Encouragement towards young children

This morning, Dakota stacked some things on the tv stand. It doesn’t seem like much of a lesson but here’s why I feel it was an important learning experience for us.

Originally, I was asking her to,

a) Move away from the tv screen bc I felt she was standing too close, which leads to eye strain, which can lead to impaired vision.

b) Stop trying to put the plastic stool on the tv stand, explaining the stool belongs on the ground, for sitting, and not on top of other furniture. It’s not going to stay up there, it doesn’t fit and will fall off, possibly onto her foot.

Dakota, 1/28/15

That is, until she proved me wrong. Because she was so determined to get the stool up on the tv stand, she finally found a spot for it and it stayed. I was surprised. I gave her a high-five for her determination and her success. She then put more toys on the stool. She was excited that she found a new perch for her toys. I was excited for her.

In this case, I gave up discipline for a later time in order to focus on what’s more important – her development, foster natural curiosity, creativity and imagination, tenacity, and self-directed play.

Thank you, Dakota, for teaching me everyday.


Dates Family Visit to NYC

The Dates family and Dakota’s first time on the NYC subway!

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it was for the Dates family to visit us all the way from Texas and Idaho to finally meet Dakota. We had so many “firsts” during this visit and it was quite an exciting time experiencing New York with Jeff’s family (now also my family)!

Great day with our family. They all came over to visit. Jeffrey made queso and served with chips. We sat around and watched 101 Dalmations while Jeffrey put together patio furniture and set up the new umbrella (SuperDad!). We prepped and had bbq on the deck. Cleaned up. Got ready and took the train to the Highline (Dakota’s first subway ride!). Walked Highline from 14 to 30 Sts. Trained up to Columbus Circle. Walked thru Central Park and took photos on bridges and rocks (Dakota’s first time in CP!). Had a yummy dinner at Pizzarte  Hailed a gypsy cab and bartered him down from $35 to $25  Went home on the L. Gave the baby a bath and now ready to pass out. #lifeisgood


The family, our first time at Grimaldi’s Pizza after all these years.

Dakota’s First Time In A Pool

Me and Dakota, our first time at Shake Shack in Westbury, NY.

Dakota’s First Adventure in Central Park

Dakota playing with her awesome new cousins, Reilly and Kinley.

Dakota with Aunt Jenny



Amber Necklace for Baby Dakota and More…

Amber Necklace

Dakota is about 5 months now and she has been drooling, blowing bubbles from her mouth, finger-licking, thumb-sucking, and gargling for a couple of months. We have decided that she’s in the process of teething. I had seen All About Amber necklaces during my last visit to Caribou Baby and read up on them. Apparently, they aid in teething, pain from teething and drooling for teething babies.

Some information about amber teething neckaces:
They have
•Immune boosting properties
•Anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties, and
•Recognized by allopathic medicine as a natural analgesic

We picked up a strand and some Hyland’s teething gel a few weeks ago and now, after rinsing the necklace and drying it in the sun, Dakota wears it every day. I’ll let you know if I notice any difference from wearing the necklace. She hasn’t been especially fussy or anything like that, so we don’t have to use the gel yet. Do you believe in amber teething necklaces or do you think it’s a hoax?

Image of Dakota

Photo of Dakota looking up at me from her crib. I love this app I used on my phone called Paper Artist.

Last weekend Jeffrey, Dakota, Dexter and I attended Bushwick Open Studios. After seeing this event promoted online a few times and realizing a couple of the featured artists are from our building, we decided we would check it out. Also, The Brunckhorst Company sponsored the event by opening up its private Rock Street to be used as an outdoor gallery. We were especially excited that the local businesses were supportive of the emerging art from our community. After wrapping up Dakota in the mei tai, we headed upstairs in our building to check out the artwork on the 4th floor and also made an appearance on the rooftop where gallery hoppers we lounging and enjoying the view and nice weather. On our way back down, we picked up Dexter and all went out for a walk around the neighborhood. Rock Street had some great outdoor installations and it was a great walk with the family. Dakota fell asleep in the baby carrier on the way back. She had a full day of art-going!

Rock St. Bushwick Open Studios 2013

Dakota and I on Rock Street at Bushwick Open Studios 2013

Jungle Themed Baby Shower Paper Canopy

On another celebratory note, my friend is expecting a baby boy soon. Some of the ladies got together to plan the baby shower and I went to help them set up the decorations. They chose a jungle theme for the baby shower in anticipation of their little Lion King to come. Strands of giant paper jungle leaves were hung in this Webster Hall bar in the East Village to create a canopy-like effect. It came out beautifully! Below is a thank you card my friends sent us for their baby shower gift. We can’t wait until their little prince comes into this world! Also, to the left is a photo of another card sent from my best friend, Peiney, when she travelled to Korea. I put it in the shot just because I think it’s such a cute card ^_^

Is it just me, or do you also admire people who can find the time, make the time, to send out correspondence through snail mail?Thank You <3