Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cloister Boister

I have to post something so we can go off and have more adventures!!

A few weeks ago we took a family outing to the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan.

After a long subway ride there, we let Charles stretch his legs at a park.
The fall leaves were so pretty and the weather was perfect!

Lovely walk to the Cloisters.

"The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century."

We started out with a tour group learning about stained glass, which was very interesting.

But Charles started getting pretty restless, so we had to duck out early.


"Look at the nice kitty, Charles!"


"Boy, Mom and Dad, that was educational AND fun!"

"Too bad we have a 2 hour subway ride home . . ."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Leftover Halloween Candy

This is Halloween... this is Halloween...

Ward party and chili cook off.
(Also a pie contest, in which I won honorable mention for my delectable chocolate peanut butter pie . . .)

I think Charles is mad about the whole 'taking turns' thing:

"What do you mean I have to roll the pumpkin? 
If you want to knock these things down, just attack them!"

"p.s. can I eat the eyeballs?"

 Ten points if you can place our costumes (and we didn't already tell you...).

Despite that face, we really did have a good time.
I think Charles was just caught with a mouthful of chili.

Tiger buddies.

Party after-party: chasing Sophia, the purple zebra dog.

Monsters and Me lunch at a local restaurant. Charles got a free meal!
Great music, tons of toys, and a million kids running around.
Charles was in Halloween heaven.

Very brilliant IU professor with one of his very cute IU students. 
(A little last minute creativity going on here.)

We had a good time trick or treating along the avenues, in and out of the shops, then down one of the neighborhood streets. We even had trick or treaters knock on our door. Charles loved that part, because when I was concentrating on dropping candy in our visitors' bags, he was grabbing as much candy out of the bucket as his little hands could hold!

We let him have one piece of chocolate. But I am pretty sure he ate more than just one piece of chocolate . . .

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Go Baby, go!

Yesterday Baby Charles stood up all by himself (ie. not holding onto anything for support). 

Today I caught him popping up all over the place:

One time he even shuffled a little before sitting down.

Watch out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Going up?

(Joshua took this today on his way to work at an emergency shelter)

Monday, October 29, 2012


“ . . . neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night 
stays these couriers from the swift completion 
of their appointed rounds . . .” 
- US Post Office Motto

But guess what, hurricane Sandy even sent these brave mail-deliverers packing.  Massive storm surges are going through the low-lying neighborhoods (good thing we live next to the ocean but on a hill), pouring into subway tunnels and washing away boardwalks.  

This just in--minutes ago, we opened our front door and saw the utility pole across the street leaning like the Tower of Pisa!  The American flag hanging from the lamppost down the street is in shreds! And in the picture below, if you use your imagination you can see with us the tree in front of our house brushing crazily against the low-hanging power line that sends electricity into our house.  Luckily, it's a small tree and we don't think its branches will be heavy enough to bring down the line (although we think has been making our flights flicker on and off all evening). 

Okay, before the phone calls from alarmed friends and relatives come pouring, we were very fortunate--did not even lose power for a minute. And there is no significant wind damage or downed tree limbs in our street.  It sounds like the damage was indeed very serious in many parts of NYC (and esp. NJ). We were very fortunate that the storm largely passed us by (though the damage to the utility pole was certainly a little unnerving)

Don't you worry, though. Charles has got us covered:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunset in Bensonhurst

I took this picture with my phone right after stepping onto the elevated train platform, on my way to the church for 11 year old scouts.  I am enjoying the calling--I think that I have finally got the two half hitches down for good.  You learn things better when you have to teach them.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Charles and Cat Video #2

Cookies so very much wanted to come inside from the first-day-it-felt-like-fall chill.  Charles did his best to make his friend feel welcome.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't tell the neighbors I stole their cat.

There is a cat that lives on our porch. Technically it is our neighbors', but really the whole neighborhood claims ownership. Neighbors come to sit and tell him of her whoas or bring a paper plate to feed him the can of cat-food their kitty doesn't like, and all the kids stop by on their way home from school. Still, the cat meows and meows and meows like no one ever even so much as glances in her direction.

Meet Cookies. Charles' best bud.

Sometimes I steal Cookies and lock him inside to keep Charles company while I bring in the groceries. She is a good babysitter.


They like to crawl around the front porch together. Sometimes it gets dangerous, though, because Charles is pretty great at crawling up the stairs, but likes to nose dive down them. 

We're working on it. 

Bum Art

Detail from a painting we saw at the
St Louis Art Museum [oil on canvas]                                         Charles, a week before the museum visit
                                                                                                                 [digital photograph]

From Sea to Shining Sea

August's Pacific

In between living in St Louis and New York, Charles and I hung out in California for a week. 

Beth (bff from elementary school), Erica, Charles

 This one was taken for a magazine cover. Work it mama, work it!

 (this is how Charles felt about the waves)

I was sad to leave sunny California.
I texted Joshua from the beach that day, "We need to live by the ocean."

"You got it, babe." he said.

* * *

September's Atlantic
"When I found our apartment in Brooklyn, I consoled Erica about our increased distance from California with the news that our new home would be located only two blocks from the ocean.  Try finding somewhere to live in CA that close to a beach! Technically, the only sand in the area is a 20-by-30 foot patch that has piled up around an abandoned dock with a high fence proclaiming it is off-limits to would-be sunbathers.  But it is the shore of New York Harbor, i.e. the Atlantic Ocean.  And there is a beautiful park (Shore Park) and a breathtaking view of the Verrazano Bridge.  We enjoy going to the park in the evenings to watch the sun set over Staten Island across the harbor from us.  Almost feels like we're at the beach, except we are sitting on grass under an oak tree.  And, to remind that this is still New York City, we can hear the cars zoom by on a six-lane expressway just behind us." -Joshua

If the breeze is just right we can get a whiff the salty air as we walk along the promenade. Mmm.

I know, I know, there is water but there is no beach, so sad.
Luckily, a real beach is only a subway ride away! 

Charles LOVED crawling around in the sand (and eating it)!

We all loved being at the beach. 
I hope we make it there a few more times before it gets too freezing cold!!