Monday, December 21, 2009

Stardate 63970.98 - Charlie Brown Christmas Killed by ABC

I'm not sure if anyone watched ABC's presentation of Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, but they cut up the episode to insert more commercials. My friend Jess does a dramatic reading of a well-written letter to ABC:


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stardate 63949.62 - Trimming the Tree(s)

Last weekend we put up our tree at the beach house. We purchased trees for years in the city at exorbitant rates, and dealt with finding needles for months and months afterward. So we finally purchased an artificial tree last year. Since it was in Cheryl's parents' attic, it was easiest to just bring it over to the beach house. They and Cheryl's grandmother came over to help.

Loren did a great job helping!

Kate helped by carrying around this ornament for most of the time we spent decorating the tree.

Here is an ornament I created from a kit when I was 10 (in 1979--30 years ago).

Cheryl's Mom helped Loren make a pizza for Loren to eat for dinner after the tree was done.

The next day we went to the Yacht Club for the Trim a Tree party there, and Santa stopped by with books and toys for the kids.

Here I read Kate's Santa book to her before we left the party.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stardate 63911.87 - Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving we went to the beach house early Thursday morning. As we were getting ready to go, Kate started cooking her version of Thanksgiving dinner and Loren was busy working her sticker book.

Before Thanksgiving dinner Loren told me she "wanted to go for a walk". I suggested the sea wall, to look at the bay, or perhaps around town to see what houses were up for sale. She took my hand and started up the street and said, "No, Daddy. The school playground." So that is where we went.

There is a great view from the school down to the town of Highlands and Sandy Hook bay, then Sandy Hook and the Atlantic Ocean beyond that.

We apparently never got the camera out during the dinner at Elaine and Dave's place, probably because we were too busy chasing the kids around. On Friday we hung around the house, played with chalk outside on the back patio, and went to Cheryl's Grandmother's place for dinner. On Saturday we took the kids to the Monmouth Museum where they had a great time in the aquatic and space rooms.

Here Loren space walks...

Here Loren and Kate visit the Moon.

I don't want to spoil the illusion, but I see little pink fingers floating next to the space helmet.

We came back into the city early Sunday to beat the traffic, but not before snapping a few photos in the beach house at breakfast.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Stardate 63905.03 - Nana and Kracker Visit

The weekend before Thanksgiving Nana and Kracker came up to the beach house for a visit with the girls.

Saturday night they watched the girls and Cheryl and I went for an early dinner at Bay Ave Trattoria. It was fantastic!! Must go back some time. The appetizers were especially distinctive and tasty. Being NJ it is a BYOB establishment, however a licquor store is just across the street by the gas station, and I was able to quickly procure a bottle of wine for the meal. Special thanks for the babysitting, Nana and Kracker!!!

On Sunday after they left we had to rake up some leaves in the side yard and so Loren got to jump into her first leaf pile.

On Sunday Loren had a play date with a boy who also lives in the city and has a place here at the beach. Here she is waiting for him to arrive.

We had a great visit and Nana and Kracker didn't hit too much traffic. We'll be seeing them again at Christmas.

Highlands, NJ

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stardate 63873.7 - Loren Rides Her Bike (Video)

The audio is the funniest part.


Stardate 63873.64 - Loren's Birthday

Loren's Birthday has been in continuous operation since last weekend. Last weekend (on the 8th) we got her a bike - her big birthday present from us.

For someone who really hadn't ridden very much before, she really got the hang of it pretty quickly.

On her actual birthday we had a little family party at home, and Loren opened all the presents that had arrived.

From the Arkansas Chriss Clan she got Thumbalina.

We got her a school set she has seen at Nana and Kraker's place for a couple of years.

Cheryl picked up cream puffs on the way home and we had those instead of cake.

Saturday night we had a little dinner party with Cheryl's parents and Grandmother at the beach house. Cheryl's Grandmother baked a cheesecake for Loren's birthday, and brought a Cars candle (one of Loren's favorite movies).

Sunday we came back early from NJ to get set up for a little party for Loren in the city. In order to keep the cost and chaos down, we told her she could invite 5 friends from school (and she already had a school party on Friday with all her classmates). Loren picked out the theme - Strawberry Shortcake.

Kate enjoyed strawberries as well, but was a bit startled when the doorbell rang.

Loren also picked out potato sack racing as a game she wanted to play at the party. The kids enjoyed it a lot more than I thought they would.

Late lunch / early dinner was pizza for everyone.

Followed by cupcakes, with the kids decorating their own. It was a lot less messy than I anticipated.

After the party I went downstairs to pick up two packages and it was two more birthday presents for Loren!! Another one from Nanna and Kraker and one from Aunt Lucy and Uncle Mike!

And now, I think Loren's birthday is officially done! Whew!!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stardate 63825.34 - Halloween Parties

Last weekend we had two Halloween parties to attend. The first was at the YMCA where Loren has taken a swim class and a ballet class. Her ballet teacher was the organizer of the event. We snapped one picture of Kate in her costume before we were chastised for taking pictures. Apparently it was a "no camera" event. I guess they didn't want people taking pictures of other people's kids, but this meant we ended up with no pictures of Loren as a pirate.

On Sunday we went down to Long Branch to walk along the boardwalk and eat at Windmill. Windmill holds a special place in my heart as it is where I ate two huge chili cheese dogs for lunch on the day of our wedding. People say you are too nervous to eat, but I was hungry! After lunch, we walked along the beach and Loren even found a playground set on the beach to explore.

I like the juxtaposition of little Loren against the enormity of the ocean.

Loren, unprompted, wrote her name in the sand. She has really been working on writing her name, although it is usually more clear on paper than in the sand.

The second Halloween party was at the Yacht Club, where Kate went in the famous strawberry costume and Loren switched to Cinderella. They really went all out at the club, with lots of decorations, a fog machine, and of course the bar was in service for the adults.

I think this cat is saying, "Mine!! Mine!! This candy is all mine!!!" I may have to post this to LOL Cats.

Here Loren plays the Halloween version of Twister with some older girls.

We had a nice time although something I ate over the weekend really did not agree with me and I was not well at all Monday and Tuesday. I suffered through work on Monday but worked from home Tuesday. By Wednesday I was better and went back to work but I've still had headaches and am not at 100%. Also, Kate ended up with a fever Monday night and stayed home Tuesday through Thursday, although she seems well enough to return to school today. In general, it has been a crappy week for everyone but here's hoping the weekend marks a turn-around!!