The riverside neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint have fast become known as New York’s hipster haven but ask any local parent and they’ll tell you the area is packed with family friendly things to do.
Long-time pals and fellow Park Slope moms, Julia Austen-Brown and Melissa Vaughan (who live just two blocks away from each other and both have two kids a piece,) hit on the idea of doing a pop up craft pow-wows in people’s homes when they realized that, well, no one else was doing it.
I’m now something of an expert in the art of pumping. I’ve done it everywhere. On planes and trains, in airports and restaurants, at dinner parties, and even once in an electrical closet surrounded by rat traps. My favorite has to be when I was travelling to Pennsylvania by train and a delay plus broken outlets in the bathrooms meant I had no choice but to pump in the concourse of Philadelphia station.
I’m a mom to a willful, lovely, stubborn, adorable and very opinionated toddler called Aiden (that’s a shot of us both above.) He’s 17-months-old and decided a few weeks ago that he only wanted to eat one item of food a day. That means an entire day of nothing but chicken tortellini, or yogurt or blueberry waffles (only Earth’s Best ones mind, he’s particular.) I knew needed to do something before my little boy became my little monster.
I’m sitting on the swirly carpet of Frolic!, Williamsburg’s $1000-a-year ultra trendy kids club, with 15 other moms. But I’m not talking play dates or toddler meals because it’s a Thursday night and sexpert Dana B. Myers has taken over. The lights are dimmed, I’m propped beside the child-sized Schoenhut piano with a huge glass of white wine, and I’m listening to a foxy male model (trussed-up in David Beckham underwear) read to us from a book of saucy erotica.
It was the birth of her little girl, Mia (now aged 6, and about as photogenic as they come) that inspired fashion photographer Essie Graham to sideline into kid’s portraiture. “I began to chronicle her life and it just snowballed from there,” says Bushwick-based Essie, who now has more than a hundred Brooklyn-based clients.
After the initial buzz of my wife’s pregnancy subsided, more practical concerns arose. How on earth would we squeeze our new family member into our one-bedroom Williamsburg abode? Naively thinking we’d just up-size to a two-bed we drew up a basic criteria (elevator, non-sketchy neighborhood, new kitchen), but our search hit a brick wall as soon as we realized that we’d need to spend $4k or more to get what we wanted. In short far higher than the rent-stabilized place we’ve been living in for the past three years.
This week’s plastics scare is pretty worrying. Apparently even those BPA-free products touted as being super-safe have a mounting body of evidence suggesting they could be a time-bomb health hazard. Bad news for, well, pretty much all of us. I can’t think of many parents who don’t have a stack of Tupperware, plastic sippy cups or baby bottles crowding their cupboards.
Meet Reuben Steiger. He’s a charismatic, smartly suited, archetypal silver fox. And he happens to think your little one might just be the next A-list entrepreneur; a budding Bill Gates, the next generation Tory Burch or perhaps Mark Cuban in training. Steiger – who’s a serial entrepreneur himself (Linden Lab, Millions of Us and Virtual Greats all lay in his wake) – is the founder of 8 And Up, an educational program designed to change the way kids think about their own potential. The concept is simple: armed with a $50 budget, children meet over the course of six weeks and by the end, they have a product they invented that they sell.
When kids arrive we kinda just make do – literally squeeze those bundles of joy, all their toys, clothes and general gooey mess into our lives and homes. We prepped for the arrival of our daughter by converting our walk-in closet into a nursery, delaying the inevitable move to a bigger space for another year. […]
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