Thursday, July 29, 2010

Missing Teeth

Hannah lost two teeth tonight. She is so excited! She's going to be rich with Tooth Fairy money!

Hannah the Teacher

Hannah loves playing with Elijah. And he loves everything she does. She sat him on her lap and tried to teach him his letters the other day. He likes the idea of it and even tries to get the letters onto the Word Whammer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tourist Spotting

You can google "how to spot a tourist in NYC" and read several funny observations. Most mention that tourists seem to love fanny packs, and taking pictures of everything. True enough. I was thinking about this because the other day I saw a guy walking down our street and immediately I thought, "What's a tourist doing on our street?" I wondered what made me think he was a tourist. I decided it was his starched, brightly colored, Hawaiian shirt, and the M&M World bag he was carrying. Now I am thinking about this more. . .

Grown man wearing shorts in Manhattan on a weekday and he's not delivering something, he's likely a tourist.

Family in Manhattan all walking together on a weekday - tourists.

Carrying an Apple Store bag (easy target), M&M World, FAO Schwarts, American Girl bag - tourist. Locals don't go to Manhattan to buy $12/lb M&Ms. And if they want something from American Girl, they order it on-line so they don't have to carry it across town.

Guy eating hot dog from vendor, not uncommon. Eating hot dog from vendor while spouse takes pictures - tourist.

Backpack or T-shirt has gibberish logo or writing - tourist from another country.

Get on subway and immediately start scheming to get a seat - local.

Get on subway and start gawking or taking pics - tourist about to get run over by seat schemer.

Family walking together on a weekend, all have backpacks - tourists.

People sitting next to you on subway excitedly discussing all they are going to do when they get to their stop that is 5 stops away in the opposite direction - tourists.

Wearing bright colors - tourist or recently moved here. Clothes here fade quickly, some say because of the city dirt that coats everything.

Family with a child in a stroller, may or may not be tourists. Family trying to fit stroller through turnstiles at subway entrance - tourists. Locals know to send the first member of their party through the turnstile. He opens the emergency exit door (yes the alarm sounds, but no one cares) and the stroller is pushed through to him. Then the rest of the party goes through the turnstile like normal, without raising a commotion, congesting the subway entrance, and almost dumping a baby on the subway station floor.

Feel they owe panhandler explanation, apology, or any acknowledgment at all - tourists.

Get to the counter and don't know what they want to order - tourists about to get yelled at.

Whole family wearing foam Statue of Liberty hats - tourists.

I get it now: The Wheels on the Bus

Ever sing a song and not really know what you're singing about? I remember being in London and Brian Goodall said we couldn't go to some palace because the Queen was in residence. He said he knew this because her flag was flying there. A light bulb went off in my head and that song "Joy is the Flag Flown High (from the castle of my heart)" made perfect sense. Joy shows Jesus lives in me. I had sung that song for almost 30 years and had no idea what it meant.

Same for "Wheels on the Bus," but make that close to 40 years. In Texas the only bus anyone rides is a school bus. So when I would sing "the babies on the bus go wah wah wah" and "the mamas on the bus go sh sh sh" I just assumed they were all on school bus for a field trip with the babies' older siblings. But the other day when I was riding the MTA and the wipers on the bus were going swish swish swish and Elijah was going wah wah wah and I was going sh sh sh, I realized that I was in the middle of "The Wheels on the Bus" and I was not on a field trip.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Captain Underpants

This is another pic he'll hate when he's 15, but it's so cute now. These are the cutest little training pants ever. I think they are probably run of the mill training pants but putting them on the cutest baby in the world makes them cute too.

Elijah has been doing very well at potty training. If anyone's interested, this is called Elimination Communication. I watch him and I can mostly tell when he needs to go and if I get him on the potty in time, he goes in there. It saves me the trouble of having to wash diapers and it keeps him cleaner. There are many benefits beside those. We're not fanatic about it. We do what we can and if we don't make it, it's no big deal. He wears plastic covers to keep from messing everything up if he has a "miss." I think he feels like a big boy when he makes it to the potty. But I could be making that up. . .

Paul adds that Elijah looks like he's playing air guitar.

King Kong ain't got nothin' on Elijah!

This picture should go in the Bad Idea Archives. We got a tower fan. These things are awesome, by the way. The Goodalls have a couple and so do the Schirmers. So I picked one up as soon as we got back from TX last month. I have the thermostat on 82F and it feels cool in here. So this tower fan looks like a skyscraper and Elijah was trying to climb it. Paul thought he looked like King Kong scaling the Empire State Building. We took the pic and then told the poor kid he can't do that again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Accordion

On the way to the park we passed a stoop sale. They had this accordion for a dollar. So I bought it. Paul was fit to be tied. He said it was the worst garage sale purchase ever. But Hannah loves it. She has seen this toy before at the toy store and she has always talked about it. My grandmother used to play an accordion. Hannah talks about that often. After I bought it, Hannah went wild and she kept saying "I'm SO HAPPY!" We went to the park and all her friends there wanted to see it. Paul had them stand under a tree off in the distance, but the sound still carried and it sounded like they were right next to us. But it's not awful. Paul will even play around with it some and we don't mind if she "practices" in the apartment - a little.

Hustlers at the Park

This place is full of what I like to call "hustlers." These are people who are earning a living that they will probably NOT be paying taxes on. There are the water hustlers who walk around selling "ice cold water" out of coolers, the tamale lady, the Italian ice guy, and then there are the street performers, balloon animal makers, and face painters who work for tips. These folks go around to parks and set up shop. The balloon animal folks and face painters just show up and start doing their thing and have a little "tips" jar. Kids flock to them and parents will give a dollar to see their kids having fun. It works. Hannah likes her butterfly face, but she was so worried that she'd mess it up that she wanted me to take a picture and then wash it off. Funny kid.

The Garden

Our building has a backyard. When we moved here last year, it was full of weeds that were taller than Hannah. The owner told me I could do whatever I wanted with it. I planted a couple of things, but I didn't go to too much trouble. During the winter Matt and Anne moved in upstairs. They have experience in transforming a patch of neglected earth into a garden and they were eager to get the yard into shape. Several other residents in the building said they wanted to do something too. But Matt and Ann really had the vision. We've enjoyed working out there, planting, weeding, watering, and seeing the change it's made. Matt and Anne found this great table and chairs at a stoop sale (garage sale). Hannah likes to picnic out there in the afternoons and she likes to do her writing out there sometimes.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I get it now: Ergo

Ergo Baby Carriers have got to be the most popular baby carriers up here. You can't go 3 minutes without seeing one. I resisted it for so long. Carissa Brown gave me her Ergo and I was very grateful, but I was also convinced that nothing could beat my home made baby wrap. I do love my baby wrap and so does Elijah. But it's too hot to wear in the summer. So I tried the Ergo and I was hooked! Elijah is close to 20 pounds now and I wear him for hours at a time and I don't hurt or ache and he is happy as a clam in there. He sleeps when he's tired and he enjoys the ride when he's awake and we go on our adventures. Thanks again Carissa!

Union Square again

I think this looks like the thing they hang your dry cleaning on at the cleaners. Hannah likes it though. This part of the playground wasn't open last time we were there.

I saw a guy selling T shirts with the BP logo and the word "boycott" on it at Union Square today. I wouldn't know how to boycott BP if I wanted to. I called Stephanie O'Dell the other day just to tell her I saw a gas station for the first time in months. I have to wonder who this guy thinks he's going to sell a shirt to. There are millions of pedestrians here and I think you might be able to argue that we're all kind of boycotting all the big oil companies, sort of.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

This is a new park that runs between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. There are a couple of fun playgrounds here. I like this shot because you can see the Brooklyn Bridge, The Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building in the background.

Well drat, you have to click on the pic to see the Chrysler Building.

Union Square

A new playground just opened at Union Square. This is some kind of modern looking merry-go-round. Looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen to me. But Hannah loved it.

Here's a tip for you tourists who might one day visit NYC. Union Square is where the locals go shopping at the big chain stores. There's Best Buy, Whole Foods, Babies R Us, American Eagle, 2 different Starbucks, etc. You might wonder why this is important. Why would you want to waste time in NYC at a national chain store that you could visit in your home town? It's simple. You won't go there to shop. They have great bathrooms, huge bathrooms with no lines and plenty of everything a bathroom ought to have. The problem with NYC touristy things is that you can never find a bathroom, and you end up going to Starbucks and waiting in line with 20 other people. It's funny to see 20 people in line at Starbucks in Union Square! They could just go to Best Buy and take care of business without the pressure of knowing the guy behind him is dancing in pain if they take too long. Also noteworthy is the fact that the bathroom at the Starbucks on Canal St in Chinatown has been "broken" for at least a year now. It was "broken" the first time we came up here last June and they still haven't fixed it. I'll bet the broken bathroom saves that location thousands in toilet paper a month! If you need a bathroom in Chinatown go to a national chain hotel like Marriott. They might make you buy something at the bar to get access to the facilities, but trust me, it's worth it.

The Met

We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They have a huge section with Egyptian artifacts. Hannah prefers the museums that have buttons and levers for her to mess with. She kept asking when we'd get to that part of the museum. A fun memory for Elijah: He made use of the lovely bathrooms at the Met. I'd like to have a facebook application that shows all the places baby has used the potty. I would drop pins at The Boat Pond in Central Park, The Met, Laguardia Airport, DFW, Mimi's house, Govenors Island, Rockefeller Center... He'll want to remember that when he gets older, I'm sure.

Egg Rolls and Egg Cream

Egg Rolls and Egg Cream was a fun little NYC thing to do.
This is a street festival that takes place where Chinatown connects to a large Jewish community.

Here the kids can make a Lion of Judah mask or a Year of the Tiger mask.

Hannah was a Lion of Judah.

And every little girl needs a custom yarmulke! Paul said he saw an old Chinese guy wearing a yarmulke that said "Alice." I so wish I had a pic of that.

Hannah in Prince Ugly

Hello again blog world. My laptop was down until last week. Andrew, the family computer whiz, fixed it while we were in TX. THANKS ANDREW!!

Hannah was in a play at her homeschool co-op. She practiced projecting her voice and she did a great job!