Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Visiting My New Nephew in NYC

Earlier this month, we took a quick trip to NYC and it feels like time has been flying since then! (We actually came home two weeks ago today, which is crazy because it feels like we just got back!) Even though traveling with a toddler during my third trimester of pregnancy wasn't exactly ideal, I'm so glad we went because it was really special to be able to go meet our new nephew, Samuel! Plus, knowing that we won't really be traveling over the next couple of months as we adjust to life with a newborn, it was great to be able to fit in one last trip as a family of three to one of my favorite cities :)

I already shared a few photos on Instagram while we were there, but since I had quite a few on my phone that I never got around to posting, I thought I'd just go ahead and share a few more here! And since traveling with Henry means the space in my bag that used to hold my DSLR is now filled with snacks, so all these are all (not the best quality) iPhone photos, but oh well :)

Meeting sweet little Samuel Max for the first time at a week old! Granted I'm biased, but he is a super cute baby :)
Overall, Henry did so well around the baby! But newborns do sleep a lot, so he would lose interest fairly quickly once he was snoozing...and he ended up being a lot more interested in checking out everything in my sister and brother in law's apartment, which (understandably) is not exactly toddler-proofed. So basically, while we were at their place we had to alternate between holding the baby and trying to keep Henry from breaking things, ha!

Another highlight of our time in New York was getting to go to Samuel's bris! The ceremony itself was fairly quick, but there was a nice brunch after where we got to visit with some of Melissa and Ben's friends which was fun. It was a special day and I'm happy we were able to be there for it.

So many bagels, so much lox
Family group shot with my parents and Ben's sister and brother-in-law
Henry being super well-behaved...ha! (Actually, for being jet lagged, he was pretty good thankfully!)
I've been able to hang out with my sister's friends on a lot of my previous visits to the city and then they all came to her wedding in France last summer so it was fun seeing them again!
 And last but not least, a little candid shot...ha :)
Since Samuel was just over a week old while we were there, a lot of the time on our trip was spent hanging out at Ben & Melissa's apartment as he was a little young to be out strolling the streets of NYC. But we did have a fair amount of time to get out and explore aka burn off some of Henry's energy! My sister has lived in the city for over five years now and before she lived there, Cam and I had college friends in NYC that we used to go visit...so basically at this point we've been quite a few times, and we know that we'll be going back again in the future. But, it is always fun to go see at least a few of the more touristy spots while were in town, especially now that Henry is getting bigger!

My dad, Henry, and Cameron in Grand Central Station
Central Park!

Henry was a little small for the rides they had set up in Central Park but he liked looking at them!
Having fun at the Lego Store near Union Square
Playing at Madison Square Park, pretty sure Henry was the only kid there with his parent and not his nanny!
Walking (well, sitting) on the High Line :)
It was gorgeous weather the day we went so it was super crowded, but it's still a fun place to go! And it's super convenient for going to Chelsea Market which has so many great food options!
Dylan's Candy Bar is pretty close to my sister's apartment so of course we had to go...for Henry, obviously :)
Henry looks super grumpy, but he actually had a lot of fun (and probably too much candy...ha)
I think Henry's favorite part of the whole trip was getting to ride in taxis...ha! We took a big shuttle bus to and from the airport since we obviously wouldn't want to take him on the freeway without a car seat. But once we were in the city, we did take a few cab rides sans car seat and it was fine since they're not required and you're never really going very fast with all the traffic. Henry thought it was pretty cool though!
Times Square is definitely one of my least favorite parts of the NYC just because it's so crowded, full of terrible chain restaurants, and an overall nightmare. We usually try to avoid it when we visit if possible, but since Henry is kind of obsessed with lights, we figured that should probably take him to see it. I think he was both mesmerized and on sensory overload...ha! And even though it was annoying to deal with the crowds, it was worth it :)
 
Family selfies are hard...
...especially since this one loves taking my sunglasses!
My parents were out in NYC for quite a bit longer than we were, and it was nice being able to spend some time with them while we were there. It's also kind of ironic that they're getting all grandsons (at least so far!) after having two daughters, boys are definitely a different ballgame!

When we were trying to take these pictures, Henry did not want to let go of this card he was holding but I thought that maybe I could quickly just take it from him so I could get one picture without him holding it...
I was wrong. LOL.

One of the days we were there, Cameron, Henry, and I ventured over to Brooklyn!

We had breakfast at Iris Cafe Store #9 and I'd highly recommend it. It's kind of a low-key place but the food was great and it's in a really picturesque area of Brooklyn Heights! (Plus it's super close to Brooklyn Bridge Park!)
I had heard that Brooklyn Bridge Park was an awesome place to take kids, so I was really excited to take Henry to check it out since he loves going to the park these days. The park has tons of different sections and it was really fun to check out. It ended up being pretty hot the day we went, so we ended up spending most of our time at Sandbox Village and Water Lab, which are both at Pier 6. Since we were there on a week day after school had started, they were both pretty empty and so it was amazing to have these incredible parks virtually to ourselves!
After changing Henry's clothes, we headed to DUMBO to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!
Henry was not super pumped about pictures at this point :)
I posted about this on Instagram, but when I was in NYC two years ago, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge while pregnant with Henry. It felt surreal and like deja vu to be doing it again, only this time Henry got to walk with me!
Speaking of walking, we did a LOT of it! Thankfully, I felt really good, but still, it was kind of a lot for being as far along as I was! (This was a little before and after shot the day we went to Brooklyn and did the most walking) Needless to say, I've definitely been trying to take it a little easier since we've been home!
"Baby!"
Saying our goodbyes to Samuel when left two weeks ago; it's crazy because I feel like he's already changed a bunch in the pictures my sister has been sending me this week compared to how he looks here!
 
This silly boy looked like a literal giant next to his cousin!
One last artsy b+w shot from the Brooklyn Bridge :)
 So there you have it, our visit to NYC in a nutshell! It was a fairly quick trip, but I'm so glad we were able to go. Even though it wasn't technically fall, we did get a little bit of nice fall weather while we were there (along with some hot and humid weather, which wasn't quite as nice). It's crazy to look back at this post from almost two years ago when I was pregnant with Henry and we were wedding dress shopping for my sister - so much has happened since then! I didn't end up getting a chance to write a post about our last visit to NYC for Thanksgiving this past year (although there are a few pictures from that trip in this post) but Henry wasn't even walking at that point and so it was a very different experience. I'm not quite sure when we'll be visiting next, but it's surreal to think that we'll be a family of four! And as hard as it is having my sister (and now my adorable little nephew!) on the opposite side of the country, the silver lining is that it gives us a pretty great reason to go to NYC!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Currently: September

A few favorites from Instagram so far this month :)
Feeling: LARGE. Thankfully, I'm feeling good overall, but this belly just seems so huge and in the way these days! (Especially when I'm trying to put Henry in his car seat or put on my shoes, ha!) I had a midwife appointment yesterday and she reminded me that with a second pregnancy, usually you get bigger faster and you start to feel the annoying end of pregnancy symptoms sooner than you do the first time around. But I'm 36 weeks tomorrow, so the end is in sight!

Watching: Over the past couple of weeks, we burned through the first four seasons of Homeland. We were planning on taking a break and watching Stranger Things, but after watching one episode, it wasn't really our cup of tea and so we just started season 5 of Homeland. But I'm excited that all the fall shows are starting up again! We watched the first episode of the Voice, time will tell if we end up getting into this season or not. It does always amaze me though how many talented people they're able to find for each season, like how do that many people have awesome voices? It's crazy! I'm not super intrigued by the ads for most of the new fall shows premiering this year, but maybe some of them will turn out to be good?

Enjoying: That Portland (well, one of the suburbs) has a 365 by WFM! I went there for the first time yesterday, and overall, I liked it! I know that Whole Foods is trying to appeal to Millennials with this store, but it really feels like they're just trying to compete with Trader Joe's. The store was a lot more bare bones than a normal Whole Foods and not quite as warm and friendly (for lack of a better word) as my beloved TJ's. There were things I didn't like (limited product selection, only the 365 brand in a lot of items, no conveyor belt for groceries, you have to bag your own stuff) but overall, I though the prices for organic produce and meat were pretty good and definitely better than Whole Foods. I don't think I would shop there all the time, but it's definitely good for certain things.  

Making: A very Pinterest-y project combining an old window and an engineer print from Staples to make something like this. Now that Cameron has finished the basement and moved his office down there, we're in the process of getting his old office converted into our new master bedroom! He just finished re-painting that room and we have an old window that I think would be perfect to hang in there! Just one of the 3209813 projects I want to get done before my due date - ha!

Cooking: Lots of meals in the crock pot! I'm obsessed with my slow cooker and use it at least once a week, it's just so convenient! Typically, I do meal plan each week and I like to try and include at least one new recipe in the rotation. Sometimes it gets annoying because I feel like I'm reinventing the wheel each week trying to decide what to make for dinner, but it's worth it when I try a new recipe that we end up loving! Last night, we had these buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes and they were really good, definitely something I'd make again! This weekend, I made this crock pot white chicken chili and it was so yummy, perfect for fall! Speaking of all recipes, I recently made this one pan autumn chicken dinner; it's not crock pot but it's super easy and so good - it's definitely a staple in our house! Also, all three of these recipes are chicken, so I guess that's what I'm cooking right now...ha! I am always on the hunt for new recipes for dinner, especially for crock pot meals since I feel like I'll be using it even more than I already do once baby #2 arrives! (Also, you can see the dinner recipes I've pinned here!)
 
Reading: The packet of info my midwife gave me about getting an epidural...ha! I'm delivering with midwives at a hospital and they're super supportive of whatever an expectant mother wants out of her birth. With Henry, while I wasn't dead set on having a natural birth, I really wanted to try and have one if possible. And while it was definitely painful, I'm thankful I ended up having that experience...but this time around, let's just say that I'm very open to having a different experience :) Obviously, I have no idea how this birth will go and if things progress quickly, I may not end up getting one. But if the baby is in a position where it seems like it may be a more lengthy labor, then I'll most likely opt for the epidural - we'll just have to wait and see!
 
Wanting: To get an SNS dipping powder manicure - has anyone tried one? I just recently heard about it and am intrigued by the fact that it's supposed to last longer than shellac and not be as hard on your nails. I found a salon here in Portland that does it so I think I'm going to get one next week!

Looking: For a Halloween costume for Henry! I don't necessarily know how much we'll actually be doing much this year considering my due date, but I still want him to be able to dress up as something! We're headed to Target today so I'm hoping I'll find something there...

Wishing: New York wasn't so far away! We had such a great time last week visiting my sister and brother in law and new nephew, and although I don't think I could live there full-time, I do wish we could visit way more often. I wish it didn't take so long to get there from the West Coast :( But hopefully I'll have a little blog post about our trip coming soon!

Eating: Australian style black licorice (one of my favorite and I got a giant bag from Costco the other day that I'm burning through at an alarming rate), apples (love this time of year, the apples are SO good right now!), ginger molasses cookies (I love them, but never make them at home so if I see one when we're out, I just can't resist) and ice cream (this flavor has been my favorite recently)
 
Needing: To decide on a "theme" for the nursery! (I use the word theme loosely. LOL.) When we found out we were having a boy, I told Cameron he could choose the direction we go for the nursery and he immediately said cars, which is fine with me. But as the project of finishing the basement started to consume the summer, he decided that his choice was minimalist/no theme. Ha. Well now that the basement is done and our new master bedroom is almost done, we can finally start thinking about the nursery! It's definitely not going to be finished before baby boy arrives (which is fine since he'll be in our room for the first couple of months anyway) but I would like to at least agree on the direction we're headed. I'm pretty sure we're planning on painting the walls a light gray and we've picked out the crib that we're planning to get. So now we've (ok, I've) narrowed it down to a few different options - 1) We hang the vintage US map we have in the nursery and go with a travel theme, so for this we'd probably incorporate some more bright colors from the map into the room like this. 2) Go completely neutral, so basically all gray and white, and maybe some animal prints, something like this. 3) Go with Cameron's original choice of cars, which I think would mean we'd be incorporating some more red and black into the room? I told him he could choose, so we'll see what we he decides :)
 
  Wearing: This vest that I got during the Nordstrom anniversary sale last month and this navy Essie nail polish, I've had it on for over 5 days with minimal chips!

Hoping: That can go apple picking and to the pumpkin patch before I give birth. I feel like I need to squeeze in any sort of fall fun thing now because I know November is going to be a month where we're primarily at home adjusting to life with two kids. And then it's the holidays...eek!

Loving: All things fall! I know, I know, so basic but whatever :) And I realize that technically fall doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but here in Portland, the leaves are already changing and we've been having some awesome fall-ish weather already and I'm soaking it up! Oh, and I posted about this on Instagram earlier this week, but I recently got this new floral print wrap that is a collaboration between Rifle Paper Co. and Solly Baby and I'm obsessed. It's so pretty and I can't wait to use it!

 

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