Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Sweet Home?

Indio navigating with the map from our trip folder.

After a 12 hr drive from Brooklyn to Toronto, we finally pulled into the folks' driveway exhausted but happy everything went smoothly. Indio put up with being strapped into his car seat for the majority of the day while Cassius drooled and slept on the floor of the CR-V. Along with frequent nursing stops, we stopped for the requisite road trip grub: McDonald's... and we even made it in time for breakfast!

So, here we are. In the city we now call home: Toronto. It feels weird to know that we are not returning to Brooklyn anytime soon, that we are moving into our house tomorrow. Not necessarily good or bad just yet, but weird.

I miss New York more than I ever imagined possible. I was missing it long before I left in anticipation of the move. But I love Toronto. It's been my home forever. And now it's my family's home...at least for now.

I left Toronto on my own and I've returned with a husband, a dog, and a baby. This chapter will be the interesting one...


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Listening to...

Lipbone Redding and the Lipbone Orchestra. I first heard him play at Bar Tabac on Smith St on a rainy Monday a few months ago. During our dinner, I kept hearing this great trombone solo in many of his songs. Little did I know then that that was Lipbone...making those sounds with his LIPS! His music is like blue-eyed soulful bluegrass...or some sort of hybrid of music that you feel in your bones. My favorite song of his that night was, "Dogs of Santiago," which I've overplayed on my "Walk to Work" playlist.

He's playing again at Bar Tabac on Monday, June 29, 2009. If he ever comes to your neck of the woods, you definitely should check him out.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All packed and ready to go?

The movers arrived bright and early Sunday morning to pick up all of our *worldly possessions.* It took them less than an hour to load what took us almost a week to pack. Once the truck was loaded we watched the truck drive off, hoping that our stuff would reach Toronto safely.

It was a weird feeling, standing in the middle of our apartment and not having to fill another box. Six years in this city all packed up and on its way to a new life in an old city. I felt kind of empty with nothing left to fill. Not sure I'm ready to go.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Problem solved

My attempt to *sleep train* Indio seemed to be going well after the first night of hell [when he cried for an hour non-stop and then woke up every hour to cry for ten minutes, as if to say, "Mama, I hate you and you will pay for my therapist's bills because undoubtedly this is going to scar me for life!"]. For a little more than a week, he would cry for less than ten minutes before zonking out. But then something changed. It stopped being easy. The crying lasted more than thirty minutes. And hell was revisited again. My heart ached when I heard his screams, but I kept telling myself that I was doing a good thing even if it felt like we had regressed after only ten days. But something didn't feel right.

So tonight, in an effort to *fix* our problem, I put Indio down at 7:31pm, half an hour than his usual bedtime. By 7:40pm he was *sleeping like a baby.* 'Nuff said.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving sucks

i'm in no mood to pack anything
4 pairs of underwear, a few shirts and socks...that's enough to live with, right?
so tired...


Celebrity siting

Well, a celebrity in my world.

Today, R and I were invited to the ethereal world of Tad Hills, author and illustrator of children's books including the adorable Duck and Goose. For the longest time, I used to pass the Hills on my way to school as they walked in the opposite direction of their kids' school. The only words exchanged were a friendly, sometimes sleepy "hello." We never stopped long enough to say anything else. I didn't know who Tad was until R told me one day while we walked to school and passed him on the way.

Yesterday, R ran into Tad and he invited her to preview his upcoming release, Rocket Learns to Read. Of course, being the good friend that she is, she asked if she could bring me along. The book was beautiful. R and I both had a hard time choosing our favorite page. But more than the book, we were interested in the adorable life of the Hills family.

His house is like a cottage situated in the middle of Brooklyn, complete with a tree house out back. His children *run* a week-long summer camp for 4, 5, and 6-yr olds. They are only 13 and 11 themselves. Tad and his mother, *JoNana* [her cute grandma name] oversee the camp operation, preparing Campbell's soup for lunch, and ensuring the treats for the afternoon bake sale don't get eaten before the sale.

Tad was very welcoming, inviting us to *take a look around*, which was hard not to do anyway because of all the teeny clay figurines perched on the bookshelves along with family photos, last year's Hallowe'en costume in a doorway [a replica of their house], and Rocket, the family dog, nestled in his crate. We also got to watch his kids in action, teaching the 9 neighborhood kids how to make sunprints in the backyard.

It all made me giddy and wanting such a camp for Indio when he's old enough. For now, I guess I'll have to settle for Tad's autograph in Indy's Duck and Goose board books. Hopefully, that'll be our ticket to camp in a few years. Can't you just hear me now: "Hi Tad. Remember me? You signed books for my son, Indio right before we moved to Canada? And you promised him a spot at your camp as long as we came back to Brooklyn to visit. Remember?"


Monday, June 15, 2009

6 months already?!?!

Where has the time gone? I can't believe Indio is already 6 months old. He commemorated the milestone by having his first taste of solid food: avocado. So far, he's taken a liking to it, going as far as to stretch his little neck towards his rubber-tipped spoon!

He has been sitting up for a little while now so have had to barricade him with pillows in case he decides to go head-first off the couch. He is drooling up a storm and loves to blow bubbles, but hates wearing a bib. Thank goodness for all the onesies he has! Indio's favorite toys these days are his toes. Sitting up, lying down, he doesn't care...all he wants is to eat those toes!

Lucky for us, Indy has been sleeping through the night for almost 2 weeks now. E and I were in shock the first few nights, anxiously waiting for him to wake up, that we didn't end up going to bed until way past our bedtime. Now that we are accustomed to Indio hitting the sack at 8pm and staying asleep, we try to get in a few extra hours of shut-eye, but even that's difficult as we are getting ourselves ready for the Big Move of 2009 to the Great White North.

Eating avocado

Safe in the pillow fort

Sitting up all by myself


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Got Milk?

I received a panicked phone call from a new acquaintance, Debbie, last night. She had just given birth to her first child by C-section and was finally home after a brief stay at the hospital. Her birth experience wasn't at all what she had expected and now was having trouble breastfeeding her little guy.

Debbie and I got to know each other when I returned to work after my very short maternity leave [Canadians do it better than the measly 12 weeks New York State government gave me.]. She was covering for another teacher's maternity leave [I know, I know, don't drink the water! We had 4 pregnant women and 2 men with pregnant wives at our school this year alone!] when we got to know each other. She was eager to know all about Indio's birth and motherhood, and of course, I was more than eager to tell.

When Indio was born a new-mom friend gave me a *free pass* to call her at anytime, day or night, during that first week home from the hospital. Though I didn't utilize the pass during a late-night freakout, I was grateful to have it available to me and wanted to pass it on, so I told Debbie to feel free to call me at anytime, day or night, once her little boy arrived.

And she did. She was so worried that she had messed up any chance of nursing because she wasn't able to bond with her son. Everything she had been told pointed to a lifetime of formula-feeding, which she did not want to entertain. [Nothing against formula, Debbie had just hoped to breastfeed, that's all.]

Now, I'm no expert on breastfeeding. I have been exclusively feeding Indio this way for six months and have read as much as I can get my hands on about the subject, but I'm no expert. I am, however, someone who knows what it feels like to be a new mother with a brand spanking new babe, convincing myself that I have no idea of what to do. And I would do anything to relieve that feeling from any woman, even if only just a little bit. So many women have already helped me; the least I could do is *pay it forward*.

So, we chatted for a long while Saturday night after 2 days of playing phone tag. At the end of the conversation Debbie finally blurted out what she seemed to want to say all along: "Will you come over and help me?" Of course I said yes. I even told her I would bring along props [Indio].

When I walked into her apartment, Debbie looked frantic, but oh-so-proud. She had the glow of a new mom. She started babbling about how she had been feeding her son so far, explaing that he didn't like the breast, he would easily take a bottle of formula, and that pumping was unsuccessful so far. Once she stopped to catch a breath I sat with her and had her try to nurse her son. After a few tries he latched on successfully! The smile across Debbie's face was priceless! During my brief stay, she also pumped milk, and gave her son some formula, but all with a renewed sense of accomplishment.

It felt so good to see Debbie so happy and feeling so triumphant. To think, just a few months ago, I didn't have the best feeling about breastfeeding. I didn't know if I *could* continue breastfeeding because of the pain I was experiencing.I felt so helpless. And here I sit, typing a post about how I was able to assist someone else. Helpless, no more.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Today is day #2 of me trying to instigate naptime for Indy in his own room, in his own bed. In the past, we would rock him to sleep and then hold him until he woke up. Apart from the "dead" feeling I would get in my arms after an hour of cradling an 18-lb sack of baby, I wouldn't be able to get anything done during this time, like using the washroom, eating, maybe even taking a shower!

Well, I finally said, "no more!" Ok, Dr. Marc Weissbluth said it in his book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, but I agreed. After 4 nights of sleep training I decided to give "nap training" a try as well. And here we are, with a moment to blog and scarf down some lukewarm oatmeal. Life is good.


Monday, June 8, 2009


Today we attended a baby shower at Forbidden City, a lounge in Manhattan. The shower was in honor of Christy and Rodrigo, who are expecting their first child, a girl, in August.

FC used to be "our spot," the place we went to almost every Friday and Saturday night. Whenever anyone was visiting from out of town, we took them to Forbidden. The food and music were always good, and the drinks were always flowing freely, especially on the nights Christy bartended.

When I first moved to NYC I would go out with E and his group of friends, most of whom all knew each other through Christy's boxing and kickboxing classes that she taught at Crunch gym. After a few years, we drifted from some of those friends, but today we were reunited with some of them.

It was nice to see them again and to know that they were doing well. It's funny though, no matter how much time has passed, some things never change.

A whole different world.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Starting over

So, after a week of sleep training, we decided to put Indio down to sleep without his Miracle Blanket swaddling him and it seems as if we've started back at the beginning. He cried his little lungs out for an hour, on and off. He has woken himself up every hour so far [since 9pm] and cried and flailed for at least 10 min each time. This is so hard. I hope I can make it. I hope he doesn't hate me.

No wonder they call it a "Miracle" Blanket; it really did produce miracles.


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