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Monday, April 15th, 2013
The feel of your soles hitting the pavement. The roar of the crowds. The pride in pushing your body to do something so extraordinary. You do it for a charity, for a lost one, a loved one–or just for yourself. This is what runners do. This is what marathoners do.
I ran the Boston Marathon in 2008. I did it with two of my best running friends, Katie and Rachel. We were part of a team that trained together for multiple marathons. We ran through ice and snow in the Bronx, through wind and rain in Brooklyn, logging the miles, counting the minutes and checking off the weeks.
I sit here today in shock and heartbreak over the news of two explosions at this iconic event. Reports are still sketchy–many injured, possible packages found… your mind goes to the immediate: terrorism. It’s tax day. It’s Boston. It could easily be domestic. It’s also the world’s most famous running event. So it could be international. Or maybe a gas line exploded. We don’t know. The facts will come.
What is on my mind now are the runners, the spectators, the emergency workers, the reporters, my fellow running friends and anyone else who was, until a few hours ago, enjoying being part of this storied event. On so many levels the Boston Marathon signifies what is good in the world: Persistence, Drive, Kindness, Endurance, Humility, Charity. But right now, it also signifies the bad. Or the potential of badness that exists. I am trying not to jump to conclusions.
Soon I will put on my running shoes and hit the trail. I will think back to that day when I crossed the finish line: elated, exhausted, proud. For all of those who crossed today and for all of those who watched, it will be a different memory. One mired in death and destruction. Even one of the toughest events in the world remains, at this moment, so incredibly fragile.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Losing a Parent, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Must Read | Tags: boston marathon, bronx, Brooklyn, explosion, marathon, marathon training, New York Road Runners, NYC marathon, race, running, team for kids
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
We all know New York is struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. All five boroughs. New Jersey too. But we also all know what a resilient city it is. One only has to remember September 11th.
My niece Rachel visited us when we lived in Brooklyn. During her senior year of high school, she wrote this poem. I was just so impressed by her insight and perception. She was only 14 years old when she came, but the memory held on so vividly.
She is now a freshman in college, studying journalism. I’ve been saving this poem for the right time to post. Figured now is it. Just like Sinatra says, “Come on, Come through, New York, New York, New York.”
The Sole of New York, New York
By Rachel Johnston
The sun shines above the smog,
illuminating life, language, and love
for this city’s bright eyes.
New shoes become old and worn here
within a mere morning of travel.
They’re sore, bruised, dirty,
but singing a Sinatra tune.
They smile as they conquer
miles of concrete, of storefronts,
of Main Street, of Wall Street.
They look to the sky.
Feed us, they say.
They stumble down stairs
that reveal a dark underworld.
Sparks, rats, bustling bodies,
the homeless and the senseless.
They stumble up stairs
that break through to daylight.
Toes scuffed and laces soggy,
the shoes smile still
just now with broken teeth.
This time, they peer down
at tiny taxis and tacky tourists.
They are not afraid of heights;
they are indestructible, unstoppable.
They are on top of the world.
These soles are experienced,
enlightened, musically inclined,
bold, logical, beautiful, free,
native to city life.
Photo of NYC Skyline via Shutterstock
Categories: A Fi Grows in Brooklyn, Fearless Feisty Mama, Moving to Los Angeles | Tags: 9/11, bronx, Brooklyn, hurricane, Hurricane Sandy, New York, poem, queens, resilient, September 11, September 11th, staten island
Monday, February 27th, 2012
He's as perplexed as I am...
I switched pediatricians 5 times with Fia. I finally found one I liked—Dr. Gold with Tribeca Pediatrics. She has since become my friend and was kind enough to call me the other night, even in her exhausted state, to give me a refresher course on newborns. Problem is, she’s in Brooklyn and I’m in LA.
Out here we found a place that came highly recommended by several friends. But once again, I feel like I’m getting mixed messages. This is a field that often seems to me to have no consistency in all the various theories and diagnosis. It seems like it’s often a guessing game, since newborns can’t speak their mind.
Emmett’s diaper rash never really went away. Our main pediatrician said it was a bacterial infection. She gave us prescription ointment to put on. It didn’t do much. It got a little better, then worse again. I bought an anti-fungal (Lotrimin) and mixed that with Desitin. Then I tried Triple Paste. Then I tried Calmoseptine. Nothing seemed to make a dent. So today I took him back to the doc and saw a different guy.
This one tells me it’s not bacterial (even though it looks exactly the same. The first one told me you can tell if it’s bacterial because the skin starts to break down, which is exactly what is happening). He recommended I make a paste of pure zinc oxide, lotrimin and something called stoma-paste powder. The latter you have to order from your pharmacy, which I did. He said to mix it until it’s like a glue that will stick to his butt and provide a semi-permanent barrier.
I told him how Emmett seems to poop constantly. Perhaps (his theory, of course) is that whatever I’m eating is making Em’s poop extra acidic. This, despite my friend’s pediatrician who told her it rarely has to do with the diet (so more conflicting information). I also told him Emmett has gas pains because he often stiffens up and cries, grunts and groans. He told me that gas pains don’t exist. Huh? What? He said it’s not the gas that causes those pains, but rather something inflaming the digestive tract. I am so frustrated and confused.
Then he started talking about my diet. He told me to eliminate, in this order:
He said 90% of the reactions babies have to breast milk are in these foods. He said to start with the first two and see if that helps. Then work down the list.
This is already starting to feel like too much work. My head is starting to spin.
Then I showed him how Em’s eye looks red again. My main doc said that when the whites of the eyes are red it shows an infection. He negated that. Then went on to say bacteria in the eye is normal. So now I honestly don’t know who to believe and what to do.
I ordered the powder and found the zinc oxide and I’ll give it a try. But I’m already thinking I need to find another practice. If it’s going to be a guessing game, I at least want it to be consistent. I can’t have different doctors in the same office giving me absolute opposite information.
I walked into the parking lot with Emmett and started to cry.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read, Newborn Care | Tags: bacterial rash, Brooklyn, desitin, diaper rash, eye infection, infant, Los Angeles, lotrimin, newborn, prescription, prescription ointment, tribeca pediatrics, zinc oxide
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Author’s Note: Join me every Tuesday or Wednesday for “Moving Mid Pregnancy,” to read about my ongoing search for a new “everything” (from nannies to mom friends to health providers) while pregnant and living in a new city.
So far here is the major difference between LA and NY: I’m FREEZING. In California. This makes no sense.
And as a person who hates the cold (and has a hormone or two raging in my pregnant body), I swear it is making me miserable.
I have bought 7 space heaters so far. S-E-V-E-N. Granted, I’m not keeping them all, as I keep experimenting with which one I think is the best. But this has practically become a full time job for my pregnant self.
Here’s what no one told me when moving here: yes, the weather is great, meaning when there is a snowstorm in NYC and 10 below, we have 60-degree weather and sunshine out here. However, in our Brooklyn apartment, we had heat. In fact, it got so hot in our place, we frequently opened the windows (I know, a complete waste of money and energy, but in our building we have no control over the thermostat).
Out in LA, most homes aren’t insulated. People learn to layer in the winter. The house we rented takes it a step further. There was never heating ducts put in the kitchen or in two of the upstairs bedrooms, which happens to be Fia’s room and the new baby’s. Luckily our landlord was gracious enough to install heat (after I called her nearly in tears) in those. There is no way I could have a newborn in a room without heat. But the kitchen is a more complicated job. Thus, my continued quest for the perfect space heater.
I think maybe the oil-filled radiators are best if I want to keep them on all the time. Our kitchen is large and has lots of windows, so I think I need two of them. I’ve bought the ceramic ones too, but they use a lot of electricity and you wouldn’t want to keep them running through the night (any experts out there care to weigh in?).
In the meantime, I went to Target yesterday and bought (fake) fur-lined slippers and a big puffy robe thing. I am going to walk around like I’m in a blizzard out here.
Okay, there are more differences between NYC and LA than this, and I’ll write about them in future posts (like how I love the traffic out here. I’m serious). But I just had to get this off my cold chest—and belly. Thanks for listening.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Moving Mid Pregnancy, Moving to Los Angeles | Tags: Brooklyn, cold, heat, horomones, Leaving NYC, moving mid pregnancy, moving to LA, new baby, oil filled radiators, pregnancy, snowstorm, space heaters, weather
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Author’s Note: Join me every Friday for a dose of cuteness as I share snapshots of Fia. Adorable photos are guaranteed on Fia Friday!
She is looking very LA…..
Potato Chips for Lunch. Nice.
But don’t worry. She still represents…..
At Heart, She's Still a Brooklyn Girl