Around Town: Boston Children’s Museum
May 12, 2011, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Around Town | Tags: , , ,
Gemma playing checkers (left) and working hard in the construction room (right)

A few Fridays ago, Dave was able to leave work early so we took the girls to the Boston Children’s Museum. We have been members there for almost a year now and it has been one of the best organizations we have joined. The museum is a 3 story “green” museum filled with activities for kids of all ages. BCM is located on Children’s Wharf and on a nice day you can sit outside, enjoy the view, and eat a picnic lunch.
There is a lot to see as the museum is quite large so typically, we head first to the toddler playroom which boasts a small climbing structure, large train track set, and separate arts and crafts area. On this particular Friday, we decided to explore new territory. BCM has compiled a super fun list of 100 things to do while visiting that I highly recommend you take a peek at if you are planning a trip. See the list HERE. We first visited the construction zone that has, among other things, gear toys, a jack hammer, and block tables. The girls really enjoyed climbing in and out of the front loaders. Gemma is a lover of hats, so she relished wearing the hard hat.
Riley drives the bus (left) and plays with bubbles (right)

We then went to an exhibit called “Boston Black…A City Connects”. This area is meant to highlight the diversity in Boston’s African-American community. Gemma played the steel drums, the girls watched a video of traditional African dancing, and Riley got to drive a bus. She gravitates toward any and all steering wheels.
We then visited Peep’s World (a favorite PBS show in our household; I personally think the character of Quack is hysterical). In this room, there are two large water tables, a sand box, and a darkened hallway representing the Deep Dark Woods. The girls couldn’t get enough of playing hide-and-seek with their own shadows.
My girls entering the climbing structure (left) and chasing their shadows (right)

We also took turns captaining a rocket ship, creating bubbles of all sizes in the bubble room, and cooking in the play kitchen. The last thing the girls did before our afternoon was over was climb on the lower levels of the New Balance Climb. This is a three story climbing structure made of curved, carpeted platforms that was designed by famed sculpture Tom Luckey. (you can actually watch a trailer for the documentary about him HERE and see some of the construction for The New Balance Climb…very interesting)
The Boston Children’s Museum is a gem. We are so fortunate to live so close and to be able to visit often. If you are ever in the area, Boston Children’s Museum should be on the top of your list for sights to see.
**Both my little ladies are wearing pieces from our shop. Gemma is in the Nico Nico V Neck Vest and Riley in Nico Nico’s Crazy Dots Tee. **

Advice for Gemma and Riley
May 8, 2011, 11:58 am
Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: ,

In reflecting upon motherhood this week, I’ve come up with some advice for Gemma and Riley.

1. Intelligence will serve you further than beauty.
2. Always show sincere gratitude, no matter how small or large the gesture.
3. Don’t be a “know-it-all”. It’s a very annoying personality trait.
4. Try not to incorporate “um” or “like” into your vocabulary. The English language is vast; use it.
5. Laugh often and loudly;
6. Crying during sappy, over-acted chick-flicks is not only allowed but strongly encouraged.
7. Here is one critical piece of fashion advice: walking in uncomfortable shoes can ruin an entire outfit.
8. Don’t get addicted to Starbucks. It’s an expensive habit.
9. Floss your teeth at least once a day.
10. Know that Dad and I are, by far and away, your biggest advocates and supporters. We will always, always love you.
I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Around Town: Castle Island.
May 2, 2011, 12:44 pm
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As anyone with a toddler knows, they are filled with what seems like a boundless amount of energy. My twins are 2 and 1/2 years old and we live in a 2 bedroom condo so it is vital that we get Riley and Gemma outdoors as much as possible.

On this particular afternoon, it was a bit chilly but we could feel spring in the air. After winter in Boston even a little bit of sunshine can feel like  a lot.  Dave and I decided to take the girls to one of our favorite Boston spots, Castle Island in South Boston.

The island is home to Fort Independence, a former military structure. During the summer months the fort is open to the public for exploration and adventure. A little fun fact: Castle Island is no longer an island and is actually connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. This makes it easy to get to and there is a ton of parking.

A large playground is also situated on the island and if you’re hungry you can grab a bite at the crowd favorite, Sullivan’s (aka Sully’s) – a little greasy spoon joint that serves great fries. There is also a beach area, plenty of room for bike riders, fishing off of the pier, and fantastic airplane watching (Castle Island is located near Logan Airport).

We love taking advantage of Boston and all that it has to offer. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to travel far to make great memories for the girls.

What do you love about your hometown?

Sanibel Island
April 27, 2011, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Family | Tags: , ,

My family took a lovely family vacation to Sanibel Island last week. Sanibel Island is located in southwest Florida, off of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico because of the island’s location, the ocean water is calm, warm, and  ideal for  swimming. The beaches are made of soft sand and brimming with sea shells. The term “Sanibel Stoop” was invented to describe seekers hunched over, looking for the perfect shell.

Our family owns a condo at the Sundial Beach Resort. It is extremely family friendly with four swimming pools, child dining options, organized children’s activities, and an eco-center which houses a small selection of marine life. The best part is the resort is located on the beach, so there is easy access to the sand and sea.

We met my parents, Lou and Rudy, at the Fort Myers airport, and made the quick 25 minute drive to the island. My parents started taking me and my younger brother to Sanibel when I was 5 years old, so it was surreal to now bring my own children at age 2 and 1/2 years.  My parents are known as Lolo (grandfather) and Lola (grandmother). These are Filipino terms. It was particularly important for the girls to spend time with Lolo as he suffered several strokes over a year ago; the presence of the girls is very theraputic for him. The girls are very compassionate toward my Dad, helping to push his wheelchair or assisting with handing him his medication.

Both girls enjoyed the beach and the pool, although I think there was slightly more draw to the pool with its water slide and abundance of other kids.

Finally, the girls got a lot of experience eating at restaurants. My feeling is that the more they practice, the more comfortable they will become with the process. This was also an opportunity for them to try new things, like grouper fish sandwiches, grilled shrimp, lemonade, and key lime pie.

The vacation was great fun; although my husband and I were pretty beat when we made it back to Boston. Most importantly we got to spend time together as a family. Running not one, but two businesses can be hectic. It was nice to slow down for a bit.