Golden Gate

the baloney bug

In May we took Adelaide on her third trip to San Francisco.  While it’s one of our favorite cities, I think Adelaide and I won’t be back for a while.  Travel has increasingly become less about painting the town red and increasingly more about playgrounds and nap time.  We spent almost every day at the playground at Yerba Buena Gardens in the sandbox and on the slide.

She wouldn’t even eat the big Ghirardelli sundae I got for us to share.  I mean, what’s the point of going to San Francisco if it doesn’t involve a big brownie sundae??

Realizing that I didn’t travel cross country to go to playgrounds, I decided to cool it on the travel a bit.  We stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge one morning for more photos (see previous ones here and here ).  I love to see how she’s changed from trip to trip, and what better place than in front of one of the most famous bridges?

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the baloney bug Adelaide’s face just about sums up how she feels about family photos these days.

Actually, I think it pretty well sums toddler life in general.

 

 

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New Zealand: Marlborough {Part 2}

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We did it!

Today wraps up our month in New Zealand.  Only five months later, but who’s counting?

We spent three days in Marlborough and our general plan was wake up, make breakfast, get a winery or two under our belts and head back to our cottage for nap (for Adelaide and for us).  After nap we’d head back out to one or two more vineyards before they closed around 4.

Not pictured: our daily stops at McDonald’s because of that damn spicy chicken crunch wrap.  Can stateside McDonald’s please catch up??

Some standouts vineyards were Cloudy Bay, Spy Valley (dumb name but actually had a pretty cool story behind it and the winery ended up being one of our favorites), Forrest (amazing rosé), Moa (brewery), Hunters and Allen Scott.

The pictures in this post were taken at Cloudy Bay and Hunters.  Wine tasting turns out to be a pretty awesome thing to do with a toddler because you can sip wine outdoors while your tot runs around and steals grapes.  The wineries in NZ were overwhelmingly child friendly, and many of them (if not all) had baskets of toys.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a baby and so many wineries didn’t allow children, so it was nice to not have to worry about that.

Also, we noticed the wines in New Zealand were significantly cheaper.  Most bottles were in the $20 range, where as California wines seemed to be $60 and up.

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the baloney bug We loved the parking spots at Hunters

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the baloney bug Not pictured: another three hour ferry ride back to Wellington, a one hour plane ride, a 13 hour plane ride and a six hour plane ride.

Home.

Sweet home.

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Behind the Scenes 2014

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I think this year’s card might just be my favorite one yet.  We were a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to get a toddler and a dog to cooperate, but give them a cookie and some cream cheese and you’ve got a sure fire way to keep their attention.

I’ve been tossing around ideas for a kitchen scene for a while, and Jon was never on board.  When I suggested that he could be in the background pouring some booze into his coffee, he was suddenly a lot more interested.  I figured my favorite cards have always been the ones where something funny has been happening (Jon tied up in the Christmas lights and Brady pulling Jon down the street), so we went with it.  The original idea was for us to be dressed up in suit/tie/sparkles but last minute ditched the idea for pajamas.

Adelaide sat on her mark the entire time, happily gobbling down two very large chocolate chip cookies that we made earlier in the week.  I was running back and forth putting cream cheese on the island so Brady would jump up and lick it.  We had to take a small break to get him a step stool, because he was too short to really be seen in most of the photos.

This was our first year using lights.  We don’t get great lighting in our apartment, so Jon brought home some strobe lights to light the set.  I wish we had taken a photo of the entire setup, but it was too hectic to even think about it.  My friend Ashley came over to stand behind the camera and to get Adelaide’s attention, which was crazy helpful.

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the baloney bug

^^I swear he wasn’t about to bite her.  Adelaide spent a good amount of the shoot trying to snuggle Brady.  She loves him so much.  Seriously, she just loves her dog.  Brady is so good with her, especially when she’s sneaking him food.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

The final image was actually 3 photographs (Adelaide and me + Brady + Jon).

I guess there are some benefits to being married to a photo geek.

(PS. You can see all of our past Christmas cards here.)

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Happiest of Holidays

 

the baloney bug Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season with a lot of nice (and maybe a little bit of naughty).  Check in tomorrow for out takes and how it was done!

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20 Months

the baloney bug Adelaide’s vocabulary seems to be increasing daily.

As do her opinions.

She insists on wearing her rainboots EVERYWHERE.  Literally the second she wakes up in the morning, the first word out of her mouth is “boots”.  I made the mistake of trying to make her wear different shoes this week, and she had a major meltdown.  I thought it would pass in a few minutes, but she was literally upset that she wasn’t wearing her boots the entire time we were out.

If you see us out and about, she’ll be in her rainboots.

Before the boots, she was obsessed with a set of house keys.  One particular set.  She even held them while she napped.  Obsessed.  She still loves the keys, but she loves her boots more.

Jon and I laugh that of course our kid is obsessed with shoes.

She wants to walk everywhere.  The majority of the time she refuses to sit in the stroller or be worn, but I’m mostly okay with that because I’m not in a hurry.

Except today.  It’s really cold.

Her eating habits have gotten much better.  Her favorite food is kielbasa, which she calls “boppy”, followed by bananas and hard boiled eggs.  Well, really she just likes to crack and peel the eggs.

We were baking the other day and she was standing on her step stool “helping”, and I turn around to a raw egg all over the counter.  Someone didn’t realize that not all eggs are hard boiled…

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the baloney bug

She’s such a sweet little girl.  So full of personality and laughter.

I’m also finding my groove as a stay at home mom.  I need to have things planned every day, because staying in the apartment would make me go stir crazy.  Adelaide takes music, art and gym classes, which are awesome for getting us out of the house and doing something we can’t do at home.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

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A Formal Affair

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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.

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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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Summer’s Farm

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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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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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Peach Picking

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Jon and I drove upstate a few weeks ago to visit my friend Kelly and to pick some peaches at the orchard up the road from her house.  We were too early for apples, but got there right in time for peaches.  Adelaide lovesss peaches so it worked out well.

This is the third year we’ve visited the orchard, and I always enjoy our time wandering around, eating fresh fruit as we go.  Last year when we went Adelaide was just a few months old, and the year before that when I was a few months pregnant.

Yesterday Kelly boarded a flight for Switzerland.  She quit her job and sold almost all of her possessions.  It’s so crazy brave to make such a big life change, and I’m so excited for all the adventures she’s sure to have.  While I’ll miss my best friend here, I know she’s just going to thrive and flourish there.  We love you so much Kelly!

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

Adelaide is obsessed with her rain boots.  Seriously wants to wear them all.the.time.  I have to hide them in the apartment or she’ll whine until I get them down for her.  And then she’ll put them on the wrong feet, whine until I get them on the right feet, walk around, take them off, want them back on again.

Toddlers.

Her other current obsession is keys.  Specifically car keys.  She has a major meltdown anytime we start the car because she wants to hold the keys.  How do I get her to understand we need them to drive?!?

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

We had so much fun picking our peaches at the orchard and eating them that week.  If anyone knows a solution for getting peach stains out of toddler clothes, let me know.

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Coney Island

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We spent a Saturday afternoon at the Aquarium and then Coney Island, which basically means chasing Adelaide all around Brooklyn.  The zoo pass Jon got me for Mother’s Day also includes the Aquarium, so on a day we had nothing to do we found ourselves driving down to explore.  We didn’t last there long since most of the exhibits are still closed post-Sandy, so we wandered over to the boardwalks.

There was a playground in the middle of the beach that Adelaide played on, and then would ask us to clean her hands.  And then play some more, and run over so we could wipe her hands.  That girl.  Doesn’t like to get dirty.

I’ve had pep talks with her telling her that little girls get dirty, but so far she’s not interested.

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the baloney bug We’re en route to California today, where we’ll spend the next two weeks in San Francisco, Monterrey, Santa Barbara and LA.  While we were in San Francisco and LA for quite a while last year, it was with a baby, so I feel like the game has totally changed.  So long are the days of Adelaide taking long naps in the stroller while I lazily walk around between shops and restaurants.  Any suggestions for fun things to do with a toddler are welcome!

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London, Part 2

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Our first full day in London we decided to take the Tower of London tour.  Jon had done it while in college, but seeing as this was my first trip (and Adelaide’s!) we thought it was worth visiting.  I’m glad we did because it was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  The tour was really entertaining and I’m glad we decided to do that instead of walking around by ourselves.

I try to let Adelaide out of the stroller or carrier as often as possible, but there were a lot of stairs here, so she had to be contained for the majority of our trip.  I always try to let her run around for a bit and burn some energy before we leave, though.  Kid has enough energy for all of us, so a little play time is essential.

the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug We completed our trip to the Tower of London by stopping at a pub for a pint and fish and chips.  Adelaide was all about the chips, not so much the fish.

Clearly she takes after her mama.

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