Saturday, April 13, 2013

The East Village

A few weekends ago we went with our friends Stephen and Sara and their little girl Anna to check out the East Village in lower, east Manhattan.  It is interesting to see how each little part of the city is very different in culture. We toured some "hot spots", if they weren't closed or out of business (which is fairly common).  Here are a few highlights.

Posing by Tompkins Square Park
A church that I forgot the name of.
 The final stop of our trip was Katz's Deli.  This was the restaurant in a famous scene in "When Harry Met Sally"  It was delicious.

 Piper slept during lunch
 Delicious potato pancakes and our sandwiches that were HUGE!
 We took home plenty of leftovers!
We also stopped by an indoor/outdoor flea market that has been featured on HGTV and a cute but expensive home goods store.  We had a toy store and ice cream shop on the list but those didn't work out for various reasons.  On the way back home, as we were about to get on the subway, we noticed a car that was fairly empty.  So, of course we rushed to get on that car since the others were packed and we had two strollers in tow.  We quickly realized why it was empty.  The smell hit us about 5 seconds too late and the doors closed before we could change our mind.  We guessed it was coming from the homeless man sitting in the back.  I felt bad for Piper because it's not like she knows how to breathe through her mouth so she just had to endure it.  We got out and changed cars immediately at the next stop.  It was kind of funny to watch various passengers make the same mistake as us.  Lesson learned!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Brett's parents come to visit

Billy and Paula came to visit on March 1st.  We had so much fun!  Here's what happened while they were here.

They flew in on a Friday and arrived just after lunch.  We caught up and ate lunch and showed them all of Piper's new tricks.  Then we walked around our neighborhood and made our way to Trader Joe's.  This was convenient because I grabbed a few groceries I needed.  I made dinner that night and then Brett, Billy and I walked to get dessert to-go at Magnolia Bakery.  They have delicious banana pudding. Yum!  The next morning we decided to feed Piper real food for the first time.  She had her very first taste of sweet potatoes.  They were purple sweet potatoes, which completely shocked me but Paula said they were a certain breed and perfectly healthy.  It sure did make for some interesting pictures!  We then rode the subway to see the World Trade Center Memorials.  We were there early so we grabbed some lunch at a New York deli.  It was so cold when we were at the memorial and we could see snow flurries.  Needless to say we didn't hang around too long!  Then we went back to our side of the island and Billy and Paula went shopping in our neighborhood.  When they came back they suggested we go out on a date.  We gladly accepted the request and ventured to New Jersey to Wal-Mart so I could get a new iPhone for cheaper than normal.  That trip was a big mess, and took forever but at least we were able to get out by ourselves!  Piper really enjoyed hanging out with her Mimi and Papa! 
We went to church the next morning and ate at Cafe Frida for lunch where we had a yummy mexican brunch.  That afternoon Paula and I did a little shopping and ended up getting new, iPhone cases for free from a street vendor.  I think it had something to do with Paula's cute hat!  After we came back, Billy, Brett and Paula went to Times Square and visited Brett's office.  They were able to see where he works, right in the thick of it all!  We enjoyed pizza that night from Patsy's and more dessert from Magnolia Bakery.  Delivery courtesy of Billy and Brett.  On Monday morning Billy and Paula packed up and rode off to the airport in a cab after promises to return in May.
We had a great time and look forward to much warmer visits!  Here are some pictures of our adventures.

Standing outside Food Emporium

Magnolia Bakery

"The Shop Around the Corner" in 'You've Got Mail' that is now a dry cleaners.
Eating purple sweet potatoes for the first time
We found a subway car that was completely empty.  It was very eery but nice to have it all to ourselves!

WTC Memorial fountain
Waiting for the subway on Sunday morning
Paula's cute hat that got us our free iPhone cases! :)

Brett at his workspace, looking very official
Come back soon!

Monday, April 8, 2013

7 Months

 Piper turned 7 months old yesterday.  She is so much fun and brings joy to our life everyday!

Weight: 18 lbs. 

-You still love bath time and seem to know when it's coming.  You get so excited when we carry you naked down the hall to the bathroom.

-You are loving solid food.  So far you have tried: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, carrots, green beans, avocados, bananas, applesauce, and oatmeal.

-You have 5 teeth in full view and are working on the 6th that we can barely see.  (4 on top, 2 on bottom)

-You love to reach for things and sometimes we are not ready for that.  We have cleaned up a lot of spills lately.

-You love it when your daddy comes home and get really excited when you hear him come in.

-You are such a snuggler when it's time for bed and you like to be rocked and sang to.

-You love to ride on your daddy's shoulders and see the world from a new perspective.

-You are becoming more opinionated and fight me away when I try to suction out your nose.

-You kick your legs like crazy when you are excited.

-You can scoot around on your belly very well.  You can go backwards and side to side just not forward yet.

-You have figured out how to go from sitting up to a crawling stance.  You get up on your knees and rock back and forth.  We think you are just a few days or weeks from full out crawling.  Yikes!

Just a few days ago you have been experimenting with pulling up.  You can get to your knees and sometimes stand all the way up if you use our hands or legs to help you balance.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My parents come to visit

My parents came to visit on February 2nd.  It was so cold while they were here!  We really enjoyed their visit.  Here is a tale of the fun we had.

They flew in on a Saturday afternoon and when they arrived at our apartment we caught up and of course played with Piper.  I had made dinner so we ate and then they insisted that Brett and I go out on a date.  It took us 2 seconds to agree to that plan.  Brett and I went to movie and then dessert at Cafe Lalo (the same cafe in You've Got Mail, where Meg Ryan waits for her online love interest that is Tom Hanks).  On Sunday we took them to church and introduced them to riding the subway for the first time.  By the end of their trip they were pros!  After church we walked around a bit and had lunch at Shake Shack.  It's a delicious burger joint with amazing shakes/concretes.  After we put Piper down for a nap at home, Mom and I went shopping in our neighborhood.  We visited Food Emporium (a super expensive but convenient grocery store), Century 21 (a name brand discount retail store) and bought a few warm weather items from a street vendor (very New York).  The Superbowl was on that night so Mom helped me make homemade pizza and we watched the game.  On Monday we made reservations for the World Trade Center Memorial.  We met Brett in the subway at Times Square and then toured the memorial.  The fountains were very moving and beautiful.  I will say that it was absolutely freezing though so we didn't linger too long.  After that I took Mom and Dad for a quick tour around Times Square.  It was still really cold and that area makes me a little nervous because there are so many people and you really have to keep track of your wallet.  That night I took Mom to Trader Joe's to show her what all the fuss is about.  I think she really liked it!  On Tuesday morning Mom and Dad woke up very early and stood in line to get standby tickets for Live with Kelly and Michael (it is only 2 blocks from our apartment).  They were able to be in the audience and they had so much fun!  I don't remember what famous people were on the show but Kelly and Michael are famous enough, right?  After their fun morning we grabbed a famous NY hotdog from a street vendor and took the subway to the world's largest Macy's.  We shopped around for awhile and then headed back.  The Empire State Building is close by Macy's so they were able to see that even though we didn't go up to the top.  That night Brett and I went out again to a fancy dinner at Dovetail and to see another movie.  We sure enjoyed taking advantage of the free babysitting!  My parents flew out Wednesday morning after a slightly tearful goodbye.  Thanks for the fun memories Mom and Dad!

Outside of Cafe Lalo.  It was snowing!

Brett's fancy hot chocolate and my coffee
(I forgot to take a picture of our dessert but we think we ordered the wrong thing because it was just okay)
The new World Trade Center

The Memorial site
One of two memorials where the old buildings were.  It was very moving.
All of the names of the victims are listed around the fountains.

Shake Shack

Mom and Dad standing in line at the Kelly and Michael Show.  That's the producer, Gelman.
Mom so graciously offered to sew buttons on Brett's coat
Saying goodbye, much too soon.

We had fun!  We hope you come again soon, when it's much warmer!!!