Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas presents and feasting

Christmas with CJ was wonderful, as joyous as the holiday is supposed to be.

The presentfest began on Christmas Eve, with a visit from NaiNai and YeYe. CJ liked bringing everyone their gifts.

The best gift was a little tea set for CJ. Here she is serving tea for the ladies:

Christmas morning, there were more gifts. CJ especially liked the book about you-know-who.

Later in the day, we visited Jay, Grace, Aunt Susan and Uncle Frank. CJ enjoyed Grace's new kitchen set.

The adult's liked Jay's new racetrack.

Jay was happy jamming on his new guitar.

Earlier in the week, the whole family went to a lovely dinner at Aunt Susan's and Uncle Frank's country club. It was nice to have everyone all dressed up for family photos.

The gingerbread man, unfortunately, may not have had such a nice time.

One last shot that I thought I'd sneak in -- Meg and CJ had a surprise party for me at the beginning of the month featuring many of my oldest and bestest friends. A special thanks to all involved in that special event.

Happy holidays all!

No piggies!

Christmas photos to come next.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Children can be very disarming

And CJ? Moreso, of course.

CJ and Daddy are healthy, but Mommy of course took care of everyone so she needs some extra catch-up work on her sleep so she can get better too. Here we are this morning, catching up on work.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Out sick

This week, we have been sick. First Mommy, then CJ, then Daddy. CJ hasn't been sleeping at all, so Mommy and Daddy take turns catnapping and watching CJ as their fevers burn.

CJ's been a trooper for the most part. It's her first time being sick since she joined us. It helps that the tylenol is super sweetened and tastes much better than that fake cherry drek we had as kids.

Because we've been sick, we're way behind on Christmas cards (not to mention buying a Christmas tree!), so look for your card in the mail before New Years.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another "almost christmas card" shot

Maybe I'm biased, but I do think she's quite photogenic.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The holiday season begins!

Here's a cute shot of CJ, from one of several photo shoots for this year's Christmas Card:

For all those interested, I think I took the winning shot today, but don't be too surprised if you find this one in your mailbox.

The Sunday after my birthday, we visited with the Dailey's (of Dailey Update fame. CJ got everyone doing the 'remote-control conference-call' game. You might remember Father's Day?

You could say she really knows how to throw a good party line!

-- Dan

Birthday season

The end of November is officially birthday season: CJ's birthday and Daddy's birthday bracket Thanksgiving.

For CJ's birthday, we hosted our family and Dan made them Peking Duck. There was some good story reading to be found in the living room:

And then, somewhere between stories and cake, the duck was served. Apparently, no one bothered to take a photo, and the duck didn't really last too long. And then the birthday cupcakes were a big hit:

On CJ's actual birthday, we gave her a nice doll of an ethnic group from her home province (something you can only find shopping in New York).

On Thanksgiving CJ watched her first football game:

She then did her best Joe Namath imitation, much to Bogey's delight:

And then goofed around with her cousins.

Once again, we were too busy eating to take pictures of the food. The next day, we all met for breakfast, and then took Daddy on a surprise jaunt around Van Cortland Park. Here we are at the diner:

CJ wasn't too enthused about Talk Like a Pirate Day this year, but next year might be a different story.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we went out for breakfast, where a somewhat furious game of "Telephone" broke out.

And then, back to the birthday celebrations, here's CJ helping Daddy blow out his birthday canoli.

I think she liked it. She's definitely getting a leg up on the whole eating scene!

Catching up: Halloween up through the birthday season

CJ thoroughly enjoyed herself on Halloween. Here's CJ in her ghost costume, taking a break with cousin Grace from preparations before going out trick or treating:

Meg reported that CJ thought trick or treating actually meant trading pieces of candy; here she is enjoying the back and forth:

And, after the craziness, here she is sucking down a nice cold one in front of Uncle Frank and Aunt Susan's house:

This fall was unusually warm and the playground season lasted through November. CJ was happy about that:

In the beginning of November, CJ and Mommy visited Cousin Susan and Great Aunt Jane in New Jersey.

The Halloween decorations were still out.

We also went for a number of nice long walks in Van Cortland Park this fall, taking advantage of the global-warming-extended foliage.

CJ loved the fall foliage. We still have a number of leaves around the house that we collected on our walks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Daddy turned 40 today

Here's all we have to say on the matter:

Monday, October 29, 2007

The eyes have it

Here's looking at you, kid...

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Chappaqua Halloween Parade

On Sunday, October 21, we all marched in the Halloween Parade that the Village of Chappaqua puts on every year. A good time was had by all, although CJ grew a little tired by the end. She perked right up for the playground at the end of the parade (it seemed like a good idea, something all parades should have).

Two days later, we went for a nice walk with my parents on my brother's birthday. Here's a nice photo of CJ, who thoroughly enjoyed her first taste of autumn in the Northeast.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rembering Mike.

My brother Mike would have turned 35 yesterday, an occasion that we commemorated by visiting the cemetery and then taking NaiNai and YeYe for a nice walk among some fall foliage.

CJ of course charmed the weather into cooperating, and brightened what could have been a gloomy day.

It’s hard to believe that he passed away more than six months ago. So much has taken place since then, but the passage of time is always accelerated when you have a little one at home.

In some ways, we are at a crossroads. As CJ grows, the size of our one bedroom apartment seems to dwindle daily, and the looming question of where to live next tosses out more questions – do we buy a house? can we buy one in the NYC area? and if we leave, what does that entail?

But every day you face decisions that could impact your life and your family’s life. The worst thing in life is to avoid making these decisions, to become too timid to chart your path and be content with letting the wind blow you where it will.

One of the many things I admire about Mike is that he always dreamed big, and always tried to follow through on his dreams. Even after being laid low by the peritonitis whose complications eventually killed him, he continued pushing his dreams and secured his graduate degree. He had the audacity to look for a job even while trying to figure out how to get nourishment when his digestive system failed.

Can you imagine going on a job interview when you have no idea when you will be able to eat solid food again?

I need to start living like that. The stakes for me, with a little daughter, are certainly high. But to not live life to its fullest, to not chase your potential come what may, is to not live. I think that is one of the most important lessons I have learned from my brother.

I only wish that the lesson hadn’t come at such a high price.

-- Dan

(photos from yesterday, and the weekend, to come eventually)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Steam Eat!

Our friend Sanj just opened a cafe bistro in New Rochelle called Steam Eat. The food is quite yummy!

Here's the Mayor of New Rochelle, Sanj, and his Dad at the grand opening ribbon cutting this past Thursday.

And here's CJ looking for more desserts!

Steam Eat
179 Main Street,
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Phone: 914-355-2063

Friday, October 19, 2007

At play and on tour

A week ago, we visited with Stefanie and Karen and their families. Stefanie and Karen worked with Dan at the American Cancer Society (and are still with ACS).

The kids all got along quite well.

After brunch at Stefanie's, we went to a nearby park and zoo in Teaneck, NJ. CJ had a good time scouting out the new playground.

And all four kids got in some good Halloween practice.

Last Tuesday, Meg and Aunt Annie took CJ to places they associate with their grandmother Naomi. Here they are at the Landmark Inn in Warwick, New York. CJ was puzzled by the old doors that had been used to create a patchwork ceiling in the main dining room. As Meg and Aunt Annie reminisced, CJ spent most of the meal looking up!

We then proceeded to the hamlet of Cragsmoor, an artists' colony begun in the 19th century, to go to the 1830s mountaintop farmhouse where Naomi lived in the summer. The outhouse was gone, as was the well and flagpole, and everything looked a wee bit smaller than we remembered, but seeing the house brought back many happy memories.

Here is Aunt Annie on the porch giving some pointers to CJ on how to rock.

Unfortunately, the dozen "No Tresspassing" signs prohibited us from visiting Chetolah, the summer estate just down the road from Naomi's that was built by artist George Inness Jr. and was the focal point of the artists' colony at the turn of the 20th century. As children, we loved to play at the mansion and surrounding grounds. Especially in its dilapidated state, it was fun to explore and imagine what living there must have been like. However, we were able to visit the local library and look at photographs and other documents of the mansion in its heyday. It was indeed a magical place.