Father

Tuesday night, the Man came home after Viv was asleep. I went to bed earlier, but woke up to Viv crying. I walked her around a bit, and then heard the Man come upstairs. He immediately came into her room and asked to take her. I lay awake listening to him whisper to her for the next ten minutes, until she quieted.

My heart. Oh, my heart.

Maddie’s Elephant

There is a wonderful consignment shop, PolkaDots, that I stop by from time to time.  It carries a variety of items, but the diapers and baby clothes are what keep me coming back.  That, and the fact that EVERY SINGLE TIME I go there, I leave feeling uplifted and happy.

I was in the area Thursday night, and dropped in on my way home to pick up diaper liners. When I arrived, Vikki, the owner of Sonrise diapers, was about to give a cloth diapering class.  The Man and I met Vikki last spring, when we took the class at St. Peter’s Hospital. Not only did she stop her set up to give me a quick lesson on diaper liners, she actually remembered who I was, and what I did for a living!  I was sad that I didn’t have Vivian there to show off.  I started chatting with some other moms, about what we do with diapering, and how it works for us.

After picking up some essentials (i.e. a new diaper which was totally not needed, but oh-so-cute), I went to the other part of the store (which has clothes for older kids and moms) to check out.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with a smile and a hello. and not just a “oh i’m working and you’re a customer.” It was a genuine good to see you, thank you for coming here, type of hello.

I bee-lined to checkout and saw a revolving shelf with adorable stuffed elephants.  I quickly glanced at the sign and saw a note that all proceeds was going to a charity.  Since it’s rare for me to see a product where ALL of the proceeds go to charity, I picked an elephant up, and asked what it was.

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The women behind the counter told me it was a local organization aimed at giving kids their “best day ever”.  The Maddie’s Mark Foundation was started last year after the death of a local 5 year old girl, Maddie Musto, from an inoperable brain stem tumor.  Maddie died 5 days after her diagnosis.  I remember hearing about her passing last year, because my friend who had a daughter the same age was devastated.

Then the clerk started telling me that all of Maddie’s Elephants were all made by volunteers, from donated fabrics.  The group of volunteers (called Maddie’s Pack), even hold parties where you can pick your own fabric!

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They cost $20, which is a small price to pay considering the love and care that went into it.  It’s the perfect gift for a baby shower or new baby, since it’s a meaningful gift, in addition to being super adorable.

Vivian has latched onto this elephant like a baby to the boob. She rolls around her crib to grab it, and just gazes at it’s trunk and braided tail. She has stuffed animals, but she actually treats this one a little differently.
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PolkaDots on facebook

Sonrise Diaper Service and Store on facebook

Maddie’s Mark Foundation on facebook

sneaking away

The Man and I celebrated our fifth anniversary on January 5th.  For months we had thrown of ideas of ways to celebrate, but nothing was set in stone.  On New Years Eve, we finally buckled down and made some decisions.

The Man found a resort on the northern shore of Lake George that had private cabins.  The Trout House is located in Hague, and has been around for 100+ years. Naturally, it being the middle of winter, the rates were much lower than we expected.  Since the arrangements were so last-minute, the family that owns and runs the property waived the two night minimum.  We happily booked a 1 bedroom cottage called the Seneca Patio for Saturday night.

We began our trip Saturday at noon, after dropping the kids off at my parent’s house for the night.  The drive up to Lake George Village (on the southern tip) is only about an hour and fifteen minutes. We’ve been there plenty of times, but never in the winter, and never all the way up the lake.  The Man wanted to try a restaurant that was on the way to the cabin, so we entered it into the GPS and arrived around 130.  After walking in, something didn’t seem right.  The restaurant was right in Lake George Village, and the menu wasn’t what we were expecting.  We both looked at each other and knew we were at the wrong place! Since we hadn’t ordered anything, we decided to make a break for it.  Yikes!  It was well worth it (and the 20 minute drive to the right restaurant!) for the delish meal and getting toasty by the 360 degree fireplace!

Once we got back on the road, it took close to an hour to get to the cabin. A good portion of the drive was up Route 9, right on the lake. I love the look of cold lake water in the winter – it has such a beautiful aqua tone to it.  Of course, I find it impossible to capture that color on camera, so I just leave it to my memory.

After arriving at the Trout House, we went to the office to check in, and had a very pleasant surprise! Two beautiful Golden Retrievers were there to greet us! The Man spent some time cuddling them (he misses his dog Sparky dearly) while I checked in.  As we left, our new furry friends followed us outside. and then blocked our car! I think they were looking for a winter walk.

We got settled in the Cabin, which was much more than we could have imagined! It had one bedroom with 2 queen beds (not ideal, but it didn’t kill us to cuddle a little closer), a full kitchen, wood fireplace, and a huge jet tub. I’m sure the covered patio would have been great in the summer, and the view of the Lake was beautiful.  The resort had built us our first fire, so we got to relaxing and planning our evening.

Bedroom, with window overlooking Lake George

Bedroom, with window overlooking Lake George

fireplace wood!

fireplace wood!

Patio

Patio

View from our front door

View from our front door

cozy fire and full kitchen

cozy fire and full kitchen

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Naturally, I insisted on taking our annual anniversary picture before we headed out.

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Our friends Jess and Gavin have a family house in the area, and they recommended Cate’s Italian Garden in Bolton Landing.

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The drive to Bolton Landing was about 25 minutes. The Man ordered a Steak Pizzaiola and I indulged with some Tortellini Alfredo and a few glasses of wine.

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Our server was warm and welcoming, and we chuckled at the young girls at the next table talking to their mom about buying a new horse. IMG_2845

I’m sorry to admit that after a little more fire watching in the cabin, I fell fast asleep at about 10pm. It was something being relieved from the responsibility of parenting that released all of that pent-up anxiety and let me relax. and by default, get sleepy. Although I’m sure those three glasses of wine didn’t have any impact!

We slept until a glorious 9:30 am the next morning and checked out by 11am.   On the way back to the Village, we stopped at a scenic overlook for some pictures.  Another car was pulled over, with the doors and trunk wide open.  Three men stood facing north with something up to their heads.  The Man speculated that they were taking pictures too, but as we got closer, I realized they had binoculars!

BIRD WATCHERS! We felt like we were intruding on some sacred event.  It took everything in my power not to giggle when one man yelled “A CHICKADEE! A CHICKADEE!” and another called “A RAVEN! over there!” Even better was their bird calls, which I can only begin to imitate.  The Man had a sincerely confused look on his face the entire time.

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Once we got back in the car, we tried to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. After all,  it was nice how excited they got about it.  If that’s your style, what better way to spend a Sunday morning than observing nature.

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We stopped at the Lake George outlets on the way home, and then in Saratoga to walk around and get lunch. I even convinced the Man to take a picture in one of those ridiculous photo booths! We stopped at the Circus Cafe, which was a kitschy French Circus themed place.  It absolutely caters to a younger (like elementary school) crowd, but there were several other adult couples there. Lunch was great (as was the flourless chocolate cake for dessert!)

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We did nothing and everything. We talked, and not just about Vivian. It was relaxing, invigorating, and exactly the time we needed to reconnect.