Our little lady is asleep. And she's been that way almost all day. She woke up to eat at 7 and crashed immediately afterward. She woke up again at about 10:30 and went down at 1. The books suggest I should wake her. But here's the thing: We spend our entire adult lives tired and in need of more sleep. Why start now? I'll let her enjoy the deliciousness of sleeping the day away and even envy her ability to do so.
First, in an effort to earn my keep around this place, I installed an air conditioner!! I spent the morning sweating, swearing, and praying I wouldn't drop this expensive device through our window and down six flights into the courtyard below. And guess what?! I didn't! I managed to wedge our AC in just the right position, and now I'm sitting in the living room, praying that it has then strength to cool off our apartment. I have to say, I feel burly. In a good way.
Then, while feeding Alice, I felt the earth move!! I emailed Michael, feeling ridiculous even asking, "Uh... did you just feel the earth shake?" He didn't. But the New York Times did! Ha!
And, the big news of the day: Alice rolled over for the very first time! As soon as it was over, I gave her gobs of kisses and she just stared at me with this look of utter boredom. Like, "Hello, Mom. It's no big deal." I tried to get her to do it again for the camera, but no luck. Instead she just talked to me. So here's a clip of her chatting:
Michael & I have never been very good at leftovers. After big meals, we always fill Tupperware and - more often than not - "forget" about them. Unless it's lasagna or a particularly delicious ratatouille recipe that I sometimes prepare, the leftovers hang out in our fridge, untouched, until it's time to toss 'em.
Well, now that Alice is around and expecting to be clothed and cared for, we've entered a new era of fiscal conservatism. As a result, leftovers are the new dinner. Here's the carnage after tonight's meal of london broil & mac & cheese for Michael and pasta for me (with a side of fresh veggies and cantaloupe):
I am my mother's daughter (as discussed here). And I am my father's daughter too!
Yesterday I spent much of the day drooling over the new iPhone 4. I had managed to dismiss its arrival previously because I thought we weren't eligible for an upgrade until November. But yesterday I found out that we could get the new iPhones NOW. So, of course, I WANT TO PRE-ORDER MINE NOW!
Periodically, I am overwhelmed by very intense desires for cool gadgets. This, without question, I get from my dad. I would like to own (in no particular order, mind you) the newest iPhone, a flat-screen TV, a fancy camera... I have these days every now and again that are almost unbearable with desire for some cool, fancy, high-tech and low-need device. Michael does his best to ignore me, knowing that the urgency will pass, reminding me that we are not early adopters.
But, MAN! Some days I sure want to be... So much for maternal zen.
Can I just say that my daughter is the best baby???
On Thursday, Alice had her 2-month doctor's visit, where she received 2 nice big shots. Since then, she has needed to be carried in her sling the entire time. I attempted to take her for a walk in the stroller last night and she flipped.
This morning, after sleeping from 7 pm to 6 am, she is sitting quietly in her chair, easing in and out of sleep. I've had time to write some emails, clean the apartment up a bit, and get a shower.
On Friday, in search for air conditioning and entertainment, Alice and I went to the Met!
We wandered through two exhibits: "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity" and "Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Alice liked Picasso...
But she LOVED American Woman:
It was a really a fabulous outing. Alice enjoyed the air conditioning and the opportunity to see so many new things. She kept her eyes open the entire time we wandered through the museum, only falling asleep when we walked outside into the heat.
She was also quite the hit, as you can imagine. Wherever we walked, people ogled at how cute she was. The best was when a 9-year old girl stopped me to say what a beautiful baby Alice is. When I told her that Alice is just 2-months old, the girl waved her hands in the air and said, "Welcome to the world!" just a little too loudly for the Met. It was just a magical moment - such sweetness all around.
This past month has been about exploring. You have decided that saying awake is pretty cool. And we love it!
Your adventures have included trips to new neighborhoods, new boroughs, and new states. We strolled through the Village, visiting our friends at the gym and the bookstore. We traveled to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, admiring peonies and orchids and millions of gorgeous flowers. We even ventured down to DC, where we showed you off to all of our family. You loved all these adventures - and we loved taking you on them.
You are an excellent starter baby, my Alice. You sleep well (even through the night on occasion!). You smile and coo and keep us entertained. You let us take you out to dinner - and sometimes happy hour. You enjoy being outdoors, but don't demand it. You enjoy sleeping in your crib, but don't demand it. You like to sit quietly in your chair, feeling its vibrations and looking at our ceiling fans whirl above you. In sum, you are perfect.
Everywhere we go, people comment on how cute you are. The other day, an elderly woman pushing a walker down the street stopped me to say that if she had a baby just like you she would spend all day kissing your adorable cheeks. I assured her that I spend much of my day doing just that.
My darling Alice, we are loving every minute of being your parents. You bring such joy to our lives, and we are so thankful for you. Thanks for being you, my sweet.
A snapshot of my life right now: I wake up to the sunshine, my husband asleep to one side, my baby to the other. Alice is up and ready to eat, so I pick her up and bring her into the living room. Occasionally she will give me enough time to make my tea, while Michael gets ready for work. Alice enjoys a leisurely breakfast, while I sit and enjoy the quiet start. After she finishes, Alice asks for some attention, needing a new diaper, a walk around the apartment, or just some quality time with her parents. Occasionally Michael & I get smiles.
Michael packs up and heads to work, with much more comfort and relaxation given the new job. He kisses Alice & I goodbye and we all wish one another luck with the day. Michael walks the sunny 10 blocks to work. Alice and I start our day.
Our days are varied. We try to go for walks at least once a day, getting out to run some errands or just to enjoy Riverside Park. We go to the grocery store, or the drug store, or to meet friends for lunch. Throughout the day I email and text with several girlfriends who are also at home on maternity leave. Alice is generally happy, though fussiness occasionally permeates the day. We share laughs, read books, play in her baby gym. Sometimes, when she has a particularly good, deep nap, I have time to read a little.
Around closing time, Michael gives us a call. On pretty days, we will walk to his office to meet him. The three of us walk through Riverside Park or down quiet, pretty, tree-lined streets and enjoy some time out and about together. This spring has been glorious - bright, sunny skies, green everywhere, flowers blooming in every last corner of the City. We do our best to soak these days up, remembering last spring (all rain) and last winter (all cold).
Once home, Alice, Michael and I start an evening routine. Michael changes into comfortable clothes, I prepare dinner, Alice demands attention. Sometimes she sits quietly in her chair, watching me work in the kitchen. Sometimes she hollers at us to walk her around the apartment.
Eventually Alice goes to bed for the night. Michael and I enjoy time together, reading or (most likely) watching trashy TV. When we call it a night, we kiss and say, "I love you." I close my eyes and feel sheer gratitude for the overwhelming love contained within our little bedroom.
I am beyond words about my life right now. It is just perfect. Do I get annoyed? Yes. Do I miss sleep? Of course. And I could use an air conditioner, maybe a flat-screen TV - definitely a flat stomach. I could use some time at the gym. Sometimes I annoy Michael, sometimes he annoys me, sometimes we both annoy Alice.
But I know that this is a blessed time in our lives. I love spending my days with Alice. I feel fulfilled beyond measure when I care for her. My husband is my everything, and I am just completely in love with the people who surround me. I feel so blessed to have these glorious days at home, worrying only about the best ways to care for my little family. I see the return to work looming ahead and will eventually be excited to share some adult company. But I don't yearn for the stress those days will bring, for the running around I know will define my days.
Instead I savor the time I have now, joyful for all I have, for the way I spend my time, for my little Alice and my loving husband.
I have the perfect life. Or as perfect as any life can possibly be.
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."