AAA- App Addiction Anonymous

I have a confession to make. Sit down. You’ll need a chair.

I am a Todo list app junky. I have tried just about every Todo list app in Apple’s App Store.

There I said it. This addiction, however, goes way beyond this.

Back in September on my forever quest for the perfect Todo system I suddenly had an epiphany. I decided to put down my IOS devices for once and for all and go back to good ol’ pen and paper. I know what I need and want for a perfect Todo list/ calendar/ organization system so I decided to design it myself. I headed to the internet- Pinterest- for guidance and ideas for a DIY agenda. With a few clicks I landed at Midori- Japan . There I fell in love with the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. A brown leather agenda cover made in Thailand that is filled with notebooks made of high quality Japanese stationary. (Yes, you read that correctly- I am a Geek at heart).

The discovery of the Midori notebook lead me on a quest to find: rubber letter stamps, ink, washi tape, decorative paper, pens including a Lamy Safari fountain pen in hot pink- fountain pen ink, and stickers. In my limited free time I sat at my dinner table hand drawing calendars, stamping out the days of the month and created a nice Todo list template decorated with my washi tape and stickers.

I love the feel of the leather cover and the satisfaction that I made it. Its a pleasure to write out my todo list on paper and plan out my weeks tasks for home, work, and my blog. However, all of this creativity ends up translating into PROCRASTINATION!! Just get it done already! Stop designing a beautiful calendar for March and just email the people I need to email and write the blog post.

Here is my Midori:

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Its been four months with my Midori notebook. I take it every where I go and use it frequently. The problem is its size- its the size of a thick paperback novel. This means its not close to me at all times. What is close to me at all times that I am constantly looking at? My iPhone. Which brings me back to the Apple App Store…….

Does anyone have the number for AAA- App Addiction Anonymous of New York?

NaBloPoMa for Friday, January 3, 2014
Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?

BlogHer-NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo: 1/01/14 AM Rush

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It’s a new year so I’m going to challenge my blogging self and (hopefully) take part daily in this month’s NaBloPoMo. Yay! Go me!

On to the first installment!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Do you work well under pressure?

It’s 7am. Ale is awake and asking for Caillou and water. I’m looking at the clock and want more time in bed. Ale must be at the daycare at 8. The race begins. My heart is pounding. Getting ready in the morning under time restrains with a toddler is my high pressure moment and I don’t do well. At work as a nurse my patient can crash but this is when my “on”switch flips. I’m ready. I pull through calm and composed. In the morning on the way to daycare I’m riled up and sweating.

It’s the rush. Did Ale eat enough? Why did he not eat his Cheerios? Should I forgo a shower? Ale, hold on. Mama is washing her hair. Great, now you are soaked. What will I put on? Where is my coffee? Ale, let’s change your diaper and get dressed. No. No more Dora. Let’s wash your hands. Ale, come let’s put on your shoes. Where are Ale’s socks? Ok here is your coat. Where is your hat? What’s that smell? Ale, did you poop? Let’s change your diaper again. Quick, get in the stroller! Wait, I left my phone in the kitchen. Oh, there’s my coffee. Ok, stroller and out the door we go! No, I don’t have your firetruck. Here we are! Go play with your friends. See you later!

I need a nap.

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The Push

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On Monday Ale slept later than usual. I had to wake him to get ready to go to daycare. As we were getting ready I reminded him of where we were going and who he was going to see, “Ale, we are going to daycare. Today is music class. Your friends Max and Emily are waiting to see you.”. He responded with a big round “No!”. The no’s continued through out the morning rush.

We arrive at the daycare. Sure enough Ale’s friends Max and Emily were there at the door to greet their little buddy. I kiss Ale who had started crying and point to his friends. Ale then goes over to Max and pushes him. I was mortified and felt so sorry for Max who took the push with surprise.

This was the first time I had ever seen Ale do such a thing. Everyone had always commented on Ale’s sweet and mild nature. I had my head in the new mommy sand. I thought that we were for some reason immune to this behavior.

Ale is a toddler and is still pretty much pre-verbal. He wants to express himself more. Throughout the morning he was telling me that he wanted to be with me. When he saw Max he pushed him as if to get rid of him so he could stay with me.

It’s hard to be a working mom. The guilt I left with was enormous. I know that daycare is the best solution for my family. When I picked him up later that day he was happy, dancing, and gave kisses and high fives to all of his friends.

Ale is a toddler. New challenges are ahead for all of us. Discipline is rising to the top of the list.

Image from:
http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/10436

Tuesday’s With Ale: Snow

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New York City had its first real snow fall today. We headed out to experience the winter wonderland. Ale enjoyed stomping in it and catching it with his hands. There is nothing like a toddler to remind you of the magic that surrounds us everyday. His “Wow!” was pure joy and delight.

Tuesday’s With Ale: Lollypops

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This Tuesday Ale was due to get his flu shot. We arrived in the afternoon to his pediatrician’s office where we were quickly ushered down a flight of stairs to a large, cheery, but windowless room. There were a few toddlers stumbling about, a baby in his car seat and a two older kids horsing around on the stairs. This room contained a no mercy flu clinic. The nurse went around the room administering the vaccine to the kids she could catch. She operated like a one woman flu shot firing squad. All the screams and shouts were witnessed by all. There were no doors and no curtains.

Next up- Ale. While holding him down I removed his blue corduroy overalls to reveal his thigh. Then I suddenly was afraid for him. The sharp pain he was about to endure. I asked for a lollipop. The nurse gave me a look that said “Really?” and passed me a grape flavored organic lolly. She took the cap off the mini intramuscular syringe, took aim at Ale’s little thigh like a bullfighter going in for the kill. Then- stab! Ale started crying bloody murder. I quickly unwrapped that organic lolly and shoved it into his mouth. Between his sobs he said “Thank you mama. Yum!”. He then reached out for some wooden trucks. It was all good.

Next up- A four year old doe eyed girl who was watching Ale. She came over to me and said- “I’m a big girl. When you are big it does not hurt. He is little so he cried.”. That’s right little mama! Pre game!That’s the way to do it! Throw on some JayZ and psyche yourself up. It’s not gonna hurt! We can do this!! Then the nurse comes to her and takes aim. She starts crying and screaming No! The pinch is quick. Her dad slips her a lollypop. It’s all good.

Fire Fight Slippers

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Last week Ale had a cold with a fever. He walks around our apartment barefoot. My husband and I decided to get him a pair of fun slippers. I went to Macy’s children’s shoe department and saw a pair of Stride Rite firetruck slippers. They were perfect for Ale! They even had lights that flash when you walk. He would love them! I could hear his little voice “Fire Fight! Fire Fight”. Sadly, they only had one pair and it was a size much too big for him.

I left Macy’s on a mission to get Ale this pair of slippers. I scoured the shoe stores in Midtown Manhattan and I had no luck. On my way home feeling defeated I passed by a shoe store in my neighbourhood. I entered. The wall in the back had the entire line of Stride Rite children’s slippers. It was a children’s slippers paradise. They had the firetruck slippers! Whoot Whoot!

Me (Heart beating fast with excitement ): Hello. Can I have a pair of the firetruck slippers in a size 7/8?

Shoe Seller (Looking through the firetruck slippers) : I’m sorry ma’am I don’t see them in that size.

Me: Can you check the back?

Shoe Seller (Climbs a ladder to reach a box precariously placed on a high shelf. He goes through the box while the ladder shakes): I’m sorry we don’t have a 7/8 here either.

Me: Really? Can I look through the box?

Shoe Seller: Ma’am we really don’t have that size? How about the Elmo slippers, or the puppy dog?

Me (rolling my eyes): No! My son does not like Elmo or puppy dogs! My Son loves firetrucks! He would be so happy with the firetruck slippers! Ughh!

Shoe Seller looks at me blankly.

I run out the store, whip out my iphone and buy the last pair off Amazon. Why did I not think of that earlier? Silly me!

Two days later the firetruck slippers arrive!

Ale wakes up from his nap. I have the box in the living room waiting for him. He peers into the box. “Wow!”, he says. I take them out of the box, sit Ale on my lap to put the firetruck slippers on his feet. He starts screaming. “NOOOOOOOO!!! FEEEEET! No Feet!!!” My husband and I wrestle him to the floor and put the slippers on his little feet to keep them cozy and warm. He runs away screaming, “NOOOOO!!!!!”. He is not even impressed by the flashing lights. He suddenly stops and is frozen. He wants those dam firetruck slippers off. He is still screaming “No! Feet!”. Tears are running down his face, snot is pouring out of his nose. I reluctantly admit defeat and take off the slippers to put Ale out of his misery. With his feet out in the open again, he smiles and lifts his right foot toward me and says “Feet!”. He walks off as if nothing happened.

That night, at bedtime we read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”. Ale apparently saw a lot of feet. He pointed out the “feet” of each of the animals and wiggled his toes in my face when imitating the sound of the horse.

I have come to the conclusion that my son has a foot fetish. He likes barefeet. The firetruck slippers have subsequently been placed into the closet in the hope that I can reintroduce them in the coming weeks. Will I succeed……?

Wait, my toes feel a draft. Oh, its Ale. He has pulled off my socks. “Feet! Mama! Feet!”
I gotta go…..

Tuesday’s With Ale: Winter

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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???

On Fire

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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!

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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.

Tuesday’s With Ale: Baking!

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This Thursday is Ale’s 2nd birthday! Yes I have a Halloween baby. I now have a lifetime of Halloween parties to attend and plan.

Last year for Ale’s 1st birthday we did not really do anything special. This year he is more aware and loves cupcakes so I decided to go all out. We are going to to have a spooky birthday bash for my little guy.

The event will be in two phases. Halloween – the day of his birthday he will bring cupcakes to his daycare to eat with everyone during snack time. Then in the evening we will head out and enjoy the Halloween parade in our neighborhood. After the parade we will go home and eat more cupcakes with Ale so he can blow out his candles. The next phase of Ale’s super Halloween birthday will be over the weekend. Twenty of Ale’s and our friends will come to his birthday party to celebrate with him and eat yet even more cupcakes.

Needless to say I have a lot of baking to do! So this Tuesday with Ale we went to the park then hit the grocery store for supplies. When we came home Ale happily watched Dora the Explorer while I started my baking marathon. I made thirty cupcakes. The next round will be on Saturday.

Last night Ale tried one. He could not resist the chocolate and rainbow sprinkle frosting temptation. He took a bite and said, “Yum! Cupcake!”. The boy who lives off of air, kisses and spaghetti ate it all. He even asked for another. It looks like he approves of the cupcakes.