13 December 2013

Man vs Tree

Felling a tree-- a time old Christmas tradition.  Well, this year Tommy decided to channel his inner Griswold.  In his sights: a 15' Fraser Fir and thousands of lights...

Granted, said Fraser Fir was a little bit thin on the bottom. ("We'll just face that side to the corner...")  It seems that Hudson Valley deer have an insatiable appetite for the best Christmas Trees. Combined with the fact that there's absolutely no place in the ranch for a 15' tree, Dr. C decided to take the good tree-grower's advice and "cut high."  

Boom! Christmas tree down.  No victory is too small to celebrate...

Merry Christmas!!

19 November 2013

A Halloween Story

Twas a dark and stormy night... Really-- it was.  In fact, it was one of the first rainy days we had gotten all fall, and yup, it was Halloween.  A fairy by day, Zoe decided that the inclement weather meant one thing-- she would transform into a Zobot for her first attempt at trick-or-treating with her good buddies--Triceratops and Luke Skywalker.

"Trick-or-Treat!  Be Bop..."
Back at the home front, a man (some call him Papa) wearing a 70's polyester shirt with a pattern that strangely resembles candy corn, orange blinking pumpkin shaped glasses, and green plastic "witches fingers"  handed out candy to the brave souls who traipsed through the puddles to our home.  About 100 of them in total-- 100 shy of what our neighborhood usually gets, but 100 more than our usual number of trick-or-treaters back in the Burgh.

As for our Zobot--- Success!  She weathered the drizzle, and then the rain.  She was not bothered by the hordes of kids in costume running from house to house.  She fearlessly and systematically procured candy from our new neighbors.  She was a pro.  "Trick or Treat!" -- "Thank You!"

"Thank you and have a good day!"

10 November 2013

We've fallen out of touch, but not with the Fall...

Yes, it's been a while.  Yes, we've been busy.  Yes, we've fallen out of touch... but don't worry, we're back!

So why, do you say, did we stay silent for so long?  Well, not to make excuses, but we've been a tad busy.  Tommy -- I mean Dr. Costello -- officially earned his PhD this past spring (yay!!) and then he went and got a job (YAY!!).  He is now gainfully employed by SUNY Dutchess in a tenure-track gig: no small task in today's market. And he loves every minute of the job, which is great, because there sure are a lot of those minutes.

We sold the house in Pittsburgh and bought ourselves a cozy little place in Red Hook (a fabulous little town north of Poughkeepsie).  Essentially we traded our 1920s city townhouse for a 1950s ranch with a glorious backyard.

Cara is exploring the new world of being a stay-at-home mom while doing some distance work for Carnegie Mellon to keep her toes in the professional world.  She finished her yoga teaching certificate before leaving Pittsburgh and will be teaching in Red Hook soon (stay tuned).

We are happy as pie.

Speaking of pie, it's that season, and here's a taste of what fall has brought us so far.  After all, it wouldn't be fall without cute pictures of Zoe Mae and...

Wooly Bears!  and...

Lessons from Papa on how to cool off a hot head on an unexpectedly warm fall day, and...

A stunningly beautiful weekend at the River, and...

Apples! and...


 Oh glorious leaves!  

We'll leave you with a quote from our very own Zoe Mae.  As she was helping us move a ginormous pile of leaves (one of many) from our backyard to the curb, she exclaimed-- "This is so much fun, I can hardly believe it!!"  Never a wiser word was spoken. 

So on that note, we'll say goodbye for now, but not for good.  Stay tuned.

11 March 2013

Brownies and Bedtime

The Zoster can no longer be contained by a crib. A month or so ago she mysteriously appeared at the top of the stairs, which marked her first non-catastrophe escape from the crib.  When asked, she proudly showed us how she managed the escape:  Step 1) Throw all stuffed animals and blankets into the laundry basket next to the crib.  Step 2) Leap into the, now-cushy, bin of soft things.  Step 3) Freedom!

So we congratulated her on the accomplishment, moved the laundry basket across the room, and put her back in bed.  Only to have her reappear at the top of the stairs shortly thereafter.  Proudly she reenacted the new escape:  Step 1) Hoist oneself onto the top of the crib railing.  Step 2) Fall toward the dresser (~2ft away), and catch the top edge of the dresser with your hands.  Step 3) While holding on to the dresser, walk feet down the side of the crib.  Step 4) Freedom!

It was clear that, aside from putting a lid on the crib, physical barriers were not going to keep wee Zoe Mae in bed.  So we put the side of the crib down and confirmed that while she could get out, we preferred that she stay in bed and sleep. And then we got the dreaded big girl bed out of storage.

Suffice it to say, she loves the big girl bed.  And she loves getting out of the big girl bed.  On one occasion her brave papa repeated putting her to bed a record 52 times in a row before she realized that bedtime was non-negotiable. We even bought a wise owl who can tell Zoe when it's time to get up.  Nonsense.  She decided early on that she wasn't going to listen to an inanimate object when it came to bedtime.  Because brownies.

17 February 2013

Snoe Mae

Zoster, chauffeured home from school:

Taking care of business, also known as shobbeling:

Blogging with Austerity

It would be fair to say that our blog posts have been something less than regular lately.  In fact, they've been something akin to non-existant.  Sorry 'bout that.  Maybe it's because of the reduced daylight hours, or the exceptionally snowy winter, or I suppose we could properly blame it on Hurricane Sandy, which did knock a tree onto our house, but all of those excuses would be just that: Excuses.  

No excuses here.  We've been juggling full plates lately, and thus haven't dedicated much effort to the blog.  I'd love to say that it was a conscious decision, but if you ask us, October seems like just a couple weeks ago.  Thus, in the interest of keeping the blog somewhat active, we're going to pull an Ireland and vote for blog austerity:

Needless to say, we're going for the second definition, unless it's the Zoster's bedtime, in which case we might err towards the first.  Or maybe we can propose another definition all together:

aus • ter • i • ty
  • what happens to the blog while we work on a PhD, yoga teacher training program, and toddler.
Henceforth, blog entries will be short and picture-ful.  At least until the days are longer and more degrees are in-hand.