Wednesday, July 31, 2013

penny had no camp last friday, so she took a quick visit to camp zalben.  when she got home, we had a surprise - alex found a vintage style candyland that he purchased for her - and it is AWESOME.
three generations of firstborn zalbens.
over lunch, penny sang us a camp song, mostly:

she took a nap, and when she woke up, it was time to get ready for her first ever drop-off birthday party!  our very brave neighbor had what seemed like the entire neighborhood over for a pretend sleepover.  they all wore their pajamas, ate pizza, listened to a story in a sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.  alex and i went grocery shopping, and then had a glass of wine with our fellow parents, who really could not believe that our kids were gone for an hour and a half.
on sunday, penny asked if she could bring her notebook along with her to lunch.  she had been calling it her checkbook, and she wrote a check for her friend who lives in california.  she sent her a forty dollar check because she misses her so much.  then, kind of out of nowhere, she wrote:
that's POP, just in case you don't read 3 year old
and then, a few minutes later:
that says JET.  you should not need my help for that one.

she does not know how to spell the words on her own, but she's getting the hang of putting letters in the right order, and she knows how to make WAY more letters than even she thought she could.  she decided to spell something herself:

and really enjoys having us read this paper to her.  exciting!

she started her new camp on monday, and though the transition was a bit hard on her, it's really going very well.  this camp seems way more like pre-school, and the counselors are a little more engaged on her level.  she's brought home artwork, and made a new friend.  though we are the sweatiest, hottest people around, i can't believe how fast this summer is going by!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

it's HOT

it has been incredibly hot in new york this past week, and poor penny just melts in the heat.  i wish i could blame that on alex, but she definitely gets it from me, and when the two of us are near each other we are like two sweaty cranky radiators.  penny's camp went on a trip to the painted pot this week, and i got word that the counselors spent the whole walk encouraging her to drink water and spraying her down.  as soon as she gets into the air conditioning she perks right back up, but this child cannot handle the heat.
she took a mini vacation to her grandparents' on long island this weekend, and spent most of her time in the pool (when i dropped her off at camp on friday, she was having a really rough time saying goodbye to me.i was hanging out and snuggling with her for a while, and one of her friends came up to us and started chatting.  once penny was ready to be social, she climbed off my lap, looked her friend dead in the eye and said "you are not going to see me tomorrow because i am going to be at the manorhaven pool.").  apparently, she can swim!  this is amazing news, and i can't wait to see it for myself.
she's also been producing art at an amazing clip.  on wednesday she brought home this self portrait:
 i asked her to tell me about it, and she pointed out her arms and legs, head and features.  i asked her about the red circles and brown line.  she told me that was her facepaint.  i asked her where she was in the picture.  she looked at me like i was a complete imbecile and said, very slowly and clearly, "these are my arms.  these are my legs..."  i explained what i actually meant and she told me she was in the yard at camp.  i think she was a bit relieved.

on thursday, she brought home this picture of me:
i asked her to tell me about IT, and she pointed out all of my parts.  i asked her where i am in this picture, and i am out in her camp yard, drawing with chalk.  i can totally see it!  i do kind of love that i only have eyeballs - possibly glasses.
today we woke up, went out for breakfast, and then went to ikea! penny is now toilet trained, and tall enough, to go to the children's play area (smaland, because it's ikea), and it's FREE.  since it was her first time, i spent the first couple of minutes watching her and making sure she was alright, but i will absolutely leave her there for half an hour next time we go - she had the best time!  i joined the loyalty club and now i get a free cup of coffee every time we visit - this cannot be a coincidence.  if you ever need to find me when alex is out of town and being outdoors is out of the question, just check red hook.  once we got off of the (FREE!) shuttle bus and started our trek home, penny pretty much shut down.  i tried to carry her the whole way, but this required frequent breaks - girlfriend is heavy.  one such break put us on a stoop covered in maple noses.  i was unsure how sticky they would be in the 90 degree weather, but never doubt a three and a half year old on a mission:

we got home at about 4:15, i read her 4 stories, she thrashed around in bed  protesting that she wan't tired, and literally 5 seconds later was passed out asleep.  she has not woken up yet and it's now 9:30.  i'm guessing we're skipping dinner & bath tonight, but i think she'll be a happier camper tomorrow.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

fourth of july!

july fourth fell on a thursday this year, and both alex and i took friday off, so we ended up having a four day family weekend extravaganza!  the fourth itself was super fun - we went out to long island and hung out with both sides of the family.
bubble cousins!

as the fireworks started, alex decided we should check on our zipcar and extend it, and i found out that we couldn't.  whoops!  we made a very hurried exit, and got to see the fireworks from the car; which was actually much more pleasant than watching from the party as it turns out.
friday, penny had camp, and we got to pick her up for the first time!  it was so much fun walking back with her and chatting about her camp day.  she's making friends, i think; we get so little information about what happens there that it's hard for me to be 100% sure.
on saturday, penny threw on a bathing suit, and we headed to the sprinklers!

she had fun backing her tush into the water and getting sprinkled from behind, but she also enjoyed running through the spray and getting soaked.  we all took an epic nap, and layed low for the evening.
on sunday, we had a bagel breakfast, then headed into the city to the museum of natural history.  there seems to be air conditioning on the upper floors now, which is amazing!  we actually got to enjoy the dinosaurs, and saw a frog exhibit that was really great.  we ate our lunch, looked around at even more of the museum, and headed out with none of us being cranky at all - our most successful museum trip ever!  penny wanted to head to the central park zoo, so we started to wander in that direction.  even after taking a rest in the shade, we were hot, sweaty, and crabby, so we took an unplanned detour - to FAO Schwartz :)
we had beverages in the candy store, then ran into a sketch buddy of alex's who took us on an informal tour of the store, and skipped alex & penny to the head of the big piano line!
after feeling refreshed, there was just enough time for a whirlwind tour of the central park zoo, then home.  my legs stopped functioning soon after.
penny has been charming and helpful and funny.  she's quite a kid.  it's pretty great to come home and find stuff like this:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


this weekend, we took penny to her first movie in the theatre!  we went to see monsters u., and penny had a great time!  she was super well behaved, ate a metric ton of popcorn, and laughed at the jokes!