Thursday, January 28, 2010

Boston: It’s more than just for Tea Parties

I seriously thought about posting three different posts chronicling three full days in Boston, but then I realized that no one could be THAT interested in every little detail of our lives so I thought I would try to condense it all.

First of all, we never got the kids adjusted to East Coast time.  We were going to, but by the time we got back from New York City we figured there were only a few days left and by the time they fully adjusted it would be time to go home.  That made for many late nights but also meant that we got to sleep in most mornings.  Oh, how sweet sleeping until 9:30 is…

What’s really great about Boston is that it isn’t a super-large city.  That meant that we could walk to the T (the train station) from our hotel and see pretty much whatever it was we wanted to see.  We also had the city’s best tour guides with us, so we were set.

On the first day we managed to walk most of the Freedom Trail.  Starting in the Boston Commons, walking past the old Granary Cemetery (where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and a number of other revolutionaries were buried), past the place where they read the Declaration of Independence to the people (and also right where the Boston Massacre took place) all the way to Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church (where they put the lanterns to signal that the British were coming).  We did all of that in one afternoon, walking the whole way.  Bethany and Craig had “Sucker” written on their foreheads because whenever Nathaniel tired of walking he would simply walk up to one of them and say, “I want you to carry me!” and they would pick him right up.  That day was Sam’s birthday so it was a “do whatever it is that Sam wants to do” day.  It included having a snack in the country’s oldest pub (est. 1795), enjoying a lobster dinner and finishing the night off with a chocolate feast.


After three very full days of doing the “tourist” thing, we decided that our last couple of days would be spent more low key.  So on Saturday we toured the Sam Adams Brewery (VERY interesting and fun) and met up with an old friend of mine (someone whom I’ve known since I was three) and then spent the rest of the evening at the hotel.  On Sunday we went to get some yummy hot chocolate and then went to the Science Museum (which our Santa Ana Zoo passes got us into free of charge, score!) and then out to dinner in the North End of Boston at a really great little Italian restaurant, where the waiter poured my drink refill on my lap and then gave Bethany and Sam extra refills as his way of apologizing.  We ended our trip with Cannolis from Mike’s Pastries.  Yum yum!

All in all, it was a great trip.  We love the East Coast and adore our friends.  If any of my friends are wondering if they should travel with their children I would say yes!  It’s so fun to make those memories as a family, and never once did we go someplace where all of us weren’t having fun.  It’s all in the perspective.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that our children are nerds just like their parents.  :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

New York, New York

I know it’s about a week past our trip, but I’m finally ready to write about the first part of our wonderful family vacation:  New York City.

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Here we all are on the New York Subway.  At first when Sam whipped out the camera I thought, “Oh great, now we just SCREAM tourists!”  But, I think the itty bitty stroller and the fact that we were all bundled up in 20 degree weather pointed out our tourist-ness more so. 

It was fun getting the hang of the subway system in New York.  I love that public transportation is so easy, and after awhile the pee smell is hardly noticeable.   It wasn’t ever too crowded, and I loved seeing high school students on the subway obviously on their way somewhere from school.  One thing I really hate about So. Cal. is the lack of decent public transportation.  In order to get anywhere in the suburbs I have to drive or spend hours on the bus.  Ugh!

When we got off of the subway we found ourselves in Central Park by the Museum of Natural History.

Nathaniel (my amazing little nerd) didn’t want to hang out in the park, he wanted to go to the museum.  Luckily, it was 30 minutes to close so we didn’t have to pay for entrance into the museum.  We had recently watched “Night at the Museum” with Nathaniel and so he really wanted to see “Dum-Dum” (the Easter Island Head).  We ran through the museum to get to it, and managed to see it.  We wished we could have spent more time there because it was AMAZING!

From there we went to FAO Schwartz, 5th Avenue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, and Time’s Square.  We finally headed back to Sue Anne’s at 11:30 that night.

The next morning we all slept until about 10:30 (what?  We were still on California time!) and after a yummy brunch we headed for the Financial District where we saw Ground Zero, St. Paul’s church (where the rescue workers rested during September 11th), Wall Street (we waved to our money), and Battery Park where we saw the Statue of Liberty.  We also headed down to Greenwich Village for coffee and to NoHo to Katz’ Deli for some yummy pastrami sandwiches (the deli is from When Harry Met Sally).  Then we headed back to Boston.

Two favorite stories from our trip that day.  We were on Wall Street and there was a statue of George Washington at the building where he had been inaugurated as president.  Nathaniel and I climbed up on the statue and waited our turn while a group of Chinese men got their pictures taken (as well they should have, the center flag on the NYSE is the Chinese flag).  The men waved Nathaniel and I over so I thought they were done getting their picture taken.  Then, they all lined up with me and had me in their group photo!  Somewhere in China there is a picture of Nathaniel and I floating around.

My second favorite story is from the coffee shop.  Nathaniel had to go to the bathroom but there wasn’t one there.  So, Sam asked if he could use the private one.  At first they weren’t going to let him, but then Nathaniel said, “I’m going to pee in my pants!”  He was quickly ushered back to the bathroom.

Ground Zero was impressive.  They are rebuilding (finally) so we couldn’t see the site where the towers stood, but we went to St. Paul’s and looked around and then went to the memorial building.  It was all really powerful and still very sad.  Nathaniel was pretty somber himself and was looking at a children’s book there.  They showed a picture of planed flying by the towers and then a picture of an explosion.  He shut the book and put it away.  I couldn’t believe that they would have that in a children’s book!

All in all it was a very busy, but awesome day in NYC.  Our kids are fabulous travelers.  I am so glad that we are able to travel as a family!


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Sorry for the super long entry, in a few days we’ll blog about Boston!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why do children attract the crazy people?

We had a good week in New England. So many fun adventures with the family and WONDERFUL friends. We went to New York for a day-ish and spent time in Boston for the rest of our trip.

All of that time meant traveling on public transportation (i.e. the Subway and Trains).

I don't know if I'm just hyper aware of my surroundings now that I have children that I'm in charge of keeping safe or what, but it seems like on nearly every train there was some crazy person creeping nearer to my children. Thank goodness my kids are pretty unaware of what is considered "normal" and not. It saves me a lot of questions like, "Mommy, why is that man yelling at that other man?" (There was a man yelling incoherently at someone who was holding one of those sign advertisements. It was really awkward because we were stuck at the corner waiting for the crossing signal and this man was seriously irate and looked like he was going to try to get Sam to join the tirade next).

Yet, of all of the people we saw this week, the lady on the plane this morning took the first place trophy for crazy.

Although, I don't think she was certifiably insane like many of the people we actually saw on public transportation.

First of all, we got up at 4:40 this morning (that's 1:40 California time). We were tired beyond belief and the boys were on the verge of meltdowns since they hadn't had much sleep last night either. (for the record, they were great this whole trip, even on the plane today with little sleep and some slight delays). As we were getting settled into our seats the lady behind me started grabbing at Aaron saying things like, "Oh! What a yummy, yummy baby! I could just eat you up! Yes I could! I could just eat you up!"

Huh. That's kind of strange.

Then, she starts pulling on his arms through the seat and grabbing at his whole body. I had Aaron in the Moby wrap strapped to me (because I figured if he was strapped to my body he would fall asleep easier) so not only was this lady violating my kid's personal space bubble, she was also violating mine.

As Aaron was getting fussy (as he tends to do before he falls asleep) the lady all of a sudden says to me, "Let me have your baby. Just give him to me and let me hold him."

Uhhhhh....NO WAY!! I told her that he was going to sleep and that I couldn't get him out of the wrap because it was too complicated (total lie).

She kept bugging me to give her my kid! Finally, we pulled away from the gate and started getting de-iced so she had to stay in her seat.

Later, when Aaron woke up from his 3 hour nap (praise God) and Sam was holding him the lady says again, "Let me hold him for a minute!" Sam and I looked at each other and Sam grabbed a pretzel and shoved it in Aaron's mouth saying, "Oh, he's eating right now."

Sheesh people! We were really glad to get off of that plane (and seriously, as we were waiting for the stroller two more people got grabby with Aaron as they deplaned. What happened to the Swine Flu scare?).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I give the impression that I'm calm.

We're on vacation and it has been AWESOME! Seriously, we are loving seeing the sights and the kids have been really great travelers. Of all of the things that could have happened to us, the worst that has happened was having the subway ticket machine eat my 5 dollar bill (without giving me anything in return) and having the Domino's in South Boston cancel our order without calling us to tell us (that actually just happened and we're still mad about it, the woman on the phone hung up on us too when I was asking her how she was going to fix her mistake. She said that she couldn't and that she wasn't going to and then hung up. Grrrrr.....).

But, there have been a few close calls with the boys and I have been super glad that I am fairly recently trained in First Aid and CPR.

Episode One: We were getting ready to leave New York and Nathaniel was eating an orange before I would let him have any cheesecake. I was helping Bethany pack up some stuff while Sam was loading the car with Craig. Nathaniel came into the bedroom and all of a sudden started choking on a piece of orange. He coughed at first but then stopped coughing.


I calmly grabbed him and gave him the Heimlich maneuver. He then threw up on Sue Anne's floor, cried for a minute and then wanted his cheesecake. Good kid.

This afternoon we were walking back from the T back to our hotel and Nathaniel tried to let go of my hand in the middle of the street in order to run to the sidewalk. I grabbed his hand quick and as soon as I did a car turned in front of us, right where Nathaniel was about to run.

Yikes again!!

Tonight we were hanging out at the pool and Bethany and Craig came in. I told Nathaniel to sit on the step while I walked the five feet to the door (Sam was in the hot tub with Aaron) to give Bethany our room key so she could change. I turned my back for a second and then heard a splash. I turned around and saw Nathaniel splashing around over his head in the water. I quickly got to him and grabbed him out. He was fine, but of course he cried because he was scared (and he learned a good lesson as to why he needs to listen to his parents when they tell him not to do something).

Over all my friends have said I look really calm when I'm dealing with these things. And I have been, I calmly think about the things I'm "supposed to" do. But, when the whole thing is over I freak out with the "what ifs". Let's just say I'm glad that I have a good head on my shoulders and that Nathaniel has some pretty vigilant guardian angels. :)

Can't wait to update this with vacation pictures!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Oh man, I opened up a can of worms.

I sometimes blog as part of a mom community on another website. Usually it's just funny little anecdotes that are posted on here as well, but last night I posted a blog about breast feeding and weaning and the transition. Mainly because we are coming to the end of this stage of Aaron's life and it's my personal feeling that while it is healthy to nurse a child to up to 2 years of age (based on studies, etc.) it just isn't right for me and my family. Plus, with work and stuff it just isn't feasible for me to do so (too many overnight camps and such).

I also mentioned that if I were to keep on nursing I would be doing so to fulfill my selfish needs to keep my baby a baby and relying on me, when he can get those needs from solid foods. If I really felt like my kid needed that nourishment, then yes, I would continue nursing, but I'm not convinced wholly (please, no fact throwing at me, I've read it) that it is super beneficial.

Boy, did the comments fly. I thought that people would be supportive of the fact that I chose to breast feed for a year. That's HUGE in this society. Especially when formula is so readily accessible. Nope, instead I had women getting up on their nursing soap boxes telling me how selfish I was being by denying my kid.

One mom even said that we should be nursing our kids up to the age of 7.

Yes. Seven years old.


I say, if you want to nurse your kid until he's in first grade, go for it. Just be sure that you are there to take him to the prom too.

Oh, and when I mentioned to the comments that nursing to that age was ridiculous because that's why kids have molars, to CHEW their food, this lady jumped on me and told me that several of her friends let their kids nurse until they were six, and she saw nothing wrong with it.

Oh dear...that's a bit TOO granola for me thank you very much.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, we've been really busy with work and such. I will have more to post next week after we get back from Boston.