Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Hannukah!

Tonight is the last night of Hannukah, so I just have enough time to get this greeting up! We hope you all had a great Hannukah.

We had a great November and got to see lots of friends and family, as you can see by our November Photo Gallery. December has been a little rough with cold season and some little aches and pains along the way, but we're hoping everyone is in great shape for next week when we head out to Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas with the Slattery's!

We wish all of you a very happy New Year! May it be filled with love, laughter and health.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Black Friday!!

What better way to celebrate our family's national holiday, Black Friday than shopping with us! If you're planning on shopping at Amazon, do it through our link below. It will keep our kids cute. I swear! We'll be able to keep them fed and clothed and it won't really make a difference to you if you're shopping there anyway.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

October Photos are Up!

The latest photo album is up for your viewing pleasure.

Things are going pretty well in the Black Haus. Lyla informed me the other night, "You're the best daddy I ever had. I'm gonna love you forever. You're my hero." Lyla now has a pony, ice cream for dinner every night and a gold tea set for her dolls. Aside from that, she's been loving pre-school and is coming home with all kinds of new information and stories to tell us. It's kind of odd that she has a life without either of her parents around.

Quinn has gotten pretty good about pulling himself up on tables, drawers, cabinets, etc. and can now get himself back to sitting, too. He still isn't walking, though. We're not sure if he still hasn't developed the leg strength for it, he's too scared to try or he's just plain lazy. Hopefully he'll get walking soon, but for now, he's crawling like a demon and opening up and emptying every cabinet he can. He hasn't done much in the way of talking either. The most he'll say is "hi" and "mumma". However, he LOVES music. He'll sway back and forth to the beat as soon as he hears any music and he plays the instruments in his music class with total glee.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quinn Crawling

So, Quinn finally got shaped up enough to get to crawling a few weeks ago. He has low muscle tone, which has led to developmental delays in a few areas, like mobility. Erin has been dealing with juggling his physical therapy and occupational therapy for the last six months or so. Unfortunately, the Early Intervention program is filled with a bunch of therapists who don't really answer to anyone and can shift around appointments whenever they want or not show up or show up late. Whatever works for them, which has made it very difficult to schedule for Erin, Lyla and Quinn's time.

Erin ended up taking Quinn to another therapist outside of Early Intervention who she drives to (yay for having a car!), but that makes 5 times a week he has therapy. He'd better start catching up soon to stop this madness. However, he has started making strides standing while holding on to things like tables and is crawling all over the place, which is fantastic.

So, with no further ado... here's Quinn crawling!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Settling into Autumn

The September Gallery is up! Everything is going pretty well, aside from the regular kid issues like crying for unknown reasons and whining and sibling rivalry. I'll update a bit more on that later and have some video of Quinn crawling... finally!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No Tears Today!

Lyla appears to be getting into her groove. Today, she just walked right on up the stairs without even asking me to come up to the classroom. Yesterday, she told me she wanted me to leave her in the classroom, but today was fine heading up on her own.

One of the teachers told me that yesterday, once Lyla was sitting down on the carpet, she looked around, realized no one else was crying and calmed down and stopped crying. After that, the rest of the day was totally fine.

Here's hoping I'm done with the pre pre-school tears!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Instead of chronicling Lyla's pre-school saga in my Facebook status, I realized I should use the blog and open up the info to people like... oh... my mom. Hi, Mom!

The first two days of pre-school were great. We had gone to an orientation earlier and Lyla met the teachers and saw the classroom. Then when I dropped her off on the first couple days, she was a little skeptical about the process, but didn't break down crying. To explain the process, we would enter the school, go downstairs into a little out of the way lobby and wait for the teachers to come get the kids. They would take the kids up another set of stairs and into their classroom.

The third day, since Lyla seemed mostly ok and since all had gone well the first couple days, I asked Lyla for a hug and a kiss before she headed off. Big mistake! She gave me a hug, refused to let go and started wailing and screaming that she needed her Daddy to stay with her. I tried to calm her down and failed. I realized I just had to leave and took off as the teacher who was holding her hand as Lyla went boneless, started to say, "Daddy, I think you just need to leave and..." and then saw I was already half way up the stairs.

Today, the pre-school's new plan was to take the kids in through a different door, so the parents could take the kids up to the classroom instead of dropping them off at the other door. While this worked for many kids and parents, it was a total failure for us. Lyla was fine as I was leaving her at the door, then saw the other parents going up and started to get teary eyed and turned back to find me and wanted me to go upstairs to the classroom with her. Once there, she grabbed onto me again and refused to let go. Once again, I had to pry her off and make a break for it. This time, I ended up right outside her window and got to listen to her screaming. Fortunately it subsided after a couple minutes. Any bets on how much longer this will happen? I'm hoping not much more.

I do have to say, it's nice to hear her say, "I want my daddy to stay with me forever", even if she says it while crying her head off and clinging to me for dear life. I'm sure forever will be over when she's a teenager.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Catching Up!

I've got the August Gallery up! Yay for me! We're only most of the way through September.

The gallery includes pictures of crazy couple weeks for us. We traveled to Oshkosh, left the kids with their grandparents there, drove to Chicago for Jamie and Joe's wedding, then Erin brought me to the airport in Milwaukee to head back to NYC solo.

My flight got diverted due to "developing weather" and I spent 5 hours sitting on a runway in Newburgh, NY. At least the kids weren't with me! Erin and the kids stayed in Oshkosh for a few more days, then brought Jane back to NYC with them. She watched the kids while we went to Alissa and Kyle's wedding in Massachusetts.

I hope you enjoy the pictures! Now I have to start getting September pics ready. Here's a sneak peak from Lyla's first day of pre-school.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shana Tova!

The Black Family wishes everyone a happy and healthy Jewish New Year. I know it's been forever since I've gotten anything up here, but I FINALLY have the July Gallery up. Hopefully, I'll have August up shortly, too. Sorry for the delays and enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

We Survived!!

I know this has taken a long time to update, but first, my computer died. Motherboard just blew out. Then, I used Erin's computer and spent about an hour updating how my weekend with the kids went. Then, it turns out I wasn't actually logged in and three quarters of what I wrote disappeared. I didn't have the heart to write it again. Now a little time has gone by and I have my new MacBook Pro, so I'll try and rally enough energy to give you a shorter version of my weekend. Here's what had been saved and a little bit more...

Well, I made it through the weekend and Lyla and Quinn still have all their fingers and toes and are in good health.

Saturday went pretty much as planned. It took a little while to find The Little Mermaid, which I thought Lyla would enjoy. I didn't really think about the irony of watching that for "Sushi and a Movie" night until later. Lyla got a little whiney during the whole, "I think I have a Blockbuster account, but don't know where my card is and don't know which of my previous addesses it would be connected with, so I should open a new account" portion of the trip. But overall, both kids were great through that and running to the grocery store to pick up some needed items. Lyla managed to convince me that she needed pink ice cream, too.

We made it home in time for lunch and then managed an hour nap with Lyla before Quinn woke up from his nap. After naptime, I got everyone ready to roll and out the door to go to the park. Fortunately, the timing worked out, so my friend Julie, who was visiting from London was able to meet up with us before heading back to England. She met us at the park and hung out for a little bit, then came back to the house for a little while before her next visit with people.

Quinn, as usual, was super easy to put down for bed, then Lyla and I got down to "Sushi and a Movie. As I mentioned before, The Little Mermaid may not have been the best Sushi movie in the world. However, "Les Poissons" was fantastic to watch and popping eel into my mouth during Flotsam and Jetsam's devious moments was great. I didn't explain any of that to Lyla, though. She went to bed pretty easily.

Now the downside of Saturday was that Lyla took a few bumps. First, I accidentally got some sunscreen in her eye was I was getting her ready to go out. I got her cleaned up and calmed down, but it looked like she had a shiner the rest of the day. Next, while helping with making lunch, she fell off her stool and bumped her chin on the counter. Finally, while walking home from the park, she was trying to pull on my shirt and fell down and scraped her knees. She was a trooper through all of it.

On Sunday, we went to Igloo Cafe for brunch and saw Lyla's friend Zoe and her mom and dad, Chrissy and George. George was conveniently visiting our table in time to watch Quinn while I took Lyla to the potty and discovered the cool new toilet with the build in potty seat. Amazing what they have these days!

After naptime cousin Michelle and Becker came to visit and go to the Beer Garden. All was going great there, until Michelle was giving Quinn his dinner and then he decided to puke all over himself, his seat, the table, the ground and anywhere else he could. We headed home a little earlier than expected and Michelle and Becker took care of the kids while I cleaned up the mess. Quinn seemed fine despite the experience. I was too tired to make the test cake.

On Monday, I got the pool filled up after Quinn's morning nap. Lyla was great during Quinn's speech evaluation and it went well. The evaluator said Quinn probably wouldn't qualify as he communicates well non-verbally. Then naptime was extra long for Lyla, so we didn't have time to go out to the pool and she woke up part way through Quinn's OT. Then not too long after that, Erin came home.

Now, this is all almost a month later, so I'm sure I forgot lots. I seem to remember Monday being very difficult, but I think Lyla was just being a pain in the butt in the morning, which is why I couldn't get the pool filled up during Quinn's nap. Overall, I managed to keep it all under control.

Now that I've switched to a new computer, I need to figure out how I'm going to get photo galleries up. I might change how I do it, so hold on for new pictures. I've got some great ones!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weekend for Three

Erin is off to Chicago for the weekend and I'm home with the kids all by myself, so I figured I'd utilize this blog to schedule out my weekend. Then I can let you all now how it went afterward. I definitely don't expect it to go as planned, but here's what I'm hoping to do [note: I started this Saturday morning, but I'm not posting it until Saturday night, but I'm not changing the content]:

Saturday (after Erin leaves):

  • morning: run errands. Go rent a DVD for "Sushi and a Movie" night with Lyla. Grab some needed groceries
  • noon: if home in time for lunch, great. If not, stop at a restaurant. I already remembered to pack Quinn's food!
  • Naptime
  • late afternoon: go to the park. Might have company for this. A few people may be available for a visit.
  • evening: dinner for Quinn then put him down and it's time for "Sushi and a Movie" with Lyla.
  • Put Lyla to bed and take care of some kitchen stuff that needs to be done, like repacking chicken breasts for freezing and hard boiling some eggs for the kids.
  • Pray the kids sleep through the night.

  • morning: pray the kids have slept through the night.
  • late morning: either brunch at Igloo or trip to Target.
  • Naptime
  • late afternoon: Beer Garden with Michelle and Becker and maybe Beth. Probably have dinner there or order in at home.
  • evening: put kids to bed.
  • make test cake for Lyla's birthday.
  • pray kids sleep through the night.

  • morning: pray the kids have slept through the night.
  • later morning: while Quinn naps, go around back and fill up the little pool for later in the day.
  • late morning: not sure. Maybe go to the playground across the street for a little bit.
  • afternoon: lunch and then Quinn has an evaluation for speech therapy. He makes a lot of pterodactyl type noises, but isn't saying any words yet. It's all part of his low muscle tone, but that's a blog for another day.
  • naptime!
  • go to the backyard/cement square and play in the pool, water the plants, have Quinn's OT come there for his session.
  • Erin should be home by dinner!
That's the plan. I'll try to let you know how it went on Monday or Tuesday night...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

June Pictures are up!

I've got our June gallery up and ready for your viewing enjoyment. Our summer is jam packed with lots of fun and craziness. June included my college reunion, Quinn's first birthday (and party), Joel and Becca's wedding (and the kids visit with Mima) and hanging in the Hamptons with Arthur and the Leavitts. July and August are almost as busy, too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Quinn!

Quinn's Birthday party was a huge success with a house full of babies, babysitters, toddlers, friends and family...

...and dinosaurs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

May Gallery is Up!

Here it is (and on the link on the left). I'm moving a little bit quicker now. The kids are still cute, too!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

April Gallery is Up!

I finally got our April photos up, so you can check out the gallery here. We had a lot of visitors in April and our traditional Passover Seder brought a full house and sent away full bellies. As of April, Quinn was 28 3/4" in height and when weighed in May for a blood test he was around 21 lbs.

Aside from that, the pictures pretty much tell what happened over the month.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bad Blogging

Sorry it's been so long since there has been an update. The whole family is doing well and I finally got March's Gallery up, so check out the pictures there. Quinn has FOUR teeth now right up in front, but you'll have to wait until I get the April Gallery up to get a glimpse of those. I'll try to do a better update... some day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Lyla and Quinn got their Pot of Gold from their leprechauns for St. Patty's Day.
(presents not pictured)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Much love from the Black family!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

January Recap

As of our last trip to the doctor on 1/20, Quinn weighed 17lbs 11oz and measured 27 1/2". Lyla was 36.9lbs and 38 3/4".

Quinn has been starting to roll from his back to his belly a bit more than he was before. He rolls just fine from his belly to his back. He actually has been hanging out on his side quite a bit. In addition to pureed baby foods, he's starting to eat finger foods, though he doesn't get them from the tray to his mouth on his own so well. He tries to take every food that Erin and I are eating, though. It doesn't matter what it is, he'll put his hand out for it, even dragging our dinner plates toward him and shoving his hand into whatever is on the plate... like ketchup.

Lyla has been cracking us up on a regular basis. She definitely has a mind of her own and loves singing songs, dancing, drawing pictures, painting and making up stories. Best of all, Lyla regularly uses the potty! It seems the key to training was telling her she wouldn't be able to go to school until she was potty trained. It's pretty clear we are raising a nerd.

We needed to pretty quickly add that she also needs to be three years old and she can't start until the fall session, but she didn't seem to mind that so much. We also got to check out her future preschool on a visiting day and it seems like she'll be very happy there come September.

January brought a lot of family birthdays, including Grandpa, Mima, Bubbe, Aunt Bevy and, of course, ME! Lyla loved singing Happy Birthday as much as she could. On my birthday, Erin and the kids brought me breakfast in bed, which was an unexpected and fantastic treat.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

End of 2008

As my family has pointed out/nagged, I haven't updated the blog in quite some time. Hopefully people realize that although I may not have time to type something up, I do try to update the gallery pictures every month, so there are November and December galleries with plenty of pictures from our end of year adventures. Now I have to remember where I left off...

The holidays were a bit hectic and exhausting. Thanksgiving had its ups and downs. We left for Massachusetts the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I worked out of a subsidiary of Scholastic Media in Watertown for the first few days of the week. What seemed like a great plan to have a more relaxed visit with less travel stress and more time with Mima became a bit stressful as Quinn decided he didn't like being away from home and would cry all night long, no matter where he was in the house and who was with him. Top that off with Mima being sick all week and it was a tricky week to get through. The day after Thanksgiving we were able to visit with some of my old friends at a USY (Jewish youth group) reunion at my former temple. It was great to see people I hadn't seen in ages and all of their kids.

In December, Lyla and I made a special trip to the Dora and Diego exhibit at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. It was Lyla's second time there and my first. Lyla and her friends Lily and Zoe (and their respective mom's) went to Macy's to check out the store's winter wonderland. Back in Astoria, we all had a great time at Lily's house for the moms' holiday party.

Then we headed out to Oshkosh for Christmas and brought our menorah with us, as the first 7 nights of Hannukah were during our trip. Unfortunately, Quinn also brought his aversion to sleeping anywhere away from home which made for some sleepless nights for either Erin or me each night. On the positive side, Lyla and Quinn had a great time playing with Keira and Will and getting lots of love from Grandma Jane and Grandpa all week. Lyla got to build snow forts and snow men in the deep Wisconsin snow. We also got to visit with lots of Erin's friends, which is always a lot of fun. Then the girls got down on the dance floor at Kelly Hoxtell's wedding.

Back in Astoria, we spent New Year's in Astoria at Zoe's (and her parents) house. The kids actually made it to about 11:00pm, but we had to leave at that point and they were asleep by the time the new year rolled in.

Belated Happy New Year to all! (Or relatively recent if you're Chinese!)