Monday, October 29, 2012

Here is a cute video of the boys...first Peter laughing at some of Emily's antics and then you'll see that someone else wanted a little camera time for himself.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning

I know I've really fallen off the wagon with this blog, but my New Year's resolution is to resurrect it from the depths of neglect. My first effort in this resolution is to post a few videos of this Christmas morning. Michael was thrilled to discover that Santa Claus visited Gaga and Papa's house in Syracuse and was especially excited about the Thomas the Train track Santa left for him. As you'll see in the videos, other presents were interesting for a few minutes, but he was always drawn back to Thomas!

I hope you enjoy these videos and look forward to more posts in 2012!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer Travels II (Baltimore)

Well it's taken a while to get back in the blogging saddle. We just wrapped up a wonderful visit from Honey and Poppy, and then with the new school year underway, I've been a bit snowed under. But I'm back to finish the report on our summer travels around the east coast. The next stop on our itinerary after leaving Syracuse was our beloved Baltimore, where we visited some friends. Our first night there we stayed with Emily's former Loyola colleague Anne, and the good news is that we had a great time catching up with her. The bad news is that we didn't take any pictures with her.

Our next stop was at the house of our friends, Megan and Jim. Megan also worked with Emily at Loyola, and we all hung out together often in Baltimore, so it was great to spend some time with them. Jim is a terrific musician and treated Michael to a few songs, which had Michael mesmerized. With Megan's help, he summoned the courage to try his hand at the guitar.

Our last stop in Baltimore was with our friends Brendan and Abby, whose daughter Mary was born shortly after Michael. You may remember that they visited us in Seattle a few months ago, and you may also remember that Michael and Mary have an arranged marriage scheduled twenty or so years from now. So it was good to give these two some quality time together.

It started off well at the playground as Michael and Mary cruised along...
Until there was a little quarrel over Michael's reckless driving and Mary threatened to hop right off this motorcycle if he didn't slow down and drive more prudently.
So Michael decided to spend some time doing some guy-things with the guys. Like seesawing:That didn't last long. Maybe it was the extra 150 pounds on the other side, or maybe he's already realizing how uncool dads are. Whatever the reason, he beat it after a few turns and left it to the dads, who showed that you're never too old to jam on the seesaw.
Fortunately, Michael and Mary's disagreement passed under the bridge and they proceeded to their dinner date, where they totally impressed each other with their impeccable table manners.Here's one last picture of Michael from a lunch we had with Megan and Jim, and Brendan, Abby and Mary. It was very kid-friendly with a play area full of dinosaurs that kept Michael more than busy while we ate.We sure made the most of our few days in Baltimore, visiting good friends, including special family friend and former landlord Chris the Plumber. On our way out of town we visited my aunt Susu in Washington, D.C., who generously made her world-famous crab cakes. It was a perfect end to a perfect visit to the DC-Balto area!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Travels, Part Ia (HCSB 2011)

During our stay in Syracuse, we made an excursion to Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Emily's college friends were gathering for their annual reunion, or Holy Cross Spring Break, even though it most often occurs in the summer time. The group included many of Em's friends from Holy Cross, and altogether there were fourteen kids with ages ranging from seven weeks to three and a half years old. Here is a shot of the HCSB crew (if you're counting kids, there are only 13 in this photo - unfortunately, Kelly, Tim & little Anna Joseph had to head back to Boston before we were able to get the group shot):
I wish I could take credit for this picture and the three that follow, but they are shots taken by Bryan Fisher. (There were about a dozen versions of the above picture on my camera and none of them were half as good as this one! Thanks for sharing your pictures online, Bryan!)

The next shot is actually a zoom-in of the group photo, which shows Michael beside his soul brother and potential twin, Charlie Maxwell. We couldn't get over how much these two looked and sounded alike, right down to their disapproving view of the proceedings. These two are a tough crowd.
This next picture is from earlier in the day, when we were at the pool. I love it because it looks like Kieran, the older son of our friends Meg and Marty, is spooning Michael some bubble fluid. Quite the palate cleanser, I'm sure.
And here's a shot of me and Michael from the afternoon.
Lastly, a big thank-you to Nicole and Jim for hosting us in their home, where Michael got lots of quality time with their adorable daughter Grace:

It was a great weekend trip, and we loved catching up with our friends, playing with their kids and meeting the new babies. Em is already looking forward to HCSB 2012!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Travels, Part I

At the time of this entry, Em, Michael and I are wrapping up a long trip to the east coast. It's been a wonderful trip with lots of fun times, as the following pictures will show. We started in Syracuse with Emily's family, then made our way south to North Carolina, with a pit stop in Baltimore to visit friends there. We figured the best way to go through the trip was to break it into parts, so here are some of the highlights from the Syracuse leg.

One of Michael's favorite activities in Syracuse was cooling off in the pool his Gaga and Papa has bought for him, and this watering can soon became a favorite toy.
In fact, he liked the pool so much, he didn't even really need his bathing suit to enjoy it. Any time is pool time with Papa!

First thing in morning...still in water...pool time, nonetheless!

Another classic way to beat the heat: ice cream! Or as Michael says, "Iiiiiice!" He has strong ice cream eating genes from both parents, so we were not surprised at his enthusiasm. If only we could model how to eat ice cream in sensible portions. One day when we find him eating right out of the carton, I'm sure he will say: "I learned it by watching you!"
We were happy to make several visits to Michael's Great-Gramma Dailey. Fortunately, one visit coincided with an ice cream social.
Otherwise, Michael spent his visits charming his Great-Gramma with kisses...

...and going for walks...

Our Syracuse visit also included his first boat ride, which he learned is quite different from the Bainbridge Ferry. He wasn't crazy about the life vest, but once the boat got going bump-bump-bump over the water, he was having a great time. For the rest of the visit, anytime someone mentioned a boat, he said: "Bump-bump-bump."

Another highlight of the trip was a couple of visits to the zoo. On this visit, Michael wore his elephant outfit, and so felt a great kinship with this elephant statue.
But of course the most fun was the time spent with family, reading books with Gaga...
...exploring outside with his Uncle Timmy...

...playing some tunes with his cousins...

...playing with trucks...

...or eating...

In fact, Michael has steadily become more proficient at eating with a spoon. This is about where we were at the beginning of the trip:

Pretty much, nowhere to go but up. Now he's getting good with the spoon and insists on eating ice cream all by himself. It is probably fear of wasting good ice cream that inspired him to refine his spoon-to-mouth technique.

Finally, here is a nice group photo of the family. Maybe one day, years from now, when Michael still wears tie-dyes, sandals and no pants, we'll look back at this picture and realize we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Clean Sweep

In anticipation of our trip back east, I finally got around to transferring our videos from the camcorder to the computer. We had wanted to put them on our iMac but it turns out our version of iMovie won't accept these files. Long story short, we need to upgrade from the "Tiger" to the "Snowleopard," as I learned on the phone today.

In the meantime, I was able to install on my laptop the PC-friendly software that came with camcorder and then transferred the videos. The good news for the blog is that now I can upload videos that will actually have sound, unlike the videos that were shot simply with our camera.

For example, here is one of Michael a few days ago, when he was in the mood for cleaning. He loves the broom!

Monday, July 4, 2011

More Firetrucks and the Fourth of July

Well a few weeks have passed here on Bainbridge Island but not without another opportunity to get up close and personal with some fire trucks. Every June the BIFD pulls out all of its equipment and trucks for kids who come from all over to explore. The special highlight of this visit was to see the ladder truck in action. A teenager (a son of a firefighter, we assumed) climbed in the basket, and soon the ladder was extending skyward.

In no time, it was fully erect:

Of course, Michael enjoyed sitting in the driver's seat again, and this time he managed to leave the yellow button alone (see previous post).

Some of the bigger kids were able to spray firehoses at this little house, and Michael enjoyed watching the action.

Then there was this little photo op; as you can see, Michael had a hard time giving himself over to the magic of the cut-out mural boards. Fortunately, I had enough enthusiasm for both of us.

The next day we stopped by the Science Center, where we are proud new members. Not surprisingly, he was again drawn to anything with wheels.

Moving into July, here is Michael sporting a preppy look for the Fourth.

He and Emily on the lookout for the parade to begin:

And after the parade, Michael wanted to check some baseball scores and wondered why his mom and dad are the last people in the country who still have flip phones. Apparently, the old-school phone ruined the look; sorry, bud.