A Very Merry "Train" Christmas

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Trains was the theme for Christmas 2015. Grandma and Grandpa Anderson gave Cohen the Thomas and Friends Up & Around Sodor Adventure Tower, Kari gave him Percy, Grandma Neu gave him some cool train cars, and Jeff and I gave him a bridge and a Talking Emily Engine Let's just say Cohen was THRILLED!

I'm so happy my family was willing to fly across the country to spend Christmas with us. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without family. I'm so grateful for them and all their love and support. Cohen has been thrilled to play with them. He keeps asking for Grandpa and Grandma to play with him. Luckily for him, they are totally willing to oblige.

The Christmas Express with Santa!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Jeff, Cohen, and I joined the Klarin Family on a trip down to Allaire State Park to ride the Christmas Express with Santa. Cohen has been so obsessed with trains that I thought he would enjoy it. To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure if he did or not. He was super crazy wild before we got on the train, but the minute the train started moving he got all calm and snuggled in with Jeffrey. He just stared out the window the whole time, which I guess is a perfectly fine thing to do on a train. When Santa came by, Cohen barely looked at him and then just continued looking outside. Then we got off the train and he went crazy again....oh, well. The Klarin kids seemed to really enjoy the ride and Santa!

The picture on the top right is Jeff putting his hands over Cohen's ears. Cohen is amazingly sensitive to loud noises and doesn't handle it well, so every time the train came by and rang the bell and blew the horn, Cohen wasn't very happy.

Another Trip To The City!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I really miss the city. I especially miss Christmas time in the city. I wanted to take Cohen for a little Christmas trip last year, but it just didn't happen. So, this year I convinced Jeff to let me and Cohen tag along with him on one of his trips into the city. It wasn't a long trip, but we spent some quality time at the Rockefeller Center Tree and walking up Fifth Avenue looking at all the decorations. Cohen really enjoyed himself and I'm glad we got to spend some time together as a family.

We stopped by Maison Kayser for a little lunch. They didn't have a kids menu, but they recommended the macaroni and cheese. I was skeptical since Cohen actually doesn't really like macaroni and cheese, but we figured we would try. Cohen LOVED it! Totally Cohen...KRAFT Mac & Cheese? NO, THANK YOU! Fancy, expensive, gruyere baked macaroni and cheese? YES, PLEASE! Like father, like son! We really liked everything we had there. It was a nice find.


A Christmas Tree for Cohen

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cohen is currently obsessed with Christmas trees. Every time we go into a store that has Christmas decorations, Cohen points and says, "Tree!" Usually Jeff and I buy our Christmas tree closer to Christmas, but since Cohen loves them so much, we decided to get one last weekend. For the past several years, Jeff and I have bought our tree at HomeDepot, but I decided that was lame and wouldn't make for cute pictures. So, we decided to wander around to some of the local farms to see if they are selling trees. Luckily A Casola Farms was selling some! It was so cute watching Cohen walk through all the trees and point to one and say, "Tree!"  He was so upset when it was time to leave. I'm sure we are going to need to come up with an ornament placement strategy, since Cohen is currently going through a phase where if something is in his reach, he must have it and play with it. Not good for glass Christmas ornaments.

A trip to the Brooklyn Bridge

Monday, December 7, 2015

Right before Thanksgiving Cohen and I took a little day trip into the city to see the Brooklyn Bridge (and take Christmas pictures for a friend). It was a nice little trip and Cohen was fantastic! I think he really enjoyed the trip. I totally need to take more trips to the city!

Pumpkin picking with the Veras

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's after Thanksgiving and I'm still talking about October...oh, well. I'm a little behind. I didn't take any Thanksgiving Day pictures, so I thought I would share some picture from our pumpkin picking outing with the Veras.

We went to Battleview Orchards and went on a hayride! I was a little nervous about Cohen on the hayride, but he totally had a good time. He really wasn't into the pumpkins and took off into the orchards. Jeff just followed him and let him explore. Luckily he came back, but I had to force him into the pumpkin patch so I could get pictures.

It was fun hanging out with the Veras and eating apple cider donuts! I'm totally addicted to pastries!

Birthday Dinner with the Klarins

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

So, like I said before, we didn't do a birthday party for Cohen this year. Instead we invited the Klarin's over for dinner and had cake. It was so much fun! Cohen always enjoys when the Klarin kids come over to play and Jeff and I love the parents, so it's really a win win for everyone! Jeff made an amazing dinner and Beth brought a delicious ice cream cake that we put some trains on. Totally a great night!

Cohen Turns 2!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Last week my sweet baby boy turned 2! He's not a baby anymore and I'm just not handling it well. I want my baby back! We didn't do a party (basically because I'm a lame mom), but we did get together with some friends that have twin boys that were born 6 days before Cohen. I will post about that later.

On his birthday, we gave him a cake in hopes of having him do a cake smash, but Cohen disappointed once again. He had really no interest in messing around the cake. He only really got into the cake when we handed him a knife and fork. What a total diva!

This was the year of trains! He got so many trains from Grandma and Grandpa Neu and Anderson. He was in heaven!

Highlights from Cohen's 2nd Year!

Top Memories:

  • Thanksgiving with Ashley and Eric in NYC 
  • Buying a Christmas tree with Grandma, Grandpa and Kari
  • First trip to see Santa
  • Cohen laughing his head off as Brie barked at the squirrel stuck in the screen door
  • Got to meet ALL his cousins! (except Elias)
  • Started going to nursery. It was really tough at first (for Daddy), but he's a pro now
  • Broke his elbow climbing down the stairs at Aunt Sharon and Uncle Ben's
  • Jeff letting Cohen run around naked before his bath and Cohen peeing on the floor
  • Went to the Central Park Zoo, Cape May Zoo, and Adventure Aquarium 
    • When we saw the bears he growled and when he saw the cow he mooed
  • At bedtime Cohen always says, "Scriptures, Prayer, Song." I read scriptures while Jeff gets Cohen ready. Then we say family prayer and then Jeff sings Cohen a song.
  • He says, "No" in a very sweet innocent voice.
  • He runs and hides in the tent in his toy room when he knows it's time for a nap
  • In the morning he wakes up and starts talking to himself.
  • Several people have told us that he is one of the chattiest little kids ever!
  • When Brother Evenson was giving a talk and was talking about Father, Cohen yelled, "Daddy!" Everyone laughed.
  • He was Captain America for Halloween
  • Baby Sitters: Alex, Jack, Rachel, Jilyn, Jenny, Kimmy


  • Foods: Yogurt, Sweet Potatoes, Dark Chocolate, Peas, Corn, Broccoli, Cheese, Chicken, Hot Dogs, Pear, Apple, Melon, Fries
  • Words (most used): This, Help, Cookie, Chocolate, Train, No, All Done, Go, Wow, and Oh, Man
    • Cohen started saying, "This" because whenever he would point at something, Jeff or I would pick it up and say, "This?" Now, everything to him is "this."
  • Toys: Loves anything that rolls: Balls, Trains, Cars, Trucks. He loves playing with brooms and vacuums. He loves it when the cashiers at the grocery store (especially Trader Joes) give him stickers. Loves BUBBLES! His Jeep. He enjoys running the Jeep into different objects...and people!
  • TV shows: We just started watching TV, but He seems to really like Thomas and Friends, Sesame Street, and Daniel the Tiger.
  • Things to do: 
    • Going to the park and going for a walk to play at the playground. He also loved going to the Spray Ground and getting wet.
    • Jumping (he generally counts as he does this)
    • Walking up and and down inclines (RAMPS!)
    • Pushing his stroller
    • Cohen likes to climb all over Brie and Brie just takes it. They are best buds
    • Wearing sunglasses
    • He likes the phone and enjoys talking to Grandma, Grandpa (G-Pa), and Auntie Harmizzle (Higgle). He generally picks up random objects and talks to them like they are a phone 
    • Being tickled by Daddy!
    • Run! This kid generally doesn't walk anywhere, he runs! It's most defiantly a toddler run/trot with little steps. Thump, Thump, Thump.  He also doesn't corner well...
    • Books! Cohen loves having books read to him. Favorites: Bear Snores On, The Zoo Book, and anything with flaps.
    • Play outside 


  • Utah (December) - To visit Grandpa and Grandma Neu and Kerrie and Laurent and Emilie
  • Washington/Oregon - Spent Christmas with family and friends. Got to spend some time with Great Grandpa Anderson, Great Grandma Olsen, and Mommies uncles, aunts, and cousins!
  • Southern Virginia University - Visit with Russ and Jeanie Tompkins
  • Wisconsin - Visit Aunt Sharon and Uncle Ben for Atticus's Baby Blessing
  • Atlantic City, NJ - Went with Daddy to his NJ State Bar Annual Meeting
  • Utah (August) - Stayed at the Stein Eriksen Lodge with Aunt Sharon, Uncle Ben, and Cousin Atticus.
Things He's Learned:
  • How to walk! (January 27th, 2015)
  • He can count to 10, sometimes up to 15
    • Jeffrey started teaching Cohen this when we were in Utah when we were staying at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. There were several stairs and every time Cohen climbed them Jeff would count each step.
  • He knows several animals and what sounds they make.
  • He can feed himself with a fork and spoon
  • He's gotten very good at holding our hand when we walk somewhere
  • Climbing 

Cape May Zoo with Cohen

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Last week, Cohen and I took a trip down to the Cape May Zoo. I heard it was ranked the 13th best Zoo in the World by Trip Advisor. So, of course I was intrigued and Cohen and I made the 1.5 hour drive down there to check it out. (We are having a little work done on our house and the contractor said it would be best if Cohen and I left for 5 hours, so this is what I came up with)

It was a nice zoo and you can't beat the price (it's free - donations are welcomed), but I think the Oregon Zoo (which I don't think was included in the top Zoos) is a little nicer/better. 

What's cool about the Cape May Zoo is that it's set in a forest and there are several little bridges/walkways that go out over some of the animal pens. It really has a cool atmosphere, but I think what I didn't like about it is the size of some of the cages. It kind of looked like someone bought a tiger and built a cage in their back yard to put it in. Also, there were several animals that were there by themselves and it just looked really lonely and kind of depressing.

Cohen seemed to really have a good time, so I think the next time we go to Atlantic City with Jeff, we will take a trip down there again. Cohen was really intrigued by the large balls that were in the bison pen and the bear cage. He kept yelling, "Ball! Ball! Ball!" Awesome! Drove down 1.5 hours and Cohen got the most excited about the ball. It was really cute when he saw the bear and started to growl. Also, when we came to the cow paddock, I said, "Cohen, look a cow!" Cohen then immediately said, "Mooooo!" Well done Cohen! Well done!

I HEART FALL and I HEART Pumpkin Picking with Ashley

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall is STILL my FAVORITE season! I especially love Fall on the East Coast! The leaves are absolutely beautiful and I love the nice little chill in the air!

In 2009 (When I lived in NY), Karen, Ashley, Jen, and I took a little fall trip up to Connecticut to pick pumpkins. We had so much fun, that we did it again in 2011 (It's my fault we didn't go in 2010....I was doing the whole getting married thing). Even though Karen and Jen moved away, Ashley and I decided to keep up the tradition and went in 2012 and 2014, but to New Jersey instead of Connecticut  (Once again it was my fault we didn't go in 2013....I was like 8 months pregnant and didn't feel like it).

Well, once again Ashley and I got together and traveled back to Connecticut for our little Fall/pumpkin tradition.

We did what we alway do.....1) Get pumpkins, 2) Buy WAY too many pastries, 3) Eat said pastries in the car, 4) Go to Target and wander around for hours and then fill the car to capacity (we actually didn't do as bad as we have in the past) and 5) Get something to eat! It's totally the perfect trip! Can't wait for next year!

Another trip to the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Two summers ago, Jeff and I traveled to Utah for a family reunion and his parents 50th wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Stein Eriksen Lodge and LOVED it, so we were thrilled when Ben and Sharon wanted to stay there for a week in August. It was great relaxing and hanging with Ben and Sharon in an amazing one bedroom suite!

A trip to Chelsea Market

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Last Tuesday, Jeff decided to take a little trip into the city to go to Chelsea Markets and visit a friend who just had a baby. We only visited two places at Chelsea Market, but I think it was all I needed to do to know that I totally want to go back next time I'm in the City. (Jeff and I were fasting so we had to pick up stuff for later which was very very hard). We went to Lobster Place and Rana. We got some amazing pasta at Rana and I wish we would have gotten more!

Cohen's first trip to the Central Park Zoo

Monday, August 10, 2015

After a couple games of chess, we made our way to the Central Park Zoo. If you're thinking that the Central Park Zoo is anything like the zoo in the movie Madagascar, I'm sorry to be the one to inform you that it is NOTHING like that zoo. Ok, maybe there are some architectural elements that are similar, but there are no lions, hippos, zebras, or giraffes. There are penguins and Cohen just loves penguins so a total win for us. I actually really like the Central Park Zoo, but there really isn't much there. It was Cohen's nap time, so he was getting fussy towards the end of our trip, but I made him sit through the seal feeding. The trainers come out and feed the seals while they do some tests which means they do some cool tricks. It was totally worth waiting around for.

Central Park Chess and Checkers House

Friday, August 7, 2015

Many of you probably already know this, but I lived in New York City for awhile after I graduated from college. I lived on the Upper West Side close to Central Park and use to walk through the park all the time.  I'm ashamed to admit that I never knew that there was a Chess and Checkers House. I've seen the building before, but I had no idea that you could go borrow chess and checker sets and play a game. Well, my nephew heard about it and wanted to stop by and play a game on our way to the Central Park Zoo. It's a really cool facility and I'm glad we stopped by.

Cohen, Penguins, and Sharks...oh, my!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I love when family comes to visit. They are great at getting me out of the house and doing fun new things. When Kari was visiting last month we went to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. Jeff has told me about this aquarium several times, but I have never taken the 1.5 hour trip down there until now.

It is a nice aquarium (a little expensive for what it is in my opinion), but I think Cohen really enjoyed looking at all the fish. True to previous zoo/aquarium trips, Cohen still loves Penguins! He also really liked the Shark tank. They have a tube you can walk through and Cohen totally loved it! I think I will go back in the Fall when there are less people there, so Cohen can run around and not get trampled.