James has Pajama Day at school about once a month. I think the idea is that parents can bring them to school without even dressing them- easy!- but actually I always put him in fresh and new pajamas for Pajama Day and then change him into real clothing again when he gets home. Haha, casual mom fail. Usually there's not much to say about Pajama Day- except the December Polar Express Pajama Day- but this recent one was quite the party.
Ash and I are off to Richmond to see Michele and celebrate her bachelorette/rescheduled-wedding-shower! Ash has been sending text pictures and signs since we bought our tickets. Friday I finally got in on the action sending pictures of James, Miranda, and me wearing Mexican hats because Michele and Brandon will get married in Mexico in April!
Ash during the January snow storm
Feelings about Richmond
James, me, and Miranda
Getting on the train to NYC
I met Ash in JFK and we had time for just one drink, and of course another picture. We made friends with some people who are moving to Richmond soon and they took our picture. We had more drinks on plane and became generally unpopular to those around us.
JFK-goers: "Are you going to Mexico?" "No, Richmond."
James has been able to write certain words for a while and he could read a little here and there, but recently we noticed that he can sight read kids' books he's never seen before. He's functionally literate! Congratulations little buddy!
Unlike walking, talking doesn't have a "first day" which makes it tricky. When a baby says her first word you're never sure if she really means it or not. And then random words start coming and then disappearing, then two related words together... finally three... and then she's talking!
Puppeteer, February 10
At the beginning of January she was 20 months, Miranda said "no more jump-jump" while jumping on the bed to refer to the song No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. By the end of January we were having "one word conversations" where she would communicate a lot of answers and requests just using one word at a time. She also says "delicious!" when she eats something she likes. So adorable.
Drawing with her brother
By February she had gotten it together to actually say "No more monkeys." But over the last two weeks she's started talking for real. She uses three or more words at time, often making little sentences. She started making little word phrases: "See? A dinosaur! Roarrrr!"
Then and February 23 she reused and reorganized the Monkey song words she knew. When Kevin asked if she wanted a bath, she announced, "NO MORE BATHS" and ran away. And on her 22-month birthday, she started telling knock-knock jokes! Really bad ones, but still! I'm impressed.
Also, since she can now make requests, I know her favorite TV shows are Little Einsteins, Bob Zoom, Umi Zoomi, and Bubble Guppies, in that order.
Funny Yogurt Face
The only other thing going on with her, which is unrelated (or maybe not?) is that this month she stopped sleeping through the night. We started with gentle methods. Then we started to panic and tried to Ferberize her for a week. Since that was not working at all, I backed up entirely and started bringing her to the guest bed in her room. This is also not working well at all. I will implement Plan C when I return from Richmond.
We had a super fun family day on Saturday because it was unseasonably warm. First, I went with James to his indoor winter soccer class. Miranda and Kevin hit the playground outside the building. When soccer was over, James and Kevin hit the playground, while Miranda and I did laps in the park.
James in the playground treehouse at Heritage Park
Miranda and I doing laps.
She took over. Typical.
We went home for lunch, and Kevin and Miranda took naps. By the time everyone woke up it was late afternoon but we didn't want to waste the weather so we went to the beach. There's a really nice playground at the beach so the kids got to go to two playgrounds in one day.
Cedar Beach, my beach
James to unknown boy: "Then we have to kick all the sharks."
I don't usually talk about news items on the blog. I certainly didn't know Justice Antonin Scalia personally, so I debated writing about his passing. However, it's been very much on my mind for the last few days. Justice Scalia was the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court and as such, I've never agreed with him on much. Nonetheless, I was saddened to hear he passed away for a number of reasons. Of course, I was sad because he was a person, not just a Court opinion, and of course I'm very sorry for his family.
Also, although he went to Harvard Law, he was formerly a UVA Law professor and he remained loyal and helpful to UVA. I saw him speak at UVA Law in 2008 and while I vehemently disagreed with the content of his talk, I was still grateful that a Justice of the highest court had come to talk with us and that I was able to go. I also saw him in Supreme Court Oral Arguments, twice. Once while I was a college student at GW and once while I was in law school. He was intense! Better to live out your convictions than to sit silently.
Justice Scalia giving a talk at UVA Law in 2008 (with Dean Jeffries)
In 2006, someone got him to briefly participate in a skit via video recording for the Libel Show. It was really funny. And how awesome that he did that for us?
Justice Scalia in the Libel Show 2006
Justice Scalia has also had a number clerks that were UVA Law students. One of these students was my friend Donald who had the huge honor of clerking for Scalia in 2012. But more than that, Donald and his wife Sarah got to know him personally and he was always kind to them. Scalia also had yearly events for his clerks so everyone stayed in touch through the years. I'm truly sad for them to lose him in both a professional and personal capacity.
when Donald was still clerking. Sarah was pregnant with William.
Last weekend, Donald also participated in the ceremonies where Scalia is in repose in the Supreme Court while the public is invited to pay their respects. President Obama and the First Lady also came to pay their respects right before Donald was slated to stand at the casket. The First Lady looked noticeably teary-eyed, and it was really moving to see real affection between public servants despite opposite politics in such a politically divisive time. Both Donald and Sarah, and a number of UVA Law professors attended the wake and funeral.
Scalia's former clerks on the steps of the Court as casket is brought in on Friday (on CNN/CSPAN)
Which is all to say that I am very sorry for the Scalia family, so many people in my law school community, and Donald and Sarah in particular.
Last Tuesday, while Kevin was at work we had some rain and strong winds that knocked our power out. About 13,000 people lost power in Long Island and 35,000 in New Jersey. Luckily it was unseasonably warm the day before so I wasn't too worried about freezing, plus we have a fireplace now.
We were also stocked with all sorts of flashlights, candles, and radios, from our days of constantly losing power in Floral Park. The kids also have battery-powered light up toys, so we were generally excited about the power outage. Kevin brought home pizza for dinner, and just as he went out to get some more firewood, our power came back on for bedtime. So basically, more of a fun diversion for us than an actual inconvenience.
Miranda with the real flashlight, James with the kids' lanterns
Grandma Kathy was here for the weekend. On Saturday, she went to see James play soccer, and she watched the kids so Kevin and I could go out for Valentine's dinner. On Sunday/Valentine's Day we all celebrated Kevin's birthday together and she enlisted the kids in baking a big chocolate cake for his birthday. Grandma's birthday is tomorrow but we wanted to celebrate while she was here, so we celebrated Grandma's birthday with brunch Monday morning before she left (really Kevin's birthday).
Miranda, Kevin, and Kathy
Grandma wanted to go out with* the kids which is not something we understood, but honored. We ate at the Flying Pig Cafe, and there were a lot of "Chinese fire drills." First I put both of the kids in the booth with me so that Kevin and Kathy could actually enjoy their birthday brunch. Just a few minutes later as Miranda was pouring apple juice into my lap, our coats, and straight into my darkening soul, my phone slipped from my lap and the front glass broke. So then Kevin confiscated Miranda to his lap.
I'm not sad because no pictures were lost in the phone breakage
(Also because the 5s is free with my plan now.)
But then, James wanted to sit with Grandma, Miranda wanted to switch to my side and eat my food or at least spill hers onto my lap. So switch!
Grandma and James
Me, Kevin, and Miranda
Happy birthday Grandma! Sorry you had a tough drive back!
We celebrated Kevin's birthday on the Sunday the 14th because Grandma was here and we mostly celebrated Valentine's the day before. Kevin slept in two days in row!* We stayed home, had many costume changes, relaxed. I made dinner and Grandma and James made Kevin a chocolate birthday cake with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.
Singing Happy Birthday!
Blowing out the candle with help
Earlier today, post-frosting-making
Happy birthday to the BEST husband, father, and son! (...And brother and teacher and writer basically the best at everything he attempts...) We love you even more than we love chocolate frosting, which is a lot.
*My sweet husband wakes up with the kids most days.
Update: Kevin also went out on Friday to the Magician with Jon, Nick, and Emily.
We celebrated Valentine's Day on Saturday night even though it's pretty clear at this point that Kevin despises Valentine's Day because it generally intrudes on his birthday on the 15th. As my brother David and his fiance Melanie accidentally pointed out, this was our 10th Valentine's Day together! And our 5th as a parent... relatedly thanks for babysitting Grandma!
For our 10th Valentine's Day, we had dinner at The Fifth Season in Port Jefferson. Even though I'd been there before for drinks, this was the first time I had a full dinner there. It was a prix fixe and every course was good. So were my two crazy martinis: coconut and later Snickers. After dinner we went to see the Stony Brook Chamber Ensemble play Haydn Quartet Op. 77 no. 1, and Dvorak Bass Quintet No. 2 op. 77 at Three Villages Church in Setauket. It was a lovely evening.
We're wearing black, yo.
View of the harbor in Port Jeff
Stony Brook Chamber Ensemble
Sunday was the 14th, and we wore red, Kathy and the kids made Kevin a cake, and we celebrated Kevin's birthday. More in the next post.
Here's the red! Happy Valentines Day!
Oh did you want to know what we did every single time? Here you go: