Category: MOMLIFE

Happy Birthday Tooties

Happy Birthday to our sweet little Toodle-Bug! She turned 6 on Sunday and we spoiled her with cuddles and kisses. Tooties fills our hearts with so much joy and warmth. Our lives wouldn’t be complete without her…and this definitely goes for Mattie. He loves her so much. It took him a good couple weeks to adjust to her when we first brought her home but oh my, they are best buddies and partners-in-crime now.

 

Bronx Zoo

Lions & Tigers & Bears, O My!

On Sunday we went to the Bronx Zoo, with one of my besties (and Li’s Auntie), Jenny.

The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the US and one of the largest in the world. It spans over 265 acres. For example, we spent 5 hours walked 12,000 steps (approximately 5 miles) and still did not see the entire zoo.

I recommend mapping out entry points, parking, shuttles and the exhibits you want to see before going for maximum efficiency.

The giraffes, zebras, lions, gorillas and the Children’s Zoo were our must have exhibits…and of course the Wild Asia Monorail for Li…(where you see the elephants and red pandas).

The Congo Gorilla Forest is one of our favs (and seems to be fan favorite in general) as these cuties love to pose and put on a show for the crowd.

The Children’s Zoo is a must stop for your little ones. They can pet and feed goats, sheep and donkeys as well as see other fun friends like turtles, flamingos, p
rairie dogs and sloths.

We had a blast and needless to say were exhausted when leaving the zoo.

www.bronxzoo.com

Tennis

Li is into pretty much anything involving a ball these days but one sport he has really taken a liking to lately is tennis. He goes to the playground and takes turn hitting the ball against the wall with his little buds. The other day we were in the playroom and he gave me a pot while he was holding a skillet and we hit a ball back and forth…so, figured it was time to buy Li his very own racquet.


Paragon Sports is a large sporting store (four floors) at 867 Broadway & 18th St. They have pretty much everything sports related here, ski equipment, golf, tennis, running gear, baseball, football, soccer, hockey, camping, North Face, children’s sportswear, and a great selection of men’s and women’s sportswear as well.


Li is tall for his age, 90th percentile for height since the day he was born, and a natural born athlete. He’s quick and very coordinated so tennis seems to be a great sport for him. He loves to hit the ball against the wall and compete with me on who can hit the ball the most times in a row 😉 He has a lot of fun and he also is learning the more he practices, the better he will become. Go Li!

Disability Pride Parade

We went down to Paragon to shop for tennis racquets and were pleasantly surprised to see the Disability Pride Parade just beginning. The parade started at 11am and went down Broadway to Union Square Park.

What an amazing and emotional organization and event. I was so proud, Li was so proud, to wave and cheer on all the people walking in the parade.

Disability Pride NYC is a non profit organization started in 2015 and kicked off the first parade in 2015 as well.

The mission of Disability Pride NYC is to promote inclusion, awareness, and visibility of people with disabilities, and redefine public perception of disability. The goal is to establish an annual Disability Pride parade in New York City and to support people with disabilities in whatever way they can.

To learn more, donate or get involved please visit www.disabilitypridenyc.org.

Many of the walkers stopped by and handed out little fun goodies like a ball, t-shirt, sunglasses, bracelet, pen which we were beyond excited and appreciative for. I also fell in love with one of the walkers’ shirts, Love Bili NYC, www.lovebilinyc.com (@lovebilinyc)…cute tees and great causes.

 

Books of Wonder

I’m old school and still love a book in my hand vs. Ibooks or Audio. I could go to a bookstore or coffee house and get lost in a book for hours.

In today’s world kids are entering the world of electronics at younger and younger ages, however, I won’t budge on the importance of books with Li.

Books of Wonder UWS location is its 2nd bookstore and located at 217 W 84th. Books of Wonder, started in 1980, by Peter Glassman, is one of the oldest and largest children’s bookstore in NYC. It is cozy, well organized and has an incredible mix of new, classic and collectible books. They have a host of events, including author events and story time.

Every time we visit Li leaves the store with five new books, which is a good thing and something I will never deny him.

Here are some of the books we purchased during an author event meet and greet: Shark Detective by Jessica Olien, Marlo and the Dinosaurs by Christopher Brownie, The Night Knights by Gideon Sterer, In the Past by David Elliott and I am a Cat by Galia Bernstein.

 

Fun in the Sun

Point Pleasant Beach (borough in Ocean County, NJ).

We normally do a week down in Long Beach Island around the 4th of July but this year we had too much going on so we decided to take a day trip to Point Pleasant Beach.

Point Pleasant beach has both public and private beaches (we went to the public beach at Arnold Avenue) and is located about an hour and thirty minutes from NYC.

The beach was very nice, clean and busy but nothing too crazy. Although there were quite a few people on the beach, we still had personal space to lounge, relax and play around.  We spent half the day on the beach and a couple hours on the boardwalk (Jenkinson’s Boardwalk celebrating over 90 years) before departing for home. The boardwalk has rides (which Li loved), games, arcades, restaurants, Tiki Bar, snacks, ice cream, cotton candy, coffee (great variety of Lattes for the coffee needing Mamas like me), salt water taffy and an Aquarium (which I’m sad to report we didn’t get time to do, next time).

 

There is a small fee ($18 per adult) to enter the beach (kids are free). You can rent chairs and umbrellas and bonus, they have people to carry and set them up for you.

 

Lifeguards are on duty from 9-5pm.

Our Dogs

 

 

TOOTIES:

Hi, I’m Tooties, 6 year old Yorkie and the baby girl of the family. I’m fluffy, sweet, like to sit on laps, love treats and has the biggest ears of any Yorkie. I also love to cuddle with my mom and play catch with Li.

MATTIE:

Hi, I’m Mattie, 11 years old and a transplant from Orange County. I have travelled all over with my mom, she is the sun and moon in my eyes. I get very sad when she leaves. I love treats, tummy rubs, kissing and toys.


 

New Kind of Happy

We attended the Johnny Cupcakes and Kellogg’s Pride Pop Up Event on Sunday June 24 and had a blast! The Kellogg’s building is literally my new happy zone. My energy and happy level immediately shot up after walking through the front door. It is bright, lively and need I say ‘oh so yummy’ or ‘magically delicious’.

 

We enjoyed the cereal bar. Li and I made cereal bowls filled with Fruit Loops, Frosted Wheat, marshmallows, chocolate chips, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and topped off with Pop Tart crumbles…EEK!

 

This concoction was fabulous to the point we contemplated going for a 2nd bowl. I also had a latte with almond milk, served in one of their cute Kellogg’s Mug, and that too was yummy. Bonus for Mamas looking to avoid the sugar but want to experience the fun.

There is plenty of space, over 2000 to be exact, free Wi-Fi, amazing views of Union Square Park and the incredible Instagram station (for all us INSTA addicts) 😉

After Kellogg’s we walked over to Union Square Playground, where Li entered his happy zone. It has a play section for toddlers and one for ages 5 and up. The playground is fun, clean, and well shaded. I looked at the different pieces of play equipment with somewhat of a baffled look but Li ran around climbing and trying out everything.

The big draw of the playground is the mysterious dome where kids run and climb (and bring out their inner Spider-Man). It reminded me of a smaller version of The Bean or Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in Chicago.

Just a tip, if you go this summer, bring a bathing suit for your little one as they do have a water area to splash and play about.

After the playground, we walked over to 5th Avenue to try and watch the Pride Parade and to our surprise found spaces towards the front. I felt ‘pride’ bringing Li to this event. We had on our rainbow gear to honor the LGBT community (as well as these amazing Stand for Love Tees by Wire & Honey). We raise Li with the mindset ‘kindness is everything and love is love’.

 

 

 

THE CIRCLE LINE:

Tourists in our own city…

Another one of Li’s obsessions is boats so the Circle Line was a perfect mix of boat cruise and history.

We went to Pier 83, W 42nd St, to get on and start the cruise. It is a 2.5 hour cruise that goes by really fast. We started south on the Hudson River and went around the island.

 

In the 2.5 hours we saw The High Line, One World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, South Street Seaport, The Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, United Nations Headquarters, Gracie Mansion, Yankee Stadium, George Washington Bridge along with many other iconic landmarks.

The boat was very nice and you could wander about for views and pictures per your liking. They have an onboard café, which Li of course wanted a hot dog and I had a ham sandwich. Also for the adults they have a full bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails.

As many of you, Wifi is an important part of what I do and they do have free Wifi on board as well, yay.

The tour guide was excellent providing many facts and stories about the city that I have never heard before. I highly recommend for a sit back relax and enjoy the views kind of day with your little one.

Aquatopia

One of Liam’s favorite places on the planet is Aquatopia, the gigantic in-door water park at Camelback Resort, Tannersville, PA. This is a year-round water playground that offers numerous activities that can keep anyone busy for a long weekend. The centerpiece of the facility is a huge wave pool set up like a beach.

 

The “shore” is lined by beach chairs and cabanas. Another favorite is an enormous “Jungle Gym” with twisting water-tubes, in-water obstacle courses and basket ball hoops. One of Liam’s favorites is a “Hot Pool” which is half in the building and half outside the building that can be utilized even in the dead of winter. The cabanas are spacious and comfortable with large TV and food and drink service. There is even a in-water bar for the adult desiring a drink. At the entrance to the waterpark is a great arcade which Liam loves as well.

The park is clean. The resort goes to great length to make sure all the pools are immaculate. There is an over-abundance of lifeguards. The employees are all extremely nice and helpful. Also, the hotel attached to the waterpark is clean and convenient. Camelback, itself, is a ski resort for those who ski or board as well. There is also an outdoor waterpark and an adventure park with zip lines.

Aquatopia is a short ride from NYC (assuming no traffic). It is a great family get away for a long weekend.