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!

Maddie Wows the Ladies in Lower Manhattan

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no words necessary

Maddie got a special visitor Tuesday night when her Aunt Rachel came all the way from Alaska to meet her niece. It didn’t take long for them to make friends and plan a trip to Lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower. Maddie was ready to give New York a 2nd chance as we packed up the baby stroller the next morning and headed for the underground Path train.

Our first adventure happened before we ever left Jersey at the Exchange Place path station. The geniuses there decided to hide any signs that might assist someone who was trying to locate an elevator to get the stroller down to the train tracks. So Stay Home PaPa took the stroller down the escalator while Aunt Rachel took the baby.

As we made our way down the corridor – a very self-important businessman blocked our path even though the platform was not the least bit crowded. I had to thank him in a very sarcastic manner at least twice before he magnanimously allowed us to edge our way past him. Had Maddie woken up, she would have been very disappointed with that kind of attitude.

Thankfully the elevators were marked much better at the World Trade Center stop in Manhattan. The three of us began our stroll and Maddie was still out like a light. We toured the area with one eye on the clock knowing that this would be our first on-the-go feeding. Sure enough – Maddie’s eyes snapped open at 12:56 as she gave me about a 4-minute countdown before she would let loose.

But it in this rare case, I was far ahead of her and had already been graciously dealt hot water from a very nice lady at Starbucks. The baby’s bottle was heating up in the hot water as the baby looked on anxiously. As the feeding began – I noticed that Maddie and I were gathering an undue amount of attention from the passing females. Maddie batted her large eyes at them eliciting a series of oohs and ahhs.

Aunt Rachel finished up the feeding and we headed over to the ferry terminal to once again “Escape New York.” Before heading home, Maddie had one last card to play for PaPa. She was lying on her back when she ejected a stream of spit up that flowed right down her cheeks landing perfectly on dad’s bare thigh. It was actually a perfect shot, because it fell harmlessly to the ground and soiled no clothing at all. My little sniper – what a sense of humor!

Maddie found the fresh air from the ferry ride home exhilarating and was sound asleep by the time we reached the safe haven of Jersey City.

Just Another Day in Paradise

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Will Maddie become a Jersey City cowgirl?

Researchers often talk about the correlation between music and brain development. The theory is that playing music for babies stimulates brain development by promoting the increased development of neural synapses. (Building up brain cell connections) The idea is that the more brain cell connections a baby develops – the faster they will be able to grasp language and motor skills.

We introduced Maddie to a wide variety of music, but she showed very little interest in any of it. We tried the classical route, some mellow stuff and even a little bit of progressive, but each time, our little girl turned up her nose. However, this week, we had found something she really liked – country music.

Ha, I can hear the moans and groans now – but Maddie lights up when the country starts playing. She starts cracking little smiles and you can tell she wants to join in. Of course, I would be lying if I said that Gina and I don’t chime in to help these country singers belt it out. Let’s be honest, Maddie seems grateful for the additional melodious voices of her parents.

It’s probably likely that Maddie is drawn more to the sound of the voices singing than the actual genre, but imagine a Jersey City girl introducing her classmates to Tim McGraw and Phil Vassar.

Who knows, maybe Maddie will give Taylor Swift a run for her money as soon as she learns how to talk and sing. The CMA awards may have to wait until next year, but Maddie knows that when it comes to country music, “It’s Just Another Day is Paradise!” 

Well, it’s ok. It’s so nice
It’s just another day in paradise
Well, there’s no place that
I’d rather be
Well, it’s two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise    – Phil Vassar 

Triple Play Delight Triggers HAZMAT Clean Up

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PaPa has been known to exaggerate!

Monday was Stay Home PaPa’s first solo campaign with Maddie and to quote the movie Good Will Hunting – the little girl was chalk full of shenanigans, tomfoolery and ballyhoo.

Things kicked off quietly with a little nap after the 5am feeding and the world was our oyster. But feeding number two at 9am was not quite so seamless.

The first challenge was that the baby’s normal four ounces suddenly became woefully inadequate. Maddie downed her normal meal and was screaming for more within seconds of the last swallow. Am I missing something? OK, I’ll heat up two more ounces and we’ll go from there. Little did I know that this was just the intro to the triple play delight she had planned for PaPa.

Once we were done feeding, we retired to the back room for a diaper change. The process was nearly completed when Maddie pulled a classic diversionary tactic. A little bit of spit up was all it took for Dad to really take his eye off the ball. I was wiping her mouth when the poop actually started flying. Whoops, time to fall back and regroup.

We were successfully meeting the first challenge when Maddie spit up all over her new shirt. (Maybe that extra two ounces was mistake?) No problem, the shirt came off, the poop had been captured and I was still holding my own.

But before I could start patting myself of the back – Maddie had one more card to play. That’s right, not a trickle, but a full-blown urine session. Due to the other incidents, we were in between diapers, papers towels and whatever else usually protects us from danger. Maddie and Daddy were treated to an impromptu loving liquid session that sent both of us to the HAZMAT showers early.