Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For the love of my life

I know I am extremely late, but I can't let the month of June pass by without wishing my sweet and hubba hubba husband a
Happy Birthday and Happy Father's Day!!  
I can't believe that my first impression that I had of him still stands true even more today, that he is the nicest person to everyone he meets and he is simply just a babe.
He treats me so well and does so much for me.  A few things that are on my mind since being in New York are that he does the laundry.  He goes down into the semi scary basement and gets all our clothes clean.
He already works so hard, but goes out of his way without complaint to do that.
Another thing that is tricky here is grocery shopping.  It's very hard to take kids because the isles are too small to almost fit a normal size person, let alone a stroller with two children.
He walks to Westside Market and carries all of the groceries home.
He is the BEST daddy and sometimes I think he should be the one at home with his endless patience and amazing way of interacting with the girls.  No matter how busy he is, time with his girls is most important.
And this made me cry.  At his mid-summer review when they asked him what the firm could do differently to make things better, Adam said, "It would be nice if you would include the spouses in a few of the summer activities."  I was so touched that he not only thought of that, but that he said it to a head honcho partner at the firm.
He's always looking out for his wife, I love you babe.
We were extremely lucky to spend Father's Day evening with one of my favorite families...The Moss Family! Sarah is one of my best friends from college and we lived together three different times and came to New York when we were single.  We have not hung out since our second babies were born due to living thousands of miles apart, and we have not stopped laughing since being back around each other.  
Not only did we enjoy tons of laughs that Sunday evening, but Sarah made an incredible meal with salmon, ribs, feta and strawberry salad, mashed potatoes and just look at that appetizer.  We all downed two plates worth of those little delights.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top picks for kids in New York

Worried about what to do with kids while in New York?  Here are a few of my 4 year olds favorite pics!

FAO Schwartz floor piano
Yes, the piano that was in the movie BIG in the 80's is still at FAO Schwartz for anyone's enjoyment.  Caroline and Olive ran up and down the piano for about 30 minutes.  We tapped out Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and enjoyed watching the keys light up as we played.

The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater
This quaint little cottage is tucked away in Central Park and is a must do with children.  The puppets are made of wood and painted, just like Pinnochio.  All of the children that we went with are dying to go back.

The Highline Park and Rainbow City
This park was originally train tracks built running through the city and above the street that were used to keep freight trains off the street.  They have turned the tracks into an incredible park with views of many different West Side neighborhoods.  Rainbow City was at the end of the park and it is a colorful bouncy land for kids.  

Belvedere Castle in Central Park
Another fun place to explore and it's free.  The views from the balconies are beautiful, and it's a definite bonus for little girls when Angelina Ballerina is there to chat with you about how to do a perfect arabesque.
Caroline wasn't the only one excited to see Angelina.  It is so enjoyable seeing what interests and excites little Olive.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Alice's Tea Cup

Birthdays are a big deal at our house.  I have always loved birthdays and think a birthday should be a day full of celebrating.  Although we already celebrated Caroline's birthday in Salt Lake with family at her jewel party, we did some celebrating here in New York!

Alice's Tea Cup was a fanciful little place to begin the day.  We arrived right when it opened at 8 a.m. so that Adam could be there to enjoy Caroline's birthday breakfast.  As we walked in, we were greeted with the sight and smell of hot varieties of scones, fresh out of the oven with steam coming off of them.   
Caroline announced that she was turning 4 and the darling hostess asked if she would like some fairy dust sprinkled on her.  Caroline clenched her hands tightly together and scrunched her eyes shut as she made her wish while fairy dust fell on her head.

Next, she picked some butterfly wings to wear while she dined, and she also picked some for Olive. 
She was amazed that her hot chocolate had heart sprinkles in it, and that they "disappeared".  She was certain that her fairy dust made the hearts do that magic :)  She loved drinking out of such a fancy did I.  We enjoyed blueberry pancakes, waffles with fresh berries, but the thing that will have me going back again are the scones.  The savory cinnamon chocolate scone was perfection.  I was not a scone lover before these.  They have never really done anything for me, but now I can't wait to try all of their varieties!
I had the Christmas Brew herbal tea and it was delicious.  Pineapple, orange peel, papaya, hibiscus...and more.  I think it converted me from being a habitual hot chocolate drinker, to an herbal tea consumer.  I have tried to make a healthier choice than hot chocolate to get warm in the winter, but I have not enjoyed tea.
I think I could drink anything that came out of a darling little teapot like this though!
Before we left, Caroline enjoyed looking at a detailed and colorful pop-up Alice in Wonderland book.   She assigned us all our Halloween characters before we left as well.  

Daddy had to go off to work and we headed to the Central Park Zoo.  The walk there in the 80 degree, non humid weather, was so enjoyable.  We loved spending time at the Bethesda Fountain and walking down the Mall in the park.  
Caroline has such a zest for life, she has a heart that is always open to loving and helping others, lately she has made me cry almost everyday because I can't believe she is ours.
Happy Birthday Sweet Caroline!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Soul Daddy

A couple of weeks ago we met up with some of our friends for a fun night out.  We went to South Street Seaport and ate at Soul Daddy.  It was the winner of the show 'America's Next Great Restaurant', which I had never seen, and the Stringhams wanted to check it out.  The food was good, but nothing that I have to tell everyone that they have got to try.  I did enjoy the cornbread waffles with honey butter and could have ordered a few more orders of those.
I think that the after dinner entertainment was my favorite part.  We walked on the pier and saw the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the beautiful East River.  Salsa music was blaring and the kids couldn't help but try out all of their moves, even some break dancing.  I wouldn't mind going back soon to check out all of the fun shops and the imagination playground.

On our way home we walked by one of the new World Trade Centers.  It has gone up fast, just over the past two years.  It is still such a solemn place to pass by even among the hustle of the city.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dear New York thief,
Please don't target mothers with children anymore, or anyone for that matter.  When you steal someone's phone they feel defeated for a bit and it leaves a bad taste of NY in their mouth.

Dear Greenwich Village,
Thank you for the wonderful date night and romantic August restaurant.  The rhubarb crumble and ginger, coconut, and pistachio gelati was perfection.

Dear mice that live in the apartment building,
Please, please don't visit us anymore.  We know you like peanut butter, and just like your friends, you will be caught!

Dear refreshing rain,
Thank you for wiping out the 100 degree weather and humidity.  It has been so nice to walk home without dripping sweat along the way and with a little more spring in my step.

Dear Morningside Heights Ward,
Thank you, thank you for being so welcoming and for being full of so many friends with young children.

Dear ancient, classy old lady,
You really made me smile last night while you walked along the street, slightly hunched, with your drink from Five Guys in one hand and your Anthropologie bag in the other.

Dear Caroline,
My stomach still hurts from laughing when you asked if you could give me a "weddy" (a wedgie).

Dear Olive,
Your 18 month social personality wins over the hearts of such a spectrum of people on the subway.  They can't help but smile and wave and play peek-a-boo back with you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We ventured downtown to Adam's office one Saturday and it was incredible to see the view from his office.  The Chrysler Building is just outside his window.
Here are the CEO's of our household.  They look pretty comfortable among the cement jungle, don't you think?  They run a very tight corporation filled with shadow puppets in the evening, puppet theater, dancing, and Olive runs the shoe department :)
We had no plans after leaving Adam's office, and we ran into a street fair that was phenomenal.  We couldn't stop drooling over all of the good things to eat.  The gyros were, may I say, the best I've had yet.  Fresh pineapple and peach smoothies also were devoured quickly and kept us cool as we walked along in the hot sun.
There were countless shops that I may have been able to get more fun pictures of if we hadn't given Olive a full smoothie to spill all over herself and her white dress :)  
Fire roasted corn on the cob anyone?  Divine!
One thing I am still kicking myself over is the little shop that I browsed through and passed up purchasing anything.  There were tons of smocked girls dresses and I didn't buy ONE.  Ah, I am still dying.  The prices were almost cheaper than a thrift store.  I try to be really smart with what I buy, but I thought way too much about that one and should have bought a bunch.  I now have a quest to find that little shop.  
Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brighton Beach

What a lovely place to be on Memorial Day.  I had no idea that there were so many beaches just a subway ride away in New York.  The ride there was actually half the fun.  Caroline belting (trying hard to not sing at the top of her lungs as we asked her to be a little quieter) Highschool Musical numbers the entire way and Olive looking out the window showing her toothy grin.  Everytime the subway stopped she would giggle and look at me and sign and say excitedly, "More, More!"

We wondered if we were crazy to attempt a beach trip on the holiday, but it turns out there were just enough people there for some very entertaining people watching.  Is a piece of material crisscrossed and barely covering one's body considered a swimsuit?  I am pretty sure here it is, luckily there are tiny waves.  It was a very clean beach, with beautiful soft sand. There were hundreds of seashells which Olive worked so hard to "clean up" and kept trying to throw them all back into the water.

Caroline didn't like the idea of being buried any further than her belly.  She loved that her little legs disappeared.
I don't know if there is anything sweeter than a toddler on the beach.  Watching those chubby little hands dig in the sand and try to grab huge handfuls was priceless.  Seeing her run and run on her sturdy legs up and down the sand with the biggest smile.  Hearing her loud belly laugh when the cold waves caught her little feet.
Brighton Beach is connected to Coney Island.  We were so glad that we decided to soak up the sun and relax at Brighton Beach because as we walked down to Coney Island at the end of our day, it was a madhouse, just a sea of people.

As we walked on the boardwalk, I kept seeing Caroline's eyes following something like a hawk every so often.  After about the third time she said, "Can I have one of those big cotton balls?"  She had been eyeing cotton candy.
As nasty as they are, I couldn't resist such a sweet request for a cotton ball.  
It was fun to take in all of the rides, and shops, and places to eat as we walked at our leisurely pace through the crowd.
Here is the ocean of people that was on the boardwalk.  Even as we were leaving around 4pm, mobs of people were headed off of the subway to go enjoy their Memorial Day bbqs.  
I heart the beach and can't wait to find another great one soon!