Monday, April 24, 2006

Andy's First Meal

Bubbie arrived today so we thought we'd use the occasion to give Andy his first meal. He'll be 4 months old on Friday so we figured it's time. It brought back all sorts of memories from Jacob.

So we busted out our baby bibs (Tania, remember those?) and the feeding chair and made Andy his first meal of baby rice with milk. Specifically, we broke out our "My Auntie Loves Me" bib that came from Auntie Jenny.

Jacob had his first meal in Italy, Andy had his in the burbs. Seemed like the same affair as Jacob - not too interested in this funny stuff being shoved into his mouth. Bubbie had the honours of serving the first meal. Lots of milestones in the week ahead as Jacob turns 3 this weekend.

Well, it has been a rough couple of weeks for blogging. We had Passover week that took up a lot of my free time followed by a work colleague of mine in town from England so it was dinners out every night.

The "I'm totally shagged and can barely type" summary is:
- had a fantastic Passover dinner at Tania's friend from Wharton, Michael and his wife Ellen. It was one goy, one shiksa and two MOTs. We had a great time and both spouses are good troopers and have learned all the Passover Seder
- had the Kennedys over for Passover on the second night. It was a nice Seder although the food from Whole Foods didn't match the home cooked Jewish meal from night one
- And on Friday night we rested ...
- Saturday morning we drove to Sacramento to see Zeide, Mary, Jenny/Bill, Uncle Ron. Jacob and I visited Uncle Ron's house with his new hardwood floors. Jacob is scared of cats. I didn't try to talk him out of it - I'm not a cat person (allergies).
- Saturday night we went to cousin Marlene's for Passover dinner. Was so nice to be back there after so many years of not attending when I was in Europe. Saw all the cousins: Jill, Daniel, Marcy, Marlene, Sharon, Lana, Sophia and Olivia. Sure I'm forgetting somebody. But it was a great bit of nostalgia being around family. Funny point of the evening was Jacob playing hide and seek, "Daddy, you hide in the bathroom and I'll find you." ... Not clear on the concept.
- Sunday we went to Jenny/Bill's new house (mansion). What a lovely place. We were ready to move in. And we were jealous of how wonderful and big the homes were in Folsom / Sacramento. Surprisingly Jacob actually wasn't afraid of their dogs. First time I think.

Off to bed ... Okay, I lie. I'm gonna watch 24. But then off to bed. I shall update things after Jacob's birthday party this weekend. Check out pictures below (don't forget to push arrows to see slideshow).

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Post Kandra World

Okay, so reality has set in as you can see from the picture. I guess I was somehow hoping that in the posh city of Palo Alto the garbage collectors actually let themselves into your garage every Tuesday morning to empty your trash. Or maybe the trash fairies took it away? No such luck. So after 4 months of not thinking much about how our trash finds its way to the city dump ground (thanks, Myron!) I now have a new Monday night / Tuesday night task. Oh well. I guess it is all part of settling back in to suburbia from too many years of living in the big city.
Had a day’s vacation yesterday. How did I spend it, you ask? At a spa, at a baseball game, playing golf, matinee movies or strolling around Carmel By-the-Sea? No, I spent it with Tania in San Francisco at a tax accountant and at a trust lawyer. Two hours each – lucky me. But if any of you don't have a "revocable living trust" I recommend that you write me an email because as we learned you will waste a hell of a lot time and money without one and, worse still, the money goes to the government and to lawyers. In California if you don't have a revocable living trust your estate goes automatically to "probate" - even if you have a will. This is the process that is lengthy and costly and a simple trust avoids probate and allows you to will up to $2 million in tax free money to your designated trustee. You can set one up for as little as $1,500 but more likely $2,000.

Anyway, we had a fun, family-oriented week all around. Monday night was a Passover party at Jacob's JCC school. Okay, so it wasn't exactly traditional - they served Chinese noodles, spring rolls and rice in stead of a Seder plate, but we had fun doing arts and crafts (see picture of Jacob and Mommy below making a Seder plate) and watching "Diana Schmiana" doing a clown show and teaching all the kids the Passover songs like Diyanu. And I got to meet some of the parents of Jacob's class mates. Their real Passover ceremony in the school is next Tuesday while I'll be a work.

Tuesday night was American Idol night and we had the Hunters over to watch with us, which was fun. Tania finally felt well enough to cook and made a lovely chicken with cashew dinner with cous cous.

Wednesday night we continued our social festivities as we had "Uncle Rob" Sowers in town for one night. Jacob enjoyed playing with my high school buddy and he especially loved the remote-control racing car the Uncle Rob brought. Rob & I went out to a killer meal at Evvia, which was seriously as good a restaurant as you will find in London or New York. It was great to see Rob since I normally only saw him as I was racing through the US for a quick trip home to see family and this was much more relaxing.

Thursday night we got to see cousin Daniel who stopped by for dinner. By now Tania had cooked dinner three nights in a row! We had beef stew served over a brown rice grain and strawberries / whipped cream for dessert. Was great to get caught up with Daniel who is now doing contract work at Google. We're hopeful that he will get an offer for a full-time role soon. So as you can tell we are getting back in the swing of things and socialising more.

Next week will have two Passover Seders - first at Tania's friends Michael and Ellen and then at our house with the Kennedy's. Then we are off on our first roadtrip as an enlarged family next weekend when we go to Sacramento to visit Zeide and have Passover at the Ratners. Sunday is Easter so hopefully the Shiksa in the family planned something - I'm not really up on what to do on Easter other than eat chocolate. And hunt for eggs, I guess? So we should have some good family shots in a week or so.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Weekend Alone

Had to start with a picture of Papa and Andy since it was so cute. Papa had mastered the art of putting Andy to sleep as demonstrated in this photo. And Tania can attest to the fact that we haven't quite figured out how to repeat the magic without him.

So, the first weekend alone since Andrew arrived. Oh, and the plans we had! Friday night was Weeds night. No, we weren't going to smoke dope. But we had a marathon evening of watching one of our favourite new TV shows starring Mary-Louise Parker (of West Wing fame) The show is written by Jenji Kohan (former writer for "Mad About You", "Sex and the City" and "Will & Grace" and is simply the most clever writing of any show on TV since the West Wing. It's about a suburban mom whose husband dies so she has to turn to dealing weed to support her family. Not for everyone I suppose, but has us in stitches.

Saturday was going to be such a big day. We told Jacob all week about the Father/Son soccer league (finally he no longer calls it football) for which we had signed him up. We built it up and up even though it was only a half-hour class in which 3 year olds learn the basics of kicking the ball. It was our big day out together - Daddy "boss" and Jacob "boss" - no Mommy and no Andy! Mommy diligently packed us an almond butter & jelly sandwhich, hard-boiled eggs, pretzels (aka quetzels) and diet root beer. We drove over to the field together pumped up about S-O-C-C-E-R!!! Yeah, man. Cool! When we arrived we walked through the sloshy, wet grass (we're headed for the wettest Summer in Bay Area history) - our shoes getting muddier with every step. I was already starting to imagine Mommy's reaction when we got home and I was conjuring up responses such as, "how can we play soccer without getting muddy?"

We arrived on the spot of the soccer lesson to start the beginning of the rest of our happy lives together as father and son. My little sportsman and I primed for afternoons of kicking balls, shooting hoop, swimming in the pool and playing tag. There were about 10 other sets of 3 year olds and their parents. For a Father/Son league there sure were a lot of Mommies and daughters. Could it have been Tania's line to talk me into going and leaving her at home with Oprah? We waited patiently for the instructor to arrive. And waited. And waited. And waited. I guess you can tell where this all ends. How could a park organised soccer league be so callous and irresponsible to organise a soccer league and then not send an instructor? We spoke with somebody from the class that was to start before ours who said that they had already been waiting for 45 minutes and also had no instructor. Rat bastards! You can see how thrilled Jacob was when we got home.

Oh well, we went to the park in stead. A little girl tripped and skinned her hands and knee with no mother in site. I helped her out and saw a panicked mother returning from her car feeling guilty. I knew she would be thinking, "I only took my eyes off her for 30 seconds, I'm not a bad mom!" Next I experienced an amazing coincidence. When the crying stopped and we had returned to the scene of the crime I found out that the girl was the infamous Lilly from Jacob's JCC class at pre-school. He had been talking about Lilly for weeks and it was she who had fallen in front of me. So Jacob said hello and she gave him a big hug. When we went to leave her mother told her to give Jacob a kiss. She reached in and Jacob gave her "the Heisman". But she slipped beyond his guard and got in a peck on the cheek. Jacob blushed. And then he wiped it off. I swear! Human nature, hey?

Saturday night Tania and I had a babysitter and headed out for Southern food at Nola's in Palo Alto. We started it with the all important Mojito and Margharita (never mind that neither of those are Southern - they did the trick). Next we had "Foo King Good Spring Rolls" (no joke). Come to think of it - that wasn't Southern either, was it? Oh well, us Californians are a bit eclectic like that. For our main dish we had fried chicken and pork chops with corn bread and for dessert beignets. So I guess we finished with Southern food but the important thing was that we had a night alone, which felt great. Tania is feeling much better thanks to sleep, Prednisone steroids and an occasional drink or two.

Sunday was a relaxed day with the family, a little crossword action, some emails, lots of tag and a lot of wondering why we stuffed ourselves so much the night before. And, of course, it was Sopranos night! I guess we sound like TV addicts, but we are making up for so many years of bad TV when we lived in England. Anyway, here's the full set of Jacob and Myron/Andy photos that you can click through if you're interested. Next post in a day or two.

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