Category Archives: weekends

Time Out for H20!

What an awesome day it was yesterday!  Thanks to NYC H20, who organized the event, we got the opportunity to go canoeing on the Pepacton Reservoir and learn something about the water that we drink everyday.  Could hardly feel my shoulders afterwards, but it was worth it.

It’s mind-blowing being able to canoe on the very water that comes to our faucets from 100 miles away!  They do add some chlorine, fluoride, orthophosphate, and sodium hydroxide to our water, but it’s UNFILTERED!  Over 90% of our water comes to us in NYC through gravity, as it travels from the watershed in the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley through reservoirs, aqueducts, pipes, and tunnels.  More than 1.1 billion gallons of water to about 9 million people in NYC every day! Pretty incredible, eh?  It was nice to share this learning experience with the family.

from NYC DEP

Another big lesson we learned was from the canoe itself.  Initially, Shien was rowing in the front, and I was rowing and steering in the back.  After lunch, we decided to switch, since I thought I could powerhouse it in the front.  Boy, was I wrong!  Being heavier in the front, I used more energy than ever, and Shien was having difficulty navigating in the back.  We were going nowhere fast.  We decided to make a switch in the water, where I had to lie flat on my back in the canoe, and slide to the back, while Shien climbed over, and Malachy stayed steady in the middle.  Teamwork!  After that, it was so much better!  I learned that just because you are working really really hard, doesn’t mean you’re always doing a good job.  You need to make sure you are navigating properly, or you’ll never reach your destination, wherever that might be. 😉



Time Out for Petisco!

Outside Cafe Petisco

Many a Sunday for the past two years, we have “brunched” at Cafe Petisco. Never thought to look for the origin of the word, petisco until now. It’s Portuguese, and it means tidbit or savory. What keeps us going back is that it is YUMMY! 😉 They’ve also had such a great waitstaff. Many of them were actors and are no longer working there, but everyone there treats us well from the owners to the cooks. We are SO glad to have a place like that in the neighborhood! Once in a while, we order dinner for take out which is really tasty, too. Some of the food has a mix of Israeli and other middle-eastern foods, which Shien really enjoys.

Brunch is one of my favorites. Most of the time, I order the same thing, and I never tire of it. English Breakfast tea and their breakfast special which is comprised of two eggs over easy or sunny side up, home fries, a bagel substituted for toast, and a small OJ which I give to Malachy. Did I say, “Yummy” already? 😉 Malachy usually orders a chicken noodle soup or a continental breakfast. As for Shien, it just depends… 😉

For a couple of months, we started going to the public library right after to peruse and borrow some books for Malachy, but budget cuts forced them to close on Sundays. That was a real bummer. Now, after we eat, Shien usually goes to the farmers’ market, while Malachy and I go to the playground and then it’s naptime! 😉 There’s nothing like a nice Sunday nap!

Time Out for IQ and High Tea!

High Tea!

Another busy Saturday for Malachy this past weekend. We have been anxiously awaiting his big IQ test. In order to get into some schools in the city, your child has to take an IQ test and score at a certain percentile in order to get to the interview round. So, basically, for this particular school, out of about 1800 children who apply, about 300 or so make it to the interview round, and from there, about 50 students are selected! It’s definitely like striking lottery, along with lots of hope and prayer! If accepted, we wouldn’t have to think about applying to middle school or high school. How awesome that would be! 😉 In the meantime, we just applied for the NYC Gifted and Talented program, too, and that happens sometime in January. Wishin’ it wasn’t so complicated to get into Kindergarten!

We psyched him up for this day by calling it an IQ Fun Day, telling him he would get to spend some time with a teacher and show her what he knows and what is going on in his brain. 😉 We told him he’d be answering a bunch of fun questions and to just to do his best. And AFTER, he would get to go to High Tea with Mommy at Alice’s Tea Cup! Yay! 😉

Shien has always loved HIgh Tea. She took me once, and it was pretty neat. Definitely a bit on the chichi side. 😉 I KNEW Malachy would LOVE it. We were often reminded of it because Malachy really enjoyed this book series that we’ve been reading to him, and he often reads them on his own, too. The High Rise Private Eyes series by Cynthia Rylant is filled with charm and wit and humor, starring Jack Jones and Bunny Brown. Each mystery book has 4 Chapters – an intro, the case, the clues, and the solution. One of the books, The Case of the Desperate Duck, took place in a Tea Room and talked about High Tea. This really piqued Malachy’s interest, as it mentioned fancy tablecloths, fancy teapots, sugar cubes, fancy cookies, and fancy sandwiches. YUMMY! So, there was no doubt in our minds that he was ready for High Tea with Mommy. 🙂 Shien told me how he insisted on having cucumber sandwiches. He also saved some of his leftovers with me because he knew how much I loved coconut! I got to try some of the sandwiches and the coconut cookies that they brought home. 😉 Shien also told me about how he loved talking to the people eating next to them. They were celebrating a child’s birthday. Afterwards, he quickly took notes on his experience. 😉 His constant writing has inspired me to keep writing! Unbelievable! 🙂

So, how did he do on the IQ test? It’s hard asking any child after taking a test how it was and what was asked. I attended a technology conference this Saturday, and I thought it would be better for Shien to take him to it. 😉 Shien said he was really good in that he seemed ready to go and went into the test with the psychologist without even looking back at her. She said he was all business. Mr. Poker Face. 😉 However he does, we are proud. As with any parent, we just want him getting the best education and most of all, to enjoy his learning. For now, it’s just wait and see…

Time Out for Apples!

I NEVER would have imagined how inspiring apples can be! 😉

Although I love living in the City, it’s always nice to get away for a day or a weekend trip Upstate. It’s really nice to take Malachy out of the City too, and let him enjoy the outdoors. 😉 It’s amazing how you can drive north for about an hour or so (when there’s no traffic), and you’re “away!” No more city lights. No more city sounds. No more city air. It’s crispy Upstate in the Fall! 😉 I love driving up there and seeing all of the foliage changing.

Before Malachy was born, I would often plan a Bed and Breakfast for me and Shien, once a year. We enjoyed walking trails, eating lots of yummy food, and just getting away for a bit. We were so grateful when the host of Sugar Loaf Bed and Breakfast, Maxine Charles, accommodated the three of us in 2008! That was an awesome weekend! 😉

It’s so nice to bring Malachy into this tradition, and so far (except for when he was less than one), it looks like he’s really enjoying himself! 😉

Time Out for the Beach…

Loving the Beach!
Loving the water!

Malachy was invited to a classmate’s birthday party last weekend to a private beach club… in Queens! 🙂 I never even knew such a place existed in Queens. It was literally in his classmate’s backyard. This was Malachy’s second time at a beach, where he got to play near the water. Both times, if we didn’t stop him, he’d probably just run right into the ocean. 😉 He LOVES the sand and he LOVES the water. I’ve never been much of a beach-goer, but he and Mommy really like it. Unless I’m playing golf, I usually prefer being indoors. 😉 Never liked putting on lotion, having sand all over, and just baking in the sun with half-clothed people all around. Seeing Malachy so comfortable and enjoying himself so much definitely makes it less about me and more about him. The weather was pretty awesome, and we had a great day! 🙂

Time Out for a Dragon…

So, we took Malachy to his first movie on Saturday, How to Train Your Dragon. Shien didn’t think it was necessary, but I really wanted to watch it in 3D. So, instead of 13 dollars, it was 17 dollars for adults. (EACH!) And, for Malachy, it was $13 instead of $9. Took a cab there to make sure we got there on time.
I played the trailer for him before we went, just to see if he really wanted to go. He said it was “so cool,” so it alleviated my fears that it would be too scary for him. I asked him if he was sure, and he said he was sure, so we decided to go for it. 😉 I absolutely loved it. Great story, great effects. It was about trying to fit in. It was about abandoning stereotypes. It was about taking risks. It was about facing your fears. It was about finding yourself. Finally, there was the father/son relationship, where the father struggles with who is son is and what he is becoming, and the son wants so desperately to please his dad. I guess I was able to identify as a son and also as a dad! Powerful stuff! 😉
As for Malachy, Mommy had him use his whisper voice, because he had so many questions and was using his regular loud voice in the beginning. But, oh how he LOVED the popcorn, the Raisinettes, the Gummy Bears, and the pink lemonade. Oh, how he LOVED the junk. After the movie, he was ready to pounce on Shien for more and more junk, but I made him watch the closing credits, as Shien ran off to discard of what little was left. Ai ya! In a way, Malachy is our Dragon. So much is unknown, and everyday is an adventure. I think he “trains” us as much as we “train” him. 😉
Already, we have to start thinking about where he will go for Kindergarten… Sometimes, having options makes things a bigger burden, but then again, it’s good that we do have a choice… I think. 😉 Like the movie, it’s definitely easier if things are decided for you, but, oh so empowering when you’re able to decide for yourself. I guess we’ll have to wait and see… 🙂

Time Out for Father and Son…

This weekend, Mommy was at a wedding in LA, so it was just me and Malachy this past weekend.  It made me feel that much more blessed to have Shien as a partner.  It was awesome hanging out with Malachy, but it made me that much more appreciative that we have a team.  When one of us is tired or bogged down with work, we have each other, and that makes a HUGE difference.  I thought about all the single moms and dads out there, or even the parents that go it alone most of the time, like stay-at-home moms and dads.  And… I only have ONE child! 😉  It makes such a difference when there is support.

So, Malachy and I got to eat take-out (more than once 😉 ), played in the tent, went to the library, played in the park, went food shopping at Trader Joe’s, ate out, and I even managed to cook chicken stew, and had Malachy doing his homework at the same time!  I got a glimpse of why some parents resent homework so much sometimes.  🙂  He even got to pitch in with the cooking after he was done.  It was a great feeling to have Shien come home to a hearty cooked meal, and a semi-cleaned up house.    Trying to be a good Dad, a good husband…  Priceless… 😉

Napping in the Tent...

Time Out for Food…

I had to go to a meeting this past Saturday, so it was Malachy and Mommy at home. When I got home, Shien told me about their latest morning adventure. Malachy was hungry, as usual, so Shien had him plan a Breakfast/Brunch Menu. They discussed what was available in the kitchen, and Malachy wrote away, listing everything they were going to have: hot chocolate, coffee, scrambled eggs, bagel, fruit, creamed cheese, milk, grapefruit, maple apple (he made that up), toast, pickle (crossed it out), water, and jam. I asked him later what the “CHIAN” word was that he kept writing. He said it meant, “super.” Once in a while he just makes up his own words. Anyways, it’s really awesome to have a restaurant in your own home, thanks to our lovely Chef, Mommy! 😉 YUMMY!

Malachy's Menu

Time Out for Playtime!


Weekends used to be a time for rest (B.M., Before Malachy), but with Malachy, we have to try to keep up with his energy and imagination. 😉  Forget about sleeping in anymore. We consider it lucky when he gets up at 8. And once he’s up, one of us HAS to get up. YAWN…
Lately, I’ve become the “chosen one” because he claims, “I’m the best snack maker ever.” Meanwhile, I’m the one who prepares a snack with no cooking involved. Just lots of “stuff” from the pantry – cookies, crackers, wafers, mini pretzels, rice crackers (American or Japanese), pizzelles, and granola bars. Some of the above, or all of the above. What else? From the fridge, there’s always milk and a bit of fruit.

Today, it was cold, and it would have been so easy to just stay home and vegetate, but we mustered enough energy to take him to the playground to get some fresh air and exercise.  Then, we went to the library to get some books.  We decided it’d be a good idea to go the library on Sundays, after brunch. I’ve been buying so many books and forgetting that we could actually borrow some! 🙂

This evening, dinner wasn’t easy, so I promised him that we’d pitch up the tent that he got for Christmas.  He had a blast!  Just loves to use his imagination.  At first, he said, “Make sure Mommy doesn’t come in,” but when I started watching football, he said to Shien, “Make sure Daddy doesn’t come in!”  He had a great time, moving as much stuff in there as he could, and then doing some buddy writing with Mommy.  Mommy temporarily dozed in there for a couple of minutes. 😉

More on Malachy’s prolific writing later… 😉