Fall Fun

the baloney bug

While my mom was visiting we took an afternoon to walk around the Central Park Zoo, and then headed over to the park to play in the leaves for a while.  One of Adelaide’s new favorite games is throwing acorns.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: she throws acorns.

It’s her favorite.

Whatever.  It’s free.

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^^She’s not actually smiling here.  She’s saying “please” because we took the phone away from her.  It’s now my go-to method if I need her to smile.  Parenting win.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^It’s surprisingly hard to get a photo of your kid holding acorns.  Mostly because they can’t hold still for more than a millisecond.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug the baloney bug

Fall is so gorgeous in New York for about 3 weeks, then winter rears its ugly head.  We’re spending lots of time outdoors while the weather is still gorgeous, enjoying the parks and taking Brady on long walks.

I’m still in denial that winter’s coming at all.  I keep thinking something magical will happen and we’ll bypass winter all together.

Just let me have my dreams.

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Pumpkin Painting

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When we were in Maryland I wanted to take advantage of the outdoor space and do a little pumpkin decorating.  I decided not to carve pumpkins for a few reasons (mainly: toddlers and knifes) so instead I picked up some paint and let Adelaide go to town.  She generally hates getting messy, so I was nervous she’d even participate.

Before we got started I had to run back inside to grab something, and come back out to Adelaide literally sitting in the bucket of water I’d brought out for us to clean our hands.

During pumpkin painting, she was interested in painting for about three minutes, then spent the rest of the time trying to get back into the bucket.

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the baloney bug ^^This dog literally lives for the sun.  The hotter, the better.  Lives for it.  He’s such a good dog, I can’t even tell you.  He is so good with Adelaide, so gentle with her.  She is definitely not gentle with him, but he just takes it in stride.  As much work as it is to have a dog in New York, he makes it so worth it.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^Her favorite part of getting dirty – getting clean again.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^ Getting upset that I wouldn’t let her get in the bucket of dirty water.  Mean mom.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

We also painted a fake pumpkin because it’s easier for apartment living.  Year after year, our pumpkins go bad so quickly.  Then there are fruit flies inside the apartment building and it’s gross and no one’s happy.  I figured the fake pumpkin would not only “stay alive” but also be a sentimental item we can pull out year after year, to remember our sweet little girl and her abstract art.

I’m loving the holidays even more this year with a toddler.  She can participate more and actually get involved.  I’m pretty sure I’ve already figured out her Christmas gift, and now it’s an internal battle with myself to wait two more months to give it to her.

Parenting.

So hard.

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A Formal Affair

the baloney bug

Jon and I went to a formal wedding a few weeks ago, which means an excuse for us to get all dressed up and have a night of drinking and dancing, sans toddler.  My mom came up to spend the week with me, since Jon was leaving the next day for a business trip.  It was amazing to have her come up a day early to babysit while we got to enjoy ourselves at the wedding.  All you people who live close to family and get free babysitting are so lucky! It was seriously such a luxury.

I was trying to figure out what I wanted to wear, whether I wanted to dig through my closet and find something I already owned, or buy something new.  Then I saw an ad from Rent the Runway and started browsing their site and fell in love with this green dress.  I figured it would be cheaper to rent the dress than to buy something new, and if I bought something, how many times would I really wear it?

You get to pick 2 sizes when you rent, so you’re almost guaranteed that it will fit.  You can also browse photos and reviews from people who have worn the dress before, and search by height and weight.  That was tremendously helpful because I ended up ordering the dress in a petite size, which I would have never done without the reviews.  The petite ended up being a perfect fit.

I also rented the gold clutch, which I was obsessed with and had a hard time letting go when it was time to return it.

I was a huge fan of my first RTR experience.  I know this sounds like a paid review, but I swear it’s not.  I loved getting all glammed up and would definitely suggest renting an outfit to anyone who needs something for the upcoming holidays.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

It’s amazing what a gorgeous dress and a little hair and makeup will do for a girl.  Jon and I rarely get date nights, and it was so nice to get out together and have a good time celebrating our friends marriage.

A big congrats to our friends Edward and Ashley!  Wishing you so much happiness as husband and wife.

 

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Let It Go

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Adelaide has been obsessed with the song “Let it Go” from Frozen for weeks now.  We’re not even sure where she first heard it, but she quickly became obsessed.

Like every other little girl in this country.

Obsessed.

Play it over and over and over again, obsessed.

She calls it “Go” and will just say “Go? Go? Go?” until you cave and play the song.  We quickly wised up and started making her listen to it with headphones, which she loved.  She will put the phone in her baby stroller and push it around while listening to the song on her headphones.

After a week or so of wearing adult headphones I found these toddler headphones on Amazon and they’ve worked out really well.  A small price to pay for keeping my sanity.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Last week Adelaide actually saw part of the movie and when she saw Anna she pointed and said, “Mommy?”

Sure, I’ll take it.

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Summer’s Farm

the baloney bug

I was in Maryland a week ago and my mom suggested I take Adelaide to Summer’s Farm.  I’d lived in Frederick most of my life and never knew that this place existed.  It’s funny how your priorities change as you have a child and a whole new world opens up.

I literally just googled “Does Disney World have alcohol?”

(It does.  Thank God.)

But I digress.  The farm.  We got there around dinner time on a Sunday, which is a great time to go to any kid’s place because… everyone’s having dinner.  I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of activities tailored to our tot.

We ran through the Corn Maze, rode on the barrel ride (which was mildly traumatizing for all of us) and played in the “corn pit” (for lack of better words).  Adelaide was obsessed with that thing.  Just lots and lots of kernels of corn to jump around in.  Who would’ve known?

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

It ended up raining while we were there, so Adelaide didn’t get to do a few of the activities, but she was pretty happy if she could stay in that corn pit forever.  There was a beautiful double rainbow, so that sort of made up for the weather.

I’m praying fall never turns into winter, because noooooo.

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19 Month Update

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

19 months plants us very firmly in toddler territory.  It’s simultaneously a very frustrating and adorable age.  The tantrums are seemingly endless, as are the big sloppy kisses all over my face.

Brady, however, does not think the kisses are cute.  One of Adelaide’s favorite hobbies is hugging and hanging on Brady.

This is Brady’s least favorite hobby.

Stats are interesting… 40th percentile for height (people often comment that she looks very tall) and not on the charts for weight.  She weighed in this week at a very low 19.1 pounds, but has been sick for the last week and barely eating at all.  I wasn’t sure she could eat less than she had been, but apparently it’s possible.

She was sick with a fever hovering around 100*F for a week (with multiple trips to the doctor) before she was finally diagnosed with a UTI.  Let’s just say getting a urine sample from a child who isn’t potty trained is fun for no one.

We did a whole lot of staying indoors before finally figuring out what was wrong, so we’re all relieved to have a diagnosis and meds to start getting this little girl better.

Her vocabulary is increasing daily.  She’s learned to ask “please” when she wants something, which is great, except now she just says “Please! Please! Please!” on repeat which can be frustrating for both of us when I don’t know what she wants.

(Also, it sounds like “peas” so it sounds like she’s desperate for peas on the reg.)

Whenever we’re out and she’s upset I’ll say “Is Brady at home?” and she responds “Brady!”  He’s her favorite and always makes her feel better.

Life with my little toddler is challenging and maddening and exhausting, and I’m so thankful for every single minute.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Pretend City

the baloney bug

While in LA, I had the same issue as San Francisco- what to do with a toddler?  Travel is increasingly less about what I want to do, but what will Adelaide enjoy.  A large majority of the kid friendly activities I’ve found are still a bit too mature for Adelaide.  I would say most things are best for the 3+ crowd, and there’s not a lot tailored to the 1.5 year old kid.  I’ve searched for the city’s best playgrounds along our travels only to get there and realized they’re wayyy too advanced for Adelaide.

Jon and I joke that Adelaide’s favorite thing to do is anything that we do.  She wants to unlock doors, cut food, push a stroller (with a purse over her arm), pat her doll baby’s back.  So when my searches came up with a place called Pretend City, I was intrigued.  It was an hour drive outside the city, so I was really hesitant.  I know LA is known for bad traffic, and Adelaide is known for hating the car.  I decided to take the risks and got us packed for the trip.

And ohmygosh, was it worth it!  This place was seriously amazing.  It’s one massive space divided into 17 sections.  You see the grocery store when you walk in, complete with registers and conveyor belts and a bakery and fresh and frozen foods section.  Seriously amazing.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

All throughout there were “roads” with stop lights and parking spots and all kinds of vehicles.  There were police cars and fire trucks and pickup trucks.

the baloney bug This garden was a very cool sensory experience.  The mulch was some sort of rubber, and Adelaide loved digging for the vegetables.  She doesn’t typically like sandboxes (you know, because you get dirty) but this was right up her alley.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

The ATM was probably her favorite part of all of Pretend City.  When you go in you got a “time card” you could punch at the various “jobs” and then take it to the ATM and actual play money would shoot out.  Adelaide LOVED this.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Her other favorite thing was probably the sound board.  There was a stage with lots of costumes and instruments, but Adelaide enjoyed the sound board far more.  It controlled the lights on the stage and the music would change with the different buttons.  Definitely a hit.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

They had a house with everything mini sized, but Adelaide became a bit obsessed with trying to wash her hands (the sink didn’t actually work) and she was really frustrated because it LOOKED like a real sink.

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You know, just filling up the tank.

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And then reading some x-rays.

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And then throwing some lunch together at the cafe.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

This was the “marina” where you could go “fishing” with the magnetic fishing poles and you could also create your own boat and take it down the course.  For a water lover like Adelaide, I was shocked that she wasn’t overly obsessive with this area.  There was also a library and an art studio and a post office.  Too many things to see in one day.  If I lived close to one of these I would seriously go once a week.  I’m so glad I decided to take her because we both had such a fun day.  And she even napped in the car.

Both ways.

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Big Sur

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The drive between Monterey and Santa Barbara was beyond gorgeous.

And long.

We do car trips pretty regularly, but this was one of the longest we’d been in the car at one time.  We left during Adelaide’s nap time hoping to get a long stretch of the road under our belt before she woke up.

Forty five minutes.  That’s how long she slept on our 6 hour journey.

The first part of the trip we were smitten by the breathtaking views.  But then the kid got fussy and mama had to pee and why is this road so twisty?

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taking pictures with a toddler is fun

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

waving hello to the ocean

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

We ended up stopping at Hearst Castle along the way because it was one of the only stops during the entire trip.

I paid $7 for a slice of cheese pizza.

Even though the ride was long (and everything with a toddler seems ten times longer), I’m so glad we decided to drive.

And for the wine when we got there.

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Monterey

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Jon needed to be in Los Angeles the week after we were in San Francisco, so instead of flying we decided to drive down the coast via the scenic route.  We chose to have overnight stays along the way in Monterey and Santa Barbara.  Unfortunately we only got one night in each place, so by the time we arrived it was time for dinner and then bedtime for Adelaide, so we didn’t get to explore very much.  We had to leave fairly early the next morning to get on the road to our next destination, so not much time for the sites.

The only thing I really wanted to do in Monterey was see the sea lions (I remember them from a trip there as a kid), but the first place we went turned out to have a whopping zero sea lions.  We were literally on our way out of town when a quick search suggested a nearby pier might have some sea lions.  As we’re walking to the end of the pier we were still unsure if we’d walk away without seeing any once again.  Then I heard a sound off the side of the pier and we all looked over to see two sea lions snuggling on a rock.  We were just a few feet above them, and I would have been happy if that’s all we got to see.  It was pretty awesome to see this beautiful creature so close up.

We kept walking to the end of the pier where we saw hundreds of sea lions.  They were sleeping on rocks, climbing all over each other, playing in the water.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

They were also right up against the fence.  See that tail sticking out?

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Yea, Adelaide did too.

the baloney bug the baloney bug

 

Our next stop was Santa Barbara, which I literally have zero pictures of.  We only got to see a tiny bit of the town, but I would seriously move there in a heartbeat.  We stayed at The Canary hotel, which I can’t recommend enough.  After driving six hours with a toddler we walk in and the front desk staff asks if we’d like a glass of wine.

And also, the wine reception starts in fifteen minutes.  God bless you, child.

Also worth noting is the dinner we had a few blocks from the hotel, at Pascucci.  That was some good Italian.

Seriously.  I dream about it.

Regularly.

 

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Hotel Room Chronicles

the baloney bug

By now Adelaide has spent quite a bit of her life in a hotel room.  It’s not terribly different from our everyday lives, except when I leave to run errands I get to come back to a clean room and a bed that’s been made.  The main downside to hotel living is that once your kid goes to bed you have to be QUIET.  We’re used to sleeping in the same room as her since we live in a one bedroom, but we aren’t used to tiptoeing around her after she’s down for the night.

Jon’s started to look for hotel rooms that have a separate living space so we have a space to go once Adelaide’s asleep.  After staying at a few hotels that didn’t have a separate living space and dragging the desk chair over to the corner next to whatever other random chair might be in the room outside the bathroom isn’t ideal.  Plus I’m sure housekeeping wonders what the heck we’re doing.  Having a space with a couch to crash is definitely preferred.

One of Adelaide’s current favorite “songs” is “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”.  She’ll stand on the bed and wag her finger “no” while she starts jumping up and down.  I couldn’t resist getting my camera out and snapping a few photos while she played around.

(See past hotel photos of a teeny tiny Adelaide here and here)

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I just love this little girl’s excitement over the little things.  I pray she always has a fun loving spirit and a kind heart.

And that she won’t fall off the bed.

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