Ryan Adam's song, New York, New York, played through my head the 36-hours that we inhabited NYC. My twin lived in the city and loved it but I wasn't a huge fan--didn't think I could "do it", especially with kids.
That all changed when we brought our cuties to the Big Apple and powered through the city like we knew what we were doing. Maybe it's all about attitude and confidence--finally living in the reality that I'm God's creation and that I don't need to be concerned about anyone's opinion of me (why i think New Yorkers would have the time of day to judge me i have no clue)--to have that confidence as a child of God is pretty awesome (<----and i mean that word in it's literal sense!)
The girls loved NYC. Cutie Face could not get enough of the city and kept proclaiming her love for it. It helped that J's law school friends had an incredibly spectacular roof-top terrace from which to view the skyline.
(apparently Cutie Cakes will only look at the camera for me
if she is instructed to show me her tongue.
Makes for stellar pics)
We ate genuine New York pizza on the rooftop while enjoying the sunset, the views, and the conversation with old friends. Cutie Face and her new-found friend, Talia, hit it off and hung out with us the whole night--until nearly 11! Crazy late but such is city life, eh?
the main reason she was able to stay up so late?
eating two slices of this delicious homemade Build-a-Bear cake!
Who doesn't love to take a road trip with a toddler and preschooler and a pregnant mom? Bless J's heart (yay Southern phrase!), he drove us all the way from Atlanta to NYC.
The girls were awesome. It helped that we ran them ragged on Cutie Face's preschool playground:
By the time we hopped into the car, they were completely ready for an afternoon nap
we stopped at a very kid-friendly Chick-fil-A for dinner and gave them some more exercise (err...play) time so that J and I could continue on our journey until 2 AM.
The girls LOVE staying at hotels. Cutie Cakes screams "YAY!" with glee and does a funny little waddle dance whenever we get into a hotel room. Cutie Face loves hotel breakfasts and their pools. Having a super big girl comfy bed to call her own for a night is also a huge highlight.
Since J drove the whole time, I gave him a break in the AM and took the girls swimming in the pool. We clearly didn't get enough water time because the girls continued to play in the bath with awesomely improvised bath toys (ice bucket and water cups are great, fyi!).
Another hotel bonus for the girls?
They got to watch cable tv while we quickly got ready
not even 3 hours later, we were here, embarking on the girls first journey into the Big Apple
Cutie Cakes took to it right away. Here she is, hailing a cab
J had to do a little work and hotel room #2 was not quite ready so the girls and I found a playground and off we went...in the double jogging stroller which, i'm pretty sure, is the largest vehicle Manhattanites have ever seen grace their already cramped sidewalks
Cutie Cakes took a stellar nap on the remainder of the drive
so she was ready to take Manhattan...
she couldn't seem to find her sister to play with, though
Oh! that's right, Cutie Face had zero naps and pretty much zero sleep the night before. Where did we find her on a fun new playground? Taking refuge in her stroller of course!
The playground was located in Madison Square Park. This same park just so happened to be hosting a viewing station for the US Open finals. We wished Poppy was there to watch it with us and the rest of the lunch-crowd--he would have loved it!
Finally, our room was ready & so were we! The girls couldn't wait to get into their room and take a nap...because apparently another hotel perk is getting boutique cupcakes upon check-in. Which we used as incentives to go to sleep so they could eat them upon waking. it worked! and we all took 2.5 hour naps! I can attest that Billy's Cupcakes are deliciously worth the nap-time wait :)
we started Cutie Face's first day of the adventures class...
here's Cutie Face gesticulating wildly about the fact
that SHE is the one that gets to go to school today:
and here is our little Cutie getting excited for her big sis:
all that excitement pre-preschool wore them out
so they took a joint nap on the couch
which then left me scrambling at the last minute so the poor kid only got one obligatory picture before we ran to school (literally) with marker left on her hands from the drawings she was making for her teachers...yeah...we're classy like that
She skipped into her class and didn't look back (sniff sniff) which made it surprisingly easy for Cutie Cakes and I to run back to our house just in time to take visiting friends to the airport.
Here's the thing. J toted our visiting friends around in our Cabrio. For roughly a year, this very same Cabrio's automatic retractable roof had ceased to function. Remarkably, the roof retracted the day our friends arrived so they got to drive around the ATL in style (ha!).
The only issue? The roof wouldn't go back up.
Not really an issue when the weather is peachy. Definitely an issue when you're taking 4 people to the airport and it's raining. (We decided to let J drive our normal kid-toting vehicle to his office since he wouldn't be able to park the invalid Cabrio under shelter during the rainstorms at work.)
If you look closely, you'll see a car seat and a Cutie hunkered low in the picture above.
With her sister's raincoat on, this kid was a trooper
she loved her ride (bonus: we barely got rain during our trip)
Cutie Cakes celebrated with a rain dance
and looked quite cute doing so
finally it was time to pick up the Big Cutie from school.
We snuck up on her from the back of the playground
while she may have been excited to go to school,
she was very excited to leave school...
...because she knew about our little tradition from last year:
"ice cream" (fro-yo) after the 1st day of school.
Let's just say this kid has a one-track mind.
Upon seeing us she immediately said she was ready for her ice cream
and most definitely did not want to linger on the playground
Pleased as punch to get her treat
and her sister clearly didn't mind piggybacking
on the post-school prize, either
phew! that first day of school is officially in the books!
after attending by his lonesome two years ago, J wanted to bring the girls to the parade this year. Father-daughter bonding i suppose?! J scouted out seats for him and the girls right on the curb of Peachtree St.
obligatory "turn around & say hi to mommy, girls" photo
some people got really creative with their seats of choice...
more specifically, the roof of a Marta station:
Dragon*Con is a 3-day "festival" of sorts that occurs every year over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. It draws an incredible amount of people who love to dress up in elaborate costumes, meet famous SciFi authors, and enjoy being with like minded people.
there were so many costumes on parade that i did not recognize
I did, however, enjoy seeing Harry Potter characters and watching the crowd react to Doc from "Back to the Future" fame. *side note* J actually met the real Doc (Christopher Lloyd) at a Dragon*Con seminar. Neat-O.
the DeLorean that follows was also a crowd pleaser
Car props were a big deal during the parade
The Ecto-1 Ghostbusters car was pretty funny, especially because of the dozens of Ghostbusters who flanked it--they were all about getting us to participate along with them
J had to tell me that this one was Speed Racer but he, too, got us all riled up when he jumped out of the car and did some funky dancing
I can report that I at least knew MIB meant "Men In Black"
We saw our favorite local marching band
(what? you don't have a favorite local marching band?)
Cutie Cakes really enjoyed the Feed&Seed band--she loves music!
(she was, by now, perched upon my shoulders to watch the parade)
Big C was thrilled to see the princesses on parade
though i'm not sure how much the rest of the crowd loved it
Cutie Cakes was a bit perplexed...
...to see a fellow little kiddo being toted around
with a look of "i didn't sign up for this, Mom!" on his face
Cutie Cakes was definitely a little restless and my shoulders were aching
so down she went...and all the way down it was--in lieu of a morning nap
in her crib, she felt like the sidewalk pavement was a perfect spot
Cutie Face, on the other hand, had loads of energy and danced around us
It was an interestingly fun morning with our supergirls