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Monday, May 15, 2023

New York City - with Babies and Toddlers!


Taking Toddlers to NYC

Three months into having a new baby in the house, we were starting to go a bit stir crazy. The spring weather was giving us all the feels and we were ready to spend a weekend away with the kids, desperate for a change in our routine. We looked at AirBnbs in New Hampshire and Maine, toyed with the idea of Rhode Island, thought about heading back to the Berkshires, all until I had a great idea. New York City is a quick train ride away and the weather was perfect. Our train obsessed toddler would enjoy the ride and we could experience some of the best parts of the city on a springy weekend. Close enough for a single night away, far enough to feel like we truly "got away" and fun enough to entertain a toddler for the weekend. 

When I told a few people I was planning on taking the kids to New York City for the weekend, I got some looks and a few "you guys are crazy" comments. Let me start by saying one thing. Raising kids is hard no matter where you are, so you may as well change the scenery from time to time. Second, the city is far more toddler friendly than you may think if you plan it right. We were traveling with our 2 year old and 3 month old and while the night was rough as we expected, the trip was an overall success. Here are a few things that will make traveling with a toddler and a baby to the city a bit easier. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Dinosaur Place - Oakdale, Connecticut

Adam has mentioned visiting this dinosaur park for weeks. Truth be told, I wasn't nearly as excited for this excursion. It seemed pretty basic, dinosaurs at a park, and expensive for a family. I went in with low expectations on a weekday in April with Adam and Whitney to see what the park was all about. Within just a few minutes, I was on board with the dinosaur place and can assure you it's worth the admission fee, especially when all the amenities are open in the summer. 

Friday, March 31, 2023

Connecticut Science Center - visiting with a toddler

Connecticut Science Center

After one trip to the Mystic Aquarium, we quickly realized a membership was the way to go.  For around $200, we have unlimited access to the aquarium for our entire family (we also now have zero guilt just going for a quick hour with a tantrum two year old). But another great benefit we didn't realize was the reciprocal benefits with other museums and exhibits in the state. Our Mystic Aquarium membership allowed us free access to the Connecticut Science Center for the entire month of March. I had always wanted to check out the Science Center, for myself and to bring Whitney. The month was ending and so was my membership perk so I grabbed my mom and we took the kids to the science center, a first time for all of us. 

Connecticut Science Center
Water Table at KidSpace

First Impressions

Beautiful museum in an impressive building easily accessible/right off the highway in Downtown Hartford. The museum is mostly focused on school aged children but there was plenty to see and do for my just turned 2 year old (admission is also free for kids under 3). It was the perfect way to spend a few hours with a toddler, or an entire day for older kids. The museum offers over 100 exhibits and a 3D theatre. While it is on the more expensive side ($25 per adult) kids under 3 are free and a membership is worth it for cost and the additional reciprocal benefits for other museums and exhibits in the state. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Potty Training at 22 months with the "Oh Crap" method

Oh Crap Potty Training

Diaper changes are never a pleasant experience. Changing a diaper on a toddler who refuses to sit still for even a second is challenging and let me go as far as saying dangerous. I have to haul this 30-pound child onto the diaper pad, keep him still enough to get a diaper loaded with poop off, clean him while he flails, kicks, and tries to flip over, and re-diaper this wild animal. All while trying not to spread human feces everywhere, or get kicked in the head. It's a miserable, stressful experience and one of the big reasons I was on board for potty training after the holidays and before the popular start age of 2.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Weekly Meal Prep and Freezer Stash 101

Meal Prep 101

If you follow me over on Instagram, you know that I live and die by meal prepping. I wholeheartedly believe it's the foundation to healthy eating, especially for those of us with busy, on-the-go lifestyles. Meal prep is the reason my family has healthy food (typically) three meals a day. This post kind of dives into two sides of my meal prep strategy: my weekly prep (what I do every single week to get ahead) and busy season freezer load up (what I do for postpartum food prep or to keep some freezer staples). 

Why Meal Prep?

I don't think I need to go into it here but in case you need the reminder, going out to breakfast/lunch/dinner or even grabbing those premade meals from your local bistro to bring home typically means that meal is an unhealthier options. They taste so good because they use a whole lot more butter, oil, sugar, salt etc than you typically would at home. The food is richer and you have zero control about the ingredients, where they are sourced, and what preservatives are used. And that convenience factor? It comes at a high cost. A recent study concluded that Americans go out for a meal (sit down dinner or lunch on the go) 5.9 times a week at the cost of about $3,000 a year. It's a lot but I personally think that number is much higher for most of us. There is also a significant value in sitting down as a family for a meal at the end of the day and meal prep makes that possible on the busiest of weeks. The other big piece of the puzzle no one really talks about is the dishes. If you do your meal prep at once, you make one "big" mess (but far less of a mess than you would making dinner each day). By meal prepping, you can reuse bowls, cutting boards, pans and what not which really lets you cruise through the week. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Year in Review: 2022

There's that popular parenting quote "the days are long but the years are short". It feels so true as I look back on the crazy and fun year we had as a family. I'm freaking exhausted and parts of the year were really hard but when I look back 2022 was such a great year for me, professionally, personally, and with my family.  It looked a little different than other years as we navigated life with a busy toddler and towards the second half of the year, a pregnancy. My business grew and it was the first year I saw a really positive growth and income as I built up my client base. Adam had a busy year at work as well but per usual, we made time for some fun. We managed to squeeze in an international trip, a ski trip to Colorado, and New England getaways and adventures. 

It's my favorite post to write every year and you can read my recaps for the last eight years (2021, 2020201920182017201620152014). Let's take a look at 2022, month by month and adventure by adventure.