Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years

We went to the Berkshires for New Years -- to Doug and Carrie's house in the mountains. The Fredo's joined too. It was great to see the three sons interact (minimal at first, more as they gained comfort).

For a while, Nate and Cole just ran around and dove into a mound of pillows. They did this again and again and we all watched and laughed. We watched Toy Story 2. Twice. After the kids went to bed, the adults made a fantastic dinner and watched the scene in Times Square. It's 2012, a year that surely will be tumultuous.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Umbrellas

The Gessers headed up north for gift exchange the day before New Years. In addition to way too many toys (Nanna!!), the kids got funky umbrellas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Guitar

Shana and Nate have a pattern, usually on Monday mornings: they go to Fairway together and do some quality food shopping. They have a blast. Mostly. On this Tuesday morning, however, what with school closed, Shana and Nate headed over. Nate wanted to bring his guitar. Ridiculousness ensued.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pizza!


On this cold-ass Saturday, Nate and I had an afternoon together. We went to the handball wall and worked on our throwing form ("step and throw"). Nate isn't that much of a pleaser; he does not derive joy by making you feel joy. He more or less derives joy from telling others what to do. We then started feeling pizza, and headed to Driggs Pizza on N7th and Driggs, where we climbed into the booth in the back and each had a slice. It's thrilling to sit across from Nate and eat pizza and chat. It's kind of insane actually.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Canarsie Pizza Trip

Nate and I hopped the subway to Canarsie, Brooklyn on this chilly Saturday to check out what the last stop on the L train looks like. Let's just say it's rough over there, not much to take in aside from the Canarsie Pier (we hopped on the Rockaway Parkway bus loop to get there), which overlooks Jamaica Bay (and on the other side of that, Far Rockaway where my parents grew up). The Pier was all stark and battered, with only 4 fishermen giving it a go. Nate couldn't get over the word "seaweed", laughing his ass of each time he or I said it. I didn't get the joke but I laughed when he laughed.

After that, Nate and I went to Original Pizza, a morose and cavernous pizza joint that's stood its ground since the 70's. Nate kept eating the paper plate that sat below the slice. But I gotta say, that slice was tasty. When I asked Nate if he was done with his slice (so I could finish it up), he smiled his big smile and said, "Noooooo..."

Funny moment of the trip was at 10:30am, waiting in the cold at the bus top on Rockaway Parkway near the Canarsie Pier and the entrance to the Belt Parkway, when Nate tells me he wants to go "night night". "You aint CLOSE to goin' night night my man," I laugh. Night night?? Anyway, he rallied, had a delicious old school slice of pizza, and gazed out of the L train window as we bounded home, westward towards our Williamsburg. Back at the apartment, Nate napped for 3 hours...









Sunday, November 27, 2011

Waterfront

Here is Nate on a warmish morning by the East River in Williamsburg. We threw rocks into the water and watched the boats and ferries. We played with a tennis ball.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

3 Boys

Nate and his two buddies from school, Remy and Ronin, got together on this blue-sky Saturday for a hang at the playground on Grand Street. Something clicked with Nate a few weeks ago with school; he gets it, likes it, goes happily. At the playground, the boys scattered quickly when they first saw each other, running in various directions.


Then they got into the play. At the end, they were on the jungle gym together smiling and talking and posing for a few pics.


Then they started singing.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

DC with the Gesser Girls

The family headed down to Love's Folly / DC for a long weekend, in part to attend Sadie's 6th year birthday. After the party -- held in a pottery making place of which Nate had no interest -- Nate and I headed over to the Gesser's place for a hang. Here are the 3 kids -- Nate, Sadie and Mae -- playing in the leaves in back of their house.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Loud! Mess!



In Love's Folly, we attended a "Waterfowl Festival". Nate, Opa and I watched dogs leap into pools in a competition over who could jump the farthest. We browsed hunting gear, guns, etc. I chuckled nervously and muttered to no one in particular things like "Those birds wont stand a chance with you wearing that sweater" or "Look at that, a saddle bag that can carry up to 8 dead geese... awesome..." After, Shana and Mimi joined the three of us, and we went to watch the dogs in action, as they dove into a pond and retrieved fake dead geese from the water, behind bushes, etc. "LOUD!!" Nate said after they shot a gun towards the sky to get the dogs going before they threw a pretend goose carcass into a hidden spot.
"MESS!!" Nate said noticing Ron had poop on his shoe. What a Jew.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Good Hair



Nate has ridiculously beautiful hair. It's jawdropping. He doesn't even appreciate it either. Sigh.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween

We went to Stuy Town to hang with the Fredo's on this Sunday before Halloween. Nate caught a magic show, got his face painted (pumkin!) and met another Elmo (freaky). He spent time with Cole the Lion, who refused to wear his lion head portion of his costume. A good time was had by all!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baseball

On the last day of this Love's Folly Nate and I stumbled into a baseball game, a High School Fall Ball league match between Easton (Orange!) and Queen Anne (Yellow!).


















The level of play was solid and the field was beautiful, with green home run fences and umpires who punched out batters with gusto.We sat on the bleachers, cheering on our beloved Easton boys. "Ball!" Nate said, pointing. "Dada! Baa!"

We snacked on raisons and pretzel rods as the sun warmed our faces. I happened to be sporting Ron's camouflaged hunting baseball cap, so I blended in perfectly with the locals. When a fat latino kid belted a double over the center fielder's head and then pulled a hammy running to first, a good ol' boy (whose 17 month old girl was intensely checking Nate out) said to me, his smoker's voice gritty and gravely, "That boy can sure hit. But he's a big boy." He then let out this giant smoker's laugh and I joined him. I was just another good ol' boy watching the local kids on this gorgeous morning, gossiping about which ones might make it out of this town.

Nate and I left after the 4th with Easton trailing 6-2. Nate needed a nap.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Q&A

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Nate is talking more and more. It's fascinating to see language develop. Here's a little rap session we had in the car as Shana ran into The Meat Hook.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nate in School -- Day 4

Nate is about the most delicious, funny, adorable, hilarious little boy. I love him so much it makes my chest hurt sometimes. I'm not joking. And so this morning, after the two of us were rolling on the floor -- into each other, over each other, next to each other -- with Shana watching us and the three of us laughing and giggling and squealing with such ferocious sweet fun, the mood could only be ruined when one of mentioned the word, "School."

It was time for school. His 4th full day.

"No school," Nate said quietly. He's in a "no" stage lately -- last night he and Shana had a deathmatch over his bath with Shana ending up soaked and Nate escaping, running naked around the apartment -- so the "no school" was no surprise.

Still, it was time for school. Nate whimpered "no school" as we put on his socks and shoes.

"No ocks... No looos."
"Yes, socks, yes, shoes. It's time for school buddy." We gathered his monkey backback and headed out. "I love you," Shana said. "Bye Mama" Nate said so softly and sweetly it made me want to hurl myself down the stairs. "After school, we'll go on a ferry boat and see Maxine." "Boat," said Nate, but his heart wasn't in it.

Nate got into the stroller and we headed to the building on N5th near Bedford Avenue. "After school, Mommy will pick you up, and then you'll go on a ferry," I said. "Ferry!" Nate responded. "Boat!" "Yeah, boat. You'll go on a ferry to visit Maxine and Nicole." "Boat!"

We entered school. Nate was quiet. We parked the stroller in the stairwell and I carried him up the stairs. We looked at a picture of a stingray by a classroom door. Then a blowfish. Then a dolphin. He pointed, "Fih." "Yeah, fish."

We entered the airy classroom. Nate held on to me tightly with his legs. I put him down and he didn't cry. I showed him his lunch that Shana lovingly packed in a three-compartment Tupperware. We peaked in. "Mmmmm" I said and he smiled. "Mmmm" he said and we both laughed.

Caroline came over and said hi to Nate and she unclipped from a clothesline a picture of me, Shana in Nate when we were in Love's Folly. "Who's this?" she asked Nate, pointing at Shana. "Mama," he said. "And who's this?" she asked Nate, pointing at me. "Dada." "What's on your shirt there Nathan?" she asked pointing to a boned face t-rex. "Gaaaaa" said Nate. "What sound does a dinosaur make?" I asked him. "Roarrrr." "Hey Nate, what sound does a pirate make?" "Arrrrr!" "Arrrr" I arrred. "Arrrr," said Caroline and we laughed.

"OK buddy, time to go."

"No!!!" Nate held on tight. I handed him to Caroline. "Dada!!" He was reaching for me.

I headed out the door and put his monkey backpack on his hook. I heard him crying. I took out my iPhone and pointed it into the classroom and stealthily filmed this short clip. That's Nate, looking at the picture of me, Shana, and him... I almost hurled myself down the stairs. But I didn't.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Sanibel Island Vacation

On this last weekend in September, we spent a fantastic holiday at Sanibel Island, FL, with my parents and the Gessers. We played in the pools together, rented bikes (we got lost and most of the adults almost had heart attacks), canoed through gorgeous marshes (most of the adults almost had heart attacks), and found stunning shells on the beach. It was beautiful and sweet.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

School

Nate started school 2 days a week at Williamsburg Northside Preschool. It's a beautiful school; the 3 teachers -- Hana, Caroline and Sabrina -- are so lovely and sweet it's blinding. Nate no doubt will have a blast. One day. Currently though, he's having a rough time of it. He says "no school" on the way to school. He screams for us not to leave, clinging to us, then reaching for us as we hand him to one of his teachers. We're told he recovers quickly though and so -- heartbreaking as it is -- we let him go and bolt out of the classroom sweating and red-faced. We hang around in the hallway and try and peak in. We worry. And then we leave and think about Nate all day. We reassure each other that he will have a blast. One day...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scoo-uh

For his birthday, Nate got a green scooter, which he adores. I never grew up with one and so I look at them -- wrongly -- with disapproval. Also, he likes wearing his helmet when he scoots, which ratchets up my disapproval to something approaching contempt. I keep it inside though. I behave.

Here is Nate with his scooter on a sunny September Sunday in front of our building. He pronounces "scooter" like this: "scoo-uh".

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cape Cod



We visited Anne and Jamie and Zeke in Cape Cod this Labor Day weekend, a 6 hour or so drive from NYC. We're hoping to see these guys at least once a year, and that Nate and Zeke have this cross country friendship. The water being warm and the scenery breathtaking, there was no choice but for the boys to get naked and splash around.




The boys played by the ocean and bay too. Spectacular!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Family in Love's Folly

The Moshans, Gessers and Liebmans spent a long weekend together on Labor Day weekend, 2011, to be together and celebrate various birthdays (Nate among them). Fun! These family gatherings feel important. With half of us in New York and the other half in DC, it's not often we get together like this. At one point, Sadie and Mae were pretending to be waitresses in a bad restaurant -- Mae urged us to be critical -- and the crew complained obnoxiously of the bad food and sloppy service. We were laughing, all together, an extended family truly enjoying each other's company. That is no small thing actually and I very much treasure it.

It's an understatement that Nate was showered with love from all sides. It was just the best best best weekend.

Here's Nate eating birthday cake with Opa:


Here's Avi and Mae (she fell asleep standing up) on a sunset boat cruise:


Here's dad, Sadie, Mae and I outside the ice-cream store, after a ferry ride to Royal Oak:


Here's the kids in the bath:



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cousins

We planned to take a 10 day holiday in Love's Folly prior to and including Labor Day. But Hurricane Irene had other plans. So we bailed from Love's Folly and headed to DC until the storm passed, staying with Opa and Mimmy. Before the full brunt of the hurricane was felt -- it was pretty intense for us east coasters -- Nate and I popped over the Brook and Avi's where we hung with the Gessers. Here's Nate with his cousins, the purple-clad Gesser girls.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Haircut

Nate's bushy wild hair was kind of getting goofy. So he got a haircut yesterday from Lucas.

And so today we went to a drab playground in Greenpoint where we found an old basketball and bounced it around on a basketball court, wandered around on a handball court, slid down a few slides, went on the toddler swings, went on the older kid swings, made friends with Phillip the Polish kid, chased Phillip the Polish kid around for a while and got chased by Phillip the Polish kid, then got on our bike and rode home.

All the while, Nate's hair looked awesome.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shana is Showing

Shana is starting to really show. So far so good. Nate has no clue. No. Clue.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smorgasburg to LIC


It's late in the summer and Nate's an old pro on the bike at this point. This weekend we meet Blitz for Smorgasburg, a feast of small booths near the waterfront in Williamsburg. We delighted on a Porchetta sandwich, Red Hook Lobster and a custardy concoction that's made entirely from banana.

Afterwards the boys biked to Long Island City, where we hit the playground. Blitz is good with Nate -- a rare quality for a single guy. Pictured Right: Nate and Blitz sizing up the intimidating rope tower...







Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Nanny Crew

This is Nate's crew, with whom he hangs out with almost every day, thanks to the 3 Nannies (Leisha, Val and Shala) who care for them. To Nate's right is Harper, Sophia, Romi, Marshall and Georgia.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chasing Birds

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This is Nate chasing a pigeon at the playground. Except for "duck", he does not yet understand the nuances between the various kinds of birds. But he's fascinated nonetheless. I think this was the first time he made a move towards grabbling or touching pigeons, which peck around the playground nibbling on disgusting things liquid and solid.

Afterwards, Nate met a 16 month girl named Marlow and followed her around from the jungle gym to the small slide to the big slide to the small slide, etc. He's normally quite shy or solitary at the playground actually. But he was into Marlow; there was no doubt. Finally after the two went down the slide 15 or 20 times in a row while I traded stories with Marlow's dad, we all followed Marlow to the swings. Nate didn't want in himself though; he wanted to walk under. So Marlow's dad suggested Nate push Marlow. So I picked him up and he pushed her softly as she gazed back at him sweetly. It was lovely. He was unhappy when I informed him it was time to go home...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Waterfront

On this brutally hot Thursday morning, Nate and I biked over the Pulaski Bridge into Long Island City. We didn't really know where we were going and so we meandered towards the waterfront, where high rise rentals gleam and loom. There, we stumbled into a kind of kid/parent paradise. Seriously. Hammocks and wooden lounge chairs lined the perimeter of a lovely lush lawn, all bordering on the East River and glorious midtown manhattan. Then a bunch of sprinklers awoke, and soon Nate was running around like a suburban kid. I took these photos from the hammock, where I lounged lazily.

Afterwards, we discovered a playground on the western border of the lawn, with funky and innovative jungle-gym equipment -- not your run of the mill NYC playground stuff -- like climbing mountains of ropes, chairs that spun 360 at 45 degree angle, and plastic slides that didn't heat up to 1000 degrees. It was great fun in the sun. Long Island City. Who knew?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ridiculous Child

This is a ridiculous child.

Dumbo by Ferry

This is us -- Mama and Dada -- in mid July, 2011.

OK, back to Nate... So a new ferry service on the East River, which travels from Wall Street to Dumbo to Williamsburg to Greenpoint to LIC to East 34th Street, offers a nice option for parents looking to entertain their toddlers. Ferries are kind of fun and weird and motoring on the water in NYC, whether you're 2 or 42, is lovely and often enchanting. For those living near the waterfront in Brooklyn, commuters are taking advantage; it seems like a beautiful way to get to work. In nice weather anyway.

On this scorchingly hot Friday in July, I met Shana and Nate in Dumbo; they traveled on the ferry from Williamsburg and Nate very much liked it. We then hit the playground and watched Nate run through the fountain with 20 Hasidic kids clothed head to toe in Hasidic gear

Then we had ice cream. Nate calls ice cream "Ah-May".


Then, waiting for the ferry home, we gazed at downtown Manhattan. If you see that darkish building second highest towards the right (to the right of Nate's head)... That is the new WTC tower being constructed (it is at approx 50 stories here). This triggered an early memory for me, driving by the Twin Towers mid-construction with my parents. I remember looking at these massive buildings, with construction activity everywhere, frantic, and my folks telling me that these towers were going to be taller than the Empire State Building. This made me sad for the Empire State Building, which must have felt bad that it was no longer going to be the tallest.

Here in 2011, if Nate can muster this memory, he can tell others he caught the new WTC rising too.