Sunday, January 31, 2010
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
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
When I entered Francesco's Pizzeria, one of the first things I saw was a stack of high chairs.
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
"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:
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.
Director, Customer Service Group
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.
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.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
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?
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
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.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
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
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.
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 http://mta.info/accessibility/
Thank you for having taken the time to contact us.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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:
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.
Monday, January 18, 2010
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:
READ GOODNIGHT MOON 1-2-3
CLIMBED ON A CHAIR...WITH SOME ENCOURAGEMENT
AND FINALLY....SAT IN A BOX
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!"
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
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.
Dara stayed in touch with our mutual childhood friend, Elisabeth.
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
I wrote a blog concerning your lack of concern for mothers. Please read and respond:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 to....build elevators!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
"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!
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
Sunday, January 10, 2010
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: