Thursday, September 19, 2013

Without books how do you get your kids to bed?

WTHECK!  Only "one in three parents (33 percent) read bedtime stories daily with their children" ! SAD :( I get it when your kids are old enough to read to themselves and support a calm down and read and get ready for bed time plan. Playing games on your phone only keeps you up, I know this because my husband does it and it doesn't relax the mind...or ease our energy.   How do these parents get their babies, toddlers and kids to sleep, for us the book is like what we do, Phoenix just under a year hands us the book to read to him already, he wants the book.

Sad that parents aren't having these precious moments and memories with their kids...reading is more than words and pictures, it's an important bonding time and kids really love that closeness that happens when snuggled with a book and their parent/s.

Isobella & Phoenix

Morning Music Session at Museum of Motherhood with Moey's Music Party this morning

Checked out the @MOMmuseum (The Museum of Motherhood) this morning & @MoeysmusicParty both rocked & we will be back at the MOM museum soon 

We will be back to check out more events and open play at The Museum of Motherhood.

Thanks to for spreading the word and keeping us in the know.

POM POMS Mom? Okay I will give it a whirl and represent the boys/ aww my little prince

anything able to be opened or shut, I'm on that!

~Isobella & Phoenix

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two new children's books with leaves for fall 2013 to add to our bookshelf

Oh yes, I let my baby run through the leaves, why not. CRUNCH CRUNCH, leaves make such a fun sound. I grew up jumping and playing in the leaves and lately we've been using the words: Leaf and Leaves on a daily bases. I look forward to sharing the changing leaves and the pretty colors of fall soon, I love the fall landscapes of yellows, orange and maroons. On a recent trip to Barnes and Noble I recently picked up Leaves by David Ezra Stein, with Phoenix running all around I only had a few seconds to flip through it but I liked the illustrations and the bear element reminded me of The Bear Snores On (one of our constant bedtime reads) since the bear hibernates after seeing the leaves fall. This board book is a quick read before naptime or bedtime and has a sweet drifting to sleep like the leaves drifting off the trees vibe and then welcoming spring after the long winter. My favorite part: When the bear tries to put the yellow and red leaves back on the tree but it doesn't work and is sad for a moment but gets savvy and uses the leaves for his cave. It's sweet when we see other animals passing by the bears cave and they notice a peek of the leaves, or don't because of the snow. You'll like how the bear celebrates the leaves and it's a sweet book to share with your baby about the changing seasons.

(Phoenix opening Leaves by David Ezra Stein)

We also recently received the book Leaf by Stephen Michael King, and I'm still figuring it out but enjoying this book for it's innocence and meaning of the leaf. It's a book without words, the pictures tell the story or more like you (the reader) creates the words. The story starts off with the boys mother wanting to cut his hair and he runs outside, as if saying "Noooo!" Outside he plays with his dog and a bird poops on him, well I that what I thought at first but then I thought maybe it was a stone, a pebble or something that PLOPS on the boys head and a leaf appears, growing out of his head.

Perhaps the boy is trying to water the leaf and have it grow and he takes his dog on an adventure trying to get wet. Or maybe they are just really enjoying the rain and water and love getting all soaked! He has a scary dream about other plants hurting the leaf on his head and big clippers coming at his head and wakes up and plays some more but finally accepts his mother's clippers and let's her cut off all his hair.

It was sad when the boy's hair is all cut off, I'm thinking WHY while reading this to Phoenix, is his mom THAT mean? Does he have Cancer? What? Why all the hair gone! But I smiled when the boy uses the hair that was cuff off to create a nest for the leaf that he plants in the ground and it becomes a big tree and we see the boy through the ages, like The Giving Tree.

~Isobella & Phoenix

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Little man got to see my book in the bookstore

Today we popped into BN 86th street and the little man got to see my YA book Careful in the store :) we also bought some awesome books, can't wait to share them with you. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mommy what is 9/11? Um..

One day he will ask what is 9/11? I don't yet how I will answer but I know one day I will tell Phoenix about the darkness of the world, I'll be honest and not sugarcoat it. I will tell him that mankind has hurt people, animals and the world. There is hatred and selfishness and it's horrible. I will also tell him that the world is great, life is great and the land is breathtakingly beautiful and there is compassion and trust and love among us, and I will tell him sadly but honestly that unexpected terrible things happen sometimes in this world which is why each day is special and to be careful with himself and others. Tomorrow is not promised and today is a gift. Use it and do it with love.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Are baby classes worth it? Experiences of a NYC new-mom

Phoenix and his muscles at My Gym.
Living in New York City with a baby (for 11 months in a one-bedroom apartment) I quickly realized how important baby classes are. Not just for my child's development but for my own sanity.

Our first stop was the library.

When Phoenix was just 6 weeks old we attended a free baby laptime at the library (gotta get their early to get a ticket though now since to popular), and continued to attend the sessions and will be experiences the toddler program soon at the Upper East Side Libraries. (We are new to the Upper East Side -two bedroom!-and having a blast discovering all the fun for families here. So lots more to share soon about the area and what we love about it, our favorite hot spots and the baby classes we are taking up here.)

So, we first enjoyed the Children's Center on Fifth Ave off 42nd street on the side of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, it's not the entrance of the two big iconic lions, on the right side of the building, then we started doing trial mommy and me classes at music classes and different classes around the city.  (Upset their aren't as many signature Daddy and Me but more on that later.)

After Googling and doing some online research Phoenix and I tried out music classes and playtimes and story times at Kids at Work, Music for Aardvarks, Gymboree, City Treehouse, The Scholastic Store, FAO Schwarz, baby swimming class at the YMCA and quickly ventured in baby gyms, as Phoenix started being ambitious to walk and waddle around at  9 months!

I didn't grow up with baby classes. I grew up in a backyard making mud pies and was totally happy with that but if you live in the city I do think baby classes can be ideal if they fit your budget. They are not cheap. I found a music class for $15 per class but that is unlikely for most. Apart of my wants to think this is "extra stuff" but it's also "important stuff" that I'm thankful we can afford because I really enjoy it, my mood enjoys it and  I look forward to taking Phoenix to these classes. Or sometimes I have a babysitter take him to the open play and I will work for an hour on my book.

We've seen a lot in a short time because I'm eager to stay busy, being at home stresses me out more than being out, we do art proejcts and read lots of books of course at home, but I love our baby classes and our schedule is busy...but not too busy...

We've done sessions at Jodi's Gym, My Gym and liked them a lot, we still do My Gym and this week start Kidville gym!

We will hit up the Art Farm in the City drop in program throughout the year because it's so precious how Phoenix reacts to animals, he lights up around them.

Along with The Carl Schurz Park playground, the Ancient Playground at 85th street and 5th in Central Park, John Jay Playground and many others.

Parents who think the city is not for kids are crazy, the city is PERFECT for raising and active child if you research and get out! Beyond classes, we visit Central Park almost every single day. There are so many great playgrounds and a lot of free fun too! And we especially love our Zoo membership!

At the Central Park Zoo earlier this week

We also love Madison Square Park (nice playground too) and Bryant Park (take a fun carousel-ride and check out the children's book reading nook), both have great open areas for your baby to crawl around and discover and you can sit down for a sec and relax!

Union Square as a great playground too across from Barnes and Noble.

This summer among all the playground sandbox adventures and being soaking wet daily with Phoenix in the many, many playground sprinklers we had an amazing 11 months of fun and discovery and the summer was AWESOME!

Our fall classes start this week. We are taking baby gym at Kidville and My Gym (my husband takes Todd on the weekends for some chillin with Dad time and I often take Phoenix to the open plays during the week. And we are planning to take music class at Sprout.

I really don't like paying more than $25 per class. But we have. I love it when I find a ten week session for under $300. For forty-five minutes or an hour of fun, discovery and learning,  it's not a cheap thing, and here are some tips on choosing a baby class and why classes can be ideal and why these classes save my sanity too.

*Find a class that fits your baby's stages and interests. Even a baby 4-6 months can start taking baby classes, sometimes even newborns, there's also great baby and me Yoga at Karma Kids Yoga. Music class is a great start for baby classes. The babies become so alert and intrigued by the guitar and music sticks and shakers. (*Of course they will want to chew them. It will happen, it will so I find it's best to get your baby to chew on the same musical instrument during the class or a few of the same ones so not every baby has chewed on every toy. You can't stop germs, it's life, strengthen their immune system, they might get a cough or running nose, it's annoying as a parent but not enough reason for us not to attend.)

I also like a music class with the instructor singing with a guitar or instrument, not a cd player. Um, show me something I can't do at home for my kid!

*Let's be friends! Your baby will get used to being around other babies and making friends, sharing and taking turns, and it will melt your heart when your baby hands another baby his music shaker and wants to share. Or watch as all the babies sit on the BIG drum or lean against it and feel the vibrations all together. It's great for your baby to SEE other babies and different adorable faces. :)

Phoenix at Kids at Work music class.

*Find a class YOU want to attend, for me baby classes keep me upbeat, bring out my peppy-side and I get to bond with my son and share the experience with him, which is fun. Music classes involve sitting down with your baby and a teacher/singer instructs the class. It's more relaxing and calm experience.

It keeps us busy and keeps us moving, we don't sit around we are always go, go, go. Unless we are at the library or a storytime or Phoenix is letting me duck into a Sephora or store for a few minutes. :)

-I think music class also teaches your child how to listen, be observant, notice their surroundings, allows them to touch and feel the vibrations of the drums, shakers and guitars, great for motor skills and social skills too as your baby plays with the other babies and shares the instruments.

-Baby Gym is very hands on you have to watch your baby, it can be very busy, crowded, lots of other babies exploring, it's sort of a work out for you as a parent because you will be also running around up the ramps, through tunnels, breaking a sweat while running around the room keeping up with your kid or trying to inspire your baby to get up, crawl, and MOVE!

Phoenix (10 months here) at Jodi's Gym.

* Parenting can be stressful, VERY! For a new-Mom and Dad. Baby classes force a parent to be a bit less stressed, because you're sort of forced to be happy and chill out with your kid. The atmosphere inspires a togetherness and calmness.

Classes inspire parents to be patient and be alert and teaches parents how to also "be silly and play" with their baby in an educational and developmental way that is fun and easy. Also, at the class every other parent is also staring at you as you all sit in a circle or whatever, so it inspires you to want to be relaxed and have a good experience and do the best to help you both enjoy the class. There are other babies around you, 10-12 sometimes, so yes if your baby pukes up or starts screaming and crying everyone will see and it actually forces you as a parent to take a deep breath, "...awww, it's okay baby and it's okay mommy, we all have been there, we all are in the same boat." Because you can't scream also OMG! :)

We bought Phoenix a set of drums and a tambourine and shakers after seeing his response to how much he loves music, now at 11 months he dances! He shakes and moves whenever music is heard.

*You can make some Mommy/Daddy friends. I don't have many friends with kids so the baby classes are a place for me to chat it up a little about being a parent and discuss also what's trendy in babyland.(But not chat a whole lot though, I don't like parents who ONLY go to baby class to chat with other moms, WTF, not for me and it's rude when we are in the middle of class and parents or nannies are chatting about whatever they are chatting about.)

Instead of looking for the hottest place to eat or go out for a wild night I'm obsessed with finding baby classes and events and deals!  Here are some places I visit daily:

~Isobella & Phoenix