I think fall has finally arrived in the Northeast and we took full advantage of the season over the weekend. Dave ran in the Staten Island half marathon, Atlas and I ate cinnamon rolls (we take carb loading seriously) and we all went apple picking.
I never really got that into fall in Florida because temps stay so high, but something about the brisk weather we are having in NYC makes me want to embrace all things fall right now.Outdoor runs/workouts. Blanket scarves. Chunky sweaters. Boots. Vests. I actually don’t lose my mind over a pumpkin spice latte (I’m not a big coffee drinker), but pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bars have already been made and devoured in our house. FYI. If your pantry needs a box mix of pumpkin bars, head to Trader Joes.
Wherever you live in the country, I hope your autumn season is starting in a wonderful way!
Now, here’s hoping we get our new house organized and unpacked before Christmas! Our room is painted and just about finished, but we still have to finish decorating Atlas’ room. I am loving our new place though and I think Atlas is too. He just walks around giggling, I think because he has so much more room than he’s used to.
I’m posting this a few days late, but I couldn’t let Atlas’ first birthday pass by without writing him a poem. Its something I try and do for Dave & the dogs each year (yes, Ob & Marley get a poem) and I want to start the tradition for Atlas. Yes, yes. I know. I’m the cheesiest writer in all the land. Don’t hate.
This poem is for you Atlas, my firstborn son,
In honor of your birthday – your very first one!
Never before has someone changed my life quite like you,
You have also changed the lives of your dad, Ob and Marley too.
There is no disputing it – you are your father’s clone,
But we knew from the beginning you had a mind all your own.
You can’t talk yet, but you always make sure your opinion is heard,
You let me know exactly how you feel without saying a word.
It didn’t take you long to turn my world upside down,
Gone are those nights of going out on the town.
You’ve brought chaos, laundry and messes galore,
Life with you is never a bore.
You love to be on the go – you have to always be moving,
If I stop for the tiniest break you are very disapproving.
At the rate you’re going, I’m confident a great runner you’ll be
I can’t wait for the day when you ask to race against me!
An ‘easy child’ you most certainly are not,
As far as spankings go, I suspect you’ll get a lot.
You have a very strong will and Heaven knows,
Your tantrums and meltdowns keep me on my toes.
Atlas Luke, you are one of a kind,
When God made you He had me in mind.
You see, He’s using you to teach me new things,
Like the unconditional love motherhood brings.
Every night before bed, it is for you that I pray
That you grow in God’s wisdom each and every day.
I pray the Lord guides me as I guide you,
And you will grow up thinking on things that are true.
I pray you live a life free of remorse,
And you make lots of money on a golf course.
I pray wherever you go your light shines bright,
And you will always stand up for what is right.
I hope the lessons I teach you take deep root,
And one day you’ll bless others with your spiritual fruit.
You already take life’s challenges in great stride,
When I watch you fall and get back up I beam with pride.
Without a doubt, you have changed my life for the better,
You are my life’s greatest gift, for which I will always be a debtor.
In the sound of your laughter is where my heart finds joy,
I couldn’t have handpicked a more beautiful boy.
There is nothing for you that I would not do,
Hopefully that has been proven by all our trips to the zoo.
Happy birthday, Atlas! I look forward to watching you grow,
I love you more than you could ever know.
On Saturday I was doing the below leg workout, compliments of the Nike Training Club, when Dave looked at me and said, “You’re going to be hurting on Monday.”
Holy crap. He was right. I woke up this morning and practically waddled like a duck down to the park for a run. I think I said “ouch” out loud 12 times in the first mile of my run. I did the above workout 3 times through without stopping for a 15 minute concentrated leg workout. I swapped out the side lunge with rotation for a cross back lunge with a medicine ball and it did the trick. Nike Training Club workouts are no joke! If you don’t have the app already, I highly recommend it. Thankfully, after running 4.8 miles this morning (I just didn’t have time to do those last .2 miles) my legs loosened up and they are feeling a bit better now.
I mentioned in a previous post that we have spent a good portion of our summer searching for a new apartment. We absolutely love the location of our current home because we are in the middle of everything. We walk to Central Park, Riverside Park, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, 5th Ave, a plethora of restaurants, etc. There really isn’t anything that isn’t at our fingertips. We are 15 minutes from Soho. We can walk to Times Square (although, we hate Times Square). We spend our weekends playing in the Central Park Zoo, FAO Schwartz and the Plaza Hotel (The food hall in the Plaza Hotel is my favorite place on the planet). It is a cool way to live.
But, we come home at night to a very tiny apartment. A very tiny and very expensive apartment. And that’s the other side of the coin of life in New York. Real estate is stupid expensive. After meeting with several realtors and viewing dozens of apartments we realized that to get into a 2 bedroom apartment that was approximately 1100 square feet that included an in-unit washer/dryer and was still close to the parks would cost around $6,000 a month. Give or take a little bit. Crazy, right? And in addition to that monthly rent, we would have to pay an upfront realtor fee (it is next to impossible to find a place in Manhattan that is ‘no fee’). That realtor fee is typically 15% of your year’s rent, so you’re looking at upwards of $10,000 just in fees to move into a rental. Not a home that you own…a rental.
You can let that sink in for a minute. It took me about 2 months to fully process that.
The only way we were getting into a bigger place that met most of our needs (we realized all our needs wouldn’t be met in this city unless we won the lottery) was if I went back to work. This would also mean we would be getting a nanny or au pair for Atlas and a dog walker for Ob & Marley. When Atlas and I play at the park each day I would say less than 3% of the kids in the playground are there with a parent. They are all accompanied by a nanny or au pair, which makes sense because to make it in this city you need 2 incomes or you need to be Donald Trump.
But I knew my calling wasn’t in Corporate America anymore. My calling was to stay home and raise Atlas. I watch kids play alone at the park everyday while the person getting paid to watch them plays on their phone. I couldn’t handle the thought of leaving Atlas with someone who wasn’t invested in him. So, for the last several months we have prayed and waited for God to miraculously open up a door to a home that would fit our family and last week our prayers were answered!
On Thursday we signed a new lease for a 2 bedroom town home that is located 15 minutes outside Manhattan and we couldn’t be more excited! God exceeded our expectations and blessed us beyond what we had hoped for. Our new place will be over double the square footage of what we currently live in and the rent is actually $500 cheaper and Dave’s commute into the city will be short (Dave’s commute to work was our biggest reason for not wanting to venture out of Manhattan). Atlas and I will still be able to come into the city with ease to see our friends, but we will be in a community that I foresee making lots of new friends too! Very exciting stuff!
We move October 1st! Yay!
Throughout the last several months I have felt the Lord teaching me how to trust in Him enough to walk through difficult situations with hope and a happy heart on a consistent basis. I am still learning that God does not always rescue us from certain situations when we think He should, but He is always with us as we navigate frustrating and overwhelming obstacles. There were definitely more nights than I care to count when my frustration about spiraled out of control due to our cramped living quarters. However, there were other times when I would be walking 7 flights of stairs to do laundry with a baby on my hip and the Lord would fill me with His peace and remind me that He is always good, even when our situations suck.
And on that note, I’m off to get Atlas out of Marley’s water bowl. Hooray for a new place where I can put the dogs’ bowls behind a baby gate! 1 more month!
It has been a while (ahem, 4 months) since I wrote a post detailing Atlas’ monthly progress. Atlas turned 10 months old on August 5th and even though I’m a tad late, I wanted to write out what this stage has been like for us.
With each month that passes I become more aware of the fact that I won’t remember the chaos of my current life in just a few short years. It is already hard to remember in detail what it was like bringing a newborn home, so I’m sure I will only vaguely remember the teething and tantrums I dealt with yesterday.
Atlas is roughly 23 pounds (taking a guess on that one – he hasn’t been weighed in a while) and over 31 inches long. He has 5 teeth and he’s not afraid to use them. I thought nothing in this world would be cuter than his toothless grin, but this smile is pretty darn cute too.
He’s been crawling for a while now, and while that has made life difficult on a whole new level, it has helped his mood tremendously. He used to seem so aggravated with life. He hated to be set down. Hated.it. He never liked those baby swings. He just wanted to be held and that was tough. Oh my gosh, that was tough. I remember saying to Dave on several occasions that Atlas just seemed like a miserable kid. I know that sounds horrible, but the boy just seemed frustrated all the time. However, once he started crawling it was like the world opened up for him and his whole personality began to change. He seems to enjoy life so much more now that he can go where he wants to go. Unfortunately, the only places he wants to go are the dogs’ bowls, the toilet and the trash can. The kid is a mover and a shaker. Whether it be climbing all the furniture, chasing the dogs or banging a toy against a wall, he seems happiest when he’s on the move. This would explain his frustration in his early months. I think he’s going to be like Dave. Dave does not like to sit still for too long and he’s always looking for the next adventure. And I guess I’m the same way, unless I am getting lost in the pages of a book, in which case I’m fine sitting by a pool for 8 hours.
Atlas loves the people he knows; Our family, our friends from the dog park, his babysitter, our doormen,
the sales girl at Club Monaco. He is terribly shy around people he doesn’t know though, often burying his face into whatever he can find so he won’t be seen. I think he gets this from me. I have my core group of people that I love talking with, but I’m an introvert by nature. Dave on the other hand is the extrovert that can sit at a bar for 1 hour and leave with 5 new best friends.
While Atlas may have received some of my introverted ways, he did inherit Dave’s love for golf. Oh, you didn’t know that was genetic? Apparently it is. Atlas’ favorite ‘toy’ is a golf ball. I don’t leave home without 2 or 3 golf balls in the diaper bag because it is sure to keep both Dave and Atlas occupied if we are
in the dressing room at Lululemon out and about. Atlas plays 2 games with the golfballs. First, he throws them and then chases them. This game allows me to pick up more golfballs a day than Tiger Woods. The other game Atlas enjoys is finding something he can drop the balls into (like Dave’s running shoe) and then he takes them out and then repeats that cycle 582 times. This game is what allows me to make the bed, brush my teeth and get dressed in the mornings.
Atlas is getting to where he eats whatever we eat. He still nurses 3 times a day, but I plan on stopping that around his first birthday. I still make some baby food for him each week because quite frankly, it is much faster to feed him pureed food. If I can spoon broccoli into his mouth, I can feed him in about 10 minutes. If he has to pick the broccoli up and shovel it in himself, it takes about 30 minutes and roughly 50% of his meal ends up in the mouths of Ob & Marley.
He absolutely loves eggs mixed with cottage cheese, sweet potatoes, ground turkey and chicken. Kid is a carnivore, which is funny because all I wanted when I was pregnant with him was meat.
It is mind boggling to think how much life can change in 1 year. To think how much one little boy can change the life of 1 little family.
Nothing has strengthened my faith quite like motherhood because nothing will make you seek refuge in the only One who can truly offer rest like a hard-to-handle-infant. Once I put down all the “how-to” books and opened my Bible, things started to get easier to manage around here. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve become more frazzled and less put together in the last 10 months (what is make up, again?) and sometimes it seems like I’m a lot worse for the wear now that I’ve embarked on this journey of motherhood. However, I feel confident that the changes happening within my spirit are worth the unbrushed hair, gym clothes and tired eyes I’m currently sporting.*
*There’s a good chance that Atlas will be 7 years old and I’ll still be sporting gym clothes all day. #yogapantsforlife
I uploaded a bunch of photos to my computer today from my phone during Atlas’ nap. That only happens about twice a year (I’m referring to both the transferring of photos and Atlas napping). This summer has felt a little strained because we are in the process of searching for a bigger apartment that better fits our family – a task that is not easy in NYC (full post on this topic coming soon). However, today as I looked through photos I realized we’ve been very blessed with lots of happy memories over the last several weeks. It has been a darn good summer.
We’ve had an absolute blast in the parks.
Whether we walk to Central Park or Riverside Park or catch a train down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, we enjoyed so much time outdoors this summer. I still miss having my own private yard, but the parks surrounding our city are truly unparalleled. They are also a great area to meet people.
I made a new friend while playing in the sandbox with Atlas one morning.
That’s right – that’s Tina Fey with her little girl playing in the same sandbox as Atlas. I took this photo like a creeper before going over to talk to her. We chatted for a while…so, I guess if you wanted to put a label on my relationship with Tina, you could say that we are BFFs.
When we aren’t creeping on celebrities in sandboxes, we are living it up at the Central Park Zoo.
The Central Park Zoo is tiny, but it is only $12 a ticket and I would pay $50 to see Atlas light up the way he does when he plays in the petting zoo. He also loves the sea lions and the penguins. Like, claps-his-hands-squeals-in-delight kind of love. It is so fun to watch him watch the animals. We frequent the CP Zoo a lot and it is always money well spent.
There’s no doubt about it – I miss our Florida pool, but the YMCA has an indoor pool and we’ve spent a good amount of time splashing around there this summer. *brace yourself – here comes a photo of me sporting a swim cap*
It isn’t as nice as an outdoor pool and they make you wear a swim cap (that was almost a deal breaker for this mama), but Atlas loves watching the other kids swim and it has been the perfect indoor activity on rainy days or days when it is just too hot to be outside. We love our local YMCA!
We also had some terrific company this summer. My mom and sister came to visit and that was such a special treat. My sister and I were able to hit up Physique 57 and Soul Cycle classes while Atlas played with my mom and I’m now my child’s second favorite person on the planet. My mom has taken the title of his “ultimate favorite.”
He fell madly in love with her. My mom stayed in NYC for 2 weeks and it did my soul good to hang out with her for that many days straight. We ate too many cookies, laughed, played with Atlas and made memories that won’t soon be forgotten.
Having my mom here also meant we had a free babysitter, so Dave & I got to go on a few dates.
We went to a Yankee game, saw Aladdin on Broadway (a must see if you’re in the area), had dinner in Soho, enjoyed frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity and were reminded how great life as a duo can be. Being parents is wonderful and I love our family of 5 (Ob and Marley count as people), but I really enjoyed the time spent this summer with just my husband. It felt like we got to date again, which was refreshing.
And I couldn’t properly recap the highlights of this summer without giving a shout out to my other man, Michael Buble.
I saw him in concert at Madison Square Gardens with my mom and it was incredible. It was my 3rd time seeing him in concert and I think he gets better each time I see him. We had awesome seats and I’m hoping if he comes back to NYC next year my new BFF, Tina, will score us backstage passes (this is assuming she doesn’t read this post and slap me with a restraining order first since I’m pretty sure she only knows me as ‘the crazy chick from the sandbox’).
Like I said, this summer has definitely brought about a fair share of stress, but it is leaving a lot of happy memories for us too!
Tell me about your summer highlights! I follow some of you on Instagram and I want your lives. Some of you are travelin’ fools!
I can’t believe I remember how to login to this site. Holy moly. It’s been a while. 3 months(ish) to be exact(ish).
A lot has changed. It is hot outside now. The last time we chatted, I was complaining about having to dress a baby in a parka to venture outside. These days, Atlas only wears pants on special occasions. Kid rocks a diaper and a t-shirt 95% of the time. That’s right – we’re keeping it classy up in NYC. Atlas is also rocking 4 new teeth and he’s mobile now. Boy is on the move!
Talk about a game changer. He has got to be the world’s fastest crawler. Seriously – on behalf of my son, I challenge your baby to a race. Just put a dog’s water bowl at the finish line and I guarantee you my kid will win the crawling contest every.single.time. I hope he runs as fast as he crawls one day. I can barely keep up with him now, so I’m not sure what I’ll do when he starts walking. When he’s not making a beeline for the dogs’ water bowl, he’s playing in the trash or in the toilet or trying to find a light socket that hasn’t been child proofed. I wish I was joking. We spend most days at the park to avoid the aforementioned.
NYC parks are where the party is at. There are splash pads at every park and Atlas is obsessed with them. If you don’t mind paying a stupid amount of money to live in a shoebox sized apartment, NYC is really a neat place to raise kids. The city is filled with activities that are free or relatively cheap for children during the summer.
We’ve just been living life with our 9 month old. Everything with Atlas is like an olympic sport these days – changing his diaper…getting him dressed…getting him to eat…bathing him…it is all exhausting (in a good way – mostly), so I haven’t had much energy/time/brain power to write. I hope that changes because I have a lot I would like to write about – mainly what God is teaching me through motherhood…and a few workouts I’ve been loving…and a rice-krispy treat ice-cream sandwich and a red velvet cake donut that are blowing my mind (yeah, those are things – come on and get your plane ticket to the Big Apple). But even if I don’t get to document every day of our life on this blog, we’re enjoying life and that’s what truly matters.