Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK Day: January is for Marching

Did you know that the largest MLK March in the nation takes place right here in San Antonio? I'm guessing not.

I had intended to take my big kids there today but Zayd is suddenly pretty sick so he stayed back with Joe. We headed out with some great neighbors and enjoyed a gorgeous morning of marching or stroller riding and a bit of waiting in line for the bathroom. We spent a lot of time explaining a little bit about how the world works to some engaged, intelligent young Mahncke Parkers. I love my neighbors and love this community and I'm exceptionally proud to see my city celebrate diversity, peace and the struggle today.

I felt lucky to see the Texas Planned Parenthood contingent and to see our mosque representing on the march. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Tea for Three Littles and their Mommy

I love being home and bringing a piece of our vacation into our daily routines. This was part of Zahra's haul from Sahadi's (a delicious gourmet Middle Eastern grocery store). I thought it was the most adorable that she wanted to buy tea. I wanted to buy tea too! She wanted to buy three boxes but I talked her down to only one.
It seems Ziyan is now enjoying tea with us. This was his first (and second and third) cup. It was delicious. I had to brew two pots for my kids! Now I realize I should have let Zahra buy all three boxes. And, of course, there was one pot for me, but I drink Sadaf Earl Grey.
Vacation is great but so is being home.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Ten Brooklyn Vacation Memories

In no particular order:
1. Ziyan running on the treadmill and Zayd and Zahra's choreographed yoga dance. (Videos coming in a future post, I intend.)
2. NYE night in with Sonia just minutes after she arrived from Iceland.
3. Date night with our favorite Alt Mahncke couple and Ethiopian a Good. (Though the tea at Yemen Cafe is almost tied.) Thanks Auntie Sonia!
4. Seeing the Big Kids do silks at a circus school to ring in the New Year and the memory that Ali and I trekked out in fifteen degree weather to get cash for Rosemary Chocolate Chip Gluten Free cookies that, surprise!, we're terrible but oh so Brooklyn.
5. Watching my kids play and delight in the six inch snow. (Big kids mostly, six inches his Ziyan at the knees and inside his snowboots.)
6. Ziyan driving MTA buses at museum exhibits all over the city. Saying "choo choo" incessantly every time we left the hotel or even while on the subway.
7. Brooklyn Pizza Crew and watching Zayd have such a blast with his friends.
8. Taking a break from the truly terrible weather to swim in a very heated pool.
9.  The Museum of the Moving Image. Jim Henson! I love you! My kids playing arcade games? Also priceless.
10. Hamilton. Major thoughts included: anybody can do anything (the making of America, casting a black man as George Washington, so many things here actually), I should do something, the creation of America defies reason so anything is possible, choosing courtesy over principle is cowardly or at least ineffective.
11. What a trooper my kids were, especially Zayd who said "I can travel anywhere" as he carried his and Zahra's backpack through the SAT airport at midnight after a travel day that was harrowing.

Things I'd rather forget:
1. Ziyan's illness that required an emergency inhaler prescription two days in. And many puffs each day. He grounded us for a bit there and I never took the kids to Manhattan (this trip).
2. The weather. Oh the weather was abominable. And, goodness, I'll hopefully soon forget how long it takes to bundle three children up just to torture them with frigid weather.
3. That feeling when they cancel your rebooked flight (because...also cancelled!) on a Wednesday and say there should be something available Monday but they can't be sure. And your phone is telling you the Bomb Cyclone is coming at 6am and it's going to be the coldest it's ever been (or so) and you are going to be stuck in it for darn near half a week. But then the relief when you discover Target is .4 miles away and opens at seven am, I welcome. I love love love solving problems especially when they require tenacity, such as braving a Bomb Cyclone without snow boots. Ha ha ha.

We now own four new pairs of snowboots that each child will have outgrown by next winter. I suggested a ski vacation but Sam still has to recover from our 2 hour taxi ride to Long Island, 2 hour airport wait, hour-long delay, 2 hour flight to Baltimore, hour-long delay, 3.5 hour flight to San Antonio and then the truly arithmetic puzzle of transporting two sleepng children, a stroller, four backpacks, a duffle bag filled with newly-purchased antiques and snow boots, Zahra's personal suitcase, plus two more to a taxi and to our door before he'll even consider leaving Texas. And I think he might not leave Texas for snow for quite some timetime.

And since we're doing lists, tomorrow I need:
1. Brewed iced tea (what is wrong with EVERYWHERE else?)
2. Breakfast tacos
3. To frolic around in a cardigan and boots made for their adorableness vice weather proof capabilities.

I think we can

Pray for us. #Sanantoniobound

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Brooklyn Children's Museum

It was a great day where our kids laughed and played. We spent the morning with friends at the Brooklyn Children's museum and each kid found favorite things to do. It was nearly impossible to get Ziyan to leave the MTA bus and Zahra was the sweetest big brother who stuck with baby almost all day and showed him the ropes. We ended or playdate with a frigid walk to get some amazing authentic NY pizza from Brooklyn Pizza Crew, rode the subway home to make Ziyan's heart sing, and lastly Auntie Sonia watched all three Zs so we could have a progressive dinner with our SATX friends through Park Slope. We ended the night with Ethiopian food. My heart and my belly were full!

Queens! (Yaaas)

Yesterday we headed up to Queens (my first time, I believe) to visit the Museum of the Moving Image. They were featuring a "Winter Break Recess" of a Lego Batman themed activities but my driving force was the newly opened permanent Jim Henson exhibit.

Ziyan slept through the first hour while the rest of us made superhero costumes and make inspired by Lego Batman. Afterward, Sam helped the kids craft some stop action animation. I had to sit down because ziyan was sleeping in the wrap and that kid is getting heavy! 26 pounds to be exact. We're gonna need a bigger wrap. ;)

Ziyan awoke just in time to start the Jim Henson exhibit. I could have spent all day in there but my kids were less interested. They were appropriately engaged for kids but didn't want to read every placard and study every Muppet sketch or Sesame Street scribbled song list. Zayd loved building his own Muppet and ziyan was drawn to Big Bird, who he calls La La. (One of his favorite books is The Sesame Street Wheels on the Bus in which the bird on the bus songs la la la. So, even though "buh" had long been Ziyan's favorite sound (baba, buhbuh, bawl), he's never even tried to say Big Bird.) He was impressed with Melmo (again his word it sounds almost exactly like Mama). Sam showed the kids the Dark Crystal section, we saw some old commercials, and I loved loved loved everything Muppets. 

Lastly, we headed to the third floor for what I thought would be a short visit to see how Video Games have evolved. Nope. There were two rooms dedicated to video games from their creation up through 1993. Reading "video game arcades popped up all across the country in the 80s and 90s," kind of stuck me. Wait, the stuff from my youth is old stuff... Stuff you memorialize in a museum. They talked about arcades in shopping malls and I had a serious flashback/feeling of decay. Zayd and Sam played about one hundred round of Mortal Kombat while Ziyan hogged the Sega driving game I remember my brother playing. (It was one of the newest machines, dating from 1993, I believe.)  Also, NBA jam. Zahra and I tried our hand at a few things but we were definitely less committed. There was also a cool art installation that featured 30 second clips of over 300 games from the first decade or two of home video game systems. Every thirty seconds the game switched and you had to figure out the controls. It was neat, I thought. Zahra found it frustrating. Though, having never touched a video game, she was at a severe disadvantage.

Otherwise, we visited with Auntie Sonia and made family memories while coloring a very intricate cactus hanging wall art, thing. That's day two in the books!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

We love New York!

The high today in NYC was 17 today, y'all.  SEVEN-TEEN!!

But, being that I AM (specifically me, mind you) a very seasoned traveler, I wasn't going to let the fact that my kids have never been outside in freezing temperatures ruin our Day One in Brooklyn. Nope, I made the kids stuck their hands deep in the freezer to experience what winter can really feel like, bundled them up, and marched them all to the subway. Yes, you read that right. Sam advocated for a Lyft but I argued that the subway was going to be Ziyan's favorite attraction of the entire week so we HAD to do it. We were both right. I thought for a few minutes that our walk from the subway to our first destination, The Brooklyn Flea might kill our children. I am happy to report that we didn't lose Z1's ears or Z3's hands to frostbite, though you could tell Ziyan was freaking out about how cold they were and I'm thrilled that Zahra survived at all. She's known to be eternally San Antonio. Tomorrow she will be wearing bibs as clothes. We will call them "overalls".

But, man oh man, Ziyan loved the subway. I wish I'd caught a photo of him saying Choo choo on repeat with his lips all pursed together. I did catch him signing "more" in a blur of enthusiasm. He loved it. I loved watching him love it. It was a total success in that regard.

The Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasbord was awesome. Of's Brooklyn. We snacked on yummy grilled cheese and Korean steamed buns at bar height tables before noticing the kids section... Whoops! Lunch made me realize, though, how big my baby had gotten. He sat at the table, in a stool (!) just like the big kids. After eating, I promised the kids Nutella pizelles if they would let me hit the flea market for a bit. I got vintage milk glass and Christmas candelabra decorations seemingly made of iron. (Going to need to check that duffel bag on the way home.) Zayd got Pokemon cards, I'm not sure if their vintage. And Zahra got an old Barbie with Platinum blonde hair. Pizelles for all, and we called a Lyft for the way home.

After nap, the big kids and I had plans to meet our Mahncke Park neighbors for a "kiddie rave" at what turned out to be an old abandoned warehouse-turned-circus training school that was legitimately awesome. It's called The Muse, and you should visit. I'm not sure I'd use the word rave but the kids had a great time and it was nice to meet up with friends on the other side of the country. The kids jumped, danced, and did silks to their hearts content. We ordered lots of Rosemary chocolate chip cookies (because, Brooklyn) and each Z tasted theirs and then donated them to me. Check out the pictures. It was a great kid-friendly New Year's Eve.

Afterwards, the bigs and I headed to Black Forest to eat German food. I choose the bc restaurant because of its proximity to Greenlight Bookstore, a place I intend to make my new favorite bookstore though I've yet to go inside. I passed by last night on my way to get pizza and we were just across the street tonight but no luck again. Baby went crazy at home and we rushed home to play peekaboo and jump on the bed. Hopefully tomorrow is the day. It's a bummer that I can't buy too much as my extra suitcase is already filled with iron candelabras, ha ha ha.

Tomorrow it'll hit 20 and I think my kids have fully given over to my insistence that they really do need two pairs of pants and gloves and hats and the all of it. So tomorrow should be smoother in that regard too.

I can't wait!