Saturday, April 29, 2006

John Williams Concert

For Will’s eighth birthday, one of his presents was a trip to NYC to see John Williams conduct the New York Philharmonic playing film music that he had composed and that Bernard Herrmann had composed. The concert program was incredible. The first half was devoted to Bernard Herrmann’s music, and included selections from Vertigo, Psycho, Taxi Driver and other films. For some pieces, the associated film footage was screened behind the orchestra. Each of the Bernard Hermann pieces was introduced by Martin Scorsese. The second half of the concert was devoted to the John Williams / Steven Spielberg collaboration. John Williams played music from a variety of films including Jaws, Close Encounters, Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, ET and others. In addition to the official program, Williams played a number of encores, including OF COURSE the theme from Star Wars. Posted by Picasa

New York Philharmonic

Steven Spielberg narrated the second half of the concert, discussing the context surrounding the music for each movie. (For Jaws, he said the success of the music at making people THINK there was a shark in the water made up for the fact that the mechanical shark did not work very well – and saved the movie.) For Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Spielberg first played the opening to the movie with dialog, but NO music. He then reran the film with the orchestra playing the score to show the HUGE impact the music made on how the audience perceived the movie. The contrast was amazing. Posted by Picasa

Will at Lincon Center

We arrived at Lincoln Center about 90 minutes before the concert. We ended up eating a great dinner in the Panevino restaurant at Lincoln Center, but before that we walked around outside and enjoyed being in NYC for a beautiful afternoon. Will is getting old enough to remember being in NYC before, and to love being back. We stayed in Time Square, and Will enjoyed seeing Central Park and Columbus Circle on our way to the concert. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Captain Kaboz

The father of one of Will’s best friends is a great storyteller. Jeff tells a lot of pirate stories, and a recurring character is Captain Kaboz. Will decided to try and render his interpretation of Captain Kaboz. In addition to Kaboz in the foreground with his cutlass, this picture shows the Captain’s flag, ship and a sailor in a small boat chasing him. Posted by Picasa

Jurassic Alexandria

Will says that this is a picture of what our neighborhood would have looked like during the Jurassic period. In addition to the dinosaurs, there are a number (six I think) small mammals that he drew into the picture for the viewer to find. We like Will’s sense to perspective and tendency to expand his illustrations to fill the entire page. Posted by Picasa


We have experimented with different baby nicknames for Lyra, but the one that seems to have stuck is Lulu. Originally, RaRa seemed like it would be good (and closer to her given name), but Lulu is the one that has clicked. Will seems to like Doodlebug, and Dad still uses Munchquita (feminine diminutive of Munchkin...), but I think she is really little Lulu for at least a while. Posted by Picasa

Will's Sabre-Toothed Cat

While we were in California on vacation, Will did a lot of drawing. I asked him to provide his take on a Sabre-Toothed Cat (or correctly as Will knows, a Smilodon Fatalis). We think the result is great - more like a psychotic house cat with fangs, but very cool nonetheless. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 08, 2006

2nd Grade Gym Show

Each year, the second graders at Will's school put on a gym show or parents to show their athletic prowess. Will climbed to the top of the rope, walked along the high balance beam and id tricks on the rings. He also loved jumping off the trampoline. Can fame as a long jumper be far behind? Posted by Picasa

See the resemblance?

I think the inquisitive look on Lyra's face comes from Dad! Will and Eva had it too, and so did I as a baby.

Dad played with Lyra and got her to smile and coo. I think this was the first time he's really had a chance to hold and play with her because he has been busy working most of the time when I bring the kids over. Lyra sure does love her Coach! Posted by Picasa

The Chosen One

KC *never* sits in anyone's lap. But the other day, he climbed upin Mom's lap completely of his own free will. Maybe it was because she was wearing black. Maybe it was because she was sitting in his favorite chair. Who knows what goes on in his little brain! Posted by Picasa
I got up early to go to a big consignment sale in the hopes of getting Lyra a high chair. I got there right when the sale opened but the one and only high chair they had was already gone. I'm sure someone working the sale bought it. But I'd've thought there'd be more than one! Very annoying. It was a beautiful day and Will and Eva had fun at the playground there. Posted by Picasa

What year is this?

Middlemarch Films shot a documentary about the life of Alexander Hamilton just 4 blocks from us, where the street turns to cobblestone. Will and Eva thought it was cool! It made Old Town really look Old. Posted by Picasa

Roly Poly!

Lyra rolled over! This was last night, actually. She's been close for awhile but I must confess that she is held and carried so much due to our recent running around that she hasn't had too much time to practice. She was having some tummy time last night and really didn't want to be there. She screamed bloody murder because her arm was in the way but she finally rolled onto her back. Will and Eva were a fantastic cheering section! You'd think Lyra was a first baby, everyone was so excited! I guess it really is a "first baby" experience for Will and Eva.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We have so many other great photos to share about this trip but I seem to have complicated my "simple" blogging process. I can no longer post pictures from Picasa under my name. I wrote everything under here that's posted in April but I had to do it from Bill's account. I wanted to create "expandable posts" so all of you wouldn't have to scroll so much but that turned out to be a multistep process because I wanted to put pictures in the "expandable" part and not just text. Anyway, I did it and I did it with a babe in arms. But I will not be doing it a lot.

The trip out west was just fabuous! Lyra was perfect on her very first plane trip. Will and Eva did great too. There was one minor mishap (totally my fault) related to me giving Eva lemon tea at 8:30 pm that had CAFFEINE in it. BAD BAD BAD! I will always read those labels more carefully from now on.

We are back home and adjusted to East Coast time, just in time to have to adjust one more hour for daylight savings. I think I need one more cup of coffee.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

True to Life

If you've ever traveled with babies and small children, you know that the pace is different from grown-up only travel. This is fine with me because I know the deal and it gave me lots of quality time with Cherie. But it is still makes for some "valium moments" (to quote Bill), that you just have to laugh about later.

We spent a good deal of our Palm Springs trip either feeding a child, waiting for one to wake up, or trying to get one to sleep. As a result, we saw a good deal of the hotel room. Fortunately, we had a nice place to stay.

On the way out of Palm Springs, we decided to take a walk through Indian Canyons. After finally getting babies fed, sunscreen on, sneakers on Sydney, etc., we didn't have much time left to take a walk. We started to descend into the canyon and poor Sydney saw an ant. She is afraid of bugs and started screaming.

Cherie had to carry both kids back up the hill. The tour group ahead of us probably couldn't hear their Park Ranger guide as Sydney's screams reverberated through the canyon. I'm sure any wildlife in the area immediately took cover. I know this is payback for a certain lunch outing to Trader Vic's many years ago when Cherie and I were close to Sydney's age (3). Cherie screamed and cried because she was afraid of all the birds and I screamed and cried because the wind was blowing and I was afraid of that. I don't know if we ever did make it to the restaurant.

I did walk a little ways down to a shady grove of big fat palm trees. It was cool and beautiful under there. Next time, I will bring Will and Eva to see it. And Sydney will probably not mind ants by then... Posted by Picasa

Little Angel

They do look like angels when they are sleeping, don't they? Lyra is taking a nap. Wooooohoooo! Posted by Picasa

Oh Prince Charming? Is That You?

Princess Sydney is dressed and ready for a party! Posted by Picasa

Bundles of Love!

Here are Lyra and Porter, both finally awake at the same time. Lyra is almost 3 months old and Porter is 5 months old. He looks ready for the football field! It was awesome for me to have such a chunk of time with Porter and to get to know him! He is a sweetie pie. Click the link below to see more photos of these little babies.Posted by Picasa

Here's Porter!

Lyra is sitting in Porter's Bumbo seat pretty well. I'll have to get her one of these.

Here's Porter again. He is such a happy boy!

Sydney and Eva

Will and Eva had so much fun with Sydney and Porter. Their time together was too short on this trip. Posted by Picasa

Look At Me!

The other fun thing Will and Eva discovered is the climbing wall. Both kids quickly learned how to scurry up to the top like monkeys. They definitely don't take after me. I am not a fan of high open spaces. Posted by Picasa

Look how high up she is!

Will climbed well too. He wasn't keen on being up so high at first but once he got comfortable that the harness really worked, he climbed right up to the top!

On Top of the Mountain

Well, probably not the tippy top. Bill took Will and Eva skiing at Mammoth Mountain. They had a blast! I wish I could have gone too but Lyra is too little to leave long enough for me to ski. So Cherie and I took the babies and went to the desert. That was fun too! Posted by Picasa

Bill had the kids up early each day so they could get some skiing in together before their lessons started. There were no lift lines and lots of freshly groomed snow. By the end of the day, everyone was tired and ready to go to bed early. No time or energy for any sibling squabbles!
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Mammoth had a phenomenal amount of snow, something like 14 feet just in March. Although Will and Eva loved skiing and are skiing quite well now, they especially enjoyed climbing on snow banks and trying to dig out whatever construction equpiment was buried there. Posted by Picasa

Will's Turn

Will's idea of excitement is a good old-fashioned roller coaster. You can click on these pictures to make them larger. Posted by Picasa