chinese new year!

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we went to chinatown over the weekend to celebrate the new year! it’s something that has been on our new york bucket list for years so we finally made it happen.  we pretty much froze our butts off in the process (or our toes really. it’s what i get for wearing these old black boots of mine that i need to get resoled but keep putting off. the stitching on the sole of one of the shoes is pretty much undone, so anytime i stepped in a puddle of water or in snow this weekend, i’d feel it! it sounds silly, but in negative degree weather, i thought i surely had frostbite by the time we got home with my wet toes!) braving the cold was well worth it though, because we got to eat some of the best dumplings in chinatown (in our opinion) from prosperity dumpling, and witness the parade which was full of festive dragons, things the kids couldn’t get enough of!

a few photos below…

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happy chinese new year!

a weekend in the catskills!

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the weekend before last, our family spent a fun few days with friends upstate in the beautiful catskill mountains!  we had never been before, and always hear such great things about the area year round (can’t imagine how gorgeous it must be in the summer!)

homeaway, a vacation rental marketplace, had reached out to us to help celebrate their 10 year anniversary this month, and as we began going through their property listings around the country, we became really excited to try our their service!

after a bit of searching, we decided on a weekend in woodstock, new york, and found this vacation property. the home is on 8 acres of land (space! freedom!) and was big enough to fit our family of five plus friends.  there was also the most darling little treehouse in the back of the property. josh made sure to shovel our way out back so we could access it, because we have two toddler-explorers on our hands. how could we pass that up just because of snow!?

this way of vacationing, choosing a home over a hotel, is new for us.  it depends on what your trip is like and where you’re going, but we really enjoyed changing things up and having more space to cook and eat big meals together and mingle, with enough space for the kids to play and feel at home, and being right in the little town of woodstock.

we spent a day out on the ski slopes with the little ones and had one of the best diner meals ever at phoenicia diner together afterwards. we also ventured into woodstock to explore a bit (this toy store was so charming!), but it was also nice to be tucked inside cooking and eating and hanging out for the majority of our time since it snowed pretty much nonstop all weekend.

one of my favorite parts of our time was gathering around the wood burning fire place in the living room in the evenings with our friends. after the littles would go down for the night, it was relaxing to gather as just the adults to chat and eat (and maybe catch up on the bachelor!) together.  it was a welcomed break from our city living pace.

a few photos from our weekend below, as well as a quick video i made of the weekend, too!

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^^^the only way to cut onions. ^^^

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^^^LOL if we ever think we’re going to get a morning to sleep in ever again.^^^

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^^^half the group during a lunch stop for pizza in woodstock!^^^

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^^^that gorgeous treehouse in the back of the home we rented! can you even believe it? it had french doors on the back side and everything. like, i wouldn’t mind moving in.^^^

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^^^our little skiers! we spent a day on the slopes at belleayre and eleanor and samson did fantastic! it was just their second time skiing, but i think i’m going to need to get out there one of these days and learn how to stand up on my own pair of skis or something, because i have a feeling this might become a major “davis family thing,” this skiing thing, and i certainly don’t want to be left out.^^^

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^^^the diner i mentioned above! i’m really not kidding when i say it was just so good. i had stuffed french toast with a cream cheese filling and a homemade orange zest syrup with fresh berries and whipped cream.  i’m not sure any other french toast will ever compare.^^^

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^^^lots of “red light, green light,” “simon says” and “duck duck goose!” games in the evenings before bed. ^^^

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^^^on sunday, we had breakfast burritos before church and came home to make tacos after!^^^

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^^^these friends of ours are such good people.  both families that came up for the weekend live outside the city (calling connecticut and philly home) so it’s always special when we get a lot of time together.^^^

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^^^we needed a picture with this festive cute front door. obviously.^^^

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^^^and this. gathering around a fireplace inside or out, can’t be beat.^^^

this post is in partnership with homeaway.  thank you so much for having us!

nursing.

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one of the things i have loved most about these last four years as a mother, has been my experience nursing my babies! i know not everyone is able to or chooses to, and it also might not be a pleasant experience at times for many women, but for me, it’s been incredible and has made me feel very grateful, especially since others aspects of having kids hasn’t come easily.

for example, i’m not one of those lucky ladies who blinks and suddenly is pregnant, or has had birth experiences i have all loved. when someone starts talking about how “…and then i was pregnant with twins and we weren’t even trying!” or, “and then i pushed once after my water broke 5 minutes beforehand and there was my baby!” i try to make myself feel better by telling myself, “well naomi, you’re basically a milk maid, so at least you have that!” so i know it can be hard to talk about or listen to others talk about these sorts things. but acknowledging everyone has her own trials and that nursing is different for everyone, i’d love to share a few of my own experiences and things i’ve learned along the way in case they might be helpful for anyone else!

so far, all three of my babes have been breastfed. while i was still nursing eleanor and pregnant with samson, my doctor gave me the ok to continue nursing her, and so i did through samson’s entire pregnancy and then tandem nursed (breastfeed them both) once he arrived. after a break, it’s been such a fun experience for me once again nursing conrad.  i have felt this close bond with each of my children as they often look up at me while feeding, and for me and my little ones, it’s been a really great and intimate thing.  when my day can feel hectic or rushed or my little one is frantic and unconsolable, i know that stopping whatever we’re doing and taking a moment to nurse, calms and comforts us both. it’s a really special thing.

i mentioned this in my baby essentials post last fall, but i loved reading the womanly art of breastfeeding before eleanor was born. also, if you can find a le leche league in your area, they hold several types of meetings and support groups which are incredibly helpful too as you get started.

over the last few years, i’ve pretty much ditched the slings and blankets often sold that you can nurse under mainly because my kids were always pulling them off and hated being covered up. so instead, i try to always wear a really loose shirt or button down that has a lot of “give” so i can lift it up a bit and still tuck the fabric around his or her head somewhat and be modest while nursing in public. side note, i laughed SO hard the first time i saw this commercial, because that “first time mom” was so me with eleanor during her first months of life. if we were out, i felt i had to find a restroom and nurse her in a bathroom stall, because i just wasn’t comfortable with it yet and truly felt like it was the only way. it’s different for everyone, and like all things in motherhood, i don’t believe there is only one correct way to do it, but i really appreciate that here in new york city, no one even looks at you twice while you’re nursing in public.  but i also think i’ve figured out how to be pretty discrete about it, although i’m sure i’ve accidentally flashed someone somewhere once. :\

below is a quick round up of a few nursing friendly tops and dresses… they are also great options for those several months after baby arrives when you aren’t feeling totally ready to get back into your regular wardrobe and appreciate anything with a little extra room as your body adjusts to its new self (at least in my case)…

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1. tisket popover
2. color block boyfriend shirt
3. dip-dye linen tunic
4. summer winds dress
5. spot printed blouse
6. striped cowl dress
7. color block high neck tunic
8. collarless denim shirt

it can also be helpful to keep track of your feedings during the first few weeks as a new breastfeeding mama, until you and your little one find your own groove.  there are several apps that are great at tracking feedings as well as sleep and wet diapers, like this one. eventually, you’ll find a pattern or schedule that works for you.  although i prefer nursing on demand, rather than keeping to a schedule.  when i’m trying to get out the door with my little ones, i like to have everything ready to go, bag packed, coats on even, and then nurse conrad one last time as the final thing i do.

i also use nursing pads during the first few months as my milk supply and self get acquainted.  and i’m still always on the hunt for a better nursing bra option (do you have one you love?) but this bravado seamless nursing bra has been my best find so far.   and even after my pregnancy ends, i keep taking my prenatal vitamin while nursing, as my doctors have always recommended.  also, you can never drink enough water while you nurse! so keep a water bottle on you if you can.

i wanna wrap this little post up with a thought based on some of the best mama wisdom i ever got. basically, you know you, and you know your baby best. educate yourself with all the options and advice you can, but then find the way or method that works best for you and your little one, and don’t let anyone make you feel like your choice is second best. 


(ps. i’m wearing these boots in the top picture. i’m asked every time i post pics in them where they are from, so i am trying to remember to share that sort of thing at the bottom of the post more often. and yes, they are rain boots, but yes, they are very comfortable, so i tend to wear them everywhere in this city.)

new favorite apps for kids!

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a few months ago, i shared a few of our favorite educational and fun apps we’ve found that eleanor and samson really love.  like many parents, we try hard to limit screen time, but sometimes it’s helpful and it can even be downright educational. often before a trip where we’ll be on an airplane or in the car for several hours at a time, we do a new big hunt to find a few new apps that might be of interest.  we just spent a long weekend upstate in the catskills this past week (more on that soon!), so here is a roundup of some of the new apps we found and shared with them recently and on this last last trip…

vine kids
this app isn’t very educational but it will definitely deliver some hearty giggles! i go back and forth between loving and using the regular vine app, but the new vine kids is a lot of fun because the videos are kid appropriate and keep looping after 6 or 7 seconds.  there is a dog video on there where the dog runs into the camera, and samson gives out a big belly laugh every single time.

pepi doctor
one of our very favorite apps for them right now, especially since we can reference it when we’re needing to do things like brush their teeth. we’ve been playing doctor with doctor toys for years, but i think it helps their brain process why we do things like take medicine or brush our teeth since it shows them visually how it can be helpful.  the dentist portion is hands down genius, and has been incredibly helpful over here!

touch the sound
this app is helpful since it helps kids learn and recognize familiar sounds based through pictures.  it’s a favorite of samson’s. whenever he gets it right, he exclaims loudly, “i did it!”

bob books #1 – reading magic
we met a woman at the library who was using the bob books for her little four year old.  i hadn’t ever heard of them before, but her daughter was reading really well and eleanor was incredibly interested.  we also found the app, which helps them learn to read through phonics based interactive games.  it’s a great one!

toca builders
like i shared a few months ago, we really like the toca apps, and toca builders is one the kids are really into. it’s nice because it’s spacial, and we’re always amazed at how much our kids are able to do on this game because it often feels really complex. but since the game is so intuitive and simple, it’s still a lot of fun for their young minds while being challenging at the same time.

which apps do you use and love with your own children?

you can see our other favorite apps here!

kids and kale smoothies!

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i know many of you have requested josh’s green smoothie recipes over the last few months that he makes for the littles. and finally, i have my act together enough that i got one up on the blog for you!

i snapped a few pictures of the kiddos making one with him last week.  they make a green smoothie together almost every day and my kids always devour it.  i asked josh to share the recipe in his own words, so here it is!

josh says:

“I had never thought so much about food and nutrition before having kids. Seeing them eat what I eat has prompted me to think more about what goes into our bodies, since I want the absolute best for them and their little growing bodies and developing brains! And since I want to be in great shape as the years go on so I can take them out to do and share all the things I loved while growing up. Like skiing, rowing, tennis, and just playing!
So nowadays, I’m really trying to make sure I get lots of fruits and vegetables in every day, and the same goes for the kids. Keeping this goal in mind, our family has started a morning ritual to make a green smoothie together.

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Eleanor and Samson absolutely LOVE helping with each and every step. I’ll play “Simon Says” with them to help them stay on task (and not get too carried away pushing all the buttons on the blender).
They truly love their green smoothies! Putting my kids on the counter, having them put all the ingredients in, and talking to them about food has been an important part of getting them excited about it.
Here is the recipe for the green smoothie we made in these photos:
Kale Smoothie
1 banana
2-4 large kale leaves (depending on the size)
1 cup of pineapple (or about 1/5th of an entire pineapple after you remove the skin and core)
1 green apple
6 ice cubes
1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
Vitamin powder (Optional)
Protein powder (Optional)
A few notes on the ingredients:
-The riper the fruit (like the banana) the better since it makes the smoothie taste sweeter.
-Don’t forget to wash the fruit and kale leaves! I also cut out the kale stems and just use the leaves.
-A key ingredient is the unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It really helps make the smoothie the right consistency. Try adding more or less to make it thinner or thicker.
-It’s not necessary, but I like to add vitamin powder and protein powder to the smoothie just to make sure that they’re getting as much out of it as possible! Besides, getting to add the powders at the end is the kids’ favorite part….except for turning the blender on and off!”
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