Archive for April, 2011

“It’s so much better on holiday”

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

A little blog-reading music?

We visited my folks in FL.  Before we became parents, Cati and I did not predict that we would gain so much pleasure by watching our kids have fun.  Natalia and Nina (to a greater extent) regard my parents’ farm as their very own petting zoo and fun park.  Nina practically woke up yelling “Abuelo!” for my father to take her along on the day’s adventure– whether it was feeding the cows, or collecting the eggs, or yelling at the llamas (which is what she did when she saw them– they are apparently big and scary to her).   She liked the pygmy goats.

Although we wanted for nothing on my folks’ farm, we made time to spend a day at Busch Gardens.  Nina and Natalia must have thought they were in paradise.

Nina made a love connection with Abby Cadabby.

The only unpleasant part of the day was when it was time to go.  Nina was exhausted and became quite upset as we attempted to leave– she wanted to see another Elmo show.  Worry not, I think she was conked out 32 seconds after this photo was taken.

We also found a beach near my parents’ farm.  It’s certainly not going to drain tourism away from the Bahamas, but it is ideal for the little ones.  It comprised shallow water, no waves, no big crowds, and it was about 20 minutes from my folks’ place– see?  Ideal.

Everyday, the kids had all the fun their bodies could handle and often crashed into profound naps (which are the parents’ best friend).  When they rest, we all rest.

At my parents’ place, I caught an interesting lizard that had a shock of blue on its neck and belly.  I was probably more interested in it than I would normally be because I am reading Dawkins’s new book The Greatest Show on Earth.  I’m guessing that the blue coloring is a product of sexual selection– any biologists out there that care to comment on what this lizard is called?

We also had a very nice meal at my sister’s place.  She has kids as well, and it was a real treat to see them all having fun together.  I was bascially slinging and throwing kids around like nunchuks– they loved it.

Also, on an unrelated note, my dear friend LT, has embarked on a solo sailing excursion aroud the world.  He left from San Diego, CA on April 17 and will be incommunicado until he reaches the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.  I hope he’s ok; he is an irreplaceable friend to me.  He is a regular captain adventure, this guy; he just finished a 3-month excursion in Antarctica with NOAA.  Read all about it and his upcoming adventures on his blog here.

See what I mean about that Abby Cadabby love connection I mentioned.  Now, she goes everywhere Nina goes.

As for food and cooking– we all enjoyed my Mom’s cooking during the vacation and I only cooked two meals while there.  My parents claim to really like my cooking, but I reckon they’re kinda biased.  Yeah, I’ll make sure to mention that my parents like my cooking on a resume if I am ever in search of a kitchen job– “Voted best cook in the world by my mom”–  they’d have to hire me, right?

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

We went out for dinner in NYC.  We went back to Ocean Grill in Manhattan (we were there back in 2007, remember?)  This time with our charming and lovely friends, who always seem happy to see us and vice-versa.  I don’t know why I drove– we really ought to take the train.

The food and company were a real treat.  After the meal, however, Cati and I waited 45 minutes for the parking garage to bring us our car.  The entire garage had one car-elevator and there was a huge queue of people.  45 long minutes that we, being tired and irritated due to the wait, used to continue a fight debate we had been having for days.  It’s a bit too complicated to detail here, but we’ll tell you, dear readers, all about it over dinner sometime.

Back to food– for sushi– and I mean traditional Japanese sushi– Sharaku of West Bloomfield, MI (yes, Michigan), is second to none.  If you should find yourself within a 50 mile radius– go.  Make a reservation.

Their natto (and consequently their maguro natto) is the best I have had.

Since leaving MI, we obviously have limited access to Sharaku, but we’ve found a nice place in Somerville, NJ that meets our sushi needs– Shumi.    It is good.



Cati and I apparently passed the “love of food” gene on to Natalia.  She eats like a CHAMP and is seldom happier than while doing so.

Actually, she is pretty happy most of the time.

The same goes for Nina, most of the time.  She’s going through a phase that’s tough to take– with the whining, and the being contrary (all the time), and the emotional meltdowns.  Cati and I have a theory that there is a developmental milestone going on with her brain chemistry that is as violent as puberty.  A stage where little ones start dealing with an intensity of emotions previously not known to them.  But it’s just our little theory; it’s likely wrong, but it helps us get through the night (that, and copious amounts of valium; I kid, I kid).  She’s going through life with her eyes wide open and her inquisitiveness often makes us chuckle.

We are all ready for Spring to get here.

For additional cute-points, take a look at the cupcakes the girls’ tia Sarah brought for them.  Note how Cookie Monster is eating a cookie– that is cute.  (Sarah, if you should happen to read this, please plug the bakery that made the cupcakes in the comments section.)

Also, here are some elegant (and tasty) cakes from Jen and Gabe’s baby shower (From The Bread Basket Bakery in Saratoga Springs, NY).

Cati and I had a great time seeing our much missed Upstate NY friends, and in some cases, their growing families.

And lastly, here’s just plain Cake:

Thank you Robert Carpenter (2:15 of the video) for my new/only dance moves from this point-of-my-life forward.  I’m doing that dance right now.