Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm sorry

This is an open letter to all the parents out there that I have wrongly judged over the years. I'd watch your kids be disruptive or even lash out and hit you. And I judged you. I thought, "My kids will never do that."

I judged you because I had no clue what it meant to be a parent. I'm quickly learning that sometimes I don't even know how to be an effective parent. So, I'm done judging. Yes, there are bratty kids out there who probably have parents that struggle to teach them how to behave. But I'd be sad if someone judged my parenting skills based on how Blake sometimes behaves. He's only 15 months old, but he's perfecting the art of tantrums. And despite my best efforts, he's started to hit.

But I'm learning that Blake is learning. He's learning what's right and wrong and I have to be the one to teach him. And I'm in it for the long haul, because I'm realizing it's going to be a long haul. I know what kind of person I want Blake to be. And helping him become that person is going to be made up of lots of mistakes, both on his part and mine.

So I'm sorry. I'm done judging. Now let's all get out there and do our best!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Seeing New York-City Treehouse

My sister recently stayed with us and accompanied Blake and me on an adventure to City Treehouse. It's an indoor playspace that boasts water tables, a treehouse, a star cave, and a soft toy room. And even though it's too expensive ($10 for your first visit, $20 for every visit after that) for us to be going very often ever again*, it was fun to experience it.

Yea for water tables!

*City Treehouse is actually having a summer special, so we will get to go again!

Friday, June 24, 2011

slightly well visit

Blake had his 15 month check up yesterday. Well, actually he only had half of his check up. He was weighed (23 pounds, going on 40 I swear) and measured (32 inches), but luckily for him he didn't have to get any shots. Unluckily for him he has to sit on my lap 3 times a day for the next week while I hold a nebulizer under his mouth and nose in order to help break up the bronchitis that has settled in his lungs.


When we arrived at the doctor's office I told the receptionist that Blake had a bit of a cold and asked her if we should wait in the sick waiting room even though we were there for a well visit. We proceeded to wait in the sick room while Blake played with Snotty McSnotterson. I won't be surprised if he catches whatever that kid had. I was trying to do the rest of the patients a favor by not letting Blake in the well waiting room. So if Blake caught whatever booger boy had, I'm gonna be annoyed.

I digress. I wasn't worried at all about Blake's cough. He'd had it for a few days and I've had a bit of a sore throat and stuffy nose. Regular cold stuff. And anytime I've been 100% positive Blake was sick and needed medication, I have been 100% wrong and $30 poorer. So I decided I wasn't going to call a 24-hour nurse hotline or his doctor and explain the symptoms. I was just going to ride the cough out and not be the hypochondriac I've been in the past.

And of course the one time I don't freak out, he has bronchitis. I wasn't even concerned when the nurse that weighed and measured Blake started frowning when I said he had a cold. I said, "Oh he just has a wet cough and can't seem to clear anything out." In my mind I was thinking, "It's just a cough, lady." Then Blake's doctor came in and listened to him breathe. I was surprised when she said she wanted to do a nebulizer treatment on Blake and that he wouldn't be getting any shots until he was better.

So what did we learn from this visit, kids? Freak out or don't freak out. It doesn't really matter. Oh, and we now know that our insurance covers a nebulizer machine. That we get to keep. So that's cool. I guess.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I...have a problem

No, it's not that I eat too many cookies. Well, that is a problem, but I'm talking about another problem.

A few months after I read a book, I can't really remember the details of the story. I can give an extremely brief summary of what happens, but details are lacking.

This bothers me because I feel like I can't talk about books I've read with people. I just end up saying, "I can't really remember the details, but I really liked it." Lame.

Is this normal? I think I'm just not devoting a lot of mental energy to reading these books. And that's probably ok because I have other more important things to devote that energy to (for now).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

creative side

I don't really consider myself a crafty person. I blame it on lack of space. If I had a whole room to devote to being crafty or sewing I think I'd turn out some pretty awesome stuff. On the other hand, if I really loved creating things I wouldn't need a whole room to devote to it. I'd just find the space I needed and craft away.

A few months ago I was reading a friend of a friend's blog and noticed a really cute Christmas decoration that was kind of different than your standard Christmas decorations.

Subway art. I had seen other things done in subway art style but never really liked it enough to hang in my home. I saw this one and thought it was really cute. And I had a few apothecary jars I stole in a rousing white elephant gift exchange (I still feel bad about that) got for Christmas one year that I filled with colored Christmas ball ornaments. I didn't print this subway art out until well after Christmas, but I plan to put it up next year along with the jars.  (And I may have only recently put the Christmas ornaments that were in said jars away...ahem.)

My goal is to have seasonal subway art and objects to put in the apothecary jars and change them as the seasons change. With the start of summer, I'm on the hunt for some sand to fill the apothecary jars with along with miniature summer-y items. So far I have mini beach balls and a mini sand shovel. I just need one more object and my summer decorations will be done. Except, as I searched for summer subway art, I couldn't fine anything I liked. Most of the results were cute, but not cute enough. So I decided to make my own.
I'm actually pretty happy with the way it turned out. I don't think it's as cute as the Christmas one, but I like it better than anything else I could find. And I feel pretty creative to boot!

Maybe I can start my own etsy shop and sell these for $20 a pop. Ooo and make some headbands and stuff! Or get a really expensive camera and start a photography business. I'm just feeling so creative now!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

sensitive subject?

I was recently reading a woman's blog in which she posted a rant about how she hates when people call her "brave" after informing them she is going to have a home birth. Hmmmm. Really?

She explained that when people call her "brave" what they are really alluding to is their belief that home births are dangerous and that she must be crazy for wanting one.

And maybe some people do feel that way. But maybe other people really do think she is brave. This woman said she's done a lot of research and feels a home birth is the best option for her and her baby. Congratulations! I don't care.

Ok, ok, I mean, it's not like I hope there are complications or something and that her baby has to be rushed to the hospital so someone can say, "Told ya you shoulda had that baby in a hospital."  In fact, I hope everything goes really smoothly and that it's a beautiful experience. I even hope that if she has a great experience this time around, she'll do a home birth with all her pregnancies. See, so I do care.

I just don't think she should be so offended when people call her brave. Maybe some people have given her that crazy look, but still, why choose to be offended? (Ok I really don't have room to talk because one time a guy told me my baby was hungry and I was totally offended.)

In conclusion (wait, where did that come from...) I think this woman is brave. In fact, I think all women who give birth are brave. Whether you have your baby in a hospital or at home, whether you have an epidural or go "natural", whether you have to be sliced open or...not, you are brave. You are taking on the challenge of sustaining another life within yourself for 9 months, expelling that life from your body, and then shaping that life for the rest of YOUR life.

And that my friends takes bravery.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dear (fill-in-the-blank),

Dear lady who is visiting the people who live above us,

I'm used to being around cigarette smoke because apparently it's the thing to do if you live here. Personally I think it's disgusting and I hate that I have to smell it everywhere I go, even sometimes in my apartment. I saw you sitting on the front porch this morning puffing away. And even though it boggles my mind that people smoke, it's your choice to do so if you desire. But please don't flick your ashes on the porch. My baby plays there and will inevitably be eating those ashes. Go flick them somewhere else.

trying to breathe clean air

Dear dog owners,

Clean up your dog's poop. If you didn't want to be bending down and picking up your dog's mess then you shouldn't have gotten a dog.

grossed out

Dear lazy people who throw their trash on the ground,

Seriously? You really can't take the time to find a trash can? You are far too busy to expend the mental and physical energy to throw YOUR trash into a trash receptacle? Well then I think you're a piece of trash and wish I could throw you away.

tired of picking up garbage so my child doesn't play with it

Dear bossy kids at the playground,

If your parents couldn't hear me I would say something really mean to you. Instead I'm just going to give you the meanest look I can muster and ignore you telling my child he can't play on the slide.

not looking forward to summer days at the playground with annoying kids

Friday, June 17, 2011

It was going so well...

until I made the final cut.

It's taken a while for Blake to grow the hair he has now. And after 14 months of growing it, he has a few wildly long strands that hang over his ears and a weird rat tail/mullet thing going on in the back. Because he really doesn't have enough hair to warrant a hair cut from someone who would charge me money for a few snips, I took matters into my own hands.

I figured there was no better time to cut his hair than when he was standing by our window, distracted by passing cars. The sunlight illuminated the long hairs that needed to be trimmed. I took my scissors and tried to trim them without impaling my son. He of course whipped his head around anytime I got close to his head making the experience quite terrifying (for me). I made the first few cuts and it actually looked good. I don't know anything about cutting hair, so I was impressed with myself when the right side of his head looked normal, just a tad bit shorter.

 Not too shabby!

Then I tried the left side. Blake wasn't having any of that, so I went to the back of his head. I figured that part would be easiest because it's a little tuft of hair that I could lop off without worrying that it would look bad.

With a new found confidence in hair cutting, I attempted the left side again. I took advantage of Blake being still while the recycling truck passed and made a clean cut. A little too clean.


I knew as soon as I had cut it that I had done it all wrong...and way too short. I hope it doesn't take another 14 months for his hair to look normal. As long as I hold him with his left side facing me, no one should be able to tell, right?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

new words

In addition to these words, Blake has picked up a few more:

up-This word is probably the clearest he can say besides Mama and Dada.

go- usually said as he looks out the window or while throwing a fit because he wants to go outside

dog-sounds like "dah...g" when he says it

Nana- in reference to his great-grandmother or a banana. natch.

no- The dreaded "no". I try to counter it with lots of yeses. <------ that looks weird...

juice- Well, we're still working on this one. So far Blake makes the "j" sound for juice. Eh, close enough.

cold- Whenever Blake touches something cold he says, "cole" with a cute o-shaped mouth.

hot- Sometimes Blake says "cole" when he touches something that is hot. He also blows on almost everything he eats whether it's hot or cold. And just today he held a piece of food up to my mouth for me blow on to cool it off. I mistakenly tried to eat it.

It really is incredible how quickly he's learning how to say new words and how much he understands. Today I told him he was going downstairs to play with our neighbor's son. He immediately ran to the door and started crying when we didn't leave right away. I didn't know he actually understood what I meant! He also walks straight to the kitchen when I tell him it's time for a snack. And he's even potty trained now! Ok not really. But man that would be awesome.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Time Out

Meltdown mode will commence in 3...2...1...

I think Blake wanted to watch videos of himself on the computer and I didn't want to. I probably could have just sat at the computer for another 15 minutes, but we had already watched videos earlier that morning and I wanted to take him to the park before it got too hot.

Apparently he didn't like that idea. So a full-on tantrum was in order. I tried to ignore it. I tried to say things like, "I know you want to watch videos of yourself, but let's go to the park! Can you find your shoes?" I tried getting ready to go outside, but the tantrum continued. I thought it would help if I just got him dressed and in his stroller. Usually once we are outside he gets distracted and he's back to his happy self.

But then I could smell the trash. Ugh, the trash needed to be taken out. Couldn't I just do it when we got back from the park? I suppose. But then as soon as we walked into the apartment we'd be knocked over by the smell of whatever was rotting in our trash. And I knew we were going to be hot and sweaty when we came back. The thought of sweating and smelling rotting trash wasn't so appealing. So I proceed to get the trash ready to take outside.

Enter Angry Blake.
Angry Blake, the early years
(This is the only crying picture I have of Blake. No one takes pictures of their kid's tantrums!)

Taking out the trash is a relatively easy, although loathsome, task. But it's anything but easy and 10 times more loathsome when Angry Blake is around. He was already upset because I wouldn't let him do what he wanted to do. So he decided to do everything I didn't want him to do. Like play with the dustpan. Or the trashcan lid. I could feel my sanity slipping away. I needed a time out. He needed a time out. THE WHOLE WORLD NEEDED A TIME OUT!

Blake is only 14 months old, so I don't generally handle his tantrums with time-outs. I try to distract him with something else, explain why he can't do something or why I need him to do something (like wear a diaper), and give him lots of love after he's calmed down. But this tantrum was getting out of control and I didn't feel like I could deal with it in an appropriate way.

So I put Blake in his crib with his blanket and pacifier and turned off the lights. There was no crying. He laid down and in a few minutes I could hear him laughing. At that point I was ready to get him and take him to the park. And we had a blast! (Although seriously how hard is it to throw your trash away, people! There are trashcans all over the playground for you to use!)

Regular Blake

I don't know why, but I've never been a fan of time-outs. Maybe it's because when I've seen them used they don't seem to work. I'm not opposed to using something if it works. But I don't think I'll be using time outs on a regular basis because I feel like Blake is still too young to understand why he's getting a time out. For now I'll reserve them for the times when we both need a few minutes to calm down.

Just curious, do you use time outs and how early did you start? Do you feel like they are effective?

Monday, June 13, 2011

1 year

1 year ago today, Blake looked like this:

Evan looked like this:

And I looked like this:

1 year ago today, Blake and I started our adventure in Brooklyn. I was naive. I knew life would be different, but the New York I was picturing was not the New York I would come to know. A few days ago I was standing in my kitchen washing dishes and I thought to myself, "I've finally decided that I hate it here."

Over the past year I've tried really hard to love Brooklyn and NYC as a whole. And while I haven't seen all of NYC, I can definitely say I do not love this place. And some days I really do hate it. And other days I don't hate it as much. And still other days I don't mind it and think it's not so bad. So how do I feel about New York? Well, I've decided it's an awesome place to visit, but not such an awesome place to live. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my life. As difficult as it is to admit, I do believe that one's circumstances don't determine the level of one's happiness. (Sometimes I have to repeat that to myself several times a day...)

Some days I feel like I'm still "new" here. I don't feel like I have mastered city life. But I don't know if I'll ever feel that way (and I don't really want to be here long enough to.) And even though if I could choose to live anywhere it wouldn't be here, I do feel that Brooklyn has taught me a few things:

1) I can do hard things (such as lugging a 25+ lb baby in a 9lb stroller up and down subway stairs...or running to catch the train with that same baby in the same stroller.)

2) Target is not the same everywhere.

3) I should probably learn Spanish...or Chinese...or Russian...

4) It's ok to display good manners when they seem to be in short supply.

5) I'm glad I don't have a Brooklyn accent but chuckle when I hear people speak who do. (And then laugh at myself when I try to imitate them.)

6) The church is the same anywhere you go (well, kind of.)

7) The pizza here is pretty good. ;)

Who knew a year ago that Blake would look like this:

Evan would look like this:

And I would look like this:

Oops! I mean this:

Ahh, much better.

Here's to another year in Brooklyn!

Friday, June 10, 2011


That's how many marathons a person would have to run in order to burn 30 pounds of fat.

Or at least that's what someone told me yesterday. I'm not really sure why she told me that. Maybe she thinks I have about 30 pounds of fat to burn. And she's probably not that far off. I think she was trying to prove how it's more effective to alter one's diet than to start a rigorous work out plan. But then she started talking about how important working out is. I was confused. And she probably weighed about 2.3 pounds so I stopped acting like I was interested in her conversation and tended to my little one.

But with a number like that, 40 marathons, it doesn't make me want to start training for one. It makes me want to go eat a cookie or something. 40 marathons?! I'll count my life accomplished if I ever have the desire to start thinking about running 1 marathon.

This lady was a health coach. I'm not sure what that means.

Apparently it means I need to run 40 marathons.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

not that kind of blog

You know those blogs, the ones with the cute moms who are really stylish and crafty and make their own bread and stuff?

Ya this isn't one of those blogs. I'm not stylish. In fact, I hate shopping. I get tired easily and these days things just don't fit me like I want them to. I think I could be really stylish, but I'm not willing to put the energy into it. That's sad. Anyway, I can be crafty when needed. I've made bread before. It turned out ok.

But this isn't one of those blogs. Maybe one day I'll find something I'm awesome at doing and can write about it on my blog. Then I'll have thousands of people following my blog, asking me to teach them to be as awesome as I am.

Until then, I'll just leave you with photo evidence of why this isn't one of those blogs.

Friday, June 3, 2011

whiter than white

 Look at those legs. Mine, not Blake's.

Can you tell they haven't seen the sun in...a while?
White? No, not white.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

bye bye baby

14 months old and almost no sign of a baby left. 
(I wish I could say that about my hips...haha!)