Thursday, November 20, 2008

On Our Way to Thanksgiving...

Lyla and Quinn at the polls on Election Day

First the plug! Erin has an online store at It's a great location for holiday shopping for you and every single person you know, so get the word out! Don't make your friends, relatives and passing acquaintances lose out on the best holiday gift opportunity of their lives.

The problem with not updating on a regular basis is that I forget the millions of little cute things the kids do day-to-day that I think I should update. I updated the October picture gallery a few weeks ago, so don't forget to check for new pics, even if I don't get a blog update. I previously had the pictures up from our local Halloween parade and then I added the pictures from Halloween proper.

For those of you who didn't hear, Quinn and I had a brief appearance on the Today Show. Quinn was modeling a "Last-minute Halloween Costume" for Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine. If you didn't get to see it on Halloween, you can check out the video clip online. Erin and Lyla were with us, but didn't make it on camera, even though Lyla was wearing her adorable flower outfit. One of the camera men trained his camera on her, but it didn't make it to the show.

Quinn had his 5 months doctor's appointment on Nov. 14th and measured in at 27" (90th Percentile) and 15lbs 14oz. (50th Percentile) We've started feeding him his first solid foods. He didn't react very well to rice cereal and spent much of the night crying the two nights we gave it to him, so after a break, Erin switched to oatmeal cereal and he seems to like it a lot and hasn't had any stomach issues with it. Aside from his fickle eating habits, Quinn is doing very well.

He's a very happy boy. His smile and laugh can light up the room. Every day when I come home, he watches my every move until I look at him and then he smiles wide and laughs. Erin says it might because he thinks I'm ridiculous. She may be right.

Lyla still loves the heck out of her brother. Sometimes she likes to crawl right on top of him while he's lying on the ground to hug him. That can be a little bit scary, but it's all about the love. She also looks out for him. When Erin has Quinn lying on the ground to strengthen his muscles and learn to turn over, he sometimes gets upset and cries with frustration. Lyla pleads with Erin to help him, because he's so little and needs her help. Leaving him be is paying off, though as he turned from his back to his belly for the first time just a few days ago. He had turned from his belly to his back awhile ago, but doesn't really seemed interested in doing it so much anymore.

We're getting ready to head up to Massachusetts for a week. I'm going to work out of our company's office in Watertown for a few days leading up to Thanksgiving, so we have some extra time with family and aren't so rushed over the holiday weekend. The day before we go, Erin will be selling her sweaters and puppets at a craft fair in Manhattan. But since you probably won't be able to make it, don't forget to check out the store at

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy New Year and Halloween

Shana Tova! October has been running by very quickly. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur brought Uncle Arthur out to Astoria for services and he was able to spend some time with Lyla and Quinn. I actually joined the local synagogue and am looking forward to be coming more active there in the future.

We're all getting very excited for Halloween! Lyla helped Erin put up all of the Halloween decorations and picked out a couple big plastic spiders at the store that are sitting on an end table in the living room. She didn't seem to understand Erin telling her "Daddy is arachnaphobic" and, in fact, likes to chase Daddy around with the spiders in her hands. She named them Dukel and Calladay (or something like that). She has also named two of her dolls Coco and Solange. We don't know where she comes up with this stuff.

Erin has the kids costumes made and we've got an Astoria Halloween Parade to go to on Sunday. But first, Erin and I are heading to a wedding out of town and Mima is coming to babysit the kids for the weekend. Uncle Arthur and cousin Michelle are going to visit part of the time as some backup, 'cause seriously, these two are more than a handful.

Quinn's last doctor's appointment was on 10/14 and he measured 24 3/4" and weighed 14lbs 15.5 oz. That puts him in the 50th Percentile for both. We're working on getting him to sleep longer through the night, but it's rough going. When he does manage to sleep for a long stretch, Lyla decides she needs to wake up in the middle of the night. We're also working on getting that to stop.

Quinn is often happy and cheerful. His laugh is infectious and he absolutely ADORES Lyla. He smiles happily whenever she comes near him and she loves to hug him and kiss him and tell him how much she loves her baby brother. The other night, she read him a bedtime story. It was one of the sweetest things Erin and I have ever seen.

Lyla has been growing up awfully fast. She currently has a potty chart that she puts stars on when she goes potty and has rewards at certain points. Lyla picked her own rewards (with some help from Erin). So far, she has earned ice cream, new shoes, new bows and a new book. For the new book, I took her in to Barnes and Noble in Union Square and we also walked around the farmer's market and bought some produce. Soon she will be able to watch a movie (DVD), eat broccoli and have a day with Mommy. Yes, that's right. For her reward, Lyla wants to eat broccoli. She's a bit odd.

The video below was taken during our trip to Oshkosh in September. Let me know if you can't understand what Lyla says, 'cause it's pretty dang funny. I should start subtitling...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

September Recap

I just got the September Gallery up, so you can see what we were doing while summer was ending and the cooler weather was beginning to set in. Quinn had a doctor's appointment mid-month and measured in at 24" and 13lbs 6.6oz, which puts him in the 25th percentile for both. He's been having some eating issues that we're trying to work through, but it causes for some lack of sleep.

We are now serving him the most expensive formula, which must be derived from caviar, lobster tails and kobe beef. He seems to be doing a bit better now, so hopefully he'll outgrow whatever was causing nights of fussiness and we can put him on regular formula.

Lyla had some sleeping issues of her own as we had a hectic travel schedule and she didn't get to sleep in her own bed for a little bit. We went to Boston for cousin Trevor's Bar Mitzvah and after a quick stop at home, headed out to Wisconsin for cousin Kai's wedding. Now we're back and trying to get everyone settled back into a routine, so hopefully, one day, everyone can sleep through the night.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've been trying to get some more video in acceptable formats for viewing online. Here's a little bit of what Lyla and I do sometimes when we're hanging out. Clearly, I could do it better.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Days

Like every month, our August has been busy. We had a double header doctor's appointment for Lyla's 2 year and Quinn's 2 month appointments. Lyla measured in at 37" (97th percentile) and 32.6 lbs (90th percentile). We didn't get Quinn's percentiles, but he was 22 3/4" and 11 lbs 11 oz.

Lyla still loves her Quinny, though she will tell Erin that she wants daddy to hold Quinn and mommy to hold her or just "don't hold Quinn, hold me!" Usually, she's pretty good. She has told us not to talk about Quinn and to talk about her, though. I then start to talk about how smelly and gross she is. Just kidding! I never say she's gross.

Quinn is very happy and likes to laugh a lot. Sometimes he even does it in his sleep. As he is still a baby, there isn't much to tell about him. He eats, he sleeps, he laughs and smiles, he poops and then repeats the cycle.

Lyla, on the other hand, has been very busy becoming a big girl. She has given up her night time pacifier and is starting to use the potty regularly. She's very excited about getting her big girl undies, but isn't quite there yet. We've been lucky enough to have some pool time the last couple of weekends at Uncle Arthur's in the Hamptons and at Tammy Heftler's birthday/naming party. Lyla loves to play in the water.

That's all I can think of right now. I've got the August gallery up and will try to update it sometime this weekend with the end of the month.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's been a long time since I've updated the blog, but as you can guess, we've been busy. I thought I had posted half of the July Gallery already, but it looks like I hadn't it's up now, just in time for the end of the month.

Lyla and Erin just had their birthdays last weekend, so we were very busy. My mom came in from Boston for the weekend to celebrate with us. She was clearly miserable spending time with her grandkids, but she was able to grin and bear it. She even managed to handle the kids while Erin and I went out for dinner for Erin's birthday on Sunday.

The day before was Lyla's birthday and she had a little bit more action going on with a few of her friends coming over the house for her birthday party. We went a little crazy making her a castle cake, but once we get started...

At Quinn's last doctor's visit on July 10th, he weighed 10 lbs .5 oz and was 22 1/4" long. He's had some feeding issues that we're trying to work through and is mostly getting his milk from a bottle these days. He's gaining weight just fine, though and is a happy, healthy baby. He makes eye contact, follows people around and smiles quite happily.

Lyla absolutely adores Quinn and loves to lie next to him or hold him. She'll lay down a blanket and get her Maully and grab Rufus for Quinn and play on the floor. When she hold him, she likes to kiss his hands and call him "Quinny". When he was younger and didn't open his eyes as much, she would get excited whenever he opened his eyes and exclaim, "Quinn eyes open!!" Now, it's a month and a half later and she still does that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lots of New Pictures

I've now posted the June Gallery, so you can get some more looks at Quinn. Lyla had a whole lot of fun before he was born, too. Most important was her trip to the Dora and Diego exhibit at the Children's Museum. She and her friend Lilly had a great time. We also spent an afternoon at Lyla's friend Zoe's house and the kids had a great time splashing around in the kiddie pool.

Once Quinn came, we had a few visitors coming to check out his already legendary head of hair. More will be coming soon as his bris is planned for Thursday. Lyla loves her little brother very much. We can tell, because she says "I love baby Quinn very much." It's much easier to understand her now that she can talk. She also has been telling her momma and daddy that she loves them quite a bit for the last month or so. She also exclaims over Quinn with comments like, "He so tiny!" and "He so cute!" So far, so good.

Mom and Dad have tried to have some one on one time with both of the kids, though the options are limited. Lyla has gone to the local playground quite a bit lately and even put on a show for Daddy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Black Family Proudly Presents...


Today, Erin and I welcomed Quinn Barry Black into the world. For those of you who don't know, Barry was my father's name and I am thrilled to be able to carry on his legacy in this beautiful little boy.

We went to the hospital today for a scheduled induction and everything went very smoothly. As the experienced parents that we are and under the circumstances of a scheduled delivery, we were very casual about the process. This led to a comfortable and relaxed experience. All of the nurses were very friendly and Erin's doctor who was delivering was fantastic. After what amounted to about 4 1/2 hours of "hanging out" once the process was started, Erin was ready to start pushing. Three pushes and about 45 seconds later, Quinn was out and clearing his lungs with a nice, healthy wail and a full head of dark hair. Quinn measured in at 8 lbs 4 oz and 20 inches long at 1:35pm.

He nursed happily soon after and then went to sleep. Once we moved up to the post partum area, he wanted to keep on sleeping. He barely opened his eyes the whole time, but we got little glimpses of them. By the time Uncle Arthur came to visit (and bring us dinner), Quinn's hair had developed a frosted California-style look to it. We're not sure how exactly that happened.

I'll head back in to the hospital tomorrow and Erin's doctor said as long as the pediatrician signs off on Quinn, we should be able to all come around 2:00pm tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wildlife Conservation Membership Has its Privileges

After Lyla determined she wanted to go to the zoo one fine Saturday morning, we packed up and headed out to the Central Park Zoo. While we were there, we decided to join the Wildlife Conservation Society. As members, we can get unlimited admission to New York zoos and the Aquarium. (and other discounts) So the next weekend, we went to the zoo again. Then the next weekend, we went to the aquarium. We're hooked!

Lyla loved the polar bears the first weekend and the next weekend had a great time in the petting zoo the next weekend, but was more interested in monkeys than polar bears. The aquarium was new and different and Lyla was very excited and loved running from one exhibit to another and look at the animals... until the Baby Walrus, suddenly and without warning descended from the top of the tank right in front of Lyla's face. Her fear and shock were, dare I say it, hysterical. Of course her mamma and daddy were there to comfort her, but we couldn't help laughing... a lot. After that, unfortunately, Lyla wasn't as interested in any of the bigger animals, like the seals, and pretty much stayed away from the large tanks. Small fish were fine, but really, she began to prefer the pictures on the wall over the animals in the small tanks.

When not at the zoo and the aquarium, we like to go out for brunch, have guests named Kate visit (only 2 this month) and hang out in the park.

The May photo album is now complete and I'll start working on June... which will definitely include the first pictures of the newest Black baby! He's currently scheduled to appear on June 12th, but if it's sooner, we'll let you know!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I'm turning this blog over to the mother of the house, so here's Erin.

My plan to sleep in on Mother's Day was dashed when Lyla got out of her big girl bed by herself and came into our room at 6:50AM saying "'ake up momma, 'ake up!" I put her in our bed and asked, "Did you come to get me for Mother's Day?" She replied, "No, got you earrings for Mother's Day!" Apparently, Eric had shown her the beautiful earrings he bought for her to give me on Wednesday and she kept the secret until the last minute -- somehow putting together that it was now Mother's Day and that was what the earrings were for. Lyla then climbed into my lap, gave me a big hug and said (totally unprompted), "Happy Mother's Day, Momma!" It doesn't get any better than that! I am one lucky momma!

We had a great day. It turned out to be a good thing that we all woke up early as even our usual brunch spot was packed with families by the time we left at 10:30. We spent the afternoon playing at the park. Lyla chased some birds, telling Eric "I need one bird!" Thankfully, she wasn't fast enough to actually get one. Lyla called both her grandmothers to say Happy Mother's Day. I think she may have actually told Gramma Jane "Happy Birthday", but at least she had the general idea.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Flew By...

I know I've been a bit of a slacker at posting, but I put the April photo gallery up last week over there on the left. Lyla had her 21 month doctor's appointment last week. We didn't get percentiles this time, but she was 29 lbs 7 ounces and 35 3/4". I forget what her head circumference was, but people just seem to think it's weird when I mention that anyway.

Erin asked the doctor when kids are supposed to know their colors. The doctor checked his chart and said "one color at three years old and all of them at three and a half". Lyla has had them all down for a little while now. The doctor then told us that he could tell she was clearly the smartest child in the world and was destined to be the ruler of at least four continents, if not the world. I'm hoping for Australia. (ok, the doctor said she was clearly advanced and not any of that other stuff, but I need to think about my retirement plan.)

Lyla has had a busy couple of months! She made the move from the nursery to her "big girl room", which she refers to as "pink". Despite some early sleeping issues, she seems to have adjusted and is now sleeping happily through the night (for the moment). She is also helping to make changes to the nursery for her baby brother. She seems to be handling the concept of a baby brother very well, but we'll see what happens when the concept becomes a reality...

In the beginning of April, we went to Wisconsin for a long weekend, since we won't be able to make our usual Summer trip due to the impending arrival of Pidge. Luckily, Ryan, Erin, Keira and Will were able to come to Oshkosh, too. Watching the kids playing together is amazingly fun for everyone. Grandpa Frank and Grandma Jane were excellent hosts as always and babysat for the grandkids while the parents went to dinner and a show (ok, it was a high school show by Ryan and Erin's alma mater, but a show nonetheless!)

The holidays have been rolling through, too. Lyla got her St. Patty's Day pot of gold, brought to her by her little leprechaun friend. Then she had a little hamantaschen (triangular cookie) for Purim. April brought Passover and our traditional Seder with some family and some of Erin's past and present students.

I'll really try to post sooner next time!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Man on the Street

My opinion so totally matters! Sort of...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Pictures

March Gallery is up! Check for additions over the next week and a half if you'd like. I'll try to do my commentary here shortly. The pics kind of tell the tale, though...

Monday, March 17, 2008


This is how people usually look after the NYC parade.

I'll try to put up a new update soon. We've been very busy!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Winter Wonderfun

I rushed the last post, so I'm actually adding on the next day. This is speed of light blogging for me, I know.

Yesterday's snow caused enough slushy mess on the sidewalks that I stayed home from work instead of trudging through the snow with a stroller. We had a great time in the snow and walking around the neighborhood a bit. Lyla has definitely become more comfortable with the snow since our visit to Wisconsin in December.

I mentioned before that Lyla went potty for the first time right before the new year and she has continued to go sporadically since then. She's decided to train herself, it would seem. We're not getting rid of her diapers yet, but it's a great start.

Thanks for the comments I've gotten concerning dead links. I think I've got them all taken care of, but if you catch any let me know.

Also, for those of you who can't figure out how to leave a comment, just click the comment link, then type in your message, copy the code that is presented to you and when you get to the buttons at the bottom, choose Name/URL. Type in your name and you don't need to bother with the URL, then you should be able to submit your comment. Let me know if it doesn't work for you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lyla and Website Updates

Lyla Gets to Work!

Lyla's 18 month doctor's appointment on 2/12/08 (a little late) had her measuring in at 34 1/2" (95th percentile), weighed 26lbs. 10 oz (75th percentile) and a head circumference of 48 1/2cm (95th percentile). The last month has involved a lot of house rejiggering as we get ready for Pidge's arrival. First, we emptied out our work room and moved much of it into the garage, which will become a work space. The we had the room painted a lovely shade of pink. We were never particularly fans of stereotypically using pink for a girl, but we've avoided it as much as we can and Lyla loves it, so there ya go. We put in Lyla's big girl bed and toy box and should have her dresser setup this weekend. Her mattresses (there's a trundle underneath in case she needs room for company) come in tomorrow. Erin's friend Kieron is going to visit and will have a chance to break in the room and then we'll start moving Lyla from the nursery over and then start switching the nursery from girl-y to boy-ee.

As a note, we are not actually naming our next child Pidge, however it is a Slattery family nickname (ok, used once maybe, we're not sure) and we're using it as a placeholder for now. We might keep using it later if we want to torture the boy.

We are still accepting name recommendations. Erin has shot down my following choices, so don't bother suggesting:

Ace Axel Bodog Clint Ferris Iago Jack King Lord Moss Oz Prince Rex Rock Sky Wiley

Well, our warm and cuddly, super friendly and generous website hoster Chris Pepper moved his server, so you may have noticed some dead links and such over the last few days. You might still notice some, so if you do, please let me know and I'll fix them up when I have a chance.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


YEEHA! Tons of love from Lyla and her parents.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Big Game

With the Packers out of the game, Lyla is primed to cheer solely for perfection!

Friday, January 25, 2008

First Shots of Pidge

For those of you who just can't wait to see him...

Monday, January 21, 2008

2008 Comes Rolling In...

You may not have noticed, but I popped a January 2008 Gallery link over on the left hand navigation a few days ago. I think this year, I'll just put a new gallery up each month and add pictures to it as I have them. Then I won't delay putting up pictures until I have time to write my little blab fest over here. Plus, I'm going to give up trying to put pictures up in the text field, except for maybe one picture at the top. It gets a little tricky trying to get the code to work with me otherwise.

Just before we kicked off 2008, Lyla decided she'd try to get in her first trip to the potty, so on December 31st, she grabbed her crotch said, "potty" and had us sit her on the throne. She actually got a little tinkle out, though her next couple of trips she didn't and rarely asks to go potty any more, but it's a good start!

Our 2008 started off with a lot of fun as Uncle Arthur came to visit on New Year's Day and had a great time playing with Lyla. He said that we should freeze her, because she was at the peak of cuteness and playfulness. We tried to explain that she's always like that, but he couldn't quite believe it.

The following weekend we were very busy with a trip to the Museum of Natural History. It was the last weekend of the Mythic Creatures exhibit and I... um... I mean Lyla, really wanted to see it. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures inside, but she LOVED seeing all the critters, especially the great big dragons. She enjoyed the huge eyes of the kraken, too, but kept wanting to go back to various dragons. After going through the exhibit, she brought Erin all the way back to the beginning and then we all went through the whole thing again, but a little bit quicker. We definitely need to hit the museum a little more. Lyla really loved it. Luckily, we could take pictures in other parts of the museum and were able to catch the action as Lyla and I barely avoided being stampeded by elephants.

The next day, we shipped out to the Bronx to meet up with Jeff Mazur with his son Adam and Sam Mazur with his kids Zach and Nicole. Lyla loved seeing the monkeys and had a nice up-close view of some tigers. Unfortunately, the Gorillas appeared to be on vacation for the weekend, so we didn't get to see any. Adam just wanted to see peacocks and he got to see plenty of them, though he couldn't catch any.

After that things went a little downhill. When we came home from the zoo, Lyla had a high fever and Erin felt sick to her stomach. I stayed home the next day and played nursemaid to both of them. Erin started feeling better, then seemed to come down with whatever Lyla had and Lyla seemed to get better and then relapse. Everyone was relatively healthy last weekend, but Lyla seems to have picked up yet another sickness and has been running a fever. The doctor said she has just been very unlucky and picked up about 4 different sicknesses in the past month. Hopefully, her immune system is getting stronger with each one and she won't get sick again until she's in high school and has a paper due the next day.

This weekend, Mima came to visit and spend some time with her favorite grandchild. She also babysat while Erin and I went out for a nice dinner Friday night and then again while I had a birthday party with about 20 friends in attendance. Before the party we watched the Patriots continue their NFL dominance on the way to an undefeated season. Unfortunately, at the party, we watched the Packers in their loss to the Giants. Sorry to all of our Packer fan family and friends! On the bright side, we won't have any problems in the house when the Patriots win the Superbowl, since they'll just be beating the Giants. We may, however, have issues on the subway.

In other family news, we found out that the next baby Black will be a BOY! We're all very excited and looking forward to having a whole new world of child rearing. Feel free to post your suggestions for names in the comment field for this post. The winning name gets to have our boy named with that name. We may not choose to use any of the names suggested, though and names that begin with "E" will not be considered.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2007 Wrap Up

Well, another year has passed (and a week and a half beyond that, but who's counting?) and it's pretty astounding to me to look back through these blogs and the pictures of Lyla and see how much she has changed. At the beginning of 2007, she had no teeth and wasn't even crawling around. Now she's got teeth aplenty and loves to run all over the house. She's gained about 10 lbs and around 6 inches. She's gone from wrestling elephants to double fisting guacamole. Her formerly short hair is long enough now that Erin can turn her into a sprout head. She's now talking up a storm and can often let us know exactly what she wants. She is particularly fond of blueberries, Sesame Street characters and babies (usually dolls).

We were really busy during the end of the year and I didn't have time/energy to get this blog updated, so I'll cover that ground now and then try to play catch up with our recent events sometime soon. We went to Wisconsin at the end of December to spend Christmas with Lyla's Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Erin and Uncle Ryan and cousins Keira and Will. During our trip we also got to celebrate Keira's birthday with her and her Grandpa Dave was nice enough to give Lyla a photo session in his studio with some pics with Keira and Will. I've got a whole bunch of those pictures up in Lyla's photo shoot gallery.

Keira and Lyla always have a blast together and Lyla just loves her baby cousin, Will, which makes us very hopeful that she'll be as sweet with her sibling, even if he or she pulls Lyla's hair or takes up space on her mamma's lap.

We took Lyla out in the snow for a bit, but she wasn't particularly thrilled with it. She did like when I would throw snow around and hit her mom with snowballs, but she cried when I plopped backwards into the snow. She didn't quite understand that I was just making snow angels and seemed to think something bad had happened to me. She definitely didn't want to be lying down in the snow and wasn't too happy about even standing in it at first. She eventually warmed up to it a bit, but the weather cooled down as the sun fell and we needed to head inside.

I've got more pictures from the beginning of December all the way through to New Years in the latest Gallery. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures during our little New Years party and due to various illnesses, we were down to 4 kids and 7 parents, but it was still a nice way to say goodbye to 2007.

You might want to turn down your volume before checking out the video below. Keira gets a little loud after 4 Christmas cookies...

In case you missed any of the past videos, I've put them all on one page for your viewing pleasure and I'll try to update it as we go along and maybe try to make it look a little nicer, too.