Feb 26, 2012

Father Daughter Night - Baltimore, MD - February 2012

First off, I really have a feeling that the baby is coming soon, meaning the next couple of days. I have no scientific evidence to back it up, it's just a feeling. That having been said, I wanted to let you know that if I disappear off the planet for a week or two, that's what's happened, but I WILL BE BACK with lots of pictures and stories of "Little Miss MJ" or "Little Man J".

Yep, after 40 weeks of waiting the gender is still a surprise!

Also I have a GIANT announcement about an amazing thing that is going to be happening right here on this blog over the next few months!  We're talking MAJOR!!!

And now, on with the show!

Wednesday night at our house is "Father Daughter Night". I have a regular meeting on Wednesday evenings. A few Wednesday's ago, because of the weather, I had the privilege of being a fly on the wall for this house hold favorite.
I normally leave our 21 month old daughter home with daddy and just hear about their adventures when I return. From the stories, it’s my understanding that dinner kicks off the night. On the menu, our little lady’s favorite, breakfast for supper; pancakes with syrup, scrambled eggs with cheese, and ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. Everything, except the ice cream of course, was prepared on the griddle. It was fun to see them chatter back and forth over the kitchen island while my husband made dinner. I love that about 70% of their conversation was in a language all their own and when the table was set, bibs were in place, and our short and sweet dinner time blessing was said, it became very clear that the reason she loves this meal so much is because on “Father Daughter night” she is allowed to eat it entirely by herself! What a mess, but they had a great time!

 The evening continued with a Beatles dance party...
With a few country favorites thrown in for kicks.
Then, as it gets closer to bed time, they slow it down and do a little "unplugged".

The best part of the evening is when she's in bed and the hub is settled in beside me on the couch. I can tell, without even asking that they've had a fabulous time and neither of them can wait till next week.

What a treat to be a part of their special night!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Feb 22, 2012

I LOVE Packing - Baltimore, MD - February 2012

Let me start by saying "I LOVE PACKING"!!!!
One of the things that's been on my "To Do" List for the last couple of weeks is to pack this little lady's bag. She'll be staying with our good friends Katie and Kyle and their girls while we are in the hospital for "Little Sticks".

I finally checked that one off my list. The bag is packed!
(Katie, I promise I'm not crazy!)

My sisters say I'm the most hysterical packer on earth because I'm so meticulous and organized. The Hub swears that it's impossible for me to pack before 10 o'clock in the evening the night before we leave, regardless of where we're going or how long we'll be there. For the most part, both are speaking the God's honest truth.
When it comes to packing, I'm a closet obsessive compulsive. Everything needs to be able to be found easily, regardless of who the hunter is and if they've ever seen the bag before.
(Each outfit is individually packed in a bag containing everything needed.)

I honestly can't remember the last time I've packed with out a packing list or without labeling mostly Everything.
(Each bag is labeled with what's inside)

But it must be said, thanks to my lists and labels, it's been a long time since I've forgotten something or been without something we've needed. Unfortunately, I'm NOT this way in every aspect of life, but packing just makes me giddy!
(All the air is pressed out of the bag
so it takes up less space in the big bag)

As for the "10 o'clock in the evening..." part, I can explain! First, my peek times of efficiency are between 6 and 10 in the morning and 10pm and midnight. My excuse, this is how God made me! The hours between 11am and 9pm have always been a struggle for me. Good thing there are 2 meals in there otherwise that'd be a LOT of down time! Then there's the "...the night before we leave" part. There's always the inevitable last minute laundry I'm waiting to finish up and most of the things I'm packing I use in any given day, so if I pack them early I'll just have to unpack and then repack them. and that makes it more likely something will be forgotten because you've already packed it, right?!

Makes since to me. My "GO BAG" is next on the list!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Feb 17, 2012

Fall Travel: New York City - New York, NY. - October 2011

The Hub had to travel to New York City on Business this past October and since I'd never been, the Monkey and I decided to tag along.  We took the MegaBus, which, in theory was a fun idea, but having lived through it, I definitely don't recommend doing it with a toddler, but that's a whole different adventure.

We were there for 2 and a half days and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on 29th street a block and a half from 7th Ave.  If, like me, you aren't "in the know" about Manhattan, 7th Ave is also Fashion Ave, The home of FIT. and Broadway, which is the home of "Time Square" between 42nd and 47th St., and the Theatre District between 40th and 54th st.  It's also home to Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Penn Station and is also a direct route to Central Park on 59st.  Oh and our hotel was only a couple of blocks from the big MACY's store. So it really was a PERFECT location for sight seeing and exploration.

The day we arrived I'd arranged for us to pick up tickets and see the National September 11th Memorial & Museum, but unfortunately, due to the above mentioned MegaBus, we had to forego this part of the trip.  We talked about going on the last day after the Hub was done with his meetings, but when the time came, it was pouring so we agreed that we'll have to go back because it's something we both really want to see.

 The Hub stayed pretty busy for both days, which left lots of time for the Monkey and I to explore.

On Day 1, the whether was perfect, so after breakfast, the Monkey and I set out for our adventures.  I have heard that this city is unlike any other.  Having stood at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris I thought I understood and was prepared for how to feel, but let me tell you, I had no idea.  The moment you step off the curb into your first New York City intersection there's a sort of magical energy that surrounds you, and as the crowds from both sides of the street grow closer and closer until they meet and merge in a dance of sorts and somehow you've made it to the other side, you realize that there's no other place like this on Earth.  The energy is AMAZING!

The Monkey in Time Square
El Found her Favorite Letter!!!  
 A BIG thank you to our good friend Stephanie Sabbe for giving us a few New York City "must sees"!
 Storytime at FAO Schwarz
 That is a BIG book for such a little lady!
And a BIG chair for such a little lady too! 
 And it wouldn't be right for our little Monkey to leave such a famous toy store without a little...

 and sliding...
 On this OH SO FAMOUS keyboard!!!
 Lunch at "Pop Burger!
 Another Sabbe suggestion. 
 I'm pretty sure the iPhone 4s came out pretty close to the time we were there and THAT was the line to get in the Apple Store!
 A stroll past the plaza Hotel.
 I just LOVE how everywhere you look there is this mixture of old and new.
  A stop at Central Park 
I know I shouldn't be, but I was amazed by the number of taxies on any given block.

  More of Time Square on our walk back to the hotel

  That night the Hub joined us for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. 
    There's always time for dancing while we wait for a table

The view from our table 

 She was asleep within 5 min of getting back to our room.
 It rained the entire second day so we stayed in and roamed the hotel in the morning. 
 And El bonded with her reflection.
And here's the video because you really can't grasp how funny it was without seeing her in action.
(sorry it's so dark)

We also made a trip to Macy's when the Hub finished up before heading out to catch the bus home.  All in all it was a great trip and we're hoping to go back after "Little Sticks" arrives and is big enough to travel (which by the way, could be ANY DAY NOW!!!!).  On our list of must sees are the National September 11th Memorial & Museum, and of course the American Girl Doll store, but please let me know in the comments what else we should do, where we should go, what we should see.

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Feb 15, 2012

Fall Travels: Kansas - Manhattan, KS. - October 2011

El and I ventured west this fall for a long weekend to visit my little sister who is stationed at Fort Riley.  She is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this year.  She's come to visit us several times since we've been in Baltimore and I really wanted to make a point to get out there to see her and the life she's set up for herself.  
First off she found two fantastic room mates and a beautiful house to rent so it was super easy to feel right at home.  Also, she's a total "foodie" so we ate like queens the entire time we were there.

I didn't take nearly the number of pictures I wanted to but did manage to remember to play paparazzi when we went to the Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka.
 I was a little worried about there being enough areas that were good for a 15 month old to really make it worth going  and was happy to discover that there was more than enough to keep us all busy.

The rice bin was our first stop.  El might have stayed there the entire time if I'd let her dump all the rice on the floor and then pick it up one grain at a time... 
but really, we could do that at home. =)

 Next stop, instruments!
 Sheer curtains... Interesting.

She still does this with the one hanging in the bathroom and can't get enough.
 "Look at this cool puzzle ball Aunt Zanna!"
 Not sure who like the puzzle ball more? =)
One of Suze's room mates Jenna joined us at the museum and helped El discover the wonders of air.

  The foam balls get sucked IN...
 but with the flip of a switch, the air blows OUT!  SO FUN!!!
 Now we've got it!
 El tried several times to say Jenna's name and each time it came out "Bubba", so El now has an "Aunt Bubba".

 Again not sure who had more fun here, the kids or the grown-ups.

El was also pretty interested in this contraption that moved grain around using shoots and moving ladders.
You use the big wheel to her left to make the grain move.  
(It's funny for me to look back at these pictures because I'd forgotten that at the time of this trip she wasn't a completely stable walker on ramps, so she was very cautious when moving around on uneven terrain.  What a difference a few months have made!)

At the end of the day we found the "under two" section.  It was completely padded and a great place to kick back and let her roam.
 She LOVED this block!

Doesn't it look like an awesome block!

Good for napping...

 And bouncing!
We had so much fun on our visit to Kansas and hope we get to see Aunt Zanna and Aunt Bubba again soon!
(Me, Aunt Zanna, Aunt Bubba, and El)

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!