Tag Archives: Rhinebeck NY

Four Halloweens and Counting

When, my 3-year-old Son was born, my husband bought me my first iPhone. The main reason for this gift was so I could use one of the breast milk calculator APPS; you know one that counts how many minutes you breastfeed on each boob for, per day per feeding!

My husband likes to keep track of everything, he is a numbers guy, and this was a way he could keep in tune with how his wife and baby were doing. It was also really handy information to have on a digital spreadsheet for when we visited the Pediatrician. Welcome to the future! At a glance, our Doctor was able to see whether Miles Storm was drinking a healthy amount of breast milk. And, I have to tell you, having to nurse every 3 hours to feed Miles I was of no help in remembering how much milk he was drinking, I was more like a walking sleep-deprived zombie! It was all such a blur. Yep, those were the good old days.

Another thing that my husband signed me up for around that time was the relatively unknown Iphone APP known as Instagram. Yes, I have uploaded photos of my life on Instagram for 3 years, and that time has flown by. I am actually really grateful for this introduction for many reasons. One being that I have dated visual memories that I can go back and visit at any time, and being a Mummy Blogger this is incredibly helpful at times, like now. Social Media; how would we live without it.

From a cute little Father Christmas to this year’s IronMan; I am so looking forward to seeing my Son’s Halloween costumes progress over the years to come. I invite you to enjoy the different stages of my little munchkin growing up through the 4 Halloween’s he has experienced in his young life so far.

First Halloween
Year 2010
Father Christmas
Brooklyn NY
Miles Storm was around 6 weeks of age during his first Halloween. I had planned to take him to a Halloween Party with my Mother, who was visiting from Australia, but it did not work out as planned. Instead we dressed him in his Father Christmas outfit, which he posed for with our Bulldog Mohawk, a few weeks later.

Around 6.5 pounds

Second Halloween
Year 2011
Kangaroo and Joey
Rhinebeck NY
1-year-old; one of the best ages for Halloween, from a Parent perspective anyway. Miles Storm had just started walking, and did not mind whether that he was dressed up as a cute kangaroo. I was also happy to represent my homeland of Australia. Not to mention, everybody just thought that he was adorable.

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

Third Halloween
Year 2012
Rhinebeck NY

Halloween, was for the most part, cancelled in New York in the aftermath of the devastating, Hurricane Sandy, which had hit landfall a week earlier. Miles Storm had picked his costume out, and was very excited about it all, so instead we took him to the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market where he strutted his stuff. He was loving life this day, literally as proud as punch. As you can see, a picture speaks a thousand words.

Ahoy Matey!

Fourth Halloween
Year 2013
Brooklyn NY
Sigh…. this year Miles Storm was adamant that he must be dressed as cartoon character Ironman. It took him hours to choose his outfit from a catalogue which came in the mail, and while my husband and I tried to convince him otherwise, he would not budge! From a cute fluffy kangaroo to a superhero that wants to save the World. Such a boy! This was also his first time Trick or Treating which he just did with the other children in our apartment building.

Ironman, what next

What are the varying characters that your child/children have dressed as over the years? When do children stop wanting to dress up?

Happy Halloween Everybody, and here is to many more to come!


Resource every Mum & Dad in NYC should be aware of – City MD

Having your first child is a wonderful experience filled with Up and Downs. Highs filled with wonder and joy, and Lows where you are in frightening situations where you are at a loss and not sure what to do. One of the most frightening experiences personally is when Miles Storm is not physically 100% and we have to take him to the hospital ER. In the last 2.5 years this has happened say 6 times for a variety of reasons like high fevers, falls and vomiting. One fall even lead to him have a precautionary cat scan. Scary right?

My family divides time living in New York City during the week, and 2 hours North of NYC upstate in the quaint little town of Rhinebeck on weekends. We have been doing this for 7 years. Contrastively, we have the best of the city and country living.

The Northern Dutchess Hospital is located a few miles away from our home in Rhinebeck and is nothing short of exceptional. Thankfully, all the visits to the ER with Miles have been upstate and not in New York City. We were actually there this past weekend as my Son had a stomach bug and could not stop vomiting. We have always been placed in a room immediately, and the staff and Doctors are wonderful. Every experience has been reassuring, thoughtful and patiently explained.

But, in New York City a friendly small country hospital is not an option that is available. Due to the amount of people here, the Emergency Rooms can be horrible experiences. I have been a patient in hospital emergency rooms in NYC a few times and neither was a pleasant experience. First of all, insurance seems to be the most important thing when you walk in. Even having insurance, I’ve been made to feel like I am a criminal while it was checked and double checked before going any further. And, the waits!! You will wait hours and hours to see a Doctor. I once had a blood clot in my leg from a fall and I waited at NYU Hospital downtown for 3 hours before I was seen – a blood clot is an extremely volatile situation. Obviously, I was okay. I did stay overnight but as they had no beds available in rooms I was on a stretcher in a corridor. It makes me shudder to think about it. The hospitals feel very impersonal, and like the Doctor is always in a rush to get on to the next situation. I dread ever having to take my Son to the ER in this city.

This is why I was excited to be invited to a Mummy Blogger Q&A event recently to meet the Doctors and team that are behind City MD which is a walk-in emergency care center in Manhattan. I had never heard of City MD before and now have this as a reassurance that if  somebody in my family does have a mini-emergency, when in the city, we have an alternative to a hospital ER room.

At the moment there are 6 locations with more coming soon – Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Columbus Circle, Union Square, East 67th Street and Flatiron. The majority of the Doctors who work at City MD are experienced Emergency Room Doctors who are affiliated with Cornell University. I took a tour of the facility on the Upper West Side and it is very clean with state of the art equipment. City MD assure that you will be seen by a Doctor in no later than 20 minutes ; which is amazing. The are open Monday – Saturday 8AM – 10PM and weekends from 9AM – 9PM.

City MD definitely beats going to a New York City hospital any day!

**Please see below for a little clip showing the facility. This is to be used on the community site Romio which is a local website with recommendations from friends and neighborhood experts.

Left to Right – Me, Jessica who writes the Blog “Mommas Gone City”, Serena who writes the Blog “Mama Goes Natural”,  Tarik Sansal CEO of Romio, Dr John Kahoun of CityMD, Wendy who writes the Blog “Mama One Two Three”  and Calvin Hwang the Chief Branding Officer of City MD

Last day of Summer – Let’s go apple picking

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away. Well that is what I was always told by my parents when I was a little girl. I did not really understand what it meant back then, but I still tried to eat an Apple A Day because I did not really like going to the Doctor so much. Funny right.

You cannot go wrong eating apples (so eat them as much as you can) – they are free of fat, sodium & cholesterol, low in calories and full of fiber. It is always preferable to eat apples untouched with the skin on as it is chock-a-block of disease-fighting antioxidants. Not to mention, apples are the perfect carry-anywhere snack food, perfect for little hands & big hands alike.

This weekend, with my mother-in-law and my 2-year-old Son we decided to spend the last day of Summer (sigh) at our local Upstate NY Cedar Heights Orchard picking apples. Cedar Heights Orchard has been family owned for 150 years and is the only pick-your-own in the Rhinebeck area. It is a beautiful spot, with the orchard being on top of a Hill giving a great view of the historic Hudson Valley. A perfect place to spend some quality time with friends and family.

I had never been apple picking before, which seems weird being that I am all about nature and eating healthy foods, but yes it is a true story. It was also Miles Storm’s first day picking apples and I have to say, he really enjoyed himself.  He had a marvelous time running among the trees helping us to pick apples, then putting them in the cart to take home. Who knew picking apples could be so much fun? We are definitely going to go back again this season, and I am adding it to the list of family seasonal activities.


  • Place apples gently into your cart, do not throw them in as they can bruise
  • To prevent spoilage, wash apples right before you are about to use them
  • Keeping apples out of hot temperatures helps conserve longevity, store in dry cool basement or in the fridge
  • Try to pick apples with the stem still attached to also help with longevity
  • Apples fall naturally from trees & it is okay to take them as long as they are not bruised, half-eaten or have wasps lurking inside
  • The color of apples is the best way to tell if they are ripe, as well as feeling that they are firm and crisp looking
  • It helps to have a stick to knock the branches so the apples fall, or even better an apple-picking tool with a grabber basket on the end (the orchard we visited had these available for customers to use)

Read More Willy B Mum

A Farmers Markets is a wealth of knowledge for Little Ones

My family really enjoy our Sunday trips to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, upstate NY, where we spend every weekend. Miles Storm especially loves the experience, having visited the market with us since he was born, it is something he gets very excited about.  This past weekend he particularly enjoyed tasting some of the produce. First he tried zucchini, then he tried apples and lastly he tried carrots. It was hilarious to watch, people were in stitches laughing at his antics.

Children can learn a lot from a Farmers Market, it is abound with endless knowledge, it is also a super-fun outing and a wonderful learning opportunity. Here’s why.

Identifying Different Foods

Attending a fun outdoor market and pointing out different foods to your children can lead to further discussion about all kinds of wonderful things like what meals you can make with that food, what color the food is, how to spell the name of the food, what time of the year the food grows, the health benefits of eating the food etc. Knowledge is power, and a child being familiar with the natural foods around them can only encourage healthy eating habits.

Different Seasons Produce Different Foods

Tomatoes in April, Blueberries in November – I do not think so. Different seasons and weather patterns produce different foods, and a Farmers Market is an exact reflection of this. Children who make regular visits will learn about the natural availability of foods, compared to what is purchasable in the supermarket all year around. Learning about this at a young age can help to establish the important practice of buying local seasonal food when possible, thus ensuring that there will continue to be farms in our communities providing future generations with nourishing, flavorful, and abundant goods.

Meet Your Local Farmer Read More Willy B Mum

Amazing Vegetable Soup, perfect for a Little One with an ear-ache

A few days ago we realized Miles Storm was not feeling well, and when we checked his temperature it was just over 102 (poor little guy). We took him straight to the ER at the local Northern Dutchess Hospital where we were for 3 hours waiting to see what was wrong with him. He just laid there on the bed as limp as limp, which was so heart breaking to see. It ended up, that he had a bad ear infection which we assume he developed because he had been in the pool the day before. My Son participates in swimming lessons at an amazing school in Brooklyn called Aqua Beba. He is already swimming under water so he had spent most of the time in the pool with his head submerged.

When we were at the hospital my mother-in-law offered to make some soup for him, which is perfect when you are not feeling very well – a yummy home-made soup.

Miles Storm and I are predominately vegetarians who occasionally eat some seafood. We do not eat animals and we cannot eat any cow milk products or gluten because if we do we both develop skin conditions.  We prefer only to serve organic foods as the whole vibe of eating pesticides and chemicals on your food is very frightening. Unfortunately, organic foods are not always available but we do our very best. I think this is the reason so many more people are getting sick in the world and wholeheartedly believe in “You are what you eat”.

This soup is really healthy and very quick and simple to make. You can also freeze it, and it keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • A quarter a cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 organic carrots
  • Half a cup of organic peas
  • 1 organic sweet potato
  • 3 organic Italian Plum tomatoes
  • Half an organic cauliflower
  • Organic corn from 2 cobs
  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • Amore Pesto Paste (this paste has no cheese in it)
  • Amore Tomato Paste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Read More Willy B Mum

Miles Storm’s First horse-riding lesson at 20 months of age

Today was a milestone for my 20 month old boy Miles Storm. Yes, he had his First of many horse-riding lessons. And, I am so excited for him. He really is a natural and so fearless (like most children)…. perfect perfect age to get him on a Pony! It is very important, to me, that My Son is around a variety of animals as much as possible. I mean, he has always had such a gift with animals that I really do not have to push him into it. When we both visited Australia (a few months back), at the local wildlife park he was able to walk free with kangaroos, emus and dingoes which he loved. I had to keep taking him back! However, unlike Australia, there really is not many ways to openly expose children to animals if you live in New York City… besides having the cliché pets like dogs or cats! Luckily for Miles Storm, where I horse-ride upstate NY at Welywyn Stable also offers classes for infants. The youngest student they ever had is a little girl who was 15 months when she started, and now, at 3 years she is already post-trotting (raising up and down while riding). Pretty amazing right? The benefits of riding horses are endless – less allergies (if any), keeping fit and active, learning about and how to respect other beings, learning how to follow directions, improving balance and coördination, developing confidence and exploring freedom! And, learning how to properly care and feed an animal prepares a child for caring for others. All around, it is just wonderful experience! Welywyn Stable is about 2 hours north of NYC straight down the Taconic State Parkway in Milan (close to Rhinebeck). Classes for infants are $35 for half an hour and are more experiential than instructional. My Son’s lesson involved him first learning how to sit properly on a horse.. to feel comfortable, and how to hold on to the reigns. He was then walked around the barn with his teacher for 15 minutes. The rest of the time involved him watching how to take a saddle off and brushing the horse down. Horses are such magnificent, beautiful creatures and I also see this as a pure positive way to explain to him why he does not eat animals, and why his Mummy does not eat animals either! I know that he would be horrified to know that most lollies (candy) in the United States have gelatin in them which includes horse bones (awful). Not many Children know that by the way! Anyway, I cannot wait to watch the way Miles Storm progresses with his riding. It gave me such joy to see him enjoying such a beautiful thing!

Miles Storm at his first horse-riding lesson at Welwyn Stables upstate NY

Second Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change.

This year I was able to take part in the second annual “The Great Cloth Diaper Change” at the upstate NY Rhinebeck based “Waddle n Swaddle” maternity boutique where 81 Mummies and Babies got their cloth nappy on!

It happened like this – At 12.26PM all the babies were held in the air, at 12.28PM all the clean cloth nappies were held in the air, and at 12.30PM the nappies were all changed. It was very fast and all over red rover in about 8 minutes!

Besides raising awareness about reusable cloth nappies and raising money for charity, the event also aimed to break last year’s Guinness World Record of 5,026 babies simultaneously changed into cloth nappies. That is a lot of nappies right, it sure is, BUT still less than the total number of disposable nappies that the Real Diaper Association (RDA) estimates one child goes through before they turn 2 years of age!

Cloth nappies aren’t like they used to be when I was a baby being that they had to pre-folded and fastened with metal pins – Ouch! These days; cloth nappies are bright and colorful, better for the environment and a lot cheaper than the thousands of dollars you can spend on disposable nappies until your child is potty trained. They can also be reused with additional children.

The event this year was held in 16 countries compared to 5 countries last year so excitingly awareness is growing at speed!

There is still no official word as to how many nappies were changed on Saturday, although I am sure, with 11 more countries joining the movement it will be a lot higher than 5026!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change upstate NY at the Rhinebeck “Waddle n Swaddle” store