Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will you please make up your mind?!

I have been boasting lately about the wonderful weather we have been having here.  The leaves are starting to change.  The air is cool and brisk.  It's the type of weather that gets me excited to do my hair because I know that it won't go flat the second I step out the door (you ladies know what I'm talking about.)

Well, I probably spoke to soon because the weather lately is beginning to resemble that of the scorching summer and not of the fantastic fall.  It's not completely hot here (not for Tampa standards anyway) but with the humidity, it is a killer! 

I put up my summer clothes a while ago.  I think I might be starting to regret that decision.  At least this week anyway.  At the first glimpse of fall I was eager to get out my sweaters and scarves.  Since I can remember, I have never had the chance to really experience seasons.  In Florida you get warm, hot, and hotter.  When it was 60 degrees in Tampa people got out their Uggs and pea coats.  Yes, we are crazy sometimes, but we took advantage of any cool weather we could get. 

Not only has the weather been warm and humid here, but it has also been rainy.  Normally I don't mind the rain, but when you know that walking outside is your means of transportation, it's not the type of weather you wish for everyday. 

Harlan and I had her gym class yesterday and she also had her Halloween party for her playgroup.  She isn't a big fan of having her rain cover on her stroller (heck, who would like to have a big plastic cover blocking your view of this amazing city?)  I put on the cover as a precaution before we went outside and of course the second we walk outside it isn't raining.  So rather than keeping it on and listening to her whine, I took it off.  After about five minutes without the cover, it starts to sprinkle again! 

Come on weather, make up your mind already!! If you want to rain, please rain consistently, not off and on please? And could you please get rid of this humidity for me?  Thanks.

I think once Harlan gets a little bit older and we don't have to rely on the stroller everywhere we go, I might enjoy the rain better.  We can both go out with our rain coats and rain boots and jump in the puddles together.  Right now, I just find myself dodging them so my stroller wheels are splashing water on everyone walking next to us. 

Good news in on the horizon though.  The weatherman this morning said that this weekend is supposed to be perfect and much more fall-like.  Thank you, weather gods, for listening to my pleas!  I will gladly welcome back the cooler weather and say adios to the warm weather!  Will I be eating those words come this winter?

Here are a few pics of Harlan at class today.  She is getting so big and so strong!  Look at these skills!  Is she a future gymnast or what?!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Everywhere!

Halloween is everywhere around the city.  I am thinking that it is a pretty big holiday around here.  Quite different than Tampa.  I am used to celebrating Halloween one night a year by just having kids come to my door and passing out candy.  Not here.  In fact, I probably won't have anyone come to my door on that night.  Here in the city there are Halloween parties everywhere.  Harlan has a total of four this week!

One thing I will miss from Tampa that we won't do this year is carving a pumpkin.  I loved going to the pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkin only to go home and gut it and carve something scary on it.  And while we are carving we would always cook the pumpkin seeds and eat them while we admired our work.  It's the little things that I miss.  It's just not practical here.  We don't have anywhere to put it and none of our windows face the street. 

This year Harlan is a butterfly.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on something that she probably will want to take off anyways (she is VERY picky about everything these days.)  I had a tutu that I bought her a while back and found some wings and rigged her headband with some pipe cleaners and wha-la, you have a Butterfly Harlan. 

Yesterday was the first of our Halloween parties.  Mommy Poppins had a party at the blurb pop up store in SoHo.  Harlan and I hopped on the train and got there right as it was starting (I wanted to make sure I had room to park my stroller somewhere.)  We walked around took her picture at their photo booth (which I can't wait to see) and munched on some great snacks including these adorable cake Halloween lollipops that Harlan LOVED.  Summer met us there and was such a big help with Harlan. Wed didn't stay long (Harlan was getting fussy,) but we had a great time and loved seeing all of the adorable costumes.

If you are ever bringing kids to the city please check out  Mommy Poppins website.  She posts everything you need to know about getting around with kids in the city!  Her website was a lifesaver when I first moved here and was trying to get involved in things.

We have another Halloween party tomorrow with our playgroup.  I spent all afternoon making some caramel apple oatmeal bars to bring (thank you to Meris for the recipe).  I have tons of apples still left over from our apple picking trip. 

I am really taking everything in this week.  Because it is so different from Tampa, I am in awe of everything.  This holiday isn't just for kids here, it is for everyone!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Weekend for Family

There aren't many weekends where we really don't have any errands to run or chores to get finished.  This weekend was a rarity, but also one of the best.  Because MacKay was gone all last week I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time this weekend with him.  It just so happened that the weather cooperated with our plans, because it was absolutely gorgeous here. 

On Saturday we went to the High Line.  There are so many things in this city that we haven't seen and the High Line was on that list.  It is a park on the West Side that was originally built in the 1930's as a train track to keep the trains off of the streets of Manhattan.  Now the railroad track has been converted into a park that runs above the streets of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.  It has a very natural feeling with tons of great green life.  There is a vendor that sells soup and drinks, but most of the High Line is just a park for you to enjoy the city.  They have great benches set up along the path and even a great movie theater type seating area that allows you to sit and watch the street below. 

Harlan slept most of the time and woke up right before we left.  It was a great chance for MacKay and I to spend time together. 

On Sunday we went to brunch with some of MacKay's co-workers in the East Village.  We had dim sum.  This was the second time I have ever had it (the first was in San Francisco)  Harlan slept most of the time we were there too.  Her new nap schedule has her only napping once a day mid-day, so if we ever so anything around lunch time she is sleeping.  She woke up just in time for the food.  I called yesterday Tantrum Sunday because that is what she did most of the day. 

This week we have several Halloween parties lined up.  This seems to be a big holiday here in NYC.  We can't wait!  Pictures to come.

Friday, October 22, 2010

She's a girl!

Before I even knew I was pregnant, I knew that my child would be bald.  I was bald until the age of two and MacKay was bald as well.  It really didn't bother me and it still doesn't.  I really think bald babies are really cute (I'm not partial or anything.) There are days where I wish Harlan had some hair so I could clip a bow in it, but ultimately, I really don't care. 

When Harlan was first born she would have a headband with a bow on her head all the time.  Almost every picture I have of her she has a matching bow with her outfit.  I loved flower clips (especially the big ones) and bows.  That's one of the best parts of having a girl is getting to dress her up in pretty outfits with matching bows.  I would take her out and everyone would comment on how cute she looked and how much they loved her little bow.  Most of her outfits would be ultra girly (which included a lot of pink and dresses)  Even the clothes I buy her now are somewhat girly. 

Now, I realize sometimes when babies are little it is hard to tell whether they are a boy or girl.  Especially when they have no hair.  So this is partially the reason that I dressed her the way I did.  Every once in a while people would mistake her for a boy but I just got over it.  But, ever since we have been here in the city, I must have at least one person call her a boy.  Like I said, this used to not bother me at all, but now I'm just getting annoyed.

Yesterday Harlan had on a purple outfit and one of the ladies in class asked me if she was a boy or a girl.  Lady, I don't know many moms that would dress her son up in a purple outfit (we are in NYC though, where most anything goes.) The other day the repair man came in the apartment to fix our microwave and Harlan had on some pink pajamas.  The guy kept saying that she was standing like such a big man and "he" was so handsome.  She could be wearing a bow in her hair and some people here would call her a boy.

So my question is, do I correct them or just let it go?  Usually I will try to subtly say "she does this" or "she does that" when they are calling her a him.  But sometimes people don't get it.   As I said before, it used to not bother me, but now I'm really starting to get annoyed.  So how do I fix it?

Aside from Harlan being called a boy this week, we have had a great time.  MacKay just got home today from being gone for work and I am so glad to see him.  Being home all day and night by yourself with a toddler is exhausting. Harlan was happy to see her daddy too.  She ran to meet him at the door.  First thing MacKay said was that she has gotten taller this week.   We have stayed busy this week and have had a class everyday! 

Happy weekend!!
Playing with the scaves at Gymboree.  She is obsessed with these things.

Harlan at Gymboree

Harlan likes to see how many rings she can collect.  She does this with everything.  I call her a hoarder.

At Little Maestros at Kidville (an AMAZING class btw)

She loved the hula hoops.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Me Time

Being a stay at home mom is a lot different than a working mom.  I am now on mom duty 24/7 rather than when I got home from work and on the weekends.  I think both jobs are equally as hard and each has their pros and cons. 

When I decided that I wanted to stay at home with Harlan when we moved up here I was thrilled.  My ultimate goal in life was always to be a stay at home mom.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my job in Tampa.  Being a teacher is an incredible experience and something that I will hopefully get back to one day.  But, being at home with Harlan all day is so much fun.  I get to see her develop and hit her milestones for the first time.  We have developed this amazing bond with one another.  We are best friends. 

Now even though I am loving my new "job,"  it doesn't leave much room for me to be by myself or with my friends without her.  Everyone needs a break every once in a while to regroup and get their energy back.  MacKay has been great letting me do my own thing on the weekends and some nights of the week.  I very rarely ask to go out, but when I do I want to make the most of it.

Last night I went to a wine bar with about 9 other moms.  Because MacKay is gone, my wonderful sister (she will be so happy I mentioned her in this blog) came over to watch Harlan.  I am very fortunate to have this "free" babysitter here in the city and Harlan loves her Aunt "Da" Danni. 

We went to a wonderful wine bar called Sofia that is in midtown east.  It had great appetizers and a vast collection of wines.  The decor is very rustic and intimate.  I had a great time getting to know more people and really letting go of everything and enjoying me. 

As parents, we are always putting our children before ourselves.  As we should.   But every once in a while I think it is so important for every us to get a little time to ourselves. Get out of our "mommy shoes" for a little while and let loose.

Today I put my "shoes" back on and had a blast with my girl.  We had class and then went to the wonderfully renovated playground in Central Park on 76th.  Harlan had a great time running after all of the kids and watching the skateboarders. 

Here are a few pics of Harlan today from our class.  She is loving every second of it there. (P.S. she usually hates things on her head but today she really wanted to wear this hat!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Love of Music

I have always wanted to expose Harlan to music early.  Even before she was born, I would put headphones on my pregnant belly and play music for her.  Her kicks and squirms would get more intense as the music play on my stomach.  As soon as she was able to, she started dancing.  She can hear any kind of music and you will see her bounce up and down.  She loves it!  MacKay will even sing songs for her (her favorite right now for him to sing is "Empire State of mind"  Jay-Z and Alicia Keys) and she sways back and forth with her hands in the air. 

When we first moved here we were invited to start a class called "Rockin with Andy." There are about 8 babies and we rotate apartments every week.  Today was our day to host.  I spent all morning cleaning up everything to make sure that our apartment was presentable when everyone came over.  I actually didn't mind it because the apartment needed a good cleaning anyways and this gave me a good excuse.  

Everyone came over and we had a great time singing and dancing.  Harlan was definitely more comfortable in our apartment.  She usually gets very clingy, but today she was up and around dancing and playing with all of the instruments and toys.  She loves playing the drums (Andy has the cutest drums that look like lollipops that she loves) and with the shakers.

As I watch her dance and watch to the music I sit and wonder if this will lead to anything when she is older.  Will she become a dancer?  If so, what will be her favorite (ballet, tap jazz)?  Will she want to be in chorus?  Or will she dislike it all?  

I love that I can be with her everyday and watch her become the little lady that she is.  She makes me laugh, cry (happy tears) and look at life in a new way.  I love my baby girl! 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we really embraced the fall weather.  Yesterday it was apple picking and today it was a pumpkin patch.  I know I haven't been here for very long, but so far fall is my favorite season yet.  I love all of the fall colors everywhere and the weather is absolutely beautiful.  Living in Tampa most of my life we NEVER saw the leaves change.  The weather doesn't stray from being warm.  In fact, it is probably still hot there now (something I do not miss.) 

One of MacKay's co-workers invited us over to his building for a pumpkin patch in their park.  We jumped at the idea because yesterday we didn't have time to visit the pumpkin patch at Dr. Davies Farm.  At the park their were pumpkins everywhere.  This is one of the first times that Harlan has really seen a pumpkin so she went around the grass touching them all trying to figure them out. 

They had pumpkin painting (which was a little too advanced for her at this age), songs for seeds (a band from the local play place "Appleseeds") cupcakes, cookies, and apple cider.  It was a great place for families.

Harlan had such a fun time that I could hardly keep up with her.  Ever since she has learned to walk she is becoming more and more independent.   She doesn't want to be held or even be in the stroller.  She just wants to walk.  The park was a perfect place for this.  I was chasing after her everywhere.  I felt bad for the couple that invited us, because I couldn't carry on a conversation because I was too busy running after Harlan.  She even got in front of all the kids dancing to the band and started dancing with them.  She definitely isn't shy.  She loves going up to people we just meet and giving them a hug on their legs.  This independence and wanting to hug everyone is something new.  She just started getting really comfortable around others.  It is so sweet seeing her go up to anyone and just giving them a hug.  She loves everyone. 

Harlan got to pick out a pumpkin to bring home and we put it in her room.  It is a baby pumpkin and the perfect size for her to carry around.  Soon I need to get a bigger pumpkin that we can carve and light up.  Maybe I'll even get creative and try to carve something Yo Gabba Gabba for her (I know, that might be going to the extreme.)

It was a great weekend with the family and embracing this wonderful Fall season in the city.