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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Notes to self: Thanksgiving edition

Things for me to remember for next Thanksgiving:


Put the turkey in the fridge to thaw a few days before you have to cook it.


Make sure you have pecans, not walnuts, before 9 pm when you are making sweet potato casserole.


Either give the turkey to the person who is hosting to cook, or get a dining table and have dinner at your place.


Eat stuffing more often.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hey, it's okay!

Here's my list of things to be okay about this week:


To end up cooking a turkey for 7 people when originally I planned on only myself and my husband. The pressure is on now. I wouldn't care if I messed up the turkey, but now I have hungry people to impress.


To not be surprised that Jennifer and Derek won Dancing with the Stars. But does anyone else think they are little too touchy feely?


To have a desire to get my Christmas shopping done early, but to know that it will really take place 2 weeks before Christmas. It's inevitable.


To wish I was in the Oprah's favorite things audience. Lucky ducks.


To have spent an entire day redesigning my blog. I actually impressed myself because I had to edit the html code for some things.


To have messed up the contrast on my computer screen redesigning said blog. I accidentally messed it up yesterday and accidentally fixed it this morning. It's a Thanksgiving miracle!


To use random objects as barriers for my son instead of buying safety gates. I know. I need to get on that.


To feel a lot of pressure to go to some Black Friday sales. I almost feel like I'm strange if I don't go. Maybe it would be fun just to go and watch people go insane. Scratch that. Sleeping in sounds more fun.


To decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not waiting for December 1st.


To be nervous that one day when I'm riding the train I might get flashed. I don't even know what I'd do if a guy asked for directions and when I look over at his map...well you know. Ewww.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seeing New York-Central Park

I actually thought I had already written a post about our trip to Central Park. But I couldn't find it so I guess I just thought about it and wrote it in my head.

A few weeks ago I told Evan I wanted to take Blake to FAO Schwarz (which is the equivalent to Toys R Us on crack. I mean, they have a place where you can create your own muppet. Your own muppet, people!) and then take a little stroll around Central Park. I know Blake won't remember going, but I thought it would be fun. I'll be honest, most of our outings are for me, not Blake or Evan. I just feel like I have to go see things because I'll regret not doing it if we ever move.


We walked around an insanely packed FAO Schwarz for about 45 minutes. I should have known it was going to be insane because it was a Saturday and other people go out and do things on Saturday too. At one point I got separated from the boys. I had to call Evan and ask him where he was in the store because I knew if I went to look for him we'd keep passing each other and never meet up. (What did we do before cell phones? I guess you could have people paged, or walk around for hours looking for them.)

After the toy store we 1) looked for a place to eat, but settled on a pretzel from a street vendor and then 2) walked around Central Park. It was really beautiful. The park is so huge we probably only saw a fraction of it.


The New York City Marathon was taking place the next day so Evan and Blake got take part in it...in their own little way.

I think it'll be fun to go when it warms up and have a picnic!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time

As lame as this may sound, I was overjoyed when I got an email from the library telling me to pick up the books I had placed on hold. These days I've had a hankerin' for a good read, the kind where you laugh out loud at some parts and can totally relate to other parts. (I'll let you know if I like it when I finish.)

I devised a plan to go to the library right before nap time so Blake would be nice and tired when we came home. That way when we got back I could put him in his crib and he'd fall asleep without any struggle. Then I could curl up on the couch with my book and drift away. Ah, some "me" time.

When we got home I knew Blake was tired, so off to Napland he went. He took his pacifier, turned on his side and started to sleep. My plan was working! I grabbed my book, surveyed the living room to see that it was a disaster, but decided this "me" time thing was more important. I sat down and started reading. Naturally, Blake decided his nap was only going to last 20 seconds.

I rushed into his room and frantically searched for his pacifier because inevitably it gets lost in his crib. Right now we're functioning on one pacifier, so if I lose this one I'll be on my hands and knees searching for another one. I managed to find it and popped it in his mouth. I tried to settle him back down, but he was telling me loud and clear that this nap time business was for the birds. I decided I'd let him cry it out while I read. Except have you ever tried to drown out a screaming baby? Impossible.

"Me" time was quickly turning into me-and-Blake-in-bed time. I figured if he laid down with me he'd go to sleep. Alas, he just wanted to rip apart my book and attempt to fall off the bed. Back in the crib he went. More crying. "Me" time was slipping away. While I don't normally give him a bottle to help him fall asleep, I did it this time. And I had a 2 hour "me" time. It was glorious.

There's no shortage of "times" with an 8 month old. There's diaper time, meal time, play time, getting into everything time, fussy time, pulling mommy's hair time, the not often enough nap time, bath time, playing with toys that aren't meant to be toys time, outside time, library time, playgroup time, grocery store time, laundry time, and bed time.

You can see why there's not a whole lot of time left for "me" time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey, it's okay!

I got this idea from Whispering Writer, who has a hilarious blog by the way. I can't promise I'll remember to do it every week, but I'll try. Basically it's a list of things to be okay about. Here we go!

To cancel a shopping trip because your baby decides he wants to cry instead of nap. And when I say cry, I'm talking the inconsolable kind. (Sorry M for having to cancel. I was so looking forward to it!)


To wonder who decided to skin a cat while it was still alive at 2 o'clock this morning. I can't even describe the sound that cat was making because I've never heard anything like it.


To have to be told by your husband that female cats make that sound when they mate. (Run lady cats! Run for your lives!)


To think it's funny that your next door neighbor "rakes" the leaves in his "yard". Except replace "rakes" with "sweeps" and "yard" with "cement slab/sidewalk". I guess that's how you do it in Brooklyn.


To not shower before noon some days. Or most days.


To think Dancing with the Stars is silly but still watch it...every week.


To wonder why people dress like it's 30 below here when it's in the mid 50's.


To be thankful that blogger periodically saves my work (because I just accidentally closed the page).


To want to try the KFC double down. It looks like way too much meat. I just want one bite, not the whole thing.

 
To be so excited for Christmas that I'm not even thinking about Thanksgiving (that's in about a week).

Monday, November 15, 2010

You wanna Christmas card? You wanna Christmas card? Alright here, here’s your Christmas card!

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you’ll appreciate that post title. If not, well it’s too long to explain (and not nearly as funny when you try to explain it to someone who has never seen the episode). 

I was thinking a few weeks ago that I’d really like to send out Christmas cards this year. I’m so excited that I thought about it early enough to actually get them sent out on time. Usually a week before Christmas the idea pops into my mind, but it’s too late by then so I don’t end up doing it. I decided that I wanted to send a photo card. Enter shutterfly.

I went to their website and was so excited with the huge selection of cards. They have photo cards, folded or flat cards, and holiday cards. Unfortunately I’m having a really hard time deciding which one I want. I’m not sure whether to go more traditional or more fun. So here are my top 2 3 4 5 choices:

            # 1                                                     #2



                
                  #3                                                         #4
 
                                                    #5
(Obviously the pictures would be replaced with pictures of my family.)

Hard to decide, huh? Tell me which one you like the most!

And just for helping me choose which Christmas card I should send this year, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: http://bit.ly/sfly2010 !

Yep, you read that right! Enjoy browsing their selection!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday...Black Friday

I'll admit it. In years past I haven't been very organized and ahead of the game when it comes to buying Christmas presents. I usually take more of a male approach to it: a day or two before Christmas I go around to various stores, pick through what is left over, find stuff for family and friends, go home and wrap it. In my defense, I do think for a few weeks about what I want to get certain people. But the actual going out and getting it doesn't take place until the eve of Christmas Eve. This method of Christmas shopping really caught up with me a few years ago when on Christmas Eve I was out shopping, checked my bank account balance and the nice, calm, automated voice said, "Your checking account balance is zero dollars and zero cents." I stood in the middle of the aisle dumbfounded. How could I have no money? I thought I'd at least have $100 or something in there. Nothing. (Later I found out my landlord waited to cash three months worth of rent checks all in December, leaving me penniless.)

So this year I'm trying to be more organized and not procrastinate Christmas shopping. I'm making a list, checking it twice, buying for people whether they're naughty or nice (because who am I to judge, right?). Even with all of this early preparation I know Black Friday will offer up some stellar deals so I think waiting a little while will be worth it. My only problem with Black Friday is the fear of being trampled. And having to fight off angry shoppers who are trying to steal items out of my cart because I got one of the items they wanted. No, this has never happened to me, but just imagining it is frightening enough.

Apparently Target will have some amazing deals on Black Friday, but when I think about going to Target (and especially the Target near me) I cringe. I guess I'm not the type of person that finds it enjoyable to get up at 3:30 am, stand with a crowd of ravenous shoppers, wait for the doors to open only to be trampled on my way to electronics. I'm not ruthless enough to shop on Black Friday. And I think you have to be pretty ruthless to shove a granny out of your way just to get a camera on sale for 75% off. The thought of rushing into a store and trying to grab things that are on sale before other people do makes me anxious. I'm sure people would start off all nice, walking quickly but calmly through the store, and then one person would break free into an all out run for the escalator and all hell would break loose. Ugh, I just can't handle that.

So my Black Friday shopping will be done online. That way I don't have to deal with the literal crowds (just virtual ones) and no one will be able to steal anything out of my shopping cart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Toys

I think for a 7 month old, Blake has a lot of toys. Most of the toys he has were gifts or second-hand toys given to us by people who didn't need them anymore. There are some days when he doesn't seem to want to play with any of his colorful, noisy, plush, squishy toys. It makes me think that maybe he's getting tired of them and wants some new ones. So the next time I'm out and about I make my way over to the baby aisle and start looking at all the brightly colored things he would just love to play with stick in his mouth. And then I remember that inevitably he will always choose the following items over any new toy I buy him:

wooden spoon
box
colander
baby spoon
measuring cup
dirty shoe
puzzle pieces
keys
electrical cord
paper/magazine
pile of laundry
wheel of stroller
my camera
pens
wash cloth
plastic bag
diaper cream tube
straw
dry erase marker
his spit-up (I know, gross.)
cell phone
anything with a tag
anything on the floor that is not considered a toy
toes (mine or Evan's)

Christmas should be easy this year.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Standing Ovation


video

I placed Blake in his crib facing the bars so I could record him pulling himself up. 

A few days ago I heard Blake playing quietly in his crib after waking up from a nap. When I went in to check on him he was standing in his crib holding onto the side. As exciting as it was to see he had done it all on his own, it was quite frightening to see my 7 month old standing. Heaven help us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear Target, I hate you.

I've probably already written about how much I detest the Target store that we go to here in Brooklyn, but another trip there today just reminds me how much I hate it. I actually really like other Target stores, but the one I go to here is AWFUL. And here is why:

1) The employees are terrible. They act like they are so put out if you ask them where something is and I've even had an employee walk right past me when I asked her a question. Luckily there was another employee walking beside her and he mumbled some unintelligible answer.

2) Pretty much every time I enter their store I can find an employee doing one of the following:
            a) talking/texting on their cell phone while "working"
            b) standing around with other employees complaining about work or their personal lives
            c) laughing obnoxiously with other annoying employees
            d) using profanity loud enough for customers to hear

3) The only times they seem to have what I need is on Monday mornings. Any other day I go I can count on walking out with only half of the things I needed.

4) Their stupid carts don't work. I guess people tend to steal their carts so the back wheels are designed to lock once they leave the store. Today I couldn't find a cart that would work. It was so annoying because I was wearing Blake and really wanted to put him in the cart to give my shoulders a break.

Every time I go to Target I just think about how crappy the store is and how I hate giving them my money. I wrote a letter to Target via their website about how terrible the store is. I got an email response saying the letter was forwarded to that Target store to review. I'm sure they got it and just laughed at my complaints while standing around texting/complaining/swearing/being terrible employees in general. So I'm going to try really hard not to go to this Target anymore. I know it won't make a difference, but at least I'll feel like I'm sticking it to them.

Oh Brooklyn Target, you could be so much better than you are. It really is a shame.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seeing New York-well, maybe

I'm going to be honest. I never really thought I'd live in New York. Evan and I talked about it as a possibility when we were first married, but it never occurred to me that it would actually happen. There are things I like about where we live and there are things I don't like and won't miss if we move. That being said, I'm starting to feel like we need to take part in all things New York while we're here so we'll have some great memories to look back on. That's why I'm thinking about going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I always watched it Thanksgiving morning when I was a kid. It's not something that as a child I told my parents I wanted to attend, but now that we're here, why not? Well, here's why not:

1) The parade starts at 9 am. The official website suggests getting there by 7am to get a good view of the parade. Ummm, website, you must not know me. Hi, I'm Whitney. I hate mornings. I've only become more of a morning person because a) I taught 4th graders starting at 8am. That meant I was at school by 7am. So happy Whitney had to be in attendance by 7:45am. and b) Blake is really the only person that makes me happy in the morning, unless it's 3 in the morning. Then there's no happiness. It's true. Ask my husband. Or my sister.

2) It's going to be cold. It already feels too cold for me these days and the temps are in the 50's! I'm not really a fan of the cold.

3) There will be TONS of people there. Like hundreds of thousands to millions. Which leads me to the next reason.

4) I'm kinda worried that because so many people go to and watch the parade that it is the perfect target for a terrorist attack. I'm serious. It kinda freaks me out. I know you just have to live life, but I'd like to live for a long time.

But beside those 4 reasons, I'd really like to go just to experience it and look back on this time in our lives and say, "Blake, when you were a baby we went to that parade you are watching on TV!" as I am dressed in my cutest housewife dress, heels and pearls, vacuuming, preparing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, all while sewing a new outfit for our 3rd child. Hahaha ya right. I don't wear heels...although I love them.

So I'm not sure if we'll go. Will it be worth it? Blake won't remember it, so will it really count? (Yes, we'll take pictures to prove it so when this comes out of his mouth: "But we never do anything fun!" I'll just hold the picture in front of him and say, "Yes we do! See!") Would it be better to wait until Blake can appreciate it? Will we even be here when he's that old? Too many questions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Seeing New York-Governors Island

Our little family actually visited Governors Island a few weeks ago, but the past few weeks have been filled with a trip to Virginia, a sick baby, Halloween activities, and more sick baby. I'm learning that the only positive to Blake being sick is that he's been a lot more willing to cuddle than he usually is. But even with that positive, I'd take healthy, not sick baby over sick baby any day.

So a few weeks ago we took the train to hop on the free ferry to Governors Island. These days we seek out free/really inexpensive activities to do, so when we found out it would only cost us to ride the subway to spend a day on G.I. it definitely jumped to the top of our to-do list. We actually ended up going the last weekend that the island was open. 

Once we got off the ferry we took a few pictures of the Manhattan skyline and then walked around the perimeter of the island. From G.I. you can see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Then we ventured into the middle of the island (I feel like we were in an episode of Lost, talking about "the island" and stuff.)

In 1637 the island referred to as Pagganck by Native Americans was sold to a Dutch man for private use. Want to know how much he got it for? Two ax heads, a string of beads, and a handful of nails. Eventually the British took control of the island when they captured what is now New York. Because of its strategic location it was used by British and American military forces for 200 years. It was even a prison for Confederate soldiers during the civil war!

Currently there's a trust that is trying to redevelop Governors Island. There's also a high school on the island that opened this year. How cool would it be to go to school on Governors Island?!

Below are some pictures of our visit. I was really hoping to see the hands-on art exhibit that I had heard people talk about, but the day we went they had removed it to make room for an Oktoberfest celebration, or in other words a lot of people getting drunk and listening to not very good music. I'd prefer the art over the booze, but that's just me.

(Sorry the pictures are so small. There were so many I wanted to post, but this was the fastest way to get them all on here.)
It was a great trip. I hope we get to go again when Blake is big enough to run around. I think he'd love it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Come on in, November!

Last night was Blake's first Halloween. We didn't carve pumpkins this year for a few reasons: I would have to carve my pumpkin and Blake's pumpkin. I'm usually ready to be done carving a pumpkin after the second handful of pumpkin guts comes out. Ok, that was the only reason. I didn't think Blake would really mind if we didn't carve pumpkins so I just skipped that little tradition this year. We bought little pumpkins and put them on our bookshelf. They looked pretty cute. And I hung some decorations in our windows.

I also bought a bag of candy in preparation for trick-or-treaters. I was sure we were going to have at least a few kids come by. I see kids everywhere here. Not.One.Treater.Came. I guess the kids go elsewhere for candy. I did see little monsters and fairies walking on our street, but no one stopped for candy. Our neighbor suggested we sit on the front porch with a bowl of candy, but it was cold yesterday! Sorry kiddies, I'm not going to freeze my buns off so you can get your candy fill. But I will answer my door and give you lots of sugary treats. While in the past I wouldn't have been so bummed if we didn't have trick-or-treaters, this year I specifically bought candy that I didn't like so I wouldn't eat it all. Now I'm stuck with a bowl full of candy that I don't want and won't get eaten. I'm sure if Blake could eat it he would.

Goodbye, October! Hello, stuffing! I mean November!