29 May, 2013

I want to wake up in that city that doesn't sleep*

Have I ever told you that I am obsessed with the show Gossip Girl?  Like followed-all-the-characters-on-Twitter obsessed, which, in my opinion, is a little much for a 30 year old woman.  I'm pretty sure Eric even knows of my crush on Chace Crawford.

So, I'm sorry again, Eric and Rosemary for my thousands of references to Gossip Girl while in New York, but I just couldn't help myself.

I digress. 

What else did we do on our 4 day holiday in The Big Apple?

Days 1 and 2 here

Day 3

We were curious to see the iconic Statue of Liberty, and of course Ground Zero, but with Ellis Island closed and the advent of the 9/11 Memorial Museum opening, we decided to save all the patriotic tours for another trip.

But how can you got to New York and not see them?  So we took a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  We ate at the (in)famous Grimaldis for pizza (cross that bad boy off the 1,000 Things To See Before You Die list) and had ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.  Much of the day was spent under the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Literally we sat in the grass for a solid two hours and did nothing.  It was glorious.

We took the long way home over some sketch suspension bridge (yep, you can get motion sick on those things too) and through Brooklyn Heights.

The night finished with a wild stop at Paper Source (in the flesh! I'd only ever shopped there online. Oh, paper!) and Chipotle.  Did you know Chipotle in New York serves Margaritas? For $9, my guess is most people don't know that either.  But it was Cinco de Mayo and folks in Manhattan don't celebrate it quite like folks in Atlanta so we did what we could.

Our Sites:

The Brooklyn Bridge
Grimaldi's Pizza
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Paper Source

Day 4

Our last day was super low key, and probably my favorite.  With Rosemary, our gracious hostess, back at work and a 4pm flight back to Atlanta, we didn't want to wonder too far away.  Rosemary lives about a block from Central Park on the Upper West Side so we saved the park day for our last on-our-own day.

Eric and I had a leisurely breakfast and coffe and strolled slowly through the park. It was so fun to spot locations from our favorite movies and TV shows.  We loved seeing folks of all sorts, doing all sorts of things - from playing the harp to hosting a boot camp.

No trip to the city is complete without a lunch at The Shake Shack (there is one coming to Atlanta. pinch me).  Also featured in a favorite movie, Something Borrowed, by a favorite Atlanta author, Emily Giffin. (okay, moving on)  They have yummy burgers and fries, and Oh! The Shakes!  I passed over the milkshake because they had Abita Rootbeer, and therefore an Abita Rootbeer Float.  I dream of this meal when I close my eyes sometimes.

We had a fortunately uneventful flight home, other than my unnecessary fully body pat down at the airport.  Our flight managed to arrive a few minutes early which scored us the opportunity to see our baby girl before she went to bed for the night.

Such a great trip!  We hope to make it up there again soon, as we still have so much to see!  Thanks again to Rosemary for letting us stay with her, making our whole trip possible!

Our Sites:

Central Park
Shake Shack
La Guardia - Terminal D (Delta)

*New York, New York - Frank Sinatra

21 May, 2013

The Lights Will Inspire You*

After a big trip to Ireland last year, Eric and I decided to take a smaller trip this year.  Our friend Rosemary is living in Manhattan these days and offered us her place for the weekend. Best friend meets tour guide plus free place to stay? Yes, please! (Thanks Connie and Pat for helping out too!)

We'd had this trip planned since shortly after Christmas. It proved to be perfect timing, just a few days after the miscarriage. It was nice to get away to something that was already planned, and that we were SO looking forward to.

With a short 4 day trip, we decided to leave Evie at home with the grandparents. Neither of us had been to New York City and we wanted to maximize our time.

The weather was absolutely PERFECT.  It was 65, sunny, with a light breeze.  

Day 1

Landing a few minutes after 9am, we hit the ground running. Rosemary worked from home so she could help us navigate the city. 

We grabbed breakfast with her before Eric and I left for a few tours. After a long architectural tour of Grand Central, Chanin, Pan Am, and Chrysler, we decided, why not? And went to the top of the Empire State Building.  

We had a food truck lunch and walked through the NY Public Library holding hands. 

We had Ditch Plains take out (only in NYC does a chicken and bacon Caesar salad cost $31) and watched about three hours of Food Network.

It was a day that Rom-Coms are made of.

Our sites:

Day 2

With such perfect weather, we wanted to maximize out time outside.  With it being Saturday, Rosemary jumped in the fun with us for the whole day. First stop was the Highline, an old elevated train track turned into walking trails. People of all sorts were out enjoying the day.

We had lunch an The Biergarden. Delicious German-meets-trendy-American plates, beers, and giant soft pretzels.

I had seen these FABULOUS pictures of the inside of Macy's.  I desperately wanted to stop and check it out. Um, either I am making up what I thought it looked like or we never found the awesome parts, but it was overwhelmingly crowded and modern. I was SO disappointed.

After a light lunch and a bust of a shopping trip, it was time for a snack.  Using the powers of Foursquare and the Internet we found Melt. A gourmet cookie+ice cream shop. Literally it was a kitchen and a guy on a barstool with an iPad. Our ice cream sandwiches were to die for. And we almost did. Thanks to some GPS errors we ended up walking through a super sketchy extra mile of the city to find this place.

With a big night of feasting ahead, we thought it fitting to start with the Heavenly Feast at Saint Joseph's for Sunday Vigil Mass.

Next stop: Murry's Cheese Shop. The cheese shop was full of dreams come true. I wanted to take the whole store home. I just settled for this shirt that says, "Let's Grow Mold Together" (bahaha).

Next door at Murry's Cheese Bar we had a night cap of gourmet grilled cheese, buffalo fried cheese curds (maybe THIS was heaven on earth?), mac&blue cheese, and some excellent wines and beers paired just for us.

Last, but not least, we took a pit stop through Times Square.  Not because either of us really cared, but because everyone insisted that it's more impressive that you'd think.  Having been to Piccadilly Circus we felt like, meh, we've seen it. But it was worth it, just as everyone promised.

Our Sites

The Biergarden
St. Josephs
Murray's Cheese Shop
The Blind Tiger
Murray's Cheese Bar

Days 3 and 4 coming soon :)

*Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

15 May, 2013

Evie: Eighteen Months

Weight: 29-30 lbs (97%)
Length/Height: 33.5 inches (92%)
She's back down on to the charts for height and weight!
Eats: 3 full meals, 1-2 snacks, 12-18oz cow's milk, 10-15oz of water, almost grain-free
Diapers: Size 5, she's outgrown her Rump-a-Rooz brand cloth, but continues to fit in all the rest, having a hard time finding a reusable swim diaper big enough
Clothes: wearing a few 24mos in generous fit bottoms, mostly 2T but buying 3T (and even a few 4Ts in smaller fit)
Sleep: 8pm bed, 6:30-8am wake, one nap 1.5-3hrs long


Evie was the flower girl in her aunt Katie / my sister's wedding. This included her first dress fitting and first bridal luncheon.  

In March, Evie had her first hair cut! She did great and looks like such a big girl with her bobbed hair.  

She's really loving interacting with folks.  She regularly gets the family sitting behind us at Mass to laugh at her. And then she laughs at them--- kind of a funny, fake laugh.

Evie can recognize and name people in photographs.  One time she even said, "Evie" but we haven't been able to get her to say it since.

Opens turn nob doors, and closes them. Both on command too!

Will choose a snack from the pantry and bring it to me 

Can finally / safely climb down the stairs

Can climb up on the couch! Or up in to short chairs.  Continues to safely climb down off the bed, couch or chairs.  She doesn't have much interested in general climbing unless she knows it's allowed, like she will climb in her tree house but not on the picnic table. (Whew!)

Is starting to put two-word phrases together, like "Mommy Home" "Nana cookie"

Points to things and "talks" about them.  Follows my finger when I point to something.

Starting to interact with the iPad other than pushing the Home button. Today she FaceTimed Nana...but I'm not sure she knew that's what she was doing.

Recognizes babies and points to them

When I say the word "hot" she softly blows on her food (or in the direction of whatever I tell her is hot, like the oven or the pan)

Recognizes trash and puts it in the trash can, or will happily do it if I ask

Copies things that I do, for example, she will pick up my cell phone say "hello" have a conversation and then say "bye" before she hangs up.  All of this pretend.

She gets confused between talking on speaker phone and Face Time.  She LOVES to talk to Daddy on Google Hangout.  She will point to the computer and ask for Daddy when she wants to call him.

Responds to me telling her NO! And sometimes this leads to a meltdown.

New Words:
"boobies" (blueberries)
"hap-ple" (apple)
"man-ah" usually said with her tongue sticking out at the ah part (banana)
"moore" (more)
"nack" (snack)
"mooth-kies" (smoothies)
"dawg" (dog)
"Dusssty" (Dusty)
"cook-ie" (cookie)
"Bue's Cue's" (Blue's Clues)
"Beths" (Beth)
"hi-pad" (iPad)
"backpah" (backpack)
"G. Dah" (G. Daddy)
"Nuckle Ma" (Uncle Sam)
"Tiki" (Aunt Katie)
"Zach-A-REE" (Zachary)
"aawwww man" (Aww man)
"ah-men" (Amen)

playing "hou-side" (outside)
wearing her  "soc-ks" "shooz" and "a bowwwww" (socks, shoes, hair bow)
drinking "mooth-ies" (Smoothies)
watching "Boos Kues" (Blue's Clues)

having her diaper or clothes changed
when she doesn't get what she wants
being good during the second half of Mass (okay, maybe I added this)
a second nap

Fun things:
Evie signs a few things, mostly just "more" and "all done" but now that she is speaking pretty clearly, she's starting to abandon the sign language

She's really good with dogs.  She talks about Zoey, Dusty and Spike All. The Time.

She's incredible at jumping. She loves to jump on the trampoline at the sitters.

She's super eager to start riding her balance bike. Eric takes her out every week or so to see if her legs are long enough yet. In the meantime, her Cozy Coupe and princess car work great!

Evie is super affectionate and sensitive. She loves to hug, give kisses, blow kisses, snuggle, and sit in my lap.

She spends so much time playing with 3 and 4 year old boys that she's picked up on making little noises like they do --- lasers, flying, trains, everything has a little noise.

She went poopy in the potty twice, but has been a little frustrated with it so I put the potty seat away until she's ready to try again.

Not fun things:
Evie is great at singing songs - she can sing Ave and the Blue's Clues theme song.  Both involve her wiggling her butt as she sings.  She is trying so hard to say "Blue Skadoo We Can Too"  I can't even begin to type out an attempt.

Evie continues to have trouble pooping. It seems to happen when she strays from her grain-free diet or is off her routine for 2+ days. They often go hand in hand.

I discovered she has a lip-tie (I've known it was there since birth, I just didn't know it was a thing). Which I also learned is partially why we were not successful at breastfeeding.  We are going to wait until she's two to discuss options with her doctor or dentist. 

Little Bee has developed her toddler sassy pants.  This includes random tandrums, hitting, spitting, and being defiant. Hooray!

She's down to one nap a day. Maybe once a week she'll nap twice. She usually goes down for 1.5-3 hours. I love the long break! But it's meant bedtime is earlier which means morning comes earlier. Not cool. Not cool.

Watch Evie Grow:  Fifteen Months | Twelve Months | All Monthly Updates