outdoor adventure

Maddie, Mischief and Mayhem

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Live long and prosper

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.

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.

Maddie Finds Music Amid the Chaos

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I'm sorry, who are you?

Unseasonably warm weather settled over New York area this weekend leaving Maddie with a little bit of spring fever. She made it quite clear to her parents that a little bit of outdoor adventure time was now on the docket.

Unlike Katy Perry or Ke$ha, Maddie decided that there was no reason to brush her gums with a bottle of jack before hitting the town. We eased the baby into the stroller, outfitted her with a stylish pair of shades and were off into the wilds of Jersey City.

Warm weather certainly brought out the crazies this weekend and after being seated at an outdoor café near the town square, Maddie and her parents had front row seats to the show. Moments after we sat down, we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of Michelle and Dan, (a couple of friends, not crazies) who joined us at the table for Maddie’s afternoon on the town.

As always, Maddie was pleased to be the center of attention and gave a great sigh of contentment as she settled herself onto Michelle’s lap. However, there was a great deal of activity and city noise going on around us, and after a while, the baby began to get restless. It seemed like Maddie was on the verge of cutting lunch short, when a homeless fellow across the street took it upon himself to conduct an impromptu saxophone concert right there on Grove Street.

Suddenly a series of soulful and sonorous notes drifted across the neighborhood touching all of those within earshot. The music washed over the delighted Maddie, who was now the picture of relaxation.

The baby did not look for the source of the rhapsody, but instead allowed the gentle tones to soothe her into a dreamlike state. This is when we came to the realization that even in the center of urban chaos, you can still find a lullaby to please the even the most discerning of children.

Stroller Adventure Leaves Baby Out of Sorts

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What's wrong with this picture?

After yesterday’s sleep debacle, it was time reintroduce Maddie to some intense outdoor time. One of the surest ways to put the little girl down for the count is a heavy does of fresh air during the day. So right after breakfast, I grabbed a shopping list from MiMi, popped Maddie into her stroller and set off for greener pastures.

As soon as we turned the corner, Maddie was sleeping it off. She stayed that way for a good hour – but all good things must come to an end. Maddie woke up on the way home from store in her new stroller – a stroller that faces front and not the backwards-facing model she is used to. This is where things really began to unravel.

Ever since the baby was born (when she wakes up in her stroller) she has always been able to see who was pushing her. Apparently not seeing her chauffeur caused Maddie a great deal of angst and she was not afraid to share her acute displeasure with her PaPa. She lit up her father just 100 yards away from her grandparent’s house. Bummer.

It was classic. Maddie calmed down every time I came around the stroller into her line of sight – but as soon as I went around to push her, she lost it again. We were now crawling in 7-foot increments and getting nowhere fast. Each time I appeared and then disappeared again, the howling got worse. So what do you do with a stroller full of groceries and an angry baby?

Since MiMi’s house was actually in view, it was time to pick up Maddie and carry her in my right arm and push the stroller with the left hand. It seemed like a great solution to me, but at least three passing cars slowed down to stare as they watched this one-man-band stagger up the sidewalk with a very intense looking baby.

Towards the end, Maddie started getting fussy again and to save a few precious minutes, it was time for a little off-roading. We ran up the grassy hill to get inside the house, but the stroller was bogging down in the grass. It was at this point I realized that if I slowed down and lost momentum, the stroller full of groceries would wither roll back down the hill or topple end over end.

We made it to the top of the hill where Maddie was quickly returned to her mother and all the groceries eventually made it in safely. Tomorrow we are headed to central Virginia to see more relatives, so Maddie can enjoy as much time in the car as possible – probably not the best idea we’ve ever had, but hey, it’s the holidays!