Monday, October 29, 2012

Liesl turns two!

Our girl had her second birthday. All of the usual cliches about how fast the time has gone apply. She's incredibly talkative and she understands so much, and she's so mischievous and cunning and manipulative, and so sweet and charming and compassionate. If one of us gets hurt she comes to kiss it better; if she does something wrong she immediately says "sorry mama!"  She sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at every opportunity. She runs, jumps, swings on, and climbs everything and everywhere. She's a doer, a joiner. Even if we're just taking the garbage down, Liesl says, "I come!".  A new food? "I try!"  She smiles and waves and says hello to everyone - last weekend we were biking on the trail together and she waved and chirped "hello" at these three tough-looking teenage boys, and instinctively they all grinned and chorused "hello!!" back at her. I cracked up.

Her birthday was delightful and full of activity. Steve made french toast for breakfast and we let her open a few presents. Then she and I went to an Elmo musical show with her friend Alex and mom Sinde.  Liesl  was enraptured and sat very still for nearly the whole performance, watching as full size Elmo, Abby, Bert and Ernie, Big Bird and the rest of the characters danced and sang on stage. After nap, the Raab family came over to celebrate - mom and dad, Trish, Jeff, and Hana, Mary and George. We had presents, we had chocolate cupcakes from Lulu's and singing, we had playground playtime, and we had dinner - chicken, pasta, brussels sprouts with pecans, roasted butternut squash and cauliflower, and a spinach apple salad with goat cheese. And a bath with cousin Hana.  She was so delighted with her party.  Everything was perfect - her party dress (from Sonya), her presents, the company, the cake.  Pics below.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On the North County trail, near Croton

my little rock climbers


say "donuts!!"

the annual Irvington harvest/haunted hayride

and the training wheels come off!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

city adventures

Now that we've confirmed that we're leaving New York for Portland (!!!!), we're trying to think through our list of things to do, see, and eat in New York and get to as many as possible. We've always had a vague list in our heads, but now we've got a clear deadline of November 30th to make them happen.

And so, along those lines, we went to see the final matinee of the New York City Ballet's fall season. We saw three works, all choreographed by Balanchine to Stravinsky's music: Agon, Apollo, and Rubies (from the full-length Jewels).  Apollo and Agon had moments of beauty, allowed the dancers to display a tremendous amount of technical expertise, and featured a few striking performances (by Sterling Hyltin and Maria Kowrowski). But Rubies was gorgeous and lively, and both Megan Fairchild and in particular Teresa Reichlen were outstanding.  You couldn't take your eyes off them.

Last Saturday afternoon we visited the South Street Seaport and then walked all along the bottom of Manhattan, through Battery Park. It was nice to see the city and the water, and all the boats and helicopters, and to watch the sun setting over the Hudson River.  We hopped into a taxi and went to a Neapolitan pizza restaurant in Greenwich Village, Keste, for dinner. We had gelato at Grom for dessert and then made it to our car for the trip home. (The children, wired up and sugared up, did not fall asleep until they were back home and in their beds.)

Steve took the children this past weekend to get bagels and lox at Russ & Daughters on the lower east side and then walked along the High Line.  And last, but not least, we had a date lunch at 15 East Sushi, a place we've been meaning to go for months and months.  It was so good - so buttery, so fresh, so unctuous, so perfect. Sigh. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Columbus Day weekend

It was great to have Steve back home for the weekend. Seb was so excited to see him on Thursday night - was hanging out the window waiting for his taxi to arrive from the airport. Liesl was happy to see Dada, but I don't think she really understood that he'd been gone for 8 days and it was a big deal.

On Saturday we returned to the Stone Barns Harvest Fest for the third year in a row. We enjoyed all of the yummy food vendors and the music - the kids danced together and with me - and the "farm olympics" - we raced holding eggs on spoons, had a mommy vs daddy sack race, and threw rubber chickens at hay bales. The kids were impressed by the whole pigs roasting on spits. Pics below and in the October web album.

On Sunday we drove over the bridge to Nyack. We spent some time at the local playground and browsed the craft booths at the street fair. After naps, Seb biked and I walked with Liesl to Dobbs Ferry, arriving at the playground just in time for the rain to start. The children were undaunted, but we called Steve to rescue us from the hike home. We went out to a Korean restaurant for dinner, Korean being the children's favorite ethnic cuisine at the moment. They both love bibambap and Korean mandoo dumplings, and Seb likes japchae. And of course, as in any vaguely Asian restaurant, there is rice and edamame, so they never starve.

Steve had to work on Monday, but I drove up north to a great little section of the North County Trail. It's an old rail trail - flat and paved - and there's a beautiful pedestrian bridge stretching over the Croton Reservoir.  Seb rode his bike and I ran with Liesl in the Bob stroller. And then it was just a short hop to Muscoot Farm, where we got up close and personal with chickens, pigs, cows, goats, sheep, ducks, and pumpkins!! We brought home a nice big pumpkin to carve, and Liesl picked out a tiny one to call her own.  After naps we baked pumpkin muffins and made a batch of granola bars.

All told, an excellent long weekend, except that Steve brought home a nasty little stomach virus from the west coast. It has gone through our whole family and made things kind of stinky around here. (I know, I know, a terrible way to end a post...)