Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Laundry Trunk

I love hacks to make my life as Stroller Dad a little easier. I'll share the other tried-and-trues, but today I'm sharing the brainstorm I had last Friday.

Problem: I hate dropping off and picking up laundry with my daughter in tow. It used to be a breeze. She'd ride in the Ergo and I'd load the 20-30 lb. laundry on my Bugaboo Chameleon. It worked pretty well, but the laundry was still somewhat hard to balance. 

Recently we picked up a "wheeled board" stand-up attachment for our stroller. I thought my daughter could ride on the board while the laundry rode in the seat like in the old Ergo days. It worked fairly well, until she lost interest in the "Fun Board."  

I thought, what if she rode in the seat and the laundry rode on the Fun Board?  

Solution: I went through our luggage and grabbed a duffle bag strap—a nylon strap with two plastic clips on each end, the same thing used on a laptop bag. You probably have a couple laying around your place. I clipped it to the shoulder straps (that my daughter doesn't wear anymore anyway, just belt strap for this one) and slung it around the bag of laundry. Some easy adjusting, and BOOM! 

I give you the LAUNDRY TRUNK. 

Safe, secure, steers like a dream. 

If you don't have a Bugaboo, I bet this would still work. Let me know.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Bell Pepper Tantrum

My 2 and a half year old had an epic tantrum at lunch yesterday. Lunch is always a potential hot spot as tantrums are considerably more likely to happen when she is tired and lunch is often immediately before nap. A lunch staple is "pigs in a blanket" which is raw veggies wrapped up in a slice of turkey. We use a variety of veggies: steamed broccoli, cucumber, carrots, romaine hearts, celery, but most often (and her favorite) is bell pepper. I was out of peppers, so she had carrots and cucumber. She wanted bell pepper. We didn't have any. Cue meltdown.

I pretty much consider that a victory. What kid screams because they want more veggies?

And on that note, here's your Nutritionist's Tip of the Day: How To Get Your Kid To Eat Veggies
Step 1. Eat vegetables yourself
Step 2. Offer them to your child
It really is just that easy. Don't reward veggies, don't make it a big deal, just put them on everyone's plate and enjoy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Mommune: How it all began

It was kismet, pure and simple. The fact that we all gave birth in the 4 month span from November, 2011 until February, 2012 and lived in close proximity to one another led to the formation of our crew, our parent posse, our Mommune. It is a rare treat to find a new true friend in adulthood. Finding a whole bucketload is unheard of. We are ever-grateful that we found one another and for the incredible experiences we have had in the past 2 ½ years. These will be lifelong friendships and we are very excited for our offspring to grow up together, regardless of where we all land.

We all started our families in New York City, in a yuppified, brownstoney community in Brooklyn. Several abutting neighborhoods are thrown together into a giant, unwieldy, resourceful Yahoo group (a recent visit showed 9,019 members). It’s a great place to sell your changing table, borrow a nebulizer, get a pediatric orthopedic referral, or sublet an apartment for visiting grandparents. The moderators divide expectant families and new moms into subgroups and so “novjanbococababies” was formed. In the early months, we had over 65 members (many more have joined since then). This group took off like a shot. During the maternity leave months, weekly meet-ups were planned and a Google doc with  pictures and contact info was circulated. We were so organized that the moderators of the giant group cut us loose to moderate ourselves. Friends who had babies just one month earlier or a few months later did not have the same experience we did. The parents from our little slice in time were special.

Some of the Mommune members hit it off in those difficult early days and embraced regular “Wine and Whine” sessions. As seasons passed, they introduced other friends with similarly aged children to one another. Bonds formed and eventually our gang solidified.

We are a hodgepodge of SAHM’s (and one Dad), freelancers, and full time career-types. Our ages span 16 years. We are (or have been) advertising big-shots, attorneys, celebrity personal assistants, fitness trainers, interior designers, nurses, nutritionists, project managers, producers, students, teachers, and writers. And now we are parents.

We display a variety of parenting styles but we respect one another and we feel comfortable parenting one another’s children. We champion one another through the gleeful and the miserable. Most importantly, we can find humor in just about anything. Some of us have experienced some of life's biggest challenges this year and the Mommune has kept everyone laughing. 

If we lived somewhere with reasonable real estate, some of us might consider forming a real in-the-flesh commune.  Frankly, few things sound more appealing right now. Alas, Brooklyn becomes more ridiculously hip-n-happening with every passing day and a number of us have already started the “greener pastures” exodus (to Westchester, to Connecticut, to Los Angeles) so we will have to settle for this virtual commune, our Mommune. We will share musings, problems, experiences, ideas, and general hilarity. Because there's nothing funnier than parenthood. At least to us.

We are in agreement that parenthood is an incredible adventure. To find these friendships as a byproduct of what is already a giant blessing? Who's luckier than us?