Finally settled in to Rumson NJ

Summer Swiftly Subsiding

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two months since I’ve updated this blog. I didn’t mean to neglect it…I just had some unexpected business come up that made me unexpectedly busy.

There is a big drought going on in California right now, and the State set up a grant program to help funnel money to water agencies to help address some of their water supply and conservation needs. It was a fast-track grant program, and my former employer found itself in need of additional help, and so I found myself working for most of June and July. I had not planned on working, so I did not have any childcare lined up for the kids, but we managed to make it work. As per usual, when I am busy with work, my writing suffers. C’est la vie.

House Update
After two-and-a-half years, our piano room is finally living up to its name! JP and I always knew we would eventually get a piano (we really want the kids to learn how to play), and so we finally pulled the trigger this summer.

At first, JP really wanted a Lester piano. Back in the early 1900’s, the Lester brand was a really good piano. But after traveling to PA to see a 1913 Lester, he realized how much work (read: money) it would take to get an old piano restored to playing condition. So we did a complete 180 and started looking at brand new pianos. Since a brand new Yamaha, Steinway, etc was not in our budget, JP did a ton of research on “starter” pianos that weren’t complete crap. For a long time, we were convinced we’d be purchasing a new Weber or Young Chang. But then I played one, and my reaction was “meh” at best…so we changed our strategy once more.

We decided to go for a used piano with action/sound that we both liked. We happen to really like the sound of a Yamaha, so JP searched high and low for a used Yamaha in our price range. This was no easy task. We finally found one, but ended up getting outbid. Discouraged, JP started looking at other brands that had a similar sound/quality to the Yamaha. That’s how we discovered the Baldwin. We had to drive all the way to Connecticut for this beauty, but it was well worth the trip. The best part of all is that Evan has really taken to the piano…he’s already reading notes and playing songs, he’s even written his own songs, and we’ve only had the piano for a few weeks!

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Evan Update
My little boy finished Kindergarten. He was sort of nonchalant about it all…we’ll see if he starts to get nervous when we get closer to 1st grade. I’ve been really impressed with how much he’s grown recently, and I don’t mean physically (he’s actually overdue for a growth spurt if you ask me). Evan has always had a bit of trouble mastering things…it’s like two steps forward, and one to three steps back with him when it comes to learning new things (e.g. riding a bike, swimming, etc). But now he’s riding his bike like a champ, he’s swimming better than ever, he’s jumping off diving boards, he’s tackling the ocean waves with a boogie board…he’s doing all these things that would have panicked him to no end just a few short months (weeks) ago. I’m very proud of him.

He turns six on Wednesday, but we celebrated his birthday with family this past Friday. All he wanted for his birthday was to celebrate it at home with his cousins…and he got that :) Well, technically, he also wanted a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, and he got that too (although I did have to stay up until midnight the night before baking it). We also had the obligatory back-up ice cream cake in the event my cake was a disaster. It wasn’t…but it could be improved.

The pictures below are from his end-of-year school concert (in which he sang MAYBE 10% of the words – hence no video), and his birthday party.
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Erin Update
Erin is my little fish. She is a really strong swimmer (for her age), and there is no place she’d rather be than at the beach club. I can’t count the number of times she’s said, “It’s a nice day out, why aren’t we at the beach?” Good question, Erin. Good question.

Erin also started taking karate with Evan this summer. She was really nervous at first, but she was all smiles by the end of it. Her first day she was already breaking boards with her kicks and punches :) I also enrolled Erin in a summer dance camp. It was a week long camp where they did arts and crafts and danced to a bunch of “Frozen” songs. She seemed to really enjoy it. I’m not sure she’s going to continue dancing, however. There are only so many extra-curricular activities I can handle, and she’s been asking to do gymnastics instead.

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Anyway, I’ll try not to let two months pass before I post another update to the blog.

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