Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 1st round of visiting

the newly weds, Debbie and Mike, with our excited little monkey

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chanukah Tzedakah

We have some chanukah pictures to upload, and stories to tell (involving water taxis, humourous catastrophes, and more wingy zachary).

But right now I just want to direct people to the right side of the page. This year we're giving a set amount of money each night to a different non-profit organization. There are a lot of different ways to decide where to give - but we figured this year the slightly arbitrary "Toddler-Based Selection" wasn't such a bad method. I mean, we do some vetting of course ;) It isn't a huge amount of money, but is an important addition to our holiday while stories play on the radio about people going into debt to have "the right kind of holiday". Even Zachary, who hasn't had an expectations of giant piles of gifts, asks for "More presents! Open!"... and no doubt my first response is "I should get him more stuff!"... but then I realize there might be some different lessons we'd like him to learn.

Happy Chanukah to everyone! Humourous pictures to follow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Look at that chin on the table. Stretching to see his favourite part of the Shabbat B'yachad (kids) service.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Best part of bedtime tonight

Its a close call between: "Square cookie please!" (he is currently hooked on saltines, and learned at daycare to call crackers cookies. Which is fine with us, because its easy to be like... oooooh... I guess you can have another cookie.... when its a saltine. we call that win/win parenting ;>)


the fact that he played the later part of bedtime playing "catch the imaginary circle ball". He bounced them off the wall. He caught them. He shared them. He put them in Mark's pocket to keep safe before bed.

Friday, December 4, 2009


We were sitting finishing up dinner at the table. Mark, for reasons that still are not clear, pretended to close his eyes and fall asleep. Zachary leaned in close to see what was going on... and Mark opened his eyes and went "Boo!". Zachary jumped a mile high and splashed some water on the table, I jumped, much laughter ensued. We explained to Zachary it was a joke! "Joke! Joke.. Joke!" There was some reenacting.

Then Mark pretended to close his eyes again.

And as he opened his eyes to speak normally, commonly known as the "psych out", Zachary threw his water all over Mark, cracked up, and yelled "JOKE!"



Best Interview Since Oprah/Palin

We think you'll agree.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Banana + Bike = Happy Boy

Banana Bike Boy
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

His two favorite things, both starting with B. He's eating us out of house & banana. The trip to the grocery store with the shopping cart a few pictures ago? To go get bananas.

Oh, also he appears to think this is a jungle gym, not a bike. So he doesn't realize his favorite things start with the same letters. ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

supermarket sweep

Z has the right idea. I was about to pop him into the seat on the shopping cart/trolly when a little girl rolled up with a kids size version. Z was sold. He wheeled it all around the store (only needing some supervision) putting in the shopping. Also he can run much faster when he's holding onto a wheeled stabilizer, zooom!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Family Together

This is one of a series of the three of us on our laptops. Sarah was writing an email, I was working on an abstract and Z wanted to be in the middle with "my one". He was fascinated by Sarah's 160 words a minute typing, so he played alphababy very gentle tapping the keys and naming the shapes.

Thanksgiving fun

Pre-thanksgiving, we went to see the balloons, Z thought they were very exciting. The next day we watched the Macys parade on the TV which he also thought was great. He danced to several marching bands, YoGabbaGabba and the rockettes.

Oh and the Dino-topiary was roar-tastic.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stalling bedtime

has become a regular occurrence in Zachary's routine. But sometimes it's so funny and cute that we just go with it. This is a classic bathtime stall, he knows if he doesn't get out of the bath I can't dry him off, get him into his PJs and ready for his bedtime book, milk and bunnies. But winging the balls around the bathtub has become a favourite hobby, he calls it circles.

and the answer was...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

(Great) Auntie Marilyn gave Zachary this book "Before I go to sleep". It is sweet, and we've been using it as part of his bedtime routine. The child in the book has a (very tiny) adventure (in his mind) as s/he drifts off to sleep. Near the end, it says something like "We're almost home now". And tonight, Zachary looks up with a grin and says "Daddy, home. Mommy, home."

Sometimes he just swallows up my heart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

My favorite new vocabulary words

Chocolate and kiloparsec, for obvious reasons.

Turns out if both parents are chocolate fiends, your children might be too. What's funny is the look of michevious pleasure he gets when he says it. Like he knows exactly how deliciously naughty and fantastic chocolate is.

And kiloparsec was important because it was a point of clarification in a book of his. It makes the unfortunate blunder of saying that the sun is at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Which isn't true at all. Sag A* is at the center of our galaxy (also a supermassive black hole). And although the sun is in the *disk* of the galaxy, it is 8 kiloparsecs (about half way) between the center and the edge of the milky way. The sun is at the center of the solar system. Our solar system. Named because of.. you know... the SUN at the center of it....

I mean geesh. Was that so confusing? ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gold shoes go with everything

the shoes complete the outfit
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

I was in the kitchen cooking and wearing my apron. Z & Mark got home from the park and Zachary immediately requested his apron. He wandered to the mirror in our bedroom to preen over his lovely self and noticed my shoes sitting behind him. Well obviously that's what was missing.

Strongbad + the Exploding Pound

Pre-swimming lunch consisted of Z requesting Strongbad's techno on repeat. This is a genetic flaw he's inherited from Mark and we will not speak of it again.

That, and practicing his exploding pound.

If we ever move to the suburbs, we're going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blog That. Right now

I walk in to go to bed. Zachary is, like he always is, rotated 90 degrees to normal and half off the bed.

And then I realize.

He's aligning north / south.

Maybe we should just rotate the bed.

Maybe he's magnetic.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You have to watch them both....

or at least part of them.

So here is what Z is watching: my old friend David P. juggling

(this is an audition video. Those of you in the know might recognize the UCSC performance space).

And Z, inspired.

I mean, until he remembers the animal train.

For Aunt Debbie & Uncle Mike

Also so you can see the chaos that is our home. This is from a few weeks ago (october 3rd to be precise). More to follow.

Two is such a surprising age

Last night I came home tired. More tired than I expected to be. And hungry. This is always an error because lets be honest - I wish my wife came home early and had dinner ready and waiting when I got home. But she doesn't. SLACKER. Ha. Instead we're all home tumbly tired at the same time and trying to hold it together just long enough to get fed or feed or whatever. My point is we're clearly *all* on best behavior. He was being 2 and I was being 32 and I guess my point is we were obviously CHARMING. charming charming charming. And tired.

And then you know what? We redeemed ourselves. I told Zachary no books at dinner (who has to tell a 2 year old no books at dinner? I feel like such a shrew) so I asked him about his day instead. We had a lovely chat about it, and I definitely understood at least part of it. There was gesturing. Some pasta might have been lost. Then we read "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!"... twice. The second time as I flipped to the title page he pointed at "Now" and said "Now!"

And I blinked.

And he grinned.

And I was like "Ok, we're not going to talk about that because seriously. I can not handle the thought of you reading right now. You were only born yesterday and I suck at integrals. Slow it down mister."

Really he's mostly loving to echo words and cracks himself up when he tries to use them. He is a VORACIOUS book-listener which is pretty fun. We're trying to diversify. We're raiding the paperbook shelf (those are the big kid books, versus the board books) for increasing complexity. And humour. And generally having fun.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nothing to report...

Sure, we promise to upload some stuff soon. Honest to goodness.

Zachary begged to go swimming today, after seeing folks in swimwear headed down to the pool. A little funny, because the last round with the pool left us thinking he was a bit ... nonplussed about the whole swim adventure. Not this time. Mark (working well above his pay grade) carried Zachary on his back while he swam laps. There was frolicking. They also have some floating kickboards, so Zachary employed one for its designed use (kicking) and floating. His vocabulary has been busy (Pterydactyl, anyone?). He's well in charge of his environment, and knows clearly what he wants. Except, you know, when he's lying on the floor losing his crap and thrashing about violently. Par for the toddler course. Oh right! And he reenacted the kickboard antics with the cookie cooling rack in the kitchen (sans cookies - sad, because cookies are delicious. Happy, because that would have been a giant freaking mess.)

I'm applying for jobs. Fall is coming. Squash type breads and pies are being made. Dark is coming early. All the same but different.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thanks Sage!

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

With the football shirt and the 2 empty pitchers he's looking like a frat boy in training. To be fair really he was learning to hear the sea, like with shells but not.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A few short stories.

First: Tonight Zachary said challah. And took Sarah by the hand as she walked through the door to the oven. Where are freshly baked challah was sitting cooling on the top. He then turned on the oven light to indicate where it had been.

Second: Cecelia, was so proud. Jay started daycare last week, he's another addition to the two year old boy posse she's collecting. He was crying and crying, and Z walks up to him and says "Daddies working" pause "come back" and this fixed it. Jay has not cried since, because his dad is working but he will be coming back to pick him up. Zachary two year old to two year old talk did the trick.

Third: Leaving daycare yesterday. Zachary one hand clutching crackers and the other cradling a sippy cup. We got to the front steps and as I went to put my hand out to help him down, he just poof stepped no hand rail, no parental units hand. And continued all the way t the street. Now we're in for real trouble.

Four: Everyone at daycare thought that dry ice in hot water was the coolest halloween trick EVER.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Because I'm so stressed out my eyes are bulging....

Since we've gotten back from California, Zachary has developed the charming habit of early morning waking. At first it was between 1:30am-2:00am (unacceptable, and very funny). Its drifted towards 6:15am (still unacceptable, especially since it often ends in NO MORE SLEEP, but better than 1:30am). After screaming his discontent that he's awake (I hear that...) he wanders through the house, explains to us that its dark (Yes. Because all the other children ARE ASLEEP), asks to use the potty, reads books, goes to have his first breakfast/last snack/some idiotic meal involving string cheese and bunny graham crackers. If we are *VERY* lucky he goes back to sleep. Less lucky? Mark sleeps on the couch while Z dumps every single toy he owns onto the floor. Sorry downstairs neighbors.

Reading back through that, it doesn't sound cute. Not at all. But it is. I promise.

Weaning (which is apparently going without him even being that bothered) is going incredibly well. It turns out I'm happy to parent, as long as I don't feel irreplaceable. I've never been so glad to not be special in my entire life. Ah, it turns out I could only hand over control to biology for so long. He seems none the worse for wear, and I am much cheerier.

In other words, we've incorporated a bedtime snack in hopes of keeping him asleep longer. A glass of milk and "bunnies" (the above bunny graham crackers). If we forget, he points into his mouth and says "Bunnies! Milk!" and then sits on the floor and uses the cadbury's roses tin as his snack table.

See? Silly cute.

some pictures are up

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

it's late but there are some funny daycare stories to come.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

champion of sleep

We made it back to New York, yay! And Zachary, slept almost the whole way. He fell asleep in my arms as I carried him home from dinner at Lillian's restaurant . We transferred him smoothly into the car, and from the car to the wheels at the airport, without the slightest break in his snoring. Even the TSA crazy rules "no you'll have to take the sleeping baby out of the seat and bring him through the detector with no shoes", nor carrying him out onto the tarmac and up the steps onto the plane, nor take off could wake this very tired boy. He woke up briefly as we deplaned, and picked up our luggage. He bounced around in the cab "ta-xi, ta-xi" for roughly a minute before passing out for the whole ride home, and into our apartment where we left him for another few hours.

stil asleep
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Friday, October 9, 2009

and then we got trapped on the C train....

But first? First we went to simchat torah, which was incredible fun. There was dancing. And coffee cake. And apple juice. (You might guess who was in particular impressed by the last two. Oh, you're right. It was Mark..) Did I mention the dancing? With this intense but wonderful klezmer-ish band and pretty pure chaos. Fun was had, all our legs are tired. We schlepped home. And when the C train pulled into our station (it terminates there - The doors opened. We wrestled our screaming toddler into his stroller. And as our front stroller wheels approached the doors ... they closed. Huh. That's unusual. I mean, they close eventually. But we're talking like less than a minute after getting into the station. Ok, there was wrestling, but we really weren't dawdling. A nice lady on the outside of the train gestured wildly for them to open them. The train jerked forward. Hm. More wild gesturing. An official looking man wandered over. More hand waving. Another small lurch of the train. I idly entertained yanking the emergency break. I wondered how far we'd get before someone cared. We had snacks. I was pretty sure the train just turned around and pulled back into the station on the other track. Pretty sure. Definitely at least 60% confident. Hm. Eventually they got a door open for us.

We're flying to California tomorrow for Debbie's wedding! We're even a little packed, although certainly nothing like *really* packed. Blogging might be sparse, but EVERYONE WILL BE IN CALIFORNIA. And Zachary is turning 2. Holy heck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Today, I put our bed frame back together. And Zachary helped. he was really interested in my tool box, and digging through all the sharp point things; screws, nails, tacks, etc. So I gave him the 5 of the 6 screws, I was using, telling him "hold on tight to these, and let me have them when I ask". He took a few steps back from the work area, and a few more as I started drilling the screw into the planks. A sensible boy, to move away from the loud and unknown. Then I stopped, looked up and over he toddled, holding the next one I needed with an outstretched arm. And so it went on, until the bed was made. Then Zachary promptly climbed up onto the mattress and did a victory lap or three.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


it turns out is not just food, its a complete experience...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zachary says "cuh"

that's right he just got a whole new consonant. Suddenly, book, duck and quack are words he can manage. And he just said the names of several animals in his "where's spot?" book. We haven't even read it before. He just knows what a monkey (or crocodile or penguin) look like. Last week on the bus to the pick up the CSA he pointed to a little girl (maybe 5 or 6) and said "monkey". She was carrying a cuddly toy monkey, and it turn out a mini toy cat. Which she shared with him, as he bounced on his seat saying "cat, cat" and "meow". Again, all parentally unprompted. He is really engaging with the world, and starting to figure things out by himself, its so great to watch.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zachary and his pink chalk

Much like Harold Zachary drew where ever he went, you could trace his path across the rocks from the pink. A great find, the pink chalk, we left it at the playground for other kids to play with.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nanny Nikki

Zachary had a great time this weekend. We took a trip to south Jersey, for Jen and Brendan's wedding, and Nikki was kind enough to volunteer as nanny for the duration. He really is getting to be a better car passenger since he hardly fussed at all. And he seemed to do really well with Nikki while we were off at the wedding.
They spent about an hour switching the hotel room's a/c on and then pretending to get blown across the room. They watched a little football, had some pizza, and then he passed out while watching a cartoon.
On sunday, we stopped by a flea market. Now, as it happens, Zachary has recently been interested in both coinage and his pockets. And he happened to be carrying 50 cents in his pocket when he came across a battered up matchbox police vehicle he could not live without. He later learned from NIkki, on the long drive home, it was called a "po po car" (slang for police, from california).

Farran's 2nd Birthday

very naught boys
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Was a week or 2 ago, and they had a party for him at daycare. This is the naughty boys, up to mischief, dancing on the table.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Toddler Triathalon

Last night we were getting settled in for the evening and idly chasing Zachary towards the bath when he scampered with intent up the couch. We watched to see what sort of michief was in the works. Its never worth a pre-bath tantrum unless danger is imminent. Zachary carefully moved several couch cushions until he found what he was looking for - the cat flicker. Ah. And started to wave it wildly in the air.
Ok. That's fine. As long as nobody loses an eye.

We managed to lure him to the safety of the hallway where he proceeded to chase Mark & I back and forth for as long as it took to tire him out. And then he got his soccer ball. And kicked that up and down the hall until he literally collapsed. He actually had quite good aim with the cat flicker, managing to smack several hallway decorative features (like the fire alarm. Hmm....).

Although he crawled into bed with us at 4am, he slept through till 7:30am pretty well.

We might be on to something here.

He is also cutting his two year old molars. There seems to be less shrieking than the last teeth. This morning leaving the house was cataclysmic though, so its hard to say. He is much more clear about what is uncomfortable, so I guess we'll be grateful for that.

Oh! And he didn't nurse before bed. He asked for a snack, then gathered up his animals and headed to bed. By himself.

He might go to college alone after all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nana Daddy Uh oh

"Mark? Did Zachary eat a banana but drop part of it somewhere?"
*awkward pause*

"Yes? He dropped it crossing the street so we couldn't go back. How did you know?"

(flashback four minutes)

Mark & Zachary got home yesterday from picking up CSA veg. It was a toddler meltdown. He was obviously hungry, and past the point of caring. I scooped him up from the hallway as he lost it at top volume and by the time we were half way in the house the chorus of "Baba!" demands were coming fast & furious between the sniffles. "Don't you want some dinner?" *sobsobsob* "BABA!" "Fine. You can nurse for 1 minute before you have some dinner" *snifflesniffle*

So we sat on the couch to calm down. And I'm asking what he wants for dinner, and what he ate at daycare, and other miscellaneous food related babble to encourage him to move on to dinner. And he looks up and goes "Nana!" and points to his mouth.

Now, we're trying hard to encourage Zachary to "use his words". Because he has them. Really he does. But frankly he communicates pretty well without full sentences. So we've been trying to encourage him to string things together, and trying to respond quite as quickly even though we generally get the gist of what he's going for. But its a tricky balance. Because being 2 is frustrating enough.

"Ah! You want a banana?"
*headshake no*

"Did you eat a banana?"


"Yum. At daycare?"

*headshake no* (which is funny, because he is QUITE able to say no)


"Ah, Daddy gave you a banana?"

*headshake yes*

"Uh oh!!" *wild hand motioning off to one side*

*puzzled look on mommy's face*

"It fell down? Did part of it fall down?"

*vigorous nod*

"Nana daddy uh oh!!!"

(flash forward)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Zachary got to stay up tonight to see Sarah arrive home. We were both happy to see her. He got to tell her all about our adventures this weekend, haha, including his first deep fried oreo, at the festival of San Gennaro (another Ray and Mort Street Fair). Which we happened across as we passed through little Italy on Saturday.
Today we played at 1st street park on the lower eastside. He watched some older kids serving imaginary pizza and ice cream. Then later on, I was leaning on the "counter" watching him and he came over and served me. I asked if it was pizza or ice cream, and was told "both" :-) Then he had some, and I must of finished 'cos we both had seconds, thirds and maybe even forths. Good thing imaginary food is so low in calories.

On the subway home (he is such a good boy riding the trains now) we bumped into Rob (Pearl's dad). We chatted and as we got off the A train at 168th st, Z took my hand and then Robs, and climbed All the stairs to the street and sang to himself as we walked ALL the way to Haven Ave. He was adorable with his happy groove, just singing and walking, walking and singing.

Tonight he went to sleep clutching his new ball. A half size, football from the Marseille team l'OM.

the preflash made him pull a face and let go of the ball. I'm such a mean Dad, must never forget the rule "Don't wake the sleeping baby".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Zachary likes climbing into boxes. You seen the pictures, and now here is a movie from a little while back. He loved the packing peanuts too. Tonight he pretty much unpacked the fresh direct order, by himself. He just kept going back to the box, and bringing me the next item to put away. But once emptied, the box was his. He stood in it, he sat, he lay down, he closed it, he opened it, he even found the divider and used it as a seat belt.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

hyped up and ready for bed?

On labor day, I took Z to the little red lighthouse. We ran around on the grass, watched some tennis, chased some dogs, threw stones in a rock pool and then into the hudson. We read "the little red lighthouse and the great gray bridge, don't worry I wasn't the only dorky parent doing it. We saw our apartment building, from the outside, and lots of cars as we crossed under and over the various roads and hughways to get to the park. All this, and the 2 new teeth (FINALLY) has lead to a uber chipper and excitable young boy.

This little trip, came about because Zachary suddenly likes story books. Up until now he has been into "moo, baa, la" or "abc" books. But last night, we read him the aforementioned book. And he sat on the couch captivated.

He also got up to some naughtiness with Sarah, in the morning, while I was working. They went out for a walk and coming back into the lobby he threw the ball towards the front desk. But Mum instincts kicked in, and rather than follow the flight of the ball, she saw him out of the corner of her eye, turn 180 and dash back towards the doors, the street, and of course the cars. She caught up with him before he got to far but he really is getting both speedy and tricksey.

Dinner Party

We had Nikki and Ryan over for dinner last week. It must be the soothing scotts accent because while Sarah and I were chatting to Nikki in the Kitchen. Z got a book, climbed up on the couch next to Ryan and sungled up to read with him. How adorable is that!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Morning Madness

Ok, it wasn't mad at all. Funny, though.

I leave tonight for France for a few days. Lots to do, was mostly lying in bed trying not to get up this morning. I've been trying to discourage Z from coming to bed at crazy hours with us - his teething+sick got intense a few days back (one, possibly two of those eye teeth [i-teeth as in incisors?] - finally through! Thank heavens)... Now that I think he's suffering less, we've been trying to keep him in his own bed. But at about 6:20am he comes and begs to nurse. I say no, he throws a bit of a fit and gets over it (yay) but of course... then he's up. Mark manages to distract him with a cheese stick (which he brings back to bed). Still not convinced that he's interested, Zachary pops off our bed with the cheesestick and marches purposefully out of the bedroom. Mark and I wait quietly... he is capable of entertaining himself, right? Our house isn't too dangerous.... but it is too quiet in the living room. He's probably eaten one of the cats or started a fire or something. Mark goes to check, giggles, and motions me to get up. Zachary has ensconced himself on the couch, pulled a quilt over his lap, and his patting this giant anthology of children's stories.


"Do you want to read a story?"

(vigorous nodding. Giant book pulled onto lap. vigorous patting of couch indicating parental sitting)

Right. Got it. I guess its morning now. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy thursday!

Thanks mom. You totally cursed me with the swine flu. Just thought you should know. ;)

Ok, maybe not the swine flu. But a fever, a bit, and a sore throat. Oy. Toddler = all sorts of illnesses. Not Z. He might have been a little under the weather this weekend, but he's chipper and sound asleep (perhaps not at the same time) now. Mark is off at Brookhaven doing wonderful science, and I'm holding down the fort.

The start of our week was pretty funny. Zachary had fun at the wedding. He was a little fussy, but we just wrote it off to dragging him around and trying to convince him to sit through a wedding.

Tuesday broke and he... screamed. No joke. It was awesome. Morning isn't usually traumatic. He actually cried in his stroller as we headed to daycare. Like the sky was falling. Humourously, he stopped crying long enough to say hello to everyone in our lobby. Red faced, tears dripping everywhere. Big smile on his face. Till we walked out the door then right back to the screaming. *sigh* Could someone mail us shirts that say "We aren't actually torturing him right at this very moment"..? That would help, thanks.

Wednesday morning was pretty much like a comedy sketch. He asked Mark for an umbrella as we were getting ready to leave. Then he asked for his baseball cap. He pulled the cap on low over his eyes, shook open the umbrella.... and started to walk. He was actually quite clever about it. He used the umbrella like cat whiskers and bounced against the walls. He managed to stay upright. He shuffled into the elevator, which was of course full of people. I had a lovely conversation with a woman wearing her baby girl. It went something like this : "Oh, she's so cute! How old is she?" "Thanks! Eleven months! How old is your..." "Umbrella? He's almost two."

We got downstairs and Zachary ran like a cannonball all the way till he got to the desk. He said hallo to Felicia, and then as we reached the first set of doors he stopped. He carefully raised his hand up so he could hold the edge of the umbrella and Mark's hand at the same time. And then proceeded onward.

I'm proud to say at no time did I pee in my pants laughing.

Eventually the umbrella got put away, because really, it does impede street navigation when only 3 feet off the ground. Sort of like one of those mushroom thingies in pinball. Except its moving.

He might be crazy, but at least he's entertaining.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Great-Great Aunt Claire's wedding

That's right today, we got to hang out in NJ for Claire and Newt's wedding ceremony. It was wonderful. Zachary had a blast on the train and even more fun in the pond. Agua, Ball. Oh and Mud!

lunchtime #2
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Monday, August 24, 2009

Making friends

Rudi and Z on the slide
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Zachary made a friend at the park named Rudy. He is three, and just enough ahead of Z that he got to teach him also sorts of fun and naughty tricks. Like swinging from the bar just above the slide. And lying in puddles, oh wait that was Z's trick!

It was quite incredible really, that Zachary chased, climbed , and ran in the sprinklers with Rudy for well over an hour. They clearly got along, and yet hardly communicated. Apart from Zachary's non-verbal patting the slide, when Rudy was leaning on him to get him to go first. But later on they switched placed and Z learned to lean on him to get him to go.

The sprinklers are a little strong for Zachary at the 173rd park. Rudy ran through the middle, while Zachary played on the edges and started to call "roo dee, ROO DEE" to get his attention.
v. cute.

All in all, quite cool to watch, particularly as Rudy came over to say bye but really just to try and stop his new friend from leaving.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seriously, universe?

Zachary has had this wild rash for the last few days. We initially thought it was heat rash (it has been intensely warm and humid here) but surprise! I'm going to guess viral. No,no, he's fine. None of his extremities have fallen off and although he might have briefly had a fever it wasn't high.

Mark, however, has 102.

*thuds head on floor*

Thank you, yes, ... Oh. Duh. Thank you interwebz.

It very well could be a post croup bout of roseola. Whatever, our baby always gets the rashes. No matter what the illness. Rash. Poof.

Ok, I'm going to sleep so when the ill-twins wake up, both cranky, I'm rested.

Upside? Some science might have fallen out of my meeting this week. So that's pretty great. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


running in the sprinklers #5
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Z really has his run on now. And his words are exploding, he says "Judy" "Mike" "Debbie" "Rabbi"(this might be Rabbit it's still unclear). he is also saying "pleaZZe" and "gracias". And all the time there is more. It also turns out he knows (possibly) more Spanish than English. As proved by the conversation he recently had with a friend of Sarah's.

where's Zachary?

where is Zachary?
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

I've encourage him into this a few times,with limited success. Last night he got in all on his own, and pulled it all the way closed.

daredevil with a jiggle

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How cute are we??

You're pretty darned cute. Both of you.

The first of many

Mini and Dino book
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Zachary and I are back from California. Lots of pictures are on my parent's cameras, or my sister's, or who knows what. But here are a few to start you off, along with the stories that go with them.

This is Z's california car. We found it in a second hand baby things store (see below). It was amazing. PS? It is a mini. I swear. He's not even two, and he's already had a fancier car than I have ever had. Oy. Bad precedent.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Music time with Grandpa Michael

Originally uploaded by Niais

Greetings from the golden west!

Look, I don't suck. I'm UPLOADING CONTENT. Ok, new improved content will be soon. None of this is moving. And let me tell you, the moving is damned funny. We're having a great deal of fun out in California. Zachary has chosen this charming location as the place to give birth to his last two teeth. Dear god in heaven. If every child teethed in this way THE SKY WOULD FALL. Several times before thursday. He literally throws himself around as if he's having a tooth related seizure. He nursed for two days (and nights) straight before I finally had the sense/cruelty/soretenderbits to say ENOUGH. Oh, also probably because I finally rested for a second and then was like, where the heck is that motrin? And sorry kid, but the boobies will fall off eventually. So far tonight he's surviving. You think we'd be better at this by the last two teeth, yet somehow every time is a surprise.

In other news... water is awesome, he spends a lot of time reenacting things physically (visual storytelling - hilarious). And we found the BEST TOY EVER at a second hand toy store today. It must be european, because the weight limit is in kilos. It is a super red ride on mini shuffle car. Oh my gosh. Its amazing. I want one. But I weigh more than 23 kilos. Bugger. There will be pictures. But there are not yet.

Also, in the wet pictures? Zachary kept running up, handing me water, asking me to pour it on him, then running away. While cackling hysterically. I think its fair to say he's having fun.

Tomorrow, to gilroy. To replace the shoes he has worn holes in. I'm hoping we can convince him to take some upgrades. Because we've stopped being able to convince people that we are not stingy child abusers. Even though they concede the flames are cool.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sarah and Z left early this morning for California. And I had the first lie in in many months. Sleep wow. On another note, Sarah's podcast about NASA ballooning is now up at 365 days of astronomy

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

hangin out

hangin out
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Yeah. See? I told you we'd get there in the end.

This is the newest thing. He's all about the monkeying. Tonight he crawled into the laundry basket (the springy tunnel one) and rolled and rolled around. He climbed to the top of the couch to pretend to be one of the cats. And then he double back flipped into the bath! Just kidding. But Mark has been working on trying to get him to rollypolly (or forward somersault) on the carpet. Currently he tends to end up on his back, facing the ceiling after rolling sideways.

Remain calm!

All is well.
The croup has (mostly) passed. Ugh. It was a bit of a nightmare, but we're almost all sleeping some of the night now. Zachary actually spun in a circle he was so excited to go back to daycare. We managed to not spin. But we were pretty damn excited.
We had internet ridiculousness at home, so we haven't been able to get online. Hopefully pictures in the next day or two.

We've been working on Z saying "Please". It is the funniest thing ever. For a while he'd only say "puhhhhhh" in this really breathy funny voice. Sort of "Please sir, can I have some more" sort of pleading, with less sound. Hysterical. Now he intersperses "PUHLEEEEE" as a complement for when he's very excited for something he's asking for. Did I mention? Hysterical.

Z and I are off to California on thursday. The packing has begun. Mark has given me permission to let him watch tv (we're flying virgin america) if the endless stickers, markers, and books do not work. Thank goodness. Suddenly I'm thinking flying with him on my lap is BATSHIT CRAZY. I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

whoop whoop it's the croup

Yup, Z has his good old wheeze back. But this time the strider is from parainfluenza inflaming his larynx. But he is in the majority (9/10) kids under 5 to have had serotype 3. Whoop whoop, hitting those milestones, you have to be funny when your this knackered.

As for real milestone he has suddenly started repeating, or at least attempting to repeat, words we say, much more frequently than previously. Today we got whoop, and yesterday it was monkey. He is finally stringing the few words he knows together too, with encouragement, so we get "more please" not just "MORE", well sometimes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Conspiracy

Another lovely weekend

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Really, it has gotten ridiculous. The weather this weekend has been spectacular. Totally unseasonal. By that I mean.. sunny. Without the sticky. Which for late july is beyond unseasonable. Wacky.

We had a nice visit with the Rosenbergs (sans Barry) and Cousin Nathan. That would explain the spectacular view in this (and several other) photographs. It was the perfect morning for loitering on the balcony.

We had a lovely stroll through central park. It was actually a bit quiet, I'd suspect because most New Yorkers have fled to the hamptons, or the vineyard, or really anywhere but here. They're all sitting in traffic as we speak, so :P to them. It was lovely to see the cousins and share New York. We're even starting to get excited about our California adventure in under two weeks.

Monday, July 13, 2009


playing at the beach
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

We spent this weekend visiting friends in Connecticut, just outside of New Haven. Guilford, to be precise. And wow. Fireworks. Wow. Zachary loved them. We loved them. It was stupendous. We sat in Eilat & Yaniv's backyard and.. wow. I also love that it is a small enough town that they set them off ten minutes early to beat the impending rain.

We spent some quality time at the beach enjoying Long Island Sound. Zachary experimented with seaweed, salt water, and the ever popular pastime of returning rocks to the sea.

We also enjoyed some of the best french toast ever. We hear the sandwiches are pretty unbeatable too.

Zachary is also full of words. Berry. He's now starting to demand berries. I CAN NOT MAKE BERRIES APPEAR AS IF MAGIC, CHILD. I may have said this loudly to him on the train home sunday afternoon. Hard to know. Apparently no one was rude enough to call child services. Thank goodness for small blessings. Oh, right. And no. He might have discovered No. He's saying it as if he's savoring it. Then he looks at us with a look I can only describe as saucy.

And he hugs with abandon. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than being hugged with abandon. We should all work on that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Zachary is not only having a doll phase but is grouping and matching too. Yesterday, he pointed at his tiger toy and then at Linus, back at the toy and then Willow. Today, he lion on his jimjams got kisses. Totally cute. Also his vocabulary is suddenly starting to expand again. And he is most definitely trying to repeat some of the words we say to him.

tiger meet lion
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Monday, July 6, 2009

Let's Go Yankees (Staten Island, that is...)

minor league baseball is the best
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Yesterday we had an absolute blast at a Staten Island Yankees game. Zachary loved the ferry ride both ways. He showed his spaceman toy all of the passing boats. He's in a super intense doll phase. He has a little plastic tiger, and he offered him almost every bite of dinner tonight. Z also fell in love with Scooter. The "Holy Cow". One of the mascots for the SI yankees. We ended up borrowing seats way up towards the front by third base. Scooter came by several times to dance on top of the dugout and every time Z was frozen in admiration. It was unbelievable.

It was a big day of learning. He learned to yell "Charge!" (although usually a little late). He learned to clap along with the cheers. And he watched the baseball with SUCH INTENSITY through the entire thing. I sort of expected he would just want to run around. But he climbed down the stairs to the very front and stayed surprisingly focused. Apparently he was taking notes. This afternoon when we got home he asked for a ball and ran to the hallway to play "throw". The catching? That might take one more baseball game to learn.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Big fun on the fourth of july

Today we made a pilgrimage down to battery park. River to River had a free concert down there which generally involves a massive amount of barricades, but does bring free music out. We couldn't do much seeing of the stage, but without having to go in we could hear everything. I'd only recently been introduced to the band Rilo Kiley, but it turns out their lead singer has a new album out. We all rocked out and ran around the Park. Zachary had fun climbing, trying to eat flowers, bossing people around, and diving face first off of my ankles. It isn't obvious why the last one was fun, but we'll just call it my exercise for the day. The subway ride home with one cranky and tired out toddler was awesome, as always. It resulted in the picture you see below, as well as several attempted breaks for freedom while we waited for the train to leave the station (The 1 train starts at South Ferry, so waits with the doors open until its ready to go).

Tomorrow we're going to a staten island yankees game, so stay tuned.

subway bum

subway bum
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

in the cat bed

in the cat bed
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Shake it

One of our laundry baskets was in the living room upside down.

Zachary marched in and positioned it near our couch.

He very deliberately climbed on top of it and stood up. He made sure he was centered.

And then he did the toddler booty shake dance. Cracked himself up. And carefully climbed down again and ran off.

I'm pretty sure that being a toddler is like being a reality tv star. You have no doubt that you deserve to be the center of the universe. Scratch that. You have no doubt you ARE the center of the universe. And the star of a movie. All about you. And that movie is DAMN FUNNY.

I wonder what his soundtrack is?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I don't want to say this out loud...

but he just went to bed. On his own. Without screaming. Without being carried.

He went to his bookshelf. He picked a stuffed animal and a book and marched to his bedroom.

He's in there with Mark now. There is still no screaming.

*holds breath* We'll see.

Edit (mark): I was in there for a full hour and a half before he finally dropped off. Doubling the 45 minutes or less for the last 3 days. HA!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A dangerous toy

This is Z playing the "kidsPhone" app on Professor Kennywenny's iPhone.

Asleep on his bed

well almost. He started out, flat on his tummy. But when we headed into the bedroom, here he was.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stealing noses

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Z made friends with the Nikki (the Bride's) new nephew, Josh, who flew in all the way from Scotland.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finally Home

Sarah is Back! whhhheeeee! Last weekend was busy, hence the blog silence, it t'was a weekend o'wedding; 3 brides, 3 different events. Friday Anne got married, Saturday Nikki got the bachelorette treatment, and a Sunday bridal shower for Jen.

On monday, Zachary refused, and I mean REFUSED, to let me take off his PJ top. To be fair it is his favorite. It has a police car, an ambulance and a fire truck. He likes to point at each one in turn and say NeeNaw NeeNAW. Unfortunately, his new trick, the elbow lock, is generally employed to block us from scooping him up, but in this case I could not get his pajamas shirt off, no matter what tricks I tried. So eventually, I threw a clean t-shrt in his bag, and off we went to daycare. I explained all this to Cecelia. And said she should swap him into the clean shirt when she got a chance.


I arrived to pick up Z. And yes he still had on the PJ top. Apparently he had proudly pointed to his chest saying NeeNaw all day. Cecelia had tried, several times, to take it off but also failed. So home we went, clean t-shist and slightly smelly boy. In the end, it took a big bubble bath to convinced him to remove the NeeNaw shirt. Bubbles, suddenly he is a big fan! 23 hours in one shirt = gross.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Other Baby

Well, I didn't think it would happen. Which perhaps makes flying the ballon a lot like having a baby. Although this time we had reached the place where it was almost possible we *wouldn't* fly it. Erg. The thought made me die a little. But, TADA. Balloon flown. We launched just before noon on Monday. They brought us down just after 9am Tuesday morning. The launch was a little rough, but it didn't appear to cause problems with our functionality. Here is a video of the launch (or embedded below) courtesy of the other group still waiting in fort sumner (Good luck, guys!). I'm headed to New York for a few days, then back to pack up.

FIREBall launch from asad137 on Vimeo.

The payload came down in what looks like a pretty good state outside of Cedar City, Utah. Here are some pictures from our recovery team. The mirrors are intact (hooray) and I should get a look inside the spectrograph monday.

WHOO! The end. Now, just the napping and the thinking.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yaros, Hersh, Lavin, Raviv, et al Family Gathering

Eating again?
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

Much fun was had with all the family. Z has become much more out going recently and cuddle Michael's (Shana's BF) knees before climbing into his lap. He also got to climb trees, run in the grass, play on various swings and slides and learn some ball skillz, with the ensemble. He met Daniel for the first time in just over a year, and haven't they changed. Still, not completely interested in one another, there was some moments of interaction.
There was a classic when, Zachary dived in to rescue his snack cup from Daniel, sometimes Z is not a good sharer. And then moments later, after a dad *word*, Z shuffled over arm out stretched with a pretzel peace offering, which seemed to go down a treat.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Warm and wet in NY, so we went out to dolphin park, and played in the water. One of Z's favorite new games is to fill a cup and then stumble over to me, spilling most and then pouring the rest on my head. Unless I can get him to pour it on his own head instead, which mostly results in giggles.

Friday, June 5, 2009

More from the field

Yeah, we're trying to launch the balloon again in the morning. It'll be June 5th. A date which I was pretty sure I'd never have to say within a thousand miles of new mexico. Sucker.

While getting organized for a possible launch I downloaded a bunch of pictures from the work camera. Tada, blog appropriate entertainment! Zachary finds meetings fascinating ;) I particularly like this first one because he looks enthralled by Bruno.

And still we wait. Upside: we're keeping the snacks flowing. Downside: Still in New Mexico. If we reach "Old Fort Days" (do not ask, it will make you cry) we will all have to move out of the hotel because all rooms in town are booked AN ENTIRE YEAR in advance.

Back to pretending to rest. Keep hope alive ;)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Because I said I would

Grandpa got the duck out on the video chat. So Z wandered off to the bathroom and after a short rummage came back with both of his. Of course it ended up with ducks on heads!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

the mimic

His mimicking is getting quite funny. After his bath, he and I were playing with words and sounds. "a car goes vrooom";"car go vroom", which we've had before, was extended with "a train goes choochoo";"choochoo", and then "an ambulance goes neeenaw". "Beebawww", went to "deedaaahhh" and finally "neenew" as he concentrated on the shape of his mouth. Then he went to read with Granny C (yet again) and she had a quick cough to clear her throat. And there he was next to her, coughing into his own fist. Adorable. As are the new PJs he's sporting.

In other news, we've been having lots of other fun with Granny Collins. He had a ball with the mega beach ball at old navy, while I replaced several pairs of trousers all ripped in the knees (from crawling around?). And the display of coloured light he could touch, because they were in plastic sleeves, made his day. But the best bit is all the time he gets to spend reading with her.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Other Parent

Well, I'm still in New Mexico. I know, you're shocked. *I'm* shocked. Everyone is shocked. There you go.

Since I'm only able to contribute in those thrillingly traditional "absent father" ways - I've sent a new bed home, and toys, and we sometimes manage a video chat - I thought I'd pass on an interesting link that addresses just these issues:

Part One

Part two of an article/blog talking about the rising role of dads, shared parenting, and how we're all figuring it out.

It is worth a look.

Go Isotopes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A day of trauma

Yesterday, was one of Zachary's least favorite ever. In the morning we went to the Doctor's for some more of his 18 month shots. He started to fuss as we went into the room he got the vaccine in last month. He wrapped his legs around my waist and clung like a monkey. Pretty cute, and funny that he is starting to remember. The real yelling started when he got pinned down by me and the nurse, but a quick poke poke and he was done. Fortunately, I had been prepared, Mr. B. Powell would be proud, I quickly produced a fruit roll up and a toy car (Thank you Grandma Jackie) from my pocket, and with a bit a cuddle he settle down.
After Daycare, he experienced trauma number two, the barbers. I'd even asked Cecellia to recommend a good kids hair place and it turned out to be just three blocks north on B'way. The chairs have wheels, and steering wheels. There are cartoons, video games, toys and candy. But Z was having none of it. He sat and screamed for 25 minutes, while the poor guy tried his best not to injure him. Which is of course why I had not attempted to cut it myself. The barber even resorted to a gentle headlock to get at the really difficult bits. And while Z threw his trantrum, he got snot everywhere, and topping that off with the trimmings, he looked a little like a wolf boy. Think, tar and feathering. After wiping him off it still looked a little like a five o'clock shadow.
Trauma three was less sever, Bathtime is normally a pretty happy time. When I wash his hair, we get mild fuss with an oh you've stopped, that's better, fix. But for the first time he had gel, thick crunchy dried gel for taming rugged Dominican hair. so it needed a little more attention, which Z did not appreciate. But it was all worth it in the end because he woke up this morning and it just looked great. Shiney, short and ready for all his adventuring in NYC this summer.


Before I had even finished adding the seat and more. Z pushed me off to jump on his cool new ride. Once it was finished it went something like this ...

and this ...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This is the "Balloon" with the NCT payload as it got over towards Phoenix, AZ.

Note: This is NOT Sarah's balloon, just another one that launch while we were there.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Climbing Climbing Climbing Climbing

It's been lovely out so we have been stopping by the park on the way back from daycare. Partly just to give him a bit more of a run around to try and tire him out before bed. He is into climbing everything and in these 4 videos you can see his confidence and skill growing through the repetition. Going up the ladder, across the wobbling walkway and down the side. I love the bit in the longer one, where he copies the older kids and goes around the wobble bit and then sits down 'cos he hot and wants his jacket off. Also sorry, I forgot to hold the camera the right way around.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

He got it all in NM. There was a train crossing between the NASA base and the house we were staying in. And we regular stopped to watch a train go by. And last friday there was a no show for launch so instead we had the Fireball bbq. Zachary got to see a single prop plane fly in, land and taxi right passed where we were standing to the hanger. He was so excited I picked him up and we got to see and touch the plane up close. Which he thought was totally cool. And of course, his love of all cars continues. He was almost always eager to jump in the car for a ride. In fact every nap time in NM involved a car ride, oh how well he slept.

Friday, May 22, 2009

popping bubble wrap

An oldish movie of him popping bubble wrap, at Sarah's lab one afternoon while we were all hanging out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

back to even

That's right Zachary and I made it back to NYC after a serious day of traveling, 14 hours in all. And at 19 months and 19 flights, he is get to be quite a pro. He was very well behaved on both flights, with the aid of a book about kittens and puppies loaned from the 1 yr asleep in front of us on flight 18. And a matchbox CARRRHHH, fixed, instantly, the small freak out on flight 19, as he clung on to it for the next 2 hours, only letting go (and forgetting about it) as we landed. When we got to 60 Haven, I asked if he was glad to be home and got the tired repartition "home *pause* home, home". But when we came through the door all that tiredness drained away as he ran from one thing, books, to the next, toys, cats, window, touching everything, checking in with all his bits a bobs, that he remembered playing with before we went away. He was super excited about daycare this morning too. Everyone had missed him and he got lots of cuddles and played non stop with all of them. Currently, Sarah is in Carlsbad touring NM, while waiting for flight conditions to improve. Matt, Shaheen, Chris and Sarah are at the caverns again tonight, since there is a, no-show yet again, for tomorrow.

Here he is at Dallas Ft Worth terminal C. He passed out for a 2.5 hour nap, while I changed gates FOUR times during the delayed flight/layover.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

racing cars with the boys

racing cars with the boys
Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

l haven't had my camera out much this week, so here are a few from daycare.

And Sarah is coming home for Mothers Day, YAY!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Into Books

Originally uploaded by m0nk3yphd

And this is a little bit of video, Sarah took, of us reading the same book, just over a week ago. The car'plosion (2:50), and brain overload (end) are hilarious.