Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1 Aunt, 2 Birthdays, 3 Years

"Every child begins the world again."
(Henry David Thoreau)

Last month, right before my nephew Peter's birthday and our belated honeymoon, my family spent a weekend in Ocean City and Cape May, NJ. I've referred to that trip in other posts but hadn't managed to share details, so without further ado, here's the story before summer ends.

But first, an announcement...

My Niece Is Here!

Welcome to the world, Elizabeth -- aka "Ellie" -- born very early yesterday morning! She is beautiful and healthy and weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz., the same as her big brother when he arrived in 2009.

At the hospital, Peter said, "I have a baby sister!" and looked at her through his big plastic magnifying glass and gave her a kiss. Playing with his cousins and his new toys kept him preoccupied, as he walked around with his Diego-esque backpack saying, "Let's go on an adventure!" He is a real kid now, and I can't believe how quickly the past 3 years have gone by. I hope he adjusts well to the new addition to his family.

Peter's Birthday and the Jersey Shore

Peter's only birthday party was when we celebrated his dol, the Korean 1st birthday tradition. I wanted to wish him a happy 3rd birthday -- his final one as an only child -- while we were all together, and let him blow out a candle, which he loves.

My sister's family arrived the night before, so by the time Sam and I got to Ocean City with my parents and brother on Saturday, they had already eaten and were ready for some cloudy, rainy beachtime. After a quick lunch at Hula Grill, we joined them at the beach. Later, we went to Obadiah's for dinner, then everyone visited our room for birthday cake.

BBQ scallops and crab cake sandwich at Hula Grill
Digging for clams and shells
Feeling crabby at Obadiah's

Before that weekend, I had drawn a birthday cake I wanted to make for Peter. With no time to really plan or shop -- and a road trip for the cake to survive -- I don't know how I thought I would make it happen, but it involved a sand castle topped with 3 candles. It didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned, but the main idea still came across, and more importantly, Peter loved it -- he's a big fan of fish and "marine mammals." (I took off the candy before cutting him a small slice and he only wanted 1 or 2 bites.)

My inspirational sketch
I was short on time, so Sam helped by baking funfetti cakes the day before
The finished product -- watch out, fishies!

The weather was much nicer on our second day, which we spent in Cape May. We went out on the Cape May Whale Watcher, a dolphin-watching and whale-watching boat, during the first part of the day. We didn't see any whales, but we saw lots and lots of lively dolphins so it was fun and worthwhile. The rest of the day, we walked along the quaint Washington Street Mall, where we had lunch at Tisha's, and Bliss Homemade Organic Ice Cream for dessert.

On the top deck of the boat
It was hard to catch a good picture of the dolphins
Tuna sandwich at Tisha's
Iced coffee and ice cream sandwich of cinnamon-clove ice cream
with oatmeal raisin cookies (if I'm remembering correctly)

So now Peter is 3, Ellie is 0, and -- with my sister's children plus my sister-in-law's children, Isaiah and Christina -- I have 4 adorable nieces and nephews! And you can't forget my original puppy niece who has been there through it all.

As Kate Bolick wrote in her New York Times article, "Let's Hear It For Aunthood":
...much of the allure of being an aunt is being liberated from expectations, free to make it up as I go along, constantly surprised by the delights of the relationship, which includes not only passionate love but blessed freedom.


  1. congratulations to your sister! christina was almost an elizabeth too!!

    1. Thanks~ I'll pass that along to her! I like how Ellie is a cute nickname but her full name is very dignified.

  2. Congratulations on becoming an Aunt :) How incredible!


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