Monday, October 31, 2011

trick or treat

 The number one reason to have a close friend that is a costume designer... she can make AMAZING halloween costumes! Sam totally MADE this Cinderella dress for Audrie. Isn't it just too wonderful??
 Audrie was in LOVE with it and will probably not take it off until June.
 She had to make sure it twirled just right...

 And it did! This is one happy little girl.
 Sweet little Annie was a pumpkin (to pair with the Cinderella story) and looked so cute!
 She actually hated the whole costume idea for the first five minutes, but once we mentioned "going outside" (her favorite phrase) and get "candy!"- she decided she could live with the costume for one night.
 Such a doll!
 Here is my attempt to get in a photo with the girls. (I dressed up like a cowgirl for my school's costume day today.)
 Jamie put on a viking hat so he could say he tried to dress up, too.
 Our first stop to test out the trick or treating process was at Jason and Sam's apartment. Here are the girls waiting for the elevator.
 And knocking on their door...
 Trick or Treat!
 Sam and Baby Samuel joined us for a little walk around the neighborhood.
 So how it works here... all the cute little trick-or-treaters walk around with the families and go into the stores and restaurants around the neighborhood to get candy. Everyone was SUPER nice and gave the girls way too much candy.
 It actually was really fun going into all the shops and meeting all the owners.
 The girls loved it!
 Every time Audrie came out she was crazy excited about her candy and would show Jamie every new piece that she got. It was cute.
 There were trick-or-treaters walking around every where. It made the blocks around us seem even more "homey" than before. We really love living in this area.
 Here is a quick photo Sam snapped of the Four of Us.
 We trick or treated for about an hour, but it was starting to get cold so we headed home.
 Annie slobbered on a huge sucker all the way home. She was happy!
 Samuel got to chew on some unwrapped candy and was just as happy. :)
 So that was our Halloween night here in the city. Not too much different than home... just a little change in the scenery.
Thank you, again, to Sam for the special one-of-a-kind dress that we will cherish forever!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

loves her sleep

I snapped this photo on my phone the other day at the park and thought Annie looked too grown up for me. I also wanted to share something she did tonight that totally cracked me up! 

So we've always been so blessed to have two girls who are awesome sleepers. Both Audrie and Annie have always loved sleep since they were born, gave great 'sleepy clues', and were quick bedtime routines... basically throw them in their bed and they're out. 

Ok, but tonight Annie really topped the charts. I was putting away laundry and I noticed Annie was getting pretty cranky and letting me know she was READY for bed. She kept trying to drag me by the finger towards her bed and pointing to her blankies. But I wanted to finish putting away her clothes in her room before I put her to sleep. She kept whining a little more and then... out of the corner of my eye... I see her run and, honestly, LAUNCH herself into her pack-n-play! She did a little head-over-heels flip over the railing and landed in the pile of blankets!!! Then she laid her little sweet head down and snuggled down to go to sleep. I just about fell over laughing at her! She had had ENOUGH of waiting for me and decided to put herself to bed. I couldn't believe it! So I tucked her in, shut off the lights, and let the poor girl get some sleep.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

parenting is easy

 This weekend Audrie tried really hard to remind me why I'm not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I truly admire those moms (and dads!) who are on the front lines every day and sometimes I find myself daydreaming of Jamie going back to work and me staying home. But this weekend I was never more thankful of my teaching job. It was one of those times where Jamie and I looked at each other and said "What are we doing wrong with Audrie??".
 For some reason this weekend Audrie just totally lost her mind several times and gave us (and every one around us) an awesome display of spoiled brat. Like people walking by hugged their kids a little tighter and thought "at least my kid is not THAT bad". ha!

I mean, we had some really great fun moments this weekend! But at one point we had to drag Audrie home kicking and screaming at the top of her lungs for five blocks "I DON'T LIKE YOU, DADDY! I DON'T LIKE YOU, DADDY..." (I only share this embarrassment because I'm sure at some point in the future this will seem funny. I hope. Right? Someone lie to me and tell me that someday when I have two teenage daughters they will skip home from school every day and tell me how right I am about everything. And how smart I am. And I'm pretty and smell good.)

Of course you know we LOVE Audrie more than life itself. And 99% of the time she is the life of the party and we just adore her awesome personality! But that other percent was in full force this weekend and we are praying that it is a bad phase (a very SHORT phase)!

Friday, October 21, 2011


 Yay! Ben (and Jim) are in visiting from Arkansas and Audrie is just beside herself with glee.

They came over yesterday as Audrie was getting up from naptime and the two of them didn't miss a beat and were best friends sharing a snack again.
Jamie and Jim left for awhile to give Jamie a break from the estrogen in the apartment and I let the kids do some artwork.

Annie joined in the fun. It was cute because she saw how Ben and Audrie were laying on their bellies to draw- so she had to try to be just like them and laid on her belly, too.
 Ben and Audrie played for hours together and had THE best time catching up.
 Ben told Audrie a wild story about some pirates...
 And Audrie was a good girl and smiled and nodded at all the right times in the silly boy story. ;)

 They were cracking each other up.
 The best part of the evening was when we got out the dress-up box and the two of them spent some time dancing together.
 My camera was on a weird setting so the pictures are a little grainy but I was glad I captured this moment. These two really love each other.
Breaks my heart even more that we live so far from them now!

annie's first haircut

 Two weeks ago we took the girls to a children's salon near in our neighborhood. Audrie needed a trim of her layers and I decided to try bangs on Annie (she won't keep clips or bands in her hair like Audrie would as a baby so she always has hair hanging in her eyes).
Annie actually did really good with the haircut, considering it was a split second cut of her bangs. At first the lady was taking too long and Annie was starting to wiggle, so I nicely explained to the stylist that she would have to make it quick or it wasn't going to happen.

So now Annie has bangs and looks super cute! I'm not sure if we'll keep the bangs or try hairbands again, but for now I like Annie's new look. Congratulations, Baby Annie, on your first haircut!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

how are things?

This is just a random update on how we're doing (and some photos from my phone, too).

I think things are starting to stable out a bit for us. For awhile there were really bad days and really good days and not much middle ground. But it seems lately that the roller coaster has smoothed out and we are seeing 'a life' starting to emerge.

The girls do much better traveling around on the subways and buses. (Of course it might have something to do with the fact that we give them lollipops anytime we go more than 20 minutes on the train!)

 (Audrie is in her leotard because we were coming back from her ballet class.)
 There is SO much to do in this city every day of the week. It's almost a little too much pressure, because I want to do it ALL.  And tons of kid friendly events, too. A few weeks ago I took the girls to a musical festival in Battery Park because they were featuring one of my favorite folk singers, Tom Chapin. Audrie loves his songs, too.
 At the festival they had lots of activities for kids. Audrie loved the painting exhibit! It was so cool. They had glued together some cardboard boxes cut out in the shape of a skyline. They gave the kids cups of paint and a brush and just let them go at it!
 Audrie could have stayed right there for hours!
 The coolest thing was that in the background of her painting was this inspiration...
 Annie joined the fun for a minute but then she started eating the paint, so I had to squelch that.
 On the walk home we saw a double-dutch jump rope group performing so we stopped to watch for a bit.
 We see street performers almost every day. And it's always something different. Here is a hip-hop group doing a fun routine. Imagine how cool Audrie thinks it is to see people performing 'for her' all the time?! :)


Today we were getting ready to get on the subway and I saw a little mariachi quartet group about to get on, so I walked down to their train car with them because I knew the girls would love watching it on the train ride (it's like free babysitting entertainment!).

 It is starting to get colder here, so we're all wearing jackets and scarves. The heat radiators haven't come on in our apartment yet, but I'm interested to see how that is going to work out when it does.
 Jamie is still loving his new job as Mr. Mom. I know he gets tired of me asking him all the time if he is doing ok with the new role and prying to see if he's really ok. But he honestly loves it and is truly enjoying this time he gets to bond with Audrie and Annie. (And occasionally Baby Samuel...)
 And my job is... well it's still insanely hard, but I'm finding ways to make it manageable for me. I still get nervous every morning as I walk into work and I constantly pray for help throughout the day. But I will say that the rewarding side of this job is like nothing I've ever experienced. These kids are starving for affection and when you give them even a little love they just glow.

I gave them a writing reflection the other day to do at the end of class and at the bottom I let them write any question they wanted to ask me (I got some interesting ones, ha!). But this one really touched me...

So we are really doing good. Living in New York City is really starting to feel 'normal', which seems a little crazy! :)