Pregnancy – Surviving Your First Trimester

Tips to survive your first trimester of pregnancyPregnancy – Surviving Your First Trimester. It’s not always a smooth ride during pregnancy and surviving the first trimester. My first pregnancy was pretty easy. I was so lucky. I was still dancing for various projects all over New York City and was always moving. This really helped my body stay in shape and strong and my core was supported by these dance muscles which in turn made me have a lot more energy and feel great.This time around, it’s quite different. I haven’t moved with that professional dancer intensity, since having Thomas and my body has …softened a bit.

The second pregnancy, your body remembers… like the “north” … the body remembers. and even before we realized we were pregnant.. this amazing body of mine was already settling into the 9 months of growth. My belly popped around 18ish weeks and there were a lot more symptoms that tagged along this time around.

My first trimester was a bit rough. Not Princess Kate rough… but pretty rough. I couldn’t sleep, I started having pregnancy migraines, restless legs, and nausea. This summer while in Florida with our family, there were many nights that I just couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning all night from discomfort.

While most of these symptoms cannot be avoided, you can do small things to help ease the discomfort.

Tips to survive your first trimester of pregnancy

To survive the first trimester of pregnancy you can try to:

  1. Drink tons of water. I would cut up limes and lemons and add to my water. It’s easier to drink with a little flavor but the sour flavors of the limes and lemons really helped soothe my nausea.
  2. Get a maternity pillow or any pillow and place it between your legs. This is crucial. I sleep with a million pillows all around.
  3. Try sleeping at an angle. Laying flat was a bit of a challenge for me just because of nausea and discomfort so again, I piled up pillows all around me to stay slightly at an angle when sleeping.
  4. Ginger biscuits! I could not stand the smell fo ginger tea but ginger biscuits were my saving grace! The crunchy kids because I also didn’t want to eat too much. So small bites of these biscuits always helped.
  5. Find your support system. I am so fortunate to have an amazing husband who is always making sure I’m comfortable and fed and feeling ok. The kids have been brushing my hair or putting lotion on my belly or legs which is also so soothing. My friends have been really wonderful by checking in, offering advice and lending an ear. You need a support system throughout your pregnancy. You need people around you who will just listen to your woes about your body aches and be sympathetic. This is so important. It’s always nice to have people who are willing to listen to what you are going through but so much more while pregnant. Those emotional pregnancy hormones don’t mess around!

The New York Mom

That’s all I have! Yaa! for this sweet preggy babe! Please share your preggy tips with me!

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Gender Reveal – and the baby is a…

It’s time to reveal the gender of this new bundle of baby! We’ve been trying to find the perfect way to share the news and didn’t quite seem to vibe with any of the ideas that we found. But when we figured it out… it was perfect! Here is our super creative – spur of the moment – gender reveal!

Lily wanted us to make a big deal out of the gender reveal. When she found out that Thomas was a boy, the nurse who was administrating the sonogram just told us in a casual way. She was not impressed. A gender reveal needs to be a big thing, she said.

We didn’t want to do the traditional pink and blue – gender specific thing.  Thomas’ favorite color is pink while Lily’s is blue. The princess/pirate reveal couldn’t work because Thomas loves dressing up like a princess all the time and we didn’t want to define those gender lines. After searching through Pinterest and asking our friends for suggestions… we had nothing.

Matt and I had known the gender for a good 48 hours and hadn’t figure out how to tell the kids… with the pressure of an exciting reveal as requested by the tween… we were all out of ideas! On a whim while running errands at Target… we had an ah-ha moment! We decided to rearrange the letters in their craft section to reveal the big news.

This was the best idea ever!!

Lily was impressed. It was exactly the big Gender Reveal moment she was looking for.

Pure surprise!

The baby is…. a GIRL!!!

The future is Female y’all!

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Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City

It’s Fall Y’all! Fall is quite possibly THE most beautiful season in the Northeast. Sure we love our summers but the fall with the leaves, and the chill in the air and the apple cider and the cinnamon donuts and the craft fairs and … the silence you have in the home when the kids are back in school! You can see how this is easily my favorite season. To kick off the season, I’m excited to share the Best Places for Apple Picking Near New York City.

Every year we go apple picking several times a season. Living in Northern Westchester, there is no shortage of apple picking orchards all around us. Thomas and I love to go on the weekdays when it’s quite and take our time through the trees, picking the best apples. We make apple pies, apple crumbles, apple juice and simply eat everything we pick pretty fast.

Best Apple Picking In New York

There are lots of lists about the best places to go  so I’m narrowing down mine to a few faves. I have lots of tips and tricks to make your apple picking experience instagram worthy and a memorable fall activity.

Tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Traffic can get pretty intense. Come early in the morning or late in the afternoon for ideal crowd control that 10am time slot is the most coveted which makes the traffic and the orchard insane.
  2. Bring CASH money! Most farms have tons for the kids to do. Hay rides, corn maze, pumpkin toss and of course provisions for the adults – beer, hard cider, and wine is usually served too. There are farm stands with pies, local honey and donuts. So come prepared with some cash!
  3. If you can swing it, go on a weekday. The weekends at most farms within an hour driving distance from NYC can get crazy with lines for everything from hayrides, beer, cider, donuts and even the orchards are overcrowded. Many times the farms will run out of food and booze after you have spent 30 mins in line.
  4. Wear comfy shoes…I know you are all about that instagram feed… but heels in an orchard are just silly. Get your Hunter boots on, some skinny jeans, a cute plaid top, fall hat and done! Comfy and cute.
  5. Call the farm before you to go to see what the apple situation is. Last season there was a shortage and by mid October there was nothing left.
  6. If you know your apples, call the farm to see which varieties are growing right now. To me, an apple is an apple so as long as they are on a tree and tasty, we are good.
  7. Most of these farms have ‘harvest festivals’. Call or swing by their websites to get the info. Most, if not all of these, are run by local families so calling is always better than website info.

Best Apple Picking In New York

Our Favorite Apple Picking Farms:

Westchester County – This is the county that sits directly above Manhattan… it’s the “other” borough. There are a few farms down county but I live in Northern Westchester and these are about a quick 10 minute drive for us.

FISHKILL FARMSFishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 12533 (845) 897-4377

This is our absolute favorite farm!!  We gather up some friends and head up multiple times a year for all the berry picking, apple picking and even just walks around the farm. There are animals, a farm stand and much more.

OUTHOUSE ORCHARDS 139 Hardscrabble Road, Croton Falls (914) 277-3188

This farm is about an hour north of NYC and gets really really REALLLLLY busy on the weekends. They have a ton of activities for all ages with long lines for everything. It’s very popular with “city folk” because of the proximity. On weekdays it’s a great. no crowds but also no activities.

HARVEST MOON FARM AND ORCHARD 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem (914) 485-1210 

Harvest Moon is down the road from Outhouse. Same vibe. Super busy with gorgeous rolling hills and amazing views of the orchards. Check their website for evening live music and firepits.

WILKENS FRUIT AND FIR FARM1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights (914) 245-5111 

This is a smaller farm but also popular with the NYC crowd. There is always lots to do with a farm stand for lots of yummy fall treats.

Apple Picking in N

Take a Drive! 

While the places I mentioned earlier in this post are about an hour’s drive north of Manhattan. I HIGHLY recommend going even further up past Westchester County. This gives you a serious dose of the gorgeous scenery that the Hudson Valley holds and the crowds are not nearly as nutty as the farms closer to the city. These two are our faves and if you go on a Saturday, often times there are local craft fairs and antique markets.

KELDER’S FARM5755 Rt 209 Kerhonkson, NY 12446 (845) 626-7137

There is a giant gnome that’s kinda silly fun and there is SOOO much to do for the kids. Goats, ducks, candied apples… and more.

BARTON ORCHARDS63 Apple Tree Ln Poughquag, NY 12570

Another favorite. Gorgeous drive, lots to do and when the leaves are turning it is spectacular. Check their schedule for the Hot Air Balloon fest!

Our family loves to go toward HUDSON, NY and explore some of the smaller farms there. Take a drive up to Red Hook and Rhinebeck and stop at any of the farms along the way.

Happy Fall Y’all!!

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Hurricane Stories

Florida Hurricane
Florida Hurricane
I grew up in Florida from the age of 12 until I went to college. I also came back often while in college and we go back every single year for summer and Christmas to see our family.
The Florida panhandle boasts gorgeous white sandy beaches, relaxed life and a kindness from the locals you only find in the south.
I went to school in Tampa and my life existed within the perimeter of the University of South Florida Dance and Theatre Department. My roommate and I woke up to an alligator on our front step one morning… making us late to our 8am ballet class. Traffic stopped on the interstate because of a massive bull alligator chillin on the 4 lane highway and hurricanes were part of our seasonal everyday.
Floridians take and don’t take hurricanes seriously. Kinda like the gators… there are there… everywhere… you just work around them.
I’m worried about my mom, grandma and in-laws in Florida. There are safely tucked away in the Florida Panhandle… a place that I like to refer to as… every hurricane comes right for them!
Have you ever stood in the middle of the ‘eye’ of the hurricane? It’s pretty spectacular. Around all this chaos of heavy screaming winds, sideways rain and darkness comes the pure bright blue calm of the eye of the storm. It’s beautiful. Or how about those moments before the storm starts and every single thing is absolutely S T I L L eerie and stunning. The ‘calm before the storm’ is what they call it.
Florida Hurricane
  • When I was in high school my anatomy teacher would skip school on days before the hurricane so he could go surfing. It was almost as if this was written into his contract. Surf Days are a must. We would go out and watch the surfers tackle some pretty massive waves. 
  • One hurricane we lost power for nine days and my mom had a wooden DIY dollhouse kit sitting untouched so we spent hours by candle light building this house and gluing wooden shingles one by one. We painted it blue and white and it was our amazing project during the dark evenings that followed the hurricane.
  • After one particular hurricane, the roads were destroyed. The roads were just eaten up by the gulf water and you just couldn’t get across from one town to another.  The military was patrolling with tanks and large impressive vehicle to make sure that everyone had food and water and were safe. We had night curfews. Matt somehow sneakily drove across town to see me. That sweet teenage love makes ya do silly things! 
  • We actually drove to Key West during a big tropical storm once. Just to ‘see what it was like‘. Not smart but we were young and fearless. Have you been to the keys? They are a string of islands completely out there in the middle of the ocean. All the islands are small and at the mercy of the water and wind. It was very exciting to experience a tropical storm in Key West, everything shook, everything moved, the winds howled and the next morning trees were down…but the people continued like it was just another day. Pie stands were open, the chickens ran all over the island like nothing happened. Cats came over to ask for food and the big cruise ships docked like any other day.
  • While in college, in Tampa, we would sit on our balcony of our apartment and literally watch the hurricanes roll in. Our neighbors and friends would come over and we would cook all the food we had – ahem.. microwave the frozen food we had… and have these great hurricane parties. Without a care in the world.
These were hurricanes… they came through multiple times a season, they turned into tropical storms or not, we celebrated them and moved on with our lives.
Florida Hurricane
I know people are partying it up in Florida today, you’ve seen the images from the Keys. They are going to ride this storm out. I even know people who are out on the water catching those ‘massive waves’. But Hurricane Irma seems so very intense and I worry about my fellow Floridians. Oh Florida… this might be the big one! Be safe. Check in with us!
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Party of Five!

We’re having a baby! Our little family is growing and we are all over the moon.

Matt and I told the kids when we were in Florida, right before we started telling our parents and siblings. Of course Thomas and Lily are really excited and have already started dreaming up ways to ensure that THEY will be the favorite of the new addition.

Thomas is determined to name the baby – BuzzLightyear. So that’s on the table.

I’m at exactly 15 weeks today and my body is feeling like a wreck. My first trimester was pretty brutal with nausea and exhaustion and just overall BLEH! These last few weeks have been a little rough as well. I’ve been getting migraines. Something I never had with Thomas’ pregnancy and my restless legs have already begun, again something that didn’t start until the third trimester with Thomas.

The kids think it’s pretty funny that I can sit down on the couch and be asleep in five minutes. A deep exhausted sleep. not funny! Matt has been traveling and my daily mission is to stay busy and out of the house so I don;t crash and sleep every second I get! Good news is that this forces me to be in bed by 9:30pm every night. My usual bedtime is midnight or 1am. So I’ve been enjoying waking up early with the birds, and having lots of sleep…but nothing is getting done around here.

Overall we are really excited. We have so much work to do in this house and are hoping to tackle a bunch of it before this baby arrives… probably not going to happen! But we will try.

Here is how we made our big online announcement. Cuties! All of us!

Yaay!Ba-baaay!

 

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Father’s Day

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing papa’s out there. The kids and I are so blessed… incredibly blessed to have Matt be the papa bear in this big den. His patience, kindness, love, humor, cooking and sense of adventure are always inspiring all of us to be better and do more while also making us feel absolutely comfortable in our flaws.

We started with coffee in bed.. breakfast was a whole ordeal that could not be had in bed.  The kids had picked out a handful of personal gifts and cards for Matt and even Jonah came over with sweet kisses.

Our plans were to head to Manhattan for a walk in the park and grab some grub. So we decided to go to church in NYC to hear one of Matt’s colleagues preach. After that we walked the two blocks over to Central Park to walk through the Central Park Zoo.

It ended up being a really hot day in New York and the kids were too hot and exhausted for more park time. The original plan included a day with the boats and a picnic but the heat was too much!

So we headed downtown to Curry Hill for some Indian Food. More on this later, because I am pretty sure I found the MOST AMAZINg indian food in curry hill!

The kids take after their dad. They both have Matt’s relaxed, thoughtful nature. They both have an interest in cooking and crafting decadent meals. Lily loves creating cheese platters and baking. And I am just happy that i get to enjoy all the home cooked feasts!

We love this sweet little life of ours. While today was certainly a day that celebrated Dad’s we are thankful for Matt every single day.

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TNYM Travels: A Day Trip to Cold Spring, New York

Are you all recovering from the long weekend. While I certainly enjoyed my weekend with the whole family, I am exhausted and desperately need a day off!

We kept our plans pretty relaxed over the long weekend and just mulled around the house, hung out with friends and went day trippin! Matt and I love to travel with the kids and sometimes a quick day trip is all we need to take care of the travel bug!

One of my most favorite places to spend a day is Cold Spring, New York. This is a quaint little town up the Hudson Valley, about 2 hours north of Manhattan,  with specialty stores that line the main street. But that’s not the main attraction.

Cold Spring has one of my favorite hikes – BreakNeck Ridge. Lily and I have climbed this mountain many many times and love it. Best to go on a weekday because it gets really busy on the weekends and takes the calmness of a hike, out of the experience.

We go toCold Spring so often that I just can’t fit everything you should do in one post.  There is so much to experience in this sweet town that one trip just won’t do it justice.

On Saturday we went for a hike and then settled into lunch at the ColdSpring Depot. A big burger seemed to do the trick for a post hike meal!

We wandered around main street and peeked into all the stores, picking up goodies here and there. We stopped by ColdSpring Apothecary for coffee, and treats. What’s with the new trend of barbershop/hair salon/bars and cafes! You can get your hair cut and have a snack!

One of the newest stores to arrive inCold Spring is Pink Olive – the cutest gift shop with something for kids and adults. I love this perfectly curated little shop with hand-made items and great inspiring decor.

Of course you can’t go to Cold Spring without getting ice cream at MOO MOO’s creamery! It’s right by the water and the views are stunning.

ColdSpring General Store is a must stop as well. Go to the back room for a whole secret stash of must have foods. That Bloody Mary Mix is delish! and they have tons of specialty beers and pickles! 

Where to EAT:

  • Hudson Hills – fresh farm food – simple and delish!
  • The Foundry is a great spot as well but the food takes FOREVER to come out and the server even said – it might not be best for the kids. But we have been to the foundry in the past and it’s good munching if you are not in a hurry.
  • Coldspring Depot – Pub fare. Something simple and delish for everyone.
  • For a quiet romantic meal or drinks and apps – sit outside at Brasserie Le Bouchon. This is french food with yummy small plates and a decent wine list. This place seems a little hit or miss for us, so we only do apps and drinks. The ambiance is great!

I hope you get to head up to Cold Spring this season. It’s a beautiful little town and there are lots of bed and breakfasts for an overnight trip.

 

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OMG the Hot Moms at the Town Pool!

The New York Mom

Summer is nearly here and there is nothing more terrifying than the town pool. Our town pool opens in exactly 5 days!!! and I have not done one single thing to get this body prepped for what awaits me at the pool every. single. day.

Hot moms!

Hot Nanny’s!

Hot AuPairs!

Pool season with preschoolers is not fun! Last year, thank the heavens, I did not have to wear my swimsuit once at the pool. Thomas was too young to go to the big pool and had no interest, so I just wore cute pool side cover ups and sat in the shade in the kiddie pool. Chillin! But this year! I have to “park’ my gear at the kiddie pool and then take him across the lawn to the big pool because he wants to swim in the big pool this year.

And here is where my problem lies.

The walk from the kiddie pool, past the gate that confines the kiddies in the kiddie pool, across the lawn – past the hot moms, nannies, aupairs… is the worst walk!

My only goal is to jump into the big pool as fast as I can without making a scene and then usher Thomas into the pool into my arms with my un-summer body safely under water! Great plan right?

Wrong. inevitably, I will run into a neighbor hot mom who wants to stand in the open air and chat about whatever she wants to chat about without even thinking for one second that I might be having an internal freak out right now standing practically naked in front of the entire town.

Thankfully Thomas will pry me away and I’ll be safe in the pool.  This is going to last 5 minutes because the water in the town pool is cold and he doesn’t like it and I am soaking wet and cold but now have to drag my soaked body out of the pool to walk back to the kiddie pool.

… past the hot moms, hot nannies, and hot aupairs.

That’s it. That’s all I have for you today. OMG the Hot Moms at the town pool!!

 

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Protect Like a Mother -Weekend Art Exhibit with Lysol

 

Protect Like A Mother

Something happens to us humans when we become parents. There is a fierce protective Instinct that triggers anytime we sense something amiss. There have been many times that I have found a surge of energy, strength and anger that races through my body in order to save my child from harm. That instinct kicks in and you step it up to PROTECT LIKE A MOTHER!

Protect Like A Mother

Protect Like A Mother

The protective instinct is a universal truth of motherhood – in the animal kingdom and in our own. Different species demonstrate amazing feats to protect their young…including human mothers.

Protect Like A Mother

Lysol, the cleaning brand, has an amazing exhibit in Brooklyn today and tomorrow ONLY, that is all about this very theme. It’s called PROTECT LIKE A MOTHER and it’s a stunning visual installation under the Brooklyn Bridge that shows images and sculptures of mama animals caring for their young.

Protect Like A MotherI’m working with Lysol to celebrate a mother’s natural protective instinct, honoring that a mother’s first priority is always the safety of her children – whether she is a bear, a monkey, or a person!

An important way that human moms protect their families is by preventing the spread of harmful germs in the home. With two dragons and a giant beast, our home is all too familiar to germs. Now the weather is warm, the kids are always in and out of the house, snacking with their unwashed hands. With the weather being so crazy here in New York, lately, we have had our fair shares of coughs, colds, ear infections and other sickies! Our LYSOL products have been working overtime for sure!

No one protects loved ones quite like mom and no one protects families like Lysol, a leader in germ kill for 100+ years, which offers products that kill 99.9% of germs to help moms protect their kids from passing germs and getting sick. 


I hope you swing by Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, for a special Lysol exhibit celebrating the greatest guardians of all: mothers. The exhibit will give a look at the most incredible and fierce moms on the planet! The exhibit is open Saturday, May 20 and Sunday May 21. For more information visit  Lysol.com/ProtectLikeaMother.

This post is sponsored by Lysol. All images and ideas are my own. Thanks for stopping by and learning a bit about our sponsors here at New York Mom! 

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New York Mom EATS: Barnes and Noble Concept Store

Last week our friends at Barnes and Noble invited me over to check out their new concept store right here in Westchester County. There are only a handful of these stores in the country and only one in New York.


What a treat! This Barnes and Noble store offers a full sit down restaurant, and a bar that serves local wine and beer. Of course their coffee game is right on point!

We met the chef who took us through a play by play of each course complete with his favorite tips for the food. His secret to that amazing hummus… more tahini.


The space is gorgeous with a massive outdoor patio complete with fire pit and bocce ball courts. I love being able to park myself in the comfy cafe and get some work done! The new concept store is bringing a sense of community back to the bookstore. I love bookstores, large and small. This concept store is targeting all ages and demos, families, singles, seniors, students, networking events… all of it. Hope to see you there sometime!

Barnes And Noble WESTCHESTER  is  located at 680 Post Road, Eastchester, NY.

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