Monday, September 1, 2014

New Jersey: Hoboken Maxwell Place

Just over a mile from our place, we can come down to the Hoboken waterfront. On this particular day we visited the northern section, Maxwell Place. New construction buildings line a waterfront boardwalk, that has a small patch of grass and playground, a tiny marina, a dog park, and a pier of food trucks and drinking lounge. Far from the PATH and excitement of the lower piers, this one docks a ferry and is much more peaceful.






Friday, August 29, 2014

New York City: Belvedere's Castle Central Park

By this point in time, that is a couple of weeks into living in the area, we have compiled a great big "things to do" list, sorted into indoor and outdoor categories, and we're ready to attack the outdoor half while the weather is nice. (And by nice we mean hot and muggy.) This week's excursion had us on a low key visit to Central Park. We visited Belevedere's Castle, for a hazy view of the city, had a little picnic, and walked through the lower half of the park.





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New York City: City of Water (Governer's Island and Battery Park)

Our first New York adventure was for the City of Water festival. M scored us free tickets to ride on a huge sailboat, so we left New Jersey super duper early on a weekend morning to get on board! It took a fair amount of googling to realize that public transportation on the weekend is not that easy. We ended up driving into the city for the first time (rookies need to get an EZ Pass ASAP) and walked to the Battery Maritime Building. From there we took the (free) ferry to Governor's Island. It was early so not many people were there, mostly just vendors setting up. Finally it was time to board our sailboat! Little N was so excited! It was a bit of a disappointment that the sailboat didn't spread its sails! Oh well! We landed back at Battery Park and had a little playground time before walking back to get the car from the garage (at least we got a coupon…who knew they have coupons for parking)?!

Battery Maritime Building


Leaving Manhatten


Governor's Island












Monday, August 25, 2014

New Jersey: Edgewater

Edgewater, New Jersey is located across the river from Upper Manhattan. It is mostly known for a bunch of shopping centers situated on the Hudson River, namely Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, as well as a large Asian grocer, in addition to most typical US chains. The saving grace of the (relatively) long drive for us is that the kids love hanging out by the river.





Friday, August 22, 2014

New Jersey: Riverview Park and Farmer's Market

Riverview Park, located in Jersey City Heights, boasts fabulous views of New York City, and also happens to be one of our local parks and location of an awesome farmer's market. The park boasts a playground, plenty of grassy area and of course the view side, complete with dilapidated gazebo. On Sundays it really comes alive with various activities for the market-goers.

farmer's market day


by dusk

by day







Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New York: an Exercise in Public Transportation

For our first New York City adventure, we decided to figure out how to get around using public transportation. We took the light rail to the ferry coming in and the PATH coming back to New Jersey. This time around the transportation was the activity, although we did take a walk around town as well. The excitement, the tourists, the crowds activated all our sense and made us excited for a year of exploration, city-style!

at the light rail station



at ferry station


kids in the city


back in Hoboken


Hoboken Pier

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hiiiiiii!

We moved! Yes, after four and a half year in Mexico, we are back in the US of A. And since, we are in a new city, it was time to get the old blog revived and share our adventures. Join us for a little series we'll call New York/New Jersey with the Little Ones! We'll try to throw in a little recap of how we got here, and maybe a few more highlights from before we left. Stay tuned!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Adjustments

Radio silence on the blog, sometimes a good sign, sometimes a bad sign. This time it was just a busy sign; in that too busy to think (let alone write) kind of way. But things are finally, slowly but surely, winding down. Before I know it we will have a new normal, but in the interim we have adjustments, lots of adjustments. 

So let's catch up. The move was stressful. I flew with the kids to Texas, M drove and made it there two days later. We were packing until the very last second; it was beyond crazy and intense. The next couple of weeks we spent in Texas involved scouring rental listings, checking out google maps, coordinating the second part of the move, unpacking some stuff to leave in Texas and repacking some stuff we had waiting there for us. M flew to NYC for a weekend to see some places and I was just trying to survive solo parenting in a totally not baby proofed house.  We tried to do a few 
activities while we coordinated part two but all in all it was a very nomadic feeling.

Once our things were finally all packed in a pod and heading north, it was time for us to do the same. This was probably the best part: we took a week to drive up to New Jersey with the kids. The drive was intimidating and the longer stretches were not easy by any means, but they were troopers, and we even saw some cool places along the way. Dare I say, it was kind of fun. We arrived and headed straight to get some permits for our pods that would arrive the next day. And that just sums it up right there because the logistics were just exhausting (and something we are still dealing with). Since then it's been a lot of unpacking, organizing, buying, returning, and just figuring out how to set ourselves up. To sum: moving with kids; it was worse than I could have imagined. 

Now we are adjusting to a new place. Apartment living. Sleeping on a twin mattress (for Baby Brother), not going to school/speaking the language (for Little Boy). New routines for all of us. I'm looking forwards to a few months from now when hopefully we'll be a bit more organized, know some more people, and feel less like foreigners. In the meantime we'll just keep on truckin'.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

MSPI Friendly Muffins

The hardest part of being dairy and soy free, other than giving up cheese, has been being limited in options for store-bought baked goods. After trying many recipes, this one has emerged as our family favorite: it's tasty, filling and uses ingredients I always have on hand. 

MSPI Friendly Muffins

2 carrots, shredded (1-1.5 cups)
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg*
1 cup applesauce, or other fruit purée**


1) In large bowl shred carrots.
2) Add dry ingredients, then wet, and mix together.
3) Spoon into muffin liners. 
4) Bake at 350 F approximately 25 minutes

*To make egg-free, add an extra teaspoon of baking soda, and finish off with a tablespoon of vinegar.
**I usually use unsweetened applesauce, but have also made these using pumpkin, strawberry/banana and apple/berries purées. Essentially any sweet puree or baby food you have on hand should work.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Fiesta!

My boy is obsessed with birthdays. Can I blame him? Games, candy, cake for dinner, kids running around, and the main event...the piñata! What's not to like?

It's hard to describe the level of obsession: from the day we receive an invitation until party day, he talks about it every day, especially about how there's going to be a piñata with candy inside. One of his favorite imaginary games is hitting the piñata and then fake collecting candy. Then the day of a party he tells us numerous times that *he* is going to break the piñata, no matter that he is almost always the smallest one at the party.

Since Little Boy started preschool, we've been going to lots of parties and boy do they go all out here: ponies (check), spa (check), crafting/painting something ceramic (every.single.time), bouncy house (of course), playground (check), carnival style ride (check), characters and clown shows (yup, yup, yup). In our foreign eyes, sometimes these get a little excessive because where do you go from here if you've already had many of the above attractions by your third birthday? But from my parenting point of view the only thing that is often lacking is food: usually it's a plethora of candy and fried snacks, cake, and jello, not exactly a nutritious meal. But the kids love it, a lot! Happy kids, happy parents!







Friday, April 11, 2014

Monkey see, Monkey do

Baby Brother is our imitator extraordinaire. He is not an observer, he is a do-er. This week he decided to walk up the stairs, walk not crawl. Of course his short and chubby little toddler legs can't really reach. So he stops and stands mid-stair and waits for us to help him, and of course we do because otherwise his erect little body would fall straight back.

Exposition number two: Little Boy is allowed to jump on the small crib size mattress. He's also a little monkey so we figured it was safer to give him a designated spot than having him try to jump on the rest of our beds or couches where he is much higher off the ground. So now the little one gets on the bed, stands up and tries to jump! He obviously didn't get the memo that that is a two year milestone.

And for the grand finale, the other day Little Boy was stacking pillows on the ground as part of his imaginary play. Then he decided to jump off his stack. We immediately put a stop to that since our tile floors are not conducive to that. Well low and behold Mr. Daredevil was watching and has now decided it is a great idea to try and pull pillows off the couch to stack, climb on, and attempt to slide off. Boys.

Mr. I do what I want to do