Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hot Mama's

Uh, maybe don't drink the water in Northeast Arkansas....

Former next door neighbor Amy Elder & Heather
Cousins Kaitlin Morgan Rau & Heather
Heather and little brother Jim - just kidding! :)
It's a baby boom!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Since we weren't going to have a chance of seeing the white stuff for the holidays this year while in Missouri, Phyllis brought a white Christmas indoors!


Check out her $10 white Christmas tree she snagged during the post-holiday sales last year!  Unfortunately, she had to buy all new lights for the tree that had white cords, rather than green.  The new lights blended in nicely with some of the Flanigan favorite ornaments.

The Flanigans, circa 1997
Mason Jar Glass ornament from FDR Presidential Library
Obligatory Razorback red
Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary Phyllis & Mr. Ed
The Flanigans, circa 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Take Me Home, Country Roads

After our sight-seeing adventure in Montreal, we crossed the border and dropped our friend Andy Whitaker off at the Burlington, VT airport for his ride back South.  It was our first visit to Burlington, which is only 45 minutes from the Canadian border.  With a population of 42,417 it's actually the largest city in the state!

There's something about the countryside of Vermont and we saw plenty of it on our 3 hour dive back to Clifton Park...





...can't you just smell the fresh air?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Front Row at our First Protest

The best part about visiting other places is experiencing the food, the people and the culture there.  But sometimes you can get a bit closer than you intended...which is exactly what happened to us during a quick getaway to Montreal.

After a day of playing tourists, Brett, Heather & Andy walked out of La Ville Souterraine (Montreal's Underground City & coincidentally, the largest underground complex in the world) and right into a protest!

Honestly, when we first heard the drummers we thought it was a parade, but then realized that traffic in all directions was at a standstill.  Our next assumption was that it was the Occupy Montreal movement...after all,  Brett's Halloween costume had left us with little drummer boy memories.

This is what we ended up being smack in the middle of on de Lorimier Avenue:





After a little investigating, we discovered the protesters were Congolese Montrealers who started their demonstration on the nearby Jacques Cartier Bridge.  The protest was a spontaneous reaction to the announcement of election results in the Democratic Republic of Congo and caught local authorities off guard.  (Congo's incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, won 49% of the vote, versus 32% for veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi)

We watched for about 30 minutes and then found seats a little farther away from the front row after the riot police marched up.  While we didn't stick around to see how it went down (hey, we were hungry!) we did see the aftermath of the traffic snarl for miles.  Sucked to be those folks, y'all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Handy Andy to the Rescue

Living far away from friends and family can be tough, but it's great when folks come to visit!  We love showing off New York and treating ourselves our guests to Italian bakery cuisine. 

Our pal Andy Whitaker currently holds the record for most visits to New York-he says he has a thing for the cannoli.  During his last visit Upstate he voluntarily rolled up his sleeves to put together Chickadee's new crib! 




And when we write voluntarily, we mean as in Heather & Brett went to bed and woke up with a completely assembled crib! 
 

God bless our 'Handy Andy' y'all!  Now Chickadee won't have to sleep in the dresser drawer...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who's that Mystery Guest Reader?

Speaking to Mrs. Kienzle's 2nd Grade Class
When a room mother at the All Saints Academy in Albany stumbled across Heather's blog on albany.com, she was looking for a guest speaker to talk to a classroom of 2nd graders.

The students regularly have "Mystery Readers" come read books to them and talk about their jobs and what they do.  It's a great way to expose kids to different occupations and to include the community in their education.

Of course, Heather was hooked the moment she got the invitation!  All she had to do was show up and bring a book...but since we don't have a lot of reading materials (yet) for small children, Heather was super thankful when her mother-in-law (and former kindergarten teacher) Taryn helped her pick out a couple of books.

Armed with Officer Buckley and Gloria, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, I See Santa Everywhere and The Dog Who Saved Christmas, Heather faced her toughest live audience yet!



Thankfully, the kids were excited to listen to the stories and polite enough to not ask why Heather looked like a beached whale (thanks to Chickadee).  

They asked lots of questions about blogging and reporting and had plenty of stories to share with Heather about their own travels.  Unfortunately, none had ever traveled to Arkansas, Missouri or Mississippi...but one smart little girl could proudly spell "Mississippi"...which is more than Heather could say at that age!



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pregnancy Pics...It's All About the Belly!

We just got the proofs back from our pregnancy photo shoot (thank you to Brett's sister Dana for an awesome Christmas present!)  The pictures were taken by Dana's babysitter Chris Marsh who also doubles as a photographer...talk about the best of both worlds!.  Photoplay Photography is responsible for some of the best pictures we've seen of our nephews Walter Mack and Hudson, so we knew we were in good hands!

Here's a peek at our pics:






Not too shabby, huh?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stylin' & Profilin'

Gotta say, Chickadee and Brett are going to be looking sharp next year in their matching ensembles!  Check out their new outfits, courtesy of our Charlotte based Santa & Mrs. Claus (aka Dean & Taryn)...



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baby Lessons

With Chickadee coming soon, we figured it might be time to learn something about babies.  Thankfully, Brett's sister Dana has two and let us practice on them while we were visiting over the Thanksgiving break.

The Jordan Boys
Two-year-old Walter Mack is a wild man.  The kid is completely outgoing, supernaturally ENERGETIC and has the voice of a parrot...so watch what you say.  He recently got into troubs for saying 'crapola'.  WM loves to play 'ball' and his newest trick is trying to tackle you.  (That's what happens when your dad is a coach).

His little brother Hudson is the most calm, chill and easy going five-month-old baby we've ever seen.  Like the child doesn't even really cry.  And he makes funny prehistoric dinosaur noises, which are quiet entertaining.  We're pretty sure that with our genetic makeup, Chickadee will not be like this.

Over the Thanksgiving break we got a few parenting lessons:

1.  Don't naturally assume that the pictures on the diaper go in the front.  Considering both of us put the diapers on backwards, we'd like to issue a complaint to Huggies for tricking us.  Why put pictures on the back of a diaper?? How does the kid enjoy that, huh??  Stupid diaper art.






2.  Babies are messy eaters.  And they like bright colored gross stuff.  Like puree sweet potatoes.  And you shouldn't accidentally cuss when you miss their mouths and hit them in the face with it. Because you never know what little parrot is flying around and might repeat you.




3.  Apparently, kids are not camera ready.  Heather is notorious for spotting a camera a mile away and is always ready with her go-to smile.  She's taught Brett the same trick and over the years, he's become a pretty good picture poser.  Babies, however, will look EVERYWHERE but at the person snapping the picture.






4.  Bottles make babies happy.  So happy they throw up sometimes.  Can't say the same hasn't happened to us a time or two, though.


5.  Who knew that straws and spoons were such amazing play things at the restaurant table?  Also, you should steer grabbing hands away from knives and fork and generally any other sharp objects.



And they say raising a child is hard...pu-lease, we've totally got this covered y'all!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spooky Shopping

Having recently hit a huge sale at the Baby Gap outlet in Vermont, we decided to see if lightening could indeed strike twice.  The upside to living in upstate New York is that there are several outlets within an hour's drive of our house.  A few months ago Brett stumbled upon a Gap outlet nestled inside a regular mall.  We're not sure why, but we're not going to argue...plus it's only 16 miles from our house!

The Rotterdam Square Mall in Schenectady has probably seen better days, but offers TJ Maxx, Sears and K-Mart as it's anchor stores.  The Gap outlet proved to be another bargain bin and we walked away with some good deals (look for them on eBay soon!).  What we didn't realize was that we walked out the wrong door to get back to the car.

And you won't believe what we saw:


A freaking graveyard!  At first we thought it might have been leftover Halloween decorations, but upon closer inspection, it was the real thing.  



Heather did some digging and came up with the mall's history.  Apparently, the mall sits on the site once owned by the Vedder family.  Harman Albertse Vedder bought the land in 1672 and built a home on it.  Around 1832, Harmens' great grandson Johannes sold the property to Colonel Daniel David Schermerhorn Campbell.  Campbell promptly built a 26 bedroom mansion on the land...no word on if that was the original structure of the mall or not though.


 Geez...didn't any of these people ever see Poltergeist?


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Walter Mack & Hudson's News Debut

As former newsies, Heather & Brett had to appreciate this little video Brett's sister Dana emailed us.  Looks like our nephews, Walter Mack and Hudson, are dipping their toes into the business!  (Hang in there until around the 1:50 mark to catch it)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And the UPrinting Giveaway Winner Is...

With the help of Random.org and UPrinting.com, it's our pleasure to announce a big ol' congratulations to 

Stephanie B.! 

Just for reading I Heart NY Y'all, Stephanie has won the very first giveaway from UPrinting on our blog!  Stephanie wins a free 16" x 20" rolled canvas print and one business day turnaround free shipping!


Special thanks to UPrinting for sponsoring this giveaway - thanks y'all!