This last weekend was Talmage's first primary program at church (the children aged 3-12 sing, give speaking parts and teach the whole congregation) and my mom (you know, Super Mema) flew out for the main event. She took the red-eye Thursday night and had to leave Sunday afternoon, which made me bawl like a little baby, but we sure had fun for the short time she was here. And boy did we fit in a whole lot of fun!
Mema had barely landed and we were already off to FAO Schwarz so that she could see our favorite ever play place ;) The boys think it's so fun to play with all the toys, and this time Mema bought them each a special treat. Talmage got a Mater and Everett got some Jake pirates. Talmage says that was the best moment of Mema's whole trip...he sure loves his "Mater-hawk."
I snapped this picture of Mom and Spiderman before learning that personal photos are not allowed. They want to take pictures for you, and charge $25 for the copies. Whatev! At least I have proof that Mema met Spiderman--T thought it was pretty cool!
Mema and T rocked the Big Piano.
We caught the last day of Madison Square Eats and had the most delicious lunch. I have been wanting to check this out for a while (there were around 30 food vendors set up at a park at the base of the flatiron building and you could choose a little of a lot of things) and this was the perfect way to do it. The green chili mac n cheese and the feta/olive pretzel were out of control delish.
You know, just entertaining ourselves during Everett's naptime!
Pizza at our favorite place before...
THE BIG APPLE CIRCUS! Opening night, no big deal, right? We had such, such, such an awesome time! The acts were amazing and the boys were mesmerized. Heck, us adults were mesmerized!
We're pretty sure that Pepa would have been in heaven watching this juggler. He made juggling 7 balls and doing all kinds of tricks look like a total piece of cake.
They gave all of us clown noses and we got a lot of mileage out of them. Everett has been wearing his all weekend.
On Saturday after a relatively frigid morning (both in temperature, and in T's attitude during his soccer game) we went to the Central Park Fall Fest. It was ridiculously packed with people, but we got to enjoy all of the beautiful fall colors and eat some Cabot cheese so it was worth it!
The boys also were able to jump on these "fit kids" trampolines which made them so, so happy.
After a successful primary program practice, a super-fast and generous trip to Costco from Mema and an Ever Knight nap, we went to the ward Halloween party. T's first time at a donut-eating contest was a major success. There were also crafts, a candy walk, and gourd bowling.
And then we went trick-or-treating door to door around the church. The boys are going to have so many treats by the end of this week!
On our way home we saw some awesomely spooky decorations on 69th street Brownstones.
Mom and I went out that night after the boys went to bed. We went to Times Square because she hadn't been there in 10 years...and she pretty much decided she could wait another 20 years to see it again and be just fine! We ended up at Shake Shack and then came home and chatted for hours. I just love my Mom so much.
The next morning (Sunday) we carved the pumpkins that Mema brought with her from her California garden. They are perfect carving pumpkins and I just can't believe that she (and Pepa!) grew such amazing pumpkins...and brought them to us! So awesome.
Talmage and his finished product!
Talmage's primary program was so adorable! We realized later that we didn't take any pictures of my mom with T to commemorate the day, but there were these pictures from after church when she taught him to play the telephone game!
After church we went to Central Park and gathered some fall leaves for Pepa. My mom is so pretty!
By this point the end was near and my throat hurt so bad from tightening (you know, because I was trying hard not to sob). I wish so badly that I could live right next door to my Mama. When we were at Costco a man in line, obviously shocked that my Mom would come to Costco to buy her daughter fun treats when she only had two days in NYC, said, "That's how a Mom is supposed to be. My Mom always says, 'hey, let's go to da club!' You're how a Mom is supposed to act!" It's so true...she really is the cream of the mother crop ;)
I love these pictures showing Ever running to his Mema's arms. Those boys adore this woman to no end. I walked her down to the taxi, and you should have seen the mess that was my apartment when I came back up and they realized she was gone for good. Ahh.
The house felt so lonely without our Super Mema. She really has a sparkle that is not only contagious, but tangible. You just know when my mom is in the room, and unfortunately we are well aware of her absence now that she's gone. We're plotting how to get her back here, and we hope it is so, so soon!
We finally made it to the Bronx to visit Little Miss Norah Jane. Her part of the Bronx and my part of the UWS aren't that far, but heck that subway takes forever and our schedules were a little crazy. Every day for her first seven days of life I had been itching to cuddle that little girl, and when the moment finally came it did not disappoint. Oh, that one-week-old snuggled into my arms and slept for hours and I was on cloud nine my friends, cloud nine!
This baby is six pounds. She is a teeny tiny perfect peanut. That's like half a baby compared to my big old newborns, but compared to my baby (Everett Knight) she seems like a little china doll. I definitely think a newborn looks good on me, and a girl to boot.
And then there was my baby holding a baby thing, have mercy. He held her for such a long time and told me later, "Mom, she is so cute I just want to look at her forever." We had a long talk about how we could get ourselves one, and T's ideas were pretty inventive!
Talmage and Eisley cuddled up together with baby Norah, and I couldn't help but take a picture just in case, you know, they grow up, get married, have babies, and take a similar picture! Baby Norah, we're so glad you're here. You're a lucky girl to have such a fabulous family!
We had a morning playgroup at the Met last week. We were not admitted to story time (actually, half of us were kicked out early while the other half were not allowed to enter from the get-go, awesome.) But...oh the view from the gardens atop the museum. They were beautiful.
So beautiful, in fact, that I kept that sticker on my shirt pocket all day so that James and I could see it that night on our date. By day is one thing but boy, by night. Wow!
I've gotten used to viewing museums with two littles pulling me in two directions. We speed through exhibits and I feel super lucky to see one item before leaving. And I mean see it, not learn about it ;) James and I sans kids, however, were able to walk hand in hand around the different exhibits, admiring famous pieces and really feeling the artwork. It was super enjoyable.
We actually took a picture together, and I laughed so hard when I looked at it. Look at those two hand-on-hip posers!
For some reason this picture of our little preschoolers (minus Ever Knight, who was screaming bloody murder from his time-out bench in the kitchen at the time of this picture...you know, for repeatedly hitting his brother square in the face with a Tonka truck) makes me smile so hard and so wide that my face hurts. Aren't those kids just deliciously adorable? Preschool is at my house this week, and the letter E was good for us on this-here Tuesday.
I was in charge of planning playgroup last week so I organized a tour of Magnolia Bakery, which is kind of the "it" bakery around here. The tour was short (because in true New York fashion they fit a whole lot of stuff in very little real estate) but we got to see endless jars of sprinkles, were taught how to get the signature Magnolia swirl atop their cupcakes, and the kids favorite part: a free mini cupcake at the end. I bought some banana pudding to round off our cupcake breakfast and we were buzzing with excitement. Literally. It was a really good time.
Turns out our playgroup thought this was a good idea--like, a really good one. There were almost 70 people in attendance!
We took all the kids to the playground after the bakery tour so they could run off their morning sugar rush before naptime. These boys were running around protecting everyone from the "bad guys" when all of a sudden they took a little break and sat down together. It kind of made my heart melt...and I am SO glad I had a camera handy!
My mom raised us McKee kids right in the fun department. This is the woman who infamously said, "chips are fun!" and yes, she really believes right down to her toes that Fritos are fun: like smile, and clap your hands and be pleased as punch because boy, "chips are FUN!" She is really that enthusiastic and just in case you were wondering, it was the best thing ever being her kid. Because heavens people, if chips are fun...then what about candy bars? And picnics? And don't even get me started on sports or vacations. Our traditional hot fudge sundae dinners = fun! But the mundane turned to fun too, like blasting music while weeding in the garden. Or getting a 10 cent treat when we successfully completed a shopping trip. So I'm taking a few pointers (and by a few, I mean about a million) from my mom and making sure to show my kids the wonderful world of fun! Because the more I learn the more I see that knowing how to have fun (whatever the task, whatever the day) is an awesome skill to have.
Here's some of the fun we've been having lately:
An FAO Schwarz story time full of friends.
Sizing up a giant teddy in The Plaza hotel.
Climbing all over the dreamy library in the New York Historical Museum.
First soccer game!
Trying on glasses at an East Side street fair.
Seeing a green taxi--the highlight of our walk to the Chrysler Building!
This is what we call hands-on learning during Sunday School. Playing dress up with 13-year-olds.