Friday, January 30, 2009

*Reprint* -Brooklyn Adventure

This story is from 2007 that I just blogged about on Myspace at the time. I just re-read it and laughed again at the memories so I thought I would share it here. (It's pretty long)

It was a Wednesday night, (the only night I ever get home before 8:30) and it was raining. Earlier in the week I had found a barely used bassinet (for my sister's baby *edited to ad that we also used this for Colin until it started to fall apart*) on craigslist and had arranged to see it on Wednesday night at 7:00ish. My instructions were to call 1 hr before I came. I'm on the subway going home I call 'Mr.E' (I don't know his name) it is probably 6:15, and I get the ring that signals he is on the other line. I prepare to leave a message. Instead he picks up and I hear "hello" and then the line goes dead. I called back and got his voicemail instantly so I knew his phone must have died. No problem I have a home number too, so I call it and I get the non English speaking grandmother who passes me off to '7yr old boy'. I attempt to explain the situation to 7y/o boy but he doesn't understand what craigslist is but agrees to have his dad call me as soon as he gets home saying it should be between 7 and 8. 7y/o boy takes my name and number and we hang up.
Next I call Sean who is expecting a road trip tonight and he agrees to pick me up from the subway (remember its raining). He picks me up wearing gym clothes and therefore does not have his wallet (this is important later). So we take the BQE to Brooklyn, but apparently when its raining the BQE is RIDICULOUSLY slow with traffic. It's now 7:40ish (would have taken 30 mins tops in good weather) so I try the cell phone again, Mr. E is in his car (therefore charging his phone) on his way home but is in the same traffic we are in and tells me to call back in an hour. No problem we'll just find a restaurant near the streets he lives on and get dinner while we wait. Following google's directions we make our way to the cross streets listed (not as easy as it sounds, I think we had to turn around twice due to heavy traffic making it impossible to changes lanes with any urgency and poorly marked road signs). I've got the handy dandy NYC map in my lap and steer us toward the subway line, assuming that where there are commuters there will be restaurants. No dice. We drive aimlessly for about 40 mins trying to find anything that looks like a restaurant in the general area, remember its raining which makes looking out any window but the front impossible. Unbeknownst to us we are either in a Hasidic or Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, not that this is a problem but I find out later that they don't eat out much.
We eventually find "Burger Bar" and figure that's the best we can do. After searching for a parking spot we go in and attempt to figure out 'the system' of ordering and paying and getting food. Most places it's fairly obvious but not here, the flow of traffic is the exact opposite of what you would expect and then you have to weave in and out of other people to find the guy who has been assigned to making your food. We order and mind you there are only about 3 families in the place (I'm the only woman wearing pants and it is noticed by everyone, I'm fine with that) but the 15 boys behind the counter move at a snails pace and are highly inefficient (if you have to walk to the other side of the place to get X why not bring Y too instead of making 2 trips). It is now 8: 30ish so we eat quickly (by the way the French fries, which were more like potato chips, were outstanding) and I call back Mr.E at home, I get 7y/o boy who is very excited and yells to his father "Dad its Becky!". Mr.E seems surprised to hear from me again and says "You're still coming!" I explain where we are and he gives me the cross streets I already have for directions tells me the entrance is on Ave XYZ and the apartment number is F7. Ok, now we have a small problem. I had $55 in my wallet, the bassinet is listed at $35 and dinner came to $21.10. I am now $2 short of being able to pay for the bassinet and Sean remember didn't have his wallet. So we set out to find an ATM on our way to the apartment. Two convenience stores later we I get cash and break a $20 so I'll have the correct change. Ok so we get to the cross streets and there are 4 corners of these street but I don't know which corner his building is on. I narrow it down to two buildings (they are big enough to house more than 4 apartments) and I walk into the entry way of the first. There is a listing of people and numbers to press on a number pad, none of which is apartment numbers so I figure this can't be it or he would have mentioned this number pad issue. I go across the street and this building has apartment number buttons but it only goes up to 6F no 7. So I call again, 7y/o boy answers and again "DAD IT'S BECKY". Mr.E seems confused that I haven't found his apartment yet and tells me "oh well its on the Manhattan side of the street" Now I'm annoyed because Manhattan is not visible from here and I have ZERO familiarity with Brooklyn, just give me the address!! So I say "well I'm standing in front of 4321 Ave XYZ is that your building?"
Mr E: "No I'm across the street"
"How do I buzz your apartment?" Because I've already been in there and there are no apartment numbers. Now it dawns on him that he left out information. Clearly he doesn't have people over very often. He gives me the code and I go in. Sean has now joined me after parking the car and it has thankfully stopped raining. We go into the elevator.. There are 6 floors (remember the apartment was F7 however I had made it 7F in my head), we get out of the elevator and Sean surveys the first floor realizing they are all A#. OK A=1 B=2 C=3 …F=6. Back into the elevator we go and press 6. Mr. E is waiting for us in the hallway and lets us into the entry/hall way. Mom is hiding in a back room, we can see her behind a curtain of sorts and 7y/o boy is now where to be seen. The bassinet looks great and doesn't have any strange odors I give him the money saying "$35 right?" to which he replies "I guess so" (strange response). He offers to take it apart for us and once the cradle is detached from the base I let him know it should fit like that and off we go down the elevator and out to the car. Well I'm sure you can figure out that it didn't fit like that. I go for the swiss army knife that's in the emergency kit to take apart the base and realize I need an allen key! After about 10 mins of struggling and we call again. 7y/o boy is giggling when he tells me his father left to take home non English speaking grandma but should be back in 15 min. ARG!
Two young men appear out of their house so I walk over and casually ask "Do you happen to have an allen Key? They respond like typical city boys "What is an Allen Key?" I explain and Guy#1 who is holding a large cardboard box says I think I have something like that… just let me take care of the squirrel in this box and I'll go check. I say "Oh never mind your problem is bigger than mine" Guy #1: "Nah, happens all the time." (where am I right now?!?)
Mr. E reappears and says he'll go up and get the key and be back down. So Sean starts reading the handy dandy map of NYC to figure out how to get home. Its now 10:00pm. Mr. E comes back and he and I get to work on the bolts that are unnecessarily about 6 inches long and we are unscrewing them with an allen key! Since we are crouched down by the rear passengers tire, Sean does not see Mr. E come back and starts complaining loudly that he can't find Ave XYZ on the map. I try to signal him with my eyes that Mr.E is here but he is totally oblivious. I eventually ask him to come hold the top and he say "What are you taking it apart with… OH HI!" In the 10 mins we are taking out the screws Sean tries to make conversation. It goes something like this
Sean: "Have you lived in Brooklyn long"
Mr. E. (curtly) "Yes, Why?"
Sean: "Just curious"
Mr.E. "Do you live here?"
Sean: "No we just bought a place in Queens"
No response.
Sean: "Seems like a nice area here"
Mr. E gives a questioning look.
Sean: "Well it's a nice street at least"
Mr. E: "Yeah I guess."
Ok so we finally get the screws out and pack it all up. Mr. E kindly gives us the allen key (although I really had one at home but I wasn't going to try to say no at this point) and we drive home. We arrive home sometime around 10:45. The end.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And now this... Mercury in our Food!

The blog-o-sphere has erupted with this news! High fructose corn syrup, a sweetener found in just about every processed food around, has been shown to contain MERCURY. You know mercury, the known brain toxin and has been implicated in the autism spectrum of disorders, birth defects, mental retardation, oh the list goes on and on. Recent tests showed that 9 out of 20 products containing HFCS were contaminated with trace amounts of mercury. Whats worse the FDA knew about this but DID NOTHING to warn consumers. Not only that but those stupid commercials lately are saying that HFCS is just as safe as sugar!

Some links for more info (or another bloggers spin):

http://www.healthobservatory.org/library.cfm?refid=105026 (thanks Aunt Eileen)

http://tryingtobegreener.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/study-finds-mercury-in-corn-syrup-made-in-the-us/

http://safemama.com/2009/01/28/mercury-in-high-fructose-corn-syrup/

http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/01/26/mercury-found-in-high-fructose-corn-syrup/

So the good news, not all manufacturers use the 'mercury-grade' component when making HFCS, so just because a product has HFCS doesn't mean it has mercury. If you have a favorite product or beverage of concern call the company and ask. Better yet, ditch the HFCS wherever possible (this is harder than you think, it took me 30 mins the other day to find bread that was both 100% whole wheat and had no HFCS.) Sean and I started to go HFCS-free in 2006 after I read SuperFoods Rx, (I've also read that it contributes to premature aging, that had me kicking the habit right-quick) but I do 'treat myself' occasionally.

Knowing that I very likely exposed Colin to mercury in the womb is upsetting... This just re-affirms my need to 'go green' for him. I just got back from one of the five stores I grocery shop at now in my quest to find organic produce for his baby food. All I found today was apples and sweet potatoes. I was hoping for yellow squash and zucchini since I had seen them there last time but he wasn't yet 'old enough' for them. I miss Wegmans.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Perspective

Last night Sean and I watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy that we had saved on the DVR. In part of the story line a little boy is sick and nearly dies. He pulls through at the end but it made me think of the all the families that are dealing with sick children in 'real life'. I've been thinking about the March of Dimes a lot so I was primed for this I suppose. It made me so so so thankful that Colin is healthy. Sean and I were ready for a bad night last night because Colin was clearly in pain from his teeth. I had read somewhere that the same thing that causes Colin to wake up frequently also decreases his risk for SIDS. So as I was falling asleep I took a second to appreciate and be grateful for Colin's health and the fact that wakes up frequently. Well, guess who slept 3+hrs not once, but twice?! Things that make you go hmmm....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Something to read...

If you continue to have any doubt about the toxic effects of BPA, you should read this article. The Real Story on BPA. It is pretty long but even if you just skim it you'll get the idea. As a 'scientist' I agree that, in theory, it should not matter who funds the study. However, I am no longer naive enough to think that this is the case 100% of the time.

This quote scares me "The government is unlikely to start controlling the use of BPA. The United States has a long tradition of keeping harmful substances -- lead, DDT, tobacco, PCBs -- on the market for decades after scientists find adverse effects." I really hope the Obama administration proves this wrong.

Be an advocate for your own families health and refuse to purchase products containing BPA.

Friday, January 23, 2009

March for Babies!

Colin and I have decided to walk with Erin, Sam and Ben in the March of Dimes, March for babies! Sam and Ben were born prematurely at 32 weeks, and the March of Dimes was extremely supportive to Erin and her family as they came to grips with the reality of premature twins. The mission of the March of dimes is to improve the health of babies through research, education and advocacy. Colin and I were lucky, he was born full term and healthy, however we were not untouched by the March of Dimes. Their efforts were partially responsible for Colin (and all babies in NY) being tested for a whole host of genetic disorders at birth (all of which came back negative.)

I have a fund raising goal of $500, and with your help I hope to easily surpass this goal. Babies need our help! Won't you be so kind as to sponsor me, and help me help babies?

Here is the link for Erin's March of Dimes page if you are interested.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sleep Log #2

Here is last nights sleep log:
I think I confused some people with this last time so to clarify. These times represent times I had to go in and attend to Colin. If he resettled himself without crying I didn't note that.

The first column shows what time he went to sleep, the second what time he woke up, 3rd how long he slept for and 4th how long he was awake for before going back to sleep. (So column 3 is the amount of time between the first two columns and column 4 is how much time is between Time Up and the next rows Time down)
The highlights:
Total number of night wakings: 4 (improved from 9)
Longest stretch of sleep: 2:19 (improved from 2:15 but if you remember that was in our bed not his, this time he was in his crib all night)
Total amount of sleep 8:46 (down from 10:36)
Total time awake: 0:45 (down from 2:00)

So this is much improved. The longest time awake was 23 minutes and honestly it should have been MUCH worse, I've figured him out a little. I changed his diaper at that time and he was very awake. When I finally got him into the crib and he was asleep I stood next to him. I've noticed a patter that at this time of night he wakes up after 10 minutes and won't go back to sleep. So I stood there, and at ten minutes on the DOT, he started to stir and I quickly put my hands on him to keep him from wiggling and whispered that it was "sleepy time" he only struggled for a second and was back to sleep! He didn't wake up again until he got up for the day. I was so proud of myself (or so awake from standing around) I couldn't fall back to sleep for an hour! Oh well. I considered calling out to Sean to come stand with him, but I was afraid that in my calling him, Colin would wake up. Besides, the last couple of times I tired to get Sean's attention through the baby monitor I ended up having to go kick (I didn't have any hands because I was cradling the baby) or shove him awake so I figured I just had to ride it out myself.

More good news: he is doing very well with being put down semi-awake. In fact I think he is starting to request being put down by wiggling and squirming as if he is uncomfortable in my arms. He still needs a lot of reassurance while he is laying down, which means I'm practically in the crib with him (luckily we bought a low crib and it only comes to about my waist so it is easy to lean into), but this is a serious improvement! We/ I had been putting him down after he was totally asleep (my bad!) I'll report again in 9 or 11 days, since 10 days from now we will be on long island for a very special birthday party and likely have a very messed up sleep schedule.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It is time to baby proof!

Colin is approaching the time when he is actually mobile, so I have to start thinking about baby proofing! Additionally if his buddies Ben and Sam come to visit I have to move quickly because they are very mobile. Mostly I'm in pretty good shape, I'm getting some door latches and things but my biggest issue is the desk that is in our living room. It isn't really a desk it is just a table so all the computer and printer cords just hang down off the back. That isn't very safe, little hands can pull things onto their heads! How does one deal with this issue? I'm thinking of wrapping the cords around the table legs, but I'm not sure if that will really work. How do other people deal with this issue?
More cord issues and the paper shredder which will probably have to be moved unless I want confetti everywhere!
My other biggie! The litter box! It is in the living room because I have no other options. The bathroom is way too small and the closets are all FULL to the brim. I had thought I would put a gate around it but it doesn't seem to be as simple as I hoped and I have to make it so the cats can still get to it... If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears. To start I'll probably try to turn the entrance toward the wall and hope he doesn't notice... (You can see I also have to move the power strip!)



The bookcase doors will be getting some flexible latches from One Step Ahead. I'll let you know how they work.

Today is a special day

"Barack is in the House"
We are very excited and hopeful for the changes this administration will bring.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Can't catch a break.

Colin's second top tooth is now starting to pop through. Sheesh, as if I don't have enough problems with sleep we have to add all these teething issues on top of everything. Regardless, I do feel like we are improving on sleep, albeit in baby steps (how appropriate.) The next "log day" is the 21st so I'll clue you in on the 22nd about how far we have come.


I'll post pictures of the teeth when they are more visible. For now it would be silly to try to get a picture, and it would just frustrate both of us.

By the way...where is everyone? I feel like I used to get more comments and now I feel like I have no friends! Where have all my readers gone? Is Colin less interesting than my pregnancy? Or am I discussing less interesting issues? (If that's the case stay tuned... I have some fun stuff in the works.) Anyway.. I miss you guys. I love my comments, even (or maybe especially) the ones from strangers!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Colin is 6 months old.


My little baby is 6 months old! They don't lie when 'they say' that time flies!

Weight: 19lbs 13 oz (80th ile%)
Height: 28.75" (96th %ile)

Head Circ: 44.5cm (63rd %ile)

Likes:

  • Eating
  • Daddy coming home from work
  • Baby Signing Time
  • Sadie and Griffin (although I'm not sure the feeling is mutual)
  • Putting things in his mouth
  • Biting down on anything within reach
  • Giving hugs and kisses
  • Jumping/bouncing
  • Having air blown into his mouth (started as a trick to get him to let me use the snot sucker, he LOVES it)

Dislikes:

  • Tummy time
  • Teething
  • Sleeping
  • The snot sucker (nasal aspirator)

Sleep:
HA! 2hrs at a time if we are lucky.

New things:

  • He just rolled over for the first time this week (he is a little behind on this, mostly because he hates being on his belly) He can get from back to side or belly to side but he doesn't seem to know what to do with his bottom arm.
  • When he wants something he starts breathing in and out really fast in a very excited manner.
  • A new trick he started when he bites down on something (a spoon, pacifier or toy) he will create tension in his neck so his whole head shakes. Its funny but it makes feeding him a little slower.
  • About halfway through the month he started blowing raspberries all the time.


    A few more pictures just for fun..

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Updates

I don't think I'll post about every night but I do want to say that last night was a bit better. I'm not logging every night but he did sleep for more than an hour three times, one time as long as two hours and 25 min. He was never awake more than ten minutes AND he slept the whole night in his crib and woke up at 7:20 for the day. We have already had one nap that lasted an hour and a half so I'm very encouraged that things are improving.

I also want to mention (since I've forgotten to) that Colin has his top right tooth now. He was suffering with it so long we started to think it wasn't his tooth because nothing came through, once we saw it he was all better. I really hope I have a few weeks to get some sleep in him before the second one decides to make an appearance. Oh and talk about biting the hand that feeds you! YIKES. If anyone has any suggestions on that one I'm listening. I've tried bringing him closer and pinching his nose closed (with the idea that he will let go to take a breath) but he has learned this trick and instead of opening his mouth he leaves it closed and just pulls back. As you can imagine it is quite unpleasant. I'm starting to feel abused since he also pulls my hair and scratches me (no matter how often I cut his nails).

Monday, January 12, 2009

A night in the life

Here is my sleep log from last night:


The highlights:
Total number of night wakings: 9
Longest strech of sleep: 2:15
Total amount of sleep 10:36
Total time awake: 2:00


I think I feel asleep sometime after 11:30.


*this stretch of time he was in our bed. After him being awake for so long we couldn't do it anymore and knew he would fall asleep in our bed (we lasted 45 mins in his room and then brought him in with us and it took another 30 for him to fall asleep.) I know it isn't ideal to send mixed messgaes like this but after a week of sleeping like this can you really blame me?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I have a plan.

"The no-cry sleep solution" has arrived and I've read some/skimmed most of it, but I have a plan. It seems so simple now. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I'm going to do a "log" tomorrow to get baseline data (although its not a real baseline since I'm already implementing "the plan" but too bad, I'm not looking to publish the results). In ten days I will do another log and see if we have gotten anywhere. In a sample of 60+ moms 42% had babies sleeping 5+ hours after 10 days, so here we go...

The author says it takes one of two things to help your baby sleep: crying or time. I choose time.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Victims of the Failing Ecomony

As if I don't have enough stress in my life, yesterday I walked out to the car to run some errands and what to my wondering eyes should appear?? BROKEN GLASS! From my drivers side window and of course a large hole in the dash where the radio used to be! I think they were probably looking for the GPS because they took the mount and the car adapter but we don't keep the GPS in the car. They also stole two 'books' of CD's (as if they are worth anything anymore!) the car adapter for my breast pump and my eye glasses (most annoying)! What they didn't take: THE CAR (our spare keys were mysteriously in the drivers side door catch all thingy-oops!), the remote for the radio or the instruction manual all right there, the $10 in quarters that were in the "ash tray", or the trunk full of Christmas presents we have yet to bring in the house (okay it's only a few things but still!). So all in all, while it was annoying to replace the drivers side window we don't have to replace the CAR so I'm trying not to be so annoyed.
There has been a string of GPS thefts or attempts that I have heard about lately, so if you have one, don't leave evidence of it (including the ring on the windshield where the mount attaches, I'm guessing that was what gave us away since our mount was on the floor and likely not visible.)
In the event you find yourself needed a new window, we used Competition Glass I called them this morning around 9:00am and by 11:30 they had come to me (at my friends house where we put the car overnight) installed the new window, vacuumed up the broken glass and by 1:45 I was back home with a new window in place. They were very competitively priced since they were $40 less than the other quotes I had gotten.
Just my luck, so far 2009 is NOT my favorite year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sleep Strike...

Colin isn't sleeping, I'm not sleeping..Sean is barely sleeping (the man can sleep though a lot.) Things aren't getting done, blogs aren't getting posted, christmas decorations aren't getting put away and most importantly I'm not writing! It's bad, I don't know what to do. All the old tricks aren't working, I'm down to two things that occasionally get him to sleep the car and nursing(although neither is 100% effective now and obviously not ideal methods). I've ordered a book that I'm hoping will help, and I have another one I can order if the first one doesn't work. Don't bother telling me to let him "cry-it-out" I just can't do it, I won't do it, not yet anyway. He hasn't put more than 3 hours together in over a month, and the average is closer to 90 minutes. Things are bad. To make matters worse I'm also now an insomniac, more on that later in Things no one told me-Part 4!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Seriously cute video

Please excuse my odd laugh...but this is seriously cute.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Laundry Dropps Review and Coupon Code

I had this really great "Year in Review" post in my head that is taking way to long to get out of my head and onto the blog so I'm skipping ahead. I procrastinated posting this review once before and the old coupon expired. Since I just got a new one I'm posting it to give you ample opportunity to use it if you are interested.

Thanks to a gift bag from a function at Sean's fathers hotel I was introduced to laundry dropps. I tried them out and fell in love! They are these great little packets of single serve detergent (about the size of the ones for the dishwasher) that you just toss in the washer. The detergent is super concentrated so you use less and it ships lighter. Even better there is no huge plastic jug involved to be manufactured and then tossed in a landfill (NYC doesn't recycle them at this time.) AND (if you need more incentive) it is made with the environment in mind so it's less caustic to all the fishes (not to mention the rest of the world).
The best part? It cleans like a dream! Yep, they actually WORK. Even when Sean forgets to rinse the food off Colin's bib (disclaimer: I don't think I ever actually asked him too, I just assumed he would know that... silly men!) it comes out sparkly and clean. I use the clear ones, they are scent and dye free so I feel comfortable using them on Colin's stuff.

I love them. If you would like to try them you can get 20% off your online purchase at http://www.dropps.com/ using code NEWYEAR09. Move fast, you only have until Jan 8th.