Adventure, Baby, Family Travel, Motherhood, Travel

Doing New York City – The Baby Way

When I first moved to New York City I got lost at least a dozen times. . . in my first three days! I would walk off the subway, confidently walking in the direction I was sure was correct, only to end up calling my husband to come find me on his way home from work. Once I at least got my sense of direction I then had to navigate my timing of when I would leave for things, how much time it would take (always give yourself an extra 30 minutes at least), and of course, my husband’s favorite, pre-walking to the ideal spot on the subway for the quickest exit.

After a year I felt pretty confident in Manhattan. I even knew my way better than my husband who always knows where he is going ;). And then I had a baby and everything I had learned, had taught myself, was gone. Now almost another year has gone by and I feel like some of that confidence has come back. With that confidence I would like to share the best I have learned, as it can be just slightly overwhelming to figure out what you are doing, how to get there and what to take with you when you have miniature people traveling alongside you (yes, for those of you who are Manhattanites, you have your ways down I’m sure, but for those coming for a visit, it may help).

  1. Subway No-Go Hours: the subway is a wonderful, easy way to get around the city. However, traveling this way during peak rush hour is very ill advised. Traveling at this time is almost certain to induce nausea, anxiety and overall unhappiness. Not to mention that if you are traveling with a stroller (more on that decision in a moment) you will be looked down upon and few, if any, will offer you help. So between the hours of 9-10:30AM and 5:30-7PM be warned.
Subway baby

Roo has her subway riding skills down.

2. Stroller Travel: I have been pleasantly surprised with the ease of which this city can be navigated with a stroller as well as how accommodating almost everywhere is with them. Almost anywhere you go will have either a parking spot for them or will just let them be, no fuss. And while having a stroller with you is a great thing, there are definitely times when you do not want one if you have a carrier to use instead

  • The Subway: Really, it is so much easier to travel the subway with a carrier. Think about your trip – if you can get around with a carrier, use it!
  • Chelsea Market: Unless you are in the city at a more slow paced time of year, this place is a mad house and is much better off just walking though, navigating with just your body, baby attached and all. But I highly recommend this place, I love going there and then adventuring along the Highline for a bit!
Stroller Chill

We make this stroller travel look good!

Carrier baby

Mom, can we go for a walk now!?

  • Museums: Ok, so this one is a bit of a toss up but I have found, after doing some museums both ways, that the carrier is much easier. For example, the Museum of Natural History has A LOT of stairs. Sure, it has elevators, but those things take forever (really, I waited for 10minutes at one). It is also much easier to navigate around some of the displays with just yourself and not a stroller.

3.  Breastfeeding: This one is easy. Anywhere you need to. Nobody cares or bats an eye. Besides, there are plenty of other crazy things to look at besides a woman taking care of her child 🙂

4.  Other Food: There are markets everywhere, Whole Foods, Food Emporium, D’Agostino, etc. There is also a Duane Reade on every single corner, maybe even two of them! For those who are not from the East Coast these are Wallgreens/Rite Aide. They have those fantastic food packets for kiddos of all solid food ages. So if you realize you forgot to pack your mini’s food, pop into one of these and hangry crises is averted!

Soccer baby

Taking a little food break down in Battery Park

Some other things I have learned from other moms that I think are great are just general rules. Being such a large place, the thought of being separated is probably very real (my child is 10-months-old so I fortunately don’t have this fear yet). Moms tell me that establishing meeting places is key. For the subway, tell your child that in the off chance you get separated, they are to either stay at the station right where they are (if you get on and they don’t) or get off at the next stop (if they get on and you don’t) and wait right there. If a cop is nearby at the station, point them out and tell them to go hang out with them until you return. A police officer is always a good person to go to if separated. While walking around, introduce your kids to them for an official NYPD picture! Hold hands always walking across the streets, but let them hail a cab for you, or run loose (by like 10 feet haha) in Central Park.

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My husband and nephew being too cool for school.

This city really is great for children and moms and dads and families of all sizes. There is so much to see and explore, and it is all so accessible.

These are my little tidbits from what I have gained thus far. I have no doubt that I will learn 1,000,000x more things in this next year as my daughter goes from 10-months to 2-years as this city shows me more and more with every day. If you happen to be traveling this way and there are other questions you have, please don’t hesitate to comment and ask!

For a mountain town who keeps hoping for a mountain baby, she does well with the city (much better than her mountain mama) and makes this city even more of an adventure than it already has been!

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Baby, Birth, Husband, Love, Miracle of Life, Motherhood, NYC

That Moment

Do you believe in love at first sight? That moment when you make contact and the whole world stops. Where a breath is impossible to take – words indescribable in the moment.

I knew I loved you before I met you. I knew we were meant to be before I even knew you existed, and it took only nine minutes to prove my feelings were true. For the second time in my life I was completely, helplessly, madly in love.

Looking at your face I needed to memorize it all in that moment – I didn’t want one detail to slip by. Your nose. Your lips. Your eyes. Your ears – perfection. I needed to touch them each a hundred times and then a hundred times more just to reassure myself that what I saw was real.

Once our eyes met. Big and beautiful, they pulled me in, captured me heart and soul.

Then I saw you in his arms. Stars exploded, worlds collided – there was nothing else in the world that could compare to my two loves. My world was rocked once six years ago, and now it had been jolted again. How did I get so lucky? What had I done to deserve this?

My husband stood before me holding our daughter. It was a moment I had envisioned over and over, imagining how perfect it would be. This man who had enraptured me from day one was standing, smiling, gazing down at this little being, this beautiful little girl we had created. He was perfect. She was perfect. Life, in that moment, was perfect.

My world has been stopped twice and twice I have been completely without air. And words – there aren’t enough to adequately describe these moments. So I just sit silently, letting it overflow my heart and fill up my world.

CP Family

I believe in love at first sight.

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NYC

Comin’ Home

“I’m home”, I tell myself as I make my way down the jetway. I’m not sure of my intonation. Was it stated as a question? Disbelief, dread, excitement?

It had been three months and three days since I had been to JFK. As I saw the airport come into view my stomach started fluttering. I wasn’t going to see my immediate family, but I was going to get to spend time with my new family, I was going to get to hang out in the grass (Yakima, Washington had no snow yet) and I was going to go SKIING!!! Freedom! I was finally getting out of the city. I was finally going to be able to workout outside and feel like I was in nature again, something I was sorely missing. Then something strange happened – after the rush and excitement of Christmas I started to miss my new home. But what parts was I missing? That I wasn’t sure about.

You see, I have been getting the question, ‘oh my gosh, don’t you just LOVE New York!?’ My first reaction is a sideways glance and the immediate thought of, ‘you must not have ever lived in the city before’. So what could I possibly be missing if this was my gut reaction to that question?

We returned briefly to the city for New Years. I had been told by numerous people (including those who live in NYC) that after our first year we are going to want to spend New Years elsewhere. Not many people I know get to say they were in Manhattan for NYE, so I figured we needed to do it. We had some friends over, watched fireworks while dancing to music in Central Park (I wasn’t standing in Time Square for 13+ hours), and watched Sharknado until the wee hours of the morning (now there’s a movie to ring in 2014). But we were only back for a couple days before making our way to Park City (the fantastic, amazing Christmas present from my husband). Returning from there was when ‘coming home’ really hit me.

Getting off the plane my husband looked at me and said, ‘we’re home’. Meh, I don’t know about that. But as we got closer and closer to our apartment I got more and more excited. Walking through the doors of our apartment I realized what I missed. It wasn’t the big city, the bright lights or the towering skyscrapers that I wanted to see. It was the comfort of a home that I had finally made our own that I missed. Through countless hours of painting and decorating, making sure every picture was in place, every dish organized, I had made a place that felt a little like being tucked away in the mountains while being 18 stories high.

While I have not reached a ‘love’ stage for the city, it is home. I have made my happy place. It’s one small step outside the snow globe into this wild adventure that is now my life.

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