NYC at Christmastime: Take 4

This year was the fourth year of visiting NYC at Christmastime, specifically to see the Plaza Hotel Santa Claus.

We took the train from Poughkeepsie this year, which was miles better than Beacon because there was a place to wait INSIDE.

The train ride was a little longer than previous years, but MiniM.E. had a great time looking out the window, and for the most part, Baby#2 slept.

Once we arrived, MiniM.E. took her usual post-travel nap while we walked up to Central Park.  First, we walked all over the park trying to find the paths that led to the carousel.  When we finally found the carousel, it was closed.  Epic fail.  Fortunately, MiniM.E. was not too disappointed as long was got to pet some animals at the zoo.

This year, we spent a decent amount of time at the petting zoo:
pretending to be hatching turtles

playing on the spider web

watching the goats

basking like a turtle

the snow leopard

Next we did Santa.  We timed it perfectly (unintentionally) to catch Santa coming back from his break.  There was no wait and both kids did reasonably well.  MiniM.E. sat close enough to Santa to look like she might be enjoying herself, and Leah had her usual "surprise!" face on.

the best photo without the "fake smile"

MiniM.E. talking to Santa about what she wanted for Christmas
After Santa we went to FAO Schwartz, where MiniM.E. only wanted to play the "foot piano" which she remembered fondly from our previous years.

On the way back from the toy store we saw the tree.  MiniM.E. loved the lights and the music.

After the disappointment of not finding the carousel at Central Park, we were lucky enough to find one at the end of the evening at Bryant Park.

We skipped Times Square this year and headed home around dinner time.  I was a bit intimidated to take both kids to the city, but it went really well and we're looking forward to NYC trip #5!!


Victorian Street Walk

The Thursday after Thanksgiving is Victorian Street Walk in Saratoga Springs.  They close off Broadway, a few people dress in funny outfits and a ton of normal people put on their warm clothes and go out for an evening of tree lighting, carousel rides, hot chocolate and holiday festivities.

watching the tree lighting

winter carousel ride!

all of us on the carousel

MiniM.E. had a blast listening to the carolers (we almost missed them, they were so deep in the crowd waiting to see the tree lighting and that was ALL MiniM.E. cared about- not the tree, not Santa arriving, just the carolers).  Riding the carousel was definitely the best part of the evening, and we got to ride FOUR times because the attendants didn't have enough change for a $20.  We should have stopped there because we tried to go out to dinner and things went downhill, but overall I think MiniM.E. had a good time.

In other news, Baby#2 is smiling!! And it is SO CUTE!


In Other News...

despite this face, Baby#2 loves a good bath

watching the mobile together

rocker cuddles

a mustache party

Sunnyside Gardens gingerbread house

rocking the Boppy Pillow

a haircut!

from the back

watching TV together
soooo tired

chasing some ducks

being chased BY ducks
singing with friends

let me think about that.... 

"How do you like the snow?"

MiniM.E.: "Are we done yet?"  Baby#2: "Christmas pictures?  I'm outta here!"


Happy Thanksgiving

From a little pre-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping to cutting down the tree, we had a pretty spectacular Thanksgiving weekend.

We started by preparing for Thursday's dinner.  MiniM.E. was more excited to start shopping for Christmas:

Then came the cooking-- while we opted for turkey pie to make things a bit easier (not to mention the fact that I've never cooked a turkey), there were still lots of other things to prepare- like pumpkin pie.  Thanks to Gram for coming to help us out- if it were just me and the girls, we would have had to order in McDonalds!

Everyone came to our house for Thanksgiving:  Meamaw & Grandpa, Uncle Dave, Uncle Billy, Gram & Grumpy and Auntie Jen.  We haven't had that many people over for dinner in... ever... But it went really well and everyone had a good time.  Since we don't see Meamaw and Grandpa often, here are a couple photos of them with Leah.

On Sunday after everyone went home, we went to cut our tree down at Bob's Trees.  MiniM.E. wasn't really into it and spent most of the time playing in the snow:

Even though it was slim picking because most people probably went Friday or Saturday and a lot of trees were tagged from the fall, we still found a decent one (after a looonnng search):
MiniM.E. holding it up by a tiny branch

Bob's also had fun cut-outs, reindeer and a wagon ride with carolers which we went on twice because MiniM.E. liked the singing.  (Her new favorite Christmas carol is 12 Days of Christmas)

And then, of course, we had to put it up, put the lights on and decorate it.  MiniM.E. (in all actuality) was a huge help with the decorating.