AC 2014
Clingy fun with Dada

Babymoon in AC 2014
Trying to dunk Dada

Babymoon in AC 2014
Family picture on a timer!

Babymoon in AC 2014
Look Ma! No hands! (OMG,look at that cute face!)

Babymoon in AC 2014
Promptly starts swimming away

We all took quick showers before dinner, which was itself an experience for James since he usually only takes baths. He seemed to enjoy the shower a lot as long as it didn't get his face wet at all. Ha. We went to dinner at a casual noodles place called N.O.W. where you had to sit at long tables with strangers. At least James was decently good at the restaurant and even ate a lot of dinner. He even got almost an entire mango juice to himself.

Babymoon in AC 2014
Walking to dinner inside the Borgata

Babymoon in AC 2014
Me and baby girl at dinner

After dinner, James and I shared a big gelato at Borgata Gelato, then we went to bed. Kevin went gambling for a little while as part of his pre-baby relaxation. I was happy to have gone to bed with James, when James woke up super early the next morning. After a big breakfast we went swimming again before checkout. This time James was a lot more comfortable with trying to swim back and forth between me and Kevin or being shuttled around by us in the pool. A very successful (and pleasantly short) babymoon overall. We agreed that James had the most fun, and when we got home he declared that he didn't want to be home, he wanted to "go back to the big house," which is what he decided to call the Borgata. Maybe in another 18 years, buddy.

Babymoon in AC 2014
Sharing gelato.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

Cory and Robin came to visit this weekend during the Conference Tournaments and St. Patrick's Day. They also helped us kick off Kevin's Spring Break Week. Spring Break woo!

St. Patrick's Day 2014
St. Patrick's Day photo with Robin and Cory

Saturday and Sunday we mostly watched basketball all day. James objected strongly and frequently. He wanted to watch the children's channel Sprout instead. He was way out-numbered. Saturday, Lukas and Nick came over to watch the games with us. And Sunday, we watched UVA victoriously claim the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Cory and Robin Visit 2014
Nick and Lukas are very focused.

Cory and Robin Visit 2014
Cory entertaining our troublemaker

Sunday we got in the spirit of the weekend and wore our green clothing. Kevin made his corned beef sandwiches (yum!) and the adults who could drink enjoyed some Guinness. James and I enjoyed these chocolate potato candies that Robin brought us.

St. Patrick's Day 2014
Robin and Cory reading James's thank you card for the toy plane they gave him

St. Patrick's Day 2014
James is excited about Kevin's corned beef

St. Patrick's Day 2014
Robin's artistic display of the sandwiches

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

James Sick- March 2014

Poor James has been dealing with a head cold since my birthday. But at least it's caused him to nap. This brings me a little joy.

Sick Day- March 2014
Nap on the couch (aerial view)

Sick Day- March 2014
Tuesday, sick day

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My 35th Birthday in NYC 2014

We sort of unintentionally celebrated my birthday for two days because we made our birthday plans for Saturday but my birthday fell on Sunday and we kept doing fun stuff. So I'm counting all of it as part of my birthday.

Grandma Kathy was visiting so I decided that I would love to go to Target sans toddler for the first time in almost 3 years (1). I got to slowly walk down aisles and pick out stuff I wanted without having to worry that James was freaking out. I am such a mom-stereotype/meme. I even bought myself a huge purse with some of my birthday money (2). When we got back, I ate Chocolate Lucky Charms for lunch like a boss (3). Kevin kindly watched James for a little while so Grandma Kathy and I could go get our nails done (4). The weather was so amazing I went without my coat! (5) And high on the warm weather, I got a ridiculous Eastery-purple on my nails. (6) Before Kevin and I left for dinner, I got a group family photo, because I love it. (7)

Ericka's 35th Birthday 2014
The 3.5 Clous on my 35th birthday

For dinner we trying to go to Chuko, a ramen place that I went to with Michele and her brother eons ago, but at 6 pm the wait was an 1.5 hours! Luckily there was a 4-star sushi place across the street. Inaka was delicious and I especially recommend their mango roll. (8) I ordered a Thai iced tea but they were out, and the only other fun non-alcoholic beverage was a Japanese soda, so I got that. Opening it was super involved and it tasted like bubble gum! (9)

Flamenco- March 2014
Sushi dinner at Inaka

We had tickets to a flamenco show at New York City center. I'm a fan of flamenco, and these tickets were cheap and on my birthday. (10) It wasn't so good, but who can really complain about seeing flamenco on your birthday in Manhattan? Not even me. Also, I made the best blog-inappropriate joke ever after the show, which though Kevin did not admit was funny, I assure you he found it hilarious. (11) Ask me in person and I will tell you. But only in person.

Flamenco- March 2014
Flamenco Show at City Center!

Since I have a cell phone for the first time since 2008, I was able to take photos and check-in everywhere on my own phone. Like a person who exists in this millennium! (12) And since Kevin drove us to Brooklyn, and we took the subway in to the show, we were able to drive back home instead of being at the mercy of the LIRR. (13) Ah, it's the little things.

Grandma Kathy let us both sleep in on Sunday, which hasn't happened since whenever the last time Grandma Kathy let us do that... maybe in December? (14) When I got up, James sang "Happy Birthday," to me. This is the first year he's been able to do that and it was amazing. He even pointed when sang the final "to you."(15)

Grandma Kathy had never had a banh mi sandwich before so we went to a restaurant with good reviews on our way to the museum, Vietnaam. We all had banh mis (16) James and I shared a bubble Thai iced tea (17).

Lunch at Vietnaam 2014
Enjoying out sandwiches and drinks

Next up, Grandma Kathy asked to go to The Met to see an exhibit on Pompeii that interested her, so off we went. (18) She went on a big trip to Italy in October to celebrate her 60th birthday and got to travel to the actual ruins of Pompeii and got really into all the archaeology and art work there. When we walked into the museum and into the big Greek and Roman hall James said, "Wow!" His wonder and excitement never gets old for me. (19) Even though he mostly just wanted to throw pennies into the fountain rather than actually appreciating ancient art. Haha.

The Met- March 2014
Grandma Kathy, James, Kevin in front of The Met

The Met- March 2014
Part of the Pompeii exhibit

The Met- March 2014
Family picture at The Met? Yes please! (20)

Grandma Kathy had popped tortellini in the slow cooker before we left so when we got home dinner was ready for us. Yum! (21 ) And Kevin even got me an ice cream cake with my name on it! (That should count for 2 things right? Because it's ice cream AND cake? 22-23) More happy birthday singing ensued, I made a wish, and James helped me blow out my candles. (24)

My 35th Birthday 2014
Ice cream cake!

My 35th Birthday 2014
Helping me blow out the candles

I am 11 "Fun things" short here so I will add that I got three birthday cards (Grandma Ruth, Kathy, and Kevin) and fun little gifts from Janice, plus calls from mom, Grandma Daisy, Ash, Michele, and Onel, as well as some random emails, text messages, and Facebook messages. (35) Bam.

But really, it's more than enough to celebrate my 35th birthday pregnant with a healthy baby and to have my family healthy. I think of my friends struggling with their health or their family's health nearly all the time, and I appreciate how lucky I am this year-- and I hope we're all lucky in the years to come.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nursery 2014

One of the best parts about updating the nursery is how much James loves his new room. We kept the nautical theme, but I tried to make the new baby's side girlier by adding mermaids and more pink. On James's side, we got him a new bed Kevin's family bought him Jake and the Never Land Pirates' sheets, and we tried to make the room generally more fun by adding wall decals.

Baby girl side with mermaids. Though she still need some mermaid dolls.

Nursery 2014
Peak in the crib! (though we'll take out everything before she sleeps there)

Nursery 2014
Changing table's new location with baby gear inside- and new cheapy drawers

James is seriously in love with his room now. He calls his room "under water," and invites people to come under water with him, and then he shows them all the fish. At his suggestion we even added a few fish to the ceiling. Kevin also set up my old iPod in his room so he could listen to all his nursery rhyme jams in there. He sits in his little rocking chair singing all the songs or paging through his books.

Nursery 2014
James's side

Nursery 2014
James's reading nook

Nursery 2014
A view of both their beds

8 Months Pregnant 2014
The girls are both ready!

Coming Home- February 2014
The boys enjoying the "reading nook"

And here's a picture of what our room looks like right now since baby will be sleeping in our room for a few months.

Co-sleeper 2014
Co-sleeper on my side and glider that will move to nursery when baby does.

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