Friday, April 19, 2013

Armed and Ready for The Summer of Boo Boos? What's in Your Stroller?

I rushed to one of Greyson's classes a couple weeks ago without milk and snacks.  There are things I   never leave home without and that's milk/water and snacks.  You think I want a meltdown with a toddler screaming "snack" endlessly?  Well, that happened and I'm usually good about ignoring/discouraging Greyson's whines, but not when it comes to food needs.  So, what did I do?  I cringed and gave Greyson some Cheerios from the bottom of my purse (there are a lot there) to hold him off until we could cross the street to the grocery store.  He probably wasn't actually hungry, but I just can't stand not giving him something to eat or drink when he wants it.  That's just one of my things.  It could be a Korean thing. 

So, I'm constantly trying to be prepared, but trying to shrug it off when I'm not prepared.  The other day when Greyson got his first scrape outside the house and I was actually sort of prepared.  Just that morning, I put a tube of neosporin in the stroller.  When Greyson tripped on some rocks at the playground and scraped his elbow, I first thought, oh, it's nothing...I'll clean it up when we go home in a few minutes.  But, then my mind flashed to the heartbreaking story about Rory Staunton, who got a cut playing basketball at school and then was undiagnosed for septic shock and died.  I know it was totally irrational for my mind to go there, but it's totally irrational that a child died after cutting himself playing basketball.

I washed GP's abrasion with soap at the playground bathroom and then remembered I had the neosporin.  I gave myself some mom points for having that available.  Then, I was like, I need a little first aid kit for the stroller ASAP!

My stroller basket is getting really full.  It has an XL picnic blanket, a summer survival kit and now a first aid kit.

Here's what I put in it the first aid kit.  I wonder if I'm missing anything.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Attention City Babies: Six Things You Need In Your Stroller for Summer Survival

We live in the city, but we're outdoors and in water a lot during the summer!  I grew up in Atlanta, so I thought they only opened up the fire hydrants in the movies, but people really do that here.  It's really common...and legal.*

Greyson (11 months) enjoying his first encounter with an open fire hydrant with his Grandma in 2012

It's 56 degrees today (14 degrees Celsius), so we're definitely not searching for the ice cream truck, but we've had a few surprise warm days this month that reminded us that it won't stay cold forever.

Greyson started walking last July when he was 12 months old, so we'd take him through the sprinklers at the playground and that kind of thing, but he wasn't that mobile last summer.  Now that Greyson is 21 months old, I'm preparing for him to be running through sprinklers all summer long.

In New York City, you never know when you're going to stumble upon an open fire hydrant or playground sprinklers or find yourself in baby pool or under a hose.

So, I just put my summer stroller kit together today into a large Ziploc bag (and I mean large...there are no sandwiches this big).  I figure if I keep this stuff in my stroller, I'll be ready for any water adventure NYC can throw at me.

Check out the list and tell me what you think.  Am I missing anything I need to have in my stroller all summer?  I thought about adding a rash guard, but this kit is really for the impromptu water session.  If I know we're going to play in the water, I'll take the rash guard for sun protection, but I'm sure whatever shirt Greyson is wearing will be just fine if we happen to be out.  Are these six things all I need?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Raising an Independent Child: Design within Reach

As a 21-month old, Greyson shows interest in doing many things on his own.  He can't put on his socks and shoes by himself yet, but he wants to and he tries.  So, whenever we can, we try to give Greyson an opportunity to do things for himself and try to teach him to do things on his own.  We like the Montessori philosophy, which emphasizes independence.

We installed toddler-height hooks in our coat closet, so Greyson can hang up his own jacket and hat.  I love easy fixes like that!  It feels good to do things that give Greyson room to be independent!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Big, Tasty, Papier-Mâché: DIY Claes Oldenburg sculptures

I'm biased, but I think Rob's ice cream sandwich looks better and more delicious than Claes Oldenburg's

I was glad that we were carrying Greyson in an Ergo carrier at MoMA for Claes Oldenburg:  The Street and The Store (April 14–August 5, 2013) since Greyson would have, otherwise, had his hands all over the plush hamburger, ice cream cone and cake.

Sure, we told Greyson that Oldenburg's "audacious, witty, and profound depictions of everyday objects have earned him a reputation as one of the most important artists of the 20th century," but all Greyson saw was cake.

As an homage to Oldenburg, Rob and I made our own sculptures when we got home after the exhibit.  Before Greyson was born, Rob and I liked to do a some kind of creative exercise after seeing an exhibit we really liked, but now it's even more fun because we love exposing Greyson to art whenever we can.  On this particular day, we papier-mâché'd and painted a piece of toast with jelly (me) and an ice cream sandwich (Rob).  It was easy and gratifying!

If Greyson was older and could sit through an hour of papier-mâché'ing, we would have loved to have done it with him, but instead we did the messy part while he was napping.  We figured Greyson would have more fun helping us paint the objects later. 

Here's what our process looked like.  I highly recommend making fun papier-mâché sculptures as an activity after seeing the Oldenburg exhibit (or after not seeing the exhibit)! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kids Room Design Solution: Rolling Library Book Carts

We just got a book cart from Demco for our son's room.  The look of book trucks is what first drew us to them, but it's also a great design solution when you know you'll need to move things around in a room.  Also, we realized the bookshelf was just the right height for our  son to access all the shelves.  The thing fits so many more books that I imagined.  We still have a ton of books that are in Greyson's closet to put on the cart and I have no doubt we'll have plenty of room for them and room to grow, too.

Demco Library Booktruck in Sundrop

We bought the cart online without having ever seen it in person and I'm very pleased.  I like the quality construction, the color, the size, everything.  It feels really solid and I know it will last forever.  I wondered if the cart would be a safety issue since it's on wheels and the first thing Greyson did when he saw the cart was sit on it and want to go for a ride.  But, he hasn't climbed it or ridden it once since.  I supposed it depends on each kid, but ours isn't interested in doing anything but reading the books that are on the cart.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Best Summer Sandals for Chunky, Wide Toddler Feet

Does your toddler's feet look like this?  Chunky, doughy, and delicious?  My 21-month old has feet that look like fresh-baked loaves of bread.  I forget that they're extra chunky until I shop for shoes.

Saltwater Sandals are so cute for kids! Greyson started walking last July and we kept him in soft-soled shoes as he was learning to walk, so we didn't get the sandals last year.  But, as soon as it got above 70 degrees, which happened this week, I went out sandal shopping.  I originally thought that the Sharks model would be good for Greyson since the toes are protected from being scraped.  But his chunky feet wouldn't fit into them!  We got the Surfer model since the front strap is adjustable.  Greyson is wearing a 6.5 shoe these days and I got the sandals in size 7 (whole sizes only), so he has some room to grow.  The size 6 was exactly right for him, but he'd probably grow out of them in a few weeks.

How This New Yorker Does Groceries To Feed Her Family

Checking out the produce

As much as I understand the European concept of going to the market each day to get food for that day, it's not how I shop.  Sure, I've occasionally picked up food for a couple of meals only, but I generally stock up for the week.  I tend to buy multiples of things I like and I love the idea of Costco.  But, I also live in New York, in a 1,200 square foot apartment and I don't have a car, so I do have limits. 

I go through food shopping phases, too.  For instance, when I lived on Fort Greene Park a couple years ago, there was a greenmarket literally outside my door.  So, once a week, I did 40% of my food shopping there and the rest at a little neighborhood market.  There were no big grocery stores near me then.  Since we moved to our current apartment in Park Slope a year ago, I started going to two big grocery stores near me and then filling in with some trips to the nearest greenmarket, a few blocks away.

Then everything changed a month ago when I started going to Trader Joe's, where I had shopped maybe only 15 times before, regularly.  Greyson started taking a class near that grocery store in Brooklyn Heights.  Getting to Brooklyn Heights involves taking a bus or subway, so I would never make that much effort to do the groceries, but since I'm in the neighborhood anyway, I love going to Trader Joe's. 

Now I go once a week, wanting to try everything in the store, and this is what my trips look like.   I carry Greyson in an Ergo and I'm pregnant, so I don't mean to get a lot of stuff, but I can't help it.  I have mom power, so I somehow make it home.  Mom power is sort of like old man strong (i.e, Joe Biden), but only applies to moms.

I shouldn't buy 4 lbs of strawberries, but I do anyway

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some Airlines No Longer Offer Priority Boarding For Families With Small Children

Airlines are saying to families with small children:  go away!

 I read a rumor that United, American Airlines and USAirways are no longer offering priority boarding for families with small children who need extra assistance.  I had to verify the information myself to know for sure which airlines not to fly.

Here's the email I sent to United.

Submitted: 4/5/2013 11:21:32 AM
Message: I heard that United no longer offers priority boarding for families with small children. Can you verify this information, which I don't see on your website? If the airline no longer offers this service, can you let me know why? 

Thanks, Kathy

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Threadbare SmartWool Toddler Socks: Looks Like I Took A Grater to Them, But I Didn't

My toddler wasn't rock climbing in just his socks, but this is what the SmartWool Toddler Socks I paid about $34.00 for for four pairs ($17.00 per two pairs on Amazon in October 2012). 

Greyson just turned 21 months and I bought these socks in the 2T-3T size back in October and didn't really start wearing them until December when it started getting cold.  My son has average sized feet and doesn't grate his heels on sandpaper as these pictures might suggest.

So, I emailed SmartWool.