Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Juliet is FIVE!

Guys! Juliet, my baby bunny, is five years old. She's not a baby anymore, she's strong and smart and funny and sweet. She adores art, kitties, riding her bike, playing fort with her brother, taking pictures and thinking about our next vacation.

Some more awesome info:

  • She knows cat facts well, her favorite being cheetahs, leopards and house cats.
  • She can spend hours and hours on art. She loves to cut paper and tape pieces together, draw with markers, coloring books, and paints.
  • She is always wanting to take photos with my camera.
  • She's quite and polite and well liked at school. 
  • She loves handwriting but struggles on remembering her letters. 
  • She's been riding a two wheeler for a year.
  • She's becoming a better swimmer whenever we go.
  • She laughs, makes up songs and rhymes for every situation, and is super wild and crazy before bedtime. 
  • She wears a size five in clothes but only 9 in shoes (small!).
  • She's still shy around people she doesn't see often, doesn't like a crowd, and is more of an introvert than James.
  • Comes out of her shell when she's at home with family and then is crazy and wild and wonderful. 

Friday, November 25, 2016


James is SEVEN!

  • James is in first grade and eats hot lunch every day. His favorites are cheeseburgers, mac and cheese and pizza.
  • He plays on "the wheel" at recess (balances and runs on a spinning wheel) and can beat fourth and fifth graders (by who stays on the longest), and is very proud of this fact.
  • Loves Lego and builds and invents all the time.
  • Star Wars is his favorite movie and game. He was Darth Vader for Halloween this year. 
  • He is a great student, loves math best and is getting to be such a good reader. 
  • Adores his sister and the cats. 
  • Still likes water and waterfalls, is an amazing hiker.
  • He is very popular in class and everyone thinks he's funny.
  • Favorite colors are blue, red and green.
  • Likes to try new foods (a bit) but still eats his standard favorites over and over. 
  • Best friends are Owen and Peter.
  • Loves wrestling, shooting games and running.
  • Fabulous swimmer and runner, but doesn't play any sports.
  • Is a joy and we can't believe he's seven! 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Metropolitan Museum of Art

We had a short and sweet visit to New York to see my grandma and visit with family. While there, we were excited to make the trek into the city a couple of times. James hasn't been to NYC since he was a wee babe, and Juliet hasn't ever visited Manhattan.
Both kids, upon entering the MET were instantly entranced. We weren't sure if they'd be interested or not (the were only marginally interested with The Intrepid the day before) but something about this museum captured them. James asked the most intelligent questions (why did the man named Jesus die? Why do so many people care about him? Why does nobody wear clothes in art?) and on and on.
Juliet was a bit slow to warm up to all the craziness and excitement, but soon was LOVING it too. We let the kids lead the way, E and I have been to the MET so many times that we didn't have a particular route we needed to stick to, or particular pieces we wanted to see.
All these photos are in no order whatsoever, but that's how our visit was. We would look around one gallery and wander to another. Nothing was seen in total (dozens of galleries for each section of the museum) but most areas were visited briefly. We let them set the flow and the pace, and they didn't let up. FIVE hours later they still didn't want to leave.

We were excited to show them the Temple of Dendur which is an entire temple the Egyptian government gifted to the United States, and then we moved it stone by stone and now sits within the museum.
Juliet kept asking for my phone to snap photos, and it was the cutest thing, I couldn't say no. The things that caught her eye were interesting and unique.

This is a photo by Juliet! She's a natural. Nice lines and reflection really makes this an interesting photo.
There is SO MUCH to see at the MET that you can't possibly see everything in a single day. We made a good effort though.
The Jesus art really intreated him. Until this day, he'd never even heard the name Jesus.

These tiny carved statues with miniature hinges that open and close have always been a favorite of mine.
This Tiffany fountain was his absolute favorite. He's talked about it half of dozen times since, saying it was his favorite part of our NYC trip.
I told you these photos are in crazy order. ;)

I had 70+ photos of blurry interiors at the end of the day, but it was worth it to see this face.
I think it's impossible to not adore Van Gogh.

If anyone reading this hasn't been to the MET make it your life purpose to go. The outside is some of the most beautiful architecture the United States has to offer, and it is absolutely magical inside. It's not what you're expecting. It's entire rooms, castles, spaces and temples from all over the world recreated inside. It's so large that you can get lost for hours wandering around, and finding true secret rooms. This museum will always be my favorite.
We left the museum and walked through the Upper East Side where some of the buildings are absolutely stunning. This may be an embassy or another important building, but it stopped me in my tracks it was so gorgeous.
Looking towards midtown from the Upper East Side. 
We hopped on a subway near The MET and rode to Union Square to meet Colette and Jen!
The weather while we were in New York was SO MILD. We spent late in the evenings exploring the city and laughing with friends. This kiddo loves loves loves my friends Colette and Jen.
Colette spent her high school years in Ukraine, and was excited to introduce us to a authentic Ukrainian restaurant. OMG. These pirogies were filled with squash and cheese and short ribs. Served with grilled onions, applesauce and sour cream. TO DIE FOR.
Next door to the Ukrainian restaurant was this old fashioned toy store with a wooden sign. NYC, one of the fastest moving cities in the world still has old fashioned gems to be found.
Look at this store! 
We've been friends for a long time, and it is excellent to see these two again. 
Since we parked at the MET (best parking place in the city!) we had to return at night and just were in awe. The air was warm and the city was buzzing around us. The MET was lit like a jewel and the fountains were spectacular. We didn't want to leave.

Friday, October 28, 2016

NYC at last!

It had been over three years since our family had visited someone very dear to us, my Grandma Florence in New York. We wanted to go this summer (my grandma is 98, so not getting younger) but our ten year anniversary and a camping trip to celebrate my mom's 60th ate up our entire summer's vacations. We decided that over fall break we MUST get to New York.

And made it we did. GG (Great-Grandma) and Aunt Ellie were thrilled to see us. The kids were really engaged and talked and talked. When they grew bored they'd draw pictures and discuss their drawings. We visited every morning, with New York bagels, and even brought dinner over one evening.

At 98, Florence lives alone, has a strong memory, and still gets around with only a walker.  James and Juliet are two of seven great-grandchildren. We really had such a lovely time and she is such a great excuse to visit NYC.
Next up, what we did in Manhattan. 

Friday, September 16, 2016


I am so behind on blogging it's getting ridiculous. However, Mr. Watson needs a post of his own.

Two days (two days!) before we left for Yosemite the kids and I were taking a neighborhood walk, which we do almost every day. As we neared our favorite old home we heard a yowling. It had to be a cat, and the yowling was loud.

James and I looked at each other and both raised our eyebrows. "Let's go see if that cat needs help," I said. We walked back down the lane and around into the church parking lot. High high in a tree was a cat!

He was so scared. (Here is a video I shot and uploaded to Instagram.)

I wasn't sure if he could get down so I called the fire department and they directed me to animal control. Luckily, after this, the cat had an audience and he started making his way down the tree head first. A few tense minutes passed and finally this cat (now we could see he was a kitten!) was low enough for a neighbor to climb up and grab him.

As he was lowered I took him into my arms. He was tiny. Scared and meowing. The kids were entranced. We asked the gathered neighbors if they knew where this cat belonged. No one did. So we brought him home to feed him up, get him a drink and put up posters.

E was worried, what were we supposed to do with a kitten when we were leaving for Yosemite in two days. He had a point.

This kitty had no chip, was sick and full of ear mites, but was the biggest love ever. He could clean, use the litter box and mostly was just dying for affection. We hung up posters and called the local shelters, and after two days, decided he was ours.
He got along really well with Mabel the entire week we were gone. Now two and a half months later he doesn't even look like a kitten. He's hilarious. Jumps and runs and plays with toys all day. He wants to snuggle on your face and neck and give kisses on the lips.

He's healthy and happy and looks so much like Rumpus it's fairly ridiculous. We named him after John Watson from Sherlock but decided that his personality was much more Sherlock's than John's. I wanted to change his name to Sherlock but was overruled by the family. I still call him Sherlock in secret sometimes. 😉

Look at his white knee socks on his back legs!

A couple of my favorite IG photos of him:
Juliet loves taking pictures of Watson (above), her is of my favorites of her's:

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