We returned from a recent trip to upstate New York - where we visited my parents and celebrated my nephew Arman's first birthday. More on that later.
It was a busy four days. And who knew it was possible to consume so much food?
Here's someone who knows what I mean. This kid can pack it away. Over the course of our visit, I watched in awe as he happily ate every item of food that found its way near his mouth. And I don't just mean the birthday cake.
"Teach them, Arman," I kept whispering to him. Please teach my kids how to eat normal food without bribes. Please!
Mina and Arman bond over toys at T's parents' house. Jordan temporarily disappeared.
But we quickly found and heard him.
Jordan and Mina take a moment to perform "Ebony and Ivory."
Jordan and Mina on the stairwell at my parents' house. This was the first year they both slept in real beds. My brother's old beds, I should add. So... Osman and Riz... if you should happen to come across anything out of place in your childhood rooms the next time you visit - you know who to blame. Guitars, bhangra drums.... little bottles of cologne.... and boy, is it time to redecorate those rooms!!!!
Eating seems to form a major component of every upstate visit. It happens immediately, and no amount of willpower ever makes a difference. I don't even know why I bother trying to resist. I actually did sort of try... for about two days. By Saturday, I just threw in the towel. Croissants for breakfast.. sure... followed by a round of chai and mitai... sure... how about some specialty European chocolate, just because it's sitting there on the table next to me... ok.
Mina eating her morning croissant without a care in the world.
Jeff eating the same... along with a big fried egg.
I don't know whose brilliant idea is was to place a scale right next to the dining table, but it was a painful visual reminder for me over the course of our visit. Mina happily jumped right on after breakfast. I stayed away. Far away. Why is that thing there??!!
On Friday, we headed over to one of my old childhood stomping grounds - the Big Flats Community Park. Jordan climbed his way up the monkey bars (is that what they still call these things?) This was a good weekend for a visit. The weather was perfect.
There he goes. This stuff was relatively new. I don't remember it from back in the day. We never had this fancy stuff.
Reaching the top. He was very excited to get there.
Jeff and Mina riding into the sunset. Those fields in the background are some of the ones both me and my brother played softball/baseball on. They used to seem so much bigger.
Mina on the old slide. This thing I remember. It's the kind that heats up when the sun shines down on it.
Up next.... celebrating!