Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring has sprung! We have had the most beautiful weather and I have to say it has brought out every body and the playground is now packed. For all of those who don't live in the city you might not understand what I like to call, "park politics." Because we don't have backyards we are forced to deal with complete strangers and watch how they raise there children along with being told how we should raise ours. Our local playground used to be old worn equipment where only a dozen parents used to bring there kids. A couple of years ago I took Coolidge to this little playground on 110th and Central park where sometimes I didn't feel safe and have many times seen drug users piss, sleep and even bathe. They renovated the playground and now parents are leaving there neighborhoods just to come and hang at our little stomping grounds. The new comers never bothered me until recently. The old playground wasn't as appealing to the average parent but I loved that out of that dozen people six of them would watch my child as if he was there own. We had a tight nit bond and I felt secure that my child was taken care of. Now the playground has 4 dozen people at a time and I am lucky if I know 2 of them. I even got in an argument with one lady because her son was pressing my son's face into the ground. She actually called my son a sissy boy after I told her to keep an eye on her son instead of talking on the phone. I was shocked that those words came out of her mouth, and lets just say some real nasty words came out of mine. She later apologized and we actually got along after that. When you put 50 parents into a small space with different parenting techniques you are bound to lose your mind. There was a time that I saw to older people caring for a baby who was just old enough to walk. The baby was wailing to be picked up but they were trying to get her to crawl to them. She was so upset and they wouldn't cave. When she finally crawled to them and they still didn't pick her up. I lost it. I walked over and asked nicely if I could hold her. It took me a long time to come up with a way to ask without over stepping. However, every bone in my body made me feel I should do it. I to this day have no idea why they were pushing her to crawl. I have no idea what is going on in their life that would cause them to do that. I can only tell you it was one of the hardest things I have ever watched. I was just as frustrated yesterday when I saw this little boy about 3 years old with brown stuff all over the tops of his teeth. Now I don't know this boy but from what I saw this boy looked like he has never used a tooth brush in his 3 years of life. Most of you know how I feel about dental care. I just about lost it. I wanted to ask his mom, "WHY?"

Coolidge experienced his first school photo. Many of you have asked me why I don't have him modeling. Well, this story may answer your question. When Coolidge got to school, Ben walked him into the gym where they had the whole photo shoot set up. Coolidge took one look at the camera, lights and photographer and went into a total melt down. Ben turned around and Coolidge has tears streaming down his eyes and he is crying out "I don't want to take a photo". Somehow Ben got him to muster up the courage to take the class photo and some how the photographer got him to take a personal photo before Ben even noticed. If you look up close you can see the wet stain on his shirt from all his tears. He is gorgeous but photo taking by strangers is not his thing. Coolidge also had his first spring break this last week. We took a trip to the Bronx Zoo with a few of his and Brody's buddies. We got there early and it was a lot of fun. However, after about an hour and half the place was so packed you had to wait in line just to see a Lion taking a nap on a rock. It was as if every child in NYC decided to go to the zoo on the same day. When we all decided this was no longer fun we left the zoo to find a line that wrapped around the whole block. From what I heard there was a 4 hour wait to get in. Complete madness. The kids loved the subway just as much as they did the zoo. We didn't get to stay as long as we hoped so I promised Coolidge we would go back and next time we would see The World of Darkness first. Brody loved finding and picking up nature stuff. He also enjoyed pointing to the animals and waving bye as we left them.

Brody is talking up a storm. He babbles but you can't understand him. He also loves to repeat my words and phrases but, he isn't doing much of it on his own. We are finally a healthy house and the kids are back to there normal social fun loving self out and about every day. However, Brody is on a new timer. His internal clock seems to keep going off at 5:00am. It is so frustrating when he wakes up ready to party before the sun comes up, when all I want to do is close my eyes and keep on dreaming.

Ben is working like a dog right now. When the catering jobs are hot it's crazy. Right now he is waiting to hear from the DGA. He had his interview and felt like it went well. He prepared very hard for it and I don't see any reason why they wouldn't want him. They did tell him that advancing to this stage (the 2nd out of 3) was quite an achievement considering only 50 moved on from 300. So now he is competing with 50 other applicants. Only 12 people will move on to the 3rd phase, and only 5-7 will become Trainees. For those of you who don't know what the DGA is, it is the Director's Guild of America. If Ben gets picked, he will be trained for 2 years to be an assistant director and eligible to join the Union upon successful completion, hence commencing an official career in filmmaking. Please keep us in your prayers because this would be a great opportunity for him.

As some of you know, I cut most of my hair off. I have wanted to do it for almost a year now and I finally worked up the courage to do it. I have to say that at first I went through a bit of shock. I have cut my hair and dyed it at least 7 different ways but, for some reason it takes major courage for me to do it. I think having kids has grounded me and makes me think twice before
taking a plunge. I have to say I am glad I did it. I spent all last summer with it tied up because I get so hot. It takes a lot of work to blow out long hair and I hate that I spend most of my days with it pulled back. It takes me a fraction of the time to blow it out now and i am not dying of heat when I go out.

I have the best news ever. Yes, Starbucks is coming soon to my neighborhood. 3 1/2 blocks away to be exact. I know that once again this doesn't' mean much to you but, for us Harlemites, this is major. Harlem is probably the largest neighborhood in Manhattan and we have only 2 Starbucks. So for you folks who don't live here, imagine walking two avenues and 12blocks just to get your mocha or frappucino. My other option is two hike up hill 4 avenues and one block over which is more like 9 blocks. Those have been my options and I can't say I enjoy it. Anywhere else in Manhattan you can't miss a Starbucks. I used to work on the upper Westside and I was able to get a Starbucks from two different places all within 3-4 blocks tops. So maybe now you can understand how exciting this is.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cold and Flu and doctor visits

Brody had his check up at the doctors and it was a bit crazy. He is a very social person but he needs time to warm up to you before you can touch him. Well lets just say he didn't have enough time and screamed the entire visit. Luckily I had Ben there with me so I could hear what the doctor had to say after we left. He recommended on our next visit to see a orthopedic surgeon for his turned in feet and legs. He says it could correct itself but that speaking to someone in the field would be a good idea. He said his legs are not bowed but turned inward which cause the look of bowing. Anyway, he says there is no need to worry but just like all moms, we do even when we are told not to. I am not so concerned about the turned in feet as I am about how Brody will react to another doctor visit where they will want to exam his legs and probably give him x-rays. However, one good thing was that Brody didn't need to get his shots. I think he would be permanently traumatized after all that.

Brody getting up at 5:40 in the morning didn't help the doctors visit being especially difficult. I don't know if anyone reading this can understand how upsetting a 5:00am wake up can be. If my kids wake up and 7:00 it makes all the difference in the world. I can get up with a smile and start my day and handle just about any problem. If my kids get me up before 6:00 I start the day with such a funk that every little problem makes me want to yell. These sort of problems is what makes having young kids very difficult. I am sure some of you are shaking your head and totally agreeing with me right now.

Easter was great. I threw a Egg hunt with my friend Kerry for all the kids. It was the second year I had done it and it was just as successful. We had to change locations at the last second because a church had already snagged our first choice. Having it at Morningside park wasn't the best place to have it but the kids didn't care. The best part was that Coolidge told me it was the best Easter Egg hunt he had ever been to. Brody didn't have such a great time. He cried most of the time. It was a pretty cold day and now that I am writing this I realize it was probably because he was coming down with a nasty cold. Both him and Coolidge got sick that night. Coolidge came down with croup and a fever of 102 degrees. It was the first time he has ever had a fever that high. He even began to hallucinate. Luckily I experienced that as a child so it didn't freak me out. I did my best to keep him calm and tell him that his sickness is playing tricks on his eyes. He told me that he saw white shadows of a man in a hat that looked like daddy. Ben was there but for some reason he didn't really see him all the time. He also told me that I had needles in my arm and to pick them out. He still talks about how when he was sick it was like watching a scary movie. We laugh about it now but it was a little scary when it happened.

This last week has been the longest week I have experienced in a long time. We all got some sort of cold/flu. It started with Coolidge and slowly each of us have been coughing and achy for days. Coolidge broke out in hives for several days. I am starting to think we will never be back to 100% healthy. One thing that bumbed me out was that Ben and I were planning to put up some much needed shelves and a cabinet above our toilette. I bought all the equipment needed and then we all got sick over night. My shelves are screaming at me and I am eager to get working but can't seem to muster up the energy to get it done. My kids are taking all my energy from me right now.