Saturday, November 29, 2008


I finally bought potties last week.  They enjoy sitting on them for a snack but refuse to sit on them naked.

Watching Mickey

2nd Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a busy day.  We went to Mike and Kristen's in Gloucester around 10:30am and hung out until our feast was ready around 1:30.  M&J were having a ball with Raffe.

Out of nowhere yesterday Maddie and Jackson started saying "cheese" when you point the camera at them.  

{Maddie's cheese face}

{Jackson's cheese face}

"Excuse me, there was talk of turkey?"

Auntie Kristen is doing her magic in the kitchen

{Papa carving the turkey}

Jackson absolutely adores Raffe.  M&J both say his name now and they say it with such enthusiasm.

{Maddie and Roxy}

{Uncle Mike, Auntie Kristen, Raffe, and teeny tiny baby on the way!!!!}

After dinner we all went to Great Aunt Joan's to see the Gloucester crew.  We got there at 4:30 and neither baby had slept yet.  Jackson ended up falling asleep in my arms and I was in absolute heaven for an hour while he slept there.  Maddie was up entertaining everyone else.

Then we went up the street to Uncle Billy and Aunt Deb's.  We were supposed to stay there just a few mintues then head to my Aunt's in Salem but we just couldn't get out of there.

Maddie was turning this light on and off.  She knew when she pulled the chord it would turn on but every time she pulled it she would be surprised and close her eyes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

NYC part III

We didn't get to bed until around midnight. I slept in the comfy tempurpedic bed with Jackson and Chris slept on the futon with Madison. They both cried because we were trying to confine them but the were quiet and asleep within a minute. It took me a while to fall asleep and at 12:30 the roommate next to the room we were in came home and we could hear her through the wall which didn't bother me but I was so worried about them waking up in the middle of the night or too early for her. Probably an hour after Jackson falling asleep he started screaming like he was terrified. I looked at him and he was still asleep. I was so sad to think that he could have scary dreams. What could he possibly be dreaming of??  He did the same thing two more times through the night then they both woke up at 7:30. Somehow we got them to go back to sleep until 8:15. It was still too early for the roommates so we tried to entertain them in the room. I had snacks for them and they played with the things in Chris's toilet article kit. 

The thrill of that wore off and Jackson tried to escape the room. He could open the door himself because of the type of doorknob it was and there was no lock. And god forbid we try to stop him from opening it. He would just squeal. Chris ended up playing south park episodes for them on his iphone. We were able to keep them in the room til about 9:30 when Chris went out in the living room and saw that my cousin was awake. So we let them loose but the roommates were still sleeping and we just couldn't get them to be quiet. Even on demand episodes of Mickey didn't work. 

{Watching Mickey}

They were so loud when trying to resist getting dressed that we had to take them upstairs to the top floor where there is a common area to get their clothes on. 

{They liked all of our elevator rides}

We knew we couldn't stay there so we quickly got our stuff together and went for a walk. 

{Trinity Church at the end of Wall Street}

We went to the WTC site which was just a few blocks away. The whole area was blocked off so there wasn't much to see. As we were walking on streets where traffic wasn't allowed anymore I couldn't get a horrific thought out of my head. I was thinking that the people that had to jump from the buildings probably landed right where we were walking. It's hard to be there and not put yourself in the moments of that horrible day. Even as were walking down streets I had the images you see on TV of all the debris billowing up into the air and the pedestrians running. It must have been absolutely horrifying to be there that day.

After that we walked south to Battery Park, caught a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty,

 then made our way back to Wall Street passing the Bull. 

{Self portrait of Maddie and me in front of Tiffany on Wall Street}

By then it was noon so we packed up our stuff and said our goodbyes to Cousin Chris. We walked back to the garage and got our car. Again there was a mishap with the GPS directions and we had precious little gas so we were sweating a little (where do people in Manhattan get gas anyway????). We made it to the Brooklyn Bridge 

and followed the directions to Queens to our friend Ron and Kasha's apartment. We pulled off their exit with zero miles to empty and thankfully a gas station right there. It was great to see Ron and Kasha and Kasha's little sister Victoria. We hung out at their place telling them the woes of how noisy M&J were. They didn't believe us because there they were perfect angels. They kept threatening to steal them. They took us out to a shopping area called Atlas which was so beautiful! We ate at Chili's where our devil children emerged once again. They didn't want the highchair. They didn't want to sit in a lap. They wanted to RUN and be free. 

{Kasha and Victoria}

On the way back to the car we stopped in the middle of the complex outside and ran around a bit and took some pictures. 

{Kasha and Jackson}

{Maddie, Chris, Ron}

We said our goodbyes and headed back to Boston. M&J were asleep 10 minutes into the ride. We left at 6:20 and they slept until 9:45 when we pulled into Nana and Papa's house. Nana 
was heading to California the next morning for the week so she wanted to see them before she left. We hung out there for about 45 minutes then went home. They ended being up til midnight againbut it was ok.
Overall it was a great trip. I think next time we go somewhere we'll stay where we don't care about the kids bothering other people :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NYC part II

We made our way into the building and up the elevator to the 11th floor.  My cousin, Chris greeted us at the door to his extremely large 5 bedroom apartment.  He shares it with 4 people that he met on craigslist and I hope they are still speaking to him after our tornado swept through.  Chris took us to his bedroom which was very large and I don't mean just by Manhattan standards.  It had a double bed and a futon with a ton of floor space left over.  We let the kids loose and they ran down the incredibly long hallway to the living room.  They usually take a little while to warm up to new places but not that day.  They were off the wall even bouncing on the couches and climbing onto the coffee table.  There was much to do there that they shouldn't have been doing so we were constantly telling them no.  It was a little stressful for us and probably not enjoyable for the roommates to listen to either.  
We all got bundled up around 2:30 and headed out to meet our friend Shirley and her boyfriend Steve at a restaurant in the village.  Chris mapped it on his iphone and it said it was only 1.5 miles so we decided to walk rather than have a possible hassle on the subway with the double stroller.  It was a long walk but not bad although it was COLD!  When we got to the restaurant the kids decided they were going to be shy and refused to sit in a chair alone or let anyone but us hold them.  So we scarfed down fajitas while holding whiny babies (and drinking a margarita).  Of course as soon as we were done they decided to come out of their shell and were flirting with the entire restaurant.  Madison was really enjoying the salsa which was WAY too spicy hot for me.
She'd get this look of pain on her face then dive back in for more!

We bundled back up and started walking north.  None of us knew the city overly well and no one had any preference as to where we went.  I said "how about Time Square?  I've been to NYC at least 10 times and I don't think I've ever seen it."  We looked on a map and all decided it was too far to walk.  But we continued to walk and talk.  The kids fell asleep as soon as we left the restaurant which is what I was hoping for.  We walking and walking and next thing we
 knew we were in Time Square.  

It was cool but I was a little disappointed and I didn't get any great photos.  The kids woke up as we got there and we decided to go into ToysRUs, you know, the one that has a FERRIS WHEEL in it!  

The place was a mob scene.  It was almost impossible to drive the double stroller around in there and the kids were NOT happy at that point.  We ended up going to the big barbie house area of the store and let them out of the stroller and having a snack.  Jackson screamed like we were trying to cut off his arm with a butter knife when we tried to get him back in the stroller.  Poor kid.  I don't know how but we all made it out of there alive.
After Time Square we walked quite a few more blocks past Rockefeller Center to Shirley and Steve's hotel.  We hung out in the lobby for a bit and let the kids run around.  They had a blast and all the people thought they were adorable.  Steve and Shirley were going to stay in at that point but we convinced them to take a walk to Rockefeller Center with us.  

It was very beautiful even though the tree was still being decorated.  

Shirley was good enough to take a photo of Chris and me where we got engaged.

It was great to see Shirley and meet Steve.  

It really is too bad they live in Scotland.  We said our goodbyes there and tried to find a subway station because there was no way in hell I was walking back to WALL STREET from there.  So Chris decides that he really wants to go to Grand Central Station.  

I called my cousin and he said it was close to there so Chris maps it out on the iphone and 
we start walking.  It was only a couple blocks away.  Next thing I know, we're in effing Time Square again!  Chris pulls out the iphone again and admits that we followed it the wrong way!  I said it was ok because I was pretty sure there would be a subway station there but he said he really wanted to see Grand Central.  I wasn't happy but we ended up walking back toward Rockefeller to Grand Central.  It was very cool.  There was a big stairway that we had to get down.  I'm sure there was an elevator somewhere but Chris decided to just roll the stroller down the stairs.  
The kids were belly laughing the whole way down and everyone around us was laughing at them.  It was so cute and funny.

Once I determined where we needed to go we got on the subway.  

{Their first subway ride:  Chris was THRILLED I was being such a tourist and taking photos on the subway}
It turned out to be an express train.  Chris was worried that it wouldn't stop at Wall Street so he made us get off at Brooklyn Bridge just in case which was two stops away from Wall Street.  As we were getting off the train we heard the voice say "next stop: Wall Street".  UGH!  So we walked another 6 blocks back to Wall Street.  

We got in around 11pm with the kids still awake!

More later!

Monday, November 24, 2008

NYC part I

We got on the road Saturday morning at 8:10 which was only 10 minutes later than we planned. I was pretty proud of that. I was worried about the level of whininess for the trip as they were driving me crazy before we even pulled out of the driveway. They were just hungry though so I kept passing cereal back to them until they stopped asking for more. We punched our destination address into the GPS unit we borrowed from Chris’s brother. There were two different options with different zip codes. It really never crossed our minds that we should confirm the zip code we really wanted so Chris picked one and it calculated a route that we followed. We didn’t see a map though. That would have tipped us off of our impending hassle. It said we’d be there at 12:10. We thought that was reasonable. About 30 minutes into the trip, Jackson fell asleep. Madison was content to look at a book and out the window. At 10 we stopped at a rest stop which woke up Jackson. Once we were back on the road Madison fell asleep and Jackson was content to read a book. We made our way past Hartford and Stamford and then soon came upon New York City. We could see it off to our right as we continued to drive south.  We knew that Wall Street was at the southern tip of Manhattan so we figured we’d continue on the highway we were on until we got closer to the southern part then take the Brooklyn Bridge. Eventually we passed the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery Tunnel (the two most southern ways to get onto Manhattan). Then we were driving by the Statue of Liberty and further and further south. Our route took us over the Verrazano Bridge onto Staten Island ($10 toll).  At that point we were getting suspicious of the directions. The unit was telling us that we’d be at our destination in 12 mintues which just didn’t seem possible. Since we had no idea where we were we figured it was going to get us onto Manhattan from the west side so we continued to trust the GPS. Then we were driving through residential neighborhoods when the GPS told us to turn onto Wall Street. Sure enough, there was Wall Street…just not the right one. I called my cousin at that point and asked him what his zip code was which was obviously NOT the one we chose. So we punched in the RIGHT address and were back on the road back over the bridge and eventually to the Battery Tunnel.  We figured we’d follow the directions right to my cousin’s apartment so we could drop off all of our stuff then go park the car. So we followed the directions. Only problem is that GPS doesn’t know that most of the roads are just closed around there with the WTC site and security around the stock exchange building. So I call my cousin when we came across a road block right near his place. That’s when he told us that the roads were closed. Thanks for the heads up, Cuz!
We decided to just go ahead and try to find parking but by then Jackson had had ENOUGH of being strapped in a car seat and was screaming. I really was pleasently surprised how well the kids did being in their seats for 5 hours! We planned on driving around to find street parking but our nerves got the best of us and we just pulled in a garage. We were able to pile all of our stuff into/onto the stroller except one big bag that I rolled while Chris pushed the stroller. A few blocks later we finally made it to our destination…at 1:10.