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Wordless Wed: Heaven’s Sake, Sit!

It’s that time.  Time to leave the park.  I think to myself, ‘How am I going to get her in the stroller seat again today?’  There’s tears, there’s struggles, there’s frustration from both of us.  I quickly look around, no one’s looking, I grab Maddie before she knows what’s happening, hold her legs and grab the buckles fast, before she turns to a noodle and slides out from under the stroller bar.  The timing needs to be on point and quick!  One out of five times we have success the first time around!  Here’s to my mommy friends….A little “fun” at what it’s like when putting a child into a restrained seat.

Love these illustrations from the book The World According to Toddlers!  Maddie does a combo, Rod Twist.  What’s your child’s strategy?  Ha!

Pumpkin Carvings & Creations

What do you look forward to during the Halloween season?  Is it dressing up in costume? Is it the treats and candy?  Is it the spooky tales and haunted houses, or is it just another excuse to plan a party?  Well for me, it’s the pumpkin carvings and creations!  I love seeing the random carved pumpkins and pumpkin creations around the city, the rows of pumpkins lining the city squares, and checking out the glowing jack-o-lantern trails in the area.

This is the time of year when the parties and gatherings begin!  One of my favorite themed parties I’ve hosted is a pumpkin carving contest.  It’s fun for kids and adults, and most people are buying and carving pumpkins, so why not make it a party!  Check off one of your to-do’s while drinking, eating and laughing with friends.  And no need for a babysitter, invite the kids too.  It’s a simple party to get ready for.  Everyone brings their own pumpkin (BYOP), while you supply the stencils (free online) and individual pumpkin carving kits (they’re inexpensive) and a plastic trash bag for each person to carve their pumpkin on.  It’s fun watching each other create pumpkin designs and great for conversation.  I’ve planned one in the past and everyone had a blast!

Whatever your plans might be this year, either needing inspiration to design your own jack-o-lantern or ideas to help you win your pumpkin design contest, then check out below my favorite pumpkin ideas to get you in the spirit

So many ways to have fun with pumpkins!  There’s a lot more cool ideas out there, but these are my favorite pics!

Click here for free pumpkin carving stencils.

Click here to see the largest carved pumpkin.

Do you plan to carve or create something fun with your pumpkins this year?  Please share!  I would love to see and hear your ideas.

Oyster Fest

Who’s in for oyster shucking?!  Well you won’t catch me doing that, but last weekend we headed to Oyster Bay, Long Island for the largest waterfront festival on the East Coast.  There was much to see and much to do, especially with oysters, from shucking contests, to oyster eating contests, to a few oyster crafts, and to anyway your palate will take them, raw, fried, sautéed, mixed, over-easy and I’m sure, if you looked hard enough, on the rocks!  There were several large boats in the bay to tour, the USCG Cutter Chinook, the Barquentine Peacemaker, and the 130-foot 1931 John J Harvey fireboat.  And lets not forget the craft tents and artwork.  We came home with a few holiday finds for ourself and the relatives, all while listening to the bands play throughout the day in the background.  There were pirate reenactments, rides for children, and those with stomachs of iron participated in the eating contests, however we chose the leisurely stroll and tasting along the waste widening food court.  Anything unhealthy was at your finger tips!  And we couldn’t pass up a walk along the gorgeous waterfront.  Oyster Bay is not only known for its Oyster Festival, but also for its charm, beauty, stunning bay and harbor, and of course, the summer home of Theodore Roosevelt on Sagamore Hill.  Anytime of year is a great time to visit Oyster Bay.

Here are just a couple photos we took while enjoying our day in, oyster filled, Oyster Bay…

Oysters and crowds galore!  Get there early ;)

Admiring the large boats and fireboat display…

Looking for seafood comfort food?  The food courts had it all!

Couldn’t get enough of the stunning bay and harbor and views of Centre Island…

Maybe next time we won’t be watching our shoe float down the bay and be able to stay a little bit longer.

A fun family day and festival.  We could have spent the whole day there if Maddie hadn’t kicked her shoe off over the railing and into the bay.  When you have a toddler who stroller planks (for those non-parents, when a child refuses to bend and sit) there’s only one thing to do, emergency shoe shop!

Do you have a Fall festival you enjoy going to each year?  I would love to hear about it.

Wordless Wed: Driving with Kids

I was talking with a few of my mommy friends and we were sharing our driving experiences with kids.  We were laughing and getting a kick out of what each of us go through, yet there’s no one laughing when it’s rush hour, the kids are strapped in, yelling, hungry and nowhere to pull over!

Illustration from Nick Mom

The New York carpool lane makes riding with kids definitely worth it!  Hope you got a good laugh.  I sure did!

Restaurant Survival

Children’s section, please!  Ahhh, exhale!  So nice to be finally sitting, and can’t wait for my cold ice tea and a non-diet meal.  The city was sizzling hot, and we had been walking around for hours carrying the stroller up and down steps with Maddie in it, shopping bags and the baby “luggage” on our arms, and all the while, dogging the NYC sidewalk traffic.  Phew!!  So very nice to be sitting and relaxing in air conditioning at Patsy’s restaurant on the Upper East Side.

As a parent you know not to get too relaxed while dining out.  Moments, and I mean only moments, after ordering our refreshing drinks, it started.  We know what IT means, don’t we parents!  Maddie was not pleased about a few things and was not afraid to “voice” herself.  I want that fork, spoon, table bread, water, napkin, salt, pepper, crumb, whatever is on the table!  My husband and I quickly went into routine mode and pushed everything to the far end of the table.  No problem, we’ve got this.  We were now enjoying our table bread at two arms reach across the table.  Maddie, getting more antsy, tries to propel herself from the highchair onto the table.  She was getting loud, winy, and at that point, everyone in the restaurant knew it!  I tried to hold out, but couldn’t.  I unfortunately had to go to the restroom leaving my poor husband alone to man the toddler wheel.  Why do I feel guilty about having to go to the restroom?  Everyone does it…it’s a human necessity.  Oh, the life of a mommy…get in fast, get out fast!  No time for primping.  Still no problem, we’ve got this.

When I returned, 5 minutes later, I knew things just went from bad to worse!  Madison was tossing the sugar packets into the air and onto the floor.  I looked at Dean and he said, ‘let her…it’s making her happy.’  Apparently Madison had gone into a panic scream cry when I walked away and the waitress had to assist Dean in calming her.  Oh my!  Then the pizza came.  Maddie wanted out of the highchair and there was no stopping her.  I propped her on the bench seat, I was sitting on, and she started jumping and screeching as loud as she could, as the whole restaurant watched on, some joining in and participating.  Come on now, people!  Ok, problem, I don’t think we have this anymore.  All I can think is, please stop antagonizing her…can’t you see I’m trying to get some control here!  I propped my leg across the bench, so she would not fall as I tried to eat my pizza.  Talk about muli-tasking!  I’m not looking for peace or relaxation at this point, I just hope to eat.  Eventually Maddie exhausted us, the patrons, and the servers.  We INHALED our pizza and left the toddler-crime-scene!

Looking at this cartoon now…I laugh, but in the moment, I just want to sit at another table (not claim Maddie as mine) and watch the chaos from a distance!!  I’ll take the non-children section, please…next time.  ; )

Have you been in an awkward pubic situation and wanted to immediately dart away?   Please tell me I am not alone! :-)

Until next ride,

Amy

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