These are a few of our favorite random things.

Greetings! In the spirit of January, I offer today a list of the childrens’ favorite things in the house, all of which they did not receive for Christmas, and none of which are actually toys. This moral is an oldie but goodie – kids don’t need so many toys. Okay, got it. But sometimes this point is made in my house so clearly, like when Marley builds little cities out of earplugs, that I find myself SMHing with glee.

borobaby brothers’ favorite rando things in the house, in ascending order of preference:

10. Earplugs. See above. Earplugs can be found at Rite Aid for $8 for a large vessel. Not only do they make it possible for you to get a proper nap when your partner is holding down the ship, but they are obviously also a toy. They can be dumped, picked back up again, and made into cities or other clever formations on the floor. Available in many colors.

9. Dot stickers. Also available at Rite Aid. No, not like ones for kids or even teachers – the ones for yard sales and suchlike. Maybe $3 for many, many sheets. Nice to keep in your bag for restaurant outings so that your children can decorate themselves or you or paper. Again, Rite Aid comes through with the double duty all-purpose items. Usually sold in arrays of neon or pastel.

8. The remote control to the ceiling fan. The appeal here is obvious. Disclaimer, make sure they can’t easily rip out some tiny battery or whatever.

7. Egg crates. Like the ones that contain eggs from the food store. Perfect for putting small things in, like maybe earplugs.

6. Boxes. Can be colored, painted, cut up to be made into houses, or just exist as hiding spot.

5. Crappy plastic Easter eggs from last year. I suppose these technically are a toy, but not really, and I’m sure I got them from Rite Aid. Can be placed into above mentioned egg crates and used as carrying pods for raisins or whatever the boys are trying to hide from us.

4. Clementine boxes. Can be made into just about anything. Since Julian eats about 35 clementines per day, we’ve practically built a storage system with these.

3. The salad spinner. Oh man, the boys are both obsessed with the salad spinner. It spins, it has 3 parts, you can put lots of things into it. Oh, the glory!

2. Blankets and spare bits of fabric. They are everywhere in your house! Probably in assorted colors and patterns! Can be used as hiding places, made into “clothing,” or for trying to beat up your brother (although that obviously never happens in this house).

1. Scotch Tape. Scotch tape is also available at Rite Aid. Good to buy in bulk or on sale. It’s sticky. You can stick it on things. You can “fix” things all over the house with it. You can wear it. You can color it. The possibilities are really endless which is why it earns the #1 spot.

I love buying toys and there are many toys that the boys love and treasure. But sometimes, you just sit there covered in scotch tape and dot stickers and smile.

Thanks for reading. 🙂


Rock Rock Rockaway Beach!

Summer is finally HERE, borobaby readers! Around these parts, that means it is time to hit da beach. Yep – we’ve made it twice so far. And, guess what? We’ve gone right here in Queens to Far Rock Rock Rock Rockaway Beach! Who knew?

Well, I kinda knew….  but it didn’t seem like such a hot idea – going to the beach in Queens when the Jersey Shore is right there, ya know?

Well well well dear reader – Rockaway Beach is a grand ol’ time indeed and is actually a great affordable baby-friendly activity! There will be La Mega, there will be women in thongs who shouldn’t be, and there will be kooks with metal detectors, but would you really have it any other way?

First of all, you can get there with your Metro Card. Admittedly, we have driven both times so far, but major MAJOR points for not having to pay for both the Triboro (yeah, RFK, I said it) and George Washington Bridges. Funny story: We consider ourselves to be rather savvy with directions, and have really screwed up the reverse directions coming home both times. The result of our first attempt was an all-Brooklyn tour by driving the entirety of Bedford Ave because we didn’t feel like getting back on the highway. Our stupidity should not deter you! I’m just telling you this so you can have a good laugh at our expense. 😉 If you’re driving, get there early to get decent parking.

Okay, secondly, it is a beach. A real one – with sand and a boardwalk and lifeguards. The water is absolutely perfect for swimming and playing in the waves. None of this Long Island Sound nonsense. If you grew up riding the waves, as I did, you will surely appreciate this. For kiddos older than Marley, the waves are gentle enough to not be frightening – great “starter” waves, if you will.

Ah, now for the real stuff: THE FOOD. Apparently it is a very cool hipster thing to do to come down to Rockaway Beach. This is fiiiiiiiiine with me, as there are now several mega-fabulous Brooklyn-y food outposts on or near the boardwalk from which to choose. Our inspiration to try out Rockaway in the first place was this article on Grub Street. If you go, you must print this out and take it with you as your ultimate guide. I particularly recommend the iced chicory coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee, and then anything at all from Rockaway Taco. A reasonable person can get lunch there for under $10, but if you are Nick and me you will spend thrice that because you are starving and you want it all. Some advice – avoid the lines and try to go at a slightly “off” time (ie, not noon) if you are there on the weekend. 🙂

Say whaaaaat? I want to go now, but how do I do this with my little baby?

  1. Especially if your baby is as young as Marley, you will need some kind of shade. This umbrella, the Sport-Brella, is the thing. Not only does it provide great shade, but because it ties down on one side, it protects from sand blowing into your baby’s eyes/mouth/diaper, etc. Of course, some sand is unavoidable, but this contraption really helps. It’s also UV-protective, etc etc. OH! And because it has a “back”, if Marley got annoyed/hot with the nursing cover, I could just turn around and nurse him in peace facing the back of the umbrella! It can also be configured as a regular style umbrella, as well – brilliant!
  2. Of course, you will want the appropriate protective gear for the little one to wear. Marley is not ready to be out swimming yet, so I haven’t got any great recommendations for swimwear. But – I’ve had amazing luck with this i play Sun Protection Hat and these Baby Banz Ultimate Polarized Sunglasses. The Baby Banz folks also appear to make nice UV-protective sun clothes. They are an Australian company, which makes me trust them regarding sun protection…they’ve been missing a chunk of the ozone layer over there for a while now so I reckon they know what they’re doing. Ah, also – those of you who’ve been hanging with Marley recently know that I dress him in white tube socks pulled up to his knees. This accomplishes 2 things: (1) Marley’s little exposed feet/calves are covered, and (2) We achieve that coveted “Florida resort community” look.
  3. So, ok – when I was thinking about how to take a baby to the beach, I got the greatest suggestion. Why not dig a hole that the baby can lie/sit in (presumably with a towel/sheet over the sand)!? This will protect baby from flying sand, provide a bit of shade/coolness, and allow baby to be quite comfortably upright as he plays with toys/books, etc. Alas, we have not tried this yet but we DEFINITELY are next time ’round! Marley is pretty much okay lying on his back towards the back of the Sport-Brella, but I think this is soon to change.
  4. A great lightweight & breathable blanket that can also be used as a nursing cover is the Aden and Anais Swaddle Blanket. Oh my gosh these things are awesome. They are just the right size for swaddling and they are muslin and thus very breathable – you don’t feel like you are suffocating your child in the warm weather. This is also a great blanket to keep in the stroller to provide extra shade when needed. I have the “Mod Turtle” set (red fish pattern in these pics) but be sure to browse all the adorable designs!We are a beach kind of family. I want Marley to grow up watching the world from the top of the waves – my happiest childhood memories were spent this way with my own mom. I want him to feel that incredibly calming back-to-center peacefulness when he arrives at the beach and catches that first glimpse of the ocean. I hope he’ll spend his summer days lying face down on the sand looking out as far as he can into the sea, hoping to find boats, dolphins, or even Europe (yeah, I did that). I’m so glad we’ve already started this tradition for him – we can’t wait to go again. 🙂

Get ready for our next post… our first “dear borobaby” Q&A!!!

Hiking with Baby – A Visit with Nature…20 minutes from Queens!

Greetings, borobaby readers! Let’s kick things off with a FREE baby-friendly activity! Hot DOG! Full disclosure: This activity requires vehicle ownership or access to a vehicle. Friends without wheels do not despair – we usually only drive to see the Grandparents and such…. this was a real diversion from the norm. As an aside, many of my city friends without cars will attest to the wonders of zipcar  for when driving becomes truly necessary.

So, when I was pregnant, my husband Nick and I decided that we should get a car so that we could take the baby on trips to do nature-y stuff: hiking, strawberry picking, camping, and so forth. What kind of parents would we be if the kid never saw any kind of real nature?! No offense to the truly amazing NYC parks. How on earth would he gain immunity to diseases without eating dirt, as we surely did when we were younguns back in the non-internet days of old?

Enter Katie and Scott: dear friends and hikers extraordinaire. Whilst cavorting one afternoon at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (more to come on appropriate drinking activities with baby), we approached Katie and Scott. Were there easy hikes that weren’t too far away that we could do while carrying Marley in our Ergo Baby carrier? And so they began planning…and they came up with an absolutely perfect way to spend the morning/early afternoon with our borobaby.

The hike we completed was the Women’s Federation Movement “easy” hike at the Palisades Interstate Park just over the river in NJ.

To get there from NYC, take the Palisades Interstate Parkway North from the George Washington Bridge. Continue for 1.7 miles beyond Exit 2, and turn right at a sign for the State Line Lookout. Follow the access road for about half a mile until it ends at a large parking lot near the lookout. (If you are coming from the north on the Parkway, bear left just beyond Exit 3 and follow the signs for the lookout.)

Thanks, Palisades Interstate Park website, for very helpful trail categorization. Indeed, this was the first exercise beyond just strolling about the neighborhood that my noodle-like postpartum body had embarked upon. Well, there was that “run” I did a few weeks ago, but we need not expand on that (exercise – FAIL) ….. Anyway, I totally recommend sticking to the easy stuff to start out, especially if this is the first time you will be doing anything in nature with a baby attached to you. I must admit, I was a bit wobbly going down the “rock stairs” in the beginning of the trail, but just as soon as I began to doubt myself, the flat trail began and I felt confident once again. As you can see below, Marley was having a blast – by that of course I mean that he slept in the Ergo Baby the entire time, with the exception of one feeding/diaper break at the monument castle.

Katie and I discussed weddings and bunnies while the boys talked martial arts and power tools. Well…. okay I have no idea what the guys talked about.. just a guess, ya know? Here I am with all the guys….

… and here’s our latest family photo!

The trail allows for plenty of lookouts over the Hudson, and the “rock stairs” going up on the way back provided a much needed challenge. I sure hope my NYC-area readers will take a trip to the Palisades Interstate Park. Even if hiking doesn’t strike your fancy or you don’t feel quite ready for that yet with a new baby, there are picnic grounds available. Don’t get me wrong, Nick, Marley and I are city folk through and through, but nothing beats the first time you take a deep breath in the woods. For me, it reminds me of my childhood – back when my mom had to beg me to come inside for dinner.

And so, dear reader, perhaps you are now wondering, “What is that Ergo Baby contraption you keep talking about? Is that like a Baby Bjorn or what?” or “Feeding break at the monument castle? How’d you pull that off?”…

Stay tuned for my next post: From versatile carrying options to discreet nursing everywhere you go – I’ll discuss why I think the Ergo Baby is THE MOST essential baby item to the savvy parent’s re-entry into civilization!

Welcome to borobaby!

Meet Marley – He is the borobaby. I’m Sara, Marley’s mom.

We live in Queens, the BEST….er, I mean…just one of the wonderful outer boroughs (“boros”) of New York City. Life is good here in Astoria, Queens. As any proud Astorian would tell you, we avoid the uber-hipster vibes of Brooklyn while still fancying ourselves a happening, cool-yet-affordable alternative to Manhattan.

Soooo, what are Marley and I doing here on the interweb? Well, the past year has changed my life in some very profound ways. I was the first among my close friends to become a parent. While that felt a bit scary and disorienting at times, it also inspired me to organize my thoughts to help whoever might be the next to take this insane and awesome journey.

As an expectant mom, I was often overwhelmed by my need for helpful information and emotional support. Not surprisingly, as a new mom I find I need the same things….Oh, except now I need a housekeeper…please come over if you’d like to mop my floor…. Anyway, Marley and I are here to help you ladies (and gents!) who are pregnant or new to parenthood. If you find yourself wondering things like “Must I absolutely purchase a wipe-warmer? I need a fo’ real registry checklist!” or “Am I really prepared for those first few weeks everyone keeps telling me will be SO HARD? Will I survive sleep deprivation?” or perhaps “I have my baby and am now broke – can I still have fun without spending a million dollars on activities… in New York (substitute your own too-expensive city here)!?”, then YOU are a borobaby reader! Congratulations. 🙂

Those of you who know me well know that I adore list-making and information-mongering almost as much as I enjoying helping people. That’s what borobaby is all about – so here we go!

Marley and I will be enlightening our readers with information in the following categories:

Baby Product Reviews and Musings: From “Swaddle Me” to “Sophie Le Giraffe” – Discussions and information about great (and not-so-great) baby products.

Dear borobaby…: We entertain all questions! Email us at

Free/Inexpensive Baby-friendly Activities: Stories of fun family activities that don’t break the diaper budget. Of course, most of our posts will concern the New York City region. However, I can’t wait to hear from our out-of-town borobaby readers for ways to have fun for less in your area!

Life With Baby: Breastfeeding, baby care, breastfeeding, getting out of the house, breastfeeding, meeting other new parents, and finally, breastfeeding. Yes. Whatever kind of feeding you’re doing, you’ll be doing that much of it.

Pregnancy & Preparing for Baby: The wonders of the pregnancy experience and advice for logistical and emotional prep for baby.