Max’s Pirate Party

Max is 4 1/2, and we are officially 6-months behind on our blog posts. But Max’s 4th birthday party needs to be documented. For the first time since his first-birthday blowout, we had a full on party with friends, a pirate party in Central Park. With new-found post-weaning energy, Brittney turned into a Pinterest mom and made themed food including a watermelon ship, ‘squid dogs’ (hot dogs with noodle tentacles) and banana pirates.


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The kids made hooks, eye patches and mustaches, and got tattoos.




Julie napped and chilled in the stroller looking cute.

04-CIMG1626Julie got a tatto too!

When it was time for the cupcakes, we discovered they’d been stolen by Pirate Pete and hidden away with his treasure! The kids found pirate Pete behind a tree, then he trained them to be true pirates and gave them their first clue and a piece of the treasure map.

A pirate stole the cupcakes and left this note
We found the pirate!


Learning to talk like a pirate

Each clue led to another one and a piece of the treasure map. The last clue was in Max’s pocket, which amused him very much. They put together the map and found the treasure!


The last piece of the map was in Max's pocket!


The treasure!

And the stolen cupcakes!

And a treasure chest pinata & the stolen cupcakes.



Real pirates have chocolate mustaches.


Julie was very fussy during the singing of happy birthday, but then we realized she wanted her own chocolate mustache.


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Pete turned out to be a very nice pirate and Max just wanted to snuggle with him at the end of the party.





It was so nice to celebrate with family, friends and buccaneers. A hearty thanks to Mark’s Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Stan for representing family at every one of Max’s celebrations.


Six months later, Max is still talking about the party and how he wants another pirate party next year. Ahoy to that!

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Boys/Girls Weekend

In June Mark and Max took their first boys-only trip to Florida to visit Mark’s parents. Max loved reading and playing with Grandpa.
Max and Grandpa
Which meant that Brittney and Julie got their first girls weekend! Here the ladies are eating lavender and sage olives, sipping mocktails and listening to a violin/piano concert on the Met’s balcony. A kind woman noted how sophisticated our baby was, then Julie farted and started sucking on her toe.



Max had fun swimming in Bubbe’s pool with Aunt Becky (who he couldn’t get enough of), Poppy and his cousin Ryan.
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Swimming all by himself (with a little help from water wings).

Swimming - by himself! - in the pool by Bubbe and Poppy

Meanwhile Julie and Brittney caught up with lots of girlfriends, listening to music and shopping. We spent the morning dancing to drums in Bryant Park then met up with my friend Rachel at a craft fair at Lincoln Center.
Having girls fun at Lincoln Center

Julie loooved my friend Rachel



Every girls’ weekend needs a dance party. We found one on the pier. Julie spilled water all over her clothes so she could boogie naked.
Spilled water on her shirt so she could get naked at a dance party on the pier


Apparently hula hoops are the new glow sticks. Julie is skeptical (and tired – we may have been out past bedtime with no Daddy to worry about us).
Apparently hula hoops are the new glow sticks. Julie is skeptical.
Back in Florida, Max devoured a blue cupcake at Bubbe’s (PS Mark needs an iPhone).
Back in Florida, a blue cupcake from Bubbe
The girls continued their musical adventures on the dance floor of a jazz age lawn party on Governors Island.



Mark was so sad to miss all the fun costumes (and the dance lessons and subway-bus-ferry ride). If he had been in town we could have had a fabulous vintage picnic like this one. Julie was stuck with some cantaloupe in an un-1920’s take-out container.
Max was a great traveler and we all decided one-on-one parenting is a whole lot easier than two-on-two parenting (or of course one-on-two). His brown bear and Uga stuffed animals have been taking lots of pretend plane trips to Florida since he returned. He is very excited to get on a plane tomorrow to visit Brittney’s family gathering from around the world in Utah (minus Mark but plus Brittney, Julie and Aunt Ashly) where there will be lots of boys and girls to have more adventures with.

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Memorial Day

This Memorial Day weekend we remembered why we love living in NYC so much. Mark’s college roommate Bob and his family visited from DC and we showed them all over town, including one of our favorite brunch spots Sugar & Plumm, which has an adjoining candy store.
Our brunch spot had a candy store attached to it
Lots of fun playing tourist! The moms took Max and Sofie to a hilarious show with plays kids wrote (similar to the first show Mark ever saw Brittney in way back when in Florida).
02-The actors performed stories written by real kids.
Had to take a picture with Dora in Times Square.
The big kids also got to see their first Broadway show (and take a taxi to the theater)! Max enjoyed one of Brittney’s all-time favorites. His favorite part was a tap dancing Santa Clause that made a brief cameo in ‘NYC.’
Taking a taxi to his first Broadway show


One of my all time favorites

Hanging out and popping giant bubbles in Central Park.


Julie and Natalie danced along with some break dancers.
Mark had his hands full watching the seals at the Central Park zoo.



Mark’s arms got a break when Max decided he wanted to hold Bob’s hand all the time.
Max liked holding hands with Bob


Even museums are fun for Mark with this little smiler.
Max and Sofie made sure we didn’t get lost as we found works by artists Sofie had been studying in school.
We found the Pollock

More interested in the map than the art

Our navigator

Julie fell in love with Sofie and wanted her new best friend to carry her all over the Egyptian wing.
Julie loved being held by Sofia22-IMG_1862
Julie didn't want strong Sofia to put her down



Trying to get a pic of all four kids.
We weren’t the best tour guides on the walk back through the park and kept hitting stairs in the Ramble. But we did make sure we all had lots of yummy NYC food – dim sum to Austrian.
So sad to say goodbye. We’re trying to arrange another meet-up with all these new BFFs, maybe a beach in August.

30-Julie loved Sofia


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Max And The Ladies

With his long curly eyelashes and gentle disposition, Max has always been popular with the girls. Some of his signature moves:
Holding hands. He sometime walks part of the way home hand in hand with one of his classmates who lives in our neighborhood (and who conveniently has a sister Julie’s age). Pretending to see Swiper, the sneaky fox from Dora, also is a hit with this one.

05-IMG_3610Walking home from school with Monica


Giving lots of hugs. So sweet, except for when he gets tired and starts hugging too aggressively – we’re working on only hugging girls who want to be hugged, a good lesson for life.
Max and his classmate Monica at her little sister's birthday party

Dancing, and, of course, hugging a friend we visited in a fun cowgirl restaurant in the Village.


Lots of hugging

Building cool stuff on the playground at school.
Blocks with Elinor during playtime at school

Maddy defending her turf

More hand holding with another favorite classmate.
Holding hands with another bff Maddy
Showing off his ball skills with a girl he picked up at Lincoln Center.
Playing ‘family,’ which we’ve heard he does a lot of at school with various female classmates. He’s usually the daddy, though sometimes the brother. He’s also good at picking out romantic settings, like this verdant oasis by Turtle Pond under Belvedere Castle at a school picnic. He later told me a bird landed on their ‘house’ and he shooed it away.



‘Go away Mommy.’
'Go away Mommy'16-IMG_1307
Another scenic date in a tulip filled garden by his school.


Flying away and playing hard to get.
Flying like a dragon
Making funny faces.




Trying on their moms’ shades.



One day I asked Max what he did while he and a friend were playing family and he said ‘kissing.’ But don’t worry, Julie’s usually there to chaperone.

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Tour Guide Max

We are sad so many of our friends and family live far away in California, but it’s so much fun to show them around when they come to visit. A few weekends ago Max met the son of one of Brittney’s college roommates. They are one week apart in age and quickly became friends. Max was an excellent tour guide. First they explored the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s a huge museum, good thing we had some expert navigators (and no, we didn’t coordinate the outfits on purpose).
Reading in the Met’s children’s library.
Nicholas is a little obsessed with knights, and had lots to tell Max in the Arms & Armor galleries. (Looking at the uncomfortable armor must have made Max’s bum itch).

Making wishes in the American Wing Fountain.
More pennies please.
They found some water (and an alligator) in the Egyptian wing which meant more wishes. Nicholas wished for cookies & ice cream; Max wished for prosciutto.
Fishies in the Japanese garden were fun to count.
Holding hands, so cute, though it did end up with Max face-planting on the marble. He bit his lip, but recovered quickly since we were by his favorite work in the museum – a boat with a turtle.
After getting caught in a crazy NYC rainstorm, we hit FAO Schwarz for storytime, toys and puzzles. The next morning we met up at the Central Park Zoo. The lions Max keeps asking for at this mini-zoo keep failing to materialize, but we did see sea lions, plus monkeys, penguins and a usually elusive snow leopard.
We love vistors – hint hint to all our blog fans…
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