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The next morning there was brunch at the hotel, a nice time to debrief from the night before (and for Nicole to hear about the Russian Vodka Room, which all non-moms went to after the wedding was over -- i.e., Nicole and Yoanna were the only ones who dropped out, and for good reason!).

Quick photo with Erik and Emre -- always a delight to get together with friends from cross-country and overseas. We really had a great time seeing everyone and were sorry to have it end so quickly -- but this was July 3rd and we had to skedaddle -- a very important young man was turning TWO YEARS OLD that day!

And here he is, in all his two-year-old glory. We arrived home around 3pm that day, syncronized perfectly with Pappy, Grammy, and Simon from Ocean City, and Nana from Hagerstown. All would have been great except for the fact that we had no electricity. We found out that the power went out at 9am that morning and when we arrived home, the energy company was saying it would be back at 7pm that night. It was HOT HOT HOT so Nana, Toby and Nicole went to the mall. Simon played in his pool for a while and then we all went out to dinner. Simon had "happy birthday" sung to him by the servers, which he was actually a little intimidated by! But he did enjoy the icecream they brought him (after the candle was "off!").

When we came home from dinner, still no power. Later that evening, PECO started saying it would be 3pm the next day (July 4th) until we would get power, prompting a serious discussion about whether we should all get in cars and drive down to Ocean City instead. But we decided to tough it out and we got lucky(ish) -- after a very uncomfortable night in a hot house with no fans or A/C, the power came on at 6am!

More photos to come of the Parade, etc. Meanwhile here are a few:

Wendy and Alan arrived for a lunchtime birthday party for Simon on the 4th. Fortunately we only planned to have them, any available neighbors (most of whom were away) and the grandparents at the party, since we got a late start on the preparations due to our power loss. Here's Wendy having fun cuddling with Toby!

Yes, Simon got a copy of "Singin' In the Rain" for his birthday and he was thrilled (remember the dancing scenes from May?).

Playing with his new cars with Alan.

Alan having a cuddle with Toby.

As mentioned -- lots more photos to be added, taken with Pappy's camera.

Time for an update on the two boys:

Simon is talking more and more. His favorite word right now whatever the last word was you just said -- he's a little copycat (Mommy and Daddy have to be careful what they say!). He surprises us daily with the things he understands. For instance, at bedtime this evening, he was playing with the on/off switch on his music box by his bed. At one point he turned it off, said "uh oh" when it wouldn't work, and then said to Nicole, "Barries?" When she didn't understand what he meant, he repeated "barries" again, and pointed toward his bedroom door, outside of which is the hall closet, where we keep... you guessed it, the batteries.

Simon loves to dance and he's starting to sing. He actually has a pretty good sense of rhythm and he can center in on the right pitch to sing, especially the last note of any given phrase, which is usually where he gets the word, too. E.g., "(Twinkle twinkle little) STAR, (how I wonder what you) ARE, (up above the world so) HIGH, (like a diamond in the) SKY..." He has the hand movements down to the song as well (yes, there are hand movements to that one, at least in his classroom!).

Toby is growing by leaps and bounds. He smiles and laughs all the time, and rolls over, too. Last night he was sleeping in his crib when Nicole went up to bed. When she went in to check on him, he was sleeping on his stomach so she rolled him back onto his back. Without properly waking up, he immediately rolled back onto his stomach! We compromised with letting him sleep on his side. He is sleeping well at night, although he does still wake up at least once, sometimes twice, to eat. Next week is his four-month well baby visit after which we'll start him on cereal, which should help him make it through the night without eating more than once.

Simon is getting more interested in Toby now that Toby is smiling and playing with toys. This week he started going up close and saying in a soft voice "Hi, bebe, hi, bebe, hi, bebe..." Simon gives him gentle hugs and kisses, and gets concerned when the baby is upset. He's not a perfect angel, though -- if he wants Mommy's attention when she's nursing, he'll insist that Toby is "done" with his "babum" (still the word for food) and suggest that Toby be put "down" in his swing!

Next...

July 2006 - Weddings, a big birthday and summer fun!

Alex and Masha's wedding!
Heading to NYC

Prenuptual dinner and
Sunday in New York

Arriving at the wedding

The ceremony and reception

Leaving NYC and Simon's 2nd Birthday!

Hanging with the cousins, and Jen and Ryan's wedding

Visiting the great grandparents and Nana

Ocean city in the summertime!

Building the backyard stairs and Lizzy comes to play