Friday, July 27, 2012

Backtracking...The fourth of July

This year we had a little glitch regarding our usual plans for the fourth. Our summer league team had a swim meet on the 3rd. Because I'm the coordinator of our team,  I had no option. I had to be at the meets. John and Daniel were coaches and Abbey was on the team. So, our usual 3rd outing with friends to a fireworks display was out of the question.

The morning of the 4th, we went to the kiddie carnival at our pool. 

They played the games

But make no mistake, the highlight was the candy they got as prizes!

For lunch we ate at the pool. Then enjoyed the annual pool games; diving for airheads (more candy, thus more happy D kids), big splash, belly flop and greasy watermelon race (won by our own Daniel).
It always is such a fun day!

We topped it off with frozen yogurt and a trip to the new fireworks venue downtown. We coaxed our friends, the M family to join us. Daniel even took time from his social engagements to spend time with us!

Kylie, Abbey and Darcy

We watched several street performances:

fire juggling

That part of the night was great! But the reason we went downtown was a supreme disappointment!

The fireworks were so low in the sky, we couldn't see them. The ones we could see were partially blocked by the buildings.

Elijah, like all of us, isn't impressed by the no-show fireworks.

We still had a wonderful day. Spending time together, eating and laughing, yes it was a great fourth, even minus our usual fireworks display!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A New York pasttime

"Wanna play one of my favorite games?" Beth asked me while we waited for the subway to get to our station, during my recent visit.

"Sure!" I said, after all, I love games. I was totally unprepared for what her little game would entail.

"Spot the Rat." She declared and then watched to gleefully take in my reaction to her disgusting pastime.

 "Huh?? What do you mean?" She then explained that she had made up a little game and had played with her visiting friends. They would look along the subway tracks and try to find a rat. Hmmmm, ok, I began to look for a little mouse, thinking that I'd never be able to see one among the darkness of the track.

No joking, in less that 5 seconds Beth gleefully exclaimed, "There, look eating that apple."

Oh, my goodness! There was indeed a rat. Not a cute little mousey, mouse. I'm talking a big hunk-a, hunk-a rat! I looked around, and was amazed to discover that no one else was the least little bit fazed by the mutant Mickey trying to consume a bright green apple. He then gave up and began to run away.

I'm sure the crazy southern lady snapping a picture of a subway mascot probably piqued more interest than the big rodent did. But, in typical New York style, no one gave me a second glance.

Well, I always have said that my children teach me new lessons, and that day was no exception!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rocko's Message

Anna and Jamie's  dog, Rocko, has an announcement....

Yup! I'm going to be a Mimi and John is going to be a Papa!

We've known for several weeks, but couldn't say anything. We are both very excited and can't wait to February when we get to meet this new little gift from God!

Rocko, on the other hand...

Doesn't seem to excited about his big news. (Or maybe it's just that he's not wild about wearing a shirt when it's a million degrees outside?)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

He's getting the memo!

Several times during the past few weeks folks, who know our family around the pool, come up to me while looking at Elijah and say, "So, does he love to swim, too?" With a heavy sigh I say, "Nope he hasn't gotten the memo yet." Until the past two weeks, Elijah was happy to only get in the water up to his knees. The thought of jumping into the water by himself would send him into tears. So we waited. We waited for him to get the memo that the pool and swimming are fun.

Suddenly one day his fear vanished and he decided that he could conquer this water monster.

So in

he went

and began

to swim

to his very proud Daddy!

You can't see it in the pictures, but Abbey was on the side cheering for her little bro.

Before we know it he will be looking like this water bug.

If there is water around, there will be a smile on this face!

I'm so proud of Elijah for getting the memo, and so happy to finally escape the "baby pool jail"!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beth and Greg's Slice of the Big Apple

Sitting at the computer back in May, I sighed heavily. John noticed and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I had been looking at Facebook and missed Beth and felt like she missed us. He said, "Go." As we discussed it some more, we reasoned that since we don't have overnight childcare for Ab and Elijah, we would "divide and conquer". I'd go now and he would go in the fall.

The next thing I knew I was kissing my little ones (and big ones) goodbye and I was on a plane to New York City! My previous post already detailed my reception by my beloved grand-dog. I think her mommy was quite happy to see her mom also. After getting my stuff in the building, Bella, Beth and I went walking. Beth showed me some places close to her apartment.

Beth and Greg's apartment building
With Bella at a nearby park on the Hudson River

Time got away from us and we had to really rush through dinner, which Beth cooked, in order to get to the show they had gotten us tickets to.

I loved it! One of my favorite things in the world to do is watch musicals. I rarely get a chance, so this was a neat treat for me.

After the musical, we walked through Times Square and down to Greg's office. We then sat in a park and people watched.

The next morning, I got to sleep in. All four of us slept until 10! I can't remember the last time I slept uninterrupted until 10! Boy did that feel great! I was ready to greet the day. I love to people watch and see how people "do life". I got lots of chances to do just that.

Street flea market

Not really sure where we were?
These apartments are dated pre-civil war and sell for an astronomical amount of money!

We went to a Chinese restaurant. The food was very good. It was Sichuan, thus very spicy. The food reminded me of our trip to get Abbey. They even had a "hot pot" going in the back. I haven't seen that since Chongqing.  We trekked back to their apartment and got ready to go to a concert in Central Park

Kurt Vile and Dawes
 After the concert, we walked around. Beth and Greg had some late-night pizza, then we got a cab back to their apartment.

Sunday brought a rushed brunch and then it was time for me to get to the airport. As usual, it was hard saying goodbye.

Right before I left

I loved my peek into the life of a couple of young, native New Yorkers. I find that kind of lifestyle fascinating. (John tells me I should have been an anthropologist) I loved visiting my baby girl and my son in law. They made me feel ever so welcome to be there. It was hard to leave, but I knew that I was needed back home. Anna texted me that Abbey told her, "I want my Mommy to come home and never leave again!" Although she missed me, she readily admits that she had a blast with Daddy while I was gone.

It's neat that now when I talk to Beth I have a mental picture of where she is. I just wish it didn't take a plane ride to get there!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Puppy Love

I've been missing Beth and Greg's doggie, Bella. When they went on their honeymoon last year, she and I bonded. She would follow me everywhere I went. I'd sit in the chair and she'd jump in my lap and let me hold her like a baby. With the move to New York and no car, Beth and Greg haven't been able to bring Bella to our house. I'm grateful that Bella's other grandmother gets to love on her when Beth and Greg are here, but I've missed her and  thought Bella would have surely forgotten about me. I had not seen her in almost a year. She doesn't really take kindly to strangers. She's not a dog who immediately likes people, so I expected her to be standoffish at the very least whenever I got to see her again.

I got to visit New York a few weeks ago and Bella once again proved she isn't your average canine! I called when I arrived, and not knowing which building was Beth's, I waited on the corner. Beth came out of the door and Bella immediately made a bee-line for me, jumping up on me and wagging her tail so hard her body was bent in two. She definitely remembered me!!

We had lots of cuddleds...

And kisses!

Bella really is a special dog. She has a health condition and we really don't know how long she can live with it. So every day with her is a blessing.

I also enjoyed seeing the humans, and I'll post about my visit with them next.