Monday, June 30, 2014

An Ever Knight Birthday Interview

My Ever is fast asleep for a birthday nap and I thought I'd post his very first birthday interview while he dreams of three-year-old fun. These interviews are a pretty big deal around here, and he took the whole process of answering questions quite seriously. I loved hearing his deep, little voice answer all the questions and I wrote it just how I heard it to preserve the cuteness of the moment. This might be my very favorite tradition in our family!

And before I write out the interview questions I want to give a special shout out to my Ever Knight who told me this morning, "Yesterday I was two and dat's widdow, but today I am fwee and dat's weawy, weawy big!" Happy birthday baby boy, with love from your biggest fan!

What is your favorite...
Color: Uh, bwue. bwue and wed.
Food: Uh, fwuit snacks.
Game: Uhh, basketball.
Book: Uhhhh, hm. Gewald and Piggy.
Toy: Uh, Jake and da Nevahwand Piwates.
Treat: Fwuit snacks. Candy Cames.
Song: I am a child of Chicken. What song is that? That means I wuv cows.
Thing to learn about: Uh, God.
Animal: Cows.
TV show: Uh, Super Why
Thing to wear: Uh, pajamas.
Holiday: Uh, my birtday!

What do you want to be when you grow up? A Daddy.

If someone was being mean to your brother, what would you do? Say Sorry. I mean dey say sorry.

Who is your best friend? Uh, T.
What is something you want to learn to do this year? Uh, my birtday. But what do you want to do? Cuddle wif my faddah (father).

What is something that you are really good at? Uh, saying sorry.
If you had a million dollars, what would you buy? Uh, a toy and a candy came and a popsicle.

If you were an animal, what would you be? A cow. Why? Because I didn't want to be a camel.
What do you want someone to invent? Uh, Jesus. (I don't think he understood this one!!!)

If you could have a magic power, what would it be? No, I won't say it. That is Elsa but I don't wike Elsa. They are bad and fweeze da summah but I don't wike fweezing.
How many kids do you want to have when you grow up and get married? Uh, lots (holding up 10 fingers)

What kind of house would you like to live in: an igloo, a tree house, a castle, a cave, or our house? A cave. No, you don't say castle--dose are for pwincesses but I don't wike pwincesses. I'm not going to be married. I'm a boy but I don't wike getting married. Because den I'd have to be wif pwincesses.
Who is the prettiest girl in the whole world? YOU! (Pointing at me, bless that kid!) And Quinn!

Where do you want to go on your mission? In Utah.
What's your favorite scripture story? Jesus bwesses da food.

Friday, June 27, 2014

On how and why we went applesauce picking

The plan was Roosevelt Island because of trams, and parks and frankly, to mark it off of our cool things list. But then the doctor called and said that the tick I had pried out of Everett's rump after the father-son campout was a proud carrier of Lyme disease and the littles (especially Ev) needed his blood drawn at noon. Well, noon didn't give us enough time for Roosevelt, but it was way too much time to just sit in our sauna, er--home, so we took a quick trip to Madison Square Park because we had heard about Smuckers Applesauce Orchard, and last minute plans are always better when free food is involved.

The make-shift orchard was at the foot of the Flatiron Building and shadowed by the Empire State Building and couldn't have been more perfect. I must admit--I love me some trees but I also LOVE the city, so this kind of felt like the best of both worlds (plus--delicious and all-natural applesauce hanging from said trees, yes please!) The boys were so excited. At first I told them to only pick one, but then they reached celebrity status and all the Smuckers employees were taking pictures and having me sign release forms, so they paid those little boys in kind by giving them bags to fill. And oh, did they fill them! Our fridge is full of Smuckers Fruit-Fulls and I am one happy mama.

Willard Scott of Today Show fame was there doing his Smuckers birthday/anniversary series. Just in case you're wondering, he's every bit as adorable as he looks on TV.

A super nice woman took a bunch of pictures of the three of us together, you know, picking applesauce and such. It's rare for me to have pictures with my kids when we're out on adventures, so I thought this was so nice. And just FYI--I am not even a little bit OK with how HUGE my boys are looking. Both of them. Geesh.

T mentioned that he felt like he had gone trick-or-treating and it's true, the spoils were plenty. He was sweet and shared some of his goods with everyone from the doctor to the nice people who work in our corner Laundromat. He told me later, "I a little bit wanted to have them all for myself. But then I mostly wanted to share them with other people." I was so proud of him for thinking it out and making a very mature decision. Again, the growing up thing.

Just in case you're curious or concerned about this whole Lyme disease thing, we should find out soon and are still in the window to kill it with kindness, I mean, hardcore antibiotics. Poor Everett has sticky veins and it was a nightmare trying to get just a small vile of blood. Talmage's blood draw was easy-peasy, but his temper tantrum and attitude regarding the whole thing were horrendous. It was right after the two blood draws that I told their doctor I was expecting again, and we both just looked at each other and laughed. Crazy.

I must be in a chatty mood because there's more! See those pictures of Ev and his Dad dancing to the live band at Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center? Gosh I just love those pictures. And especially Everett's little pointer doing a "thumbs-up"!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oh, this picture:

I want to put whip cream on that round little face of his and eat him for dessert.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My sincere thanks to the Historic Ship Society

James and I have long said that you can live like a King in NYC (on a pauper's budget) if you're just willing to wait in line. So just because we didn't score tickets to ride the historic boats on Pier 25 last Saturday, I dragged the family downtown to do what? Wait in line for some stand-by's! Our timing was impeccable and we were at the front of what ended up being a wrap-around-the-park line. We scored free tickets to ride the John J. Harvey fireboat (shown above) and were treated to a beautiful 45 minute spin around the harbor. Oh yeah, and a killer water display!

Warm weather brings out the best in me I tell ya. That sunshine breathes energy into my veins and I just can't wait for the next adventure. And luckily, this one did not disappoint. The weather was perfect, the cool Hudson air lovely and we got within swimming distance of our lovely Lady Liberty. A little splash pad action after the boat ride, mixed with an Asian fusion food truck lunch made for an absolutely ideal Saturday in New York City.

The view of that magnificent place we call home from the water. I thought I hated your guts all winter NYC, but turns out I'm falling in love all over again!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Shakespeare in the Park

I have one thing to say, and one thing alone: seeing that absolutely fabulous and completely free performance of Much Ado About Nothing performed on a cool summer night under the twinkle lights of Delcorte Theatre in Central Park was 100% worth the hours I spent in the standby line with two rowdy little boys. After a pizza picnic (while still in line) and victoriously scoring tickets we put the littles to bed, my hubby and I had a date, and holy Hannah I may have never laughed harder in my life. That Shakespeare, he's good. And those actors? The best. Just for the record--this is a New York must.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

'Cause It's Root, Root, Root for the Yankees

For days leading up to their first ever MLB game we sang one song and one song alone: take me out to the ball game. Walking down the street--take me out to the ball game. In the shower--take me out to the ball game. Family Home Evening--take me out to the ball game. Normally a song sung a million times in three days would get annoying, but there was so much excitement in those two that I sang, sang along. T's only concern was the whole "root, root, root for the home team" part. "Um, Mom," he said sounding concerned. "Does Stanford ever come play at Yankees Stadium? Because I vote for Stanford first." I assured him that Stanford wouldn't be coming to the Bronx anytime soon, and he was put at peace over his rooting for those home-team Yanks.

I am not ashamed to say that I picked out all four of our outfits early that morning so that we'd all be sporting Yankees colors. When in Rome, right? Those littles ate up just about every last ounce of the stadium. Talmage, of course, saw every stand full of junk and was sure it was what we all needed to survive while Everett was absolutely mesmerized by the jumbo-trons. I forget how things like stadium chairs and climbing stairs are exciting and fun for sweet first-timers. As soon as we sat down it was game time--and I'm obviously referring to the sack full of sugar I brought for the game. Those boys consumed their body weight worth of nothing during that game, and loved every second of it.

We didn't get around to cracker jacks, but Everett shelled and ate peanuts for most of the third and fourth inning, and cotton candy made it's way to us somewhere in the sixth. Talmage bought the cotton candy all by himself, and was so excited that he almost didn't bring us back change for the $20 (although earth to us, that darn cotton candy didn't produce much change!) Part of the fun of baseball is eating, right? Right. That's why it was totally sensible of us to get ice cream cones on the way home.

The game got a little slow at times {T: So let me get this straight. Baseball is when all those guys just stand around on a field?} so we entertained ourselves by taking selfies. Everett thinks that he's putting his thumb up when he holds up his pointer, and I don't ever want it to change. Ever! We didn't last for all nine, but we made sure that we were there for the seventh inning stretch. And you better believe that those two little ones belted it out. Trust me, they had practiced!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bubbles and Music in Union Square

I know I've said it a million times, but there are moments when I so clearly get that these kids are mine, like when their hand shoots up in the air as soon as a helper is requested in the bubble show at Union Square Park:

But then the DJ starts spinning the beats and all the other kids are grooving, and frankly I'm dancing too, but I look over at my children and they are doing this:
And I think, "Um...where did you guys come from?"

And just in case you were wondering, it was National Beef Jerky Day last week. To celebrate we went to "Meat Rushmore" in Columbus Circle. Yes, that is a 15 foot replica of Mt. Rushmore made exclusively from Beef Jerky. Weird and yum.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My 3 Wiggy Guys, All Wearing Yellow Ties.

“There is no other relationship quite like that which can and should exist between a boy and his dad. It can be one of the most nurturing, joyful relationships in life, one that can have a profound impact on who boys become and also on who dads become.”
M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 47

There's not much else to say except that my boys certainly are lucky to have a dad like James, and he in turn has been made into such a better man because of them. I can't believe they are all mine--all three of them--but I feel so much gratitude that they belong to me. I gave all 3 of them Yankee's hats for Father's/Future Father's Day and James got a few bow ties (which he spent over an hour trying to tie before church!) He says he's grateful that he not only got some new apparel, but a new hobby! Per usual, the boys wanted their ties to match Dad's and I made those yellow tie wearing boys stop and take a picture before running into church. They might not all be looking at the camera, but shoot darn heck they are all smiling!  

We had a feast of a dinner (and breakfast, might I add) to celebrate the awesome Dad in our home. My favorite part of the day was hearing this conversation over dinner:
Ev: I'm gonna keep getting bigger and bigger and I'm gonna be a Dad just wike you! (pointing at James)
James: Ah, that's so nice Ev!
Ev: I going to be called James when I'm a Dad?

Happy Father's Day James and all the amazing fathers in our lives! We love you all!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My belly.

 19 weeks. 21 weeks.

22 weeks, beginning and end of week. I don't know why. And hello little photo bombers!

Then, this week, pop goes the weasel:

 23 weeks, ya'll.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A little Father-Son Action

Our church hosted a Father-Son Campout this last weekend and all three of my boys were beyond thrilled to spend some time in nature. I was thrilled at the thought of a pedicure and sleeping in, but I've got to admit that a quiet home was only awesome for about two seconds and then I missed my boys terribly. But this isn't about me, this is about them, and boy did they have a BLAST!!! They went to a campground in New Jersey and since being back I have heard T say at least a million times, "That was my first time ever sleeping in New Jersey. I just still can't believe I did that!"

We are a little low on camping gear (ie--we got nothin!) but luckily some friends had an extra tent and sleeping bag so we were set. T and Ever were so excited to sleep in a tent that they wanted to go to bed almost immediately. Luckily, James kept them up for the fireside festivities...but not much longer! Not that they went to sleep right away. I got a phone call from a sleepy, crying Ev a little before 11 pm saying, "Mommy, I want you here. I don't want you to be wif da gills. I just love you foweva." I assured him that I loved him forever also and that Daddy would keep him safe in their tent! Gosh, that little one sure knows how to get to me.

The report from the boys was that they roasted hot dogs, marshmallows and starbursts, and ate lots of cheetos and reese's.  Supposedly they didn't have much patience with roasting because they were so dang excited, but luckily they were OK with slightly cold hot dogs. And by OK, I mean they gobbled those puppies in two seconds flat!

A blurry but a goodie of T roasting a mallow!

My heart melts a little when I think about how these little boys are mine and their Daddy is awesome enough to take them camping. Good men-folk in my life I tell ya. I love that they had so much fun. I just love them.

Monday, June 9, 2014

His first graduation

Well, that's it folks. Talmage's preschool days are officially over. We celebrated the five sweetest little 5-year-olds in their very first graduation ceremony and I've got to admit, they'll be lucky to get this much hoopla from their high school graduation! Us Moms worked pretty hard to make it awesome and memorable for the kids, and in the most humble way possible it was incredibly impressive!

Talmage, Grace, Ava, Vivi and Sam (with the cutest hats made by Sam's mom Ann Dee)

Preschool was a family affair and couldn't have been possible without all these wonderful mama's and the most patient little siblings in existence (we're missing Vivi's sister in this shot!). Totally unrelated, but sometimes I forget how tall I am and then I look at this picture and think, "Wow Heath, you're pretty dang tall!"

Turns out this graduation stuff is hard work, and a little overwhelming. We all know how much Talmage loves pictures (oh wait, not even a little bit) and after a few minutes of all the moms playing paparazzi with the graduates, "Look this way!" "Smile!" "Put your hands up!" "Put your hands down!" he kind of broke down. And by kind of, I mean, well...let's just say that a sobbing T sat in my arms for the rest of the ceremony. It was heart-braking and I felt awful for not preparing him more for the events of the day. The party wasn't a total loss for him though--once the formal ceremony was over he had a blast eating the graduation treats and playing with his friends. But the gorgeous formal graduation photos that everyone else got? Well this is mine!

My puffy-eyed graduate and me!

I made these cupcakes for the occasion and the kids went crazy for them! And btw, all of the gorgeous pictures in this post are from Lynda's fancy camera.

Except for this one, which is from my phone! I also made these little bags full of goldfish and swedish fish with a tag that read, "You are O-fish-ally in Kindergarten!"

Happy Graduation Talmage Scott, the first of many! I love you and I'm so proud of everything you do and everything you've learned this year in preschool. Next week is Kindergarten orientation--bring it!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cronuts, Pizza, Cute Kids and a Real Lawyer, in no particular order.

Let's just start this here blog post with the cutest Subway picture of all times. All those little bodies squished together and looking out the dark window is just about enough to make me take them all home. You know, except not because the 480 square feet thing. But that little Norah-girl on the right? I'd take her home for good regardless of how much (or little) space I had because she is just the sweetest, loviest, littlest baby girl ever and those full kissy lips--yeah, she's something else. Do you see how she's holding on to my shirt like that? It's one of my baby favorites and I'm counting down the days (read: months) until I have a little girl of my own in my arms! Norah and her family just moved across the country and in a fit of despair Talmage cried, "Why does everyone I love move to Oregon?" Two best friends in two years are pretty crazy odds...but looks like we have a real reason to visit that gorgeous state!

Hands down the biggest and most adorable game of Duck, Duck, Goose Central Park has ever seen. Everett was one of the last to be picked (littlest kid problems) and when it was finally his turn he looked at me with so much joy and shock and then started running as fast as those little, slightly bowed legs could carry him. So sweet, that one. He just looked over my shoulder and said, "Mom, can I wite somefing on dat bwog?" and when I said sure, and asked him what he wanted to say, he whispered with a grin, "I wuv you, say dat, ok?"

If there was ever something worth waiting in a super long line for, a Dominique Ansel cronut would be it. Luckily, a friend got a super large order and cabbed them back to the UWS so that everyone could try, and none of us had to be at the bakery by 5 am. Yes, people start lining up at that the latest. This months cronut flavor was blueberry lemon and holy hannah, it was absolutely out of control. And in full disclosure, I ate a whole one and made all three boys share the other one.

Another big piece of news from this week (you know, right behind my blueberry cronut) is that James was sworn in to the California State Bar. His Judge swore him in here in NYC, and we celebrated with a pizza lunch and Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. That salad pizza was mine and it was every bit as wonderful as it looks. The boys thought the whole experience was pretty cool, and kept commenting about how proud they were that Daddy was now a real lawyer instead of just pretending to be one!!!