Tuesday, June 25, 2013

grandiose plans and sock trust issues

Hello again!

Sorry I disappeared again. I'm guessing you understand since you know that we will be moving soon and have been trying to get things done while entertaining two little kids. Want to know how that's going? (a clue: it doesn't work!). I had all sorts of great and gradiose plans for myself and the kids this summer. We were going to do different "themes" every day of the week. We were going to be visiting the library and museums and swimming and let the breeze gently ruffle our perfectly coiffed hair. None of that is happening. Especially not the coiff. Honestly we have just been trying to recover from being sick (that flu hung around for a long time!), and my health has still been not so great (my Mom always said that your body starts going down hill after thirty, and she wasn't kidding), and I have been stressed and exhausted about the new house and moving and trying to figure out things that we might want to fix before moving in. All that to say...I'm a tired stresser that has been sick on the couch with sick kids (Grant and the croup were trying to kill me. I forgot how much I hate being sleep deprived!!) and it has been survival mode all around.

Also added to the list is a new calling in church. For those not-Mormons among us, we don't have paid clergy in the Mormon faith--it is volunteer and those positions are called callings. Anyway, I was called as the Second Counselor in the Relief Society (or Woman's program). This is quite a big responsibility to add to the stack, especially since both the newly called President and First Counselor are both going to be gone for almost the entire month of July for vacation. Hold me.

But, the good news is that everything seems to be on target for the house closing in the middle of July (woo hoo!!), and with my new calling has also come new friendships. I'm looking forward to working our way through the next month and being safely settled on the other side. (but boy howdy wouldn't it be nice if I could just fast forward through the month and be on the other side). I'm such a wimp. :)

p.s. Had to add this funny story to the blog post. Today I had the following conversation with Maddy.

Me: Maddy, why don't you ever wear socks?? Your feet are always freezing!
Maddy: Well, I don't really know. I guess it's basically because I just don't trust socks.

I laughed and laughed and laughed and she looked startled at first as to why I would find that funny, but then she just laughed with me. I LOVE her.

 (below I bring you "Scenes of Summer") Next up on the need to blog list is Maddy's fantabulous birthday. I know the grannies and uncles/aunts will love and/or tolerate that post at least.

(i told her to never wake me up wearing that thing.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

New York City and a bunch of Savages

What a week we had! We got back from a crazy fun trip to New York yesterday. We managed to slip home on one of the few flights that weren't cancelled coming into the Charlotte airport due to storms. Anyway, I wanted to jot down my trip highlights while they are fresh. I am going to try and keep the commentary short because there are a BUNCH of photos. Consider that fair warning. :) Also, nothing is in order because life is too short to have your blog posts make sense.  Above is Madsy posing with the first fake statue of liberty I could find in JFK airport.

That girl with the stroller is me. I should take all photos from that far away with huge letters. It makes me look super skinny. We were waiting for the Staten Island Ferry to get a look at the Statue of Liberty which is closed due to Super Storm Sandy damage.
ha told you these were out of order! ha! The kids actually did pretty great traveling
especially considering the sheer amount of luggage we had to drag along for everyone (we still use a pack n play for Grant so he doesn't climb out of bed in the middle of the night in a strange house and wander the halls like some sort of baby ghost)
When we finally showed up the Aunts took us out for a dinner at one of their favorite local restaurants (local as in two blocks away on the corner). The waiter saw them and looked around sort of confused and said, "Wait, is it Tuesday already?" I think they might be the Norm (from Cheers) of this place. Tuesday night is Trivia night and they are pretty fierce competition though they lamented their lack of pop culture knowledge. The Aunts were SO generous and sweet to us for the entire trip. The entire trip was in fact funded by the Aunts who wanted to meet their great-nephew and great-niece and the timing was important because one of the Aunt's health is not great right now. She has already started a round of chemo and we wanted to get out to see her before it got too intense. She was amazingly upbeat and positive, a great role model of optimism!
The Aunts also took us around to a few sights. They went to see the Statue of Liberty with us.

G waiting patiently for the ferry (darn that binky, we need to buckle down and really get rid of that thing for REAL this time)
me and Johnny boy
the irony: the older kid was dying to sit in the stroller, the younger one was dying to be let loose.
little did we know that the crankiness of both kids on this day was a portent of things to come
fell asleep after the excitement of seeing the statue of liberty

Here they are checking things out. Grant LOVED being on the ferry. He was fascinated

I love this one. Miss M contemplating Lady Liberty with her striped shirt (a happy accident ha)

after statue time was lunch. We finally made it back to a restaurant that John has only been raving over since we got married (he lived with his Aunt Toni for a summer to work for her and her software and support company). The name was Les Halles. He raved over the french onion soup as being transcendental. I have literally heard about this soup for over 8 years. I told him he had built it up in his memory. He assured me he hadn't. (oh and above was Aunt Toni's order of Escargot. Which I tried for the first time. It was actually pretty good!)

Anyway, back to the soup. I documented every moment because...like I said, 8 years is a long time to hear about a bowl of soup

I call this shot, "my tongue is being transcendentalized"
turns out it was as good as he remembered. worth the trip right there

so the next day...(or should I say that night and into the next day) the kids had crazy high fevers, Maddy threw up, and they were cranky and just plain sick. I knew they had the flu, I also knew there probably wasn't much we could do for them, but their fevers were so high that I felt like we had to take them to the doctors. I told John and his Aunt we needed an urgent care. They both insisted there were no urgent cares that they could find close by. I was incredulous but believed them because I figured they know how to google as well as I do. Turns out there ARE urgent cares in brooklyn, but they didn't open until later and so John just told me there were none to save himself some hassle. ha

so the kids slept and hung out and got dosed with fever meds and popsicles

but we only had one day that we could see the natural history museum and Maddy was crying--so upset that she was going to miss it. we finally decided that even though her fever was still sort of low grade that John would take her for an hour and a half and I would stay home with Grant. This is the picture John got of her face when they walked in. It was love at first sight
who can blame her, two dinosaurs fighting! She lives for this stuff!

you might recognize it as the museum from the movie Night at the Museum. I'm so sad I missed it, but I knew I would be ditching John and Grant to take Maddy to the American Girl restaurant so I will just have to see it another time!
i just love that she is so fascinated by dinosaurs. she has the best personality ever

I had to get a picture of the kids on the steps of Aunt Toni's brownstone.
Isn't it beautiful?? The whole neighborhood looks like this.
One night we even snuck away and walked a few blocks down to a very hip ice cream shop. i think we were the dorkiest non-hipsters there. although let's face it, my glasses gave me at least 3% hipster street cred
again out of order, the morning we took the kids to the ER we ended up at IHOP afterwards to get some food into everyone. Maddy liked the fancy syrups (notice she is still in her unicorn pajamas. sweet.)

in the taxi on the way into the city

Maddy and I headed to the American Girl doll store and it was awesome. I made us a reservation for a lunch for two
she was just a little teensy bit excited, can you tell?
they had a seat for her doll and even brought her out a cup and plate

pink everywhere. we got to keep our "napkin rings" which were hair ties

even the chandeliers were covered in pink flowers

only the fanciest chocolate milk for my girl

her tic tac to pizza (and yeah I'm trying to break her of the habit of pointing with that finger)

the cute dessert. pudding cup with oreo dirt under that flower :) and a heart shaped cake

then my friend Dan from ye olden BYU days met up with us at the American Girl store. what a trooper right? :) oh come on, he loved it. grant on the other hand did not love dan. sorry dan. he doesn't love hardly anyone.

Dan attempted to ingratiate himself with the kids by treating us to Magnolia Bakery cupcakes.
he definitely ingratiated himself with the adults. i think it worked with the kids too. Grant kept trying to feed a finger full of blue frosting to the pigeons. adorable and frankly disgusting

this photo says, "we're so happy! cupcakes! weeee!"

sorry ladies, he's not single. and...well...sorry gentlemen too. (that ones for you dan) ;)

he's such a great guy. love you Dan, so glad we got to see each other. and thanks for ordering the perfect weather.

another morning we took the kids to this amazing park in DUMBO (down under brookly bridge overpass) called Pier 6. It was AWESOME. it had all sorts of amazing separate little parks that are sort of connected. it had a swing park (with tarzan like swings too), a slide park, a giant sandbox park and a water park.
the kids wore themselves out

(Aunt Carroll with Maddy after the water park)

 Then Grant stayed home with the Aunts and we got to go see The Lion King. Holy Moses. Holy Moses. It was amazing.

John's Aunt got us tickets and she purposefully got us tickets up close and on the aisle so we could really enjoy the details. Several times through the show characters come down the aisle right next to you, it was awesome. I seriously thought it would be good, but I had no idea I would love it so much. I even cried during a few parts :) Maddy was entranced, not bored for a moment. I loved it because there were some very unexpected elements of Kabuki and Bunraku theater (and Indonesian shadow puppetry!) that I had no idea would be included! It was SO cool, especially since the setting is African. SO so good.

we also tried "the best pizza in new york" from grimaldi's. it was good, but I think I like a thicker crust :)
yes I took that picture. cool, right??

Time Sqare
Bub on the bus

Maddy waiting to get on the plane (out of order!)
Aunt Toni

Brooklyn Bridge

John got his picture in front of the iconic Apple Store in New York

the box says it all (and the dorky expression) this was on another day when we went to FAO Schwartz.

the piano from the movie Big. They LOVED it, like every other kid.

I couldn't understand why John wanted to see FAO Schwartz so much until we got in there. It may just be a toy store, but holy moly...WHAT A TOY STORE!

Zoltar from Big was there too!!
I even got a fortune
and of course the crazy candy part of the store. Maddy took one look and practically shouted (good thing it was super loud in there) "Oh my gosh it's real life CANDY LAND!"
another section of the store
Maddy and Dad checking out some crystals for sale

whew I can't believe I made it through the pictures! or that you did either! we had a wonderful wonderful trip and we are so grateful to John's lovely Aunts for the fabulous time they showed us. and now I need to go take a rest. that post was a doozy.