Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scooter & Swing

There's nothing like a beautiful summer day with your Grandpa Bud, a scooter, and a swing. Grandpa Bud has been teaching Larkin to lift up her back foot onto the scooter and to coast and she's finally got it. I heard a number of passersby in Central Park getting a chuckle from watching Larkin scoot around. The swings, well what kid doesn't like to go high on the swings. Thanks for the pushes Grandpa Bud!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tying Up Betty and Dell

This post probably needs a little explanation. Larkin's cousin Gavin just graduated to the white with green stripe karate belt, so he had all of his belts out. Larkin decided that these belts were perfect torture - oops, I mean wrapping - devices. And she found her victims... Uncle Greg's parents, Dell and Betty, who were in town for a visit. They were very good sports as Larkin bound and nearly gagged them. As you can see from the second picture, she was very proud of her work!

Trying on Auntie Dana's shoes

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Playing at Auntie Dana's house

There's always lots of fun to be had playing at Auntie Dana's house. I have to start off this post with a funny anecdote though. Larkin has this "thing" with Auntie Dana... she is absolutely enraptured by her aunt, but her awe of my sister makes Larkin shy around her. So for some odd reason, Larkin doesn't speak to her. Larkin will say things to me sometimes like "tomorrow maybe I'll talk to Auntie Dana". One of these days, the two of them will go shopping together, become best friends and forget I even exist! But until then, it's crickets...

...but Larkin certainly isn't quiet when there's a microphone nearby. When there's a singing opportunity, Larkin is in on it! She loves loves loves to sing. Here she is, belting out some song, probably "Do Re Mi".

Then comes the monkeying around with Daddy/Uncle Brian. The kids can never get enough of it.

And then, when they're all done, it's snuggle time. From left-right: Lukie, Auntie Dana, Gavin, and Larkin. They look like bugs all snug in a rug together, don't they?

Brooklyn Flea Market

Nine of us in tow, we headed out for a day adventure to the Brooklyn Flea Market. Part of the fun was just getting there and back - all three of the kids (Larkin, Gavin, and Luke) LOVE the subway. Gavin knows them all by heart and will spend afternoons just riding the subway with his Grandpa Bud if he has his choice. Here's part of the crew en route to Brooklyn. We actually had this train car all to ourselves so why we all bunched together is anyone's guess. Good for picture taking though!

It was pretty cold that day but Larkin resisted wearing a coat for much of it. The Brooklyn flea market was only average in my opinion, not worth the trip (except for the fun of the trip itself). But we did enjoy a few street vendor treats before heading to a restaurant for lunch. Here's Larkin enjoying her corn-on-the-cob with parmesan cheese on it (the combo sounds better than it tasted to me, but Larkin liked it).

1-2-3-swing.... we did a LOT of this on the walk from the subway to the flea market and back. Larkin quickly learned that if she had 2 of the daddies do it, she'd go a lot higher. So, she got between Brian and her uncle Greg, and WWWEEEEEE! Did she get high or what? She loved every minute of it.

What's cuter than a tender moment between cousins? I saw them doing this while we waited for our table at lunch. Gavin is so sweet with Larkin.

After lunch, we stopped in the cutest little shop "Sweet William" and bought the kids each a stuffed animal. Larkin picked out a bunny, Gavin picked out a falcon, and Lukie didn't want one. The stuffed animals looked so incredibly life-like that when Larkin would carry it in with her the following days, people we'd walk by would point and say "look at the bunny, it's real!" What a fun adventure we all had today!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Grandpa Bud's 70th Birthday Party

Happy 70th birthday, Grandpa Bud! Family and friends converged on my sister's place to celebrate the big day as a surprise. Here we are walking to my sister's apartment... at this point, Grandpa Bud just thinks us kids are taking him out to dinner.

Grandpa Bud was surprised (well, kinda)!

A few pictures of some of the guests including Grandpa Bud's beautiful sisters, best friends, and handsome sons-in-law.

And then we can't forget about the kids. Larkin and her cousins Gavin and Lukie ran around, dressed up and looking so cute, and had a blast all evening. I love Lukie's face in the last picture... it says it all! What a fun party it was!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweet Serafina Bonding

There is no soul more tender, sweet, and pure than my Serafina's. She is the best companion a person could want and these pictures show just how precious she is.

Sera usually gives our precocious and rambunctious 3-year-old space because Larkin can be a little unpredictable. When things are a little more mellow, however, the two of them get to enjoy a little bonding time and I'm always pleased to see it. Here are a few pictures of Larkin "dressing" Sera up. Sera is being a good sport!

Here's a picture that most people are shocked to see. Not me. Tender, sweet Sera wouldn't hurt a fly. This picture shows Sera going up to greet our old man parakeet, Snowy, who had flown down to hang out on the floor for a little while. Sweet tweet!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Larkin's First Hair Cut

I have to admit, I was a little sad to be cutting Larkin's hair for the first time, although it was getting a bit uneven and needed a trim. I was excited however to collect those precious little locks of hair for our memory box.

I wasn't sure what Larkin would think of having her hair cut, or of sitting still in the chair while it was being done (that's not her strong suit). We talked about what it would be like before we went so she would be prepared. In the end, I had nothing to worry about. Larkin did fantastic and she loved it! I took her to my stylist, Nancy. Larkin loved having Nancy "play" with her hair and Larkin kept still and was so well behaved! And she looked so cute in the little penguin apron.

So here she is, all done and happy and beautiful!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jess Baldwin's Wedding in Eureka Springs

The whole family headed out on a road trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for the wedding of one of my dearest college friends, Jessica Baldwin. She married Adam Rogers, and they seem so perfect for each other. Here's a picture of Jess, Adam, and Jess' adorable son Thompson.

Eureka Springs is a quaint town built on a hill with a long street full of boutique shops that wind all the way up the hill. It's really pretty neat. At the top of the hill is the famous old Crescent Hotel, where the wedding was and where we stayed. It's famous because it's considered the 2nd most haunted hotel in the entire country! Larkin might have sensed something because at one point she threw a fit and refused to sleep in the hotel. We slept there fine, but it made us do a double take on the whole place.

The night of the rehearsal dinner they took everyone on a tour of the haunted hotel. The hotel is famous for "orbs" that show up only in pictures, and they move (i.e. they're not there in every picture and will be in different spots of pictures). I caught a number of orbs and I'm serious when I say, we believe that something different was going on there. It's too erie to be purely made up. The first pic below shows some of the orbs. The second picture, if you look closely is of a wall of the hotel as seen in a mirror. Do you see the face of a Saint Bernard dog? Supposedly, a Saint Bernard dog used to live in that particular apartment. But the surprising thing is it's just a normal wall like the rest of the walls in the hotel. It was kind of amazing. We saw a lot more, including the #2 lockers that were featured in an episode of "Ghost Hunters". This gives you a taste of what it was like though. I truly believe it is haunted.

And here are pictures of the wedding. It couldn't have been a more perfectly beautiful day. The ceremony and reception were lots of fun and there were tons of other kids that Larkin was able to play with.

After the ceremony, we stepped into the garden to take a few family photographs.

Finally, from the top of the hotel, you can see way off in the distance, and way out there is this amazing statue. It's breathtaking to see - it's really huge - and it totally reminds me of Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro. It was spiritual to see it, I was really impressed.

It was a great weekend in Eureka Springs and I'm so happy for Jess and Adam! Congratulations!