Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mack Check

What do you do when you're in the driver's seat of your car, your wife and son have run into The Meat Hook for delicious meat, and you want to check how Mack is doing in the back seat, but can't really turn around to do so due to your bulky winter jacket and seat belt?  Use your iPhone...

Long Island Children's Museum

We met my parents at the Long Island Children's Museum on this late December Saturday. Nate wrecked a massive and intricate house of blocks built by some young architectural genius whom we didn't stick around to meet. But there was too much stimuli to dwell on it.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012


This is the fist time Mack crawled on grass. He kept on trying to eat the leaves.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Morning Fight

Mornings lately have had their fare share of challenges. It's a mixed bag what with Mack grinning and spitting up and drooling and screeching like a wild animal, and Nate pushing back against our quest for authority for reasons mostly known to Nate. There are funny moments too -- like this morning when Nate was entertaining Mack with assurances that super heroes were coming to save Mack from his crib- jail and opening the blinds again and again to let them in. The boys waking up together in their room followed by squeals of delight, has been a revelation.

But this morning, when it came time to finally put Nate's coat on, he twisted around violently, mad with resistance. I counted to 3. He ignored it. I gave him a time out in his bed. "I've had it!" I barked. He cried. "Come here and put on your coat," I said in his dark room after a minute or so. He didn't. I counted to 3. Nate didn't budge. I took away privileges like iPad and TV. He still didn't move from his bed. Finally I picked him up and dumped him in his orange stroller while he cried. I angrily wheeled him to the elevator. "Bye," I heard Shana say as I headed down the hall. "Bye," I said.

Nate got quiet on the stroll to school. We chatted on Whyth and North 5th Street and I told him how important it was to listen to me and Mommy. He nodded his head in agreement when I asked him if he understood. He then mumbled about wanting a snack (was he hungry the whole time, was that what the tantrum was about??) and so we went to get a bagel. "I'm sorry we got into a fight," I said after, crossing Bedford Avenue. "But I really need you to listen to me." I bent down to hug him in his stroller and he hugged me back.

"Next time I will be good," Nate said in the sweetest voice imaginable. I felt my heart cave in. I started to cry, there on North 5th Street just east of Bedford Avenue. I hugged him again so he wouldn't see.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


If we're home on the weekends -- we've come to realize -- it's nearly impossible to do things together. Not only are nap schedules precarious (Mack from 8:30 to 10:30, Nate from 12:30 to 2:30, Mack from 2 to 4), but it's difficult to find activities for both boys. Mack might like Frolic, but Nate gets bored there. Nate might like the playground, but Mack can't do much there.

At home, Nate seems intent on rough playing with Mack, usually leading to "NATE BE CAREFUL WITH MACK" or "NATE STOP IT STOP IT" or "NATE EASY EASY COME ON NOW NATE STOP IT I SAID STOP IT NOW NOW STOP IT NATE NATE NATE!" Nate doesn't seem to get it. I suppose he never will -- it's human nature to beat the crap out of your younger brother. Nevertheless, it's tiring to constantly be on the defensive; Nate's attacks on Mack are relentless.

So we split up for now. On this Sunday, Shana hung back with Mack (who was cranky and snotty and drooly and spit uppy -- Shana got the short straw on this one), while I took Nate to the movies (Wreck It Ralph -- bad).  Here's Nate on the subway platform (he loves the subway!) and then a video of Nate eating popcorn (he loves popcorn!) at the movies.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Every Tuesday the Edge hosts a kiddie singalong which is more or less chaos-- lots of babies making noise while an odd woman plays guitar --but its something to do on these cold afternoons. Nate is -- rightly so-- over these. He did his fair share as a baby and this time opted to watch three fratty guys play simulation golf while I took Mack into the music room. Mack loved it and crawled right into the center if the room to play his maracas on his back--as Nate used to do. As the pediatrician recently said at his nine month (nine months!!!) check up, he doesn't seem to have any stranger anxiety. And the guitar lady noted he seemed very excited by the music. I remember Nate having a similar experience in Audra Rox's classes, and Nate has recently taken to dancing, showing us his "new moves" and "old moves" at home. 


Nate was a polar bear and Mack was Kermit. We trick or treated around Bedford ave w William until Nate went into sugar shock and started babbling nonsensically and walking into things.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Big Boy Swings

This is the first time I saw that Nate wanted to hit the big boy swings -- on his belly. He noted two other boys going on their stomachs and gave it a go.

He made lots of "rarrrrrr" noises.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sands of Time

The boys are doing well lately. Mack is crawling around with this big dopey grin and a pool of drool and snot around his nose and mouth. But his positive energy is amazing.

Nate -- not without his meltdowns from time to time when he's tired -- has been funny and chatty ("You play me Mommy? You play me?? Five minutes? You play me?"), his language hilarious and relentless.  This morning, as we were leaving for school, we were in the hallway, Nate in his orange stroller and Shana and I rushing around in order to get him out of the door. 

"You got you keys?" Nate said.  Shana and I laughed.  
"Yes, Nate." I answered.  
"You got you phone?" asked Nate sweetly, not trying to be funny. 
We laughed again. "Yes. OK, Nate, let's roll..."  
I closed the door and said goodbye to Shana and Mack.  We strolled halfway down the hall.  
"You got you book?"  I stopped.  "Wow. No Nate, I.. uh... forgot my book.  I'll be right back."  

I took this picture at school, Nate looking at the blue sands of time. They don't stop falling, do they? I want to stop them sometimes, or slow them down, or at least appreciate them. These days -- the ages of the boys, the youngness and sweetness -- feel precious and lovely to me. Once in a while, it's good to pay attention to the time going by. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mack's balls

We learned from the doctor that Mack’s undescended testicle (which he was born with) had apparently created a hernia and he had to have surgery to correct both. He bravely underwent the knife last Friday morning and as it turns out there was no hernia. But the balls are back and Mack was a superchamp. All the nurses in the hospital gaga-ed over him and he was an angel in the waiting room even though he hadn’t eaten anything for hours. 

He recovered easily and was happily playing the next morning.

In fact Mack’s happy outgoing personality is really showing lately. Today we went to Frolic where he charmed every mom and nanny—one mom even told me he made her day by giggling when she made funny faces at him. He follows little kids around just wanting to play with them and smiling hugely when anyone looks his way.

He is also very physically energetic—making his way everywhere, under chairs and tables, unafraid of getting hurt or stuck and not too concerned when he does. He is strong and hard to contain sometimes, especially when trying to get him dressed—which he hates. I remember Nate bring much more mellow—sitting on a lounge chair in Mexico – but Mack doesn’t stay in one place very long and when confined to the car seat or stroller, starts to lose it. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nate quotes

Nate closest friens these days are lion, lion and tiger. And sometimes polar bear, which he will be for Halloween…

Nate: Where is everybody?!
Me: I’m right here
Nate: (confused) no. lion tiger, other lion and polar bear!

 This morning, Nate waking up:
Nate: Mommmmmy! I’m done with this bed already. I want to get a snack already. 

Friday, October 5, 2012


Nate was the best patient that Williamsburg Dental Arts had all week! seriously.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The crawl

Mack has been teetering on crawling for a couple weeks now and finally seems to have gotten it. He’s not quite a pro but is definitely grasping and concept—arms and legs moving together. And getting around! He’s very eager to explore and great on his own for long periods of time just trying to get toys and playing with them. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sea Lions

Since Nate's actual birthday fell on the second day of school, his class, the Sea Lions celebrated with cupcakes, but no candles. Look how cute he is.

Nate started school five days a week and the only kid from last year’s class is Sasha which makes it challenging for him-no Remi or Ronan. So far he’s doing great though there are days he doesn’t want to go, he usually gets himself ready and has a good day. After school we play with Remi sometimes, and the two take soccer on Mondays. Mack is with me a couple afternoons a week when I pick up Nate and all the kids, well mostly girls, love to play with him. Mack loves it too—he’s becoming very friendly and social, very happy to be among others and play. And Nate is very proud to have his baby bro in the classroom—his teacher said she’s never seen a 3 year old as loving toward his sibling.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Big Boy 3!

We had an early, small family bday party in Love's Folly with the Moshans, Gessers, Liebmans giving him loads of presents and helping Nate (me) make and eat the cake.  He was excited but a bit overwhelmed and wound up napping immediately afterwards, as he did on his first bday party as well.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Meanwhile, Mack grows bigger, stronger, drinking those disgusting protein shakes aka Similac Expert Care Alimentum Powder Infant Formula (TM), building muscle, teeth, confidence, eye-hand coordination, charm...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Feinblooms and Lebow Visit

For this last weekend in July, the Feinblooms and LeBows visited Love's Folly for a somewhat hectic and fun loving weekend. Highlights: Shana's paella, Felix and Nate crashing heads in the first 5 minutes, movies and the arguments of the kids about which movies they would watch, the similar temperaments of Tessa and Nate, nature walks, Nate, Felix and Tessa sleeping in the same room, Melanie gorgeously pregnant, Shana making breakfast for Nate, Tessa, Felix on morning, LeBow in the pool throwing children, Miles' high pitched squeal but devastating smile, Feinbloom sleeping poolside, and hot pool vs. cold pool. The above video is some of my very own cooking show ("Today we're doing...Smoothies!") to Nate and Felix. My secret: raw bacon aroma... 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mack in late July

Here is Mack now, about 5 1/2 months old, starting to develop into this wide-eyed, sweet, hungry little boy. His laugh is this shrilly, noisy, guttural "EHHHHHHH!!!" kind of noise. He smells like formula. He spits up constantly and without remorse. But he is full of life and sweet beyond our wildest exceptions. Above is Mack leaning against an ottoman in Love's Folly, standing up and swaying like a drunk. His smile is fantastic. We love him so much.

Summer in Full Swing

For the first 2 weeks of July, Nate is in camp -- so we can't go far. When his boys Ronin and Remy are there, Nate -- look at those locks! -- is having a great time.  

Then it was back to Love's Folly -- of course -- for a hang with Mike, Nicole, Cylus and Maxine. Cylus could be one of the most amiable boys I've met so far, but Maxine and Nate went at it pretty hard. The parents were working!

Even at the Crab Claw, it was kind of wild.

In the end, Nate was left sort of exhausted and grouchy, as were we.

But there was little rest. We wanted to see the Gessers, and so we drove to DC, where we met for ping pong pizza. Nate and I drove Shana and Mack to Ron/Simma's place, and then we drove back to the Gessers for a sleep-over. Mae and Nate ran around chasing the cats until the kids were ready for bed.  Without a pack & play or guest bed for Nate, Mae volunteered to sleep in a sleeping back and Nate got the bottom bunk under Sadie.

Brookie put on classical music after Sadie read a bed-time story. Nate went to sleep -- remarkably -- with a cat at the foot of his bad and a pink chair protecting him from falling off. 

Then it was back to Love's Folly the next day, where we went afternoon boating to the Crab Claw where we feasted on french fries (and beer for the adults) with Captain Oha.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July Camp

Nate's in camp five days a week in two week lumps. The transition hasn't been easy. He seems OK but he's not taking great joy. He's shy in new situations. He plays around others and doesn't necessarily zero in on them. We think this is normal -- there's no concern. But there's heartbreak some mornings when Nate doesn't seem thrilled to be there and he's alone. At the end of the day, Shana says he seems kind of cranky and exhausted, as if the camp experience takes a toll on him. We urge him on nonetheless.  

Here's Nate one morning, kind of jumping around, a bit in his own world, a bit thinking about engaging one of the other little boys. You can see his mind working. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Big Boy Bed

Big.  Boy.  Bed.  Now the fun of two boys in one room begins if we have the nerve...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th

On this hot July 4th day, Nate and I hit the bike for our longest ride -- Prospect Park, a 15 mile journey there and back.  Through South Williamsburg and Bed Stuy, we biked past stone faced Hassidim children on tree lined blocks.  Entering the park, we marveled at the joggers, bikers, paths, trees (trees!), then stopped for a snack on a bench overlooking the park's giant and magnificent lawn. I wish we had this park near Williamsburg. Then we found a playground on the southeast side near the pond, where Nate jubilantly and breathlessly soaked himself in the fountain. Here he is running and squealing.

There were more snacks of course before we headed home; the mood was gleeful. Together we biked home, mostly down Bedford Avenue, a beat up street with rough storefronts and tons of cars whizzing by. Nate talked the whole ride home.

Summer travels

Lot's a fun times in the Folly this summer! We spent two whole weeks there with the Liebmans, then a few weekends in between with friends, and finally the famous Labor Day Nate Bday bash weekend. 

We also made it out to Huntington quite a bit--some said we were stalking the Grandparents, which we were. Actually Michael said that. The best weekends were when the Gessers joined us.