November wraps up today, and it was an eventful month. We had a first-ever Thanksgiving away! We ventured over to New York to stay with Lauren’s Uncle Mark in his gorgeous cabin in the woods in the Catskills. We really lucked on the travel (we left super-early on Wednesday morning and got there right as the snow started to fall, the trip back was less smooth, but not unbearable). It was perfect because noah has been asking about when he could play in the snow pretty much since it stopped snowing last March. So he spent most of the week outside making snowmen, smashing snowmen (apparently more fun than making them, since I did most of the making and he did most of the smashing), snowball fights, snow-fort making, snow-angels, snow-baseball, snow shoveling, sledding (sort of, no hills around), and walks in the scenic woods. More importantly, the kids got quality time with the DeNat/Mistretta side of the family and got to hang with cousin Matthew (emily was excited to see “Pee and Jayter,” cousins Peter and Jay). noah found a new favorite food, matza brie, and TV show, Octonauts. emily found new ways to wake us up early (we all slept in the same room upstairs), and got to do lots of coloring and building with magna-tiles and mega-blocks. Other than that, this month was filled with fun activities. We had a pretty sweet bowling date with the AhnAllens (noah’s best buddy, Noah) at Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream and Bowling (and yes, we had ice cream too, of course, and it is super gourmet!). The noahs had a lot of fun, and Jacob got into it too, but em was iffy on the whole thing (I ended up having to bowl for her). We also had another trip to the Science Museum (that membersip is gonna pay off this time!) with Micah and his parents Hsindy and Victor (who should have his own little science museum in his house with all the stuff he makes!). The kids probably would have been fine to just play at the ball wall (a wall with magnetic PVC pipes to make mazes for plastic balls to drop down through) all day, but we motivated them to see a bit more of the museum. We also had a trip to the Audubon Society’s Drumlin Farm with neighbor and friends Omri, Idan and their mom Sharon. The space is beautiful and, bonus, there’s farm animals, always a good thing. Other than that there was a lot of raking of leaves. The kids are super helpful/not helpful depending on whether they are running/bike riding through the piles or being used as compactors (they like to jump up and down on the leaves in the barrels). And there was some modeling of the City Year children’s red jacket tee with good friend Phoenix, check it out on cityyearstore.com (and get your own!).
emily is all about showing us what she can do these days, she is a very proud munchkin. Her favorite phrase is “Look it, mommy/daddy, LOOK IT!” (while showing us something she did/found/noticed. She is still an avid reader (that is, she likes us reading to her), now sometimes she will sit with a book herself and read it to herself (she says to me, “Daddy, let me look at pages first)!). Her language has been expanding in leaps and bounds. She has always been a talker, but she can clearly describe things in paragraphs now, a huge advance on the non-sequitur tangential phrases toddlers speak in. And she remembers and focuses on specifics things. Like every day when we drove by Halloween decorations of a blown-up vampire and separately a blown-up pumpkin she would be excited to see them, so of course, every day this month she has asked where they are and when they will come back (umm, next year?). She recently found noah’s old Scout dog (a stuffed dog that speaks and sings incredibly catchy/annoyingly-stick-in-your-head tunes), and loves to carry it around and sing with it. Thankfully noah most often is ok with her adopting his old toy. But sometimes he chooses to be mean about it and yanks it back, unfortunately that’s standard older sibling behavior we get too much of these days!
Speaking of noah, his world has been officially altered forever. Legos have arrived in our house. There had been some tinkering at Nonna’s prior to this arrival, but now we are in full-blown Lego mode. I don’t think I have seen him take to a toy quite like this since we got him his first wooden train set at age 1. And, frankly, I am right there with him. It’s pretty darn fun to build with Legos, I would be happy to sit and build with them all day, just like noah. My mom, in all her infinite wisdom, saved all my Legos from my childhood, so it was pretty amazing to open up a box with so many pieces I remember so well (including classic red/blue/gray space Lego sets, YES! And a 1996 Wild West set unopened box, what?). noah’s current favorite activity with the legos is building spaceships, and they are AWESOME! Sometimes they are more like space-stations they have so much going on. He really likes to add the “gold” pieces (neon/translucent ones).
Here’s the pics from the month: