Things to Make - Popsicles


The girls have been really interesting in cooking lately. Unfortunately, when kids talk about cooking, they usually mean baking (cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc.) and, though I'm an okay cook, I'm not a very good baker (precise measurements seem to elude me, hence my failure as a scientist). Yet I don't want to discourage my kids from learning how to use a kitchen. The solution? Popsicles. The perfect summer treat. Plus, making our own popsicles helped us use up some of the excess peaches from our CSA. Further, since fruit and yogurt are the only ingredients (and a little sugar), I let the kids eat the popsicles for breakfast. They feel super cool and I feel like they're eating something mainly healthy. It's a win win.

We started by using this recipe, then deviated by trying different kinds of fruit.


Places to Go - NYC Part IV, Imagination Playground

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NYC ended up taking up more posts then expected, so, I promise, this will be the last one. On Sunday, we spent the morning at Imagination Playground in the South Street Seaport. A few months ago, the New Yorker published a short article on the history of playgrounds and featured Imagination Playground when discussing the future of playground design. The vision behind Imagination Playground is to "encourage child-directed, unstructured free play." According to the their website, "with a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground offers a changing array of elements that allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play." I was curious to see how my children would react.

The good news is that the girls loved all the water (the playground has both a beach area and a pool area). On the downside, none of my children were as interested in the moving parts as I had hoped. Once my oldest daughter figured out that she was too heavy to float on a block, she tried to bury it in the sand. All that being said, the truly unique part about Imagination Playground was watching all the parents interact with their children. Adults loved the moving parts concept, so, rather than reading newspapers, parents were building forts and houses and cars and their children were loving every minute of it. Pretty fun to watch. If you're ever in NYC, check it out.

For more on Imagination Playground, click here - http://imaginationplayground.org/parks/

And for a summary of the New Yorker article, click here - http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/07/05/100705fa_fact_mead


Places to Go - NYC Part III, Central Park



Sunshine bear wanted to meet the wildlife of Central Park Zoo, as he's an adventurous sort. He tried to bond with the polar bear, but we wouldn't let him swim.



Must do - climb a rock in Central Park. A big rock.


MOMA (I love this place)

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Best craft project ever.

In taking the kids to NYC, my big hope was we'd make it back in one family piece (in other words, my expectations were not that high). But between the flashing lights & the M&M store across the street, my oldest daughter was amazed. She kept asking if we could move into one of the big buildings and spent a large part of the trip trying to decide which one (this, of course, made my younger daughter cry as she "never wants to leave our little house. not ever."). But the best part of all was that NYC has extremely large sidewalks, so large, in fact, that a family of five can walk everywhere and not have to make room for other people. ever. So we walked and walked as the kids continually stated "look over there, mom & dad. at THAT. no AT THAT. and what about that? no, now look the other way. No look up now. Now look over again. OVER. Mom, you're not looking the right way. THIS way." Somehow we managed to make it to Central Park (and watch the beautiful polar bear swim). Then later that day, I managed to escape kidville for a few hours and see the amazing women in photography exhibit at MOMA. AMAZING. As far as how to entertain five children in a hotel suite, Auntie Jenny came up with the best craft project ever.

For more on the MOMA exhibit:


Places to Go - NYC Part II, The High Line

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Due to a late start and the need to continually stop to satisfy our baby's every desire, we made it to the Lincoln Tunnel in the heart of rush hour. That was fun (insert sarcasm). For the next (and most terrifying step), we drove a minivan through Times Square to reach our hotel (the Doubletree Suites). Finally we arrived, alive and well. But there was no time to chill, we NEEDED to make it to the High Line before dark.

This summer, the girls and I can't stop reading Peter Brown's fantastic story The Curious Garden, which centers around a little boy Liam, who transforms a city into a garden. Brown was inspired to write the book after visiting the new (and incredibly beautiful) High Line Park in NYC (where once there were train tracks, now there are gardens). Though I wouldn't exactly say that the park is for children, the girls (and the baby) made the best of it, running from garden to garden (or, for the baby, wobbling from garden to garden). Both the blossoms and the views were phenomenal, especially as dusk fell over the meatpacking district. If I lived in NYC, I'd go there all the time (seriously).

For more on the High Line, click here

Places to Go - NYC


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As a little girl growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I dreamed of visiting NYC (the influence of A Cricket in Times Square and Noisy Nancy Norris cannot be overstated). Instead we spent summer vacations in Wisconsin, which was majestic in its own way, but I still longed for the grandeur of NYC (especially tall buildings, lots and lots of them). Then I graduated high school and moved west, then further west and later moved north, so it wasn't until I reached my late twenties that I finally visited the Big Apple. And I loved it. And now my best friend lives there. So I convinced my husband that all preschoolers need to see NYC. And off we went . . . with Sunshine Bear and Care Bear in tow (of course).


Things to Do - Purchase a Bag of Dinosaurs


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Sometimes you go to Toys R Us to pick up birthday party gifts and you come home with a bag of dinosaurs. Not sure how this happens.


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