This Week at the Brennan’s

This week has been a bit of a rude awakening.

Here’s what happened this week:

Gordon went to work! Well, technically more training for this serious job of his (which is not in town). He left last Sunday and got home very late Friday night. We spent the weekend together and then he left again last night to get back to it. So, I was left with still no stuff in our apartment and 3 kids to keep busy for the week.

I keep trying to find new things to do here because it’s NEW YORK CITY, but honestly, I am perfectly happy alternating days going to the grocery store, the park, and the splash pad. We are simple folk.

We went to the splash pad twice this past week; the first time was busy, the second time was claustrophobic busy. My kids hardly made it to an hour before ditching and just wanting to go home. But, turns out Eddie LOVES getting sprayed in the face with water and won’t back down from the big kid sprinklers that were there. That made for a fun time for me. I saw all the other moms and nannies on their phones in the shade and just sighed as I got pelted with sprinklers.

I don’t like grocery shopping here with all three kids. The two stores that I’ve been to have very narrow aisles which are not simple to navigate with three kids and a stroller. The checkout ladies look at me like I’m a spectacle (which I totally am.) I don’t blame them. I’m the mom with three kids in New York City. Who else has three kids here? No one.

My life was a circus before we even got here. Now? OH BOY.

I get similar looks on the subway too, though people usually stare for at least 3-4 stops before they realize we are not freaks of nature and start smiling back at Eddie or waving back at Blake. We’ve even gotten a few nice comments on the subway like: “your family is beautiful” so at least we’re hovering above the menace to society category.

There were a few moments this week where I’ve felt completely alone. How ironic, right? I now live in one of the largest cities in the world and I feel alone. I think the lack of familiarity is getting to me. I don’t have friends yet. I have a handful of acquaintances, but no one to put on my daughter’s emergency contact list for school. My kids don’t have friends yet either. There are zero kids that live in our building and the little corner of our neighborhood doesn’t have a ton of kids in it. I mean, I see kids but don’t I sound like a psychopath if I’m like “Hi kids, come be friends with my daughter! Where do you live? What school do you go to?” TOTAL CREEPER.

Since we don’t have curtains, Brooke has made “friends” with a girl who lives in the building across the street. They wave at each other from time to time and it only reminds me of Friends and ugly naked guy. Not that this new friend is ugly or naked.

Remember that time when I was trying to take a nap and then I got smothered by children?

This week, we were able to take a longer day trip and visit Brooklyn Bridge Park and more of the Piers. We stopped when we found something fun. By the end of the day, we were beat! Also, don’t go to Brooklyn Bridge Park and except to ride the carousel on Tuesday. They’re closed. Brooke was not very happy about that.

I tried ordering online groceries this week to avoid those darn checkout ladies, but the produce I got was not good quality. Like, Clicklist was the bomb…this new one is thumbs down, big time. Oh, and did you know that milk here is $5 a gallon and a small box of Ritz crackers is about the same? Yikes.

FINALLY on Saturday our movers arrived and we got our stuff back! I was never more relieved or excited to see boxes of items ever before. We unpacked and organized as much as we possibly could on Saturday and part of Sunday before Gordon had to leave again. Having a few pictures on the wall and getting my amazing bed back put me in a great great mood! Also, being able to cook dinner for my family after not being able to cook dinner (for 6 weeks!!) I felt completely in my element. For a moment, I got a glimmer of hope as I was chopping zucchini and heard my little ones playing in the background. A little voice gave me a little reassurance that “see? Its not so bad.”

I think my kids are much happier now that we have their toys, their clothes, and their beds and sheets. Things are coming together.

Oh, and we got the kids a wii. My parents have one and they both had such a good time racing each other on mario kart. Gordon thought it would be a good thing to have incase I need a break or a good reward for them helping me. Time will tell.

I almost forgot!! I posted THREE RECIPES this past week! One, two and three. I haven’t done that in a looooong time and it felt so good!! Be sure to check them out.

The kids have been sleeping in their triple bunk bed for a few days all in the same room (Eddie is still in a pack-n-play) and it has been rough. Mostly because Eddie has been waking in the night again. I’m thinking he has another ear infection. The more I read on message boards about tubes, the more I’m on board with them. I’ll be finding a pediatrician this week. Waking up to a screaming kid at 4:30am for the last few days that won’t go back to bed does not a happy mother make.

Coming up this week:

Trying to not go insane with all this lack of sleep. Oh wait, I’m already there.

I’m hopefully going to find one or two fun day trips for us where we have to take the Subway again. Blake loves the subway. Looking for something not too crazy.

I’m in the market for a babysitter to help me 2-3 days a week that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

I’ll hopefully get to one or two body pump classes! I love that darn class so much.

Recipe testing!! (Say whaaaat?)

Tonight, we’re making chocolate chip cookies for family night and giving them to our neighbors with a general “sorry we’re loud” cards.

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  1. I can tell this is a hard transition. It would be sooo hard for me too. You can do this! It will get easier. You have gone through a lot of change in a little amount of time. Hang in there.

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  2. Take a trip out to Costco, target or larger grocery stores in Nassau or Westchester counties in the eve or weekends when your husband returns home. Bigger selection and much cheaper. Once the kids start school you will all meet friends. I feel for you. You are very brave and it will all be ok!

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  3. I have lived in the city for 2 years now and I found it challenging at first too. With kids, I have learned that it is less stressful for me to stay in my neighborhood. I made mom friends at the library and online through meetup and Facebook. I buy almost all of my pantry items from Target. I do trips to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cheese, dairy products, other pantry items, and more. The delivery is expensive to where I live but it’s worth it because the prices are so low. I buy almost all produce at the market close by… Or just order a salad from Sweet green to go with dinner. That is the easiest and their salads are delicious. I’m sure I could go on with more tips but hopefully that’s helpful! Good luck!

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    • I love Sweetgreen!! Wish my kids liked it as much as I did. Haha!

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  4. I’ll add that Target.com offers free shipping and 5 percent off when you have the Target card!

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  5. What an adventure. Hope you and your family have a Happy 4th of July.

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  6. I wish I knew anything about big city living to give you great advice, but I can tell you that getting the tubes has helped both of my chronically ear infected kiddos immensely. Once they’re in, the difference is night and day! Best of luck as you continue to settle in!

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    • That’s what I’m thinking needs to happen. It makes so much sense as to why he has consistently never really been a good sleeper, where my other two have been perfection.

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  7. You have made it this far, and you can keep on going! Just think of this adventure as a “life pump” class in reference to the body pump class you enjoy!

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  8. Hopefully you find your groove living in NYC. I know a family that have lived in NYC a long time and they have five children in a two bedroom apartment. If you are looking for a babysitter try posting on the YSA wards Facebook boards. I know there is a YSA ward in Brooklyn, Lincoln Square and Harlem. A lot of people in NY put their kids in sleep away camp that’s up to six weeks, but I also know there are day camps, but those might be filled up now.

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    • I’ll have to look for those FB boards!

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  9. Have you taken the kids to Bryant Park yet? There is a sweet carousel for them there along with other family friendly activities. Also have movie nights during the summer too.

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    • Another carousel? Fun!! My kids will DIE.

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  10. Hang in there!! You’re basically superwoman. I can hardly survive one child in my own house in my own city. I’m in awe of what you’re pulling off.

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  11. Hi Lauren,
    Oh man – I completely understand. We moved from just the Westside to the Upper East Side, I was pregnant with my 3rd child and my 2 others were under 3.5 years old – I did not know a soul there and felt really creepy on the playground looking at other moms hoping they would talk to me 😃
    It will get better – as soon as school starts you will find so many friends!! And you do so great already!!
    My offer still stands of course 😊 – if you need a coffee and a talk we are here – my youngest is 9 (almost 10)years old and my other children are 13,15 and 17 and they would love to play with your children😃
    Best wishes
    Claudia
    Oh and ‘Fairways’ is great – ‘Whole foods’ and farmers markets are spread over the city too!

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  12. You handle a tough situation with great grace!!! I would be certifiable! Happy you finally got you belongings and able to cook. If Eddie is having many earaches ear tubes are best to preserve his hearing. Keep smiling think about you guys often. Love you Aunt Donna

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  13. We visited NYC with our seven kids while I was seven months pregnant with the eighth. I know what you mean about getting stared at! In fact, one funny lady, who worked as a comedian, did a stand-up all about us right there on the subway. My kids all wanted to sink into the ground, but I just laughed. She asked if we were a
    ‘yours, mine and ours’ family. Nope. Then she asked if we were polygamist. Nope. All of them are mine. NYC seemed a whole lot less friendly than Boston, DC and most of the other big cities out East, but the impromptu comedy show is a fun memory.

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  14. Hi Lauren! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years (love the food!) and recently moved to Manhattan too. I’m also checking things off the NYC bucket list, but much more slowly than you. I don’t have kids yet, which means less incentive to go on carousels and see the Statue of Liberty. It would be fun to do some more of these things!

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  15. The farmers market in union square is awesome!! If you decide you and the kids need a break from the city, you are always welcome in ‘upstate’…..which is about an hour and a half away!! Farms and pick your own produce are plentiful!! Oh.,,maybe look into a CSA delivery. Our local farm, Hearty Roots, has a few stops in the city with weekly produce delivery. All the best to you and your beautiful family!!

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  16. So strange that people there think a family with 3 kids is a spectacle? Enjoy your recipe testing and hope you get some good rest soon!

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  17. @nicoley3 know any good sitters / nannies ?
    My niece lives in the city , maybe she can help you w/ ideas . She was a nanny when she first moved to New York City

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  18. Have you gone to church yet? Any friends in Primary for the kids? or Relief Society for you?

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    • Yes, very small ward with lots of lovely people…not a ton of kids or moms.

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  19. Trader Joe’s is always a good option. Fresh direct will definitely credit you for the poor produce. I find their organic options and local options hold up much better.

    If you’re ever looking to get out of Manhattan let me know. I’m local to NYC, in the Bronx. The zoo up here is awesome.

    I’ve got a 3 year old and 1 year old and am off for the summer. Always looking to do something with the kiddos.

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  20. Yippee for getting your stuff 🙂 Now it probably feels more like home. I know it probably feels that way that your the only one with 3 kids. Your not the only one there are lots of families with 3 kids in the city I’m sure. NYC is like the second biggest catholic community in the US. Hey I’m catholic and get asked all the time at mass why did you only have 2. 🙂 The libraries have great free programs – playgroups and books. NYC has some beautiful libraries too. It’s such a big city maybe start off and really get to know your neighborhood and than slowly branch out? Hope everything gets easier. Moving is hard but a great adventure. Your doing great and making wonderful memories with your cute little kiddos! Happy 4th of July

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  21. Go grocery shopping by yourself on the weekends when your husband is there. He owes you BIG time. 😉 It seriously takes me a year to settle after every move. Give it all time and grace. Hang in there!

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  22. I have a 2 year old in the city and can’t imagine 2, never mind 3! You go girl!
    Grocery delivery: my go-to is Amazon Fresh but I also did Fresh Direct for years.
    Day trips: Ferry to LIC. It has 2 sprinkler parks, great view, a huge field, and a snack stand.
    Public pool! Just took my LO to Asser Levey and it was an awesome time.
    Sitters: check out urban sitter, or a FB group (like gramercy Moms) for recs.
    Good luck!

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  23. Hi Lauren, I love reading your adventures- don’t worry it will all come together soon- you have friends all over the world, it won’t take long for a person as wonderful as you to have your own girl crew. All the best for finding a great grocery store soon! I’m coming to NYC in November so I’m really looking forward to hearing lots more about New York and what to do/where to go etc..

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  24. Grocery shopping in NYC is a massive pain! We used Peapod, and I really liked it. Only a few cases where the produce wasn’t good and they’ll always credit you if there’s a problem. I also found it to be cheaper than Fresh Direct. Many local stores also deliver. Good luck!

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    • Ooh! I’ll have to look into Peapod!

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