Archive for Life

Splish Splash Water Park in Calverton, New York (Long Island)

Splish Splash Ride

Although I have lived on Long Island for about 6 years and have been spending summers out here ever since I started dating my husband (almost 15 years ago), this weekend was my first time at Splish Splash Water Park in Calverton, New York, and it was the kids’ first time at a water park. The kids had a blast and it was a great family fun day trip on Long Island. There are a few things we’d probably do differently next time we go so I thought I would share them with you.

We considered going to a water park on our Disney Social Media Moms trip but one of the water parks was closed and we ended up spending so much time in the other parks and at Sea World that we skipped it. So, we promised the kids we would check out Splish Splash when we were back on Long Island.

Splish Splash Ride

Parking and Tickets – Military Discount!

First thing you have to know is that you are going to be shelling out a lot of money. Read more

Everyone Deserves A Breath of Fresh Air

The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer vacations to New York City children from disadvantaged communities since 1877. Many of these kids would otherwise not have a chance to play in open spaces, enjoy nature, or even just relax on the grass under a shady tree. The kind of experiences that should be a part of childhood.

As a child, I used to visit my Grandfather at the hotel where he worked in the Catskills. I can remember how much more carefree the summers seemed, even to this suburbanite. For the Fresh Air Fund children who grow up in concrete hi-rises, this change of pace and environment can be even more important.

Imagine a childhood summer without blades of grass tickling your toes, catching fireflies, or splashing in the water.

There are a lot of ways you can help these kids get out of the city for a little while and experience more of their world.

One of the biggest ways a family can help is to host a child. Unless all prospective host families are screened and vetted in time many children may miss out on this invaluable experience. Families who want to extend an invitation to a 9-12 year old are especially in need. If you are interested, please contact Angie (angie@freshair.org or 1-800-367-0003; 212.897.8900).

If you cannot host, you can help with a donation to The Fresh Air Fund.

Please spread the word this and every summer!

Father’s Day


Father’s Day was tons of fun–especially for Diva the Kid (hopefully the Dads had fun, too). The weekend kicked off with a trip to the strawberry festival and strawberries are her favorites, second only to blueberries. She even got to have the rare treat of some yummy ice cream.

At the festival, she picked out a beautiful mirror imported from Bali for her room. And yes, she actually picked out the mirror and was quite insistent that was the one. The frame is a sun and crescent moon with a design on its face that looks like a tribal tattoo.

The grand finale was a spin in front of a bubble maker they had set up at the stage. She got a real kick out of that one.

On Sunday, she hosted all of her grandparents, her great grandfather, one of her great grandmothers, her great uncle, and two of her second cousins (ages 5 and 7) for a Barbecue. She just ate up all the attention (and the food). Watching her play with the family, especially the “big kids,” reminds me why we moved back to New York!

On the cards for her Daddy and her Grandfathers, she drew original crayon artwork.

Even though it was Father’s Day, I couldn’t stop my dad from getting her a present. Her Papa heard about her fun with the bubble maker and brought one for the kids to enjoy. I got some great shots of her crowned with a wreath of bubbles.

Of course, the real highlight was having Daddy’s undivided attention for the weekend. When he’s talking to her, it is like the rest of the world just fades away. She stares at him with such rapt attention and wonder and it makes me fall in love all over again, too.
C

Toddler Empathy

We had a fabulous day today.

First we went to a “Soccer Tots” demo. We’ve been joking all week about what a 1-3 year old soccer clinic looks like. We imaged half the kids sitting on the floor, a quarter of the kids crying, and a quarter accidentally kicking each other.

Soccer Tots

Despite my high expectations for humor value and low expectations for organization, the class was actually quite fun for the kids involved.

Baby LOVES kicking the ball around so I was hoping it would be a big hit. She’s been getting better and better at being around new people and today she participated like a champ. A little boy her age wanted to share with her which is just about the cutest thing, but Baby isn’t quite at that stage yet. I was very proud, though, that she managed to throw the ball as well as kick it in the right direction. Here’s another picture…faces blurred to protect the cute little people who aren’t related to me.

Go, Soccer Tots!

After her nap, we ventured out again to check out our local libraries. We have a choice of two and as a Libra I am incapable of reaching a quick decision.

At the library was the calmest, sweetest dog and Baby actually got close enough to touch the dog (though she stopped short of an actual petting)! This is huge for us. Usually she doesn’t even want to be in the same room as a dog, although she is fascinated by plush dogs and dogs in books. All the way home she kept telling me, “Mama, Woof Woof!”

Just for fun, here’s another pic of my cutie:

Baby in a Hat

Finally, at bedtime tonight, my daughter gave me a glimpse of the caring young woman I hope she will become. We were reading Babar, one of her new favorites, and when we got to the part where Babar cries because he misses his mother (who was shot by the hunter), tears started streaming down my little girl’s face. She pointed to me and said, “Mama!” I hugged her and told her that I was fine and mumbled something about trying my best to avoid getting shot by a hunter.

Then I reminded her that the story had a happy ending and asked her if I should keep reading. I made sure to keep my tone upbeat through the rest of the story as we followed Babar’s homecoming, wedding, and coronation. Her smile grew as we continued the reading and then she burst out in applause as Babar and Celeste rode away in their beautiful balloon.

The End.

Pregnancy Week 7: Parents Don’t Get Sick Days

Following our fun announcement to the grandparents and a lovely Christmas, I came down a nasty, nasty cold that developed into a sinus infection.

During this sickness I learned a few things:

1. Parents of small children don’t get sick days.

I already knew this, but being sick, with a toddler, and pregnant really drove this home. Fortunately, we were staying at my in-laws and my mother in law is a teach who was still on vacation. Because there was a period of about 24 hours during which I could not function.

2. You should always have a family doctor.

We were still in the process of a move and so I had neither ObGyn nor family practitioner. You try getting a walk-in appointment on New Year’s Eve Day, an hour and a half from where you are staying, when you don’t even have a primary care physician.

3. I cannot rely on my memory from the last pregnancy.

I took Advil, which turns out to be a no-no. Fortunately, it looks like it is mainly an issue in the third trimester. Still, it is not recommended for pregnant women unless they are advised to use it by a doctor. I would not have made this mistake last time around. Last time around I would have checked, Dr. Sears, the Internet, and the nurse’s line. Of course, it didn’t help that I still hadn’t found an ObGyn at that point.

4. I should NEVER put my rings in my jeans’ pocket.

Especially when I’m running a fever. Apparently I placed my wedding band and my engagement ring in my pocket while sick and then rolled up the jeans. My husband brought me my jeans and unfolded them as he handed them to me and I saw my band fall to the ground.

Thus commenced the 12 hour search for the engagement ring. The engagement ring my one true love gave to me. The engagement ring that belonged to his great grandmother. Yeah. Uh-huh.

My husband was pretty sure that the ring MUST be in the house because I had rolled my jeans up in order to protect the rings–which would indicate that I took the rings off right before undressing to go rest.

I was worried that in my fever-addled state, I had been uncomfortable with the rings on and placed them in my pocket at the doctor’s office. The pocket out of which I was fishing tissues all day. Tissues which were periodically emptied into various garbage cans, including those at the doctor’s office.

Fortunately we located the ring on a towel in the room where we were staying, but not before my superhero husband fished through his family’s garbage cans. Yeah, he deserves some sort of medal for that.


I’m in Week Fifteen right now, playing catch-up with my online friends. Check out:

Moving Day, Days, Weeks…

After a long exhausting move for me and Baby Diva, and an even longer drive for Captain Dad, we arrived in our temporary residence. Now we are searching for a house to call our own in New York, hopefully for many years to come.

I have been spread even thinner than usual because somewhere on our way to New York, Baby Diva decided that only I could hold her. She is back to allowing Captain Dad to hold her, too–but there were a few days there when I was on 24/7. Her schedule has also gone kaplooie, what with the relatives and th house hunting and whatnot.

Baby Diva is cruising around non-stop and we know she recognizes who “Daddy” is: I asked her to “Hand Daddy the card” on Father’s Day and she was able to do it three times. She also pointed to my furry gentle giant (who adores her) and said, “cat.” She also did this three times. This is the first time I am 100% sure she is connecting a word (besides Mama and Dada) with the concept.

She says “luv, luv, luv” and “I love you,” but I don’t think she knows that they have meaning, just that we react when she says it. So, I guess “cat” is the official first word! Call the grandparents, break out the baby book, alert the media!

Make ‘Em Laugh…

One of the most amazing things about Baby Diva is her sense of humor. I had no idea they came with a funny bone.

The first time I heard Baby Diva full-out belly laugh, she was a couple of weeks shy of three months and we were out walking. We ran into a friend and, when Baby Diva heard the adults laugh, she bust out into a giggle fit.

Since then, one of my goals each day is to provoke baby laughter. At first, she would laugh when adults laughed. Fairly quickly, however, she began to develop her own independent sense of humor.

What she finds funny is, I suppose, unsurprising. She sticks with the classics–real Aristophanes and Comedia del Arte stuff. You know, slapstick and bodily function humor.

Some of the funny-bone tickling stuff we’ve noted includes:

  • anything that is or sounds like passing gas: burps, farts, the full early Jim Carey repertoire
  • cards shuffling (probably related to the above)
  • raspberries and “Bronx cheers” (sense a trend?)
  • animal antics of all sorts: cats and dogs jumping, leaping, rolling over, etc.
  • pretend falls
  • belly kisses
  • lifting her up in the air, flying her, curling her towards her in our arms like

Anything involving anticipation is also a favorite. If you take little lunges towards her, getting closer each time, she knows that a kiss or tickle is coming and she cracks up. Even better if you say, “I’m gonna getcha,” or, a new favorite, make any animal noises as you get closer.

At eight months, these are still a laugh riot. Starting around six months, she also started make “jokes” of her own.

She likes to give raspberries to me and to her stuffed animals and then have a good chuckle about it.

Around the same time, Baby Diva is also started to develop a slightly more sophisticated act based on “incongruity.” She’ll take out her pacifier and stick it in my mouth and then crack up laughing. Perhaps I am projecting, but it doesn’t seem to be that much of a leap of the imagination to think she is saying, “That’s silly! Mommies don’t use pacis!”

Every day it is so much fun trying to discover what is going to make her laugh.

If any other mommies and daddies are out there reading, what makes your little ones laugh?

Molasses

Everything just takes longer.

Even the smallest errand becomes an open-ended project of significant proportions with a baby. Today I got an eye exam. Super Dad met me at the opthomologist so he could hold baby.