Welcome, Colby

Today we had a special delivery, all the way from Akron, Ohio.

Ta-dah!

This is the Colby player piano from the early 1900s that Seth’s paternal grandfather and grandmother had. Seth has a really good memory of it from his childhood.

Seth’s parents and extended family thought it would find a good home with us, and we agree! We love objects with history (in the picture above, that’s a family photograph of Seth’s father and parents in the top right), and are looking forward to taking special care of the piano.

It seems to just need minor repair work on some of the hammers, as well as a tuning, after which we’ll be ready to play.

Having grown up with a piano but not one that also had the player mechanism, I was intrigued with the mechanics of it. Jax and I checked out the pedals you push to make it play.

Thank you so much, Ron and Carol, for entrusting us with this special family heirloom. I know Jax will have fun learning to play the piano on it, and I’m thrilled to get back into playing myself. Merci!

The Return of Sunny Weather

Between daylight saving’s and temperatures reaching 70, suddenly in a week’s time we have found ourselves into spring. Every time we thaw out and have sunny weather well into dinner time I have a new outlook on everything: yesterday was an amazingly productive day for my work, and we fell in love once again with our little village on the Hudson. Taking a walk yesterday evening along the river felt like such a treat. To think, we’ll have months and months of these walks to come! This is why we moved 40 minutes north of our beloved Manhattan.

Half Moon Bay

Boston Rain-Out

We spent 24 hours in Boston this past weekend to see Laura and Corey, who were in town for the Seafood Show. Boston is a 3 hour drive from us now, so it seemed a shame to miss them being so close. We booked a hotel through trusty hotwire.com, packed it up and off we went, through hour after hour of rain.

We met up with Laura and Corey on Saturday afternoon at a margarita place that warmed us up, then we walked over to Quincy Market to see something quintessentially Boston, despite the rain. We got majorly soaked. It was that drenching kind of sideways rain when it’s cold and the wind picks up and turns your umbrella into a helicopter.

Recovering, Regrouping

Quincy Market was actually packed with people beginning their St. Paddy’s festivities four days early. We are talking pub crawls with matching T-shirts at 5pm kind of festivities.

Hide and Seek

A certain someone took the liberty of removing a balloon from an ice cream shop’s balcony. It was filled with helium, but Jax did a great job of holding on to it for a surprising amount of time. Then the inevitable float to the ceiling happened.

Bye-Bye


Corey, Laura, and their friend Shannon from Seafood Watch

Once we made it back to our hotel, we found out it was connected to quite an elaborate mall. Under normal circumstances, hanging out all evening and the next day in a mall would seem like a depressing way to visit a city, but this was in the middle of a Torrential Downpour. And there was a Wagamama’s in the mall. And a Legal Seafood. And wide open hallways for running.

We also used the hotel’s expansive lobbies for chasing and exploring.

Best amenity of all? The pool! We literally didn’t go outside from Saturday evening until we drove away to head back to New York on Sunday afternoon. Laura hadn’t seen much of Boston before, so I’m glad they are staying until Thursday to get a real feel for the place. For us, the real draw was hanging out with my awesome sister and brother-in-law!

Scenes from the first week of March

The first third of this month has flown by, especially because of our fun trip to Milwaukee for Monica and Jeff’s baby shower. Since Jax and I left Seth behind for that weekend, last Tuesday we had a family swim night as a special treat.

Since the pool is on the way to the best Chinese food we can find up here (we still miss Chinatown), and since Asian cuisine of any sort is always a huge hit with the whole family, we headed to the Oriental Diner after 45 minutes of chasing each other around the kiddie pool.

Jax just can’t get enough of the lo mein and the moo shu chicken!

Jax loved playing the piano at Grandma Barb + Grandpa Chuck’s house.

…and riding on the rocking horse my dad built for us when we were kids.

We had lunch last Thursday with Aunt Laura, followed by a trip to the salon for new haircuts.

The excitement of it all!

He’s still perfecting the pouring technique. Here, pouring oatmeal with Auntie Grace.

At the baby shower: the parents-to-be!

Here’s a special shout-out to my faithful blog readers Laura, Lynda, and Alyssa. So fun seeing you!

On Sunday we went straight from Laguardia Airport to a wedding in Long Island. Here’s our favorite 17-month old in his Sunday best:

And now my computer is telling me it is somehow Thursday already. Whaaa? Hope everyone is having a great week and keeping up with things better than I have been!

Some highlights of our California trip in progress

Blogging on the fly means only iPhone pictures for now. I have many other friends and family members to show off once we have the “big” camera’s charger and cable set-up, but here is a start of what we’ve been up to this week.

First, we hung out in LA, and got to visit The Getty with friends Philip and Stephen. There is an awesome kids’ area there that our favorite toddlers loved. In nicer weather, the gardens are great, but this was a lot of fun too ‚?? so take your kids there when you’re in the area!

Jax and Stephen create a modern sculpture.

Then we went to Santa Monica and tried out the slides:

The next day we toured the boats Uncle Chuck drives, and Jax got a balloon from the captain himself.

Then it was off to Travel Town to see ‚?? and ride! ‚?? trains.

Today, our first full day in San Francisco, Jax and I checked off a lot of the tourist must-dos while Seth did his MacWorld thing.

Pier 39 and the sea lions:

He loved imitating the bark of the sea lions.

and climbing:

Then we had a lovely lunch for two at Fisherman’s Grotto, complete with chowder and harbor view:

We checked out the various fountains at Ghirardelli Square.

He pointed out that there was “dah-tu” (water) and a “tutle” (turtle) in this one.

We then grabbed some hot chocolate, at which point both the camera and phone were dead. We were pretty pooped, too. Since we had gone the whole day on foot (from Union Square to Fisherman’s Warf), we took the easier and more exciting cable car back to the hotel. Jax was really excited about the “a car” (cable car) but the vibrations going up and down all those hills put him to sleep.

And now begins tonight’s quest for delicious noodles and the continuation of our California adventure.

Dots and Doilies Baby Shower

We hosted a baby shower yesterday for friends Amanda and Jonathan. It was a blast, from the planning with a cool friend of the mom-to-be to enjoying the company. And the parents-to-be took away some nice loot and heartfelt well-wishes that I hope helps them feel prepared ‚?? and maybe even more excited! ‚?? for the arrival of their baby girl.

Doilies don’t seem like the most modern of party decorations (and I was trying to avoid anything over-the-top girly, since that’s not really Amanda and Jonathan’s style), but I thought they contributed an interesting visual element to the dots and circles in the ribbon and other decorations, inspired by this modern baby shower.


I made the mobile-esque hanging decoration out of an embroidery loop and some paper circles glued to ribbon.


Cucumber Boats from this Vegetarian Times recipe.


Honey Baked Brie: Just bake a honey-drizzled round of brie on parchment paper at 350 for about 20 minutes. It sounds weird and looks weirder, but trust me on its tastiness! I meant to add thyme as well but forgot.


I used this sugar cookie recipe and cookie cutters from here.


Vanilla pudding with berries (a cheater’s version here).

Pots of chocolate mousse with grated chocolate topping (the cheating version here).

The parents-to-be!

Guests included 2 other little ones around Jax’s age.

Present opening begins!

Favors: sugar cookies wrapped in parchment paper with a doily wedge accent, all tied together with ribbon.

The aftermath of a successful grazing station.

The Daily Report

One of the things I absolutely love about Jax’s preschool is that each day we get a report of what he did. There are lists of activities and moods and foods that are circled, but there is also a hand-written summary of the highlights. Yesterday’s report was sweet, so I thought I’d share:

Jax was so helpful to one of his friends today. He tried helping Tyler up when he stepped on the toy and went down on his bottom. At sensory play he laughed while trying to lick applesauce off his mouth. He danced and said his name “Jax” when I showed him his photograph.

I’m saving the reports in a binder and it’s fun to look back at the progress he’s made. Since he started going in August, Jax has come so far, from crying and crawling to walking and talking.

Before I leave the blog for now, I have to share photos of our young Frenchman-in-the-making. Jax is now the proud owner of a beret and a Citro√ęn Deux Chevaux. Merci, Josiane et G√©rard!