Sunday, November 17, 2013
Happy first birthday, my sweet love! It's hard to believe that just a year ago your daddy and I were on our way to the hospital, debating whether you would be born on the 16th or 17th (naturally you arrived within minutes of getting to the hospital, joining us on the 16th with time to spare). And now, here it is, November 2013 and we have a 1-year old on our hands!
You are such a joy, Bear! You laugh easily and often, showing off your dimple and beautiful blue eyes. You squint with your nose when you really want to show how happy you are, and throw your body up and down. You love giving high 5s, playing peekaboo, and food. Your sister is your favorite person in the whole universe. She dotes on you endlessly, holding your hand as we walk, bringing you toys to stop you from crying, and huging you as hard and frequently as we let her.
You sleep twice a day, for about two hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. You love being held by your mamma, and laugh joyfully whenever your dad gives you kisses with his beard. You are fairly consistently sleeping through the night, and when you wake up it takes a while to settle back to sleep. You took your first steps a couple of weeks ago, but still prefer to hold on and cruise around the apartment rather than risk falling down. But you can't wait to run.
You don't yet have any words, though I'm fairly sure you make a "mmmmm" sound when you want to say "mamma." You have just started to discover the joys of reading (including 'Peek-a-Who?' and 'Global Babies'), and your soothie and lovie. After we eat dinner, before bath, you and Alice play under the dinning room table while Dad and I clean up.
We are thrilled to get rid of your bottles and expensive formula, and just feed you what we eat. We call you Bear, and Bear-Bear. Alice calls you Cheeky.
We love you so, so much, sweet Bear. You bring such balance to our home. Your charming blue eyes, gorgeous dimple, and endearingly bright smile add a lightness to our family, and we're so grateful for it.
I love you, your sister and your daddy more than anything ever.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I'm laying on the floor in the apartment, listening to the kids make noise in their room while catching up on Momastery. I'm realizing how peaceful and grounding this is. And feeling a little silly for it.
But peace and relative quiet is a rare blessing. And I'll take it in whatever form it comes.
As if to prove my point, Barrow is now crying...
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Here are some elements of my life that I hope I'll recover as the kids grow up:
* Quiet. I've been thinking a lot about this, as Michael and I debate whether or not to leave our apartment. It feels so loud where we live, right near a train. But, also, isn't life with young kids just inherently loud? I mean, Alice talks constantly. Barrow is laughing or crying a lot of the time. Their toys make SO MUCH NOISE. I'm looking forward to quiet, still mornings (if they ever exist again).
* Time for reflection. I found a journal of mine that I kept in my early 20s, where I wrote down quotes from books I had read, clips from magazines or newspapers, art. Flipping through those pages placed me back to my time in Greece in almost an instant. A time machine. I don't long for that stage in life, but I do hope one day there will be time for that level of commitment to inspiration, wherever it strikes.
* WORKING OUT. Nothing more to say about that, other than dear God I miss it.
* Romance. I miss that. Michael and I are really good CEOs of our household, and I couldn't ask for a better partner. I think we both long for more date nights, more time out with just the two of us, more time to talk about life beyond our apartment walls.
Some elements of life now for which I know I'll ache as they age:
* Alice insisting on closing the door for me every morning as I leave for work, yelling "LOVE YOU!" as I march down the stairs.
* Alice wanting to lay on the couch with me while I rub her hair and her back in the peace and quiet of the early morning.
* Barrow beaming when I go pick him up from his crib, thrilled to see me.
* Barrow, figuring out how one step goes in front of the other, how limbs work and why they are miraculous. Barrow being carefree and eager.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Friday, August 2, 2013
(Will be. I'm not yet willing to admit that it already is.)
Minnie and I clicked immediately. I've been thinking about why that was, why she was so good to me and why I loved her dearly. Why we were connected almost instantly? I think, above all, it was because she knew how much I loved her grandson.
Minnie loved to tell me about how, when Michael was little, he had beautiful, long eyelashes (which thankfully Alice inherited) and sweet blonde ringlets; how, at parties when other people wanted to hold him, she refused to share him. She loved him intensely and immediately.
We had a special goodbye. Michael and I were visiting with her. She, laying in her bed, was not completely coherent. She was saying something about our family, listing our names in a type of mantra. And then, as we were about to say goodbye, she had a moment of clarity and said to me, "It's been fun. Thank you. I love you." I gave her a series of kisses, because I didn't have it in me to say goodbye. And then I told her we loved her so much. And we left.
Since she's left us, I've been saying to her, "I'll take care of him. I'll take care of him. I'll take care of him."
I'll take care of him, Minnie. We love you. It has been fun.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Oh my little loves! My sweet Bear Bear, my sweet Goose! We had an amazing weekend - our first hiking trip as a family to Bear Mountain, sponsored in part by Grandma and Grandpa who are lending us their car for the month. We've been taking advantage - a trip to Bethlehem, to Bear Mountain, and next weekend to Rehoboth. It's been great having a so much quality family time, and we've all been happy about it.
Some things we want to remember about this time in our lives:
Alice, on our hike yesterday, Daddy taught you how to read the trail blazes. You immediately took charge. You said, "I'll be the leader, Daddy, and you can be the Helper Leader." You love to be a Baby Elephant. This can be exhausting, but it's important and healthy and all that goodness. You're still so good at being complementary, telling people how they have a pretty shirt or nice shoes. Today you told me, "Shoes don't make me beautiful. I make me beautiful." You adore merry-go-rounds.
Barrow, you are all smiles. All smiles. You are just a totally happy little man. You love your sweet sister, and can't stand to be alone. You are as happy as happy can be. You don't get nearly enough sleep, and can never get enough food. You literally jump up and down at the chance to eat something. Alice loves to make you laugh -- tonight at bedtime she rubbed her head into your belly to make you laugh over and over and over.
We love you both more than anything every!!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
After experiencing the challenge of working with Alice and nursing her for a year, I was pretty aggressive at building up a store of frozen milk for Barrow before I went back to work. Consequently I had about 300 oz. frozen in our fridge.
All of which the doctor said I couldn't use for Barrow.
I couldn't bear to see that "liquid gold" go to waste, so I sent a post on one of our parent listserves offering up the supply to anyone who needed it. I doubted I would have any takers, but I was wrong. A woman who had a double mastectomy and is expecting a baby girl in June took my offer.
She came to our house on Tuesday night, excited to be picking up one of her first supplies for the baby. We were both nervous, not really sure of the protocol for this kind of exchange. And then, almost from out of nowhere, it was emotional and meaningful beyond words. She said thank you. I didn't know what to say. We hugged. She told us she would tell us when her baby arrives. I offered more, as I have more as we wean. And then - in a flurry - she left.
I've been so moved by this experience. The community of women. That this is how it should be - women helping women. The idea that another baby will be nourished from my body. That there are women who love their babies as much as I do who never have the chance to nurse. That I've been so lucky to take this for granted. That, in this day when charity is almost always removed from the people you want to help, to be in touch with someone so deeply. That, in a situation where you often feel so utterly helpless, you can actually help. It's been profound.
I'm so grateful.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
- Anything by Sandra Boynton
- International Babies
- Llama Llama, Red Pajama
- Little Blue Truck
- Bear Wants More
- The Polar Express
- Any Berenstein Bears
- The House in the Night
- Angelina Ballerina & the Princess
- Miss Lina's Ballerinas
Monday, April 22, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
....to my employee, in whose honor I have not yet had time to organize a happy hour.
....to my husband, who has seen me incredibly short-tempered these days.
....to my daughter, for not getting more of my undivided attention, for putting her in front of the television much too often, for not being more patient and kind.
....to my son, for eating some strange food that is making him gassy and intestinal, for letting him see a television before his first birthday, for not reading to him as much as I should or want.
....to my friends, whom I haven't seen in ages, because I still feel so tied to the baby that I can't let anyone else do bedtime with him, and for being terribly self-centered, and for being totally delinquent.
....to my mother, father, brother for not being in touch, really ever.
....to myself, for continuing to be so critical, for not allowing myself to have some space, for never going to the gym or doing yoga or doing any of the fundamentals to keep me sane...
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
On Saturday, Barrow was baptized at the Catholic Church on Morningside Drive near Columbia. It was a lovely day - sunny blue skies, highs in the 60s. The service was simple and kind - about loving, teaching and ... well, some other lesson I can't quite remember. But it was inclusive and exciting and even gave me chills when the priest lead our little community in a blessing for me. Friends and family came to our apartment after to enjoy some food and quality time together. It was one of those occasions when you take off your shoes the second you walk in the door, so comfortable are you with the people there to spend time together.
The weekend felt like a true embarrassment of riches. I am too blessed. My life is too full. My cup runneth over.