Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cash Only

Since Alice was born and I returned to work - and our family expenses expanded to include a nanny - Michael and I have created a new budget for ourselves. And to help us stick with it, we've decided to use cash only. I thought I would hate this new approach. But, in fact, it has been pretty fun! Cash only makes purchasing decisions feel like a game, and we see our financial trade-offs before we buy anything. We each have a little bit of fun money to spend on ourselves, and then a family pot from which groceries, diapers and other household items come.

Part of this new budget has meant that we eat at home almost every night. While this is boring sometimes - often, I guess - it has been fun to expand my list of ready-to-make recipes. And I feel like I'm solving a puzzle if I'm able to re-use leftovers in a fun and exciting way. Tonight, for example, I made burritos using the best of Chipotle (salt, cilantro and lime juice on rice) and last night's steak. Plus all this cooking has given me more confidence in my skills! AND we're eating healthier!

So there! Some pleasant surprises in a tough financial situation!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Excerpts from Dear American Airlines

"Don't expect too much but don't expect too little. She's enough."

"I'm not sure the word sorry does anything justice... I mean, how can one puny word like that encompass all the shit you did - I don't mean you, I mean us, everyone, me - but also all the, all the things you didn't do? It's the inactions that keep you up at night. The actions, they're done. They're done. The inactions, they never go away. They just hang there. They rot. How is sorry supposed to stretch across all that?"

"Into a spiral-bound notebook I entered every sentence I could imagine her needing to say... Taking a ballpoint pen to one of my Post-it pads, she wrote on three consecutive sheets: I HAVE MUCH MORE LEFT TO SAY THAN THAT. I hadn't considered that it might be disturbing for her, to see the entirety of her remaining life - and what is life if not the words that we speak? - reduced to fifteen or so looseleaf notebook pages, sharp convenience notwithstanding."

This, too, is New York

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

People Do the Strangest Things

Alice and I were walking home. The sun was bright, the breeze gentle and cool. We sat at the intersection, waiting to enter the Park, watching cars drive swiftly past. When the light changed color and the drivers slowed to a halt, Alice and I started to cross the street.

Alice was excited to see the park - so excited, in fact, that she started making bubbles. Loudly. I found this terribly amusing, as all mothers do.

Midway through the intersection, I notice the driver - a woman in a minivan, so likely a mother herself - smile. Then, just as quickly as her smile appeared, the woman rolled down the window...


This grown, 50-something-year-old woman started blowing bubbles at my sweet little baby!!!

It was very amusing, and kept me smiling all the way home.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keeping Pace

If I wake up late, Alice eats late.

If Alice eats late, I get to work late.

If I get to work late, I stay late.

If I stay late, I pick up Alice late.

If I pick up Alice late, we get home late.

If we get home late, Alice takes forever to go to sleep.

If Alice takes forever, we eat late.

If we eat late, we relax late.

If we relax late, I pump late.

If I pump late, I go to bed late.

Just. Stay. Calm.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Without warning, it seems, this blog has gone from frequent visuals to near constant ones. Since work started, the time for thinking, let alone writing those thoughts down, vanished. August was one big whirl, and there are no signs of slowing down.

Life is pretty darn great, though. I think we should all vote to extend the length of the average day from 24 hours to 40, and decrease the standard work week from 5 to 3 days. When I think about all that I want to get done in a typical day - spend time with Alice, spend time with Michael, spend time with myself, spend time as a family, SLEEP, cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, feed Alice, pump, go to the gym, have productive time in the office, read, write, SLEEP (did I say that already?) - my head starts to spin. I'm trying to remain balanced and realistic about what can really happen each and every day, but it's difficult to do that. I really miss working out, but making time to go to the gym is just ... exhausting.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in with everyone and say hello. Let you know I'm still loving motherhood, and being a wife, and being an employee for my amazing boss. That I miss having time to write, but that I wouldn't change a thing about my life. That I'm as happy and as tired as I have ever been.

Love you.