Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is milk good for you?

After recent discussion with my mommy friends, it has me wondering if milk really does a body good? or if cow milk harmful to us? What is "ultra pasteurized"?  How come some organic milk doesn’t need to be refrigerated?  How is milk produced? Is very arguable depending who you talk to and resources you read from.  I have never been a milk drinker not even when i was little.  If I did drink milk, it had to be ice cold or flavored otherwise i wouldn't even touch it. We all have grown up thinking milk is the epitome of healthy drinking.  Is it still true?  Maybe back when things was still done the old fashion way.  As our high paced lifestyle is taking over, we seek for more affordable, fast and easy alternatives like items that are mass produced to meet our needs that is found in our local grocery stores and supermarkets shelves.  Most of the milk we see today at the supermarket are given growth hormones to increase milk production and antibiotics to decrease infections.  Even organic labels are highly questionable and misleading.   Which also brings in question how these animal are treated and how clean the facilities are.

Additives, organic, grass-fed, homogenization what?? With all this reading and searching online, I’m still unsure what is good and what is bad.   More confused than ever.  It seems like everything these days is confusing with many contradicting views.  For now, I still want to believe cow milk, especially grass-fed cow milk and not homogenized is good for children.  Although, I wouldn't be surprised to later hear arguments whether the grass cow are grazing on is natural grown grass or tampered!

I have recently been buying Ronnybrook milk for my daughter - Creamline milk.  Grass fed, pasteurized and non homogenized in glass bottles.  So far we like it. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's day

My daughter's first father's day craft.  Doesn't it just makes you want to smile.   Priceless.

Happy Father's Day all!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Upset About membership Changes in ACM Program

Are you upset about ACM Reciprocal Program changes?  For those that are not familiar, ACM is a national program providing services to individual museum members to unlimited admission to their home museum and plus other participating museums nationwide.  Most Children Museums are participants, if you are not sure you can check on the ACM website. 

I’m sure you must heard me rave about the benefit of getting Children’s Museum membership from my other posts.  What I didn’t realize was the changes that applied in during the recent months since I purchased my membership.    I think this change is most affected in metropolitan areas, particularly in NYC.  It used to be that if you purchased a family pack of 4, you were able to take the whole family of 4 to any tri-state’s Children Museum with unlimited access among admissions to nationwide participants.  This was what drew me in the first place to purchase – unlimited access to tri-state museums.  Now with the new changes, is only good for one adult and one child.  So while they have added more nationwide museum to the program it took away my local privilege and the major selling point for ME!

Don’t get me wrong.  I think the program is fantastic, gives you ideas of where to take your kids to when weather doesn’t cooperate or when is too hot outside and just need somewhere indoors to cool off.  Fabulous when you are doing road trips as well, so that you can check out that area’s Children Museum.  However, if you live in NYC, this is a major loss.    I have written several emails to both my home museum, Long Island Children Museum (LICM) and ACM Reciprocal Program, not the response I was hoping to hear.  I believe they should honor members who purchased their membership before a certain date or otherwise somehow compensated them for the inconvenience and change.    Again, I think overall is this is a fantastic program and great value but just not as appealing as it was initially for earlier member.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Driving Extravaganza: Fast and Furious Experience

Can’t find something for Father’s day?  How about celebrating father’s day by giving a gift he would certainly love and remember – try, one full day with six and counting beautiful, sexy and luxurious cars he always dreamed about at Bear Mountain!  This package includes driving up to 12 beautiful classic sport cars, lunch and cocktail hour and 1 custom designed CC – Tshirt.   Click on the links for more details provide by Gilt.com.  Act, they sell quick!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fun weekend in Philly

@ Touch Museum - Milking the cow
Highlight this weekend is Philaldephia.  Also known as Philly or The City of the Brotherly Love from the literal greek translation. Is less than 2hr from NYC depending on traffic. Is amazing how much there is to do in Philly.  We been to Philly many times and each time gets even better.  Many times before the kids and a few times when Megan was younger.  Each visit brings a new discovery.  I'm a sucker for retro and anything that tells a story.  Love the rich history the place holds and beautiful historic architecture.  More and more bohemian and artisant are flocking to the city - opening shops and galleries. It's a nice place.  Anyhow, this time it was more for my kids than for my selfish satifaction.  My husband differs on that note, he thinks these trips I plan are still more design for my ego!

There are many attractions for children in this beautiful city - some right in the city and others not too far from Philly center.  If you plan on staying for more than 3 days, I highly suggest you purchase the City Pass.  Philly City Pass for $59/adult admission to 6 attractions.  

We stayed at the Hyatt Summerfields Suits in Mount Laurel, NJ with another family of 4 - infant and toddler like us.  Fantastic bargain - 2 King bedroom suite with kitchen for $150/night or $110 for 1 bedroom.  Not your 5 star hotel but clean with modern furnishing.  Is about 25 minutes away from Philly and 15 minutes from the Aquarium.  The place is on the small side but big enough for all of us to be comfortable.  Wyatt slept in the pack n play and daughter slept with us in the king size bed.  Breakfast included.  The breakfast had a pretty decent selection to choose from.  Even took a few fruits on the go in case the kids wanted to snack later.   

We spend our first day at the Touch Museum.  Took my daughter there when she was 15 monhts.  I think she enjoyed it much more than she did  then.  She was able to fully enjoyed all the activity the museum offered.  If you never been here, the museum is pretty impressive and looks like just like a grown-up museum.  It's got 2 floors of  exhibits - spread out in 38,000 sq ft with interactive activities.  I have to say - is one of the best museum we have gone so far.  Most likely if you are member to a Children's Museum, they probably a participant in the ACM reciprocal program which means you can attend the Touch Museum for free.  Otherwise do check out City Pass for discount. We spent our whole day there and then we headed down to Reading Market Terminal for an early evening dinner/snack!

On the way to Reading Market Terminal, we stopped by Smith Playhouse.  My daughter felt asleep in the car but my friend's daughter did get to check the place out. Smith Playhouse is dedicated playarea for children under 5.  Recently renovated and updated.  They've got an indoor play and a nice outdoor playground with modern equipment.  Even also have one of those old fashion wooden slide.  Admission is free but they do suggested $5 donation per family. Glad we stopped by and check the place out.  It was a nice detour. 

Reading Market Terminal, to best avoid crowds go before the rush, around 5 o'clock.  I don't suggest strollers.  If you have young infants, is best to sport them on a baby carrier. Parking can be kind of tricky.  You can street/meter parking and if not you can park at Filbert Garage for $4 - 2hr limit - with minimum purchase of $10 which you can easily be done.  Before you set your eyes on a stall, do get a quick tour or grab a map to see all the offerings available.  I started at Tommy DiNic's for a savory kick for their delicious pulled pork sandwiches and husband had the pastrami sandwich, grab a nice cold beer to wash down the grease at the Beer Garden, then walk around and browse the stalls for groceries to bring back to the hotel/home, have ice-cream at Bassetts' and lastly if you get full like I was - pick up some whoopie pies at the Flying Monkey and cookies to go.  Megan was on a sugar high the whole evening!

 On our 2nd and last day of our weekend, we went to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden NJ.  Way better than New York Aquarium in Brooklyn.  Do check out the seal performance however do prepare to get there 20 minutes before showing.  The seats do get fill very fast. Also do know that there is no shades and it can very hot.  So be careful if your kids are sensitive to heat and sun.  The best part was watching the hippos.  I don't think I ever seen them so close and it was amazing watching swim in the water. Is definitely a sight not to be missed.  If decide not to get the City Pass, I read somewhere that you can pick a $4-5 coupon at the ACM Hardware in Bayonne.

I think I had more fun than the kids.  My husband may have been right.  ;-)  If you get the Philly City Pass, do ride the trolley, check out the Zoo and take the ferry to or from the Camden Adventure Aquarium.  If you intend on extending your trip and want to venture further out, you can also include Sesame Place, Dutch wonderland and/or Crayolla Factory!

Friday, May 13, 2011

How much to spend on Kid gifts?

We’ve got a whole bunch of birthday parties to go to in the next month.  Two just this weekend!  What is a good gift to get for a 6yr old? I hate getting gifts that don't have gift receipts.  They either really just awful gifts or items we already have.  By the way most times when you get gifts without receipts they are recycled.  Don't tell anyone but sometimes I recycle items that I don't like.  I feel terrible when I do because I hate it when I get them.  Most time I buy giftcards because it saves me on trying to think of something smart to get and run into the chance of getting something the birthday kid already have, along with something really small so they can open something.  Speaking of which, while I was shopping yesterday, I found these delightful coloring books, not your ordinary coloring book.  It encouranges your little one to think outside the box and can keep them busy for hours.  You can find them on Amazon.com or any local bookstore, from $8-$20.  Perfect for my little small gift.  How much do you spend on gifts? 

We are in May but believe it or not, I have mommy friends that are already planning for their kids bday for Nov!  We didn't throw a bday party for my daughter last year since it was around when i had my son.  Still debating whether I should throw one for the both of them.  Think it would be tacky to throw one for both in between their two birthdays - Sept 17 and Oct 29?

Boy left behind

A friend from work picked up her daughters from the daycare as usual yesterday.  As she drove into the lot she saw a little boy alone at the playground situated next to the daycare center.  She rushed in to pick her daughter as she did she forgot about the little boy.  As she walked out of the building with her girls heading towards the car she saw a boy still playing in the playground alone.  Just as she spotted the boy, she saw the director along with one of the teachers talking heading towards their car and she then shouted to them that there is still a kid in the playground!  Both the director and teacher scramble back to the building to get to the little boy.  As she was telling me this I was appalled.  He was left behind!  It gave me goose bumps as she told me this.   How can they forget the kid.  Why wasn’t there anyone watching?  Where was everyone?  Were they short staff?  That is no reason to forget a child!  I was flooded with question.  She then told me that it was impossible to miss the kid in the playground as you walk out of the building.  She then asked me if she should mind her own business or tell the mom and file a complain.   I told her that she should speak up.   I know if it was my little one, I would want someone to tell me about if they saw my child out there by himself.  Imagine if something happened or if someone snatched him?  What the informed parent do with the information would be up to them.   What would you do, if you were in her shoes?  I'm still a bit shocked hearing the story from my friend.