Joey is huggable, lovable, soft as a down feather, loyal, agreeable, the color of light brown sugar and J's new best friend.
I'll share the story of his adoption in pictures :)
Steps To Build A Bear
1. Select the bear - its just a floppy shell of skin with no stuffing and no heart. 2. Take the shell to the stuffing station and have them fill it as loose or tight as you want. Before they sew up the back of your selection, you choose a small heart and insert inside the body of your selection. 3. Then your animal needs a "bath". Not with water, but with compressed air - this was his favorite part, you take a 'scrub brush' and remove any fuzz (aka = dirt) from his body. 4. Dress your bear - there are hundreds of outfits, accessories, shoes, etc,. to choose from. J chose a NYC Police Department uniform. 5. Fill out your adoption paperwork. 6. Pay - its not as much as you think :) 7. Take home and shower with love and affection.
Its noteworthy that since we've been back home and since Joey is sleeping with J - there have been "no visits" from the Big Brown Dog that sometimes haunts and disturbs J's sleep. Evidently, Joey keeps the Big Brown Dog away.
List 6 of your Simple Pleasures. (I did 6 because it requires too much thought to limit it to just 3). Don't sit and over analyze - just think of the first 5 things that you can that bring you pleasure.
hearing my husband whisper in my ear before I awake each morning
I counted and made notes each day. During the entire time, not counting ones that we had seen previously, we saw 29 Starbucks Coffee Shops in the city.
Other things that we saw a LOT of include:
Yellow Cabs - unless you need one really quick, then they aren't anywhere to be found Construction *new and renovation) Different colored hair Tattoos (some impressive, some disgusting, IMO) People........of all nationalities, social levels, types (I'll leave you to decipher the meaning of that word) Deli - from small hole-in-the-wall-the-food-is-to-die-for good....to corner grocery stores Pigeons (we loved this part of the trip because it was so exciting for J but plain and simple for us) Souvenir Stands that sell junk Trash Bags waiting to be picked up by city workers iPods and earphones attached to everyone's ears Cellular phones attached to the ear with earphones
Almost everything seemed exaggerated to a certain degree. There were just mounds of people and things to do and places to go.
I'm eternally thankful that we weren't swinging dead cats.
Friday morning we were to meet my friend who lives in NY at Grand Central Station at 11:30 am. Since this plan was in place, we thought it might be a good idea (?) to eat b'fast in the hotel restaurant. The prices didn't seem too high on the room service menu and being able to eat there would mean that no one would have to venture out into the streets and 'find' a place to eat breakfast. We could sign the ticket to the room and save our cash. We could go immediately and be there within a 90 second elevator ride. We wouldn't have to get all the way ready (shower, dressed, makeup, etc) and most of all - we wouldn't have to pack up the contents necessary to support 2 children under the age of 4 in NYC for hours.
Sounded like a good plan, right?
Well it sounded like a good plan but our reality was that it was not.
Why I didn't follow my gut and pay attention to the clues, I don't know.
The menu in the restaurant was limited.
They did have a few things but everything was Ala carte` and the lowest item was $4.95 (for a small cup of OJ).
The buffet was $18.95 per person.
Every single muffin, croissant, danish was hard as a rock.
You couldn't get bacon, sausage or canadian bacon off the menu - only on buffet.
Waiter turned his nose up to us when he saw that we had small children.
Took same waiter over 10 minutes to bring up juice and our first cup of coffee (they were not that busy).
Coffee was so bitter and strong that I couldn't even drink it.
We never did get any cream to go in our liquid dirt.
There were 3 selections of fruit on the fruit bar and none of them were ripe yet (bananas were green).
The expiration dates on the yogurt had passed 3 days previously.
They sat us directly beside the kitchen door as well as the short order station.
One person in our party ordered ala carte' and two of us ate off the buffet. The kids were free but there was nothing for them to eat so that was hardly a bonus for us.
The eggs were absolutely scrumptious! They tasted with a hint of cream but I couldn't tell what (if anything) had been added to make them taste so heavenly. I watched the short order cook and became increasingly impressed with his technique and ability to manage everything that he did. I grew up in Food&Beverage and did short order for a while and this guy knew his stuff.
Were the eggs worth $19? I don't think so.
Breakfast cost us $53 and they added the gratuity penalty to the check (Yes, I checked to see if this was done before I added more). I supposed that they had to do this to cover for the poor service that the wait staff provided; otherwise, they may not have made any tips at all.
Valuable lesson learned. We joked that we had eaten breakfast at Tiffany's and missed out on the $50 little aqua/white rope handled bag.
I'm never quite sure what three year olds will pick up and repeat so we try to be careful about what we say. I pay attention to what he watches, is exposed to and how he is treated.
I knew that this trip would be akin to "over exposure" but I sitll wanted him to experience as much as possible and have a good time.
This particular story comes on our way home from the airport. (Obviously we aren't going in order of occurence here)
We were switching drivers (I had been driving and now A was going to drive since Baby K was getting fussy). I pulled over on the emergency lane to the entrance ramp of I-75. It was almost dark and when we were doing a chinese redlight switch, we (me and A) heard a rustling in the bushes about 20 feet away. I had no idea what that sound was but it frightened us and I shouted to A as I pressed the automatic door close on our van, "GO!" and she replied, "Hold On".
About 30 seconds passed and I heard J say in a commanding voice, "Please Hold On, This Train is Stopping." At first, I wasn't sure that I had heard exactly those words and then realized that I had....then I laughed.
The next time he said it, which was about 15 seconds later, we all caught it and began to laugh. This inspired him further and for the next 10 miles, we listened to him repeating over and over, "Please Hold On, This Train is Stopping".
He's gotten a lot of mileage off this funny since we've been home. He will say it now out of the blue just to get the laughs and attention that it invites. We still chuckle occasionally and marvel at how cool it all is.
These were the words that came over the loud speaker in Hartfield/Jackson aiport inside the tramcar that transports passengers underground between the different concourses. They sounded every time it stopped or started - which was about every 90 seconds.
What's so special and cool about this?
We all thought J was asleep in the stroller the whole time.