Friday, July 13, 2012

Stamford Downtown Horse Tour 2012

My friends and I spent two hours walking around the concrete and asphalt streets of Stamford yesterday... why?  To see the horse statues, of course!  A friend planned out a four-part tour for us, and yesterday we completed leg three. I blogged about it more extensively at my more parenting-focused (but still locally-slanted) blog, FC Mom, if you want to take a peek!  

The moms and babes of Horse Tour 2012, Leg Three
Thank you SDSSD (I'm so proud of myself for finally learning the acronym for Stamford Downtown Special Services District) for creating such a wonderful Art in Public Places 2012!  This webpage has links so you can print a guidebook and map, and Horsin' Around Stamford Downtown facebook page has pictures of all the horses with their names.  Beautiful!  
Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Scalzi Park for Summer

I love the new improvements at Scalzi: the walking path, the two new playgrounds, and the great splash pad pictured here. I only wish there was more seating at each of the two playgrounds. Each playground only has one bench that fits five adults. Definitely not enough! Still there's lots of shade between the two playgrounds for picnic blankets. I love Scalzi!

Click here to read more.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cove Beach: Free Rent

I am only slightly amused by the lifeguard's-view-blocking cabana some family has erected at Cove Island. Or maybe they live there? Looks about the same size as my college dorm room. I'm guessing this is NOT on the "stuff that's ok at Cove" list- essentially, putting up a small house on the beach to block everyone else's view. Ah well, anything goes at Cove.

As long as a grown man isn't attacking a child who gets in the way of his roller blading, I probably shouldn't complain. Maybe the lifeguard told them they could use it as long as they keep all the curtains open, and keep it an open structure. I suppose that's fair.

Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Advocate Photo Blog Making News! Darien Girls' Lacrosse Coach Suspended

I am constantly talking about how awesome the Advocate's photoblog In Sight is.  I don't mean to be repetitive, but there's an interesting discussion happening right now about the photos that Bob Luckey posted of the Darien girls' lacrosse coach grabbing her goalie's helmet and appearing to shove her backwards. The discussion at In Sight gets into pressures of high school sports, parents' expectations... it's something anyone who's been through school, or who has kids, can relate to. Go take a look!  

I don't know anything about the coach or her team, but I do think:
- It's great to open a dialogue about how we expect our kids to be treated.  I think that's what Bob Luckey meant to do, and I commend him.  
- I would not want any adult to put their hands on my kid like that, even if they were on a high-pressure, high-performing team.  
- Adults who work with children have a responsibility to hold themselves, each day and each minute, to the highest behavior standards they can manage.
- Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes vary in degrees of seriousness.  
- A pattern of mistakes is a problem.   

I just saw in the paper (how ironic that I'm calling it a "paper" and I read it online) that the coach is suspended for the rest of the season but can return in 2013.  Wow.  
Click here to read more.

Stamford Sinkhole... Impressive!

A reader (thanks BD!!!) sent me photos of a rather terrifying sinkhole on Fifth Street just east of Bedford. I have to assume someone's tire went into this, because how else would it get that deep before someone noticed it... This really freaks me out.

Click here to read more.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Birth Talk! Midwives, VBACs, Nancy Wainer in CT/NY

I went to a very enjoyable event last night: the opening of my birth educator's new studio! I have raved before about Cynthia Overgard's Hypnobirthing of CT- both she and her birth class are an invaluable source of information, inspiration and support.  Cynthia's new studio in Westport is spacious (and gorgeous) so she can more easily accomodate classes and events... AND it's across from the Whole Foods.  Does it get any better than that?

The keynote speaker at the event was Nancy Wainer, the midwife and author who coined the term "VBAC" and works passionately to prevent unnecessary c-sections.  Nancy had many kind words to say about Cynthia and her work with mothers who want to have the most peaceful births possible.  It was such a pleasure to hear an experienced midwife speak about the many misconceptions about birth, such as women being (disturbingly commonly) told that their pelvis is too narrow for their baby.  (Hello, the pelvis expands in labor! And the baby's head smushes because the skull bones aren't fused yet. What's more likely to slow labor is your baby being in the wrong position so their head can't smush and descend as effectively- a midwife can tell you simple things you can do to get your baby in the best position before labor starts.)  Can you tell I'm a fan of midwives?
Nancy Wainer is also speaking tonight at ICAN of Westchester.  ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) is dedicated to improving maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary c-sections, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting VBACS.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eating Stamford Uptown

I did not know about this! The deals end this Friday, so get out and enjoy!

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Local Company: Pure Play Kids

I finally placed an order with the locally-based and owned company Pure Play Kids. I'd been seeing the company's toys at my friends' houses and I was starting to get toy envy. We got these two felt playmats (Sea Life and Transportation, right) for an upcoming plane trip. Of course I'm bringing the iPad, since I'll be traveling with 2 kids by myself with a layover, but I'd like to last at least an hour- maybe two!!!- without technology.

The wooden animals from Pure Play Kids are beautiful- my friend has several and they are large and sturdy. (I put them on my wish list.) This bus is also a great piece.

Check out the very nice Facebook page with useful tips, links, and coupon codes!

From the Pure Play Kids website:

Pure Play Kids offers one of the largest selections of battery-free, TV-free, creative playthings in the USA. We have a sharp focus on creativity, safety and natural materials. So whether you seek wooden toys, cloth dolls, natural teethers, Waldorf toys or the perfect baby gift, Pure Play Kids has you covered. Additionally, Made in America toys are the bulk of our offering, and the remainder are fine European toys. Kid-powered is the term we use to describe our products. Let kids provide the motion, sounds, storyline and characters that drive the toys – not vice-versa – and witness a flourishing of imagination, confidence and skills.

I also love that many of the pics on the site are taken in Stamford, like this one of the garden/beach set at Cove Beach!
Click here to read more.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Last Dog Days at Tod's Point

I was marveling at the 20-30 dogs that stretched as far as the eye could see down the 300 yards of beach at Greenwich (also called Tod's) Point today. Then I remembered that after March 31 no dogs (or non-beach pass holders) are allowed. I have to say, all of the dogs, most of whom were off-leash, were incredibly well-behaved. It was enough to make even a dog-neutral person like me feel fondness toward them, sort of like how the Grinch's heart grows bigger at the end of the movie. One dog did bump my leg and get it a little wet, but that's nothing compared to that dog who put muddy paw prints on my butt at Mianus River Park. Or that other one who jumped all over me and got me dirty at Mianus later that same day. Anyway, what an incredible beach/park Tod's is. I'm sure it's going to be packed tomorrow, Saturday March 31!

Click here to read more.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Family Fire Safety Day

In response to the tragic fire in Shippan, a local online mothers' group that I'm a part of has organized a Family Fire Safety Day at numerous local fire stations. CT Moms is an incredible organization and this is one of the many things they do to help the community.

At 10 am, several local fire stations are opening their doors to the public for family-friendly demonstrations and info. In Stamford, the Belltown Fire Station is participating, in Darien, the Noroton Heights Station, and in Greenwich, the Glenville Station (they installed my carseats and they were SO nice to us). Fire stations in Trumbull, Fairfield, Norwalk and Stratford are also participating; click here to see the list.

It's wonderful of the fire stations to do this, and it's impressive what a group of dedicated mothers can do.
Click here to read more.

Cool Pics at In Sight Photoblog

You are really missing out if you don't read the Advocate photographers' In Sight blog. There are two great pics you shouldn't miss:

1. This awesome tiger statue creeping through the streets
2. This photo of Yale Divinity students giving out "Ashes to Go" at the Stamford train station on Ash Wednesday!

We are so lucky to have such great photographers in our area who are putting up cool stuff for us to see!
Click here to read more.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

EspressoNEAT Darien

I FINALLY made it to NEAT in Darien today! My sister and I needed a place for coffee after the haircut I got at Red Door Spa in Darien (with the gift certificate she got me for Christmas- thanks K!). I was picturing us sipping lattes in paper cups at Starbucks when I suddenly remembered espressoNEAT. We googlemapped it and were delighted to discover it was 27 seconds and 459 feet away.

We of course drove there (hey, it's winter, and we had the baby with us) and made ourselves comfortable with a vanilla latte (so much less sugary sweet than a Starbucks latte) and chai tea (same). We had delicious pastries- almond croissant, carrot cake muffin, brownie- from SoNo baking company. The place was spacious and cozy. I declare NEAT child-friendly because of the well-spaced tables and the one large table with bench seating (great for trapping your mobile child) and a basket of fancy magnetic blocks for kids to play with.

There is also a wall full of gifty-type stuff, which is always fun!

I swung by later in the day with the husband to get take out coffee. He declared his too cold and too expensive, but my (admittedly expensive at 5 bucks) vanilla latte was quite good! I'm still hoping to make Espresso NEAT a regular part of our weekend routine. Coffee and magnetic blocks, I think, accommodate both husband and child.
Click here to read more.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beach Weather!

Well, not really. But this warm weather has been a blessing. Yesterday we walked with friends at Tod's Point in Old Greenwich in the morning, and Cove Island in Stamford in the afternoon. Cove is superior for older kids because of the playground. My almost 3 year old often wants to walk, but for me to get any proper exercise, he's gotta be trapped in a stroller.
"I wanna get- OUT!"
"Just one more lap, sweetie, then we'll go to the PLAYGROUND! Do you want some Goldfish?"

(Check out my hot new ride- the BOB Duallie double jogging stroller! This better be my ticket to dropping 10 or 15 pounds. I'll settle for 5 at the rate things are going!)

Tod's Point is superior for adults who don't need a playground (that's the one thing Tod's is missing). I felt like I was in Nantucket with the beautiful vistas of the sound along long stretches of beach. There was even some postcard-looking driftwood yesterday, for goodness' sake. There is a bigger walking loop than Cove; part of it's wooded, and part is on the water, and I like that variety. March 31 is the last day for non-Greenwich residents to enjoy Tod's Point, so don't delay.
Both locations were remarkably cold because of the breeze off the water, so BRING LAYERS! SEVERAL!
Click here to read more.