Sunday, May 8, 2011

Auntie Blogging, or choo-choos and school buses

My sister Jen and her adorable sons Mathew and Thomas came to visit us this weekend!  They rode Amtrak in to the city and left Sean at home to work on the house.  This seemed like a great plan for Jen to have an independent adventure weekend with her vehicle-loving children (big truck!  choo-choo!) and for everyone to get to spend more time with the adoring aunties.  What is not to love about riding a choo-choo to New York City?  Well, apparently a lot, when you are an over tired and over stimulated two year old.  Jen had a rough go of it on the way in, and was quite relieved to have help wrangling her toddlers when they arrived.  Thankfully Matthew and Thomas had a much better time during the visit than they did on the trip to get here.

Friday night we all headed to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.  Jen and I took the boys to the playground so they could run off some of their energy from being cooped up on the train, while Becky took one for the team and waited in the famous line.  You really do have to be a bit patient to be a New Yorker, which I seem to have grown accustomed to, but am often reminded of when people come to visit.  All five of us enjoyed our burgers, fries, and custard, and the weather was absolutely perfect for eating outdoors.  Unfortunately given the aforementioned circumstances on the train, none of us were with it enough to pull out a camera on Friday, so you just have to take my word for it.

Saturday we spent the morning and early afternoon hanging out at home and at another playground much nearer to our apartment.  For so-far childless adults we managed to come up with a pretty good showing of our toys (is it odd that Mr. PotatoHead is part of our normal knick knack selection?), plus of course a bunch of their toys from home.
Auntie Becky plays with toys
Matthew at the top of the slide...
Matthew at the bottom of the slide...
Thomas insisted on trying on Auntie Becky's rain boots.
This meant that we were able to let the boys nap at home, which I think may be key to avoiding two year old meltdown.  Jen also fell asleep in her efforts to get nap-resistant Matthew to sleep, and I decided that the end stages of my surgery recovery would be helped by joining them.  Becky apparently threatened to draw sharpie mustaches on all of us while we slept, but thankfully she thought better of it!

We then headed in to the city for the late afternoon and early evening.  Matthew and Thomas loved the "school bus" that we rode to get in, and also loved watching all of the different types of cars and trucks and buses going by.  They live in a sort of distant suburb/small town/semi-rural area, so the sheer amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in New York was extremely exciting but also a little bit overwhelming for them.  Even at our apartment, which is in a neighborhood we think of as very quiet, we can often hear police/ambulance/fire sirens.  Thomas was surprised to hear them and wanted to rush to the windows to watch the "fire truck!" go by.  Unfortunately for him this is often not something visible from our windows.  We also must have sounded like such silly tourists endlessly talking about the subway as "the choo-choo" for the boys, but we were trying to talk up trains for their return journey, and also....they are tourists, so why not enjoy it, right?
We rode the ferris wheel at the Times Square Toys R Us flagship store (no decent pictures, but Becky and Matthew and I were on the other side of the car):
And then we got sandwiches to-go from PB&Company and ate in the park.  Some random strangers actually came over and asked if they could take their picture with the boys because they were looking so cute.  Complimentary of course, but still, who does that?  Odd.  The boys were unbelievably sticky by the time they were done.
We went home and watched part of the first movie that Becky ever saw in a movie theater: Follow that Bird, the 1985 Sesame Street classic.  Still accessible today!  I was a bit dismayed by its less than complimentary portrayal of social workers and much to Becky's dismay playfully threatened that I won't let our kids watch it.  Mathew and Thomas went off to dream land after such a busy full day, and the adults stayed up to chat and drink Asti and eat dessert.

This morning we had an informal Mother's Day brunch (with mimosas!) for Jen, played of course, and then shepherded everyone back to the train station and wished them luck on the return journey.  We haven't gotten the whole report yet, but from a few quick text messages it seems that it was rough but not as bad as Friday.  Poor Jen.  But everyone made it, and we absolutely loved having our very favorite visitors this weekend!
Happy Mother's Day Jen!
We spent the afternoon relaxing, recovering, and of course wishing our own mothers (and my grandmother) Happy Mother's Day!


  1. First, I'm glad to hear that you're recovering nicely from your surgery!

    Second, your nephews are ridiculously adorable and your sister was very brave to try to wrangle two toddlers on a long train by herself. Sounds like her nap was well-deserved!

  2. Apparently I am in the "testing phase" as a toddler-mommy and am looking for my limits in twin parenting. I have found them -- out numbered by 2 year olds on the train wasn't the best plan. But we did have a lovely weekend. And *I* would stop and take pictures with them on the street!!! :)