Erica Young

Co-Editor, is a teacher who specializes in early childhood development. She helps bring content that educates and informs readers. Erica has lifelong roots in Greenpoint and enjoys living here with her husband, three kids (3!), dog, cat, and two goldfish.


5 tips to welcoming Baby #2... March 08 2017, 0 Comments

 

We all know that with children, especially under 5, a few months can make a huge difference in their development.  The difference between a 6 month old and 12 month old is huge!  The same for an 18 month or a 23 month old. These 30 day monthly increments really matter.
My children are 22 months apart. So my daughter wasn't even 2 when my son was born. But, as they get older, they are simply '2 years apart'.  They will be 2 years apart in school.  They will be 10 and 12. But, at 0 and 22 months they might as well have been twins. Haha. But seriously, my daughter was still a baby herself when she became a big sister.
I have a few mamas in my life that recently, or are about to, have become a mama of two. 
Here are my words of wisdom.... especially for those with less than 2 years between children, but many things can apply to a larger age difference. 

 

1. Your first born is still little.  I found it was helpful not to push the 'big girl' thing on my daughter.  I had two babies!  Baby girl and baby boy.  If you have two of the same gender, it can be baby X and baby Y.  My baby girl did some things, and my baby boy did other things.  I literally wanted to choke people who would say to my daughter, 'oh, Mommy had a baby, now you are the big girl.'  Um, no.  No she's not.  When she is ready, sure.  But I didn't push that on her and I really disliked and discouraged people from saying that to her.   

 

2. I never pushed my daughter to be my helper. If I needed a burp cloth, I got up and got one. If I needed a diaper, I got up and got one. Adults telling my daughter, 'Mommy had a baby, you need to be her helper!' made me cringe. MOMMY had the baby, not her. It is not up to her to all of a sudden help me in caring for a newborn. Did she want to help sometimes? Yes.  And of course I let her be involved when she wanted, but I never expected her to be my live in nanny.     

 

3. Someone gave me this advice, and I love to pass it on.  If both children are crying, go to the older one first.  The older one will 'remember' that you ignored them to tend to the baby.  Comfort the older one first and let the little one cry a bit.  It will be ok.  Repeat that to yourself, it will be ok.   

 

4. A big thing that was very important to me was that I didn't push my daughter to give up things.  She was still happily sleeping (12+ hours) in her crib.  Why take that away?  We got a mini crib for my son, or you can get a bassinet, or a co-sleeper, or maybe even a second full size crib if you have the room.  When she was ready for a toddler bed, we moved her into that and moved my son into the full size crib. It worked wonderfully for us that she never felt she was being pushed out - and in fact, felt like the 'big girl' that was giving her brother something vs. something being taken from her to be given to him.

 

5. Speaking of gear, do you remember how much gear a newborn can have?  Swings.  Bouncy seats.  Vibrating seats.  Pack n plays.  Floor mats.  It can be endless.  I set all of these things up about a month before I was due, this way my daughter could get used to all of this 'stuff' all over the house, and, in our case, sit in it, play with it, enjoy it - before it had an occupant. 

 

Keep in mind their home is about to change, so, introducing some things in advance can lessen the blow. As tricky as it can be, go easy on yourself.  Did my daughter miss some park time while I was busy dealing with newborn 'stuff'?  Sure.  But, eventually we got our act together and we headed out everyday.  My son happily slept in the stroller while my daughter ran around the playground.  It worked. Regardless of a few blips in the road, her life slowly went to her new normal. Not the same as it was before, but, not drastically different.  And when she was ready to declare herself a 'big girl' we all welcomed her into that phase of her life.  

 

Post by Erica Young 

Original post 12/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stocking Stuffers December 19 2016, 0 Comments

 

Growing up, and to be honest, still to this day, my favorite part of Christmas is the stockings. As much as I love a big gift, I find great joy in dumping out the contents of a stocking. All the mini items - it is just so much fun sorting through them.  Here are some stuffers I will be using for my kids this year. 

 

My 14 month old - I like to take advantage of this tender age where anything excites them, and get some practical items.

Safe Snacker I love that the lid is attached - no more digging through the cabinet to find a match! I also love all the fun colors. 

Zoo Little Kid Training Chopsticks  My big kids love sushi, so of course my little one wants everything they have. I think these cute training chopsticks from the Zoo collection will be a hit. 

Earth Mama Angel Baby Body Wash  This orange vanilla combo smells so good, I sometimes use it!  

My five year old - luckily he is an easy dude. I'll do a combo of holiday specific stuff and some small things that he's interested in - that are small enough to fit in his stocking. 

Lego Santa Claus Keychain Love this jolly guy in his red suit.  My son may not be ready for a house key. But we can attach this to a zipper on his backpack. 

Plan Cars II I love these compact wooden cars, a great addition to his collection. 

Socks  My son is super into sports. So while socks may be boring - he will love that they are his favorite team. 

Photo: Doozie Stocking

My seven year old - she is tricky!  If it were up to her, she'd have make up and a cell phone. So while I want to embrace her growing independence, she is only 7. 

A bracelet craft kit I love craft gifts. It's the gift that keeps giving. So I'll definitely include a bracelet kit. It's a great activity we can do together. 

Num noms Tiny + Scented = Perfect

Neck Warmer My daughter loves blue and loves to wear fun winter accessories. So this neck warmer is perfect. 

 

Post by Erica Young


Baby crawling? 5 crawling musts! December 12 2016, 0 Comments

 

 

Nothing is more exciting than when your baby hits developmental milestones. Sitting is adorable! You dress them in a cute outfit and they sit there. You can take a picture of a cute toothless grinning baby (or a few teeth grin). And it's just so cute. 

Then they start to move. They rock on on 4 and soon they are crawling. And it's like whoa!  Wait a minute! I need to baby proof!  Don't scratch your knees up! Don't eat that piece of pepperoni you found under the couch (I'm not the only one, right??). Don't splash in the dog's water dish. Yikes! And you take a blurry picture of a baby on the go. 

Here are Motherburg's top picks for crawling babies:

 

A gate with hardware  A bit more expensive vs a tension gate, but super secure, easy to install, and it doesn't kill your décor.  

Outlet protection  I love an outlet that is extra functional.

 

A tunnel  Stick your head at the one end of the tunnel. And baby will be delighted to come and get you. This may take a few weeks or months of crawling. But once your babe is comfortable with the tunnel you will have great fun with this simple (and easy to store!) toy.

 

Fun, protective pants  This super cute Opie Pants (made here in NYC!) are also super functional. Not only do they have reinforced knees, but it's made of a slip resistant fabric so your babe won't slide and flop as they start moving.

 

A mirror I love watching a baby crawl to a mirror and then see a baby!  They get excited. As does their image. Which results in more excitement. Try it. 

 

Older kiddos? My tip: My older two are 22 months apart and while it was nutty at times, it was also easy because it was just baby and toddler toy mania. Now, with a wee one home with a 5 and 7 year old - I'm dealing with tiny toys - legos and shopkins and Barbie shoes - and so I'm constantly crawling around my house to see what my babe can find. We try to have 'safe places' for our tiny toys - tables, the top of the bunk bed, in a room where the baby doesn't go. I'm sure I sound like a broken record with my older two. But babies will put anything and everything in their mouth. And you need to be super careful. So be on the look out!

Post by Erica Young

 


Strolling with the Bugaboo Cameleon3 Elements October 10 2016, 0 Comments

 

As a mom of three I've owned 9 strollers. From a cheap $25 one to a higher end $800+ one.  Every stroller I've owned has had some great features, and has lacked some features. I've recently had the chance to use the latest Bugaboo Cameleon3 Elements. And it was amazing.

Living in Brooklyn, your stroller is like your car. You are using it every day. Some days I leave the house to bring my older two children to school then I'm out and about until I pick them up, and then we are all out and about until dinner. So you need a functional stroller. And, in addition to function, you want it to look good. Because people notice. To be honest, I didn't think people would notice that I was pushing around a different stroller.  I use my stroller in rear facing mode, I was using the Elements in rear facing mode. So in my mind, it wasn't a shocking difference.  It's a stroller you'd say!  But it's more than that. It's a part of you.  You will use it more often than your favorite sandals or boots. You will use it more often than your favorite swim suit or jacket. And the reason here is obvious. You will use it everyday, year round, all seasons.  So, lots of friends said, oh, you got a new stroller?  Or, wow, what a beautiful stroller. People totally noticed my one year old riding around in style. Mainly because the Elements stroller really stands out. It's not black. It's not grey.  It's a beautiful sea of blues.  Gender neutral blues.  With the reversible blue/pink jersey seat liner, I was able to add a pop of pink for my daughter. And man, that seat liner was soft and plush.

The push on this baby is amazing.  I'm sure you have heard 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'. And they do. And I love tree lined trees.  I had even requested and received a tree in front of our house. I love a tree!  But those trees have roots. And those roots sometimes pop up sidewalks, making for some bumpy terrain. But, I glided right over the bumps, cracks, and even the cobblestones that Brooklyn is known for.



It also has front lock wheels (but that's become a standard feature on many swivel wheeled strollers). But what sets this stroller apart is the fact that you can flip the handlebar and the larger back wheels can become the front wheels. Great for a tougher terrain. Maybe the beaches of Rockaway are calling you. This stroller would make a day trip to Rockaway an easy reality as you push through the sand for the perfect spot for your blanket.

Ready for a New York winter?  No one wants to be stuck inside with a toddler - so, as moms, we head out!  And snow be damned, we go for a post blizzard walk.  And with this stroller, it's easy peasy.  These wheels are made for function.

Strolling around Brooklyn doing errands, I loved the extended canopy. This canopy provided major sun coverage, and in the case of our expanding neighborhood, it provided  a sort of sound barrier for all the construction noises.  And on a super windy day, amazing wind coverage. It was great. When I know I'm going to be out for most of the day, I usually try to plan in some breaks for my babe. A stop at the library for some story time or the playground for some swinging time. Usually I'm lifting her in and out and untangling her arm or hand or foot from the straps. But man. The five point harness on this stroller is the best harness I've ever used. I've had other strollers that were five point and had both pieces (cheat and waist) unclip. However, this harness is so superior. You simply press the release button and all of the straps unlock at once.  There is no feeding the chest strap into the waist strap and then clicking. There is no wiggling a baby's arm out of a strap. The chest and waist straps are all released independently  and you simply lift your child out.  This is so easy and helpful, it was by far my favorite feature. It made popping my daughter in and out a breeze. And then when it was time to go, if she was fussy, it also helped that I didn't have to feed her arms through a strap. I pulled them over her shoulders and thighs and bam. Ready to clip.



My own, personal hesitations on this stroller have always been that it's annoying to take the seat off and fold the seat and chassis separately. But you know what?  Two of the strollers I've owned could be folded with or without seat.  And guess what I did almost 100% of the time?  You guessed it. I removed the seat when folding. It helped fit more stuff in the trunk, or even make more room in the hallway. So, guess what. Removing the seat isn't that big of a deal. If putting the stroller in the car, removing the seat gives you so much more room. Once you pop the seat off, this stroller folds super fast. And to open it is even easier.  So, if you own a car, or uber is your ride, you can break down in seconds.

When I'm out and about hitting the post office and meeting a friend for a coffee, that means my baby girl needs to nap on the go. When it comes to a recline I much prefer strollers that have locked positions. I find myself getting frustrated (and waking a napping baby) if I'm trying to adjust a strap a little bit here and a pull and a twist there. I love to click into position and be done. I also require a fully upright position. This stroller has both. Check. Check.  My only gripe about this stroller is that it requires two hands to recline. You must push a button on either side of the stroller at the same time. On day one I was very clumsy. But by day three I was used to it. This is the number one (and only!) area of improvement.  I want to be able to do a one handed recline while I hold a cold brew coffee in the other hand.


Living in Brooklyn means using your stroller to transport lots of items. Laundry. Packages for the post office. Grocery bags. And I love that I can fill up the under carriage bag and then tighten the bag so nothing falls out.

I always tell new moms - it's so much fun (and great for baby's development) if you can look at, talk to, and sing to your baby while strolling around your 'hood. This is hands down one of my top needs for a stroller. A cool feature while you have the seat in the rear facing mode - is you can pull the stroller up to a restaurant table and lower the handlebar so your baby is right up at the table with no sight obstruction. Fantastic for eating out at your favorite local restaurant with the whole family.


Overall I loved this stroller. The Bugaboo is an iconic brand. This Elements special edition is gorgeous.  The shades of blue are so pretty. The fabric is so luxurious. The handlebar and carry handle are hand stitched faux leather.  This stroller is a wow factor. I got tons of compliments everywhere I went. And when you use a stroller for three years (or more!) it's nice to have one that YOU like to look at, while enjoying features that are both functional for mom and baby, as well as pleasing to the eye.

 

 

Post by Erica Young

This is a non-sponsor review, all words are my own.

 


Motherhood Musings: Comfort of home September 02 2016, 0 Comments

 

I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. My husband and I were still just a couple and therefore able to enjoy a meal out, just minus a drink for me ;). Or, we could go to a movie or a show. We enjoyed the moments as a couple leading up to becoming a family as much as we could.

When I was pregnant with my son, we used all of my check ups as a date opportunity since our daughter was already being cared for by my sister in law. So we would drop off our daughter, go to the doctor and then grab a meal or a movie.  It was a perfect two for one.

By the time my older two children were 3 and 5 we were in a nice groove (even 2 and 4 was pretty good!). We could do things. Eat out. Go to the movies. Travel. We were free of strollers and diapers and requesting high chairs at restaurants.  Luckily they were pretty well behaved.

When I was pregnant last summer we would call every fun thing our 'last'. My husband and I would say 'oh, this is our last brunch!'  Or 'this is our last baseball game!'  Thinking how could a family of 5 do anything?  Especially when one member is an infant?  Our life as we know it will be over!!!!!!

But ah. I had forgotten about those glorious newborn days. When a baby sleeps soundly and you can sneak in some fun time. So. The first three months of my youngest daughter's life we marched on. I did skip on the movies fearing she would wake screaming. But we ate out. Did activities. Carried on. I kept thinking - she will get more alert. Not be willing to sit in a restaurant. Never sit through a baseball game. The end is near!  But I was surprised. This little gal earned the name 'chief sitting bull'. Not one to want to move and groove - she sat through many meals out. Weekly dance classes for her big sister, and then, a 4+ hour dance recital. Little league games each week for he big brother. Six professional baseball games (including a double header!). And she just happily tagged along.  I'd wear her most places and she just snoozed away.

She didn't start crawling until 9+ months. So we had an extended run of freedom. And even now. At almost 11 months it wasn't until just this week that she became annoyed at sitting in places.

So now we enter the active baby phase. Which I find to be the most difficult. She can't yet walk. But wants to explore. And she can't exactly crawl around just anywhere!  There will be plenty of movies and dinners and museums in the future. But for now, a home is the easiest place to be. No one to step on her. No dangerous things to harm her. Just a safe place for her to explore as we slow down and enjoy the world through her experiences.

 

POst by erica Young

 


Motherhood Musings: mornings with 3 February 05 2016, 0 Comments

 

Many moms know how tough mornings can be.  My two older children were
never the up at 6am kids.  They are more night owls, sleep later
kind of kids.  So, getting up for school has been a struggle since my
older daughter started pre-kindergarten.  We were always rushing.  No
amount of prior planning the night before seemed to help us.  There
were last minute outfit changes, a misplaced shoe.  A weather change
that required a heavier coat or an umbrella.  But, we plugged away and
usually slid in just on time.

This year, it will be easier, at least that is what I told myself.
Two kids.  One school.  Much easier.  Throw in a newborn, and I am
pretty impressed with myself.  I am waking up earlier than I want to,
but, we have even been early a few times (gasp!)

While I am super proud of myself and the big kids for getting our act
together, I long for the days when me and my two littles hung around -
my daughter playing while I fed my son.  No rush.  I could adhere to a
nap schedule because we literally didn't have to leave the house.  But
now, my sweet babe gets strapped to my chest and out the door we go.
Sometimes she falls asleep while I do last minute prepping with the
big kids, and I carefully lift her, praying she will stay asleep while
I transfer her to my chest.  I am thinking I have a 50/50 success rate
at doing this.  And with parenting, I'm pretty satisfied with that
rate. Ha!  The days I disturb her I wish we could just all stay home
and read books and play with toys.  The days she stays asleep, I pat myself on the back for efficient parenting and managing three children. And, while I wish I could lay around all day with a newborn, with three one has too tightened the routine. So off we go and a few bumps along the way won't slow me down.

 Post By: Erica Young

Photo: Stone Fox/Pinterest

 


Motherhood Musings: Birth Story bébé numéro 3... January 06 2016, 0 Comments

 

So, it's official. We are a family of 5 (10 if you count the dog,
cat, goldfish, and two hermit crabs). I welcomed a daughter in
October, so she's just over 3 months old. Man. Did that go-fast.

Leading up to her birth I wondered. Would it be like the others?  How
big would she be?  My older daughter was 8lbs, 11oz and my son was
9lbs, 3oz. I gained the least amount of weigh this pregnancy. I felt
the best. So, I was curious, as many pregnant are when they are
waiting for their babe to arrive, would this be similar?

Polar opposite experience.

To explain how different it was, I'll give you the short version of my
first two deliveries. Both were planned inductions due to increasing
numbers and fear of preeclampsia.  My daughter's induction started 2
days after her due date and my son's started the day before his due
date.  So, both times I packed. I arrived at the hospital. I checked
in. I took a 'last belly' pic. I started some meds. I lay in the bed.
I chatted with the nurses.  I chatted with my husband. We hung out.
When I thought the pain was unbearable, I got an epidural.  With my
oldest daughter I pushed for about an hour. With my son I pushed a few
times (I thought he was quick!)

So here I was going to my weekly check ups. All my numbers were good.
I felt good. Do I dare say I looked good?  Ha. So my doctor said,
let's wait. Let's see if your body can do this. As anxious as I was, I
agreed. The anticipation was intense. Every movement had me wondering
- is this it?  Am I in labor? Nothing. Now I'm getting larger. More
uncomfortable. So I went to my 40 week, 5 day check up. An induction
was scheduled for the next day.  Finally!  A plan was made. I love
plans.

'Eat a good dinner!' my doctor said. With my parent’s home with
the big kids, my husband and I hit a steakhouse. An iron and protein
rich meal. I'd need the energy come morning. The whole meal I felt
weird. I ate some steak and we headed home. I continued to feel weird.
I packed my bag.  Laid out clothes for the big kids for the next day.
Tried to relax.  I had downloaded a contraction app and tried to time
my 'weird' feelings. (But I had been doing this every night for two
weeks convinced I was going into labor at any moment.) I was able to
time a few regular pains that I assumed were contractions. They were
getting closer, but shorter. It was about 10:30. I told my husband -
let's call the doctor.  Better to call now than in the middle of the
night. My doctor reminded me that they needed to get closer and
longer. He advised me to get some rest for my busy morning. My husband
was watching sports and my daughter had passed out in our bed.  So I
headed to her room so I could lay still and try to 'read' my body.  I
had some cramp like pains, but it wasn't too bad.

12:15am my water broke. I jumped out of bed and woke my husband. He
wanted to shower. I told him, sure!  He turned the shower on and
grabbed clean clothes and within that minute I changed my mind because
all of the sudden the pain was much stronger. We need to leave. Leave
now. I grabbed a towel and my stuff and I somehow made it outside to
wait for the cab.  I couldn't even stand.

Here is where it goes nutty.  You know how when you are pregnant and
almost every thing you read or every person that you talk to tells you
'it's not like the movies!'  It is calm.  No craziness.  No drama.
Well..... it was crazy.  I was screaming.  In less than 20 minutes it
went from mild cramping to oh-my-god-this-hurts-so-bad.  We arrived at
the hospital.  I was in the middle of a contraction and couldn't even
get out of the car.  It ended, and I slid out.  I approached the door,
had another contraction and screamed.  Security guards came running
with a wheel chair and zoomed me to the elevators where one was
waiting.  We get off the elevator and the nurses asked me, 'what
number baby is this?'  I say '3' and they rush me into an exam room.
Again, in the middle of a contraction I cannot get into the bed and
beg for them to exam me while I stood there, hunched over the bed.
They promised to wait.  It ended and I climbed onto the exam table.  I
hear the nurse call out, 'she's already 8cm' and I thought - what?!?
All of the delivery rooms were full, so they rushed me to an OR.  No
time for an epidural, my doctor hadn't even arrived yet, but I wanted
to push.  I looked at the clock, it was 1:14am.... almost an hour
after my water broke.  I held a nurses hand and started to push.  I
saw stars.  I screamed.  But I know so many women who have done drug
free births..... I could do it.  The nurse whispered to me - 'the
faster you push, the sooner it is over’... so true!  So many
thoughts ran through my head.  I had no idea where my husband was.  I
knew he was there, but I quickly though back to my other deliveries
where we hung out and he was right there next to me.  The room felt
crowded, but my eyes were closed tight.  I heard my doctor arrive.  I
pushed a few more times, and done - it was over, she was here!  I
heard them call out 1:28.... so only 14 minutes after arriving in the
room she came.  On one hand it felt like it had been hours, and on the
other hand it felt even less than the 14 minutes that it was.  A few
moments later I held my baby girl.  She was 8lbs, 5oz.  My smallest at birth baby.  She latched and my husband and I admired her.  No 'last belly pics'.  No chatting with the nurses.  No drugs. 

Yet...the end result was the same, a baby in my arms and a reminder... one may plan or visualize how they see labor however I was reminded the first lesson of being a parent is that planning is a fools game.

 

Post by Erica Young

 


Hello Monday. August 10 2015, 0 Comments

Hard to believe we are nearing the middle of August...like, really?!

Some things on our mind:

If you are like me and can't always make it to the library this is a cool book club I just signed up for. Epic Books For Kids.

Feeling crafty? Here is a DIY Backpack 

Cool sneakers your kid can color.Via Plae 

Erica was on GMA this morning, learning some tips on saving, here is what she learned;

As the mom of two school aged kids, and another on the way, budgeting is at the forefront of my mind.  Forget about three college tuitions... I am thinking about this September when I need to have two kids ready for school, and, diapers will become a staple in my household again.

I recently sat down with Lindsay Powers, the Editorial Director at Yahoo Parenting, for some back to school saving tips.  I tend to be a bit brand particular, and didn't want to compromise on that.  So I was happy that Lindsay didn't try to steer me away from that, instead, she found ways to save me money on items I actually wanted to buy.

Apps - I still consider myself a bit of a newbie when it comes to smartphones - I still mostly just use it to call and text, haha.  And since technology is always changing, I tend to get overwhelmed - but when I saw how easy it is to use apps to shop - me and my wallet became much more comfortable.  The apps make it easy because there are no coupons to print (and if you are like me, and don't have a printer at home, this is a huge perk!)

retail me not 

shopular

ebates - I have friends who have been doing this for years, and I always dismissed it - eh, why bother.... but now I realized I have been missing out!  My number one reason - you are earning money on items that, if you are an online shopper like me, YOU WOULD BE BUYING ANYWAY!  This is like free money!  Why wouldn't you do it?  You simply shop all your favorite brands through their website (you will be directed from the ebates site, directly to the site you want) and you earn a certain percent back!  Super easy, and why not?!?

More ways to save:


E-mail lists - Upon initial signing up, many sites will offer you an immediate reward - and - here is why it is a great reason to do it - it is usually a discount with no exclusions!  Often times certain brands, or certain price points are excluded from an online offer, but these email subscription savings are usually free and clear of those!  For example, Old Navy offers 20% off with no exclusions - so that includes every day steals!

Tax Free days - Many states offer special tax free days - so try to plan any big shopping to happen during those days, an easy way to save money, and you can still use coupons or codes, so it is saving you even more!

Some of our favorite places to shop right now with great discounts:

H&M    Free shipping right now with code 3151 and keep your eye out for the 20% discounts that pop up with online shopping. Exp 8/16

Jcrew   In stores & online: 30% off your purchase of $200+ or 25% off your purchase of $100+ with code SHOPMORE. Exp 8/16

Children's Place   Free shipping all of August. Coupons online for store purchases.

Sweet William   40% off of summer and spring styles

Old Navy    30% off online till exp 8/11 Code: GOODTIMES

Gap   40% off purchase Expires midnight (tonight) 8/10/15 from 12:01am ET through 11:59PM ET . In stores, cashier enter code GAPFAM at register. Online, customer enter code GAPFAM at checkout. 

50% off up to 5 full-price items at Gap stores only: Offer valid 8/10/15 at Gap, GapKids, babyGap, and GapBody stores in the US only (including Puerto Rico). Offer valid for one-time use only. Cashier enter code FF50 at register.

Target   Free shipping. We were about to buy school supplies on another site and found the prices on BTS significantly cheaper. Also, great selection on backpacks.

Stella Mccartney Kids   Up to 50% off on Spring & Summer

Click here for Motherburg's main page.

 

 Photo credit: Design Overdose


Mom Truth: kindness goes a long way with our kids.... May 01 2015, 0 Comments

 

 

Turn on the news and there is story after story of bad stuff happening in the world.  I can't help but think - where will we be in 15-20 years, and how will my children be a part of whatever is happening? 

As many parents often do, I like to think about what qualities my children have developed.  Are they nice to others?  Are they respectful with adults?  Where do they fall into this social game we call life.

Recently my daughter and I were walking and she saw a 'friend' up ahead from us.  I quoted that word because after this encounter I am not really sure that they are friends.  That is ok.  I know the whole world can't be friends, but can't we at least be polite?  So, as I said, we were walking down the street and she was holding a bag full of stationary goodies and wanted to show them to this 'friend'..  So she called the name of her 'friend' and started running towards her.  The 'friend' glanced back, saw my daughter and started to run.  Towards her you are probably thinking... but no, sadly, she was running away from her.  My sweet girl continued to call her name and run.  The 'friend' was walking with an older sibling and the siblings friend.  They all looked at my girl, the older ones laughed and the 'friend' continued to run. 

My heart sank.  I watched as my daughter finally caught up (only because the group had to stop to cross the street) and continued to be ignored.  The group then crossed the street while my daughter waited for me.  Luckily my daughter chalked it up to them having to rush home, but I felt a sting. Really?  If someone calls my child's name, we stop, turn, and acknowledge that person.  Do they have to then become best friends?  No.  But, I am teaching my children to be polite to other people, and acknowledge that someone is trying to speak to them.  No one deserves to be ignored. We need to learn how to listen to each other and, even if not the best of friends, learn to work together and co-exist. As good old Benjamin Franklin once said Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Post by Erica
Photo: Smudgetikka

 

 

 

 


My daughter lost her first tooth...finally. April 03 2015, 0 Comments

Recently my daughter lost her first tooth.  At her dental check up back in December the dentist showed me the x-rays and you could already see the adult tooth pushing its' way up.  'It won't be long!' he said.  Life carried on and a couple of weeks ago two teeth became loose.  One more so than the other.  I flashed back to my younger days of eating fruit roll ups to help my loose teeth fall out.  Do they even sell those any more?!  We patiently waited.  My daughter ate apples.  And I even let her eat a few packs of a chewy Polish candy that she loves.  Nothing. 

 

Then finally.  I picked her up from school and the tooth was barely hanging on.  'Pull it out!' I suggested.... 'you pull it out!' she replied.  We both passed at the opportunity and I gave her a granola bar while I took the dog outside.  Minutes later she came running out, 'it fell out, it fell out!'  No blood.  No tears.  Pure joy. 

 

I dug out the special 'first tooth' treasure box that my MIL got me at my baby shower.  My daughter carefully placed the tooth inside.  She proceeded to carry it around. 

 

Then it happened.  And by 'it' I mean she lost the tooth.  And by lost' I mean misplaced.  Oye.  She started crying, I started searching.  My husband declared it a lost cause and went to watch basketball.  My son knelt down, rubbed her back, and said 'you will loose another tooth soon, I promise.  You can give that one to the tooth fairy'.  The three of us searched, and just as I gave up, she found it!  She placed it back in the treasure box and placed it under her pillow to wait for the tooth fairy. Phew.  The lost tooth was found, and the fairy tradition can continue.
Post by Erica Young
Illustration: Free printable receipt via A Little Delight

 

 

 

 


Working with kids ... March 12 2015, 0 Comments

 

Years ago when my daughter was a wee one, I met another mom, Selena.  She has a daughter about 6 months older than mine, so we have stayed in touch over the years.  She was always a creative, go-getter mom - taking field trips every day, getting out there and exposing her kids to the world around them, joining groups to support other moms.  Recently Selena, and another local mom, Amy, took their love of building that parent community to a new level and started a new co-working and childcare business here in North Brooklyn.   
The WorkAround is an expanding community of freelancers, stay-at-home parents, artists, activists, dreamers, makers and everything in between with one thing in common: we are all parents and we all need a little time to get some work done.  That can be difficult here in NYC when childcare is so expensive (minimum hours per week, perks like metrocards, etc. adds up fast!), or, space at home is so limited (trying to work while keeping an eye on your little one is a challenge - you can't exactly go into a home office and leave your baby in their room unsupervised!).  How can you work AND be with your child? 

 

 

The WorkAround has come up with a great solution - they have set up work/play sessions in venues throughout Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick.  Each session has a dedicated workspace with WiFi, while the little ones get to have fun playing with awesome babysitters in a close, yet separate, location.  
The WorkAround has sessions at various locations to meet the needs of several neighborhoods.  Parents get coffee, tea, wifi, and a workspace.  Children (age 6 weeks-6 years) get fruits, veggies, fun toys, and awesome caregivers.  Each session is limited to 8 children to maintain their 4:1 ratio.  There is no commitment - have a project due this week?  You can attend every session.  No projects due?  Take some time off and enjoy your little one.  You simply pick and choose the days and times that you need.  Interested?  Check it out!  Your first session is free!
Posted by Erica

 

 


4 ways to deal with morning stress February 13 2015, 0 Comments

 

I have been really stressed out lately.  This winter weather has totally messed up my mornings.  Putting on all those layers to get out the door, buses are late, oh, and now we have a dog to walk!  Oye.  I have been late to work and those that know me know how much this just ruins my whole day.  I hold myself to high standards, and it drives me nuts when things like the weather, which I have zero control over, impact my day.  So, rather than ruining everyone else's lives, I have been trying to manage my stress.  Here is what I am doing....

 

1. I am coming to terms with being late.  It sucks, and I hate it, but acknowledging that it is going to happen has made me relax.  A lot.  I have let go of the worry.  Poof.  It's gone. 

 

2. I have stopped yelling (well, for the most part.....) Yelling at my kids to hurry up is not going to make them move any faster.  In fact it slows us down even more because they get upset and stop getting ready because of that.  Then I feel bad.  Then I have to apologize and we have to hug it out.  And now I have just added 3-5 minutes to our already late arrival time.  So, I just take a deep breath and help them get those winter boots on and look for that missing mitten (again!). 

 

3. I am making sure I have my breakfast.  Even though it is adding time to my already hectic morning, I am way more grumpier if I am hungry, so skipping breakfast to save time just doesn't work for me.

 

4. To try and anticipate the lateness of my morning, I am waking up earlier.  This gives me extra time to myself, which is nice.  I can get ready in silence and do as much prepping and packing before the kids get up.
As much as I love the winter season, this winter has been a tough one.  I hope we can all take it easy on ourselves as we wait for warmer days.     
Post by Erica

 

 

 

 

 


4 lip balms that help those chap winter lips! February 04 2015, 0 Comments

 

 

I have at least 4 lip products in my bag at all times...... sometimes more!  I use different products for different things - here is my go-to list:

1. When my lips are really chapped and cracked and hurting I just want relief.  We have all been there, especially in these colder months.  I love Lip Medex.  It cools, it tingles, and it feels so good!  The small tub fits in any purse, or coat pocket.

2. For my every day moisture I use Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm.  I love the smooth application.  And I love the smell.  I go through these a lot because my daughter is always taking them!

3. With the cold months taking their toll, sometimes I want a hint of color but still desire the smooth application of a lip balm.  Since I already love Burt's Bees, I thought I would give their tinted line a try.  And I am loving the color called Red Dahlia.  It is the perfect, subtle hint of color to my lips, with the smoothness of the lip balm.   

4. Finally, once I have been inside for a bit and my body has defrosted (ha-ha), a simple application of my favorite gloss always perks me up.  I love Chanel's Blizzard.  It is the perfect amount of color, gloss, and sparkle.  I wear it plain, or put it over a red lipstick for a darker look. 

 


Our family adopted a dog. January 30 2015, 0 Comments

 

Since before we were married my husband and I talked about getting a dog. 'One day!' We would say. We got married, had a honeymoon baby and quickly had a second baby. No need for a pup in our house.  Recently we spoke about it again. 'Eh' we said 'let's wait until the kids are older'.  And me, not exactly being a dog person, was in no rush.

Since returning to work I've convinced myself that my, I mean our, 14 yr old cat is lonely. I wanted a kitten. I convinced the kids a kitten would be great. My husband agreed (not that a kitten would be great. But agreed to the idea of getting one.)

We made plans to go to North Shore Animal League. My husband convinced me that while we were there to get a kitten we should just look at the dogs. Having a long 'appropriate dog' checklist, I agreed, thinking we will never find our perfect dog.

We arrived shortly after they opened and walked around. We saw two that we liked. We arranged to play with one. She was lovely!  But she was a puppy and expected to get to 70+ pounds. Not city friendly. We requested to play with our second choice. But she was not good with kids under 12. So, as we prepared to go into the cat room, a volunteer brought over a dog. It was a male (not interested!). He was a young dog (mmm, not a puppy. My interested increased). He was fully grown, and a great size (mmm). We sat down to play and all of our hearts grew. My husband loved him. Me, the cat lover, liked him. The kids were excited. So, we started the process. Man. I'm pretty sure the process took longer than giving birth. Almost 6 hours later we loaded into the car to bring home our new addition.

Murphy Maxwell (our name + his shelter name), aka Murph, changed our lives in a matter of hours. For one - my house is the cleanest it has been in years. Fearful that the dog will eat a toy - both of my kids have picked up every single toy. I mean it. Every. Single. Toy. Every marker. Every sticker sheet. Every hair clip. Oh. And all of their shoes, too!  It looks great!  My kids have also been immediately putting their meal dishes in the sink vs me asking a million times. They fear the dog will lick their plate.

They are bonding because they equally love and fear the dog. They want to pet him. They want to give him treats. They want to take him for walks. But they are scared to walk by him and do this hilarious stiff walk.

Less than two weeks in and already Murph has changed our lives. Back in the day to create more living space we gave up our dining area to be my daughter's room. Since then my husband and I just ate on the couch with kids in highchairs. As the kids got bigger we swapped out the highchairs for a simple kid table and chair set tucked into a corner in the living room. My husband and I continued to eat on the couch. After one day of the dog attempting to steal every morsel of food, I dragged the dining table out of the basement and traded it with the kid table. It totally fits, and, my husband and I can squeeze in too!

So far. So good. Luckily Murph is a great sleeper. We are working on all the other 'stuff.'  But man. I am amazed. Just as I fell in love with each of my children, I have fallen in love with this 4 legged wonder that is always at my feet. Any hesitations I had melted away when the kids proudly showed off their dog to some friends. And, their attempt to keep the house clean to keep Murph safe, is blowing my mind.

So, as I sit here with the dog on my lap, me, the cat lover, can't help but smile and my heart swells as my family transforms to welcome this dog into our lives.

 

Post by Erica Young


Mom Truths: The birthday dance... January 16 2015, 0 Comments

If your child has started school - or day care, or nursery school - then you my friend have probably started the birthday dance. With two kids, we usually have a birthday party (or more!) to attend every month. But now that my daughter is in Kindergarten - meaning larger classes - birthday parties start getting a bit more streamlined. They are expensive!  So starts the delicate dance of what party to go to and (gasp) some you may not even be invited to. You know, that uncomfortable moment when someone says to you 'See you Saturday!' and you reply with a blank look because you have no idea what they are talking about.  'Little Susie's party - remember? - are you going?' And you realize you (well, really your child) have not been invited.

Whenever someone asks me, and I realize we aren't invited - I go through the stages of party emotions.

At first I am hurt.  Ouch. 

Is my kid being excluded?   

Then I am embarrassed.  Does the mom not like me

Then I have relief - one less present to buy!

But let’s get real here. As 'personal' as this can feel for me - the mom - I have to remain focused on who is the game player here.  It is not me.  It is my kids.  Are they hurt?  Often they don't realize there is a party happening.  But, if they do hear about it at school, and ask if they are going, I am pretty lucky that we have pretty busy weekends.  I can remind them that they have their cousins party, or we are going to see that new movie, or we are heading upstate to visit Grandma and Poppy. 

Some children invite the whole class to their party.  Which, while generous and very inclusive, means you are going to a lot of parties and buying lots of gifts for children that your child might not hang out with that often.  But, a fair decision that has all of the kids happy.

Some children invite only their own gender.  So, if my daughter isn't invited to a party and I discover that only boys are invited, I can easily explain how she is simply not a boy and that was what dictated the guest list.

Some parents ask their child who they want to invite.  This is a budget friendly, more personal approach for the host and guest of honor, but can result in some sad kids.  But, with a little conversation between you and your child, you can very clearly explain why little Johnny, who they never play with, didn't invite them. 

I have found the most simple way to deal with this is to not have a party. Seriously. I have never had to worry who we will or won't invite.  I send a treat to school, but then keep the actual day of birth a family filled event.  Although, this year my daughter is already giving me party ideas for her next birthday.  Uh oh.  

What it comes down to is if you are invited to the party, great, the kid is happy - you're happy. And if you not, you're a big girl, don’t take it personal, and have a conversation with your kid (if they bring it up, if not, phew, one less thing to explain.) This is just one of many dances you will be having as the parent so put on your big girl pants and dance away.

 

Post by Erica Young

Photo Credit: Hither and Thither


Thankful for the gift of time... November 27 2014, 0 Comments

 

My family and I live upstairs from my 95 year old grandmother.  We call her the Polish word for grandma - Babcia.  We spend a lot of time together, and my children see her daily.  She is a huge part of our lives. On this day of Thanksgiving, I think about what I am grateful for, and she immediately pops into my mind.   

I grew up with two working parents, and spent a lot of summers and school vacations with my grandparents.  I was very close to them.  My grandfather passed away in 2011, and I moved into my grandmother's house in 2012.  It is crazy that I have been living her for over 12 years.  I started out living alone, going out with friends, dating, working, etc. and then before I knew it, I got married, had a baby, had another baby.... and here we all are. 

Some days it blows my mind that my children have this relationship with MY grandma.... she is 95!  And each year as everyone ages, it becomes more and more special because the chances of my children remembering her becomes more of a possibility.  When my son lists his family members, he includes me, my husband, his big sister, himself, my grandmother, and our cat.  She is truly embedded into our life. She is a part of the first day of school pictures. She is a part of the Halloween costume photo. She is a part of us.   

As she gets older and a more reliant on me for help, my children see that. My daughter asked me once, 'when you get old, do you want me to care for you like you care for Babcia?' It brought a tear to my eye that my children are experiencing this a regular thing. We care for each other. Family cares for family.     

When Babcia can't find her cane, or her keys, my kids know it is time to hunt for whatever item is missing. When one of my kids is enjoying a chocolate bar (Babcia's favorite) they will share a piece. When Babcia is going down the stoop my son has taken over the '2 more steps!.... you're down, you're down' that I used to warn her with. 

While we are often reminded to enjoy each day because you never know what tomorrow brings, that brings a whole new meaning when you are talking about someone who has graced this earth for over 95 years. I am thankful for each and every day that I share with Babcia and my children.       

 

Posted by Erica

 

 

 


5 Tips to helping your kids deal with moving... November 19 2014, 0 Comments

While some of us dread a move (seriously, all that packing!), or maybe love a move (time to purge!!), we are all grown up enough to handle it. Sure, it is super stressful, but, we know where are things are, where they are going, and we know that we can always come back to visit. A few friends are moving  - a move that will require a new area code, a new school, and a whole new 'hood.  Here are some tips for families who are gearing up, in the middle of, or considering a move.

 

1. TALK ABOUT IT - easier said than done, especially if some details are still undecided, but kids love stories and it is a great way to talk about things. Talk about how we will pack up our stuff, a big truck will come to take it away, and then almost like magic it will appear in our new home! Talk about your own feelings, how you are sad to leave the home where your family started, or excited to have more space, be closer to family, or have a yard (insert you own, true feelings here!)

 

2. BRING IT WITH YOU - If your child has a special item or two that would ruin their first night in your new home, it is a good idea to bring it with you vs. packing it for the moving truck.  Things could get misplaced, lost, or the truck could be delayed.  Bring anything of importance with you to avoid meltdowns later.

 

3. EMPOWER THEM - Let your child pick out the new wall color for their room, or help decide where the bed will go. Maybe it isn't your ideal color or room layout, but, as they go through this change, let them have control over something.  And, their room is a good place to start. If you are open to it, let them help in other rooms as well - helping to put things away in the kitchen, or, picking out a paint color in the bathroom.   

 

4. STAY CLOSE - Maybe your child is going from sharing your room, or a room right next door, to a room down the hall, or, even a room on another floor. This can be really scary for a child - be patient in the first few days or weeks and stick around a bit longer at bedtime until they are comfortable. 

 

 
5. ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR FEELINGS - It is easy to say, ok, we moved, this is great, let's go! But, realize your child may have left the only home they have ever known, or, a group of friends that they played with since they were in diapers. As exciting as the move may be for you - consider that your child may not be as excited by all the added square footage or additional bathrooms as you. Be patient. Talk about their feelings and let them know it is ok to be sad, but, your family is together and you will experience new memories and make new friends. Be positive about all the new exciting adventures ahead, while acknowledging their feelings at the same time. 
Post by Erica

 

 

 

 


Local mama business owners share their recipes of success...... for dinner! November 13 2014, 0 Comments

 

This installment of DINNER: OWNED BY MAMA is featuring Fannie, from EVER Brooklyn , a company that features essential oils for home, health, and beauty that are curated by artisan distillers from around the world.  Pretty cool, huh?  And, as their name implies, they are based right here in Brooklyn.  In addition to being a mom of 3 - yes 3! - children, Fannie is a trained scientist that realized the importance of everyday health to avoid chronic illnesses and she developed a passion for finding natural ways to lower the risks.  And so, EVER Brooklyn became her platform for sharing her knowledge and passion of essential oils with others. 

 

Motherburg first met EVER Brooklyn last winter when they were just getting started.  Read our Q&A here.  And while Fannie's family grew, so has her business! EVER will be launching a new set of oils this weekend, joining Fannie's husband, Alex McWatt, a tattoo artist and founder of Three King Tattoo in Greenpoint (and now Manhattan!), in a new venture called Kings of Brooklyn  - featuring handmade apothecary goods. Alex wanted to create a line with high quality natural ingredients that presents a design aesthetic that appeals to both men and women.The essential oils in his apothecary products are supplied by EVER. There will be a pop-up shop this weekend, right here in Williamsburg, at Jack Taylor Studios.  The pop-up shop will also launch a line of products from a new collaboration between EVER Brooklyn and Andy Sherwood, a Brooklyn pilates instructor.  
Jack Taylor Studios - 445 Grand Street, Brooklyn 11211
  • Saturday 11/15 from 6p-10p
  • Sunday 11/16 from 12p-5p
  • Developing a new business and being a mama has kept Fannie pretty busy.  But, like most moms, she wants to make sure her kids are eating home cooked meals and has shared with us her fish taco recipe.
        
    Kid’s Fish Tacos
    • .75lb white fish filet (wild cod or hake)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 shallot, diced
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp paprika
    • pepper to taste
    • 3 TBSP Butter
    • 6 soft flour tortillas
    • 20 grape tomatoes
    • 4 large leaves butter lettuce
    • 1 lemon
    • shredded Mexican mix cheese or cheddar
    • sour cream
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Rinse filet of fish to make sure it is free of scales and bones. Pat dry, and place on a baking dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika evenly on both sides of filet. Cover
    filet with garlic and shallots. Add pats of butter on top of fish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until desired tenderness.
    While fish is baking, shred lettuce, halve grape tomatoes, and slice lemon.
    Once fish is done, warm up a flour tortilla in a pan to soften. When ready, place tortilla on plate and add a small serving of baked fish. Be sure to leave enough room for
    toppings and to wrap tortilla. Let kids add whatever toppings they wish, add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

     

    Posted by Erica


     

     


    A working mom is a working mom. November 07 2014, 0 Comments

    So as you all know, this past September I went back to work.  I only work 4 mornings a week. I am still able to bring my daughter to school, and get my son on the bus most days, before I rush off to work (thank goodness my husband has arranged to get him on the bus some of the days!). After work I have some time to myself (and by time to myself I mean I get to run errands kid-free!  I need to work on doing something luxurious for myself....) Then, I pick up my daughter, get my son off the bus, and ta-da!  My day is complete. So far, at two months in, everything was going pretty smoothly. 

    But then the 'events' started happening. My daughter's class has already gone on two field trips that I couldn't attend.  After she begged for a parent to join her on the next one, my husband agreed and has made arrangements to join her. Then my son came home telling me about the party at his school where all the mommies and daddies were going to come. The morning parent-teacher breakfast I had replied 'unable to attend' was a bigger deal than I had realized.

    What I have learned is that a working mama, is well, a working mama. It doesn't matter if it is part time, full time, at the office, at home.... you have committed yourself to a job, and sometimes, those working hours are just not flexible and you have to say no to your children. Obviously, your family benefits from your job - financially, or, even with mama being happy doing something outside of the home. But, sacrifices are made - big and little - while doing the parenting/working dance. It can be a beautiful balance - saying no to one thing, but, able to step up and do another. Or, one parent doing something that usually the other parent does. My daughter is thrilled that my husband has planned to go on the trip. And, my son loves waiting with him in the morning - it is a special alone time that he hasn't had much of with big sister (and mommy!) always around. It took me some time to get here, back to the working world. Balance? Not so sure this exists but like most mothers who stay at home or work-we are making it happen. 

     

    Photo Source

    Posted by Erica

     

     

     


    Local mama business owners share their recipes of success...... for dinner! October 28 2014, 0 Comments

    I recently sat down and chatted with Olga, owner of Brooklyn Groove (102B Nassau Ave, https://www.facebook.com/BrooklynGroove). Once we got passed the beauty talk (her store has an amazing collection of natural and organic beauty products!) we talked about being busy mamas, and I asked her to be a part of our new series - DINNER: OWNED BY MAMA - where local mama business owners share their recipes of success for dinner. Like many mamas, Olga likes to cook once and get at least 2 dinners out of her efforts. She has shared with us her recipe for meatballs with buckwheat.  Her son, Milos, and her husband, Peter, both enjoy this hearty meal. Olga likes making meatballs because they are easy for kids to eat, you can use whatever ground meat and vegetables you have on hand, and they store well. Depending on what she has in the fridge, she will add carrots, zucchini, scallions, mushrooms, cheese, etc.

    On this particular batch of meatballs, Olga used: 

    • 1lb ground tukey 
    • 1lb ground beef
    • 1 medium onion, chopped 
    • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 5 carrots, shredded
    • 1 bunch of scallion, chopped
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 cup of flour for coating the meatballs
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper

                 

    First, add the onions to a frying pan with some olive oil on a high heat until they soften (about 10 minutes). 
    While they are cooking, combine the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix.
    Then add the carrots, scallions, and garlic to the pan, cooking for about 20 minutes. 
    Add the softened vegetables to the meat mixture and mix well. Form small meatballs, and coat them with the flour before adding them into the frying pan, along with some oil, for about 15 minutes.   
    Olga usually gets 40-50 small meatballs from this recipe, which is plenty for her, her husband, and her 2 year old son. Olga serves them Polish style - with buckwheat and pickles. This is a great meal because you can use this basic outline and just switch up what meat or what vegetables you have on hand for a quick and delicious dinner! 

     

    Posted by Erica

     

     

     


    Violet Pepper for the expectant mother.... October 20 2014, 0 Comments

    Like many busy moms, I tend to do most of my shopping online.  But, over the past two months I have discovered the biggest perk of having both kids in school - I can go shopping kid free! This means I can go into stores and actually try things on!  And talk to salespeople! And leisurely look around the racks! I have really been enjoying walking around the neighborhood and taking some time to relax and see what's new.

    Over the next few weeks I want to share some great stores, right here in Northern Brooklyn, to all of our readers.

    I recently had the opportunity to stop at Violet Pepper owed by fellow mother Jade, the owner, happens to be a neighbor of mine and I love supporting a locally owned business. Since I know several pregnant ladies, I thought it would be fun to check out some great transitional pieces.

    Here is what Jade and I came up with:

    For pregnant mamas not ready to shop maternity: Check out The Twiggy Dress.  At $120 it is an investment - but you could wear this dress so many ways, it is worth it!  Dress it up with a scarf or a statement necklace.  Or, you can pair it with some comfy tights on the quickly approaching cool nights.  The best feature of this dress is that it is long enough to grow with your bump!  (I also think it would make a great postpartum piece when you aren't quite ready to slip into your old clothes....)

    For breastfeeding mamas: I remember when I was a nursing mama, I loved the practicality of nursing tops, but was always excited when I could find a top that was a bit more chic and not screaming nursing top, yet still functioned as one.  The Henley Top ($58) is a soft, woven top that features 4 buttons that will ensure you don't need to be uncomfortable while nursing your little one.  This is also a great blouse for working mamas who need to pump - again, easy access for the pump while still looking fashionable in the office.  (Full disclosure - while I am not currently a nursing mama, I loved this blouse so much I bought one for myself!)

      

    For the post-natal mamas: All mamas have been there post-baby.... we want to look nice, we want to ditch the maternity tops, but alas, our pre-baby tops don't exactly work.... Enter the Salty Cupro Jersey Tee ($68).  This top is super soft, and with the oversize look of it, it will look great with leggings or some skinny jeans.  It buys us a few extra walks around the park before fitting into our already-owned-stuffed-in-the-back-of-the-closet-pre-baby-tops. 

    These are just three pieces, but go through the racks and I think any lady can find something that works for them. Violet Pepper has a beautiful selection.  If you are looking for a time when you can stop in, check this out.....

    Violet Pepper is hosting a Mama's Night Out from 8pm-10pm on Friday, October 24th.  Shoppers will enjoy 15% off their entire purchase.  The event will feature the new collection from local jeweler, Winden (http://www.windenjewelry.com/).  There will also be wine, along with cheese from Greenpoint Meat + Cheese.    

    688 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

    Monday thru Saturday 12-8

    Sunday 12-7

    718.383.0869

     

    Posted By Erica

      

     


    Saturday night out then reality bites... October 03 2014, 0 Comments

    This past Saturday my husband and I had plans to go to his good friend's engagement party. As with any event post-kids, you wonder, should you go? Are you too tired to go?  Well, my mom came to watch the kids; I put on my freshly laundered skinny jeans, added some new high heels that Donna inspired me to get, and, even bought a new blouse. I felt great. I styled my hair, applied make up and my husband and I eagerly set out to have a great night. Soon after I had my first glass of bubbly in hand we learned that this was in fact not an engagement party, but a wedding!  (Insert my horror that I was wearing jeans to a wedding....while at the same time the relief that we came and didn't bail last minute!) The intimate group gathered around the couple as they exchanged vows.  It was a magical New York night. Having the rare night out, we stopped on our way home for a bite (and a few more sips.....) We got home around 11:30 (I remember when I didn't even leave the house to go out until midnight... oh how life has changed!) My mom informed us that the kids were up late (no surprise for my night owls) and we happily collapsed into bed thinking everyone would sleep late and man, what a wonderful weekend it would be.

    Then I heard it. From across the house. It was 3am and my son was screaming and crying, I dash out to him to see him standing in a puddle of vomit.  I look in his room, all over his bed.  I spent the next half hour cleaning it up and trying to comfort him. My husband generously gave up his side of the bed and I spread every waterproof pad I had in the house on the bed and laid down to cuddle and comfort. Sadly, it wasn't over and I sat with him until almost 5:30am, finally finding sleep a bit after 6am. 

    So much for sleeping late. So much for a lazy night. But since I still had wedded bliss on the brain, I couldn't help but smile that this is our happily ever after.  And, grinned when I thought of all the waterproof pads that came home with me after each hospital birth.

    So with this being said and what my hot Saturday night reminded me, here are some tips....

    This past Saturday my husband and I had plans to go to his good friend's engagement party.  As with any event post-kids, you wonder, should you go?  Are you too tired to go?  Well, my mom came to watch the kids; I put on my freshly laundered skinny jeans, added some new high heels that Donna inspired me to get, and, even bought a new blouse.  I felt great.  I styled my hair, applied make up and my husband and I eagerly set out to have a great night.  Soon after I had my first glass of bubbly in hand we learned that this was in fact not an engagement party, but a wedding!  (Insert my horror that I was wearing jeans to a wedding.... while at the same time the relief that we came and didn't bail last minute!) The intimate group gathered around the couple as they exchanged vows.  It was a magical New York night.  Having the rare night out, we stopped on our way home for a bite (and a few more sips.....)  We got home around 11:30 (I remember when I didn't even leave the house to go out until midnight... oh how life has changed!)  My mom informed us that the kids were up late (no surprise for my night owls) and we happily collapsed into bed thinking everyone would sleep late and man, what a wonderful weekend it would be.

    Then I heard it.  From across the house.  It was 3am and my son was screaming and crying, I dash out to him to see him standing in a puddle of vomit.  I look in his room, all over his bed.  I spent the next half hour cleaning it up and trying to comfort him.  My husband generously gave up his side of the bed and I spread every waterproof pad I had in the house on the bed and laid down to cuddle and comfort.  Sadly, it wasn't over and I sat with him until almost 5:30am, finally finding sleep a bit after 6am. 

    So much for sleeping late.  So much for a lazy night.  But since I still had wedded bliss on the brain, I couldn't help but smile that this is our happily ever after.  And, grinned when I thought of all the waterproof pads that came home with me after each hospital birth.

    So as my hot Saturday night reminded me- here are some tips as we gear up for what I like to call 'icky' season:

    • If you child is in a crib or toddler bed - cover the mattress with a waterproof pad.  Then, put a flat flannel waterproof pad, a fitted sheet, another flat flannel waterproof pad, and finally, another sheet.  This means when you are awakened in the middle of the night for a diaper leak or the results of an upset tummy, you can pull the top sheet and pad off, and ta-da! - the bed is already made. 
    • You can never have enough waterproof pads - when I came home from the hospital with each kid, I had one on the couch, one on the bed, one on the chair - who cares if these get ruined, way better than a couch or mattress!  And, even past the spit up or diaper leak days, they are forever handy.  I have been dealt the unlucky hand of having dealt with some icky each year and these pads have saved my sanity. 
    • Invest in a shallow bucket - a taller sand bucket is to bulky - a smaller, more round bucket is perfect.  I keep one in the car (which has actually served us well for both car sickness and a car bathroom, no need to buy a special travel potty for the car!) and I have two in the house to remain bedside if needed. 

    Posted by Erica Young

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    Learning to ask for help... September 19 2014, 0 Comments

    Well, after five years of being a stay at home mom and doing nothing but watching TV and eating bon bons (insert sarcasm here... and wonder, do they still make bon bons?!?!)... anyway, after five years of focusing 100% of my time to my family, I was faced with the facts that I would have both children in school full time.  We made the decision to send my son to school in March, and I think we found out about his acceptance in April.... by May I had applied for a teaching position.  Only one.  All my eggs in one basket.  But, the hours were ideal, starting after I would have sent my kids on their merry way, and, finishing in time to pick them.  And, I got it!  I was super excited to embark on this new journey.  But then the worrying started.... since I had been home, many kid related things fell onto my shoulders... drops offs, pick ups, lunch making, doctor appointments, etc.  And now I am trying to figure it all out. 
    My husband jokes that I complain he doesn't help, and will tell me that I never ask for help.... he 'isn't a mind reader' he will tell me.  And I will walk away in a huff because, well, he is right.  It is easy to say, oh, no one ever helps me, but, it sometimes can be much harder to say, hey, can you help me?  I am a pretty tough mama, and can multitask like no one else, I even claim that the busier I am, the more tasks on my plate, the better that I am because I am forced to do everything vs. saying, oh, I will get to that later.  But I am not one to ask for help.  Now, with me working, as great as my hours are, I have had to ask for help.  My husband has made himself more available on these first few weeks back to school.  My parents have extended a weekend stay to include a Monday morning to get my son on the bus.  My friends have watched my daughter at the park while I dash home to get my son off the bus.  And, slowly, all the pieces are falling into place.  I am figuring out the morning routine and the timing of getting everyone ready and where they need to be on time.  (Donna posted some great tips here)
    Maybe the seasoned working mamas are pros at this, but, as a new working mama, I am finding out that asking for help, well, it gets you help!  So to all the busy mamas out there - working or at home - take a moment, and when that early morning meeting forces you to leave earlier than usual in the morning, or, that newborn baby kept you up all night - ask for help! 
    Posted by Erica

    Off you go without even a tear... September 05 2014, 0 Comments

    So, with back to school photos and updates flooding social media in the past couple of weeks, I now have my story to share.  My son, who is 3, started school.  I was hesitant to start him (my daughter stayed home until she was 4), but, being the good parent that recognizes different children have different needs, and, finding a great school right here in our neighborhood that was a great fit for him, I jumped on board with the idea.  Of course, being the good little brother that he is, aka, desperate to do anything that his big sister does, including going to school, he was very excited.  I was very nervous.  He is what some would call a mama's boy.  He and I are very close and especially the last year, with my daughter in school, we had lots of bonding time.  Would he cry?  Would he scream?  This is a boy that if he looks in the kitchen and I am not there will starting screaming 'mommy, where are you' at the top of his lungs, fearful that I have left him, when in reality I simply went to the bathroom.  The teacher in me knew he would be ok.  He would be cared for, loved, and safe.  But the mom in me knew he is my baby.  How on earth was I going to be able to leave him?  Well, our problem was solved when I found out he would be getting picked up by a bus.  Yes, a bus.  He was over the moon, all day asking when would his bus come (at that point I was thanking the lucky stars that I told him this the day before he started and I didn't have to pretend to look for a bus for two months).  Well, the bus pulled up.  He barely looked back as he climbed the steps and as he got buckled into the seat, he excitedly waved to my husband and I.  No tears.  No screams.  Off he went.  So, of course off I went - I grabbed my daughter and we hightailed it to the school.  We hid behind a pile of garbage (the clean, couch cushion kind, not the smelly cat litter kind) and I watched him get off the bus.  Equally as excited as when I saw him get on.  I was allowed into the school to peek in on him.  He was sitting at a table playing.  Not one tear from him.  Not one moment of guilt of 'doing the wrong thing' for me.  And then it happened.  I got teary eyed at how proud I was of him.  How, even at 3 yrs old he was able to walk away from me because he trusted me and knew I would be there waiting for him.  And, at the end of the day, a happy, little yet confident boy walked off that bus.  And the next day, he eagerly got back on.  We did it.  My husband and I have shown him so much love and trust that he knows we are there cheering for him every step of the way.  Even if it is only to nursery school.   

     

    Posted by Erica

    Photo: A Well Traveled Woman