August 30, 2013

WEEKEND WITH STOKKE : a trip to Gardner Village

 I love being on the go. A working week full on or a weekend, it is a rarity when we stay put for longer then what's absolutely necessary. Rain or shine - we had to get out.  Few weekends ago we made our way to Gardner Village. The rain was down-pouring as we were planning to leave, but we figured there isn't much summer fun without splashing in the puddles, and grabbed the rain necessities to go anyway. Should I mention the excitement level of the children? ("Over-the-moon-excited" doesn't come close)

By the time we got to the parking lot the rain stopped, puddles nearly gone and clouds barely there. We were about to get disappointed to only realize just in time that because there was rain, but not anymore, we got to have the village pretty much entirely to ourselves to explore. We stopped by a few little shops, a bakery, a knitting corner, switched the mini-person a few times between the stroller and the carrier to make both of us happy,  and by the time the clock hit 7pm, everyone was happy, satisfied, a little tired and ready to go home. And I thanked my Stokke "helpers" about 1001 time in my mind and out aloud - judging by the fact of how easily we rolled around, one would never guess we had a couple of babies on our hands, not even mentioning the fact of the demanding little newborn. I mentioned it 100 times before and I will say it 1000000 times again : there is nothing like comfort, function and quality in baby gear to make parents' lives easier, and Stokke knows how to implement them all plus more.

Here is some - in words of Yeva -  pictumentary ( pictures + documentary. i love when kids make up words!)
^^ hair all messed up = lots of fun ^^

^^ boys will always be boys. and then girls follow ^^
^^ those little feet tracked lots of miles that day... ^^

^^ and checked in on a little brother only about 100 times ^^

^^ happy and comfy. both of us ^^

^^ where there is one, there are two...^^ 

  ^^ ... and then three and four, of course! ^^

Wishing you a happy weekend, and here is a fun list of ideas if you are in NYC!

pps: stroller is stokke crusi in mono mode, carrier - mycarrier Cool ( for the summer heat) 

August 27, 2013

MUST-HAVES for every modern parent

modern parent baby musts

Now that it has been a little over a month since Evyianne joined in to our family and I got to experience the "two-under-two" club, it has become very clear that just two hands are far from enough. I've got my list of absolute must-haves that I will share in sequences.
Here it to the first today for the modern parent on the go:

1. Feeding on the go. 
If you have a baby over 1, a sippy cup and snacks are an absolute necessity wherever you go. A reliable sippy cup that will NOT leak is a golden treasure. I've lost count how many times I had to remedy the damage from this leaking drinking device ( particularly fun when it's your clothing that the leak came on... ) The boon cups are simply great. After two months of using : no leaks, no mess, plus beautiful and modern - we are big fans over here, and are little partial to this modster one ( isn't it fun?!).
A boon baby snack box is right up there with the cups : several compartments to separate the snacks, large enough to fit plenty of variety of foods, yet slim enough to not bulk up your bag or take too much space in the stroller. We tried one and then invested in more upon my older children requests: they use them as the lunch packs for the school and love it.

2. Comfortable sleeping everywhere. 
This Stokke bassinet needs a special time for a spotlight. You may have seen it in our nursery tour standing in the corner, but in all honesty that was the only time when it actually stayed there.
This bassinet has been my second set of hands. It is so light and easy to move from place to place, that it comes everywhere I go, from getting ready in the morning, to feeding/making food, working, etc. It's our daytime ( and often nighttime) solution for a baby resting place and a GREAT "soothing device". This time around we decided not to invest into a swing to save ourselves some sanity later on ( baby swing weaning anyone?! it's worth then pacifiers in my opinion), and though worried at the start, we are extremely happy with our decision. This bassinet offers just enough rocking to soothe a fussy baby, but nothing habit forming that would need some serious effort in the future to break it up.   It is also extremely easy to travel with ( more on that later), which is also helpful, as the baby sleeps in the bed he or she is used to, making your vacation and travel be a breeze! It is beautiful and very affordable to top the list off. Some cool lamps to complement it's beautiful design - and get ready to gather compliments about your great taste while enjoying your comfortable and peaceful life as a new parent.

3. Parent on-the-go solutions.
 *If you are a city parent, you are most likely a parent on-the-go, and the baby gear that is functional, comfortable, easy to use and durable are probably on the very top of your "necessities" list ( it is number one on mine). Any of the Stokke strollers have proven themselves over and over again to us, but Scoot is particularly useful if public transportation or travel are involved. A modern gem that offers convertible stroller conveniences while keeping all the full stroller benefits, Scoot stands far and above anything else that is available currently on the market. This stroller won't fail you or your baby : with one hand fold option, it has a great construction frame, a full size large and comfortable seat, a generously sized shopping basket under, yet small footprint and light enough that i can easily carry it anywhere in one hand while holding a child ( plus necessities) in the other.
A light baby carrier gives an option to transport two children easily and we've alternated back and forth between a 1 1/2 year old and a newborn as to who goes where, with both equally loved being in the stroller or in the carrier.

A great bag that would target to parent's specific needs without screaming 'diaper bag' is another important factor. Over the last couple of months this JJ Cole Collections bag has shown itself from the very bright side: it is durable and easy to clean; there are plenty of inner compartments to organize all your baby necessities with enough of space for your personal needs; zippered outside pockets for added security and easy accessible pockets , perfect for an urgently needed paci or metro pass. With multiple carrying options you have a wide range of options from a tote to a cross-body to a on-the-stroller clip-on version. I love the non-slip clips that are included with the satchel, and keep them on the stroller all the time, whether I use it for the bag or for something small like a toy. I have and love a satchel in charcoal infinity, but with many other options JJCole collections offers, one is sure to find something to his or her taste.

And if you have more then one little cherub to keep track of , the Skip Hop safety harness is the best I've ever used. We've used and loved Skip Hop backpacks for many of our needs, but this little thing has been my lifesaver. It's a tiny mini backpack that offers the option of a harness. Not only my little one feels all important with a REAL back pack on that she can carry all her toys and little snacks in, should she have the need/want, with the harness slipped over my wrist I know that she is not going anywhere without my knowledge and for a constantly on the go parent with constantly on the go toddler and baby, this is the biggest sanity saver. 

And at the door, through in a folding bag like this one and you are set for every need possible and a great day ahead!

August 23, 2013

Life according to my Instagram. Quite accurate, actually.

There isn't much of the insta-life pictures to post today, but the captures are quite accurate as to what our last week has revolved around.  The school is coming up on Monday - how is it that the summer has disappeared into nowhere with my list of things to do only marked to about 30% down?  I already know that I am the one going to have waaaaay more summer withdrawals then any of my "schoolers". I love having my kids at home. Though it can surely get crazy really fast and I definitely need "my" quiet time at night, when school starts I feel like a part of me just disappears for half a day along with their little backpacks and lunch boxes.  

So I cleared the schedule for this entire week from meetings and work ( no worries - though no class, i still got my barre work in. comes "built in" with my morning routine now), and just let them book my days as they saw fit. We've hit a lot of playgrounds, ice-cream stands and cafes ,read, probably, every book we own ( and that alone is record breaking), traveled a little out of our typical revolving areas by TRAIN ( that's a big deal nowadays, you know. just me and five of them. i was nervous, though there was absolutely no need - scoot and mycarrier made it very easy. but more on that later)  colored and painted and just talked. 

I may or may not have shed some ( or a lot of) tears in the evening when looking at my suddenly all grown up older children, and then some more when gifted with those first , but very conscious smiles from the littlest one. Life sure be difficult at times, but these sweet moments are just that much more meaningful when you taste a grain of salt, and what is life without contrasts, right?

^^ preparing your body for performances is tough. having a baby is tough on your body. combined together for the fifth time... sometimes sends me into depression. i am realizing that my 'stage' days may not last for much longer. and in all honesty, it is difficult. it is only now that for the first time i am starting to find fulfillment in helping to prepare young dancers by sharing my knowledge and tricks with them, and that gives me hope to have something to look forward to later. but i am not ready yet to make that be my only life. i crave the wisdom of an older choreographer, director and an experienced teacher; the sweat, the painfully sore muscles and still want that all for just me. whether selfish or not, i am not sure. walking in the rain and thinking about the past 20 years of the dancing life was very therapeutic. i still sometimes marvel - 20 years is a long time, but it surely goes by fast when your life is involved. how does a dancer retire? and does one ever? i don't know. i guess the time will tell ^^

^^ i attribute the success of my very long and rainy therapeutic walking session largely to these two little bugs. my lips are stretched in a smile this very moment as a look at this picture and type. i discovered my personal formula for life: kids = instant mood boosters. it works. ^^

^^ it really is some big decision when you have to decide between 5 very different parks. ( we hit all of them that day to make decision making easier )  ^^ 

^^ evyianne started smiling and cooing full that day. i am so glad we got the moment captured ^^
 ^^ a last minute ikea run before the arrival of a very important guest. how did we live before ikea ?! ^^

wishing you a great weekend with lot's of love from all of us!

August 19, 2013


It's the season for the farmer's markets and the time to take advantage of nature's medicine cabinet. It is now that I am an adult I understand my father, who always made sure we ate so much of the seasonal foods that we were sick of it. His rational was that "if your body doesn't need the vitamins, you wouldn't want to eat it". And you know what - I think he was right.

 Back in the day and country where I was growing up, we didn't have year round ready-available-anything-you-wish. Strawberries came in May/June, watermelons in August/September, and if you missed it - you missed it. Frozen foods were a novelty too, plus no one was really a huge fan of a soggy defrosted berries. The only true way of preserving the fresh foods without canning was to dry them, and as kids we made sure to secretly snatch a few pieces from the drying racks for "later" .  Secretly, because mom and grandma were very aware of the amounts they were preserving for winter,  but we dared anyway because that was our favorite kind of candy. The kids of today are really lucky to have it not only ready and available, but with some serious fun added. Have you heard of Funny Face Cranberries? If not - waste no time and go check out those games and movies. What a better way add some beneficial fun for kids?

 Now that the harvest is here, we played around with those cranberries and some recipes and let me tell you - when kids are allowed to be creative then can come up with some really awesome tasting stuff! ( *and they will eat it too, no problem, because THEY made it, and their friends will eat it too. This is a very interesting "side-effect" I noticed : no matter the taste, if one kid made it , another will eat it and say it was "amazing" too

I'll share the recipes in another post, make sure to check back for school lunches and all around fun ideas. Until then, here are some facts about foods you see at the markets every time, that you may have not known about:

August 14, 2013

Insta-life through IPhone & Instagram

^^there are lots of mommies around here that want to make sure their babies get the best of the rides ^^

This tiny tiny person is the center of all our worlds right now. 

I've said that before and will repeat it over and over again : it's amazing how someone so small can turn an entire universe upside down on a whim and throw your routine out of the window like no big deal. There is no question that he got us wrapped around those miniature fingers within the very seconds of his arrival and is definitely holding firmly on to it. 

These first few weeks just flew by, it's bittersweet, and I will say, even sad. I am exhausted beyond my physical limits - doing it all and everything by just myself while trying to get the body of mine ready for a performance season ( which is no joke of its own, not mentioning the after-the-baby business) has been, in simple language, difficult. Very difficult. My hat is and will always be off to moms of multiples - it must be insanely crazy. But my heart bleeds when I walk down the hall to the kitchen in the morning and with my eyes mark another new date on the wall calendar. Again and again I wish there was the power in me to turn 24 hours into 34, so that another extra minute would be there to kiss for a millionth time those little feet and tiny fingers. Sleep, so much needed and usually so much loved, seems so ... treacherous right now. At the very least.

Babies are miracles.
 My heart is filled with gratitude forever.

^^ i find my two men together often. one with the book. another with the fist in his mouth, bonding ^^

^^ does "sleep when your baby sleeps" advice ever worked for anyone? one is too excited to sleep when it's the first baby. and it is just as much of an excitement when it is your fifth ^^

^^ summertime is for fun. like "hunting" the targets for one^^

^^ or listening to summer concerts. with personalities shining through and through ^^

^^ the little smurf in his royal carriage, scootin' around like nobody's business. i love it. he adores it. enough said ^^

^^ we have been exploring new surrounding parks and found a few new favorites. one thing i know for sure : with little ones there is never enough park-time ^^

^^ it also takes me twice as long to run my typical "route". "eating time", you know...^^

^^ polka dots, stripes, florals and THE color of the season - check! believing that purple for men and boys is a great choice - check!check!check! ^^

^^ greens were a big hit that day. and so were hats ^^

and then this happened. he cried. she same and kissed him: 

^^ he calmed right down and listened to her sing. my heart melted and is still softer then butter ^^

^^ new hair is one way to make up for lack of sleep. looks like we matched our stripes too, though i only noticed it when i looked at the picture. ^^  

ps: for those inquiring - strollers seen in this posts are from stokke connection like : stokke crusi, scoot and xplory with the riding board. i love them all and they each cover different needs. i highly recommend reading up on them on stokke site to see if you are an "M", "C" or "U".

August 06, 2013

Could it get any better?! A very awesome Stokke giveaway!

 This arrived into my mailbox today and it's a MUST share, because, honestly, can it get any better? 

The unique feature of the Scoot that sets it apart from other strollers is that Scoot provides ALL full size stroller benefits at the convenience of a compact one-hand fold version. It is compatible with most of the Stokke accessories and offers an option for a newborn insert. Be a city parent on the go or a mom in suburbs, I feel that Stokke Scoot covers the needs of both. It comes in great colors and a very awesome black melange too!

As to the PramPack - this is a GREAT travel bag for your stroller, and it does not even have to be a Stokke stroller. We had a different side-by-side double stroller prior to being happy owners of Crusi, and used the PramPack to protect it during travel and storage. Though it is rather large and well padded, PramPack folds very small, which is super convenient when traveling, and for storage at home. Here is more from the Stokke site: 

" The Stokke® PramPack® travel bag fits 99% of all brands of single strollers, and many double strollers. Rugged construction developed in cooperation with Norwegian airlines. Smart features include telescoping handle and premium baggage wheels for easy handling thru the airport."

here is what the email said: 

     visit the sweepstakes here and enter to win!

I hope you hurry up and enter! 
Mom tested and baby approved, this combo will surely make someone happy!

August 02, 2013


" A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy? "
Albert Einstein 

The moral of the story : never loose track of your Happiness! 

 Happy Friday! Our weekend plans are grand, we'll see how much will come to life ( the little baby is the boss, you know), but we surely are in a "determined to make it happen" mood.  It's looking like the temperatures are starting finally drop - knock on the wood - so, we are going to try taking advantage of this time with some fishing poles : my oldest has been dreaming of a fishing trip for weeks now.  And then there will be only about 99 more things left on agenda for the weekend - a new exhibit at the museum of modern art is the one for me. How about your plans? ?

Wishing you fun and adventurous weekend!

August 01, 2013

Can school be cool? { girls' edition}

when school is cool

The summer is nearing the end, the temperatures are starting to cool down and the store displays are reminding us that the school is soon to start.

First days of the new school year are always exciting, be it a first-grader, a middle schooler, a graduate or... a parent. How about some not-such-typical school supplies to make your little girl be happier then ever? Come to the Rockabye Mommy later today and see the details!
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