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









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






Moms who inspire... January 23 2015, 0 Comments

Erica and I are not shy about our mom crushes. We will often say to each other especially when we know of a mom we both admire how we want to be her, she’s a-maz-ing , how does she do it?!

What it comes down to is we do like who we are but we also like what other mothers bring to the table. Be it courage, wisdom, truth. We want to learn from them and grow not just as mothers but as women. I know I sound new age-y here but this year I am really into going back to my more bohemian roots and hoping all the good energy we share with each other will give us the courage or the push to do what makes us happy.

So here is our first post from Samantha Huggins co –founder of Carriage House Birth in our new series moms who inspire…..

MB: How did you go from being a Natural History Collections Specialist to a doula? 

SH: Honestly, it was the process of being pregnant and birthing of my first child as an NYC transplant.  New York is an amazing place because we have a billion choice for everything.  Restaurants, shoe stores, medical specialists. And when you are the first person in your social circle to be cooking up a baby, the choices can be overwhelming.  I felt like I had to learn a new language to navigate the system and get the birth team together that I wanted.  

In the end, the birth itself was magic.  I had made a lot of informed decisions and felt really good about how things went.  

Then as I met other women with babies my daughter's age, I started hearing these stories about other women's experiences and I kept hearing "if I had known" or "I wasn't allowed" or "I didn't know I could change practices" and I thought, 'this just has to change.'  

So I became a doula and started Carriage House Birth with my amazingly wonderful partners Domino Kirke and Lindsey Bliss.

MB: What do you love about being a doula?

SH: When a baby comes earth side, it is not just them that is being born.  The parents are being reborn as well.  They are being reborn individually and as a family all at once.  And they are filling to the top with the indescribable love.  One that you can't even explain until you become a parent yourself.  That moment is my guilty pleasure.  I literally will never get tired of watching that happen to people. 

Simply put, I am so deeply fulfilled by being able to help others.  I feel like I am 100% me when I am helping a family navigate the birth process whether they hire me or one of our doulas.  Even if I just get to give a little nugget of useful information and never hear from them again, I feel good.  It is truly a labor of love.  

MB: I feel that you always challenge yourself- did I read it right you are taking wielding classes?

SH: Its true!  I have always wanted to wield.  My father made art by wielding and he taught my older brother but passed away long before I could have learned too.  So Im going for it.  Super excited too.  

MB: I know from my personal experience I alway feel like I'm still 'figuring it out’.  As a working woman and a mother how do you meld the two together?

SH: You said it, lady!  I am perpetually figuring it out and thats ok with me (most of the time). Nothing ever stays the same so periodic check-ins are key. And remembering to stay fluid is imperative. Where am I at?  Where is my family? Most importantly is a HUGE lesson I have been working on and I think we all can.  It is to remember to not kill myself trying to do it all.  I am a much more peaceful person since I have started saying "no" to other people and projects if saying "yes" will negatively impact my family or stretch me out too thin.  Its a tough lesson and I haven't mastered it, but I am already seeing the happy results!   

You can find Carriage House Birth   at  97 N 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249 

Phone:(646) 824-2563


 Post By Donna

5 minute beauty for the busy mom January 20 2015, 0 Comments



I have about 5 minutes to myself in the morning and I have gotten pretty good at putting on my 'game' face. Here (above) is how I use my golden five minutes before I get out the door.

What I used:

  • Laura Geller Seamless Finish Concealer via QVC
  • Hard Candy Sheer Glow All TheWay Face and Iluminator via Walmart (stores) avail online at Amazon
  • Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara via drugstore.com
  • e.l.f. Studio Contouring via drugstore.com
  • Unzipped Shimmer & Matte Eyeshadow Palette via Nordstrom
  • Baked Blush Pink Fettish via Sleek Nail
  • Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss via Sephora

* Hair tip spend an extra two to three minutes and give you hair side braids or twists, secure in the mid part of your hair with a barrette or hair tie. A dry shampoo or texture spray gives my hair that just right tousled look.


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

Our 5 tips to holiday (keeping your) sanity. December 22 2014, 0 Comments

1. Leaving on a jet plane

Understand that when traveling especially to a different time zone you need to go easy on baby, and you. So your baby cries on the airplane. If you know your baby may be up and cranky during the flight, see if you can sit where there are other kids sitting. When my son was young we asked to so it at the back of the plane. Sucked for us but it was louder with people going back and forth to the bathroom, the stewards preparing drinks and snacks was just the right noise we needed to cover our little’s ones restlessness. 

2. And we’re all just entertainers

After flying to meet my husband in Hawaii with my at the time 16 month old son (12 hour flight) I learned a hard lesson. Forget the rules just aim to keep a bit of your sanity. I fed him packets of sugar because he wanted them; lay between my feet in business class (big mistake, couch more forgiving) it was minute-by-minute getting by. Not the wisest choices but I didn’t care. On a flight back from California my husband and I stopped at Target on the way to the airport and bought toys (inexpensive) that he was given one for every hour he was good. It worked. Again I didn’t care about the lessons as our and our fellow passengers peace of mind was the goal.

If your child is not as active as my boy, Erica suggests to bring a couple of favorites as well as a couple of surprises when on a long car trip of flying. Favorite book. New book. Favorite rattle. New rattle. You get the idea. 

- Tape!  Pieces of tape can keep little hands busy for quite some time.  Stickers are just as good. But tape is cheaper. ;) 

3. Let it go ( the schedule that is)

Yes you have worked hard to get baby on a schedule however try to be flexible. Give your little one a nap when he/she needs one, fed when hungry and so on. And don’t make excuses. If Aunt Sally gives you a look when your baby is cranky or screaming bloody murder, don’t stress. For your child is not the first child to hold a tantrum or scream as if you just removed a limb. Most likely your baby is just tired and needs a quite space away from all the overwhelming newness and noise.

4. No way, I worked hard for this schedule

Okay time to suck it up. If only traveling one time zone over - considering keeping times the same regardless of the clock. Sure a 5am wake up can be tougher than a 6am wake up - but ignore the clock and keep baby on schedule.  

5. Allow your self to have a breather

Most likely you are visiting a place where there are plenty of open arms of relatives and friends who cannot wait to hold or help you with your kids. Even if your kid looks at you like (you know the look) you just gave her away forever, walk away…walk away! Go drink a glass of wine, have an adult conversation –even if it’s for an hour, it’s free daycare with a person who will do their best to make both you and baby happy.

Post by Donna and Erica 

Photo: Hello Merch

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




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




Growing Pains November 04 2014, 0 Comments

We’ve had some difficult last weeks here at Casa Ladd. Since my son has started kindergarten there have been some epic battles in our home. These disputes can range from putting a toy away, what he is wearing, when to take a bath, you name it –there is resistance. The fact that we are arguing every day has also made me tremendously sad. Thankfully, when I bring this up to my fellow mom friends they tell me their own struggles are similar. One girlfriend said she has taken up drinking for she feels she is dealing with the terrible twos all over again. The worst is my son telling me I am a mean mom. Ouch. My girlfriends have also heard the same ‘mean mommy’ comment. I do not need to google five year behavior or ask an expert to know that my kindergarten child has entered into a more big kid world and letting loose in a safe place (with mean mommy and yes daddy is also ‘mean’) is how to get this angst out.

Thankfully there has been bit of a truce. My husband is on a trip and my son has instantly mellowed. He didn’t want his father to leave but once he was out the door he had something he always wants to himself. Me. It seems a break from two people who make home do his homework, take time outs is just the break he needed. I have been having cuddle fests like the good ‘ole days’, I was even sang to yesterday morning. I have enjoyed this time to ourselves as we both have been going through growing pains this year and it hasn’t been easy for either us. But soon this phase will pass and we’ll be on to the next. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy this bit of a truce and snuggle with my little chicken and listen to his stories for I know these are the times that get us through our little rough patches.


Photo:Tara Pearce

Morning routine (free) printable. October 09 2014, 0 Comments


A little over a month in and there are still mornings where we struggle to get out the door which is such a stressful way to start the morning. I love Small Fry Blog and found this great printable to help with the morning routine on their site. It can be downloaded for free here

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

Photo Source


Flying Into Fall, 7 books perfect for Autumn. September 24 2014, 0 Comments

Aside from the crisp smells & beautiful imagery that comes with Fall, I love it most because of all the learning that accompanies it. Fall is a season packed full of language-based concepts and teachable moments that kids truly love learning. From the changing of the colors of leaves to sizes and shapes of pumpkins, there are so many ways we can engage our children as fall descends upon us. Think about opportunities to let your children describe fall - what does it smell like and how does it sound? Build in the use of describing words such as "crunchy" when walking on a sidewalk with fallen leaves or "bumpy" when selecting the perfect pumpkin for your front stoop. 
Visits to orchards & farms can become mini-science lessons with a focus on where things grow (in trees or in the earth) and activities such as cooking with all the fresh picks and sorting fruits and vegetables by size, shape, color and even taste! Don't forget fun crafts like leaf rubbings.
Here are some great kid's books that highlight all the wonderful elements of Fall! 
Carly Seibald, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD, Speech Language Pathologist

Carly Seibald the founder of Social Sprouts, SLP - a pediatric speech-language pathology practice with an emphasis on teaching social skill development. Carly is a New York State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA as well as a professional certificate as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). With years of experience in a multi-disciplinary setting, Carly has worked closely with Occupational and Behavioral Therapists to help support children across developmental domains. Carly has extensive experience evaluating and treating children diagnosed with a variety of impairments including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delays, Motor-Speech Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Cognitive Delays, Receptive & Expressive Language Impairments, Sensory Integration Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorders and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

Contact Info:



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

Tips on Routine Things September 18 2014, 0 Comments

A Few Tips on Routine Things

Whew, you found a second to look at Motherburg here. I won’t keep you long. Below are some suggestions for enhancing your child’s routines. Ah, routine, just typing the word makes me cringe. It implies repetition, sameness and lack of spontaneity.

The thing is, routines are actually very meaningful to kids – they give them some order and predictability to their often busy and uncertain days. I chose a few of the most common routines and added resources below.

Bath Time

A key element to bath time is being prepared. Depending on your children’s age/s, they can help you get items needed for bath time. They can find a clean diaper or underwear and choose their pajamas with you.

In the bath, make a routine out of guessing how many cups of water it will take to wash all the shampoo out. Or for younger ones, explore each night, which toys float and which toys sink. Clean up routine: pretend to be a truck making deliveries or a dinosaur coming to eat up the toys, as you put toys away.

Click here for more bath time information


There is a whole world of potty training out there. It is quite an achievement for kids and their families when this one is accomplished. Ways to build in routine: have a step stool nearby at all times. This way your child can turn on the light, climb up to the toilet and sink with more independence. Create a basket, bag or pile for bathroom books to stay. Your child can choose which books to bring in and leave in the basket or pile.

Try out songs while waiting to go or while pulling pants up. Clean up routine: with kids in transition, have them throw diapers into the garbage when appropriate. With older kids: sing songs while washing hands, play games about what you see in the mirror and have them turn the light off or shut the door when done.

Click here for more potty time information



Ah sleep; it is such a personal matter. I’m always left wondering why kids fight going to sleep. All I can think is EMBRACE THE SLEEP. When you’re older, all you’ll want to do is take a nap, so why not embrace it now…

Some routines for helping your children embrace the sleep: again build them into the routine. Have your children help you squeeze toothpaste onto their toothbrush, pick out bedtime books, turn on the nightlight, etc. Younger children might enjoy putting their favorite animal/doll/car/robot to bed first. Older kids might like ‘reading’ to their favorite toys.

Be sure to have a regular way to exit (whether this means leaving them in their room or you simply staying with them but ending the conversation) – keep it simple and short and then avoid negotiations.

Click here for more bedtime information

Thanks as always for reading this post. Hope this one was helpful. And here’s to all the routines that you’ll undertake after logging off here.

Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit speechtherapyvanessadauria.com or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at speechtherapynyc@gmail.com.

Photo Source:

She knows


Project potty trained






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  

3 Apps perfect for mom (or dad). August 20 2014, 0 Comments

Gearing up for BTS and I want this year to be about organization. Like most moms I juggle a lot and my son's school is a bit like a part time job. Volunteering and fundraising are a big part of his school and top this off with homework- I felt I had wheels spinning in all directions. Hopefully some help in the tech sphere will get me (and you) organized this school year!

Here are 3 apps for the busy parent:


An app that is perfect for the busy family. With this app you can keep track of your family, plan, communicate with whomever you invite into your group. I plan to use this for both my husband and son’s schedule this year as well as communicate with the group of moms that are in my network as we help each other with our kid’s pickups. The best part it is private and by invite only. It’s a pretty intricate app and has many layers so definitely check it out .


The paperwork in my life is getting out of hand. With the juggling of work, Motherburg and the ‘memos’ we get at my son’s school it has gotten out of hand. Evernote note taking app that let’s you store notes, photos-so snap of pic of an important field trip slip then store it so you won’t forget. Download this on your computer and streamline it on all your devices. You can register for the basic plan for free and upgrade $5 a month for Premium and $10 for business.


If you are a person with many lists then this is your ultimate list organizer. You can streamline your list so you can add to it whenever you want. You can share your with others, set reminders, due dates, print and much more. Perfect for the mom who is frankly all about her lists.


Posted By Donna

Photo: The Down Low

You, hurry up! And you, slow down…. June 27 2014, 0 Comments

So here I am again going on and on about growing babies…. well, as I have mentioned, it is birthday season in my house, and throw in ‘stepping up’ ceremonies and I may need another case of tissues.  

Yesterday my daughter finished her first year of school. She loved it. She hated it. She mostly loved it. She grew in every sense of the word - physically, emotionally, and mentally. She turns 5 today(!) and is just overflowing with growth.  

The past 2-3 months my son has gotten more independent. This is a change. My daughter was fiercely independent by 18 months. My husband and I joke that when she was a baby and you held her, so leaned back and rarely held on - where as my son clings to you for dear life. But anyway, by 18 months my mini fashionista was picking out clothes, picking out dinnerware, taking the world by storm, And, being 5 months pregnant at the time I encouraged it - you want to put your coat on? YES! You want to put your own socks and shoes on?  PLEASE! I encouraged her to do as much on her own as possible. I *had* to, right? I mean, a baby on the way, my hands were going to be busy! Then my son entered the world and he had me, and my daughter, to do things for him… selecting his clothes, putting his socks on… you name it, and someone did it. But, lately he wants to pick out clothes. He wants to put on his socks (inside out of course!).  And he wants to put the key in the door and open it. Basically, the simple routine of leaving the house has become a 30 minute process of him packing a bag, and him putting his shoes on - his boat shoes!  No, his sneakers! No, his crocs! I tell you. Shoe selection takes half my morning. With his new found independence, it has been reminding me of how much more I was ‘hurry up, learn this’ with my daughter, and now, much more ‘wait, let mama do this for you’ with my son.

Of course both kids still need me. And of course I like that they both can do more for themselves. But, and this is the big one, of course I am 100% selfish and want them to *need* me… yes they do. But, already, at 3 and now a just newly 5, they don’t always want to ask for help. But, being the mama bear that I am, just have to give them the support and guidance to be independent little people, to help them up, and build them up, and pick them up if needed.    


Posted by Erica

Photo: Me & my little graduate

Steering ahead - pre-k graduation reflection June 20 2014, 0 Comments

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” - Dr Seuss, ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’

Luckily, at age 4, my daughter is yet to be on her own.  But, man, does she know how to steer!  At 4 she can do things I couldn’t do.  She wants to do things I had no desire to do.  Mainly due to the high demands on school aged children, the pressure has been pushed all the way down to the shoulders of the 4 year old children in pre-k.  But boy, did she learn a lot.  And boy, did she love learning it.    

Of course we had the tough days, where she didn’t want to wake up, didn’t want to go, but she pushed ahead.  Some days ended in tears, but mostly they ended with some new fact - as simple as who was absent, what special classes she had, or how much she disliked the lunch I packed.  She played school with her little brother, sometimes our entire family, and I learned about her day through her role play.  

This week her teacher sent home her ‘ABC’ book, her class journal, and a series of self portraits from throughout the year.  It was overwhelming.  To see, and I mean literally SEE the difference in her handwriting, her drawing, and her skills was nothing short of amazing.  She was so proud of her work, we sat and looked at every page and she commented on a drawing or a word here and there.  It is such an amazing keepsake and I thank her fabulous teacher for this gift.

Today she ‘graduates’ from pre-k.  We got a new dress, decided on a hairdo that won’t interfere with her graduation cap, and off we go.  Off she goes.  Turning 5 next week, steering her feet in her own direction, at her own pace, ready to take on the world of kindergarten in the fall.    

Posted by Erica

Photo: William Eggleston