Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Favorite Books

For a Newborn
  • Anything by Sandra Boynton
  • International Babies
  • Peek-a-Who?
For a 1-Year Old
  • Llama Llama, Red Pajama
  • Little Blue Truck
  • Bear Wants More
  • The Polar Express
For a 2-Year Old
  • Any Berenstein Bears
  • The House in the Night
  • Angelina Ballerina & the Princess
  • Miss Lina's Ballerinas

Monday, April 22, 2013

Decisions & Turmoil

Dear Sweet Barrow,
Oh my little man! Oh my big boy! How I love you!
You are five months old already. How does this happen so quickly? You have big, beautiful eyes - bright, steely blue, a color that is here to stay. You look like neither your father or me, but I often see your Uncle Henry. You've got a dimple on your left check. Genetic jackpot --- blue eyes and a lopsided dimple. You'll be irresistible. You already are.
You love your bouncy chair. You jump and screech and make happy sounds.
We're trying to make decisions about what to feed you, my little man. I want to keep breastfeeding, but it seems like you might be slightly allergic to something in my diet. Something that isn't milk or eggs or soy. We might keep heading down elimination diet alley, but the next steps seem very hard. No dairy, no eggs, no soy, no gluten. What's left?
But to switch to formula marks the end of something meaningful -- though, if I'm honest with myself -- something meaningful to me and not to you. Because we don't know if we will have another baby, if we stop breastfeeding now, it may mean my body is no longer meant to help my family grow. It may never have the chance to grow and feed a child again. And I'm surprised by how much that rocks me.
And the joy breastfeeding brings now... well, it's pretty big. I didn't love it at first, but now that it is not the one and only way you eat, now that I only nurse when I'm around -- it's a special time for you and me, when we get to be together.
But I don't want you to be uncomfortable or to suffer if there is something I can do to help you feel better. If formula will keep your tummy happier, shouldn't I just let it go?
We love you, sweet boy. Tonight, while I was cooking dinner, your sister was making crazy faces at you. She gives you big, silly smiles and ridiculous laughs. And you were laughing at her!! It was the first time that you've been driven to giggles without tickles. It felt like a family forming. Such joy.
I love you and your sister and your father more than anything ever.
Love you, my sweet Bear-Bear!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I'm Sorry

... to my boss, for never being able to turn anything around as quickly as I would like. my employee, in whose honor I have not yet had time to organize a happy hour. my husband, who has seen me incredibly short-tempered these days. 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. 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. 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. my mother, father, brother for not being in touch, really ever. 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


It was a big weekend for our little family. Alice celebrated her third birthday (!!!) and Barrow was baptized! Michael's parents and sister came up to visit, as did my mom and dad. We enjoyed the first real spring weekend of the season as a big family, savoring time with our sweet kids.
I took Friday off to spend the day with the kids, and my mom came up early to be with us. We went to the Bronx Botanical Gardens to see the Orchid Show and ride the tram around the gardens, which Alice loves to do. Then Dana, Marty, Kelsey, my dad, John & Naomi came to eat Chipotle and birthday cake and ice cream and open presents and watch a three year old go a little crazy with love.

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.