Sunday, March 17, 2019

Pip's Island-An Interactive Play

As parents it is really hard to find things to do in NYC that is different when it comes to seeing a play.  Most kids after a time period become antsy and can not sit still, they get bored and they become distracted. Last Sunday Peter and I had the opportunity to go to a play called Pip's Island. It is an interactive kids play were the kids are part of the show.

 We got to the venue earlier than we were suppose to. Our tickets said 11:00am. They say to arrive 15 minutes before your timed ticket. We got there at 10:15am because we left early from Queens. We took mass transit. Taking mass transit can be hard and tricky. Mass transit is only one block from the venue which was nice and very convenient.   If you are late they will not let you enter.  The play runs every half and hour and is sixty minutes long.  We entered the venue  through a gift shop and were greeted by an explorer. She was very friendly and asked us some questions.  We were then sent through the gift shop to a elevator to the second floor were the adventure was going to begin. We did not know what to expect .  When we entered onto the second floor Peter was then fitted into an explorer vest and a bracelet that had lights on it. There was lots of interaction between Peter and explorer. I did not know what they were talking about but Peter was very engaged in the conversation with the Explorer. All the children are called Jr. Adventurers and the adults were called Assistant Adventurers.

                                                 Peter and one of the actors

Jr. Adventurer
                                        Jr. Adventurer(Peter) and Assistant Adventurer(Daddy)

                     Explorer(actor) with Jr. Adventurers(children) and Assistant Adventurers(Parents)

Once the doors to the show opened it is was magical.  It is a awesome  journey .  It is a hero's journey. A fight between good and evil. As you go from set to set actors, puppets, animation, even interactive sets all make this show fun for all.  Your child/children (Jr. Adventurer/s) will not be bored from the beginning until the end. The Assistant Adventurers(Adults) will not be bored also. The children (Jr. Adventurers) are part of the show. As a Assistant Adventurer you also might too be part of the show.

Peter and a Puppet

It was like going to Disney World without leaving NYC. When you are on your adventure you felt like you were far away from the hustle and bustle of NYC. I would highly recommend going to see Pip's Island if you get the chance. You and your child/children will not be disappointed.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

What if?

What if one fall night, you and your child decide to go on a walk, like other nights, around your neighborhood.  What if nothing happens but just fun memories and bonding time over discussions of chicken nuggets and the most recent episode of P.J. Masks.  What if, on Friday, October 13th 2017, Peter and I decided to go for a walk and spend some quality time together.  What if we just wanted to go see the Halloween decorations of people’s houses in our neighborhood of Glendale, NY. (Glendale is a quiet neighborhood in Queens which is one of the outer boroughs of NYC.) Crime is low here but nothing could have prepared me for what was going to happen that fall autumn night.  What if, nothing went as planned.

On that night, we were walking back from one of the neighborhood houses that is famous for their Christmas decorations and also for Halloween.  Our neighborhood is usually very quiet with the exception of local traffic but on that night I sensed and heard from the back of car screeching down the street going very fast, then I heard a pop. Immediately my left side under the shoulder blade was burning. I was shot.  At first I thought I was shot with a gun so I grabbed Peter ducked behind a car for protection and I asked him, in pure panic, as I was taking off my fleece jacket, "Am I bleeding?" Peter replied, "No Daddy". I did notice a little bit of paint on my jacket and thought it was odd.  Pure panic did take over us because we heard the car screech around the corner again for a second time. We hid behind a van as they slowed down and then sped off again. We had to walk home five blocks very fast because we were both afraid.  We didn’t know if our assailants were going to try for a third time.  We were terrified.

We found out that two young adults, ages 19 and 22, were firing off frozen paint ball pellets out of boredom at random people.  They were caught by the police. There were 10 victims in all including a two year old boy who did get hit with the paintball.  There were 2 who were badly injured. One was hit in the head, who ended up with a concussion and one in the neck. The person who got hit in the neck reported the license plate to the police that night which helped the police to arrest them.  They are old enough to know what they are doing. Their intent was to injure or hurt strangers in their neighborhood. No one was safe not even a child.

The next day it really hit me hard,  "What if?". What if I was hit in the head and dropped to the ground unconscious or dead and my son, Peter, was screaming, "Daddy, Daddy!!!" Would my son know to pick up my cell phone and dial 911 or my wife? "What if?" they hit my son injuring or killing him. Would I forgive myself for taking him out that night or would I be able to live life without him if he was killed. "What if?" we were both shot down to the ground. Would I be able to keep calm for the both of us. "What if?" it was a real gun.  What if?

A couple of  things I think about constantly is "What if?" I was not involved in my son's life. "What if?" I didn't discipline my son. "What if?" I didn't teach my son to respect others.  “What if” I didn't show my son lots of love. Would he turn out to be like these two guys who shot me? This shooting might not have happened if their parents would have been more involved. I am not blaming their parents because some times a child gets caught with the wrong crowd but most times it is a lack of parenting. I hope it is not the case.

One thing I did learned from this experience is that I was not prepared like I thought I was because I panicked which made my son panic too. I do blame myself for this but you never know how you are going to react in this situation.  Another thing I learned even more is that I really do cherish every single moment I have with my son. This grew stronger because of the situation.

As parents we will always have “what if” moments, but in this case, I learned how to better react to our scary “what if” moments.  Peter and I have recovered from our frightening night; however, our bond and father and son couldn’t be stronger because he knows I love him and he loves me.

Update.... The two that were arrested took a plea bargain which gave them 10 hours of community services. I am not happy and my wife is livid.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Father's Day Nightmare

Last year on Father's Day, I thought it was going to be a day where I enjoy the day with family siting by poolside. Instead  my son was sick and I had to stay home with him while my wife worked. This happens when your child is around children all the time.

The day started out fine knowing that Peter was sick. As the day progressed he seemed to be getting worse. His fever started out low and rose as the day went by. In the late afternoon the fever went to 104. I started to get nervous. His fevers have never been that high. I kept giving him medicine to bring the temperature down but nothing was working.

He started to cough lightly which did not alarm me. It was a normal cough at the beginning. I would ask him," How do you feel?" He would respond, "Not too well daddy." I would keep my eyes glued to him. As the day progressed his cough got bad. It was a hacking cough that sounded like it was coming from the toes.

He decided to take a nap which is very unusual for him because he rarely takes them. He fights them. He slept for a good two hours. When he woke up he was crying but nothing was coming out and he was gasping for air. He was also coughing. It really scared the crap out of me but I kept very calm.

I scooped him up and said to Kate, "let's go to the hospital". Both of us panicked and were very worried. I was more calm than Kate was. You can see in Peters eyes he was very scared and was panicking. He held on and started to relax which made him breathe easier. It felt like the longest car ride to the hospital but was very short.

When we got to the hospital all of his information was already in the system because it was the hospital he was born in. The hospital did some tests. They checked his lungs. He had a hacking cough.

The hospital ended up giving him a nebulizer and medicine. He ended up having croup and strider. 

Croup is a respiratory condition that is usually triggered by an acute viral infection of the upper airway. This infection leads to swelling inside the throat which interferes with breathing causing a barking cough.

Stridor is associated with croup but for Peter his voice box swelled which caused him to wheeze.

After about 6 hours in the hospital. He was released. He did not have any reaction to any of the medicine they game him. Myself and Kate were grateful.

We do not know how and where he caught this. It could be from anywhere. We are just glad that he was well taken care of.

And for Me and Kate it was the most scariest things we have dealt with as parents so far even though it was Father's Day I felt that even though we weren't celebrating like most. We were together as a family and when you are a parent Father's and Mother's Day is everyday. Twenty four hours a day seven days a week for the rest of my life.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fun Adventure with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Peter had been a really well behaved child this past Friday due to the fact that he spent most of the evening with us at the hospital. My mother in law fell in an elevator and clocked her head against rail and the floor causing a concussion.

We decided to treat him to a fun filled day at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey because we knew about The Teenage Ninja Turtle Exhibit called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Secret of the Sewers 

When we arrived Peter saw a poster in the elevator about the exhibit with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Peter has been watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles recently and loves the show so this was a perfect way to experience all of the things about The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

There are lots of interactive exhibits and things to do for the entire family. Children can put on a Gi and show their favorite Ninja moves. Children and Parents can put pipes together to create drain pipes. You all can pose in front of your favorite Ninja Turtle.You can also test you balance by riding a skateboard.

                                                                   Peter with Leonardo.                    


There are pipes that you can look in from the sewers to the street and see all of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 You can play an interactive game with 4 players were each person plays a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and help navigate The Turtle Van through the streets against time. It matches the colors to each Mutant Ninja Turtle to certain moves of the van. Each player has a major role in controlling the van.

You can shoot a pizza through a window at you favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Villain. You have to aim this machine at the window. There are four windows to choose from. We only had one shot because this exhibit was very busy but we were able to do this five more times by getting back in line which moved fast.

There is a rope maze that when you hit the rope an alarm triggered off. My son loved this exhibit. It was a challenge not to step on or hit the rope with your body. The exhibit was lots of fun. I even saw adults trying because their children convinced them to. I had no luck not triggering off the alarm.  I am flexible but not that much.

 It was an awesome day at the Liberty Science Center.  We spent most of the day at this exhibit because Peter was having a ball. This exhibit made Peter love The Teenage Ninja Turtles even more. If you are a fan of the show this exhibit is fun.This exhibit is going nation wide. It closes at the Liberty Science Center on September 5, 2016.  It will be coming to a city near you.

Peter fell asleep in the car ride home. Peter probably was dreaming of having a new adventure with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When he woke up all he did was talk about his adventure that day.  When we got home all he wanted to do is tell his grandparents about the exhibit.

The Liberty Science Center is a 50 minutes car ride from our house in Queens, NY   If you live in Manhattan it is a hop, skip and a jump away. It is across the water from Downtown Manhattan.You can  reach there by mass transit, NJ Transit or a Ferry from the Financial Center in Downtown Manhattan if you do not have a car.

Disclaimer: I did not get paid for this nor did I receive tickets to The Liberty Science Center. This my opinion of an awesome day with my son Peter.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Personal Journey

Last year when I turned 49 I decide that I was going to run a race when I turned 50. That goal was completed before I turned 50. It has been a journey and a personal thing. Last year in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could do a major accomplishment by running a 5k. A 5k I will never forget. The Tunnel to Towers 5k run/walk. This race was started by the Stephen Siller Foundation. Stephen Siller was a firefighter who ran from Brooklyn through the Battery Tunnel with his gear on to help people who were caught in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Stephen Siller died that day. This race is in memory of him, NYFD, NYPD, Miltary and First Responders.

My journey has been a long one. Almost a whole year of training for something that I put my heart and soul into. Sometimes giving up when things were hard, especially when I couldn't meet my goal for the day. I was being hard on myself because I never thought I would make my goal and achieve a personal victory. I have tried to run for years but always gave up on myself. I never pushed myself because it is easier to quit than to keep on going.

I did this race not only because of a goal and a personal journey. I have been personally affected by 9/11. I was one of the last two people to see PO Perry that morning who came to my office to retire. He joked around with me and another co worker saying the paperwork was hot off the press to retire. We laughed for a while and then he left. The first plane hit the first tower. From what I learn PO Perry  ran from our building which is about 3 or four blocks from the World Trade Center on an angle.  I never saw him again. He died that day. Instead of thinking of himself and retirement, he thought of others who needed help. A true hero. A person who sacrificed everything for the call of the job. I will never forget him and that day.

The Tunnel to Towers run itself also effected
me. I saw many wounded warriors. Men and women who risk their lives at war. Those members of the military who lost limbs, in wheel chairs who can't walk. I saw flags off firefighters who died on 9/11. I saw family member of people who died that horrible day. All of them inspired me and touched me. It is easier to see it on tv then to deal with it in person. The only thing I could say was Thank You with a handshake or a a pat on the back of the vets. This made me wipe tears from my eyes and was life changing. The change was not to take things for granted, enjoy life, and continue to appreciate what I have. 

Who knows what my next personal journey will be, will be be a long journey or a short journey. Will I succeed or will I fail? Who knows but I am ready.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bring Your Child to Work Day Revisited.

Bring your Child to work day was not originally started the way it is celebrated today. It was originally started in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation for Women. The intent was to introduce girls direction and insight into the work world. Now they include boys because they are interested in seeing were their mothers or fathers work. 

One day back in March at my son's daycare another child asked my son if his mommy or daddy was bring him to work on that special day. He did no know about it because he is younger than some of the other children that go there.  Peter is only three and a half and the child who asked him is 5 years old. When he came home from daycare he asked us if he could come to work with me or my wife. Where my wife works is really not the best place to have children. She works in the offices of a cemetery. So I decided to take him with me because I work for the NYPD at their headquarters and I knew that the department would be doing something for the children. My office was so excited to see Peter because the last time people saw him he was only one and a half.

He was very quiet at the beginning which is normal for a child going to a strange place. He warmed up and was a delight to all of the people in the office. He sat at my desk and saw all the things that I have from him including drawing and pictures of him. He ate his breakfast and enjoyed being at daddy's work.

My office did not have anything special that day but the department themselves went all out. Lots of things to see and do.
We spent half of the day doing all of the activities that were set up.

First we took portraits of us and then Peter by himself. They were done by our Photo Unit which has professional photographers. 

We then went down to the court section where they bring in people who are being arrested. Peter sat in a patty wagon and was walked to the cells. They then gave him a metal detector wand to see if I had metal on me. It beeped. They showed him the big holding cell and gave him a box of cereal. They explained that the cereal is what they give them when people are brought in the morning.

We then proceeded outside. There was a  rock wall for the kids to climb, horses for the children to ride, old police cars and police motorcycles. We waited on the line for Peter to ride the horses but when the horse brought his head down to Peter he became scared. He did not want to ride the horse then. We walked over to the rock wall and Peter wanted to go in it but the spaces were too big for him to reach to pull himself up. I promised him next year he will be able to do it. We went to the old police cars next. He really enjoyed them. We actually got inside if one. Then Peter asked me to sit in the back. I did and told him I never want to see him in the back seat of a police car. He faked driving me around.

The next thing Peter became excited about was sitting on a motorcycle. He made believe he was out in the open air driving on the highway. He really like it. It took me a half an hour to get him off the motorcycle. 

It was a day Peter will never forget. A day full of fun for him. He asked me if he could come back the next day. I had to explain to him that all of the activities that went on the day before was only that one day and he would have to wait until next year.

Did I get any work done that day? The only work I accomplished that day was turning on my computer but what I accomplished was that my son got to see where I work and it made him happy.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Growing fast with lots of love

I can't believe how time flies. Just yesterday you were a little baby and now you are three years old. I remember the day that you were born. You came 4 weeks earlier. You were ready to begin your life with us.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. In the middle of the night around 2 am on October 20th. You started making  your journey into our lives. It was the best day of my life knowing that you came from me and mommy with lots of love.  It was 11 years of trying without success . Stress and the realization that being an aunt and uncle was becoming the reality, Then it happened. Oh my God. Mommy was pregnant. I truly believe that you chose us as your parents. God must of know what he was doing when he decided to bless us later on in life with you. The joys and fears of being parents at an older age hit. Am I going to be  a good father? Am I going to be able to keep up with you? Those fears lasted until the day that you were born. Once you were here I knew with lots of love things would be okay.

As you started growing and understanding love, you've shown me more love than I could of ever imagined. I love your mother very much but in a different way. Love comes in many forms. I know your love is pure as snow.  As you grow no matter how much you might make me mad for doing something wrong. I will always love you and guide you in the right direction. Our love and bond will grow as you grow up. Even though you are still young. You have a big heart. I see it and so does your mom. You show so much love it makes me proud to say you are my son.

As the years continue and your love grows you will eventually grow up. You will eventually become a man and hopefully get married to whom ever you want too. If you are blessed to have a family you will understand what love of a child is just like your father.