Saturday, December 01, 2012

Santaland 2012

There are some awesome Santas around the city, but every year we make it a point to get to Macy's Santaland. We've been every year since Sadie was born. And, we've figured out the system to avoid the insane crowds. We got ready bright and early this morning to beat the crowds and arrived just after Santaland opened. We waited for maybe 15 minutes all that while enjoying the walk through the North Pole. We were taken to our room (there are lots of Santas in Santaland) and waited forever while the family in front of us tried to get the elves to get a perfect picture of their baby girl with Santa for her first Christmas. The elves were surprisingly nice about letting them take their time. Probably because they knew that this family would be buying their photo package. When our turn came, the elves were cordial but knew we weren't giving them any more business given that we came in with our camera (a better one than theirs) and external flashes to take our own photos after they did theirs.  I had no expectations this year given that last year Sadie wouldn't go near Santa unless I was sitting there with her and she could sit on MY lap and Colton is going through a very clingy/separation anxiety phase. They both pleasantly surprised me and actually sat with him. Sadie was pretty stiff the entire time (see pictures). Colton was a bit curious and did fine. No smiles from either of them, but no tears either. Sadie was too shy to tell Santa what she wanted so I told him (she wants a toaster for her kitchen) and she then quickly turned to him and said, "Colton wants blocks!" I'll call the whole experience a smashing success! After Santa, we went to the Virginia puppet show Macy's puts on, walked up through Bryant Park, grabbed some lunch and then headed to Grand Central to catch the subway home. I love New York at this time of year. Everything is so festive. And spirits really are brighter.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Yesterday morning was Colton's one year well check with his pediatrician (whom I adore). Maybe it's just me but does anyone else feel like you are reporting in to the pediatrician as if your child is on loan from them? It's like I'm seeking her approval that I'm doing ok raising my child. As if she is the owner of my child? It's weird and I'm not sure why I feel that way. However, it is always such a wonderful feeling to leave the doctor with a clean bill of health and a reassurance that I'm doing something right. Colton was charming for the most part until the dreaded shots. Sadie has always been such an angel with shots. She hasn't cried for any shots since before she turned two. And even when she was a baby, I don't remember things being all that bad. She cried, but recovered quickly. Colton on the other hand was not having it. And to his credit, he did have to sit through six shots all preceded by a finger prick with a blood draw. The finger prick was more of an annoyance to him. But the shots, oh the shots. It was sad. And I'm usually pretty tough because I know the shots are to protect them. But his little face was so so sad. He screamed - a scream like I have never before heard. And the alligator tears were flowing down his squishy cheeks! The little dot band-aids the nurse kept putting on got rubbed right off. And I came out of it with my own battle wounds (dots of blood) all over my shirt. After the nurse finished ALL SIX shots, I snuggled Colton, gave him his paci and his doggie and he started calming down. Meanwhile the nurse was getting regular size band-aids ready to replace all the others that had fallen off. Every time she came closer to replace a bandaid, he looked at her and wailed. So sad! Colton wouldn't so much as look at the sweet nurse without wailing. After I finally got him dressed, packed in the stroller, rain cover on (it was pouring), stroller down the stairs and a few blocks toward home, he fell fast asleep for almost 2 hours! Sleeping through lunch! That is unheard of from my little short napper and never-miss-a-meal little beefer! I of course spoiled him the rest of the day.

For the record, at one year my little big guy's stats:

Weight: 24lb 1oz (69th percentile)
Height: 30.25 inches (65th percentile)
Head Circumference: 47.5cm (80th percentile)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ice Cream

There was a time a while back when Brett and Sadie would lay on our bed and talk - talk about their day, their hopes and dreams, or really just about anything. It was their thing, their time. It has since evolved. Now, they love to have dessert together.  It's their new thing. I'm generally not invited. And I'm ok with that. Because it's their special time. Last night, they served up ice cream, with milk of course. They sat their chairs off of the carpet ready to watch a General Conference talk (as we try to do most nights). When I looked over, this is what I saw:

Like father, like daughter. I love them.

After Sadie finished her ice cream, she turned and asked me if she could have more. I of course said 'no' especially given the large quantity Brett had served her.  She responded that she was still hungry and then asked, 'Mom, can I have some carrots then?' To which I quickly replied 'Of course!' (I frequently offer vegetables when she tells me she is hungry at times that I think she shouldn't be). She turned around to Brett and enthusiastically said, 'Daddy, mom said that I can have CARROTS!' And then turned to me as she ran in the kitchen and shouted, 'THANKS mom for letting me have carrots!' I love her and her love of vegetables and her ability to be easily pleased.

Speaking of being easily pleased...

A week ago for Family Home Evening, we drew up our Christmas lists as our main activity. My main purpose in doing so was to get Sadie a few more ideas. Whenever anyone would ask her what she wanted for Christmas she would say, 'a princess Barbie.' I'm not opposed to that, but she already has one or two and I think there are a lot of other things that she would enjoy more. So, we looked online for some ideas. She was excited about every. single. one. Brett concluded, 'So pretty much we've learned that Sadie would be happy with anything for Christmas!'

I love my Sadie!

Friday, November 23, 2012

All in a years time

In the past 12 months, Colton...

- Slept a total of 4,859 hours and 16 minutes (that's 1,803 naps or night-time periods of sleep)
- Had 1,909 diapers changed (623 of those being messy)
- Took 120 bottles drinking a total of 3.7 gallons
- Nursed 1,749 times for a total of 347 hours and 41 minutes (and I wonder why I never got anything done)
- Mommy pumped 98 times totaling 14 hours and 58 minutes which produced 3.6 gallons (TMI?)

Note: This is only as accurate as mom, dad and caretakers were diligent. A few chunks of time when mommy worked freelance projects or mommy and daddy went to Paris for 8 days are spottily recorded.

Now that you've read your useless, but fascinating, facts of the day (brought to you courtesy of the BabyConnect app)...

I don't recall time passing this quickly with Sadie, but my oh my has the year just flown by. It seems like yesterday we were bringing Colton home and I was adjusting to life with two. Maybe it seems like yesterday because I am still  trying to adjust to life with two. The second time around it took me about 9 months to get to the point where I felt like I had it more or less together and could get all three of us ready and out the door in a reasonable amount of time. I digress.

Colton is the sweetest little one-year-old. He loves to tackle mommy and give her lots of snuggles. He lights up the minute he sees Sadie. She can get him to giggle like no one else. He knows how to say his nickname 'gugus' as well as 'dada' and occasionally 'mama.' He is working on saying Sadie. Colton loves to play with blocks, give hugs to his stuffed doggie, clap, practice walking, dance and get in to anything and everything he can. His favorite is to work on his newly acquired climbing skill - he climbs on to the big chair then sits back and relaxes with a big grin on his face. He is very ticklish and loves when 'spiders' crawl up his legs all the way to tickle his chest. He is a trooper being dragged all over the city to drop Sadie at school, pick her back up, watch her dance class, run errands with mom, etc. He really is a good little guy and we can't imagine life without him.

In the first year, we have a tradition of monthly photo shoots complete with cupcakes and candles (in the amount of the number of months completed). With Colton we tried to have him debut his new tricks in each monthly photo. Can you tell what he had learned to do each month?

Today we celebrated with our family of four. Colton treated us to an extra hour of sleep this morning. We all greeted him at 7:30 with a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday' followed by his favorite breakfast of yogurt and Trader Joes Os. After a long nap, he awoke to a cake smash shoot. For the past twelve months we've put small cupcakes in front of him for our pictures and have been in close proximity so as to save him from eating them. Today when we set him down and told him to have at it, he didn't even care that it was there. After much prodding and a few tastes given to him by daddy, Colton dove in and didn't look back. Sadie waited patiently for her turn to dive in. Presents, a few hours in Central Park and then back home for dinner, dancing around the apartment to Christmas music and bed. All in all the perfect birthday for a little guy.

And now, what you really care about...

Monday, October 01, 2012

First Day of Preschool

The whole process of figuring out preschool in Manhattan has been a nightmare. None of the options are ideal - too expensive, too long, impossible to get in to...  I had resigned myself to the fact that public Pre-K would be fine and although I'd be sending her essentially one year early to public school AND she'd be there for the full day, she would thrive and it would give me some 1-on-1 time with Colton. So, last March I registered her with the NY Department of Education and put her name in to the lottery for the 3 schools within a reasonable walking distance of our home. I figured she wouldn't get in to our zoned school but every one kept telling me that she would get in somewhere. 'It will all work out!' was what everyone said. Really though, all I wanted was for Sadie to be able to go to preschool for 3 hours a day 3-5 days a week. I mean, it's preschool. Since I'll be sending her to kindergarten at age 4 (the cutoff for NYC Public Schools is December 31), I didn't necessarily want her to be gone all day since it is my last year to spend my days with her and I worked a lot during her first 3 years of life.

Fast forward to June and I see an email come through shortly after midnight (I had just been up with Colton) from the DOE. I of course knew we were to be finding out about Pre-K that week so I opened the email - big mistake! It kindly informed me that Sadie didn't get in to Pre-K and of course, I couldn't sleep after that. I wanted to touch base with all of her other friends to see if they had gotten in somewhere. Anyway, it was a long night and a horrible next day. Most of her friends had gotten in somewhere and I was devastated. It was a lottery based on priorities, so it wasn't as though the DOE was turning down the intellectuality of my child, but I still felt like they were. Anyway, I put her name on wait lists and have been calling and stopping in to her zoned school to try to see if I could get her in (a friend said I was guaranteed to get her in that way). Well, everyone was wrong. It wasn't working out. I have an issue with paying $15,000 - $25,000 for private preschool. Plus private preschool applications begin a year ahead of time. I knew I could probably have scrambled and found a spot at a private preschool, but that wasn't an option. Ugh! Anyway, a friend of mine ended up sending me information for a woman who was starting a preschool alternative in our neighborhood (more or less). I decided to look into it. From the first visit I fell in love with the little school. The cost was much more affordable and quite a good bang for your buck even in rural America. The class size was small (capped at 6) and the flexibility was awesome. Sadie loved it, I loved it and it just seemed right. So, we gave the wait list at the public school another 2 weeks and enrolled Sadie in Little Ducklings beginning today. She has been so excited to start school and I'm excited to see how much she will learn and grow.  Last night we painted her nails and picked out her clothes in preparation for the first day. Watching her makes me remember the butterflies and the excitement of starting school! It only lasted one day, but never fail I picked out my first day of school outfit the night before and felt like a million bucks the next day because I was always wearing a favorite new outfit. Sadie wasn't wearing anyway brand new per se, but she was excited for what she was wearing. We walked up to school today (it's about .9 miles each way) and I stopped her before we went in to the building to snap a first day of school picture. She happily obliged but after giving me a nice pose and smile twice she said she was done and wanted to go inside! I can't believe I have a little preschooler. Where did my baby go? Colton and I hopped across the street to the park after dropping Sadie off and took a quick swing before heading home for a nap.

My cute little preschooler, 6 days shy of turning 4.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rice Cakes!

When it comes to food, Colton is easily satisfied by pretty much any pureed fruit or vegetable. Now that he is getting to the age of self feeding, we are exploring new things that he will eat. The one thing that never fails right now are rice cakes. He LOVES them. The minute he sees me pull out a bag of rice cakes he beams and pants in excitement! You can't get it into his hands fast enough. In an effort to minimize the mess of the rice cake, he kindly obliged and sat in his high chair for this. I could get over his cute little chubby, naked self just lounging with one leg up enjoying his favorite snack!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Morning Light

We got back from Paris yesterday. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but I was ready to see my cute kidlets! I wasn't quite sure how welcoming they would be when we walked in the door. My mom has always told me how I would punish her for a few days after she'd returned from a trip. I figured Sadie might do the same. Surprisingly Sadie was fine - happy to see us and excited to see what Parisian treasures we'd brought her. Colton on the other hand was just confused. Geff and Colton were waiting at the elevator coming down to meet us. To their surprise we stepped off the elevator first. Colton was in his stroller and I of course went right to him. I smiled at him and talked to him. He just stared a BIG BLANK stare. He looked at me, looked back at Geff, then looked back at me, then back at Geff. He did that a few times and then proceeded to just cry! Poor buddy was so incredibly confused! He didn't want me at all. I tried to hold him, he reached out to Geff. Then once inside the apartment he saw Carol, reached out for her and just kept going back and forth trying to figure out who he actually wanted. We had to let him work on it on his own. After we hugged Sadie, we sat on the floor to hand out the gifts we'd brought. Colton slowly but surely warmed back up to us and by the time he went to bed, he was pretty happy to be with any of the four of us. Cute boy!

This morning we were up bright and early (still on Paris time) and Colton is always up early, so we got to spend some good one on one time with him. There is nothing like the morning light shining through on a baby!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Today (according to my iPhone)

After dropping Sadie off at preschool, Colton and I took a more scenic route home along the East River. He napped and then woke up one happy little guy. We stopped and sat at the bench where Brett proposed to me and just hung out for a while before heading home. It was a gorgeous day! I sure love this city and realized today as I sat on our bench, just how many blessings have come from NYC.

This afternoon we spent a few hours at the park playing with Sadie's friend Madeleine, brother Ewan and gaga (her grandma). With so many friends that come and go in the city, it is fun to be able to watch the relationships develop with the longer-term city friends. These two girls are just too cute and sure have grown up so much! They greet each other with a huge hug and kiss. Seriously, how are they old enough to have scooter races? Shouldn't they just be toddling around the park? Madeleine informed me today that her favorite food is Chicken Tikki Masala with rice. They are cultured city girls. I don't think I knew what Tikki Masala was until, well, recently.

On a completely unrelated note: Colton is generally a solid 10-11 hour sleeper. But the past few nights he has woken up multiple times throughout the night fussing. When I go in to check on him (in his temporary make-shift bedroom - the master bathroom), he is up on all fours rocking back and forth trying to figure out how to crawl all the while fussing with his eyes completely closed. I try to put in his paci and let him get back to sleep on his own, but I've found that unless I position him back on his side, he gets back up on hands and knees. I must admit I am cranky when he wakes me up in the middle of the night (and completely exhausted by morning) but I smile every time I see it because it is so cute. I am excited for him to finally get his crawl on so he can sleep better, but then again, he'll be in to everything!

Another unrelated story: Tonight for dinner we had build-your-own Southwest salads with cheese crisps. Brett said, "This meal takes me south of the border! Sadie, where does it take you?" to which she responded, "Salty butter!" She was totally serious and proud of herself thinking she was copying what daddy said. I was a bit confused until I realized that when you don't know what "south of the border" is it can sound a bit like salty butter, something she actually knows!  I love her!