It’s my Momaversary

It has been 11 years since I’ve been a mom. I learned about this term a few years ago when a friend told me about it (Thanks pal!). She said that yes, while celebrating kiddo’s birthday is important – it is also important to celebrate the first day of motherhood.
I remember it so well. My water broke at 2:30pm on March 13th, got to the hospital at 3 and had kiddo at 4:36am on March 14th, 2001. And this after sitting at home for a week waiting for the butterball to show up. And he sure did! 8lbs, 7 oz of chunky monkey. The lead ob/gyn put him on my upper chesst and I was blown away at how heavy he was then.
Today, he is a healthy, nearly eye-to-eye with me, 5th grader who is smart, sweet and kind. – woke him early to sing Happy Birthday so he could blow out the candles on his ice cream sandwich. (Kiddo’s with his father from today til Friday evening so I had to party somehow.) After he got ready for school, I gave him his gifts – a telescope (science supergeek) and a new video game for his Wii console. My kid is awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy being his mom, but he’s brought me so much joy. Kiddo helped me discover who I am and pushed me to be stronger than I ever thought I could. He has motivated me to follow my dreams so that he would have a role model. He has truly enriched my life and I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment (and gift) than to be his mother. So, happy birthday, kiddo (my love & joy) and happy momaversary to me!

Un-Halloween

Well, Halloween’s finally over and I’m here to report that I’m glad about it. It wasn’t just that my birthday was two days before Halloween (and I’ve never dressed up in costume for my birthday). For me, Halloween just isn’t fun anymore and hasn’t been for years.

Here in NYC, I haven’t seen many trick or treaters at all. With a rise in gang activity (initiations taking the form of women being slashed in the face), it’s no wonder that parents are choosing not to let their kids out on Halloween. I was so glad to be off that day from work, not to take kiddo out early, but because I wouldn’t have to deal with my office closing early due to the fear of gang-related activity.

When I was a kid, Halloween was about getting dressed up in a silly costume and asking people for candy. No one had to worry about contaminated candy or getting slashed back then. The only thing I worried about was filling up my bag with lots of candy that my mom would eventually throw out. I stopped dressing up for Halloween after elementary school. By the time I went to high school, I began worrying about getting bombed with eggs and waited until 5pm (or until the area cleared of egg-toting boys – whichever came first) so that I could go home without getting hurt.

Fast-forward 15 years later and I’ve my own child to think about. I was relieved that he DIDN’T want to go trick or treating. Something about pimples (my son’s 10 and got his first pimple this week). But, I was also disappointed. No kid should have to give up Halloween because of other’s people’s issues. Sadly, this is our reality. What I wonder is, when will it get good again, if it ever will.

 

Originally posted on Heiddi’s Blog. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Heiddi unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Heiddi’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

6 Parenting Tips from Mommy Irene

Everyone knows that parenting is a tough job and that there are rules to follow. Below you will find Mommy Irene’s parenting rules. She decided to come to New York City (and the Eastern Seaboard) to let us know how parenting works with her. There is no need for her to yell or carry-on. With her simple rules, Mommy Irene quickly lets the kids know who is boss. Below are Mommy Irene’s tips. For more information, you can also check out safety tips as issued by the Mayor’s office and OEM.

1. No you cannot play with your toys! – The MTA shut down all regular service (buses/trains) as of noon today.  Ferries, Access-a–Ride and Amtrak trains have been shut down as well. Also, all NYC parks, public libraries and Broadway shows have been closed for the weekend.

2. Go to your room. The city has been split up into various zones and Nyers have been advised to stay put if they can or evacuate immediately if residing in a danger zone (Zone A and the Rockaways).

3. Somebody’s on time-out.  Mommy Irene has spoken and there are specific time-out spots (shelters/schools) for NYers in danger zones with no alternative shelter. If you don’t have family and friends within a safe zone, there are shelters that are open. (Note: pets are welcome!)

4. You can’t go out today. All major airports have been shut-down as of noon today to inbound & outbound flights. (Contact your specific airline to find out about flight information.)

5. No, your friends can’t come over. All highways have been shutdown to Southbound traffic. Northbound traffice (heading away from NYC) only. And only for emergency vehicles.

6. No Video games for you. Power will be shutdown in lower Manhattan as a precaution to avoid problems when the hurricane arrives.

I hope that these parenting tips will help you get through the storm. Please stay safe people. Check in here if you can and let me know how you’re doing.

Reflections on Bin Laden, 9/11 & Kiddo: Part II

I’ve spoken to kiddo ab0ut that day, specifically about how I thought my mother (his grandmother) died that day. September 11, 2001 emerged as an ordinary day. I was at work at Penn Plaza near 34th street by 8:30am. WPLJ announced that the first plane hit the World Trade Center and compared it to when the Empire State Building had been hit by a small aircraft decades before.

I immediately called my co-worker who was on medical leave and asked her to turn on the television. I didn’t have internet access on my computer so I couldn’t watch anything. I told her what happened with the plane and waited for her to tell me what was going on. The dj on WPLJ then announced that a second plane hit the towers and a third crashed into the Pentagon. I realized it wasn’t a normal day; a regular Tuesday.

I called my mother’s work phone and received a busy signal. I then called my baby sitter to check on my son and also called his father. I tried Mami’s number again and nothing. By 10:30, my co-workers and I were all dazed by the news that both towers had fallen. Some had gone to internet connected computers to watch everything. I didn’t. One co-worker came back to her desk and quietly shared that the towers fell.

Our assistant comptroller sent us home to check in on our loved ones. I hadn’t heard from Mami, but still thought she was okay. Mami was very strong and independent. She could handle anything.

I mostly walked home that day. I took a bus up Sixth Avenue and ended up getting off after a few blocks. It took me hours to get from 34th Street to the South Bronx. I called my son’s father to let him know I was coming and stopped at McD’s to get lunch because I hadn’t eaten all day. Arriving at my son’s father’s house, I sat and ate quietly.

By the time I finished, the 5 o’clock news was on and for the first time – I watched with horror all of the video I refused to watch earlier. And I cried as I saw the powder. Mami had asthma and she couldn’t have run away in all of that. Mami was dead. She HAD to be.

Only she wasn’t. She called there. My son’s father passed me the phone crying and I yelled at her. “You’re DEAD!!!” It took her several minutes to convince me that she was fine and was at home. I yelled at her for not leaving a message on the answering machine. I yelled at her for not thinking to call because I was checking the machine all day. Mostly I yelled because she’d scared the crap out of me. It was the only time before or since that Mami let me yell at her. She didn’t take offense to it.

I went home with my son and hugged her. I expected powder all over her, but she’d cleaned up already as if nothing happened. I looked around to find traces of the day’s events because I just could not believe what happened. All I found were a pair of white, dusty Reebok sneakers that I knew used to be black.

Nearly ten years later and the man who was named the mastermind behind this attack is dead – killed in a raid on May 1, 2011. I still don’t believe it and don’t know how I feel about it. Even while others in my city and around the world cheer, I don’t know how I feel. Maybe because as a woman of faith I don’t believe in violence or war or hatred.

I haven’t figured out what to tell kiddo, but I surely won’t be cheering. All of this has left me reflecting on the value of human life, faith and the fate of our world. Growing up now isn’t simple and it isn’t pretty. Parenting now isn’t either.

Karate Comedy Hour

Saturday morning finds kiddo and I at the local rec center for his Karate class. Kiddo spends the first half hour to 45 minutes stretching and working with higher-ranked students.
The teacher came in this morning with humor on the brain. His antics with the kids have me (and the other parents) cracking up. Establishing nicknames, assigning push-ups and highlighting kiddo’s dancing keeps all the kids on point for the most part. He seems to get that kids will be distracted, that they won’t learn something the first time or the first several hundred times, and that they need several chances to get the steps right.
So not only is he teaching the kids, he’s also entertainment for parents like me observing. Great deal for my money!