Manhattan

Maddie Takes Grand Tour of Battery Park

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How can I see Lady Liberty facing this way?
Maddie took advantage of her father’s birthday weekend by taking a grand tour of Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. This area offers a stunning view of New York Harbor that was chalk full of sailboats and sun-lovers.

We came off the Path train at World Trade One and it was just as busy the height of rush hour. The only way to push a stroller through that mess is full speed ahead and Maddie was more than pleased to see pedestrians diving for cover around every corner. We came armed with an arsenal of snacks in case the baby went off the deep end.
We walked passed the Wall Street Bull and made our way down to Wagner Park. We enjoyed a great lunch on the water where Maddie quickly made friends with two French women at a nearby table. As usual, she stared at them with unabashed curiosity until they started speaking to her. 
Maddie also made sure to fire food all over the restaurant including bits of salmon, bread, beans and even a few spears of asparagus. After one of the patrons lost an eye, it wasn’t long before we were asked to leave by armed security personnel. They marched us at gunpoint to the edge of the harbor before we made our escape to the sprawling lawn that lay before the water.
Maddie tested the grass for its taste and texture before making friends with a little boy named Luca. Luca was about four-years-old and seemed taken with my little girl. “Back off buddy!,” Maddie obviously has a thing for older men. The little boy took turns entertaining his sister and coming back to speak with Maddie. She did seem a bit taken with the young lad. But when he tried to hug her, she gave him a quick smack to the chops. Maddie made it very clear that she must be properly courted before a little boy gets fresh with her.
By the time we started strolling home, Maddie was spent from the day’s activities. We rolled no less than 100 yards before she was down for the count for a long hard nap in the stroller. We all had a great visit and can’t wait to come back in June with her cousins Catie and Porter.

and to all a goodnight!
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Baby Dumbfounded by Canadian Quarter Confusion

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What's wrong with this picture?

It’s very rare when I actually wake up the baby. Maddie either wakes me up or I cater to her whenever she wakes up. So it was a new experience when I had to get her up this morning to go to a doctor’s appointment in the city.

Many people use the word precious very freely. Not me. It’s a word that I have rarely had any occasion to use unless I was doing a Lord of the Rings imitation of Smeagol. But Maddie’s reaction to being woken up this morning was the spot on definition of the word precious.

I softly called her name. Maddie wiggled and just barely opened her eyes to determine who was waking her up. She saw it was her father and gave me the warmest and most loving smile I have ever seen. Then she closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

I gently prompted her again, “Madddieee.”

She greeted me with that same smile before quickly falling back asleep.

Its little moments like this that makes this the best job anyone could hope for.

However, by the time we got out the door, we were in a serious time crunch. I bundled Maddie up in the stroller against the nasty wind blowing off of the Hudson River and took off.

We had 14 minutes to scamper one mile, buy a ferry ticket and board the ferry. And they’re off… Maddie and I were half speed walking and half jogging as we made our way through the streets of Jersey City.

I could see the ferry crossing the river as we steamed towards the ticket terminal. We burst through the doors with our adrenaline pumping! There was only one person in line – Niiccee!!

Maddie wheeled up behind the woman in line who was counting out $13.75 in quarters??? And the clerk was going through each one, “Nope, this quarter is Canadian – oops, so is this one.” Meanwhile, our ferry is docking right out front and the clock is ticking. “Oh, this one is American, right?”

“Hmmm, let’s see, I only need one more dollar,” said the befuddled woman. Before she could make a move I slapped down a buck and calmly said “Sold – Please print her ticket and give me one to Wall Street!” Maddie eyed me curiously as people started to board our boat.

The clerk laid down the woman’s ticket and ours came next. I snatched the ticket just as the ferryman was chaining up the entrance – “One more coming!” I announced. He lifted the chain as Maddie and I darted onto the platform. The boat lurched backwards and Maddie gave me that coy smile that said, “You can not be serious!”

Shady Baby’s Amazing Race through Manhattan

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Have you seen my publicist?

A doctor’s appointment for Maddie deep in the heart of Lower Manhattan turned into a race through the city this morning. All it took was a delayed train for our plans to go up in smoke.

Instead of a pleasant ferry ride, Maddie ended up slugging it out on the Path system underneath the ever-soaring Freedom Tower. But before she could do that, we all had to overcome the obstacle of getting Maddie onto the path and through the turnstiles.

There’s no area wide enough for the stroller, so I handed the baby off to my wife and rested the stroller on the turnstile. This created a mini logjam of people as Maddie looked on with great interest.

She still had no idea what she was in for. Once got into New York City, the crowds were as thick as bugs on the bumper. This area is not for the faint of if you are pushing a stroller occupied by a fearsome honey badger.

People were inches apart, all battling for pole position and Maddie was starting to feel a little bit claustrophobic. She snapped her mighty jaws at anybody that ventured too close to her stroller and emitted a series of short grunts.

Maddie noticed far too many near collisions because of all the people who had their snouts buried too far into their cellular devices to bother paying attention to what lay in front of them. One clown had to spin to avoid the stroller and then nearly snapped his ankle on the curb. Poor Maddie was getting more and more anxious as we cut across the island towards toward the doctor’s office.

However, once we got to the doctor’s office located in a quiet and secluded area of Front Street, Maddie exorcised that mean old honey badger and resumed being her ever-charming self.

After the appointment, Maddie took some quiet time to feel the ebb and flow of the city. We all enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch and walk on the East River. Then we took a nice slow ride home on the ferry which seem to delight Maddie. She noticed every detail as we all took in the sights and sounds of the ferry ride home. Once again, Maddie is showing a resiliency and maturity that is very surprising for 7-month-old girl.

Baby Goes High Fashion for Manhattan Wedding

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This is how I roll!

For a 12-week-old, little Maddie does a pretty impressive job of getting around. The little girl made her way into Manhattan this weekend to attend her second wedding. No, she’s not a serial wedding crasher; she was actually invited to this one with one of her Dad’s oldest and closest friends.

Maddie is always focused on “dress to impress” and this wedding would be one to remember. The baby was thinking out of the box, but wowed the crowd with her best little owl dress from Aunt Rachel, striped 80’s leg warmers and the mini-Ugg boots from cousin Sarah.

She was a real hit with the paparazzi and was most certainly a guest favorite. Maddie was so touched by the love unfolding at the wedding that she broke down into tears and had to be escorted out of the ceremony.

Once at the reception, Maddie was in very high demand. She made a slew of new friends and accepted an invitation to an after wedding party. Maddie’s parents made a pact to spend just one hour and escape New York well before feeding time.

But as we all know, the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry. Maddie said her goodbyes, but her parents were running about 25 minutes late. (Not Good!)

Trying to leave Manhattan on a Saturday night is a hit or miss proposition – especially if the baby might have food on her mind. Luckily we bobbed and weaved and were in the Lincoln Tunnel in no time flat – but sadly for all those involved – Maddie was ready for some chow!

Now we’re doing the drive of shame and poor Maddie is belting out some well-deserved abuse. When all was said and done – we made it safely back home in 20 minutes – but we were more than a little disappointed that we didn’t get the baby home a little bit earlier. Maddie – We promise to do better next time!