28 August 2012

Lola & Sebastian

We left some very dear people behind when we left NYC two years ago, including our long-time friends (14+ years!) Mara and Coche. We shared years of pre-parenthood adventures and then we had the great fortune of transitioning into life with children together. Twins Lola and Sebastian were born just two months before Court, and their sweet baby sister Paloma just celebrated her first birthday.

Our August trip to NYC would not have been complete without a playdate with this fun crew. Luckily for us, they live on the waterfront in Long Island City, Queens, adjacent to a wonderful park and pier system, so the kids had a fantastic morning running around together. Of all the things we miss about the city, the Gonzalez family is at the top of the list!

22 August 2012

Sugar Sweet Sunshine

We recently spent a long summer weekend in Court's city of origin and we had a wonderful time sharing the sights and sounds of New York City with him. There were so many highlights to the trip, including a visit to our beloved cupcake shop, Sugar Sweet Sunshine. These cupcakes were a primary craving during my pregnancy with Court, so it makes sense that he became an instant fan. In true toddler fashion, he chose a strawberry cake - cream cheese frosting combination for himself and then proceeded to eat my vanilla cake - vanilla buttercream selection instead. Luckily, I was smart enough to get a half-dozen for the road!

07 August 2012

Play Ball!

This past weekend, we took Court to his first baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. We attempted to attend a game in early May but the skies opened up right as we arrived at the park, resulting in the ultimate cancellation of that evening's game. Luckily for us, this past Sunday the weather cooperated and Court got to cheer on the Bulls in a triple-A game against the Gwinnett Braves. As expected, Court was more interested in people-watching and junk-food eating than the game itself, so we indulged him in some hot dogs, tater tots smothered with cheese, and Cracker Jacks. We didn't make it past the fifth inning, but he got his fill of baseball for the season!

01 August 2012

Popsicle Parade

A few weeks after Court's graduation ceremony at the Infant-Toddler Center, we invited all of his classmates over for a "Splish Splash Backyard Bash," complete with a sprinkler, wading pool and lots of cool snacks set up in our backyard. Five of his nine classmates were able to join us (along with their parents) for a fun morning outdoors in the (shaded) 100 degree heat. Thank goodness we had lots of popsicles to go around!

30 July 2012

Graduation Day

In a month's time, Court will be moving on from the wonderful nursery school where he has spent the past ten months growing and learning while Mom and Dad were at work. The school, the Infant-Toddler Center (ITC), is a small program housed in a church across the street from the State Capitol building, and we feel so fortunate that Court was able to spend part of his year there. Sadly for us, the ITC provides care for children ages two months to two years so Court will be moving on this fall before he turns three.

Court's teachers and program director put together a lovely graduation celebration for him and his classmates, where they performed a few songs and received graduation certificates and photo memory books. We had a great time watching him perform and we are so fond of the community at the school.

Court with his lead teacher, Minnie

26 July 2012

Summertime Swim

Pardon the three-month hiatus from Holding Court!
We had a very busy late spring and early summer, with lots of travel to wonderful places to visit and celebrate with dear friends and family. We hope to settle back into our home and our regular routines by mid-August, after a few more trips to fun and far-away places (including Court's birthplace, NYC!).

Despite all of the travel, we have found plenty of time to enjoy all of the wonderful summer programs that Raleigh has to offer, including a series of swimming lessons at a city pool. We started with a parent-child class earlier this summer, at which point our *advanced* swimmer was given the go-ahead to move onto the first level of preschool swimming classes (usually reserved for children ages three and up!). Court is loving this six-class series and he has the added bonus of a good friend, Monty, to join him in class every day.

30 April 2012

Mickey Mouse Invasion

Court has developed an extreme fondness for Mickey and friends during the past many months and we are regularly greeted by pleas to "watch Mickey." We are probably still years away from a visit to Disney World, but in the meantime, the Disney store at our local mall provides plenty of satisfaction for this guy!

25 April 2012

Easter with Court

We had a lovely Easter holiday with Court, complete with multiple eggs hunts, cookie baking, egg dyeing, and a visit with the Easter Bunny (which went shockingly well following a not-so-great season with Santa). One of our favorite moments was the egg hunt hosted by his school on the front lawn of the State Capitol Building. The lawn is beautifully maintained and it was a thrill to watch 20 one- and two-year-olds discover the treasure trove of candy-filled eggs.

Egg hunting at the State Capitol

Egg hunting at the home of his good pal Libby Boyne (on the occasion of her birthday)

Sporting bunny ears and his fancy Easter outfit

21 April 2012

Potty Training Party

While his mom and dad comfortably floated along in diaper-land, Court decided to take things into his own hands and recently started asking to use the potty and talking about big boy underwear. Many of his classmates are six months older than him and not one to be left behind, he took the lead on his own potty training. We decided to kick things off with a potty training extravaganza weekend, a three-day pants-off party. Court did amazingly well, supported by stickers and M&Ms, with only two accidents over three days. We're now two weeks into a diaper-free life and he's doing great!
 Pants-off party weekend coincided with Easter weekend, so we kept busy with lots of Easter projects like coloring Easter eggs.
Party on the top, pants off on the bottom!
Looking at some flash cards while hanging out on the potty.
Our cool cat.

16 April 2012

Farm Animal Days

Once a year, NC State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences opens up its field laboratory to the public for a few days. It's a wildly popular event attended by thousands of children, including our guy Court. When we visited the event in 2011, he was still a bit too young (at 15 months) to properly interact with all of the animals and farm equipment, but this year, he embraced every single part of the experience, from holding baby chicks, to petting a baby goat, to driving a big tractor, to enjoying some NCSU ice cream (truly, some of the best we've ever had).

04 April 2012

Tutu Comes to Visit

Court recently spent a week with his Maui grandma, who he lovingly calls Tutu (the standard Hawaiian name for grandmothers). They played all over the city, including a lovely spring afternoon at one of our favorite outdoor spaces, Fred Fletcher Park.

29 March 2012

The Neighborhood Gang

Court is very fortunate to have a large group of toddler friends within walking distance of our home, including a few who have become like family to us since we landed in Raleigh. Court first met Allen, Avery and Keenan in the late summer of 2010 and they've had lots of adventures together since that time, including many holidays and dinner dates and a week at the beach last summer. We're so grateful for all of them!
 Court, Avery & Keenan (both born 6/2010)

 Allen (born 6/2009), Court, Avery, Keenan and baby Benn (born 5/2011)

05 March 2012

Breaking in the Waffle Iron

Court's great aunt Mary Ann gifted us with a new waffle iron recently, which makes our waffle-crazed family pretty darn excited. Court was quick to pull up his stool and help his mom and dad with waffle prep this weekend, and then voluntarily climbed into his high chair to gobble them up. (Our kitchen isn't usually this disheveled, but it was a big project!)

01 March 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

We don't eat a lot of french fries, but when we do, we get especially excited about sweet potato fries. We're particularly keen on the fried-to-order, NC-grown sweet potatoes at the Q Shack, one of our favorite barbeque spots. Court is a big fan of the Q Shack and on a recent visit, he declared that he was too big for the highchair (an escalating battle for his mom & dad) and insisted on sitting in a booth. He's still a bit small for such a big boy seat, but that didn't stop him from digging into the fries, mac & cheese, and grilled hot dog. Yum!

27 February 2012

Sleepy time

Since he was 6 months old (upon outgrowing the swaddle-style blankets), Court has been sleeping in a sleep sack, which is basically a wearable blanket with holes for a head and two arms. When he got too long for the standard sleep sack, we moved him into the toddler-style sack, which also has two holes for his feet.

In recent weeks, he had taken to removing his sleep sack sometime between falling asleep and waking up, and it is now normal to find him undressed in his bed, sack tossed to the side and his PJs either unzipped or fully removed. Oh, to know what goes on in that little toddler brain! (And yes, his crib regularly includes this many contents.)