Tuesday’s With Ale: Winter


This is not a blog post that I will gush about all of the fun things I did on my Tuesday off from work with my little boy, Ale. I will not talk about all of the sweet things he did and said. Why you ask? Because it’s rained all day and it’s winter in New York City. All of the great outdoor neighborhood activities we enjoyed in the warmer months are gone. My goal now with Ale is to reduce the Caillou, Thomas, Dora all day marathon by a few hours.

Unfortunately, I am not a mom who peruses Pinterest looking for amazing toddler activities. I just want a place for Ale to explore, run and shake the sillies out. The local YMCA can be a life saver with their indoor soft playground. The downside is that the entire neighborhood also has the same idea. The soft playground turns into a baby discotheque with a bouncer at the door handing out tickets. They only let in a few people when others leave to abide by the occupancy limits of the fire code. I swear there are a few nannies who run an underground YMCA ticket ring!

On Tuesday we did make it into the soft playground. Ale went wild climbing and jumping on the foam blocks. The energy of the children in the room was so frenetic that it was obvious that we all come from small living spaces. Cabin fever is truly an ailment that city kids all suffer from. Ale jumped and danced the allotted one and a half hours of free play. As the time was running out the children suddenly became tired. During the last fifteen minutes the noise of room suddenly dropped a few decibels. They started wandering off the mats to look for water and snacks. Nap/lunch time was near.

Despite my complaining I am grateful for the YMCA. We need this vital play space as the temperatures drop. Sometimes, however, I think that it’s me rather than Ale who needs to get out. The idea of being trapped indoors all day with a toddler is frightening, even if he is content to just watch Thomas and Friends. The guilt to be a better mom ultimately sets in so the urgency to run out becomes paramount. So next up… the Children’s Museaum. Here we come!

How many days to summer???

Daily Prompt: Simply Irresistible


Tell us about the favorite dish or food that you simply cannot turn down.

I live with a toddler who has been sick for the last few days and is the world’s most picky eater. This means that today my son has not eaten much of anything. I honestly think he would rather starve to death waiting for a huge plate of spaghetti bolognese than eat a vegetable or try something new.

This is something that I simply can not understand. I love to eat. I love to try new foods. I can not remember a time that I did not enjoy food. I can also honestly say that I do not have a favorite dish that I can not live without. What I find irresistible changes from day to day and where I am and what I am doing. If I’m at work and it’s been an extremely busy day I can not pass up the box of donuts that someone brings in. I will eat a chocolate glazed donut like it was water from heaven and long for a coffee to accompany it. When I am at the beach in the south of Spain I must have pescaito frito (fried fish) and wash it down with an ice cold draft beer. Thanksgiving is coming and I am craving my mom’s herb and sausage stuffing. For dessert I’m looking forward to enjoying pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream.

I hope that my enthusiasm for food will eventually reach my little boy. Each day I present him with something new. Sometimes the food will pass the finger poke test and he will eat it. Most times he will sit stubbornly in his high chair and say “spaghetti?” or “cupcake?” in hopes that if maybe he says it three times it will become a reality. One day I am sure we will enjoy a delectable meal together. What I am most certain of is that one day he will eat us out of house and home.

Photo of breakfast in Spain- coffee with milk, churros, and toast with crushed tomato and olive oil.

On Fire


I came home from work Thursday night to find Ale on fire with fever. He was asleep in his bed but his breathing was fast. I did not bother to check his temperature. His chest was like touching an oven door. About an hour later he began throwing up. The worse part was that unlike last year he was fully aware of what was happening. He saw the throw up on the bed and on me. Ale knew that this came from within him and it frightened him. I had to change my clothing on the spot because it was too much for him to see it on my sleeve.

After struggling with administering ibuprofen, a round of Caillou and holding Ale close like a newborn baby he fell asleep at 2am. My husband and I then had to figure out what to do with Ale in the morning that was fast approaching. Who can we get to stay with him as going to daycare with a fever is out of the question. My husband decided to stay home.

Ale apparently was ok during the day. A slight elevated temperature but he was still laughing and jumping. Then again I get home around 9pm from work and again he felt very warm. Fever always seems to happen at night.

At midnight I took his temperature. 102.3F!! I am a nurse I take people’s temps all day long. The nurse part of my head knew that Ale was ok. He was alert and oriented despite the fever but my mama heart yelled out. Ale, my baby, is on fire! I then became that mom who calls the MD at midnight. I had to call and hear the MD’s voice filled with the “you silly mom you just woke me up for this” tone on the other line so my irrational fears of brain damage, infant seizures, and sepsis would go away.

There is nothing worse than seeing your little one suffering. It shakes you from within and you suddenly remember how fragile life is. So today, Monday, Ale is just almost back to his old self but he’s staying home again. We have enlisted grandma to stay with him while we work- just in case. Besides its 25F in New York City today. Why subject him to this brutal cold? Keeping him warm and safe from the day care germs just one more day sounds like a good idea to me.

Image from: http://www.bubblews.com/news/1103203-how-do-you-know-when-your-child-has-a-fever

Two! 2! Two! 2!


TWO! 2! TWO! 2!

Ale, my baby, is now two years old! Well he is really no longer a baby he is a full fledged toddler.

Turning two was easy for Ale. He had a Thomas & Friends themed birthday party. The guests came with so many toys that it looked more like Christmas. There were cupcakes, pizza and lots of silly laughs. For me on the other hand Ale turning two was a momentous day that marked so many new things to come that I was feeling a mix of happiness and sadness.

Two big changes were coming with Ale turning two years old. The time had finally come for 1- a haircut and 2- Ale sleeping in his room in toddler bed ALL night.

1- The Haircut

We had never cut Ale’s hair. His long curly locks were just darling. Recently Friends and family began to constantly ask when and if we planned to cut his hair. We just smiled and watched his hair blow in the breeze. Then last week during the bath we noticed that while his hair was wet it reached the middle of his back. My husband and I looked at each other and we knew it was time. He then went for the scissors. Chop! My husband cut straight across the nape of his neck. Good thing Ale is not vain. We gave him a lopsided bowl hair cut! I’m saving the little locks in a ziplock bag.

2- Sleeping In The Toddler Bed.

We have been co-sleeping with Ale since he was born. There was a little stint at an attempt to have him sleep in the crib in his room when he was about eleven months. We tried the cry it out method. That was torture for us all and back to our bed he went.

At the end of the summer I knew that Ale would have to transition to his crib at some point. I then moved Ale from his bouncy chair that he outgrew to his crib that we converted into a toddler bed for naps. That worked well but he was not yet ready for the long haul through the night.

Just before he turned two I saw that he was sleeping longer stretches at night without wakening up. I had the feeling that he could be moved from our bed to his toddler bed. I, however, was not ready. I did not want to loose the closeness and the snuggles at night.

Last week I knew I had to try it despite the sinking feeling in my heart. My husband and I went out and bought him new dinosaur sheets and his very own pillow. We also installed a side rail on the bed. Later that day we showed him his room with the “new” bed and he loved it! Since then he has been sleeping either through the night or he wakes up just once. The first night I was awake listening out for him. He woke up at 4 am and I tried to bring him to our bed. Ale cried when I tried to lift him out. He wanted to stay in his little bed.

It’s fantastic! — Right?? We waited so long for him to reach this goal instead of forcing it upon him. I’m so happy and proud. My husband and I have our bedroom back to us. However, I can’t say that I’m not sad or that I don’t miss my Ale at night. Now that I have my big little boy, my heart melts when he sees me enter his room in the morning and says “Hi Mama!”. I then shower him with even more kisses than before as I bask in his bright smile.