September 28, 2007
It was Yves birthday last Monday. My parents bought him a cake with fresh strawberries to celebrate on Sunday. Yves doesn't like to make a big deal about his birthday so we just ordered mediteranean food from Sahara, it was delicious but a bit more expensive than we are used to paying in Bay Ridge.
September 24, 2007
The last days in Chicago
Sienna's first IHOP trip
Sunday we took a final dip in the pool since we were checking out on Monday and staying at Rich and Theresa's. Sienna didn't seem as excited about the pool as she was the first time. Oh well. In the afternoon we headed over to R and T's to watch football on their HDTV and eat brats.
Their dog Elvis
Monday we were total tourists and headed over to check out 'the bean' and walk around a bit.
Geeks at the bean
We had lunch in the restaurant behind the bean, it was really good! We checked out a few more places and took pictures, which I took film and hope they come out. We headed back just in the nick of time, it started raining!
Tuesday we kinda laid low and went to see Rich's old condo and that neighborhood. Had lunch at Moody's (?), apparently home of Chicago's best burger (wasn't bad) and walked over to the lake.
Wednesday we flew back and again, Sienna was perfect for the flight. It wasn't full and I debated about asking if we can bring on the car seat since we got spoiled the first time around. I decided not to just to see how she was going to be in our laps since the flight was so short. We did have a seat mate for the window so she was in our lap the whole time. She fell asleep in Yves' arms and woke up once we landed. And we got there about 40 minutes early! Yay! (Yves took the same flight when he came back from Chicago last month and it was also early.) Such a nice and relaxing trip.
September 19, 2007
Rich and Theresa get married
Rich and Theresa got married on Saturday, Sept. 8 in downtown Chicago. They had about maybe 100 or 150 people? I'm not sure but it wasn't huge and it was as small as ours. The ceremony was held in the private dining room at Spiaggia along with cocktail hour and dinner. The food was terrific but more on that later. Since Yves was best man we arrived early to be involved in the pictures. There was a beautiful gazebo across from the restaurant, a popular spot for wedding couples as we can see it from the window. I didn't know me and Sienna were also in the pictures or else I would have changed Sienna into her pretty dress a lot earlier! I hope Theresa didn't mind!
Because Chicago had so much rain, the mosqitos were plentiful and of course I got bit! 4 times!! So after we were done with our part of the pictures, we went in search of a Walgreens to buy some creme. On the way back, we saw the couple getting their picture taken on the median.
Yves went to take a horizon picture of them and got into the picture!
We went back to the restaurant and hung out until it was time for the ceremony at 6. Sienna got a big kick out of Bob, Rich's dad. He was making her laugh and laugh and not even doing anything goofy. I have video of it. And here is Martha, Rich's mom, hanging out with Sienna.
I don't have any pictures of the ceremony as I had Sienna and since 6 is her feeding time, was feeding her near the back to keep out of the way. Boy was she farting up a storm during the ceremony! I was hoping no one could really smell it and it turned out she was pooping! I hope that means good luck for the marriage in some cultures! LOL!
I only got to try a couple of hors d'oeuvres since the room got really crowded and Sienna was in her carriage so I wanted to keep out of the way and stayed in the other room. I was kinda bummed about missing all that food, as those who know me know what a glutton I am, but in retrospect it was a good thing I did because the dinner was sooooo good! And I stuffed myself with the bread basket, not surprising! And I ate tomatoes!! The starter was mozzarella and tomato salad. It was fresh buffalo mozzarella (melted in your mouth!) and the tomatoes were little cherry tomatoes but it went so well with the cheese and the olive oil and basil. YUM! The next course was homemade veal ravioli. YUM! There are no pictures of them because I guess I ate it too fast! LOL. Yves got the filet mignon, so tender and I got the fish, flaky on the outside and moist on the inside!
And then the cake! OMG!! Theresa told me all the different layers on there, really, it was like she couldn't decide and decided to have all the cakes in there! And they passed around a tray of homemade gelato and of course I chose mint. DELICIOUS!!
And the happy couple!
Yves was really nervous because he had to do a best man speech. Well, Rich told him he didn't have to but since the maid of honor was saying something, he felt like he had to say something. He did a great job!! Sienna slept thru mostly everything and woke up near the end, around 10. By the time we left, it was pretty late but she fell asleep on the way back to the hotel even before we got lost!
September 17, 2007
to the greatest person I know! My husband! He is an amazing husband, a terrific father and a wonderful provider for his family!
September 14, 2007
We're back from Chicago! And it was a successful trip. The flights were great, the wedding wonderful and the weather wasn't the greatest with some on and off rain but we had a couple of bright sunny days.
We took the 6:45 am Jetblue flight and as you can see, we don't look totally awake. Our flight was pretty empty and we were able to take the car seat on board and put it next to us. What a big help that was! Sienna was an absolute angel! We started feeding her her bottle while waiting to board since that was her usual time. She didn't finish it so while we took off, I gave her the rest of it and she drank it. Once she finished it, we put her in the car seat next to the window and she fell asleep for the rest of the flight!! Who can ask for anything better?
Once we landed and got our bags, we headed over to Enterprise for our car. They happen to be out of the compact car we reserved and upgraded us to a PT Cruiser, a car Yves always had his eye on so of course he was happy! Now normally I wouldn't show a picture with my butt toward the camera but this happens to be one of the only pics of the car. Plus we were laughing at ourselves for changing Sienna in the trunk and calling ourselves ghetto. The trunk is so roomy!
Later that day we relaxed and took Sienna to her first trip to the hotel's indoor pool! She loved it!
We had Thai food with Rich, Theresa and Matt later that night. It was delicious! Sienna fell asleep in the car seat and just happened to wake up right when we were leaving. We ended up giving her some water back at the hotel and she fell back asleep in the Pack and Play. And then the rest of us fell asleep. What a long day!
Friday we drove up to Wisconsin for lunch to go to one of Yves' favorite places, the Brat Stop. Rich couldn't believe we drove up there but it was only a little less than an hour, equal to a subway ride!
I got the garlic brat and it was good. I only wished the bun was just a tad bit on the softer side. I think I felt the same way last time I had a Milwaukee brat back in 2001.
Where's my Brat? Where's my Brat?
Later that night we met up with some of Rich and Theresa's family for a sort of rehearsal dinner at a mexican restaurant called Don Juan's. It was delicious! And Sienna slept thru the whole thing and we were certainly a loud bunch! We also did not have any trouble transfering her from the car seat to the pack and play back at the hotel. Whew!
More on the trip later...
September 04, 2007
Fun Filled Family Weekend!
Saturday we were invited to a pool party in Sunset Park. Since it didn't start until 4, we decided to head over earlier and get some delicious banh mi. Afterwards, we headed to the park to feed Sienna and hang out for a bit to enjoy the beautiful day. It was in the mid 70's and it couldn't have been nicer.
When we got to the party, she was hanging out in the bjorn with her daddy. She loved it and loved meeting everyone. We met another cutie named Marley who is 17 months old, also born in March! The 21st!
She also got hungry while we were there so Yves found a nice corner to feed her.
And it looked like Nuno and Marley were the only ones enjoying the pool. At least while we were there!
Sienna had such an exciting and exhausting day that we basically put her to bed right after her bath. And she went down without a fight! We did give her an extra 2 ounces since it was a little later than usual.
August 28, 2007
Sienna's First Dim Sum!
Saturday we ventured out to Chinatown to meet up with Pete and Joy at Golden Unicorn for some dim sum! Of course, it had to be the muggiest, yuckiest day but we survived.
Ok, she's not really looking at the har kow here. She just woke up from a short nap near the end of our meal so I wanted to document her first dim sum outting. We ended up taking her out anyway.
I don't remember what we were looking at and laughing at.
Shortly after this shot, Sienna spit up on Joy. LOL.
And the cart ladies all loved Sienna too!
After dim sum, we went for our traditional bubble tea at Tenren. We went to the park so we can feed Sienna her lunch and called it a day!
August 21, 2007
A Perfect Day!
Saturday was a beautiful day! It was nice and sunny and the temps were somewhere in the 70's. We decided to take Sienna into the city and bring the baby bjorn. We got off at Union Square and used the elevators. They are very helpful! We had her in the carriage on the way over hoping that she would take a little nap. (She doesn't seem to nap very well on the weekends, we're wondering if it's because Yves is home) She did manage to fall asleep halfway there and while we had lunch at Montien Thai.
After lunch we decided to stop by Babies R Us (actually Yves suggested it! Can you believe it?). We didn't buy anything but just looked around. Seems I missed the swimwear! Oh well, I'll have to buy something online for Sienna for Chicago. Anyway, we went into Union Square Park afterwards and decided to feed her in there. She loved beiing taken out of the car seat and looking around and everything. So much to see!
August 20, 2007
Band Meeting 1
Friday I met up with the band and went out to dinner at Loreley's. The food was delicious!! I started off with a wheat beer that I don't remember the name of, especially since they had so many different ones! We were sitting outside and at the only table that didn't have a covering so when it started to rain, we had to go inside.
We ordered warm pretzels and potato pancakes to start off with. I expected more from the pretzel, it was just ok but the potato pancakes were huge! It was really just an oversized hash brown but I love me some hash browns!
For entree, I got brats (I had too! So much talk about brats lately). They were delicious! Pete got beef roast (also delicious), Tammy got Chicken Paprika (YUM) and Joy got the butcher plate (the bacon wasn't salty at all!)
I'm afraid the pictures aren't the greatest, we were so into wanting to eat I took them really fast. The food came really fast too so we didn't really linger too long in there. There was a slight issue with the bill, well, really with the waitress. We inadvertently left her only a 10 percent tip, we misread the bill total so the waitress asked us if there was anything wrong with the service since we only left a 10% tip and 'new yorkers usually leave 20.' Well, that really pissed tammy off and she told her off a little bit but was civil about it and gave her another $10. Besides the fact that she was really only serving us at the end since we came in from the back patio. HA!
Anyway, we were still in a good mood and topped off the evening with cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine and I got a delicious pistachio (my favorite!)
August 17, 2007
Lunching in Fort Greene
Tuesday me and Sienna went to have lunch with Brenda, who was on vacation for the week. We went to Chez Lola. It was so delicious!! Surprisingly Sienna was a bit antsy even though I fed her and changed her right before we left to meet Brenda. After we ordered, I took her out of her seat so she could have a look around the restaurant. She loved it! I wish I took pictures of the restaurant, there was so much to see. Lots of oranges and textures (the wine rack was made out of a mattress spring!) Once our dishes came, I put her back in and ended up giving her a paci and she fell asleep! Good girl! I ordered the salmon basil omelette (salmon, goat cheese and scallions) and Brenda got the Croque Madame. YUM!!
We went for a walk in Fort Greene Park after lunch. What a nice park!! We went around a few times and it's hilly so I got quite a workout. I need to do more of those! LOL. I was so tired when I got home!
And if anyone is keeping tabs on the sleep situation, Tuesday and Wednesday night we had trouble putting her down. We put her down on the earlier side since she really hasn't been taking her afternoon naps and she just didn't want to go down. Then last night we had the AC on because it was so muggy all day and she went down easy and also on the earlier side! She fussed a little bit during Goodnight Moon but did not cry when Yves put her down in the crib. A successful putdown for Yves! Yay! So it seems the AC has a lot to do with how easy she goes down. Of course if it is really cool out, it won't be necessary but from now on, even if it's just a bit warm, we are putting that sucker on for her!
August 14, 2007
I think it is pretty clear that Sienna knows Goodnight Moon means bedtime. Yesterday we went with my dad to pick Yves up from the airport. There was traffic on the belt so we got there later than we anticipated and then with lunch and everything, the afternoon really flew by. Sienna wouldn't take an afternoon nap. Which I really wasn't concerned about since she has been doing that lately but I really wanted to give her a bath that night since she hadn't had one all weekend!! Anyway, I put her down on her activity mat and put Sprout (PBS kids channel) on the tv so I could help Yves get his lunch ready for the week. (I know they say not to let children under 2 watch tv at all but as long as her day is well rounded, I am not going to worry about that.) I was at the dining room table cutting up cucumbers and I just had a feeling she fell asleep. I look over and yep, she fell asleep! She ended up only sleeping for an hour so although I knew her bedtime will have to be pushed back because of this, I was hoping it wasn't going to be too late. So we gave her a bath, hung out with her a little bit and gave her the last bottle for the night. Yves took her into her room for reading and by the time he got to Goodnight Moon (I think he even read 2 books prior to that to make sure she was tired), she was bawling! So we let her hang out with us in the living room for a bit. When she did a couple of eye rubs, I took her into her room to finish reading Goodnight Moon. She bawled, really bawled, through the whole thing! So we took her out to the living room again. Instead of having her sit with us on the sofa, I put her down on her activity mat. After a few minutes, she seemed so calm that I thought for sure she was ready for the crib. I picked her up and put her down in her bed. No fuss! She went to sleep and it was about 8:45. Not too bad.
August 13, 2007
An Yves-less weekend
On Friday Yves left for Chicago to take his annual trip with his friend Rich up to Lake Elkhart for Champ Car Racing. This is the first time Yves left for a trip since Sienna was born. I knew it wouldn't be a big deal since it was only for 4 days but to make sure, I made plans for each day so I wouldn't get lazy and bored.
So Friday Pete came over for lunch since he has half day Fridays. It was a rainy and gloomy day so he picked up salads for us from Whole Foods and delicious strawberry/cake/creamy desserts. YUM! Skippy was very happy to see Pete and basically wore him out! LOL
I also took a cute video of Pete making Sienna laugh and I'm debating whether to put it on youtube. Since Yves left that morning, I didn't need to walk him until that evening. My parents came over for dinner and I took Skippy out for his walk after I put Sienna to sleep.
Saturday morning I took Sienna with me in the Baby Bjorn while I walked Skippy. It wasn't too bad and as long as I guide Skippy to poop on the concrete so I can kneel down and pick it up, it was fine. The bumblebees came over for potluck. I totally forgot to take pictures of the food! But DeeDee made baked chicken, Ruth made creole shrimp and rice, Joy made brussel sprouts and portabello mushrooms and I made cupcakes and sugarless cookies (which were gross but Ruth liked them). It was a nice and relaxing day and needless to say, ate like a pig! Everyone enjoyed playing with Sienna and Skippy. Even Neo got attention! The weather was beautiful and if only the rest of the summer could be like that day, I'd be such a happy camper.
Sunday I met up with 2 other moms for a day at the park. We met up at a park in Bensonhurst with a sprinkler. I met up with Regina and Evan (4.5 months), whom I've met before and also Marlissa and Munir (7 months). It was a nice day!
And if you are keeping up with the Sienna sleeping situation that we started last Sunday, here is what is going on. Monday she went down like that (snap!). Me and Yves were amazed. She ended up waking up around 12:30 in the morning and took the paci after 3 tries. Tuesday it took an hour to get her down and I ended up giving her the paci and she fell asleep after that (I was a little surprised she still had the paci in her mouth a couple of hours later, it usually comes out of her mouth after she falls asleep!). Wednesday she went down easy after about 5-10 minutes and then Thursday and Friday and Sunday, all easy!! I wanted to note that Monday and Wed. we had the air conditioner on but we didn't for Thursday and Friday so maybe it was just a coincidence. Now for Saturday. Well, she was showing the signs of tiredness around the time all the bees were leaving so the bees let themselves out while I read Sienna her bedtime stories. So, while I'm sitting there I thought to myself "I betcha DeeDee is going to forget something!" Lo and behold I get a call 2 seconds after I hear the door close. DeeDee forgot her cell phone! LOL. Now, I usually read Sienna 2 books before bedtime and i only finished one when I got the call. I decided to put her down anyway hoping she would fall asleep since I knew she was tired. Well, I put her down, got DeeDee her cell phone and then came back inside to hear Sienna crying. I gave her 10 minutes. She was still crying. I went into her room to soothe her, she stopped crying and I left. Crying starts. I gave her another 10 minutes. Still crying. Then I decided to go back in and read her a 2nd book (I usually end with Goodnight Moon). Well, I did that, put her down and she went out!! I don't know if it was just a coincidence or if she needed a 2nd book or that it was Goodnight Moon. Quite interesting!!
I know this is blurry but I just love when Sienna sucks on her lower lip and makes these puffy cheeks!!
August 06, 2007
So me and Yves realized that we were doing some "accidental parenting" meaning we started something with Sienna that we really don't want to become a habit. It seems that Sienna needs a bottle in order to fall asleep for the night. It's not a terrible thing but we would rather she be able to fall asleep on her own. It was very rare that we would be able to put her in her crib or pen and she would go to sleep, even when she shows 'the signs' of tiredness. But the bottle was always magic. We would give her her nighttime bottle, she would drink the majority of it or even all of it and either want more (which she usually would take a couple of sips of her next bottle rendering the rest of the bottle garbage!) and then fall asleep. We would gently lay her down in her crib and then go about our merry business for the evening. On rare occasions, she'll wake up and cry but mostly, she was out for the night.
Last week she started to not take her afternoon naps, which started this whole realization. Then I discovered something called "4 month regression." Even tho Sienna is technically going to be 5 months next week, because she was a month early, it's not surprising that she follows the 4 month developments. Basically, because she is now more aware of things going on around her and her brain is really starting to develop, why would she want to miss out and go to sleep? Can't say that I blame her! So we decided to combat the nighttime problem first since the regression is a phase and she might go back to her afternoon naps. So last night we decided to follow the advice of the Baby Whisperer, who was very helpful earlier. We gave Sienna her nighttime bottle out in the living room and a little before her bedtime. She finished her whole bottle and then I took her into her room and read her a couple of books. She yawned and rubbed her eyes, ooh, signs of tiredness! I put her down in her crib and walked out. She cried. I went back in, picked her up and soothed her and when she stopped crying, put her down. She cried again. I picked her up and soothed her and put her down when she stopped. This went back and forth for about 45 minutes although I thought I had it in the bag twice and had walked out only to have her cry again. Eventually, she went down and didn't cry and fell asleep. Whew! Not too bad for the first night. Tonight shouldn't take as long as last night, according to the Baby Whisperer. We'll see. I didn't feel bad as I didn't let her cry it out and I was confident I was doing the right thing for all of us.
August 03, 2007
Yesterday I went to get my Swedish massage that Yves got me for my birthday. I went to Ohm spa in midtown. HEAVEN! It's been awhile since I've gotten a massage, a true spa massage and I really wish it could have lasted all afternoon! The atmosphere was so nice and relaxing and calming. They gave you a nice robe and really nice slippers, hard plastic types. I swear, when I came out of the spa onto the street, if someone would have mugged me, I would have given them everything I had, I was so relaxed. It's too bad I picked one of the hottest, muggiest, yuckiest days of the year! I think next time I get a massage in the summer, I'll hire a limo to take me home. HA!
After massage feet
After massage me
This past Sunday, we also went to visit Tammy and Mark and had yummy burgers. While she drooled over Sienna, me and Yves drooled over her iphone and new 46 inch HDTV!!
July 27, 2007
More Sienna Action!
Wednesday me and Sienna went into the city again! Woohoo! Survived the 2nd trip! This time we were meeting a mom I was corresponding with from cafemom.com. We only tried about 3 times to get together. LOL. We met at the park on Houston and 1st Avenue. I was glad to have a solid reason to go on the subway again because I know that if I keep doing it and get used to it, I won't be so nervous (just like with driving). And this time someone offered to help me (both times on the Brooklyn side, no times on the Manhattan side). I took the B to Bdwy/Laf and the steps weren't too bad with the stroller. Of course I had to go into Whole Foods to get my favorite wraps. And I even went a little earlier so I can drop off my film!
Jade is 10 months old and a real cutie. Her mom Maria is really nice too and I hope we can make this a regular thing. Sienna managed to fall asleep early on during the subway ride and woke up just about when we got to the park. I fed her a bottle but she didn't drink the whole thing. I've noticed she doesn't finish her bottle when we are out. Hmmm...
We also brought up Sienna's high chair and activity center. I've been propping her up in her pen while we've been eating dinner and Yves realized we should just bring her chair up! She still looks so small in it!
She hasn't quite gotten the hang of the activity center but she will!
Ma, quit taking pictures and help me up! OR
No pictures please you damn paparazzi!
July 20, 2007
A Cute Duo
Me and Sienna took a walk yesterday to try and find some mint flavored toothpaste for Skippy (he doesn't like the beef flavor I got for him-go figure!) Well, we struck out but at least me and Sienna go tuse of the baby bjorn again.
And see the ham, she knows that camera!
And she knows when the camera's not pointing directly toward her!
July 15, 2007
Good Food and Good Peeps
Yesterday we met JW and Rod Cone for lunch at Castro's in Bed Stuy/Clinton Hill. It was delicious!! We ate outside in the back and it wasn't crowded and really laid back. We ended up staying a little bit to feed Sienna after paying the bill and they didn't care. We will definitely be going back!
(sorry for the different color temperatures in these 2, I can't seem to get it right!)
And to remind us of how big the portions were, here is my Flounder Torta, platanos and Yves' chicken enchiladas!
July 12, 2007
Happy Birthday to me!
Yesterday was my birthday. Monday was Tammy's birthday. So Tuesday we went out to dinner to celebrate. First we attempted to go to Pearl Oyster Bar but with an hour wait, it was cutting into my bedtime. HA! Then we headed over to Ed's Lobster Bar (who used to work at Pearl!) and it was only half an hour wait. But then we ended up at Cafe Esquina, down the block and we both got yummy steak. I made these goofy placemats for Tammy's birthday using photos from her honeymoon in New Zealand.
As per tradition, my parents bought me a cake and we had that on Sunday. It was vanilla sponge cake with strawberries. The berries were a little tart but the super soft cake was delicious.
On my actual birthday yesterday, I went to the Broadway Mall with my parents. Mostly to get out of the humidity and have someone else pay for the AC! We walked around Ikea and Target and had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. I had the grilled salmon sandwich, which was disappointing because it was overcooked but I still ate it. Here's a cute picture of my dad with Sienna in the restaurant.
Then after lunch I decided to walk with Sienna in my arms instead of putting her back into her car seat. It was only a short walk thru the mall to the parking lot. She loved it! She was all excited looking around at everything and laughing. It was soooo cute! I only wonder what this means later on. She'll probably want to go to the mall all the time. Groan!!
And here's a cute picture of her waving. She's wearing one of Gabby's old outfits. Or was it Maia's?
Yves gave me a gift card to get a massage (YAY!) and I can't wait to go. He also made me a super cute card with a picture of him and Sienna on the cover. And for dinner we got take out sushi and I got a special roll with lobster on top. It was delicious!
July 08, 2007
Stroll in the Park
Yesterday, we went for a stroll in Sunset Park. I haven't been in that park for ages and forgot how nice it is. I never realized how big the pool was and for such a nice day, it wasn't crowded at all. Plus you get a nice view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. But the main reason we were in the area was yes, we went back to the Banh Mi place! HA!
We're trying to use the Baby Bjorn more often. She didn't like it much when she was younger but then again I realized that it was when I was carrying her. The first time when Yves carried her into Babies R Us, she was asleep and was fine. But I also tried it with her around the house the other day and she was fine with it too. Maybe it was just too tight before or something.
I love how she is grabbing hold of Yves finger. So cute! And here's a cute family picture. I love how Sienna is looking into the camera. It's like she knows now! A ham just like mom!
And I wanted to show the cute beach shirt that Grandma M got for Sienna.
July 05, 2007
The best Banh Mi EVER
After Sienna's 4 month check up on Tuesday, we met up with Joy to get lunch at Ba Xuyen where I read that it had the best Banh Mi (vietnamese sandwiches.) I had tried to find this place a couple of weeks ago and thought it was on 40th and 10th Avenue for some reason so of course, did not find it when I also checked 9th avenue and 8th avenue (but further down). The only review I fully accept is my own so even though I read this place had the best Banh Mi, I was still skeptical. Well, it's true. This place has the BEST BANH MI EVER! Even though I had the grilled chicken version and not the original version with pate and pork, it was still the best grilled chicken BANH MI EVER! The bread really brings it all together. I'm not that good being descriptive so here are pictures.
Even Yves says it was worth the trip and you know Yves is not as big a foodie as I am (and I'm not as big a foodie as Joy.)
July 04, 2007
Happy Independence Day!
Speaking of independence, I finally took Sienna into the city on Monday and her first subway ride!!
Doesn't Sienna actually look excited?! She's still pretty light so it was easy carrying her up and down the stairs. I know I shouldn't be surprised but not one person offered to help! But maybe I didn't look like I needed help since like I said, she is still light. Anyway, Monday was a perfect day to go into the city, it was bright sunshine and not humid or gross like a week before. We transfered to the B train so I could show Sienna Bryant Park.
Not a fabulous picture but I wanted to show her by the Carousel. And then I wanted to take a picture of her by the lions at the library but man, so many tourists! This is the best I could do:
We went to visit my former co-workers at mada. It felt so weird walking the same streets I used to walk to go to work everyday. But now with a baby carriage! She was a big hit with everyone there. Here's a pic of her with Theresa and Cindy.
Then we walked over to visit where her daddy works and meet his co-workers. Needless to say, everyone loved her there too. It was weird going in there too since I also used to work there.
Then we went back on the train to go home. Yves was with us this time so it was an easier trip. More emotionally easy because I felt more comfortable being with another adult as opposed to being all by myself. I don't know why I still have that hang up. I blame my mother. LOL!
And before I forget to document this, we heard Sienna laugh for the first time last Friday!! She's been laughing and smiling for a couple of weeks before that but Friday was the first time we heard her! It was so precious!!
July 01, 2007
Last week we went to Kings Plaza strictly to go have patties at Golden Krust (which I only learned was there a few weeks ago) only to discover it was closed due to the marshal seizing it. What a downer! Especially when you have the taste of patties in your mouth even before getting there. So yesterday we headed over to Prospect Park to Christie's patties on Flatbush. They say it's the best patties in Brooklyn. It was quite tasty but I'm not sure it's the best. We'll have to test that out. ;-)
I decided to try a veggie pattie, which according to Yves anything but beef is a sacrilege. It wasn't bad despite the peas. The sauerkraut gave it an interesting flavor.
And of course had to have a beef one too!
Sienna's first ting. too bad it was empty.
June 25, 2007
We just need Daddy and JP!
Carol-Anne and Gaby came to town Saturday night so on Sunday we all got together for a picnic at the same park we went to on Memorial day. The weather was beautiful! Gaby is a doll! She is such a happy baby just like in her photos. And speaking of photos...
just missing Sylvain and Eli
I could always photoshop Daddy and JP in!
June 21, 2007
Outta This World
Last night was the June mixer. We were originally supposed to have it at Puck Fair but since it was their anniversary celebrations, the bar was mad packed from what I heard, I hadn't even made it to the bar! My cell phone started vibrating madly during dinner with accounts of people getting turned away and so many people that it was spilling out to the front. Long story short, we ended up at Grassroots Tavern, a nice dive like bar on St. Marks. I only say it's dive like because the bathroom was pretty decent. Last night's mixer was the biggest crowd we had in a long time. It was also Bill's last mixer as a New Yorker. A bunch of us chipped in and got him and Laura a gift card to Morton's Steakhouse (with locations in NYC and Chicago-which is where they are going), I made chocolate chip cookies and Alison bought cupcakes from Billy's. Below is our first ever group photo in honor of Bill's departure.
I'll post the scan of the card I made in another post. Here was my mix, also in honor of Bill cuz he's outta this world!
1. Theme From Space Island • !!!
2. Stars All Seem To Weep • Beth Orton
3. Sky Starts Falling • Doves
4. Shooting Star • Elliott Smith
5. Full Of Stars • Turin Brakes
6. The Moon • Cat Power
7. Honey And The Moon • Joseph Arthur
8. When The Stars Go Blue • Ryan Adams
9. Space Ho's • Danger Doom
10. Every Planet We Reach Is Dead • Gorillaz
11. Down With Moonlight • The Rakes
12. If Only The Moon Were Up • Field Music
13. 7 Stars • Apples In Stereo
14. Man In The Moon • Voice of the Beehive
15. No Stars • Figures On A Beach
16. Lost In Space • Fountains Of Wayne
17. Jesus Came From Outta Space • Supergrass
I lovingly got teased for sewing my cover this month and cutting out stars for my track list. And of course it didn't stop when they learned I made the card for Bill and Laura and baked cookies. HA!
June 19, 2007
Action packed weekend
We went out with Sienna almost everyday this past weekend. On Friday I thought it would be nice to go out to lunch at a kid friendly place with Sienna. I settled on Two Boots in Park Slope but little did I realize how much traffic there was and how hard parking was going to be! Then we tried equally kid friendly Bubbys in Dumbo. That was my original plan but the reviews said the service was really lacking and I didn't want to waste my time. HA! I ended up wasting more time just getting down there with the traffic! So we finally ended up at Metzals on Atlantic Avenue. It was pretty empty so Sienna's carriage wasn't in anyone's way. While down there, I finally went and checked out Sahadi's. That place has been there forever and I remember going to school with Renee Sahadi. We were in band together and she played clarinet. Anyway, I got Turkish apricots there and they are delicious! And half the price of Russ and Daughters! Now I don't have to go to LES for my dried apricot fix anymore.
Saturday we went to the Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg. I went last year with Peter and Brenda. Brenda got a late start so was not able to meet up with her. I managed to overdo it at the Reprodepot booth. I couldn't resist all their fun fabrics and ended up spending almost $60!! I better start sewing! Since we were close, I had to check out Peter Pan Donuts, people say this is the best donuts in NYC. I have to say, they were pretty good and I even give them a slight edge over our place on Avenue U but Yves is sticking with our place.
Saturday we were up early to meet the members of Kagero for their photoshoot down in Coney Island. I used my holga and my horizon and will be picking up the film on Wed. Can't wait to see them. It was super fun and all the band members were really cool.
Silvia was nice enough to come along so she can watch Sienna. She said it was a pleasure as Sienna slept most of the time!
Later that day Mummy and the Chopards came over to celebrate Father's day and so we can do a video conference with Daddy and JP down in Jamaica. Mummy cooked delicious Jamaican dishes. Poor mummy fell down the stairs on Friday and broke her wrist and had to get stitches in her lip! Here she is sipping wine through a straw.
a cute picture of Liz with Sienna and Maia.
June 11, 2007
I don't mean for this blog to become the Sienna blog but it has been requested that I update the blog more with Sienna pictures! And since Sienna is my most current and ongoing project, I must oblige! I will try to post other things going on as well but for now, Sienna is going on!
JW and his girlfriend Silvia came over for lunch yesterday and to meet her majesty. I keep forgetting to take pictures of Sienna with other people! So, you'll just have to see her with her dad. HA
And poor Skippy, trying to get affection wherever he can!
Sienna has also taken to trying to suck her hand. We think she's trying to get a thumb but since she hasn't figured out how to make a fist and stick her thumb out, she sticks her whole hand in there. It's also her left hand so I wonder if she'll be a lefty.
June 05, 2007
Rochester Roadtrip Success!
This past weekend we took our first family trip to Rochester, NY. Tammy and Mark were getting married and we really did not want to miss it. So we packed up the car (my dad's) and headed to Western NY on Friday. Mapquest said it would take 6 hours and with Sienna, we weren't sure how long it would actually take. We left around 9:45 am and with 3 stops, got to the Hyatt at 4:30. Not bad!!
I was laughing really hard watching Yves come up the little hotel 'elevator' with Sienna that I had to take a picture. And here is Sienna in her first hotel room! LOL
All the things we were worried about that might happen did not happen. She slept like a log in the hotel crib, she didn't cry during the wedding ceremony and she was generally a good girl throughout the whole trip!! For dinner on Friday, I went to get Dinosaur BBQ, which was only 2 blocks away! YUM! I took it to go to eat in our hotel room. We really didn't want to put Sienna back into the car seat to go out again after subjecting her to it for over 6 hours. Saturday morning, we went to breakfast at one of the places Tammy had suggested. Another successful restaurant outting with Sienna!! I guess as long as there is room for her carriage, there really shouldn't be much of a problem. She is such a good girl!
She woke up just in time for the couple to walk down the aisle!
She was asleep throughout the whole cocktail hour and we were right next to the musicians! Many people were disappointed she was asleep, they wanted to play with her. Need I say that she was a big hit with everybody? ;-)
As per her usual, she woke up just as we were sitting down to have dinner. Yves fed her and then I took over to change her. There wasn't any air conditioning at all, just big giant fans, so I wanted to change her out of her thick dress. She started to get cranky after dinner, which was after her usual bedtime. We took her outside and thought maybe the fresh air would help her calm down. Not really. We took her back inside and put her back into her seat and she fell asleep shortly after. And the band was playing loudly in the next room! I was eagerly waiting for the cake cutting, I needed a sweet fix!
They also had 3 trays of pastries. YUM!! I was told there was supposed to be a chocolate fountain but I did not see one. I'll have to talk to Tammy about that when they come back from their honeymoon! How can she tease me with that??
We left around 8:30 on Sunday morning, we took advantage of Sienna napping to get started on the road. I think we only stopped twice but there was also a little traffic. Since I couldn't pack sandwiches for the ride, we stopped for lunch at Friendly's. Another successful restaurant outting with Sienna! LOL We got home around 4:30. All in all a successful trip!
May 31, 2007
More Sienna Fun!
This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend. Sunday we took Sienna out to lunch in Bay Ridge to this great healthy cafe we used to go to a lot. This was our first restaurant outting with Sienna and she was a perfect angel! Slept through the whole thing!
After lunch we went down by the shore and walked a little bit by the water. We didn't stay out too long because Yves brought work home that he needed to finish.
Monday we went to Queens and had a picnic in the park with Liz, Sylvain, Elianna and Maia. It was such a beautiful day out! Sienna slept throught most of it but did manage to enjoy lunch al fresco!
I thought this picture was great! Sienna has a hat just like her daddy! And here is a cute picture I got of Liz and Maia.
Auntie Tammy had stopped by on Saturday and I got a picture of them together. I also went shopping with Joy at Kings Plaza and it was nice to get out of the house without Sienna. It's not that I don't mind taking Sienna with me but it's all the crap I have to bring too! Anyway, I didn't get a picture of Joy with Sienna cuz she only held her for like a second. As soon as Sienna started fidgeting, she gave her back to me! LOL. On a side note, we took the bus to Kings Plaza cuz it's so close and why waste gas. My metrocard expired!!! I'm so astounded by it. And I have money on it, at least $15. I think I can get it back, I have to send it to them. Anyway, here is the picture of Tammy and Sienna.
The next entry you should be reading will be Tammy's wedding, which is this weekend. This will be our first trip with Sienna. We are driving up to Rochester and it feels like we're bringing her whole nursery with us! Wish us luck!
May 25, 2007
We were having some photo fun with Sienna yesterday...
Just look at that face!!!
May 22, 2007
Sienna has started to laugh and smile a lot more now. She is sooo cute! Yvee took this picture of her laughing. You could really see how much she looks like her daddy!
I thought it would be funny to see what Sienna sees from her crib so I took this goofy picture of myself. I'll have to get Yves to do one too.
For the past five nights or so, she's been pretty much sleeping through the night, about 9 hours!! That kinda freaked me out at first and I even snuck into her room at 1:30 am one night to make sure she was breathing! When we put her down at 7:30 one night, we thought for sure that we wouldn't hear the last from her. But then it wasn't until 4:30 am that we did! I know it won't last so I'm trying not to get too used to it. And she seems to entertain herself in her crib when she first wakes up. We can hear her in there cooing and stuff and only wait for her to cry before we go in.
This is a picture of her after a bath the other night.
The reason I named this post 'getting there' is because I went to Ikea last week with Sienna! Well, and mom and dad too. I almost wanted to chicken out because Ikea was so far away but I managed to stay strong. LOL. I lucked out! She pretty much slept through everything! First we went to Ikea, then walked over to Target and had lunch at Boston Market. She started stirring on the way home but I felt that we could make it home before she got too fussy. So, in a way, this trip really didn't count cuz it was so easy. Here's a picture of her at Ikea.
And the second reason I named this post what I did was yesterday I drove with Sienna! All by myself!! I was meeting a mom from the Brooklyn Playgroups at Marine Park. The park was a little too far away for me to walk but the drive was short enough that I could handle it. It wasn't bad at all! And I even fed her in the park! She fussed a little bit on the way over, during the walk and right before we left to go home but it didn't last too long. It was nice to meet Regina and her baby boy Evan, who was born about a week after Sienna. It was also nice to walk around the park, I could certainly use the exercise!!
May 16, 2007
My mother in law sent me a mother's day card that I got the other day. She included a few pictures that she took of me and Sienna while she was staying with us. These 2 really cracked me up because of the funny face my daughter is making at me. (holy crap, my daughter!!
While they were here, my father in law also bought a new Macbook so we are now able to do the video ichat with them. It's so cool!! Yves took a screen capture of a recent conversation.
May 14, 2007
My first mother's day
This shot was taken last month at the park and I haven't had a chance to download more current pics from the camera. She has gotten bigger! Anyway, this picture shows how much like Yves she looks! There's an old picture of Yves that a co-worker of his gave me where he is making a similiar face, a little angrier because he wasn't in a good mood, that would go great with this shot. Not that Sienna is angry but the look on her face is similiar, in a happier way.
Last week me and dad took Sienna for her 2 month check up! She's up to 9 pounds and 1 ounce! She had to get shots too which she wasn't too happy about but who would be? But all in all, she was very good. The doctor had me give her some infant tylenol because of the shots but as a preventive measure. Later on that night, she slept the longest she has ever slept, 9 hours!! I don't know if it was the tylenol or what but it was pleasant and almost a little nerve racking at the same time. I woke up around 1:30 in the morning and tip toed into her room to make sure she was breathing!!
Yesterday was my first mother's day and Sienna gave me a cute card. Other than that, we really didn't do much to commemorate the event. Yves worked from home on Thursday and Friday since I had a dentist and an ob appt. so that was present enough, being able to roam the city a little bit.
Here is the card I made for mum.
May 08, 2007
I did it!!
I did it! I did it! I went to the park with Sienna on Friday ALL BY MYSELF!! I know it seems silly to be nervous to go out with Sienna but I feel so vulnerable especially being all by myself. What I think I'm most afraid of is the unpredictability of Sienna. She could sleep the whole way through or she could bawl and bawl without consolation. I don't want to be one of those parents with the bawling, out of control kid. But so far, she hasn't really been like that except when we are home. While walking to the park Friday, she was awake and alert. I got a little nervous about that because usually the car seat and the strolling put her to sleep. She was crying a little bit when we got to the park and I almost high-tailed it outta there but I kept with it (mainly because I realize you couldn't really hear her too loudly.) I started to rock the stroller back and forth and she fell asleep. Phew!!
Then Saturday me and Yves drove down to the water in Sheepshead Bay with Sienna. Yves felt the walk would be a little too far in case something happened. Hey, we all have to take baby steps here! Manuevering in the car takes a little getting used to but we did it. Once down there, we just walked along the piers. Unfortunately, the bay doesn't really excite us too much. I think we just really miss Bay Ridge a lot. We were going to have lunch in the Greek restaurant down there since there was outdoor seating. Easing into eating out with the little one! But once we got the menu, we thought it was just too expensive for lunch! So we walked out. I don't think I ever did that before. Maybe once. I did take a pretty picture of some flower tree.
And then today, I went to the post office with Sienna!!! Wow, I'm making strides, huh? When I got there, there was a long line (seems to be the case all the time no matter what time it is!) I almost turned around but decided to stick it out. Sienna was sleeping anyway. I managed to do my business successfully!! And Sienna stayed asleep evening during an argument a customer was having with the postal clerk. I was so excited about the adventure I even went to Payless and bought a pair of shoes. It was just too nice out to go home so I decided to go to the park for a little bit, read my magazine and then went home.
April 23, 2007
Weekend of firsts
This weekend we had some of the most beautiful weather we've had in a long time. So I was happy to have the opportunity to take Sienna to the park with her grandma on Friday. I don't know why I get nervous at the thought of taking Sienna out by myself, I know I can do it and that it's no big deal but just the same, I'm glad someone was with me for this first. We went around noon and when we got to the park, Sienna was hungry. There was a bit of a breeze so I had to wrap her in a blanket. Here is a picture of us that grandma took.
Mummy is notorious for cutting people's heads off in pictures but to her credit, she couldn't see the screen because of the sun. LOL. Not too bad for someone that still uses a disposable camera!
We went back to the park on Saturday with Yves as well and it was much warmer and not as breezy. We went a little later than on Friday so she wasn't hungry at the park. Each time we stayed about an hour.
Then on Sunday, she had her first car ride! We were taking Mummy back to Liz's in Queens and stopped by the Babies R Us to pick up a few things. There was traffic on the Belt so a trip that normally takes 15 minutes took an hour. Sienna slept the whole way. We also tried the Baby Bjorn carrier for the first time. Yves thinks she is still a tad too small for it but I think she was comfortable because she didn't cry or budge while we were in the store.
I think the car seat is magic or something because she seems to sleep in it a long time. Last time I came back from the doctor's office, I left her in there and actually had to wake her up to feed! It was the same story when we got to Liz's. Yves fed her, grandma changed her and she took a group picture with her cousins. Too cute!!
April 20, 2007
I don't have a monster in law!
As I mentioned in the previous post, my mother in law is staying with us during the week to help with the baby. And she's been a real big help! I was able to go shopping at Target, get Skippy's hair cut, get my hair cut and colored (those roots were horrible and now I don't have to pull my grays out!) and go to my cd mixer. As much as she would love to stay (and as much as I would want her to stay), she has to go back to Jamaica next week.
April 02, 2007
Everyday is Like Sunday
I was cracking myself up when I was stamping this last night. I couldn't wait to put it on her today! I knew I had to take a picture fast after putting it on her because who knows how long it will be before I have to change her out of it. We are starting to get more used to her feeding schedule and Yves let me sleep in over the weekend, which was so nice! I've also discovered that the muzak played with the mobile and other similiar toys does nothing for her. She seemed to calm down when I played her Erasure, Morrissey and The Decemberists. That's my girl! Right after my own heart! She'll probably like a lot of others but so far that's what I've been playing. She even likes my singing!!!
March 30, 2007
Throwing in the nipple!
I gained 7 ounces!! Woohoo!
Today was Sienna's fourth doctor's visit, maybe even fifth I can't remember! She weighed in at 6 lbs, 1 ounce! That's a 7 ounce weight gain! Woohoo!! When she was born, she weighed 5 lbs, 15 oz. The day after we took her home from the hospital, she was 5 lbs, 7 oz. Last week she was 5 lbs 10 oz so she is doing good. It's good to hear especially since it seems like she's eating a lot more lately.
I've decided to throw in the towel, or the nipple rather and give up on the breastfeeding. I truly believe that I'm one of those anomalies where my body can't produce very much breast milk. I joked about my breasts not growing very big during my pregnancy and they never really became engorged after birth either. Someone had mentioned on one of those mom boards (yeah, I'm reading them, can you believe it??!!) about having funny shaped nipples and not being able to produce milk. Well, I always thought I had funny looking nipples even though Yves protests (as he should!) Or it could just be that I never was ble to get Sienna latched on to my boobs and the pump not being a strong enough suction to tell my body to make more. Whatever the case, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. She's gaining weight! That is what is important!
Thank goodness for TLC and the show Bringing Home Baby. I watched an episode yesterday and man, did it help me feel a lot better! Seeing other couples going through the same things me and Yves are going through really helps. And the couple they showed yesterday were doing formula and she didn't mention about feeling guilty or anything so why should I? I was also watching a show on Discovery about 2 women giving birth. One vaginally and one via C-section. It's funny because I couldn't bring myself to watch it before I gave birth. Now I say, bring it on! I'm fascinated!
March 26, 2007
What's a plastic nipple got that I don't?
Wow! Sienna is 2 weeks old! We were released from the hospital on the 14th. Before we left, we took a postpartum class where we learned how to change the baby's diaper, burp her and swaddle her. It was very helpful but I wish we learned it sooner. The woman teaching the class is also a lactation specialist so she helped me get Sienna to my breast, which I was having trouble with. She told me to keep practicing with her. Well, she made it seem so easy at the hospital and it looked like Sienna was taking to my breast. She said it didn't matter if she just got my nipple (which is the total opposite of all the books!) as long as she was latching on. I was quite relieved but it was a different story when I got home. She kept struggling to keep my nipple in her mouth. I don't know what changed! Because she's a preemie (even tho they said her birth weight is a good weight) the pediatrician at the hospital wanted me to supplement with formula to make sure she gets enough to eat. And that's what is most important, that she gets enough to eat! But boy, did I feel like a failure! I took for granted how hard this breastfeeding was going to be and the books don't really help make you feel better. They are so pro breastfeeding and speak so highly of the benefits but don't tell you how difficult it could be that it makes you feel guilty that you can't provide this simple little thing for your baby. I since learned that the majority of mothers I know had trouble with it!! I'm trying to pump as much as I can so at least I can fool my body into making more milk and also give the baby my milk via bottle so we don't always have to rely on formula. For now, I barely get an ounce of milk a day. It was hard to find time to pump during the first week and a half. It was stupid of me to try to be super mom during that time and I hope I didn't miss the window of opportunity to produce more milk. It's crazy the things I worry about now!
It really is truly amazing how the birth of a child can really change you. I don't think fathers can feel it as strongly as mothers can, I mean, shoot, I was the one that carried her for 8 months and pushed the little bugger out 2 weeks ago (and without DRUGS! Need I remind you?!) I'm sure as I get more and more used to the idea that, SHIT, I'm somebody's mother! I'll get back to my more normal self but right now I can't even think about all the other things I was interested in. Art? not right now. Concerts? not right now. Stare at the baby all day? Hell yeah! Be amazed that me and Yves produced this little wonder? Hell yeah! We haven't even really gone camera crazy with her just yet either! I guess we are still in a state of shock and as the weeks go by, we'll come back down to earth a little more.
March 16, 2007
The day Sienna was born...
So where I last left off, they were going to induce me on Friday. At least I was able to go back over to the labor and delivery side and the luxury of a spacious room by myself and much nicer nurses. Friday nite at around 11, the doctor gave me the first dose of medication to help soften the cervix and open it up a bit. I forgot what it was called but it looked like a shoelace and gets administered every 12 hours. I had cramping all night, nothing major. Yves felt bad leaving me alone that night but since this was so unexpected, there were things that needed to be done at home. Yves' sister Liz was going to take care of Skippy, he had to arrange Neo's feeder and get some other things settled. He came back early Saturday morning and Tammy came in the afternoon.
And speaking of Tammy. My dear, dear Tammy. I cannot begin to give enough props to this woman. I'm still getting teary eyed just thinking about it. She was there for the majority of the time (minus a few hours which I'll get to later) and was there for the birth of Sienna. She is an amazing person. Her energetic, upbeat, positive persona helped me tremendously throughout all this and I can't even imagine having to go through it without her there. She even made a big impression on my mother!!
Joy also came by and helped passed the time with good conversation and food. My parents also got them noodles from Chinatown so the room was filled with talking, laughing and eating. One of the nurses even called our room the happy room! I got another dose of meds at 11 am but as far as any contractions, it was pretty uneventful, just cramping. Later on that night, it was time to try different meds, I remember the name of this one! It's called Miso (not sure if it's spelled correctly) and that needs to be administered every 3-4 hours. Well, that did even less than the other stuff! I was barely even getting cramps and it helped soften up the cervix a little but not much. I must have gotten about 4 doses of that throughout Saturday and Sunday. The Sunday night nurse, Jackie, came in to introduce herself (I like when they do that!) and she even took a step further by sitting us all down and explaining everything that was going to happen to us during labor. Everything! Much to Joy's chagrin. LOL. She really didn't want to hear any of it. Tammy loved it and mopped it all up. I pretty much already knew most of everything she told us because of the childbirthing classes but it was nice to get a refresher course. Jackie was extremely nice albeit a bit gruff but the fact that she took the time out to do all that explaining AND set up the couch bed with sheets and gave Tammy a pillow and more sheets for the extra bed and gave everyone slipper socks.
That night the doctor said we might have to reconsider what to do next since the meds weren't really doing anything. He wanted me to get another sonogram Monday to check on my fluids again and he wasn't going to give me any more meds that night so I can get some rest and sleep. He was going to consult with the high risk OB to see what he says about it. I asked him if having a C-section was in the equation and he said no, everything looks ok to still have a natural vaginal birth. I also asked him if there was any other reason why he wouldn't give me another dose of meds that night. He said no, he would if I wanted him to and I did. I wanted to be proactive with this! When we first agreed to get induced, we (as in me, Yves and Tammy) were thinking it would be no time before I was in labor! None of this 2+ days shit! So he gave me another dose of miso at probably around 10:30ish. We were all kinda bummed that nothing was really happening. It felt like 'gee, all this for nothing?' I had a feeling I wasn't going to leave the hospital without a baby in my hands but how long was that going to be? I longed for home and my own comfortable bed and not to be constantly hooked up to a monitor and blood pressure cuff.
So Tammy was considering going home for a few hours to spend some time with Mark and get some rest to come back tomorrow. She was conflicted because she didn't want to leave and I felt bad that she spent so much time with us without anything happening but I wanted her to come up with the decision on her own and didn't want to persuade her either way. She decided to head home around 11:15.
Ok, so if you are still reading down to this, get ready for some action finally!
My water ended up breaking at around 2:20 am Monday morning. I wasn't quite positive it was my water breaking, it just felt like I peed in the bed. When the nurse came she told me it was my water breaking and I was still in disbelief. Something was finally happening! I wasn't allowed to get out of bed so I had to use a bed pan. Er, yuck! For some reason a nurse told me I had to stay in bed until the doctor came and checked me out to make sure the umbilical cord wasn't hanging down to choke the baby because we weren't sure where the baby's head was. I later found out that that was wrong. Hmmm. Anyway, it felt really weird peeing into a bed pan but relieving at the same time.
Oh, the pain!
My doctor came by in the morning to check on me and I think I was barely .5 centimeters dilated, I can't remember now. He let me get up and eat a little bit, take a shower and walk around the room a little bit before putting me on the Pitocin. The Pitocin is what will jump start my labor and move it into the active phase. I believe it was started by 9:30 am. And now things start moving!! I can't remember how long it took but the labor pains were definitely increasing. Before I knew it, I was really in excruciating pain and the nurses said they would ask the doctor to give me drugs if I was in that much pain. I refused it at very first but then after awhile I said to hell with it! GIMME!!
When the doctor showed up, he asked if I could hold out for a little longer. He felt it was still too early to give me any drugs and I begrudgingly complied. He told me to just continue breathing through the contractions. Yves and Tammy helped me breath through the pain. Jackie had given me a little tip about breathing through the pain. Inhale through nose (smell the roses) and breath out through the mouth (blow out the candles). Tammy gave me a better analogy for it since the blowing out the candles part wasn't really accurate. Inhale (take a toke) and exhale (release the toke) and that worked out well for all of us.
It felt like within a matter of minutes of the doctor leaving, the pain was just one on top of the other and it felt like the baby wanted to come out. I was told not to push and I wasn't and it still felt like she wanted to come out. They brought the doc back and we told him it wasn't this bad before so he decided to check me out. Guess what?! I was fully dilated!!! Therefore there wasn't any time for any narcotics or an epidural at all!!! The doc went to change into his scrubs and the nurse got everything ready and here we gooooooooo!!!!!!
According to the doctor, the pushing part only took about an hour!! I had Yves on my left holding up my leg doing the counting, Tammy on my right holding up that leg and then everytime there was a contraction, I was to push one long push for 10 counts really hard and they had to hold up my legs. The first series of pushes I did, I grunted. The doctor told me not to do that and save my energy for the pushing. Then he realized that the 2nd series of pushes were kinda wimpy and told me to go back to grunting! Well, before you know it, our little baby girl comes out!! OH MY GOODNESS how good it felt to have it all over with and to learn she's got all her parts and everything was fine with her!!
Unfortunately I didn't get to stay very long in the L&D room because they needed it! So many babies being born!! So I had to go back over to the other side. UGH. I had a bunch of visitors come by tho. Yves' sister Liz, the bumblebees Ruthie and Denise, Joy and Nuno, who also bought me beautiful pink tulips! I was completely exhausted but got to go home on Wednesday! YAY!!!!!
Now a new journey begins...
March 15, 2007
The Road to Sienna...
She's here!! Our beautiful little baby girl! Sienna was born March 12, 2007 at 12:31 pm. Yep, my due date was April 8 and believe us, we weren't expecting her this early either! I'm a mix of emotions right now, still a bit overwhelmed and my mind is a big mush. I probably should be sleeping while she is sleeping but I just can't so I figured I'd chronicle this event while it's still fresh in my mind. This is going to be a long one!
So last Wednesday, the 7th I was admitted into the hospital for observation because my high risk OB felt my blood pressure was too high (I have to tell you we aren't big fans of his, we've nicknamed him the primadonna doctor.) Of course I was totally bummed out about it but knew it was a possibility and was hoping I didn't have to stay that long. On the plus side, they admitted me into a labor and delivery room, which is very spacious and roommate free.
Trying to stay positive while in the hospital. Can you see how excited I am about dinner?
So on Thursday, it was looking like I might be able to go home by Friday afternoon. My regular OB raised the dosage on my blood pressure meds and they just wanted to keep me one more night to observe how the increase in the dosage went. Plus I had to finish my 24 hour urine collection so they can check for proteins, which is a sign of preeclampsia. That was fun. I also needed to get another sonogram to check my fluids. Apparently, the one on Wed. indicated that my fluids were too low for being in the 35th week. I also had to go to the eye doctor to check my retinas since high blood pressure can effect them. Tammy and Joy came by to see me after work and of course, Yves was there. Plus I got a bunch of phone calls and that helped me pass the time.
Friday was tough as I was very antsy in the hospital and my appointments for the sonogram and eye doctor were very late in the afternoon. Not only that, but they moved me out of my room and over into the maternity ward side. They needed the room for all the laboring mothers coming in (they had gotten 7 in last night!) Let me tell you, the maternity ward is like another country. The rooms are a quarter of the size AND you have to share. Plus the nurses were not as friendly as the other side. I was miserable and was really hoping I was going home because frankly, being there wasn't helping my blood pressure! I got the sonogram first and while waiting for the eye doctor, my regular OB came by to see me with the results. Turns out my fluids are even LOWER!! And now he wants to INDUCE before things might turn worse! At current, everything was fine and the baby is happy inside. I did have some proteins in my urine, not enough to indicate preeclampsia but enough to think that it might be brewing. So he wanted to get the baby out before the baby becomes unhappy.
Wow. We didn't see that one coming! Of course you know that we agreed to induce but we were weighing the options. I've been going to my OB for many years and I trust and respect his opinion so that helped in deciding to do it.
Tomorrow I will continue with the story of my induction, if that is the correct way to say it. It was a dooseeee!!
March 05, 2007
Shower, Baby, Shower!
This past Saturday was my baby shower, wonderfully organized by Tammy and Joy. They did a great job of doing everything and keeping me out of the loop. I had to resist really hard and not offer up my services to make baby shower favors or cook or bake something. Not that they would have taken me up on it. They had food, decorated the place, and Joy even ordered cute little baby shower candles for favors!! I didn't want to play silly games so they were kind enough to do me that favor. They did make me and Yves wear the 'hat' which we were both unfamiliar with.
I wish someone told me how greasy my hair looked!! Or at least to brush it! It was a beautiful sunny day in the 60s. While opening the present from Peter, Skippy kept jumping up on the box! It was so cute and funny and he only did that with that gift. Guess he wants to sit in the booster seat!
Thank you so much to my hubby Yves, Tammy and Joy for organizing it. And thanks to Pete, Liz, Elianna, Tom, Maureen, Brenda, Robyn, Alan, Denise, Ruth, Cindy and Cory for the wonderful gifts and for coming!! Woohoo!! Here are the cute candles that Joy ordered. Yes, JOY!! Even though she doesn't wrap her gifts or get cards, she ordered the shower favors! HAHA!
March 02, 2007
Most Awesome Mail!
Fellow blogger and generally awesome person, Jennifer sent me this box full of great goodies the other day!
We never officially met but I discovered her blog about a year and half ago when she was hosting a CD mix swap and I've been keeping up with her craftiness ever since. She and her sister have a wonderful shop and they know how to sew! If I was working, I'd definitely own a bunch more of their pouches than the one I currently own. She included adorable sock monkey onesies and a bib for the baby, bones for skippy and lots of fun stuff for me!
Of course Skippy just knew there was something in there for him! Thanks again Jen!!
January 18, 2007
Wa wa wiii wa!
Tonight was the cd mix of the month meeting and the group surprised me with a baby shower. WOW! I was totally taken aback and was in such awe and amazement that the group did that for me!! What a great bunch of guys. And there were cupcakes from yummy Sugar Sweet Sunshine even though I had bought one for myself before I went in. HA! Who says I can't have more than one?? We had it the old trusty Magician, where it all started. Shoot, even Yves came by and surprised me! It is very rare for him to come out on the weeknights since he wakes up at 5 every morning for work.
So, check out the swag the baby got!!
There's a CDMOM bib (!), an I heart mom onesie, lime green pacifer, crib cd player, an I refuse to be pacified tee, alphabet cards wall art, photo mobile, an ipod onesie, a 2 cd baby mix, Stay Awake music cd, Prokofiev's Music for Children cd, a $25 AmEx gift card and a cute teddy blanket. The baby is off to a great start!! Thanks to Joy, Brenda, Cindy, Ali, Nuno, Carrie, Josh, Bill, Laura, Ken, Ben, Robyn, Eric, Jonathan, Matthew and of course my honey, Yves for coming out!
And of course, here is my mix for the month!
Here Comes A City • The Go-Betweens
California Waiting • Kings Of Leon
Mexico • Morrissey
Canada Vs. America • Broken Social Scene
Chicago At Night • Spoon
Detroit Rock City • Kiss
Escape From New York • Chris Mills
Fake Tales of San Francisco • Arctic Monkeys
Florida • Grandaddy
Omaha • Tapes 'n Tapes
Police Helicopters Over Brooklyn • The Sound Of Urchin
O Valencia! • The Decemberists
Tennessee • Arrested Development
Twin Falls • Ben Folds Five
Get Out the State • Spoon
From Georgia To Osaka • Gene
London, London (feat. Devendra Banhart) • Cibelle
Homesick • Kings Of Convenience
January 01, 2007
December 26, 2006
It wasn't as festive as Christmases in the past since my in-laws weren't here. My father in law didn't want to come to the cold from Jamaica but the funny thing is, it's been unseasonably warm here. But we made the most of it. When we woke up, we went out to the store to get bagels and things so we can come back and relax and open presents. Yves got me a waffle maker (YUM) and wireless headphones so I can watch TV in bed and hear it while he is asleep. And a gift card to AC Moore. Can't wait to use it! I got him the gorillapod, which he was using all day, and a new drill set that came with a flashlight and some other thing and a bag.
The Chopards came over around 2ish. I made Jamaican beef patties with the pie crust instead of homemade crust like I did last time. I wanted to make homemade crust but I couldn't find Crisco in the market. Note to self, look in the oil aisle instead of the baking aisle. It seemed to have gone over pretty well tho. For dinner I made chili (a big hit), baked ziti (store bought sauce so it didn't taste as good), broccoli, salad, bread, and rice for the kids. They brought over dessert, pecan pie and cupcakes. I never had pecan pie and to be honest, I was a little disappointed when she said it was pecan pie since I'm not a big pecan fan, unless it's dipped in chocolate. Well, it turned out to be delicious!! The filling was apple. I also made chocolate covered pretzels as well.
Yves used his gorillapod to mount the camera on top of the china closet to take this dessert shot. See Skippy sitting next to me? They gave Yves pajamas and a gift card for Old Navy/The Gap, me a gc for AC Moore (YAY!) and a gc for baby. They ordered other stuff from Amazon but it hadn't come in time. All in all it was a pleasant day!
Maia and the toy we bought her
Eli and the toy we bought her
Skippy and Rozee waiting for everyone's return from viewing the "studio"
December 05, 2006
I managed to get out of the house on Friday evening to go out to dinner for Joy's bumblebee birthday. We went to Roberto Passon in Hell's kitchen and it was delicious!! Now that is Italian food!! I forgot to take pictures of the appetizers but we had one of the artichoke specials (YUM!), fried calamari with fried zucchini (good but my least favorite of the apps), Crab Cakes in Warm Shiitake Salad and Spicy Red Pepper Sauce (MMMMM!!!) and Caesar salad that was fantastic!!
Here are the entrees. Sorry for some blurry pictures, I'm not used to Yves' new camera.
I got Salmon with spinach:
Dee Dee got grilled chicken stuffed with cheese:
Joy got one of the specials, something like veal osso bucco:
Ruthie got striped bass with broccoli rabe:
And for dessert we got Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce:
I didn't think I would ever say this but I believe they put too much hot chocolate sauce because it melted everything really fast.
Needless to say I only ate about a quarter of my salmon but happily took it home to have for lunch on Sunday.
November 08, 2006
A Skippy fashion show
I got film back from the Northwest trip but thought I'd put in a little break from the vacation pictures. JW and Sylvia came over last week and gave us some clothes that belonged to Turbo. Turbo had passed away earlier this year. :-( We got a red hoodie, blue raincoat, a yellow and green shirt, a grey shirt and a scarf that Sylvia and JW's mom made. Skippy was kind enough to let me do a little fashion shoot with him in his new clothes.
Red Hoodie. My favorite of everything cuz of the hood and the little pockets too. He can't wear this outside since it's too long, which is too bad cuz he just looks so adorable!
Raincoat's a little too big for him even tho it's a small. I tried it this morning in the pouring rain and he kept stepping on it. So I guess Yves won't be putting this on him in the rain. He refuses to put on his red rain coat because he thinks it makes him look like a sissy (him and skippy!).
I do believe this is Skippy's favorite as he always gets excited when I put it on him. Just need to add a little black and it's the Jamaican colors!
This is really cute too and I might personalize it and write Skippy on the back or something like that.
The scarf even has a bell on it!
October 08, 2006
5 Years and we go to the Penitentiary
Saturday was me and Yves 5 year wedding anniversary. It's amazing that it has been 5 years because it doesn't feel like it. I won't get into the mushy stuff and say how we're still giddy in love, blah, blah, blah... We decided not to do any cards or gifts. Honestly, there is nothing I really want and besides, Yves is so supportive of my not having a real job, what more could I ask for? We did go to dinner on Friday night and I took him to Al Di La, the wonderful Italian restaurant I went to last month. We went early (6:30) since they don't take reservations hoping to get a table without waiting too long but I guess it took too long to find a parking spot because we got sent to the side bar, a smaller version of the restaurant but with the same menu/kitchen. I have to be honest and say I wasn't too thrilled with their new fall menu but you can't ever go wrong with one of their specials. I got the pork ribs and YUM YUM YUM, the meat just fell right off the bone. Yves ordered a whole young chicken, which I was surprised about because he doesn't like dealing with bones or using his fingers to eat. He almost got one of the pasta specials but since there was cheese in our app, he didn't want to have too much cheese. Of course he kinda grumbled about the chicken when it came and I tried to offer him one of my ribs but he passed. Finally, after I ate 2 ribs I made him trade with me and he finally agreed. His dish wasn't bad but the ribs were way better. I was stuffed because I also ate too much bread.
So that was Friday night. Saturday, we wanted to go on a day trip and decided that if it was nice and sunny, we would go up to Hudson county. If it was cloudy and overcast, we would got to Philadelphia to Eastern State Penitentiary. Guess where we ended up?
The drive took only about 2 hours with a tiny bit of traffic. We had lunch at Jack's Firehouse right across the street. YUMMY!! Yves said his burger tasted great and my brisket sandwich was delicious! It came with fries and a salad and they gave us biscuits and homemade jam. YUM! And they were so friendly!
Ok, so finally on to the prison. It is now an historical site owned by the state of Pennsylvania. I think it closed in 1971. One of the differences with this prison is that the cells are made out of concrete and wooden doors so you can't even see who is in the next cell. That's pretty grueling! I don't think I have much more to say about it that you can't see in the pictures. It was quite an interesting day.
September 17, 2006
Happy Birthday Sweetie!!
It's Yves' 35th birthday today. It's also Sunday so he's spending the day watching football. He didn't want a big deal for his birthday so it was just us for dinner last night. We went to Song a Thai place in Park Slope and sister to Joya, another Thai place in Boerum Hill that we had gone to before. We got Mango curry puffs with chicken and calamari for appetizers. Those were really good. Our entrees weren't as good as the apps. I got a curry dish, which I usually don't get but wanted to try something different. It was alright. It was in a red coconut curry sauce. Yves got one of the specials, skirt steak with chinese broccoli in garlic sauce. I'm always dismayed when they don't ask you how you want your steak cooked. Anyway, he said it was ok, he wasn't crazy about the sauce. It looked a little too well done for my tastes, nothing like the superb skirt steak I got at Al Di La on Friday before the Kills show but I'll write about that in another entry.
Here's another goofy picture of Yves and Skippy.
I also posted another sweet one on fotolog here. I also forgot to mention that my parents took us out to dim sum yesterday for Yves' birthday. I gave him his present a day early too, a timbuk2 messenger bag.
August 30, 2006
My new niece! Born on August 18, 2006.
August 23, 2006
Rozee, who is Skippy's daughter, is staying with us for a week while Liz and co. went down to Jamaica to visit the rest of the family. Carol-Anne had the baby on Friday, Gabriela. I hope to have a picture of her soon. Apparently she has a head full of black hair. Anyway, Rozee is very different from Skippy, more energetic, more licking and not as disciplined when it comes to bowel functions. She promptly peed and crapped everywhere five minutes after Liz dropped her off. And today, within an hour of walking her, she peed in the kitchen. At least now she is keeping it in the kitchen. Poor Neo didn't come out of the bedroom for a day and a half. We barracaded the back of the house for Neo but he's been staying in the bedroom most of the time. Rozie really isn't too bad and maybe by the end of the week, we can take the barracade down.
August 03, 2006
We Came Out to Plaaaayaaaay
Come out to plaaayaaay!!
Me and Pete met up with Nuno and his friends Ray and Rebecca to catch the free screening of the Warriors as part of the Netflix Roadshow where they are showing movies at the place inspired by or filmed at. Hence the Warriors showing at Coney Island. What fun! I've always loved the Warriors for it's cheasy 70's goodness and I never did see it on the big screen and I was with 2 Warriors Virgins! I'm so glad I went as the bail ratio was very high due to the intense heatwave we've been having. Oh, it was great seeing it with a big crowd, cheering for the Warriors and reciting funny lines. The best was this little girl next to us, probably around 5 years old. Cutest thing ever! Reciting the words right before they were spoken. We found out she saw the movie by 'accident' and loved it and watches it every week, or at least requests to watch it every week. It was the best hearing a 5 year old screaming 'Can You Dig it?' After the screening, most of the gang was there for a Q&A, including Cyrus even though he wasn't listed. He recited his famous words of 'Can You Dig It?' Freakin' awesome!! Sorry for my super grainy pictures but here they are:
Too bad James Remar (Ajax) wasn't there but apparently he's the only working, successful actor out of all of them. I had difficulty recognizing some of the cast so I hope I didn't screw them up.
The Warriors bopped their way home all the way from the Bronx. Home Sweet Home.
July 26, 2006
Last night we went to Brooklyn Brewery for a free tour and tasting courtesy of Tammy. She's so super cool she ordered 3 pies for everyone. Yum and Yum. The beer was quite scrumptious, I do have to say! I got my buzz on, that's for sure. I'm not a big beer person but their wheat beers were delicious (forgive me Makers Mark!) and super cold. Everyone that worked there was super nice too. Yves didn't really drink so he safely got us home.
July 12, 2006
It's all about the EATS!
I had lunch with Richard for my birthday yesterday and we went to Trailer Park. What kitschy fun! They had a whole bunch of retro fun stuff and I definitely want to go back just to continue looking at everything. Richard ordered a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. I had the chicken salad sandwich and couldn't resist the TATOR TOTS. Man, haven't had tators in ages! I also had a mango margarita.
For dinner, I opted out of the group dinner that I usually have for my birthday so me and Yves went to Alma in Cobble Hill/Red Hook. They have a roof deck and this is the view.
It was a bit hazy cuz it's been so damn HOT and HUMID but the view looks better in person. I ordered a mojito and man, it was HUGE!
Yves had the chicken enchiladas with mole sauce and I had the fish with corn meal crust. They were both delicious! And it came out like probably 10 minutes after we ordered. I think we were in and out of there in an hour! Which is fine because of the alcohol and the heat, I was getting damn HOT! LOL
July 09, 2006
More Coney fun
After the museum on Friday, we continued the day by going to Coney Island, specifically for the lighting ceremony for the parachute jump ("the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn" HA!) Borough President Marty Markowitz decided to add 'bling' to the parachute jump and have it lit every night and on special occasions/holidays it would change colors. I think it's a waste of money but whatever, I'm not a politician. Anyway, we had dinner at Totonno's. Peter has never been there but it was all agreed that it wasn't the best pizza they ever had. Plus Yves is not a big fan of the woman who owns it and her kinda rough attitude. I don't mind going there as long as the wait isn't too long, at least it's better for you than Nathan's.
We went on the Wonder Wheel! YAY! What fun! I don't remember having been on it before and of course we got on the swinging car. Yves has funny video of us screaming and acting like idiots.
Not a Wonder Wheel virgin anymore!
Pete's amazed with the powers of the Wonder Wheel
We took some night shots while waiting for this lighting ceremony. They were going to show all the different lights on it and this was the only time they were going to do that. Well, it was LAME! There really wasn't much to it. They had their regularly scheduled Friday night fireworks and that was actually pretty cool.
July 04, 2006
Nuts for Nuts
Rich and Theresa visited us from Chicago on Friday and Saturday. Rich was Yves' best man when we got married. On Friday we took them to Coney Island and they went on the go-karts. I couldn't get them to ride the Cyclone. We then went over to the Dumbo/Brooklyn Heights area and walked around there as well. We were tired by the end of the day, them especially since they woke up at 3 am to catch a 6 am flight that didn't leave until 8:30.
Saturday we took them to Chinatown to have dim sum at Golden Unicorn, which renovated their 3rd floor and now has flat screen tvs and rainbow lights.
We walked from Chinatown to Union Square and then hopped on the train to Central Park. We took goofy pictures of us, watched some roller bladers and the ducks in the pond.
We met up with Richard and had margaritas at El Azteca. I only had 1 medium frozen melon margarita and I was buzzed! I turned lightweight.
As usual, Skippy is a big hit with everyone so on Sunday, Rich and Theresa were getting ready to leave to go to Astoria where her brother lives. They tried to kidnap Skippy!! Luckily, Skippy knows the good thing he has with us and escaped his bag! LOL
June 23, 2006
My niece the graduate!
My niece graduated from preschool yesterday. She will soon start kindergarten!! She won the award for Social Studies. Here's a video grab.
So many kids! Screaming and running around. Wow.
June 18, 2006
Happy Dad's day
This is me and dad at a Mets game a couple of years ago. I get my laid back, easy going demeanor from Dad and am a Mets fan because of him (well, as much of a baseball fan as I can get-which is not much). Thanks dad. All my bitchiness comes from Mom. And she's a Yankees fan.
Happy Father's day!
May 15, 2006
Happy Mother's Day
I made these cards for mother's day.
for mom in law.
We went into Queens yesterday for family dinner. That same restaurant on 38th Avenue. The food was ok, they were extra slow with coming out with the food because it was so busy. The portions seemed smaller too. On the way back home we got stuck on the Van Wyck, a car had caught on fire. It must have just happened as we got on. We had to go on the Jackie Robinson Pkwy. We got off Woodhaven and went home from there.
March 31, 2006
Skippy vs Neo
Taken with Lubitel2
I so wanted this to work. It would have been better if Neo was looking at us instead of outside. Oh well.
January 29, 2006
Year of the Dog
taken from 2004 in Chinatown
Happy Lunar New Year! It's the year 4704 and the Year of the Dog. Here's a card I made and sent out to all my friends instead of Christmas cards.
Had to include my cat on the inside too.
December 27, 2005
Maia and Elianna
My 2 nieces on Christmas day. I hope everyone had a great holiday, I know I did! I got a new camera, lots of craft books, and lots of other wonderful stuff!
December 15, 2005
Welcome to the world!
I'm an auntie again! Maia Sedonia was born on Tuesday, December 13th. We went to visit Liz in the hospital yesterday and I totally forgot to take pictures. Duh. She's so pink! And she's got long toes, good for grabbing things like her Uncle Yves does. Liz will be home on Saturday so I'm sure I'll have some pictures soon.
Tuesday night was the Holiday Mixer and we went bowling at the Port Authority. It's really not a bad place! And the shoes looked pretty new. Here's this month's mix, it was a lot of fun to make and I really was singing along to all of the songs. Yep, I'm showing my age.
Here's the track list:
1. Summer Nights • Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta
2. I Love Rock 'n' Roll • The Arrows
3. Rich Girl • Hall & Oates
4. Love Will Keep Us Together • Captain & Tennille
5. Undercover Angel • Alan O'Day
6. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) • The New Seekers
7. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing • Leo Sayer
8. Knock Three Times • Tony Orlando & Dawn
9. Don't Go Breaking My Heart • Elton John & Kiki Dee
10. Spirit In The Sky • Norman Greenbaum
11. I Think I Love You • The Partridge Family
12. I Just Want to Be Your Everything • Andy Gibb
13. Puppy Love • Donny Osmond
14. Fooled Around And Fell In Love • Elvin Bishop
15. The Candy Man • Sammy Davis Jr.
16. Love Machine (Part 1) • The Miracles
17. Gimme Dat Ding • The Pipkins
18. Saturday Night • Bay City Rollers
19. Love Is In The Air • John Paul Young
20. Let Your Love Flow • Bellamy Brothers
21. Kung Fu Fighting • Carl Douglas
22. September • Earth Wind & Fire