Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I just got a little thrill when I saw this aerial photo series of the Bryant Park ice rink being festooned with a giant "love" decal (via OhJoy). Read more great reasons to love New York in 2007 here:
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
First up, the "Zaky," (I saw this on the Birth With Confidence blog) which is described thusly on the site that sells it:
If you’ve ever wished for a “hand” to leave behind so that your baby would feel as if you’ve never left the room, your prayers have been answered with the Zaky.Next, we have a charming little device, called the Time Out Pad (as seen on Ohdeedoh):
The Zaky is an ergonomic infant pillow designed by a mom to mimic the size, weight, touch, and feel of her hand and forearm to help her baby with comfort, support, protection, and development. The Zaky can help calm your baby and help your baby sleep better through the night...Your baby will feel reassured as if you’re touching him, which assists in his need of feeling protected. The size and weight of the Zaky simulates the hand of a mother, so you feel as if you’re leaving one hand with your baby – and your baby feels as if you’re still there touching him...If you haven’t given birth yet, the Zaky is great to bring to the hospital when your baby is born. Scent it with your own scent beforehand to help your baby when he/she is in the bassinet next to you or give it to the nurse when your baby is taken to the hospital’s nursery. This way you give your baby “your hand” with your scent, and the nurse can use it to support and position your baby. Also, because your baby smells and feels something constant from birth, the Zaky helps the transition to going home.
Here's how the makers describe the way it works its discipline magic:
And from the official website, a few gag-inducing, glowing testimonials from parents who found the device helpful:
Simply set the built-in timer to the desired time-out duration (usually one minute per year of the child's age) and sit the child on the pressure sensitive pad.
If the child gets up before the end of the programmed time, an alarm sounds to alert the parent or carer, and the countdown will pause until the child sits back down.Once the full time-out countdown has elapsed, the finish tune is played to let everyone know that the session has ended. The child should then apologise and be rewarded with a big hug!
"Fantastic! This product really has stopped my little boy being a little monster!"
“This is a useful disciplinary tool as it does show the child where they have to be and how long they have to wait. 5 minutes can seem forever if they do not know how long they have already been sitting down. If you ask a child to be quiet for 5 minutes it is an almost impossible task for many.
"This also means that you can leave the child and know if they will get up for those parents who cannot spend their entire time watching the child and telling them to stay still and for the rebellious children as knowing exactly where they have to sit and having a timer can help them know their boundaries."
“We've had the Time Out Pad for a few weeks now, and have had such good success with it, our son rarely goes on it any more - just threatening sitting on it usually defuses the situation, rather than him having to sit on the naughty step, which he had to do quite often before. We think this is because he HAS to stay on the pad, and it makes it more of a discipline thing than just staying on the step to calm down. It also means you can leave the room safely, which means he cannot argue or beg with you, missing out on the point of the exercise."
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Liz is an amazing photographer and an all-round fantastic person. I have known her for less than a year, but I feel bonded to her for life as she was one of the few people present at the Kiddo's birth. We met Liz through our Midwife, Cara Muhlhahn, and developed a relationship with her as she sought to learn more about the dynamics of home birth for her documentary photo project. Originally, I was very adamant that I did not want photos of my labor and the baby's birth, much less an extra person in the room snapping away, creating a distraction and infringing on our privacy. However, as I got to know Liz, those concerns fell away. She is very passionate about the issue of birth and she has an intense respect for women, as well as a huge heart to go with her impressive talent. It didn't take me long to know that her sense of compassion and empathy would come before her interest in getting a particular shot, and that her sensitivity would ultimately inform the photographs themselves. For weeks before the birth, Liz attended and recorded the prenatal visits at our apartment, and also spent time with me and T as a couple, taking photographs of giant-bellied me in Central Park and really getting to know us. By the time I went into labor, we not only wanted her to be at the birth, we were really excited about it! Liz ended up recording the entire day beautifully, as well as bringing a wonderful energy to the event, and many times really helped out as an attentive friend and caretaker. A great example of this is when Liz left us briefly to go to Blockbuster and pick up two of my favorite movies...this led to an unforgettable couple of hours of the three of us watching Say Anything on T's laptop, punctuated by my ever-more-frequent contractions!
The birth experience ended up being so incredible, and my sense of personal achievement and pride (not to mention happiness and love) in the wake of bringing Kiddo into the world is so great that I am immensely thankful to Liz that that day was captured so fully and artfully on film.
In the months since Kiddo was born, Liz's photos have received exciting recognition, as Liz was Highly Commended in this year’s Ian Parry Scholarship -- an international photographic award -- and in connection with this honor a selection of images from Liz’s birth series Day One was exhibited for two weeks at the Getty Images Gallery in London, UK in connection with the Ian Parry Scholarship.
So, in a relatively short period of time, I went from being squeamish and shy about having the birth photographed at all, to being completely comfortable and indeed proud to know that images from the birth were displayed in a fancy-schmantzy gallery in London. I guess that says a lot about how much childbirth can change you, but it's also a testament to a very skilled artist and a good friend.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I am also working on making a bunch of little paper snowflakes. If I end up with enough, I'll string them together and add them to the tree.
Next up: Gift wrapping!
Friday, December 7, 2007
photograph by Irving Solero
Left: Denyse Schmidt, Sunflower Bows,
Center: Etsuko Furuya, Turquoise Cheetah Landscape
Right: Tina Givens, Raspberry Petals
Monday, December 3, 2007
After grabbing brunch (including the inaugural hot cocoa of the year, heck yeah!) we decided to head over to the Museum of Natural History for an afternoon of Prehistoria and Paleo-fabulous exploration.
For the most part the Kiddo napped, but T and I had a great time looking at the exhibits and getting lost in the museum. It really struck us how exciting and magical it will be in a couple of years when the Kiddo is old enough to be interested in the sights and sounds there -- talk about an incredible unschooling resource! T and I decided that we learned more science in one afternoon than we did in our school careers combined, and had fun to boot :) A highlight was standing in the enormous Hall of Ocean Life with the Blue Whale hovering above -- the largest animal ever to live on the planet, it's the size of three school buses. Totally gave us goosebumps! As we left the wilds of Africa (OK, they were just dioramas, but still) and headed back outside into the snowy New York night, we were filled with that cozy yuletide feeling that we could only increase our happiness in one way: that is, with the acquisition of a Christmas tree. And so we hiked to a nearby curbside evergreen vendor and selected a tiny but spirited little Nova Scotian tree (the salesman called it "a little Charlie Brown tree") which T hauled home and I bedecked with lights. Our first Christmas tree! I am plotting the creation of various and sundry ornaments with the zealousness of a sculptress who has been out of the studio for the last seven months. Stand back Martha Stewart! Stay tuned as that plot unfolds...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Yesterday the Kiddo and I went to see Enchanted at the Regal Cinema on 42nd Street. I've taken him to see several movies since his birth in June (Rocket Science, Ratatouille, Hairspray, Sicko, The King of California, Michael Clayton) and for the most part he slept and nursed through the films. If he took any notice of the larger-than-life sounds and visuals, it was usually a fleeting and casual glance away from my boob long enough to take in a fraction of the scene before letting out an unmoved grunt and cuddling back in for a nap. I guess the last movie I took the Kiddo to was over a month ago, and since then he's gotten so much stronger, more active, and more vocal that I was starting to think that the two of us going to movies could be a thing of the past. But yesterday I just decided to give it another whirl with Enchanted. And I'm so glad I did! He LOVED it. He actually watched a good portion of the movie perched sitting bolt upright on my knees, wide-eyed and enraptured. He actually yelled at the screen when it went dark in between the previews, as if to ask for more. Every time I had to assure him there was another one coming while the green ratings screen flashed up. It was SOOOO cool!
The movie was a perfect parent-kiddo diversion, just the right mix of sweets, smarts, and sillies. My favorite character was New York City itself, which was shown off in all its grit and glory, giving me the occasional thrill-induced chill bumps of "I actually LIVE there!" My very own personal fairytale.
A nice one is available here for $39.