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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".