A Day at The Intrepid Museum

The Intrepid Museum in Manhattan is a great place to visit as a family (or individual), you can easily spend the whole day without even realising it. The beauty of it is that you can be mesmerised by all things that move; planes, jets, boats and ships. You can be rest assured to learning about science there as well as space and surprisingly, photography.

The intrepid is very accessible for wheelchair users and for strollers, there are rest rooms and restaurants to pick up something to eat and drink. Plenty of things to see indoors as well as outdoor. We came during the science week so there was a lot of science activities taking place. You can pre-book your tickets or buy one on the day at the entrance.

For a tip, try to attend the space exhibition. You would learn something new about space and be surprisingly entertained. If you have visited the HMS Belfast on the river Thames in London, you might be able to draw a little similarity with the intrepid on the Hudson River in Manhattan. And like everything America, this was way much fun, grand and bigger! We will be definitely coming back.


Riding a bike to power up electricity.

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Baby Ear Piercing

We moved to Manhattan from London and after the birth of our baby girl we didn’t know where and when to have her ear pierced. How do they do it in America I wondered.

During her six months pediatricians appointment I talked about my worries and concerns with the doctor and she advised me that after their two months shots, they can have their ears pierced. Wow I’m I already falling her I thought, she’s nearly seven months old already. I was only worried because I didn’t want her to feel the pain, but this pain is vary different from male circumcision for example. The baby boys have to have it done as babies because it is a very painful procedure(even as babies) and especially worse when they are older.

But with ear piercings you don’t necessarily have to have it done by two months. It is not that painful nowadays. I know this for a fact because I had my second piercing done when I was at uni.

The doctor also informed me that there was a lady that comes to the clinic to do it. She emphasized that the lady is not affiliated with the clinic. But that she’s a nurse and very clean and sterilized.

Another places some mom friends pointed me to was some children hair salons in Manhattan.

Then one day as I was driving past broadway on the upper west Side of Manhattan, I saw Claire’s. I used them for my older daughters ear piercing in England so I was really glad to know that they are also in the US. I went in and asked about it. It was basically the same process.

We decided to do it at Claire’s, So that they could both have that little thing in common. I love little things like that that have a continuity from our lives in London to our new life in New York City. My oldest two were born in England and with the baby being the only one born in America, I didn’t want her to grow up feeling like she doesn’t have connections with her older siblings.

I went with the small diamond for her. Although more pricey than I had anticipated but I was glad I did. It is very very small and she basically didn’t feel anything when we got home. She slept on the side without a flinch.

Now I hope to finally stop being asked if my daughter is a girl or a boy ūüôā

Breastfeeding Beyond 6 months

I have breastfed my daughter for over six months now and like I had done with the other two, I wanted to stop. I wasn’t enjoying breastfeeding this time around. The latching was good, supply was good and baby was happy.

There was just too many issues with me breastfeeding, back pains, restricting my diet because a lot of the food I ate gave her gas. Lack of sleep because she would wake up every three hours to nurse. And my daughter just loved it so much that she wasn’t really sucking to feed but to comfort. And then the weight issue. Formula fed babies are more chunkier and I wanted her to be chunky(?) but she wasn’t having any of that and I wanted to stop after six months so I can put her on formula and pur√©ed meals. Then all the pains will stop and I can finally get my sleep back. How wrong was I. This is what I experienced when I stopped for five days.

1. Stomach cramps like I’ve never experienced before. I know pains, I have been on labour before and I usually have cramps when I’m in my period but this one was on a whole lot of different level. The pains was excruciating and paralysing.

2. Formula is so damn expensive. I would buy two for nearly $30 and it won’t even last two weeks.

3. Washing and sterilising bottles aren’t fun.

4. Baby cried for the whole five days every night. So no sleep. But it wasn’t all bad.

5. Baby was chunkier

6. Baby learnt how to use bottles. But then

7. Baby COULD become ill.

No 7. Was the deal breaker for me. I noticed that last week when we were all dealing with the flu, she was feeling unwell too. This had never happened in the past. Then I remembered that breast milk contains antibiotics.

My daughter had never been ill in the last six months and now she was unwell. I had to get her back to nursing. You could express and feed her the milk but I didn’t want to add expressing to my ever ending to-do list. If I was in a better position, that was what I would have done. But I went back to nursing her and she was more happier. I noticed she started feeling better (there might not be enough scientific fact that breastfeeding babies are less likely to fall ill, it’s just something I personally experienced). My cramps stopped gradually.

Although every other issues with breastfeeding listed above are still there, I’m continuing for now. I don’t know for how long. Maybe until she’s two years old but I will take each day as it comes. One day at a time. And I’m just happy she’s continuing to get all the ‘good stuff’ that will help her fight any illness especially as we are entering the colder weather. And if you are stopping after six months, of course there is always medicine your doctor could prescribe for any illness your baby might have. I am not against antibiotics or any medicine. As parents we all do what WE think is best for our babies. No one method is better than the other.

Sex After A Baby

Lets talk about sex baby! Sorry I couldn’t resist : ) Okay so my husband who has been working overseas for nearly six months now is coming home soon and while we are all so happy and excited to be having him with us for the next four weeks, I am getting anxious. Anxious about sex after just having a baby.

Before having kids, whenever he was coming back from business trips, I would set the stage. Two things I love in the bedroom, I am a teaser and I love foreplay. I would send him sexy text messages (not nude photos and nothing explicit, I am married to a preacher’s son so I always imagine my father in-law stumbling across those messages) like I said im a big teaser, I tease him, I send messages that he and I only knows what is all about. like coded sexy messages. For example when people say can I connect my dongle (mobile broadband) to your computer or do you have a hot spot I can connect to, over time, we have found these words funny and use them in making dirty jokes. I could text him and say my phone is done can you find my hot spot? lol

Next it is time to set the stage. I had a small chocolate fondue set, I would go and buy some yummy strawberries to deep in the hot chocolate sauce. There was even a time I went to Anne Summers well you know what they sell there so no need to paint a picture! my point is I had time, strength, I had freedom to express my creativity (not just on instagram) and I had just ourselves to factor into my plans.

Now, with a newborn baby and two kids who are home on summer holidays, living in an apartment in the city meaning we can’t be “shaking the roofs” with our activities, I can’t help but feel the anxiety. Now these are all physical reasons. Lets talk about the physiological reasons, regardless of how you have had a baby, sometimes it just doesn’t go as smoothly as expected. You end up with severe tears, or a major operation. They both take time to physically heal and psychologically heal. I had one of these not so smooth deliveries and I may be a little physically healed but I still feel phantom pains. or maybe they are real, I don’t know. So psychologically, I’m thinking I’m not quite ready.

I want to go to Victorias secret to buy some sexy lingerie but last time I went shopping for underwear, the store attendance thought I was mistakenly in the wrong section, “our nursing bras are over here madam” she said. I wasn’t sure what was more hurtful, the madam or the fact that I can’t even buy a “normal” undies.

They say you should do it only at nights when the kids are sleeping. That is¬†one of the ways we have done it with the other two. They would sleep through the night. we lived in a house so we could leave them upstairs and come downstairs and well lets say “get jigijigi”. But now, the baby nurses every three hours, including night-time, that’s foreplay out of the window. With the little time you have left, you are going to have to dive in there and get it done with in five minutes. Now as a new mom, that would not work. if there is ever a time you needed teasing and foreplay, is after you just had a baby. All your hormones and emotions are all over the place.

Our body has gone through a lot. Our major organs have been shifted and lifted. Our body doesn’t even belong to us anymore. Our breast that used to be one of our sex organs, now act as a food factory for the little one. He asked me the other day, do you even feel anything there anymore” well the truth is I do, not what he was thinking. I feel the love of a mother nourishing her baby’s body. I don’t feel sexual feelings at the time of nursing. but the way the creator worked it out is that you can feel both at different times, not the same, well at least for me. From the other two babies experience, despite nursing, I still felt sexual. Just don’t suck it because those girls don’t know the difference between a baby and a sex partner. The milk will squirt out like some freak show. That is not very sexy now is it.

Then the exhaustion, I could write a whole book on this point but lets just say as a new mom you are ALWAYS exhausted! Even when I sleep, my dreams are so tiring, everything is tiring. You are just surviving. Making the best of a bad situation and being thankful it’s not worse. “it could be worse” I often tell myself. We have good health, we have life, we have food to eat clothes to wear and roof over our head. What exhaustion? But barely¬†being able to do normal day-to-day function (not counting the pile of clothes that needs folding) I can’t imagine ‘fitting’ sex into it. After my son was born, my husband once said “you just lie there” I’m thinking yeah! Because this is the only time my back has touched the bed in the last 48 hours and my brain can’t switch off from the lengthy to-do list that awaits me when you travel back for business so sorry I’m “just lying there”. Like Rhianna you just want to say “shout up and drive” but then you thinking if I say all these out loud, that could cause fight then you have to have a make-up sex, so to avoid make up sex, you just smile and say “I’m sorry I’m just tired” and hope ¬†he just finishes quickly.

To be honest, not that we don’t have sexual needs after having a baby anymore, it’s just that you now become a good negotiator. You find yourself giving yourself the argument whether its worth it. Sex or sleep. You are so exhausted. Then there is the looking sexy part. I used to love my killer curves, small waist, flat tummy, perky breast, wide hips. He loved looking at me when taking off my clothes and I loved the look in his eyes when he whispers “wow”! Now I have three round packs (of folds) in my tummy, my boobs are engorged with milk and probably pointing south and I’ve added weight. He is a lovely man, he says he loves my new body because it wasn’t my body he was saying “wow” to, it was me. Irene. The person behind the body, it is sweet of him but I don’t feel it. I know it shouldn’t matter I know all the arguments why we should love our “new” bodies and I am pretty confidence person HOWEVER when its time to take off my clothes for sex, those insecurities come rushing in. This is not the woman he used to have sex with I would be thinking, I don’t feel sexy.

Ways forward. I’m ordering some sexy lingeries online since I can’t go to a store and buy one. I’m getting a baby sitter to look after the kids while we go out on a date and tease each other in a pre-foreplay style. Although I’m tempted to have sex in the back of the taxi or in the restaurant bathroom like you see in the movies, because that’s the only privacy we are likely going to get. But the fear of going to prison for indecent exposure in NYC or being banned from coming back to our favourite restaurant supersede five minutes of pleasure. I’m going to do what I CAN, eat a little cleaner because I know that sometimes we are running on caffeine and carbs because it’s all about survival than anything else now. Try to shed a little weight off. But then thinking to myself, well he’s added a little weight himself, I had a baby what’s he’s excuse. We shouldnt absorb the whole burden to look and feel sexy. They need to help more, take the baby away for three hours so you can sleep and rest. If they want to initiat sex, they got to do their part too.

The most important thing is to not rush into it. It may sound ironic seeing as we don’t have time but in that four weeks, it’s better to have good quality sex a few times than several forced ones that leave you bruised both physically and emotionally. Stress is the number one killer of moods, avoid stress, no talking about adult stuff like bills or mortgage on a romantic outing. Don’t stress. There will always be dishes to do, floor to clean, laundries to fold. As long as heaven and earth remains, those things will never end. Go out and live your lives especially as he’s only around for a short time before going back. Get a cleaner if necessary. One tip, I use lots of disposable dishes and cups. It is like a party, after eating we throw them away. Cheaper than a cleaner and necessary for our sanity sometimes.

Come out of the bedroom, sex doesn’t have to only happen in the bedroom and on the bed! Shocking right. There is the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom. Switch on your dishwasher or washing machine or anything that makes a familiar noise. Noise the kids are used to hearing and doesn’t wake them up. Play gentle mood music. If you have help, leave the kids with the grandparents and go to a hotel. Nothings beats that! Pretend you don’t know each other and meet up at the hotel bar. I used to love spicing things up by wearing different wigs. Some times you are a hot blond, red-head babe and next you are a sexy dreadlocks, braids chic! Let him dress up too. I find my husband sexy when he wears his suit but without the tie and on jeans. Try different positions. Because you liked and enjoyed a particular position doest mean you would after having a baby.

Personal groom is vital, go for a wax or do it yourself. Have your hair done, your nails done and buy a cute outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Feel good on the outside and you will feel good on the inside. Sometimes it’s not one thing but the accumulation of several little things that makes us feel good and sexy for when we are ready to get back our groove! ; ) Good luck ladies and remember this period is only temporary. Very soon the kids will not be kids any more and you can have all the sex in the world.

5 Tips for Sunny Hot Days In NYC

Are you visiting New York City this summer? if so you are in for a good time – you just have to learn to cope with the hot weather first especially if you are coming from a much more cooler region. Temperatures can go as far as 83 F and even more. Having originally come from a warm climate but later acclimatised to colder weather when we moved to Europe, I find the New York weather very hot, too hot in fact. perspiration is high and I am constantly looking for shades or indoors with cooling system. Hear are few tips on how we have being coping with the heat.

  1. Keep your cool. Quite literally you should try and stay cool. Fan, air condition, cold shower, pool. Open windows for fresh air to come in, go to public places with cooling systems. The shopping mall, go see a movie in the cinema (theatre) or read a book at the library. Drink lots of water. In extreme case put wet flannel/towels on forehead to cool temperature down.

playing in water fountains and sprinkles to stay cool

  1. Wear lighter clothing. This may look like a no brainer but some of us who love to stay modest and cover up (even in summer) may find it hard to wear lighter clothes. Bear in mind that there is difference between wearing lighter clothes and wearing revealing outfits. Sometimes the heat will supersede modesty! Linen material tends to be summer friendly. even if you want to cover up, try using net like material of soft silk like kimonos for example. For work suits, try blazers with little or no under lining.

  1. Use sun protections, including suncream Рwhen you are going out. Top it up after few hours, sunglasses to protect your eyes and an umbrella for shade. Finally add a little style with a sun hat!