Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Well, gosh, it's really time to get out of 2016, isn't it? These kids we've got are amazing, and that's about the only thing that's kept us going through November and December.
Besiudes being the last night of the year, tonight was also the last night of Chanukah. We lit our candles against the darkness, and I hope that spirit stays with us through the upcoming year.
Might as well look sassy while we're fighting the good fight. R2-D2 necklace was tonight's present.

After putting Milo to bed, Penny decided she wanted to stay up with us to watch the ball drop. She was getting herself a glass of water, and asked if I wanted anything, and poured me a glass of egg nog. She helped Alex prepare a cheese & cracker plate "Like fancy grownups have. Like at a bar." took out her lap desk and drew a self portrait and wrote me a letter about how excited she was to watch the ball drop. We are all hanging out on the couch right now and I truly could not be happier.

Resolution time! Milo will continue to work on his potty skills, and recognizing letters of the alphabet. Penny has resolved to eat more healthful food, and keep trying new things. Alex is going to try to be on his phone less. I am going to try to not wear socks or underpants that have passed their useful lives, and to return to blogging more regularly.

We thank you all for being part of our lives in 2016, and we hope to see more of you in 2017. Let's all take care of one another. We love you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Potty training!

It is the week between Christmas and New Year's, and we are off of work and school.  Milo has expressed an interest in the potty, so for the last few days he's been pantsless at home, and potty training has begun in earnest!  We've got pull ups, we've got big boy underpants, we are GOING FOR IT.
Also, non-related, Milo is staggeringly good at jigsaw puzzles.  It's truly remarkable.

No photos of the pantslessness, and he has declined to have a photo taken is his undies.  Suffice it to say that he has been wearing his Batman tee shirt with attached cape for the past two days, and spending a lot of his time "flying" around the house.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Penny's Pirate Mini Golf Party!

When Penny woke up this morning, this doll was waiting for her. Its name is Penny, it has fabulously long hair, and Penny has been wanting it for about six months.  She may have been slightly excited about it.  
There is a fabulous place near us called Shipwrecked, which is an indoor pirate themed miniature golf place.  As soon as I heard about it, we took a day trip (during the summer when it was unbearably hot outside) and we knew it would be perfect for Penny's birthday.  They welcomed us, and Penny immediately got into the pirate mood
 The kids were all gathered, and they watched a video with effects - basically, you're hunting for treasure as you play mini golf.
The designers are all theatre people, so scattered throughout are token-operated effects.  The lighting in all four golf rooms is awesome, and the whole place is super fun for everyone.

 You are legally required to serve pizza at Brooklyn birthday parties.
 Are you wondering whether I made a fabulous cake?  I did.  It has rainbow-order chocolate coins around the outside because that's how I roll.

 Oh, did I mention Penny asked for there to be both pink and purple polka dots inside this cake?

It was a really fun time, and now Penny is

Dear Penny

So for a while there, I thought this whole reading thing that you've been doing was an elaborate prank, but I now know for sure that you can really, truly read.  And clearly you love it.  It is a whole year later, and there are piles of books everywhere.  When you wake up in the morning, Milo passes you a blanket from his crib to sit on and you grab some books and read to him.  It is the most amazing thing in the world.
Right now, I call you Toothless, as both of your front top teeth are missing, and show no signs of coming in anytime soon.  Apparently, in the morning, I am no longer able to call you Little One, and will only be able to refer to you as Kiddo, because six is still a child, but seven is a full blown kid.
You started the violin this year, and your teacher gives you the exercises other kids won't do because they're too hard; you think they're fun.  Your tumbling is getting better by the week.  Every evening while I read to Milo, you either read your own book, or you take out a composition notebook and write - you've written poetry, lists of things on your mind, and options of treats to bring in to your class - you decided on Ring Pops.
Every year, I think it's as good as it can possibly be.  I think about how charming and funny and kind and helpful and loving you are and can't imagine that there's more, but then there is.  You are unfolding and revealing and blossoming at such a pace that it's making my head spin.

Penny, I love you to the moon and stars and back and the moon and stars and back one hundred million billion infinity thousand times.  I am looking forward to doing even more awesome stuff with you in your seventh year, and can't wait to learn what you have to teach me.

Happy birthday, big girl. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Penny had a tumbling performance today, and they ask that we not take video or pictures during the performance, so you're going to have to believe me when I tell you that this place does their "Student Concerts" right.  It's a mix of ages and disciplines - this semester we had Tumbling I & II (Penny's in II), Modern, Creative Movement, and Boy's Movement.  All of the kids are tiny and adorable and work so hard - and none of the presentations are over 5 minutes.  It ends with a Community Dance, and it's really a delightful thing.  Again, I apologize to my parents for everything I put them through, performance-wise.

Here is Penny immediately after her performance:

At our post-performance lunch, enraptured by the television:

Receiving a milkshake as big as her head:

And correctly enjoying her milkshake, while enraptured by the television.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween!

This year, we all dressed up in Gotham themed costumes - Penny was Batgirl, Milo was a police officer, Alex was Commissioner Gordon, and I was the Bat Signal.
Can I just tell you how proud I am of this Bat Signal?

Heroes of Trick or Treating!

Milo wore a mustache for a second, and I cannot get over it.
We had such a great time Trick or Treating this year!  Aunt Jodi came with us and got to experience Park Slope Trick or Treating madness!  Alex taught Milo how to knock on doors, say "Trick or Treat" and "Thank you".  He took the thank you part very seriously - and there were a couple of times he would not leave people's stoops until they acknowledged him.  He LOVED it - he carried his own bucket, he was so excited to see other police officers, and he really was a champ for quite a while.  We ran into a bunch of friends and got to spend time being out and about with them.  This year was packed, but the weather was perfect, and everyone was in such a great mood - I don't know if it's because everyone needed a break from politics, if it's because it was a Monday night or what - but it was the best time I've had on Halloween in a long time.

Here is Penny's annual Penny Candy photo:
and here they all are together!
So much cuteness!  SO MUCH CANDY!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ghouls & Gourds

This weekend was Alex's birthday, and we celebrated at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Ghouls & Gourds Festival!
We started off by trying on Halloween costumes.

Milo ditched his costume when we went to the playground, Penny ditched hers about halfway through the day's festivities.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is big!  It's a good thing we had such an excellent navigator on hand
 Penny tried her hand at building a nest in the excellent children's area.
 Then she tried her hand at something she has never tried before - rolling down a hill.  This was one of my absolute favorite activities as a child - she seemed to enjoy herself.

 And here is a photo series for you.  A story in pictures if you will.  I will give you a small glimpse into what it's like getting a useable photo of my girl:

"Penny, can you please sit on that rock over there?  I would like to take a photo of you."  Result:
 "Great!  That was one for you.  Now can we take one for me?  Can you please smile?" Result:
 "Cool.  Now, Penny, what would you dress up as for Halloween if you weren't being Batgirl?"  "Real or imaginary?" "Whatever you like." Result:
 "Mommy, are you taking a video of me?" "No, just taking some pictures." "Oh, ok, I'd be..." Result:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Beach day in October!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Brooklyn, so we went to the Halloween Harvest festival on Coney Island.  We started off, as one does, with hot dogs and clam strips and lemonade, and
pro tip - you can sit at the tables at Nathan's in October - NO ONE ELSE IS THERE
then made our way to the beach for a little while.

We rode all the rides, and were frequently the only people on them.  Penny and I rode the roller coaster - twice!  She is such a pro now.  Next summer, she'll be ready for the bigger-kid Luna park.

This did not last - Alex and Milo ended up riding on the bench, but he made a valiant effort!  I'll bring him around.

Only one more weekend until Alex's birthday and Halloween!  We're all so excited that the weather is finally cooler and all the fun Autumn activities are starting in earnest.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Another tooth!

Yesterday when I got home from work, Penny showed me that she had lost her second top front tooth!  She is now the owner of an adorable gap-toothed smile.
Milo has started running over to me with alphabet refrigerator magnets, asking WHAT'S THIS?  and learning his sounds that way.  So far he's got P and Q nailed.  He is also very casually starting potty training, which is both great and terrifying.
 When Penny was having her violin lesson in the living room on Thursday, Milo and the sitter, Sara, were playing with her phone in the bedroom:

If anyone is in need of a child voice over artist, Milo has very reasonable rates.

Monday, October 10, 2016

My midnight visitor

At 12:30am, a small figure appeared in my doorway.
"Mommy," I heard, "I lost another tooth."
I waved Penny over, and she showed me (in the dark) that her first shark tooth had fallen out. Apparently she felt something weird on her tongue, and in her asleep state didn't think anything of it.  After a few minutes, however, her brain kicked in and she checked it out.
I asked her whether the Tooth Fairy should visit right away, and thankfully she said no (I think she wanted to wait until the light so she could see it).

Totally my fault, but Alex slept through the whole thing.

This morning I asked her to take some selfies!