Archive for August, 2007

Dear Samina,

August 29, 2007

Samina and Charlie

You are one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. Charlie was truly lucky to have had you in his life this year. I have seen firsthand your patience with crying babies, your generous spirit, your frequent smile, and your ability to multi-task (no one can feed a toddler spooned solids while holding a five-month-old to keep her calm and talking to the walker hanging on to your knee like you). I know Charlie will miss your kisses, your hugs and your willingness to look at every animal in the playroom, again, and sing ‘Old MacDonald’ for the tenth time.

Thank you for all you have done for Charlie. For the way you cared enough to call our home and check on him when he had pneumonia, for the way you greet him excitedly every morning, for the lovely book you gave him yesterday. I know what you said is the absolute truth: “What is inside is only a little something but it holds so much love.” I could feel your love when you gave the book to Charlie, and I will help him remember it as he grows older.

Thank you for all you have done for me, too. I so enjoyed our lunchtime conversations about Bay Ridge, about moving to Brooklyn, commuting, and how hard it is to live far away from your family, whether they be in Georgia like mine or in Pakistan like yours.

I am so glad that Charlie’s new playroom is right next to his old one. He will get to see familiar faces, including yours, every day, especially in the evenings when I know you bring the little ones and older ones together around the table for stories. You are a wonderful teacher, and you are appreciated.

We love you, Samina.

Stacy, Jesse and Charlie

P.S. We know you give great hugs. My camera has a delay that is constantly making me miss Charlie’s smiles.

P.P.S. We love Treshia bunches, too. But it was your gift yesterday that made me think you deserved a special acknowledgment today.


Attack of the bees

August 25, 2007

Yesterday, on Jesse’s last summer Friday (read: he gets out of work at 1 pm), he picked up CW from daycare. They came to my office for a short visit, we ate some pizza and then they headed to Washington Market Park at the end of Duane Street.

Charlie and I have visited this park many times, as it’s only a few blocks from daycare and it has a really cool playground. There is a play spot for younger kids, one for older kids, a big pirate ship-shaped sand area and a water area with water wheels and sprinklers. I had not been back at my desk for very long when Jesse called to tell me that bees had attacked our baby.

Charlie was playing at the water wheel when he began to cry. Jesse moved closer and found a swarm of bees hovering around Charlie. “I thought the bees were going to attack him,” Jesse said. “So I scooped him up and ran away. But one followed us.” A crazed bee pursued them across the playground. Even extensive defensive maneuvers couldn’t keep the bee away. It got INSIDE Charlie’s mouth. He cried, which was when Jesse saw it hovering above CW’s tongue. Charlie closed his mouth, keeping the bee inside, but then cried again and the bee flew out. It still wouldn’t leave, so Jesse swatted it like a baseball and sent it reeling to the ground.

Charlie saw a bird and soon calmed down, so Jesse assumed he hadn’t been stung. We thought all was well.

Then, later that night, while giving CW a bath, I saw a spot on his side. It didn’t look much different from a mosquito bite. But when I put him to bed a little while later, I saw that it was swollen, slightly red and when I touched it he flinched in his sleep. He’d been stung. A quick call to the doctor gave us the correct Benadryl dosage, but I felt so bad for our little adventurer.

I know scrapes, bruises, cuts–and bee stings–are just part of the growing up game. I just sometimes wish Charlie could play without them.

Ride ’em, Cowboy!

August 25, 2007

ride'em cowboy

Disclaimer for Nanny: Don’t worry, his hair is wet because of bath time, not sweat.

Bike ride #2

August 25, 2007

Charlie and I hung around the neighborhood on Thursday, as it was a bit too cold and cloudy to go swimming. (I know all you southerners in hundred-degree heat for two weeks are shaking your fists, but all I can say is…there are at least a few things that are nice about living in NYC.) We did the playground, the library, and while he napped I set up our adventure: bike ride #2—alone with a toddler.

I had to install a part on my bicycle to fit the baby seat, then carry the bike, the seat, and the helmets down two flights of stairs. Once I was in the lobby, I attached the seat and waited for Charlie to wake up. My thought was that we’d bike through the park a bit and then over to 9th Street in Park Slope to check out the Y. (I’m thinking of joining because they have lots of adult and kid classes, and they have free two-hour baby-sitting so I might actually be able to work out again. Though I may not need a workout once I figure out this bike thing. Read on…)

Once we got into the park I swiftly realized just how out of shape I have become over the last sixteen months. We traveled a small piece of road that leads from our corner of Prospect Park to 11th Street in Park Slope, the home of Harmony Playground. The walk usually takes about 30-40 minutes because it is all uphill.

Yes. All. Up. Hill.

By the time we got halfway to the playground, my legs were like jelly and I was panting and heaving and hoeing. I was happy to let Charlie chase the ladies selling balloons so I could catch my breath. Needless to say, we didn’t go to 9th Street. Instead we went back home the way we’d come, which was blessedly all down hill.

Searching and searching

August 25, 2007

One thing I love about this blog is looking at the statistics. There are graphs and numbers and links and all kinds of cool things that let me judge the (meager) traffic I’m getting. My favorite aspect of these stats are the search terms people used to view the site.

The actual search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.) is not listed, but here are the latest search terms that have made people click on this blog:

attachment parenting pictures
Nightmare Before Christmas
i can do things on my own
blank discharge papers from the hospital
wealthy people in manhattan
funny photo’s
Creative curriculum vs montessori
mechanical horses for playgrounds
infant insect bite vs. chicken pox
bronchiolitis baby summer time
pulling up
ball reflection
crazy baby
mountain bike Austin
o rly?
mosquito bite or chicken pox
Windsor Terrace Brooklyn
chicken pox mosquito bites
electra townie
big aliens head
out of disk space
letter to parents from new head teacher

My favorite is crazy baby. Wonder how that came up?

What a big boy!

August 21, 2007

Charlie's new classroom

Today was Charlie’s first official day of transition at daycare. He spent the morning in his new classroom where they have a sand table, puzzles, a climbing house and many cool nooks and crannies. He had a good time pulling out new bins of toys and spreading them all around.

I met with his new teachers on Friday and was very satisfied with their plans for the upcoming year. They answered all my questions and were happy to include me in the curriculum. I’ll be visiting in the afternoons, as planned, and stopping by at other times if I get the hankering.

Today, I came for snack. (Charlie had a nice combo of yogurt and fresh CSA fruit. The teachers always say he has the best meals of all the kids—-and all the teachers. What can I say? Baby likes to eat; Mama likes to cook.) Before we pulled out the high chair and bib, Charlie and I played ball and read books. Maryn, one of his friends, was very hungry and not ready to wait. She stood at the door of the playroom and cried (loudly and with a red face). Charlie looked up from his book, concern etched on his features. I explained what I thought she might be feeling, as I always do when other children are crying. “Maryn is hungry, and she’s sad because her food isn’t here yet.”

He seemed to know just what I was saying. He stood up and walked to Maryn. When he reached her, he softly touched her shoulder. Then he turned to me, as if asking if things were really okay. I nodded, and said, “You can give Maryn a hug, if you want. That might make her feel better.”

He put both his arms on her shoulders in a sort-of hug. It was very sweet, and I was so proud that he obviously cared so much about his friend’s feelings.

Maryn, just for the record, was not eager to accept his hug in lieu of food. That girl likes to eat as much as Charlie does. In this case it really was the thought that counted, at least to Mama.

Bike ride #1

August 20, 2007

Charlie and Daddy on the bike

Biking is a lot harder nowadays than it was when I bought my Specialized mountain bike right before college, what, fourteen years ago? You’ve got to have helmets, special locks, and, with Charlie, a baby seat and a baby helmet. Not to mention a bike, which took me many months to find. The summer is almost over, but we finally have our biking act together.

I bought a super cool Electra Townie 7-speed that I had to special order. I didn’t plan to spend so much money on a bicycle, but all the used bikes that fit our needs were either unsafe for a one-year-old or nearly as much money as a brand new bike. So I plunked down a big chunk of change, and the way I figure it, if I take it out for at least sixteen trips before it gets stolen then it will have been worth the cost. (Based on the rental rates in Austin, TX, where I first road a Townie, appropriately, around Town Lake.)

Today was bike ride #1. We had to adjust the baby seat, the adult seats, the baby safety straps, the baby helmet, the adult helmets…after about a half hour we were ready to get on the road. We made it to the park in record time, and I forced Jesse and Charlie to pose for a picture. (You can see how happy they are about it.) We were on our way to a big yard sale on Avenue C when it started to rain. So, we headed back home as fast as we could pedal and I didn’t get a photo of me on my vivid blue bike. Maybe next bike trip we’ll get a photo and reach our destination.

Shake it, shake it!

August 20, 2007

Shake it, Daddy!

Shake it, Daddy

Shake it, Charlie!

Shake it, Charlie

Cleaning up lunch

August 20, 2007

Charlie: “Unh. Unh” (Sitting in the high chair, reaching for the spray bottle that contains soap and baking soda.)

Mama: “You want to see the soap?”

Charlie: (Nod. Nod. Nod.)

Mama: (Remembering the last two times I handed the spray bottle to Charlie and turned around to find the nozzle in his mouth.) “Okay, but don’t eat it.”

Charlie: (Naughty, twinkly-eyed laughter)

Mama: (Barely containing her smile) “Don’t eat it.”

Charlie: (Reaching, still laughing, but more maniacally now)

Mama: “You can play with it, if you don’t eat it.”

Charlie: (Laughing, and practically winking at me)

I hand him the soap, knowing he’s going to try to eat it. Sure enough, the little stinker grasps it with his chubby fingers…and moves the soap nozzle directly toward his open mouth.

Maybe I should have said, “Charlie, you’ve got to eat this soap!”


August 16, 2007

Charlie has been shaking his head “No” for a few weeks now, but we were never sure if he meant yes or no. No was a quick shake and yes was a vigorous shake—-sometimes. So we’ve been practicing a nod for “Yes.”

Charlie’s nods are absolutely adorable. He has to think about it for a second, but then he nods “Yes” very slowly and with his whole upper body.

You know it’s coming when his face lights up. Just this afternoon, he held out his milk cup and said “Mmm.”

“More milk?” I asked.

He lit up with a big smile and then hesitated…nod, nod, nod. I just wanted to gobble him up!

Right after his nap, when he was ready for lunch but not yet ornery, I managed to get him on the web cam.