Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shakespeare in the Park

This weekend we went to Shakespeare in the Park and IT. WAS. AMAZING. The tradition behind this annual summer series is quite cool. It's a free production but tickets are only made available on the day of each performance and can only be obtained by waiting in line that morning. Tickets are distributed at noon, but people tend to line up eeeeearly, like camp outside the Best Buy on Black Friday to make sure you get that half-off stackable washer/dryer style early. It's kind of a right of passage for New Yorkers, and everybody has a story about the time they did it. People bring blankets and food and games and it's very much a community affair. The festival is so popular that huge stars are cast each year - past performers include Meryl Streep, Kevin Klein, James Earl Jones, Michele Pfieffer, Jeff Goldblum, Anne Hathaway, John Goodman, Amy Adams, Christopher Walken...and on and on and on...


My darling husband, wonderful man that he is, woke up early and snuck out of the house as quiet as a mouse to go wait in line while I slept in. JACKPOT LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! A few hours later I picked up coffee and bagels to bring him while he waited, but made sure to stand back enough so as not to arouse any suspicion from those in the near vicinity as New Yorkers in general, and those putting in the time for this event in particular, are VERY SERIOUS about line cutters.

He scored our tickets around 1pm, then came home and we took naps in order to gear up for our big night out. Picked up dinner at our favorite local deli and headed back to the park around 6:30, since doors opened at 7:30 and show was slated to begin at 8pm. It had been blistering hot, but thankfully started to cool down as it got nearer to sunset, and was quite pleasant by the time we headed inside to find our seats. The Delacorte Theater is open air and gorgeous, nestled right up against the Turtle Pond and Castle, in the heart of Central Park. Super exciting to attend a show in such an iconic theater.

We saw Judd Apatow and Ira Glass strolling around outside the gates just prior to show time.
Because of course they hang out. Quintessential NYC celeb sighting.


I love a picnic! Turkey meatballs, sun dried tomato chicken salad and a smattering of other goodies for dinner. 

Do something Shakespearean!

 Sorry this is all I got.

The show was INCREDIBLE and the cast was even better than expected. John Lithgow was fantastic, of course, in the title role. He got the crazy part dowwwwwn. First bizo daughter comes out and it's Annette Benning. Say what?! The woman playing the second daughter looked and sounded so familiar to me, I spent the entire first act trying to figure out what the heck I knew her from. A quick intermission google search revealed her to be none other than Susan from Friends (new spouse of Ross' now-lesbian ex-wife). So great.

The weather was perfect right up until the end. Clouds started moving in and it began to sprinkle ever so lightly, but not enough to even draw anyone's attention away from the stage. Then the final scene began, where Lear staggers onto the stage carrying his dear Cordelia after she's just been killed and the skies OPENED UP. It was like the rain was a part of the show. The actors just went right on with the final scene, people were glued to their seats. It was so badass. Five minutes later, the rain stopped, and we all walked out of the theater sans umbrella.


Monday, July 28, 2014

25 Weeks


Growing like a weed (which is pretty much what a cauliflower looks like).


Can't believe we're nearing the end of the second trimester already.  We have a check-up appointment on Wednesday, meeting the fourth doctor in the practice and then we'll have gotten to know all of them.  Starting to get comments from randos asking when we are due, which is nice because it means I look definitely pregnant and not just like a chub.  Nobody has really tried to touch my belly yet, but I'm guessing that will change when I visit California in two weeks.  DVC scored tickets to Shakespeare in the Park last night (actually saw one of our doctors there!), so Baby C is getting exposed to the most important of New York culture - delis and theater.

Here's mini-DVC with his Grandpa Cederquist. Isn't he adorable? 
I hope our little chicklet gets those curls (and those overalls!). 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Putzing Around NYC

Still thinking about all the fun we had while my mom and sister were here visiting...

Subway rides are very exciting!

So is meeting up with a Krukow transplant from the west coast!

The whirlwind tour of important sites -only counts if you take your picture out front!

Grand Central 

New York Public Library 

Plaza Hotel 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Next time you're back here visiting together, we'll have a baby to tote around town with us!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Immediate Cheer Up

Whenever I'm in a rough mood, this is the song that immediately lifts my spirits. Weird, I know. My sister and I used to watch this at every single weekend slumber party (or just the two of us sleeping on the floor in the living room instead of in our own rooms...pretty wild).  Clearly, I'm Lucas and she's is AJ.  CLEARLY.

Bonus scene for your viewing pleasure.
Happy weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

24 Weeks

 Baby C is growing steadily, weight of a cantaloupe and length of an ear of corn this week!

Baby's taste buds are developing, so I have to eat lots of fruits of veggies!

Been trying to walk home from work with DVC (three miles!) several times per week.

Our route takes us right by the sail boat pond, Alice atop her mushroom and the creepy treehouse!

Friday, July 18, 2014

NYC Mini Baby Shower

My dear friend Elaine threw a lovely mini baby shower while my mom, sister and family friends the Tuculets were here visiting NY.  It was a sweet day filled with fun treats, a few good friends and a whole lot of laughs and love.

We started the morning with some pampering at Pink Lemon Park nail salon, the most adorable nail studio I've ever had the pleasure of visiting.  And we happened to be the only customers that morning, so we had the place ENTIRELY to ourselves!  Elaine brought sparkling lemonade and cute mini cupcakes and the five of us girls had a wonderful time gabbing while the moms popped over to Central Park for a walk.


Afterwards we walked to Elaine's building, where she had reserved the garden for our little party. Brunch included a delightful assortment of treats, including lots of vegan options for Miss Sophia and insanely delicious molasses mini-scones made by my sweet friend Kim. They were SO GOOD, I think I ate half a dozen of them.

We played silly games and made funny bibs. It was an overwhelming outpouring of love. Baby C received so many beautiful gifts, from books to swaddle suits, homemade hats (with animal ears!) to the tiniest little jean jacket! Lucky mama got pregnancy cookies (heck yes) and a gorgeous baby bag that I love love love.

Necessary baby gear:  German toasting bib...

and a teeny pair of (wide) New Balance sneakers to match daddy!

Thank you all for a wonderful day and the incredibly generous gifts. I'm so lucky to have you ladies in my life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lady Liberty & Ellis Island

When my mom and sister were here we spent our 4th of July about as patriotically as may be possible - by visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!  I'd always wanted to go, but had been saving the trip to do with my sister, since it was a pilgrimage we'd discussed making together a million years ago. My Grandma Stephenson came through Ellis Island when she immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in the 1920's at just 5 years old, so it felt like a necessary homage to make the trek out there together and search for her info.

Hoping to avoid both crowds and midday heat, we booked the earliest boat of the day - bright and early 8:00am check-in time for an 8:30am launch. Ended up being a good call not because of the heat but because of rain - major thunderstorms were expected that day. But despite gloomy clouds and a menacing wind all morning, the skies didn't open up until the early afternoon, so we happened to time it perfectly!

As we approached Liberty Island, it was really interesting to hear the stories about immigrants arriving in a new country in roughly the same manner and consider the impressions they must have had upon first arriving here.  My initial thought - I expected her to be larger!  As Leigh kept saying, "isn't everything bigger in New York?!"

Our tickets included a reservation for the pedestal, so up up up we climbed until we were just under her toes. Sadly, you couldn't see her strappy sandals. (I've heard she wears a size 879 shoe. Yeow.) We did get to walk along the narrow terrace on the outer edge of the pedestal, which provided great elevated views of Manhattan.

Back inside, we explored the museum showing how she was originally created, transported overseas in pieces, reconstructed onsite and later how her inner-reinforcement was completely replaced, piece by individual piece. There were replicas of different body parts and some of the original molds, so you could see just how you measured up. There were also an overwhelming number of letters written to the lady herself, from all over the country, dating many many decades back. It seems she means many things to many people.

Sad attempt at a jumping pic. Baby C is heavy, man.


Leigh had to showed us what's up.

And then it was on to Ellis Island...

We explored the historic Baggage Room on the first floor and did a quick spin through the Peopling of America exhibit, then popped upstairs to check out the Registry Room, also known as the Great Hall, where immigrants would await processing. The space was eerily empty as we walked through it.

Finally we decided to get down to business about what we were really there for and requested directions to the (insanely difficult to find) American Family Immigration History Center, where we could look up details about Oma and her family.  Again, we were lucky to hit it at a good time because the space was totally open and we walked right up to the very first computer station.

I was shocked at how simple it was to pull up her records!  We searched by name, gender and date of birth (it allows you to search by + or - 7 years if you're not exactly sure), and BOOM up came her passenger record and ship manifest, with fun details like age, height, relationship to other travelers, address from whence the passenger came, nearest kin in former country, all sorts of interesting stuff. It was amazing to see her name RIGHT THERE alongside her mom (Martha) and baby sister (Else).

The other thing that was important for us to see was the engraving of Oma's family name on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor on the grounds just outside the museum. Again, surprisingly easy to find. After a lady in the resource center inside looked up the name and gave us a certain portion of the wall to look at, we found the Grundig Family right away. While outside we kept hearing cannon booms, and sure enough they were shooting off the cannons from Battery Park in honor of Independence Day. Very cool to see from across the water.

It was an emotional day and made me feel a lot more connected to my family's history than ever before.  Imagining ever-so-proper Grandma Edie scampering around Ellis Island as an impish five year old was such a fun thing to think about. Glad I got to visit with my mom and sister, we had a great experience together.  

Wir lieben dich, Oma!