The Adventure Starts Here: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Fashion for Women

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I really hope that with March ending, that it will also mean the end of the snow and colder temps!  I am ready for some mild weather perfectly suited for cute sundresses, tshirts, and a light jacket.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday

One

It was really nice out last Saturday, so after Noah's nap, we took him out for a walk around town.  We stopped by the grocery store and then went to the new Carlos' Bakery (Cake Boss) that just opened!  Thank goodness there wasn't a line out the door (like there is in Hoboken and there was on opening day).  We still had to wait a while to order, but it gave us time to figure out what we wanted.  We ended up getting quite a bit… and it was all super yummy!



Two

On Sunday, we went over to Chris' parents' house.  Chris' great uncle and aunt and their son were visiting for the day.  Chris' brother, Justin, was also there with his dog, Louie.  Noah was fascinated by Louie, and loved giving him his toys and putting out his hand for him to lick it.



Three

On Tuesday, I ran some errands with my mom.  We went to Target, Michaels, and Pottery Barn Kids.  I got a bunch of stuff for Noah's Easter Basket as well as some craft supplies.  A friend and I are planning to do our own little "art class" each week with our boys.  I've been having fun coming up with Easter themed ideas :)  Noah enjoyed himself as long as we let him hold all the stuff we were buying.  I think this kid is ready for Easter!



Four

Last night, I went to see Divergent with some moms from my MOMS Club.  This month we read the book, and I suggested that we see the movie as well and then discuss how we liked the book and the movie :)  While the movie was different than the book, especially the end, I really liked the movie.  The actor who plays Four is gorgeous!  I could stare at him for hours!  While I really enjoy getting out for an evening, Noah doesn't do well at bedtime when I'm out.  He loves hanging out and playing with Chris, but he views me as the bedtime person.  So let's just say that Noah was still awake when I got home at 10pm.  He was clearly just waiting for me to get home, because he gave me the biggest hug when I walked in and then immediately fell asleep as I rocked him.  



Five

Noah and I went to a play date at a nearby YMCA on Wednesday.  Last time we went to a play date like this, he couldn't even walk on his own.  He had so much fun this time!  Right after I took this picture, I was told that "technology was not allowed here".  





Make sure to check out DarciAprilChristina and Natasha's blogs for their Five on Friday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Fashion - for boys

I am so excited that Spring is finally here.  Living in the northeast, Spring means lots of layers.  So Noah will be wearing lots of t-shirts, lightweight pants, and a sweater or light jacket most days.  Like past seasons, I've really loved what Gap and Carter's has to offer.  This Spring I'm really loving the bright blues and greens with some pastels mixed in.  I also love the look of colored pants with a denim/chambray shirt.  Noah wore a bunch of these items when we were in Florida last month, and I can't wait for him to be able to wear them on a regular basis soon!

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^^^ Noah rocking some of the Spring outfits already :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's the Little Things - Getting Ready for Easter!

St. Patty's Day is long gone, so we have now switched over to Easter in our apartment.  I've mentioned before that since Noah has become mobile, our decorating has taken a hit.  I can no longer have picture frames (or anything breakable) on the side tables or anywhere he can reach.  As a result, it really limits me when decorating for a holiday.  Regardless, I still like to decorate to get me in the mood for each coming holiday.

This year I put up my regular decorations, but I also added a few new items that I thought Noah might like (or at least not destroy).  I updated our welcome sign, put up my EASTER blocks, and put my favorite Easter candy into this cute bunny dish.  I also made this SPRING banner :)



^^^ pictures of us from last Easter :)


^^^ my friend Jill gave me this bunny dish a few years ago for my birthday!  I love filling it with my favorite Easter candy… Cadbury eggs!  It doesn't look like they sell this dish anymore, but check out this and this one.

^^^ in our next place I need my real desk back, some curtains, and a mantel!!!



^^^ I made this banner on Photoshop.  If you'd like the files to print one out at home, let me know :)

In addition to the decorations that Noah isn't allowed to touch, I added some toddler friendly fun as well!  We got some new Easter books this year.  Originally I thought I would put them in his basket, but I figured we'd have more fun reading them all month rather then get them on actual Easter.  I got this little fabric bucket for Noah and filled it with plastic eggs.  He LOVES taking them out and putting them back in (or rather we put them back in).  Keeps him entertained for hours… literally!  I also swapped out the foxes that normally sit on Noah's chair for his Peter Rabbit and Lambie!





^^^ this is Noah's super excited face.  It's when he's saying "haaa" cause he's overcome with joy!



While decorating for holidays may seem silly, I think it's these little things that help us all get into the holiday spirit.  I hope that one day Noah will look back and appreciate that I put some effort into making these holidays special :)


^^^ I plan to bring this to Easter Sunday Brunch with us and fill it with some goodies to keep Noah entertained while we eat :)


Once again I'm linking up with Jess of Sadie Sky Boutique and Ashley of Words About Waverly.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

15 & 16 Month Favorites

It has been so much fun seeing Noah play now that he can walk.  Even though he was an expert crawler and could get anywhere he wanted, walking has opened up a whole new world to him.  He is really tall, so he tries to grab everything off the counters and he opens doors to follow me (or just explore).  I figured this month, instead of making a collage with pictures from the company's website, I would share some pictures of Noah actually playing with the toy.  


Noah still loves his kitchen.  We had to get a new one when the kitchen he got from Christmas kept caving in (hello safety problem!).  We got this one from Ikea and we couldn't be happier!  

Noah has really started to enjoy coloring.  He colors in his high chair and I usually have him do it while I do my makeup or when I'm making dinner.  Recently he wanted to hold onto one of the crayons after I took him out of the chair.  Big mistake, because next thing I knew he was coloring on the wall!  Magic Eraser to the rescue!

On vacation, Noah started playing with my blow dryer.  Now that we are home, he's still in love with every time he sees me use it.  So I will usually blow dry my hair first, and then let him play with it while I do my makeup.  

Noah still likes to play with his toy vacuum, but especially loves the real one.  He actually cries when we put it away!

Noah loves his toothbrush.  So far Chris' mom has picked up a few for him at the dentist she works at.  Noah likes "brushing" his teeth in the bath.  He also often walks around chewing on the bottom end of it.  

Speaking of bath, Noah really enjoys the bath.  We got him this little basketball hoop that suctions to the tub, and he loves putting the balls through the net.  Chris says "Slam Dunk" every time he does it!

For Valentine's Day, we got Noah this tool kit.  Noah had played with it a friend's house and he loved it.  We were gonna get it for Christmas, but the price on Amazon went way up!  He also loves to carry around his hammer and screw driver when my dad came over to install the safety locks on the kitchen drawers… he really thought he was helping!

And finally, Noah LOVES stacking cups (or anything).  Chris will build towers, and then Noah knocks them down.  If Noah is upset about something, this can usually distract him and make him smile!


Monday, March 24, 2014

March Date - Rock of Ages

For Christmas, I gave Chris "A Year of Dates".  On Christmas, he opened a stack of envelopes, one for each month of 2014.  Inside the envelopes are pre-planned (and some pre-paid) dates for us to enjoy each month.  At the beginning of each month, we open the envelope and schedule a day to go on the date.   I will be recapping our dates each month.  

For March's date, I bought us tickets to go see Rock of Ages at our local theater.  It was a total coincidence that I saw it was coming to Morristown during one of my walks with Noah last fall.  This is Chris' favorite show (and he listens to the soundtrack often).  I immediately knew I had to include it in my year of dates.  The surprise was almost ruined when the tickets were sent to our apartment (instead of to my parents' house like I thought I asked for).  Chris was immediately intrigued and I made him promise not to look on their website to try and figure out what we were going to see.  As far as I know, he kept his promise, cause on Christmas he seemed genuinely surprised and excited to be going!  


The show was the past Wednesday, though for some reason I was convinced it was on Thursday.  Good thing our babysitter (my mom) doesn't have too much going on and it wasn't a problem when I told her I got the dates wrong a few days before.  The show was at 8, and originally the plan was for my mom to come and put Noah to bed while we were out.  But Chris had a difficult time with Noah's bedtime just the night before, so I ended up putting Noah to bed myself before we left (thank goodness he took a super early nap that day and was ready for an earlier bedtime!).   We live within walking distance to the theater, so we always planned to walk.  Of course, with our luck, it was raining when we left.  Thankfully it was just a light drizzle on the way there, so it really wasn't too bad.  


The theater was recently renovated, and even though we were row Z, I don't think there's a bad seat in the entire place.   They also didn't seem as strict with prohibiting taking pictures as they are on Broadway.  

^^^ I totally thought the guy in the top right was Aidan from Sex in the City! 

The show was completely sold out and we were definitely one of the youngest in the theater.  I would have to guess that most of the audience was in their twenties in the 80s and they were definitely reliving their youth that night!  The show was great!  The actors were really good and the singing was top notch.  The only thing that wasn't on par with the broadway show (which we've seen twice) was the lighting.  Many times actors weren't lit well enough or the spotlight was a little off.  Not sure if that's the touring company or the theater's job.  




Another great date in my books.  For the rest of the year, the dates I have planned are more basic (and not as expensive).  They will also be more flexible with when we do them, rather than having a set date on the calendar.  I hope that with that flexibility we don't get complacent about it, cause I'm really enjoying these date nights so far :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!  Another week has come and gone.  It was a rare week for me and I went out two nights this week.   We also had a few rough nights with Noah.  I am definitely looking forward to the weekend!

One

Yesterday was the official First Day of Spring!  At least that's what the calendar said!  It was supposed to go into the 50s, so a friend and I planned to take our kids to the park.  But the sun wasn't out and it was kind of windy.  The boys went on the swings, but we didn't stay long.  Instead, we went back to their house to play inside.  


Two  

I took Noah to get his hair cut last Friday.  It's only his second hair cut, and since he did so well the first time, I expected it to be a breeze.  Right after this picture was taken, where he's reaching out for me, he started crying and never stopped.  I had to hug him the entire time while keeping him in the car.  It was so sad.  Thankfully, the haircut still turned out great.  Noah was quick to recover (after having bottle in the car) and was back to his happy self at my parents' house.  




Three

Last Sunday, I went to lunch with my girlfriends while Chris hung out with Noah.  

^^^ at Houlihans 

^^^ meanwhile my boys both had a little nap on the couch :)

Four

We are in the middle of a break for most of Noah's classes right now.  Since we didn't have much planned this past week, we went for a trial gym class.   Noah really seemed to like it!  We are currently discussing whether to sign him up.  


Five

On Tuesday night, friends from my MOMS club had a little Sprinkle for our friend who's having a little girl at the end of April.  We decided to keep it simple and just go out to dinner, bring a few gifts, and enjoy a night out.  


Make sure to check out DarciAprilChristina and Natasha's blogs for their Five on Friday!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Our trip to Miami was our first real vacation with Noah.  We had stayed in a hotel with him before, but this was the first time we took him on a plane and were away for more than one night.  When preparing for this trip, I loved looking at blogs with advice for traveling with a toddler.  I found a lot of helpful tips.  As with anything though, nothing can help you more than actual experience.  So after traveling with Noah, I learned a few things…


1.  Be prepared for everything.  Some people will tell you that there is an ideal time to fly with a kid.  Some think it's best to go first thing in the morning, others say do it when your child is most likely to nap.  Maybe this is more important with a longer flight, but since ours was only 2.5 hours long, we didn't find it made much of a difference.  Our flight there left at 9am.  At home, Noah doesn't nap until 1 pm, so I really didn't have any expectations of him sleeping.  But after an hour of playing, he wanted a bottle and fell asleep quickly.  On the way home, our flight left at 6pm and got in at 9.  If anything, I expected him to fall asleep for the last part of the flight.  I never could have planned that he wouldn't nap much that day and instead fall asleep before we took off and sleep the whole flight!  My point is, that you really can't plan too much in regards to a child (on a plane or not).   Instead, I would just be prepared.  Be prepared that your child will sleep the whole time and your arms will start to hurt and fall asleep and you might want something to do to make the time go faster.  While on the other hand, your child might be awake and need to be entertained the entire flight.  We brought his iPad, board books, little figurines, tons of snacks, and his little book bag (since he likes zippers and taking things out and putting them back in things).  And as for me, I have the kindle app on my phone, and when Noah fell asleep I did some reading.  You'll have your phone on you anyway, so you can use your carry-on for all their stuff.  This is getting a little long, but in regards to being prepared, we also brought a change of clothes for ALL of us.  Thankfully none of us needed them, but in the event that he threw up or even just spilled a drink on us, we wanted to have a change of clothes just in case.  


2.  Pack light and get what you can there.  We contemplated bringing our own car seat and even ordered the travel bag off Amazon.  In the end though, we decided to rent one through our car rental company.  It was the best decision.  Lugging that through Miami airport and on the shuttle to go pick up our car (at an offsite location) would have been torture for Chris (who already had to carry all the bags).  Yes, our car seat at home is nicer and better for Noah to snooze in the car in, but it was 4 days, we dealt.  And I have to say that the car seat was really clean and seemed new.  I was impressed.  

We also only packed enough diapers and wipes to get us through one day.  We then stopped at Target when we first got there and stocked up on supplies.  We also bought milk, water, soda, and some food for the hotel room.  We called ahead and asked for a fridge for a room… another tip that we've been doing even before Noah.  Instead of packing toys for the beach and pool, Chris picked up a few cheaper toys at Target as well.  It saved us a lot of space!  


3.  Try to make sleeping easier.  My tip for sleeping in a hotel, is to try your best to recreate how they sleep at home.  For us, we didn't even bother asking for a crib.  At home, while Noah starts off in his crib, he always ends up coming in our bed.  So we figured, why waste the limited space in the room with a crib.  We made sure we got a room with a king bed and he just slept in the middle.  However, if your child is a great crib sleeper, I would suggest getting one for the room.  If they can only sleep with a sound machine, bring it or download an app for your phone.  If they have any books, stuffed animals, or blankets they must have, then indeed bring those with you as well.  Kids love routine, so try your best to keep as much the same as possible.  


4.  Be prepared to clean.  Kids travel with a lot of stuff.  We brought down bottles, sippy cups, bowls/plates, and some spoons and forks with us.  As a result, we had things to clean each night.  So we also made sure to bring a bottle brush and a travel size container of dish soap with us to clean his things each night in the hotel sink.  I would imagine this would be a simple thing to forget, so you could always just pick some up when you hit Target for all the other supplies.  

5.  Avoid conflicting schedules.  Hotels have their own schedules, and so do kids.  We found they don't often mix well.  Hotels (at least ours did) assume that you will be out of your room all day, and clean the rooms in the afternoon.  We learned this when we came up for Noah's nap at 1pm and the room was still not cleaned.  The maids then came when Noah was sleeping and we had to turn them away.  Our hotel did turndown service, but since we went to early dinners so we could be back in time for Noah's bed time, sometimes this was not done by the time we got back.  This is not me complaining about hotels, but rather that if you have specific needs that are different from the norm, it's best to let them know.  My suggestion would be to call housekeeping when you leave and ask that they come clean the room before you get back for nap.  Or request they do turndown service a little earlier for you. 

6.  Wear comfortable shoes!  I really need to do better with this one!  Since we were going for a beach vacation, I brought loafers for the plane, flip flops for the beach and pool, and flat sandals to wear to dinner.  I forgot that we would want to walk the board walk in the mornings and that we planned to go to the zoo on the Friday.  I really wish I had also packed some sneakers, or wore them instead of the loafers.  Live and learn.  



There you have it!  Do you have any tips for traveling with a kid (or even without one)???  I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Patty's Day Party - It's the Little Things

Last week, my MOMS club had a St. Patty's Day Party for all the "little" kids.  It's always a good crazy time when 20+ kids get together!  This is our attempt at getting a group picture before all the fun began :)  


The party was from 4-6, and at the beginning the kids played upstairs while we all ate some yummy snacks.  We then headed down into the basement to do a craft and play. 


I was in charge of the craft.  I cut out strips of colored paper and some white clouds.  The kids glued the strips to the cloud to be a "rainbow" and then glued cotton balls onto the cloud.  It's so funny that it's all the girls doing the craft while the boys were off throwing balls and wrestling.  





The party was a lot of fun.  This was the first big event since Noah started walking.  It was fun to see him be able to play and explore with all the older kids.  

I love this kid!

Once again I'm linking up with Jess of Sadie Sky Boutique and Ashley of Words About Waverly.  



 
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