Saturday, October 16, 2010

Evelyn and Dilshod

Here are our friends Evelyn and Dilshod. We enjoyed getting to know them and we miss them bunches!

From Evelyn and Dilshod

Double Whammy

After months of trying, Elijah finally got the cat food AND the toilet paper on our last night in Brooklyn.

Statue of Liberty

Where Elijah whizzed in the bushes for the very first time.

Ellis Island

On our last full day in NYC we went to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

These shoes don't work

Elijah can't jump at ALL. I thought Nike shoes made you jump better, or at least jump a little.

Elijah on the slide

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Elijah Taking Steps

Funny Sandwich

I made this sandwich for Hannah. H for Hannah, N for Noel, her middle name. She came in and saw it and said "AWESOME."

She was looking at it from the side and thought it was so cool to have an IZ sandwich.

Growing Boy

Vicki Miller gave Elijah this tiny little outfit and he was so small it fit! Now look at him!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empire State Building

We went to the observation deck at the Empire State Building. There is a place across the street from the ESB where I could pivot and see 3 different Starbucks.



Then we went in.

Then we went up!


We went to the JCP at Herald Square. It's wonderful. What's so wonderful about it? It's beautiful, of course, and then there are the huge bathrooms! The family bathroom is bigger than some apartments! Well done JCP.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Saturday Night Live Character?

I know one of these pics is blurry but, you can get the idea of this character better with 2 pics than one. So this guy came with his giant silk flower that he was carrying around and sat right behind me and planted the flower beside me in such a way that it leaned into me. Then he started smoking while calling his mom on his mobile phone. He tried to con her out of money with a crazy story. She apparently didn't buy it and he yelled at her and called her all kinds of names before hanging up on her. A security guard came over and made him stop smoking.

Then he REALLY got obnoxious. He heckled the performers, calling them names and mocking their looks. He sounded exactly like Harvey Fierstein with a smoker's, raspy, NYC, gay accent. He yelled at anyone who came near him and made wild accusations that they were bumping him on purpose. When he got up for some reason, the crowd cheered and clapped at his departure then grabbed his chair and the papers he was using to dibs the chair so that he couldn't return.

He decided to stand to the right of the stage which is where he was when I took this pic. I assume that he continued his antics over there because when he left there, those people clapped and cheered.

I just have to wonder if this guy is practicing for a role on SNL or something. I have never seen anything like it. And Dallas folks, I know you probably think that NYC is filled with these sort of characters, but he was the first I've come across. So don't worry too much. Hannah was really annoyed with him, but I told her he's not feeling well and we should pray for him. I just don't know what else to tell her that this age.

A Day of Adventures

The kids and I rode into Manhattan with Paul this morning. We found a farmer's market next to Rockefeller Center. We bought cheese and a pumpkin whoopie from some Amish folks with lots of buttons, but no zippers whatsoever. I got a picture of the pumpkin whoopie, but not the Amish because I remember from watching The Witness that the Amish don't like it when you take their pictures. Then we bought juice and fruit from some run of the mill hippie types. So it was a very diverse food day.

Pumpkin Whoopies:

Yummy Apple Juice:

Then we went to Broadway in Bryant Park and caught some Broadway performances for free. Hannah liked the Marry Poppins performance best.

She made a friend there a couple of weeks ago and they played petanque after the performances were over.

Hannah and Lillian:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Walk in the Park

We took Elijah's walk behind toy to the playground and put the Walking Wings on him to keep him from toppling over. Hannah's the camera guy. I think she did a great job!

People at the Playground

Playgrounds are important here. Most apartments are small and most don't have central air conditioning. Many families spend most of their days at the playground. A playground is not the same as a park by the way. A playground generally has a fence around it and only children and people who are supervising children are supposed to be there. Inside the fence there are swings and the regular playground things. A park is a common area that anyone can enjoy. Parks are generally bigger than playgrounds and many parks have playgrounds within them.

At the playground nearest our place, we've gotten to know a few families who are pretty much there as much as the swings and the picnic tables. They might say the same thing about us!

From left to right: Lupita, Lizabeth, Hannah, Leslie, Kevin, Juana. Leslie and Kevin are twins. Lizabeth is their big sister.

Sal and his mom Juana. Juana has 5 children, Sal, Areceli, Juana, Susana, and Lupita - all very well mannered.

Mama Juana holding Lupita. Susana is behind her in red.

Mama Janice holding Anthony who she is adopting. He's a month younger than Elijah.

Mama Janice's daughters, Janice and Geneva. Geneva is 9, Janice is 7. I told Geneva that I don't remember a time when I was taller than my sister Heather Jo (2 years younger than me). Janice and Geneva are very kind to all the kids at the playground and are sure to include anyone who wants to play tag with them.

Putting their feet in for the eeny meeny miney It selection ritual.

Splashing Around

The neighborhood playground has a small spray park that Elijah just discovered. He's a fan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

United Nations

We went to the UN the other day. Isn't it cool how the NY skyline is reflected in the building?

The Chrysler Building. So pretty.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Playground Games

Banana Split is a playground game requiring at least 3 people, and 2 swings. 1 persons sits in each swing. The swings are twisted a couple of times, then the swing occupants lock their legs together. The 3rd person, usually a parent, swings the swings occupants and they swing until their little legs can't hold on anymore and they "Banana Split."

Elijah signs "more"

Elijah's fish face kisses

Elijah does this new thing where he makes a fish face.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Missing Teeth

Hannah lost two teeth tonight. She is so excited! She's going to be rich with Tooth Fairy money!

Hannah the Teacher

Hannah loves playing with Elijah. And he loves everything she does. She sat him on her lap and tried to teach him his letters the other day. He likes the idea of it and even tries to get the letters onto the Word Whammer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tourist Spotting

You can google "how to spot a tourist in NYC" and read several funny observations. Most mention that tourists seem to love fanny packs, and taking pictures of everything. True enough. I was thinking about this because the other day I saw a guy walking down our street and immediately I thought, "What's a tourist doing on our street?" I wondered what made me think he was a tourist. I decided it was his starched, brightly colored, Hawaiian shirt, and the M&M World bag he was carrying. Now I am thinking about this more. . .

Grown man wearing shorts in Manhattan on a weekday and he's not delivering something, he's likely a tourist.

Family in Manhattan all walking together on a weekday - tourists.

Carrying an Apple Store bag (easy target), M&M World, FAO Schwarts, American Girl bag - tourist. Locals don't go to Manhattan to buy $12/lb M&Ms. And if they want something from American Girl, they order it on-line so they don't have to carry it across town.

Guy eating hot dog from vendor, not uncommon. Eating hot dog from vendor while spouse takes pictures - tourist.

Backpack or T-shirt has gibberish logo or writing - tourist from another country.

Get on subway and immediately start scheming to get a seat - local.

Get on subway and start gawking or taking pics - tourist about to get run over by seat schemer.

Family walking together on a weekend, all have backpacks - tourists.

People sitting next to you on subway excitedly discussing all they are going to do when they get to their stop that is 5 stops away in the opposite direction - tourists.

Wearing bright colors - tourist or recently moved here. Clothes here fade quickly, some say because of the city dirt that coats everything.

Family with a child in a stroller, may or may not be tourists. Family trying to fit stroller through turnstiles at subway entrance - tourists. Locals know to send the first member of their party through the turnstile. He opens the emergency exit door (yes the alarm sounds, but no one cares) and the stroller is pushed through to him. Then the rest of the party goes through the turnstile like normal, without raising a commotion, congesting the subway entrance, and almost dumping a baby on the subway station floor.

Feel they owe panhandler explanation, apology, or any acknowledgment at all - tourists.

Get to the counter and don't know what they want to order - tourists about to get yelled at.

Whole family wearing foam Statue of Liberty hats - tourists.

I get it now: The Wheels on the Bus

Ever sing a song and not really know what you're singing about? I remember being in London and Brian Goodall said we couldn't go to some palace because the Queen was in residence. He said he knew this because her flag was flying there. A light bulb went off in my head and that song "Joy is the Flag Flown High (from the castle of my heart)" made perfect sense. Joy shows Jesus lives in me. I had sung that song for almost 30 years and had no idea what it meant.

Same for "Wheels on the Bus," but make that close to 40 years. In Texas the only bus anyone rides is a school bus. So when I would sing "the babies on the bus go wah wah wah" and "the mamas on the bus go sh sh sh" I just assumed they were all on school bus for a field trip with the babies' older siblings. But the other day when I was riding the MTA and the wipers on the bus were going swish swish swish and Elijah was going wah wah wah and I was going sh sh sh, I realized that I was in the middle of "The Wheels on the Bus" and I was not on a field trip.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Captain Underpants

This is another pic he'll hate when he's 15, but it's so cute now. These are the cutest little training pants ever. I think they are probably run of the mill training pants but putting them on the cutest baby in the world makes them cute too.

Elijah has been doing very well at potty training. If anyone's interested, this is called Elimination Communication. I watch him and I can mostly tell when he needs to go and if I get him on the potty in time, he goes in there. It saves me the trouble of having to wash diapers and it keeps him cleaner. There are many benefits beside those. We're not fanatic about it. We do what we can and if we don't make it, it's no big deal. He wears plastic covers to keep from messing everything up if he has a "miss." I think he feels like a big boy when he makes it to the potty. But I could be making that up. . .

Paul adds that Elijah looks like he's playing air guitar.

King Kong ain't got nothin' on Elijah!

This picture should go in the Bad Idea Archives. We got a tower fan. These things are awesome, by the way. The Goodalls have a couple and so do the Schirmers. So I picked one up as soon as we got back from TX last month. I have the thermostat on 82F and it feels cool in here. So this tower fan looks like a skyscraper and Elijah was trying to climb it. Paul thought he looked like King Kong scaling the Empire State Building. We took the pic and then told the poor kid he can't do that again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Accordion

On the way to the park we passed a stoop sale. They had this accordion for a dollar. So I bought it. Paul was fit to be tied. He said it was the worst garage sale purchase ever. But Hannah loves it. She has seen this toy before at the toy store and she has always talked about it. My grandmother used to play an accordion. Hannah talks about that often. After I bought it, Hannah went wild and she kept saying "I'm SO HAPPY!" We went to the park and all her friends there wanted to see it. Paul had them stand under a tree off in the distance, but the sound still carried and it sounded like they were right next to us. But it's not awful. Paul will even play around with it some and we don't mind if she "practices" in the apartment - a little.

Hustlers at the Park

This place is full of what I like to call "hustlers." These are people who are earning a living that they will probably NOT be paying taxes on. There are the water hustlers who walk around selling "ice cold water" out of coolers, the tamale lady, the Italian ice guy, and then there are the street performers, balloon animal makers, and face painters who work for tips. These folks go around to parks and set up shop. The balloon animal folks and face painters just show up and start doing their thing and have a little "tips" jar. Kids flock to them and parents will give a dollar to see their kids having fun. It works. Hannah likes her butterfly face, but she was so worried that she'd mess it up that she wanted me to take a picture and then wash it off. Funny kid.

The Garden

Our building has a backyard. When we moved here last year, it was full of weeds that were taller than Hannah. The owner told me I could do whatever I wanted with it. I planted a couple of things, but I didn't go to too much trouble. During the winter Matt and Anne moved in upstairs. They have experience in transforming a patch of neglected earth into a garden and they were eager to get the yard into shape. Several other residents in the building said they wanted to do something too. But Matt and Ann really had the vision. We've enjoyed working out there, planting, weeding, watering, and seeing the change it's made. Matt and Anne found this great table and chairs at a stoop sale (garage sale). Hannah likes to picnic out there in the afternoons and she likes to do her writing out there sometimes.