January 2012

Inspired by Marilyn’s comment to my post below I hung streamers in the kitchen and put out a plate of cookies (from the store, don’t worry, I didn’t bake) with a note ‘welcome to february’ for the kids to see when they walked in the door. Smile from cranky tween as soon as he saw it. Well, more a smirk, but I’ll take it these days.

And to those of you who say you don’t have time for these kinds of shenanigans, this took a total of five minutes. Luckily I hide my left over party supplies from my husband who would be likely to throw them out. See how valuable?! Geez.


I don’t want to get you down while I’m down, but if you are already there, feel free to read on.

I am having a SERIOUS case of the winter doldrums this week.  I actually think that January has been the longest, most boring month I’ve had in a while, and as we say good-bye to it today (good riddance), I am hoping that February has more to offer.  So, when I got up today — well, the second time, after I had climbed back into bed (‘just for a few minutes’ I promised myself) after the kids got on the bus (yes, that’s how bad it is), I committed myself to leaving the house and doing something new and different, getting a little fresh air, and leaving my slippers and computer behind for just a couple of hours.  I headed over to Darien where there is this great needlepoint shop (I know, what a loser, but honestly, it is a great stress reliever) and bought myself a new project, talked to a friend on the phone on the way over, and got a little fresh air walking around the town.  I am now happily ensconced back at my desk with a slightly better attitude (no one is expecting miracles, right, it’s still winter) and wondering if any of you (assuming people actually read this far) — have any great ideas for making the long winter days pass quicker.  Either for you or for your kids (mine have the same malaise going on — no snow = no fun, and no vacation looming = too much homework).

Please add a little sunshine into my life with a comment….

Yes, I know it is only Monday, but what is wrong with fast forwarding to think about the next weekend now?  Isn’t that what gets you through the week?  Sad, but sometimes all too true.  If you need a bright spot to look forward to this week, here’s something:  Family First Saturdays at the Neuberger Museum.  Casual art experiences for the whole family, with tours, hands-on workshops, and performances.  Saturday, February 4, 2012, 1–4 pm – workshops for ages tots to ten, accompanied by an adult.  Guided tours are for all ages.  Free admission for all 12–5 pm, tours 1–3 pm, workshops 1–4 pm, performances 2:30 pm.  February 4: Finding patterns in real life: Focus on Stuart Davis.  Stuart Davis made art that distilled what he saw in the world into patterned shapes that lock together like a jigsaw puzzle. Make an image of your own version of reality using patterns, colors and shapes.  Click here for more information.

If you don’t need something to look forward to, well, la-di-da to you.  Happy Monday either way!



Looking for a little something sweet, an afterschool treat, or a way to get out of making those cupcakes for the bake sale that you promised?  Check out the newest addition to Katonah this weekend!  On Sunday, January 29th, from 1-3pm, stop by Sweetooth Katonah for their Grand Opening.  Try some delicious samples and meet the owner, Stacie Calian and the executive pastry chef, Kaitlyn Lennox, a CIA graduate. The store is located at 43 Katonah Avenue, Katonah. Besides cupcakes, the store has muffin tops, Ronnybrook products, coffee and can do special orders with 48 hours notice. Sweetooth of Katonah is committed to using the finest quality ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible.  Cupcake flavors change seasonally and are baked fresh daily. Sweetooth is a nut free facility and any and all dietary restrictions can be accommodated (including Gluten free items).   For more information, visit www.sweetoothkatonah.com or call 914-232-7700.


Great perspective on “Carpe Diem Parenting” — so, so true.  Enjoy every second of parenting — except when you aren’t, because that’s ok too.

My response?

Today is my son’s 12th birthday and I am nostalgic for days when my biggest worry was whether he was going to nap so I could work for an hour, or whether we would get through the grocery store line without a melt down, or whether he was going to be forever sad that his favorite blankie was lost on vacation.  These are the things we worry about when they are little.  The days are slow and you slog through the moments.  You are tired and cranky and overwhelmed and messy.

But, the kids grow and the worries get bigger.  Will his teacher be nice to him on the first day of kindergarten, will he make friends, what should he wear for Halloween?  And now I worry…is he coming home mad at friends because they are bullying him or is it typical middle school stuff?  Will he ever date or will girls forever be calling him four eyes?  Will the friends he have start drinking or dating or causing trouble and when does that happen?  How do I protect him?  And I imagine as he reaches his teens it will be similar and add in –  are his friends driving around drunk?  Is tonight a night I’ll get a call that something has happened?  How do you sleep?  How do you let go?  I can’t imagine.

So, when the older ladies at the store or the older moms you know give you that “just you wait – enjoy them now” – look…I think that’s what they mean.  Enjoy the little worries, because little worries turn big and you won’t be able to control them by picking them up and putting them in a time out, the bribe of a lollipop won’t bring them safely into your arms.  So, Carpe Diem when you can.  IF you can.  Not every moment is a good one, but like the author, peek at them when they are quiet and sleeping at night, grab an extra snuggle when they offer it, or take an extra day for vacation instead of rushing back to pre-school.  It matters — for your now and for your future.  You don’t have to enjoy every second of parenting, because it is hard, and exhausting and even sticky, but try to steal those moments that are wonderful and lock them in your heart for those days that aren’t so wonderful.  That’s what carpe diem means to me.

And now I am off to wrap presents he doesn’t need, obsess about cupcakes, and decorate the living room to surprise him for when he gets home, because I just don’t know if I will get to do that when he is 13 or 15 or 19 because “I’m too big for that mom” is looming right around the nasty corner!  Carpe Diem Birthday style…


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If you haven’t been to Stone Barns you are missing a real Westchester treat.  The farm is beautiful and offers a variety of family-friendly activities, walking trails, and events throughout the year. One of the more amazing opportunities that they offer though are their Summer Camp (and vacation week) experiences — your children will learn about farming, cooking, nature and more.  It is an experience not to be missed, in particular if you have an outdoor loving, animal obsessed little person! See details below…

2012 Farm Camp Early Registration Opens Today (January 17, 2012), for Stone Barns Members at the Seedling ($125) Level and Above.

Click here to become a member and take advantage of this special two-week early registration opportunity. Seedling level members also receive 10% off Farm Camp and all program fees. For questions about membership, please contact Karen Seo at 914 366 6200 x140. Registration opens to the general public on Monday, January 30.

Winter and Spring Vacation Camp
Winter Camp: February 21 – 24
Spring Camp: April 2 – 5

Vacation camp sessions are designed for first graders through fifth graders. Each session includes garden work, animal chores, farm crafts, games and nature hikes. Students will explore the farm-to-table connection as they harvest and prepare healthy and delicious seasonal snacks with our educators.   Registration for Winter and Spring Vacation Camps begins Tuesday, January 3, 2012.   Click here to download this year’s Vacation Camp brochure and registration form.

Summer Farm Camp
June 25-August 17

Stone Barns Center’s Farm Camp is entering its eighth season. Camp sessions are designed for rising first graders through rising eighth graders. Our campers have the opportunity to see how the farm works and get their hands dirty by pitching in with farm chores and learning alongside our farm staff. In addition to activities focused on a specific theme, every camp session includes garden work, animal chores, cooking, crafts, games and hiking. At Farm Camp, we also explore the farm-to-table connection. A staff cooking specialist helps campers prepare healthy snacks several times each week, and older campers cook a full lunch together in a professional kitchen.   Registration begins for members at the Seedling level ($125) and above on January 17, 2012 and for the general public on January 30, 2012.


Despite the fact that we haven’t gotten a winter storm yet, spring schedules are starting to pop up and it is time to schedule your spring sport schedule!  Wild, but true.  Below is registration info for Bedford-Pound Ridge Baseball and for Fox Lane Youth Lacrosse.  If you have other info for your area, please post in comments here for others to see!

Bedford-Pound Ridge Baseball:  BPR Baseball Registration for 2012 Spring Season Is Now Open!  Registration is available at our website, eteamz.com/bprba. The Spring league is open to residents of Bedford and Pound Ridge, plus students who attend school within our league boundaries.  Registration CLOSES on February 17th!  Registration closes well before the season starts so that we can determine the number of teams we need to form in each age group, and conduct a draft so that the teams are as equal as possible.  Important note for Softball players – please register directly with Katonah Bedford Girls Softball this season.

Fox Lane Youth Lacrosse:  Registration is now open for FLYL 2012. We need you to help us plan for the season by registering early.  A late fee of $50 will be charged after midnight on January 19 for grades 3-8.  Registration will close on February 15 for grades 3-8.  Visit www.foxlaneyouthlacrosse.com.


If, like me, you meant to go to the Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden over the Holidays, and never quite made it — you still have a chance.  Take this weekend (it’s a long one, so maybe a day doing something new isn’t a bad idea) and head south to the Bronx for a last holiday folly.  Hopefully your decorations are finally down, but you can take one last look at a winter wonderland before you start searching the internet for warmer escapes!

Last Chance to See the Holiday Train Show and Thomas the Tank Engine™ at The New York Botanical Garden.  20th Annual Exhibition and Complementary Programs Run through Monday, January 16, 2012.

Completing its 20th year at The New York Botanical Garden, the Holiday Train Show showcases 15 large-scale model trains traversing more than 140 replicas of New York landmarks, including the original Penn Station (1910–1964) and Yankee Stadium (1923), the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall — all created from plant materials such as leaves, twigs, bark, berries, seeds, pine cones, nuts, and pods. New for this season’s edition of the Holiday Train Show is The Artist’s Studio, which provides an insider’s look at how the replicas are constructed. Enjoy a mini-performance of All Aboard with Thomas & Friends™. Join Thomas and Driver Sam on a fun-filled, sing-along, mini-performance adventure by helping Thomas find his way from Knapford Station to Brendam Docks using teamwork, friendship, and discovery. Bring your camera; each mini-performance includes a photo op with Thomas the Tank Engine™. Get an honorary engineer certificate. Take home coloring sheets, stickers, and temporary tattoos of Thomas and his engine friends.  In Gingerbread Adventures, children delight in exploring the plant ingredients that make up a classic gingerbread recipe, venturing into a child-sized gingerbread playhouse, and decorating a gingersnap cookie with frosting and candies.

The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) at Fordham Road, Bronx, New York.  Now through Monday, January 16, 2012 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Advance timed tickets are strongly advised and available online at www.nybg.org.


Fancy yourself a photographer?  Want to show off your love for the Westchester Area?  Submit your three favorite photographs taken in Westchester County and show off your skills, while also supporting the organization that made such beauty possible with their preservation efforts!  Now that’s a good night!

Submissions are due by January 16th and can be submitted electronically.  Once accepted, work must be framed and wired for the show and delivered to the Westchester Land Trust by February 6th.  There is also a middle/high school component to the show, so get your kids involved!  Click here for the full application and details, or visit www.westchesterlandtrust.org.


Teatown Lake Reservation is a nonprofit, environmental organization with a nature education center and 834-acre preserve located in the Towns of Yorktown, Cortlandt and New Castle. Teatown`s preserve includes the 33-acre Teatown Lake; 15 miles of trails; habitats including streams, a scenic gorge, hardwood swamps, mixed forests, meadows, hemlock and laurel groves; numerous live animals and exhibits in our living museum/nature center, including nine birds of prey; and a two-acre wildflower preserve (Wildflower Island) with some 230 species of native and endangered wildflowers. Teatown offers a variety of children`s classes for ages 2 through 9 years, all include outdoor explorations with activities, games and crafts for a fun-filled experience!  Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining. 914-872-2912. For more information on Teatown, visit  www.teatown.org

After-School Programs at Stone Barns Center are designed to bring students in kindergarten through 6th grade to the farm on a weekly basis. Each session includes hands-on chores, animal and plant crafts, and in-depth examinations of life on the farm. This year, students will also harvest and prepare a seasonal meal in the kitchen. After-School programs at Stone Barns Center foster a love for the natural world, teach children where their food comes from, and encourage appreciation of local farms.  Farm Explorers: Farm Life at Stone Barns, Grades K–2, examines all of Stone Barns Center’s farm life. Farmers-in-Training (FIT), Grades 3–6, help our farmers with chores such as collecting eggs and feeding the pigs. After chores are finished, these young farmers work on structured activities such as building trails, amending beds or moving animals. Space is limited. Please register early!  For more information, please contact Sara Hanna: sara@stonebarnscenter.org or 914 366 6200 x111. Visit www.stonebarnscenter.org.


Early Childhood Programs. The New Canaan Nature Center’s programs foster hands-on learning about our natural world, teaching our children to enjoy and care for their environment. Nurturing Nature: Designed to introduce two and three-year-old children to the delights of nature. Beginner`s Nature Program: The “BNP” is a nature-focused preschool offering classes for three, four and five-year-olds. Environmental education is integrated into a curriculum which addresses each child`s individual needs. Discovers: Age 3: The Discoverers program for three-year-olds stresses developmental activities. Trail Blazers: Ages 3 – 4 Focus is nature and the environment. Explorers: Ages 4 – 5: The four and five-year-old Explorers focus on active learning situations. Call (203) 966-9577 or visit www.newcanaannature.org

Nature through discovery activities and related crafts. Students aged 3-4 years. Trailside Nature Museum, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Route 35 and 121 South, Cross River. Westchester County Parks, 914-864-7322.

Nature discovery for children aged 3 – 4 years and their caregivers. Marshlands Conservancy, Route 1, Rye, NY. Westchester County Parks Department, 914-835-4466.

Visit the lower Hudson`s only riverfront environmental center!  Our spacious interpretive center has spectacular views of the Hudson and Palisades, with fish tanks, and interactive exhibits. Outside there is a sandy beach and tidal marsh. Check out www.Beczak.org for a calendar of monthly family events, classes, and special celebrations. Open 7 days a week, 9 – 5.