Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween in NYC-- 2013

One of our best resources for things to do in the city is "Mommy Poppins."  The site is constantly updated with fun, and often free or cheap things to do with kids.  And without kids for that matter. So we hopped online and found a parade going on at Washington Square Park (We're huge fans of August Rush, so any chance we get to go here, we do!)  
 We ended up at the end of the parade route before it even began, giving us first dibs at the popcorn, cotton candy, and other freebies.  T ate two bags of popcorn, clutching the bag with a tight fist.  She's a lot like me and her grandma "Besta" in her love of popcorn. 
When we took away the popcorn for a picture without the prop... not a happy Oompa Loompa.  She can keep the popcorn!
 We joined in the parade for as long as it was fun, then cut across the park for some time with the band and a ride on the (very fast) carousel.  

Take a good look at Scott's bowtie in this pic, I'll break down the cost of these costumes later...

T must have had at LEAST 50 strangers take pictures of her today.  She was a total star.  The costume isn't really that extreme-- it's all about the green hair.  She was loving the attention, but did get nervous once when a gang of 15 circled around her with 5 cameras flashing in her face at once.  We are really proud that she is ours :)
Here's the deal on the costumes, get excited for a few victories:

1.  Scott has a velvet black coat in his closet.  It's from a vintage store in Long Beach years ago, and it's come in handy more than once since I came into his life.  Now that we live in NYC, I think he can get away with wearing it for real!  

2.  His bowtie:  Purple. Sparkly. Totally Willy Wonka.  I passed a random little fabric shop near my house, and of course popped in to see what it had to offer.  With bolts falling off shelves and strewn across the floor, I literally bumped into this fabric and bought 1/4 yard for A QUARTER.  Steal.  

3.  I found a black top hat for $8 at a shop nearby. But I thought I'd email the moms in my church group to see if any of them had something before I bought the hat.  Within 10 minutes I had not one but TWO hats at my disposal, and both were in my hands within an hour of me sending the email.  Thank you Harlem moms group-- you totally pulled through for me!

4.  T's costume sewed up in 30 minutes with fabric I already had on hand, and a few buttons from my stash.  She wore a black top she already had and those precious shoes are from my mom.  They were PERFECT for this costume!  The green hairspray cost $4 and our friend Brenda met us today with orange and white face paint to work some make up magic. Amazing. 

5.  On my way home from the subway I passed a corner store being restocked.  They had already broken down the boxes so I just asked for one piece.  No searching for an exacto knife or dulling my scissors.  Win.  I had gold spray paint from other projects and used ribbon from my stash to call it good.  I do wish I had gold leggings, but let's be honest-- the Ooompa Loompa is the star anyway, so let's focus on her! 

All in all, the costumes for the three of us came to $4.25!  That's less than a round trip subway fare.  Hooray!

The carnival part of the party wasn't as crowded as I'd anticipated.  We only waited 2 loads for our turn on the carousel!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Warning: NO PHOTOS in this post

Yep, it's true.  Most of my day to day photos are on Insta these days, but I still do value a venue to write... so, without further ado:

I spoke too soon.  T cried on and off through all of (our informal) nursery class today.  Her first Sunday is coming up, and now I'm nervous.  The moms in there today said that she couldn't be put down and was whiny/weepy the entire hour.  OH GREAT.  2 months ago, even 1 month ago she was fine, and now that nursery is here she gets all attached.  The other moms are really sweet saying they've all been through it "Just leave her."  And so I did.  But my yoga practice wasn't as relaxing today.

I know many of you asked what day to day life is like in NYC.  I've been trying to pay attention to give you something new and different... but there isn't THAT much new and different about daily life.  Walking everywhere is the biggest thing.  2 miles to the grocery store?  No big.  Across 5 avenues to get to your destination instead of waiting for a bus on the weekend? (Weekend schedules are very unpredictable.)  No big.  You need to mail a large package at the post office?  You walk.  Balancing the package with a stroller.  So mostly it requires planning ahead and not feeling sorry for yourself.  As long as you do those things, everything is peachy :)  I feel really REALLY lucky to have laundry in our building so that I can just go down 3 floors to switch loads instead of camping out at the laundromat with my toddler for 3 hours. That makes a big difference.

Speaking of the post office, I went there today to pick up a package.  There were 6 people in front of me in line, I thought "Not too bad..."  T had a few snacks left and I was really on a roll singing songs with actions. But then I saw the man behind the counter *literally* walking as slow as a turtle to get one parcel at a time.  And re-checking about 7 ID's per person. And to pass a package through to the owner, the post man had to push several codes and lift a few levers because of all the bullet proof glass.  Everyone in line was getting vocally frustrated. I was worried there would be an outbreak.  People get crazy.  Including T.  And including me.  It really was ridiculous. In all, we waited an hour and fifteen minutes for only 6 people to get their packages.  It's crazy business!

You know all the blogs that give "DIY decorations on the cheap?"  Well I need DIY decorations for FREE.  I'm really tired of our front room having barely any decor.  I'm about to get really creative and hopefully not too tacky since my budget is literally zero.  I've tried to slip some money from other departments into the decor budget, it's not really working out.  Here goes nothing!

And lastly, we are having soup tonight.  I think I better get my rear in gear and go carve another mini pumkin so I can serve our sausage tortellini soup in pumpkins!  And also?  Is it okay to call it "sausage" tortellini soup if i'm using ground beef with lots of flavor?  I went to 3 different stores in search of Italian sausage and still found none!  I'm sure it will all work out :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tatum's 18 month Update

At least 20 strangers took Tatum's picture at Central Park last week. 20% ask, 80% don't, generally speaking.  This woman did ask.  And for payment, she stood behind me waving and laughing and acting like a goon to get T to smile for 5 minutes :)  WIN.

One man I passed in a corner market told me that "her hair must've been spun with GOLD!"
 She is reading for much longer periods of time these days.  She is only getting more and more fun as she understands and responds to things going on around her.  T is a lot of fun to have around! (Would I have said this last month during her SCREAMING phase?  Probably not. But we loved her then too!)
 Today on the subway, she was hanging out in her stroller, smiling and waving when the lady across from us says to her friend in Spanish (assuming we couldn't understand her) "So, do you want to procreate?" 
Our little lady is an ambassador for the family unit!  Proud mama right here!
Anything with a strap is a purse for our little girl.  Grocery bags, air mattress case, library tote.  Anything.  She stows her chapstick, sometimes her kitty beanie baby, or a shoe in her purse.  When I try to release her pincer grasp to go out for the day, I hear about it!!

We were watching a show with her the other night and when a scary-ish part came on, she started biting her nails!  It looked to us like a cause/effect relationship.  Ah, she comes by it honestly.

This little ham turns 18 months in 2 weeks and we are she is incredibly excited for nursery!  I've left her in the nursery with ~10 other kids during a mid-week yoga class at the church and she's done just fine.  I have no qualms about dropping her off and leaving her there until 2pm!  I know she'll have such fun copying the other kids, singing songs and especially having snacks.  But I do wish she'd miss me just a little!
Seriously, SUCH a ham.
Speaking of church, today during Sunday School she found a pink scooter against the wall.  She decided her calling in life was to roll and stand and push and scoot that scooter all around.  I had no idea that at 1.5 years, babies are already riding scooters.  What???

And following in my sisters' footsteps, some word art:
We are so lucky to have Tatum in our lives.  She is really a joy and she gives my life meaning and purpose.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NYC as a Tourist

Scott had class the first day the girls were here.  So, I mustered up the Subway Leader inside of me and took them to Shake Shack (it's still good!) and over to Central Park.  T ate almost all the fries and at least half the chocolate shake.  Oh geez.
Presenting the Princess:
On the walk over to the lake, Christina and I voted SueAnn to be our rower.  :)  It was tough in the beginning, but she got the hang of it in no time.
We relieved her of her calling just a few minutes in.  SueAnn REALLY loves being a Grandma.  And this is one of my favorite pictures of T and Christina!
Our group shot in Central Park.  The forecast kept predicting rain from about Wed - Sun but it never came!  It sprinkled one day, but we packed our rain coats and umbrellas every day for nothing!

Every time we go out there is some new adventure or thrill for T girl.  We really do have a rich life here in NYC.  There is so much to explore and experience.  

And, if you come to see us, we will no doubt take you to Chelsea Market.  Probably on your first day.  We really love tasting the variety of food and wandering the Highline before eating the goodness.  

T is basically a hipster now:
Our don't-miss-it food item so far is the Lobster Bisque from The Lobster Place, but we also adore Num Pang Sandwich shop, the pasta place up front (Chocolate ravioli, are you serious?) and Amy's bread.  Oh, and Scott really loves the chocolate milk at the Milk Bar.  Well let's be honest, we all do. 
A good solid day in the city!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Off The Bandwagon

I've been off the blogging bandwagon lately.  
It's because we had our first visitors :)

SueAnn and Christina came at 6:45am on Tuesday morning and we've been touristing ever since!
New York is maybe the pinnacle of fun places to explore.  But it does wear you out going day after day!  
We ate waaaay too much good food, showed them some of our favorite spots around the city, and even did lots of new things!
I'm sorting through photos later tonight, so to hold you over until then, here is one of my faves:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kayaking on the Hudson

We'd heard that there is free kayaking on the Hudson, but didn't know many details.  Luckily our trusty adventure friends the Scott's joined us anyway-- and it worked out just great!  We skipped the line, took our babies out, paddled around the harbor, had a little picnic and called it a great day!

The kids did great on the boats.  We weren't even sure they'd be allowed on, but they were and they had a lot of fun!  I was worried we would be wrestling T and trying to prevent her from flailing overboard, but she stayed very still in her spot.  And then she started waving to fellow kayakers.  That girl...

The volunteers at the boathouse were so sweet to the kids.  They brought out otter pops (who doesn't love those!?!) and even gave them each a toy!

 Ryker is always making T laugh!
 We're so glad to be reunited with our friends! Stay tuned for fun/violent photos of us at Scott's birthday party :)