Halloween, I Heart New Haven, etc.

Back in August ( I think) I asked Manu what he wanted to be for Halloween.  I thought I’d do the nice thing and ask first.  Then once he’d forgotten what he told me he wanted, I’d  just ahead and make him whatever I wanted.  I’m a good parent like that. “Monkey!”, he said.  And he didn’t forget it. By mid September I realized I was going to have to come up with a monkey costume.  For some reason I’m opposed to buying pre-made costumes.  I don’t have a good reason.  I just don’t like it.  But an entire monkey costume was going to be a lot of sewing .  Of course I would need two of these ( I like them to coordinate too)  unless I was willing to torture Zeems by making him into a banana and I wasn’t.  So two monkeys.  Then my sister suggested to save time I make Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.  Make the headpieces, the tails, put them in pajamas and call it a day. Brilliant.  Done. The monkey hats took a little time.  The actual hat was easy but I’m crazy and decided I needed to hand-embroider the face. I hammered those out in two days.  The tails were another day.  Not too bad.  Much better than a full body costume.

A pre-Halloween fitting.  Zeems celebrating his half-nakedness.  Baby bump in full effect. Monkey in a box. The weekend before Halloween our little borough had a costume and puppet parade for the kiddos.  It was adorable.

Afterward we met all our neighborhood friends at the local coffee shop for treats.

It was then I decided I didn’t want to leave New Haven.  I love our school.  I love our new friends.  I love that I can walk into my favorite cafe and the owner will play with my children so I have two minutes of peace to drink my coffee.  Riz said I could forget it.  He reminded me of the public school situation and made it clear that private school was not an option.  Later I got online to check out tuition prices to build my case for staying.  Blah.   $20,000/ year times 3 kids (at the same time) times 13 years (K-12).  Hmmmm.  The math is easy, even for a public school grad like me, but don’t do it.  It’ll make you sick.    And that’s before college.  Whatevs.  Back to Halloween. Monkeys jumping on the bed!

The monkeys made out very well trick-or-treating.  It was a bit chilly so Azeem and I hit up our street and then headed back home to hand out candy.  Arman was determined to fill his bucket and he did.  For the safety of my youngest, I took it upon myself to consume any and all candy containing peanuts  (I told you I was a good mom) which is pretty much all the good stuff.  Everyone wins here.

Now that that’s all said and done, we are eagerly anticipating the holiday season.  Turkeys, trees and oodles of treats.  So much more fun ahead!

Traveling Circus

We’ve been doing quite of bit of traveling lately.   It seems like most days are spent like this:

which is kinda exhausting for everyone.  It’s all good though because it also means we’ve been having a whole lot of fun.

We took a day-trip into the city to celebrate my brother’s graduation from medical school.  The city is always a hit with the kids, although I think Manu was less than impressed with Harlem.  We weren’t able to catch a yellow taxi there, so we took a gypsy cab which was grey and therefore not a taxi.  Taxis are yellow, they have signs on top, and a TV inside.  End of story.

So my little brother is an physician….like a real one.  It’s crazy to me.  I mean,  he’s super-smart and he worked his tail off, but I can’t seem to see him as anything other than the little guy who used to eat ants and flip his eyelids.  Who knows, maybe he still does those things.  Still blows my mind though.

I need to steal some graduation pictures from someone.  We left our camera in the car 😦

The next day we headed to PA to attend our friends’ wedding.  Such a lovely time.  Outdoor wedding are the best.  And they’re especially awesome with kids.  Front-end loader, shovels, field.  Go to town.  They essentially entertained themselves for an entire afternoon.  I even remember eating.  Bliss.

I cannot believe I was able to salvage these pants.

 

Ah, summer.

 

 

Spring at Yale

The Yale campus is one of our favorite outdoor spaces in New Haven.  With its’ secret garden-like courtyards,  weathered stone buildings with intricate lead framed windows, and ornate structures like “Harkness Tower”, it  always feels like I’ve wandered right into Hogwarts.

It’s downright lovely and the perfect place to lay out a blanket and enjoy the warm weather (Of course, I’m always cold and will be sporting a cardigan until July).  For a little extra goodness, we usually grab some homemade ice cream up the block before heading to the green.   Mmm!  Spring is tasty.

Sterling Memorial Library

Manu runs free in the courtyard

Sticky cookie-dough face

Chocolate croissant face

Preoccupied mommy face 🙂

Turning 3

On Saturday Manu turned 3 and although I do love a party, this year was very, very low key.  So mellow in fact, that the evening before I started feeling a little guilty about not throwing him a big bash. “I feel bad we’re not throwing him a party”, I told Riz.  Riz assured me that Manu wouldn’t notice.  He didn’t notice.  Boys.

We kicked off the day bright and early (6:30am.  Kids.) with a present waiting on the dining table from Uncle Osman and Aunt Dallice (Thanks, guys!) Manu insisted on trying out his dinosaur stamp set right away.

The forecast called for low temps and rain all day and I couldn’t help day dreaming about the weather on the day he was born; sunny, blue skies, and 80.  April can be so finicky.  So our indoor plan was to collect as many quarters as possible and head to the mall.  There we let Manu ride all the 50 cent kiddie rides his little heart desired.  Two quarters were reserved for Mike and Ikes and Reeses Pieces from the candy dispensers.  Oh, simple things.

After chocolate milk and coffees for the big kids at Panera, we headed back to the house.  While Manu napped, ” I baked” and Riz decorated.

I say “baked” because what I really did was prepare cake mix from a box and topped it with sickly sweet funfetti frosting.  Ugh.  One bite of those things and my fillings started to hurt.  Yet another sign I’m getting older.  Like my super-baker sis said, “There’s something not right about frosting that can sit on a shelf for three years and still not have expired.”  True that.

It wasn’t my birthday though, it was his.

He had not a single objection to this confection .  Cupcakes in a cone?!  I was a hero.  After all, when you’re 3, “funfetti” and “love” are synonymous.

Of course, not a peep from the babe either.

After cake there were more presents.

Following our intimate little party, we loaded the kids in the car and headed to the music store where Manu strummed ukuleles (I had to look up how to spell that one) and rocked out on mini drum kits.

No doubt about it, he was heaven.

After a burgers and fries from Five Guys (requested by his highness), we tucked the little one in and Manu, Riz, and I climbed into our bed with a big bowl of buttery popcorn for a special movie night.

And after it was all said and done, I no longer felt bad about not throwing a party.  The entire day from start to finish was all about him and I’m pretty sure he felt awfully special.  Success in my book.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Manu.

And now for your viewing pleasure, the birthday boy presents December 1963: