Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Playground is Locked!

This morning, after I finally managed to get Ari to wear a hat because it was cold outside, we set out for the playground. When we arrived there at 9:30am, I found a disarming surprise: the playground was locked.

This seemed odd to me, since I've been to this playground way before 9:30am before. So I did what any other concerned citizen would do, I called 311. For those of you who don't live in NYC, 311 is a general NYC information line.

The 311 operator informed me that according to the NYC Parks Department, playgrounds and parks are supposed to open from 6am- 1am unless the playground or park specifies otherwise. Outside of this particular playground there was a large set of rules:

The only thing that this sign specifies (in terms of hours) is that the playground closes at dusk. So, by default, the playground should have been open at 6am! Ari was displeased.

As I was on the phone with my friendly 311 operator, Adriana, another mom approached the locked playground gate with her toddler in a stroller.

"It's locked." I whispered to her, still on the phone with Adriana from 311.
"Again?!" She said visibly annoyed. "Everyday this happens. Sometimes the guy doesn't come til 10am to open it."

She suggested that I might take Ari to the playground attached to the Public School across the street. So we zoomed across the street. At the time the school was having a fire drill. I asked the Assistant Principal if it would be okay to use their playground after the fire drill was over. She said it wasn't open to the general public during school hours; fair enough.

Since the entire school was outside, a teacher and I got to talking, and I explained to him about the locked playground across the street.
"Oh yeah," he said rolling his eyes "The guy who used to open it up died. There's a new guy doing it now, and he likes to sleep late."
Now this struck me as absurd. I like to sleep late too, unfortunately I don't have that luxury.
But that's not the point. If it's your job to unlock at gate at a certain time, shouldn't you set an alarm? I mean, come on. I want that job!

The guy who unlocks the gate finally showed up at 10:30am. By that time, several parents and their kids had come and gone put off by the locked gate. The weird thing was he didn't unlock the gate immediately. He looked around to see if anyone was around. I asked him:
"Do you unlock this gate?"
"Oh, it's locked?" He replied innocently enough.
And with that he whipped out a set of keys and let us in.

By that time, Ari had had it. Even though we'd gotten into the playground, he didn't want to stay because there were no kids there. The parents and kids in tow had all given up on this playground due to the locked gate.

So we left, and hit up a bigger playground that was much further away.

And so, my friends, that is the story of the locked playground. That guy is lucky to have a job that allows him to "sleep late."

Monday, November 29, 2010

How Do People Have Two Kids?

Today was supposed to be a rather simple day, except that everything became increasingly complicated once I woke up.

Ari slept in til 9:00am. We needed to go to Target to use a diaper coupon. When I realized what time it was I rushed out of bed, quickly fed him and myself, downed some coffee and attempted to dress him in the kitchen. He refused to get dressed.

"I don't want the blue one!" He said pointing at the long sleeved blue shirt I was attempting to put over his head. "I want black and white!" He continued gesturing at the black and white striped sweater that I'd planned to layer over the dreaded blue shirt.

I kindly explained that he had to put the blue shirt on first before wearing the sweater. He tried to protest, but I ignored his whining and threw the clothes over his head while he continued to scream.

The plan was to go to Target, get diapers and then head to the library for story time where we would meet up with his friend Miles.

As soon as we got out of the house he asked:
"Where's Miles?"
"We're going to see him in about a half hour," I said grinding my teeth in frustration. "We have to get diapers first." I explained.
"Diapers?" He asked
"Yes." I replied
"I want Miles." He said unconvinced.

I ignored his pleas for Miles and we headed to Target. I got the box of diapers and zoomed to the library. At the library, he decided that instead of listening to the story and singing songs, he wanted to remove as many books from the shelves and throw them onto the floor. I was too tired to stop him. I finally did stop him when the librarian exclaimed:
"You better stop that! I have to clean all those books up!"

After the library and a muffin break with Grandpa at a local coffee shop, we arrived home.
That was when the true drama began.

Ari wanted to carry this box of diapers up the stairs:

I told him that it was too heavy for him, but he insisted. So I said:
"Alright fine! Go ahead. Try!"
Of course, he couldn't do it. So I helped him carry it up each step, one by one.
When we were almost at the top of the stairs he said:
He wanted to bring the enormous box of diapers back down the stairs that we had taken painstaking measures to bring up the stairs.

This was too much for me to handle. So I seized the box of diapers from him and walked up the remaining stairs ahead of him. He started to scream:
"No, mine! Mine!" And began crying.

He was so upset that he decided to throw these shoes:

Down this flight of stairs:

I was so exasperated at this point, I cannot even begin to tell you. I demanded that he go down the stairs and collect his shoes, which he begrudgingly did, but then he screamed:
"I need help!"
"What do you need help with?!" I asked ready to lie on the floor and surrender to the parenting gods.
"Carry me!"

So I dragged my 170 lb pregnant self down the stairs and carried him up our apartment.

I think I'd like to call it a day, but he's only just begun:

Have you ever had a day like this?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One Cookie Means

One cookie means the absence of a nap. It also means the absence of my sanity. It means Ari threw a ball in my face and laughed while I cried. It means that I watched, hopelessly exhausted, as my sugar high 2 1/2 year old ran up and down the hallway and in and out of rooms searching for weapons of destruction and items to destroy. One cookie means that both cats were victims of domestic violence as Ari bludgeoned them with his tiny blue plastic toddler chair.

Finally, one cookie means that (for the time being) should future cookies enter this house, they will be consumed by me and only me.

From now on Ari will be eating these:

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Surprise at The Post Office

On November 12th, I got one of those ominous cards. The kind that tell you that a package could not be delivered to you because you weren't home. I find this hard to believe since I am home a fair amount of the time, and if I'm not, I have a ton of neighbors in my building that would gladly answer the buzzer and sign for the package.

Anyway, I dreaded the inevitable. Going to the Post Office. I decided to face my fear and just go. So I bundled Ari up and headed for the government building with the long lines. Surprisingly, when we got there, I waited for under five minutes, and I was handed this package:

As I left the Post Office, grateful for the short wait, I read the return label and saw who it was from: an awesome mama blogger friend of mine, Statia! All of a sudden I knew exactly what was inside.

I got home and ripped open the package. It was:

I just have to share with you two of my favorite items from this package:

And this dress:

Thank you so much Statia! I love the clothes! Check out Statia's hilarious dark humored blog, Failure to Nap, by clicking here.

I also want to take a moment to thank a few of my other amazing lady friends who have given me a wealth of baby clothes. It seems, when you are pregnant with a girl, people are really excited to give you clothing!

Amanda - Thank you so much for the enormous box of baby clothes. I am so stocked now, it's ridiculous. Please thank Tahira for me too!

Cordy- Thank you to you Zalah and Lyla for their clothes. Hopefully my girl can rock them as well as your ladies did.

Josina- Thanks for getting the most stylish baby girl wear at The Maple Street School tag sale. I'm so excited about the little purple hoodie and the tights!

Rosa- Thank you for the diapers and the baby clothes! And thank you to Francesca and Nati for breaking them in for me.

Even though it's the day after Thanksgiving, I'm still continuing to say, thank you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Did That Just Happen?

Ari was taking a nap today, so I took it upon myself to do the same. While he was napped on one couch, I took the other.

A little while later, I made it to dreamland...or so I thought.

I woke up shortly after I dozed off to the sounds of snoring. Who could that be? I sleepily thought? It was far too loud to be Ari, and the only other person in the room was me. I quickly stopped pondering about this mystery snorer and went back to sleep.

At once I was awoken again! This time I realized that snoring sounds were coming from none other than...me! Yes, that's right, I managed to snore loud enough to wake myself up.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Ari Has Croup!

It's been four days of madness around here. Every night for the past three nights Ari has woken up between 3-4am with 103 fever. Last night the fever was accompanied by a disturbing wheezing sound. We took him to the doctor today and he was diagnosed with Croup. It makes sense because his cough sounds like a barking dog. This sort of cough is consistent with Croup.

Needless to say, it's been extremely difficult to get him back to sleep at night and during the day for naps. So what am I thankful for right now? This:

I haven't showered in four days, and I've been a chicken soup-making machine*, but I don't care. I just want him to get better already.

Have your kids had croup? Do tell!

*I make my chicken soup from scratch, if you want the recipe email me at oldschoolnewschoolmom@oldschoolnewschoolmom.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Sleepless Night

I woke up in the middle of the night to find Ari staring at me. He was asleep in my bed (as usual) and I knew something was wrong. I felt his back and it was warm. After tossing and turning quite a bit (both of us not just him) he got out of bed at around 5:00am.

"Where are you going?" I asked
"Leev-ing roooom." He said.
I followed him sleepily into the living room where I was subsequently guilt tripped into watching many episodes of Max and Ruby followed by multiple installments of Blue's Clues. During this time, Wil came home and we took Ari's temperature, which he did not like. It was 100 degrees. One dose of Children's Motrin and he was running around the living room lining up his cars and chasing the cats.

Eventually, around 8am, I told him that he had to go back to sleep. He promptly requested "Thomas," which meant his Thomas The Tank Engine pillow, and then this happened:

You can't tell here, but he's actually sleeping on the floor. He fell asleep on Thomas without a blanket, and once he was asleep, I didn't want to wake him, so I just covered him up. He's been sleeping for three hours now.

I managed to nap for an hour of that.

Poor guy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crying Over Spilled Coffee

This morning I was down to my last bit of coffee. I emptied the bag into the filter and looked forward to the moment when my coffeemaker beeped so I could savor my last cup. When my Krups 12 Cup Programmable coffeemaker gave me the go ahead, I mixed the milk and sugar into my friend the coffee cup, and prepared a bagel with peanut butter for Ari and I to share.

As soon as I made to the living room, I sat on the couch in a sleepy haze, and before I knew it, I had spilled my last cup of hope all over the table.

I'm normally a clumsy person but, being pregnant, my increased progesterone levels have taken over and made me into a maladroit.

While I was busy cleaning up the mess I'd just made. Ari managed to steal my breakfast.

I asked him if he was eating my bagel, and he proudly confirmed "Yes!"

Please tell me I'm not alone. Share your clumsy stories with me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Naot Beyond: A Comfortable Clog

As my pregnancy progresses, it's become increasingly harder to tie my shoes. I've been on the lookout for a shoe that I could just slip on. Thankfully, Naot came to the rescue when they allowed me the chance to try out one of their clogs: The Beyond.

I immediately liked the look of the shoe, and though I was hesitant about the heel (because I generally avoid heels as they tend to make my feet hurt) I decided to give the Beyond a try.

First I tried it with no socks:

I took a long stroller walk to the library with Ari like this, and when I came back home, my feet didn't hurt at all.

The next day I wore The Beyond with jeans and socks:

I took an extended stroller walk around the neighborhood with Ari, and once again, my feet felt great at the end of the day.

So I decided to really put the The Beyond to the test. I wore it with stockings and a dress today for a full day of teaching 2nd graders.

After walking up and down three flights of stairs and chasing after energetic seven and eight year-olds, I can say that my feet feel great. My mind, however is another story.

A side benefit for me personally is that The Beyond adds a couple of inches to my height. Contrary to popular belief, I'm only 5'3''. I know, I have a tall personality. But at least I can pretend to be taller than I am in this shoe.

If you're looking for a comfortable slip-on shoe, I would highly recommend The Beyond. For more information about The Beyond, click here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Lesson in Discipline From a Nanny at The Library

Today we went to the library and Ari was having a fun time acting out.

Did I say acting out? I meant browsing for books and reading.

After his antics, I needed to unload my troubles onto someone. Thankfully there was a nanny of a four year old girl ready and willing to be my impromptu therapist. She was a Pisces and therefore empathetic.

I told her about Ari's bad behavior, and I solicited her advice on the following issue:
Ari does not like to be changed. In fact, he kicks me in the stomach when I'm trying to change his diaper.

She suggested that I:
1. Ask him if he would like to put the lotion on himself when I'm done wiping him with baby wipes. That way he is involved in the process.
2. Tell him if he doesn't cooperate while being changed, put him in time out when a clean diaper is finally on him. Explain that he is going to time out because he didn't listen to mommy when he was getting his diaper changed.

I thanked her profusely for her help. I'll keep you posted on the results.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Night Blues

It's Sunday night, and Wil just went back to work. Unlike many of the population whose work week begins on Monday at 9am, Wil works at night, which means his work week begins on Sunday evening at 8:30pm.

The nice thing about his current schedule is that he has the weekends off. But when Sunday night rolls around I get pretty depressed. After spending two uninterrupted days together, he has to return to the grind, and on a Sunday no less. Ari and I try to keep ourselves entertained when he leaves.

But I find myself enviously thinking about the people out there who get to have their husbands/boyfriends/partners with them on this Sunday evening. Meanwhile, Ari and I (and the mystery baby) are missing Wil a lot. It's especially hard when Ari's going to sleep and he asks:
"Where's daddy?"
"Daddy's at work." I tell him.
In true two year-old fashion, he replies
"No, daddy's not at work."
"Oh, where is he then?" I ask, curious to know what he'll come up with.
"He's uh...downstairs!" He says confidently.
Usually this situation is resolved when we call Wil at work to say goodnight. Ari concedes that daddy must be at work. Or I guess he could be calling from "downstairs."

It's lonely here on Sunday nights, and I find it really hard to get back into the weekly routine. Then again, I suppose no matter when your husband/boyfriend/partner is gone, it's bound to be hard. I think about people who have significant others in military and don't see their loved ones for months or years. Then I feel like a whiny exaggerator.

But this schedule is hard. Wil is either sleeping or at work and there's no in between. I suppose the best thing to do is to savor the two days off we have together.

How do you cope when your husband/boyfriend/partner is away?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Automotive Paint Job

It's Cold and I Wanna Lie on The Couch

It's been unseasonably warm here in New York City, up until now. It's like instant winter and all I wanna do is lie on the couch in a silent rebellion.

In the spring and summer times, there are tons of things to do with kids. You can hit up the playgrounds, the botanical garden, go to free concerts, but in the winter it's so cold, all I wanna do is this:

I've been to the library a zillion times, and I certainly don't feel like walking around in the cold. I need to find some indoor activities Ari and I can do that are free and allow us to be social.

I'm also getting increasingly nervous about having a newborn in the winter. I need a full-proof plan so that I don't go crazy being indoors with a non-stop 2 1/2 year old and a needy newborn.

So I'm asking you:
1. What are some fun indoor winter activities you do?
2. Who's had a baby in the winter? What did you do to avoid going insane?
3. Do you also like your couch a lot right now?