Friday, January 29, 2010

The Friday Highlight

Rock A Bye Baby

These adorable albums of lullaby renditions of popular music are one of the cutest things out there right now for kids.

The list of artist's covered runs the gamut. Guns 'N'Roses, Led Zeppelin, U2, Pink Floyd, The Pixies, Bob Marley, Radiohead and The Ramones to name just a few- makes it virtually impossible not to find your favorite artist represented in their catalog.

The lullaby's are beyond sweet and super soothing to the little ones. They make a really cool gift for baby showers or simply for selfishly trying to push your musical taste on to your little ones.

Check out their website to see if your favorite band is covered here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


A great new private sale site just launched called Zulily.

They offer daily deals from great cutting edge brands for Mom, Babies and Kids at up to 70% off retail prices.

Membership is free to sign up and you receive $10 worth of credit everytime you refer a friend that uses the site!

Check out some of the items offered in today's batch of deals:

organic cotton and knit dresses from Origany

cool artwork from Lex

They're Here! They're Here!

Cue the choir of angels.... The Little Man's first teeth have arrived! FINALLY!

That's right, I said TEETH. Not one, but two!

This past weekend wasn't just eventful because of our first airplane trip. It was also one for the record books because Jax finally felt relief as his new, shiny little chicklets finally popped through his gums.

Now, 18 more to go!

not the most flattering shot but I had to capture the new choppers!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Home Sweet Home

After a failed attempt on Monday night- due to apocalyptic weather in the Northeast- we finally made it home late last night from our trip to the Sunshine State.

The flights there and back were great, the Little Man did surprisingly well and I managed to get through both trips with my sanity and dignity well in tact. While I had lots of fun experiencing Jax's first flight with him, I have to admit that traveling sans babe, used to be much simpler. However, I am doing a fair amount of back patting today as the process, while more time consuming than in the past, was pretty well orchestrated by moi. Traveling with a baby, albeit alone, can be exhausting. Just locating where all of the elevators are in the airport can be feel reminiscent of trying to find the Holy Grail. (Don't worry, they're all located on the opposite end of whatever side of the terminal you are currently in, in comparison to where you need to be. )

Despite the unsolicited workout though it wasn't too bad. I somehow managed to think of just about everything, which I'm still trying to figure how that was possible when just last week I put the salt and pepper in the fridge while cleaning up after dinner due to a still lingering pest called baby brain.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by an exhuberant Grammy, as expected, complete with camera in hand to capture Jax exiting off of his very first flight. Very cute.

We had a short ride home from the airport and after the bathing/ PJ/ bed rituals were performed I was greeted with a well deserved glass of wine.


On Saturday we headed into Hyde Park, which is a really great area of fantastic tree lined streets filled with beautiful homes, all of which lead to the bay, for the annual Gasparilla Kids Extravaganza and Pirate Parade.  This was the Little Man's first parade and he absolutely loved checking out all of the floats, people dressed like pirates and catching Mardi Gras beads with the rest of the crowd.

    arrrggghhhh matey!!!                            

a pirate ship in Tampa Bay

We capped off the day with a nice dinner out while a very tired little pirate snoozed in his stroller,
recuperating from a hard day of "looting."

On Sunday we celebrated my sister's baby shower since she is expecting a little bean the first week of March.  Jax was the only "guy" at the party and was a huge hit with all of the ladies. My sister received lots of adorable gifts from friends and family and is off to a great start for the little one.

        Jax and his Aunt Sheena

 We were supposed to return home on Monday night but as I mentioned in the beginning of this post the weather in and around NYC was horrible with torrential rains and 70 mph winds reported. This resulted in a 4hr delay of our already late flight home which would have ended with the little man and I getting home in the wee hours of the morning, not my idea of a good time.

With the help of Angela, a JetBlue representative at Gate A12 in Tampa Int'l Airport, (yes this is a shoutout) we were rebooked on a flight home the following day- FREE OF CHARGE.

I'm not sure what was more shocking: the fact that it was so seemless getting on another flight without so much as a cent coming out of my pocket -when the airlines charge you extra for breathing in more air than the guy next to you these days - or my utter disbelief that there are still people that exist that actually care about being helpful (in an age of seemingly non-existent customer service.) I appreciated the fact that she took pity on a mother traveling solo with a small baby that is clearly not going to last through your so called 4 hr delay getting us home at 1am. This of course after I checked my flight 67 times before I left for the airport and you kept reporting that it was "On Time."  Did I mention that I had already checked our bags and she had them immediately pulled for us so that we wouldn't be inconvenienced? Unreal.

So for the above reasons, and in the hope of shaming others into doing a little more than what is the bare minimum- I believe that Angela and JetBlue Airlines may just be the final frontier, the Last of the Mohicans if you will, of superior customer service and they deserve a round of applause.

Angela also deserves a raise. I'm just saying.

Between Angela's efforts, the stewardess' making a fuss over Jax on both flights and offering help at every turn, to the much appreciated Direct TV complete with current episodes of the trashtastic Real Housewives of Orange County, I know who I'll be flying when I head back in a few weeks to meet my new nephew.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Friday Highlight

Sleep Sheep

Today's highlight is of one of my hands down favorite baby gadget/gizmo/toy/mommy assistant etc...

May I introduce to you, The Sleep Sheep.

My love for this cuddly little dose of baby ambian disguised as an adorable little farm animal is intense. I'm talking crazy lunatic, panty throwing at your favorite rock concert intense.

This adorable little sheep has been at my son's side since the day we brought him home from the hospital. For him, it immediately signals that it's time for sleep, once the sweet sounds of ocean waves (a Wile family fave) slapping the shore begin to waft out of the little speaker hidden in its body. As soon as he hears it, my son starts to calm down and settle in, allowing himself to relax and let go of all of the pressures of the day that come from playing, rolling over, spitting up and pooping. Hey, these tasks are exhausting people!

When my son was a newborn and sleeping in the bassinet in our room, my husband used to laugh that if he closed his eyes he actually felt like we lived at the beach- right before he passed out.  Clearly it even works on adults.

I love this product so much that when I noticed that they sold a Sleep Sheep To Go, which is a mini version for strollers and carseats, I snapped it up immediately. This little item has even cured my son of his intense hatred for the carseat ever since our "little" roadtrip over Thanksgiving when my son melted down on I-95 while we were sitting in dead stopped traffic still several hours and 4 states from home. The same trip that resulted in an extremely luxurious overnight stay in one of Virgina's finest interstate-side motels while the 4 of us (our dog included) cried ourselves to sleep. The trip was so traumatic that as soon as we returned, whenever I tried to put my son in the carseat he would act as though I was trying to dip him in a pool of battery acid and would scream until we reached our destination and was set free.

The Sleep Sheep has changed all of that. I purchased the mini in a flitter of hope that it would help my son feel calm like he is when he is in his room. I attached the fluffy little guy to the carseat during one of the Little Man's epic meltdowns as we were preparing to leave for his monthly check-up and Voila! Dead silence. He immediately stopped crying and dare I say smiled? Within minutes he had calmly dozed off in his seat and had to be woken up to receive his check-up. Life has been this glorious ever since.

Thank you Sleep Sheep. Thank you.

If you have a product that you can't live without, I'd love to hear about it!
Contact me at:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

So tomorrow, I am embarking on my first flight with the Little Man. Solo. (shudder)

I have been quite fortunate in my lifetime to take some pretty amazing trips, so I consider myself a well seasoned traveler-one who is familiar with the in's and out's of airport protocol as well as how to make my trip go smoothly by planning accordingly. However, it will be LM's very first time ever on an airplane and my first time flying with a baby in tow.

I have absolutely zero idea what to expect because I'm smart enough to not allow my mind to go there.

The reason for this trip is to visit Jax's Grammy in Florida, who I'm sure has been counting down the seconds until our arrival, in the same way a life sentence inmate does- by painfully scratching each one off on the wall with a makeshift shank since I booked our flight a month ago. I have no doubt that she will be dancing with excitement at the gate as we walk off the jetway and I also have no doubt that I will be relieved to find the extra hands at the other end.

Until we reach our destination though, I am following my friend Katie's sage advice- whom after several trips by air in the last few months with her adorable 7 month old in tow, should now be considered a professional- and I'm just going to approach this positively like it is a great little adventure that we are going on. No stress, whatever happens, happens- just try to have fun with it.

I will do my best.

For anyone who is traveling to Tampa tomorrow out of Newark, may I offer my apologies in advance- please take sympathy on me. I am going to try and "plan accordingly" but I realize that this will still most certainly leave me at a disadvantage, somewhere along our journey, in the midst of some unforseen circumstances.

I'll be sure to share our trials and tribulations when we return.

Wish us luck!

Currently Coveting....

If I were in the market for $1,000+  baby bedding right now, my credit card would be screaming to be abused on Serena & Lily's latest collection of nursery bedding. Their unique textiles are a mix of eclectic and beautiful styles, all while remaining perfectly sweet. I'm crushing. Hard.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

baby love

I can't even handle how cute these baby cocoon's are from Simply Basic Designs.

How adorable for a newborn photo shoot or just for snuggling up in for a nap??

If the memory wasn't still so fresh, these could quite possibly entice me to have another baby asap just so I could purchase one of these adorable cocoons to cuddle a tiny little peanut in. sigh.

Cereal Today, Filet Mignon Tomorrow....


The Little Man officially started solids this past weekend with less than stellar results.

At first he didn't quite know what to make of it.

He then pretended to be somewhat interested.

However, it ultimately ended with him realizing that he would rather starve than eat the wallpaper paste that I was tryng to pass off as food.

We are currently in the middle of an old fashioned stand-off complete with tumbleweed blowing between the two of us.

So far he's winning but Mom's not giving up. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Joys Of Teething

   So the Little Man is well into the journey of expecting his first tooth. We've been a little fussy, a little tired, a little cranky and a little drooly for a few weeks now.

It's started off innocently enough, with a little drool on the chin. Then it built up to a little bit of gnawing on his toys and hands. Then he got downright angry and tried to shove everything in his mouth that he could fit in there, with the climax being 4 straight nights of blood curdling shrieks every 20 minutes like clockwork all through the night.

During the worst of it, my husband and I took turns dashing into the Little Man's room throughout the night trying to soothe him, while also trying to avoid walking into walls and each other in our sleep deprived induced haze.

We managed to come out on the other side alive, thanks to the help of an obscene amount of coffee.

While we have been enjoying the night's going back "somewhat" to a level of normalcy that we can recognize, we are still waiting on this tooth. We have swollen buldging gums, lots of drool, gnawing and occasional fussiness but still no tooth?? I mean where is this thing already? How long does it take? Once one comes in- will it be like this for 19 more? Will I ever sleep a full night again? These are questions that seemingly don't have any answers, at least none that I can find.

We've tried all sorts of "remedies" of the homeopathic nature and against my original plan, over the counter ones as well. While some have been helpful, other's have rendered themselves useless. The only constant that has provided tangible relief has been the comfort of Sophie.

Sophie the Giraffe is an all natural rubber teether that hails from France. She's Phthalates and BPA free and seems to be the only teething toy that my son has shown any interest in. Frozen washcloths and teething rings be damned! Trust me, I've tried everything. Not sure what makes her so much better than the others but she is doing something right because she's been around for 40 years and she works. She's also pretty adorable. So while we wait for the much anticipated arrival of his first tooth, at least we have something that works. If you're in the same teething boat from hell that we are currently floating around in, you should check her out here: Sophie's Boutique.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Friday Highlight

Today's Highlight goes to.....

Blabla Kids

After an inspiring trip to Peru for the owners of this adorable children's company, Blabla Kids started in 2001 as a small company that made simple sweaters and hats that were created using the same techniques as local artisans discovered on their trip. The popularity of these handmade items skyrocketed quickly and Blabla is now producing not only the same sweaters and hats that garnered their initial following but also adorable dolls, blankets, finger puppets, rattles and mobiles.

When the Little Man was first born we were the lucky recipients of a beautiful hooded blanket from a lovely generous friend (thanks Elise!) and it was love at first sight. The yarns they use to make their products are of the softest quality and come in the sweetest of colors. If their pieces don't charm you then nothing will. Blabla now works with the same local artisans that first inspired them, to help them craft these adorable pieces and did I mention that they support Fair Trade efforts? It's pretty much a hole in one for any modern, socially conscious mom.

Next time you're looking for a special little gift for a friend who's expecting that won't get lost in the sea of onesie's and burp cloths, a bday gift for a special little one or simply a treat for your own little peanut, I encourage you to check them out.

Blabla Home

If you have a product that you absolutely love and think should be featured in the Friday Highlight- let me know about it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Because I'm Worth It... At Least That's What The Commercials Tell Me

Today was a glorious day, a day like I haven't experienced in awhile.

Today was my hair appointment.

Yes, a glorious, selfish, all about me hair appointment.

 You see, since I had my son my hair has been sort of in crisis mode. While I was pregnant I had glorious thick, shiny, shampoo commercial hair- the kind of hair I've always wanted. Post baby, it's more of the greasy, stringy, flat and often filled with spit-up nature.

It's amazing what a day at the salon can do for a woman. I swear I walk a little taller, feel a little lighter on my feet and have a little more pep in my step after I leave the salon.

I walked in sorely in need of follicle assistance complete with split ends, overgrown bangs and a two toned hair shade and not in a cool trendy hi-light sort of way either. More like if you broke my entire mane into two seperate sections you would find that north of the equator I was a mousy librarian living in North Dakota and south of the equator I was a bright lively blonde frolicking on a beach in Southern California-not exactly my best look.

After 3 hours of sitting in a comfy chair filled with shoulder rubs, scalp massages, unlimited cappucino's and free wifi- I walked out sparkly, sunny, bouncy and smelling of coconuts. While it was nice to have a few selfish hours to myself not cleaning up spit-up or changing 15 diapers in 2 hours- all things I'm happy to do most days out of love for my son, it mostly just felt good to feel like "me" again.

I highly recommend it.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today was our weekly Mommy & Me Yoga class, which we look forward to every week. It's fun to take the little ones to class and see how they respond to certain poses. Plus there's really nothing cuter than a little 2ft peanut performing a sun salutation (with some assistance of course.)

One of our mom friend's had these cute shirts made for all of the little ones in our class. I think they are super adorable, they are even personalized for each kid with their names on the back. They look like a little gang of ninja's with their matching black uniforms on- too cute. Now if only we could teach them how to speak like they do in Kung Fu movies with their mouths moving on delay of the actual words coming out and we would really be on to something.

I was hoping to get a picture of all of the kids today with their matching get-ups on but Jax decided to fall asleep on the way to class, snooze right through the whole thing and not wake up until after we got home- which is a rarity. The picture above was taken just before we left the house. Hopefully next week I can share a shot of the whole gang.

All was not lost though, at least I was able to indulge in an entire 60 minute yoga session without 4 diaper changes and a bottle break. Perhaps the little man was masterminding the whole thing to support my current "situation." If you need further insight into this, please see "Resolutions" below. Either way, I was grateful for the workout as finding the time to care for myself lately has also been somewhat of a rarity.

So for that Jax Man, I say "Namaste."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We Bleed GREEN

Today we are concentrating all of our efforts on rooting for our favorite football team, the NY Jets. (insert snicker here, we don't care we love them anyway.) Tonight they're playing the Bengals for their first game of the playoffs. For you non-football lovers out there, the Jets are considered underdogs to complete the journey to the Superbowl. Obviously winning today's game is of mucho importance for our road to victory to continue.

Since I'm secretly a 15 year old boy trapped in a 30 year old woman's body when it comes to sports-we'll be back up and running once we avert our gaze off the TV.

Until then....


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Friday Highlight

So I've decided that on Friday's, I will highlight an item from my "loves list" to express my fondness for said item and why.

This week's highlight goes to....

Boogie Wipes

Boogie what, you say? Boogie Wipes. An ingenious creation thought up by none other than 2 moms. Anyone who has ever had a crusty nosed kid will love this product. At first it may not seem like much but once you try them, I swear you'll love them too.

Everyone knows that it's cold and flu season and whether you are diligiently keeping the "pig" germs at bay like a gladiator warrior, fighting daily bugs passed around the playgroup or tackling the
"how is it possible that my kid is sick again for the 6th time this month (?)" ailments, you will find a friend in the Boogie Wipe.

Boogie Wipes are saline soaked wipes that were created to clean up everything from simple runny noses- to the crustiest, gookiest jobs. Anyone who has ever used a saline spray/aspirator combo on their child knows that they wrech around like a scene out of Alien when performed. While this is effective at getting packed mucus out of the nostrils, it does nothing to combat a running faucet of a nose, nor does it protect or prevent the irritation and chafe that inevitably builds with each wipe of a tissue, burp cloth, sleeve, etc... How else to provide these little ones with relief, while avoiding a call to the authorities from neighbors concerned of the horrific screams coming from your house?

Enter the Boogie Wipe.

Not only does it keep the nose area moist but it also leaves behind a layer of saline that protects the delicate nostrils from growing the hated crust.  Not that the horrified crust can be entirely avoided though. Take for instance a sick child waking up from a cold induced 2 hour nap. Of course you aren't going to be wiping in their sleep, so combatting crusted over nostrils will be definite. Noone wants to dig and scrape at their kid's nose because they absolutely hate this and because we hate to see our kid's in pain. Believe me when I tell you that I have seen cement roadblocks of mucus that were blocking my son's nostrils- literally wiped away with one sweep of a Boogie Wipe, without so much as a grimace. They have certainly found a fan in me.

Did I also mention that they come in sweet scents like grape and congestion relieving menthol? My son has now taken to trying to lick the wipe everytime it comes near his face, something he never did when he saw my sleeve approaching.

Here are some quick facts on the Boogie Wipe:

* Made with Natural Saline to Dissolve Mucus
* Hypoallergenic
* Alcohol Free
* Moisturize with Vitamin E, Aloe and Chamomile
* Fun Scents Kids Love
* Gentle Enough for All Ages
* Phthalate & Paraben Free

For more information about Boogie Wipes as well as where to purchase them, check out their site here:
Boogie Wipes Home

Thursday, January 7, 2010


So I'll start this post by saying that I hate New Year's Resolutions. They have always been, at least for me, a constant reminder of my inability to focus on one thing long enough to see it through to fruition. I have suffered from this my entire life: self noting the amount of times I changed college major focuses, jobs, clothes, hairstyles, etc...

I hate resolutions because looking back at my failed completion of each makes me feel, well, like a failure.

Take for instance the year that I swore I would run the NYC marathon, if you need to ask me how this ends, simply ask me the last time I ran around the block.  Or the time that I swore that particular year would be the last year that I procrastinated. I can name at least a half dozen things right now that I need to do that could have been done weeks ago. The list goes on: from enriching myself with classes or lessons of things I've always wanted to learn more about, to getting business ideas off the ground that I've been working on for years, it's an endless cycle of incomplete failures.

A few years ago I took to writing my resolutions down and carrying them with me everyday so that I could go back and reference them throughout the year to help me stay on track.  A few months ago, I realized that I only had 4 items (out of 2 dozen) left on that list and felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment, until I realized that I had started that list 4 years ago...

Maybe my inability to complete all of these resolutions was because I always gave myself too many, constantly identifying areas that I felt needed work. Or maybe I'm just lazy. It's probably a little bit of both. For every failed completetion of a resolution, I've always had an excuse.

This year I have one resolution and am out of excuses. I am currently still carrying around 15 lbs of baby weight that I packed on from stuffing myself with anything that wasn't nailed down while I was pregnant, all the while telling myself that I hadn't gained that much and that most of it was "water or baby weight." Imagine my shock and dismay when I didn't deliver a 30 lb baby this past July.

My resolution this year is to lose the last of the weight and a little extra for good measure. Not because I think I need to, which I do. And not because none of my clothes fit, which they don't. My reason this year, a reason I hope will help me reach my goal is that I MUST.

I MUST lose this weight because I have been given the great honor of being in one of my best friend's wedding this coming May. Her wedding is going to be beautiful, as her and her fiance are completely in love, they have a beautiful site where the wedding weekend will be held and a fantastic photographer who will be capturing all of this on film that will last for eternity. But even that is not the whole truth as to why I MUST lose this weight.

I MUST lose this weight because I am a foolish, foolish woman, destined to never learn from my mistakes in the past. I am a  foolish woman because 5 weeks after I gave birth, I went in for my dress fitting and convinced the seamstress to order me a dress that was 2 sizes smaller than what currently fit because I "definitely" wouldn't be this big come the wedding.  The wise seamstress tried to talk me out of this colossal mistake by telling me that it would take time to shrink myself back down, that it wasn't realistic for me to think that I could do it that quickly. I laughed at this poor woman thinking, she didn't know me, I could do it.  With great hesitation she placed the order for my dress, in the size of my delusional choosing, with one caveat. I had to sign a waiver stating that if the dress didn't fit once it came in, then she would not be held responsible as she had advised against this. I signed away, without blinking- fully confident that she was overreacting.

My son is 5 months old and I am exactly 2 lbs lighter than I was at that fitting.

I'll just allow that to sink in for a moment.

You see, I've spoken about losing the rest of this weight but have done absolutely nothing to actually make it happen. I have continued to ingest the same amount of food that I did while pregnant, complete with my mid afternoon chocolate fix and have showed zero signs of slowing down.

So now, I MUST lose this weight. It's not a matter of "oh, the dress will be tight and slightly unflattering," it will be a matter of not being able to zip it closed! How horrifying for my wonderful friend on her beautiful day, perfectly orchestrated to portray a day she has dreamt about her entire life. Here comes the gorgeous bride and her stupid friend whose dress doesn't zip because she is a stupid foolish woman.

The reason I am making this public is because I MUST lose this weight. If I publicize this dire emergency then I will have shamed myself into accepting this horrible truth. I ask anyone who cares about me and if you're reading this, then you probably do, to ask me when I see you: how are you doing with your diet? When was the last time you worked out? Those pants are looking a little tight, are you still stuffing your fat face daily? And if you see me near a platter of cheese, politely tell me to slowly back away and perhaps offer your shoulder to cry on.

If I feel no shame or accountability then I'm afraid I will fail just as I have in years past to follow through. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm already dreading breaking up with the fresh pint of Ben & Jerry's that I have in my freezer tonight before we have even properly gotten to know one another but I MUST do this. That means (gasp!) giving up my nightly glass (or 3 ) of wine, sharing cookies with the hubbs on the couch after we put the little man to bed (the little sugar hoarder inside me is now screaming NOOOOOOO!!!!) and Sunday Funday's filled with chicken wings and stromboli (the horror!)

While I have to admit it was good while it lasted, the party is officially over.

The devil's incarnate. Ben and Jerry.

Deana, if you're reading this post, I apologize. I am a foolish woman and you deserve better. I will give it my all from today and going forward to give you the proper representation on your special day that you deserve. If I fail, then I will pretend that I fell down a flight of stairs the weekend of your wedding and asked to be pushed down the aisle in a wheelchair so that noone can see that the back of my dress is hanging open for the breeze.

I am a foolish, foolish woman and I feel SHAME.

And so the countdown begins, wish me luck. I'll be sure to update my progress good or bad, in hopes of rejoicing in the former.

This post is to be continued.....

New York, New York

 So we took the Little Man and my niece into the city for what has become a fun tradition of visiting the tree at Rockefellar Center, as well as kid heaven places such as FAO Schwartz and the Lionel Train store. Last year's trip was lovely. The weather was somewhat mild, the city surprisingly not too crowded and we even managed to grab lunch and a much enjoyed cocktail or two at a swanky little spot as my niece at the time was about 6 months old and pretty cooperative.

boobsie during last year's trip

This year's trip was markedly different. First off it was downright freezing, it seemed as though the city was mobbed at every turn (although it was a Saturday, so it was expected) and our nice little lunch, let's just say was less delightful than we've enjoyed in the past. Neither my son nor my niece seemed to care that anyone else was in the restaurant and were trying to enjoy a nice peaceful Saturday as they both seemed to have megaphone's attached to their mouths and fireworks going off in their pants which prohibited them from sitting in any one place for more than a second.  I don't think we 4 adults sat down at the table all together at any one time throughout the duration of the meal as there was lots of chasing, pacing, diaper changes and "let's go look out the window" breaks happening constantly.

I'm pretty sure I ordered a glass of wine with my lunch and I'm pretty sure it remains at our table presently untouched.

I'm also fairly certain that all of the sympathetic smiles we were getting from those around us were masking teeth gritting and mumbling for us to get the hell out of there. Call me crazy but I swear I heard a round of applause when we asked for the check.

Once our nice little lunch was over we moved our sideshow circus on to visit the tree. It was just as beautiful as it is every year, decorated with thousands of lights and the snow flurries flying through the air made it feel extra special and Christmas-y. The sheer size of the tree every year is worth seeing up close, truly remarkeable. We took a few pictures, watched the ice skaters twirl around the icy rink (can't wait until the kids are old enough to take a spin!) and then we went in search of the Lionel Train store.

Lionel Trains have been around since 1900 and are classic steel trains that come in every color, size and price point. Some of the displays that they have up are awesome. The tracks go on forever- over bridges, under mountains and around lakes, the whistle blows and the train blows out real smoke. It's also fun to see all of the specialty cars that have unique things happening on each one like the Lone Ranger car we saw that displayed two cowboys having an active gun fight.

A classic Lionel train was on the top of my list to get for Jax this year for Christmas. I researched beforehand to find the perfect one to get him started on, that we could build on every year for him as a tradition. I was practically skipping down 49th street with excitement to pick up the train but when we got to the store our "perfect" train was sold out. :( That's what you get I suppose for waiting until after Christmas. We did however strike up a conversation with a friendly guy that worked in the store and realized that we were neighbors (what are the odds!) which worked in our favor because now he is on the case to secure Jax the train we had our eye on for a neighborly discount to boot. Score!

After a few extra stops, we decided it was time to head back home, eager to get bath and dinner time rituals started so we could move on to the much anticipated adult time that we all sorely needed.

Despite a few hurdles along the way, we had a great time. Taking the time out of the busy holiday season to be silly and act like tourists for the day, taking advantage of the awesome city that is in our backyard, is fast becoming a treasured tradition that I hope to build on as the kids get older. It gives us all something to look forward to-a special trip that the cousins get to take together and fun way to celebrate the holidays.

the culprits: your quiet lunch's worst nightmare

However, to all of those that were dining or working at Maggie's this past Saturday, we offer our sincerest apologies and assure you that you can breathe easy, as we will most certainly not be back in for awhile. :)

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