Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ari is Sorry

Today my son learned the word "sorry."After he decided that he was repentant, for knocking some items off the bookshelf, he couldn't stop saying the word "sorry!"

Mama Daddy Mama Daddy...

The most fun activity to do, when you are stuck in a car, is to list the important people in your life:

Sarah Fader Interviews Sarah Fader!

My name is Sarah Fader. I live in Brooklyn, NY and have an almost two year old son. I also have a facebook account where I've reconnected with people from my past, current friends and other people named "Sarah Fader."

One of the Sarah Fader's I've met lives in Canada and has a child named (get this) "Brooklyn"! What are the chances?

Sarah Fader and I have become fast friends and she has agreed to be interviewed on being a mommy in Canada for my blog. Here's what she had to say:

1. How did you react when you found out you were pregnant?

I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant, I took the test and walked out of the bathroom and made David go and look at the test, I saw the lines changing color before I left, and nearly threw up!!

2. How does it feel to raise a child in Canada?

It feels great to raise a child in Canada. We have good health and dental care, and our government gives us money to help raise our kids. Right now I get $100 for universal child care which I will get until she is 6, and I get the child tax benefit which we get until they are 18 or we make too much money. I live in Nova Scotia, it is beautiful here, calm and quiet, most times. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!!!!

3. Brooklyn is a great name! How did you choose it?

I choose Brooklyn one day while I was driving in the car listening to Jay Z and Little Wayne, their song called Brooklyn!

4. How do Canadians feel about the name Brooklyn?
Older people think it is a unique name even though it is very popular all over Canada now. I know 5 people that I went to school with that have children named Brooklyn!!!!

5. Have you ever been to the States or taken Brooklyn to the States?

I have been to the states a few times, not with Brooklyn though. I visited Florida, Maine, New Hampshire and drove through New York on our way somewhere. I don't remember being in New york though.

6. Has Brooklyn ever been to Brooklyn? If not would you take her there?

Brooklyn hasn't been to Brooklyn yet. I do plan on taking her because I think it would be fun for her to be in the place her name comes from.

7. Supposedly Canadians are really nice. Have you met any mean Canadian moms?

Most Canadians are nice, I have met mean Canadian moms, and dads. People from Quebec are normally not the nicest of people and they tend to be mean. Most people from Canada would agree on this!!!!!!

Thank you Sarah Fader! I am so proud that we share the same name! Love, Sarah Fader and Ari from Brooklyn.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Resentment of The Night Shift

My boyfriend, Wilhelm, works the night shift at an airline. The means that he sleeps during the daytime. He has Fridays and Saturdays off, but Friday daytime is reserved for catching up on sleep and come Saturday his circadian rhythms are so thrown off that he is sleeping half the day on Saturday as well. We end up hanging out as a family at night time. But during the day I feel like this:

I know he's tired. I get that. But I'm tired too! When he is sleeping through the day (like he is right now) I am up at 7am or earlier and taking care of my son.


Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love spending time with my kid. But sometimes, I need a break! I resent Wil's night shift and what it does to my exhaustion level and my day! He's sleeping and I am busting my ass all day! Meanwhile, most every other couple with children are out having a "family day."

Has anyone had a boyfriend/husband/wife/partner that worked nights? How did you deal with this situation?

Coca Cola Frights!

Somebody once told me that kids who drink chocolate milk are less likely to want soda. I'm not so sure about this theory anymore.

Last night we ordered Mexican food. Wilhelm and I had enchiladas and my son had a quesadilla which he ate none of so we ended up giving him spaghetti instead.

In general, I am not a big soda drinker, but last night I was really craving a Coke. So I went for it. We were done eating and my son was running around like the "almost two year old" that he is. I must have spaced out for a moment because the next thing I realized, he was holding my Coke and taking a giant gulp of it.

So much for the "drinking chocolate milk prevents soda consumption" theory.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Francesco's: A Child Friendly Pizzeria in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Sometimes, I just want a slice of pizza. I want to keep lunch simple. I don't need an elaborate sandwich or wrap (nor can I afford these things) just a good old slice. However, I have yet to find a child-friendly pizzeria. Most pizzerias in New York City that I have come across are not equipped with high chairs or booster seats.

When I entered Francesco's Pizzeria, one of the first things I saw was a stack of high chairs.

Francesco's Pizzeria, located in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, is the child-friendly pizzeria I have been waiting for. Unfortunately, I did not have my son with me at lunch time today, I was working, so he didn't come with me to Francesco's this time. Too bad, because he loves pizza! But I had a hankering for a slice, so I went to Francesco's to satisfy my craving.

The slice was magnificent. It was white pizza, no tomato sauce, just mozzarella and ricotta cheeses combined on pizza dough. It was divine.

But wait, it gets better. I went to use the restroom. I wasn't sure what I was in for (you never know with New York City public bathrooms) but it was one of the cleanest public restrooms I had ever seen. I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the bathroom, but here are some shots from the restaurant:

I had an opportunity to speak with one of the owners, Anthony. I told him how impressed I was by his restaurant, the bathroom, the high chairs and most importantly the food. He thanked me and told me to contact wife (co-owner of Francesco's ) via email to let her know as well. I asked him if he considered his restaurant child friendly? He said:

"Well, there are always a bunch of strollers and carriages lined up at the door, so yes!"

They even have organic juices for kids!

If you're in the Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn area, check out Francesco's for a classic New York slice! For more information on Francesco's click here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sleep As a Teleportation Device

One of my ingenious 4th grade students admitted that he had trouble falling asleep. I asked him what he did to combat his insomnia.

He replied:
"Sometimes I like to pretend that I am not really sleeping, but teleporting to the next day."

He went on to say that he closes his eyes and tells himself when he opens them again, it will magically be tomorrow.


I decided to design my own personal teleportation device to visualize when I have insomnia. Here it is:

You Can't Give Something and Then Take it Back Part II

Those of you who have been following my blog know that I wrote to when they rudely rescinded an offer for $20 worth of free food and a free rotisserie chicken. See previous post here.

Well, it looks like I may get my free chicken after all! However, their justification for the email error still strikes me as bizarre. Take a look at their response:

Dear Sarah Fader,

I definitely understand your frustration. You are a valued customer, so I am going to specifically add your account to this deal, and if you’ve spent $300 in January, you will receive an e-mail from us with the $20 discount code during the first week of February.

I’d also like to address the concern of why this offer was sent to some customers and not all. The e-mail was intended to be a test offer for a very small audience of less frequent shoppers, but the email was sent to a large group by accident. Though we are truly grateful for the loyalty of customers like you, we simply can’t afford to extend this offer to all our customers.

In addition, I want to confirm that the promotion code you received for waiving the delivery fee on your next order (or adding an extra week to your Delivery Pass) will also work for you. Simply enter code FREEDEL74 when you checkout before February 15.

Again, I am sorry for the confusion and frustration this error caused. Thank you for your understanding.

Best wishes,

Karen C.
Director, Customer Service Group

Inter-Species Slumber Party

I've accepted that my bed is no longer my bed. At some point during the evening my son wanders into it, the cat jumps up onto it and all of a sudden we are having an inter-species slumber party. Here's what I woke up to this morning:

You Can't Give Something and Then Take it Back!

I got a strange email from (an online grocery ordering service here in New York City) yesterday. Here's the gist of it:

Dear Sarah,

Oops. We sent you an email and offer you should not have received earlier today. That email – titled “What's Good: Get $20 Free Food, Plus New Garlic & Lime Rotisserie Chicken.” – mentioned an offer which, alas, you are not eligible for. We would like to make up for our mistake by waiving the delivery fee on your next order (or adding an extra week to your DeliveryPass). Simply enter code FREEDEL74 when you checkout before February 15.

Our apologies,

The Customer Service Team at FreshDirect

Needless to say, this email bugged me. They gave me a generous coupon, realized it was too generous, and then took it back. This is just bad manners.

So I called FreshDirect on their lack of etiquette. Here's what I said to them:


I am really upset that this offer was given to me and taken away. Sorry, but the free delivery fee is not going to cut it. I deserve to have the original offer of $20 Free Food and the Garlic Lime Rotisserie Chicken. I have been a FreshDirect customer for years at this point, and it is not right to deprive me of an offer that you already sent me.

Thank You,

Sarah Fader

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hemorrhoids and a Mouse in a Stock Pot!

I was not looking forward to today. Today I had to visit a colo-rectal specialist to look at my hemorrhoids that I've had since I was pregnant. Thankfully, Ari's Uncle Mike offered to babysit while I went to the doctor.

So there I am, sitting in the doctor's office, waiting for the doctor to examine my roids, when I receive the following picture text message from Uncle Mike:

The message was accompanied with the following text:

"Hi, I just hitched a ride and jumped out of Ari's bag! Can you see me? I'm a squeek-squeek!"

Yes, you read correctly, a mouse was hiding in my son's diaper bag.

So I began to obsess over this rodent while sitting in the butt doctor waiting room, because (frankly) I had nothing else to do. Here were my stream of thoughts:

Where did the mouse come from?
My apartment?
Mike and Mint's apartment?
My mom's car (which I drove to the doctor's appointment)?
Are there more mice hiding in the diaper bag?
Are there more mice hiding in my apartment?

And my mind kept going and going.

I finally got to into see the doctor, and while he was examining my roids I tried to make conversation with him about...well...anything. I needed to distract myself from this intimate exam.

Apparently, he lives in Long Island (Nassau County to be exact) and he dislikes transferring at Jamaica on the LIRR so he prefers to drive to work. Also, he says, if he lived in Mannahasset, he wouldn't need to transfer at Jamaica.

But I digress. He explained that my hemorrhoids were mild enough, except for one "dominant one" which he said could be removed using a "rubber band procedure." I was so baffled by this explanation that I didn't care to ask more about it, but instead I made another appointment for three weeks later to get rid of my dominant or "alpha-hemorrhoid."

I arrived back at Mint and Mike's house. Mike had (after some effort) trapped the mouse successfully in a stock pot.

He said the most humane thing we could do was to set the little guy free in Riverside Park.

So we did! Take a look:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Put Your Shoes On

Mint has requested a video of Ari helping to putting his shoes on! I am supplying it here:

My Babysitter is Not 30...But I Am!

I stayed home with my son for the first year of his life. When my son turned a year, I began working on a per diem basis for the NYC Department of Education as a substitute teacher. My parents have been gracious enough to babysit when I am working. But they are retired and I feel like I am cutting into their "golden years."

I mean, they are hippies. And what do cool hippie grandparents do in New York City? They go to Wednesday matinees at the theater, they check out a movie, when they feel like it, they garden, they go hear former Governor Cuomo speak. You get the point.

My mom has been telling me for months to find a back up babysitter. She suggested a high school student. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I keep feeling like mentally and emotionally I, myself, am still in high school. I can still pull off pig tails.

But the reality is, I'm 3o years old. And when I wear my hair down, you can tell.

Anyhow, a colleague of mine has a lovely daughter who is in high school and babysits. She agreed to babysit for my son for a reasonable rate.

When I met her, I was forced to admit to myself that I am not in high school. I'm getting older, people. Not to say that 30 is "old" by any means. But the difference between her and I is clear. This girl looks great! She's in great shape, skinny, can probably eat an entire pan of brownies and not gain a pound, her hair is long and fantastic looking and she wears stylish yet sophisticated looking glasses.

I came home from picking my son up, looked in the mirror and realized that I am not 17 anymore. But my babysitter is...

Night Terrors

Something alarming is happening to my child at night; he wakes up (usually around midnight) breaks out of his room, screams and runs up to me (I am passed out on the couch at this time) freaking out as if he has been battling with monsters with three heads.

I try to calm him down, I put him on my chest and hug him tight. Sometimes this works and he falls asleep after some effort on my part, and sometimes he is too shaken up to calm down.

My son's pediatrician told me that this could be considered night terrors.

As far as I understand them, night terrors appear effect babies and toddlers in this way:

--the child is startled by a scary dream
--he/she starts freaking out but is not actually awake
--By freaking out I mean physically shaking, arms (and possibly legs) flailing about and screaming

When I saw my son experience night terrors for the first time, I was alarmed and had no idea what to do. This article says that you should not try to restrain your child if they have night terror. Personally, I find this advice hard to follow. When I see my son in distress I want to help him.

Has anyone ever experienced this with their child? What did you do?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hello? Goodbye!

My son has recently become fascinated with the telephone. He is starting to understand what it does, and becomes excited when it rings. I was bored on Sunday, so I decided to have a little fun with him by calling him on the land line from my cell phone. Take a look:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Response to The MTA Answered by a Human BEING!

Well folks, the MTA finally provided me with real human response. Check it out:

Response (Doug Sussman) - 01/24/2010 07:21 PM

Dear Ms. Fader:

I'm sorry that you continue to find MTA email responses to be impersonal and "canned". I do not think the previous response is too generic, and the answer is correct.

But here are some additional specific answers that I trust you will find acceptable.

Given the lack of any recurring source to fund our capital program, it is not at all possible to give you a time frame to make all 468 subway stations accessible for our customers with disabilities. Indeed, I cannot imagine that every station will ever be made fully accessible. We require about $25 billion for the next five years for All basic capital improvements within our 5,000 square mile service area. As of now, no such plan has been approved by the approved by our funding partners.

Elevator maintenance and cleaning is on a regular schedule. If defacing or vandalism of any elevator is experienced, if reported to the elevator/escalator section of our website, it will indeed be inestigated and corrected as soon as possible.

I trust that these responses are more on target and specific. Your comments are duly noted and appreciated.


Douglas R. Sussman
Community Affairs

The Moxie Spot Part II

I wrote a previous post about The Moxie Spot, a restaurant and play space in Brooklyn, NY. My best friend Mint took my son here (while I was at work) and he had the best time, as evidenced by the photos below, which she just had a opportunity to send me.

These pictures also give you an idea of what the play space at The Moxie Spot looks like. Take a look at Ari's busy day:

After we left The Moxie Spot, Mint and I happened open a flower shop that was giving out free flowers based on what your name was.

Mint's birth name is "Diane" not "Diana," but she managed to score some flowers anyway. Thanks Floral Heights!

For more information on The Moxie Spot, click here.

The MTA Continues to Blow OS/NS Mom Off!

For those of you that have been following my blog, you know how I feel about the NYC MTA and it's lack of accessibility to mothers with strollers. I forwarded my previous post to the MTA, where I indicated that they sent me a generic response.

Here is the latest response they sent me:

Response (Antonio Ligonde) - 01/21/2010 02:45 PM
This is in response to your recent e-mail message to MTA New York City Transit requesting travel information.

We regret that you are not satisfied with your previous response. Please be assured that New York City Transit shares your concern regarding the accessibility of the subway system for all passengers. We have established a long-term plan that provides for upgrades at key stations throughout the subway system to make these stations accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please be assured that we will continue our efforts to make the system comfortable and reliable for all of our customers.

We suggest you visit
, for information regarding accessibility in the transit system. Please note that bus and subway service information along with travel itineraries within New York City may also be obtained by calling our Travel Information Center at (718) 330-1234, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week, where customer service representatives are available. Please have a pen and paper ready, provide each starting point, destination and the approximate time you will be traveling.

Thank you for having taken the time to contact us.

Robbin Gust
Associate Transit Customer Service Specialist II

I still want to know the following information:

1. When will all stations in New York City be accessible to the disabled population as well as mothers with strollers?

2. Is there a long term plan for this to occur? If so, what is the specific plan?

3. Can the MTA please make sure that the elevators that do exist are clean? I have stepped in human urine one too many times in these elevators.

Hopefully the MTA will reply with some specific answers to this post.

Paper Plate Art

My son (who is approaching two years old at a rapid pace) has recently discovered what it is to draw. However, he doesn't quite say the word draw, he says "straw?" which can be quite confusing because then I think he may be thirsty when in fact he wants to make art.

Today we taped paper plates to the floor and drew on them with crayons. Here is what we created together:

Sometimes We Hurt The Ones We Love

After almost two years of friendship, Egreck (my cat) and Simon (my other cat) have become impatient with their dear friend (Ari, my son).

Ari shows his love for the "keys" (Ari's word for kitty) by lying on top of them and kissing them. I try to monitor his affections toward his feline uncles (they are his family after all) because he can overwhelm the "keys."

This is evidenced by the multiple scratches Ari has on his hands and feet. I don't see the scratches occur, but I do notice them after the fact.

This whole situation has got me thinking about de-clawing. Gasp! I am a shameless animal lover and would have never considered this option before. I, Sarah Fader, have saved countless cats and dogs from the streets of New York City, cat and dog sat in the metropolitan area for over five years, and worked in a veterinary office for two years of my life.

My understanding is that de-clawing your cats is similar to if you removed the nails from a human as well as a 1/4 inch of a human finger. Naturally, given this understanding, I am extremely reluctant to pursue this option.

But I have tried clipping my cats nails, told my son to be "gentle" and all that positive parenting language. None of this seems to solve the problem that my cats are repeatedly scratching my son.

Readers: Any thoughts?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My New Friend, The NuvaRing

I've had some negative experiences with birth control in the past. After having my son, however, I want to make sure that I do not become pregnant for a while. My best friend, Mint, recommended the NuvaRing.

The NuvaRing, pictured here, is the most physically and emotionally comfortable form of birth control I have ever used.

In the past, the pill made me hyper-emotional, have chronic yeast infections and gain weight. The NuvaRing has not given me such issues so far.

When I first thought about using the NuvaRing, I was reluctant and scared to do so because I didn't understand how to insert it properly. Mint taught me a trick which is pictured above.

Make the NuvaRing into a figure 8 shape, then insert it like a tampon and release it. It will pop into place in a magical way!

As with any other birth control method, the NuvaRing does increase the risk of stroke (because your blood thickens when you are on birth control of any kind) and if you smoke, have high blood pressure or are over 35, or travel on an airplane very frequently (I'm talking like once a week) then this is a risky option for you. See the complete risk of women who should avoid NuvaRing here.

The thing is, when you become pregnant your risk of stroke is increased as well. Birth control is not the only factor involved in strokes.

If you do not fall into these high risk groups, I would sugest asking you GYN about the NuvaRing! For more information on NuvaRing, click here.

The Moxie Spot

My best friend Mint was babysitting for Ari, my son, while I taught Kindergartners yoga and watched them hula hoop and zoom around on individual scooters. Earlier this year she told me about a toddler friendly restaurant and play space that she was dying to take Ari to called: The Moxie Spot.

She finally had an opportunity to check this joint out on Thursday! I met her there when my work day was done and I must say that I was impressed.

The Moxie Spot
is located on Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street in Brooklyn. It is a restaurant and play space all in one!

You can go there, eat something yummy and pay $2.5o in exchange for use of their enormous play space.

I have said in previous posts that I don't have a lot of money by any means, and I am (for the most part) against "paying to play," however, because the Moxie Spot is so amazing and unique I had to make an exception to my "pay to play" rule.

Though I don't have pictures of the play space, I can describe it to you:

1.You walk into the restaurant (which is on the ground floor) where there are reasonably prices things to order. Check out their menu here.

2. You order something and head upstairs with your kid.

3.You open the baby gate (which protects the play area from escapees) and you let your child play while you sit there and enjoy a hamburger made with grass-fed beef, or coffee and three homemade chocolate frosted donuts, or whatever your fancy might be.


The play area has a variety of exciting options including:

--A small table where children of all ages can draw
--A trunk of stuffed animals
--Computers for adult use
--Seemingly thousands of cars and trucks
--A foosball ball table

--And many more options.

The Moxie spot also has many scheduled activities for families including:

--Story Time with Emily on Mondays and Fridays at 11:30am and 1pm
--Sing a Longs with Lloyd on Tuesdays at 11am
--Dance Around with Nat on Thursdays at 11am.

As far as weekend activities are concerned they are loaded with those as well!

Thank you, Moxie Spot, for a fun filled day! And thank you Mint for finding the Moxie Spot

If you live in New York City and you have a child, check out the Moxie Spot! For more information about the Moxie Spot click here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


My son, Ari, who is almost two can now saw his name! The letter "R" is a notoriously hard one to pronounce. But he's still trying:

Gotta Go!

One of the challenges of stroller walking is the inevitable human urge to go to the bathroom. Today I was headed home (with my son in his stroller) from a marathon playdate with my friend Gry and her son Luka. All of a sudden, I had to use the bathroom so badly that I thought I was going to explode.

I mean, I was literally sweating, I had to go so badly. I was walking at a furious pace, hoping to find a restaurant that I could manipulate into letting me use their facilities. Unfortunately, I was in an exclusively residential neighborhood with no bathrooms in sight, only brownstones.

Insanity took over. I saw a young woman standing in the doorway of the basement part of a brownstone. She was engaged in conversation with a slightly older woman. All at once I involuntarily blurted out:

"Excuse me, I am so sorry, but I really need to use the bathroom. Can I please use your bathroom before I explode?"

They were both stunned.

The older woman spoke first:
"Umm....I'll let you handle this one." She said to the younger woman. And with that she disappeared into the residential neighborhood.

The younger woman was so thrown off by my inappropriate request that she ushered me into the brownstone and let me use her restroom while she watched my son who was sitting in the stroller just outside the building.

When I entered the building, I discovered that this was not someone's house, but rather a daycare facility! I didn't feel as badly for barging in when I found out that it wasn't a home.

There were toddlers running about joyfully playing with one another.

I finished up in the restroom and profusely thanked the staff of the daycare center for letting me relieve myself and went on my merry way home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take The Number 92 Bus From Plan City

My son has a vehicular preoccupation. I blame this mostly on my mom, who continues to buy him cars and trucks from the Salvation Army and stoop sales. He even has a giant toy garage (that my mom bought for $3.00 from one of the aforementioned sources) where he houses many of his vehicles. The garage is giant and yellow and beeps a lot.

His current vehicle of choice, his favorite mode of transportation is....the bus.

The number 92 bus, which only operates out of "Plan City" and whose route is unknown is Ari's favorite vehicle these days.

He loves to collect his cars and trucks, but most of all he loves to add the bus to the mix:

In fact, this bus is so special, that someone on is selling it for $88.00! See link below:

I bought the number 92 bus from Lulu's, a local toy store, for $7.95. But it is priceless, because my son loves it with all his heart.

If you or someone you love has a bus fascination, this product is the way to go. For more information on the number 92 bus from Plan City click here.

"This is Wa Wa"

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Day With Uncle Mike

A while back, Ari's Aunt Mint babysat for him while I was working at a summer camp . I felt it was only fair for Ari's Uncle Mike (who is attached to Aunt Mint) to have a chance to watch the young lad while I went to a doctor's appointment.

Previous to this assignment, Mike had never changed a diaper before. I gave him a diaper tutorial before I went on my way to find out that I had a UTI and was not pregnant.

Ari and Mike had a fun filled day together. Here are some of the things they did:






Also, during the course of their day together, Mike introduced Ari to Phyllis, Mike's pet rabbit, and even taught Ari how to say "hop hop!"

Ari says: "Thank you, Uncle Mike, for a fun filled day!"

Potty Training Ideas Needed

I was reading a post on fellow mama Amanda's blog where she recounted her awareness of all things gross. She indicated that she was curious if her grossness tolerance would increase as her motherhood adventure continued. I commented that I believed this was true. In my own experience, I feel that I have a much higher threshold for all things disgusting.

I did believe this, until this morning when I changed my son's diaper. Let's just say it was difficult for me to move on with my day after this visual experience. I am hereby diagnosing myself with PTDS (Post Traumatic Diaper Syndrome).

This experience got me thinking about potty training. What age is appropriate to potty train? How do you do it? Please watch my video and respond!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Professional Door Shaker

My son has grown used to his new bed. He likes it, for the most part. But there are some nights when he just doesn't want to go to sleep at all.

Tonight was one of those nights. I tucked him in around 7pm-ish with his army of stuffed animals after reading the Goodnight Moon Counting book:

A present given to him by his Aunt Mint and Uncle Mike and Mike's mom, Marleen.

We finished reading the book, I sang him a bit of Kumbaya, kissed him goodnight and closed the door.

As soon as the door shut, he began to cry. I walked away from his room and retreated into my bedroom to see if he would fall asleep. Exactly one minute later I heard banging coming from my son's bedroom. I ran to see what the commotion was.

When I got to the source of the din, I watched in amazement as my child shook the two doors to his room with such profound force that they spontaneous shot open revealing a frenetic yet accomplished looking toddler.

It was clear to me that from that moment on that I could not out smart him.

Captain Hook Meets Scurvy: Charlotte Bacon INTV Part III

Visit New Teacher Now What for Donna's excellent Charlotte Bacon biography.

Tantrums, Saltines, Storytelling and Multiculturalism: Charlotte Bacon INTV Part II

Old Friends, New Fun!

Since I reconnected with my childhood friend Dara, my nostalgic floodgates have effectively opened.



Dara stayed in touch with our mutual childhood friend, Elisabeth.


Elisabeth and Dara both came over yesterday and though it has been 18 years since Elisabeth and I have seen each other, she was just as wonderfully sarcastic and blunt as I remembered her.

Ari, my son, took an instant liking to her! It's too bad we don't have pictures, but he spent the majority of the evening snuggling up to her chest.

It seems that Elisabeth and I are leading parallel lives. She is married to a Filipino guy and I might as well be married to Wilhelm (my boyfriend) who is half Filipino. Elisabeth and I both have loose (or floating) knee caps (as does my cat Simon and Dara's dog), and finally we are both upper west side Jews. Oy Gavolt.

Though we don't have pictures of the current day versions of Dara, Sarah and Elisabeth, we do have these great family pics that Elisabeth took of me, Ari and Wil.


Elisabeth is (by trade) a trained pastry chef. She writes a blog where she posts her fantastic recipes called A Duchess Cooks in Brooklyn. Check it out here.

Next time we have a childhood reunion we have resolved to take photos of our 29 and 3o year old selves!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The MTA Responds to OS/NS Mom!

I sent the post I wrote about my dissatisfaction with the MTA and it's lack of accessibility to mothers and the disabled. Here's what I said:

Dear MTA,

I wrote a blog concerning your lack of concern for mothers. Please read and respond:

Sarah Fader

Here's what they said:

Response (Andrea Popp) - 01/15/2010 02:21 PM
This is in response to your recent e-mail to MTA New York City Transit concerning the accessibility of the more subway stations.

We appreciate your interest in improving mass transit. Please be assured that New York City Transit is committed to ensuring that its facilities are easily accessible, and we have worked hard to upgrade the subway system over the last several years for the benefit of our customers. We have a long-term plan to make 100 subway stations accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our key station plan will create a network of stations which, when combined with our fully-accessible bus fleet, will make almost all of NYC Transit’s service area accessible to senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Stations are selected for inclusion in the key station plan in connection with federal guidelines and ADA advocacy organizations based on a number of complex
factors, including station design and customer usage. After the rehabilitation of our key stations is completed, however, additional stations will be reviewed for inclusion using the same selection process for ADA compliance, and your e-mail has been referred to supervision in our Departments of Subways for review.

If you have further station-related questions or concerns, you may also call Customer Services at (718) 330-3322, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week or write, to NYCT Customer Services, New York City Transit, 2 Broadway, Room A11.146, New York, NY 10004, regarding this type of issue.

We hope that this information is helpful to you and thank you for your interest in our transportation system.

Andrea Popp
Staff Analyst II

This is a vague canned response. There is no exact time line indicated for when all stations will be ADA compliant. The MTA is acknowledging that there is a problem, but there is no concrete action plan for a solution.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On Milk: Dr. Saul Hymes Gives Us the Nutritional Scoop!

I've stated in previous posts my difficulties getting my son to drink milk. I began to wonder about the nutritional importance/significance of milk in a child's development. So I consulted my friend and pediatrician Dr. Saul Hymes.

Here's he had to say on the matter:
1. What kind of milk is recommended for children 12 months and up and why?

The AAP recommends breast milk up to age 1 and if that is unavailable, formula. After age 12 months, the recommendation is for 100% (whole) cow's milk. Children should not be given low-fat, skim, or fat-free milk until after the age of 2 as the fats are needed for healthy brain development. For children who are found to have a true cow's milk protein allergy (manifested either by true allergic symptoms (hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis) or by bloody stools or fatty, watery stools caused by a protein-losing enteropathy) there are alternatives such as soy or, as the incidence of cross-allergy between soy and cow's milk can be as high as 20-30%, there are 'formulas' for older children that use amino acids or pre-digested protein to avoid causing an allergic response.
2. What if a child refuses to drink milk? What should be done?

If a child refuses to drink milk one can try a few things. While the official recommendations of pediatricians do not include chocolate milk, many parents find that adding a very small amount of chocolate powder adds enough sweetness and flavor to help encourage kids to drink. However, between the age of 1 and 2, most children should be
transitioning to 1 8-oz container a day plus other dairy sources such as yogurt and cheese. If a child really will not drink milk, substituting an equivalent additional amount of yogurt or cheese should be perfectly adequate for fat, calorie, and calcium needs.
3. What is the importance of drinking milk for children?
As above, the importance of dairy is for fats for brain development, as well as being an essential source of calcium necessary fro proper bone and tooth development and thus proper growth. Additionally it is an excellent protein source--there really is no other good substitute. While soy milk and other soy products are used in the case of allergy, milk, cheese and yogurt are preferred, Even in children who are lactose-intolerant (different from milk-allergic), the AAP recommends a small amount of dairy (even ice cream if need be) to be added to the diet.

4. Is a child missing out if he/she doesn't drink milk at all?

As above, if a child is replacing that milk with an equivalent amount of cheese or yogurt
or other dairy milk-containing products, then no, they are not missing out. But without dairy, a child is definitely nutritionally deficient and it is unhealthy, for example, for a young child to be vegan entirely.
--Dr. Saul Hymes is a Clinical Fellow specializing in Pediatric Infectious Disease.

"Invisibility is the New Black" An Interview With Charlotte Bacon

On New Years Eve leading into 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting novelist and mother Charlotte Bacon at a Dunkin' Donuts near Grand Central Terminal. Ms. Bacon was accompanied by her shockingly well-mannered 10 year old son, Toby, and her lovely psychologist friend, Rebecca.

We hit it off, exchanged contact info, and she agreed to let me and my friend and fellow blogger, Donna, interview her. We chose Barnes and Noble as the setting for the interview. We thought it fitting since she is a writer after all.

I asked Charlotte if she had a website I could link to on this post. She said she did not and commented:

"Sarah, invisibility is the new black." In the tradition of famous writers across the world, she would rather stay incognito that indulge in self-promotion.

I adore Charlotte Bacon. She has so much insight to bring to the table on parenting, education, travel, and more. She provided so much valuable information on tape, that I had to break up the interview into multiple parts. Here is part one:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Ride to Discrimination

I have to meet a friend in Manhattan today, which means I have to take the subway. My subway ride from Brooklyn to most points of interest in Manhattan ranges from a 1/2 hour to one hour trip. Objectively this doesn't sound too bad, but I am dreading it.

I have bitched and complained about the subway before in a previous post here. And in April 2009, I admitted that there are people in New York City, that help with mothers with strollers on the subway in this post. I understand that I talk a lot about the subway, but there are certain ethical principles about this mode of transportation that bother me.

In order for a mother traveling alone with her baby or toddler in a stroller to get from point A to point B on the subway, she will invariably need to ask a stranger for help. Unless she is lucky enough to be traveling to stations that each possess elevators.

Today, I am not so lucky. My home station has elevators, but my destination station, 33rd Street on the 6 train, does not.

When I took the subway the other day, I asked several strangers, all men, to help me with my heavy stroller. Each man I asked helped me, but the more I had to ask people I didn't know for help with my son (who I have known since he was conceived and is more precious to me than anything in the world) I became increasingly angrier.

For every person that is helpful during my subway ride there are hundreds of others that do not help. They are too busy with their own lives, rushing up and down the subway stairs to get to work, a doctor's appointment, or meet a friend, to stop and help little old me and my child make it to our destination.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a sense of entitlement. I don't believe that people are supposed to help me and my child. But what am I to do if there is no stroller accessible option? Should I give up and stay home? Should I not even attempt to take the subway?

As a mother, I continue to have an unpleasant ride. By the time I arrive at my destination, I am pissed off and want to turn around and go back home to Brooklyn.

The MTA continues to raise their fares at random intervals, but what are we paying for exactly? I would like to see the money used for an elevator in every subway station.

The MTA's response to this would most likely be:

"We simply don't have the money to do that."

What I don't understand is: where is the MTA's money going? The fares are continually being raised, what is this money being used for? Why can't this money be used to build elevators in stations that lack them?

The lack of elevators does not only affect mothers, like myself. It also affects disabled individuals. When I was riding the subway the other day, I stepped off the car with a woman who walked with a cane.

The woman asked me where the elevator was in the station and I informed her. We got to talking and the woman told me that she was so exhausted from her subway ride that she could barely continue to walk. I attribute this lethargy to the fact that our subway system is not sufficiently handicapped accessible.

I want to say a few things to the MTA:

--Be mindful of who your passengers are: they are not all able to walk without assistance, which means they need an elevator to ensure a safe ride.
--Understand that mothers ride the subway, and that strollers cannot make it down the subway stairs. Consequently, we need elevators too.
--Use the fare increase money elevators!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Television Alternative

I left the apartment today to go to a doctor's appointment in Manhattan. Wilhelm, Ari's daddy, was watching Ari. My parting words to him were this:

"When I come home, I don't want to see the television on."

Wil has a habit of resorting to the television as an instant solution to a cranky toddler. When our son freaks out, he turns on "Blue's Clues" in an attempt to soothe him. I don't agree with this method, and have been telling him to stop using TV as a pacifier. Well, it turns out, he listened to me! Instead of using the TV he let my son and his friend, Simon the cat, look out the window!

You've Got Some Schmutz On Your Face!

I have officially been initiated in to the motherhood tribe. My son had a chocolate milk stain on his face, and my instant inclination was to lick my finger and clean it with my spit.

I am a Jewish mother. This brought back memories of my own childhood, my mother's hand reaching out to wipe food or beverage remains from my face with her own spit.

It's not a glamorous job, but someone has got to do it? Has anyone else succumbed to the spit solution? Thoughts?

Monday, January 11, 2010


My dad found this cartoon in the New Yorker. Usually we don't think the same things are funny, but we both liked this one:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Milk Update

After much ado about milk, I have finally resigned to giving my son chocolate milk. I tried multiple products and banged my head against the wall trying to solve this milk dilemma, and I finally just caved and gave him the sugary stuff.

I don't blame the little guy, he wants his milk to have flavor! Additionally it doesn't appear to have the psychotic inducing affect that the chocolate powder mentioned in my previous post did!

At least it's the organic kind, and it had added vitamins A and D. And he loves it! Can you see his devious grin in the background of the above picture?

Here are the ingredients and nutritional values for those who are interested and having toddler milks issues of their own:

When I run out of the pre-made stuff, I use this syrup with organic whole milk:


This weekend my son had a marathon playdate with his friends Zalah, almost 2 years old, and Lyla, who just turned one.

These two ladies are the wonderful children of our friends, Cordy and Chaim.

It's nice to let the kids play together and actually have some adult conversation time. Although with three of them roaming around it is hard to focus on much of anything but the kids themselves. But we had a lot of fun!

There were lots of kisses and hugs involved (Ari, my son, kissing Zalah, Zalah kissing Ari, Zalah kissing Lyla and so forth)

Cordy and I used to joke that Zalah had the terrible "one's." She went through an intense period of separation anxiety and was screaming "Mama!!" constantly. At 2 years old, she is actually pretty laid back. It's Ari who is going through separation anxiety now.

What was really interesting, is that Ari started to copy Zalah's words. Zalah has become quite verbose at 2 years of age. Meanwhile, Ari still has his standard words, "bye bye," "mama" "dada" "what's that?" (which sounds more like "wuzzz dat?") and a few others.

Ari tried to steal Zalah's sippy cup. Zalah took her property back and said:


Soon afterward, he was running around the apartment grabbing his toys and shouting "MY!!!!" Not quite "mine" but close enough in his own language.

It's fascinating how kids pick up on other kid's language.

Now, my son is not a great sharer. In fact, he is awful at sharing. He wants all his toys to himself and gets really upset when even I try to take one away from him. But now he is privy to the word "mine!"

I want to teach him how to share, but I'm not sure how to do it. I've tried explaining to him that though the toy is, his he has to share it. However, he doesn't seem to grasp the concept.

Any ideas, fellow parents?