Alice and I had SUCH a fun afternoon together!! I picked her up early, and we walked home through the park. We took our time, just letting Alice walk wherever she wanted to go. It took us 2 and a half hours to get from daycare home -- all of 20 blocks. But it was heavenly. Alice ran all over the place, playing in the grass and mud and uneven sidewalks. She pointed at every dog that walked by, and cheered when we reached the swings. It was just such a pleasant, relaxing afternoon - no pressure, just fun. Heaven.
I love the arms in the air on this picture - a carefree and happy Alice:
And this video is worth it for the last 5 seconds:
Finally, in the midst of the hurricane on Sunday morning, desperate for an activity to amuse Alice (as well as ourselves), we let Alice "finger paint" with died yogurt (THANK YOU Sarah for this great idea). We stupidly let Alice see us mixing the paints, so she just chowed down. Adorable!
Lately I've been talking with other working mommy friends about the struggle to keep our families fed/clean/happy, our work life on track and ourselves sane - forget about living by some principals we value (i.e. eating home-cooked food, visiting farmers markets, getting out of the City every once in a while).
So of course we all come to one basic conclusion: can't we work 3 days a week? This is a silly idea to waste too much time on, since most of us can't afford that option. But it does sound lovely - having a few days out of the house to be engaged in the outside world, but also having enough time to get groceries purchased and apartments cleaned and errands run so that we aren't spending family time dealing with chores.
Sometimes I really miss the old neighborhood. I miss the way our apartment was put together, the feeling of being settled. We've lived in this apartment for a year and a half, and I still feel like we haven't fully moved in.
Of course, then I remind myself of the kitchen and the bathroom and the lack of doors, and I realize that living in our studio at this stage in life would be an insane challenge. But it was great while it lasted.
Today is August 12th. Five years ago, Michael & I got married! Congratulations, my love!
It's been a thrilling five years - graduate schools; a law degree & a public health degree; about 200 jobs; two apartments; five countries; multitiudes of trips to Virginia and discussions about where to live and debates about politics and life in the City and having a family; and - of course - Alice.
I can't quite shake the feeling that I got better end of the deal. I married a man who is brilliant, romantic, fun, interesting, engaged in the world and his role in it. He wants to do good for people. He wants a life that prioritizes family above all else. He is exceptional.
I had an insanely productive morning. Before leaving for work, I:
Made breakfast for Alice (forgot to make anything for myself, or for the hubs)
Did all the prep work for dinner
Unloaded the dishwasher
Hugged, kissed and loved on my family
It felt pretty great, I have to tell you. I've started preparing for dinner in the mornings, which has helped ease the stress of the evening and increased the frequency of us eating at home. We've been doing very well with family dinners, eating together at least 5 times a week. It's been a priority, and we've been sticking with it. I'm pretty proud, I have to say.
And can I ask for some input? I would LOVE book recommendations & good summer-time recipes (i.e. those that don't require the oven or stove for any longer than 20 minutes). Please share!!
Last night, we continued to promote the "Make NYC Your Gym" campaign with a night at the Brooklyn Cyclones, one of our local minor league baseball teams. Their stadium is out in Coney Island, on the boardwalk by the beach.
We had a lovely time, my colleagues and me, watching inflatable characters promote fitness and seeing the stadium erupt in cheer when mascots started tossing out our "Make NYC Your Gym" T-Shirts.
You can't really tell, but this is a picture of our logo on the jumbo tron! And here is one of our fun colleagues wearing their shirts and showing their support for the campaign:
"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..."