December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015.

Christmas in NYC was tropical enough for dancing in the backyard - even if a bit drizzly. We were all dancing because we had some of our favorite family from France in NYC for the holiday - Xavier's sister, Marie, and her family from Paris. "Jules! Louise! Fabien! Marie!", Colette and Romy cantillating up and down the stairs rejoicing. A week of reuniting.

Christmas Eve was too intense for little Colette. After a small fit, some good pouting and a retreat, we found her on the couch, curled up and sound asleep before the festivities even began (not her style). Romy Danda Day, on the other hand, made a stink about the mention of sleep - too thrilled about the lights and celebration.

Along with Julia and Marc as additional special guests, we had Torma (christened so by Colette) - as the newest member of the family presiding over dinner.

Xavier led the table in a hearty chorus of We Wish You a Merry Christmas (with thick French accent by some).

There is a special French tradition where a candle is lit on each person's pile of presents and Tino Rossi's Petit Papa Noël plays as the children sneak into the room. Recaptures Christmas for Xavier.

Queen Colette completely astonished by her gown. Finally - the appropriate accoutrement for such an empress.

And Romy lady - content to simulate firing nerf guns at Jules and her papa. Not very concerned about which ones were 'hers.'

December 20, 2015

Christmas brunch

Colette and Romy (and Marguerite) have big-hearted uncles who spoil them throughout the year. Today it was a Christmastide gathering - gifts and garland and brunch à la Stephen and John. Included some closest friends and our family from Paris who always feel too far away. It ended in tears and paint on everyone, but it seems most activities with the 3 and almost 2-year old seem to get muddied by the emotional unravel (just here and now - the facts - but won't always be so, and someday they will be rational and considerate, especially after receiving gifts in bounty).

December 7, 2015

A little time-lapse ditty while putting together the Christmas tree (beware the ads - click them away, since I used John/Yoko's carol)...

December 3, 2015


All of the Johnsons flocked to Pittsburgh (temporary polestar) for Thanksgiving - every person except Marguerite. Count them - 23. We landed and it was pure animation for 3 days. Getting this picture rendered was worthy of filming – too bad we did not do it. Colette, Romy and cousins were arm in arm the whole time. My brother Paul dressed up as Santa at some point and, with an Irish-Russian-Australian accent, handed out gifts to the terrified/enchanted/amused children. Thanksgiving meal was pretty classic and delicious – Colette had ‘studied’ about it in school and approved the fare. Lots of negotiated baby nap times and getting a big group mobilized. The impressive thing chez les Johnson is the ability to always get outside and be active. Obsessive. Love it. Since we arrived home, Colette has been fake crying at night – begging to go back to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.

November 19, 2015

This fall.

We've been out feeding on fall all through October and November. Cement towers/canyons possess most of the city, but then there is Central Park, where trees reign and seem to be hand-picked and perfected seasonally.

Our neighborhood has some great fall flavor as well, including Romy poised in the streets.

Fall moments at our abode...Colette in her converted home in the living room. And all the girls with their papa.

November 3, 2015

\Halloween 2015.

In contrast to
last year’s united front, for Halloween this year we were a patchwork stew. Colette – the super magical (and mysterious – a word she likes to use) fairy, Marguerite – the steadfast witch (5 Halloweens in a row), Romy – madame dinosaur – she does the roar and was a show-stopper in terms of cute, and Xavier made a fine Top Gun fighter pilot. Hamilton Heights has become a hot spot for Halloween. A really great holiday to watch little ladies take their fancies out on the street and parade around.

October 28, 2015

Shot the girls last weekend - framed by blushing leaves and fall sky. They were on parade.

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