newmomversation: travelling with your infant

This week, I participated in another Momversation video about travel with babies (agh!).  I'm excited to share it with you (though note to self: I will not be shooting the next one at 10:30pm - I think the long day I'd had leading up to that moment showed on my face). Nevertheless, the topic is a good one.  Does the idea of travelling with an infant scare you?  While it's certainly a bit overwhelming to think about (at least it was for me), as I mention in the video, I don't think it's impossible.

Of course, by infant I'm really talking about a child under a year old, as anyone knows with toddlers it's a whole other ball game (if you're feeling brave you can read my nightmare story here) and a separate topic entirely.

Here's the thing with infants: they really will be sleeping or feeding for the majority of the flight.  I can remember being worried about the pressure on Baby S' little ears, but as long as I was nursing or bottle feeding her going up and down, I didn't notice any issues. Having your diaper bag packed with all the essentials will aid peace of mind, and bringing a Boppy or travel pillow of some sort (if you have the room) will make you and baby more comfortable.  As baby becomes more aware of his/her surroundings, bringing a few toys/books/DVD player are a must, and as mentioned in the video, a brand new toy is a good thing to bring out if tears are on the horizon.

We all know flying is a hassle these days (with or without a Little One in tow), but I also believe it is the most convenient way of travel -- at least for my family. Hopping in a car has its advantages, of course, but if your families are scattered throughout the South and Midwest like ours are (and time is usually of the essence), there's really no other way to go.

Good luck, and check out Momversation for more videos from moms with an opinion on all manner of subjects!


big apple books: emma's journey

by Claire Frossard

Frossard, an illustrator and native of France, made her first trip to New York City in 1998 to visit her uncle, photographer Etienne Frossard. For years afterwards, she dreamed of coming back. Emma's Journey was born out of that desire to return, and I love the heart and imagination within this story.

Emma, our main character, is a sparrow who lives in Central Park. When her best friend, Ducky Duck, leaves on a migration, Emma begins spending time with her Uncle Bob, who regales her with stories of their French ancestors and his travels to Paris.  Emma begins to get the travel bug herself, and at the end of the story, leaves on an adventure to that gorgeous French city.  The bulk of the story, however, takes place in landmark NYC destinations -- from the park and Flatiron building to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower East Side.

Emma's Journey features Frossard's illustrations mixed with her uncle's photography.  On top of being a charming tale, I love that this book was a family affair from the very beginning!


review & giveaway: bouji & nouna

Though I rely on basics from Old Navy, Baby Gap and local consignment stores for the bulk of Toddler S' clothing, my favorite guilty pleasure and not-so-secret past-time is searching for unique items to mix in with those basics. I could easily while away the hours on Etsy -- or any number of boutique websites -- looking at toddler clothing. What can I say, I'm a total girl (which makes being a mama of 1 girl -- almost 2 -- that much more fabulous).

I was recently introduced to the children's line bouji & nouna, which is based in Israel. Like many small businesses, Amber Elgarisi (owner and mama of 2) originally began creating products for her children as a hobby. Additionally, she was tired of perusing poor quality yet expensive children's clothes and accessories. We've all been there, right?

A mere four years later, bouji & nouna has grown into a full-fledged business, thanks to Amber's love of vintage design and bold, mid-century colors. Amber and team dream up and create everything from clothes and crib bedding to dolls and poufs. The complete line is available via their Etsy store (see here). I am loving this vibrant Gaga dolls crib set, and how cute would this Peter Pan pouf be in a nursery?

Check out my Big Apple babe rockin' a bouji & nouna dress as she cools off in Washington Square Park (Husband eye candy free of charge).

The 100% cotton a-line dress (see a close up here) has an elastic neckline and fluttery sleeves, making it A) easy to put on a wiggling toddler and B) totally adorable. I love the design, too, which features tiny birds set against a purple circular pattern. Never would I have thought to put yellow and purple together in that way, but it totally works -- and the red heart is just icing on the cake! Another neat thing about this style is that we'll have it for years to come -- because it's roomy through the middle, Toddler S can eventually wear it as a tunic and shirt as she grows.

So here's the fun part. Amber from bouji & nouna is kindly offering a giveaway on Baby Meets City! You can enter to win the dress above (in size of your choice) in 3 easy ways:

1) Sign up as a follower of Baby Meets City via Google Friend Connect, and leave a comment here telling me you did (if you're already a follower, just let me know with a comment).

2) "Like" bouji & nouna's Facebook page and leave a comment letting me know you did.

3) "Like" Baby Meets City's Facebook page and leave a comment letting me know you did.

In one of your comments, please leave an email address so that I'll be able to contact you if you're the lucky winner!  This contest is open to international residents as well as the good ol' USA. I will be selecting a winner via Random.org a week from today, on July 19th at 3pm EST. 

Good luck!

bouji & nouna graciously sent me a dress for this review and i am so happy to have made the discovery of their site!


tourist in your own town: part 1

I'm here to report that it can be done: with less than 3 full days in NYC, we covered all major tourist landmarks, thank you very much. We did SO much I'm splitting my account of our activities into several posts.

Perhaps I should back up just a bit, despite still being in "pat myself on the back" mode.

My 15 yr old cousin -- last seen at age 10 when she was a junior bridesmaid in our wedding! -- came to visit us this past weekend, making this her first trip to the Big Apple.  She has travelled internationally quite a bit (her mom is the lovely Sonja from To Europe with Kids), but this was her first solo flight, so that alone was exciting. With a few evening hours to spare upon her arrival, we headed off to show her around our neighborhood... for a few more weeks, anyway.

The Highline, a former above-ground railroad turned above-par walking path, is really becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike, and at dusk, the views of city and Hudson River are truly striking. The new section is even better and more creative than the first (IMHO), and I can't wait to see what else the architects have in store for us as the transformation heads further uptown. 

Afterwards, we took a stroll through Chelsea Market, a foodie paradise that holds a special place in my stomach (I've written about my love for it here). I'm trying not to think about the fact that soon enough, I'll be a mere 166 blocks away instead of 9.  Sniffle, sniffle.

We ended the night with dinner at The Grand Sichuan, our corner Chinese restaurant. Order their famous crab and pork soup dumplings and you really can't go wrong. Sure, if you're bringing a toddler, things might get a little "interesting" but the waitresses love kids and didn't seem to mind our Sweet One's "antics" at the dinner table.  Whew.

NYC Trip, the NYC "vacation experts" graciously offered me a complimentary tour of the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty, and I was fortunate enough to share it with Husband, my cousin and Toddler S the next day. While the pouring down rain was disappointing, our tour guide remained enthusiastic and full of interesting tid bits along the way. First, we visited St. Paul's Chapel (a haven for first responders and now a makeshift 9-11 memorial), and St. Peter's Parish, another quiet escape for emergency workers. Both institutions were spared major damage during the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Circling the WTC site, we were able to see two overhead views of the damage and re-construction efforts from the World Financial Center.  While it still BAFFLES MY MIND as to how it's taken ten years to settle on a fitting memorial for 9-11 victims, there was a certain peace in knowing progress is finally being made... and that I got to see it with my own eyes.

Next, our group headed over to Battery Park to board the ferry for Lady Liberty herself. Toddler S isn't really a big fan of waiting in line in the rain (she made that abundantly clear) but somehow we managed to get ourselves on the boat in one piece. Our tour included tickets to the pedestal level of the Statue, which also allowed for museum access. I'd highly recommend both when visiting the Statue of Liberty, based on my first experience about 9 years ago, when I only had time to circle the island a few times before heading back into the city. Despite the dreary weather (which didn't seem to stop any of the other tourists from coming out, either) we enjoyed both sections of the tour.  I really believe having an expert on hand to answer questions and share history enhances your experience rather than doing it completely on your own.

*Speaking of toddlers, I don't really think a Statue of Liberty visit is condusive for children under 3. While they did offer stroller parking before access to museum, they do not allow you to bring any snacks in that you might need to pacify a cranky little one.  And there are LOTS of stairs... not all parts of the statue have elevator access.

That evening, my cousin (a talented ballet dancer) and I headed out to see Savion Glover at The Joyce. I've loved tap dancing ever since I saw my first Fred Astaire movie as a child, and Glover is no doubt the best living "hoofer" there is. I was exhausted watching him dance, and yet at the same time, anxious to dust off my tap shoes as soon I got home. Truly an amazing performance, and if you're curious to check him out, the last show is tomorrow evening!

And yes, I do own a pair of adult-sized tap shoes.

Day 2 recap coming soon...

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