Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Best Naptime in Town: Citygarden

If you followed Craves, Caves, & Graves, you may remember my Scenes From Citygarden series, which is still one of my personal favorites, because that ended up being such a transformative year for me. I no longer work downtown, but I still like to get to Citygarden regularly. Sit me next to a fountain or waterfall and the whole day will be sucked away. Lilly must agree, because we spent the afternoon there today, and she was out like a light as soon as I sat down next to the splash pad fountains.

Citygarden is probably one of the best mom hangouts in the city, especially in the summer when the pools are open and the kids can play in the water. In the fall it is quieter, but you can get some fresh air while the baby naps, let the bigger kids run around, get a snack from food trucks at lunch time, or get a delicious tuxedo latte made with Kaldi's coffee at Six North Cafe at Peabody Plaza (honestly, this is 95% of the reason I go down to Citygarden). It's the perfect place for sitting under a tree and relaxing.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Newsletter: Month Two

Yesterday you turned two months old and I can't believe how much things have changed! You continue to be an excellent baby and we had many adventures this month!

I started off "babywearing" for the sake of convenience, because I find it much easier than a stroller most of the time. It also allows me to work during the day while you nap (and meet up with friends at the winery).  Dad started working at home a couple weeks ago and I started babywearing full time, and what a difference it has made! You sleep much better, are not fussy in the evenings, and naturally assumed a predictable schedule with a normal bedtime. Last week you started sleeping 5+ hours at night and can even put yourself to sleep in your bed. After 4 months of waking up every two hours, this feels like the most restful week of my life, but I still love to hold you for an hour after your early morning feeding.

Memorable Moments:
You started smiling at us and love big noisy smooches on your feet.
You may love the octopus on your Baby Einstein bouncer more than us.
We went to the Zoo for the first time (mainly for mom to walk around).
We went to the Museum of Transportation (again, for mom to walk around).
We went to the top of the Arch at night!
We saw the St Louis Symphony's annual performance on Art Hill
We went to Washington, MO and spent the afternoon on John G's Bier Deck (and Month Three will include more of the same).
We went to Aerie Winery for Val's birthday and met lots of friends. Two months old and you've already been to Grafton twice!
We started Disney Movie Family Night.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dr & Mrs Morton Update the Family Portrait

Francis and I have always said yes to literally ever souvenir photo presented to us, probably to the surprise of many photographers. There is no question or debate. Yes, we will buy the photo. We buy Memory Maker with every Disney Vacation, and we used it to announce we were expecting a baby. We bought the photo with the sea lions. Wax Museum? I think you mean photo opportunity. So when it came time for family photos, we accepted the Bella Baby session from the hospital, and then we set out to add Lilly to our souvenir photo collection. Taking her up to the top of the Arch was #1, but for our first family portrait, only a tintype would do. Luckily, we have The Tintypery on Main Street in St Charles.

When we had a tintype made at Silver Dollar City years ago, Francis made up "Dr Morton", the original owner of our 130 year old house in Carondelet, and jokingly tried to pass off the "remarkable resemblance." The real original owner of our house was a German immigrant and real estate agent, but that is neither here nor there. The Dr Morton family announces a new addition! Schedule a photo with Santa Claus for your imaginary historic family today!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Relax in Washington, MO!

Oh man, we fell HARD for Washington this weekend. We'd only been there once before, late in the fall when it was chilly and we were out hunting the last of the STL250 Cakes. We had breakfast at Cowan's and then moved on to some other "outlying" cakes that day. This past Saturday, we had our first weekend where we were ready to travel a bit with the baby and Francis didn't have any Army obligations. We spent the entire week debating where to go - Washington, Hannibal, Hermann, Jefferson City? We thought about taking the train, but Amtrak is really just to expensive for a day trip. Blog reader Yvonne H. laid out a case for Washington and we liked her itinerary, so off we went!

Our first stop was Cowan's, once again. Francis finds their food to be "just ok" but I love this place. The crucial difference, I think, is that breakfast is my favorite food group and nothing makes me happier than "breakfast served all day". Francis will always order a chicken sandwich if it's after 11am. The Cowan Scramble gets two thumbs up from me! We also had fried cheese curds and split a piece of french silk pie.

After brunching, we walked down to the riverfront park and Waterworks Antiques. I'd love to learn more about this building! I get that it was a waterworks, obviously, but it looks like people lived on the second floor, and I want to know how the lower levels functioned. The riverfront park is really nice, and I wish we had something as nice near our house. Great spot for a picnic or just reading a book all afternoon! And if you are a boater, there is a big parking lot and boat launch here.

After feeding the baby at the park, we walked back up to John G's Bier Deck, and this is where we started looking up Washington real estate on our phones. The deck overlooks the river and they have two levels of shady seating and an outdoor bar, and the NICEST outdoor bar restrooms I've ever seen my life. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. They have a bocce court, as well, and there was a large birthday party there with the moms drinking wine, the dads playing bocce, and the kids were so chill I couldn't even tell you what they were doing. Lilly had her first biergarten nap and was very popular with everyone. Everyone was so friendly and we want to go there every weekend now, the end.

(For those on mobile devices who can't view the Picasa slideshow, I'm including the photos at the end now.)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Anniversary at the Top of the Gateway Arch

This photo was taken at 9pm

Can you take your baby to the top of the Gateway Arch? I don't know about your baby, but for my baby the answer is yes. Longtime fans of our old blog, Craves, Caves, & Graves will remember that Francis and I were married at the top. Every year on our anniversary, we go back to get our souvenir photo at the bottom, and a picture at the top. This year, we still wanted to get the photo, but we didn't want to take a little baby when it was crowded, which was as much for her sake as for everyone else in case it turned out to be a bad plan. After we were married, we shared the elevator down with a baby having a meltdown, and I know that mom was anxious about it. So we went a week early, while summer hours are still in effect.

The baby fell asleep in the elevator on the way up, and didn't wake up until we put her back in the car seat (at which point she had an epic meltdown because she sees being removed from the sling as a betrayal). I would not attempt this any other way besides some sort of wearable carrier. I have no idea what you do with a stroller at the Arch. There were only two other people at the top when we were up there, which is typical of my limited experience. Not many people know it is open until 10pm in the summer!

HOT TIP: The Arch grounds and museum are being renovated right now and it is a MESS. The riverfront is inaccessible and the garage is gone. If you go at night this weekend (you have until Labor Day to take advantage of evening hours), park in the Old Cathedral parking lot. During the day, if they have services, they will tow.