Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fire Fighter, Kitty, and Monkey!

Halloween on a Sunday is a bummer if your Dad is the pastor of a church and has to preach at the exact time that trick-or-treating begins! I wasn't going to venture out with the kids since Freddy couldn't come this year. I knew Lillie and Elliott were clueless and I don't think Jack really remembers last year, so it would not have been a big deal to relax at home, but I had this "guilty mom" feeling if I stayed in and didn't let them get out and enjoy the holiday. Plus, they did all have costumes, so this morning, with Freddy's encouragement, I enlisted my friend Regina to come along with us.

We hopped on the train and went down to the Upper West Side to meet Regina at her apartment. I think I blogged about this last year, but just to refresh your memory, trick-or-treating looks very different in Manhattan than most places. The majority of trick-or-treating is done in stores, not at houses/apartments. I'll show you in a minute. There are 2 little streets on the Upper West Side that are blocked off and the residents go all out with decorating the stoops of their brownstones, and it is a lot of fun to walk through those. Fun and crowded!
Onto the pictures! This year I present to you...

Jack the fearless firefighter!
Lillie the cute, pink kitty. When I ordered the costumes I just looked at pictures, not any descriptions, and thought I had ordered a pig. When I opened the package I realized it was a pink cat instead. Oh well... a cute one she was!
Elliott, our silly (and cute) little monkey!
On the train.
This is the only group shot I have. I don't know what happened to my camera. I only took 30 something pictures and it told me my card was full.
Stop 1. A nail salon called Dashing Diva.
Dunkin Donuts
This is West Side Kids, my favorite toy store in the city. How on earth they were out of candy, I don't understand. I figured they would be fully stocked. Since they ran out we let Jack play at the train table for a few minutes.
A deli.
Some Thai restaurant.
Spice, our favorite Chinese take out when we lived in the neighborhood.
Some decorations on 90th between Columbus and Central Park West. This was our street of choice this year for the more neighborhood feel.
A few of the Flintstones handing out candy.
This was the lobby of a building on Amsterdam.
Our last stop was dropping Regina back off at her apartment. Jack ran inside and got one last piece of candy from her doorman.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and Corn Maze

Last night we carved our pumpkin for the year. I thought Jack would be more into it this year than he was last year. He was very excited about the idea of pumpkin carving, but he still thought it stunk and wanted nothing to do with digging out the seeds.
Jack ready to dig in. Before he realized what was inside.
Jack wanted his animals to pose for a picture.
Lucky, Puppet, Puppy, and Monkey, in his Halloween costume.
Mr. Pumpkin, as Jack named him, glowing on our balcony.

Today we took a Gallery Church outing to Queens to the Queens County Farm Museum and enjoyed a day of fall festivities. We took the train down to Penn Stations to catch the Long Island Railroad this morning to head out of Manhattan.

Jack thought it was cool getting to meet a "real live" train conductor.
Lillie and Elliott wore their backpack/leashes for the first time today. Elliott didn't mind. Lillie didn't want you holding on to hers. They did like wearing backpacks though.
Looking at the petting zoo animals.
Elliott taking a rest.

We went through a corn maze that was by far the best we've ever been in. Jack had a great time. Kim Mills stayed out with Lillie and Elliott while Freddy T., Jack, and I made our way through the maze.
Thumbs Up! Our little team was the first one out of the maze!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All In A Days Work...

My friend Melissa had a few passes to go to Kidville for open gym time and asked this crew to join her and Jonah. It was a great chance for us to do something new and different, so of course we agreed to go! Since the gym wasn't available until noon and we had to travel to the Upper East Side to get there, we decided to head over to their apartment first to play a little, eat lunch, then go to the gym. Might as well make a whole morning/early afternoon out of it!

Sounds easy enough right?

I live in Harlem. The west side of Harlem. Melissa lives in the Upper East Side. According to google maps we live 3.7 miles from each other. Because I don't want to pay for a cab and I can't take the bus (we'll I can, but you have to fold your stroller, which means removing my kids, taking everything out of the basket underneath, removing the kick stand Jack rides on, folding it up, all while expecting my little ones to stay still on the sidewalk, get on the bus and then do it all again in reverse once we get off the bus... now you know why I choose not to :) ), so the train and walking are our only choices. It took me a little over an hour to get to her apartment and a little longer to get back.

Here's our journey!

We got on the 1 train and took it down to 96th St. Got off and headed 3 blocks to Central Park and proceeded to walk across the park to 5th Ave. It's been an beautiful day here today and really the walk across the park was nice, except I didn't take the best route and found my self on tiny gravel paths or off- roading it in the grass a good bit of the time. Not ideal! Jack walked the entire way across the park. He loves Central Park! He found 2 huge sticks right away and drug them all the way to the East Side. A side note, when we got to 5th Ave. we walked past a play ground and a kid had on the same shirt as Jack and Jack looked at me and said "Hey, look at that boys shirt. It's like mine. We're brothers! I didn't know that!"
I secretly wanted to leave the kids and just go play tennis for a few hours
Jack drug his sticks up the rock. He said he had a job to take care of.
It felt a little sentimental to me being at the corner of 96th and 5th Ave. because almost 2 years ago I spent 12 straight days taking the bus to that exact location and walking up to Mt. Sinai Hospital to spend the day there with Lillie and Elliott while they were in the NICU.
96th St. and 5th Ave.
This is the Starbucks I spent a lot of time in between feeding babies. Just needing to be out of the hospital every now and then since I was spending 12 hours a day there.
We then made our way over to Melissa's. Much to Jack's delight, there was a blow up haunted house in the lobby of their apartment. He thought it was so cool!
After lunch we headed to Kidville. The kids had a great time playing and jumping around. It was fun.
At last it was time to go home. This was the first time I'd gone to the Upper East Side alone with the kids, so I thought I'd try a different route back, just to see if there was another option. So we took the 4 train up to Yankee Stadium, transferred to the D and got off at 145th St. There were 3 long, steep flights of stairs from the D train to the street. And then we were still a ways away from home. 2 avenues and 10 blocks. The walk is not bad, if you were alone. Pushing 3 kids... not recommended. I have no pictures of this part of the adventure. I was too worn out!

Anyway, we made it home. The kids all went straight to bed and are just now waking up. 3 more hours till the twins bedtime! I hope we can make it ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Want To Blog...

I enjoy blogging, I really do. It's a journal, a connection to so many, it's sometimes therapeutic. I hate that I have not been on in a while, but it seems like things all the sudden got very busy around here. Can I give you a glimpse of the last 45 minutes?

I cooked a feast fit for a king tonight. Fish sticks, tater tots, and mac and cheese :). Jack told me while he was eating, "Thank you Mommy for this good dinner!," and "Mommy how did you have time to cook all of this all by yourself?," and after his 3rd helping of mac and cheese he exclaimed, "This is the BEST!" I don't know what to say to this. I put very little effort in this meal and get huge compliments.

That was a little off track from where I was going...

While I was slaving in the kitchen I had a moment of pride when I thought, "Everyone is playing so nice together, this is just...nice." Two seconds ago I had seen out of the corner of my eye Lillie and Elliott in their room. All the sudden, Lillie walks in with toilet paper hanging from her hands soaking wet. My eyes bulged and I went around the corner to find lots of water all over the bathroom floor, hall, and Lillie and Elliott. I stripped them down to their diaper and made them stay in their bed till I was done in the kitchen, maybe 5 minutes. When I went to get them out for dinner I walked in and they had both thrown their diapers off and Elliott had peed in the bed. They were jumping around like crazy and laughing. They ate dinner in a diaper. They feed off of each other. One starts yelling something the other one chimes in. One jumps over the side of the couch, the other follows. One throws food on the floor, so does the other. I can't tell you how many times they've had to end dinner early because of throwing food.

I'm worn out just thinking about it! I'm currently blogging in the bathroom while they are taking a bath. No toys tonight, just two wash clothes and two cups and they are having the time of their life! I'm going to let them play a little longer then get them out and soon put them to bed. This apartment is a total disaster. I'm going to let Jack watch a movie and I'm going to straighten up for a few minutes after Lillie and Elliott go down, then get working on some projects. Christmas is coming up and even though our Christmas budget has increased it's only because we have to buy 5 plane tickets to make it back to TN, so I'm having to get creative with Christmas gifts. I've had fun working on a handful of projects, it's just more time consuming.

All this to say, I want to blog. I think about it often. I just can barely put my thoughts together to write anything once I sit down to do so. I have one or two entries saved in my drafts that I've never published because its just a bunch of rambling.

Enjoy a few pictures from tonight and pray that the Lord will bring an extra doses of patience and strength as we enter the terrible twos with two!

Lillie just announced she peed in the tub, gotta go!
Elliott just sits there and says "Cheese" whenever the camera is pointed at him.
This is what Lillie does when you tell her to make a funny face.