Language development in Toddlers

A really informative and well-written article about language development. It’s full of practical tips for parents and the research to support them! (Also, I am loving this blog! How have I not seen it before?)

Advertisements

Family Summer 2013 NYC Bucket List

Our Family

Our Family

With just a few weeks left before the end of summer I am desperately trying to make time and visit all of the places on my Family Summer 2013 NYC Bucket List. I have no idea how this summer has just slipped by so fast. In the Spring, as I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the summer I had numerous daydreams about all of the things I would do with my boys. Like visiting the Intrepid Museum or taking a walk on the very spirited Coney Island boardwalk. Living in a busy and over populated city like NYC affords you the luxury of ALWAYS having something fun to do. The challenge for my family has been actually getting up to do it! I find that after such a rushed and fast paced week we (mostly the grown ups) want to just stay in and relax. You know, that thing you used to do before adding kids to the house! Now who do we get out you ask?  Easy. Just mix 2 very active toddlers with serious cabin fever and the ever present ‘mommy guilt’ and BAM! We are out of the apartment looking for something to do.

Here is my NYC Summer 2013 Bucket List. I hope that as the summer days become more precious we can make it to every place on the list.

1. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Prior to becoming a mom of two very active little boys I had absolutely no interest in the Intrepid Museum. But as I see how much they enjoy playing with their planes, watching real ones fly in the sky, and reading about them in books, I know a trip here will be one they’ll enjoy. The Intrepid Museum appears to be very family friendly and offers many family friendly activities and programs.

2. The Bronx Zoo

Yes, yes I know the Bronx Zoo is open year round. What makes this such an important item on the bucket list is their Dinosaur Safari. Children love dinosaurs and with this limited time Dinosaur Safari my boys can get a chance to dig for fossils, ride on a paleontologist (remember Ross from the show Friends?) wagon for a tour, and sing and dance at the dinosaur musical! The last day will be September 8th. To plan your trip visit the Bronx Zoo Website. 

3. Central Park Zoo & The Tisch Children’s Zoo

DJ feeding Llama Llama

DJ feeding Llama Llama

I took DJ here in the Spring on a mommy and DJ date and he had an awesome time. He spent most of his time (and my quarters) at the petting zoo. He really connected with the Llama who he thought was Llama Llama from one of his favorite books Llama Llama Red Pajama.

Took home a baby giraffe

Silly face with baby Giraffe!

Now that Aiden is walking around and really interacting with his environment I think he will have a fun time here too.

4. Coney Island Beach & Deno’s Wonderwheel

20130811-062928.jpg

DJ @ Coney Island Beach

20130811-062943.jpg

Aiden @ Coney Island Beach

When a lot of people think of the amusement park at Coney Island they think of Luna Park. But for those of us with little ones there isn’t much to do there. We took the boys to Coney Island Beach a couple weekends ago.  As we walked on the lively boardwalk we stumbled upon Deno’s Wonder Wheel Kiddie Park. This was the highlight of our trip. 20130811-062957.jpgWe purchased the 10 ride pack for $25 bucks and enjoyed most of the rides. Aiden fell asleep so DJ rode with his uncle Jamie who is 6 year’s old. I definitely recommend this to any family. Tons to do for both the grown-ups and kids. Definitely worth the 1.5 hour subway ride from Inwood.

5. Museum of Natural History

What can I say about this place. It speaks for itself! I have not been here since I became a mom, but I really want to take my boys here. Especially DJ since I know he will be talking about it for weeks, just as he did after visiting the children’s zoo this past spring. Personally i really want to check out the Whales Giants of the Deep Exhibit. I LOVE whales and know that I will definitely enjoy this exhibit.

6. Circle Line Cruise- Kids Cruise Series

I have always love boat rides and as many two year olds, so does DJ. As a teen I remember riding on the Circle Line and taking in the beautiful scenery and capturing beautiful photos of the sky line back when the Twin Towers were still there. I recently learned that they have a kids cruise line and immediately knew I have to bring the boys. The Kids Cruise Series last 75 minutes and offers beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty, live music and performances, and much more. They sail once a month, with only 2 dates left. September 21st and October 26th. We are planning on going in September.

Have you been to any of these places with your kids and have some tips you want to share? Do you have a favorite place you want us to check out? Leave a comment and let me know.

Great Weekend with My boys!

We started off the weekend with one gift for each boy just because!

DJ got his Mini Kick Scooter which he has been wanting for so long!

20130520-113329.jpg

Aiden got the cutest little Xylophone/ Banging toy ever by Hape Toys!

20130520-113412.jpg

They played!

20130520-114731.jpg

We ate grilled chicken wraps 😛

20130520-114749.jpg

Slept!

20130520-113214.jpg

Went to the park before the rain.

20130520-113241.jpg

I almost lost a finger helping DJ cut the images on this HW assignment!

20130520-114832.jpg

We finger painted!

20130520-113145.jpg

They bathed in a blue bubble bath thanks to Crayola Bath Dropz

20130520-114911.jpg

They had some fun after their baths.

20130520-113058.jpg

And this is how it ended :-/

20130520-114953.jpg

I wish I had the opportunity to do this everyday with my boys. I cant help but think about all of the things they get to do at daycare and

how much of it I miss day-to-day.

But hey, there are always weekends right?

¡Bendición Mami!

Mother’s Day in the US is only 1 day away. As I was on the subway this morning I found myself remembering many of the traditions that my mother passed along to us and how I am already beginning to incorporate my favorite one with my boys.

En la cultura latina it is very common to have children ask their parents for a blessing. In my family we typically do it as a greeting, so every interaction between my mother and her children begins with “Bendicion Mami“. She then replies “dios te bendiga mi amor” and if possible gives us a big kiss and hug. My mom has always been extremely affectionate with us. Often kissing and hugging us even as adults. I believe that the ritualistic aspect of asking for my blessing since I was a small child have made this an automatic action as soon as I see or speak to my mom.

As an adult with children of my own I still ask mi mami for my blessing every time we interact. There is something about this that feels so good, safe and loving. DJ is 2.5 years old, and every morning I ask him to ask me for his blessing, in the hopes that it can become a part of our relationship. I know he’s very young but I hope that after repeating the same actions daily, both he and his brother can feel the same way I do about it. It provides me with a way to feel closer to my mother. To feel her love from her daily blessings and from her embrace. I can only hope it does the same for my boys.

What are some traditions or rituals that your mother or caregivers shared with you? And how have they impacted your interactions with you children?

Have you started any traditions of your own with your children?

Confessions of a working mom

Whether you work from home, work outside the home or you are a stay at home mom, balancing life as a mom can be challenging. Somehow, the hardest days are those from Monday-Friday.

In my case I work for a non-profit organization where I spend my days counseling mothers and providing them with valuable parenting and child development information. This part of my day seems to be the easiest part. I schedule clients…they come in and we talk…then they leave.

The fun begins at 4:40pm every weekday as I run out of my office, grab a cup of coffee and make a dash for the 4:48pm uptown train. Three trains later at 5:36pm I arrive at my stop, which is just 4 blocks away from my children’s daycare center. I have a short 24 minutes to get to the daycare, set up the double stroller, get the boys ready with hats and coats as I ask the daycare staff how their day went. I have to also remember to carefully take with me any artwork or projects that were done that day. I say carefully because Doran, my 2.5 year old always get upset when I accidentally damage in any way his artwork. Interestingly enough, once we get home and I display his precious work he is the one who ends up ripping it up. Seriously?!?! But hey, I will do anything to prevent a meltdown on the way home, so I don’t mind being careful.

Once both boys are in the stroller bundled up I try to take the faster way home but Doran goes: “nooo not that way Mami…we go this way” as he points to the opposite direction. I confess that I oblige because once again, I’ll do anything to avoid a crying, whiny, kicking toddler. 15 minutes later we arrive at our apartment building and I have a very tough decision to make. (sidenote: I moved into the same apartment building where my mother lives when Doran was 10 months old) Do I go visit grandma knowing that she will have dinner ready and can offer a little help with Doran as I feed baby Aiden? Or do I go home, just me and the boys, and pray that in between 6:30pm and 8:30pm I can have dinner ready, both boys fed and bathed and ready for bed by 8:30? Whatever decision I make I am somehow never satisfied. Going to grandmas guarantees food and a little help. But it means that I will be constantly trying to get the boys to focus on things other than mami’s telenovela on TV, It also means that by the time we are done eating, there won’t be time for much else other than to go home and  get the boys into their pajamas. If I am lucky daddy will be home to help, but on most nights I’m just not that lucky :-/.

If instead I choose to go home and brave it on my own I usually feed the boys something quick like frozen veggies with some kind of starch like pasta or potato, and a protein which is usually chicken breast (because it cooks fast). I then have to decide who needs a bath more. Although i will admit that lately I have been putting both boys in the shower together. All the splashing counts as a bath right?

This and a lot more happens every night in our house within a two to three hour window. By the time I put the boys down I’m so tired I fall asleep with them, and before you know it, it’s 5:30am and it’s time to do it again.

I often wonder how other mothers in similar situations manage the day-to-day? How can you successfully nurture two children, blog, work, parent, breastfeed, run a household,  have a slither of a social life, and still  have enough energy to style your hair and put on make up? Lol.

20130509-174532.jpg

Happy Birthday Inwood Momma!

Today is Wednesday December 12th, 2012. Which makes it the big 12/12/12. Today is also my 28th birthday.

Many people are excited because today marks the last of the repeating calendar dates that anyone in our lifetime will ever live to see. There will be lots of superstitious people playing the lottery and gambling on the number 12. Many newborn babies who will have a cool birth date on their birth certificates. As well as a flooding of all things 12/12/12 in the world of social media.

I am excited for a different reason. Although today is my 28th birthday, I am overjoyed about one of the gifts I have received. It is a gift that no one else could give me. It is a gift that I have been working hard for. Today I pumped a full 12 oz at work. What are the odds? 12 ounces on 12/12/12.

I am ecstatic! I have gone from increasing my pumped breast milk from .5 from one day to the jnext, to 1 full ounce. I have been working so hard to keep up with baby Aiden and it is finally paying off.

I will be posting a blog soon to share with other mommas and their families all of the things I have tried. You never know who can use the information.

In the meantime, happy 12/12/12 everyone. I am off to eat some cake!

Andrea
20121212-174454.jpg