April 30, 2009

To Build A Cake

T-minus two days and counting until Ash's MN fan club arrives in NY, with his Northeast fan base set to pull into the driveway via bus, subway, train, and zipcar just a day later. Everyone prepped to celebrate the birth of one amazing little boy and the truly profound two years he's spent on Earth. It goes without saying that I'm so completely ready for this celebration, but the thought also comes to mind that... I have no idea how to do this.

See, this is the first (the VERY first, as in FIRST EVER) birthday party I will ever throw for my own child. Sure, we baked a cake and said cheers last year on May 5th, but that was when the two of us were resting our heads in NY still dreaming about what our little boy's touch felt like as he continued his daily life, his norm, in Ethiopia. Granted we were ecstatic, elated, absolutely ENAMORED by this milestone - his turning one whole year old and all. But it wasn't the same type of celebration. It had it's own specialness, it's own cake. This year he's here, with us, and a different type of cake will be built.

This year for his 2nd birthday my "I wish we lived and worked next door to each other so that we could turn the world upside down with food and wine endeavors" very good friend Lauren (and famed chef author of East Village Kitchen) will be creating Ash's birthday cake. Ash's only request (because yes, he's making those nowadays) was that the cake be made of horsies. I'm pretty sure he gets that it wont actually be MADE OF horsies but will have a horse theme, at least that's what I'm running with lest we resolve to the possibility that he's pursuing some sort of Sweeny Todd misadventure...

So here's a picture I sent to the chef so that she could visualize the toppings. We've gratefully handed over full taste/ingredient/style/shape/etc... decisions to her but Ash made it very clear that there had better be some horsies on top of his cake. So we found the figures below and sent them to the chef for planning.

Then I tried to put the future cake toppers in a bag to reserve until the chef was ready to apply them to her design, and let's just say Ash wasn't having ANY of that. As far as he was concerned those horsies were his.

Yeah, I think he'll be ok with a horsey themed cake, just guessing though. I'm also guessing that this weekend is going to be one of those can-we-please-extend-this-for-another-few-days kind of weekends, but again, just guessing. After all, I've never done this before, but it's turning out to be so much fun that I can't imagine not doing it again, and again, and again, and...

The thing is, I really don't know how to do this (prepare for a toddler's birthday party) which seems so strange seeing as I have a child who can speak in clear and perfect sentences, climb absolutely anything, and make for damned sure mommy knows when she's provided an insufficient amount of "sauce" for his french fries by COUNTING the number of seconds the bottle was turned upside down... Shouldn't I get how to throw a birthday party by now? Nope. No. Not at all actually. Let me refer to the earlier reference in this post...This is my FIRST.

So, I'm entitling myself to some self-justified insanity for the 72 hours that follow this post. I'm hereby given the green light to be as insane and compulsive and detail obsessed as I damn well please. And reason #1 for this is...the birthday invitation for Ash's party is currently resting pleasantly right next to a picture my husband took of me receiving the best gift of our lives thus far. A hug from Ash's birth mom. And seeing the two right next to each other, absolutely side-by-side, evokes an sincere amount of justified insanity that does nothing less than makes me want to live up to her expectations, her hopes, her dreams, her love for her son.

This had better be one freakishly awesome cake. Pure metaphor intended...

April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday And A Huge Cheers!

Click HERE to congratulate the Dandies in the Sunshine family on their referral of a little boy! CHEERS!

April 25, 2009

Happy Saturday!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

April 24, 2009

Keeping Up

Some times, some days, during certain some moments, I lock myself in the bathroom of my home-office and pray that my unread inbox count will magically reduce to less than 20 by the time I return to the grind. And 20 actually isn't all that bad, considering my usual daily email flow can easily contain 200+ back and forths, but I'm usually pretty good at keeping up with it so letting it rest at 20+ tends to send me into an "oh my god I need to do this that and there and this and those and these before 6PM..." kind of freak out "I need a break" mode. And then I read just a sampling of posts from other fellow mommy bloggers and feel like a complete schmuck for feeling entitled to a break. How could I be such a presumptuous @*$#! thinking myself entitled to such uncalled for luxuries? But I'll still put it out there - keeping up isn't as easy as it used to be, and it's not as though keeping up is "optional" so...

So, my job for the weekend: Catch up to the point where my laptop is no longer an extension of my hips. Eat dinner, play out side, watch a show, without being wired in to the world I deserve to take a break from on the weekends. Here I go, I'm walking away. Slowly, one step at a time. I'm going to enjoy a weekend with my family that does not involve "touching base" or "checking in" with anything Internet related. Granted, this will actually be a bit easier this weekend seeing as my laptop is now technically a desktop since the battery refuses to charge, but then there's that damn crackberry...

Wish me luck. It could be good, very very good.

Fav Foto Friday

April 22, 2009

The Day I Got The Urge To Go Clubbing

It may have been the multiple road trips to clients I've been taking racking up a few too many hours in the car solo, or in anticipation of the many more that will take place in the coming weeks, or the fact that XM 20 on 20 is blasting loudly during all of them, but the urge was there and it was kickin. Had I not been somewhere between Nowheresville and Wayoutthereland New York I may have even considered pulling over to find a local establishment that would permit me to dance to a tune or two on their jukebox. Maybe a quick spin to the Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" or (GASP!) a twirl or two to Britney Spears "Circus"?? What can I say, there was a mood and I felt it. Next week's trips land me in Jersey territory, maybe then I'll have the guts to follow through on said spinning and twirling. Or maybe I should just book that flight to London's Hethrow and plan a proper ladies night(S) out with the lady who introduced me to them in the first place. So, so tempting.

Meanwhile back in realityland...

The Weatherman says it's going to be 70-80 degrees and sunny for the ENTIRE WEEKEND. And our Cloverlandfarm friends hooked us up with a babysitter so that we can attend Sunday evening's debut of Off and Running. And Ash devoured an entire bowl of pretzels and hummus before bedtime tonight (I'm guessing this is due to the fact that he ate NONE of his fried tofu or edamame at dinner - the sushi chefs were not pleased) which means he may not wake up in the middle of the night asking for "more milk please". And, we have a cleaning lady coming next week in preparation for the worlds largest birthday bash for a two year old. Yes, we've hired a cleaning lady. And she's going to put all the right things in all the right spots and just hide everything else. And everything is going to smell like lemons, she promised.

And meanwhile back in really realityland...

Great Grandma McGregor passed away today. A dearly loved soul whose arms are being felt strongly today as they wrap around us all. Rest assured Ash will sleep soundly tonight with her new found angels wings keeping him nice and warm. Lots and lots and lots of love to the McGregors tonight.

April 19, 2009

Jumping, Up And Sideways

Ash's daycare sings a daily morning song where each of the tots get to jump up and down while the rest shout their name. We've quasi-adopted this into our own "routine" where whenever we need Ash to refocus his attention we play the jump up and down game. It goes like this: Ashton Ashton jump up and down, jump up and down, jump up and down, Ashton Ashton jump up and down and SIT RIGHT DOWN! Ash jumps up and down, daddy jumps up and down, mommy jumps up and down, sometimes the horsies jump up and down, and Owen almost always jumps up and down, albeit remotely. Damn living in the country and being far away from his Brooklyn buddy. Until weekends like this...

This weekend we were in the city and jumped up and down with all of our favorites. Dinner with Owen Friday, Brunch with Baby Edie Saturday, Botanical gardens with Cloverlandfarm Sunday afternoon and classical music and wine bar dinner with Mark and Jax Sunday evening. Needless to say by the time Sunday evening came around we were all performing more of a sway back and forth performance than jump up and down. We over here are knackered. And just between you and me, I'll dig being city-knackered over country-jumping any day, but that's just me, or us, or me and us, or as we put it walking down Flatbush Ave today: A pretty freakin great version of livin life.

PS: The Cloverlandfarm folks are the talent behind many of the above pics, huge props to our BK Photogs!

April 17, 2009

Fav Foto Friday

Ash rockin his new Lionel Messi jersey that he got in Barcelona while scooting the sidewalks of Brooklyn.

Ashton Boy, Mommy Girl

Ash's vocabulary is exploding and as of late he's obsessed with identifying himself as a boy, daddy as a boy (though sometimes he mixes this up and daddy's accidentally given girl status but trust me, this is quickly corrected), and mommy as a girl. We've been trying to toss in some adjectives as well so often he'll say "Ashton happy boy" or "mommy sad girl" (he's gotten the picture that mommy's sad when he uses his plastic baseball bat to chase the cat) which quickly turns in to "Bridger, sad cat". He's also remembering a ton. He still talks about the bear who lives in the cave in the church in Spain (the only way we could get him excited about visiting cathedrals was to go on a "bear hunt" through all of the dark corners of the churches). He loved it and we got to explore them with Ashton Happy Boy instead of Ash Stop! Quiet Boy! which was nice.

Needless to say we've invested in some enhancements to his playroom that are more along the lines of preschool educational toys like the Brown Bear Memory Game and Twister (yes, there are educational uses for Twister). But if you ask him he'll let you know that rocking out with his guitar and daddy's ukulele is still his favorite thing to do. And trains, and trucks, and pretty much anything else stereotypically favored by two year old boys. Though we are giving him a kitchen set for his playroom for his birthday and mommy girl can play trucks and trains with the best of Ashton and Daddy boys so rest assured we're working on keeping things as gender neutral as possible (with the occasional mention of female superiority and identifying mommy as supreme goddess of the universe of course). Though I haven't yet stooped to Grandma C's level and painted his toes blue...he loved that.

His favorite cartoon characters are Mouse (Mickey Mouse Club House stuff), Manny (Handy Manny), Rocket (Little Einsteins), and he's starting to get in to Elmo and the Sesame Street crew. Oh, and let's not forget Nemo. I'm pretty sure Nemo is the God of all things sweet and sunny in Ash's mind. His favorite people? This one's easy. Owen (his Brooklyn buddy), Sammy/Pistol/Dasher (two horses and a pony), and GG (one of his teachers at school who he absolutely adores). Honestly though he'll hug anyone you ask him to hug and blow kisses to anyone willing to blow them back. While in Barcelona he learned to use "hola" and "ciao" appropriately, and anytime we left a restaurant he'd say, "ciao!" and blow kisses (smack, blow... smack, blow...) to the employees. He may have melted a heart or two...

What am I doing blogging - it's 70 and sunny and we have a weekend of playdates ahead!

~Ciao! (smack, blow... smack, blow...)

April 14, 2009

Someone's Turning Two And Somone's Mom Needs A Paper Bag

In 3 short weeks I will be the mother of a two year old and you can bet there will be some serious celebrating going on in the McGregor household. Thanks to some super cheap airfare Ash's MN fan club will be represented by grandmas, papas, and aunts (even a great grandma!) and we're looking forward to a day of celebrating complete with family and friends. And, I heard through the grapevine that the horse and goat as well as Miss Veronica from Musical Munchkins are likely to make an appearance as well! We're gearing up for what is sure to be one gigantic Ash love fest.

All of the above is handy dandy hunky dory, but then there's that mention of the paper bag in the title... Yup, you could say I'm breathing a bit quickly over aforementioned fiesta. Not that I'm a stranger to throwing parties, but this one's different. People are getting on airplanes, planning road trips, taking trains, and really going out of their way to gather together while Ash blows out his first birthday candles on NY soil. And. I. Want. Everything. To. Be. Perfect. And I have two and a half weeks to make that happen. Ready, Set, GO!

Oh, and to my faithful Blogland buddies who may happen to find themselves in the NY area the first weekend in May, consider this your official invite!

April 13, 2009

Off And Running

A documentary about transracial adoption will make it's world premier at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC this month. The film is titled "Off and Running" and looks amazing. Check out the full synopsis and screening schedule HERE, or visit TFF's film guide HERE for more details.

April 12, 2009

Spain 2009

Click here for a sampling of pics from our trip to Spain with stopovers in Barcelona, Tarragona, Llafranc, Girona, and a few other random villages. It was an amazing trip that we're happily currently recovering from in the comfort of home sweet home. Cheers!

April 8, 2009

One year today

April 9, 2008 - exactly one year ago today - we saw our son's face for the first time. I was traveling for work, Mike was traveling for work, and it was pretty much a race to LGA to finally look at him together (we didn't even consider waiting to look at his picture, so both of us had seen him prior to seeing him together). Life has been very very good. Not without trials, and lots of them, but when I think about the face I saw a year ago today and then the face of the "big boy" asleep next to me I just can't help but revel in the craziness that has become our life. The messed up version of perfect that somehow found its way to my very lucky self.

Today we cuddled, we explored, we giggled, we exchanged numerous glances of "oh no you didn't" and then we got over it and shared some blue ice cream (tuti fruiti gelato) before saying goodnight. 365 days of knowing his face has left me itching to know what the next 365 will bring.

Exhaustion, yes. Frustration, yup. Countless moments of questioning every ounce of my thoughts? YES YES YES. And then the fun stuff starts, and he looks at me with those ridoculously big eyes and all I can think about is how lucky I am.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

April 7, 2009

Traveling Boy

Its official, we fit. He travels, he adjusts, he eats (and eats and eats ) and life has found a way to mold the 3 of us together like clay meant to become a pot. Somehow every inch has found its place and we're settled, regardless of location. Loving Spain, loving the lump sound asleep in the bed next to me, can't wait to wake up to his smiling GOOD MORNING MOMMY face and continue this. Loving life is an understatement.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

April 1, 2009

2 Year Stats

Weight: 24.25 lbs (10%)
Height: 32 Inches (10%)
Cranial Circumference (the size of his noggin): I didn't write down the actual measurement, but the doc said it was "average" (around 50%)

So, we have a short'ish skinny'ish big headed boy who can now be referred to as Mr. Smartypants. We talk, and I mean in actual thought-sharing moments where he tells me stories about sharing his strawberries with Ben and Owen and the Horsies. (This took place at brunch last weekend when his french toast came with a bowl of strawberries and he INSISTED on placing strawberries on plates for each of his closest friends to "pretend share". I was psyched until Elmo was the recipient of one of those plates...) And then we talk when we're having dinner and he decides he needs more sauce or dip for his meal, and it doesn't matter if the entree is sauced or dippable, because this kid just thrives on saucy dipped goodness. I'm pretty sure he thinks all food isn't actually food until it's been smothered or dipped in hot sauce. That's my boy. And then there's the Mr. Smartypants vocabulary. The one that commands repeat performances of "IDONTWANTIT" and "MOMMYDADDYMILK" and perhaps one of my favorites, "WHATCHADOIN???". He'll be preparing to write his thesis on the evolution of horsies eating num-num's and drinking milk tomorrow and will be seeking NYU funding. Yeah, that's Mr. Smartypants to you. Or in the language of his parents = Boy who would outsmart his parents by the age of 2.

And as far as our upcoming trip goes, let's just hope that the passenger in seat C isn't terribly annoyed that mom and dad in seats A and B are cradling a 23 month old child on an 8 hour flight because said child is still 1 month away from being "required" to pay for his own seat. Let's all hold hands and pray/chant/meditate together: Please Gods, grant us a free seat for Ash to sleep soundly on the flight, or bulkhead seats for him to enjoy the roomy floor, or even better... UPGRADE US dear Lord. And I really mean that last one, sincerely with kisses and hugs and all.

Wordless Wednesday