365 Project – Week 5

August 28, 2014

The babies turned 5 weeks old and you know what that means … road trip! The sad thing is that our 3 pm departure and 1:30 am arrival really was no more than half the fault of Akiva and Linnea. There was a brief delay while we double parked in front of the World Bank because someone forgot a last minute commitment at work, the endless I-95 traffic, a sad fast food break for some followed by a spontaneous and lovely 10 pm dinner for others … followed by another nursing stop … but first the rest of the week.

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A visit to Lynn. Complete with chalk in the courtyard, trains, and of course a visit to that really nice restaurant where Gerry works.

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A leisurely stroll after dinner.

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And a photo which did not quite make the cut.

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Busy day.

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Busy day.

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First Wednesday Night Dinner with nine children. We are lucky enough to have two families who rotate cooking and hosting dinner every Wednesday night. Pre-July we were three moms and seven children (including one set of identical twins), the oldest of whom was Talia. Now there are nine but it really seemed no more chaotic than before.

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This is the very same house where we held the bris, and we may well break in to take photos more frequently. A lovely backyard with excellent light.

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First trip to Wolf Trap and first modern dance performance. We saw Paul Taylor II at the children’s theater in the woods. Thankfully Bri agreed to join us, and we even swung by the pool after a picnic to cool off.

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Akiva and Linnea were on their best behavior during the performance.

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And a smiling Talia at the theater.

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Linnea in the morning.

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Both babies spend quite a bit of time contemplating the undersea scene in the swing. Usually Akiva is not a fan, but on this morning he seemed okay to lounge for a few minutes.

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A lovely sushi dinner at 10 pm with four very well-behaved children.

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Which ended with the very sad realization that we really are a tad too recognizable at the moment to get away with dinner at the same restaurant the following weekend on our trek North. True story: while grabbing lunch in Durham the woman behind me in line turns to me and says “But where is the toddler boy?” I politely inquire whether we’ve met, and she responds no, but I was a few people behind you in line getting coffee two days ago …

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Some road trips include emergency diaper changes on the front seat. In shady garages.

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Despite loud pleas from Talia and Milo, we did in fact refrain from letting Akiva put his toes into the fountain at Guglhupf.

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Linnea also managed to stay dry. Not so much the big siblings.

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Six years and some change ago we took wedding photos a few hundred yards over from this pond. Today we came to listen to the bullfrogs and look for turtles, which we found. More Gardens photos coming soon.

365 Project – Week 4

August 14, 2014

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Late afternoon light in the living room.

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Akiva is finally starting to have longer alert periods. In less glowing news, the arrival of cradle cap.

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Marion Park with Nainai.

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Sister snuggles in the park. The park trip was a total success thanks to the best big sibling present – bubbles, bouncy balls, chalk and new water bottles. Sometimes we struggle to get out of the apartment and all the way down the block to the closest park, but not this trip.

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If you need someone to fight evil with fashion, Henry is your guy.

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Apparently Talia has incited some baby envy amongst her friends.

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What to say? Sometimes two kids mug for the camera at the exact same moment.

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And on the very same day their brother’s only photo is of a nap on the couch.

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Looking peaceful.

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Lots of affection.

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Beth came all the way to visit from Hawaii! Now if only she was not off to Japan quite so soon … So nice to have visitors who find it totally reasonable to set off for a picnic on the Mall and make it only to the Library of Congress before settling down to eat. And also, if one more person remarked on the small horde of (naturally angelic) children racing around the moving sidewalk in the National Gallery and their tired, pregnant mamas trying to keep up … (Akiva and Linnea were asleep in the stroller, but still folks). Photo by Matt.

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In the jungle with Becky Sue who really, truly loves babies.

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Superhero brothers to the rescue.

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It is always relaxing around our apartment. A combined lesson on knights, legos, and choking hazards.

365 Project – Week 3

July 29, 2014

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No idea why these photos look suspiciously similar to those on day 14. Nobody would ever cheat on their 365 day project on week 3. Way, way too early.

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So many friends told me that their twins ignored each other until close to 5 or 6 months, but Akiva and Linnea are definitely clued in to what the other one is doing. They wake at the same time and start looking for food at the same time, even if it seems that they are often deliberately ignoring each other.

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Just in case this is a temporary phase, it is good to remember that at least for now when the babies are well-fed and in clean diapers you can simply swaddle them and set them down and they put themselves fairly quickly to sleep.

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Late afternoon nap in the garden.

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Late afternoon nap in the garden.

And where were the big kids? Well, Talia was enjoying a swim in our pool (complete with lavender bubble bath) and Milo was busy washing the car, a task he likes to do several times a week. And a project best done naking, obviously.

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Talking about the wonders of the world.

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Evenings can be a challenge on occasion.

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If you fall asleep early in the evening you are bound to be left in peace …

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… but if you stay awake late into the night chances are you may find yourself drafted into more photos. Camera? Check. Memory card? Check. Baby?

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Nainai came to visit and her favorite thing to do is to hold babies. For hours and hours and hours. They don’t seem to mind.

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On the way to the park.

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A rather formal shot from our walk down to Yards Park.

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All six.

And a few more of Talia and Milo from Yards Parks (and the obligatory stop at Buzz on the walk down):

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A few Talia photos

July 29, 2014

Don’t worry, we are not planning to neglect photos of the big kids despite the new photo project. A few recent photos of pensive Talia.

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365 Project – Week 2

July 28, 2014

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Grandma and the proud Sandek Michael at the bris.

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Why yes, all four children did wear coordinating outfits made for the naming. It turns out that a bonus two weeks of pregnancy leaves plenty of time for last minute projects. Talia loves her matching dress and has requested “hundreds more.” Milo had to be bribed with lox and fruit to put on his coordinating shirt.

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On a lovely sunny day we set out on a stroll with the stated goal of taking a photo for the birth announcement. Two blocks away we realized it was way too hot and muggy to go for a walk and the nursing mama desperately needed some water, and just as we were about to turn back empty handed we stumbled upon our neighbor’s very lovely stone steps.

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Really, no idea why the neighbors stop to stare at us photographing our babies on the steps.

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The birthing center in NYC strongly discouraged washing babies at birth for a variety of reasons. Obviously we took their message to heart because neither baby was bathed until the ripe age of ten days old. Never fear though, both Talia and Milo were highly enthusiastic to help with the bath which will probably mean far more frequent bathing in the future. You should also note here the “decoration wall” specifically made to welcome the babies home.

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Lounging on the couch in their coordinating French pajamas post-bath.

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Awake and alert.

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Snoozing.

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Lazy afternoons in the sun.

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Garfield Park in the late afternoon.

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Enjoying the late afternoon sun.

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Talia and Akiva.

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Talia and Linnea snuggling in bed.

365 Project – Week 1

July 24, 2014

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Home at last. There was a colossal thunderstorm just as we attempted to leave the hospital and we landed up waiting for quite a while, but it was worth the wait when we spotted the enormous double rainbow which spread across DC. Talia proposed that we recite Shecheyanu, which lead to a conversation about all of the firsts the babies would encounter this year. And Milo cleverly proposed that we could say Shecheyanu for their very first TV show, which he would be happy to select for them that very evening (Jake for the record). Sadly the babies have yet to see an episode of Jake.

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Of course, they did get plenty of attention when they got home. Talia requested that we print this photo so she could bring it to camp the next day and show her friends. It had pride of place on the wall for the rest of the week.

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Couch time.

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Contemplative time on the couch in one of Talia’s newborn sleepers.

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Best attempt to take a photo for the naming invitation. Two sets of open eyes is obviously too much to ask for at this point.

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There is no dispute as to who is the louder of the two.

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Evenings in the bassinet upstairs.

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Sister snuggles. Talia seems to be a bit peeved that Linnea actually naps during the day so it is with great enthusiasm that she gets to hold her after trying to wake her multiple times.

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Our first visitors from NYC come to meet the babies.

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Out for a walk in the neighborhood we stop at a favorite local church to take a few photos in the grass.

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Both babies already find the stroller a relaxing place to nap, and the soft grass even more so.

And our new project … 365 days of babies!

July 24, 2014

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Introducing Akiva. 8 lbs 14 ozs. Arrived at 7:19 am on July 7th.

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Introducing Linnea. 6 lbs 5 ozs. Arrived toes first at 7:25 am on July 7th. Both featured in standard issue hospital blankets which we did not even bother to steal this time around.

Hawaii!

June 30, 2014

At the very end of February we took a most incredible trip to Hawaii as our last travel as a family of four. We stayed with Matt and Beth and their three children and the trip was incredibly relaxing. We of course took thousands of photos, and Matt added a couple hundred more, but you have to start somewhere. A few highlights from Hawaii:

We stayed in cabins on the beach at an Air Force base about 20 minutes from Beth’s house:

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Lots and lots and lots of shaved ice. Enough shaved ice that we were recognized more than once as repeat customers. Shaved ice is an excellent treat on a hot day:

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This is the very best photo of all 5 children together:

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Serious conversations with friends:

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And a different beach adventure every day:

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Museums and sightseeing in Honolulu:

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And if you are wondering, yes the tiara was carefully packed and carried from the East Coast to Hawaii. Milo also packed his super-hero (supergirl to some) costume.

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And it turns out that the famous Waikiki beach is not all that crowded if you wait until almost sunset to arrive:

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Plus a big 3rd birthday celebrated with a hike and a first haircut on the beach:

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And of course a train ride on the Pineapple Express where Milo was astounded that the train not only knew his name but announced his birthday:

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Followed by a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake shared with friends:

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Plus a private tour of a sunken island so exhausting that almost no children made it ashore awake:

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And a very neat hike along an abandoned highway:

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Milo and Becky Sue enjoying the ride. These two have birthdays only a week apart and it is very neat to watch them together. And the good news is that they are coming by the East Coast this summer to visit before they head back to Japan:

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A few photos from our many visitors this spring

June 29, 2014

Unfortunately two lovely sets of photos are missing completely from this post. Shortly after both a weekend visit from Ying Mama and her daughter (Talia and Milo’s childcare provider in NYC) and Nadine and Terry we lost our camera, never to be seen again. And that folks, is why you should always download your photos after taking them. But at least we still have the photos from Grandma Evelyn’s visit over Memorial Day and Yeye and Nainai’s first trip to see our adorable DC set-up.

Storytime with Grandma:

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And a new train conductor-engineer outfit for Milo:

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And a lovely stroll to the National Gallery with Yeye and Nainai. In front of the Library of Congress:

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The Pyramids between the East and West wing:

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And inside the museum:

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Of course we needed ice cream after all of that walking (even if we did take the subway home because it is after all uphill):

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More from the very long and snowy winter

June 29, 2014

Our local playground in the snow:

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And of course the National Mall:

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And practicing our skating on the ice:

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On the particular Sunday pictured above we walked down to the Mall, skated around a bit, headed into the National Gallery and spent a good half hour riding the moving sidewalks downstairs while the adults sipped coffee and then headed home having not so much as stuck our head into a gallery. But the kids always appreciate the moving sidewalk.


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