this & that

Grandmama & Granddaddy K are in town for a visit to see me, Husband & Baby S.  Nanny A has the rest of the week off, so G&G K reported for duty at about 8:15am this morning.  After running down the list of "she likes this" & "don't let her touch that," Husband & I headed off to work.  My mom would be raring to go as soon as she had her coffee and my dad just looked slightly bewildered.  Sufficed to say, they are in for a different experience than the last time they saw Baby S, as she was not yet crawling then (or exploring every nook & cranny of our apartment on a daily basis).  Side note: sometimes living in a small space has its advantages.

Their plan for the day involves going to visit a couple of our neighborhood parks, hitting Chelsea Market for lunch and walking on the Highline.  Not a bad day at all... and if G&G K get turned around, it's a good thing they're hanging out with a local.

t - 2 months & counting...

Actually, less than 2 months.  Oh, sugar.  Baby S turns one in mid-October.  This opens the flood gates of many an emotion... starting with the obvious- I cannot get over how much she's grown, and how quickly!  The most cliche line in the book is 100% true.  Babies really do change overnight.  I am loving watching her grow before my eyes, discovering and reacting to everything under the sun.  Yet I look back to photos of her first few months and want to cry, immediately missing that tiny little life.

How motherhood can simultaneously empower you and bring you to your knees, I'll never know.

Her first birthday also means that I will soon reach my one year blogging anniversary.  Wow.  As I've said before, I'm immensely grateful that this little bit of space on the internet provides me with a creative outlet and a voice amongst all the other "mommy" bloggers out there.  To celebrate my one year anniversary, I'll soon be unveiling a fresh new look for my blog, with a fun addition I'll be sharing more about later.  I hope Baby Meets City is around for a long time to come and I'm excited for what the future holds.

So... birthdays.  A first birthday.  My mother tells me mine took place in our family kitchen, involving me, a high chair and my chubby little fingers going after my first piece of cake (I have a thing for sweets, what can I say).  We're currently trying to decide what to do for Baby S.  We'd like to gather friends and celebrate, but if we have it at our apartment, well, we can have about 3 people.  Husband suggested pulling out furniture like we did at a Christmas get together years ago.  If you remember the party scene in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" - that was our little affair, minus the cat.  I remind him that a one year old birthday party is not exactly the same sort of event.

A nearby park is the best idea in terms of space and affordability, but then weather is a concern.  That seems to be the #1 idea at this point, I just need to have a pretty good rain plan in place.  I've already spent way too much time on Etsy scouring cupcake holders and birthday banners.  There is some seriously cute stuff out there.  As I continue researching, I would welcome any ideas... to be continued!

from india to alabama

I ventured out on Saturday for a little "me" time with friends, not before reminding Husband of a dozen things that he and Baby S could do together while I was gone.  You know, go to the swings at our neighborhood park, play with her stacking cups, have a snack, etc. etc.  He gave me one of those "what am I, new?" looks and I quickly scooted out the door.  I'm not sure where the compulsion to share the obvious comes from, because I know HE knows everything & more already... and yet I can't help myself.  Go figure.

I haven't stood in line for a movie in years, yet stand we did for "Eat Pray Love."  And I'll just quickly say that I loved every minute.  A little long - yes.  A little self-indulgent - yes.  But who cares.  Elizabeth Gilbert's book (which every woman I know, for the most part, has read) is about her journey to find her true, authentic self.  One not defined by a man or a relationship or a job.  I'm no movie critic, but I felt like the film was a surprisingly good adaptation of her story.  I've always been a Julia Roberts fan (hands down my favorite celeb sighting in NYC) so it was great to see her on the big screen again.  The movie is a beautifully shot travelogue... in Italy, she finds her zest for life again; love of food, friends & culture.  In India, she searches for spiritual fulfillment, meets a man who talks in "bumper stickers" & realizes God wasn't so far away after all.  In Bali, she finds a love that completes her but doesn't take away from who she has become as an individual. 

Walking out of the movie, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go eat a big bowl of pasta or buy a yoga mat, and yet I can say I was completely entertained.  Afterwards, we headed out to a local bar to celebrate a friend's birthday.  Husband & Baby S met us, then Husband left a bit later to see a movie himself (not "Eat Pray Love," surprisingly).  Baby S was her usual social butterfly self, and I was once again thankful for her laid back 10 months old personality and willingness to let anyone hold her. 

Speaking of movies, I couldn't help but think of that great American classic "Sweet Home Alabama," (okay, I'm stretching a little bit here...) featuring another favorite of mine, Reese Witherspoon.  If you know this movie, you know the famous line when Reese returns to her small Alabama town to see a friend of hers from high school:  "You have a baby... in a bar."  Ah, classic.  And yes, I did. 

From my new-ish experience as a parent in NYC, this appears to be a rather common occurance.  Granted, I'm not taking her to Hogs & Heifers or a nine-course dinner at Daniel.  We go out to family-friendly neighborhood restaurants, for the most part, and we are rarely the only ones with a stroller.  We come prepared with bottles, toys and Iphone baby apps.  While a babysitter is certainly nice every once in a while, as busy, working parents, we want to see her as much as we possibly can when we're off (with the exception of rare-ish "me" time).  Needless to say, though, Baby S and I were home way before the sun went down, nearly having a stroller showdown with a couple and their baby entering the restaurant as we were leaving.  Apparently they had the same idea.

All in all, the day was the perfect blend of friends & family.  And really, who could ask for more than that?

a midwest mini-break

We boarded a plane last Friday morning bound for Wisconsin, home of Husband; land of cheese and beer.  Baby S is a pro at flying these days... this was her 5th trip in 10 months of life.  Is it too early to sign her up for frequent flier miles?  And not to pat my own back or anything (okay, yes, I'm patting my back) we seem to have gotten the whole airport-maneuvering-with-baby thing down pretty well.  I mean, I didn't see ONE person in line at security roll their eyes or glare in our direction.  Hurray for small victories.  Other than my bra buzzing for the umpteenth time (and subsequent pat down by female security... good times) it was as smooth as can be. 
A sweet pair

Upon arriving, we made a bee line for frozen custard at Kopp's (a must-do the next time you happen to find yourself in Milwaukee) and headed out to Baby S' great-grandma's house.  It is truly special to see the Little One with our own parents, but with her great-grandma?  Makes me weepy.  

Hustisford, WI
Husband's grandmother lives in the kind of small town where "downtown" is one street and looking both ways is optional.  We are talking quaint with a capital Q and this city slicker always loves being there.  Arriving on a Friday afternoon meant that, of course, we'd head downtown to the local watering hole for a fish fry (Baby S' first, I must note).  Missing a Friday night fish fry in Wisconsin is downright sacrilege and it's a good thing everyone in town was there because I wouldn't want to see the consequences otherwise.

The next afternoon, we said goodbye to great-grandma (this was a "short and sweet" wknd) and headed down to Chicago for a visit with Husband's brother & girlfriend.  I always like Chicago.  However, Husband enjoys pointing out that I've never been there during the winter.  A valid point.  I can barely fathom the cold here, I can't imagine what January is like in the Windy City. 

Ignoring a lonely leopard
On Sunday, Baby S made her first trip to the zoo at Lincoln Park.  I'll be honest, I thought she would get more out of it than just a few photo ops for Mummy and Daddy.  Other than the monkeys and a lone rhino, she wasn't all that impressed.  That being said, it was still fun checking out the park, hanging out with Husband's family and stopping for ice cream along the way.  By Monday night, with Baby S dressed in a Green Bay Packers cheerleading uniform, we were back in NYC again.  Safe and sound.

Happy Friday, one and all.

Side note: such a bummer to miss Blogher.  Unfortunately, the timing of our trip coincided with this "major" (to quote Rachel Zoe) women's blogging event.  I missed out on meeting some favorite bloggers that I secretly stalk love from afar, learning all sorts of useful info (that I'll now have to dig for on the web) and a party on the rooftop of Martha Stewart's offices.  The gods are against me.  Sigh.  OR - maybe we're just TOO popular with TOO much packed into our social calendar, that we just can't choose between everything.  Yeah.  I'll stick with that one.

M.O.L.

Mummy. of. Leisure. That was me last Wednesday. Nanny A had a couple appointments scheduled, so I stayed home with Baby S. Unsurprisingly, no arms were twisted in the decision-making process, especially since I was still pretty tired from the previous week's trip. And before you think there was a typo, I should mention that I do at random refer to myself as "mummy," often whilst dreaming of rolling English countryside & Mark Darcy. Am a bit of an Anglophile. Different story altogether.

These days, my maternity leave seems like a far off memory, so I'd kind of forgotten how it is to be off during the week. Kinda nice, I have to say. I made coffee and opted not to make the bed. While Baby S napped, I watched as much of The View as I could stand (about 10 minutes). We ventured to the grocery store and I was thrilled to have the place basically to myself. No squeezing past too-big-carts in too-small-aisles amidst the after-work crowd. Refreshing. Down side to being home during the week? I snapped my fingers and it was 2pm. Now that is just wholly UNFAIR and I would like to figure out a way to have that happen while at work. If someone could get back to me with an answer, I'd be much appreciative...

In the afternoon, we strolled through Chelsea and the West Village to visit Husband at work. We passed by a park, and I watched actual MOLs sipping iced coffee, pushing their kids on the swings. I got a little teary, blamed it on hormones and tried not to be envious. At day's end, however, I realized yet again how being a mom is a full time job in itself, with not a whole lot of leisure involved. In a way, I was lucky to have my "bonus" day... to just have fun with Baby S and not worry too much about the daily tasks surrounding me. There was plenty to do, mind you, I just did a pretty fantastic job of ignoring the dishes and dirty clothes basket. There would be time for that the next day, and the next, when I would go back to balancing it all.

No, this day was a unique & special one. I was a M.O.L.

live like eloise for a night...

I spent the night at the Plaza Hotel once. It was during the "early years" of my adventure here in NYC (translation: I was footloose & stroller-free). I worked for the CBS News magazine show 48 Hours, and one evening, during a show "crash" (i.e., breaking news coverage) there was a major snowstorm threat.  This may come as a surprise, but when it snows here, people get very nervous.  As a result, the show blocked a group of rooms at the Plaza for those who wouldn't be able to get home due to icy conditions (money flowed a bit more freely in those days).  Long story short, the storm that could, did not, and suddenly there were rooms at the Plaza up for grabs.  Needless to say, I volunteered my services.  23 years old and spending the bulk of my paycheck on rent, I fully enjoyed my night of luxury.

To me, the Plaza represents the glitz and glam of a different era; classic NYC at its finest.  The hotel has been the setting of many a movie (I'm thinking "The Way We Were" and "Barefoot in the Park" - Robert Redford coincidence? I think not.) and in literary circles, home to the oh so famous children's storybook character, Eloise.  

Photo credit: The Plaza
Now, for the bargain price of $995/night, you too can stay on the "tippy top floor" of the Plaza, in a suite dedicated to the precocious 6 yr old.  Designed by fashion designer Betsey Johnson, the space is decorated in pink and black.  A zebra-print carpet covers the floor and the king-size bed has custom-designed bedding depicting images of Eloise.  Her name is in neon lights above the bed.  Taking it a step further, petticoats and tutus hang in the closet (an homage to Eloise's love of dressing up).  Original prints by Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight hang on the walls.

It's all perfectly adorable, isn't it?  Except for that jaw-dropping price tag.  Suppose that's the down side to all that glitz and glam I referenced above.

Only in New York, folks!  

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