In Response to Cat Antics

I’ve received a few responses to The Cat Antics blog. One was from Mint, stating that she was dissatisfied with the picture of Egreck because it didn’t accurately depict the image of baby and kitty sleeping together. I wholeheartedly agree with her on that one.

It’s too bad that I didn’t have a camera ready at 4am to catch those two in action. :p

However, I also received a response from Cordy saying that the same situation happened to her; she caught her cat, Piotr Lev, and her baby in the crib together. So I asked her to send me a picture of this event to post on my blog. That way the readers will know that I am not alone.

Also, it will satisfy Mint’s craving for a baby/kitty crib picture. Although, Pitor Lev, is clearly awake in this photo. Sorry Minty.

So here it is:

Cat Crib Antics

I went to sleep late last night. I’m talking late, like midnight late. My son had been asleep since 7pm and for some reason I could not get myself to wind down.

Finally, after watching massive amounts of television, I knocked out. My boyfriend stumbled home from his overnight shift at the airport at 5am. I woke up abruptly to him standing in the bedroom doorway:

“Babe! You know the door is wide open?!” He said pointing to the doorway of the bedroom.

He was right.

I sat up immediately.

“Oh my G-d!” I shouted. My first thought was: the cats! Generally, we keep the bedroom doors closed so the cats can’t come into the room at night.

“Go check on the baby!” I exclaimed.

My boyfriend rushed over to my son’s crib to find a sleeping baby next to…a sleeping cat. They were curled up next to one another comfortably. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or scream at that point; so I let my boyfriend deal with the situation. He promptly removed Egreck, my cat, from the crib, and we all went back to sleep.

Pictured above is the illustrious crib hopper.

Dr. Michael Thompson Rocks!

I recently wrote an email to Dr. Michael Thompson praising him on his book, It’s a Boy.
The book talks about child development with regard to boys specifically.

I really enjoyed his book and admire Dr. Thompson as writer and clinician. So I decided to tell him all of this in an email. I sent him a short note stating how much I liked his book (It’s a Boy) and how it inspired me to write a blog about developmental milestones.

To my surprise and delight he wrote back:

Dear Sarah,
Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. I very much enjoyed your piece on developmental milestones and competitiveness.
Warmly,
Michael

I wrote back to him asking if I might include his response in my blog. He responded almost immediately back stating:

Dear Sarah,
Yes, you may post my comments on your blog, but let me add a couple of sentences:
“Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. I very much enjoyed your piece on developmental milestones and competitiveness. What you say about moms and dads subtly competing about their children’s milestones is so true…and more than a bit sad. It suggests that the children of “good parents” reach their developmental milestones faster and the less rapid developers are slow because their parents aren’t doing something right. These assumptions are almost always wrong, but the real problem is that this kind of competition is demoralizing and alienating. It leaves parents lonely at a time when they need friends the most, i.e. when they have needy, tiring young children. The hard thing for parents to accept is that DEVELOPMENT is in charge of development, not parents.

May I just say that any admiration that I had for Dr. Thompson has now been exponentially multiplied.

So please check out Dr. Thompson’s book if you have a son. It will shed some light on key developmental issues and help you to become a better more understanding parent.

The Transition to Solid Foods

My son has been eating baby food jars since he was six months old. I only feed him organic baby food because I feel that it has the purest ingredients for his little body. His favorite brand is Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food

However, he is having a really hard time transitioning from pureed baby foods to solid foods at a year of age.

He likes certain solid foods a lot. But his issue with solid food is mainly the texture. He finds the texture of many solid foods unpleasant. I offer them to him and he spits them out instantly.

So far he has rejected:

–avocado – which everyone insists is a winner. He says – not so much.
–peas – I put a pea in his mouth, he sticks his tongue out and the pea shoots back out onto the high chair tray.
–salad – He doesn’t know what to make of it, so he throws it on the floor.
–boiled carrots – same tongue action as the peas
–broccoli- It’s so weird looking, it must be a toy
–black beans – he makes a strange face, sticks his tongue out and the beans fall to the floor
–most vegetables in general – he hates the texture and the taste

So far he likes:
–breaded baked chicken breast – I cut it into little pieces and he eats it all up. Loves it!
–steak- I marinate it it olive oil and soy sauce and also cut it into tiny pieces. Loves it
–bananas- Who doesn’t love bananas?
–spinach – but only if it is sauteed in garlic and olive oil and hidden in a piece of steak
–oatmeal – I wish I could explain this one. It’s so bland. But he loves it.
–yogurt- creamy delicious yogurt. He loves it.
–scrambled eggs- soft and easy to eat. But only eats them if there is salt and pepper on them and if they are made with olive oil
–bread- soft and chewy, it is his new pacifier when I am out at a restaurant
–Cherrios – bite sized, he can feed himself ten at a time now. He is totally addicted

He is quite a fussy eater. I’ve asked his pediatrician about the transition from baby food purees to solid foods. She says that it takes time, and that I shouldn’t give up. Just keep offering him different choices of foods. She also says that kid’s tastes change. He may not like avocado now, but I should try it again at some point.

I don’t know…so far he’s rejected avocado on three distinct occasions.

I wrote to Earth’s Best to see if they had any suggestions with regard to the solid food transition. Hopefully they will have some advice to offer.

Adiri Bottle Review

Adiri was kind enough to send me a sample of one of their Natural Nurser bottles to sample. I was able to try the bottle out on my son. The following is my review of the Adiri Natural Nurser Ultimate Baby Bottle – Stage 1.

The Adiri bottle is designed to simulate breast. On the box it states “Introducing the ultimate baby bottle: the world’s most breast-like bottle experience.”

Pictured above is the Adiri Natural Nurser. On the left is the bottle and on the right is the cap.
After receiving the bottle I read the product instructions, which prompted me to boil all bottle parts in hot water for five minutes before use.
Well, unfortunately in my haste to try the bottle out, I didn’t read the directions well enough. I put the pumped breast milk directly into the upside down bottle and the milk spilled everywhere. So I had to start over again.

Note to Adiri users, read instructions thoroughly; even if you are one of those people who ‘hates instruction manuals’ and can ‘figure it out on your own by trial and error.’

So, I washed the bottle and parts out with hot soapy water as instructed by Adiri. I waited a few hours and pumped again.

This time I read the manual. It told me to:

–put the cap on the bottle

–turn bottle and cap upside down so that nipple is facing downward

–make sure the nipple is securely in the cap

–screw open the bottom of the bottle

–pour breast milk into the bottle

–screw cap back on

–finally turn bottle right side up.

At last, I was ready to try out the bottle on my one year old son who has not taken a bottle since he was five months old.

I put the Adiri Natural Nurser on his high chair tray in front of him. I kid you not, he immediately grabbed it, placed it in his mouth, drank from it, and smiled.

He was in love.

The only issue that he had was the flow seemed to be a bit too slow for him. He didn’t get frustrated, he just seemed like he wanted more milk then he was getting at one given time. I may have to purchase a faster flow version of the Natural Nurser from Adiri.

The Natural Nurser comes in three flow rates. 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6 months to one year. Perhaps he will like the fastest flow the best.

All in all, my son really liked the Adiri Natural Nurser. As a breastfeeding mom, I wholeheartedly recommend this bottle to babies who are nursing and do not take a traditional bottle.

For more information on the Adiri Natural Nurser, visit their website

First Birthday Parties

My son turns one year old today! May 6th. Happy Birthday, goo-goohead!

The first birthday is a big deal. In most ways it is a bigger deal for the parents than it is for the baby. As my best friend said wisely:

“The first birthday is celebrating that you survived one year with a baby.”

And its true. My son is not going to remember today, unfortunately. But I will. And later in his life I can show his pictures of what happened on his first birthday.

My boyfriend and I agonized about what to do for my son’s first birthday. Should we throw a huge party and invite everybody we know? Or do a low key family event.

It was really a tough decision. In the end we compromised; today we are taking our son out to lunch with our close family. Next week we are having another tiny family party with a few of my son’s friends and their moms.

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday goo-goohead!!!!!

For the Love of Coffee

Well folks, it’s been a year. My son is turning one tomorrow and I am getting nostalgic. Many things have helped me survive throughout this year; my boyfriend, my incredibly supportive friends and family, even my cats and one more crucial thing…coffee.

Coffee, I love you very much. You got me through a very hard transition in my life; from bachelorette to mother. You are a loyal friend. When my son was waking up every three hours on the dot, you were there to help me survive.

You were there during the summer in your iced form. You were there during the winter season in your standard heated variety. But the most important thing is that you stayed true to me. You never let me down.

When I thought I might collapse from exhaustion and emotional upheaval you lifted me up and gave me the necessary energy to cope with my problems.

I want everyone to know, that you are safe to drink (in moderation) while breastfeeding

And thank goodness for that.

Thank you coffee. You are this mom’s best friend.

My First Substitute Teaching Experience

Today I substitute taught at my old elementary school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I got up early, got ready, dropped my son off with my parents so that they could babysit, and took the subway uptown.

I got off the train and started walking uptown towards my old school. Who did I happen to see? Cynthia Nixon! For those of you that don’t know who Cynthia Nixon is, she played Miranda on ‘Sex and the City’. I smiled at her, she smiled back at the fact that I recognized her and we continued on our respective daily journeys.

What a nice start to the day!

I got to the school ten minutes early and it was really busy. I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to go, but every time I went to ask the secretary the phone rang or she was accosted by another teacher or student needing her assistance.

Finally, I was handed my schedule for the day. I was placed in a different class each period: 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, respectively.

The first class were 3rd graders. I was told that I should supervise them while they ‘read quietly’. They did neither of those two things. Every other minute I had to remind them that there was no talking and it was quiet reading time. They would comply for a while and then regress into talking. So finally, I bribed them.

“Okay. If you read quietly for ten minutes we can play a game.” I said hopefully.

“Can we play 7up?”

“Sure.” I said exhausted already from shhhing them.

It worked. When the teacher walked in we were playing our reward game of 7up.

She asked immediately “What round is this?”

“This is the first round!” Proclaimed a student

“First and last.” She replied

Uh-oh. I thought, I’m in trouble…I was just trying to desperately to keep these kids happy.

My next stop, 4th grade. When I entered the classroom the teacher did not skip a beat, she was ready to update me on what these kids were supposed to be doing. As soon as she started talking I realized…I knew her! She was my old student teacher from the 5th grade and a good friend of my parents’!

I stopped her mid-sentence.
“Wait, a second. What’s your name?” I asked her.
“Ruth.” She replied.

Then I told her who I was and she screamed with delight. She recognized me immediately.

“I remember when you were in a stroller!” She said in disbelief.

We reminisced for a while and then she realized that she really had to go. She was late for her teacher’s meeting. So I was left with Ruth’s 4th grade class.

How bad could they be? I thought.

They, too, had a reading assignment. They were separated into reading groups. Each group was reading a different book. They had to read a portion of the book, discuss it, and then write their reactions in a reading journal.

Every minute or so, as predicted, I found myself shouting

“You’re supposed to be reading! Not talking.” And they would quiet down for a while and then resume their noise.

Then I heard a few boys yelling at each other at one table. So I went to see what the issue was.

“What’s the problem here?” I asked
“He called me a bastard!” said boy A.
“Did you call him that?” I asked the boy B
“Yes.” Admitted boy B
“That’s not a very nice thing to say. How would you feel if he called you that?” I asked boy B.
“I wouldn’t care!” Proclaimed boy B proudly.
“Well, he seems to care.” I said pointing to boy A. “Tell him you’re sorry.” I instructed boy B.
“I’m sorry.” Said boy B, laughing hysterically.
“It doesn’t sound like you are very sorry.” I said responding to his laughter.
“Okay, okay.” He replied, calming down. “I’m sorry.”
“He means it,” Said boy A “He has a serious face on. It’s okay.”
Crisis averted.

Next was the 5th grade. After their student teacher taught a Social Studies lesson, I was assigned the task of handing out a workbook for them with questions to complete. I circulated around to each table to make sure they were doing their work.

There was one particular table that didn’t seem to be doing very much work at all.

“Who are you?” one student asked me “Are you a new sub?”
“Yes, I am a sub.”
“Are you new?” She asked again.
“I’ve been around forever.” I joked with her.
“But how come I’ve never seen you before.” She asked.
I changed the subject
“I used to go to this school.” I remarked
“Really, how old are you?” another student asked,
“I’m not going to answer that.” I replied.
“But, Mrs. Foster was my 5th grade teacher.” I told them. Mrs. Foster is still a teacher at this particular school today.
“Wow!” They marveled.

“Okay, okay guys,” interrupted the student teacher. “That’s enough, get back to work.”
Whew! She saved me from a personal inquisition!

Well….not quite.

I was making my rounds again, attempting to answer questions about 5th grade social studies, when one girl blurted out

“You have a tattoo.”
“What does that have to do with the assignment?” I replied.
“But, did it hurt?” She asked.
“Again,” I replied, “That has nothing to do with Westward Expansion in America.”

The day was quite challenging. These kids are full of surprises and interminable questions. I have to say, that after spending the day with 8-11 year olds. Caring for a one year old seems like a cake walk.

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