Believers – Visiting Santa Clause

Christmas with children holds more joy than I could have ever imagined.  I’m a sap by nature and find myself feeling extra melty this time of year.  There’s something so magical about watching little ones decorate a tree in the most imperfectly perfect manner. There is so much beauty in seeing my kids fill up an entire tub with their toys to giveaway to the needy.  My heart swells while watching my husband reach out to his “giveaway” network that he created via Craigslist. 

I’ve found myself wanting to live in an infinite state of childhood slow-motion this year (minus the difficult days of course).  My oldest is on the brink of turning six, and teeters somewhere between big and little.  Although she hasn’t directly questioned Santa’s true existence, she is more inquisitive this year.  So when both kids asked to visit Santa, I knew that I wanted to bring them to the best Saint Nicolas in all of New York City.

I’m convinced that the Victorian Santa at ABC Carpet & Home is the real deal.  We ventured to meet him during a mini snow storm, and I waited in line outside while the kiddos circled around in the car with Bob.  Once Santa returned from his break, the line began to move quickly.  The kiddos looked mesmerized upon spotting Santa in line, and they both seemed to stand a bit taller.  Lucia then reached for Santa’s book, and I watched her sign her name and Adrian’s in the most perfect penmanship that I have ever seen her write.  I don’t think that I will ever forget the gesture.

Santa's book

When it was our turn to meet Santa, Adrian did the little dance-run that he does when he’s excited.  Santa helped Adrian climb comfortably into his lap, and I placed the big girl up there too.

visiting santa 1

I snapped a few pictures and felt the urgency to rush the kiddos off of his lap (the lines! the cold!).  However, Santa made sure to take time to talk to the children, inquire about their Christmas wishes and give them each a special lollypop. Adrian told Santa that he wanted a red Power Ranger, and Lucia a Rainbow Loom.

visiting Santa

I’m pretty sure that Santa has those wishes covered.

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The First Lost Tooth

I remember when Lucia’s first tooth cut through her tender baby gums, three days after she turned six months old.   When that little tooth fell out, days before she began the first grade, the milestone felt monumental.first lost tooth

It was a highly anticipated event for my little big girl, from the moment she screamed “I HAVE A LOOSE TOOTH” during our book reading session, to when I placed her in front of a mirror before she pulled out the dangling tooth.  To be honest, I felt unsure of the modern-day-tooth-fairy process, so I asked social media, what’s the going rate for the tooth fairy?  Although I had recently read about tooth fairy inflation, I wanted to hear what my experienced circles suggested.  According to my friends, the going rate for the tooth fairy is averaging around $5.  The tooth fairy is also pretty creativity and sometimes dispenses tiny notes signed with her personalized tooth fairy name.  She has even become media savvy  – her tooth fairy website answers a plethora of tooth related questions for  inquisitive little minds.

The fairy that visited our house ultimately bestowed Lucia with $3 (a two dollar bill and one dollar coin) a tiny handwritten note in beautiful script (Bob of course) from a  tooth fairy named Toothicita.  I also made Lucia an impromptu little tooth fairy pillow from pretty Japanese Mermaid fabric from my stash and white felt to form a tooth shaped pocket.

tooth fairy pillow

Lucia has since lost her second bottom tooth, a clear indicator that my baby girl is truly growing up.

 

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Bambini Style – Cool Kicks For Back-To-School

I remember the back-to-school brand spankin’ new shoes conspiracy when I was a kid.  My mom would purchase a pair of shoes that I was incredibly excited about.  I would beg her to wear them prior to school’s official start, yet she would tuck them away insisting that they needed to be saved for the first day of school.  She even had a hideous sneaker-marker!  One day my somewhat dirty (you know, enough dirt to feel cool) awesome 80’s white high-tops would disappear, and my mom would attack them with her weird white sneaker-marker.  My brother and I would break out in a chorus of disappointment.  We still laugh about her insistence of shoe washing and shoe-ruining with the loathed sneaker marker.  Fast forward many years later and I understand a bit of where my mother was coming from.  Just in time for back to school, we were fortunate enough to receive amazing fall shoes, hand picked for Lucia and Adrian.  Their cool kicks were perfectly selected, MICHAEL Michael Kors signature sneaker for girls in fuchsia for Lucia, and Cole Haan Air Paul Chukka boots in brown with orange accent for Adrian.  The kiddos were thrilled (and their mama was too!). Lucia’s favorite part is the shiny patent toe and heel, which gives the sneaker a touch of elegance.  The signature MK logo also adds a fun texture to the surface.  Adrian loves his boots and actually insists on wearing them every day.  I adore the sophisticated little man look of the boots and the stylish traction out-sole that keeps his busy feet grounded.

back to school shoesmichel kors and cole haan kids shoesfall kids shoesthe best kids shoeskids shoes fallkids fall shoes

The shoes arrived on the day of a big date night – Bob and I had tickets to see Mumford and Sons, and we were lucky enough to have my mother and brother watch the children.  Adrian and Lucia didn’t want to take their shoes off.  I became uneasy. My brother asked what was wrong with me when I said “you absolutely can not take them outside on their scooters in their new shoes!!“.  And just like my own mother used to do, I tucked away the new kicks until the first day of school.  It’s amusing when aspects of motherhood come full circle.  But I’m definitely leaving that awful sneaker-marker in 1985!

The MICHAEL Michael Kors signature sneaker for girls is available at Dillards, sizes 10-5; $39.00The Cole Haan Air Paul Chukka boots for boys are available at shoes.com, sizes 8-5; $68.00.

The footwear in this post was provided for review purposes, however, all opinions are my own.

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Flying Baby Birds

The last weeks brought significant change for us.  Lucia lost her first (and second!) tooth, and Adrian began a formal nursery program.  He tried to run away when it was time to enter (my tears that day were NOT anticipated!), but he returned to me with a smile and a silly first day of school hat.  My little guy appears to be incredibly happy, like his big sister who loves her new first grade teacher.

Thankfully, the changes that come with childhood growth are so incredible – otherwise, I would be paralyzed by leaving the baby years behind.  And although I love the fluidity of summer, I find myself excited about fall and the fresh start of a new school year.

For the first time, I’m remembering what it’s like to be on my own for a bit of time.

back to school first day first grade

My baby birds are growing up, and I have some flying of my own to do. 

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Disney Princess Play – A Central Park Adventure {Sponsored}

As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®, my daughter and I enjoyed an afternoon of #DisneyPrincessPlay in Central Park.

It is well known that my little girl is a Disney Princess lover and no secret that I treasure the creativity inspired by this sort of play.  If only I could encapsulate Lucia’s magical five-year-old thoughts to unleash at a time for us all to revisit.

Bob and I try to schedule little dates alone with each child – as uninterrupted time is incredibly important to all of us.  Although the majority of our special outings are simple in nature, a recent one began in the Disney Walmart Toy isle.  You can imagine Lucia’s excitement upon receiving an Ariel costume and Under The Sea Surprise Ariel, before embarking on a mother-daughter adventure in Central Park.

Lucia quickly concocted plans to bring The Little Mermaid to life in a perfect setting for her imagination to run wild.  The giant boulders served as mermaid coves where we searched for Ariel’s aquatic friends.  The Ariel doll came with a Flounder toy and Lucia transformed bits of nature into Sebastian and friends.

#DisneyPrincessPlay Central Park #shop

We had a lunch date complete with dried seaweed (Mermaid’s eat seaweed and LOTS of green vegetables!) and discovered a few things about little Ariel.  With the press of a small button behind her neck, Under The Sea Surprise Ariel speaks and sings in Spanish.

The Little Mermaid Central Park #shop

With little Ariel in her arms, Lucia talked about her feelings and her back-to-school jitters.  At five, she is incredibly open, and I hope that I navigate the upcoming years in a way that strengthens and maintains this connection.  I cherish the little performance that she gave me and her elaborate storytelling, singing and dancing.

#DisneyPrincessPlay Ariel #shop

I listened to Lucia’s sweet voice singing Under the Sea with her new Ariel doll.  She still squeals with excitement when the doll’s  iridescent tail lights up.

Ariel Central Park NYC #shop

With the touch of a button, the Ariel Doll reminded us to search for more treasures for her “collection“.  Little does she know that Lucia has a pretty interesting collection under her bed.  We continued our explorations and picked up several rocks along the way.  We even stopped for a ride on the Central Park Carousel.

Ariel on the Central Park Carousel #shop

Lucia insisted that Ariel wanted one more glimpse of the world above before heading home to put her light up tail in the bath.

The Little Mermaid NYC #shop

I’m incredibly grateful for this day with my girl, a few days before she entered the first grade.

Central Park Princess Play #shop

Central park holds a special place in my heart as it is filled with memories of Lucia’ s first year and a half of life.  So many visions of early motherhood always come flooding back when we return.  She stops me with a leg clutching embrace as we exit and says “Oh Mommy, I just love our special alone time so much“.  I tell her how much I treasure her too and can’t wait for the next moment in time.

The Little Mermaid Collector’s Edition BluRay/DVD will be available on October 1st.  Check out the Under The Sea Pinterest Board for more Little Mermaid adventures. 

Thank you to Collective Bias®  for sponsoring this post.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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Summer Closure

It has been about a week since we have officially traded in sprinklers and sandy feet for the school yard and new shoes.  Despite one exceptionally hot day this week, it is beginning to feel like fall in New York City.  A much welcomed transition.

We had a summer rich with memories, and there are so many things that I want to remember.  Like A’s sweet toddler voice, and the excitement of L loosing her very first tooth.  Great fun was had on our city adventure, afternoons at the sprinkler playgrounds, and our many visits to Rockaway beach.

familiy at the beach5 pointz nyc

September has brought great change for our little family and we are still figuring out our new rhythm.  Although I’m a true summer dreamer, I can’t help but be excited about the crisp feeling in the air and all of the goodness that comes with fall.

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