Funny Farm

We made our annual Labor Day trek to Maryland to visit our friends Rick and Wen-Fei Uva on their farm. (See posts from previous years here and here.)  It was very fun.  You can see all the photos here and here are a few highlights:

Friday: We arrive and the Uva children, Pearl (5) and Isaac (3) are fascinated by my huge belly. Isaac wants to know why I’m having another baby. I answer “I don’t know.” Inquisitive Issac also asked if we have tractors and golf carts (which Rick uses to get around the farm) at our house.

Then Preston makes everyone pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes and basil. The Uvas also cook up some fresh squash. The “farm to fork” concept takes on a whole new meaning when the farm is the backyard. After dinner Preston and Rick head out to check on the irrigation system. I’m glad when Preston comes back without injury.

Saturday: Farm life is demanding and the Uva family needs to head out very early in the morning to sell their goodies at local farmer’s markets. Preston, Maddie and I start our day with breakfast at Jimmy’s Grille where I have grits and Maddie scams extra watermelon from the waitress. Then we head to Ocean City, Maryland. Best part of the day was sitting on the boardwalk eating Thrasher’s French fries. Preston took Maddie on the carousel, but she was having nothing to do with the horse. He ended up sitting on a bench instead. That she seemed to find amusing enough. Saturday night was a delicious dinner of Maryland crabs back at the Uvas.

Sunday: Beach day! We went to a nice beach in Delaware that is on the bay side, so the surf is gentle and there are lots of sandbars for the kids to play on. We quickly learn that Maddie will not touch sand. At all. She loves the water, and if we hold her in the water and let her splash it in such a way that she does not have to touch sand she is happy. Harder to do than it sounds. Maddie had a great time and really loved playing with Pearl and Isaac. She takes to shrieking “Kids! Kids! Kids!” over and over whenever they do something she finds amusing.

Monday: Headed home, loaded down with basil, watermelon, squash and more.

New England Aquarium

We went to the New England Aquarium today with Auntie Tracy (my sister) and Zeydee Forman (Preston’s dad).  Preston says the last time he was there was high school (circa 1987).  I can’t remember when I was last there.

It was very fun and Madeline loved it.  She learned new words: “fish” and “turtles.”  Of course when the stingray swam by she said “bird!” From her perspective it makes sense — they look a lot more like birds than fish.  Mainly though she just laughed and shrieked and pointed.  Life is good when you are well-loved 20-month-old.

After the visit we went to Legal Seafood for lunch.  My sister asked if it’s wrong that a visit to the aquarium makes you hungry for fish.

All this was followed by swimming at Nana’s house.

I’m too tired/lazy to upload photos here.  But they are all up on Picasa.  Go there now and look.  We got great photos of Maddie, of course.  But also some really nice pictures of seals, penguins, jellyfish and turtles.  And then some great photos of Maddie impersonating a fish in my parent’s pool.

Mother’s Day at the Queens Zoo

Like last year, it was another beautiful Mother’s Day in New York.  We headed out to the Queens Zoo.  It’s a cute little zoo with lots of birds, which Madeline loves.  We also saw bison, elk, puma, bears and sea lions.  Maddie really enjoyed it.  I’m too lazy to upload photos here.  You can see them all — both animals and Maddie admiring animals — at Picasa.

It’s a little hard to believe that this time next year we’ll have two …

New Sweater and New Photos

Last week our nanny was on vacation.  It wasn’t a week that Preston or I could take much time off, so Nana came to the rescue.  I think both Nana and Maddie had fun.  And I was able to take Friday off and spend the whole day with my girl, which was heavenly.

Meanwhile, Nana knit Maddie an absolutely gorgeous sweater with matching hat … These pictures don’t really do them justice, but you’ll get the idea:

in-her-purple-sweater1

Here’s a cute close up …

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And here’s a cute picture of Preston reading to Maddie. I tried to get a picture of Maddie watching the pages with a look of intense concentration. Unfortunately the second the camera comes out Maddie looks up and smiles. If she becomes a model I’ll really have no one to blame …

reading-with-daddy1

Maddie the monkey

Maddie was a monkey for Halloween. She was non-plussed about all this Halloween stuff. She knows not of candy.

Where we live the tradition is a Halloween party where the kids get sugar super-charged and then go up and down the halls mob-like for candy. 

Maddie didn’t make it. She likes her 7 p.m. diaper change, teeth cleaning, bottle routine. She was fast asleep by the time the hoard reached us.

Great photos from Halloween are here. There are other photos also on Google.

A Day at the Beach

Aunt Tracy was in town for a wedding on Friday night. On Saturday we met up with some of her friends at Breezy Point in Queens. This is one of those magical places in New York City where you don’t believe you are still in the city. It’s a cooperative, private community. Basically you have to know someone who lives there to go there.

It was a beautiful day for Maddie to have her first visit to the beach. Here she is dipping her toes into the ocean:

And here she is with Dad:

There are lots more photos up on the usual spot on Picasa.

What we learned from this little adventure is that a day at the beach with a baby is not, well, a day at the beach. There’s the stuff you need to haul. Food, a bib, a bathing suit, an extra outfit, just in case. Plus a vat of sunscreen.

Then there’s the swim pants. Tell me, am I using these wrong? Because it seems to me that when she wears one we all end up soaking wet. Do I just not get how they work? Am I supposed to put a diaper under them? What exactly is the deal??

But all that aside we had a very fun day. Thanks to Tom & Emily for inviting us!