Friday, September 29, 2006















What is it about the library that makes Abby poop? With in five minutes arriving at the library my little girl will poop. It never fails. Is it the hushed silence and smell of old books, or the academic atmosphere? Maybe the sight of old librarians gives her the need to empty her bowels. Whatever it is she never tells me until it is too late to make it to the potty. After two previous trips to the library, both of which ended in poopy pants, I thought I was being crafty by taking Abby on a day when she has pooped in the late morning. The poopy library curse is a strong one. We quietly picked out a few books and walked rather quickly back home. Upon reaching the house, I gave Abby a demo on how poop is cleaned from training pants. She had too much fun playing with the showerhead.

My next-door neighbor, whom I am jealous because of her two-story apartment decked out in Ikea furniture, has two rabbits. The woman lets them run all day long on the back deck, a beautifully big deck. The weird thing is the rabbits are the exact two types of rabbits that I have had. Those little guys spend all day eating the woman’s veggie and flower plants. I don’t think she has any more tomatoes left. This morning Abby and I caught a picture of the Dutch one nibbling on flowers.














I saw a woman today on my trek back from the library that honestly looked like a toad on peg legs. At first I thought it was a man, but then I noticed an outline of a bra through her shirt. She had these tiny feet connected to small ankles. Then, rather suddenly, her calves spread upward and out like her legs have been stuffed into little wooden shoes. She was literally waddling up the sidewalk with a bag of greasy food. When she turned around, I had to look away because I thought she might actually stick her tongue out to catch a fly. There was this huge ring of fat around her neck that her melting face sat on. Creepy.

The trains must be running different today. I’ve heard train whistles all day. I find the sound of trains mixed with the cool September air strangely comforting. Abby is taking a nap. She has about an hour left to sleep and when she wakes, we’ll head to the park until Scott gets home. Tonight is meat night, and we are having buffalo meat burgers.

Thursday, September 28, 2006















Our group in the neighborhood will need a place to meet in winter, and I believe we have finally found a place. The great thing is it’s a day care center and there’s tons of toys and an outside play area with cars to ride in. The center is willing to let us use the space on Saturdays during the winter. Originally, we had tried to get a room in the Sunset Park Rec Center, but it seems we may have to scratch too many backs to get what we need. The day care center idea isn’t exactly free, but when you look at the price of “structured playgroups” that are offered in the city, this can’t be beat. Also, our group is for families to gather and socialize, so the children’s play is unstructured. I feel unstructured play allows the children to explore their surroundings fully and actually learn real social skills.

Abby and I met with friends this morning. Abby had tons of fun running around at a new playground. She wolfed down two bananas on the bus ride home and then passed out for a nap. When she wakes up, we’ll head over to the park and see who is out and about. The weather has been too perfect to stay inside. Tomorrow, we’re going to check out a mommy and me ballet class.

The mail has not been delivered to our house for a week now. Yesterday, I kept a watch out for the mailman. When he came by, I ran out to talk to him. It seems our cranky landlords put a hold on their mail when they went on vacation. It was nice of them to not put which apartment’s mail to put on hold. The mailman said he didn’t know there were two apartments in our row house! Today, we should get all of our mail. Marjorie and Pablo even put tape over the mail slot with no instructions as to where to put our mail. Thanks psychos.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006















My goal for today was to clean the floors. I guess I will have to wait for Scott to get home before I tackle them. Scott woke up a 4:30am to get to work by 6am for an event, and Abby got up with him. She sat in bed kind of confused as to why her father was up so early. Once Scott left, she fell back asleep until 10am! That really threw us off schedule. I didn’t even get the bed made.

I spent most of the weekend working on the registration packets for the babywearing convention. I’m hoping what I have is the final product. Now to begin the promotions! This is the first time I have ever organized an event this big, and I have no idea where to start. So here’s my plug: If you are a company that sells baby carriers or natural family products, a WAHM, or have a doula or midwife practice, come join us for the 2nd Annual NYC Babywearing Bonanza! Please email me at amygabrielle@gmail.com Don’t miss out!

Sunday, September 24, 2006















It was raining yesterday, so we ended up at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. We got there just in time for an animal show, and Abby touched a turtle and a bearded dragon. When the snake came around she got a bit scared. Abby spent a good hour playing in the water pond. The smock made her look like a little scientist. Later Scott and I did some grocery shopping.

Today I cleaned and picked up, and afterwards headed to the park. Abby played with Sophia. It’s amazing how well they get along! I made a vegan apple pie this afternoon. It smells really good, but it’s for dessert! Scott’s preparing the sushi for tonight while he watches the football game. Abby has decided not to take a nap today.

These two-year molars are giving Abby the hardest time! They still haven’t broken through yet. I figure this is why her sleep has been irregular lately. I gave her some Hylinds Teething Tablets last night before bed, and she was able to fall asleep fast. Her poor nose starts to run whenever her teeth start to bother her. Her mood is all over the place. Scott and I have to remind ourselves that she’s uncomfortable and her crankiness won’t last forever. It makes me frustrated, especially when Abby starts screaming for bebes and I’m in the middle of something, like peeing!

Thursday, September 21, 2006





























































The nurse-in at Toys R Us was awesome! Everyone met out front of the Times Square store with babes in tow. We handed out leaflets explaining nursing mother’s rights, the benefits of breastfeeding and why we there. Before we left, the mothers sat down and nursed. When I told Abby it was bebe time, she was totally excited. There’s a picture of everyone nursing. The press was in abundance and once the articles are released, I’ll post the links. I was interviewed by the news and a radio show. The lady for the radio show asked where was the craziest place I’ve ever nursed. I told her at my husband’s office Christmas party. The Daily News was there taking photographs. It was great to see the support! Toys R Us had a few executives there collecting our leaflets to make sure we weren’t saying anything too negative about their company and to hand out counter letters about Toys R Us’ policy regarding nursing mothers. The blatant disregard of their own policy by their own employees was why we were there in the first place! One Toys R Us employee, I think she was a manager of some sort, kept pushing a cart of water and snacks to hand out to us in a see-we-do-support-mothers-even-when-you-boycott-us! kind of way. It’s the ignorance of the store employees. They can have a policy in place, but if the store employees are not made aware, then what’s the point? It’s a store specifically geared towards families, mothers most of all. It’s like the whole Victoria Secret thing. If you’re a store that deals with boobs all day, you’ve got to show some respect for the ones that lactate. Discrimination.

Afterwards, Abby and I went to the Hilton to set the date for the babywearing convention. It’s set for Sunday, January 21st 2007. I’ve got tons of work ahead of me. There’s fundraising, getting sponsors together, getting our accounts in order. I’m going to start tomorrow drawing up letters to send out to potential major sponsors.

Scott pulled Abby’s winter clothes down from the attic tonight. I need to go through and see what fits and what doesn’t. From the looks of things, most of the clothes may still fit. Yipee.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006















Abby had her two-year check up today. She is 33 and half inches tall and weighs in at 26 pounds. All is normal. No vaccines this time, thank goodness. We also did a lead test and should have the results in a few days.

Thursday is the Toys R Us nurse-in in at the Times Square store. Abby and I are going and Scott is going to stop by during his lunch break. I’m not sure if the mother and the ACLU overreacted or if what happened happened. Here's what the other side says. Either way I’m interested in seeing how this all plays out. Also, I’m going to stop by the Hilton Times Square (where Scott works) to see the space for the babywearing convention one more time, and talk to the banquets manager about what we need for the event. We’re planning on January 21st 2007. I hope the date is available. The price the hotel quoted me at is perfect.

Scott and I have finally perfected our Vegan Pot Pie after three attempts. This is the semi-final recipe; I’m still tweaking the dough a bit. The great thing about this potpie is any combination of veggies and spices can be used in any amount. Abby loves peas and we tend to overload the pie with peas.

Vegan Pot Pie with homemade crust

• 2 large potatoes
• 1 med red onion
• Finely chopped broccoli (as much as you want)
• Frozen peas (as much as you want)
• Fresh carrots (as much as you want)
• 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
• Olive oil for sautéing
• 2 tablespoons flour
• ½ cup rice milk
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Bread loaf pan

Peal, chop and cook potatoes.
Mash half of the cooked potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat oil in skillet and sauté veggies minus the broccoli and potatoes.
When onions are golden, add broccoli with a small amount of water (or veggie broth for more flavor) and cook three to four minutes.
Sprinkle flour into skillet, then add rice milk slowly while stirring constantly.
Cook until thickens a bit.
Add potatoes, both chopped and mashed.
Add rice milk until desired thickness or creaminess is obtained.
Season with salt and pepper to taste or whatever spices you have in the cupboard.
Pour into bread loaf pan lined with potpie dough.
Cook 35 to 45 minutes or until dough is cooked.

Pot Pie Dough

3-½ cups unbleached flour
¼ cup oil
3/4-cup water
3/4-cup rice milk
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ a package of ¼ ounce dry active yeast

Dissolve yeast in 110 to 115 degree water.
In separate bowl, combine flour and oil until a crumbly consistency.
Add milk and salt to water and yeast.
Pour into flour mixture.
Combine until a ball is formed.
Let the dough rise for a few hours.
Line the loaf pan with a thin layer of dough on all sides. Save a thin layer for the top.

Sunday, September 17, 2006















After weighing myself with two different bathroom scales, I am a bit surprised. Seems I weigh 105 pounds. I can never truly believe bathroom scales because how accurate are they? So taking into account that two different scales in two different houses said 105, I think I really do weigh 105 pounds. The last time I was weighed at a doctor’s office was a year ago and I weighed 109 pounds. That was half a year before my surgery and when I started to get seriously ill. This means I must have actually dropped to 100 pounds before my surgery. My mother was right. I was underweight then, but only by .5 on the body mass index scale. I have gained weight since my surgery. My smaller jeans fit the way they are supposed to now, and my hip bones aren’t so defined or razor sharp as Scott says.

Saturday we took Abby to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. What a blast! It takes forever to get there, but the trip was well worth it. I felt like an idiot for forgetting the camera. Abby enjoyed the “Totally Tots” room which is decked out with cars to ride in, a water table pond to play in, a “rock quarry” to climb and examine different rocks and fossils, a reading room, and a general play type area with blocks and doll houses. The “In the Neighborhood” permanent exhibit was awesome. There was a pretend pizza parlor with booths, a cash register with cash in it, soda fountain, pizza oven, and best of all felt pizza and felt veggies to make your own pizza! Abby got a kick out of the “Grandma’s Basement” which was under the stairs and Scott and I had to crawl to get into. There were tiny sofas, a train set and other toys. The greenhouse and outside garden is beautiful. Abby was able to examine snails in a tray and look at a huge frog up close. It’s a great indoor place when the weather’s bad. I wish we didn’t have to take a train and a bus to get there.

Today was the Fifth Avenue street fair. I’m glad we were out of the house most of the day. The music stage is always set up on our corner- 45th and 5th. It gets loud. Abby couldn’t take a nap today because of the noise. This street fair never has anything interesting. It’s mostly a chance for the stores to spread their crap onto the sidewalks, and for cheap carnival food vendors to make a buck. Thank goodness the noise ended at 6:30pm. I’ve had my fill of salsa and Latino music for the year. That’s the view of the stage from our front steps.

Friday, September 15, 2006















It’s raining yet again, and there’s nothing to do. I’ve exhausted all avenues of entertainment. Abby and I tried to make the LLL meeting this morning and failed miserably. This day was just not meant to be. On a good note, Scott is on the train home. Though there is no food in the house for dinner. I guess we’ll order Turkish takeout. I feel so pathetic right now. Abby’s taking another late nap.

To make up for this boring day, Scott and I are going to take Abby to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum tomorrow. There she can run around, play and maybe discover something new. Our Sunset Park Parents picnic was pushed to Sunday because of the rain. Ugg rain.

Article. Here is an article to make you angry. Take the live survey to see the results and you’ll be even angrier. Our society is anti-family and anti-child, and yet we claim to be pro-family. It’s mind boggling, and the comment about “breeders” was just cruel.

Thursday, September 14, 2006











































Circle skirts, circle skirts! Abby has been asking for a “dance skirt” so I pulled out the sewing machine and left over fabric and ribbon. They were super easy to make. If I didn’t have Abby trying to help, I could piece them in twenty minutes. We’ve been twirling and gettin’ down all day.

It was a wet and rainy day and the babywearing meeting was held at the Brooklyn Yoga Center. Abby had too much fun playing with Sofia! She was out before 9:30pm tonight. This was my first meeting as an official NINO leader for Brooklyn. Now I have an excuse to add to my carrier stash! The meeting went great and we had a few new mamas that found the babywearing love.

Scott left after dinner for Baltimore. Abby and I wish him good luck with his business trip. Knock them dead and don’t reach for the water pitcher at an awkward moment! I have the hardest time sleeping when he’s gone. I’m going to read a bit and snuggle up under the covers with my baby girl for the rest of the night. We have an early LLL meeting in Manhattan tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006















Can you believe I used the dishwasher today? We have a super tiny, old machine that doesn’t clean well, but I had other things to do this morning than stand at the sink. I turned it on and instantly felt guilty for wasting all that water and electricity to wash my dishes. The old clunker sounds like it’s going to take off it’s so loud! Plus I was paranoid the thing was going to start leaking. My dishes are clean now, and Abby and I were able to finish cleaning the rest of the house.

We have officially joined the slow food movement. Scott and I have been doing fine with out a microwave, and have decided not to get another. It takes a bit of planning to get lunch ready and some patience in the morning while I wait for the oatmeal to boil, but there hasn’t been any inconvenience.

Scott leaves for a business trip to Baltimore tomorrow. Abby and I are staying home. He’ll be back Friday night, and I feel it’s too short of a stay to lug Abby down. I’ve got a babywearing meeting tomorrow, a La Leche League meeting on Friday, our Sunset Park Parents group on Saturday, and an ICAN meeting on Sunday. The rest of the week is packed with goodies.

On the menu tonight for dinner, we’ll be having fresh wild caught cod lightly breaded and baked with potatoes and whatever veggies Scott picks up from the farmer’s market and frozen fruit smoothies for desert. Let me see if I can dig up an old picture to post… Oh! A naked Picasso. Classic.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006















Aunt Flo has returned after an almost three-year hiatus! What a relief! Tonight I should get a good night’s sleep. I feel renewed, a real woman again not just a nursing mom. Now I know why I was tired all week.

Abby and I went into Manhattan yesterday to have lunch with Scott. Since we had such a late start, Abby and I milled around Times Square and watched the tourists while we waited for Scott to get off work. Eventually we ended up playing Toys R Us and ran into a fellow babywearing friend. I checked out a possible space for next years Babywearing conference as well. We’ve got some serious fundraising ahead of us. Scott and I then trekked over to Whole Foods to pick up dinner from the bar and a few groceries. Nothing compares to the Whole Foods’ salad bar. Abby had her favorite veggies, plain pasta, and a few dolmas. Scott and I had a mix of things and dolmas as well. I love Mediterranean cooking! I think we may have to pick out a recipe from my Mediterranean cookbook for next week.

Feeling like a super-housewife, I watched the View to see how Rosie was. I’ll confess, I have watched two of the View this week. I hate the show, but I like Rosie. She needs her own show. Those other women annoy the crap out of me mostly because of their view of the war and 9/11. Talk about believing all the lies! I won’t be watching anymore.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Here’s what I did to the apartment. There’s a picture of the side room looking in from the hallway, the bedroom as seen from the living room, the dinning room from the bedroom, and Abby’s play area.

I have been super tired these last few days. It seems like there’s so much stuff going on, but nothing more than usual. I need sleep. Good night!


















Wednesday, September 6, 2006















I always forget how tiring teething can be. Abby is getting in another set of molars. I assume these are the two-year molars. Teething has never been easy for Abby. What a crabby little person she has been!

Here’s to crazy landlords! We’ve been battling with our landlord since July. I’ve neglected writing about this issue because it’s infuriating and after this post it’s over with. The woman decided to pick on us AFTER we sign the new lease. All this mayhem because we had Mateo staying with us for a while and she decided to charge him $300 a month in rent on top of our rent. Mateo was supposed to be gone by August 31st and he ended up leaving the morning of the 1st. Crazy psycho downstairs wants to charge us Mateo’s full month’s rent- $300, for the EIGHT HOURS he spent here. We’re talking 12am to 8am people! She demanded that we give it to her on the first. Here’s the best part, she told us she wanted it at 3pm on the first! Scott was PISSED. He wrote a super-uber professional letter with a bite to it (very subtle, but effective) that she would get her money, but it was against his will and she had bullied him into a contract that is essentially illegal. Also when our lease is up, we’ll be moving. Today, her wheezing husband rings the doorbell and asks for Mateo’s key to the front door (another crazy story because the woman had lost her keys and the front door locks all had to be replaced). Pablo tells me that Marjorie will waive the fee if Scott calls back and APOLOGISES to Marjorie for being ARROGANT!! I wanted to die! Scott’s been nothing but cordial to this woman. Even when he was about to explode at her on the phone, he kept his temper in check and was polite. (I have to be honest the last time I spoke to the woman I gave it to her.) Pablo said, “You have to follow what your landlord and contract says.” They are constantly patronizing to us. Screw you.

See, I feel like we are being taken for our money. Funny how things in their apartment downstairs started to be replaced right after they received both rents. I have been renting apartments for seven years now. I have had lazy landlords, absentee landlords, rented from large rental companies, and I’ve had amazing landlords. But never have I met a woman as insane as this one. As Scott says, “There is a special place in hell for her.” I know my rights as a tenant, and it’s a shame we are not in a rent stabilized building (I’d have her ass in court on a silver platter). Bring on winter and if the heat drops below 68 degrees during the day like it did last year, I’m going straight to the authorities. No more trying to reason with a crazy woman.

Now I’m going to sit in the living room, have a glass of water and sit in my big chair and read “Mother Jones” magazine and think about another maddening subject- politics.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Abby’s birthday was a slow quiet one. We had Scott’s Plum Chicken for dinner and rice milk ice cream with chocolate peppermint cups as a birthday desert. All dairy, egg and peanut free of course! Abby’s toys arrived by UPS in the morning. Scott and I ordered a wooden plane, a peg puzzle, and a wooden cat with kittens from Oompa.


Mateo left us on the first as well, and today I have done nothing but clean and rearrange. The side room is now a computer/art/guest/toy room. I’ll take pictures later. I replaced the wobbly dinning room table with Scott’s table and put my desk where his was. I’ve tossed about three bags worth of old papers. My floors have been vacuumed and scrubbed. Scott got whatever laundry there was done. I still have a few odds and ends to find places for, but otherwise I’m done. It feels good to get things out of the house and just CLEAN. I hate clutter.

When the seasons are about to change I get this urge to really clean and move things. How good it feels to have everything washed and ready for the new season! Bring on fall, my favorite time of year. Everything is dying and preparing for the cold. Hot winter dishes of root veggies and stews simmering on the stove, it makes my mouth water thinking about them. Long pants and sweaters! Hats and mittens! Snowmen! What joy!