This weekend was Passover and Easter and it was such a nice weekend. It was full of food, friends, family, sunshine and spring-colored outfits. We did a lot of relaxing and spending quality time with people we love, and basically no time being productive. It was lovely.
Passover was at a friend’s house who always host the most delicious and fancy Passover dinner. There’s wine, matzoh ball soup, charoses, yummy veggies and lots of decadent desserts. It was one of those rush around like crazy in the rain kind of days so we forgot to take one single photo. No worries, I made sure to make up for the lack of photos on Easter!
We hosted Easter brunch at our house for the second year. It was a potluck meal with about 16 people and SO MUCH FOOD. I attempted making eggs inside of hashbrown baskets. They were a little overdone, but they looked really nice.
Luna had the time of her life. She skipped her morning nap and ran all over the yard climbing everything in sight instead.
We spent the afternoon playing with plastic eggs at the park. We really couldn’t have had a better Easter. Unless, of course, our Texas family were with us.
Hope you all had a great weekend full of nice spring weather, love and mimosas!
We have traveled a lot with Luna, but this was by far the most difficult trip. Difficult because we flew and we were not staying with family. I had to pack carefully, plan ahead, do some research and prepare for any and everything. The trip was awesome. We had a few bumps in the road, sure, but bumps are expected anytime we travel. Luna was a trooper and I learned a bit about life in the city with a baby. Which, in case you’re wondering, is much different then life in the city without a baby. Much different.
–stroller vs. baby wearing: I am most often a stroller Mom. Luna isn’t a huge fan of being worn, but we pull it off occasionally. I decided to bring both to NYC. The stroller was used the most. In case, you haven’t noticed, Luna is a not a tiny baby. In fact, she’s a little chunk. We walked and walked all day everyday and I am so glad I had the stroller. I held her a lot, but it was a relief to be able to put her in the stroller. She slept in it, enjoyed the rides and we were able to store all of our crap in it. We used the ergo carrier too, but she never lasted long. You should know though, NY is NOT stroller friendly. Many subway stations have only stairs (no elevators or escalators) the sidewalks are treacherous, no one looks where they’re walking and the stores and restaurants are uber crowded. Be prepared to fold it up and carry it at a a moments notice. Also, be prepared for complete strangers to be awesome and heroic. I had several people help me carry the stroller with Luna in it up and down the stairs. They were my saviors!
–disposable vs. cloth: I cloth diaper Luna at home, but not, absolutely not, on vacation. Why? Because toting around heavy dirty diapers all day and washing them at night is not a vacation at all. I have to admit, it was super nice to use disposables for a while. Actually, I’m still using them because we had quite a few left over. Yay for extended vacation!
–train vs. taxi: My little city baby had her first ride in a taxi and on the subway. I promised myself we would only take a taxi to and from the airport since we wouldn’t have a carseat. I wanted to be as safe as possible, but when you are running late and have been carrying a baby, a stroller and a diaper bag ALL DAY LONG, a taxi ride home is very appealing and all of a sudden seems like much safer option. The trains are awesome because they’re fast and they rock Luna to sleep, but holy hell, it is awful to get on an off the train with a baby and a stroller.
homemade vs. store bought: I make virtually all of Luna’s food, but like with the cloth diapers, I figure I could use a little vacation from this too. Besides, lots of healthy and organic baby food is available these days. She’s also at the age where I can mash up some of my own food and share with her. It was nice to not have to worry about preparing her food ahead of time, but I am glad she eats so fresh and healthy at home.
–inside vs. outside: There is so much super cool stuff for babies and kids to do in the city, inside and outside. I’ll have to write a post about our favorites. We had a mixture of weather during our long weekend, so we got to take advantage of the parks and the museums. We went to Central Park, hungout on a rooftop, shopped at Bergdorf’s, played in the Children’s Museum and at FAO Schwarz. Fall is such a great time to enjoy the city. I think we got the best of both worlds during our trip.
-cat ears vs. cat hat: Seriously? It’s impossible to choose. I just have way too much fun dressing this cutie up!
We spent our Saturday at Cheekwood Art & Gardens. It was our first visit in a year. We love Cheekwood and I CANNOT believe it’s been an entire year since we went to “Light“. This summer’s trip instantly beat out last years because this trip included Luna. My in-laws, Husband, myself and Luna all spent the warm summer afternoon walking around the gardens, the mansion and the really cool sculptures.
The most prominent part of Cheekwood this summer is the giant bug sculptures exhibit. There are huge wooden bugs scattered throughout the grounds, all made of wood and some our even large enough to explore. There is a beehive, a treehouse and an enormous butterfly that everyone is actually allowed to touch, climb, swing and slide down. And, by everyone, I mean adults too.
We pushed the stroller around, but only to carry our bags, water and camera because Luna wanted to be carried around so she could look at the world. It was a hot Saturday, but luckily we found lots of shade to sit and relax. Luna even got to dip her feet in one of the water gardens.
Thank God there is a mansion in the middle of the gardens to offer some relief from the 93 degree weather. The Cheekwood mansion is always lovely by itself, but it also holds different art exhibits throughout the year. It’s currently hosting Andy Warhol silkscreen painting of flowers, and I swear they’ve never looked so beautiful as they did in the air conditioner that day. Luna seemed to really enjoy walking around and gazing at all the photos with her Grandma.
There’s just so much to look at in the Gardens we saw a crazy outdoor train set, the Japanese gardens, the herb garden, the dogwood garden and more. Then there’s lots more we didn’t even get to this time around. I guess we will just have to go back and maybe pack a picnic basket next time.
For my local friends (or my traveling friends) keep in mind that Cheekwood has extended hours on Friday nights and several other summer events for the whole family. It’s beautiful there, seriously, you don’t want to miss it. In fact, if you go, let me know, maybe we can meet you there!
I recently met up with a couple of friend’s of mine, also Mommies, to go on a hike with our babies. VERY few of my Tennessee friends have babies so it’s rare that I get the opportunity to hangout with other Moms. It’s especially difficult considering I live an hour away from one, and two hours away from the other. So, when we do get together we try to pick a place somewhat in the middle. Our recent get together was at Old Hickory Lake Park, just north of Nashville.
This place is awesome! The trails go through some beautiful thick and very shaded woods. It is next to an enormous lake with beach areas, picnic tables and playgrounds. The woods are tall and grow over all the paths so its easy to stay cool on the shaded trails. Some trails are paved, but even the dirt trails are maintained well enough that we could push a stroller just about everywhere we wanted to explore. The moss growing over stones and old trees, as well as the butterflies, gives it a very “enchanted forest” feel.
The best part about hanging out with these ladies is the ability to talk about our kids without feeling like a bore or like you’re in a competition. It’s so easy to get either competitive or ashamed when talking with (or googling) other moms and kids. I hate to even mention what Luna is doing, or not doing, because I don’t want to hear what she should be doing, or not doing. I too often google questions like, “When should my baby start laughing?”, “Why doesn’t my 4-month old play with her toys?”, or “When can I expect to be on a schedule?”
Sometimes I find responses that give me a bit a comfort, but most often I read things like “My newborn was on a schedule the second she popped out. She speaks 4 languages, sleeps 12 hours a night, reads fluently and does 25 push-ups.” Obviously these internet Moms with perfect children leave me thinking I must be doing something very wrong. I don’t actually take these people seriously, but it’s still refreshing and relieving to be with my real Mom friends and hear that their kids are just as unpredictable and random as my own.
At first, one of us may sort of slowly and questionably ask….”sooooo, does your baby grab toys yet?” or “does your kid nap at the same time everyday by any chance?” Instead of lying or, exaggerating the truth, one of us will reply with, “Oh God no, my baby will sometimes take two 3 hour snaps and the next day might take 5 twenty minute naps. Then sometimes she naps once.”. Then we can all breathe with relief and realize that are kids are perfectly perfect.
After our hike, we had a picnic where we got to talk and gossip while one baby slept, one ate and one (slightly older baby) ran around chasing bugs. It was a great afternoon and I am looking forward to many more summer days like this!
Funny story… while berry picking last weekend a friend of mine noticed a band around Luna’s toe. We thought a small string or hair got tangled around her toe, squeezing it very tightly and we spent a good two hours trying to get it off. We poked, pulled and prodded my poor baby’s toe and could never get a hold of whatever was tied tight around the middle of her toe. It didn’t take long for me to work myself into a frenzy and imagine Luna needing her toe amputated. We decided to call our plastic surgeon friend and he was kind enough to meet us at his office on a Sunday to take a look at her toe under some microscopic lenses. However, the second he looked at her toe he calmly said, “Oh, that’s just a restriction band she was born with it and it’s no big deal. There’s nothing tied around her toe. Seriously, nothing.”
“Um, could you look at it again…just to be sure.”
Talk about “Mom of the year”. The child is 4 months old and I never noticed this so-called restriction band. I was honestly hoping he’d find a hair around her toe just to save face. Whatever, I’m blaming it on sleep deprivation.
After our strawberry picking/plastic surgeon extravaganza we headed to the park for Luna’s first picnic. We were given a super cute picnic basket a couple of years ago and we finally put it to use. We laid out our blanket, took over a picnic table and relaxed because that’s what Sundays are all about, right?
We have taken Luna on walks around the park numerous times, but this was her first time to actually get out of her carseat/stroller. There’s a nice playground in the middle of the park and I just had to see if she would fit into one of the “baby swings”.
She is definitely too small to fit in the swing appropriately, and I’m not sure if she enjoyed it, but we still captured the moment on camera because it is a “first” after all. After her few minutes in a swing, we went back to our regular walks in the stroller.
Sundays seem to be the best day of every week. I love spending quality downtime with our family and friends…especially during summer. Bring on the pool, beach trips and weekend getaways!
It’s hard to believe I’ve just celebrated my first Mother’s Day as a Mother because it’s hard to believe I’m a Mom. I’ve only been a Mom for a little over 3 months now and everything is still surreal. I am loving it and having so much fun with Luna! And, you know that I love holidays and love being the center of attention so Mother’s Day should now run a close second with my Birthday. I did make sure to call it “Mother’s Day Weekend“, but I know I do not deserve to be celebrated as much as so many other wonderful Moms out there.
It’s not easy to be any type of Mother, I know, but I’m still new at this gig and I think I’ve got a pretty good gig going here. I have a supportive Husband. I have the choice to work or stay home with my baby. We have a beautiful home, great family and friends and Luna is so loved! I’m truly fortunate. Today my heart has been with single Moms, Moms of many kids, moms with sick kids, moms who can’t have kids, moms who have lost kids, kids who have lost Moms, sick Moms and the list goes on and on. You Moms are AMAZING and you deserve a whole month dedicated to celebrating you. So, thank you for being awesome.
I had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend. I was treated to Starbucks and Sephora and received an adorable card complete with Luna’s hand and footprint.
We had brunch at my Mom-in-laws with the whole family and spent the afternoon at the park with the dogs.
Tonight, I got to Skype with the world’s best Mom. (Love you Mom!) Then, I rocked my baby girl to sleep. I couldn’t ask for a better time.
Happy Mother’s Day and thank you all for the many sweet comments and messages today!
We celebrated Easter today by having some family and friends over for brunch. My friends Sara is in town from Nebraska, staying with us and helped me cook and get everything ready for our guests. It was a potluck brunch with a crepe bar, a crazy amount of toppings, salmon, monkey bread, fruit salad, bagels, cookies, coffee and mimosas. It was sooooooo good, like so good I don’t even regret the extra 8,000 calories I consumed.
I really enjoy having people over and hosting parties. It’s the same feeling I got when planning a new theme in my classroom. I get to plan out the menu, decorate, coordinate everything, send out invites and basically have everything under my control. (mwahahaha)
After the brunch half of us drove to one of the local parks for a 3 mile walk. Our weather has been unbelievable this weekend! It finally feels like spring and I am loving it! It was so sunny we actually had to use sunscreen. Okay, I didn’t actually use sunscreen, but other people did… same thing.
Then, because we are badasses we all worked out together. Of course, we mostly did this because our friend Bella is a machine, workouts more than anyone I know and looks like a superhero, so when she asks us to workout with her we always say yes. You don’t tell superhero’s no.
Easter day ended with another phenomenal home cooked meal by Sara, a Disney movie, some hair-chalking (more on that soon!) and tummy time with my favorite girl!
Yesterday was Belle’s 8th Birthday! I can’t believe I’ve had her for 8 years, or that she’s 56 in dog years. She’s still super energetic and drives us just as crazy as she did 8 years ago. We were too busy having a lazy day yesterday to celebrate so we had a “Belle Day” today instead.
First, we took her to Petsmart to have a little puppy shopping spree. Of course, she mostly barked at other dogs and begged us to hold her.
Then, we took her to Sonic to have her very own ice cream cone. We never give her table food, but we know she loves ice cream thanks to my parents. While we were living in Albania for a year, Belle lived with her Grandparents in Texas, where she was slightly spoiled…and gained a few pounds.
We ended the day at the park because her favorite thing (besides chasing sticks) is going for walks with the family.
I think Belle had a perfect Birthday, she even got what she wanted most…to have the cat locked out of the house.
So, it finally happened. I had my first real pregnant panic attack last night. I didn’t sleep a wink and ended up getting a 24-hour (hopefully) stomach flu today. It has not been a fun day. It’s especially frustrating when I have SO many things to do and I barely managed to take a shower today. Boo.
Instead of going outside, or anywhere for that matter, I spent a tiny bit of my awake time today editing photos and thinking about the beautiful day we spent outside in Pittsburgh. It may have been a bit chilly, but it was sunny and beautiful.
Good times… hopefully I feel more normal tomorrow.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am going to try to spend as much time as possible in Central Park. I am happy to say, I have been doing a fine job with this plan. Today is rainy and dreary, but prior to now we have actually had some beautiful spring days. Over the weekend I had two picnics in the park, and was able to lay in the grass and soak up everything that makes Central Park so perfect.
The various colored tulips, the bright pink cherry blossoms and the fragrant magnolia blooms are almost overwhelming. Everywhere I looked there were people gazing at the them, photographing them or even painting them. The few weeks when all the tulips are in bloom are similar to the Autumn weeks when all the leaves are orange, red and yellow. It’s so beautiful, short-lived and you can’t help but feel lucky to witness it.
After we ate our sandwiches, we spent lots of time people watching. There were numerous brides taking portraits, families playing frisbee, and thousands upon thousands of tourists. Tons of tourist means tons of tourist traps. Around every bend was a performer. Sunday in the park consisted of accordion players, artists, singers, dancers, bubble makers, food vendors and masseuse.
We were really enjoying our time in the park, but Belle was having the best time. Anytime we take her to the park she is so full of energy and excitement that it seems she will explode with happiness at any moment. She barks, runs, jumps and chases every stick and child in sight. Everyone thinks she is the most adorable thing ever when they see her running and fetching sticks. I never understood why, but Zoey just pointed out to me that New York dogs do not play with sticks. Interesting…
6 weeks left to enjoy this beautiful park! I love New York! Hopefully, I will be able to find this much beauty and relaxation in my new backyard.