Kid Picks WINNERS!
Advice from Third Graders Saratoga County Preschool Guide FUN & EASY
CRAFTS TOP 5
Welcome to our
Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty
Editor-in-Chief Colleen Pierre
General Manager With winter comes a bustling holiday season filled to the brim with activities! The cold doesn’t keep us inside when there’s fun to be had. First Night, Frost Faire, Winterfest and Chowderfest are just some of the area festivities we’ll happily bundle up for!
2013 will soon fade out and we’ll usher in a brand new year. We are extremely excited to be honoring our first ever SaratogaMama Kid Picks for 2014! You gave us your opinion on the best options for families in Saratoga County. Check out all the Kid Picks winners starting on page 20!
❄ Are you looking to beat cabin fever this winter? Our go-to travel gal Sandra Foyt is back with a fabulous roundup of five mountain destinations all within two hours of Saratoga. Plan your getaway on page 34!
Are you ready with your resolutions? If yours have anything to do with health, nutrition, or exercise (I know mine do!), don’t miss our Top 6 Fitness Myths (page 38), Meal Planning for Success (page 40), and Medicine Cabinet Makeover (page 52).
We had the absolute privilege to work with an outstanding group of third graders at Ballston Spa’s Milton Terrace South Elementary School. You’ll adore their helpful advice on page 46! I hope you’re in the midst of enjoying a magical holiday season and are welcoming another fun-filled winter.
Cheers to you and yours, and may everything be merry!
Our eager skiers Allie, Alec and Nadine loved getting the first glimpse of the new and improved West Mountain, a community based ski center since 1961. A special thanks goes out to Paige Sidler, West Mountain’s Group Sales and Marketing Executive for letting us be one of the first ones on the slopes… before they opened to the public! Thanks to Mark Bolles for capturing our snowy fun afternoon! www.WestMtn.Net 4 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Managing Editor Jennifer Bloomingdale
Creative Director Jessica Kane
Advertising Chris Bushee, Jim Daley, Cindy Durfey, Dianna Firth
Graphic Design Colleen Sweeney, Jessica Kane
Photographers Mark Bolles
Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 SaratogaTODAYNewspaper.com SaratogaMama is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright (c) 2013, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper SaratogaMama.com
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50 66 56
18 10 42
Table of Contents SaratogaMama Winter Edition
Seek 46 52 54
Advice From Third Graders Ask a Dad with Dr. Phillip Drum Ask a Stylist with Nichole Rigolosi
Find 10 30 32
What We’re Loving Now Saratoga County Preschool Guide Winter Adventures with Sandra Foyt
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Learn 36 42 50
Top 6 Fitness Myths Snow Day Pancakes Medicine Cabinet Makeover
Play 18 Candles & Cookies Birthday Party 56 Crafternoon 66 Virtual Show & Tell and Kids Games SaratogaMama.com
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Our SaratogaMama Contributors
Sheree is a loving wife and busy mom to three amazing and energetic kids. She is a work-at-home mom, nurse, blogger and speaker who loves all things related to health. When she’s not traveling or blogging, this self-proclaimed foodie is always plotting her next 30 minute meal to cook and post on her blog, Smart & Sassy Mom. www.smartnsassymom.com
An avid reader and technology enthusiast. Robin is an entrepreneur with nearly 20 years’ experience in communications and marketing. After being diagnosed with Celiac in 2003, she began her journey to became a certified Holistic Health Coach and now dedicates her life to helping others reach their potential through gluten free and all natural food choices. 8 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
David is the owner and head trainer at Contemporary Athlete in Clifton Park. He has been a competitive athlete for as long as he has had the ability. His love for supporting others is what ultimately helped him decide to open Contemporary Athlete. www.contemporaryathlete. com
Beth Payer blogs at Olliebop.com, a go-to resource for busy families with tweens and teens. Beth speaks from experience, as Mom to 12-year-old daughter Ella, and 14-yearold son, Hudson. Beth’s philosophy on blogging and parenting rapidly-growing kids is to keep an eye out for the good, amidst the challenges that accompany this fleeting time in life.
Jennifer Bloomingdale is a former teacher, she is currently managing editor at SaratogaMama and teaching professional development eCourses through Powerful Learning Practice. She lives outside of Saratoga with her husband and two year-old son.
Nichole K. Rigolosi is a local fashion stylist/blogger and a new mom! In 2011 she launched Style By Nichole Kristen, a personal shopping and styling business designed to help women in the Saratoga-Capital Region capture their own personal style. She has styled many photo shoots for local and national publications and blog sites.
Dr. Philip Drum
Dr. Drum specializes in the treatment of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, and also works with couples. Dr. Drum resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Joette. Together they have five children, all now adults, and three beautiful grandchildren.
Rev. Alan Rudnick
Rev. Alan Rudnick is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa. He is an author, blogger, and speaker. His writing has appeared in the Albany Times Union, Associated Baptist Press, and Christian Ethics. He is married and has two children. www.alanrudnick.org
Jodie Fitz is the creator and personality of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club and currently travels in a six state region cooking with children to encourage taste testing fun through a handson cooking experience. She is a wife, mother of three and currently authors several monthly columns. You can always find what she’s up to in her kitchen at www.jodiefitz.com.
Sandra Foyt writes about enriching family travel on Albany Kid. Based in Northeast NY, she stars in her own version of “Where’s Waldo?” on road trips across the US and return engagements to the Virgin Islands.
A life-long resident of Saratoga County, Ilissa Goman is having a blast raising her baby girl in the same area she grew up in. She started her business, Binx, in 2010, after a career as a nanny and she is now bringing unique baby products, awesome parenting services, and even sleep to the parents of the Capital District.
Jessica Kane is a graphic designer and photographer from Saratoga Springs. She has a true passion for all things “creative”. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys drawing, crafting and capturing nature with her camera. She lives in Saratoga with her super cool dog Ari.
Kate Towne Sherwin
Kate Towne Sherwin grew up in Saratoga Springs and is so grateful to be able to raise her children here. She and her husband have five boys (ages 1 to 8), and when they’re playing/reading/ sleeping she writes, so she’ll always remember these precious days. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Minimergency Kit Most of the moms we know are always prepared for just about any kid-related emergency. But what about a momemergency like a broken nail, red wine stain, hair crisis, or forgotten deodorant? Enter the Minimergency Kit available for $16 at Lola Accessory Boutique in Saratoga! This fun little kit contains 17 beauty and personal care essentials including a nail file, Band-Aid, safety pin, stain remover, lip balm, and even hair spray.
Our colorful winter picks feature a few extremely talented local folks and mom-owned businesses. We’re big fans of supporting small businesses and not just around the holidays. We love sharing our favorite local people, places and things with you all year long! We hope you enjoy our winter picks!
What We’re Loving WINTER PICKS
- Dianna Firth, Colleen Pierre & JenniferBloomingdale
Nerium Skin Care Finally a product to get us through the harsh winter! Nerium AD is an all-natural cream that not only helps with dry and aging skin, but also with texture, large pores, skin tone, discolored, loose, and sagging skin. We especially love that they give 30% of each purchase back to cancer research! For ordering information, visit annmmoreno.nerium.com.
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Saratoga Race Course Commemorative Jewelry Box Local artist Nick Martinez creates equine artwork that brings the magic of the Saratoga Race Course to life. This heirloom-quality jewelry box featuring one of Martinez’s beautiful paintings is on our holiday must-have list. In addition to the jewelry box, you can purchase other Saratoga gift items including drink coasters, mugs, placemats or artwork reprints online at nickmartinezart.com.
Little Fingers Handmade Finger Puppet Kits Local mama Kate Cottrell started making puppets at an evening craft night and the idea evolved into a full-fledged business! Little Fingers Puppets are adorable assemble-your-own finger puppet kits containing pre-cut felt pieces. With plenty of themes available including superheroes, animals, princesses, and aliens to name a few, you’ll find something that suits your fancy. Find Little Fingers on Facebook or Etsy.com/shop/LittleFingersAndMore.
A Moose in My Stable We adore local author Vicki Addesso-Dodd’s newest book A Moose in My Stable! The book is inspired by a true story about a moose who found his way onto the Saratoga Race Course. The playful tale is beautifully illustrated by another Saratoga local, Patrick Jankowski. Pick up your copy of A Moose in My Stable locally at Northshire Bookstore, G. Willikers, Impressions of Saratoga, New York Toy & Hobby in Clifton Park, and Lollipops in Latham. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Maxi-Cosi Travel Combo
Winter is such a l nice time of year here. I fee of e tim a kes like the season evo ily. fam h wit warmth and coziness one, by wn gro Now that my family has to st be the of I’m looking for the best e som are re He . make her world amazing are t tha w no ht of my favorite things rig ma that making my new life as a ma too! fun and much easier, safer,
- I li ss a G o m a n
Something we use every day is our Maxi-Cosi stroller and Prezi car seat combo. The car seat is plush and has awesome safety features and attaches perfectly to the Kaia umbrella-style stroller. For store locations, visit maxi-cosi.com.
What We’re Loving WINTER PICKS
Cozywoggle Coat This amazing coat is safe for your child to wear in their car seat because it doesn’t interfere with the harness. What makes it really great is that once outside the car, it can be worn as a regular coat. $74.99 at Binx, 74 Beekman Street. 12 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
In a few months we will be starting solid foods with our baby, and I am so happy that NurturMe offers a quinoa cereal. Quinoa is packed with protein and is a good alternative to rice cereal. $1.29 per pouch, nurturme.com.
Mommy and Me Fitness Classes As a new mama I love the ‘mommy and me’ classes that are offered in our area! From Hostetler Kindermusik, to swim lessons at the YMCA, and even Baby Boot Camp classes, there’s a great variety, and I can’t wait to try them all out.
Maternity & Newborn Photos Something I have been swooning over are the maternity pictures and hospital pictures we had taken by Keira Lemonis Photography (maternity) and Ivory Lane Photography (hospital); they will be a treasured keepsake for generations to come. It was so nice to have some of the precious first moments with our baby captured.
Pink Fawn Cooler Bag We received this cooler bag at our baby shower and we use it every day! It’s PVC, Phthalate, and BPA-Free, and the inside liner can be removed for easy cleaning. $29.99, at The Bundle Store in Ballston Spa.
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Metallic Clutch ‘Tis the season for holiday parties, so arrive looking posh with an adorable clutch in hand. The great thing is, clutches aren’t really that expensive and metallics are definitely a seasonal “YES”! Whether it’s gold, silver, or pewter, you really can’t go wrong. $19, Target
I’m unapologetic when it comes to voicing my disdain for cold weather. I am truly a fan of warmer months, but hey, it’s inevitable, right? I say, if we have to bundle up, then bundle up in style- making sure that we’re always prepared to have fun! Here are a few of the things my family is loving this winter.
- Sheree Adams
What We’re Loving WINTER PICKS
AAA Emergency Winter Kit This 65-piece emergency kit is great to have in your trunk, especially living in upstate NY. It comes with a survival blanket to keep you warm, waterproof matches, strobe light, shovel, first aid kit, and more! $31, amazon.com
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil Winter can be harsh on your skin, so you need to give it a little more TLC this time of year. I found this sample in a magazine. I tried it and absolutely fell in love with it! The way it makes my skin feel is amazing and the fragrance is a subtle, pleasant hint of rose. $10, drugstore.com 14 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Mom-Approved Winter Hat We all know that winter hats need to be functional, but who said they couldn’t be cute? My toddler picked out this cute little winter hat. Not only is it adorable, it really does keep her head warm, so it’s “mom-approved”. $10, Gymboree
Sherpa Winter Boots My first grader and I both love her stylish winter boots. The sherpa keeps her warm and the little bow on the back compliments her style! $59, Lands’ End
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Transpack Boot Bag Winter outings are all the better when kids carry their own stuff. Tip: decorate your boot bag with bands of colorful electrical tape to make it recognizable in the lodge. Available online or locally through The Alpine Shop.
Happy winter from Olliebop.com! This collection combines two key ingredients for cold weather fun with tweens and teens: being prepared and having an adventurous mindset. Enjoy the season!
- Beth Payer
What We’re Loving WINTER PICKS
A cozy winter hat
Olliebop.com’s printable ski bag packing list
This one, the “Grayson” by Pistil (pistildesigns.com) is the epitome of cozy - but I could say that about Pistil’s entire collection of gorgeous winter knits.
This printable checklist allows kids to pack their own ski bag, yet be sure to have everything they need. It’s a beautiful thing. Scan the QR code above to print yours!
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Phone Bunjee Never fear... “Phone Bunjee” (from containerstore.com) keeps your phone handy without risk of landing in a puddle or snowbank. Genius.
Comfort Foods from Sweet Mimi’s
Throat Coat Tea With its smooth and sweet flavor, this comforting tea is enjoyed by both kids and adults. Available at natural foods stores, and in many supermarkets.
We’re loving the wide array of comfort foods at Sweet Mimi’s (47 Phila Street). Fluffy pancakes for breakfast, savory soups for lunch. It’s all delicious! Soup by the quart, and more, is available to carry out and serve at home too.
GoPro Somehow the cold becomes instantly cool, when filmed with a GoPro. Let the movie making begin!
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Candles & Cookies... Photos by Deborah Neary The idea of a candle-making party held at Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk was too tempting to pass up for our six kid-testers! Morgan Boswell has built a business by putting a modern, hip, and fresh spin on candle making. The Candle Collective offers candle making for in-home parties, events, fairs and festivals, youth groups and corporate events. When I met Morgan at the SaratogaMama Women’s Business Expo, I knew I had to work with her. A party at Plum Dandy’s newest bakery Cookies and Milk presented the perfect opportunity!
ation Six kids + a cool candle cre eating + cookie decorating and = One perfect party!
The kids first chose a scent for their candles, then selected wax chunks from several color options to fill the star-shaped mold. The kids enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the process, and Morgan was terrific and very patient while working with them.
The kids watched as hot wax was poured into the molds!
The kids really enjoyed this activity, and moms loved that they all got a unique, handmade gift to take home! 18 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
After about 15 minutes of chill ing in a cooler, the candles were ready! SaratogaMama.com
lling he e
Two perfect party options! I adored Plum Dandy’s newest bakery concept from the minute I stepped foot through the door. There’s something very charming about the concept of gourmet cookies served with fresh local milk from Battenkill Creamery. Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk hosts bakerythemed birthday parties for kids of all ages, and who wouldn’t love that?
Our kids had g a blast decoratin taking sugar cookies, booth pics in the photo devouring and of course, rmet the delicious gou goodies!
Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk is located at 55 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs. To find out more about their birthday party options, email email@example.com, or call (518) 583-7588. For more information on booking a party with The Candle Collective, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 307-7318. Find them on Facebook.com/candlecollective. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
The photo opportunitie s were plenty! I love d how the kids were en gaged with the activity a nd treats at a pretty Paris ian-style table in the b ack of the bakery!
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KI Introducing the SaratogaMama Kid Picks!
Look for this decal at your favorite businesses!
You gave us your opinion on the best options for families in Saratoga County including childcare, preschools, restaurants, shops, attractions and more! The businesses that received the most votes are awarded a 2014 Kid Picks stamp of approval. On the following pages you’ll get a glimpse of each business and learn more about what makes it special or unique.
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Favorite Childcare Facility, Preschool and Private School
Favorite Indoor Recreation and Birthday Party Spot
Favorite Music, Dance and Sports Programs
Favorite Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch/Dinner and Dessert Spot
Favorite Place for a Moms Night Out and Boutiques
Favorite Family Photographer, Pediatrician and Dentist
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KID PICKS • KID PICKS • KID PICKS • K • 2014 Kid Picks • Favorite Childcare Facility Maple Leaf Childcare Center
Since 1988, Maple Leaf Childcare has been family-owned and operated, giving children aged six weeks through twelve years the foundation they need to become lifelong learners. Maple Leaf’s core values are safety, family, nature, discovery and play. Linda and John, owners of Maple Leaf, began in Guilderland and expanded to Malta (two locations), Glenville and Rotterdam. They play an active role in the day-to-day operation of each childcare center. Linda shares her passion for early childhood education with her daughter Katie who works at their newest location on Route 9 in Malta. MLCC employs over 150 staff and cares for more than 600 children. Learn more at www.mapleleafchildcare.com
Learning to Know
We are so honored to have been chosen as a 2014 SaratogaMama Kid Pick after being open just two years in Clifton Park and one year in Saratoga. We take pride in focusing on both quality care along with an enhanced learning atmosphere. We feel each child is unique and we enjoy establishing lessons that will allow each child to learn within a secure, comfortable and nurturing environment. Learning To Know is a full-service educational facility, licensed by New York State offering infant through kindergarten wrap care, at two convenient locations. Please call us to tour one of our beautiful facilities, Clifton Park (518) 371-3722 or Saratoga (518) 226-0222. learningtoknow.net
Favorite Preschool Saratoga Independent School
The Saratoga Independent School is proud to be named 2014 SaratogaMama Kid Pick for best Preschool and best Private School! At the Saratoga Independent School, located on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, we offer a challenging multiage curriculum to students in Pre-K through 6th grade. Our mission is to empower our students to become confident learners who are capable of critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Our school strives to build a sense of community and due to our low student to teacher ratio, our students and teachers build strong connections. The Saratoga Independent School also offers before and aftercare programs, full day options for Pre-K students, summer camp and enrichment classes. To learn more, visit www.siskids.org or call (518) 583-0841.
The Malta Montessori environment is bright, nurturing, and inviting. Fascinating learning materials fill the shelves. This carefully prepared environment enables children to explore, discover and engage in their own choices of work. The teachers design and adapt the environment to the children, modifying the materials to fit their needs. Malta Montessori School holds classes for students from Pre-K through 6th grade and is committed to providing a quality education in the Montessori tradition. With a community of parents, teachers and students, we will instill a love of learning, sense of wonder, respect for others and the environment; while at the same time encourage imagination and independence.
Tiny Tots Early Learning Center
Tiny Tots Early Learning Center recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each child. The school’s primary mission is to foster a love of learning in each student. Our curriculum skillfully weaves artistic and practical disciplines into everyday academics. Students learn to follow their curiosity, to think creatively, and to work both independently and cooperatively with others. Tiny Tots ELC provides a variety of classes for babies and preschoolers that include “mommy and me”, part time preschool and a fabulous summer camp. Through these developmentally appropriate classes, students learn, grow and have fun together! Call (518) 371034 or visit www.tinytotsearlylearningcenter.com.
Favorite Private School Saratoga Independent School
The Saratoga Independent School is proud to be named 2014 SaratogaMama Kid Pick for best Preschool and best Private School! See their full description above.
Malta Montessori is proud to be named 2014 SaratogaMama Kid Pick for best Preschool and best Private School! See their full description above.
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• 2014 Kid Picks • Favorite Indoor Recreation Children’s Museum at Saratoga
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga is dedicated to creating an interactive environment for children that inspires curiosity, sparks imagination, and nurtures discovery. With two floors of imaginary play exhibits, including our newest installation, The Silly Science Center, children can explore and discover through hands-on activities. Schedule a private birthday party, book a school outreach program, or stop by the museum and enjoy one of our many special or weekly programs! From our Busy Bees: Baby & Toddler Program to our Making Connections: Autism Program, the museum is proud to be a resource to the community for children and caretakers throughout the Saratoga County, the Capital Region, and beyond.
TreePaad Fun Center is a family-owned, family run business, where we understand the concept of family fun! Join us at Malta’s premiere Family Fun and Entertainment Spot, featuring age-appropriate games, rides, prizes that children of all ages from toddlers to big kids will appreciate. A place with great food for the family including freshly baked pizzas and snacks. TreePaad is a great place to take the kids for everyday fun or for special occasions such as birthdays, play groups and school fundraising events.
Editors Pick: The Wonder Room
The Wonder Room is a play space in Ballston Lake. Rotating activities and themes promise an exciting mix of sensory, building and imaginative play spaces. A dedicated art room is filled to the brim with materials and recyclables for preschoolers and elementary children. Drop in play is available as well as specialized programs and a nursery school. The Wonder Room is open to the public during drop in play times and the fee is $5 per child. Adult companions are always free. Membership is available which offers free drop in play and lending privileges for our fabulous library of toys and materials. Come play and discover with us!
Favorite Birthday Party Spot
Saratoga Strike Zone
Saratoga Strike Zone is the Northeast’s premier family entertainment center. Saratoga Strike Zone is perfect for anyone, of any age. Bowling, Ballocity play area, bumper cars, our wild arcade room, X-Scape private VIP room, and End Zone Sports Pub - we have it all. We offer the best birthday party packages around. Everyone will have a great time at Saratoga Strike Zone. Looking for a location for your next group gathering? Look no further than Saratoga Strike Zone. We host corporate parties, family get-togethers, church groups, children’s organizations, summer camps, school groups and many others.
Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio
All you need to bring is YOURSELF! At Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, a local artist will instruct you step by step through an original piece of art. You get to take home your one-of-a-kind painting—and hopefully a new found talent! Whether its girls night out, date night, or a fun outing with your little one, we paint, sip, and party with you! Kids are welcome to our public classes and we host a monthly kids only Pint Sized Picasso Night for your little artists! We’re also available for birthday parties and private events. Check out SaratogaPaintandSip.com for our calendar, info on private parties, and to register for classes!
Editors Pick: Abigail’s Place
Abigail’s Place is located in the charming and historic village of Ballston Spa. Our tea room is the perfect place for your daughter to bring her doll and experience an elegant tea. Come celebrate her birthday with us, attend a special event or just stop in to shop our doll clothing boutique. Your daughter is sure to have an amazing experience.
Favorite Music Program/Instruction Kindermusik/Hostetler Music Studio
Kindermusik offers music and movement classes for babies, toddlers, big kids, and families. Our classes nurture young children’s development— and not just their musical development. Children grow at an amazing pace. They’re busy developing their language skills every minute of every day—at the same time as they’re figuring out how to jump, control their emotions, count to twenty, and get along with their friends. So while our classes help your child develop a lifelong love for music, they also help children develop language, social, emotional, and physical skills as well— all in the context of joyful, musically rich play!
Music Together/Eenie Meenie Music
In January, Eenie Meenie Music will celebrate its first year anniversary in Saratoga Springs, and is thrilled to be voted as a Kid Picks winner! Director Sylvia Bloom is a registered teacher of Music Together®, the internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for young children and the grownups who love them. We sing, dance, chant, use scarves, drums, bells, egg shakers, stretchy bands, sticks, and more in an experiential class that focuses on getting everyone playing and having a great time, all the while learning about music and child development. All children are musical, and as a community we can nurture this in your child, and in ourselves! 22 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
• 2014 Kid Picks • Favorite Toy/Specialty Store New York Toy and Hobby
New York Toy & Hobby is a local family-owned business committed to providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have a high value to the children’s imagination! My name is Tricia Kelly and I am a mother of three daughters and one son ranging in ages from 7-14. I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom for 13 years and recently purchased New York Toy & Hobby. It has been wonderful to bring my own experience and provide toys that I would shop for or would want to purchase for my children and make them available to my community. Stop in and see for yourself at our Clifton Park Center location or find us online at www.newyorktoyandhobby.com.
G.Willikers Distinctive Toys is a long lasting tradition in Saratoga Springs NY. Our local families and friends anxiously look for gifts on all occasions packaged in one of our signature purple bags. For 23 years the elves at G. Willikers have been providing the community with specialty toys, games, puzzle and happy faces! We want all our customers to have FUN! G.Willikers is a happy place because we take having fun with children seriously. We love being able to provide you and your child with all they need to learn and grow.
Editors Pick: Northshire Bookstore
Northshire Bookstore is a family-owned, independent, full service bookstore. Our expert booksellers can help find the perfect gift from our wide and deep selection of books and gifts. With a whole floor devoted to children, Northshire Bookstore specializes in getting kids excited about reading and being around books. In addition, we have toys, games, puzzles, educational activities and fun stuff for all ages. Our author event series brings world-class authors to you, so please check our web site – www.northshire.com – and sign up for our email newsletter. Books can change lives!
Favorite Dance Program School of the Arts at The National Museum of Dance
More than just a dance studio, the School of the Arts is a cutting edge center of talent and inspiration. Incorporating a wide range of dance genres and levels, the SOA has grown into a wonderfully supportive community of students of all ages and backgrounds. The SOA shares great pride in the professional quality technique that is endowed upon all students by providing top-notch instructors and an encouraging atmosphere. It is a truly welcoming community of talent and creativity that continues to grow and expand in many different directions. The SOA continues to provide new and exciting classes/workshops and welcomes new students to the SOA family. For more information visit: www.dancemuseum.org/school
Creative Dance Arts
Creative Dance Arts is happy to be voted as a Kid Picks winner for 2014! The focus of the school is on teaching proper dance technique in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap and Modern. Young students are taught at their developmental level separating the 3 year-olds, 4 year-olds and 5 year-olds in their own classes. Creative Dance Arts offers classes for children as young as 2 1/2 during which the children discover movement through guided instruction. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is ideal for the beginning student as well as the accomplished dancer. www.creativedancearts.org
Favorite Kids Sports Program Go Kids
Go Kids is the Capital Region’s only multi-sport and exercise program specifically designed for children ages 2-6. Go Kids’ fitness activities teach children the fundamentals of seven different sports in a social, team-based, non-competitive environment. During each class, children warm up and stretch their muscles, play an “imagination game” (fun, kid-friendly calisthenics), work on sport specific skills and end class with one of our fan favorites – the obstacle course or parachute. We’ve been lucky enough to work with more than 300 children over the past year and continue to see our family grow. We thank everyone for your support!
Saratoga Regional YMCA
At the Saratoga Regional YMCA, we have something for everyone. With our five locations, we offer a unique combination of programs that improve health, nurture youth, and connect you to the local communities that you’ll only find at the Y. Features include Tennis, Gymnastics, Aquatics, summer camps, childcare, warm yoga, cycling, Zumba®, kickboxing, and more! And if you join between January 2nd and January 5th, you will take advantage of the season special! For more information, please visit our website at www.saratogaregionalymca.org, or call us 518-583-9622. At the Saratoga Regional YMCA, you can jumpstart your health today!
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• 2014 Kid Picks • Favorite Kid-Friendly Lunch/Dinner PJ’s Bar-b-QSA
PJ’s BAR-B-QSA, open year round, is where adults and kids alike can enjoy “A Taste Tour of American Barbeque.” Our menu features the country’s traditional regional favorites - New York “State Fair” chicken, Kansas City and Memphis ribs, Texas beef brisket, North Carolina pulled pork, Virginia Smoked sausage and Pacific Northwest smoked salmon, along with great tasting Southern style side dishes and desserts, hot dogs and burgers and our very own Loganberry drink. Coming in 2014, a new kids menu for the “Little Buckaroos!” Kid-friendly activities include music for dancing, hula hooping and a bubble machine. Catering and delivery service is available. BARBEQUE - IT’S NOT WHAT WE DO . . . IT’S WHO WE ARE.
Thank you for voting Circus Cafe your Favorite Kid-Friendly Lunch/Dinner Restaurant! Enjoy festive American cuisine at the #1 destination for food and fun in Saratoga Springs! Circus Cafe is the home of Saratoga’s Award Winning Burger, Best Family Dining, Amazing Homemade Cotton Candy and inspired menu options. Expect supreme service and fine fare while experiencing an “over the top” fun yet sophisticated vision of the circus. The Circus Cafe menu offers something for everyone, including a great kids menu, delightful dessert menu, colorful bar menu, as well as a separate gluten-free menu. Circus Cafe is open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner, and late night dining. Call us to reserve your birthday, holiday, corporate and milestone events. Off site catering also available.
Hattie’s serves a variety of Southern and Louisiana cuisine, including Hattie’s famous Southern fried chicken and homemade desserts. We offer a full bar and specialize in unique cocktails. We will customize menus for private events and offer on or off-premise catering. Hattie’s is a historical restaurant in operation since 1938. In addition to our main dining room we offer two other dining options. Our French Quarter lounge and the Alley courtyard!
Favorite Kid-Friendly Breakfast/Brunch Iron Roost
Since April 2012 Iron Roost has been joyfully serving up unique breakfast and lunch creations six days a week. Our concept stems simply from the desire to be different. From our name, to the space, and the menu, we’ve sparked a level a curiosity that has served us quite well. So many people have asked,”Why waffles?”. We say, “Why not?!”. Waffles are delicious, they are unique, and most importantly, they are so versatile that we were able to build an entire menu based around them. From sweet to savory, we can almost guarantee you’ll find something to satisfy your craving! Even for the dairy- and gluten-free seekers, we have something for you too!
In the heart of Ballston Lake is our famous Country Store Lakeside Farms. We welcome you to come in, slow down and relax. We are well-known for our great breakfasts and superb lunches as well as being the home of the original apple cider donut. In our country store you will find a large variety of baked goods, and fresh home baked pies. We carry the freshest produce and seasonal favorites throughout the summer and fall.
Editors Pick: Good Morning Cafe
We love Good Morning Cafe in Ballston Spa for their healthy and delicious breakfast and lunch options (including gluten-free and vegan!). With a focus on local, organic and fair trade food sources, you can feel good about your meal. Family and kid-friendly, we enjoy Good Morning Cafe for a mid-week breakfast or lunch, with or without the kids! My kids especially love the chocolate chip pancakes and their gluten-free pancakes are a must-try!
Favorite Dessert Spot Plum Dandy
Plum Dandy Frozen Yogurt, the Capital Region’s premiere frozen yogurt and bubble tea shop, is located in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs. Guests enjoy self-serve frozen yogurt, a loaded toppings bar, fruit smoothies and hot cocoa with housemade marshmallows. Plum Dandy is a family-owned business that offers deals and discounts for students, teachers, military and more.
Mrs. London’s is owned and operated by Wendy and Michael London. Mrs. London’s is a bakery - cafe in the heart of Saratoga Spring. Mrs. London is, in fact, Wendy London, my wife and Muse. Mrs. London’s, however, is larger than both of us and represents an ideal of baking to which we aspire. We’re convinced that no matter how good something may seem to us today, there is always room for improvement and that as long as we continue to grow and evolve, our bread and confections will improve accordingly.
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• 2014 Kid Picks •
Favorite Place for a Moms Night Out
Saratoga Paint & Sip Studio
All you need to bring is YOURSELF! At Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, a local artist will instruct you step by step through an original piece of art. You get to take home your one-of-a-kind painting—and hopefully a new found talent! Whether it’s girls night out, date night, or a fun outing with your little one, we paint, sip, and party with you! Kids are welcome to our public classes and we host a monthly kids only Pint Sized Picasso Night for your little artists! We’re also available for birthday parties and private events. Check out SaratogaPaintandSip.com for our calendar, info on private parties, and to register for classes!
A gathering place for exceptional food and drink, Maestro’s is located in the historic former Rip Van Dam Hotel, the largest surviving hotel from before the civil war in Saratoga Springs, New York. Whether dining in our 90-seat dining room or enjoying the summer breeze outside on our stone terrace, you’ll marvel at our exceptional menu designed daily to tantalize your taste buds. Our unique and ever-changing cuisine will appease a wide range of appetites, whether yearning for a burger and an ice cold brew, planning a special event, or gathering friends for dinner. Better yet, let the region’s most popular chef John LaPosta (and Maestro’s owner) “put love on a plate” as he prepares a sublime meal just for you at our Chef’s Table.
Favorite Boutique for Mom Piper
Piper Boutique is a fresh and fashion forward AFFORDABLE clothing boutique where you will feel inspired to try the latest trends in apparel and accessories at amazing price points. Everything is under $100. More than just a place to buy the latest trends, Piper is a place where women of all ages can come see the newest pieces each week and get some personal one-on-one styling. At Piper, it’s all about the personal attention you receive from the stylists who are listening to your needs and helping you find the right outfit for every occasion.
Violet’s and Stella’s
Violet’s is your “City Boutique” in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs. We offer women a one-stop shop for designer clothes and shoes, making it easy to find a head to toe look for any occasion. We are dedicated to making women feel confident and beautiful, by helping customers find fashionable and flattering looks. Come to Violet’s to find your favorite pair of designer jeans or that perfect party dress! Don’t forget the most important accessory, your shoes! The girls at Violet’s are here to help you reinvent your wardrobe and can help with any fashion emergency! Our main designers include: BCBG Max Azria, Free People, French Connection, Muse, Paige, Hudson, Cole Haan, The Frye Company, Sam Edelman and Vince Camuto.
Favorite Spot for Kids Clothes Cuddle Bugs Consignment Boutique
We are a local, mom-owned business specializing in children’s and maternity items with locations in Saratoga and Queensbury. We offer brand name, high-quality children’s and maternity clothing, accessories, toys, baby gear, and nursery furniture. Not only do we have an amazing selection of gently pre-owned items, we also offer many new items from local crafters and large manufacturers such as Charlie Banana, Belly Bandit and Melissa & Doug. We are very selective in what we accept so we can offer you the best! Discover what your friends with exceptionally well-dressed kids already know! We are currently accepting new consignors.
Miss Scarlett Boutique
Miss Scarlett is a one-of-a kind boutique offering discounted items from Anthropologie, Free People and Level 99. Miss Scarlett also carries Los Angeles-based boutique brands and a great assortment of handpicked gift items, home goods, accessories and boutique children’s clothing. The children’s apparel is available from size 3m to 10ys and is mostly under the label jen jen designed by the owner. Miss Scarlett has two locations, in Saratoga at 19 Phila Street and in Clifton Park Center next to the Regal Theater.
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• 2014 Kid Picks • Favorite Family Photographer Jennifer Pondillo Photography
Jennifer Pondillo Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, child and family custom portraits serving the Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Albany and surrounding areas. Her goal is to document your time together in such a way that you have a lasting memory of that moment in time. Your child’s pout, smile and giggles are all part of what makes their unique personality so special. Their innocence, curiosity and natural state of wonder makes photos of them come to life as a piece of art that you will enjoy for years to come. Please contact Jennifer if you would like more information or to schedule your custom photography session. www.jenniferpondillophototgraphy.com
Pure Bliss Photography
Pure Bliss. “Pure”, meaning genuine or real, and “Bliss”, meaning perfect happiness. That is exactly what I want my sessions and photography to be. Not only do I want my photographs to convey this message, but that is what I want my clients to feel after a session with me. Even if for just an hour - to have a fun time with their family without distractions - to laugh, love and connect. It is more than just having your photos taken - it is creating lifetime memories. www.pureblissphotos.com
Favorite Pediatric Dentist Pediatric Dentistry of Clifton Park/The Smile Lodge
At The Smile Lodge Pediatric Dentistry, we proudly provide pediatric dental services to infants, children and teens from throughout the Capital Region. It is our mission to exceed the expectations of every parent who entrusts us to care for their child’s oral health. For unsurpassed excellence of clinical care, all of our doctors are specialty trained and licensed pediatric dentists. We work together as a team to provide an exceptional healthcare experience in a friendly, cheerful and relaxed environment. Through early intervention, education and prevention we strive to treat dental disease before it becomes dental decay.
Nicole Byrne Pediatric Dentistry
“Dr. Nikki” and our staff provide exceptional specialized pediatric dental care for the children in our community using the most current dental technologies. Our staff is specially trained to foster trust and confidence in each child to help ensure pediatric dental care is a positive experience for all!
Editors Pick: Pediatric Dentistry of Glens Falls
At Pediatric Dentistry of Glens Falls, we pride ourselves in providing a safe, comfortable environment for children where they can receive the best dentistry possible. We strive to make each visit an enjoyable one and encourage parent and patient involvement!
Favorite Pediatric Practice Community Care Pediatrics
Community Care Physicians is a physician-owned, physician-run multi-specialty medical group with more than 180 doctors and other clinicians practicing out of 35 offices throughout the New York Capital District. True to its name, Community Care Physicians is an organization dedicated to ensuring that physicians oversee and manage all aspects of patient care. Over the past 20 years Community Care has grown because both doctors and patients recognize the special value created when the physician is free to focus on the practice of medicine.
When choosing health care for your family, trust our caring professionals. CapitalCare offers primary care services in Family Practice, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine throughout the Capital District. CapitalCare welcomes new patients and participates with most major health insurance carriers.
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Favorite Fitness Program for Moms
Our top pick for Fitness for Moms is Baby Boot Camp of the Capital District. Suitable for any level of motherhood, Baby Boot Camp’s 60 -minute classes will help kick start your weight loss while still allowing you to spend quality time with your baby. All classes are taught and led by fully qualified and certified trainers, with modifications made where necessary. Visit www.bepositivefitness.com for class locations and information.
Favorite Non-Clothing Boutique for Moms
Bella Rouge Cosmetics and Skincare Boutique in Clifton Park Center is our top pick for getting glam! Bella Rouge offers premium beauty products from our favorite brands including Mama Mio, Butter London, Caudalie, Dr. Hauschka and many more. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff makes shopping easy and enjoyable. They offer personal skin care consultations and eye brow waxing and makeup application by appointment.
Favorite Specialty Grocer
Healthy Living Market and Cafe located in the Wilton is a natural foods market that specializes in natural, organic and local products. We adore Healthy Living Market because in addition to buying our healthy pantry staples, produce, meats, and bath and body care items, we can shop easily with the kids entertaining them with a delicious and healthy muffin, scone, smoothie or other delicious prepared-food item. Did we mention they have an amazing beer and wine selection too? So conveniently located in Wilton Mall it’s now impossible to walk by Healthy Living Market and not stop in for something!
Favorite Winter Recreation Spot
We love West Mountain because it’s safe, family-friendly and super accessible. It’s big on winter fun with skiing, snowboarding and tubing, but not overwhelming. A perfect place for even the youngest skiers to get started on the slopes!
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Saratoga County Preschool Directory ABC Nursery School
The Early Childhood Center at Skidmore College *
Academy Nursery School
Head Start Pre-School
Apple-A-Day Nursery School *
Katrina Trask Nursery School *
(518) 373-8ABC • TheABCNurserySchool.com 13 Old Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518) 664-7440 • helpinghands.org 41 Warner Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518) 260-1821 • appleadayns.com 45 Washington St. Saratoga Springs NY, 12866 OPEN HOUSES: 10:00 – 1 pm - December 18th, January 15th & 22nd and will continue on Wednesday’s through the school year.
Apple Blossom Bunch
(518) 527-3105 • appleblossombunch.com Spa Park, Saratoga Springs NY, 12866
The Beagle School *
(518) 587-7507 • beagleschool.com 115 Regent St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: 115 Regent Street 3 & 4 year old programs: Monday, January 27th 10:30-12:30 107 Circular Street 2 year old program: Tuesday, January 28th 10:00-11:30 We will be attending the Preschool Fair on the 25th and on those days both locations will be open from 10-1.
Burnt Hills United Methodist Christian (518) 399-6133 • bhpreschool.com 816 Route 50, Burnt Hills, NY 12027
Church Mouse Nursery School
(518) 885-8362 • churchmousepreschool.com 202 Milton Ave. Ballston Spa, NY 12020 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 8th, 10 – 12 noon.
Children’s Academy of Malta
(518) 289-5485 • childrensacademyny.com 2381 Route 9 Building 5, Mechanicville, NY 12118
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(518) 580-5472 • skidmore.edu/ecc 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 583-2584 • franklincommunitycenter.org 10 Franklin St. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 584-8968 • ktnurseryschool.org 24 Circular St. • Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 5th, 9 – 11.
Learning to Know
learningtoknow.net 1536 Crescent Rd., Clifton Park - (518) 371-3722 60 Weibel Ave., Saratoga Springs - (518) 226-0222
Little Angels Nursery School
(518) 885-5583 • littleangelsns.com 22 West High Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Malta Montessori School *
(518) 633-1971 • maltamontessori.com 100 Saratoga Village Blvd. Suite 34 A, Malta, NY 12020
North Country Academy *
7 Care Lane, Saratoga - (518) 584-9982 1756 Route 9, Clifton Park - (518) 373-9679 northcountryacademy.com
Sara Marie School
(518) 280-3982 • thesaramarieschool.org 942 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Saratoga Abundant Life Pre-School
(518) 885-5456 saratogaabundantlife.org/Preschool 2325 Route 50 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Saratoga Hansel & Gretel
(518) 584-0934 66 Seward St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Saratoga Independent School *
(518) 583-0841 • siskids.org 459 Lake Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 We offer PreK-6th grade, before and after school programs, summer camp and enrichment classes. Be sure to visit us at the PreK fair on Saturday, January 25 from 10:00-2:00 at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Saratoga Regional YMCA *
(518) 583-9622, ext. 114 • saratogaregionalymca.org 290 West Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 583-4342 - 100 Saratoga Village Blvd., Malta, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, January 30th, 7 – 8 pm. Registration starts February 6th
Storybook Academy *
(518) 587-0707 • storybookacademy.net 421 Geyser Rd. Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Sunday Hebrew Preschool
(518) 584-2370 • saratogasynagogue.org 84 Weibel Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Sunrise Children Learning Center
(518) 373-1280 • sunrisechildren.com 200 Technology Park, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Teddy Bear Day Care Center
(518) 584-2273 • teddybeardaycarecenter.net 4 Mountain Ledge Drive Wilton, NY 12831
Shooting Stars Childcare
Tiny Tots Early Learning Center
Small Wonders Christian Pre-School
Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs *
(518) 371-2306 • shootingstarschildcareinc.com 609 Route 146 A, Suite 104, Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518) 584-3720 • saratogaspringsumc.org 175 5th Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Current Openings in 3 Year Old & PreK classrooms Enrolling ages 2-5 beginning in Jan for Fall 2014. Call today for a personal tour
(518) 406-2434 • smartearly.com 39 Old Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Spa Christian School *
(518) 885-0508 • spachristian.com 206 Greenfield Ave., Ballston Spa OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 8, 10am - 12pm. DISCOVERY DAY: Wednesday, February 26, 9am-11am. WELCOME WEDNESDAYS! From 8am-2pm.
St. Clements Catholic School
(518) 584-7350 • stclementsschool.org 231 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 OPEN HOUSE: Call today to schedule your personal tour.
St. George School
(518) 371-6351 • stgeorgeschoolcp.org 912 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065
St. Mary’s School
(518) 885-7300 • smsbspa.org 40 Thompson Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
St. Paul’s Lutheran Christian Childhood Center * (518) 584-0904 ext.205 • spelcss.com 149 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
(518) 371-2034 • tinytotsearlylearningcenter.com 1536 Crescent Rd., Clifton Park 12065 (518) 587-2224 • waldorfsaratoga.org 212 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Open House: Saturday, January 25, 2014 All School Open House from 10:00-2:00 pm. All locations will be open touring. March 22 and April 26, 2014 Early Childhood Center and Forest Kindergarten open for touring from 10-12 pm. *Denotes Preschools represented at the Saratoga Springs Preschool Fair
Saratoga Springs Preschool Fair January 25, 2014 10 a.m. – noon
This is a wonderful opportunity to explore area preschools with over a dozen preschools represented! A complete list of participating preschools will be available on December 30, 2013 at www.sspl.org. This event is co-sponsored by the Saratoga Springs Public Library and The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs. For more information please contact Anne Maguire at the Waldorf School at (518) 584-7643 ext. 16 or The Children’s Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library at (518) 584-7860 press 3. This program will take place at the Saratoga Springs Public Library in the H. Dutcher Community Room. SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 31
Great Winter Getaways Do More Than Ski at Mountain Resorts
By Sandra Foyt
When the mercury drops and days grow short, less hardy folks hunker down indoors. Not Northeasterners; they celebrate winter! With dozens of kid-friendly mountain resorts in New England, there are lots of ways to enjoy snow—and not just skiing. Here are a few of our favorites, all within two hours of Saratoga.
u Gore Mountain
(North Creek, NY; 1 hour by car)
Mountain With 103 trails and over 2,537 vertical feet on four unique peaks, Gore boasts the most skiable acreage in New York, with plenty for all ability levels. 793 Peaceful Valley Road North Creek, NY 12853 (518) 251-2411 www.goremountain.com Snow Sports School Get kids skiing or snowboarding with daily lessons, holiday camps, and 6-week or season-long programs. The new Mini Learning Park, with small snow features to develop balance and control, is a great addition for children ages 4 to 6. Babies as young as six months are welcome at Bear Club Den Daycare, and children 2 ½ and older can spend time outdoors with the Play ‘n Snow Program. Snow Fun Gore has 12 Nordic trails for crosscountry skiing, with onsite rentals for both cross country skis and snowshoes. North Creek Ski Bowl also offers tubing on 800-foot chutes, serviced by a handle tow lift. 32 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Tip Getting there is half the fun when you book the snow train from Saratoga Springs to Gore Mountain. Check the website at www.sncsnowtrain.com for special packages combining train fare and ski passes (discounts on tubing, dining, and lodging too). Dining A stone fireplace, wood burning stove and a wood-beam ceiling define The Inn on Gore Mountain’s casual, family-friendly Adirondack style. Offering hearty fare including soups, steaks, and pasta, The Inn on Gore Mountain will satisfy even the pickiest eater. Located just 500’ from the ski area access road. 711 Peaceful Valley Road North Creek, NY 12853 (518) 251-2111 www.innongore.com
v Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort
(Hancock, MA; 1:15 minutes by car) Mountain Small-town friendly Jiminy Peak features 45 trails and nine lifts over 167.4 acres. Expert trails and terrain parks exhilarate thrill-seekers, while long runs like the 2-mile Left Bank are non-threatening for beginners. 37 Corey Road Hancock, MA (800) 882-8859 www.jiminypeak.com
Snow Sports School For ages 3-14, Jiminy Peak’s KidsRule Mountain Camp provides an outstanding all-day program for your child that includes lift ticket, lesson and even lunch!
Lodging Gore lists multiple Ski & Stay packages on its Vacation Planning pages, including “kids 6 and under stay and ski free” at Glen Lodge. Adirondack-style lodging with wood beams, cedar furniture, and colorful quilts—welcomes families, and a full country breakfast is included. 1123 Route 28 Warrensburg, NY 12885 (518) 494-4984 www.theglenlodge.com
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Lodging Jiminy Peak’s Kids Ski and Stay Free Midweek package lets children 12 and under ski free with a ticketed adult Sunday-Thursday (excluding holidays) when staying at the Country Inn. Conveniently located at the base of the Mountain Coaster and Grand Slam Chair, the Country Inn’s kid-centric features include an outdoor heated pool, game room, and scheduled family activities. Reservations (800) 882-8859 www.jiminypeak.com/m-country-inn
Snow Fun Okemo’s Jackson Gore base area offers snow tubing, ice-skating, and a giant snow igloo and snow mound for hours of snow play. Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, a self-braked alpine ride that can attain speeds as high as 30 mph, operates yearround. On weekends and holidays, there are dogsled rides and snowcat excursions. Okemo’s Nordic Center provides cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, as well as rentals and lessons (as needed).
w Okemo Mountain Resort
Tip Now with two Waffle Cabins, one at the Jackson Gore base area and the other mid-mountain near the Sugarhouse Lodge, there’s no need to ski for the on-snow treat…but it just tastes better that way.
(Ludlow, VT; 1:45 minutes by car)
KidsRule Mountain Camps share a philosophy founded on four essential elements: safety, teacher training, dedicated learning centers, and good communication. New this year at Jiminy is Terrain Based Learning which incorporates entry-level terrain park features with progressive teaching principles. Daily lessons, afterschool and multi-week programs are available at Jiminy Peak, as well as the indoor Cub’s Den Playroom for children 6 months and older. Snow Fun Open on weekends and holidays, riders on Jiminy Peak’s Mountain Coaster control their own speed during 3600 feet of twists and turns through the woods. Riders must be at least 9 years-old to ride alone, or 3 years-old to ride with an adult. Tip On weekends, end the day with hot cider and warm smiles. Both offered free as you exit the mountain. Dining Look out on the ski slopes for John Harvard’s Restaurant & Brewery. The upscale pub is famous for its chicken pot pie and other comfort foods and ales. The restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of slope-side Country Inn. (413) 738-5500, ext. 3780 www.johnharvards.com
Mountain Okemo Mountain Resort is a familyoperated, four-season, outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Okemo has 655 acres of terrain, 120 trails and glades and 19 lifts. 77 Okemo Ridge Road Ludlow, VT 05149 1-800-78-OKEMO www.okemo.com
Snow Sports School The Okemo Ski + Ride School programs feature a staff of more than 400 teaching professionals. Private and group instruction is available for all ages and ability levels. Children’s ski programs include: Starboosters - children as young as two-years old can participate in on-snow sessions; Mini Stars (ages 3-4), offered a la carte or as an add-on to day care; Snow Star Skiers (ages 4-7) and Snow Star Riders (ages 5-7), and Mountain Explorers (ages 7-14) for skiers and snowboarders. In addition to day lessons and multi-week programs, weekends offer a Kids Night Out program for children ages 6-months to 12-years-old.
Dining Dining at Okemo is very kid-friendly, whether it’s a quick slice at Vermont Pizza Company or lip-smacking bbq at Squeels on Wheels. For a special night out, head to Coleman Brook Tavern. Healthy choices and kids’ favorites are part of every menu; don’t miss the crowd-pleasing S’mores, skewers for roasting marshmallows tableside included.
Lodging Okemo’s Ski & Stay Packages provide discounts on lift tickets, as well as lessons, dining, and more. Ski-in, ski-out at Jackson Gore Inn, which adds heated indoor-outdoor pools to all the fun activities found at Jackson Gore base area.
x Killington Resort
(Killington, VT; 1:45 minutes by car) Mountain Killington Resort is a four-season destination that sits on 3,000 acres in the heart of the Green Mountains in Central Vermont. The Resort boasts more than 70 miles of diverse terrain spread across six peaks and offers an expansive lift network and snowmaking system. Killington Resort is the largest ski area in New England boasting 140 trails and 22 lifts. 4763 Killington Road Killington, VT 05751 www.killington.com SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 33
fdffdffdfd Snow Sports School Killington strives to inspire lifelong skiers and riders by engaging youth participants in a safe and fun snow sports community. All of their programs are organized by age and ability with group sizes capped at either three or five participants. With small group learning, skiers and riders of all levels can build confidence, learn and explore in a personalized environment. Killington offers two magic carpet lifts in their Snowplay Learning Area and an extensive trail network of novice terrain allowing beginners to get off to a successful start! Their Friendly Penguin Child Care center accepts kids from 12-weeks to 12 years-old.
ff Snow Fun Killington offers plenty to do off the mountain as well, including a liftserved Tubing Park, snowcat-drawn sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, dog sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, spa treatments, shopping and dining. Tip Killington Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort, Pico Mountain at Killington and Mount Sunapee Resort recently announced a new partnership. When a skier or rider purchases a multi-day lift ticket valid for three or more days, they may spend one of those days at a partner resort: Killington, Pico, Okemo or Sunapee Dining Dining options are vast with more than 100 restaurants and bars in the region. The Clubhouse is ideally located at the Killington Tubing Park. They serve up hand-tossed pizzas, pub style entrees, and hearty warm snacks and drinks the family will enjoy. 34 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Lodging Killington’s only full-service mountainside hotel features convenient ski-bridge access to the slopes from December-March and in the summer, the first tee of the Killington Golf Course is only 200 yards from the front door. Enjoy a heated outdoor pool, lounge by the firepit and take in the natural beauty of the Green Mountains.
y Stratton Mountain Resort
(Stratton Mountain, VT; 2 hours by car)
Mountain Stratton sits at 3,875 feet and offers a beautiful view of the Green Mountains. Its ski area covers 624 acres and includes 97 ski trails for the enjoyment of skiers and snowboarders of all levels. 5 Village Lodge Road, Stratton Mountain, VT 05155 (802) 297-4000 www.stratton.com Snow Sports School For young skiers and riders at
any ability level, Stratton’s full day instructional program designed for children includes two action packed on-snow sessions, a healthy lunch and indoor supervision. Snow Fun Stratton offers a snow tubing park, snowshoe treks, snowmobile tours, ice skating, dog sled tours, a sports center with a pool, and shopping and dining in the village. Stratton also offers Kids Night Out programs Tip Stratton offers hot cocoa in the courtyard each weekend and holiday afternoon as well as s’mores on select dates (around the courtyard firepit and the Commons firepit -which is at the center of the most popular condominiums for families-Hearthstone, Rising Bear and Long Trail). Dining Mulligan’s in the Village is a popular family option with nachos, burgers, steak, fish, and a great kids menu including noodles with butter or marinara, chicken fingers, grilled cheese and more. Lodging While it may seem a little more pricey up front, a condominium is a great choice for families. Gather around the fire and watch a movie. Fix your family favorites for dinner and get a head start on your day with breakfast (in bed or at least in your condo while you are gathering the hats and gloves). ❄ SaratogaMama.com
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Top 6 Fitness Myths
By David Bender
In the fitness world, there are a number of myths that tend to trend. I am asked about these six things more than almost any others. I hope this information will help to lead you to a happier and healthier you! 1. I want to lose weight, plus firm and tone some trouble spots. I don’t want to lift weights though because big muscles will make me look like a man!
to train barefoot, I highly recommend doing that. We as a culture spend way too much time in sneakers/shoes and ultimately this makes our feet weak and leads to various kinds of knee, hip, and back issues.
This, as I have learned is code for: I want to change my life, and choose to look and feel better but I don’t want to intimidate/make my husband/partner uncomfortable with my new -found awesomeness.
If you can’t train shoeless or choose not to because it’s “icky”, then get a pair of sneakers that are comfortable, and use them just for exercise/the gym. If you have a place that is really good at fitting sneakers to your feet, such as Fleet Feet in Malta, go there and get them sized for you. (You will really appreciate this, and it is worth every penny!) I know this sounds crazy, but I am pretty sure you spend a lot of time on your feet so protect them!
Here is the easy response: As a woman, you produce far more estrogen than a man does. (Ironic right?) So developing huge and dense musculature is pretty much impossible unless you start taking anabolic steroids. (Something I highly recommend NOT doing). Also, lifting weights or strength training, is the best way to counteract osteoporosis, and to burn unwanted fat quickly. It may take a while, and some education (read a book, hire a trainer, take a class) to get there but I highly recommend lifting heavy, and sprinting, and doing both of them often. Low-intensity work produces low-quality results. The harder you workout, the less you have to do it and the more you get out of it. That means more hours in your week!
3. I want to have a flatter stomach/six pack abs. What can I do?
2. Do I need special sneakers to workout?
Here are two quotes that have stuck with me for a really long time. “You can’t outwork a bad diet” and “Food is fuel! You don’t put regular gas in a Lamborghini. So treat yourself like one”
My simple and easy answer is NO you do not. You have feet right? Not all gyms will let you train barefoot but some will. If you belong to a place that will allow you 36 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Whether or not you want washboard abs or just a trim tummy, both are created in the kitchen. We are all born with six pack abs and we all still have them; right up until the time that we pass on. The issue is not that they aren’t strong enough, it’s that you have a layer of fluff covering them. SaratogaMama.com
What you eat and how you eat will drastically dictate how you feel, train, and ultimately how you look. Food is 60-70% of the battle. You can get “skinny” just by what you put in your mouth, but you might not be able to survive a 5k run by just doing that. How you exercise and how often you do so keeps you honest with yourself about what you are putting in your mouth or sneaking onto your plate.
4. I only have 10 minutes for a workout, do you have some abs work I can do? Firstly, reread myth number three. Abs are created in the kitchen. If you only have 10 minutes to workout, there are far better things for you to be doing than working your abs! Do something explosive, such as jumping, which takes huge amounts of energy to perform. Jumping is awesome for you, and the only space you need is where you are standing. It takes lots of energy to do because it engages so many muscle groups essentially all at once. This ultimately makes you stronger, burns a ton of calories in a short period of time, and builds cardiovascular endurance. I highly recommend working out three times a week for ideally a full hour if you really want to see any changes, but 30 minutes can be enough if you are diligent about what you are doing and intense.
Sure you can! The darker the better and the less-processed the better. Just remember to make good choices. A piece here and there will give you the reward and gratification that you earned something for yourself. In addition, you’ve suppressed a craving, and it falls in the 80/20 rule of food. If you eat 80% clean and 20% not, you won’t drive yourself nuts with crash diets.
6. How much water should I drink in a day to be hydrated? This one is super easy. Lots! Take your weight and divide it in half. Whatever amount that is, is how many ounces of water you need to drink daily.
David is the owner and head trainer at Contemporary Athlete in Clifton Park. He has been a competitive athlete for as long as he has had the ability. His love for supporting others is what ultimately helped him decide to open Contemporary Athlete. www.contemporaryathlete.com
5. Can I still eat chocolate?
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 37
Meal Planning for Success By Robin Morgan, Certified Holistic Health Coach
The new year is just around the corner, and if you’re like most people, you’re probably coming up with resolutions you hope won’t turn into disappointments in 2014. If eating healthier is one of your goals, here are tips that will help you finally stick to a resolution. Ok, so you resolve to eat better for the new year. You know that planning, preparing and serving a healthy meal is crucial. You want to nourish yourself and your family. How does one make that happen? The key is preparation! “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” - Alexander Graham Bell I firmly believe that if you want to make your health a priority, someone is going to have to cook. Now if you can afford a private chef, that’s fantastic! If that’s not a reality for you, someone needs to be in the kitchen. Eating out is a joy and a treat, but the healthiest and most nourishing meals are prepared at home. Here are my key prep tips and some go-to items for
the healthy pantry (plus, they happen to be vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free). The first and most important part is pre-planning. It is the key to your success. The more you prepare, the less stressed you will feel during the week about when and what to eat. Let’s face it, at the end of a long day at work or with the kids, we may not have the energy to get creative and figure out what’s for dinner or what we need to pick up from the store. Having a ready-made weekly meal plan is CRUCIAL for healthy eating at home. Keep a well-stocked pantry. If you have a pantry stocked with the basics, it will make meal time a breeze. Here are some great items to have on hand. Vegetarian? No worries, these are all plantbased items and you can choose to add your own animal protein to any meal.
With these basics on hand, your weekly runs to the farmers market or grocery store for additional produce or protein will be simple! Gluten Free Grains: Brown Rice GF Oatmeal Quinoa Soba Noodles GF wraps or Corn Tortillas GF Bread
Pumpkin Flax Sunflower Sesame
Dark Leafy Greens Celery Sweet Peppers Garlic Onion 38 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Potatoes Zucchini Grape Tomatoes Baby Bella Mushrooms Apples Frozen Fruit
Almond Milk Coconut Milk Hemp Milk Coconut Yogurt Eggs
Lentils Black Beans Pinto Beans Cannellini Beans
Baking Goods: GF Flour Blend Baking Soda Baking Powder
Sesame Seed Oil Nut Butter Coconut Oil Olive Oil Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar Rice Vinegar Honey Maple Syrup Almond Butter
Vegetable Broth Spaghetti Sauce Canned Organic Tomatoes Salsa Sea Salt Wheat-Free Tamari Garlic Powder Cinnamon Turmeric Cumin Chili Powder
Worried that dairy-free means you aren’t getting any calcium? Add some of these alternative sources to your grocery list: Almonds Figs Sesame Seeds Broccoli Black-Eyed Peas Kale Oatmeal Blackstrap Molasses (great for iron too!) Orange Juice Wild Salmon SaratogaMama.com
Amazing Egg & Veggie Sauté (Serves 4 – 6)
• Coconut Oil or Olive Oil • 6 Eggs • Minced Garlic • 1tsp Turmeric • ½ tsp Chili Powder • 1 Small Zucchini • 3 Grape Tomatoes (or 2 Roma’s) • 6 Baby Bella Mushrooms Dice veggies into small bite-size pieces. Over medium heat, heat oil in medium sized skillet. Add tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic.
spatula, shape and unstick eggs from skillet until runny in the middle but all whites are cooked, turning only once.
Sauté until tender, about three or four minutes. Add turmeric and chili powder. Mix in thoroughly. Remove from pan. (set aside)
Serve with egg in center of plate, topped with sautéed vegetables. Sprinkle with a dash of salt if desired.
Using same skillet, make over easy eggs. Using a
You can also add a whole grain gluten free English muffin or sprouted grain bread to this dish!
Want to see what else to do with these ingredients? Sign up for a Free Sample of our Weekly Plant-Based, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Family-Friendly meals designed with the busy, on-a-budget family in mind at anewliving.com.
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 39
7 WAYS TO Generosity by Rev. Alan Rudnick
One Sunday afternoon
I was reading the newspaper and my six-year-old son was looking at all the glossy circulars. He picked up one from a popular toy store. As he thumbed through the images of kids playing with the newest toys and pointing to each image he said:
are a highlight. However, how can we celebrate in a way that does not take away from the meaning of a special occasion? Okay, confession time.
Despite my wife’s best “Sweet! Oh! I want that. I want that. I want that. efforts, I have a habit of wanting to spoil my And, I want that. I want that. I want that.” children with presents Trying not to play into his impulse, I replied: on their birthdays or on Christmas. There’s something about the joy of “You know, your birthday is coming soon. Maybe you watching my children as they open a gift they are excited should think about a few things you might like.” about. There’s a tension between my wife and I about As I looked at his eyes, I could see the wheels turning in how to celebrate and acknowledge our families without his mind. He had a look on his face that said: I love all cheapening an event or holiday. these toys! How do I to pick the best ones? Instilling values of gratitude, thankfulness, and generosity Something similar may play out in your house. The are qualities that will make families less “me”-centric. celebration of birthdays, achievements, and holidays is an Here are 7 tips to inspire family generosity. occasion of celebration, thankfulness, and gifts. Receiving gifts, school breaks, and eating candy during holidays
Let children give gifts
Some of my most cherished gifts I’ve ever received as a parent are the ones that my children gave. Encourage kids to build and create simple gifts that convey their love for family members. Look to a local hobby or toy shop for ideas. For older kids, try giving them a small amount of money to budget for immediate family. Having children give helps teach that holidays are not about “getting”.
40 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Give gifts that involve acts of kindness
Use books for inspiration
Read books to your children that reinforce giving, such as The Berenstain Bears’ “The Joy of Giving” by Jan and Michael Berenstain. I’m amazed how children recite lines from a book that teaches positive behavior in the face of a sibling or a friend misbehaving.
Have kids make a coupon book of things that they can do for others: rake leaves for grandparents, shovel a drive or walkway for a neighbor, or help mom with the laundry. This teaches children that acts of service are special gifts to give. SaratogaMama.com
Change up gift giving
For years, my family of origin gave gifts to one another for Christmas. Because our families grew, so did the budget. There are only so many toys, ties, and sweaters one can receive. We decided to only give gifts that a family could do together: a park membership, movie passes, a family dinner out, or a backyard family game. Giving activity gifts help families spend more time together in an age of multiple schedules.
Give back to your community
One tradition a friend of mine does with his family teaches the importance of being generous with time and service. Every year his family goes to his local soup kitchen and peels potatoes, organizes silverware, and readies plates for an annual holiday meal for the poor and working poor. It has become something that now grandparents, parents, and grandchildren look forward to every year because they feel they are making a difference.
Don’t just eat, travel, and leave
Take the time to explain in simple and plain words why you are eating a special meal or traveling to celebrate with family or friends. Your children might even teach you something about a holiday from school!
Involve the kids in a project!
Causes like “Toys for Tots”, “Operation Christmas Child”, and the Salvation Army’s “Adopt a Family” program ask individuals to provide gifts, school supplies, and new clothes. Have your kids go to a store to pick out things they would like in order to give to a needy child. This can be especially impactful around holidays.
Following these ideas will help your family become more generous with how they treat one another. Birthdays and holidays are special times in the life of families and should be celebrated without tears, dread, and self-centered behavior. May your family time be a blessing! Rev. Alan Rudnick is the Senior Pastor of The First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa. In addition, he is an author, Times Union blogger, columnist, and speaker. www.alanrudnick.org saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 41
Perfect Snow Day Pancakes Kid-Friendly Cooking with Jodie Fitz
When wintery weekends and snow days make their way onto our calendar pages, warm, yummy breakfasts are in demand and pancakes are always a hit. Whenever I make pancakes, waffles or French toast on the weekend, I double (sometimes triple) the recipe for freezing. I LOVE being able to open the freezer, grab individually wrapped items, toast them and serve them for quick and easy breakfasts on busy mornings. Here are a few pancake recipes that have won the kid ‘stamp of approval’ over the years and a few tips and tricks we’ve used along the way.
Mixing it Up
We always start by whipping together the eggs, sugars, and any additional wet ingredients before adding in the dry ingredients. We continue to whisk all of the ingredients by hand until the batter is smooth and thick and all of the ingredients are mixed together. Prepare the griddle by coating with non-stick cooking spray and heating over low heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle and cook until you see the batter bubbling. Flip and finish cooking the pancakes thoroughly.
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Jodie Fitz’s Apple Honey Topping for Pancakes Skip the syrup, try a fruit topping! 3 apples ½ cup water 2 - 3 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla Wash, peel and core the apples. Dice the apples and set them aside. Mix together the water, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the apples and the cinnamon water mixture into a saucepan and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the apples are soft. Keep them covered as they cook, but stir frequently. Drizzle the warm topping over pancakes!
Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Peanut Butter 1 large egg 1 cup flour 1 cup lowfat milk 3 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup peanut butter 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Note: I treat the peanut butter as a wet ingredient when adding it to the mix. Fold in the chocolate chips after the batter has been whisked together completely.
Honey Oat Pancakes 2 cups flour ½ - ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats 2 cups lowfat milk 2 eggs ½ cup honey
¼ cup canola oil 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¾ teaspoon salt
Pumpkin Pancakes 1 large egg 1 ½ cups flour 1 cup lowfat milk 1/3 cup light brown sugar ½ cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons canola oil 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 teaspoons baking powder Chocolate chips (dark)
Note: I treat the pumpkin as a wet ingredient when adding it to the mix. While the first side is cooking, add chocolate chips to the uncooked side of the pancake to create a face. Flip and cook the second side. Or, let the kids add the face of chocolate once they are done cooking.
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 43
W The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen Gorgeous imagery,
philosophy, and art combine in this beautiful, snowdusted novel. When a
dead boy washes up on a small island he brings
questions both physical and philosophical...and
dredges up the mystery of the disappearance
of Minou’s mother, one year ago. A gorgeous, haunting gem!
Big Snow by Jonathan Bean It’s going to snow soon, and every chore reminds David of snow- the flour for cookies, the bubbles for cleaning, even the white sheets. David
wonders if it will be a big snow. The only thing to do is venture outside and see! Big Snow
Lower y Elementar
captures the anticipation of and the delight of beautiful white snowflakes. Lovely!
Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E Pendziwol, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault A beautiful addition to any library, Pendziwol’s text paints a
picture of a snowy night and all the sights, sounds, and creatures
one might happen upon. Award-winning illustrator Isabelle
Arsenault’s drawings perfectly capture the quiet energy of the
night. A lovely lullaby- especially for those who love Owl Moon. 44 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
TOP PICKS FOR WINTER READING Reviews by: Marika McCoola
UPPER Y ELEMENTAR
Twelve Kinds of Ice, by Ellen Bryan Obed illustrated by Barbara McClintock While some grumble about the cold, others wait for their breath
to become frosty, for the air to feel silver with ice and cold. Obed captures this feeling, distilling the essence of winter into poetic
prose. She traces winter by marking each type of ice that occurs and the fun one can have on it. Every sentence begs to be read aloud and Barbara McClintock’s accompanying illustrations are exquisite. Twelve Kinds of Ice is a wintertime gem perfect for slipping into a mittened hand or curling up with beside a fire.
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick As the winter solstice nears, the days get shorter. But what if the days were literally getting shorter
as time was lost, forever? Edward doesn’t believe in his aunt’s new-age solstice nonsense until the
unthinkable happens- time has started disappearing. Though Edward would rather do the easy thing than the right thing, he and three classmates will have to venture into the snow if the world is to be put back
into balance. Take the dimensional characters and
realistic relationships from Rebecca Stead’s books
and mix with the strange magic of The Peculiar; the
result is Amy Herrick’s stunning middle grade debut. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 45
s r e d a r G d r i h From T
We had the privilege of working with a terrific group of third graders and their teacher, Mrs. Christopher at Ballston Spa’s Milton Terrace North Elementary School. Their assignment was to share their expertise with us and provide a written opinion to our tough questions. All of the children did an amazing job with their responses and we wish we could have featured them all here in the magazine. The rest of their answers can all be found online at saratogamama.com/thirdgrader-advice!
About the Teacher: Helen Christopher is a mother of an adorable 3 year-old boy and wife to Ryan Christopher. She has been teaching in the Ballston Spa School District for 9 years.
Dear Third Grader, what do you think would be a great winter birthday party idea? Dear Parents,
Wouldn’t you just want to throw a birthday party for your kid? How about inside camping!
In my opinion an indoor camping party is good because kids can tell silly stories, play games and watch movies.
It will be easy to set it all up. All you have to do is roll out some sleeping bags, and that your kid could even do. Even you and your kid just have to pop up a tent, light a fake fire and buy some s’more supplies and a couple of other snacks. It will probably even be under ten dollars. Inside camping will make your kid very grateful. The inside camping will inspire your kids! Soon their imagination will be blasted with beautiful ideas. They will love what you did for them and care about what you did. That will bring your family together even more than it already is.
Also it is easy to do! Pop a tent up, throw some sleeping bags on the floor and rent a movie. Lastly, it is cheaper than most parties. The kids can do a scavenger hunt and you can decorate with glow in the dark stars, which are about a dollar! I hope this helps you. Sincerely, Charlie Burmaster
I think this will be a great birthday party for your kid. Don’t you? By, Celina Beyer-Teal 46 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Dear Third Grader, do you have a favorite book or toy? Please give us some gift ideas! Dear Moms and Dads, Is your child’s birthday coming up? Well I have a great toy for you, Squigz! Squigz is a great toy for girls and boys. One reason why you should buy this toy is it sticks on any flat surface and Squigz stick together. Also Squigz come in many different colors. My second reason why you should buy this toy is Squigz are only $24.99. Wow! That is not a lot and did you know Squigz also come in different sizes. My last reason why you should buy this toy is Squigz are very fun to play with. Your kids will love them and you will too! In conclusion your child will be happy you got them Squigz!
Dear Parents, Read, read, read, let’s read! Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck by Jeff Kenny is a good and funny book and it has easy words. There is a movie of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It is just as funny as the book. If your child has read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books then you might want to get the brand new one, it’s even funnier than all of the other ones. What’s good about it is it’s only $8.99. That’s not a lot of money. Kids will love it and then kids will be happy and want to watch the movie. That will make their parents happy. I hope you have a fun time reading. Sincerely, Nathan DiNuzzo
From, Jocelyn Sherman
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 47
Dear Third Grader, help us come up with some healthy snack ideas that you can bring to school! Dear Parents,
I think your kids will love a fruit kabob. You will love the fruit kabob because your kid can make it. You will need a few ingredients a wooden skewer, some fruit and that’s it! There are healthy foods in it like strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and kiwi. As you can see it is healthy.
Every time I look at that creamy layered yogurt parfait, I say, “MMMM, I want that!” I’m a kid, and if I want that, maybe your kids will too.
Sincerely, Mackenzie Grugnale
Another reason is they are easy to make. There are only strawberries, yogurt and granola.
One reason you should let your kids bring these for snack is that they are healthy. It has fruit, which has lots of nutritional value, dairy which is good for the bones and nuts which are a healthy protein.
Finally, they are yummy. There are delicious strawberries, yummy granola and creamy yogurt. As you can see, there are numerous reasons why yogurt parfaits are a fun and easy snack for your kids. Sincerely, Noah Woods
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SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 49
A New Year anew YOU
Clean up your
medicine cabinet By Robin Morgan, Certified Holistic Health Coach
As the flurry of the holiday season comes and goes, we are often inspired by the new year to make positive changes and organize our lives. Of course we all think about diet, exercise and finances, but let’s not forget to organize our medicine cabinets and take control of our wellness and our family’s health. Here are a few ways to “clean up” and “clean out” for the New Year:
u Take everything out of your medicine cabinet, kitchen cupboard, linen cabinet and first aid kits. Find the expiration dates and make sure everything is current. This includes all vitamins and supplements and protein powders as well! v Sort items by what they are used for such as cold remedies, pain relief, supplements, first aid, and so on. w Make a shopping list of items that were expired or used and replace as needed.
What is your medicine cabinet really telling you? Notice what over the counter medicines you have the most of - do you have three different pain remedies? Do you have more antacids than the local pharmacy? This could indicate a serious health issue that you may have been ignoring or self-treating rather than healing. Realize that it is not “normal” to have to take pain medicine daily and that your digestive system should NOT need antacids or diarrhea medicines on a regular basis. These well stocked supplies can be a distress signal that there is an underlying health issue that 50 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
should be addressed. Now would be a good time to call your medical practitioner to discuss the core issues.
Consider safety, side effects, and interactions: Just because an item is approved for over the counter use or readily available at any supermarket, pharmacy and even gas station does NOT mean it is something to take without thought and examination of its side effects. These “safe” products can cause long term side effects, liver toxicity as well as high blood pressure and should be used sparingly. Even herbal supplements and all-natural products can be harmful if not used properly. Always consult your medical practitioner to make sure these products are right for YOU, and take into consideration any possible drug interactions between your OTC medicines, supplements and prescription medicines.
Try integrating more natural medicine in the form of Essential Oils Rather than masking symptoms or adding synthetic compounds and chemicals to our body, essential oils can be safer, cheaper and more effective than the isolated synthetic agents that prescription drugs are designed to mimic.
Commonly found “items” in your medicine cabinet and their possible side effects. Dr. Gerber of Live Well in Saratoga weighs in on some commonly found items in your medicine cabinet. “The National Council on Patient Information and Education reports that only 20% of consumers check the labels of OTC medications for side effects. It is important to know how these drugs may effect you and your family.” Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Taking more than max dosage even for a few days can lead to liver failure or death. Dextromethorphan (Cough Suppressants): May cause drowsiness, agitation and muscle spasms, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, loss of coordination. NSAIDS/Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Aleve): May cause upset stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, ulcers and bleeding.
Top Reasons to Try Essential Oils before reaching for Over-The-Counter Medicine : • Essential Oils are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs • Essential Oils Inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses • Essential Oils enter the bloodstream within 30 seconds • Essential Oils can kill bacteria • Essential Oils not only minimize symptoms but also address root causes
How to use Essential Oils: Aromatic: rub oil on palms and inhale or use a diffuser to: • Kill germs in the air • Open airways • Affect mood, including depression
Success Tips for using Essential Oils: • Use oils as frequently as every 15 minutes for acute problems
• Use oils a couple of times per day for chronic problems • Use caution with sensitive skin and keep oils out of eyes and ears • For sensitivity, dilute or neutralize with fractionated coconut oil. • Although safe to use on children when diluted with a carrier oil, keep out of their reach!
Topical: Apply to head, feet, chest, back of the neck, and/or troubled areas. Always look for 100% pure natural oils with no artificial ingredients, fragrances, fillers, pesticides or chemical residues.
Here are three safe and effective Essential Oils to add to your Medicine Cabinet:
(Calming for Skin and Stress)
- relaxes, calms anxiety and assists with sleep - cleans and soothes irritated skin, scrapes and sounds - neutralizes insect bites and irritated skin - heals burns and damaged skin
oga ound et.
ent orts eck for now
- calms headaches and coughs - energizes and improves alertness & focus - opens airways and reduces congestion - eases digestive complaints and sour stomach
(Cooling and Invigorating)
(Clean and Fresh)
- natural sanitizer to eliminate germs, viruses and microbes - soothes sore throats - neutralizes odors - elevates mood - detoxifies liver & boosts metabolism
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 51
Askr. Drum D
Dr. Philip Drum has practiced as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist for over 30 years. He is affiliated with Saratoga Psychological Associates and has offices in Latham and Saratoga Springs.
Question 1 My husband recently started traveling more frequently for his job leaving me a single mom most weeks. How can I ensure our marriage stays strong and survives the distance?
Work responsibilities, including frequent travel, can be a genuine source of stress in a marriage. With your husband traveling and you at home with parenting largely on your shoulders, it will be helpful to make sure you keep in touch via frequent/ daily phone calls, emails, etc. This is a circumstance where I think texting can be especially helpful: with both of you busy, there may not be much time for long phone conversations, but a quick text that you are thinking of and care for one another can help you feel close even though miles apart. (By the way, I find that texting is best for that kind of brief and positive message - be careful about using texting for more involved discussion, and never argue via text - it is too immediate but without the non-verbal cues that can help guide you through a conflict.) It will also be especially important to connect and spend time together both as a family and as a couple. Dating is always a must, yet a challenge for spouses with children - make sure you plan dates at least monthly, and particularly as a chance to reconnect when your husband returns from any extended travel.
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Question 2 I’m having trouble communicating and connecting with my 13 year-old daughter. I worry that she’s being negatively influenced at school and I want to make sure she feels like she can talk to me. Please help! Although I do not treat adolescents, I do know from both my personal experience and that of many of my patients that parenting adolescents has its challenges - and also that the difficult teenage years will typically result in adult children you will be proud of and glad to spend time with! In the meantime, a 13 year-old will often seem hard to reach and less than eager to hang out and chat with mom and/or dad. There are a few principles to keep in focus: invite communication, e.g., by asking about school, etc., and then, most importantly, by listening; and keep asking occasionally - trying not to nag - and listening even when you don’t get much back. Pick your battles and try to not sweat the small stuff, even though it is sometimes SaratogaMama.com
hard to know what is small and what might be more significant. Seek therapeutic help for your child and yourselves if you see red flags, such as substance abuse, significant depression or anxiety, social isolation, or possible selfinjurious and/or physically aggressive behavior. And keep in mind that your child still needs you to guide her even though she seems uninterested, if not at times downright hostile. It is good to think of parenting as a bit like gardening. When you plant the seeds of good values, appropriate taking of responsibility, and a strong sense of respect for self and others, you have cause to hope that in time, the seeds will take root and help and guide your child as she matures - which they usually do when loving parents hang in there and do the best they can.
meaningful and enjoyable things to do, both alone and with your husband. Allow yourself some time to feel sad and stay connected with what you miss, but also make time to explore what you can come to love about your new home.
Question 3 We’ve recently relocated to this area for my husband’s job. I really love the area and have been connecting with other families, but I still feel a little empty and miss home. It’s almost like I’m grieving the loss of something, but I really do like it here. What can I do to get out of this funk? I have to say first of all that it’s not almost like grieving - it is grieving, for you have lost regular contact with people, places and things you loved and valued in the place that was your home. It will likely help to stay in touch with friends and families you are missing - whatever one may think of Facebook, etc., it can be a nice way to keep in touch with distant loved ones. Most importantly, start exploring where you are now for new friends and for saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 53
Nichole K. Rigolosi is a local fashion stylist/blogger as well as a new mom. She has a background in sales and marketing and holds certifications in Image Consulting, Fashion Styling and Color Analysis. Write in to ask her a style question at email@example.com
Question 1 I’m expecting my second child and need a diaper bag that is both functional (for a toddler plus newborn) and fashionable. Any recommendations? When I was pregnant, I searched high and low for the perfect diaper bag that would take me through to my second child and look stylish while strolling around town. Here are a few I discovered during my search:
Option 1: Rosie Pope London Shopper “Classic” in black leather. This diaper bag is the perfect shape and size, with a capacious interior. Packing and accessing all of baby’s
54 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
necessities is a cinch! The soft leather straps provide a comfortable wear, making it easy on your shoulder. Also comes with a removable/washable liner, changing pad and soiled clothing bag; all must-haves when out and about with two little ones! $395, shop.rosiepope.com
easy transfer to other bags. Also includes a small clutch purse for your cell phone/money AND a detachable shoulder strap. How amazing is this bag!? Visit Lola Accessory Boutique at 454 Broadway in Saratoga or their website to snag one of these fabulous finds! $68, lolatoga.com
Option 2: Lola’s “Vegan Leather
Option 3: Vera Bradley “Convertible
Studded Tote” in magenta (also comes in blue & black). Ok, so this isn’t exactly a diaper bag, but it certainly functions as one! The price is unbeatable for what you get: soft leather straps, lightweight vegan leather that is easy to clean and a removable pouch to keep all of mom’s personal items in, which makes for
Baby Bag” in canterberry (also comes in variety of other patterns). I particularly love this bag because there are so many ways to wear it: handheld, crossbody, over the shoulder OR as a backpack! These options are all wonderful assets, especially when carting around two kids. $109, verabradley.com
Question 2 I need some creative ways to dress up a t-shirt and jeans. I prefer not to wear my best clothes when I’m with the kids, but don’t want to look like a college student either.
Option 2: Ankle booties + swing coat + accessories! As easy as 1-2-3. A short swing coat adds a level of casual sophistication to any jean/t-shirt combo and accessories add a little femininity and fun to any ensemble. Booties are easy to wear and so versatile. Throw them on over skinny jeans, under boot cut/wide leg jeans or even pair with dresses and skirts!
Throwing on your go-to jeans and t-shirt to leave the house and still look like a put together mommy is a challenge I am all too familiar with! Having an on the move infant at home, doesn’t give me much time to focus on my wardrobe the way I used to. Here are some quick and easy ideas I’ve come up with along the way:
Option 1: Riding boots + infinity scarf. Riding boots are always a great asset, and look amazing over any true skinny jean. I prefer Frye boots because they are literally indestructible and sold locally at one of my favorite downtown boutiques; Violet’s of Saratoga. Infinity scarves are perfect for mom’s on-the-go as they are easy to throw on and off and always look great.
Kenneth Cole Reaction “suede booties” in taupe, $34.99, tjmaxx. tjx.com Banana Republic “short swing coat” in totally turquoise, $198, bananarepublic.gap.com Deepa Gurnani “crystal wave headband,” $75, violetsofsaratoga.com
Simply Vera Wang “Floral Striped Infinity scarf,” $32, kohls.com Frye “Carson Zip Tall” boots in cognac, $388, violetsofsaratoga.com
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 55
up with these fun & easy winter crafts!
Join us for...
By Colleen Pierre & Jennifer Bloomingdale Photos by MarkBolles.com
What could be ld and better on a co r day than blustery winte and getting staying inside winter crafts o tw r u O ! e v ti crea stive. A basic fe t e y le p im s are you uper easy, but s is th a re w yarn n e it pop with fu k a m y ll a re n a c ids ts. Grab the k embellishmen es Epsom salt tre to help make ce or to for a centerpie ntle. place on a ma
56 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Materials Needed: • Foam/Straw/Styrofoam wreath • Yarn – any kind, we used a #4 medium weight • Felt flowers or your choice of embellishments • Hot glue • Scissors • Ribbon/string for hanging
Yarn Wreath A basic yarn wreath is super easy to make. Wrapping the yarn around the wreath is a bit time-consuming, so relax with some tea or hot cocoa, turn on your favorite television show, and get started!
A 12” or 16” wreat h would make a go od size for a front door.
Step 1: Tie a knot with your yarn around the wreath and
start wrapping! This is the most time-consuming part,
so be patient! After closely wrapping the initial section of
yarn you can start wrapping it with spaces that you’ll fill in on the second and third trip around.
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 57
Step 3: After you’re finished wrapping, cut the yarn and tuck the loose end under the yarn on
the back side of the wreath. You can add a little craft glue or spray adhesive to keep it in place.
Step 2: Once you have wrapped one layer of yarn around
the wreath, just keep going. Fill in the spaces and make
sure you are pulling the yarn tight the whole time until you don’t have any more foam showing through.
Step 4: Lay out the flowers and figure out
your design before gluing, so you don’t have to peel anything off. Using a hot glue gun, apply the glue to your flowers and press onto the wreath.
with fun deca pops of color!
Step 5: Loop a thick
ribbon around the wreath then stand back and admire your work!
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Epsom Salt Trees Step 1:Trim the floral foam so
it fits inside the box, and secure the foam in place with craft glue or hot glue. It helps if the foam is about ¼ of an inch below the top of the box. It’s easiest to decorate the box at this time too, prior to placing the trees.
• Empty box • Floral foam • Green cardstock • Bamboo Skewers • Mod Podge
• Epsom Salt • Glue gun • Ribbon and embellishments • Gift basket filling
Involve the kids!
Kids can he lp apply the Mod Podge and roll the trees in the salt o r help deco ra te the box wit h your chose n embellishm
You can wrap a ribbon around the box and secure with hot glue, and add flowers or other holiday embellishments.
Step 2: Roll the cardstock into a cone shape and secure with hot glue. Once the glue is dry, trim the bottom of the
cone so it’s straight across. We made three trees, but if your box is larger, you can do as many as will fit.
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 59
Step 3: Hot glue the skewer into the tree then
trim the end allowing about 2 to 3 inches from the bottom of the tree.
Step 4: Sprinkle the Epsom salt onto a
TIP: E M B E L L I SlsHor
plate. Spread the Mod Podge evenly over the tree, then roll the tree in the salt. The salt gives the trees a pretty and festive frosted look!
w it h fu n de ca po ps of co lo r!
Step 5: Arrange the trees in the floral foam and cover with gift basket filling. We used a little Mod Podge to secure some of the filling to the top of the foam. Place your wintery scene on a mantle or use as a table centerpiece for all to admire!
Admire your Holiday creation!
60 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Family Friendly Winter Events Saturday, December 14 The Nutcracker Charles R. Wood Theatre, 207 Glen Street, Glens Falls, 2:30 and 7 p.m and December 15 at 2:30 p.m. The magic of the holidays comes alive with the Adirondack Ballet Theater’s 22nd annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s timeless holiday classic. Students from the Adirondack Ballet Theater will present three performances of the much-loved Nutcracker Ballet at the Charles R. Wood Theater. For more information, call (518) 874-0800.
Sunday, December 15 Flying Fingers Holiday Concert Saratoga Springs Public Library, 2-3 p.m. Enjoy a holiday musical sign language performance by the Flying Fingers Sign Language Troupe. Led by Kassey Granger and sponsored by the Lions Club, the group features children ages 6-16. No registration is necessary. For families and children ages 5 and up.
Thursday, December 26 Family Movie Saratoga Springs Public Library, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. When the real Santa becomes unavailable, this dad reluctantly puts on Santa’s suit, only to find out there are new rules he has to follow. Along with them come a trip to the North Pole, hot chocolate and a beard that won’t stop growing back! Join us for this humorous winter family movie. Rated PG. Call the children’s room for title information. (518) 584-7860, press 3
Tuesday, December 31 First Night 2014 Downtown Saratoga Springs 5 p.m. – Midnight As one of the oldest and largest New Year’s celebrations in the state, First Night is one of the most affordable, family-friendly, and exciting ways to ring in the New Year in the Capital District. WIth over 70 performances in 20 venues with rock, blues, bluegrass, opera, Tuesday, December 17 choral groups, dance, film, and more, Sing-Along for Kids revelers of all ages and interests can ring Clifton Park Halfmoon Library, 475 Moe in the New Year during this not-to-beRd., Clifton Park, 6:30 – 8 p.m. missed event. Seasonal Sing-Along for children age The event is also a GE Kids in Free 3-8 and their families. Let’s gather Event, which offers free admission for around the Yule log to sing our old children 12 and under with the purchase favorites, enjoy some warm cider, and of one adult admission button. make a holiday craft. Bring a can of food For more information call (518) 584-4132. for the Jonesville Food Pantry (optional). For more information, visit Saturday, January 25 www.cphlibrary.org. 19th Annual Frost Faire Saratoga National Historical Park Sunday, December 22 648 Route 32, Stillwater Family Holiday Show with Seth Enjoy the great outdoors at the Saratoga and the Moody Melix Battlefield while snowshoeing or skiing Saratoga Springs Public Library, 2 p.m. through the open battlefields and A holiday show for all ages, featuring woods. When you finish your journey, traditional holiday music (with a twist), you can walk through the museum and along with the original music of “Seth gift shop at the visitor center. Family and the Moody Melix”. For more fun with snow tubing on the “Big Hill,” information, call (518) 584-7860. bonfire, hot refreshments, nature hikes, snowshoeing, horse-drawn carriage Monday, December 23 rides and more. For more information, Storybook Lady call (518) 664-9821 ext. 224. World Awareness Children’s Museum 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, February 1 Listen to the “Storybook Lady” tell a story 2014 Chowderfest then play musical seats and make a Downtown Saratoga Springs holiday ornament.For more information, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. call (518) 793-2773. Enjoy a taste of Saratoga’s top chowders. Samples are a dollar a cup
(3oz serving), and some event goers even bring Fido along to sample some delicious dog chowder. Radio Disney will be helping kids shake off the winter blues in front of the Ben & Jerry’s at 34 Phila Street from 1 – 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.discoversaratoga.org/chowderfest. Sunday February 2 Groundhog Gala Family Dances Saratoga Springs Public Library 2 – 3 p.m. Get your groove on with the Groundhog Gala (also known as our Super Bowl Sunday Family Dance) at the library. Fun, participatory family dances from around the world will be led by the talented trio of Peter, Paul and George. For all ages. For more information, call ((518) 5847860. Thursday, February 20 Campfire Stories and Songs Saratoga Springs Public Library 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Gather ‘round the campfire for stories and songs, enjoy s’mores, create a few wintery crafts and try your luck at a penguin bean bag toss. Our “Paws4Reading” tutors will also be tenting with us! For children ages 4-12. Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
This is just a sample of th e m a ny family-friend ly events in our area. For a comple te list of events visit SaratogaMa ma.com
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 61
Santa... Dear Santa,
How are the re
indeer doing? ~ Basil
your question. Hi Basil, Thank you for are concerned, they are As far as the reindeer look eating well, their coats doing just fine. They are mes are playing reindeer ga bright and shiny, they e (their favorite game is to help get them in shap lling d they are practicing pu “Tickle the Antler”), an the sle igh. they Reindeer – he tells me Jupe is the Chief of the d ntinue their tra ining. An all look well as they co .I en be r ght as it has eve Rudolph’s nose is as bri ows king out their stall wind sometimes see them loo form d I know they can tell at the star filled sky, an s that Christmas Eve is the constellation position forth y will weave back and drawing near. Soon the t they d that will be a sign tha at their stall doors, an over as the boys and girls all are getting as excited the world will be. sure n bigger this year. He Blitzen seems to be eve d you will spot him aroun is eating a lot. Maybe s. on his practice run Christmas as he goes ddy ing to Mommy and Da Be good and keep listen ~ Santa Claus
62 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Can Suzie th e Elf come to my house earl th is year? y
Love, Nadine Hi Nadine!
I told Suzie that you missed her and were hoping could go to yo she ur house early th is year. She is ex to visit you ag ci ted ain. Like all Elv es on the Shelf really likes mov S uz ie ing around to di fferent spots to and hear all th see at is going on in your home. I told her that if you were go od and if she fin all of the things ished she has to do at the North P she could mak ole that e the trip early . BUT there is do up here to ge m uch to t ready. Suzie is one of the el helps update T ves who he Naughty & Nice List and al exercise the re so helps indeer to get th em in shape fo Trip. It also ge r the Big ts HER in shap e to be able to around to differ m ove ent places in yo ur home… It ta a lot of streng kes th to get to so me of those pl see her in! aces you
So be good an d keep your ey es peeled. You know when yo never u will see Suzie looking at you. ~ Santa Claus PS… don’t forg
et to keep your
y at do the
wh nta Dear Sa have and u o y o d ny elves How ma ace Love, Gr
ny, many, ma !! e v e a c h ra I . G r o there hem and ove Ho Ho H d I need t ked over n s a a , y m ll a a I e r that of dreds question d wrap all Pole. Hun n h a rt s o y This is a N o t e h e t make th oveling, s here at Sure they all the sh many elve . o s d g , r in e h t e e reind of the inds of care of th od for all to do all k o e k w e ta h t o ls p t the they a tions, cho animals a ra e o h c t e f them, but d o s ll ma e hamcare of a he Christ e mice, th hey take h t t , d make all t h n s a fi s ld e rs, go d fireplac polar bea itties, the e k h t e , h e t r , ovens an e s uppie moved h le - the p that have s in u North Po g n e p couple of many! oardsters, the g, snowb e are SO r in e d h d t le s e , s g gee each wball ta the snow jokes on too… sno y g la in p y o la t p e they lik have fun cing. And And they ra e o h s g, snow ing, skiin u do. st like yo ju , k r ! o r w e e h ges m ot ny langua hey do ho t a m … e w it o r n w ou k ad and …and And did y speak, re e world. h o t t in w o n h e r and the child d to know computers nd all of e They nee ta s u rs e o d t n u w ey can learn ho so that th ve had to a h y e h t years ery in recent es for a v k a m It . s s! o thing notebook as they d g in s o t e nd ! They lov lves do a e e h t t a And sing h things t ce! ake ea of the id n a happy pla to help m u o m y e s h t e iv f o g this o many Hopefully boys. here are s t t a h t girls and d d o la o g g m r a why I year fo on ecial each p s s a ur faces m o t y n o Chris s e il see ing sm o I! They love . and so d … g in n r o sm Christma
~ Santa C
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 63
ChristmasMorning by Kate Towne Sherwin
Christmas morning doesn’t start in our house until mom and dad say so, and I’m sure our boys find it completely maddening to have to stay in bed until at least 8:00! But I find Christmas morning to be one of the most wonderful times of motherhood—I don’t want it to be over too quickly!
So, I take my time on Christmas morning, getting myself and the house ready. I get up at my usual 6:30-ish, take a shower, put the coffee on, put out some food that no one will eat (usually chocolate chip pumpkin bread and clementines), put Christmas music on, and do any last-minute tidying up after Santa. My husband stays upstairs to wrangle the Christmascrazed kids until I tell him I’m ready for them to come down. When it’s time, the boys race down the stairs like the bulls in Pamplona. I ready the camera for when they round the corner into our front room, where we put the tree and hang the stockings, which never disappoint. Is there anything more innocent and joyful, full of wonder and hope, than those few minutes when the kids confirm with their own eyes that Santa came? I want to cry every year for the privilege of witnessing it. The boys claim their seats on the couch, chairs, and floor around the tree, and I remind them about the meaning of Christmas and whose birthday we’re celebrating. We talk a little bit about the First Christmas—I even ask them questions that require serious answers—and we say a few prayers for those less fortunate.
64 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Then it’s time for presents! I hand out one present for each of them, and when they all have one, they can go ahead and open them. We give them a few minutes to ooh and ahh over their own presents and their brothers’. Their dad and I check in with each of them, join in their excitement, open packages, insert batteries, take pictures, offer food, and drink coffee.
So it goes, until the main presents are opened and the wrappings are all gathered into a garbage bag (stockings are saved until later). Then they draw, build, play with their new things! I force the food that had been previously refused, and drink more coffee. Santa almost always comes through with a new family movie, and when the excitement of the morning has gotten to be too much, the boys watch the movie while I prepare the midday Christmas meal we’ll share with my in-laws. Soon enough we’ll have the conversations about being grateful despite the fact that Santa didn’t bring everything that was asked for, and that yes, they have to continue sharing things with their brothers. But none of that can damper the joy I get from being a mom on Christmas morning, which itself is just a shadow of the joy of the First Christmas. ï ï ï ï ï ï Kate Towne Sherwin lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and their five sons (ages 1 to 9); they expect their sixth baby in Spring 2014. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. SaratogaMama.com
SaratogaMama | Winter 2013 | 65
V i r t u a l Show & Tell In the Voice of an Immigrant
Aislinn M. Age 11, grade 5 Description of Project: Watercolor painting and hand sketched Giraffe
As I run with the shadows of the night, I slowly see the sun Peek over the tall green peaks Of the mountains. I hear footsteps and dive behind a bush, I hear two Russian soldiers talk ing in Russian to each other. l sneeze And they both look over at where l am hiding. l am filled with panic, and don’t know what to do, Then I remember my purpose: “For my family” My fear goes away and I know what to do. I throw a rock as hard as I can, As far as I can, It hits the ground with a hard thump. They run to look and I know that’s my chance to run. I spring out of the bushes and run. As the sun comes to full rise, I see the ship that will determine my fate. I take one look back and remember all the good times here. My eyes sting with sadness as I say goodbye to this land, And with one last look I slowly shuffle onto the ship with sadness and fatigue. I wonder what the new world will look like as the ship drifts into the open sea. Poem by, J.W.W. Age: 11, Saratoga Independent School
Andrew Hilburger Age 2 Description of Project: Andrew loves doing arts and crafts project and recently painted a rubber ducky to take with him in the bath tub!
Cayden Charlebois Age 6, grade 1, Argyle Description of Project: Emotions...
66 | SaratogaMama | Winter 2013
Description of Project: As part of a study on immigration, children viewed photographs of immigrants. Using the knowledge they gained from their study, they wrote a poem “In the Voice of an Immigrant”.
Norah Dempsey Age 10 Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs grade 5 Description of Project: Norah created this chalk and colored pencil drawing of the Buddha to illustrate a biography of Siddhartha she wrote as part of her class’ study of Ancient India this fall. SaratogaMama.com
2. Falls from the sky when it’s cold. 3. You might drink this to warm up after playing outside. 4. You ride this down a hill covered in snow. 5. Keeps your head warm when you go outside. 6. The name of a famous snowman.
1. Keeps your hands warm when you go outside. 2. You build this out of snow and it might have a carrot nose.
Winter Fun & Games S S S B U Y R Q X S O N S N T S E G A C O X E S O W T M Z H D M O T P W N U W Z J R V T T P I B P S F J K U V I W K D L F S C A R F M C J E F M C F K X G R M D N T I M E N I P M T H A P M E N S K U P
FROSTY MITTENS SCARF
SLED SNOW WINTER