Let Your Freak Flag Fly - New York December 2017

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I’m writing this post as our trip is fresh in my mind. Fresh as in, we landed back in Chicago earlier this morning, been up since 4:30am and feel delirious. A perfect time to share my innermost thoughts, unabashed and exhausted.

New York was utterly amazing. We stayed in an Airbnb in Lower East Side. Our second ever experience with Airbnb (first one was a condo on the beach in Mexico with my family in 2013). This apartment was everything - combination of eclectic decor with ideal floorplate. Liv had her own room with a crib and we stashed Grayson in their ginormous walk in closet in the master bedroom (in our own pack n’ play that we lugged all the way from home; yes, I know there are rental services but I couldn’t get my shit together to figure it out). The owners have a son who can get around as the place was baby proofed...WITH radiant heat floors! Grayson had the time of his life crawling everywhere.

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Super short trip - Sat - Tuesday AM, but we covered a lot of ground. Liv skipped her nap everyday and G mostly slept on the go so we were non-stop. After unpacking, getting settled we went to an indoor play place so Liv could get her sillies out and the weather on Saturday was total shit. Too bad we got there at 4:30 and the place closes at 5pm..wah wah. So we hightailed it in the snow a cool 20 minute (er, 40 minute, as Google Maps doesn’t take into account how a toddler walks and stops at everything, especially to eat the falling snow. I’m considering asking them to add a “toddler walk” feature to their nav #kthanksbye) to Chelsea Market to grab a bite. Touristy or not this place is magical. Thank god we had a mix up with our sitter who ended up not coming; we were pretty beat and could only muster take out and SNL.

Sunday we let Gray have his morning nap at home, while I headed out with Liv to meet Kristin & Theo for brunch at Fat Raddish...which I kept calling The Fat Jewish (after that famous guy) and Jon kept calling it the Fat Russian (after...no one). Not funny to you, but really funny to us. Liv was a maniac, would barely eat, screaming, shaking the table, coffee flying everywhere. I’m sure this really excited my newly engaged friends about the possibility of kids #dontdoit #kidding #kindof

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Then we all hopped on the Subway, which was delayed and just as we got off to carry our stroller back up the stairs, it started to pull away. #awesome. We took this opportunity to walk/bus to see the tree at Rock Center. New York this time is so magical. Fighting the crowds and my paranoia someone was literally going to grab her and run and I have this scary vision of seeing her little owl hat flapping the in the wind as they run off with my baby. New York is a perfect place to go for this psycho :) Liv was obsessed with the tree, navigating the crowds to get as close as possible. Gray enjoyed the warmth of the stroller and fell asleep.

Walked over to Times Square where we let Liv run around like a wild lady near the TKS steps, screaming and running into people. It was hilarious. Gray, again, was cozy in the stroller. Hopefully you’re getting the picture by now of how our trip went - Liv runs/screams while Gray straight chills in the stroller. Head home for the sitter and a lovely dinner at Upland. Omg they have the best mushroom app!

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I was dreading Monday - Jon had a full day of meetings (the initial reason for this quick trip) and I was to be alone with my children. Let me repeat that. I was going to be alone with my kids. My anxiety levels were at an all time high. How was I going to get around? (we had been taking the subway with Jon carrying the stroller while I held Liv’s hand to ensure she didn’t slip and touch...anything. NY is so gross). How would I feed Grayson - a distracted day-eater at best, while ensuring Liv was occupied? How in the world would we go to the bathroom the 37 times needed in a day to ensure no accidents? Holy moly, I’m getting anxious just thinking about it.

Maybe my dad was there to help, maybe I have an easier time doing it alone so I can do it my way (I am a control freak, remember). But it was awesome. Literally, one of my favorite days with my kids (sorry hubs!). I think I needed this. To prove that even though I am uptight and a total control freak, completely relinquishing control for the sake of survival, we had the best day.

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While G napped and Liv watched Mickey’s Clubhouse, I managed to take care of myself for a bit in the morning - combed through emails, pumped, got ready, ate breakfast and enjoyed sipping my coffee from this cute spot. We headed out to Seward park so she could run off some sillies and swing in the swings. Hightailed it in an Uber (yes, with a carseat, mother) to Brooklyn so I could scope out a potential new manufacturing partner for RingHero. I was starving afterwards so normally would NOT eat at this unsavory place but knew if I didn’t, this mama bear would turn into the hulk in mere seconds. Uber to Central Park Zoo, which was actually not as great as I thought it would be, or are we just spoiled by Lincoln Park Zoo? Lunch at Sarabeth’s - same restaurant where Livvy ate when she was 9 months old #traditioninthemaking where I was miraculously able to nurse G while she was busy putting stickers all over the booth, table, menus, you name it. She was obsessed with the horsies on the carriages, so, that’s what we did next! My cheapo husband would have never splurged $60 for 20 minutes but this was 20 minutes of calmness and happiness that I was glad to fork over the cash for. G even fell asleep!

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By this time it was about 4pm, so we could have headed home for dinner, get a head start on packing, but I wasn’t done yet proving to myself that I am a total lunatic, so we got in a taxi to go downtown to check out Oculus and World Trade. Liv was whipping her little owl hat around, running into people, dancing, laughing. And I was laughing too! And I would have normally tried to wrangle that in, super paranoid if passersby would be pissed about a little girl in their way as they hustle home, but I just didn’t give a shit. I was never going to see these people again and not containing my threenager was the best thing for her. #letyourfreakflagflygirl

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The only thing I didn’t do on this trip was scope out some fun stores that a few co-workers recommended, which I was kind of bummed about but just honestly didn’t have the time. I also didn’t  really didn’t want to drag my toddler around and have her touch the displays/merchandise and me run after her yelling “don’t touch” or “be gentle” or “no we cannot buy that $2,000 YSL bag” (b please, you are NOT getting one before me!).

Jon and I managed some down time together, a lovely meal out sans kids and I didn’t try to control him (too much p:) ).

So...where to next??

Xoxo

Niki