Monday, March 5, 2018

Girls Day Out at Drybar

I've never had a blow-out before, but after listening to the founder of Drybar on the How I Built This podcast, I decided I wanted to give it a try so I asked for a certificate for Chanukah. The concept is simple: you pick a style from their look book and a stylist washes and blow dries your hair. That's it. No cuts, no color, just styling. 

I thought it sounded like something fun to do with friends, so I invited my mom's group ladies for Drybar and brunch. The verdict: it was fun, but I won't be a regular. 

The atmosphere and service at Drybar were great. I had read online that they offer you champagne when you arrive, but when we came they told us they were out. I joked that I was only in it for the champagne, and next thing I knew they had gone out and bought a bottle just for our group! 

The hair washing felt lovely, but nothing too different from a regular hair cut. The blowout was good. I chose the Cosmo, which is billed as lots of loose curls. They definitely delivered. My final look was a really close match to the look book. And they didn't burn me once, which is something I'm always paranoid about.

My hair never holds a style for long, so while this was really fun and the outcome was beautiful, it's not something I would do on a regular basis. I can see myself doing it again for another girls' day out, or a wedding or other special event though. And showing up to brunch looking fabulous was definitely a perk.

Have you been to Drybar? Let me know what you thought!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Family Weekend Getaway

When my friend Margot told me she was getting married at a ski resort, I couldn't wait to make a weekend of it with Dan. I pictured how romantic it would be: roaring fires, cozy lodge, drinks and dancing. While the kids-free vision didn't quite work out, we had some really great family moments, including Zahara's first time skiing!

The lodge was only around an hour and a half away from our house, so it was an easy trip up. We got there Friday afternoon and checked out the gorgeous property. I took Z swimming while the boys went to explore. Later, while Dan was putting Ash to bed (in the bathroom of our hotel room), I took Z to the welcome reception.

The next morning we put Z in skiing school! There was a daycare center on the mountain where we could have left Asher, but the wedding started at 4:30, so I didn't think we had enough time for Dan and I to ski too. Instead, we did a half-day program for her, which meant she got two hour-long sessions plus lunch. We went out to watch her (she couldn't see us), and it was amazing! She took right to it! I'm not saying she's the next Olympian, but it was really amazing watching her gear up, get out there, and tackle something new. She LOVED it! Her only complaint about the experience is that she didn't get to go on the chair lift. She had to be able to stop on her own three times before she could ride it to a taller part of the hill, and unfortunately time ran out. Next time!

Meanwhile, after we checked out  Z, we took Asher swimming. He loved the warm water!

The bride and groom very generously arranged for childcare during the wedding. It was such an intimate, beautiful wedding. I loved absolutely everything about the decor (glam winter lodge); the music (90s jams); and the food (breakfast for dinner)!

Cheers to the bride and groom and another successful family vacation! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Thoughts by Z

Zahara's imagination and creativity have always astounded me. She's entered a new phase of story-telling that blends facts and fiction. It has been interesting watching her learn about little white lies and what makes a good story.

Thought 1:
Z (after screaming): I drew this picture too scary and creepy and now it scares me every time I look at it. And also, I want to hang it on the wall.

Thought 2:
Z (to Dan): Mommy didn't cuddle you last night because there was not enough room and she's not an octopus.

Thought 3:
Z: When we get home and you talk to me, I'm going to ignore you because I have work to do.
Me: What kind of work?
Z: Project work for mitzvahs (good deeds).

Thought 4:
Z (after not liking how Dan combed her hair): You hurt me and the hurting will never stop.

See previous Thoughts by Z here

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dear Asher: 19 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy 19 month birthday! Asher, you are ALL boy! We can't turn our backs for a second without you getting up to something. Favorite activities include removing the registers from the floors, climbing the oven doors, and splashing around in the toilets. You particularly love throwing toys or food in the toilet and then reaching in to bring them out again. So gross. It doesn't help that your sister is right next to you cheering you on. She's even managed to document a fair share of these antics with her newfound love of photography.

You're also getting more independent. While you still love being held (read: demand being held), you are capable of so much more. You understand everything and have started to follow simple commands (e.g., bring me a book). You're still just using one word at a time to describe what you need, but I think more is coming soon. You'll repeat everything and try out your own sounds. I love your monkey noises and lion roars. Though to you, everything roars. Ha!

Another way you're showing you are more of a toddler is through your tantrums. They are still fairly mild and short-term, but you can throw down with the best of them. You get over it quickly though. Especially if milk is involved.

You are still above the 80th percentile for height and weight. You eat great for me, but you've gotten so picky for daddy. No idea what that's about. You're pretty adventurous and will try most new foods. You'll eat all your veggies and proteins with me, but you'll throw them right off your tray if daddy's involved.

Ash, you are so full of personality. It's fun watching the differences between you and your sister. I love your sweet hugs and kisses, and how you and your sister are becoming real friends. I love watching you grow and change each month. Happy birthday, guy! We love you!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Thoughts by Z

Oh man, there were some gems this month. I'm still cracking up about them.

Thought 1:
Z: I'm just a little bit cooler than everybody else. Not a lot cooler.

Thought 2:
Z: The thing I like best is being lazy.

Thought 3:
Z: If I was a chameleon you could never put me to bed. You couldn't find me.

Thought 4:
Z: Asher is welcome any time I'm going potty, but only if I say yes because it's my body. If I say no, that means no. And if I say yes, he has to do it. That's the way it works.

See previous Thoughts by Z here

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dear Asher: 18 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy half-birthday! Today you are 18 months. So much of you is toddler now that I can't really consider you a baby at all anymore. Sure, you still drink from a bottle sometimes, you sleep in a crib, and you wear diapers. But, you run! You make jokes! You wrestle with your sister!

You keep growing stronger and faster every day. You still stumble sometimes, and you walk like a drunken sailor, but you always pick yourself back up and keep going. You're much steadier on your feet now and can get up from almost any position. You're testing out your new speed by chasing your sister around the house. One of our new favorite games is at night when we're trying to put you to bed, you and Z conspire to avoid capture by running from your room, to the hallway, into Z's room, and back through the Jack-and-Jill bathroom. You'll sometimes make detours into Z's closet for a tea party or a tickle fight. It's hard to be mad that you're not going to bed when you two are playing so well together. I hope you always enjoy each other as much as you do right now.

You're also talking more clearly now. I still don't think you could be understood by others necessarily, but your vocabulary is sky-rocketing. You clearly know what you want most times and are starting to figure out the best way to communicate that need. You do a pretty good job mimicking sounds, so daddy and I will narrate everything around us and ask you to repeat words. I'd estimate you probably have around 30 words. I love hearing you speak!

Finally, finally, you're showing some interest in books. I know that reading is not everyone's favorite activity, but it is one of mine and daddy's and I'm so happy that you might be following suit. You've even started to pick up books and try and read them on your own, which is adorable. You make such hilarious sounds when you're "reading."

This month you were a little fussy though. You're generally happy as long as you're being held, but if daddy or I need to put you down for any reason (let's say to get you the milk you're desperately asking for), then all hell breaks loose. Maybe it's the benefit of being a second-time parent, but I have to say that these over-dramatic, fall-on-the-floor tantrums are a tad funny. I feel bad that you're feeling bad, but the antics are just silly. #toddlerlife

It seems like every day you are learning new skills. I love watching you grow and can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Asher, we love you to the moon and back! Happy 18-month birthday!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Year's Eve 2017

I already told you about our Holiday Season, but there was one more celebration to round out the year: New Year's! My best friend Dina and I have been spending as many New Years' together as we can since college. We have been in DC, New York, New Jersey, and even England one year (though technically it was January already). Many of our New Year's celebrations have been wild, but lately, we're finding our favorite nights involve good food, good friends, comfy clothes, and a reasonable bedtime. Who's with me?

This year was the perfect celebration. Dina and Ed came with their two kids for a sleep-over. Together, we had four kids 4 and under, and it was a blast. The kids immediately took to one another, with Zahara acting as the group mom.

We planned a make-your-own sushi night and got the kids involved in the prep. The two older kids (age 4 and 3) did a great job helping cut the veggies and fruit and make the miso soup. I was legitimately impressed with their patience and skill.

Making the sushi was fun. The kids thought it was silly to play with their food (patting the rice on the nori, piling in the fish and veggies). Zahara and Asher devoured theirs. Charlie and Ryan were a little less sure.

Zahara and Charlie (age 3) even had a sleep-over in her room. They didn't know we had the video monitor on. Watching their unfiltered shenanigans was hilarious. Oh, the stuff they thought they were getting away with! Jumping on beds, turning on and off lights, telling each other was brilliant.

Once the kids went to bed, we made and ate our sushi and had some drinks. We played Cards Against Humanity and Trivial Pursuit until the ball dropped...can you believe we made it until midnight? A glorious authentic cherry pie straight from New Jersey capped off our evening.

The next morning we had a yummy breakfast before saying goodbye. Thankfully, we already have the next visit in the books, so we won't have to wait too long before seeing them again.

May all of our New Years' be as wonderful as this one!

Past New Years' With Dina:
2016: Quick Trip to Philly
2015: New Jersey
2013: England 
Plus many, many more not on the blog (all the way back to 2004!)