Summer According To My Phone and Riz’s Too…Because We Broke the Camera

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Perfect Sunday

On Sunday I knocked on the bathroom door while Riz was showering and announced  I was submitting a motion to declare a”No Naps Day”.

“Motion denied”.

Man, he didn’t miss a beat.  Fair enough.  The kids all still very much need to nap.  On days that Arman misses his he’s barely human come 5 o’clock.  But the blue skies and sand were calling, and so, because I’m the boss, we were off to the beach.

The little guy prefers the sand

This one couldn’t get enough of the ocean  even swallowing a decent bit of salt-water.

The youngest ones didn’t quite make it through the outing which was kinda wonderful because I never get to cuddle this little guy anymore.

A perfect little Sunday.  It’s good to be boss 🙂

2 Months

Nora-Bora is 2 months old.  I’m amazed.  I’m amazed that it’s only been two months because it really feels like she’s been a part of this family for much longer.  Oh, sweetness.  I find myself saying that a lot these days. “Oh, sweetness.”  It’s really the best way to describe her.

2 months old and she’s already stolen everyone’s heart.  Maybe not Zeems so much, but he’ll get there.  He’s mommy’s boy so it’s been the roughest on him.  And really at 2 years old he’s still a baby too.

2 months also marks 2 months of being served breakfast in bed.  It’s kinda awesome.  Riz reminds me each day not to get used to it.  I’m so used to it.  The only thing better than coffee in the morning is someone bringing you coffee in the morning.  I’ll never go back.

Uncle Fuma was here last weekend which was such a treat for everyone.  We don’t see him nearly enough and the kiddos just adore him.

Can’t get enough of that grin.   Oh, sweetness.

Turning Two

Azeem turned two on Tuesday.  I say the same thing for both boys on every birthday:  How did that happen?!  It’s just one of those odd truths.  Days as a stay-at-home  parent can seem impossibly long.  I’m checking my watch more often that I’d like to admit.  Is it nap-time yet?  Time to start the bedtime routine?  How much longer till your father gets home?  The days are very long but the years just fly by.

2 years old.  Craziness.

Unlike the hoopla surrounding the celebration of  our first birthday parties (here and here),   year two was a very low-key, home affair with just the 4.75 of us.  (32 weeks!  Woot!)

Coincidentally, Zeems was sporting the same pajamas Arman was wearing the morning of his second birthday. Awww!

Arman in his firetruck pajamas..and a very new Azeem in the background.

Azeem in the same pajamas

There were presents.

Arman pointing out the birthday gifts

And there was cake.  Let’s talk about the cake.  We have a baker in our family;  a very, very good baker.  The kind of baker who can make a wedding cake that is beautiful and tasty and huge for like hundreds of people…  it’s not me.  She (Hi Aziza!)  lives 5 hours away so I took it upon myself to make the birthday cake.  A cake for 4.75 people (baby girl really enjoys her cake too). Surely, I can manage that.  I’m a pretty ok cook.  Cake mix, tub of frosting, decorations, done.  Ha!  That darn cake took me half a day to make.    The problem was, I decided 3 hours into this, is that someone who has perfectionist tendencies should not attempt to make a cake that resembles a construction site.  It’s just torture.  I was trying way too hard.  My lines were too straight, the frosting too smooth,  the oreo “dirt piles” too precise.  And let’s not even get into the part where I was suppose to cut into and remove a chunk of the pristine cake to make it look like an excavator had been digging there.   Sigh.   Are there therapists for these kind of things?  Remind me to call the bakery next time…or my sister.

I’m pretty sure this little man liked it.  Although, I’ve never seen him refuse chocolate in any form.

What a big boy.  I’m so excited to see what this year brings for him and two really is a fantastic age.

Happy Birthday, sweetest boy.  You’re growing up faster than I’m ready for.  I know you think you’re ready to take on the world and you should.  Just know that in some ways I’ll always think of you like this…

… and I can.  Cause I’m your Mom and I say so.

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!

Hey There!

Yeah, it’s been a long, long time.  Not without reason.  It seems like we’ve been slammed with a bunch of stuff all at once, both good and bad.  The short of it is, it’s been crazy around here.  I’m looking forward to seeing things settle down a bit and I hope that time comes soon.

As soon as we were bouncing back from the whole Lyme incident, the little guy had a very scary reaction to some peanut butter.  Like, “I think we might need to call 911” scary.  When your Dr. Husband is considering calling an ambulance for your 18 month old, it’s safe to assume things aren’t looking so hot.  After some blood tests (which Arman and I were thankfully not in the room for) we know he is highly allergic to peanuts.

I now carry an epi-pen for the little bugger 24/7.  It’s a bummer, cause I know I love me some peanut butter, but I’m grateful he’s ok and we know how to handle it moving forward.  Soy-nut butter, anyone?  Yum yum.

Riz has also been gone for the last 2 months.  Not gone away, but either at work or at the library studying for the boards.  We passed each other briefly in the mornings and save for a few hours here and there on the weekends, that was pretty much it.  We were all sound asleep by the time he came home most evenings.  He was tired, I was tired, and the kids were starting to feel it too.  That was tough.

This family is most definitely a two-parent operation and we are all super-happy to have him back.  Boards are done and won’t be coming around for another 10 years.   So glad.

On to happier updates:

Arman started nursery school.  He LOVES it.  Maybe almost as much as I do.  He was more than ready.  Sometimes you just know when your kid is ready for that next step, whatever that may be.  Starting school was one of those things and he just jumped in wholeheartedly.

Riz and I spent a good deal of time last fall researching and visiting nursery schools to make sure we found the perfect fit for our big boy and for us as a family.  There were urban schools and suburban schools.  Snooty schools and crunchy schools.  Art schools, music schools, and schools with 2 year waiting lists. The whole business of nursery school is really a whole world unto itself.  We searched and we found a darling little school.  Every time my little 3 year old appears at 12:50pm (Curbside pick-up, people.  This is the stuff dreams are made of.) with his goofy grin and too-big backpack, I am certain we found the perfect match.  Life is good.

Changing topics.  Again.

Ya’ll know about Pinterest, right?  The virtual bulletin board that’s a dream come true for visual peeps like myself?  If you’ve been living under a rock, get yourself over there fast.  Full of fashion, entertaining, food, & crafty inspiration galore, it’s seriously like porn for the stay-at-home mom.  Or whoever.  It’s just good.

There’s just one problem:  I’ve been finding myself “pinning” (think “visual tweeting”) tons of awesome projects and ideas (like hundreds) but attempting none of them.  “Well that’s kinda pointless”, I found myself thinking. What’s the use in hoarding all of these amazing visuals if all they’ll ever do is stare back at me?  Turns out my friend Brianne was thinking the same thing.  Let me digress a bit.  I love the internet.  The fact that Brianne and I still communicate is amazing to me.  Not that I wouldn’t want to communicate with her.  She’s honest, witty, and real.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?  But honestly, the last time I saw my high-school pal was the summer of 2007 at a mutual friend’s wedding.  And before then?  I think it was the summer of ’99 at a Dave concert.

I am downright horrible at keeping in touch with people; really, really bad.  But the beauty of social networking is that I don’t have to be great at it at all.  She can still be in my life and I can be in hers, even if it’s exclusively online and that makes me really happy.  We can share our common interests (Pinterest!), share ideas, and ogle at pics of our cutie-pie children.  It just wouldn’t happen without the good old interwebs.  It’s kinda super-awesome.

So yeah, Brianne and I were in the same boat; pinning like the crazy moms we are but not doing much else.  Enter: Pinterest Challenge.  We each picked a project and set a deadline for completion (tomorrow).  It was just the motivation I needed to get my act together.  What project did I chose???  Can’t tell ya until tomorrow!  Oh, the suspense.  Be excited.  Do it.

B is for Bermuda

B is for Bermuda








Beach Bum


Beauty sleep






and most importantly,


A huuuuge thank-you to our wonderful family who fed us, drove us, humored us, entertained us, and watched our children at 4 a.m.  We had such an amazing time and we already miss your company.  Can’t wait to do it again… and I promise not to break your coffee pot next time.  XOXO.

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: