Sunday, September 23, 2012

Broads abroad

I recently got back from a solo (sans Nick and Ferris) trip to London and Dublin. My cousin Chloe had an internship in London, so a few of us decided to keep her company during her last week. Prior to this trip I had only been away from Ferris two times - one night in a hotel to get some sleep, and one time finding our house in Minneapolis. Is it strange that a week of uninterrupted sleep was a huge draw for this trip?

I've never been a huge fan of London. I can't put my finger on why, but this about sums it up:
Taken in our hotel, the clusterF that is London.

But of course I had fun anyways!
London Eye, and taking comedic advantage of a broken table

We spent some time doing some touristy things like the London Eye and the nearby swings. But a lot of our time was spent just wandering around Tate Modern, finding Banksy's artwork, and falling madly in love with Liberty of London.

After a few days in London, Carrissa, Chloe and I took a cheap flight to Dublin. I absolutely loved it, and envisioned Ferris attending Trinity College someday. The people were kind, friendly, and quick-witted. It's the kind of place where you ask for sauce on the side and somebody replies, "the right or the left?"
 

First stop (urm, really, first thing we did!) was tour the Guinness brewery. Yada, yada, hops and water from the river Liffey, and a beer on the seventh floor with a panoramic view of Dublin.


While Carrissa stayed in Dublin to do her thang, Chloe and I took a day tour through Wicklow, the Irish countryside just south of Dublin. Our bus driver served us a shot of Jameson within the first hour. Hooray for getting drunk before noon! Maybe it's no coincidence that my favorite places have this in common?

Not to mention the incredible views.


Friday, August 31, 2012

In the interest of updating...

Can't believe these two will survive without me for a short while. Or that I will survive without them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Who's on first?

Nearly 3 months to cover, but it all can be covered by a pretty simple theme! It's all new! New house, new car, new jobs, new habits, new tricks.

FIRST HOUSE!! We moved from NYC directly to a hotel until closing, a little reminiscent of our last big move. But hey, at least we had jobs lined up this time! I had to decide whether to buy this house without Nick getting to actually see it, which was obviously a little nuts, but avoided having to move into an apartment and blah blah blah all over again. It worked out so well! The location is perfect, and our new neighbor mowed our lawn for us the day we moved in. Score! I thought that 2 months in to home ownership, pictures would be hung and everything would be ticked and tied. Welp, I was wrong about that. Between work and play and grilling (!), it just takes awhile to get everything pulled together. But we're getting there! It's fun to start completely anew, and fill a blank slate with the ideas that have been floating in my head. Less fun to paint every room, some of them twice.


FIRST CRIB, and so many visitors who are happy we moved close!
  

FIRST PLAYROOM! Ferris's and Newman's watchpoint.


Just being adorbs.


FIRST CHAIR. 
As far as demanding and hand waving goes, he's really ramping things up. Our sweet baby boy now collapses into tears if his mama leaves or he sees a phone (which we rarely let him touch.)
Should we assume he's actually reading the back of the cereal box?

OH, and Ferris's FIRST FAIR! Just like his mama, he was pretty nonplussed.
Let's be honest, the fair is kinda lame.

But sunglasses are not lame.

And in case you don't already know, FIRST STEPS! Ferris started walking about a month and a half ago (13 months old) and went from tentative steps to zooming around. Inexplicably, he recently started spinning around in slow circles until he's too dizzy to stand.

A video of Ferris walking, a little bit ditzy from Tylenol

As you can see, we've been busy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Milk!

Happy birthday to our Ferris! Despite living out of a hotel at the moment, of course we made time for a party! It was so great for Ferris to be surrounded by people who have loved him from afar over this past year. 

 I was totally inspired by this photographer named Edward Mapplethorpe, who takes brilliant portraits of one year old babies. Ferris would be such a perfect model for him! But since we aren't in the neighborhood of commissioning five figure baby portraits, I had to make do with a hotel chair, a pillow case backdrop, and my new camera. Welcome to my studio! I'm so excited that next week we'll be in our very own house and can hang these up! I was taking pictures of him when he randomly decided to start pulling on his skin and studying it. Hilarious.




And, now for the party. The very loose theme was "milk" since the entire first year is all about milk, getting milk, enough milk, pumping milk, spilled milk, spit up milk, drink your milk! This manifested itself in tons of vintage milk jars filled with flowers from my grandma's garden and a few cows. Ferris ate his cake in a highchair from my grandma's babyhood, and we put the gifts in a crib from my grandpa's babyhood. Good enough theme! The birthday boy was the cleanest cake eater ever. He took a few bites, and sucked on the edge of the cake a couple of times. That was about it. And then he randomly started crying- I think because he didn't understand why everyone was starting at him with expectant eyes. Thanks to all of our family and friends for making it such a fun day!

THE SCENE



THE BOY


THE PEOPLE

THE GIFTS

And my present to him, another little video project chronicling his first year....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Good bye New York, Hello Birthday!

Welp, the title says it all.....

Good-bye New York! We spent our last couple days in a beautiful hotel with an amazing rooftop. I was also a victim of grand larceny - somebody in our building stole my camera so I had to run around filing police reports and replacing my gear! - but in the grand scheme of things, we made it out unscathed.

And our boy. One year old today. 


It flew by in a minute, didn't it! I took a picture almost every day. (An ad might hover over the bottom, just click the top right "x" to close it so you can see all the good stuff!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Southern Belles

We just wrapped up our 11 day road trip covering 10 states (+DC!) and 2200 miles! On our continued quest to visit all 50 states, we decided to take advantage of our East Coast location and Ferris’s inability to run away. 

Here is our crazy itinerary: 
New York, NY to Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE, to Harper’s Ferry, WV to Leesburg, VA to Middleburg, VA to Chapel Hill, NC to Savannah, GA to Hilton Head, SC to Charleston, SC to Raleigh, NC to Washington, DC, to Baltimore, MD to New York, NY. Whew!

With the exception of Philly and DC, all of our stops were new to us, so this was a great chance to learn more about the different states. With few exceptions, most of our preconceived notions (both positive and negative) turned out to be pretty inaccurate. We had low expectations for West Virginia and Baltimore, but those were two of our favorite stops! I’ve heard so many good things about the research triangle of NC – Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, but it underwhelmed us. Downtown Wilmington, Delaware, tax/legal home to just about every credit card company, is sketchier than any block I’ve been on in NYC. One huge surprise was our impression that rumors of southern hospitality are overstated. Also, we encountered plenty of southerners (Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia) who seem to hate babies, and I’m a little sore about that. (Or maybe New Yorkers just really love babies? Or maybe I think Ferris shouldn’t count as a baby since he doesn’t cry?) Who knew! 


Philly, PA: a quick visit to the Liberty Bell on our way to Wilmington! 


Wilmington, DE: “Hi, we’re in Delaware.” – Wayne’s World. This was pretty much it, but with a side of, “Don’t go to that ATM, that’s not on a safe block.” We happened upon a hospitable group of businesswomen who travel to Wilmington so often that they hang out with the hotel staff and take it upon themselves to pour the wine for the happy hour. 
Harper’s Ferry, WV: This little town is home to tons of Civil War history and an entrance to the Appalachian Trail. The landscape of the area was beautiful, with a view of the Blueridge Mountains and old battlefields. We went on a ghost tour and “hiked” to the extent it’s possible with an 11 month old.

Leesburg, VA: We went to a couple of different wine tastings and a jazz festival. This was the first example of baby-hating. I wouldn’t make such a claim without providing examples! We showed up for the jazz festival and were told that children are only allowed within a certain fenced in area. The setup was a little awkward so we drank our wine (individually, since tastings took place outside the family jail) and headed to the next vineyard. 

Middleburg, VA: We spent a few hours wandering around this little town, which had some cute shops. 

Chapel Hill, NC: We drove around Duke and UNC, hung out in our gorgeous hotel room, and ate biscuits for breakfast. Second example of baby-hating: people would glare at us while Ferris smiled in their direction. Third example of baby-hating: Ferris was sleeping in his stroller in a nearly empty restaurant, but the waitress still glared in his direction whenever she found time. 
Savannah, GA: Fourth example of baby-hating: it took ages to find a hotel that allowed children. But Nick did such a great job finding us a gorgeous historical building in the middle of Savannah. Ferris loved Savannah, because it has so many trees!
Hilton Head, SC: We loved Hilton Head, it’s the only spot we could imagine making a point to revisit. Nick golfed, I got a massage, and we hung out on the beach and ate gourmet hotdogs. This was Ferris’s first time in a swimsuit. Heartbreakingly cute. 

Charleston, SC: Nick found another amazing place to stay – an old rice plantation with award winning architecture. We did a little bit of exploring downtown Charleston, but spent most of our time touring the plantation. Fifth example of baby-hating: Ferris was sleeping in the baby carrier, while we signed up for a tour of the plantation house. The guide lectured me that I would need to leave if the baby started screaming. A. He’s asleep. B. I have enough sense to leave with a screaming baby so blanket restrictions and lectures aren’t needed. C. You’re a bitch. 

Raleigh, NC: Admittedly, we just stayed here to break up a long stretch of driving. But Raleigh boasts the best coffeehouse I found along our trip! 
Washington, DC: Nick scored again, although by accident - we went to the wrong Kimpton Hotel, but they let us stay for the same rate, and.... drumroll.... upgraded us to an amazing suite with a jacuzzi. (Does this count as southern hospitality? The hotel manager was born in Minnesota.) The standard fare: walked around the White House, the Washington Monument, and a special exhibit at the Holocaust Museum. 
Baltimore, MD: Ferris went to his first baseball game at Camden Yard! Baltimore was a charming, livable city, and we discovered a lot of cute neighborhoods. When we’re traveling, I try to find the best coffee in the city, since that usually leads us to fun new places. (You know, the type with growly baristas and signs that say, “Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.”) Despite the baby-hating, we had a fun time getting away from our familiar routines and locations. And thankfully, this trip made us so appreciative of how great Minneapolis is, and how exciting our new neighborhood will be!

Top: Delaware friends, ghost tour, trees!, mint julep, hot dogs
Bottom: beach, plantation grounds, DC, Orioles


Just one more photo of Ferris. This is me trying to show a little restraint. Can you believe the next post pretty much has to be about his first birthday?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ferris Theo's Day in Midtown

Well, I guess it's time to make it blog-fficial!
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We're moving to Minneapolis! Yes! No! I was feeling a little angst-y about it, until I had lunch next to Jerry Seinfeld the other day. Since then I've been fine with it. I guess I did what I came here to do! Before we move, we're heading out for a nice road trip along the east coast to rack up some more states! We tend to have a really luxurious history of unemployment.

Here is a sweet little NY book I made for Ferris, one to play with and one to save and one digital version for the blog. :) If you don't know, there is a board book called Good Night New York City, and this is the exact layout and text, just replaced with photos from our wonderful time here. (And another book I made; I'm getting a bit obsessed with these, and I love that I can show off an online copy as well.)
 














Links if your flash player is finicky.
Good Night New York City
Just One Ferris


Today I had an early appointment in a super inconvenient location. I was a wee bit annoyed, until I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to walk 40+ blocks and say good-bye to all the New Yorky things in Midtown. So here we are! Enjoying a perfect, spontaneous, New York day. As we walked up Fifth Avenue, I did the unthinkable: I looked up and gazed at the majestic buildings like a tourist.

Radio City Music Hall, (napping in) Grand Central Station, Chrysler Building, Willa Cather quote on the sidewalk leading up to the library "... there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before..." (such a beautiful sidewalk filled with quotes!), humongous diamonds at Harry Winston, The Plaza Hotel, FAO Schwartz- hats and stuffed animals and $500 rocking animals that were a little bit scary (more parentheses, there was even a freaking unicorn!!), and the infamous piano.

Here is a nice vertigo inducing video of Ferris on the $250,000 Big piano! Our little underweight baby wasn't heavy enough to set off the keys so I tried to walk beside him and make it interesting!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The third annual visitors edition

Oh wowza. Ferris is 11 months old, and today is the last time we can truly celebrate his monthiness. There seems to be a grace period until "he's 24 months" but I know the truth. He (finally!) has 2 little tooth buds, is obsessed with opening and closing everything, and just discovered the joy of clapping.



Nick just discovered the joy of driving a Lamborghini. A belated execution of a birthday gift from me, the whole fam drove out to Jersey, yes, Jersey! where you can drive these around a track.

My grandma, who performs magic. She sews, cleans, and can make Ferris fall asleep just by sitting next to him. Today he debuted his latest fashion for Tuxedo Tuesday!

And Deena and 2 month old Yvey, who bravely traveled from Iowa for some girl bonding time. Most of our activity involved food acquisition, but we also fit in a visit to Times Square, and the WTC memorial. Deena's friend also gave us a backstage tour of Ghost on Broadway! Behind Ferris, you can see the darker tree that doesn't fit in - that is the survivor tree, which was found in the rubble of 9/11. Deena and I were college roommates that fall.

And my joy was taking my favorite photo evereverever, of anything. Deena and Yvey were walking with us past the Imagine memorial for John Lennon, which is almost always flooded with tourists and harsh lighting. The unplanned moments are the best.

Bonus favorite.

And if you need proof of the clapping.... or just want a dose of pure joy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good news!

April has been kind to us. Warm sun, crisp breezes, afternoons spent lounging in fresh grass, even a pizza tour to Coney Island.


It's been a year since we learned that Zoltar had one wonked kidney and transformed my relaxed pregnancy into one of constant worry. And right after his birth, we found out there is some bonus wonk in the other kidney! For the past few months, we've had a surgery date on the calendar, looming before us. I started to view it as the price we have to pay for having such an awesome baby. Today we encountered another unplanned turn of events: we went to his specialist and she told us everything seems to be doing better, and cancelled the surgery!


WHEE!