Lucky Nephew

Last time Aunt Ashly was in the area we had to trek out to Jersey to see her, but St. Patrick’s Day brought us the luck of having her in Manhattan for five days.
Despite another attack of the croup (Max’s fifth one since his first when his Aunts were here last March), we had a wonderful time during her visit. On St. Patrick’s Day, we dressed Max in his greenest outfit that currently fits and had a picnic in Central Park with a view of the parade.
We ventured to Fifth Avenue to see drums, bagpipes and flags up close.
Then we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Max is getting very fun to take to museums, he will point and talk and pick out favorites, such as a black and white photograph of a mask in one exhibit, and some fancy European boxes and fans that he had lots to tell Aunt Ashly about.
Max also liked the fountain outside the museum.
Our Irish luck led us to giant bubbles on the way home, more exciting for Max (and poppable) than a pot o’ gold.

The night before we had made blueberry pancakes for dinner to celebrate Max’s 18-month birthday, so we dyed some left-over batter green to continue the celebration.
Friday we visited the Central Park Zoo, where we saw seals, monkeys, leopards and got pretty close to this sloth-like (i.e. lazy) species of panda.

We might have gotten a little too close, Max got a runny nose and red itchy eyes after we left the zoo. We were worried that he had inherited his dad’s springtime tree allergies and would have to avoid the park for a month or two, but we’ve been to the playground by us since then with no bad reactions. So hopefully it was caused by an animal that we can easily avoid. We hung out with an hypoallergenic sloth that evening in honor of Uncle Eric’s birthday
Max is getting very active, crawling all around and doing a little cruising. He doesn’t always want to sit still for photos with stuffed animals; they’re just so much fun to throw. It took Aunt Ashly, Brittney, and a big-screen TV to get Max to pose for his 18-month penguin photos. He now weighs 23 lbs 2 oz (17 percentile) and is 33 1/3 inches tall (58 percentile).
Though Ashly and Brittney enjoyed some baby-free sister outings (catching a Broadway show, seeing a Canadian film and listening to violin in a Andy Warhol exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, getting a manicure/pedicure and going to a matinee of the new Jane Eyre film — not as good as the book of course), we also had many fun adventures with Max. We learned about the brain at the Natural History Museum, shopped for clothes (Max loves dressing rooms with big mirrors), went out to lunch, played at a kids gym, and had fun sliding and swinging at the playground.
We also had fun at home, reading books, pulling hair, making crepes, and playing with spatulas.
Max isn’t quite ready for Aunt Ashy to teach him about Jane Austen novels or monsters in popular culture, but he did pick up a new baby sign while she was here – “All Done,” putting his hands up at the end of meal. He always claps for himself after he does it, and claps for us if we do it to him. He was a little too sleepy to show us the full version by the time we got out the video camera, but he was awake enough for lots of giggles with Aunt Ashly.
Video of Max signing “All Done” – sort of
We also have a video of our pre-dinner dance parties that Ashly got to join, but certain members of the family have banned it from the blog. Though we wish we had more relatives closer by, it’s fun to have visits during which Max gets some intense days of fun and love.
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