How to Host a Playdate: 10 Tips

First time hosting a play date? Never fear – it’s easier than you think. Here are a few tips to help your play day go off without a hitch.


1. Provide snacks. Choose healthy snacks like apple slices or everyone’s favorite goldfish. If you’re not sure about the dietary concerns of your guests, feel free to ask the other parents before they arrive. Send a simple text, “Does Sasha have food allergies?”

2. Put your pets away. Since we’re on the topic of allergies, some parents and even adults have allergies to animals that you may not be aware of. In addition, while your child loves your dog, the other child might have limited experiences with animals, and your dog’s excitement could terrify your guest.

3. Offer your guest a drink as soon as possible. Coffee, tea, water, or soda are good options to start with. You might even offer to have a glass of wine together. Let’s put it this way: if you’re willing t o have a glass of wine in the middle of the day, maybe she is too. It doesn’t hurt to throw it out there. (Hint: If you invite me over, I like red.)

IMG_22284. Prepare your child for the play date. If there are any special toys that your child then not want to share, have your child to put those toys away before the play day begins. Having that conversation ahead of time will help with some of the stress of sharing those coveted toys.

5.  Do not turn on the TV. The kids are there to play. Let them do that.

6. Turn on the music. To that point, sometimes too much silence is off-putting. Put some light music on in the background. Let your home be inviting.

7. Tidy up before your play date. Not during. Again, let the kids play. (Note: If you’re the guest, help clean up before you go. Even if the host says, “Oh you don’t have to do that.” You do. She’s just being nice.)


8. Be clear about the parking or stoller situation. As we live in a very dense area, sometimes it is difficult to figure out what to do with your car or your stroller. Let your guest know where you typically park, or where you leave your stroller. If you have a parking spot in your garage, maybe you can move your car into the street before she gets there so she can park in your spot.

9. Do not hover over the kids. Spend some time getting to know your guest. Compare bedtime routines and dinner menus. Laugh a little. Friends are everything.

10. Connect. The best part of a play date is spending time with other adults. Learn more about the ways other people run their households. Try to be open and honest with other moms about what works for you and what doesn’t. Be willing to hear advice and offer yours.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at

How to Say, What to Say: Talking Race

Mel Kozakiewicz talks to child and family therapist Divya Dodhia about raising children in an age of racial and ethnic intolerance.

Back in September when bombs exploded in trash cans around New York and New Jersey, I called (who else?) my sister. At the time, her city (Charlotte, NC) was reeling from the death of Keith Scott, a black man fatally shot by the Charlotte Police Department. In both of our cities, racial and ethnic differences and presumptions seemed to be on everyone’s mind.

Like moms across the country, my sister and I contemplated what (if anything) to say to our little ones about race, diversity, and the United States of America. We desperately wanted, like generations of mothers who came before us, to raise children who could be kinder and carry less prejudice than the generation before. But how?

I didn’t want to scare or create anxiety in my children by bringing up issues that they couldn’t possibly understand. But at the same time, I didn’t want them to overhear confusing discussions by perfect strangers on the Light Rail. So maybe I should just answer whatever questions they might bring up instead of saying anything preemptively? Would that work? And then I could try to answer them in a way that makes sense to them. You know, like be honest but not traumatizing.

None of this was in the manual.

So I sat down with child and family therapist, Divya Dodhia for some guidance. Long conversation short, there are no easy answers. (You’re welcome.) Most of her advice was preemptive, but not in an event-specific way. Her advice centers around the ways we talk to our kids in general – how we interact with them. Here’s some of the greatest hits:

  • These are the conversations we need to be having. It’s our job to be able to stand up to injustice, in whatever form that takes – whether it’s racism or mental health or whatever the case is.
  • Talk at their level. Use examples from their own lives. When a person is discriminated against, that means the person is being left out. They’re so young, they won’t understand racism, or xenophobia. But they do understand feeling left out. Or bullying. Start there.
  • Begin with very small with very basic concepts of humanity. Start with simple things such as empathy and making good choices. Get them to think about how the other person feels.
  • Use these conversations to encourage and explain empathy. Empathy is so important. Let’s say for example your child hears someone saying this or that about the police. It’s confusing for that child because we’re supposed to trust the police, but you and I know that these situations are complicated. In that case, bring it back to the individuals. Tell them that not everyone will have the same experiences and that a lot of what people say is based on their own personal experiences.
  • Talk about feelings and the choices that go with them. What can you do with the experiences that you have? Let them bring up the examples. You might ask, “Can you think of a time when you felt ____? Then what happened?”
  • Help your child understand that just because one person thinks one way, not all the people think this same way.
  • Teach simple skills such as sharing and using kind words and even using your manners such as hi, hello, and goodbye. It’s a foundation of you being a human being. You can take it to the next level and talk about what it means to be nice.
  • Instill that good choices lead to good consequences. Even at a young age, they have a right make your own choices, but they also have to deal with the consequences, and those consequences might impact other people. You can do this outside of these larger conversations, and you should. Use examples like ‘If you don’t wake up and brush your teeth, how do you think the rest of the day is going to go for you?”
  • Replace “Don’t do that” or “Don’t say that,” with try “How do you think this person is going to feel if you do that?”
  • Remember that behavior is a method of communication. Children have a difficult time articulating feelings, especially when they have negative feelings like guilt, fear, or embarrassment. Learning how to deal with those are the foundations. Anger is normal, but how you display it matters.
  • Finally, give them the language. For example, you might say, “People from different parts of the world will have different foods, different cultures, and look different – that’s called diversity.”

Bringing Kids to Restaurants: Making it Easier

I hate bringing my kids to restaurants. “Don’t touch that. Put that back. Don’t eat the salt. That one’s pepper. See? Omigod. Come on. (Sigh.)”

In addition to my little ones’ inability to sit still for even ten minutes, I’m hyper-sensitive to the dining experiences of the other guests. The smallest squeal (is there such a thing?) makes me feel like I’m ruining everyone’s dinner.

My partner, on the other hand, loves dining out. He’s not bothered by their behavior. “They’re not even that loud,” he’ll say, or “It’s 6:10. We’re allowed to be here right now.”

Trying to compromise, we powered through about a year of storming out of restaurants until we figured out how to make it as easy as possible. Here’s what we learned:

  • Pre-Game. This is not a drill. Have a glass of wine while you’re getting ready. Put some music on. Chill out a little before you even leave the house.
  • Try for a later nap. The last time we went out as a family, we succeeded in starting nap-time at 2:30 and then let the boys wake up on their own – at 4pm! Obviously we can’t always control who sleeps when, but we found that if they nap later in the day, they’re easier to manage in a restaurant.img_1762
  • Bring toys. Don’t rely on your iPad or phone to entertain the kiddos. Part of the reason we bring kids into restaurants is to teach them how to behave in public. That means we have to engage with them. Try bringing table toys, like small packs of Legos, matchbox cars, or puzzles as a way to do that.
  • Arrive early. The witching hour is about 8pm, right? That means you’re a part of the 6pm crowd now. If that seems early, just try it once and be amazed by all the other families there too.
  • Order right away. Check out the menu online so that when the server greets the table, you can at least get some appetizers going. When you’re dining with little ones, every minute counts.
  • French Fries. It’s a night out. Get the fries. Don’t dig your heels into health-consciousness for the kiddos. There’s a time and a place for everything. In the restaurant, indulge.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at and has been living in Jersey City since 2003.

10 Tips to Stress Free Holiday Travel


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Yeah, that is unless you are traveling and your flights is delayed or cancelled, the airline loses your luggage or you run in to the Grinch.  I know some of you are going to be traveling or are still thinking about getting away for the holidays. So, I wanted to pass along some tips and information to make your holiday travel full of holiday cheer.

1. If you can, avoid peak travel days.

The busiest days to fly are those days immediately before and after the actual holidays. If you can, try to book your flights two days before and after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  However, you can actually save some money if you fly on the actual holiday.

2. Try to book a non-stop flight. 

At peak travel times, there is the  possibility of delays due to weather, air-traffic problems or even being bumped do to an oversold plane.  It is best to book a morning flight as these flights tend to be delayed less often than afternoon departures. If you have to book a connecting flight, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make the connection, expect delays.

3. Make sure to confirm your seats especially, when traveling with children.

Go to the airline website at least 24 hours in advance to make sure you still have the seats you requested.  Also, it is a good idea to call or check that your flight is still on schedule before you leave home.

4. If you are flying make sure to check in early.

First, make sure to check in online 24 hours in advance. You should receive an email from the airline as a reminder.  It is important to give yourself plenty of time to deal with the crowds at the counter, as well as trying to get through security. Remember for domestic flights you should arrive at the airport two hours prior to departure, and for international flights you should arrive three hours in advance.

5. Stay at an airport hotel the night before an early flight.

I know this is not for everyone, but it might be something to consider. A great added perk is that some hotels will allow guests to leave their car in the hotel parking lot for the duration of your trip and provide a shuttle to the airport.

6. Ship gifts or even your luggage ahead. 

If you do not send your gifts ahead, then do not wrap them before the flight. You can pack gift bags and tissue paper to be used as wrapping. Also, to make navigating the airport easier you can send your luggage ahead using Fed Ex or UPS.  Even better, Fed Ex has better tracking and will insure your belongings. Sometimes it can cheaper than the check bag fee for the whole family.

7. Load up on the entertainment. 

Make sure to load up on music, movies, apps and e-books for the entire family.  It will help to keep everyone occupied if there is a delay.  Don’t forget your battery charger as well.  My family loves the PowerTrip as well the Satechi Portable Charger . They both offer USB ports and can charge just about anything.

8. Load up a carry on bag when traveling with the kids. 

I pack my boys travel backpacks with lots of books, toys and snacks.  But when traveling with little ones over the holidays make sure to have EXTRA.  If you are delayed or miss a flight you will want to have a lot of snacks, special treats, toys, diapers or even a change of clothes. I have a great Airplane Survival Packing List when you sign up on my website for The Busy Mom’s Vacation Planning Kit. 

9. Know the new TSA rules. Here is the latest updates for the holidays:

  • Remember 3-1-1 for carry-on luggage for non-exempt liquids: 3 ounce bottle or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols; placed in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag to hold all small bottles; 1 bag per passenger.
  • TSA recommends that passengers do not travel with wrapped packages. In order to determine if the contents of a package are a threat, a security officer may need to unwrap and inspect the item.
  • TSA allows small snow globes in carry-on luggage when packed in a passenger’s plastic 3-1-1 bag. Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis-ball size) will be permitted if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag as a passenger’s other liquids.
  • Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection. If travelers are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel it is best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance.
  • Also remember that kids 12 and under do NOT have to take off their shoes when going through security.
  • Medically necessary liquids and gels, including medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are exempt from the 3-1-1 rules, and are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml). They are not required to be in a zip-top bag. Officers may ask travelers to open these items to conduct additional screening and passengers should declare them for inspection at the checkpoint.

10. Don’t worry, Be Happy!! 

If you are prepared for any delays that is half the battle.  In the crazy hustle and bustle of holiday travel keeping calm and trying to go with the flow will go a long way.

Please follow me on Twitter and check out my Facebook page to make sure you get the latest news, tips and just what is going on at Adventures By Kim.

Holiday Travel Tips for Toddlers

Many Jersey City families are planning extended trips home over the holiday season. If you haven’t had an opportunity to travel with your little ones yet, or if you have but wish you would have done it differently, take a look at our travel tips. And as always, reach out to us with tips of your own that have worked for you!

  1. Resist the urge to immediately hand over the iPad. (Or your phone, or whatever screen you have handy.) Even animation and apps get boring after a while and you’ll want to save this secret weapon for when you really need it. Don’t wear it out right away.
  2. Let got of expectations. Traveling with toddlers is going to take longer, create more crumbs, and include more tears than your pre-kid trips. That’s ok. Be ready for it. And don’t apologize for it. It’s life. Allow the 3 hour journey to take 6 hours – it doesn’t matter.
  3. Plan breaks. Especially if you’re in a car. Look at the map ahead of time and see what might be a good place to stop. Or skip that step and simply know your kids. Will they run around a McDonald’s for 45 minutes? What about an empty parking lot? Got any sidewalk chalk?
  4. Choose your battles. This is not the time to hate on McDonald’s. They have clean bathrooms, toys in the same box as chicken nuggets, and COFFEE. Don’t mind if I do.
  5. Anticipate bedtime. Your friends and family probably won’t notice the subtle tugging your child does when s/he’s ready for bed, but you do. When you see the first sign of sleepy-eye, high-tail it to bed. There’s no need to bring out the overtired titan that resides inside all of our children if you don’t have to. You’re the one who will have to manage it; be as proactive as possible.
  6. New toys. Have a kid-sized backpack full of toys still in the packaging (remember that the packaging is part of the fun) for your child to bring along everywhere you go. Include small and generic toys like crayons, notebooks, matchbox cars, ponies, playing cards, stickers, books, bouncing balls, etc. Feel free to roll these out over time if that works for you too. (DO NOT get excited and show them the stuff before you start the trip. Their magic is in their newness.)
  7. Get your diapers delivered. If there are things you’re going to need for sure (like diapers, squeezies, formula, wipes, pacifiers), consider using a service like amazon prime or to have them delivered ahead of time to your destination. Then pack a few more than necessary for the journey and use the new ones upon arrival. That will save room in the car (or in your luggage) for comfort or for that extra item you wanted to bring.
  8. BYO kid cups. Or bottles. Or silverware. (Or order the with the diapers.) Get or bring whatever it is that makes your child a more comfortable and pleasant soul. It’s not easy to be in a new environment, especially one that might not be kid-friendly, for kids or for parents. Bringing small things like cups can help.
  9. Pack complete outfits into ziplock bags. It might add a little bit of time to the packing part of the trip, but you won’t be dismantling your suitcase in a fit of rage looking for baby socks first thing in the morning or immediately following a diaper blow-out. (Just like the iPad, right? Let’s save the mommy-meltdowns until absolutely necessary.) Don’t have time to ziploc outfits? At least put the clothes in plastic bags to avoid getting them wet if it rains while they transfer the luggage to the plane.
  10. Take extra clothes for your little one if you’re flying. Have it handy in case of an accident. And bring an extra for you! You do not want to smell like milk for the majority of a 10 hour flight.
  11. Eat and change diapers before boarding. You never know how long you’ll be sitting before the food is served. (If there’s food…) Make sure you and your kiddo won’t be hungry, at least through take off. And changing tables on airplanes are as cramped as can be. Try to avoid starting the trip there.
  12. Airplane headphones don’t work for kids. They’re either too big or they’re ear buds. They don’t fit. Get some before you go. You’ll be glad you did.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at and has been living in Jersey City since 2003.

Birthday Party on a Budget

Planning a successful birthday party can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not in the market for a keeping-up- with-the- Jones type, over-the- top party. Here’s my advice for a quick and easy birthday party that doesn’t break the bank: Go to Target. That’s it. (Just kidding.)

Successful kids birthday parties plan for two audiences – parents and kids. Keep this in mind as you start putting it all together.

Invitations: You can spend a lot of time and energy making beautifully designed invitations on websites like Shutterfly or you can buy a pack of eight and fill in the blanks while you’re watching television. It’s up to you. Some parents choose use online invites but getting an envelope in the mail is really fun for kids and also helps to build anticipation.

snacksSnacks: Get more snacks than you need. They don’t have to be pinterest inspired fruit sculptures; they just have to be plentiful. No one wants a pack of hungry kids running around. Get easy snacks like pretzels, grapes, baby carrots, cheese sticks, juice boxes – please don’t forget the juice boxes, or tiny water bottles – chicken fingers, goldfish… And also get just a couple things that the adults want. We usually have wine and cheese at our parties, but if you’re opposed to boozing at your kid’s party, get coffee.

Entertainment: Kids don’t need a lot of entertainment. You don’t have to hire a magician or a singing Elsa, but have a few things for the kids to do. If you forget this step, they’re guaranteed to run in circles screaming. No one wants that. Paper and crayons are easy. Stickers are fun. Kids love bubbles, noise makers, balls… Again –bring more than you think you need. Someone’s going to break their noisemaker and steal someone else’s…Screaming will ensue… Save yourself the headache and get extra. (Skip the birthday hats. I’ve never seen a kid excited about the hat.)

Music: Don’t underestimate the power of a great playlist. It doesn’t have to be full of wheels on the bus and the ABCs. The kids are going to be occupied. Play something the adults enjoy.

Cake: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to parties where the cake has been untouched because the parents forgot the knife. Don’t forget the knife. Also – it’s nice to have a fancy cake – everyone loves a beautiful cake – but it truly doesn’t matter. You can get one at the supermarket and be really happy with it. And if you plan even one day in advance, the supermarket can usually make you a fancy one for a quarter of the price.

bebeDecorations: Get decorations that double as either toys or dishes. Balloons are good for this; they don’t have to be helium balloons. It’s hard to play with helium balloons anyway. Or get the colorful “Happy Birthday!“ plates and napkins to place strategically around the room near the aforementioned snacks.

Treat bags: Temporary tattoos, books, more stickers…Have one for everyone. Bring a couple extra for unexpected stray siblings who might tag along. No reason to put candy in these bags. They just had cake. Give the moms a break.

5 tips on How to evaluate a school

Google it. 

pre school in Jersey City day care in Jersey City

We live in the age of the internet. Any time you sign your kid up for anything all, you should be first looking on the internet for clues about the school’s reputation. Do they have a website? If they do, check it out – what’s on it? Does it look professional?

If the website is the window to the program, how are they presenting themselves to the world? If they don’t have a website, does that tell you something about the way they choose to communicate? Take it all in.

Ask the moms. 

pre school inJersey City day care in Jersey City

Being in contact with other moms is essential to our survival as a species – and I mean that both in the jokey way but also in an I’m-not- kidding-at- all way. None of us can do this on our own. Ask other moms (online or in person) what experiences they’ve had at this school, or that daycare, or with program you’re interested in. Ask for suggestions.

Pass by the school.

Walk, bike, or drive by the school. Do this in the morning, when people are going in.

Do it during the day, do it at pick up time. Notice what’s happening. Is there chaos? Trust your gut – do these adults look like they know what they’re doing? Would you be comfortable letting your kid loose here?

Tour the school.

Find a time when you can go to the school to tour it. When you’re touring, observe not just with your eyes, but with your instincts too. Hone in – remember your gut. Visually you’re looking for cleanliness, happy and engaged children, organization of toys and equipment, multiple adults paying attention to and/or moving around with children.


Allow yourself to be impressed or disappointed – especially if your expectation was to be impressed or disappointed. Remember that no school has rainbows shooting out of its roof, so don’t set your expectations impossibly high. On the flip side, if you feel uncomfortable with a place (even if everyone else says its wonderful) don’t choose that place. And if you do choose the wrong place, allow yourself the flexibility to switch.

pre school in Jersey City day care in Jersey City

Quick and Healthy Summer Snacks

Any mom will tell you that feeding a toddler can be a tough job. It’s especially hard to make sure they are eating healthy meals and snacks. Here are some great ideas for quick and healthy toddler snacks that will leave you feeling better about what your tot is eating – plus they are great for the whole family!

Fruit Smoothie:

This smoothie is so quick and easy to make. Kids sometimes drink quicker than they eat, so this one is a timesaver. Plus, you can edit the ingredients to fulfill many different nutrition needs and tastes. Try your child’s favorite fruits (frozen works great, but you can use fresh), instead of milk you can use orange juice or even water to thin the smoothie out, if you are looking for a lower glycemic index use agave syrup instead of honey. Hiding greens in the smoothie, gives it a highly-nutritious punch and you can’t even taste them with all the other flavors happening.

Note: I’ve found that the easiest way to make this is with an immersion blender (like this Cuinsinart model) – it takes just a few seconds to blend and cleanup is a breeze. But, feel free to use a blender!

1 Cup of low-fat Greek yogurt (like 2% Fage)

½ Cup frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.)

Handful of frozen spinach, kale or any mixed greens

¼ Cup milk or another liquid of your choice

1 Tbsp honey

Combine the ingredients in a cup or pitcher. Blend with the immersion blender until all the frozen fruit is pureed. Add more liquid if you want a thinner smoothie.

Frozen Blueberry Treats:

These treats are perfect for spring and great for moms on-the-go. This is an easy and healthy snack that kids love. I call them “blueberry candies” to entice my son and he loves them. Plus, they are a great snack for mom, too!

1 container of blueberries

½ Cup Greek yogurt (and kind)

2 Tbsp honey

Wash and dry the blueberries. Mix the yogurt and honey in a bowl. Using toothpicks, coat the blueberries in the yogurt mixture and place them on a cookie sheet or plate. Once you are done, place them in the freezer for 1 – 2 hours or until frozen. Pop the yogurt covered blueberries into sandwich bags and you have a ready-to-go yummy snack.

Homemade Granola:

This bakes for 30 minutes, but the prep time is easy. Once it’s made, it’s a healthy quick snack for the whole family! You can add so many different ingredients to this granola to make it your own. Try different nuts, oil and dried fruit. It’s a very versatile recipe. Grab a baggie of granola on your way out the door, add milk and eat like cereal or add to yogurt parfaits.

3 Cups rolled oats

1 Cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1 Cup sliced almonds

½ Cup dried figs

½ Cup dried cranberries

1/3 Cup sunflower oil

1/3 Cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, coconut, almonds and dried fruit together. Add the oil and honey and stir until mixture is completely coated. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the granola is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Once granola is completely cooled, store in a container and enjoy!

ChicpeaJC’s Birth Story, She tells it like it is!

My name is Lynn, but some of you may know me as ChicpeaJC, I write a fun blog about fashion and culture in Jersey City. When JC Families approached me about contributing a monthly post about the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur and a mommy, I was a little apprehensive at first. To be honest I don’t actually write about my personal life on ChicpeaJC. The story I am about to tell you has been told to close friends and “the girls.”  I warn you, this column will “tell it like it is” and might be a little bit T.M.I for some of you. I promised myself that if I was going to do this, that I was going to be honest. Because as a mom, there are certain things people never told me about this crazy, crazy job.

Here goes. My birth story….

When I got pregnant I was beyond ecstatic, it wasn’t easy for me to get knocked up; I needed to see a fertility doctor, take all kinds of crazy hormones, shots etc… so when I finally peed on the stick and it showed “positive” the first thing I said to myself was “Fuck yeah…” #truestory


I loved every second of being pregnant; I was that pregnant woman walking on a cloud. I just loved the feeling of having a human growing inside of me. I was obsessed [I was obsessed with my body and the fact that I was growing a baby inside me!]… (ok maybe I still am? hashtag selfie moment). I come from a family of c-sections and non-breastfeeders, so I wanted to actually try and have the thing naturally as well as to breastfeed. I bought every natural childbirth book known to woman, watched every video possible…. (Did you know some women actually orgasm during birth?! Well yeah that definitely did not happen to me.)

I hired an amazing doula (which I highly recommend), I took a childbirth class and I was ready to do this shit. I told my husband, “If I ask for an epidural, talk me out of it.”

I was 41 weeks pregnant, overdue by a week, and mentally over the whole pregnancy thing when I went for a routine check up at the hospital. The doctor had told me a few days before that it wasn’t going to happen this week. I went to the appointment wearing a tanktop and jeans, I looked like I was part of a “Teen Mom” episode. I had planned to get a manicure and go to Wholefoods right after. Having the baby that day was not on my itinerary so I told the hubby he didn’t need to come with me.

Long story short, the doc checked me out and said, “The next time you leave here, it will be with your baby. To which I said, “Can I go eat a bagel first? I’m hungry.”

I called my husband and said, “Drop everything. Go home, get the hospital bag and I would like a scooped-out everything bagel with light cream cheese. STAT.”

I learned in my childbirth class that they don’t let you eat during labor and was really stressed-out because I am one cranky bitch when I am hungry.

My biggest nightmare was being induced. I knew that if I was going to be given Pitocin that I would have a very hard time having the thing naturally since it makes your contractions hurt like crazy… and well, they had no choice but to induce me since I was already at 41 weeks.

But first, I needed my husband to get to the hospital with my bagel. Nothing was happening before then… Actually, sorry for this, but I had to take a humongous poop. (I told you this would be TMI. I am being honest here, these are things that happened.)

Anyway, husband finally arrived, I scarfed the bagel, sat down on the bed and said “I’m ready”. I felt like I was going on a roller coaster ride. I was both excited and nauseous.

They induced me, and the contractions started. My amazing doula, Julie Rosen arrived and I swear she was an angel because as much as I love men, they are useless in these situations.

So the contractions started and my husband said, “Hey, I am really hungry so I am going to go get a falafel, want anything?” I said, “You’re going to get falafel now?!” I was way too tired to argue with him. The guy needed to eat.

Anyway, it was the worst timing ever. While he left, the baby’s heart rate dropped which is NOT a good thing. The doula came to me, held my hand and whispered, “Listen, there will be a group of nurses that are going to rush in here, don’t worry, everything will be OK.” As soon as she said that last word like 7 nurses rushed in. It was like an episode of ER, scariest shit ever. All I could think about was my husband eating a freaking falafel.

Everything turned out to be okay, however. I realize at this point if my doula was not around I would have gotten a c-section which was just not what I wanted.

So let’s fast forward a little to when I was 8 hours in labor, still no epidural. I was a rockstar.  The contractions where gnarly has hell; there is no way in describing this pain, I did all the stuff the doula told me to, we hugged, we sang…weird shit. I felt like I was on an acid trip kinda and at Burning Man… kinda!  It was brutal and otherworldly.

I felt like something was wrong, like things weren’t moving… for two straight hours I was still at 6 cms.  I was on my hands and knees looking up at my doula and said, in my best CEO voice, “Listen to me, get the doctor to check me, if I am still at 6 I want that epidural. If I am at 8 we can do this.”

chicpea and mini

My husband then says, “Lynn, you can do this, you don’t need the epidural.”  I was so pissed. Yeah I know, I told him to say that…. whatever!!

The doc checked me, and I was at 6 cms, the thing was stuck. Epidural-land here I come!! The epidural man, floated in (I swear he floated in, it’s my story okay?) and administered the epidural. I felt like I was flying. I was like “Awwww, this is the bomb!” I felt like texting Snoop Dogg to come hang out and play video games and eat donuts.

I was good now… I fell asleep, we all rested and then in wee hours of the morning it was time to push. The whole thing was crazy, I was like “Wow, I am about to be a mom.” This thing is going to be an actual human that I might screw up. Kind of awesome to have that power though.  While I was pushing, my parents were texting my husband to get directions to the hospital. And literally while I am pushing the thing out my husband asks me, “Do you think they should take the 6 train uptown? or the C/E train?” I looked at him and said, “I AM BUSY RIGHT NOW!!”

My Mini Me was born with her right hand by her head. Even then she did what she wanted. I was in love and I don’t ever remember being so happy ever in my life. It was literally like in the movies, you’re crying, you’re a hot mess, but you’re heart is exploding. The thing is a human.

My husband then slipped my doc an extra twenty and said,  “Hey maybe you can add an extra stitch down there…”  Just Kidding!!

Until next time…

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Ideas to play in the snow

Ideas to play in the snow: After the storm, kids are crazy to go outside. ow, if we go outside, let’s bring some fun with us.

Here there is a list of fn thing to do with the snow:

1.- Color the snow: Take some some spring bottles with water and some drops of food coloring. Take also the sand toys so you can pretend you are having an ice cream shop.

2.- Play snow tic tac toe:  Take some sticks and some rocks or pinecones as game pieces.

3.- Make snow angels and take amazing pictures

4.- Bring some snow indoors: Bring some of the snow and let them play as they are having a Bakery. Give them some baking cups and the sprinkles could be some little rocks and sticks.

5.- Snow kitchen: If you have some backyard bring their little kitchen and appliances and pretend the snow are the ingredients for the little chef.

6.- Make funny faces on the snow

7.- If you have a Ms. or Mr. Potato head, take the pieces with you and play with them in the snow.

8.- Snow fights: These are so fun, be gentle with the little ones.

9.- Bury a treasure: Hide some toy or treat on the snow and let’s start looking for it.
10.- and if you feel adventurous, build an Igloo. Here you can check the instructions.