Birthday Weekend!

October 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

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As some of you may know by now, Nick and I have birthdays two days apart. This makes for some good celebrations – kind of like a mini Christmas! We were secretly hoping Henry would be born sooner so he could be part of the festivities too, but it’s probably best he got his own month.

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This year, since Henry’s a full fledged toddler, we decided to do something he’d enjoy too so we drove to Terhune Orchards in Princeton, New Jersey on Friday.

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This cute little farm has an apple orchard, pumpkin patches, a corn maze, animals, hay bales to play on, and tractors you can sit on and pretend to ride.

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Henry LOVED the trucks and farm machinery (obviously), but also thought the sheep, goats, chickens, ponies, and geese were hilarious and cute.

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There was a jungle gym tractor.

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As well as some old tractors made for kids to “ride”.

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So proud!

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While Nick and I took turns popping into the farm fresh store to buy apple cider, apple cider donuts, a bushel of apples, and pumpkin nut bread, Henry took it upon himself to rearrange their pallets of pumpkins.

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Then a tractor drove by!

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Henry has eaten two or three apples a day since we visited the farm, and every time he eats one, he has to remind you where it came from. We will be apple picking again soon!

On Saturday evening, Nick and I had Henry’s beloved sitter Valerie come over early so we could go out for dinner and go see The Martian.

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The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying the beautiful weather of our neighbourhood. Untitled

(Henry gets art.)

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For Nick’s birthday on Sunday, I brought him home a Dough “donut cake” after morning Mysore which we all enjoyed. What a delicious birthday weekend!

Road Trip to Canada

September 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I don’t know if you noticed, but we were away in Canada at my parents’ comfy cottage last week! Here’s some photos and commentary if you’re interested in our first road trip with Henry…

After renting a car from Laguardia airport, we left our apartment Friday morning to do the first half of the 10 hour drive. Henry hadn’t been in a car since December and was pretty much horrified at the thought of getting into his car seat. After much encouragement from us and even our doorman, we gave him some cheezies to munch on and he gave into a nap.

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We stopped in Syracuse for the night and met up with our friend Matt, who took us to the State Fair that evening. Henry got to see goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens, and run around the bright lights and giant stuffed animals. He was very excited about the blimp floating over the fair and got to eat salty, deep-fried chicken fingers (probably much more delicious than the multigrain breaded organic kind from home ;)).

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We left our hotel Saturday morning and arrived in Oshawa for my twin niece & nephew’s first birthday party that afternoon. It worked out very well that we got to see my sister’s family before heading to my parents’ and Henry got to enjoy running around with other kids (and toy cars) before spending another 1.5 hours in the car. P1030849

Henry seemed to settle into the cottage faster than ever once we arrived, even playing us some guitar and enjoying our applause.

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Since we were on vacation, we let Henry stay up late and in turn, he’d sleep later than usual in the mornings. One day, he even slept until 10:00! (He was up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, BUT STILL.)

Our days at the cottage were glorious. Grandpa cuddles…

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Enjoying a new selection of toy cars and tiny plastic animals… P1030853

Feeding chipmunks and blue jays peanuts…

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Visits from family…

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Cousin craziness…

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Serious sandbox time…

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Visiting Fenelon Falls’ beach and ice cream shops…

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Boat rides…

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And one day, my dad arranged for us to visit the local fire hall. Having a grandpa on city council has its benefits!

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A huge thank you to my parents for taking care of us for a week! And thanks to all my family who came for a visit. It was so great to see you!

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Now to plan our Christmas road trip…

Wes Anderson Art Show in NYC

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

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For five years, I have been watching San Francisco’s Spoke Art Gallery put on annual Wes Anderson-themed art shows enviously. My favourite director PLUS really great art! When would I get the chance to see one??

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Finally this weekend, they brought their sixth annual Wes Anderson art show to NYC at the Joseph Gross Gallery.
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P1030801Needless to say, a babysitter was booked and I went to town on that show. P1030792P1030798

Such good company.

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So many different mediums for appreciating the art in Wes Anderson’s movies!

P1030776P1030804P1030799P1030790I really wanted this fantastic print, but alas, it was sold out already. No matter… UntitledI bought these three instead! P1030808Also a “Deep Search” Life Aquatic ring. P1030782

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I could have just moved in to this space and lived there, surrounded by so many of my favourite things.

Thanks, Spoke Art, for finally bringing your Bad Dads show to New York and giving me an indisputable reason to go out on a Friday night!

A Quick Solo Trip To Toronto

July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

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This weekend, I took my second solo trip since Henry was born! I flew to Toronto Saturday morning and enjoyed reading, eating, and listening to music – basically a trip to the spa compared to flying with a small child ;) Untitled

I arrived downtown Toronto around 1:30 and met Sarah and Julia for a late lunch at Fresh, of course. Then they took me to a few cute new shops around Queen & Roncesvalles, including North Standard Trading Post. I’d been meaning to get Henry one of their cute hoodies and treated myself to a few things as well including one of Tami Noa Levy‘s provincial animal series prints.

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Sarah hosted a few lady friends at her new house for cheese and snacks before we all headed out to dinner at Burdock. Her and Phil’s new place is very cute and the cheese was delicious! It was great to see more examples of the homes my friends are starting to own in Toronto because Nick & I are getting very used to the idea (and starting to plan) how to do the same thing in a year or two!

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After dinner, we headed down the street to Bar Neon where Mike, Rob, and Tristan came to meet up with us. P1030769_2

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Although it was only one afternoon and evening of spending time together, I appreciate any time I get to hang out with some of my favourite people in the world. Especially one pregnant Sarah Curtis! That night, my sister Jenn came to meet me for a sleepover at my hotel and although I didn’t get back there til 11:30, we still stayed up for a few hours chatting. I’ll take whatever I can get!

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The next morning, I met my brother Ryan for breakfast at The Beast. After eating the giant plates of food and maple bacon donuts, I agree that it is aptly named!

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After I left Ryan, I made one last attempt to enjoy the weak Canadian dollar before I went to the airport to fly home. Let’s just say, I am set for both yoga shorts and Canadian Dairy Milk for a while!

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It was really nice to get away, even for just one night, but also wonderful to return home to these two guys. I got the best Henry hugs ever when I walked in the door!

See you again soon, Toronto!

The First Five Years

July 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Nick and I said “I do!” at NYC’s City Hall 5 years ago today. That’s half a decade of marriage, people!

I feel very fortunate to have found the person I’m meant to spend the rest of my life with. In the past five years, I have experienced Nick’s generosity and love and his remarkable problem solving skills whenever we encounter a challenge, which happens often now that we are parents! Although we rarely argue, we have perfected the Art of the Argue in a way that always comes to some kind of solution or understanding. While we love being able to travel and do things together, we also both enjoy a good chunk of time spent on the couch, him watching baseball while I read, or just talking. We both have our own interests, as well as shared ones, but respect each other’s hobbies and passions. We can lean on each other when the other needs support, and I think that so far, we are kicking ass at parenthood! ;)

Here’s a look back at our first five years of marriage, if you’d like to see.

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Visiting the redwood forests in Muir Woods, San Francisco during our honeymoon, 2010.

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Chicago’s big bean, 2010.

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Reading Festival, Reading, UK 2011

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Paris, France 2011

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Jamaica 2012

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Stockholm, Sweden 2012

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Christmas 2014, Oshawa, Ontario

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Abbey Road Studios, London 2012

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Babymoon in Newport, Rhode Island 2013

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Christmas 2013, Oshawa, Ontario

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Christina & Nick’s birthday 2012 Supper Restaurant, NYC

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Julia & Jay’s wedding, Toronto 2012

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Ben & Hayley’s wedding, Brooklyn 2014

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November 2013 with a two week-old Henry

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Christmas 2013 with the Gordons

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May 2014, Brooklyn

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July 2014, Brooklyn

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May 2014, Brooklyn

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Christmas 2014, Oshawa, Ontario

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June 2015, at home in Brooklyn

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June 2015, Brooklyn

I love you more than you’ll ever know, Nick. Here’s to the next five years!

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Playground Politics

July 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’ve been dreaming of a simpler time – last summer when all Henry could do at the playground was swing.

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These days, he’s big, mobile, and curious enough to do pretty much everything, though never while unsupervised. I can’t say the same for some of the parents of kids around here though. Every day at any number of the playgrounds we frequent (and we have three within a 10 minute walk) it’s a lesson in sharing, patience, and that some kids are adorable and wonderful and others… less so.

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Since private outdoor space is rare around here, everyone heads to the playground. And now that school’s out, all of our spots are swarming with kids. This is great because Henry gets to see so many other kids every day. We’ve been fortunate to meet some kids around his age who are very sweet and pretty much in the same boat as Henry when it comes to sharing and playing together, meaning they’ll come up to Henry who is playing with a toy and want it, then I’ll offer them the spare toy I always bring for this situation and they’ll play alongside each other. But then there’s the unsupervised 3 and 4 year olds who will actually stalk around us until they get a chance to grab Henry’s toy when he’s not looking or it’s slightly out of reach and run away with it. There’s also the older kids who declare a portion of the playground “theirs” and that Henry can’t play with them or go up onto their structure. And then there’s the kids who zoom around the park on their scooters, knocking toddlers over with parents nowhere to be seen and then talking back to the parents of said toddlers.

I however, am always around and will always be in Henry’s corner to make sure he’s safe and happy (no matter how exhausting it all is).

I am curious – is this a common scenario where you live? How do you handle these situations with your kids? Do you let your little guys do their own thing or do you stick close by them too? How do you control your reflexes to grab 6 year olds on scooters when they’re headed straight towards your 20 month old? (I have yelled.) Any opinions welcome!

Visitor Season

June 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

After a very wintry winter, it’s finally a summery spring and the visitors have been coming in droves! Every day, I see what I assume are parents of Brooklynites being led around Greenpoint and taken out to cute restaurants for brunch.

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This past weekend, Nick and I enjoyed an evening with one of our favourite couples/fellow parents, Kate and Bryan. We ate a ton of Indian food and had a few drinks afterwards at Habitat, so that Bryan could watch the hockey game while the ladies caught up.

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The next morning, my parents arrived!

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Despite having not seen his grandparents since Christmas, Henry jumped right in to giving them hugs, kisses, and playing with them. He’s usually a very cautious boy who takes a minute to warm up to any visitor. Maybe it’s the Pinhole Press family picture book we made for him or maybe he can just tell they’re important people – or maybe he just remembers them! Either way, he knew they were special enough to bypass all the usual courting he requires.

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We all went out to lunch at our favourite neighborhood sandwich spot, Eagle Trading Company, then went to the playground so Henry could show Grandma and Grandpa how good he is at playing in the splash pad.

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Henry usually NEVER wants to hold hands, by the way.

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My Mom is an amazing Grandma – she got Henry to lie still with her on the couch for quite a while by rubbing his back while he held his school bus. It was very sweet.

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On Sunday we had lunch at Brooklyn Label before they had to head to the airport. Henry enjoyed both his grandparents’ company and the ceiling fan overhead.

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Although Sunday’s storm gave them some serious delays (and cancellations), I’m so glad they came to visit. Next time we see them will be in August, when we will take our first road trip with Henry to drive to their cottage!