Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thanks Dad

My dad just sent me this link http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1523419289

I couldn't stop laughing - this is definitely the only time I will get to see Isaac do the macarena in this life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Family photo in our crowded apartment


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Kind of rare to have all three of us together! Thanksgiving was fun, and I can't wait to see everyone again now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Rom Com

It's true, I really enjoy a good romantic comedy. Mostly though, I enjoy watching them with Isaac. I thank God every day that I have a husband who is able to appreciate the finer points of movies such as Just Like Heaven, Bridget Jones' Diary (only the first one), and of course, the mother of all - Pride and Prejudice.

Unfortunately, there aren't that many good ones made in a given year, and definitely not enough to supply the rate at which we've been watching movies. So as I mentioned, we ended up watching Must Love Dogs, which was pretty much godawful. John Cusack, Diane Lane, what happened? Zero chemistry between the two of them, a somehow terrible script, oh no.

But seriously, I did a search on imdb for movies which are both comedy and romance (because who wants to watch a depressing romantic movie? not me.) and once you weed out the anime, and the sci-fi anime, and the unsatisfying French movies (just can't get into Audrey Tautou) we've seen almost EVERYTHING. It's quite sad. Okay, we didn't see Dr. T and the Women, because Stacy said it was something like a fork to the eye, but just about everything else. Also, I have a question - is imdb like wikipedia because I'm not sure why Team America World police is labeled a romance. Forget i asked.

So anyway, looking at the imdb list, we are down to Agent Cody Banks and Dirty Love and ooh Brown Sugar, which I will totally check out from the library, just for Queen Latifah. But I have a question of my readers (basically my sisters, hi Beth and Katie) - can you think of a movie that we might not have seen yet? I'm thinking about offering a cash reward. When we saw a movie for our anniversary, it cost $24. Not including the babysitter. Movie prices went up while we were living with an infant. We saw Dan in Real Life (which was cute, and we're giving it four out of five stars - I couldn't bear to give it anything less for $24).

Okay, good night, and think of good movies for me!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Isaac ran the New York Marathon!

He totally did.

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It was awesome, and Laura and I went out to cheer him on. This entailed us taking the subway for the first time since she left the womb. Thank goodness the train was full of sweet Midwestern out-of-towners who immediately forced me to sit down so I didn't fall with the baby. Then we waited for Isaac to appear, standing next to a group of rowdy Swiss ladies. We arranged to meet up at 110th and 1st ave (hence the subway ride) because it was supposed to be less crowded up there - Laura doesn't like crowds and loud noises... But she did pretty well even with the cowbell and crazy Swiss cheers (they were saying something that sounded like "Hop Suite! Hop Suite! Hop Suite!") Then we walked over to 5th avenue to see Isaac about 4 miles later and a lot more tired. Though he doesn't look any different to me in the pictures!

Not as tired:
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Too bad i didn't get any action shots of the guy actually running. Next time!

In other marathon news, I didn't see Katie Holmes or Lance Armstrong, but I did see Melissa Summers of Suburban Bliss (a blog-celebrity sighting!) and then right after that I saw Michael J. Fox and his wife. They were kinda easy to spot because of the "Team Fox" hats. Well, she wasn't wearing a hat, but Michael J. was. I never spot celebrities and Isaac always does (he saw Ricky Gervais in the park a couple of weeks ago) but it would help me a lot if they would wear name tags like this...

Okay, I'm wasting precious time when I should be sleeping - I'm starting to get a sleep debt, and I learned how that can make your iq drop like 50 points or something. Now that I'm back at work, my NPR listening has gone up approx 1000%. I should clarify that my sleep debt is really not the baby's fault, it's my own stupid fault for doing stupid things. Like last night Isaac and I watched Must Love Dogs (why oh why Stacy didn't I read your one star Netflix review sooner) until 12:30! Of course I had to be up at 6:30.

I have lots more to say on the topic of romantic comedies, but maybe I will pace myself and just try to blog more this month, since it's one of those Blog More months or whatever.

PS Laura Jane learned how to roll over from her back to her front! Here she is in progress:

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Halloween!

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We had fun walking up and down 2nd Avenue and seeing all the other kids in their costumes. Things are busy these days with work and baby! Isaac and I had our fourth wedding anniversary yesterday and tonight we are going out for dinner and a movie. We don't know which movie or restaurant yet. Kind of planning impaired these days! Especially since Isaac is running the marathon on Sunday! So we are thinking maybe an Italian place for carbo-loading purposes...

Okay, better get to work...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two Quick Things

Just a couple of blog notes before our babysitter arrives (yes, we got a babysitter and she's terrific!)

1. I totally knew it, for once: Dumbledore is gay! I didn't see that part coming about him having fallen in love with Grindelwald, but I remember figuring out the gay thing after Book 6. Isaac and I were totally googling "is dumbledore gay?" but couldn't find other people out there to back us up.

2. Also, we watched 28 weeks later last night and I discovered a side benefit to having a baby. Isaac can't pretend to be a scary zombie anymore and scare me in bed. Don't want to wake the baby - excellent zombie protection! Go Laura Jane! Reason 1,324,678 to have a sweet baby.

Speaking of Laura, she's waking up, and I should try to get her to sleep some more...happy baby...

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

someone figured out how to smile for the camera...

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My parents and my brother came up on Saturday for a nice day visit! Laura mostly behaved herself...although she required carrying when we went out for our little walk up to Central Park. At least someone else was there to push the stroller, not like some days when I have to carry her AND push the stroller.

I have taken a lot of nice walks along this route, walking west up to Central Park, and through the park a little going south, and then back home again. Often I go past the Frick, and read their sign...no admittance for children under the age of 10... Boy is this a case of the grass being greener. I've been to the Frick exactly once before, and never experienced any burning desire to go there again. I mean, I really enjoyed it, but it was also great to go during the time that you could pay what you wanted. But now every time I walk past there with the baby, I'm just dying to go in. I fantasize about the guard making an exception for me and my sweet and angelic infant, so well contained in the Baby Bjorn. A chamber music friend of Isaac's crashed at our place last night, and going to the Frick was pretty much the only thing I could think to suggest for him to do. Oh well...I'll either go by myself sometime, or wait ten years.

Okay, time for bed, Laura's been asleep for hours, and hopefully will stay that way when we tiptoe to the bed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LJ update

Well, things are great here at Chez Laura Jane...the apartment is a mess, and I guess I'm a little bit of a mess, but we are very happy in our messiness.

Some stuff about life with the baby...

1. Laura loves to sleep. Thank you GOD. I can honestly say I have not really felt that crazy sleep deprivation that I was expecting. Yes, there have been some bad nights, but I'm not sure that there were ever two in a row. I'm so lucky.

2. Getting out of the apartment is important for both of us - it's good to get her some daylight to keep her circadian clock set, and it's good for my mental health.

3. The New Yorkers who love babies the most are the grandma-types who I see on street corners and at the supermarket. Every time we are waiting to cross the street, some nice older lady is telling me what a sweet baby I have.

(By the way, what is the appropriate response to such a statement? I sometimes say thank you, and then feel weird, because it's not any accomplishment of mine to have a cute baby. I mean, I suppose she would be less cute if I didn't bathe her, but probably not by much. Most of the time I either say "mmm hmm," laugh nervously, or adjust the baby's clothes or blanket while making some silly baby talk. Let me know if you have any other ideas for what to do...)

4. Pubs are actually very baby friendly restaurants. Also, deserted Asian restaurants during the weekend brunch hour.

5. Drinking alcohol again is awesome!

6. I have gotten obsessed with Tim Gunn since I have more time to watch TV right now. I want him to throw away everything in my closet, and get Carmen Marc Valvo to give me a dress.

7. I have to go back to work soon...

SO, here are some pictures of our sweet girl - she started smiling a long time ago...and she's almost laughing. I keep hearing one little "ha" but she hasn't quite made it to "ha ha" yet.

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We went to Maryland at the end of August, and Laura Jane got to meet cousin Lucy. Lucy loves to tickle...

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Also, we managed to take a picture of LJ crying with pretty much every member of the family. She really was quite happy on this trip, but you wouldn't know it from the pictures.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

One month later....

Well I haven't set some kind of world record for pregnancy - I did indeed have a baby! Laura Jane was born on July 18 at 3:00pm. We brought her home and she's sleeping in the other room right now. What a good girl to give mommy a blog break. What can you say about having a newborn at home that hasn't already been said. It's terrific, it's frustrating, it's wonderful and awesome in all modern and arcane senses of those words....And I almost dare not say this, because it is probably inviting the wrath of our benevolent baby God, but I'm feeling pretty good, and not actually even all that sleep-deprived...please don't smite me baby God!

And now for the pictures....

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

today is the day that isaac picked

when we guessed the baby's birthday, long ago. We've been getting calls from so many people wanting to know what's up! It's very nice to have family and friends who are getting excited and impatient for us. Especially since Isaac does most of the phone talking (you know how I'm not great on the phone).

So, as I said in a previous comment, we're doing what we can to bring this baby thing to fruition...spicy food, walking a lot, etc. Yesterday I went to Mass with the idea that I might not make it to church today (positive thinking!) and then last night I came home and bounced up and down on my exercise ball. I have no idea whether such a thing is known to actually move the baby down, but it was kind of fun to bounce while I watched old episodes of Law and Order. My sisters called last night within about 30 seconds of each other, and Katie told me about a friend of a friend who used the stair stepper to bring on labor....the whole process is very scientific apparently...

I think that might be one of the most frustrating things about waiting for labor to start on its own, the unscientificness of it all and apparent lack of control over cause and effect. But it's probably a good way to start out life with kids, because I have a feeling there won't be much scientific method involved in that either. Still, if someone told me that a certain yoga pose or prayer to a certain saint (I've just been going with Mary, since I don't know too many others who had children) or a delicious and side effect-free food item (no castor oil here) brought on labor - I would try it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lucy at the pool....

I have to post these pictures of niece Lucy at the pool. These are from almost a month ago, but Lucy has been going to the pool just about every weekend and learning to swim! She's a real natural in the water apparently, and even more importantly, she knows how to look cute while doing her thing.


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Still here...and baby holding firm to my insides

I get a really funny look from people at work now when I go in, like, what are you still doing here? Well, the answer is, the air conditioning at the lab is awesome, and there is no better place to be for someone who has to take a cold shower every night just to survive the heat and humidity. I'm still getting a little bit of work done too, and it doesn't seem like there's any reason to sit at home yet...

So it's pretty hard to make plans around this baby already! My parents are going to be in NJ this weekend for a family party, and were talking about coming up to see us and the baby tonight or tomorrow night. Only problem is, no baby yet. I think we are getting closer though, since my hormones seem to be gearing up for something! More than a couple of tears were shed at the Harry Potter movie...

We'll all meet the baby soon enough though, and the grandparents will be able to come next weekend too. My mom is going to stay to help us for almost a week, which will be very very good. Isaac and I took an infant care class, where we learned to wrap a baby doll in a blanket, and I really can't remember a single other thing that we learned.

I'm definitely taking Stacy's advice though, and treasuring the last few days (baby willing) of this pregnancy. I keep thinking, is this the baby's birthday? Is tomorrow? Now it's Friday the 13th...so I'm wondering if I should hope that we hold out until Bastille Day?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Due Date Update!

Well, today is the official due date...and no baby yet. It was even harder to get to sleep last night because I was so excited about today though. It was like the tomorrow's my birthday feeling that I used to get when I was really excited about my birthday.... But I know today probably isn't THE day! This morning I'm going for some baby monitoring to make sure that it's okay to keep going past the due date - they'll do that twice a week from now on, besides my weekly doctor's visit. Should be interesting!

We bought our tickets for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, for Wednesday night at 8pm, taking the chance that the baby will still be in its most portable location at that time. If not, oh well!

Here are some pictures I promised from the baby shower I had online with Jen and Lynne!
What a nice time...

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By the way, this is the face I'm wearing in my driver's license picture, it's so ridiculous!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Baby party pictures

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38 week update

Well, I've had doctor's appointments every week now for a while and things are still looking good. The baby is pretty happy where he/she is for now, although head down and ready to launch. I'm visualizing this childbirth thing more as like a rocket launch. Our childbirth instructor claimed that visualizing her baby as a fish swimming out of her was helpful, and I'm upping the ante to rocket propulsion.

So, we are doing well here - Isaac and I have cooked a lot of meals that are now in the freezer. In fact, the freezer is so full that we are now starting to eat some of the stuff we made. Thai Curry, yum. It's awfully hot outside, but the air conditioning at work is a real blessing - I'm still going into work every day.

Last night I had a dream that I got on a plane to Minnesota without telling Isaac, and without thinking about the fact that I was really really pregnant. I just had to see Stacy. And in my dream it was so nice to see her, awkward hugs all around. Then I realized that the airline might not let me fly home because I was so pregnant and I started thinking of costumes to disguise my condition...and it would take something pretty drastic at this point.

I have lots of pictures to post both from the baby party my family had for me and the IM-based baby shower that Jen and Lynne had for me, which was so so nice. Thanks to them the baby will not be quite so grungy (baby tub and baby hamper) or snotty (healthcare kit with snot sucker) or ignorant of Grover (classic Sesame Street golden book as a precursor to when the child can read Harry Potter). I am so grateful to have such nice blogfriends, and they are on my mind awake or asleep apparently!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

appointment 36 weeks

Today Isaac and I are going to my 36 week checkup at the ob. So we should be finding out soon whether the baby is pointed in the right direction to be born (very exciting) and talk about the birth day...our doctor is very much of the "don't worry about anything too much" school, which is quite comforting. Of course, she may not be our actual delivering ob, since there are 2 other doctors in her practice, and 2 other doctors who cover for them sometimes.

So, being in the ninth month is not too bad so far. Last night we saw Knocked Up, which was a lot of fun. This weekend we are starting a cooking project to stock up our freezer with some favorite freezable meals...Green Curry Chicken, Lasagna, and Khoresh Fesenjan. What do you know, they have Najmeh's recipe on Epicurious.com. We have two of her cookbooks, and they are both absolutely excellent. Probably used more than any other cookbook on the shelf. Anyway, if you go to a Persian restaurant that serves this khoresh, you should get it, so yummy, with walnuts and pomegranate paste and chicken in this stewy form. Oh, and chili. That's not really a favorite of mine, but it is highly freezable.

This past Saturday was really wonderful - my family made the trek up from Maryland, by bus and by car, and we had a really great party here in the apartment. They brought the food, and we ate a ton, and opened lots of presents. It's actually starting to look like a baby might be able to live in this place, and be clothed and diapered and everything. I'll have to post some pictures later after I get them off my camera...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thanks Mom and Dad and Beth!

My family is coming up to New York this weekend for a "baby shower". It's not exactly a by-the-book shower, since it's in our apartment and it's not just for women, and it's also pretty much only my immediate family coming. That will fill our apartment quite nicely actually, it's not too big.

My mom and dad sent a bunch of stuff that I had picked out on amazon, including a carseat! And my sister sent the matching stroller. I had fun the other night putting it together, and adjusting the straps and clicking the pieces together and detaching them. Isaac is out of town at a conference, so I sent him a picture or two of the progress I've been making...

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I think this is probably how the baby will be travelling home from the hospital, since we live only about 3 blocks away!

Party at Li-Ling's!

Ooops. More than a week has now passed since we went to that delightful birthday party at Li-Ling and I-Chen's place. Here are some pictures of the event, which I am only posting if you promise not to be horrified at how huge I look, and what kind of double chin action there is going on here. Do you promise? Okay...

With Isaac and Mai and Taka!
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Hot, if blurry, ladies

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Birthday girl and a coffee cocktail

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Famous bartender Yuji working his magic

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Me and a mock pina colada

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The food at this party was so so so good - I'm afraid to post pictures of it because I won't be able to stop. By the way, I stole all these pictures from Tiffany because I didn't think to take any of my own...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Randomness

Isaac and I had a great time on Sunday night at LL and IC's place. LL made an amazing spread of food and their friend Yuji made some terrific cocktails (and mocktails for me!) LL's birthday is coming up in just a few days, and it was a really fun evening to celebrate. Yay. I will have to post some of Tiffany's pictures from the night later on, when Flickr is up and running again.

I can't remember why this book I'm thinking of came up when I was talking to Tiffany that night - oh now I remember. It was because Tiffany was telling me of her lifelong dream to attend a bar or bat mitvah. (Cross your fingers for her!) I remembered this book I kept hearing about a year or so ago, with pictures of bar mitzvahs from the 80s. The pictures I saw were incredibly amusing, not so much because they were at a bar mitzvah, but because they look like every photo taken of awkward adolescents ever. The book is Bar Mitzvah Disco and here are some selected pics. Tiff, I hope the bar mitzvah you go to has a Michael Jackson impersonator. The one of the 3 young couples might be my favorite. It is almost like they know that they could be blackmailed with this picture in about 20 years.

Back when I was hearing about this book, I guess that American Apparel did some kind of advertising campaign using the pictures, or inspired by these pictures, which is really annoying to me because I hate American Apparel ads. At least all of the ones featuring girls in their underwear. Which is pretty much all of them. They might be less creepy to me if the founder guy wasn't known for masturbating in front of female journalists. (Still creepy, even if the journalist didn't mind apparently.)

Okay, time for me to get myself and my insanely swollen waterlogged feet to bed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tonight

As of last Saturday, Isaac and I have completed our childbirth preparation class, which featured a very nice and knowledgeable, crunchy-granolaish instructor, some extremely graphic videos (I was remembering how they called it "horror porn" on that British show Coupling), snack-time, foot massage techniques, and a couple of extremely foul-smelling classmates.

Tonight we took another class, in Infant CPR. Before attending the class I worried that it might be kind of emotional or something. I mean, pretty much everything makes me cry these days. Including the aforementioned extremely graphic childbirth videos (that's one of the better reasons to cry), but also gross provocations such as Isaac seeming slightly uninterested while I was describing my latest reading about the bazillion kinds of cloth diapers. (Do you feel sorry for my husband or what?)

But back to the infant CPR, it wasn't emotional or scary at all really. Everyone got their own little infant dummy to practice with, and the teacher had this really funny way about her. Everything was kept pretty light, for a class in dealing with your unresponsive infant. She would say things like, "So when you go into the baby's room and finally figure out, 'oh maybe I shouldn't have put the baby down to nap with that bag of marbles....'" It all seemed kind of darkly funny somehow. Maybe that was possible only because no one there had any actual babies. It was all just pregnant couples (you know what i mean) and two nannies. I'm definitely glad we went, and I hope that I remember what I learned in case of any sort of real emergency!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

best May weather

I don't know about you guys, but isn't the weather just perfect right now? Not to jinx things or anything, but it's been lovely and not too hot and not too cold for days and days now. A little rain here and there, but nothing to get worked up about.

I just kind of wish that I could sleep through the night. I'm thinking of getting one of those sleep training books so that I can train myself to get some sleep. This morning I woke up at 5, and while that might be normal for some commuting, hair-blowdrying, look presentable sort of people, it's a good two hours before I like to be awake. At least it wasn't earlier like some other days. Things I can't stop thinkng about when I wake up in the early morning hours:

1. Baby names...names like Chastity and Charity and Chandler start to make sense to me just before dawn.

2. I really cannot get that song from Music and Lyrics out of my head, and it's been like a week.

3. I wonder if there is enough room in the fridge for the groceries which are going to be delivered this morning.

4. If I turned the fan on, would that drown out the minimal sounds from outside which are maybe keeping me from falling back to sleep?

5. Should we move the dresser over there, and the bed over to the other side of the room, and do we need a nightstand?

And it goes on and on and on. I want to shut my brain off. But now the groceries are probably coming soon, and then it will be time for work! It does look like it is going to be a really really nice day.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Katie!

Today is my sister Katie's birthday! I still remember going to the hospital a mere 27 years ago to visit Katie and my Mom. We were so excited to meet our little sister. And now she's getting married! Katie and Russell got engaged back in March, and they are getting married in a little more than a year. We are so excited and happy for them!

Here's the happy, baby-torturing couple!!!

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Have I told you Isaac's theory yet that 27 is the very best age for a woman? Not too young and not too old! Enjoy your year in your prime Kate....

Friday, May 18, 2007

trip to tennessee!

Isaac and I decided that with the impending increase in family size, we should use some of our frequent flier miles and get in some air travel to interesting places. Since Nick and Gina have been (had been!, oops, look what happens when you wait too long to write about something) living in Knoxville, Tennessee for the last year, we wanted very much to visit them there. Since then, they've left Tennessee and are now driving across the country to their new place in California.

Anyway, our trip to Tennessee was a lot of fun, and Nick actually already wrote about it here. We saw a lot of the University of Tennessee, though not many students, since we usually happened to be strolling there during the day on the weekend. Prime hangover time of course...

We had some really really good breakfasts made by Gina, including homemade dumplings and kim chee. I think Isaac was in heaven, remembering the spicy breakfast we had back in Jiangxi Province on our trip to China. There was this hotel in Jian where we stayed on our way back to the airport in Nanchang, and they had this breakfast buffet of about 40 items, almost all of which were covered in chilis and super spicy. That's the way to wake up! Anyway, Gina's kim chee was quite delicious, and went really well with the eggs and toast and other good stuff we had.

We also went to the park for a picnic, and played frisbee, and ate Doritos. There are pictures of us playing frisbee...action shot!

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And some pictures of Isaac in the Tennessee River:

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Photo credits to Nick!

We also had the time to drive up to the Smoky Mountains and take a little hike. I was kind of a wimp, and not overly balanceful on the trails, so we didn't go too far! Like Isaac is always telling me these days, I'm the gazelle in the herd that would be picked off by the predator...I think he means it in a nice way though...

Here we are on the trail...

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Then was it this night, or the night before that we went out for barbecue at Calhoun's? I really can't remember. But yum, I remember that the barbecue was really good. NYC is seriously lacking in some good barbecue.

Many belated thanks to our gracious hosts Nick and Gina.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

News Flash: Nieces are Cute!

I got the latest Lucy news from my sister recently, and what do you know, the brilliant 9 month old niece is already talking! Like in words! She can say cat and dog, so far, words which I'm sure will serve her well in this life.

Here are some older pictures of her, I wouldn't want you to miss anything.

Christmas (is my Mom a baby hog or what?)
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And here are some pictures from Easter - my camera apparently got set to Manual Mode, which is a no-no for an F-stop-challenged individual like myself. But somehow, Lucy still looks cute here, with my brother...

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Some of her favorite toys at Grandma's are the pie plates...

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They taste good, who needs pie?

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She really works the Flashdance look
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Leaning is not too far from standing and walking...
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