Tag Archives: Babies

STOKKE Stroller Launch hosted by MomTrends in NYC

Testing out the STOKKE Xplory, with a Brahmin bag & Stella & Dot jewelry

I can admit, I used to be a Bugaboo Snob! I would not even have thought about giving up my Cameleon Pram (Australian for Stroller), let alone consider a different kind of Pram! My husband knows first hand how stubborn I have been in this regard. As our Son is almost 2.5 years old, he has been unsuccessfully trying to convince me to switch to at least an Umbrella stroller, especially in the instances where we have to travel. But, I always insist on taking our Bugaboo with us everywhere. And, as much as I love it, it really is not the best pram to travel with, it is actually quite awkward and time-consuming to break down, store and set up.

Fast forward to last Monday night, where I was enlightened at the Scandinavian STOKKE stroller launch that Momtrends fabulously executed at the space known as The Glasshouses in the Chelsea district of New York City. After learning about the STOKKE brand and seeing how passionate the company is, I know now I want another baby and an Xplory Pram to go with the baby! Ha, true story.

To my husband when I arrived home – “Babes, can we please have another baby so I can get a Red Xplory”.

STOKKE is a Norwegian family owned company that was founded in 1932, yep they have been around a long long time. Over the years the company has designed a variety of furniture focused on “ergonomics, uniqueness and functionality”. However, in 2006 the company changed direction and now entirely designs children´s furniture/equipment which includes high chairs, prams and baby carriers.

There were many fabulous Mommy Bloggers in attendance at the event, who were fortunate to personally hear from STOKKE’s Director of Innovation and Design Hilde Angelfoss. Hilde is the brainchild behind the Xplory pram and one bright cookie! She maintained that the top priorities when choosing a pram should be the child’s happiness, safety and comfort. She also discussed some interesting points which I had not really thought about before. For example; when out and about with your stroller, how important it is to have your baby facing inwards towards the mother thus being able to make eye contact. If a baby is facing outwards it can cause frustration and stress in a Little One, who is new to the world, because they cannot see a person that they know. Instead, they see bits and pieces of random things like the sky, cars and unrecognizable people, which can be very confusing.

The night’s event showcased 2 new strollers STOKKE recently released the Scoot and Crusi, as well as highlighting my personal favorite of the 3, the classic Xplory model. Did I mention that I love the Xplory! Brahmin handbags and Stella & Dot jewelry were also in attendance letting each of us mix and match for photos on the red carpet.

All of the STOKKE strollers are multi-talented, meaning they can be adjusted to different positions, have adjustable seat depths and adjustable foot rests. The strollers are also up high so Little Ones and Parents can be closer by being on a relevant height level to one another. The strollers are available in a range of colors, come with a 3 year extended warranty, cost in the $1000 mark (give or take) and additionally there are helpful accessories, (dependent on your terrain) like foot muffs, sibling seats, wind covers, rain covers and fitted sheets.

As I mentioned earlier, the Bugaboo Cameleon is quite awkward and time-consuming to break down, store and set up. Well, this is not the case with the STOKKE Scoot which breaks down within seconds, folding to a quarter of the size and you can even do it one-handed (I saw that happen in real life). This means you can hold your baby in one hand and with the other hand, wow the masses with your Super Mom skills. Wham Bam Thank You Maam!

STOKKE are a great company that are doing wonderful things for us parents by helping to make all of our lives easier. If you are in the market for a new stroller you should definitely check them out HERE. Not forgetting that they make other genius products like high hairs and baby carriers.

Thanks for reading!

Reserved Parking for STOKKE strollers

The Great Nappy debate!

Cloth Nappies or Disposable nappies, this is the question I am asking today! Did anybody else go what through what I went through trying to work out what was best for the Earth, my Son and me?

I did a lot of research before Miles Storm was born trying to figure it all out. It was very time-consuming. At the end of it all I was adamant that my little boy would wear Cloth nappies, mainly because of the environmental effect disposable nappies have on OUR Earth.

Mainstream disposable diapers are NOT biodegradable meaning that they sit in landfills forever and ever. The average little human uses 6,500+ nappies before they are potty trained!  A 2008 Time magazine article says “The Real Diaper Association, an advocacy group founded in 2004, estimates that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used each year in the U.S. (according to the EPA, that translates into more than 3.4 million tons of waste dumped into landfills)”.  This is beyond Crazy to me and this was in 2008! Fast forward four years… and this is the reason I never use standard nappies, not to mention most of them are bleached white – Can you imagine sitting in a bleached nappy 24/7 for 2-3 years of your life? Also, most disposable nappies have insane chemicals in them like dioxins, sodium polyacrylate, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and Tributyl-tin (TBT), among other stuff. Sounds scary right? Yeah, well it is.

My husband has still not accepted my love of cloth nappies, we fought tooth and nail about it before our Son was born, he wanted to use disposable nappies end of story. I went ahead and secretly ordered from my-cloth-nappy-of-choice the Australian GroVia and hid them in the cupboard from him. When he found them he was not a happy camper that is for sure!

Anyway, what ended up happening when Miles Storm was born was that I was too tired and exhausted to use the cloth nappies. It was too much for me, I did not have the energy to clean his nappies by hand and then wash them in the washing machine and wait for them to dry. I also did not want to pay for a pick up service to take care of it for me. And, we live in a city apartment so we do not have a laundry sink to clean them off.

As a compromise; my husband and I came up with a hybrid plan where we started using Vermont based Seventh Generation “helping to protect human health and the environment” disposable nappies which are free of fragrances, latex and chlorine and are semi-biodegradable. I still use, occasionally, GroVia cloth nappies with their 100% biodegradable disposable bio-soaker inserts (when by husband is not around). My husband is so funny in that I can have a nice row of GroVia nappy outer-shells set up and the inserts right next to them and he will still say to me “Why don’t we have any diapers”? He is just a blank to the cloth nappy vibe. Oh well! He is beautiful in other ways.

Everybody is different and you have to do what is best for you. For me, this works for my peace of mind.

If you want to use Seventh Generation nappies/products Diapers.com deliver overnight – which is wonderful.

Upstate New York, (my second home), you can buy a whole range of cloth nappies at my favorite store Waddle n Swaddle who have two locations in Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck.

In the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area Caribou Baby is the only place that I know that you can walk in and buy Cloth nappies; they also have the ability to answer any question that you may have. Hopefully soon there is a store more into the “Willy B” that also offers the same, I have a feeling that might just happen!

Miles Storm in his one of his GroVia cloth nappies!

TriBeCa Pediatrics – Dr Wittek is the Proof in the Pudding!

Is there any other Pediatrician to go to if you live in Williamsburg other than TriBeCa Pediatrics? If there is, I do not know about it, but considering they are only a few blocks from our apartment I cannot say that I’ve ever looked for another.

Tribeca Pediatrics has been at 212 Berry Street for about 4 years. They are also located on the Upper East Side, Chelsea, Park Slope, Harlem, Greenpoint, Long Island City and of course TriBeCa where they originated 10 years ago.

Personally, we have 2 pediatricians we use for Miles Storm. One is 31 year practicing Dr Joseph Malek who is Bambini Pediatrics upstate in Poughkeepsie – he is somewhat of a living legend in the modern-hippie Mum world up there and has a cult following (true story). His practice is holistic, does not necessarily push the immunizations and prefers natural remedies to cure problems.

And, locally we use the very traditional TriBeca Pediatrics.

We have a house upstate where we spend a lot of time, and being a holistic Mummy I wanted to have contrast and varying opinions so when I chose our upstate pediatrician I went with Dr Malek. You know, this way we hear the theories from both sides of the fence.

Since our Son was born, depending on the feedback from the varying trains of thought, sometimes we have leaned towards Bambini Pediatrics suggestions and other times Tribeca Pediatrics suggestions. For example, my Son has had all of his immunizations except his Chicken Pox and MMR – Bambini Pediatrics told us that if we do decide to immunize Miles Storm we could wait till he is 2 years old, where as Tribeca Pediatrics very much pushed for him to have it at 12 months; which we just couldn’t do! Are we going to immunize him against measles and chicken pox, we are still not sure? We go back and forwards about it all the time.

The hands-down best thing about Tribeca Pediatrics (beside the organic lollipops) is two-time-Mummy Dr Dominika Wittek. She was a God-Send for me when I went through troubling times not long after my Son was born. Being so far from my home, family and friends in Australia I truly do not know what I would have done without her support and advice. She called me on the phone to check in with me and was available to me via email. I cannot even put in to words what a beautiful and genuinely caring Doctor she is. I am one of her biggest fans, and I highly recommend her to any new local Mums out there looking for someone to watch over your Little One as they grow.

Tribeca Pediatrics also offer classes in CPR, Essential Baby Care, Breastfeeding Preparation and Preparation for Childbirth. You can find out more information about this at their webpage www.tribecapediatrics.com

Dr Wittek giving Miles Storm his 18 month check-up!

Nothing like a CAT Scan on a Sunday morning!

Last night when Miles Storm finished up bath time and was getting towled off, he slipped on the wet floor, fell backwards and hit his head. I tried to catch him but didn’t make it in time. He was really upset, but eventually calmed down and went to sleep for the night. This morning when he woke up, I breastfed him and not long after that he started vomiting every 10 minutes. After about an hour of this we knew we had to take him to the hospital. One thing you learn being a new parent is that children fall, and they are usually okay. When he was born we freaked out about everything and have been known to take him to the ER for things that seem a little silly, (in retrospect).

At the hospital, he had a CAT Scan to check that he did not have a head injury – it was an awful feeling to see him go into one of those big machines. Thankfully, he was okay and the Doctor ruled that he had a stomach virus and that the vomiting had nothing to do with his fall. We sat there with him for over an hour waiting for this information. It was such a relief to hear.

The experience this morning made me think back to 8 months ago when Miles Storm was in his crawling/learning to walk phase. We have very hard floors and after watching him have one too many falls, I Googled “Crawling Helmets”. Surprisingly enough, I found a UK infant safety hat called “Thudguard” which I eagerly ordered immediately. I admit, at first I did feel a bit silly having him in a helmet while he was exploring and learning how to use his body, but once I had seen the Thudguard save him just one time I was confident that I made the right decision in purchasing one. I had great peace-of-mind knowing that there was that extra safety barrier in place if he did fall.

The revolutionary Thudguard was designed by a mother – it figures, what a great idea – and is available in either blue or purple. It retails for about $50USD + shipping. It is very lightweight and has holes for extra ventilation. I also love the “baby cute” little ears. Miles Storm never complained about wearing it either. You can order one directly from the Thudguard website.

In my opinion, it is Just Better To Be Safe Than Sorry!

Miles Storm wearing his Thud-Guard crawling helmet.

So you want your baby/toddler to be a model…. This is how my Son became one.

I get a lot of questions from Mothers asking me how they can get their babies/toddlers into modeling like Miles Storm. My Son experienced his first day of work at 3 months modeling for “Babies R Us“. I thought I was special getting my first job at 16 years of age, but nope I am not as clever as him!

While I was pregnant with Miles Storm, I was lucky enough to sign with the top maternity modeling agency in the world, NYC based Expecting Models, and what a pleasant eye-opening journey it was! Indeed being very different to when I modeled for Chadwick Management in Australia where I had to be a VERY VERY skinny girl! With maternity modeling it is always about making your tummy look bigger – the bigger your tummy the more work you get – makes sense! Of course, your tummy has to be the only part of your body that grows; I still had to work-out, eat healthy and look after myself.

It worked like this – every 4 weeks I had to go to the agency and have digital pictures taken in a bikini which were then uploaded to the agency website; this way the clients can see what your tummy looks and how you are progressing with the pregnancy. A lot of big companies (like GAP for example) book the models months in advance for shoots. There is obviously only a short window to model though and most of the work comes in one’s third trimester.

Miles Storm is now modeling, as one of the really cool things about Expecting Models is that he was ALSO signed to their growing children’s division when he was in my tummy. This was a condition in my contract and there was no way around it.

If you are interested in pursuing a modeling career while pregnant you can contact Expecting Models through their web page. It is better to do it this way, I do not suggest you call. They usually only accept established or experienced models. However, occasionally they do accept newbies onto their books.

Me in Week 34 of my pregnancy modeling with “Expecting Models”

Farm to Baby – I Love Your Vibe.

I heard about Farm to Baby through my twitter feed – the Internet is a wonderful thing! I read a ReTweet saying that they were going to be at the Greenpoint / McCarren Park Greenmarket last weekend. I was excited, being a fit and health conscious Mum I knew I had to go and check out their vibe.

Farm to Baby provides home cooked baby food that can be delivered to your door or can be picked up at a set location -  think a CSA for babies. It is a marvelous concept, and giving credit where credit is due, local residents Lauren and Marshall are getting out there and making a difference!

Marshall explained to me -”Fresh fruits and vegetables boast a dazzling spectrum of micronutrients, while jarred-foods cooked at high heats for extended periods of time lose precious vitamins and minerals (and take a major hit in the flavor department). So we’ve made it incredible easy to introduce babies to a broad array of fruits and veggies that boast the very best nutritional profile because they are harvested in season, carefully prepared and delivered fresh to your family”.

Read More Willy B Mum

Baby Boot Camp. Let’s Get Physical.

Wow, was Miles Storm a terrorist or what today at Baby Boot Camp? All of a sudden he is super interactive with other babies…. pity all the other babies at class were younger than him and just not feeling his vibe!

I have been looking for another exercise class to do in “Willy B” on the alternate days to which “Mighty Mamas” run on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a while now – exercising only 2 days a week is not enough for me. Thankfully, having started 6 months ago Baby Boot Camp  is executed at Caribou Baby and the Betz Method Gym in Greenpoint on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the week. Perfect compliment to “Mighty Mamas”.

I went to my first class last week and I am happy to report it was extremely challenging physically. Big points here because as if us Mums have time to dilly-dally. Let’s get our bodies back in minimal time with maximum effort!

Jody Camarra heads up the group in the WIlliamsburg/Greenpoint Chapter. Having recently had a beautiful daughter, and not wanting to go back to work she started Baby Boot Camp in September of 2011. I am so happy she did, and I know that a lot of other Mummies in our neighborhood are also grateful.

The class differs slightly to “Mighty Mamas” in that it is not encouraged that children are out of the pram, if possible. Miles Storm was a little confused about this at first…..

On Fridays the class is held at the Betz Method Gym and it is not entirely baby proof. I had to EVENTUALLY let my Little One out of his pram as it was too much for him to sit and watch us all run around the room. He threw a small fit – Fair Enough – he wanted to explore! To compromise, all the Mums and the instructor helped me to make sure he did not get into too much mischief. TEAM WORK!

The Wednesday class at Caribou Baby is a lot more relaxed if you have an older baby/toddler, and it is not so necessary that Little Ones are kept in their pram from a safety standpoint.

If you are interested in attending a Free Trial class  you can email Jody directly at jody.camarra@babybootcamp.com and she will happily send you more information.

Up and At ‘Em “WIlly B” – hopefully me and Miles Storm will see you in a class soon!

Miles Storm helping me out with my Plank position.

Open Play at “The Gym Park” – Gymnastics Inspired Play.

The Gym Park is another great find!

To think a few weeks ago I thought that there was nothing really for my Little One to do – boy was I wrong. There is so much to do in the Williamsburg Brooklyn area, I can barely keep up.

Head down to 8 Oak Street down in Greenpoint, on the East River, if you are ever stuck for an indoor activity, or you just want to let your Little One tire themselves out. There is plenty to do inside the Very Colorful 2,800 square foot facility including trampolines, swings, hula hoops, scarves, toys, balls, and lots of other children! Everything is Padded too, which is great. Miles fell over so many times running and jumping, and did not bat an eyelid, it was all part of the appeal for him.

The Gym Park has been open for around 2 years now, and has mixed reviews in the area – one thing I have learnt is that you cannot keep everybody happy!  I met Peter, who runs the venue and he was very helpful. Sure, he did seem a bit obsessive compulsive but I really did not take it to heart. There is nothing wrong with running a ship-shape and clean venue, right?

Open Play is from 10.30AM – 12.30PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as 3PM – 5PM on Wednesday. The cost is $15 up front or $10 if you pay a $30 Open Play membership fee. There are also a ton of classes offered for babies all the way up to teenagers.

Additionally, The Gym Park offers a lot of other activities including Birthday Parties, Camps and special events like “Kids Night Out”. You can find more information on their web page at www.thegympark.com

I am going to try out a “Mommy and Me” class with Miles Storm the week after next, as they are closed for Presidents Week (like a lot of other places). I am very much looking forward to it and will let you know how it goes.

Singalong at The Knitting Factory with Lloyd from The Deedle Deedle Dees!

Miles Storm LOVED Sing-a-long at The Knitting Factory – he was literally dancing on the table, which is quite a sight to see!

Sing-a-long is held at The Knitting Factory at 361 Metropolitan twice a week on Wednesday and Fridays at 11AM till around noon. The cost is $3 per family – Bargain! Lloyd Miller from The Deedle Deedle Dees a Brooklyn based educational rock band hosts the Sing-a-long on Wednesday only; on Friday it is somebody different. I have heard various opinions about which Sing-a-long is better, however as I have only been on a Wednesday I really cannot comment.

I know that Miles Storm had a wonderful time, he really enjoys music thus this was really up his alley. Lloyd is quite popular it seems and was surrounded by Little adoring fans screaming, shaking their hands and stomping their feet! It was very cute.

The harmonica playing, guitar slinging, one-man-band sang all the typical songs like “You are my Sunshine” and “If you’re happy and you know it”, as well as songs I had never heard before. Lloyd has been in the business of entertaining Little Ones since 2003, and it shows! I too really enjoyed his music having a mountain country kind of vibe to it (if you know what I mean)?

I do recommend you get there early as the venue was packed to the rims, there was easily over 100 people there! And, unless you leave early do not expect to get out in a hurry either, as once everybody locates their pram, puts their jackets on and gets the children ready it is some time before you are out the door. You have to pay Lloyd directly, and if you do not have time to do it when you get there pay him as you are leaving.

If you want to check Lloyd out before heading over to one of his Sing-a-longs you can see him in action on his youtube page HERE.

Miles Storm dancing on the table with his hands in the air!

“Puppetsburg” at The Brick Theater!

Right off the bat, Puppetsburg WAS SO MUCH FUN. Miles Storm had a Ball. A Very Very Big Ball!

I heard about the Baby Puppetsburg show from another Mum in my building. I have had it on my list of things to investigate since I started this blog, and today Miles Storm and I finally made it over to East Williamsburg, to The Brick Theater located at 575 Metropolitan, to check it out. I feel like I am in East Williamsburg a lot these days. There is so much going on for Little Ones over there.

We made it to the 12.30 show. There is also an earlier show at 11AM. The cost is $16 at the door, or $18.50 online. I did not know that you could pay at the door so I paid online in advance.  Puppetsburg just decided to offer 10 packet deal for $140 which must be used 3 months within buying. If you are interested in doing this you can email them for more information at puppetsburg@gmail.com, or you can pay via Pay Pal on their Blog HERE.

We were not disappointed – the 2 girls who run the show were so warm, loving and welcoming as soon as we walked in the door. They were both very attentive to all the children there and we felt right at home Instantly.

To start, there was a casual play time on the floor where the children played with toys to get used to the environment. Then the music and dancing started. Miles Storm loves to dance. There was BUBBLE and PARACHUTE time, as well as playing with Poms-Poms and shakers. The Puppet show was very interactive, with the children all kissing and hugging the puppets when they had the chance. The theme of today’s show was Going Back in time to the Superbowl, and Clementine the main star trying to solve the mystery of who her secret Valentines was. In case you are wondering, it was her Nanna!!

I think this is going to the first activity I am going to commit too for Miles Storm because he loved it so much – Husband Approving!

*Puppetsburg has also just added a new show at 3.30PM on Tuesdays at the Greenpoint Reformed Church.

Update — This event no longer runs

“Puppetsburg” at The Brick Theater on Metropolitan.