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Cupcakes n Crunches

Summer Highlights

Posted by on Jul 26, 2014 in Family Fun | 4 comments

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.

park_funWhether 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.

IMG_6147That’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.

IMG_6072The 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*

YMCA_FunIt 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.”

grammyHe 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.

Hot_DateWe 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.

IMG_6379I 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!

Life Lately

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Baby Atlas, Family Fun | 3 comments

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!

crazy boyTalk 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.

park funNYC 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. :)

nc

xo,

A

 

Playing Catch Up

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Family Fun | 10 comments

I really shouldn’t go a week without talking to you guys because then I have 8,264 photos and 6,593 stories that I feel like I have to share with you in 1 giant post.

Image 4Except that is a slight exaggeration, because all you really missed was me talking about spring and how it is the ficklest (←99.9% sure that’s a word) of all the seasons. We start the day out needing jackets and gloves, then it gets really warm and I think I’m going to die from heat exhaustion and then 1 hour later I need my parka again. We leave the house now with t-shirts on, but I pack 4 jackets and a blanket just in case the weather changes abruptly. Spring in NYC is giving me major trust issues.

Image 2The only other exciting (←using that word very loosely) thing you missed was Atlas trying all sorts of new baby classes.

Image 3There are a million different baby gyms and baby classes you can visit in NYC. Unfortunately, the classes average about $50 for a 30 minute session (so roughly $700 for 1 class a week for 4 months) and we are normal, so we can’t afford that. I’ve got a system though and it seems to be working out quite nicely. Each week we pick a new baby class and attend the first free trial class. I take the schedule from the receptionist and say, “I’ll be sure to talk to my husband about this – we would love to join!” which isn’t a lie because I will tell Dave all about the class, and we would love to join…but only if we win the lottery. Then we never go back and we pick a new class the following week and do the whole thing over again. Based on the classes offered in our area, my plan should keep Atlas occupied (for free) for 8 weeks. We’ve done gym classes, story classes and music classes and all the different classes so far have done bubbles and Atlas loves that part so I bought him some bubbles for $2 and we’ve been doing that in the park (for free). He laughs his head off watching Ob try to eat the bubbles and Ob wears herself out chasing the bubbles. It is a win all the way around.

Oh, and Dave pushed the jogging stroller for the first time.

Image 7We went for a 5 mile run through Central Park together last weekend and I thought for sure I would smoke Dave since he offered to push Atlas, but that wasn’t the case. He kept an 8:10 pace through the entire hilly loop and we finished together. My competitive ego was (very) wounded. When I push that beast of a stroller I struggle to keep my pace below a 9 minute mile. It is like running with a parachute for me, but Dave made it look easy. But more importantly than the debate over who is the fastest member of the Andrews’ household is the fact that Atlas did amazing on the run. He only fussed twice, and one of those times was when Dave ran the stroller into me. Oh, did I forget to mention that part? My husband tried to take me out with the running stroller. I’m telling you – we both really hate losing – it is a sickness.

Image 6I am praying Atlas gets his daddy’s fast twitch muscles. I sure do love those guys. ♥

And at the risk of stating the obvious, I’ll tell you that a few cookies from Levains were consumed since we last chatted.

ImageBut you already assumed that, right?

So that’s it. You’re pretty much all caught up. What treats have you been eating? Moms out there – did you guys take your babies to ‘mommy and me’ classes?

 

 

Lots of Cupcakes (and cookies) and a Few Crunches

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in At Home Workouts | 2 comments

I have something for you!

summer shape up circuitIt’s a workout! You were probably expecting something more, huh? Sorry to get your hopes up. But this workout challenged me and flew by fast so I think you’ll enjoy it if you give it a whirl. I felt the burn in my butt, shoulders and abs. I also had an added challenge while completing these circuits, thanks to this girl.

Image 14She attempted to shove a toy into my mouth every time I got down on my mat to do an exercise. Definitely adds an element of difficulty to planks. Ob can be so annoying, but gosh I love her.

And staying true to form, I followed my sweat session up with these treats.

Image 13I have a problem. I ordered a bathing suit this weekend and one would think that would encourage me to shy away from the desserts, but that hasn’t been the case. Dave came home with these goodies and I just couldn’t say no. It would have been rude and I’m a southern gal and we aren’t rude.

And while we’re chatting about my obsession with baked goods, I have something very important to tell you guys. Remember when I tried Levain Bakery and hated it? Well, I still stand behind my original statement that their cinnamon rolls are nothing to write home about, but their cookies? OMG! Their Cookies! So good. Like so, so good.

levain cookieMy sweet friend, Nancy, got a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain’s for my birthday and at first I was skeptical of the gift, but after 1 bite I was sold. In fact, I was sold so much that I went back for more. I tried the dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie and was in Heaven for the 3 minutes it took me to eat it. Fortunately, we are only 2 blocks away from the bakery so it is an easy walk to go back for more. Unfortunately, swimsuit season is right around the corner and we are only 2 blocks away from the bakery so it is an easy walk to go back for more.

So, to summarize: Do that workout. Don’t buy a Vizsla if you don’t enjoy toys being dropped on your face during crunches. Marry a man who brings home cupcakes on a Tuesday. And if you’re ever in Manhattan, hit up Levains for all the cookies, but stay away from the cinnamon rolls. Got it?

 

 

Atlas’ First Yankee Game

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Family Fun, Running | 6 comments

We were total New Yorkers this weekend.

10260014_10100971380053612_3454320361776302592_nOn Saturday we took the 30 minute train ride into the Bronx to the iconic Yankee Stadium to cheer on our city’s baseball team.

Dave is a huge Yankee’s fan (he has been one since birth), so to say that he was excited about taking Atlas to his first Yankee game would be the understatement of the year. Dave also got to attend the opening game on Monday, so my husband definitely had a good week.

Image 5The weather was gorgeous on Saturday. In fact, we overdressed and we were all hot. I haven’t been hot in 6 months. The heat didn’t bother us though. We watched the Yankees beat the Red Sox with smiles on our faces. I think Atlas was smiling because there was so much to look at. Dave was smiling because he was in Yankee stadium with his boy. I was smiling because I was outside without 5 jackets on.

yankee gameDuring the game, I got up to walk Atlas around for a bit (my 6 month old doesn’t have the attention span to sit through 9 innings of baseball no matter how popular the teams are) and we ended up getting some special treatment from customer service. After chatting with the Yankee customer service team about how they should have more places available for nursing moms to feed their babies (I know, I’m a peach), we received a certificate documenting Atlas’ first Yankee game.

10264591_10100972285149792_8095153564418273782_nSo cool, right? Dave lost his marbles over that.

A fun day was had by all and I’m confident we made a memory that will last for a lifetime. I hope Atlas grows up to be a Yankee fan so we can show him these pictures one day and tell him he was a fan since 6 months of age.

After the game we spent the rest of the afternoon in Central Park with Ob & Marley before going home to order a pizza. I think I made it through Saturday without eating one veggie. Whoops.

And in keeping with the New York theme, we also took a quick trip to Times Square this weekend.

ImageIt really doesn’t get any more touristy than that. We actually try to avoid that area of the city, but a quick errand forced us into the bright lights & craziness.

Another weekend highlight for me was trying out a new pair of running shoes.

Image 8My awesome husband surprised me with these Saucony kinvara shoes a few weeks ago (he really is the best) and I took them for a trial run this weekend. Dave thought I would like doing speed work in these because they are so much lighter than my Mizunos and he was right. While I am still 100% committed to my Mizunos for my longer runs (5+ miles), those Sauconys worked great during my speed intervals this weekend.

I was pretty proud of my runs this weekend. I kept my average pace for both runs under an 8 minute mile.

weekend runsThe 6 mile run was done through Central Park in Mizunos. The 3.84 mile run included mostly speed work on a hill and was done through Riverside Park in my new Sauconys.

I think running with a jogging stroller makes you faster because when you go out to run without the running stroller you feel super light and fast because you aren’t pushing anything. If you want to get faster, consider pushing a baby in a jogging stroller. I have a baby you can borrow. He’s a heavy guy too. ;)

Other things not pictured were lots of walks with the pups, brunch with friends, naps, laundry, bathing the dogs and watching the Masters. I was glad Bubba won – he seems like such a nice, down-home southern guy.

Your turn! Tell me about your weekend? Do you use different running shoes for speed work? Do you ever do touristy things in your hometown?

 

 

6 Months Postpartum

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Baby Atlas, Motherhood | 8 comments

I don’t know what is harder for me to grasp: The fact that 6 months ago I was meeting Atlas for the first time or the fact that in 6 more months I will have a one year old.

DSC_1738In 6 months Atlas has changed me. Motherhood has taught me so much in just 6 short (long?) months. I have learned just how much love my heart is capable of holding. I’ve learned how little sleep I need to operate. I’ve learned how long I can go without washing my hair before I start to look homeless. I have learned that one extra outfit in the diaper bag is not always enough. I unfortunately learned how to change a dirty diaper on a tiny airplane. I have learned happiness and joy is found in the sound of Atlas’ laughter. I have learned that even though some days seem to drag on forever, the months are passing by in the blink of an eye. I know I’ve said that in just about every one of these monthly recaps, but I mean it. If you want to feel like you’ve been placed in a super sonic time machine, have a baby. Time flies.

DSC_1743Atlas is weighing in at 19.1 pounds and he’s 28 inches long. He didn’t grow a whole lot over this last month, but the pediatrician said that isn’t cause for concern since he’s already at the top of the charts. He’s way more active, so he’s burning more calories. He’s rolling over all the time and just this week he’s started to pull himself up to a standing position using my fingers for support. I think his legs are extra strong because he spends so much time jumping like a maniac in his bouncer.

DSC_1763Now that he is 6 months old, our pediatrician wants his meals split 50/50 between milk and solid food. We’re still working on getting a feeding schedule that works for us, but he’s nursing anywhere from 4-6 times a day and eating 2-3 meals a day. His meals include things like oatmeal, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes (his favorite), carrots, spinach, pears (his other favorite), yogurt, prunes, apple sauce, etc. I make all of his meals myself, with the exception of his oatmeal (aint nobody got time to grind oats), pears and apple sauce. I buy the pears in the pouches to take in the diaper bag as an easy snack to feed him if we’re out. My pediatrician suggested I make him smoothies to get a lot of nutrients into 1 meal, so I tried that today for the first time and he seemed to love it. In his smoothie went some avocado, 3 strawberries (I know there are mixed reviews on introducing berries at 6 months, but I decided to go for it in small doses), part of a banana, yobaby yogurt and some spinach. He gobbled it up. I gave it to him in a bowl with a spoon instead of a bottle because it was pretty thick. This month we are also planning on introducing chicken (not looking forward to making that one – turning chicken to mush grosses me out), broccoli and kale.

He’s still not getting any teeth, but every person that sees him feels the need to tell me that he is teething. He drools a lot and puts everything into his mouth so I think that is why people think he’s teething. If we’re out in public and he’s crying, I tell people he’s teething. That gets me a lot of sympathetic and understanding looks.

DSC_1767I do the same thing with Ob. When she’s acting like a crazy dog, I tell people she’s a puppy and we’re in the process of training her. She’s almost 4 years old.

Atlas still isn’t taking consistent naps, so each day for us is a little different. Sometimes he will nap for 2 hours and then other days he will only nap for 30 minutes. He almost always naps in the baby carrier while we walk the dogs, which is better than no nap at all, but that doesn’t necessarily give me a break because I am walking the dogs. He’s still a great nighttime sleeper though. He was going down at 7pm every night, but the time change + traveling threw that all out of whack. He goes down around 8pm now and typically sleeps until 8 or 9 the next morning. I’m so incredibly grateful for those 12-13 hours.

DSC_1687And if you’re wondering how I’m doing 6 months postpartum, there really isn’t anything new to tell you. I lost the weight and I’m in my old clothes, but I wouldn’t say my body went totally back to normal. My jeans are actually too big now and some of my shirts are too tight because breastfeeding has bumped up my bra size just a wee bit. Weird, right? So it is safe to say that I lost the weight, but my body didn’t go back to the same figure. I’m not nearly as toned as I was before Atlas, but I’m working on it. Slowly but surely. I’m coming to the realization that I’m not going to be able to exercise like I used to pre-baby. I just don’t have the time or the energy to run or lift weights for a solid hour 6 days a week, but most days I’m okay with that. I push myself hard during my 30 minute circuit workouts and I’m enjoying the challenge of working with my running coach. I’m also finding joy and satisfaction in just being active (i.e. taking Atlas and the dogs for an hour long walk). I still have tough days on the job so to speak, but for the most part I’m doing great emotionally and mentally. I think most of this can be attributed to the change in weather. Being stuck inside due to winter temperatures with a newborn in a new city where I had no friends and no family was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever experienced. I think a lot of frustrated tears were shed during those early months because of hormones but I think a lot of tears were shed just because life was hard. It is getting easier though and I think surviving that season of life (←pun) really did make me a stronger person.  I’m calling it right now – I’m going to be telling my grandchildren  how I survived the winter of 2014 one day for the 10th time while sitting on my front porch, while Atlas and Dave roll their eyes behind my back and encourage my grandkids to humor me. And true to form, every time I tell the story it will get more and more dramatic. Dave, I know you can’t wait for this! ;)

So, that’s that. 6 more months to go and we will have a ONE year old. I already know what I want Atlas’ first words to be. “Move out of the way, slow poke!” I think that will really come in handy on our runs through this busy city.