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Best BaBy Bottles

Bloggers We feBrUary 2014

established 1986

newyorkfamily.com

reD HOT Valentine’s

day giFts

Finding

the right

Camp SPRING

sPorts PlayBooK

Diy ARTS&

crafTS must read

The Truth About

modern Parenthood

alex

great

the What’s Cooking With Iron Chef & NYC Mom alex guarnaschelli


contents

FEBRUARY newyorkfamily.com

pg.20

pg.10

pg.40

FEATURES 40 | Tough Cookie For Iron Chef and local mom Alex Guarnaschelli, life’s finest ingredients include hard work, quality motherdaughter time, and plenty of fresh produce 45 | Bloggers We Love A tribute to ten local bloggers with a special mix of voice, vision, and love of family 50 | To Birth & Beyond A roundup of pre- and post-natal education, exercise, and support classes around the city

FAMILY FUN GUIDE 10 | 10 Great Events For February Celebrating Dave Brubeck with Jazz at Lincoln Center, a modern take on “The Frog Prince,” Kids’ Week at the Intrepid, and more 14 | Winter Culture Guide For families who like to plan ahead, here’s our family-fun hit list for the coming months

HOME & AWAY 56 | Quality Time How an organized apartment can help foster good learning habits, responsibility, and independence in children

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New York Family | February 2014

pg.50 60 | Camp Countdown Choosing the right type of camp for your child—whether day or sleepaway, single-sex or coed, traditional or specialist—can make all the difference

COLUMNS 6 | Editor’s Note Like It Is 8 | Events & Offers A six-month Mathnasium membership giveaway, February Camp Fairs, the scoop on the New York Baby Show, and the low-down on signing up for our e-newsletters 16 | It’s My Party Birthday celebrations at The Craft Studio, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and the Field House at Chelsea Piers 18 | Scoop The hottest new stroller swag, pottery parties in Long Island City, a test prep resource for kids, and more 20 | Lysst Red-hot Valentine’s Day gifts for luxuryloving moms and dads

pg.36 22 | Activity of the Month Fun DIY projects for kids of all ages from local art programs 26 | Growing Up In her debut book, All Joy and No Fun, journalist and local mom Jennifer Senior puts the focus on the complexities of modern parenthood 36 | Starting Out The best bottles and breast pumps of 2014 30 | Tip Sheet Everything you need to know about spring sports programs in the city for kids 64 | Last Word A local mother shares the cautionary story of her daughter’s two-year recovery from a sports-related concussion Cover Photo courtesy of the Food Network

www.newyorkfamily.com


FEBRUARY 2014

EDITOR AND CO-PUBLISHER Eric Messinger

Summer Days Camp 2014 at 74th St.

emessinger@ manhattanmedia.com SENIOR EDITOR Bridget Moriarity bmoriarity@ manhattanmedia.com

MAGIC

Flexible scheduling, maximum fun... ...all with an educational twist!

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Mia Weber mweber@ manhattanmedia.com ART DIRECTOR George W. Widmer gwidmer@ manhattanmedia.com

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Heidi Green, Michael Jurick, Sarah Merians, Andrew Schwartz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Leah Black, Emanuelle Block, Anna Boisseau, Danielle Kraese, Gavriella Mahpour, Emily Murphy, Jodi Silberstein PUBLISHER John Hurley FOR INFORMATION ON THE BABY SHOW 212.268.3086, jhurley@ manhattanmedia.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mary Ann Oklesson maoklesson @ manhattanmedia.com SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR Alex Schweitzer aschweitzer@ manhattanmedia.com

Summer Days Camp for children 2.5 - 6 years old begins June 2nd. Week-long theme based adventures filled with fun activities and plenty of outdoor play. Only a 2 week minimum required... Half day and full day options available.

SALES ASSISTANT Erik Bliss ebliss@ manhattanmedia.com CIRCULATION Aaron Pollard apollard @ manhattanmedia.com BUSINESS MANAGER Shawn Scott sscott@ manhattanmedia.com ACCOUNTS MANAGER Kathy Pollyea kpollyea @ manhattanmedia.com

Manhattan Media CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Richard Burns CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Joanne Harras

Register online or call 212.737.2989 today!

DIRECETOR OF DIGITAL Dennis Rodriguez

Under the red canopy at 510 East 74th St. (off York Avenue) New York www.74magic.com 4

New York Family is a division of Manhattan Media, publishers of AVENUE magazine, Mitzvah magazine, and The Blackboard Awards. Š 2014 Manhattan Media, LLC | 72 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor New York, NY 10016 | t: 212.268.8600 | f: 212.268.0577 www.manhattanmedia.com

New York Family | February 2014

NYFamilyFebruary-Half-V-Camp2014.indd 1

www.newyorkfamily.com

1/21/2014 5:49:58 PM


LIKE IT IS I first attempted to write this note at my apartment, but parenting interceded. My son—who turns 10 next month—had worked himself into a froth of complaints and disappointments over just about anything he could latch onto from his day, from his ill-performing sled to the fact that I wanted him to go to bed a little earlier than usual (because he himself had copped to being very tired). In turn, I was frustrated with him, and flummoxed by not being able to start my work. Yet, for me, the right thing to do was to turn away from work and help Adam calm down. Indeed, the more subtle and wonderful truth of it was that we met halfway: while he was crying he asked me to leave the room so he could be by himself. Then about five minutes later he entered my bedroom, wrapped mummy style in his blanket, and bashfully asked if I would read to him. After a few pages of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, he was happy to be sleepy, and I was more comfortable being too tired to work. Now that I actually have a window (at work) to write this note, I’ve decided to kick it off by sharing last night’s change of plan because it’s exactly the kind of parenting predicament embodied in the spirit

of this issue, which, I proudly report, features a lot of people with compelling things to say about the joys and challenges of modern parenthood. Let’s start with our cover subject, Iron Chef—and lifelong New Yorker—Alex Noshing with Iron Chef Guarnaschelli, whose candor, intelligence, and Alex Guarnaschelli class will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen her on the Food Network (page 40). I’m also very pleased to be running an interview with journalist and NYC mom Jennifer Senior, who literally wrote the book (a new and very good book) on how parents are handling parenthood (page 26). Then there are the ten local parents spotlighted in our Bloggers We Love feature, whose voices and passions are varied and true (page 45). Naturally, I want to give praise to every story in the issue, but within our remaining space I think I’m just going to remind you (and myself) not to forget our Valentine’s Day treats (page 20). Have A Happy February! Eric Messinger Editor, emessinger@manhattanmedia.com

Un

io n is Sq NO ua W re L O oc PE a N! tio n

Upper West Side 506 Amsterdam Avenue

www.mathnasium.com 6

New York Family | February 2014

Union Square 46 E 11th Street

Upper East Side 1597 York Avenue

212-828-MATH (6284) www.newyorkfamily.com

Karen Haberberg Photography

editor’s note


Nurture Your Child’s Unique Personality at the JCC • To learn more, call 646.505.5723 or visit jccmanhattan.org/familylife •

FOR THE ENERGETIC ONE who loves to move, jump, and run: Infants + Young Children • Sports + Tumbling • Swim • Ballet at the J! • Little Man Dance Jam

After School • Fencing • Gymnastics • Hip Hop • Tae Kwon Do • Yoga • Krav Maga • Swim

FOR YOUR CREATIVE KID

who loves to get messy, explore, and sing: Infants + Young Children • Lil’ Explorers • My Art Studio • Kookin’ Kids • Little Maestros

After School • Clay Sculpture + Pottery • Fabric Arts Studio • Science

FOR YOUR SOCIAL BUTTERFLY Infants + Young Children • My Little Clubhouse • 2s Together • Shabbat Club • Baby Play @ the J • Tummy Time

After School • Clubhouse • Chess

Photo: Nancy Adler

who loves playing with friends:


READY, SET, CAMP! Finding the right summer camp for your child is one of the most special gifts that you as a parent can give them. With all the options out there—day or sleepaway, city or countryside, single sex or co-ed, specialty or general, four weeks or eight—a great way to begin your search and better understand your options is by visiting one of our upcoming Camp Fairs, which we sponsor with the American Camp Association of New York & New Jersey. In February, we’ll have one fair on the Upper East Side (2/7) and in Park Slope (2/8). Then, in March, we’ll have one in Morningside Heights (3/8) and downtown Manhattan (3/9); in April, we’ll have a fair on the Upper East Side (4/5) and on the Upper West Side (4/6). At each fair, parents can connect with more than 40 camps from 12-3pm. To learn more and to secure your spot, register at newyorkfamilycamps.com

THE NEW YORK BABY SHOW IS COMING!

WIN A MATHNASIUM 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP! We’re giving away a 6-Month Enrichment Program Membership at Mathnasium of Union Square, the newest Mathnasium center in Manhattan. Whether your child needs to catch up, keep up, or get ahead in math, Mathnasium is the perfect place to learn new skills and get “crazy about math!” Students work in a semi-private setting in Mathnasium’s fun environment where students earn rewards as they progress through their own customized learning plans. The membership includes eight scheduled hour-long sessions per month. As the winner, you will also receive a detailed summary of your child’s assessment results which will provide you with valuable insight on your child’s current standing in math. The total value is $2,870 and invaluable peace of mind. This giveaway is for 2nd grade through Algebra 1 students who are new to Mathnasium. Deadline to enter is Friday, March 7, 2014. To enter, visit newyorkfamily.com and click on the Contests and Giveaways link.

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New York Family | February 2014

Join us at the New York Baby Show! The family-friendly event for new and expectant parents (and their babies and toddlers) from the Tri-State Area and beyond will take place on the weekend of May 17-18, 2014. Explore a mix of top products and services for maternity, baby, toddler, along with an inspiring menu of speakers and demonstrations from highly regarded experts in the world of parenting and pregnancy. Highlights also include moms’ and dads’ lounges and a kids’ play area. Tickets will go on sale March 1, 2014. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit newyorkbabyshow.com

Sign Up For Our Free E-Newsletters The best way to follow New York Family on a steady basis is by signing up for our free weekly e-newsletters at newyorkfamily.com/ newsletter-sign-up. Covering parent needs from bump to tween, the newsletters include: Weekly Scoop on Wednesdays For parents with children from toddlers to tweens, the Weekly Scoop is a trove of our best ideas and resources for raising kids and enjoying family life in the city, including tips on classes, parties, shopping, education, family fun, hot topics, and parental musings— not to mention weekly giveaways. Weekend Planner on Thursdays For parents with children of all ages, our Weekend Planner offers a brief but incredibly handy tip sheet of our favorite family events and activities around town over the weekend. New York Family Baby on Fridays For new and expectant parents (with children up to toddler age), our baby newsletter offers a lively mix of pre- and post-natal resources, parenting tips, news, shopping, and personal essays.

www.newyorkfamily.com

Justin Winslow

events & offers


ART: TOM SLAUGHTER

February 7 – 23 FROM ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC

Age Recommendation:

Bob Marley’s “A color-filled, delightful musical for kids with Bob Marley tunes for everyone”

PHOTOS: MICHAEL HORAN

EVERYONE 5+

The Washington Post

Based on a story by Cedella Marley ®

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family fun

MUSEUMS

Literally Alive

MUSIC

THEATER

ATTRACTIONS

10

Alex Johnson

Frank Stewart

FOOD

Clockwise from top left: JCC adventurers Week, Literally alive theater, okee dokee Brothers, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Great Events for February By Emily Murphy

a IS For aardvarkS February 9 [Ages 2-5] Rock out with David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band at the Jewish Museum, where audience participation is encouraged. Children might have the opportunity to sing or dance on stage to energetic music that is all about celebrating being a kid in the Big Apple, including favorites like “Taxi” and “Jackhammer Joe.” Children $13, adults $18; 11:30am & 2pm. 1109 5th ave. at 92nd Street, 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

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New York Family | February 2014

In Good Company February 12 to april 20 [All ages] In a unique installation that’s part of an exhibition of work by Pawel Althamer at the New Museum, visitors can add their own drawings or paintings to transform a blank wall into a myriad of personal artwork. Althamer’s show, “The Neighbors,” includes sculptures of his family and community members. While Althamer’s work spans three floors, the fourth floor gallery is where your family can let their inner Picasso shine. Free with admission; Wednesdays through Sundays. 235 Bowery at prince Street, 212-219-1222, newmuseum.org

Jazz It Up February 8 [Ages 6-12] A dedicated and creative father, musician Dave Brubeck once used unusual methods to teach his children, including creating a bumbling alter ego named Professor Nooseknocker. Celebrate the life of the late pianist and composer with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. This interactive, family-friendly show will be held at the Rose Theater. From $12; 1pm & 3pm. Broadway and 60th Street, 212-721-6500, jalc.org continued on page 12

www.newyorkfamily.com


BASEBALL | BASKETBALL | FLAG FOOTBALL | GYMNASTICS | MARTIAL ARTS SOCCER | SWIMMING | CAMPS | COOKING | ARTS | BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Register for Spring Term! Classes start March 8. Open Registration begins February 13. BATTERY PARK CITY asphaltgreenbpc.org

UPPER EAST SIDE asphaltgreen.org


10 Great events

family fun

left to right: Work by Pawel Althamer, david Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band

February 16 to april 27 [Ages 5 & Up] Experience the magic of the childhood favorite “The Little Mermaid” up close at the Players Theater. Literally Alive Theater brings us this classic with a personal twist that children will love. A 45-minute pre-show workshop gives kids the chance to embark on all kinds of artsy endeavors, including creating their own glow-in-the-dark ocean critters, learning music from the play, and meeting members of the cast. $25 to $45; 11am & 3pm saturdays, 11am sundays. 115 Macdougal street, 212-475-1237, literallyalive.com

RiBBiT-ing RoyAlTy February 1-23 [Ages 3 & Up] Join Galli Theater for their modern take on the fantastical fairytale “The Frog Prince.” When a princess loses her golden ball down a well, she turns to an unsightly green amphibian to help her out in exchange for one little thing—a kiss. Founded by actor and playwright Johannes Galli, the namesake theater strives to bring children messages about important social issues. Children $15, Adults $20; 2pm saturdays & sundays. 347 West 36th street, 212-731-0668, gallitheaterny.com

BluEgRAss in ThE Big APPlE February 22 [Ages 2 & Up] For a taste of the great outdoors

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New York Family | February 2014

without leaving the city, see the Grammy award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers at Symphony Space. The duo show off their Minnesotan roots with a bluegrass show full of camping, nature, and the Appalachian Trail. You can check out the music video for their catchy single “Can You Canoe?” on YouTube. Children $15, Adults $20; 11am. 2537 Broadway at 95th street, 212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org

ThE BEsT WEEK EvER February 15-23 [All Ages] The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is famous for its technological and historic approach to education. Now, it is psyched to bring Kids Week 2014 to your little munchkins. Each of the nine days will have its own theme— think superheroes, Broadway musicals, or science fiction—and workshops, performances, and demonstrations will center around it. Free with general admission, various event times from 10am-5pm. Pier 86, West 46th st. and 12th Avenue; 212-245-0072; intrepidmuseum.org

CiTy Kid AdvEnTuREs February 18-21 [Ages 6-10] The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan is planning a jam-packed four-day winter camp for children with nothing to do during school break. With engaging and educational activities like going to museums and theatrical performances, these adventures will keep young brains working all through vacation. Members $110, non-members $135; 8:45am-3pm. 334 Amsterdam Avenue, 646-505-5708, jccmanhattan.org

AsiAn Fusion February 16 [Ages 3-6]

events

undER ThE sEA

Traditional Japanese and Korean songs take on a new meaning through Elena Moon Park and Friends. Presented by Carnegie Hall at the Bronx Library Center, Park infuses western rock instruments with children’s music and folk songs to create a unique sound. Free, 2pm. 310 East Kingsbridge Rd (at Briggs Ave.), 212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org

CRAzy CollECTions February 4 to June 1 [All Ages] Wunderkammers, also known as Cabinets of Wonder, have been around since the Renaissance Era, featuring rare collections of peculiar artifacts. The Children’s Museum of the Arts is showing a contemporary version, called Cabinets of Wonder: The Art of Collecting. The exhibition’s artists have collected items from nature, technology, and everyday life to shed new light on our relationship with objects. Free with general admission, Wednesdays through Mondays. 103 Charlton street, 212-274-0986; cmany.org

For more event picks for families, check out our Family Calendar at newyorkfamily.com/events www.newyorkfamily.com

Pawel Althamer, Venetians, 2013. Exhibition view: Venice Biennale, 2013. Photo: Jens Ziehe, Berlin. Courtesy of the artist, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, and neugerriemschneider, Berlin

continued from page 10


family jazz party: meet charlie parker

march 8 • 1pm, 3pm swing, dance, and bop

to the tunes of bird

jazz at lincoln center venue • frederick p. rose hall box office • broadway at 60th, ground fl centercharge • 212-721-6500 recommended for children ages 8 months to 7 years

jalc.org

Z G  T   Mandarin FOR



BABIES TO ADULTS

New Class for Babies! Mommy & Me

1-2 years

ZGT Kids

3-5 years

After School Programs 5-12 years Get a head start learning Mandarin through song and dance. Develop social, language, music and math skills all while having fun!

Sign up for Summer Camp! James Keyte, Founder ZGT currently runs the Mandarin Programs at St Bernard's, Buckley, Allen-Stevenson and PS6 208 East 73rd Street jamie@zgtnewyorkcom

212.837.1306 zgtnewyork.com


family fun

EVENTS

The American Museum of Natural History

And For Families Who Like To plan Ahead ... . . . Here Is Our Family-Fun Hit List For Spring MARCH KNEE DEEp March 21-30 [Ages 7 & Up] Head over to the New Victory Theatre to witness feats of strength and finesse from Casus, Australia’s popular contemporary circus company. The talented foursome will execute an exciting combination of acrobatics and aerial stunts. Starting at $14; various times and dates; 209 West 42nd Street; 646-223 -3010, newvictory.org

JoANiE LEEDS AND THE NigHTLigHTS March 29 [All ages] Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights are hitting up Symphony Space with a collection of catchy rock tunes that will have the whole family humming along. Embraced by music lovers of all ages, the band is known for its witty, whimsical lyrics, with songs about topics like UFO discoveries, eating tofurky on Thanksgiving, and watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly. Adults $20, kids $13; 11am & 2pm. 2537 Broadway, 212-864-1414, symphonyspace.org

FAMiLy CoNCERT: REgiNA CARTER’S REVERSE THREAD March 8 [Ages 5-10] Bring the kids over to Carnegie Hall for an exotic blend of African folk music that’s infectiously joyful. Regina Carter is an award-winning jazz vocalist who gives traditional African music a contemporary flair with her new album “Reverse Thread.” With the help of added melodies from the accordion and kora, a West African harp, she creates instrumentals that are stunning and soulful.

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New York Family | February 2014

From $12; 1pm. 881 7th Avenue, 212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org

ApRiL pTERoSAuRS: FLigHT iN THE AgE oF DiNoSAuRS april 5 to January 5, 2015 [All ages] For about 150 million years, pterosaurs virtually ruled the skies. The first vertebrates to develop the ability for powered flight, they ranged in size from as small as a common sparrow to as big as a fighter jet. Now, get a chance to learn all about these ancient creatures with the American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit. Adults $27, children ages 2-12 $16; various start times between 10:30am & 4:30pm. Central park West at 79th Street, 212-769-5100, amnh.org

SAKuRA MATSuRi april 26-27 [All ages] Visit the enchanting Brooklyn Botanical Garden to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of spring with the annual cherry blossom festival. This cheerful event commemorates the end of Hanami, a Japanese tradition that involves taking time to cherish every moment of the season’s beautiful flowers as they come into bloom. Adults $20, students & seniors $15, children under 12 free; 10am-6pm. 1000 Washington Avenue, 718-623-7200, bbg.org

MAy CARNiVAL oF THE ANiMALS May 3, 4, 10, & 11

“The Carnival of the Animals” at the New york Theatre Ballet

[Ages 2 & Up] New York Theatre Ballet has the perfect treat for the family just in time for Mother’s Day. Set in a magical forest, Queen Diana and her lion companion have reign over a menagerie of gentle animals that all live together in harmony—at least, until two lost children come along and change everything! Adults $40, children $35; various start times between 11am and 3:30pm. 20 Lincoln Center, 212-4960600, nycballet.com

DEAR ALBERT EiNSTEiN May 3-18 [Ages 8 & Up] Making Books Sing will be charming families with a musical that’s all about girl power! Set to rock n’ roll, swing, and classical music, the show takes its audience back to 1954 to meet 12-year-old Susan, a math enthusiast just entering junior high. When Susan finds herself torn between following her passion and fitting in with the rest of the girls in her class, visions of her role model Albert Einstein help her find the courage to listen to her heart. premium seating $45; general seating $25; various times and dates. 340 East 46th Street, 212-573-8791, makingbookssing.org www.newyorkfamily.com


meet the jazz band

spring term

mar 11–may 18, 2014 interactive jazz classes for adults and kids

enroll today • 212-258-9922 • ages 8 months to 5 years Official Media Partner PHOTO BY ELIZABETH LEITZELL

jalc.org/webop


birthdays

it’s my party

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2

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kaitlyn pohly celebrates her 10th birthday at madame tussaud’s wax museum. 1. The birthday girl and her friends show off their “Poker Faces” with a waxy Lady Gaga. 2. Kaitlyn feels the birthday love with a cool hand mold souvenir. 3. As part of a scavenger hunt through the museum, the girls take a peek inside Lady Liberty. Photos by Heidi Green Photography (heidigreen.com)

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raaghav modukuri celebrates his 3rd birthday at the field house at chelsea piers. 1. The Modukuri fam is all smiles for birthday boy Raaghav. 2. The little man of the day gets his climb on at the ball pit. 3. Raaghav’s mom and dad help him make a birthday wish. Photos by Heidi Green Photography (heidigreen.com)

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twins harry and rose green celebrate their 5th birthdays at the craft studio. 1. Superhero Harry shows how low he can go. 2. The twins and their family are all smiles as they check out this tasty treat from Creative Cakes. 3. Little ladybug Rose knows how to dress for an occasion! Photos by Heidi Green Photography (heidigreen.com)

Looking for picture-perfect birthday venues? visit newyorkfamiLy.com/birthday-parties 16

New York Family | February 2014

www.newyorkfamily.com


scoop

KEEPING PARENTS IN THE KNOW

ART BrickHouse ceramic Art center Situated in increasingly popular Long Island City, BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center is a totally unique venue for your next kids’ party or family craft day. While BrickHouse offers classes for adults of all levels of pottery familiarity, they also play host to parties of 8-12 kids, ages 7 and up. Bring your little one and their friends in for a day of clay—each guest will create an original art object in the authentic pottery studio to be glazed and fired after the party by the BrickHouse staff. brickhouseny.com

STROllER SWAG 7 A.m. Enfant Stroller Hamper Crafted from lightweight (and washable!) material and complete with a vast storage capacity, adjustable shoulder strap, and handy drawstring, the new Stroller Hamper from 7 A.M. Enfant—a beloved NYC-based baby gear brand—is a must-have for any family excursion. The selection of trendy neon hues make the hamper easy on the eyes, while its ability to strap right on to the handles of most strollers make it indispensably functional for trips to the park, the beach, playdates, and beyond. 7amenfant.com

HANDBAGS musen Albert by The mOmS Local mothers Melissa Musen Gerstein and Denise Albert, or rather The MOMS—who, in addition to running a fab website and radio show, are known for producing star-studded local events (like fashion shows and movie screenings) for style-savvy mamas—added handbag designer to their resumes last fall. Musen Albert—a combination of Albert’s surname and Gerstein’s maiden name—is a functionally fashionable line of handbags perfect for chic mothers on the go. Available from ShopHQ, each bag is dual-purpose and affordably priced—plus, each piece in the line is named after one of Gerstein or Albert’s family members. themoms.com

STuDy GuIDE Test Prep Sanity For Students by Elie Venezky of Prestige Prep Just as there are a number of admissions tests looming for students of all ages (SAT, PSAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE) there’s no shortage of advice out there about how to prepare. Test Prep Sanity for Students, by local tutor and Prestige Prep founder Elie Venezky, offers guidance to students on what to do, how to think, and how to stay sane while scoring well on standardized tests. Last year Venezky released a similar version for parents with advice to help your child excel without driving each other crazy. Straightforward and easy to read, the student edition teaches tips and tricks to handle pressure, reduce anxiety, and improve scores with real-talk, tellit-like-it-is anecdotes. prestigeprep.com

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New York Family | February 2014

SHOPPING Hartstrings Dressing kids can be a challenge—especially as trends change so quickly these days. To get ahead of the fashion game, parents can turn to Hartstrings—a store celebrated for its wide selection of precious pieces in classic designs for babies and kids through age 12—to keep little ones looking their best. With several NYC locations, including a new store on the Upper East Side, the shop offers children’s clothing from its two anchor brands—Hartstrings for girls and Kitestrings for boys—plus a variety of popular brands, like Puma Kids, Ferrari Boys, DKNY Kids, Lucky Brand Kids, Nicole Miller Girls, and Paul Frank Kids. Whether FOR mORE TIPS ON lOcAl you need basic outfits for everyday wear or RESOuRcES FOR FAmIlIES, cHEcK something a little fancier, Hartstrings has it all! OuT NEWyORKFAmIly.cOm hartstrings.com

www.newyorkfamily.com


Improve Up to TWO GRADE LEVELS! One-On-One Tutoring & Intensive Summer Programs Grades Pre-K to 12

NSIVE 3 WEEK INTE GRAMS: SUMMER PROAugust • June, July & • Grades Pre K-12 h, g, Mat • Reading, Writin ill & Study Sk s struction •Multi-Sensory In

Reading comprehension & writing Multi-sensory math Phonics instruction & reading fluency State test preparation Study & organizational skills Orton Gillingham instruction Specialized programs for students with dyslexia, ADD and learning disabilities Home tutoring available in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Westchester and New Jersey Our Director Dr. Levy personally performs all assessments

EBL Coaching

212-249-0147 Dr. Emily Levy, Director www.eblcoaching.com 17 E. 89TH ST. OR AT YOUR HOME


lysst

F

My AbuLous VALENTINE On the most romantic day of the year, go beyond chocolates and flowers and give something truly luxurious to the special mom or dad in your life— nobody deserves it more. Happy Valentine’s Day!

2. Sparkle central: Add some glamour to her holiday with Dannijo’s bright-pink, Swarovski crystal-adorned studs. These gorgeous brass-plated earrings are the ultimate gift for the fashionista mom—just make sure to present them to her early in the day so she can show them off all day long or work them into her date-night ensemble. $150, saksfifthavenue.com 3. Sealed with a kiss: Rebecca Minkoff’s leather wristlet is red-haute! For Valentine’s Day, the hip New York City-based designer (and chic mama) has created this Love stamp-inspired accessory that is perfect to use while running errands or heading to the gym with just a few essentials. It can also be filled with smaller items and tossed into a tote so that lipsticks, hair elastics, pens, and other must-haves don’t get buried at the bottom of a big bag. $98, rebeccaminkoff.com

By Lyss Stern

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1. Bon appétit: Get something sweet for your sweet! French patisserie Ladurée—the crème de la crème of macarons—is offering this festive, limited-edition Amour Collection box filled with eight delectable macarons in a red fruit flavor. It also comes with a heart-shaped card—the perfect place to pen a romantic Valentine’s Day note. $24, laduree.com

4. Underneath it all: This gift is comfortable and sexy—what man wouldn’t love that? Show him how much you love him with a pair of Gap’s 100 percent cotton Valentine’s Day boxers, which come in a cupidheart print (with either a red or black background) and—our fave—a kiss print. $12.95, gap.com 5. Simply scent-sational: Hugo Boss’ Hugo Red cologne is just as much a present to the giver as it is to the recipient. The handsome, masculine scent features heat-filled accords of cedar wood and hot amber, which combine superbly with the bitter fresh scents of grapefruit and rhubarb to create a rich, metallic-inspired fragrance. $52-75, hugoboss.com

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6. In the bag: Fred Perry’s leather-trimmed canvas shoulder bag is the ideal gift for any dad on the go. It works well for a casual day at the office or while running around town with the family on weekends. The interior zip pocket, adjustable shoulder strap, zip closure, and exterior slip compartment—not to mention the smoldering burgundy shade—make it the ultimate marriage between function and fashion. $95, saksfifthavenue.com

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7 New York Family | February 2014

7. All the small things: They say that good things come in small packages—and nothing proves that more than the just-bigger-than-a-dime-sized Tiny Letters by Leafcutter Designs. The customized—and made-to-order—notes include a tiny Valentine with a message printed in 3-point font in a mini envelope (complete with a red wax seal). Each letter comes sealed in a coin case and packaged in a glassine envelope which includes a magnifying glass. $9.75, leafcutterdesigns.com Lyss Stern is an Upper East Side mom of two (with a third on the way), the founder of DivaLysscious Moms (divamoms.com)— a luxury lifestyle company catering to well-heeled and trendsetting moms everywhere, and co-author of If You Give A Mom A Martini...100 Ways To Take 10 Blissful Minutes For Yourself. www.newyorkfamily.com


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activity of the month

Crafty

tHINKING

Fun DIY Projects For Kids Of All Ages Edited by Bridget Moriarity We asked a handful of the city’s best family-friendly art studios to share a unique project with us that parents and their children can make in the comfort of their home during this wintry month. Get ready to channel your inner Picasso!

JuMbo Decoupage LetteRS (FRoM Let’S gogh aRt NYc): Tweens love this project. When it’s done, they can hang it up in their room and decorate it to match their style. Ages 11 and up.

5 StepS to cReate a MaSteRpiece (FRoM the aRt StuDio NY) Use the Gustav Klimt painting, “Portrait of Adele BlockBauer,” as inspiration. Ages 4 and up. Required Materials: A magazine; glue; scissors; a piece of canvas; cardboard or thick paper; a pencil; monochromatic acrylic paints; a disposable plate; wax paper or foil for the paints; and a kitchen sponge. Optional: Gold leaf or pennies. Step 1: Cut out an image of a person from a magazine. Only use the part above their waistline. Glue the figure on a canvas, cardboard, or thick paper. The image doesn’t have to be centered, but the face should be about 3/4 above the bottom of the page. Step 2: Draw a triangle or skirt for the figure (no feet). The triangle or skirt should come off the page. Step 3: Use a disposable plate, wax paper, or foil for the paints. We

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New York Family | February 2014

recommend acrylic paint in colors like orange, yellow, or gold for this project. Step 4: Take a kitchen sponge and cut it into french fry-sized strips. This should create a square tip. Now, dip the square end into the paint, to create patterns for the figure’s skirt. Step 5: While the paint is drying, create patterns in the background using images from a magazine, fabric, paper, or use another set of paint colors (blues, dark greens). For older kids, try gluing gold leaf or pennies as the background or on the skirt. The Art Studio NY offers inspiring and nurturing art classes, painting parties, birthday parties, and events for all ages and levels. Classes include mixedmedia painting, oil painting, drawing, and more! Their creative oasis on the Upper West Side offers kids and adults a safe space to tap into their creativity and relax. theartstudiony.com

Required Materials: A jumbo cardboard or wood letter of your first initial (available at most craft stores); bio color paints in colors of your choice; decorative masking tape; small cups to pour paint colors; chubby paint brushes; Mod Podge glue; and embellishments, such as feathers, gems, stickers and pompoms. Step 1: Cover your painting surface to protect it. Lay out the letter and paints in cups. Step 2: Brush on paint or use decorative tape to cover the top and sides of the letter to your liking. Try not to put too many layers of paint or it will take longer to dry. Step 3: Leave the letter to dry for about 10-15 minutes. Step 4: Once paint is dry, apply the Mod Podge glue (one side at a time), and. before it dries, apply embellishments of your choosing. Let’s Gogh Art NYC is an arts and crafts entertainment and education company. They provide classes, birthday party crafts, and entertainment, such as face painters and glitter tattoo artists. Their creativity crew will teach and engage your children with innovative and unique crafts. They offer classes for kids ages 2-12 and can come to any location for a party, playgroup, or weekly class. Let’s Gogh Art loves to make a little mess but have a whole lotta fun with your kids! nyletsgoghart.com www.newyorkfamily.com


FRoStY (FRoM the ARt FARM In the CItY): Adults preparing this project for younger children first need to take the colored construction paper and cut: a black hat (with a silver ribbon to fit around it), two green holly leaves, an orange carrot; two brown sticks; and a scarf out of patterned paper. Ages 3 and up with parental assistance.

Step 1: If snowflake stamps are available, stamp snowflakes onto the blue construction paper. If you do not have stamps use the white paint to paint snowflakes. Set the paper aside and let the paint or ink dry completely. Step 2: Make snowmen by stacking three different sized doilies on top of each other (largest doily on the bottom, smallest on the top). Glue the doily snowman onto the blue snowflake paper. Step 3: Take the pre-cut hat, holly, carrots, sticks, and scarf and glue them on the snowman. The Art Farm in the City is an eco-friendly and organic facility which teaches children about nature, animals, and how to better care for our planet. They also teach children about responsibility through caring for, loving, and being in the company of animals. Their magical, USDAlicensed, indoor petting zoo has a wide variety of animals, including bunnies, chinchillas, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, and tropical fish. theartfarms.org

www.newyorkfamily.com

tuRn A CAtAloG Into A WoRk oF YouR oWn ARt (FRoM hIARt!): Everyone is inundated with catalogs. Some are very beautiful, a shame to just toss. But if you have a favorite poem or story or anime, you can take that catalog and make it into something even more beautiful! Ages 9 and up (or younger kids with parental assistance). Required Materials: A catalog or an old kids’ book; scraps of paper; photographs; markers; colorful tape; stickers; and tin foil. Step 1: Think about the words and content in your poem, story, play, or anime. What inspires you? Step 2: Start looking around your house. Found scraps of paper, photographs, markers, colorful tape, stickers of all kinds, tin foil, or anything that catches your eye all work well. Step 3: Start building your story on the pages of the catalog until you’ve filled it all up. No need to be literal—just be inspired and follow your eyes, hands, and ideas as you develop a whole new work of art! Since 1997, HiArt! has kept up its big agenda: to nurture a generation of kids as they grow—through the arts—in breadth, skill, and insight. HiArt! works with some of the country’s most exciting young artists, ages 2-16, in an array of classes, from opera ‘n art to manga, paint, sculpture, and more. hiartkids.com continued on page 24

WheRe to MAke ARt In nYC

Required Materials: Three different sized doilies; 11x14 construction paper; black, orange, brown, and green construction paper; silver ribbon; red sequins; patterned holiday paper; buttons; glue; googly eyes; and white acrylic paint. Optional: snowflake stamps.

Some venues are ideally suited for toddlers and preschoolers, while others offer a more advanced curriculum. Check out their websites for details. 74th St. MAGIC, 74magic.com 92nd Street Y, 92Y.org apple seeds, appleseedsplay.com the Art Farm in the City, theartfarms.org Art@home, artathomenyc.com Children’s Museum of the Arts, cmany.org Children’s Museum of Manhattan, cmom.org Church Street School for Music and

Art, churchstreetschool.org the Craft Studio, craftstudionyc.com Discovery programs, discoveryprograms.com Gymboree play & Music, gymboreeclasses.com Gymtime Rhythm & Glues, gymtime.net hiArt!, hiartkids.com the JCC in Manhattan, jccmanhattan.org kids at Art, kidsatartnyc.com kidville, kidville.com Make Meaning, makemeaning.com new York kids Club, nykidsclub.com private picassos, privatepicassos.com the YMCA, ymcanyc.org

February 2014 | New York Family

23


continued from page 23

AWESOME ANIMALS (FROM THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS): Create sculptural versions of your favorite animals! Ages 4-8. Required Materials: Newspaper; masking tape; paper clips; paint; paintbrush; and newspaper to protect your table. Optional: Feathers; fabric; yarn; markers; and/or glue. STEP 1: After you decide what animal you want to make, crumple newspaper to form the shape of the body. STEP 2: Wrap the newspaper with masking tape to hold the form in place. STEP 3: Next, use newspaper to make the head, arms, and legs or wings. Wrap those with masking tape as well to hold the forms in place. STEP 4: Attach two paper clips together for each joint and tape one end to the body and the other to the limb or wing. STEP 5: Now your animal is ready to paint. Lay down newspaper, so paint doesn’t drip on your table. Choose a color or colors for your animal and brush on the paint. STEP 6: After the paint is dry, draw on the animal’s details, such as the eyes and nose. STEP 7: Optionally, give your animal some personality by gluing on feathers, yarn, or fabric as embellishments. The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) is a nonprofit arts facility that aims to bring hands-on art programming to all children. The staff of practicing teaching artists guides young artists ages 10 months to 15 years through art projects ranging in a variety of techniques and mediums. CMA offers open hours for art making, registration classes and camps, school group visits and partnerships, birthday parties, and more. Through admission, fee-based classes, and donations, CMA is also able to bring its services to the community, working with underserved and at-risk populations. cmany.org

SCRIBBLE PICTURE (FROM KIDS AT ART) This is a great way for kids to learn patterning and how to color inside the lines. Younger children can complete by just filling in the areas with one color. Ages 5 and up. Required Materials: Black marker; white paper; colored paper; and colorful markers. STEP 1: Make a giant scribble in the center of the white paper with a black marker. STEP 2: Fill in each distinct shape in the scribble with different patterns. STEP 3: Cut out around the edges of the scribble and mount on colored paper, or, complete by filling in the surrounding areas with different patterns. A premiere art studio for children in New York City, Kids At Art focuses on the basics of visual arts, with ageappropriate projects for each group from 2 years through adult—including painting, drawing, collage, and more— taught by professional artists. They offer holiday and summer sessions, as well as the most creative art and karaoke birthday parties. kidsatartnyc.com

FOR MORE ARTS & CRAFTS IDEAS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS VISIT NEWYORKFAMILY.COM

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New York Family | February 2014

www.newyorkfamily.com


growing up on a book to dig deeper into the effects that children have on their parents. The result is her debut book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, which was released at the end of last month. Carefully researched and full of relatable, and sometime’s heartbreaking, stories of real families from around the country, Senior’s book not only serves as a very readable collection of knowledge on topics ranging from disobedient toddlers to gender dynamics, but also leaves readers with the comforting message that their confusion and exhaustion and chaos is—in her words— “utterly normal.”

Oh, JOy! In Her Debut Book, Journalist And Local Mom Jennifer Senior Puts The Focus On The Complexities Of Modern Parenthood By Mia Weber In July 2010, New York magazine contributing editor— and local mom—Jennifer Senior set the parenting realm abuzz with a cover story for New York entitled “All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting.” The premise? That raising a child in the modern world involves sacrificing much of the good (or “fun”) parts of one’s old life in order to reap the high rewards (“joy”) of having a child. Propelled by the responses to the story, as well as her own curiosity, Senior set to work

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New York Family | February 2014

Your new book is based on a 2010 New York magazine article. Was there a particular moment that sparked your interest in the topic of modern parenthood? The origin of the article was not grounded in my experiences as a parent. It pre-dated that, which is weird. In 2006, I was assigned a particular article for New York magazine, which was to take a much more skeptical look at this thing called “positive psychology…” Along the way I read a really great book: Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness… There were maybe three pages at the very end that happened to mention that children do not improve parents’ happiness—they might even slightly compromise it… [In] 2006—I was just starting to date the guy who is now my husband, and I didn’t know yet that we were going to get very serious very quickly and have a kid—and all I wanted in life was a kid, so I found this finding totally improbable. I was shocked. I just thought it was bonkers. Right then and there I wanted to write a story about it for New York magazine…but I knew there would be this huge credibility gap between me and the readers… So, I waited until I had a child to write about it. What other assumptions about motherhood did you have before having a child? Which were correct? The one that was correct was the idea that I was going to wake up and know exactly what I was doing every day… And I mean that, there was going to be more motion in my life, there was going to be this forward vector… I always kind of craved having someone to be doing something for. How old is your own son now? What is he like? He’s six! He’s a quant. Narrative is not particularly interesting to him. Language is interesting to him in the sense that it’s a system. He likes math, and he likes music. He’s funny and weird—because, god!, 6-year-old boys are so weird! He’s much more perceptive and sensitive to the dynamics between people in the home than I would have imagined a child that age could be. I’m a step-mom too. My stepkids are fully grown. continued on page 28

www.newyorkfamily.com


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continued from page 26

Laura Rose

In talking to parents of adolescents, did they seem to think raising an adolescent was harder than the toddler years? I don’t think that anyone thinks the toddler years are harder—they’re more draining, they’re more physically exhausting, they’re more chaotic—and I think they probably hurt your nerves in a different way. But I think everyone is nostalgic for the toddler years—it’s impossible not to be. I’m nostalgic for the toddler years and my kid’s six… But, the thing about being the parent of an adolescent is that it is kind of amazing to see this full person in bloom, to see them becoming wise, but it’s also more challenging because the stakes are so much higher. The anxiety associated with those years is much more intense. But, the shocking beauty of a human being turning into something approaching an adult, it can’t be matched. That’s when the high cost and the high rewards are really both elevated.

Jennifer Senior

When did you decide that the response to the original article warranted a follow-up? It was a combination [of factors]. The response [to the original article] definitely showed me that there was a pent-up demand to talk about it. I also realized that there wasn’t very much out there about this… And, one of the best criticisms I got to that story was that it was written from the perspective of someone who’s a new parent, and the real hardships in parenting come down the road. Were there any pieces of research that really surprised you? It’s a banal thing—but it surprised me that there was any body of work at all that looked at how often toddlers and preschoolers listened to their parents. That it existed was completely surprising to me. And that it had been quantified how infrequently teeny, teeny kids listened to their moms—these were mostly mother-child studies—was shocking. How did you organize the book? [The chapters] were chronological, I thought it would be a mistake to lump in whatever challenges one faces in the toddler years with the ones in the adolescent years. The pandemonium [of the toddler years] is very different from the existential crises when a child is 14. Then, it just became a question of figuring out what the predominant challenges were. The transition to parenthood means that you’re going to have a crisis about your own autonomy and probably one within your marriage. Your marriage is going to take a hit. Then in the middle years it seemed like the dominant theme was how are you going to ready your kid for the world to come.

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New York Family | February 2014

How do you predict the generation of kids featured in this book will react to the dynamics they’re being raised in? I have to imagine that they’ll react, just because that’s what all of us [in my generation] did. Our parents had kids very young, so we had them old. Our parents were hands-off so we were more hands-on… in the United States, we don’t have any of folk wisdom to rely on or turn to. We don’t tend to talk to our mothers about how to raise kids. Instead, we tend to look to professionals, and the ideas from professionals is always changing…the role of the parent is undergoing this huge historic transformation, and same with the role of the kid. It’s only very recently that kids stopped working and we started aggressively sheltering them. The point about children being “economically useless but emotionally priceless” was interesting. When do you think the most pivotal time period for that shift in parenting attitudes was? The Progressive Era [approximately 1890-1920] really made it clear that kids had rights, that they deserved sheltering, that the priority for them should be going to school, not going out and kicking in to the family till. That was a very huge deal because it suddenly meant that kids became expensive to you, rather than being economic assets to you. Did you have an over-arching message that you hoped readers would take away? You are not alone! Seriously. I just wanted people to read it and think: “This is how I feel!” Or: “My husband and I totally do that!” Or: “I thought it was only me and I’m so delighted to know that it’s not only me, I’m so relieved!” I love articulating how people feel… I like being able to sum up feelings. FOR MORE FROM OUR INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER SENIOR, VISIT NEWYORKFAMILY.COM www.newyorkfamily.com


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Photo: David Plakke Media

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By Roselyn Drake, Head of NYC Private Client Services, School Search Solutions

My child was not accepted to any of the schools we applied to—now what? First, keep in mind that this is not your child’s last chance for admission to your top choice schools. Your child actually may have a greater chance of acceptance for spaces that become available during an “off” year, when competition is less intense. Think of this time as an opportunity to re-evaluate what your child is good at, what he or she struggles with, and the type of school environment in which he or she is most comfortable and likely to thrive. Admission to the next level of education, and indeed to college, is determined less by what school a child attends, and more by how they perform in school. My child was accepted to several schools—how do I decide which school is best? Focus on the most important thing: your child. Would he or she learn best and be most comfortable in a structured environment or a more progressive one? A small school or a big one? Learn as much as you can about the school(s) you are considering. Visit the school(s) at drop off or pick up; attend a sporting event or musical performance; observe how students and parents interact with faculty. And in the end, follow your instincts! Kids of other parents I’m friends with did not receive acceptance at their top school, but my child did—what do I say about my good news? This goes without saying: be sensitive. Do not flaunt and do not pry. Be supportive. For example, think of parents you may know at the schools where your friend’s child was admitted, and offer to connect them in order to give your friend a more informed sense of the school. What are the survival skills needed during this time and in this competitive environment—for me and my child—if the school search results are disappointing? We believe education is much more than schooling—and one of the best lessons you can impart to a child is the importance of resilience. Your attitude sets a powerful example for your child. So be positive, be loving, mean it all, and carry on. What happens if I get into one school but I would prefer to wait to see if my child is accepted off the wait list at another school? The best way to deal with a situation in which you would like to wait for additional information before accepting a space is to be upfront with the school that has made you an offer. In some cases, they will grant you an extension of time, or they may insist on your answer (and your deposit). But either way, you’ll be able to proceed honorably and with a clear understanding of the risks. If you have any other Ask The Admissions Expert questions or have questions regarding school placement in New York City, please contact us at asktheexpert@schoolchoiceintl.com.


tip sheet

Spring sPORTs

PlaYBOOK Your guide To The Best Outdoor Spring Sports programs in The City For Kids

Tee-ball at the Yorkville Youth athletic association

By Eric Messinger

BaseBall

There are lots of good reasons to hail the coming of spring. One we’re particularly fond of? The return to outdoor play sans coats! And it’s not only the city’s playgrounds that are bursting with spring fever. One of the happy surprises about raising kids in NYC is that there are a ton of well-run sports programs and leagues for kids—and when spring comes, our school yards, parks, green spaces, and sports fields come alive with children playing baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, and much more. Whether you have a young child who is ready for their first foray into baseball, an older child who wants to play travel soccer, or a kid with a yearning for a less common sport like golf (less common around here, that is), there are options aplenty. For inspiration, and to help you along with your research, we offer this tip sheet featuring a number of the city’s most popular outdoor sports programs for kids this spring, with a focus on baseball and soccer, plus some “wild cards.” We don’t have the space to go into each program’s offerings in great detail, but you can take any program’s inclusion as a sign of their good reputation. The next step is to visit their website to learn more. Additionally, keep in mind that some programs offer classes and leagues for beginners of all ages. In other words, when children miss tee-ball at age four, it doesn’t mean that they’ve forever missed their chance at playing organized baseball! For children who want to first start playing baseball at age ten, there are programs that welcome them. In fact, it’s often the larger programs that do a good job of offering both: recreational leagues and classes for kids who want a more casual athletic experience, and travel programs and training classes for kids who want to make a bigger commitment.

Anchored on the Upper East Side, Yorkville Youth athletic association (yyaa.org) is one of the largest community-based youth sports programs in the country, and baseball is their most popular offering, with every level of league and training available. Another one of the city’s premier programs, The Baseball Center NYC (thebaseballcenter.com), is also noted for their wide variety of programs and teams at every level—not to mention their exceptional indoor facility in the heart of the Upper West Side. One more stalwart program is Manhattan athletics/Uptown athletic Club (uptownathleticclub.com), which is affiliated with the local CYO’s Rec Ball League (manhattanyouthbaseball.com). The beloved Kids of summer (kidsofsummer.com) offers afterschool programs and a summer camp. The multi-sports asphalt Green (asphaltgreen.org)—now downtown as well as uptown—offers instructional classes and league teams. The same is true for Bulldog Ball Club (bulldogballclub.com)—a well-regarded program on the rise—with its menu of introductory classes and more serious league play. On Deck (ondeckny.com) also has a range of classes and travel teams. The impressive New York empire Baseball (newyorkempirebaseball.org) focuses on travel teams and skills development classes for competitive players, as does the notable newcomer NY sluggers (718-2921234). Other popular programs and leagues include Downtown little league (downtownlittleleague. org), east Harlem little league (leaguelineup.com/ eharlemll), Greenwich Village little league (gvllnyc. com), Harlem little league (harlemlittleleague. org), Harlem RBI (harlemrbi.org), Inwood Manhattan little league (inwoodbaseball.org), Manhattan Babe Ruth league (nycbaberuth.org), Peter stuyvesant little league (psll.org), and West side little league (westsidebaseball.org). continued on page 32

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New York Family | February 2014

www.newyorkfamily.com


Coached by our staff of professional instructors, Summer Camp @ The Baseball Center NYC features both outdoor and indoor skills training as well as fun and games designed to enhance any young baseball enthusiast’s summer. Broken down into four periods throughout the day, campers learn not only the physical aspects of the game but also the history of the national pastime as well as scorekeeping and statistical gathering.

Enroll your ballplayer for TWO WEEKS of 2014 Summer Camp at The Baseball Center NYC and receive one additional week

ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!

To take advantage of this offer, please email: jason@thebaseballcenter.com and mention “Dog Days of Summer.” * Weeks must be utilized as a whole and not broken up into individual days. Offer Expires 5.3.2014

202 West 74th Street, New York, NY 10023 • 212-362-0344 www.thebaseballcenter.com


continued from page 30

SOCCER Where there are children there is Super Soccer Stars (supersoccerstars.com), which has the largest instructional classes program in the city, as well as development and travel programs for more advanced players. A very popular recreational league, West Side Soccer (wssl.org) also has travel teams affiliated with the New York Red Bulls. Manhattan Soccer Club (manhattansc.org) is the largest youth travel soccer organization in the city with more than 50 teams at all levels of competition. It has also recently partnered with Simply Sports (simplysports.net) to offer recreational classes overseen by Simply Sports. The beloved SocRoc (jcsocroc.com) offers instructional classes around the city. Asphalt Green has offerings for all ages and abilities, from instructional classes to travel teams. Chelsea Piers (chelseapiers.com) has classes for beginners as well as for kids who are interested in travel-level training—in the same spirit it has its own recreational and competitive leagues. Not only does the popular Carlos Oliveira Soccer Academy (cosacademy.com) have instructional classes for kids of all ages, it has also formed its own league. Serving players at all levels, Downtown United Soccer Club (dusc.net) has skills-building classes and a big rec league, as well as travel teams. Though we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here (summer instead of spring), but it’s such an exciting offering we wanted to flag readers anyway: this summer

Summer Camps

Arsenal F.C., the 13-time English league champions, will be offering week-long soccer day camps in the city (randallsisland.org), on Randall’s Island. All coaching, drills, and scrimmages are led by official Arsenal coaches from England and are based on the very same methodology and training used by Arsenal F.C. Other noteworthy soccer programs and leagues include Gotham Girls (gothamgirls.org), Modern School of Soccer (themodernschoolofsoccer.com), Soccer By Coach Fher (coachfher.com), and Brooklyn AYSO (brooklynayso.org). And check out the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (nycgovparks. org) for free clinics and listings of programs that use the parks.

WILD CARDS GOLF: Chelsea Piers, The First Tee (thefirsttee.org), Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy (ktuga.com) LACROSSE: Doc’s NYC Lacrosse (docsnyclax.usl.la), Yorkville Youth Athletic Association FLAG FOOTBALL: Asphalt Green, Fastbreak Sports (fastbreakkids.com),Yorkville Youth Athletic Association FOR MORE GREAT SPRING SPORTS SUGGESTIONS, VISIT NEWYORKFAMILY.COM.

Spring Break Camp

June 2nd through August 29th

Week 1: March 17 - 21 Week 2: March 24 - 28

2.5 through 3 Indoor Sports Camp at Temple Israel (112 E. 75th St) 4 through 8 Outdoor Sports Camp at Randall's Island Multiple Bus Pick Up/Drop Off Locations 4 through 6 Indoor Sports Camp at All Souls Church (E. 80th & Lex.)

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Birthday Parties

Indoors or Outside, Kids in Sports offers the cityÕ s best sports parties. Designed for all ages your party is sure to be memorable and enjoyable for everyone! Limited Spaces still Available in Winter/Spring Classes!!!

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New York Family | February 2014

KidsInSports.com 212.744.4900 Upper East Side - Upper West Side - Greenwich, CT CT www.newyorkfamily.com


Pura Kiki Insulated Bottle

starting out

MESSAGE In A BOTTlE The Best Bottles And Breast Pumps Of 2014 Edited by Mia Weber Getting nutrients from point A to point B (that’s “B” for “Baby”) can be one of the biggest challenges of new motherhood. And, with so many technologically advanced options on the market, making the right choice in feeding gear for both you and your baby is no small task. To encourage happy shopping (and even happier feeding) we’ve milked the market to bring you our favorite bottles and breast pumps of the year—from the fresh and new to the tried and true! 5 Phases 4 Oz. Hybrid Glass Baby Bottle: With their newly released 4 oz. size, 5 Phases combines the health and safety of glass with the durability of a plastic bottle. A plastic sleeve containing a removable glass insert helps prevent accidents by capturing the shards if shattered. Fully assembled 4 oz. bottle, $15.98; 4 oz. bottle with starter kit, $36.98; 5phases.com Adiri NxGen Nurser: The Adiri Nurser has a special bottom vent system to help reduce colic and comes apart into three easy-to-clean pieces. Other bonuses: interchangeable nipples for different milk-flow rates and a warming disc. From $13.97, reliabrand.com b.box essential baby bottle & dispenser: The b.box essential baby bottle & dispenser features a built-in formula dispenser to prepare at home and feed on the go. Just scoop, plunge, shake, and feed! Dual functionality is also offered as it converts to a conventional bottle. The 8 oz. essential bottle is dishwasher and sterilizer safe, includes anti-colic nipples, is BPA-free, and is available in four colors. bboxforkids.com, $19.95 Bittylab Bare Air-free Baby Bottles with Perfe-latch Nipple: Bare works like a syringe, with a sliding air-plug that moves as your baby feeds, keeping milk air-free to help reduce air ingestion. Bittylab’s Perfe-latch Nipple mimics a lactating breast by extending upon suction. $14.99, bittylab.com

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Born Free Classic Bottle: Born Free’s new Classic Bottle mimics a mother’s natural milk flow and also allows babies to control the flow themselves. These innovative bottles are BPA- and BPS-free and feature ActiveFlow Venting Technology, which is clinically designed to reduce colic symptoms. $9.99, newbornfree.com Chicco NaturalFit Advanced Bottles: Each bottle in this brand new feeding system is designed to “grow with baby” (from 0-6 months), as each bottle and different shaped nipple is designed for a different age range. The NaturalFit nipples are made from extra-soft silicone to feel more like a breast—the realistic shape makes the transition from breast to bottle very easy, while twin anti-colic valves prevent air ingestion. $8.99 each, chicco.com Comotomo Baby Bottle: Made out of medical-grade silicone, these bottles are soft, skin-like, and even a bit squeezy to imitate the breastfeeding experience. The superwide mound makes for easy cleaning, and the two vents minimize air intake. $13.99, comotomo.com Dr. Brown’s Bottles in Glass, Standard, and Wide-Neck: Dr. Brown’s bottles are favored by parents because they reduce feeding problems like colic, spit-up, burping, and gas. The Patented Internal Vent System eliminates air and a vacuum effect to allow your baby to feed comfortably. It also reduces air bubble oxidation of the milk to help preserve vitamins and lipids. Glass 2-pack, $13.99; standard and wide-neck, $6.99; drbrownsbaby.com Evenflo Classic Twist + Vented Tinted Bottle: The comfort hold shape and standard silicone slow-flow nipple on this Hex-shaped bottle with “twist” makes feeding easier. The new bottle is available in 8 oz. one-packs, and 4- and 8 oz. three-packs, as well as in clear and tinted colors. 3-pack, $5.99; evenflofeeding.com

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Piyo Piyo Manual Breast Pump Gerber First Essentials Clearview Bottle: This BPA-free bottle helps reduce colic with a vented nipple design for less swallowed air, and comes with a leak-proof hood. Plus, the ribs and vent help prevent nipple collapse. 3-pack, $3.19; gerber.com Kiinde Twist Starter Kit: This unique kit offers milk collection, storage, and feeding all in one! The Kiinde Twist system completely eliminates the need to transfer milk from bottles to bags and back again. This set contains Twist Pouches, Direct Pump adapters, a Keeper storage bag, Squeeze bottles, slow-flow Active Latch nipples, and nipple cleaning brushes. $39.99, kiinde.com Klean Kid Kanteen Stainless Steel Baby Bottles: These toxin-free, stainless-steel bottles are designed with proper digestion and development in mind. What’s more, the wide mouth is easy to clean, and its hourglass shape is easy for small baby hands to hold. From $18.95, kleankanteen.com Lansinoh mOmma Bottle with NaturalWave Nipple: This newly redesigned bottle is available in 5- and 8 oz. sizes. The bottle features a tall, wide-mouth design, which is compatible with both the new Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump, as well as the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump. The bottle comes with one NaturalWave Nipple, while additional nipples are available in slow, medium, and fast flows. Available at Babies ‘R’ Us stores; $7.99-19.99, lansinoh.com Lifefactory Baby Bottle with Silicone Sleeve: Made of shock-resistant glass and covered in silicone sleeves, these bottles provide an excellent grip for little hands and cushion the occasional drop. The unique borosilicate glass also protects transfers from the freezer into boiling water. $14.99, lifefactory.com MAM Anti-Colic Bottle: This bottle—which is proven to reduce colic up to 80 percent—has bottom venting valves for maximum airflow without leakage and an ultra-soft silicone nipple. Great for busy moms, the self-sterilizing feature means cleaning lasts only three minutes. Plus, the bottle’s patented base and nipple designs help make switching between breastfeeding and bottle feeding easier than ever. $6.99 each; $18.99 for three; mambaby.com Medela Calma: This bottle is a superb bottle for simulating the breastfeeding experience. With a nipple that allows milk to flow when (and only when) babies create a vacuum, they’ll be able to feed, pause, and breathe naturally, just as they intuitively do with breastfeeding. From $17.99, medela.us Mimijumi Not So Hungry Bottle: Mimijumi’s distinctly shaped bottles feel natural for baby and are fun to look at for mom—plus, the unique design lets the baby control the flow not the bottle, so the original bottle and nipple work for up to 12 months old. Both the screw-on nipple and the www.newyorkfamily.com

bottle, which has integrated venting to prevent colic, are dishwasher-safe and BPA- and latex-free. $14.99, mimijumi. com Mixie Baby Formula Bottle: This baby bottle is all about convenience. You can add the water to the bottle and load up the formula in a separate compartment in advance, then press a button to release the powder into the bottle when it’s time to feed. $17.9919.99, mixiebaby.com NUK Advanced Orthodontic Bottle: Unlike standard round nipples, the NUK Advanced Orthodontic Nipple fits a baby’s mouth just like an actual breast. The natural orthodontic shape mimics breast shape to support combining breast and bottle feeding. Plus, the bottle is BPA-free, anti-colic, easy to clean, and shatterproof. 2-pack, $12.97; nuk-usa.com Philips Avent Natural Bottle: Philips Avent’s newest bottle has a petal design on the nipple created for a natural, similar-to-breast latch, along with a dual valve system to keep air from going into your baby’s tummy. The wide neck design is easy to hold and to clean—plus the bottle comes in a variety of sizes and colors. $8.99, philips.com Playtex VentAire Bottle: Playtex’s VentAire bottle is uniquely designed to reduce colic, gas, and spit-up through a bottom venting system that helps reduce air ingestion. Plus, the angled design promotes upright feeding and is recommended by pediatricians to help prevent ear infections. $5.99, playtexbaby.com Pura Kiki Insulated Bottle: Like Pura’s original Kiki Bottle, the Kiki Insulated Bottle—which ships early this month— is 100 percent plastic- and BPA-free and is backed by five issued patents and an additional eight pending patents. Available in 9 oz. infant and sippy versions, this insulated bottle keeps liquids cold up to eight hours, and warm up to six hours. $22.99, purastainless.com The First Years GumDrop Wide Neck Bottles: Help keep your baby’s tummy happy with The First Years’GumDrop Wide Neck bottles, designed to help reduce colic by using GentleVent technology. The BPA-free bottle is designed for easy handling by mom or baby, and features 100 percent silicone nipples. $14.99, thefirstyears.com/gumdrop ThinkBaby All-In-One Tinker System: This comprehensive and adaptable bottle system comes with everything you need to take your feeding gear from a bottle to a sippy cup to a “thinkster” as your little one grows up to age four. The handles and different nipples and spouts can be swapped on and off as need be. Plus, the system is BPA-free and made from recycled materials. $24.99, thinkbabybottles.com continued on page 38 February 2014 | New York Family

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continued from page 37 MAM Anti-Colic Bottle

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Feeding Bottle: With these BPAfree bottles (available in 5 and 9 oz. sizes), switching between breast and bottle feeding becomes easier than ever before. Tommee Tippee has designed an easy-latch-on nipple shape to mimic the natural flex, stretch, and movement of a mother’s breast. Together with the bottle’s super-sensitive Easi-Vent valve, this encourages your baby’s intuitive feeding action for comfortable feeding. From $8.99, tommeetippee.us

BREAST PUMPS Ameda Purely Yours CarryAll Breast Pump: The Ameda HygieniKit Milk Collection System, included with this pump, is the world’s only breast pump kit with a proven protective barrier. Proven Airlock Protection keeps tubing dry by preventing air flow between the expressed milk and pump tubing while pumping. $179.99-199, ameda.com Dr. Brown’s Double Electric Breast Pump: This pump is designed by lactation consultants and moms to feel like actual breastfeeding. It features super-soft flexible breastcups, along with Gentle Compression Technology that gently elicits milk expression and minimizes tugging and pinching. $249.99, drbrownsbaby.com EnJoye LBI Breast Pump with Deluxe Tote Set: When you don’t have access to outlets, the rechargeable internal battery in this double electric pump can run for up to four hours. Moms can even save and share hygienically with the Personal Accessory Set. $339.99, hygeiainc.com Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump: This pump is high-quality, yet affordable. It features a PerfectlyPure closed-system design that prevents milk backup and keeps milk as pure as nature intended, and also features AdvancedFit for perfect comfort and AdvancedControl with 32 speed and suction settings. $99.99, evenflofeeding.com Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump: The innovative technology of this breast pump mimics baby’s natural feeding pattern and the hygienic design guarantees no milk back-up in the tubing. The pump also features adjustable suction and comfort modes and an LCD screen with a timer. $149.99, lansinoh.com

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Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump

Medela Pump in Style Advanced: A daily-use pump designed for busy moms who pump multiple times a day, this gadget incorporates a two-phase technology system to ease babies through the stimulation and expression phases of breast-feeding. $299, medela.us NUK Expressive Single Electric Breast Pump: This pump is efficient and comfortable with a natural pulse rhythm that maximizes your milk flow. Additionally, this pump features adjustable suction and a universal fit shield for personal comfort and includes a 5 oz. breast milk container with silicone nipple, a collar, a cap and seal disk for storage, a container stand, voltage adapter, and extra silicone valve. $49.99, nuk-usa.com Philips Avent Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump: This BPA-free double pump lets you express more milk in less time with a unique design that allows you to sit naturally without leaning forward. The improved massage cushion that stimulates milk flow has a soothing, velvety feel. $204.99, philips.com Piyo Piyo Manual Breast Pump: The suction force of this (very cute) manual breast pump can be adjusted to quickly obtain milk and the angle of the breast cup is ergonomically designed to fit tightly with the breast. Plus, it’s designed to simulate natural feeding with the combination of vacuum suction to make pumping quick and smooth. $39.99, piyopiyousa.com The First Years Memory Pump Double Breast Pump: The Memory Pump by The First Years features a digital touch screen that tracks and stores data for up to ten sessions, automatically recording the date and time, suction, and speed. The Memory Pump comes with a tote bag, a cooler bag with removable ice pack, two 4 oz. GumDrop bottles, two sizes of Flexi-fit breast shields, and a rechargeable battery pack. $179.99, thefirstyears.com Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Double Electric Breast Pump: This pump’s massaging ripples imitate your baby’s natural feeding rhythm, while its flexible silicone cups make for a comfortable experience. The BPA-free system has five level settings. $249.99, tommeetippee.us

Mimijumi Not So Hungry Bottle

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‘s

is back for 2014

May 17th and 18th, 2014 Pier 92, New York City For more inFormation visit:

www.newyorkbabyshow.com or contact: John Hurley 212.268.3086 jhurley@manhattanmedia.com


TOUGH COOKIE For Iron Chef And Local Mom Alex Guarnaschelli, Life’s Finest Ingredients Include Hard Work, Quality Mother-Daughter Time, And Plenty Of Fresh Produce By Mia Weber

Many women would readily admit to giving in to some retail therapy now and then—and renowned chef (and Food Network star, cookbook author, and loving mom) Alex Guarnaschelli is no exception. The only difference is, instead of hitting the racks in search of handbags and heels, she’s at local green markets (Union Square is her favorite) on the prowl for the freshest fruits and veggies. “I have a real produce problem,” Guarnaschelli confesses. “Some people buy jewelry, I buy apples! So I have to be careful— if I go to the market with too much money, it’s bad news!”

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February 2014 | New York Family

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This page and page 43: photos courtesy of Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook


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ucky for foodies and Food Network viewers, the 43-year-old native New Yorker’s so-called “problem” has turned out to be the culinary world’s gain. Though a self-described “late-bloomer” in the food realm—she didn’t even consider working as a chef until after graduating from Barnard College with an art history degree in 1991—Guarnaschelli has, in recent years, become one of the most visible and respected chefs on the scene. For the past 12 years, she has served as the executive chef at Butter—a gastronomic hot-spot where she practices her signature style of “French technique, American ingredients”—and she’s currently continuing to celebrate her first cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook, which was published last spring. Of course, many arm-chair cooks also know Guarnaschelli as a Food Network star thanks to her hard-won “Iron Chef” title (a distinction she earned in 2012, and is only the second female chef to receive), her role as an empathetic and discerning judge on “Chopped,” and her inspiring instructional work on “The Cooking Loft With Alex Guarnaschelli” and “Alex’s Day Off.” But when the ovens cool and the cameras turn off? Guarnaschelli relishes spending quality time exploring museums, specialty markets, and playgrounds with her 6-year-old daughter, Ava (who actually—according to Guarnaschelli—prefers the televised culinary stylings of Ina Garten over her own mother’s). Though she faces the age-old challenges of parenting on a busy schedule, selling her child on the merits of broccoli, and keeping her maternal anxieties in check, it’s clear that Guarnaschelli has mastered the art of putting family first while still keeping her delicious passion for cooking alive and well (or well-seasoned, if you will)! You’re a native New Yorker and the daughter of respected cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli. How did these factors shape your career? I grew up in Manhattan in the 1970s, and it was a big time for food. Dean & DeLuca opened, and a lot of specialty markets opened, and my mom and I—we just went to all of them. My mom was a great forager, and she still is. And also my mother did a lot of cooking from books: Julia Child, James Beard, Dione Lucas, Diana Kennedy…so the early formative years were not about eating in restaurants, they were about watching my mother and father cook collaboratively. How did you conceive of the name and concept for your own cookbook? The title and frame for the book were kind of disclaimers so I could just do what I wanted. I realized I had a backpack of recipes and stories, and I needed a way to tie them together that made sense. In my mind, a lot of what my mom did growing up—and my dad too—was very old-school. When you’re off-duty at home, do you cook a lot? When it comes to food, I’m never off-duty because I have a 6-year-old and I’m kind of taking her through the same experiences that I had. I have a

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responsibility, generationally, to pass the baton. So, I cook a lot at home. I don’t cook super-elaborately, but I cook with the exact same sensibility. What are some of your favorite things to make with and for your daughter? I don’t push my daughter to cook, because I don’t want to force that on her, I don’t feel the need. If I’m cooking she’ll come into the kitchen and kind of flit in and out in her own way, and I think that’s more important. She loves chicken, she loves steak, she loves mushrooms cooked with Marsala, she loves certain flavors—which I find interesting—and she’s a big fruit-eater. But [she has] no interest in cake— which is why I need to do a DNA test to see if she’s my daughter. Do you struggle with balancing nutritious meals with the foods kids are naturally drawn to? I don’t really have that much of an issue with my daughter, because we talk things through and we negotiate a lot. And I don’t really see anything wrong with chicken fingers and French fries and hot dogs—I think they’re part of being a kid—so that’s part of what we eat. We’re not at home eating scoops of caviar and organic eggs! We vary our diets. Sometimes we have really good days where we have lots of vegetables, and some days we’ll just have a cheeseburger and fries. I think it’s really important to be human about food as much as possible. I also try not to worry too much—what’s wrong with loving mac ‘n cheese? What’s wrong with loving potato chips? They’re so delicious! I think people say [to my daughter]: “Oh, your mom’s a chef.” So what? She’s a kid! It doesn’t matter if I’m a NASCAR driver or a chef—she’s a kid and kids like stuff. What do you and your daughter like to do in the city? We go to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, [and] we go to the Museum of Modern Art a lot—those are her two favorites… We go to the Union Square playground—she likes to run around like crazy at the playground—a lot. She likes to go to specific destinations and eat, which I find funny… We go to Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop on 5th Avenue and we have eggs and a Lime Rickey. I take her to Little Italy a lot. I like to take her to Ferrara Bakery, Di Palo’s, Alleva—I like to show her remnants of cultures and neighborhoods that I went to as a kid. How would you describe your parenting style? I’m probably a mixture of hysterical and totally calm. I try to hide a lot of what I feel anxious about from my daughter. I’m obviously anxious about her relationships in school and navigating that landscape. The balance I find hardest is trying not to smother my child, and just giving her room to breathe… But I like having a child. I’m enthusiastic. I would call myself enthusiastic and worried. I really enjoy having a child. You have a busy schedule. How do you maintain work-life balance? www.newyorkfamily.com


I don’t. I think I’d be lying if I said there was a balance. I just do the best I can to spend a lot of time with my daughter. That’s my balance. In a nutshell, tell us about your culinary journey. I started working in an American kitchen in Manhattan, then I went to France for a number of years [for work-study at La Varenne Culinary School, and later to work at Guy Savoy and La Butte Chaillot], then I came home. I started working at restaurant Daniel—which at that time was on 76th, and now is on 65th—so that was certainly eye-opening—to come back and have that mixture of France and America. Then I moved to California and worked there for two years. I worked at a restaurant called Patina in Los Angeles, and that’s where I fell in love with markets… I started working at Butter about 12 years ago. It was a job I didn’t want to take, but I went in and fell in love with the restaurant and fell in love with the staff, and I kind of had my own personal renaissance with food. Like I’d “Coco-Chanel” it and take one ingredient off of every plate and let stuff speak for itself. Tell us about Butter’s new midtown location. It’s got the same feeling as the old Butter, which was on Lafayette Street [and is now closed for renovations]...but it’s in midtown. It’s doing well. Restaurants are a constant work in progress, but we’re getting there. What is your schedule like at Butter? I go to the restaurant anywhere from 2-5pm in the afternoon and I leave anywhere from 10pm to 1am in the morning. I work in the kitchen with my cooks. We cook, we test recipes, we talk about how we can make recipes better, we eat staff meal… I call it “Camp Butter.” Aside from scheduling, how has motherhood influenced your professional life? I definitely have this sentiment now that I have a bigger priority that I never had before. Nothing had ever been more important or equally important to me as the restaurant—obviously my parents—but my main focus and the bulk of my energy [went] to the restaurant. But now I have a little person that I’m in charge of, and I think about that. If she needs me, it would not be implausible for me to have to say: “I gotta go take care of her…” I think it has calmed me down at the restaurant. What inspires you as a chef? I’m very inspired by produce. When it’s snowing outside, I’m worried about how the produce upstate is growing and whether it will be able to survive the cold. I don’t think most people get up on a cold day and think: “Oh, this isn’t good for the vegetables.” Or when it rains too much I say: “Oh, we won’t have good cherries this spring.” That’s how I orient myself in the universe… Secretly, I think I could have a purely vegetarian restaurant and be just fine—but I’m not at all a vegetarian. www.newyorkfamily.com

Who are some of your mentors? Certainly Guy Savoy, the chef I worked for in Paris, is a huge inspiration to me—I hear his voice in my head when I cook. And I’m very inspired by Bobby Flay, who’s someone I’ve worked with more in television—I’ve not worked with him collaboratively on any restaurant projects—but I admire how grounded he stays in cooking and being a chef, as well as having these other facets to his career… And of course, my parents. I go home, they cook, we eat. I sit at the same table I did when I was a kid. There’s a full circle feeling I can get very easily, and I’m very fortunate to have that. How has it been working with the Food Network? The TV shows are shot in chunks, so you’ll have a week where you’ll do a lot of that but then you’ll just go back to your regularly scheduled programming… I still do a lot of cooking [on TV] and that I really love. On camera, what comes most naturally—being a competitor, being a critic, or speaking to an audience? I love speaking to an audience, and I love talking to people about cooking, but, oh, I’m a competitor, definitely! I enjoy the privilege of being a judge [on “Chopped”]—and I do consider it a privilege—but I’m a competitor, yeah. I love to roll up my sleeves and compete [on “Iron Chef”]. I always say: “Oh, I don’t care about that, I’m not gonna go there.” Then I’m like: “Rawr!” It’s like a knee-jerk reflex… I start sharpening my knives and my chin lowers, and it’s like biological. Speaking of competition, if you had to design a “Chopped” basket, what would you put in it? Flour, eggs, butter, and cream. I think forcing people to take a good, hard look at the fundamentals with the simplest of ingredients is just as hard as wasabi, gummy bears, turkey leg, and tomatoes. I would like a basket that is—straight up—a trip to fundamental town. If you were on a desert island and had to choose one comfort food, what would it be? I couldn’t live without lemons because, if I were on a desert island, I’d be catching a lot of my own fish and if I didn’t have lemons I’d be really, really lost at sea—all puns intended! But if I could bring an endless supply of comfort food? Well, I’m not the most logical or balanced of people and I think, if I could figure out the protein situation, I couldn’t live without cake. So I would need a conveyor belt of devil’s food cake at all times to balance out the crab/mussels/speared-fish diet. February 2014 | New York Family

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We Can Help Our Kids Avert the Heartbreak Of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. But - Only If We Know How. To learn more, spend an hour with a leading expert, Ken Winters, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School Director, Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research. Dr. Winters will answer your questions after the presentation. This program is sponsored by The Birch Wathen Lenox School and The Zoe’s Story Fund. February 26th, 2014 at 6:00 pm. The Birch Wathen Lenox School 210 East 77th Street, NY, NY Admission is free and space is very limited. Please e-mail guestspeaker@gbwl.org to reserve a space.

The life you save may be your child's.


Bloggers We l ve A Tribute To Ten Local Bloggers With A Special Mix Of Voice, Vision, And Love Of Family By Whitney C. Harris

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ditor’s Note: For a while now, we’ve wanted to celebrate the contribution that bloggers make to family life, but we weren’t quite sure how to do it. We didn’t want to create some version of a top ten list that ranks them against each other in a silly way or, really, in any way. We just wanted to share our thoughts on what’s so appealing and special about them. Hence “Bloggers We Love,” a concept we look forward to doing every year. Criteria? If I had to distill it, I’d say that we love their sensibility, passion, and commitment to their community of readers. Naturally, we looked for people who live locally and in one way or another make family life an important part of their blog. We also wanted to showcase a group whose interests are as varied as those of our readers, who are mostly city parents. In two cases, we opted to include websites that really don’t qualify as a singular blog, but either have a chorus of great individual voices (like Food52) or a singular sensibility that reflects the taste of a special editor (like Apartment Therapy). Our entire editorial team weighed in throughout the selection process, but our former executive editor, Whitney C. Harris, led the charge, doing much of the research and writing. The choices are New York Family’s; the nuance is hers; and the pleasure of discovery is yours. Enjoy! -Eric Messinger Category: Parenting & Humor Blog: mommyshorts.com autHor: Ilana Wiles www.newyorkfamily.com

What it’s all about: Local mom of two girls (Mazzy and Harlow), Wiles isn’t afraid to show her readers the sausage making that is modern-day parenting. She mouths off on topics ranging from ridiculous celebrity-mom moments to her own tongue-in-cheek “Murphy’s Laws of Parenting.” Aside from personal rants, the blog also features sardonic insights found on Twitter and offers photo caption contests for creative moms and dads. Why we love it: Wiles tackles some seriously hilarious topics, like whether the day you gave birth trumps your wedding day, and lists words that toddlers simply can’t pronounce. (Guess how her little angels say “dump truck”?) Plus, she’s just launched “The Mommy Show” which films her and a guest in the Wiles home chatting about parenting mistakes and mishaps while doing chores like folding laundry. Favorite moment: Watching Taye Diggs try to pry open her kid-proof toilet seat. Favorite quote: “If you somehow manage to make it to work with an outfit free of poop, snot, or spit-up, you will spill your own coffee on it as soon as you sit down at your desk.” Category: Health & Wellness Blog: elisazied.com autHor: elisa Zied continued on page 46 February 2014 | New York Family

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What it’s all about: Zied has the credentials to back her savvy health suggestions. As a registered dietician, nutritionist, and certified personal trainer, she’s a big proponent of mindful eating and regular exercise. She’s quick to point out that we all know how to live a little healthier, it’s just a matter of deciding which path to take. Her blogging platform with Parents (parents. com/blogs/food-scoop) is where she really shines, showing other moms and dads how to get kids excited about plant-based meals and how to eat better while on-the-go. Plus, her new book, Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days, was published recently and details some fairly simple yet effective ways for adults to adopt better habits. She also has a Stressipes web series in which she suggests simple changes for everyday physical and mental wellbeing. Why we love it: This Manhattan mom of two boys (Spencer and Eli) is one health and nutrition writer who actually comes across as supportive, rather than patronizing. She openly shares her past weight struggles and admits to eating chocolate every day— in moderation, of course. Her approach is warm and holistic, helping readers realize that health is about long-term achievements, not short-term fixes.

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Favorite fit bit: When kids are young, food choices are a family matter. But Zied knows that passing on eating disorders or body image issues should be avoided. In her “7 Tips to Reduce the Risk” post for Parents, she recommends how adults can prevent their own health problems from becoming their kids’. CATEGORY: Parenting BLOG: mommydelicious.com AUTHOR: Alicia Harper

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What it’s all about: Harper makes a busy schedule look good. She holds a full-time job as an educator, is a single parent to 6-year-old Aiden, and runs a heartfelt blog. Did we mention she’s in her 20s and has three degrees from Columbia University? On top of it all, she still has time to look fashionable! Despite her success in life, Harper has faced serious challenges, and she’s not afraid to get real about it. She talks about her daily parenting struggles, things to do in NYC, and holds giveaways, but the heart of her blog is about being true to yourself and working hard for what you want, especially when things get tough.

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Why we love it: This city mom talks about parenting in a way that’s relatable while still inspiring. Great blogs are about more than how-to’s or the winnable free loot—they’re about making you feel connected to someone even if you’ve never met them in real life. In Harper’s more personal posts, she transcends

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Our unique and fun approach to dance focuses on building physical strength and flexibility, focus and attention, body awareness, confidence and self-esteem, and a love for dance! Karma Kids Dance classes will help kids become more confident movers and dancers at any age, whether they want to dance forever or just for fun. Karma Kids Dance classes begin February 4th and run through May 8th, for 12 weeks.

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www.newyorkfamily.com


blogger or resource guide and becomes a friend, a mentor, and a life coach rolled into one. And she does it with a lot of personality. So glad she went there: Mommy Delicious is an optimistic blog, but serious subjects are not shied away from. It took a lot of courage for Harper to discuss “The Post I’m Not Supposed To Write,” which reveals her experience with domestic violence and her belief that silence can kill. Category: Food & Dining Blog: food52.com FounDerS: amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs What it’s all about: Based on the simple concept of cooking 52 weeks a year, Hesser and Stubbs have created a community-driven food blog that bills itself as “helping people become better, smarter, happier cooks.” While some featured recipes have a sophisticated grown-up air to them (think Fennel and Mushroom Pâté with Grainy Mustard), others are eminently doable and kid-friendly (like Magical Marvelous Memorable Cookies). The site is also accessible to amateur chefs with features like how to successfully peel a hard-boiled egg. Hesser and Stubbs celebrate the art of cooking for many reasons: from the benefits a regular family dinner has on kids in school to the environmental value in eating sustainably.

Category: Photography & art Blog: petitebiet.com autHor: Belle Savransky What it’s all about: Gorgeous photos of this Brooklyn mom’s toddler daughter (Biet Luna) and baby boy (Lucien Hunter) give digital pixels beautiful purpose at the Petite Biet blog. Equally stunning is Savransky’s writing, filled with measured reflections on early parenthood and a poignant sense of time’s passing. She’s mastered the close-up child portrait, paired with carefully shared feelings about being a mom. We can’t describe just how charming this family’s city adventures are—you have to see for yourselves. Why we love it: Last year, Savransky took a picture a week of her two little ones for posterity. It’s an unhurried and beautiful way to watch them grow without the gimmick factor of the pic-a-day rapid video montages we’ve seen zipping around. We also adore Savranksy’s new sustainable children’s clothing line, Welkin NYC. Many items are unisex and seasonless, and we haven’t seen anything quite like it anywhere else. But aside from launching her own e-commerce shop, this New Yorker recently decided to demonetize her blog, so you won’t stumble across any nagging ads or sponsored posts. Favorite pic: Check out the January 20, 2013 post for some daddy-daughter-doggie tenderness.

Why we love it: While the aesthetics of the site are a delight—each dish is presented as though appearing in the latest issue of Bon Appétit—the writing and the recipes are the true draw. Brilliantly categorized, making navigation a cinch, the carefully curated columns feature a powerful parenting voice throughout. Nicholas Day’s “Dinner vs. Child” has some eccentric tips on how to get kids to eat like adults, from recommending they try chicken liver pâté to proclaiming that sardines can be “a harried parent’s solace” (new parents might want to check out Day’s book Baby Meets World). Similarly, “Weeknights with Jenny” are one mom’s adventures in preparing family meals that don’t require all of her attention—with the recipes to prove it. Meanwhile, “Amanda’s Kids’ Lunch” gives readers a visual snapshot of what practically gourmet goodness she’s most recently prepared for her little ones (Walker and Addie), and “Cooking for Clara” similarly shows exactly how Stubbs feeds her own tiny toddler.

Category: travel Blog: intelligenttravel. nationalgeographic.com autHor: rainer Jenss

Favorite foodie feature: Aside from the encyclopedia of recipes, Food52 has opened an online shop, Provisions, where you can find tools and tableware to really up your gastronomic game.

Why we love it: We seriously aspire to globetrot like the Jenss Family. This dad of two boys shows readers what family travel can be—what it should be. Imagine

What it’s all about: From his scenic perch in nearby Nyack, NY, Jenss writes for National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog, specifically the Family Time channel. He covers travel across a wide spectrum, from “glamping” (that’s glamorous camping, for those of you who camp the old-fashioned way) with kids in western Montana to finding age-appropriate activities throughout South Africa. Always thoughtful in his recommendations, Jenss takes a particular interest in selecting the best accommodations. It makes all the difference when traveling with kids.

continued on page 48 www.newyorkfamily.com

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a well-planned itinerary free of frustrated attempts at unearthing an affordable lunch spot and incessant chants of “Are we there yet?” And while some blogs focus on the minutiae of one traveler’s experience, Jenss takes a more global approach through describing the history and the cultural significance of where his family journeys, all with a sense of impending adventure. Favorite travel tip: Jenss highly recommends exploring beyond the confines of the resort, especially when traveling with children. His recent discussion of Jamaica’s “Meet the People” program proves that the best way to discover a place is to hang with the locals, at school, at church, and in their homes. Category: Work & Career Blog: rolemommy.com author: Beth Feldman What it’s all about: Feldman is a jackof-all-trades when it comes to media and motherhood. She’s a former network TV executive who’s launched the online community Role Mommy where today’s busy moms go to be—in her own words—inspired, entertained, and informed. Feldman makes her work-fromhome life in Westchester seem blissfully chaotic as she tackles issues related to career, weight loss, and raising kids in the 21st century through her blogger network. Why we love it: Despite its name, Role Mommy is for women who actually don’t consider themselves role models—which is precisely the point. Some of the inspiring moms who are featured are high-profile celebrities, but we hear the voices of just as many ordinary women who are doing the extraordinary work of supporting a family both at the office and at home. As a mom of two (Rebecca and Dylan), Feldman is an energetic advocate for working mothers. She seamlessly transitions from covering what’s hot in the kitchen to what’s newsworthy in the workplace, giving equal weight to both endeavors. Favorite quote: For her recent 44th birthday, Feldman catalogued 44 memories, one for each year. “Six years old: While vacationing with my family in the Poconos, I got caught shoplifting with my brother in Jamesway (we stole fishing equipment and candy). The last line I remember the security guard telling my dad: ‘And the little girl has a grape whistle pop down her pants.’ Incidentally, the year before, we got caught smoking cigarettes. Thankfully, I shed my delinquent past before I hit my teens.”

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Category: home & Design Blog: apartmenttherapy. com/family eDitor: Carrie McBride What it’s all about: Brooklyn mom Carrie McBride curates Apartment Therapy’s family platform according to her unique sensibility. She features submissions from families and designers of warm, unfussy, but artful interiors, alongside weekly roundups of things like the best kid-friendly wallpaper or fun ways to repurpose old toys. McBride also contributes personal posts about living in a pintsized NYC apartment with kids. She can inspire even the least aesthetically inclined parents to spruce up their apartments. The site is essentially a creative digital space where visitors can brainstorm home décor by category, ogle real kids’ room photos for tangible ideas, mull over product listings, and gather ideas for making the most of their living spaces. Why we love it: It’s the chance to take virtual tours of freshly designed living spaces in cities across the country from the comfort of your couch thanks to the careful curation of one very design-savvy NYC mom. The site is packed with the apirational (think an impeccably detailed breakfast nook) but also DIY projects that you can tackle yourself this weekend (peg racks that’ll make an ordinary nursery look like a chic baby boutique). Fun gambit: We really love McBride’s post on “Creative Ways to Use Chalkboard Paint in Kids Spaces.” Who knew there are ten different non-paper places you can give your children to draw and not get in trouble? Category: Pregnancy & New Parenthood Blog: earlymama.com author: Michelle horton What it’s all about: This aspiring magazine writer became a 22-year-old parent and life took an unexpected detour. Now 27, she’s exactly where she wants to be, working as a professional writer and raising a little boy (Noah) with her highschool sweetheart. On her blog, Horton schools women on having kids at a young age while grappling with every aspect of early motherhood: finances, education, career, marriage, social life, personal fulfillment. Sharing email conversations and reader questions and concerns, Horton lays bare all the feelings of isolation and insecurity that can come with being a young mom today while offering advice and solutions.

www.newyorkfamily.com


Why we love it: Horton’s writing can be found all over the Internet on major parenting sites but Early Mama is where she really lets it all hang out. While she’s decidedly upbeat about unplanned pregnancy (just look at the “Why I Love Being an Early Mama” feature), Horton doesn’t ignore the more difficult aspects of young parenthood, like self-doubt, feeling like you’re missing out on personal growth, and being compared to other people your age—just to name a few. Crushing stereotypes along the way, she evokes a genuine sense of hope for young women and couples. She’s pretty much every reader’s personal parenting cheerleader. Favorite piece of mom advice: In a post titled “10 Things I Wish I Knew Then,” Horton uses the power of hindsight to tell it like it is. “Your mother doesn’t know everything. The difficult thing about having a baby before any of our peers is that we rely on advice from older generations. A) The research has certainly changed in the last 20 years, and B) They don’t really remember. How do I know this? Because I hardly remember my pregnancy, and it was three years ago.” Category: Parenting Blog: msmarymack.com author: Nicole Blades What it’s all about: For three years, Blades has chronicled what it’s like to mother with both confidence and compassion as Ms. Mary Mack. A media consultant PLANET_HAN_0913NYF_QP.indd by day, she keeps an unfussy and thought-provoking blog that hopes to start larger conversations on parenting and, well, being human. Sharing thoughts and observations on everyday life, Blades covers everything from de-cluttering your closet to teaching children the difference between being given something and working for something in life. Meanwhile, she’s working on a book about race and motherhood.

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Why we love it: Blades blogs much in the same way your best friend likes to chat when you meet for your weekly latte—about anything and everything. But she’s not frenetically dispensing advice to her audience. Rather, MMM plays witness to her own parenting and then asks readers what they think, what they might have done in her position. Plus, she’s a serious writer who polishes her stuff better than many bloggers out there. And her video “vlog” entries are just as good. Also, a healthy dose of giveaways (think: plenty of books and food) doesn’t hurt either. Favorite vlog: While raising a biracial child (Quinn), Blades talks about being mistaken for her son’s nanny. Watch “The Rent is Too Damn High for What Folks Say to Mothers of Mixed Race Kids” for her generous take on the crazy things some strangers have said to her. www.newyorkfamily.com

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Photo by Bellamy Blee A childbirth education class with Birth Day Presence

to

BiRth&BeYonD A Round-Up Of Pre- And Post-Natal Education, Exercise, And Support Classes Around The City

I

f you are pregnant in the city, this much is for sure: you will not have to go on the journey alone. In addition to your OB-GYN, there are many wonderful education, exercise, and support classes and groups. Here are some of our favorites! 92Y: At 92Y, parents and parents-to-be can be part of a vibrant community, make lasting friendships, and build important support networks. Prenatal offerings include: Baby Toddler/CPR and Safety; Becoming Parents: A Primer for Parents-To-Be; Breastfeeding Workshop; Caring for a Newborn; Lamaze Complete Childbirth Preparation; Dad’s Boot Camp; Prenatal Yoga; Prenatal/Postpartum Nutrition Counseling; and Miscarriage Support Group (new). Postnatal offerings include: New Parent Get-Togethers (newborn to 12 months); Breastfeeding Support Group; New Mother, New Baby (newborn to 5 months); Yoga for Mommy and

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Baby; Rock ‘n’ Roll with Baby (5-9 months); Shape Up With Baby (6 weeks to 9 months); and Baby Massage (2-5 months). 92y.org Babies “R” Us: Babies “R” Us in Union Square is best known for selling baby and nursery goods, of course, but they’ve also introduced an extensive menu of classes for new parents. Under “Baby Basics,” they offer a review the characteristics of a newborn, feeding, bathing, diapering, cord care, and equipment needs. Beyond teaching essentials like those, they offer separate classes in baby wearing, baby yoga, infant massage, and infant CPR, among others. There’s usually at least one class a day, and on some days, especially during the weekend, there are more. Classes are taught by local experts and neighborhood vendors like Karma Kids Yoga and Yogi Beans. You must go to their main website to get the www.newyorkfamily.com


OB/GYNS, MIDWIVES, DOULAS & LACTATION EXPERTS If you’re searching for an OB/GYN, midwife, doula, or lactation consultant, there’s no shortage of qualified professionals in the NYC area. Start by asking trusted friends for recommendations, but don’t take their advice as the last word. Follow your instincts. Use online resources or one of your childbirth reference books to really understand the role of each provider, taking note of questions to ask when interviewing health care providers you’re interested in working with.

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BABY NURSES: Mama Views, mamaviews.com/baby-nurses DOULAS: DONA International, dona.org; NYC Doula Service, doulacare.com; the Metropolitan Doula Group, metrodoula.com; Mama Views, mamaviews.com LACTATION EXPERTS: The New York Lactation Consultant Association, nylca.org MIDWIVES: The American College of NurseMidwives, midwife.org OB/GYNs: Castle Connolly, castleconnolly.com OTHER RESOURCES: Choices In Childbirth, choicesinchildbirth.org

classes listings for specific stores like the one in Union Square. toyrus.com

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Baby in the Family: Baby in the Family specializes in prenatal education and postpartum support. Founded by Andrea Syms-Brown in 2006, workshops are hosted at various locations in the city. Their Caring for a Newborn Baby workshop concentrates on practical care routines such as diapering or bathing. The How to Breastfeed workshop focuses on breastfeeding techniques and routines for newborns through their first 30 days. SymsBrown, who also provides individual postpartum support in NYC and the tri-state area, currently serves as president of the New York Lactation Consultant Association. babyinthefamily.com Birth Day Presence: Founded in 2002, Birth Day Presence is a premier provider of childbirth classes and birth and postpartum doula care for expectant families in New York City. Led by Jada Shapiro and Anna Merrill, BDP combines the best of modern childbirth techniques and old world practices to reduce the fear and anxiety around childbirth, while increasing the joy and pleasure of confidently becoming parents. BDP has assisted thousands of families in a nurturing, safe, and joyful way. Classes include Childbirth Preparation, Breastfeeding, Newborn Care and Infant CPR, plus new additions like sibling, pet, Cesarean, and twins prep (Birth Day Presence also has a partner program with the Seleni Institute, listed on page 55). birthdaypresence.net continued on page 52 www.newyorkfamily.com

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Chic City Mom: Inspired by her own challenges as a busy mother of two, Chic City Mom founder Erica Stamey-Hong designed an organization that would help city-dwelling mothers connect through support groups. Chic City Mom provides educational mommy & me playgroups for new mothers and their babies ages 0-18 months. Licensed experts, such as reproductive psychiatrist Carly Snyder and naturopathic doctor Laurie Brodsky, speak about issues that range from infant health to post-baby relationship changes. Chic City Mom’s six week semester of classes is offered at locations in SoHo, Chelsea, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side. chiccitymom.com City Births: City Births offers classes in Childbirth Preparation, Newborn Care & Breastfeeding, Infant CPR & Safety, New Moms Groups, and Breastfeeding Support. From the start of pregnancy through delivery, they encourage parents to be well-prepared for childbirth as well as for the care of their infant. Classes offer the most up-to-date information on the reality of giving birth and raising a family in NYC. All of City Births’ instructors bring hands-on experience, having attended births in the city, and can provide accurate information as to what to expect during labor and birth. The organization empowers parents to be fully informed of their choices in birth and provides them with the necessary tools to be happy and confident parents. citybirths.com

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The JCC in Manhattan: The JCC in Manhattan is the Upper West Side’s premier location for pre- and post-natal support, education, and services. In addition to classes and seminars, such as How to Care for Your Newborn Baby, and support groups like the Breast-Feeding Support Group, they offer socializing experiences through Tummy Time and Coo & Crawl: A Mother and Baby Play Space. For the mother who is looking to stay fit during pregnancy or get back in shape after, The JCC’s Marti Ann Meyerson Center for Health and Wellness offers weekly classes such as Aqua Get Fit! Pre+Post-natal Exercise Class, Movin’ Mamas, and Pre+Postnatal MELT. jccmanhattan.org

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New York Family | February 2014

Rosalie O’Connor

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Adult Open Classes

Hospitals: It’s not surprising that the most common places where women give birth would have pre- and post-natal education and support classes, but many expectant parents don’t realize that hospitals generally have very good classes at affordable prices—and often they’re open to attendees intending to give birth elsewhere. Most of the city’s major hospitals and their class listings can be easily found online— or you can visit newyorkfamily.com for lists of our hospital and physician recommendations.

Karma Kids Yoga: Karma Kids Yoga believes that having a good support system is as important as being in good physical and mental shape during this time, striving to make your transition into motherhood as smooth as possible. Offerings cover a range of tools that include: prenatal yoga, prenatal pilates, pre- and post-natal pilates, pre- and post-natal yoga tune ups, childbirth workshops, and Lamaze childbirth courses, as well as doula speed dating events, baby-wearing clinics, and other support group services. Once the baby is born, they offer mom & baby yoga, dad & baby yoga, My Baby Fingers’ www.newyorkfamily.com


baby sign language, and free yoga story time classes. karmakidsyoga.com Mommybites: When Mommybites co-founder Laura Deutsch was a new mom living in NYC, she was astonished at how lonely she felt in such a huge, happening city. Laura started Mommybites because she wanted to create an easy way for moms to meet other moms, feel supported, and learn from top parenting experts. Founded in 2006, Mommybites (originally Babybites) has become one of the largest social and educational communities in the New York City area, while expanding to other key cities and within its online community. Through their signature mom support groups, free online parenting classes, and parenting tips and articles, Mommybites connects moms to other moms, experts, and all the latest parenting education, products, resources, and support to help make their lives a bit easier. mommybites.com

Ice Rin ss Indoor World-Cla

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Instruct ks • Expert

MomPrep: Rosie Pope’s MomPrep offers a core curriculum of prenatal and postpartum education at the Rosie Pope Maternity retail locations, through classes, personalized concierge services, and digital education, including online tips. From baby CPR through childbirth education, the core curriculum offers MomPrep attendees the foundation of education to take with them into their journey of becoming parents. Within MomPrep, Rosie’s panel of experts, from renowned OB-GYNs to celebrity fitness trainers, serves customers with unprecedented access to expert information both in person and online. rosiepope.com Mom Support: The founder of Mom Support, Jessica Shapely, has helped hundreds of parents care for their children and themselves through support groups, sleep consultations, and individual and couple’s counseling. Her weekly support groups (including groups for new moms, seasoned moms, and moms of multiples) allow moms to share the joys and address the challenges by establishing support, combating isolation, and normalizing the experience of being a new parent. Rather than trying a one-size-fits-all approach to sleep, her sleep consultations are customized to each family based on personal needs. Her individual counseling sessions include a lot of work with prenatal women as well as postpartum moms and couples facing a variety of emotional and physical struggles. momsupport.org Northeast Doulas: Led by a trio of certified doulas with a combined history of helping over 1,800 mothers on the path to parenthood, Northeast Doulas provides families in Greenwich and Fairfield, CT, and Westchester and New York City, NY, with highly trained and experienced doulas to assist them from pregnancy to postpartum. Beginning with a complimentary pregnancy consultation, their experts are all about connecting families with the appropriate doula for them—and their staff of diverse doulas virtually insures a good match. The agency also focuses on providing high quality postpartum doulas who are available for shifts of 4-24 hours, as needed, providing new mothers with everything from housekeeping help to hands-on baby continued on page 54

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February 2014 | New York Family NYF 1-2p SR 2-14.indd 1

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In addition to the ones already mentioned in this story, a number of popular baby and breastfeeding boutiques host classes for expectant and new parents. YUMMY MUMMY: The “all things breastfeeding” store not only has breastfeeding classes but also parents support groups, doula speed dating, and nanny and CPR safety. yummymummystores.com

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CARIBOU BABY: The eco-friendly maternity, baby, and lifestyle store has regular classes offering prenatal information, breastfeeding support, baby wearing, infant massage and baby development. cariboubaby.com BOING BOING: To complement its focus on breastfeeding and baby wearing related products, the popular Park Slope outpost also offers supports classes in nursing and wearing. boingboingbk.com UPPER BREAST SIDE: As part of its mission as the city’s “original breastfeeding resource center,” it offers prenatal breastfeeding support classes. upperbreastside.com

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education. Other services include prenatal discussion groups, placenta encapsulation, pregnancy consultation, and sleep consultation. northeastdoulas.com NYC Dads Group: Started in 2008 by Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider, the NYC Dads Group is a community of active and caring dads who are leading the way as what it means to be a good father in the 21st Century is redefined. Prenatal offerings include weekly New Dad Boot Camps at top parent education providers around the city. These workshops for dads by dads give new and expecting fathers the opportunity to discuss parenting with veteran dads, who bring their babies along to give the rookies some hands-on experience holding, feeding, and calming real babies. The group also organizes weekly meetups for postnatal dads and their kids at parks, museums, parent-and-me classes, and living rooms, as well as parenting workshops and dads’ nights out. nycdadsgroup.com Pregnant New Yorker: The Pregnant New Yorker provides fun, alternative health events in NYC educating the pregnant community on how to have an easy, healthy pregnancy. Janet Markovits, also the owner of Maternal Massage and More, founded the health-minded group in 2008 when her clients kept asking for advice and referrals and had questions related to everything pregnancy and baby. The Pregnant New Yorker brings the best guest speakers together to teach pregnant and postpartum moms, while providing an opportunity to learn something new about different services and products, and a chance to meet other pregnant women. thepregnantnewyorker.com Prenatal Yoga Center: The Prenatal Yoga Center is the

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www.newyorkfamily.com


regrets, and have a rewarding experience. In addition to free monthly healthy pregnancy classes and weekly breastfeeding support calls, offerings include: Comprehensive Childbirth, Breastfeeding, Baby Care and Safety, Infant CPR, Expectant Multiples, and an online childbirth class. storkandcradle.com

New Dad Bootcamp with the NYC Dads’ Group

first and only yoga center in New York City to focus solely on expectant and new moms. Their classes have a threepronged approach, focusing on community, physical comfort, and childbirth education. Community means starting each class with the women introducing themselves, saying how far along they are and how they are feeling physically; physical comfort means identifying the aches the students are feeling that day in order to cater the class to ease their discomfort; and childbirth education means interweaving informative themes through the class. The center believes that this is a very digestible way to take in new and sometimes overwhelming information, with the hope that the new mother will feel more confident in making conscious decisions during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and motherhood. prenatalyogacenter.com Seleni Institute: The Seleni Institute is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 by George and Nitzia Logothesis to attend to the mental health care needs of women. In addition to supporting research and providing women with online resources, the institute offers assessment, consultation, and treatment for women experiencing reproductive or mental health issues. Their areas of coverage include lactation support, acupuncture, massage, therapy, support groups for postpartum depression and anxiety, and infant bonding and attachment with a focus on individualized treatment throughout. Additionally, the team of experts at Seleni lead monthly workshops on topics like breastfeeding, preparing for motherhood, and more (Seleni also has a partner program with Birth Day Presence, listed previously). seleni.org Stork and Cradle: Stork and Cradle gives mothers the real deal about labor and breastfeeding. Their services mentor families through pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding empowering them to make choices that keep themselves and their babies safe and healthy. They’ve created a nonjudgment zone where parents can discover what they need and want to have their ideal safe birth, eliminate www.newyorkfamily.com

Tribeca Parenting: Tribeca Parenting provides childbirth preparation, babycare, and breastfeeding classes for expectant couples. It is an affiliate of Tribeca Pediatrics but is open to all expecting New York City parents. The parent education organization was born from Dr. Michel Cohen’s desire to help families have healthy births and new baby experiences, and he brought on Erica Lyon, author of The Big Book of Birth, to run the program. Support and education don’t stop with the arrival of the baby: New moms groups, breastfeeding support, and the very popular Toddler Talks let parents find sanity with resources that age up with their kids. There are convenient locations on the Upper East Side, and in Tribeca, Chelsea, Long Island City, Fort Greene, Gowanus, and Jersey City. tribecapediatrics.com/TPeds Twiniversity: Got twins? If you are expecting twins or are a new parent of twins, don’t miss a Twiniversity Class. Natalie Diaz, founder of the global support network Twiniversity teaches classes locally to her fellow New Yorkers. She’ll answer questions like: Should you breastfeed two at a time? How? One crib or two? Should you co-swaddle? What stroller is best for the city? How much help do you need and where do you find it? Should your twins be on a schedule and how to get them on one? All this and more is taught in both the Twins 101 class (for expectant families) and Twins 201 class (for new families). twiniversity.com Urban Wellness Acupuncture: Urban Wellness Acupuncture offers treatment sessions that focus on overall women’s health, fertility and more uniquely new mom’s well-being. Carla Gervasio, L.Ac and Rae Ritke, L.Ac. are licensed and board certified acupuncturists committed to create an office that functions as an oasis from the business of life, so clients can focus on harmonizing their bodies and minds. In addition to sessions that center on positive energy for fertility benefits, Urban Wellness Acupuncture offers support for recent mothers to rebuild their resources after birth. Carla and Rae use acupuncture to help with postpartum symptoms like abdominal pain, sleep issues, and emotional imbalance by moving the body’s bio-energy to enhance the natural healing process and recovery. urbanwellnessnyc.com February 2014 | New York Family

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home&away

quality time

OrganizatiOn

StatiOn How An Organized Apartment Can Help Foster Good Learning Habits, Responsibility And Independence In Children By Birgitte Brix and Barbara Witt Human beings have an innate need to do things for themselves; competence and autonomy have been consistently associated with wellbeing. Being organized and implementing systems from an early age encourages healthy growth and habits for adulthood. Building healthy habits fosters positive growth towards children’s independence. Organized environments, especially for children, eliminate the feeling of chaos, clear the mind, create better focus and freedom for independent, creative, and healthy thinking. All of this is essential in building good selfesteem. Self-Dressing Part of teaching children how to dress and prepare themselves for each day in a timely fashion means organizing their closets and dressers in a way that identifies and breaks down each wardrobe item into

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categories with easy access. The learning experience can be fun when you add a creative approach. Creating structure and implementing systems will increase their confidence leading them towards greater independence. Arrange and organize the closets by season. The current season of clothing should hang and be reachable at a lower level with the off-season clothing stored at top or packed for storage in another location. For folded items, shelves can be labeled using our favorite Brother P-touch label maker. Dresser drawers are best maintained with Dream Drawer Dividers available from the Container Store. They help divide and confine smaller items such as undergarments and socks. The top of the dividers or inside drawer fronts can be labeled specifying the items contained. Children will learn to recognize that there are specific homes for their belongings, finding them easier and faster. Closet Tip: An indoor basketball hoop hamper creates a great game for depositing dirty clothes and keeping them off the floor. A great option is available from Lillian Vernon. Packing and Travel Create good travelers early and encourage what we call “Ensemble Dressing.� Planning and editing clothing and accessories for travel or camp makes the responsibilities continued on page 58

www.newyorkfamily.com


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continued from page 56

with other items. Seeing the tools and products they need helps teach kids to take ownership and reminds them visually of what they have to do. Grooming Tip: Find cool, age-appropriate products to put in your caddy, such as themebased or multifunctional products like the GLO-Brush toothbrush by Arm & Hammer, which has a built-in timer and changes color every 30 seconds or the Listerine Agent Cool Blue alcohol-free rinse that detects with color, showing children what bacteria and plaque brushing has missed. Fire Fly kids’ flossers come in fun colors and cool shapes.

Clockwise from top left: Birgitte Brix and Barbara Witt; closet organization in action; neat dresser drawer compartments

that go along with the fun less daunting, for your children as well as yourself. Younger children who don’t know how to dress for all activities and events can be taught. Start by putting an outfit together for each day and night, including undergarments, socks, and belts. Try mixing and matching layers. Pack everything neatly in nylon zippered Pack-It Cubes from Eagle Creek that are then neatly loaded into the luggage. Packing Tip: The bags can be identified by day or evening attire with labels, or photos can be taken of the clothing ensemble and stapled to the outside of the bag. Mealtime Good eating habits mean more brain power. Through strong organization and some pre-planning, you can accomplish mealtime independence. Breakfast is a great way to start. Milk and other breakfast items should be stored on lower shelves in the fridge and pantries; flatware should be kept in drawers for easy reach. Try the Klip-it Breakfast-to-Go, a leak proof all-in-one ingredient storage concept that contains separate sections for cereal, milk, yogurt, and fruit with a built-in spoon. It allows you to prepare and store the ingredients the night before so your children can help themselves each morning. Mealtime Tip: Try leaving a different combination of food items for morning surprises in these brightly colored containers. They are also great for snack or mealtime on-the-go. Personal Hygiene Tired of repeating “Wash up, brush your hair, brush your teeth” to your kids morning and night? Catch their attention with a waterproof decorative good grooming caddy containing all the products they need to stay fresh and clean. The key is to keep it all together where they can see it and not hidden behind closed doors or in medicine cabinets mixed

58

New York Family | February 2014

Desk and Schoolwork Helping your child learn smart work habits is critical for success in school (as well as later in life). Every child should have an organized, well stocked place to work. Any drawer can be customized with separate compartments for pencils, pens, scissors, and erasers using individual Acrylic Drawer Organizers from the Container Store. This system keeps things neat and orderly. For storage of desktop items many fun and functional storage cups, boxes, and containers are available, and everything used should be labeled with the contents. Homework Tip: An organized approach to keeping track of daily homework and long-term assignments can keep your child focused on what is due the next day. Create a homework binder using brightly colored bigtab pocket dividers that represent and color-code each class. As the day proceeds, the homework assignments are collected and dropped into the appropriate section. Keeping assignments separate from their main school binder makes it easier and faster to find the homework with nothing forgotten or misplaced. Arts and Crafts The key to maintaining and storing art supplies and crafts is by using a storage method that not only separates and organizes, but creates a childfriendly system that encourages independent play and creativity, with easy and quick clean-up. Pick a place or area on shelving that is exposed and make it enticing. Choose storage items that are decorative, easily labeled, and easily transportable. Self-expression is self-energizing and helps build self-esteem. Crafting Tip: Children need to learn early on to clean up and put things away. The small Martha Stewart bookplate labels work great even on curved surfaces. Birgitte Brix and BArBArA Witt are the founders of Brix & Witt, which provides a unique approach to relocation, organization, and staging that helps you unlock the potential of your most valued investment, your home. Learn more about them and get more tips at brixandwitt.com. www.newyorkfamily.com


BILINGUAL BUDS Immersion Preschool and Elementary School

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Mohawk Day Camp

The Big

QueSTion Choosing The Right Type Of Camp For Your Child— Single-Sex Or Coed? Traditional Or Specialist?— Can Make All The Difference. By Jess Michaels When searching for a sleepaway camp—or resident camp, as some call them—there are many factors families need to consider. The most basic decision involves the type of camp but even that has its subtleties. One must consider the pros and cons of a general camp versus a specialty camp. Likewise, do you want your child in a coed setting or single-sex—or a kind of hybrid known as brother-sister camps? Here are the key differences between camp types. It is not that one type is better than the other, of course. It is simply a matter of where your child will be more successful and happy. Single-Sex Camps: Single-sex camps don’t have campers of the other sex at camp. At single-sex camps, female campers may be more willing to try new things and feel less self-conscious since boys are not around. The way they look, how their hair is, or the type of clothes they wear all become less relevant. (Note: There are single-sex, coed, and brother-

60

New York Family | February 2014

sister camps that have uniforms for this reason as well). For some boys, a single-sex environment will allow them to be more sensitive and not feel like they are going to be judged. Finding it easier to center their program on the interests of just one sex, many single-sex camps go for more of a specialty mix than a general mix, with a focus on certain activities or themes, like sports or arts. “After we explored several options, we chose an all-girls camp for our daughter,” said parent Barbara Leshinsky. “I wanted to counter the social pressure most kids face in school. I also felt convinced that the all-girls camp would prove to be valuable to help build her self-esteem during her adolescent years. My daughter is also extremely athletic and I knew she would be challenged athletically and not afraid to express her competitiveness or ability.” Although campers spend their daily activities, evening activities and special events with children of the same sex, single-sex camps often have regular socials with nearby camps of the opposite sex. The number of socials with another camp usually increases with the age of the campers. Coed Camps: At coed resident camps, the girls and boys have many shared facilities, including the waterfront, dining hall, and sports fields. Coed camps have a clear separation of boys’ bunks and girls’ bunks. Gail Gold chose a coed camp for her three girls. “Camp is like a mini version of the real world. A coed camp has given my girls a chance to experience friendships with boys and build strong social skills in a safe, nurturing environment,” she says. “The girls have a distinct living area away from the boys which allows them to have bonding with other girls but they get to experience other camp activities with the boys at camp— they get the best of both worlds.” Even though coed camps have shared facilities, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all daily activities are coed. Each coed continued on page 62

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what type of camp best suits your child? Answering the following questions can help families decide what type of camp will work for their child. does your child have a lot of friends of the opposite sex during the school year or have a sibling of the opposite sex that he or she likes spending time with? If yes, a coed camp or brother-sister camp would most likely be the best fit for your child. is your child athletic and do they like to spend their day playing sports? If yes, many single-sex camps focus on sports, whether it’s a boys’ camp or a girls’ camp. do you feel that your child spends too much time focusing on the opposite sex? If you answered yes, maybe a single-sex or brother-sister camp would be a good choice and allow your child to focus on friendships and the activities that he or she enjoys. during the school year, does your child like participating in soccer, school plays and tennis? If yes, he or she may like a more varied day and may prefer a traditional camp where the camper can participate in many different activities each day. Traditional camp gives them exposure to a whole range of activities and allows children to develop many different skills and talents. does your child attend an all girls’ or all boys’ school? If your child does, maybe sending him or her to a coed or brother-sister camp during the summer would be a good change and allow your child to socialize with children of the opposite sex in the safe environment of camp. does your child focus on only one activity most of the time and show little interest in anything else? If yes, a specialty camp focused on that activity might be the right fit for your child. But clearly that’s a discussion worth having with your child, in case he or she might prefer a break from it. “The important issue in finding a camp is to understand the philosophy of the camp and the camp director,” says Renee Flax, director of camper placement for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey. “Ask them about these issues and get their viewpoint. Once you feel that you are on the same page philosophically with a specific camp, you have probably found the right camp for your child.”

camp is different: some camps have some coed daily activities, other coed camps keep daily activities separate, but the boys and girls come together for meals, some evening activities, canteen, and special events like carnival, color war and off-camp trips. brother-sister camps: Brother-sister camps are two camps on the same property or close by to each other. They usually have the same owners but each camp has its own traditions while also sharing traditions between the two camps. Each camp has their own facilities including different waterfronts and dining halls. Brother-sister camps allow girls and boys to participate in separate activities during the day

62

New York Family | February 2014

just like a single sex camp or some coed camps, but for many brother-sister camps, girls and boys come together for meals, special events and some evening activities. Many brother-sister camps also schedule special sibling activities so brothers and sisters have a chance to see each other and spend time together on a regular basis during the summer. “When we were looking for a summer camp four years ago, I had never heard of brother-sister camps,” said Amanda Greenblatt, the mother of twins, one boy and one girl. “My daughter said she wanted an all-girls camp and my son was interested in a coed camp. I was trying to figure out how I was going to manage two different camps and two different visiting days until I came across a brother-sister camp that felt right for both of my children. Each camp has their own colors, traditions, and songs and my children get to do separate activities during the day but are brought together on weekends to do activities together. My kids often bicker at home but when they talk about camp, they recall the fond memories of times they spent together.” traditional camps: Traditional summer camps offer children a varied camp experience with many different camp activities such as swimming, archery, ropes courses, arts and crafts, soccer, basketball, boating, and drama, among many others. For parents looking to provide their children with a social and developmental experience, such as learning life skills, developing independence, learning responsibility and connecting with people, the traditional camp will provide these experiences. Campers at traditional camps also become part of a community and will enjoy summer camp activities such as Olympics, color wars, bunk activity days, community service projects, carnivals, and trips off camp. specialty camps: Specialty camps focus on a specific camp activity or related camp activities for a given period of time. There are many different types of specialty camps available for children for just about every interest, such as horseback riding, tennis, drama, gymnastics, or soccer. Some kids who have a dedicated passion during the school year look to a specialty camp to help them take it to the next level. Other kids with a long-term specialty want just the opposite: to use summer camp as a chance to try new things, and a big variety of things. In addition to interests and activities, other specialty camps are distinguished by their focus on children with certain kinds of special needs like autism or diabetes. Religious orientation can be a unifying theme of certain camps too, thought they still will be segmented by sex and by the general or specific focus on the dayto-day activities.

For more camp inFo and to register For our February, march, and april camp Fairs, check out newyorkFamilycamps.com.

www.newyorkfamily.com


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Sudden Impact a Local mother Shares the Cautionary Story Of her daughter’s two-year recovery From a Concussion

When my daughter, Shannon*, hit her head during a high school basketball game, I didn’t panic. Shannon was a junior black belt in karate and had been the starting point guard on the JV basketball team when she was in 8th grade, so I’d been through my share of sports injuries. the team was playing its last game of the regular season when Shannon fell while going in for a charge. then, another player tripped over her, causing Shannon to hit her head again. Shannon, of course, still wanted to play. the referee forced her to sit out for the rest of the third quarter, but when the fourth quarter began, she was back on the court as her team won the game. “how are you?” I asked immediately after the game. “I have a tiny headache, but I’m really fine,” she insisted. She looked fine, too. Between the thrill of winning and the excitement of attending her first school formal that night, she showed no signs of pain. But she came home early from the dance that night, complaining that she was dizzy and her head was throbbing. a trip to the pediatrician confirmed that Shannon had a concussion. She needed to stay home from school and away from light and loud noises, which would make her headaches worse. a week later, when her symptoms hadn’t improved, the pediatrician said she needed to see a neurologist. I immediately went from worried to terrified. What if my daughter had permanently damaged her brain? thus began a months-long process of visiting neurologists who couldn’t find anything wrong with Shannon. “She’s fine,” they’d tell me, saying if she just rested a bit longer, she’d feel better. Some thought she could go back to school already. But my daughter wasn’t fine. She couldn’t be around loud noises, sit in a room with the lights on, look at a computer screen, or even read a book. She was a teenage girl who couldn’t hang out with her friends and a star athlete who couldn’t exercise. She was miserable. On top of that, she was missing months of school, and we feared she would have to repeat 8th grade.

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New York Family | February 2014

the school agreed to let her start 9th grade in the fall if she could pass five subject tests, and thanks to help from tutors and her own determination, she did it. By the fall, she was less sensitive to light and noise and able to go back to school, but she was a shadow of the straight-a student she once was. the headaches persisted, sometimes causing her to temporarily black out during class, and I still couldn’t find a doctor who could help her. that spring I saw an ad in the New York Times for a concussion therapy group at the nyu Langone Concussion Center. these doctors gave her much more extensive testing than she’d received in the past. I hate to admit it, but I was happy when they found something wrong with her. now there was something we could fix. Shannon had damaged her ocular and vestibular systems, which meant she had issues in her ears and eyes that were affecting her balance and causing the dizziness and headaches. She immediately started working with ocular and vestibular physical therapists and the improvement has been amazing. She’s much more cautious than she used to be—she worries about hitting her head and is still deciding if she wants to start playing basketball again, but Shannon is almost completely recovered. Shannon’s story is not unique. there are kids who suffer from concussions whose bedrooms have to be fit with special light because they’ve been so injured. ultimately, my daughter is really lucky. But what she went through could have been prevented. When a child gets a head injury he or she needs to be examined right away. If it turns out to be a concussion, then the child needs to stop what he or she’s doing immediately. doctors have told us Shannon likely made her injury worse by continuing to play in the game. If my family had the information then that we do now, we maybe could have helped Shannon recover sooner. *To respect the privacy of the author and her daughter, all names in this story have been changed. www.newyorkfamily.com

Illustration by Justin Winslow

By Julie Simon* (as told to Anna Sims)


NEW YORK FAMILY PARTNER

THE BASIS APPROACH A Legendary School Network— With A Dazzling Academic Track Record And Affordable Prices— Opens A Private School In New York City By Bridget Moriarity

I

n 2013, two BASIS schools, Arizona’s Tucson North and Scottsdale, were ranked among the top seven high schools in the nation by Newsweek. One year prior, a number of 15-yearolds from BASIS Tucson North took a key international exam and outperformed the entire world, including students from a top-ranking school in Shanghai, China. Thrilling stats like these are simply the latest in a string of achievements that are so outstanding they’ve made BASIS one of the most widely-regarded networks of schools in the country. And they haven’t even been at it for long. Founded in 1998 as a single school in Tucson, BASIS was launched by two economists—Olga and Michael Block—who fell in love. After looking around for a strong school for Olga’s daughter, they decided to create the kind of program they ideally wanted—one with the academic emphasis of European and Asian schools paired with an innovative American spirit. The combination of the two sensibilities has been so successful that today the BASIS network includes 12 charter schools, located in Arizona, Texas, and Washington D.C. Plus, two new independent schools—one in New York City and one in Silicon Valley—are planned to open in September 2014. “We wanted the two flagship schools to be in the most culturally and economically dynamic regions of the country,” says Mark Reford, the Chief Executive Officer of BASIS Independent Schools. The NYC flagship, located in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, is called BASIS Independent Brooklyn. Its 85,000-square-foot light-filled building is presently under

construction to include the kind of state-of-the-art educational amenities that one expects from a top private school. But the school’s biggest selling point to interested parents is, of course, the extraordinary BASIS track record for cultivating students who are high achieving and enthusiastic learners. What’s it all about? “We describe ourselves as a STEM-focused [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] liberal arts program,” Reford says. “Liberal arts in the United States have become synonymous with the humanities, but we go back to a much older model where science and mathematics are at the core of liberal arts as well.” To bring those disciplines (and others) to life, Reford explains, the school hard-wires its curriculum with rigor, connectivity, and collaboration. Among its standout features is the fact that the primary school engages two teachers in the classroom—a learning expert and a content expert. Starting in kindergarten and continuing through fourth grade, students study Mandarin. In first through fourth grades, students take a special “connections” class in which they are presented with a creative challenge that they have to collectively problem-solve using elements from their studies. The project, Reford says, helps to prepare them “for an intellectual world where more and more you can not answer questions by sticking with one discipline.” Beginning in the sixth grade, students take three laboratory sciences (chemistry, physics, and biology). By the eighth grade, a year-long introductory-level economics course is required, and, by twelfth grade, students take the equivalent of upperlevel college courses, having already completed the graduation requirement of six Advanced Placement (AP) exams. To teach to the ambitious standards of its curriculum, BASIS has recognized from the start that they need great teachers. Or, as Jill McConnell, the Head of School of BASIS Independent Brooklyn, says: “Our classes cap at 25, but it’s really about the quality of the person at the front of the room not the number of students in the seats.” To ensure that they have teachers of excellence, BASIS employs a four-person recruitment team who look for three things: an expertise in a given subject as reflected in an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D; a passion for the subject; and above all a love of kids. Before being tapped to lead the BASIS flagship in New York, McConnell was Head of School at BASIS Mesa in Arizona—though she also boasts a varied professional background. “I was working on a Ph.D in medieval literature, and I chucked it and went to Africa to help set up a medical dispensary, so my story is not very linear,” she says. McConnell also spent many years as a grader for the AP exams, and she recalls that one of her first conversations with the Blocks was about the AP program, which she values for the critical thinking it demands.


New york family partNer

Speaking about what she likes most about the BASIS approach, she says that, in addition to its curriculum and its teachers, the other core ingredient is the student body.

“Liberal arts in the United States have become synonymous with the humanities, but we go back to a much older model where science and mathematics are at the core of liberal arts as well.” “The BASIS student is someone who is curious, who is innovative, who loves to ask questions,” McConnell says. Standardized testing is not a part of the admissions process. And BASIS is not a program that’s purely for math and science geeks. “We’re all of it—we have a fifth grade program in classics, we have Latin as part of our curriculum, we have an amazing humanities, English, and history program,” McConnell elaborates. BASIS has another aspect that will certainly strike a chord with parents: its price. At $23,500, its tuition is almost half that of many of the city’s elite independent schools. And for many families—and especially families with more than one child—that kind of savings, over time, could mean the difference between being able to afford to raise children in the city or needing to move to the suburbs. BASIS will also be offering scholarships for kids in kindergarten from the local Red Hook area, and, in the school’s second year, the plan is to offer merit scholarships—not financial aid—to students from around the city. Presently, BASIS is accepting applications for grades K-10, for the 2014-15 school year, with the intention of growing up to a full K-12 school in the years that follow. They plan to provide bus service—and even, in some areas, water taxi service—so that students from all around the city can attend.

When the students arrive in September, they can expect to find a brand-new school that is outfitted with, among other things, science labs, music and art spaces, a full-sized gym, a 350seat black box theater, and an industrial arts and design lab where students will be able to perform cutting-edge computer science and programming. With a seasoned BASIS hand like McConnell at the helm, students will also find a school in which a love of learning is so palpable it all but infuses the air. When asked how one sparks a true curiosity in a student and not just a drive to get good grades, McConnell quotes Plato as saying that “knowledge is the highest form of pleasure.” “[At BASIS], the conversation is always ‘What did we get out of this assignment? What did we learn from this experience?’ And not ‘What is the grade we’ve gotten?,’” she says. As its existing schools around the country have proven, the end result of a BASIS education is almost always a motivated child heading to a college of personal preference. “Our students aren’t only going to engineering schools, they’re also going to the Rhode Island School of Design and to Parsons,” Reford notes. The 106 students to graduate from BASIS schools in 2013 were accepted into 540 colleges and universities throughout the world, from Stanford to Oxford, and they earned more than $14 million in merit scholarships. Reford expects much the same for BASIS Independent Brooklyn. “Our goal is to be the very best school in New York City,” he says with a mix of pride and expectation. McConnell herself couldn’t be more eager to begin leading a school in the city. “We’re a model that’s going to redefine what American children can do,” she says. For more information about BASIS Independent Brooklyn, contact Alexandra Hancock, Director of Admissions, at info@BASISindependentBrooklyn.com or 929-210-1362.


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New York Family February 2014  

New York Family is a monthly family lifestyle magazine focused on the interests, needs, and concerns of New York City parents. The print pub...

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