Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Pet Monster Scares Ari

My Pet Monster is a 1980's toy that looks like this:

Ari's Uncle Mike passed down his own childhood My Pet Monster toy to Ari. There is a missing item in this picture, My Pet Monster's orange handcuffs. They will be accounted for shortly...

I thought Ari would like My Pet Monster, but he was terrified of him.

But then, he discovered an activity that he could do with My Pet Monster's orange handcuffs:

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Don't Love Me Anymore!

For the past two years, I've done most everything I do with Ari by my side. And if he wasn't next to me at a given moment, he demanded to be moved so that this situation could be corrected.

Suddenly things have changed. When I'm in the room he wants "Daddy!" When I tell him to take a nap he wants to "Sleep with daddy!" Today after we painted pictures together, I went to check my email and he screamed "grandma!" He demanded to see his grandma until she came upstairs to play with him.

He's asserting his independence from me big time, but I am not ready for this! I'm not sure if he's angry that I've been working a lot and therefore seeking revenge when I am actually here.

It's not all bad. We still play together, but his demands for other people are growing rapidly. I'm not the center of his universe anymore and that makes me sad.

Not only is he demanding other people, but he is on a sleep strike. He hasn't napped for three days in a row.

Is this the "terrible 2's?"

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Monday, May 24, 2010 Seashore Game!

My best friend Mint, an early childhood teacher, sent me a link to a great online toddler game. Naturally, I tested it out on Ari immediately. It was a hit!'s At the Seashore Tap & Type game is similar to Kneebouncers in that the player (your toddler) can press any key and not harm your computer.

In the tap and type game, whatever letter is pressed, a picture pops up with a word that starts with that particular letter. For example, if you press the letter "H" a helicopter appears:

When you press the letter "V," a ship with "Vikings" comes up on the screen:

And there are corresponding sounds associated with each image. It is quite clever.

If you have a computer obsessed toddler, try out At the Seashore Tap & Type!

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Learn To Ride a Bike...Without Pedals!

Today I had the opportunity to teach 3rd and 4th graders how to ride a bike. Some of them had never been on a bike before, some of them had tried to ride in the past, but had no success.

An instructor from Bike New York came to The Brooklyn New School to teach the Learn to Ride program for kids.

After a group of us teachers learned the Learn to Ride curriculum, I had a chance to try it out and it really does work.

What you do is this:
1. Remove the pedals from the child's bike
2. Have the child walk the bike around without pedals - (I called the pedal-less bike the learning bike)
3. Once the child is comfortable walking the bike around, tell them to gain some speed and walk the bike around quickly
4. When they are going pretty fast tell them to lift their feet straight up in the air in front of them and glide forward on the bike. This teaches the child to balance on the bike. It also makes the kid feel awesome.
5. When the child feels steady and can balance on the bike without pedals, it's time to re-attach the pedals.
6. Now they are ready to start pedaling on the "real" bike.

The Learn to Ride technique really works! I am so excited to try it out on Ari when he is older.
For more information on Learn to Ride, click here.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Stomach is Staten Island

A scary thing happened to me yesterday. I attempted to put my jeans on, and stopped because they refused to move. They were halted by my stomach. Much like Staten Island to the rest of the five boroughs, my stomach has decided to branch off and form its own colony. It's big and proud, and it's not letting my pants on.

I realized that one of the reasons that my stomach has expanded is that I hate letting food go to waste. Ari is a picky eater, if he refuses to eat something I make, I feel obligated to eat it rather than tossing it in the trash. Forget eating for two when you're pregnant, I'm eating for two now!

My parents bought me a exercise ball for Mother's Day. Hopefully I can use this to convince my stomach from proceeding with it's outward expansion. That is, if Ari lets me use it...

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Make it Fun!

Yesterday was my sister-in-law's baby shower. Wil and I took turns chasing Ari up and down a large set of stairs. I was running out of steam, fast. My mom and dad provided relief services as well, pushing Ari in the outdoor swing and making him laugh.

While chasing my spark plug around, I met a woman at the shower named Julie. I let it slip that I was frustrated because I have a hard time getting Ari to stay away from dangerous activities. Whenever I take him away from a situation where he could injure himself, he screams.

Julie has an 8 year old. She remembered the 2's vividly. She had this to say:
"What you have to do, is make it fun. If you're insisting that he do what you want him to do, he's going to resist. Make it fun!"

With this simple statement, I realized that I was approaching my child in a way that wasn't working. I was telling him: Do this! Because I said so. Instead of insisting, I could find ways to laugh at the situation, and make it fun.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't Count Your Chickens...

Those who know me will tell you that I tend to get really excited about things. These people would be right. I'm trying to remain calm at this moment, because something pretty exciting happened today. It was the first time I've ever seen it happen.I feel like this something that happened might be the start of further wonderful things to come. Don't worry, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Without further ado, here is what happened at 6pm this evening:

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Helmet Acceptance

I got Ari a scooter for his 2nd birthday. He loved it immediately, but HATED the helmet. I told him if he wanted to ride the scooter he had to wear the helmet. He was unconvinced. He screamed each time Wil and I put the helmet on him. Finally after both Wil and I took turns wearing the helmet and talking about how awesome it was, he agreed to don it. So we went out for a ride.

After scooting around the neighborhood, he was pretty thirsty. So we stopped for a carrot apple ginger juice.

He's still getting used to the scooter, but overall I think it's a success. If you're interested in checking it out for your kid, it's called a Micro Mini. For more information on this particular scooter, click here.

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A Birthday Visit to The Queens County Farm Museum

Yesterday, Ari turned two, or as he says it "Tee-ou!" Wil and I asked him what he would like to do for his birthday many times. He would always reply with:

"Cow!" or "Baa!" or some kind of animal.

I wrote a post, a little while ago, about my visit to The Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in New Jersey. My friend Judy read it, and recommended the Queens County Farm Museum as another great place for kids to see and interact with animals. This farm is free to the public!

Since Ari was intent on seeing animals for his birthday, we decided to check this place out! Grandma, Grandpa, Wil, Ari and I piled into the Fadermobile and off we went.

The Farm is located in Floral Park, NY which is about a half an hour drive from our place.
It's called a "museum" because it is a historical farm which has been preserved since 1677.

We had a lot of fun. Ari spent most of his time feeding the goats. The gift shop sells little buckets of alfalfa to feed to the sheep and goats.

In addition to goats, there are also pigs, cows, geese and chickens to see!

When we entered the farm, a rooster walked right in front of us!

If you live in New York City, and you want to see farm animals, I highly recommend visiting the Queens County Farm Museum.

For more information on the Queens County Farm Museum, click here.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

OS/NS Mom's Unofficial Sleep Study

I just woke up from a three hour nap. This is a rarity, since my son (who will be two on Thursday) does not like to sleep. However, he is sleeping in "my bed" right now. "My bed" is in quotes because it is not my bed anymore, but rather belongs to everyone living in this house including me, Wil, Ari and the cats.

Every night, he sleeps with me. Whether it is in our bed, on the couch or in his bed. As one veteran mom deemed it, we are playing "musical beds" in my house each night.

I wanted to see if my sleep situation was unique, so I asked parents on the playground with toddlers: how they are sleeping these days?

These are the results of my study:

There are four sleep groups I came across--

1. The kid is still trapped in the confines of her crib. She may or may not wake up in the middle of the night for some comfort. But mainly stays in the crib.

2. The kid is still trapped in the crib but eventually (at some point during the night) ends up in the parents' bed.

3. There is not crib involved, the kid exclusively co-sleeps with the parents.

4. My group (containing only me) my child starts out in one place (our bed, his bed, the couch) and periodically rotates between these three places throughout the night.

I wouldn't mind sleeping together in the same bed, if Ari actually slept! But instead he wants to dance on the bed, unintentionally kick me in the face and scream with delight or horror until he exhausts himself, which can take a long time.

Here's where you come in: what's your sleep situation? Is your kid sleeping through the night, or are you ready to have a 20th cup of coffee and/or throw yourself out the window because you're so tired?

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Mama's Name is...

I think Ari has heard Wil scream "Sarah!" across the house too many times. He now knows what my name is.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Face Series By Ari

The artist recently completed The Face Series. Upon completing the eyes and nose, his mother asked if he would like a mouth on the first portrait. He replied "Yes." The 2nd portrait needed no maternal assistance.

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