The squishy baby with the hair

Laurelin Grace,
you have a sweet face,

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I love your squishy fatness
to cuddle and to kiss,
But what makes me fondly stare
is your light, unruly hair!

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Posted in Kids | 3 Comments

Miss Communication

I was folding washing this morning listening to Marica and Esther talk, and just had to share this funny:

E: “Mawica, dose are nithe octoputheth.”

M: “They aren’t octopuses, they’re decorations!

E: “Dey look like octoputheth…”

M: “They’re decorations, NOT octopi!”

Posted in Funny things, Kids | 3 Comments

Fun day at the Fair

On the first weekend of July we took the kids to the Meadowlands State Fair which is pretty close to where we live. The kids were giddy with excitement!

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We got there as soon as it opened in the afternoon so it wouldn’t be too busy, and that was a good idea because there weren’t many lines to wait in, but everything got progressively busier during the late afternoon.

We split up for most of the time so Ben could take Marica on the ‘scary rides’ which I was glad not to have to go on and even happier not to see her risk her life on! :-)

Esther, Laurelin and I stayed in the ‘Kiddie Zone’ and Esther made very good use of her unlimited rides pass!

Laurelin was mostly content to look around at the spectacle around her, and thankfully even had a nap.

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This sign cracked me up!

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Ben took Laurelin on the (very tame) Ferris Wheel. I’m not sure she realised what was going on!

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We had Funnel Cake! So greasy and sweet and yummy.

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Just before going home we watched a Big Cat show with a beautiful male lion, a white tiger and a liger.

What a fun day! I have so many happy memories of when the carnival would come to town every September when I was growing up. The church would always have a pannekoek (pancake) stall and my mum usually helped bake pannekoek, which meant I got pretty much free reign to explore the fair. Night time at the fair was the most magical time, spinning on the rides till you’re almost sick, eating candy floss, pannekoek and kerrie-en-rys… when the kids get a bit older, we’ll have to take them at night!

Posted in Family, Kids | 2 Comments

A hobbit comes of age

As everyone knows — well, at least everyone who’s a fan of Tolkien — a hobbit comes of age at 33. I turned this ripe old age the other day, and had a fabulous party, mostly organized by Franci, my lovely hobbit-wife.

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We had some great, down-to-earth hobbit food cooked by Franci with some help from Lillian: loads of mushrooms (fried in butter), homemade bread rolls with “Beorn’s” creamed honey and butter, Mum’s meatloaf (“dwarvish meatloaf”), punch (“Miruvor”), ale from The Green Dragon, “Sauron’s eyeballs” deviled eggs, and lots of other yummy things I’m forgetting.

I wrote a little speech that kind of paralleled Bilbo’s speech at his “eleventy-first” birthday party (and Frodo’s 33rd). There were a couple of Lord of the Rings-based games and riddles.

Gandalf quote

There was a small crowd of maybe 15 mostly from church and a couple from work. A few people even dressed up.

In true Hobbit-fashion, Franci and I organized and wrapped gifts for each of the guests (though there were no silver spoons).

Gifts for the guestsAll in all, a fun time! I highly recommend a Hobbit coming-of-age party for your next trend-setting event. :-)

 

Posted in Culture, Food, Friends, Hospitality | 5 Comments

A visit from cousins

The last weekend in June, we had two of Ben’s cousins, Chris and Laura Lee, visit us from Texas. That weekend was a real blast! Packed full of sight-seeing and talking and fun! Here’s some of what we did with them:

We showed them the NYC skyline from across the river at night,

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we rode the subways,

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walked the Brooklyn Bridge,

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took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty,

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and we went to the World Trade Centre memorial.

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Look, the Freedom Tower is finished on the outside!

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We went to the Intrepid,

and we went to the Met with our friend Shannon.

We saw Grand Central Station,

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we had coffee/hot chocolate at Le Pain Quotidien,

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and we walked through Central Park.

We went dancing at the Midsummer Night’s Swing at the Lincoln Centre. Pity Ben couldn’t be there, but Chris gallantly danced with all of us girls. He also made up this real simple line dance that got a whole bunch of people around us dancing too: an old Asian lady, a few couples, a few old guys and an Indian girl with some serious hip-action!

Sunday was a little calmer and lent itself to some times of fantastic conversation. We went to church in the morning and in the afternoon Ben went to Evensong at St John the Divine with them. The weekend was over all too quickly! You guys will just have to come again!

Posted in Being tourists, Family, NYC | 2 Comments

A visit from the Baneks

In June, we had a lovely visit from Ben’s Uncle Walter, Aunt Nelda and cousin Alexander from Texas. They were here for 4 days and we got a really good amount of sight-seeing done with them, balanced by a nice lot of calmly visiting at home.

We took them to our favourite touristy spot near our house where you can get a fantastic view of Manhattan from across the river.

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The girls enjoyed rolling down the little grassy bank there.

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There is a war memorial near the look-out and it tickled my funny bone that it had been yarn-bombed, quite likely for Memorial Day or the 4th of July (we were sort of in-between both).

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We took the Baneks to see a few NYC sights, and of course the Brooklyn Bridge featured on the list!

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Lunch at Le Pain Quotidien was delightful, followed by a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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From there Ben and Uncle Walter took the kids home and Aunt Nelda, Alexander and I went to see St Bartholomew’s Church where there were stained glass windows she wanted to see.

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Then it was on to Times Square and to see Once on Broadway!

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Thanks for making us one of the stops on your roadtrip, Baneks! We really enjoyed our time with you.

Posted in Being tourists, Family, NYC | 3 Comments

Marica’s recital at Steinway Hall

Marica and Esther started piano lessons the week after our piano arrived, and have both been enjoying it a lot, no doubt because of their excellent teacher (who also happens to be our friend!), Shannon Murphy.

For the end of year recital (end of the academic year) Marica performed two of her pieces that she’d learned. It was pretty soon after starting, given the fact that we got our piano in April and the academic year ends in June, but she did really well! And get this — they had the recital at Steinway Hall! Wow. It’s pretty cool to say you’ve performed at Steinway Hall!

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Marica really enjoys learning piano, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t practice or tinker around playing things by ear. She’s figured out how to play plenty of songs just by having heard them.

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Well done, Marica! We’re proud of you!

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I got a cute photo of the three sisters on a pretty seat in front of the recital room beforehand.

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Posted in Culture, Kids, NYC | 2 Comments