To dream, to sleep...

Thoughts about sleeplessness, motherhood, and really good pastries

Dear Neighbor

Dear Downstairs Douchebags Neighbors, 

How are you?  Since we never formally introduced ourselves, let me say that I am the mother of the adorable 20 month old boy that lives above you.  I am taking the time during his nap today to reach out and express my feelings about our recent unpleasant exchanges.  

First off, I am sincerely sorry that the noise my son creates is causing your living space to be less than comfortable.  No, really, I am.  I am especially sorry when he launches his rocket off of the sink counter and then crash lands it on the floor.  That shit is loud.  

I am also sorry for when he throws his SuperGrover remote control from high heights like his changing table.  I hate that too and wish he wouldn’t do it.

I am not sorry however, that my son walks and runs around his home.  Nor am I sorry for his penchant of pushing his “baby” around in his stroller or even for his singing in that God awful Merryoke microphone his Grannie gave him for Christmas.

I am sorry that you chose to purchase and then completely remodel (which I never complained out BTW) your apartment without first asking who lived above you.  I am also sorry that your lack of empathy is such that intermittent toddler noise from 8am-8pm causes you to rampage out and slam the door in my overly considerate husband’s face.  

I am sorry that your behavior has caused me to already withdraw my future invitation to use our roof deck during the summer (I make REALLY good margaritas FYI).  I was also thinking of making you biscotti as a peace offering.  That gesture has clearly passed.

I am sorry you decided to make your home in New York City, where people literally live on top of one another and children’s homes are indeed their “playgrounds.”  If you require absolute quiet in your home during all daytime hours I suggest you look into moving to the country, Thoreau style.  In addition, if you like to work from home, might I suggest frequenting the two dozen coffee shops in our neighborhood.  Wifi is free now.  

Finally, I am most sorry for the karma that is to befall upon you should you decide to have children someday.  Given your current attitudes toward my son I realize this scenario is unlikely, but it makes me smile nonetheless.  

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Your 5th floor neighbors 

2013: Winter of Sick and Sadness

When I was little, I got sick a lot. Or enough for my grandfather to nickname me “Germy.”

Then I wasn’t. For a long time.

Save for the Petrie dish of college, I’ve been pretty darn healthy for most of my adult life - even when teaching public high school!

My good immune system run, however, is over. Since the middle of November, I have had three or four colds and two, no wait, now three stomach bugs.

What’s the problem, you may ask? Am I eating my meals off of garbage lids and licking subway doors? Nope!

I just have a toddler. Apparently that’s all you need to feel like death every other week.

And I guess it doesn’t help that New York is experiencing an “epic” flu outbreak. (For which I received a flu shot btw. Love the irony!)

The worst part? It’s only January! We’ve got two more months of this shit to go!!!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Thanks

Last night I asked my students (I teach in an adult learning center) to make a list of the things they are thankful for.  We also learned about the “First Thanksgiving” and why the Native Americans don’t feel so hot about our national day of overeating.  The best part of class, for me at least, was at the end when they shared their favorite Thanksgiving meals and memories: stories of curried goat, Jamaican dumplings, potato salad, and pasteles literally made my mouth water.  And I have to admit - I was super jealous that their Thanksgivings included a more diverse and - in my opinion - tantalizing menu than my standard “American” one.  

But I digress.  The purpose of the lesson was to discuss the meaning of Thanksgiving and why it’s so central to our Americanness.  They worked hard unpacking this idea and now it’s my turn.  

So, this Thanksgiving a few things I am thankful for are: 

  • My family.  I realize this may sound a little biased, but mine is the best.  Seriously.  
  • My friends.  The married, the singled, the babied.  You are all awesome.
  • Chocolate.
  • My students - new and former.  
  • Downtown Abbey.
  • Sleep training.  (Yes, I know I’m a big ol hypocrite but our lives took a serious turn for the BETTER after we finally did this.  Yay sleep!)  
  • The Electoral College.  I am sincerely sorry that our country is as divided as it is.  That being said, I’m really happy my guy won.  
  • Our fifth floor walkup.  Sure, it really sucks when I’m carrying Leo and a sack of groceries but that’s also why I don’t need a gym membership. 
  • Wine.
  • Subway Reading.  One of the new “perks” of the epic commute to my job in the Bronx is that I’m reading.  Books.  What what?!!
  • Sandy’s sparing of us.  This surreal storm was no joke and we are very, very lucky.
  • My sweet husband.  I know he’s technically included in family, but I thought he deserved his own line.   
  • Ditto the little boy who’s taking a nap right now.  I still can’t believe I get to be your mom.  You are so funny and cool and sweet.  Thank you for making our lives richer beyond our wildest dreams, buddy.  Now be sure to make this nap a 2 hour one, ok?  
  • Pandora and songsta and netflix and amazon and all these things that make consuming music and movies and tv shows so easy.  Without cable!
  • New York.  
  • My southern roots.  
  • Choices.  I am privileged and I must remember that my American dream is in much closer reach than so many others.  
  • A really good scone.  And biscotti.  And cheese.  And….. well, you get the idea.  Thank. you. food.  

Weather Sucks

Last week was Sandy. Today, a nor’easter. And it’s November 7th. (Yay Obama!)

This trapped inside all day kind of shitty weather does not bode well for our winter sanity.

So what to do with a 16 month old?

1. Watch Sesame Street. Thank you Netflix and PBS Kids for making this option available at the ready.

2. Offer Cheerios or goldfish or, if you’re Leo, boob.

3. Practice walking. Or, again if you’re Leo, taunt your parents with doing it and then drop to your knees and crawl. Jerk.

4. Lunch!

5. Watch Mr. Roger’s neighborhood but only to when the trolley enters. The land of make believe is still, alas, lame. Especially after the muppets on Sesame Street. But Mr. Rogers himself? Cool. As. Ever.

6. Cheese sticks!

7. Throw a Music Together dance party!

8. Play in the building’s hallway. And on the stairs. City kids have the best play areas!

9. Throw blocks and then read/throw books and or DVDs, CDs, wii games, etc. You get the idea.

10. FaceTime Grannie at work!

11. You guessed it: more Sesame Street! Lalalalalala Elmo’s world….lalalalala losing our minds.

Step by Step (oooo baby)

Leo took his first official steps today. Since he’s 16.5/15 months (premie adjustment), we were more than ready to witness this.

So this little event was a pretty big damn deal.

However, he spent the rest of the day being an asshole so today ended up a drawl.

I have a serious lime tostito problem.

Oh and a Mexican chocolate one too.

And I bought a bag of mini Halloween candies today. It’s in the freezer but that means I still know where it is.

Magazine TV junk. Mondays don’t really get any better.

Neighbors

In the Spring, the neighbors directly below us decided to remodel their apartment from head to toe.  This reason I know this is that Leo and I were home for all the renovations and therefore napped very poorly at that time.  We were immensely happy when all the banging and sawing and drilling finally stopped and assumed our neighbors were beyond satisfied with their “new” apartment.  Note: during this time, our only complaints about the noise were to the construction workers who were super nice and apologetic.  

Fast forward four months later and oh how the tables have turned.  On Sunday, our neighbor came to our door to complain.  About the noise.  Apparently, Leo makes quite a racket during the day and as both he and his wife work from home this is problematic.  Ah, the irony.   Josh explained that there wasn’t much we could do (we’re assuming that the majority of the “noise” comes from him crawling) since, he is, well a baby.  The guy seemed nice enough and I’m sure Leo waving and smiling at him certainly helped the situation.  But now, naturally, every sound we make in the apartment catches my attention.  Is it too loud when Leo empties the bookshelf?  Definitely.  How about throwing the walker across the floor?  Yep.  Tossing his books onto the carpet?  Maybe.

We’ve ordered another rug to help muffle things, but other than that, I’m not sure there’s much else we can do.  I feel both annoyed and sympathetic.  

Neighbors.  Bah!  

This s**** is getting old

As I try to write this, Leo is literally trying to pull my shirt down.  He’s been nursing like a maniac and whining/screaming whenever I don’t pick him up.  This is problematic as he’s super heavy.  And he needs to learn to walk.  Also I’m really tired.  As are my boobs.

Seriously, he is 15 months or 5?!!!  Weaning my ass.  

Rainy Day Cray Cray

Rainy days suck.  

All day we’ve been under a “looming storm” watch.  We’ve had one thunderstorm and enough black skies to make Leo and I stay inside our cozy apartment the entire day,  which is a guaranteed recipe for some serious looniness.  In other words, Mommy + Leo + no outside world or people = CRAY CRAY.  Add on top of that his shitty short naps and we have us a party in here!

So what do we do on crappy weather days?

  • Read and read and read  (“We go down to go uptown on the subway…..”)
  • "Watch" Sesame Street (I justify this with my belief that it is the most pure and good show on earth.  Even if they even say he shouldn’t watch TV until he’s 2.  Also, he doesn’t sit and watch the whole time.  There’s a lot of crawling, chewing on cords, and trying to get into the bathroom during each episode.) 
  • Nurse way too much
  • Drawer emptying (his current fav is my shoe drawer)
  • Scream at the safety gate while mommy tries to make zucchini muffins 
  • Surprise work Facetime with Grannie
  • Draw with/attempt to eat toddler crayons
  • Climb the stairs in the hallway
  • Pandora surf (If I hear Raffi’s version of “Octopus’s Garden” one more time….)
  • Count the minutes until your friends show up for a playdate
  • And obviously, text, email, google, and generally exploit the generosity of the internets (Case in point: I just had to google how to spell generosity.  I need to read some non Sandra Boynton books stat!) 

The good news is that tomorrow is supposed to be end of summer hot so we can swag it in the stroller for a good part of the day.  Playgrounds, ice coffee, other human beings.  Holla! 

Now we just have to make it the rest of today.  Yay. 

P.S. The sun just burst forth (literally) and LL rocked a 70 minute afternoon (!) nap.  This dreary ass day is looking UP!