Happy 1st Birthday Jay!

Last weekend Simon went to his first birthday party. His little friend Jay turned one and his parents had a small get together at the Safari Playground in Central Park. Here’s a few iPhone pics to commemorate the occasion:

Here are the boys(left-right: Atticus(born in November), Jay(birthday boy, born in August),and Simon(born in September). There are a couple other little guys who were all born within months of these three that were out of town. It’s so fun to have so many little friends to play with. Now if we can only get them all to stay in the city… I wonder who will still be here when they all turn 3?

It was nearly impossible to get a shot with all 3 babies standing up and looking at the camera, but we did our best. I think Atticus is my favorite baby, next to Simon of course:)  My friend Whitney nailed it when she said that holding Atticus is “like hugging a soft, squishy, teddy bear.” He’s a big guy! But he’s so sweet, a gentle giant if you will. Simon loves to chase him down and hug him whenever he’s near by. 

Lyle and Ciara kept it simple for a 1st birthday, which is always best since the guest of honor won’t remember it :) But Jay loved his cupcake! I can’t wait to see what Simon will do with his birthday cupcake. Miss Violet was relieved when we finally took it off her tray. Too messy! To this day he doesn’t want her hands to be dirty or sticky. Some things never change :) Simon loves to get down and dirty so I bet he won’t be shy about digging right in.

Happy Birthday Jay! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you.

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Sweatin’ it out at the Hippo Playground!

My dear friend Whitney and her family are moving…cue the tears and sniffles. I’m pretty much in denial about it.

Ellie and Violet are good buddies and Whitney is a good friend to have during these sleep deprived, mother with young children days. She has been wanting cross off a few NYC adventures off the old bucket list before moving to Ithaca in a couple weeks. So we picked the hottest day last week, 97 degrees with 70% humidity to be exact, to “schlep” ourselves, our kids, and all our stuff to Riverside Park for some fun at the Hippo Playground. It’s my favorite playground in the city and thankfully is almost completely in the shade :) But let me tell you friends, the shade with no breeze is only slightly more bearable then the direct sunlight in this kind of hot, sticky, miserable heat. As soon as we got there Whitney said: “Are we nuts to do this today?”…The answer is most certainly yes, but by then we were commited!

So here we are trying to make the best of it. We encouraged the girls to stay in the water area as much as possible to keep cool. Of course all Simon wanted was to be held. I love him like crazy but it was WAY to hot to snuggle! Why isn’t he like this at home in the air conditioning? You can tell it’s crazy hot, because my glasses are practically sliding off my face.

Here’s one of Whitney and the girls :)

The girls are trying their best to keep that hippo nice and cool!

Here’s Simon, baby Wren(Ellie’s sister), and Whitney’s grandma who is visiting. She was such a good sport!

Violet was dying to ride on the swings. But once she realized how hot it was out of the water she quickly changed her mind.

Friends…we’re going to miss you little Ellie!

The walk back to the subway almost did us in. Whitney spotted this place across the street on 94th street and Broadway. It has the most delicious frozen custard slushy treat. I got the Gelati:

It’s an Italian Ice on the bottom with custard on top. Delicious! It was the perfect snack before heading back outside and down into the inferno, also known as the NYC subway system in the summer time.

Thanks for getting sweaty and gross with us Hardie family(minus Joe)! We’re sure going to miss you guys :(

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Have you heard about these fun books for babies? My Friend Whitney told me about them and I ordered one from Amazon for Simon right away and he LOVES his.

They definitely live up to their promise of being chew proof, rip proof, drool proof and totally washable. Plus the pages make a crinckly sound that babies love. And at $4.95 a book they’re super affordable and the pictures are colorful and fun too look at. It’s the perfect church and on the go toy. I highly recommend them. If you need any more convincing, just look how happy he is:

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There’s a reason why Disneyland is called “The Happiest Place on Earth”. We had the the BEST time. It was 3 full days of exhilarating, non-stop fun! Of course the night before our trip both Violet and Simon woke up sick with fevers… At this point i’m pretty sure we’re cursed and i’ve given up all hope to traveling anywhere with healthy kids :) But that being said, we made the best of it and Violet (as long as we kept the Motrin flowing) was in good spirits and was able to enjoy herself. She was definitely overwhelmed the 1st day, but once she realized the Disneyland is amazing she couldn’t wait for more!

We spent A LOT of time in Fantasyland. Grandma made sure she got the full princess experience:

After riding on Peter Pan, Dumbo, the Carousel, Casey jr. Circus Train, Touring Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Teacups, and the Storybook Boat; we convinced her to venture out and explore new areas. Here’s a quick glimpse into Fantasyland or “princess place” as Violet now refers to it fondly :)

Dumbo was a big hit. My mom was such a good sport and rode it with her over and over again.

Violet was so confused by “It’s a Small World”. Can you tell? Thankfully for the rest of us she only wanted to go once. Unfortunately once was enough to have the song playing in my head for the rest of the trip. 

Oh the Teacups! She loved them. By the 3rd time I’d had enough. Violet could’ve gone all day long.

The carousel was another favorite! We rode this one at least 15 times :)

Here are some more pics from our adventures in the Magic Kingdom:

Riding the Disneyland Railroad train around the park.  It was our first day. Can you tell how skeptical Violet is?

Riding in the Autopia cars or the “race cars” as Violet calls them. This was one of my most favorite rides growing up so it was so fun to be able to do it with Violet. I basically let het steer the whole time and let me tell you, I felt like I need to get my back re-aligned afterwards :) But she was so precious. I love that the only part of Violet that’s visible is her tiara.

My parents were good sports and offered to stay with our sleeping kids while we went back to the park with my sister and enjoyed some of the bigger rides at night like: Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Indian Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain. And a few in California Adventure too: Tower of terror, River Ride, and California Screamin’ (which, by the way, was the MOST terrifying experience of my life to date!) I’ve decided that I definitely earned the “good sport” award when it came to these crazy roller coaster and stomach churning rides that make you want to puke :)

We spent a little time in Frontierland and rode the Mark Twain as a family. It was one of the few places Simon could get out and crawl around. There was a newer Winnie the Pooh ride that I took Violet on as well. Afterwards she made it clear that she in fact did NOT like the “Heffalumps part”.

We also spent some time in the California Adventure Park. It has some great rides including The Little Mermaid and Violet’s favorite King Triton’s Carousel:

We wandered over the the “Bugs Land” area of California Adventure which has lots of fun stuff for little kids including bumpers cars, a water play area, and spinning mushroom tops.  

On our last evening in the park we watched the daily 5pm parade that rolls down main street. Violet was in heaven. She got to see Minnie, Mickey, all her princesses as well as “Wendy” from Peter Pan, her favorite character(she thought Mary Poppins was Wendy and we didn’t have the heart to correct her).

The parade was the perfect way to end our vacation. We had such an amazing time! Every bone in my body ached when we got home so I know we walked ourselves silly. I’m already looking forward to the next time.

A huge shout out goes to our boy Simon. He was The. Best. Baby. Ever. Seriously. At one point I forgot he was with us :) He was perfectly happy to nap and stroll around for hours and hours everyday. I only wish I could say that he continued this blissful behavior on our flights. Sadly no. He was a wild man and discovered that his ear piercing scream really does turn heads. And not in a good way!

I love this one. Look at her face. She was one happy girl!

Happy 3rd birthday Violet. We hope your trip was as memorable and magical as it was for us!


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Look Who’s Three!

Our sweet little girl turned 3 today. I can’t believe it. When did she become so grown up? I can still see her baby face when I look at her from certain angles. It amazes me how much she’s changed just since last year!
She’s a great big sister and friend. She’s a sweet girl all around. I feel so lucky to be her mother.
We spent the day playing with her new toys, playing in central park, and then had pizza for dinner with daddy and our good friends.
Happy, happy birthday Violet Reva. You are so loved!

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