Tag Archives: New York City Kids

Pumpkin Picking at Kesicke Farm

Did you know that the North American native Pumpkin is the largest fruit in the world, and close to 1.5 billion pounds are produced in the United States each year! That is a whole lot of Pumpkin.

The fabulous fat orange Pumpkin is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium (Love That). As well, as being an ample source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus. By eating pumpkins you also take in Vitamin A & C, Potassium, Copper and Manganese (among other benefits)  This may sound like Chinese to some, if so, just be assured that eating pumpkins are good for you.

One of my best-loved Annual Autumn activities is Pumpkin Picking, and it is definitely something that is way more fun now that Miles Storm is around.

This year, our favorite local Lobotsky Farm did not produce any pumpkins due to environmental restraints, which is a hard blow for them and many in the immediate area who love visiting their land every year to pick pumpkins.

Having no choice but to find another place to pick pumpkins we stumbled across Kesicke Farm which is in the neighboring town of Red Hook, close to where we spend every weekend Upstate NY.
And, what a find it was (as the photos show)!

There was so much to do, including;
- Pick Your Own Pumpkins
- Corn Maze
- Wagon Rides through the corn (which Miles & Mohawk loved, Daddy not so much)
- Hay Rides
- Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
- Corn Pit (Just like a sand pit but yellow)
- Pumpkin Painting with Arts & Crafts
- Mini Hay Maze for little ones
- Petting Zoo
- Fresh Farm Produce

We spent about 3 hours at the Farm, but we could have easily spent the whole day if we were prepared. It is a great family outing, with plenty on site to keep Little Ones busy.

P.S – Dogs are welcome!

**All of these photos were taken on a IPhone 4S, being lightened and sharpened with the Snapseed Application and then finished with a filter with the Photo Toaster Application.

Let’s visit the Prospect Park Wonderland in Brooklyn!

Last week, I decided to take Miles Storm on a day trip to Prospect Park, which is in Brooklyn about 4 miles from where we live in Williamsburg. It was a pleasant day, he’d slept in late (amazing as therefore so did I) and as a result we had missed his morning art-class meaning that I had to come up with another activity to keep him entertained. I have lived in NYC for 10 years, and Prospect Park has been one of the places I have always wanted to visit however it never happened – the same with The Intrepid and the American Museum of Natural History. Now that Miles Storm is here it looks like all that will finally manifest, as goodness knows I have tried to convince my husband to tag along with me for years to no avail!

The 585 acre Prospect Park is a wonderful wonderful space which was designed by the same revolutionary who designed Central Park (as well as many other parks) from the mid 1800′s onwards – Frederick Law Olmsted. Frederick, known as the founder of landscape architecture is one man I would love to go back in time and meet to say thank-you! The contrast of being able to step off a crazy busy city Street into a nature wonderland is magical – there is a Zoo, a Carousel, the old-time Lefferts farm-house, library, so many beautiful old trees and the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. And, this is only in vicinity of where we were, there is so much more to see! New York City is truly blessed to have such a place to visit.

We started at the Zoo, where we visited the Sea Lions, Toucans, Dingoes, Red Pandas and Turtles. The Zoo is quite quaint being able to see it all in about 2 hours. There is a nice grassed area to sit down for a picnic and eat your own food, unless you want to buy snacks from the vending machines on site. I wish I had known this beforehand as I was expecting at least a café of some sort.

Next up, we went for a ride on the Merry-Go-Around. Yay, I love Merry-Go-Arounds! The Carousel is as vintage as can-be having this month having celebrated 100 years in operation. It boasts a dragon drawn chariot, a lion and 53 magnificently designed horses. Can you imagine the hundreds of thousands of children that have ridden on it over the years? Word of Warning – The ride gets really fast at one point, the wind was whipping through our hair at speed and we really had to hold on for dear life. And, how we laughed, what is it about carousels that just make you laugh? Good times!

By this stage, Miles Storm was getting sleepy with all the excitement, and there was still so much to do. We crossed the road to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which is $10 admission, and totally worth every cent. Miles Storm played in a child friendly area which had a water table and a dirt pit where he looked for worms…. he was covered from head to toe in dirt. Then just like that, he was in his pram and fast asleep. Wake up Miles Storm Wake Up! I mean, we only were able to see such a small part of the Botanical Gardens. However, before we left I was able to sit down, take a deep breath and eat a top-notch kale/arugula salad at the outdoor café, and I am fussy so be assured it was delicious!

I wish we could have stayed all day, and I cannot wait to visit the Park again soon.

Miles Storm on the 100-year-old Carousel in Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY

Aqua Beba, we’re so glad we found you

As we have a swimming pool and a lake on the family property upstate NY it was a priority for my husband and I to start our Son Swimming lessons as soon as possible. I knew about the Williamsburg/Greenpoint located Aqua Beba Swim School and wanted to check out their vibe and do a drop-in lesson before we committed. Fair enough I thought? However, when I first called to inquire it was politely explained to me that it was a matter of privacy towards the participating families and as each group progressed together it was not fair to bring in curious-not-sure parents to observe a class. Well, the way it was explained left me no choice and on Word-Of-Mouth recommendations I agreed to sign Miles Storm up for his first semester of lessons. And, I am happy to write that we were so not disappointed.

I took our 20-month-old Son 2 weeks ago to his first lesson and by the end of it he was jumping from the side of the pool into my arms (in the pool) and Kick-Kicking his way across to the other side (with me holding him). But wait, by his second lesson (as the photo below shows) he is comfortably being submersioned and swimming under water without a worry in the world. This is a true story and not a word of a lie! I am just so upset I only found about the classes now, as Aqua Beba starts infants as young as 4 months of age in the water.

Aqua Beba is the brainchild of Serbian born Danilo Krvavac and his wife Heidi. Danilo is kind of like a Swim God as Cesar Milan is to Dog Whispering (in my opinion). He has a gift, and people in the neighborhood rave about him.

Heidi told me that when she met Danilo she could barely swim having been intimidated, since she was little, about being in the water. One day Danilo took her to the pool and taught her to swim in 15 minutes. That is amazing! When their first daughter, Penelope, was born Danilo had her in the water as soon as possible thus realizing that there were no heated pools in the area to swim with her in, and that there appeared to be a need for an infant swim school. Presto thankfully Aqua Beba was born!

In her own words – Danilo worked with children in Europe in the past and wanted to develop a unique program that really catered to every child’s need. He has blended so many techniques and styles to make it his own. If a child is nervous or afraid to go in the water we never force them. We work with them at their own pace until they are comfortable. The reason we ask parents to come in the water is so that each child is swimming the entire class verses sitting on the side of the pool while an instructor works with one child at a time. Also we realized that we will not be with you on vacations so parents needed to be involved. We try and keep it fun but we are really more targeted towards getting everyone swimming and safe in the water.

Read More Willy B Mum

“Willy B” – Let’s Run a 5KM for the charity *Girls On the Run*

I have run, for exercise, close to 15 years now. I enjoy running. With this in mind, today I decided to do something I have always wanted to do on a professional level, and that is properly train to run a 5KM. I am very excited about it, especially as the 5KM is for children’s charity – Girls On The Run. It also helps that I can take my Son with me to the preparation workouts each week.

As a charity, Girls On The Run encourages positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development. The 5k Run is the “bees knees” of this program, where girls learn to stretch themselves — physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This particular race is for 18+ women Only, unless you are parent/legal guardian of one of 300 girls from the ages of 8 – 13 years participating in the event. GO ESTROGEN!

Jody Cammara (who heads the local Williamsburg/Greenpoint Baby Boot Camp Group) is training local Mummies for the race which is being executed at Ashphalt Green on the UES on Sunday June the 10th at 8.30AM!!!! Starting next week, the 6 week training is in McCarren Park every Tuesday and/or Sunday morning at 11AM with a flat cost of $75. There is an extra $25 charge to register and take part in the race.

Jody says – “As a postpartum mom, you are more susceptible to injury due to the dramatic physical and hormonal changes you have been through, regardless of the age of your child. Your joints (hips and knees) are most susceptible, both of which endure significant impact and possible injury. By incorporating walking intervals, this training program helps you build to your goal while also preventing injury”.

Besides being under the guidance of an expert who has designed the program specifically for Mummies, this is also a great opportunity to meet other like-minded souls in the area (and, of course, to get out of the apartment).

Are you a local Williamsburg/Greenpoint Mum? Are you interested in signing up too? If so you can email jody.camarra@babybootcamp.com for more information.

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”

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.