Posts Tagged Hoboken

Ooooh Scarrrry!

“Oooh scarrrry, mama!” and “punkins!” were just some of the fun phrases and words Jack loved to yell as we walked down the Halloween-decorated streets of Hoboken. Almost every brownstone on every block had a “punkin” or ghost or scary creature, perhaps influenced by the enthusiastic kids that live there.
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We, of course, don’t own our building so we don’t decorate the outside. But I tell ya, we’ve enjoyed the Halloween fun all around us. This past Saturday was no exception!

I was so excited that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, particularly because I knew Jeff would be able to participate in all the festivities. On a normal day, he doesn’t get home until 8, or thereafter. So, a full day of parades, costumes and trick or treating was a perfect way to enjoy Halloween.

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At only 2 years old, our kid has not only begun flaunting his hysterical little (or should I say very big) personality! But beyond that, he has become so opinionated as well. He has has favorite shows, toys and books, but only a few of which that I can totally endorse. Most shows are annoying to me, given he loves the music/dancing aspects the best. But Yo Gabba Gabba, hands down, is a show that the 3 of us have grown to love.

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We bought the soundtrack last spring from iTunes and practically have it on repeat for all of our drives to Va.–it’s that awesome. No, really, it is. The Roots, Ting Tings and Biz Markie have a new found appreciation from me.

It was no question really what Jack was going to be for Halloween. When we first got some catalogs that had costumes, I let him flip through them. He’d name the animals, but just didn’t seem interest. But when I found some YGG costumes online, it was love…

And so, our boy was Plex the Magic Robot from YGG for Halloween. As much as I would’ve loved to make his costume myself, a homemade costume of a robot is a bit too complex for a toddler. I’m sooo glad we opted to buy his costume. It’s been such a hit!

Since Halloween fell on Saturday, I wanted to do a little something for Jeff and me. People go ALL OUT around here, but knowing how much Jeff hates Halloween, I knew I could only coerce him to do so much. So, I made some sweatshirts to look like other characters from YGG. I was Foofa, the pink blob or whatever she is and Jeff was Muno, the one-eyed monster.

We all suited up on Saturday morning and hit the streets to line up for the parade. It’s always so much fun to see the whole town—parents, grandparents, kids—to get so excited about costumes and dressing up. We saw so many fun costumes, including a few DJ Lances, more Foofas and a Plex or two.
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Jack rode in his tricycle and loved laughing and giggling at all the cool kiddie costumes we saw along the way. He absolutely loved seeing the dogs dressed up in costumes as well. Oh, it was just so much fun! I personally think all towns should have Halloween parades!
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The parade ended at the baseball field where there was a costume contest. Jack had no interest in the costume contest (which was so out of our league) but he did feel the need to run across the field that was blocked off. Oy!

We didn’t stay for the costume contest and so, we went to Washington St. (the main drag) to trick or treat at all the store fronts with all the other kids. Wow! It was the most crowded I’ve seen in a long time. I’m assuming people from neighboring towns came down to enjoy the festivities as well. We hit a few blocks of stores and then decided it was nappy nap time and headed home.

Once we were all refreshed from our naps, it was time for round 2! After the sun went down, we hit a few neighboring streets of private brownstone homes (read: the awesome houses). These streets, just a few blocks away from us, go all out and hand out candy to all the kids. It’s always fun to see the older couples and young professionals hand out candy, and to interact with our neighbors in general.

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I was most surprised when a few houses handed out whole candy bars to the kids. Full size Nestle bars…to hundreds of kids! It’s all in good fun, but I was so amazed! Jack did a wonderful job and held his bag himself, and even said “Treeeeaat!” a few times. Guess he couldn’t be bothered with the “Trick” part.

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He loved going house to house, admiring all the pumpkins and scarrrrry decorations. Though, if there was a scary person all dressed up, oh no, all bets were off. He was brave for the most part and would laugh after he realized the costumes were fake, but that was after daddy would have to pick him up :) We came to one house that had a scary cat and strobe light that he wanted nothing to do with…but it was the house that had a man dressed up as Batman that did it in for him.

It was such a fun day and a perfect age for us to enjoy. I’m so going to miss the fun traditions we’ve made here, but truly hope that whatever town we move to exceeds our fun standards. Actually, our fun standard should be the deciding factor! It would only make sense.

I’m so looking forward to the next holiday’s “punkins” and “ooh scarrrry, mama!” But for now, I’m totally enjoying Jack dressing up in his Plex costume every day…what a great investment!

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Restaurants are no place for your outside voice

It’s Friday already?  Where has the week gone?  All in all, my birthday week, just like the day itself, was quiet (far from peaceful) and super-productive.  Even though it’s mainly the boys and me everyday, I am so glad I was wrong about friends and family “forgetting” me.

My entire family called me on Tuesday.  My brothers, most certainly coerced by my parents, BOTH called me before noon.  Not text, not FB message, but physically called me—like on the phone!

That, my friends, was huge.

Even though I’m sure they were reminded by my parents and by Facebook, I have to say, I was quite touched by that.  My phone’s caller id rarely sees their numbers as “incoming.”  So, a big thank you to the family for helping me divert the whole woe-is-me-everyone-forgot-me drama a la Molly Ringwald.

Birthdays, though not as spectacular anymore, are wonderful reminders of how much you’re truly loved, no matter how busy you’ve been or how far you live.

Thank you for loving me so much, family and friends.

**

The boys and I had dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants—the kind where you bring your own booze and they happily swirl and swish your cheapish wine to make Sangria.  It was just as divine as the guacamole they made at the table.  (My guac is never as good as theirs! I need to get one of their 10-lb. mortar and pestles just to recreate that deliciousness!)

Jack was well behaved, which was a treat in of itself.  He chowed on tortillas and close to a pound of sour cream—no lie.  And that right there, is proof that our child, as of late, is on a strict condiment and fruit binge. Only. Not necessarily together, though he’s known to experiment with apples in ranch.  (barf)

As for us, our dinners were nice, but we were completely annoyed by the very loud outside talker who sat next to us.  Mind you, the local restaurants are quaint and tables literally have 1.5 inches in between them to maximize space.  So basically, we sit ON TOP of each other, like butt-to-butt with the next table.  Well, almost.  So, when this 6-top of babyfaced 20-somethings sat next to us, from my peripheral vision, I could see the horror from Jeff’s face, complete with his signature subtle headshake.

And the girl, (who graduated from Penn and who was apparently in advertising, but was interviewing for a new job and her aunt works at Wegman’s and who hung out at this bar downtown last Friday…) did NOT stop talking.  AT ALL.  She laced her one-sided conversation to the 5 other kids with a lot of Ohmigawds and F-bombs, just loud enough so our sponge of a toddler could pad his vocabulary with obscenities, in between shoveling the sour cream of course.

I looked at Jeff and asked, “Were we ever that annoying?”

He reinforced the unfortunate truth:  “Oh, completely.  Probably even more obnoxious and annoying.”

But, all I could think was, “God, these kids suck for being so damn loud.”

If I had one, I’m sure I’d be screaming for them to get off my lawn, too.

And that is the day I became a grumpy old lady.  And to think, the Sangria took the edge off!?

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Oh baby

…parade, that is…as in baby parade.

First things first:  I feel like any time I say “baby, “or show interest in someone else’s baby or even think baby…well, you know how it goes.  So here’s my gentle disclaimer:  this is about a baby parade.  Not new babies, just a baby parade :)

The highlight of our weekend, well to me anyway, was The Hoboken Baby Parade. The Hoboken Baby Parade is a 100 year old tradition in town. In the olden days, people paraded their babies around and at the end, pediatricians would provide basic medical care for the kids.
In modern days, we parade our kids around town in our overpriced, overdecorated strollers for fun. Ridiculous? Maybe. The best part was that it was a fun way to interact with the community and a great way to observe a local tradition.
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And oh yeah, an excuse to break in the kiddie pirate gear. We tried so hard to teach Jack important piratey jargon like, “Arrrrrgh.”  But Arrrrrrgh translated into Raaaaaaarrrr!  So Jack went around roaring with his pirate flag and inflatable sword with the ferocity of a dinosaur.

But luckily, he was in good company—not the roaring, but the swashbuckling around town.  We met a nice family who also happened to be a mixed family with an Asian mom and white dad, but they had two boys probably a year or two older than Jack.  The boys were dressed head-to-toe in pirate gear.  One boy had the coolest rainboots that I so want to find!  Anyway, when they saw Jack’s pirate flag and gear, it became this instantaneous kiddie pirate camaraderie in the middle of the busy sidewalk.

Pirate on the Hudson

Arrrgh!  What a fun time!

So cute, so fun…makes me never want to leave this town.  But then again, the thought of what’s upon the horizon might not be so bad after all.

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Snow day

Happy Friday, all.  I’m antsy today because they’re calling for a “substantial” amount of snow in our area today/tonight. Like a big kid, I stayed up late because I was so excited.  And like clockwork, I got up early–to the tune of 5am–not by choice!  From what the news was saying, it sounds like we could get a lot of snow or not much at all.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Normally, I’d be moaning about having to commute in it, but I’m actually anxious for the first time in a long time!  If we do, indeed, get snow Jack and I will strap on our snow boots and play with the other kids in the park!  I looove snow days! They’re even talking about a White Christmas in the tri-state area!  It’s definitely starting to look a lot like, well, Christmas!  Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away?  How did that happen?

Those of you that have to travel in this weather, be safe.

snowy street

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