Category Archives: Toddler

Elmo and Friends on Pinterest

Today is everyone favorite 3 and a half year old’s birthday. He’s met some interesting people along the way…

Source: blogs.wsj.com via Ghada on Pinterest

 

If you are in New York city, enter to win 4 tickets to see Elmo and Friends at Madison Square Garden this February.



Choosing New York Summer Camp for 2012

On the eve of what is meant to be New York’s first snowstorm of the season, I am frantically researching summer camps. Yes, I did say summer camps. Summer proper is still a good 6-7 months away, but if we want Monkey #1 to get into a camp that we will both be happy with, we need to decide like yesterday.

Being new to the neighborhood, I am relying on online reviews and information provided on camp websites. If you don’t have a website, I’m not likely to find out about you.

Here’s a rough idea of how I’m going to narrow down our summer camp choices.

1. Proximity: This of course is not the be all and end all, but walking distance from our house is a big plus.  Big Monkey can comfortably walk just about anywhere now without complaining. I figure there is about a 15 minute radius from our house, it also helps if their is a bus route just in case for rainy days or for the end of the day if he is too tired to walk. Of course, my preference is to walk, especially in the summer.

2. Cost: I figure I’d get the 2 borrow things out of the way up front. Yes, cost is important. I don’t want our family to go bust over summer camp fees. It just doesn’t make sense. So far the camps I am looking at are a bit pricier than I originally thought. But I’ve shifted my perception of the price and realized most camps are good value. The cost often includes a t shirt, swim lessons and outings to local museums and parks.

3. Passion: Monkey #1 loves to sing and dance, likes languages and has a recent obsession with kung fu. In light of those 3 passions, I don’t think a science camp is his cup of tea. I think he’d prefer a generalist type of camp. We could push  him into chess camp (yes, I’ve seen a chess camp) in hopes of turning him into a genius boy, but it’s summer camp. I want him to have fond memories of camp, make friends, have a laugh and grow as an individual.

4. Research: I don’t have alot of people to ask about camp, so I am turning to forums and google for more info. I’m also big on gut feelings, so I will be attending the New York Family Camp Fair at the end of January. I should be able to get a good feel for the people behind the camps as well as what they are offering.

New York Family Camp logo

It’s exciting times in our house! Monkey #1 has had 2 weeks at Pre-k and is starting to get into a routine. He is only going for 3 days a week at the moment and has homework 2 nights a week. I’ve calculated I have about 14 more years of homework ahead of me – and that’s just with him.

It’s crazy to think that in about 6 months he’ll be switching to somewhere new again. I’m hoping some of his little friends that he is making now will end up at the same camp. There is also the option of a camp that will be run out of the elementary school we are hoping he will go to for kindergarten. Oh, Kindergarten applications, that’s a whole other blog post!

Do your children go to summer camp? How do you choose the right camp for your children?



Wordless Wednesday: Dreaming of a white Christmas

Monkey #1's first Canadian snowfall just before Christmas

Monkey #1's first Canadian snowfall just before Christmas



3 for thursday: baby related humor blogs

Thought I’d try something a little different today as my brain is understandably fuzzy as I round out day 6 of 2-3 hourly feeds with Monkey #2. I set myself the challenge at the beginning of the month to take part in NaBloPoMo, and I’d like to follow through with it for as long as I have the ideas in my brain to keep writing on a daily basis. Even though the doctor kept stressing that I was likely to deliver this baby early seeing as I had delivered Monkey #1 early, I kept thinking I would get through most of the month sans bebe. Apparently it takes 21 days for an adult to form a habit (incidentally it only takes 3 days for a baby), so this is a great challenge as I am just starting out with this site.

So seeing as it is Thursday I thought I’d introduce some wittily themed list or meme. Well, I couldn’t really come up with a witty theme, but I did come up with a themed list nonetheless.

Introducing the inaugural 3 for thursday, where I will attempt to compile a list of 3 things that I am digging/hating/wanting/all have something in common and may be of interest to you.

Seeing as I am all things baby at the moment, I wanted to share 3 websites that I have stumbled across in the last little while that are baby related. Without further ado…

  1. I am part of a photography community called I heart faces. I’m hoping that by soaking up the info on this site and by osmosis I will one day have the funds to get a high quality camera and become a talented photographer. Today they released this tutorial on how to do achieve the newborn pose often referred to as the “head in hands”. Their have been many photos doing the rounds on Facebook with everything from babies dressed like chickens or decked out in tutus in this particular pose. I admit it elicits a huge aaaaawwww from me every time I see one, but there is also interesting debate in the comments as to if this is really photography, seeing as to achieve the pose safely most photogs use Photoshop. If you want to create the pose shown below check out the head in hands tutorial at iheartfaces.

    trendy "head in hands" newborn pose

    trendy "head in hands" newborn pose. Photo from iheartfaces.com

  2. Have you seen Suri’s Burn Book? This Tumblr site has been around for a few months and has a huge following. Every once and awhile I will browse over to it for mindless laughs and it never fails to deliver. Imagine what it would be like if mini fashionista Suri Cruise, daughter of couch jumping Tom and Katie Holmes had her own blog that she used as an outlet to burn fellow children of famous people? That is what Suri’s burn book is. The Pitt-Jolie kids take alot of her nasty digs, with Suri (or the person writing in her voice) often comments on the mixed up family. Check it out, I know every time I do I have to read at least 5 entries.
  3. The last blog Too Big for Stroller  is no longer being updated. I guess it has something to do with the hate mail and nasty comments she was receiving both on the blog and her Facebook page. In the style of People of Walmart, the site owner posts pictures of children who are waaaay too old being pushed around by their parents in strollers. Where the controversy lies is that opponents of the site feel that she is being insensitive. The argument goes that some of the kids in the photos may be disabled or have some other plausible reason for being upwards of 11 yet still being pushed around in a stroller. There is something about these user-generated sites that poke fun at everyday people that is not quite right. They may start off as innocent, but often end up a bit spiteful. After seeing a few stories from the author of Too Big for Stroller and from reading her blog, I do not feel she set out to be nasty, but in the end the haters silenced her.
Well, there you go. There’s my 3 for Thursday and you even got a bonus 4th with the third one! Would like to know if you have seen these sites and if you find them funny or not.


The Onion story that brought tears to parents’ eyes

If you have read any of my past couple of posts you will know that I have just recently had Monkey #2 – on November 4 at 10:45 PM to be precise. She weighed in at just 6lbs exact and is just beautiful. We are all in awe of her, including Monkey #1. In light of this momentous occasion, I will continue with NaBloPoMo (posting everyday in November) until it becomes impossible. These first few days with a new bub are always the most hectic. It’s already a relief to experience my body kicking into a place where it is remembering how it did all of this the first time around and making it easier this time around.
I jotted down my birth story in point form while I was in hospital – something I also did for Monkey #1. I’d like to write it up over the next couple of days…again, time permitting.
In the meantime I leave you with a story from The Onion that has been doing the rounds on the Internet. Fact or fiction? You decide. This is a timely reminder to me as a parent that we parents just never seem to get it right 😉

SANTA ROSA, CA—A study released by the California Parenting Institute Tuesday shows that every style of parenting inevitably causes children to grow into profoundly unhappy adults. “Our research suggests that while overprotective parenting ultimately produces adults unprepared to contend with life’s difficulties, highly permissive parenting leads to feelings of bitterness and isolation throughout adulthood,” lead researcher Daniel Porter said. “And, interestingly, we found that anything between those two extremes is equally damaging, always resulting in an adult who suffers from some debilitating combination of unpreparedness and isolation. Despite great variance in parenting styles across populations, the end product is always the same: a profoundly flawed and joyless human being.” The study did find, however, that adults often achieve temporary happiness when they have children of their own to perpetuate the cycle of human misery.

Oh dear! Us poor parents. Leave your thoughts in the comments.



Halloween in New York ain’t like Guy Fawkes in New Zealand

It’s been well over 15 years since I last trick or treated growing up in Eastern Canada. I remembering the freezing cold nights with 2-3 layers of clothes under my costume. Sometimes it wasn’t even obvious what my costume was because I needed to add a jacket over top to combat the biting cold wind – Imagine a gypsy who looked more like a bag lady trying to keep warm. It’s easy to give up Halloween when you have to go door to door under those conditions. I don’t have any recollection of being one of those akward teens who tries to make out like a bandit running from house to house to get candy barely even saying trick or treat, let alone thank you. Besides the cold it probably had something to do with how tall I was. I always looked older than I was and probably got weird looks from the old lady down the road that thought I was past my trick or treating prime.

Even though Monkey #1 is 4, he has yet to celebrate a Halloween. Depending on where you live in NZ, kids get suited up and head out desperately looking for houses that are taking part. We’ve never been in a neighborhood that took part in the largely North American celebration. for 7 of the 8 years we lived in New Zealand we lived a 3 minute walk from the beach. This beach was notorious for its Guy Fawkes celebrations that are held yearly on November 5th. In a nutshell Guy Fawkes is something to do with this guy Guy who tried to blow up some building in England, his attempt was thwarted and the people celebrated his arrest with bonfires. If you saw the movie V for Vendetta and did not fall asleep, like I did, you might have a better grasp of this moment in history. Fast forward to modern day England and some of its colonies (such as Barbados and New Zealand) celebrate with big fireworks displays. Last year we went to a Guy Fawkes party where at least 3 of the dads had purchased fireworks kits that cost $200 each! Meanwhile us mums had to pacify our littlies with ice cream and cover their ears to make sure they didn’t either lose their hearing from the sheer loudness of the explosions or have a meltdown from how scary the sound was. That year was my first DIY Guy Fawkes, it was fun. I can’t believe how fun explosives can be. Guy Fawkes always brings with it the need for dogs to be medicated or some git burning something down. Though the actual night is November 5, some die hards will let off fireworks for days before and after with no regard to the time of day or people trying to get sleep.