Friday, July 31, 2015

Our Floral Park, NY Home 2010-2015

We rented the top two floors of a two-family home in Floral Park for just over five years. When we moved in we were newlyweds, and we didn't even know what to do with our 4 bedrooms and 5 big closets. The rent was less than we paid for our 1-bedroom, 1-closet apartment in Brooklyn.

Our main floor was the second floor of the house, with the living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and what was then our guestroom. On the top floor we both had our own office. Shortly after we moved in we got pregnant, so the guestroom became the nursery, and "my office" became the guestroom. I crammed my desk into Kevin's office upstairs.

1 - Front of House
Our two-family rental, shared (with neighbor Frank downstairs)

Living Room 2011
Our Living Room, circa 2011

Bedroom 2011
Our Bedroom

When Miranda was born, she lived in our room for the first 9 months, and then moved into the tiny nursery with James. Miranda is a big part of the reason we were ready to move this summer. She doesn't really like sharing her room with James. At least not at 5:30 AM when James wakes up and starts making noise, waiting for his kiddie alarm clock to go off so he can go get us. Also, James likes a night light and Miranda hates it. James also doesn't enjoy being locked out of his room during her naps. Even though we had 4 bedrooms, what we really need is 3 on the same level until one of them is older.

Nursery 2014
Nursery (left)

Nursery 2014
Nursey (straight)

Nursery 2014
Nursery (right)

Another reason we're ready to go is because we never figured out a way to fit a dining room table unless we got rid of some of living room furniture. A tiny kitchen table was okay when there were 3 of us, but it's tight now on a regular night and we want to eat with our company.

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011
Our tiny (but pull-out) kitchen table

Not pictured: two bathrooms- too small to get a good picture.


Shared Office 2011
Shared Office- Kevin's desk

Shared Office 2011
Shared Office- my desk (we have different styles)

Guest Room 2011
Cuba-themed Guestroom because it's fun

Guest Room 2011
 Guestroom- other side

We also had the backyard to ourselves. That was nice sometimes, but it was kind of annoying coming downstairs (because we lived on the second floor) and then going around back to use the backyard. Also, at that point, sometimes we were just better off walking the half-mile to the playground. The other little problem with the backyard was that there was an area for our grill and the patio table on concrete but it was divided from the grass with this hedge wall. So we couldn't sit and eat and watch kids. We were either in the sitting area or in the yard area. The LIRR ran behind the backyard which wasn't actually a problem itself except the LIRR woodlands attracted mosquitoes. So our backyard wasn't perfect, and we're getting a backyard upgrade at our new place (and a deck!) but when we did use it, it was pretty great. Outside:

Cookout-July 2013
Aw, I love them! (grill to the left)

Cookout-July 2013 
Backyard facing the other direction- notice the HEDGE

Cookout-July 2013
Backyard fun with Hudson in 2013

Goodbye house! You're the only home our kids have ever known and they probably won't remember it. I'm a little sad! But mostly really happy about our new house!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Leaving Floral Park, NY- June 2015

We are moving! Like right now. And it's the 9-year anniversary of when we met! I'm not going to talk about where we're moving (because internet) except to say farther east, closer to North Fork (about 45 minutes), and we're going to be a 10-minute drive from the beach! Since I won't talk about our new town, what I did last time we moved is talk about the place I'm leaving, in this case Floral Park.

First, you should know that there are two Floral Parks, one in Queens and one in Nassau County, Long Island. They border each other, but everything is completely different in the two towns- even the driving rules and definitely the taxes. We rented the upstairs of a two-family home in the more suburban Nassau County one. And actually Floral Park is just a tiny village in the town of Hempstead.

July 2015
Tulip Avenue in Floral Park

Floral Park is actually just a tiny village in the town of Hempstead. The village is so small that we routinely walked everywhere. We had a ten-minute walk to the LIRR (with a 30-minute ride into Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal). Some of our favorite places to walk were the Tiny Town playground and the main street, Tulip Avenue, with basically all the stores we needed. (Mani-pedis for $25 at Nail Garden. I will miss you!)

Fourth of July 2015
My favorite picture at Tiny Town, July 2015

When it was raining sometimes Kevin brought the kids to the library to hang out in the kids room. The library also had concerts outside in the summer.

FloPa Library 2015
Huge Connect Four at FloPa Library

FloPa Library 2015
Our own little Alice in Wonderland

FloPa Concert 2014
Concert at the Library, August 2014

Another reason we loved Tulip were the bars! Tulip Avenue has 4-5 Irish bars with bartenders straight from Ireland. We had a really fun St. Patrick's Day just five minutes from home one year with Michele and Jon. They also opened a speakeasy last year hidden behind a coffee shop with fancy drinks. It's so Manhattan/Brooklyn!

St. Patrick's Day 2012
Bar Crawling on Tulip Avenue, St. Patrick's Day 2012

Every year our town had a festival in honor of the Belmont Stakes- the day after- and even though it wasn't very exciting, we took the kids three out of the five years we lived here.

FloPa Street Fair 2011
Floral Park Street Fair, shortly after James was born, June 2011

Floral Park Street Fair 2014
Floral Park Street Fair, June 2014

We also went to the bird sanctuary a few times, though there seemed to be more flowers there than birds. I think the bird sanctuary was responsible for the whole town being more bird-full than normal.

Living in Floral Park, we were about 30 minutes from Jones Beach (though sometimes the traffic and crowding bummed me out a little). We went there about once or twice a year, sometimes in Spring or Fall just to let James run around in the sand. It nice having the beach just a short drive away, but I expect we're going be there even more now that we'll be 10 minutes from a nice family one.

Jones Beach- July 2013
Jones Beach, July 2013

So we will miss this little tiny village! We moved in here when we were newlyweds and both our kids were born here so we definitely have fond memories of the town, but we're finally ready to settle somewhere for a long while-- we think-- and we think we found the perfect place to do it. On to the next adventure!

Floral Park 2012
Tulip Avenue at night

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Grandma Visits- July 2015

Grandma came Friday afternoon and left just this morning, and the kids miss her so much they can't handle it. Friday was low-key and we went to the park and had some Thai takeout. Saturday we all went to the local Centennial Gardens & Bird Sanctuary, for some froyo at TCBY.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
James and Grandma at the bird sanctuary on Saturday

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Miranda's naughty face

Grandma Visits- July 2015

Grandma Visits- July 2015

Grandma Visits- July 2015

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Kevin with his two little monsters (see the claws?)

Grandma Visits- July 2015
More love.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
That's the cotton candy flavor again. J reports green poop.

Grandma Visits- July 2015
Teething so much she passed up on froyo (All her molars came out at once!)

Grandma Visits- July 2015

On Sunday Grandma took the kiddies to the park, and in the evening Kevin, Grandma and James went out for some German food, while I taught Miranda restaurant manner at home. Monday grandma babysat while Kevin and I ran some errands. I very nice visit but everyone is trying to schedule Grandma's return in August already.

July 2015
Park on Sunday with Grandma

Monday, July 27, 2015

Michele and Brandon Are Engaged! 2015

Michele and Brandon have a love on another level. It's the romantic lovey-dovey hot sauce kind of love only seen in the occasional really good Indie movie. And the foodiness. It's fantastic. And now they're going to get married!

Charlottesville, VA 2015
Brandon and Michele at dinner at Mas in Cville in March

But more than that, Michele is already family to his two boys, Miles and Izaac. Michele is gifted with kids. I've never been comfortable around kids that are older than mine because I don't totally know how to relate to them yet. Michele isn't like that at all. She loves kids, and they love her. It's pure and complete. But from the beginning her relationship to Miles and Izaac has been different, because she will be and is their other mom. The best evidence of this is the awesome relationship and communication she's had with their first mom. The boys are lucky to have her for family and she's lucky too.

Brandon + Michele
Brandon, Michele, Miles, and Izaac in 2014

So congratulations to Brandon, Michele, Miles, and Izaac and all their friends and family! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Janice and Ash Visit- July 2015

Janice and Ash came to visit recently. Fun times were had, catching up, playing with the kids, eating sushi, and drinking wine. Love you guys!

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Playing with Duplo Legos

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Ash snuggling with her new God-daughter

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Janice getting kisses from her God-son

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
They get each other.

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
James making Miranda smile for the photo. Good try.

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015

Jan & Ash Visit- July 2015
Yay group pictures! Kids clearly watching television.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Miranda is 15 Months 2015

July 2015
Miranda waiting for her 15-month appointment

Miranda is tall. At least for now-- I didn't hit my short stride until I was in 6th grade, and I wasn't officially a short girl until 8th. But I was never a tall kid. Miranda is currently rocking the 95 percentile at 32.5 inches! As a result, she's out-grown almost all of her baby clothes and she's wearing 2T now. She's 75th percentile in weight at 24 pounds and 15 ounces though that part is more surprising because she looks pleasantly chubby to us. She's got 7-working-on-8 teeth.

July 2015
Earlier this month...

July 2015
Almost. got. it.

She says: mama, dada, James (pronounced jshyames), tickle-tickle-tickle, yes, go!, caca, and miku (milk).  She understands our commands to get this book or to bring something to Dada. She sometimes answers my yes or no questions yes (when the answer is yes) but never no (when the answer is no). Perhaps she has a block on the word no, since she ignores it when I say it to her.

She dances. Oh she dances any time there's music. She still waves one arm in the air, and now sometimes she tries to sing along. She sings cucarahhh (cucaracha) or the bah bah refrain of bah-bah black sheep, but if she doesn't know the words, she just makes up some sounds to go with it.

June 2015
Playground joy!

She get up at 7:30 am or 8 am. She takes one nap a day around 11 am,  except the days she either gets up too early or takes a really short first nap, and then there's a second nap around 2:30-3 pm.

July 2015
Just because it's a nap, doesn't mean you shouldn't look fab.

July 2015
Feeling refreshed, post-nap.

She insists on eating with a spoon or fork now, or at least having one to use to move the food around. She is a lady.

July 2015

Watching James and Miranda play together is amazing. They totally love each other. James is very patient with her, except for when he's not. It's  funny to see how different it is than I imagined it would be. They play a lot of a sort of Simon Says, where he chases her around imitating her. This role suits her and she's become an evil ring leader. Of course, she also provides a convenient excuse to do all the things he wants to do. He says it was the "bad baby." There are no clean hands here.

June 2015
Miranda combing James hair

July 2015
Jumping! This was her idea.

June 2015

July 2015
Investigating her new toy. He's a little mad it says "Mir-ahn-da" but not "James"

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