a brief hiatus

Well, I survived my flights with Baby S.  Synopsis in brief?  Not terrible, though far from a picnic.  As in another solar system far, FAR away. 

With Baby S in my Belle carrier, I hauled over-packed suitcase on train to Newark... as I repeatedly told myself Michelle Obama arms were in my future.  Once said over-packed suitcase was out of my hands (take my $25, Continental, fine by me!), I skipped over to the security line, by far my most favorite part of any flying experience.  Off came carrier, jacket, sweater, shoes.  Into my mouth came ticket as I jostled Baby S back and forth.  Why yes, of course, we set off the alarm, though I still have no idea how or why that happened.  A mere 45 minutes later, after we were shuttled in an airport bus to a different terminal (no idea why on that one, either) and switched seats with another passenger so we could have 2 air masks, we sat down.  Baby S promptly fell asleep and I then remembered to breathe.

Actual time off with Baby S was lovely.  We visited Grandpapa & Grandmama K in the deep South and Baby S met her extended family and my childhood friends who have their own families now.  She watched me eat grits.  She got her first mosquito bite.  Azalea bushes make up the backdrop of our photos.  It was nice to be home and introduce the Little One to where some of her roots began.

A quick sidebar: I know that some people think it's beyond crazy that we continue to live in NYC with a baby, but I have to say, leaning over to get your baby in and out of a car seat 25 times a day (yeah, yeah, I'm exaggerating) is beyond exhausting.  Just had to put that out there.

We ended our southern tour in NC at my (gasp) ten year college reunion.  I found it simultaneously bizarre and comforting to walk around with Baby S, as she met some of my oldest friends for the first time.  While the Grandparents K babysat, the weekend itself ticked by faster than I would have liked.  Still, it was great to see everyone and re-connect face to face.  To get up on stage with the band.  To for some still unknown reason order a mimosa at 11pm.  To laugh at each other as only old friends can.

As much as I tried to avoid a tearful goodbye at the airport, it happened yet again.  Was made a bit easier, though, as the Grandparents K nearly forgot to say goodbye to me, they were so upset about leaving Baby S.  I promised not to take it personally.  We headed back to Newark only to (you guessed it) set off the security alarm once again.  This time they padded down Baby S as well.  A suspicious one, that gal.

I dare say Husband was pretty excited to have us home again.  And we were pretty happy, too.

there's an app for that

Disclaimer: I do not consider myself very technical or hip to the latest gadgets out there. I leave that to Husband, whom I sometimes call a geek, but that's usually to cover up the fact that I don't know what he's talking about. I often refer to our laptop as "the machine" and the remote, well, it basically looks new to me every time I use it. You get the idea.

As Baby S' arrival loomed ahead of us last fall, I was in need of a cell phone upgrade. Husband suggested the iPhone and I said why do I need one of those newfangled contraptions. On one of our long "lets urge this baby along" walks, we stopped by the Apple store in the Meatpacking District.

What can I say... I fell in love. From the ipod capability, the Internet at my fingertips, the not too shabby camera, to watching Youtube videos, to (oh yeah) the phone calling, I was head over heels. And my personal favorite? The apps... oooh, the apps. Immediately, I started downloading, and I haven't stopped since. I may soon be entering a 12 step program.

Here are some of my favorites:
iLike (takes your stored music & lists which bands in your collection are performing in your area)
Shazam (can't think of the name or performer singing in the background? turn Shazam on and it will tell you)
Camerabag (example attached: Baby S captured with "Instant") *thanks to my super talented friend Dennis Yuen for turning me on to this one! - takes your photos and changes them for a bunch of different looks & compositions.
NPR (for when I'm feeling smart)
E! (for when I'm feeling dumb)

Baby S also has her favorites:
Peek A Boo (cute little animals & the noises they make)
Bab Bab Lite (kind of bizarre yet mesmerizing "rattle")
Baby Flash Cards (cause it's never too early to work that little brain!)

And my latest app? The iKidNY. Just downloaded for $2.99 this morning. This tool allows you to look up the closest changing tables, indoor/outdoor activities, subway elevators and kid-friendly restaurants, based on your location. Created by Laura Serebrier Paul, a NYC mom who realized a need & went after creating a solution (nice job, Laura!), the tool seems easy to navigate, and I can only imagine will be useful as we're out and about with Baby S on the weekends.

Now, if AT&T could just stop dropping my phone calls...

park it here, part deux

As it turns out, I did not jinx myself... Saturday was a gorgeous day. The Madison Square Park Kids Fest was really pretty cute... we walked around, dodged wandering toddlers with our stroller, saw kids doing the downward dog on yoga mats, and resisted the urge to get our faces painted. If the cotton candy line hadn't been a mile long, I would have been stuffing myself with pink sugary air. Oh well. Baby S was enthralled by all the wee ones, but what caught her attention most were the musical instruments available to play. Lately, she's taken a liking to beating on any flat surface within reach, so not surprisingly, the drum was her favorite. I can only hope a drum set is not in our future.

After a margarita break lunch at Salsa Y Salsa, we headed over to another park on the Hudson River, next door to Chelsea Piers. If you're in to counting piers, it's #62 and #63. Chelsea Cove is brand spankin' new and absolutely beautiful... there are manicured gardens, dense greens down the middle of Pier 63 that make you think, well, that you're not in NYC. Not to mention the lawn... it made me want to kick off my flip flops and do a happy dance (I resisted). I actually saw a child rolling down one of the hilly slopes. I tried not to think of grass stains, but of all the fun he appeared to be having. For all those not inflicted with balance issues, there's a skateboarding/rollerblading park.

And saving the best part for last... there's a carousel! Needless to say, Baby S went on her first ride (on a crawfish, no less). Sure, they made me pay $2 for her (I thought by batting my eyelashes at the guy I'd score a 2 for 1 special... no such luck), but it was well worth the money. Pictures can be found here. Considering the depressing fact that so many parks have recently closed in NY state, I'm just grateful we have access to a pretty fabulous one right here in our neighborhood.

A carousel three blocks away... I'm doing a happy dance.

park it here

With the weather in NYC finally perking up, and the weekend upon us, I am looking forward to venturing outside tomorrow. I am also hoping I didn't just jinx us by writing about the weather... Eek. Sunny skies are expected and I'll be bummed if we have to stay inside. Husband and I plan to check out the Madison Square Park Kids Fest tomorrow morning, and if the line isn't too obscenely long, have lunch at the Shake Shack. Sufficed to say, I am not a vegetarian. I'm also doing a great job of ignoring the fact that I'll be in a bathing suit later this summer.


While Baby S is too little to do any of the actual activities tomorrow (I hear there'll be arts & crafts, face painting & the like), I think it will be good for us to get a little taste of what we're in for in the next few years. Also, she has really taken a liking to other little ones 4 ft tall or shorter; boys in particular. It's all downright adorable until you flash forward to her teenage years. And... suddenly not so funny anymore. Thankfully Husband has some time ahead to perfect a menacing scowl.

I read about the Kids Fest on Mommy Poppins, and I have to say, just looking at this site makes me excited about raising Baby S here in NYC. There is so much to do! I can't wait till she's a bit older to experience things like the Curious George exhibit at The Jewish Museum or Family Game Day in Central Park.

Until then, I'll relish the moments we're in now. It reminds me that as a child, I spent too much time wishing I were an adult, and I think I missed out on a few fun experiences along the way as a result. Staying in the moment, with an eye towards the future, is the way to go. This weekend, we'll practice waving 'bye bye' and clapping, watching her giggle at little boys and the expressions on her face as she tries a new vegetable.

Life is good.

links to love

Honestly, I could sit in front of the computer all day long perusing my favorite blogs and internet sites.

ALL. DAY. LONG.

It's a very good thing, I suppose, that I have a full-time job with a baby at home, else I might be found one day, wearing ratty ol' pajamas, cradling my computer in the fetal position with empty Doritos bags littered around me. Yes, I have a flair for the dramatic...

Here are some of my very favorites:

NYC-related Great parenting resources for local events, activities & kid-friendly restaurants.

New York Metro Parents
Mommy Poppins
MomTrendsNYC
StollerTrafficNYC
Babybites
Macaroni Kid
MiniMunchers
Parentville

Party-planning Because I like to throw back in style, what can I say. And I heart me some Martha.
The TomKat Studio
Hostess with the Mostess
Couture Parties
Party Perfect
Oh Happy Day

Crafty/Design-folks I'm a wannabe designer who struggles with vision. This is a rather significant problem. These folks come by it naturally AND with ideas to share.
Making it Lovely
Design Mom
Soulemama
Ohdeedoh (specifically for kids)

The latest & greatest children's products/clothes/toys/giveaways These ladies are on the forefront of what's fun & trendy. Enter the giveaways - you never know!
My Mom Shops
A Few Of My Favorite Things
The Next Kid Thing
CupcakeMag/Sprinkles

Motherhood & all its glory Need I say anything more?
Rookie Moms
Frugal Mama
KludgyMom

Just all-around FAB Period.

i'll have the pureed zucchini, please

In short, Baby S is not taking to solid food. I'll leave the less-than-thrilling details out, but sufficed to say, she's not a fan. At all. And we have the stains to prove it. The general advice, after checking the Internet and talking to family/friends and anyone who will listen seems to be "try, try again." Ugh... though nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose? We'll keep foraging on, with images of a pea-covered-Baby S dancing in our heads. We'll need those photos to embarrass her with when she's a teenager, of course.

When we DO finally convince her that the world of semi-adult food isn't all that terrible, I want to try out GustOrganics, an organic restaurant here in NYC. Not because I'm all that healthy a consumer (let's face it, after a less-than-pleasant Baby S throwing up experience on Saturday, Husband and I felt we deserved Lucky's Famous Burgers for dinner).

No, on this dining out occasion with Baby S, we'll be ordering her baby food off the menu. That's right, off the menu. And it won't be in a jar, either. There's baked squash. Tenderloin beef puree. Macaroni. Lest we forget dessert, there's Banana & Dulche de Leche. All made with 100% USDA certified organic ingredients (and they deliver, too). That last little nugget officially falls under the category: Why Didn't I Think of it First? You can find the detailed menu here.

I can't imagine this would be a weekly outing (it's rather expensive & the word 'messy' comes to mind), but I do think it would be fun to try once. After all, Baby S does get quite curious when we're in a restaurant and she sees us eating. I think this time I'll be the one curious about her food...

life in mommywood

Okay, I admit it. I've been known to watch a little reality TV. I have a hard time airing this dirty laundry, as the whole idea of reality television seems to spit in the face of the creative process, which I hate. Can watching people go about their day-to-day lives really be all that interesting? Well, yes, if your name is Snookie or Spencer, Omarosa or Kate. Or you're a Mormon with 19 children.

For the record: I haven't seen a single episode of Jersey Shore and the amount of Duggar kids makes my head hurt.

I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that makes some reality TV appealing to me, but there you have it. I guess we all have a curiosity about how others live? Who knows... but if there's a "16 and Pregnant" marathon on MTV, Husband has to pry the remote out of my hands.

This is all a build up for my full admission that YES, I watch "Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood." And I like it. I can't help myself... which is why I was really excited to be invited to a "Tweet & Greet" with Tori & Dean at the offices of
Oxygen on Monday afternoon. We watched the premiere episode of Season 5 (which aired Monday night) and afterwards, the couple came by for a brief chat about the show. I have to say, since you're never quite sure how much "reality" is actually REAL, I was happy to see that they both seemed like normal people, and more importantly, it seemed obvious to me that they absolutely adore their kids, Liam and Stella. Tori is no question a hard worker... between the show, various acting jobs, her jewelry line on HSN, author to several books (including an upcoming children's book called Presenting... Tallulah), girlfriend has got a lot on her plate. Maybe that's what I like about her. And she's funny! The two of them seem to have a pretty solid relationship (for Hollywood standards, of course), although this season there appears to be a bit of drama in that department. But judging from their talk with us on Monday, they seem like just another couple who understand the importance of communication, especially after having children.

Tori seems to have done something interesting with the show... she's made herself
relatable. Her life (& bank account) could not be further from mine, and yet I feel like we could enjoy a glass of wine and conversation about our kids any day of the week. So with that said, and with full disclosure... I'm looking forward to this season of Tori & Dean.

(Please excuse the unclear/grainy photo I took of them...)

3 days

I've decided that having a long weekend is a blessing and a curse... I loved having the bonus time with Baby S, yet having Friday off made it that much harder to leave her today. Difficult to articulate. It was a great weekend, though, so dwelling on any existing funk will get me all of nowhere...

Just needed a moment to pout, I think.
I'll refrain from making the sad face emoticon here. You can thank me later.

On Friday, we checked out a baby exercise/music class nearby at Chelsea Studios, led by Dionne Kamara. I was a tad skeptical, but Nanny A had taken her a couple weeks ago and raved about the class, so I didn't want to miss out on the fun.

A couple quick observations:

When I entered the room and saw everyone in their bare feet, I took a moment to thank myself for that much-needed pedicure I got last weekend.

Baby S and I sat between two little cuties named Brody and Jagger. I tried not to think of The Hills and tight leather pants.

The class basically consisted of a few dances, sing-a-longs, tummy time/baby massage and a little tambourine shaking. It was hilarious watching the other babies react to each other and to the parents/caregivers dancing around with them. Honestly, if I hadn't had a baby on my hip I would have been mortified by all the parental dancing going on, including my own. Whew. Dodged a bullet there.

Dionne was really a treat... very mellow, and at the same time, a great leader. You can tell she really believes in what she does and loves every minute of it. I could have done without the floor length mirror reminding me of that extra 15 ten pounds I need to lose, but all things considered, Baby S and I had a great time.

Yesterday, Baby S got a pretty awesome Easter basket, which I enjoyed filling up the day before. Husband is a little bummed I didn't include those egg-shaped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but we're working past it. We ventured out to a community Easter egg hunt at the General Theological Seminary, which is a few blocks away from our apartment. Their grounds are absolutely lovely and truly made for an egg hunt. We went for a photo op and to give Baby S some pointers for next year. She'll be on her A game by then, I have no doubt.

in the spirit of spring...

... and warmer weather coming (it is coming, right?) I felt compelled to play around with a fresh blog background, thanks to the new & improved template designer on Blogger, which you read more about here.  You like?  What can I say, it makes me smile.

Switching gears (though the smile remains), I just watched the trailer for "Babies," a new documentary which profiles four little ones in the first year of their lives, in four very different locations: Namibia, Japan, Mongolia and the United States (check it out here).  Okay, so I burst into tears twice while watching.  What can I say, I'm a new mom, babies make me happy.  Prepare yourself for perma-grin.

I've found conflicting release date information on the web... appears it will be in theaters by the middle of next month, at any rate.




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