Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Hannah walked right into the door the other day. She was so mad, and embarrassed, and just a little bit hurt. She cried. I grabbed the camera and told her to do it again so we could show Baba. So this is Hannah replaying her mishap. She cheered right up.


Parkour was recently featured as a silly subplot on The Office. I wonder when we can start Hannah in Parkour lessons.

You may be asking why this pic is included in a Parkour post. Look closely at Hannah's right hand and you will see how it's scratched up. This comes from her sliding down the subway stairs' handrails, holding onto Paul's hand with one hand and the rail with the other. Sometimes she makes contact with the wall and scratches herself. I call it "germification power." I think it's so gross and I can't wait to giver her a wet wipe bath. But she and Paul think it's a riot.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I wanted to give a quick promo to Milkshare. The generous mothers in the Milkshare yahoo group have been feeding Elijah through donating their milk to him. I am so grateful. The concept is simple, if you have extra milk, you post, and if you need extra milk, you post, like freecycle, but for milk. I posted when Elijah was born and Heather Dy picked up 100oz for him in Mesquite. I posted when we arrived in Brooklyn and 2 ladies who live 5 blocks from us have been sharing their surplus ever since. There have been a couple of other donors too. It's interesting to see how Elijah's been fed milk from around the world. He's had milk from a Chilean lady, a Russian Jewish lady, a Mexican lady, a Hungarian lady, and a couple of white folks too. If you or anyone you know has or needs milk, this is a wonderful resource.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some pictures.

Hannah does love her brother, even if she does sometimes ask if we are his owners. I explain that he is family, not a pet. But he is the size of the cat, though much less mobile. So I can see where she'd be confused.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I wanted to tell you about the Target at Atlantic Center. I looked for some websites to link. There's one that gives a great picture of life at the AC Target, but it's got a big giant Brooklyn word in the name of the website. I just can't link to it. But everything they say about it is true.

So this Target is like nothing I've ever seen before. It has two levels and a special escalator for the carts.

But the escalator doesn't take the stroller up. So we take the biggest elevator I've ever seen.

So here's the deal with the Target. The employees seem like they are more interested in socializing than working. You hardly ever see just one Target worker bee. They run in packs and they gossip about whoever's missing from the herd. There was one guy who wanted to talk loudly to whoever would listen about "nationality" and how it's no good for these parents to try to make their kids keep their old country's culture. They're in America now. They are going to act American. He doesn't act Dominican. He's an American. I am just at a loss as to why he thinks I came to Target to discuss this with him. I just want to find a light bulb. Can he help me? I see why the herd employees are hiding from him.

And they swear at each other and talk about how they told the manager what he could do ... I saw this one lady carrying on about the new registers and how she banged her elbow on them and she wanted the old registers back. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You think they are going to go find the old registers and bring them back for you? What's easier to replace? A bank of cash registers or an employee who apparently has no peripheral vision. Later, I saw her running around with a bandage and they let her push the carts around.

But I love Target. I don't care that it's messy and I have to stand in line at the registers. It's still Target! If I need something, I look there first. And I've been there enough that I know how to avoid the employees who have left the herd and I know which herd of employees is most likely to be helpful if I need assistance. It's still better than hunting through multiple hardware stores for something. And most of the time, I can maneuver the stroller through all the aisles, which is more than I can say for any hardware store I've ever been in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The weigh-in

We've been joking about taking Elijah to the Korean grocer to weigh him. I say that the Dr's office is full of sick people, but the Korean grocery store is full of bell peppers. We were passing this scale at the farmer's market and we asked about weighing a baby in the produce scale. The apple lady thought it would be fun. Here are the results.

Two students

Hannah likes it when Elijah watches her do her schoolwork. She talks to him about whatever she's doing. Here, she's drilling him on addition facts. She is so proud to be teaching him something and she does extra good work when her student appears to be awake for his lesson.

Pics of Elijah

Stop hounding me already. Here are some pics of the boy.

He likes hanging out with us. He looks so happy and relaxed when Hannah chatters at him. She likes to tell him the story of how he came to our family. "You were in Miss Heather's tummy, then the hospital. Then we went to Dallas and you are in our family now. Now you are my brother." And he soaks it in and I swear he smiles at her. They are going to be best friends for life - as long as he doesn't spit up on her again. She HATES that.


I love this thing.


Some of you may remember my fascination with gadgets. This bike is the ultimate gadget for a Brooklyn pedestrian like me. I have wanted one of these things since before they were actually available for purchase. They are having a "Win a Zigo" contest. I have entered. Anyone else want to enter for me? You can tell them in a essay how enthusiastic (pushy) I am and how I am a trend setter or something and how, if they select me, you just know their sales will sky rocket.

I know that you are all out there scolding me for a lack of pics of the kids. If you do this I will take loads of pics of the kids in the Zigo and all our dreams will have come true.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Good neighborhood?

When Michaela was freaking out the other night because I was yelling at Honking Man, she started asking me about the neighborhood and if I was safe to be outside at 10:30 at night. I've never felt UNsafe in my neighborhood, but maybe I am just naive. I started making a mental list of how you know if you're in a good or a bad neighborhood. This is a newcomer's list and by no means comprehensive or even an accurate list. It's just a list of what makes me feel like I'm in a safe area.

I will say there was one time when I was walking a little ahead of Paul and Hannah and I saw a guy peeing against the wall across the street that I felt uneasy. I didn't cross the street even though I needed to. And I didn't go over there and lecture him even though I WANTED to. I rejected that impulse when he started making smooching noises at me. I am sure he was too drunk to do anything but air smooch though. I should have yelled at him. Maybe next time.

Another time we were walking home through the most popular area of our neighborhood and we saw these ladies flag down a police car and tell them how a thug just ran up and grabbed one of the ladies' phone from her. Two guys saw it and ran after the phone thief. Paul and I decided that a baby is worth running after. A phone can be replaced. We agreed that neither of us will reflexively run after anyone who has stolen anything that isn't human.

My list, with brief explanations:

lost found signs - If there are lots of "found" signs, it's good. This shows me people are willing to help each other and I feel like it's a good neighborhood.

trash - The area being covered with trash is not a good indicator of anything other than being in NYC.

multi colored cars - In Dallas, a neighborhood with several cars that are patched up with different colored parts, is often considered dodgy. Not here. Cars get beat up here, kind of like shoes. They are scuffed and bumped and dented just from being NYC cars.

laundry mats - In Dallas laundry mats aren't the greatest places. I remember when Daniel was in the hospital and our washer and dryer were broken. I HATED THAT! I finally found a laundry mat near the university that didn't make me want to take a bath upon exiting. Here, most people use laundry mats. They are everywhere. The one at the corner is has a 24 hour attendant and you can drop off or pick up your dry cleaning any time of day. I will miss that when it's not available to me anymore.

clothes lines - In Dallas, it seems the the presence of clotheslines in a neighborhood could indicate a bad neighborhood. Here clotheslines aren't about necessity, they are about reducing your carbon footprint. Clotheslines are a source of pride in my neighborhood. People who have them drone on and on about it and are sure to make it known that they are better than those earth hating "dryer people." Greenies go to great trouble to haul their wet, heavy laundry home to hang it to dry.

recycling - If the recycling cans are full of the right thing, not trash and leaves, but actual sorted recyclables, I take it as a good sign. People who go to that much trouble don't have time to mug me.

stores with everything locked up - This is a bad sign. We were walking near Prospect Park in an area with gorgeous old architecture and kind of wondering about the area. I ran into a convenience store to get something and realized very quickly that we were in a bad neighborhood. Every last item in that store was locked up. If I wanted to buy something, I had to ask the clerk to get it for me. Not a good sign!

common sense prohibitions - You shouldn't have to have a sign that says "No loud music, no spitting, no urinating ..." If you see that sign, find a different place to live.

shoes on power lines - Although no one can agree on what shoes dangling from power lines means, all the natives I know agree that it's a bad sign.

advertisements - If the billboards and ads in the area are for TV shows about models and cooking, that's a good thing. If they are for criminal defense lawyers, paternity tests, and bail bond places, find a different place to live.

chain restaurants - In NYC, chain stores seem to be a bad sign. Around here especially, people scoff at you for eating at a chain. It's worse than being French.

community gardens - Greenies are always eye-ing vacant lots for a chance to plant something. Community gardens are a good sign.

puke/pee in subway - Is everywhere and not a good barometer of the neighborhood.

natural grocers - In Park Slope, all the grocery stores claim to be "Natural." My friend who moved here from Bed-Stuy said easy access to organic food was quite refreshing.

chinese/mexican combo restaurants - I still can't get used to that. I don't know what it means. I just think it's weird.

Fresh Direct boxes - I think seeing Fresh Direct boxes everywhere is reassuring. If people don't have time to go to a grocery store, they are too busy to mug me. Also, if Fresh Direct won't deliver to an area, there's probably a good reason and you don't want to live there.

Excitement at Ballet Class

Hannah takes Spanish Immersion Ballet at this little place across the street. She and Paul went to class by themselves Saturday and Elijah and I went over to meet them a little later. We missed all the excitement. Paul and the other parents were a little early and Miss Lucia hadn't gotten there to let them in. They could, however, hear someone in the school. They knocked and just heard a muffled voice through the glass windows. At some point someone suggested that there was a child trapped in the bathroom in there. 911 was called and efforts were made to rescue the child. There was yelling in attempts at reassurance. Someone called out "What's your name honey?" Paul pressed his ear to the glass and heard "!!!LUTHIA!!!" (the Spaniard pronunciation for "Lucia"). The fire trucks were just arriving when the teacher, Miss Lucia, was finally able to free herself from the bathroom with the broken doorknob. Poor thing, she was in there for 40 minutes. Hannah thought it was the best ballet class ever though.

The ill mannered dog (owner)

I took the cat to the mobile clinic Saturday morning. There was this lady who seemed to think that people like it when her dog jumps on them. I was sitting near her and the dog tried to get in my lap. I am sure I looked irritated. She finally reigned him in and apologized, but in a way that I sounded like the bad guy for not appreciating her awesome dog. Grr. I noticed that she watched that dog carefully around food though. She didn't want him to eat and ruin his chances at a cheap neuter. If that dog got anywhere near even a rock that looked tasty, she pulled him back. I got out my trusty trail mix and started snacking. I clumsily spilled a couple of nuts and raisins on the ground between me and the dog. Problem solved.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

"You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." - Third of Five/Hugh, Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "I, Borg

I think I am being assimilated. The other night I was standing in front of our apartment talking to Michaela on the phone (because reception is so poor here, I often go outside to chat on the phone). It was about 10:30pm. Hannah was asleep in the bedroom, the room nearest the street. This car pulled up and started honking, and honking, and HONKING. Often car services will honk twice to announce their arrival to their customers. This guy was honking to get his friend to come down. I walked over and yelled "Hey buddy, my kid's sleeping over there. Use your phone!" Michaela was freaking out, convinced I was about to get shot. I didn't even think of that. I was just mad that this guy was so inconsiderate and I was going to give him a talking to for it.

Also, I have mentioned before that Hannah still rides in the AWESOME stroller Paul got me a couple of years ago. She rides in there for several reasons, not the least of which is to help me get her and our stuff where we need to go. We often walk at least a few miles a day. Now that I am wearing Elijah, people seem to think it's OK to tell my 6 year old that she's too big for the stroller. I think they think they are taking up for me, that Hannah's in Elijah's spot or something. They don't know that one of my absolute favorite things in the world is wearing babies and that I wore Hannah until her feet drug the ground. Anyway, I have selected my response for the next time this happens - "Whattah you? Duh strolluah police? Don't tawlk to my kid about tings you don't unduhstand."

Don't worry, if I were truly being assimilated, there would be a couple of F bombs thrown in there for emphasis. And Paul says I've always been like this but I have to behave myself in The South. Paul says, "You aren't being assimilated, you've found your people."