Friday, August 20, 2010

Pet Peeve: Train Station Pickup

Here I am waiting in the road since the south side parking spaces were full, and the measly north waiting area is full too. My sister's train is a couple minutes late. What a mess.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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Faces Around Stamford

I like Advocate reporter Elizabeth Kim's blog post about her "The Way We Live" series. The series looks at housing in Stamford. In the blog post, she gives the background to the article she wrote recently. The article features a security guard at the Tully Center who lives in one of the city's mixed-income housing developments; what's cool is that I totally recognized the guy from a visit I made to Tully last week. (LOVE the Tully Center.)

My world is getting small. At the grocery store yesterday, I ran into THREE different mom-baby pairs I know- two from random playground trips, and one a coworker/friend. At that same grocery store, I ran into Streets of Stamford a few weeks ago, and before that, Mrs. Streets of Stamford and Baby SOS!

This is why I must always brush my teeth before I go out and always be on my best behavior.

Oh- and in the article, you can see photos (including the one above) by Dru Nadler, who did an awesome job photographing my wedding 3 years ago. Did you know Dru does weddings? She's fabulous. Relaxed but no-nonsense. The perfect person to have around on your wedding day. Big Dru Nadler fan here.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music: Refugee All-Stars in Fairfield Saturday

This is nice mellow music, made by the Sierra Leonian refugees portrayed in the (devastating) documentary, Refugee All-Stars. These men have been through an awful civil war- imagine the most heinous crimes you can think of, and it happened to them- and still made music to entertain others in the camps. If you are free, it's worth a trip up to Fairfield.
Buy tickets for this Saturday's show here or see a trailer for the documentary on the Refugee All Stars' website. The documentary is great- I recommend it.

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Being "That Parent"

You know how you sometimes see parents do stuff you think YOU'D never do? Like letting a kid play a video game at dinner? Or letting your kid scream at the library? Or, letting a kid run amok, ripping stuff off shelves, while you chat with your friend?
Now, I'm not necessarily saying I've done those things, but I did have a moment last weekend when I saw a couple looking at my family as if we were "those horrifying people." It does involve letting my baby play an iPhone app at dinner, but let me give you some background.

In early August the toddler and I flew to California to visit my sister, just me and him, with- horrors- a layover. With the thought of seven hours in a plane, and an hour layover, I armed myself with all the things I could to keep him busy: food, drink, books, stuffed animal, and iPhone apps. Most parents do videos, but I didn't want to deal with bringing a laptop for that, since I didn't want to have to put it in and out of the backpack at security. I already had to deal with kid and carseat, so I figured I could make the iPhone work.

One of the apps I got for him is Talking Tom- a cat that repeats what you say. You can also knock him out if you poke him in the face repeatedly. Well, since my kid only says like 15 words, he preferred to mostly knock the cat out. Oh- and shriek at it. The app was a moderate success on the plane- I had to limit his time with it because of the shrieking, plus I was a little freaked out by how addicted to it he (and my sister's older 3 kids- yes she now has 5 kids age 7 and under) became.

So, cut to last weekend. We were out for what we thought would be a quick dinner. The kid, as usual, was doing great, snacking and being pretty quiet. Something weird happened to our order, though, and our entrees took 45 minutes to arrive. The kid had been in the stroller for a while, then in his dinner seat for an hour, and was getting restless and fussy. I didn't want to get him out of his seat because he's way too active and crazy to let walk around a non-baby safe area, so to calm him down, I gave him the drug- I mean, iPhone. He immediately became deliriously happy and started punching Talking Tom in the face. I noticed the lady across from me turning to look at my kid, then turning back toward her date, and then they both looked back at us. It was an "Oh my god" look, rather than a "Oh how cute and funny" look. I could totally see that she saw us as "those awful people that let their kids play video games." And even worse, a very young kid.

I feel a little bad about that, but then I think, "Whatever." I don't see how you can expect kids (and active boy toddlers) to do ridiculous things like ride in a plane for 7 plus hours, or sit in a in a seat or stroller for almost two hours, without doing something equally ridiculous like letting them play with your iPhone. It's hard to live a balanced life as a parent without doing a little crappy parenting here and there.

By the way, the flights turned out well. On the way out he slept a lot since he'd woken up at 3am to make a 6:45 flight- and on the way back, not only did we have new iPhone videos of him and his cousins to watch, he'd also learned from his cousins how to jump off stuff, so he spent several minutes jumping off the armrest into his seat. Our flight home landed at- ugh- 11pm, and although he was crabby, he spent, no joke, 30 of the last minutes quietly buckling and unbuckling our ERGObaby carrier. The kid's a champ.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sports in Small Spaces

See this worn patch of grass in front of this apartment building?

It’s worn because the dudes who live there use it for sport.

The building is on the busy corner of Forest and Strawberry Hill, and the patch of grass is on Forest.

Once, I passed by and two of them had out a football. I wanted to take a photo but my husband for some reason wouldn’t let me.
He said that one time, he passed by and they were playing beer pong.
Beer pong, I can see, but I was curious what type of football they were going to be able to do in such a small area.

In any case, I think it’s great they are making the most of their outdoor space.
Be sure to be on the lookout for these guys, and let me know what sport you see them try next!
Bowling maybe? Bocce? Click here to read more.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Breastfed in the Park

The Breastfeeding in the Park event went great. We gathered at 11, sat around and ate and chatted, latched on the babes at noon, talked to the news crew and reporters, chased the toddlers around and oohed and aahed at the littler babies, then cleaned up. I saw some old, good friends and made some new ones, which is always awesome. We had 25 babies/children nursing, and many more people came to show their support.

Mad props to my fave store Giggle, and to my beloved Stamford Hospital lactation consultants, for showing up to support.

Something one of the reporters said made me realize that some people think La Leche League is about pressuring moms to breastfeed. It's not. It's about supporting moms who want to breastfeed- because believe me, we need support (my husband asked me to elaborate: many things can challenge the breastfeeding relationship- painful latches that need to be corrected, decreased supply after an illness of baby or mom, preemie having trouble nursing, the stress of pumping at work, being given a really crappy place to pump at work, bad advice from others). The mission statement says it all: "Our Mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother."

Speaking for myself, I do not feel it is my business how any other individual mother feeds her kid; rather, I want to be able to feed mine how I want, and the support and advocacy of La Leche League makes that possible. LLL is how I knew exactly what my pumping rights at work were, and how I know that I don't have to automatically believe my pediatrician when he tells me that age one is a good time to wean, or that after age one, you can't count breastmilk toward their nutrition or calorie needs. (How is that even logical?)

LLL, as far as I can see, is not about guilt-tripping parents who use formula (as the News 12 reporter Gillian Neff seemed to be trying really hard to make it seem in her 5pm segment- more on that later), but about educating society in general about breastfeeding, and thereby making it easier for women who want to breastfeed to do so. Nursing in public is one easy way to show that breastfeeding is a normal, natural, non-freaky act. I know that for me, seeing my sister nurse gave me the idea that it was a good thing to do- other than that, I'd never seen another person nurse a kid. I do not care if individual people breastfeed or use formula- plenty of my best mom friends do both. I do want people to know though, that nursing can be a very cool thing, and to try it if you're interested, and to get help if you need it from LLL or Stamford Hospital lactation (not your pediatrician, for goodness' sake, not your coworker or sister- get real help, and it's free!!!).

I probably used to have a stereotype of LLL as a bunch of hippies who are sticking their nose in people's business, pressuring them to breastfeed and trash-talking parents who formula-feed. I am sure there are some people in the organization like that, but not in this chapter. And anyone who acts like that is not following the philosophy of LLL in a positive way. LLL is about helping moms and babies, and that's why I am so pleased to be a part of it.

Plus I've just met some really cool people through it.

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