Monday, July 31, 2006

Pictures of the Day

During our visit to New Jersey last month, we took the boys to a picture studio for their first formal portrait together. We even dressed them in matching Argentina football uniforms. I hope you like them as much as we do.

One of our favorite shots from the studio Posted by Picasa

Both Russell and Punky wanted to sit in the car, so we put them both in Posted by Picasa

A picture we did not print Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Jersey Trip Report, Part 2

We spent the last few days of our visit with my parents in New Jersey and a side trip to Connecticut to my sister Katy's house. Along with my parents and my niece Megan and nephew Max, we ate out at a Japanese buffet where Russell had the biggest meltdown of the trip. I think it might have been the result of his waking up in an alien place (the restaurant) without any explanation. I also think he might have been a bit homesick.

On our day trip to Connecticut, the Brewster Boys checked out their Cousin Emily's new house along with their furry friends, Penny the Guinea Pig and Petey the Rabbit. They definitely enjoyed the visit and the wide open spaces of my sister's new custom-built home.

We flew back to California on Saturday, in order to give us all the opportunity to rest a day before resuming work or school on Monday. That night, Russell and Punky celebrated our arrival home by eating their dinners without complaint and riding their bicycles in circles in the enclosed part of the driveway. All in all, it was a good visit with my family back east, but we are all glad to be back home.

Punky: "Are we home yet?" Posted by Picasa

Russell gently touches Petey the Rabbit on Cousin Megan's lap Posted by Picasa

Punky pulls a toy wagon Posted by Picasa

Russell and Aunt Katy with Petey the Rabbit Posted by Picasa

Russell admires the Earth Posted by Picasa

Russell and Punky reaching for Petey the Rabbit Posted by Picasa

Punky and Cousin Megan inspect the guinea pig cage Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A New Jersey Shore Vacation to Remember

Our short, 3-day trip to Long Beach Island (LBI) was an eventful and joyous occasion. In addition to hanging out with my yougest sister Cindy's family, we spent lots of time on the beaches of Beach Haven--the southern-most part of LBI. I brought along Cousin Megan, so there were 6 cousins in all who were in attendance.

We stayed at a beach house only 4 blocks from the ocean. The house had all the comforts of home, including a DVD player, cable TV, foosball table, Nintendo and air condtioning. We cooked all of our meals during our stay, and aside from the usual meltdowns from the kids, we enjoyed hanging out at the house. Playing foosball and creating things with Play Doh were especially popular activities. One night, all of us gathered in the living room to watch the movie "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warror" on the Disney Channel.

Our mini-vacation to LBI also marked the first time that Russell had ever seen the Atlantic Ocean or even stepped foot into a body of water outside of a bathtub. And he loved every minute of it, given the squeals of delight he expressed whenever the waves rolled in. Punky and Jenny were less anamored by the ocean, and they either left early or didn't come to the beach at all.

Based on the success of this trip, I decided that we should plan on returning to LBI next year with more family members present, including my parents and my niece Emily. I can't think of a more relaxing, family-friendly vacation spot than the New Jersey shore and LBI.

The beach party on day 2 as Jenny and Punky play party poopers Posted by Picasa

Cousins Timmy and Jimmy relax at the beach house Posted by Picasa

Russell relaxes at the beach Posted by Picasa

Cousin Megan, Russell and I check out the ocean waves Posted by Picasa

Russell gets his first view of the Atlantic Ocean Posted by Picasa

Russell mixes sand with ocean water as Punky watches Posted by Picasa

Cousin Jimmy holds up his discovery at the beach Posted by Picasa

At the beach house, Russell watches over Punky and Cousin Dana as they work with Play Doh Posted by Picasa

Jenny's Play Doh flower bouquet Posted by Picasa

Some of Cousin Megan's Play Doh art work Posted by Picasa

Jenny's sun hat and dress in Play Doh Posted by Picasa

New Jersey Trip Report

We visited my family in New Jersey and Conn. for a week, and just got back over the weekend. Flying out of San Francisco, we made our second trip as a family via airplane. I brought plenty of food, toys and reading material on the plane with us, along with the portable DVD player and our whole Elmo and Baby Einstein collections. Without the DVD player, I think the trip would have been impossible.

It was warm and muggy for most of our time there. During the first third of our trip, we hung out with my parents and sisters and stayed at my parents' home. My mother cooked several of her best dishes for the kids and kept us well-fed with both homecooking and Chinese take-out. I also managed to go computer shopping with my father and also get his car fixed. While out driving, I noticed that northern New Jersey has become very crowded. So crowded, that on one small stretch of Route 10 near my parents' house, there are 5 Dunkin' Donuts within 10 minutes of one another.

In order to give my parents a rest, we decided to head down to the New Jersey shore for a few days in the middle of our trip.

Russell wonders how ice cream got onto a stick Posted by Picasa

Punky tries his first Good Humor Ice Cream Bar Posted by Picasa

Russell to Cousin Emily: "Would like a white duck or a mallard? Posted by Picasa

During the latter part of the flight to New Jersey, the Brewster Boys begin to get antsy Posted by Picasa

Russell selects a DVD for viewing during the flight while holding his duckie friend Posted by Picasa

On the plane, Punky reads his favorite magazine: The Brewster Times Posted by Picasa