Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am finally posting our great NY trip...

Day 1 and 3 to come later. Thought I'd start right in the middle!
Day 2

We started the day walking through pouring rain with our umbrellas and ducked into the renowned Carnegie Deli. Bring a large stomach and a big appetite. I had among other things their matza ball soup which tasted so good coming in from the rain. Kirst told me about their 'egg cream soda'. I was surprised how good it was - who knew?!

The American Girl Museum on 5th Avenue

This afternoon, Eva visited the mother ship. Her mecca. It is every girls dream and every dad's pocketbooks' nightmare. It is just one of those places you just have to see to believe - it's the perfect execution of consumerism and at the same time a complete wonderment. Three floors of "ohhhh soo cute" and "oh look how cute" and "oh those are the cutest little shoes I have Ever seen!" And that was just what was coming out of my mouth. Eva was ecstatic. I was hesitant to walk in the doorway - I knew it would be all over if we did. I was right. Auntie decided it was a great place to buy her an early birthday present - an itty bitty twin doll with an impossibly cute outfit. Eva was in heaven. Grandma bought the great little American Girl magazine that is so tweeny and she loves it. Eva is still in-between ages - still loves dolls, but also starting to make public declarations of which Jonas Brother is the cutest. I think currently it is Joe. I'm still pushing for the doll stage.
"Oh Look how cute the mini cupcakes are that match the big girl cupcakes!" This place had everything from a doll hospital, a salon to have your dolls hair braided, a bookstore, a place to get professional photos taken with you and your doll, a little treat bakery, and a big restuarant cafe where you and your doll sit together at the tables and they bring out food for both of you. Mixed in with all of that were the tiniest little matching doll outfits and accessories your little girls heart could ever imagine, want, dream of, or beg and plead for.

Our next stop on the way to Central Park...

Standing in front of The Plaza Hotel.

I wanted to get a picture with Eva because when I think of this hotel, I can only picture the "quite absolutely and entirely precocious Eloise." We have read the the Eloise books since Eva was 3 or 4. At over $1000 a night, we are going to have to wait for this place to show up on Priceline!

We paid to have a guided tour through Central Park in a horse drawn carriage. We thought it would be a fun way to see it, and that it was. However, before we had even seen 1/10 of the park we found ourselves full circle back to our starting point. Time to start walking!

Mom and Kirst in the I love NY tourists carriage. Cute picture!!

Entering through an ivy covered bridge and tunnel in Central Park.
Eva, Grandma, and our new travel companion.

One of the beautiful fountains to sit and relax for a while. We were entertained by a crazed fitness man that was walking backwards on his hands and toes up the stairway. Spydee? We weren't sure.

The Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park.

At the end of our walk through Central Park we made our visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This place is enormous. It was so beautiful - not just the art, but even the building itself. I'd love to go back and visit again.
I adore this statue by Degas "The Little Fourteen Year Old Ballerina" It is unlike any other bronze in that it has an organic feel to it because of the way he dressed his dancer. It is stunning. A bronzed figure with a real cloth bodice and guaze for the skirt, leather ballet slippers, and a horsehair wig tied with a satin ribbon. So petite and beautiful. The fabrics look like they are preserved well, but it has such an aged feel to it. It felt like you were looking back into time for a few moments.

Eva's Grandma had picked up one of her favorite childhood books from the bookstore the week before when we were in Idaho. It is by e.l. konigsburg - "From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It is about 2 children that run away and live in the MET. She wanted to give it to Eva so she could read it before our trip to NY and our visit to the museum. I'm going to have to read this next..

Rocking the subway system. Between cabbies and the subway it was so easy to get around

Walking through Times Square in the rain. At night. With all the lights. All the energy.
What a great city.

Our last night, Auntie treated us all to Phantom of the Opera. It was Eva's first time as well as Grandma's, and I think they loved it. It was in a great opera house that felt completely perfect for the time period of the play. What a great show - thanks Kirst!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Firsts!

How exciting to see your kiddos learn something new... and love it!
We headed up to the lake Saturday morning with the Kowskis' and braved the cold with hopes of better weather. We had bagels and fruit and Kristin brought homemade salsa, so for the first part of the day we just sat in the boat and enjoyed "brunch".
By mid day the weather was warming up and we got to see some "firsts". Their oldest son got up on a slalom ski - and was almost a pro from the beginning. I remember my friends' family taking me back in Jr. High and patiently teaching me how to ski. It was fun to be on the other end of it this time - to watch someone work hard to learn something new and finally figure it out. It was awesome.
Kerry had just bought some new kid skis and stayed in the not so warm water helping Ethan and Anna learn how to get up on skis.
Camera phones can only zoom in so far, but after a few tries, Ethan got right up and went for a little ways. He was so excited and we had to go back for more on Monday! He couldn't get enough...... finally! In all honesty, we were almost ready to sell the boat - we were so sick of kids fighting us to do anything. They wouldn't even tube for an entire year - I sort of ruined them initially by submarining their tube the first time we tried it a couple of years ago. We didn't realize you had to sit on the back of what we call the taco tube, or it would nose dive. Unfortunately, it did not leave a favorable impression on the kids and was the last thing they wanted to do. We have slowly eased them back into it and I believe we have finally broken through the fear!
It was so much fun as a parent to watch. Eva popped right up also, but has no interest in it until it is completely her own idea. She pulled right out of the water and started skiing and then in an act of rebellion, threw the rope and started screaming. We had talked her into trying it and was not happy. She will do it when SHE wants to and no sooner. Also, I think hormones may be kicking in.....Yikes! Talk about attitude lately. Stay tuned....

And on Monday Kerry had a first:

He is officially........ "a boarder".
The choppy afternoon water didn't sound great for skiing, so he tried to wakeboard for the first time. It surprised me that he even had any interest!! It's generally golf and golf and golf..and really every thing else just fills in the time, so it was fun to see him try and succeed at something new! He ripped it up (for a first timer) - I was seriously impressed.
This is generally Beckham's assumed position on the boat. A little sun, eat, eat more treats, get in the cooler for drinks, only go in the water if he has to pee, and eventually sleep.
Ahh, to be 3.
Monday with Uncle Steve who rocks on the wakeboard and Eva's friend Natalie. Just before we hit empty on the tank and had to head back in....
Fun Weekend!

This is why..

you have wet wipes...
and washable fabrics...
This is why you never take 3 year olds to the mall....

This is why you keep 'em.

Date night..

Daddy Daughter Date at McGrath's earlier this summer and a quick jaunt over to Justice - the famed store of every tween. She was in heaven - her daddy knows how to take care of his girls.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Love and Boxes

My friend and neighbor Amy took this picture of the cutest couple on the block......
Beckham and Dani. He adores her and is so sweet and gentle with her - leading her by the hand down to our house, going to the pew behind us to bring her up to sit with us at church and then playing with her hair. They are both quite adorable together. We love having Dani over - she is so little and has a perfect little doll face. Amy told me that while the kids were playing in the garage she heard Beckham say to her, "Ok Sweetie. Get on." He was on their 4 wheeler and Dani was on the back climbing on.
While I was in NY, my mom was watching Becks and she called him Darling.
He said, " Don't call me Darling. Call me Sweetie. Well.....just call me Beckham."
He must have an affinity for that name.
Becks has a couple of girls that he likes to swoon - Dani and Kallie. He is somewhat of a player right now....Brooke S. - we need to see Kallie more often! I think our two devil/angel children are hilarious together :)

And on another note..
This was a great couple of boxes that turned out to be a fantastic fort/sleeping quarters for the boys for a few days. One night they begged to sleep in them - all night - with their sleeping bags. Eva slept in the bed and the 2 boys were in the boxes, just like little puppies. We kissed them goodnight and turned off the light. Kerry and I peeked in on them a couple hours later before we went to bed....