Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Plain Wrong!

There's something disturbing about watching a bunch of children bash the heck out of Cookie Monster trying to get at all the candy in his tummy.

Although it is funny to see Emma airborne trying to whack him, and amazing to see how Joseph instantly got the concept (which was the only thing he was getting - no candy yet!).

I had originally gotten the pinata to send to Lance as part of his 40th birthday present, filled with his favorite candies, but never wound up sending it. Bad friend I am, that was October!! But it was great seeing it opened in person.

Cookie Monster carcass on your head - that's just wrong too. But funny!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jersey Joe

Here's a few last looks at some of the stuff we did in the old Garden State.
Joseph got to spend time with his only cousins on my side of the family, and he loved when they read him bedtime stories.

We tried to go to Sesame Place, which is an amusement and water park just about 15-20 minutes from my parents' house. We figured he go nuts over all the Elmo stuff, so we went even though it was raining. We also figured we'd be wet since it was a water park anyway, so why not?

While we were waiting on line to buy tickets, it just got colder and colder. When people starting coming out trying to get rainchecks before we even went it, we thought it best to leave and try another time. Sorry, Joe Joe :(

On Sunday we went out to breakfast in Princeton, which is where Rodney went to college. He made a great choice in PJ's Pancake House, even though they crammed us into this weird table with a pole through the middle of it.

Then we took a walk around campus. Maybe one or all of the kids will wind up there too?

Nice grill, Adam! You really should click on the picture to enlarge it. It's fake (luckily), from the candy store - it's a lollipop!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ahoy there, Dads

A Father's Day post a week later...
Growing up, every year we would get my Dad the same Carvel ice cream cake for Father's Day - the "Whale of a Dad" special, which we all though was funny. This year, Brent and I got to be on the receiving end of one of those cakes too along with my Dad.

In fact, there were 5 of us fathers all together with our kids to celebrate. We had driven to my parents' in Jersey for the weekend, and Lance and the gang all came too after spending a day at Hershey Park. My Mom threw together a great meal including her world-renowned "gravy" (meatballs and spaghetti sauce) for a crowd of 14.

New friends were made - Emma and my niece Samantha were texting each other while in the same room,

and I got to catch up with my wonderful niece and nephew, who I don't get to see often enough.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Boys Night Out

A major benefit to bringing an au pair on vacation with you: instant babysitter right when you need one. Apparently you can also force them to watch your friends' kid too. Thanks to Natalie, who thought it was no trouble to watch 5 kids for the night instead of 4, we were able to go out for a leisurely dinner with drinks and adult conversation. We owe you one, Natalie!

And thanks to Lance and Rodney too for treating us to dinner! We could get used to having house guests like this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

Here's a glimpse of what it might be like to have 5 kids:

Here's what they do when they know they're being filmed:

But here's my favorite! I had let the kids take turns using my camera to take videos of whatever they wanted: (Thanks, Jesse!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Gang's All Here!!

Much to our delight, my BFF Lance (of 18 YEARS!) and his entire family (which includes his partner Rodney, their 4 kids, and their au pair, Natalie) all came from California to stay with us for the week. It was a full house, but more fun that I can describe. The last time we saw them all together was when we drove up the California coast in June of '06 - WAY too much time between visits.

One of the funnier things was how Joseph got to meet them all: everyone except Lance had arrived after he went to sleep, so he had no idea all these people were in the house. Joseph, as always, was the 1st one up. Then Adam came up from the basement and played with him. A little while later Jesse came up and joined them. Then Wyatt. And eventually Emma, and Rodney, and Natalie, all one at a time. He must have been wondering where on Earth these people kept coming from! It was probably for the best, so he didn't get too overwhelmed all at once. It just got louder and crazier and more fun as each person came in. I don't think we ever managed to get everyone all together in one picture :(

Here's Lance along with Wyatt, Jesse, and Emma. The kids got to see fireflies for the 1st time in our backyard. I didn't know they don't have them in San Francisco. Is that really possible?

There was always some activity going on amongst the kids. Adam made it into this pic along with Emma and WyWy.

The ball pit was a huge hit! The was a full on war one morning that I just might have encouraged. Aren't Uncles supposed to be fun and let the kids get away with stuff they can't do at home? They asked every day to go back in the ball pit.

Wyatt was an awesome helper, even with Joe Joe's bath.

This is what the lower level of our house looked like during the week with 2 extra adults and 4 extra kids. Natalie got her own room upstairs - the lucky one.

I wouldn't trade the mess for the world! It was so great seeing everyone again and getting to know the kids as they grow up. I miss them already and wish they lived next door. There's more pics of the visit to follow.


Sunday, June 15th was the annual Capital Pride Festival. Funny, we were never really "gay pride" people, but we've now gone 2 years in a row with Joseph in tow. Maybe we're just proud to be a family? Maybe it's just another good excuse for a "choo-choo" ride downtown, which Joseph always enjoys.

Look, I'm actually in a picture! But unfortunately with bad hair. I really need to get around to a haircut soon.

This year they had a designated family area, complete with a moonbounce for all the kids. He's never been in a giant one like this, and he loved it so much we truly had to drag him out of it.

Probably should have taken a family picture before we made him leave the moonbounce - you can tell he wasn't too happy with us. But it's nice with the Capitol building behind us.

An apple a day keeps the blogger away

I know, I know - I've been terrible about keeping up with posting recently. It's just been hard to find the time (and access to the computer) to blog as often as I want to. Joe Joe was sick, then I was working through the whole weekend, then we had a huge houseful of guests for a week, then we went out of town the next weekend...whew! But now here comes everything you've missed.

When I was home with our guests for lunch last week, Joseph and the other kids ate 1st. Then when I sat down to eat, Joseph came over and just swiped my apple. I thought he just wanted to carry it around and play with it since he had already eaten a huge meal, but little by little he kept gnawing away at it, until it was gone. I hadn't even taken the sticker off of it yet, but that was gone too! A little extra fiber never hurt anyone, I guess.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BIG Truck!

We came home the other day and found the biggest box waiting for Joe Joe, which turned out to be an unexpected surprise from a very thoughtful person (who must be following the blog, because they couldn't have come up with a better idea than this!)

Here's the big reveal:

He's been pushing it around nonstop ever since. Load it up, dump it out, repeat, repeat, repeat!

THANK YOU, Felicia!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things that go

Nothing new to post since Joseph had been sick the past few days with hand-foot-mouth disease. Nothing serious, just a typical childhood virus with fever and a sore throat, plus some rash. Not to be confused with hoof and mouth disease. So here's a random collection of a few things that go together well:

Race car at Clemyjontri park:

Trucks and cars on a playdate with Jack:

And the one thing always on the go, our boy:

Sometimes things don't always "go" so well:

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Turtle Park has a separate "splash ground" area beside the playground part, which is finally open for the season. There was just no reason not to go today!

We bring the "Joe bucket" from Jack's party every time we go to the park . It works as well in the water area as it does with the sand. (By the way, does everyone know that Brent hates it when people call him "Joe?" He'll say "Who is Joe?? His name is Joseph." So proper, that man of mine.) But wouldn't you know, he dumped the bucket the second he found a car.

The stars were aligned and 2 of Joseph's favorite things came together today - cars and water. He had a field day!

At the end of the day we found out there actually was a reason not to go today, as our poor little guy came down with a fever around dinnertime. Oh well, we'll just have to see how that one plays out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby Crack

What is it about Elmo that gets every kid addicted?

I bought one of these towels for Joseph while picking one up for part of Jack's birthday present. I knew they would both love them. Now every time Joseph is in the tub he looks behind me and says "Elmo," looking for him on the towel rack.

I knew I shouldn't have let Brent watch Sesame Street with him. But since I bought the towel for him, I guess I'm his dealer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Adventures with Daddy

The quest continues for fun new activities to entertain Joseph on Daddy Daycare Tuesdays. Going downtown last week opened up a whole list of possibilities, and today we took the train to the National Aquarium.

It's actually kind of a sad little aquarium, tucked in the basement of the Commerce building, but in reality it's the perfect size for the attention span of a toddler. We got to see cool things like alligators (that they get from a farm in Louisiana, of all places) and a baby sea turtle, but I frequently found myself thinking, "Mental note, there are more fish at Petsmart." He loved it, which is the most important thing. And even if he hadn't, he loved the train ride there and back!

He didn't care at all about the anemones, but I thought they were vibrant enough to take a few pictures. Now that he sees the pictures, he keeps pointing at them and saying "Oooooooh" and "Wow!" Go figure. Maybe it's my photographic skills he's admiring?

A day wouldn't be a day without a walk to the park too, so we hit Turtle Park after nap. He's impressing me with his interests and skills each time we go - he's venturing away from the sandbox, and he climbed all the way up, across, and down this tire course all by himself.

Yes, he wore a lobster shirt to the aquarium. Didn't plan it, I just like the shirt, and it's the 1st time he wore it.