Archive for Traveling

Mo Willems and a Seriously Silly Exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum

Mo Willems has reached celebrity status in our house.

This is Mo.

Haven’t heard of him?  Rest assured your kids have.  Mo lives in Brooklyn.  He created Knuffle Bunny…and the Pigeon who wants to drive the bus…and Elephant and Piggie…  Yeah that Mo Willems.  He’s a genius.

Bean will even correct grown-ups who call him Mo Williams.  We had to have a conversation about correcting grown-ups after she pulled that one with the parent of a classmate.

So up in Amherst, Massachusetts (coincidentally where I went to college), there is a museum dedicated to the brilliant children’s book writer Eric Carle called the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  Once upon a time on this blog I made a video about Eric Carle.  Remember when I used to make videos with my very compliant baby?  Me too.

We visited this museum with family  when Bean was teeny, and we were blown away.  It is light and airy and inspiring and beautiful.  There are activities and displays and to quote my favorite book as a child… there’s infinite “scope for imagination.”  And right now, on display, there is a wonderful new exhibit all about Mo Willems called Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems.

According to the museum, the exhibition, curated by The Carle’s chief curator, Nick Clark, will show preliminary drawings that give viewers a glimpse of Willems’ process, as well as other finished illustrations that fully reveal his comedic genius and the influence of his early work as an animator for Sesame Street. Willems’ own work is accompanied by a selection of work from his private collection by the comic book artists and cartoonists who have inspired him most, including Charles M. Schulz, William Steig, and Saul Steinberg. Like the masters who came before him, Willems makes a powerful message look simple. “Writing, especially funny stuff, involves touching your own heart,” says Willems. “But to get there you have to rip open the rib cage and squeeze past the lungs. It can’t help but be messy, shocking, and painful.”

I have a friend who uses the Elephant and Piggie books as scripts for his Intro to Acting classes.  I think this says something rather profound about the books and about Mo Willems as a writer.  The stories are active.  They get at something essential about relationships–about conflict and action and reaction and resolution.  They open the rib cage, squeeze past the lungs, and touch the heart which is pretty much mandatory for actors.  And they are wonderfully open to dramatic interpretation.  My new reader is never more expressive vocally than when she is reading an Elephant and Piggie book aloud.

So in these dog days of summer, if you are looking for a fabulous adventure with your children, and you are within striking distance of Amherst, Massachusetts, by all means, GO!  Walk the campus of beautiful Amherst College and take in dinosaur bones at the Beneski Museum of Natural History.  Get a chocolate croissant at The Black Sheep.  Check out the Ko Theater Festival. Piggie out on a pizza from Antonio’s.  And of course, spend many hours at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  You’ll be so glad you did.

Seriously Silly is on view now through February 23, 2014.  Thank you to the Eric Carle Museum for sending us four passes to visit!  Hope we can use them very very soon!

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Yezz We Can…For Free! Quinny Stroller Giveaway!

In New York, nothing comes for free.  We pay more for a monthly parking space than most people pay in rent.  And don’t get me started on sandwiches.  It’s a ridiculous place to live, let alone to try to raise children.  There’s an ad now for Manhattan Mini Storage on all the bus shelters:

 

That’s pretty much it.

But then a little miracle happened.  Quinny decided to try to make our urban lives just a bit easier.  First, they designed and made a new stroller, the Yezz (not to be confused with Yaz…that’s TOTALLY different) which is an 11 pound, easily foldable, durable stroller that comes with a carrying strap.   Thank you for understanding that light and sturdy are essential qualities in folding strollers.  Because you better believe you gotta collapse that thing when you get on the bus.

And then yesterday they gave it away.  Yup.  Just handed ’em out for free.  400 New Yorkers stood in line at stores like Giggle and Albee Baby and walked away with a fab new stroller. For nothin’.

Here are photos to prove that this unbelievably nice thing actually happened right here in New York City.

And, Quinny is so eager for folks beyond our great dirty city to get a chance to test-drive the Yezz, they’re giving me one to give away to you!  Yup.  Also for free.

Here’s another pic so you can see what you’ll be winning (color subject to availability).  Yeah, you so want this stroller.

So thanks Quinny.  For bringing some civility to the city that never sleeps.  At least now we know our babies will be sleeping in their awesome new strollers!

Want to enter to win a brand new Quinny Yezz for babies ages 6 months to 40 pounds?  Just fill out the handy Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Babies Gotta Have It is an Amazon.com affiliate.

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Love to Home Swap!

Think you can’t afford to go abroad and take your family?  Think again.

For a few years we had an absolutely wonderful neighbor who lived above us in our building.  Suzanne is from Paris.  She is an actress, married to a Physicist and they have two beautiful children.  When they wanted to travel in the summer what did they do?  They signed up on a home exchange website…you know, like the one Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet used in the movie The Holiday…and they went.  And saved a ton of money.  And had so much more space to stay with their active family than they would have in a little hotel room.  I had never really considered a house swap before Suzanne brought it up.  I mean…it’s kind of weird right?  Someone you don’t know coming and staying in your home? I mean…weird.  Right?

But you know why we think that way?  We’re Americans.  And we’re uptight.  We worry about our stuff breaking and stains on our sofas and what might go wrong more than other people around the world do.  And because of that, we may miss out on wonderful experiences. I really believe that.  I think the Europeans are way more loosey goosey…and possibly more adventurous than we are…and as a result, maybe they live more exciting lives than we do. They certainly pay less to travel!

Last summer when we were first thinking of a trip to France we looked at a few home exchange sites, but we never joined one.  Still feeling too uptight.  Still not sure. But we rented an apartment in Paris for so much less than we would have paid for a hotel.  We had tons more space which with a child is just so wonderful.  We saved money on food because we had a kitchen, stove and refrigerator.  And we had the experience of shopping for groceries in Paris!  I love a swanky hotel room as much as the next gal, but so much about that experience made me think that this is the way to go!  Especially with a family.  You Mamas know that little kids need room to spread out and run around and sprawl and nap.  And I just don’t know how you do that in a tiny European hotel room. But you can do that in even a modest European apartment.  And who says you have to limit your destinations to Europe?

So. When Love Home Swap approached me at the end of the summer to review their site…I signed up…sort of halfway.  I browsed through the amazing properties available to swap and pretty much thought “yeah no one is going to want to stay in our crummy apartment…”  And then people started inquiring.  And I thought, holy cow this might work!  I cleaned the apartment, waited for a bright sunny day, took some photos and said to myself, “you know, maybe this apartment isn’t so crummy after all.”  And sure enough, a lovely woman from Scotland who has a beautiful home in the country, wrote to us.  We exchanged several emails…and long story short I think we’re heading to the Scottish Countryside this summer.

Love Home Swap runs on a subscription basis.  You can get a fourteen day trial for $30.  But it costs nothing to browse and see the homes that are listed.  So how does a home swap work?  Create your profile.  Say a little bit about who you are, where you want to go and when, and what your home and neighborhood are like.  Upload pics of your home (or your vacation home or lakeside cabin) at its best.  Then wait for offers to come in.  Or go looking for homes that strike your fancy and reach out.  Once you join if you connect via Facebook, Love Home Swap will even show you homes that are owned by friends of Facebook friends.  So that whole creepy stranger staying in your apartment thing…is a little bit less.

So I think we’re gonna do it.  We’ll pack up the breakables and jump off a cliff. Because if you spend your whole life sitting around thinking about what might happen if…then it seems like you never actually do.  And this year I’m kinda all about the doing.

Oh and all the photos in this post?  Yeah they’re homes that are available for swaps on Love Home Swap.

A little adventure in the Scottish Highlands.  That’s something Mamas and Babies definitely gotta have.

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New Year – Old Post

Happy New Year! A week or so late.

As 2012 ends and we roll in a year whose date is so completely unimaginable we must be living in some future sci-fi world (2013? Really?  Two thousand thirteen?), I’m feeling a little sentimental.  Post-holiday blues? Sure.  But as I see my wee one return skipping to Kindergarten I know there’s no going back.  She’s a big girl now.

And so, while I wait for the to phone summon me to an audition for yet another feminine products commercial or one-liner on a cable series… (Did I mention I will indeed be saying one line as a waitress on “The Big C” in season 4?  Yuppers.  Don’t think I can reveal the whole thing but suffice it to say I do utter the word “cheesecake” to Oliver Platt) …so during this down time, I’ve been browsing my old videos.

I’m keeping track of what’s on the market and there are so many great new baby products out there.  But lots of the must-have’s we reviewed and loved are still baby registry gold.  I thought I’d share a few of my favorites in the weeks to come.

So here, for your viewing pleasure…”Because Labor Was Back-Breaking Enough…The Ergo Baby Carrier.” Yay for baby carrying.  Oh how I wish I still could!

Enjoy!

 

 

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Nomie Baby Has Got You Covered

Your children are probably angels, right?  They never make messes or spill anything or leak through or throw up in their car seats?  And so, you have never been out in the garage climbing all over the car trying to remove the covers and cushions and pads of your car seat to wash them (only to realize they are not actually machine washable).  You have never placed all of these items in the washing machine on the delicate cycle anyway, and then prayed that it would all come out “okay.”

Well, your children may be perfect, but mine are not.  CW has a gag reflex of epic proportions.  He has “christened” every car seat we own leaving a lingering smell that makes me feel ill any time I get close.  MD is our champion diaper soiler.  He leaked through his diaper and clothes to stain the car seat more times than I care to count. There has to be an easier solution, right?  Thankfully, there is.

 

Nomie Baby was created by a mom of three who struggled with cleaning her car seat liners, and decided she’d had enough wrestling. Nomie Baby was formed.  The car seat covers and stroller blankets are machine washable (and dryer safe).  The cover is made of a silky material next to your child’s skin, a comfortable padding to help absorb spills (and other things), and a wicking material treated to make it waterproof!  The stroller blanket is made of a super-soft fleece material on the inside and a quilted wind-resistant material on the outside.  Both slide on and off with ease, and are designed for any kind of strap (the openings have Velcro openings to adjust as needed).

 

While MD is too big for the infant stroller blanket Nomie Baby was nice enough to send me, I still stuck him in it.  You will notice that he is unhappy in the photo (see, my children are definitely not perfect!)…however, that had nothing to do with the cover.  He was hungry and sleepy. Later, when I didn’t have the camera, he was happy as could be inside the cozy blanket.  And, I’ve caught him rubbing his hands up and down the car seat cover.

I highly recommend both the stroller blanket and the car seat cover.  I found the Velcro a little difficult to get just right for the car seat, but still much easier than dealing with the actual car seat cushions/covers. On my amazing Mamas and Papas Sola stroller (see here for my review of the stroller), I could not put on the stroller blanket and still lower the shade for MD, but it worked fine on our umbrella stroller and I’ve seen it work just fine on my friends’ Maclaren strollers.

If you need a great baby gift idea, consider a Nomie Baby infant or toddler car seat cover and an infant or toddler stroller blanket.  You will not be disappointed.  In fact, you will probably do a little dance the first time your child makes a mess of that car seat and you just pull off the cover and stick it into the washing machine without another thought.

I want to thank Nomie Baby for sending me an infant stroller blanket and a toddler car seat cover!

 

photo10 150x150 Bonkers for BonchosKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

Kristin and MD received a Nomie Stroller Blanket and Car Seat Cover for purposes of review.  As always, all opinions are Kristin’s and her boys’ and were not influenced by anyone.

Babies Gotta Have It is an Amazon Associate.

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Bonkers for Bonchos – Baby Blanket Giveaway

Meet our new Babies Gotta Have It featured sponsor…Bonchos Baby Blankets!  Read on to find out why Kristin and MD are bonkers for them.  And stick around to enter to win your very own Boncho just in time for the cool weather months!

 

Have you ever tried to strap your child into his car seat in the middle of winter only to have his bulky coat prevent you from tightening the straps as much as you should?  Or, has your child arrived at Grandma’s with a zipper imprint on his face?  Or, have you placed a blanket over him only to spend the entire car ride checking to be sure it hasn’t somehow slipped and suddenly covered his face…or even better, your beautiful hand-crocheted baby blanket falls out when you open the car door and lands right in a muddy puddle? Or, maybe you’re like me and you skip the jacket altogether only to struggle your child into it once you have arrived at your destination.

 

Bonchos is here to offer a solution to your difficulties!  Bonchos are poncho-shaped blankets (thus the name) that can be securely placed over stroller harnesses, car seat straps, or front carriers to keep your child warm.  The Boncho is designed with head and arm openings so it will not get bunched up around your child’s face, fall onto the ground, or slide off of him.

 

Custom and reversible fabrics, and monogramming are all available options to create a unique ensemble for your baby!  Or, you can order a coordinating hat or scarf for baby (or older siblings)!  The soft fleecy fabrics and satin backing are comfortable and warm.  We were given the Luxury Collection Boncho in the Cuddy Puppy fabric and it’s so ultra soft that MD loves it just as much as a blankie for napping as I love it for a car seat and stroller blanket!

 

I only wish I had been given a Boncho when I was still carrying MD in the Baby Bjorn!  It would be perfect for that…and I spent a ton of time tucking blankets into the sides and front to keep his feet and legs warm, only to have them fall out within minutes.  These days, we have been using our Boncho Blanket in the stroller for our daily walk as well as watching from the sidelines while MD’s older brother plays soccer. Soccer practices are in the late evening and become very chilly (and buggy too–the Boncho also keeps the bugs off MD), but MD is toasty warm in his Boncho.  I have had a ton of questions from other parents interested in our Boncho already.

 

If you are looking for a unique baby gift, be sure to put a Bonchos Baby Blanket on your list.  With all of the great fabrics and patterns, and the wonderful versatility of this unique fleece baby blanket, you will be sure to find the right one for your little one.

And thanks to Deb at Bonchos, one lucky Babies Gotta Have It winner will receive the Bonchos Baby Blanket of her choice!  Choose your favorite Boncho from any of the collections: The Classic Collection, The Essential Collection or The Luxury Collection. Want to enter?  Read on!

To Enter the Bonchos Giveaway:

  • MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Visit the Bonchos website and browse all three collections. Leave a comment on this post sharing which pattern you would choose if you won! That’s it!  Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? After you have made your first entry as described above, do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did!  Maximum of five entries per person.

  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. I’ve made it easy just cut and paste:  Win a fleecy car, stroller or baby carrier blanket from Bonchos, the Better Baby Blanket and @BabiesGottaHavT http://snurl.com/256aqii
  • Subscribe to my blog – click HERE!
  • “Like” Babies Gotta Have It on Facebook. Click HERE!
  • Email your friends about the giveaway and link to the giveaway post! cc me in the message (babiesgottahaveit@gmail.com)–I promise I will not spam you or your friends. Cross my heart.

Your email address will remain private and not be shared with anyone. Giveaway only open to those with U.S.  addresses. Must be 18 or older to win. Giveaway begins Tuesday October 2nd and ends on Tuesday October 23rd at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. Very soon after,  Random.org will select the winner and  I’ll email them immediately. After my daughter called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my daughter, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!

 

photo10 150x150 Big Boys Gotta Have It Part 2Kristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

Kristin and MD received a Bonchos baby blanket for purposes of review.  As always, all opinions are Kristin’s and her boys’ and were not influenced by anyone.

Update!  We have a winner!  Random.org says “ 173″!  Congratulations Heather Wone!  Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

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Dapple Cleans Up

Have you read all of the studies about how much bacteria is in the wet sand at the beach?  I have.   So when we headed to the beach last week, I was excited to try out Dapple’s line of baby-safe and baby-specific green household cleaning products.  I received a travel pack of Dapple toy cleaner wipes and a travel-sized dish liquid container the week before…perfect timing!

Made in the USA, Dapple’s products are all natural, free of SLES, parabens, chlorine, phthalates, and dyes.  The dish liquid rinses clean easily and effectively cleans your baby’s dishes!  The fragrance-free bottle and dish liquid works really well to clean out those bottles (I always found breast milk especially difficult, but this worked wonders)!  Plus, it is gentle on your hands, and being a parent means you are probably doing a lot of dishes (if you’re not, I would love to know your secret)!

Dapple also offers Pacifier Wipes, fragrance-free Baby Laundry Detergent, and more!  Don’t trust your child’s toys and pacifiers to just any cleaner; make sure it is the pediatrician-recommended, all natural Dapple!

photo10 150x150 Eat Your VegetabibblesKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

Thanks to Dapple  for the chance to review their products! As always, all opinions are Kristin’s and her boys’ and were not influenced by anyone.

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Kristin’s Baby Registry & Baby Gift Guide

Expecting a baby boy? Here’s Kristin’s list of must-have baby items that would make great baby shower gifts or baby gifts for that new little bundle of wiggles and giggles in your life!  Enjoy!

I have been asked by many friends, “What are the items you just cannot live without as a new mom?”  I started compiling a list.  There are just so many great baby products on the market, and this list certainly does not encompass them all.  Soon, I’ll assemble a list for the older boys…but for now, these are the things I cannot live without with my baby boy.

The Fun

The Bumper Jumper has been a lifesaver for both of my boys.  It allows us to have conversations as adults, to eat dinner peacefully, to shower quickly, and to use the bathroom alone!  I cannot even say how important this tiny item has been in our lives.  We take it with us to everyone else’s houses as well.  If your doors do not have trim, however, then this will not work for you.  Instead, may I recommend the Rainforest Jumperoo, which we bought for our nephew.  The Jumperoo even collapses to make storage and travel easier.  Just be sure to follow the weight and height recommendations with both, please.  If your baby cannot hold up his head, the Bumper Jumper is not appropriate for him yet.

 

Many might say that the Bumper Jumper and Exersaucer are redundant, but we use both equally. Typically, the Exersaucer allows MD more entertainment, so he plays in it while I make dinner, and he used to play in it during dinner (now he eats with us in his high chair).  We were given a hand-me-down exersaucer, so the one we have no longer exists to buy, but there are SO many different ones.  Ours adjusts to three heights, which is great for those tall babies.  And, MD can spin a full 360 degrees in it.  None of the sounds work anymore, but MD does not care.  He will play in it for thirty minutes at a time.  I used to shower while CW was in it, but now it’s too hard to lug up our stairs (we moved since the time when CW was little).

 

Another must-have for a newborn (really great to crawling and beyond…in fact, CW at age 3 still likes to play in it) is the Baby Einstein Play Gym.  Play mats are so awesome that we actually had two (one for our basement and one for the main floor).  The Baby Einstein play gym was our favorite, though.  Both kids loved the “star” that plays music and lights up, and they would roll to see it wherever we placed it.  MD likes to sit at it and make the toys swing now.  It is great for brain and physical development.

When your baby is about eight months old, you may want to start teaching him to communicate with you.  I found these Sign Language Videos to be extremely well done.  They are filled with classical music, real animals and babies, and they do not move fast.  CW learned the basic signs within a month or so (I used them constantly), and MD is already signing “milk” and “dog” consistently.  These were truly a wonderful investment.  Although babies cannot verbalize their thoughts with words, they are able to sign them at a much earlier age.  It saves both the baby and the parents from so many frustrating moments.  Your baby will be able to tell you what he needs, and you will know that you are increasing his vocabulary at a young age!

 The Sleepy

Because we travel often to places where renting cribs is impractical, we bought a Pack ‘n’ Play.  I used it for the first month of MD’s life for changing his diapers in our basement.  This allowed my body to heal after his birth without going up two flights of stairs fifty times a day.  We have taken our Pack ‘n’ Play to a ton of places in the course of four years, and it is very handy; however, keep in mind that Pack ‘n’ Plays are heavy, large, and a bit unwieldy.  They take up a lot of trunk space, even when folded down.  Still, we would not have made it without one.  And although our parents both have cribs at their homes, this would be an ideal idea for at Grandma’s house if she wants a cheaper (and easier to hide when you’re not there) version of a crib.

For the first few months, your baby will sleep in Sleep Sacks and Swaddle Me sleepwear the best.  We used the Swaddle Me for the first 1-2 months, and then the sleep sacks after that.  The sleep sacks are great for quick nighttime diaper changes, and the Swaddle Me is so much easier than trying to perfect the nurses’ swaddles from the hospital (and then you don’t have to worry about your baby somehow getting loose)!  These come in many different patterns, colors, and materials.

 The Helpful

Something I used often with CW, but use one hundred times more with MD is the Baby Bjorn.  I grocery shop, cook, walk, Swiffer, and dust with him in the Bjorn.  He can go everywhere I can go, and I have my hands free to do other things.  This is great because his older sibling often needs help, or wants to play outside.  And, I often want to get something accomplished, but he is too heavy to hold all the time.  CW can ride his bike, while I walk with MD in the Bjorn…that way I can get to CW with more ease than a stroller allows (I also found that CW would constantly run into the stroller because he can’t steer straight).  The Bjorn allows me to place CW in the stroller for longer trips at the mall.  And, MD loves watching everything that is going on around us.  Again, they come in many different styles and colors (and can be used with very small babies (8 lbs.) and up to 25 lbs.!

Something that is not a necessity, but I personally could not live without is the Glider Rocking Chair (with a footstool).  I spend a ton of time in that rocking chair (feeding, reading, and rocking).  Both boys love the chair, and I love putting my feet up and laying my head back while I’m doing my middle-of-the-night feedings.

The Practical

Although I nursed full time with both boys, I would imagine the Boppy Pillow could be helpful to all mothers (as I have seen many mothers lay their babies in the pillow on the floor, and I often place it behind MD so he doesn’t fall over backwards).  But, I could not live without my Boppy Pillow for nursing.  MD is so heavy that I find my hands fall asleep if I have to nurse him without the Boppy for long.  Something else that is very helpful for nursing mothers is the nursing cover, or hooter hider.  It is great for providing privacy while feeding your baby out in public, or even with friends and family.  I will admit that I used it much more with CW.  I was more comfortable with my breastfeeding status as a second-time mom.  Many are so pretty they can even be considered a fashion accessory.  There are many colors and designs, so enjoy the search!

 

When you look at infant carrier car seats, you will most likely be overwhelmed by all of the choices.  I have heard great things about many companies, but I was most impressed by the Chicco KeyFit30.  It has three heights to adjust to and goes up to 30 pounds.  It is so simple to attach the base to your car, and even easier to put the seat into the base.  And, there is a converter to place it into my favorite jogging stroller, The Bob Revolution Stroller.  We do not have one of these jogging strollers (we have a different brand that did not allow the car seat to sit in it), but rented one at the beach a few years in a row and love it.  The front wheel can be stationary or moving, the handles are comfortable, and the seat is cushy for your little ones.  It had the least friction while running, and seemed to have the best shocks to protect your baby from those big bumps!  Easy to maneuver and fun to use, it is my favorite jogging stroller by far!
Kristin with CW and MDKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

 

Babies Gotta Have It is an Amazon.com Affiliate

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For Your Little Creatures – The American Museum of Natural History this Spring

 

Bean’s favorite New York City Museum is still, The “Muzz-ee-um of Matural History.” She has so few malapropisms left, I can’t quite bear to correct that one. So she was pretty thrilled when we headed over to The American Museum of Natural History last week to check out the new exhibit “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence.” This exhibit, running through January 6, 2013, is glowy and dark and super cool.  Bean, at 4 and a half, is a bit young for most of the science, but she was entranced by the glowing mushrooms that met us at the entrance to the exhibit, and she spent a good deal of time speculating about where the fairies were hiding.  Also, the museum provides an educational handout with activities appropriate for younger explorers.

The fireflies area was a particular favorite of both of ours.  Honestly, I would have loved to have spent more time reading all about these fascinating little…beetles!  Yes, I learned fireflies are actually beetles.  Cate loved wandering about in the dark, soaking in the glow, and exploring the interactive displays. The ambiance was eerie and phosphorescent but not too scary.  Move from a meadow in New England surrounded by fireflies to the Waitomo Cave of New Zealand where glowworms attract their prey and beyond.  Super neat.  I have no photos of us in the exhibit…because it was too dark! Watch the video and check out the website for more!

And if you’re heading to the museum in the next few months there are lots of neat events coming up!  Here are some events and exhibits that are definitely must-sees!  The descriptions were provided by the museum–I certainly couldn’t write them better.

Spiders Alive!

July 28–December 2012

For centuries, spiders have inspired storytellers, from Ovid to E. B. White to the creators of the eponymous superhero, but their actual role in diverse ecosystems around the globe is just as captivating. Spiders Alive! immerses visitors in the fascinating and complex world of spiders, among the most versatile animals on the planet: they inhabit every continent but Antarctica and are able to survive in environments that range from deserts to rainforests to crowded cities. Spiders are also important predators. By one estimate, the spiders on one acre of woodland alone consume more than 80 pounds of insects a year. Scientists have identified over 42,000 species of spiders to date, and there are at least as many more to be discovered.

Among the live spiders visitors will encounter in this exhibition are the goliath bird eater, one of the largest spiders in the world, whose prey includes snakes, mice, and frogs; the venomous western black widow, one of the few North American spiders harmful to people; and species from other arachnid orders, including African whip spiders, whose whip-like feelers, up to 10 inches in length, help the animal find its way.

 Spiders Alive! will explore spiders’ silk, venom, and little-known defensive mechanisms such as mimicry and noise making. The exhibition will also include larger-than-life models, videos, interactive exhibits, and fossils, and Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close. Gallery 77, first floor

 

Mystery at the Museum: An Accomplice Experience (this looks so cool!)

May 26-27, 2012

From the creators of Accomplice, theatrical experiences set on the streets of New York City, Hollywood, and London, comes an exciting new way to explore the American Museum of Natural History for the whole family. Part game, part theater, and part walking tour, Mystery at the Museum is an immersive and unique adventure through the Museum’s halls. Visitors meet characters, follow clues, and solve puzzles as they unravel a tale that takes them through iconic Museum locations and behind-the-scenes areas. Mystery at the Museum is a unique experience sure to engage, entertain, and enchant children and parents alike. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

 

Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration

Open through August 12, 2012

Beyond Planet Earth launches visitors into the exciting future of space exploration as it boldly speculates on humanity’s next steps in our solar system and beyond. The exhibition features a full-sized re-creation of a lunar habitat, a model of an elevator reaching up into space, a walk-through diorama of the Martian surface, and challenging interactive simulations. See authentic equipment and models of historic spacecraft from select voyages in the past. Learn about robotic missions that are currently headed deeper and deeper into our own solar system, and what they might reveal. Understand why geologists are so interested in specimens from moons and other planets and what we can learn from them. And explore some possible spectacular missions of the future: mining the Moon, landing on and deflecting a potentially deadly asteroid, or traveling to Mars—and perhaps even establishing colonies there. Is it possible within our lifetime? Will we discover evidence of life, past or present, on another planet? Find out what experts think the future will hold for us beyond planet Earth. Gallery 3, third floor

 

 

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4Moms Origami Stroller – Where Stroller Meets Robot

Affiliate Link - Origami Stroller on Amazon.com

Ok I have absolutely no personal experience with this stroller.  I have not even laid eyes on it in real life.  But I thought you all deserve to know that a stroller exists that folds itself with the touch of a button.  Mamas, meet the Origami Stroller by 4Moms. Oh and did I mention, this stroller charges your phone, counts the miles you have strolled, has running lights (like a car), has sensors to detect when your child is in the seat (so it will never fold on her), and generates its own power as you roam the park. I’ll admit it.  I am intrigued by the Origami.  Even though at 32 pounds (in toddler mode–27 pounds in infant mode) I’m pretty sure it’s a not a stroller I want to haul on and off the bus, this video makes me wish the Bean were little again so I could try it out.  LCD Dashboard.  Need I say more?  Cuz if you’re driving and strolling…or just heading out of your elevator building to the park (maybe with a little help from the doorman) this looks awesome! Check out the video and tell me what you think?  Too much?  Or just right!

[youtube ERQHRo0fHGE]

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