Saturday, November 26, 2011

A NYC Thanksgiving: Love Bird Style

Me and my family at Rockefeller Center - Mr. Love Bird had to leave right before we found a stranger to snap this =(
This Thanksgiving was jam-packed! Being the Type A person that I am (thanks mom!) I wrote an itinerary that in the end wasn't really followed but gave a general sense of what we had wanted to happen. I guess having an outline always makes me feel better!

Anyway, my family arrived Wednesday afternoon. I kept telling Nia they were coming, showing her pictures and pointing to the door to explain. When the intercom rang several times as they brought stuff in then again later when my Harlem-based sister Ariane arrived a bit later, she went NUTS! She was running up and down the hall shrieking and of course acted shy once they stepped through our door.

She warmed up soon enough . . . 

My mom sang her to sleep soon after they arrived
When Nia woke up from her nap we headed down to the Natural History Museum to see the parade balloons inflation. It was so cold and crowded so we only went through the first row of balloons, but as soon as we got there Nia started pointing and was very excited!

I love her little face!
A quick family photo in front of the Pillsbury Dough Boy
My favorite balloon: SpongeBob SquarePants
Nana B and Nia with "Eyes of Wonder"
I love this shot of Sonic with the throngs of people in front of him!
Mr. Love Bird, a native NYer, said this expressed exactly how he felt about seeing the balloons!
Thanksgiving morning I put Nia in her new skirt that had just arrived the previous day courtesy of Baby Making Machine's contest I won from Dapple Gray Designs. My mom styled Nia's hair which resulted in a few tears, but she loved the end result and went prancing around the apartment and catching glimpses of herself in the mirror!

She kept touching her hair because she knew "something" was different
Nia in her full Thanksgiving outfit at my sister's office (a bit fuzzy from playing!)
We then headed to Ariane's office for the ultimate hook-up: watching the parade along the route indoors. It was glorious! Nia's bday date twin Jerve was there too with his family and as soon as I said his name after parking the stroller she was trying her best to break free so she could go see him. They were so cute together and more interested in running through the halls chasing each other than watching the parade!

Nia watching the parade with her bday date twin! She called the balloons "puppies."
Me and my "twin" sister Lauren
We didn't see the balloons head on, but it was still cool!
I liked how it looked like this Smurf was walking down the street
My absolute favorite shot from the parade viewing; what was going through her mind?
{If anyone's a nerd like I am you can check out these posts here and here about the history of the parade. I didn't realize it used to go through Harlem!}

After the parade my family went back to our place to finish cooking and Mr. Love Bird, Nia, my sister and I headed down to B & H to take a look at their cameras. I caught this cute moment of Mr. Love Bird and Nia:

I have no pics of food to share or fancy tablescapes, but we just put everything out buffet style and went to town: turkey brined in bourbon, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing (Mr. Love Bird's now a convert from the boxed stuff!), collard and kale greens (came out perfectly in our new slow cooker), mac & cheese (America's Test Kitchen's recipe is the BEST!), homemade rolls, cornbread and homemade cranberry sauce (and the canned stuff too). Dessert was my sweet potato pie, my sister's chocolate pecan pie, my traditional pecan pie (sadly I dozed off and it overcooked by 10 minutes) and my dad's apple pie. 

What's crazy is Nia refused to eat pretty much everything except egg nog! She just kept wanting to nurse. I just knew she'd love mac & cheese. Oh well, we'll keep trying . . .

Anyway, Mr. Love Bird and I ended up making our Williams-Sonoma brined turkey the following day, and he deconstructed it so quickly (following America's Test Kitchen's instructions) that I didn't even have time to snap a pic of it fresh out the oven!

Yes, Mr. Love Bird put a star anise on the top as garnish!
After the itis wore off we whisked Nia down to 125th ST to see her first movie: The Muppets. Nia was so happy and stayed awake the entire time although she got a bit restless towards the end and kept wanting to nurse.

Awkward shot in the theater!
We crashed hard after then the following day my family shopped while I stayed behind and cleaned. Mr. Love Bird had to go to work, but that night we met my family at Rockefeller Center. Mr. Love Bird couldn't stay the entire time so unfortunately we didn't get any pics of all of us =(

The unlit tree; I'm taking Nia on Thursday to the lighting!

Mr. Love Bird captured this cute pic of his girls!
For dinner we went a few stops to Sammy's Noodles in the Village. It's one of my favorite Chinese food restaurants which Mr. Love Bird introduced me to years ago even before I moved to NYC. My family loved it too!

Nia and Papi in the Village; she was having a good time!

The next morning we had brunch at Kitchenette in Harlem, my brother departed for TN then my mom and I headed to Pins & Needles to get some sewing supplies for a few projects (can't wait to blog about them!). When we returned the rest of my family packed up and drove back to Baltimore. Nia ran all through apartment afterward exactly as she had when they first arrived! 

Coloring with Papi at brunch
One final thing to share . . . 

Friday night, at the recommendation of my sister Ariane, we watched Where the Woodbine Twineth - an Alfred Hitchcock episode on Hulu. It reminded me and my family of the Twilight Zone, which we're obsessed with! It was about a little white girl who would trade places with her black doll and was so weird that nearly all of us had trouble sleeping that night. I think now this episode will be the overarching theme of Thanksgiving 2011 so whenever one of us says,  "Where the woodbine twineth," we'll think back to this year. A random memory!
{You can check out the episode and more details on the history here.}

Hope you and your families had wonderful Thanksgivings as well (if any of you have a quirky memory to share like the Woodbine Twineth, please do!).

P.S. We also put up Nia's tree (same as last year), but I'll do a separate post on that later this week!