Archive for July, 2011

I can’t believe how many beautiful days have gone by!

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Time is flying.  This means that we are having an incredible time and it also means that there are only a few days left.  This is sad.  It’s been such a wonderful trip.  It’s been amazing being with our family and friends.  On Monday, we went into NY to meet up with Brickelle and her family.  We spent a lot of time in Central Park at Victorian Gardens.  It’s a small amusement park and the kids had a blast.  On Tuesday, we went to Van Saun Park with grandma, AJ and Milo.  It’s such a wonder to watch kids see animals. it’s so innocent, so exciting.  It was also really hot!  The kids were great.  Ella rode 2 ponies and Milo & Ella checked out so many different animals.  It was mommy’s last night here so we had a delicious dinner at the River Palm.  It was so great having mommy here.  We have pretty much spent the rest of our days at the pool.  Ella is becoming so amazing at the diving board and slide. Ella even dove off the diving board at the Leonia Pool!  Hopefully the weather will be good this weekend and Ella will be able to hit some golf balls with papa. 130.jpg220.jpg318.jpg418.jpg517.jpg611.jpg79.jpg810.jpgFun was had by all at the Victorian Gardens.  The only ride that the kids were a little bit scared on was that giant slide.  We were also a little bit scared watching them try to work through their fear.  There was the kindest woman who was running the ride and she took Brooklyn on her lap and had the girls hold her hands.98.jpg107.jpg Fun in Central Park.139.jpg Milo watering AJ at the Leonia pool.1210.jpg Strike a pose!  147.jpg155.jpg164.jpg Ella riding the ponies at Van Saun Park.  Mommy made sure that she was close by because Ella was thrown from a horse at Van Saun Park a few years ago.  The first horse here was acting a little strange so they switched horses for the 3rd and 4th laps.  Ella had a great time.175.jpg Grandma and her beautiful grandchildren waiting for the train.185.jpg AJ and Milo with his water soaked head.195.jpg Cousins in love.205.jpg2110.jpg Exploring the park.223.jpg We love you mommy!231.jpg Ella chillin at the pool.241.jpg Check out Ella’s park outfit.  I especially love the socks.251.jpg Papa, Ella and grandma before our dinner at Dante’s.  Love you guys!

More swimming milestones and family fun

Monday, July 25th, 2011

This morning, mommy, Ella and I went into Brooklyn to spend some time with our friend Tina.  We hung out, had a great brunch and had a great time.  Right as we were leaving, Ella got a very special treat.  Ella and Tina took Tina’s cat Moses for a walk! After our brunch we went back to NJ where we were greeted by Milo, AJ, uncle Michael and grandma. We all went to the Leonia pool where Ella achieved another milestone. Ella passed the deep water test and she went down the slide and went off the diving board.  The Leonia pool is 12 feet deep in the diving/sliding well.  Ella was very nervous about taking the test.  I decided to take her into the lane that went all the way to the 12 foot area just so she could get used to it.  While we were swimming, Barbara, the woman who runs the pool yelled for me. Barbara was my gym teacher from 5 – 8 grade and she now runs the rec and pool for the town.  She was a great teacher and she loved having me for a student.  She was watching Ella swim and she said, “Lauren, she passed the deep water test!  Get her a bracelet and let her go down the slide!”  Ella took the slide and diving board like a pro.  We were all there to witness this except papa.  Papa has been on a golf trip with his good friends since Wednesday.  He came home while we were at the pool and Ella was so proud to tell him about it.  We celebrated today by the whole family going out to Kiku.  We had a great hibachi dinner.  The kids loved watching the chef create our dinner.  It was a great day and a great night.128.jpg Ella, Tina and Moses walking the streets of Park Slope.219.jpg Ella and her deep water bracelet.317.jpg Approaching the end of the diving board.417.jpg Swimming to the ladder in 12 feet of water!516.jpg610.jpg The beautiful Leonhart family.78.jpg89.jpg97.jpg106.jpgElla had so much fun jumping off the diving board!  She would run from one end to the other and leap!1112.jpg129.jpg Sunny took these great shots of me diving off the diving board.  I have been going off this board since I was about 8 years old!138.jpg Complete love and happiness.146.jpg154.jpg The kids were mesmerized by the chef.184.jpg The adults were pretty mesmerized too!174.jpg194.jpgMilo was in great spirits at the end of the night even though it was way past his bedtime!204.jpg Ella did some serious firefly catching with mommy tonight. 

What do you do when it’s between 95º and 100º? Go swimming!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Since we arrived, we have gone swimming in 4 different pools and 2 water playgrounds.  It has been really hot here and I love it.  It feels like a real summer.  Mommy arrived on Thursday night and we are all so happy that she is here!  Today it got up to 106º and we spent the day at papa’s pool and tonight we went over to Cheryl’s parent’s pool.  Cheryl is one of my oldest friends and I grew up at her parent’s pool.  Tonight, we hung out there with some other special childhood friends and all of our kids.  It was a great night.  Ella had so much fun.  On Thursday, we spent a good part of the day with Doris and her grandchildren.  Doris is one of my parent’s childhood friends.  Ella had a great time with her grandchildren too!  Ella has started to dive off the side of the pool.  She has never done this before and she’s becoming a natural.  Ella has taken her swimming to a new level this summer.  She is so comfortable in the pool.  We are having such a great time here.  Tomorrow we are going to see the Gazillion bubble show.  Should be very exciting.126.jpg218.jpg Ella and Doris’ grandchildren Hudson, Stella and Gibson.316.jpg Ella and Milo love each other so much!416.jpg Grandma and Ella were doing some beautiful swimming together the other day.  Guess I shouldn’t have them pose for pictures with the sun glaring in their eyes.515.jpg Our under water beauty.69.jpgWe love you mommy…so happy you’re here.77.jpg Grandma and Milo – great swimming partners.88.jpg I am the coach of this swim team.96.jpg Milo is so much fun to swim with.105.jpg Two beauties.11a.jpg Chatting away in the kiddie pool.1111.jpg Ella doing a jack knife off the diving board.127.jpg Ella and Cheryl’s daughter Emma.  Emma was so sweet with Ella – just like a little mommy.137.jpg The whole gang -James, Ella, Ava, Sophia and Emma.145.jpg Ella and the twins.  They had so much fun together. 

A big surprise for Ella

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

We had a long hot busy beautiful day on Tuesday.  First, we went into NY to meet Milo and AJ and Milo’s Music Together class.  Once again, Ella had a lot of fun doing music and chasing Milo around the room.  Twyla was fascinated by Ella during class.  It was really sweet.  After class, I took Ella to the Highline for her surprise.  Another one of Ella’s friends from San Francisco is in NY.  Ella had no idea that Emmi and her family were in town and Emmi’s mom and I surprised the girls.  Ella and Emmi were so happy to see each other.  They embraced and smiled and posed for pictures.  Emmi’s big sister Sadie was in on the secret.  We had lunch under the Highline and then walked the Highline for about 7 blocks.  We ended up at a park in Chelsea that had lots of water coming out of the ground and walls and the girls played in the hot sun for about 2 hours! After the park, Ella and I went back to meet AJ and Milo and then we went to Washington Square Park.  Ella played and played all day and then we had a great dinner together.  What a fun filled day.  Mommy comes tomorrow and we can’t wait to have fun adventures with you!  We love you and miss you.120.jpg217.jpg315.jpg Fun at Music Together!415.jpg Ella and Milo are great at driving things together.514.jpg I think this was right after a somersault.68.jpg76.jpg Sadie, Ella and Emmi after the big surprise.87.jpg Holding hands walking down the Highline.95.jpg104.jpg1110.jpgSwinging away at Washington Square Park.125.jpgA little overheated and very beautiful.136.jpg Milo was very busy shoveling sand onto the slide.  

Love, family, friends and a swimming milestone

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

We have been having a wonderful time here.  It’s been great to get to spend some beautiful time with family and friends.  Mommy – we love you and we miss you!  Come on over already.  Mommy comes on Thursday and we can’t wait.  On Saturday, Ella, Milo, AJ, grandma, Iya and I went to papa’s club.  We had a lot of fun swimming and then at the end of the day, Ella, papa and I took a ride around the golf course in the cart.  Ella told papa that she wanted to hit some golf balls with him before the end of our trip.  On Saturday night, I went into New York to see my friend Karen,  AJ went in to do a gig, and Ella, Milo, Iya, grandma and papa hung out in NJ.  Ella and Iya watched Tangled.  On Sunday, uncle Michael came in for a quick 36 hours and we all went back to papa’s pool.  On Sunday, Ella passed the deep water test at papa’s pool.  This means that she is allowed to swim in the deep end.  At first, Ella was really scared to do the test.  She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to do it.  I kept telling her to just try and I also told her that if she didn’t do the test that I would only swim with her in up to 5 feet of water for safety reasons.  The test was to swim 25 meters without touching the floor of the pool, any walls or lane lines.  After the 25 meters, you have to tread water for 45 seconds.  After lunch, Ella got up all her courage and said, “I want to take the test”.  She took it and passed the first time!  She was so proud of herself and we are so proud of her.  She was also so happy because the was allowed to play in the 9 foot area and is really great at diving down 9 feet to get things I throw down there.  One of the lifeguards made her a certificate and Ella recited it about 30 times already!  On Sunday evening, KK came over to grandma and papa’s and we hung out on the terrace, the kids blew lots of bubbles and then we had Chinese food.  It was great to spend time with KK.  OK – time for the pictures and video.118.jpg216.jpg314.jpgFun times in the pool.414.jpg513.jpg Sweetness on the golf course.67.jpg75.jpg Ella concentrating hard on creating this modern art.93.jpg86.jpg Trumpet fun with uncle Michael.103.jpg Ella and her swimming certificate.119.jpg Ella and Iya are excellent swimming partners.124.jpg Michael and Milo getting ready to do some laps.134.jpg Ella is a great underwater photographer.144.jpg Milo decided that he wanted to wear AJ’s cover up.153.jpg Ell and one of her summer buddies Sofia. 

Special times with Milo

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Ella and Milo are quite a duo.  Ella is so patient with Milo and Milo watches every move Ella makes.  They have been having so much fun together and it’s been so great to hang out with them and join the fun.  So far we have been to the Leonia Pool and to papa’s golf club although I didn’t get any pictures from papa’s club.  Here are some shots from the past 2 days of Ella and Milo.1a1.jpg Cousins!116.jpg Playuing together at the Leonia pool.215.jpg Making fish faces at Dante’s.313.jpg Hanging out with Dante himself!413.jpg66.jpg Love all around!74.jpg Crazy cousins!85.jpgOne firefly for each hand.  92.jpg102.jpg117.jpg Ella and AJ hunting for fireflies.123.jpg Early morning fingerpainting.133.jpg Beautiful Normyn…she’s really been through it this year.  She was attacked by a dog, had a cancerous tumor removed and was recently stung by a bee.  She’s all better now.143.jpg Sweeping water on the terrace.163.jpg Milo was eating the bubbles that Ella was shooting at him.173.jpg183.jpg Ella has officially aced the monkey bars at Fireman’s Park.193.jpgGrandma and Milo taking a stroll through the park.  203.jpg Papa is the best swing pusher in the world.  Milo kept screaming, “Weeeeeeeeeeee!”222.jpg Two beautiful firefighters driving to put out a 4 alarm fire!    


Thursday, July 14th, 2011

I went into NY really early this morning to get my eyes checked and Ella and grandma spent the morning together.  First, they went and got manicures and then they went grocery shopping.  They came back with a lot of stuff!  After lunch, we went to the Leonia Pool.  Ella couldn’t wait to get in the water.  We usually sit by the kiddie pool but Ella did not go into the kiddie pool today.  Ella spent the whole time in the adult pool.  We had a nice relaxing evening at home tonight.  Tomorrow, AJ and Milo are coming for 3 nights.  We can’t wait.  1a.jpg Ella and her rainbow manicure.115.jpg Getting into the pool –  it was a little cold.214.jpg Ella decided that she was going to get out and jump in!312.jpg The underwater smile.  

Our East Coast vacation has begun!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

We arrived on Monday at around 6:30, went out to dinner and then back to grandma and papa’s house.  We got back to the house at prime firefly catching time…around 8:30.  Ella was not only so happy to be here, but she was really excited to see fireflies.  Today, we went into NY, met AJ and Milo at Milo’s Music Together class and also got to see Twyla, Jordin and Kevin.  Ella was so excited to see Milo and AJ.  We can’t wait for them to sleep over at grandma and papa’s house.  We went out to lunch at PQ and got to see Iya.  After lunch, Ella read Green Eggs and Ham to Milo and then he took a little nap.  Grandma, AJ and Milo rested and Ella and I went to Washington Square Park to meet Brickelle, Akilah, Brooke and Brooklyn who are spending the month of July in NY.  It was so much fun to see our SF peeps in NYC!  Ella and Brickelle ran off and played in the water and at the park.  After the park, we came back to NJ and had Chinese food with grandma and papa.  Once again, Ella ran around chasing fireflies tonight.  It’s so great to be here.  We miss mommy a lot but we have been doing facetime with her and it’s been terrific.  We love you and miss you Sunny/mommy.113.jpg212.jpgCatching fireflies our first night here.  Ella has become an amazing firefly catcher.  Here, she’s teaching grandma her special technique.311.jpg Here’s Milo entertaining all of us at Music Together.412.jpgTwyla and Jordin in class today.  We hear that rhythm eggs are Twyla’s favorite instrument.512.jpg Sweet Twyla.  She celebrated her 1st birthday on July 4.  Happy Birthday Twyla.65.jpg Jordin dipping Ella.84.jpg Milo, the ultimate charmer.  Milo is turning 2 today!  (July 13).  Happy Birthday beautiful Milo!91.jpg Ella doing some hard core drumming on her little red drum.101.jpg I love this picture of Ella and grandma.114.jpg I took this picture of Kevin while Twyla and I were looking through the camera viewer.  I’d say that this great shot was taken through Twyla’s eyes.122.jpg132.jpg  Back out on the hot streets of New York City!142.jpg152.jpg Milo and Ella love each other so much.162.jpg It was wonderful to see Normyn on the mend.172.jpgMilo, Ella Brickelle and AJ in Washington Square Park.182.jpg Brickelle sliding down the fire pole as Ella waits her turn.192.jpg A very hot Milo on top of the little slide.202.jpg Ella and Brickelle were so happy to see each other and hang out.213.jpg Beautiful Brooklyn had so much fun at the park too!  He was so sweet.  He walked up to me and said, “Lauren, I like NY.”221.jpg Catching fireflies tonight.  That’s a firefly on Ella’s sleeve.  I had her change into a long sleeve shirt and leggings to reduce the chance of getting mosquito bites. 

Beautiful Sunday at the Giants game

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Today was another beautiful day…a little cooler than yesterday, but still sunny and great.  It was Buster Posey bobble head day at the ballpark.  Mommy and Ella went out for lunch at Maria’s and then I met them over by the ballpark.  We waited on line a little bit for our bobble heads and then I brought them home.  Mommy and Ella stayed at the ballpark and Ella went down the Coke slide and hit some balls in the little ballpark.  It was a great game tonight and the Giants won.  Ella and I are headed to NJ tomorrow for 3 weeks.  Mommy is joining us in about 10 days.  We love you mommy – we’ll miss you and can’t wait to see you in NJ.  Grandma and papa – Ella is so excited to be in NJ.  She is telling everyone who will listen about our trip!img_0580.jpg This is from Saturday before Ella’s class.  She was very serious about practicing her kicks.73.jpg Waiting on line for the bobble head.83.jpg The best place to wait on line…on mommy’s back!112.jpg211.jpg310.jpg Family love at the ballgame.411.jpg511.jpgElla ran the bases tonight.  She usually does it with an adult who “borrows” Ella because you need to be with a kid in order to run the bases, but tonight Ella did it all by herself.  Ella flew around the bases.Here is a video of Ella and her latest musical endeavor.  Ella has been drumming her little heart out.  She’s really good!


Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Ella and mommy do a lot of magic together.  Here is a little video of Ella pulling a rabbit out of a hat.