Author: <span class="vcard">Nadya</span>

Baby wearing is something I missed the boat almost entirely until we moved into the city. My first, now-long-defunct baby carrier killed my back and was difficult to get on and situate the baby. I eventually found the Original ErgoBaby carrier and used it with Eliza to help cover bigger distances in the city without a stroller — a great advantage especially when getting around Olde City’s cobbled streets. Since then and most recently I was offered the opportunity to review the newest ErgoBaby having been a previous user and a seasoned mom.

For those of you who don’t know much about the brand/product — Founded in 2003, Ergobaby provides smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. The ErgoBaby was designed with a unique, structured bucket seat. The unique bucket seat keeps baby sitting in a frog-legged, seated position which is most optimal for spine position and ergonomic, as well.

I love that this carrier features all the carry positions, the outward facing one being among the most important ones for me personally. Another feature that I love is the velcro waistband but must note that it makes a really loud noise if you adjust it and that may prove problematic to moms of very young babies as it may wake the baby. Overall, the ease of use and comfort are the top reasons why I have previously and would, without hesitation, recommend this carrier.

ErgoBaby 360 Features

  • Four Carry positions: Front-inward, Front-outward, Hip and Back
  • Adjustable hood to support baby’s head while sleeping, protect from sun and offer privacy while nursing
  • Structured bucket seat to support your baby in an ergonomic seated position.
  • Adjustable waistband (26-55in & 66-140cm) that can be worn high or low to maximize comfort.
  • Adjustable seat width and back panel grows with your baby.
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • 100% Cotton Canvas shell and 100% Cotton Poplin lining
  • Machine washable
  • Carrier is usable from day one with your newborn with an Ergobaby Infant Insert (sold separately & for babies 7-12lbs/ 3.2-5.5kg) and through 36 months
Courtesy of Amazon

 

This post is sponsored by Ergobaby.

Products I Love

Our kids’ caregiver came down with a terrible cold and so, like any other working parents of young children, we made the best of it. Evan and I are fortunate to both have flexible working schedules, allowing us to work after the kids go to sleep, and share parental responsibilities during the day in a pinch.

This was the first time however that childcare was only needed in the afternoons (now that the girls are both in school). While nervous as first, I quickly realized that minding a pre-schooler really just meant lunch followed by a nap and, once that was over, so were my core business hours.

However brief that lunch was, it was the sweetest thirty minutes that I can remember in quite some time. Picking up your child from school midday and walking home hand-in-hand while catching up on their day and even my own morning is extra-ordinary. We talked about science class, dance parties on rainy days, and how someone’s hair clip was confiscated because she fiddled with it. Lunch was quiet because learning at school is hard work. Last and most intoxicating is the brief but unforgettable cuddle which we shared right before nap.

I quietly patted down Eliza. Gingerly descending the stairs back to my computer, I was greeted by the emails, messages, and meeting notices it held safe and sound for me. And as I walked down to the kitchen I couldn’t help but envy any mom who has the luxury to eat lunch with her children and tuck them in for their nap, listen to them retell stories of their morning as soon as it’s over and not try to pry it out of them when they’re tired and hungry for dinner. These are luxuries that most people can’t afford and not always because they’re financially precluded from doing so. How I wonder about parents who can’t wait to ship their kids off to school — an inevitable eventuality.

That being said and smarting from the the sting of envy I remembered that, one day, when the girls are just a bit older and have their own lives making them not be available for pre-school lunch dates, I will be there in the evenings and weekends. And … and I will be me and not just “mom”. And “me” works because it fulfills my drive for making something with my own hands that improves the lives of many other people.

Food For Thought Life Motherhood

Books are big in our home. We received a nicely-sized infusion with Sophia’s recent birthday. Moreover, in addition to the classics, we’re received some great examples about technology, coding, and women who’ve made a lasting impact. These books, in addition to being educational and entertaining, help demonstrate for our children that standing up for yourself and your beliefs is important. Get these today and share them with your sons and daughters alike. Here are some of our new favorites.

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

From the Rocking Chair Life


Two hands. The minimum number of hands required to demonstrate your age. Six is big to a little girl. It a even bigger to us parents. Sophia’s embarked on her seventh trip around the sun and I’m stunned with disbelief. I feel as though we just celebrated her fifthfourth, and even first birthdays.

On the one hand I’m in no rush to see Sophia (and Eliza) grow up but, on the other hand, I’m curious to see what kind of people they’ll become. Sophia is warm, intelligent, substantive, kind, mild-mannered, and responsible. She’s also temperamental, insistent, awfully stubborn, and witty. Above all, she’s loving.

We celebrated all weekend long with two parties. The first was a gymnastics extravaganza at a local little gym and the second a picnic with very close family. The weather mostly held off for the picnic and we made the best of the slightly damp conditions. The kids, however, clearly enjoyed themselves with carousel rides, a round of Spooky Minigolf, and much, much time at the playground. These diversions were just the reason we decided to hold the party at a park instead of our home. Public spaces become natural extensions of the home as urban living, for most, doesn’t lend itself naturally to hosting 20+ people.

More pictures below.

Life Moments Motherhood

There is something magical about Northern California. Maybe its the fresh air, the stunning scenery that takes you literally above the clouds, the fresh produce, or the gorgeous wines the region produces. Whatever magic San Francisco and the Napa/Sonoma Valleys possess has drawn our young family there time and again.

We wrapped up Summer 2017 in Northern California and couldn’t have chosen a better time and better companions to do it. Eight glorious days exploring wineries, hiking in magical Redwood forests, and partaking city sites.

Traveling with kids isn’t very difficult if you research ahead of time and plan. Here are things we recommend:

Wineries:

Benzinger – A bio-sustainable winery that boasts gorgeous grounds (see above), absolutely outstanding wines and has a fun, for adults and kids alike, tram tour.

Arrowood – An off-the-beaten path winery with small productions of big reds, amazing views.

Imagery – A sister property of Benzinger, this winery is also bio-sustainable offering great wines with originally commissioned art works as labeled. The wines were great, the little vegetable and flower garden was a gem for the girls who saw how all matter of veggies grow.

Sterling – Big, a bit crowded, with decent wine. The only reason to go here is for the views which you take in after taking an air tram to a mountain top.

Castello di Amorosa – Big, definitely a bit crowded, but with amazing service, delicious wines, a small and tastefully done zoo, beautiful grounds, and a spectacular, straight-out-of-Tuscany castle to boot. The girls enjoyed visiting a Princess Castle and we enjoyed their beautiful wines. Their muscat grape juice which is bottled and presented the same way as their wines is not to be missed. We liked it so much that we brought some home.

Kunde – A beautiful winery with gorgeous grounds, an amazing patio, and an appealing wine and cheese tasting that satisfied even the youngest tasters.

Hikes:

The Sonoma Overlook Trail – A beginner’s hike just to get into the swing of things especially if giving hiking a go with young children

Armstrong Woods – A gorgeous, serene, easy to get to and easy to navigate redwood forest. We took the 2+ mile hike without a problem using two of these.

Eats in the wine country:

Bouchon Bakery – A bakery owned by the famed Thomas Keller that curates the very same delicious breads and pastries offered at The French Laundry and Bouchon. The girls love chocolate croissants but their Cream and Strawberry puffs are not to be missed. We liked it so much, we went twice.

Addendum – Offers a picnic lunch of fried chicken unlike anything you’ve ever had in a beautiful setting that’s casual and they pack chocolate chip cookies!

The Freemont Diner – Casual, rustic, everything you imagine a real diner to be with killer french toast and huevos rancheros.

Eats in San Francisco:

Firefly – Recommended by a friend of ours who lives in the Noe Valley, this restaurant didn’t disappoint. Their food was eclectic and not just different, but delicious.

Delphina – a beautiful restaurant in the Mission with a great menu and even better food. The offerings are seasonal, fresh, and pasta is king.

There are more things we saw and did and I will have more information on how to actively travel with younger children in posts that follow. For now, however, I begrudgingly bid goodbye to summer break.

Life Moments Tiny Tastebuds Travel

There are moments during which, upon seeing/reading/hearing, something I am forever changed. I do not mean to imply that the change is instantaneous; Rather, this kind of change is slow but powerful having resulted from being placed squarely out of my comfort zone. This Saturday was one such a time where, for two hours, I saw concrete evidence of how alive, creative, and rebellious Philadelphia was.

Evan and I joined a Street Art tour of the Spring Arts/Eraserhood neighborhood of Philadelphia with the curator of the Streets Dept. blog. The focus of the tour was on murals, graffiti, tags, and wickeds. And while I knew that Philadelphia proudly boasts more murals than any other city in the United States, I had no real understanding how much other art graced this city’s at-times-gritty streets.

Evan took these pictures while I captured these and so many more with my eyes trying to understand and process all the messages.

This isn’t an old picture — this is now, today, in a neighborhood mere blocks from ours. Many people see grit, grime, abandonment but some see a blank canvas, an opportunity for change and rebirth.

Food For Thought Life

Living in the city and being constantly surrounded by you and single people provides an insight and reminder on what life used to be like before kids, full-time jobs, and responsibility. The summer also accentuates the carefree, fun-loving side of young people looking to soak up every last ray of sun (and a beverage) on balmy and hot evenings. I realized that dating isn’t just for single people and that there’s something very charming about having not just a dinner out but rather a date out. 


Technically there’s not much of a distinction between the two but perception is king. And so, last Friday, having sent the kids to what we lovingly refer to as Camp Baba and Deda, I met Evan for drinks. We didn’t make any extensive dinner plans out, as tempting as that was, instead opting to meet at a little old-school oyster bar in the neighborhood for drinks. We also didn’t arrive there together and that was what made it so much more fun. I walked over after a fairly busy and long day. The walk, was laced with the knowledge that the weekend had begun. Having just a few minutes of solace, and the anticipation of great conversation were waiting for me, made this feel much more like a date than a way to occupy my evening.

I highly recommend switching your evening out plans for something that seems much more simpler but is so fun and refreshing. And while we are at it, if it all possible, I would pair this lovely dating-your-husband activity with a summer of grandparents who take the kids off your hands, out of the hot and frenetic city, and give them a brief allusion of those carefree summers we all had. 

Food For Thought

Cookery

This weekend, no, this summer has thus far been a blur. We’ve fallen into a familiar pattern of small excursions around the city, time with our families, and kids parties. This weekend has not been any different. The girls spent time with Baba and Deda. More than that, they had a pottery painting date with my sister and nephew at the very same place I used to take the now 13-year old Alex when he was Sophia’s age. We finally got out these little aprons my sister and I made for the girls a few years back when we made them for all the little cousins’ as Hannukah presents. We shipped the aprons with homemade hot chocolate and cookie mixes. The girls were besides themselves with glee and couldn’t wait to cook for each other and us. Sophia made a fruit salad for herself and Eliza with her very own real knife. Her fruit salad recipe had grapes, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and lemon juice in it. She doesn’t usually like blueberries but having made it herself won her over, I suppose. Or was it that she worked up an appetite after a morning at the zoo? Whatever it was, we were glad to see the kids enjoy their time in the kitchen and in the zoo, glad to see their time. Period.

Sunday was the first time we had been to the zoo since last fall and it was a beautiful day. We weren’t the only ones who had such a splendid idea but we have a membership and don’t feel the need to explore every nook and cranny each visit. The zebra exhibit was closed which was disappointing to Eliza who asked where is the zebra vacationing. Alas, all it took was a carousel ride, a significant amount of time at the Tree House.

Life Moments Tiny Tastebuds Weekending

Life Moments