Posts Tagged ‘meet the hazards’

To celebrate L’s 6th birthday, her grandmother decided to treat the family to lunch at the American Girl Café. If you have a little one over five, you can imagine the excitement surrounding this visit. However, I was apprehensive. Would the store be a tourist trap, and would a birthday celebration be worth the expense? One look at my daughter’s face when we arrived, I knew grandma made the right choice.

Outside American Girl Doll Place. L’s enthusiasm is contagious.

Like Disney, it’s hard not to feel like a kid again at American Girl Place. There are unique dolls, clothing, and cute accessories everywhere you look. On the second floor, we discovered a department featuring dolls from different eras, as well as McKenna, the 2012 American Girl Doll of the year. There’s also a section for shoes, which my daughter loved (hmm… I wonder who she takes after), plus a hair salon, sweet shop, and doll hospital.

L. discovers the shoe section.

We could have continued shopping, but it was time for L’s birthday lunch. The third floor café looks like something out of Eloise. The striped wallpaper is black and white, and the accents in the room are bright pink.

After a short wait, we were escorted to our table and L’s doll, Kit, was given a special chair. Once we were seated, the waitress delivered warm cinnamon rolls and a drink menu. L. ordered pink lemonade, and the adults indulged in peach Bellinis and strawberry Cosmos.

L. adjusts her birthday crown with Kit at her side.

Aunt C. toasts her niece (and shows off her drink).

Lunch was surprisingly good. L. chose a plain cheese pizza, but the rest of us enjoyed generous salads and sandwiches. Dessert was the most exciting part of our meal. L. was thrilled when the waitress presented her with a beautiful little birthday cake and ice cream.

A simple salad with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.


The whole experience, from shopping American Girl Place to the delicious cafe lunch, was a treat for us all. Thank you, grandma!

American Girl Place
609 5th Avenue
New York

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It’s been a long while (10 months!) since I’ve posted here. I started Meet the Hazards to continue writing about life with little ones after my column at a local family magazine came to a close. Writing about my family, and gently poking fun at our highs and lows, helped me plow my way through young motherhood.

Life has changed since I started this blog in 2009. My children are in school full-time, I’m taking on more freelance assignments, and my other blog, Cute Potato, is thriving in a way I never imagined.

Wow, how these kids have grown!

Still, I have a soft spot for Meet the Hazards. It’s fun to go back and revisit these small moments in our lives. My hope is to keep up this blog, but in a whole new way. If you know my family, you know we like to visit new places. There’s rarely a month that goes by that we’re not traveling in some fashion. Sometimes we’re road tripping in our home state of Maine, or traveling to new places throughout the country. This year, T and I even flew to Paris to celebrate my 40th sans kiddos, but that’s another post.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about life with kids, changes are the norm. I hope you’ll join me for this new adventure!

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Before children, I romanticized about choosing a family Christmas tree. I grew up in a house where my dad assembled an artificial tree every year. The idea of going to a Christmas tree farm, or even a local tree sale, delighted me. Little did I know that selecting a tree would be a low point in our holiday season.

Year 1 (2007): Lauren is 20 months old; Will is 5 months old. My husband and I are smart enough to realize that visiting a tree farm is too big an undertaking with two babies. But we think, “Hey! Wouldn’t this be a great time to take our Christmas card photo?” The kids were not up for a photo shoot, as evidenced here:

Hmm... maybe it's the oversize lobster claw mittens that upset Lauren?

Year 2 (2008): I’m fairly certain we were scarred from year one. Ted asked my mother-in-law to join us, so that someone could manage the children while we made our selection.

Year 3 (2009): Back to the original town sale. I stay in the car with the kids, who show no signs of interest. Ted chooses the tree, I give him the thumbs up, and we’re out of there. So much for a family experience.

Year 4 (2010): We get brave and decide to try visiting a Christmas tree farm with the kids. We visit post lunch when Will (age 3) gets tired. This is probably the most miserable Christmas tree shopping experience of my life. We end up leaving the boy in the van with his hat pulled over his eyes.

Lauren (age 4) doesn’t like the tree we’ve selected. She wants a Charlie Brown version, instead.

And here is my poor husband, trying his best to smile for the camera.

Year 5 (2011): Something happens. We return to the same tree farm, half-expecting one of our children to have a melt down, but no one does. The whole family is in a good mood and excited to find a tree. It’s a Christmas miracle 5 years in the making.

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