Behind the Scenes: 2016

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This was the first year that Jon came up with the idea for our card completely on his own.  Normally I toss out dozens of ideas that he shoots down until I find one he can live with.

Actually, that’s exactly how we came up with a name for Adelaide.

I often wonder how Jon came up with this idea… You don’t think this idea rings true to life for him??  (Insert emoji of the money flying away.)

This year, the card was made up of 5 images.  Adelaide and me, Jon, the money, Brady and the lights on the Christmas tree.

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^^Jon doing some test shots while I made Adelaide’s list for Santa.

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^^final image of Jon

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^^Final image of Adelaide and me.  She would only look at where the light was set up, not at the camera.  We probably have a dozen shots of me pointing at the camera telling her where to look.  Luckily, she knew what was up, and it worked out well to have her looking away from the camera.

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^^Brady’s final image.  Notice me crouching down behind him.

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^^making it rain

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^^Brady was probably the hardest to shoot. He’s not normally allowed to put his paws on the table, so he had no clue what we were asking him to do when we kept patting the table.  He completely jumped up on the table not once, but twice.  I didn’t even know he was capable of that.  I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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Suggestions for next year’s card are officially open.

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Royal Caribbean “Independence”

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We had talked about going on a cruise for my birthday this year, but Jon’s crazy work schedule had been keeping us from actually booking one.  So in April we found cheap flights and a cruise that actually fit our schedule and booked ourselves on a last minute vacation.  Not to mention, we were desperate to get out of New York after a dreary spring.  We’ve taken one cruise with Adelaide, but it wasn’t terribly relaxing since she was too young for the kids programs, and at the time wasn’t potty trained.  Kids who aren’t potty trained are not allowed in pools on cruises, so we spent most of our time chasing around a one year old who couldn’t participate in any activities.

This cruise was a whole different ball game.  On Royal Caribbean, kids must be 3 and potty trained to go into the kids programs.  Check and check.

During the day she mostly stayed with us by the pool, going back to our room in the afternoon for a nap.  One day Jon and Adelaide even went ice skaing, which lasted about 3 minutes before Adelaide decided it looks easier on tv than in real life.

We had a 6pm dinner seating, and at 6:45pm the kids staff would pick the kids up from the dining room and take them to the kids programs.  Every night had a different theme, craft and activity and she LOVED it.

Not to mention Jon and I actually got to finish our dinner without the full circus act, and then got to see a show and have a drink before we picked her up at 10pm.

{Prepare yourself for a photo overload.}

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Adelaide has been straight up begging to go on another cruise. She’s been giving Jon her best puppy dog eyes in an valiant attempt.

Keep working on him, kid.  I certainly wouldn’t mind another vacation.

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Hank’s Pumpkintown

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Oh hey!  Remember me?  We’ve spent the last however many months overloaded with house projects, potty training, playdates and beach trips.

And watching the Mets make it to the World Series, of course.

Last weekend we took a day to drive out to the eastern end of Long Island to pick apples and pumpkins.  We got to there nice and early and managed to avoid some of the afternoon crowds.  Adelaide ran up and down the rows of trees picking apples and sampling them.  Then we headed over to the pumpkin patch and finished up the trip on the playground, tearing Adelaide away so we could get home in time for nap.  She had a blast and is now extra obsessed with eating whole apples.

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I’ll be back soon (hopefully) to update what’s been going on with our favorite little two year old.

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Golden Gate

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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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^^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 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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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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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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