Monthly Archives: November 2014


Family All Together At Thanksgiving

Written by Jen #supermom

As we are already being inundated with holiday ads and music, stores with their windows all dressed up for Christmas…  I think it’s perfectly appropriate to dive into sharing information on some of the holiday events in and around The Slope.  Here’s a chance for us to share meaningful experiences with our families, to help diverge from the over-commercialization and overwhelming materialistic aspect of the holiday!

* Kicking off the holiday season on November 29th at 6:30pm, there will be the tree lighting ceremony on the corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street (by S’Nice).  Includes carolers, treats and crafts!

* On Saturday December 6th at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, enjoy a special workshop on the American Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” (which returns to BAM this holiday season)!  A teaching artist from ABT will “share the beauty of dance amidst the natural beauty of the Garden”.  Basic ballet instruction and flowering plants, while exploring the world of The Nutcracker!  For kids 4-12 YO, from 12-1:30pm and 2-3:30pm:

* Also at the Botanical Gardens and for kids of all ages, there is the “Wintercrafting for Families” event on Sunday December 7th from 1-3pm, where you and your child can make crafts with nature in celebration of the holidays:

* On the morning of December 6th there is the infamous 4 mile Jingle Bell Jog at Prospect Park!  As you might already know, Dr. Cao will be running to show his support for UNICEF.  This race is great for the whole family as it includes a half mile Reindeer Run for kids 7-12.   And, best part about it is that you can dress up in your best holiday costume (or not) – but the outfits are part of what makes it so much fun (and entertaining for the little ones to watch)!  (If you are a patient of Dr. Cao and are participating, please email so we can share a South Slope Pediatrics superhero cape for you to run in)!

* The Muppet Christmas Carol is coming to BAM on December 14th at 2pm!!!  I can only imagine how enjoyable this will be for both kids and adults alike, as the muppets play out this classic story:

And… heard that Santa will be spreading holiday cheer at the Fairway in Red Hook on December 6th between 2 and 4pm!  Daughter has yet to meet him, and I can only imagine the crying that will ensue.  Seeing how she reacts to men she does not know, it’s going to be lots of waterworks as this strange man who also sports a long white beard, big belly and red suit tries to hold her on his lap (but SO worth the funny photographs that we’ll get from it)!

Sure there will be many more events being planned as we get closer to the holidays, but these craft, music, dance and theater activities should keep you busy in the meantime.  Hope to see you out in your elf, reindeer and candy cane costumes at the Jingle Bell Jog with Dr. Cao!!!

Dr Cao for UNICEF: Returning the Favor

Dr. Cao and his brother at the refugee camp
Dr. Cao and his brother at the refugee camp


written by Dr. Cao

“The toys are here! The toys are here!”  The kids in the makeshift refugee settlement were all excited.  I was 6 and had no idea what had all the other Vietnamese children in the Singaporean in a frenzy.  My 13 year-old cousin had me on his shoulders and his 14 year-old brother was toting my 7 year-old brother towards the street.  A small, yellow truck cruised through with goods filling the truck bed for all of the children.  I saw guitars, helicopters, dolls, and toys I didn’t even know existed!  The guitar went right past me to some other toddler with a taller cousin (not such tough competition, it WAS a Vietnamese camp, after all).  We ended up with a notebook and some writing utensils.  I’d like to credit this gift for my academic interest and success, but I keep thinking about the guitar!  My mother uses that thin notebook to this day to keep track of important phone numbers and addresses.  It had a light yellow cover and a red UNICEF logo on the front.

Whenever I see the UNICEF logo, I go back to that day in 1979.  It wasn’t a lot, but it was a tangible symbol to me that people on the other side of the world who had plenty wanted to share with me.They cared about me and wanted to bring me joy, no strings attached.

Many of us see United Way and UNICEF commercials intermittently and think to ourselves, “what a nice institution doing nice things.”  We’d be right, but nice institutions and people need support and funding. In NYC we get a bit jaded by anyone asking for anything for free because we’ve all been duped by a scam.  I will never feel that way about UNICEF because I know they show up and they let some 6 year old know that people care about his happiness.

How you can support Dr. Cao:

1) Please show your support and consider a donation to help Dr. Cao raise money. Even the smallest amount can make such a difference in one of these children’s lives.

2) In support of UNICEF, Dr. Cao will be running the Jingle Bell Jog at Prospect Park on Saturday, December 6th at 9:30am. If you’d like to join and run with him, please register at the link below and email Jen Valu at  so we can share a custom “Team South Slope Pediatrics” item for you to wear at the race, showing your support!


Thank you for all your help!