Archive for July, 2010

A toast to mommy

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Last night was mommy’s last night in NJ – we love you – see you in a week!  It was wonderful being here with you.  We all went to the River Palm last night for a family dinner.  The dinner was great, Ella was fantastic, and Milo was terrific.  Here are some great shots from last night.

140.jpg Before we all went out to dinner Ella helped grandma and papa water the flowers and clean off a little slide for Milo.

226.jpgMommy and Ella outside of the restaurant.  A beautiful embrace.


416.jpg Our big girl…nothing spilled and nothing broke.

514.jpg613.jpgElla loves her grandma and papa so much.

713.jpgA serious shot.

812.jpg Our beautiful family.

913.jpg1013.jpgMilo and whipped cream – a beautiful combination.

1116.jpg Ella digging into her dessert.  I think she liked the ice cream as much as the chocolate lava cake!

1213.jpg Milo and AJ sporting the adorable stripes.

1311.jpg This is one of those self-portraits – thought this came out pretty well.

1410.jpg Sisters and cousins.  AJ – I think this is right before you fell asleep!  (Just kidding).

158.jpg Ella took this one of Milo and AJ.

167.jpg Ella standing on top of the old slide that she cleaned off  for Milo.

178.jpg Visiting day.

Thursday in the park

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Yesterday, it rained a lot during the day, but when the sun came out, we brought the kids to the park.  Ella tried everything and Milo pretty much stuck to the slide and the bouncy thing.  Ella brought her basketball and did some serious dribbling.

139.jpg Milo and grandma own that slide.

225.jpgMilo thinking about something good.

316.jpg415.jpg513.jpgElla showing off her basketball skills.

612.jpg Fancy footwork on the balance beam.

712.jpg On the bouncy bunny.

912.jpg1012.jpg1115.jpgA big jump.

1212.jpg Ella and Milo hanging out.

1310.jpg Such a beautiful scene.

149.jpgMommy reading to the kids before we go into NY.

157.jpg A “self portrait” of me and Normyn.

A magical day and a fun night

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

On Wednesday, grandma, mommy, Ella and I went into NY and saw a matinee of Mary Poppins on Broadway.  This was Ella’s first Broadway show.  We were sitting center orchestra, row J.  When the curtain went up, Ella began to shake and was overwhelmed.  She jumped onto mommy’s lap.  After about 10 minutes, she was in her own seat thoroughly loving the show.  It was so much fun to be with Ella to experience something so magical.  After the show, we waited at the stage door for the actors to come out.  The only actor who didn’t make it out was Mary Poppins, but Ella got autographs and photos with the other main characters.  Ella also got the Mary Poppins umbrella and purse and she said, “Why don’t we get an umbrella for Stella and Juliet?”  We asked her if this would be their present from NY, and she said, “yes” so we did.  In the evening, Emma and James came over and Ella had a blast with them.

130.jpg Grandma, Ella and mommy outside of the theater.

220.jpgAbout to go into the theater.  It’s getting exciting.

315.jpgThe show is about to start.

414.jpgElla and grandma during the intermission.

512.jpg I snuck this shot during the show when Mary Poppins was flying away and the entire theater was filled with stars.

611.jpg Ella with the actor who played Michael.

711.jpg Ella with the actor who played Jane.

811.jpg Ella with the actor who played Burt.

911.jpg Ella with the actor who played Mr. Banks…Jane and Michael’s dad.

1011.jpgWalking back to the garage.

1114.jpg Ella with Emma and James – such sweet kids.  Ella really loves them.

1211.jpg148.jpgFinding fireflies with Emma and James.

Doing something different

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

We have been swimming almost every day since we arrived and Ella is getting stronger every day.  On Monday and Tuesday, we mixed it up after swimming.  On Monday afternoon, we took a hike in a nature reserve right by grandma and papa’s house.  Ella loves to explore the great outdoors and we had a nice little hike.  The only thing that creeped me out was a deer tick warning.  We did tick checks after the hike.  On Tuesday, we went to papa’s club to swim and Ella took a swimming lesson.  The teacher worked on side and front breathing and Ella did a fantastic job.  After the club, we went into NY and met KK at the Plaza Hotel for an “Eloise Tea”.  Ella walked into the Plaza and she lit up like Annie at Daddy Warbucks’ house.  Her eyes got huge and she just took it all in.  We all had white napkins and they gave Ella a special pink napkin which she cherished.  Ella ordered the Eloise Tea (so did I) which had grilled cheese, cucumber, strawberry and cream cheese and peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches.  Then there were 2 scones, and after that, chocolate dipped strawberries, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, mini cupcakes, and more stuff that I can’t even remember.  After the tea, we went to the Eloise store and we bought a DVD of the Disney Eloise movie.  After that, we went to FAO Schwarz where Ella ran back and forth on the giant piano.  Then we told her she could get one thing from the store and out of all of these amazing toys, she chose a fancy purple leotard.  We kissed KK goodbye and took one of those bike things down 59th street to meet Nikki B in the Time Warner Building.  We had a great dinner and finished it off with Ella having ice cream from Mr. Softee.  Wow!  What a day.  Today grandma, mommy, Ella and I are going to see Mary Poppins on Broadway.  Ella is just a little bit excited.

129.jpg219.jpg314.jpgElla doing ballet while mommy and Milo tap the ball keeping rhythm.

413.jpg511.jpg610.jpg710.jpgSome shots from our nature hike.

810.jpg910.jpg1010.jpgElla and her swimming teacher Sarah.  Ella is such an amazing listener in her one-on-one lessons.

1113.jpg Ella and KK in front of the original Eloise painting.

1210.jpg Mommy and Ella showing us the poster to the Eloise store.

147.jpg Ella stirring two cubes of sugar into her chamomile tea.

156.jpg The food has arrived!  Look at this happy beauty.

166.jpg This is the Palm Court where we had the Eloise Tea.

177.jpg Ella strolling into the Eloise store.

184.jpg Getting very comfortable in the Eloise chill spot.  Of course there was a giant TV screen in front of her playing an Eloise cartoon.

193.jpg Walking towards FAO Schwarz.

202.jpg Arriving at FAO Schwarz.

2110.jpg224.jpg234.jpgFun on the “Big” piano.

243.jpg Ella’s new leotard.

251.jpg Playing around in a fun mirrored room.

271.jpg281.jpgPosing in front of the man and woman statues in the Time Warner Building.

291.jpg Ice cream with mommy and Nikki B.

More fun and adventures

Monday, July 26th, 2010

We spent this past weekend at papa’s club.  Ella has continued to LOVE swimming and it’s hard to get her out of the pool.  The club has been a nice change of scenery and we get to see papa there too!  On Sunday, Ella and I took a ride in the golf cart with papa.  When the ride was over, Ella asked papa if she could do it again at least 2 more times.  Milo has been so much fun for all of us and I think he even said “El” the other day while looking at Ella. Ella loves him a lot and he really loves Ella.127.jpgGrandma, AJ, Milo and papa hanging out pool side at the club. 218.jpg AJ and Milo in the kiddie pool.313.jpg Grandma watching Milo and AJ in the kiddie pool.412.jpg510.jpg69.jpg Ella  has no problem making friends wherever she goes.  She had a lot of fun in the pool with Sophia and Nina.  Ella met Sophia last year and they picked up where they left off.79.jpg Ella and her cousin Jack playing the Hungry Hungry Hippo game.89.jpg AJ, Sunny and I went into NY and got to meet the beautiful Twyla, Jordin and Kevin’s new daughter.99.jpg Ella and papa walking off onto the golf course.109.jpg Papa showed Ella the beginning of one of the holes and then we drove all the way to the end – right here!1112.jpg128.jpg136.jpg Golf cart driving fun!146.jpg Grandma and Milo dancing to the Howdy Doody song.155.jpg Grandma love.165.jpgTwo beauties.176.jpg Mommy and Ella feeding Milo.183.jpg Beautiful Ella!  Ella and Milo have a game where Ella builds the blocks up high for him and he knocks them down. 

More fun with family

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The fun continues!  Ella has been having such a great time.  She’s been such a great big cousin with Milo.  Mommy arrived yesterday and we are all so happy!  Ella took her around, showed her everything, told her everything…it was so great.  Here are some pictures from the past day or so.

125.jpg Sweet happy Milo.

216.jpg312.jpg411.jpgOn Thursday night, I went into NY and had dinner with Nikki B, and Ella stayed home and had a lot of fun.  I forgot to bring her ballet slippers so grandma let her borrow her shoes.

59.jpg78.jpgOn Friday morning, one of my parent’s friends, Doris brought her grand daughter Stella over for a little visit.  It was great watching Ella talk Miley Cyrus, Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me with a 9 year old.

88.jpg98.jpg108.jpgAt first, we were all trying to help Ella give Milo a bottle but when we all “let go”, Milo sat up, stared at Ella and then leaned back into her…this is love.

1111.jpg After a very rainy morning and afternoon, we decided to go to a park with the kids.

126.jpgGrandma and papa sending us off.

135.jpg145.jpg154.jpg164.jpg175.jpg182.jpg192.jpg201.jpg217.jpg223.jpg233.jpg242.jpgWe tested out a new park and as you can see, the kids loved it.  Ella did a lot of great climbing and Milo did a terrific job on the slide.


Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

It’s hard to believe that all the computer needed was a good night sleep, but whatever it was, it’s working again this morning.  Yesterday morning, AJ and Michael went back to NY and Milo and Normyn stayed with us.  Milo is such a great kid with a great disposition, but if he doesn’t have one of his main “peeps” with him in sight, he’s not a happy guy.  When AJ and Michael are not around, grandma is his main woman.  He is so cute and fun with me when his “peeps” are around but when they are not in sight, he cries and screams.  Yesterday, grandma was just downstairs and Ella and I were upstairs with Milo and he cried and cried.  Ella is so beautiful when he cries – she tries to comfort him, she rubs his back, she smiles at him.  It’s great to see her want to help him.

Grandma and I took Milo and Ella to the Leonia pool yesterday.  Ella continues to swim like a fish.  She is actually getting better treading water and finding air.  Milo stayed in the kiddie pool practically the whole time.  After the pool, I was supposed to go into NY to see Twyla – Jordin and Kevin’s new baby, but there was an accident on the GWB and there was no way that I was getting into NY.  Ella and I were supposed to go in a little later to meet Nikki B for dinner but the same traffic issues were going on.  I am getting a little NJ stir crazy but that’s OK.  After dinner with grandma, papa, Ella and Milo, Ella and I went on a little adventure.  Papa went to get his haircut and Ella and I followed about 15 minutes later as spies and spied on papa getting his haircut.  Ella told me that we needed to wear sunglasses and black suits, but we just settled for sunglasses.  After spying, we got some ice cream and came back just in time to catch fireflies.

120.jpg Ella “reading” one of her old board books.

215.jpg “Hey Milo – take a look at this book.”

311.jpg“Really – it’s a good book…I think you’ll like it.”

410.jpg“Put Me In the Zoo…it’s very colorful.”

58.jpg Milo and grandma at the kiddie pool.  Milo pretty much walked around the edge of the pool.

67.jpg Ella and I were playing a game where I poured water on her and she grew like a flower.  Here is Ella the beautiful flower.

77.jpg Milo very happy that he’s about to eat dinner.

87.jpgElla and Milo were playing a game that Ella calls, “Drop it and pick it up”.  Milo drops and Ella picks up.

97.jpg107.jpgHere we are about to go spy on papa.

1110.jpgSearching for fireflies.

124.jpg They are very serious firefly searchers.

134.jpg Ella about to catch a firefly.  Notice the little spot right by her arm…that’s a firefly!

144.jpg Papa sharing a firefly with Ella.

153.jpg Here we are hanging out, being patient, and waiting for fireflies.

163.jpg174.jpgI shared my firefly with Ella.


I had a great blog ready to go…the cursor on my dad’scomputer is stuck. Hopefully I will resolve ittomorrow.

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Fun at the pool and celebrating Milo’s 1st birthday

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Today was another really fun day.  We spent most of it at the pool.  Vaughn, Donna and Jay joined us today to help celebrate Milo’s birthday.  All day Ella was talking about the “pool party” that we were having.  We just all had a lot of fun at the pool.  Ella’s swimming is getting better by the minute.  She is fearless – and can hold her breath for a really long time.  I’m still working on the breathing thing.  It gets really frustrating for Ella.  After the pool, papa came home and all of us had dinner outside on the terrace.  Ella and Vaughn played together in her room and Jay said that Ella was really sweet with him and that played really well together.  Vaughn just turned 2 – Ella is really sweet with the little ones.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of Donna and Jay, but they were there and we all had a good time.

118.jpg213.jpg310.jpgElla made a lantern today during arts and crafts at the pool.

49.jpg Beautiful grandma and Ella.

57.jpgElla and the Leonhart clan.  It’s incredible how much Ella looks like AJ.

66.jpg Smiley boy.

76.jpg86.jpg96.jpg106.jpgElla took all of these shots including the self-portrait.

119.jpg123.jpgElla has mastered sliding down the pole.

133.jpg Ella, Michael and Milo getting ready for the party.

143.jpg Ella and grandma with their party hats on.

152.jpg Ella and Vaughn having a conversation.

162.jpg Happy Birthday Milo!

172.jpg Ella and I kept our party hats on.

181.jpg Sweet shot of Milo and AJ.

191.jpg214.jpgElla and papa are getting ready to go out and look for fireflies.

222.jpg They found some tonight and Ella caught a few (and of course set them free).

232.jpg Ending a beautiful day and night talking on the phone to beautiful mommy.  We love you Sunny/mommy see ya in a few days!

Let the fun begin

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Ella and I arrived on Sunday evening.  We love you and miss you mommy.  Can’t wait to see you on  Friday. It was a full house on Sunday night with Milo, AJ, Michael, grandma and papa.  Lots of stimulation and lots of fun.  Ella pretty much remains on California time which means that she falls asleep pretty late like 11:30.  Ella had grandma up pretty late playing the ladybug game.  Ella and Milo have a very sweet love for each other.  Ella just wants to love him and nurture him and take care of him and Milo follows Ella everywhere and doesn’t take his eyes off of her.  This morning we all woke up, played lots of games (Go Fish, Zingo, Hungry Hungry Hippo), I went and got a car and my mom and Ella went to the park.  At around 1:00, we all went to the Leonia pool.  Ella could not wait to go swimming.  She played around a little in the kiddie pool but spent most of the day in the big pool where she couldn’t stand but did a fantastic job floating and swimming.  She feels confident floating on her back, but her breathing for freestyle and breast stroke is pretty weak.  That is what I am going to work with Ella on this week…side breathing and breast stroke breathing.  After a long day at the pool, Ella came home and took a nap, Milo took a nap and I did some errands.  We had a great dinner and then loads of fun after dinner playing games, making up different characters and just laughing a lot.  It is great to be here with the family.  Hurry up Sunny – get here already!  LOVE YOU.

a.jpg Ella and Milo doing some drawing.

b.jpgc.jpgSuch sweet beautiful kids.

d.jpg Ella and AJ playing Zingo.

e.jpgf.jpgHey – what are you guys doing?  I want to play Zingo too!

117.jpg Ella doing her backstroke.

212.jpg Ella took this shot.

39.jpg Ella doing arts and craft sat the pool.

65.jpg Michael, Milo and AJ getting comfy in the kiddie pool.

75.jpg Big cousin.

85.jpgElla getting ready to go into the big pool.

95.jpgMe chatting with my childhood PE teacher while Ella shows us how well she can hold her breath.

48.jpg56.jpgElla totally knocked out after a long day of swimming and playing.

105.jpg Sweet Milo helped me gently wake up Ella.