Archive | July, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

25 Jul

My mantra for today.

Today I’m feeling a little bit stressed out. Stressed out about some things that are out of my control. Worried a little bit about the future. I need to center myself and keep it in check.

Get this print, here.

 

This Thing Called Parenting.

23 Jul

Parents: don’t toddle and drive.

 

Baby bear is almost two. TWO! I can’t believe it. Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way:

  • Yo, I’mma let you finish cryin’ in a minute. Right after I give you a little hug, kiss your soft little cheek, and then put you back down to just work through it. Because those toddler temper tantrums are a phase, and I don’t need to get all worked up into a tizzy over them. You will cry, get over it, and the world will again land on it’s axis and continue rotating.
  • I am not cut out to be a line cook. Meaning, I’m not up for cooking you 16 different options at dinner, whipped up in rapid succession, because you won’t eat the first 15 things I try to feed you. If you don’t want what I make, that’s ok – I won’t take it personally, and you’ll live too.
  • There’s nothing cuter than when you tag a “y” onto the end of every word. Like “huggy.” And “trucky.” And “farty.” And assuming you won’t be doing this when you’re 14, I’m going to enjoy it now and not correct you.
  • I finally understand why people leash their toddlers. I’m still not certain I could pull this off myself, but man, do I understand why parents do it. If I blink, you’re off running. This could mean into oncoming traffic, in a grocery store, anywhere really. I literally can’t take my eyes off you for a second or you’re outta here. It’s very stressful, made more so by the fact that you don’t answer when I call your name. D’oh! Double wham.
  • The art of putting together an activity bag, part 1. You are such a little person. Yet you require SO. MANY. TOYS. and things to keep you occupied. If we leave the house for an hour, and there’s going to be a stop at any type of food establishment, I have to have on hand no fewer than: 4 toy cars, 2 books, 1 coloring book (and crayons), 6 snacks, 1 iPhone pre-loaded with kiddie apps, and a puzzle of some sort. Yes, this is what I go to Panera armed with.
  • The art of putting together an activity bag, part 2. Inevitably, without fail, I’ve ALWAYS forgotten the one car/truck/plane/train that you really want to play with. Because I’m a moron.
  • Parenting is not for the weak. It’s really not. You have to have a thick skin for this job. I am the one who always takes care of the booboos, I’m the one who reads you 3 bedtime stories each night. I’m the one who suffered months of pain and healing after a traumatic labor. And yet who do you want a “huggy” from? Who do you want to see at the end of the day? Daddy. Not that daddy doesn’t do an amazing job of being daddy. But seriously, kiddo. You’re breaking my heart… can’t I get a huggy first one of these days? Puuhhhlease?
  • Don’t ever take a two-year old anywhere expensive. This includes museums or amusement parks with high ticket prices, as well as restaurants, vacations, or shows. Because if you do, I can almost guarantee that they will choose that moment to pitch a fit/fall asleep/act a fool.

What lessons have you learned in this thing called parenting? Please share!

What is social media doing to us?

20 Jul

In the fairly immediate wake of this unbelievably tragic Aurora, CO shooting at a movie theatre, in which 12 people (confirmed) now lay dead and 50 more are injured and/or fighting for their lives, I find myself thinking about the world we live in, and the exposure we have into tragedies and events and people’s lives that we never would have access to otherwise.

You often find people — both facetiously and honestly — calling on memories of times past when things were “simpler.” We’ve all gotten those emails, talking about when kids were allowed to play outdoors with no supervision as long as they were “home before dark.” Stories of a different time when we didn’t have to worry about kidnappers or crazy people – when life was simpler.

I don’t really agree with those sentiments. I think tragic incidents and shootings and kidnappings always happened… the difference was, if it didn’t happen in your local neighborhood or region, you wouldn’t have known about it. Because news was not set up like that. Media was different. People just weren’t exposed to the stories. You had your 6:00 news, and that was that.

Today, we are tapped in to tragedies around the world the second they happen. We immediately get news “from the ground” through Twitter. We feel a connection and a sense of loss. We experience emotions and recounts and replays right along with those who are physically there, going through the actual tsunami, war, plane crash, or shooting in a movie theater.

This morning I woke up and my husband was on his phone, on Twitter; he immediately shared with me the news of the Colorado shooting. Apparently, one of his Twitter followers, Jessica Redfield, a young aspiring sports writer, was one of the victims killed. Immediately I felt a connection to this person, despite the fact that she was one of 3,100 followers of his, and they had never met; there was some connection — the “six degrees of separation” playing field had been narrowed. He shared with me her final, haunting tweets; she was publicly trying to convince a friend to join her for the midnight premiere. He then shared a recent blog post she had written — about her experience of having narrowly escaped the Toronto Eaton Center shooting in June. Un-F-ing-believable.

So as I sit here thinking about this Jessica girl, and feeling some personal sense of loss which I have no business feeling, I wonder: what is social media doing to us? Are we programmed for this kind of exposure? Is it fair to the families and loved ones of victims the world over to have perfect strangers waxing nostalgic and sharing digital imprints of peoples’ lives in this stream-of-conscious medium, alongside people talking about what they ate for breakfast, and cracking jokes about celebrities?

On the one hand, I wonder if maybe it is making us more sympathetic and selfless. On the other hand, I feel a sense of unease, that we are just too tapped in and connected, and it’s going to make us a nation that lives in fear. Fear that our kids will be abducted. Fear that we’ll be victims of a senseless crime. Fear that we’ll eat contaminated meat. Fear that we’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I worry for my son, and for his generation. What kind of media monster are we creating?

My thoughts are with the families of the Colorado victims today. These people died in a senseless act of violence, and I can’t even imagine what their families are feeling right now.

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

18 Jul

Yep yep: that’s about right!

Get this awesome poster here at Children Inspire Design.

Kisco Summer Sunday is upon us

12 Jul

Blood, sweat and tears: That’s what it feels like has been put into making this Sunday’s VERY first Kisco Summer Sunday happen. Ok, that’s a little dramatic, I know. Let me back up…

A very brief recap as to how we got here:

Maria Colaco – my partner in all Westchester crimes – and I were dropping knowledge over cocktails at The Flying Pig last fall, telling sad sob stories of stores we loved that were shuttering, restaurants we adored threatened by greedy, maniacal landlords, and generally about the dull, lackluster vibe that seemed to be sweeping through Mount Kisco. When it hit us, in our completely buzzed state, that we ought to be the change we wanted to see in our town. So we set out to be just that.

What we didn’t realize is how hard it would be.

We met an endless amount of resistance from people and organizations we NEVER in a million years thought would resist us. It really tested our fortitude… and our belief and passion for helping revive Mt Kisco. But we kept on keeping on.

Countless news articles, radio interviews, blog posts, town meetings, and meetings with the Mayor later, and we had come up with what we thought was a really positive event meant to bring buzz to Mount Kisco, and get people into town to enjoy community and feel good about the place they live.

This is how Kisco Summer Sunday was born.

And now, just a few days from the event, and I feel proud to be part of something, however “small” it is on the grand scale of change. I feel proud to have organized and rallied the troops, collected donations from sponsors, booked a band, a stage, set up vendor agreements, ordered banners, postcards and posters, booked kids’ activities… all with the help of my very small, 100% volunteer team who have truly been instrumental in making all of this happen. A HUGE thank you to Maria, Petra, Cyndi and Cathy!

I hope to see all of you on Sunday. I hope to see your families, and see you taking part in something grassroots and special. I hope you enjoy the music, the weather, the food, and the fun. I hope you remind your friends and neighbors to come down and be part of this with you. This event is about change — it’s about being the change. It’s about making this a better place, together. And that is something that should be important to us all.

Thanks for all of your support. See you at KiSS!

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

11 Jul

We concur. Order one of these fine prints from Obvious State’s Etsy store for your office walls, pronto.

UPDATED: Stepping Stones Children’s Museum

10 Jul

We finally took Jack to Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in Norwalk. And I’m SO glad we did: what a cute, CLEAN, fabulous place it is! Jack had a great time, but I think mommy might have had even more fun than he did. My eyes were lighting up around every turn. I totally have a soft spot in my heart for kid’s museums. Maybe it’s because I spent my childhood with a father who was OBSESSED with big, grown-up museums, and insisted on seeing EVERY exhibit, and reading EVERY plaque. Whenever it was “museum day” I would cringe because I knew it meant 5+ hours of boooooring medieval pottery, or science or Jewish history. Yawn. (Sorry, Dad! Love you!)

But when it was KID’S museum day, well I knew I was going to be able to explore at my own pace, learn what I wanted to learn, have fun, giggle and basically enjoy the day the way a kid is meant to.

Where we’re going, you don’t need no stinking wheels.

And now I gladly share that love for kiddo museums with my own kiddo.

You’re saying I just shoot my balls up into this cylinder and they disappear… like magic?

Just this week we visited two – a small, super-special kid’s museum in Saratoga Springs, and the aforementioned Stepping Stones in Norwalk, CT. We loved them both. But Stepping Stones has really outdone themselves with the exhibits – which have been donated by everyone from HP to Blue Man Group. They even have a fun “classroom” with tons of iPads loaded with kid-friendly apps and games. Love!

Come into my tunnel of LOVE…

Westchester is supposed to be getting it’s very own Children’s Museum one of these days, in Rye. It’s entirely donor funded, however, and doesn’t seem to have an open date. I’m guessing they are having a very hard time getting this thing off the ground, unfortunately. Their website says they still need $7.5 million. With so many mega-bucks high rollers in Westchester, you’d think someone would step up to the plate and just get ‘er done. I’m not holding my breath… although I’ll be thrilled if it comes to fruition!

Have you been to Stepping Stones? What’s your favorite kid-friendly museum?

************UPDATE!! UPDATE!! READ ALL ABOUT IT! **********

So after this blog post went up, I received a phone call from Mr. Tracy Kay, the Executive Director of Westchester Children’s Musuem.  First things first: what a nice guy! (I guess that’s part of the job description when you are part of creating something cool and amazing and fun and kid-worthy). And he clearly gets points for reading my blog. Tracy wanted to update me on where things stood with the Children’s Museum. Mainly to tell me that it is indeed a GO and they are moving and shaking and raising money like crazy (they are privately raising now, and will announce a public fundraiser later in the year). Awesome news, right?

Their plan is to be open in 18-24 months… and with 90% of their exhibits already designed, that shouldn’t be too hard to achieve!! 

Let’s just say THIS mama can’t wait for it to open. How exciting to have a brand new, state-of-the-art museum for kiddos right here in Westchester!? Are you guys excited?!