Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Maid of Honor Dress and A Special Surprise

I mentioned in a prior post, that Ari is going to be the ring bearer in Mint and Mike's wedding. I will be in the wedding party as Mint's Maid of Honor.

Today my mom, Ari and I went into Manhattan to try on my Maid of Honor dress. It was a bit tricky finding a dress because I am becoming increasingly more pregnant by the minute. But Mint and I managed to find a really pretty option.

It's not a maternity dress, per say, but it has a empire waist and can account for an expanding belly. As I was undressing, one of the sales ladies at the dress shop asked me about my tattoo.

She said "It's kind of ironic that you have a Hebrew word tattooed on your body. I'm Jewish and you aren't allowed to be buried in a Jewish cemetery if you have tattoos."

I explained to her that I was Jewish too, and my tattoo has special significance to me. Then we got into a long discussion about religion versus spirituality. After our scintillating conversation came to a close, she offered to take a picture of me in my Maid of Honor dress. Here's how I looked:

Alright, I'll come a little closer.

I have to go back a couple of weeks before the wedding to have it altered because of my rapidly growing fetus.

After I managed to peel the dress off of me (with help from the sales ladies) I was starving. So my mom treated me to the most expensive kosher hamburger and fries I've ever had. My order came to a whopping $16.00.

And look how small the hamburger was:

But look how big the fries were:

And check out the enormous bag the whole meal came in:

The guy preparing my order was really nice. I told him I was pregnant and needed some bread immediately before I fainted. So he gave me two slices of rye and threw in a pickle for good measure.

I felt much better after I ate and so did my mystery baby. As we drove home, Ari finished all of the french fries.

Check back here tomorrow as I will be guest posting on a famous mom blog. Details to come!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Playground Speed Dating Gone Right

In prior posts, I've talked about how hard it is to make mom friends. Unlike previous days, today was a good day at the playground. Even though it was a million degrees outside, I was happy to get Ari out, and Ari was happy to steal a random vehicle.

Maybe I was in a good mood. Perhaps the stars were aligned correctly, but every mom that I met today either had a toddler and was pregnant with another baby or had a toddler and a newborn. And guess what? They were all decent human beings! What do you know?

Additionally, I was able to hold enough of a conversation with these ladies in order to get some mom digits. This is unlike my former experiences on the playground where I could barely get a word out before I had to chase Ari up and down the length of the playground asphalt.

Today, Ari was just happy to climb the highest possible playground equiptment and hand me his sticky "peanut butter bagel."

And I was happy to have made some mom connections.

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Co-Sleeping and The New Baby Part II

I've received a lot of wonderful suggestions from readers with regard to co-sleeping with my 2 year old and having a new baby. I've decided to include them here for anyone dealing with a similar situation.
  • Amanda from Stumptowncrunch said " I am ALL for the "family bed." There's a reason women get all emotionally messed up hearing their babies cry, God designed us to. Studies show that crying babies can make a woman lactate, even if it's not her baby crying. I think you should ignore everyone else and do what you want. People act like you're going to have a 12 year old in your bed and that you'll have to go away with Ari to college or else he wont be able to sleep. That won't happen. Enjoy them while they're young, cuddle and snuggle in bed together if that's what works for you. If Tahira liked to cuddle, I would do it, but she hates co-sleeping. Maybe your next baby won't like it and it'll continue to be your and Ari. My cousin slept in her parents bed until she was 6. No damage done. She's not a needy kid in the slightest. In fact, she's very mature and independent for her age (now 10). They say that co-sleeping and attachment parenting actually produces more confident children."
  • Julie The Army Wife said " I think if YOU are comfortable with the baby and Ari in bed with you, just don't worry too much about it. We co-sleep but at about 6-7 months I am ready for the baby to be in their own bed. If you want to move Ari to his own bed could you lay down with him in it till he falls asleep? I did that a lot with my 2nd boy.
  • PinkBluff said "I can't sleep with YC in my bed, he kicks and makes me have a bad nights sleep. So I explain to him that he has a bed, and Mommy has a bed. We do our whole bed time routine and I go downstairs. The stair gate is kept closed. He cries very little and if need be I go up to settle him. He sleeps better in his bed alone anyways. He gets up and comes to my bed in the morning for cuddles. If he wakes up at night I lead him back to his bed and stay for a few minutes til he settles, then creep out. Toddlers are very smart and learn very quickly what behavior is acceptable and praised, and what is not. Whatever you choose to do has to be because you are both happy with it, not resentful. Be consistent too, that is the key to happy sleep time."
  • Kim said "I had the same issue with my now 21 month old. I was 7 months pregnant and with him, me, and my son in the bed I was not getting any sleep and waking up sore. He would take up the bed and kick around, which made me nervous being pregnant.
    He went to sleep in his room them came to ours. So I started sleeping in his room on the floor. As soon as he woke up I comforted him back to sleep. I sometimes crawled in his bed to cuddle him back to sleep. Then I transitioned to just sitting next to him, then to being on the floor. That took 5 days. He still wakes up once a night and comes to my room, but he expects me to walk him back to his bed and stay with him until he falls asleep. I still let him crawl in bed with us if we wakes up super early. Sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes he just hangs out with us. I knew there would be no room in med with a new baby so this has worked out very well. He hasn't shown any resentment and we did the transition on his terms. But I miss the extra cuddles! If you decide to transition maybe this technique will help somehow. Good luck!"
  • Amanda from Mom of Many said "We sleep with our 9 month old and 3 year old. My husband works until midnight or later, but we have slept with them every night since birth. We did end up finally getting a king sized bed, though!
    I also co-slept with my older kids. All my kids moved out of my bed on their own at about five, and my now three year old is preparing to move. It is always comforting to have the little ones near when I sleep, and worth it now that I realize how quickly they grow up (my oldest is 15!)."
  • My Two Army Brats said "I agree that you should just go with it and see what happens. Have you thought about putting a toddler bed in your room for Ari? That's what we did when the boys weren't in our bed anymore and it worked well. So the boys (now 7 and 9) had their own room but if they came into our room they had their own little bed too. They both have sleep issues and didn't sleep through the night regularly till about last week....jk...kinda. We now have adopted a sweet little girl that we've had since birth and I started right away putting her into her bed awake and letting her go to sleep on her own and she is an amazing sleeper!! She sleeps through the night and has since about 6 weeks! I didn't know that was possible!
  • Steph said " I have no experience in this yet, but maybe because he likes cuddling with YOU so much, you could get him a big cuddly stuffed animal and explain to him that just like how he likes to cuddle with you, his new buddy needs to be cuddled so he can sleep good (Maybe one of the ones with the warming bag inside it that goes in the microwave or lavender or something) So it'll be his "Job" to cuddle with him in Ari's bed so his buddy can sleep. It'll make him feel important, needed, and he'll have a "job" at night. If he comes out to find you, explain to him that if his "buddy" doesn't get enough rest he'll be cranky tomorrow, so he should give his "buddy" extra snuggling in his bed so that he can get a good night's sleep. We did a rendition of this for my stepdaughter when she came up and had problems sleeping. My mom's idea not mine. She's a genius :)."
  • JenMomof4 said "One of the things that we have done with the kids as they got older and needed us through the night was had a sleeping bag handy next to the bed. That way, even if they started in their own beds, they knew that they could unroll a sleeping bag and camp out next to us on the floor. My oldest son "started" in our bed and when my husband came home from work, he moved him into his own bed... again, we left the bag available for middle of the night wake ups."
  • Rachel W said "I don't know if this will help or not. My son likes to co-sleep. I let my daughter "cry it out," but I am SO not comfortable with that idea. I hated it - I cried too - and I don't want to do it again! My husband, too, works at night, so the only problem arises on his nights off. He can't get comfortable with us in bed with him, and since he recently had back surgery, being kicked in the back by a 2 year old is probably not a good idea! ;)
    What we have decided to do is push a twin-size bed up beside our full-size bed. Then Daddy has his own space but is still technically sleeping with us. Maybe you could put your son's bed next to yours? A space for you and baby, a space for big brother, but still close enough to snuggle? Hope it works out - any way you go! :)."
  • Kitty Wilkin said " I'm all for following your instinct and doing what feels right. With my 8 month old, she starts in her crib (which is in our room) and then usually around 5am, I bring her to our bed for the last couple hours of sleep. If you do decide to transition your son to his own bed you do NOT not NOT have to let him cry it out!! I highly recommend getting "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It's got a bunch of great ideas for crying-free transitioning. Good luck!!"
Thanks everyone, for your great suggestions! I am definitely going to check out The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

I just want to know, for those of you that chose to continue co-sleeping and have older kids, how did the kids eventually make it into their own beds? Was it their choice? How did it happen?

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mexican Stuffed Peppers: Recipe From Babe_Chilla

I was on Twitter one day when I noticed a mama blogger named Babe_Chilla (she's super cool and from Canada- of course) posted that she was making Mexican Stuffed Peppers. I was intrigued. So, naturally, I harrassed her insesssantly (Jewish mother that I am ) until she emailed me her recipe. She actually MADE THIS RECIPE UP and I have to say that it is really yummy and vegetarian!

I am going to share the recipe with all of you!


Rice (I used approximately a cup of brown rice)
Can of Diced Tomatoes (She used spicy red pepper ones, I used regular diced tomatoes)
6 peppers (She used 2 of each, orange, yellow and green, I was lazy and used all green bell peppers)
Small Zucchini (I had an enormous zucchini, so I used it)
Half an Onion
Can of green chilli's (I used 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, and diced them up)
Can of Black Beans (drained)
Small can of Corn (drained) (I used frozen corn)

1. Cook 1 cup of rice (as per package directions) with the can of tomatoes. (She used 1/4 cup less water) let the juices of the tomatoes into the rice and water.

2. Remove tops of peppers and set aside; gut the peppers.

3. In a large frying pan, fry up diced onion, diced pepper bits, diced zucchini. Add corn, black beans, chilli peppers, salt & pepper.

4. Add cooked rice to pan (She did it slowly it could easily be stirred in)
and combine mixture.

*Note: Here is what the mixture looked like pre-stuffing:

Nice huh?

5. STUFF peppers as full as possible, and set upright in a dish.

6. Top with salsa and cheese. (I did not put salsa on them until after they were cooked. Cheese, on the other hand, I was not shy about)

Now hold on! They're not finished yet, but let me know you a picture of them before they go in the oven:

7.Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-25 mins. ( I cooked for 25 minutes. The peppers were aldente at this point, still delicious though! I'd say you could go another five minutes and make it 30 if you wanted them a little softer. Why not?)

8. Serve with salsa and sour cream :D

Here they are just out of the oven:

They were a hit in this house, even with my carnivore of a boyfriend! Oh and when you add the sour cream and salsa, they are to die for!

If you are interested in reading Babe_Chilla's blog, Chilla Mama Chill, which (by the way) is hilarious, click here

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Fun With Geometric Pattern Blocks

Do you remember Kindergarten? I do. Do you remember playing with these:

They're called "Geometric Pattern Blocks." I was reminded of them when I began subbing for the NYC Dept. of Education and spent a lot of time in Kindergarten classrooms.

Maybe if you saw them individually, it would jog your memory even more:

Please pardon my dirty floor. Anyhow, I grew re-enamored with them as I spent more and more time with five-year-olds.

After being re-introduced to these blocks in school, my friend Cordy and I were talking about how cool they were, and I actually ended up buying them here.

You can make really cool designs with them. Like:

Ari enjoyed playing with these blocks, even though he is a bit young for them. The recommended age is three years old. He's not even 2 1/2.

He just had to be supervised with them.

He was really into stacking them.

I foresee that these blocks will be a great tool for teaching Ari shapes. He already knows "circle" "square" and "triangle," but now we can move on to more obscure ones like "diamond" and "hexagon." Yeah, like I use the word "hexagon" on a daily basis.

Anyway, if you wanna buy these, I got them at Discount School Supply after a quick Google search. Click here for more info.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alright, Which One of You Pissed in My Tub?

Long before I had children, I had cats. Now I have a child, am pregnant with another child and I still have cats. One of these fine felines has been misbehaving lately in the form of relieving himself in my bathtub. This displeases me.

I'm not sure which one of them is doing it. I have my suspicions, but nothing is confirmed.

Maybe you can help me figure out who it is.

Here they are:

Name: Simon
Former Alias: Mr. Maggot
Profile: He has no tail. He will eat anything you put in front of him. Anything. Oatmeal, chicken, Diet Coke etc. He once got locked in my brother's room and pooped all over his bed. He was found in a junkyard with half of his tail missing, the other half was eaten off by maggots, hence the former alias. He can vomit on a dime.

Name: Egreck
Age:6 (Although Ari insists that Egreck is "2 years old" no matter what I tell him)
Former Alias: Buddy
Profile: Egreck is from the mean streets of Brooklyn. Not much is known about his former life. He was adopted from Petco at Union Square where Kitty Kind (a rescue organization) was holding feline adoptions. He once fell off the top of my refrigerator and landed in the freezer. Egreck has been known to poop in the bathtub when the door is left ajar. As for peeing, I'm not so sure.

My suspicion is that Egreck is responsible for the random terrorist peeing, but I'm not 100 % positive about this.


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Co-Sleeping and The New Baby

Currently, Ari and I sleep in the same bed at night and for naps. It sort of evolved into this ever since he was sucessfully able to crawl out of the crib at 20 months.

With the new baby on the way, many people have told me that I need to "remedy" or change this situation. According to many, I need to focus on the baby and get Ari into his own bed.

I'm nervous about doing it. I have reservations. I mean, part of the issue is that Wil works at night (the graveyard shift as it were) and it's comforting to go to sleep with Ari next to me. I like the co-sleeping...to an extent. But then again my belly is expanding by the second, and I fear that soon there won't be room for the "three" of us in "my bed."

I did sleep training with Ari when he was four months old and so I have "let him cry" before. I'm just not sure that I'm willing to go through that again. It was really hard emotionally on me.

So, folks, what should I do? Has anyone been in a similar situation? Should I continue to co-sleep or move him into his own bed...again? If so, how do I do it?

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Pier 6 Water Park at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Last night, My friend Christine text me that she was planning to go to Pier 6 today with her two year old daughter. Because I virtually live under a rock where the only things that exist are Blue's Clues and Matchbox cars, I had no idea what "Pier 6" was. I assumed it had something to do with South Street Seaport. But then I googled it and found that I was entirely wrong.

Apparently, while I've been in pregnant hibernation, a new park opened up in Brooklyn at the end of Atlantic Avenue. It's called The Brooklyn Bridge Park and it consists of several piers, one of which is Pier 6.

Once I realized where she was going, I immediately accepted her invitation.

Ari and I drove to the park, which I realized was a ridiculous idea once we got there. I could have easily walked from my house.

When we arrived, Ari was skeptical as usual.

Even though the view from the pier was gorgeous.

We found the entrance to Pier 6 and went on in, since it's entirely free!

Then we found the water park. It's a water playground for kids and the adults attached to them. You didn't think I was going to pass up the chance to get soaking wet did you? I'm pregnant. It's about 9000 degrees in my body. But I digress.

When we got to the water park, the park staff were just turning the water on. Ari was tentative at first.

But then he got into the spirit of things.

Of course, he had to take a dramatic photo on the rocks.

Ham that he is.

When we got to the water park there was literally nobody there. It was such a nice change from the playground, where it's mobbed constantly. Gradually parents and kids trickled in. I met a nice ER doctor named Josh. He had two young kids that were roaming around getting as wet as Ari. Josh and I discussed child birth, placenta previa and various other medical topics. It was fun.

After the water park, we made our way over to the sand playground, also located in Pier 6.

Naturally, Ari located a sand vehicle and claimed it.

It was clear that he really "got into" the sand park.

Naturally, he was covered in sand afterward. I thought he would be exhausted after all this activity, but guess what? When we got home, he refused to nap.

If you're in Brooklyn and interested in visiting The Brooklyn Bridge Park, click here for more information.

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