Monthly Archives: June 2015

You Are Invited: Sat. July 18th 12PM-2PM

jaiejk

We are thrilled to invite You and Your Family to our ‘Luau @ Lakeside’ party on Saturday, July 18th from 12pm to 2pm.

Buy Tickets Here!
(FREE for children under 5)
All proceeds go to fund research to find a cure for the Sanfilippo Syndrome

We are celebrating our 3rd birthday and we are again raising money for my little friend Jonah. in collaboration with the Jonah’s Just Begun Foundation, we are throwing this must-attend summer event at Lefrak Prospect Park. This Hawaiian themed fundraiser is jammed packed with fun for the whole family and all for a great cause.
Kids will enjoy:

  • Face Painting
  • Hula Dancing (with professional hula dancers)
  • Rollerskating VIP Passes
  • Splash pad
    Parents can relax at our reserved tables, enjoy the full luncheon provided and peruse the must-have silent action items donated by Park Slopes finest businesses.

Some of the auction items include:

  • VIP Tickets to a Rachael Ray Show taping
  • Oakley Sunglasses
  • NY Kids Club: 10-pack of Pajama Parties
  • Restaurant Gift Certificates, and much, much more.

There is limited space available, so get tickets for the whole family now!

More info and tickets at: http://bit.ly/Luau4JJB

 

SUMMER FAMILY EVENTS IN BROOKLYN!

jaiejk

luauBy our very own Jen #supermom

The sprinklers have been turned on at the water parks (WOHOO)!  Watermelon has never tasted sweeter.  The school year is coming to a close.  SUMMER IS HERE!!!  We have several very special events going on in Brooklyn this season; here is a list of musical and fun-filled events we can enjoy as a family:

* JULY 18th at 12PM – Luau at Lakeside: A Fundraiser for Jonah’s Just Begun (Lefrak Center @ Lakeside, Prospect Park):  On July 18th from 12-2pm South Slope Pediatrics and Jonah’s Just Begun are hosting a very special event to raise much needed funds to support a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare disease that our Park Slope friend and neighbor, Jonah, suffers from.   The event includes a full luncheon, rollerskating, hula dancing, face painting and a silent auction.  Tickets are $40 for adults and $35 for kids 5 and up (under 5 are free):    http://bit.ly/Luau4JJB

* Summer Kick-off Party with Hip Tot (Lefrak Center @ Lakeside, Prospect Park):  Every second Sunday from June – September (starting June 14th at 11am) there will be live music performances for kids, craft activities, giveaways and other special surprises.  On June 14th Grammy winner Father Goose and his dancehall boogie music will set the mood for a fun and exciting day!  http://hiptot.com/hip-events/

* Pete Sinjin’s “House of Song” Album Release Party (Greenwood Park – 7th Ave, between 19th and 20th St):  Presented by Hootenanny Art House, Pete Sinjin will be performing with his band on Saturday, June 20th at 10am, celebrating the release of his new album!  $10 tickets in advance (free for 9 months and under), includes all food.  There will also be door prizes and art activities.  http://www.petesinjin.com/

* SummerStage Family Day:  Laurie Berkner, Something Positive and Brooklyn Marching Band (Herbert Von King Park, Lafayette Ave and Tompkins Ave):  On Sunday June 21st come be entertained by these artists, including the super popular Laurie Berkner who is known to be the power behind the “kindie rock” movement!  Free.  4-7pm.  http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/event/summerstage-laurie-berkner-something-positive-brooklyn-united-marching-band/

* Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn (Old Stone House Park, 4th St & 5th Ave):  On June 27th from 11am-3pm, there will be puppet crafts, snacks, bounce house, t-shirt designing, Star Wars characters and puppet shows all day!  Free admission.  http://www.puppetryarts.org/Festivals.html

* Orion and the Dark Storytime (Barnes and Noble, 267 7th Ave):  On June 27th at 11am, join Orion and the Dark on their mischievous fun nighttime adventure in this special storytime!  http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4853248

* They Might be Giants Concert (Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th St):  Super child-friendly and silly, They Might Be Giants will put on a family show June 28th at 12:30pm for kids and adults of all ages (the venue even has stroller parking)!  Show lasts just under an hour.  Tickets are $25 in advance or a family 4-pack for $90:  http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/event/850657-they-might-be-giants-brooklyn

* Independence Day Events (Audobon Center, Lefferts House & Carousel in Prospect Park):   On July 4th there will be plenty of family friendly events taking place at Prospect Park.  From 12-5pm at the Audobon Center,  learn how the bald eagle became America’s symbol of independence (with fun activities and crafts)!  At Lefferts Historic House from 2-5pm, celebrate America’s birthday by making yourself a plumed hat and signing a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence!  And don’t forget to celebrate afterwards on the 1912 Carousel.  https://www.prospectpark.org/news-events/events/2015/7/4

* Seining the River Wild (Brooklyn Bridge Park, Empire Fulton Ferry):  On July 11th from 10:30am-12pm, learn about the remarkable creatures of the East River as scientists use a 20 foot seining net to humanely catch and release these unique critters. All ages:  http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/seining-1

Whether it’s learning about fish, jamming out to your favorite family music, learning about puppetry, celebrating the birth of America or attending a very important Luau Fundraiser, this next month is full of fun activities here in Brooklyn.  Enjoy!!!

How do I find the right babysitter????

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By Jen #supermom

The hunt for a babysitter can sometimes feel so much more challenging than it should be.  After all, this person is responsible for making sure your child is SAFE and taken care of while you are away.   Trust is a huge issue, especially when it involves our most important and cherished little ones.  When we do get out on that (very rare) occasion we are faced with this somewhat daunting task.

I think we can all agree that the best way to find a sitter is through another friend’s suggestion and recommendation.  By hiring someone a friend trusts and allows to watch their own children helps keep anxiety at bay.  Often when a friend recommends someone, I ask about that person – is he/she reliable/timely (aka no last minute cancellations or tardiness)?  How old is he/she (not everyone is crazy about a teenager watching their children)…  How long have you known her/him? If it is a teenager:  do they have an adult they can reach out to if there is an emergency situation? Do they have CPR training? How many kids are they comfortable sitting for (if it’s more than one)? And of course, what is the hourly rate and where do they live (the latter part can come into play if you arrive home late and pay for their car service).  It’s always best when they have their own mode of transportation!

We got super lucky this past year and met a friend of a friend who happened to be a pediatric nurse and babysat on the side.  Sort of a dream come true – god forbid if something happened, we know she is in the absolute best of hands.  And, the fact that she works and loves being with children surely helps!  But due to her constantly fluctuating schedule and odd hours, it’s not always easy to pencil her in.  So unfortunately we are put to the task of finding another babysitter more often than not.

If the option of finding a sitter through a trusted friend/neighbor/family member has dried up, there are sites that can offer assistance.  These are some of the more popular ones:

https://www.urbansitter.com/ – You can find someone here with certified background checks and are able to see which babysitters are requested repeatedly by families (surely a good sign)!   You can filter by age, experience and rate to find the sitter who is right for you.  What is helpful and interesting about this site is that you can see if your friends or parents in neighborhood/school have used that particular sitter.

http://www.care.com/ – This site helps you find child care amongst other things like senior care, pet care and housekeeping.  You create a free profile and create a “job” online and it’s guaranteed that caregivers will contact you within 3 days of submitting.   Then you review profiles and request background checks before making your decision.  Subscription based.

https://www.sittercity.com/ – This company runs several background checks and if the sitter you are interested in does not have a background check, you have the option for paying for that check.  Great feature is that it offers details on the sitter (so if you have a specific request – child with special needs or fluent in certain language, etc. you are able to search for those things). Subscription based.

http://www.care4hire.com/ – Here you would create a profile with your specific needs for child care.  Caregivers are not required to provide background checks but you are able to investigate online through a service on the site.  Subscription based.

http://sensiblesitters.com/ – Based in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Hamptons, this sitting and nanny placement agency matches families with reliable caregivers.  Parents have the option of working with a “Sensible Specialist” to discuss their specific needs before performing the search.   A bit more expensive with a membership of $150 and hourly rates between $20-$25, this service promises a higher quality experience.

http://smartsitting.com/ – This service has a bit of an angle as it provides nannys that are both nurturing AND educational (note:  only 7% of those that apply to become part of the roster are accepted).  These nannies can provide tutoring or even lessons in art and other fields.  Hourly rate is between $15-$25 on average.

http://barnardbabysitting.com/ – For a more affordable option, Barnard Babysitting is a student-run service that matches families with students for sitting jobs.  Only $30 registration fee and average of $15 per hour.  Families have to plan ahead and apply before the coming semester.

http://www.nypinchsitters.com/ – For that last minute needed care, Pinch Sitters finds experienced college grad babysitters with as little as 2 hours notice.  4 hour minimum rate of $22 plus a $15 surcharge after 10pm.

No matter how many times we hire a babysitter, there is a good 30 minutes  before I can actually relax.  I often text the sitter after a half hour to check if all is OK.   Guess that makes me sound a bit crazy but it’s what I need to do to chill out and actually enjoy my time away from home.  Thankfully we’ve been blessed to have wonderful sitters thus far, who often send me a photo of our daughter happy and playing (and PS – I see nothing wrong with requesting that they send a photo).  Nothing puts your mind at ease more than seeing a big smile on your child’s face, helping erase the last memory of them screaming “MOMMY”!!!! while crying hysterically as you walk out the door!