Downtown and the Peerless Pool

Thursday the weather was beautiful.  Sunny and much cooler.  We haven't been downtown much this summer because it's been hot and LittleL.G. likes to be worn, which makes me hot.  MiniM.E. would prefer to be swimming anyway.  But once in a while she loves a ride on the carousel and she's always up for seeing if there are any new baby ducks.

We got really lucky because there was a mounted police officer in the park and we got to pet the horse, King Tut.  

Next it was on to the carousel.  LittleL.G. gets really excited about seeing the horses go round and round so I took her off so she could ride with MiniM.E.  Definitely NOT interested in actually riding the horses.  She wanted off before it even started.

We met our friends O. and M. in the park and the kids threw rocks in the stream together.  Rock throwing pictures are always adorable.

Yesterday we went to the Peerless Pool.  The water in the big pool was reasonably warm and we swam there for a while.

Last time we went the kiddie pool was even warmer, but this time it was so cold my feet were cramping.  Why wouldn't you make a pool for water-wary toddlers 60 degrees?  Needless to say LittleL.G. wanted nothing to do with it.  Surprisingly, MiniM.E. braved the water and waded for more than an hour.

We got tired of the cold and I thought maybe LittleL.G. would like to try out the big pool.

At least someone had a good time.


American Girls' Night Out

Last night MiniM.E. and I had a Mommy-Daughter date.  We went to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center for American Girls's Night Out; the pre-show to the NYC Ballet.  We'd heard great things about it from reviews of local mommy bloggers and other moms that had taken their girls so we were pretty excited.  MiniM.E. was thrilled to dress up her Bitty Baby for the occasion.  She picked out a pink dress for herself and even requested that I wear a pink dress to match.

We got there early and met our friends.  We were expecting a lot and unfortunately the pre-show didn't really live up to our expectations.  The "tea party" was no more than some hot, sticky cookies and lemonade, the "give-aways" were American Girl Dolls that we had to stand in line just to put in our raffle tickets for and the "craft" was putting stickers on a luggage tag.  The girls were happiest at a small games station with hopscotch and chalk.  We had seen what there was to see within an hour.  A few friends decided to go home but MiniM.E. was set on seeing the ballerinas.

I am so glad we stayed because the ballet was definitely the highlight of the trip and we stayed until 10!


A BBQ, A Pool, A Happy Baby, A New Baby and A Sick Baby

On Saturday we went to a BBQ at our friends' house where we cooked mountain pies and hot dogs over a campfire and the kids had a blast in the kiddie pool and on the new swing set.

Sunday the girls played in the yard and went in our kiddie pools.

Monday a happy baby was cruising everywhere:

On Tuesday we visited a one week old baby.

And on Wednesday our baby was sick.

Fortunately it wasn't long lasting.  Sick babies are rough on everyone...


A Busy Wednesday

Yesterday we were itching to get out of the house and play so we took a trip to the library to return our books and movies and play in the playroom.

LittleL.G. just learned to cruise and has been standing holding on to anything she can find.  She loved playing at the library and watching all the kids.  Most of my photos were blurry because she is so active, but I had to post this one because it is just so adorable:

Then in the afternoon we decided to take a trip to the beach.  Because, why not?  It's less than 15 minutes from our house...

yay! beach!!

is that a FISH I just saw???

3pm is a magical time to arrive at the beach.  All the camp groups and most of the other beach goers are on their way home.  The beach is almost empty.  It is warm out and the water is nice.  And most importantly, we didn't have to pack a lunch!  This could be a very regular outing for us...


The Bronx Zoo

Yesterday instead of just packing up and heading home we might have been a little crazy and thought we'd just hit up the Bronx Zoo real quick since it was sort of on the way.  After the fun and tiring weekend we already had, why not add something else fun and tiring?

We had to grab a quick breakfast because we promised MiniM.E. we would take her back to her "favorite playground ever" before we had to check out at 11.  So we hit up the McDonald's on the corner.  On the way, we almost fed a squirrel.  He totally would have eaten this berry out of her hand, but she got nervous and threw it and he ran away.

It was nice to play in the morning without too many kids.

And then we drove to the zoo.  We were smart and bought the total experience tickets online which got us into way more stuff than just general admission.  Most importantly it let us ride the shuttle, which we utilized right away.  It is a BIG zoo.

Before she got too tired MiniM.E. wanted to see the Children's Zoo.  They had lots of great hands on activities for kids like seeing how far you could jump and what kind of animal also jumps that far and a giant spider web for climbing.
komodo dragon statue

prairie dog habitat

a log

tree slide

being turtles

hearing like a fennec fox

dominating the tractor in the petting zoo
 We figured MiniM.E. would wear out pretty quickly so we made sure to do all the things we thought she would love first.  Next on the list: Bug Carousel.
we were first in line so she got first choice of bugs!
 Then Butterfly Garden:

After the Butterfly Garden MiniM.E. was done.  It wasn't even 3 yet so we couldn't go home, but she rode in the stroller, ate some ice cream and we saw rhinos and giraffes and walked a lot and rode the Asian Monorail, which was a much needed rest at the end of the day for Mommy and Daddy and was neat because we saw lots of animals and didn't have to walk to see them.  The elephants were the best!

We were so tired by the end of the weekend but it was hugely successful and everyone had a great time.  So glad we went!


NYC: Party, Playing, Sightseeing & Fireworks

Yesterday we drove down to New York City to attend a big 40th birthday party for one of our long-time Dresden-to-Saratoga friends.  It is our first big trip to a hotel with both the girls and our first "night out" since LittleL.G.

We arrived after a looong daytime trip.  I tried really hard to stop drinking early enough in the day so we could make it non-stop, but I guess that last coffee was too much because I might have had to stop at a rest area an hour in and it might have woken up both girls... oops!  Once we finally arrived, we met my parents, the baby-sitters, at our hotel: the Flatiron.

Before we even got to the hotel I got a call from my mom.  They don't have rooms next to each other. I had called ahead and asked for adjacent rooms and the lovely man on the phone assured me he had already blocked us in next to each other- not to worry.  But apparently upon our arrival, they had only rooms two floors apart!  I called and gave the manager a piece of my mind, but it seemed they honestly DID NOT have rooms near each other.  I was crushed: our baby-sitting the baby from the next room via monitor was foiled!! Until... Bob reminded me about FaceTime and I remembered why I love apple and all our problems were solved.  We were given two bottles of champagne for our troubles which mostly made up for it.

So we unpacked and set a game plan and then ventured out to see what was nearby.  We found a cute playground at Madison Square Park that MiniM.E. instantly fell in love with.  Surprising because she is not usually one for crowds and this playground had more kids on 3 climbers than I've ever seen at any playground at home.  She played for a while and LittleL.G. even took a turn on a swing (we had to wait in line) before we left MiniM.E. with my parents so we could get ready and get LittleL.G. to bed.

assessing the situation

The party was fantastic.  I have no photos because my phone was being used as a baby monitor, but hopefully some friends will send some along and I can update later.  Tasty food, DJ, roof-top terrace with views of the Empire State Building... it was very fancy.

The kids did great- LittleL.G. slept and MiniM.E. was good despite being up way past her bedtime.  They certainly kept us on schedule by waking us up bright and early at 6:30.  Plenty of time before the scheduled brunch to walk around town and find Dough.  MiniM.E. loves doughnuts and I thought this would be right up her alley, but none of us really thought they were any good.  Long walk for a crappy breakfast.  At least they had good coffee!

We took MiniM.E. with us to brunch while Gram and Grumpy baby-sat a napping baby.  MiniM.E. was exhausted too though, and brunch was probably too much.

After brunch we hit up the Lego Store while it was raining.

Then instead of walking to High Line Park as planned, we walked to Times Square and Bryant Park for the carousel per MiniM.E.'s request.  She almost fell asleep on the way there, but perked up once we saw the carousel.
quick pre-carousel snack

best part of the trip!
When we got back to the hotel it was time for Gram and Grumpy to head out and for us to rest up for the fireworks.  Both the kids were exhausted but we had to try for it!  How could you not see the 4th of July Fireworks in NYC if you are HERE!!???!

LittleL.G. was asleep before we even left.  MiniM.E. was tired, but she was going to alternate between riding on Bob's shoulders and in the Tula so she wouldn't have to walk the mile down to the waterfront where we would watch the fireworks.  We didn't want the stroller so we could more easily navigate the crowds. An excellent plan.  However, nothing ever goes according to plan so here's what really happened.

LittleL.G. woke up as soon as we were outside on the bustling streets.  She was happy to ride in the Ergo on the way there, but as she was tired too, only Mommy would do.  No problem since MiniM.E. was happy riding on Daddy.  BUT when we were a few blocks from the waterfront MiniM.E. decided she was too tired and also only wanted Mommy.  I could see the water and it looked like we were close, so I strapped her on my back in the Tula and we kept on walking.  When we got to the water I was tired and happy we made it but worried about the 2 hour wait.  No need to worry though, we were told we needed to walk up 5 blocks to the access ramp for the elevated road- might as well kill some time.  Once we made it to the elevated road, we were directed to keep walking back the way we came.  So probably another mile later we arrived at a location where we could at least sit down together.  We were all so tired!

Both the girls were FANTASTIC while we were waiting.  MiniM.E. was so tired we actually had to wake her up a few times.  LittleL.G. was apparently not tired at all but was kept entertained by playing with a fruit snack wrapper, a water bottle, and the lady's purse strap next to us.

They both lit up when the fireworks started.

LittleL.G. was mesmerized and could have watched forever, but MiniM.E. was so tired that halfway through when things got really "bangy" she started crying that it was too loud for sleeping and she just wanted to go home.
DURING the fireworks

Reluctantly we headed back towards the access road and back down towards where we met the water and back the mile to the hotel.  At least we beat the crowds and we can say we saw the fireworks in NYC on the 4th of July.