Happy thanksgiving

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Baking and cooking all day today! Making veggies and sweet potato, squash and tofurky!

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Hope everyone has a lovely day! Enjoy thanksgivukkah!!

Here are some recipe links:
thanksgivukkah

food and wine recipes

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Happy Halloween

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Hope you all have a super fun day!

When I was little we use to go door to door, but here in Brooklyn people sit on their stoops and walk around the hood with the whole family. It’s such a great day and you get to see all the fun costumes.

Fiamma is mike wazowski and I’m going as boo. I figure I only get a few years to dress her before she starts dressing me!!

Enjoy the night!

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How to create a baby registry

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If you are pregnant you are probably feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff your tiny baby will need. If you’re having a baby shower hopefully other people will give you some of these things, but it’s a new age for registries. There are so many websites with so many products! It’s not just babies r us. And it’s not just confusing for mommies, but for family as well. I know mine didn’t like the Internet factor.

So here are my tips for the sites and a few products I loved and some I never used. Keep in mind, people don’t always buy what’s on the list. Baby clothes are very tempting and cute, so prepare for more than you bargained for in that department; as well as blankets.

websites:

I used myregistry.com, it’s a site that allows you to link products from any other site. Did you like a crib from amazon, an that organic baby set from baby earth? Don’t worry. Just link them. It’s sort of like pinning on Pinterest. You create a pin, and when you like a product you pin it to the registry. Then everything is in one place. It also has a money option. When people purchase from the site, say amazon for example, they must return to the registry, find the item and click “purchased”. That way no one else can buy it. If you have a smart phone there is also an app that let’s you scan any barcode and add an item from any physical store. The site can also search the web for the cheapest options. So if you put a crib at 400$ but another site has it for 200$, it will change the site.

I liked the site, but as I said, it links to external sites, so my family found it to be confusing and couldn’t figure out how to mark things as purchased! There are several other sites designed like this, but I haven’t used them.

You can also register the old fashion way in stores like buy buy baby or babies r us. The registry will be available online as well.

The bump.com has a registry that is similar to myregistry. You can combine from other sites, but only ones they list.
Find that site here.

Other sites that are nice for registering are:
Giggle
Babies r us
Babyearth
The bump
Target
Buy buy baby
Right start
Amazon
Diapers.com
Pottery barn

items to register for:

I would register for items you really need. Don’t worry about things you can pick up yourself. People want to give things you will use as well as what they are familiar with. Once all of my big items were gone, people were calling me asking what else I would use from the list.

Even if the baby won’t use the item for a few months, it’s better to get it gifted than to get 10 baby towels. You can also get diapers delivered cloth or disposable as a gift. I put cloth diapers on my list but no one got them because they aren’t “cute” to open and honestly no one thought I would really follow through. Which I did! I recommend the following:

a carrier
I have this one and love it, but there is the bjorn an the wraps as well

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a stroller
See my post on the sola!

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carseat
I have this one, but if you don’t have a car don’t worry. However. Hospitals WILL NOT let you leave without one.

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baby food maker
I have the babycook and love it, there is also the magic bullet an a few other brands. They have accessories too, which you can ask for. You will save tons on baby food!

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nursing pillow
A must for saving your arms. Plus baby can sit in it later.

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activity mat
I love the mamas and papas brand because they make noise and play music. Others are super expensive and do nothing. My baby loved it.

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breast pump if you’re working you will need this. Get the double pump if you want to express more faster. If you are staying home you might never need it, so a manual one will do just fine. It can elevate swelling breasts and can come in handy if you need to go somewhere.

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diaper bag
A staple item

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highchair
I love the trip trap because it turn into a chair and isn’t an eyesore piece of plastic. It encourages baby to sit with you at the table. Expensive but worth it. The chair, baby seat and cushions are separate.

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a play area or pen

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baby tub
I have a small apartment so this puj folds flat. It’s a good idea but didn’t fit well in my sink. Will be reviewing it soon. Now my baby is too big for it and I got a new one. I think a sink sling would be fine and cheaper too.

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cosleeper
I WISH I got this. I got a crib she never sleeps in. This is looking amazing even now.

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napper/seat
A must have. Great for naps, when you need to put baby down, or play. It plays music and vibrates.

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diapers!
Disposable delivered every month, cloth, or a cloth service like diaperkind in Brooklyn ny are fabulous and have gift cards

I also like these things, maybe not for the registry; they are small but could work for people that want to buy group items, like all the bath things or all the feeding things.

bottles
I like this bottle because it is suppose to imitate a nipple. My baby hates bottles and she liked this

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swaddle
I had several styles but these are “escape proof” and fast

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care kit
Useful items are a thermometer, nail file and clipper, medicine dispenser. If you get a thermometer buy disposable covers, as a rectal temp is most accurate. I have an ear thermometer as well but my doctor said she too young for it.

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things you won’t need to register for

Baby wipe warmer-never needed
Bottle warmer- used once
Receiving blankets-got a lot
Clothes
Toys
Crib-unless you will really use it
Changing table
Baby shoes
Swing- pointless
Any room decor -pointless
Crib bedding sets- waste of money
Rocking chair- used my birthing ball, fiamma loves to bounce
Bassinet-used napper
Bumbo seat-used boppy pillow
Diaper genie- gross

buy yourself or wait, you might get some anyway:
Hamper
Diaper pale and liner
Blanket
Bibs or burp cloth
Nipple cream
Milk storage bags
Breast pads ( for leaks)
Lotion and soaps ( some babies are sensitive)
Washcloths
Towels
Crib sheet or sleeper liner

Hope this helps! Breathe an relax. Your baby really only needs the following: a place to sleep, a place to poop, and food.

Enjoy looking at all the stuff and get the basics. Gift cards are always on offer 😉

Helping Moms with Babies

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getting around with baby:

I live in Brooklyn, NY, and if you live in a city, you might be having the same problems I have getting around. The fact is not everywhere is “baby friendly”. From the subway to the park, supermarkets to brownstones, restaurants to sidewalks, Getting around is an adventure that will leave you hot, sweaty and worse for the wear.

I purchased a pretty light stroller, only 20lbs, but add my baby an a few groceries and its a workout. My building has an elevator, but that’s pretty useless as the front entrance only has about 20 marble stairs and a handicap only lift.
At first my doormen would come around and help me manage my descents. I felt a little bad as they are all around 60 years old, but I can’t lift myself. They seemed ok with it at first, but started to give me seriously nasty looks after about a month.
I’ve seen some of my buildings super nannies tear down the stairs by just pushing, but I still haven’t mastered that, and it looks kind of dangerous….

Around the town I have to fend for myself with doors of all kinds and hope a friendly stranger will come to my aid. Not the biggest task to do solo, but I have been helped by several people.

Once inside the stores however, is a death trap labyrinth of aisles strewn with boxes and deliveries, carts, other strollers, children, and worse, these new “child carts” that are small for your kid to push and feel involved in the shopping, but really means they race down the aisles crashing into your legs.

It’s pretty tough to navigate! City delis and stores are small! I never realized! And some store are off limits as they have stairs or metal steps with heavy doors. Some of my favorite shops are now impossible to enter.

The sidewalks are like playing chicken. Who will flinch first: me or the 5 yr old on the razor scooter! Haha. And it’s surprising how many crosswalks don’t have a ramp to get on an off! Even at designated crosswalks!

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That brings me to the nightmare of the NYC metro. I have never realized how hard it must be for handicap people to get around. Very few stops have elevators. Certainly my local stops do not. If I want to go to the lower east side I’m pretty sure I have to go to 14th street, over 15 block away. Plus you are not suppose to bring on an open stroller.
When I was sans baby, I always glared at people who didn’t follow this rule, but as a stroller mommy I realize how impossible it is to take the baby out, carry her and the things we have and fold the stroller, carry it on and balance on the car?! No way!

Basically I need to just take her out in my ergo carrier, but she really loves to nap in the stroller. Plus I can stay out longer, go farther, and buy groceries.

This all comes down to my final doorman confrontation, when I received a note stating the doormen weren’t allowed to help women with strollers because of legal repercussions. I totally understand that reasoning, but that means I either have to learn to super nanny my stroller up and down, or just use my ergo now. What a total bummer. I jus think its common curtesy to help with the strollers, like offering your seat to a pregnant lady, which also didn’t happen to often.

Living in a big city does have perks, but certainly has its pitfalls as well. I can suck up certain things, but I’m all about helping other people. I always try to help mamas, the elderly and pregnant ladies, also puppies, because they’re so cute! So I hope my karma will come back to me, and people will pay forward that help as well!

Sola Stroller Review

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Ok, so you are pregnant and now you are looking at all the crazy items you will need for your baby! And it seems like babies need a separate apartment for all the items they need. One thing people swear they either can’t live without or never used is a stroller.

I personally use my stroller every day! I love taking walks and I tend to walk very far. But there are literally hundreds of options. So we had a tough time looking for the right one.
IT seems everyone either has a running stroller, the bugaboo, or the uppababy. They can go from 500-1000$ depending on How you kit it out. Yes, like a high end sports car, you can add endless accessories to trip out your baby vehicle.

We got the Sola by Mamas and Papas because:
A. It’s super light, only 20lbs
B. it’s not as expensive, starting at 400$
C. It’s cute!

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The company is British and has only brought their products state side in recent years. They have a lot of cute products, but their customer service is in England. I called the “American” line but they told me I had to wait until the English service opened an deal with them. And I couldn’t reach them via telephone. The email service was curt. Basically they aren’t very helpful. So that’s a downside.

The stroller itself is pretty great. It comes with the stroller system itself, that features a rotating seat position (chair faces front or back), 3 levels of the carriage seat: going from fully reclining to fully seated, a foot rest for larger children(it seats up to 50lbs) and it also includes a rain cover and removable child handle bar.
The main handle bar snaps to adjust to any position, which is great!
The sun shade goes all the way back and forward 3 positions and gives great coverage.
The wheels lock in place or open to swivel 360•. But I don’t know why you would lock them. They give great mobility and I’ve taken it over park lawns too and had no trouble.

The space under the carriage is pretty large but shallow.

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Shown here, I can usually get a few grocery bags under there.

It collapses and opens really easily, but you can only do so when the chair is facing outwards.

If you are wanting a bassinet, you may purchase one separately for around 130$.

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I opted to use the original chair and added the footmuff to give it a Bassinet feel. I didn’t have any issues with that. My baby was 8lbs and fit perfectly. I think it’s more about the aesthetic look of the basket that people like. Here is a picture of the carriage fully reclined.

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And here with my baby:

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I think the bassinet is not really necessary. But looks cute.

The footmuff I purchased was 80$ and can be used as a liner in summer. Not to be confused with the other liner that can be bought for around 20$.
The difference is that the footmuff is for warmth but unzips completely, leaving a separate liner, where as the liner alone is just that. If you have the foot muff, you dot need the other liner.

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The footmuff was a great purchase. It’s really warm and soft, and the liner is so cute. In the first pictures above of the purple strollers, the original seats are orchid colored. The liner I have adds the hood pattern onto the seat. As in the picture just above. You can see the patterned liner matches the inside of the sun shade.

Another feature that is an extra but is the cup holder. I hate this!!!

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It is super small. It fits onto the side of the car and snaps in really nice. In my picture you can see it holds a can well. It really fits a small water bottle only. If I get an iced coffee it doesn’t fit and the top always explodes off. It also hits door frames when walking since its on the side. It doesn’t really work well for me at all. I would have rather gotten a generic brand that I could put on The handle Of the stroller.

There is also an umbrella which I don’t have because its 50$, and I don’t think I need that at all. For extra sun protection I just push the seat all the way up so that the shade covers the baby, or I wrap my swaddle blanket around the top.

I also have the graco car seat adapter. It is really easy to use and was about 40$. It makes car travel really easy and stress free. They also have an adapter for maxi cosi car seats. You just pop this device onto the frame, and then pop on the car seat!

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All in all I think it’s a great stroller. It’s light and easy for me to control. She seems super comfortable in it and its really easy to fold. The only things I don’t like are that with all the accessories it costs around 600$, but that’s still significantly cheaper than other strollers. And also the wheels; they are working fine after 5 months, but look really worn. They aren’t air filled tires, but just flat rubber wheels so we will see how they go. Other people have said they had wheel issues, like stuck wheels, wheels that won’t rotate, or too worn out. They make replacement wheels you can get from customer service, and the wheels do just pop right off (you will see when assembling what I mean) but as the customer service is a bit lacking, I’m not looking forward to dealing with them.

I would defiantly recommend this stroller to anyone, but especially to city dwellers who want something more compact that they can easily carry themselves up and down subway stairs, that folds easily for apartments and car trunks, and is available in new fun colors and prints!! I give it a 4 out of 5.
It’s available at babies r us and on amazon!

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Fiamma with the seat fully upright

Hope that helps, enjoy your stroller and take lots of walks!

NYC composting

Just a quick post today, the baby is super cranky.

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I heard about this and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been longing to compost, so I hope this actually happens. I use to do it when I was young at my parents house. We had a set up in the back yard until some neighbors started complaining.

The city produces so much garbage, this would be a huge step forward in helping the planet!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/nyregion/bloombergs-final-recycling-frontier-food-waste.html?smid=pl-share

Brooklyn Street Fair

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Smith Street Fair:

It’s officially summer in NYC and part of the fun is all the things that pop up to do outside! Today is one of several fairs on Smith Street. One of the most popular is on Bastille Day, as there is a large French population that frequents the bistro here.

We started out with the baby gear and baby in stroller and it was HOT! We left early, the fair started at 11:30am. We figured there would be less people and easier stroller navigation….

I don’t know about you, but I never make it to fairs until the end and by then everything is sold out. The good food is gone, the drinks are out and the streets are packed. It was nice to have so many options. There were two bands setting up as well as a few beer gardens and a mojito booth!
As with all fairs there were a lot of jewelry stalls and crepe trucks and funnel cake, but a lot of hipper new places too! Stinky cheese had a stall a well as the new seafood place Kittery on Smith.

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There was also a really cool cactus/terrarium booth and I really had to restrain myself. I love my cactus garden. Maybe because I went to school in Arizona, and terrariums are so awesome!

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I love to walk and just check out the handmade goodness. Everything is so nice you just have to have it even though you will never actually use that hand woven African basket you just had to buy……

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If you live nearby it was a nice fair. We got a watermelon lemonade for me an a mojito for my husband from the clover club booth and they were great! Yummy and so refreshing!

We had to head back after only a little bit because its way to hot out for the baby. Even with her fan she was totally miserable. We came home and gave her a nice cool bath.

I’m looking forward to many more Brooklyn afternoons in the neighborhood and the park. I have to take it easy with baby, but she does love the park.
There is a really cool food fair coming up in prospect park, so hopefully we can check it out and do a write up!

Enjoy the summer!