Monday, October 30, 2006

So Abby has been sleeping in her bed on and off during the nights. It’s a bit of a surreal experience. She looks much older curled up in her bed. Now I have the daunting task of trying to figure out how to dress her for the night. I’ve opted for socks and long johns for now. This way she’s in layers and can peel off a layer when she climbs into bed with us. Because the opening topic of this post was sleep, I found a photo of Abby sleeping with a Mother Jones magazine bag at my mother’s house.

The city contacted Marjorie this morning. She sent up Pablo to ask if I had bled the radiators. I did bleed the damn things every morning since they turned the heat on. Pablo huffs and puffs his crippled body up our stairs to “bleed them properly”. After an hour of Pablo banging and using diaper pins on the radiators, it seems that the boiler is not working. Pablo said, “We’ve been toasty downstairs and I thought you guys were just complaining for more heat.” No buddy boy, we had no heat to start with! Marjorie told Scott the next time he needs to say we weren’t getting any heat, not to turn the heat up. What I would have said was, “If some one kept calling you everyday complaining that it was below 68 degrees and to turn the heat up, wouldn’t you think there was a problem with the heat?!” It’s Marjorie’s way of placing the blame on someone else. Good god! In Pablo’s words, “SHUT UP RETARD!” At least the city did their job in a timely manner and now she knows the law. Hopefully.

Tomorrow we have our neighborhood Halloween party. Should be a nice kiddy blast! Also, Salsa Babies is going to do a twenty-minute demo at the bonanza and raffle away a gift certificate for an eight-week class, a $120 value. Just another reason to attend the 2nd Annual NYC Babywearing Bonanza.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Last night was kind of a first for us. Abby saw a friend’s toddler bed and was highly interested in it. When we got home, I showed her that she has her own bed as well. Abby “helped” me move her toddler bed back into our bedroom against our bed. She made a point of telling me that this was “Abby’s bed” and the big bed was “Mommydaddy’s bed”. As her bedtime approached I did everything as usual and didn’t mention her bed. Abby starts to nurse and she’s three quarters asleep when she remembers her bed. “Abby’s bed! Abby’s bed!” I switch spots with Scott and put Abby in her bed. The toddler bed is right up against our bed and she’s within arm’s reach. After ten minutes of singing to herself she asks to nurse and for me to join her. Abby fell asleep in her own bed! She made the decision herself! Some time during the night she did crawl back up into bed with us to nurse. Abby asked me to get into her bed, but it’s really too tiny to get comfy. When she fell back asleep, I scooted her back in. Everything was going great until about six in the morning when she fell out of the toddler bed. It’s an Ikea crib that converts into a bed, so I need to see if Ikea has rails for it. Abby’s used to spreading out on our queen. We’ll see if this was a fluke or if it will become a regular thing. I do admit that it was hard to see her in her own bed. I kept waking up to make sure she was warm enough. I missed her little radiator body next to me.

This afternoon was the Halloween party for kids of Hilton employees. As you can see from the photos Abby was a green fairy with hiking boots. A few of the costumes scared her, but eventually she was dancing along with them. The food was great of course. The deserts were even better. It was a nice spread of fruit tarts, cupcakes, and little chocolate sweets the hotel makes. All the kids got toys for their costumes. Abby received a little Care Bear that speaks, which Scott and I promptly removed the sound box. Now it has a secret storage compartment. She also got a Disney music box that you put in a cartridge and it plays a song. It came without batteries, thank god, so Abby thinks it’s a camera. The first photo is before we left the house for the party, the second is Abby dancing, and the third is Abby past out after the party.

The other afternoon, Abby and I were playing with her chalk and easel. I spelled out her name saying it very slowly as I wrote it. Abby was extremely interested and asked me to repeat “drawing” her name. We did this for about a half hour. She now can read her full name, Abby Takemoto. I’m truly amazed by her! She also knows, ‘Mommy’, ‘Daddy’ and ‘bunny’. The girl doesn’t even know her ‘ABCs’! All day yesterday Abby kept asking Scott and I to ‘draw’ names. Maybe I’ll sit her down with some easy books and show her the words. Amazing! Amazing!

Friday, October 27, 2006

So I did it. I reported Marjorie to the city housing authorities for heat violations. Within 72 hours she should receive a phone call explaining the law and she has such and such a time frame to clean her act up. A letter will be sent to her in two days explaining everything in plain English. Eventually, a person from the authorities will be sent out to write her a ticket, if after the phone and letter, she still has not corrected the heat issue. This is very un-Buddha-like of me, but I hope it pisses her off to no end! I hate waking up to a freezing 64 degrees every morning and spending the rest of the day in a 66-degree house. I hate how cold my babe’s feet and hands get. About 6pm is when Marjorie decides to crank the heat up to a sweating 72 degrees sometimes 74. I am convinced that they have two thermostats. One for their apartment and one for ours, because how can they stand sitting in a house that’s 66 degrees cold? They turn off the heat during the night and keep it barely on throughout the day just so they can bake us in the evening for dinner. Oh the madness. It’s frustrating and it’s making my stomach hurt and rumble. Being pissed off like this always worries me that I’m going to pass some kind of bad vibe through my milk to Abby.

Scott has accused me of giving bad criticism. Well that may be true, he should know by now I hate giving criticism. Critique day in film class was a nightmare for me. The first post wasn’t that bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I was hoping he would go on a rant about his mishaps and co-workers, like the water pitcher incident. Instead I get a post setting the stage of who he is and what he does. Scott does need to set some kind of stage, but that’s what his profile is for. The second post was better in that the pictures Scott chose added a little something extra to what would have been a bland post. When I mentioned Elise’s blog to him, it was as an example to get him motivated. Geesh. I do promise to read your script as soon as this convention ends! I love you honey!

We have a major sponsor for the Babywearing Bonanza! Go Hotslings for co-hosting with us! The event just keeps getting bigger and bigger! If you have any kind of baby product company this venue is the place to gain exposure! You don’t even have to attend to advertise! Send me an email and I can get you in on the action!

p.s. Find the Abby!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My cloth diapers from Cotton Babies arrived today. Abby and I headed out to the Laundromat to get them ready for their first use, and do to what clothes we had in the hamper. I was a bit scared of how stiff they felt, but after a few washes and rounds in the dryer, they are perfect. Now we have a good stash of diapers and covers. This time cloth diapering seems so much easier than the last time I did it. Maybe because there isn’t as much poop involved. On the way home, Abby was too tired to walk. I knew I should have taken a carrier, but I thought she’d be fine walking there and back. A basket full of laundry, a bottle of Tide Free, and a 27-pound toddler are not fun to carry one short and two long blocks. Abby passed out almost as soon as I got in the door.

Speaking of poop, Abby has used the potty to poop three times in a row! We may be on to good things here. Every time she sits down to poop, I have to read her The Little Rabbit book, not once, but twice and then she’s done.

I felt like today was a kind of Montessori day. Abby and I woke up and she helped me make the bed. We had breakfast and got ready for the day. I picked up, while Abby went behind me and undid every thing I had done. Then we made music with her percussion kit and sang songs and finger-plays. Before lunch, I checked my mail while Abby drew on her easel. Abby made her own sandwich of hummus, avocado, tomatoes and a smidgeon of homemade tomato pesto on whole wheat bread. Mine was extra spicy with left over tomato pesto, fresh jalapeños, chives, avocado, and tomatoes. It sounds weird, but it’s very delicious. After lunch, we played with beads. I gave Abby several sized bowls for her to sort the beads into, but she spent about a half hour dumping the beads from one bowl to the other. She felt like perfecting her pouring skills. It gave me time to finish some work on the computer. About this time the diapers arrived by UPS.

Good god our landlord is so loud downstairs when she delivers the mail! I nearly jumped a foot when she opened her door to the downstairs hallway. Then THUD she slams down our mail. Next she slams her door closed again. I wish I could put a microphone in their house to tape the arguments these people have! Seems the other day Pablo stood Marjorie up somewhere and she was embarrassed by his absence. Marjorie was yelling at Pablo about how inconsiderate he was and how she felt. Pablo proceeded to yell, and I quote, “SHUT UP RETARD!” over and over while she spoke.

It’s windy and cold outside and it’s the perfect evening for super hot homemade ramen and sushi. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What is it about allergists? Every allergist office I have ever been to is a complete mess and the wait is horrible. Abby’s eczema is still as bad as ever. Scott and I skipped the scratch test last March and now I wish we had done it. Abby’s allergist office help lost her file and we ended up waiting for over an hour to see the doctor only to find out we have to start all over again. Once more Abby will have to give blood. At least this test will be more specific than the first. They’ll be testing for egg whites verses the whole egg, and finally testing for soy. Some times I think if Abby was born naturally with out drugs and never given vaccines, she wouldn’t have food allergies. My whole late afternoon was spent in the allergist’s waiting room.

Today we gained a new kitchen appliance and lost one. We have acquired a pasta maker, something Scott has wanted for a long time. Maybe this weekend we will have totally homemade spaghetti. While Scott was making an amazing Provincial veggie soup with tomato pesto, Abby was “washing” the dishes. My carafe was dropped and shattered all over the kitchen floor. No more coffee maker. We only used it to make tea anyways.

Our landlords are back from their month-long vacation and I wish they would go back on vacation. They have done nothing but argue since they returned. Now that the computer is in the side room I can hear everything they say clearly when the door to the hallway is open. I’m sure they can hear what we say as well, at least Pablo can. Marjorie is half blind and deaf. The woman can’t see an elephant standing right in front of her face and wears the biggest hearing aids ever. The other day Marjorie hit her head and all we heard up here was this moaning that sounded like a cow. Then we heard Pablo yelling at Marjorie to shut up and Marjorie complaining she hit her head and he should have some compassion. They both need to shut up.

So I was chewed out today by the woman from a certain paper goods website company. Supposedly, she didn’t like the fax I sent her regarding the babywearing convention. She went on and on about how I was irresponsible and wasteful for faxing the letter to her. Funny how she said I was wasteful with paper when she deals in paper goods. I don’t mind being yelled at, but what I hate more than anything is when I don’t get to respond. The woman hung up on me before I could get a peep out. She said I should have emailed her the info. Well here’s my response to the crazy woman: (Oh and for the record, this company has been known to be difficult to work with.) I apologize that you were having a bad morning and felt the need to vent to an anonymous person. We have sent over 50+ emails with our info packet included to companies. I had fax numbers for a handful of companies that I didn’t have email addresses for. Only five out of the 50+ companies that were contacted were faxed info packets. I don’t see that as wasting paper. We are not trying to take your money or annoy you. We are trying to help you gain recognition and make sales by inviting you to the convention. If you don’t want to receive faxes and “waste” paper, then turn your fax machine off. It’s business, it’s not personal.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sunday evening Abby and I had a remarkable time playing. Abby has discovered the world of make-believe. It’s amazing to watch her play now. All of a sudden a sushi mat becomes a fish or the rug becomes a pool for swimming or a box becomes a bus. Also, she’s found a love for finger plays. I’ve been singing “Gung Gung Goes the Little Green Frog” for three days straight now.

We had a poop success tonight. For two days, I kept Abby pant-less and put her diaper on after she fell asleep for the night. She held on to that poop for as long as she could, and finally went in the potty. I made sure to keep reassuring her that pooping in the potty was a good thing. Abby is one of those kids that don’t like to see her poop leave her body. She asked repeatedly where her poop went after we flushed it. A full discussion on where toilet water and excrement goes exactly ensued. How do you explain the workings of city sanitation and plumbing to a two year old? I told her the poop was going to travel down the potty and eventually become earth.

The cloth diapers have been working great at night and for long trips. Abby knows to use the potty, and I believe now it’s a matter of she’s not quite physically ready. We’re almost there. I give her another few months and we should be totally diaper free. I am anxiously awaiting my order from Cotton Babies. Though thanks to a friend I now have a good stash of Bummis Super Whisper wraps and a few more prefolds to get me through the week until my order arrives.

Why do people give food to kids without asking the parents first? Abby was handed a chocolate chip cookie loaded with bad stuff today. First, there’s the milk allergy thing. I had to deal with a total breakout of eczema all day. Second, which is more annoying than eczema, is the hyper-activity from the artificial ingredients in the cookies. Junk food does not bode well in my daughter’s body. She was off the wall all afternoon and didn’t nap until 6pm. That really screwed my night. Anyways she’s asleep for the night now, and we’re seeing the allergist tomorrow for a scratch test. Wahoo.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

While on the Amtrak train back home to Brooklyn, I sat across from a nervous young mother with a one year old boy. Abby and the boy passed emergency procedure pamphlets back and forth until the mother left in Philadelphia. Two old women got on the train and sat in the young mother’s spot. These two women were hilarious. I had to pretend my book was excruciatingly funny. They both were decked out in jewels and their hair was freeze dried with hairspray. One wore high-heeled boots with a green plaid outfit. They seemed your typical older upper class white Americans. The first few minutes of their arrival went something like this:

“Oh my! Look at this mess! This is disgusting! Are there any other seats?”
“No. Kids most have been sitting here. Are those chips? Eww. I can’t sit on chips!”
“Here Gladys brush off the chips. Where is the person that cleans up after people?”
“Oh God! Betty, there’s trash on the floor! EWW A dirty napkin. They should put up signs that say “Pick up after your self.”
“A child was surely sitting here. Here we will sit and when the person comes to collect our tickets, we’ll see if a person comes with a trash bag.”
“Oh! Don’t push the trash towards me! Where will I put my feet?”
Points to the ground, “What is THAT?” (It’s a piece of candy.)
“OH GOD! I don’t know!”

The ticket collector comes and here’s how the conversation went:

Gladys: “Is there a person to collect trash?”
Ticket man: “No. There are trash receptacles located on either end of the car.”
Gladys: “Well, this trash seems to be left by the previous person sitting here.”
Ticket man: “Yes. We have trashcans for trash. There is no trash collector on the train.”
Betty: “Can you take our trash to the can then? It would be much appreciated.”
Ticket man: (looks up and down the train car, then gives in) “Fine.”
Gladys: “Thank you! You should really put up signs telling people to clean up after themselves.”

Betty scoots the trash with her foot towards the man who stands there waiting for her to hand it to him. There’s this awkward moment of waiting to see who is going to pick up the tray of trash, until Betty finally bends to the ground to get it. The dirty napkin falls off and Gladys has to pick it up with the tips of her pointer and thumb.

Yes the seat was a bit messy from the young woman and her son, but it wasn’t that bad. It’s Amtrak. It’s not a first class jet liner. What were these women expecting? They were on their way to Providence.

I rearranged and cleaned the kitchen drawers today. Abby has all her dishes at her level and the silverware is within her reach. Now she can help her self completely to snacks and help set the table. It felt great to clean out those yucky drawers!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wow. I am really slacking this month. I seem to average about 13 updates a month and here we are towards the end of the month and this is my fifth update. I’m sorry guys. I’ll have to step it up a bit.

What a trip home. The DC Green Festival rocked. Scott and I loaded up on swag and free food samples. Scott was able to speak to a few universities that offer MBAs in sustainability and I was able to do a bit of networking for the babywearing convention. Abby had a blast in the green kid’s zone. Even the food was good. We’ll be coming down again next year.

I couldn’t resist buying a bag of cloth diapers for $20 at the festival. It came with three Chinese prefolds and a Bummis wrap and diaper bag. These prefolds are the best I have ever used. They quilted up so beautifully in the wash and contained toddler poop so nicely. Abby goes back and forth with using a potty in public. Sometimes she’ll go with out any problems and other times, well, diapers are nice. Yet at home Abby never has an accident. I think she needs a few more months before her bladder and mind converge on the same wavelength. Abby cannot make it through the night unless I wake her up to use the potty. I am seriously considering buying about a dozen of those Chinese prefolds and two more Bummis wraps for nighttime and long trips out. At least with cloth diapers Abby knows when she’s peed. Then I get Mothering Magazine and there’s this article on disposables and cloth diapers. I’ve made up my mind. Washing machine or no washing machine we are switching to cloth for the remainder of Abby’s diapering days. It will be a nice throwback to the short period we used cloth diapers. Seriously, these diaper covers and diapers rock butt!

My mother and I took Abby to the farm that has bought all the Enchanted Forest stuff (for lack of a better term). It’s like revisiting my childhood. Abby enjoyed the hayride and the farm animals. My mother and I reminisced about trips to the Enchanted Forest when it was in its glory. The Enchanted Forest was this place on route 40 where the Clark family built this fairy-tale amusement park. I think thousands of kids growing up in the Columbia area had their birthday parties there. The place always has a way of creeping up on me. I remember my fifth birthday there and then driving to West Virginia for vacation with all my presents pilled in front of me and my sister was just a tiny baby in her car seat. By the time I was in high school, the Enchanted Forest had closed and a shopping mall was built around it. I shopped at the Petco. In college, I broke into the Enchanted Forest with a few friends in the middle of the night and was scared beyond belief that we were going to get caught and go to jail. Later in a film class, my professor listed the Enchanted Forest as “off limits” for filming. Too many previous students had broken in to film there. I didn’t know so many people knew about it. Here I am with my two-year-old daughter exploring the same “Three Little Bear’s House” only in a new location.

I had this amazing 90-minute massage at Serenity. Thank you mom! The woman made me feel like a chicken being prepared for dinner. Oh it felt so wonderful. My shoulders feel great.

Alright. Off to bed to snuggle with Scott and Abby.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trying to get Abby to bed last night was not fun. We started our routine about 8:45pm. Abby was in bed by 9:15pm. She was in and out of bed asking to use the potty. It seemed like she needed to work something out. I gave up trying to nurse and rock her to sleep and let her wonder into the side room. Abby took out a few blank index cards and pencils from the black office cabinet, sat on the floor and drew for about twenty minutes. Then she asked to nurse in bed and fell asleep. At least she woke up at her normal time this morning.

I found a teacher’s supply store in Brooklyn Heights. The place was super cheap and I was able to get everything I needed for six dollars. Tomorrow Abby and I are going to make paper pumpkins and take a trip to the library in the morning.

On Sunday I was making corn bread and I happened to look out the back window that overlooks our neighbor’s deck. I was absolutely shocked. The deck had been decorated with a red carpet and big throw pillows. Red chiffon was draped over ropes suspended across the deck. There in the middle was a woman I have never seen before in quite a compromising position. She was laying down with headphones on in a sundress with no underwear on doing something that’s done better in the privacy of one’s bedroom. I called Scott over and upon closer inspection we noticed that the lady that lives there was seated on a bench near the back door to her apartment. Many theories were discussed between Scott and I as to what was going on. Then the woman that lives there stood up and we noticed she had a 16mm film camera. I assume she was making some kind of film noir. The way she had the set designed it looked totally clichéd and pretentious. But it’s not every day I look out my kitchen window and see a panty-less woman in a sundress sprawled out feeling herself up.

Monday, October 9, 2006

My quest to find construction paper failed completely today. I had planned on doing fall crafts this afternoon. Abby and I were going to make a few pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween. The bathroom at Target was closed, and Abby had to pee. We ran across to Houlihan’s and waited for the Hostess to seat people to sneak back to the bathroom. On our way out, we were in luck again because the Hostess had her back turned. Abby and I exchanged high-fives for our deftness. Of course Target had no construction paper, glue, or safety scissors. The Target at Atlantic and Pacific Avenue bites. When Abby wakes up from her nap, I may walk down 5th Avenue and see what I can find craft-wise. Otherwise we’ll play at the park the rest of the day.

I have been trying to incorporate more art projects into our daily routine. Abby will only sit and draw for a few minutes and then move onto something else. I feel if we had an objective to work towards, like to decorate a pumpkin, maybe art will hold her interest more. Or maybe she’ll turn out to be this super science-oriented person, a complete opposite of her parents.

In keeping with my yearly traditions since college, I have, yet again, a sore throat. I get it at the same time every year. It’s been this way since my sophomore year at UMBC. No one else in the house gets sick, and all I can do is pop Ricolas. Here’s to having a deep scratchy voice for a week!

Saturday, October 7, 2006

This morning Scott decided to take Abby to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for the “Falling into Fall” workshop. I spent the time picking up and cleaning. I put all of Abby’s wooden blocks and beads into an Ikea storage bin with wheels, and put her wooden train set in a bin as well. Every thing has it’s own place now, and Abby can see all her toys in front of her. I still need to scrub the bathroom and kitchen.

I downloaded a few Waldorf puppet fairy tales the other day. They’re supposed to be for three to four year olds, but Abby has fallen in love with “The Greedy Cat”. It’s a simple story about a hungry cat that eats the people and animals he meets and at the end a goat with golden horns saves the people. I use a baby towel with two knots as ears, so when the cat eats someone I can hold the person in my hand. Usually by the end of the story, Abby says the cat’s line along with me and hands me more things for the cat to eat. Every day I’m amazed at how fast Abby’s language skills are improving. She occasionally will repeat the harsh sound at the ends of words like “hat”. So “hat” will sound like “hat-t-t”. Maybe she’ll outgrow it, but I’ve got my eye on it.

Next weekend is the Washington DC Green Festival. I’m excited to be taking the train down with Steve and Jill. We’ve got a nice size group attending the festival. Even Scott is coming down for the weekend. I’m staying at my mom’s a few extra days. It should be a fun weekend, and I’m looking forward to the break from the city.

The information packet is finished for the Babywearing Bonanza 2007 (BWB 2007). We’ve been contacting companies and spreading the word. This convention has kept me busy lately and it feels good to be working!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

This morning Abby woke up kind of late, and I was able to get what few dishes were in the sink done and finish the registration packet for the convention. Now that the packet is done I can start recruiting companies. In the morning Abby and I went to the park for a play date. We came home had lunch and took off again for a babywearing meeting in Manhattan. This evening we had a few friends over for the premiere of Lost. I’m tired right now, but there’s a thunderstorm tonight. The cool air is pushing in. It’s late and I should get to bed, but the air feels nice and fresh.

The issue of school was brought up in our neighborhood parents group. Where to send our kids, what others are doing with their kids, and it got me thinking, yet again, about where Abby is going to go to school. We have several options. Public school, which scares me. Private school, too expensive and a pain in the butt to enroll. Homeschooling, a major contender in our thoughts. Alternative learning schools, another main option for us. Scott and I both agree with unschooling, Waldorf theories, and Montessori. I guess it’s going to come down to what feels like the better fit. Scott would like to see more structure to Abby’s learning. I honestly have no idea what we’re going to do. It’s all so confusing right now. There’s a Montessori school in Bay Ridge that accepts 2 to 5 year olds. I might go check it out later in the month for the next school year or maybe the summer program. Abby may enjoy going twice a week for half days.

I’m going to go crawl into bed between Scott and Abby and read a bit while I listen to the rain hit the street outside and the occasional bus drive by. Everyone needs to bug Scott to start a blog. The man has the funniest things happen to him at work and it needs to be documented.