I know that it’s been fall for a good amount of time but I feel like we’ve just started to feel those effects on my part of town. The leaves are finally starting to change colors and most days you can feel a chilly breeze that makes you break out the warm jackets and cozy sweaters. But my ultimate bucket wish list? Apple picking. From day one, I’ve told Łukasz that I’ve been on the east coast for such a long time and I’ve yet to experience a real east coast fall: you know, going to see the leaves change, pumpkin patching, apple picking, all the good stuff. Maybe finish the night with a big old mug of apple cider or mulled wine. Now that Petra’s 17 months, there’s nothing she loves more than having the space to explore without worrying about where she could be going. This was obviously a no-brainer of a weekend.
When at the apple orchards, eat lots of apple cider donuts! Petra gobbled these up. We went to Barton Orchards in Poughkeepsie, NY which is about two hours away from NYC. It was an amazing scenic drive. Honestly those changing leaves is what made me fall in love with the east coast and what makes me hesitate when we even think about leaving.
Petra fell in love with this wagon. She immediately wanted to help and pull our cargo but of course she instantly regretted it. It’s not light! I think she ended up enjoying the ride more so she could sit and eat apples and donuts. Łukasz and I would hand her apples and she would put them in our half bushel bag. So helpful!
And of course, sneak bites. It was a day full of apple snacking which I’m definitely not mad about. Healthy snacking is a plus.
On our way back we stopped by the petting zoo and Petra pet all the donkeys. They’re so sweet! Like big puppies, they just wanted to be scratched behind the ears.
I definitely recommend these Orchards. We happened to visit on a Monday so the grounds were rather empty and the cool attractions and restaurants were closed but I’m ok with it if we are able to avoid these crowds! The Orchards full up on the weekends, people get there at 9am. Aside from Orchards they grow their own veggies and fruits and they even have a tap room on site for some refreshing adult beverages. I literally can’t wait to come back here with Petra and Łukasz next year!
This past Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do: I ran a half marathon. I know that a few posts back I explained how I would train pretty consistently but that didn’t happen. I got sick halfway through the month of April with a pretty bad cold that turned into a sinus infection. Then Petra got sick and most of my time running was taken up by taking care of my baby girl. I spent the week leading up to the race running but also not trying to overly exhaust myself because I knew I’d need the energy for Saturday. My long run was 6 miles easy. Like super easy. I told myself 13 miles would be fine.
My diet was a little bit healthier and I focused on eliminating carbs, despite everyone telling me I’d need them for energy. I’ve just always felt bloated when I eat pasta and I didn’t want to chance it on race day. Someone mentioned that I might have a gluten intolerance and I’ll definitely look into it at some point. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and chicken breast and veggies and it has honestly helped me feed Petra a healthy diet too knowing we’re basically eating the same healthy food.
On Saturday, I was pretty nervous and I only had a banana for breakfast but I felt pretty energized. When I got to the race, I ate one of those energy gels (which are terrible) because I started to have doubts about the fact that I probably didn’t consume enough calories to sustain my energy for thirteen miles. I packed a few gels at 100 calories each on my belt so I could quickly reach for them during my run if I needed them, which I did in the end.
The actual race itself wasn’t terrible. It’s funny because I felt like my body just went into auto pilot after a while and I feel like if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to start running again so I just ran. It was my most Forrest Gump moment. I ate a gel pack at around mile 6 and my knees started to hurt around mile 9 which wasn’t a great sign. I did start feeling a little tired but I tried to fill my body with empty calories at the water station and I chugged Gatorade instead of water. I’m not one to run with music but during that last mile, my only thought was seeing Lukasz and Petra at the finish line. It really helped me run faster to get home. My time was 2 hours and 17 minutes.
I will admit, I thought I’d do better but who am I kidding? I wasnt fully prepared for this so I feel like I did decently, trying to maintain a 10 minute mile pace. Overall, Id do it again. It was fun challenging my body this way. I went out for food and a glass of wine after with my family and Tatiana and Todd but honestly, I think next time, I need to stay home. My body needed all of Saturday to recover and the next day, my legs and muscles were surprisingly okay but my abs were killing me (six pack trying to peek through?). Lukasz and I said we’d run another half in the fall so we’ll see!
It finally happened, my 28th birthday came and went. I don’t feel 28, I don’t feel older than, like, 21. Are there people out there that feel that way too? Just a perpetual child in a body that’s growing older? I don’t mind getting older either. They say you’re supposed to be wiser too.
I had a really good day! Originally, Lukasz and I had planned to take Petra on her first camping trip but our plans fell through when we realized it would be raining all weekend at Lake George. Breastfeeding a two-month old baby in a two-person tent because of thunder and rain? Pass. Luckily, we live in the greatest city in the world so theres always something to do. That’s actually one of the things I’m really excited to explore with Little Petra: just how much this city has to offer in terms of entertainment and food and culture and just everything. We decided to hit up the Museum of Natural History and maybe go some place for dinner after on the Upper West Side. And Tatiana and Todd had the day off, so it was basically a party. 🙂
But here’s the thing, have you ever spent a whole day out with a 2 month old? After getting on the second train to take us uptown, Petra decided that some more milk was in order and it could not wait. So after a pit stop in Central Park for a quick lunch for our baby girl (read: Breastfeeding in the park), we were back on track headed towards the museum. Here’s a pro-tip: Never do anything in NYC on the weekends. Kidding! But not really. I kind of forget how crowded everything is on the weekends and the museum was no exception. Petra slept a little bit and we wandered the exhibits. I always forget how big that place is going in. There was so much to see and so many floors and so little time and so many people.
And for dinner, we hit up Jacobs Pickles. It was our first time trying it and it was AMAZING. Everything, their pickles and biscuits and fries, etc was super delicious. We even got lucky and sat outside and they accommodated the stroller next to us. I’m definitely keeping this place in mind for future dinners because it was kid-friendly and the food was great. That’s one of the things I love about the Upper West Side, how family friendly the neighborhood is.
Half of these pictures were courtesy of Tatiana. I could have sworn I got more but I guess I was too busy having fun, haha. All in all, taking Petra out for a full day was a little scary to think about but everything turned out great. When we got home, we were exhausted and sleepy and happy. It was honestly the best low-key way to spend my birthday and I loved every second with my little family and friends. What a great way to start Year 28!
After days of wondering if all of this storm talk was nothing but nonsense, Winter Storm Jonas finally settled itself in New York City. Of course that didn’t stop us from bundling up and exploring good ‘ol Willyburg. I lasted about a block before I ran back inside. Lukasz strapped on some cross country skiis and made it to the park with Pierrot by his side.
The snow is still coming down, despite a 10 inch snowfall already. Weather reports are predicting a couple of inches every hour until midnight! I hope everyone stays safe and warm inside. ❤️
When we first found out we were going to have a baby, we weren’t really worried when it came to our living space. Lukasz and I live really comfortably in a cute one bedroom apartment in Williamsburg. By New York standards, it was actually a giant space. Despite how big the space is, we still have a lot of “stuff” that we had just accumulated over time. I wouldn’t call us hoarders but is there a nicer way to put it?
By the time I got around to my 6th month of my pregnancy, the state of our apartment was driving me CRAZY (Hi, nesting phase!). My parents had already sent us a crib so we had to figure out, finally, where to put it and the new baby stuff mixed with Lukasz’ outdoor gear really had me thinking we had to re-do this entire apartment before baby’s arrival just a short 3 months away. So we sat down and got busy.
That was 2 weeks ago! …And we’re still not done. It’s been such giant effort on both of our parts to really go digging through our things and ask ourselves “If I haven’t used this in the past year, is it necessary to keep?” We have garbage bags full and really to be thrown out, piles of just…things really to be donated or sold on eBay, and that is basically just our bedroom area.
But I will say: this project has really got me started on creative solutions when it comes to storage in our apartment. Like this bed frame I found on Overstock.com. I didn’t even know such a bed existed! I was also extremely inspired reading this blog post on A Cup of Jo blog about Erin Boyle, a blogger also living in Brooklyn raising her 19 month old daughter in a one-bedroom. Her aesthetic has me dreaming of the potential of our own little apartment.
Time to get back to decluttering and re-arranging but I hope to share pictures of our little home soon.
(Photo of Photos of Erin Boyle’s bedroom via A Cup of Jo.)
Sometimes we go out for lunch. We work in the Upper West Side so food options are aplenty but today we chose to be tourists. I don’t know how the idea came about (ok, it was me, I brought it up) but we decided to go to Gray’s Papaya Hot Dogs. Their “recession special” is only $5 and it includes two hot dogs and a drink. How fancy are we? 😉
But really, my favorite part is just walking around the upper west side. It’s so nice and calm and much more family-oriented than other parts of the city. A couple of days ago, I hung out with my friend, Rick, and we walked past the Museum of Natural History and I was reminded that I definitely need to take a trip there soon. I think one of the best parts of living in New York is that you can live here your whole life but there’s always something new to discover.