Hilton Village 4th of July

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They told us kids AND dogs are in the parade.

Our old-school historic neighborhood proudly maintains many traditions, among them a 4th of July parade down Main Street. Wagons, bicycles, strollers, a historic fire truck, a modern fire truck, classic cars, and lots of happy faces were decked out in red, white and blue. A neighbor held a block party brunch where we decorated our vehicles the morning of the parade and then congregated after for some amazing potluck treats and good conversation. Both Madeline and Henry had a great time.

Getting ready:

And now, the parade (which started off with motorcycles before the grand marshal and reminded me of my time in the Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade):

The parade ends at the elementary school, where everyone in the parade gathers to watch the rest of it. Some of the vehicles are parked so that the kids can explore them. The neighborhood milkman also has a tent where you can sample the dairy’s products.

Then we headed back for brunch and a day of barbecues with the neighbors.

Happy New Year!

2014-12 Holiday Card

this year’s holiday card

Better late than never, right?

Poor Henry endured much yogurt, fur tugging, and swatting from Madeline last year. Fortunately they are still buds. It’s amazing how M has grown and yet still looks very much like her baby self.

Happy Father’s Day 2014

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Last year around this time, Madeline was still nursing every 3 hours, plus a few times overnight. So, all Daddy got was a Photoshop collage Father’s Day card that half-asleep Mommy made at 6am. Oh, and a trip to the spy exhibit at the Franklin Institute.

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This year, Mommy planned a bit more. A few weeks before Father’s Day, while Daddy was at work, Mommy bought a tie and some craft supplies. Mommy, Baby, and the coffee table all donned protective gear. After some fabric paint, a bath, and a call to Poison Control (just in case), we had a special gift for Daddy. 

So today, for Father’s Day, we had brunch Devon Seafood on Rittenhouse Square. The weather was beautiful, and we dined al fresco both for the view of the park and to diffuse the occasional baby squeal.

Daddy liked his gift very much.

In the afternoon, we went to Washington Square to enjoy more of the sunshine.

Madeline loves to see Henry run around, so three dogs running around looks even more fun!

Spring 2014

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13 months: attempting balcony escape

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13 months: swing fun at Smith Playground

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13 months: the year’s first spring weather weekend

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cruising the park

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M holds her legs straight out when she’s happy

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13 months: getting acquainted with the top of the activity cube

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14 months: learning to use a spoon

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14 months: painting Henry with food

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Daddy’s birthday — what is that?

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spiffy work gear

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Hi again, Henry.

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15 months: M already loves shoes just like Mommy!

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15 months: showing Mama how the shapes go together

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Christmas 2013

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This holiday season we celebrated our precious baby girl. With tiny delicate hands and soft wispy baby hair, she seems only slightly bigger than the 5-pound Valentine we first brought home. (And she still fits in 3-6 month shoes.) Our dear little Madeline — whose name fittingly derives from old German for “little girl” — has so much happiness and love to share. As if on cue, she just began saying “Mum-ma? Mum-mum-mum-ma?”

Christmas 2012

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We went up to Connecticut for the holiday and had a snowy white Christmas. Henry had a good time playing in the cold and getting snacks from Grandma.

Thanksgiving 2012

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This year was our first married Thanksgiving. For weeks, Chris had been excited to roast his first turkey, and I was equally excited for stuffing! We made a game plan, did our grocery shopping, and went to bed (relatively) early the night before so we could get started at 7am. Thursday morning came. Game on.

Well, the first hiccup came early — I had trouble sleeping, so we slept in an extra hour. We adjusted and got right back on schedule, though. (Yes, we made a schedule.) As it turns out, we learned a number of things:

  • Chopping the vegetables the night before means we don’t have to get started until 8am. Whoo hoo!
  • Our 24-pound turkey took about 5.5 hours to cook. By about 3 hours, enough fat had drained off to baste it.
  • We do not have a platter big enough to hold a 24-pound turkey. Fortunately, a smaller platter on a baking sheet will suffice.
  • Potholders can also be trivets.
  • The day is not nearly as busy as I thought. We had breaks to to watch Star Trek, set the table, and so forth. It was easier than cooking for the party we just had! (Then again, we had over 30 people there.)

I also took notes on miscellaneous adjustments to our schedule and recipes. Here is the result of our Thanksgiving Matrix (which obviously is not formally a matrix, but sounds niftier than Thanksgiving Chart):

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the Thanksgiving Matrix, stained and annotated as we used it to guide us through our first Thanksgiving!

And here is the resulting feast:

Having slept well with the aid of turkey somnolence, we dismantled the bird this morning. Henry also helped, sort of.

My two handsome boys

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We had a potluck party at our house a few weeks ago. We hadn’t invited people over for a long time, and it was great to see so many friends!

After everyone left, we took a break to watch QI. I said we should start cleaning up, and Chris said we should finish the episode. Five minutes later, I hear snoring:

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“I’ll help clean up after this show.”

I let him sleep.

The next night I took these pictures of my two handsome boys, hanging out on the couch.

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OHHHHH I like the belly scratches!

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Daddy and Puppy

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One hand must be reserved for scratches

Summer is coming!

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And in Chris’s family, its annual debut is heralded by the opening up the shore cottage.

Chris and I went to help his parents clean out the winter cobwebs, set up the furniture, and  reverse everything they did to close up the place last fall. We brought along Henry, who decided something about the boat was very interesting:

What's in there?!

On his hind legs, he is almost as tall as I am!

He balanced on his hind legs for a good 5 seconds, investigating the boat. Who knew what he could do when motivated!

The place looks in pretty good shape:

Chris and his dad took a look at the car:

while Henry chewed on a stick: