Outdoor Time

Cafe Savannah

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As you can see, our escargot is FRESH!!!

A Day at the Park

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Do I seem out of focus?
It’s nice to meet you – I’m here to help!
Where did you find this shirt?
Is there a foot behind me?
Among other things, I am a quick change artist!

Hunt for the Purple Pacifier

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Look a little harder genius

The hunt for the purple pacifier may not have the global ramifications of a Tom Clancy novel like the Hunt for Red October, but it does pit man against a fiendishly clever baby. The baby in this case is my 11-month-old daughter named Madeleine.

Over the months, Maddie and I have endured a wild series of sock and pacifier search and rescue efforts. We have climbed hills, missed trains and braved the elements to bring the missing items home alive. I’m proud to say that we still boast a perfect record on a dozen or so of our recovery missions. But binkie-busting is a hard life and not for the faint of heart.

Sometimes items come back dirty and I mean really dirty. Reckless drivers have been known to drive right over stranded socks without a care in the world. Our mantra in baby country is, “No passy left behind!”  One of the ways to ensure this never happens is to conduct multiple spot checks. That way if a passy goes missing, you have a much smaller grid to search.

So this afternoon when I saw Maddie had lost her pacifier, it was GO TIME! I realized the error of my ways in an instant. It had been far too long since a pacifier spot check.

Step one is always the same – SEARCH THE BABY! I checked her sides, behind and all her hiding spaces and came up empty. This was the real deal! I scanned the horizon in back of me, but the sidewalk was clear. Not a good sign, but we’ve been through worse.

You never know when the road might swallow up the baby’s passy

We zigged and zagged, traversing the same path we had taken on the way out and NADA. Our record was in peril. One block, then two and still nothing. I could feel the sweat gathering on my brow as this mission was going south in a hurry. I stopped and looked at Maddie for some signs of encouragement and stopped dead in my tracks!!!

The little devil was smiling at me from behind the missing purple pacifier! So many emotions rushed to the forefront. Our record was still untarnished, but what trickery did Maddie employ to hide the binkie from her dad? We will never know where the little girl hid the passy – maybe we were never meant to know. But it’s always nice to be outwitted by a baby who has yet to celebrate her first birthday.

Maddie, Mischief and Mayhem

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Live long and prosper

Baby Treats Father to the Perfect Birthday

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I think my dad needs alot more than one candle!
As my amazing baby girl settled her head into the crook of my arm with her hand on my chest to go to sleep tonight, I realized that this was the best birthday I have ever had. Maddie wasn’t in the best of moods today and was even a bit under the weather. Despite all of that, she was a true pleasure all day long and there was no denying what a blessing it was to spend it with her.
Maddie is on the cusp of being 10-months old and is growing up far too fast for my liking. We both got up this morning during a driving rainstorm. With weather like that, we had no choice but to grab a quick bottle and get our butts outside before the rain stopped.
We made our rounds about the city and watched the commuters scamper for cover hopelessly trying to evade the pelting rain. Maddie and I took all of this in stride as we made our first stop at Dunkin Donuts. Mads ordered her usual, a toasted whole grain bagel and it was back out into the monsoon.
We made a few more stops and stopped to watch some pedestrians get pummeled by a wall of water launched by a speeding bus. That gag just never gets old, but it was time for the sweet girl to catch a nap. Maddie slept so long that we were late leaving for our birthday lunch with Maddie’s grandparents and great aunt.

I have it all under control!
Maddie arrived fashionably late and started wooing every person in the restaurant she could lock eyes with. Typical Maddie, the star of the show, using her smile to leave everyone locked into a trance. 
We had an amazing meal and Maddie made sure to help her dad unwrap his present – she’s always good like that. Then she slept the whole way home so we could spend the remainder of the afternoon playing and exploring. It turned out to be the best birthday ever and it was all thanks to exploits of the Mad Madster!

Rain Rain Come My Way

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I have the umbrella, concentrate on steering!
After a rigorous day of rolling all over the house – Maddie was eager for some real outdoor time. I made every effort to explain to her that the weather was abysmal, but she was adamant. 
So once it was time for Maddie’s mom to leave for work, the baby and I joined her for a rainy trip into town. As soon as the door opened before us, a great smile spread across Maddie’s face. She seemingly rediscovered her great love for the outdoors and was more than happy to embrace the driving rain.
It didn’t take long for Maddie’s mother to notice that the baby was trying to wrest control of the umbrella from me. Maddie obviously believed that she could handle the umbrella with a far greater proficiency than her father. However, a golf umbrella still might be a little much for the princess to manage.
Once we dropped off mom, Maddie insisted that we press on. The harder it rained, the more Maddie’s mood improved. Strangely, this set the tone for the rest of the day. As where some people struggle with their moods during rainy days, Maddie’s stock soars.
The baby drove me about another half of a mile before we finally turned around and headed home. Maddie and I sealed our unspoken pact never to miss a day outside together just because of a little rain.

Crusty Baby Sentenced to Full Slate of Outdoor Adventures

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Bask in the glory of these amazing toes!
I could tell when Maddie woke up this morning that she just wasn’t feeling it. The baby was a little bit off and just a bit too crusty. I usually don’t dress Maddie in street clothes until around 10am. This morning I had her dressed and ready for action at six.
After her bottle and a short bout of playtime on the floor, the wheels began to come off. I don’t know if it was fatigue, teeth or something else, but her good cheer was evaporating before my eyes. I wasted no time pulling the trigger – It was only 6:20am, but it was time to go outside.
Once we hit that chilly morning air, the whining stopped on a dime. This girl was born to be a rugged outdoorswoman. We weaved in and out of the morning commuters on our way to no place in particular. But as we got closer to Grove Street, I could feel the inexorable pull of the Golden Arches. Ronald and the boys just had to be cooking up something good, so
that was our first stop.
The girl behind the counter fell all over herself as Maddie lit her up with her brightest smile of the morning. Maddie and McDonald’s, what better way to start your morning? Then it was on to the waterfront where Maddie could mingle with the transient fisherfolk already casting their lines into the murky Hudson River. The slight breeze coming off the water actually carried some fresh air and Maddie’s doldrums had long since been swept away.
However, she had a date with some bananas and watermelon back at our kitchen. It was time to catch the train and head for home. Even on the train ride, Maddie was smiling from ear to ear.
As soon as we got home and walked inside, Maddie got crabby all over again and begrudgingly worked her way through breakfast. After a two-hour nap, we repeated the same process all over again. Grumpy Maddie downed her bottle and we were forced to head out for another elongated outdoor adventure.

This next trip was the just the ticket we needed to put Maddie’s case of the Mondays out to pasture for good.