Saturday 28 July 2012

A haircut and 3 questions


Alice got her very first haircut. Our friend, hair stylist extraordinaire, delicately worked on my daughter's combover! Armed with delicious blueberries, the process went very smoothly. It was not as emotional (talking about the mama and not the baby) as I expected but it was still a "touching" and adorable moment.

* * * * *

Our little family will go to Brooklyn in October. We will rent an apartment (via airbnb...much cheaper than staying at a hotel) for a few nights and mostly stay in this part of New York that we never visited before. I will also take part in a surface printing workshop with a certain Scandinavian designer (freaking out freaking out freaking out)!   

Question 1: Do you have any tips about Brooklyn?

As I told my unhappy anonymous reader in my previous post, I have been looking non stop for an umbrella stroller since, um, January. I actually made an Excel sheet with different models but so far nothing good came out of it! At first I wanted a MacLaren but I read an article that some kid got badly injured with the mechanism (???) and they had to recall tons of umbrella strollers. Then I wanted to get an Uppa Baby (G-Luxe) but the price is a bit too high for a secondary stroller (I still love our regular stroller for our day to day activities - especially Canadian winter activities - but it is a bit too bulky in crowded places like bus-subway-plane to New York and does not have a travel strap). Sadly, the company's cheaper model (G-Lite) is not available in Canada (!"#$%?&*). I looked at big surface stores but found nothing particularly interesting (bulky, heavy and low handles). At one point, Dan suggested that we simply get an incredibly cheap umbrella stroller at one of those "sell everything" stores in our neighborhood.

Question 2: Do you have any umbrella stroller suggestions?

We will be traveling to New York by plane because there was an awesome promotion with Air Canada. The flight is about 90 minutes and Alice will have to stay on our laps since we didn't get a seat for her (under 2 year old it is not necessary).

Question 3: How to you make a young toddler stay on your lap during 90 minutes???????? (not enough question marks to express how much I'm clueless about flying peacefully with a toddler).

Thank you so much!

I would also like to thank you for the lovely messages that you left me regarding the anonymous comment that I received. On the bright side, it totally boosted my writing "mojo" and made me realize that this blog still has an important place in my heart.

Dear readers, you rock!

p.s. I will soon post a list of my favorite Montessori et Waldorf blogs.


Shannah said...

Dear Clo,
I was just in NYC! I can't wait to bring my kiddos back with me next time.

Workshop with Lotta?!?! Sooooo jealous:)

I had a toddler on my lap all the way to Germany and we survived:) It was really not so bad. She will spend lots of time checking out the new situation and will have so many people to look at.

We had a European style buggy and a cheapy disposable umbrella stroller with a cute print.

Ugh, anonymous meanies. Really though, this person lashing out is probably coming from a place of their own pain. Good wishes their way.

I love coming to your blog! Your photos/writing are inspiring. You help me to reflect on how to be a better mama and find beauty and pleasure in the little things. xo

wendy said...

Ah, long time reader de-lurking so I can share a few Brooklyn/NYC tips. (I live in the area so these are only semi touristy, I guess...)

The BEST children's playground in the area that you absolutely must go visit is teardrop park near Battery Park City in Manhattan. I promise, the slide and the whole setting are beyond amazing.

Near Williamsburg, Brooklyn Brewery has a fabulous Friday night tradition: they open their tasting room with tables, you buy tokens from them and order takeout from around the neighborhood like chinese food or pizza, and you chill out. There are tons of kids at it & it's super laid back and fun. Hard to link to, but go here:, click on Friday & it will expand to tell you about it.

Hope you have a wonderful trip - I can't wait to see some pictures from it. :)

PJ said...

It was pricey, but we have been very happy with our Uppababy G-luxe stroller!

oneeyedrabbit said...

Please keep updating your blog. I love hearing about you and your baby! I have a Maclaren Mod Quest. And I love it. Despite the recall, Maclaren sent a cover for joints that can cause injury. I've never had a problem with the stroller. Another option is to just buy the umbrella stroller you want when you are in Brooklyn.

Vivian Doan said...


Brooklyn: I love Bedford Ave - we go for a walk every time we visit. It's kind of the original Mile End.

Stroller: I obsessed about this too and we ended up getting the Bumbleride Flite.
I love it with the exception of the front loading basket. That is utterly annoying. But it travels well. Not the cheapest stroller around though.

Plane tips: you only have one flight and it is only 90 minutes - no problem. Don't bring a ton of toys or food like we did, it just weighs you down. Just bring a couple of extra clothes for her and some snacks. She will love playing with the tray! You're lucky no connecting flights etc. I had an extra knapsack full of toys, clothing, change pad, food, milk, on top of the regular diaper bag and I regretted having so much with me. The less you have with you on the plane will make your life much easier.

I love Lotta!!! Love love love her. You are so lucky! Enjoy NYC - it's my dream city.

UK lass in US said...

We used one of those incredibly cheap umbrella strollers - it lasted through both kids! I mainly liked that it folded up much more compactly than the others, so they are much more likely to have it waiting at the offramp of the plane, rather than at the baggage carousel.

90 minutes? No problem. Yeah, it's 11 odd hours to England... I took lots of plain cheerios (fiddly to eat, but do not make sick if they want to eat loads... Still, one of the main forms of entertainment can be just walking about the aircraft. It's not like they have to stay on your lap the whole time, unless the seatbelt sign is on. Matchbox cars used to be a fave for driving about the airplane seat. Couple of light-weight books, too. Finger puppets. Um... That's all I can think of. I mainly remember doing about 500 laps of the plane with my toddler daughter saying hi to everyone who was foolish enough to say hi to her on her first lap. You probably won't have time for that many laps, though...

sara said...

OUach! Le dernier commentaire était vraiment minable et complètement irrationnel et infondé. J'espère qu'il ne t'a pas fait trop de peine! Il n'en valait pas la peine.

Pour la poussette, je ne peux pas t'aider. Je voulais aussi acheter une poussette-canne (c'est comme ça qu'on les appelle en france) pour cet été. En fait, quand nous sommes allés en france, ma mère avait une poussette de même (un vieux modèle qu'on lui avait prêté) et August était bien plus patient dedans que dans la citymini. J'ai compris que c'était parcequ'il pouvait être en position assise et pas comme "plaqué" contre le siège de la citymini qui ne se met pas en angle droit (oulala je sais pas si je suis claire!!)

Bref... j'ai commencé à regarder sur craigslist et kijiji mais pfff, après 3 ou 4 tentatives d'email, j'ai arrêté.

Pour l'avion, comme tu le sais, on a fait 8h aller et 8h retour. L'aller on était tous les 2 et là aucun soucis, pour le retour j'étais seule et c'était un peu plus complexe. Honnêtement, 90 minutes ça me semble extrêmement faisable, t'en fais pas.
Quelques "conseils" (enfin... je suis pas pro, hein!):

- Emmène de la bouffe, de l'eau (oui, tu as le droit), des jouets.
- si l'avion n'est pas plein, tu peux voir pour demander 1 siège en plus pour alice.
- change la sur le siège de l'avion et pas dans les toilettes ;)
- avant le décollage, laisse la courir et se défouler dans la salle d'embarquement.
- tu peux aussi emmener ton ordinateur avec un dessin animé. Je suis pas pro-tv du tout (on en a pas!) mais dans des cas "exceptionnels", ça peut bien aider et pas trop leur faire de mal...
- allaite pendant le décollage et l'atterrissage (pour ses oreilles).
- hormis pdt le décollage et l'atterrissage, tu peux la mettre dans l'ergo, si elle aime ça.

Je ne sais pas comment est Alice mais elle a l'air très sociable et curieuse donc je pense qu'elle va adorer le vol! ;)
J'ai remarqué qu'il y a deux types d'enfants sur les avions: ceux qui peur/qui ont mal, et ceux qui sont tellement excités par l'expérience qu'il faut un peu les calmer.
Le mien était tout heureux et finalement ça l'a bien "occupé" (regarder partout, le hublot, le film sur l'écran, les gens, etc...).

Voilà, bonne chance! :)

tiffany... said...

unfortunately, this response will be short... even though i have a lot i'd like to write to you... really, i need to just sit down and write a proper email/ letter to you!
first of all... claudia, i love reading your blog! i feel like you are writing for me at times! we're kindred spirits! i have some great montessori resources that i should gather together for you! (have you looked at michael olaf?)
i really hope james and i can make it down to brooklyn! our babies can laugh together while we gorge ourselves on chocolate and soy chai lattes!
okay, i've done some research and have found a pretty good inexpensive umbrella stroller! we bought it off of amazon- the first years jet stroller. it folds up nicely, seems like it will last, and is a little bit taller so we don't have to bend down while we're pushing james. it also comes in many colors!
good luck with stroller shopping!
anyway... i hope you are well claudia! give alice a little squeeze from me and james, please!

Hoola Tallulah said...

What to do or 90 mins on a plane? Pens and paper are your friend... anything except noisy toys which will make people want to gouge your eyes out with a spoon. Maybe a tablet/ipad that you can get some good cartoons on with headphones? Or keep her awake as long as you can before the flight and hope she sleeps a little. I did a 17 hour flight with Amber and Hazel when they were 18m and 6m, I wanted to gouge my own eyes with a spoon.

kt said...

inexpensive umbrella stroller. Gets lost or breaks? Oh well.

for flight--a couple of books, some snacks, a soft toy, and lots of finding things with your eyes--can you see a hat? A moustache? A blue coat? etc.

Travel safely and have a great time!

Karolina said...

Kudos on your response to the nasty commenter. I sincerely enjoy your blog and look forward to your posts. Keep writing!

I live in Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens) and can tell you that if you are on the fence about getting a stroller just for the trip, don't. I mean, it's useful if you are planning on just walking above ground but if you are planning on taking the subway/taxis it will be a hassle. Most subway stations don't have elevators and to only go between the ones that do is out of the way. The ones that don't have elevators have millions of stairs and people so although it is possible to fold up your stroller and carry it up and down the stairs, it cumbersome and tedious. If I am staying in my neighborhood I use my stroller but if we are traveling to the city or anywhere else, Ergo or sling! Also, there is a fantastic playground on the Brooklyn waterfront called Pier 6. You must check it out. On the weekends, there is a free ferry ride to governors island from Pier 6 which is really fun as well. Williamsburg is really fun as well. I'm not sure which area of BK you are staying in but there are, of course, amazing restos, coffee shops and the like. You can also take a water taxi between Williamsburg and Dumbo (which is where the playground is that I mentioned) which is a nice way to take in an amazing view of the city (and cheap!).
I wouldn't recommend any of the children's museums. They are kind of gross and germy. There are loads of amazing children's stores with wooden toys, etc. In fact, there is a Waldorf shop called Acorn on Atlantic Ave in Boerum Hill.
Also, in Dumbo is a beautiful old restored carousel called Jane's Carousel.
Central Park is there, of course, if you are planning on venturing into the city. But Brooklyn does have tons of fun things to do with kids.
Have a great time! Feel free to email me if I can tell you anything else.

Oh and we flew with my little one to Holland earlier this year for 7 hours on our laps and we survived. You'll be fine :)

Anonymous said...

You should rent an umbrella stroller when you are in NY. There are companies that specialize in renting baby things (car seats, high chairs, strollers, cribs) for travelers who don't want to bring these things. Do a Google search and reserve one.

kimu said...

Late to the conversation (we were on vacation), but thought I'd add in some answers re:

1. How to survive the flight: if the plane is large enough, ask for a bulkhead seat. Then you'll have the space in front of the seat to stretch out and possibly as a small child play area. Regardless, go up to the gate agent as soon as you arrive at the gate and see if there are any open seats they can juggle to give you extra space. If you have a window seat, you're probably all set re: baby staying in your arms during take off and landing at least, and those are the most critical periods.

2. Umbrella stroller: are you sure you really want one? My experience in places that have subways or other forms of public transit is that you're a heck of a lot better off with baby wearing than trying to navigate with a stroller. If you definitely want a stroller, I personally vouch for the Maclaren Volo. It's lightweight (important during travel) and goes up to 55 lbs so you can use it for quite a while. If you want to go for a more heavy duty baby wearing set up (that's kind to your back), check out the Deuter Kid Comfort II. We got ours before our trip to Japan last year and it was a lifesaver - a place for our son to sleep if he needed, but easier to get around with than a stroller and with much better back support than a regular baby carrier.