Sunday, November 28, 2010

Little Piece of Heaven

Heaven must be like walks with a baby in the fall in New York.

Today, after a very early train ride and an afternoon nap, I took Alice for a walk to the farmers' market. It's the perfect season for these walks - crisp, clear, stark but hopeful. I put Alice in the Ergo, my new favorite carrier that let's me walk with her pressed up against my chest. After about 30 minutes of walking and talking, Alice slowly placed her head to my heart and fell asleep, just so:

Just pure, utter bliss, this feeling. I took the long way home, and back tracked several times, just to enjoy the stillness of the evening, the peaceful park, and the sleeping baby. Heaven.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

Dear Alice,

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Though today technically isn't a holiday, it always feels like one. Office empty early, people smile with pre-holiday cheer, and the City has an energy unlike any other time of year.

We spent your first Thanksgiving Eve together, my sweet dear. I worked from home in the morning, while you took a nice, long 2-hour nap. Then the two of us bundled up and headed downtown for lunch with my colleagues/friends:

You charmed the pants off of everyone, as usual, chowing down on your first bites of broccoli and savoring some of the tomato sauce from my lunch. Once we finished up and wished my colleagues well, we went to daddy's office, picked him up, and headed home for a little late afternoon nap.

After we all woke up, you and I bundled up one more time, rode the train with daddy while he went to hip hop, and you and I went to see the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade balloons! The crowd was overwhelming, but unbelievably patient.

Mr. Kool Aid


Alice & Mommy

The very last balloons were the Macy's stars with "Believe" written across them. As bizarre as this sounds, sweet Alice, I got a little emotional when we walked past them. I am so excited to share the holidays with you, baby girl! To develop our own special traditions that make this hectic time of year so incredibly special. This family doesn't just enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas Days - we savor the season.

Happy holidays!!

I love you more than anything ever.


Sunday, November 21, 2010


We have enjoyed a beautiful weekend. Last night was our fifth Faux-Thanksgiving, where we get together with John, Anna, Ashesh & Mona to celebrate the holiday before heading home to be with our families. Saturday was full of hustling and bustling as we prepared our annual feast. We had a baked brie with apples and bread for an appetizer; butternut squash soup for our next course; turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, rainbow beets, roasted broccoli, stuffing, baked apples, and salad for dinner; and pumpkin pie with cool whip & strawberry-rhubarb pie with ice cream for dessert. A little grotesque, no? But it was delicious!

Today we were in full recovery mode. Alice was a genuine doll and let me take a two-and-a-half hour nap. We ate pie and then went for a long walk on a cool Sunday...

It's the best time of year to live in New York - it's cool enough to walk endlessly without sweating, to carry a baby around and not worry about how you'll look when you take her off. The trees are gorgeous and the park is pleasantly empty. Heavenly.

Happy Family

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Get Over It

Well, here we are again.

It's Sunday night.

The work week begins anew tomorrow. And I will spend the next five days rushing from one thing to another, dreaming of the weekend when I can take my time with my husband and my baby.

Since returning to work, the Sunday Night Blues have hit me hard. The weekends are full of time with Alice and Michael. Not of all it is perfect time, mind you - Alice can be super fussy and chores are not fun, no matter who I'm doing them with. But my days are defined by events with my family, not meetings or nannies or deadlines. I get to feed Alice, rather then spend hours connected to a machine pumping. I get to walk in Riverside Park with my husband, gossiping about work or friends or future plans (the endless debate about where to raise our family provides endless fodder for conversation). I take leisurely strolls through the farmers' market to buy seasonal veggies for our meals. I get to devote my time to myself and my family.

This is in sharp contrast to work weeks, when I feel like every second of my days are scheduled. I wake up at 6, rush to get Alice fed and dressed, me showered and presentable. I leave by 7:30 or 7:40, already later than I want to be. My days at work are often rushed these days, with meetings and pumping sessions and an endless list of tasks that need to get done. I try to leave by 4:30, though I'm almost always rushing out the door at 4:50, praying that I get to John & Anna's by 5:30 so that I don't make the nanny late for her night job. I feed Alice briefly and then pack her up so that we can get home by 6:45. I change Alice, feed her again and put her down for bed. Then I prepare lunch for the next day and cook dinner for Michael & me. Michael and I sit down at about 8 (on a good day) for dinner, and enjoy some time together. Then we do the dishes, I pump for the umpteenth time of the day, and then maybe we spend another 30 minutes together eating dessert and chatting before heading to bed.

I love my job. And I don't know that I would be happy at home all day every day. But Sunday nights highlight just what it is that I'm sacrificing by working. And sometimes it's just a little more than I can handle.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Call to Serve

Dear Alice,

This picture of you and Grandma LeeLee was taken the day before she boarded a plane for Afghanistan. Your brave, bold grandma chose to leave behind the daily comforts of life in the US for a year of service in Afghanistan. Grandma LeeLee was not satisfied with merely bemoaning the situation in this war-torn country. Instead, she decided to act, to respond to our moral imperative to do something to improve the lives of the Afghan people.

In the weeks leading up to Grandma's departure, she trained for a host of terrifying scenarios. With each new skill she learned (shooting guns, ramming cars, riding in helicopters), Grandma LeeLee kept a sense of humor. She saw herself as "an old lady," laughing at the situations in which she found herself. She did her best to deflect any fears that your mom, dad, Uncle Henry faced. She took on our worries. She responded with bravado.

You should know, my dear Alice, that several friends and family members have called her heroic. They have called her sacrifice honorable, genuine, admirable. Because I know how much she loves you and how much she loves me and how much she loves your daddy and your uncle, I know these words are not enough.

I hope you know, sweet Alice, that this is your family.

I love you more than anything ever.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Thank you, hubby!


This morning on my way to work I saw a girl, maybe 8-years old, saying goodbye to her mom. This sweet little lady clasped her arms tightly around her mom's legs, squeezing her eyes shut, trying so hard to will her way to a different ending. The girl looked very unhappy about the pending separation and clearly longed to spend more time with her mom.

In an instant, I realized that I felt the same way as that little girl. Yesterday I said another tearful goodbye to my mom, who is on her way to Afghanistan as I write. She's doing something bold, something daring, something honorable and generous. I'm proud of her for taking on a challenging and necessary job at this stage in her life. I'm inspired by her example.

But, honestly, above all I'm just so sad that she's gone. I want to wrap my arms around her and beg her to stay close by. I want her to be here for Alice's first Christmas and for her first birthday. I want her to be a phone call away. I selfishly want her to stay put and be with my little family.

I know these aren't the actions of grown-ups; that part of bring an adult is allowing - if not encouraging - your parents to become individuals rather than just your mom or your dad. I know I will want Alice to respect me as a professional, as an adult, as a woman when she is my age.

But right now all I want to be is that 8-year old. I want to throw a temper tantrum and beg her to stay. I am not ready to accept this. Not yet.