Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fun Fall Events for our Families!

fall activities!

By Jen #supermom

And in a blink of an eye, here we are in Fall!  How did the summer go by so quickly?!  Thankfully there are pumpkin lattes and apple pies to help me forget that those beautiful balmy days are over (really anything with pumpkin is a reason to celebrate…yum)!!!  And it definitely helps to have a little one that has so many things to experience and enjoy during the Fall season.    Here in Brooklyn (and within a short distance of) there are a plethora of fun filled activities for kids and parents alike.  So, I will bravely pack up my flip flops  (sniff, sniff) and pull out my boots from storage as I look forward to embracing the cooler weather and going to some of these family events!

To kick it off is the Dumbo Arts Festival this weekend (9/26-9/28).  There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits, with over 400 artists participating.  This can be a great opportunity to admire works of art right on the waterfront with your children (and perhaps take a carousel ride while you are there)!  Check out the Creatively WILD Art Studio on Washington Street, where your child can child can build bugs and robots or decorate their own portraits amongst several other activities!  http://dumboartsfestival.com/art/creatively-wild-family-programming/

Continuing through October 26th, there is the Halloween Harvest at Luna Park in Coney Island.  Pumpkin picking, painting and more, it’s a great  way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  And, they are even hosting a dog costume parade on October 11th…what little one would want to miss that??!! I have a little girl obsessed with “woof woofs” so this will definitely be on our list.  http://lunaparknyc.com/events/halloween-harvest-dog-parade/

If animals are your thing, in the spirit of Halloween there is the “Boo at the Zoo” event at Prospect Park Zoo.    On October 25th and 26th you can do things like watch baboons play with pumpkins and kids can make spider crafts, ending the day with a Halloween parade.  Full schedule of events can be found here:  http://www.prospectparkzoo.com/plan-your-trip/events-calendar/boo-at-the-zoo.aspx

And for more Halloween fun, there is the Monster Mash at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 10/24 and 10/25 (4-8pm).  Children come in costume and  truly get to do all things spooky and fun like touching “creepy crawlers”,  creating “kooky crafts” and a “ghoulish glowing dance party”!!!! Sounds like a blast to me, can’t beat a glowing dance party in costume!  http://www.brooklynkids.org/index.php/visit/festivals

For those looking to get out and do some apple picking in the country, Park Slope Parents has put together a very helpful list of destinations within close distance of the city:  http://www.parkslopeparents.com/298_Apple-other-fruit-Picking-Destinations.html

Last but not least, we dare not leave out the 2014 Halloween Parade in Park Slope on Friday, October 31st!!!  I will surely be looking out for Dr. Cao and Matteo with their daughter Isabella…sure to turn heads as always with their creative and fun costumes!  I will be hoping that my early bird daughter can somehow manage to stay out until 7pm without completely losing it, this is after all my most favorite of holidays!  The march begins on 14th St. and 7th Avenue @ 6:30pm.  For more details click here:  http://parkslopeciviccouncil.org/2014-halloween-parade/

So, happy Fall, happy apple picking, happy pumpkin decorating, happy pecan pies and cinnamon lattes, and good luck with your Halloween costumes!!!! Hope to see you all at the parade, and enjoy this event-filled month until then!  Just writing this has gotten me excited for this season.  Now where are those boots?!  Let’s do this!!!

 

#pediatrician #parkslope #southslopepediatrics #doctorcao

The Day Care Dilemma …

Group of cute little prescool kids drawingBy Jen #supermom

My story is a common one.   When my daughter turned 3 months old, I  was faced with what felt like the most impossible hurdle in the world – putting her in daycare full time so I could return to work.  I left for work very early in the mornings, so my husband would take on the task of dropping her off.  I picked her up at 6pm, often one of the last to do so.  She’d fall asleep in the bjorn before we walked into our apartment.  My moments with her were mostly kept to the weekends (outside of the sleepless nights…  I would actually be excited to wake up at the wee hours just so I could hold and soothe her).  Anyway long story short… after bursting into tears to an acquaintance when asked about the situation, I decided we needed to make a change.  I have the UTMOST respect to all working moms.  Everyone is unique – we have different goals, different financial restraints, different everything.  For me, I realized that I needed more time with my girl.  More time to read to her, more time to play with her, more time to kiss those chubby cheeks.  So I quit my job, which I loved dearly.

Without getting into too much further detail, I realized quickly (after 2 months staying at home) that I needed a bit of variety in my life.  I missed working.  Loved every moment with her more than anything in the world, but yearned for something else.  Started working 2 jobs part time, both of which I can thankfully do at home, during her naps and at night after she is in bed.  Skipping ahead to the present – she is turning 2 in the Fall and we’ve decided to put her in daycare again, this time however only part time, 2 afternoons a week (I need to dedicate more time to work & I think the socialization and interaction will be fantastic for her).

So on to the task of finding the right care.  Navigating the world of daycares, especially in Park Slope where there are a plethora of options, can be a very daunting one.  There are so many to choose from!   Here is my best attempt in trying to help someone in this position as I’ve just gone through it a 2nd time:

* Word of Mouth:  Talk to local moms and dads, wherever and whenever you can.  At the playground, the YMCA, at music class, your mommy group.  What do others have to say?  I think this is the most valuable way to learn and a great starting point.   I came to figure out pretty quickly that many stay at home moms/dads (especially those with two children) have a child in daycare at least part time.  They can offer insight on where their child attends and why they would (or would not) recommend it.

* Park Slope Parents:  This site is SO super helpful.  Not only do they list the different daycares in Park Slope but they share reviews from other parents:  http://www.parkslopeparents.com/list/387_Daycare-Providers.html  and here they offer tips to help you along your search, what questions to ask, etc:  http://www.parkslopeparents.com/Finding-a-Daycare/the-psp-guide-to-finding-and-securing-daycare.html

For me, above all else making that decision was based on trusting my gut.  I knew immediately when taking a tour of some of these facilities if I loved or didn’t love the center.  Of course there are a whole slew of issues that come into play (curriculum, cleanliness, etc)…but how do you feel about the staff?  You’ve got to get some sort of warm feeling from these people that will be caring for your child.

I still have these last few months with her 24/7 and I cringe at the thought of dropping her off somewhere in September…however I know this is what is best for both her and I.  Again, we are all unique, our lives are unique, our desires and goals are unique, our ideas of balance are unique.  But the one thing we all do share is that we absolutely want what’s best for our children.   If you’re in the market for daycare, Park Slope Parents (the site & literally the parents you meet) should be super helpful, guiding you to find the place that FEELS RIGHT to you!

Yours,

Jen #supermom