AWNY Mums and Dads update, June 2017

Written by Helen McWilliam

May was a quieter month for the AWNY Mums and Dads group after a very busy April.  The warmer weather has been very welcome and my children are loving the more regular sight of sprinklers in the playgrounds.

This month, Amanda and I wanted to include a shout out to the Dads of this group.  The events we’ve organised so far have been focused on the Mums.  We’d love some input from the Dads to see if you’d like our help to organize a Dad’s meet-up, arrange a Saturday playgroup or something else entirely.  Please contact us through our Facebook page or email AWNY. We’d love to hear from you.

With the school holidays rapidly approaching, I wanted to share a day trip idea.  As I have recently overcome my fear of travelling on the subway alone with two children, I am finally leaving the Upper West Side.  Well, if I’m honest there’s still fear, I can just do it without hyperventilating and shouting! The New York Hall of Science in Queens is worth the long subway ride.  I have a 4.5 year old and nearly 2 year old and they were both transfixed for hours.  It would also be suitable for much older children as my two missed a lot of the meaning behind many of the exhibits. All the exhibits were engaging and hands on, however the ‘Connected Worlds’ installation was a must see. There’s also plenty of staff on hand to help the children get the most out of the museum. It can get a bit hectic with school groups but there’s a preschool area where groups aren’t allowed and we were advised that the groups tend to leave at 12-1pm. A few helpful pointers:

1. There’s no lift for strollers at 111th street Subway Station in Queens however, however I found I only had to look towards the stairs and people were offering me help.

2. The café was pretty basic so I would advise bringing your own food.

3. In what I would consider a big win, the shop was easily avoided!

Some up coming AWNY events to highlight: the ‘Working In the USA’ information session presented by Belinda Jackson is on the 14th of June.  It provides expert advice for Aussie job seekers.  Plus, the annual AWNY picnic is one for the whole family on the 24th of June in Central Park.

Photo credit: Helen McWilliams

Enjoy your June and the last few precious weeks of school before the endless school holidays!

 

May Mums and Dads Update

Written by Helen McWilliam

It was a BIG month for the AWNY Mums and Dads group. Our inaugural Easter Egg hunt was a great success. The hunt was attended by over 100 adults and children with all boroughs of New York represented; yes including Staten Island! The Dads hid the eggs whilst the Mums occupied the children in a nearby playground. Everyone who attended was very generous and we found even the youngest children managed to collect a full basket of eggs. We received a lot of positive feed back during the day and in the days following. It will surely become a yearly tradition!

Easter copy

Our first Mums outing of the year was also a huge success. We branched out from the Upper West Side to the Peruvian restaurant, Poi Poi in Hell’s Kitchen. Mums from all over New York came to enjoy delicious and abundant food. There was so much food; we all got a takeaway container to take home afterwards! It was such a fun evening with lots of laughs and easy conversation.

Mums dinner copy

Finally, we asked the question through the AWNY blog, is it okay not to love New York City with kids. The article received such an overwhelming response because it resonated with a lot of people who live in this and other big cities with young children. The response also reminded us having small children anywhere is seriously hard work!

We have a lot planned for the rest of the year. Next up ‘Welcome to Summer Drinks!’

Easter family copy

Maarten van den Heuvel @mvdheuvel Maarten van den Heuvel

Is it okay not to love New York City with kids?

By Helen McWilliam

 

What makes a person move to New York City? Bright lights, big city? For us, it was love at first sight ten years ago when we visited New York City. My now husband and I visited for 5 days and loved every second. We barely slept because we didn’t want to waste a moment. We were determined to return to live in New York one day. This dream took a back seat as we continued our every day life. We visited again for a few days as part of a longer holiday in the US. Again loving every second.

The opportunity came when I was about 3 months pregnant with our second child. We had made a happy life for ourselves in Sydney; new to us but it felt like home. As settled as we were, we didn’t feel like we could turn down the opportunity to move to New York, a city that we both loved. We negotiated for my husband to transfer 6 weeks after the baby was born. I would move to Queensland to live with my Mum whilst he moved to New York to set us up. I couldn’t wait to get to New York. I hated splitting up our family and my then 2.5 year old missed his father desperately.

I am pretty flexible and I find it easy to make conversations with strangers so I was looking forward to the challenge of forming a new network…but with a 12 week old baby? I didn’t think about how challenging that would be.

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Mums and Dads Xmas drinks

by Helen McWilliam
Joe’s was a great venue for the end of year AWNY Mums and Dads drinks; suitably festive and very cozy.
We had a lower than anticipated turn out, I suspect because the drinks event fell on the coldest day of the year so far. However, many of us braved the chill and there was still a great mix of members, old and new, and between us we represented most states in Australia.
Possibly slightly too much wine was had for a Thursday night but there were a lot of laughs. Thank you for sharing in  such a fun night to those who came.
Looking forward to our next catch up slated to be a long brunch in Feb 2017 so stay tuned!

 

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AWNY Mums & Dads December update: Farewell NYC

Written by Anita Davison

The Rockefeller Christmas tree is lit, twinkle lights adorn the streets of NYC and songs about snowflakes and Santa Claus are being piped through the speakers of every store you enter; these things, along with cooler temperatures mean Christmas is almost here and 2016 is almost over. It’s been quite a year here in the US. A lot has happened in the media, most notably Donald Trump taking home the blue ribbon for winning the US Presidential Election. Whatever your opinion of the result, or the man himself, 2017 looks to be another interesting year. As none of us possess a crystal ball to see into the future, only time will tell what the future of the world, and this nation we call home, holds.

A little closer to home now, and big changes are ahead for my family. Our time in NYC is quickly coming to an end, and my thoughts are drifting to things like lobster rolls, cream pies, Cheers!, and Ivy league schools; that’s right, we are moving to Boston!

The past 3.5 years in NYC have been great, it’s such an amazing city with so much to experience. We always dreamed of living in NYC, not anywhere else in the USA, just NYC; but our mindset has shifted over the past few months and we are excited to experience a new city and lifestyle. At the end of the month, we will trade in our subway pass for a new car, city living for a house in the ‘burbs and step back into a similar lifestyle we once knew back in Sydney – although instead of spending summer weekends on the Northern Beaches, we will spend them at ‘The Cape’ and our winter weekends will be filled with snowboarding lessons and snowball fights. The hardest part of this transition is saying goodbye to our wonderful friends and the networks we have become apart of or created, but thankfully we will only be 4 hours away instead of the other side of the world!

It’s been an honor to sit on the AWNY committee and lead the Aussie Mums & Dads Group. Since taking the helm almost 2 years ago, we have nearly doubled the number of members on our Facebook page, held our inaugural Spring Picnic, and have been featured in a round up in the best Aussie communities in the USA.

Co-lead Sally Bertouch will step into the lead role of the M&Ds group and continue to attend regular AWNY committee meetings. Some positive changes are coming to the way the group is managed, these will be shared with you after our AWNY committee meeting next week. With these changes I hope to create a more inclusive and open group for our members in all boroughs of NYC to have a say, create events and make the network for Aussie (and Kiwi) Mums and Dads in New York even stronger.

I will be staying on as an administrator of the Facebook group, continuing in a social media capacity only, so this isn’t officially goodbye. You will continue to see my name pop up on the page and perhaps I’ll contribute to an occasional update or attend an event when I’m down for a visit (which will be regularly!)

Our Mums & Dads End of Year Drinks will be held this month on Dec 15, the event details are below, along with a link to AWNY ‘What’s on in December’ update. I hope to see you there!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy New Year. Try not to max out those credit cards!

Until next time, whenever that may be…

Anita xo

 


Got a craving for meat pies?

Four n Twenty Pies will be delivering in NYC again at the end of December check out their websiteFacebook & Twitter feed for updates and how to order!


Upcoming Event

Aussie Mums & Dads End of Year Drinks

Thursday, December 15 at 7:30pm
Joe’s, 480 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10024

Cost: Drinks & food available for purchase
RSVP: 
Not essential, but if you would like to let people know you are going, feel free to RSVP via the Facebook event page.

Fun things to do in New York this December

Lot’s of ideas in this ‘Whats On’ blog post.