Monday, February 21, 2011

To Ding Dong and Grandad's House We Go!

Henry and I headed south on Tuesday morning. He was a super-traveler and slept six of the eight hours we drove! We stopped twice for food, diaper and stretching. We got to my parents' house around 3 and they were, of course, delighted to see him. He showed off his rolling abilities and was just generally a cute kid, as usual.

We spent Wednesday relaxing and took a field trip to the library. We got lots of books for Henry, including "What's So Great About The Donner Party?". (As Katie said, "They were tender and delicious?") The book is for older elementary school kids writing reports I would imagine but was a relatively interesting read, with bolded key words like "flesh".

I headed up to Newport News on Thursday to have some meetings and to catch up with some folks from CNU. (Mom and Dad watch Henry...what a chore for them! ha ha.) It was so good to see everyone and a little weird to be back just for the day....it felt like I hadn't even left. I got to have dinner with Jacqui and her little man, which was great. Eddie's flight came in that night in Newport News so I picked him up and then we headed back to my parents house.

Friday was spent hanging out at home in the morning. It was a B-E-A-UTIFUL day with temperatures reaching the mid-70s. We took Henry outside for his first encounter with bubbles. The Moyock wind made it a little difficult to enjoy them since they flew by so quickly but I think he generally enjoyed being outside. He also sat up by himself for a long time when we were out there, which was a new thing for him. (Usually he would be good for a little bit and then tip over but he really got the hang of it that afternoon.)

He also got to explore the feeling of grass between his toes, which was another first I think. Here is a shot of Henry and Ding Dong's dirty feet!

For lunch on Friday Henry tried carrots for the first time! We took a video of it but I'm not going to post it because it was so uneventful. He was unphased by the new taste and just gobbled it all up. I will, however, post some pictures since who doesn't love a kid with veggie mush on his face!



Eddie and I took Henry up to Newport News that afternoon to see some people on campus and then to go out to dinner. It was, again, really nice to catch up with friends we hadn't seen in a while.

Saturday was another beautiful day. We relaxed for a while, took a field trip to Babies R Us for clearance clothes, had a delicious steak dinner and then played games with Sarah and Matt. Henry also had some fun in his jumper. He has started to get the hang of it. Unfortunately he doesn't do as well when the camera is out...he seems to know that I'm trying to capture him doing something and stops just to be funny. But here is a little clip for some fun:

video

My parents headed on their vacation to Hilton Head on Sunday morning so we said Hasta Luego to them and then headed up to meet up with Katie for Cracker Barrel breakfast (YUM!) and Target galavanting. We then went to watch kickball....and Eddie got to play! He was pretty excited about it and I think this may inspire him to start a WAKA league up here in Jersey. We went out with our friends for post-game snacks and then headed back to Newport News to have dinner with the Ritchey girls. It was good to see them. It's amazing how much more like little ladies they are every time we see them....well, Ella and Audrey...Carolyn is always a lady...haha!!

We then headed to CNU for the senior recital of Charles, a student that I have known since he was a freshman. He worked for me in the office and is also a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi. He reminds me so much of one of my close friends from high school, which I think is why he and I bonded early in his collegiate career. I was so proud to watch him perform, to sing in the circle of brothers after the recital and then to watch him propose to his girlfriend after we sang! It was quite the evening for him and I was glad that we could be there to see it!

Henry, Eddie and I packed up and headed back to Jersey this morning. I was kind of concerned that we were going to have a troublesome trip up because Henry was not a happy camper this morning. However, he ended up being a good traveler again and we made it only having to stop once when he woke up for food. (He slept most of the way other than that one time.) We were welcomed back to northern Jersey with a fresh six inches of snow and freezing temperatures! (The roads were clear by the time we got up here.)

So we're back and ready to get back into a routine. Swim class starts this week so Ellen and I took Henry to try out the pool as a test run. He didn't have much of a reaction to the whole thing, which I guess is better than screaming! Again, there is video but not very interesting. Maybe in a few weeks I'll try again at class once he's doing his Phleps-esque lap swimming.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Here and There and Everywhere

We continued our busy-bee schedule on Saturday with a trip down to Princeton to see a friend. Susan was an RA at CNU and also was one of my student workers. She's one of the coolest people I know...after all, she introduced me to Trololo. She is currently at Princeton Theological Seminary and we've been talking about a visit for quite some time. Ellen, Henry and I met up with her for lunch and a little walking tour of downtown Princeton (including a gourmet olive oil shop!) and the campus. My favorite part of the trip was being in the chapel on campus. The sun was out and the stained glass windows were casting colors on the wall. It was a really neat effect:



It was really good to see Susan. I can't wait to visit again when the weather is a little warmer so we can do more exploring of the campus and the surrounding area.

Eddie had been away at a conference for the weekend and returned on Sunday night. Henry was nice enough to stay awake until he got home.

Monday we did a little preparation for a fun crafty project (stay tuned!) and I had rehearsal. Eddie and I split some cute little desserts after my rehearsal and then packed up for our trip as our Valentine's Day celebration...haha.

Henry and I headed out from Ridgewood this morning around 7:15 and made it down to NC around 3. Henry was a very patient (and sleepy) traveler, which was good. (Hopefully his sleeping tonight isn't too screwy from sleeping so much during the day.) My parents were, of course, glad to see us and we had a good evening to just hanging out. Henry showed off his rolling over skills and his cereal eating.

I am looking forward to heading to bed soon and to having a relaxing day tomorrow. Eddie will join us on Thursday night for a long weekend away. It should be good!

Friday, February 11, 2011

NY Botanical Gardens

When I first found out that I would be able to stay home with Henry I started to think about all of the possibilities for daily fun and adventures. Since we have moved to New Jersey it's been kind of fun because he and I get to share "firsts". Today, Ellen, Henry and I ventured to the Bronx to visit the New York Botanical Garden.

The drive there was not bad at all (actually very scenic) and we were one of a very small group of people there today. This made it nice to be able to take our time and for me to be able to linger and take lots of photos.

The gardens have a HUGE building that is basically an over-sized and very fancy greenhouse. It currently houses a collection of warm-climate plants and trees, which made it a delightful place to hang out on a cold winter day. We all really enjoyed ourselves, even Henry. (I know he's small and probably had no idea what was really going on but he seemed to actually enjoy being there and looking around at everything.)

Besides being a fun outing for the three of us, it was a good chance for me to stretch my photography muscles a bit. I'm pleased with some of the photos from the day. I can't wait to be able to go back in the spring to explore the grounds too.

Here are a few of my favorites from today:




Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roly Poly

Well, he's finally done it! Henry has figured out how to roll over. People have been asking us over and over if he had been doing it so it's nice to say that he his! I think he put off doing it because he's always disliked being on his stomach. He did it the first time last week when I was the only one around. He waited until Sunday to do it again when other people were around. Today when Ellen was with him he rolled over quite a few times. I tried to catch it on video when I got home but no luck...he just stared at the camera.

This song has been stuck in my head because of our new roly-poly baby:



(Sidenote: They really don't make movies like they used to. Give me Doris Day and Rock Hudson over Angelina and Brad any day!)

Last week, we had a mini-adventure to Bookends to go to a signing with Weird Al Yankovic! I've liked him ever since the summer my cousins and I watched his movie UHF about thirty times in a two week period. His song parodies are pretty hilarious and, as it turns out, he writes a pretty good kids book!

We had a good time at the signing as Weird Al LOVED Henry (who doesn't!?). Even Weird Al's bodyguard started talking to us. Sadly none of the photos that the Bookends staffer took (you give them your camera and they do the pictures) have Weird Al looking at the camera but they are still cute.



On Friday night I had the Ridgewood Concert Band concert. It went really well and it felt so good to be playing/performing again. Eddie, Eddie's mom and our friend Meredith came to be my fans. They all enjoyed the show (or at least pretended to). Eddie acted as photographer for the evening and did a good job! Here is a shot of Phil Smith and I performing together....kind of. (You can just see part of my face.)



After we were done I spoke with Phil Smith and his wife. They were both completely sweet and kind. I got him to sign a concert poster and Eddie took our picture.


On Sunday Aunt Virginia, MomMom and PopPop came over for SuperBowl fun. Henry sported the Packers jersey that my parents got for him. Turns out he was rooting for the right team!

Today Henry got to visit his new doctor, since we sadly had to leave his pediatrician in Virginia. She was very nice and Henry behaved like the sweet little boy he is...until he got three shots...but even then he wasn't too upset. He continues to grow and be healthy, for which we are very thankful!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hat!

I couldn't resist this cute argyle hat for Henry the last time we had some free Babies R Us money. Clearly he didn't NEED it but it is SO CUTE!

He wore it yesterday for Argyle Wednesday. I dressed him up for a mini-photo shoot in the afternoon. Here are two of my favorites:


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lots of Fun

Well, after the snow from last week we thought it would be a fun time to take Henry on his first sledding adventure! We bundled him up, blew up the snow tubes and headed to Citizens Park here in Ridgewood. There was a small hill that we used to take him down. He didn't really have much reaction to the whole thing but did smile a little at the end of the rides each time.



Here is a video of his first sled ride!

video

The same park has a bigger hill that us "big kids" went down a few times. Ellen and I thought it would be a good idea to link ourselves together and go down. It was a good idea except I held onto Ellen instead of my tube so as you can see, it had a pretty funny result.

video

On Friday, Kevin, Julie, Ellen and I went sledding during the day. We had the two inflatable tubes and two plastic sheet sleds. We tried numerous times to make it down the big hill in a chain of four of us....not so much of a success! I wish there were videos of our attempts because they were pretty hilarious. I'm just glad none of us broke any limbs!

On Friday evening, Eddie chaperoned a trip for work to Medieval Times and I got to go along with him. We had a really good time. The food was good. The show was good....and our knight won!

This is not our knight but a cool photographic opportunity...the lighting wasn't that great and they were riding fast on their horses this is the best I could do.



Our victorious Yellow Knight!

I like how this turned out for some reason. Just a suit of armor in the lobby.



The weekend was pretty low key, which was nice. Hockey All-Star Game, looking at some houses (still no luck) and hanging out with MomMom and PopPop.

Last night I had a dress rehearsal for the upcoming concert of the Ridgewood Concert Band. As I think I have written about before on the blog, the principal trumpter player of the New York Philharmonic, Phil Smith. Because my parents and many of my best friends are trumpet players, I've been pretty excited about this for a while. Last night he was at the dress rehearsal. It was very cool to be able to watch him play and to rehearse with him. He, his wife and a composer/pianist (Joe Turrin) are doing a few trumpet, piano and voice trio arrangements of some Gershwin tunes on the concert. They rehearsed them yesterday.....so awesome. I ended up staying after our part of rehearsal was done to listen to them rehearse. It was me, the conductor and the musicians. Pretty awesome way to end my day.

Henry continues to be a curious little boy. Yesterday and today he began to reach out to pet one of the cats. The cats still don't know what to think about him but for now Zeppelin tolerates Henry petting him. I'm sure that this will change once Henry figures out how to pull tails.

He is also transitioning to a more consistent big boy night schedule. I'm not going to actually write anything out so that I don't jinx it for tonight. :-)

We're hunkered down this evening in anticipation of the ice and sleet that we're supposed to get starting around midnight. Some of the local school already have delayed openings. Since December 26th Northern New Jersey has gotten around 58 inches of snow. Crazy!