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Monday, December 14, 2009

big girl bed and big tree


This weekend we hit a major milestone for Fay. We had her sleep in her new big girl bed for the first time. When we first outfitted Fay's room we chose a smaller than regular size crib, so that it would take up less room. Now that she is two, and tall for her age, it seems time to give her a little more room to sleep.

I'm happy to report (knock on wood), that everything has gone smoothly so far. Fay was pretty excited about the new bed, so that was an encouraging sign. And when we put her in it on Saturday night, she laid right down and didn't make a peep. I was shocked.

For Sunday nap she asked to sleep in her crib again, but for Sunday night, she slept in the big bed. I haven't gotten her under the covers yet, or using the pillow. I figure we'll take it in steps.

Big tree!

On another note, we had a great little family weekend. Ryan suggested going to see the NYC Xmas sights -- like the tree and the Xmas display at Saks, so we headed up on Saturday morning. I forget how infrequently Fay really gets out of the neighborhood. She was delighted with all the Xmas things, but also with the bustle of the city and all the amazing 5th Ave stores. We topped it off with a stop at FAO Schwartz.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friends' Thanksgiving


We went away for our annual Friends' Thanksgiving last weekend. And we had a really good time. We shared a house in Bridgehampton with 8 friends and 6 kids. Ryan may have summed it up last night when we were talking about our weekend. He said -- I don't think I had very many adult conversations. The weekend seemed to revolve around enjoying our kids and entertaining our kids while we tried to enjoy ourselves. One of the families was from the west coast, and were trying to keep their kids on west coast we had east coast kids up at 6am and west coast kids up until midnight. There wasn't much time left for drunken poker games that we might have had in past years.


Best partier award goes to Fay. After a late Friday night up with her pals, and a short nap on Saturday, Fay literally passed out on the kitchen floor. Plenty of noise was being made around her while she slumbered for 2 hours in the middle of the action.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



So we made it though Halloween. You can check out all the photos on Flickr. Ryan, Fay and I want as a family of ladybugs. We mostly spent our time in the playroom with our neighborhood friends, and went trick or treating in the building....

More interesting though, is the arrival of Fay's new favorite word: "Mas!" At first I had no idea what she was saying. Then I couldn't help but think she was saying the Spanish word for more = mas ("more" is one of her favorite words after all). But finally, after much gesturing and context, I got the meaning. She is saying "MINE!!!" [Those exclamation points are Fay's not mine]

When she started nursery school 2 months ago, her teacher warned me that she would begin to say "mine" if she wasn't already. It took a lot longer than I thought, and I'm a little surprised that she has such a funny pronunciation. I can't help but wonder if the Mandarin word for "mine" sounds like "mas". Total long shot right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

birthday weekend

did you see my sparkle shoes?

I'm a little overwhelmed to write this post because there is just so much to tell from last weekend. Fay turned 2 on Thursday and her two grandmas came into town on Thursday night to celebrate.

We had a whirlwind event filled weekend for the adults and kids. On Friday, Fay opened her brand new dollhouse from her Grandma Sandy and proceeded to play with it anytime she could. The dollhouse has furniture that you can buy separately. And along with the baby room and parents room, we were fortunate that Target sent not one grandma and stroller, but TWO. It was as if they knew that Fay had two grandmas visiting.

On Friday night, Ryan, Jess, Grandma Sandy and Nana Jan went to Dizzy's Club (Lincoln Center Jazz club) for dinner and music. The music was amazing. We really didn't know what to expect from a high profile jazz venue in nyc (rather than a small jazz club), and we were happily surprised.

Saturday morning was the big party day. We spent the morning preparing for the party and waiting for the bagel delivery. When you live in Jewish neighborhood, its hard to get delivery of bagels on Saturday morning because the bakerys are observing Shabbat. So we had to call out to another neighborhood. And I think the bike delivery man didn't know he had such a hike. The bagels were 45 minutes late, but they still arrived in time for the party, so we were all good.

The party was so much fun. We had about 15 toddlers and their parents in our newly renovated playroom. I don't think I have a photo that captures the toddler chaos at its high point. I just remember how loud it got at one point and thinking, this could drive anyone crazy! It may have been at that point that people started to leave and the room started to calm. Perhaps toddler parties have a built in size control based on noise tolerance.

underage driver

Fay took about 2 hours to really warm up to the idea of the party. I think she was either overwhelmed, or just being a 2 year old. Before the party she refused to wear her new *adorable* party outfit that her Nana Jan had brought. She kicked and wriggled and refused to wear it. Finally we dressed her in all her pink sparkles and convinced her she looked a bit like a princess. that seemed to help a little. I'm sure I'll think back on this moment as she enters her princess years.

On Saturday night, the grandmas had an opportunity to babysit Fay. And Ryan and I had an early night out with dinner and a CMJ show. We saw Mum, an Icelandic band which we really liked. We were at Le Poisson Rouge, a club in the West Village I've never been to. It was a great venue with a separate bar area and a large music area. There really wasn't a bad place to stand to see the band.

On Sunday, the grandmas flew home and that was the end of our birthday weekend. However! we still managed to pack in one more fun toddler activity. We went to the Queens County Farm with our neighborhood friends. I would highly recommend this outing. They had sooo many activities to choose from. We fed the chickens, rode the hayride, picked out a pumpkin, attempted to ride a pony (crying). We didn't have a chance to go through the corn maze or watch the pig races. Maybe next time.

post feeding pose

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1 year 364 days

Fay turns two tomorrow. Wow. Its hard to believe I've been a mom for two full years. And we've all survived pretty well. Fay is thriving, I am working part-time and Ryan is starting a business. Ryan and I had a long talk the other night. A kind of state of the union, with the union being our marriage and lives. We talked about how we will probably look back on these days as some of the best. Even though the entrepreneurial experience is a tough one, and raising a 2 year old is exhausting, they both bring pretty extreme highs.

Today I was at the playground with Fay and her neighborhood friends and she was exhibiting the most cranky, antagonistic behavior I've ever seen on her. After it lasted for a hour or so, and there was no making her happy, I had a horrible thought: "Oh no, is this it? Is this the terrible twos?!" It would be a little convienient, being that she is turning two tomorrow. But, man, I would hate to loose my little sweetheart. So far she only gets ruffled when I am not letting her be independent, or when I am feeding her something she does not want to eat.

But today, she was just plain cranky. Her best girl friend came up to her to play and she reached ot and gave a little push instead, as if to say "stay away from me". And when I tried to get near to play or comfort her, she said "No" and lead me away from her.

I guess we'll see what the coming weeks bring. If I'm right, and she's transforming before my eyes, Ryan and my prediction about these times being the best of our lives may already have come true and passed. (wink)

Monday, October 19, 2009

This generation's parenting

I found this New Yorker article really interesting. It caught my attention because within the first couple paragraphs it has managed to eerily describe many of the phrases I and my mommy friends use to deal with difficult toddler moments.

I took this to heart. I think it is funny that each generation tries to improve upon the last by changing the words they use, or the punishment, or the psychology. And yet, we still have terrible twos and kids that won't eat, and tears and fights. So I found myself examining my own choices and laughing at myself a bit.

One of the things I have found extremely useful, as you may have noticed by my posts, is teaching Fay sign language to augment her verbal skills. She loves the accomplishment she feels when she signs a new word. And I love being able to understand her because the gesture clarifies the mispronounced word.

I haven't turned to picture books to help me teach Fay certain lessons, though I know some of my friends have. I've seen books mostly on tantrums and bad behavior (throwing, hitting, yelling), where the main character exhibits these behaviors and is then taught a lesson or given a time-out.

This article criticises a TON of children's books for depicting bad behavior, and then not punishing the child enough. The writer seems to think these books are condoning bad behavior, or simply writing about the current state of the child-parent relationship: one in which the parent looses all control.

I found myself becoming increasingly irritated with the criticism of these books for a couple of reasons.

  1. These books are not school curriculum, they are not primary tools that parents use to rear their children. They are books. Some are meant to help create empathy in children, some are used for entertainment. Some are subtle, some are not. We cannot expect them to be more than they are -- entertainment with some teaching mixed in.
  2. I found myself asking in my head "Does this person have kids?" Every child is different. And every day brings a different challenge for parents. If you ever see a parent give their kid a cupcake after the kid has had enough, or too soon after bad behavior, you may not know the full story. Just yesterday, my husband was questioning the fact that I gave Fay a second meal after she refused to eat her delectable pizza dinner. I told him that I thought it was justified because she had had pizza the day before and was perhaps bored with the choice.

Every parenting decision is based on many inputs and circumstances. When there are quite a few books out there about how to behave correctly and how to give time outs and say your sorry, I think it is perfectly acceptable to see a couple books tell children that it can be fun to misbehave and show some spirit. How a parent chooses to interpret those books and explain them to their children is up to them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fay wants to wear a dress


Yesterday morning, Fay and I were getting ready to go to the zoo with our friends Dia and Maurice. I was getting myself ready in the bathroom mirror and Fay was impatiently waiting for me at the bathroom door. I decided to keep her busy with some conversation. I asked her "What do you want to wear today?" I really was not expecting an answer because if Fay had her way, she would wear nothing but her birthday suit. But Fay blurted out "dess!", and along with it did the sign for dress (both hands following the line of a dress from the waist down). It was the first time she has done that sign. It was also the first time she has told me what she wants to wear. Many firsts in one moment. Made me want to tear up.

And then I thought. Oh, no, do we have a 2 yr old sized Fall/Winter dress that would be warm enough for today?!! Luckily, we had a brilliant hand me down from, I think, our friend Jen.

Later in the afternoon, we took a bike ride with Daddy and capture the beautiful photo above.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

crazy pooping baby

I don't treat my readers very often with the poop related updates of my baby. But I think this week deserves a post. Fay has been having diarrhea for a week now. I think it is due to her teething, but now that its lasted so long, I'm going to have a chat with her doctor to make sure everything is ok.

The high point of the week was Tuesday morning. Fay got down from her highchair after breakfast and hid behind it for a while, presumably pooping. She likes to find a little private spot sometimes to do the deed. I noticed this and let her be, but when she was done I asked her if she wanted to change her diaper. She was pretty adamant that she did not want a diaper change, so instead of fighting her, I thought I'd let her be for a few minutes. Big mistake.

I went to do something in the bathroom or back in her bedroom while Fay was hanging out in the living room and all of a sudden I heard "OH OHHHH".

This usually means that something has spilled or broken, or the TV program has ended. I came out to see what the problem was and Fay was standing above a brown little puddle, saying "Oh Ohhhh".

Poor thing. Her whole left leg was soaked. I whisked her into the bathtub and removed her clothing. I won't go into detail, but suffice to say, Fay was completely disgusted by her environment within a matter of seconds. I tried my best to not be disgusted, as I didn't want her to feel bad. And it wasn't that hard, because I was too busy cleaning things up.

It was BY FAR, the most disgusting, difficult to clean up mess I've ever dealt with.

On the up side. Fay doesn't appear sick, or in poor spirits. She just doesn't particularly like diaper changes these days.

Friday, October 2, 2009

crazy talking baby!

I'm having so much fun with Fay's new spurt of talking. A new word or 5 seem to come every day. Of course, she mimics A LOT of words when she hears me say them. But its really fun when a new word just shoots out of her mouth because she wants to identify something, or she is thinking of something.

Over the past week she has volunteered these words, to name a few:


Also, she pretty much thinks anything that resembles an apple is an apple, including (all from pictures in a book) pumpkins, a read heart and a pear.

She is also practicing sounds with her mouth. For example, she will get her little lips into the form of a "shhh" sound, and just leave them like that for a while, practicing "shh" or "shoes".

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baby jackpot

two blanket love

When we decided to send Fay to nursery school, I searched and searched online to see if I could find a back up blanket for Fay. She likes to sleep with her blanket, so I wanted an extra one to send to school for naps. One that I would not have to take home each evening for nighttime sleep.

I couldn't find a new one, so I luckily found a used one on ebay, which was in better condition than Fay's well loved blanket.

Yesterday I brought the blanket to school and at the end of the day Fay was very concerned that I was not taking the blanket home with us. And by concerned I mean she was crying and had a look on her face like her best friend had died (or was taken prisoner by an evil school).

So we brought it home and I forgot that blanket number 1 was already at home, lying around in plain site.

Once Fay discovered there are two blankets, she ran to show me and had a look on her face like "Can you believe my luck?" or "Can you believe it multiplied?" It was total excitement and disbelief. I don't think I've even seen disbelief on a toddler, certainly not on Fay.

This morning, she woke with both blankets in her arms and was just as tickled.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

to be a two year old

This morning I gave fay a little tupperware bowl of yogurt. There wasn't very much left and she'd had breakfast earlier, so I just let her hold on to it while she wandered around. She was eating it with one of her toddler sporks. The next thing I knew, she was in her bedroom sitting on the floor with an almost empty bowl of yogurt. She had her toes digging around in the bowl and then proceeded to suck her toes of the remaining yogurt. She was a little monkey, eating with her toes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Second week of school....sick!

As I expected and dreaded, as soon as Fay entered school she got sick. I don't even blame the kids as school for giving her the cold. I think she got it from the neighborhood kids. What I was dreading was changing our whole child care routine and then not being able to send Fay to school because they don't want your sick kid infecting others. Not to mention, that Fay will get well much quicker if she is at home sleeping it off.

Luckily, our ex-babysitter Deb was available to come yesterday in a pinch. So I was able to go to work as normal. But I don't know who I will call in future months when Deb is working on her new job. My guess is that I will have to take a day off work.

I guess I will deal with that when the day comes. For now, I was really happy I was able to keep Fay at home and still go to work. She ended up sleeping almost 4 hours for her nap. And today she is looking much better.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second day of school

I feel small sense of relief about Fay's continuing school adventure. Today was her 2nd day of school and I think it went *much* better than the first.

I was afraid Fay would protest leaving the house to go to school this morning, or that she would get upset when we entered school. She was fine the whole way, and I told her where we were going. I am trying to emphasize the word school, so she knows what is going on.

Once we got to the classroom, Fay wanted me to come in with her; she didn't want to be dropped at the door like a UPS package. I coaxed her inside and left rather quickly, and Fay cried in protest.

I picked her up 4 hours later at 12:30, and she seemed to be in good spirits. She looked a little confused when I peeked a look at her before she noticed me. So I think she is definitely still figuring out what this new school thing is all about. There are so many things to watch and learn from, not the least of which are her 11 classmates.

Her teacher said that she didn't eat the school food. She took a couple bites of rice, but not much. She ate a 1/4 of the sandwich I left for her at school.

I asked the teacher if she had enjoyed any part of her day. Her teacher said "oh yes! she enjoyed circle time and in fact she participated a lot. She was the one who liked to jump around when we were jumping". The teacher told me that she was really good during each segment of the day. She liked library time. But, she is still a little off during "transitions". I think she gets a little nervous and disoriented as they move from one activity to the next. Thankfully, I think that will be fixed with time and repetition.

The nice thing is that I *think* Fay is enjoying school. I've asked her if she likes school and she always says yes. But she answers "yeah" to many questions, so I'm not sure when she is really listening or understanding. When I picked her up today, she wanted mommy to come into the classroom instead of asking for Fay to come out. So that tells me that she enjoys it but she just wishes her mommy could be there with her. I hope I'm reading that right.

First day of school

My little school girl

Yesterday was Fay's first day of nursery school. She went for a 1/2 day, from 8:30 to 12:30 so that she can begin to get used to the new environment and teachers.

It was a pretty emotional day. And it was about as difficult as I expected. I think. I'm not really sure what I expected, but I was dreading the day.

I was able to spend about 15 minutes in the classroom with Fay when I dropped her off so she could get used to the room and feel comfortable. She really did seem comfortable almost immediately. She was checking out the toys and books, and she found a nice little chair to sit in. But when it was time for me to leave, she didn't want me to. She cried, and asked to get picked up. And when I finally headed for the door she moved so quickly and silently behind me...I didn't even know she was there when she tried to step out of the gate directly behind me. I think she thought she may go unnoticed if she was quiet enough. It was pretty cute.

I was ok, with the crying when I left. I expected that. The hard part was when I picked her up, I saw her before she saw me. She had a look of confusion and maybe unhappiness, and when she saw me she burst out with "mommy!". As in...."Mommy, thank God you're here!"

The teacher said that she only cried when I left and at lunch. She did not like the food they served her and threw a little tantrum. She went over to the bookshelf and started throwing books off. The teacher asked me "Does she do this at home?". "NO!, she might throw down a toy she has in her hands if she's mad, but she doesn't seek out things to destroy". I told the teacher I thought she must have been *really* *really* mad.

And I asked the teacher if Fay played with the other kids. She said no, mostly she was clinging to the teacher.

It was the first day, so I'm not going to put too much emphasis on it as far as evaluating if Fay likes the school. The reason we have her there is because we really think she would like being in a stimulating, playful environment all day with other kids. So I hope she starts to interact with the other kids, but I know it will take a little time.

And I brought a lunch for her today, so that if she was starving and mad yesterday, at least we can eliminate the starving part.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A post about Fay's words

New words....

Elmo (clear as day)
eece (Maurice)
ry ry (Orion)
Deeee-ah (Dia)
bee (bumble bee)
[rotating arms] (I want to watch signing time)
[Put hands together and push out and in] (I want to go on swing)
Ah mee (Mommy)
Daddy (Daddy) -- She switched from Mama and Dada

This past weekend I asked if she wanted Blueberries or Raspberries, she answered "as berry"

My fav ABCs

This is one of my favorite sketches on Sesame Street. And definitely my favorite version of the ABC song....

Tilly and the Wall sing ABCs

Monday, September 7, 2009


We have decided to change our child care arrangements for Fay. For 2 years now she has had either a nanny at her home or her mommy to take care of her. But as of Sept 14, Fay will be going to pre-school for 3 days a week.

I hadn't anticipated doing this quite so soon, but we found a fantastic school/day care, and the timing is right for a lot of reasons.

Last winter a lot of my neighborhood friends were touring and applying for various pre-school programs. I was a little late to the party because Fay doesn't turn 2 until mid-Fall, and many of these programs have Sept 1 cutoffs. Some of them allow you to start late, on the birthday, but still charge you for the entire season. But, about one month after applications were due, I started noticing changes in Fay and really wanted her to attend one of these programs. She seems ready for that social environment. Since I was so late in applying, Fay was put on several waiting lists.

I think this turned out to be a good thing, because it would have been easy for me to send Fay to one of these pre-schools with all of her neighborhood friends. Instead we started looking at other options.

There is a school in our neighborhood, but further into Chinatown, that is bilingual. They do 2/3 of the day in English and an afternoon segment in Mandarin. They have two teachers in each classroom: one that speaks English and one that speaks Mandarin. They have a high percentage of Chinese children. I'd guess its about 80%.

I spoke to a woman in my neighborhood who sends both of her kids to the bilingual school, and she *loves* it. She couldn't say enough good things about it. So, last week, Ryan and I took a tour of the school and were very impressed. The classrooms were very large -- much larger than the other schools I'd seen. The teachers were all excited to talk to Fay. They paid more attention to her than to her parents which I always see as a good sign. There were a couple of specific concerns I had which were laid to rest:

Q) Would Fay receive one on one attention when she was upset or scared, or just transitioning into this new environment?
A) I saw a 2 year old girl crying her eyes out at two points during the tour (same girl!). The administrator told me that this girl has probably only ever been with her parents at home, and is having a tough time with the transition. Then, one of the classroom teachers scooped her up and cuddled her and removed her from the group for a few minutes. I was so happy to see how gently they were dealing with this girl's crisis.

Q) Can we start off slowly so Fay can adjust to the new school?
A) During the first week we will do 1/2 days, progressively moving up to a full day at school. So, I will pick up Fay after 4 hours, then after 6 (after nap), then after a full day.

A couple other facts that convinced us this was the school for Fay have to do with more adult concerns. They are much less expensive than the other options. And they serve 3 meals a day (the other schools have you send food with your child). We are actually paying for 5 days a week but will only be sending Fay for 3. This is nice for flexibility. If for some reason I need to work different days, I can change Fay's pre-school schedule easily.

Before taking the tour, I thought we might wait until January to enroll Fay in a program. But we realized that many of the children are meeting each other for the first time and going through the separation process together, and it would be best to get Fay in to meet her new friends as soon as possible.

So, we gave notice to our nanny last week. And now I'm freaking out because my baby is growing up. I'm anxious that she is becoming more independent and will go through a major life change without me. And I'm anxious that this is the end of my baby years with Fay. I hope she still will still want some mama cuddles, even after she is a big girl at pre-school.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The August babies turn two

summer 2009 166

Fay likes to hang with the older crowd. So this weekend we celebrated many of her neighborhood friends' 2nd birthdays with a group birthday party in the park.

At one point, we wrangled all the kids into the toy boat and began to snap photos. I think the photos mostly memorialize our feat of wrangling with no crying or injuries. Sooo many kids!

If you go to this link you can see many photos of the same moment, plus a video at the end. These are Orion's mom's photos:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the twos

I've been reading a lot lately about what to do with a whiney kid. For some reason I had expected and planned for a two year old's tantrums, as Fay approaches the pivotal age. But I have been taken a back by the onset of frequent and persistent whining. Its as if sound is just draining out of her mouth with no real purpose or direction. Just a constant moaning. At first I thought something might be wrong that I could fix for her. I don't think that is the case. More words Fay! More words!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Unprompted new word from Fay!

Tonight, Fay and I were heading back to her room to read some books before bed when Fay turned into the bathroom instead.

She asked to get into the tub. So, I lifted her in. Then she motioned for mommy to get into the tub. So I did. We were sitting there together, fully dressed in a dry tub. And Fay blurted out "Bubbles!"

I was so tickled! Up until now, there has been a lot of prompting for Fay to talk. I point to something and say the word and she repeats. Or, we work on the same word, over and over again, until she says it by herself (up!) But this! To make a request about something that is not even an object in her sight. And to use a word that I have not drilled into her head! She can simply call up a word and make her wants known! What a big girl.

Needless to say, I immediately gave Fay her bubble bath.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

word list -->

I added a list to the right hand side of the blog to show off Fay's latest words. I'll be updating it as the new words come in. I'm told they should increase rapidly now that she's got the jist of it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whats that sound?

I don't think I have ever written about one of Fay's cutest little quirks and I want to remember this, so I'm making a blog post about it.

For a number of weeks now, when Fay hears a sound she brings her hand up to cover one of her ears and looks at me with a questioning look. Sometimes she gives a little "eh?"

I don't know how, but I immediately knew that she wanted to know what the sound is. Usually its a loud sound like an ambulance or a car beeping as it goes in reverse. It didn't even really phase me until one day Fay's babysitter brought it to my attention.

I think Fay may have an ear infection or cold because she keeps reaching for her ear.
Me: Oh, no, I just think she is asking what the sound is that she hears.
Babysitter: Really, well, I don't know, she is always touching the same ear.
Me: Well, I'll keep an eye on it, but I really do think she is just asking about a noise.

After watching more closely, she does in fact use both ears for the question, but I think she favors her left ear. Its the cutest thing because I would have never guessed that at this age she correlates hearing a noise with the use of her ears. I'm guessing that at some point I started using that sign when I was talking about noises to her. As in....Fay [cupping ear] you hear that sound? That's an ambulance.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Fay has made some significant progress on her verbal skills over the past couple of weeks. I noticed a big improvement in her communication attempts and number of "words" she was using while we were in Wisconsin. I wonder if having so many people and new things around stimulated her to want to talk more.

We've also been showing Fay a sign language (ASL) video almost every day for about two weeks now. I hadn't intended to bombard her with ASL, but she loves the video so much and requests it every day. I think there are two reasons she loves it so. One, there are little kids throughout the video doing signs. And, two, there are most of her favorite objects being used as examples for the ASL words taught. For example, we learn how to say: eat, more, ball, baby, car, dog, cat, mom, dad, shoes. These are all of her favorites. If only they had a sign for "yogurt" we'd be set.

She immediately took to the "eat" sign and has been using it whenever I say the word eat. Even better, she has these new words:

"Mo" -- More
"Ba" -- Ball
"Mama" -- Mama (says it a lot more now)
"Bye Bye" -- Bye Bye or good night
"ooo-dy" -- Brody (her grandma's dog)
"Meow" -- Cat sound
"Moo" --- Cow sound
"Baa" -- Sheep Sound

Her babysitter, Deb has also taught her to say "Nana" and "Lyla" for her grandma and friend. But she only does those while singing a little made up song.

Also I've been trying to get her to do the "F" sound, so she can say her name. But it comes out as a tongue blow.

She hums along with the Alphabet song. And she is *really* singing along with old MacDonald. She says the animal sounds right after I mention the animal and she does the "E-I-E-I-O" in the right spot. Its so much fun to sing with her!!

Monday, July 27, 2009



You should only detect a mild amount of sarcasm by the exclamation points in the title. I'm from MN, and live in NYC, so I have to make fun of the midwest a little, or I wouldn't get by with my day to day nyc encounters.

Ryan and I attended a wedding last weekend in Milkwaukee, and then stayed on in Neenah/Oshkosh Wisconsin for a week, renting a lake house with Ryan's family. My family also drove from Mpls to Neenah for the weekend so fay Got to see ALL of her grandparents during our midwest vacation along with her Uncle Andy.


We were a little unfortunate to have overcast and rainy weather during the first 1/2 of the week. That stumped us at first because we were thinking of spending much of the week swimming and boating on the lake.

BUT we were happily surprised to find tons of fun little activities for Fay to do around neighboring towns. Fay's favorite activity by far (besides playing with Brody, the Yorkie) was picking fresh raspberries! She couldn't manage to get more than one or two past her mouth into the collection basket. I think she thought she had died and gone to raspberry heaven, and she told us so with some whining/crying when we finally had to leave.

Grandma Sandy also found just about the best city park for toddlers I've ever seen. This park had a petting zoo, a merry go-round, a mini-train for toddlers and paddle boats (not to mention some really strange looking paddle-tricycle things). The zoo was free, and the rides were $1 or less per ride. So it was not only a find, but a bargain too!


[Insert joke here about feeding toddler to the cow]

Fay loved the train, but she wasn't entirely sold on the merry-go-round. She held tight to mommy and looked around skeptically the entire time. Of course when she returned to nyc at the end of the week and saw another merry-go-round at the park, she instantly wanted on it.

By the end of the week, we were swimming in the lake, canoeing in the lake, and had a relaxing 4 hour pontoon boat ride. Fay LOVED the boat because she was able to run around from end to end. She was also introduced to chex mix for the first time on the pontoon and that put her in a pretty good mood as well.


[Fay having "fun" on raft with daddy]

All in all, a pretty good vacation. It was fun to have everyone together and see Fay get so much attention. As we all know, Fay can be a little slow to warm up, and she was clingy towards her mommy for the first couple of days while all her grandparents were vying for her hugs and playtime. But it was amazing how quickly she fell into a comfortable family rhythm.

I'll leave you with this.....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another Fire Island weekend


We spend another weekend in Fire Island last weekend, this time with our friends Dia, Josh and their toddler Maurice.

We were extremely lucky with the weather. Thunderstorms were predicted, but we only got showers while we slept on Saturday night. The daytime hours were sunny and beautiful.

Fay continues to like the beach more and more. She had fun walking with daddy down to the ocean edge and then handing him her bucket to fill with water. She also had fun scooping sand into the bucket, and throwing stones and seashells into the bucket.

Maurice and Fay had a blast. Each morning it was as if they'd received a gift of each other's presence. They were very very excited to have the other there to play with at 6 in the morning. The house is a 3 bedroom, so it was our hope that the kids could sleep in the same room together and each set of parents could have their own room. Fay and Maurice are 20 and 22 months respectively, so they sleep through the night, but they do have occasional shout outs and sometimes they wake up early. We were concerned that one kid might wake up the other kid, but we were willing to give it a try.

Well, I have to say, the antics of the kids trying to sleep together may have been the best part of the weekend. On Friday night, we put Fay in the kid room about 10 minutes before Maurice. When Maurice got in there and we closed the door we started hearing "Faaaaaay....Faaaaaay.....Faaaaay". Maurice could not see Fay because we had a sheet blocking his view of her crib, but he knew she was there and he was very excited to have a bunk mate. Fay answered with some "Da!"s and some little screams of recognition. Although we put them in there at 7:30, I don't think it was quiet until 9pm or so. The following night was a bit shorter, but they still chatted before falling off to sleep.

The other highlight of the weekend was some live band toddler dancing. Unfortunately Ryan was not there on Sunday night because Ryan returned to the city Sunday afternoon. I switched my work days this week so I could stay on through Monday. On Sunday Fay and I went to dinner with Maurice's family and the kids had the best time. After some yummy food (burger and sweet potato fries!) we went to the open air back yard of the restaurant where there was a band playing. Fay and Maurice ran in circles around their parents and danced like crazy. We were told by several tipsy onlookers that our kids were quite cute.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Fridays

holding hands

Fay and I really enjoy my days off from work when we can hang out together. But there is something especially fantastic about Fridays. We usually see our neighborhood friends either in a park, or class, or in an apt on rainy days.

Fay continues to come out of her shell...she is especially fun to watch when we go to Hillman park (one of our co-op's parks) in the morning when there is no one around but her close friends. She is obviously extremely comfortable in this environment and she runs around without a care in the world. Most noticeably, she doesn't need her mommy by her side constantly.

Today she had fun holding hands and running around with Maurice and Orion -- so cute I had to capture it on the camera phone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

punk rock festival for Fay

Last Sunday we decided to go on a bike ride with Fay. Sunday gave us our tiny window of sunshine for the week so we tried to make the most of it. Its been raining in NYC for about a month now almost non-stop. It is either raining or threatening rain 24 hours a day. I always carry an umbrella with me now and I have not problem going to the playground in light sprinkles. You may even hear me exclaim "what fantastic playground weather!"

So on Sunday we took Fay and the bikes to Governor's island off the southern tip of Manhattan. It is a free Ferry ride that lasts all of 8 minutes. There are lots of fun things about Governor's island. It used to house military or at least coast guard families, but is now basically vacant. So there are a bunch of old 70's style cookie cutter townhouses sprinkled around the island. The island is now devoted to housing outdoor events and encouraging bike riding (you can rent bikes on the island). So you are pretty much guaranteed to run into a festival of some sort when you arrive on the island during a summer weekend.

The first time we went to G's island last year, we stumbled upon a 1910's/1920's music and dance event. They had free dance lessons for the peabody and tons of people were dressed in period outfits (or at least hats).

This past weekend we were lucky enough to find a punk rock festival in progress. Its seemed an odd venue choice to me at first -- seeing all these urban dressed-in-black kids hanging out in such a grassy picnic-y idyllic setting. But as we cruised around the island I could see the vision of the organizer. There were a handful of locations where a rather intimate gathering of fans would watch a band perform. The "stages" ranged from the parking lot of an old housing complex, to a small archway with a mosh-pit in progress, to a small grassy hill with the fans at the top and the band at the bottom. It really was perfect for small gatherings, and the old, abandoned buildings added a nice edge to the grassy perfection surrounding them.

We also found a patch of hammocks provided for the public and Fay enjoyed "pushing" her daddy in the hammock.

We managed to depart the island and arrive in Manhattan just as it was starting to sprinkle. Good timing. We had a nice shower on the way home on our bikes. But again, after the weather we've had, none of us mind getting a little wet anymore.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

fire island (1st weekend)


Ryan and I have rented 3 weekends in Fire Island this summer -- one in each month. We just spent our first weekend there and it was a fantastic weekend. The house we rent has 3 small bedrooms, so we are sharing it with one other couple -- our friends Joe and Vanessa. They have a 3 year old boy.

We spent the first day traveling and hiding from the rain because it was pretty miserable. The rain was light and constant. They dads decided to have a couple (several?...many?) drinks in the nearby bar, while the moms entertained the toddlers in the house. We didn't bring that many toys, so we pretty much tore apart the kitchen trying to have some creative fun.

Saturday and Sunday turned out to be beautiful hot summer days though. We didn't expect such great weather for an early summer weekend in June. We spent both Sat and Sun on the beach. At first Fay was very much against walking on the sand. She seemed afraid that she might fall while walking over a sand mound. I'm sure the texture and terrain was very foreign to her. But after a day, she was quite used to it, and she was enjoying sitting by the ocean on the harder, flat sand, drawing and looking at shells. She also enjoyed the many friendly dogs on the beach and looking at a kite flying overhead.


Friday and Saturday nights were fun. One couple cooked each night, so the other couple could have the night off. On Friday, Ryan cooked and then we all played Cranium. On Saturday, Ryan and I got to got on a long walk alone while Joe and Vanessa cooked. I can't rave enough about the benefits of sharing a house with another couple when you have kids. Its like having another set of hands/eyes around all weekend long. And you can be more loose with your time -- like being able to just go on a brief walk without calling in a babysitter.

Joe loves to take photos and he is very good at it, so I roped him into a mini-photo shoot with Fay when I saw how cute she looked in her swimsuit. Its nice to have a couple photos of mommy for once.


One of the highlights of the weekend is seeing Joseph (3) and Fay (19 mo) play together. They didn't do it much, but there was a moment on Friday night when Joseph and Fay decided to make a game of chasing one another. Fay would chase Joseph and scream, then Joseph would turn around an chase Fay. It lasted for about 10 min and we all wished we had our video camera because it was so cute. Most of the time Joseph points at Fay and says "baby". So this was a surprising turn.

We go again in about 4 weeks and will share the house with our neighborhood friends Josh and Dia who have a boy around Fay's age.

Monday, June 1, 2009

petting zoo and ketchup

On Saturday Ryan and I decided to take Fay to the petting zoo in Central Park. Fay was just getting over a cold which makes her really tired. So she went down for a 2+ hour nap at 9:30 in the morning. This left a huge portion of the day after her nap to get out and do something fun.

Fay LOVES to feed the animals. She didn't even have to be shown what to do, she just took to it naturally. Could be her nurturing nature. :)

We managed to capture a video of it. I think we've discovered the fun of video. We have video right on our camera, so its really easy to decided to film something without having to remember to lug out the specialized video camera.

After the zoo, we took the bus home, landing a good 20 min walk before our apt. We took a stroll along St. Marks and stopped at our favorite hipster hot dog joing -- Crif Dogs. Fay has really liked tater tots since she first tried them (about a month ago). But today was different. She noticed mommy and daddy dipping their tots in to ketchup and decided to try it for herself. V. cute.

(Wow, do I dress Fay in the pigeon shirt a lot or what? Mommy likes her shirt creations)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

summer is here

me and my dino

How time flies. I haven't posted in over a week, and now it seems as if summer is HERE. Today we are having 80 degree weather. And it is supposed to continue tomorrow.

I had to make an emergency show run to Target in Brooklyn last Sunday because Fay had grown out of almost all of her shoes! Now she is set for summer. She has her pink crocs, her pink "flip flops", her new pink sneakers, and her white dressier sandals.

I personally think that toddler shoes may be the cutest part of the itsy bitsy wardrobe. But then, all the sweaters and dresses are pretty cute too. And we mustn't forget swimsuit cuteness.

We had a surprise hand-me-down gift from a neighbor yesterday. Her 4 year old has long grown out of her trike, so she offered it to us. I don't think Fay will be ready to ride it until she's a few months older. But it is definitely the right size. Fay had fun pushing it around the house by the mommy handle as if it were a toy. She loves to push her toy dragon, so I think this seemed the same to her. She was pretty reluctant to get on the seat of the trike, so we'll have to try again at a later time.

I have some great videos that I've been taking lately with the regular camera. Its so much easier than getting out the big video camera, and somehow easier to upload. Its fun to let the computer go through a slideshow of all our recent photos now because the videos are integrated so you get the stills, and then moving pictures all in the same slideshow. Fay loooooooves to watch herself on camera. Everytime the computer is taken out she points and grunts at it, essentially asking to watch a video of herself. Definitely tops even TV watching.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Baby biker (happy mother's day)

up close

Today was mother's day. Ryan treated me to a long morning sleep and a wonderful brunch. I was able to sleep in until 8am while Ryan took Fay outside for a little morning exploration.

The highlight of the day though was the after nap activity. Ryan installed our new baby bike seat on his bike last week and we acquired a little baby helmet on Saturday so today was family bike day! We actually took Fay on her first bike ride a couple weekends ago, but we were on a borrowed bike with a baby seat. And let me tell you...the traditional baby bike seats which ride in the rear of the bike DO NOT COMPARE to the front riding baby seats.

Fay and daddy biking

good frown Fay!

Fay had so much fun riding up front with daddy that she instantly got over her annoyance of having to wear the helmet (cry!) and never fussed again. Well, she only fussed when she thought mommy was being left behind. She insisted that I ride along side her, or in front of her, so she could see where I was. I guess she is afraid daddy might leave me in the dust if she were not there to look out for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mommy made sweater (finished!)

Finished sweater!

I finally finished Fay's sweater this week. I had to buy and sew on the buttons. I had a lot of fun picking out the buttons. There were so many to choose from and I had no idea what I wanted until I saw the perfect buttons! I just love them, I think they give the sweater a necessary whimsy -- perfect for a little girl.

buttons close up

All in all, the sweater took a lot longer than I'd anticipated. I think I've been working on it for 4 to 6 weeks. The fact that it was done in pieces added a lot of time. Now I know why some patterns shout "Knit in ONE-PIECE". Not only does it take time to construct a sweater done in multiple pieces, but I think it allows more time for procrastination. You are constantly putting it down once you complete a sleeve, a back piece....etc. But, I don't think this sweater could be done exactly as it is in one piece, so the design called for it. Its a bit big, so Fay will definitely not be wearing it until the fall. (Unless I get really antsy and roll up the sleeves...maybe she could wear it as a dress ;)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

video chat with gma and gpa (aka, grandmazilla)

This morning we did a video phone call with Fay's Grandma and Grandpa from Kearney, NE. We've done this in the past, but Fay has mostly banged on the keyboard and not paid much attention to the people on the screen.

Today she seemed to realize that these folks were talking to her and she was a little freaked out at first. She kinda hid behind mommy's knee and looked suspiciously at the camera.

But after a while, she sort of ignored the camera and played in front of it which was a treat for gma and gpa who could watch her play while we chatted about our weekend.

When we said our goodbyes we shut the computer lid on our side so that Fay would see that the conversation was over. But when we opened the lid to see if Gma and Gpa were still on the video chat, we were left with this brilliant image of Gma waiving good-bye. We a planning on using it to remind Fay what her Gma looks like right before she visits. Good idea?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

18 months old today!

Happy 1/2 birthday to Fay. 18 months is a pretty big milestone date I believe. From what I've read its a big talking milestone. Toddlers on average have 5 words by their 18th month, and after that begin to acquire words at a much faster rate. I've read they can acquire 10 words a day!

Fay is not a big talker. But then she was slow to walk as well. For the walking I called her "cautious". For the talking, I'm calling her "observent" and "pensive". She really does seem to stop to take things in and really try to understand them. We go to a music class every Wed. Her behavior has changed recently from running around a little, so pretty much staying on mommy's lap the whole time and staring at the teacher. She stares and stares. Today the teacher imitated Fay to me because she said I don't have the vantage point to really see what she looked like. It was an expression of curiosity and bewilderment. Pretty cute.

I wanted to document those "words" that Fay has by her 18 birthday so I can remember them always. My friend Marci, who has the twin girls and lives in my building spends quite a bit of time with Fay. Today she reminded me that words for toddlers don't have to be articulate, full words. If they sound somewhat like the intended word and they have the correct object meaning to the toddler, then they ARE words. Here are Fay's:

Meh (Milk, or now that she isn't drinking milk, it means water. Or, I'm thirsty)
Uh-pa (Pick me up)
Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma (Mommy, you are not doing what I want you to do (whiney voice))
Eggo (Eggo (ONE time only))
Da (Sometimes means dog, sometimes for all animals)

PHEW! did I get to Five? I wouldn't want to represent my child as being below average!

I have to write another post about our AMAZING weekend last weekend. Ryan and I took Fay on her first bike ride! Wheeeeee!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

first word: nothing to write home about

Um, well, I'm not sure if we've had a "first word" moment this morning, but I will document it nonetheless. When Fay woke up this morning, I brought her out to the living room and soon thereafter she was ready for breakfast. So I brought her over to the freezer, opened the door and asked her "Eggo?". To which she replied "Eggo!"

That about knocked me off my feet. Some people get "nana" (banana), some get ball, car, mama. We got Eggo!

Pretty cute.

Friday, April 17, 2009

no bottle = no milk

So I decided to go cold turkey on getting rid of the bottle for Fay. Up until this week she's been getting two bottles of milk a day. One in the morning (usually 12 oz or so!) and one in the evening (around 4-6 oz). In the middle of the day I usually offered her water, though if she really wanted milk I'd give her the bottle.

Over the past couple weeks I've been offering her milk during mid-day in the sippy cup, and she never really took to it -- holding out for her evening bottle. I was also having her babysitter withhold the bottle and strangely, she usually reported Fay asking for it each day. When I'm with her, she hardly asks for it, but perhaps that is because we are out of the house more and she knows its not with us.

It seemed to be getting a little confusing (why can't I have it during the day Mommy?) So I decided to just get rid of them all together. On Wed, I didn't offer Fay the bottle in the morning, I offered her a sippy cup filled with milk, and she was a little annoyed. Though I distracted her with breakfast before she got really upset. And that has been the general tactic. Fill her up with yogurt and other things if she will not drink the milk.

She really hasn't had a drop of milk now for 2 days going on three. I don't know if she is pissed, and protesting, or if she was never interested in milk, just the bottle. She's got quite an appetite these days since she is not filling up with milk. So I'm not terribly concerned, but it is a little stressful, wondering what is going on.

Fay has been more cranky since the bottle disappeared and she also has been waking up earlier. Not sure if she is just getting back at me, or if she is waking and longing for the bottle that she will not get.

I've read that some babies don't drink milk again after being weened from the bottle. I hope that is not the case because it will make it seem as if her whole baby stage is done. It would be a pretty big deal if we no longer had milk time in the morning. I have come to enjoy sitting with Fay on the couch and looking out the big window while she drinks her milk.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

playng with friends

While I've been working, my babysitter Deb has been having a good number of playdates with my friend Marci (and Fay's friends Lyla and Jillian). Marci is a good friend of mine that lives in the same building and has twins girls. We met last August when I quit work to stay home with Fay. She stays home with her girls. We saw each other a lot over the winter and became good friends. Its soooo nice to have a place to go in the winter with your toddler when you don't want to go outside, but you also don't want to stay in the same old apartment all day.

While I was working last week, Marci took some great video footage of Fay playing with her girls in a little tent. Its pretty cute to see the three girls interact and "talk" to each other. Its so nice to be able to see videos of my baby that were taken by someone else and its great to see what shes doing while I'm at work! Marci uploaded it to youtube. So I can link to that here:

(I should note! During the video one of the twins keeps saying "OUT" to Fay. At first I thought she wanted her out of the tent but then I realized she wanted her to take off her sweater. Their word "OUT" doubles for "take off".)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

spring clothes

Well, I'm obviously finding it hard to find the time to write on Fay's blog. I could blame this on work. But I think it can be attributed to something else. Fay's new spring wardrobe. Ok, wardrobe may be an elaborate term. I have started knitting Fay a spring sweater and as you can imagine this take a little time. So instead of coming home from work and writing on Fay's blog, I come home and knit in front of the TV. The sweater is coming along rather well, and I *hope* to have it done by the end of this weekend.

Fay is rapidly growing out of her winter clothes while winter is trying its hardest to stick around. We had 60 degree weather yesterday, but we are back to 40s today. Fay may have to start using the layered approach so that she can wear her new, larger, short-sleeved t-shirts and still keep warm under a sweater. This is why I must get the sweater done soon, or break down and buy one (or two).

Ryan went out last weekend and got several new items for Fay's spring attire. It makes me smile to think of him holding up a miniature dress in a clothing store and wondering if it will look good on his daughter. He came home with some real cute things.

Fay and I went to the doctor last week for a checkup. She weighed in at just about 25lbs and [?? I'll have to check her height] inches. She has shot back to the 50th percentile in both weight and height. She used to be long: in the 75th percentile. I guess shes just average now!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

back to work, and grandmas visit


Its been so long since I posted. I had a half written entry saved as a draft, but its so out of date I can't really post it. I was writing about how mature I thought Fay had gotten since she started walking. I think she gained a lot of confidence from walking on her own and being independent. I was going to write a post about this because I was seeing how different she was reacting when we would go to familiar places outside our home. At friends' houses, at classes we take, and at the community kid's center, she is a changed baby. She used to cling to me a little, for about 20 minutes while she got used to her new surroundings. Now, she takes very little time before she is trekking around on her own to explore, still keeping an eye on mommy, or coming to get me. But she no longer clings for security to me and my leg.

However, since that time, I have also now gone back to work.

I've been working 2 to 3 days a week now for about 3 weeks. And it is a tough transition on both Mommy and Fay. Fay either cries when I leave, or she runs (walks swiftly) towards the door in hopes of catching me before the door...slams right in her little face. It is so heartbreaking. The best scenario possible is putting on a video to distract her and then not saying goodbye to her at all. Essentially tricking her into not seeing that I'm leaving.

When Deb comes to the apartment in the morning Fay looks at her as if to say "oh my, not you again!" She knows instantly what is in store for her. Mommy is leaving. So she basically won't leave my side once Deb comes. Thinking perhaps I won't slip away if she stays close. I'm hoping she will eventually like Deb so much that she will smile when she arrives in the morning! I'm not sure how long that might take though.

So far 3 days of work is a pretty good deal. My days are staggered -- I'm working M,T,Th. So I get to see Fay for all of Wed and Friday. If feels like just enough time that I can be a legitimate presence at work and can sink myself into the project. But its not so much time that I feel overwhelmed by it. I was overwhelmed by my job after I returned from maternity leave last year. I think the amount of days makes a difference but I also think the flexibility of contracting makes a huge difference. When I have to be home by 6pm to relieve the nanny, I can feel so constrained by my work day. I feel like I have exactly 8.5 hours to get done what I need to get done. So its all business and no coffee breaks. But now that I'm contracting I feel like, if I really need to I can take a break and just not bill for it. I don't feel like I would be cheating anyone by taking extra time to have a sane day. Also, I know its not forever. The current job I have is for a set period of time -- 3 months. I'm hoping it will last longer because I do really like the place and the people. But it also gives me peace to know that I'm not saddled to one employer for an indefinite amount of time and I'd have to make a major life choice if I wanted to leave. Alright, perhaps I just take it all a little too seriously. But I am a little type A, and I admit it. I gotta deal with what my head gives me, and turns out a 3 day work week, 4 day mom week is a pretty good deal right now.

The grandmas visited last weekend. They came in just to visit us and Fay. We had a great weekend centered around Fay. We went to Toys R Us in Times Square and rode on the Ferris Wheel. I also took the grandmas to our Gym class that we attend on Friday mornings. I'll tell you more about that in another post. And we went to the Brooklyn Children's museum for a FREE Saturday visit. Fay has never had so much fun packed into 3 days. Even the long bus commute home from the museum was pretty fun for Fay.


My mom brought a toddler sized rocking chair for Fay. It was originally crafted by my great grandfather and has been used by all generations along the way. The last to use it were my sister's three girls. We all thought Fay would get a kick out of sitting in a chair her size, but she surprised us by wanting to put her favorite friend in the chair and rock it. The friend? Her blankey. So adorable.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

leaving is hard to do

Its so hard to leave little crying, protesting Fay in the morning. Today was my second morning leaving her with Deb and it was harder than the first. I think she didn't know what was happening the first day, but today she knew. She clung to me and wouldn't let me put her down or hand her to Deb. Then Deb got the blanky and Fay eagerly walked over to her to get it, but then turned and started crying as I made my quick escape. As the door shut, I could hear her cry out in agony. My heart aches.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Babysitter found

I have found a daytime babysitter for Fay for 3 days a week. I used the site and did some power interviewing at the end of last week. I saw about 9 woman in 3 days. I was getting pretty discouraged by Thursday afternoon when I hadn't met anyone I liked. It amazes me that most of the women I interviewed would hardly interact with Fay. They would mostly talk to me about themselves and their skills, but I don't think they knew that they were in the spotlight for me to evaluate how they play and talk to Fay. Fay's opinion is just as important as mine!

Finally on Friday, I met a woman from Australia who I instantly liked. She is warm, kind, smart and resourceful. She also seems like she is eager to do the job and do it well. She has spent some years caring for children in third world countries when they've been traumatized and/or when they've lost their parents. I told her I was going to feel somewhat silly calling her references to ask if she was qualified to take care of ONE child in Manhattan, after caring for so many distraught children in Africa and Pakistan.

Of course her references had nothing but amazing things to say about her, as well as her new roommate in NY. She is new to NY, having been here only 3 months. So she will get to learn the city partially through a kid's eyes.

We worked together on Monday of this week, so Fay could get used to her and I could show her the neighborhood as well as Fay's routine. Then on Tuesday I went to work and left Fay with Deb for a full 10 hours. Things seemed to have gone well. There was some crying as I left and as Ryan left in the morning. And she was holding her blanky quite close all day for comfort. But Deb said by the afternoon, they had become better friends.

I didn't even really get the welcome I wanted at the end of the day. No running for the door as I pushed it open! Perhaps mommy was not missed as much as I had imagined. But I know she was a bit tuckered out because through this she is also transitioning to one nap. She is not getting as much sleep as she needs.

All in all, this return to work is going well. I like Deb a lot. As soon as I see Fay smile with glee when she comes in the morning, I will be fully relieved. She used to do that for Mandy. I know Fay has a lot of love in her heart for people other than me. She is such a sweet sweet girl.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

walking video!

We haven't posted a video in a long time. And this one is a good one! Mostly because it is the much awaited walking footage. Fay spent many months holding my hand to help her walk and just in the past week or two she has begun to walk on her own. This past week she stopped reaching for my hand much at all. And I was able to take her to the playground for the first time in a while last week. My heart almost skipped a beat when I saw her walking around on her own. We'd spent so much time last fall attached by the hands as she explored on foot. Now she can explore on her own. Of course she still stays pretty close to mom. I think its safe to say caution is part of Fay's personality. I'm happy for that!

Enjoy the video. )

Monday, February 23, 2009

back to work again

So I've decided to seek some part-time work. I've had so much fun staying home with Fay, but I've been feeling its time to go back to work for several reasons. The best reason is that I've started craving having a personal life away from Fay. Funny I should call that a personal life. Perhaps individual life would be a better phrase. Regardless, sometimes I feel like it would do both of us some good if I had some interests outside of the home. Secondly, Fay has definitely matured since I quit my job and decided to stay home and her play has changed to be more independent. So I find myself with more time during the day to check my email or bake a new pastry. And I think it might be interesting to me to spend some of that time actually building something or learning something. Thirdly, it would *definitely* be nice to get some more cash in the bank. Living on one salary hasn't been a hardship, but it has required us to budget more strictly. I've got my eye on a small summer vacation/long weekend to Fire Island this coming summer and that is not going to happen if I don't add a little income to the family pot.

I was a little concerned that in the current economic climate it might be hard to find a job and even harder to find a part-time job. But I have managed to find something, through a friend. And I think it will be interesting work. I am going into the office tomorrow to learn all the details. But I've already specified that I would like to work 3 days a week. I am hoping, 3 days working, 4 days with Fay a week will be ideal.

I'm a little nervous for the "back-to-work" transition. The first time I had to do it, after maternity leave, it was difficult and quite emotional. Granted, I was pumping milk from day one back on the job. So there were a lot of uncomfortable, unfamiliar, hormonal issues with that. One thing that calms my nerves this time is the fact that it is contract work. I imagine this project will probably last about 6 months. So, if after 6 months, I am missing Fay terribly again, perhaps I can take another leave of absence. Also, I believe there may be a chance that I can do some work from home. I'm not sure that will be ideal, since its hard to work with Fay around, but it is a nice option in case I need it.

Now I just have to find some child care....again!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

advanced communication

Fay added a sign to her communication wallet yesterday. I haven't really tried to teach her many signs. Sometimes its just inconvenient (I don't have my hands free to sign) and sometimes its just laziness. It really takes results for you to want to teach more signs, but by then it may be time for her to talk anyway! But about 2-3 months ago, I noticed one of Fay's friends doing the "more" sign and I thought that was a pretty useful sign. Its a somewhat abstract concept, so its not as easy for Fay to express by her usual means "uh, and point". So I've been signing it on and off, usually while we are eating. If she wants more milk I'll do the more sign (pinching your fingers and thumbs together and tapping them together again and again) before fetching the milk.

SO! Yesterday I was giving Fay a kind of airplane ride by lying on my back and perching her on my knees above me. After I did it once I asked her if she wanted more (just verbally -- I didn't do the sign). She looked at her hands and started clapping them. But then she looked at them more intently and changed the open palm clap into a pinched finger clap. So amazing to see her figure it out!!

So we did airplane rides and more signs for a long time because we were both having a lot of fun with that. :)

The coolest thing is that I've mostly, if not exclusively, used the sign during mealtimes. So for her to transfer that concept into another activity is really cool. Sometimes I don't know if she understands the meaning of a word or sign the same way I mean it. Like when she uses the "all done" sign to mean pick me up. I think she has misunderstood the meaning. But this was a clear case of, not only understanding the meaning of "more", but knowing that it applies to more than just food.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crossing feet

Feet crossed

One of the cutest little quirks that I love about Fay is she likes to cross her feet when she is eating in her high chair. So I wanted to post a photo of this for all to see. I could probably start a photo collage with daily examples of this. She does it almost every time.

Also, lest my readers think it is all daisies and sunshine over here at Fay's house, I have a story that may tarnish Fay's angelic image.

She was quite cranky last night after only have 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon (so much for smooth transition). So I was giving her a bath during which she became quite cranky and insisted on being pulled out. I won't name names, but someone decided to come into the bathroom and start pouring water on Fay's head which she did not like one bit.

So I pulled Fay out and stood her next to me on the bathroom floor. She immediately decided to start peeing on my leg. I felt something wet and thought she was dripping on me, but no it was a nice strong stream of pee. Why she couldn't do this in the nice warm bath, I don't know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

--> one nap

The books I've read about sleep training and what to expect on napping have said that the transition from two naps to one can be quite difficult. It outlines tons of tactics (make the morning nap later...skip the second nap all together....earlier bedtime...). And it says that each baby is different and will handle this transition differently. But the overall message I got is that the baby will be out of sorts and tired until she gets on the correct new schedule, which takes some trial and error and just takes time to adjust.

So far (knock on wood) Fay's transition has been pretty smooth. The most difficult thing about it is that I don't know from day to day what time she will nap. Sometimes she wants two naps, sometimes she doesn't want her morning nap, and sometimes she'll nap for 3 hours in the morning and not want an afternoon nap. The reason I say this is smooth is because Fay hasn't been terribly cranky and she still averages 2-3 hours of naps a day. I don't have many activities that we MUST attend at a specific time, so its ok if her naps are all over the time. All I desire is SOME nap time, so I can get a little time to myself for house chores and for sanity time (re: computer time!)

Yesterday Fay napped from 8am - 11am and then was up till 7pm bedtime. Today she played in her crib from 8:30-9:15 (did not want to sleep), so I got her out and we played until noon. So today is a one nap day for sure. When I went to get her at 9:15 she had done some investigative work in her crib. She had pulled up her sheet and her mattress pad underneath. She's never done that before. I guess she wanted to figure out what they were.

She's been soooo curious lately. Its really fun to watch. She occupies her self for much longer now when playing with the same things she has always played with. I think she is seeing them in a new light.

Oh, Oh, I hear Fay waking up and its only ben 1.5 hours. I would love her to get at least 2 hrs.....

Today I am baking zuchinni bread for the first time. I thought it would be a nice change from the banana bread I usually make, and I read a recipe that was raved about. So far it smells divine in the oven. Must be all that cinnamon it called for.

I'm also making a new shirt for Fay. This one is a totally originally design, so it could be terribly cute or just terrible. I'll post pictures at some point. It is a green t-shirt with knitted sleeves.

Better get ready to go get Fay....

Thursday, February 12, 2009


In motion

I guess we can officially say Fay is walking. She takes many steps on her own, especially at home where she feels safe and can walk short distances between furniture and parents.

I wanted to write a post about Fay's current interests and play. I feel like I haven't documented any in a while and since I'm not exactly keeping up with the baby book, I need to write some down here.

Fay loves to play peek-a-boo. She mostly likes to put her blankey in front of her face and then pull it down to reveal! Fay also loves to play peek-a-boo using the living room coffee table. There are two levels to the table with a space in between, so she will get down on her knees and peek through the middle space until you notice.

Fay's other favorite past time is to put things in and out of containers. This has been happening for a while, but it has advanced. She likes to fit things through spaces and put lids on and off. She also likes to open and close doors. So she is really fascinated with how things operate and fit. She is getting a little better at her shape sorter toy, though she certainly hasn't mastered that yet. Recently she was amazed by how the butter compartment in the fridge opens up and closes down -- rather then the regular open by pulling and close by pushing. We had some good morning time working the butter compartment.

Each night now when Fay goes to sleep we close the blinds, turn on the fan, and then she points towards to bedroom door because she wants to help close the door. Then we will drink a little milk and walk toward the crib. Fay will drop her blankey in the crib and get ready to be lowered in herself. It is such a short "bedtime routine" from what I've read, I think we really got off lucky. I imagine books will eventually be incorporated in bedtime. But for now, she wants to get down to the sleeping business.

I *think* Fay has been saying "mama". She mostly says it in desperation -- when I am attempting to set her down and she still wants to be carried she will say "mamamama". The grandmas thought this was definitely "mama". I was skeptical, but I'm going with it. I also had a discussion with Fay about saying the word "up" and she seems to be responsive. :) One day, I offered her my hand to help her walk and she go so mad instantly, she was beside herself. What she wanted was to be picked up. I told her that she needed to tell me this by saying "up" because otherwise I didn't understand. Now it does seem as if she is trying to say that word when she wants up.

Although! Speaking of "up". Fay seems to have changed the sign language I taught her for "all done" into meaning "pick me up". She waves her little hand when she is done eating in the high chair and I lift her out. Now she also waves her little hand when she is on the floor. So I can only guess it means pick me up, or remove me from this situation. Not quite sure.

Fay still loves squirrels and birds. I swear I caught her saying birdie yesterday as she screamed to the birds from our balcony. But I can't be sure.

And Fay definitely understands many words. She knows what "music" means. When I say music she looks at the stereo and starts to crawl towards it (affirmative, play some music!). She knows the word "blankey". Which we try not to mention if she is not currently obsessing over it. She seems to know water, milk, cracker, raisin, breakfast, lunch, dinner, nap, walk (as in, lets try walking Fay!)

Fay has so many teeth I almost can't count them all. On the bottom she has 7-8 teeth. She has all four in front, two molars, and one eye tooth coming in (possibly two). I tried to get a photo of them, while she was crying but clearly that upset Fay even more. Bad mommy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby free weekend

Fay's grandmas were kind enough to come in for a weekend an babysit so Ryan and I could get away. I planned this weekend last December as a birthday present to Ryan. We had the grandmas come in on Thursday and Ryan and I left on Friday for a 6 hour drive to Vermont. I planned a snowboarding trip to Jay Peak which is 10 miles from the Canadian border. We have snowboarded at other VT spots and been consistently disappointed in the lack of snow and abundance of icy trails. From what I read, Jay Peak was supposed to have better conditions. The only drawback is it is a 6.5 hour drive. But seeing as how we were going to be alone as a couple (sans Fay) in a car for 6 hours with some music, it seemed like a pretty good deal.

The trip was fantastic. The drive was beautiful and relaxing. We listened to tons of music and chatted and slept. The only bump in the road trip was Ryan receiving a speeding ticken ONE MILE away from our VT exit off the highway. He was going well over 80 mph for the last couple hours of the trip and we literally had 5 minutes left before exiting the highway to the more rural roads. The VT police officer seemed very apologetic as he handed us our $200+ speeding ticket. Unbelievable.

Our lodging proved to be quaint but comfortable. Our room was the tiniest I've seen. There was just enough room for a queen bed, tv and upright chair. There was no closet, no desk....we did have a bathroom though, fortunately. The lodge chose to allocate more room to the common areas of the building, which I'd say was the right decision. They had a beautiful bar/restaurant with a fireplace and and cozy atmosphere. Ryan and I spent both evenings drinking and eating near the fire.

The snowboarding on Saturday was pretty good. I don't know if it was really worth the extra 2-3 hour drive, but it was perfectly fine for our first trip boarding in 3 years. The weather was fantastic (warm 30s!) and there was more snow than ice. The trail was pretty small, so there wouldn't be much variety after a day or so. But again, it was fine for our one day boarding vacation.

Fay seemed to have a fantastic time at home with the grandmas. The reports included that she did not want to eat her (favorite) egg quiche that her mom had left for her. Rather, she wanted to fill up on blueberries and banana bread. I think there may have been a tad bit of grandmotherly spoiling going on, which was nice to hear. Fay has such a hard life with the likes of me, that she deserves a little pampering. ;)

And the grandmas seemed to enjoy NYC with Fay. They went out to brunch and walked around the neighborhood. And there were tails of an attempted bath with a crying Fay. I guess she missed me after all.

Ryan and I got big smiles from Fay once we returned. It was really fun to get away, I definitely missed my little girl. But I think we should do that more often. It really helps the sanity to have moments of adulthood that last longer then a 3 hour evening.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fully weened

Before the Jamaica vacation I was still nursing Fay mornings and nights with cow's milk during the day. I really didn't think there was much milk coming from my body anymore as the udders had returned to their pre-pregnancy size. But both Fay and I really enjoyed the close time together.

Sometime during the Jamaica vacation I started giving her the bottle in the morning. I think it was because she was not eating hardly any solid food (prefering a milk only diet). So I started pumping her full of formula in the morning to make sure she was getting some nutrients.

When we got home, I was still nursing Fay in the evenings, but I decided to stop that as well because it seems like the right time, and Ryan and I also have a weekend away coming up.

Ryan helped out by putting Fay down for almost two weeks in a row, so that she might forget about the mommy milk. At about day 4 Ryan said Fay started looking to his chest for a little love, but was sadly turned away. He said he could understand why it was necessary for him to put her to sleep during this transition. The look she gave him when asking for a little boobie love was hard to turn down.

Last Thursday I put Fay down for the first time with a bottle in the evening. It went really well and has been fine since. She had officially gotten over the mommy milk. Though she doesn't show a tremendous amount of interest in her evening bottle. She is generally so tired that she wants to quickly go to bed after a couple tastes.

A girlfriend asked me how *I* was doing after the weening. I believe I am supposed to feel a bit depressed because of the loss of an important experience as well as some hormonal changes due to no more breast feeding. I have generally felt fine. Thought today for the first time I feel as if I could cry at the drop of a hat. Not sure if that is from the weening or if its just things that are going on around me (various stresses, or tensions). Guess we will never know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feeling better

The Rain Forest at the Central Park Zoo

Well, we are all feeling a little better now. I think Fay is totally healthy again. She is eating like a starved animal, so I think she has her appetite back.

I managed to catch the stomach bug on Friday night. I thought it was food poisoning at first because it came on right after dinner out. But I was tired all weekend and had the big D. I'm still not through the woods, but its easier for me to just limit my food and I feel better. A little tired, but at least not nausiated.

Fay was a little stir crazy this weekend so we took her to the Central Park Zoo. It was freezing! on Saturday but they have a Rain Forest area of the zoo that is steamy warm. There are tons of amazing tropical birds to hear and see along with a handful of critters like snakes, frogs and bats.

As you can imagine Fay just loved the birds. She kept pointing them out to us and grunting and had a very concerned look on her face. I think it was actually a look of amazement.

On Sunday we had beautiful weather, so we actually got to go to the playground for the first time in a long time. Fay can walk pretty well, but doesn't choose to most of the time, so the park was a lot of up and down and whining for mom to pick her up. Lately I've been *encouraging* Fay to walk on her own and Fay's been crying for me to pick her up. Then we usually end up in the middle, with me holding her hand which is really where we started in the first place. I think she's got my number.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Through the woods?

Fay seems to be on the mend. There has been no throw up for 48 hours. Although she is still sick on the back end. She doesn't want to eat much. So far the only foods acceptable to Fay have been blueberries, pears, applesauce and a few crackers. She really wants milk which I'm trying to limit because it is supposed to be bad for the diarrhea.

Her spirits are pretty well though. She is more tired than normal, but I'm trying to get her back into her regular routine. Yesterday we went to her music class which she enjoyed somewhat.

One silver lining -- I've had to do a lot less cooking for Fay over the past couple days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

still sick

Well, of course 24 hours have not even passed since the first vomit, so I probably should have expected some more. Fay threw up again this morning. She woke up at 4am, ravenous -- so I gave her some milk and put her back to bed. The crib was clean when she woke up at 7am and had some more milk. She promptly vomited by 7:30am and had her first of perhaps many baths today. This time she was pretty content to be in the bath.

I decided to stay away from milk because its probably hard to digest and it stinks something awful when it comes up. So when she was begging for more food and milk, I gave her some toast with peanut butter and some water. That was at 8am. So far so good. She went down for a nap at 9am and all seems well.


Its 12:30 and no more throw up so far. The toast stayed down, along with some banana and applesauce. She cries for milk but will finally take water after some protesting. I've mixed up a rehydration solution for when she wakes up from her current nap. 4 cups water, 8 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt. I read that this solution combined with some potassium (banana) is good to use if you don't have a store bought rehydration solution.


Nap number three started at 3pm. Still no throw up since 7:30 this morning! She's not really interested in eating anymore, which I was expecting. But she did manage to finish a single size applesauce. Which makes me happy because she is refusing to drink water! I had to force feed her a little before her nap started. That was fun. Almost as fun as taking the butt temp with her crying over my knee. She has a temp of 100.3

Yay! No more throw up. She has mostly been eating blueberries and pears all afternoon. Which again was great because the pears were really juicy. Finally around 5pm I gave her a little milk even though all the advice for vomiting/diarrhea say not to. I limited it and watched her for an hour, and she was fine. Guess I made the right mommy decision for Fay because she seemed to have better energy and was in great spirits. She could barely keep her eyes open past 6:30, so she is now slumbering. Hopefully tomorrow will be another day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

silkwood baby

No photos on this post since the tale it tells involves much vomit.....

Fay is sick. And mommy is very tired of cleaning up smelly, disgusting clothing and blankets. yuck.

It all seemed a bit sudden. Fay did have a little runny nose yesterday, but it turned into something else today. This morning she was playing fine and eating fine. She had a hearty lunch of mac/cheese/peas. She went down for her afternoon nap really easily. Then after about 2 hours of napping, I thought I'd check on her because it had been quite a long nap. At the same moment that I thought of checking on her I noticed this awful vomit smell consuming the apartment. I opened her door and the smell was stronger. Then I saw my baby girl lying in a large pool of curdled milk, cheese and peas. There was a lot of it. Pretty disgusting.

She was still sleeping fairly blissfully. So I removed her blanket from her grasp and washed it in the tub. By the time I was done, she was rustling awake. But she wasn't cranky or bothered by the stinky, stinky state of her crib.

I sprang into action....picked her up and rushed her to the bathroom where I immediately removed all her dirty clothes and tried to get the milk out of her hair. But the milk was too strong for me and a puny washcloth so I had to run a bath for Fay. And this is where Silkwood comes in. Poor little Fay started crying and shaking her head "no". She didn't want a bath. If I had to guess, she probably wanted to be hugged and gently walked out to the living room for her after nap snack. But no, she was sitting in water being scrubbed by her mom. I was completely reminded of the scene in Silkwood where Cher is being scrubbed for radiation in a shower with uber-hot water.

And the fun didn't stop there. After bathing Fay and putting on fresh clothes (both of us). I brought Fay and her washed, wet blanky down the the laundry room so we could dry the blanket. Oh, AND, I gave Fay a healthy dose of milk before heading down to the laundry room (oops).

Fay lost her milk all over the laundry room floor. After creating quite a mess, I rushed her over to the laundry tub/sink and desperately asked this old woman to move aside and let me use the sink because my baby was vomiting. She either didn't hear well, or couldn't understand me because she mentioned something about hurrying up and just continued to tidy up the lid of her liquid laundry detergent! Finally, I got to the tub, and washed Fay down a bit.

She up-chucked two more times before finally heading to bed. She tossed it on her blanky again, so I had to run that through the laundry again. And we attempted to put Fay to sleep with an imposter blanky, but she was not happy with that. She just sat and cried in her crib (so SAD!). Finally, her blanket was dry and I brought it in to her. She immediately snuggled into it and fell asleep. Ahhh, finally some much deserved rest.