Charlotte had her first sleepover in the city at Jen’s place last Saturday night. We have been talking about it for a few months and I felt like she was finally ready (i.e. not asking about whether I would also be staying over).
Charlotte woke up on Saturday morning, came into our bedroom holding a dress in each hand and announced, I have to pack. And so we packed! We managed to squeeze everything into her little princess backpack.
She was so excited and I was so excited for her.
Alex, you aren’t going to see me for a very long time.
We drove into the city as soon as her skating lesson was finished and I dropped her off at Jen’s apartment. She barely gave me a backward glance and I barely had time to give her a hug because of course this is New York City we are talking about and it only took about 12 seconds before someone was behind my car and couldn’t get by blah blah blah. So I headed home and Charlotte headed off for her first adventure.
They had a whirlwind tour that included:
huge playground next to the Met
watching the Oktoberfest parade down 5th Ave
rooftop of the Met to see the buildings (see pic below)
walking through the Greek and Egyptian sections of the Met
walked over the reservoir in Central Park
pizza for dinner in the West Village
Oh, and apparently there is a 98% chance the two of them will be in the background of a Lenny Kravitz video.
The following is cut and pasted from an email from Jen:
The funny gems of the day were-
"This is your whole apartment!?"
"Wait- you don’t have a car!"
"I can’t wait for when Alex is a little bit older so she can come to the city with me and we can both stay with you."
Oh and she promptly unpacked her bag when she got here and told me- every single thing she brought. But "Mommy said I couldn’t bring any toys".
“I asked Anne to marry me five months into our relationship. I think I did it more for the drama of the gesture than for the appeal of marriage itself. I didn’t want to reach a point in our relationship where we turned to each other, side by side in our usual places on some couch, and burped, “Don’t you think it’s about time we get married?” during the commercial break of our favorite program.”—From the book I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum.
I had been bugging my boss about a trip to Boston and finally we agreed on dates. I immediately organized all the meetings and had it all sorted out within a few hours.
The next day the penny dropped. I had scheduled it for Charlotte’s first day back at school. Also, John was flying out for business at the crack of dawn so neither of us could be there.
Cue all the expletives in the world coming out of my mouth.
Could I have changed the date? Maybe but it would have been hard. So I figured it wasn’t her first day of preschool ever and she certainly wasn’t worried about going back. So I just got her all organized for the first day, asked some friends to get pics for me and off I went to Boston.
OK, let’s just talk about this sign. Last year I did a basic whiteboard thing for Charlotte to hold up - see here. I was quite chuffed with myself until I hit Facebook later in the day and saw one of my crafty friend’s with an amazing hand made sign for her daughter. What a brilliant idea, I thought. So a few days before preschool starts I’m thinking, shit when I am going to have time to do this. One google search later and I found someone on Etsy who made the sign, emailed it to me in PDF the next day and I printed it and stuck it to cardboard. BAM. It’s not home made but I couldn’t be more proud of myself!!
These two reunited!
My friend Emily sent me a text giving me an update that made me both laugh and groan at the same time. “They did so so so great. I just left. They were both in princess dresses and doing dishes in the play kitchen. Feminism is officially dead”.
And of course before the first day, we had to go for the obligatory back-to-school haircut. I got photos obviously because how often does one get their hair done while sitting in a Lamborghini.
And little sister wanted in on the action. Although there is no way I’m letting anyone near her sweet little curls with a pair of scissors.
I was recently promoted at work which now means I get my bio put on my firm’s website. Along with the bio goes a photo. Given that everyone else is based in the Bay Area we wanted photos that captured the fact that we are NYC-based.
I announced that I was DEFINITELY getting my hair blow dried professionally before the Photoshoot and then my co-worker suggested makeup too. Um, sounds great!
So the three of us spent a few hours having our hair and makeup done (at Dry Bar and Rouge). We opted for the You…Only Better option at Rouge. They should call it You Only Significantly Better. When we were all done, we sat up and looked at each other. We couldn’t stop giggling because we all looked so much better than we normally do!!
I ended up with a ton of great photos but I narrowed it down to this one. Ultimately I picked a photo that doesn’t clearly show the Flatiron Building but has a flash of taxis in the background which I think looks super New York-y. I’m glad my firm footed the bill obviously but in this digital age I think it’s a good investment to have a great profile picture for your various forms of social media.
“You can’t expect to be happy all the time, he told himself. Then he revised that. No, he thought, the important thing is to take what you’ve got, no matter what that is, and find a way to make a happy life out of it somehow.”—Character in the book I’m reading at the moment.
When I first started my blog people would ask me, but what do you blog about?
And I thought it was a weird question because there was SO MUCH to blog about.
And I loved doing it.
It evolved from a place to share my life in NYC with my friends and family who are scattered around the globe to a diary of sorts that captured my feelings on my first pregnancy and new motherhood.
(I’m sure it was the typical HAVE BABY, KNOW EVERYTHING blog for a while there…..cringe).
I’ve shared so much on this blog and eventually when I didn’t love doing it as much I persevered, albeit less often, because I saw it as a scrapbook for our family’s memories.
I’ve been almost silent on my blog recently. I just cannot be bothered.
And now I’m one of those people asking the question, but what do you blog about?
So this is not a shutting-down-my-blog post because I really do hope to pick it back up again soon to continue keeping a family scrapbook (which I totally don’t mind sharing with the Internet at large).
But in the meantime until I possibly…..hopefully……get my mojo back I am on instagram (georgiegirlnyc) and if you miss my awesome (!) book recommendations come find me on Goodreads (username is georgiegirlnyc too - surprise!). Anything I rate 4 or more stars would make it onto my blog as a recommendation.
“Is it daytime at your house, Daddy?”—John is on a business trip and this was Charlotte’s first question for him on the phone tonight. She was fascinated by the fact that he was in a different time zone last business trip.
This list keeps growing. How many more before our leaders act?
Today’s school shooting at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, OR was the 74th since December 14, 2012. That is horrifying and unacceptable. (Not to mention devastatingly sad for the families and communities shattered by this violence.)
What can you do to help create a safer country and put a stop to this epidemic of gun violence and death?
Here’s a tip. Don’t leave your kid unattended with scissors for even a minute until after you explain that cutting her own hair is off limits.
It wasn’t until later in the day as I kept brushing her hair out of her eyes that I realized something was different. But you know what? She did such a great job! She gave herself these amazing side swept bangs. So if you need a hair cut I have a 4 year old that charges very reasonable rates.
It could have been so much worse. Look what I did to myself when I was 3 years old. I cut my bangs right off. I was basically bald.
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to Summer. And…Summer got the memo.
We were at the beach bright and early today. The plan was to only stay for a couple of hours but I received a text from a friend shortly after we arrived: We’re heading to the beach, want to come? My response: We’re already at the beach! Come join us!
So we stayed all day.
It was the perfect start to Summer.
Oh, and I got to meet a tumblr friend in real life for the first time (hi Stephanie!!) which is always so fun.
C&L were BFFs in the city. They lived on the same block. They played together every single day. Their nannies became the best of friends and L’s Mom became one of my very good friends. And now they are reunited!! L is moving to Greenwich in a few weeks and starting at the same preschool as Charlotte. HURRAY!!!!
They spotted each other in the playground, walked up to each other and just stared at each other for a few seconds. Charlotte then took Livia by the hand and off they went like they had never been apart.
I went back into my blog archives and found this adorable picture of them when they were just 14 months old!
On Saturday I realized that we had zero plans for Easter Sunday. I checked the weather and suggested heading into the city for the day. John in his typical go-big-or-go-home fashion decided that if we were going into the city then Charlotte needed a grand hat to wear to the Easter Parade that occurs each year along 5th Avenue.
He went with Charlotte and Alex to Michaels and bought a whole bunch of stuff. He then hot glue gunned the two most amazing hats EVER. Best Daddy ever or best Daddy ever?
We warned Charlotte in advance that a few people might want to take her photo but I honestly was not expecting to be the focus of so much attention.
Here is Charlotte with just a few of her paparazzi.
We were inundated with requests for photos. It was a ridiculous amount of fun! It took us a long time to walk just a few blocks as we were stopped over and over again.
Charlotte and Alex didn’t want to leave! Once they got out of the crowds they just wanted to run all over 5th Avenue with me chasing them down from behind. I think we found ourselves a new family tradition…..!
It helped that I had arrived back from Paris just a few days before I started the book and recognized every last thing she was referring to. I mean, the “butcher boyfriend” worked on Rue Mouffetard which is the same street I bought my new gray jeans and black pants. She eats a meal in the same restaurant that Jen and I had that fateful extra glass of wine on our last night. It’s because of this book that I went to Laduree today.
But even without all these Parisian references I would have loved it.
Exhausted and on the verge of burnout, Janice poses this questions to herself as she doodles on a notepad at her desk. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t as daunting as she expected. With a little math and a lot of determination, Janice cuts back, saves up, and buys herself two years of freedom in Europe.
A few days into her stop in Paris, Janice meets Christophe, the cute butcher down the street—who doesn’t speak English. Through a combination of sign language and franglais, they embark on a whirlwind Paris romance. She soon realizes that she can never return to the world of twelve-hour workdays and greasy corporate lingo. But her dwindling savings force her to find a way to fund her dreams again. So Janice turns to her three loves—words, art, and Christophe—to figure out a way to make her happily-ever-after in Paris last forever.
I know it sounds a bit twee but seriously it’s good.
I really enjoyed quite a few of Kristin Hannah’s books. Night Road was ok. The story line was completely unoriginal and all the language about how much two of the characters love each other was eye rolling-ly annoying. But I read 90% in one sitting (on the plane back from Iceland) so I guess it couldn’t be that bad.
Should you read it? Nah, there are way better books out there.
This book got a lot of press when it was released a few weeks ago. It’s prominently displayed in every book store I’ve walked into recently. It has great reviews on Amazon. And it claims the stock market is rigged. Color me intrigued.
I found the whole thing verrrry interesting (although it did drag a bit towards the end).
Where do I fall on the topic? Those high frequency traders are smart as hell for figuring out how to cheat investors out of $$ in a completely legal fashion but frankly they are common thieves and I’d very much like to see it made impossible for them to continue what they are doing (and no I’m sorry but the argument that they provide liquidity to the market is a bunch of crap).
Should you read it? If you work in finance - definitely read it. If you have an interest in the stock market - definitely read it. If you have zero interest in either - don’t read it.
I kept hearing about this book. I had it on my amazon wish list where I keep track of all the books I want to read. But I had never pulled the trigger because it sounded a bit too……chick lit-ish.
It’s set in Australia but you’d barely know it. There was nothing particularly Australian about it other than a handful of references to Australian towns. The language was completely American in my opinion.
MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
You see what I mean? The description above did not entice me to read it. However I wanted something light to read on the flight to Paris and this fit the bill perfectly. I read almost the entire thing by the time I arrived.
Last night Jen went out to take photos at night. This place is pretty remote and I am a big scaredy cat so the whole time she was gone I was at least 70% certain that she would be eaten by a wild animal and that I would be murdered by an axe-wielding Icelandic person.
We both survived.
And here are some photos from Jen’s midnight stroll.
You always read about Gulfoss which is the big waterfall along the Golden Circle route. It was the first thing we saw yesterday (and I will hopefully blog about it at some point) but there is actually a waterfall around the corner from our Icelandic Dream House that is (in my opinion) way prettier. It’s called Seljalandsfoss. I’ll let you figure out how to pronounce that guy.
There is a path that takes you around the back of the waterfall. We’ve side seen some photos on a blog taken from behind the waterfall that look amazing. At the time we didn’t realize how pretty it would be but still wanted the adventure of going back there. However, once we spotted and chatted with a couple of other tourists who were literally drenched we thought better of it and just admired it from every other angle instead.
“I’ll tell you what I’m tired of hearing? That somehow or other we’re too emotional when we talk. You know, when we raise an issue, we’re too emotional. Well, I am emotional… It brings tears to my eyes to know how women every, single day are working so hard and are getting paid less. It makes me emotional to hear that. Then, when I hear all of these phony reasons — some are mean and some are meaningless — I do get emotional. I get angry, I get outraged, I get volcanic.”—
I woke up to find what looked like a blood bath had occurred in our hotel room. Upon closer inspection it would appear that we had some difficulty keeping the red wine inside our wine glasses. I’m so sorry Hotel cleaning people!
It was a long travel day. There were broken down trains, long lines at the airport, and I really really really missed John and the girls. I was tired and grumpy and hungover.
Metro -> RER Train -> Plane -> Rental Car
And then we were in Iceland.
It’s magical. Unlike anywhere else I have been.
We saw rainbow after rainbow after rainbow. We saw double rainbows. We saw perfect arc rainbows. It was amazing.
This rainbow was so huge and in such a perfect arc that I couldn’t fit it all in one photo. I took it from the bottom of our driveway just as we arrived.
And the Icelandic Dream House that we are staying in is even more amazing than I thought it would be.
It’s modern with tons of natural light. The views from each window are incredible.
On Tuesday morning there were no croissants left at our bakery. Disaster! But don’t worry we managed by having two pain au chocolats instead. (And when I say two, I do mean two each.)
On Tuesday morning we hopped on the RER and went out to Versaille and stood in the looooooongest line to get into the palace. It was fascinating to see how the building started as quite a small structure and then each King added a little bit more until it became the behemoth it is today.
We ate simple ham and cheese sandwiches on the train back into the city.
Starbucks is everywhere btw. I was really surprised. The French don’t drink coffee on the go like Americans. They like to sit in cafés preferably at an outdoor table facing the street to have their coffee. So I was really surprised but so glad to have the ability to grab a cup of tea on the go. I didn’t mind that it clearly marked me out as a tourist!
Once we got back into the city we headed back to the hotel for a rest. This touristing business is exhausting. My legs were aching and it wasn’t even me who ran the marathon on Sunday.
Then it was back on the streets to hit up a few chocolatiers, grab a Nutella crepe, and do some flaner’ing around the latin quarter near Ernest Hemingway’s apartment.
We walked down Rue Mouffetard where I hit the shopping jackpot. I’ve been on the hunt for months for the perfect pair of light grey jeans and the perfect pair of harem-esque pants. Well I found both in a store called KARL MARC JOHN. And for totally reasonably prices. Hurray! I also picked up a few more gifts for Charlotte and Alex who I miss more than words can describe.
We then grabbed an outdoor table facing the street and ate dinner watching the world go by in Place de la Contrescarpe. We split a bottle of rose but weren’t quite ready to leave our cosy spot once we had finished both our meals and the wine. So we ordered another glass each. I can’t decide whether that was the greatest idea ever because we really did so enjoy sitting there but that extra glass was the tipping point that led us to decide MORE WINE ALL THE WINE was necessary and we both woke up with godawful hangovers the next day.
As we headed back to the Metro I got another crepe. Just because. I am almost convinced that we burned off more calories that we ate based on how exhausted I am and how sore my body is.
We got two croissants from the bakery across the street as we headed out for the day. So good!
We took a quick trip to Zara to try and buy some jeans. Somehow I had neglected to pack a second pair of jeans in my suitcase. I failed at buying jeans but I wanted to buy practically everything else in Zara. (I did not). It’s not the first time I’ve noticed how much more stylish and better quality the Zara clothes are in France compared to the US.