Windows on the MoMA.

Pict0080One of the things we got to do in New York while we were there is visit the new and improved Museum of Modern Art. I have to confess that I didn't know much about the renovation, other than it was newly completed and it took a long time. But not being able to resist both an immensely popular and kid-friendly destination, we went.

The building is really pretty amazing. I remember vaguely what it used to be like from the last time I was there back in college (more days ago than I care to admit), but it's so different now it's hard to imagine how the old space even existed there. The best part are the windows - every window in every room frames whatever you are looking at in an incredible way. Either you're looking out at people in the museum (often on different levels within the building) or it seems like you're looking out at a building midtown Manhattan as if you've never seen it before. The collections and exhibitions are of course great (and the reason the museum exists in the first place I suppose) but to anyone making the visit I would definitely recommend stopping to look out of each window you can.

Time Out Kids.

TimeoutnykidsWhile I was in NYC I found the greatest thing for parents in or visiting the city - Time Out New York Kids. For those that don't know, Time Out is a weekly magazine in NYC, London and Chicago (though my sister says that it isn't very popular in Chicago) that writes about all the things going on in that particular metropolis - from art to eating to any kind of event. It's kind of like the most comprehensive living section of a newspaper you can imagine. Time Out Kids is the same thing, except it comes out every other month and focuses on stuff to do with your kids. We used it to find a restaurant in Brooklyn that would be good and also kid-friendly (we ate at Chestnut in Caroll Gardens and had a really excellent meal with Madame in a high chair right next to us).

I suppose if you're a parent in NYC you already know about it, but if you're visiting with the family any time soon, grab one at the newsstand when you get there. It's worth it for the restaurant guide alone.

Or if you live in NYC and buy it every couple of months anyway, feel free to subscribe to Time Out New York Kids.

(See? If I'd been reading Daddy Types as closely as I think I do, I'd have already known about it.)

Back home.

Well, we made it back home from our east coast sojourn last night. It was an interesting trip. The beginning in Boston was incredibly perfect - from the weather to the hotel. The later part in NYC was rough - from the cutting of two new teeth to her first bout with diarrhea. Madame's just getting over her stomach bug, modern day mom and I are now in the middle of colds of our own, and we're all getting over the jet lag, so no big post today. Some quick impressions though:

  • We saw about an equal number of Bugaboos in Boston as we did in NYC, including the limited edition denim, which I'm not really that in to.
  • Changing tables in airplane bathrooms are really convenient. Change the baby and then just pivot to wash your hands and throw away the dirty diaper.
  • We saw two famous people. Owen Wilson checking out the art at MoMA, and this dude from the Apprentice waiting to get on our plane home (if he counts for famous, that is).
  • If you absolutely need to get some Pedialyte into your baby to avoid a trip to the ER and an IV, a big medicine dropper like the one in this Safety 1st Healthcare Kit is essential.

Thanks for your tips and advice. I'll write more later this week.

Boston and NYC advice?

So, we're finally taking the baby on an east coast tour to meet our friends and see some proper cities in what I like to call Madame Live! 2005. It should be a fun time, checking out our old stomping grounds now with a 9 month year old baby in tow, but I have a few city-related questions. And who better to ask than the brilliant MDD readers out there? (OK. Enough sucking up, but seriously thanks for reading.)

  • Does anyone have any suggestions for good baby-friendly restaurants in Boston and NYC? I'm not particularly worried, we take her out with us all the time to all kinds of places, but it's always good to know about good restaurants people have had good experiences at with their baby.
  • Any suggestions of places we should check out (particularly in Manhattan) while we're there is also appreciated. I wanted to check out the new MOMA, but I heard it's still a really long wait to get in. Is it worth it or should we wait until our next visit?
  • What do people do about cabs in NYC? Do they just not take them with the baby? I'm assuming this is the case, as it's kind of hard to bring the Britax around with you everywhere you go. If this is the case, is there any stroller-on-the-subway advice anyone has?

Question for Bugaboo Frog owners.

We're taking the family on a trip back east soon (to visit friends and show off the baby), and I'm wondering about my Bugaboo (notice how it's mine and not the baby's). Has anyone checked it at the gate before, or do you check it with the rest of the baggage? The first time we flew with it we were only using the car seat attachment so we checked the wheels and frame at the gate and brought the car seat on the plane with us. But now we use the full stroller (seat and frame) and I'm worried that the bag check person at the gate will get the seat and frame mixed up or separated somehow. Maybe it's just better to buy that Bugaboo "Transport Bag" (expensive as it may be) and check it with the rest of the bags.

Any insight any of you might have would be very much appreciated.

100 year bloom.

100yearbloomThis past Saturday we put Madame in the back of the car and drove out to Death Valley National Park. It's a great park normally, but right now it's particularly special. Because of the unusual amount of rain we've gotten in the southwest this winter, Death Valley (usually the most desolate place in America) is blooming with wildflowers, and they're saying it's the best it's been in 100 years. I'm no photographer, but I took a bunch of pictures to check out if you're interested. If you live anywhere near the southwest, or are traveling here in the next month or so, take some time and check it out.

100 Year Bloom Photos {Modern Day Dad]

Death Valley National Park official website
In Death Valley, new life [Boston Globe]

Airplane successes and a question.

Happy New Year. We made it back and forth from the east coast for the New Year's weekend, which means Madame successfully completed her first airplane trip. I'm happy to report everything went very well - she slept, ate, and fussed about as much as we expected her to. In the end it wasn't as big of a deal as we feared thought it would be. The flight attendant even told us afterwards that "it doesn't get much better than that."

The only real difficulty we had at 10,000 feet was changing the baby. We managed to do it on our lap (which we were only able to do because there were two of us), but it occurred to me, what am I supposed to do when she gets bigger? For that matter, what would I have done if it were just the baby and I flying together? The bathroom in the plane is impossibly small, and unless you had a row of empty seats there aren't many options. I did notice one father change his toddler on the floor of the bathroom with the door open, which I guess is do-able but it seems pretty dirty. I would imagine it would depend on the type of plane you're on (we were on a 737), but are there any tricks I'm missing? Any tips in the comments would be most appreciated.

Road trip lessons.

We're back from our first road trip with Madame and everything went pretty well. Everyone had a good time and she was, as expected, the queen of the party. Here are some lessons I learned:

  1. Bring the pack 'n play if you can. Even if you don't think you'll use it.
  2. If you're staying at a hotel with a crib, call ahead and make sure they've got the crib in your room all ready to go. Because they could loose the keys to housekeeping when you get in at 12 AM. And dad, you might be out of luck. Unless you remembered the first lesson.
  3. Bring one of your own crib sheets.
  4. Washing bottles is a pain, and that fact doesn't change when you're away from home. Throw in that bottle washing brush with the extra bottles.
  5. One "baby station" (swing, bouncy seat, play mat) is enough. More is just overkill.
  6. Make at least one extra bottle for the car. The extra you don't think you'll need will come in handy in impossible holiday traffic.
  7. This is going to get way more difficult the older she gets. I think.

The stuff has gotta come with us.

It's Tuesday and we’regearing up to take Madame on her first road trip. Tomorrow we’ll be driving (hopefully) 4-5 hours to LA to spend Thanksgiving with her Aunt and Uncle and other friends. I’m actually not too worried about the car ride itself, she’s pretty good in the car and we’ll take breaks if when we need to. But unlike the road trips of old, I’m starting to realize the amount of stuff I’ve got to bring to support one 4 month-old for the weekend is serious. Clothes, formula, bottles, diapers, pack n play, baby Bjorn, bouncy seat – it’s all adding up. How many diapers does she go through in a weekend anyway? Do I bring the swing? Should I bring stuff so she can take a bath? Am I getting crazy with all of this? Yes (but I’d still love to have the swing if it will fit).

Anyway, this has reminded me of a service I saw posted a while ago on Baby Chic 101 (I can’t find the actual post) about a service called “Babies Travel Lite.” For a fee they will purchase and deliver to your destination all the things you need for baby, from feeding and diaper stuff to bath items and medicine. The prices aren’t outrageous, and with a little planning ahead the “convenience charge” can be as low as $10. Obviously we’re not traveling outside of civilization this weekend (there are plenty of places to buy baby wipes in the valley), but if we were flying I could see being tempted. “Here’s your room key sir, and your Huggies and Similac are already in your room. Enjoy your stay.”


Bugaboo breakdown.

Bugaboo_orangeI’m backfrom NYC; tired and worn out. As it turns out I pretty much kept my body on Pacific time, which kind of worked out well but I really don’t bounce back from a late night quite like I used to. Anyway, it was a great time (like it always is). 

I didn’t end up doing much dad-related stuff (I did visit buy buy Baby which I think I’ll write about it later this week) but I did walk around a lot. Besides noticing every baby that went by (an unexpected result of being a new dad without his family), I was also keeping a mental note of stroller activity. It seems by far the most popular stroller on NYC sidewalks is the Maclaren. I couldn’t say which was the most popular, but there were lots of them. More interesting for me were the Bugaboo Frogs, which was cool because I’ve never seen one in my city (other than my own). Here’s the breakdown.

Number of Bugaboos seen: 5
First Bugaboo sighting: about 5 minutes after arriving in Manhattan.
Favorite color: I’ve got a red one, but the orange looked pretty dope.
Best Bugaboo accessory: The bag clip, which I never wanted, but they actually look kind of useful.
Favorite Bugaboo modification: None. Hey, where are the Bugaboo mods? Aren’t dads supposed to be handy? Don’t dads like cup holders? I’m waiting for an inspired dad to make a cup holder for their Bugaboo, and then let me know how he did it.

Shop for strollers and other products from Bugaboo at

Going to NYC soon.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be taking a trip (without the baby) to NYC to visit some friends. I try to go a few times a year, but this time will be the first that I’ll be leaving my progeny at home (“progeny” – big word huh? I almost used “fruit of my loins”). Going to New York is always an opportunity to see/do things that I can’t do back home, especially shopping, so I’ve been trying to compile a list of kid-related places to check out while I’m there. I’m already going to visit Yoyamart and I might check out Just for Tykes and Urban Monster in Brooklyn. I know lots of the dads out there live in NYC. Any suggestions for places I shouldn’t miss?

Airplane safety vest.

BabybairSo it looks like Madame and I might be taking a plane to the east coast soon, and I’m not too proud to say it’s making me nervous. The first issue it looks like I’m going to have to deal with is whether I’m going to buy the baby a seat or not buy the baby a seat (and try to score one at the gate). The idea of having Madame exclusively in my lap for 5+ hours sounds daunting, not to mention kind of dangerous. Consequently I did some looking around online to see if there was something I was missing, and I found this – the Baby B’Air. It's a vest you put around your child with a tether that connects to your seat belt. Supposedly it will help keep your child restrained in case of unexpected turbulence. It seems to make sense, but I can't decide if this is one of those products that's worth it, or is just out there to make a quick buck off of nervous parents like me. Has anyone tried this thing?

$29.95 at One Step Ahead