Also, this Valentine's Day, skip the chocolate and give your little thinker the gift of Braincandy DVDs, yummy treats that nourish the body and the brain; now through Valentine's Day, receive a free "Taste My World" DVD with any purchase at Braincandykids.com."
For those of you with little girls in your lives, Princess Baby is an especially cute new book. Giving this book along with a princess wand and/or tiara from a store like Oriental Trading Company would make a great little birthday gift.
I'm not big on doing gift guides for every holiday. I do like passing on good finds though. I'm not a huge lingerie fan, but I (re)discovered recently that my husband likes it a lot. (Men are really visual!) So, I'm making more of an effort to stock up on some key pieces. I like Victoria's Secret, but at a certain point, their products just tend to be "cookie cutter".
All that to say I was so happy to find Yumdrop.com, a site that offers both sexy and sweet lingerie. I received their Ruffle Bust Chemise and it was a hit (with both me and my husband). It was comfortable, flattering and my favorite color (pink).
On a funny, mom side-note, the chemise comes with a thong. Michael (my older son) came into our room the morning after I "modeled" it for my husband. He looked at my panties (before I could put a robe on) and asked, "Where's the rest of your clothes?" My husband and I started cracking up!
In any event, I highly recommend this site for finding romantic Valentine’s Day gifts for yourself/your significant other.
In any event, I highly recommend this site for finding romantic Valentine’s Day gifts for yourself/your significant other.
The Wheels on the Bus: Mango’s Big Dog Parade is excellent! My older son wanted to watch it over and over. This is the latest DVD in The Wheels on the Bus series where Mango, Papaya, Coco and their friends ride around on the Bus. (Roger Daltrey of The Who is the voice of Argon, the wise dragon bus driver in this series.) During this particular DVD, kids learn social skills like sharing, taking turns and getting along. One of the songs that are played is (of course) various versions of The Wheels on the Bus. Highlights include when the characters take a "Jungle Bug Adventure" where they learn about a variety of unusual insects and when they help a procrastinating dog get to the Big Dog Parade and Canine Festival. (For more information about the Big Dog Foundation and the Big Dog Parade and Canine Festival -an actual event- visit www.bigdogs.com.)
"The Safety Dad" (James Hirtenstein) owns NYC-based Baby-Safe, Inc. which specializes in baby proofing, nanny surveillance and pool safety. He was kind enough to answer the following Mom in the City member questions:
-I'm always scared that my oldest child will slam the door on my baby. What's the best thing to do to prevent this?
Your fears are warranted, as finger pinching or severing are a common household injury that are easily prevented. You can either use a spring release hook/eye on the door to keep the door in an open position or you could use a product called the door mouse. The door mouse sits on the door and acts as a buffer between to door and the frame. Keeping fingers safe from hams way. It is easily removed when you want to close the door all the way.
-I would like to be able to lock doors (for privacy!) but I want to make sure that my kids don't lock themselves in a room. What should I do?
As a rule, any locks on a door should be reversed. If you reverse the locks, you eliminate the chance of a child locking themselves in any particular room. Once you’ve reversed the locks, install an overhead door lock. This lock can be opened from both sides of the door but only an adult tall enough can reach the locking mechanism.
-I have an open floor plan where the kitchen, dining room and living room are not separated by walls or doors. How do I keep my baby safe from the kitchen area?
Kitchens are by far one of the most dangerous areas in the home; I can understand your concerns. There have been many revolutions in child safety and gates are one of them. They make irregular sized gates that can block off entire areas. If you feel that a gate is not your style you can take certain measures to baby-proof the entire area. Latch all the dangerous lower cabinets; install appliance locks on you oven, refrigerator and dishwasher. Anchor any water coolers as they can tip easily. Never allow a child in the kitchen when the stove is on as the door face can burn on contact. Always use the back burners when cooking. Using the back burners protect from a child pulling over hot pots and pans. NEVER leave a child alone even in a baby-proofed kitchen.
-I purchased some socket plugs, but my toddler just figured out how to take them out. What do you recommend?
When baby-proofing a home, I try never to use push in plugs. They come loose, parents forget to place them back and if you pull out a plugged in appliance, you now have an exposed outlet. Your safest bet is to use spring release outlet plates. These plates replace your existing plate with just a screwdriver and remain closed and out of harms way 24/7. If your child pulls out a plug, the plate automatically snaps shut.
-I also purchased some stove knob covers but my toddler just ended up taking off the entire knob. Any suggestions?
Your child might be onto something. Score one for your child. Though stove knob covers do provide some initially safety, children do learn how to open and use them sooner than later. I too suggest taking off the knobs and placing them in a bowl up on a shelf and out of harms way. If you need to use your stove, these knobs easily slide back on for use.
-My kid is obsessed with all things electronic. I fear that something heavy (i.e. the microwave or television) will fall over. What is the best way to prevent this from happening?
Electronics are a major hazard for children. In the last year 3000 children 5 and under have been admitted to the emergency room due to TV accidents. Fascinated by their bells, lights and whistles, electronics are an attractive toy for any inquisitive child. Each years too many children are seriously hurt and killed by electronics placed on unstable stands or placed too low so child can reach them. These accidents are easily prevented. Make sure all electronics are high enough for a child not to be able to reach or if they are low, please make sure they are secure to the wall and unable to be pulled over. Don’t place toys or object on top as children are inclined to climb to retrieve these toys. The results can be catastrophic.
-My kid is a climber. How do I make sure that things don't fall over (i.e. bookshelves, dressers, etc.)?
Furniture tipping is one of the leading causes of emergency room visits for children. Each year thousands of children are injured or killed due to unstable furniture tipping. Things to look for are TV’s, Bookshelves, water coolers, lamps and bureaus. It is important to make sure that all furniture is weighted evenly and are not top heavy. Even if a piece of furniture seems sturdy it is never a bad idea to secure it to the wall. Simple cable ties and a wall secure should do the trick. Never place a favorite toy on top of a climbable shelf, as this is a recipe for disaster. It is important to latch all drawers as well. A latched drawer can’t be opened and used as a stepping-stone.
How do I keep little fingers out of low cabinets? (My cabinets are flat/no knobs/handles.)
Your best form of defense against access to the cabinets/drawers is some sort of latching system. These latches come from simple open door and push latch systems to the more advanced magnetic type, which requires a special magnetic lock to open the doors. The magnetic locks will last you longer than most push button latches but are also more expensive. If installed correctly, they both offer good protection against dangers
-Should I tell my nanny that she's under surveillance?
Having been providing surveillance and safety advice for over 12 years, I am a firm believer that when it comes to your children, there is nothing too over the top to keep them safe. We live in a strange world now. If you aren’t being proactive about safety you are being inactive. I want to know everything I can about the person watching my most precious commodity. When you are in the interview process, you should let your prospective applicant know that certain rooms in house are under constant surveillance. You should also explain that it isn’t them they don’t trust but it’s something you feel strongly about. Most Nannies have heard the horror stories on TV. If they truly have a problem with it then maybe they aren’t the one for the job. If she does a fabulous job, a bonus might be a nice reward.
-What protection do I have when my child is taken out of the surveillance camera's range?
If your child is out of the house or out of camera range your options are a bit more limited. If you want to hear what is going on in the house, you could always place voice-activated tape recorders to hear the interaction. If you are looking for out of the house help, there are two services that can provide a little bit of comfort.
Howsmynanny.com provides traceable license plates, attached to the stroller that allows others to report if your nanny is acting in a way that raises suspicion or concern.
Whereismybaby.com is a GPS tracking system that attaches to your stroller. This service allows you to track your child’s where abouts at all times if in the stroller.
Who: Children ages 18 months to 4 years. (Along with their parents and/or caregivers)
What: Will enjoy this 1 hour gym session (including plenty of music, movement, games and fun!). Afterwards, pizza, juice and dessert will be served. There will also be great giveaways (including a family fun pass for four to the Vital Theatre Company) and goody bags for each family with items from Crayola, Leshem Loft, Brain Candy Kids, and BabyLegs along with a special Valentine's Day treat for the parents from YumDrop Inc. and more.
A special thanks to Birthday in a Box for providing Valentine's Day themed party items for this event!
When: Saturday, February 9th from 1:00PM-2:30PM
Where: The Little Gym of the Upper West Side (2121 Broadway, 2nd Floor; Between 74th & 75th Street; New York, NY 10023)
How: RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org; Cost: $10 per child before 2/1; $15 per child afterwards (Parents FREE); **30 children in the Gym is the max for safety reasons**
Why: To have some pre-holiday family fun! We will also be collecting new or nearly new clothing for Room to Grow.
One of the things that I'm working on in 2008 is being more thankful. I have an amazing life and I want to be sure not to take it for granted. So now (more than ever) I'm focusing on saying "thank you" to everyone who does something kind to/for me.
In that spirit, I sent the following "thank you" to all of the companies that have supported our group by sponsoring giveaways, special offers and/or events for the Mom in the City membership in 2007. To my (pleasant) surprise, I had 99 people to thank.
"Happy New Year!
Thanks so much for your support of Mom in the City in 2007!
-Growth: Not only has our membership grown in number, but also there has been a great variety of women joining in on the fun (including stay at home moms, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, women in the parenting publishing industry and more!). In addition, I (Kimberly, Mom in the City's founder) expanded my Editorial and Regional Parenting Guide duties at ParentZone.com/ BabyZone.com. I now cover Northern NJ and Long Island as well as the NYC area. My new area has over 50,000 weekly newsletter subscribers.
-Great events: Member favorites included movie nights, family play dates and parenting seminars.
-Charitable Outreach: Mom in the City members continued to give to "our" charity, Room to Grow.
Our hopes for 2008 are simple:
- Consistent membership growth, more great events and more charitable donations.
Our first family event of 2008 is scheduled for 2/9/08. We will be having a pre-Valentine's Day family playdate at a new facility in Manhattan , The Little Gym of the Upper West Side.
We hope that you will continue your support of Mom in the City in 2008!
All the best,
Mom in the City"